Tuesday, November 25, 2014

74th B-Day 9 more B-Days Thank you Patti Riggs for the package

Package from Patti!!! Thanks so much!!!
We can't wait to do some of the activities for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Hey family and friends!!

Last week I completed 17 months in the mission!!! Can you believe it!!? It's not long now and I'll be home... 2 more to go! Wow. I feel the mixed, bipolar emotions.

We had an Endure to the End reunion with President and Hermana Wright this last week. It hit me like a 10 ton rock that I'm leaving this soon. I feel like this has been an 18 month dream project and now I have to hand all my work off to someone else. Hermana Cook is great. She's gonna be an amazing mission nurse, but that doesn't make the pain of leaving it all behind go away. I realized that this past week and can't believe that soon this chapter of life in Chile will come to a close. I am forever grateful for my time here. I have learned more here than I think I ever will in such a short amount of time. This mission has changed me and my future in the most positive way you can think. I just can't imagine leaving behind so many missionary friends and my mission parents. January 19th is going to be an emotional day.
Picking up Hermana Cook! 

With President and Hermana Wright today

Anyway... Enduring to the End... Working Harder Than Ever Before... Forgetting Myself and Getting to Work Now....

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!!! We're probably going to eat beans, bread, and fried chicken... I'll let you know next week. Hahaha.

Remember the family I told you all about last week? The one that made the agreement of: doctrine of Christ for help making empanadas? Ya well, we had our Family Home Evening last Monday and our raw meat cutting session on Friday (it was quite interesting). Marcelo and Valeska with there 3 daughters, Victoria, Renata, and Laurita are wonderful people!!! They are just down to earth and kind people. They work hard for what they have, are very respectful and accepting, and are extremely easy to love. For me, it was love at first sight. I saw a hope in them that I haven't seen in anyone in a long time. I saw a desire to learn even if there was apprehension. Marcelo knows God exists, but denies it. Valeska was baptized into the church at 8 years old, but soon after left. The daughters are adorable, ready to learn, and have deep doctrine questions. In the Family Home Evening, as we were teaching them, I realized how amazing it is when the Spirit is present in a home. I realized the gospel's teachings are really meant for the family unit to help us all have the same goals with God. I realized how many teachings about God I have always taken for granted. I realized the blessing of growing up in this church and how it has changed my life. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father, a resurrected and glorified God with a body of flesh and bones, His Son Jesus Christ, who's Atonement answers all of my life's questions, and the Holy Ghost, who confirms to me on a daily basis the truths of God. I am grateful for the goal to have an eternal family and to base such family on the teachings of Christ and His servants. I know, in this crazy world, there is an urgent need for guidance and direction. How grateful I am for olden and modern day, living prophets who help warn, guide, protect, and direct my life after the teachings of Christ. There is a true prophet and 12 apostles on the earth today! How amazing is that!!! I can't imagine any other counsel that would be better than theirs, for I know, when they speak, it is as if from the mouth of Christ. This is His restored church, afterall, with the same organization and power as it did when He established it with His 12 apostles. Of this I know....and what a glorious news it is, for I have seen it change lives! I hope it does the same for this family.

Let me tell you what... It's been a stressFUL week with nursing calls. Particularly one day... The day that Hermana Cook got here. Lucky me! Good thing Hermana Cook and Hermana Tingey are amazing and calm mannered people. Here's just some of the happenings: weird, unknown caused fevers of 104; appendicitis and surgery; possible seizures with 30 minute periods of unconsciousness (the scariest moment of my life so far); hospitalizations, etc... They say, when it rains it pours! :) I'm just waiting for it to rain blessings. Haha.

#triolifeornada. That would be us! Hermana Cook made it up when she wrote her parents. Haha. Isn't it cute? I love being here with these two. They're great. :)

We have had some fun, some stress, some lessons, some... of everything the past week. We've had sooo many reunions! From new people reunions to going home people reunions. I've never had so many meetings before. I don't mind it, but that means less time in the sector working. And we got people to see! :) I hope it calms down soon; although, we were able to have some legit lessons by the end of the week. Hermana Cook is pickin' it up fast and is just amazing. After some of the stress came down, we were able to really start getting to know one another. Good times. Stress honestly kills everyone and everything. I don't recommend it for anyone. Life is to be enjoyed.

I had my first couple's fight with Hermana Tingey haha. Our poor daughter just sat there and didn't say anything until it was all over. Then she said, "all I could think was: 'Mom and Dad are fighting'." hahaha. How terrible is that!? The poor thing. But nah, the contention was for like 30 minutes and then Hermana Tingey and I talked until 1am. Oooppppssss. But we got it all worked out. Communication is the key!!

I have had a life record the past 3 days of how many times a person can sneeze, cough, and blow their nose (fun Spanish fact: blow your nose is 'suena tu nariz' = sound your nose haha). Allergies have hit me hard and I have a cold as well. Miserable. Just miserable. But today I feel a little better. The day I felt the worst we had many successful lessons. Blessings!

Today we went to spend some time with Hermana Wright for a phone conference we needed to attend for a new insurance program the church is starting up for missionaries with Aetna. It was good fun! We had lunch with her and President as well; we were able to talk about many things which helped me as a missionary and as a nurse. I am to endure to the end... to work as hard as I can... to train well... to help invite others to Christ... and to move on with life once it's over.

There's a really neat initiative called "He is the Gift" that the church is starting for Christmas this year to help all remember the reason for the celebration. It will me on christmas.mormon.org. It starts the 25th of November. There are 4 dates in November which will be key to the launching of the website, video, and youtube publications. (wow!) We will be using all of these to contact and share with people for the Christmas season. We watched a preview of the video today with President and Hermana Wright... it gave me goosebumps. We also got 2 emails this week from Elder Evans (70) and the Salt Lake office letting us know how we can best use this initiative to help our investigators, contacts, less actives, and members. I AM EXCITED!! Technology is amazing. THE WORK MOVES FORWARD!

"And it came to pass that we did go up to battle against the (Chileans); and I, even I, in my old (missionary age), did go up to battle against the (Chileans). And it came to pass that we did go up in the strength of the Lord to battle." Book of Mormon. Mosiah 10:10. I am grateful for my Savior and the powers I can access through His Atonement. I have been strengthened and blessed here.

Search the scriptures for what it says about the powers of the Atonement (redeeming, healing, etc.). It has opened my eyes as to what my Savior actually has done for me.

Love you all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

73rd Blog we are getting closer by the day to Brooklyn arriving home

Hey Family and Friends!

I hope you all are doing well. I'm going to try to find some stuff to write you all about. Haha. Nah, mission life sure is a happening life. It seems like the surprises never stop.

We talked to Esteban this week. I don't think I've ever told you about him before. He's a guy from a Evangelical/Christian church who we contacted a while back because he always makes copies for us. Anyway, he loves to talk about spiritual things and listens to pastors all the time as they come by to invite him to their church. So we got teaching him and as more time has gone on, I have seen a change in him. Before he was all up in arms about many things because he didn't believe it. It was as if he listened to find things to disagree with. I can't even tell you how many times we talked about listening with an open mind and heart so he could take something away from our lessons. He also stated that he felt like he was betraying the Bible when he read the Book of Mormon. Then all the sudden His countenance started to change. He listens with all intentions of learning. He has stated on multiple occasions that what we are teaching him is what he's believed for years from reading the Bible; however, he couldn't find a church that believed the same. How cool is that?! I will not deny it; I felt a slight fear to ask him to be baptized due to his possible reaction. I was uncertain it the answer would be an explosion of Bible passages or if he would really think about it. However, the fear of Esteban was a lot less than my fear of him wanting to accept a baptismal date but I didn't want to ask. So I did. And his response was flabergasting! "but I dont know which of all of the churches are true! I've been baptized 2 times and I still don't know." ... However, he's been thinking about it a ton. Also, we invited him to church in Sunday and he said, "no" because he didn't feel ready. However, he was quickly to ask if we were going to keep coming. Haha. I find it utterly interesting that a man, who knows the Bible cover to cover and listens to so many religious pastors, finds it faith strengthening that two 20 year olds come and teach him about a restored gospel. I know this church is true. I can't convince anyone to believe as I do. I can't brain wash them either. I can, though, touch their hearts with God's truth and invite them to come unto Christ and follow his teachings.

We found a new, amazing family on Saturday. Well it's a family that we've been trying to get ahold of for months; and they finally let us in their house. We're excited to teach them! Also, we made a pact with them... if they welcome us into their home once a week for Family Home Evenings then we will do service and help them make and sell empanadas every week. Sounds like a good buy to me! :) They said yes.

Also, no worries about my skin. I have started using sunscreen everyday because I made a pact with Esteban. If he smokes 5 cigarettes less a day, I will wear sunscreen. And he's totally doing it. :) I'm not so sure why he's so worried about my skin, but I win!

Hermana Tingey and Hermana Villalba (divisions for the carnet run) had an appointment with Alejandro. He's reading the Book of Mormon more! It was such a challenge for him to take time to read before his baptism. He also told them that this restored gospel and the Book of Mormon has changed his life. He states if every person on the earth had and read a Book of Mormon, then wickedness would end. I am so grateful he is finding love for the scriptures.

Totally had some weird health moments this past week. I had an allergy attack and my eyes got all painful, puffy, itchy, and red. It was terrible. Brandon, I feel for ya. And also, I had one of those weird migraines and lost some of my sight in my L eye for an hour or so. But no worries. I'm okay now. :)

Hermana Tingey moment: she asked me one day why I was so excited. And I said I didn't know and asked how she knew I was excited. She responded "because when you're excited you wiggle your legs when your sitting and do a side to side shuffle dance when your standing." How embarrassing is that?!?!? I'm like a little kid who can't control her emotions. Haha.

Hermana Talbot moment (written by Hermana Tingey to her family haha): "The other day Hermana Talbot and I were talking about who would be the champions of arm wrestling tournaments. And Hna Talbot kept saying champignon which means mushroom. So who would be the mushroom of arm wrestling. I laughed for like a long time." ---- I totally said "chamignon" on purpose. Hahaha.

I went with Hermana Berthelson to the center of Santiago (Plaza de Armas) to extend my Chilean visa. It is so beautiful there even though we only had a few minutes to look at the buildings. I am slightly worried about my visa with the extra extension that I made into January. However, the office has it under control. For now, I am legal until the middle of December. Then I will go through the process again for January. Can you imagine getting to the airport and them being like, "nope, you can't leave Chile cause you're here illegally!"??? Panic moment. Hahaha. But that's not going to happen cause Hermana Mayer in the office is on top of it now that I've told her I extended. ;)

Here's the new address. It's not really new. It's just reorganized. Haha.
6824 Cristobal Colon
Las Condes, Santiago
Santiago Metropolitana

Highlight of the week: We're having a 21 year old baby tomorrow!!!!! We're not really sure who is the Mom and who is the Dad or if there's 2 Moms or what... But either way, it totally happened... we're having a baby!!! And she's a BIG one at that! 0_0. She will be delivered to us at 9am tomorrow morning, November 18th, 2014. We have bought clothes and baby food and a crib and all that jazz. We are sooo excited!!

Funny story: so President usually calls Friday night or Saturday morning to tell us about changes. We waited all night for his call. (We knew we were going to have changes but didn't know if Hermana Tingey was staying or going.)... Anyway, the call never came. Then we waited all morning. And we thought he wasn't going to call. Until my phone rang and it was Hermana Wright... We thought "how weird". But it was so cute, she says, "I have a surprise for you this morning..... You have changes and your going to train!". Hahahaha. I said, "Really? I can't believe it." Hahaha. So we ended the call and THEN we realized that President had called 30 minutes earlier and we were the ones who didn't answer. Hahaha. Oooppps. We are excited to receive her tomorrow!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you don't ever write me to tell me your having a 21 year old baby. Seriously. It's kinda creepy.

Hermana Talbot

P.S. Do you realize how close we are to me coming home?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

72nd Blog of someone named Brooklyn….

Hello to all you Gringos.

I had a slight panic attack last Monday. I didn't get time to tell you all about it. So I'm at the internet and I get a text message that Hermana Wright was trying to call me. So I call her back and she says to me that there's a new update in church policy about missionaries going home. If a missionary has been booked their returning flight ticket and there happens to be a need to change that flight, it is only changeable with Quorum of the 12 Apostles' authorization. Wow!! So Hermana Wright was calling very concerned that we weren't going to be able to get me home January 19th because my ticket got booked months ago for December and wanted to let me know they were looking into it... Phew.... I then told her that I had received my ticked in my email this past week for January 19th and to not be worried about it because I had kept Elder Sheffield (who books tickets) updated on the wishy-washiness so he would not book my ticket. We both had a very grateful moment that my ticket had never gotten booked before we knew what date I needed to come home... Otherwise, it would all be up in the air again.... Such drama my life holds! (and I've never even been a dramatic person!)

Ohhh hilarious story: Happened last Sunday. So the Bishop's 4th son, Thomas, (turned 2 this past week) is always up on the stand, even though the Bishop hates it and his wife tries to keep his attention. It's a long lost battle really; but hilaious for everyone else. Because he will be coming up to the stand and look at his dad. His dad will give him "the eye" or shake his head... but to no avail. He climbs up anyway. So this past week he comes up to the front and has this HUGE plastic dinosaur, which inevitably talks as well. Haha. So he goes around roaring and clomping during fast and testimony meeting. It was quite entertaining. Hahaha.

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!! I have seriously found a love for it these past few weeks and am so grateful to be here. Maybe my stress is going down a little. Hahaha.

Here in Chile, I think I've mentioned this before, September 11th is a dangerous day here in Santiago. Well in some parts. So we made a connection this past week... September 11th forever ago was a day when there was a revolt and there was a lot of young people killed. And because that generation was killed, that's why there are a TON of old people and little kids. Literally, it is so hard to find a young adult here in our sector. But that's why!

Hermana Wright called me this past week and told me she wanted me to go see Hermana Cook, the new mission nurse that comes to me next week. She said that Hermana Cook was feeling nervous and a little in the dark, so she suggested we go see her to give her a little heads up. Well, I thought that was a great idea, but not as a teaching basis... more like a friend basis. Soo I met her on Thursday. We went to the CCM and had lunch with her and her companion. It was wonderful. On the outside, she's very calm, cool, and collected. I told Hermana Tingey that she's going to have to grow a thick skin here with the missionaries and the Chileans. We are very excited to receive her in one week. I still can't believe that I'm going to train someone to take over my responsibility as nurse and also as a missionary with Hermana Tingey. Isn't that crazy? I'm gonna have a daughter (as they say in the mission)!!!

Remember when I ate pavement at college right before finals and had to have stitches in my upper lip and everything? Ya well, I almost ate pavement again. But this time not at the hands of Silas pushing me, but at the hands of Hermana Tingey pushing me in a wheelchair. So we're returning a wheelchair back to Dr. Johnson and it looked terribly stupid for us two to just be pushing this wheelchair down a busy street, so she tells me to get in. I'm thinking, yes, this ole body is gonna get a break. So I get in the wheelchair and just kept my feet up (I did not put them on the footrests) and thankgoodness for that because we come to a curb and BOOM I go flying forward in the chair. Luckily, I catch myself with desperation; Hermana Tingey and I start laughing after the shock disappears. Only to find there's a garbage guy who watched it all and is also hysterically laughing. Hahaha. We laughed for about 2 minutes, right after I got out of the wheelchair and walked (feeling stupid as we walked down the street with an empty wheelchair was the better option after all).

We have met lots of great people recently. We are hoping all of the contacting and knocking on doors will pay off. One family is Cristian, his wife, and 2 kids. We always passed by Cristian because he owns a little store and was always outside. He got our attention though because he always said hello to us with a smile. So one day we both said to each other, "we need to go talk to that nice guy with the little store". And we did just that. Only to find his 2 sons running the store. We talked for a while and his oldest son, Diego, told us that he had been to the Mormon church a few times and liked it. Then we stopped by the next day and talked to Cristian and he told us his mom had just passed away 3 months earlier and how much it still hurts. He actually cried and believe me he is a macho guy so we knew it hurt to talk about it. Anyway we testified of the Plan or Salvation and the Book of Mormon, left them with a prayer, set up an appoitment for the next Monday, and off we went happier than ever. They are an amazing family!! So genuinely happy and humble. I hope they see the worth of our message. Oh ya....the best part is: it's a young family (practically a miracle in our sector).

Creepiest moment of the mission: okay, I don't even know why it creeped me out so badly, but we contacted this old guy outside of his house. He was sitting on a chair in front of his house and there was a gate between us. So we just talked to him for a second, then all the sudden in the window above his head, between the glass and the curtain, I saw a cell phone slowly come up with the camera side towards us, stay for 2 seconds, and go back down. I was creeped out more than ever in my life. I couldn't even speak. I have no idea why it scared me so much, but I was struck dumb. Isn't that the creepiest thing that people take pictures of us?!? I guess its a reason to put makeup on everyday. Haha. But seriously, that is so creepily weird!

We had a special conference today with Elder Russell M. Nelson from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, his wife, Elder Viñas (70) and his wife, and also President and Hermana Wright. It was absolutely wonderful. I am going to miss the inspiration and Spirit one can feel in their presence as they encourage us to continue working with all heart, might, mind and strength in missionary work. I have been inspired more and more to continue on with the work of salvation after the mission and also for the last few months I have left. I thank God and my Savior that I have a testimony that there is a living, true prophet and that he has 12 apostles, just as our Savior did. I know this church is the same that existed when Christ was on the earth. Everyday that I testify of such, my heart swells with pride to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. =)

I have found another favorite scripture. It is what I wish for every member of the church... to welcome all with open arms (no matter their past, culture, weaknesses, or personality) and to establish the restored church of Jesus Christ. "Nevertheless, the people of the church did have great joy because of the conversion of the Lamanites, yea, because of the church of God, which had been established among them. And they did fellowship one with another, and did rejoice one with another, and did have great joy."(Helaman 6:3).

May we all be accepting and loving this week and forever, that we may accept the love the Savior has for ALL people.

Love. Love. Love.


P.S. I don't know if I said this or not, but the address to the mission has changed a little. I will let you all know next week what it is.

P.P.S. Don't send Christmas packages! Save your money for when I get home... I want lots of presents and date nights. Hahaha. =)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

71st Blog of the girl named Brooklyn

Happy Halloween
(we celebrate any holiday here, even if we think they're stupid in the USA)

Hhhheeeyyyy guys!!!

It was a good week. Quite an invigorating one, actually. Recently, my sprits have been down and my attitude a little "ah, oh who cares?". Not to the point that I wasn't working or didn't work as hard as I could; however, yes, to the point that I wasn't as excited as I should be to be a missionary and the mission nurse. I think the stress and tiredness started to cause an EMPTY in my spirits and body. However, I was able to get my spirits up on Thursday. I'm not sure what it was... maybe it was the divisions we had and talking with Hermana Berthelson about stress and unrealistic expectations of ourselves and those we're teaching... Anyways, I just came back to my sector and was so glad to be here. Since then, I am enjoying more fully the time I have here in Chile. People would die to have the same experiences I am having. Plus, the time is coming to a close... :(

Hermana Tingey time: we couldn't find mangos this past Monday at the grocery store and I was so upset. But Hermana Tingey says "it's okay we have apie". I have no idea what apie is; so I asked her what "apie" was and she says, "celery". It made me laugh so hard because she knew it was the wrong word, used it anyway, and was so calm about it. Hahahahaha. Celery = Apio.... I tell you what. I love knowing 2 languages. I need to find me some more Spanish speaking friends. :)

Fun Spanish/Chilean fact: potato bug = little dirt piggy (chanchito de tierra). Isn't that funny? :)

Terrifying fact: we got hit by a dust tornado here... we were sitting on a bench in a park and I could see this dust tornado coming towards us... so I warn Hermana Tingey and the inactive member that was sitting with us... they didn't move... neither did I, in fact. Haha. So we're sitting there and I'm thinking "ah no, it will go around us"... NOPE. It hit us straight in the faces. Hermana Tingey was laughing so hard that she had dirt all in her teeth after. HAHA. And we were pulling dirt, garbage, and weeds out of our hair for hours. =) I got hit by a tornado!!! Only in Chile.

Divisions with Hermana Todesco and Hermana Stokes

Convert moment: we had a lesson with Alejandro about the Priesthood this past week to prepare him to recieve the Priesthood yesterday. He made me so happy and yet so sad in that lesson. Happy because he stated that he is ready to become involved in the church and to serve the Lord in whatever capacity he can. Yes!! Sad because he told us that his family has started making fun of him and the church because he told them all he was baptized. Satan never rests and at times I get quite sick of it. He says that at times they will say things like, "so you got all your sins washed away huh?" and that even his mom (who he lives with) will yell at him through his door absurd comments about the church. Urgh! He is as firm as a rock, though. His faith and testimony will pull him through; however, all the same, it makes me want to chew some people up and spit them out due to their disrespect. Let us all be respectful and kind to one another. We are all God's children, brothers and sisters.

Happy Halloween! I feel like here in the mission I get more excited about stupid holidays because it means people are in their homes and it's a reason for us to celebrate. Anywho, for Halloween this year, I was Sleeping Beauty! Only thing was is that I had to change the story a little cause if I would have waited for my Prince to come to wake me up with a kiss, I would still be in my bed. :)

I have started reading once again a book called "Adjusting to Missionary Life". It's a book about preventing and coping with missionary life stress. I testify it is an inspired book! There's one part which hit me like a rock. It says, "You have a front row seat to the greatest miracle of all: the effect of Christ's Atonement on individuals and families. Practice focusing every day on blessings you are grateful for. Notice the Spirit's influence in your life....".


We had lunch with the Mamita and I got the world's best advice. She told us of her life, the struggles she faced, and the trials which were thrown at her. Her mother died when she was young; her Father was inattentive. She received no parental advice or love. Her bed was made of grain and they went hungry often. She and her sister used to chew and suck on reed like plants to kill the hunger. She left home at the age of 8 to go work with her young sister. She worked as servant in a house of a North American family. She was physically abused there. Eventually she moved to go work for another North American family and there she learned how to love and was treated kindly for the first time in her life. However, it didn't last long. He then married an alcoholic, unknowingly. She raised 6 kids alone. Then the missionaries came knocking on her door. They taught her the gospel; she accepted it to the wrath of her husband. She and her kids used to walk to the chapel on a rock filled road only to have to throw said rocks at her husband who was following behind in order to safely arrive at the chapel. Needless to say the story continues; however, I believe it is unnecessary to continue. Just this much makes me ponder my life and ask a few questions. Why have I never suffered like others have? Why was a born in the USA to a wonderful family who taught me correct life principles? Why do I think sometimes that my life is so difficult? I have learned so much here seeing the poverty that exists in Santiago (practically nonexistent). I decided this week: I have been given much, so I can learn to give more. Hermana Tingey and I have planned on going to poor places in the world to offer ourselves as helping hands and to give more Fast Offerings. I can live with so much less; there's proof of that all over the world. Hence, there's a lot more I can give.

Chilean money!
We just happened to have all of the bills and coins this week

Love you all! Take care. Mom has my return flight itinerary! Time's flying. January 19th is going to come so quickly.