Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Can you believe it? Just started my 5th week out here in the mission field and it blows my mind! Honestly the whole saying "the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days" is a REAL THING. It couldn't be more true. Well....actually my first 3 days here at the CCM literally felt like 3 years. Hahhaa. So sometimes the days can actually feel like years. 
It's been a really fantastic week...probably the best week I've had so far. Today we said goodbye to all of the Latinos that came two weeks ago, which means tomorrow we get the new batch! I'm so so excited to meet them. I actually think one of my friends, Morgan Lesh, is coming in that group tomorrow! So hopefully I'll get to see her! TWO MORE WEEKS IN THE CCM.

One reason why this week was really fantastic was because I got TWO letters and a little package in the mail! Such a surprise!! One letter was from you mom (which means REAL mail instead of pouch mail is faster) and one was from Sister Melissa Skinner serving in her mission in NY! She was one of my good friends from school! I also got a package from the one and only Sister Maisey--they were Christmas cookies, so it totally made my day! Thanks so much, Sister Maisey!!!!

GUESS WHAT! Another one of my really good friends from school, Sam Cagle, is serving his mission in the Santiago North mission. I honestly never ever thought I'd see him, but the other day as I was practicing my Spanish on this computer program, I turned and BAM! There was Elder Cagle, sticking his head in and waving to me! Honestly, it was such a tender mercy from the Lord. I felt so comforted by the advice he gave me and how HAPPY he seemed to be! Plus, it's pretty cool because I was there when he opened his mission call and NEVER knew that 6 months later, I would be opening mine and reading the SAME WORDS--"Santiago Chile". So amazing! 
The previous batch of Americans that came two weeks ago brought the Flu over with them....great. Haha. The flu is NOW spreading like wildfire and everyones freaking out. Please please keep us missionaries in your prayers! We're trying so hard to learn and do our best and it's so hard to do that when you're sick!! hahaha

Little random tidbit, but down here in Chile it is completely normal to see stray dogs EVERYWHERE. Literally everywhere. As missionaries, we aren't supposed to touch them because they could have fleas and that would be nooooo fun but it's so hard cuz all they want is LOVE! There's this one sweet dog named Nefi (Nephi in Spanish) and she has one ear (yes, she's a girl haha) and she just waits for us missioaries to leave the CCM gates to go exercising every morning and just runs with us and follows us and it's the sweetest, saddest thing ever. 

We have these two INCREDIBLE teachers. Hermano Gonzalez, and Hermano Diaz. I had a really cool experience with each of them that I want to tell you about. 
Hermano Gonzalez ALWAYS has the Spirit with him. He brings it instantly to ANY room ANYWHERE. The other day, our entire district was just having a really really hard day. We couldn't focus, we weren't motivated, we were just really down and hard on ourselves. He comes into the room after a break and says, "I have a suprise for you all. Close your eyes!!" So we did. All of a sudden, the sweetest sound filled the air, and the Spirit just hit us like crazy. He plays the harmonica--like for real, but started playing "Come Come Ye Saints." For those of you who don't know the lyrics to that song, the lyrics kinda go like this: "Come come ye saints, no toil no labor fear. But with joy, wend your way. Though hard to you, this journey may appear, great shall be, as your day. Tis better far for us to strive our usless cares from us to drive. Do this and all, your hearts will swell, all is well, all is well." As you can imagine, it was EXACTLY what I needed at that time, and after he was done playing, we all opened our eyes and we had all been crying. It was such an amazing experience. 

Hermano Diaz is the ginger-iest Chilean you will ever see in your life. ACTUALLY, everyone thinks he's a Gringo the first time they meet him and its hilarious. His relationship with the Lord is unbelieveable and the LOVE he has for everone is unreal. Yesterday, Hermana Maxfield and I had a lesson with our investigator, Amador, (who is played by Hermano Diaz, but modeled off of one of his REAL investigators on his mission). Amador, a few years back, had lost his son in a tragic accident, so we were really trying to help him. It was our last lesson to teach him, and we had a really strong impression to take him to the temple grounds to teach him. When we got there, we walked around the temple, and then went down and sat in front of it. As we began our lesson and began talking about how the temple makes it possible for families to be eternal, the Spirit was just so strong. There was one point in the lesson where Hermana Maxfield was bearing her testimony and I just looked up and the sun was reflecting off of a window onto us and the wind started blowing and I just started crying because I knew that our Heavenly Father was so pleased with us, and knew the real intentions of our hearts. Hermano Diaz called a timeout in the lesson, and just started crying. Turns out he had just found out that the REAL LIFE Amador, his real investigator and convert, was getting sealed with his family for all time and eternity next month. We all sat there and cried. It was an incredible experience and truly reminded me why i'm here.
I'm so grateful for this experience. As scared and nervous as I get sometimes, as much as it can be out of my comfort zone, I love it so much. Jesus Christ, our Savior, is my brother and my best friend. I'm so grateful for the sacrifice he made for us, and for the blessing to HAVE the Gospel in our lives. I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon. If you ever want to know if this church is true, or if you want to receive a direct answer from God, then I challenge you to read Moroni 10:3-5 and pray to our Father in Heaven to know if what you are reading is true. I promise that you will receive an answer!!! 
Guys, I love you all so much! Hope you have the best week!!!!!!!!

Hermana Randall

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hey my favorite family!

I love you guys so much. So right now, I'm so frustrated because I got the one computer that didnt work so hopefully they let me write for more than just 30 min because it took so long to fix! GAH!

So tomorrow we finish our 3rd week and start our 4th. DANG. How crazy is that? Were almost halfway done! I'm going to miss the CCM so much, though. The new batch of missionaries came in this week! Lots of them, too! We got two new roommates and theyre the sweetest--their names are Hermana McNevin from Colorado and Hermana Vincent from ARLINGTON TEXAS!! Crazy, right? Theyre so kind and so fun! Theyre both going to the Santiago Oeste mission. Since its our 3rd and 4th week, we got some new teachers and let me tell you...they are AMAZING! They seriously bring such an amazing spirit. Most of them don't speak English very well, but its amazing, because I feel like most of the time I don't need them to speak English for me! NOW its pretty difficult for me to speak Spanish back, that's for sure. Hahaha. It's usually a train wreck cuz it takes so long for me to come  up with something on the spot that I end up forgetting what I was trying to say!! Haha. 

I really feel like I'm progressing in the language though, and that makes me so happy. Whenever I say prayers or my testimony or even recite the First Vision in Spanish, the teachers make a point to tell me that my accent is coming along very well, and those kind of compliments are very needed. It's really hard to NOT feel pressure to learn the language faster than I can, and it's really hard to not be so hard on myself, but the teachers here do a great job of letting us know that we're doing well and that's more than I could ever ask for! Hermana Maxfield and I taught a new investigator this week named Jose Antonio, and during the lesson, the Spirit was just SO incredibly strong! After the lesson, our teacher said that he was almost in tears because of how much he was feeling the Spirit. He said we SURPASSED his expectations by a ton!! That was the greatest news ever.

I have never ever understood how you could fall in love with a culture and it's people that you don't even know, but HOLY MOLEY it's a real thing. This place is the greatest!! The people here are incrdible. I know I say that every week, but thats because its totally true!!! 

FAMILY: I just want you guys to know that I pray for you each individually, EVERY morning and night, every meal, before every lesson! I thank Heavenly Father constantly for the priveldge that I have to be in this family. BOYS, I miss  you like crazy. You would seriously love this place so much. Every morning we go and play some intense futbol games and its the BEST!!!! Sometimes as a zzone, sometimes as a district. I have some huge bruises from that! During the week, the parks are PACKED with Chileans playing futbol y basketball and buying helado from the little shacks. Its just the greatest! I know youd love it. 

Me and the wonderful Hermana Maxfield in front of the temple today. I{m realizing that were given the companions that were given for a reason. I love her so much and I{m so gratefull for the strength that she provides for me. PLEASE SEND ME PICS SO THAT I CAN DOWNLOAD THEM TO MY SD CARD AND PRINT THEM OFF NEXT PDAY I LOVE YOU LOTS!
I just want you guys to know how much I love you!! 
Hermana Randall

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

It's been two weeks since I arrived at the CCM! ITS SO AWESOME HERE. Mom, Dad, Kade, Koy and Eli. I can't even explain how much I love you guys! I think about you and pray for you 24/7!!! 

My teachers here are amazing. SO amazing. Three of my most favorite teachers are Hermano Pino, Hermano Ruitor, and Hermano Canas. Hermano Pino just got back from his mission to Peru about 4 months ago and has the most amazing testimony!! Its crazy, because he doesnt speak much English, but we're still SO close to him. Honestly, I feel like he's one of my best friends here! He's such an incredible teacher, all of them are!! Even though he's only 20, I feel like he's so wise and teaches us so much. I'm so forever grateful for the love that they show to us! You can tell that they really care about our success in the mission field and its so great. 

This morning, 5 districts left the CCM, leaving for the big bad world!! Theres literally only like 20 of us left here at the CCM. Its so empty its weird! But you know what that means... tomorrow afternoon is when the NEW NOOBS come in!! Its honestly like high school here in that when you first come to the CCM you feel like a noob freshman until the old guys move out. Now, were technically sophomores here so we think were pretty dang cool. Haha! 
Hermana Smith and Hermana Phelps left this morning too, though. Honestly, I can't thank them enough for the impact that they made on me. They changed the first two weeks of my mission. I was so lonely, so homesick, and so wanting to go home, but they made me feel so incredibly loved that I kind of forgot about all of those awful feelings. Last night, everyone was hanging out and saying bye, and we all got in a big group hugging each other, and sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again"and everyone was crying and laughing and hugging and there was just SO MUCH LOVE. The Spirit was so strong. Theres something really amazing about feeling united, feeling like ONE. If you think about it, were all here for the exact same reason...because we love our Lord and Savior Jesus Chirst and we want everyone to know Him and follow Him. We are ALL in this together, and its the best feeling. It was pretty hard saying bye, but I know the Lord will take care of them!!

GOTTA SAY THIS REAL QUICK. I'm in love with Chile. Everything about it. The people, the hustle and bustle of Santiago, the food, the LANGUAGE. Its absolutely incredible. The Chilean people are the warmest people you will ever meet...and even if you cant speak that great of Spanish, they get it! I already dont want to leave this place. Its definitely pretty frustrating though, when you run into people who want to talk to you and you want to talk to them SO BAD but the language barrier is just too thick. I'm working on it though! It'll come with patience. 

PATIENCE. One thing that I KNOW the Lord is trying to teach me right now. I never really considered how hard it would be to be with someone literally 24/7. Its exhausting. I feel like Im somewhat introverted as well, so sometimes I just want some ME time and its almost impossible here at the CCM!!! I love my companion, Hermana Maxfield. As different as we are, were alike in a lot of ways. We both have an enormous love for music, so were are ALWAYS singing!!! We also have some really good conversations, ones that make you think, you know? Shes a beautiful person inside and out! 

Dad, real quick question. Do you know an Elder Hardenbrook who served in Santiago North from 1989 to 1991? If so, I know his son!!! His son is serving in the Oeste mission, west mission, and just left for the mission field!! Hes a great guy!!

One really great thing that just keeps me going is that I've been told many times by different people that my accent when I speak Spanish is really good!!!!! That makes me so happy, because I really really try to pronounce the words the way native Chileans would! The Spanish language is so beautiful, so much prettier than English! 
So we have this investiagator named Hector...hes actually our teacher Hermano Pino, but we pretend hes a real investigator. Weve had about 3 or 4 lessons with him, completely in Spanish, which is really hard. But here at the CCM they put a really big emphasis on TEACHING BY THE SPIRIT. You can be 100 percent perfect at speaking spanish, but if the Spirit isnt with you helping you, you arent going to get through to your investigators. Well, our last lesson, IT HAPPENED FINALLY. It was almost as if I wasnt even thinking about it, and I was just speaking and the Spanish was coming to me. And then a scripture that I had read a few days ago popped into my mind and I asked Hector to read it and it just was incredible! The Spirit was so strong, and I cant really explain it, because I know that it wasn't all me. Ive learned that if God knows your trying your best, He will 100 percent help you make up the rest. He's our LITERAL Father. What Father wouldn't do anything for His children?

Funny story, we were teaching another one of our investigators, Carla, and mi companera Hermana Maxfield was trying to explain that God has a body of flesh and bones, just like us. She accidentally said "carne y juevos"instead of "carne y huesos". For those that dont know, "juevos"in spanish means eggs. So she told our investigator that God had a body of flesh and eggs, and Carla, our teacher Hermana Munoz, just busted up laughing. It was a totally innocent mistake, and we had NO IDEA!!!! hahaha it was so great. I'm grateful for laughter because without it, we'd be goihng crazy down here.

A little bit about the food here at the CCM...its CARB OVERLOAD. Honestly, I think theyre purposefully trying to fatten us up. haha. But the bread here is INCREDIBLE, so I will willingly get fat for the pan. Dad, I LOVE MANJAR. hahaha which probably isnt a good thing, but man oh man, I could eat it all day! Something weird is that they eat there cereal with yogurt instead of milk, so every morning we have cereal and yogurt!! Im actually really strating to love it!!  They have this store here called Liders and it is owned by Walmart, so they sell some american great value brand items. They have Ritter Sports here!!!!!  That's so good, but so bad!!!!!

One important thing that I learned this week is from 3 Nephi chapter 26 verse 9. It says "And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them." Ive realized that most things that are WORTH IT never come easy. Imagine if I just walked into the CCM, not even having to TRY to learn Spanish or teach by the Spirit. What if it just came to me? Of course that would be so much easier, but what would I learn?? Yeah I wouldnt get so frustrated that I ended up crying, yeah I wouldnt be so hard on myself that I end up pushing myself TOO hard, but I wouldnt be personally progressing. Our faith and our loyalty HAS to be tested. Our loving Heavenly Father wants to know that we have tried our hardest to please Him and be on His side and He will make up with rest. 
I want you all to know that I love this church and this work so much. I'm so beyond grateful for this experience and I owe it all to Him. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. He wants us to come to Him! I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon and for the strength that its been to me. I challenge you all to read it! It will change your lives. 
Have an AMAZING week! Remember to pray!! 

Lots of love,
Hermana Randall

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hello my dear family and friends,

I just want to start off this email by saying that I have never been more thankful for the strength and courage that my family and friends provide me. This past week has been the hardest week of my life, no doubt. Its been full of ups and downs, but I dont think I would trade it for anything. Its already taught me so much about myself, and I just cant believe it. Before you leave on a mission, people who have been on missions tell you that its the hardest thing you will ever do, but that its so worth it. Honestly, none of that advice really prepared me for what I would feel out here. 
LDS Temple in Santiago, Chile--This is what I see out of my bedroom window!
The first day I arrived here, was COMPLETELY overwhelming. That night as I was laying in bed in a room full of girls I didn't know, I thought about my friends and family. I have never ever felt so homesick in my life. For the first time I thought "Oh my gosh, I cant do this. Theres no way I can do this." It was really scary, honestly. BUT then I had to stop and think, why am I here? Why did I choose to serve a mission in the first place? I prayed and prayed that night that the pain in my heart would go away, that I would be able to at least FUNCTION the next day! The next morning when I woke up, I cant really fully explain how I felt, but it was the deepest feeling of love and appreciation from my Father in Heaven. I know that He is watching over me constantly, and I know that He understands how much I miss my amazing parents and sweet brothers. God knows me, and He knows every one of you!!

My companion Hermana Phelps from AZ
After I was able to get over the homesickness, its been a process to try and NOT be so hard on myself. The Spanish language is so hard!  Okay, its hard when youre trying to TEACH in it, and you only really have a vocabulary of 30 words!!!!! haha. Our teachers here at the CCM are incredible. Theyre native Chileans who have all recently returned from missions and all can speak pretty decent English. Ive never really felt this deep of a love for people that I dont know very well. I feel like I have a very strong connection with not only my teachers, but with my District! My district is made up of 5 companionships--3 girl companioships, and 2 boy companionships. Weve all gotten really really close in these past 6 days because were all struggling with the language together and were all trying to learn how to teach others better! 
Fellow hermanas in my District...Love them already!

One thing that Ive really learned since Ive been here is that the Spirit NEEDS to be present at all times. Before we plan a lesson, read our scriptures, teach investigators (really teachers acting like investigators), we PRAY! Pray to have the Spirit with us to teach and guide us. And let me tell you, the Holy Ghost is real. The Spirit makes the most incredible diffference in your focus, in your thinking, in your conversations. Having the Spirit in your life as much as you can makes the BIGGEST difference, and it just blows my mind. I love it! 

Santiago is beautiful. The weather is absolutely incredible--warm, but not too warm, breezy but not too windy, and very dry. The area that the CCM is in is absolutely gorgeous. There are palm trees everywhere and all the streets are lined with lights at night. People are always out and about. Every morning, everyone at the CCM goes down the street a couple miles to this BEAUTIFUL park. There are native Chileans everywhere that we get to talk to and sometimes we play kickball or basketball or futbol. It definitely makes these long days much much much more bearable. I will send you pictures! 

I dont have much more time to write today because Im going to try and email everyone back that wrote me! But I just want you all to know that I KNOW that Jesus Christ lives. I know that more and more every day. He is our Savior and our Brother, who loves us more than we could ever comprehend. I love being a missionary!!!! Its the toughest thing ever, but I wouldnt trade it for the world!! I love my family and friends so so so much. Thank you all for being so supportive! YOURE THE BEST! Talk to you next week :)

Lots of love, 
Hermana Randall

Park in Santiago