Sunday, December 6, 2015

UC3M

What started off as a dream more than 7 years ago is finally becoming reality! It began when I was in the 8th grade and I wandered into my school counselor's office. I wanted to talk about the possibility of studying abroad. I was falling in love with a language and could not wait to be immersed in it. After expressing my desire, she informed me that studying abroad in high school was not probable. She encouraged me to consider waiting until college, and she showed me her much loved scrapbook of her semester in Salamanca, Spain. My interest was sparked as she began to tell me of her amazing time abroad. Thumbing through the pages of her book, I was introduced to a new world and I could not wait until I had my very own scrapbook of adventures. It was settled: I would study abroad in Spain.

With this grand goal always on my mind its no mystery that right after high school graduation I wanted to fill my passport with stamps. My journeys have taken me to Germany, Mexico, Nicaragua, Tennessee, and Chile. However, now is the time that I fulfil that old dream I dreamt of in 8th grade. So for my very last semester of undergrad in college I will be in Madrid, Spain! I was accepted to a program at the Universidad de Carlos el Tercer en Madrid (UC3M), and I cannot wait!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Tortuga Study Abroad Scholarship!


It is often said that who lives sees much, who travels sees more. Through the first few years of my college career, I have been able to see and learn many things. I have become independent and organized; I have learned from great professors about political science and international relations. I have developed a love for diversity. My dream since age twelve was to study abroad in Spain, so during these past few years I have prepared myself to fulfil this dream. I have developed a love for Spanish culture through literature and film. I have worked at perfecting my Spanish speaking ability, and I even took some Latin dance classes. This upcoming semester, I will be able to finally fulfil that dream and ‘see more’.

 
 
Learning about another culture will help me better understand and love people that do not share my same story or background. I want to get to know the Spanish people and learn about their day to day hopes, concerns, and dreams. As I begin to understand a new culture, my love with expand. In addition, I want to deepen my understanding of topics that I have learned in the classroom. For example, a few semesters ago, I was in a Spanish course that focused on bilingual and multilingual countries, Spain being one of them. I am excited to see firsthand how multilingualism has shaped Spanish culture. This semester I am in an environmental science course and we have discussed sustainable food sources. I would love to be able to visit the Veta La Palma fish farm in Spain and see how sustainability is changing the way Spain thinks about food. I hope that having these experiences with another culture will make me a better, more open minded person than I am today.

 
When I return home from my semester abroad, I want to share what I have learned with others. I do not want to just share how great the food is, or what the latest fashions are, or all of the pictures I took, (although I will share that as well). However, I want to share what seeing another culture has done for me. I want to share the understanding gained, the love expounded, and the lessons learned. I would like to help others experience a small part of what I experienced. I plan on sharing my experiences through a blog that I write: travelingsole-emilee.blogspot.com and also through the education abroad department at my university. This way I can reach others who are interested in study abroad and excite them to travel and see more.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

My Next Travels

Hey guys to fund my next  (to be revealed soon)http://www.drpeppertuition.com/profile/944617658964302, I need to earn a little money. I am applying for scholarships and need your help. Please go to this website and vote for me, so that I can continue pursuing my dreams!

Click Here! Thanks!

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Big TWO THREE

Being 22 was pretty awesome, I have to admit. A lot of self security and confidence was gained as I discovered more about who I am and what I want to do for this world. I owe much of that confidence and inner happiness to the time I spent as a full-time missionary for the LDS church. Those small and everyday experiences in Chile have shaped my life forever.

However, I must say good-bye to my Taylor Swift's "22" jam sessions and now officially enter what some websites deem the worst year of the twenties (Other websites say its 26 or 29, so I guess I can look forward to that). But, hey I am feeling pretty good about 23.  This is the year that I will graduate college (and figure out what happens after that), finally fulfil my lifelong goal of living in Spain, develop some sort of dance ability, and tackle a third language (work on my French? pick up an Asian language?). My outlook on life has always been positive, and this year I cannot wait to see what I can accomplish. So with this new found confidence and the myriad of opportunities ahead, I salute 23 to not being the worst year but one of the best!


And for just one last time:

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Last Email! July 6th 2015

E got baptised on Saturday! It was amazing. I couldnt believe how the Lord had prepared her throughout all of this time to finally become a member of the true church. She was so excited for her baptism. She even arrived before anyone else (including us!). It was a great service. I enjoyed onced again getting to experience a convert recieving the Holy Ghost.  I think that is my favorite part of the baptismal process. It is so powerful seeing someone recieve the gift and then their first priesthood blessing.

After the baptism we had the Chile vs Argentina game for the American Cup and CHILE WON!! We are officially champions of 2015! It was a great game, and afterwards the city went crazy. Luckily, we had instructions for the mission president to stay inside afterwards. 

Today, my favorite family ever came from Caldera to take us to Pan de Azucar. Its a really beautiful national park about 30  minutes from Chañaral. Unfortunately the main attractions where there is the best view was closed due to damage to the road during the flooding. However, we still had a blast, did a bbq and went rock climbing at one the local beaches. It was a ton of fun! The hard part was saying good bye. I can already sense that this week is not going to be an easy one.


​ I love you guys and am so excited to see you in this next week. I cant believe that the time has past so rapidly, but thank you so much for your love and support. You guys helped me get through some of the tough moments in the mission. The fun stories and memories always helped me when I needed a reason to laugh and to keep pushing forward. Thank you for raising me in this great church where I have been able to learn to work, serve, love, and now have a close relationship with my Savior. I love you guys and thank you for all of your love and perseverance that has made all of this possible. 

Hna Biggs

See you in a week:)

June 29th!

This week was great! Elba keeps progressing and on Saturday she had her bautismal iterview. She is super excited and we are too. She came to church as well so that we could officially announce her baptism for this Saturday! Its a fourth of July baptism! How fun! We are going to have the service in the morning because in the afternoon is the ending of the American Cup (soccer stuff), so we figured it would be hard for people to give up their football haha. Nonetheless, it is going to be awesome.
It feels like the whole week was full of miracles. We found 10 new invesitgators and had a record number of lessons for the week. I really know that Heavenly Father has prepared people here to be baptised. This week we also we also had zone conference and President Dalton and the office group came to train us. Its my last zone conference, so I got to share my testimony at the end. How weird is that. I didnt think it would be any big deal, but it was a little nerve wrecking.
On Sunday, President and his wife were still in Chañaral,so they attended our meetings. Everyone was nervous which is pretty funny to see, but they both gave really great talks about the temple and sacriment. Sister Dalton mentioned that the temples are the most holy places in the world. Then she added that the temple in Santiago is the holiest place in all of Chile. Thats amazing right? To think that in one building you can find the most calming and peaceful setting in the whole country. It would obviously be nice to have 2 or 3 or 50 of the holiest building here in Chile, but to think that there is just one and that anyone who wants to and completes the requirements to enter, can, is amazing. I am really excited to be able to enter the temple again in just a few weeks.
Today is my second to last Pday. I have next week and then one other Monday, but I will be passing that one in Antofagasta, so it will be different. Its so weird to think about. But I guess everything is coming to an end. Anyways today we went with a the Rojas family to the mountain and made sopaipillas. It was super fun and I finally got to see a little greenery in the hills. We climbed up the mountain and the view was amazing!


​Well, I had a lot more photos to send, but the internet is really slow. I suppose two weeks isnt too much time to wait:)

June 22nd Finally feels like I'm Leaving

This week has been great. I think I am finally getting that "I am going home" feeling because everything is feeling like the last time. The funny thing is that I still have a few weeks until everything really becomes my last opportunity. So I just have to live it up until then. This week, we had a lot of success with E. We put a baptismal date for the 4th of July (she is a miracle for sure), and she is super excited. I cant believe that she is progressing so rapidly. This week will be the test though because we have to teach her the word of wisdom, tithing, and the law of chastity.  We are praying for her every night. She really feels that this is the true church and is  so sweet. I will have to let you know next week how everything went.

On Friday we travelled to Tal Tal to do exchanges with the sisters there. That truly was a "last time" moment, but I enjoyed it. I got to see some of the families I had met the last time we did exchanges there, so that was a lot of fun. Soccer is again taking Chile by storm now that the American Cup has started. Everytime Chile plays, everyone is having a BBQ and miraculously dont have time for the missionaries. To make things even worse, the American Cup is being hosted  by Chile, so all of the games are being watched by the Chileans since they feel that they must win. Its pretty exciting hearing everyone talk about what teams are going against what teams, but the whole American Cup thing couldnt have started in a few weeks more? Hahaha. I guess, I should consider it a blessing though, that unlike American football, the soccer games are during the week and not Sundays:)

Today, for p day we dedicated ourselves to the arts. We bought some tempera paint and paper and are doing our own interpretations of Chañaral. We havent finished yet, but it was a lot of fun and definitely helped unstress a little bit. This week we have lots of people to be teaching so that they can all come to church on Sunday. Wish us luck!

I love you guys:)

June 15th and Lots of new people

This week we met a ton of new people that are receptive. We havent been able to teach many of them, but thats what this next week is for. On Sunday we had our weekly Branch Family Home Evening and all of new investigators arrived. It was awesome! Before the FHE we had gone to visit one investigator Y, so that she could come with us. We ended up arriving a little late with her at the chapel, but when we walked in we were surprised to see that  almost all of the people that had come were our invesitgators! It was a lot of fun and hopefully, they will continue to come to the church.

One of the new invesitgators is E. She is a little elderly lady that we met in the market last week. She was adventist and then she went to the penecostal church, but she is still searching for the truth. we taught her about the restoration and she loved it. Everyone had told her that the Mormons worship Joseph Smith, and when she found out that he was a modern day prophet she was amazed. We were only able to visit her once before Sunday, but she came to church! She arrived like 10 minutes late and was confused on how to enter, so she entered the cultural hall and sat down. She could hear the talking through the dividing wall, so she listened. As the meeting was almost over, she saw that someone left the chapel and so she understood how to get in. She is so cute! She was one of the new people that came to the FHE as well.

June 9th!

This week was kinda slow. We had trouble getting a hold of our progressing investigators and then went to Antofagasta on Thursday for our leadership counsil. Yesterday was our zone conference and my companion and I talked about consecration and giving up all we are to be what the Lord wants us to be. We planned a little activity and I think it went over really well. Afterwards, I got a haircut! My old companion Hna W has been in our zone in another little town, but with the transfers is leaving us, so I took advantage of her mad skills and get my return home look:) It turn out pretty cute and I think for the first time in all of my mission my hair actually stayed stright for more than five minutes. Slowly but surely it feels like things are coming to an end. Although I still dont believe it entirely. 

On Saturday we went to the feria ( like a market or more of a giant garage sale of clothing) and we had a little stand. We asked people how they thought they could find peace and joy after everything that had happened in Chañaral. It was a ton of fun and we got to talk to so many people. The normal answer was that it is going to be hard to find peace again, and then we explained that we can have internal peace through the gospel. We also had several other pass a long cards that ask question like Why am I here on Earth, how can I have a happy family, and how can I know if God has a plan for me. I found that many people had asked the question, but few had found an answer. We took advantage and invited them to listen to us in their homes and now we have a million of people to visit. Hopefully, this week we can get a hold of them and see who is ready to recieve the gospel!

I love you guys, Have an awesome week!

Hna Biggs

Another Wedding May 25th

This week was all so great here in Chile. Our papitos that we lived with during all of the rain and flood problems got married today! The ceremony was at 9 am so that they could be heading to Santiago later and be able to get to the US to for their temple sealing. Despite that today was only the civil wedding, they were so happy. It was so cute to see them :) On Saturday we had had a little reception at the church with them to celebrate. She threw a fake bouquet, they cut the cake together, and even shared a giant kiss. How romantic. It was a lot of fun as well. 

On Saturday, I also got to be sick all day long. I think I had some sort of food poisoning which is not fun, but I kept thinking I would get better and be able to leave the house. Never happened. The good thing is that I am mainly repared now and working happily again in the field:)

We met a great new investigator named J this week. She is a single mom of 3 and has a really kind heart. Her father was one of the many who did not leave his home in time to survive the flooding, so she has been really sensitive for his passing lately. We have only taught her once, but it was really sweet how she felt the spirit. We invited her to church and she said that she doesnt want to come, not even out of curiosity. It appears we have our work cut out for us, but we feel that when she better understands why we go to church that she will definitely be more excited to attend. 

We have also had some cool experiences in one home. A few weeks ago we contacted two women on the street  and they invited us to come and visit and teach them. We went several times to their home, but they were never home or didnt have time for us. Then last week we passed by again, and surprisingly they had moved! However, we contacted the new home owners and they said that we could pass by in another opportunity. A few days ago we again went to the same house looking for the new family and guess what? They werent there; however, the woman{s mother was there. She is a member that got bautised about 20 years ago and has bee inactive for about the last 18 years. She was a youth when she got bauptised but enjoyed the activities and events of the church. Recently she lost all of her things in the flooding and is living in a small bedroom with her two youngest children. We were able to share with her and help her to feel happiness and love. She wants to be able to come back to church and this time hopefully she can have a real conversion. Its funny how in this one house we have met so many people hahah. We are going to pass by again to hopefully be able to find this lady{s older daughter, if she doesnt just move on us hahah. 

I love you guys have a great first week of summer!

May 18th!


This week M got bautised! She definitely had some struggles and pressures this week beforehand, but she clung onto the Book of Mormon and prayer to get hrough all of her doubts and fears. That was awesome to see. On Saturday we went to clean the chapel with her (I think the first time a convert has cleaned the chapel before their own baptism. She wanted to do it) and she told us that she was really ready. The start of the ceremony was alittle crazy because we thought that the font would fill a little quicker than it did. Lets just say that a garden hose and a lot of prayer filled the font hahah. I dont know how cold it was, but M didnt notice:)

This week, our progressing couple, P and M, came to church for the first time! It was so cool. M really liked the clases and everything and they are going to try to come this week as well. We are having them pray to know whether they should get baptised on the 20th of June and things are looking very good for that date. We are super excited.

I also had my last interview with President this week. Well, there is the interview when I am leaving the misión, but this was the last time that we were going to see him in traveling interviews. It was alittle strange feeling, but thats ok. Two months is still time. Hopefully I will be able to spend the rest of that time in Chañaral. I am so hoping for that.

Hna Biggs



Mother's Day! Letter from May 4th 2015

This week has been super busy. We have had tons of appointments, but its been really fun. Our new family is doing great. They are really pensive on everything, but are completing with their commitments. M is super excited for her bautism! On Sunday, we had our weekly branch family home evening in her home. She prepared all kinds of sweets to eat and loved having everyone there. Like no other time, they were like 30 people who came!! It was awesome. Hna R and I were in charge of the night and for the lesson asked who would like to eat the treats that M had prepared. Of course, everyone wanted to- We asked one of the elders if he was willing to do 10 push ups to eat a treat. He did the ten and then asked who else wanted to eat and with each person asked if the same elder would do 10 push ups so that that person could eat a treat. After 9 or so people and 90 push ups, the elder was weak and people stopped wanting to eat the treats. We then read Isaiah 53:3-5 and talked about how Jesus had suffered for us, so that we can have the reward. It was a really powerful activity and helped M understand the importance of Jesus Christ in her life. It went really well. We then played 2 truths and 1 lie which was a crack up. 
 

We have another couple that have begun to progress and they are adorable. P has been an investigator for about 8 months and just recently her husband has started listening to the lessons. He is super receptive and P already wants to be bautised. We are helpng them pray since her husband doesnt have a background of doing so. Our last lesson with them he said that he had wanted to pray one day to have peace at work, and he was going to do it at night, but he forgot to do it. I thought about how his simple faith.. Turns out when we asked them to pray at night to know if what we teach is true, he thought he could only pray at night. Of course we explained that he can pray in any moment. At the end of the lesson, we encouraged them to do a family prayer in the nights or a prayer as a couple. They both thought it was a good idea and accepted the challenge. As we were about to walk out the door, the husband asked "How do you do a couple{s prayer?" Is there arny thing more  than new faith? They are super great. The next day we went to have a FHE and talked about strenghtening families and then played Jenga. 

That pretty much wraps up this weeks miracles. Obviously there are always many. I love you guys have a great week and we will see or at least talk on Sunday!

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. 
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