Weekly letter :)

Dearest familia

So, the weeks are flying. Hermana Gonzalez is amazing as ever, staying focused to the end. Its been a way good experience for me, to be with such a hard worker. She’s been an amazing example. 🙂
 
Tues we had lots of lessons, including one with Ruth! Ha ha. Shes the neighbor of a member, who basically always comes with us now. Shes a bit older, so doesn’t get it all, but its perfect cause her member friend is there to support her and testifies amazingly. Also, I loved being able to testify of the atonement to Valeria, a newer investigator whose mom is blind and she was born with a disease in her legs – I especially love a quote from Preach My Gospel. “All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”
 
Wed I got to my first divisions here in Rengo, guiding the sector! :O 
Hna Gonzalez from Santiago (not my comp) came with me and we were focused on loving the work and the people! We had 6 lessons, didn’t get lost (a HUGE deal), and we had some way cool teaching moments. And I was proud to have guided without any major problems. Phew. One lesson was special, with Claudia. She was alone, the kids were upstairs, so we were able to have a lesson that was actually serious and quiet, and we answered some of her doubts and questions!
 
Another lesson from this week that was really interesting was with Carmen, an Adventist that is super friendly, loves talking about gospel subjects, but has a really hard time understanding the restoration. She doesn’t believe we have more scripture, but I loved that Hna Gonzalez didn’t try to convince her using facts or more scriptures. Simply, there is a promise that those who read, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon, with faith and the sincere desire to know that its true, will recieve an answer that it is. SIMPLE.
 
Saturday was a special day because we managed to get in 3 lessons before heading off to Rancagua at 5ish for Stake Conference! Normally we don’t go to the adult meetings Saturday, but it was about “hastening the work of salvation” and Elder Avila, from the seventy (?) came. It was sweeeeeeeet, cause it was all about mission work and how the members can help. Speaking of, you should all try to go out some time with the missionaries, or have them over for a lessons, it would be SO COOL. Its the best, no joke.
 
Sunday we also had stake conference, and thanks to a bus from Rengo, Gina a recent convert came with Edith, who has a baptism date! It was a relief cause they are both young women, so it can be tricky, but they came!!
 
Overall, I’m really happy, its warming up, and Rancagua isn’t too shabby. Best house I’ve lived in, a sweet sector, and amazing ward. What more can we ask for?
 
 
Hermana Clawson
 
 
PS: The pics probably need some explanation. Those are industrial size rolls of scotch tape, which a family buys specially to remove cat hair – the cat that costs $2000 US dollars. Not a joke. Also, we baked cookies (from a gringo mix) for our language study one day. 🙂

La Luz

First off, I’m coming back to Chile just to go on a shopping spree. This past monday (and today) I was able to buy some amazing stuff, cutest clothes everrrrrr, and not too expensive. LOOOOOVE IT.

 
This week was a bit crazy (aren’t they all?), but soooo many blessings. For example, we went to Rancagua for our interviews. Pres Warne is SO mega inspired. We were basically just talking, wasn’t anything too “special”, but he still said something that I needed to hear. About being a coordinator, he said, “just be yourself”, and basically just keep doing what I’m doing, I don’t need to try to be like anyone else. Check!
 
Oh, speaking of, GOT YOUR PACKAGE. Thank you millions! I especially loved all the cards, one from each of you. Plus an armadillo. Ha ha. Loved the WSU stuff, the peachios (obvio), the vaccuum bags, everything. YOURE THE BEST!!!
 
Something really special about this week was being able to find 7 new investigators. But they all came from the work we did last week, including contacting people in the street and in their houses. We were able to set up appts and visit them this week, and there are some people that have definitely been prepared to receive this message. Oh, and you know what else? We had 5 investigators at church this sunday!!! Plus 3 menos activos, PLUS ALL 4 RECENT CONVERTS!!! Thats a huuuuge deal, and it was an amazing payoff for the work we’ve done this week. 
 
As a mission, we’ve been studying and trying to develop more consecration. I definitely didn’t understand it as well as I do now. More than just sacrificing my time away from home, I’m trying to give my ALL – my talents, my abilities, and my attention. And it requires lots of little things, like studying for the people (not myself), talking with EVERYONE (even if we are nervous to do it), and doing a bunch of other stuff that can be uncomfortable or hard (spanish + mission in general). But you know what, it SOOOOOO is worth it. And I’m definitely not perfect, but I can see SO much improvement and change in myself from 13 months ago. (Thats right, happy 13 months as of yesterday).
 
And well, I just want to let you all know that I KNOW that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. He’s answered mine, in VERY specific ways.  Its just up to us to recognize the answers, which is the hardest part. 
 
Studying by candlelight when the power went out
Rengo chapel
 

La Carta!

This week just flew by, like they always do. But for reals, there are just so many things to do!

 
Tuesday for example, we had 5 lessons and found 3 new investigators! And my favorite part was a family home evening for all the recent converts.
 
We also had our zone training this week, and I got to teach a part that we learned about in our leadership meeting last week. I felt a little bit like I had to “dar palo” (give stick, literally, but more like whip them into shape), because I was assigned the topic of using our time more efficiently. We learned that we are out doing pure proselyting about 44 hours a week. And of those 44 hours, only about 12 were spent in lessons the past week, 10 in lessons, and the other time we arent really sure. Traveling and service… but other stuff too. So it was good to study that and share some suggestions with the zone. Go chapter 8 PMG!
 
Oh, and I also did divisions with Hna Cuevas, from Argentina! She’s pretty amazing, and laughs at everything. But everyone in our house (except me) now drinks mate, and it reeks soooo bad. 
 
Thursday we had a way busy day, we managed to get 6 lessons in! One lessons was super special, with Hugo. The hnas found him this past transfer and he has overcome some mega challenges. Like, with drugs, etc. And he’s still working on it, but he has lots of great goals. And this lesson we felt super inspired, everything just came out really powerfully. I didn’t understand very well the spirit or how it worked before the mission, but I know that this lesson was guided by the spirit. I couldn’t have come up with the words on my own, they were exactly what he needed. And because of that, he accepted a date for baptism!
 
Friday I got to go to Rancagua for a special meeting with the sister coordinators! We studied Ruth in the Bible, and talked about how we can help the hermanas. And I got to hear from Hna Silva and how its going in Paine, the same from Hna Bokovoy in San Javier. I love it! The rest of the day was chock full of miracles, let me tell ya…
 
First, we were in a lesson with a investigator that we found earlier in the week. When randomly in walks her friend… thats a member. Ha ha ha ha. That’s the easiest lesson with a member EVER. It literally just fell into our hands. Later, we found a less active that hadn’t been visited by missionaries in a long time, she was pleasantly surprised. And… she has a daughter that was never baptized…. And then later, we finally found Francisco, a recent convert that had lost contact with the missionaries for a few months. YES.
 
Saturday was pretty much spent in the chapel. We did service by cleaning the chapel in the morning, preparing it for the activity we had in the afternoon. The Rengo youth orchestra came and this one kid played the piano ridiculously amazing…. best I have seen in my life pretty sure. And a psychologist from the church services came and talked about communication in marriage, etc…. good to know for way way way later.
 
Sunday, sunday, sunday is my favorite day. Remember that recent convert Francisco? HE CAME. We also got to go out afterwards for a way good day visiting people with another recent convert, Maria Elena. She was baptized in January and already has a calling as a ward missionary, so she’s coming with us to lots of lessons. 🙂
 
And well, the pics are of the orchestra and the UGLIEST cat I’ve ever seen in my life. It belongs to Luis and Clarisa, a less active and investigator… my goodness so much ugly. It has that super squished face… ha ha ha. And well, I added my own face too.. your welcome!.
 
Love you all millions and trillions! Oh, and I’m pretty sure I’ve decided on January. Thats what I told the secretaries, so its kinda set. It was kind of a way hard decision, but I feel good about it. So see you guys for Tanner’s birthday! 🙂 HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK!!!
 
Hermana Clawson
 
 

Happy Mission Birthday

So, first off the weekly update, then some crazy news…

Tues we had a way cool experience finding a less active. When we were contacting one day, we found a lady in her 20s that gave us the name of a friend of her mom that she said was a member of our church, but hadn’t gone in a long time, she told us when we could find her home, etc. Then this day we had put her in our agendas as a plan in the evening. But we were there in this part in the morning, so we decide to stop by. No one answers. We go up front to the neighbor… nothing. But then we see someone go to their house and answer the door. Bummer. We are feeling like they just don’t want to talk to us. Ha ha. But later that evening, our plan fell through, I saw her name in the agenda and thought, we need to try her again. Hna M was a little skeptical, but she went along with it. We stopped by and she answered! But she gave us a false name (she told us later)… hahahaha. But we got to know her, shared a bit about the “My Family” booklet I mentioned last week and how she could do work for her family (her mom recently passed away). We ended it all with her thanking us, saying that she was really happy actually that we found her and everything. 🙂 It was pretty beautiful.
Wed was a fun day cause we finally found Scarleth, the friend of 2 less actives that are young women.. and we all had a lesson together! It was cool because they all shared their testimonies, explained how the church has helped them, and we are excited to help 2 members plus 1 non member friend all get on the gospel path! Woo! Teamwork.
Thurs… ONE YEAR IN THE MISSION! And you guys aren’t gonna believe it… Hna Mendez and Hna Curi had to go to Santiago for their carnets, so I spent my mission birthday with Hna Bokovoy, from my same MTC group! You better believe we partied it up big time!!! The night before we were talking a ton about the airport, Mexico, the first days in the mission, and other fun experiences. And the day of we woke up early, DIDNT EXERCISE (rebels) and instead made GERMAN PANCAKES AND ALMOND SYRUP. Soooooooooooo worth it. Then we went out for a way busy fun day. We had to cover both our sectors with all the appointments, so we were flying on the bikes, all over San Javier. But it was a way fun day, we got home nice and tired, but still had a bit of energy left to make hamburgers to celebrate.  🙂
Its been a way crazy year, but I have LOVED it.
The rest of the days this week… pretty normal. We were pretty bummed that the investigators progressing/ nearly progressing didn’t come to church. BUT we had a miracle. Well, two. Plus more. But I’ll just tell you these 2.
Sat Hna M dropped a pass along card on the street on accident, but didn’t pick it up. Ha ha. Turns out, some one finds it, is actually interested, calls us, and tells us he would like to come to church on sunday. Um, yes? Then guess what. HE DID. He literally actually came, and with his friend. And stayed the whole time.  Wha???
Another miracle: TWO people had mentioned to us a menos activa, telling us we should visit. They didn’t have the exact address, but from what they gave me I was able to search some of the branch records we have in the house and found it. We stopped by on sunday, she let us in, and we shared a way special lesson. Its super complicated cause she’s living with her boyfriend (the menos activo son of the branch president…awk) and 2 sons, so basically everyone in the branch has hardcore judged and rejected her. But we were able to talk about Jesus Christ, the pure love he has for us, and not gonna lie, she got a little emotional, I cried a bit too… I know we were supposed to find her!
And well, that was the week.
The crazy news: Hna Bokovoy got an email that has our departure dates! I didn’t get it, not sure why, but I’m like, 99% sure that it applies to me too. So apparently for school and other stuff, they are giving us the choice of 3 departure dates, which are the following:
Dec 12, Dec 18, and Jan 12. HELP ME KNOW WHAT TO DO.
Love you all millions and trillions. Hope you had a fantastic week and another great one to come!
Hermana Clawson

Rancagua!

Well guys, I’m here in Rancagua! Well, not really. The zone is Rancagua, but our area is Rengo, about 40 min away. Its small, but kinda not. Im in a ward for the first time! Thats pretty crazy, its like a whole different world! And there are 8 missionaries here, 4 hnas & 4 elderes. My comp is Hna Gonzalez from CHILE (first time I’ve LIVED with a chilena, let alone a companion) and this is her last transfer! Ahhhh! We’ve gotten along really great so far, she’s mega helpful and keeping us way busy!

 
So, this past week: Monday we had a family home evening as a branch in San Javier, so those are all the fun pics. And an investigator Karin made us an amazing “once”, which may not seem like a big deal, but her mom told us that she NEVER cooks. Ha ha ha. The coolest part is that she and her brother were able to do the prayers, and their mom was SO impressed. She’s catholic and has never really participated in the lessons, but I think that may have opened her up a bit. 🙂
 
Tues we had the actual transfers… and the worst thing EVER happened. We got off the bus in Rancagua, Im looking around… and my heart explodes… I LEFT A BAG ON THE BUS. But it wasnt luggage, it was the bag with my journal and “scrapbook”. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. But Hna Gonzalez called the company and we are going to figure something out…
 
Wed we had our first district meeting in Rancagua! There are some places that are super familiar, basically have gone there every time I’ve gone to Rancagua… but its still crazy being in the big city. But while we were there , we were able to stop by the bus terminal… and I got my bag back. YAY! 🙂
 
Thurs, a pretty normal day of working! Its crazy, Hna Gonzalez seriously keeps things busy, we’ve had days with 8 appointments in the afternoon, one after the other, and we are basically running place to place. Its a different experience, but it’s cool! And there are LOTS of people super receptive here, lots of couples and families. Sweet!
 
Fri I got to go to Rancagua again… but this time for the leadership council. They are SOOOOOO good, we learn tons and tons. And I love being able to see so many friends, like Hna Cadima, Hna Silva, Hna Bokovoy, etc.
 
Sat we had a SWEET service project. In the morning us 8 missionaries went to the municipalidad (I dont know that word in english) and we had set up a project to plant trees by a school/ gym that is kinda… ugly. We planted like, 20 trees or something, in this “dirt” full of rocks. But it was interesting cause they published it on facebook and it was on the local news here in Rengo. It might be on FB if you look up like Rengo areas verdes, or something, but I really have no idea.
 
Sun- like I said, I’m in a ward! There are 100+ members, all the classes have teachers and students…. yet they still need a piano player. Ha ha. But it’s fun, cause it feels WAY more like Utah, just in Spanish.
 
And well, that was a crazy week. I’m still getting used to everything, but I think we are gonna see some MAJOR miracles here, there are lots of people prepared to make changes!!