Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Well, this is it..Goodbye Argentina!

Hello Family and friends,

This is it,

I believe that this will be the last email I will get to send to you as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Let me just start off by saying that I am so lucky and blessed to have been given this opportunity to preach His gospel and learn and grow in the mission Argentina Neuquen.  It's crazy to see it all come to an end....

This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.  Truly, after being a missionary and serving the Lord, I could not imagine my life if I would have never done so.  I have learned so much!!  I've learned things of the world, but most importantly things that are not pertaining to the world..spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Wow!  I think my Heavenly Father knew I had a long ways to go...so He put me to work ;)

I would just like to share a few short examples of the things I have learned here on the mission...

Things I have learned:
-I have learned to write my q's and the number 1 differently...thanks to all these Argentines.
-I have learned to enjoy eating spaghetti each week...and sometimes 4 times a week (it always goes with white bread).
-I have learned that jello is a dessert and not a side dish.
-Also, an apple, banana and pear are all desserts.
-I have learned that sweeping is the new vacuum and it needs to be done 43 times each week. #zapaladirt
-I have learned that it's normal to water the dirt so it doesn't fly up in the wind.
-How to naturally kiss girls on the cheek and then remember that this is not normal in the states..
-How to pay bills not through the Internet

.....okay, okay, those were all little jokes, but so true.

These are the real things I have learned:
-How to receive answers to my prayers
-How to study and learn more about the life of our Savior Jesus Christ
- How to work even when it seems like there isn't work to be done.
-How to testify and teach of the truthfulness of the restored gospel.
-How to cry with those who need comfort.
-How to follow the promptings of the spirit simply by just acting.
-How to stand up for what I believe and defend it with power!
-How to recognize God's chosen
-How to apply the Atonement each and every day.
And lastly,
-How to be a true member of the Church of Jesus Christ.

This mission truly has taught me so much.  Now, looking back at these past 18 months, I realize I still have SO much more left to learn.  That is when the Atonement of Jesus Christ comes into action.  We cannot do it all.  I could not have learned and mastered everything here in the mission.  But, thanks to our loving Heavenly Father, He sent His son Jesus Christ to help us with everything that we cannot learn, or cannot master.  He is our difference!

I have loved my mission, just like every return missionary has said.  But, I never understood the love I had for the work until I finally see the end...but the work doesn't end.  That's the greatest relief :)  We keep working.  The mission truly has made me a better member.  For that reason, we all keep working, all on the same team :)

Just a quick, super cool story, that is totally worth sharing in the last email.

So, once upon a time, my companion and I were planning.  We thought, "Well, it would be super nice to have more investigators..."  So, we whipped out the area book and went through old investigators...again.  We decided to call them with the idea of inviting them to be baptized (so not awkward, but soooo awkward).  So, that's what we did.  We called a solid 3 people.  First result, we forgot to ask them to be baptized.  Oops, but we did get a date to see them.  Second result, we talked to a lady named "E".  She is 25 years old and .....ACCEPTED A BAPTISMAL DATE!!!  WHAT!!  As I was talking to her, I think I almost had a heart attack.  So, we don't know her but she has a date.  Awesome!  It was a great success, even though she was the only one who accepted, we did our part and Heavenly Father provided.

Love you all so much.  Thank you all for the support and words of encouragement the whole mission.  I truly have the greatest family and friends in the whole world!  So blessed to be a part of all of your lives. :)

Here's to a great airport scene..um..do we cry, laugh, dance, or what?  Well, here's to awkward beginnings ;)  hahahaha!

Love you all!

Hermana McChesney

Monday, November 17, 2014

Summer and SUNTANS


So good to hear from you all.  And pretty sure dad mentioned 4 times that I'm coming home...haha!  So cute!!!

While you are all enjoying the cold weather..I'm here walking in the sun getting a nice farmer's tan.  HA!  It's super hot right now!

This week was great!  We had a lot going on.  We had a Conference with President which was incredible!  I have loved learning from him, his wife, and also his assistants that help us so much!  We learned a lot about how we can involve the members more in the work and how to get referrals from therm, too.  We did a couple practices and the spirit is always so strong.  One thing I love is listening to other missionaries teach me and my companion.

To be honest, in the past, I really didn't like practices at all... but really.  I always felt so uncomfortable and embarrassed to practice teach.  But then as the months have passed, I understand now how important teaching is.  The spirit is so strong and we as missionaries can understand now how important teaching is.  The spirit is so strong as we as missionaries can understand what we need to do better and what we should do and say in the lessons.  Entonces, for all those future missionaries out there, LEARN TO LOVE PRACTICE TEACHING EARLY IN THE MISSION.  (I'm not shouting, but just wanted it to be very readable and understandable so all can take the advice haha).

I was able to also give my farewell testimony.  That was weird.  I think that was the first time that it hit me that I was really going home.  Hermana Guerra, Hermana Hansen and I were all able to bear out testimonies.  While I was up there it was a feeling I have never felt before.  I think then is when I understood that I was going to miss the mission, and that I truly have been changed for the better here.  I know I still have so much more to learn, but what i have learned will help me to continue learning after.  It's a forever learning experience here, and it continues even after.  It was a very bitter sweet feeling...kind of like the sourpatch watermelon candy...but in a spiritual matter ;) ha!

Good news:
-"M" came to church!!!!!
-"R" gave a talk in church!  She's been active for only 5 weeks.  She did a great job!!
-"C" is giving a talk next week in church!!  We are going to help her and we are so excited!  She is excited, too!!!

We are going over to teach "C" today.  She has helped us in so many lessons!  She wants to be a missionary!  That just brings joyful tears to my eyes!

I love the mission.  I love all that is going on here.  I love the progression that we are seeing here. I know that there is so much to do, but my goal is to leave this area well off so my companion can have things to do.

Love you all so much!!

Thank you for all your support.  Couldn't be more blessed to call you my friends and family!


Hermana McChesney

Monday, November 10, 2014

Service. Service. Service.

Heyyy!!  WOW!  Can you believe it's already Monday?  No.

Thanks to everyone who wrote me this week.  I love reading your emails and letters.  I never got to thank the mission prep class for writing me either, so thank you!  I enjoy reading your letters and I am so proud of all the hard work that you're doing out there in good ole Highland, Utah.

First, AUSTIN!!  I'm so proud of you.  New Zone Leader.  I knew you would be!  I had a feeling just this morning thinking, "I'm sure he will be zone leader soon."  You're going to love it!  It's a lot of work, but one of the greatest opportunities you will ever have.  But, don't get too stressed ;)

Secondly, want to say thank you to the boys for writing me and doing such great acts of service.  you boys are going to be the greatest missionaries in the whole world.  Thanks for preparing young!  you'll be so blessed.  Keep looking for more opportunities to serve!  I know God will put people in your life each day that you look to serve.

And last but not least.  Thank you mom for all the hard work that you put into my schedule!  BEST MOM AWARD.  I love you forever. HA!  Sorry I haven't been much of a help, but it's a little hard to focus on both the world and the mission.  Sorry.  Give me a couple weeks and I'll totally help you :)

This week was fantastic.  Let me tell you what I did.

I rode on a bus for 12 hours in total.

Zapala---> Neuquen
Neuquen ---> Zapala
Zapala ---> Chos Malal
Chos Malal ---> Zapala

Yep.  That was my life this week.  It was great though.  Best part of the whole week is that...I SAW HERMANA VILLALOBOS.  Mi hijita, mi amiga, mi hermana, mi companera...ah!  Estaba re feliz!  She is in Neuquen and we stayed with her and her companion.  It's been almost a year, so it was a great reunion!

We had our leadership meeting and it was so incredible.  It was great to see everyone and have some good deep doctrinal chats with them.  This leadership meeting we talked a lot about the atonement, and helping investigators understand the importance to go to church.  It's something hard here to master.  But at the end of the meeting, President gave a strong testimony saying how grateful he was for each of us and the love that he has for us.  He got emotional, and I couldn't help but get a little teary eyed, too.  Thinking of how much love he has for us as missionaries and a mission, and then putting that in perspective of how much our Heavenly Father loves each of us was so powerful to me.  It really made me think and ponder.  Then I got sad to see that this same spirit that we feel as missionaries comes to an end. (I think I'm getting a little freaked out...but really).  So, it was a great experience to listen to president and just reflect on the love that our Savior Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father have for each and every one of us.  We are all children, and we are all his missionaries preaching the gospel.

We were able to do a couple zone meetings with those from Chos Malal and also from Zapala.  It was a great experience. :)

Hermana Hansen and I are getting along great.  We sing way too many church songs and you know you've been a missionary too long when you start making jokes quoting scriptures, and then making up your own lyrics to church songs.  It's great.  We love being missionary nerds.  It's great.  I'll send you a little voice clip we made for the finance elder for giving us travel money.

I have a testimony of service this week.
We weren't in our area very long..a total of 3 days.
But we were able to serve so many others.
And for that...We had miracles in our area.
I know that the Lord is willing to bless us as long as we are willing to help others.  I know that through service we can feel the love of God even stronger.  There are so many around us looking for help, let's find them, and serve them!

Thanks for all you examples!  Keep up the good work.  I would love to hear more stories of service ;)


Hermana McChesney

Shout out to Mary and Savannah!  So happy to have a new little baby cousin!  She looks adorable! :)

                                     Me and Hermana Villalobos reunited after a year!

                                     Leadership council with some of my dearest friends.

                                               Zone meeting in Chos Malal

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Be Humble and Be Happy!!

Hey, Happy Halloween!! (realized I totally forgot to say that last week....)

Hope you all got lots of candy and ate all the butterfingers for me! And all the twix. Yum.

So this week was a defintie success. So many great things happened this week. Including a lot of service opportunities! 

We went to do service for the bishops wife because she is pregnant and can't do much. So we got to do the typical house chores...iron and fold the clothes, wash the dishes, sweep the floor, clean the bathroom and the best part of it all was entertaining the 3 little boys! We got to play games and it was just the best thing in the world. It truly reminded me of the scripture found in Mosiah 2: 17. I know that when we are in the service of our fellow beings we truly are only in the service of our Heavenly Father. The feeling after doing service is truly one of the greatest feelings we can feel. I am fully convinced that as we serve each day we will become happier people! 

We actually did a lot of service this week. We had an investigator who has been sick. I don't know if I ever wrote about her before.. but her son had passed away about 6 months ago and she has been suffering depression ever since. Sadly, she overdosed and was found in the hospital. We were able to go and visit her twice. It was hard to see her how she was. But it was such a peace we felt when we were with her knowing that she was so close to the veil. Even though she couldn’t talk or see us, I know she knew we were there with her.  A couple days later she passed away. I know that she continues to receive the missionaries there in the Spirit World. Sad to see her go, but good to know that there is more and this is not the end. The Plan of Salvation is real. 

Also, we served a lot with the Wedding and Baptism of the Elders investigator. It was great to see someone change their life to follow Jesus Christ. And I am so blessed to have been able to see this change!

Overall, we served a whole lot this week, which was something we had been praying about and were hoping to do. 

I have been studying a lot about being humble. It's something that I think we all need to be better at. As reading a I came across a few verses that helped me understand the blessings I can receive if I am humble. Doctrine and Covenants 1:28

 28 And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.

I loved how it had the blessing-- If we are humble we will be made strong and blessed on high. But not only that, but we will receive knowledge from the Lord. Also another scripture found is in Doctrine and Covenants 112: 10. 

 10 Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.

If we want to receive knowledge (like it says in the first verse I sent) we need to ask in prayer. But one thing I love is that if we are asking in prayer for knowledge and we are not humble, our Heavenly Father will not respond. It is so important to be humble while praying so when He does answer we will be willing to act on the response. Heavenly Father has so many answers and blessings waiting for us, he only requires us to be humble. 

It’s been a great week learning about the humility. Sorry it’s a little quickly written and maybe my idea didn’t come across very well... but just know that my testimony of being humble has grown tremendously! And I encourage you all to humble yourselves so we can receive answers to our prayers. 

I love this gospel. 
I love the example of Jesus Christ and how each and every one of us can truly strive to become more like Him. Its not easy, and it is definitely going to take all of our lives. But if we start now it will all be worth it.

Love you all so much!

Hermana McChesney

Oh, and "M" changed her baptismal date. We will be looking also more towards the end of November! Thanks mom for putting her name in the temple! 

Shout outs:
COLBY!! happy birthday last week. 

And OLIVIA SMITH!! Hope you had the best 21st birthday ever!!

         A new hermana came straight from the MTC and had these with her.  Oh the love!

                                     It snowed again. That's like it snowing in May.  Crazy!