Tuesday, September 30, 2014

66th B-Day Hermana Talbot's Faith vs Fear

¡Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

Esta semana, voy a escribir mi correo en Español. :) Para que nadie me entiende. Jajaja. Mi mama probablemente va a usar GoogleTranslate para traducirlo pero ¡no puede hacer trampa! Jajaja. Nahhh I'll write in English, cause that'd be awful rude. :) The more and more time that I have here in Chile the more I realize that it's really amazing to know more than one language. Just hope I can keep it up after the mission.

We had a ton of people talk to us in English this week. It's so weird to talk back to them in English, especially in public. We had one guy in the metro who just kept staring at Hermana Tingey (that's normal) but had this look on his face of: "I wanna talk to you, but I feel so uncomfortable". So she talked to him to cut the awkwardness and he said he wanted to practice his English. Everyone just stared in the metro... But who cares. Then there was another guy in the street, drunk mind you, that came up to us asking if we spoke English because he wanted to practice talking. I feel so weird talking to them in English; it makes me uncomfortable and usually I end up speaking Spanish. Hahaha.

We had a special conference with President and Hermana Wright again this week. I feel like they really are trying to help us hasten the work. We spoke about many things, but the overall topic was "faith vs fear" base on an article written, this year, for mission presidents by President Uchtdorf. President Wright said it is the first talk he has seen by the First Presidency published to them on paper which also contained a world wide invitation for all missionaries to read. Hence, it has been a privledge in this mission to receive a copy and study it. Hermana Wright talked about a balance between having fear of baptizing future less actives (how terrible) and baptizing everyone no matter if they have a testimony or not. This balance lies in having the faith enough to baptize converts. Here in our mission we are more on the side of fear because Chile has an infinite number of less actives/inactives due to missionaries baptizing people without testimonies. Practically the talk by President Uchtdorf hit the nail on the head. In fact, the same day that Hermana Tingey and I read and talked about it, we had a trial of our faith. There are many promptings of the Spirit that you feel as a missionary. Sometimes they're as simple as needing to talk to someone. Well, we were walking past a park one day and there was a man sitting on a bench with his dog. We felt we needed to talk to him, but had already past the park. So we walked back a little ways, but then felt stupid because we had already passed him once...so we turned back around and walked away. As we were walking away, this talk came to my mind. Fear versus faith. Which one was I going to let win? .... Sometimes I wonder how many times fear wins in our lives? How many times do we worry about what others think of us before we're concerned about what God thinks? How many times are we discouraged and give up because we lack the faith to move on? How many times do we obey God because we fear Him not because we love Him? How many times do we feel overwhelmed or out of time to live the gospel on a daily basis by doing the basics of studying our scriptures, praying, attending church, and going to the temple? Anyway, just some of my thoughts of how I can do better while I'm here and also when I get home. Faith is action. May we all act in our confidence in Christ, so that we can further develop our faith in Him and not fear.

Invitation for everyone! This week invite a friend to hear the missionaries or come to church!!!! :) General conference is coming up! What a perfect Sunday to bring someone to hear a prophet's voice! If they say no, no harm done. If they say yes, introduce them to the missionaries. But if you never ask... what if they would have said yes, but you feared more than exercised faith...

I realized this past week how much I missed the smell of summer. Someone was mowing their lawn and I was breathing in to soak it all in. In my area now, there's grass, but people cut their grass by hand with clippers. So there usually isn't any smell. But anyway, I missed the smell of summer this week. :) Mom, this does not mean I love mowing the lawn..... I can enjoy the smell just as well if someone else cuts it. :)

Funny happening. We have a soccer field in our sector. There are always soccer games or practices going on. Always. Of course when we walk by, it's always fun to see them playing and having their friends and families cheering them on. Well, we passed the other day and there was a group of soccer players and the coach standing over another player laying on the ground. I was thinking, "I hope he's okay.". Then the guys picked the other guy up by the arms and the legs and started throwing him up in the air in order to kick him in the butt. Hahaha. It was hilarious!! We laughed for a while after. It reminded me a lot of the terrible things my brothers used to do to me (ie: Chinese torture, pinning me down, etc). So word of wisdom from the Chileans, if youre playing a sport and someone needs a kick in the butt, just start throwing them in the air and it's easier to do it. :)

As we were walking to the internet today to write you guys there was a very interesting person standing outside. Purple, huge mohawk, tattoos, smoking, piercings... ya you get the picture... He saw us walked by and he says to us "hey... hey... hey you!" We are ignoring him at this point because he sounds drunk.... he continues "hey!"... we turn around... he looks at us, points to his cheek and says "will you give be a kiss? just one... please!". I just shake my head, say NO, and we continued walking away. HAHAHAHAHHAA. Gotta love the experiences of Chile. =)

Dad. I am so glad to hear you are okay. You scared the crap out of me. It's the first panic attack I've had in my life when I saw that email from Brandon. Thankyou Brandon for keeping me updated and for taking good care of him. Thanks to Mom for finding President Wright's email. Thanks to Brett and Bryan for your part in all this to help him through. I am calm, worried of course, and content wtih the care he is receiving. =) Dad, you can do this! You're already up walking again and have far to go, but take your time and OBEY DOCTORS ORDERS. (Brooklyn's dad, Mark was in an motorcycle accident which resulted in a broken back and sternum)

Story time. So Saturday was the roughest, best day we've had in a long time. (1) I got out of bed an hour late (shhh don't tell President... well actually it was because I was literally exhausted due to being woken up the night before 5 times for a sick Elder which I ended up sending to the hospital. Good excuse right. Anyway, so I slept in because I literally couldn't function enough to wake up.) (2) We started out in the morning leaving the house late due to the need of studying an extra hour for special reasons. (3) We both felt really weird. Our spirits were down and physically we were tired. (4) A member Robert left with us for a few appointments, which all fell through. (5) Not a soul that we talked to was receptive. (6) Many people wouldn't answer their doors even though we knew they were home. (7) We were really hungry. (8) We came back to the house and ate a bowl of cereal [the solution to every life problem]... felt a little better. Score! (9) Called Alejandro, a wonderful investigator, to see if he could meet with us and he said yes - miracles never cease. (10) Had the very spiritual lesson at the Bishop's house in which we set a baptismal date! .... I tell you what, a super bitter day turned super sweet at 9:30pm. :) Endurance. Patience. Diligence. It really does pay off.

Kick someone in the butt this week, even it it's yourself.

Love you all.


P.S. Go to this link and read this talk from Elder Ballard. It hit me straight to the core. He extended these invitations long ago for all members to be part of missionary work; now, he's following up. It's our responsibility to report our actions; and, if we haven't acted, I guess we should.


"Following up". May 2014.

Monday, September 22, 2014

65th B-Day in the not so predictable life of Hermana Talbot


First thing, we had a very exciting moment here in the ward last Sunday. The Chilean memories never cease... So we're in sacrament meeting, the Bishop's talking, everything is going well... Until an Hermana from the ward comes and very quickly sits next to me on the bench and says, "there's an Hermano in the back who's really sick we need your help". I'm thinking vomiting, faint, headache, something normal right? So I tell Hermana Tingey to come with me and we go to the back of the room. There's like 5 people over him. I couldn't get in to him; I tried but they just didn't move. He's practically unconscious with his body limp, but miraculously sitting in the seat still. Responding only in gargles and gasps. I'm thinking that I've gotta get in there so I start pushing (hahaha) and then I get pushed! ... I was like what is going on? Then hands take me by the shoulders and literally move my body. Then this control-taking, man's voice says, "Excuse me Hermana". I'm thinking, that's a doctors voice... Yes! I just got saved. So we pushed everyone out of the way and the Hermano Doctor and I started working on him. I said to him, "Are you a doctor?" (I wanted to make sure I wasn't working with a wolf in sheep's clothing hahaha). He said, "Yes, Hermana let's do this together." So we worked at it, trying to diagnose and treat him for the next 30 minutes. We were without any medical supplies (what preparation), but we just bounced off of eachother for a minute or two and we had the best diagnosis we could come up with. Hypoglycemia. The Hermano has uncontrolled diabetes because he does not take care of himself; he took a lot of insulin in the morning and didn't eat a good breakfast. After getting him on the floor and shoving juice down his throat, we got him to come back us. He was doing really well after that and wanted to go home. Not a chance. An ambulance was called and they came to take him to the hospital. As far as I know he was there for 2 days with lots of testings. Shocking part... The final diagnosis wasn't hypoglycemia; he had a mini stroke. However, he is back at home doing well. I tell you what though, it was a scary, adrenaline pumping moment and I felt like a real nurse again (and a bit like a newbie).

We were just told that the Church has an olive vineyard here in Chile. Isn't that cool? I wanna go see it. :)

I read this quote this past week and i liked it. We all need to remember this. When someone mistreats us, when we become impatient, when we have the idea to mistreat someone, when we forget who's children we are…. 

"Try to see all people as children of Heavenly Father. It’s not just a nice idea; it’s a reality. Let it sink deep into your heart, and your interactions may change."

We have a guy who works as a "porter" (conserje) in our apartment building. His name is Juan and his absolutely hilarious. He's 65 years old and works everyday, all day. In the past he's talked with the Elders when they lived here (about a year ago). So we got talking one day an we ended up giving him a pamphlet about the restoration because he said he wanted one to read. This past week we stopped by to see if had read or thought about it. He said he had read it and gave it to a fellow workmate but did not remember much. So we talked to him about it, laughed a ton with him, and said we would stop by again. It was really funny for 2 reasons. (1) We have nicknames because he cant pronounce our last names. I am Solange and H. Tingey is Catalin. Bahahahaha. At first he called me Sister Mary and I told him no way cause that name is wayyy too common in Chile (and boring). Hahahaha. And (2) he says we are "get to the punch girls" because never in his time talking to the other missionaries have they taught him about what we believe (I might have brought the conversation back to Christ at least 5 times hahaha). It was a good experience to laugh with him and receive a Chilean nickname. :)

18 de Septiembre!!! The national holiday of Chile! I thought we, Americans, were patriotic people... Until I came here. Wow. Everyone has their huge BBQs, loud music, kites, parties, and dances. Also, in the church ward, there was a huge party and we, Hermanas and the Rasmussens, sang a Chilean folk song: "Si vas para Chile". Let's just say it was fun learning it, but when it came down to singing it.... We laughed a ton. In the video, it doesn't quite look so terrible. Our saving grace. :) Hermana Tingey and I memorized the song in 2 days and are going to have it stuck in our heads for more than 2 months. Haha. We sing it all of the time in the street. It really is a cute song. Oh yes and at the ward party, we served a TON of hours (more than we thought). We were asked by the Bishop Pardo to be there at 10am to help the youth decorate the church. Needless to say noone showed up. So we did it. Then we realized there were only 2 hermanos there to make and cook all of the home made empanadas. No way were we going to let them do them all. It was time to serve our ward! So the 4 of us got to work. We made 280 empanadas. It took us from about 12:00-4:00pm to do them all. It was ALOT of work, but they were soooo good. :) So now that I've learned how, we'll have a Chilean party when I get home. 

Chilean fact: they are VERY frank people and at times without tact. We contacted a 60 year old lady last week because she was outside of her house not doing anything; we figured why not? The first thing she said, while shaking her head, was: "oh no, I don't like Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses!". I asked her what she knew about the church and if something had happened in the past to give her such a strong stand. She just flat out said, "No, nothing happened and I don't know anything about your church. All that I know is I don't like Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses!". In my brain and heart, I was ready to attack. But I kept my cool (thank goodness I have a name-tag with His name on it). I ended up teaching her about the Godhead and how frequently we judge before coming to know what we are judging. That we, as missionaries, are not here to criticize, control, or obligate the persons that listen to us; that we really are here to help people realize what it means to come into Christ through His restored church, then from there they can decide to accept it or not. After a few minutes she warmed up and talked with us, but oh how my blood boiled a little when she was so nasty and ignorant. Sometimes I wonder what has happened to social respect... I hope that at home I never treated anyone like that and that I never will. Be kind to each other. Share a little love and caring.

Mom, thanks for making it possible for me to learn to love the piano and the gospel. You were the one to show and encourage me along the way. I might have driven you crazy with playing 24/7, but it was only to help you develop patience. :)

A little boy was practicing the piano, and a salesman, upon seeing him through a window, asked, "Is your mother home?"
To which the child replied, “And … what do you think?”
Our five dear children play the piano, thanks to the motivation of my wife! When the teacher arrived at our home, our son Adrián would run and hide in order to skip his lesson. But one day something marvelous occurred! He began to love music so much that he continued practicing on his own.
If we could reach that point in the process of our conversion, it would be marvelous. It would be wonderful to have a desire deep in our hearts to keep the commandments without anyone constantly reminding us and to have a firm conviction that if we follow the right path, we will have the blessings promised in the scriptures.

Let us have changed hearts (Alma 5). Let us follow our Savior without having to be constantly reminded by our family, teachers, friends, and prophets as to what we should be doing. Let us become converted and enjoy the blessings from Heaven, so that we can say we are His disciples! 

Catch ya all on the flip flop.

P.S. I completed 15 months in the mission!!! Time's getting closer.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

64th B-Day Blog of Brooklyn the Hermana Talbot

Hey everyone.

This week was full of meetings and fun times. From teaching 0 lessons on Monday and 1 lesson on Tuesday, we were exhausted. My health had started acting up again waking up with a nasty sore throat and weakness. I got up anyway and we got to work. After the trial of my faith to just forget myself and get to work, Wednesday we taught 8 lessons. Miracle #1. Throughout the day, my foot and knee problems had started to resolve. Miracle #2. Also my sore throat has been forgotten. Miracle #3. I'm starting to wonder how long my old body is going to hold out... it's gotta have till February. That's all I ask.

Atilio, Hermana Filomena, Angelica, Hermana Tingey, Me. =)

Question. How are we preparing ourselves for October general conference? I decided to prepare myself that I would go back and read the conference from April just to see how I was doing and if I had progressed or changed in the past 6 months. If I had achieved my goals from the last conference before I began making new ones. I have been able to find some things that are helping me become more open minded and hearted, in order to listen with the Spirit. I have seen a pattern in the teachings of the gospel with us as missionaries that can be applied in any teaching setting. (1) the desire comes first, (2) then we exercise faith in order to continue, (3) we listen, (4) we learn, (5) we act. In order to complete this cycle we need to prepare ourselves, our minds, our hearts, our spirits. Then we will feel of Lord's love as His servants speak to us. Let us prepare as families to listen to a prophet's voice as if they were the words of the Savior himself.

Loros! They have trees all around that they "own". They talk so loudly

Pre-note: Recently, we have been struggling with our investigators. Not finding new people. The people we have aren't progressing (they just listen to us to be nice or cause they like to hear the word of God, but never want to act on it.). No one has been coming to church. Etc....

We had an absolutely wonderful experience this week with Atilio and Angelica. They are two investigators, early into their 70s. They are Catholic, strong and eternally Catholic; however, the most loving grandparents I have had in the mission. We have been teaching them for a while now and have never been able to see much progress. Until this past week. Angelica told us that for the past 4 months she has been disagreeing more and more with the Catholic church's practices. She has been taking care of a prayer house, which has the Virgin Mary inside, that's in the community. She has many rosaries and statues of Mary, the mother of Christ, in her house, etc. She told us this past week that she has been trying to find someone else to take care of the prayer house and has no desire to pray to the Virgin Mary. I was absolutely shocked; but more than shocked, I felt the Spirit as she was testifying of the change she is starting to have in her heart. This is why I am here. So that people can receive the answers they are looking for to the questions of their souls. We talked about traditions that our families have and how we need to find out for ourselves if the traditions are right or wrong. She stated she felt more and more that her religious beliefs had become a tradition not a conversion. Christ is the one who brings us the light of conversion and through the Spirit we feel the truth of all things. Whether or not Angelica and Atilio will be baptized or not, I am content to know that she knows what it feels like to follow her heart and to feel the Spirit.

Another experience, but this time with Alejandro. We were in the Bishop's house because we can't enter his house (his mother hates us) and it was raining and dark outside. Anyway. So we're with the Bishop's wife and kids teaching Alejandro and we started off asking him about how it was going with his reading and prayers. After talking a while about it he said that he has finally been able to recognize the Spirit and he knows, amongst all of the trials of his faith, that this is the path he needs to follow. We weren't able to teach him for 2 weeks and he did not come to church...and I think he is finally receiving answers to his prayers. Well, he said he's been receiving answers and he feels really good. :) I am grateful for these moments as a missionary. They really do keep you going after all of the "no's" and lack of desires to listen and act. We are seeing miracles. We are seeing the hand of the Lord in His work. I couldn't be more grateful.

We passed September 11th. Here in Chile it is a, generally speaking, trouble making day. Especially in the night. It's like a police rebellion day or something. They even shut off the lights in some parts of the ghetto so that people will go home and go to bed. Anyway, the next day we were told that there was a forest fire. In our mission in Cajon de Maipu. They are investigating now of it was intentionally started or not. I find it very weird how September 11th is a memorable day here as well as in the US.

We saw a really old, Spanish Book of Mormon and church pamphlet. Published in 1960. It smelt old. The front cover has ripped off (no worries, Juan II taped it back on). The many footnotes we have now are nonexistent. The guide at the back was just a mini dictionary. And so much more. It was very cool to see such an old book (sorry to all those readers who are older than this book haha) and to see the difference in the Book of Mormon now. How grateful I am for the edition I have with all of the study helps it contains! I guess I can only thank my Heavenly Father by reading and studying.

We had a conference with President and Hermana Wright this past week. As a guest, Elder Esteban G. Resek from the 70 was there with them. They talked about the living water (the gospel of Jesus Christ), repentance, and how we can become better missionaries and teachers. It was absolutely wonderful! I love my mission leaders. They are inspired and loving people.
 Me and Hermana Torres. She's going home soon. =( I remember our first day we met... when I came to the mission... the first day in the chapel. She made me laugh so hard and made me feel so comfortable even though I was completely lost and didn't understand a word anyone said.

September 13th was a world wide LDS church service day!!! We cleaned up a park that was absolutely a disaster; but the after pictures are amazingness. :) Like a real life 4 hour home make over. We cut grass (it literally was knee high - and we did it by hand scissor style), raked, cut around trees, picked up so much garbage, alcohol bottles, dog poop, etc. But it felt so good afterwards. Not just to physically get some good exercise, but also in my heart to now walk by that park and be proud of J. P. Alessandri. The heart of service has always been a priority in the Talbot family and for that I will always be thankful. We need to serve more often, that's for sure. As Mom says, "It builds character..." hahahaha "and muscle." I might add. I've been walking pretty slow for the past 2 days. I am trying to learn I am not super woman, Mom. =)

Manos que Ayuden!! SUD!! Los Mormones! =)
J.P. Alessandri, Alicahue, Chile.

Manos que Ayuden!! SUD!! Los Mormones! =)
J.P. Alessandri, Alicahue, Chile.

Love you all. Take care of eachother. Help out your missionaries. They can't do this work alone.
 Easter Island chocolates. =)

Me with the Rasmussens... they went on a mini vacation to Easter Island and brought us back chocolates. =)

Hermana Talbot
(I wrote Brooklyn and had to erase it. It feels weird today. Plus, I'm only gonna be Hermana Talbot for 20 months... :D)

P.S. Mom. I made the peanut butter cookies you sent for Hermana Villaba's one month mark in Chile as a missionary. They were soo good. Thanks!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

63rd B-Day "Let's Go Fly a Kite"

63rd B-Day Blog 
Hermana Talbot RN Mission Nurse Specialist Santiago Este Mision.

Howdie y'all!

I found out this week that I'm pretty much famous and have my own language (Brooklynese) that's spoken in my borough. How lucky you all are to be my friends and family!! I hope you feel special. :) And as you can see, no I have not changed. Hahaha.

I heard a phrase this past week that I love. When someone thinks they're going to be bored we sometimes say "twitteling their thumbs". Well, here in Chile I heard, "cleaning off the fog". Isn't that funny!!? I like it a lot. Oh here's another one: "put on the fly" (ponte la mosca). It means to sign your name like on a document. How weird is that? Oh wait another one: "the pig left" (se fue el chancho). For us that's what we say when a joke has gone too far and could be offensive. And there's soooo many more! Chileans are terrible for making up idioms. I'm not sure why, but they rather like it because there's millions of them (or so I've heard).

We had a Zone Class this past week taught by Elder Mamani and Elder Vasquez. It was fantastic. I am so grateful for amazing leaders from President Wright down to our district and zone leaders. They really do work hard to fulfill their callings and to teach us how to become better missionaries and ultimately better people. We talked about the balance between fear and faith. How that the two don't go together. Sometimes as missionaries we fear people rejecting us. Sometimes we fear inviting them to do something because we fear they won't do it. Anyway, we talked about how that shouldn't be. We are representatives/disciples of Jesus Christ. We are inviting them to come unto Him. So where's the faith? This is His work, not ours. And I tell you what, after having this class, literally the next day our faith was tested multiple times. I'm not sure if we were just more aware or not; but there was more than one time that we felt we needed to do something (talk to someone or say something specifically audacious) and had to ask ourselves "do you have faith or are you fearing?". We then found the strength, power, and spirit of missionary work and did as we felt. No, they didn't commit for us to come visit them. No, they weren't all that receptive. But I tell you what, I left feeling better with myself as I had maybe planted a seed of leading someone to following the example of Jesus Christ.

Can I just tell you how wonderfully amazing Hermana Filomena (81 years old mind you) is? She is currently helping us with two investigators, to help them have a friend in the church and to hear her sweet 81 year old, new testimony. I have officially named her our mini missionary and she's so happy about it that she just giggles. :)

I went on splits/divisions with Hermana Taylor this week. She's a pretty cool girl. She's here in the mission as a 'mini-missionary' for 6 weeks as a trial period at her request. She and her family have lived in Santiago, Chile for 2 years, but comes from Texas. We had a great time together... It was a little taste for me as to what it will be like when the new, newbie nurse gets here and I'll have to train her. Plus, I never knew you could be a mini-missionary! How fun would that be?

Hermana Tingey. Quote of the month. "I'm gonna love the people so much, they're gonna think I'm creepy." You gotta show your love ya know. So we're gonna be creeps about it and see if we get some results.

WE FLEW KITES TODAY!!!! Hermana Allred, Hermana Aponte, Hermana Villalba, Hermana Berthelson, Hermana Tingey, and I all flew kites. It was the perfect day to do it. Seriously. The wind was amazing and it was overcast. Well feel like we got windburnt, but we are happy. =) I might have the Mary Poppins song "Let's go fly a kite" stuck in my head. Needless to say though, we didnt quite get it up to the "highest hight".

I am enjoying the mission a ton. I have never laughed so hard before. Hermana Tingey is amazing... crazy... but amazing. =) I laugh so much at her and she laughs so much at me. I think we honestly just bring the foolishness out of eachother. We're trying not to have too much fun because if word gets back to President Wright, he might change us. =)

Anyway, I love you all. Thanks for all of your support. Keep pressing forward in the great cause. I have been thinking a lot lately about the scripture, "if you love me, keep my commandments.". I have truly learned here that obedience is simple. That does not necessarily mean that it's easy, but it is simple. God tries to make it simple for us because He knows we like to complicate things. So we have the commandments to live by in order to ensure lasting and eternal happiness and if we love Him, we will obey for our own good. As we become more at one with God, we become as He is. Sacrifice and obedience are necessary in order for us to become consecrated. The consegration is the higher law of God which results in the greater happiness and demonstration of love towards Him. So let us be obedient and sacrifice all we are and have.... because when we are asked to live as consecrated Saints, it won't be such a sacrifice.



Monday, September 1, 2014


The picture we took when I yelled "JOVEN!". =) Excuse the closed eyes of Hermana Tingey... it's a habit of hers. 

More celebrations in the zone!!! Photo bombers Elder Stone and Elder Hansen

More celebrations in the zone!!!

More celebrations in the zone!!! 

Birthday celebration WITH Hermana Wright

More Birthday celebrations

Birthday book from mommy… it was suppose to make her laugh.. 

Tension Tamer Herbal Tea

Serious Cereal Addiction…. Brandon quit feeding the addiction please… 

Birthday box from her father and brothers… 

looks like they are having fun… 

Happy Birthday girl!!!

Filomena at the temple to receive her endowment after a little more than 1 year of being member of the church. =)
Filomena at the temple to receive her endowment
 Birthday celebration with Pilar and her daughter (Cynthia). Cake and completos. 
CVC in Javi Cavi 

62nd Birthday Girl Blog… 23 years young and full of life…

62nd Blog and Happy Birthday week
Happy Birthday to Hermana Broccoli…. 

Hey family and friends!

I am sure there are going to be a ton of birthday wishes from you all, so just in case I don't get to respond to everyone: THANKYOU!!

It was a great birthday; a very happy one in fact! I woke up nice and warm in my bed to a cloudy Chilean day... to get up and go to the gym. :) I woke up to a sign from Hermana Tingey (which she got up at 6am to make - I didn't hear a thing), hugs from everyone, and a text message from Vania (te quiero amiga).

We had our district classes and afterwards the entire zone got together. They sang to me in Spanish, English, and Portuguese; we ate cake (made by Elder Neira), candy, and cookies. I ate a bowl of jello without hands (thanks to Hermana Berthelson) as a game. We laughed a lot and I truly felt loved. :)

THEN I noticed that my phone had 5 missed calls. Well needless to say I think people made up health concerns or waited until today to call me. Hahaha. It was really cute to hear the Latinos (elderes and hermanas) signing Happy Birthday in English with their accents. Loved it!

But here's the most tragic part of the day, I THOUGHT SOMEONE HAD STOLEN MY CAMERA! I literally almost died on this birthday; my gut was sick and my heart pounding. I even called a member to see if I had left it at her house. Until I found it on the floor under a table because my bag had fallen over. THEN I smashed my finger... Oh bother! It's all purple now. :(

Anyways, one of the missed calls I had was from Hermana Wright. Telling us that she was going to be in a trio with us for the evening for my birthday. What a surprise! So we set up and time and met up with her a little later. We went to our lesson and President Wright came to pick us 3 up and off we went to the mall (surprise!). Hermana Tingey says she was so confused as to what we were doing there. Hahaha. Anyway, we ate frozen ice cream and talked for a little bit. We tried to find a restaurant that was not a pub that had karaoke going on... and after a while we decided just on a treat. It was a wonderful surprise. I truly am loved and appreciated here. I can and will never deny that. And Hermana Tingey said, "wow, I guess there are some perks to being your companion". Hahaha. :)

We got home after being with President and Hermana Wright and the Hermanas (Berthelson, Allalba, Tingey) made pizza and chocolate sandwich cookies. Yuuuummmyyy.

THEN, I opened up your packages! Can I just say, they were perfect! Thankyou so much! We partied hard! There are pictures attached from the day (there might be a lot in order to tell the story of the day). Be assured.... It was a very happy 23rd birthday!!! :) Quite the unforgetable one.

I'm trying to become more creative with my contacting, teaching, nursing, etc. Or maybe I'm just becoming more bold... I dunno. Anyway, it's been working.... maybe not to find a golden investigator who will get baptized in 2 weeks, but I tell you what, I'm having fun. :) Story time. (1) I bought Hermana Tax a package of Starburst and wanted one. So I asked her for one, she gave one to me, and I had it in my had. Then I saw a parking lot guard outside of the hospital and the thought came to my mind, "give him the Starburst.". I tell you what, it was a great way to start a conversation! "Hey, you wanna piece of candy?" Who would say no to that?!?!? (2) We were trying to teach someone the principle that: blessings come after the trial of our faith. So I used the example of the priests of Joshua carrying the ark when they needed to cross the Jordan. I told everyone in the lesson to look out into the park and imagine that the Jordan was out there and we needed to cross it. But no way Jose was I going to cross first because I was gonna drowned. I didn't have the faith to take the first step and trust God and His promises. So no big deal, we're just gonna wait there.... Until, these priests carrying the ark trusted in God and stepped in the water... and the Jordan parted (Joshua 3:14-17). But not until after the trail of their faith! It's the same in life. Sometimes we think the trial (tithing, Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, keep the Sabbath day holy, etc) is too hard, but if we look at the promises of God if we obey, we understand that we have no other choice other than to act. We need His blessings, but have to act first and then he will bless us! (3) I told someone to stop walking (stop working as a missionary) for a day due to a sprained ankle. He didn't want to. So I told him if he hit his finger with a hammer, he wouldn't do it again; in fact, he'd protect his finger so it didn't happen again.... He understood after my analogy and stayed in his house. Hahaha. It really has helped me to laugh and enjoy myself, to make our lessons real, and get my point across. :)

Also, this past week with Hermana Tingey I might have done something really silly/funny. So we were contacting someone outside of their house and I hear *clip* *clop* *clip* *clop* coming down the street. I looked behind me and here comes a horse and wagon with two young guys driving. (they were selling plants I think). They stopped next door to talk with an old lady. I was so excited and saw the excitement on Herman Tingey's face. First thought: we've got to get a picture. Hahaha. So I'm thinking how in the world do I do it? We're talking to this lady; I can just interrupt her and say 'sorry, I know we're missionaries but this Gringa really wants a picture'. Nooooo. But then the panic kicked in... the horse started moving. NOOOOO! I tell you what, there are miracles every day in the mission... Cause then the lady we're talking to says, "would you like a piece of fruit?". My saving grace. I say 'yes!' but inside I'm screaming 'go into your house so I can yell at them to come back for a picture!'. So she leaves and goes into the house (miracles I say). Luckily, the guys with the horse and wagon aren't that far away, so I yell hahaha. "JOVEN!!" One of them turned around and looked at me in a funny way. I asked if we could take a picture and they had the biggest grin on their faces. So they backed the wagon up, we took a picture, off they went happier than ever, and off we went laughing hysterically. :) (btw, we did finish the contact and we do have an appointment with her... Hahaah).

Hermana Tingey and I have been doing a lot of talking and we decided that this past week was just like being in college together... It feels like we've been friends for forever and we've been companions for like 7 months, not 7 days. I do not know if that's a good thing or a bad thing... Hahaha. We are enjoying our time together, seriously. We laugh literally all day long at the stupid stuff we do and the stupid thigns other people say about the blonde "gringas" with pretty blue eyes. We're gonna start using it to our advantage this week.

We ate some crazy; carmel consistency stuff called 'pallar' from Peru. It was interesting. Sweet, but not too sweet. You can eat it how you like, spread on things or with a spoon. It's good, but with all of the cake and candy that I have, my body is screaming "no more sweets!".

I went to the temple with Hermana Filomena this past week to receive her endownment. It was absolutely wonderful to see her there and to enjoy the Spirit that resides in the temple of the Lord. I left feeling wonderfully renewed and ready to finish the week up. Poor Hermana Filomena, though, it was very hot in the temple (due to the weather changing) and she felt faint and unable to stay long. She is diabetic and had not eaten for a while as well as hypertensive. So the combination of the excitement, stress, and heat just put her under. She said she felt better once she got home, thank goodness. She plans on going back ASAP. =)

We had another CVC - Capilla Abierta. It was a quick notice one. We got a call from the office asking if we would step in and help out. The only thing was... They called with 2 days notice. Well Hermana Tingey hasn't really done one before so we needed to practice... and we didn't have the materials to do such. So we went scrambling to find a way until I remembered that I use my iPod everyday and that the office could send me an email with the materials. Solution! Yes! So we practiced a little and went to the CVC... it was wonderful! We contacted lots of people, I cut my hand open on a broom, we taught lots of people, and received over 40 references (what they usually get in a 2 month period). Wow. Go Chile Santiago Este, Javi Cavi, Las Gardenias!

I am going to give you all a picture of the cyber I am in... #1 the Flintstones are on the television and they are driving me crazy! It's no wonder I never watched them! Why do they yell at eachother all of the time and sing that annoying song every 5 minutes. I have no idea how it got popular enough to have a Spanish version. #2 there is one guy singing TERRIBLY across from us. I'm just laughing listening to him. #3 theres a man next to Hermana Tingey that's singing a Christian song and reading the Bible. Let's just say I feel like I'm in a mad house! I can't wait to be in my own house, in silence, cruzin the internet.

Let us follow the counsel of today's living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. "As we arise each morning, let us determine to respond with love and kindess to whatever might come our way."

Love you all.