Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26th

My favorite part of Jasmine's letter today
Not going to lie... It´s still freezing cold here, and I´m always cold but all part of the missionary experience right? ;)
One of the coolest things happened on the Metro the other day. We get around the city by metro, bus, taxi, and walking. We were going to the Capacitacion that our Bishop holds every two weeks. I prayed that morning to have be able to feel and act on the impressions of the Spirit. While we were on our way to the chapel I was standing a few people down from a man who looked like he was about 40 who kept glancing over at us. I had an impression to talk to him, so walked over to him and I asked him where he worked and where he lived. His name was Felix and he traveled about an hour to work everyday and that he worked at a hotel down the street from the temple. So I talked to him about why we were there (there were 6 of us) and told him that we were missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ. He took out a burned disk from his backpack that read "comparison of Bible and Book of Mormon" and gave it to us. I gave him my Book of Mormon and told him it was a present from us to him, I told him to read 3rd Nephí 27 and bore my testimony that he could know for himself if he read. He had to leave before we could talk more, but the fact that he had that DVD with him gave me hope that his curiosity about the book of Mormon would be put into action through reading. The spirit made that happen.
We have healthy meals and then fanta or coke,,, and they love to feed us. The food here is seasonal. they only eat one meal a day-- lunch. and then they have once which includes small finger sandwiches pasteles and matte or ecco (warm drinks which are apparently okay here haha) We usually eat rice, potatoes, and chicken with vegetables. Every day that´s our lunch. and we have it with a member and will share a scripture.. But I DO work out every day.. maybe not as much as hno Berto, but I do. 
Last little story before I go.. yes lots of dogs. I took a pic with a dog on dad´s bday and was planning to send it to him. I´ll let you know more next week about that. Anyways, we were running late for district meeting and were literally running. A little dog caught onto my shoe while Hna Salazar and I were trying to get to the meeting on time. It was laughing- Just think of Paul Blart mall Cop :)  
It´s a blessing to share my testimony every day. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 19 - FIRST week in the mission field

My last week in the CCM was great! We were able to practice contacting a lot and towards the end, we went out with "real" missionaries in the field. Hermana Vieira and I were doing contacting and ran into a man who was sitting at a table reading something about trying to learn English. He was Korean and had been living in Santiago for a year and a half. We sat down with him and talked to him about some of the things we believed. He was an Athiest, but had many questions. Our 10 minutes of contacting turned into a 30 min lesson. He was very receptive to everything that we had to say. In the end, we gave him a Book of Mormon, but he said he would rather not have discussions. He said he wanted to see for himself first. Unfortunately we both forgot what his name was (something in Korean) but it was great. He asked a ton of questions too.

During the end of the CCM we were able to prostelyte con the other missionaries in the field. I was with Hermana Godfrey and we went out for a couple of hours. All of the appointments fell through but we decided to visit some less-actives and do some contacting as well. We met with one woman named Amelia. She told us how she was baptized ten years ago because of her son, but after her son died she had "lost faith". It was such a humbling experience. She told us that she wished that she had faith. And I told her that if you have a desire to have faith, you do. It´s acting. And that God is mindful of all of His children.
Our area is "the Plaza". not gonna lie... kinda like the hood. I don´t know the rest of Santiago though. There has been Elders in our area for the past few years so the concept of having Hermanas is new to a lot of the people in our barrio (ward).In our areas we do a lot of "door" contacting. At the gate- everyone has gates. if they don´t have a temblor "doorbel´l" we have to shout HALLO from the street. It doesn´t always work for the first time, but in this case their is always an opportunity to talk to the neighbors. And yes, there are a ton more dogs. As common as people. I have to be concious of the ground when I walk because more than likely you will step in dog poop.
My companion is Hermana Salazar. Ella tiene 19 años y es una entrenadora con 3 meses en la misión! (She is 19 and is a coach with three months in the mission)  She is from Mexico. ANd she is very helpful and Kind. It´s hard for her to adjust to a new area as well. And it´s been hard for her to be a trainer, but she said I came easy already knowing Spanish,, haha. And I think I have a lot to learn...
The members are great here. A different family is expected to prepare lunch for us everyday at 1:30. This way we have gotten to know the members. Just like Alex, they feed us a ton-.and then seconds. And I am not that large. And they all LOVE to talk. We are only expected to stay there an hour, and it´s very difficult to leave. We share a message and then we are on our way to appointments and contacting until about 10 at night. Our area is a little bit dangerous, so it´s been hard to stay out past 8. we are thinking about doing our studies at night rather than in the morning. But we do have a great view of Santiago from the window of our apartment building. we are on the 10th level- It´s pretty empty, just a small portible heater at night, but it´s nice.
Some of the experiences that we have had this week. One of my first days here we went to visit a few less actives in the Ward. We went to visit Hermana Claudia Valazques. she has 2 boys a Liam y a Danial que tienen 5 y 8 años. So much fun (i buy these candies called Frugeles -thx dad- and share them with them) . It´s so sad though. They basically live in a shack. A lot of trash is piled up around their house. We shared a message on faith and the Hermana Claudia was super receptive. She promised to come to church (this was thurs) and She came yesterday with her 2 boys. it was very difficult in sacrament meeting, but we are planning to have an fhe with the rest of her family tonight. Her husband has made some poor decisions but you can tell she wants to be faithful. Governmental issues too,, we are praying for her and her family. my companion and i also had a day where we talked to everyone on the street. Within 45 minutes we had 5 lessons on the street. 4 of them became new investigators. We went back to talk to 2 the other night who said they had to reschedule, but I absolutely love it. I love to watch their eyes, because you can see that the understand. you can sense that they are feeling the Spirit. Not only to feel the impressions of the spirit, but to watch someone else experience it for themselves is incredible. No hay nada tan (There is nothing so) incredible. La obra del Señor esta acá. Me encanta las personas con todo de mi corazon.  (The work of the Lord is here. I love people with all of my heart)
Elder Bertho--- No one can say my name either. Soy hermana "B" here. 
 Everyone speaks so fast here. I am super humbled and grateful to have my companion with me. 
Get this, we had some ward chilean lunch with raw pig skin (didn´t learn that until after) but a lot of fruits, veg and beans and rice. and tons of PAN. (bread)  
Keep record of my cheeks getting bigger. its inevitable here. to all of the Hermanas jajaja.

I hope that you are doing your part in missionary work as well. Being here has given me the opportunity to realize how important it is. To give everyone the chance to hear it, and if we aren´t the ones who will change people, we are always laying groundwork.
(The last statement is my favorite from Jasmine's letter - love that little girl - she is amazing!)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

 Some maps that show where Jasmine is now living.
El Parque, La Florida, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hermana Berthelson is officially a sister missionary!  
Look to the far right - the cute little missionary!  

Monday, August 5, 2013

One more week in the Chile Mission Training Center

This week went by really fast. We now have one more week left until we are out into the campo misional. 
I don´t think I´ve gotten to talk much about the Chilean customs and lifestyles around here. Santiago is very pretty. When  you meet someone (usually a woman), it is polite to kiss them on their cheek (left side). The hermanas are instructed to permit a stranger who is a man to do it once, and then politely explain that they are missionaries for the church... so yep! They have very pretty birds here called Lodos which are like green parakeets. There are also TONS of stray dogs in santiago. We´ve named a few that we´ve seen and usually take the same dog back home every day after exercises. All of the parks around here have exercise equiptment for the public to use. We like to play fútbol for early morning exercises. Gringos vs. Latinos and we usually get crushed. But I am getting really good at fútbol jajajaja. For the most part, Santiago is one of the wealthier places in Chile. It is very clean here and everything is maintained. It is also very busy. There is a lot of traffic here.
I don´t know if you have heard this, but Elder Holland lived in Chile for a few years to reorganize the membership. (read a news article about this here)There were a lot of baptisms at one point and so many chaples were built here with account to all of the members. The sad thing is that a lot of the missionaries who baptized these people bribed them into baptism somehow and because of this, the poeple who were baptized became less active in the church . Many church building were boarded up or sold. On average, a ward will have around 900 people on a ward roster with about 100 members who actively attend. Fellowing less-active members is SO important here. 
Fue muchas experiencias esta semana con la oportunidad para compartir mi testimonio con los miembros en mi districto y con mi compañera. Realizé que había sido muchas experiencias en mi vida que ayudame decir que yo SÉ que estas cosas son verdaderas. Busque por las cosas pequeñas que puede construir sus testimonios también. Espero que pueda decir más en las proximas semanas. Pero, ahora estoy muy faliz para cumplir y compartir la obra del Senior.