January 27, 2014

Roll the Sleeves Up

We're staying in Collao!!

Whew, that cambio flew by and now we're ready to really roll the sleeves up and work. (We'll see if we actually end up rolling up the sleeves, though. It has been surprising cool for a Chilean summer.) Things are developing better with our sector and I feel good about the way we set the foundation for the work in Collao. Also, we have another pair of hermanas coming to live with us! They'll be working in the neighboring town.

We're seeing lots of miracles!! Did I even tell you all that Victor got baptized? Not here in Collao- he's from a way long time ago in Lirquen. Remember Mercedes' son, the one that was selling drugs and had to leave Conce to escape all his legal fines? He came back into town, we taught him, I left, they kept teaching him, and he did everything to straighten his life out and get baptized. Now he goes out with the missionaries all the time and is one of the most active young people they have. Yeah!!! Also, Nico and Mary are in the hospital right now, but haven't had little Erica yet. I'm dying, waiting to hear what happens!! I just want to meet that little girl...

I know that the Lord is aware of us and I'm so happy as a missionary!!! It really is the best thing I have ever, ever done. Just in case you were all wondering, the time is NOW. Is there a hurt or a grudge you've been holding on too for too long? Let it go now. Is there a doubt or a question you've been suppressing? The time to really find the answer and ask the Lord is now. Have you felt the need to share your testimony with a friend or a neighbor? Do it now! I just know that the Lord is hastening His work, hastening His blessings, hastening our progress as His precious spirit children. Let Him do it for you NOW!!!

I love you each so, so, much. I pray for you!!!

Hermana Oldroyd

Jason Prussing and Juana Valdebenitto. Awesome menos activos that have quit smoking, drinking, started studying their scriptures every day, and are coming back to church. Love them!

Baking brownies! Have I mentioned they don't have measuring cups here? That little pirate mug is our 1 cup measuring utensil...

Hermana Fierro

With the other zone leaders

Guess who I saw?? The Raiqueo family!!! A car pulled over and started honking at us, and turns out they were here for a checkup on their future baby. How fun!!

January 20, 2014

Quite Imperfect


For some real information for the first time in a couple weeks! Hermana Call and I are doing well here in Collao. I've been learning so much and I'm so grateful that we get to be here together. As we all know, however, sometimes our best learning is accompanied by a little bit of pain or stress. This week we had back to back mini-cambios to do, and at the end of the second mini-cambio, I was feeling a bit lost. Both of the hermanas I had been with were already doing really well, and didn't have any blatant needs. I'd tried to help them with some little things, but we had just a normal day, and by the evening, I was feeling a bit mediocre. As leaders, we can really only help elevate the other missionaries to our own level of being and our own level of work, and frankly, I'm still quite an imperfect missionary. I am not a perfect example, nor is the work in Collao perfect, and I felt a little discouraged with my inability to help them really progress.

We went over to have a FHE with the Familia Oporto, and after we had shared a lesson and had a little snack, Hermana Sandra said "Oh! I almost forgot!" and she came over to give me a hug. I thought she was expressing her gratitude for some guidance and support that we've shown to her daughter Kata, and she said, "I love you and I'm very proud of you.", and I thanked her as she hugged me. As she pulled away, she said "That was from your Mom." My dear people, if Hermano Oporto hadn't made me laugh right then, I would have just started crying in front of them. It was a tender mercy and a miracle of the Lord, reminding me that God is aware of us and will ALWAYS extend his loving hand towards us in our moments of need.

I am really feeling the love from the sisters in our group- we may not be perfect, but I feel like they really appreciate us, and that has also been a big blessing and comfort for me. Also, we find reasons to laugh every day! I stepped in wet cement the other day, and we had a fantastic ward Karaoke activity on Friday night. We had interviews with President this week also, and he is a great and inspired man.

More than anything, I have a huge testimony of the Lord's plan of salvation and the freeing power of the atonement. As I study my scriptures, the book Jesus the Christ, and listen to the Sunday School and RS classes on Sundays, it rings so true in my heart to know that I lived a life before this earthly one. I took a mini-burden of stress to sacrament meeting this week, and it just amazed me how I could really feel the sacrament lift that. It literally lifted- and I felt free and empowered to keep working and serving the Lord. I hope you're turning to Him in every trial, in every dark or dazzling moment- He loves us so dearly and has given everything for us.

I love you!

Hermana Oldroyd

Hermana Monica Puchi. She is one of my favorite members here- she's a returned missionary, is an English teacher, reads poetry, and is a Mom of all girls. She shares the gospel like no one else and is so, so brave and humble and sweet. I love her!!

 Lunch at President's house! Helped make a Peruvian dish. Hermana Vieda

Future temple site!!!!

Sometimes Hermana Call likes to give me random pieces of nature.... like a giant leaf as a hat.


January 13, 2014

How blessed we each are!!

My dear people!

I'm sorry! I had some really great thoughts that I was going to share with you today, but sometimes I just feel like I haven`t written my family in a very long time. Wrote them long emails today. Needless to say, this work continues to be full of miracles and I love my life so, so much. How blessed we each are!!

I pray for you!!

Hermana Oldroyd

p.s. We also got invited to eat lunch in President's house today and Hermana Arrington wanted a couple videos that I had on my camera, so I left it with her to copy over to her computer... which also means no pictures today. Double Sorry!!!

Editor's Note: we'll try to appease the vast audience and post a couple of pictures from last week.

Going running on our mini cambio with Hermana Skirvin

Do you SEE that huge beetle?

January 6, 2014

Consecrate Thy Performance

My dear people!

A good week. My recurring problem continues, however, and I continue mourning every time I get to the computer that you do not all speak Spanish.... I just don't do this whole English thing very well anymore.
Some interesting details: It has been raining ash for about three days now in Conce, due to several big forest fires near us. We're not in danger or anything , but we've been quite awed by the orange lighting, the falling ash, and the sick brown clouds that are hanging in the sky.
Hermana Call and I are all over mini cambios. There was a New Missionary Conference this week, so we did divisions with Hermana Davidson and Hermana Johnston, then on Friday we divided with Hermana De Leon and Hermana Orchard from our Hermana Group. We've got two more planed this week. They're fun, exhausting, exhilarating, and humbling, and I'm learning a lot. I am on a quest to be more humble, more diligent, more award of the needs of others. I just need the Lord to inspire me!!!

Hermana Davidson, me, Hermana Johnston, Hermana Call

Also, I had several run ins this week with giant, red, flying bugs. This usually involves us leaving our apartment at 3:30, excited and ready to go, when all of the sudden something huge starts buzzing around my head. I don't know why they always pick me instead of Hermana Call, but I usually end of waving my arms around my head and running back and forth, trying to lose the thing. The third time it happened this week, we were in a walkway in between two of the main roads here, and I had had enough. I pulled out my bag of pamphlets and started waving it around, trying to kill the bug, and Hermana Call was almost on the ground from laughing so hard.

Other than that, it was a great week! We found some great people and we're seeing a lot of miracles. I started reading Jesus the Christ, and I can't even tell you how good it felt to have the literary muscles in my brain start pumping again. Still memorizing a scripture a day, still not eating sugar at night (to help me wake up easier and stay more alert for studies), and still trying to remember to put on sunscreen. I can't believe how quickly time passes and how much I can feel that I've changed since last year. The Lord is such an artful master, taking time to shape our eternities with each passing day, and loving us in every moment of our eternal journey.

I love God with all of my heart, and I rejoice to look back and see all the millions of ways that He has taken a hand in my life to make me the person I am today. Want to know the best part? We all just keep progressing. I hope we've all made goals for the new year so that that progression may be amplified and inspired, and so that the Lord may "consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul." (2 Nephi 32:9) I love you all so much!!

Hermana Oldroyd

I order wings and, needless to say, got sauce on my face. Also, some weird setting on my camera makes my skin look waxy...

Carla and Renato Vega. He makes dentures, and pulled them out to show us!!

They have these flowers everywhere here (hydrangias?) and I love them!! I think they're so pretty