Monday, January 27, 2014

conferences and clogs


some words translated in parentheses by mom :)

Dear Family and Friends,
So we have been looking for houses...hermana russell, our mission president’s wife called our zone leaders and told us we need to change houses. Apparently there are like 3 others that also need to change in our zone. 

One day this week the elders worked with us. We taught M___ and tried putting a fecha (date) with her. Although she said she wasn`t ready. So I pulled out our progress sheet and explained it to her and said we would leave it with her to use. She said she would tell us sunday what day for her baptism. Our district leader tried to tell her that we know that she will be ready by such and such a date...but no. she explained also that it is hard to go to church because the people that she lives with don`t like it when she gets up early because it wakes them up. I explained about sacrifice and the lord will bless her for her sacrifices. About the blessings she will get. It was a good lesson even if we didn`t put a fecha. (date)

This week we left our key in the house again...the elders had to come over at 10pm because the other guy wasn`t home who jumped the wall. so our sweet district leader climbed up and squeezed through the tiny hole to get into our house. 

This week we did more service. We washed clothes, dishes and we found a girl in a wheelchair and i ran over and asked if we could help her. We ended up taking her to her house. Then two days later we found her again but this time my companion pushed her home. haha. If we see her again I am going to persevere until she accepts us and allows us to visit her...well the elders. she lives in their area. 

so we found a golden investigator!!! she finished reading the book of mormon and said she wants to read it again so she doesn’t forget things. She has been to church once, and has had some of the lessons...um what! So we have an appointment with her today. 

So I bought a cheap pair of shoes to use for the conference. We woke up at 4.30 am...freak. We met as a zone at 6. at the conference I saw my old peeps from my old area, and a few other friends. 

The talks were good. First the president from the north mission spoke with his wife. Then ours. Then Elder Suarez and his wife. He speaks like 5 languages. They speak portuguese  and so his wife spoke in english and had a translator because she didn`t know spanish. Our sweet hermana russell...she gave her whole talk in spanish. obviously, president russell wrote it all out, but she tried so hard to say all the words. so sweet. Pres Suarez talked about 4 things to represent Christ the best. 
1. open your mouth
2. be worthy
3. be obedient
4. work with leaders

Hermana Suarez said two quotes i loved.
1. missionary work is not a sacrifice, it is a privilege -elder ballard
2. if we want to know God, we need to serve him. if we want to know him better, we must serve him more. 

Hermana santos, my old companion gave me a letter from my convert v___...aw! she got married and said her goal now is in a year to go to the temple! i am so excited!!! 

It was a really good conference. I felt the spirit and it made me think a lot. 

After the conference we went to mcdonalds as a zone...so good. haha. 

That night we taught d___ and she has been reading the book of mormon. We have what is called questions of the soul. We give our investigator a list of the questions. They get to choose what question they want to know the answer. Then according to the question we assign them a chapter to read to find the answer. it works. trust me. 

So the elders had a family baptism this week. And they got married. It was awesome! After, the family wanted a picture with us! ahhaha. After, the chain to unplug the drain broke. so hermana vargas tried to unplug it but couldn’t go in far enough without her skirt getting wet. So then elder Thompson, our district leader goes in. He pulls his pants up, and with the help of bishop, our district leader, a broom and a dustpan they finally got it. haha. so funny! 

Also...our toilet got clogged but nobody here has a plunger because they don’t have toilets. so we decided to work and ask some members while we were out. Well we forgot. So when we gave our numbers that night we told our district leader and at 10.15pm we met them by the park and they had their plunger. haha. so embarassing. lol.

Finally we had 1 investigator at church! d___ came for the first 2 hours! also, our convert j___ showed up but angry. when we left to take d____ home, she left. then when we came back, j____ came back. we were in the bathroom together but we didn`t talk to her. until finally she came up to me and hugged me and asked why i dont talk to her. haha. from then on she talked to us and was fine. although g___ was a bit wierd. angry. when we walked her home she walked ahead of us and didnt talk. i dont know if she was jealous because there wasnt room for her to sit with us during sacrament or what...when we taught her later that day...idk. 

So we had called a member to ask a question...and he said...hey i am at my moms house...can you come over...i need to talk to you guys. my companion asked if he needed something because we had an appointment with him for tomorrow, lunes. (monday) he goes...oh okay...thats fine. bye. well i wanted to make sure everything was okay. i know when he is at his moms house he sometimes drinks. so we passed by but when we got there he entered his room and wouldn`t come out. So I asked his wife if something happened earlier and she said yes.  So i am kinda nervous, but i am hoping that tonight he opens up to us and tell us his feelings so that we can help him. I know if its something sin related he needs to talk to bishop, but it  hurts to see them like this. and he always calls us missionaries his angels. 

so next week we have a conference with some other zones and the president of our area is coming to talk to us and we get to shake his hand and introduce ourselves!!!! and we are going to take a group photo and we get a copy!!! i am so excited!!!!! 

i love you all!!! I am so proud to be here!!! it is the hardest thing I have ever done but so worth it!!! 

Love,
Hermana Chase

Monday, January 20, 2014

Room inspection and interview with mission president


Hola,
So this week the hermana`s in my zone had divisions with each other. I went with hermana herrera, who was in my area before. It was fun! The zone put goals for us to reach. 
1. contact 10 families AND 40 people...and you get an ice cream
2. put two baptism dates with families...and you get a smoothie
3. to have 3 new families...you get a snickers.

With hermana herrera we contacted 17 families and 60 people! We had one family give us false names. He goes, `uh michael` and smiles. And then she says, `maria.` and then starts laughing...after they left they were still laughing... At 8pm we still didn`t have new families. Then...we saw one...we went for it and were positive but weren`t able to count them as new. We only met the goal with contacts but it was fun. And we didn`t feel dead tired like usual. haha. That night elder macias called hermana herrera and I to congratulate us. Then he asked if he could talk to me. He congratulated me for my work and then told me that he would be speaking tomorrow to encourage us but wanted to know what I thought. He ended up giving me his whole talk basically haha. His goal was to talk to us and explain that we have a lot of potential...looking at the numbers that we accomplished as a zone and to see what we are capable of. Oh and he asked if I could speak also...share my testimony on the day we had and stuff. haah. 

So just a random thought...hermana herrera has hot water in their house! dude, it was amazing! haha. So at the reunion to change back to our areas, elder macias, the zone leader gave his talk. Used some scriptures that we always use for investigators but it was different applying to ourselves. He did mention in his talk that he had talked to me about the topic...which made me feel a bit uncomfortable... since there had been some problems in the mission with guys and girls...I didn`t want anyone to think anything. 

So hermana vargas and I were feeling like we needed to do something to have more success. So wednesday after lunch we started to fast and got a blessing from the elders. Elder thompson, my district leader gave me mine. He mentioned I would feel the love and grace of God, that I would feel the promptings. That there are people that need me here. That I will be blessed if I continue studying the scriptures and pray to Him for guidance. It was a good blessing.

So one night I ended up talking to my district leader after giving numbers. He read alma 17:11 and 26:26-27. It helped. I have felt a bit frustrated because with my comp we don`t really have lessons. i have felt different here. Like before I had the love and desire. I still do, but I feel more empty. I need to work on testifying when I contact. And think of each person as a child of god. 

Oh...haha when we had divisions apparently g__ was mad that there was another sister there. She told hermana vargas in secret that she wanted me there. haha. 

Also found out the day I was gone that our family with a baptism date don`t want us coming anymore. They don`t want anything. 

So some scriptures from elder macias` talk...2 nephi 27:23 that the lord works miracles according to our faith. How grand is my faith? 
2 nephi 32:9 we should pray always
alma 30:8-9 choose today who i will serve. put all my trust in the lord or none. 

T__, our convert is so different I can`t get over it. I have never seen such a change in my converts before. She is so happy and eager to have us teach. At the end of a lesson we had we asked if she had any questions. She said no. that everything we said was right, that the book of mormon is right. She was so happy. She had never said those things before. After the lesson I said the closing prayer. I had said to bless her that every day she can be closer to god. which I guess reminded her of a song...i don`t remember the title in english...`mas cerca dios de ti`.  (note from mom...it’s nearer my God to Thee) So she wanted us to sing that. So we did. Well hermana vargas and I. She was crying and I was on the edge of crying. Her spirit is different. The spirit was strong in that lesson. It is wonderful! 

So we cleaned our house super well because we had interviews with president and while we were in interviews, his wife went to inspect our houses. We got 85/100. Our floors got marked down because there is always dirt no matter how many times you sweep. (insert by mom...she asked them where their sink was. They DONT HAVE A SINK! they will be moving to a new home hopefully by the end of the month) So for interviews...I was super nervous. My first time as senior comp. He asked how I was and how my area was. I told him good, but we didn`t have many investigators.  He told me we need to talk and contact heart to heart. He said he wants missionaries: 
1. atenta (attentive)
2. pura (pure)
3. obediente (obedient)
He explained that christ never thought of himself. always thought of other people. And he asked who i represented. I said christ. So he said then you cant think of yourself. you have to think of others. He is big in obedience with EXACTNESS. so he talked about that. 

We found out our convert j___...her parents threw out her book of mormon and personal progress. they don`t like us coming to visit or her going to church. 


Sunday we went for our investigators and like normal nobody. We were walknig to the church when I realized I didn`t have my name tag. So we walked back to the house and ran into the elders. I hid my shirt with my books so they wouldn`t see.  But sweet t___ was at church. We went to say hi and she is so happy and goes,  òhhhh hermanas. como estan?`  she also calls us amor sometimes. And for the first time she came in a skirt!! when i commented on it she goes ohhhh, thank you! haha and was all happy. The same day we were looking for a direction and we went to a house where an older lady was sweeping outside. We said, `hola hermana, como esta...solo tenemos una pregunta...` she goes no no no no no and starts to walk inside. we explain we were just looking for a direction....and she slams the door...HARD. My first time with a real door slammed in my face. It hurt so bad. The next person...the same reaction but didn`t close the door. Luckily Issac, our old investigator helped us out. 

that night we didn`t have anyone...so i decided to try a family we had gone with 3 other times but were not home. It was a contact I had with hermana herrera en divisions. They were home! the guy comes out and we ask if the family is home. He goes, thats me. Would you like to come in? So we ended up teaching lesson 3 and they accepted a baptism goal. That night I really didn`t understand why the lord blessed me even when I had a bad attitude during the week..feeling frustrated with things. I guess it is because he loves me. the lord showed me a miracle and reminded me why i am here doing what i am doing. so even though it is hard the lord will help you so that you can keep going forward.` 

Even though it is hard right now, the lord little by little will bless me and the people here in this area. I just need patience. Lots and lots of patience. 

I love you all! and appreciate your letters and support. Have a great week!

ps...this friday Elder Soares (de la Presidencia de los Setenta)  ( moms note..70’s presidency) y Elder Ochoa (2nd Consejero de la Presidencia de Area  (moms noe..2nd counselor in the area presidency) are coming this friday and we are getting together with the north mission :) will be awesome!!!  I bought a new skirt today to use haha. :)

Love,
Hermana Chase

Monday, January 13, 2014

So Blessed!


Hola!
So last monday we went and got pizza with some other missionaries. We were looking at the agenda of one of them and saw their numbers for contacts and their goals. it was a big number. My comp and I secretly made a goal to contact more than our District leader every day this week. haha. We have been contacting about 75 each week.
So almost this whole week our stomachs have been bothering us. We don´t know why. The other missionaries who ate pizza with us are fine. haha.
So this week we found ´ciudades perdidas´...or lost cities...areas that we haven´t contacted. Tuesday was a day of miracles. we contacted 4 families, 15 priesthood and 33 people. A few of the people we contacted actually were positive or had heard about the church. The same day we were planning on contacting our ´ciudades perdidas´when our stomachs started to bother us. We decided to walk home to use the bathroom but my stomach decided other wise. I knew I couldn´t hold out much longer. so we grabbed a taxi. We ended up contacting the guy in the taxi. He told us he always sees the elders walking and standing around but never talking to people. We turned the corner and there were the elders standing around eating fruit. he goes, ´see!´ hahah!

 This same day the elders gave us a reference of a family so we visited them. They are positive. The elders before were teaching them. Until they both got transfered and two new ones came and they didn´t like the elders. They still had their book of mormon and the restoration movie. So we left a chapter in the book of mormon to read. The husband works on sunday but he said he will talk to his boss and if he can´t get it off he is going to look for another job. In that lesson I felt the spirit. I think it will take time to get them to go to church and everything, but I think in the end they will be baptized. After the lesson I told my comp that we had been blessed a lot today. I felt like it was because we worked hard to contact people. The Lord truly has blessed us.
 Fun fact...they sell ´ice cream´ in plastic bags...its like ice with flavoring. Like fruit, chocolate milk...etc. So good and only 3 cordobas. i love it! haha. I always buy them!
Wednesday was another positive day. We contacted part of our ´ciudad perdida´ and later found one guy who was positive. He was born in the catholic church and baptized as a baby. But he had the question why christ was baptized at an old age and yet the catholics baptize people as babies. A really good question. We also taught our family and o__ was telling us he used to drink in his old life...he wants to change. When we asked if he could say the closing prayer, he said he didn´t feel good with himself to pray. That is when I chimed in and told him that it is in these moments when we need to pray even more. He agreed, but still didn´t do the prayer.

So our stomach problems continued. I woke up at 4:30 to run to the bathroom. In the morning I found out my comp also woke up to use the bathroom. Who knows what the heck we ate. haha.
There is a family who are members who are having troubles. her husband is slowly going back into his old ways. When we were visiting them she had packed up all his things. And had told him to change or leave. We are trying to work with them. We have another appointment today.
 Friday my comp and I taught the lesson in district meeting about commitments. 

The same friday our district leader called us to tell us that t__ wants to get baptized saturday!!! Apparently her brother in law had a family home evening with her and changed her mind!!! So friday we went over and did the interview and got everything ready!!!  Then saturday...we had the baptism at 2...but then changed the time to 6. we were walking and saw g__ alone....she was walking to the baptism!!! she is so sweet. we told her it got changed and ended up walking her back to her house and bought ice cream. haha. So teresa´s sister gave a talk at the baptism. T__ was crying. Her brother in law..ex obispo (bishop) baptized her.

 I was thinking...the lord has blessed me a lot this year. and the funny thing is that he is blessing others, but by blessing others he is blessing me. I am grateful for every baptism I have. I may not have many, but each one is special to me. I am realizing as I change the lives of others, I am changing my own.

Sunday...no investigators at church. We asked a member why Isaac didn´t go and she said he was sleeping. So we took a taxi to go get him. When we got there his mom came out and told us she doesn´t want him to go to church anymore, or us to teach him because it goes against what the catholics believe. We asked if he could at least go to church today for the last time. she finally agreed. So sad. We asked him if he likes the church and he said ya. He is only 12....
Also g__ had saved 2 seats for us at church. She is so cute!

So ready...in total this week we contacted 23 families, 101 priesthood, and 202 people....that is amazing right?!?! Our zone leader called us to congratulate us. Apparently us and another area are doing great. Another area had families at church and before they had nothing. but they received a blessing and fasted and now they are having success. I think I will ask for a blessing and one day this week we are going to fast.
 Also sunday, teresa was different. More happy...more glowy. She goes, ´hermanas!!!´ and touches our chin. haha. i love it.
Overall, a good and suprising week. :)

i love you all!!! thank you for your support and prayers!!!

love,
hermana chase


Monday, January 6, 2014

10 months!


Hey!
So to update you on this past week. First of all..today exactly I complete 10 months! Can you believe that?!?!? I go home this year in the beginning of september. My mind just can ‘t handle it. haha. 

So last monday we had an experience pretty cool. After a lesson with a convert my comp suggests we visit a family quickly who was on our list if our appointment wasn`t home. I agreed and we started walking to their house. We get there just as the husband had walked out and seemed a bit angry. We ask if we could share a message with them and he goes back in. We had heard that he was looking for his old friends who he used to drink with... so that is why we decided to go. We showed a four minute clip on the importance of the families and then we talked. I can honestly tell you his countenance changed a lot in this lesson. From the beginning to the end.  They are members, but they are having some problems. He didn`t tell us if he was drinking again, but he told us the reason why he didn`t go to church last week was because he was upset and didnt feel the spirit. He told us then of 3 experiences that happened that day. His old boss had called him and told him that since tomorrow was the 31st...to not leave his house. To not leave his family for any reason. I imagine it was so that he wouldn`t drink. I had heard a few years ago he almost left his family. Anyway he thought that was interesting. He decided then to try to fix some things with his wife. Which is why he was upset and left the house at the exact moment that we showed up.  He told us that the lord works in many ways and today in 3 different ways. The importance of his family. the spirit was strong in that lesson. I almost cried 3 times. The next two times that we have gone to visit them have been great. They are so happy. Its a bit weird. He is like super happy. Our last lesson we had them set goals individually and as a family. This family explained to us how their life was when they started out. They would eat off of 10 cordobas each day. or about 40 cents. They would buy...3 cordobas worth of gallo pinto which is rice and beans. 3 cordobas of cream. 2 cordobas of bread and 2 cordobas worth of drink. Every  night they ate this. It was all they had. I tell you...we don`t know what true sacrifice is. 

We had an interesting lesson with gabriela the other day. After we taught the lesson g__ left to buy snacks for us at the pulperia. While they were gone the family and a friend came and sat down and started talking to us about all the things bad gabriela is doing. I thought they would stop when she got back but they continued. It got to the point where g__ was just sitting there in the corner crying. We didn`t say much...I knew if I said something it would be something that i couldn`t take back. It was terrible. 

       Journal entry from the 31st... `well..the last day of 2013. Wow. another year gone by. A year ago I was at home preparing for my mission. Crazy. I am grateful for these 10 months I have had in the mission. I`ve learned to love myself, to love others, to serve, spanish, I am more outgoing...etc. I`ve realized how grateful I am for the life I have. Thinking of gabriela and what she went through and is going through...I am so grateful to have a family who loves me, and cares about me. For the money my dad makes. For all we have. and I know I haven`t appreciated it all. But i am learning to. Even in the mission I don`t think I have truly appreciated this opportunity I have. But I am truly grateful. And this year I will try to show my heavenly father more of my gratitude.`

So the night of the 31st...n__ called. apparently when we were there telling her about g__, her mom was listening in the other room. typical moms...haha. anyway, her mom talked to her dad and they want to adopt g__...can you believe it?! So we talked to g__ and you should have seen her face! She looked like she was going to cry. She prays that everything will work out so she can go there. N__'a little sister who is 6 loves g__ and her other sister is 13 and they get along too. So it would be great. Hermana Rivas is going to talk to the social place today so that they know someone wants to adopt her...because any time now g__ will go to  a center. 

So this new year...I feel like the Lord has a lot in store for me. I just have to look for it. 

So this week I have had what is called gripe and tos. Its like a cold and a cough. It was miserable to work! Today I am a bit better. I still have a nasty cough. And if I laugh its worse. haha.

This week we had a leader of the hermanas work with us. Wow...I forgot that this hermana doesn`t know how to smile or have fun. Maybe our numbers aren’t that great but at least I am enjoying my mission. That day was a bit interesting. 

So crazy fact...one day we were in a taxi and he had a clock thing with the temp...ya it was 105.8 degrees! ugh...in the morning during studies and at night its about 85. but freak..no wonder I sweat so much!!! 

So we went to see t__ and her husband is now back in costa rica. Her husband says that when she returns she can get baptized in his religion.  we asked if she has prayed about the church yet. She admitted now and said that she needs to. I pulled out the scripture acts 5:29 which says to obey God and not man. She has fear of her husband and I explained we shouldn’t worry what others say.She said she would go to church and pray. So then sunday...nobody could go to church. We had zero again. So after we took the sacrament we went to call teresa to see why she didn`t come. She told us that yesterday she had said she wasnt going to get baptized and she wasn`t going to come to church today. We explained she could still come to church even if she wasn`t going to get baptized. She also asked if we were going to come visit still if she wasn`t going to get baptized. we said yes...although we are only going to go probably one more time. I was so mad! and sad! She has about 4 times in the church...and everything. and apparently the assistants to the president talked to our district leaders about our not having investigators at church.....ugh. there are times when i feel like it is me that is lacking something. that people don`t progress or don`t want to go to church. This is our difficulty right now. 

I have been thinking...One doesn`t realize how much they need to change until they come on a mission. Here you realize all the things you need to be better at. I know if I hadn’t gone on a mission I would never have known. For example, humility. 

funny story. So we were leaving an appointment and there was a group of kids playing baseball. one boy asks for a pamphlet. We start talking to him and then four more kids come over. then all the kids gather around us..one of them being e__. I felt like christ teaching the children haha. when one kid asked where i was from i said the states and e___l quickly said california. one kid said, take me there! haha. When we left my comp and I were singing `venid a mi`  (Come Follow Me)  because i said i felt like christ with the children haha. 

We ate lunch with n__ and her family. I accidently ate a red chili..freak...my whole mouth was on fire. My tounge...i drank a glass of juice and water and still...it took a while before I could enjoy my food again. haha. 

We were looking for references from the elders and contacted a joven. (young man) we ended up teaching the plan of salvation outside to him and put another appointment. he is very positive. we will see what happens. 

Also our family we are teaching called us over for cake and soda for her husbands bday. They may not want to go to church but at least they like us. haha.

J___, a convert came to church. She was super loving today. holding my hand, playing with my hair. when we left the church she had her arm around me and i had mine around hers. Hermana vargas had hers around g___. I went to take my hand off and then j__ grabbed my arm again and put it around her. haha. I think she just needs love. the last few days she was a bit rude and was hiding from us. I think she is having problems with her family. I realized the thing I miss from back home is hugs, and tickles, and just being touched. its a human thing. so having j__ and g___ also giving us hugs is nice. 

i also got letters! christmas photos from the akagis, vaughn and jenny arnold! eee!

Well...sorry this letter is all over the place. oh..apparently our mission president is checking everyones calls every monday and telling the leaders. i guess there is a big problem with missionaries calling other missionaries. freak dude. dont worry about me though. i am not calling anyone outside our zone. i only call our district leader for numbers. 

well I love you all!!!! From here on out I am going down hill!!! 

Love,
Hermana chase

ps..pray everything works out with gabriela