August 19, 2014

Beginnings and Endings

Well, this may be the last letter I send you.

I'm beginning to really understand what President Uchtdorf said about beginnings and endings. I'd also like to add a bit of my own philosophy- We can only have peace with our temporary endings if we've made the most of the "middle". This time has been so full of "endings", and sometimes I feel tempted to make them all perfect, to do it really well and "go out with a bang", when it really doesn't need to be that way. It brings me peace to remember that this ending should just reflect the constant effort and love that I've felt all along the way. 

Thomas, Yesenia, and Mayra did get baptized this week, and honestly, it was the best baptism of my whole mission. It went off without any problem, and the Spirit was sooo strong. They had several difficulties in this week- personal trials that Satan put in their path to try and impede them, but they came through each one with such faith and humility. In their baptismal service, they each shared their testimony of how happy they felt and how much this had changed their lives. Thomas made us all laugh as he told the story of how he came to know the church, and bore a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. 

Their parents were there, and they both cried. I felt the Spirit so deeply that I couldn`t even cry- I sang a solo with the ward choir as a musical number, and just felt so much of God`s love and happiness. We ate snacks after in the church and it was great to see the ward really take them in. I love being a missionary!!!!




Even if that means giving a talk in church with 5 minutes notice... I guess it had to happen to me sometime in the mission, right? Hermana Heslop and I had a nice little surprise this week but it was just another testimony of the power of the Spirit. We both did some power scripture searching and then went with the words that came. Especially since Yesy, Mayra, and Thomas` parents came to church, I think the topics we picked went over well. Hermana Heslop talked about Happiness and Blessings for the family that come from the gospel, and I talked about really feeling the reality of the restoration. Explained how the gospel of Jesus Christ, the literal Savior of the world, is once again in our hands, and how very exciting that is to me. 

If there is anything that I hope you've been able to feel from my letters, it would be that. I really, really, love this great gospel plan. I know it is true. I feel it flow through every part of my being and I am so empassioned by the knowledge that I am a part of Jesus Christ's original church- Who else in the world has that privilege? No one!!! (Ok, well there are a few, but not very many.) 

I just want to make everyone understand- God's literal son, a man who lived a perfect life and did everything out of sincere love for us, gave us the ticket to temporal and eternal happiness. He paid the price with His own death and left that tender truth in the hands of Peter, his chosen prophet, and the divinely endowed apostles that followed him. I tremble when I really think about it, but my ancient brothers and sisters did not accept the gospel plan. Not only did they reject Christ's reestablished church, but they killed each one of it's leaders and left the world desolate of God`s divine order. They lived that way for so many years--

Until God chose a young boy, unknown to the world's darkened touch, to be a prophet in this new age. Could God really do that? Call a prophet once again, after so much corruption, so many blasphemers and false preachers, and division of the truth?

YES.

How could He do anything else?? We are His beloved sons and daughters and He saw that once again, the world was ready to accept and protect the truth. Joseph Smith was a man called of God, called to the divine office of restoring Christ's gospel plan, and I know that. But that isn't the end of the story- ever since that day in 1820, God has continued revealing His secrets to his modern day prophets. How could He ever leave us without them?? I know that this is true, and that Thomas Monson speaks the will of God- I have felt it in my heart when I hear his words. 

This is NOT a message that we need to memorize, mark with a red colored pencil, or put on the wall. This is a living truth that we  must either participate in or deny. Will you be part of God's mission to preach and practice the restored truth? 

I have a whole life ahead of me, and I know that I will.

The mission does not end here-


Hermana Oldroyd





August 12, 2014

Very, very blessed



Dear friends and family,

Thank you for all your birthday wishes!!! It has been a great day so far and I feel very, very blessed to have to many wonderful people in my life. The only bad thing is that now I'm totally scatterbrained by thinking about so many different people and messages and news that I received haha Forgive me if I don't say anything substantial in this email as a result of that.

 Jason and Juana came to visit me!!!! They are so precious!!!!



I had an extraordinary mini cambio with MY COUSIN HERMANA GLAZIER!!!!!!! Last Monday we had special permission to go buy souveniers in Chillan and then do a switch with Hermana Glazier and her companion. It was so inspired to be with her, talk, and grow together. It rained a lot, but we had a great time. The Lord gives us so many hidden treasures, and sometimes we are so slow to discover them



This weekend we said goodbye to a missionary from our ward, so there was an activity on Friday and a devotional on Sunday night. Good times-

Thomas, Mayra and Yesenia are getting baptized this Saturday!! We're so excited!"!!!!

I love you all-

Hermana Oldroyd




 Helping Hermana Selfa with her baking business! We might just crush cookies but we're part of yet another great work 



August 6, 2014

Do I really have to leave this?

My dear people.

Oh boy. Three weeks just feels like a LOT less than one month. Stressing out haha A couple times I've considered just omitting these parts from my letters (the parts that might make it seems like I'm trunky or distracted), but I want you all to know and understand how this really is. I LOVE being a missionary. It is my whole life, my whole being right now, and this time has been an interesting switch over. Part of me knows that I'm coming home, and is so excited. I just want to see my family, visit my grandparents, be in my own house, walk around BYU campus...

Another part of me looks around me at my dear Chile and feels so sad. Do I really have to leave this?? So many people that I love so much. I have never loved like I love the people here- it is a different feeling than any other, and I don't know if I'll ever see or hear from them again. I have faith that I will, and I pray that we will have one eternal reunion someday in our celestial home.

Amidst all of this, there are also so many blessed moments of quiet joy and happiness. Fun events and parts of the Going Home process that really do bring me joy, satisfaction, swells of gratitude. It is a wonderful little roller coaster. Please pray for my companion, the poor thing hahaha She has been a great support.

Want to hear the best part of this week??  Thomas, Yesenia, and Mayra decided to be baptized!!!!! Well, Thomas always knew he wanted to be baptized, but his sisters were still searching for an answer. They didn't come to church last Sunday, so we went to visit them Monday night and were ready for anything. We taught them about tithing and they gladly accepted the law, and at the end of the lesson they sprung the news on us. "We decided we want to be baptized. Is the 16th still ok?"


The night they told us they wanted to be baptized!!! Fabian, Mayra, Thomas, Solange, then Yesenia.
Ahhhhhh!!!! Yesssss!! The 16th is still ok!!!!

We asked them how they'd felt, how they decided, and I was so touched by the way they responded. Yesy and Mayra especially. They said that everything we'd taught them felt like something they already knew and believed. For being young, beautiful girls, they really are rather unusual in the standards that they've kept. They said that sometimes they looked at all of their friends and asked themselves if they were the ones in the wrong, if they were all alone in believing in a higher standard. They said "Now we know we´re not alone."

They opened their hearts, they recognized the small whisperings of the Spirit, and they know that this is good and true. Even Thomas said, "Before I started going to church, I had a different view of my future. I thought I'd be a partier, drink a lot with my friends, stuff like that. But now I'm protected from all of that, and I need to hurry and graduate high school so that I can go on a mission. This really changed my whole life."

That family is the biggest blessing the Lord could've given me in this crazy time. I treasure them so much. In addition to making us cry, they really make us laugh, too... Thomas was so excited this week because he was going to fast for the first time. He said "Want to know what I'm going to fast for? So that my sisters can find good, respectful, loving husbands." They just looked at him with that "You dork, we do NOT want to get married yet" kind of look, and he just threw up his hands and smiled, saying "Well, when the time comes."


He also let me know that he downloaded Skype on his phone so he can talk to me when I come home hahaha

I just love life!! I hope you're all enjoying it and finding happiness in the little things. These moments and days are interwoven with spiritual threads that we may see if we'll look a little harder- it has been so interesting to me to see how the Lord really takes a part in EVERYTHING. How he knows the begginning, the end, and all of the in between. It is so easy to feel the divinity of our daily happenings. We just need to open our eyes-

I love you all.

Hermana Oldroyd
a Pirka- hot dog, cheese, and ketchup inside a flaky butter bread. Love it
Face paint at the ward party..

July 28, 2014

Always worth it to be obedient

Dear people!

Good week. Things are speeding up, and it seems like the rest of this month is just a big "Before You Go" checklist. Crazy! But I'm enjoying every moment and trying to think of good comebacks for all the Trunky jokes that my zone is throwing at me. There are three elders that will just not leave me alone, and I am now known as Hermana Zombie, for being so close to my mission death. If you have any ideas for how to respond to them, please write me haha

Just one quick example of why it is worth it to be an example of the believers in all times, all things, and all places. As sister missionaries, we can`t be alone in the house with grown men if there isn't a woman present with us. It is a mission rule, and even though people don't always know or understand, we need to live it despite the difficulties that it sometimes presents. Well, we went by a member's house this week to pick up some scriptures that I bought for a couple people. He is a bishopric counselor, and his wife is a great ward missionary. It was a rainy, windy day, and when we knocked on the door, he opened with a sympathetic face and asked us if we wanted to come in and escape the rain. He said his wife had gone around the corner to visit someone but would be back soon.

We looked at each other, but just said we'd wait a moment while he grabbed the books. As he came out with the scriptures, he said to us, "That is true. I know your rules." And then he kinda smiled at us, as if he was testing us all along to see if we'd cave in to avoid the rain. We walked away and I was just sooooo grateful that we`d chosen to stick by the rule. If we had entered his house, we would've lost his respect as honest, obedient missionaries, and lost some of the Lord's blessings as well. It is ALWAYS worth it to be obedient.

I love this work, and I love each of you!!

Hermana Oldroyd

Maggie's twin in Chile



Have I ever sent you pictures of our view?






July 21, 2014

The Holy Ghost really is real

Dear people-

There are some goooooood things happening in Tomé. Let me tell you about just a few.

1. In our district class, Elder Clark taught us about the Spirit of Elijah. It was a different kind of class, and really expanded my understanding of that promise. President has taught us recently about the importance of the temple, especially the sealing ordinance. I understood that part, and we made lots of jokes about it... (On that note, Hermano Torres in our ward is always giving us marriage advice, not to mention that they played Single Ladies, Put a Ring On It in the street today, and I got a letter from my local Singles Ward today.... Oh no. This is not happening.) but the Spirit of Elijah is even more! Elder Clark told us that we should pray to find the people who`s ancestors are praying for us. Did that make sense?

 All those families on the other side of the veil that never met the missionaries are now ready and waiting to receive their temple ordinances, and that doesn't start until we knock the door of one of open-hearted descendants. They are praying for us, the missionaries, but are not just leaving it at that. They literally work by our side to prepare hearts and open doors to the living generation, so that their great-grandchildren can help them unlock the door to the heavens through restored temple ordinances. The Lord is hastening His work on both sides of the veil, and I want you to know that those dear spirits are READY. I have worked with angels more than once on my mission. Seen them, felt them, seen the influence they have, and now I know why. How important it is that we study and understand the prophecies of old.

2. La Familia Mora. Ohhhhh my, they are the best family I have ever taught in my mission. Want to know how we found them? Tómas went to play soccer on the church court with his cousin, and the Young Men invited them to participate in their mutual activity. One of them, Fabian Alarcón, invited them to come to church the next day, and they came! Tómas came alone the next week as well, and his Young Men`s leader grabbed us and said "Go teach this boy. He is golden."

Tómas is 13, and is a suuuuuper smart, sincere boy. We went to teach him, and also got to meet his two older sisters, Myra (20 years old) and Yesy (24 years old). They were open and interested, mostly because Tómas liked it so much. As we've gone along teaching them, they surprise me with how quickly they understand the gospel, and how willing they are to apply and defend it. They're already preaching the gospel to their friends, Tómas changed his phone background to the cover of the Book of Mormon, and they've already visited all the church websites. They always read their homework, always say sincere prayers and ask God if this message is true, and always serve us cookies and juice when we go by. I just want to cry every time we enter their house!

Yesy and Myra came to church for the first time yesterday, and really liked it. They wore skirts, paid attention in the classes, and to be honest? There were about 3 different members that thought they were the new missionaries instead of investigators. The members received them with open arms and showed them a ton of love and concern. One man that has never worked with us before came up to me and said "I feel a really special spirit from them. Can you organize something this week to come teach them in my home? I want to help."
If everything goes well, they'll be baptized on the 9th of August. Pray for them!

3. One of our miracles this week was the ward temple trip. We thought it'd be a complicated day for us, since 44 of our most active members weren't available to accompany us, but we called lots of others and did everything we could. At the end of the day, we were surprised to see that we had done about double the work of a normal day, and all of it with members. It was an incredible blessing that the Lord shared with us because of our ward's faithful temple attendance.

4. Another tender moment. Last week Hermana López and I invited Cesar Aburto, one of the Young Men in the ward, to go visit Gladys, a recent convert, with us. He said yes, and everything started out really well in the lesson. Right after the prayer, one of Glady´s evangelical friends came to visit, and didn't have any other choice but to sit and listen to us. She was very Anti Book of Mormon, and we tried patiently to explain to her the relationship between the Bible and the Book of Mormon. That woman just would not understand, though.

As she threw out rude and passionate comments, I was surprised to see Cesar respond to her "Now just a moment, the Book of Mormon does not replace the Bible. They were written in different continents, and you just need to ask the Lord if it is true." More than once, he answered her questions calmly, but clearly, and at the end of the lesson, we congratulted him. He told us he felt so surprised and frustrated that she was so closehearted, and we could tell that the experience had really impacted him. We kinda wondered if he would ever come out to visit with us again...

This Sunday, his Mom taught the RS class about the Holy Ghost, and began sharing Cesar´s experience with the class. She said that when he came home, he told her how helpless he'd felt at first, but then said he felt that burning feeling in his chest and that the words just came to him. When I first met him, he said he had doubts about if the church was really true, but now he has decided that the next time the ward goes to the temple, he is going to be on the inside. He told his Mom that he will always come with us when we call him, and that he knows that the Holy Ghost really is real.

I almost cried when she shared that....

5. Time is up, but I love you all so much. I pray for you!! I know that this work belongs to the Lord. I hope we are participating-

Hermana Oldroyd


Daniela, an old investigator. We went by her house right on her birthday, when she was anxiously waiting for people to come by and visit her. It was a tender mercy from the Lord, even though we hadn't planned it. How obvious it is that He really loves His children!




July 15, 2014

I chose to be happy

I`m not leaving Tomé!!!!!!! Yayyyy!!!!

They had me worried for a moment there, after announcing officially that "Cambios are going to be crazy. Those who are sure that you're leaving a sector (like Hermana López) shouldn't be so sure." But I'll be staying here with Hermana Heslop, and I'm sad and excited at the same time. I loooove Hermana Lopez and will miss her so much. She is so crazy and really helped me keep nurturing my humor and happiness. I learned a lot from her.



Oh boy, today is a big trunky day for everyone around the world. jejeje My friends went home, Elder Collins took vengeance and made me a gravestone, I felt the vibes in the office this morning with all the Goodbyes and I know it`ll be me in just 6 weeks, not to mention that we have my homecoming all set up... Whew, I`m trying not to think about it all at once. Already sobbed with Hermana Lopez for Hermana Nàjera and Rodriguez this morning, and we`ll take the rest little by little. The good thing is that God really does take precautions- today I got a letter from Kristine and another package of candy from Annaleesa that I haven`t opened yet. He, and they, are taking care of me. I know that you love me and are praying for me, and I know everything will be ok. It was here in the mission ground that I learned how to really love, and I`m happy to take the pains of that, no matter how deep. It is a good trade.  
.

Oh boy. Not to mention that we have to say lots of goodbyes today and I know in my heart that the next time, it will be mine, and I'll have to say goodbye to everything. Ohhhh boy. Better to just shut that out of mind and keep serving like normal.

The good news is that I have a strengthened testimony of the power of our own agency. This week I woke up one day feeling great- I had all the energy to get up and go, felt that God was happy with me, felt His love and blessings on all sides. I prayed, expressed gratitude, started daily studies. As I studied, little thoughts started coming to my mind. "But you really still lack a lot of humility." or "Remember that one investigator? You forgot to call them yesterday!" I felt the beginnings of that slow, almost unnoticeable stress and self-frustration, but stopped it right there and said to myself, "You felt great this morning. What has changed that gives you a good reason to feel bad? If God confirmed to you, just 30 minutes ago, that you were doing a good job and that He was happy with you, why are you choosing to set your own failing standard?" And I chose to be happy. It was so liberating! It is an ability that God has been teaching me all my mission, and it is nice to see it as a well-developed tool that will help me for the rest of my life. We really can choose our own happiness- first with our actions, and then in our hearts.

Seba finally got baptized!!! We were sooo happy. It was a simple service on Saturday, with a hymn and a prayer, and then the baptism. This time the font was very full and warm, and it went perfectly. After three different baptismal services and 6 attempts, Sebastian is finally a clean, new member of the church. His father approached us on Sunday with tears in his eyes and thanked us for all that we've done for his family. I swear that Seba is going to be an apostle someday or something, it was so hard to baptize him haha

Traveled to Conce two times in hopes of seeing the Traumatologist for Hermana Lopez's back, but he canceled our visit both times, AFTER we had already traveled there and waited for him. Booooo. Doctors. We had some big moments this week- it has basically come to the point where she just has to finish her mission with the pains that she has. There are some distant options that might help, but she is so determined that even if they don't turn out, she'll stick it out until the end. We just have to pray that the doctors don't send her home by force-

I love the gospel so much!!!! We got to give talks this week, and it was incredible to see the Spirit really bring it all together. Hermana Lopez talked about the conference talk "Your 4 Minutes", and I talked about preparing for the Second Coming. The Bishop followed up with a little bit about repentance, and it all came across with a very clear message. If there is something holding us back from the presence of God, now is the time to get that out of the way. Now is the time to repent, because we never know when tomorrow will be the day that God calls us back. I promise you all that it is sooner than we think- Do what you need to do to prepare. I am trying to do the same.
I love you all!!!

Hermana Oldroyd




 with Hermana Lopez







July 8, 2014

Find joy in it all

Ok people, there is really no time to write today.
We've got a doctor appointment, like NOW, and then Nico, Mari, Nicole, and my baby are coming to visit me and Hermana Nàjera. Also did a funeral this morning for those who are dying, and it turned out very well.

Seba did get baptized this week, except that they didn't fill up the font right, so the water was cold and lower than it should've been. He put his foot up the first time, but the second time the witnesses said it was fine. After the whole baptismal service, one of them told us that his foot had actually come out of the water the second time as well, (we had thought the same thing, but accepted what the witnesses said.) and that we had to do it again. We tried again Sunday before sacrament meeting, but it turns out that Seba is afraid of water ever since he almost drowned at the beach... The point is, he was never submerged completely and so we couldn't confirm him. Ohhhh boy. That has never happened before. It was a big mess with lots of priesthood brethren there giving their different opinions, but it could've been much worse- Seba's family was calm, Seba is ok, and Hermano Fierro was the one baptizing him. He showed an incredible Christlike patience and love, and was really guided by the spirit in responding to the situation. I felt a confirmation during the sacrament that everything will be ok.

So I`ll let you know what happens with that!

Each day is it's own miracle, for reasons big or small. I find joy in it all, and hope that you all feel the same.

I love you!!!

Hermana Oldroyd












June 30, 2014

Interpretations of keyboards

Okayyyyy.... why do I always have the dumb keyboards... Forgive m if there are no E`s, B`s, G`s, or C`s in this email. I`m stabing the keys as hard as I can. Interpretations of keyboards

but hello!!! I love you all!!

Yes, Chile did lose in Mundial this week. boooooo we were super bummed for  a coupl minute there, ut then I remembere that that means I don`t hvae to be stuck in the house, an felt better. Hermna Lopez teased me after bcaue they all watched 17 mirales and I swept the floor, washed the dishes, worked on our area book, and cleaned our study table. It took me a couple hours of normal proselyting to hlp me wind back down to normal haha Ugh I just can`t stand not doing somethin productive.

Well, had my last interview with Preidnt this week, and he took us out to lunch after.


It was the first time I cried in an interview, but what ele was I supposed to do when he said to me `Just kep doing exactly what you`re doing for a couple weeks more.` Ohhhh it just hurt my heart. This is a special tim for me, not just beaues it is the end of my mission, rather because this i the time where I most have needed to trust in the Lord. He is so aware and so close to me, and sometime I just long to go to  Him, shut my eyes tight and bury my hed in His chest, like I might with my earthly father. Just hold me strong through all the hard things or life changes- I know I can do this if He is on my side.

I just want you to kno that anythin really is possile with help from the Lord. Every once in a while I still feel that weird internal opposition that I kin of told you aout. This wek when I felt that, my patience left me and I got annoyed at a coupl members in our ward as a result for some things they had said and done. I cooled down, prayed for help that niht, and oke up very refreshed the next morning. I listed off all the positive things that I ould think of about those mmebers, (their willingness to always help, their kindness, their social abilities, their esires to serve the Lord, etc.) and focused on hving positive thoughts, and hd the bst Sunday. I felt the Spirit and a love so strong for thoes members and for each one of my brothers an sisters. As I partook of the Sacrament, it was very specil to feel God`s happiness and even gratitude for those efforts I was making. He sets a high bar for us and does expect us to be perfect someday, but He is so happy with us in the meanwhile so long as we are stretching oureslves and tryin our best to improve.

We had lots of intersting street contats this week- a man that was convincd that the Bible supports the theory that Alien are atually our creators, the drunk less active man that tells us he is an active Mormon, the sincere Columbian man with his great acent, th typical gangster young man that tells us how beautiful we are. One day, a sinere young man said to us `That is so great that you`re misionaries. Have you felt God bles you for hat you do?` The question really, really touched me. `I wish I could tell you all the ways I`ve felt that, my friend. More than I can ever say.`

Also, I hope you`re all going to the temple often. I miss the temple.

Yours!
Hermana Oldroyd

(p.s. They just playd Uptown Girl by Billy Joel in the siever. Whaaa?!!? Best Day ever haha)















June 24, 2014

Mundial

My dear people!

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers- I really felt them this week. Honestly, I've felt so strengthened and so happy. Everything is ok!!

This week we organized ourselves better and didn't have any problems with Conce travel time. Hermana López is doing ok, and we have about two weeks of treatment left. Hope she keeps feeling better- right now she is about the same.

As for Mundial (World Cup), it has been kinda fun and very interesting. This week we just stayed inside during the game, and got to leave after. (See the pictures I included.) Today they played again at 12:00... right at our PDay lunch hour, when every eating place was either closed or blasting the soccer game. So we decided that if you can't beat them, you've just got to grab your completo and join them! hahaha Not really- we sat close together and tried not to watch or hear, so as not to be disobedient. I even took off my glasses so I wouldn't be able to see the screen, but even still we were kinda bummed when we lost 2-0. The good news, though, is that our investigators might actually go to church this week- if we had won this game, we would've played again on Sunday at 12, right during sacrament meeting. THAT would've been a big trial of faith. God really knows what He is doing.

I love being a missionary, love feeling God teach me and lead me along His eternal way. So many times, I look back at the simple lessons I learned in Primary, in the lyrics to the hymns, in our Family Home Evening lessons, in Seminary, and I am amazed to really feel and know the living truth that they hold. This really is real. I know it, feel it, can see it in everything we do. I think my life will be one long lesson from God that the things He´s taught me from the very beginning really are eternal truths, and that they are real for ME.

The key is learning how to apply it.

I love you all very much, and I pray for you.

Hermana Oldroyd


Right after the Spain game, we had to go to Centro to buy medicine for another Hermana. It was CRAZY. Honking horns, waving flags, dancing in the street, singing on the bus, anything you could imagine. These people are almost all our friends- we go to Cruz Verde quite frequently to buy medicine so we asked if we could take a picture with them.






Angel Moroni, mundial style







Just to demonstrate that I am taller than our front gate.


The blessing teeheehee



Mundial T Shirts we bought

June 16, 2014

Winds are strong

Ok, lots to say this week.

1. The shift key on this keyboard isn't really working. forgive me if there are no capital letters in this email.

2. Found out that hermana lopez's back problem is more serious than we thought. We'll be traveling between Conce and Tome about three times a week for the next three weeks, while she receives her treatment. The good thing is that she is a trooper and doesn't complain- we're still working hard but also seeking the balance to protect her health.


3. on the same note, we both felt pretty bad on Wednesday after hearing the news. Thinking about travel, losing study time in the morning, organizing mini cambios, coordinating with the members, work time, etc. I felt a pretty intense stress wave and i think it was the first time in my life i've cried just out of stress.

The good news is that i have learned my lesson about asking for help when i need it- we asked hermano fierro, my favorite priesthood holder, to give us a blessing. Health for hermana lopez, and strength for me. He said so many special things and it helped me so much. I am continually learning that the Lord strengthens us in our weaknesses, using the perfect balance of difficulties with inspired support.

4. Felt bad last week after speaking so badly of the english language. i still like english, and I promise to communicate with you all when i get back. I think my passion for the mission sometimes goes to the point of overbearance (alma 38) and i`m trying to temper myself.

5. did i ever write about sonya, Seba, and enrique? Well, after discussing the situation with our mission president, he decided that Seba can get baptized!! That  has been a tender miracle amidst all the craziness. He is so excited and they're so active and excited about church. This Sunday the primary did a musical number in sacrament meeting, and I felt so touched to see him up there singing "I love to see the temple". That cute kid, he's not even baptized yet and he is one of the best boys in Primary (I know, because we do the music time here in our ward. i love children, they`re so precious.) and loves reading the book of mormon. He always asks us if we can read a chapter together when we go visit them.

6. During a mini  cambio this week, one of the hermanas asked me if god forgives us right when we repent, or if we have to wait until sunday for the sacrament to feel that. As we thought and discussed, i learned even more about our baptismal covenant and the sacrament. When God says that Christ`s atonement is infinite and eternal, that has a real application- Any time, any day, any person who is really willing to repent and ask forgiveness can receive that instantly. (Alma 34:31) The purpose of the sacrament is not to give us the fruit of forgiveness, rather to show God that we are willing to water our plant of faith and repentance. One day a week, the act of taking the sacrament shows god that we do keep our covenant, and He keeps His part every day of the week that we are willing to receive it.

7. Can you tell I've been studying Alma recently?

8. God is a God of miracles. Did i tell you that i lost my credit cards a couple weeks back? Well i did. The mission gave me money for this month, but then i lost that too... (long, complicated story) so i changed over some of the emergency fund money that i had from the very beginning of the mission. Just this week, that  money ran out and I was praying in the bus this morning that my new mission credit card would come. Elder Kauer, our mission financier, just called me and told me that it came today.

9. It has also been interesting to see and feel Satan turn up the heat in his efforts to discourage or distract me. I've felt and recognized an increased personal opposition- more difficulties played specifically at the things that frustrate or weaken me. It has been teaching me a lot.

first of all, i can see some of the progress i've made as a missionary. the things that made me cry tears of frustration at the beginning of my mission are now just a slight bother, one that i can shake off as i focus on overcoming once and for all these small mission trials.

also, it helps me appreciate my testimony and this work even more. i don't care how hard things are! I don't care how bad i may feel one day or how hard i have to work to overcome my flaws- i want to fight this fight, because I know that what we share is true. Not only is it true for the people i teach, it is true for me. i feel it pick me up and give me the wings on the days when Satan's tempest winds are too strong, and I know it can do the same for each one of us. This is God's work, and i will not be left behind. All that is left for us to do is pick ourselves up and keep moving on. 

I love you, and hope that this email finds you actively engaged in the work of the lord.

Yours!

Hermana Oldroyd









Wednesday for World Cup, making pizza Argentinian style


My choir group, after the YW conference


June 9, 2014

I learned


People!

Vale Canobra started her missionary application!! Yeah!!! So happy. I know you don't know her, but I'm super excited about it.

Ok, Nada que ver (One of our favorite phrases here. It is like 'Nothing to do with anything, but...') but I just wanted to tell you all that I want our national language to be Spanish. The gospel makes more sense in Spanish, nicknames are better in Spanish, and it is easier to express and feel love in Spanish. We were talking the other day, and I realized that English is literally a cold language. Here in Chile, people always refer to each other with  'Mi amor', 'Mamita' or 'Mi reina' 'Princesa' or so many other endearing terms. I tried to picture the normal family scene in the States and someone saying to another 'Will you pass me the salt, my love?' or 'How good to see you, my queen!' And it just sounds horrible. Blech. Also, Hermana Lopez was teasing me about one of the pictures in the Liahona with two men shaking hands, about a meter the one from the other. 'Is this really how you salute each other? Really?' Just try to be loving, please, so that I don`t die when I come home.

This week we studied the Atonement together as a mission. It taught me so much and I felt so much progress this week. It amazes me how God takes us from our first moment and shapes us every day to become something so very beautiful. We really are his beloved children. I was also pondering on all the important lessons that God has taught me here- in my mission, I learned how to really fast. I learned how to really repent. I learned how to study the word of God. I learned to value General Conference. I learned to sing in front of people. I learned to speak Spanish. I learned to love. I now know how to really express that love to those that surround me. I can show patience towards myself and wait upon the Lord when He asks. I am more humble than I was before, and I understand now the value of asking help from my priesthood leaders.

All of this is a process, and I know I`m not finished yet. That is something important- Remember how God's work is one eternal round? So are we, and so are all these gospel principles. I learned how to repent, (past tense) but I am still learning how to repent (present tense), and I will still learn very much more about how to repent (future tense).  I will not finish now, or in three months, or in the rest of this lifetime, but I feel so blessed and happy and warm inside in seeing the progress that God has helped me make with all these eternal principles.

That is what life is all about.

Love you all so much!!!

Hermana Oldroyd

Funny Sunday moment- in the house chatting, and Hermana López grabs this off the shelf and starts eating these corn puff things. She offered me some, but I wasn't feeling so inspired, so I passed on that. She paused, looked at me, and said 'But Hermana, don't you realize that these are CrGnBKN?` She pronounced it so funny that we laughed and laughed...





Photo I took for Hermana Sandra to show her I was wearing her earrings







Eco in the morning because of all the cold




Making a peach and cream cake. Oooh good stuff.


Making pizza ON THE COUNTER. I just about died. Do you realize that their recipe says 'three swirls of oil'? Crazy.