Monday, April 14, 2014

She's A Momma!



My hijita is great. Her name is Hermana Alonzo and she is from Paraguay. We have busily trying to get in our visits this week since we lost two days with the travel to Antofagasta, so she has gotten to know the sector pretty well in these last three days. She is really happy and relaxed which is great. She is also eager to learn and help everyone progress. She is going to be a great companion. 

We are hopefully baptizing L this Saturday!! I am so excited. It is going to be my first baptism, and he is an investigator that I found, taught, and now will baptize. I am really happy for him and the changes that he has made. We had a few hiccups this week with his interview, but he has an interview with the stake president tomorrow, and if all goes well the baptism has been announced for 6pm on Saturday. A great Easter gift for him:)

This week everyone wanted to invite us to their house to eat, so my health is a little overweight. Hahaha Hermana Alonzo thinks I am the most popular person in our sector because we are always running into people that I have met. I love it. It is really fun to be able to build up that trust with the people that I am serving. With the recent transfers many people that I do not know have asked me if I got a new companion. At first, I thought it was a little weird that they were asking and had never talked to us before. However, I am really grateful that even the people I dont talk to, still know that I am there and recognize me and my companion as missionaries. It has been a great opportunity to get to know new people and of course get new investigators. I really feel at home in my sector. It is kinda odd because it is so different from home, but I have met great people and feel like I belong here.

Because of the shortness of the week, not too much has changed. The trip to Antofagasta went really well, and the new missionaries were blown away with our funny and over dramatic interpretations of the earthquakes. Everyone feared that they would have to go to Arica or Iquique for their first sector. To their dismay 6 new missionaries were sent to Arica and 2 to Iquique. But we are tranquil here. I got to show Hermana Alonzo a little bit of Arica as we went to the Morro or Hill. It was one of the military campouts for the Peruvians during the war between Peru and Chile. Chile thought taking over el morro would be a huge task (lasting weeks or maybe months) with lots of blood shed, but they used a trojan horse tactic and conquered the morro in 45 minutes. Now Arica is a part of Chile instead of Peru, so it is an emblem of Arica and there is a musuem and a huge Chilean flag. The flag is brand new and weighs over 52 kilos! It was really awesome. 

These are some of the girls that we do visits with in the ward


Here is a rainbow picture for Aspen. It hasnt rained but last Sunday for some reason there was a rainbow:)
Hermana Castor and I last Sunday together:(
 At the bus station

Hermana Alonzo and I enjoying our free time in Antofagasta. The desire of all sisteraries;)


At the top of the morro. It has an awesome overlook of the whole city and a lot of the ocean. So beautiful:)


Downtown Arica:) 




One more goofy photo with Arica in the background





I love you guys and hopefully will be getting your package tomorrow during our zone meeting:)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It's A Girl!


Wow as I thought about all the crazy stuff I had to write about this week I was shocked. However, I think you guys had even more events happening. I hope things relax a Little bit, although it seems like life may be at a faster pace with a heavier weight for a little bit. In the first chapter of Joshua,  Moses had just passed away, and now Joshua is in control of the children of Israel. They were supposed to enter the promised land, but it was being inhabited by other people. Joshua had to live the law of Moses and help the Children of Israel enter the promised land. Joahua felt overwhelmed with such a huge charge place on his sholders. He probably felt alone after losing his friend and the prophet, and he was unsure of what to do given the new trial. However, in the first chapter, God gives Joshua the same advice three times. He tells him to "be strong and of good courage". I especially like the ninth verse that has additional advice. Like was said in General Conference this weekend, in this life we have to stand strong even in the toughest storms. I remember the example of the tree that was used. In the strong wind and adversity the tree strengthens itself in order to survive. I know that we grow stronger when we remain faithful in the face of tribulation. Luckily, we have the help of Heavenly Father as well to remind us that we are never alone. His help is divine, powerful, and 100% real. One of the benefits of prayer is that we recieve the blessings that he wants to give to us. One of the talks in General Conference also mentioned three things that families should do in order to remain strong and united: pray together daily, read scriptures together daily, and weekly FHE. Implement these principles, and you'll  have the promise of strength from a prophet.  I know that lds.org has hints to help make scripture study better for families of all ages. Through the hours of study here in the misión my love for the scriptures has grown so much. I use every spare minute Reading the book of Mormon and Bible because I want to learn more. Help the youngsters develop that desire. Be strong and remember (I forget who said it) that it doesnt matter if the house is a mess, if homework isnt done, or laundry isnt washed, scripture study and prayer are worth the sacrifice.


This week got kicked off with the a bang! It was the last week of my second transfer and Hermana Castor and I were excited to get to working. We have increased drastically in the number of our investigators and we wanted to plan a way to visit all of them (plus the less actives and some members) at least once this week. However, the earth had another plan. Tuesday night there was the big earthquake. They say it was 8.3, but it really didnt cause much damage here in Arica. This city is prepared for that kind of stuff. We were in a lesson with B, the less active that we had just met (her husband is not a member). We were teaching the Restoration when the earthquake began. At first we thought it was just a tremor but it got stronger. We opened her front door and saw the cars dancing and everything shaking. There were a few Little electric explosións. After gathering her small children that were asleep upstairs we hugged and prayed. The quake lasted for about a minute I believe (or at least it felt that long). The earth stood still again and we said a short prayer of consolation and then took off to our apartment. Before entering we found a family in the Ward who told us we could go with them to their grandmothers house. She lives really close and has a room ready for earthquakes with food and blankets and candles. We ran over there trying to contact the other missionaries, but the cell lines had been cut. We felt calm and safe, but with the tsuanmi alarm everyone in the city was running carrying blankets and small children. Although we were already in a safe zone, the people still panicked. About two hours passed and the phones were restored. We received news that we needed to head to the stake center for the night. We slept on the tile floor (ouch), but were safe and tranquil. The next morning we returned to the apartment. Then that night the was a replica of 7.4, but it was short. We went to the stake center again mainly because the other sisters in the apartment were terrified. We slept on the floor again but were safe. The next morning we left and everything was tranquil. There was a rumor that the wáter was going to be cut for 2 days, and in some sectors it was, but our wáter was only gone for four hours, so that was great. On Saturday the misión president came to console everyone and make sure we were all safe. We had all been a Little shook up, but really there was no damage done here.

(This is the photo the Mission President sent to show us all the missionaries were safe!)

Really there is a peace that comes from the góspel. Although a Little worried I knew things would be fine. I am in good hands here and am being blessed. Although there was talk of it being the start of the end (hahaha) everything has returned to normal. Chile is the most sismic country in the world thanks to its position and shape, so we are used to Little tremors and movement. With the large quake the people went a Little crazy; I Heard the grocery stores were a mess and people panicked because none of the bread shops made bread for two days (a staple in the Chilean diet). But we are fine, we are happy, and we are safe. Thank you for your concern and prayers:)

Saturday and Sunday we were able to watch the four sessions of conference, and I loved it. The first sesión I think was my favorite. I had a lot of questions answered, and I loved the music. It really brought the spirit.

More exciting news! This week was the last week of my second transfer and as usual there is lots of talk about who will be coming and going. I was praying that Hermana Castor and I would stay together for one more transfer, but as the week drew to a close I was feeling more and more like she was going to be leaving. We got the phone call Friday night and as I had felt (and not hoped) she is being transfered to a super small town called Tal Tal. The offices talked to her first, so I knew from her expression and conversation that she was leaving. I waited impatiently for the phone to come to me, and nervously prayed that I could accept my future companion.

The Assistant to the President told me :Hey Hermana Biggs I hope you are getting ready..... ( I was confused by this) because you are going to give birth! You are going to train one of the new sisters!!! You are going to have a daughter! ( the person that trains is the mom and the one being trained is the daughter. plus there are grandmas and great grandmas.... a Little weird I know hahaha but tradition)

So, here I am. I just finished my training and now I am the one who is going to train. I am excited, but also nervous. I am going to be the senior companion but what if someone asks me a question and I am left clueless. Or what is my daughter doesnt like me or is a picky eater. Who knows. I am super excited and have been really praying to be prepared. General Conference really helped me understand how I can be a good example and show lots of love. Hopefully, the misión president was truly inspired with this calling. I travel to Antofagasta tomorrow to meet my hijita (daughter). There will be a short training sesión for trainers and then we will eat with all the new missionaries and then have the shoe shining ceremony where we find out who is our companion. Wish me luck....... maybe wish more luck to my hijita;) We have spent the weekend trying to tell everyone good bye for Hermana Castor and I took a million photos that I cant upload because theres not a card reader in this internet place!!!! Next week again i will have them.

A crazy week indeed. Due to the earthquakes and conference we didnt meet our goal of visiting all of our investigators and now this week I will be gone two days in Antofagasta, so needless to say my sector needs a lot of work. But change is good. It makes us stronger and we learn so much more. I have to take Hermana Castor to the bus stop tonight and it is going to be hard saying goodbye to my mama, but maybe we will meet again in the coming transfers.

I love you all and hope this week improves. Be strong and of good courage!

Hermana Biggs

Monday, March 31, 2014

Tarapaca Tiene Talento: Tarapaca Has Talent!

Oh sounds like another crazy and fun week. Hermana Castor and I were talking about the post mission depression that normally accompanies sister missionaries when they return home and dont have a thousand things to do each day. I told her that I will probably avoid that because there is always something going on at my house: a new project or job, always something. She was impressed. 

Tarapaca Tiene Talento was on Friday. The week was full of a little added stress trying to tie loose ends together. We wanted the activity to go smoothy and look somewhat professional, so we spent most of Monday-Thursday visiting the people who had committed to perform. Thursday night we typed up a program and went to help the Young Women decorate the cultural hall. At 4pm on Friday we headed over to the church to finish up the planning. We baked 4 cinnamon cakes (from that recipe you sent) just in case the members didnt bring their dessert assignments. We set up the projector, seats, refreshment table, and finished the decorations. 

Quickly, 7 pm rolled around time for the show to begin. Unfortunately there was only 15 people in the audience and the only performers were the Elders and Young Men but they were still practicing! Chile time is much worse then Mormon Standard Time. Slowly people started trickling in and we finally had a few acts ready to perform. We started the show at 7:40. Hermana Castor stayed behind the scenes getting music and videos and microphones ready while I ran like crazy trying to arrange a program. Basically about half of the acts that had committed to come did not ever show up, but it all worked out alright because several people had pratice something and wanted to present that we did not know about. It was a lot of work coordinating who would go and when, but in the end it worked out perfectly. We had 18 different acts and an excellent presentor that made everything go smoothly. Some of the more exciting acts were a clown, a salsa dance, two of the elders in the stake showed a few wrestling moves, the Young Men did black theater which is hilarious, and the primary got all dressed up to sing Let It Go from Frozen (Libre Soy in Spanish). 

To our surprise many of the member assigned to bring refreshments showed up! However, the four cinnamon cakes were needed because we had an attendance of 90 people!!! We were so happy with that number since attendance on Sunday normally is 85 and we were planning for 70. Three of our investigators came and several less actives. The elders also had a few investigators there and some members brought friends. It was awesome. Everyone said that the activity went really well and looked organized, although behind the scenes was a bit chaotic. On Sunday we had the highest attendance in the ward since I have been here which was 115. I think its all due to the awesome activity hahaha. The bad thing is that with all the hustling Hermana Castor and I did not get to see hardly any of the acts and have no photos. However, one of our friends in the ward has them all and is going to send it to us. Hopefully next week I can send some photos. But overall, it went really well. 

As for the investigators: D we werent able to teach this week. He has been busy with the taxi, but we did get to talk to him two times and we have an appointment for tomorrow. He is excited for his wife to return on Saturday so that she can learn too. He is a great investigator,  although he has yet to go to church. I think he is waiting for his wife to accompany him so that he doesnt feel alone. L continues to progress as well. This next upcoming lesson will be the Word of Wisdom (my first time teaching it). I am a little nervous, but I really hope the spirit will be there so that he can accept to live it. We had a Family Home Evening set up to teach him with his sister but she was sleeping when we showed up, so we still have not been able to teach her,  although we have a good relationship from passing her on the street and such. Leonel is excited for his baptism and is sharing more and more with his family (which is awesome because he is a man of few words). We also got to teach B this week. He is a new investigator that has been attending church in a different ward with a friend of his. He is really curious about the gospel, but his parents are not. He is 24, but we cannot teach him in his home because his parents wont allow it. We taught him this week in the chapel with his friend, and it went really well. We want to put a baptismal date with him this week too. 

AND finally our dificult new investigator. The other day, a woman stopped us in the street and said that she is member but has been less active, but she wants to go to church again. We set up an appointment to visit her (B), her four children, and C (they are not married).B and her oldest son have been baptised, but C is of a different religion and wont allow the younger children to attend church. He doesnt want them getting bad ideas there. He has never attended, but has met with missionaries several times before. He says that there shouldnt be anymore scriptures besides the Bible and if there are scriptures from the Americas, where are the Asian scriptures? It was dificult having the spirit in the short lesson, but all we could do was testify and testify. He says that when he feels the spirit "things happen" and that when he leaves church he leaves that part of him there too, so he cant pray except when he is in his church. It is going to be a challenge teaching him, but we will want to see him change. Perhaps at least we can get him to let the younger children go to church so that B can go. Wish us luck:)

The week overall went really well.I am about to finish the twelve week training program and this past week I had to take the initiative in every teaching and planning situation. It was super easy, surprisingly. I think I have really progressed and this week a lot of things just clicked. I felt more confident that the spirit was helping me to help others. This Saturday we will hear about the transfers, and I really hope that both Hermana Castor and I stay here in our ward. Hermana Castor already has 4 1/2 months here though, so it is possible that I will get a new companion. My fingers are crossed! I also finish my third month tomorrow! I am surprised at how fast the time has gone. I know in just a few more moments I will be finishing six months and then a year and then I will be home. I  constantly remind myself of the short time that I have here and it gives me extra motivation to press on and try my best. 

I hope you guys keep having a crazy fun time. Good luck witht the Easter Pagaent and the mob scene, dad. I know you didnt miss not being in it last year. I have been reading the New Testament along with all the other materials and am about to finish Luke. I am amazed at the love and understanding that Jesus Christ had for everyone. He taught everyone and was loved by so many, it is hard to imagine that in the end the people chose to kill him. However, it is His sacrifice that gives us hope and eternal life. Like a hymn says, He died so that we may live. Although I cant imagine what was going through the mob´s head when they were yelling "crucify him", I am grateful, that He did die because he is the only one who could have done it with such love and patience and humility. This week I played the piano for ward conference and we sang Jesus once of Humble Birth for the sacrament. I had to hold back tears in order to see the notes, but it was really beautiful. Remember to give thanks for his sacrifice. 

I love you guys and hope you have a great week! 

Hermana Biggs

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

First Baptismal Commitment!

This week was pretty great,  although we didnt get to teach very many lessons. BUT I have my first baptism coming up! We committed L to be baptized the 12th of April and he accepted! I was so excited. He has gone to church now four times and attended a baptism on Saturday for the other ward. We are having a FHE with him and his sister tomorrow, and we are hoping that his sister will be interested and want to learn as well. We havent been able to teach her yet because she works in the mornings when we visit L and where they live is really sketch in the evenings. Hopefully tomorrow we will make some progress with her.

We also are really close to setting a date with D. We went and visited him and talked about the góspel of Jesús Christ which includes baptism. We wanted to set a date for the 26th of April, but before we could even ask he said that it was a really important decisión and he is willing to do it but he wants his wife to learn as well! His wife is currently on vacation and we only met her briefly once. She will return in a week. However, he is amazing. He loves everything that we teach and wants to learn more constantly. He couldnt accompany us to church this week :( but said next week he could, so we have our fingers crossed. Hopefully, soon we'll have a second baptismal date:)

We were doing more service today for the family that is moving to Iquique so I dont have any photos, but I will keep that in mind. The family has to be out of their house today, but they have done nothing in the past two weeks! It looked exactly the same as we had left it the last time Hermana Castor and I helped them. They are rushing to paint and throw away and pack all today before 5 pm. It is going to be crazy, but they had a couple more helping hands so they can do it. Definitely a bit on the hoarder side of things if you ask me since I found out today that two of the three rooms on the second floor are also filled with random stuff. So that makes four storage rooms in a house of eight rooms total. I think this move has really helped them to live like the prophets say: simply. It is going to be sad to see them go, but maybe I will be transfered to Iquique at some point and visit them in their new house.

 This week one of the less actives that we have been working with finally came to church! Hermana Castor has been visiting her for five months now and had never seen her in the church, and she came on Sunday! Even better is that she went to two relief society activities as well. We had a ward relief society anniversary event on Friday and then a stake relief society anniversary on Sunday. She said that she is making Hermana Castor and I´s wedding veils since she is taking a sewing class. She is going to have them ready for us this week and wants to see pictures of us getting married when we return home. She is great and its so good to see her coming to church.

Tarapacá Tiene Talentos is this Friday! There is so much excitement in the ward, I am not sure what to expect. We have over 20 numbers and everyone says they are coming. We are going to need a lot of refreshments, so hopefully everyone remembers their assignments for that. Our goal was to have 60 people attend since it is the first ward activity in a while and attendance on Sunday is about 85, but now it seems like it may be a bit bigger. We are super happy and cant wait until Friday.

We keep having strong trembles here in Arica, sometimes 2 or 3 everyday, but no more earthquakes since last week. The sisters that live with us are really afraid, and everyone says that its odd to have so many one right after the other, so we will see. The center keeps being Iquique and we just get the vibrations, so that is great. We were eating with the some members on Saturday and they said that because of all the tremors, attendance on Sunday would reach 100. Sure enough, yesterday there were exactly 100 people attending sacrament meeting!! That was super hilarious.

Overall things are going great here. I had my first zone conference with the President and everyone in Arica on Thursday, so we got some new instructions and rules to help us be better missionaries. This week we figure we will be busy finishing up everything for the Talent Show, but it will be worth it if we can find some new investigators and reactivate some members. Wish us luck;)

I love you all and hope that everything is going well there!

Hermana Biggs

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

An Earthquake, A Tsunami, An Old Woman and A Hoarder


This week went pretty well. We had some more less actives at church. Last week the youngest son of a family came had come by himself, but this week he brought his older sister! We have been working with them a lot and are hoping that the enthusiam to keep bringing the family to church will grow. The son is 12 and was assigned a talk for next Sunday! and the sister that came is 16 and she wants to have an interview with the bishop to start working toward her temple recommend. After being a member all of my life, I forget about how powerful the spirit can be felt in church. Sometimes I worry that if it is not 100% quite during the sacrament or if there are children running all around, that the investigators or less actives wont be affected by the spirit. But it really does touch their hearts in even just one visit. We are seeing a lot of less actives become fully active and want to change and that is really awesome.
Guess what?!!! We found D, the taxi driver, again!!!! He was not trying to avoid us; his family had gone of vacation to Santiago for 20 days. We have had 3 lessons with him and he loves to learn. He is reading the pamphlets we leave and always has questions. We retaught the restoration to him and he said he would pray about the church and modern day prophets. He is excited to watch general conference; however, he is nervous about attending church for the first time because he doesnt know anyone there. We are hoping that this week we can bring members to our lesson and that he will feel more confortable with attending. We are so grateful to have him back in town and it was a real blessing to see him again. During our last lesson, I really felt that he was progressing. Not just that what we were saying was interesting or that he was listening because he wants to hear the "good word", but that he is actually progressing. He wants to learn more and more and is very open to the things we are teaching. After bearing my testimony about prophets and the book of mormon, he shed a couple of tears and said that what I had said was really important. He wants to know if it is true. I saw true progress this week with him, and I am very grateful. He is not leaving town any more, so we will have plenty of opportunities to teach!
I dont know if it was on the news, but there was an earthquake here yesterday. The epicenter was in Iquique (another city pronounced E-key-K) but it reached Arica too. I dont know the strength in Iquique but here it was 6.5 and lasted for a little less than a minute. I have felt two trembles since being here, but this one was strong and a lot longer than the trembles. We were in a lesson with a less active when it started and she started to get really worried, because it didnt stop after a few minutes. But all is well! It passed and there is no destruction at least for here in Arica. We were fine and continued on teaching after it passed. It wasnt until a few hours later that we got a little worried. Apparently there was a tsunami warning too, so we had to go to our apartments early. Plus, in other sectors the missionaries live really close to the beach and not in "safe zones", so we had a grand sleepover last night with 2 other missionary companionships who had to sleep on the floor. It was a lot of fun and there was no tsunami. In fact, the warning was lifted three hours after the earthquake but just as a precaution the mission president wanted everyone in safe zones.
I like the trembles and the earthquake was a little sketch, but it mainly just feels like a mini roller coaster. Apparently some of the other missionaries were in lesson with people much more frightened. One of the companionships that stayed the night with us said that the little old lady they were with took off running telling everyone to get to the top of the hill. The missionaries went with her, but were startled with how fast she could move. They tried asking people along the way about the conditions and such since they werent too worried, but the lady kept yelling at them to move faster and get to the top of hill. Once they got there she made them stay until the mission offices called and said they need to spend the night with us, but that things were perfectly fine. They thought it was super funny that this little old lady took off running up the hill. I guess she was really worried about the tsunami.
That was all the excitement for this week. We are all perfectly fine and had a great sleepover with the other sisters. People in our sector were super calm since it is a safe zone on the side of a hill, so we really didnt have anything to worry about.
We are continuing to visit with L, the man who doesnt walk well and lives in the last street in the sector. He is progressing a bit and went to church for the third time this month, so we are hoping that we can keep teaching and help him retain the things we teach and gain a testimony for himself.
Oh I forgot to mention the service we did this week! Our old mamita for lunch is having real struggles with packing and moving. One day we went to visit her and she started crying because she felt overwhelmed with the work and with the whole idea of changing cities and homes. We volunteered to come and help so that she could get started and feel a little less overwhelmed. We had never been in more of her house than the dining room and one bathroom, but when we arrived we saw the two storage rooms filled to the brim with random stuff. She was overwhelmed not knowing where she could put things or how to pack everything away. She said that everything she touched would just get transfered from one room to the next because it didnt have a designated place. She was tired of having to touch the same things over and over again.

Luckily, thanks to someone, I am a master organizer and have worked in hoarder like situations before. I have also watched a lot of clean sweep hahah. So I said lets start in the first storage room and in one corner, I got three boxes, one to pack, one for trash, and one for things that were going to stay with the house. I just started picking up things and asking "pack, keep or trash?" At first it was hard for her to throw things away. She had lived in the house most of her married life and of course "everything has a purpose". SO I had to remind her that she was moving and that she could start anew. Soon she got the hang of things and we finished the entire room in just over 3 hours.
She was super grateful and her husband as well. More than half of the things went into the trash and then we put some stuff out on the curb for people to take for free. I was so glad I could help and was bragging about all the experience I have because my crazy mom makes us work in hoarder houses hahaha (not those words exactly). But they (including my companion) were really amazed.
Of course I am not one to keep anything, and I let them know that just about everything I own is here in the mission with me and fits in two suitcases (one if I didnt have the tower of you know whats :P- we sent Emilee with an 18 month supply of feminine hygiene products :) ) hahah so I got the nickname throw away master. But it was really what they needed. We went back the following day and did the same thing in the second storage room. The movers are coming with the truck on Thursday so I assume we will return between now and then to help.  Oh the skills I have learned, Thanks mom:)
Hermana Biggs

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Work Continues


This week went pretty well. I was grateful for the pew full of people that came with us last week, but this week was even better! We had 4 investigators present and 4 less actives. Two of the less actives had not come yet since I have been here, so that was great improvement. One less active was a 12 year boy. We visit his family a lot and they love us. They were really active at one point in the church and then just started doing other stuff on Sundays and the older children ran into problems. C is the 12 year old and is the youngest of the family, but has a lot of excitement to start coming back to church. He also remembered some of the members from his active days, so all things are looking great. His dad dropped him off at the building, so maybe next time we can get his dad to stay.

We are continuing to work with L who was our new investigator last week. He cant read or write, but a family said that they are willing to help him learn and are going to start working with him. He came to church again this week and really liked it, but during our lessons we realized that he doesn't have a solid religious background. We were explaining some principles and realized that he had no idea what we were talking about. I started teaching him about Jesús and his life here on earth. It is really fun to teach people for the first time the things that I assume most people know. You really see them start to change as they come to know for themselves the truth. I am hoping we will see this with L. He has made a few friends in the ward, so everything is going well there.

We are having some struggles with our 8 year old F that we wanted to baptize. She is the child of an investigator and they both attend every other Sunday. She was really excited to turn eight, but she cannot be baptized until her mom and dad are. She was super disappointed. Her parents are both married to other people , but have been seperated from their spouses for 20 and 15 years and have been living together for the last 10 years. They both have desires to be baptized but their desires have not yielded action because they havent done anything to start the divorce process. It is really easy here to get a divorce if the people have been seperated more than 3 years and do not have any minor children. They just have to go and fill out the paperwork. Hopefully, we can get them excited to do that soon. However, now F wants to be baptized in another church because "it is easier, she doesnt have to read or learn" and her godfather can baptize her. So we have to keep trying to explain about the restored priesthood authority. We told her that she needs to be baptized in the true church. She is just a Little stubborn and wants to be baptized NOW!!

We are continuing to see miracles here in Arica and hopefully I will be here a while longer to see the fruits of all our labors. We have really got the ward excited for our Tarapacá tiene talentos night and there are tons more members who want to help us with lessons and FHEs. We are super grateful and excited for that. We are seeing great changes which will help everyone, members and non members.

Dad, did you finish King Benjamins talk? I like chapter 5 of Mosiah because it is the response of the people after learning basically all of the missionary lessons. It says that they recieved a great change of heart due to their faith, they had no more desire to do evil, and they praised God. The first several verses talk about the conversión that they had. This is the same conversión that Heavenly Father desires all of us to have. It is the only way that we will be strong enough to arise through the struggles we face. The people were truly converted.I love their willingness and their response to the teachings.

I love you all and hope you have a nice relaxing week. Tell brax happy birthday!! I hope he enjoys his party in the park.Love you

Hermana Biggs

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Full Pew

We have learned here that most things that involve food go well:) Haha which is why our Tarapaca Tiene Talento night will include a variety of desserts to bring in the people. We are moving ahead full throttle with our ward activity, and I think many people are super excited! We already have 10 people that want to present and we have not even gone to the classes on Sunday yet.

My clothes are holding up well so far. Wearing the same thing does get boring pretty quickly, but I do have a few skirts packed away. I figured when I open my luggage again it will feel like Christmas and it will be a wardrobe update. We will see if it works. My shoes are dying. I have only worn one pair since the beginning so I still have the other two that are brand new, but I thought one pair would last a little longer. There are already some holes in the soles and I have to shine them every other day to hide the stratches. I figure if I can make them last til the end of March I can toss them and start wearing another pair.
 
This week was pretty great. On Tuesday we went with our crazy less active "J". She was the one who had attended church the other Sunday for stake conference. I really felt like she was improving and getting things straightened out, but then she called us and said she needed us to come over immediately. I will spare the details, but I left the visit wondering if what we were doing was helping. We spend all day talking to people and then in the end they dont show up to church or they dont want to make commitments and they stop progressing. I enjoy what I am doing, but in that moment I just felt like we really weren't seeing much progress in anyone. However, Heavenly Father loves us and when we ask with faith for things that are just we will receive the blessing. This week in church we had three less actives sitting with us (and 3 children who are under 8) and 1 new investigator!! We took up an entire long pew!! I looked at all of us sitting there and felt so blessed and like my efforts were bearing fruit. It was a great Sunday.
 
I had another awesome experience with prayer earlier this week too. We have been working with "R" and "M" .  M is a less active (who went to church this week, R was working in another city) and R is an "atheist" who believes in a Supreme Being and Creator", not exactly atheist if you ask me, but whatever. The last lesson we had with him we talked about God being our Heavenly Father. It makes sense if we were created by something that that being would be our father. He agreed and we encouraged him to pray and ask if someone was there, if someone was listening, and if this someone loved him. He agreed that he would that night, and said the concluding prayer in our lesson.
 
In Preach my Gospel it tells us that we should be constantly renewing our testimonies. We can always be asking to know if the Book of Mormon is true or if Thomas Monson is a prophet even though we may already feel like we know the truth. I read that part a few days after our lesson with R and decided that I would take the challenge to ask if Heavenly Father was there and listening. I asked in the morning and like normal the answer didn't come then.
 
That night we were having a FHE with an active family, but their father is inactive. He says that one day he just stopped feeling the spirit and didnt need to go to church any longer. I decided to focus the message on building strong families and wanted to share a Mormon Message that I could kind of recall. The family let me use their computer for a moment and I found the Message. It is a video called Earthly Father, Heavenly Father. We watched it and the whole family was touched. I could hardly speak to give the rest of the short lesson I prepared. I realized that that short video was an answer to the question I had had that morning in my prayer and that although it was a simple question, something I already knew the answer to, it was still answered. It is a great video and you guys should definitely watch it. The message of the video also helped the family I was teaching and really brought the spirit. I was so grateful that the idea to share the vieo had come to my mind when we were planning. 
 
The work is moving, slowly but surely here in Arica, Chile, and it sounds like you guys are making a big difference there in Mesa. Keep a journal of all the great missionary experiences that you are having so that you can remember. I love you all and hope you continue to do great things!
 
Hermana Biggs

Excerpt from letter to Bailee:

This week was a great week in the mission feild. We found a new investigator who is really receptive. His name is "L" He lives on the last street of our sector and in a part that is a little ghetto so we hardly ever go there. We had an address of a less active member on the street and decided to go and find the less active. However, the address didn't exist! But since we had not been on the street before and it was still daylight we decided to make contacts and knock on the doors of the houses. Thats how we found L. We have taught him twice and he came to church with us on Sunday! I was so happy to see him progressing in a short amount of time. However, we are going to run into some problems soon. A few years ago, he was attacked while working downtown selling seafood. Several people beat him and he lost his memory and has spinal damage so he can hardly walk. He doesnt remember much of his past, which has one bright side because before the attack he was an acoholic, but among the cons is that he can not read or write. He doesnt remember how, although mentally he is totally coherent. To go to church we had a member pick him up and help him to every class so that was great, and we are thinking that we can download some chapters of the Book of Mormon and he can listen to them instead of read. He is really great and we hope to see him continue to progress.


Advice to Ivory:
Keep up on the piano, this past Sunday I had to play the piano in sacrament meeting, because there is no ward pianist!! It was terrible and I was so nervous. I only knew two of the three hymns and messed up big time on the first one, but I can still improve (hopefully). Keep praticing now so that when it is needed you can share your musical talent:) 

Answers to questions:
Aspen wanted to know if there are any dogs.  

There are lots of dogs here that dont have owners. They wander around in the streets all the time and sometimes they start to follow my companion and I. There is one dog that always tries to bite our ankles but he is little and has some problem with his teeth, so it doesnt hurt:)
 
Worst food and best food?

The worst thing was definitely the hairy soup, but the other day I was served this peach drink that was pretty terrible too. They had boiled the peaches and then added cinnamon or something. You drink the water of the peach and then eat the boiled peach too. it was all I could do to finish that thing, and then they asked if I wanted more! NO THANK YOU
 
The best thing hmmmm. The bread here is super delicious and at 7pm it is fresh out of the oven at a local bread shop. We go a few times every week and buy a slice of cheese and a piece a of bread yummm. I love it

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Transfer Numero Uno


Final day of transfer numero uno!! There are 13 transfers in a sister missionary´s mission and I have completed the first one. I am staying in Arica and with Hermana Castor. I already knew that since we are still training, but it was still fun to recieve the phone call. Everyone spent the week making guesses about who was going to go and who was going to come. It didnt matter to me though, since I don't know very many of the other missionaries lol. One of the missionaries that we live with thought she was going to be transfered, so we were anxious and nervous to see what the change would be, but it turned out that she and her companion are staying with us, so no changes lol. We are getting a new zone leader so that will be fun. 

This week we saw great improvement! We were able to have an increase in the number of lessons we were having. It had dropped in the 4th and 5th week, but we are back on track! We have two new investigators. One is "V" who is a child in an inactive family. The goal is to activate the whole family so that we can have her baptized. We went and taught her the plan of salvation and at the end she shouted "I want to be baptized!". We are really hoping her enthusiasm will help her family. They are hard to teach and have mixed ideas about the gospel and science fiction, so its always an interesting lesson. Plus, they have been going to another church on Wednesday nights because this church gives free dinner, but the family is getting some mixed up gospel ideas from that church. We really need to reconvert them to the true church. It is a difficult task but not impossible. 

Our other investigator is" I". We had an address from the ward  guide (where all the phone numbers and dirrections are I forgot what its called) and wanted to find an inactive man. However, the address ended up not existing. The street where he lives is really far and in a part of the sector that we can't go after dark, so we decided to take advantage of our being there and make contacts and there we found "I". She is an older women of about 60 years or so. She is just in town for the next month because she is helping her disabled brother. She says that she had seen elders walking through her neighborhood, but had never contacted them. We taught her the plan of salvation and she was really captivated. We are super exited to see her progress. She invited us back and wants us to teach her brother as well. At the end of the month she is leaving, obviously, but we can teach her all we can and then turn her over to the missionaries in her neighborhood. 

Hermana Castor and I are working on our first ward activity!! We are super excited and it is coming together well, even though we are not going to do it until March 28th. We are going to use Hermana Castor´s idea of a talent show and its called Tarapaca´s Got Talent. We are going to have a dinner and a variety show of talents. There is also going to be a museum element to display those talents that are not for the stage (paintings, clothing design, etc). We already have six people ready and the best part is that 2 of them are meos activos and one is an investigator.We are plainning on having each quorum/auxiliary present somehting as well. It is going to be a lot of work, but we are already seeing a lot of excitement and it is still a month a way. The ward has not had an activity for several months and almost no one went to the last one, so if we can at least get the members to come it will be a success for the first activity. We are hoping that the food will really draw them in and we are going to distribute a lot of the responsibilities too so they are obligated to come hahah!

This week I also got to do my first intercambios where we change companions for a day. I was left in my sector and went with Hermana Delgado. I had to remember where all the people live and take the iniative in teaching. I was confident that I could do it, but somehow still super nervous. It ended up being great! I got lost for a minute with one house, but not super lost haha. I knew in the general direction where I needed to be. I also got to learn some new contact techniques and teaching methods from Hermana Delgado. it was a lot of fun. The sister trainers (Hermana Tumbaco and Delgado) are the sisters that live with us and they do all the intercambios with all the sisters in Arica. It is funny how we live with them but do not know them too well. We work all day and just see each other for a few hours in the morning and then at night. Therefore doing the intercambio gave me more time to know Hermana Dalgado. She is a ton of fun and really positive. I admire that. She is also much more up front with the people than Hermana Castor and I have been, so I learned a lot about that too. 

One of my goals for this transfer is to recognize and utilize the power and authority that I have as a missionary. It is easy to want to be friends with the members and investigators and menos activos, but they have to know my purpose. Sometimes I have fear of saying something direct like " why didnt you go to church?" or telling them that they really can change and need too. However, that is my duty. In the CCM we listened to a talk about our power and authority. It mentioned that as sisters this is the only time that we have the power and right to call people to repentance and to bring people to the waters of baptism. We can be member missionaries all of our lives, but only those who are set apart have that special power. I need to utilize that power more and remember that is my purpose in this short time during my life. 

These next six weeks I hope to see great progress both in the people I work with and myself. These first six weeks were great and I have learned tons, but there is so much more I can do. I am loving my sector and having an awesome time working here. 

I hope you guys are all doing well there! I love you all !
Hermana Biggs

Monday, February 24, 2014

One Month In The Mission Field


Wow sounds like a packed week. I am glad you guys are so involved in missionary work there. That is awesome, and member missionaries are really the key. Keep up the good work!  We have an 8 year old that we are trying to get baptised . Her parents are investigators and her mom attends church every Sunday. This past week, F, the girl, turned 8 and really wants to be baptized. However, her mom wants her to wait a little longer until she knows more. We feel that she is ready and have talked to the primary president. We all agree. F is super motivated and knows several Book of Mormon stories. We are going to teach the missionary discussions to her and then hopefully commit her to a baptismal date for the 15th of March. We have to get permission from the mission president since she is under 16 and her parents are not members, but we are pretty sure that he will agree since they are active. Keep her in your prayers. 

We have several other children of menos activos that need to baptized, but the rule is that children cannot be baptised unless their parents are active. We have a new less active family we are working with. It is actually part member because one of the daughters is an adult but not baptized. Plus, there is a 10 year old boy but his parents of course are not active. Hopefully we will see some changes there. 

Hermana Castor and I are really struggling to find new investigators. We did not have any dias de los muertos but we had no success finding new people. This week we have promised ourselves to ask references from everyone, regardless of what state of conversion they are in. We have a goal of 5 new investigators which would be amazing! With a little prayer power I am sure we will be able to do it. 

The family we are really focusing on right now is K and E and their daughter S. I have talked about them before I believe, but they are great. They have a lot of interest and want to keep learning and learning. They like to invite us over at 7 pm for "once"  (pronounced like the Spanish number 11). It is the final meal of the day here in Chile. They do not eat dinner , but have a large lunch. Then the once is in the evening and consists of tea, juice, and ham and cheese sandwhiches. They love their bread and eat it with everything. It is super delicious. Although I am not sure why since its not anything super special, but at 7pm there is a bread shop that has fresh bread and the smell fills all the streets. Its a temptation every night to eat it!  

Anyways we want to start really pounding baptism with K and E so that they really understand the importance. They are still committing to come to church this Sunday, so that is great. However, like what is happening to you guys we have people promise up and down that they are coming to church and then never show up. However, we had luck for the first time getting someone to church! She is a less active and has a 2 month old baby. She is really struggling with emotional problems and being a new single mom. However, she said she would come to church and asked if we could pass by her house in the morning to make sure she went. She has been inactive for 10 years, but went this past Sunday!!! She said she would come again this week too! I am so happy to see her trying to put her life in order. 

This week I passed my first month in the mission field (the time in Arica not including MTC time)! It was Valentines Day! I feel like I have learned so much about the gospel and the Book of Mormon. However, I am sure there is much more I need and will learn. In the BOM I am in 3 Nephi; Christ is about to come and visit the people. I have been looking for the promises we can obtain from keeping the commandments. There are so many scriptures that speak of an action we do and then immediately promise a blessing. Those are my favorites. I also like the war chapters in Alma and Helaman and trying to find principles. I have learned so much  from those chapters but sometimes the principles  I pull from the readings are a little stretched to be applied to something besides war, but that’s the fun part! Relating it all to my days and struggles. 

I hope you guys have an awesome week! When is the udderly show? I think Superstition Farms is where I took the girls this past summer? It is out in Queen Creek and on Hales Rd or something? Super fun! Mom make sure you have time to make up for the Valentines Day diseaster! Hahaha too funny, surprises never work the way I want them to either. 

If you have not made CDs yet there are a few songs I am interested in Come thy font by the Mormon Tab Choir, one song from the best 2 years one line is " Can’t you see I am not who I used to be" sung by a male, and the last is a song by a woman- she talks about being in a plane and talking to an atheist. One of the lines is " It passes all my understanding how it all turned out just right". I dont have the titles but maybe you can find them with the lyrics. Anyways I love you guys and cant wait to hear from you next week!

Hermana Biggs 
Here's a photo from the BBQ we had today for the final pday of our zone leader. This is not our zone, just some of his close misisonary friends. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Death... and Life...

 This week we had a hard time getting a hold of our investigators. When we were doing our weekly planning and district meeting, we realized that we had not hardly seen any of them in the entire week. A lot of appointments had fallen through and such, so we spent a lot more time with less actives. They are awesome but frustrating! However, we keep working with them and hopefully we will see progress. 

D is one of the investigators that we could not get in contact with all week. He ended up not going to church and we have stopped by his house just about everyday, but no one is ever home. We had a set appointment for Friday, but again no one was home. I hope he is doing well, and we realize that things are a little crazy right now because it's summer break here, but school is starting up in March. Everyone is hurrying to get the shopping and enrolling done and taking their final vacations out of town. Hopefully, this week we can see D though and see what happened this past week. G and N are dying I think (in missionary terms). It has been two weeks and again we have not seen them. They have been home three times when we pass by, but they always set an appointment for another day. That's a good sign that death is setting in.

However, there is good news too! We found a new investigator who was open to the gospel. In fact she, C, was taking the lessons and wanted to be baptized about a year ago, but then moved. Many of her brothers and sisters are members, but all are in-active. She is in a really sensitive spot right now because she just had a miscarriage. She is having a lot of difficulty with that and has moved back home (she is 19) to help cope with the depression. She is really sweet and we hope we can help her understand the plan of salvation and also her potential and worth.

Finally , we have K and E. K is the investigator who has no religious background at all,and E is her husband who had an LDS friend and has read almost all of the Book of Mormon. This week we had several appointments with them that all fell through because they have been busy. E works in a mine and had a heavy piece of metal fall on his shoulder, so they have been working to get insurance. However, the good news is that he is now home and we can teach them together as a family. Our meeting with them starting out a little rough. He told us he was looking to work in a different mine and that if we could help him get a job he would come to church. We had to help him and then he would help us, he said. However, after our lesson in 3 Nephi 11, his demeanor changed. He wanted to know what people wear to church and what happens in the meetings. He also wanted to read more of the pamphlets we have. K seemed really interested in the Plan of Salvation especially when I told her that it focuses on families. In the end, they said that they would come to church not this week but the following. This week is Stake Conference and for some reason they don't want to come to that. Overall, I think we made great progress. When we left the lesson Hermana Castor said she knew that they would be baptized. That's two people now that she has said that about, so I am excited to see it happen:)

These next couple of weeks we are really going to focus on strengthening our relationship with the bishop. Our ward is pretty new. It was just created 8 months ago and we are seeing a serious lack in leadership. However, our bishop has a lot of enthusiam and the Relief Society president is awesome too. They are normally the only ones at ward council, and they are super dedicated to their callings. We are hoping to rob some of that enthusiam and use it to strengthen the entire ward. We are planning a ward activity, so if you have ideas we could use them. We want something fun for everyone,and something that people will actually come to. Also we want lots of investigators and less actives to show up as well. We are hoping a fun activity with bring more unity and enthusiam for missionary work and the ward in general.
That is the update for this week. We are hoping to see a lot of improvement in the next eigtht weeks that Hermana Castor and I are together. I cannot wait!
I love you all:)
Hermana Biggs

The pictures are from the humming bird sanctuary that we went to today. It was so green and beautiful, but we only saw one humming bird. However, there were also goats, chickens, ducks, and llamas. Plus there were like 14 missionaries from my zone and another zone and we had a blast:)


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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Teach Me To Walk In The Light


The Gilbert temple sounds amazing. Hopefully it isnt too run down come July 2015 haha. Sounds like more missionary work is happening out home than here in Chile!
 
We made the sugar cookies for a FHE last Monday and they turned out all right. The end result following the recipe was very liquidy. I think it was because we made substitute buttermilk. Also, we dont have measuring cups here with American measurements. Everything is in grams. So we just kept adding more flour and then some sugar and then more flour. The oven is also another story since it works off a gas flame. It doesn´t really have temperature control, but overall they turn out good. A little more buttery than sugary but still delicious.
 
Tell Ivory that I am having fun on the mission and there are not too many animals here but A LOT of dogs and cats. Sometimes they start following us in hoards and we have to drive to distract them and then run so they quit following. Also many people have little turtles for pets, so that is super cute.
 
Aspen: There is unfortunately no rain here in the dry desert, so I haven´t seen any rainbows. You will have to take a picture of one and send it to me:) I have met several kids your age. There is one girl that is about to turn 5 and she is adorable. She has dark hair and brown eyes, but her smile and goofiness always remind me of you. I will try to get a picture with her the next time I go and visit.
 
As far as the finances go, I get 80,000 pesos every month which is about 200 dollars. If we just buy food, it is more than enough for the month. We get around primarily on foot but there are taxis and buses that we can use. However, we just use those for activities that are outside of our sector. Our sector is about a 3 mile by 3 mile square, so nobody is very far from us. It's just the days where nobody has time to talk to us and we walk from one side to the other trying to contact different people that come to our minds.
 
That was all of Thursday this week. We had a member accompanying us, so we were super excited to contact as many of our investigators as possible. We had two set appointments and then a list of others we wanted to see and then our back up plan of people. We set out to work, and no one was home. Our two appointments got rescheduled for a different day and we went to every single one of the houses we had planned and thought about and not one was able to have us in. We walked the full length of the sector back and forth as people came to our mind. Up the hill and down the hill and then back up. It was terrible and the worst part was that our member got blisters on her feet! So sad. Luckily she is a YSA who wants to serve a mission, so she understood that some days were like that. But it was terrible.
 
The language is great. I was worried because everyone said that Chileans talk really fast, but so far it hasn't been too bad. I understand just about everything. They like to add "po" to the end of every sentence, though. It is super funny. Also they have a lot of different words for things, but luckily Hermana Castor helps me with that. My vocabulary is obviously more Mexican and Nicaraguan, but Chileans have made up their own words for things, so that's where I need the help.
 
We found an investigator this week that we hope is "golden". He (D) had been the taxi driver one day for Hermana Castor and her other companion, and wanted to know more about the gospel. It turns out they had an appointment for the day that transfers occured, so they never got to visit him and then somehow he got forgotten. However, we met him in the street and he still wanted to meet with us. He listened to the entire Restoration lesson and just kept saying that he wants to learn more. We gave him the Book of Mormon. And guess what? He loves to read so he said he would read any part that we assigned. He also said he would come to church! We left the lesson feeling really great about everything. Hermana Castor got the impression that he and his wife will be baptized. However, he did not show up to church yesterday. We are going to visit him either tonight or tomorrow and hopefully find out that he just had to work extra or something. He is such a kind sweet old man. D is our only promising new investigator, but we are constantly looking for more.
 
Luckily our young family, G and N, have not be able to leave town to go and pick grapes. They are waiting for some money from the dad of G to buy the tickets to Santiago. It is awesome for us because we have more opportunities to teach them! G asked us the other day to pray for her and the money and we said we would, but then when we left I told Hermana Castor that we cannot because we have to teach them first hahaha. So far our non-praying has been answered haha:)
 
Keep working with those less actives! We have such problems with them here. We become such great friends with them, we share our testimonies and visit often to give spiritual thoughts and FHE. They have testimonies but without a friend and connection in the ward, they do not see the purpose in going to church. We are always asking for people to go and visit them and become their friends, so as often as you can, meet with them and become friends.
 
I love you guys and love the pictures you sent!! Keep up the good missionary work. Good luck on the javelina hunt, Dad.
 
The picture is of the baptism this past Saturday. It was not one of my investigators, but one of the people is in my ward, so we attended. The older man is a baptism for the other ward that uses the building. There was such a strong spirit at the baptism. The girl who was baptized for our ward is 24 and has a 2 year old daughter. When she came out of the water, we were in the bathroom to help her and she was crying and crying. It was beautiful; she really felt clean. That is the point of all the work I am doing. Crying repentance to all the Chileans so that they too can feel clean, through baptism and then again in the temple. Aww it was such a good experience.
 
I love you all!
 
Hermana Biggs

Excerpts from Letter To Bailee

All of the missionaries love the little photo book you gave me. It sits on my desk and they are always wanting to look at the pictures of you crazy people. Its awesome!
 
This week we had a lot of fun doing missionary work but we also had lots of disappointments. However, I think it should start improving soon. We are really focusing this week on contacting random people in the street to find new investigators.
The other day we went to visit a less active member and we felt the spirit so strong. We talked about Alma 7:11-12 and she was remembering one of the sacrament hymns that she loves. She then began to remember the song that was sung at her baptism which is Teach Me to Walk in the Light. Her less active daughter was there too (she is about 24) and that was the same song they sang at her baptism as well. We decided to sing it for them in Spanish and that really brought the spirit. I could tell that we were filling an emptiness. They were both happier and said that so many precious memories were brought to their mind. The mom told us at the end of the mini lesson, that she wants to come to church on Sunday and is going to try. We are going to pass by her house again to confirm, but it is amazing to see how the spirit works with people.
 
The mission is still awesome. I am getting more connected to the people since I am visiting and getting to know them more. Plus many of our investigators are new, not just old investigators from my companion, so I am starting at the beginning with them. They are all such great people, and I love them all instantly, it is sometimes funny,
 
I hope you continue doing welll! I love you so much and am so grateful for your emails.
 
Hermana Biggs

Excerpts from Letter To Madison

The washing feet thing, I am not sure why it is a tradition. I think it comes from Jesus washing the apostles feet. So like they are the older, more experienced missionaries and are serving us. I am not sure. However, they don´t actually do anything!! It is just for the photo, they act like they are shining our shoes. My shoes really need a shining; I wish they would have actually done it. My companion is great. She is awesome at saying the right thing when people have super odd questions or comments. Like the other day we were walking and some guy asked me if I could teach him English. He then wanted to take me dancing and offered us drinks! Oh goodness. I told him we had to hurry and leave since we had an appointment to get to; however the word for appointment and date are the same in Spanish "cita". SO he asked if he could have a cita with me!! How ridiculous! I was like no we are missionaries and we teach the gospel of Christ, but my companion stepped in and offered him a pamphlet about the restoration and then said we had to keep walking. People are crazy and I am glad to have my companion to help me handle them haha.
 
I love you!
Hermana Biggs

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dias De Los Muertos


Oh those pictures look awesome! (We sent pictures from Aspen's birthday party and the hunting trip)I was able to find some raid and have not seen too many cockroaches since I sprayed all the cracks in the entire apartment. It smelled terrible! But no more roaches:) >My shoes and clothes are holding up well; although finding modest skirts and dresses when I need new stuff is going to be difficult, so if you find any while out garaging hang on to them for me.
This week began the roller coaster that I suppose will last for the entire mission. We had some really high and exciting times and then some not so awesome moments. We call the not so awesome time "dias de los muertos" because when our investigators do not want to hear any more or are not interested in progressing they "die". It's pretty funny because if we sense that they are separating themselves a bit from the church or are not completing their commitments , we say (privately of course) that we need to visit them once more to see if we have to kill them, meaning that we are moving on. So, this week we had two dias de los muertos. The first one was with M. Hermana Castor had taught her twice but had not been able to contact her in two weeks. We had gone to her home several times, but she was never home. Finally, we found her at home! However, she told us that she had been offended and had come to realize that the church was racist, because, as missionaries, we cannot kiss males on the cheek. This is the usual greeting in Chile, and we do kiss all of the mujeres, but just give handshakes to the men. Hermana Castor had not explained this to her (normally we don't and never have problems unless the men try to kiss haha). However, she was offended that Hermana Castor and her old companion had not kissed her husband. Some people are just loca haha. The next death was with J, the young man who was supposed to be baptized last Saturday. He said he was no longer interested in reading the Book of Mormon or praying and he did not want to have to live with the rules of the church. We had been working with him for several days (Hermana Castor for 2 months and other missionaries for 6 months) so it was really devastating to see him reject it all. I really grow to love and care about the people, but in the end we can only bear testimony and plead with them to find out for themselves. If they do not want to, we have to move on:(
However, now to the good news!!! We are making excellent progress with K, the lady who has no religious background. We realized that we are going to have to explain things more simply to build her religious foundation, but she is really responsive! We are going over to her house this week, and will hopefully be able to teach her husband. He has a few LDS friends, so hopefully he too will be receptive.
We also met this awesome family. I started talking to the mom, the very first day I was here. She was in a dirt lot playing with her two children. She is 18 and her boyfriend is 19, but they live on there own and raise and support the two children. They are such a cute, happy couple. Their names are G and N and the children are J (2 years old) and N (6 months old). N (the boyfriend) is a little crazy and odd, but with more and more meetings he is interested and really great. Actually our first appointment all he did was ask fifty million questions about why bad things happen if there is a loving God and lots of random stuff, but he wouldn't let us talk. It was super crazy, but they invited us back, and since that  meeting he has been more tranquil. Sadly, they are moving in one week:( We found out yesterday and I am so sad. I cant help but be happy around them because they are just so cute. They are moving back to Arica in 3 months, so maybe I will still be here. At least I am able to plant the seed before they go.
Oh goodness, we had a crazy experience with one of the less actives. I had been warned by Hermana Castor that she is a little off. She was not wrong lol, but what was worse was that  we arrived at her house right when she was starting to prepare lunch. She said she was making picante pata and wanted us to try it because it is "super healthy and delicious". We had to go to our mamita for lunch in 30 minutes, but she insisted that she cooked fast and we just needed to try a little bit. She then went to the kitchen to cook and left us sitting there. In about 20 minutes the food was done. Pata is the foot of a cow and picante means spicy but she didn't add any spice. It looked good. It was served with potatoes and rice. However, with a second glance we noticed that the "healthy meat" was pure cartilage from the ankle of the cow. Worse than that was that there was still hair in the cartilage!!! Short spikey little black cow hairs in the food! Hermana Castor and I tried sorting out all the meat that had the longest hairs, but that was like half the dish. I was ready to gag. Her idea of a little taste was a full serving! Oh it was awful. We guarded our gag reflex to eat the pieces with the fewest hairs and then I rapidly grabbed the plates and took them to the kitchen, trying to hide what we had not eaten. Oh a day to remember:)

(This is not a picture of the picante pata.   This is a competo.  A hot dog with lots of tomato, guacamole, mayo, cabbage. Yummy yummy yummy.)


Well it sounds like you all are super busy! That's crazy all of the missionary work you are doing! Great job:) Aspen looked so cute for her birthday. It looks like it was a lot of fun.
You should look up the situation here in Arica. Apparently there is some kind of treaty that Chile signed with Peru years ago that promised Peru part of Chile´s sea. However, Chile did not comply with the treaty and does not want to give up its rights to part of the ocean, since it is used by Chilean fishermen and shipping companies. Peru of course is demanding the ocean. Today is the deciding day, but both sides are saying they are willing to fight for the ocean and economy. There are big displays here in the center of Arica, since it is the city that will be affected by giving up the rights to the water. There are gun shots (empty shells I assume) and lots of chanting and singing and up roar. It appears Chile is losing, but the Aricans fear that soon Arica will belong (once again) to Peru. Look up the history, I am not sure of all the details lol. But then send me the info so I know:) Always excitement in the mission:)
(This is the big march of the Aricans. There is a lot of press and loudness, with bands and all kinds of stuff)



I love you all and hope school and hunting went well. Love you
Hermana Biggs

It appears that just an hour before her email a decision was reached about the boundary.  Here's the article I sent Emilee:

World Court Draws New Peru-Chile Maritime Border


THE HAGUE, Netherlands January 27, 2014 (AP)
By MIKE CORDER Associated Press

Associated Press
The United Nations' highest court drew a new maritime boundary between Peru and Chile on Monday, awarding Peru parts of the Pacific Ocean but keeping rich coastal fishing grounds in Chilean hands.
The line drawn by the International Court of Justice ended decades of debate about how to carve up some 38,000 square kilometers (14,670 square miles) of fish-rich waters off the coasts of the Latin American neighbors. Peru's fishing industry estimates the annual catch in the region to be worth some US$200 million.
Peru wanted a maritime border heading roughly southwest, perpendicular to the point where the two countries' land border meets the ocean. Chile insisted the border should extend from the coast parallel to the equator.
The court found a compromise by saying a border already existed parallel to the equator extending 80 nautical miles from the coast and then drawing a line southwest to a point where the countries' 200-mile territorial waters end.
In Lima, President Ollanta Humala had no immediate reaction.
Outside the presidential palace, scores of people who had watched the verdict being read on two giant TV screens shouted "Long Live Peru" afterward, though there was some confusion as to whether their country had won or lost.
In the Peruvian border city of Tacna, a few hundred people from a patriotic society who had gathered in a movie theater to watch the ruling sang the national anthem. Dozens of police guarded the Chilean consulate but there were no incidents.
A professor of international relations at Lima's Catholic University, Farid Kahhat, said Peru had won a bit more than half the territory it sought.
But the leader of the Peruvian fishermen in the region, David Patino, told The Associated Press that the decision was a loss.
"We haven't won anything. We are in the same situation as the past," he said.
After Peru, Chile is the world's No. 2 exporter of fish meal.
Peruvian historian and columnist Nelson Manrique called the decision an "intelligent verdict" that is "not going to please anyone but it's also not going to bring anyone to fits."
Patricia Majluf, a leading Peruvian fisheries scientist, said the area up to 80 miles (128 kilometers) that remains in Chilean hands "is where the Chilean boats fish the most" and she doesn't expect the verdict will cost the job of any Chilean fisherman.
"All the anchoveta is fished in that zone," she said. The anchovy species is converted into fish meal for an insatiable global market that uses it in animal feed and fertilizer.
Majluf, a professor at Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, said about 1 million tons of anchoveta are harvested annually off the northern Chile coast. That's about the same amount as off the southern Peruvian coast, she added.
For many, the case launched in 2008 by Peru is a matter of national pride. Chile seized its three northernmost provinces during the 1879-83 War of the Pacific from Peru and Bolivia, which lost its only coast in the conflict.
The actual border area has long been a model of coexistence. Citizens of both countries travel freely between Arica and its Peruvian sister city of Tacna, both of which depend on the fishing industry and on each other.
Chileans crowd into Tacna's hospitals and clinics for the cheaper health care, while Peruvians work construction and other day jobs on the Chilean side of the border. Arica's mayor, Salvador Urrutia, says some 5,000 people cross the border in both directions each day.
Rulings by the court are final and binding on both countries. The presidents of Peru and Chile each pledged to adhere to whatever decision the court made. The countries are partners in a number of important regional and Pacific economic alliances and have seen annual bilateral trade grow from $500 million in 2006 to $4.3 billion today and each had significant investments in the other in sectors as diverse as tourism, retail and gastronomy.
Chilean government figures put Peruvian investment in Chile at $11 billion last year with Chile investing $13.5 billion in Peru.