Monday, May 27, 2013

A Week of Attacks

You heard say the LEAST, I´ve had quite an interesting week. 
So let´s start from the beginning: 
Attack 1: Creeper Guy 
So we went to contact a reference. He lives close to our Mamita, and we had already visited him twice. He happened to be there this time and we were excited! He agreed to let us teach him, but his family was busy, so we walked across the street to a little plaza of sorts, sat on a bench, and there we began. As we talked I noted several things: He looked at Hermana Ceccon like he was going to eat her. He asked us if he could spend Monday taking us to do fun things, or make us dinner. He asked if we needed anything. He asked a lot of about our phone number...and where we live. He was super intelligent  and SUPER creepy. During this time, that we´re still teaching, I honestly wanted to JET. I felt BAD and did NOT have the spirit with me. We left, declining a ride to the house from him, and I explained my feelings. We kind of just let it be, but we still had our next lesson with him. I didn´t have the power to talk about it anymore so I just walked, very stiff, through the street. I planned exercises that would build my strength, and I prayed. My companions asked how I was and I ..I don´t even know what came over me but I burst. I cried like I cried when I found out that Zack, in Bones was the one eating the people with the bad guy. I KNOW that it was the spirit because I don´t think I would´ve said anything if I hadn´t have been so overcome like that. So overall  it was super creepy. But it also ended up okay and we haven´t heard from him since. 
Attack 2: Intercambios
Oh yes...This week I did intercambios with our coordinating sister. The last time we did them I went to their house, but this time Hermana Edwards went. So we had a change of trainer for a bit and that ..well it was a little weird. They´re both great trainers, but definitely different. I learned a lot and it was good, but that doesn´t mean it was easy. 
Attack 3: Talk About a Shack
I live in a shack. Hermana Edwards says that it´s like...legitemately the worse house that she´s lived it. And this week, it just got worse. Lemme tell you what we have goin on. We have a shower that is NOT hot...and when it IS hot, it´s because you have it running in DROPS....there´s definitely mold now too in the shower. The door doesn´t shut. The oven consistently burts in to we just avoid using it as much as we can haha. The light in the bedroom hasn´t worked. The electricity is totally broken. Thursday it was going out every 10 minutes..and we had only one fan running for heat. That´s the other thing. It´s freezing. Hermana Edwards says it´s the coldest she´s lived in...and we´re not REALLY even into winter yet. Oh my...Basically it was already bad, but now it´s just worse. We live in a broken house. And for me, I´m okay with it. I worry about other things and it doesn´t end up being SO bad. Its hard at times, but it´s not gonna be forever. So I suck it up and think of it like I´m camping. That I´m on this extended camping trip in Chile and it´s super legit cause I don´t have to sleep in a tent!  
Attack 4: Landlocked
This week we had lots of days without work. And guess what? It wasn´t cause I was sick! haha...not that it´s funny, just slightly ironic. Well, besides monday night. We walked around a lot and so by the end, I crashed. We went to plaza of Armas in Santiago and Hermana Edwards bought some cool stuff for her family. But it was a lot of walking. The other days, Hermana Edwards got sick ...I think the stomach flu, and Hermana Ceccon had some really bad back problems. I haven´t had issues with my ankle as of late, but the matress I have is just wires so that hasn´t helped my body much haha. But our numbers this week aren´t the greatest cause...well cause we like 2 or three days were we did almost nothing. I hated it to.I wanted to work sooo bad! But I couldn´t leeaaavvee cause I have to have my companions.  So I painted, read Jesus the Christ, cleaned and weeded the front yard..oh and I taught my companions how to play Don´t Eat Pete. We ate a lot. 
Attack 5: The Money Eater
What happened to my mission money this month I have no idea. I think with all the braces and random stuff I had to buy, Mr. Money Eater just ate it. Right now I have like 3 dollars in my account. We also have to pay 20 mil, 40 dollars, to our mission mom since she washes all our clothes, and makes lunch for us three times a week. We didn´t have to do that in San it´s a little different. Basically it´s kind of funny. AND it´s not just me. Neither Hermana Edwards, or Hermana Ceccon have money in their accounts. We talked the Finance Elder and he´s gonna start giving us 20 mil MORE every month to make up for the cost of what we have to pay to our Mamita. PHEW. But for now, I´m eating crackers and herbal tea every night for dinner (which is okay right now since the lunches are so big).
Attack 6: Home?
I forgot to say! So we went to this really cool place on Pday. While we were there we happened to run into STARBUCKS. So of course I HAD to order something legit. CREAMY STRAWBERRY DELISHIOUSNESS. It was so weird seeing starbucks in Santiago...SO weird. We ran into a mcodnalds, and Hermana Ceccon HAD to have THAT so it was just funny. Monday was SO far from home, and sooo close all at the same time. I also looked through all the pics I have and reread some letters since I had time that night. I thought about home at random times this week...honestly I would just look at something and think WOAH! HOME! so It was just interesting. I haven´t been too home sick, but this week was just different in that sense.  
Attack 7: Rock Bottom
Yep. I´ve hit it. That´s the honest truth. I´ve hit rock bottom in a lot of ways. I´m tired, I´m sore, the language is officially frustrating, and it´s just hard to have a bad week. We had problems with numbers, investigators...we had problems with the house...and I just had problems with myself. Here´s the good news about this situation...I´ve hit the bottom. I can´t sink any lower, and know I only have one direction to go: UP.

I´m still here, and I ...somewhat surprisingly, still love it. I know this is where I´m supposed to be and I´m putting in everything I´ve got.  
Love you! 
Hermana Alex Johnson

Apparently she is staying warm while she rests. I, mom, am thinking that she needs to put some tights or something on to keep warm too!

Don't Eat Pete... great game for just having a bit of fun... looks like she had fun drawing the board.

With ?

Being silly

Something tasty

Not sure what's in this photo. Maybe a street performer?
Apparently they like JB a LOT in Chile.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Let´s just put it simply: This Week Was the BOMB

Just a quick reminder/ note... Alex wont see this blog or her FB page until she returns from her mission in Aug 2014. We, her family choose to share some of her letters home here so that you, her friends and family, can easily know how she is doing. She LOVES to get letters!

Now... on to the good stuff!

Wow. I feeeeelllll llaaaazzzzy. This whole week has been absolutely amazing! Which means that right now...I´m absolutely EXHAUSTED. I´m always tired, but it´s more right now. It´s a good thing today is prep day. 

We had a really good day yesterday. It was a lot of hard work and a lot of fun, and I can honestly say that that´s the BEST combination like...ever haha. We have a progressing investigator now! F***. She is super sweet! Sometimes she struggles with commitments, but we read with her a lot and she got up and came to church and everything! 

Yesterday we found a new investigator. Her name is N*** and she has a son named M***. He is ABSOLUTELY adorable!! I convinced my companions to do some contacting by knocking on doors. So we eventually came to her house and of course she said that she was busy cleaning and what not, but as we kept talking to her she was like...oh come in! And then LITERALLY showed us her whole house. The rooms, what she does for work...who does that!? Apparently she does and that´s okay! Because she talked about some really great stuff and we were able to help her and share lesson one. It was honestly really awesome. Also, her son (who´s 4) is a fanatic of Cars. So we´re obviously already best friends. 

We rocked lessons with members and for less actives this week...and contacts. We recived what seems like a bajillion referencias and it´s been super great to have them! We worked HARD. We also spent a day in the house, that wasn´t pday so that´s really good....well not good, but we worked hard. Gah I´m tired. Okay so Hermana Ceccon had her turn to get sick. She slept for like 15 hours straight. It was kinda funny, but she obviously needed it. While she was sleeping for like 5 or 6 hours, Hermana Edwards and I talked. THE WHOLE TIME. And yes...we talked in English. And I do NOT regret it one little bit. It was the only REAL break I´ve had from speaking Spanish this whole time and it was a much needed breath of fresh air. I also feel like we are a lot closer now. We know lots about each other, and it was a fun like...´bonding´ moment of sorts. I learned that "if you´re frustrated, don´t get mad. It´s your fault for not explaining." 

Mom... are you working with the missionaries? PLEASE HELP THEM. They totally need your help. Also, and this is for everyone HANNAH, PEPPER, AND ELLA TOO...y´all HAVE to share the gospel with everyone! You have friends at school that could be searching for the truth. You know people that need an extra hand in something  If you REALLY love the people that you know, the people you work with, neighbors, your best friends, you´re gonna share the gospel. And the missionaries have SOOO much more success when you help them. When you tell them about a person that need s something, that has a question...ANYTHING. We helped clean a house the other day...just because we saw the need and were like, well why NOT? there´s NO reason! All of you are missionaries. Answer the call. 

This week I had intercambios. ...honestly THAT is weird to think about. Feels like I had intercambios an eternity ago. I was with Hermana Richins and Hermana Fife in their ward. It was really fun...three straight gringas walking around trying to understand what´s going on. I didn´t even know the city so I really wasn´t much help at all. We ended up walking around alot, so I had to stay with a member a couple of hours the next day to rest my ankle..but it really was a good learning experience. It was interesting to see that we all work so differently. Missionary work is done just a little differently, or a lot differently it seems sometimes, within every companionship.

We´re going into winter here so while you guys are getting all toasty warm, I´m blow drying my toes and walking around with a cars sheet everywhere in the house. I also look like a marshmallow quite often while in the street. OH! I just remembered something cool happened this week! We were buying pan, walking through the ...well it´s like a flea market, and SHABAM! A storm hits. We RAN home. It poured and the streets were flooded like a no time at all. There was lighting and thunder GALORE. It was a little scary, but we took some pics, ate our bread and cheese (dinner) and then we went out and worked. Obviously we took our umbrellas and bundled up a little more. It was super fun...I even have a really hilarious picture of when Hermana Edwards was giving me a piggy back ride accross the biggest puddle ever. I was in a not very stretchy skirt and had to hike myself up so it was pretty funny. 

Overall my health has been fine. I´ve been tired and what not, but that´s just part of the life. I´m working my hardest everyday of my life. 
I´m expecting more letters. 

Love you! 
Hermana Alex Johnson

Alex with her companions... Hermana Ceccon and Hermana Edwards
"After getting home in the middle of a rain storm."

"Turtle TURTLE! Just for Ella. He´s so smmaaalll!"

"This is how we do it. I´m eating pan and Queso Creama! mmmm"

Lenko, Renzo, and Felipe! We´re pretty legit. Fun fam! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Para: lo maximo MAMÁ en TODO el mundo!

This week´s letter is dedicated to mom. Because obviously yesterday was mothers day. And obviously I have the best mom in the world. 
Yesterday was awesome. Sorry that ya' ll had to see me cry like a baby, but you don´t even know how much I miss you guys sometimes. To be COMPLETELY honest, when I have the hardest times I think of you guys. I sing a song and think of Mom. I read the scriptures and think of Dad. I doodle or paint and think of Hannah. I cook something obscure or make something and think of Pepper. I dance like a goof and freak out like a tornado...and obviously think of Ella haha. But honestly. You guys are amazing and I thank my lucky stars that I was blessed with the best family in the world. 
AND MOM. Do you know how legit you are? Lets just say that you´re seriously awesomely and magically the most magnificent woman and example in the whole entire world. You´re gonna love you package and letter...when I send it. ....In another week. Better late than never right!?
The other day, as you heard, we had lunch with a member of the 70. Elder Garcia. (G. Guillermo Garcia of the Seventh Quorum of the Seventy, an Area Seventy)  Don´t know how long he has been a member of the 70 but it was cool. We ate lunch and then I shared my spiritual message with him. 2 Nephi 2:11. I thought it was pretty legit haha. 
Now. Quilicura. Lets just say that it is REALLY different haha. How to explain it?? I really don´t know because you can´t really relate CHILE to the US. You just can´t haha...but Quilicura is more like a city. Like Bellingham maybe. Cars, supermarkets...they actually have FOOD and THINGS in the stores and what not lol. We still walk´s a really BIG sector, lo marcoleta, but at the same time it´s definitely smaller than San Felipe 3. San Felipe is definitely a country...not so much with like farms and animals, but with vineyards and DIRT. It was a longshot, and so I miss it a little bit. Anacortes too haha. But Quilicura has more people to contact and more places to BUY things so every place has it´s pros and cons. 
The weather here is starting to get cold. It´s always cold in the mornings and at night, but now it´s not scolding hot in the middle of the day. It´s cold enough to wear my big jacket at least. And I am TOTALLY okay with it haha. I would rather it be cold than super hot...hopefully I don´t die during the summer here. BUUUUTTT...I don´t need to worry about that right now anyways considering I could easily die of frostbite during the WINTER here. 
The people in San Felipe were a lot more there´s more "Chilean gangsters" ...called flites here. But the members of the ward are really awesome here! 
Let me just say something really quick: Mom. You´re right. You always have been, and I´m pretty sure you always will be haha. 
Exact obedience brings forth miracles. Totally LEGIT miracles, and I know now that I can´t afford to lose ANY of those miracles. 
After talking with all ya´ll yesterday, I was a totally trunky. It was really hard to stop and head back to work...especially when I was crying for a long time afterwards. I don´t know why in the world I´m crying so much more lately. Stink! But yea. It was amazing to talk to you guys though. We have a long drought till Christmas, but I know we´ll make it. I love you! 
Siempre con amor,
Hermana Alex Johnson

PS. Mom is right about EVERYTHING.

Her San Felipe Companions... she misses them.

Graffiti in San Felipe

With her new companions in Quilicura, Hermana Edwards and Hermana Ciccon...

Apparently they have a lot of fun!

With ward friends!

Stepping up and serving at a ward activity.

With the Ortiz Family.
The boys of the Gonzalz Family. hey play super well!! They can basically do everything because all of their family is super smart. 

With her MTC companion... Hermana Richins! She is in the same area as Alex!

"panqueques...with a carmel spread. It´s like nutella...but Carmel. I´ll send you some eventually mom haha"

Her "legit" tag!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Talk About Changes

Yep. A lot of changes happened this last week. To start off I´m emailing you on a really bad computer that has broken keyes. This letter will not be very long haha. 
I´m also in Quiticura, my new sector. I have two new companions: Hermana Edwards and...actually I don´t remember my other companions name. HNA Edwards is my gringa trainer and the other missionary has the same amount of time in Chile as me. She´s from Argentina. So that's a big change that happened. 
We said goodbyes and that was really hard yesterday. Of course there was a lot of crying. 
Cute little toto de mamita and papita was crying in the car on the way home. 
Connie, a convert member that works with us often, is amazing. She´s a great example and needs to serve a mission. 

 I was seriously sad to leave San Felipe. Ya know...if you talk to your companion more openly about a problem, a problem that can be resolved together, you´re gonna have a lot more success. She (trainer) said before that I shouldn´t worry about playing for the ward because that´s not my responsibility as a missionary. I addressed the issue that helping the ward IS my problem, and that the bishop asked for help. How I WANTED to help all that I could. This week I sung at a baptism, played prelude and whatnot for the ward, and honestly...we had a lot more success this week than before. We helped the ward, and the ward helped us. People who we didn´t expect to talk with we were able to talk with and teach. 
R*** has a baptism date!!!!! LEGIT! We visited her and she´s was trying on her own, without our knowledge, to quit smoking. She works SO MUCH every day, and has just an hour for lunch. She told us that she eats for half an hour and for the other half she reads The Book of Mormon. She told us about her testimony. She said that she doesn´t like some things in our church but that she knows LDM is true and that she always finds peace when she reads it. And for that, she´s ready to be baptized. You can literally SEE how happy she is right now!! And what´s ironic about it all? Her  life is harder now than before. Pa*** still is on drugs, R*** is sick and struggling too because all the attention is for his brother, and M*** is drinking now. ...We could smell it on him in one of the lessons. PUCHA. We read the story of Job with her though. She loved that a lot.  

Pa*** proposed to me. I said no. Then he did it again, but as a condition for AFTER the mission. I said no again. Then he grabbed my hand and  got down on his knees. I gave him a look and didn´t say anything and apparently that worked better. He didn´t ask again. 
There was a group of men who walked by and were yelling all sorts of stuff at us. When we walked by them they yelled a couple more things...and then all at the same time, Hermana Waters, hermana Parkinson, and I all turned and pretend burped at them. Well Hermana Parkinson´s burp was real lol. They stopped yelling things at us though lol!! 
We had a ward activity and they asked me to sing 10 minutes before it started. I ended up singing the first verse of amazing grace. They loved it and the spirit was there so nothing else matters haha!! 
So my health. It´s better. My stomach is doing better...stupid colon! Dr. Perez said that I literally can´t eat mustard for a year. WOOOOOWWW. Lame sauce...well mustard is actually awesome sauce but you get the picture. I also can´t eat A LOT of food! WALA! condiments are a no no and a lot of salt also. I have to eat super healthy, and I´m sure okay with that!! ...and fish with mayo. We had that twice this week and GUESS WHO DIDN¨T HAVE TO EAT IT!!! MUHAHAHAHA!! My stupid colon is a miracle of a blessing I tell ya!! 
There´s two soccer teams here: Colo Colo and La U. La U is the best. Dad can look them up or what not but definitely the best. The mascot is an owl. 
Honestly, This week is going to be interesting. A lot of new stuff. I have so much to do and so much more to learn. Hermana Waters said that she thinks I´m going to train my next transer. I hope not. I´m not ready for that! But always, the Lord´s will be done. I love it here and I love helping and teaching the people of Chile. I promise I´m trying my best.
Always  in my prayers,
Hermana Alexandra Johnson
The San Felipe Hermanas with Elder viagran. Elder anderson. MY FRIIIEENDS!


San Felipe... Adios!

investigators!! SUPER SWEET! A*** and C***