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Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014


The best news of late is that the investigator I mentioned that sprinted away when saw us walking in the street one Sunday was baptized yesterday! I can´t send new pictures today because I'm at a ciber shac that doesn´t have a camera plug-in technology, but they are soon to come. Anyways, she loves going to church now and the members love having her there. I have never seen her face light up the way it did after she stepped out of the font. It´s the best feeling ever! The ward also seems to be getting more excited about missionary work too, which makes things so bacan. (Chileano slang for "cool")

Baptism de Andrea 

Hermana Ana, recent convert

More news is that my companion, Hermana Zuniga, went home to Costa Rica this morning. It was actually really weird because when I was on exchanges, I found out from another sister that Hermana Zuniga was going home in a couple weeks. I'd been with her 24/7 for like a month... you´d think that would be something that would come up in conversation at some point. She was SO dedicated to the work, though. She didn´t even want to think about home and was determined to stay focused. When I asked her how long she´s been in the mission she would just say "Mas de un ano." and then change the subject. I learned so much from her and now I want to be as committed to the mission until the end as she was.

My new companion is Hermana Benitez from Buenas Aires, Argentina. She has 25 years and is a convert of two years. She's the only member in her family of 11 kids. I already love her. She´s a Sister Training Leader, just like Hermana Zuniga, and it´s her last change also. It´s pretty rare in this mission that I´ll already be on my 4th companion next change because most of this sisters only have 4 or 5 their whole time. 


Chileanos know how to party. They just eat and eat and eat to celebrate. Members invited us over for Christmas and they were relentless with how much they would put on my plate. Haha they get a kick out of the "don't say no to food" rule. On Christmas Eve, in one lunch, I ate a steak and a half, 2 potatoes, a drumstick, and 2 hotdogs. I've never been so proud of myself. haha
They start the party for Christmas on Christmas Eve, eat all day, open presents at midnight, and then party all night. Then they sleep all day on Christmas. The only people awake on Christmas were missionaries haha. That´s actually kinda their lifestyle all of the time though--late to bed late to rise. our bedtime is 11:30 in this mission. For New Years I believe they do the same thing. Hopefully I'll see some fireworks from level 18. I live in the tallest building in my area.


Last night I was teaching a lesson to the recent converts in my ward. It was on family history and temple work and I accidently said "Un cuerpo de carne y juevos" instead of "carne y huesos." That translates to "meat and eggs" instead of "flesh and bones." Haha

Spiritual Experience:

While contacting last week, a man named "Christian Favores" gave us his address and a specific time to come teach him on Monday. We arrived at the house, but a different man answered and came to the gate. He said he has know idea who this Christian guy was but he was baptised into the church years ago and had been praying to find a way to go back. He was moved to tears at us coming and came to the Christmas devotional the next day, and even brought us a Christmas gift. I feel the spirit so strongly when he speaks of his relationship with God.

Roommates on Christmas Morning.  Now it's me and Hermana Valladares next to me in the middle.  (She is awesome and helps me with Spanish a lot.) with our new companions. Love them all+ Plus now there is another white hermana in the area, the companion of Hermana Valladares.

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014

Hello my family!

How´s it going?

It´s been a really great week. We found some new investigators, had one baptism, did lots of contacting, and I learn a lot every day.

It´s a little hard because it´s my comp´s last change, so we have tons of meetings and thingies to do each morning so a lot of times I don´t get to study and I have to do a lot of intercambios. Doing intercambios with Hermana Bartholomew (Remember when we met her in the St. George Airport?) was so much fun though! She lives in a super richy area which is generally a little harder to contact in, but I was surprised at how patient and nice some of the people were there. Plus Hermana Bartholomew is so so funny and great to be around. It was nice to have someone with the same cultural background as me for a day.

I got to go on exchanges with Hermana Bartholomew from good old St. George, Utah! (Right) She was the first Hermana that I met at the airport. It was awesome to see how far we´ve come with the language and not being afraid to talk to people in the street, because we literally knew next to nothing when we met. We also share a love for Swig cookies which no one else here really understands, so of course we had to make a quick batch in our hour before bedtime. 
I´m excited to Skype you on Christmas. There will be fun things going on here, but I know that will be the best part of my day. After all, ITS TROOG FRIENDSG ANDG FAMILYG THATG MAKESG THISG THEG BESTG CHRISTMASG OFG ALLLLLLG! Right?
How are things? How'd Dad's PA test go? How's the folk dancing? How's Noods? I keep finiding him everywhere and I always say NOODLES and my companion just looks at me. I've tried explaining that noodles is my dog from home.
Have you seen the El es la Dadiva video? He is the gift in English I think.

Love you!
Here's a couple pics of some Noods

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December 14, 2014

This week we found some excellent souls and one in particular who is very interested in the gospel. I can´t even express how much joy I feel when I see someone grow and change through the gospel. There´s plenty of Christmas spirit here in Chile, even though it´s like 2837092 degrees. I hope you know I love you all and wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

Another fun thing about living here in Chile is I´m considered tall and blonde. They always ask me to do the tall people stuff like hanging up decorations and reaching things on high·up shelves. It´s great! Every day I also get something new about what white person I look so much like. Some of my favorites are Wendy from Peter Pan, Laura from Little House on the Prairie, and The girl from Mama Mia I think. (Nonni, that one is for you.)

On Wednesday, I was headed to a house down the road when my companion suddenly stopped a few feet away from a corner to share a pass·along card with a man at a bus stop. I felt we should stop too, even though we were contacting at the moment. It was our first contact of the day. Right after stopping, we saw a man jump out at a woman and yank her by her bag behind a wall. That would have been us at the corner right at that time being robbed had we not stopped. I truly believe that the Spirit guides our every move if we let Him.

This week, one of my roomates from Argentina sat on the toilet lid to wash her feet and it cracked right down the middle. Haha

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 8, 2015

I love the people here in Chile, but it has been a hard week full of lots of rejections and 0 investigators coming to church. I know that some weeks will be better than others as far as numbers go. 

A fun fact about the people here in Chile is that they're into wearing Crocs. Haha. It's a nice throwback to my childhood. 

One of our investigators this week says that when he reads the scriptures, he feels like God is talking to him. It hit me how pure his statement was. Unlike me, he had not been told his whole life that scriptures are the word of God. It's like that quote that says, "If you want to talk to God, pray. If you want God to talk to you, read." 

While teaching a lesson to a family in their kitchen, one of the boys started wiping off the table and cabinets. As he passed me, he also wiped off the bag in my lap and my shoulder... I guess that since I don't really look or speak like the people here I'm just more of a decoration to them sometimes. Haha

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 1 in the field - Our Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

The view from my window
I left the CCM and headed into the mission field on Tuesday! In a 45 minute underground metro ride, I moved my bags from the vintage embassy to my new home on level 18 of a great and not so spacious building. haha. The metro reminds me of Space Mountain... except it´s all shiny and everyone looks like they want to hurt me. (to quote Elf.) The week has been everything they say it´ll be. Hard, spiritual, amazing, fun... yep! My companion, President, and his wife are all amazing. We went straight to work when we got here. There´s LOTS of reactivation to do. To give you a taste, one of the elders that was in the MTC with me said his dad served in this mission and baptized 300 people. 

My companion is from Costa Rica but she really wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving with me because she knows that's what we usually do in the States. We don't really have turkey or pumpkin pie stuff on hand, so I decided I´d teach her how to do Thanksgiving in a Charlie Brown style. During our prep hours we made the popcorn, toast, and jellybean plate like they do on the movie. Haha

People here don´t even care that I don´t speak their language well. They just talk to me anyways. For example, one of my roommates just sits by my bed at night and tells me stories and laughs her head off while I´m trying to sleep. Hahaha! I don´t even know what she´s saying.

They´re also VERY quick to help. For example, we were in an elderly member´s home the other day and she saw that I had a blister on my foot. Next thing I know, she had it up on her coffee table and was pouring some medicine stuff on it. It actually stung like the dickens but my feet feel great now!

This week I had the opportunity to visit a 16 year old girl named Cata every day because she was scheduled to be baptised yesterday. I love her. We went to take her on a tour of the chapel on Saturday and she came out of her house crying because her dad had been yelling at her and telling her she was wrong to join the church. After the tour she said she felt better, but at about 11:00 at night the elders called my companion and I and said Cata could not be baptized without her dad´s consent. We didn´t think it was possible that her dad would ever sign. Before church yesterday, though, we decided to stop at her house. Her dad was there and my companion ended up bearing her testimony to him about why the church is important for us and for Cata. I watched his countenance change completely and he signed the paper! I got to watch my first investigator´s baptism.

One of our investigators told us she couldn´t stay for all of church because she had to go to work in the afternoon. Shortly after church, when my companion and I were walking to our next lesson, we saw someone in the park across the street look up at us and start sprinting away. SPRINTING. haha. Then we realized it was our investigator hiding from us. We stopped walking for a second and looked at each other, then just busted up laughing. She´s going to learn to love church. I can feel it. haha.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Week 5

Hey so I'm not going to send a general email this week but I'll definitely always try to send one to the immediate fam. Mom you can send this to grandpa or whoever else misses my sweet spirit and ripped biceps and stuff so much that they have to hear from me each week.

This week the apostle Russel M. Nelson showed up at the CCM. He spoke to us about 9 things in the scriptures that we should know by heart for our missions. It was muy awesome. There are very few people here in the Chile MTC. I know pretty much everyone or at least their face-name. (I don't know where the slash is on this spanish keyboard. haha) Anyways, it was almost like sitting there with your family, hearing an apostle speak. We all got to shake his hand and stuff too. It was a great experience and it motivated me to learn more deeply the things that he mentioned.

I experienced my first earthquake! There are a lot here I guess. It was a nice little rush, I'd say.

This week I get to go to the temple, place a Book of Mormon on the streets, and go on splits! 

I realized I'm probably the only missionary here with every member of my family active in the true church, including aunts, uncles, grandparents, and first cousins. Thank you  for being amazing examples to me! This is the last time I'll send an email from the MTC! I'll be in the field next Tuesday!

Love you all

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Week 4

People say the MTC is long, but I honestly can´t believe that I´m done with four weeks here already! I've never been able to focus for as long as I've been able to. I´ve also never been able to comprehend things that I have here. The Spirit is so strong! I love the gospel more and more every day.

This week I found out that my companion is friends with a missionary in Atlanta, Georgia. That friend just so happens to be the companion of Elder Nate Gottfredson! Who would´ve thought? Also,  I was watching a recording of a devotional given by Elder Quentin L. Cook at the Provo MTC. During the opening hymn, the camera focused on some elders who were singing. Guess who was there? None other than Elder Weston Esplin! It's so awesome to see little glimpses of childhood friends from the Snow Canyon 11th ward getting the opportunity to take the gospel all over the earth! How blessed can we be?

One of the highlights of my week was doing a session at the Santiago temple. The part of Santiago that I´m in is crazy. People talk loudly, drive quickly, walk in giant crowds... but as soon as you step onto the temple grounds, there´s just a peace there. It´s the same peace I feel at the other temples I've been to. I got to learn some really great things in a devotional by the Santiago Temple President, President Alder. He spoke about the restoration and Elijah and helped me to realize things I never had before. Even after I've having opportunity to stand in the very room where the angel appeared to Joseph, I still didn´t understand half of the things I know now from that devotional. There's just so much to learn!
A fruit stand in Santiago

My "wall of inspiration"
This is my district from left to right 
Bottom: Elder Almanzor from Seattle, WA; Elder Puefua from Santaquin, UT (originally from Samoa); Elder Tehani, Orlando, FL he is our District Leader
Top: Hna. Clawson, from Southern California (around Laguna Beach), Hna. Williams from Kamas, UT, Hna. Martin from St. George; Hna. Kimball from Rexburg, ID; Hna. Cook from Rexburg, ID, Hna. Reynolds from Spanish Fork, UT, ¨ Hna. Bartholemew from St. George, UT; Hna. Sullenger from Kaysville, UT; Hna. Christensen from Thatcher, AZ

Funny Story:
On Halloween, the hermanas from my district REALLY wanted to dress up. So, during our 30 minutes of get-ready time, they all came up with some hilarious makeshift costumes. I was Nephi. My costume consisted of a headband over my forehead, Hawaiian sandals, and Hermana Bartholomew´s bathrobe. Haha. We took them off before class so we distract from the spirit, but it made for a pretty funny morning and a hilarious picture.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 3 in the MTC! (CCM)

This week has been awesome. I´m starting to be able to understand most of the things people are saying to me, I usually just don´t know how to respond. Sometimes it´s frusterating, like being trapped in a glass box or somthing. I´ve realized, though, that no matter what I just have to keep trying. The Latinos laugh at me a lot, but with the few words I can say and an impressive amount of charades, I can usually get my point across.

Good news! They have donuts here.

My companion- Hermana Clawson is one of the coolest people. She knows more spanish than anyone in our district. Even though it's probably hard for her to wait for me to scramble up something to say in spanish during our lessons, she is always SO patient. She helps me out in every way she can. The only thing I don't like about her is that she's so good looking the Chileans are always whistling at her and jazz. I wish I could tell you about how much I've learned from being her companion, but I don't want the keyboard to catch on fire. Haha.

Spiritual Moment:
I learn so much about the gospel every day here. My testimony just keeps growing. One experience that stuck out to me the most this week, though, was this; I was sitting in class trying to listen to my teacher. I don´t know why, but for some reason I was SO tired that day. I was even falling asleep while writing. When I look at my notebook from that day I can see some sentences that start off in normal writing and than quickly turn into a squiggly line that runs down the page, indicating when I fell asleep for a second. Haha. Anyways, my companion and I knelt down to pray for an investigator, and she said, "...please bless us with energy..." not even knowing how tired I was, Immediately after that prayer I felt alert and ready to continue studying.

Funny Story:
Sometimes it´s not only the language barrier that can cause confusion here. Peoples´accents do too. During a lesson, my teacher asked us, "What is a goal?" Our district leader answered, "It´s having a will." Our teacher looked way confused all of the sudden. Then he drew a little whale on the board with water coming out of its blowhole. He pointed to it and in his little voice said, "A will?" 

Have a great week, everyone! Love you all!

My District Hermanas

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Week 2

The feeling of this week was very similar to the one you get when you first sit down on a roller coaster cart. You wait in line for so long, knowing what you're getting yourself into, but as soon as you lock the little safety bar down you think, "'Holy cow. I'm doing this!" It's so awesome.

The people here are really funny. They just get really close to each other when they talk and drive and everything! That's going to take some getting used to... They also just accept pretty much anything at any time. For example, during sacrament meeting there was just this large bird walking around in the chapel. Haha. 

Hermano Ceballos- He will not be my teacher anymore because we switch every two weeks, but he taught me an important lesson. He said that the way you act and show love to your investigators is more important than what you say to them. He also was a true example of this. For example, when the hermanos were cold, he ran around the CCM finding blankets for every one of us. He does little things like that all the time! I know Spanish is important, but it is something that will come for sure. Showing love won't come if I'm not continually working on it.

Elder Almanzor- He's an elder in my district who joined the church two years ago. His family pretty much kicked him out because of it, but then his bishop took him in. Now he's on a mission! His stories strengthen my testimony.

You´ll never believe this, but the Trix cereal here is still shaped in fruits and flowers like it was when I was a kid! I may or may not have gotten a little bit too excited about that, but I remember being sad when they changed them to just plain little colored balls. Also, they eat their cereal here with yogurt instead of milk.

Spiritual Moment:
While teaching an investigator, I realized I was saying words I didn't know how to say. The gift of tongues is so real!

Funny Moment:
The teachers here are mostly local, so they're always saying funny things like, "It scared me out!" instead of "freaked me out." and "taking sun" instead of "sun-bathing." I was thinking about this and how funny it was. Then I realized... when I talk to them I sound something like, "Ä good yes." 
Haha! I'm workin' on it.

Alcántara Group
A little taste of the city

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

First P day!

"Al Cantara" An old Swiss Embassy where some of the missionaries live. 
Weekly Summary: My first week in the CCM (MTC) was better than I ever expected! I feel like a little kid again... and no, not because I wear glasses and velcro shoes. Haha. It's all just so new! live in an old Swiss embassy (al cantara)  that was bought by the church and take a little bus every morning for 12 hours of classes. The teachers here are awesome, so it goes by fast. One of my favorites is Hermano Ceballos. He's a really small Chilean with small eyes and the funniest accent ever. Also, I'm pretty sure one of my teachers is Ricky Ricardo from I Love Lucy. The CCM is right next to the temple. I get to do a session there in a couple hours! It's small, especially compared to all the buildings around us, but it is so beautiful.

Me and my companion, Hermana Clawson

My companion, Hermana Clawson is an amazing girl from California. She knows the most Spanish out of everyone in my district. Plus, she's spiritual, kind, patient, fun, smart, layed-back, and very beautiful. I lucked out!

Hermana Laguna is my roommate who helps me with Spanish every day. She talks to me all the time about everything, trying to help me out. She's from Lima, Peru, so I told her all about Meghan and showed her pictures. I'm pretty sure she has no idea what I'm saying because she usually just laughs at me when I talk, but I love her!

Mama Cecilia is our "mamita" at al cantara. She does all our laundry and cooks us breakfast and always asks what we've learned today. She's really loud and hilarious.

There is amazing fruit here and it's good all year round! The Kiwi is my favorite so far. 

Spiritual Moment:
It was at the end of the day as I was sitting in class. I started feeling more discouragement than I had felt so far on the mission, because learning a language is not easy. Soon, an hermano who is not one of my teachers walked into our classroom. I hadn't even seen him before. For some reason he came only to me and basically knelt down by my desk and told me not to be discouraged and it was all going to work out. It lifted me up so much! I felt the spirit. I know God is watching out for me.

Funny Moments:
While jogging this morning I stopped to take a picture of a building. After I turned my camera off and started running again I ran straight into a little pole. Haha... my companion didn't even see it, so that's good. 

Mom: Feel free to correct grammar before posting.. I already think in Spanglish. Jaja. See?

The Chilean Flag and the LDS Temple in Santiago
My new "sisters"

Me with my second cousin, John Schley, who is leaving the CCM soon for the Rancagua, Chile mission.

Me in Chile:
"Noodles, you came?"

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Departure Day!

Our neighborhood started a tradition of waiting in the street with a banner as missionaries leave.  It is so fun to cheer for them as they drive away.  Some of them (including Kylee) jump out of the car and take a few more photos, give last hugs, and run through the banner like a champion!

These hugs have to last 18 months!  We still tear up looking at them.
Maybe she won't miss us that much?

We met Sister Bartholomew in the St. George Airport.
We were so happy and relieved to find out she and Kylee would be
traveling together and serving in the same mission!
Our wonderful friend and neighbor, Natalee, happened to be on the same flight from St. George to Salt Lake!
This was such a blessing for worried parents because she stayed with the missionaries until they got to their next gate in the Salt Lake Airport.  They met 5 more sister missionaries there going to the same mission!  Natalee took pictures and sent them to the parents--making us all feel relieved that our girls were traveling with a group and all were smiling!

Hi Mom and Dad!

I made it to Santiago! It's beautiful here. 

My companion is Hermana Clawson from California and she might be the best-looking person I've ever seen. She's very nice.

I met some cool people on my plane rides. A hunter, a whine-taster, and a alsheimers disease scientist. Dad, I gave the Book of Mormon with your testimony in it to the scientist.

They said to tell you that they're not sure when my P-day is, but it'll be either Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.

Love you!

-Hermana Martin