Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014


Whoa, this week has been loco.

First things first, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD :)  Thanks for being the greatest!

This week we had the super incredible opportunity to have an apostle visit our mission!  There was a huge conference, and all the missionaries traveled to Osorno to listen to Elder Russell M. Nelson.  Those of us in Punta Arenas y Coihyque (probably didn't spell that right) didn't get to go to Osorno because we're too far away, but we did get to watch the conference via Skype.  Woohoo for modern technology :)  Elder Nelson talked about a ton of really awesome things, but I'll just share a few short things that he talked about.
1) DON'T WASTE TIME!  Time passes quickly and we should always live in such a way that we can look back on life and think, "Yeah, I did everything I could with the time I had."  Here in the mission specifically he counseled us that when we finish we should be able to look back without thinking "I could have helped one more person."  Even if you aren't out serving a mission the idea of not wasting time is applicable in every facet of life.  As one of my coaches always said, "The pain of discipline is better than the pain of regret."
2) Smile :)  Life rocks.  It's a time to be happy.  We should all try to smile more.  We're all going to pass through hard times, it's a fact of life, but we should do all we can to smile in the good times and the bad times.  Appreciate what you have around you.  
3) Don't waste time thinking about the stupid things you've done in the past.  I know I've made a lot of mistakes in the past and done a lot of stupid things, but when we dwell on these mistakes we aren't helping ourselves or anyone else.  Resolve to do better and be better, but don't dwell on mistakes of the past.  

He talked about a lot of other really great things too, but these points were the ones I wanted to share specifically.

We had intercambios this week as well.  Hna. Zeballos and I were together in my sector for the day, and it was pretty fun to direct the sector.  Scary too, but fun.  I learned a ton that day.  One thing she said really hit me.  She asked me how I would define a successful missionary, and how one gets to the point of being successful.  I don't remember exactly what I said, but it was something along the lines of that a successful missionary trusts in the Holy Ghost, knows what they're doing, and gets to this point with time in the mission.  She told me to throw away the idea that to be successful we need time and experience in the mission.  Someone with one day in the mission can be as successful as someone with only one day left if he/she is following the guidance of the Spirit.  When we trust in our own experience we are turning away from the help of the Lord.  It's really true.  In the lessons where we've had the most success, it's because we're being guided by the Spirit.  It's hard to explain, but it's a really cool experience.  I still have a LOT of room to improve in this area, but I also know that our Heavenly Father doesn't give us responsibilities without divine aid.

As for other things that have happened this week, JORGE GOT BAPTIZED :D  He said he's never been happier :)  It was a super awesome baptismal service, and it's been really cool to watch his progress over the past few months.  

One miracle this week was that Evelyn came to church!!  This was seriously a HUGE miracle!  She is incredible.  She really wants to keep learning more, and we've seen a huge change in her life.  Everytime we visit she seems so much happier.  

They call Chicago "The Windy City," but boy oh boy, I have never experienced wind like here in Punta Arenas.  It's super fun :)  The other day the wind was so strong!  We were struggling so hard to walk. hahaha it was super funny :)

Sorry this email is kind of long, but I hope you all have an incredible week :D

Keep on keeping on,

Hermana Coombs

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014

Top o' the morning everybody!

This week was a fun one.  Lots of funny things happened, haha.  Oh man, for example, I totally messed up some Spanish during a lesson with a less active member.  I meant to say "pain" but I said something totally different that is a word that a missionary shouldn't say.  Oops.  She was a tad distracted during the whole lesson, so I don't think she noticed (thank goodness). 

Jorge had his baptismal interview this week and he's all set to be baptized next Saturday!  He said that at first he started learning about the church for his wife (she's a member), but he said now he's doing it for himself.  He has a really strong testimony and he's going to be a huge support in the ward.  

We had a couple Noches de Hogar this week with various families, and they were all really fun.  Basically a Noche de Hogar is time to spend with families one night during the week, with a short message about something in the gospel, and later games, refreshments, etc.  On Friday we had a Noche de Hogar with the Mesías family and another family in the ward and it was awesome to see how well the two families bonded.  We had another Noche de Hogar with the Morales family.  They are a family of investigators and they all really liked the concept of the Noche de Hogar, and they even said they want to do it again sometime!

Another fun thing that happened this week was an activity that all the missionaries had Saturday afternoon in the plaza of Punta Arenas.  Next Saturday we're opening one of the chapels here for the public to come, explore, and find out a bit more about the Mormons.  To have this activity we first have to find people to invite, so we went to the plaza with a huge cardboard costume of the Book of Mormon and the Bible (because people have a lot of questions when you're walking around as a Book of Mormon).  Coincidentally a huge group of tourists were visiting the plaza that day and one of the missionaries met a guy who lives less than two miles from her house in Arizona.  Crazy!  Luckily I remembered a bit more English this time, but it was still super weird to be talking in English. 

I feel like I always talk about food in my emails, so sorry if anyone is getting tired of hearing about it, but this week we bought some artesanal alfajores from a member in the ward, and boy oh boy were they good :)  

Take care and have an awesome week!

Keep on keeping on,

Hermana Coombs

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014

¡Buenos días!

Que bendición es la vida, en serio.  La vida es lo mejor.  Ojala que todos ustedes estén disfrutando cada día de su vida, y eso no es el caso, tiene que cambiar su perspectiva.

This week was pretty top-notch.  One day when we were walking down the street in a neighborhood we saw a really funky looking dog in someone's front yard, but after a double take we realized it was a sheep!  Loco!  It was just chillin' in the front yard eating the grass like it was no big deal.  Haha :)  and the area we're in isn't country or farmland, so it was especially weird haha. 

A few days late, but HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  I didn't know they celebrated Halloween here in Chile, but they do.  ¡Que genial!  They don't decorate the casas like in the US, but people dress up and go trick-or-treating.  It was super cool to see everyone in their costumes :)  The Church had an activity for Halloween, with costumes made out of recycled materials, and WOW the people here are super creative.  Someone made a wedding dress, someone was a rubik's cube, someone was Caesar, and there were a ton more super creative costumes.  A lady in the ward made the costumes for Hna. Bretón and me, and we were Pascuenses (I probably spelled that completely wrong).  Basically we were dancers from Chilean culture.  Haha, but it was an awesome time.

The first of November was Día de los Muertos, which everyone celebrates by going to the cemetery.  The cemetery here in Punta Arenas is too legit to quit.  It's gigantic and incredible.  I think someone said it's the fourth most famous cemetery in the world, and if it isn't, it's still super impressive.  All the missionaries in Punta Arenas got permission from the boss of the cemetery to sing hymns in the cemetery on the first, and it was super cool.  Because of this a lot of people said they wanted to listen to the missionaries!  Woohoo!

This week was pretty rough in terms of the work because we have a lot of investigators who aren't progressing.  They commit to go to church, or commit to read and pray, and then they don't do it.  It's a bummer because it's through these commitments that they can learn more and have more spiritual experiences.  Action is super important in gaining a testimony.  It's not going to all come at once.  A testimony is like a muscle; you need to do a little bit everyday to strengthen it, and when it's strong you keep doing the little things to maintain it, otherwise you'll lose it.  Just a little bit every day goes a long way.

I love you all!

Stay sweet,

Hna. Coombs

October 27, 2014

Primero, I want to apologize for the ridiculously short email last week.  Haha, we didn't have a ton of time to write, so it was definitely a sub-par letter.  The good news is I have much more time this week to write :) woohoo!

The other day we were walking down the street and we started talking to un hombre, and he started talking to us in English.  We kept talking in español because we thought he was just messing with us, but he kept talking in English and said he was from Wales.  Crazy!  Anyway, my brain tried switching to English to talk to him, but I was caught so off guard that I was speaking like someone who was just beginning to learn English.  I was seriously struggling so hard.  Hahaha who would've thought it could be so difficult to speak your native language :D

Some sad news from the past week is that the other Hermanas in our casa got transferred :'(  What makes it even sadder is that they would have stayed more time, but one of the Hermanas received an eight page love letter from a guy.  It was bad-news-bears.  Super triste, but as I like to say, "Shh shh shh, no more tears."

Hno Jorge is super prepared for baptism, and he's super excited too.  Only a few more weeks!  We have another investigator named Evelyn who started listening to the missionaries because she has a sister who is a member in Utah.  At the beginning she didn't believe in God, and she didn't really want to do anything to find out whether or not this was all true, but over the past few weeks she's been reading the Book of Mormon (this book changes lives people) and this past week she started to realized that she's received her answer!  It's crazy cool because the gospel changes lives for the better.  Every time we go to visit her she seems so much happier than when we first started teaching her.  Her problems are still the same, but the gospel has given her a better perspective on life.

After a few days alone in the casa, the new Hermanas are finally here!  Hna. Westover and Hna. Zeballos are awesome!  Haha super funny and super nice :)

We had a ton of fun this week.  I got the urge to cook this week, so I made no-bake cookies, french toast for breakfast yesterday, and Hna. Bretón and I made some brownies for the new Hermanas.  

Yesterday was the Stake Conference in Punta Arenas, and one thing that really stuck out to me was ACTION!  We can know something, be able to explain it, and have a testimony of it, but it we don't act on what we know it isn't going to do us any good.  Action is the key to progression!

Mucho love from this side of the world!  Espero que todos estén bien! Advice for the week: Laugh everyday because it makes life better :D

Stay sweet,
Hermana Coombs

PS. madre could you please correct my English because I am 1000% seguro that there are mistakes

October 21, 2014

I don't have a ton of time to write today, but this past week it warmed up a bit; hoorah!

Torres del Paine was absolutely incredible!! I felt like I was in Lord of the Rings or something.  This world is so incredibly beautiful.

Keep being awesome!

Con cariño,

Hermana Coombs