Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Week of Oddities

This week is exactly as my title describes. I imagine it will be one of the oddest weeks I have had in all of my mission. 
To start off big, guess who was out of commission from Wednesday all the way through yesterday? Me. My health...yea. It´s super great right now! But a lot of things piled up at the start of this last week and I couldn´t work for a while. Mom, you know I have weak ankles. Well we were walking home and BOOM. My ankle twisted and I practically fell over on TOP of my ankle. All that day my head and throat was pounding and I felt like I had a second heart in my wrist. Also, ever since arriving in Chile I´ve had problems with my stomach. It just always hurts really bad...especially after lunch. I think it´s a combo of the TYPE of food as well as how much food we eat. But I went to the doctor. The doctor is the stake president so I didn´t have to pay a dime...the medicine was 15mil pesos though. Anyways, he said I have some irritation in my colon. I have medicine for it and I feel so much better, and I also have a gel for my wrist and my ankle every night. It´s awesome. 
     Anyways, my health was really poor this last week, but right now it´s a lot better. Today I head back to work! I´m excited to finally get to DO something. 
     This last week I was in Santa Maria for a while with Hermana Casique. We get along super well and didn´t have ANY problems. I made a visual for lesson 2 ...only took me like a bajillion hours haha. We also ...well we switched make up. I put my makeup on her and she put hers on me. It was at an appropriate time but DANG. Que horrible! It was a fun thing though...and it was nice to take a break from all the studying I was doing with her. I learned a LOT OF Spanish this last week.
    In fact, regarding my Spanish, I get it. Definitely the Lord, but I literally understand about everything. I don´t know a lot of WORDS, like nouns, but everything else I get. I get the grammar to, I just have to keep practicing. I was talking to the zone leader in spanish on the phone two days ago and he was very impressed. Even said that my Spanish was close to perfect. SOOO, for one month, I´m on the right track in the whole Spanish category. ...hahaha except for one time. I was talking to our district leader and I accidentally said ¨Te amo" instead of "Les amo" (because he was delivering my words to my companions while I was in another area. We can´t talk directly to them.) Everyone in the room had eyes the size of golf balls when I said it. It sure was funny. 
     Hermana Casique came back with me to San Felipe for two days (she’s out of commission because she crashed on her bike and can´t walk very well). And when we returned it was great. We studied some more, and in the night I had the opportunity to do some watercoloring. We studied some more Spanish and read scriptures (she´s taught me SO much Spanish!) but when the girls returned home they were crying. Apparently they were about to start teaching a lesson and then Pa*** literally had drugs in his hand. His mom and he yelled and argued....he´s extremely disrespectful to his mom, but R*** just cried. She wants to be baptized but she can´t feel peace right now. She needs help now more than ever. Anyways, they returned home and I didn´t know what to do. So I prayed....and the things that came out of my mouth were totally of the spirit cause I sure didn´t have the power to say the things I said without it. They started to feel better...but were still sad, and if you´re sad you can´t have the spirit. SO I turned on a more upbeat song from Hermana Parkinson´s mp3 player and danced like a loon. I don´t think I´ve ever danced worse, but they couldn´t stop laughing. I know even THAT was from the spirit. 
     Sunday Pa*** came to the end of church. He needs to have a one on one talk with someone like tell him what´s up. Hermana Casique and I thought of the perfect person who is in her ward. He used to be addicted to drugs, but then changed and served a mission (which EVERY GUY SHOULD DO) and now he is the bishopric. But after lunch and church we returned and Hermana Parkinson and Hermana Waters shared with me a few things that were troubling them. I sat them both down and shared Helaman 5:12. I testified that although bad things WILL happen, satan´s power is limited and God´s power is unlimited. And very firmly I sated that satan would have NO more power in our house. That he would no longer influence our thoughts or feelings. That if we wanted to have the spirit we had to do EVERYTHING we could to attain it and keep it so that we could continue to work. And after doing EVERYTHING that we possibly could, we needed to pray and ask for help. Today I reinforced this by sharing D&C 121:45-46. 
OH! Read chapter 18 of 1st Nephi. It´s legit. The whole story is amazing have to look at it with the right perspective but I loved it!! 
 The food here is legit. I know how to make some stuff too! Cut up some red peppers with oil, heat it up, add some sugar, add cream cheese and you´ve got a freaking delicious salsa type thing for all sorts of food. The empanadas are the best here. The worst thing I´ve eaten was pasta with tuna and mayo and corn mixed...nothing else. I either really like the food here, or I don´t. It´s just different. But the salads are AMAZING. SOAKED in lemon and tomato juice. And they have just as much tomatoes as lettuce. YUM. 
     That´s all I have for this week. I love you and you´re always in my prayers. 
Hermana Alexandra Johnson

ps. BBeak, have you made a decision yet?
pps. Pepper. Write me a letter!! 
THINGS that in a package in the future I would like more music, other colors of my scripture markers that I sent y'all.... and a MINI Book of Mormon in English  . peanut butter is running out, lol. Also some talks. Power to create, Elder Uchtorf would be great. 

Apparently she doesn't like her meds.

Pa*** with Hermana Johnson

With Hermana Casique

Alex said that she called Mom on her Bananaphone.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spiders Galore

   I don´t remember what a wrote last week...and all of my thoughts are mixed together each week. Time here FLIES. Well that´s a lie..the day´s are long and the weeks are short. If that makes ANY sense. To me it does haha. 
     Spiders. Still a problem. ...and it´s so much easier dealing with them knowing that they can KIIIILLLLL MEEEE!!! GAH! This week I was in the bathroom...using ...the bathroom. #selfexplanitory #thankyoumomforsendingmehashtags. Haha anyways, I´m in the bathroom and then SHABAM. Coming right towards me is a spider the size of my freaking ...thumbnail. But a spider nonetheless!! So what do I do?? Scream. I scream bloody freaking murder. Of course Hermana Waters talks that as a sign that she has the liberty to barge into the bathroom...but the spider is by the door! So she starts to come in to the bathroom, I´m a little exposed, and as she opens the door she moves the spider closer to me. So what do I do?? Scream louder. But of course!!! The solution to every problem!! What ended up happening was that I took a shampoo bottle and smacked it...cracked the bottle. But the spider was dead! And you bet my companions sure got a laugh out of that for the next..they´re still talking about it actually haha. 
     Something great about my mission is that we don´t have to get up till 7:30..we don´t get to go to bed till 11:30, but something about it just makes it easier haha. We´re not supposed to go back to the house before 10 though...and depending on what part you are in, it´s a little bit dangerous. But we´re careful.
     Now let me tell you the story of Hu***. He is an investigator, and a very sweet old man. He has close to nothing and some health problems. He is super excited to get baptized! ...but will not be able to get baptized till next year because he ran into a little trouble with the law a while back. He is so good about his prayers and coming to church though. A very sincere man. (he´s actually an investigator of the the elders). Anyways, because Hu*** has health issues and what not his house is dirty...but not just dirty. His house is...oh. I felt so sad. You literally couldn´t see the floor. It was CAKED in dirt. And as you walk towards the´s just brown. Nothing functions and it smells as if animals have lived there and then are rotting. It´s not very was very sad. So we had the idea to help clean. Now...I hope nobody ever has to do what we did. I was so sad for him because he has nothing. so as we clean we start to discover more....including NESTS of spiders. Including ¨things¨that were just rotting. It was literally a sight from my nightmares. The only reason I was able to do anything was because I wanted so badly to help and I prayed SO hard because of it. Anyways, that. But afterwards, I felt the spirit so strong. I was just so grateful for everything I had. I was (surprisingly) grateful for the opprotunity. To my sisters, you help mom clean the house. And don´t you dare complain about it. We have so much. Many people here have NOTHING. Always remember how blessed you really are. 
     My fear of spiders is still extreme, but my fear of dogs is all but nonexistent now. Dogs will surrond us or try to bite us through fences on occasion...and we always seem to have at least one dog following us, but it doesn´t bother me much now. In fact I resucued a puppy. It was freezing, and was about to get run over so I walked a mile with it to the church, which was were we were headed, and handed off to someone. Service points haha. 
     Yesterday we did divisions with a member. Connie. she is a ward missionary and a convert to the church. She joined when she was 18 or 19 years old. She has SUCH a strong testimony of the gospel and she loves working with us. I pray she serves a mission because she would ROCK it. Well I went with her and taught a lesson and did contacting It went so well! AND we ran into A***! He´s a young adult who is studying english so he asked me to bear my testimony in english. I was like...well HEY! Don´t mind if I do haha!! Anyways, we ran into him ...actually he stopped ME to say hello. We helped him with his suitcases and what not and got his number. He has questions and wants to know more. PERFECT haha. During this time, Hermana Waters and Hermana Parkinson found a family and womp! We have more people to teach! YAY!
     We also taught R*** yesterday. She doesn´t have a baptism date right now...but that´s mainly because she´s struggling so much with Pa***. He just got expelled from school...and when you get expelled here in Chile they SHRED your papers. You don´t get to just go to another´re DONE with school. Your formal education ends for good. He´s still struggling with drugs, and he is unbelievably rude to his mom. We went over to teach. We started by singing our hymn, as we always do, and then said a prayer. After we said the prayer there was silence....and then they started arguing. Just arguing....
We couldn´t have the spirit. Hermana Parkinson shared a scripture, and the spirit started to come back. And then I felt I had to testify with extreme power...and I did. I did a little bit of chastizing, but nothing bad. I was just very firm. I told them how blessed they were and to not take advantage of the time they have with each other. I told them the need to love each other and I testified of the atonement and the power it has in their lives. How God knows each and everyone of them perfectly and understands them....WANTS to help them. Hermana spoke of Alma the younger, and spoke firmly as well. Afterwards, R*** thanked me. I know we did what we were supposed to do. They´re such a great family, but just like any family they have problems. 
      I discovered something pretty flippin legit yesterday. ALL things in the world are divided into two categories. Yes, only 2. 
Things that are INTERESTING. 
and things that are IMPORTANT. 
I thought a lot about that yesterday...and I thought a lot about my life divided into those two categories, as well as in the lives of my investigators. It helped me see what I really want in life. I challenge you to do the same. 
     Zone conference was awesome. Really chill and a breath taker from all the walking we do. Weird to just sit and learn for hours though! 
     We had family home evening with the elders and some investigators and recent converts. It went SUPER WELL! And at the end we had cookie cracker things with honey! It was good...till I looked in the honey jar and saw all the bugs. YUM. #welcometosouthamerica 
     Here´s some LEGIT scriptures for you. I´m talkin LEGIT:
1N 8:15
Romans 8:28
D&C 58:4
Matthew 35:21
1 Peter 5:14 (people of chile!) 
Mosiah 8:18 ...providing a way for miracles :)

Thank you for your prayers!

in a field of alfalfa

noche de hogar - family home evening

these plants are all over. don´t know what they´re called...but this is a medium sized one.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Week of stardom. No me gusta.

 First off, I´m seriously being blessed right now. The ciber net place that we´re using right now is playing the whole "We sing. We dance. We steal things" album by Jason Mraz....We´ve been here from the first song...annndd it´s still going. I about had a heart attack when they played number five, Live High. I´ve seriously been craving my music a little bit..noting that I can´t handle, but it was frustrating yesterday when I had a really lively jazz song stuck in my head and I couldn´t do anything about it! This is definitely a blessing from the Lord. 
     Okay. Cool experiences of the week!! I contacted a man at his house named M***. We came back the next day and taught part of the first lesson. He was really interested. Partway through he looked at me and grabbed my hand. First of...WEIRD. Okay, so I´m tryin to be chill about it but he´s just sitting there like ...yea. ANYWAYS. He looks back at Hermana Waters, after releasing my hand from the captivity of old man roughness and explains that he saw me in a dream. Not in a ¨pick-up line" kind of dream but in a DREAM. He said that he had this dream three months back and he recognized me when I contacted him the day before. He recognized my person as well as my heart and faith. In the dream apparently I talked to him and he knew that I could help him. That´s why he let us come back. He said that in the dream I had on my missionary plaque and that he saw Hermana Waters and Hermana Parkinson as well, but not personaly. In the distance. I still don´t know what to think about it all, but it was cool. We have another lesson with him today so we´ll see what happens!! 
      Other cool thing...kinda sucky but cool at the same time haha. On the 13th Hermana Waters was feeling worse. She has strep right now, and so we´ve had to slow down. What´s funny was she started feeling worse when I started feeling better. I´m totally better now, but because Hermana Waters is sick we´re ALL suppossed to sleep in until 8am. LEGIT. We also return early so she can get extra sleep. On the 13th we stayed in ALL DAY. After lunch we returned and we literally studied and ate, and slept. I felt so bad for a while cause I was like.."what am I doing! There are PEOPLE out there that I need to talk to!!" But it turned out okay. Kinda. Yesterday her throat was feeling better, but she had a massive headache and was burning up...especially in the sun! So we call president Essig and to our surprise he tells us to leave her. With members of course, but he tells us to leave her and if we feel like we can do it to go have fun and do work! At first I was like HAHAHAHAHA there´s no way in the name of Mater, or McQueen, that I am going out there without Hermana Waters. No freaking way. Then hit me. During the whole day in curch I had understood close to 80%. I literaly understood and it was like...SHABAM. I was even prompted to share my testimony in Sacrament meeting, which I did after an extra shove from the spirit. And I know they understood me. It wasn´t perfect Spanish, but it was close. And it was close enough haha. As I remembered this, I felt comforted to know that I could do this. For only two hours did I have to take the lead. So off we went. We went to the house of R***, M***, P***, and R***do and we taught a lesson! We talked about how everything we have is from God and we need to be grateful for eveything he does for us. I committed them to pray to see his hand in their look for the tender mercies. After our lesson, which really did go well, we went and did contacts. And we did more then we had done all week. It was such a blessing. 
     The cat´s out of the bag. Everyone knows I can play and sing now. I don´t know how everyone already knows but they do. We got a call from the Secretary of the office and he asked me if I could play in conference for our Zone. With President Essig. ...oh good glory. I don´t know how that happened so quick, and I´ll probably regret it....especially since I don´t even KNOW these two hymns...but I´m trying to help as much as a can. Even if I suck right now!! So that´s why this week was a week of stardom. I was the star of some man´s dream, I played in Sacrament meeting again, I have to play for confernce...OH! And Bishop asked if I would sing in sacrament meeting next week. ...again. JOY.
    Moving on...I´ve already started my next journal. I´m gonna have to buy another one pretty soon too because this one is smaller then my previous one! Also, I ate peaunut butter yesterday. Now that was TRUE JOY. I slabbered bread in it and I just absorbed it. Hermana Perez, the stake president came over to our house this morning with breakfast and all sorts of yummy stuf...and replacement curtains! Which she actually has to hem...soo....but hey! They´re my favorite color of green!! Anyways, I put some PB and some of the homemade jam that she brought on crackers and she looked at me like a was a loon! She thought it was so funny! ..only because she hates peanut butter! I know..crazy right!? She´s a doll. She likes to have us for lunch a lot, and she brings us gringo food sometimes. Super cute. 
    I discovered a couple magnificant things this week. 
           1. If you don´t bite your nails, they grow. My nails are officially long.....not to the standards of people here, but to me! they haven´t been this long in years! Hermana Waters is really creative and decided to inflict pain every time I bit my nails...every time I BITE my nails. It´s stll super hard not too haha. 
           2. Empenadas. They´re probably the greatest thing ever invented. They have ones with aregano, ham, cheese, and tomatoes. ...and goodness it´s just heavenly. Literally...I KNOW they have these things in the celestial kingdom. They do. They have them. 
           3. I´m still far from becoming a lamanite. But I´m definitely closer. ...I still get honked and whistled at everywhere I go though....Everytime it just makes me mad!! Like seriously. Just cause I´m WHITE!! Lame. 
           4. People here think it´s hilarious that I´m SO afraid of spiders. And I´m still JUST as afraid of spiders as I was before. Brother Jenaro (in the photo with the fam and kids) he has an interesting hobby, which you might´ve guessed by now is SPIDERS. He thought it would just be great to show us his spider! It was the size of his hand...he starts walking down stairs and both me and Hermana Waters RUN out of their house. RUN. The kids are just LAUGHING like it´s the funniest thing they´ve ever seen. Especially when they tell me that it´s a METAL spider. That´s it´s FAKE. ...but of course I don´t believe him (as that´s something Dad would say right before throwing it in my room or something like that) anyways it was a big ordeal. They realized how scared I really was of it and finaly stopped chasing me with it at least. 
           5. They love American music here! Jammin to Adele right now baby that they are playing in this place while writing my emails. 
           6. I don´t have to think in English first and translate in Spanish anymore. All the words I know in Spanish I literally just KNOW in Spanish. They just come. It doesn´t take me quite as long to share a scripture or bear my testimony, although I´m obviously slower than Chileans haha. 
          7. I can wash my own clothes! Hermana Jenny washes our clothes, but we don´t get them back for a couple days. So you d NOT give all your dirty clothes to her haha. Only some. And you wear each skirt, and each shirt at least 4 or five times before anyone thinks you MIGHT need to wash it. It´s a little different, and I don´t like it so I wash mine a little more, but yea. I can wash cothes by hand now! Like a pro. I could be a proffessional clothes washer............I could be but I think I´ll stick with my career in communications and art. 
     Well that´s all for this week folks. I still haven´t figured out how to make this thing type a hashtag......I can see it! It´s one of the three symbols on the 3...but when press shift and 3 it does nothing. Oh well. I´ll survive....and suffer...JK. I´m happy! SOOOO fantastically happy! 

Hermana Alex Johnson

San Felipe

Inside a museum in Santiago
more museum... stunning. 

Santiago Temple

In front of the Temple Doors

Chilean Dress

Apparently she is a giant... or her companion shrunk. LOL! 

Calderón family with the Hermanas!

A little fun!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Randomness Galore!

Hola hola!! 
Wow. What a week....longer actually!! I don´t even know where to start. Half because so much happened, and half because I don´t remember like any of it and I forgot my little notes that I wanted to mention in my letter. Let´s think...
Okay. Let´s start with the kinda sucky stuff first. C*** is supposed to be baptized on the 13th of this month, but she told us that she didn´t want to anymore. We don´t quite know what to do, but we´re praying that she continues to read and pray (which she does diligently) and that she remembers how she felt when she first decided to. E***. She was supposed to come to conferencia with us, but she didn´t answer her door. And when we went back again for the last session, we heard that she was there, but she still wouldn´t answer. So I don´t know what´s up with her there, but that kinda sucks. 
     Speaking of which, guess who watched 8 hours of conference in Spanish!? MEEE! Guess who understood it all!? NOT MEEE!! Hahaha....well I understood enough. And Elder Holland was so loud that if I tried really hard, I could hear him in English. So I have lots of notes from his talk haha. It was a blessing, cause that was one that hit home for me. But I understood quite a bit in general. I loved conference. We sat with two recent converts, M*** and R***. M*** is an older blind man. He´s married to R***, who has two sons P*** and Ri***. P*** has some problems with drugs, so he´s having a hard time right now. He also has a problem with touching people...or rather, he can´t refrain himself from trying to give us a hug every single time. I told him know and he grabbed my cheek. At that point, I said "P**lito! Pare!!" He laughed...but then he saw the look on my face. Let´s just say it was like intense mom look. Like I was mom, and P*** had just eaten the last carmel kiss. No no no no. Malo. Yea. R*** is struggling with smoking. But we literally took all of her tobacco and dumped it last night. So there´s THAT. Ri*** is always super entusiastic and diligent about everything church related. It´s super sweet, and he´s a great example to his family. We taught a lesson and we talked for a long time about how they can´t say a bunch of mean things to each other anymore, and how they need to say ¨I love you" to each other everyday. They need more love. We´re going to clean their house for them! It´s a surprise service project. Only M*** knows. We figured it´d give them a new environment and whatnot. Plus it´s one less thing they have to worry about! R*** DOES have a baptism date for the 20th. She was doubting a little bit last night, but I know she can do this. She´s an amazing woman.
     For mom´s info, we´re in the Los Andes Norte Zona. It´s freaking beautiful. There´s no other words to describe it. 
We had a training meeting on Friday, and it was so great to see Hermana Richins! It was a pretty chill training meeting. It was a nice break. The only bad part, is that we were told that next time our trainer doesn´t come with us. I don´t know how THAT´S gonna work....seeing that I can't speak spanish..oh well!! I´ll figure it out! Hopefully I don´t end up in Antofagasta or something haha. 
     I read Jared´s April Fools mail. WOOOOW. Drag ME into it!! Stinker haha. I did write him a letter that morning! KACHOW. That´s called AWESOMENESS right there...
...dang this stupid computer won´t let me do hashtags!!! GAH. And I have SO many opprotunities for sarcastic remarks with hashtags dangit! Oh well. It can be a mediocre letter. ...with love. 
     Speaking of which, thank you so much for the letters, info, and PACKAGE! ...(not that any of those things were mediocre, I was just on the topic of mail haha)  Got my dear elders yesterday. We get them every tuesday after district meeting. So it probably gets to chile quick, but I don´t get it for a while. 
    The package was unexpected but I loved it. Super cute. Wearing my green shirt right now!
 It´s comf-comf-comfy! Wanna know what else I´m wearing? A skirt...but this skirt is special. It´s cause it´s broken. Okay! STORY TIME! We got to go to the temple today, which was awesome by the way. I got a thing to listen to in english but 20 miniutes in, I realized I´d turned the volume down and was listening to the spanish anyways. So I took it off and did fine. But back to the story!! We were on the bus headed to santiago and they´d already made me sing, and we´d sung as a group and blah blah blah...anyways. I went to stand up to say something and Hermana Parkinson YANKED my shirt down in the back. I was totally confused...but carried on. When I sat down, she explained the situation. The zipper had broken. Literally BROKE. So I´m sitting writing this email with a skirt that is buttoned at the top and barely touches my knees (cause I had to pull it up so I could cover a gaping whole over my rear...) ANYWAYS, good thing I had this shirt and my super long cardigan cause that pretty much saved me. ...It´s Hermana Water´s skirt. I don´t even know how it happened...probably I´ve been eating too much good chilean food...but I HAVE TO because they LITERALLY whine if you don´t eat all...and THEN gtet more. I seriously can NOT eat it ever. They all laugh at me, cause Hermana Parkinson (the champ) ALWAYS eats it all. Don´t ask me how. She´s tiny. But she does it. 
      Who want´s to hear about my mono! ..not me. lame. But I know mom does, so here´s the jist of it! We walk EVERYWHERE. My legs don´t hurt, but my ankles and knees do. We walked a good 5 miles yesterday. Minimum. Oh well! It´s fun. We get to sing, and talk to people...and if it´s too far we ride the bus, which is cheap to take. Anyways, I wasn´t drinking water. Because the more you carry, the more your back hurts. Dumb I know. So I got somre really bad headaches...and my head was super cold and ...yea. That´s not the mono part. No throat pains, but I was seriously falling asleep everywhere. And I coud NOT walk fast for the life of me. So Sister Essig told me to eat healthier breakfasts, and to sleep an extra half an hour in the morning and at night. I managed one morning...there´s just so much to do! And today we went to the temple so we had to wake up at like 5! BUT The rest of the week calms down so I´ll be able to get a little more sleep. 
     As for the singing still cracks me up. Me having some ability really is a blessing for them though. SO I´ll try to help as often as I can! 
     Door approaches are non existent here. We don´t do door least so far. It´s honestly like not even possible. There are fences around every building. We yell HAAALLLOOOOOO really loud when we want someone to come to the FENCE hahaha. And they will NOT let you in if they don´t know you...not even if you´re waiting for another person that actually lives here. They have mega problems with robbers. I don´t wear necklaces because so many people have literally had someone come up to them and grab it OFF their neck. Basically I´d rather be safe than look cuter. 
     Basically I´m in love with Chile. The people, the comida (most of it) EMPÑADA´S!! OH THE GLORY!! They´re the freaking bomb....gosh...I need a scale. 
     But that´s beside the point. In all seriousness...I love it here. I love everything. It´s so differnet...and that´s probably one of the reasons I love it so much. But dang, it´s fantastic. It´s a blessing  because I haven´t been sad about being here or discouraged. I´m just soaking EVERYTHING in while I have a chance. Plus, I don´t know if I´ll ever be able to be near this area that sure motivates me to act like a sponge...accept a really CLEAN sponge. Cause I soak in only good stuff!!...that´s a lie. I´m a filthy mess every night. Okay. You get my picture. I love you.
AND sorry but no  pics this week. I forgot my card reader and my chord. Dang I know, but y'all will survive. 
With love,
Hermana Alexandra Johnson

(Many have asked why the *** are edited into the names of people... It's respect their privacy. - Lisa)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Some photos from the Santiago North Mission Blog

I may not have a letter to post this week because Alex is attending the Temple with her Zone. They have a long bus ride from San Felipe to The Santiago Temple.  Her normal P-day is probably not today and she may not have time to even check her email.

After the loooooong flight to Chile. 

Pres. and Herm. Essig with the Trio. Hermana Johnson, Hermana Waters, Hermana Parkinson.

Here is where she is going this week.
Such a beautiful temple!

Monday, April 1, 2013


It´s true. Here I am. In Chile. Yes I´m crazy, but we all already knew that. Didn´t we HA. Don´t laugh at that. Okay...focusing cause there´s a lot to say!! 
I am in a trio! My companions are Hermana Waters and Hermana Parkinson. We rock. There´s nothing more to say than that in all honesty! We work so well together it´s fantastic! Hermana Waters is from Nicaragua and is 26. (She doesn't speak much English) Oh she is just a DOLL. Hermana Parkinson was in the MTC with me, but not the same district. Man. We´re a rock star of a group! Speaking of which!! This Sunday we sung in Sacrament meeting. We had one night to prepare haha. It was for Diá de Gloriá. SO. They needed singers...
Hermana Waters found out that I can play piano. So I am now the ward pianist. JOY. Just a JOY isn´t it haha! Also ironic, Hermana Waters heard me singing. She FREAKED OUT. She thought I was a superstar from the US. No joke. She asked me if I had a CD...or if I could please make one. I had to explain that it´s not as easy as it seems to just be big in the US haha. But she loves my voice...and because of that, she tells everyone about it. Everyone. I´m not kidding. Every lesson I´ve had to sing. Generally she makes me sing amazing grace cause I can manipulate a lot with that song. I´ve made some members cry. When she had me sing in coordination for the bishop and elders, he loved it. Just loved it! Elder Hoff said in his email: "I hate to say this, but South Americans can´t sing. To put it bluntly, my branch sounds like 100 Helen Kellers singing a funeral march. It is really that bad." I hate to say it as well, but it is sort of true. I think it´s because they talk with their tongue forward, and therefore they sing that way too. It´s hard for them to adjust. Anyways, they cry when I sing. ...It´s probably because I´m so bad but I like to think that they just love the spirit of music. I always sing songs that bring the spirit for them so I´m going to say it´s because of that. 
The bishop is absolutely amazing! Well the people in general! The people in Chile are fantastic. Very loving. On my birthday we ate lunch at the bishops house. They literally have over 100 chickens. yea. And they had a goat named Sarah!...who they were fattening up to eat. But she was cute! Their house was SUPER PRETTY. They had grapes growing in the front and back, a bunch of oranges in the front, and they also had rows and rows of walnut trees. (we have uvas in our backyard too. ..yea. just right outside the window) But anyways, something cool! I have a Pololo here in Chile!´s Chilean for Novio. ..boyfriend. Don´t get your alkhglkasdñl hañfljalsdjfl about it, lemme explain. My pololo is Hueso. He is the bishops dog. Perro. I will send you a picture of him. For the record, he IS a puppy. 4 and a 1/2 months. Super lindo yea!? 
Yes. It´s true. They do NOT speack Spanish here. They speak Chilean. I can mostly understand what they´re saying though! I learn more and more Spanish every day. It´s amazing!! Such a blessing! 

I had an experience with our new investigator. Her name is E***. She is a doll! She really can identify the spirit! I was prompted to give her the marking pen in my backpack. My green one...the good one´s that I sent you! I really liked it...but I started pulling it out. And she then started talking about how she LOVES the Book of Mormon but it is frustrating for her because she feels like she cannot remember anything that she reads! The things the likes! I was like..." ya go!" She was so happy haha. 
Also, S***o. He loves to talk. And he loves to talk fast. For those of you who don´t know, Chileans ALREADY talk fast...AND they drop all the ´s at the end..and a lot of d´s. He talks like a racecar is going off in his mouth. So it was a little hard to understand him haha...but he is a miracle! The missionaries hadn´t been able to get a hold of him for months, but then SHABAM! He was home! and what´s great is that there was a member WITH HIM helping him with internent! Check one for lessons taught with a member! And, because we are in a trio, we are able to go into anybody´s house. Even if it´s just one man. It´s a blessing. It really is. 

My Birthday and Easter were so amazing. It´s weird to think that I´m in Chile!! But I really did have a great birthday! Hermana Waters was amazed that Mom made the card and the bow, which were absolutely precious! LOVED THEM!!!

The food is SOO good here! Super rich and just absolutely delicious. Oh the bread!! The juice! THE FRUIT! Oh my...yum. Always fresh. Even the meat. Lots of people have their own chickens so they just ...ya know, and cook those suckas up and num num! Also, I´ve yet to have something absolutely impossible to eat. The worst was atun (tuna)...with corn and mayo on pasta. But I did eat half! Yay for Alex!! ...I mean Hermana!! ..they do keep all the milk and eggs on the dry shelves though. That´s a little weird. oh well!! I´m adjusting okay!

Okay. Here´s the sitch with the house! It´s small. We have no furniture, besides our beds in the bedroom, a desk to study on in the back, and a closet. We don´t have an oven, and our stove is like a camping stove attatched to a gas tank. If we want hot water we have to light this thing ...I don´t even know what it´s called. But we need gass. ...well I was taking a shower last night and suddenly the water was cold. I turned it off and Hermana Waters checked to see what happened. We are out of gas. My hair was SOAKED in soap. I took the coldest shower imaginable. Yea. They laughed while I shrieked on occasion haha. 

Lots of people stare at me. What they said about me fitting in...falso. Maybe because my sector is San Felipe. OH YEA! I´m in San Felipe! 2 hours away from Santiago. It´s definitely not as populated. More countryside. Super pretty though!! Gorgous!! Anyways, lots of men make comments. Hermana Waters rolls her eyes and we walk away. She is my mamá here. I am the Nina and Hermana Parkinson is the guagua. Sometimes Hermana Waters starts to walk SUPER FAST...almost run. That means we do the same. Generally its when we are around robbers or flietas. ...I think that´s how you spell it (gangsters). Anyways yea. We´re out till 10 at can be a little sketch, but Hermana Waters knows what´s safe. I just lister to her! 

A lot of people think I´m related to a member of the 70. I have to explain that my name is super common. ...Like Perez here. They´re disappointed haha.

Anyways. I´m out of time. I love you all!!! 
Hermana Alex Johnson

Sarah the Goat... AKA next month's dinner.

Hueso... her pololo. 

With Her trainer, Hermana Waters.

Hermana Waters, Hermana  Parkinson, Hermana Johnson.

What she has to light to get hot water for a shower.

Their beds... Alex's is the one on the far left. 

So many grapes!

Apparently she likes the bow I made for her Birthday.

Another note that came with the photos...

I don´t have like...ANY MORE TIME: I have no time to send any more pictures....I LOVE YOU!!! and I have more pics for later. You´re in my thoughts often and my prayers often. I´m working my butt off!!! WAHOO!!!

...and I´m always dirty haha. So dusty here. It´s hot..but I haven´t been burnt. And I´m already used to it. I´m so blessed!!! 

Played in sacrament....and I bore my testimony!
...what else did I forget!?
I have no problem sleeping. I´m so tired that I conk out like a light every night. 
and yes. Dirt floor style....and we have it GOOD. some people ACTUALLY have the dirt floors. The people in chile are all super loving and humble. I love it!

and we had a miracle! We have only A**** with a baptism date, but we have two more people who told us they want to be baptized. TOLD US. in our sector. SO!! I think we´re gonna have a SUPER GOOD MONTH! no...I KNOW
love you, bye