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