Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Well this week has been great!

Interesting things that happened this week: It snowed!!! It hasn't snowed here in Rengo since 1993 so everyone was freaking out. A member called us at 2:30 AM to tell us it was snowing and literally EVERYONE was outside in the road. It lasted about 1 hour and in the morning only a little bit of snow was left but it was still a cool miracle to see.

Today for P day we went with my district to some mountains to see the snow. We took a bus 40 mins to get to a place called Las Nieves and from there we hiked in about a hour. It was super pretty and was a blast and everything, but to our surprise when we hiked back out a few hours later we found out that the bus that dropped us off wasn't passing by for another 2 hours! So we began to walk. And walk and walk and walk. We walked along this road in the middle of nowhere for a good hour or so before a truck finally took pity on us and hauled us all to a little town called Chimba where we took a taxi back to Rengo. It was a good adventure! 

So this week I had to write a letter to my mission president and explain how the mission has changed me. It was interesting because I began by writing about my experiences that I had in my first sector Centinela and then went through all my sectors explainging experiences that had changed me. During the mission I didn't really feel like I was changing that much. It really wasn't until looking back from the end that I was able to see how much I had really changed. 

The truth is that the misison has taught me many things. It has taught me to be patient. It has taught me to love and serve others. It has taught me how to listen to the spirit. And more than anything it has strengthened my testimony of this gospel and brought me to know my Savior. I have hit the highest and lowest points in my life here and have learned more than in all my 19 years before.  I am super grateful for the blessing I had to serve here in Chile as a missionary, and I wouldnt change my time here for anything. 

So... this is my last week in the mission. Thanks to all of you for your support! See you in a few!

Hermaña Wittwer

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hey everyone! So here are a few highlights from this week:

On Friday we had a conference with our mission president and it was sooooooo nice not having to help teach anymore! Not being a sister leader is the absolute best. Anyways, in the conference he talked a lot about searching for people with faith and not just knocking doors, and it really go to me. So one day we were contacting and there was nobody, so we said a prayer and I looked around and said "ok we are going to contact every house in this street with light," and every single one answered us and were super nice! it was a miracle really and we now have a few really promising future investigators. 

Saturday we had a baptism!!! Sol is a little girl of 10 years who comes from some rough family situations. However a family of members here in the chuch took charge of her and have basically adopted her into the church and help her a ton. They pick her up every sunday morning and take her home after church. They are a great example for me and for all the members here of how to help others and share the gospel. So Sol was baptized and looked like a little angel. She was sooooooooooo happy and when she gave her testimony after,  literally everyone was crying. It was a special and very humbling experience being able to teach and help Sol. 

So on Sunday we were determined to help a less active family come to church. When we told the bishop they were coming he said "ha good luck." When we told their neighbors they were coming they laughed and said "good one." But little did they know just how stubborn my comp and I are. So at 8:30 sunday morning my comp and headed out and went to the house of this family. We opened their gate and knocked on their door and yelled "halo!" and tossed rocks at their window for 15 minutes until the mom answered the door. We then proceeded to enter the house and go from bedroom to bedroom waking up every member of their family. It was kind of a blast and everyone was suprised when they showed up at church at 10! They looked so happy in the church and afterwards they told us that they knew they needed to come again and they would be here the next week too. 

Love you all and I'm loving the mission (I think I'll just stay here). Have a good week!

Hermaña Wittwer

Friday, July 7, 2017

Hey folks! So I'm still here in Rengo, still working hard and loving the mission. This week went by super fast because Friday and Saturday we had something called "capillas abiertas." Basically this means that we open the church and turn it into a mini visitors center. We put banners up that explain the things we believe and us sister missionaries give a little mini tour while the elders go out in the street and drag people in. All the members come too to explain all the organizaciones and what we do during meetings on sunday. Friday we had one here in Rengo and Saturday about a hour and a half away in Doñihue. They were pretty great, we had a lot of people come and a few were really interested! 

Sunday we had a huge miracle: Romina and Jaime came to church! Romina is less active and Jaime is her boyfriend. They live together and Jaime has been investigating the church for a while but hasn't really been progressing. But this week we have seen huge changes.  They have started reading the Book of Mormon together every morning, are praying together often, and even went to church!!! Jaime knows the church is true, he just needs to act on what he knows now. Their biggest impediment is that they are living together and aren't married, but Sunday we taught them about eternal marriage and temples and they said they would pray together to ask if they should get married. We are hoping for the best and trusting that if they ask they will get their answer! 

Other than that it's been a pretty normal week, lots of lessons, lots of riding in bikes, lots of fun. Oh also a recent convert took us out to his ranch to feed chickens but then he ended up killing the chickens and feeding them to us... haha so yeah that is just to explaing the weird pictures my mom will probably send with this. 

Love you all have a good week! And enjoy the 4th of July for me!! 

Hermaña Wittwer

Monday, June 26, 2017

Hey everyone! So this week has been super different for me. For almost of all my mission I have been in branches, but here in Rengo is a ward. But not like any ward, I'm talking about one of the biggest and best funcioning wards in the mission. It's awesome! There are a lot of members here and our ward mission leader is working like crazy and has his own whole committee. Its crazy haha. 

My companion is Hermana Gonzalez. She is 23 and from the Dominican Republic but lived in Spain for 5 years before coming to the misson. It's fun because it means I get to learn to talk in 2 different accents from her. She is super fun and energetic so its going to be a good change here with her!

So our investigators: we put a few baptismal dates this week and we have some people who are starting to progress nicely. Here are a few:

Sol: Sol is a kid with 10 years. Normally I don't love teaching kids (sorry) but she is super cool and really intelligent. Her sister was baptized a few years ago but lives in a different city and her mom can't go to church because she has to care for her little brother with disabilities-but the members are helping us with her and taking her to church and everything. She really wants to be baptized and has a date for July 9th.

Alejandra: Alejandra just barely accepted a date for the 29th of July. She is in her 30s and has 4 kids and listened to missionaries a little a few years ago but couldn't progress because she wasnt married. luckily for us, she recently got married and has a lot of desire to listen to us and to follow Jesus Christ. 

Ok actually for a lack of time I'm only going to tell you about those two and I'll write more about the rest later. Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Hermaña Wittwer

Oh also funny story this week: turns out that when the other Hermaña left this sector SHE TOLD ALL OF THE MEMBERS THAT I PLAY THE PIANO! Heads up, I totally don't. So every single member has exitedly asked me "Oh are you going to play the piano for us this sunday??" and I have had to say (like 247 times) "No sorry, I don't actually play the piano..." So kids, when you quit piano because you don't want to practice, know that you're going to regret it later!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Hey folks! 

It's been a good week. Our investigators are progressing, a few came to church yesterday, we found a few new people this week, we had some fun activities in our ward, and nobody stole our bikes. All is well.

This week for service I had to help like 3 people with English. Unfortunately this has become harder and harder for me to do. I taught my companion to just put "tion" at the end of words in spanish to speak in english and now find myself doing it too, and now I'm not sure if the words I use exist or not... 

So on Thursday I woke up with a cough. But not any old cough, this cough was coming from my soul and shaking my bones. Literally my companion thought I was going to die haha. Well the cough progressed nicely and by saturday night I was too sick to go work in my sector so I had to go home a few hours early. In 16 months I have never spent a single day in the house until Saturday. It was horrible. I was sooooooooooooooooooooooo bored! But don't worry, we found ways to keep busy by organizing the Area Book. That book is beautiful now, so nice and organized :) The good news is that Sunday I was good enough again to leave and work! 

Anyways, the truth is that not that much happened last week. Just another week in Chile! Hope everyone is doing well, see ya in a few months!

Hermaña Wittwer

Mom excerpt: Ky  told me last week that her and her district had made sushi. I asked her if they had put fish in it or if they had just used rice. Her response was "chicken nuggets hahahaha. we are missionaries. and poor." I about died laughing. Chicken nugget sushi....

Friday, June 2, 2017

Hey everyone! Okay sorry for not writing, for a few weeks but here is what's been going down:

This week was LOCA! we had sooooooooooooooooo much to do and no time to do it. We had lessons scheduled every single hour and were running from place to place. We found a lot of new people and were able to see good progress in a lot of others.

These last weeks we have seen major changes in Solange and Jaime. We have been working a LOT with Jaime to help him change a few things and HE HASN'T SMOKED IN 2 WEEKS!!! It is a huge miracle, we can literally see the atonement working through him. He has so much desire to learn and change and is so humble. He is also listening to the Book of Mormon and praying every day :) And the whole family of 5 came to church yesterday! They are so golden and so prepared, now we just need to help them get married so they can be baptized. 

One interesting thing that happened with Solange this week is that she was trying to get a new house and she had everything lined up and had been working on it for months but then, for some reason, it fell through this week. When we heard we thought she was going to be distraught, but when we got to her house she said "Well, this probably just means God has something better waiting for me. And it probably means I need to get married and be baptized here in this ward first and then go look for my house." It's amazing to see how sometimes things dont work out how we want, but if we let them work out how our Heavenly Father wants we will always be happy in the end. 

Another great investigator is Jose. He is 17 and from Colombia and is awesome. He went to church this week for the second time and he really liked it. He understands really fast and has a strong desire to learn (he had never heard of the "mormon church" before coming to chile!). He actually accepted a baptismal date for June 17 BUT he talked to his Dad and his Dad said no... we were all pretty sad about that but Jose said his dad said he could keep listening and going to church and maybe he will change his mind if he sees that Jose really wants to do this. So please pray for him lots! 

Other things that happened this week:
 Thursday we had a Zone Conference (I had to speak and, side note, still hate public speaking).
Saturday we traveled 2 hours to a little town called Licanten and helped out there. 
Saturday I also completed 16 months in the mission. Ew. 
Last night my comp and I drew on the other missionaries faces while they were sleeping. 
Life is great. I love the mission. I love you all. See ya soon!

Hermaña Wittwer

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Siete Tazas

So the other week i forgot to mention that we went as a district to a place called siete tazas. It is this super pretty national park with a bunch of waterfalls and it was a blast! 

This week the rain officially started. It's gotten cold here! I finally gave in and, after 15 months of enduring, finally bought myself some rain boots. It was a good decision haha. Probably should have done it sooner. 

This week we have had some super great lessons with a lot of people! One of them is Nataly and her son Daniel. We taught them the plan of salvation and they both expressed their desire to live together in the Celestial Kingdom and their desire to work towards baptism. The only problem is that Nataly is going to have her baby this week sooooooooooooooooo we are going to put that on pause for a few weeks and pick it up when she is all good again. 

We are also teaching a couple named Solange and Jaime. They are super great and they both want to get baptized a ton but they need to get married. Solange wants to gt married a ton but Jaime is a little unsure. We are working with them both a lot to help them take this step together, pray for them lots! They both came to church yesterday with their 3 kids and they both felt the spirit very strongly. Tonight we are going to have a family home evening with them and the bishop so wish us luck! 

Love you all hope ya have a good week!

Hermaña Wittwer

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

So I dont have a lot of time but a few hightlights of this week:

We had 8 investigators in church this sunday!!!!! Alright, 3 of them are the really good ones from Colombia who just can't get married and 4 of them were their other friends from Colombia but it was awesome. They are all progressing a ton and we are hoping to have their baptisms in these next few months!

This Saturday they called us to tell us about changes and (good news) I'm staying! Hermana Cook is leaving to Chimbarongo and my new compañera is going to be... Hermana Reynoso!!! She was my companion last change so thats going to be a BLAST being with her again. We are both pretty excited. 

Other than that the mission is going great! Oh yeah, i think there was a pretty big earthquake the other day but thats pretty normal here and I didnt even really feel  it that much, so chill. Love you all have a good week!

Hermana Wittwer

Thursday, April 27, 2017

So there is a saying here in Chile that is "Walking more than a mormon" which is what you say to people who walk a lot hahaha. Good news though: This mormon won't be walking anymore because we got bikes again!!! I'm pretty happy, and we are just hoping that they dont get robbed again...

So on Wednesday this super awesome thing happened.  Its called the Census of Chile. What does this mean? That legally everybody HAS to be in their house and nobody is allowed to work or leave until after they get counted in the census. Which basically means that they cannot escape us when we pass by their houses and everyone answers because they think we might be the census people. It was great! We were able to contact a lot of people and find some old investigators and set a lot of appointments to visit them after. 

One thing that our president has been focusing on a lot recently is working with members. We have been striving to do it a lot more and we have been seeing a lot of good turn outs! This week we had 5 new investigators, all references from members and 4 came to church! It's awesome to see how much easier is is being a missionary in a good ward where the members do their part. 

So Saturday we had a BAPTISM!!! Joaquin was baptized, he is 10 years old and is the son of Natalia, a less active who we activated. He is the best and was so excited for his baptism and everything was going really well... until the morning of his baptism. That morning his grandma came to their house to "Invite them to go on a trip" which basically means she was trying to take Joaquin away so he wouldn't be baptized. Well he knew that, so he told her no and the grandma got really mad at Joaquin and Natalia. Basically she told them that if Joaquin got baptized they could forget about being part of the family and that they would never talk to them again. It was a very big test for Natalia because she is only 26 and has always been very close to her mom.  But she told us that she knows that the gospel is true and she feels so strongly that they need to keep strong in the church. They are such an amazing family and such great examples of keeping strong through (huge) trials. The baptism itself turned out great, the spirit was so strong and seeing Joaquin so happy made all the sacrifice worth it! 

Well love you all and hope you all have a great week!

Hermaña Wittwer

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hey everyone! This week has been full of lots of walking, a few fun service activities, and lots of good lessons. 

Last Monday we found some super awesome investigators. After the first lesson Nataly told us that she thinks we are an answer to her prayers and that she really wants help to have a strong family and raise her kids right. We are both super excited to keep teaching her and her son! The only problem is that she isn't married so we can't put a baptismal date with her... (have I ever expressed my frustration that NOBODY gets married in Chile? It's the worst!!!) 

So remember Jaime? He is our investigator who wants to stop smoking before getting married and then baptized. He got a blessing a few weeks ago to help him with that and since then we have called im every day to see how he is doing. And a really cool thing started to happen. Jaime also suffers from some major back pain but ever since he's been trying to stop smoking it has started to go away. It's almost scary how exact it is, but every day he smokes it hurts him and every day he doesn't smoke it is completely fine. He basically said to us "yeah, I think God is trying to tell me something..." He is so great and making so much progress and CAME TO CHURCH this week!!! We are now going to try to work on him getting married so he can be baptized :)

For Easter this year I decided to study the entire week about Jesus Christ. So in my personal studies I looked up every scripture there is under the heading "Jesucristo" and I read The Living Christ and a few other talks about Him. It was a great experience and I was able to learn a lot and feel the spirit. Its amazing, every time I study about Christ I feel so grateful for what He did for me and I am able to realize how truly important it is to share this knowledge with other people. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and its for that that I am a missionary. It's hard work and a LOT of people reject you, but the joy of seeing just one person come to the truth and change their life is worth every single sacrifice. 

Hermaña Wittwer

Saturday, April 8, 2017

So this week was a little weird because I had VERY little time to work in my sector on account of interchanges with other missionaries, conferences, and interviews with our mission president, and general conference. But while there was little time, we made the most of it! Here is the update on our progressing investigators:

Solange and Jaime: Solange is great and is in Mosiah in the book of mormon and wants to get baptized BUT her and Jaime aren't married so she can't... however we started teaching Jaime and he is really great and also has desires to get baptized BUT he is smoking and doesn't want to get married until he quits smoking... so we are working on that! This week he asked for a priesthood blessing to stop smoking and it was a pretty spiritual moment when he received it.

Olga and Edgar: They are from Colombia and have been receiving missionaries for a while. They are so great they are basically already members BUT also not married. The difference is that they want to get married soooooooooooooooooo bad but they can't because of problems with their visas in Chile... Pray for them, we are hoping for a miracle!

Jose Canales: Jose is a very interesting investigator. He has received all the lessons and goes to church almost every week and wants to be baptized BUT he doesnt want to live the word of wisdom. We are going to try to teach him a little more about obedience and help him have more desire to live the gospel principles. 

Joaquin: Joaquin is 10 and is the son of a less active member we found contacting (funny thing, you find a LOT of less active members here contacting). They started going to church and he wants to be baptized, his only desafio of that he is 10 haha. We have to strive to teach lessons in really simple, fun ways so he pays attention. It's fun to have to look for creative ways to teach him!

Anyways other than that we have a lot of new people and are looking for more. Hopefully with more time in our sector this week we will be able to find some more! 

Hermaña Wittwer