Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Zone Attack!

This week was super. We met three new investigators, and they all seem great. Unfortunately we could only squeeze in one lesson with each of them, but the lessons were really great. One of the old investigators came to church this week, and we are going to have a FHE in her house tonight. We are really trying to work with her boyfriend because they live together, and little by little he is becoming more receptive. I hope they are hearing wedding bells as well. 

This Sunday we worked in the primary for sharing and singing time. Dont be complaining about your strinking primary because here there were only five children. One was a vistor for winter vacations and three are about to turn 12 and move to young woman´s. (Thats good too because there is only one active young woman). It is difficult working in a branch with so few members, but it also allows us to get to know everyone better. Anyway, the primary activity went well. We taught a song about the Holy Ghost and brought little things to represent the words, so that the kids could learn it. They had a lot of fun. It was great to be with children for a bit again because I get accustomed to being with only youth and adults, but the children are so cute. 

My companion and I are getting along great. We pass every few seconds laughing, and in the night we lose time for sleep because we keep talking and telling stories. It is a lot of fun; although it sometimes makes for a sleepy day. But hey, as missionaries we are always tired. Today we went to a members house and made a huge pizza. It was delicious. The family has a bread factory in their house to make the traditional Chilean bread, so sometimes we get to help them with that. It is super fun, but the dad is an expert and always laughs at my attempts to roll the dough into balls. Nonetheless I figure if I keep helping every few weeks I too will get good at it.

This Thursday all of the missionaries and youth in Copiapo are going to come to Caldera to do a zone attack. We are going to partner up with the youth and try to visit everyone in the ward directory and then investigators. We are also going to do three hours of street contacts in the morning. It is going to be a little crazy, but hopefully we will see great results. We are getting ready and organizing all the maps and directions. Caldera has been a difficult zone for several years now, so we are hoping this can get things moving a bit again. Wish us luck and keep Caldera in your prayers!

I love you guys and hope you are enjoying the end of summer. 

Hermana Biggs


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Head, Shoulders, Knees And Toes

Oh I am glad that the letter got to you guys alright. I sent it like three weeks ago, and was wondering when/if it would arrive. Did you like the classy homemade envelope? Hahaha. The play room looks great. it is going to be the most sophisticated play room with the tan walls and hard wood, but it looks cleaner. (hopefully it stays that way:) Devynne´s wedding pictures are so adorable. I love them. Keep telling her that she needs to write me because she hasnt done it yet. Did they get married in Colorado or Utah? How cute, everything looks perfect.

 I loved your experience from church this past week. It is so amazing how much young children can understand. Last night we had a lesson with a new family that is investigating the church. A year or two ago they had talked to missionaries as well, but the parents believe in God "in their own way" (a common saying here in Chile). As we sat down with them to talk about the restoration, the 9 year old boy mentioned that he had seen the pamphlet and read it. He remembered many of the key points including the Book of Mormon. It was amazing to see that he had taken an interest and still remembered the teachings. Even more interesting was that his 4 year old sister also remembered the way that the missionaries had taught them to pray. She explained with such certainty that prayer was a way to talk to God, I was surprised by her little testimony. Still, it appears that their parents are not too interested in any church, but they invited us back anyways. I think that the faith of these young kids can change their parents. 

My companion and I are doing great. She was super excited to see that Argentina was going to be in the world cup, but unfortunately we couldnt watch the game. Maybe that's better for her because in the end they didnt win. I dont understand soccer or really any sport, but it was fun to see all of Chile get so animated for the games. 

This week we were able to find 6 new investigators (3 families)! I am super excited. This transfer we have a goal of 3 baptisms and I know we can do it, if we keep finding such great people. We have really been praying and trying to talk with as many people as possible to make sure that we do our part in getting people closer to Heavenly Father. This week we had amazing results. Hopefully this coming week will be even better. 

As far as as branch activities..... the movie night was not so hopping. We had an attendance of 15. All were members excpet for one who came after the video with a member friend. She had talked to missionaries beforehand and wasnt interested, but hey at least she came! She also has a lot of member friends, so we are going to try to have some FHEs with them and her. Our English classes, however, were awesome! We had six new non member students that showed up! I was super excited. The class went well, but the best part was at the end. We had talked with the Elders and decided that at the end of each lesson we were going to do a vocabulary list to learn and then at the start of each class we could play a game to review. Before we just did grammar from the english textbook that Latins are given in the mission. The gringo elder taught the first lesson and then asked me to do the vocabulary part to finish. I thought we could do the body parts and then talk about how our bodies are gifts from God. Thats just what I did, and I think it went really well. But what would be an English class without a little embarrassment?? So... i made a group of about 15 adults sing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. It was super funny, and they really liked it. The accents and pronounciation got worst as we went through the song faster, but it was super fun. After the class was over, we did a chapel tour, and that went really well. We were able to talk about the importance of the sacrament and baptism, and introduce each of the sunday school classes. The new people seemed to like listening, so we have high hopes there as well. This weekend, there is a 1800s festival in Caldera (population 15000 btw), so we are going to try to have an Open Chapel and give tours to the tourists and people that pass by. Plus, we have a large supply of Our Heritage books to tie into the 1800s theme of the city. 

I hope that you guys keep enjoying your summer break. I am still freezing here in Caldera, especially since our little electric heater broke. My night time attire includes almost my whole wardrobe and then 6 heavy blankets, but at least I keep really warm. I love you guys!

Hermana Biggs

PS: In 365 days exactly I should be home!

Today we went to Bahia Inglesa a little town about ten minutes from caldera with white sand and turquoise water. it was super beautiful.


 I found a little crab! Haha


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Caldera

Thanks for all of the photos! It looks like you are all having a great time this summer. Did Bailee find all of those cute activities? I love them. So creative!! I am glad you got to enjoy the holiday. I am freezing here in Caldera, but I did find a really cute 4th of July shirt in the market to celebrate. However, I forgot to use it, and someone had to remind me that it was Independence day. So I decided to wear the shirt today in remembrance of Independence haha. 

This was my first week in Caldera. It is much colder than Arica, although not horribly cold yet. It is a rather small town, but it is a lot of fun. The members are really great and love to give us food every night. In fact, just about every house that we go to wants to give us something to eat or drink. The people here are a little more rushed than in Arica, I have noticed. I wanted to do some street contacts my first day and when I went to talk to people, they just kept walking or said something super brief like thanks and keep on there way. In Arica it was difficult to get complete strangers to stop talking haha, so thats one of the differences I have noticed. The branch however, is super awesome. We had an attendance of 64 this past Sunday, and my companion had taken me to meet just about all of them before Sunday, so it was already like walking into a home ward. I knew all of them. 

The sector is going to receive a grand change this transfer! In the last two transfers my companion spent more time fighting with her companion than working. She said most days they just went to member´s homes and stayed there for several hours. Because of that, we only have 5 investigators when we should have at least ten always. Plus, these investigators are almost all ancient investigators that have been meeting with elders and sisters for YEARS! I have to admit that I was a little overwhelmed to see the standstill that this little town has had with the gospel, but at least I know that there is tons of room for improvement. I spent this week stressing the importance of finding new people to teach and fulfilling our responsibilities as missionaries. We have three appointments this week with possible investigators and we are getting the members involved with us. We are going to have two family home evenings tonight with members and investigators. I am super excited. 

We also went to the market that Caldera has on Saturday to publize our free English classes. The other missionaries were amazed by my saleman´s ability, and we were able to give about 200 invitations and pamphlets. This coming Saturday we have planned to have a movie night in the chapel, so we also gave out invitations for that in the market. I am super excited to see the changes that are going to occur in Caldera. Keep the people in your prayers; we have a lot of work to do here!

I love you guys and hope that you keep enjoying your summer together:)

Hermana Biggs






Tuesday, July 1, 2014

First Transfer



The library drum event looks really cool. I hope Ivory and Aspen had a lot of fun. The movie you went to see is in theaters or was it some event as well? Here in Arica there is only one movie theater and it only has one room. They play each movie for like two weeks and have two or three showings each day. Usually the movies come pretty late from the states, so there are a lot of complaints about it. However, most people just go to Peru to see the new movies. The theater there is apparently much better, bigger, and cheaper. 

Anyway..... I did get transfered. I am reluctantly spending my last day here in Arica. My bus leaves at 8:00 tonight and is heading to Caldera, a little town in the south of the mission. Its about a 18-20 hour bus ride. It is going to be a little branch with about 50-60 members attending. The whole city has a population of about 8,000, so I am excited. It is supposed to be a little greener than Arica but much colder:( I am a little nervous for that seeing as I brought one jacket and one scarf. I think I will get good use out of the tights I have. Luckily too, a member gave me some really cute blacks boots, so I will be able to keep a little warm. My companion is Hermana Palomino from Argentina. She was Hermana Castor´s companion here in Tarapaca before I arrived, so I already know a little about her. It should be interesting. We are going to have a blast I am sure. Some other great news is that the house is one of the best in the mission!! It is a big house and only the two of us live there. Hermana Fernandez (whom I currently live with in Arica) served in Caldera and is super jealous, so I am excited. Six months in an "interesting" department and now I am going to the celestial kingdom of the mission. I am excited about that. I think overall it is going to be a great experience; however, I am super sad to be leaving the people here. I have really gotten to know so many loving and great people in Arica, but I guess now its time to say goodbye. I am sure that I will return one day to visit them all. Plus, I ate some guauba (not sure how to spell it). Its a fruit that has a legend for bringing people back to Arica. Hopefully it works with me:) 


This week we had a lot of chances to meet new investigators again and that was awesome. I think we have 5 new people that we are teaching, so there is lots for my hijita and her new companion to do here. Unfortunately, I wont be able to see the new investigators progress, but hopefully I will get to hear about it. 

We have one investigator that is really interesting. We have visited him and his wife three times now, and its definitely a challenge. The first time we got to have a lesson, "M"just kept talking and talking and was super skeptical about everything we said. He had been to many churches and went on several mini missions with his Evangelical church. His life had been difficult since the beginning and at the time he found a lot of hope learning about God. However, after some events in his church he started falling away from organized religion. He had spoken to LDS missionaries about twenty years ago and attended with his family once. He was super bold and opinionated, and  I was nervous that we wouldnt be able to teach with the spirit and get to the point of the restoration of the gospel. Luckily, I had the short video of the first vision on me, so we opted to use that so that the spirit would have a chance to teach. 

It went amazingly. His skeptical remarks stopped for twenty minutes while he and his wffe watched the gospel being restored. He told us that he had gotten emotional during it and was moved by the message. he also noted that he knew the film was designed by man and intended to cause such a reaction in the viewers. However, he liked it and invited us to come back. 

The second message was just about the same with his remarks and attitudes. We were teaching the plan of salvation and it was going well, until we got to the end. He started making all kinds of comments and questions. My companion and I tried explaining and answering his questions, but it seemed that nothing was good enough or that our explanation lead to even more questions. Some dealing with the lesson, but many not. We explained that faith was required and we relied on the scriptures to show him the truth. In the end, we had to just keep testifying of the love that God has for us. We testified and testified and tesitfied. Soon it was time to return to our house and we had to finish. He still had some specific questions that he wanted to know about ( the main one was why would a loving Heavenly Father let a young mother die and leave her children alone in the world.) We explained and testified, but I dont think he accepted the response).  As we walked home, Hermana Alonzo and I reflected on how the lesson went. We were trying to think of a new scripture that we could use or a new way to explain what we had said. 

As we were reflecting about everything, the thought came to me that really maybe the lesson wasnt about converting him or helping him learn. It was for us. The discussion had given us numerous opportunities to use the topics we had studied, to share experiences that we had had in our lives, and to testify. Even though he didnt seemed convinced with our explanations, I was truly edified in thinking of all the knowledge that we had shared, of all the things that I knew that I had experienced and learned. It is "M's" job to pray to ask if what we had said was true. However, I was mystified at the spirit that I felt as  my companion and I talked. I know that if nothing else, that lesson was for us. It helped us to see how much we believed and knew.  We have another appointment with him and his wife on Wednesday, that sadly I wont be able to attend, but I know that if he accepts the message, he will do great things in this church and world. 


I hope you guys have an awesome fourth of July. Enjoy the cool weather and fireworks. The fourth of July is the 2nd birthday of my beautiful Tarapaca Oriente ward, so keep these amazing people in your minds too. I love you all and look forward to writting you from Caldera next week!

Hermana Biggs 

Today we ate at the agro which is like a farmers market but much bigger and less higenic. I ate picante de guata and it was delicious:)


 Rain fell on Wednesday. It rained!!! Just barely but it was awesome!
Another photo from the playa Corazones
 
This is the "S" family. They are less actives that we have been working with. They are awesome!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Roller Coaster Ride

We had a great big rollercoaster of a week. We encountered several trials but also several blessings. We were able to find 4 new investigators that all accepted the goal to be baptized! We havent put goal dates yet, but we started right off the bat letting our new investgators know that we want to help them make covenants with God. All four said that if they felt that the message and gospel were true they would be baptized. It is always exciting to see someone take the first steps in their eternal progress. The best is that all four of the investigators are members of families and we have plans to teach not only the individuals, but for this coming week we have appointments with the entire family. We have really high hopes, and are really enjoying the mission and this time in Tarapaca Oriente. 

Transfers are coming up this weekend, so I am a little nervous. Everyone says that I am going to be transfered somewhere else,but I am too in love with Arica. To make matters worst,  it is now starting to get cold, and Arica is the warmest city in the mission. I would really like to spend the winter here, but "I will go where you want me to go" hahaha. 

As I mentioned earlier, it was a roller coaster this week. We had some problems that really lowered our excitement too. However, Hermana Alonzo and I are pushing forward. With all of our progress, the opposition is also making itself manifest, and this week it was a little overbearing. Nevertheless, we remember  to pray for help and rely on the hope that comes from Jesus Christ. We are in a battle, but we are already on the winning side. Theres a lot of courage that comes from that knowledge.

On Sunday, I was getting worn down with all the opposition. Plan after plan was falling through and the bad news we had recieved earlier in the week was the only thing I could think about. I prayed that I would be able to get through the day, fulfilling my duties and responsibilities. Just as I was convinced that it was just going to be a terrible day. We were hugely blessed! We went to give out the images of Christ that people had wanted from our hot chocolate events. When the people came to greet us and recieve their image, we took the opportunity to explain what was happening in the photo and the importance that that event had for us. It was awesome. Many of the people set up dates for us to come back and share more. It was really fun having a new way to teach. 

I hope you guys are enjoying summer break. I cant wait to see pictures of the new kitchen. I am sure it will turn out great! I love you guys. Take care.  

Hermana Biggs

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

An Answered Prayer

How cute! I love all of the father´s day photos. The little sign is adorable. I hope you enjoyed dad, and Happy Father´s Day by the way! I love you. 

This week was really great. On Saturday we had a zone conference with the mission president and talked about the goals that he has for the mission and how we can achieve them. We have lots of little tools now to use in order to help activate members and find new investigators. My companion and I are super excited to get working with the news tools. We also played a little game with the scriptures where the Assistants to the President read out loud a "question of the soul" or just common questions,  and we had to race to find scripture passages in the Book of Mormon that could explain the answer. It was super fun, and I was surprised with how aqcuainted I am getting with the scriptures. It was great and just a reinforcement that really the scriptures do contain the fullness of the gospel. 

We had another great experience yesterday. For the last week and a half we had met several people and had their addresses; however we had been unable to contact them or always found them busy or something. I wanted to have some new investigators, but it seemed like no one was interested or we always arrived at exactly the wrong time. Monday morning is when we report the goals and numbers for the week, so I felt like we needed to finally get through the names and addresses we had and see if we could get some new investigators. Because our tactic of showing up at their house on our own didnt seem to be working. I thought I could put Elder Spannaus´advice in practice. I prayed that we would be able to find one new investgator (which means teachng a lessons and having an appointment to return) Sunday afternoon. We started out with the list of references and contacts. Some of the people werent at home and some were but were busy. We set up some future appointments, but werent having success. However, I kept holding on to that prayer. Finally, we went to see J, who we had met in the park a week ago. She said she was only home in the nights , but I still thought we could pass by and maybe talk to her mom again for a bit. Luckily, however, J answered the door. We got to talking for a few minutes and it got to that awkward part of trying to figure out how we could enter her house to teach her. I asked her if there was a minute that she had so that we could teach her and she replied that Tuesday would be great. We set up the appointment and I was thinking " ok this isnt the new investigator, maybe the last name on our list will be". However, as we were about to say goodbye and leave, her mom came to the door and told J to let us pass if she wanted to. It was such a blessing! She let us in and we had a great lesson about the restoration and Book of Mormon.  It was awesome. Heavenly Father answered the prayer I had said with a plan. Unfortunately, I didnt asked for two or three new investigators, hahaha because her whole family was there, but they were busy so couldnt participate in the lesson. Next time,  I am praying for more new investigators haha. But I really was so grateful . J is really awesome and we are going to meet with her on Tuesday again. We have high hopes:)

For Pday today we went to the beach to play volley ball and I got some cool pictures.  It was a beautiful day with a great view. I love you guys and hope you have an awesome week. Again, Happy Father´s Day!!!
Hermana Biggs



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Flirt to Convert

Emilee's Letter To Her Sister Madison:

This week I could have gotten married 3 times over. Really missionary work is a little different then it seems here in Arica. More people try talking to me than I try to talk to. However, they are all old single creepers. It is terrible. This week, we were walking to our apartment and this little kid starting to talk to us. He was only 5 and wanted to show us his soccer tricks. We started talking and soon his little sister (3 years old) and older brother (13) joined in. The 13 year old seemed to have some sort of learning disability, but he told us they were evangelicas. Their parents were standing a little ways off and kept looking at us. I figured that they didnt want us talking to their little kids, so I started talking loudly (about the churchs beliefs) so that they could hear and then finish up the conversation, so they wouldnt be too bothered. However, before we left one of the adults came over to us. We figured he was going to explain that they werent interested and what not, but instead he told me that I was the most beautiful girl that he had seen in a long time. That I was gorgeous and that he wanted to know if he could take a picture with me. I, thinking it may be an opportunity in disguise, agreed. I started saying that we were missionaries and all that, but all he wanted to know was if I was married or single!!! He said that he would stay in Arica all his life if I would agree to marry him! So weird. He turned out to be the uncle to the little kids and was visiting for a few weeks. I told him that I wasn't interested, obviously, and that I wasnt from Arica nor Chile. Then he said the best line ever haaha. He said "it doesnt matter I will make you Chilean with my love"!!!!!!!! I was cracking up. Later we learned that not only was he 100% sober but that he was an inactive member along with his nephews. He is single and 40 and very willing. It was so embarrassing. He kept telling my companion "just look at her, she is divine". I could not stop laughing! It looks like I have a lot of potential to flirt to convert here in Chile. 

I hope you enjoy that terrible story. I am getting really concerned that many of our investigators are just interested in getting to know me and my companion. Haha Either way we are teaching lol. 

Have an awesome week and enjoy that summer sun. I will be here turning into a little ice cube, no big deal haha. I love you.
Hermana Biggs

Monday, May 26, 2014

My First Gringa!


Things have been going really well this week. We are having so many lessons with members and investigators present, it is super great for our investigators. We have been working a lot this week with T and her son P. T is a less active, but she wants P to be baptized. However, of course we need them both to be going to church for that to happen. She is afraid of what people will say because she is a single mom of two children, but we are getting really close I think. She is really begining to understand her divine nature. We went to visit her on Friday with a member and it was such a great lesson. She knows that Heavenly Father sees her as a strong woman who is trying her best. We are really happy to be able to help her. Tonight we are going to a member´s house for family home evening and we have invited her. I think it is going to go really well, but keep her in your prayers.

We had great success with A this week. She and her boyfriend and daughter all want to get baptized, and they have been attending pretty consistingly for the last 8 months. However, both the parents need to get divorced and then married. We were having problems with A because she cannot locate her husband. They have been separated for 16 years and dont have any communication, so she cant make any progress in the divorce process. However, our mission is now using a new program to find less actives and locate the true addresses of members. We have an hour every week to work with the on-line part and then we go out and try to locate the members that supposedly live in our sector. The cool part is that we have access to all the voting records in Chile in order to find addresses and names, so we were able to put the husband´s name in the search and WE FOUND HIM!!! We gave A the address and she is starting to get a divorce! Its funny to be excited for that, but it is a great step so that she can marry her current partner. Its a six month process, but she is super happy and so are we,

Lots of progress here in Tarapaca Oriente! We are still seeing lots of progress with the activation of less actives, so thats exciting too. This past Sunday, J came to church. He is the older brother of C, who we activated about two months ago. He only attended sacrament meeting, but he enjoyed the talks and the sacrament and when we went to visit his family at night he stayed for the lesson! I think he is ready for something more in his life.

This week we also welcomed Hermana Christensen to our apartment. She is really kind and great and a fellow Arizonian from Snowflake! The first gringa that I have lived with since I started the mission. We have a lot of fun when all four of us sisters have time together. Today we went to show her the Morro and Roly´s (more huge sandwiches:) We entertained ourselves by pretending to throw ourselves off the el morro (a common thing to do her in Arica apparently).

I hope you guys are living it up in the beach house. Be safe and remember that I now live fifteen minutes from the beach so be jealous!! Hahaha enjoy your vacation! I love you guys.

Hermana Biggs

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Trip To Hawaii


This week was a little off for us here in Arica. For Friday all of the missionaries traveled to Iquique for a zone conference with Elder Spanuas (a 70 from Argentina) and the mission president. We left Arica at 11:30 and filled an entire bus with missionaries. The five hour drive to Iquique dropped us off there at about 4 am! We were all so tired and then had to walk to the chapel. Once there we all crashed on the pews trying to take advantage of the last hours of sleep before the conference. When the confrence started we were all still tired, but I learned a lot. It was great. The main topic was prayer. President Dalton talked about the mission goals that we have, and said that he was thinking about why we hadn't seen the progress that we wanted. He prayed about it, thinking that maybe the goals were too high or something, but his answer was that the mission isn't accomplishing the goals because we are not praying for the goals. I thought that was really interesting, and it is actually true. Then he talked about how we need to pray with faith and trust that we will be granted the things we want and need in time. Elder Spanuas and his wife then talked about praying with a specific plan. They said that we would see more of the Lord's hand if we prayed, not only for the goals, but thought and prayed about a plan. It could be something simple like "prepare the owner of the bread store to accept our message today when we go and buy bread" or something more involved when we need more help.

Their advice really struck me because we are really struggling with the V family. They want to be baptized but have not gone to church. Plus the mom´s bipolar depression has made some situations complicated. In Ward council the bishop asked what help we needed with them, and I was completely lost. I didnt have an answer because we had done everything to try to get them to church. When I Heard the advice  in the conference I knew that that was something we needed to impliment. We need an inspired plan and then we need to pray to see results. We are going to put this in action soon! (once we have the plan ready). It was a really great conference and I was glad we could all go.

When we returned to Arica on Saturday we had to hurry and get our missionary activity underway. The Elder's had planned a Trip to Hawaii activity for the two wards that attend our chapel. We worked all saturday getting the chapel transformed into a troipical Paradise complete with a movie theater, club, smoothies, soccer, a mini chapel, and video games. The visitors received leis when they entered and could visit all of the attractions. It was really fun and those who went said it was great! We enjoyed it and are already planning our next activity.

We got our transfers that night as well, and after many heart attacks for people saying I was going to leave Arica, I learned that I am staying to finish training Hermana Alonzo. I was soo happy to hear that! I am not ready to leave my beloved Tarapacá still. Hopefully, at the end of this transfer I will be... but not yet.

Last night we said goodbye to Hermana Delgado who has lived with me since I got here, but she is now finishing her mission. She should be home on Wednesday. It was sad to see her go, but hilarious to see her try to pack up all of her things. I am sure she will enjoy being home, but she is awesome. Today I am in a trio until Hermana Fernandez´s new companion gets here in the morning. It has been fun, and soon Hermana Christensen will be joining us in our Little apartment.

I hope you guys enjoy this last week of school. Send me pictures of the finished product of the kitchen. Sounds like it is going to look great! What is the color scheme exactly? I think you should use pastel Green. I like that color hahaha. I love you all. Ciao!

Hermana Biggs

Emilee's missionary plaque came in and is proudly displayed at our ward building!  However, Emilee was quick to remind me that her release date probably won't be until July 15, 2015- not June.  I'm not sure how I feel about that! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Because of Him


It was great talking to all of you guys too. I was so nervous to call, yet I had no idea why. It has been a great four months, but it was fun to see everyone in person.

This past week was a little rough. We had some great lessons, but I feel like it was a bit difficult. The spirit in the apartment was definitely lacking. I was worrying about how I could help my hijita be a better missionary. I had tried to be an obedient example, but it seemed like my example wasnt the one that she was trying to follow. I have a tendency to be a little too controlling, and I have really tried to be on top of that, but I stil felt like I wasnt doing enough. On Tuesday, I was pretty upset. It seemed like every conversation lead to some topic that didnt need to be discussed and every joke was just a little too much. Little disobedient acts and comments that really dont seem like anything grand were really affecting the spirit. We had a district meeting that morning, and I went to it contemplating what I could do to show love but also express how I felt. As we waited for a video to load I started praying for help. I felt like those parents that they talk about in General Conference, that want to know how to raise a righteous child in a world full of evil. (A little dramatic I know, but I really do worry about my hijita)

It was amazing to recieve an answer right then and there. I felt my mind being flooded with things that I could do and say to help the spirit in the apartment and show love. I was amazed at how easily it all came to my mind, and of course I was reminded of the great love Heavenly Father has for me. He took the time in my moment of need to help ease my worries. By the time the video was ready to watch, I felt confident that I could make the changes that I wanted to see.

However, it seems like Heavenly Father wasnt completly done giving his answer. The video we watched was a mormon.org video that the church had made for Easter. It is called Because of Him (Gracias a El). After watching the clip, I just felt overwhelmed with love for my Savior.  I felt a renewed sense of hope that I could become the person that he and my Heavenly Father want me to be. I am so grateful for the things that Jesús Christ has done for all of us. He sacrificed himself selflessly so that we can be clean and live again with God and our families. He gives us limitless possibilities in this life and in the life after death. Because of Him, I have so much potential.

My spirit was renewed after I left the district meeting, and I have tried to put in pratice the things that came to my mind. Bit by bit things are improving. I know that Heavenly Father loves me and wants me to be happy.

I love you guys and  hope you can get a chance to watch the video.  It is amazing. I love you


The photo is from a market called YES. They sell American clothes by the kilo. We went there today and basically had to dig through huge piles of clothes. It was pretty hilarious, but in the end I got a cute navy blue Banana Republic cardi for about a $1:) Imported all the way from the USA haha

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I'll Virtually See You In A Week!

Your space for the show was so cute! I love the "Love" sign with the heart and the cute little burlap flowers. Bailee´s skirt is amazing too. Did you find that at a thrift store or make it? So adorable, send me one too:)

I am glad that things went so well for this show. Your little black and white boxes show how much Heavenly Father cares about us, not just spiritually but in every facet of our lives. Like it says in Mosiah 2:41 those who keep the commandments are blessed in all things both temporary and spiritual. I think that that is an awesome promise that we have, and your success is just a fulfillment of that promise. Perhaps if the show hadn't gone so well, I could be accompanying you guys next summer for the beach house, but I guess that's just how things are going to be. Enjoy your time there. I hope to see lots of photos. 

This week was difficult. We had a hard time finding people home in the afternoon and then when it was about eight o´clock we would enter a house and they would talk and talk until 9:45 when we had to leave to go to our apartment. We got to know some of the families better, and that is great that they trust us and are open. However, we didnt get to visit the majority  of our families that we normally do. It made the week hard, seeing as we planned everyday to visit several people and then in the end only get to talk to one or two families. We are majorly tied to the spiritual development of the people here in our sector, and that's a great responsiblity. When we do get to visit many of the investigators or less actives or members, I worry about them. I know what we share is important and always want to work with as many people as possible.  It seems like there is always a disappointing week in every transfer, but that doesnt make them any more fun or bearable. By the time this past Sunday rolled around I was just ready to start a new week with a clean slate. 

Three investigators came to church. A and F,  who always come,  and then a friend of C. C is a 12 year youth that we have activated (still not his family, but we are working on it!). He recieved the Aaronic priesthood 5 or 6 weeks ago and invited one of his neighbor friends to come to church. J is only nine, but said that he really enjoyed primary. Sacrament meeting was boring for him, but I think most nine year olds have a hard time in that meeting. Hopefuly, we can have a lesson with him and his grandparents this week, and invite all of them to come to church. 

The V family didnt come and is having more struggles again, so we will see how we can help them tomorrow. We go to ward council about every week, and the leaders have said that they are going to go and visit them. I hope they do. They need some advice, that as missionaries we cant give (about budgeting and stuff like that). 

Tonight we are having family home evening with a member family and bringing two of our investigator families. I am super excited for it, and I hope that it will be a good way to start off the week. We are trying to increase our lessons to investigators with a member present and have created a calendar where the relief society can sign up to work with us for a few hour each day. The first week, nobody signed up to go with us, but they did fill out the spaces to have an FHE with us in the month of May. This past week, we have two sisters who signed up to work with us in the mornings. I hope that they have good experiences and can share with the other members so that EVERYBODY wants to work with us. Hahaha. 

Thats about it for this week. I have a lot of hope for this coming week. I think it is going to be awesome. As a zone we are going to sing the EFY melody of As Sisters in Zion and Army of Helaman for a zone conference in about two weeks. It is going to be for all the missionaries in Arica and Iquique (we get to travel!), the mission president, and a member of the 70. We have been practicing, but there are only four sisternaries in our zone and none of us know how to sing. Plus we are singing partly in English and I am the only gringa! I am praying that the spirit will be strong and convey the message because I am not so sure that our voices will hahaha. No, it should be fun. We are looking forward to it. 

We talked with the bishop and it looks like we can skype at 7:30 Chilean time which I think is 4:30 AZ time. Check on that to be sure please. I think I remember my skype information so I should be able to connect, but if not keep your email open and also facebook. Our mamita was saying that there is a way to sign into facebook and use skype from there if we remember that password. Ill shot you email if I have any problems connecting. 

I love you guys! Good luck with the end of the semester. Ill virtually see you in a week!!

Hermana Biggs

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

El Bautismovil: The Baptism Mobile

Hey!

It sounds like you guys are keeping busy as usual:) Hopefully all goes well with Junk in the Trunk this week and the installation of insulation hahaha. I loved those photos from the Pageant. Dad I am still convinced the beard look is not for you:P Is Aspen a fairy in the birthday party picture? How cute!

This week, we had so many great experineces with many of our investigators. When we went to talk to A and F this week, the boyfriend/father was there. He is really supportive of the church, although he has never attended. However, he loves talking with the missionaries and I was grateful to finally be able to find him. He works in one of the mines in Antofagasta and when he is in town they normally go on vacations. The lesson went really well, and he talked about the great change that he has seen in A since she started going to church. He said it has made her more soft and lovely. He is going to start his divorcement papers and A is trying to as well!

D, D, D. Our lovely taxi driving friend. He is such a great investigator and we had an amazing lesson with him on Friday. The spirit was really strong and he was finally certain that he would attend church . He said the closing prayer for the first time in all of the times that we have been working with him. It was really powerful. Both Hermana Alonzo and I left feeling so great. He is really progressing and we felt such a spiritual high after leaving his house. 

The V family is progressing as well.  This week we were able to put baptismal dates for E and V ( the mom and daughter. The dad is a less active) for the 31st of May. We were super proud, and they are really excited for the date. I can really see how people are more focused when we committ them to baptism and set a date. Although, the baptism may not occur on the first date we set, it really helps get them ready and start preparing on their own. They are excited to reactivate and went to our ward activity on Saturday. It was a dessert festival. Every organization made two desserts to present and share. Hermana Alonzo and I made a "Baptiz-mobile" and the Elders of the ward made cinnamon rolls. Our baptizmobile won most creative!!!! It was super fun, and we were happy to see the V family attend. 

Our other great lesson was with R. He is married and has two children. About a year ago his wife and oldest child were baptized. The youngest is still only five, and R didnt feel ready. I started teaching him with Hermana Castor and he said that he was Atheist, but has faith. We were a little confused by that statement, but we went with it. Over the past few months it has been difficult to teach him (he works in the mines too), but we have seen great change. He has a really strong testimony now of Heavenly Father and prayer and is learning and accepting our teachings. His wife is less active, but wants to go to church as a family. The lesson with him was short, but really powerful. We had brought a member with us and I am convinced that her testimony and experiences really helped him to be more open. It was very powerful. He too said the closing prayer (although not for the first time) and the spirit became even stronger. It was really great. 

A week full of really great lessons. I felt like the spirirt was very strong on several occassions. However, we wouldnt know the good if there was no opposition..... All of these people and families promised that they would come to church. We also had two others that were also saying that they were going to come. With the spirit so strong we believed that we would have 7  investigators in church on Sunday. We called to verify on Saturday night and Sunday morning. We excitedly went to church.

In the first hour no one showed up. Our church schedule is reversed so we do Relief society and then Sunday School and then Sacrament Meeting. We knew that many of the investigators could only come for Sacrament, but we became nervous when no one showed up for the first hour. We made a few calls to those who were supposed to be there to see what had happened and they affirmed that they were still coming . However, when the third hour rolled around, no one had come. No one, not a single investigator. It was a little frustrating and disappointing admittedly. I really thought that at least the majority would come. The lessons had been great, I believed. I now more fully understand that when great things are happening there is a lot of opposition. We went and visited those who didnt come to church yesterday. Sure enough, alll of their plans had grown complicated for one reason or another and they all figured they could just go to church next week. 

We have a lot of hope for change here. We are seeing great things but it was a bit difficult to be sitting alone yesterday. We are going to keep working and make sure that this week they know  the importance of going to church. We just want them to feel that same spirirt that we do when we go. I know it is possible, but it appears that it is going to take a lot of effort. Like I said, when something great is going to happen there always seems to be some opposition. Hopefully, this week was all the opposition hahaha. If not, Hermana Alonzo and I are ready!!

I love you guys!. I have heard that we are talking with our families on May 11th. The bishop said we could use his computers to skype. Our church is from 10am-1pm Chilean time, so it will be some time after that. I will try to get a better schedule this week, and I will let you know. 

Hermana Biggs