Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 63 Smile That Frown Away!

I would like to honestly confess that I don't know where the week went. I do believe that I lost it. I tried to find it. I looked everywhere. But I believe that I have possibly dropped this week in the street somewhere with one of my sweaters, and it is irreplaceably lost. So here I sit, writing once again.

This was a phenomenal week. We have set some goals as a companionship to be more focused and such, like leaving lessons faster, setting baptismal goals in the first lesson, etc. And we have really seen the difference. We had a bunch of lessons with a member this week. We are focusing on training the Ward Missionaries on how to really fulfill their callings.  And with that we are releasing and calling new ones. The ward missionaries that we have right now, aren't really much help. They don't do much, or don't follow through on the promises that they make. Which is sad, but we are picking up and moving on. 

We had a really great lesson this week with a young woman that we have shared with one before. We shared the Plan of Salvation that our Heavenly Father has planned for us now and through eternity. And what we need to do here to make it to the eternities. She absolutely lit up when we talked about baptism. How she could erase her past and start all over again. She could show God that she wants to follow him and all that. She started crying and told us that she wants to be baptized because she knows that it is something that she needs to do in order to be saved, and something that she wants to do in order to FEEL saved. We all cried at that moment, and she gave us a hug and told us that we are the sisters that she never had. It was an amazing lesson that was just filled with the Spirit, She told us that we answered all of the questions that she had always had about life. And when we asked her mother what she thought about her daughter getting baptized, she said ^Well, I now that it is something good. Something right. And I know that it will help her with all of the bad things that are going on in the world. I think that it is a goal that we are going to work for!^  So we set a date for the 10th of September and we are steadily working towards that goal. :) 

Let`s see, what else. 

Honestly this week went by so quickly that I cant really write much more. I just hope you all know how much I love being a missionary. I know that I am not the same person that went on a mission. Now I am the better version. And here I am at the part of the race where I start to sprint to finish the best of all because you can see the finish line. 

So I love you all, and I hope that you are letting God to change you one day at a time. That you take inventory and say, ^What am I doing well? What can I improve?^ And then you act on the impressions that you receive. 

You are all the best of the best of the best (sir). (Brownies to those who get the movie quote.)


Hermana Randall

PS. We played soccer with our mission president today...... He really knows what he is doing. I can tell that the way to his heart is through soccer. I'm
going to remember that. Haha.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Week 62 When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

Hello Family and Friends!

Hope that you all had a great week watching the Olympics and enjoying the last week of summer before school starts. 

We had an interesting week here in Cerro Moreno. We worked hard, and we saw very little success. It happens sometimes, but it is always hard when it does. We had to travel a lot this week to doing things in downtown Antofagasta, so we also lost a lot of precious time where we could have been working. I realized this week that I am going to be so bored to have to work in an office again for the first little while after I get home. I was a couple hours without proselyting and I about died from the anxiety of it all.

But we did have a few fun things happen this week. We had one of the first ¨Capilla Abierta¨ here in the South America South Area of the church. That means that we had an Open House in our chapel. We had the entire Zone in our chapel, and we basically turned the entire chapel into a Visitors Center. The problem is that sometimes members are so eager to help that they scare everyone away. We had to get after a couple members for taking a lot of photos like they were in a circus and explaining doctrine that not even a member of 100 years understands. But we did contact a good number of people and the refreshment at the end were good. 

We were in charge of receiving the people that came. So they came and sat in the Sacrament Hall and we gave them a brief Welcome to the Church, please turn off your cellphones deal. We did all of this in front of a big banner of the statue of Christ that is in the North Visitors Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake. And then we listened to the audio of Jesus speaking and we bore testimonies as missionaries. 

Afterwards we directed them to the Cultural Hall where there were two other sisters with 6 other banners. They explained the 6 banners very basically with testimony, themes such as, The plan of Happiness, Jesus our Savior, The Great Apostasy, The Restoration, The Book of Mormon, and Modern-Day Prophets. 

From there the group is lead into the room which contained the Baptismal Font. There they are received by two Elders in white, where they explain the ordinances of Baptism and Confirmation by the Gift of the Holy Ghost. And testify of this sacred experience. 

Then they are lead to a table filled with copies of the Book of Mormon, pamphlets, cards, etc... And are invited to fill out an information card if they or someone they know would like to learn more about the church from the missionaries. 

From there they were able to visit each of the rooms and meet the organizations (this is where, instead of letting them look and ask questions, the members had presentations of about 10 minutes each..... Some people got so bored that they were unable to make it to the dessert at the end....) And then there was dessert.

It is a pretty cool idea, and it was very fun to participate in, I felt a little like it was opening night of a show and I wasn't ready for it...... But it all worked out rather well. :) We are going to do another one in another chapel on Friday.

That was basically the week. Running around doing things without seeing much progress. But the important thing is that we did our best. Success comes when we are faithful even if we aren't succeeding. 

We are ready and willing to work even harder this week to prove it. 

I love my companion, I love my Savior, and I love my family. My real family, and my Chilean family. I hope you are all well and having success in your various walks of life. I love you!

Hermana Randall

Week 61 No Time? Or End of Times?

Hello there everyone! I know the title sounds a bit dark, but in reality nothing super huge happened this week. It was a good week. We taught some lessons and found some people and we did missionary work!

Our little sister, L. who got baptized last week is doing amazing. She is so thrilled to be a member, she has put the names of all the missionaries that she knows up on her wall behind her bed saying that she loves us. She is studying her scriptures and is so happy with having the Holy Ghost. It is something very special to be a part of. 

We are also teaching many people who are also progressing towards baptism. Although many have their own difficulites, one of our investigators has a particularly sad story, that has lightened considerably in the weeks that we have known her. She is reading the Book of Mormon, and has prayed. She says that she knows that the Book of Mormon is true, and she knows that we are sent from God because of how she feels when she is with us, or when she merely sees or hears us. I am so privleged to be a messanger for this gospel. ;)

I had something else that I wanted to write about, but I dont remember what it is. Just know that this is the best thing I have ever done in my life. I had a pretty good idea about what I was going to do, or what I was going to be before the mission. And now I know what I need to do, or what I need to be. Because the Lord has told me, has shaped me, and the refining process continues. 

The time is running out here in my mision. I noticed it more this week because my companion is just starting her mission. Her mission stories until now are all about the MTC. And I realize that it has been a long time since I was in the MTC. Time is something that is running out on all of us though. We dont really ever seem to stop and think about it though. I see so many people running around with their busy lives that they dont have time to stop and think about the meaning of it all. Are we all just like busy ants running around getting things done? Or is there a higher purpose to what we do? I know that there is a higher purpose. And that sometimes to accomplish that purpose, we need to stop. Pause everything, Take a deep breath and get some persepective. Pray. Read the scriptures. Go to church. Go to the temple. I invite all of you to find some time every week. Or better yet once a day to breath. There is always a dead moment in the day. Brushing your hair, putting on  your shoes. Eating food. Whatever. Use that time to talk to your Heavenly Father, to memorize a scripture, etc... Use it for something more than just brushing your hair, or putting on shoes. We are here for more than brushing our hair.

I have a wonderful friend who sent me a poem this week that I would like to share with you: 

No Time to Pray

“I knelt to pray but not for long,I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work for bills would soon be due.

So I knelt and said a hurried prayer; and jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done my soul could rest at ease.

All day long I had no time to spread a word of cheer.
Not time to speak of Christ to friends, they’d laugh at me I’d fear.

No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry.
No time to give to souls in need but at last the time, the time to die.

I went before the Lord, I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in his hands God held a book; it was the book of life.

Good looked into his book and said, “Your name I cannot find.
I once was going to write it down … But never found the time.”

Read this. Think about it. I love you all!

Have a wonderful week. 
Hermana Randall

Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 60 It´s a Girl!

Well hello there followers! I would like to announce to you all that I officially have my Hijita :) (My daughter)
Her name is Hermana Rebeca Guzman, she is from Nicaragua, she is 24 years old and she speaks English surprisingly well. And she is amazing.
This week was filled with many different things and I know that I will not be able to describe all of it. So like Mormon, there are some things that I am just going to leave out because they would take to long and writing just a little bit would not be sufficient.
Monday -- I spent the day with a member who is super awesome (also named Rebeca, interesting), we had an amazing lesson and set a baptismal date. I made brownies, and a giant sign for my Greenie.
Tuesday -- Proselyted some more, taught a few really good lessons about the 10 commandments and other such things. Switched member companions during lunch (we had subway :) and they gave me a free cookie) , and we proselyted some more. And we were able to confirm a baptismal goal for Saturday.
Wednesday -- I was dropped off at the mission office and was temporary companions with Hna Carabine (Utah). We were the only two sisters training this whole transfer. We helped set everything up, and talked with President and Sister Ferriera until the newbies arrived. There were two sisters, mi hijita, and Hna Sorenson from Draper Utah. We all talked and had a great time together. Then the meeting began. We talked about what it really means to be a successful missionary. How we can always be the best missionary that we can be. We don't just have to evaluate ourselves at the end of our missions. But that we can evaluate, repent, and be better, EVERY SINGLE DAY. (That goes for our lives outside of the mission as well. Then we (the trainers) had a meeting with President. We talked about who really is a disciple of Christ. How Christ trained his disciples and how we can use his example to be the best missionaries that we can be, and train the best missionaries. It was a moving experience.
Finally we all got together and began finding out who would be companions. Finally it came time for the sisters. They sat together in front of the room, and read their letters of fate. And Hna Guzman read my name! It was so special! I knew that it was going to be her when I saw her!
We had another little training after we had received our companions, basically President telling all of us that we are the best of the best that he has in this mission. That he trusts us with this monumental task of training, and more importantly, the Lord trusts us. We got all jazzed up. Then we came home she saw all of the decorations that I put up, and we had a nice bonding moment. taught a few lessons that night, then we came home and went to bed.
Thursday -- Today was the first meeting that I officially had as a Sister Training Leader. It was all day long with a lunch. And we talked about the new things that we are going to do as a mission, and what things that we need to improve on as a mission. At this time I would also like to invite all of you to go on Facebook and like the page ¨Mision Chile Antofagasta¨ or maybe it is ¨Chile Antofagasta Mission¨ It is one of the two. It is a new page, and it is going to be filled with wonderful things! We came home from the meeting and had another appointment with R. and L.  L. is the little girl with a baptismal date for Saturday. It was a good day.
Friday -- We had our weekly planning, and I am teaching Hna Guzman how the mission works. (No pressure right). I am learning right along with her as well. It is pretty exciting. And that night we talked to L. again to make sure that everything was set for her baptism. Our District Leader came to the house with us, and did the interview and set everything up . it was a great experience for her. She didn't feel ready before, but afterwards she was so excited for the next day. Her mom was pretty set on no baptism until she was sure that her daughter was ready. But L. actually started crying because she was afraid that her mom didnt want her to be baptized, and tears sometimes melt hearts a lot quicker than other things. The spirit filled the room, and they began making plans for the baptism.
Saturday -- I am the leader of the sisters in Mejillones, and they have been kind of sad this last week because they haven't been able to find or teach people. They feel like they are just walking around. It is sad because they are both relatively new missionaries as well. 7 months and 5 months. So we all as the leaders (District, Zone, and Sister Training) hopped on a bus and went to Mejillones. We contacted whatever person in the street, taught lessons, extended baptismal dates, etc. And we left the Sisters full of hope. I love being a leader so far. Basically it gives me a better opportunity to help others. And that is something that I have always loved doing.
We came home, and studied a little bit and then immediately went to the chapel for L´s baptism! She was there with a bunch of members of her family and friends that are not members. (Some of them are actually opposed to the church, but they were there and they supported her. So we were really excited!) The service went really well and the spirit was there pretty strongly. It was a great day.
Sunday -- And to end the week, L. received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Her nonmember friends and family were not there. But her Step´Father who is not a member came and he brought his sister as well. It was a beautiful experience. We had 10 investigators in Sacrament Meeting! And then later that night. We were able to set 2 baptismal dates! This sector really is progressing. And we are seeing many many miracles. :)
So in conclusion. I love my sector. I love my companion. I love Chile. And I LOVE my mission!
Hope you are all well!
Hermana Randall

Monday, August 1, 2016

Week 59 Miracles, Responsibility, and What?

Well, I have way to many things to tell you all, so I am not going to start this email with a joke or something random.

This week was one heck of a week (can missionaries say heck?).

Well we started off with Monday, nothing too exciting, just super spiritual. Then Tuesday we went to a District Meeting that at the last minute was changed to another chapel entirely and NO ONE TOLD THE SISTERS. So all 4 of us were outside the chapel wondering what what going on. And the Elders called to ask where we were and we asked, ¨Well where are you?¨ They told us that last minute it had been changed and they had forgotten to tell us.... So we hopped on a bus and got there about a half and hour late. Only to discover that it was changed because the Mission President was coming to listen to all of the District Meetings and make missionary evaluations.... AND WE WERE LATE. 

So we did our piece, with President watching and making comments the whole time. And then we told the Assistants the part of our sector that would now be their sector ( I cant remember if I mentioned that we are dividing Cerro Moreno and the Assistants are now going to be working in our ward.) No pressure.

Wednesday we had a lesson with A. She was having a lot of problems with her enthusiasm for life. Not that she wanted to do anything to take her life or anything. But that she just was really tired of all of the problems and University classes, etc. So we explained about Blessings of Comfort and Counsel and she said that she would like to have one. So we came home, ate the fastest lunch ever (I made fried chicken, you should be proud), and went to the chapel to meet the Zone Leaders to give her a blessing. She arrived crying. We allowed her to calm down and then she explained to the Elders what was happening a little. They gave her a beautiful blessing and afterwards Elder Melim asked if he could talk to her. So they talked in Private (it was a secret interview) and an hour later she left smiling and told us that she was going to be baptized on Sunday..... So once we recovered from our state or awe and shock, we partied.

Thursday nothing huge happened. But A told us that no she wasn't going to be baptized. Then she told us yes. And then No again. My heart is so tired and full of feelings from this week. Wow.

Friday we were all prepared to work all day and such. We had our missionary coordination meeting with the ward mission leader and in that moment, A told us that yes she was going to be baptized! So we began planning a baptism! Which then the next day (Saturday) she said she changed her mind and she wasn't going to do it anymore. (In a couple weeks she said...) 

But the most interesting part of the week for me I believe was when Presidente Ferriera called me on Friday. The conversation went something like this; 
¨Hi Presidente!¨
¨Hello Sisters which sister am I talking to?¨
¨With both of us.¨
¨I want to speak with Hermana Randall¨
¨Yes President?¨
¨Sister, I have a very large responsability that I would like to assign you.¨
*silence on my part* 
¨Sister Randall I am assigning you to train a new missionary starting on Wednesday. *cue heart stopping, more silence* And you will be the newest Sister Training Leader of the Zone La Portada.¨

I dont rememer what I said. I accepted of course. So now I do not have a companion until Wednesday when my new trainee gets to the mission. I am beyond words. I know that I am going to end my mission working harder than ever, and I am so excited to help other missionaries love the mission just as much or more than I do. 

In the end we did not have a baptism this month. But I know that the Lord saw the type of dedication and faith with which we were working and blessings disguised as hard work have been sent my way. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord even more. 

This has been my week Brothers and Sisters. I am filled with humility and awe that has been placed on my shoulders, and I know that it is in Christ that I receive my strength. 

Thank you, all of you, for you love, support, prayers and unwaving faith in me and our Savior. I love you all very much. Have a great week and may God be with you.

Hermana Randall

Week 58 Another Year Older, and Much Wiser Too!

Well, it is now Week 6 of the Transfer, I am 21 years old, and have about 4 1/2 months left in the mission. Where does all of the time go? 

This week went by even more quickly than last week. At the beginning of my mission I always felt like the weeks were too long and P-Days too short. I still feel like P-Days are too short. But the Weeks go by even quicker. It has been 3 months here in Antofagasta and almost 6 months since I was in El Salvador. It´s nuts. 

But we are taking advantage of every minute left to us! This week (the week of emergency as it is called) we proselyted about every day with a member and taught lessons to a couple people that were progressing rapidly. And then on Friday the Zone Leaders and the District Leaders used our sector as a Guinea Pig sector. They invaded¨our sector as they call it. With our permission of course. We gave them a list of the names of people that used to share with missionaries that we haven't been able to contact in awhile because our sector is so big. So they went off and found people. And the Zone Leaders visited two of our progressing investigators to talk to them. They were able to set a baptismal date with both of them! One is pretty sure to happen. But the other is really soon. She had her baptismal interview and everything, but in the end she didn't pass. Not for anything in her past or anything. She just still isn'

t sure about how she feels about a living prophet. So we are really emphasizing how she needs to pray and ask directly about prophets. At this point we have basically taught her everything that she needs to know, and the rest is in her hands. Agency people. Agency. We fought for it in Heaven and now is the time to use it. 

This week I also celebrated my 21st birthday! My companion gave me a cute Planner that she dectorated for me, and sang Happy Birthday to me in Guarani. Then all the Elders in the Zone called me one by one and sang to me as well, in Spanish, and once in Portugese. I smiled all the morning long :) I opened the birthday package that my family had sent me, and apart from long-missed American candies, I found the testimonies of my siblings and parents. Knowing that my family knows that the Gospel is true is one of the greatest supports that I have. If you ever want to make a missionary smile, go write your testimony long-hand and send it to them. They will treasure it forever and read it when the days arent as perfect as they would like them to be. I also came face to face with a box of twinkies :) And Happy Birthday candles. So I stuck all the birthday candles in the Twinkies and had a nice breakfast. :)
It was a good birthday, I got to see all of my investigators who have become family to me, and ward members who are the extended family I never knew I had. Haha. One Sister is amazing, she invited us to come and eat something as the last appointment of the day. We came and she gave me sandwiches to eat, hot chocolate to drink, and for the FIRST TIME IN ALMOST 14 MONTHS......BACON...... I got to eat bacon on my birthday! Hna Dubó is the best. :) And there was a cake with a giant sparkler candle as well. :) It was a good day. I recived more than a few presents. Which was more than expected. They were mostly candy, which is a good thing, so I can eat it and not carry it around with me. But there were a couple surprises which I loved very much (a sweater, a Chile shoulder bag, a handmade framed picture of Jesus with seashells all over it, among other things.) Long story short, it was a good day and a good week. We are working hard and seeing miracles!
I hope that you are all well wherever you are in the world. I remember when I was little the world didnt exist much further than the end of the sidewalk. And now I have friends from literally all over the United States, not to mention all over the world! I love you all, thank you so much for the birthday wishes, they are well recived and guarded close to my heart!

Les amo!

Hermana Randall