Tuesday, 26 May 2015

A Week Full of Rain!

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

This week was FULL of rain.  Funny how before my mission, I couldn´t stand being in the rain for more than 2 minutes. Have I changed my ways! Now, I´m walking in it all day and I´m fine with it! The only thing that bugs me a bit is the fact that we don´t have a dryer.  Only a gas heater.  I have clothes from 4 days ago that are still ....esta mojada! (wet)

Some things that I learned this week:

1) NEVER leave the house without an umbrella.  I got caught in a downpour on Tuesday.  I´ve learned the true meaning of ¨soaked to the bone.¨ 

2) There are teens that bag your groceries who work in the grocery stores here.  I would thank them heartfeltly (because I´m truly grateful that I don´t have to bag my own groceries)  and part ways.  I always wondered why they gave me blank looks or angry faces....I now know why.  These students don´t receive a pay check!  The money they make is solely tips that people give them!  I feel so bad!  I´ve been depriving these poor jovenes (youth) for 6 months!  The members that shared this information with me were laughing so hard!  My face was bright red. I´ve been depriving these poor jovenes (youth) for 6 months!!!

This week one of the converso recientes (recent converts) passed away due to complications to cancer.  It was so sudden!  We talked to him a week ago and he was fine.  He had just started his chemo.  I feel sad for his family.  It´s hard to say good-bye but I´m am so grateful for the knowledge that our Heavenly Father has a wonderful plan of happiness for us.  Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all of us will be resurrected.  Through covenants with God we have the promise that we live with our loved ones again, in complete and lasting happiness.  Death doesn´t seem so bitter with this hope.  

Have to go! Sorry I don´t have any pictures. I didn´t want to carry around my camera in the rain.  

Love you all! 

Hermana Jakob

(Mom's Note:  No pics home means blackmail photos from her youth!  ... Catching dragonflies on the back deck.  She is 12 in these pictures.

... At Grandma Micheline's dining room table. Love and miss this always happy kid!)

Monday, 18 May 2015

Cows in the City!

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

Como están? (How are you all doing?)  I hope you´re all doing well!  It´s finally warming up in Canada, right? The rainy season is starting here and everyone is sick!  Hermana Alvarado was sick all this week and I think I have the flu. I´ve been taking a whole bunch of oregano oil and stuff to avoid the worst of it.   We had to visit the hospital this week.  Hermana Alvarado´s lungs were bothering her a lot.  It was my first time being in a private hospital.  It runs a heck of a lot faster than a public hospital and was super efficient.  We were in and out of there in about an hour.  The last time I was in a hospital, I waited in emergency in Canada for 3 hours with my compañero de travajo (co-worker from Subway) who had kidney stones.  Hermana Alvarado´s ok now.  Turns out she has an allergy to smoke.  It´s kind of a bummer because there is so much smoke from the wood burning stoves here.  It just hangs in the air during the night and looks like fog. 

 Selfie... Hermana Alverado ducked out of the way.  She didn't want to be in the picture.

Cows in the middle of the yard...in the city (la Marina). They just wander around foraging for grass.  You can just see the legs of a dog behind the cow.

This week we went to Santa Juana.  It´s a little town on the banks of the River Bio-Bio about an hour bus ride.  It reminds me of Canada with the leaves turning red and yellow and the mountains of pine trees. There isn´t a chapel in Santa Juana, it´s just a house. The baptismal font is a fiber-glass above ground pool that they have to clean and fill every time. 
We worked with the single adults to find verify the addresses of menos activos (less active members) and invite them to ward conference.  Another group of missionaries helped clean up the local hospital gardens and paint the stadium.  

La capilla (the chapel) in Santa Juana.

Driving through Santa Juana.  Doesn't it kind of look like Canada in the fall with the leaves turning?

This week God lead us to a golden family.  The parents, Carlos y Gloria and their 2 sons, Cristobal and Ignacio.  Carlos has lots of curiosity.  He and his family are Evangelical but when we shared the story of Joseph Smith, he said that he feels like there´s something in his life that´s missing and isn´t sure how to fill it.  We invited him to pray to Heavenly Father, like Joseph Smith did, to find out if the restored gospel can help fill the hole in his life. He agreed.  His son Cristobal has a great knowledge of the stories in the Bible.  He is very intelligent and asks a lot of deep questions. 

Love you guys lots!

Hermana Jakob

Monday, 11 May 2015

Beach Day!

Fam-Jam y Amigos ( Family and Friends)!

Sorry I´ve been terrible with writing you lately.  My mind is going a mile a minute lately and it´s really hard to concentrate and think between the 2 languages.

On Monday we went to a superstore called ¨Hiper Lider.¨ It´s like a Walmart with 3 stories!  It was so nice to find spices other than ajo! (garlic!)  ...and North American sized peanut butter for a reasonable price!  (Peanut butter here is 8 dollars for 350g).  I also bought some Kraft Dinner for ol' time's sake.  What I really miss the most is Mexican and Thai food.  The cooking here is...to say the least, a little bland.  They cook more for looks so the food looks really colourful and pretty but the taste....meh! But I´m definitely not starving. I´m gaining weight but it ends here!  I´m going to start running in the mornings with my compañera (companion). 
(It literally is Walmart's connection in Chile!)

La Marina is proving to be a lot more difficult than Curacautín.  It´s very hard to find new investigadores (investigators).  We´re talking to everyone but still not seeing any success.  Despite all of this, I know that if we keep pressing forward, work with the Spirit and stay obedient, we´ll start seeing success.  I feel very strongly that we should work with the part member families here.  It was an impression I had the moment I got here.  We´ll see what it brings.

This weekend a joven (youth) named Christopher was baptized!  He´s 14 years old and is an amazing kid.  His mom wanted him to make the decision all on his own so she encouraged him to pray to know if the this was the right path that God wanted him to take. He prayed and received a feeling that he should be baptized.    The baptism was beautiful and a lot of people form the ward came out to support him.  After, Christopher bore his testimony and his face was just a-glow!  It´s wonderful to see the change in people, the light in their eyes that begins to grow as they change their lives and come unto Christ.  


Today we went to the beach for our Zone activity!  It was the BEST zone activity ever!!!  I just love the ocean!  We travelled to Lomas by Bio Rail (electric train)  where the capacitadoras (trainers) live.  Everyone met-up there and we walked to the beach, which is about 20 m from their house.  It was so cool!  The beach here is a black sand beach.  It´s kinda of gritty but really pretty. 
Love, LOVE the beach!

It's so beautiful.  The sky is so clear!

Shoot! I forgot to take a sample to bring back with me!...ah well, the next time.
We played volleyball and had a BBQ with Churi-pan, chicken and steak!  It was funny to see that the latin hermanas (sisters) could BBQ better than the gringo Elders.  Jajaja!  Needless to say, we´re all a little tired from running through the sand all day.  We´re going to sleep well tonight!  

All the Hermanas in our zone....

With my companion Hermana Alverado

Love you all!  Happy Mother´s Day to all the mothers out there! 

Hermana Jakob

Monday, 4 May 2015

When Did 6 Months Fly By So Fast?


So I guess I´ll start with verifying the bad news.  Yes, the Hermanas in Temuco were attacked in their home early Thursday morning.  We only know as much information as you know. The neighbourhood where they lived is super tranquil and quite and the house was one of the best in the mission!  It´s so sad to hear. Things like this shouldn´t happen in the mission but I know that everything has a purpose.  Even though we can´t see the big picture, our loving Heavenly Father can.  The Hermanas are in our prayers everyday.
(Deseret News article about the incident)
(Mom's Note:  Update - Hermana Jakob is doing well after this incident. It was closer to her last area she was just transferred from.  She is saddened by the news of harm coming to her friends and fellow sisters who are in Chile to help others where they can and share their beliefs, yet unhindered in her own work.  Missionaries are trained what to do in situations where they are threatened or attacked .  It could have been a lot worse than it was, even though it was bad.  Thank goodness the perpetrators of this malicious act were apprehended shortly thereafter. Please pray for the sisters continued safety and healing! )

Don´t worry about us!  This occurance is very rare. We have taken the upmost care to make sure we´re safe. 

This week we had a mini mission!  Jóvenes (youth) from the Concepción stake came to work with us for 4 days.  It was a great experience to remember my fisrt days in the mission and get a feel for what it would be like to train.  Our ¨hija¨ ("daughter") named Hermana Jara, was from a port-city in the North.  She is a convert of 5 years and has such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon.  The Spirit was so strong when she bore her testimony.  She was the best!  A missionary in the making!

I love this quote from a talk that Brad Wilcox gave called ¨His Grace is Sufficient.¨ 
¨The miracle of the Atonement is not only that we can live after we die but that we can live more abundantly.  The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can be cleansed and consoled but that we can be transformed. 
Awesome, awesome talk!  Well worth taking the time to watch.  Will change your understanding of the Atonement forever.... in a great way!
I´ve been thinking about the past 6 months I´ve had here in the mission (where did the time go?) and the changes I´ve gone through.  I know I couldn't have changed for the better it without the Grace of Jesus Christ in my life.  

Love ya lots!

Hermana Jakob

O Canada!  The tile at this house reminded me of home.

Cyber Centro - where we go to email home.  A lot more urban than my last area.

A family we are visiting with and my new companion Hermana Alverado from Peru