Monday, September 25, 2017

"Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations"

It has been an amazing week!
Last Monday, we traveled to Salta and I was able to visit my previous area, Limache. It was so good to see Hermana Mannewitz. I've missed her SO MUCH! I was also able to visit Mateo and his family and it was amazing to see that they are still active and Maria is now the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society!

On Tuesday, we had our leaders conference with Presidente Orquera. We talked a lot about the virtue, a topic that we have never talked about in a mission conference. But it really touched me and reminded me that our thoughts, words, and actions should always be pure and centered on Christ. We are representatives of Christ ALWAYS, whether we are alone or not, when we are in Church or not, ALWAYS!

Wednesday, was the hottest day of my LIFE! I have never felt heat like this. Like my skin was going to melt off and it was a little windy, but the wind was even hotter. I thought my eyes were going to burn. To top it off, they cut off our electricity this no AC for us! Long story short, we survived, and I did not sleep at all that night.

Thursday, we still lived without electricity but luckily the temp cooled down. It was the 17 month mark for Hna Simmons, so we celebrated and ended the day with ice cream! As we ate ice cram with only a small candle as our only source of light, we had a really deep conversation. We talked about what we have learned and what we can still give. We know we aren't perfect missionaries, but we try to give our all so that when our day comes to take off our nametag, we can say, "Father, I did my best!"

Friday, we had our zone conference here in Santiago. We and the zone leaders were in charge. Love having the opportunity to teach because I end up learning so much.

Saturday, we finally got our electricity turned back on! Saturday is the most important day to visit our investigators and remind them to go to church! We also watched the General Women's Conference. Amazing talks!

Sunday, one of the families we have been teaching went to church. Ricardo was also there and Fernanda too! 

People that we have preparing for baptism:
Familia VasquezCura (a family that we found a couple weeks ago. The mom is very sick, but waants her family to find peace in a church)


This week I have learned a lot about what COURAGE is.
I love the story of Abinadi, he was willing to give his life rather than deny the truth.

Do we have that same conviction and courage to live the gospel?
Do we have courage to stand up and stand out from everyone else?

I love the scripture in Romans 1:16:
"I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

I am not ashamed...I know that the church is true. I know Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and I will never deny these truths!

I hope that everyone watches the General Conference this weekend. It is such a blessing to have a living prophet to lead and guide us. Also invite someone else to watch too! The conference is an amazing time to reflect, receive personal revelation and make some necessary changes!

Have an amazing week and choose to be GLAD!

đź’—Hermana Norman
Got to see Mateo and Maria!
And Hermana Mannewitz!
Hermana Simmons and ME! 
Our zone

Blessed to work with some amazing Hermanas who teach me so much!

Monday, September 18, 2017

This week has been crazy!

We had the opportunity to have Elder Bragg come visit us! Because our mission is so big, we had to do two, and so everyone in Santiago had to travel to TUCUMAN, another providence! But we stayed in a hotel and everything, and it was super fun!
The conference was amazing! Elder Bragg brought a special spirit and really helped get us understand more fully how sacred our calling is! 
I really like how he expained that there is a difference between being in the mission and being a missionary! 
Presidente and Hermana Orquera also spoke and in Hna Orquera's talk she talked a little bit about me and what I have been going through with my medical problems. It was another confirmation that I will be okay and that I can keep going!

And today we traveled all day to Salta for Mission leadership conference. Two big trips in a week is a lot. I am excited to see Hna Mannewitz and other members and investigators in Tres Cerritos and Limache.  

Sorry this is short and sweet, but thank you all for your love and support! I am so blessed!

Hermana Norman
Waiting for bus to Tucuman...
There is beauty in everything

Elder Santana...he gained 70 lbs and has a pregnant belly...jajaja
Our hotel room
Multi zone conference with Elder Bragg visiting
Mission tour with Elder Bragg luncheon
Eating at Del Carmen Luna's...still have the same love for ice cream
Youth activity
Presidente Orquera's son...

Monday, September 11, 2017

Blessings in Disguise

its probably one of the coolest things to find someone that tells us, " I have been waiting for this, I have been searching for the truth." This is what one of our new investigators, Fenanda, told us this past Friday. It was so powerful as we share with her the story of Joseph Smith and how he too, was serching for the truth. How amazing it is that through prayer, we can know the truth of all things! I hope that she can pray to know for herself!

Everyone has been talking and telling us about the natural disasters that are going on in the states, and in Mexico. I still don't know a lot of what is going on, but all the people that have been affected are in my prayers. We can find comfort in the scripture in Mosiah 24:14, that says the Lord does visit His people in their afflictions!

We started visiting Ricardo again. He is our investigator that wasn't willing to keep all of the commitments we left him, and...he had a big drinking problem. We happened to be walking past his home, as they pulled in on their motorcycle. They practically begged us to come and share a message with them. Since we stopped teaching him, every thing in their life took a turn for the worst. They started having marriage and financial problems and he was diagnosed with liver disease from drinking so much, which means that he can't drink anymore. They told us that all of these trials have helped them realize how much they need God in their life. They told us that they are ready and are willing to do whatever it takes to receive the happiness and blessings that come fro the Gospel! It is amazing that some times God chastens His people or gives us trials to humble us! Sometimes we need a reminder that He is in charge and that WE need HIM. It is true that trials are blessings in disguise!

We are working on patience with Solange and Benjamin! They won't be baptized as soon as we'd hoped, but I trust that it will all be in the Lord's timing. Solange, due to her chemo, still can't go to church because she is so sick or in the hospital. Benjamin is going to wait for his Dad to receive the priesthood so that he can baptize him! Please continue to pray for them

Mosquitoes are out and about here in Santiago!! Sometimes it is hard to focus in lessons when you can feel mosquitoes sucking your blood, and then you just itch SO MUCH! It was funny though because in a lesson I had a mosquito on my head and the 4 year old daughter smacks my head so hard, killing the mosquito and then takes the mosquito out of my hair to show me. Ahh, gotta love the mission.

Common desserts here: fruit, flan or jello
Common Side dish: potato salad w/beets, or rice
*there is ALWAYS bread on the side of every meal.

Everyone has parakeets and parrots here
Everyone has a spinner too, including my companion and I

Have a great week! Love you all!

đź’—Hermana Norman
Cute Solange and colors on our foreheads
Love this girl so much!

Ninja what???

Sometimes you have to nap
Caught off guard 

Photo with Bishop's daughter after youth activity

Pday fun


Monday, September 4, 2017

Transfer day!

I don`t have a ton of time to write a very good blog post because today has been crazy with TRANSFERS!  But good news everyone, Hna Simmons and I are staying together! YAAAAAY
I was praying so hard that she would stay so that I could be her last companion! 
But with transfers, we had to go and help all the other hermanas with their travels and stuff.

This week was really awesome! The weather here is definitely bipolar.  We got up into the 100's, and then the next day it would be in the 50's. So that`s really funnn, you just never know what to expect! Keeps me on my toes.

Also, a little update on my health, I am doing so much better! It is incredible because everyday when I wake up it feels as if I have extra strength that I can't even explain.  The pain hasn't gone away completely, but I feel as if the Lord is carrying me and helping me to just keep going!  I know that it is from all the prayers that I have been receiving. Thank you all! 

Solange has been spending a lot of time in the hospital with all her chemo therapy, but she absolutely loves when we come to visit her.  We are trying to reactivate her mom, Noelia, and that actually has been the biggest challenge! So we are trying to help remind Noelia of all the blessing and joy that comes from living the gospel!

Benjamin is super excited to be baptized, but we are also working with the dad on receiving the priesthood so that he can baptize his son!

I am so happy! The mission is so good! The church is so true!


Hermana Norman 
It was in the 100`s this past week... and yeah it is still 'winter' here.
After walking the entire morning, we had to sit in the hot sun for almost an hour waiting for our lunch, so we took selfies while we sweated to death. We had heat exhaustion later that day!