Tuesday, April 29, 2014

44th B-Day Hermana Talbot's new friend???

44th B-Day Hermana Talbot's new friend???

Dear Family & Friends!

First, we ate banana pancakes this morning... they were delicious and reminded me of home. =) But I have to say, I cannot wait to come back to lost of salad with ranch dressing. Here in Chile, for dressing on their salad and veggies and everything... salt and lemon... I am used to it now, but phew, it was a trial at first. I miss my homemade ranch!

Thank you Ellsworth Branch sisters for the package

Thank you Ellsworth Branch sisters for the package

It's getting colder! I'm trying to get myself all prepped for winter. Boots. Thermal leggings. Thermal tights. Etc. Saturday was one of the coldest days yet. Not sure how cold it was, but I was pretty cold. (I'm gonna die in Maine when I come back.) I think I will start carrying around a thermal mug of hot chocolate. :)

Mom, we have an investigator (Pilar) who is on strike! She told us this week that she was just sick of doing everything in her house with her husband and two children in college. And they aren't helping her. Anyway, she's doing a Martha Strike. I told her about you going on strike and she says "yup, I'm gonna do it." hahaha.

Hermana Wright went procelyting with us this week. It was so fun to have her with us. She's such a good mission Mom. Oh ya, guess what we talked about while we were walking to appointments... the health status of the mission. Haha. I have no life. ;)

For all of the missionary Moms: Alma 19:23. Thank-you for trusting Him enough to let us serve missions. I know we are protected.

{I wrote this next part to Kassy this week and thought I would pass it on.. She asked me how I was "really doing" hahaha.} As to here in Chile (still can't believe I'm here some days).... I am doing well. Loving the ups and downs. Behind the scenes the mission isn't sunshine and flowers all of the time. Most of the time yes, but with companions and teaching people and praying and doing all you can to help them progress and finding less active members and trying to work with the ward and being the nurse and EVERYTHING that happens to a missionary... (breathe).... sometimes it's very taxing. Needless to say, though, I have seen so many changes in my life and the lives of others.... I see miracles everyday and am trying to recognize more and more the blessings of our Heavenly Father that He gives me daily. I wouldn't change this experience for the world.

I truly know that the mission is preparing me for marriage. Seriously. It's scary sometimes. Just yesterday my companion and I talked about how that we needed to make decisions together and that, without doubt, our actions and attitudes affect the other. I am learning unity, love, to think about someone else before yourself, to serve, etc. I never thought being here would teach me such life lessons. I thought I was just coming for a spiritual experience.

I'm never bored! This is a good thing! In fact, I am terribly busy. 24/7. Every time I get a new companion they say "you really have no life". A missionary can have a little free time (talking at night with others in the house, playing games, studying more, on our P-Day to have peace of mind and do whatever they want like hike or sleep or eat, etc) ... Doesn't exist for me. Even on my PDay I do not have a free day. I am constantly calling people to check up on them or they are calling me. But the most amazing part is ... I love it. :) Who can say they are a nurse and missionary at the same time?! I debated serving a humanitarian mission as a nurse and a procelyting mission... And I chose a proselyting mission... Only to be called as a nurse mission specialist. I've got the best of both worlds! I love getting to know and help the missionaries out. I have seen their confidence grow in me as they see that I really do want to help them. I must have proved myself trustworthy because I know many personal things about our missionaries. I feel good when they call about such things because I know they confide in me and know I'll do my best to help them. Also, I have watched the confidence of my mission president and his wife increase, as well, as they just flat out tell people to call me not them and that they trust my judgement and suggestions. Hahaha. (little do they know who I am lol). I have been given more freedom to make health decisions for others as they respect my opinion, which makes me feel good because I am doing my job to lighten their burden of the medical needs of over 250 missionaries. Yayyy!

I have seen so many people change here. Not just investigators, but also less active members and missionaries. I have gained a hope that anyone can change. A hope that I do not want to ever die. A hope that I, too, can continue to change after the mission... To continue with my scripture studies, prayers, doing what I know is right, not getting sucked into the world, callings, and listening to the Spirit, etc. I know if I do these things then I will be guided. The future scares me right now (you know it's the first time in my life that I've never had a plan or a step ahead), but I know it's not something I need to worry about right now. So I will freak out about it in 8 months. (wow how time flies!)

I was looking through my journal from college and saw these entries. They are random, but caught my attention once again. Enjoy!

Sacrifice is giving up something of value to in return receive something of greater value.

The gospel brings blessings to our lives which we never realize. Sure, we do know of many of them, but there are also blessings which we don't give the credit to God.

Jesus walking on the water in the storm. "Be not afraid". Matthew 14:27. We have storms too. He calls to us not to be afraid. He is there waiting for us to open the door.

But for the grace of God, there go I. We have a part too though. We have to work to put off that natural man. It becomes requisite that we are doers of the word and not just hearers only. For we know it is by grace we are saved after all we do. Romans 6:14-15.

Matthew 14:22-33. Peter got out of the boat to experience a miracle even though he wavered once he got onto the water. The rest of the apostles didn't even get out of the boat! *We need to get out of our boats to experiences miracles.*

I love you all. I want to hear next week about what miracles or blessings you were able to see this week. :)

Love love love.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

43rd B-Day What's with these late night in the dark experiences, Brooklyn??

43rd B-Day Christmas in Chile more packages arrive...
THANKS to Lisa and Stormi (you too Garrett)

Hey everyone!

So this week.... was.... great! =) Yesterday, I was sick. I might have eaten fried chicken twice in one day and I also at french fries that weren't cooked all that well at like 9:30 at night (they were from an investigator and I couldn't say no!). Sooo anyway, Sunday, I suffered. BUT ALL IS WELL NOW. =) 

Thank you thank you thank you to Stormi, Garrett, and Lisa Swasey for the packages. It's just like Christmas.

I have been teaching English to one of the little girls in our ward. Her Mom asked me if I would help her as she is struggling in school. We had a lesson this past week and it was so fun to watch her face when the light bulb went on. People have a hard time teaching English here. All I hear from parents are complaints. However, after a little explaining to the parent and the child of what they're trying to teach... they get it. =) 

Silly Wrabbits

I found out today that my dear companion did something very bad. So I bought GREAT VALUE (U.S.A. baby) breaded chicken last week. I went on divisions to another sector and left her and the other hermana to cook themselves lunch (baaaddd idea). So anyway, I came back and found out a few days later that they had put the entire bag of chicken in the microwave to warm them up.... thinking if they put all of them in the bad in the microwave that they would be crispier. I almost died. I'm pretty sure they both have some plastic toxins in their bodies.
Easter Brownies

We contacted a guy in the street this week... Carlos... it was almost 10pm and we were walking down a dark alley and saw him. I was on the phone talking with a sick missionary and Hermana Tax started talking with him. Come to find out he does not live in our sector, but was willing to listen to our message and have missionaries come visit him. Anyway, the interesting part of the story is this... We were walking down the street together and I asked him what he did for work. And he said to me "Hermana, I can't tell you". I was like huh? A little further down the road he said to us that he is out of work right now and was out that night to find himself and his family "easy money"; however, felt it was a sign from God that we talked to him that he should return to his house and his family. I have no idea what he was going to do. We came to 2 conclusions... robber or prostitute. But either way, I was happy to walk away knowing we maybe had stopped him from doing something he shouldn't have.
Wall of FAME

I was caught a little of guard yesterday (Easter Sunday). We were teaching some people in their houses and all of the sudden we hear men singing and yelling. I was thinking "what in the world... it's the end of the world..."... Come to find out it was a group of Evangelists who were uniting together to sing and then go preach in the streets. It was quite an experience for me to hear them yelling in the streets about the damnation of God and to be teaching the hope that our Heavenly Father has for us at the same time. I am greatful for the hope and the direction that this gospel gives me in my life. To know that, hope and charity never faileth.

Being this past week was the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ. I thought I would pass on part of my studies of Easter Day..... Enjoy. 

Elder James E. Talmage has written:

“This is indeed a day of days to all Christians. … It is the anniversary of the greatest event in all history, the most effective miracle known to man—a miracle surpassing all that the mind of man could of itself conceive. …
“The Latter-day Saints believe in a literal resurrection of the body. They accept the biblical doctrine in all its beauty and simplicity; and be it remembered, the resurrection of the body is the controlling thought and the central idea of Easter service. …
Jesus died upon the cross. His spirit was literally and actually separated from His body; … and it was only by the power of God that it could be again brought to life. We believe that we shall in very truth die, and that the spirit—that immortal part of man, which existed before the body was framed, and which shall exist and continue to live after that body has gone to decay, that spirit shall take upon itself again this tabernacle of earthly element, immortalized, however, and destined to serve it as a fit garment through all eternity.”

“After we have passed through this life, we will … have our bodies glorified, made free from every sickness and distress, and rendered most beautiful. There is nothing more beautiful to look upon than a resurrected man or woman. There is nothing grander that I can imagine that a man [or woman] can possess than a resurrected body. There is no Latter-day Saint … but that certainly has this prospect of coming forth in the morning of the first resurrection and being glorified, exalted in the presence of God.”


Love you all. Thanks for all you do for me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

42nd B-Day the random thoughts of Broccoli, Brooker, T Brook and Hermana Talbot

42nd B-Day
The Random Thoughts of Broccoli, Brooker, T Brook and Hermana Talbot

Just so you all know I think I have calculated correctly and will be coming home around the 29th of December.

Hey Family,

Okay. So this week.... We have a 25 year old investigator (Mayumi) who just had her first baby (girl) like a month ago. Well, Saturday we went to go see her and she was just stressed to the max because the baby couldn't breathe... wheezing... gasping... etc..... Mayumi was trying to put some of her milk in the baby's nose to soften the boogers and remove them with a q-tip... not working... and the baby just started choking... (I think my eyes were bigger than a plate when I saw her do this...) So I asked if she had a "booger sucker" and she had NO IDEA what I was talking about.... I was so thankful for Summer Johnson and The Ingraham family in this moment... So I go to the store with Hermana Tax and we bought her a booger sucker. It was a miracle worker. In 30 seconds she could breathe again... stopped wheezing and gasping for air... miracle! Thanks booger sucker.

MOM: I got your package!!! I might have eaten a lot of it already.... =) Thanks for the girl scout cookies. Hermana Veron today asked me for "a cookie from the girl scouts" this morning. Hahaha. YUM.

So I am not really sure about the earthquake that I told you guys about.... I have heard that it was 6.2 and 6.8.... Not 5 point something... Anyway, it was a shakin' our apartment hahaha.

The smoke and smog here is so bad in Santiago. You should be able to see it in the picture I sent of the city from our hike. And that picture was like at 11am... it was 100%s worse when we were coming down the mountain at 2pm... I started wheezing one night this week. First of all, there's a lot of pollution. Second, I might have showered one day this past week with freezing cold water (long story, but the water heater stopped working while I was in the shower and my hair had shampoo in it). BUT it stopped after I went to bed. Not sure what happened, but anyone with lung problems should not live in Santiago, Chile... that's for sure.

I found out this week that one of our recent converts (Filomena) never went to school!!! She said when she was little that school was too far away and too much time because they had to walk up and down two mountains to get to the school. She taught herself how to read and such. She told us that she does not like to write letters or such because she doesn't understand where the commas go and when to capitalize words..... I told her to go back to school!!! She told us no, that's she's too old (87 years old) and got by for so many years... why now?...... hahaha. I am so greatful for the schooling I have received and how easy it is to be educated in the States.

The time change is soon Mom. The 26th if this month. That will help you out with not having to drive home and talk to me at the same time.

It is getting cold here... well some days... the weather here is seriously weird... one minute it is boiling hot and the next sooo cold. Bone chilling cold. I think when it comes to the cold, my body has gone through a change. I really am cold here. It's amazing. I don't know if my blood is thinner from the heat or what... but it's stinkin cold somedays. I am going to die in the winter... especially when I come home... I will be leaving 100% summer here to come home in the dead of winter. AHHHH.

We set some baptismal dates this week!!! =) We have 3 people with dates for a goal... Boris. Maria Ortega. Mayumi. Pray for them please. They are going through some hard times right now with their significant others...

This week is Semana Santa here! For the Catholics it is a huge week to celebrate the Passover. I am excited to see their celebrations. I hope I will get to take some pictures. Usually there's a parade and such.

Oh ya... a good story... sorry this email is full of just random things, but.... We had a meeting the other day at our Bishop's house, just me and Hermana Tax... anyway... so we're leaving his house (around 10pm... it's dark outside) and hurrying home to make it in time for curfew and cause it was really cold... and I hear this manly voice yelling "HERMANAS! HERMANAS!!". I said to Hermana Tax, "oh no. let's go!" and I took her by the arm. And he continues to yell "HERMANAS!.... NO HERMANAS!". So I turn around with my hand grasped onto Hermana Tax's sweater... and I see this tall man, yelling, running towards us. My fists were ready. I pretty much had Hermana Tax behind me... and he tells us that his name is Javier... and he's an investigator of the church, but he just recently change his house and is living in our sector... I literally was shaking with adrenaline, but phew... he's pretty much a harmless fly. HAHAHA.

Oh ya... The hike... We went to "Aguas de Ramon"... Ramon's Waters. It's here in Santiago and you have to climb mountains to get there. It was a good hike... Thought I was going to die the first kilometer, but after that it leveled out a little and we could all breathe. It was sooo hot!! We started at 10:30' in the morning and ended at 2 in the afternoon. I have pictures of wild horses, cows, lizards, and such. I'll show ya all when I get home. The trail ends at a beautiful waterfall... we only went half way... to a mini waterfall... but it was still beautiful. Go google it. You've got some pictures. =) It was great to be outside, to sweat some more, to see more of Santiago from above... and to feel like Maria in the "Sound of Music" as we were climbing... Hahaha...

I got this email from Hermana Jennings last week and thought it was absolutely inspiring, so I am sending it on..... She said:

"There are many spiritual gifts. One that would help you develop all the rest is the gift to forget oneself. Christ is the perfect example of this gift put into action. The Atonement did not begin in Gethsemane. It began when Christ was selected or volunteered to be our Savior. It is not a one time event. He has been carrying our sins since the time of Adam until now and he will continue to carry them until all sin has been resolved. So this thought came to me during zone class 'Sure, what you did or have done on your mission was great! You changed for the better and you helped others do the same... Come unto Christ... but all of this is in vain if you stop progressing after the mission. If you can continue to progress and grow, your mission was the sturdy foundation for the rest of your life. If not, go do something to change that TODAY.' Go read Isaiah 53 and think about what Christ did for you. Where are you going spiritually? 'And the Lord called unto (-----) and said unto (him/her) where goest thou?' - Moses 4:15. This was so neat because God knew where Adam was going, but it was a question to help Adam to evaluate his life just like we can if we place our name in the place of Adam's name. We can answer that question and we can also ask ourselves: 'what is holding me back?' Farmers have to get up at 3:30 am to feed the animals. This hour is crucial. If they don’t get up and feed the animals, then they will not have the strength to work the rest of the day. They may not love getting up at 3:30 am to go outside and feed a bunch of smelly animals, but they know what their sacrifice will bring and what blessings they will receive from their sacrifice. We can apply this to our lives. We also have 3:30am moments... they are trying, but they make all the difference. What we do in those times determines our later down the road results. What are your 3:30am moments? What are you doing during this time? Work now. The work you don’t do now, when you should, will be paid for in the future in regret."

Have a wonderful week!!! I love you all!!!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

41st B-Day "Earthquake update" I am fine everyone!!!

41st B-Day "Earthquake update" 
I am fine everyone!!!

Hello Family.

So I have officially heard from all of you to ask if I am doing okay. We are all well and safe here in Santiago. The earthquakes were in the North of Chile (8.2 on the scale) and the tsunami warnings were for the coast. On Friday (4 April 14) around 11:25pm we experienced an earthquake of 5.8 (for quite a while... 30 seconds maybe?). We were in our apartment and we sure did feel it. We are on the 14th floor of our apartment building... the higher you are the more you feel it... so yes the floor was a shaking. I have a video of one of our light fixtures moving for a memory. They say it was the biggest earthquake that we have felt yet here and I believe it. It was quite an odd feeling and adrenaline rush as we headed to the door ready to change our clothes and run down the 14 flights of stairs with our emergency backpacks. Needless to say, it stopped. All is well. =)

We have been working with a new program in the church called Rescate. It is a program to help us find all of the less active members in Chile as many of the records have been lost due to people moving around a lot. It is only for missionaries and has been a wonderful blessing for us to stay organized while we go through every ward's member list and to find other possible addresses from voting records and such. We are in the works of trying to find the thousands of members who are inactive and do not have their records in the correct ward boundaries.

I have an invite for everyone.... all of those who did or did not listen to the message from Elder Ballard... he has an invitation for all members to write and talk to their missionaries about what they are learning from Preach My Gospel. If you're not studying it, do it and go report to your missionaries. 

We were so excited last week when one of our investigators, Boris, came to the Capilla Abierta. He is an alcoholic, but wants to change his life and told us he knew we were the ones to help him through this process. His wife is bipolar and they are living apart (him in his Mom's house) due to the difficulties as you can imagine that they are facing as a couple. Anyway, we have been teaching him and has been progressing. It was quite a shock when he came to the chapel... sober... and I cannot even tell you what joy came to my heart. Ever since that day, I have yet to see him with any influence of alcohol in his system. I asked him the other day, what was going on in his life because he was a different person, and he just laughed and said "I know I need to change and if I don't do it now, I never will." WOW. How amazing is the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Funny story... I was on divisions with Hermana Alvarez (photo attached with her) and we were going to contact 2 references that we got from a member. The member lives in the same apartment building as these 2 references, so we knocked on her door for her to go with us to meet them... she comes out... with gloves on her hands... coloring her hair... IT WAS SOOO FUNNY. She goes... nope, I am not going like this to tell them about the gospel. Hahahaha. I told her: Hermana, people don't think that we are real people... you can't get much more real than this. BAHAHAHA. She went with us and we contacted both of them. =) 

WASNT GENERAL CONFERENCE AMAZING?!! I hope we can all take a resolve to be a little better everyday.

Hermana Wright called me last night and said she wanted to have a special day with me to thank me for all I have been doing as the nurse and the load I carry. So she invited us to come to the "mission mansion" or President's house... to have lunch and to have a day with her. So I said of course! Hahaha. So we came the four of us. I told her we wanted to make cinnamon and orange rolls. YUM. So we are in President's house with her today having fun. =) Thanks Hermana Wright... I love you Mission Mom. 

I LOVE YOU ALL SOOO MUCH. I am going to go frost my beautiful cinnamon rolls. =) Till next week.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

40th B-Day "the BIG bad box arrives"

40th B-Day
'The BIG bad box arrives"
Hey Family.

I GOT A PACKAGE THIS WEEK FROM DAD AND THE BOYS!! =) Happy happy. It was so cute... so we are in the chapel every week for a meeting that we have as missionaries. Well at this meeting the office always brings all of our things that have come in the mail. So this big box was waiting there and Hermana Flores says to Hermana Tax in a quiet whisper... "WE GOT A PACKAGE!". I had told them a few weeks earlier that I was waiting for packages and we would share what was in them... and to not worry... because the Latinos NEVER get letters or packages or anything due to the cost of sending mail. So needless to say they were pretty excited. =) I carried that thing for almost 2 miles. I came home with bruises on my arms hahaha. But I'll tell you what the things inside were worth it... Like a toy in one of the cereal boxes. It now is on my phone for the entire mission. =) Thank you so much! 

It's starting to get cold here. We are wearing jackets and carrying less water. It kind of hit like a brick. One day it was hot... really hot... the next a drastic change to cold. They say the weather is affected a lot by the earthquakes... and if there is a big one it gets hotter... so it was getting colder gradually, but then they had a huge earthquake in the North of Chile... hence the surge of hot... anyway. it's getting cold that's all I know. which means it's getting warmer there (I hope for you guys). Mom I have started drinking herbal mint tea... I think it might become a new addiction. 0_0

I just finished reading this talk: A Reservoir of Living Water by Elder Bednar from 2007. Here is the link. http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1686. I realized more and more as I was studying this talk that I really was not reading the scriptures or the conference talks like I should have been. I was only skimming through... not studying in order to hold constantly to the iron rod. I encourage all of you to read this talk this week before General Conference this weekend...

So we had another run in with Hugo. He was the man that was riding the bicycle and stopped and asked us how to get a Bible because he found a Book of Mormon in the street and wanted to read it and the Bible together... Anyway we met with him to give him a Bible... He is so great. He has started reading the Book of Mormon that he found... It was from an Elder Zuleta and Elder Russell to a Luisa. I have no idea who they are. I am planning to find out if they were previous Elders in the mission... anyway, he is so excited to read. He really wants to know what this book has in store for him. He has our number and will call with questions, but for now he does not want to give us his directions for the missionaries to pass by. Pray for him. =)

So I learned something this past week in Relief Society. We had a lesson on sharing the gospel. Being missionaries... We read Matthew 7:9 together. Which says: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?". So I got thinking about this. How many times do we have friends who are asking us for bread (the gospel principles we know... the thing that sustains our lives) and we give them a stone (something that they really didn't need... a pat on the back maybe). How many of my friends who have asked me about the gospel... and I just gave them a stone back? I know of a few... How sad is that! I have made a resolution to give all of those I can come in contact with... not a stone, but bread. Let's give our friends and neighbors the thing that sustains our lives... the gospel. You've got missionaries in your wards and branches to help you out. USE THEM! 

 Me golfing in our pension... Hermana Tax was given a golf club and didn't know how to use it. 

My hair on Hermana Tax's head.  

Me and Hermana Tax at a Capilla Abierta (Open Chapel)

I love you all. I will talk to you in 7 days! 

Thanks for all of your support and love.