Monday, January 26, 2015

The Wicked One

Hello all!!

Man has it heated up this summer!! We are all dying of heat!! But I have good news!!! WE GET AIR CONDITIONING ON WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!! YES!!!! haha it has been crazy trying to get everything fixed in the apartment. But we are almost done. Hermana Chaparro and the assistants came and visited all of the apartments. There are things to buy but we live in a great apartment. We bought the other sisters a bunk bed because Hermana Resendiz was sleeping on the floor.... and we bought plates and other things we lacked. I don't know why I got assigned to remodel the apartment but I guess I kind of just took the role... I like to get things done... ANYWAY! We are almost done with the list she gave us. 

So on Saturday we had interviews!!! It was the greatest interview I've had yet. President Chaparro is the greatest. I first walked in and he said HERMANA!! You and your companion have lost A TON of weight!!! What is your secret??? Haha I laughed and told him we stopped eating sugar. Then he laughed and said that he stopped too.... then he looked at his belly and said... but nothing's happening... hahaha. The rest of the interview I was crying.... he shared exactly what I needed to hear. I was so worried that I wasn't progressing like I was at the beginning of my mission. He told me flat out that he has seen a HUGE change in me. He also said that the Lord is more than pleased with my work. It was a huge relief to hear that from him. Then he shared something with me I will never forget. He said that Satan is getting extremely smart. That he is attacking people so they can't hear the gospel. But he also said that Satan is attacking those who already have the truth so they can't share it. He said Satan attacks the strong. It was something I can apply right now in my mission. Satan is literally attacking me so I don't reach my full potential. He hits me with headaches, stress, self doubts, concerns, worries. BUT NONE OF THAT MATTERS!!! 

I had a rough experience on Saturday. We went to visit Georgina (a girl who wanted to get baptized) we went there and she came out and said I don't want anything to do with your church anymore. It hit me hard.... I have never been dropped by an investigator... just door slams :) but she dropped us hard.. she asked us to please leave because her pastor was on his way there.... I felt a little angry but I shook it off. Then we went to Natalia... HER MOM CAME BACK!!!!! We were so surprised!! But... she said no hermanas I am going back in an hour... we can have a lesson right now. I was like... but your daughter wants to get married and baptized on the 14th!!! She was like NOO that won't work for me... it will have to be in a few months... That made me more angry...
THEN we went to Carolina and Viviana... we had to drop them because they weren't progressing. We ended up having the most spiritual lesson with them. I said that we couldn't drop them until they offered a prayer and asked if the gospel is true. Viviana said it and the spirit was so strong!! I have really learned what it means to pray with all your might, mind, and strength because MAN WAS I PRAYIN'!! After the prayer they were both crying. Viviana said, I know your church is true. I was like THANK  HEAVENS!!!!!!!!!!!!! But you know what happened next??? She said, but I don't want to get baptized because I just don't want to change. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? I said last week was a rollercoaster but Saturday was insane. 

My letter is The Wicked One for many reasons. 
1. The ride Wicked at Lagoon starts with an incline straight up, and then drops you hard. That is what happened to me on Saturday. Incline with my interview, hard drop with the investigators. We got home on Saturday and planned. My companion could tell I was worked up and told me she would write in the area book and report to our district leader and that I needed to calm down. I knelt down and just prayed.... and cried... .and prayed and cried some more. It hurts so bad to watch this happen. I love these people so much and they can't get baptized. I took a shower and went to bed. We had another long talk and then slept fine. 

Well on this rollercoaster, after the hard drop the rest of the ride is fast and fun. That is what happened on Sunday. Paula is incredible. She went to church with her uncle so that counts for us! She is going to be baptized next Saturday on the 7th. Also the familia Cordoba accepted a baptismal date!!! ALL 9 OF THEM!!! They are so excited!!! They are preparing for the 21st. (perfect birthday present) They kept saying throughout the lesson, when we get baptized... when we get sealed in the temple... when we become members... it was a great lesson. They are going to make it. 

2. My other reason for the title of this email is that Satan has become so real to me. He does everything possible to hurt us. He gets mad when the church progresses. But one thing I have learned is that WE are stronger than Satan. We have the ability to win. And it's not like flipping a coin, or playing rock paper scissors... WE can decide who wins. Not him. Only us. We are children of God. It's an even cooler feeling to know that after a long fight with the adversary.
WELL I have so much more to tell you but not enough time.... please keep praying for our baptisms. We are working so hard. 

Until next week!!
Hermana Hammond

Waiting for the kids to come to mission prep
Getting ready for class
We're ready to teach
these are called humitas... like tamales. they were SO GOOD!
my super lunch... I found tortillas and almost started crying.
yup. I used money to buy that plate.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The One with a miracle.

Hello my people!

Holy. Cow. What a week of ups and downs. I have never had more of a roller coaster week in my mission! And I have very little time to let you know what happened!!! 

Here's a quick run down.

So Natalia found out that her mom isn't coming back from her vacation... she permanently moved there. That happens a lot here... people leave and decide not to come back.. it's kind of funny but super weird. Anyway she is super disappointed and the baptism isn't going to happen this week... or this month. They are still trying to finish their house... and THEN they are going to talk about marriage.... it was frustrating but we are going to keep teaching her and pray about what to do.

Next.. Carolina and her sister Viviana. I am not even kidding when I say that this week they told us they don't want to go to church because they don't want to be as ¨pure¨ as us..... I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I got so angry. The world has gotten so wicked and Satan is so smart. I was just mad. We had GREAT people progressing to baptism and... lost interest. My companion finished the lesson and I said the closing prayer. We went to the apartment and talked it out. We cried and prayed and we were just confused. This all happened on Saturday. We talked it out and felt better enough to sleep. (I have a rule with my companions that we can't go to bed angry, sad, mad, annoyed, disappointed, or anything but happy!!) so we had a good talk and got a good night sleep. That night I think I prayed harder than I have ever prayed before. I was begging my Father in Heaven for a miracle. And man did He give us a miracle.

Sunday- I was in the middle of teaching gospel doctrine when a couple and a young girl walked it. I welcomed them and kept teaching. After the class I asked them who they were?? He introduced us to the girl and said her name is Paula. He is a member from another ward and this is his niece. He said, she wants to get baptized. She has lesson 1, a Book of Mormon, permission, and the only condition is that I want to baptize her. I was BEAMING!!!!! We quickly wrote down their information and went to sacrament meeting. She sat with us and the other young women immediately welcomed her and sat with us. We were sitting there in the meeting singing hymns when everything hit me at once. I started to cry. I realized what had just happened. It was an answer to my prayers. I am SO EXCITED to help Paula be baptized. She is DARLING! She is 15 and is SO excited to be baptized. We are going to go visit her and hopefully meet the rest of her family. Please pray that we can help more of them have desire to be baptized. I will keep you updated!! 

Today was great! We actually got to relax!! We watched The Best Two Years!! We were all happy to not have a crazy Pday and be able to watch a movie. 

Okay that is about it! Also the Cordoba family (not sure if I have told you about them.... they are a reference from a member) But they are going to come to church!! They are so excited! A family of 7!!! I will tell you more about them next week but please keep them in your prayers!! We are going to take care of these investigators so carefully and help them be baptized!!!!! It is going to take a LOT of faith and prayers.

Thank you for all your support!!!!!

Until next week,
Hermana Hammond

Monday, January 12, 2015

¡¡La Una en Español!!

Hola gente!!!

Prepárense para usar Google Translate porque estoy escribiendo en Español!!! Jaja es mas rápido para mi y quería que tengan la oportunidad practicar su español! La verdad es que estoy aprendiendo cuatro idiomas. Santiagaño, Tucumano, Castellano, y Español. En serio la gramática es MUY distinto! Hablan diferente en cada lugar pero me encanta! 

Esta semana fue MUY buena! He visto un cambio en mi misma, en mi compañera, en TODO!! Mi Presidente me ha ayudado mucho. Es es muy bueno. Me ayuda en todo y es muy paciente. Estamos cambiando mucho en la misión. Una cosa es que estamos enfocando mas en la edificación de la iglesia completa y no solo bautismos. Queremos ayudar la IGLESIA crecer. Allí es donde vamos a ver mas progresión en todo. Y ya estamos viendo cambios! Miembros están acompañándonos, están visitando nuestros investigadores, y están apoyándonos mas! Es buenísimo. 

No se que paso en la iglesia esta semana... no habían nadie... aun los miembros no fueron. Las otras hermanas tampoco tenían investigadores... fue muy rado pero vamos mejorar en nuestras verificaciones y ayudarles progresar!! 
Entonces hoy fue traslados!!! Y.... estamos quedando las cuatro!! Jaja pero nuestro líder de distrito se fue! Y su compañero! Cerro su área y nuestro nuevo líder de distrito es Elder Guibarra! El estuvo en mi primer distrito en Santiago! Es de Bolivia y es MUY bueno! Vamos tener mucho éxito. 

Estamos bien! La clima no es tan feo. Jaja tenemos días de mucho calor y otros días de frió así que esta bien! 

Sigo sin azucar! Fue la mejor idea. Estoy con mucho energia y me siento muy bien. No ando con dolores del estomago como antes tampoco de la cabeza. Allí estamos!!! Jaja ojala que pueden entenderme... capaz papa vas a recibir muchas llamadas.... no se. 

Así que no tenemos un bautismo esta semana. Natalia tiene 2 asistencias y Carolina tiene 1. También Natalia no esta casada pero quiere casarse!! Vamos tener una boda!!!!!!!!!! Es mi especialidad :) Les voy a decir que pasa! 
Esta semana tuvimos una entrenamiento de zona!! Nuestro meta para bautismos esta año es 2015!! Jaja fue una meta inspirada y inolvidable!! Jaja estamos muy animados y listos para alcanzar esta meta.
Bueno, creo que esto es todo! Gracias por su apoyo y su amor. Lo siento asta aquí. Siga firme y nunca olviden quien son.

Les quiero!
Hasta la próxima!
Hermana Hammond 

Monday, January 5, 2015

The One where the rains came down and the floods came up

WHAD UP 2015!?!?! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Wow I love the feeling of starting a new year! I have high goals and high spirits! 

I am pleased to let you all know I only woke up once on New Year's Eve!! Haha we spent the whole day on Wednesday cleaning our apartment, killing bugs, and organizing everything! I was absolutely exhausted and crashed at about 11:30. Haha it was awesome! 

Thursday we had a crazy Georgia storm!! It was glorious!!! It rained and rained and RAINED!! There was thunder, lightening, even some trees fell down! We kept studying and then every couple minutes would run to the window to look outside. Within 5 minutes the streets were completely flooded! Haha because the gutters were stuffed with was crazy! AND the best part was it was COLD afterwards!!! Yup. I wore my winter coat in January in A-town. I was pumped! It was cold until yesterday!! Today is hot... but really not bad. I know Heavenly Father sent me here for a reason... so I don't die of heat stroke. anyway... 

Friday was awesome! I had the idea of starting some classes for the adults and the youth in our branch. We started mission prep and family history classes! They are at the same time and the 4 of us take turns teaching the classes. Hermana Sanhuez and I taught Family History and the other sisters taught Mission Prep. We has SUCH a great turn out!! Everyone loved it and we are looking forward to doing it every Friday

So updates on investigators! We found some great families this week! I will keep you updated on who progresses! Natalia came to sacrament meeting!! She brought her 2 girls. She told us that she KNOWS she needs to get baptized. She's awesome! We are still preparing for the 17th! Carolina had other commitments and couldn't make it but said she will come this week and bring her sister! Works for us!! She is now preparing for the 24th :)

So this week in our Book of Mormon reading I have loved reading the stories of Nephi! He was so courageous and steadfast. I told my companion that I want to work on being more like Nephi. Sometimes I feel like Laman or Lemuel... but don't we all! I love that we have the great example of Nephi in the scriptures. Also I love that Lehi and his story is comparable to that of Joseph Smith's story! They both had visions, were commanded to do something that was hard, nobody believed them, and they had to rely on their faith in the Lord. No wonder it's the first chapter in the Book of Mormon! If our investigators can accept the Book of Mormon as the word of God, they will be able to more easily accept that Joseph Smith was a prophet! I love it! 

I don't have much more to report on. We are doing good here! I started a "miracle journal" this year. I bought a planner and everyday I am going to write down a miracle that happened that day. 

HOLY SMOKES SIDE NOTE...... I JUST KILLED A SPIDER!!! It was crawling on the wall next to me and I smushed it. People do change.

OKAY back to the miracle journal... so yeah I am excited to be able to look back on it and just see all of the positive things that I have enjoyed so much on my mission. 

I LOVE being here. I LOVE being a missionary. And I know I am going to LOVE 2015. 

Happy New Year Everyone!

p.s. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUT TO MY COUSIN BROOKLYN!!!! Happy 10th Birthday Brookie!! LOVE YOU!!! 

Our branch - I LOVE these people!

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

This was the greatest day!

I love my family!


I got shaving creamed on my 9 month mark...

I fought back.

Our little missionary

When Chileans point they use their lips - duck face Chileans!

District Awesome

Family History Class

Mission Prep Class

My temporary home