Monday, July 28, 2014

57th Blog on B-Day Brooklyn Flappin' only like Brooklyn can flap.....

57th blog where Brooklyn is flapping... 

¡Que tal familia!

The other day, Hermana Tax and I had a life-changing conversation with a returned missionary. We'll call him RL. We needed to get a DVD from him, which got left in his computer after a lesson with an investigator. So we got the disc and were going to leave.... that was the intention.... until we got talking outside at the gate of the house. RL asked us, "What is the vision of President Wright for your mission?". I had never thought of this.... As we talked and and compared his mission president with ours, we started realizing some things. From what I've seen, President Wright's vision is that we leave the mission converted, that we teach others how to 'come into Christ' through understanding the gospel, and we work really hard for the time we're here. RL was saying the vision they had in his mission was to baptize (he baptized a huge number of people). I came to realize after this conversation how grateful I am for President & Hermana Wright and this mission. Also the conference we had with Elder Holland in which he said the one soul we should bring to Christ is our own, then we can bring others with us. (And how he never wants to see any of us returned missionaries less active or he will hunt us down). Anyway, I now have all of the tools I need in order to endure to the end and progress after the mission; because really, I'm the most important covert after all. (I probably would have never learned this had I not come on a mission.) The vision in this mission, I believe, will carry me through my life and inspire me to "never be satisfied with who I am" (President Wright).

RL was saying that after the mission (about a year now), he has felt stuck. Honestly, you could tell in his face and his umph to continue moving forward. From the spiritual high of the mission to now waiting to find his future wife, he feels that he can't spiritually progress. He said that his focus is to just maintain his spiritual strength until he can seal himself to his wife. I thought in my head, in that moment, "oh no! you can't do that or you'll never progress!". We talked about how our spiritual growth should not be a flat line and then change to be vertical when something amazing happens like the mission or marriage; but rather, it is an gradual, inclining line. After the mission, the preparation for marriage and a family
starts day one, not 4 months before the marriage date. Then after this, to progress in everyway with your family and individually. It just all depends on your desires and goals in life.

That's how we endure to the end.
That's how we become better everyday. That's how we become people who are naturally bad ... to good ... to better.

It was wonderful to talk with RL, even if the lesson didn't count in our missionary numbers or for a future baptism (like Hermana Tax said: if we don't show love to everyone, what are we doing?). We were able to talk to him like a friend and to hopefully help him out a little. However, I after the conversation, I realized I was thinking more and more about the advice I gave to him. And came to the conclusion that it really was for me... not for him.

Hermana Tax might have done something really funny 2 weeks ago. We were with an inactive member talking to her. Her mother is an alcoholic and they are struggling in their house right now. When her mom goes through a drinking binge, she doesn't stop and obligates her daughter to buy her alcohol as she has shame to leave the house. Also, they can't leave her alone because she falls. Anyway, the inactive member was very frustrated with her drunk mom and just was utterly stressed out. We shared a short message with her (at the gate) and invited her to pray with us. She said that she couldn't because she was unable to focus on a prayer. I explained to her that it would help her calm down and have patience. She agreed and prayed. Well during the prayer, Hermana Tax says very strongly, "Amen!". I thought in my head 'I didn't hear an amen, but maybe she did finish and I'm gonna be here like a dummy with my head down, eyes closed, and arms folded'. So I opened my eyes, realize the member is still praying, and look at Hermana Tax with a shocked smile on my face. Hermana Tax hits me and chuckles and Inimmediately go back to listening to the prayer. The member didn't say anything... we are hoping that she didn't hear. The only saving grace we have is that it was raining outside. -_-

I have felt some nights of discouragement and exhaustion lately. Mostly, because in my life I have had drastic changes almost every year (leaving Utah, going to college which is always changing, working 1 year, now on the mission)... I think I am just ready for a change... Anyway, my self-talk/mental encouraging sessions are becoming a habit. Haha. Sometimes I wish I could do more in order to show these people the vision that I see of what living this gospel will do for them and their families. I have felt that I have given all I can in order for them to feel the spirit and to see the vision; only to find they have not even tried to see. It's discouraging at times. I know many times we cannot see the fruits of our labors and it's the seed that's been planted that matters. I continue to try to covey the spirit in our lessons, to show them the gospel vision, allow them their agency, keep a positive attitude, and be patient. :)

The pictures. Me and Hermana Tax. We were sick and tired of carrying our books in our hands, so we walked for a while with them on our heads. (they're on Hermana Tax's head in the photo). 

Another is of me and Hermana Benitez, our Hermana Leader. 

The last one is of us with Elder and Hermana Rasmussen (they are temple missionaries, but they assist our ward on Sundays... currently they are leaving with us to visit people after church... it's been a BLESSING!). 

Love you all. See you all soon!

P.S. We have changed our names... We are no longer "Hermanas". We are "Elderas". LoL. You wouldn't believe how many times we are called this on a weekly basis.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

More pictures pictures and pictures.....

Pilar (investigator). Me. Hermana Tax. Paulina (member).
Me with some tiny puppies!

Our zone of missionaries! Welcome to the stake Alicahue.

Mini Hermana Talbot... Isidora... 8 months old.

Dinosaurs!!! we went to an exhibit today. =)

Dinosaurs!!! we went to an exhibit today. =)
Hermana Leishman. Hermana Tingey. Me. WE REUNITED!!!!

Me with bangs

We went to a museum today!!! It's called MIM. =)

13 months in the mission

Monday, July 21, 2014

56th B-Day 2 posts in one day.... lucky lucky lucky are we....

55th B-Day Sorry better late than never.. I was on Grand Manan Island NB Canada

55th B-Day
WOW the earths a quakin again....

What's crackin Fam?

All is well here in Chile. I'm alive and breathing, fat and healthy (I'm exercising no worries), happy and smiling... I think that's the important part. All the rest doesn't matter. :)

I've been struggling with some stomach problems this past week (heartburn, lack of appetite, etc) and exhaustion. I know it's stress and the frustrations of mission life. Sooo I called the mission nurse and she told me to watch what I was eating, to get some more sleep, use some stress management techniques, and enjoy the last 5 months of the misson. :D And being that I'm so obedient and all, I'm trying to do better. I even ate oatmeal for breakfast Mom (I'm losing my cereal identity!).

I am enjoying my time with Hermana Tax... we have another 6 weeks together! We are trying to work as hard as we can and to serve with all of our hearts, mights, minds, and strengths. Just sometimes the strength fails ya. I know we are not doing our work, but His work. I am confident He will help and guide and strengthen us.
I hope you all have your experience to share with me. What you did to serve someone and how you specifically sacrificed for him/her? .... Don't be lazy. Put in batteries and do it. :)

We had a very weird moment this week. They talk in our mission rules about how we shouldn't take unmarked taxis. Never taken one. Never seen one.... Until this past week. Well, at least I think so. Story: we're speed walking in the street. 10:20 at night. 1 block from our house. And this guy pulls up (driving in the opposite direction) in a nice looking silver car, unrolls his window, and tells out the window "TAXI?". I was like "what is this?!" and yelled back "NO!". And he drove off. I wonder if he really was a taxi driver.... I shall never know.

Okay. So you've got a square box and a whole bunch of circles (different sizes); you gotta fix the circles in the box. The box is the world we live in, the church we go to, the families we have; we're the circles. It's hard to fit in the box! Really hard because this square box has rules, whether it be God's rules, family rules, etc. and it's necessary to live by them. However, we're not squares. It's difficult to live by such rules and regulations especially when it's not in our nature. Sure we help eachother out... We try to make a little more room in the box so that it's a little bit more comfortable, but it's still difficult. Until... we fill in the gaps with something... the gospel of Jesus Christ. Where in this gospel we find prayer, hope, charity, obedience, diligence, the scriptures, ordinances, the priesthood, etc. That's what makes us unified and able to endure to the end. Then we all fit in the box with ease.

I got to do some "surgery" this past Saturday. An elder got bit by a spider (brown recluse, we think) and in the end he developed a huge access in his arm. Dr. Johnson took care of it a while ago (cutting it open to let the puss out), but we are still packing the hole with gauze. Sooo I did nursing... live nursing... this past week. It felt so weird. Imagine me, the nurse of this mission, in a poor members house in the middle of nowhere doing a procedure that was supposed to be sterile, but ended up being as clean as it could be... on a kitchen table. 0_0

Another story: I had a dream this past week before changes (today). I've had some funky dreams lately. And they've been coming true; however, I don't think this one will be. I received a call that I was being change... but not just the sector or zone... but my mission... I was off to England to finish the mission. It was an urgent change. I accepted it without question; however, I did worry about one thing... my accent coming home. Hahaha. Can you imagine an accent between someone from Maine with a Spanish/English accent? Hahaha. But no worries. I think I'm here in Chile Santiago Este to stay. I rather think that President and Hermana Wright won't let me go.

Love you all.
Hermana/Nurse Talboooot

P.S. There was another pretty strong earthquake. 14th floor of a high-rise building. I was swaying on my feet... just waiting for it to stop. We were fine. It lasted maybe 10 seconds.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


My one year mark... we had a party. =)
Stitches in my head. Ouch.

Trunky papers! It's when you fill in all of your info for your plane ticket.
Baptism of Victoria!
Up in the mountains last week
Vultures. They're disgustingly huge and amazing

Up at the lake El Bosque. Look at it! It's gorgeous!

We ate at this amazing restaurant
There's a glacier at the top of this mountain. Well two of them

54th B-Day Everybody needs a friend

54th B-Day in the life and times of
the one and only Hermana Talbot

Song for this week!!

"Everybody needs a friend; no one wants to be alone. When things are lurking down, it's good to have somewhere to go. There are those who really love you. You can see it in their eyes. There are those who'll pretend to and it might hurt you, but it's good to know how to recognize the one from the other. Make the ones that matter.

Good friends lift you up when you feel like you've had enough; keep you going through the thick and thin. Good friends gather 'round you. Leave you better than when they found you. By your side until the very end. That's a good friend

Everybody needs a friend; and there's always room for more. You could be the one they need. You'll be able to know if you'll just open up your eyes to be the friend that matters."
I wonder how many times I wasn't a good friend or let somebody down. Gotta be better at that... I know now, more than ever, that being a good friend includes sharing the message that I've been sharing for the past year. Not to shove it down throats (a good way to lose friends though haha), but to not be afraid to share what I know to be true and the thing that brings me happiness and good life goals.

Be a good friend. Be the friend you want to have. Sacrifice for all people, friends or strangers, cause then you truly love or learn to love them. Always think of others first. We don't grow nor become better people when we only think of ourselves (hello pride). Our Heavenly Father has given us brothers and sisters and friends and parents for a reason. In fact, He's given us everything; the least we can do is serve our God by helping another. Becuase I know, "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God" (Mosiah 2:17).

Next week, write to me and tell me what you did to serve someone and how you specifically sacrificed for him/her. Make it a good story. :)

The head is better. No more headaches. I have a scar and a lump on my head still, but I think it might be another lasting scar from Chile.

I cried last week at the end of church; how embarrassing. One of our inactive members, Fernando, came to church. Finally. After months of never coming to church due to addictions, we talked firmly with him about coming to the chapel and how much it would help him. And.... He came (even if it was only for 20 minutes at the end). We talked to him after and he was so nervous and jittery, saying that he needed to leave. I was so happy for him and yet felt the pain he was feeling. It was a terrible moment; a moment of sadness in my heart for him. I hope to see him recover and overcome his addictions. I know that he can. I believe the hope I have for him, through the Atonement of Christ (especially because I know he cannot do such a thing alone), is greater than he has for himself. His own strength and power isn't sufficient to do it. We just have to help him see that he can change.

Dad. Got another letter. This one came in like 19 days. Miracles never cease, I tell you.

New goal of mine: Call at least one investigator, one recent convert, and one less active member (especially those in mission age) every Sunday before church. Help out your missionaries. :)

Oh, I was soooo bothered this past Monday. We were buying things for the week in Lider (Walmart) and were standing in line. There were tons of people there, all waiting in lines to check out. We got into a line and were waiting when I saw margarine 5 steps from the checkout. So I said to Hermana Tax "save me my spot I'm going to go get margarine right over there". She says "ya I'll watch you". So I leave the line that has like 8 people in it, get my margarine and come back (legit 10 seconds). Well, the guy (30's) behind me had a fit. He started talking to the girl that was with him saying "when you get out of the line, you can't get back in...." blah blah blah. The woman, at least, defended me and said I was only going for margarine and to take a chill pill. But he continued, talking behind my back (literally) like I couldn't understand. Can I tell you what fury raged through my body? I wanted to turn right around and say, "What is your problem? Have you never left someone in a checkout line to save your spot before? Oh ya and yes, I did understand you. Where's your respect?". However, at the moment I said all of that in my head, I remembered the 2 names I carry on my name tag. Hermana Talbot and Jesucristo (Jesus Christ). So instead of reacting in a way that I I couldn't being I had such a reminder on my chest, I turned around, smiled, and helped him place his groceries on the counter. He hesitated at first and acted as if I was stealing his yogurt (oh brother), the woman he was with assured him that I was helping, and he thanked me. I walked away content with how I acted; however, that does not mean I didn't vent in the street to Hermana Tax 10 minutes later when no one was around. Hahaha. I hope we all respect others and think of them first. Be forgiving. Be loving. Think before you act. Always carry the name of Christ with you; maybe not in a physical name tag, but "take His name upon you and always remember Him". I truly learned, through this experience, what it try means to do exactly that.

Love you all. It's July. December comes fast. It's already July. Hope you all enjoyed the pictures.


P.S. Mom. Will you make me a dentist appointment for January? We got talking about how we have winter coats on our teeth and I want to get in ASAP when I get home. :) Tell the Rands hi.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

53rd B-Day Guatemala Trivia. When someone is being slow or not wanting to do something they tell them "viva voz. ponete pilas"..... Live. Put in batteries.

 53rd B-Day 
it's any ones guess when this girl will really be home...

Family and Blog Readers: :)

My head is doing well. The 5 stitches came out today. I tell you what, it was hard to sleep, I felt gross cause I couldn't wash my hair well, I have headaches almost everyday, etc. However, at least it is healing and I'm not bleeding anymore. I bled from the time I hit my head till I got to the Doctor an hour and a half later, with ice on my head too (well a bag of frozen veggies). Phew. Glad that's over. Now all I wanna do is itch... but Doctor Johnson told me "if you scratch that... and it opens back up and I have to sew it again... I will hold you accountable!". bahaha.

I have a story (I need to tell more stories). We had an investigator (well call Boris). He is in his late 60s and really an amazing guy, very kind and generous. His wife is schizophrenic/bipolar and his children really don't speak to him. When the other hermanas first found him, he was in the street.... drunk and living with his mother. Yet, they started teaching him anyway. Usually he was drunk; however, they realized that he remembered what they taught. Something always stuck. Then I came along...I saw the real change in him. He completely stopped drinking and had turned from a drunk into someone different. He started working again. He and his wife fixed their biggest problems and were working together on healing eachother. So he moved back into his house with his wife... Sad part: we lost a progressing investigator as he left his Mom's house. Good part: he was working things out in his life. We saw him a week ago in the street after he had visited his Mom. He looked happy and content, with concerns and problems still, but positively radiant... Smiling, laughing, etc.... Then I had a dream Thursday night. Seriously, one of the most impressive things yet in this mission that's happened to me. (I do not dream and if I do, 2 minutes later I don't remember them.) So, I dreamed that Boris was drinking again, struggling with his life. I thought, that is really weird... I immediately told Hermana Tax and then we didn't talk about it again. Until we go walking down the street and see Boris. Drunk. Wanting to talk to us. So we did for about 10 minutes with him and his Mom; he talked practically the whole time as to why he started drinking again (problems again with his wife and his children didn't even call him for Father's Day - poor guy). We shared a scripture, told him to sober up, and to stop drinking. Then we left to go sit in a park to study. And lo and behold, we were found 3 minutes later. By the one and only drunk Boris. He begged us to share another scripture with him... about love and how we know if we are loved. We testified to him that God loves him and through the Atonement of Christ he can heal. Hermana Tax might have read a tough scripture to him in the Bible about drunks not entering into the kingdom of God. And then Boris asked me what I was studying in the Book of Mormon... Alma 32... About repentance... And he asked me to share with him what I was learning. I hesitated and told him he didn't want to know... then figured there was a reason I was specifically studying this and also that he asked me to share... So I did and by the end of the conversation I invited him to start the repentance process of recognizing the things in his life that are not alined with the gospel of Christ. He accepted (with doubts) and I walked away relieved and content. Needless to say, it was a rough week last week. We had found one of our clean investigators drinking again, a few doors slammed in our faces, rejections over and over again (by members as well), and it was sooo cold. But you know what, after the trials of our faith, then come the blessings. :)

Chilean fact. The smog is so thick and low in the air that when we come home at night, our hair and clothes smell like smoke. And plus Chileans love their BBQs. Still, it makes you wonder what your lungs must smell like.

We had to go to the hospital twice this past week to visit people there. As we entered, I felt at home; however, at the same time it felt foreign. The first time, I missed it. The second time, I wanted to leave. It felt so weird. I realize more and more that I have to enjoy my time here because it flies by. I've got 6 months left. Nothing more.

If any of you want anything from Chile. Please let me know!!! I am continually buying for people, but I want to know if there are things that you want.

Hermana Wright called Salt Lake this past week and they told her that there is no plan (as of now) for a new nurse to come to the mission. All of the nurse positions that they will fill are filled until December, and after that, a world of unknown. Soooooo, as for now December 29th still stands; however, if a new nurse doesn't come, I officially can stay in the mission (according to church rules) 30 days after my return home date (December 20th).

We went with President and Hermana Wright today to "Lago de Yeso" (I think). It's on the border of Chile and Argentina... in the mountains. I asked them a few weeks ago if they would take me and Hermana Tax so that she could get to know snow... and as always, yet another favor for their mission nurse... I am well paid for my services. =) It was absolutely beautiful!!! Fresh air, we laughed all day, ate lunch with them in a Disney Fairy Tale house, Hermana Tax got to feel snow for the first time in her life, and so much more. I forgot my cable to attach pictures (once again... I am sooo sorry!). Needless to say, I have come to love my mission president and his wife. They are wonderful mission parents and I have come to love and appreciate them and all they do. It may not have been the easiest time for me to accept the change in my mission call when I was in the CCM; however, now I know why I am here in Santiago Este and not in Sur. I needed them (mission president, mission wife, companions, etc) just as much as they needed me.

I really liked this quote: "Your success and happiness, both now and in the eternities, depend largely on your responses to the difficulties of life". I am seeing more and more here in the mission that we have the choice of being one person or another in the site of adversity or trying times. We will call the first Negative Nelly and the second Positive Patty. Nelly, when she's going through a tough time, asks questions such as: "Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this now? What have I done to deserve this?" ... Negativity, self-absorbent, depriving of any love or hope, never processing or learning from life's challenges. However, on the other hand we have Patty, who asks these questions: "What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial?". Positivity, hopeful, teachable, thinking of others, etc. I am trying to learn to be more like Patty and it's a long learning process... But I have realized that my greatest example and strength is in my Savior. (Mosiah 24:13-14).

Have a wonderful week. We'll talk again soon! 7 days.

Love ya all. MWAH.

P.S. Mom. Send me the recipe for no baked cookies. Please. :)

P.S. Guatemala Trivia. When someone is being slow or not wanting to do something they tell them "viva voz. ponete pilas"..... Live. Put in batteries.