Monday, July 27, 2015

Almost Spring!

Dear Family,

This week was good, but I think we are feeling the slump of the change right now. We are at this point where we are just waiting and trying to do all we can to help our investigators keep their committments. Claudio is having a hard time understanding the scriptures so we have been giving him little pieces of paper with specific questions so he can search for the answers in the chapters we leave him. We will see if it has helped at all. Alejandra is down to one cup of coffee and that is only because the other teachers in the school where she works are drinking it!! We were super happy to hear that! She is so awesome and told us that she has decided she wants to get baptized this year, but doesn`t have a date yet. We are going to talk to her about a baptismal date this week. We, as always, are just trying to find new people, people that really actually want to know the truth and are willing to do anything to find it out. That is the hard part.

Hna. Mota and I are super good. We like to have companionship inventory after lessons so that we can figure out what we need to do better. She really pushes me to be better and we are really good friends for that I think.

I am doing good and know that I just need to work and I will have animo and love working. Contacting people especially helps because there are some really nice people who we like talking to. Above all, I just like to be out working our sector. I get kind of frustrated when things like my carnet get in the way of us working, but its okay, I trust in the lord.

This morning we went to the mountains, and I swear, I thought we were in Utah for a second!! Then I saw a piece of pan amasado on the ground, laughed and said, nope, we are in Chile. (Pictures of Pan Amasado will come next week so you know what I am talking about).

Sorry I couldn`t write everyone this week! I am not used to so many people writing me!! I will write you all next week I promise! 

I love you guys!! Hey, read the Book of Mormon and pray with your heart. That is my advice this week ;)

Love, Hna. McCubbins

This bike sign is funny: "It's prohibited to put bikes here"


So this is cool. We stopped on the way to the snow to see this huge monument thing that was super big.

Each pillar had different images that expressed the culture of Chile.

Some of the elders were joking around and trying to relate the images to events in the history of the church like the first vision and recieving the priesthood and the tree of life. :)

These are Chilean mountains... They are ginormous.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Cup is ALWAYS Half Full :) Also, 9 months went by way too fast

This week was awesome!! We finally had our investigator Claudio come to church!! He and his less active wife Pamela met the bishop and loved the sacrament meeting and then they asked the bishop if he could bless their house and he did! It was so amazing and they want to go to all 3 meetings next week! We are super excited for them. This week we have a plan to invite him to work towards a date of baptism. We are praying super hard that he will accept and keep reading the book of mormon and praying. He is super good.

We also had one of our less actives named Edmundo come to church and earlier in the week we met his wife who is a non member. She is really nice and we want to start working with her to see if she is open to baptism too. Hna. Mota and I have been focusing on finding families that are incomplete, or have only one or two members. It´ll be really cool if Patricia is open to recieve the gospel. 

Also, we have been mainly focusing on finding. Just finding finding finding and not wasting time with people who are not open to us. I have to admit that Hna. Mota is better at this than I am because sometimes I want to give people too many chances to accept the gospel and we end up wasting time on people that are not open to us as representatives of Jesus Christ. We have plans to have noches de hogar with members in our sector and ask for lots of references. We hope this will help us find those people who are ready. 

I am super grateful for my companion Hna. Mota. She is super dedicated to this work and pushes me to be better everyday. We love to put metas and talk about what we could do to push the work forward. We have noticed that our personal experiences bring the spirit into our lessons so we are working on that. We also are passing by all our investigators, giving out candies to keep daily contact with them, but being careful to not have them feel like they are being pressured into accepting the gospel right away. 

I am focusing a lot on becoming a Preach My Gospel missionary because I have realized that there are a lot of things that I lack. I read PME every moment I have spare time and sometimes wish there was more time to study. But the mission is super good. I love it a lot. 

Did I tell you I love my companion? Because I love her! She is Hna.Mota from Brasil and is SO funny. She makes me almost die of laughing everyday. I am helping her learn english and every other day is english day! She says ``I hate english day``and I have been starting to agree with her! Sometimes we end up just speaking Spanish and forget that it is english day ;) She knows a lot of random english phrases that are super funny and whenever she says something out of the blue, Hna. Vorwaller looks at me as if had taught her the phrase, and I just laugh! I don`t teach her weird phrases! :) Hna. Mota has been trying to decide whether she is going to live in the States after the mission because she really wants to learn english. I don`t know if this was okay, but I told her she could live in my room if she wanted.... ;) She can`t decide though. 

Oh hey! I just remembered that its Lindsey`s birthday this week! I can`t believe you are a teenager now! That is so crazy girl! You are growing so fast. This might be embarrasing, but I remember changing your diapers... ;) I love you so much Lindsey! You are so beautiful and are going to be an amazing 13 year old, I just know it! I have a present for you, well for all of you guys. I might send them home with my companion Hna. Kinikini who lives in West Valley. She said she could bring a package to you guys and she ends her mission in August. She really wants to meet all of you so keep a look out for her! ;) I hope you guys like things from Chile ;) I love you Lindsey! Keep on smiling away and bearing your testimony in sacrament meeting! You have an amazing testimony and I love to hear it. You are amazing!

I hope you all have an amazing week and remember to look at the cup as half full ;) 

Love you!

Hna. McCubbins

Hermana Moto and Hermana McCubbins

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Monday, July 13, 2015

The Atonement

Dear Family,

Hey, so this week, I need to just bear to you guys my testimony about prayer and our Savior. This week was probably one of the harder ones in my mission, but also the best. We had about two or three days where a lot of our citas fell and we resorted to contacting people and just talking with everyone. While usually this is very edifying and exciting, this week with the rain and dark sky, it was a little more trying and I got to thinking about Grandpa a lot. I especially remember one moment where I told Hna. Mota that I wasn`t sure I could keep working after another one of our citas fell. She was concerned and just encouraged me to keep going. As we were walking down the street, I saw a man in a bus, cleaning it out and something told me to go talk to him. I was a little rebellious and said that he is just an old man that will probably tell us he doesn`t need a church to worship God, like they all like to tell us. But after I had this thought, the feeling came again and I said to myself, fine we aren`t doing anything else, kind of grudgingly... :) So I stopped Hna. Mota and we went to go talk to him. He told us about how he drives a bus in Santa Cruz and he likes to see new places. He then told us about how he believes firmly in God and he actually went to our church once and loved it, but then moved to Curic√≤ and never went back. My eyes started swelling in tears once I realized that this man had just been waiting for members or missionaries like us to find him and invite him to church. I felt the spirit super strong and then Hna. Mota asked him if we could sing him a song. I don`t know what it is in English, but it is called Ama el Pastor la Ovejas. It talks about how the Savior rescues His sheep and brings them back to the fold. My emotions were almost to much to bear and I couldn`t hold tears back. After the song, the man, Jaime, basically said, well I guess you guys rescued me and I need to go back to church. We nodded and told him how to get there and he said he would be there. He didn`t come, but we think it is because it was really rainy, so we are going to go rescue him again ;) 

I just want to bear my testimony to you guys that when you are going through something hard in your life, there is someone that is going through something a lot harder and that the Lord uses these people to show us how blessed we are and to give us an opportunity to serve them and ultimately lift them so the Savior can lift us. I believe in the power of the Atonement with my whole heart because I have felt my Savior`s careful attention to me these past couple of days. I know He is aware of each and every one of you guys too and that He knows you individually and not only knows what you are going through, but FEELS what you are going through also. 

I love you guys so much. I hope you turn to Him this week and experience the love He has for you, because He has a TON of love for you. 

And I love you too, 

Hna. McCubbins

P.S. Hna. Mota is SO funny. She is a Brazilian trying to learn English, and she know how to say, ``don`t cry or I will punch you in the face!`` ;) She says it with love. I think... ;D

Jessica's Grandpa--He's now on a mission in a different place.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Atonement

(Jessica's Grandpa passed away this week, quite unexpectedly. She was notified by her mission president hours after it happened. This is her response.)

My Dear Family,

Do not worry about me, I am completely fine. When Pres. Warne called me to tell me the news, I WAS shocked and of course sad, but the last few days I have felt a joy and desire to work that I haven`t yet felt in my mission. The minute after I was done talking with President, I came out of the room and finished eating my breakfast. My amazing friend Hna. Vorwaller saw me and insisted on knowing what was wrong. and when I told her, she just hugged me and I was okay. Then, before personal studies, I prayed just that you guys would be okay because if it is hard to lose a grandpa, I can`t imagine how hard it is to lose a dad, or a husband. I am praying for you mom, and for my sweet Grandma. I am grateful for your letters so I can know that you guys are okay. It was funny because when president called me he commented on your email mom and how he was really impressed with how strong you are. He said, your mom really has her act together, and I laughed, agreeing with him. From your letter, I find peace to know that you all are together and that they have an amazing ward to help you guys through this. Above all, I am learning to appreciate the Plan of Salvation and Gospel of Jesus Christ a little more everyday. President talked about how when we say we believe in angels and witnesses on high, we aren`t talking about random beings con nada que ver, but we are talking about our loved ones, whether they are ones who have yet to come to earth, or our loved ones who have left this earth and desire the best for us, but they are angels from our family, watching over us. I have definitely thought about Grandpa a lot these past couple of days, and I think that has made me work harder, so that other people can have the surety that they will see their loved ones again one day. 

I have had an unnormal amount of happiness and excitement lately and my new comp Hna. Mota has asked me what I ate at least 10 times because she thinks I am crazy. I truly believe though that the power of the Atonement is helping me a ton and carrying me through this trial. We actually worked harder that day than I have in a while, and we found a golden family! Their names are Andrea, Javiera, and Antonia, and do you know why they are golden? Because when we invited Javiera to pray after we taught her how, and it was her first time praying ever, her mom Andrea started crying. I can`t WAIT to teach them and go find all the other people here in Curicó who are ready for this gospel!

I really believe in the Atonement you guys. I have been studying it a lot and everyday my hope and faith grow stronger in the Lord. I promise you guys that if you just turn to him, that very second He is at your side, helping you endure to the end. I know it because I have felt His help here in Chile. And if it exists here in Chile, it definitely is there with you guys, my amazing family.

I love you guys SO much and I am grateful for the amazing blessing it is to have you as my family and know we are sealed for time and all eternity so that I never have to truly say goodbye. I can just say, see you later ;) 

Smile this week for me! I will write to you guys next week! LOVE YA!!

Hermana Jessica McCubbins

Jessica pushing her Grandpa on her trike.