Monday, 29 December 2014

Christmas Week!


It was so nice to be able to talk to my family on Skype!  I just wish that it had behaved a little better than it did (We had technical difficulties!).  Such is the life of living in a little rural town!  I will admit, when I saw all your faces I got a little teary eyed.  I was so happy to see you there Steph and Uncle Phil and Aunt Katharine! 

Steph - I hope my family treated you well and Uncle Phil didn't scare you off! Hahaha!  

Aunt Katharine - don't let Uncle Phil guilt trip you into sending me a package.  You guys have done a heck of a lot for me already and I really appreciate it!  

It was so strange talking to you all.  It felt like I had left just the day before and we were just Skyping to say good night...or something like that!

During Christmas Eve, we had dinner with Maria-Christina's family.  That was the family that came to the rescue during our Skype crisis.  They're honestly the best!  We baked brownies for them and Elder Alverado made Gnocci.  After that, we had a big feast!  It was delicious! I don't know how they cook their chicken but it is sooo good!   

We had to take a taxi back home.  That is the rule if we want to stay up past 10:00 at a member's home (it is the culture in South America to gather later at night).  But...the taxi didn't show up until 12:30am!! All of us were seriously overtired.  The ride home was hilarious though!  Elder Alverado was in the back making buzzing noises into a Christmas mug. Elder Lopez contacted the taxi driver at 12:30 in the morning! I don't think the taxi driver was very thrilled. Diligence and dedication!  

I received mom and dad's and grandma and grandpa Jakob's package and all the letters from the ward right on Christmas Eve!  The AP's (assistants to the president) dropped by in their mini-van wearing Santa hats.  They really were like Santa's elves.  Thank you so much for the gifts! I think my favourite is the slinky!  Gracias for the cards and the words of ecouragement.  I consider everyone in the ward my family.  I love you all! 

I love see our investigators progress!  We are teaching a man named Ramon.  When we first contacted him, he was pretty depressed.  His kidneys are failing him and he's waiting for a transplant. He just has a lot of health problems. With every lesson we've taught, I've watched a light enter into his eyes, he seems happier and he has a desire to learn more for himself.  I think a big turning point for a lot of investigators, especially for him, is when they attend church and feel the peace it brings.  

Viviana, Antonio and Barbara are another beautiful family.  I love them so much!  Viviana, the mother, loves learning English and is super good a it.  She studied tourism and traveling in university and practices her English every moment she can with us and she helps us with our Spanish! It's great! She doesn't like most churches because she feels that, oft times, they act like a store.
She really opened up to us this week though and told us that she had a 19 year old son that had committed suicide and how she couldn't understand why he would do that.  When I heard her story, I felt such sorrow for her that I started to cry (how embarrassing) and we started to teach her the Plan of Salvation.  She said she liked what she learned and that she would come to church because she could feel the love we had for her.

This is why I'm here!  Because I want to help my brothers and sisters, the people of this world, find true and lasting happiness in this world and in the world to come.  

BTW mom, my Visa Debit card isn't working right now.  I don't know if it's because of the technology here or if it's a problem on that end. I feel like it might be a problem on your end because the master and visa cards worked fine...though, my Master Card has been locked up after paying for the entrance fee.  It's quite frustrating but I'll live with it!  
For this reason, I haven't been able to purchase a new cable for my camera (cause everything uses cash down here and I can't withdraw anything with my cards) I'm really really sorry.  I'll send triple the pictures when I can!  Promise!

(Mom's note:  No worries folks!  We've got it all the banking stuff under control.  Some of these problems are just due to inexperience and communication!  The bugs are getting worked out and she is being well taken care of.  So sad there will be no pictures this week from Chile... :( )

I'm running out of time!
Love you all XOXOX

Hermana Jakob

(Seeing as there are no pics again this week, here's one from home.... a blog just has to have pics!  This is the kids' bunny Chester.  He's been sick recently but is much better now.  He's a real sweet heart.  This was taken during our Skype session with Hermana Jakob)

Monday, 22 December 2014

First Week in El Campo!

So this week has been a whirl-wind of activity!

I left the CCM at 7:00pm on Monday night and didn't get to the mission home until 2:30pm the next day.  I was so tired because I hadn't really slept in more than 24 hours but that went away as soon as we got off the last plane.  

We went straight to the mission home and had a lovely dinner with president Bluth and his wife.  They really are the sweetest!  We went around the table and all the newbies introduced themselves.  I was so nervous because in Mexico, I could get the gist of what most people are saying.  When I first arrived in Chile..... I'm going to quote The Best Two Years....."Elder, that's not the language they taught me in the CCM!"  Everyone here talks SUPER fast and cuts off their words!  They also use the vosotros form (not common or taught in high schools) and add "po" at the end of some of their sentences.  For example, when they ask how you're doing they say, "Como estei-po?"  
Heavenly Father has really blessed me though.  In less than a week, I'm able to get the basic idea of conversations and make small talk.  My mom (trainer) is really good too.  She helps translate for me but doesn't do it in english.  She'll just say it using simpler words so I'm constantly learning and improving. I just want to understand and be able to speak so I can help these amazing people!

My blonde hair has been helping us get contactos!  It's pretty funny.  A lot of people want to talk to us because of it.

BTW - my trainer's name is Hermana Rimmash.  She's from Utah and I'm her first daughter!("mom" and "daughter" are the terms they use when a more experienced trainer whose been out in the mission longer, trains a newbie who just came out)  She's been out for about 4 months but her Spanish is really good!  She started her mission in a costal town called "Lota" 

I'm currently in a little rural town called "Curacautin" about 4 hours by bus south of Concepcion.  It is SO beautiful!  They town is right next to a couple volcanoes and I can see the snow capped peaks of one of them right outside of our apartment window!  There are apparently hot springs a couple kms from here.  If I have time after my mission, I really want to visit them.  The landscape is a lot like Canada actually.  They flora and fawna is almost identical.  In fact, in this area of Chile, it's practically one big tree farm.  They plant trees, let them grow for about 15-20 years and then harvest them for pulp and wood products.  

There are a set of Elders here too.  One is from Argentina and the other is from Columbia.  None of them know how to cook, including my companion, so I'm going to cook a big meal for everyone on the 25th.  

I love being here!  I love the culture, I love the people! I had no idea I could come to love complete strangers but I do!  I just want to help all of them receive happiness in this life and the next!  The other day we were making contacts around a neighbourhood.  It was kind of depressing because we had had no luck.  We were tired and downtrodden but I was fervently praying in my heart that we would be able to find a beautiful family.  On the very last door we knocked on, a man opened the door.  At first I was a little leery because a lot of the men here don't like us for some reason.  Anyways, he ended up being a really nice guy and invited us in to talk to his family.  What a beautiful family!  They didn't have much but there was so much love between them!  The wife was very intuitive and asked a lot of good questions.  It turns out that they had a son too but he passed away when he was very young.  My heart went out to them!  I bore my testimony of how families can be together forever and did my best to comfort them. We left them with The Plan of Happiness and asked them to pray about it's truthfulness. Were going back on the 24th to talk some more to them.  I want to share the happiness this gospel brings to my life with them!

Sunday was great.  I introduced myself and shared a little spiritual thought with the members.  I don't know if they understood but it's all good!  Our branch is small here.  There's about 25 people in it.  They members are super nice!  We're going to be having a Fiesta de Navidad on Tuesday.  I can't wait to taste some Chilean food and experience Christmas here!  We don't get many dinner invitations because there aren't many members.  

So I won't be able to send anymore pictures this week until I buy a new uploading cable.  I forgot it :(.  So sorry!  I'll send a lot next week!

Lots of love!  Feliz Navidad everyone!

Hermana Jakob

Mom's note....
Some pictures of Curacautin and area from Google images because she can't send any this week!  A teaser of the beautiful landscape...

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Email and Mailing Address

Mom's note.... I've had some questions about whether or not it is alright for people other than family to email Hermana Jakob .  Yes! We strongly encourage you to share news from home and great positive experiences.  Missionaries thrive on news and love from home!

You can email her @

(I'd make this address a link but she doesn't need spammers to pick up on this!)

Please be mindful that the missionaries only have about an hour each week of computer access to email home during which time they need to read all the week's emails and respond to them personally and/or generally. That is why we keep a blog, to help her cut down on the time it takes to write friends and family in the hour that she has.  Usually I hear only the news that's in the blog unless there are some personal matters that she needs us to take care of for her from home.

If you can, please take the opportunity to write the snail mail way.  Missionaries LOVE actual letters and pictures from home.  Letters can come in the mail any day of the week and can be read or reread anytime, anywhere.  Hermana Jakob has mentioned that she LOVES snail mail!  So if you have a moment and feel so inclined, grab a pen and send her your stories and thoughts on paper.  

Keep in mind, good ol' Canada Post will charge you $2.50 to mail that letter under 20 g (that's about 4 or 5 lined pages) and $3.60 over that weight to 50g.  So please be mindful of the charge, especially if you plan to send a picture or two for her photo album.

Her Mission Home Postal Mailing Address is:

           Hermana Eden P. Jakob
           Chile Concepcion South Mission
           Castellon 1063, Oficina Sur

Packages cost an arm and a leg and half a kidney to send!!!  The address for packages is slightly different as it needs to go to the equivalent of a PO box.  If anyone really wanted to send her something despite my warning, then please message me @ and I'll send you that address personally.

Week 6 - Safe and Sound in Chile!

I made it to el Campo! (loosely meaning -  mission home)

I´m so excited I´m about to burst!  I don´t have much time to write but I want to know I love you all.  In speaking to the Chileans here, I feel like I´m listening to a completely different language but I´m ready to take up the challenge!  My goal is to be completely fluent in 3 months! (the average is usually around 6 months or more)

I love our mission president and the mission home is really cool.  It´s actually located outside of our mission boundaries.  Our mission starts right on the other side of the river in Concepción. 

I know that this is the Lord´s work.  I know that we can do anything with His strength. I know that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and that through Him, we can return to live with God.

Love you all so much!  

Hermana Jakob 

(Mom's note - We had the opportunity to talk with Hermana Jakob for a bit this morning when she called us from the airport in Santiago while waiting for her connecting flight to Concepcion. She's in amazing spirits and good health and got a little bit choked up when she heard my voice.  She exclaimed, "I'm getting emotional!  I never did this when I talked to dad!"  To which I replied, "That's because I'm your mommy."  I miss her sometimes.  There are little moments sometimes which catch me completely off guard when something reminds me of her and I take a moment to shed a tear or two. Then I remember how blessed I am to have such an amazing daughter and I feel so happy that she has this opportunity to do such awesome things.  I can't wait to hear the stories as she experiences them! I am not sure if this will be the only letter for this week.  She will be travelling tomorrow to her first city/destination to meet up with her new more companion who will train her in her first area.  Here's to hoping and praying she's a great trainer!)

Not sure exactly where the mission home is but from her description it's north of the river and her mission begins south of it.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Week 5 - Sprint to the End!


So this is it.  The last four days in the MTC!  Man I am so scared and so excited all at once!  I'm scared cause I don't know what to expect but I'm excited to finally go out into the field and help people!  

Last night, we talked with a Chilean....oh dear.  It was crazy fast but, the language doesn't scare me.  I know that no one will expect me to know a lot of Spanish in only six weeks.  

We leave for Chile on Monday. Our flight leaves at 7:45pm and gets into Santiago at 6:30am en la mañana!  Because of the time changes, the flight is really only 8.5 hours.  Once we get to Santiago, we have a 6 hour layover until our flight into Concepción.  I don't know if we'll be able to email before we leave so this might be my last email for the next week and a bit.  

Entonces, a lot of interesting things have happened this week.  For one, the closest mountain near us (the one with the big B) caught on fire the other night.  It was a spectacular view! The whole side of the mountain was in flames!  I wish I had gotten a picture of it.  Apparently it's pretty common for the brush to catch on fire this time of year because it's so dry. I haven't seen rain in about a month!

I LOVED the Christmas devotional.  My favourite part was the full Orchestra.  Is it just me or does it feel like there was 10X the emotion in the music this year? I think my favourite song was "Still, Still, Still." The accompaniment was beautiful!  I'd love to watch the Mo-Tab sing live at least once in my lifetime! 
I also like when Elder Christofferson said that the spirit of Christmas is really the Spirit of Christ.  The feelings of unity and charity that we feel during the Christmas season is really us feeling the love of Christ. I realized that during Christmas we not only celebrate the birth of Christ but what his birth meant to the world.  Because of him, we can live with our families for eternity!  Through his Atonement, we can be forgiven of mistakes.  We can be healed from the wrongs people have done to us, be strengthened during our challenges and be freed from guilt.

(To watch the full  LDS Christmas devotional Hermana Jakob mentioned above click below)

(To listen to the song "Still, Still, Still", click the link below)

Oh my gosh there's someone playing the Piano Guys version of  Ö Come Emanuel in the room next door.  They're amazing!  If you haven't seen this cover, search it up on Youtube!  It's so beautiful!

                                                                                  (Link added just for you!  :))

TRC this week (when volunteers come the the CCM so we can teach and speak with natives) was the best!  During the previous TRCs, I felt pretty nervous.  This week, I decided to go with a no fear attitude and trust in the Lord.  We talked with one girl named Jessica over Skype.  We didn't know when we started, but her mother had just passed away about 5 months ago.  For some reason I was prompted to share my testimony of eternal families and explain how the Book of Mormon has comforted me through my trials.  I shared a scripture in Alma 26:27 and she stared to cry.  She said we were and answer to her prayers.

(Alma 26:27 - Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions , and I will give unto you success.)

The other woman we talked to was named Lucy.  I had the overwhelming sense that she felt very lonely and I immediately felt love for her.  I don't remember what we said to her but after, she called us Angels :)
It felt good to be able to help someone feel the love of our Heavenly Father.  
Teaching and talking with real people is definitely different (I'd say better) than practicing with the teachers.

Ok... super embarrassing moment this week.  Hermana Pemberton is teaching me how to juggle a soccer ball during gym time.  So this week, we were practicing by playing a game called "Kill." Pretty much you get in a circle with the other players and juggle the ball. You hit it at least 4 times the catch it on the 5.  Once you catch it, you can throw it at a person in the circle.  If it hits them, they get the first letter that spells out "k-i-l-l." 
Anyways, you know how I get really competitive? Well, I managed to catch the ball on the 5th time and whipped the ball at what I thought was a player that had run behind me.  It ended up being a poor unsuspecting, by-standing Elder.  I hit him so hard that I knocked the wind out of him!  Oops!

Word of the Week: 
So the other day our District was quoting Nacho Libre.  One of the teachers spoke up and told us the meaning of one of kid's name in that movie. Sooo...the word of the week is "Chancho." It means "Pig." When I found out I couldn't stop laughing!

Love you all!   I guess I'll be emailing you next when I'm in Chile!  Chi chi chi le le le!  Viva Chile!

Hermana Jakob XOXO

P.S. This pictures this week are from a farewell for a District that was in our Zone.  I loved that District and cried when we said goodbye.  The Hermanas were our assistant training leaders

Funny excerpts about Hermana Jakob from her companion Hermana Pemberton's POV.

"We try to sit with the latinas a lot. The other day they were talking with us and trying to teach us  how to say 'peanut butter' the word starts with 'caca' and Hermana Jakob said it so loud all the latins around looked at us, oh it was funny. I told them all of the different embarrassing things we've been doing in Spanish they loved it, especially the one when me and Hermana Jakob were singing a hymn and instead of saying 'pecados' which is sin, she belted out pescados (fish). Its so fun to make these mistakes. It is the best part of the CCM.

(Mom's note.... we wish Hermana Jakob the best of luck as she travels to Chile this week.  Please keep her and her companions in your prayers as they start the next leg of their amazing journey.  Thanks for reading!)

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Week 4 - Temple Trip!


I'm sorry to hear about Grandmere's passing.  I wish I could be there to help support you.  I also know that she is in a happier place now.  It's wonderful that she is finally with her beloved Grandpere after all these years.  When I imagine the happy reunion I start to cry.  

Thank you to all my Primary Children for you're notes!  I love you and think about you every day! 

Sounds like you guys are keeping busy! I can't wait to see what the house looks like when we Skype for Christmas.  

Today, we went to the Temple Visitor's Centre.  Unfortunate we couldn't go to a session because the Temple is currently under renovations. Despite that, we had an amazing time!  The Mexico City temple is SO beautiful.  The architecture is based off of the those of the ancient Mayans.  On the top of the temple, it has Moroni holding the gold plates.  There are only 4 or 5 statues of Moroni like the one on the temple here.  
The Visitor's center was so cool!  Each room was decorated in different styles.  In the one picture with Hermana Pemberton, the hallway was painted to look like rustic Mexico.  The Hermana's there shared a video about the Christmas season.  I highly  recommend you watch it.  It's called "share the gift." I'm pretty sure that's the English translation.  It brings the true meaning of Christmas into perspective.  They also showed a movie about how the Gospel blesses families.  When we raise our families on Christlike attributes, faith, hope, work, love, laughter, humility, we will be more united.  The belief that families can be together forever gives us hope of living with our loved ones again.  Isn't this knowledge amazing? That we will again one day see the faces of our loved ones and be able to embrace them and say I love you?

While we were at the visitor's center, I got some souvenirs for the fam.  I'm going to get one of the Elder's to ship it for me when they go back to the States. 

I don't try to avoid telling you how hard it is in the MTC.  It is, but I feel like I'm doing pretty well here. I haven't been homesick. Sometimes I have twinges but it's mainly the lack of instant communication that gets to me.  

My companion rocks.  My District is like family to me. The only thing that bugs me is that I feel like I'm still not good enough in the lessons.   I kinda beat myself up because I wish I could go back and do a better job, say something a little differently, connect with the people more.  I understand that I'm here to learn, practice and improve.  I'm just worried about making the same mistakes when I'm out in the mission field.  I came across 2 Nephi 4 and it helped calm my fears.

I have discovered a new love for Beach Volleyball.  We have a pretty sweet beach court here.  Last P-day, we played for about 2 hours.  I have a pretty sweet watch tan now!

So all of the Elder's in my Districto have girlfriends back at home.  Hermana Pemberton and I thought it would be funny to convince them that I have a boyfriend waiting for me (because they said it was impossible that any guy would wait for a girl for that long).  I told them that I didn't have a picture so they started to guess about what he looked like.  They bet that he was as big as a lumberjack, had a full beard and loved chopping down trees (this is what Americans think of Canadians LOL)  We convinced them that my "boyfriend"has a cleft lip. (SO gullible)  I need to somehow get my hands on a picture now...

Scripture of the Week:
2 Nephi 4. It is fantastic.  It's when Lehi counsels and blesses his family before he passes away.  I like what Nephi says the most.  I love the strength and comfort we can receive from the scriptures!

Word of the Week:
"Galletas" which means "cookies." The cookies here are SO good!

Te Quiero!

Hermana Jakob

Here is the temple and temple grounds

Here is the visitors center

The market selling virgin marys