Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fuerza Chanaral

Hola from Chañaral. It appears that you may not know too much, but we had some great rain and flooding here in Chañaral this week. The whole downtown area and highway got washed away in the ocean. Also, several homes were demolished in the water. Luckily, none of the missionaries or the members were too affected, but yes lots of businesses of the members were destroyed.

At first, there was a lot of chaos and prices went crazy for food. However, things have become more tranquil and lots of help is arriving from the government and other people. The church as well has also sent a ton of stuff and so we are constantly putting together care packages and sending them out to people. It has been a little crazy, but definietly an unforgettable experience.

For the time being we are staying with a family of members to avoid the chaos. We have been there about a week now, and are super happy. We are still able to leave and do some visits when we arent helping members try to recuperate things from their business. There is a ton of mud and agua everywhere, but tractors are helping to solve the problems. There are also many people that have disappeared, which now means that lots of bodies are being found in the ocean and in the mud that the tractors are moving. 

Its going to take a lot of work to get things going normally again in the city, but at least the people are a little more tranquil. I think that this is one of the many experiences that help people become prepared to accept the gospel. Many are going to have to restart their lives, but its just one of the tests that we all pass here in this life. 

I feel blessed to be able to serve here in this way now. We are continuing onward, and are going to find many people ready to recieve us.

If you want to you can find tons of video and news reports online. Just know that I am safe and not in danger.


Before the flooding. 
After the flooding. The boats there in the ocean are military. They are now in charge of the city and we
even have a curfew at 9pm for the all of the robbers that are entering in the abandoned homes. Thankfully, we have electricity again now for the past 3 days and the water never got shut off. 





Helicopter rescue!
This area was once the highway 
Helping memebrs clean up the stuff from their businesses
Some of the homes that were in the path of the great river
Everyone has written fuerza chanaral on their homes and cars meaning "Strength Chanaral"
The downtown area. Tractors have been working for 3 three days to take out all of the mud. The line across the buildings is how high it was with mud!
I love you guys a ton. Keep chanral in your prayers. Fuerza Chañaral!

Hna BIggs

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Goals, Guanacos and Graveyards

Hahaha I was remembering that tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. Its Grandpa Ron`s birthday as well? I will be sure to put some green on. I just bought a cute sweater at the second hand market that has green in it,so I will get it all washed up lol. I kinda thought your response to the gray hair thing would be "dont worry, its totally normal to have a few gray hairs when your young", but thanks for the consulting "I cant believe you already have gray hair" comment:)

This week was great. We had a goal of finding 7 new investigators and we were able to find 5. I know we didn't complete entirely the goal, but with every new investigator I really could see Heavenly Father's hand. We missed the goal by a few people, but I am sure this week we will find those two we are missing. However, the goal this week is to up our lessons with members. I am sure I will see God´s help once again. We are really putting into practice the "pray with a specific purpose", and Heavenly Father is willing to give us what we ask for. Its really great. 

Today, we went to a little animal reserve. There werent many animals,but it was still pretty fun. I came face to face with an animal that is native to the north of Chile. Its called a guanaco (i think thats how it is spelled). They are pretty interesting looking creatures. Ill attach photos. 



Then we went to the cemetery to see what that was like.I thought I might see some green. A few trees or maybe some grass if I were lucky, but its a pretty depressing place. A lot of the sites are from the early 1900s and are falling apart, but it was still pretty cool. 


 I love you guys!
 Have a great week of Spring Break!

Hna Biggs 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Another Baptism!!!

The wedding looks adorable. My companion and I are amazed with the decor. It turned out super cute. Really pulled off the classy candy idea. I cant believe that Hayley got married. She and Lane were together for such a long time; finally they could get married. Everything in its time frame right? Haha

"J" did get baptized!!!!! It was really beautiful, truly. She arrived on time and so many of the members came to support her. The actual baptism was a little shaky for a minute. The first time she went under the water she was super nervous and resisted. When they brought her out of the water she started crying. She was truly terrified.  However, with a lot of prayer and hope, she went completely under the second time. As we helped her get dressed afterwards, she asked why they had "drowned her two times". We explained that the first time she didnt go all the way under and she seemed to understand. I think the best part of the baptism was her testimony. She shared it up at the pulpit after the ordinance, and it was so sweet. She talked about the changes she had seen in her life in the past bit and the plans she has for the future to share the gospel with her family and endure to the end. So beautiful. On Sunday she received the Holy Ghost and a great priesthood blessing. Another very spiritual moment. She is an amazing woman. I am glad that I will still have lots of time to help her in her journey of conversion. 

The baptism was definietly the highlight of the week (that and finding my fourth gray hair! I am 22 thats not normal right?? I think they should put warning labels on mission calls:)) But honestly, it was so uplifting to see how the Lord works through us to bring people into His fold. Hna Arenas and I have great plans to keep up the success. We really want to be fulfilling our mission purpose and find people to baptize. I know that there are great people here waiting for us. 


​ Have a great week. The wedding turned out amazing. I am sure Hayley and Lane really enjoyed it. I love you guys!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Baptize!

This week went better. We had an awesome time in Antofagasta learning all about our mission purpose: BAPTIZE. It was a great conference and it gave me a lot of excitement to keep going. "J" had her interview and on Sunday we annouced her baptism for this Friday. She even shared her testimony with a non- member and wants to give out Books of Mormon to some of her friends. She is super awesome and really excited for everything. The only worry is the water. She is a little terrified of getting wet, she even showers by washing her body, part by part. We showed her the font and described how a baptism occurs and she seemed fine with everything. I hope she doesn't freak out in the water or something because that would be a little crazy hahaha. 

We also met a really great family. They are a young couple and for once they are already married!!! Their names are "N & P" and they have two little kids. "P" had talked with missionaries before and was really involved in a few other churches, but wants to read the Book of Mormon and ask for himself if it is true. We have a lot of faith that we are going to see a miracle. 

Hna Crum wrote me and said that "J" (from my last area) got baptized this week and everything went great! She is going to send me a picture hopefully next week so that I and you guys can see "J" dressed in white!

I love you guys and hope you all have a great wedding week. I cant wait to see photos!

Hna Biggs

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Sprouted Seed!

This week went alright. We didnt get as much work done as I would have liked, but the bright side is that this is the last week of summer here. That means that everyone is going to be returning from their stays on the beach and we can have a normal attendence and a lot of our supposed invesitgators will be here. Every missionary in this mission celebrates when summer ends. We can work normally again!

"J" had a baptismal date for the 28th, but that would mean that she would have had to have had her interview on Saturday. She doesnt feel that she is ready yet though. However, I think she just doesn't realize it. She sees the changes; she is friends with the branch, and has such a sweet willing spirit. Hoepfully this week we can help a little more to find out her concerns. She is super great and progressing really well still though. 
 
Well, I have felt that much of my mission has been "planting seeds" as they say, and to be honest that can get a little lame. However, one special seed has sprouted!............................... "J" from my last area is going to be baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!! All of those months of falls and struggles and work and she had her interview last week with the misison president. Hna Crum is super excited for her and they hope that she continues on strong. I was so filled with joy to hear that she is making those changes and that now finally she is ready for this great step. I am so happy for her. Her testimony will be a great addition to the church. 

Well, I hope you guys have a great week. Love you guys!

Hna Biggs

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Putting God First!

This week went pretty well. We are continuing to work with "J"and things are great. This week she went to a branch family home evening in addition to church and loved it. She was also super bummed that she couldn't come to our Valentines activity because she was working. She loves coming to church. She feels a lot of peace and happiness there. Today we spent our p day with her on the boardwalk. We finished up by going out to lunch! It was delicious and super fun! This week we have to really see that she receives an answer and wants to be baptized on the 28th. We are super excited. 

"M" is another story. She started attending another church and is really struggling with her depression. We watched a Mormon Message "The hearts of men are failing" and she was crying by the end. It was a great lesson, but I think that her depression is really interfering with the spirit. She has an appointment at the end of the month with the psychologist and is on break from work until then. Hopefully they will be able to help her get herself back. Until then we are doing what we can to keep her happy and knowing that she has a purpose here on earth. 

This week my companion and I were talking about different attributes that we want to develop in ourselves. She talked about a lesson that her mission prep teacher gave before her mission. She said that he had everyone write a list of the most important people in their lives. Many people listed family, friends, God, boyfriends, leaders etc.  He had a few people share their list and the order of importance that each of these people had. He then taught that God always has to be number one. In all of our decisions and actions, Heavenly Father has to be the first one that we think of. What would He want us to do. The other people on the list may lead us astray or even just have us make a good decision, but God always inspires to do the best thing. He has to be number one. 

I really liked that lesson. We have to trust so much in Him that we are always willing to do His will. I don't know that I had really thought of that before. I mean to some extent obviously yes, but if we examined every grand decision that we have taken and ranked who had the greatest influence, I think for myself at least, God wouldn't always be the first on the list. I thought that that would be a good attribute to work on developing, really being able to let Heavenly Father take the reins in everything. Hopefully, I can develop that especially with all of the random decisions I will be facing here in a few months. Yikes! Hahah jk. 

I love you guys and always have you all in my prayers. Put God first in all of your decisions!

Hna Biggs
 Getting my shoes shined in Copiapo.  It felt like a mini foot massage and I desperately needed that!
My companion and I at the mission office for Leadership counsel. Love the hair? Apparently thats my natural hair now..... yikes
 The end of the boardwalk. 

Eating fish on the pier! Hna. Arenas with "J" and typical Chilean dishes of fried fish with french fries, sauteed onions and a fried egg, and rice. Pure health!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tell Me What You Did This Week In Five Minutes Or Less... Go!

Hey,  I dont have much time today. Apparently my companion doesn't understand what sharing a computer means, so I have like 5 minutes. 

This week went by pretty quickly. We did a lot of traveling and I went to my first leadership counsel. It was a lot fun, plus I got to see like all the sisters that I started out with at the MTC. The day was a little long, but we learned lots of fun stuff. Today we had our zone meeting and Hna. Arenas and I had to share part of the conference with the zone. 

This week hopefully we will be able to put a baptismal date with "J" and "M". We are going to be doing exchanges with the sisters in our zone, so that will be exciting as well. I love you guys and hope you have a great week. Good luck at Schepfs!

Hna. Biggs



Family home evening that we did last night.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Johnny Lingo!

Well, just so you know, the mission office called me today to ask me which airport I would like to arrive to when I go home. Talk about a crazy call. Both my companion and I had a good yell to tell him that we still have a lot of time and that he shouldn't be calling so soon. It appears he gets that a bunch. I should be home on the 15th of July,  although I haven't received my itinerary or anything (they postpone that for a bit, so we don't get too distracted) but that's just how the mission works. 

Transfer Saturday is on July 11th. I go to Antofagasta for final interviews with the President on Sunday night. Monday night, we all fly to Santiago; we enter in the temple for the first time in forever and then Tuesday afternoon we are taken to the airport and all of the gringos get home on Wednesday. That's the long dying process that the mission has planned for us:)

This week was awesome. Hna Arenas anad I are getting along super well and are meeting so many people. Again, I come to a sector where we only have 4 investigators and nobody is progressing, but this week we found 5! We were super excited. We met one investigator and she is seriously amazing. Her name is "J" and she's an immigrant from Bolivia and 21. She had gone to a few church activities in Bolivia with a friend and liked the atmosphere. Luckily, we had an activity this week, so we invited her. We were able to visit with her almost everyday, which was great. She came to the activity and then on Sunday came to church alone. She really felt the spirit in the classes and says she is going to start coming every week. The members even welcomed her really well. One hermano gave her work for a few days (since she was looking) and the relief society invited her to their weekly activities. "J' is so great and fun. We hope to continue to see her progress toward her baptismal date. We are excited!

The activity we had was also super great. We did a Hawaiian night. It basically consisted of us playing games, watching Johnny Lingo, and then it was finished off with a BBQ. It was a ton of fun. About 30 people came out ( not bad for being a smaller town and summer) so we were pleased. Even some of our less actives came, and to be honest I think more nonmembers came then members. It was a ton of fun! 

I am super excited for this sector. Its so pretty and again there are so many people that need to hear the gospel here. Plus we have a great group of 6 missionaries all working for one branch, so its going to be great!

I love you guys. Keep up all of the house renovations hahaha! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sister Training Leader

Well, a new transfer has begun and I am now serving in Chañaral!! I took an 8 hour bus ride and arrived about an hour ago. Chañaral is another smaller town like Caldera. It's on the coast, so I am currently dying from humidity. Hopefully, Iy will be able to get used to that soon. I am also what they call a sister training leader now, so that should be fun. I basically have to keep track of the girls in my zone and do exchanges with them. Plus every month we go to the mission office for training with the president and eat Papas Johns Pizza (real american pizza!!). I am hoping that this will be fun:)

Besides that not too much is new. We were able to put two baptismal dates with some investigators in Calama, but now I left,  so Hna Crum will have to take care of those for me. Also, on a not so great but then great note, I got rid of my pinworms, so thats fun. Oh, my new companion here is Hna Arenas from Peru. She seems really fun and nice. she is going home in May, so we will probably be together for two transfers.

Hopefully, i will have some super exciting news for you guys next week, once I start to get to know the sector. I am super excited to be here. It feels like a great place. (wel, l not the hot sticky part,  but spiritually speaking:)

Love you guys, 

Hna biggs


saying good bye to hna crum

Monday, January 19, 2015

"Lotion" The Musical

This week seemed to be a little long, but I think it was mainly because we suffered the effects of the biking trip for several days. I can finally sit down normally:).Plus I think the heat exhaustion has ended. It was still a fun trip though. This week we decided to take a little break and we went bowling. I havent been bowling in forever, but I guess I have some natural ability. I got 9 strikes in 3 games. Impressive I would say! It was a ton of fun too.
 
We found two new families this week to teach. I am super excited about them. We found one lady walking slowly along the street and stopped to ask if she needed help with something. She said no, and turns out that she was heading to the a less actives house whose husband had died last week. We too had just stopped by at the less actives house, but she hadnt been home, so we told the lady so that she wouldnt have to continue walking on. We got talking and she said that she wanted to come to church on Sunday because she was suffering a little depression since her son died. We set up an appointment to come and teach her. She was super sweet, and really liked the Book of Mormon. While we were in the lesson with her, four of her families came over to visit. We didnt share a message with them, but we did get all of their addresses! Yesterday we stopped at the home of two of the relatives and met even more people living there! We talked about the restoration and the older lady was so cute. At the end, we asked if she would say the prayer. She replied, "yes, but I dont know how". We quickly explained the steps, and she went about praying perfectly. It was adorable.
Also this week as part of the training with Hna Crum we had to watch some missionary videos. They basically just show how we can be better teachers and such, but we love them. Sometimes the missionaries are awesome, but its super funny when they make those mistakes that we all do. Well, the training is about to end and Hna Crum wanted to she what videos we hadnt watched yet. We found a 20 minute clip intended for mission presidents about how conferences can go. Basically, they just filmed a conference with some mission president from Texas I think. He was teaching the missionaries about inspired questions. The missionaries then had to practice teaching investigators and asking inspired questions one with another. The mission president went to a group of Elders that were talking about the Book of Mormon. He said,"ok, ask an inspired question". The elders were nervous but started talking. At one point the president stopped them and said, "Elder, youre talking too fast. Go to Heaven. Ask an inspired question." Hna Crum and I couldnt stopped laughing because he just cut them off and said "go to heaven".
However, that segment has been in my mind this whole week. After he stopped the misisonary, the elder thought for a moment and asked a way better question then his original comment. It was amazing to see that with just a few moments of thought, something actually inspired could come into his mind. I had been struggling with really knowing if I was listening to the spirit. We were having good lessons, so I assummed that maybe the spirit was just working with me. However, I think the spirit needs his time to communicate the perfect message to us missionaries so that we can then communicate to the investigators. I tried paying attention to myself and I felt that many of my conversations and lessons were filled with good things to say. They were socialable conversations, but when I took the time to think "go to heaven" if you will, I could feel a difference. I wasnt just saying something that made sense to say like " oh thats too bad that your son passed away" to something from the spirit like "how has Heavenly Father helped you through your sadness?" They're just little changes, but that led the conversations distinctly. It was really inspiring to see how if I just thought for a minute about what the spirit really wanted me to say and not what I figured I ought to say, the tones of the lessons changed.
I feel like every week I am getting better at the missionary thing. Its a long preocess, but thats the point of this life: to keep progressing always. I am glad I can always be learning something new.
I love you guys. Apsen, have a great birthday.
Hna Biggs

video
video

video

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Key

Thats awesome that you celebrated Three King´s Day! In Chile they dont celebrate it. They say its a Bolivian tradition, but I know Mexico celebrates it as well because we did it in Spanish class once. Our teacher even bought one of the Jesus breads from Food City. Sister Ames gave me some gifts last year for Three Kings Day to open when I was at the MTC, so I was refreshed about the holiday. 
The family pictures are adorable. I love them, and of course bragging about all of you guys and your cuteness to the Chileans. Sorry I am writting super late, but we went to San Pedro today and the cibers that were available didnt have internet, so we had to wait until we came back to Calama. We are super exhausted, but had an awesome time. 
San Pedro is a little city about 1 hour 30 minutes from here ( I had gone there about a month ago if you remember). We traveled at 7 am in bus, and then rode bikes to the Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley). It was super fun and the views were incredible; however we ended up biking 16.5 miles and walking about 4 (there were little trails and tours). Needless to say we were dying by the time we got back and we have some awesome bruises on our rears to remind us of the trip. 
We had a super uplifting experience while we were there. When we rented the bikes, we recieved helmets, bike locks, a spare tube, and a little bike pump. After biking about 11km we got to the ¨canyon and caverns¨so we parked the bikes and started walking to check them out. They were super pretty and we walked around for about an hour before heading back to the bikes. When we arrived, I relized that I didnt have the bike lock key in my bag. I silently prayed that I would be able to find it as I dumped out all of the contents of my bag. In the end, nothing!Hermana Crum and I decided to say a prayer and then retrace our steps to look for the key. We got up and went about trying to find our footprints in the sand and remember every place we had stepped and stopped. Interestingly enough a few nights before we had been talking about faith. We both are struggling a little bit (in different ways), but revolving around faith. I find that I normally trust in my self a little more than the Spirit and for that dont always feel that I receive answers to prayers. I also have a hard time trusting in that what I ask for can actually happen. Hna Crum had talked to president about her struggles and told me that he said that sometimes our doubt in ourselves prohibits that we see and make miracles occur. Well, now we were really in a tough spot. We desperately needed the bike key, but I couldnt stop thinking that it could have easily been covered with sand or fallen into an unspotable place. Plus we had walked so far, it would be easy to walk right passed and not even notice it. Everytime that those thoughts came into my head as we searched, I just kept saying a prayer. I was really reminded of the  father in the new testament that brings his son to be healed before Jesus and Jesus asks him if he has faith. He responds yes, but then says help me and my unbelief. In the end, we found the key! It was truly a miracle, and I could but cry when we prayed to thank Heavenly FatherI love you so muchHna Biggs

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Champagne and Burning Men?

We did have a good new year ourselves! We had to be in our apartment at nine oclock, but we still celebrated inside. We made "mormon champagne" which is a Chilean drink with 7 up, crushed pineapple, and pineapple icecream. It was delicious, and we ate it with pizza. Then at midnight, theres a tradition here that you make a man out of all of your old clothing and bad memories and then burn it. We helped a family make one but obviously couldnt be there to see it burn, so we decided to make a small man out of paper and burn him in the shower. It was pretty hilarious because the dang thing wouldnt burn, but still it was statisfying. Then we did hair cuts and went to bed. It was a fun start to the new year. 

Hermana Crum with her champagne and the burning man.

Hermana Menay from the ward with our beautiful man made of old mission clothes and stuff found in our apartments. PS Say goodbye to the Vera Bradley:( It served me a good year but the metal hooks snapped just in time to make this man:(


Other burning men we saw in the streets





We had a great fast Sunday. The spirit was really strong in the meeting, and so many families came that  hadnt been in a while. It was fun to see all of them there. It was really an answer to my prayers as well. Hopefully we can keep them coming back. We had also fasted that day that we might be able to find new investigators for the rest of the transfer, since now a lot of ours are leaving town for summer vacations. We started our fast on Saturday, and the very first house we went to was a contact that we had made a while back that never had time for us. This time however, she let us in and wasnt busy!! Then we were going to start the lesson and she invited her family in (they were reluctant but she said just for the prayer they had to stay). Obviously we werent going to let them escape! We were able to share the restoration and commit them to read the Book of Mormon. It was great and gave us almost half of the number of new investigators that we had been fasting for. I felt like our prayers were answered immediately. 
 
Overall, it was a good week:) Love you guys

Hna Biggs