Friday, January 23, 2015

Chau 6 Months

I hit my 6 months mark this past week. The sweet Hermanas in my house set up some decorations and ice cream for a surprise. I had actually forgotten about it but it is super lame that those six months are already gone. But I have all of 2015 to enjoy The Gringa Life still :) 

 So I said I would talk about Johnathan so I gotta talk about him first. He is 24 and is super smart. He has the best questions that make us really study and really prepare to teach him. We contacted him my first or second day in Nonguen. He just walked by us in the street. My comp was looking for a house number and even though he had already passed by a good 7 steps I turned around and just said Hola! We got to talking and every question he answered with a porfavor. 

Could we pass by another day and share more?
Is it okay if we write down your address?
And your number?

Could we actually set up an appointment right now?

It was pretty funny. We referred to him as please boy until we learned his name. And we were a little caught off guard with how anxious he was to talk with us and be so willing. We were not sure if his intentions were to really learn more or what. But in our first lesson he told us how he had always wanted to talk to the missionaries but was always nervous to go up to them and for that he was super super excited we finally stopped him to talk. He came to church 2 Sundays ago and left with even more great questions. He was out of town all last week and returned Sunday night. But we have been in contact with him over the phone and he is still studying and praying and wants to go back to church. Hay poder en hablar con TODOS! 

Nancy is just full of miracles. Her boss gave her 3 weeks off of work in between the changes in her work schedule. So we see her a lot. She went from hardly being able to talk to us without crying to not being able to talk to us without laughing. Even though she has listened to the missionaries before there is a huge difference now she says. Before she never did her part. She said she would participate in lessons but when they would leave she would never read or pray or think twice about anything. 

Now we can hardly teach her without her beating us to the scriptures that we wanted to use. We will turn to the scriptures and she will cut in and say, "Are you thinking of this scripture?" or "That scripture is such a great one isn't it.  I read it as I was preparing for you all to come." And I just laugh and smile at her every time she does it. 

Her relationships with her family has gotten so much better too. Her daughter and her are in contact again for the first time in a while. The blessings from living the gospel have no limits. She went from smoking 8 cigars one day to 0 the next and ever since. 10 cups of coffee per day to 2 and then 0. She basically threw her coffee mix to us when we asked for it. She was so ready to be done with it all. Keep praying for Nancy and the 31st! 

Guess what!! I learned how to sing Happy Birthday in Portuguese! And I taught my comp how to sing the happy birthday version of you look like a monkey and smell like one too! She loves that the ward calls me barbie because I am still Mckenzie and my burps tend to be every

time one slips out she just laughs and says, "Ha! My Barbie" :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Our sector did a complete 180 this past week. After feeling pretty frustrated with the amount of people we were teaching my comp and I made a giant list of the incomplete families in our ward. And by doing so we made a huge list of people we needed to visit and start teaching and reactivating with the goal of trying to complete families. We have not finished the list yet but the results show every Sunday when we wait for people to come through the church doors...... and to summarize our results, I may have had a few tears fall this  past Sunday morning.
1) Hermana Humilde and su esposo came to church for the first time in 6 years! In 6 years! So much courage and change. And she said the closing prayer! :)
2) We found Hermana Nacy this past week. She had investigated the church over 6 months ago or so. We were following up on some references that we had asked for from a member of the church se llama Hermana Gladis. She is this sweet grandma who notices everything good about herself. That is the best way to sum her up kindly :) When we found Nacy she could not even talk to us without crying. She developed depression over the past years. Her husband died about 2 years ago and her kids who are grown do not visit her. She is lonely did not have the energy to make her bed or fold her clothes or get out of the bed on most days. And she does not leave her house. It was so hard to see her that way. I went over and sat on the arm rest of her chair and just hugged her as we listened to her cry. We sang to her and  shared what we could to help her heart feel better that day. The 2nd day we went over  she was in a pretty skirt with music on in her house and had her bag of all the books and pamphlets that she had once received from missionaries out and was studying. She said she felt 20 times better after our visit and that she prayed. She has such a strong testimony in who she is. A daughter of God. Hermana Gladis saw us heading that way and followed us. She walked in the door during our lesson and while Hermana Nacy continued to share about her life Hermana Gladis said, "You know what, when you get baptized all of this, well, just goes away, you will be good girl, wanna do that?" You can imagine the eyes of my comp and me but she accept a date for baptism, prayed for her answer and received it the Saturday night before church. And she was so stink-in happy in church! Showing off her shoes which matched her blouse. She is so excited to make friends in the church. Pray for Nacy and her baptism date on the 31st!
3) Se llama Johnathan! You all will get to hear about him next week! Another investigator in the church this past week!
The ward here calls me Hermana Barbie Doll....but that is not the worst part. They named another Elder Ken...annnnnd the member who started it  is an Elder in the quorum of the 70s. Que horrible.

The pictures are from a part member family. Her husband is in the military and she dressed us up in the get-up of Chile! Her daughter is the only member in their family, but rock solid. Ojala we will see that go somewhere. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


So much has changed just from moving sectors about 40 minutes apart no mas.

1. I have never walked so much in one week. There was no progressing work when I got here and we were just trying to find people to teach. When we would go out in the afternoon we would be in the street finding for probably 4 out of the 6 hours in the heat. Which brings me to point number 2.
2. It is so much more dang hot here! Without the sea we get hardly any breeze. And there are mountains all around us! So we are like one big heat hole! So that means I have just the cutest tan lines from my shoes.
3. My companion is from Brazil!! How cool! She is the only sister missionary from Brazil in our mission. She finishes her mission in March and is super super kind! She is 20 and she actually trained my comp from the MTC. So hey now I am learning a bit of Portuguese. And a bit really means a bit! But still it is a lot of fun.
4. Our ward in the church is so loving! De hecho! A member of the 70 is in our ward. I am the 2nd Gringa they have EVER had in Nonguen so that throws a lot of attention my way, but is is all part of The Gringa life here in Chile!
So even though it is pretty dry here physically and with trying to find people to teach we did find Miguel. He is the husband of a less active. He is awesome. He is super afraid of commitments...pretty typical Chilean actually. But he told us the Book of Mormon is true since he has started reading just this past week, that the people are real and that is the best part. And that the power is incredible that is has and the things he learns from every single page. He will be a slow one but he loves to learn. He always has the seats all set up for us ready before we come and has friends in the church already so we just have to get him to put his faith to work! He loves the prophet Nephi in the scriptures. He said when he read about Nephi and how it says he is large in stature he first thought of me.....too funny. They call me altita which means little tall-y. Oh oh! And one more thing about Miguel. Every time we start a lesson he always asks if there are going to be testimonies because that is his favorite part, too feel the power of them.
Oh, and Happy New Years! We spent ours with a nice family from the church and took goofy pictures with costumes and confetti.  But other than that I am just trying to learn the streets and families here. It was a long week but I am excited for the next!

Hermana Mckenzie Lance 

Saying goodbye to my friends and love ones in Lirquen.