Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pour out Blessings

All is well in Guadalupe. I am doing great and feeling great. I have been waiting to see the fruits of our labors and obedience and yesterday I was so overwhelmed in Church because of the investigators and their families that were in the church. I thought about how the Lord will pour out blessings that there wont be room enough to recieve them. It was true. Our bench looked small. With our investigators and their kids, we had 8 people at church. I could not have been more excited. I know the Lord has a plan for me and sometimes I just have to be patient.
 It was overwhelming. I had 2 kids i was trying to keep quiet. I felt so much love for my parents as I tried to use the lotion dots and lead the music like mom and dad. We ended up drawing and coloring. I think their parents felt the spirit. I didn't.... but if they did thats what counts. I felt so happy and there literally wasn't room ¨...enough on the bench... to receive our blessings. MAYBE I am quoting that scripture wrong. but there was a great blessing there. 

 I´ve liked being companion of a coordinator because I feel like I have both lifted and been lifted by the sisters who have come to my zone. I was very grateful to be with another Hermana Wednesday and learn a little about how much she loves people. I want to be like her and have love for everyone and the gospel radiating from me. 
I think we are about to hit some major breakthroughs in our teachings. We have been patient for so long and I know that these people are prepared. I hope we can inspire them. Both Hermana Sanchez and I can see our investigator as a future church leader.  There is nothing that makes me happier. . I feel we are spending our time wisely and helping share the good news, we´ve gotten into an effective system and our companionship and investigators are all learning and growing together.
I had an awesome week. I am just relieved and happy. I learned that the Lord gives gifts to those who ask. I am grateful to my awesome family whose faith has made me not have scabies nor fleas, but one of those that is healing amazingly. I know they asked in faith.
We had  a neat christmas activity. we got GRINGO FOOD: and I GOT TWO PACKAGES from my family and I GOT TO PLAY DODGEBALL: what more could a girl want? haha

An investigator also gave me a really nice satchel. purse. cartel. bolsa. i dont know. its super though! It costed like 10 mil! (20 bucks...which is probably more like 40 bucks in the schemes of pòbracity) haha.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thankful for the little things...fleas?

Wow. I got in a lot better mood this week.
I cut my hair Monday. The first time in a year. 
Someone spoke English to us in the streets and his friend said PORQUE hablaste en ingles? Son Chilean’s. Haha Why did you speak Spanish, they are Chilean? Needless to say, I am very tan. 

I have just about the same (or more fleas.) I still have bites on my legs and stomach,but its bearable. haha I use lots of itching cream. 
 But I got word from my friends on missions in the states this week who have/had SHINGLES; LICE...hahaha Oh the things we learn. I decided someday I might be able to humble myself, but for now; the Lord has to do it for me. 
 I like my companion´s calling (Sisters leader) for her, and for me. I went on divisions this week twice, in my sector.
Tuesday Morning I had divisions with my twin. She is named Mandy, after the Barry Manilow song too. Her nickname is Mandocommando. She plays piano a little, but plays really good by ear. WE ARE TWINS. I just about died laughing. This was my first day being alone with someone who speaks English in 6 months so you can say I got some serious advice. She really inspired me. Maybe even saved me from the last week. I know that she was an answer to my prayers. We shared some neat scriptures and both came out on top. I love this sister so much. What’s not to love, right Dad? 
I got to go on other divisions with another Hermana . She’s a cutie. It was so fun. We got to share with a lot of people and it was fun to help her and that people only understand me. I do have to translate for my comp who speaks Spanish  because she talks so so dang fast with a SHA SHA SHA accent.
         I sang a duet in zone conf. with Hermana Archila. We sang Brilla Rayas de Clemencia. It was pretty. It was the first time in a long time I got to sing alto! Yay. It rocked. She sings so pretty and I am good at grounding her. I like singing a lot now. I wrote two songs. ILL BE GONE FOR CHRISTMAS and ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A BAPTISM.
The other things this week were we were contacting and the house yelled we left quickly. A man hit my butt in the streets. So we left quickly. 
Miguel, whose baptism was supposed to be Saturday and everything was all ready decided to disappear from the earth. We found him after a week. He wants nothing to do with us. I was really sad. I guess the Lord will teach us somehow. I know He knows what he is doing with us.
This week was better than the last and I got a lot of little advice from the scriptures, the words of the prophets, some mission friends and now I am feeling happy. . We also found a lot of great contactos, who should be nuevos soon.

We have a tree.- Thanksgiving was normal. Not too much there. We ate rice and chicken like every other day! haha. But I did think of my blessings a lot more. We are so blessed. I am so happy to be living here at this time. I know the Lord loves us.

The street next to ours is called MARKMANN B. and every time I see it I think Brenda and Mark Newman. SO I think of Brenda about once a day. The floors in our house are all white tile so I think of Valerie once a day. There’s a woman in the ward like Marylou so I think of her once a week. I miss my mature friends. I think of the grandmas so much. =) 

Monday, November 18, 2013

By small and simple things

This week as we sat waiting for our investigator in his pre interview for his baptism , my companion was trying to play what I taught her of Come thou fount of every blessing on the piano. We were there for 3 hours waiting for him because we told him we would be there when he finished and didn't realize it would take so long. She was pounding out and I was getting annoyed. It reminded me of home. Then She asked for me to help her with some of the chords I did and she played it wonderfully. I have been listening to it for weeks in the awful first pounding skills and now its getting more melodic. While sitting listening to her and thinking about Artu in his interview. I thought that its great I have a testimony and its great I can play (a bit) of the piano, but HOW much greater is it that I can teach others to play and others to have a testimony. I have been extremely blessed to see how the Lord has been here for me to see a big miracle happening this week with my first baptism. I know that success is not measured in baptism but it is in progression, and that's a big step. I am happy. I started crying during these silent moments of reflection. My companion yelled (in english) Are You crying? Maybe I took a part in the things she is learning.
Maybe not. We got to speak english in a lesson this week and I bombed it. I couldn't talk at all. I forgot how many sayings we have. I like typing a lot. I type in english but now am beginning to think in spanish. Instead of saying We are playing sports at the church today... i said... We have sports this day at the church. wow. Sign me up for preschool when I return, Mom. Which by the way is in one year. Friday is my 6 month mark, How fast does time pass?

In sacrament meeting a song was sung I stand all amazed and i know that my redeemer lives. My two favorites right now. I haven't cried for a long time besides thursday night but that made me cry. I am so happy I can share the good news of Jesus Christ.

I never thought I would be learning so much as I am here. Really by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. I am learning self control, patience, diligence, and faith. Maybe a bit of longsuffering with the largeness of this sector and the amount of walking we have. I am still learning the quirks of my companion. ) And I am happy.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


SFG, the acronym of the week from my sector,  San Fernando Guadalupe. ...Sweating Fifty Gallons, Skin Fresh and Golden, Super Feliz Gringa... Still Feeling LOST =) 

There’s the words of the week. Today we went to a museum. which was a really old house and some cool artifacts inside. They don’t have glass around anything so I touched the jaw of a blue whale. Last week we went to the beach ocean pichilemu. to the punto de los lobos. Wolf point (although I didn’t see any wolves) but I did see a dog. We saw men carrying out hug bags on their backs of collalulo. (seaweed). to sell in the streets. Yeah I like p`day here. haha 

It’s so hot. Haha but the good news is, it’s not cold. At least I’ll have a white Christmas here because the trees are snowing flowers and pollen balls. =) hehe 
Here in san fern we eat pretty normal. We always have coke, rice, chicken, cabbage or lettuce with lemon and oil and ice cream after

 We are having a lot of progression in our investigators. One investigator was in church on Sunday. It was fast and testimony meeting. He said he wanted to have a testimony. He keeps saying more and more ¨so for my baptism...¨and made me promise I would sing at his baptism. (apparently no one can sing here if they want me. but ire and hare,) haha  I played piano a little the other day so soon I will probably have to play. They caught me. Everyone wants me to teach them... my comp learned a little =) 
 Our other baptism date went on vacation. We met 4 new people and put baptism dates this week. One reminded me of my grandma seal who died in April. I love her so much. I may have cried a little in finding her.
We found a family last night. Sunday night at 8:25 pm about the Lord trying our patience because we had been knocking all week.
I am getting around the sector pretty well. Actually, that’s the biggest lie ever. Its really big and I still don’t know too much.  Our sector is huge. Luckily we will never run out of places to go. We walk probably a few miles everyday. I am skinny butt now. The city center in a 15 min walk east.

For now we will get our baptisms to come to pass. I am ready. My comp is more than ready. Oh this Uraguashan is great. I hope I don’t receive her español accent. =) Or her english =) (when she reads its a little like Arnold Swartenegger, and it makes my day.) I think that’s why we have language study.

I am doing good . I feel happier than ever. I think every time I have a doubt in my mind of my purpose here, the Lord sends 15 reminders of His love for me. I can´t help but feel happy. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I am a country girl now....transfers

So good things happened this week. It was super crazy. 
The phone rang Monday night and we had special transfers. The assistants said that we weren’t in trouble but he felt revelation that we were the ones to change. I felt the spirit so strong.
 I was thrust out of the sector I was born into, into the wild jungle. Just kidding. It is however the place you picture when you think of Chile. Some houses with cement floors and old wooden walls. This place is amazing. ...: 

Sooo... Monday. Hermana Arias and I cried, and packed. Tuesday we had a long encounter with the Area Book. Note to self, Don’t get behind on that. That was the worst. We went to say bye to people, not too many were home. Which killed me. We had an awesome final FHE with the branch president and Carlos and his family . I hope the branch can take good care of him and baptize him

Wednesday I left, after my final zone conference. They gave me a shout out thanks for all I did. I felt good (because initially I felt super bummed I opened the sector Villa El Sol C and closed it) but I know we affected people and the seeds with grow now. In 20 years, right? haha. Oh well I feel good about it.

 I now live in the country...
So here’s a nice HELLO FROM Guadalupe San Fernando, CHILE =) I JUST GOT BACK FROM THE BEACH: We went to Pichilemu today. It was so beautiful. I now live in the south, like 1.5 hours south of where I was before. and it is more country. I didn’t realize how city I was in. When you think of Chile, you think of Guadalupe. 

 I met my new companion. Hermana Shanchez from Uruguay ... My companion definitely is very motivational and the most obedient person I have ever met and she’s been a great leader. Guess how many baptism dates we put this week? 3. Oh my freaking loving life! =) =) So we will work more with them and their families hopefully soon.

Friday we went to Rancagua so that I could become an official citizen of Chile. But it fell, so I need to go tomorrow. Friday we were trying to take a bus to another city, 20 minutes away, Angostura but ended up in TAMBO. Which is super far away. We were so lost, but had to take another bus to get back to Angostura. haha this sector is huge. And super mountainous. I love it.

The church members here are awesome. The branch has 150. Double my other branch.

I am so happy to be here! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Car Accident is a Blessing

Everything is going good. I am feeling good although this week was a bit hard for me.This week I got super sick from eating something bad. That was super fun. Worst 3 days of my life. haha. Which made it harder to stay animated about the work going on. I feel better now and know that the Lord is mindful of me and to just keep doing his work. I know that this will bring me the most excitement and happiness. But despite anything I have, I know that I can overcome. I am so excited to be a missionary in this so crucial time. 

As for work in the sector, We proposed a baptism date this week to Carlos again. He has already been at church three times and I feel that he is ready. He was with members 4 days this week and I was thrilled.  ...we were throwing the b word around like there is no tomorrow. BAPTISM: He was a little shocked and feels unprepared  for a date in the next 3 weeks...My mom  put his name on the prayer roll and I know that prayer really does work. I hope we can get him to realize how prepared he is and how worthy of a priesthood holder he will be. I hope they can continue to see the peace and revelation that comes from being at church. We are close to finishing visiting the list of menos acitvos. We will be done before November 1st. The list has been such a blessing and I hope these last few names can also have softened hearts to hear the good word. 
Woah. The weeks are going so fast. Almost 5 months here in Chile.

This week I rotted more fruit than I ever have in my life.BTW I am quite skinny because I live off of produce but was disappointed to find a rotten Chirimoya (good chilean fruit) and rotten avocados and rotten cucumber. Dang I need to be better at making sure its fresh. During winter, we can leave fruit wherever but its been freaking hot. On Martes (tues)  it was the hottest day on earth. And i honestly believe that. 

Something very humbling happened this week. Besides getting sick and fasting for our investigators (which were both super humbling)... We went to visit a member who got hit by a car (but was okay). . We were all OH SO SORRY OH I AM SORRY WE HOPE YOU'RE OKAY: and yeah... she very humbly said [I think it was an answer to my prayers because I have been wanting to go to the temple and didn't have money. I got in the accident and they paid me, so now I have money. When I can walk again, I'll go to the temple.] I was dying. Inside myself I was bawling with gratefulness to know this woman. I felt so impressed by her desire and willingness to rely on the Lord. We left and I was whimpering for an hour after OH! OH oh my gosh. Oh shes so great. My companion was rolling her eyes at me, but how do people get so precious? 

A woman told me I didn't look north American  after my comp said I was from Bolivia. Yes. Best day ever. 
And besides that many lessons. I love missionary work =) I am so happy to be here and serve.
-Hermana Loca Nokes.

Monday, September 30, 2013

"You wake up Ugly"

This week was great. We have been having people slowly progressing, which makes me happy, even though I sometimes get disappointed I don’t have recent converts I realize we are preparing our investigators for bigger and better things.   I was feeling a little unmotivated one day this week and it was awesome because I prayed for a answer Then I followed the advice from my president and his wife to read and study conference. The priesthood session , Elder Tad R. Callister said = With Increased vision comes increased motivation. This was my answer. I thought and wrote a journal entry about my vision, the Lords vision for me here and how I can increase this vision. It’s amazing to me how personal our revelation can be when we really search and pray with all our desires.

We had some really spiritual lessons this week with our investigators. We invited one investigator to general conference with us and he wants to go. We had sung La oracion del profeta and he felt the spirit so strong. We talked about prophets and I think he understood how important it is. Our biggest challenge is still getting people to come to church but we have been having different investigators attend. They like it, but are too busy. So we will continue to fortify their reasons for attending church. Along with our Less active, who is really progressing. I was happy because she was at church even though her daughters didn’t go with her. 
This sector is really growing and its been awesome to have the six missionaries here. =it was 80 degrees on Tuesday. I loved it. We had another sister sleep over at our house...with the other hermanas and there was the quote of the day. “Wow Sister Nokes, you wake up ugly in the mornings. Your poor husband. hahah.” Also. Two or three people this week said they loved my green eyes . Hmm. I always thought they were brown. haha.

We taught one investigator the law of chastity. It didn’t go too bad. We had some practice before. That was my first time. We gave him a “for the strength of youth” and he was intrigued. He’s a hoot. I hope he can be converted and serve a mission.
One more funny story. Someone was speaking in church and said MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS HOW MANY BLESSINGS HAVE WE RECEIVED... a little one year old girl, yelled out EIGHT: EIGHT. Count your eight blessings. Name them one by one. She knows how many she has, but I know that my blessings are countless. I’ve received stronger affirmations of my testimony every day this week and know that I have been chosen to come here. Sometimes these people affect my life more than I think I affect theirs.
I love Villa El Sol and am happy for the things I have learned here. I know that people have been taught and hope that their little daily improvement and daily fortifications of their faith will strengthen them for a future conversion. We had some strange conversations this week with 2 investigators, but that strengthens my testimony even more that if we speak our words won’t be confounded before men and they ended up feeling the truth of our testimonies.

This, my friends,  is why I am so grateful for the restoration. I know who God is. And what his purpose is. I know that these silly conversations were turned into testimony meetings because our words will not be confounded before men. I know that the church is true and the more trials I receive the more I pray and the more I know my heavenly father knows me personally, what my needs are and how I can help other people know this.
I am so happy to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know He lives and I know God lives and directs his church. I know that He blesses us in so many ways and trusts us so much. I have seen His arm become barren in my life and know that He answers our prayers.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Tuesday morning we went and cleaned out a house of an investigator. It was crazy and to make things worse I couldn't understand a word she said. It might have well been Chinese. She really liked me and kept saying come here Hermana Nokes. and help me with dkaflhsdkfjashldfuhka something I didn't understand. haha  We met with our two other investigators. They are really learning and we have been really open with them about (look be baptized if you know it's true. already!) I liked this lesson on the doctrine of Christ.. we invited them to the 18 festival! this night we went and played futbol at the capilla. 

VIVA CHILE:! WEDNESDAY was great. we had a district meeting, a real Chilean lunch empenadas (which for all you gringos is homemade hot pockets or cal zones) ...funny side story I told this family that at my house we eat something called cal zones. everyone busted up! That means PANTIES/UNDERWEAR in chile =) haha so i will be a little more careful with that.

Yesterday we had a miracle.CARLOS came to church with us. I was so happy. This is a huge step. HE said it was interesting. I hope next week Carlos, Martina, Patxi, Leila and Bairon can come. Oh I hope so. We ate the biggest steak I have ever seen in my life. with the arranguiz. because I am so tall here they gave me the biggest. oh my ghosh. It took me a long time to not even eat it all. They told me ëat with your hands hermana! and I tried but I was going to pop. It was good. I never thought Id like meat and now I love steak. if its done chileno. haha

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bombardment of Food and New Investigators

What happened? hmm. Tuesday´s bombardment was one of food. We had so many appointments and each one gave us food. We ended the night with crepes and I am so jealous that you are starting to eat peach crepes. I want produce. oh my gosh. I loved the lessons, we taught the story of John Rowe Moyle. Please watch this for FHE and tell me you didn't cry. ( I actually didn't cry  though....its just really inspiring)
Wednesday we had the 40th anniversary of the golpe de estado. where pinochet ? or someone from the government killed and tortured a lot of people. People are still revolting because of something Its fun to understand like I do, right? with limited knowledge. haha. Anyways. there is always ruckus this night so we had to be in the house by seven to work on our area books. Good, ours needed help this being a new sector. Turns out we had missionary correlation before this so the day was only reunion de zone y district, lunch, correlation and home. It was awesome. We ate Berlins. a desert pastry at correlation. It was so good. I love cream and I love bread.
Thursday we went and taught  an investigator and did her dishes ha ha.  I taught English class and had my most embarrassing moment. ....a banker works at a bank, a teacher teaches, a doctor.... docks. oh goodness. hahaha. I love it!
Friday we went to every house possible and had little success. It was a bit hard. then we found 4 new investigators. it was a bit overwhelmingly EXCITING:)))))) =) They are evangelists and really good people. They know prayer works, although their manner of praying is a bit foreign to me.
The rest of the week was good, as I don't have time. I learned that even with fasting, sometimes the Lord tries our patience and that he is aware of us every step of the way. We had no investigators in church this week and it was hard for me. I was sad.
Sunday  night was my comps birthday. We lived it up with cake and ice cream pan and queso ramitas coca cola and all the things that are good. I think we filled the void in her heart of not being with family on her  birthday. I loved it.
The upcoming week is independence, so everyone is going out of town. Wednesday is the actual day and we are having a festival at the church from 4 pm to 12 am. Everyone is invited. mom and dad included =) haha. We will see how lessons go this week. and I know i will eat a large quantity of empenadas. VIVA CHILE!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Elder Archuleta vs. Elder from the Quorum of the Seventy

 For p-day today as a zone we played beerpong with soda and futbol. I am getting better at hitting it off my head. I am still really foame (sucky) at running with the ball but hey I can pass it better now. Today I am going to buy one to practice. I got a little sunburnt today. Its weird being so white.
Monday we went to Pelequen. I was mesmerized by everything. The drive through the rainy mountains was enough to die. The smell and sounds of the fair were awesome and it was fun to take so much in. We ended up freezing cold soaking.
We taught some menos activos. This whole week was less actives. Holy cow.  We ate sopaipillas covered in some juice that tastes like Christmas smells. If you can imagine.
We taught some very hard less actives. She said she wanted nothing to do with the church and that she didn't like gringos. Haha. Ouch. We ended up entering and have another appointment with them. Take that, lady! This day we were walking and I saw a man carrying two pig halves on his back. Like entire. The ribs the heart everything. I about died. I have to sometimes pretend I don't know how the food is made. Oh save me now.
We had a miracle this week and after fasting and then  knocking doors all day we finally entered a house and had 4 new investigators. WOW! I cant wait.

So here we are teaching less actives and our investigators. They are progressing little by little and I know my faith is growing little by little. ANd my love for empanadas. HOORAH for independence day the 18 of September. I cant wait. Although they want the missionaries to dance the national dance. Teach me how to dougie? hahah. I teach all my comps dougie, the school boy and everything in between. Basically I am the laughing scene of the dance world. I opted to sing better. I will sing I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOUUUUUUU. My shower song. haha

Speaking of that (singing-not showering) . We were at a mission conference. all the elders and hermanas put their bags down in the chapel and left to eat. We went back to sit and an elder sat by me, Elder David Archuleta. That was a little weird. We talked a little.  I felt more excited about the elder from the quorum of the seventy than Elder Archuleta. Although I am bound and determined to play cello with him or sing with him at some point. I can !

 This week september 11th celebrates 40 years since something I don't really understand happened with the government killing many people. So we have to be in the house at 7 pm. Maybe the second coming will come that night. We will see!!!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Elijah s Miracle

I am doing very well. I am so happy and am loving this new change of companions. I have never been happier. Life is going so great and with this companion, the days fly by. She is a sweetheart. She worked her fingers off in a mandarin orange factory, no joke, to be on her mission. I love to hear her testimony and it is so uplifting for me. I am feeling the spirit more and more and having little miracles, inspirations that are changing my day to day thoughts. This change of attitude has helped a lot and I think this will lead to a lot more success here.I have tried to serve my roommates a lot more to love them. With the budget I created I was the only one with food the last week of the month. I told them to eat it all. Remember the story of Elijah in the Old Testament where the widow offered all her flour to him- the prophet and it never ran out? I am pretty sure that is what has happened with the oatmeal. It is never ending.
 We went to Church and the lessons were on faith, practice, and diligence. It was an answer to my prayers and once again my testimony was reaffirmed in the inspiration in the church. I am doing great, learning more than ever. Spanish is getting more and more easy and english harder.  Although there are days harder than others, I am growing and truly happy. More than ever, I want to be more obedient for others, I want to share and talk to others and be an influence for others.

The sector is going good. We lost an investigator this week, who in order to maintain the relationship with her kids, stopped talking to us and this was hard, but other things are going good. We now have 2 baptism dates we are working for. I think we will be able to get them more excited and prepared as their date comes closer but the most important thing is that they attend church. We want to put a lot of focus on this the next coming weeks. We had a different investigator at church and hope to get some progress with her. I am excited for the upcoming week because we have a lot to do in this sector. Visiting more Menos Activos then I ever thought was possible, some of their responses are ....harsh but I know that one way or another, with time, they will be able to soften back up to reaccept the gospel and remember the blessings therein.
You asked for my Christmas Wish List.... white tootsie rolls, those pink grandma cookies (that I am sure have enough preservatives to make it here ok)nylon or tights and small earrings.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Noche de Talentos Gollum Voice

 On Monday we had a lesson with an investigator. He is rocking awesome. I love him to pieces. I am finding more and more family here.  He is 22 and really talented and smart. He has some funny talents. He can beat box with his hands. When I find a good internet area I will send the video. He can also pour liquid sodas 'well hold soda cans without using his fingers. like sticks to his hand and he uses this for work, pours for people like this. Its interesting. I want to know how! Oh the things that are entertaining for missionaries. Hey. It's either that or looking at the television screen to see shakira, shakira. .... =) anyways.,.,.
We taught him lesson 1 and lesson 2 and about the spirit. He was really touched and I felt inspired to ask if he has ever felt the spirit, he shared a really neat experience which I think sparked his understanding of feeling the spirit during the lessons. We invited him to be baptized. He is really excited and I think once we get him to church, he will be set. That's one of our biggest challenges, getting people to church.

We taught  a young man this week. He is 24 and large, he keeps his hair like Juan el bautista and has a large beard. I really do think of John the Baptist when I see him. It's fun to teach them because they know English. It's actually really hard for me to speak English because my mind is in Spanish but they love to speak English. He learned playing video games. He said that he has had doubts in God with all the things going on in his life..his brother with a terminal disease, an alcoholic father... his mom doesn't have doubts. This woman has more faith than a blind man in a knife factory. I just said that. That doesn't even make sense. She is really faithful and I love her prayers. I know she knows God can and wants to help her.  I bore testimony about the power of prayer. I loved it. The lesson was so strong and he prayed. He said he didn't have anything good to thank god for right now, only his mother and he prayed about her. She cried and cried. I cried. I want my children to be that close and in to say with me. I hope we can give their family a change, because they have their share of challenges and I know that the gospel can completely change their lives, their desires and everything in their world.

We had a really awesome activity this week, noche de talentos. put on by the missionaries.  It took almost 3 hours and was freaking awesome! OH MY GOSH. i loved it. We had our two investigators there, the ones with the overly protective parents and I was so happy. They picked them up and looked around the church. I feel that we are getting close to breaking them and gaining their permission. We invited two investigators (18 and 11) to be baptized but they said they can't without their parent's permission. The night was filled with mini plays, skits, songs, dances and everything in between.A video of the 42 things that Mormons say. WHAT PAGE? haha and there was one break where the next act wasn't prepared so I did my gollum voice. Everyone freaked out. Apparently no one can do a gollum impersonation because my companion loves when I do it and shows everyone and they are so freaked out/impressed? What's not to be impressed with (right, dad?) =) The night was great and there were 99 people there! (on Sundays about 70 people attend church) yeaaaahh BOY!
  ... Oh! And i got to teach Sunday school this week. It was fantastic and the more I talk and teach the more people like me. The branch president was like beaming at me and my comp. Life is so good. YAY!

I love you all and think about you lots. I am grateful to be here and serve others so that they can have their eternal families like us. =) My love and prayers.
-Your SISTER, Nokes

Monday, August 19, 2013

Great Trials Greater Blessings

This week went by fast and I think it was one of the hardest for me in my mission. With every good work comes opposition and I've definitely tasted that this week. The good thing is for these things I have more faith. My testimony has been strengthened in prayer, fasting, the scriptures and attributes of Christ. I know that these work in my life.
Monday I received word that my great aunt-whom I worked for and was friends with has been diagnosed with leukemia. She is under a treatment in isolation in the hospital and I prayed hard all week for her.I fasted for  my Aunt. I received many answers to my prayers in the scriptures. I know the Lord is so mindful of me, loves me and is teaching me many things here. I received a lot of comfort for my family in Mosiah 3 and I actually shared this with an investigator. I know things happen for a reason and I am able to teach better with the experiences I have.
I was able to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday and was so happy. I know the people understood me and were really receptive. They laughed and the spirit was there. I know I had so much help. It was great because I think the ward members know me better. Everyone knows my companion but I don't think many know my name, so this was a good opportunity. I hope to stay here to help grow close to this branch and strengthen their testimonies, although, like everything in this life, I know the Lord has a plan for me.
 This week was really hard. We had good goals to have more baptism dates but 2 of our investigators moved. We had goals to find nuevos, but one day we contacted all day and didn't enter one house. I know the Lord is teaching me patience and perseverance. One of our investigators we wanted to invite to baptism went on vacation. the good news is we invited another woman, Leila to be baptized and I believe she will be ready. I felt great and actually initiated the invitation! This woman is very faithful and I love her and want to help change her life. We taught many less active this week and I am very excited for this- little by little we can reconvert them.  I love meeting less actives and helping them resolve doubts and fix issues.

Training- I cant believe I am in week 12. Training is good. I taught a lot more this week and after one lesson, both me and my companion were surprised because we wondered who spoke. I didn't believe it was me. My spanish is good, and I know this is through the spirit. Now its all about learning more and more vocabulary. I think starting with the chilean food =)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Lost Sheep

The story of the lost sheep. On July 31st, We found a woman and taught her through her fence. Her name was Leila. She cried when we testified and wanted us to come back and teach her. We had an appointment. So we went to plan and realized that we didn't have her address. We write down everything. EVERYTHING  but didn't have this. SO we were worried...because she NEEDED US: We headed out and headed to where we thought it was around. We didn't really know. We said a prayer and knocked on every house that had red brick, that's what I remembered, Brilliant Hermana Nokes. That's just about every other house. hah. We couldn't find her and gave up this night. we missed the  SO here's where we get to Tuesday. We prayed that we could find her again and looked more into the night we found her to get more information. We had about 10 or so streets to look for. We went and it started raining so so hard. I´ve never been colder I don't think. I started singing "The sun will come out tomorrow, ...when I'm stuck in a day, that's gray and freezing. .... Anyways. We couldn't find her house,. We prayed, Knocked, prayed, knocked ,no, no, no, We kept looking and asking and praying. After one prayer, I had the very distinct impression, ¨You know where it is, go¨. But...I couldn't figure out where it was. I remembered very distinct things. But not where the stinking house was. We knocked on a door that I know wasn't the house. They were busy but through the window we said DO YOU KNOW LEILA? She pointed across the street. We were flabbergasted. We cried so hard. We were soaking wet but knew where she lived. She wasn't home so we wanted to leave a note... It was interesting because that morning also I had a little tiny clear bag on my bed and I thought, I need to bring this. I didn't because I that's so stupid. I don't need that. .. SO anyways. Here we were with this note and its raining so hard. ... What to do. I knew.. Oh, duh. This is why I needed the bag. I had another grocery bag that was huge and ugly and we made a function thing out of this to waterproof the note.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Week in Review

monday. We met Gina  and Nicolas (everything reminds me of the fam. The brand of bananas here is've got to be kidding me, least i can never forget you all)  they were amazing we taught the first lesson,. they are new to the neighborhood and want a lot of time to read and pray about the lesson.
we had no money because it was the end of the month. I tried to cook eggs but we had no gas to cook. I tried to pee no toilet paper. I ran out of food. I started a budget for the month of august and can happily report I can eat and pee in peace. and other things. Good news. haha it wasn't too bad. only 3 or 4 days. and the members feed us sooo much =)  I ate at the house of empenadas this day. so good.

Tues divisions with another sister from peru. WE ate peaches and cream at lunch. The peaches here are the best. I think its my fav fruit now. We played futbol at night I was one of the only girls this week. I was team captain and my team was undefeated ...we played the whole time because once you lose you switch out. We had an investigator there (gaston) that all of the girls were drooling over. OH WHAT A GUY, GASTOOON! LOL: He's roughly the size of a barge too. I hit my nose with the ball trying to be good and skinned a little. I know the pain of the phrase,  no skin off my nose now. haha lol

Weds. I sang the prayer at the district and zone reunion. It was so cool .  We got changed standards of excellence and are starting to work more with menos activos and converts. Its called baptisms retention and reactivation. i love it. We met a crying woman who was moved by the spirit to talk to us.

Thursday we taught 2 more investigators and I taught english class. We played a game of prepositions where we would say above, below etc and they had to do the action. They love the game. I love teaching more and more.

Friday divisions with another sister. She sends her love. It was like a sleepover. We ate talked and shared testimony. We went to bed at 12.oops. Our neighbors had a party at 5 am. What the heck. haha I didn't sleep much that night. haha

Saturday. breakfast with hermana novoa.We met with every missionary in the ward and made schedules to work better with the less actives. It was so good. At lunch with everyone we ate chicken and rice and played the game cambia. Its kinda like whose line is it anyway...acting. so fun- i loved it. You have to change the last phrase you said in conversations when the director says. i love it. We went to teach with a member, she had a hard life but a strong testimony. I love her. Our neighbors had another party that started at 3 am. Wow. music and drinking and all. I slept with my fingers in my ears.

Sunday. fasted for investigators at church. No one was there. haha it was so lame. The times we fasted for investigators, no one was there. but we are humble. haha

That was my week. not very short. but yeah. love you. Have a good week
-Kisses and hugs.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Opposition in All Things

SO many good things happened this week.
We eat a lot of churascos. A lot of chicken and rice and a lot of completos. And salad. And soup. Churascos are carne (I never know what that word means but cow i think...its good) with palta avocado and tomato. They are great. Of course, all of these things are drenched in mayonnaise. I am happy I am getting fat. Because this means I don't have a parasite. Ya. And I really am not too fat yet. My favorite thing we ate here was like a Philly cheese steak sandwich roll up.  They have these great Tatar tot things that are mashed potatoes fried. MMM.- today for lunch I ate these huge huge empanadas, which are like calzones, ...but more fattening. Lol! No sauce, only cheese cheese cheese and fried. Talk about heart problems.
Opposition. so good, because the work is so real! I had a cool experience this week. I hope you understand it. But its hard to explain because the spirit doesn't send well over the Internet. We were in a lesson with Sonja, our golden investigator and talked about opposition. Something very strong happened and I was really moved by the spirit. She talked about some heavy things. ...I have never felt that way because we talked about opposition and I felt so dark but after I prayed during the lesson and the spirit was so strong. I knew that Grandpa Nokes and Grandma Seal were in the room with me. IT was insanely crazy overwhelming happy.  We talked very strong and told her the reason why we were here was to baptize her. ...which you don't say to investigators. I said some things that were very strongly worded. Which is crazy because a) I don't speak Spanish and b) I am not a very powerfully moved passionate person. After we left her house it was pitch black on the whole street and I was so scared because of the things we talked about Satan. I prayed. My companion said look up! And the sky was different than I have ever seen. I saw the stars more bright than ever and they screamed, God is there for you. You are okay. There is opposition, but there are also the best things in the world. That night we prayed and my companion and I both received revelation about Sonja. We realized that she uses our lessons to teach her Evangelist followers-as her own prophesies. Hna Neira received her confirmation through Alma 12 and me in my patriarchal blessing. It says people will be here to try to thwart the good work I am involved in and I will realize this and cut off these relationships. Wow. I know that God is there for me, and sadly, we will be no longer teaching Sonja. It's hard because I loved her and I felt so sad. I want the best for these people and it's sad to see her falling into her own condemnation.
We had two baptisms this weekend.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Good, The Bad , and The Ugly

hah This title is pretty funny. but eso es la vida (this is life)                      July 22, 2013
Dad asked for my...daily schedule. .....every day I wake up at 7. My companion turns on the light and I say "I saw a `pillar of light" (mas brillante que el sol arriba de mi cabeza) She laughs. I use the bathroom. I pray.  I sing "little town, its a quiet village, everyday like the one before" (From Beauty and the Beast) while doing ab workouts. We laugh. I make some breakfast ...I really like cereal or oatmeal with bananas. Bananas I hated at home but they remind me of home. I need hot food every morning because its so cold in our house!! I eat while studying and feel the spirit. We have other study and training for the first 12 weeks and then leave for sector. Mornings are hard. lots of time to knock on doors but everyone is cooking lunch. We try to do service, clean, iron for a sick member or whatever...
We go to lunch. chicken (aka hormones on a plate) rice, potatoes. Everything. Soup every day because its cold. ....
Good...... We have another baptism date. We met this girl knocking on doors. She was so prepared and we were inspiried to go there. She is 18. I am so excited.
Bad..... I accidentally ate fish this week ( I am allergic to fish) and puked, you named it. In the house of an investigator. Hahaha. Oh my gosh. She is exactly like Janet Graves, and was so kind. I barfed only in my hands and a tiny on my scarf. What skill.  My stomach has been through cualquier infirmity here. So comical.. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers because I prayed that I wouldn't puke during the lesson and right when we changed topics at the end, puke. God is pretty funny sometimes. The investigator was so concerned. "you can sleep here if you need to." haha. I love it.
Ugly. .....Everyone thinks that I am sad here. They tell me (more than 1 person) to not suffer and to be happy.  Haha. My companion today taught me "how to do my makeup". OH goodness. So so funny. I laughed so hard.  ( I am a beautiful rubia american =)) hahah...
 Also, i wore my green jacket and got the compliment, you look like broccoli. =) such openess here. Hahah so that's the ugly

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Saggy Tights

I am grateful to serve here in Chile. Although some of the conditions like cleanliness, and the food make me want to die, at times, the gospel is truly blossoming here.   Not only do we have many many lessons, and two baptisms this week, but people come up to us. The other day we were walking and a man just came up to us and said ×what do you have for me?We shared a book of Mormon, a card with our church address and our testimonies. He told us we were beautiful about eighteen times. Being a rubia gets a lot of attention here. Not to mention I am very very tall here. Weird. I have never been very tall. When I buy tights they get all worried that they wont have sizes big enough. And they don't. But I love sagging my tights. Such joys. haha
Attached is the picture from the  baptism on Saturday. They are such special girls and Its been fun to teach them a little, although they truly belong to the elders. Their family is so tender and I love to talk to them. You have to listen very  closely. haha ...listening is not a strong point of my companion. She 's a talker..and because of this they love me. Maybe <i don't understand everything they say. hmm.
I understand a lot of Spanish now. Almost everything but the drunken fights of our neighbors. I understand a lot more than I can say and Its been awesome. My companion talks faster than Ive ever heard in my life. It is hilarious. At times. Let's just say that I sleep really good at night because my ears have time to relax. Its fun to be a listener for once in my life and I think its a great attribute to learn of Christ.
I've learned so much about the role of Christ in our lives this week. I know that He loves us and is aware of our needs. Thanks for all our your love and support of me. You are my dearest friends. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Week of Miracles

Wowowow. This week has been great. I got a lot of things worked out and am so happy.

I found out I had a parasite, which was the cause of weight loss and sicknesses of cualquier quantity and everything. I took some nasty pills ´the bomb´which killed me in order to save me. Haha I am doing so good now. wow ..what a miracle. 

We went on splits with the mission presidents wife( she has not been here long ) and one lesson was like the ultimate dream lesson. Wow. It was crazy. Boom, boom boom. The restauracion, Jesus Christ, will you be baptized on Aug 17th? it was perfect. Hermana Warne bore testimony and it was the perfect spirit. I am so excited for our investigator. She said Í am confused. My parents are evangelicists (what is the word in english!) I was catholic, and I've never felt like this. YES! That's the holy ghost. What a miracle. 

This week I started to talk more and more. I actually can have a sense of humor in spanish now! It feels so good to be back. I've been quiet for so long. I am finally remembering the names of people and getting more knowledge of the chilean world.  Although I am scared of the food now. I am going to get worms again! 

I learned so much about Jesus Christ this week. It really is amazing his sacrifice and I want to be like him. In Preach My Gospel It says Christlike  patience is bearing things without being annoyed or frustrated. Wow. I need to change my thoughts so that my body and actions can be a better representative of Jesus Christ.

I am truly happy. This has been a week of miracles and I can't wait for more challenges and more miracles. The Lord is truly mindful of us.

Thanks all. You have all impacted me profoundly.

Monday, July 1, 2013


This week was liquid because it rained so much. The rain here was like Seattle squared! Holy Cow. It rained and rained. I'll try to attach some pics. but the internet connection is hardly ever good.

This week was also liquid because we taught two drunk ladies on different nights. I had no desire to drink, but any desire I had is vanished. The first will haunt me for the rest of my life. She was in such bad shape. The second lady was super crazy and said "I know the spirit is here because when 2 or 3 witnesses are gathered in my name I am with them" quoting the scripture wrong. It was weird. The devil is a sneaky little devil! haha

Also.....WE HAVE A BAPTISM DATE with another investigator >August 10th
Also.. a spiritual thought. I am like Enoch. Moses 6:31. I am just a lad (a lass) and slow of speech but if I have great faith (Moses 7:31  ) I can do great things. 

And.. 2 Nephi 2:23. because I have seen the bad here, I know the good. Life is so good in Riverton Utah and we are so blessed. 

I got to go. I love you so good things. 
I shook David Archuletta' s hand
My companion

Monday, June 24, 2013


I would love to receive letters. This is my letters and package address
Hermana Mandy T Nokes
Mision Chile Rancagua
Alcalde Eduardo Melero 883
Casilla 2-C Rancagua
Lib. Gen. B. O´Higgins

What I've "Bean" through...

CHile has been great this week. I had the greatest epiphany ever. I was being a baby and thinking of home and the things I miss because this place is so different than home. I know the blessings of my home and the love my family has for me. Then I realized. I know the blessings of my heavenly home. I know how my heavenly father loves me and I know the things in store for me there BUT I dont continually want to die do i? No! SO Then it hit me. I have to live here while I do and do everything in my power to return to both my heavenly home and my earthly home.
After this major enlightenment, Life has become so much easier. I have been so happy. I truly realized that these people are my brothers and sisters and I want to help them so much. Its getting easier to talk to everyone and share my testimony on the train, in the collectivos (TAXIS) and while walking, shopping, etc. I love it. And the members here are so strong and great. I love them so much.
It seems with great spirituality and strength comes opposition. I have been sicker this week than ever in my life. In various ways. The other day I received a huge plate of lentejas-beans from a member and it was delicious. But I killed my stomach. The next 3 days were a living heck! haha Oh my goodness. My companion laughed and when the members offered me food she had to tell them I couldn't eat because I was not accustomed to the food. Beans. They kill me. SLowly. But apparently I will get used to it. My comp ate the whole plate and ASKED FOR SECONDS.
Last night we were sitting at the misisonary devotional and I started feeling sick. Ive never felt that way ever in my life. I was trying to maintain myself but I was starting to pass out. I finally told my companion. Then I was blacking out. SO basically some stuff happened I don't super remember.  I slowly walked/was carried out of the room to lie down. The assistants to the presidents helped me by sharing their jackets because I was freezing and helped get me water and feel better. It was so weird. I was dizzy and light headed and I hated it with all my heart. I hate to be a burden to people and it was awful. I got a blessing and then was driven home later. This morning I woke up the same. =( Since it was P day we went and played sports. We were playing futbol, me dizzily, and being my idiotic self got way into the game and headed the ball. MY companion was like HERMANA YOURE inferma...and the weirdest thing happened. I actually felt better.
Later we realized that I was really messed up because we fasted and then I had a huge banana split and because Ive lost a lot of weight. Hopefully I dont have a parasite. Haha. We will see about that one. ... but yeah. I love to see such opposition. Whenever we teach the first vision there is always opposition. Dogs barking, babies crying, cars, and one investigator had her video about the restoration stop right before Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. With such great truth there has to be opposition. It makes me happy and fortifies my testimony. I know that the work is true and the work is good.
The work is great here. I am happy. I have learned so much and if I were to go home today I would be a completely different person. I love the gospel and the truth and joy it brings people. I am so glad I can share with everyone.
My companion is teaching me espanol, and some phrases in italian. Eso somo malcho feliche ...I am so happy... and my roomate, teaches me portuguese. I know I need the every hour in portuguese! My mind is spinning- and not because I am dizzy anymore. haha. Its because I learn so much spiritually, mentally, physically. 

I love you all. Thanks for the different roles you have played in my life. I love keeping in touch with you all and thanks for writing me.

Monday, June 10, 2013


June 10th.........This week has been nothing but an invasion of my personal space. Let me explain what has been invading my life and why its so good.

The first invasion of my life in Chile has been in mother nature. There are dogs literally everywhere. They are nice for the most part but if they are too scary we just pretend we are picking up a rock.
Mas mother nature, I bet there were more slugs in my shower this week than yours. Barbosas. haha. And on the stairs, and in many places in the house. haha
Mother Nature also gave us an earthquake, but I was so tired and slept soundly through it. Everyone was astounded. What an invasion haha

The second way Chile has been an invasion of my personal space is through the people. Last night we taught a lesson to a 20 something year old man who was wearing boxers-with a robe over it. So awkward. People here are very comfortable. I also saw a woman nursing..... I finally learned how to kiss. LOL hahah! Every time people greet here they kiss and I started out actually kissing peoples cheeks but you just touch cheeks and make a kissing sound in the ears. Sooo sorry people .... love, the awkward gringa. hah We only kiss the women to say hi although men do to. A couple of nights ago this man kissed me because i couldnt think fast enough to say NO NOS SALUDEMOS CON UNA BESA. so yeah. Ive practiced that line many times.

The third way this week has been an invasion of my personal space is because the spirit is taking over. I INVITED A MAN TO BE BAPTIZED! oh my goodness. He wants more lessons. We are going back tonight. I bet he will. He believes in God and cried to us about his spouse dying. He is 74 years old, going through dialysis and has a prosthetic leg. He has so many challenges and yet is so anxious to live and learn. I love him. Seriously.  It was the best spirit, lesson, feeling ever. The spirit has snuck in many times and reaffirmed my doubts and helped me with the language and the culture. The first few days were super rough, because I am essentially camping (in the fall) but I really love the people.

I bore my testimony in the rama (branch ) on sunday about about how the spirit is the same in any language and how it has taught me.

Through all my invasions, I know that this is what I am supposed to be doing and although it is super tough it has brought me so much joy.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hello from Chile:)...June 4 , 2013

I am in a little station where you pay to use the internet, so i don't have much time.  But I am here and I needed to tell you all I made it safely. I can tell I am going to love it here. Tonight we visited this little family and this lifestyle is so simple and beautiful. No doorbells here so when you arrive you yell hallo! and they answer.
I love my companion Hermana Neira. she speaks a little english but is from Colombia. Our mission president says we are the dream team and that I am the golden missionary of the future. . 

I've seen 8479287592837 dogs without leashes but none have given me rabies (or come close)
MTC... May 28th
Mission life is wonderful I feel so blessed and happy. I feel blessed to have the family I do when I hear some of the Elder's life stories. They are such strong examples to me. We went to the temple today and being in the celestial room with them was like being with my current family. I felt great.
We teach investigators that when we pray we first address God, second tell him the feelings in our hearts-corazones, and then close in the nombre de JesuCristo, amen. I realized last night I have never done that. I have always prayed: open, thanks for this, bless this, amen, not my deep sincere thoughts. I tried it and it was wonderful.
I feel your prayers. I know that angels are here with me!
Me and Hermana Wonnacotts' favorite thing to do here is learn and share the gospel BUT when we aren't doing that we love to sing. We have great renditions of hymns. Our district always sings. Their favorite song is oh elders of israle. They sing it so much.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

So close.

Well... I am not in the MTC. and it is past April 24th. Because I knew/know Spanish, my MTC entry date had to change. I passed the placement test and was supposed to only be at the MTC for 2.5 weeks. They couldn't send me out to Chile by myself so they asked if I could come 2 weeks earlier OOORR 4 weeks later, but I was at BYU until April 24th. Soo. Here I am. Reporting to the Provo MTC, Wednesday, May 22nd at 1:30 p.m. I told myself it would never come and that the extra May month would be unbearably hard to wait for it to pass. I think I blinked twice and it is gone. I don't know where the time went. It's so exciting and weird. But I can almost count the days to my mission on one hand. ONE! Goodness. So for now, my farewell is in 3 days and I report in 6 days. Holy Cow.

Well I report tomorrow! Everything this weekend was great. can't wait

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Why I want to serve...

For my mission prep class we had to write a letter about why we wanted to serve a mission... :) Here's mine. Addressed to my sweet family.
Dear Family,                                                                                                                                                                                    As you know, I have been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been called to serve in the Rancagua, Chile mission. I will go to the MTC in April to prepare for my mission in Spanish. Recently, a lot of people have been asking me why I want to serve a mission. I’ve been asked if I am going because of the hype about mission service. I honestly don’t care about that. I was planning on going when I was 21 if I was still single. It amazes me that at this time the mission age was changed. It makes going on a mission so much more meaningful for me. When the age was changed I knew specifically that God answers my prayers and was looking out for me.  It has been amazing to really look and see God’s hand in my life. Having my call with full intent to serve I can tell you many reasons why I want to serve the Lord’s mission for me. Among these reasons are selfish reasons, reasons that bless my family and my new ability to bring the gospel to others.
My first reasons for wanting to serve a mission, which are completely selfish in nature, are that I want to serve for myself. I want to serve to strengthen my knowledge and testimony in the gospel.  I believe in the gospel and have a testimony of it, and at most points in my life I know that the things I practice and believe are true, but I want to have an unshaken belief and knowledge of the truth of the gospel. I want to be able to take time out of my life, which would otherwise be spent doing comparatively unimportant things to develop myself and what I know to be true. I want to find out who I am while I am on my own and discover my strengths and weaknesses. I want to be away from all my distractions and find myself.  I want to develop and become more like Christ. In order to do that I must single myself out as one called from the Lord. That’s another thing; this call was sent directly to me.  His mission is for me to serve mine and out of all the places in the world I was called to serve in Rancagua, Chile. In Chile I will discover myself. It will be extremely difficult, and I know that I cannot do it on my own, but through Christ I will know why I was called to serve in that area.
Another few reasons I want to serve a mission is for all of you. I look at us now and hope we can become closer to Christ. Too often we all complain, tease and argue, and don’t remember to serve each other and spend our time wisely at home. I hope that my serving will serve as an example to you and our extended family. I want to show them the happiness I can bring to others’ lives and inspire them to want to serve. I feel like being away from home will be hard for me and they will miss me but I will invite blessings into my home that wouldn’t otherwise be there.  I am hoping that my serving will bring us all closer to Christ and develop our testimonies of the gospel, of missionary work and of eternal families.
More reasons why I want to serve a mission for this restored church are because it is the only true church on the earth. I know that it was restored and brought forth in these times. As I read the Book of Mormon, I receive a personal witness of the truth of it. I know it was written for our times to help us. It is an excellent model of how to live our lives. It teaches so many doctrinal principles that are imperative to our salvation. I know that God lives and sent his son to us. The Book of Mormon testifies of his earthly ministry. The gospel is the only true church on the earth. Its principles are so simple, yet proclaim the everlasting joy of the plan of salvation and Christ’s atonement. This book will bring us closer to Christ and expand our horizons. I want others to read it and have a foundation for life as I do.
Not only do I believe the Book of Mormon to be true, but I have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel. I know that simple people and simple means can bring about great works. Having been where Joseph Smith was killed and seeing other areas where the church was established I know the great pain that the early saints suffered. They didn’t know the impact they would have on the gospel, and that it would now start rolling among the whole earth. Similarly to Joseph Smith, I like to believe that although I am just one person, I can make all the difference. I know that the things Joseph Smith did were correct and righteous and it’s amazing how the faith of one boy can bring the restoration of the gospel to so many millions of people. I know that President Smith restored the true church on earth and saw the Father and His son in vision.
Because I know these things I am able to understand my purpose in life. I am so happy here on earth and realize it is a probationary state. How much easier does that make it to follow the commandments and serve others if our time is limited? We should be doing the best things with our time. I want to teach people the joy that the gospel brings me. I want them to know that although my grandpa died when I was 11, I will see him again and be with him after this life. I want people to know that God is good. So many people don’t know that. God loves his children and does what is necessary in order to teach them. He blesses us for keeping his commandments. The gospel is a happy thing. I know that I can be saved through the atonement of Christ if I keep his doctrine. I have faith in his gospel, I have been baptized, and I repent and have received the Holy Ghost. If I but endure to the end I can attain eternal salvation.
Something that blesses my life immensely is the Holy Ghost. I have felt his presence countless times in my life and know I don’t always realize when I am prompted by him. Through his sweet teachings I have learned the most valuable lessons in my life. That God lives, that he is aware of us, that Christ atoned for our sins, and that the Book of Mormon is true. I want others to have this guiding force in their lives to help them along their way as he has helped me in my life.
I want to serve a mission to bring others the profound joy that the gospel brings me, to bring others –my family and myself—closer to Christ,  share the simpleness of the gospel and invite others to follow it and to spend my time productively, meeting and serving others. I know that my mission will be the hardest thing I have done in my life so far but I know that with Christ at my side, it will be the best thing I have ever done in my 19 years on earth. I love this gospel and cannot wait 56 more days.  This is why I want to serve a mission.  I love you all so much. I am glad we can be with each other forever.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

In the beginning...

There are 84 days until my mission, and time couldn't have flown any faster. It also couldn't speed up enough. I am so excited.
I received my mission call on December 5th, 2012 and could not have been any more excited. Since then I perk up when I hear the word Chile, see a hispanic person, or hear spanish. This can sometimes be quite the dilemma  The night I received my call, everything was Chile! We were driving and drove past Chili's and I was so excited, the weather report said it was going to be chilly the next few days...I couldn't be more exstatic. I know that Chile is where I am supposed to go!  It makes me so excited to learn of the mannerisms of this culture or learn more spanish in school. Es perfecto para mi. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us and my call was issued in a different time frame than I expected, but it has been the best time frame for me. I know school this semester has done nothing but prepare me for my next 18 months. I am so excited to serve the Lord, the people of Chile and to bring blessings to the people, my family, and myself.