Monday, March 17, 2014

New Area - Mirador, Chile - Sister Hannah Avery

Written by Sister Hannah Avery, serving in the Chile Vina del Mar Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

(Note to reader: Clicking on highlighted words links to additional information. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.)

Hello my Amazing Family and Friends!

Well, I had the craziest week of my whole mission! We had lots and lots of changes.... First off, we had cambios (transfers) on Wednesday. We got called on Tuesday night at about 10 p.m. and the Zone Leader said, “Hermana Avery, usted se va (You are going).” I was like, “Well, dang it! Looks like that is the end of my time here in Ovalle!”

I was really sad. I had a feeling I would be leaving this transfer and was prepared for it, but my heart was really sad. Like one of the worst feelings ever. I felt like I was leaving my family behind all over again. I just hurt. I packed my suitcases until about 11 p.m. when we had to go to bed. Hermana Puertas and I were so sad that we stayed up and talked in bed pretty much all night, haha! But we finally got a little sleep and woke up bright and early Wednesday morning to finish packing my things. I got my things packed in my suitcases by miracle! Seriously! I had SO much stuff, I forgot what my packed suitcases felt like!

So, I'm packing all my stuff right? And I get this thought in my head, “Hannah, don't freak out, but you are going to get a phone call from the mission president!” I was like, wow, that is not what I want to hear right now! Haha! Anyways, I kept thinking that the mission president was going to call me any minute, and then about 10 minutes later.... RINGGGGG.... the mission president's phone number flashing on our cell phone. So what was my first reaction?? I yelled, “OH. MY. GOODNESS. WHAT?!”

Hermana Puertas came running downstairs, because she knows that if I am saying, “oh my goodness!,” that means there is a really big spider or something, haha! Anyways, then I am thinking, “Oh no....what did I do?!?” LOL! So I answer the phone, and I hear this super friendly voice on the other end of the line. “Hello, Hermana Avery, good morning! How are you?” I was thinking, “I am about ready to pee my pants right now, but...” haha!

Outside my cute house in Ovalle, getting
ready to board my bus to Vina del Mar.
So I say, “Great! How are you?” And he says, “Hermana, I am great. And I have an assignment for you! Will you be a Sister Training Leader?” Oh my goodness.... I was SOOOOO excited and said, “Yes, yes of course!” Anyways, that was the end of that super short phone call, and I hurried to finish packing my bags so that I could go visit Hermana Maria before I left. We were bawling our eyes out the whole time, and she said that I have to come visit her and Sofia and Catalina with the family next year when we come back to visit Chile! I hope I can see them again. They are incredible people.

Well, at 10:30 a.m., I boarded a bus and said goodbye to Ovalle, my second home, for a long time. It was really hard, but I knew it was time. It was a 6 hour bus ride to Viña del Mar, where we had our transfers meeting with the Mission President. We met in the Stake Center in Viña, and all waited for our names to be called over the pulpit in the chapel to learn where we were going and who we would be with. And guess what?? I ran into Hermana Page! (my companion from the MTC). She is doing great! And she got called to be a Sister Training Leader too! We were really excited to see each other after so long!

So, my name was finally called, and the Mission President said, “Hermana Avery, you are going to Mirador B with Hermana Stewart as a Sister Training Leader.” I was like WOOHOO! That was the first area where I stayed (for one week) when I arrived a week earlier than expected from the MTC (Missionary Training Center), due to the Chilean Independence Day in September.

One of our first appointments was the birthday party of a
little girl whose family we are teaching. This is my new
companera, Hermana Stewart.
So, I met up with my new companion right after the meeting. She is AMAZING! We get along soooo well and it is SO nice to speak in English again at night! Haha! She is from Cottonwood Heights, Utah and is 23 years old. She finished the UVU (Utah Valley University) Nursing program about a month before coming on the mission and told me that I HAVE to go there and do the program! Anyways, we get along great, and I think we have slept all of 20 hours in 5 days because we talk ALL NIGHT LONG! Haha! We have a ton in common and laugh until it hurts. It's so wonderful! I am on cloud nine!
The view from my new apartment. I know, Mom, if it starts
to shake I will run the heck out of there :)
Well, as a Sister Training Leader, I am not any better than any other missionary. In fact, I feel inadequate, but I hope that I can learn new things from the girls that we look out for! A Sister Training Leader does interchanges every week with a different pair of Hermanas each time. We are responsible for 5 companionships, so we will be busy! It's basically making sure that they are all doing okay, are getting along well in their companionships, etc. Nothing too crazy or different, but we have to be EXACTLY obedient and be great examples all of the time. We then report things to the Zone Leaders, etc. and then do our same work that we have always done...missionary work! We are teaching several FAMILIES who are getting ready for baptism! This area is a ward and not a branch, so it's growing really fast, and is really successful. We are super excited to get to work and bring more people to Christ!

Beautiful sunset and sky, here in Mirador.
Well guys, that is all I have for this week! I hope you are all doing fabulous! Know that I love and miss you all like crazy (as always!) and that I am always praying for you! Remember who you are, and never forget the Lord in anything that you do. I love you! Talk to you in a week! :)


Hermana Hannah Avery :)

Short Update this Week (March 10, 2014)

Cow Hoof for Dinner (March 24, 2014)

This is the progression of landscape I saw on my six hour drive from Ovalle to Vina del Mar last week. I can see the ocean from the top of a hill not far from where I live! There are hills everywhere and I'm getting a workout every day. The members don't feed us as much here (which is GREAT!) and they serve us water to drink instead of soda (also GREAT!).