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!