Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Torres Del Paine!!!

Hola familia! 

Today I only have half an hour to write so im going to make this fast. 
yesterday we went to torres del paine and it was amazing. we had to be at the church at 5am for the big charter bus to pick us up and the ride was five hours long. one elder brought a guitar and played and sang songs for us. we played lots of little road trip games and shared food and talked in spanish and english and it was super fun. it was also nice just to look out the window and see the chilean country side. 
when we finally got to the national park we drove around and stopped places to take pictures. we took one hike up to a glacier lake with all these ice formations, it was beautiful. you can climb up to the top of a vista and see all of the mountains and glaciers. it was a little cloudy so the torres (mountains, tower) were a little hidden. but it cleared up later in the afternoon and they were so gorgeous. 
next stop was a waterfall and an up close view of the torres. it was just so amazing, there are a whole bunch of turquoise lakes and rolling green hills. and tons of sheep with brand new lambs. also a weird form of llama, i cant remember the name but it looks like a mix between llama and a deer. oh and we also saw  emus!
we didnt get back to the church until 9am. i was so tired. we planned super past and went straight to bed. we were so exhausted. we had so much fun though. 

today was cambios, transfers- so our district was together for the last time. i dont think ive told you a lot about our district but they are the best. we have a lot of fun even if i cant understand eveything that goes on in spanish. our district leader elder lopez is amazing, super nice and he just radiates christlike love, he´s from Bolivia. his companion elder wilson is from utah and hes hilarious. then theres elder Montiel, he tries to speak english to me all the time, hes actually not bad and his companion elder fonseca just went home today, he finished his mission! 
elder wilson, and our zone leader elder parsons are leaving so we´re getting some new people. its both exciting and sad, im gonna miss our district. 

we had four investigators come to church! Nibaldo who`s been super into our lessons and the book of mormon, araceli, victor and a new investigator maxi, hes 21 and going to one of the universities here. it was a party! and a serious miracle!

I have to tell you about Victor and Blanca, they`re a slightly older couple, like in their 70s and they are the cutest. Victor talks forever and i can never understand him but his face just lights up when we knock on his door, blanca always tries to give us food like bread and sandwiches, they fed us lunch this past week. They`re like our adopted grandparents. and Grandma Jean i promise, you are still my #1

mom, im really proud of you for going out with the sister missionaries and yes please encourage others to do the same because it is the best thing ever to have members in lessons. it will make any missionaries day.

I havent recieved the package yet or the post card. things take a really long time to get down here. it might be another two weeks for the package and i have no idea about the post card. but thanks for sending the other package with all the warm gear. from what you listed, thats exactly what i need, you are the best. im super excited to get everything! 

thanks for the advice with contacting people. the spanish is still kind of hard. but im learning more and more everyday. 

thanks for all the emails and love! hope you all have a great week! 

love, hermana williams

Punta Arenas 4 seasons, 1 hour


well the days of sunshine and warmth are gone. the weather took a turn
for the worse right after i emailed you all last monday. now we go
through sunshine, rain, and snow practically everyday. and the wind is
super strong! and the rumors are true! they have ropes up between
light posts in downtown for people to hang onto when it gets windy!
saturday we had to trudge up this huge hill for our lunch at a members
house and the wind was the strongest i have ever felt. it could hold
me up if i leaned forward and a couple times it almost knocked me
down. dirt kept getting into our eyes and mouths. and while we were
trudging up we just start reciting Helaman 5:12 (though the devil may
send forth his mighty winds... it will have no power over... because
of the rock upon which you are built) haha. it was an adventure and i
felt like i was in the punta arenas everyone told me about.

all the hermanas in our zone got together and played volleyball last
monday. it was so much fun! i want to do that every monday.

but today we have to deep clean our casa and do our grocery shopping
for the next two weeks because this next sunday all the missionaries
in punta arenas are going to Torres del Paine! its a huge kind of
national park here in chile and its one of the seven wonders of the
world! im so excited! we`re taking a huge charter bus and leaving at
4am and not getting back till 9pm. its a four hour trip just to get
there. so next monday i wont be able to email until tuesday, so sorry.
but hopefully ill have some cool pictures to share! also mom and dad,
to go to torres del paine it will be about 80 us dollars... its kind
of a lot i know, we thought it was going to be a lot cheaper when we
signed up but things changed... so if its alright with you can i have
80 dollars on my debit card to take out?

we`ve had a lot of great teaching opportunities this week! we
offically taught Nibaldo, basically all of the restoration and he was
super receptive to it. it felt really weird teaching him in english.
he said when he was 14 he dew away from the catholic church because it
wasnt helping him and he felt like something was missing. we testified
to him that the church of Jeus Christ of Latter day Saints has that
missing link. He came to a baptism with us on saturday night and
really liked that and then came to church on sunday! and it was fast
and testimony meeting and he got up and bore his testimony! he said
that he really liked the church, he felt the spirit very strongly and
could sense the truth. we`re excited about his progression.

the relief society president here has an awesome family, her husband
isnt a member but she has three kids that are. we stopped by their
house last night and ate once which is like a small meal they have
around 6 or 7pm with tea, hot chocolate and bread or cakes. it is my
new favorite meal. it is so cute, i love it. and their family is
fantastic, hermana baker and i feel right at home with them and i feel
pretty comfortable speaking spanish. the husband is hilarious and has
a twin brother too so we swapped pics of our brothers. we really want
him to get baptized, he would be an awesome member.

fredy is okay, we finally met his wife and his adorable grandchildren.
we`re gonna keep coming back and visitng and getting to know her. we
fasted for them the other day.

magali and araceli are great too, we read alma 32 and magali is
finally starting to open up a bit and be a little less skeptical.

well thats all i have time for! sorry, no pics this week maybe next
week. i love you all so much!

love, Hermana Williams

General Conference = Christmas for Missionaries

Hola Familia!
Wasn´t General Conference the best thing ever! man it felt like Christmas! I dont think i´d ever been so excited for general conference in my entire life. Hermana Baker and I couldnt stop smiling the whole weekend. I absolutely loved all the speakers and talks. They were amazing and so much more meaningful now that im a missionary. we had three investigators come! Nibaldo, the twenty four year old we met on the street and then Victor y Blanca, a 70 something old couple we`ve been teaching. they came sunday morning and Nibaldo came for both saturday and sunday afternoon.
I loved President Uchtdorfs talk about recieving light and understanding truth. and Elder Christoffersons about how the church and our salvation is not determined by our opinions, that there is such thing as universal truth. oh it was just all so fantastic. It makes me regret all the times i didnt pay attention to conference when i was younger.
I was able to see the womens broadcast but only in spanish. i could understand what was being said but it didnt really sink in or resonate because i was using all my energy just to keep up and understand the words.
i loved how it was all about covenants and temples though.
Not many exciting things this week... the weather is getting warmer! the sun has come out a couple of days this week and i havent been needing my gloves and hat as much! although i heard a rumor that the wind doesnt really pick up until November. this makes me nervous because its already pretty windy here. you can send the warm clothes if you want mom. i dont know if this warm weather is a fluke or what to expect in the later months but better be safe than sorry. stil havent gotten the package yet, but im super excited!
Hi to evan and lizzie! congrats to lizzie on her calling that is so much fun! and Evan, yay for helping the missionaries with an investigating family. you probably already know how much it means to missionaries to have members help out. i wish i would have known this early, i regret how i didnt help the missionaries more.
shout out to Scottie! hope conference was as great for you as it was for me! thought about you! did you stay awake for Elder Scott?
Last monday we got some people girls together and played¨basketball. it wasnt real basketball, more like toned down half court with other basket shooting games, but it was super fun. Nibaldo came and last time we talked to him we mentioned that we`re not allowed to watch tv or access internet and our phone doesnt have texting. he came to play basketball with us and said he had a gift for us. he pulled out a brand new smart phone and just gave it to us! he said he got a new one and didnt need it anymore. he gave us a cell phone! we tried to give it back but he wouldnt let us. now its sitting in a box untouched in our casa. we´re gonna give it to our friend Bianca to sell or something.
Bianca is a 19 year old student here in punta arenas and she is one of the strongest converts i have ever met. shes the tiniest person ever and she joined the church three years ago. she has such a strong testimony and shes always willing to accompany us to lessons. she ends up teaching and testifying better than we do. she wants to serve a mission and i know she´ll do great.
Mom i tried this pastry called a Berlin, its a sweet bread roll stuffed with cream. it is so unbelievably delicious. the cream is super thick and oh it was so good. i thought about you and how much you would love it.
we contacted the less active son of a member in our ward. He and his wife were both baptized but havent been to church in years. His name is Fredy. we were able to talk to him on his door step last night. he knows the church is true but his wife doesnt like the church, so he doesnt bring it up or go in order to cause any problems for them at home. He basically bore the most beautiful testimony ever on his front porch. It was amazing and i could understand everything he said and the spirit was super strong. it was inspiring to hear him talk about how he knows the church is true. He asked us to pray for his wife´s heart to be softened and then stop by again next week to try to teach a lesson with her. Hermana Baker and I are going to concentrate our efforts on him and his family. we`re super excited.
I was able to invite one of our investigators, Araceli, to be baptized. shes amazing, she has a really strong spirit. her mom Magali is a little more skeptical. whenever we teach something new, she comes the next week with a list of scriptures from the bible that prove us wrong... we showed them both a video of President Monson speaking. Araceli began to cry and said she felt the spirit super strong. Magali said she didnt believe he was a prophet because he didnt look like a prophet. we invited araceli, shes going to think and pray about it. we hope she makes her own decisions for herself.
theres a talk that the mission home puts into every missionaries binder called The Fourth Missionary by Lawrence E. Corbridge from 2002 and it is the best thing ever, i recommend reading it.
we found a girl this week whos super christian and has a wonderful love for God and Christ. it was super nice to talk to her, she was really open about the book of mormon and told us she would go and pray about whether it was true. we came back a couple days later and she had a list of anti mormon notes from the internet and scriptures that supposedly proved us wrong. she continued to ask us questions and show us scriptures but wouldnt let us answer any of them. we listened and then left, she didnt even give us time to testify of anything. although the lesson was disappointing it confirmed by testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and the importance of having this testimony. if we know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God then we know that The church of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth again, we know that we have the priesthood, we know that all revelations are of God and not of Man. We know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
I want to bear my testimony that i know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, I know the Book of Mormon is true, I have felt these truths testified to me through out my entire life. I have a strong testimony that God is our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ directs this church today.
Ïf any of you lack wisdom, then ask of God and He will answer you.
Love you all so much, its hard but i love being here. through a great trainer, prayer and the atonement of Jesus Christ, no matter how hard my day is i always go to bed with a happy heart.
until next week!
love, Hermana Williams

September 29

Wow this week feels like a blur. I can barely remember anything.
This week we had my first exchanges! with the sister training leaders!
I went with Hna McNeil to her sector and her companion Hna Petitt
stayed with Hna Baker. I was a little nervous in the beginning. it
felt like my first day all over again. But Hna McNeil is amazing and i
learned so much from her and she was super patient with me. she only
has two months left in her mission wow! It was fun, and they live in
the same casa as Hna Coombs and her companion so I got to see Coombs
again! yay! we had lots of appointments that day, 5 which is a lot. it
was fun and at night we bought chocolate alfrijoles and they were the
best thing ive ever eaten.

yes the people here put mayo on everything. and they always drink
either coca cola or juice. never water. yes i have eaten a completo,
they are delicious and yes they have mayo and avocado on them. the
bread here is the best thing in the world.

My third suitcase came this week! yay! i was so excited to go pick it
up... only to discover that someone had put a lock on it and failed to
give me the key. i had to wait an extra five days until we could find
and borrow some heavy duty screwdrivers to pry it open haha. it was an
adventure. but man opening that suitcase was like christmas i was so
excited haha.

A miracle happened yesterday! we were praying super hard that our
investigators would come to church. we have a mother and daughter
named Magali and Araceli investigating and the daughter is golden but
the mom has doubts. they havent been able to come to church because
theyre only down in punta arenas for week days and then go back to
Port venir on the weekends. they were the last people we expected to
come to church, it seemed impossible. but guess who walked in right
when sacrament meeting started! Magali and Araceli!!! it was amazing,
none of our investigators came except for them, we were so shocked!
and the talks and lessons were absolutely perfect for them, oh it was
a miracle from God for sure.

On Monday we were walking, and a guy rode past us on his bike and we
said hola like we always do but he turned back and said hello in a
very american accent. we called after him and he stopped and started
talking to us. HIs name is Nibaldo and his parents are chilean but he
grew up in kansas. so he knows english and spanish really well. hes
here in punta arenas going to school. it was so nice to talk to
someone in english! he was super funny, he didnt want to call us
hermanas so he gave us fake first names, like im hannah and hna baker
is kelly. we did not condone these names but he just calls us them
we dont think he was very interested in hearing our message but he
wanted to take us out to lunch and play basketball on our next
pday.... yeah not allowed but we`re gonna find a way to talk to him
within the rules. he could be a really good investigator. it was just
so exciting to speak english haha

this week has been kind of hard. lots of appointments falling through
and lots of contacting. im not a huge fan of contacting but i should
be. i just get stressed to have to talk to people haha. i make a lot
of mistakes everyday. it is definitely humbling. i really have to
accept the fact that im limited right now and theres not much i can do
about it, just time and patience and practice. i have this joke with
hermana baker that i should keep tally of all my mess ups every day
... Mistake #537 of today haha
The other day the woman who washes our clothes called, hna Baker was
in the bathroom so i answered and she just started talking and i said
ok, esta bien and she hung up. the only word i caught was ropa and
when hna baker came out and asked i said i wasnt sure what just
happened, something about our clothes.... she could have said she was
about to burn them and i could have just agreed to it... i dont
know...it was a little embarrassing haha.
oh and i accidently hung up on another hermana, that was fun.
we got a lot of good laughs this week.

i like being a missionary though :)

the ward here is the best ever, i love all the people, they are so
nice even though i cant understand them. its a great area and im
starting to get used to it. its hard, but its worth it.

love you all so much! have a great week!

love, Hermana Williams