Monday, August 14, 2017

"dígale que es tonta"

Wow! I have so much to say this week and yet I'm sure I won't have time to say it all, but this week flew by! Time really scares me on the mission.. there are some days that feel like an eternity and some weeks pass by in the literal blink of an eye.. this week was one of those weeks!

We have some investigators who aren't progressing very much, but they are really great people so we continue to visit them because we are confident that one day they will understand.. haha. The hermana is just darling and she is in a wheelchair due to an accident that she had about seven years ago. She doesn't speak super well, but she can communicate and she has such a cute personality! They aren't married, but the hermano has been taking care of her for the past seven years. We were able to visit them a couple times this week and yesterday we shared the video called "Finding Faith in Christ" and since we couldn't change the language from English to Spanish we just watched it in English.. which was great for me, but we were worried it wouldn't quite be the same for them.. and maybe it wasn't but the spirit sure was strong. The hermana not only thinks that I look like her daughter.. but I think she might think that I am a younger version of her daughter. She literally can't stop looking at me when we are there.. she just stares at me with a look of disbelief, but it's really sweet. 

On Tuesday we had an activity in the capilla for a hermana who served here about two years ago. She came to visit with her husband for a few days. The activity was super.. cute, but it made me a teensy bit trunky haha. I'm not trunky! But I was just a little bit after the activity. She sang, there was food, and all of the members danced the cueca (a typical Chilean dance ..?) I was feelin' just a little awkward and as we were leaving my rain boots caught on the rain boots of my companion and I totally biffed it. I think only one hermano saw me, but I really can't be sure. It really was quite an athletic fall if I do say so myself.. I got up real fast and ran for the door because I was so embarrassed haha!

We also had divisions with the Hermana Leaders in Puerto Montt this last week. I spent the day working with Hermana Falslev who's actually going to finish her mission this Wednesday. We had a really great time getting to know each other a little better and teaching some of their investigators about eternal families and the restoration of the gospel. We were actually walking down the sidewalk when this truck pulled over on the other side of the road. This man hopped out and came running over to talk to us. He wanted to know where the closest capilla was because he wanted to take his friend to church. He had assisted once before and enjoyed it and wanted his friend to have the same opportunity. (1 Nephi 8:10-12) It was definitely one of the most random things that has happened on the mission, but we were stoked! 

There's a fairly new development of houses (I have no idea if that makes sense) in our sector and we have spent a couple days knocking doors over there. The first day.. was not much of a success.. haha. Before we started knocking doors, we said a prayer so that we might be able to find people who are ready and prepared to receive the gospel and off we went. We knocked a handful of doors until this middle aged man waved us over and wanted to talk to us. We went over and stood in front of his gate and started talking to him. It wasn't long before we realized that he was a just a little bit wasted. He actually started informing us that he had been drinking and that his wife was really upset with him. We tried to talk to him about Christ even though we knew he probably wouldn't remember much of the conversation. I'll admit I was a little bit worried about his state of being, but he thought I was so scared. He kept telling me not to be scared and thought that I didn't understand Spanish. He told my companion.. (who was actually quite scared) that he was going to talk to her because I didn't understand anything.. he even told her to tell me that I'm stupid .. "Dígale que es tonta!" but she didn't do it.. She loves me haha!

Well a few days later in the same neighborhood we spent about an hour knocking doors in the rain and nobody was home.. at least that's what we thought. As we were knocking a door on one side of the street I looked across and saw a house with a window open and felt the need to knock that door instead. We started tapping the fence with our pens and yelling "alo" because that's how you do it here in Chile. We knocked for the third time and were getting ready to call it quits when a woman came to the window.  We told her that we're missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and she told us to wait a minute and came down to open the gate and let us in. We talked to her for a couple minutes about the message that we share and her life. She is a single mom and has a 12 year old son. She also told us that she doesn't have a ton of religious background and has been to a lot of different churches but has never felt much peace. She was getting ready to leave for work so she didn't have time for us to teach a lesson, but she gave us her number and we gave her a pamphlet of the restoration.. she told us she'd read it on her way to work.. we have a cita with her tomorrow.. and she gave us some freshly baked bread and sent us on our way.. mhmm. In less than 10 minutes we had experienced quite the miracle and walked away with warm bread! We literally left walking on a cloud unsure of what had even happened in there. 

Well this is fairly long and I'm pretty much out of time here so I think I'll leave it at that. I have been trying my best to recognize the hand of the Lord in the work here in Llanquihue. I obviously know that His hand is far more important than my own, but sometimes I don't take into account all that He does to help His imperfect children. I think I try to do it all myself far too often, when the reality is.. I can't do ANYTHING, not one thing.. without His help, especially as a missionary. I am so grateful that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us enough to let us progress, to make our own decisions, to do our very best, and then to help us when we fall short. I am grateful for the atoning sacrifice of the Savior, who gave His life for all those times that we do fall short and make mistakes, who picks us back up when we fall down, and let's us try over and over again. He loves you, I'm absolutely sure of it. I have seen His hand in the work this week and have felt of His love for the people, and let me tell you it's miraculous. 

With love,

Hermana Sessions

Monday, August 7, 2017

Test Question #1

1.  This week for her group email Hermana Sessions wrote:
a) a novel
b) a poem
c) a song
d) ..only this boring test question

Answer: d

I really do love you all! More next week! Enjoy the couple photos I do have! 

hugs,

Hermana Sessions

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Llanquihue has my heart

Well! I still don't have words for how much I love it here. Every day I walk outside with my mouth wide open in awe at my surroundings.

But let's back up a bit! I cried so much on Tuesday and Wednesday! We had a ward activity in La Unión and I think mostly I was just really sad to be leaving Hermana Roney, but like every time I had to say goodbye to a member I started crying. Then on Wednesday morning I just tried to keep busy and finish packing, but when we still had a little time left before we needed to leave for the bus terminal and we actually had to look each other in the eye... we bursted in to tears. We were able to compose ourselves while we traveled to Osorno, but when her companion arrived and she had to leave we bawled! I haven't cried so hard in a long time! It was so hard to say goodbye!! 

Our house here is so cute though! I can't get over how cute it is! I love it! It's so home..y!! haha! The members here are amazing too! We don't have a mamita so we get to eat lunch with the members every day and I like it a lot because we got to know them! There is also a member her named Hermana Linda from California. She's gringa and she speaks English. Her husband is Chilean and they have been living here for 3 years now. She is going to feed us on Wednesday and is going to make us chocolate chip cookies! I'm so excited! 

Hermana Rivero is darling! She is 19, from Bolivia, and is a convert to the church! She was baptized about two and a half years ago. She and her mom are the only two members in her family and her mom was baptized after her! She plays Volleyball and is really, really good. She played on like a semi-professional team before the mission and is planning on playing after the mission as well. She's beautiful, like so pretty and she is so funny! She has the best personality and is such a stellar missionary and I 

Of course I don't have time to write a good email this week.. I really need to manage my emailing time better. But some things that happened this week:

-We taught a lesson to some investigators named M and S. M is the sweetest thing! She's in a wheelchair due to some health issues and she can't talk super well, but during the lesson she started crying and then pointed up and said, "Diosito" (God). It was really precious.

-We visited a less active named M and talked to her for a little while. She has a eight year old son named A who still hasn't been baptized. Half way through our conversation almost out of nowhere she said that she would like him to baptized on the 20th of August for his birthday so that it's a day he will always remember. So A now has fecha (a baptism date) for the 20th of August!

-Last night we had a few hours left to knock doors. Hermana Rivero and I decided to offer a prayer so that we could enter a house and find a new investigator. We got talking with two with a woman outside of her house and she invited us in. We shared a little bit with her and her son and set up a time to go back on Tuesday! Woot woot! Our prayer was answered! 

Well folks, I'm super outta time! Thank you all so much for your support and prayers. Have a wonderful week! 

Lots of love,

Hermana Sessions

Monday, July 24, 2017

Fleas bite me.. dogs bite my companions

Well.. I have big news for you all this week, but you're going to have to bear with me and let me highlight some things that happened this past week. Ready? Go.

On Tuesday we decided to stop by the house of our investigator A. Turns out she really wasn't hiding from us, she had just been spending a lot of time with a friend and didn't have minutes on her phone to call us back. But we were able to share a short message with her and see how she was doing. She told us that her dad feels very strongly that she cannot be baptized again and that she is not going to be able to progress, o sea, she isn't ready to be baptized still, but she told us that she still really wants us to pass by and that she will still do her best to come to church, so that was a huge relief! She just needs time. I know that the Lord is preparing her.. she is so close!

Thursday we had an activity in a town called San Pablo. Three Zones of missionaries showed up to go tracting with the youth during their youth conference. Each of us left with about 4-6 youth to knock doors and contact people. It was a lot of fun, but it was really interesting too! I had absolutely no idea what was going on and the girls in my group didn't talk a whole lot, but we taught a lesson to a member who was going through a difficult time and the spirit was really strong. I also met a girl named H who was one of the counselors and she was darling! She's 22 and just got baptized 9 months ago and is seriously so amazing. She told me that she really wants to serve a mission, but that her mom wants her to finish her studies first. But I guess she had been receiving a lot of promptings during youth conference that she should serve and it was just so cool to hear her testimony.

I think I might have a curse. I don't know if you guys remember right around this time two transfers ago my companion, Hermana Levrino, got bit by a dog. Well sure enough Friday we were walking to a members' house to pick up some plastic wrap that we had left there when we were cooking banana bread and this dog that always barks at us totally bit Hermana Roney! Hard too! She's okay, and the dog wasn't very big, but it was a good bite. We called Hermana Isom and she changed her mind probably 4 or 5 times, but finally decided that if we had cleaned it well that Hermana Roney would probably be okay without the series of 5 rabies shots. So there's a chance that my companion could get rabies.. please pray for her! No, but really she's alright! She's quite the trooper! I just do not understand why the dogs here in La Unión always want to eat my companions. 

We have an "investigator" named T who is a bit loca. She is really great and she even came to the last two church meetings this week but she's just ..a whole lot of fun. We had a cita with her this week and Hermana Roney asked her if she had had the opportunity to pray and ask Heavenly Father about the path that she should take. She told us she had prayed, but had not asked. A few minutes later we somehow got talking about how Hermana Roney got bit by a dog. She told us that she needed to got to the hospital to get the rabies vaccine and was freaking out. Hermana Roney said she was fine, and that she would be okay and then T opened her eyes super wide like she always does and asked, "Have you asked Papito Amado?" (Heavenly Father).. She had a point and we were in a lesson, but I couldn't help but laugh a little.

Well.. you've endured well. Here's the big news. I'M OUTTA HERE. President called us really early yesterday.. at like 5:00 in the afternoon to tell us that we had cambios. Actually he called us for a different reason, and then asked, "Do you guys want to know your cambios?" We really didn't want to know yet, but before we could stop him he told us just like that. I was really expecting him to respond with some sassy comment like, "Well you're going to have to wait 4 hours!" ..but nope. He told us just like that! Anyway.. I'M GOING TO LLANQUIHUE (close to Puerto Montt) to be companions with HERMANA RIVERO from BOLIVIA!! I'm really so stoked. Llanquihue looks gorgeous! ..I'm also really sad to be leaving Hermana Roney. I will miss her like crazy! She has been the best thing that's happened to me on the mission so far. The greatest news is that we'll be reunited a year from now and that we literally live 5 minutes away!

Well folks thats a wrap. Thank's for reading! More next week from Llanquihue!

Lots of love!

Hermana Sessions

Monday, July 17, 2017

To make up for last week..

Well hello there! To be completely honest.. I really can't remember what happened this week, but if I had to take a guess I'd say that Hermana Roney and I were probably baking brownies. We have been presenting a plan to read the Book of Mormon this year in relation to President Monson’s conference talk to all of the members in the ward and we have been making brownies to encourage them to read every day. 

We had intercambios with the Hermana Lideres after another zone conference on Thursday. President and Hermana Isom went to their MTC training in Utah that they missed out on when they got called to serve here because of President Obeso's health. I was with Hermana Ruiz in their sector and it was super weird to work with her for the last time on the mission. I really can’t believe that she only has a week and a half left. It’s really, really weird to think back to my training and realize that I’m so old in the mission now. I don’t like it at all. My “mom” is just gonna take off to Canada next week and leave me here all alone.. it's cool. In all honesty I got pretty teary-eyed the large majority of our day together. 

We have had some really spiritual lessons with the members this week and it has really been great to get to know them all a little bit better. I had to speak in sacrament meeting on Sunday and it was más o menos, no más.. but really. I was praying that the whole “third time’s the charm” thing would hold true for my third church talk, but I really don’t think it was out of the ordinary. But hey I got by.. and like it's over with.. and I spoke some bad Spanish and the members still tried to console me by saying it was good.

We thought that our investigator A was hiding from us and we’re still not 100% positive that she’s not, but her friend V told us that she’s doing well. I guess more than anything it’s her dad that has got her a little bit uneasy with things. He’s really Catholic and told her that she can’t be baptized twice. I really think that A knows the truth and knows that she does need to be baptized by the proper authority, but she’s also really timid and I don’t think she’s willing to make a decision against her parents’ will. We haven't seen her in quite a while, but I'm hoping this week we'll be able to meet up with her. 

It has been really hard to find any of our investigators in in their houses and we have been focusing a lot on the ward lately, so even though we've had some great experiences we’ve felt a little bit like we haven’t really done a ton this week, but at the same time we’ve seen a pretty big change in the countenances of the ward members. I really feel like things are improving slowly, but surely. I hope this week that we can have a bit more time to teach our investigators and find more who have been prepared by the Lord. 

Just in case I haven't said it enough... I love my companion with all my heart! .. and I really mean it. It has been super fun to be companions with someone from Holladay, Utah that I already kinda knew because we have a lot of things in common, people we know, places we like, things we like to eat, etc. ..but it has been even more fun to get to really truly know her. She is an amazing missionary, an incredible person, and a wonderful example to me. I have grown more these past two transfers than I have in the past few years that I have been a member of the Church thanks to her. She was just what I needed, and it makes me really sad to think that our time together as companions is coming to an end. 

I know that Heavenly Father is aware of each and every one of us. I know that He knows what we need to learn and grow, to really progress and become more like Him and His son Jesus Christ. It doesn't mean it's going to be easy, or that He's going to to give us eternal life on a silver platter.. we are here to work and to prove ourselves.. it's hard stuff. Change is hard. The mission is tough! It is by far the hardest thing I have ever done, and I still have a lot to learn and a lot of refining to do to really become the person our Heavenly Father would have me be.. but I know that He will always guide us if we will humble ourselves and listen to His voice. Let Him mold you.. it might take a lifetime, but it is possible. I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve as a missionary in Chile. To help others come unto Christ and experience the joy of the gospel.. I sure hope that I have helped someone here.

"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;..

..And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! 

And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me! 

Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my rock, and my salvation." (D&C 18:10, 15-17)

May we always remember what we have, and help others to find what they're missing. He's on our side.. don't forget it. I love you all and am thankful for your support. I'm grateful to have such wonderful examples in my life who have helped me find the way. Have a wonderful week!

Love, 

Hermana Sessions


Monday, July 10, 2017

Hi my name is: Hermana Ssslacker

I'm so sorry, but the time somehow escaped me today. I have a few pictures for you.. even though I know that won't quite make it up to you all.

I don't know how some people find the time to do things on the mission becaue I literally feel like I don't have time for anything.. Please know that I care about you all a ton!

I hope you have an amazing week! 

Love,

Hermana Sessions

Monday, July 3, 2017

"No ... not yet"

This week was a really good week.. although to be honest, I really can't remember much of what happened. Hermana Roney and I are still trying to stop coughing so it was actually really difficult to teach lessons. We sounded like frogs and could only get a few words in before we had to pause to get a good cough in, so you can probably understand that they weren't the best lessons we could have taught.

We taught the Plan of Salvation to a mother and her daughter and it was really special. The daughter is young, but she's super super mature. The way she responded to our questions was actually remarkable. In reality, she probably should have taught us the lesson. We asked her what she thought our purpose here is, and we were referring to on earth, but she understood the question as what is 'our' purpose as missionaries (probably because well.. Spanish) but her response was so cute! She literally said, "I think you're here to bring happiness to the families and to teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ so that they can become better people." Melted my heart! 

Our investigator A came to church yesterday and she really really enjoyed it! She loved how all of the members acted like one big family. It was such a blessing to have her there with us and an even bigger blessing because she stayed for all of the meetings! A sister in the ward asked her if she was a member and she said, "No.. not yet. I'm an investigator still." Hermana Roney and I about died when we heard her response. It was just too beautiful to hear.. "No.. not yet." Be still my soul. We also were able to teach her last night and the Spirit was really strong. Her mom really likes to feed us though and after she put a bunch of cookies in front of us, she fed us each a plateful of lasagna, and it was probably the best lasagna that I've had on the mission, but we were already so full we just couldn't finish it.. and afterward we felt so sick! 

But A! Ahhh that girl. She is just way too special! I know that she's going to get baptized and I really hope that I can be here when the day comes! It would be the biggest answer to my prayers! 

Like I said, I really can't remember much of what happened this week. I ate lot's of semola this week.. it's kind of like cream of wheat.. but it's flan-like, and the texture is just awful and I gag every time but I always manage to get it down and pretend I like it! Oh the mission! It really is a beautiful experience! I actually don't know how to put it into words! It's so hard, but I love it. Being a missionary is easily one of the best things that every happened to me!

Love you all so much!

Chaito!

Hermana Sessions