Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Another Miracle!

 This past week went by really fast, and I assume this week will be the same. The 18th of September is Independence Day for Chile and everyone is getting ready for the celebrations. There are parades and folk music and dance and a ton of empanadas. Lots of people have come to our little city for the week, but all of the people from Caldera have left, so it's going to be difficult for lessons, but it's fun to see the city full of so much life. 

We had a big miracle this week! I was so excited! We had fasted last week for our investigators to attend church. Only once in 3 months had we had one of our investigators there for Sunday, so we thought it was just to ask for church attendance for the three remaining Sundays of the transfer.

I was a little disappointed when the day of the fast, nobody came to church. The elders in the branch had two youth, but again we were sitting alone. We prayed all week that we would be able to find someone to go with us. We didn't care if it was an old investigator or someone new or even someone who just happened to wander into the chapel on Sunday. We wanted attendance.

We worked all week to invite people, but it looked complicated because of the holiday. However, we couldn't lose hope. Saturday night we called to remind people and no one answered the phone. Not a good sign. Sunday morning I started making calls a little earlier than usual to give enough time for the people to shower and what not. We really wanted our new investigator "V" to come since she was excited about the topic of baptism, but in the two attempts to call her she didn't answer. It was soon 9:15 (45 minutes before church starts) and I was feeling down thinking that the majority of the people we had called couldnt go. 

However, at the last minute, I decided that we should go and visit "V"to see if she was awake. With 45 minutes we could have time to help her get ready and then take a taxi to the chapel. We arrived outside of her house and I admit I felt like we were taking a shot in the dark. However, to our surprise, she answered the door immediately and was wearing a skirt! She was excited to go to church and brought two of her young children. We were so surprised and felt so blessed. A member that had accompanied us to one of the lessons was there to welcome her, and "V" knew two other members as well. It was perfect. We were so grateful to see that our fasting and prayers had been answered. 

Yesterday, we had a great conference and I learned so much. It was awesome! We are going to be working much smarter now!

I love you guys so much and will talk to you next week. We will see where the transfer takes us. 

Hermana Biggs

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Add Professional Tire Changer To The Resume!

Well this week we didnt have much change in luck, but it was still a fun week. We had zone conference Tuesday and then we spent the night in Copiapo for our interchanges? (Is that what they are called?). It was a lot of fun to work in a different sector for a day. I got to learn from having a different companion, but I am always amazed at how much I grow to love the people we visit. I am with them for an hour, but I start to feel like they are my investigators or less actives. I think that when you are helping people come closer to God, that you develop ties much quicker. 

On Wednesday, we went to visit one of our less active members in the hospital in Copiapo. She had been there for over a month to have a tumor removed. She was so happy to see us, and we were grateful that they let us in to visit. She returned to Caldera on Saturday and says she is feeling much better. 

We had a lot of energy and excitement to be back in our own sector and working together. We prayed that we would be able to find new people to teach because all of investigators are fading away. We decided to do even more street contacts. I remember the first two weeks when I arrived in Caldera I went street contact crazy looking for new investigators and out of all of the people I talked to I never received one address! We've kept obviously doing contacts since then, but not as crazily. Nonetheless this week we had great success. Out of all of the contacts we did about 1 in every 5 didnt want to hear more, so we were in the clouds with future invesitgators. Hopefully this week we will be able to have some great appointments. 

For Pday today 4 hermanas from Copiapo came to Caldera to visit Bahia Inglesa. We thought that we should travel in style and asked our favorite members if they could take us in their car. They recently bought the car and were super exxcited. We wanted to go to the lighthouse first to show the hermanas and then to the beach, but when we took the road there was the same protest happening when my companion and I had gone three weeks earlier. The protests had stoped but it looks like they are at it again. (Shellfish fishers against a mining company). However, the family that took us wanted to go the back way by a dirt road. To make a long story short after a lot of rock hoping and sand we made it to the lighthouse, but when we got out of the car we realized that a tire was rather slowly leaking air. 

The husband said that we should go look at the lighthouse and that he would change the tire, but after taking a quick tour of the lighthouse and talking to his wife, it appeared that he may not know how to change a tire. I remembered the time that I had knocked the tire off the rim in front of the piano teachers house and dad taught me how to change the tire, so I went to help. Good thing I had learned because he was really unsure of how to go about changing a tire. In the end, although the family didnt want a flat tire, they said that everything worked out because had it happened when they were alone that wouldnt have known what to do. Everyone was pretty impressed with my skills:) Put the jack on the frame of the car not a plastic part, tighten all of the bolts a little bit first and then retighten so that the tire is balanced and straight all of the little tricks ( at least I think it was all of the tricks, the tire didnt fall off or anything:) Thanks Dad!

 love you guys and hope you have a great week. Good luck with the shows and busy schedules!

Hermana Biggs

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Our Search For Happiness

The pictures of Jett are so cute. He really does look a lot different than Brax when he was born. So adorable! I cant wait to meet him in December through Skype. Its a good thing that you guys live pretty close to Amanda to help her out. I know Brax is still in the terrible twos and another baby has to be a chllenge. But he is cute! Mom, are the glasses a permanent thing now? Hahaha jkjk.

This week has gone by pretty fast again. We have been working hard, but Indepence Day is coming up and more and more people are leaving their houses or having visitors, so it makes our work difficult. The bright side though is that we still get a lot of work in with the members and less actives. They normally are more confortable with letting us in with their families and such. That's great for us because our little branch needs some help. We are trying to form a branch family with the members, so that they are more loving and understanding. I think we have made great progress, especially with our weekly activities. We had a great attendance again this past week and the best was that the members stayed and talked to each other. Although no investigators came, I still felt like it was a successful event. 

My companion and I are working on revamping our lessons. We both felt that things were getting a little repetitive. To some extent it is unavoidable because we are teaching the same lessons and the same principles every day. However, we want to have different lessons, lessons where the spirit teaches more than we do. We have been practicing and planning better what we can ask and say and share so that each lesson is different and stronger. So far, things have been going great! Our lessons seem more like conversations and we have avoided repeating the same scriptures or experiences. I feel like I am really learning to be a better teacher and its awesome. 

We are still working on our transfer of change and we have three weeks left to see how it goes. We have been talking a lot about the things we have learned in the mission and the things that we still want to improve, so I think we are going to see great success at the end of the three weeks. Its kind of funny, because my current companion has been the most difficult so far, and its not that bad,  but yeah a bit of a struggle. Nonetheless, we are getting along really well and are committed to being better. We pass every other minute laughing and joking and then talking about the craziest, most random stuff. I remember what my very first companion had read from "Our Search for Happiness" back in the MTC that sometimes we let little differences and things of the world interfer with the big truths; That we are all children of God and need Him and His love in this life. Its great to know that when Hna Palomino and I have the same goals and the same desires we can put the little differences of personality away and work really well together, and really have a great friendship. 

The weirdest thing happened on Sunday. We were in the Sunday school class and one of my favorite members from Caldera was teaching. It was a great class about Oseas from the New Testament, and she is a really great Sunday school teacher. For a brief moment she stopped teaching to take off her jacket and I am not sure if it was the top she was wearing or the way she had her hair or what but when I looked up to see her again, she looked just like you, mom. I kept starring at her but all I could see was you. Of course I couldnt help the tears from falling as I thought about the things that we havent been able to do in the last eight months, but at the same time it was conforting to feel you so close. I hope you are doing well and staying on top of all of the activities, weddings, projects, shows, children, and grandchild. I love and miss you! Have a happy birthday this week. 

I love you all and wish you the best. No more dumping ice water on each other hahaha. Ciao!

Hermana Biggs

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hip Hop Missionary Discussions?

Sounds like another busy week, and I assume that this week will be the same with Braxton by your side. I cant wait to hear how the birth goes of little baby Jett! I can already imagine that he is going to be super cute! I loved the pictures of Aspen, how cute, I can still tell she has her sass. I am sure the Hiphop will just add to that. 

Speaking of hiphop, this past Friday there was a hiphop/karoke type thing happening in one of the feilds by our house all night. It was super hilarious and I got into it by hiphoping the lessons. We presented our hiphop to a member family and they thought it was great. I think I am on to something hahah. Maybe it will bring more investigators lol. 

We had a great miracle this week. We had planned to attend some appointments with a member, but the two appointments that we had fell through. She agreed to do some walking though, and we went with our backup plans. Again no success. We went to give out some of the pictures of Jesus that people had asked for in the feria, and still limited success. We had walked for two hours and with the member with us, we began to feel bad because things werent looking so good. However, we always try to stay positive and I told my comapnion"theres always a reason when things go bad and no body lets us in". We were racking our brains trying to think of who lived close to visit, when one of our investigators pulled up in a taxi with her daughter and two granddaughters. We had visited the investigator in that same morning, so we didnt think much about her letting us in again, but to our surprise, she said that we could enter! Even better was that her daughter wanted to listen to the lesson too and the two granddaughters! Plus they invited two of the other grandchildren ( who live on the same street) to come and listen. It was awesome. We taught the restoration to them and they were excited for us to return. I was so happy. I think that is my first lesson with investigaters where we could get all of the family together at the same time and have a powerful lesson. It felt great to be teaching a family. We have an appointment with them again this coming week, so we are excited to see how it goes. Overall, I hope that we can find more complete families that are interested in learning about Christ. We are going to try to focus on that. 

This week was really interesting. We did a lot of walking... A LOT of walking, and we had difficulties several days in finding people in their homes. However, I felt the spirit really strongly so many times. In part, I felt like this week was for me. I had many inpressions for things that I need to do now in the mission and further along in life. I felt like the scriptures spoke to me and that I learned and received answers for the things I had asked for. It was interesting overall because I wanted to have more lessons and teach more people and work more efficiently, yet I learned a lot in the time that we were walking and studying. It was a good week

We also had an excellent activity this past Wednesday. It was one of our weekly activities that we are trying to do, and we had a great attendance of about 25 people. The best part was that many of them were investigators and less actives. Three of our investigators came and had a great time! I was so surprised! The first activity had been small and just members, so this was great. We played games in rotations. There was pingpong, Uno, Monopoly, and Jenga. Everyone seemed to have fun and "L"came!!! We gave her a church tour at the end and she got really teary when we entered the chapel. We could tell that the spirit was working strongly with her. We cant wait to see her progress!

I hope all goes well tomorrow with Jett! I love you guys and am always keeping you in my prayers. 

Love 
Hermana Biggs

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Love To See The Temple

Hey everyone. This letter is going to be short because today is my companion's birthday and we are running late on everything hahaha. Today we started out by going to Bahia Inglesa on bikes. It was a great idea, but I think I am going to be walking wrong for the next week seeing as the seat was so dang hard. Plus the gears didnt work, so it made the trip a bit more difficult. Luckily, Bahia Inglesa is just five kilometers away from Caldera, so not too much suffering hahah. I think I sent pictures last time we went to Bahia Inglesa. Its the beach with white sand and blue water where I found a little baby crab:) I will attach more photos too.
 
This week we had a lot of fun doing lots of service. One of our investigators, M, returned from a trip to Santiago and had bought a ton of American clothing to sell in the ferria here. We spent like 5 hours ironing and ironing away all the clothes, so that they would look good for the ferria. On Saturday,  we decided to  publicize our free English classes again in the ferria with her. Luckily there was an open spot in front of her clothes stand. Again we had to yell "Free English Classes, Learn English for Free!" We had a lot of success though and handed out over 200 pass a long cards and some pamphlets. It was awesome. 
  
This week the branch also made a quick trip to the temple. Obviously, I wasnt able to go being a missionary, but I got to see lots of people make a lot of preparations and sacrifices so that they could spend just a few hours in the temple. It is about a 9 hour bus ride from here to Santiago and they only spent one day there. However, the experiences that they had were amazing. Sacrament meeting on Sunday was dedicated to testimonies of the people who were able to go. They had such a great spirit. I was thinking about how many temples are in a 9 hour reach from our house. We have Mesa, Gilbert, Staffard, Snowflake, soon Phoenix and Tucson, and I think St. George Utah too. Plus there maybe one in Mexico or something close. Either way we are surrounded by temples, the closest being 5 five minutes away.  I hope that we can dedicate as much effort in going to the temple as these members did this week. They'll recieved such great blessings. I cant wait until I will be able to enter the temple again after the mission!
 
Bueno, I have many things to write but we already have to be going to our next birthday celebration and lesson. We have a great new investigoator from Colombia. His name is L and his wife M. They are both really great! This week we are going to have a lot of success, I just know it.
 
Have an awesome week. I loved the photos from Tawny's shower. It looked so cute!  I hope everything goes well with dance, and room mom! Love you all!
 
Hna. Biggs





Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Lighthouse

This week was pretty fun! I got to do some wedding decorations of my own for a family in my branch that is going to be sealed in the Santiago temple this Friday. They are one of our favorite families and we are always visiting them. The parents are converts from 2003 and recently their 11 year old daughter got baptized, so the three of them are going to be sealed. The husband, M wanted to have a little reception and everything to celebrate. They are about to celebrate 25 years of being married as well, so it was a grand celebration. The Latin receptions are a little different seeing as their first concern for decorations were the colors of the balloons, but in the end it was a great little party. We had a little ceremony to start in the sacrament room and the couple were able to share their testimonies. Then the four of us missionaries sang "When Theres Love at Home". We sang in english and spanish to try to disguise our voices, but I think overall it turned out well. Then we went into the cultural hall to eat and dance. 
 I was in charge of the table decorations and found some sticks while prosyleting. Not sure the rustic sticks go with balloons, but whatever hahaha. 


 The four missionaries with the couple!
First dance? Probably not, but it was cute:)

It was fun to be able to do lots of service and the M's were so happy. They have made a lot of progress since first getting to know the missionaries in 2003 and it was exciting seeing their joy at the thought of being married for time and all eternity. Thursday night the branch is driving down to Santiago for a branch temple day and the M family will be sealed! Its amazing

We still havent been able to visit E. She had to do some paperwork in Copiapo and should return tomorrow. We have been calling her to see how she has been, so we havent lost contact. Y and Mand E are doing great! They continue to read the book of mormon and want to attend church. This past week of course the little boy got sick and again they werent able to attend. (I dont like oppostition!!!!) However, we are being patient and they are very receptive. E returns from his work shift tomorrow, so we are going to go and teach the whole family again this week. We also found a really great new investigator, "I". Her neice is a member in Copiapo and she has attended church a few times there. We had our first lesson and one of her cousins was there with her. The lesson of the restoration went really well and the spirit was very strong. We invited them both to be baptized, and they are going to pray for an answer. We are meeting so many great people here.  

Oh by the way transfers were Saturday and my companion and I are staying together here in Caldera! We have dedicated this transfer to be a transfer of change. We are going to be missionaries on fire! Talking with everyone, teaching with power and authority, and developing those attributes that we want to see in ourselves. I am thrilled with the idea of growth. I was thinking about the time I have been in the mission. Everything is flying by so fast and I still have various things that I want to see, in myself and others. Caldera may be a hard sector for baptisms, but I can still be progressing personally. We are putting all that we have into this transfer!

  Today we decided to go on an adventure and walk to the Caldera´s light house. We have never seen the lighthouse because its in a little hidden cove, but some members gave us vague instructions and we took off. It was quite the adventure walking more or less aimless next to the highway. We kept thinking that maybe the lighthouse doesnt exist since we have never seen it, but the few times we asked people along the way they affirmed that if we keep going we would find it. At last, probably 4 or 5 miles from our house the lighthouse came into view.

After walking for about two hours passing barking dogs, heat, and angry workers,  this little bity thing was on the horizon.
 When I saw I shouted with joy, " there it is!". My companion, obviously tired from walking said irritatedly, "Thats it!!! Uhhh I thought it was going to be something important". She had never seen a lighthouse before, and even I had imagined something a bit bigger. But we had walked so long that I wasnt going to turn around. 

We finally arrived and had a good laugh. It was a cute little lighthouse and had a great view of the ocean and part of Caldera. 


In the end we had a good adventure and a long walk home, but at least we know that the lighthouse does exist! Hahah

I love you guys and hope you enjoy Bailee´s birthday!

Hermana Biggs

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sometimes Life Is Hard

This week went well. We weren't able to get a hold of "E". She had gone to her beach house for the week, and forgot about our appointment. It was really disappointing to hear and even more disappointing that she couldn't come to church with us on Sunday because she was still out of town. However, we have been praying for her and know that she will be able to progress when she returns. We have another awesome family of four. E, Y, M and D. E and Y are not married, but they have been reading the Book of Mormon together. M is 10 and also is reading, but D is only three. They are a super sweet family that we have started to visit, and we are really excited for them. The only obstacle is that E and Y´s relationship is relatively new and they both have children with different partners (Mand D are Y children), so they want to make sure that the children are comfortable and accepting. E has already asked to marry Y ten times, she says, but they are working on getting to know the children and everything. This week, they too went out of town for the weekend, and couldn't attend church, but we have had some great lessons with members and they are too sweet. 

Wednesday was a great day. We were on fire. We had tons of visits and contacts and references and even new investigators. It was awesome and really got us pumped to finish the week with great success. However, after all of Wednesday´s success, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were difficult. We had two lessons each day and every reference that we tried to contact wasn't home. We walked for hours and hours and then decided to visit members. 

I always joke that when we have to work in the street all day and our appointments fall through that Heavenly Father is just telling us that we need to do extra exercise because we are getting fat, but it is hard to have several of those days in a row. I was getting more and more disappointed as Sunday rolled around and then found out that none of our investigators were going to come to church. I'ts hard to work day after day like that. I wish I could say that Sunday was all better and that an invesitgator showed up unexpectedly or that we had great success, but sometimes that's just not what the week has planned for us. Somedays things are just bad; My companion drives me crazy, an investigator doesnt want to listen anymore, no street contact is receptive. And then it doesn't just get better all of a sudden, and everything is sunshine and roses. 

I think, what I have learned more than anything in this transfer in Caldera is that life is tough. Whether your'e a missionary, a mom, a single, young, old whoever you are, life is tough. We are given challenges that we dont expect, dont want, and sometimes cant handle. But I know that what Mormon wrote is true, ¨God has not ceased to be a God of miracles¨. In all of the difficult days I still have not stopped seeing the miracles that Heavenly Father performs for me and those around me. I see His hand everyday, and I know that some of my weakest moments are when I am closest to Him. I know He loves me; I know He loves you. Never stop seeing His hand in your lives. 

I love you guys. 

Hermana Biggs

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Week Of Miracles

I love the pictures from Amazing Jakes! It looks like the girls had fun there. What was the theme for girls camp this year? Did dad have to chase away any spiders or rats or bats? Always a good time in the woods. 

I love the Jospeh Smith video too! I am impressed by the humility that Joseph Smith and the first leaders of the church had in order to fulfill their purposes even when maybe they didnt understand everything themselves. We are so blessed for their diligence, and its true, we often dont think about what they gave up in order to give us the gospel that we have today. 

The zone attack went really well on Thursday. We had about 50 youth and 38 missionaries show up to help us plant seeds and cultivate. The first few hours of the activity we did a mini MTC in the church. We divided into 6 districts and taught important principles from Preach my Gospel that they could use throughout the day,  then we ate a delicous lunch of grilled chicken and rice yum yum, Finally, we set out to work! I was assigned to 4 young women that,  to be honest,  weren't too intersted in proselytizing. We did some contacts and then they wanted to play in the park. (not the easiest task I have had hahaha). I wasnt given very many less actives to go and visit and the investigators that lived in the area weren't home.

 I wanted the girls to have a good experience but as the minutes passed on the only change we saw was in their energy levels. Soon they wanted to take breaks every few seconds. I started praying that we would be able to find somene to teach or a good street contact so that they coud have a great missionary experience. Just at the conclusion of my prayer we started to cross the street and one of the girls said, " Hey my aunt lives there". We quickly walked over to the house and I realized that it was the home of a less active that never lets us in because her house is under renovations and she is embarrassed of the mess. However, with her niece by my side, we entered! It was a great lesson and finally the girls could see a little bit more of the missionaries miracles. 

When we left I handed the girls some pass a long cards and invited them to give them all out before we had to head back to the church. They got more interested after the lesson, and they placed all of their cards. Then when we were about to start to head back to the church to finish up the day, a cousin of a different girl passed by. She is not a member but has been looking to participate in a church. She is a little older and lives with her mom, but said that they are always home and would love to hear our message. Another blessing to finish off the day. 

We arrived back at the church only to have tons of youth running up to us to tell us about the amazing investigators they had met. My companion as well had met several people with her group of youth and was excited. The event ended with a short testimony meeting and it appeared that everyone enjoyed their day in Caldera. We were able to locate several members and received about 50 references between the elders and us. We have been trying to contact and set up appointments with everyone and are having success. 

One of our sucesses is E . She had a quick lesson with some youth and wanted missionaries to return. We had an appointment set up for Friday. She was surprised to see that we too were youth, but man was the lesson super powerful. She shared some of her spiritual experiences with us and we tauhgt her about the Plan of Salvation and Book of Mormon. she says that she has lots of time to read and has been looking for a long time for the true church. We invited her to be baptized and she took a long pause. Then she said, " well to be direct........................ Of course! I think it is my turn now and that God is calling me to be baptized" The spirit was impressive. We were so excited and cant wait to see her progress. Her goal date is for the 23rd of August! 

It has been a week of miracles here in Caldera and I assume that there are more coming in this week. I love you guys:) Take care!

Hermana Biggs

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!