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


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!