Thursday, March 12, 2009

Friends and stuff

Here are a few pictures of my friends.

Here, Hna Lily and Hna. Aurora are getting things ready for Manuel's going away party.

We're all excited about the shiskabobs, if you couldn't tell.

The men in the office: Manuel, Hno. Alfaro and Hno. Nuñez. They are a kick in the pants!

This is Nichol. He cracks me up. I love this picture; the coloring is perfect!

Here we are waiting to go do baptisms in the temple. I'm getting better at this long shot picture deal. I'm with Nataly and Eduardo.

This is Hna. Centeno who's going home to Argentina. That's why her eyes are closed because she doesn't want red eyes in the picture! She was a great missionary.

This was a fun pool party in Lo Cañas. This is Jermain, Cesar and someone else - don't know her name :-/. It was so fun!

This is me with Sis. Vicki Matsumori from the Primary General Presidency. She and Sis. Barbara Thompson from the RS General Presidency came to speak in Santiago. They are so cute!

This is what it looks like in Santiago when it rains, which isn't very often. We even hear thunder!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Success Stories

Reneé ringing the bell.

I gotta include some of these amazing stories that just make me so happy!

Success story #1 (of many)
Reneé is from Peru and came here only two weeks before we met her in the office. Before coming to Chile, she lost both her father and mother within two months and so needed to live with some relatives in Chile. But needing to be on her own and have a job, she came to the LDS Employment office and we put her in the Workshop. She came and participated, but with the help of another sister in the office, she got a job cleaning a woman's house. She was so excited and so she rang the bell in the office. It really gives people hope when they do that! She came into the office on Friday and she was notably happier and calmer. It was great!

Success story #2
Lucia, another sister from Peru, was in the same workshop as Reneé. After completing the workshop, she came into the office and said she got accepted to work at a large supermarket here in Santiago. I saw her in the temple the other day and she looked happy too!

Success story #3
Remember the Haitian family? Well, here's the rest of the story. When Jonas came into the office last week, he saw a job offer for a seamstress and mentioned that Maya sews really well. The problem was how to take care of their son. Maya asked me to call the lady to find out if she could bring him to work. I tried all week calling the lady and finally got a hold of her Friday. I asked her about it and the lady said that it should be no problem. I was excited and so I gave her Maya's name and number. On Sunday, I asked Maya about it at church and she said the lady called her and she starts work today! So happy! She looked relieved!

Success story #4
This is a little different because the sister looking for a job was a little particular about the job she wants. Ester Diaz had been coming in every week looking for a Monday through Friday job (she works in the temple on Saturdays and will not change that at all!). Every time the phone would ring and we would jot down notes about a job offer, she would run to the desk where I was at asking about it. I would tell her the specifics and the requirements, which I knew she didn't have (we're talking about job offers like truck drivers and teaching positions - she wouldn't have those). She would return to her seat, just waiting for the phone to ring. It was sad. I went to where she was and talked to her about what exactly she was doing to find a job, because (I didn't tell her this), sitting there waiting for a job offer wouldn't help her in the slightest. I helped remind her to keep her "line in the water" all day and to keep increasing her network and do her contacts. I asked her if she's ever done the workshop, which she had, but later asked to be enrolled in the career workshop again (she took it a long time ago). I felt better knowing that I was doing something to help her instead of just watching her sit there every time she came in.

Well, on Friday, a job offer for a housekeeper came in from an elderly gentleman. He needed someone Monday through Friday from 9 to 2. I took down the offer and sent it to the other office in town to put with the other job offers we receive. Later on, I saw Ester and she was talking with another sister in the office. I thought of the job offer from that morning about housekeeping and I told her about it and she took down the number. After talking with the gentleman, she left right away for an interview with him. Saturday I saw her and she said she starts work today as well!! She looked relieved, yet again! Wahoo!! I felt so good!

Stay tuned for more success stories!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Missionary work on the side

I love splits with the sister missionaries! I've been visiting this family with them lately if I'm not doing a temple grounds tour. Jonace and Maya are from Haiti and they're absolutly wonderful! They have the cutest baby (I couldn't even tell you his name!), and he's normally happy. I think in this picture he was getting fed up with the lesson and sitting still and he was probably hungry. They've been to church like three times, but they still have some doubts. Jonace has been in the Employment Resource Center and we're working on getting a job for Maya as a seamstress. I hope it works out for them!

I've also had the privilege of meeting some wonderful older missionaries. This is the Santiago MTC mission president here with his wife, the Ferrels. They are a neat couple! This isn't their first mission. About 30 years ago, he was mission president of the Ecuador Quito Mission, back when the whole country was one mission. The Ferrels told me they went back to Ecuador in 2006 (when I was there) for a reunion with their missionaries. The cool thing is that during my mission when I was in an indigenious community called Otavalo, I remember hearing about a mission reunion taking place in Quito and Guayaquil. One of our sweet helpers, María Díaz was going to the reunion because her mission president was coming - I'm pretty sure the Ferrels were her mission president! Neat little connection!

This is a neat sister missionary who I found out was leaving for home so she could heal a broken leg. So I went to visit her before she left and we had a wonderful conversation (after finishing the movie "Superman") about her family, especially stories about her young grandson who still wets the bed! But it was nice to spend some time with her before she left.

These are the wonderful sister missionaries who have helped us in the office, but now, they're in the office in Republica. But we get to see them every Monday evening at the Family Home Evening the senior missionaries have (we're special guests!).

Sis. Mehew and Sis. Graham

Speaking of Family Home Evenings with the senior missionaries - what a treat! They have all sorts of crazy, wacky adventures, including dressing up like a crazy bag lady! Actually, what she was doing was passing on the responsibilities of planning the FHEs to another senior couple because she and her husband are leaving in 6 weeks or so. Bless your little heart, Sis. Snow!

Every week is so wonderful - Jody and I never leave an FHE without getting emotional. The senior missionaries have such a wonderful spirit and they teach us so much! Jody and I have said again and again how much we admire them for the sacrifices they make to leave home and family to go on a mission to a place like Chile and learn a new language! We want to be just like them!

This past week, they talked about tender mercies of the Lord in regards to missionary work. They shared stories of time and again how the Lord blessed them or the younger full-time missionaries in their work. It reminded me to take stock of the tender mercies of the Lord in my daily life and to write them down.

Isn't she so cute?