Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Hello All,

Today I am writing you from Conce....  Weird!  I have never had the opportunity to spend my P-Days in Conce before just because I lived close enough to do so!  It`s cool though.  I don`t know my way around at all, but Hermana Frandsen and Hermana Lyons have both been "in" for a while, so they`ll help me.
So, Hualqui (Wall-Key).  Is awesome.  FREEZING COLD.  But awesome.
My companion is awesome.

Hermana Frandsen is awesome.
Hermana Lyons is hilarious.  We laugh all day long and then we get home at night and laugh some more with Hermana Frandsen.  She is from Reno and she was studying at SUU before she came on the mission.  (One of my few mission friends who doesn`t go to BYU - hooray!)  She has like the world`s most positive attitude and she`s really easygoing.  She even told me, "If I do something that bugs you, just tell me and I`ll stop doing it."  And I know that she would.  But I haven`t wanted to do that anyway because she`s great.  Very eager to learn and to change and improve and doesn`t make excuses for herself.  She just finished her training, but I feel like together we are still learning a lot about how to refine our "technique."
The ward is so neat here.  It`s the biggest one I`ve ever seen in Chile.  They tell me sometimes almost 200 people come.  Wow.  And the members are the best.  They are so willing to help us and so eager to do mission work, it`s really awesome to see.
Something else about Hualqui is that it`s a HUGE sector.  I thought San Javier was big, but in Hualqui there are parts of our sector we can`t get to unless we take a train.  It`s enormous.  And campo, campo, campo.  Obviously we have a grocery store and all that jazz, but generally it`s pretty residential/rural.  We just have to plan more carefully is all, otherwise we`d just walk for hours all day and never get anything done.  Hermana Lyons has been here for two transfers, but never got the chance to really learn how to navigate some parts of the sector, so she and I are learning our way around together (though mostly I just follow her) and there is one recent convert (Aracely.  She`s awesome.) who often accompanies us and we like to call her our walking map.  And one thing that is really awesome is that we are close to the river and close to hills where pine trees grow.  It`s a lot prettier than my other sectors have been and reminds me a little bit of home.  I love it.
Hermana Frandsen and I are still not sure we can believe that we are getting this chance to live together.  But we absolutely love it.  I told Hermana Lyons that maybe someday Hermana F and I would get tired of each other, but she told me she highly doubts it.  I doubt it too.  I can see that Heavenly Father really loves me because Hermana Frandsen has made my whole mission a much better experience than it could possibly have been without her.  And I am SO LUCKY to share a house and a ward (and lunch every day) with her and her awesome companion, Hermana Alvarez.
Hermana Alvarez comes from Nicaragua and we love her.  She doesn`t speak much English, so we have to make an effort to speak Spanish in the house so that she can understand.  But she is also eager to learn English and practices saying little phrases like, "I will bite you."  (Inside joke, sorry.)  But Hermana Frandsen says that it`s like she`s not even training her at all.  She said she came totally pre-trained and that she hasn`t really had to teach her anything.  She is awesome.
Anyway, we had a crazy fun week and had tons of crazy experiences.  And we only got lost a few times.  It was awesome.
Your commitment this week is to read every day in your Book of Mormon!  Wahoo!!!!  (Sorry that commitment isn`t too awesome.  I really need to use the restroom but my I'm trying to last until email time is totally up and I`m having a hard time focusing....)  DO IT and I promise you will be BLESSED!
Gotta go now.  Love you all.  Thanks for everything.
Hermana B

Monday, August 12, 2013


Today I complete 11 months in the mission!  Crazy!!!!!

Today we also had cambios, and this time we were "touched" by it (literal Spanish translation there).  I am going to Hualqui to be with Hermana Lyons (who came in the same group as Hermana Snyder and who was trained by Hermana Morán), and my Hermanita Snyder is going to TRAIN!  I am so proud of her.  She´s a little overwhelmed at the thought, I think, but I know she can do it!  She has so much faith and so much ánimo for the work that I know she will be an amazing trainer.  :D  Something else SUPER AWESOME is that Hualqui also just happens to be where Hermana Frandsen is!!!!!!!!  HIP, HIP HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!  We are going to be in the same house!  We didn´t think we´d ever get the opportunity to work that closely together again in the mission.  We´re both totally stoked.

I am also nervous about the change, of course.  It wasn´t weird going to Libertador, really, because I had already been in Chillán, so it was a little like going home.  Leaving Chillán again is going to be hard.  I do love it here and there's always the chance that I won´t get to come back.  And this time I am leaving behind converts, which is something I haven´t done before.  That is going to be weird, not being able to check up on my converts all the time.

Bueno.  Nothing too exciting to report.  Though we did have some really awesome food experiences!  Last P-Day we went to the Pulsipher´s apartment (senior couple missionaries that are here in Chillán) and Hermana Pulsipher made us scones.  She´s the best.  Makes me think of my Gramma and Grampa and how awesome it must have been for the missionaries in Joliette to get to hang out with them.  Then we discovered this really great wheat bread which comes in a loaf (most bread here is white and comes in the form of mini French bread loaves or what are called hallullas - looks a little bit like and has layers like a biscuit, but is bigger in circumference and definitely has a bread and not a bixcuit texture).  It was so good we didn´t even wait to get home to eat it.  We just tore off hunks and ate while we walked.  Then a couple of days later, we were walking down the street and a member from our ward saw us and gave us calzones rotos (like a cross between a scone and a cake doughnut and these ones had an amazing hint of lemon) which were the best we had ever had!  Seriously, we´ve been dreaming about them ever since.  And then we stopped in a meat shop one evening to ask for directions, and the nice meat shop man gave us free longaniza (lone-guh-knee-sah), which is a delicious type of sausage which Chillán is particularly famous for.  I love it.  Hermana Martinez helped me cook it and we ate it for breakfast one morning (not typical breakfast food, especially not in Chile, but it was still awesome).  And today we got together with the elders from Libertador and Copihues and had an awesome Peruvian meal (the elders cooked) with arroz con leche for dessert (Hermana Martinez made it and it was so good!).  It was delicious.  So all in all, we had a good food week.  It was exciting.  I always get excited about good food.  And there´s quite a bit of it here, so I´m a happy camper!

Not too much else happened this week.  Hermana Lovell and I did a mini-cambio on Friday and that was fun.  Also throughout the week we got to go out with three members of the same family this week to teach lessons and visit recent converts and less-actives.  They are a super great family and really supportive of the missionaries, so I was really grateful for their help and for the sacrifices they made to come out with us.  That is a facet of missionary work that I didn´t understand before - I had never, ever gone out with the missionaries.  Not very often did I even see them, much less have them as a regular part of my ward.  But now that I see how important it is, I hope I have the opportunity to help the missionaries more after I get home.

So for your commitment this week, I want to invite you all to do what my zone leaders have been encouraging us to do for the past couple of weeks, and take the opportunity to really prepare yourselves to partake of the sacrament.  For example, our zone leaders have asked us to prepare by reading a talk which focuses on the Atonement (such as this one: Remembering, Repenting, and Changing or this one: Sacrament Meeting and the Sacramenton Sundaymorning during our study before church.  And to go to church and use the sacrament time to really ponder about the Savior and present before Him our sins and weaknesses.  To ask for forgiveness and resolve to change, and to accept the Savior´s help and allow ourselves to feel His peace.  To really allow the renovation of our covenants to be a "mini-baptism" as we teach our investigators and our recent converts.  I struggle with this a lot.  I just always have so much to do and to think about and I don´t always concentrate and prepare myself the way I should, so I will be working on this too.  But I invite you all to try it this week (and the next and the next if you like) in order to really take advantage of and appreciate the Atonement and sacrament meeting this week.

Anyway, that´s all I´ve got for now.  Thanks for all your love and support.  Next week I´ll be writing from the inside....



P.S.  I am not clear on the details, but for some reason, Correos Chile (basically the USPS of Chile) is not functioning right now.  Nothing is coming in from or going out of Santiago for an undetermined period of time....  So, if you want to send anything I guess you would need to ask the post office how to send it through a different courier (and make sure to use that new mission address).  The locals tell me that Chile Express is international and is still operating.  I don´t know if it would be more expensive or how any of that would work.  I have very little contact with the outside world....  If you would rather not bother, emails always make me happy!  :D

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bautizar, Retener, Reactivar

This week in zone class our zone leaders told us about the new "Enfoques de la Misión."  We are used to having a focus each month, but President Arrington released these focuses of the mission and said that they will NOT change until the Lord tells him otherwise.

For anyone who isn´t familiar with the Preach My Gospel system of missionary work, our purpose as missionaries is:

Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  (I hope that is right - I remember it better in Spanish!)

Well it turns out that retenion in our mission is super low, and the number of less-actives is also astronomical.  So in order to better fulfill our purpose, on top of finding and baptizing worthy converts, we are now to focus a LOT more on the retention of those recent converts as well as the reactivation of less-actives.  In order to do this, we are now required to take members with us when we visit them.  This is because based on studies that the Church (or the mission, I´m not sure) has done, the most common reason for people becoming less-active is that they didn´t have any friends in church.  So we are going to help them find some friends so that they can have a lasting social as well as spiritual converson.

I think this is awesome, even though it will be difficult to begin living by that new culture, especially at first as we will have to ask a lot more of the members, who already give a lot.  But really I have felt for most of my mission that the recent converts and less-actives weren´t getting a fair shake.  Baptizing people just isn´t enough.  Baptism, as the scriptures teach us, is only the gate through which we ENTER into the path of the gospel.  It is not the end, and it is super important for us as missionaries not to forget that.  We are here to do the work of salvation - and that requires enduring to the end just as much as it requires baptism.

A friend wrote me a while back and said something pretty profound with regard to our missionary purpose.  I hope she doesn´t mind if I quote her here:

"This purpose says nothing specifically about only teaching investigators or non-members. You can fulfill this purpose by helping people at all different stages of coming unto Christ. Sometimes that means helping people understand that they have a Father in Heaven who loves them. Sometimes that means helping investigators progress towards making the covenant of baptism. Sometimes that means helping members gain a greater understanding of our Savior and His Atonement, or helping less actives repent, or helping your companion -- or even yourself -- endure to the end."

I think that all of us could probably use a little help from time to time (or if you´re like me, a lot of the time!) in coming closer to Christ.  I am excited to have this new focus in our mission.  I think it will really help us to more fully fulfill our purpose as missionaries, and it will help us to be able to help others be prepared to make temple covenants, not just baptismal covenants, and to receive eternal life when the time comes.  It´s very cool.

Well, that´s all for this week.  My emails are getting boring.  Sorry about that.  It´s just been a while since I´ve had any exciting adventures....

This week for your commitment I want you all to pray for opportunities to serve.  I remember this being talked about in conference (in October?) and I just feel like now is a good time for us all to be reminded.  Pray each day for opportunities to serve, and then take them when they come and just see how happy you feel!

Anyway, all my love and hugs to y´all.  Have a great one!


Hermana B


There is a NEW mission address.  The office just changed locations, so now all letters and packages should be directed to:

Hermana Jordanne Burgess
Misión Chile Concepción
1063 Castellon

Anything that is already en route I am sure is still being redirected to the right place, but having the correct address always speeds up the process, right?

Saturday is a Special Day!


Not too much to report this week.  My life is boring as of late....  ;)

It seems like everyone is having their birthdays these past couple of weeks.  We've been making endless little cards and treats for what seems like EVERYONE in the ward.  It´s kind of weird, actually, that there are so many birthdays at once.

On Saturday Hermana Snyder and I went to do service for Claudia, our recent convert.  We always offer service to everyone, but sometimes it is hard to find something that they want us to do for them, as it was for Claudia.  But when I told her I had worked in a clothing store and that I was real good and ironing and folding, she got on board.  So I ironed (with a little "help" from Benja, Claudia´s 8-year-old son who recently had his tonsils removed) and Hermana Snyder did dishes and I was thinking the whole time about that Primary song:

Saturday is a special day.
It's the day we get ready for Sunday:
We clean the house, and we shop at the store,
So we won't have to work until Monday.
We brush our clothes, and we shine our shoes,
And we call it our get-the-work-done day.
Then we trim our nails, and we shampoo our hair,
So we can be ready for Sunday!

Anyway, we couldn´t sing it because I don´t think it exists in Spanish and if it did I wouldn´t know it anyway.  But I was wishing that I could.

Anyway, something else cool about Saturday this week is that our ward went to the temple on one of their quarterly temple trips.  We didn´t get to go, of course, since the temple is in Santiago, but we were happy for them all that they got to go.  It was really special, too, because a couple of recent converts were endowed and sealed with their two daughters.  They are super awesome.  Their names are Fredy and Jocelinne and they rock so hard.  And their two little girls are super cute.  I am so proud of them for having gone to the temple to make those sacred covenants and to seal their family for time and all eternity.  It is even more cool because they both just barely completed one year of membership.  Those are the kinds of converts every missionary wants - the kind that stay strong and go to the temple!  I am so happy for them.  :)

On Sunday the "obra misional" was in charge of the program for sacrament meeting.  We asked a couple of recent converts and one very helpful member to bear testimonies about missionary work and how it has blessed their lives.  Claudia bore her testimony and it was so amazing.  She was talking about how the missionaries passed by her house and it was an answer to a month´s worth of prayer, and that from then on she didn´t doubt.  When she had to leave her job because of health problems, one of her friends commented to her that maybe she lost her job because she started going to church.  Claudia said "No, if I hadn´t left my job, I wouldn´t be able to share lunch with the missionaries.  And I wouldn´t have as much time to dedicate to Church." And even though she suffers from severe pain in her back and hips and sometimes she can´t even get out of bed in the morning she hurts so badly, she always comes to church.  She said, "I know that if I come, no matter how much pain I´m in, that the pain will go away."  I was so happy to hear her amazing testimony and I feel so blessed to know her and to have had the opportunity to teach her and be there for her baptism.  If it hadn´t been for Benja having his tonsils removed, Claudia, too would have been in the temple on Saturday doing the work for her mother.  I am so excited to hear about when she does get to go and be baptized for her family!

How did it go last week with your commitment?  Did you enjoy reviewing those conference talks?  This week I want to leave you with the commitment to read 2 Nephi 9.  Just because it´s awesome and every time I read it I think, "I should probably read this chapter every day."

Well, that´s all, folks.

Love you all!  Have a fantastic week!