Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Puerto Montt and Elder Stevenson!! Can't get much better..

Well hello!


The work was kind of slow this week because well, it's summer here. Southern Chile is full of tourists and most people are gone on vacation.. The youth in our ward just got back from PFJ (EFY) ..all of which is so strange to me because, well it's January. Anyway, this past week every single one of our citas fell and we finished with a total of 5 whole lessons. woot woot! But, then I remembered we traveled to Puerto Montt Thursday afternoon and didn't get back until we had to be home on Friday night anyway. 

On Wednesday there was a Worldwide Missionary Broadcast and a lot of changes were made. We used to have a total of 9 key indicators that we would report each week to our district leader, who would report them to the zone leaders, who reported them to the AP's.. until eventually they were reported to Church Headquarters.. well now we only have four: Baptisms, Investigators with a baptismal date, Investigators in Sacrament meeting, and New Investigators. It's quite the change, but I really like it. I think a lot of missionaries stress over numbers, even though it's not about the numbers. I think these key indicators help us all focus more on the people we're teaching. There was also a pretty big change in our schedule as missionaries. We now have a lot more freedom to choose when we do things during the day. We plan for our day in the morning now, rather than at night, and we have to do an hour of personal study before we start proselyting. Other than that we get to choose when we do companion study and language study during the day, and if we study for a full hour or only thirty minutes. AND on p-days we only have to do a half hour of personal study before we're free to start our day! It has made all the difference today so far!

So Valdivians always say that Puerto Montt is so ugly and that Valdivia is WAY prettier and so much better, and well I think they've been lying to me! Puerto Montt is so gorgeous!! On Thursday afternoon we had to be to the terminal by 4:30. The bus left at 5:00 and we had a three and a half hour bus ride to Puerto Montt. When we finally got there Hermana Heath and Hermana Carter picked us up because the four Angachillan hermanas spent the night with them. Before we went back to their apartment we stopped by the store to grab something to eat for dinner and something for breakfast in the morning. That night I split a cardboard pizza with Hermana Bailey and I seriously regretted it. Hermana Bailey curled my hair for me after I showered that night, and it's probably the first and the last time I'll ever curl it on the mission, but it was super nice of her and it looked cute, haha!

The next morning we had to be to the Stake Center in Valdivia at like 9:30 in the morning to be ready for Elder Stevenson. We all got seated in the chapel and President talked to us for a little bit before he showed up. When he got there we each had the opportunity to shake his hand and his wife's hand. He shook our hands and read our names as we filed through, but unfortunately my hair was covering my name as per usual, so it was a little bit awkward.. but really it only meant I got to shake his had for a little bit longer while he tried to figure it out.. so I think in the long run, it was a blessing. 

We got to hear from Elder Packer (the son of Elder Packer) and his wife, Sister Stevenson, and Elder Stevenson. It was such an amazing conference and was truly so special to hear an Apostle address us as a mission. It was also really amazing to know that he and his wife are still human, even though the Spirit testified strongly of his power and authority. He closed with his testimony, which was incredible! The Spirit was so strong and you couldn't possibly doubt that he was called of God. 

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints is the true church on the earth today. I know that it is the exact same church that Jesus Christ established when he was here on earth. I testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and I know with all my heart that President Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet, that he receives revelation from Heavenly Father to guide us, as do his apostles. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He and Heavenly Father love us so much, and for that reason we have been blessed with a prophet and apostles. We are truly blessed! I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love you all so much and hope that you know that! Keep on keepin' on! Stay strong! 


Hermana Sessions

Monday, January 23, 2017

Beets, beets ... the hoRRible vegetable!


Hmm.. what's new here in Val-lluvia, well actually if I'm being completely honest, it hasn't rained in a couple days.. *knocks on wood of computer desk* It has actually been pretty stinking hot lately! I think it's been like high 80's, low 90's or something like that. Anyway, it's really hot and I'm way tan, which is pretty fun.. only I have some gnarly tan lines, and well.. I just hope they go away eventually after I get home, haha!

This week has been full of lots of different adventures! The hermanas from Pucon had to come back to Valdivia to go to the clinic so they came and spent the day working in our sector. It just so happened that we had interviews with President that day, so we had to leave our sector for a few hours, but I guess we never really stopped working because they were there to help us out, haha. I love interviews with President, actually I just really love President. He and Hermana Isom are the BEST! I got to talk to Hermana Isom while Hermana Gillespie was in her interview and it's always so uplifting to chat with her. She's just so adorable and positive and encouraging. My companion told President that my feet have been bothering me a little bit so the first thing he said to me when I walked in for my interview was.. "How are your feet? Your companion says they're kinda bad.. not sure if she means they smell bad, or what but..?" Haha he's seriously so sassy sometimes, but it's great. Like when I may have gotten a concussion from hitting my head super hard a few times getting into a collectivo (kinda like a taxi) and I had to tell him what had happened he said, "Are you a slow learner??" And then later in my interview he was talking about someone in Osorno who makes personalized shoes as a possible option to help my feet and he said, "I don't know, he could make you a pair of shoes and it very well might be the worst pair of shoes you've ever had in your entire life!" haha President! He's just too much.

Anyway.. after our interviews we got to go on divisions with the hermanas from Pucon for a couple of hours and I got to work with Hermana Hyde from Vernal, Utah. She's been in the mission 8 months and her Spanish is super good! So I'm hoping in a few more months I'll be in the same boat. She has had two Latina companions though, so I'm kind of hoping that I end up with a Latina companion next transfer or something, it would definitely make is so that I have to speak the language all the time which I think would really help me!

So earlier this week Hermana Gillespie and I were knocking some doors and passing by for some contacts we had made when we realized that we had some followers. We continued to go about our business knocking doors (or rather, rattling gates) and yelling 'halo' but after about twenty minutes we realized they were still following us. Super weird. We decided it was probably okay to discuss the situation in English because they probably wouldn't have any idea what we were saying. We didn't really know what to do and joked about telling President we had some stalkers. They were following us pretty closely, but whenever we turned around they tried to be really discrete and act like they weren't following. Finally after about 40 minutes or so we left the neighborhood we were in to go to a cita (appointment) and they stopped following us! It was super weird.. oh and did I mention they were about ten.. haha! The funniest part was that we saw one of the little boys a couple days later out in his front yard with his mom and he waved to us and we waved back and asked him how he was, his mom just looked so confused as to how we knew him.. I'm sure he had some explaining to do.

On Saturday we had a Capilla Abierta in Miraflores, another sector/ward here in Valdivia. We had lunch earlier that day with our Mamita and then met up with the other hermanas in our ward to take a bus to the capilla. This is where my experience with the beets happened ... but ... just know it was a bad experience. Enough said.

Last, but certainly not least, WE HAD AN INVESTIGATOR COME TO SACRAMENT MEETING ON SUNDAY, can I get a woot woot?? ..okay, I can't hear you from all the way over there, but WOOT WOOT. We were so excited and honestly it was a miracle. About 45 minutes or so before Church we got a call from P (her dad R’s girlfriend)-- side note, she is so awesome!! She's a returned missionary and is just the most adorable person ever--saying that she had called them to get them to come with her, but C (our investigator) had gone to bed really late the night before and they weren't going to make it. We were pretty bummed out because literally the night before we talked to R and he said they were for sure coming. We were about to walk out the door for church when we got another call from P saying that they had woken up, gotten ready, and she was on her way to meet them to bring them to church! WE WERE SO STOKED!! And the best part was that they really, truly came! It was a miracle, enserio! I know that Heavenly Father had prepared a way for them to make it to sacrament meeting and we were seriously walking on a cloud afterwards because of it. This is truly His work and He really is preparing people and preparing the way. I am so incredibly grateful to be a missionary here and for the opportunity I have to assist in His work!!

I love you all sOoOOoo much! Have an amazing week!! 

besitos & ..hugs (I don't love the word abrazos, haha!)

Hermana Sessions 

Monday, January 16, 2017


Chileans say “po" after most words so why not..

Heyyy fam and friends! What's shaking? I don't have a ton of time this week but at least wanted to check in and say hey, and let you know what's up. 

This week.. well like usual was a blur (blurr?) I also can't spell anymore and it doesn't exactly help that when I type every word is underlined red because well, it's English. I'm actually having a super hard time remembering what happened this week.

But, things have been good.. Hermana Gillespie and I have been working hard and have found some pretty awesome people recently. We found one woman named M who has an eleven year old daughter and we have taught them two lessons so far. We committed them to baptism and she accepted, but obviously wants to learn more and come to know for herself that the things we have been teaching and will continue to teach are true. She's super good though! We also found another family knocking doors a couple weeks ago. R and his two daughters..but I can only remember the name of the younger of the two right now, her name is C. He is an inactive member and his oldest daughter is also a member, but C isn't. We have been working with them as well and have had a couple of super great lessons and also committed her to baptism which was actually amazing and we are super stoked to see where things go! The one bummer was that out of the seven or so investigators that we invited to church yesterday, not one of them came... FOME! :/ But.. we are still SUPER happy about everything that's happening right now. 

We also had intercambios again this week, only this time I was with Hermana Bernal, a Latina from Columbia, in Los Encinos. All of our cita's (appointments) fell, but it was still really fun to spend the day with her and learn from her. To be honest, I was pretty nervous to have my first intercambio with a Latina, because I was worried that although I can 'speak' Spanish now, I wasn't really going to be able to express myself or keep a conversation going, but I was totally surprised about how well it went. In some ways I was able to communicate with her better than I do with people in English, so that was a major shocker. We had to head back to the Hermana Lideres' apartment a little bit early that night so their bishop could fix their water heater and while he was fixing it we sat there talking to him. After a couple minutes Hermana Bernal asked if she could braid my hair and so she braided my hair for like fifteen minutes while he finished working. She couldn't get over how 'soft' and 'shiny' it is.. haha. 

Okay, I feel really pressured because there are like four elders in the cyber waiting for a computer, so I better go. But I just wanted to give you guys an idea of what's been going on over here in Chile recently. I'll try to be much better about sending pictures and writing in the next couple of weeks! Thanks for being patient with me family. Oh, but one more thing. On the 27th of January, the whole mission is getting together in Puerto Montt because.. Elder Stevenson is coming to speak to us!! WE ARE SO STOKED! okay.. that's all for today.

Love you all so much and hope things are well!
until next week..

Hermana Sessions

Monday, January 9, 2017

No letter?

We didn’t get a letter from Abby this week … so I thought I would post a few very powerful messages for us all …

“There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short period of time as there is of us.” - President Ezra Taft Benson

“The most serious challenge we face, and the most wonderful challenge, is the challenge that comes of growth.” President Gordon B. Hinckley

“This is a season of a thousand opportunities. It is ours to grasp and move forward. What a wonderful t time it is for each of us to do his or her small part in moving the work of the Lord on to its magnificent destiny.” President Gordon B. Hinckley

Have a great week! Hopefully we will have a nice LONG letter to post next Monday. :)

Monday, January 2, 2017


Happy new year!! I cannot believe that it's already 2017.. is that even possible? I really don't believe it! What happened?! And on top of that I have been gone for 4 and a half months.. on the 23rd I will have 5 months out on the mission already! How can that be? Time is such a weird concept, I just don't understand!! I hope you all had a super fun New Years Eve.. I know I did, especially because I was asleep, or at least trying to sleep. One of our neighbors literally listened to music ALL. NIGHT. LONG. And on top of that it wasn't even very good music,haha! 

What to say about this week... hmm. Well Cambios were last Thursday and I'm still in Angachilla II.. BUT Hermana Ruiz left me to train a new missionary in another sector and.. I have a new companion! woot woot! (Pause: Cambio 2 statistics... steps: 638,087; miles: 268.08; floors: 1034) Anyway, her name is Hermana Gillespie and she's from Colorado Springs, Colorado; or at least that's what she keeps claiming. Her dad is in the Air Force so her family is military and has lived all over. She's lived in Colorado for the most time, but her family has also lived in Washington, Massachusetts, Florida, Germany, and Italy.. and now they live in Utah! So no big deal really. She speaks a little bit of Italian and likes to run and work out, which is probably going to be really good for me this transfer, haha! She also grew up playing sports and got to play on her school’s soccer team in Italy.. they would like travel to Germany to play soccer, so that's really neat. Seriously I learn knew things about her all the time, and will continue to do so I'm sure, because she has lived in so many different places! Super cool!

Well.. I'm just a 'normal' missionary now.. I grew up and I'm no longer in my training, which means we get to leave the house about an hour before lunch to start our day! It really is crazy how different it is to leave that early. I feel like we have so much more time in the day and it really changes so much! This week has been really really cool. I feel like a totally different missionary.. it's funny. I guess more than anything I just feel more capable. I've felt a lot more confident this week. I've noticed that every time I really make an effort to contact or participate more actively in a lesson, I've been able to do my part. In my training I was always so scared to make mistakes and I feel like I sort of impeded my progression a little because of it. I was worried I was going to be even more scared to make mistakes now that I'm a 'normal' missionary and I am supposed to be self-sufficient, but I've found that I really am capable to do His work. Every time that I've made an effort and initiated a contact or participated more in a lesson I have been able to feel the spirit working and testifying through me. I'm confident that even if I'm not sure what to say, or maybe if I'm just feeling shy and nervous to contact, if I just make an effort and put myself out there, the Lord is there to help me out. He really, really is and I have complete confidence in that. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ really are always right there for us, they want to help us more than anything, but we have to act on our faith and do our part too. This week I've really gained a testimony of that and have been so surprised by all that we are able to do when we trust in Him and do our part.

I love you all so much and hope that you are all doing well! As always, thank you so much for all of the support! Make this year great and I'll see you all next year, haha!


Hermana Sessions