Monday, 28 March 2016

My Last Transfer and "Heightened" Contemplation!

Hola mis queridos!  (Hello my dear ones!)

Sorry for not writing last week.  We took a trip to a national park and we didn´t have time to write afterwards.  It was really cool!  The national park is called ¨Nahuelbuta.¨ There´s is a breath taking look out called ¨The Eagle´s Rock. The day was so clear that we could see a panoramic view from la Cordillera (the mountains) to the sea!  It was so silent and tranquillo (still) that we just sat on the rock for about an hour meditating and taking in the view.

In the park there are araucaria trees that are over 1000 years old! 

The weird thing about the park is that it was deadly silent.  There aren´t a lot of animals or birds and most of the animals that do live there hide when humans pass by.  All the trees there are covered in hanging moss, like in the southern states.  It was kind of cool to walk through the park and think of all the Lamanites and Nephites that could have walked through these parts of the world!

We also had an amazing conference for the mission.  Un setenta (a member of the Seventy) spoke about the importance of being a PMG (Preach My Gospel - the manual missionaries use to help them teach and serve people) missionary and the role of the Holy Ghost when we are sharing the message of the gospel.  I invite you all to read the talk by Elder Bednar ¨Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary,¨ because it not only applies to missionaries but to whoever has a calling as a teacher, (mother, father, seminary teacher, primary teacher, etc...)

Today we have transfers! Hermana Stone is leaving El Mirador to finish the training of a sister in Lebu.  Hermana Stone is a machine!  She feels a little overwhelmed but I know she´ll do a great job!  I´ll be training again!  YAYAY!   I am SO happy!  I secretly wanted to train again because it is such a beautiful experience to receive a new missionary full of light and hope and help them begin the missionary experience.  

The sign reads "Welcome Dear Sisters"

One of my best friends in the mission, Hermana Gallegos, finished her mission this week too.  It´s hard to say goodbye.  We´ve passed through so much together and she taught me how to love unconditionally, without judging.  I hope we can see each other again. 

That´s all the news for this week!  I´ll keep you posted and send you pics of my new hija! (daughter - what they called a newbie straight out on the mission)

Love you all!  

Hermana Jakob

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Sorry... No Letter Home this Week

Mom's Note:

We didn't hear from Hermana Jakob on Monday.  As a mom it was a little unnerving but we assumed that no news is good news.  However, she did contact us with a one line email the next day telling us that all is well and that she and her companion had to travel for a zone conference and did not have any time to email home.  She said she will catch us up to speed next Monday..... I'm holding her to it!  It is now a sprint to the finish! 

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Eating' and Singin' It Up!

Hola Queridos!

This week was a whirlwind of events but it feels like all the work we are doing is starting to fall into place.  

This week we were asked to sing at a funeral.  A sister in the ward works for a cemetery selling plots and hosting burial ceremonies. Nacy is really cool.  Every day she has to opportunity to share the gospel because of the nature of her work.  Anyway, the funeral was for the previous bishop of El Mirador.  His baby died about 5 months ago in ConcĂ© and they were moving the casket closer to home. He and his wife are angry with God right now and don´t want anything to do with religion but Hermana Nacy was very bold in inviting us. We sang "Where Can I Turn For Peace" and it felt like the whole park was filled with a tranquilidad (tranquility). The mom gave us a big hug after and thanked us.  It was terribly sad but I´m so happy that we have a knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and that families can perpetuate beyond the grave and know that their baby is in peace. How wonderful it is, that the Atonement of Jesus makes this possible. 

This week, a family in the ward invited us to a festival of the culinary arts - Chileno style.  It was DELICIOUS!!!  We ate empanadas, anticucho (shish-kabobs), and Mote con huesillo (?). We got a chance to get to know some of the workers there and the bomberos (firemen).  

On Saturday the other companionship here had a baptism. We sang ¨Joseph Smith´s First Prayer.¨ and Elder Walker accompanied us.  We sing a lot in the ward, Hermana Stone and I, but it´s interesting to see that it changes the setting and creates an atmosphere where the Holy Ghost can dwell.  Bishop was very wise when he gave us the suggestion to use our talents as much as we can.  

We had a conference for all of Chile this Sunday and they talked a lot about keeping the commandments and finding joy in the journey of life even when things get tough.  It reminded me a lot of the Book of Mormon and the experiences of the Nephites and Lamanites.  We really aren´t all that different from them.  They had  problems in their families too.  They had wars, they had corrupt governments, they had fears and hopes and dreams.  One promise rings trues for us as it did for them.  If you keep the commandments of God, you will prosper in the land.  

Love you lots!

Hermana Jakob

Monday, 7 March 2016

Singing Like Phantom of the Opera!

Buenas tardes!  (Good afternoon!)

I am so happy for all the creations that Heavenly Father has made for us!  Chile right now is FULL of fresh fruit trees. When we´re walking in the street and feel a little hungry, all we have to do is pull a fresh peach or fig from a nearby tree.  It´s the best!  I think I´m addicted figs!

My companion this week contacted a man on the street.  She asked where he lived and he said that lived in the prison.  Hermana Stone didn´t understand so she responded, ¨Oh perfect! Can we visit you and your family?¨ LOL!... the look on the guys face was priceless and he began to laugh! 

A night view from the top of a street in town... beautiful with the lights!

Brother Salvador came to church!  He´s from Panama and has been living here in Chile for 12 years. He´s a bit of an eternal investigator and we were trying to think of a way that would help him have a spiritual experience.  Hermana Stone felt inspired to sing a hymn for him (just so you know she´s trained classically and sings like the lead star of Phantom of the Opera!). We sang ¨Where Can I Turn For Peace" and after the second word, he started to cry and the room was filled with the Spirit.  Then we read 3 Nephi, chapter 11 when Jesus visits the Americas and again his eyes began to get all teary and he said that he knew that the Book of Mormon was true. He recognized the whisperings of the Holy Ghost and we´ve seen a change in him!  I know there is a converting power that comes from reading the Book of Mormon.  It helps us come to know Jesus Christ and understand the Atonement. I also know that God has given us talents and we should use them in sharing the gospel.

This week, I have been focusing on being more grateful. Sometimes, when things don´t go as we planned we get upset and start questioning ¿Why?  Sometimes we feel that we don´t have any success with our plans and goals.
A greater faith in Jesus Christ and more gratitude for the things that we have will help us see how we are already beginning to have success. The world will seem brighter and we will be more aware of the little daily miracles in our path.  I challenge you all to give a prayer of gratitude at the end of each day.

Love you all lots!

Hermana Jakob

Doesn't this Twinkie look a lot like this Elder?  ...LOL!