Thursday, March 17, 2011

¡Curicó Unido!

Okay I know it has been a while since I have written for this. It has been CRAZY!! I was sent to a new sector after only 3 cambios in San Javier. I was sent to open a new sector for Hermanas in the zone Curicó, my sector is called Rauquén. It has been hard but so good. We are in a great zone. There's like 20 Elders and us 2 sisters and it's a very united zone. Rauquén is nice I like it, its very tranquil and people are pretty nice. We share it with 2 other Elders. They are a lot of fun, too. We eat almuerzo together sometimes and it's hilarious because there is a new Elder and he doesn't understand any Spanish so he sits there and he will just find random things to laugh at and then we all end up laughing uncontrollably... usually it's because the food isn't sitting well in our stomachs so all of our stomachs make really loud noises.

Anways yes, we are working really really hard; trying to find investigators and find our way around the sector. Lots of work and sometimes like yesterday, we don't have any luck in getting into people's houses and we walked around literally the entire day. Our day started yesterday at 7:45 in the morning because we had meetings before church and the day didn't end until 10pm. Sundays are very long days. But that's why we have P-days on Mondays! We got home last night and it just felt SO good to sit down!

Today we had a zone activity and we got together and played soccer and had an asado. Pretty much the only zone activity we ever do. It was fun though. I loved playing soccer. I have missed it, my foot still hurts from last week and I have a huge green bruise on my ankle but I still had to play.

We have a few investigators right now. We've had some pretty amazing experiences these past few weeks, too. I think Heavenly Father knows how stressed I am opening this sector so He is really helping out. We were knocking on doors this week and we weren't having very much luck on this one street and I was almost about to say, "Let's just go to another street," but then decided to knock on one more door. This lady came out with a smile and she said, "Hermanas...." She then continued to tell us that she was a member but it had been a long time since she had been active, but she wanted to come back. We went in her house and she started crying and told us that her son saw us and said that there were Hermanas in Rauquen now, so she prayed to God that He would send us to her house and He did! It was so amazing, and then she even came to church on Sunday!! So cute.

Anyways I am getting used to our house with all the cockroaches and slugs in the shower and flies everywhere. Our house is missing a window in the kitchen so any kind of bug or small animal can fit right in there. Yesterday, there was a cockroach hiding in the shade in the kitchen and I just pointed it out to my companion and we both just shrugged and kept making food. The poor elders are still in a little room in a member's house. They don't have anywhere to study or anything. They have to do everything on their little beds so I am not complaining.

Anyways, we have heard a lot about Japan these past few days. That is pretty intense. It has only been a year after the devastating earthquake and tsunami here in Chile. So sad but I heard all the missionaries are okay. I know the damage is unreal. People have on the news every time we go into a house. It looks fake, like a movie. So sad, but we will be praying and everything for everyone in Japan. Anyways I have to go but I love you all Ciao!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Opening a Sector for Hermanas

So I am up here in Curico. We are opening a sector for Hermanas up here called Rauquen. We moved into the Elders' old house..... haha. You can definitely tell Elders have lived there for a long time. We walked in and there was a squirt gun nailed up to the wall. Pictures drawn on the wall with Elders' names and stuff. So funny. The bathroom is interesting, too. There's a very leaky sink so the bathroom is always wet and for 2 mornings we woke up and there was a big cockroach in the shower. SICK. There's also slugs crawling on the walls in the shower but those aren't as bad. I actually shower with the slugs in there cause I dont want to touch them haha. Pretty sick, huh? But supposedly we should be getting a new house in the next few days and the Elders will move back into their house. The Elders that were in there before us really tried to clean it up before we got there.

We are sharing a sector with 2 other Elders: Elder Doxey, who is also my District Leader, and Elder Lulla, who is brand new straight from the states. This past week has been exhausting; we got here and had to start from zero. Completely disoriented not knowing any of the streets or where anything is. Zero investigators, nada. So we have been digging through the area book trying to find some old investigators we could go try and look for again. We have done so many contacts and knocked on so many doors it's seriously insane. By the end of the day we just want to crash in our bed. The ward here is pretty legit; the building is beautiful. Church was fun. Everyone so far has been very very nice to us and super helpful. That's Chile, though. I think every sector is like that. People are just so nice here.

But anyways, the Elders in our zone came to do an invasion for us to help us find some investigators which was nice. All the Elders in our zone came to our sector to knock doors and find people; even the elders that are in our sector were helping us. So from that we should have a lot of people to find, too. It's really funny being in a zone with just Elders. There are like 22 elders and 2 sisters. Very different, but way fun too. The Elders have all been sooo nice and so helpful, always asking if we need anything. I think that's one of the reasons I feel a little less stressed is because they are helping and being there for us a lot.

The sector we are in is nice. The people so far seem pretty nice, too, and pretty receptive. We had 1 investigator that the Elders found for us to come to church. He is SO funny he says he knows what animals think like Dr Dolittle. haha He is also a singer and that was his main thing for coming to church was that he wanted to sing. He's a nice guy though; I think he will be coming back. We have met a few other people too that have been fun. I am going to go now cause we are going to go eat lunch and then go home to clean and unpack. Still haven't had time to unpack haha. Love you all, miss you, ciao

Monday, January 17, 2011

Feliz Año Nuevo!

I am not really sure when the last time was that I wrote for this blog. I think its been a while. Anyways, these past couple weeks have been pretty hectic. We had 3 baptisms before the end of the year and right after we had 2 more.

Yesterday a lady named Carmen got baptized and I LOVE HER!!! She is sooo awesome. She has been waiting for a while to get baptized, too, because she had to get married. We worked hard with her so that she would talk to her pareja long enough to say yes. I guess he is very quiet and probably a little scared. But we fasted with her, and she fasted on her own and one day he just said yes! And he gave her a date that they could do it and that date was this past week. So they got married on Wednesday and she was baptized yesterday. The thing with baptisms that will never stop stressing me out is that no matter how ready you are and how organized you are something goes wrong. SATAN. Hate. For example... yesterday. My companion and I went to the church an hour early because I didnt want ANYTHING to go wrong this time. I wanted everything ready and set for when she got there. But then...the church door wouldn't open. How dumb is that??? I seriously just sat there and was thinking, "Are you kidding me?? NO! She is getting baptized today even if we have to break the door down." We were there for an hour and a half and more and more people were arriving and taking turns trying to help. Even Carmen got in on it and I think she even kicked the door. She is so funny. Anyways, I finally called the Elders and just told them I didn't know what to do and there was no way for us to get into the church. Then it occurred to us that one of the memebrs in the branch has a pool! So I called them really fast and they said yes and we all walked over to their house. It was actually such a pretty baptism. Carmen was so happy, I would send a pic but my memory card doesnt work at the cyber I am at. It was so pretty; the weather was not too hot because, for some reason, out of nowhere it had rained the night before. They live kind of secluded from the world, too, and their house is in the middle of some fields and surrounded by all these big trees. So it was just so quiet and you could just hear the sound of the wind in the trees. It was a very very beautiful baptism. But again afterwards I just wanted to pass out on the floor. But after that we went straight to another appointment we had allll the way on the other side of town, still walking with the bag of wet baptismal clothes.

Anyways I have to tell you about my new companion because she is so legit! Her name is Hermana Da Luz which in Spanish means.. gives light. She got baptized 2 years ago. I dont even need to explain more because that just shows how legit she is. She is from Argentina and she is really really great. We get along really well and I know we are going to have lots of fun together. She is trying to learn English to pass some tests for BYU, so I am going to be helping her with that a lot. She will help me with my Spanish too so YAY!

Anyways...yes, we will be working really really hard on finding more people now because all the people we were really focusing on just got baptized. But other than that we are still just working here in San Javier, the work will never stop ever ever ever ever. There's a lot to do always. I don't think I have even been so tired on the mission as I have been these past 2 weeks. But it's a good exhausted and someday in the future I will be able to sleep past 7 again, but for now we eat, drink, and sleep missionary work. Love it. Love Chile. Love you all. CIAO!

Monday, December 6, 2010

"All I could imagine were the robber guys in the Christmas Story"

Hola familia y amigos! Well I know it has been a long time but not a whole bunch has happened. My dear cousin Alissa Jane wrote me an email telling me I haven't written a blog post since Halloween, so here we go!

After Halloween was my birthday and I got a really cute package from my mom with real American chocolate cake with frosting!! You don't find that in Chile EVER. Turns out just by chance that night that the 4 hermanas that are in Constitucion (who I used to live with) were on their way down and they needed a place to stay the night so they stayed at our house. It was so fun! It didnt last too long because we were all so tired. After the birthday we had Thanksgiving.. oh wait jk we didn't because it doesn't exsist in Chile. We wanted to do something that night when we got home but we all got home and were too tired so had some tomatoes, and avocados and bread and went to bed.

Now we are preparing for Christmas and when I say we...I mean everyone else. We are still doing our normal routine. Something I have noticed lately is that a lot of Chileans put their Christmas trees outside? I am not sure why, but it's fun to look at when we walk around! Usually you have to see part of a tree through a window and use your imagination for the rest, but not in Chile.

We are teaching some really good people right now. The gospel is a whole new thing to almost all of them so we are taking it slow. We had kind of a funny experience this week. So there's 4 main churches here: Evangelicos, Catolicos, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Mormons. So we went over to a girl's house that we contacted earlier in the week to share with her lesson 3, which is faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We got there and her mom was outside sweeping and she invited us in, and gave us a glass of cold Fanta. Then we started teaching and talking and getting to know them. The mom tells us she is a preacher for the evangelico church and that she invited us over because she wanted to see what we had to say and she didn't want to deny us because she wanted to respect all religions. KIND of scary. But it went totally fine, we taught the lesson and at the end the evangelico preacher lady asked us if she could borrow our lesson hahaha I thought that was pretty funny. But at the end, these two older ladies walk in and one of them just looks angry and very skeptical that we are there, like she recognized us right away. We kind of talked to them for a little while but we were on our way out and we asked them if they had any questions for us, and the one scary lady looks at me (she had really big nostrils and she was kind of squinting her eyes at me) and she says, "You are followers of Smith, huh?" haha. SCARY! But I just explained to her that we do not worship Joseph Smith; he did do something amazing by restoring the true church of God on the earth. Then the preacher lady goes, "You know what? I understand you guys because I am a prophet, too." My comp and I just kind of looked at each other and nodded our heads. The good thing about that lesson is that the lady loved us, and she is probably going to teach the doctrine of Christ in her church now hahaha.

We also had another really funny experience with this guy this week. We went over to his house to teach him after months of trying to find him after he came to church once. He is almost 80 I think. We got to his houise and yelled outside the gate, and he tapped on the window and just looked out and stared at me. I waved at him for awhile kind of wondering why he was just staring, then he goes to another window and sticks his head out. He says, "You'll have to climb through the window, I lost my keys" HA I don't think it would be possible even if I wasn't wearing a skirt, the fence we would had to have jumped was SO high and the window was too! Then we asked him when we could come back and he goes, "Wait just a second" and climbs out the window!! We were so scared he was going to fall. Once he gets out the window we see he is only wearing one shoe too, and we asked him where it went and he said he lost it. We asked him how he got in and he said he just jumped the fence! He was like 80!! That fence was so high! All I could imagine was the old guy in the six flags commercials or the robber guys in the Christmas Story. Almost died laughing right there. Then he asks us if we wanted to see his Bible, so he goes back to the window and reaches in, but cant grab it so he reaches further and further until just his legs were flailing out the window!! I died laughing, I couldnt help it. Oh Chile...I love it. People are so great here they are so funny.

I think being a missionary is one of the funnest/hardest things ever. But it's amazing at the same time. Anyways we have to go because my comp is trying to make rosemary bread... hope it turns out because it sounds delicious :) Love you all!!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010


So Halloween in Chile is VERY interesting. People are very confused, and they call it "your country's" holiday when they talk to us. I think they have just seen it in movies and now they are slowly adopting it; it supposedly has gotten bigger and bigger every year. But you can imagine all the confusion, some people think it's just the worst holiday ever created and it's Satan's birthday. There are actually papers pasted on windows of shops that says if you celebrate Halloween you are just being ignorant to Satan. hah I don't know but everyone is VERY interested in asking us if we celebrate Halloween, and we just explain to them that in the states, it is really just a night to dress up and have fun and has nothing to do with Satan and his evil powers. A missionary that was here last year told us we would have a lot of people asking us those questions and there would be all this confusion but it's still a fun holiday. He also said that here in Chile "Catholics love Halloween, Evangelicos hate it, and the Mormons are just confused" hahaha. So we've been clearing up some doubts.

But today is the actual Day of the Dead, so the street all the way to the cemetary is just packed with people and vendors. Selling everything! It's fun. Chileans make ANY excuse to have a holiday, they alllllllways have holidays where there is no work and no school. They love it. So I am still loving my sector although it rained 2 days this week which was so weird cause the other days like today are SUPER hot! One other thing I forgot to explain about San Javier is that the skyline here is the Andes Mountains. SOOOOOOOO beautiful oh my gosh. Especially when the sun is setting, I don't think I have ever seen anything so pretty. We are about 1 hour from the ocean and 2 hours from the Andes Mountains, which are also the border of Chile. Chile is a TINY TEANSY skinny little country!

This week we had Elder Zaballos the general authority come and do a little mini-mission conference for us and it was SO fun. He is so awesome. He really stressed how important it was to keep your mission language and he also challenged the Latin missionaries to take advantage of having SO many gringos and learn English! He had all the Latins raise their hands and there were 6 out of about 60 or so. So I fully plan on doing that, I really like Spanish even though it's hard. I will like it, too, after the mission when I have more time to study it! Right now I am learning Chilean Spanish which is totally different! There are SO many words that I use everyday all the time that are totally made-up here in Chile. It's good though, I love it. Chile is the best place, and the Chile Concepcion mission is the best mission.

We got to spend some time with the President and his wife, and I just love them so much they are SO funny. Hna Humphrey reminds me so much of my mom, it's so great. We were in the car for about 45 minutes and we talked about food ALMOST the entire time. We all miss American food! Well I think that's about all I have for this week! I love you all, I am praying for you all. Miss you, ciao!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Sector

Okay so my new sector is called San Javier. My new comp is Hna. Jarrett. She was Hna. Conley's companion in the MTC. My sector is pretty much all flat which is a huge difference from Conti, but the hard thing is that there is wayyy less public transportation. Its a cuuuute little town though it reminds me of a little city in Utah or something. It has all these little creeks and rivers flowing through it, and there are little white floaty things in the air all the time. Its verry tranquila and quiet, which is kind of weird to me, I am not used to it at all.

Listen to this though... in our little town of San Javier there are over 800 members and guess what the asistencia was at church... 42!! There was 2 kids in Primary, 2 kids in YM/YW and like 7 ladies in Relief Society. Crrrrazy, huh? We're working on that, kind of seems like climbing up a down escalator, too.

This past Sunday the Obra Misional was in charge of Sacrament meeting. (its a tradition they do here, every 3rd Sunday of the month, us missionaries are in charge of the minuto for Sacrament meeting, which i secretly hate because it's so stressful and we always forget). Anyways, so we forgot this time too so we were scrambling trying to find people to do stuff for us and we got a musical number all ready and everything. But I still had to get up and give a little talk. I figured I would since I had to get up to bear my testimony anyways to be welcomed into the branch. It was fine though i just shared like 2 scriptures and talked about them. I am not sure if my Spanish made any sense but I was actually fine up there talking. I KNOW, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT!? I think it was because it was more last minute and I had less time to freak out about it.

So yesterday we had 3 baptisms!!! SOOO cute. They were 3 boys that we found last time I was here visiting a couple weeks ago and I fell in love with them and just knew they were going to get baptized too. I thought it was going to happen while I was gone but I am happy it turned out to be yesterday! One is Diego, and he is 11 and his mom has been inactive for years but we found her at the baptism of her sister (Cecilia), who is the mom of the other 2 boys. Literal miracle with this family, I am not going to go into detail but it is very tender. Anyways. these boys all remind me of Connor and every time we hang out with them it makes me miss Connor. I guess by hang out with them I mean teach them, but it's a lot more fun. The other 2 are Nicolas and Rodrigo. Nicolas is the one that reminds me of Connor the most; he is hilarious! He wants to serve a mission, too. But now their families are coming back to church and it is just so beautiful. It's really crazy sometimes as missionaries... I always think about this.... How we see miracles ALL the time but to these people... the miracle that we see is the one that changes their life and their futures. You know what I mean? I try not to take any of them for granted.

Anyways our branch here meets in a house that they are renting out. It's pretty cute but kind of weird for me at the same time. Just reminds you that the church is the same wherever you go and it doesn't matter where you meet. My last sector we met in a school, so a house won't be that much of a change.

Oh yes, it is getting MUCH hotter. VERY hot in fact... my face is burning right now cause we just played volleyball as a zone. Oh my new zone is called Talca so I still have to travel to Talca every week but the bus ride is only like 30 minutes compared to 2 hours. I haven't decided if I am sad or happy about that yet. But I have a horrendous shoe tan already, mostly because the shoes I wear ARE horrendous. Anyways I love you all very very much hope everyone is happy healthy and reading their scriptures!

Love, Hna. McCombs

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Wait, I'm not supposed to be baptized yet!"

We have a zone activity today that we were in charge of and we spent forever last night after we got home from working like preparing everything for it, and we went hiking and went to the beach and it took us forever to get the fire lit, and then as soon as it was finally ready to start cooking we realized we forgot all the meat in the fridge!! NEVER planning a zone activity again, terrible. I will leave that up to the zone leaders from now on.

Anyways, we had a baptism yesterday!!! His name is Diego and he is SOOOOO cute. The most tender child you've ever seen in your life, I swear. Everyone wanted pictures with him. His baptismal clothes were wayyyy too big and when he got in the font the water was too high for him and he goes, "Wait, I'm not supposed to be baptized yet!" Oh my gosh, he is so cute. He reads the Book of Mormon every day and highlights it and everything. He is so smart; he taught both his parents how to read and ps--he is only 10 years old. God has something so legit planned for this child; he is SO tender. You'll see, I will send a picture. We went to a fair in the plaza with him, and he bought me and my comp flowers for our hair and a "surprise." haha That's one of my favorite things here in Chile, they sell "suprises" in the ferias. They're just little bags with little junk in them, and they are 100 pesos and you never know what you're going to get! So funny, I love Chile.

SO as you know I am back in Conti but not for long. There's probably like a 100 percent chance that I am leaving, but I keep telling people not to talk about it. It's just better if people dont know and make it a big deal, and I can't just go around individually and say bye to people. Sucks, but it's okay. A new sector will be good. WEIRD it will be my second sector, and i will be taking my 9 month picture there. 9 month picture is like a tradition for hermanas because we all have little bellies at 9 months. So Megan--you and me!! haha But anyways yes, so next week, I will write on here and tell you where I will be. Most likely will be Linares (Hna. Conley's first sector) or San Carlos, which I heard hermanas just love it there. It's all the same to me kind of; I have really learned with the mini-cambios I have done that it doesn't matter where I am, I fall in love with the people anyways. I want to go to Santa Sabina and be companions with Hna. Conley, but I doubt it cause Pres wants me to be in a flat place to give my foot a little more rest. My foot..... it is fine, better and better. So still thank you for all your prayers, I don't think I will ever have so many people praying for me again in my life. I love you all, please be healthy and happy and read the scriptures and go to church! :) Love you all
Love Hna McCombs