June 24, 2013

Guard your Temple Covenants

My dearest family and friends-

Here we are again! Quick drumroll before I introduce my new companion? Her name is Hermana De Leòn, and she is from Guatemala. Aren´t you thrilled, Mom? I just knew you would be. She is from San Marcos, has two older brothers (one married and one also on a mission in Nicaragua), and is 21 years old. She´s fairly quiet, has a laid back sense of humor, and is very willing to learn.

Early Tuesday morning, Hna Mena and I went to one of the capillas (chapel) in Concepciòn with all of the other trainers that would receive new missionaries. Supposedly, the flight for the Latino missionaries was coming in at 9, but it got delayed and we ended up waiting the whole day there for our companions to arrive. We ate Subway, read scriptures, chatted, ran up and down the stairs because the capilla was so cold, and I tried to be social and talk to the other missionaries instead of just writing in my journal or reading my scriptures. Sometimes I just feel like I have so little time to do those simple personal things! Of course, we still have our hour of personal studies every day, but that really isn´t very much. As time goes on, I feel more and more like the perception that I always had of adults- steady, responsible, and a little boring. (That is the real reason I sent my goofy face photo- to try to convince myself that I still have silly fun sometimes.)

After about 6 hours of waiting, they Latin and American missionaries all arrived at about the same time. The new missionaries ate and interviewed with President, and we waited more. Finally! The little ceremony for new missionaries, one that I´ve never seen. Considering that both Hna Peterson and I came in the middle of a cambio, it was something new and kind of fun for me also. After a short program, President called up each of the new missionaries one by one, and when he got to Hna De Leòn, he read my name off as her trainer! I'm trying really hard to involve her more and more in the missionary work- she is a bit more shy but she is going to be a great missionary. So excited to work more with her!

Other important news!! My dear people, I´m going to experience my first baptism. I know that I haven´t been very good to describe the progress of my investigators, but Henri Foster is going to be baptized!! I would love it if you`d all pray for him this week, especially that he´ll stay strong in his progress not smoking. He´s been clean for two days now, and I know he´s going to do it! He had his baptismal interview on Saturday night, after what had been a rather long and unsuccessful day for Hna De Leòn and I. We got to his house with Elder Brown and Durrant, and Elder Brown and Henri went into the kitchen to have the interview.


I´d better just admit now that the walls were thin, and that we could hear the whole thing. I wouldn't have expected it to be so, but it was incredibly emotional for me to sit there and take in the full meaning of what was happening. I prayed and prayed and prayed, feeling a bit more empathy for what the Savior might have felt for us in His intercessory prayer. "I love this person. I realize how important this is for their eternal salvation. I have done everything I can to teach and guide and grow this person, and even if they´re not perfect, please let them take this next step in their lives. Please just let them pass this test."

In one moment, Henri and Elder Brown were talking either about repentance or the Word of Wisdom, and I overheard Henri say, "Now every time I go to light a cigarette, I just think of the hermanas and all they've done to help me." Anyone else think I started to cry a little bit there? Ok, well I did. Just a little. We're still working with him to convert him stronger and stronger to the gospel and to the Savior, rather than primarily to us as missionaries, but he reads the Book of Mormon like crazy and has changed so much. He passed his interview and hasn't smoked since. Not only that, but he told us he's going to Concepcion on Wednesday to buy himself a shirt and tie to wear this Sunday for his confirmation. He's also insisted that he make lunch for us, so we´re going to teach him and have lunch on Thursday. I am so very happy!

Also loved the worldwide missionary broadcast. It was so great!! I hope you all listened well and have planned a couple little ways that you could participate more in the Lord´s missionary work. I found Elder Perry´s comment very compelling, as he reminded us that part of our sacred baptismal covenant is a promise to stand as a witness in all things, in all times, and in all places. "Stand" is not a passive verb, my dear people. If the prophet and apostles have chosen to title the church´s newest website "Hastening the Work of Salvation", I think we´d all better take a hint and take a bigger part in that work NOW.

It just came to me so strongly- none of us are really saved yet. We must act, and act, and act again until we are called up in that final day of love and light. Just like the many investigators that we invite to keep commitments, each of us must also keep committing to the simple actions that will exalt us one day. Read your scriptures, pray earnestly, fill your church calling to the best of your ability, don´t ever forget that all of this is possible only through the Spirit of the Lord. Stick to the family, share what you know and treasure with those that you love, and guard your temple covenants with your life. There is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING that has made me more sad on the mission than finding a former member of the church who once went through the temple but is now living in complete defiance of those covenants. It literally makes me fear and tremble.

I love the Lord with all my heart and soul. May you serve Him with all of yours- I know that He is the only way we find true happiness. I see every day the truth in the prophecy that plain and precious parts of the gospel would be lost oneday. It is so simple, knowing that we have a prophet today. That we can pray the sincere thoughts of our hearts. That the church has been, and always will be organized in the same divine form. Treasure these truths. They are rare and precious.

I love you all. May you be ever faithful!

Hermana Oldroyd

Mandy and Miriam Aros Saguayo (ok, not sure how that second last name is spelled off the top of my head...) Miriam is the one with cancer

Lirquen church (?)

June 17, 2013

Lirquen it is.


Yes, I kind of forgot to mention last week that we have cambios this week. The big news? I stay in Lirquen!!! Is that a little crazy to anyone else? I thought for sure that I would leave this cambio, considering I have almost 4 months here. Just imagine my reaction when we called Elder Brown this morning at 7:13 a.m. to find out that not only am I staying in Lirquen, but I´ll be training a brand new Hermana. Surprise!

Hermana Mendoza is also leaving, and she goes to Rancagua! They´re taking two of our zones, and we´re gaining two from Concepción Seur. Hermana Peterson is going to one of the new ones. Her zone name is Talcahuana Norte (still terrible with spelling all these new Spanish cities), and she has a native comapnion. She´s excited and ready to go to work over there! What a good Hermana she´s been.

Power of prayer, anyone? This week Hermana Peterson and I had a cool experience with one of our companionship prayers. We´d made it a goal to pray more throughout the day (before, after lessons, etc.) and this particular night we had to adjust our plans a little bit and decide where we were going to go next. We had several plans- pass by for Alejandro, maybe Betsabe, etc. We stopped, I prayed that our minds would be open and that we would know where we needed to go. We stood for just a moment, and Hermana Peterson asked me what I felt. I told her that I´d just thought of Jaime, a man we met and taught once, but couldn´t find again. Her face said it all- I think her jaw dropped about to the sidewalk as she said Ì thought exactly the same thing´. We went to visit him, and when he wasn´t home, we knocked the whole street and talked to several people. We may not have seen any direct results from that, but it was a testimony builder to the both that when we really pray and seek answers, we receive them.

I don´t know how I am always best friends with rappers, (Yes, I am referring to YOU, Kristine Knudsen) but Hermana Peterson also showed her true colors this week. A couple weeks ago when it was raining really hard on a PDay, we sat at the bustop near our house and jokingly created a ´Rainy day Rap´. Quite a good time. The news came out at our District meeting, and they joked that we should create one for the zone. Hermana Peterson took this quite to heart, and we ended up writing a fullblown Spanish rap about Zona Penco! I think if I´ve learned one thing from her, it is that it is ok to have a little more fun with the mission. If we were ever walking through a deserted area, or had extra time at night, we´d throw rhymes back and forth and just laugh and laugh. We presented the rap after our Zone meeting this week, and everyone LOVED it. Hermana Peterson has the video on her camera, but it was too big to upload. I´ll find some way to get it on my pen drive and bring it home for you all to see someday.

We´ve made huge progress with Henri Foster. He has a baptismal date for the 29th, and has cut down his cigarettes from 20 a day to about 5. We´ve got lots of plans to help him kick the habit this week so that he can be baptized. He was one that we found in the street, cleaning his motorcycle. He´s divorced, has two adult daughters and one 3 year old son, works in the port here. He reads the Book of Mormon every night and always jokes about how much homework we leave him- but he also knows that he´s made big changes in his life. I´ve seen it also, and it amazes me to see how much cleaner, happier, more bright he is now than when we first met him.  I know that the gospel changes lives. I know it is the most desperately needed commodity in the world, and I know that the Lord really is working to bring it to all who will open their hearts to hear it.

This week we had 5 people in church- another BIG miracle that was really just a testimony to me that the Lord wants people to worship and partake in His cleansing ordinances. Hermana Peterson and I gave talks this Sunday, and I shared about inspired use of time. It was not a topic that I wanted to give- I wanted to do something solid missionary style, like the Doctrine of Christ, but I felt that I needed to give the talk, and after fighting with my pride for a little bit, I prepared and gave the talk. Please learn from my bad example in this- if you feel it, do it! I know that the Lord knows best. We sure aren´t perfect missionaries, but I´m so committed to work harder than ever and be the best example I can be for my new missionary. Pray for me, everyone? There is so much I want to improve this time around and I´m so humbled and grateful for the opportunity to train again. I love the Lord and I love being a missionary so so much. Take care, all of you, until next week-


Hermana Oldroyd

p.s. The next time you see Ella, Campbell, Juliet, and Alec, tell them that I loved their picture that they sent!! It was so sweet. Also pass my saludos to Briana Conrad- I received her announcement a while ago but I keep forgetting to thank her for remembering me. Also!! I got your package, Mom!! That was very sweet of you, and I´m pretty sure I´ll pass our all of those little gifts. Still deciding. Thank you so much for thinking of that!

pss. Also a tip for Syd, Kirst, and all my little cousins out there- LEARN THE SCRIPTURE MASTERIES. None of my teachers ever really emphasized this, and I never took the personal initiative. I wish I knew the scriptures better and it  is something I´m repenting of now.

the "1000 stairs" that she mentioned last week.

La familia Acuña Rocha
Exercising in the morning

June 10, 2013

Gnocchi, Ecco, manjar bars and bread!

Love to you all-

Perhaps we´ll do this week´s email in list form? There are so many little things that I´ve wanted to mention, but I really just haven´t gotten around to all of them. You know me- I like to write it to my satisfaction, have a nice transition in between each story, add a little spiritual moral to everything, and sign it with a big "Love from Hermana Oldroyd!" Unfortunately, this manner of writing is not the most efficient. So here goes!

1. Last week we had a Zone activity- French toast breakfast! Being the generally hungry person that I am, and considering that there was homemade syrup AND peanut butter, I had 10 pieces. So did Hermana Peterson. We might just be perfect for each other!

2. Last week we also bought materials for Manjar bars! Hna Peterson and I had a fun time making them, though this time we didn´t add enough butter, which made for a really good arm workout once the marshmellow started to cool. We took some to Ana Cortez and her family, and to the Bishop. Ate the rest in about two days with the help of the Hermanas.

3. This one is for you, Dad! There is a sister in our ward, Hermana Rebecca Herrera, that has a reputation for being a good cook. We had lunch with her, and what do you think this Chilean woman made? Gnocchi, of course. Little bit of Italy in the middle of Chile, and it was really good!! I thought about you and how much you would´ve enjoyed it.

4. Oh man. I have another "Most Embarrassing Mission Moment" to add to the list. We had a Noche de  Hogar (Family Home Evening) this week in the home of the Familia Garces. They are great, faithful, sincere, people, and they LOVE the missionaries. After walking in and sitting down for a couple minutes, I started smelling something.... I looked down, and realized that both Hermana Peterson and I had literally tracked dog poop into the house. Ohhhhhh my. I was so embarrassed. They pulled out the mop and squirted a generous portion of cleaner on the floor, and I had to stop myself from apologizing 400 times. Good times, good times.

5. This same day of the Noche de Hogar, Hermana Peterson and I literally climbed over 1,000 stairs. I wish I could tell you I was exaggerating, but I am not. We had a little flaw in planning, and we had sitas (appointments) right before and after this Noche de Hogar that we could not change, and they just happened to be on the complete opposite side of the map. Needless to say, we had a great leg workout and fell asleep quite easily that night.

6. Hermana Peterson and I have achieved that happy place in a companionship where we understand each other´s personalities, the basics of our teaching styles, our little quirks, and we can speak openly about things we feel, think, etc. We´ve been there for a couple weeks now, actually. Ironically, one of the things that helped us the most was speaking really openly about the things that annoyed us about the other. (In a loving, constructive way.) Don´t worry- there weren´t many. I just thought you´d all find it amusing (like I did) that one of those things that originally annoyed Hermana Peterson about me is that I´m "too chipper" in the morning. I have now learned that there is a couple hour buffer wherein it is better not to engage Hermana Peterson in conversation, and observing that rule has blessed our companionship immensely. (Please note just a bit of sarcasm here- she´s really not that bad in the morning.)

7. Mom asked me a week or so ago if I´ve earned any nicknames. Perhaps not officially, but the variations of the pronunciation for my name could almost count as nicknames! People say anything from Àldritch` to Òledroy` to I don´t even know what!

8. Also for Mom- Yes, there is definitely a Postum culture here. For those who don´t know, Postum is a coffee wannabe. Here, the most popular are Ecco, Milo, and Corona. Ecco is by far the most popular, and I add lots of sugar to mine.

9. Sometimes our clean clothes come back smelling faintly of smoke, because they´ve been dried by the heat of a woodburning stove. If that isn´t rustic and beautiful, I don´t know what is.

10. Leading music is still hard for me. They just sing so differently here! However, I wouldn´t trade the opportunity for anything. Standing and looking out at my dear ward, it amazes me to think of all the people I´ve met, all the little things that´ve changed, all the friendships that I´ve formed. It is a good thing the ward is fond of me, because they just try to follow me, smile, and laugh when it gets really bad. Oh, my dear Lirquen. I will miss you.

Ok... I think those are all of the little things that I´ve wanted to tell you all. It was a great week, one filled with lots of growth and lots of miracles. For example- we had three people in church!! That has never happened for me. Henri Foster was one of them, and he has a baptismal date for the 22nd. He´s trying to quit smoking, and he´s so sincere in his desire to change. As I sat in Sacrament meeting, one filled with our investigators, several menos activos that we´d invited, and a ward that I love very much, I felt so very blessed. This week I found even more stability in my relationship with Heavenly Father and the Savior. In all my studies of repentance and the Atonement, after seeing so many people in such desperate spiritual need, after also feeling the immense influence and joy that I´ve helped bring to others and the power that I have as one little missionary, I feel like I´ve found it. I know that I lack so many things, that I need to actively repent every day, but I also know that I have immense potential and power to do good through the guidance of the Lord. Wow. When I really started to feel it, I thought of you Mom. It felt like you. I love the gospel, I love this work, and I love all of you. You´re in my prayers!

Hermana Oldroyd

Limpiando las tortillas`or cleaning the bread. When we passed by to visit Erminda, a new investigator, she was in there cleaning the bread before going to visit her sick husband in the hospital. We arrived at the same time as her grandson, and offered to do it for her. It was a blast!
Those wheel things are covered with sandpaper, and you just shove the bread up against the rotating sandpaper to sand off the burnt parts of the bread
To continue the story- the next day we were talking with a random man who worked in a negocio (little store), and he brought it up, saying he was very impressed with what we´d done. He gave us some oranges and bananas and said he´d like to talk with us sometime. Service really does go a long way!

Downtown Concepcion (where we go to the Mission Office to pick up mail and to use the Internet cafe)


June 3, 2013


My dear people!

Have I mentioned that each week feels like a lifetime? At the prescription of my district leader, (Elder Brown from Provo- he totally knows the Glazier family!), I printed and read the talk "What does it mean to be perfect?" By Cecil O. Samuelson. Ahh, good old Cecil. I cried on the bus home from Conce as I read it, but I also felt a huge burden lifted from me, and this Sunday during the Santa Cena (sacrament) confirmed that wonderful and new realization. This is what the Atonement is for me- that I can be imperfect, that I can fall short of my hopes, and yet still qualify for the love and support of the Savior. What an empowering realization, that I can acknowledge both my imperfection and His cleansing sacrifice at the same time, knowing that only with this combination can I truly grow and improve.

That was Monday. Tuesday we worked hard, as usual, and Wednesday came the miracles. We had planned, prepared, and sought for the Spirit as much as we could, and out we went to baptize the world! That afternoon, we went to visit Patty Cortez, a sister of Ana, Lucia, and Maria Cortez. She recently had an operation but is mostly better now, and had mentioned a matrimony that we could go visit. We passed by her house, asked her how she´d been, and she began to share her feelings with us. She said something along the lines of- "I know that the missionaries are here to find and bring new people into the church, but every once in a while, the members just really need the missionaries in their homes. When I first got sick, the missionaries didn´t visit me." She went on to tell us how our presence in her family´s life has been exactly the strength that they needed. Practically all of them are dealing with serious health problems right now, Saria is preparing to leave on her mission, they´re a mix of active and menos activo miembros, and somehow the very first families that I became close to in Lirquen are members of this Cortez family. I can´t explain how that happened, but I knew in that lesson that one of the reasons the Lord called me to LIrquen was for them. I knew it, and I felt so blessed to see a small part of the influence that I´ve had here.

There were other things that happened that day, other little miracles that just added and added up. It was a beautiful confirmation of what I´d learned just a couple days before, and I want to testify to all of you that the Lord really is just waiting to bless us for our righteous actions and our faith. I love and pray for you all!!

Thoughts and prayers,

Hermana Oldroyd

The rainy season is here.

So we take our trash out 2 days every week: Monday and Thursdays. But since there are so many stray dogs, we have to hang our trash in the trees.