Monday, June 29, 2015

No Transfer!!! Welcome Hna. Mota!!

Jessica got a new companion this week and she gets to stay in Curico! Her new companion is from Brazil and her name is Hermana Mota. She will meet her tomorrow. Here are some excerpts from our conversation over email:

Yeah, she (Hna. Vorwaller) is still here!! The rumor is that if you get to Curico and stay there for more than one change, you end up being there for like 6 months... :D I actually want to stay here for that long. It would be awesome! We think President forgets about the missionaries in Curico so that is why they never get changed ;) 

The biggest lesson I learned was following the Spirit and praying with real intent. We invited our investigator to be baptized, Alejandra, who brings her family to church, even though she isn`t a member and they both are. Her daughter Nicol is our recent convert and her husband is less active. Alejandra`s only problem is that she drinks tea and coffee, and she doesn`t really want to stop drinking them. We are praying lots for her. 

I am doing great. Right now I am working on becoming a more consecrated missionary because we read a talk by Tad. R. Callister about Becoming a Consecrated Missionary (see full text below). It is kind of like the 4th missionary and I am just seeing what I need to do to better consecrate myself. :) 

(This next part is in response to my telling her that her brother, Derek is getting ready to go on his mission by wearing a hoodie in 90+ degree weather. Also, he got the same missionary bag that she has and he thinks he'll be able to beat it up more than her)

Oh my gosh! I miss Derek! He is so funny! Is it really that hot in St. Louis?? I love that bag too!! It is super awesome! Tell him he doesn`t even stand a chance with beating it up more. I am in South America, walking and riding bikes everywhere.... So we`ll see ;) 

I don`t think St. Louis is as dirty as Chile... ;) I am definitely going to win!! 

Zone Curico 1

Zone Curico 1--Loco

Becoming a Consecrated Missionary
Given by Elder Tad R. Callister, of the Seventy, in the Provo Missionary Training Center on October 7, 2008
Many years ago I entered the Mission Training Center as a young enthusiastic missionary. The training was shorter and simpler then, but the spirit was just as powerful. I have long forgotten most of what was said, but an observation made by the president of the Mission Training Center struck me and has remained with me to this day. He said in essence: “Every mission has a number of good, even great missionaries, but most missions only have about five or so consecrated missionaries – those who are willing to lay everything on the altar of sacrifice.”
Today I believe we have many more such consecrated missionaries. But to those of you who are not quite there, but would like to be, it is you to whom I would like to speak today – about becoming a consecrated missionary.
What is a Consecrated Missionary?
What is a consecrated missionary? It is a missionary who is willing to lay everything on the altar of sacrifice and to hold nothing back. It is a willingness to give every ounce of energy, every conscious thought, and every drop of passion to this work – to submit our will to God’s will whatever it may be. Every missionary who has been to the temple has covenanted to consecrate his all. The book of Omni records the depth and breadth of that covenant: “Yea, come unto me, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him” (Omni 1:26).
The law of consecration is the law of the temple, it is the law of the celestial kingdom, and it is the law of a celestial mission.
Parley P. Pratt was such a consecrated missionary. He had served as a missionary for more than 25 years of almost constant labors. He had just returned from his latest mission in Chile. He was hopeful that he could now remain at home and enjoy his family, but such expectations were short lived. President Brigham Young called him to serve yet another mission– this time in the eastern states. One can imagine the feelings that must have swelled up in Parley’s heart. Perhaps he thought, “Haven’t I given all that a mortal could be expected to give? Don’t I deserve to spend some time with my family and friends? Can’t I just relax for a while?”
But Parley P. Pratt was a consecrated missionary. On September 7, 1856, shortly after learning of his call by Brigham Young, he offered the following tender reflections and prophetic insights: “I have desired, after travelling for twenty-five or twenty-six years, mostly abroad, to stay at home and minister among the people of God, and take care of my family; but God’s will be done, and not mine. If it is the will of God that I should spend my days in proclaiming this Gospel and bearing testimony of these things, I shall think myself highly privileged and honored. And when the Spirit of God is upon me, I think it matters but very little what I suffer, what I sacrificed–whether I secure the honor or dishonor of men, or where I die, if it so be that I can keep the faith, fight the good fight, and finish my course with joy. I have all eternity before me, in which to enjoy myself.” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. xxv.)
Sometimes there is a temptation to withhold part of the offering. Such was the case with Ananias and Sapphira, his wife. The scriptures tell us that they sold a piece of land. Under the law of consecration they were to turn over the entire sale proceeds to the church, but secretly they kept back part of the price. The consequence was devastating – they were struck dead (Acts 5:1-10). Sometimes good men, perhaps even great men, can’t quite bring themselves to put everything on the altar of sacrifice, and in the course lose their eternal lives. So it was with the rich young ruler. He had kept the commandments from his youth up. Then the Savior declared, “Yet lackest thou one thing. Sell all thou hast and distribute unto the poor…and come follow me.” But it was too much to ask, and he went away sorrowful, unwilling to put his all on the sacrificial altar.
Peter, overhearing the conversation and understanding there could be no shortcuts to eternal life, no holding back, declared in contrast: “We have left all and followed thee” (Luke 18:18-28). Perhaps we have one or two things which we lack, that we hold back from the sacrificial altar, that prevent us from becoming a consecrated missionary. May I discuss some of those, so that hopefully we too might become like Peter and leave our all on the altar of sacrifice.
Put On the Altar of Sacrifice Any Disobedience.
First, a consecrated missionary puts on the altar of sacrifice any streak of disobedience he may possess, however large or small it may be. He has an unrelenting quest to be exactly obedient. King Lamoni recognized that Ammon was a consecrated missionary, for he said: “Even he doth remember all my commandments to execute them” (Alma 18:10).
When I first entered the field as a mission president, I met several times with a missionary who was struggling with obedience. One day in frustration he blurted out: “What then is it you want me to do?” I replied: “You have missed the point. It is not what I want you to do, it should be what do you want to do?” There was a moment of silence and then he made this insightful observation: “You are not just asking me to change my behavior; you are asking me to change my nature.” He was so right.
If you only change your behavior, then you will be the same person you were when you left home, subject to the same problems that plagued you then. But if you change your nature you will go home a new man or woman, with the power and discipline to conquer your old Goliaths. If you only get up at 6:30 am because your companion does, you have merely changed your behavior. If you get up whether or not he does, you have changed your nature. If you speak good words but entertain bad thoughts, you have only changed your behavior. If you also change your thoughts you have also changed your nature.
With the Lord’s help we can transform our natures. King Benjamin gave the key as to how we can do it. We must become “submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” (Mos 3:19).
That is the key – to submit our will to God’s will.
One missionary, upon going home told me that he slept in one morning. His companion said to him, “It’s time to get out of bed.” This missionary responded, “I don’t want to.” His companion replied, “It’s not about what you want, it’s about what the Lord wants.” The missionary said; “I have never forgotten that – a mission is about that the Lord wants, not what I want.”
A consecrated nature will cause us to be obedient, not because we have to, but because we want to. Such a nature may cause us to change the music we listen to; it may cause some to be more positive in their speech, or more exacting in following the morning schedule or more diligent in their studies. Whatever it is, the consecrated missionary will read the white handbook with enthusiasm, anxious to obey and follow every rule with exactness, knowing that it is not a book of restraints, but a book of blessings. He will have an overarching, burning desire to do the Lord’s will, not his.
Leave Our Fears on the Sacrificial Altar
Second, consecrated missionaries leave their fears on the sacrificial altar and open their mouths with everyone. This will be one of your great challenges in the mission field. It sometimes separates the consecrated missionaries from the good missionaries. I recognize there may be multiple reasons why someone doesn’t open his mouth at all times and in all places – why he holds back a part of the offering. It could be a timid personality, or a fear of man, or a streak of laziness, but whatever the excuse may be, it must eventually be overcome. It never outweighs the Savior’s command which states: “And thou must open thy mouth at all times.” (DC 28:16). This injunction is repeated again and again in the scriptures.
On another occasion the Lord said, “At all times and in all places he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump both day and night.” And then comes the promise to those who do: “And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men” (DC 24:12).
Sometimes in life we just have to square our shoulders and do it. There is no magic pill that makes us courageous, no passage of time that strengthens us, no memorized approach that emboldens us. We are left only with the compelling counsel of King Benjamin: “And now, if ye believe all these things, see that you do them” (Mosiah 4:19).
Years ago my grandfather was serving as the president of the Rotterdam Branch in Holland. He told of a woman who came to him destitute, who had earned the equivalent of an American quarter for the entire week. She asked if she needed to pay tithing. He looked at her for a minute in her impoverished condition, and then said: “Sister, if this were my church, I would not take your tithing. But it is not my church; it is the Lord’s church, and tithing is a principle upon which blessings of the Lord are predicated.” (LeGrand Richards Speaks, P. 185.) She paid her tithing.
If I could as a Mission President, I would have exempted some missionaries who struggled with opening their mouth. I knew how hard it was for them, but I couldn’t. The command to open one’s mouth is not my command. It is not the command of Preach My Gospel, it is not the command of the missionary department, it is the command of the Lord who has spoken on this subject again and again through his living prophets. Sometimes we have to be like Nephi and say, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Ne 3:7). Eventually we must do more than tell the stories of the Book of Mormon; we must live them.
The Lord, in speaking to a group of departing missionaries (like you), told them five times to “preach by the way” (DC 52:10-27). We preach by the way when we talk to people in the parking lots, when we speak with people in elevators, when we speak to people in the stores or on the bus or at the gas stations. Consecrated missionaries preach by the way at all times and in all places, both day and night. Sometimes we have missionaries who are so worried about offending people that in the process they never ever save them.
I had an assistant who used to say, “If you want to baptize a few people you talk to a few people, if you want to baptize a lot of people you talk to a lot of people and if you want to baptize everyone you can, you talk to everyone you can.” But the Lord gave an even further reason for opening our mouths. He declared: “And it shall be given thee from the time thou shalt go [out of thy apartment in the morning], until the time thou shalt return [to thy apartment in the evening] what thou shalt do”. (DC 28:15-16). In other words, you will have the spirit from the moment you leave your apartment until the moment you return to your apartment if you do what is required in verse 16: “And thou must open thy mouth at all times, declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing. Amen.”
The reason it is so important to open our mouths is that every time we do so we exercise faith, and every time we exercise faith we invite the spirit and miracles into our lives. Consecrated missionaries open their mouth with everyone.
Put Our Romantic Passions on the Table
Third, a consecrated missionary puts his romantic passions on the altar of sacrifice; he has a locked heart and a focused mind. He is never flirtatious, he does not have an eye on the cute BYU coed or the friendly young single adult, nor is his prime focus with the young women after sacrament meeting. He is not obsessed with his girl friend back home. He rises above all of that.
In my day the white handbook contained this all-inclusive statement: “Put out of your mind all thoughts of home, school, your girl and worldly things.” It was a powerful reminder that our mission was the sole focus of our mind and the sole passion of our heart. As hard as it may be, the consecrated missionary disciplines his passions. His eye is riveted to this work. He is like the thoroughbred horse with his blinders on. He races ahead, seeing only track and finish. If an inappropriate thought enters his mind, he drives it out with a hymn or scripture. His mind does not go with the flow. Rather, there is an active, concerted, conscientious effort to keep his mind pure and clean.
When David saw Bathsheba on the rooftop, he continued to watch – that was his downfall. When Joseph was tempted by Pharaoh’s wife, the scriptures say: “[He] got him out” (Gen 39:12), and that was his salvation. It is no different with our minds. Alma taught this principle to his son Corianton, who had unfortunately unlocked his heart to the harlot Isabel. Alma scolded his son severely and said, “Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many, but this was no excuse for thee, my son.” And then he gave him the remedy to be a consecrated missionary, “go no more after the lusts of your eyes, but cross [or discipline] yourself in all these things.” (Alma 39:4,9).
You young missionaries who enter the field, will be surrounded, almost immersed, by those in immodest clothing, by suggestive billboards, by magazines and papers that have lost all sense of moral decency. If you garnish your thoughts with virtue unceasingly (DC 121:45) the consequences will be monumental in your life. As a missionary you will have confidence that the Lord will hear and answer your prayers. The Lord himself promised: “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God.” (DC 121:45) In addition, when you go home and date, you may not only have a romantic courtship, but one that is also clean and wholesome. And when you are married you will be a loyal and true spouse. If every action is preceded by a thought, then every consecrated missionary must first have a clean and consecrated mind.
Give Up Pride
Fourth, a consecrated missionary gives up his pride on the sacrificial altar. The Lord made it clear, “And no one can assist in this work except he be humble and full of love” (DC 12:8). Pride manifests itself in many ways – one way is disloyalty to those who are our leaders.
Loyalty is much more than a reluctant submissiveness. It is an active pursuit, not only to follow the counsel of our leaders, but to seek their counsel. A consecrated missionary hungers and thirsts for instruction as to how he can be better, and how fortunate we are to have so many missionaries in the world who manifest that spirit. Again and again missionaries would ask me in the field, “President, what can I do to be a better missionary.” And oh, how they became so.
Pride may manifest itself in jealousy of companions. I think of one of the finest elders of our mission. I never heard him say “I.” It was always “we” or “my companion did this” or “my companion did that.” Though his words always credited someone else, somehow you always knew he was the driving force behind it all. Pride may manifest itself in a reluctance to confess our sins. We may be too embarrassed to do so, or fearful of the consequences or unrealistically hoping the sin will somehow vanish if we serve an honorable mission. But at the root of each of those excuses is pride.
On one occasion a missionary came to me with a belated confession. I asked him what motivated him to come. He responded: “I finally disclosed to my companion that I had something to confess to the President, but I didn’t want to go home. Then my companion said something that struck me to the very core. “Elder,” he said, “there is something even more important than your mission.” Somewhat surprised I replied, “What is that?” Then came his answer: “Repentance – repentance is more important than your mission.” The young Elder who sat before me said, “President, I knew he was right. And that is why I am here. I want to repent.” Not too long ago I received an invitation to attend his temple sealing.
Some have honestly asked, “When should I confess?” When the sin is of such a serious magnitude that it may trigger a disciplinary proceeding or continues to linger in our minds so that we cannot have peace. If we then fail to confess, our spiritual horizons become limited. It is like being surrounded by a circular, impenetrable wall. In such a circumstance, we have some limited room in which to move, but we are trapped. We will look in vain for a slit through which we can squeeze, an opening through which we can pass, an end around which we can travel. There are no end runs, no secret openings, no hidden passages. Serving a faithful mission does not obviate confession; months and years of abstinence no not erase its need; one-on-one pleading with the Lord is not a substitute. Somewhere, sometime, somehow one must face the wall square up and climb it. That is confession. When we do this our spiritual horizons become unlimited and we become entitled to the promise of the Lord. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
Pride may manifest itself in a defensive attitude or a multitude of excuses. On one occasion I reprimanded a missionary for an act of blatant disobedience. He started to offer excuses; finally I said, “If you want to offer excuses I cannot help you. If you are willing to acknowledge the wrong, I will work with you and we can build for a constructive future on a sure and solid foundation.” That day he had to choose between rationalization and repentance. Fortunately he chose the latter.
One night I was with an Elder Choi and Elder McClellan. We were talking to a mother who was reluctant to let her 17-year-old son be baptized. For at least ten minutes of the conversation she chastised these elders severely, and literally “raked them over the coals.” No doubt they were embarrassed, perhaps even offended, particularly since their mission president was present. In my estimation they had done nothing wrong. Instead, they were taking an undeserved whipping of substantial proportions. I thought, will they fight back, will they argue, will they defend their position? To their credit there was no argument, no excuses – simply the humble response that they were trying to do what was best for her son and if in any way they had failed to do so they were sorry. They were not trying to win an argument. They were trying to save a soul. With that humble spirit, her heart softened, and finally she agreed that she would listen more carefully to the message her son was being taught. They were consecrated missionaries – every ounce of their pride had been put on the altar of sacrifice.
We Put our Negativism and Sarcasm on the Table.
Fifth, consecrated missionaries are willing to give up any negativism or sarcasm. Instead they are optimistic and positive. They have a 24-hour smile. They live the invitation of the Savior, “Be of good cheer I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). There is not a negative bone in their bodies. There is no rejection at the door or on the street that can dim their enthusiasm. They are willing to pay the price of repeated rejection for the hope of a single conversion. Whatever the world throws at them, they throw back a smile, because they know they have the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Consecrated missionaries are like Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young, who left for their missions to England. Their families were poverty stricken, they were sick, and there was little food available for the ensuing months. Heber and Brigham, finally able to raise themselves from their own sick beds, kissed their wives and started on their journey. Brigham recorded: “It seemed to me as though my very inmost parts would melt within me at the thought of leaving my family in such a condition.” (Men With a Mission, p. 71.) But before they were out of sight, Brigham directed the teamster to stop. He and Heber mustered all their strength to stand, they raised their hats over their heads three times and shouted, “Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah for Israel.” We have such consecrated missionaries who can shout “Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah for Israel” even when they are bombarded with rejection, or illness, or disappointment – who have unwavering faith in the promise of Paul: “let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal 6:9).
Consecrated missionaries are extra-milers. They put on the table of sacrifice every ounce of their energy, every hour of every day. When Roger Bannister broke the four minute mile, he collapsed at the finish line into the hands of his well-wishers. A journalist, sensing all that was involved in that historic moment wrote: “The runner, open-mouthed, thin-legged, knowing only pace and goal, spending his strength so that the finish, at one mile, there was nothing more.” For a consecrated missionary there is nothing more to give at the end of the day. He has put it all on the altar of sacrifice.Consecrated missionaries are missionaries who would finish the marathon. They are missionaries who would go the full fifteen rounds. They are missionaries who carry no white flags.
Years ago at family night we would have wrestling as part of the evening activities – our children loved it. When the kids were little I would sometimes hold them down and ask, “Do you give up?” At first they would say, “Yes Dad, I give up.” Then I would say, “No, you never give up, you never give up.” As time would pass and I would ask the question again, they would quickly reply, “No, Dad I never give up.” Consecrated missionaries never give up on the Lord’s work. They never throw in the towel. They would have made it from Palmyra to Salt Lake Valley. Nothing would have weeded them out along the way. For you see, they had unwavering faith.
Consecrated missionaries are out of the apartment by 10:00 a.m. They do not come back before 9:00 p.m., except for lunch or dinner. They speak to everyone. They knock at one more door. There is a quickness in their pace and an urgency in their work. You can see it in their faces.
Years ago I was a young missionary in Washington DC. I was on an exchange with an Elder Hafen. It was a bike area. We had an appointment across town but the rain started to pour. He asked, “Should I cancel the appointment?” I replied, “This is your area, you make the decision. “He thought for a moment and then replied, “Let’s ride.” I love those words – “Let’s ride” – rain, sleet, snow, it doesn’t matter – “Let’s ride.” That is the spirit of a consecrated missionary.
When consecrated missionaries are exhausted and nothing is left, they rely upon their faith, and the reserve tanks of energy somehow carry them through the day. They too become recipients of the promise to Joseph Smith: “In temporal labors thou shalt not have strength for this is not thy calling.” But then the promise: “Thou shall devote all thy service in Zion; and in this thou shalt have strength” (DC 24:7-9).
What Does it Cost to Become a Consecrated Missionary?
What is the cost to become a consecrated missionary? Some time ago I saw a movie on the life of Martin Luther. He was about to be tried for heresy. Shortly before he was to meet with the Court of Inquisition, his spiritual mentor (a monk who had trained him and loved him) was cutting his hair with a razor. At one point the monk reprimanded Luther for having turned the world upside down, leading the world in revolt – Protestants against Catholics.
Then in a stirring moment, Luther grasps his arm and asks: “You wanted me to change the world. Did you think there would be no cost?” You young missionaries came out here to change the world, to change lives, but there is a cost. It costs everything that you have on the altar of sacrifice – your fears, your pride, your laziness, your disobedience, your weaknesses; we cannot hold anything back. When you came to the mission field you burned the bridges behind you, you burned the ships in the harbor. There is no retreat to your former life. You cannot have one foot at home and one foot in the mission field.
That is a certain formula for frustration. The Lord demands our whole soul on the sacrificial altar. That is the price we must pay, and when we do, we then become instruments in the hands of God.
What Is the Power of a Consecrated Missionary?
What is the power of a consecrated missionary? Suppose I were to give you the
following options, which would you choose?
-100 mediocre missionaries or 80 consecrated missionaries?
-100 mediocre missionaries or 50 consecrated missionaries?
-100 mediocre missionaries or 20 consecrated missionaries?
-100 mediocre missionaries or 2 consecrated missionaries?
(by the way, the names of those consecrated missionaries are Alma and Ammon)
Nephi realized that power comes with consecration, not numbers. Laman and Lemuel could never understand this. They could not comprehend how they could get the brass plates. After all they said, “How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into our hands. Behold he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty, then why not us.” For them it was all about numbers – 50 was more than 4, therefore they could not prevail. But for Nephi, man’s power was inconsequential. It was only the Lord’s power that counted. He replied: “For behold he [God] is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even his tens of thousands” (1 Ne 4:1). The power of a consecrated missionary is without limit. It is manifested in so many ways. As to Nephi (son of Nephi), the scriptures tell us his words were so powerful, that for his detractors, “it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words” (3 Ne 7:18). When the sons of Mosiah preached the gospel, the scriptures declare: “They taught with power and authority of God” (Alma 17:3). And as to those consecrated missionaries who thrust in their sickle with all their souls, the Lord promised: “your sins are forgiven you” (DC 31:5). Those are the powers and blessings of a consecrated missionary, and that is why the Prophet Joseph said; “it is not the multitude of preachers that is to bring about the glorious millennium; but it is those who are ‘called, and chosen, and faithful.” (TPJ 42). In essence – the consecrated.
Consecrated Missionaries Serve the Savior Because They Love Him.
What is the driving, motivating force for a consecrated missionary? It is the Savior and His Atonement. If we fail to be obedient, if we fail to be humble, if we fail to be fearless, perhaps we intellectually understand the Atonement, but somehow we fail to grasp the underlying love of his sacrifice. Once we feel that, as well as understand it, we will be driven to give our all. We will realize that our all is a small repayment for his all.
Becoming a Consecrated Missionary.
Each of us might appropriately ask, “What lack I yet to become a consecrated missionary?” There is no escaping it. God will demand our all. If we are shy or reserved – God will compel us to change, to be bold. He will jerk us out of our comfort zone again and again. If we are lazy or idle, he will push us and pull us even when we are exhausted. If we are disobedient, he will press us until we have a child-like submissiveness. He will not let us be content with our weaknesses.
Whatever the weakness may be that holds us back from becoming a consecrated missionary, the Lord has promised that if we have faith in him, and humble ourselves before him, that he will make weak things become strong unto us (Ether 12:26-27). I believe that. I do not believe there is one missionary whose weaknesses are greater than the potential strengths within him. Why? – because each of us is a son and daughter of God, with his divine nature and divine potential woven into the very fabric of our souls. I do not think the Lord expects immediate perfection of us, but I do believe he expects immediate progress, and with that progress comes consecration. I believe that he recognizes and appreciates every step we take forward, however small it may be, striving to put our whole souls on the altar of sacrifice. At first, consecration may seem like Mt. Everest, unconquerable, unapproachable, unassailable, but every step we take forward, however minute it may seem, furthers our ascent, until one day we have attained the summit.

May we not be content with being a good, even a great missionary, when we have the capacity to be consecrated missionaries. Mormon declared with boldness: “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people that they might have everlasting life” (2 Ne 5:13). May it be so with each of us, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Crazy Stuff Happens in the Mission!

Dear Family,

So, just so you know, we are now in a trio. Hna. Vorwaller, Gracia and I are working the two sectors here in Alameda. Hna. Kinikini was changed to Rauquen. And that is the news! ;)

So this week I had a really cool experience with a cute member of our ward. Her name is Coni. We went on mini divisions so we could go to all our citas yesterday. She is getting ready for a mission! So it is super cool. While we were in divisions, BOTH of our citas fell. Coni didn`t want to tell me, but I knew she felt super sad that we wouldn`t be teaching anyone. But as we were walking, she noticed a house that she thought was the house of her friend`s cousin. So I said we should contact it! She kind of looked at me like I was crazy and asked if we really could just contact any house we wanted ;) It was so cute. So we called out, and a man came out. He was really rude!! He asked us what we wanted and said he was leaving so he didn`t have a lot of time. Then when we said we were missionaries and wanted to share a message with him, he said he had to put the things on the table to eat once with his family... He contradicted himself ;) So then Coni was REALLY discouraged. But THEN, we called out to this other house and a man came out who was really nice! Actually he was golden, because he had a friend who served in Argentina and recently came back, and Coni knew his friend! It was super cool and we started talking to him. Then we told him he was invited to come to church! He accepted! He actually asked us if he could bring his family too... OF COURSE YOU CAN!! ;) So we are hoping to see them there this next Sunday. He asked us 3 times for the time when church started! (That is how you know someone really wants to go to church). We want to pass by this week and maybe teach him a few things. I can`t wait! 

Another kind of hard experience I had this week was when we invited Alejandra (mom to our recent convert Nicol) to be baptized. SHE SAID YES!!!! And Nicol started crying and her less active husband smiled super big!! Then, we invited her to prepare for the 12th of July. SHE SAID NO!!!! ): It is hard. That is really all I can say. When you feel the spirit that strong, and they say no, they aren`t ready yet, it is SO hard. 

Hey, so I invite you guys to go out with the missionaries! Just tell them you want to go knock on doors with them! ;) You will see miracles and your testimony will be stronger, I promise!!

Love you guys! 

Hna. McCubbins

(Jessica also wrote to her dad for Father's Day. It's in Spanish just for him.)

Querido Papá,

Yo se que ayer era el día del padre, entonces quiero escribirte una carta en español para mostrarte que puedo hablar y escribir en español. Lo siento que tal vez mi gramática es horrible, pero hablo mas que escribo... ;) Ojala que tuviera una buen día ayer porque te amo mucho! Estamos trabajando mucho y casi cada día, pienso en algo que me has enseñado durante mis 19vangelio de Jesucristo. Se que si yo no tuviera tu ejemplo y influencia y apoyo en años de vida. Estoy sumamente agradecido a ti por tus enseñanzas del e mi vida, no estaría aquí en la misión, muy lejos de ustedes. Te amo mucho Papá. Y ¡feliz día del Padre!


Hermana McCubbins and Hermana Kinikini
Hermana Kinikini was emergency transferred this week.

Today is 8 months on the mission for Hermana McCubbins!!

Our president gave us fake tatoos on juice boxes.... :)
(I guess if President gave them to you it's okay!)

Our attempt at no-bake cookies.....
(She has now been provided with a recipe.
Hopefully the next time will turn out better.)

Open mouthed pose......

Tongue stuck out pose.....CLASSIC!!
Okay, so we decided to do something crazy to hair one night. Only because we had to go in at 7 because of the Copa America, where everyone goes crazy watching soccer. We straightened Hna. K`s hair and cornrolled mine ;)

Monday, June 15, 2015


Dear Family,

Sometimes you have to have a hard week to distinguish from the super amazing weeks ;) This week everyone must have died from the cold or something because we basically found no one! And everyone was running outside so they didn`t freeze, so they didn`t have time to talk with the Hermanasicles (us) ;) But, we are still having fun and smiling! 

This week, we realized our golden investigators Claudio and Pamela are actually our golden investigator and golden less active ;) We met Pamela`s mom yesterday, and she started talking about how they love the missionaries and how they used to visit them all the time! We suddenly had the impression to ask if they ever went to church. She said that not only had they gone to church, but they were dunked into a little pool of water one time while wearing all white! And she happene to mention that her daughter Pamela also did this...... How awkward right? It reminded Hna. Kinikini of one time where they also found out that one of their investigators was already a member and she just wanted to get baptized again so she could start all over..... If only it were that easy right? ;) We are hoping Pamela just tells us instead of it being awkward trying to get it out of her... Welcome to Chile where every 1 in 5 investigators is a less active ;) How about I put it into perspective. In the ward here in Curicò Alameda, we have 635 members ;) And this last week 104 of them came to church!! ;D Oh Chile, how close you are to my heart.

But anyway, the mission is stilll super awesome! I LOVE it here and wouldn`t want to be anywhere else. Our bishop is super cool, we call him Jim Carey because he just has that sense of humor. We think he is going to be in the seventy one day because one minute he is super goofy and joking around, and the next he is seriously discussing the ward situation with us and what we can do to help members come to church. He is a big help to us and I testify of the bishop being the leader that God wants for the ward. :) 

Anyway, I have homework for you guys this week! Alma 26! I LOVE this chapter, and it really talks a lot about missionary work and rejoicing in God. Yesterday Hna. Kinikini talked about missionary work in Sacrament meeting and something she said really stuck with me. She said if we strive to understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ everyday, our desire to share His gospel will grow so strong, we won`t be able to NOT share it with everyone we see! ;) So I encourage you guys to read this chapter, especially verse 12 and think about the Savior and how you can help Him move forward His work. ;) 

I love you guys SO much, and hope you have an amazing Spirit-filled week! 

Hna. McCubbins

(from further conversation/emailing)

I am great! I learn new things everyday and learn to depend on the Savior more everyday. My favorite thing to do is read and study the scriptures! I HATE when the hour runs out and we have to stop studying.... But its okay. After the mission I might shut myself in my room for a week and just study everything ;)

We are sufficiently warm ;) My feet are dry and super good.

I LOVE riding the bikes! I beg Hna. Kinikini to ride the bikes everyday! It makes us less tired and we get places faster and it is a good topic to start talking to people. :) I will miss them if I get changed :(

A picture from before her mission.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Heavenly Father is a God of Miracles

So, I must first tell you that whether you believe it or not, God works miracles! No matter where your faith is now, I hope this strengthens your testimony that according to your faith, He can work miracles in your life.

Last night, we were contacting some references a returned missionary had given us, and not having a lot of luck. Hna. Kinikini suddenly gets really annoyed with her hood that has a lot of fur on the hem, and stops the bike, puts her shoulder bag on a nearby fence and starts talking the hood of the jacket. We start talking about something cool like what the prophet was doing right then, or if Christ ever had to experience a Chilean speaking so fast and not breathing that He couldn`t understand them, and after that, we get back on the bikes like the diligent missionaries we are and start heading to the next house. About 10 minutes after that, Hna. Kinikini reaches around to get the phone out of her bag, when she looks at me and realizes her BAG IS STILL ON THE FENCE!!!! We race back, praying with all our hearts it is still there, but just as we expected in Chile at 7 pm at night, it had been taken! Which contained her scriptures, both credit cards, mission and personal, her Chilean license and USA driver`s license, hymn book, house keys, jumpdrive, EVERYTHING!!! She froze, and we decided right there to say a prayer. We had the feeling to keep working and just pray to find it. I thought it was going to be on the side of the road all torn apart, so I kept a look out.

So we keep working and get to our last appointment of the night which is our conversa Nicol, her menos activo dad Jorge, and investigator mom Alejandra. We try to be happy and start the lesson, but Alejandra knew something was wrong. She asked us and we finally just had to tell her. Jorge gave us his phone to call the office to cancel the phone and card so the wicked people couldn`t use it. After that, Hna. Kinikini went to the bathroom, and Jorge told me that it was impossible that we were going to find it, especially in Chile. So Alejandra, being the amazingly sweet lady that she is, made us once (dinner here in Chile, but has more breakfast food and is smaller) with crepes that have jam inside and empanadas, and all of Hna. Kinikini`s favorite foods inside. It was so sweet and we start speculating about the person that took the bag, how they might find the scriptures and read them because they are marked and get baptized in 2 weeks ;)

Then, suddenly, Nicol`s phone rings, and it is an unknown number. The man on the other end asks for a Seletute Catalina, and Hna. Kinikini`s face drops!!! (That is her name.) I can`t believe it, and we both just freeze and speak Spanish!! Jorge takes the phone and the man said he found her bag!! We get his address and take off in Jorge`s big van. On the way there, we can`t believe it and think it is too good to be true. Hna. Kinikini then puts her hands in her pockets and feels the house keys that weren`t there before!!! D: I said that God probably had a sense of humor and was telling us to just trust in Him because He has the keys ;) 

We get there and see these three guys. Jorge suddenly jumps out and screams and hugs one of them!!! It was a long lost friend from their childhood!!!! D: We couldn`t believe it! Perhaps this man Sebastian now needs the gospel and we just had to lose her bag to meet him!! It was SO cool! He hands over the bag and the only things missing were about 40 dollars in cash and her jumpdrive, but that is it!! We thank them tons and overcome the temptation to hug this super nice man who just wanted to do the right thing! We knew it was a miracle because how else would he have called the number from our phone to the exact person whose house we were at?? We finally said good bye and left, amazed and KNOWING that we had just seen a miracle.

I testify to you, that faith is a REAL power. We were praying super hard. And through our faith, Heavenly Father works miracles!! Deep down, we knew we were going to find her bag, and it was just a trial of our faith. I know that God was with us that whole time and He just wanted us to witness this amazing miracle so He could tell us He loves us ;)

I love you guys and hope your faith grew from this amazing experience!! He love you!

Hna. McCubbins

Hermana Kinikini, Hermana McCubbins, Hermana Garcia, Hermana Vorwaller playing on the slide at the park.

Hermana Kinikini and Hermana McCubbins SELFIE!!

Hermana Vorwaller and Hermana Garcia


Let's jump off of this bench and pretend like it's really high so the picture is blurry and our hair goes flying around.
Hermana Kinikini and Hermana McCubbins

We're going to jump like them!! Look at Morgan's vertical!!
Hermana Garcia and Hermana Vorwaller

Recreation of the High Altitude Running Camp (HARC) pole swing!!
Hermana Vorwaller with the HARC pole swing.

"I'm going to take a picture of you taking a picture of me."

Don't let me fall!!!!

.....don't let me fall either!!!

.......this is pretty fun, pretending to fall down a cliff....

I'll save you from falling down the cliff.....or maybe I'll push you down the cliff......
Hermana Garcia and Hermana Kinikini

This is lemon meringue pie, Chilean style....according to Hermana McCubbins....she made it.

Hermana Kinikini
Diego and Karina are both returned missionaries who just got married and are trying to go back to the temple.
Here is what they wrote:
Hola hermanas, Bueno ya estamos casados y felices!!! Cumplimos nuestra primera meta, ahora viene trabajar para el templo. El barrio machali nos hizo una recepción super bonita, y nosotros hicimos algo en familia.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Amazing Mission Life

First off, I would like to say, that the mission life is the awesomest life! ;) It is amazing when Heavenly Father lets you see a little bit of the fruit after you have been planting seeds and caring for plants for a while. This week one of our less actives Karina emailed me and told me her and Diego, her boyfriend who she was living with, got married!! It was amazing to hear because I thought they were never going to get married! She sent me a cute little picture of their little son Joaquin and told me that they are now working to get to the temple!! Oh my goodness it made me so happy!! ;) The mission life is amazing!! I also LOVED seeing the thing about Tanner`s farewell (I, mom, had sent her a screenshot of the Facebook invite.) and started kind of freaking out and showed Hermana Vorwaller, and then she just smiled at me. I think I may have over reacted. But that is the thing, when you see someone at the start of their journey to God, whether it be their first adventure like Tanner, or second for Karina, and then you get to see them progressing and getting closer and closer, it makes you SOOOO happy and excited and hopeful for the future, because you know they will have the faith to help them through the tough times in their life, find happiness and peace in this life, and get to be with their family for ever and find everlasting joy!! It just makes me so excited to see these people I love SO much choose a happier life and way to live!! Es tan bakan!! 

This week also, we were having an awesome time! So I have a couple awesome/funny stories. We have 2 investigators Claudio and Pamela right now, who are READY for baptism. She keeps saying that she just needs an answer and she will go to church and never leave or stop going because she wants her daughter with 6 months to have a life close to God. Claudio told us as he was reading the other day, he kept seeing a yellow light in the side of his eye, but when he looked over, there was nothing. Then he would keep reading and see the light again!! It was SO cool!! They both told us that they believe the plan of salvation is true, because before they thought they were going to be reincarnated and have to live with a different family, and now they have the hope of being together with their cute little daughter for FOREVER!! AHH!! IT IS SO AMAZING!! We invited them to be baptized and they said they feel it is a really big decision and they will have to talk it over and pray. I can`t wait!!! They are golden!

Also, we kind of saw two miracles this week. The first one was kind of scary, and it was a little bit my fault. We were in the city, leaving from a taxi and the driver noticed I left my gloves in the car. He stopped on the side of the road and called out to me on the other side. I waved and waited to cross the road until a car passed. While I was thanking him, a truck had passed behind me and stopped, so I couldn`t see Hna. Kinikini!! Since I like to obey with exactitud, I freaked out and ran around the truck to get back to her, not knowing that a car was passing on the other side. I saw it and she saw me, but just as she was about to hit me, I jumped and Hna. Kinikini said I bent my body in a super crazy way to avoid the car. I landed safely on the sidewalk and breathed super hard! Oh my goodness it was a miracle!! It kind of confuses me because I was being stupid and the car should have hit me! Hna. Kinikini thinks it was a miracle and blessing from God, and I am SUPER grateful He protected me, even though I didn`t really deserve it because I was being stupid. Lesson to learn: don`t be stupid and run into the street. ;)

The other miracle was a little more subtle and happened today. We were waiting in a Notary for Hna. Kinikini to do something for her Visa so she could get ready to go home. While we were waiting, I felt impressed to talk to this lady who was standing by us and kept looking at us. Her name was Natali, and she had never seen missionaries like us. We were super suprised because we have tons of missionaries here in Curicò. She started telling us about her family and how she loves being at home with her kids and that she goes to una iglesia Evangelica. She also likes to sing! She was laughing when me and Hna. K were trying to change the line number to 11 with our fingers and mind powers. We asked if she would like the missionaries to pass by to offer service like cutting her grass or something (we are sneaky and get into houses for lots of different reasons). She kind of avoided the subject so we didn`t get her address. When it was time to go, we said bye and smiled at her. When we left, we were waiting at the light to cross the street (because we learned to not run into the road) and she came running out of the building. We were suprised and she told us she just wanted to say that we have really pretty souls (it sounds a lot less weird in Spanish) and that what we were doing as missionaries was really good and we should never stop doing it. Then she gave us a hug and went back inside. I was so suprised and LOVED it!! I hope the missionaries find her one day! She is super cute!

Well anyway. That time has come again where I must say good bye. I hope you have the chance to share this amazing gospel with someone this week! Nothing else will make you happier! ;) 

Love you guys!! 


Hna. McCubbins