Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Short & Sweet

This week was great. My new companion seems fun. We met a new family and they are actually a family. Its a couple with their three daughters. We met them in the park and then were able to go to their home and share the restoration. It was really fun teaching them all together. We have an appointment for Tuesday, and are constantly praying for them. 
"M" went to church again this week and to our branch family home evening yesterday. She is excited for her baptism on the 16th and is even sharing her excitement with the members. That is great because it means that she is commited to getting baptized. She shared her testimony again during the family home evening and is doing really great in her progress. This week we are really going to focus on getting some fellowshipping done so that she has more friends in the church.
This week we have a lot of contacts to check up with and some old investigators that we are going to try to get a hold of and see if they are more prepared now to accept the gospel. I love you guys have a great week!

Hna BIggs

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A New Companion

This week went by really quickly here in the mission. On Friday us missionaries of Chañaral travelled to Antofagasta to watch a conference with Elder Oaks. He was in Santiago and wanted to do a conference with just missionaries. His words were really uplifting about our purpose as missionaires and how we need to be teaching the basics to our investigators instead of assuming that they know things like who is Christ and what our church services are like and even how to pray. It was a great reminder, because my faith and knowledge as a missionary is growing so much each day that sometimes its hard to remember that others dont even know the basics. We have to start with some at step one. After the conference we were able to run downtown to see some shops and stuff. Now that Chañarals downtown got washed away, theres no hope of shopping lol. It was fun, but I learned that I have really become accustomed to the little town of Chañaral. There were people everywhere. The buses were crowded and walking in a straight line at misisonary pace was impossible. We were dodging and weaving everywhere. I don't think I'm made for living in big cities anymore. hahaha. Well, I am sure that I could get used to it again lol.

Yesterday were transfers and I got a new companion. Her name is Hna Rivera and she is from Lima Peru just like Hna Arenas. She seems really fun and full of energy. The change up is nice, and hopefully we will continue to see miracles here in Chañaral. We have officially left our little house on the hill, where we were living with a family. It was sad to be leaving them, but they said that we have to return everyday for lunch. They are so cute. I am really grateful for their love and service these past few weeks. They have been so good to us. 

Well, I guess not too much more has happened. "M" couldnt come to church on Sunday. "J" is still a great convert and so glued to the gospel. It was hard for Hna Arenas to say goodbye and I dont want to imagine how it is going to be for me. We were unable to find "P" this week, but are hoping that we can still go forward with her and help her be baptized. There is a lot of work to be doing and so little time. Sometimes, I wish the days were longer so that we could be with more people, but we just have to pray that the time allows for everything. 

I love you guys so much. Have a great week!

Hna Biggs

Monday, April 13, 2015

Golden Missionary Opportunities

This week passed by so quickly. We helped a little more with the clean up of some of the members shops, but almost the whole week we were doing normal visits. We finally got to talk to some future investigators that we had met a few weeks ago. Luckily with all of the chaos a lot of people are at home with the families. Golden missionary opportunities! We were surprised to learn that the mom of this new family is the daughter of a less active, a less active that has become more receptive due to the disaster. Another golden opportunity! Hopefully we can get a two in one here. Reactivate a member and baptize a family. 

Some more great news is that "M" went to church yesterday for the first time! We were so happy! When we went to her house, she was still in her jammies, but she was able to get all ready to go and leave with us. She stayed for all three hours and really liked relief society. She wants to come to the weekly relief society meeting on Thursday:)

"J" has aso been accompanying us to our lessons on Saturdays. Its a lot of fun and she has a great testimony and story of conversion. This Sunday, she shared her testimony during the testimony meeting. How awesome. She talked about how three weeks before hand she had missed church because she was offered extra hours and went to work on Sunday. She said that she felt awful because she knew that she had made a commitment with Heavenly Father to be at church on Sunday. Hna Arenas and I were silently happy that she felt so bad (hahaha) and glad that she learned with certainity where she needs to be on Sunday. 

Besides all of that good news, many families are deserting Chañaral for the time being and also forever because of lack of work and problems with school for the kids and pollution. But still we are going strong! I love you guys. Have a great week:)

Hna Biggs 

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Music of The Gospel

We had a lot of fun here in Chañaral for Easter. We are still staying with a family for the time being, so I bought some Kinder Suprise eggs. They are chocolate eggs filled with toys. Considering the couple we are staying with is a little eldery, I didnt think it would be some big deal, but man they were super happy and entertained with their little gifts. It was a lot of fun. 

We did get to watch conference here. The only glitch was that the eletricity got cut just in time for the Sunday morning session, so we missed all of that, but the other sessions went really well. A lot of the talks focused on the family and marriage, which is always fun being missionary. However, I feel like again a new perspective on the sanctity of marriage I liked how many of the speakers explained their own reltionships and the importance of being married. My favorite talk was.... well I have a couple. I liked Wilford 
Andersen's talk about listening to the music of the gospel and his advice on how we can make that music sound in our homes so that everyone can learn to hear it. I thought the simile was powerful and creative. I also liked Dale Renlunds talk abut beng "latter day saints" not "latter day quitters or hypocrits or sinners". Another great talk about enduring to the end and living what we believe. The women's session was also really great. "J" loved that session as well and it was exciting to see her enjoy the talks. She saw all of the Saturday sessions, and is becoming a greater and greater member. It was a great conference and hopefuly I can listen to the session that I missed this week. 

Things are getting cleared up here in Chañaral. About half the week we were doing service and the other half we were doing our regular visits. The grocery stores have products again and every sector has electricity. There is a large part that still doesnt have running water and the sewers have gotten backed up due to the river, but besides that things are a little calm. School appears that it will be out of seesion for at least another month since several schools were affected with the mud and the others are being used as refuges and such. 

Just about all of the active members of the branch lost their jobs either because their shops were washed away or where they work was washed away. Last Sunday, the church meeting was a little sad. The members by then had settled emotions with what had happened, but still it is going to be a challenge to restart for them. Luckily, they are really supportive of one another, so I am sure that they will all get through this well. 



One of the many houses showing their support for Chañaral


I love you guys. 

Hna Biggs

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!