Monday, April 30, 2018

White Wash

Well, it was a good week here in our sector! Even though we were a little bit lost ha-ha! We were basically in white wash this week in our sector since I barely know it, but it went really well. White wash every once in a while is actually really good for a sector. We have a baptismal date with Maria Angelica, a little girl of 9 years whose family is very anxious to reactivate. She will be baptized on May 19th! We are so happy for her, so please everyone be praying that it works out!! She is super cool! We also received a bunch of references this week, and we went and contacted every one of them. Almost every one of them worked out, and others we made an appointment for this week!! Super exciting!! One day, we went to visit a member family that have two nonmembers living with them, and the hna says, "oh by the way, there is a less active family in the next street, that has a daughter that hasn’t been baptized and they are very receptive. They know they need to go back to church.” So we asked for the directions to go visit. She told us "proxima calle, la casa con las tablitas" or next street, the house with the wooden panels. So we get over there, and literally almost every house had wooden panels. Crap, what do we do?? So Hna llontop and I literally just picked a house that felt right and said "hola, familia Sanhueza??" and they’re like ya!! And were like, "wait what??" It was cool. Also we got there just as their parents were there visiting, and they are active members in the church. They have a daughter who is going to send in her papers to serve a mission and everything! It was so cool, and we told them about how big of a miracle it was that we got there! The parents said "wow, they literally got here by the spirit and that means that you guys need to listen to them" ha-ha. But its true, Heavenly Father inspired us to go visit that hermana, then her to give us the reference, and then helped us get there and when to go, which by the way was unplanned!! It is so neat to see the inspiration of the Lord in our lives, because we often don’t recognize it til afterwards!! We also went to contact a reference and he wasn’t home, but the son said "but do you want to talk to me?" and were like "...okay buena..." He ended up being a young man who has a newborn baby, and he has been feeling really strongly that he has been far from God, and for the sake of his son, he needs to find God. When I said the closing prayer, he teared up. By the end of the prayer he was weeping profoundly, and he told us "you just don’t know how much it means to me that you have come." 

So I wanted to tell you a little bit about my experience singing in the feria. The feria is like a big farmer’s market. It is big and loud, full of people yelling and advertising their products. We were trying to get people to listen to us, and nobody did. The plan had been for me to be there singing, but then we all got nervous and uncomfortable so we didn’t do it. But no one was listening. I heard clear as a bell in my head “sister Stanley, I didn’t give you a pretty voice for nothing. It’s time to use it." So I got myself ready, said a prayer, and I opened my mouth. It was by far the scariest performance I’ve ever done. But as I opened my mouth, a familiar feeling came to me, like when I open my mouth to testify in Spanish. The spirit fills me and helps me overcome my fear and my faults. And the same happened as I began to sing. At first not very many people listened, but I said in my heart that I know that when we sing, we testify, and I knew that my testimony would get to heart of at least one person, and if I could be a part of finding that one person, my shame and embarrassment didn’t matter. In the end lots of people listened to us. A few gave us their numbers. Only one of them lives in our sector, but I knew that I touched the heart of somebody, and I felt so good knowing that I did what my Heavenly Father wanted me to do. My faith and my testimony of music grew so much. As I sang, just a few of my favorite hymns in Spanish, the spirit filled that little spot in the feria. I ended up singing more than 45 minutes straight. 

Okay, I know you probably have questions about my new comp!! Her name is Hna llontop. She is from Lima, Peru :). She cooks comida peruana (SUPER RICA (delicious)). She is 21, has a degree in marketing, and has three sisters. Her dad is twenty years older than her mom, ha-ha! She has been in Talagante and Peñaflor!! I love her!! She is so fun and funny. We have a good time and we work hard!! She’s the best!! Today in the morning, we got almost all of the hnas in the zone (all but one companionship) together and the two peruanas made comida peruana (Peruvian food). Hna Sandall and I made cake, the filipinas made brownies. It was fun!! That’s why I wrote so late today :) 

I’ve been studying about the life of Peter in my personal study. I’ve been realizing that in Peter’s apostleship and journey in following Christ, he got chastised quite a bit. Christ was hard on him, and he got it in public. But he ended up being essential for the Christ’s church. I’ve learned that when Heavenly Father gives us a lot of trials it’s because he needs a lot from us, so we shouldn’t be ashamed if we fail. We just gotta try again :). That’s my cheery message for the week! 
I love you, please don’t forget about me!

Love Hna Stanley

 Singing Class

New Companion

Monday, April 16, 2018

Animo no mas

The subject of this email would be an example of an Hna Stanley classic- FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT! For those of who didn’t understand it, it says, just have enthusiasm. 

Yep folks, we’ve been little down in El Conquistador II this week. We just don’t have anybody. We just don’t have people. My poor companion had been here two months, and this week she finally just cracked. She gave up a little bit this week, which I understand. It was hard because it meant I had to have enough enthusiasm and energy for both of us. Also, I had to plan, direct, and basically do just about everything this week. That was hard cuz I’ve been here for like two seconds. I don’t know how I changed to italics but I don’t know how to change it back ha-ha. But I did that for a few days, and we got through it. What has been really hard is that we have been trying to come up with really different ideas to find people, because we have already done all of the traditional stuff, and nothing, NOTHING worked out. We were just like "AHHH Lord what else is there?? What more can we do???"  So by that point, we bought ourselves an ice cream and we talked about high school musical for a bit there, ha-ha. But it’s okay. I know Heavenly Father is going to bless us, He is just testing our dedication, trying to see if we really have the desires to do this and WE DO!  

We had our first class de canto (singing) in the area this week. It was a big success! Well, class-wise. A couple of people turned up off the streets, and both of them have lots of questions about what we believe, but neither of them live in our sector. We were about 10 in total, some converts, investigators, and new people!! Everybody in the class had the guts to get up and sing a solo!! We are going to be working in a group voice lesson type setting, each person working on their own piece in their own style, but working together :) it’s gonna be great. I was over the moon happy. We also brought a little bit of food to share and afterwards we got to talking, and these few guys just starting asking questions about our beliefs. We ended up teaching almost all of lesson 1, the restoration, just by answering their questions. It was really cool!! I’m excited to keep working with them, they have a lot of talent!! 

This morning, the bishop of another ward took us, along with the hnas in his ward up to this cool little hill thing that is right on the edge of our zone. It was gorgeous, and it’s cool, because it CAMPO (in the country)! It was like being home!! There were even cows. COWS. My eyes teared up when we got to the cows and not just because it smelled bad. But the coolest part was that as we were driving, we happened upon this whole little pueblito, and the bishop said, hnas, this is your ward. And we realized that it’s probably our sector but we just never had any idea... I’m still in shock. We have to go figure it out, but if it really is ours, that’s the Lord answering our prayers in a BIG WAY! But that was our week here in El Conquistador. Making it work. Please everyone pray that we can stay excited, and more than anything that we can find people!! Today, I hit exactly one year from my release date. In two days, I hit exactly six months in the mission! It’s just going by so fast!  I love you all! I know Heavenly Father blesses us in His time! can’t wait to see you all in skype in one month :) Happy Birthday Tenn, Mom, and Josh :) 
Love, Hna Stanley

 Visiting Peñaflor

 Hiking on Pday

Monday, April 9, 2018

Travelling the World!

Well everyone, one week in a new sector! My new comp is super fun! Which is good, cause our sector is just a tiny bit dead... but oh well. We have a good time! And the ward, oh my gosh THE WARD HERE. I’m just in shock. The numero uno coolest thing about the ward is that almost every member that is a crucial member, that carries a lot of responsibility and really is carrying the ward, is a RECENT CONVERT. I’ve never seen retention so good.  That is one of the bigger problems here in Chile. Retention of new members isn’t very good. I hate to say it, but it’s probably because Chilean culture isn’t SUPER commitment prone in general. Or rather, they’ll make commitments all day, but it doesn’t mean they’ll do it. BUT I still love it here, don’t worry! there is a recent convert (less than 2-year member) who is in his twenties that is a piano teacher, so he plays the piano!! They also have a group of people sing a hymn for prelude. We had a baptism of the elders in my ward on Saturday. Two little boys actually. Esteban (WHO LITERALLY LOOKS AND IS EXACTLY LIKE NICHOLAS ELDRIDGE) has been a member for eight months and he did one baptism. The other one was done by a priest whose family was baptized just over two years ago. Another recent convert in his twenties did the confirmation, and we also had a baby blessing of a baby of a less active family. So then we had testimony meeting, where I had to present myself, and there was a line of people who wanted to bear their testimonies! And we are talking people who wanted to testify that Christ lives, not just tell stories. The spirit was so strong. I think about every recent convert who was there bore a powerful testimony. That 16-year-old who did a baptism, whose family is also passing through a really hard time, though we don’t know the details, got up and said, that he saw a lot of empty seats that day, and that we all needed to go find someone who didn’t come, and bring them next week. I, frankly, was just giddy in my seat by this point with excitement to get to work! 

This week Hna Perez and I are travelling the world, or Chile at least! One day this week we got to go to Providencia, another really rich community of Santiago where the temple/CCM (MTC) is. President also called us and asked me to start doing a singing class in my new sector! He asked me to coordinate with another hna who sings who is Peñaflor. I asked if I had permission to call her, and he out of nowhere gave me permission to GO TO PEÑAFLOR. I was like... "uh, okay, ya voy a Peñaflor altiro..." (I’ll go to Peñaflor right away) SO I’m writing you guys from Peñaflor! It is another zone, and it is campo (in the country)! It’s just a little outside of Santiago. I’ll be taking lots of pics don’t worry! And then our sister training leader called and told us we have divisions with her first thing tomorrow morning in REPUBLICA, another zone in the mission. But it’s like the center of Santiago. Everybody says it’s like Manhattan of Chile. So I’ll be headed there tonight, and I’ll take lots of pics!! ha-ha, one way or a nother, I’m gonna get to see something outside of Maipu!!

Love you all! This week I studied obedience and learned that is an act of faith, that we trust that Heavenly Father will bless us even when we don’t understand and I know He will! I challenge you all to be extra obedient this week and see the blessings in your lives!! 
Love, Hna Stanley

New Companion, Hna Perez
Chilean "Nick"