April 24, 2013

Investigators :)

April 22, 2013

How's it goin? Not much new to report. Well, I guess there is every week haha, but it´s generally the same idea!

We found an investigator who speaks English! She's from Hungary but her husband works here, so that's why she's here! As soon as she opened the door, she said ¨No hablo español.¨ And I said "Do you speak English?" She said yes, and it went on from there. We taught her and her husband the Restoration, but it was hard for them to understand the priesthood authority part. She´s Roman Catholic and he's Orthodox...it was hard, and I don´t think they still fully understand it, but we're going to work more with them obviously so they can understand!!!!

On the other hand, we found Aldo, who said he believed that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Hermana García invited him to pray to confirm that testimony, and he said, "Ok, but I already believe it."  And we invited him to church, but he didn't come. WHYYYYYYYYY??? But hopefully he was telling the truth hahah.

You know how they say you have a twin somewhere in the world. I think they're all in Chile. I've found a ton that look like people I know, just the Chilean version haha, it's creepy!

Jocelyn (we found out how she really spells her name hahahahhaha)...I don't know what's going on. We talked to her about baptism, and we haven't seen her for 4 days. One reason is her family, but I don't think she has a testimony of Joseph Smith. Our next lesson, if we can ever find her again, will definitely be about him and prophets and general. Wish us luck!

On the other hand, Matías (have I mentioned him before?) wants to get baptized this Saturday. The only problem is that he's 12, so we need guardian permission, and we can never find his grandma to talk to her and I think she's mad that Matías wants to be baptized. We´re praying really hard!

Well, that's it for this week! 

Hermana Howell

This is part of the missionaries from my zone on P-Day

Whoa, where'd the day go?

April 16, 2013


Thought I'd share a typical day with you:


Whoa, where'd the day go??

Haha, ok really, this is what it is:

7 AM - Wake up....(enduring to the end right there.)
7-7:30 AM - Exercise (Yeah right...more like stretching)
7:30-8 AM - Get ready, shower
8-8:30 AM - Breakfast!
8:30-9:30 AM - Personal Study
9:30-10:30 AM - Companionship Study
10:30-11:30 AM - Training
11:30-1:30 PM - WORK
1:30-2:30 PM - Lunch
2:30-3 PM - Personal Study
3-3:30 PM - Language Study
3:30-10 PM - WORK
10-10:30 PM - Daily Planning
10:30-11 PM - Get ready for bed, write in journals
11 PM - Lights out (favorite time of day!)

Its pretty full, but the day goes by really fast...sometimes it's really slow during that 7 hour shift when no one will let you in and your appointments fall through, but really, it's still fast when you think about it.

Spanish is coming along, like always. I am slowly getting better, but the worst is at lessons when I have no idea what is being said, so I can't really teach according to their needs...it's really frustrating. And then they ask me questions, and there will be like one word I don't know, so they explain and explain and I finally understand, but by the time that happens, I have forgotten the question, so I just have a word, and I'm sitting there trying to remember the question, and I can't for the life of me, and I'm sitting there looking so dumb and they give up and go back to their conversation. So rough. But at least I'm a good listener.....I say my testimony and the prayer, and we leave. So hard, but Hermana García and I practice every day so I can contribute more...FAITH!

So the people here wear a lot of t-shirts with english writing on them...and I doubt they know what it says, because one guy around 30 or so was wearing one that said ¨World's Greatest Grandma¨ I laughed so hard when I saw that, and Hermana García asked, but I couldn't explain it because I was laughing so hard, and because Hermana García speaks spanish. Oh well. haha

One night, when we were walking back to our pension, I heard the scariest noise of my life. You know on I am Legend how those zombie human creature bald things scream? That's exactly what I heard, and I was like "Oh my gosh, I'm gonna die." and I practically dragged Hermana. García back home. blllleeeeghhhhh

One day when were were knocking on doors, a lady answered and of course said "I'm too busy, another day, yeah?" and then she told us to wait, and she came back with this HUGE plate of donuts she just pulled out of the oven, and gave us each one...oh boy they were good. Haha, we'll be going back to her house soon ;)

The people here in Chile LOVE to ask me if I know anyone famous...hahah I don't know why, but since I´m from the United States, I gotta know someone, right? Especially when I say I was born in California..that gets them going. haha But I tell them that David Archuleta is a famous singer, and he´s a missionary here in Chile, and they can't believe it. They don't know who he is here, but they go and look him up on YouTube while we're talking, and they believe me that he's famous, but they can't believe someone famous can be Mormon and on a mission in their country...fun stuff haha

The other night as we were leaving a teaching appointment, we passed a couple with a stroller on the street, and they stopped us and asked us if we were part of a religion! They said they've always wanted to know about the Mormon church. We gave them a Book of Mormon and invited them to church. They didn't come BUT we're going to visit them and see if they've read some and whatnot...They're names are David and Marcia! I hope all goes well!

So every Saturday and Sunday we eat with members (technically every day because a lady in the ward makes us lunch) and this weekend we ate at a member's restaurant down town...they have the nicest restaurant here! It would even be considered really nice back home...except the prices are wayyyyyy cheap. They're nicest plate is like 12 bucks...I told Hermana García that at Milt's, our nicest plate cost around $60 (which is about $30 here) and she about had a heart attack haha.

So the custom here when people greet is to kiss them on the cheek. Obviously we can't do that with men...well one investigator that came to church, Alberto, (I'm guessing he's about 16..we haven´t asked him yet), he was leaning in to kiss me on the cheek, and I had to stop him and explain why we couldn't...so awkward. hahah But at least he won't try again!

Oh! One night, we were walking to visit someone, and I felt like we had to visit the Pastén family instead, so we went there, visited, shared a scripture and what not, and left. I had no idea why I felt like we had to because everything seemed fine...and I couldn't understand what they were saying...haha, but afterward Hermana García said that they were having a bad time and were thinking about us and thinking about calling us to come over, and we showed up! Cool huh!!! I hope everything got better :)

Here are a few pictures of me & my companion Hermana Garcia being ourselves!

Have a great week!

Hermana Howell

April 5, 2013

¨¿Me entiende?¨

April 1, 2013

Oh boy, it's been crazy. I have so much to tell you!!! 
So here in Copiapó (my area being Copayapu), I'm blonde. We all know I'm not, but they call every white person blonde. And I'm not kidding, one day three families in a row we visited, they call me Hermana Barbie, because I´m tall, white,¨blonde¨ and skinny. I tower over these people which is so weird for me since back home, I'm usually one of the shortest! So they call me Hermana Barbie, or Hermana Blanquita. I think you can figure that one out. Hahah, it's fun. The people look at me like they've never seen a white person before...which I suppose they haven't, but there's been white missionaries here before! Haha, who knows, but I'm a wonder here...and on top of that, I can't speak Spanish, so I'm suuuuper chueco (weird). It's fun.

The Chileno people here ALWAYS say ¨¿Me entiende?¨ (¨Do you understand me?¨) Always, always, always they say that. At first I thought it was just because I don't speak Spanish, but they say it all the time...even when they aren't talking to me! In church, everyone who stood at the pulpit said it at least a billion times (which, by the way, I had no idea what was going. I caught the words ¨diezmo¨ which is tithing, and ¨sacerdocio¨ which is priesthood). And even when they are talking to me, and they ask if I understand, they don't wait for me to say ¨NO I DON'T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING!¨ because they speak so fast here. Chilenos are the fastest Spanish speakers ever. If you can understand them, you can understand anyone. How fast they speak is the least of my worries. They also slur and drop endings and S's all the time. ALL THE TIME. It might take me a while...hahah but that's to be expected.

Since the last time I wrote, we found 4 new investigators!!! Super cool. And one of them even came to church. Her name is Yoseline (Jocelyn), and she's 19 years old. She is soooo sweet and is really curious and respectful about the gospel. Her dad even said it was okay for her to be baptized. The other three are going nicely. One man, Jaime (pronounced Hi-may) has muchas preguntas. Muchas muchas preguntas. I have no idea what they are....hahaha but I know he has questions. We were teaching him the second lesson, the Plan of Salvation, and Hermana Garcia was listing the ¨steps¨ we need to recieve salvation (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end). However, right when she said ¨faith in Jesus Christ¨ I really felt like I had to stop her. I did and I asked ¨¿Tiene fe en Jesucristo?" He paused and answered some long thing that I didn't understand, but what I got out of it was no. He's unsure about everything. So we need to go back to step one and help him develop that faith.

I haven't gotten sick yet!!! I´m super surprised. You know on that movie ¨The Errand of Angels¨ where they HAD to eat all the food? No leftovers? Well, that rule is true. We have to eat everything that is served us, or the people get super offended. They are really poor here in Chile, but they serve us all they have because they love us and want to serve us, so they give us a TON of food. It was hard the very first day to eat everything, but it hasn't been a problem since, because we don't have dinner here! Nope! We don't have it scheduled into our day, because no one here in Chile actually has dinner. They have like a midnight snack called once (own-say...which actually means 11), but that's it. So I'm always hungry. I also have no choice but to eat what they serve us whether it's washed with the water here or not. The juice made with tap water? Have to drink it unless I wanna offend someone. I was really scared at first, but Heavenly Father helped me out. Like I said, I haven't gotten sick yet. That's not to say I won't, but let's hope I never do!

So the walls here are so thin, that it sounds like a window is always open. Usually there is a window always open, but for instance, in our apartment, at night, when obviously everything is shut and locked, I can still here clearly what's going on outside. I definitely took for granted EVERYTHING back home. We have no air conditioning or heating in any building. I'm fine because I have three blankets, and sometimes I actually sweat at night, but when I get out of bed, it's so cold and the floor is freezing! It's getting into their winter here, so it gets really cool at night. The days are still hot as ever though, but you know me! I love the heat! But one morning, I woke up around 5:45 because the stray dogs outside were having a party or something. Every single dog in the world was barking. It was like in 101 Dalmations where one would bark and then another and then another...gah it was so loud and annoying! I couldn´t get back to sleep until the alarm went off (naturally). And I definitley took for granted hot showers...or showers with pressure...gah, I hate showering. I mean, I like to feel nice and clean...but the process is brutal. But that's life in Chile, and it's really humbling. To see people living in shacks and yet they are so happy...it makes me really grateful for what I have back home.

So you know how General Conference is this weekend? I was going to cry because it would be in Spanish, and I wouldn't be able to hear the prophet's voice (something I've never had to be sad about before)...but then I find that they broadcast it in English here! For all the gringo missionaries! Yay! I'm happy again...haha.

Well, that's all for now!  Adios!

Hermana Howell

April 1, 2013

I'm in Chile!

March 26, 2013

Hey! I´m in Chile!!! 

The whole trip took about 2 days...ick. I am in a city called copayapo (I think that´s how it´s spelled....i don´t know haha). It´s about 8 hours south of Antofagasta. Once I arrived in Antofagasta, I had about an hour or two to meet and eat with the president, and I was off on a bus south. We arrived about 1 in the morning. It´s sooooo....weird. My companion, Hermana Garcia, is from Mexico, and guess what...yep, she doesn´t speak a word of english. It´s hard to communicate. Really hard. I feel like crying all the time because it´s so frustrating. I can speak very little with her because I know so little and she speaks so fast! I can tell she´s trying to slow down, but I´m still lost. Good thing she´s so sweet and patient. She trying to learn english, so what she does know she tries to say...but trust me, like the only words she knows is ¨whats up¨ and ¨cookies¨.  We went grocery shopping today, and that was scary! GROCERY SHOPPING...SCARY. Who would´ve thought, the simplest thing in the world. I had no idea what the prices meant or what the products even said. I recognized brands, but I couldn´t tell between shampoos and lotions...so that was fun. There are so many stray dogs here, it´s ridiculous. I´m pretty sure there was a dead one on the sidewalk last night. I couldn´t tell, but I thought it was dead. No one cares! The dogs just roam the streets eating whatever, but I expected that. I´ve only seen one or two dogs that actually belong to someone. 

It´s so hot here, I love it! But it´s so embarrassing to be the whitest person in town. I´ve already had 2 people comment on how white and skinny I am. hahaha hopefully the sun fixes my whiteness!!! The food is really sketchy because of the water they use with it. This town has the worst water (so I´ve heard) so I have to be careful, but they also said I have to get used to it somehow since that´s what they cook the food in...so I´ll be sick for a little bit. I´m not sick yet (knock on wood), but hopefully WHEN I do get sick, it´s not too bad and not too long. 

There´s so much I want to tell you! I don´t even remember everything! Oh, we visited a man named Gilberto, and he was the nicest man ever! He was so forgiving with my Spanish. He just laughed and my companion explained. It was difficult to contribute when I had no idea what they were talking about, but I just bore my testimony about the scriptures, and that seemed to be enough. Tonight we´re meeting with a familia...I hope I catch some words that fly around the room. I´m sure they talk about how gringa I am and how they could say so many things to me and all I would do is smile...hahaha.  

Anyway, the plane ride here was pretty nice. We had all three meals on the plane ride to Santiago (that´s how long it was). We had a layover in Lima, Peru, so that was cool, but I was in the very middle of the plane, I didn´t have a window seat, so I didn´t see much of Peru.  The stop was about 30 minutes. We stopped in Peru and people got off and more got on. We never got off. Oh, they love their Christina Aguliera and Avril Lavigne here!!! Hahaha that made me laugh. Most of the music 
I´ve heard is Christina, and SOOOOO many people have asked me if I like Avril Lavigne and that I even look like her.  That was something I never heard before.  My zone is great. Of course there are missionaries there who also speak English, which is muy bien! There are about 10 (??) in our zone, and only about 4 are latinos, so yeah. Anyway, I don´t have much time. I´m sure I´ll have much more to say next time! 

I expected this first transfer to be really hard. I´m already frustrated and scared, but don´t worry, I know the Lord will help me. I always have to remind myself that He will never forsake me. The people here are so nice. And guess what, it´s already a little hard to remember English! not totally, hahahahah oh boy its a long time before I´m fluent, but some of these words were hard to remember. Ok, I have to go now! 

Hermana Howell

This is the day I arrived in Antofagasta