April 28, 2014

Every Member a Missionary!

Hey everyone!

What an amazing week! The members are really getting crazy about this missionary buisness! We have received more referrals than I ever have in my whole mission, and yesterday, the members went out to visit and strenthen the inactives, and came back with more referrals!!!! I am so grateful that they are here and ready to help and support us :)

We have a great new investigator! Her mom is inactive, but she's always wondered what it is we believe. We taught her the Restoration and then yesterday she came to church! She is progressing nicely. I am loving it here!!!!! I feel so happy :)

So we had two baptisms this week in the ward! They were so great and spiritual and wonderful and awesome and all of the above. These people really are happy, and when they're happy, I'm happy!

I love you all.
Hna. Jennifer Howell

April 22, 2014

Because of Him

¡Buenas tardes a todos!

How nice to hear about the great weather up there. The weather isn't too bad here in the city, but it really does cool down at night...like a lot!!! But it's fun to wrap ourselves in blankets and read the scriptures :)

To be honest, I kind of forgot it was Easter until the senior missionary couple that shares the sector with us came up and said "Happy Easter!" and I was like, "Oh yeah! Today's Easter! Whoa..." But it was a good Sunday :) The lesson in Gospel Principles was the best! They talked about the priesthood, and Elder Garrison shared a really powerful story about when they gave a blessing to his neighbor. The Spirit was definitely felt. He told about his neighbors that had 7 children, and felt like they needed to add one more to the bunch, but the mother had a really bad heart condition. She was already pregnant with the 8th child and were told that because of her heart condition, she wouldn't live. Nobody ever lived. So they prayed and fasted and talked to leaders of the Church, and they told her it was okay to have an abortion because her life was at risk, but they prayed and fasted even more and felt they needed to continue. So the husband asked Elder Garrison if he could give his wife a blessing, because he was afraid that if he gave the blessing, he would say what HE wanted to happen, not what God wanted. So Elder Garrison gave the blessing, and in the blessing he said that she would have good health throughout the pregnancy and that she would live long enough to get to know her baby, and for the baby to get to know her. Well, they went through with it and everything, and the baby and the mom both lived and the baby was super healthy, normal. The mother lived 7 months to get to know her child, and then passed away. And they named the baby Faith. But because of the priesthood and the blessing, and the faith of everyone, she was able to give birth (the only case in history to live through giving birth) and live 7 more months. It was powerful. How blessed we are to have worthy men posess the power of God and be able to preach, heal, and serve with that power. Do you realize that without the priesthood, we wouldn't be able to progress in the plan of salvation? We wouldn't be able to be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, make and keep sacred covenants in the temple, like the sealing of families, and of course the work for the dead. The priesthood is essential!

This week, we lost two investigators. Both of them want nothing to do with us anymore. But we didn't hear it directly from them. Someone else told us what they had supposedly told them. We don't know what happened with either of them, but oh well. That's all part of missionary work. People have their free agency, we can't force them to listen to us. But I sure hope that one day they might see missionaries again and feel something special and want to talk to them again.

So Antofagasta is gigantic, right? Well, I'm new here, and Hermana Rojas is kind of too. She's been here already two transfers, but since it's HUGE, she still doesn't know a whole lot about the city. Well, the other day we wanted to go back home from the mission office, and we got on the bus that we THOUGHT headed by the house...wrong. We ended up heading for the other side of the city!!! Pucha....it was hilarious, we were laughing our heads off, but also a little worried of how we were gonna get back to our side of Antofa. We recognized the chapel where the zone leaders go, so we got off there and took the bus that we KNEW for SURE headed our way. Oh boy, that was a nice little adventure.

On Friday, it was the birthday of an inactive, and his wife (also inactive) invited us over for lunch. They are really nice less-actives who rent out bedrooms to foreign students. They invited like, EVERYONE. We met one girl that's living with them right now from Lithuania (I don't remember, is that how it's spelled in English?) and another girl who used to live with them from Belgium. We had a really great conversation! They asked us questions about the church and everything. And I felt sooooo much love for them, especially the girl from Belgium. I wanted so bad for her to feel that there IS a God, who is her Father, and that He loves her SO much. It was a really good talk!

The zone leaders had a baptism on Saturday, and we took our investigator, Karla (who still talks to us!), to go see what a baptism is like. The lady being baptized was the sweetest lady ever. She's a little old lady, maybe late 70s, who is just so beautiful. As soon as we walked into the chapel, we could immediately feel the Spirit so strongly. The little old lady had the biggest smile on her face. It was a really beautiful service. They showed videos about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and it was just so wonderful and beautiful, I couldn't help but cry a little and just smile. This is the true gospel of Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ suffered and gave His life, then was resurrected all for US. So we can overcome spiritual and physical death as well. He loves us, DE VERDAD. And I felt so much love for Him, for what He did for me.

Because of Him, we will live too... http://easter.mormon.org/

Con todo mi corazón,
Hermana Jennifer Howell

April 14, 2014

What's Happening to Chile?!


Well, this week I started work here in Antofagasta! The sector is gigantic, probably bigger than Taltal...It's huge. But there are really good people here. We met with the "friend" of one of the members (probably her boyfriend) and we talked and taught, and if everything goes well, he's getting baptized on June 14th! Woohoo!!! But really, as far as the work goes, not much else different going on! The members here are great and ready to give references!

Mainly, I'm just gonna talk about the crazy stuff happening in Chile. Well, you all have heard about the earthquake that happened a couple weeks back up in Iquique and Arica. There are still aftershocks happening, but nothing too terrible. But this week, maybe you haven't heard, but there's a huge fire burning up Valparaìso! That's just a little bit further south than our mission. There have been (from what I've heard) like about 500 houses burned. Poor people!!! Poor Chile!!! What is happening??!! Please keep Chile in your prayers!

Here are the pictures from the tsunami alert in the middle of the night...and the craziness happening in Chile.
Keep safe!!!

Hermana Howell

Earthquake in the North

Hanging at a safe zone till the tsunami alerts are lifted

Catastrophe in Valparaiso

April 7, 2014

After the Quake

Wow wow wow, this week needs to be taken one day at a time.

MONDAY: So last P-day was super relaxing, but right after lunch, I felt really sick. Remember when I had to take Prilosec before the mission? Well, I have to take it again. But since I've been taking it, I've been feeling better.

TUESDAY: So we had to travel to Copiapó for visa work for Hermana Carranza. They told us that we were gonna leave around 8, but then called again and said that we were leaving at 6. All was good, we left and got to Copiapó without any problems. When we hopped in the taxi to go the sister's house that we were gonna stay with in Copiapó, we heard stuff on the radio talking about a TERREMOTO (remember the Spanish lesson??? A terremoto is any earthquake above 6 on the Richter scale) and tsunami warnings. We asked what was going on, and the taxi driver told us that there was a terremoto in Iquique and Arica, 8.5. Then Elder Peralta (District Leader) called us and told us that Taltal also had tsunami warnings and that they were trying to find a place to stay, but not to worry (thanks). We were pretty worried, but the office Elders were calling everyone to see where we were.....

WEDNESDAY: Well, everything went okay in the morning for Hermana Carranza's visa. We walked around Copiapó a bit, and then went to the bus station to wait for our bus that supposedly left at 3:15 (left at 4 just FYI). Every tv and radio in Chile had news about the terremoto in Iquique. We had called the Elder's in the morning to see if Taltal was all good to come home too (would we have a house when we got back?!?! haha), and they said everything was fine. So we finally got on the bus and all was good for the rest of the night. We got home around 9 and everything was calm...

THURSDAY: When we went to bed Wednesday night, exactly at midnight, I woke up because I thought I heard a cat walking around on the roof. And the neighbors were making all kinds of noises. Then WHOOOOOOOOOOA....Tsunami warning. Oh you have no idea how fast we left our house. That cat? No, that was an earthquake. Another terremoto in Iquique, 8.2. How I didn't feel it, who knows, but as soon as that siren went off, we booked it out of our house. The Elder's called us to go to their house, and once we got there, we headed on over to a member's house. My heart was beating so fast. These Chilean's are just so calm...they are used to that kind of thing. Well I wasn't. But we couldn't stay with that member because their house isn't above the linea de seguridad (what would that be in English??), so we headed on over to the Relief Society President's house, and stayed there for the night. Well, we couldn't really sleep. Elder Peralta was saying how good it was that we headed to Copiapó the day before, because they were literally running around stressed out looking for a member to stay with. And it really was a blessing, how God took care of us. How we were gonna leave at 8 (when the terremoto happened), but that changed to 6. And how I barely got out of Iquique before all this happened...oh boy I am blessed. God knows that I'd probably not be able to handle too much of that. Hermana Quispe said that some buildings in our sector are practically on the ground, a lot of people are camping up on the mountains. Poor Iquique.

FRIDAY: Friday was a lot more calm. We painted a house that morning, had English Class, Seminary, and Mutual that night. But during mutual, they called for transfers. Hermana Carranza and I were so sure that we were both staying...no. Guess what. I'm getting transferred out of Taltal :( :( :( I really do not wanna leave. 6 weeks in one sector is NOT enough. But I'm finally heading to Antofagasta. Get this, I'm gonna be with my "sister". Her trainer is Hermana García as well! And Hermana García is headed to Iquique, but they took all the sister missionaries out of Iquique for like 2 weeks, so I'll be with my mamá and sister for two weeks! Hahaha crazy. I am excited to go to Antofagasta, but I really am having a hard time leaving Taltal. It really is the best place to be in the whole mission. Elder Peralta and Elder Preston even get to stay, and they've already been here 3 and 2 cambios! Sad, but I gotta trust that the Lord needs me in Antofa now. Again, we had to sleep in the members house until President says its okay to go back home....so we all headed there again.

SATURDAY: General Conference!!!!! Wooo, love it. I noticed that there was a lot of talking about faith and defending your beliefs. I was able to watch in English :) Yay. Saturday was super calm as well, but we still had to sleep in the members house...

SUNDAY: The Elders called in the morning telling us that now we can go back home and sleep in our own beds. Yay!!! General Conference was also good, obviously, but I had to watch it in Spanish. Don't know why, but that's how it was. It's just not the same, but still learned a lot.

TODAY: Well, finished packing today. I really don't know what I'm gonna do when I go home. Ugh. I hate packing. I leave Taltal around 3:30 today, so I should be getting to Antofagasta around 7. 

That was my super exciting week. Who knew that I would be part of a huge earthquake.....and tsunami. I'm still a little nervous everytime something moves, but Taltal (and supposedly Antofagasta) is pure rock, so you feel the earthquake, but not much damage happens. But be sure to pray for the people of Iquique and Arica especially, they had the worst part of it. I hope all is well over there! Keep safe :)

Hermana Howell