Monday, 28 December 2015

Learning from Lot's Wife and Lots of Meat

Feliz Navidad! (Merry Christmas!)  Happy New Year!

Well, I just passed my second Christmas in Chile and I must say that we had a blast!

On Christmas Eve, we went to the house of the Ormeño family.  We ate a dinner of BBQ Lamb and potato salad.  They baked us cookies and talked about the different Christmas traditions that some countries have.  Here in Chile they open their presents on Christmas Eve.  They all have BBQs and throw big parties in their backyards. It´s cool that they get to celebrate Christmas in the summer.

On Christmas Day we went over to the house of the Jimenez family.  Hermano Jimenez builds wood burning stoves to cook pizza and bread and any kind of artesian baked goods, really.  The pizza he makes is to die for!  We ate pizza and BBQ goat (a lot of different meats this week, right?) and salad.  We were all about to explode after lunch!  Haha!

Talking to my family was great! It was nice to see your faces, hear your voices and see how you´ve all grown in a year!  It´s strange to think that the next time I´ll be talking to you will be at my homecoming! (How trunkie!)
This week we had a lot of cool things happen.  We prayed to find someone to teach and found a youth named Felipe.  He´s really intelligent and, to my companions delight, speaks English perfectly.  Right away he accepted the challenge to be baptized and has a lot of interest to learn more.  He wants to help his family and his brothers find more happiness. 
Sofía, a 15 year old joven (youth) came to church again with her sister Consuelo!  Yesterday they told us that they love coming to church because they feel like they´re in a family. Sofía told me that she wants to serve a mission! How cools is that?!  We´ll be talking with her mom (she actually gave her as a reference to us) tomorrow.  We´re praying that the Spirit can touch her heart like the way it did her daughter and that she can be baptized with Sofia y Consuelo.  

Yesterday I was thinking of New Years resolutions and what I want to improve, keep doing or change this year.  I was reading a talk by Elder Holland called, ¨Lot´s Wife¨ It´s a really great talk that reminds us of the importance to learn from the past, but not to dwell or yearn for the past, that the best is yet to come.  
I invite you all to read it and meditate on what you can do this year to strengthen your faith in Jesus Chirst and His Atonement.

Love you all!
Hermana Jakob

Monday, 21 December 2015

Singing With Laryngitis and Hospital Run Arounds

Hola familias y amigos! (Hello family and friends!)

This week was really cool!  Well, as you know, I´ve been having a little trouble with my foot.  It´s a pain to walk on it but despite that, sigo adelante (onward I go)!  On Thursday, we went to the hospital to try and see what the problem was.  When we got there, they said that they couldn´t take the ectography (how ever you spell it) and that I had to go to another hospital.  We ran all over Temuco but no one could see me until the 5th of January (grrrr!) so we decided to put our trust in the Lord.  I received una bendicion de salud y consuelo (a blessing of health and comfort) and we decided to start a fast.  Then we went to work!
The pain now is bearable and we saw a lot of miracles. One was Johanna. We knocked on her door through inspiration a few weeks ago but we couldn´t find her again.  This week we felt that we should try to pass by again.   She was home and we had the most spiritual lesson.  She said that we were an answer to her prayers.  She has accepted a date to be baptized!  Yay!  
This week we also had our ward Christmas concert.  We sang in the choir and at the last minute they asked me to sing Silent Night in French! (Ooh boy! :s)  More to my embarrassment, I was having a case of laryngitis and it was really hard to sing.  After that experience, a sister sang a song called ¨His Hands¨.  I don´t think there was a dry eye in the crowd.  It was a great reminder of the Atonement and everything Jesus has done for us.  It makes me sad to think of all the things that Jesus had to go through.  In truth, it is the greatest demonstration of love.  I hate to think of how many drops of blood He had to shed for me.  Because of this, I want to be the best I can be. Alma 7:11-12
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
I invite you to read this scripture and meditate what the Atonement has done for you in your life.  
Love you all!  I wish you a very Merry Christmas! 

Hermana Jakob 
(Mom's Note:  Seeing as there are no pictures this week, I am posting some pictures from our family Christmas trip to Mexico 4 years ago.  So much fun!)
Getting blind folded for the Christmas piñata...

Batter up!

Were the people who built these things really that little?  Why yes kids, they really were!

Went to visit some Mayan ruins we could walk all over.... at your own risk!  Totally fun!

Standing at the top of a Mayan pyramid coming down... scary stuff!  Interesting side note:  You can hear just about every word below from the person above and they don't have to shout. 

Going down the hole to swim in a cenote (under water cavern)  Scary to contemplate, but so much fun! Could be going to her death and happy about it!  LOL!

Swimming in one of three cenotes we visited that day.

Jumping from natural cutouts in the cenote.  The water is soooo blue!

Family shot at Chichen Itza.... priceless!  (can't walk up this one!)

Monday, 14 December 2015

Foot Pain and the Story of the Three Trees

Mis queridos (My dear ones),

This week we had a big Christmas activity for the whole mission. It was great to see everyone, especially my ¨Mom¨ or trainer from my first days in the mission.  This was her last cambio (transfer - 6 weeks).  I can´t believe she´s going home.  It feels like yesterday I was in my training and we were walking the streets of Curacautín. 
At activity, we started with a conference.  We had the pleasure to enjoy about 20 minutes of Christmas carols played by a 4 string quartet (What talent we have in the mission!) It was so beautiful!  There were tears in my eyes as I reflected on the birth of Christ... but, there wasn´t a dry eye in the room when Sister Bluth shared a Christmas story called ¨The Tale of the 3 Trees.¨ 

On the bus with my companion.

After we ate a turkey dinner and performed skits that we put together.  Some of them had the whole crowd laughing.  One zone made a video that was taped like a reality TV show or an episode of ¨The Office.¨ I´ll see of I can send the video.

One was of a beautiful story of a family that was baptized on Christmas Day.  They narrated it through a song by Alex Boye. The Elder lip-syncing painted his face black for the part. Hahaha!  

 Dining with all the missionaries

 The Sisters in our zone

I'm not the tallest one!

This week I went to the hospital.  Don´t worry I´m not gravely ill!  I have tendinitis in my foot (yay) and it hurts a lot to walk.  They gave me some meds to help with the pain, to wait it out and see if it gets better hasn´t.  I´ll be going soon to take some x-rays and other exams.  At first I was a little upset because I can´t work as much as I want to but then I remembered that everything happens for a reason and there is obviously something I need to learn from this experience.  Maybe it´ll help us learn how to use our time more effectively.  

This week we had a miracle.  We were contacting with no success so we decided to pray and ask for guidance.  When we finished the prayer, 3 doors later, we found a teen named Sofia. She shared that there were problems in her family.  At times she's felt very alone and wanted to know what was the whole purpose in life.  We shared our testimonies and the Plan of Happiness.  Her eyes were shining the whole time and exclaimed that she wanted us to share with all the family what she had just learned.  We´re going back to visit her and her family tomorrow!  She's a very special girl and we could feel it from the beginning.  

Well, I´m running out of time!  I´ll hope you all are enjoying the Chirstmas season.  I invite you all the share a bit of the love we feel during this time with your neighbours and friends.  Invite them to a church activity, send them a link of a Mormon Message, gift a Book of Mormon or, share your testimony of the Saviour.  These are just some ways you can share the gospel this Christmas season.

Why We Need a Savior

Silent Night feat. Placido Domingo & the Piano Guys

The Prayer feat. David Archuleta and Nathan Pacheco

These are just a few of the church's Christmas Mormon Messages this year.  If you want to enjoy more, go to for a more interactive experience or go to Youtube and type in #asaviorisborn to watch more amazing heartfelt videos!

Love you all lots!

Hermana Jakob

Monday, 7 December 2015

Antibiotics and Happiness

This week we had grand intercambios (big exchange) with all the sisters in our Zone.  And, I got paried up with my old companion Hermana Lockling! It was great to serve with her again and see how we´ve both grown in this short while.  I really love her like a sister. She´d make a great sister in law ¨wink wink.¨ Hahaha!

After the intercambio, (the next day) mi hijita, (daughter = new missionary companion- Hermana Bentley) told me that she wasn´t feeling too well.  Poor thing.  With the change in water and food and everything, she got sick.  We ended up waiting in the hospital all day Saturday to figure out what was wrong.  She´s all good now. She just has an infection and the antibiotics are working quite well.  Besides, while we were waiting in the hospital, she taught me sign language! I´m so stoked to be able to use what I learned with the family.  Well, for now, I´ll at least be able to sign my name, the names of my family members and to pray.  

Hermana Bentley is learning Spanish so fast.  It really amazes me to see the change is such a short time period.  The gift of tongues is real! 

Before the intercambio we had a capacitacion de Hermanas (training for Sisters) with a focus on the Atonement and developing the attributes of Christ.  What really impacted me was a quotation from a talk that asked ¨Who do you want to be?  Have you planned on what you want to become?¨  I had read the talk before,  but I really began to reflect on the changes I´ve gone through in the past year.  I can say that I´m not the same person. I have a different view of life.  Really, I know that the hard times that we go through really shouldn´t get us down because they help us become stronger.  And in the Plan of Happiness, the time that we have here in this life is very short.  Make the most of life. Find joy in the journey. We´re meant to be happy!  :)  

I couldn´t be happier than I am right now.  There is nothing that brings more lasting happiness than the knowledege that we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father and to live in a way that He wants us to live.  I love the mission!  I love the Lord!  I love the Gospel!  

Les quiero mucho!  (Love you lots!)

Wish I had more time to write!

Hermana Jakob

Some pictures that make me happy... and/or laugh

by the Cautin River

Christmas lights!

Making pancakes/crepes!

Vanessa... she´s a returned missionary.  She is 23 years old (older than me!) not 12!  LOL!

Monday, 30 November 2015

Filling the Emptiness and Boxer Shorts

Hola Familia!  Amigos!  Queridos! (Hello Family, Friends Loved Ones!)

So I´ve heard some complaints that I haven´t given a lot of detail acerca de mi hija (about my daughter) (ie. Mom.. I never said I was an author, lol)  So I´ll give you a little more details.  She´s from USA, New Mexico.  Hermana Bentley has a HUGE family.  6 brothers and 2 sisters!  Her and I are quite alike in many ways.  We´re both free spirits, hippies. We love dancing and love the same music.  She also studied in BYU Provo for a year before she came out to the mission.  She has a pure love for sharing the gospel and has no fear talking to everyone (or doesn´t show it). Her first day she asked me if it was ok to contact people on the buses, even though she didn´t understand them very well.  I told her to go for it and we contacted everyone. I love that she doesn´t let her fear drive her.  She´s going to be an amazing missionary.  What am I saying!  She´s already an amazing missionary!

On Saturday, we had fasted and prayed to help us find people who were really searching for the truth and to be more sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit.  As a result, we found many wonderful people, especially Joanna.  She´s a single mom of 3 kids.  One is 19 years old, one 11 and the other 5 (he reminds me of Ori, LOTS of energy!).  She says that she´s been searching for a church where she can help raise her kids and fill the empty space that she feels in her life.  Actually, a lot of people that we´ve been finding have mentioned the same thing.
What causes this emptiness?  

I know that it´s the separation we feel from our Heavenly Father.  How can you fill the emptiness?  How can you feel closer to Heavenly Father? I know that nothing fills the emptiness quite like living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  For those who aren´t members, I invite you to talk to the missionaries.  What they share will change your life for the better.  For those members: Do you feel this vacío (vacuum)? What is your attitude like when you go to church?  Are you reading the Book of Mormon/Bible everyday? Are you praying everyday?  

This week we had a Christmas activity in the Zone.  We built candy houses and did a ¨White elephant¨gift exchange.  It´s when you gift random things from the house, but you wrap it up so you can´t tell what it is. Then you put all the gifts in a pile and pick one out. It turned out really funny.  One of the sisters received a gift of boxer shorts and dress socks. Hahaha!  

After we went and ate at Jack´s (hamburger restaurant) with all the sisters.

I´m also really excited for the new Christmans video that was launched this week by the church.  It´s call ¨ A Saviour is Born.¨ I love Christmas because it gives us time to reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ and what it means for us.

Alma 7:11-12

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

Love you all lots!  Until next week

Hermana Jakob

Monday, 23 November 2015

Dumbstruck and Bumps in the Road

This week I got to know my daughter!!!

(Term used when you become a trainer Sister.  Missionary Sisters use the nickname "mom" when you get a "newbie" straight from the MTC - Missionary Training Centre)

I travelled to Concé (Concepcion) on Tuesday. It´s about a 5 hour ride by bus so I took advantage of the time to study and write some letters.  Mientras (meanwhile), they were playing movies on the bus.  I think they showed Jurassic Park 4 but it´s interesting how when we focus on the mission, things that once called your attention don´t hold any appeal anymore. I saw the movie as just needless violence when I know before I would have thought it was cool.
I stayed at la casa de las Hermanas en (the house of the Sisters in ) Lomas.  We were waiting at the bus station for a member to pick us up.  She arrived about an hour late and said that they were experiencing troubles with their car.  We found that the radiator had a big crack in it and all the coolant had run out.  We said a special prayer that Heavenly Father could help us get the car back to Lomas.  We filled some bottles of water and filled the radiator and took off for the road.  Half way to Lomas, the car died....we were waiting for it to cool down when two guys stopped to help us jump start the car.   It´s cool to see that even though we had ¨bumps in the road,¨ Heavenly Father placed people in our path to help us.
I worked with Hermana Pemberton for the rest of the day (she´s training too!) And Wednesday morning took a micro (small bus), all nervous, to pick up our newbies. As we entered the chapel where the newbies were waiting, I looked at all the Hermanas and saw Hermana Bentley.  Without knowing before hand, I thought, ¨She´s the one!¨ What a surprise when they called us up together! My hunch was right! 
Picking up my daughter!  Poor thing!  She´s so tired! 
This week has been a blast.  We have learned a lot together (and I´ve re-learnt some things that I´ve forgotten).  Something really cool happened this week.  Hermana Bentley is learning Spanish right now.  Sometimes she gets frustrated because she can´t understand or express herself the way she wants (I remember going through this).   So we were talking to a Evangelical Pastor and he was yelling at us and saying that the Book of Mormon was fake and there can´t be anymore revelation from God.  She started to speak and bear her testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the Restoration and she spoke in perfect Spanish for about 5 minutes!  I was a little dumbstruck (she didn´t realize that she was talking perfectly for that long) and the man stopped yelling at us and thanked us for the work we were doing.  I know the gift of tongues is real.  The most important thing that we do is to teach by the Spirit.  We do what we can and Heavenly Father will make up the rest.
This week my scripture is Joshua 1:9 - Be strong and of good courage!
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Love you all lots! 
Thanks for all your support and love!  Hasta el proxima semana!  (Until next week!)
Hermana Jakob
Hermana Bentley´s first empanada!  Really, I love her a lot.  She´s so smart and fearless!  She has such a strong testimony and a pure love for the people.  It´s true when they say you learn a lot from your children.  LOL!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

When Did I Become a Senior?

Mis amigos!  Mi familia! (My friends!  My family!)
I have some exciting new this week!  I´M GOING TO TRAIN A NEW SISTER!!!!!  I´m so excited!  I know this will be a great experience! I have to travel tomorrow to Concé (Concepcion) so I can be in the office bright and early Wednesday morning to meet my brand new companion! It´ll be different but it´s really special to serve with new missionaries.  They come to the mission field llenos de luz y animo! (full of light and zest/zeal)  I might get to train a Canadian ;)  From what I heard, 2 Hermanas from Canada are coming to the mission field!  I'll let you know all about her next week.
Speaking of Canadians, I´m in contact with Hermana Rowden (remember my friend from Kitchener). She´s doing really well. All the sisters say that she´s is learning Spanish so fast it´s nothing short of a miracle! (don de lenguas! -the gift of tongues!)    
We sent off Hermana Resek on Sunday.  She´s heading home now.  I always feel a little sad to see them go.  She worked so hard with the ward here.  There were a lot of tears shed.

We visited a recent convert, Maribel, this week.  She´s a really sweet girl and has a lot of love for the church and the members. 

Hermana Mamani, my current companion, is going to Tolhuaca en Victoria. She´ll be missed but I know that the sector there needs her. They´re going to see a lot of miracles.
This week my scripture is Alma 32:42 in the Book of Mormon. 
And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.
This seed doesn´t only have to apply to our faith.  It can apply to a habit that you want to change, or if you want to strengthen your testimony in a principle of the gospel.  Through our diligent work and trust in the Lord, we´ll reach our goals and reap the ¨fruit¨ or blessings. 

Les quiero mucho! (Love you lots!)

Hermana Jakob 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Anniversary Pancakes and Celebration of Nations

Hola familia y amigos!  (Hello family and friends!)

This week was a whirlwind of activity!  On Wednesday, we had our interviews with President Bluth (We have interviews every other cambio/transfer - with our mission president).  The capacitation (training) during interviews was great.  We talked about the importance to have unity in our missionary companionship and how we can work with church members more.  
So yeah... I turned a year on the mission this week. My companion made me pancakes (yum!) and I woke up to find that Hermana Resek and Hermana Peralta had written on all the mirrors in the house. It was really sweet of them!

I don´t feel any different.  Maybe more pressure than before to keep working hard.  Time is so short and this is the ONLY moment I´ll have in my life to be a full time missionary; to declare repentance and invite people to follow Christ and be baptized.   
This week I was reading in Mosiah when the prophet Abinadi is talking to King Noah and prophesying of Jesus Christ to come.  He was talking about how the Jews wouldn´t believe that He was the promised Messiah in the scriptures, but in the last days, they would come to know that Jesus is the Christ.  I began to think about the ¨Jews for Jesus¨ movement that I´ve heard about and thought to myself, ¨Man, it would be so cool to find and teach a Jew that believes in Jesus!¨ Guess what happened the same day I thought this?  We found a "Jew for Jesus" when we were contacting people!  God really does understand the desire of our hearts! I´m so excited!!!  We´re going to meet with him tomorrow
On Saturday, there was a ¨Celebration of Nations¨ in the stadium in Temuco.  Someone from the city asked President Bluth if some of the missionaries could be there to represent and talk about the United States.  I was volunteered to go and help represent the USA (which hurt my Canadian pride... LOL!) but it ended up being a lot of fun.  Each country had their own tent with traditional food, clothing and decorations. They also had dancers that performed a traditional dance from each country.  The States danced the Hula. We talked to a lot of people from different countries.  It was fun to get to know people from all around the world. 

Elder Cahill and Hermana Robinson

Hermana Resek  (She'll be finishing her mission in a week and going home!)

Chinese dragon dance

Who doesn't love a good cartoon cutout?
This week my scripture is found in Matthew 7:14
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Les quiero much! <3  (Love you lots!)
Hasta el proximo semana!  (Until next week!)

Hermana Jakob

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Changing Bad Habits and Pigs in the Street

Hola Familia y Amigos!

(***Mom's Note:  Congratulations to Hermana Jakob who as of this Thursday November 5th, will have been on her mission for a whole year!!!)
This week Camila attended church with us!  She got all dressed up and had a great experience.  Sunday was the fast and testimony meeting and I always love to bring investigators because we can feel the Spirit more strongly.  She said she felt something special.  She has family in Concepcion.  We´re hoping that we can get in contact with them and ask them to share their testimonies with her.
Today in the morning we got together as a Zone and had a Halloween party!  We couldn´t wear costumes but we ate a lot of candy and had a dessert competition. Our district made dirt and worms, and the others made double chocolate brownies (sooo good) and chocolate brownie s'mores (where can I get the recipe?)  We played basketball, around the world ping pong and soccer.  I didn´t realize how much I missed paying sports until today.  

I´ve also started Insanity (exercise program) this week.  I´m going to hurt a lot this week!  It´s a lot of plyometrics and cardio.  
There was a huge pig in the road with 4 piglets.  We live in the city...there isn´t country close by.  I have no idea where it came from?!

My scripture this week is from Mosiah 3:19
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ give us el poder habilitador (enabling power) so that we can change our natures and bad habits.  I know we can become more like our Saviour - full of charity, patience, hope and more. We can access this divine help through prayer, fasting, faith in our Saviour, through repentance and participating in the sacrament weekly. I know I´ve come to know my Saviour more on my mission. I´ve never felt so close to my Heavenly Father.  I want to become what He wants me to be, do what He wants me to do and help other people come to a knowledge of who they are... to come to Christ and participate in His goodness.  

Love you all lots!  
Hermana Jakob

Monday, 26 October 2015

Spunky Sisters and Fields of Flowers

Hola queridos! (Hello Dear/Loved Ones)

This week we had a baptism!  The family we've been working with to reactivate baptized their daughter on Sunday.  It´s been a blessing to see the change in them and the desire that´s grown to follow their Saviour.  Aramí is a very smart girl and says a lot of wise things for a 9 year old.  Out of the mouth of babes... she often reminds her mom to read the scriptures and loves to share what she's learned.  
Afterwards, we had an BBQ to celebrate.  We couldn't stay long but we had the chance to eat some great pork chops before we left.  A spunky sister (that likes to speak with a Columbian accent even though she's Chilean) and Aramí decided to photobomb our selfie.  LOL!
In our sector we have a pueblito (village) called San Ramón.  We can visit there sometimes but it's quite far from Padre las Casas (our sector).
After writing last Monday, we went to a field filled with flowers close to San Ramón to take pictures with the spunky sister. 

We helped with a service project Saturday morning.  We pulled weeds in the garden of a less active member named Leslie.  She's a really sweet girl and has a really cool plot of land with every kind of fruit tree you can imagine!  Her pololo (Chilean slang for boyfriend) isn´t a member and we´ve begun teaching him a little.  Alan is a musician but performs for the love of music.  He doesn´t like the fame and fortune.   We asked him to play a song for us but he´s a little shy so we listened to his CD instead. He´s really good!
Sunset in our sector

My scripture for this week:
Mosiah 2: 41.  The Lord blesses us temporally and spiritually when we keep the commandments
And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

Les quiero mucho! (Love you lots!)
Hermana Jakob