Thursday, 26 May 2016

Coming Home

I'm sorry I haven't updated the blog in a while. It's pretty crazy when one comes home from the mission eh?

The last day in Chile, we went to the mission home for our "last supper." We had a fast and testimony meeting before dinner and I felt like the whole room was on fire with the spirit. It was really wonderful to see the change and growth that we had experienced in these 2 years. After dinner all the sisters decided to take advantage of the little time left we had in Chile and we left to contact people in the street and walk around the construction site of the temple (the temple grounds are right in front of the mission home)
We talked to the construction workers and shared are appreciation for their work. When we arrived at the main entrance of the site, to our surprise the elders were there! We took some pictures then had the inspiration to sing in front of the temple for the workers there. We sang "families can be together forever," "I love to see the temple" and "the spirit of God." There wasn't a dry eye I felt such a gratitude for the temple and the Plan of Salvation. Families CAN be together forever through the promises that we make in the temple with Heavenly Father.  The temple is like a light house that guides us back to His side.

Santiago Temple

There's been some pretty mixed emotions. I feel like I never left and that a lot of time has passed at the same time. I'm happy to be with my family but I left half my heart in Chile. I love the people so much. I really came to see people through the eyes of heaven.   Heavenly Father is always aware the needs and desires of his children. 
I'll miss the mountains and the forests.  I'll miss the rickety micros and the street venders.  I'll miss the caring and talkative neighbours and people in the streets.  I'll miss inviting people the follow Jesus Christ through baptism.  I'll miss my companions and all the things that they taught me.  I'll miss the joy that fills your soul when an investigator comes to church for the first time or the tears shed as we poured out are hearts in prayer. I my only desire was to help others feel the love that Heavenly Father feels for them and that is what I will continue to do.
It saddens me to say goodbye to the country that I called home and the people that I have come to love.  I know that the mission never really ends.  We should have the nametag carved on our hearts. We should always remember to invite other to come to Christ; to share the tidings of great joy as did the prophets of old:

 Moroni 10:32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

 2 Nephi 9: 23 And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God.

It would be a wonderful thing to be there with Heavenly Father after this life; to fall into his arms and embrace him.  It would be even better if we were there in that moment with all our family and friends.  This is what I desire. I want to see you all there in the Celestial Kingdom!
If you feel lost, or forgotten, pour your heart out in prayer to Him. He will guide you.  If you have questions, there are answers.  There are many tools that God has given us to guide our way.  The scriptures, family, church leaders, priesthood blessings, the Holy Spirit.  Seek after these good things.

I love you all. Remember who you are and the purpose of this life. Have an eternal perspective.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Happy Mother's Day... See You in 3 Days!

Mom's Note....

Hermana Jakob will not be able to write home tomorrow because she will be travelling to the mission home in Concepcion in preparation for her return home Tuesday evening.  She will be flying into Toronto Pearson International Airport before 1pm on Wednesday afternoon, if all her connecting flights go well (fingers crossed X and prayerful pleadings!).

We got to see and talk to her through Skype this afternoon with her companion for a Mother's Day treat and I said I would relay her thoughts for her as her letter home this week.  She promises once she is home, she will share more stories and pictures to her blog which she didn't have time to do previously.

Hermana Jakob was tearful as she expressed her love for the people of Chile and her gratitude for the time she has had these past 18 months to serve and share her beliefs about Jesus Christ and learn Spanish - like a pro, I might add, so much so that she has a Latin lilting to her voice when she speaks and says English feels foreign to her after all this time.

Her and her companion sang a Mother's Day song for me in Spanish which was really pretty. 

She will leave a piece of her heart behind in Chile forever as her thoughts and prayers will always return to the friends she has made and the people she has met and come to love as she has taught, prayed for and served them.  This is the hardest part of coming home for a missionary, because after all the wonderful experiences and struggles that they go through, the love they develop for what they do and the people they meet becomes like the feeling of family to them while they are away from home and it changes their lives so profoundly that they will never be the same again.  Her experiences will impact her in so many positive and sustaining ways for the rest of her life.  In many ways, this has prepared her for adulthood, independent living and how to be a good contributing citizen of the world while having learned to rely on God through faith by trusting Him in all things. 

She is excited to come home on Wednesday and see her friends and family, yet nervous to see all the changes and a little apprehensive for the big life decisions to consider for the future.  Leaving one place she has learned to call home for the past 18 months and returning to the home she's always known is bittersweet, a little sadness for things that are ending yet sweet for reunions with loved ones missed. 

One thing is for sure, this girl is amazing!  We love her a lot and know that she will excel in anything she puts her mind to.  She has an unconquerable and determined friendly spirit and will do many great things in her lifetime, whatever new path she may travel. We look forward to seeing what new adventures await our beloved Hermana Jakob.


Monday, 2 May 2016

Bouncing Baby Boys and Pounds of Apples!

WOW! I Don´t have much time to write today! There are so many things we have to do....

Porontos Granados - Chilean white bean soup with grated corn, mashed pumpkin and onion.

EL Sabado (Saturday) we went to help out a member.  She has a HUGE backyard...about 10 acres and we helped her plant beans for the next harvest.  She is 73 years old and does everything by hand, by herself!  It´s safe to say that I now know how to plant a big garden!  It´s going to be amazing!  She gave us about 8 kilos de manzanas (apples).  We´re happy because we don´t have to buy food this week. :)

Last week was a little hard.  I knew it was a test of our faith because there is always a test before the miracle occurs.  This week we found a lot of beautiful families to teach!  We decided to contact people with pictures of our families, (you guys are famous in Angol!)  and it worked well to help break the ice and show people the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for us. 

Andrea, Alex and their daughter are a joven (young) family that were very interested when they heard that families can be together forever.  I just love the Plan of Salvation and the esperanza (hope) that it brings into our lives. It helps us to understand the ¨why's?¨ of life and the role of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

This week a member named Barbara had her baby!  She asked us to be there because she doesn´t really have anyone in her family to support her. We weren't allowed to be in the room when he was born but we went in to greet little Fernando soon after.  

At the hospital

I still don´t believe that it´s all ending this week!  I feel like I still have another month left.  I know that the mission won´t end when I am done.  I´ll still be a missionary at heart even though I don´t have the nametag and official calling.  I love being a missionary!  I love sharing the gospel!  


See you soon!

<3 Hermana Jakob

With Connie... Yup!  We can still be goofy sometimes!