Monday, October 26, 2015

Oldie but Goodie

Dear Family,

Just so you know, your body has a clock inside and knows when you complete a year in the mission. I don´t know how it knows, but everyone says you kind of go through a crisis when you complete a year in the mission, and it is true!! I just got hit with a wall of fatigue and it felt like a bunch of bricks just fell on me! We not only age 10 years spiritually, but 10 years physically also. But its all good. I am fine now ;D 

This week we have been working a lot with our little branch to get them excited about mission work. They are having some difficulties and we have a strong testimony that sharing the gospel is what can help them the most. If you want to keep your testimony, you gotta share it right?? ;D So we have been giving Books of Mormon to all the members and inviting them to share it with someone, and that we would be checking on them to see if they did it. There are actually a lot of members that get excited when we give them a book of mormon and they say, I know exactly who I am going to give it too!! It is so awesome! We are hoping that this will help us to get references because, igual, we have been finding a lot of new people, but it is even more awesome when members find and we teach because then the new investigators have a friend and everything! 

Also this week, the reality that I only have six months left just hit me and I have been thanking god for everyday and every chance I have to be in the mission. I have grown a big testimony in enjoying the time the Lord gives us to live, to go through hard things, to grow, and especially be in a mission. I invite you all to just enjoy your life because it will never be the same again! Things will always be changing and you will never get some things back. You guys are awesome. Go give a book of mormon out this week to someone you can introduce to the missionaries! 

Love ya!

Hna. McCubbins

This is what happens when you have time in the mission. A LOT of time.

We went and got hair massages last Monday. My hair is SUPER soft.

After results.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sunshine and Butterflies

Dear Family,

This week was a week full of miracles! We ended up finding 5 new investigators and 2 new families to teach and begin working with. The people here are so humble and receptive. They just need a little help keeping their committments. We also found a menos activa that is really receptive, but commitment is a desafío for her also. However, she felt the Spirit when we read 3 Nefi 13 with her and now she needs to put God first more in her life. She is super sweet and I feel like she is going to progress a lot. We are also working really hard to help the branch here. I feel like we aren´t progressing as much as we could be because of basic problems like reading the scriptures personally and praying, then doing that with the family also. So, we have a plan to visit the members in our sector and invite them to share the gospel with the people around them. This helped a lot when we invited our other menos activa to do it and it has helped her have more of a desire to share and be active in the church. Marcela our recent convert didn´t come to church because her WHOLE family came to stay this weekend. It made us worried so we went and visited her. She is ok and felt really bad that she didn´t go to church. In fact she gave us cake to make up for it... However, in the two weeks since we invited her to read the book of mormon in six months, she has read all the way to 2 Nefi 25!! She loves to read and it is a huge testimony to me that this book has divine power to change lives and our nature. Since she didn´t come to church, she wasn´t able to have an interview for the temple, but we are going to try to get her an interview this next week. She has a son in Santiago so it will be super easy for her to find excuses to go to the temple and do ALL her family history work. She is staying strong and told us that this week, when she had a little thought to not read the book of mormon, she was reminded of when we told her that Satan would try to get to her, so she just said a prayer and kept reading and felt a ton better. It is amazing how the armor of God works! It is also super amazing because now her husband is interested as well. He won´t accept us to come teach him yet, but he has a book of mormon and read the beginning and listens to Marcela talk about what she learns. I have faith that the Lord will lead him to listen to us when it is the correct time. He is super nice and repects Marcela a lot for her decision to be baptized and told us that he has seen a huge change in her. They are super in love and have almost 35 years of marriage. It is super cute. 

So hey, something super cool. Last night at about 11.45, we had a little earthquake (temblor is little, terremoto is huge) of about 4.5 and the epicenter was in a little pueblo about 30 minutes away from San Fernando, where I am. It was super cool because we woke up and it lasted for a while, about 15 seconds. It was a little scary because it was building, or getting stronger for a good 7 seconds, then started dropping after that, but Hna. Hellbusch told me that if an earthquake builds for longer than 8 seconds we need to seek shelter, so when I was counting and it wasn´t dropping, I thought the world was going to end!! It was super awesome. If you want to know what an earthquake feels like, just go on a roller coaster and its about the same, but not as extreme. Earthquakes are only scarier than roller coasters because they aren´t planned and cause damage. :) It is also cool because the weather changes whenever there is an earthquake. I don´t know why but lately we have been getting sunburns from the tons of sunshine and there have been a ton of orange butterflies everywhere. But today, there is nothing but rain and clouds!! I think all the butterflies died... :(

So I know that you maybe are a little sick to hear this, but READ THE BOOK OF MORMON EVERYDAY!! And don´t just read it, but study it, absorb it, dive into it, eat it!! (maybe not that last one). Because I am never happier in life than when I read the book of mormon and feel the Spirit testify to me of truth. Life has meaning and makes sense and I get super excited to do what is required of me when I read this amazing book. Make a promise to read it everyday. One of the speakers in general conference talked about ponderizing a scripture every week, and I can testify that he understands the importance of scriptures. Can you imagine how good of an impact it would be if everyone read the scriptures everyday and applied them to their lives?? Our less active Susanna, after we read 3 Nephi 13 with her, made an awesome comment when she said, El creer in Jesucristo es demasiado bueno. Su vida va a ser demasiada buena. It is super funny because she basically saying that it will make too much of a good life to live the gospel. It is just TOO GOOD. And why not want that? :) The challenge for this week? Make your life TOO GOOD and TOO HAPPY by reading and praying and going to church. :) Just fill your life with Jesus and be happy ;) 

I love you all. Have an amazing week!

Hna. McCubbins

Jessica will have been on her mission for one year this Thursday, October 22, 2015. These pictures look back at the starting points of her mission. She has grown and learned so much this year. It's been an amazing journey for her.
This picture was taken when Jessica first got to the mission field.

This is the first picture of Jessica with her missionary name tag on. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Stay strong and Smile!

Dear Family 

So, sorry for not writing yesterday. We had a holiday here in Chile where none of the stores open, so we had no way to write!! But it is okay now. Our president is super good about making sure we write every week, sí o sí. ;) 

So, the other night we saw a miracle. We were in a part of our sector that is safer than other parts, but at night and for some reason they had cut the lights and it was super dark. It was maybe 8.45 at night and all three of us had a feeling we needed to head home because it wasn´t safe without the lights. We got into a colectivo and headed home. On the way home, we started talking with the driver and he seemed to know a lot about us missionaries, more than normal people. He ended up being a less active that should be going to San Fernando 2, a different branch close by, and he actually had desires to go back to church. He started telling us all about the miracles he had seen when he was active and that he really didn´t have any excuses for not going to church besides laziness. It was a miracle to see someone who recognized that because not many people notice when they make excuses but that their actual reason is because they don´t want to go. As he was talking I had a feeling that we just needed to listen to him and invite him to go back to church so he can continue helping others accept the gospel. I felt it was a miracle because I think he really needed to voice his thoughts and start to want to go back to church. It ended up that we arrived at the house right on time and happy because we followed the spirit´s promptings. I think it is super cool that when we listen to the Spirit and act on the promptings we have, the Lord helps us both change people´s lives AND be exactly obedient to the mission rules. It was cool also because he taught me a principle that kind of hit me in the heart. He said Querer es Poder. This saying means when you actually want to do something, that desire gives you power to do it. The fourth missionary also teaches us that, so it was super cool to hear that there is a saying for that in Spanish. ;)

Also, yesterday, we found a new investigator named Olfelia, and her sister Yanet and Yanet´s son Alvaro José. They are a family from Colombia and have been here in Chile for almost 4 years. They are amazing!! We were talking to Olfelia, just getting to know her and find her need, which requires a lot of help from the Spirit, like all aspects of mission work, and she started crying when Hna. Silberman asked her what is the most important thing in her life. She answered that it was her daughter that is 33, and lives back in Colombia. Olfelia came here to Chile only to get to know a different place and now she is kind of stuck here because of money. She says she sometimes feels alone and that God isn´t with her. I almost started crying too (because I am a sympathetic cryer...) and all we did was listen to her and invite her to read a pamphlet to prepare for our next visit. I felt that the Lord loved her SO much and was sad that she felt alone. Haha, and now I am almost crying just thinking about her. I don´t know if it is her time yet to accept the gospel, but I do know that the Lord needed us to be there to comfort her and get to know her family and bear testimoy of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. 

I just want to invite you all to listen to and act on the promptings of the Spirit. When I think about this principle, I think about our prophet Thomas S. Monson who, it has been said, always listens and acts. I have a ton of love for the prophet and I cried when we recieved the news that he has Parkinson´s (I think that is what it is?). I know he is the mouth piece for the Lord and hearing his words makes me want to be a better disciple of Christ every day. I hope you all can grow in your love for him and recognize that it is a miracle that we have a living prophet in these latter days. Millions of people died during the Great Apostasy, without ever having the priviledge of hearing the words of a living prophet, or living the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Listen to his words, and act on the promptings the Spirit gives you. I know that doing this will not only bless the lives of the people that are around you, but you will grow in your faith to have more hope in life and will start to love EVERYONE that may be around you. You guys are awesome. Stay strong and smile!! ;)

Love, Hermana McCubbins

P.S. Did I see Sean in General Conference singing in the choir of primary kids?? Or am I crazy??

Jessica's cousin Sean was in the children's choir for General Conference on Saturday Afternoon.
He's in the bottom right-hand corner of this picture in the blue tie.

Friday, October 9, 2015

I LOVED General Conference!

Dear Family, 

Answers to the questions;

So I have two companions actually... One is Hna. Darrington who is basically the boss. We got here together in the CCM and she is from southern utah. I might move down there to live with her after. We are going to complete one year together which is crazy because we completed 6 months together and will also be together at 18 months.... We have it all planned out ;D Our other companion is Hna. Silberman from Brazil!!! ANOTHER BRAZILIAN!! I also might go visit Brazil after the mission because I know 3 brazilians now ;) She is basically a gringa in a brazilian body. She speaks english and understands it, so we usually are speaking english in the house, which is hard for me because I think I forgot English.... We mix english and spanish a lot and sometimes get sentences like, I need to eat desayuno ahora! Or, I´m gonna terminate my mission soon. It is awesome! We also have come up with an english version of a portugese song that talks about pesky flies because we have flies in the house now that it is spring. 

Did you guys LOVE conference?? I LOVED it. I almost cried because I didn´t want it to end... I love to hear the prophet speak and recieved a ton of answers to my prayers. I now know that I need to get better at listening to and acting upon the impressions of the spirit and become a true disciple of Christ. I invite you all to listen to ALL the general conference talks if you didn´t this weekend. EVERY talk had an important message and the Spirit was SO strong you could have cut it with a knife. 

Invitation: Bring someone who is not of the church to church with you this next weekend. I expect awesome experiences next Monday.

Love you all!!
Hna. McCubbins

Emmi, Jenna, and Katelyn at Jenna's missionary farewell. All three of these girls were also at Jessica's farewell.

Scotty McCubbins, Denise McCubbins, and Hanna Hellbush (Jessica's Trainer) The bag has presents that Hanna brought from Jessica. We met after General Conference.