Monday, December 30, 2013

1 down, 1 to go

Did you know that I will actually have one more Christmas here in Chile? Ha, no, I'm not actually already thinking ahead to next Christmas. But this one was miraculous. 
It was actually really humbling to see how Christmas is here. The people don't celebrate it like the world is ending next week and we have to do as many activities as possible. I always loved having Christmas gatherings with my friends, doing all kinds of things for the sake of it being Christmas-y. Here everyone just eats dinner with the family, and they celebrate a little and open some presents, and then it's not really a big deal. I was happy because we still got to visit a lot of people depite the holiday. I pictured missionaries trying to visit my family on Christmas Even and I was just thinking haaaaa yeah right. But here it was no big deal. 

The 25th was okay. I mean, I had to spend a whole 1.5 hours talking with my weird family. 
Jokes - that was the best! 1.5 hours flew by like nothing. I felt like it hadn't even happened afterwards. But I loved talking with my family and I loved seeing their lovely faces (except Tyler...he was just making weird faces the whole time). 

The Orellana fam

Then after we had an activity in Concepción with all the missionaries. So I got to chill with my cousin for Christmas! Woohoo! We played futbol a little bit. We were rotating teams and there was only one team of hermanas. All the elders were like "ah what a joke, the hermanas can't play" and some of the hermanas were really mad. So they kept playing to prove their skills. I decided to stop embarrassing myself and went for the other football instead. That way Hermana Oldroyd and I got in our Turkey Bowl and Christmas celebrating at the same time!

                                                                                      Activity w/Hna Oldroyd

The best Christmas present I got this week has to be what happened on Saturday . . . Victoria was baptized!
There is no way I can possibly describe all of the feelings here. We have been working with Victoria for almost the whole time I've been here in Chile. Some other day I will explain the whole story because it's long and complicated. But the important thing is that she was finally able to enter the waters of baptism and make an important covenant that will help her throughout her life. I have learned so much from working with her about the influence the Atonement can have in a person's life. When we contacted her in the street one night, she had been contemplating taking her own life. She says that if it weren't for us finding her, she wouldn't be alive right now. She has immense financial problems and family problems and every other kind of problems that you can probably think of. But after her baptism the Bishop asked her how she felt. She said that she felt renewed. Like all of the bad, heavy things in her heart had been erased. She feels peaceful and happy despite all of her challenges. And that is the amazing power that the Gospel has. 

 Victoria's baptism

Well, I hope you're all doing super well. I may or may not have been thinking a little bit more about all you folks back home in these holiday times. But the important thing is that I love being a missionary more and more every day. I still keep learning and understanding new things every day - mostly I just see how much I still need to learn. 

Love  you all, 

Hermana Glacier
(I've actually gotten used to saying Glacier because no one can say Glazier correctly. I hope I'm not disgracing my family).

Monday, December 23, 2013

Carta Navideña

(Christmas letter)
Because every year my mom claims she's going to write a Christmas letter, and I am always really nervous about what she's going to say about me, this is my very own Christmas letter to you all. 

This year Aubrey finished her second semester of BYU and began preparing to serve a mission. She mostly just hung out at home and made lots of hair bows and watched lots of TV and went to all the YSA ward activities and went to farewells on farewells on farewells. She had a super fun summer and July 31 she entered the Provo MTC.

Aubrey loved the MTC because she learned a lot and loved all the people there. But she was also extremely excited to get to Chile. She traveled 25 hours to get there and loved it from the very start. She was really cold at first, but got used to it after a while. 

She has tried to be obedient and focus on the work of the Lord the best that she can. There have been many challenges and growing experiences, and she has also seen millions of miracles. She loves the people of Chile even though most of them "already have their religion" and "work all day every day" so they can't listen to the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. But every once in a while she and her great companion, Hermana Rodriguez, find people that are ready to accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ in their lives and make a change so they can be eternally happy. Finding those people and sharing her testimony with them makes her the happiest she's been her whole life. 

Most of all she is grateful for this time as a missionary to be able to know her Savior better and understand His gospel a tiny bit more. She loves the scriptures and she loves being able to feel the influence of the Holy Ghost every day in her life. 

I love you and miss you all! But I'm also extremely happy right where I am. Thanks for your prayers, letters, emails, photos, packages, and overall support. I hope you can all remember our Savior in this time of Christmas and the whole year as well. 

Hermana Glazier

Photos: Got to chill with Hermana Oldroyd at choir practice for the Christmas Conference!
Conferencia Navideña with my comp and my cousin
Hermana Oldroyd and me sending our love to all the fam for Christmas!
Got a free haircut from Hermana Amaya this morning. (I only trusted her because she cut Hna Harris's hair the other day and it looked good).

Monday, December 16, 2013

I'll Be [in Tomé] For Christmas

You heard it, folks. The big news this week is cambios! Or, in my case, NO cambios. Of the 6 Hermanas in our house, we're all staying for another 6 weeks! We are all extremely excited for that. Mostly because we all have a secret gift person and cambios would complicate that...okay that's not the only reason. But I am extremely happy to be staying in Tomé - being transferred a week before Christmas would have been rough.

I'm also more than ecstatic to be working with Hermana Rodriguez for more time! She's awesome and we get along really well. In fact, we're almost too much alike. Our energy and attitudes are always reflections of one another. It's rough when we're both falling asleep in lessons. Speaking of falling asleep in lessons, those of you who have followed from the start will remember that I had a really hard time with that at first. Well I want you to know that I've mostly overcome that. I've become a professional at moving in small ways, squinting my eyes so they don't close all the way, focusing on what my companion is saying, and hopefully saying something relevant afterwards. That scripture in Ether about how our weaknessess will become strengths is true, eh?

Also Hermana Rodriguez is going to be a new Hermana leader, which is no surprise. It mostly just means I will be traveling to Concepción a lot . . . just like with Hermana Suárez. When will I be free?! 
Nah I'm actually really excited for her. She's an awesome missionary and it also means that we have to be the example. That'll give me some motivation to not get too comfortable and lazy. 

Anyway that's about all I have time to write this week. Keep up the Christmas spirit and remember why we celebrate it. 

Much love, 

Hermana Glazier


Relief society activity, our humble Christmas tree, service at Ana's house gets out of hand, and our district this cambio

Monday, December 9, 2013

¿Eres feliz? (Are you happy?)

I'm actually kind of sad in this moment because I can't send photos right now. This computer has issues. Next week I'll send double. But the question "are you happy" extends to much more than that. 

That was a question that a very Catholic man asked me last night. We were talking to him outside his house when I said something about how the Gospel gives us the way we can be happy. He looked at me doubtfully, and asked me several times if I was really happy. I said I was, repeatedly. He claimed that we can't really actually know true happiness. I didn't know how to fully communicate my feelings on this subject. The true Gospel of Jesus Christ really does bring true happiness. Remember that. 

Don't be offended, family, but I actually am not too homesick right now even though it's Christmastime. The truth is that it doesn't feel like Christmas because it's just starting to get warm here. It's obviously a little bit harder to focus, but I was never very good at focusing to begin with. Especially with the 6 hermanas in one house...I'm trying to find the balance between enjoying the missionary experience and losing myself in the work. Sometimes it feels like one endless gospel-themed sleepover party. But we're all pals. If anyone leaves this transfer we will all cry our eyes out. 

This Sunday was quite the day. I will not try to pretend that I got anything out ofSunday School or Relief Society. We spent the whole time calling people who were going to come to church, organizing a baptismal service, preparing a musical number for Sacrament meeting as well as another one for said baptismal service. On top of that I gave my 2nd ever talk in Spanish! The whole day was an example of progress. Even though everything was crazy and a few things slipped through the cracks, it was great. The baptism was Marcelo - the youngest kid in a family that has been less-active for a few years. We've been working with them a lot and they've progressed a ton. I love the Orellana family - and not just because they always give us food when we visit them.

It was also a time when I was able to see progress in myself. I didn't even really write out my talk. That's something I used to be too afraid to do, even in English. I also sang a solo - we sang "Joy to the World" and I sang the first verse in English. (We're becoming pros at arranging a hymn or primary song, recording the piano part on the electric piano, and singing together).

I love you all, remember what's most important. Don't forget that when we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate that we are able to live forever in happiness as long as we make a few small sacrifices. 

Much love,

Hermana Glazier

Monday, December 2, 2013

I'm No Prophet...

...but there are some things I would love to say to the whole world. At least, to the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Hey. People. This work needs you. 

As members of the church, we are not the same. We can't afford to try to live like everyone else. We know why we're here and what´s most important. But we get so distracted sometimes. We know that we won't be happy unless we do what God asks of us. And we still do what we want to sometimes. But we have to be DIFFERENT. We made a covenant to be like Jesus Christ. What does that mean? That means do what he would do. Act in His place. That means help other people more than we help ourselves. The greatest way we can ever help a person is by giving them a chance to accept the only true Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. He wants everyone to be able to come unto Him. The greatest gift we can give Him and the best way to thank Him for what He did is bring people to Him. Because He already suffered for their sins and He wants them to be able to receive pardon for them. He wants us to be able to repent. We, as members of the church, know that. And it is our job to help everyone else know about it. Don't be afraid. The Lord is on your side when you're doing His work. Pray and seek small opportunities to invite your loved ones to come. There are millions of ways to share, and everyone can. This work will go on with or without you, and you will feel immeasurable joy as you take part in it. 

Alright now that I've given my weekly piece about missionary work, allow me to tell you about Ana. 

We are extremely happy for Ana because she was baptized this Saturday. I don't know if I can sufficiently explain her over email. Ask me one day in the future to explain more in person. But I'm going to try right now. 

We didn't contact Ana, Ana contacted us. We were knocking doors one morning and she yelled from afar, "Elders! Elders! Can you come say a prayer with me?" Why not, right? When we entered her house we were actually a little bit scared. She literally has 10 dogs (okay 7 are newborn puppies but still). She doesn't hear very well, and didn't understand the majority of the things we said. She spent most of the time showing us pictures of her family members that had passed away, and gifted us some interesting objects from her house. It was a while later before we saw her again, and this time we talked about baptism. We discovered that she had gone to church and visited with missionaries basically her whole life, but was never baptized for numerous different reasons. Many of those reasons had been resolved when we arrived, and she basically just needed an invitation. She started to prepare. We thought she was completely ready, and she had her interview. We heard from outside the following part of the interview:
"Ana, do you drink tea?"
"Do you drink coffee?"
"No, I drink tea"
We tried not to laugh too loud outside, but we laughed about it for about a week later. But the great part is that after a brief explanation from the Elder interviewing her, she never returned to drinking tea. She was completely ready the next week. She has great faith and when she commits to do something, she follows up. And most importantly, she was able to make an important covenant with the Lord. 

This work is incredible and I'm happier than ever to be here. 
Love you all, 

Hermana Glait-sher (as pronounced by many here)