Monday, October 27, 2014

70th B-Day Post and finally for REAL a date and place of her return…. She's comin' home to MAINE!!!


I forgot to tell you all.... 16 months down as of last week... 3 more to go!!!

A good fruit: Mauricio, the drunk, is no longer a drunk. He hasn't touched alcohol since that day with the rock. Yay! Also he's been working, saving his money, and putting it in the bank to ... wait for it... rent an apartment or room. (He currently sleeps in the emergency room at the hospital.) How amazing is that! All people, no matter your past, can change their future.

Last week was a stressful one from Monday to Wednesday. I think just the combination of making decisions of Maine vs Utah to all of the sick people calls fried me a little. However, after crying it out, THANKS HERMANA TINGEY, to talking it out and making a decision, I was able to forget myself and get to work. And then the week turned itself right around. I read a quote in True to the Faith that helped me too. It says, "The Savior invites you to give of yourself in the service of others. Your opportunities to do so are limitless. Each day, look for ways to gladden hearts, to say kind words, to perform labors for others that they cannot do for themselves, to share the gospel. Be receptive to the whisperings of the Spirit, prompting you to serve. You will find that the true key to happiness is to labor for the happiness of others."

Fun World Fact: fresh pomegranates are a pain to eat... sweet... but painstakingly slow.

Funny Hermana Tingey moment. So we're teaching one of our investigators who has a medical supply shop. Ya well he has all sorts of weird stuff. And one of such things was in a package and it says "baño fácil". Keep in mind the word baño has many meanings in Spanish (bath, bathroom, etc). So she looks at me and goes how would that make you go to the bathroom easier?! I busted a gut laughing. Literally was a laugh attack right in front of the investigator who had no idea what was going on. Later on I explained they were like baby wipes... like a quick, easy shower. It was a good laughing moment.

Just a quick note. Elder Sheffield in the office tried to book my ticket. However, he states there's a problem. The airline sent him back an email stating that they "have boycotted and are no longer sending planes to Maine". I don't even know what to do now. I asked him to try another airline and he says that he can't due to the church's contract with the airline. Ughhh!!! I don't know what to do now.

On a good note: Alejandro got baptized this past weekend!!! It has been quite the road trip that we've taken with him; however, despite it all, he decided to be baptized and start on this new journey. At the interview with Elder Silva we got talking with Hermana Filomena (the 81 year old, amazing, most loyal convert) and she told us one of her experiences. Hahaha. I can't even think about it without laughing inside. Anyway, the interview it went like this... imagine a 20 year old Gringo talking to this hilarious 81 year old, Chilean grandma.
Elder - "Do you drink alcohol?"
Filomena - "No. Never have. Never will."
Elder - "Do you drink tea or coffee?"
Filomena - "No. I gave that up."
Elder - "Do you smoke cigarettes?"
Filomena - "No, but I do smoke marijuana."
Bahahahahahahaha. She said the elder's face was like this.... 0_0. Hahahahahaha. The humor of grandmas. I hope I am like that when I get old.

Anywho. So Alejandro got baptized on Saturday!!!!!!! It was amazing to watch him make this covenant with our Heavenly Father. He will be a blessing to the ward, of that I am sure. When we taught him his last investigator lesson on Saturday, I had this distinct impression that he needed to invite his son, Abraham, to his baptism. (side note: Abraham is the reason Alejandro started believing in God and why he first talked to the missionaries...) So I had invited him to bring Abraham to his baptism many times before; however, he felt uncomfortable to do so because his x-wife isn't all that understanding with religion and doesn't really appreciate Alejandro. Anyway, the feeling that came over me to tell him to call his x-wife was so strong. So I very strongly recommended that he call her to ask for Abraham the next day. He doubted that he would be able to get a hold of her and that she would allow him to have Abraham for the day; but, called the same..... And he totally arrived on Saturday with Abraham smiling from ear to ear. Miracles!!! Also, it was a special experience for Hermana Tingey because she and Hermana Leishman were the ones who contacted him and his son in the street when she was in Las Condes. It was actually a mutual contact because Abraham wanted to talk to the "angles" as he called them. Then, the Hermanas sent the reference to us so we could start teaching Alejandro. Hermana Tax and I began teaching; however, changes came. And lo and behold, Hermana Tingey comes here to JP. So she was able to see from the beginning of contacting him, in a completely different area of Santiago, to teach him the end of the lessons and see him be baptized this past weekend. How awesome is that? Oh ya and at the baptism Elder Silva (district leader) and Elder Vasquez (zone leader) brought an investigator... and she received her answer thanks to Alejandro's testimony... and she's going to get baptized in December! Miracles!!!

I have to tell you all something that I find adorable in the mission. There are some Latino elders that do not call me Hermana Talbot; instead, they call me Enfermera Talbot. Isn't that adorable?! It makes me laugh every time. And then when the Gringos call me Sister Talbot (saying "bot" not "bit"), I immediately think of you Mom. Hahaha.

I totally wrote out my 10 year life plan. When I was on divisions with Hermana Benitez, she gave me a chart that was given to her last year which maps our your 10 year life plan. I totally did it. It's kind of funny to look at actually. When I'm gonna get married. When I'm gonna have kids. Etc. I guess we'll see what happens and how on I am with my guessing. :)

An amazing fruit: we did a scripture study with Juan and Flor... it was pretty amazing. We've been having a hard time with them to get them to see the value of the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. Until this past week. We did a study with them of the Plan of Salvation with the Bible and the Book of Mormon. And they transformed. I have never in my life seen such excitement (kid in a ice cream shop on a hot day excitement) here in the mission. They just soaked it all in and started teaching each other what they were reading. It was a great moment to see them find a little bit more love for the scriptures, just like I have here in Chile.

They say it hit 105.8F this past week here in our area. I don't know if I believe it. I just only doubt it by 5 degrees. It's been sooooooo hot. I don't remember it being this hot last "spring". We haven't even hit summer yet... oh bother.

Fun Hermana Tingey fact: she says the Chilean word "bakan" sounds like a crazy chicken talking. Hahahaha.

Fun service project: we spent 3 hours helping an inactive couple make baby clothes. This member makes legit store sold clothes. The material comes to her cut and she has to sew, cut, place buttons, iron, clean, etc. It's a LONG process and it doesn't help that she makes 100s of them in a day. Anyways, it was a fun experience. I finally enjoyed doing service!!! (no one around here ever accepts service...)

I gave 2 talks this week past week. One on baptism at the baptism (duh) and the other on Sunday at church. My topic for Sunday was an interesting one and a learning experience for me. It was about times of consecration, like the mission, and how to help those who are worthy to serve have the desire to do so. I always had the desire to be a missionary. I'm not really sure why. However, when I saw the privilege it was to share the gospel, I knew it was something I would enjoy and a time I would cherish. The blessings of our Heavenly Father are unbelievable, especially when we consecrate time to Him. I see lives change for the better and have the opportunity of being part of that. Even through the ups and downs, who wouldn't want to go on this adventure? :)

Love you all. Remember where true happiness lies.


P.S. My flight has been booked to Maine. Elder Sheffield is just a hair losing liar. :) It was a good joke though. Big brat. I didn't believe him for a second. Cause he told me they booked my voyage on a boat. Hahaha. I said that was fun just as long as it was a cruise. :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

69th B-Day and never a dull moment with this girl

69th B-Day and never a dull moment with this girl

Helllooooooo (said with a British accent as the Chileans do).

Story time: This past week, on Tuesday, I had my first frightening gangster moment. In El Golf and as of yet during my time here in JP Alessandri, I have never felt my safety was threatened. Yes, I had some moments of being scared, but legit moments... never. Until this past week. As we were walking down the street we see 10 adult people, guys and girls. They were big people too, some of them taller than us. Anyway. They were ugly people (I know that's not nice, but it's the truth.)... black clothes, piercings everywhere, pink and white mohawks, tattoos, etc. So we're walking towards them and their crossing in front of us (like a T crossing)... I noticed them a while down the road and saw that they were carrying lots of alcohol and big trunks of wood... but just kept on walking as fast as I could, to try to beat them to the T so we could pass. However, we met them exactly at the crossroad. The only option I could see was to cross where there was a little gap between them... bad idea... but I did it anyway. Walking as fast as I could with Hermana Tingey behind me; however, they closed in and surrounded us. And then stared with their obscene and gross comments about having Gringo children and such; in fact, one nasty guy stroked Hermana Tingey's hair. Although I was calm, I was ready with fists up, looking behind me to make sure Hermana Tingey was okay. Luckily they did nothing else other than yell at us as we quickly walked away feeling grossed out; however, they were some SCARY people, I tell you. I was just glad nothing happened to us.

Happier summer note: We ate fresh Chirimoya! It's so good! It's a sweet fruit that has the consistency of a mango and tastes like... um chirimoya? I dunno it's like trying to describe the flavor of an apple...but it was really good. :) Speaking of mangos... I ate my first fresh Brazilian mango today... YUMMMMY. I am going to miss Chilean fruit. 
Eatin' mango

This past week I had divisions with Hermana Fillerup. She came with me to the mission and we had my last 2 weeks at the CCM together. We roomed together for those two weeks. Anyway, she asked me what I've learned here in the mission and commented about some of the changes she can see in me since the CCM. It was interesting to think about myself and my transformation as a person and as a member of the church. I really hadn't thought of it that much. I currently have been making a list of the changes I have seen, as well as others. Well, according to her I am all for the better... and I hope it's true. :)

Me and Hermana Fillerup... our hermana lider right now. We came at the same time and spent 2 weeks in the CCM together.
Sunday was a day of riot here in our sector. The two most hated soccer teams, La U and Colo-Colo, played. The stadium is right next to the chapel and we heard cherry bombs and yelling/cheering the entire time. The police were everywhere with their smoke bombs and high pressured water tanks to keep the crowds down. Drunks were everywhere. There were tons of people, everywhere. Every year someone dies; I guess we'll see about this year. Isn't that terrible! All for the love of soccer.

Funny Chilean thing: the house flies are really STUPID. At least in Maine, they have a free life of flying around inside of a house and enjoying everything from the cough to the kitchen to a window... but here in Chile, they just fly in the most open room in circles. Literally they never move from one spot of a circle. I figured out a few weeks ago that if you just go next to them and shew them to the door or a window... they fly right out. I guess that's better than nothing and it's better than chasing them around to kill them. But still... never in my life have I see such dumb house flies. I don't understand their purpose of "house" life. 

Ducks in the ghetto!!!

Pray for Alejandro. He has a baptismal date this week!!! We are all very excited... nervous as well... but excited. 

Us with Juan... he's the one that gave us the nicknames of Solange and Katherine... we took a picture with him and our zone t-shirts... for a memory.

Love you all,


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

68th B-Day and we f-i-n-a-l-l-y have a return home date for Hermana Talbot

***read below for Hermana Talbot's return date to Banggeerr, Maine…. 

Hey family and friends!! 

First and foremost, does the phrase "drunken with sleep" exist? I think it should cause that's what I felt like on Tuesday this past week. Non-functionable. I'm not sure what is in the Santiago air or water recently, but the end of September and beginning of October has proven quite a challenge for the health of our missionaries. From chicken pox to gastritis with vomiting and nausea to hospital visits (at 3am and midnight) to all sorts of stuff. There's been calls at 2AM and practically round the clock. There was one elder who has the chicken pox (2nd missionary to have it during my time here) and has been put in his house for 2 weeks until he's not contagious with the other 3 in his pension. The poor guys had a baptism and couldn't even go to it, as well as they missed general conference. Proof positive that it's better to have the chicken pod when you're a kid than when you're an adult. Anyway, so the nursing role is quite heavy right now. However, I know the health of these missionaries is part of my duty and I will help them with a smile on my face and lots of jokes (the more stressed I get, the more ridiculous I get, and the jokes just fly out without me knowing... Hahaha.)

Fun Brooklyn fact: I am becoming an excellent rice maker. :) Yum. (and no not in a rice cooker.. good ole fashioned pot and water on the stove. haha)

Cute and funny story: one of our older investigators (70's) has started praying! It took him a long time to remember to pray and how to start... until we met with him this past week and he told us that he's been praying... So we asked him to say the closing prayer and he looks at us and says, "Heavenly Father... right?". How cute is that?! Then he made me laugh because he said in the prayer, "in the name of all of the Hermanas please bless them...". It was like listening to the most heart felt, child-like prayer. To end, he might not have said in the name of Jesus Christ or said amen, but it didn't matter. :) 

Remember the guy I told you all about last week? The drunk one who guards cars? Ya him. His name is Mauricio. Anyways, so we ran into him the other night. Completely sober (miracle) and so we talked. He had a very hard childhood. His parents separated when he was 14; since that point, he began and has never stopped drinking. In the sober moment we talked, he was ready to give up drinking. He cried when I told him he was a child of God and stated he wanted to change his life. Well, I needed him to understand the message, so I have learned here in Chile to use examples or the things around me as object lessons. Well, Hermana Tingey and I had just bought some bread and chocolate milk (healthy I know)... and there were medium sized rocks all around us; so it was what I had to use. I compared his addiction to this heavy rock; that he has been carrying it around for years and how it's completely unnecessary. Then I compared the message we have to the chocolate milk. In the end, we made a trade, the rock for the milk. It was amazing to see the light in his eyes as I chucked the rock and he drank the milk. As of yet, 1 week later, he still remembers the rock (an mentions it every time we talk to him) and has not touched alcohol since. Score! Win! Shaaaaabang! :) Pray for him please.

People have started calling me a tomato... I guess it's time to start wearing sunscreen. Summer has come! The change of the season means white stuff for you all soon! I'll be home sooner than we know it. Below there's a surprise. A return date maybe. :) 

Another success story. This last week we taught our investigator Alejandro about the Word of Wisdom and how we do not drunk coffee. He was astounded and said in his mind he thought we were crazy and was not going to give up coffee. Nonetheless, we challenged him to do it and to replace it with something they drink here called Ecco. A few days ago we met with him again and he has completely stopped drinking coffee, drinks Ecco now, likes Ecco, and has said chau to his coffee drinking days. Isn't that amazing?!?!! He said, in fact, that he offered Ecco to his mom and she refused to drink it. Hahaha. I truly am seeing lives changing for the better. The blessings of God are waiting for us as we live the gospel of Christ and follow His teachings. Alejandro has a baptismal date for this month. Pray for him as well, if you all could.

I got a few complements this past week. I have found a love for teaching here in the mission. Well, in college as I tutored, studied and taught friends I knew it was something I enjoyed; however, then I got here ad teach everyday, all day. As time goes on and as my knowledge and skills increase, I leave daily excited, no longer nervous, to teach the Chileans. This past week someone complimented me in two ways. (1) that I know a lot about the gospel and (2) that I am an entertaining teacher. I'm not so sure if the second one is a good thing or not, but I'm glad I'm at least not boring. :) It made me feel good this week. Maybe I am helping others see the sweetness of living this gospel.

Speaking of coming home. I have an answer as to what day!! I will be flying out of Chile the ....... (see picture attached)!!! Expect me the next day in the states. I'll send you my flight plans when I get them. :) The extension until February was denied due to the church recently prohibiting extensions for missionaries. Sooo, I will be staying 30 days extra to help train the new nurse and will be on my way after. Also the Santiago South mission (funny... my original mission assignment) has asked President Wright for me to also train their nurse, so it's gonna be an interesting end. 

You all have a date now. Sorry for the back and forth for so long. I am happy. I am content. I am enjoying my time as missionary for the LDS church. As difficult as it's been, I wouldn't change it for the world.

Today we went to Pirque... it's absolutely a beautiful, bum-town, poor place. I took some pictures of the fields. Also of us 4. Hermana Diaz is going home this change so we all got together to say goodbye to her. It was a wonderful time to sit and talk... and of course, eat. =)

Love you all. Thanks for all your love and support.

Monday, October 6, 2014

67th B-Day… sure wish this momma knew how many more of these B-Days there are gonna be…..

Hot diggidy dog... what a week.

Dearest family.

General Conference!!!From the left: Elder Workman. Elder Stone. Elder Cruz. Elder Pirir. Elder Silva (standing). Elder Hansen. Me. Hermana Tingey. Hermana Aponte. Hermana Allred.

It was a hard week this past week. Well it sure started out difficult, but ended very sweet. All week long, especially Tuesday, I couldn't get off of my mind the happenings with Dad and how much I wished I was with you all to assist with the load you're carrying. Brandon and Brett, to see and hear your voices in the videos you sent, it made me miss you both more. I am sorry I am not there to help. I, however, did promise Dad that I would not come home early from the mission for anything (it's not even an option in my mind). Soooo, I trust you all. I know he is receiving the best care or kick in the pants (at their appointed times) from you three. Thanks for being amazing brothers. :) So anyway, I asked one of the elders in our district to give me a Priesthood blessing and literally after that blessing it was like the worry and stress left my mind and heart. I didn't realize it until a few days later, but it was an amazing blessing that told me to forget myself and get to work and then the Lord would bless my family. I surely know He has. :)

Mom, remember the house in Utah we use to go visit the elderly man who's wife had passed away? How we would find a years worth of expired food and cockroaches in his house? Anyway, we found a lady who's exactly like that! Lives alone with her 4 dogs. Doesn't clean well. There's house flies all over inside her house. The smell is stomach retching and that's not even exaggerating. You know, I've smelt a lot in my time, but not much compares to this. We taught her this past week and now that the weather is changing to hot and smothering, the smell was gaggingly strong. We have tried to offer her service to come and help her clean, but she just denies the need for help. How did you get the Utahn couple to the point where they'd accept our help? I don't know how I'm going to enter into her house when it's 90 degrees. So give me some ideas please. :)

Teaching Alejandro (far right) with Robert in our famous park... we can't enter his house or his Mom yells at him or us.

I forgot to tell you all about this experience. So there's this guy in our sector who guards cars for the people who are at the hospital from robbers and such. Anyway, he always talks to us. He has a problem with alcohol and many times is under the influence of such. So Hermana Tingey and I are walking down the street (singin' do what diddy diddy dum diddy do... just kidding), and he says to us, "Elderes! The other day I saw you two walking by and you had two angels with swords walking on both sides of you.". "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (D&C 84:88). UPDATE: we ran into him on Sunday... completely sober wanting to turn his life around... I pray he does.

This past week, I'm not sure what's changed; however, when people say 1 or 2 words of English to us, it's starting to bother me. It's not like they're saying it to practice or learn, but to make fun of us. I never respond in English and it makes me want to talk really fast in Chilean Spanish to just make them feel stupid. Isn't that terrible? Hermana Tingey will say to me now when someone says something in English, "Calm down...". Hahahaha. It's growing my patience. (Brooklyn's english is stinky now. It's growing my patience) oh my!!!

Our zone... Alicahue baby!! I wish I could name everyone... I'll try... we'll see if you can follow who is who....
Elders from the left: Elder Jacho. (top) Elder Hansen. Elder Silva. Elder Workman. Elder Pirir. Elder Vasquez. (bottom elders). Elder Mamani. Elder Cruz. Elder Neira. Elder Stone.
Hermanas from the left: Me. Hermana Aponte. Hermana Allred. Hermana Tingey. (bottom) Hermana Berthelson. Hermana Contreras. Hermana Villalba. Hermana Urzagaste (standing).

I ate "contre de pollo". It's some kind of organ from a chicken. I tried to get them to describe what it does, but to no avail. It was the gizzard or crop of the chicken. That's nasty! I hope we don't die. Hahaha. It definitely had a weird consistency. Kinda rubbery. Smh.

So I have to tell you all. People here in Chile find literally anything to sell in the streets, in the bus, or in the underground metro. The other day we were in the metro and there was one man selling string who was talking about all of its benefits, what you could do with it, how it could be a new toy for your children, etc. He was quite the interesting seller. Another man was selling headlamps and put one on to show everyone how it worked. There is always bands playing in the metro as well. Some of them are extremely good. There was one group with a drum, banjo, bass guitar, and string guitar. They were quite impressive... people on the bus, metro, on the street always give them money... their change. And if they give them enough they offer a CD of their music (if it's a legit band and not just one man singing and playing an instrument). It's one thing in Chile that I find very interesting.

General conference was wonderful!!! I felt reprimanded and fed; although, it was really short. Never in my life have I felt the urgency of the prophet and apostles to get us on the path and to stay on it. I felt they just wanted to smack us all upside the head and say, "get with it people". I truly am grateful for a prophet and apostles, who have the authority of God and speak with His power. "What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." (D&C 1:38). I hope we apply what we learned and we remember the Spirit we felt in our hearts. If you didn't get the opportunity, it's online! :)

Love you all. Thanks for everything.

P.S. We didn't have changes. I'm staying with Hermana Tingey. :D

P.P.S. I do not have any reports on when I will be coming home. It's still quite a complicated subject. I hope to have some information soon!