Last week in Chile..

Well, guys, Kellie here. I just wanted to let you know about my last week in the mission. It was stressful, crazy, challenging, amazing, beautiful, perfect.

Monday was my last preparation day, so I got the luggage all in order, picked the clothes I wanted to take home, then gave away all the rest. Merry Christmas number 2! Later that evening we had an awesome family night with Enrique + Ana, the Gatica family, and Alejandra. It was such a success, and we all enjoyed a great time together.

Tuesday was a very special day for me, because me and my group got to go to the Santiago Temple! We stayed the night before in Rancagua so that we could wake up nice and early on Tues and the secretaries picked us up. We got to do a session, then had lunch, and obviously photos. I felt SO peaceful there, and it helped me immensely with the stress I was facing with the rest of the week. It truly is God’s house here upon the earth, and we can recieve personal answers and guidance there.

Wednesday I had my last district meeting! Plus, it was a zone training meeting, so I presented some of what we had learned in our leadership council. Plus, bore my “last testimony”, and took lots of zone pics.

Thurs was probably our only “normal” day of work, even though it still wasnt really that normal, because we had lots of wedding and baptism preparations to get done…..

Friday was that big day! Luis and Clarisa tied the knot! It was SO amazing, thanks to the major support from all the members. They helped us out with all the food, the cake, the decorations, the music, the dancing… etc etc. It was so special to see the love these two have for eachother, plus now they are truly a family!

And Saturday was a special day for the family, because Clarisa finally got baptized! She was just a tad bit nervous before (nearly everyone is), but when she came out of the water, she cried a bit, but tears of JOY. And she shared how she had waited so long for that day, and was so grateful it had finally come. Love them SO much and I honestly can’t think of a more special way to end my mission, or a more special last baptism. πŸ™‚

Sunday Clarisa got confirmed, I shared a talk in sacrament meeting, and had to say a few hard goodbyes. I was surprised how much I kept myself together, but there were definitely some emotional moments, especially with saying goodbye. The ward held a little get together with various members for all the missionaries going, but especially me and ending the mission. SO happy I could spend those last moments with them, and with many other people that are so so so special to me.

The next monday was my last day in Chile, I woke up, finished the bags and cleaning, then headed to Rancagua to the mission home. I had my last interview, we ate lunch, and we had a final testimony meeting. I got to be there and chat with Hna Fast and Hna Wilson as their parents picked them up… it was fun to get to know them, plus it prepared me for all the english! Later that evening, I got a exclusive ride to Santiago with Pres and Hna Warne. They helped me get through security, etc, and then I was on the plane home! I was really good up until the point when the plane took off, and thats where I absolutely lost it.

Chile has truly been my second home and Im not going to lie, it was really hard to leave. I don’t know if or when I’ll be able to go back, but for now, I’ll just have to keep busy on Facebook and Skype to keep up with everyone I’ve come to love.

And well, now I’m home. Loving being home, being with the family, and I keep living the best life ever. SO blessed. πŸ™‚100_8658 100_8667 100_8672 100_8712 100_8776 100_8801 100_8856 100_8869 100_8916 100_8924

I’m Coming Home to You

It’s happened guys. I can’t believe it, but its gonna be great. πŸ™‚ I’d like to tell you a bit about this week and then the overall picture of the mission.

First off, Happy New Year! 2015 is gonna be a great one! But at the same time, 2014 was the best year ever. πŸ˜‰ Β New Years eve we spent eating, basically all day long. We had lunch like normal with a family, then an investigator invited us to her house, we ate more food there (plus watched the John Tanner vid!), then we had to be home by 7, where the other hermanas made dinner. This year I managed to stay awake til 12, just to hear the “Feliz AΓ±o Nuevo!” and the fireworks.
And we started off the new year really well. We had a lesson with a guy named Sebastian and his mom Miriam. I met Sebastian on the bus one day and we talked the whole time about San Javier. I never got his address, but las week he came to the chapel after all the meetings and told me he wanted us to visit his mom. We went, got to know them, and share a bit about the restoration. It was crazy to see a random contact turn out like that! Plus, they came to english and piano class this week!
Another special thing was my last leadership meeting. I got to hang out with Hna Ayre, plus we learned more about the changes that are going to happen in the mission. Less counting numbers and more doing what really counts. πŸ™‚ I love it. Plus, Presidente invited me to share a bit of my experience of working with the church leaders and members, which has been one of my strong points I feel. It went really well and we all had a great conversation together.
Later that evening we had a way cool, also funny experience. A new member was accompanying us to an appointment we had planned, but she wasnt home. I told her, I’m gonna pray that we find her in our path as we walk. I did, we start walking, and she just so happens to walk towards us. The member couldn’t believe it! But, turns out I wasn’t specific enough in my prayer, because she couldn’t let us in, but we have an appt for another day. Hahahaha.
Saturday we had a sweet experience too. We were talking a shortcut and I happened to notice a set of keys on the ground. I look around, but there isn’t anyone nearby. I see an old grandpa watering his plants and decide to ask him. Turns out they were his grandson’s that lives with him….. plus he’s a MEMBER. When his wife died he never went back to church, but he agreed to let us visit. Plus, it was a name and address that I had been searching for this whole month on the list of members we have. CHECK.
And, the coolest miracle of all: Alejandra finally came to church! We have waited SO long, but she finally did it! But it doesn’t end there, it was fast and testimony meeting. She turns to us and asks if she can bear her testimony…. Yeah, why not? She goes up front and bears an amazing testimony about how even though it was her first time going to church, she knows that she’s in the right place, that the angel missionaries have changed her life, and that she feels so at peace in the gospel. Now THAT’S a special moment for a missionary. ALL the members were like, when are you going to visit her this week, we wanna come! πŸ™‚
And well, the mission has been FULL of miracles. The other night I did something I never thought I would do. In prayer I thanked Heavenly Father for all the blessings He has given me, and then I thanked Him for all the challenges, problems, and hard times, because they’ve helped me grow and become who I need to be. I can say that the mission has helped me learn that service and focusing on others truly does make us feel better. That loving people and seeing them as God sees them, and their potential, can change them. I’ve seen that we are free to make all kinds of decisions, so we can choose to be happy or not, we can be offended or forgive. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only path to true happiness and peace in this life. And I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. He’s the savior of us all! And He loves us perfectly, even with all our defects and weaknesses. Thanks to His atonement, those defects can be removed from our lives.
I love you all so much and I’m excited to see you soon. But just to warn you, I’m gonna have to come back to visit my 2nd home. πŸ™‚