Monday, 23 February 2015

The Joys of a New Washing Machine and Daily Bread

Hola mi familia y amigos! (hello my family and friends!)

Cómo están ustedes? (How are you all?)  He escuchado que hay mucho nieve allá en Canadá (I have heard that there is much snow there in Canada).  Que divertido! (What fun!) Aquí es muy rico! (Here it is very rich - slang for something like awesome!)  Hace mucho calor! (It's very hot!)

This week we received the best gift ever!  A WASHING MACHINE!!! YAY! Usually the missionaries here have a ¨mumita,¨ a person they pay to do their laundry or to use the washing machine of a member.  We have been carrying our laundry about 20 minutes up-hill to a members house to wash our clothes.  We´re super grateful that Hermana Christina lets us use her washing machine but to have our own is indeed a blessing!

The other night we made tacos with re-fried beans! Yum!  We ate them with rice and avocado.  Black beans are my favourite but they are impossible to find in the stores around here.  I use instead white kidney beans or pinto and they´ve turned out fine. 

The Elders in our area bought a selfie stick.  They´ve been going crazy with picture-taking. I think it would be a worthy investment because, as missionaries, we´re always trying to take pictures with our investigators and a selfie stick is a lot easier then trying to time a camera

On Sunday, I gave my first talk in Spanish!  I had a little bit of fear because I still can´t speak that well but overall, I think it went very well!  I talked about food - but a special kind of food.  We eat daily to keep our bodies healthy and to be able to meet the physical demands of every day life.  But we are more than just a body (Doctrine & Covenants 88:15).  

15 And the spirit and the body are the soul of man.

We need to feed our spirits daily too to withstand the spiritual and emotional demands of each day. It´s like it says in Helaman 5:12.  ¨When the devil sends forth his mighty shall have no power over you to drag you down.¨

How do we feed our spirits and our testimony?  

With the simple daily things the Lord has asked us to do. 
Jesus prayed ¨Give us this day our daily bread.¨ Some times this daily bread is literally bread.  Sometimes it´s the strength to face the day with a chronic disease or the strength to complete all the activities that demand your attention in a day.  Through prayer, God provides strength and the small daily necessities.  As we receive this divine pan (bread) daily, our faith grows, and so does our spiritual strength and our trust in God.

But, Jesus said man cannot live on bread alone.  We can´t solely depend on prayer alone to grow our testimony. God has sent us a buffet for our testimonies.  The scriptures.  We´ve been commanded to ¨feast upon the words of Christ.¨ I know that when we read the scriptures, our souls will be filled with peace and knowledge.  

Is you´re spirit starving? Is your testimony strong?  In this age full of temptations and trials, it is of the utmost importance to remain spiritually strong; to be firm in the rock of our Redeemer. I know when we do the simple things (pray, read and attend church),  we will receive blessings from our Heavenly Father.  It isn´t easy to live the gospel, but it´s easier then anything else.  We will have the strength of the Lord to help us on our way.

Los amo mucho! (Love you lots!)

Hermana Jakob 

Totally awesome Daily Bread Video Series:  Part 1: Pattern 
(so uplifting and worth watching... Elaborates on what I was talking about above.... about 10 mins in total to watch!)

Part 2: Experience

Part 3: Change

... and now for pictures!  Our family history activity with our branch.

YAY!  New washing machine!!!  Can you tell how happy we are!

Goofy picture with los ninos! (kids) ...we like to have a little fun!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Semana Curacautin!

This week was Semana Curacautin (Curacautin Week)!

Every night this week there has been a concert literally 15 feet from the front of our house and it was LOUD!  The walls of our apartment were shaking at times!  It was cool though.  We videotaped some of the performances out from our window.  

They played some pretty good stuff!  

Jueves (Thursday) -  a band played some good old rock and roll!  Some of my favourites were "Rollin' on the River", "Born to be Wild" and "Miss You Like Sunday Morning." It's interesting though, to hear the lyrics because they don't really understand the words.  The lyrics are sounded out and learned more phonetically.   

Viernes (Friday) -  a member named German played!  He's 19 years old and performs in a band all over Chile.  He sang some Chilean country songs, which in essence, is the kind of music that Grandpa Archie likes - with upbeat synthesized piano rhythms and such.   That night they had Espanol (Spanish) rap too!

Sabado (Saturday) - they hosted a Rodeo with cowboys! I don't have any pictures unfortunately because we weren't close enough and didn't have time to watch.

This week, I received a clove of garlic as a gift. It may sound funny but this means a lot.  Our investigator Patricia has such a sweet spirit but she and her family struggle a lot financially.  She gave us the only thing that they were able to give to show her appreciation for us. I think it's one of the most heart-felt gifts I've ever received. 
This week, my testimony of fasting has been strengthened.  Monday/ Tuesday as a district, we decided to hold a fast for our progressing investigators, that they would take the next step and feel that the decision to be baptized was correct.

Hermana Rimmasch and I fasted that we would be able to find new investigators that have been prepared by the Lord and that we could teach with the power and authority of the Spirit.  After this fast, we found 2 beautiful new families to teach!  During the lessons, they said that they felt something different when we spoke and that they could feel the genuine love we had for them.  Hermana Rimmasch and I also taught more juntos (together) than we have ever taught.  Through this experience, I know our prayers were answered.  I know that Heavenly Father will give us anything we ask for in faith.  I'm so thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost.  I know that it is the real teacher and carries our message to the hearts of others. 

Love you all!!
(Los Quiero)!

Hermana Jakob

Nightly concert...

This picture is a picture of the recipe of Home made Oreo cookies that Hermana Bluth made for us during entrevistas (interviews).

This is how we bake!  In a frying pan!  Chocolate cake!

Mmmm Tacos!  Avacados here are called "Palta".

Monday, 9 February 2015

Semana de Hermanas (Week of Sisters)

Hola Familia y amigos!

So I´ve been hearing that a lot of you are wondering how my Spanish is coming along. 

Estoy mas mejor que el primero día. Escribo en ingles porque puedo escribir mas rápido.  Los acentos aquí son muy malo entonces es un poco difícil para entender.  (I am much better than the first day. I write in english because I can write much faster.  The accents here are pretty bad therefore it's a little difficult to understand.)

I´m glad the Valetine's Day dance you guys had was a hit!  Our goal here was to have a wedding on Valentine´s day but it doesn´t look like that´s going to happen...oh well!  We always have next year!

Este semana (this week) we had a gran intercambio .(great exchange - where all the sisters mix up their companionships for a day or two)  All the sisters from our area and the capacitadoras (trainers) came to Curacautín and we did a contacting blitz.  

It was fun to have our apartment filled with Hermanas and get to know them a little better.  It was like one giant slumber party!  In the morning we made French toast for everyone!

I learned a lot from working with the other sisters.  There are certainly many different teaching styles. For example, Hermana Robinson loves to hear people´s background stories and works really hard on connecting with them.  I admire that about her.  I want to be able to do that but I think I have to be able to understand our investigators a little better first. 

I was paired up with a Latina named Hermana Gonzalez from El Salvador.  She used to work in Curacautín.  She´s super funny yet very bold. I don´t know why they don´t pair all the Gringos up with Latinos!  The people here are much more trusting when there aren't two foreigners standing on their door step!

Anyway, I learned from her that it´s ok to planch (asked for clarification - mean "roasted" - in reference to being bold) people once in a while.  They need to see us as confident and understand our purpose.  We are not there just to give them an opportunity to talk to "las dos gringas rubias" (the two blonde Gringas).  We are here to give them the opportunity to be baptized for the remission of their sins and receive the most precious gift God can give us: the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Every good thing comes from the Holy Ghost.  Peace, happiness, knowledge, guidance, comfort.  It is the power that knits families together in unity.  

During the blitz, the capacitadoras (trainers) found a `bruja´(witch).  She believes that she can cure sick infants with a candle and string. Apparently it´s a pretty common thing here.    While they were teaching her, a neighbour came in with her sick kid and they watched the whole routine.  It´s quite a process!  Needless to say, we´re teaching her now but we´re going to have to make the whole authority of God¨ very clear.

Today we made tacos and baked chocolate cake en la capilla (chapel - the church building has a kitchen) because we don´t have an oven in our house!  It was super delicious! I think I´m going to bake more if we have the chance.  Another yummy food thing I tried this week is like Chilean poutine: eggs meat and cheese over fries! It was super rico (rich)!

Fun little cultural fact:  Canned food items are very hard to find here,  They all come in foil packs or tetra packs.  For example tomato sauce only comes in a bag or a foil pack.  Milk tambien (also) only comes in tetra packs...It´s good though. The groceries are super light when you don´t have all that extra metal!

Love you all!

Hermana Jakob

Chilean version of poutine.  Tastes great!

 We ate 1 berry each and our tongues were that purple!  The berries are called Moni...i think.

Monday, 2 February 2015

"Mantecol" Anyone?

Hola familia (family) y amigos (friends)!

So I heard that this week in Canada you guys got a dumping of snow!!  Yikes!  It'll be great for snowshoeing and skiiing though!

This week has been a scorcher! Every day has been about 30-35 degrees and there is no such thing as AC.  Despite that, I'm quite enjoying the heat.  I'd rather sweat than freeze!

This week has been really hard finding people in their homes. It might be because it's so hot.   Everyone has either left for the big cities to visit family or are swimming in the Rio (river) . 

Gracias to Grace, Kira and Kaylee for the wonderful letters you sent me! I have them hanging up on my wall in our apartment!

This week we've been praying to find someone who could have a future calling working with the YW (young women's organization, ages 12-18) here and for a future priesthood holder (there are only 4 priesthood holders in our Rama {branch}).  God answered our prayers! We saw miracles!  We had a "Noche de Hogar" (FHE - family home evening program in the church where families spend one night a week connecting and doing things together.  Usually Monday night) with one of the part member families here.  After, their daughter said that she wants to get baptized!  (That is the girl with the baby in the pictures from last week)  It's a miracle because the missionaries have been working with her for about 4 years and she wasn't interested in the gospel or the church.  I'm so happy that Hermana Ruth will be able to have her family all together now!

We also found someone very promising for YW!  Her name is Natalie and she was a member in a different city.  She's super spunky and adorable but, when she came to Curacautin, she wasn't able to find a job that didn't make her work Sundays.  We're working with her on the Dia de Reposo (Sabbath Day). I'm hoping everything works out.

Gloria's baptism was this week!  It was so beautiful!  The people in her family are either not members or menos activos (less active).  Despite that, 23 of her relatives came out to support her! 

Her baptism was supposed to start at 4:00pm but Gloria's sister, Marixa, was stuck on a bus.  Gloria is really close to her.  Marixa practically raised her. There's no way we could have started without her sister.  So... the service ended up starting at 5:00pm.  It was beautiful to see the chapel full of people!  Gloria cried when Marixa gave the talk and when Hermana Rimmach and I sang "Asombro Me Da" (I Stand All Amazed).  The Spirit was really strong in the chapel and many of her non-member families commented on the beautiful feeling they had when they were there! 

                    (English version of the song "I Stand All Amazed" put to video on Youtube)

I have to start talking on the cell phone now.  I thought it was hard to understand people in person.  It's even worse on the phone!  There's a lot of "¿Que dijo?" (What did you say?) going on.

So there's this thing that Chileanos do down here when they are running out of minutes on their phone.  It's called a "Pinch."  They call you and as soon as it starts ringing, they hang up.  I was wondering why we kept getting dropped calls from people.  I thought it was just bad service until Hermana Rimmach explained.

Today we celebrated Natalia's 17 birthday!  YAY!  We ate almuerzo (lunch) with her family.  After, the Elders played the guitar and we sang along to songs by Nickleback, Paramore, Extreme and Oasis.  They love English ballads here! 

We gifted Natalia with her favourite chocolate "Mantecol."  It's like a bar of pure peanut butter with layers of chocolate in between!  Pure deliciousness!  I'll bring some back in my suitcase at the end of my mission!  Promise!

The two pictures are of us with Gloria and Natalia, the other is the two of us at Hermana Paula's house for a Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening).  She made AMAZING sopaipillas!

Love you all!  Que le vaya bien (Hope everything is going well for you)!

Hermana Jakob