Sunday, February 21, 2016

February 15, 2016

Hello Everybody!

Kim here again!  Sorry I am a little late in posting this.  Mackenzie had a great week and we have lots of pictures to share!  Thank you for checking in to see how she is doing.  She is really enjoying her mission and loves to hear from all of you!  She loves all of you and is so grateful for everyone's support and love! I'll try to post quicker next week, well actually tomorrow at this point!  :)

Hey Everyone!

I just wanted to say thank you for all of the emails I have been getting. They are fantastic and make me feel close to home even when I am over here in South America! I love hearing about how everyone is doing! 

This week has been a little crazy! We had three conferencias! Two in Montevideo and one in Durazno! The two in Montevideo was for the temple and the Oro Conferencia! 

Here they call new missionaries Oros! It means gold and it is because they think we conduct the spirirt through us really well like gold and we are new and pure and stuff like that haha. But the conference was really good! I got to see Hermana Harpole! It was super great and I got to meet a lot more people in the misión! 

The temple was so amazing! We had some classes before we went and one of them was taught by Hermana Cook, the Mission president's wife. She is so amazing! She said something that I really liked. She said that every morning when we put on our garments we are putting on a little piece of home. The temple is our home and no matter where we are or what we are doing we always have a piece of home with us as long as we are wearing our garments! I really liked that because down here in Uruguay is nothing like home but I love it all the same! 

We lost our investigator Anelina this week, she said she didn't want to listen to us anymore. She really has a fear of change and her entire family is catholic so she is nervous about what they will think too. It was so sad and frustrating to me because I love her so much and I know the góspel can bless her so much! But God gave us our agency and the spirit respects that: So our investigators can choose to admit to the spirit they are feeling or not and in this case she chose the later. But I love her still the same and still pray for her every day! 

Also Victoria moved so we are trying to find her again! Hr mom and her Abuela got in a fight so her mom moved out. It is a big bummer but all in the Lord's time!

We found three new investigators this week, despite only working three days this week! The Lord is really preparing these people for us and I am so excited to watch them progress!

So last week it started to pour down rain and we got soaked! The streets flooded and the umbrella didn't do anything.The rain just came at you from everywhere! We had an investigator we wanted to go see but we also saw that a less active family was home and we didn't know what to do. So we said a prayer in the pouring rain! When the prayer was over I felt that we needed to go see our investigator and when we got there she had all of her stuff lined up to do drugs. We talked with her and when we left she was doing way better. We talked with her the next day and instead of doing drugs she read her scriptures and read all of Alma 36 and she said she knew she could change her life. It was so amazing to see a result of our work and following the spirit.

A year ago I never would have guessed I would be walking around South America in the pouring rain and loving it! What we do as missionaries is crazy. We walk around, talking to strangers bearing our testimonies to anyone who will listen, and some that won't. We go into strangers houses and talk about how us as teenagers know how to help these people who struggle with drug addictions, family problems, and everything else you can imagine. But it is so worth it! You can see how the Gospel of Jesús Christ is changing these peoples lives for the better and it is so amazing. It is such a testimony builder for me! If we turn to Christ and rely on our Heavenly Father, there isn't anything we can't do! I know that this misión is only getting started but I love it and I cannot wait to see what happens! I know that our Father in Heaven lives and knows us and is aware of each and everyone of us and what we need. I know he answers our prayers if we will put in the work. I know through the atonement of Christ we can find peace, comfort, and be forgiven for our sins! I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and restored the góspel. I know that he translated the Book of Mormon into our language. This is why we need to study it and read it every day. Heavenly Father knew we needed it so much he gave an uneducated man the power to translate it for our understanding! I know that through temple ordinances we can have our families forever! What a great blessing that is and I have been blessed with the most amazing family. I know Heavenly Father has blessed us with families to help us stay on the straight and narrow path that returns us back to him! I know this góspel is true with all my heart and that is why I am out here. These people need the góspel and each one of us can bring it to them if we will be willing to follow the desires of Heavenly Father and open our mouths! Most of our new investigators are references from the Ward! The Lord puts these people in our path so that we can help them! And when we were baptized we promised to take upon us the name of Christ and this includes sharing the góspel! We have what everyone needs and we should share it! I love you all and I hope you have a great week!


Hermana Rich
Yay!  My first package from home!

And it's packed full!

With some cotton shirts for the humidity!

And a letter from home!

And some of the things I miss, like beef jerky...

And lots of chocolate...

And peanut butter!!!

and gum!

Wow!  It felt like Christmas! (Her dad would say too small for Christmas... more like her Easter basket! hahaha)

This is what walking in the flooding rainstorm does!

Temple Day

Hermana Rich and Mortensen at the temple

Yay!!!!  She got to see Hermana Harpole again! This was her companion in the Missionary Training Center.

And I saved the best for last...Hermana Rich holding a dead, frozen Armadillo!

Monday, February 8, 2016

February 8th, 2016 - 2 months down, 16 to go!

Kim here!  Just posted this weeks email and pictures!  Thank you for taking the time to read and check in on Mackenzie.  She is doing great and loving the mission!!!  Feel free to email her!  Hope you all have a great week!
Hello Everyone!

Well this week has been pretty crazy! But that is how it is here in Uruguay! For example this morning I went to take a shower right? Seems like a normal simple thing..but no! So my companion went and put her laundry in the machine ( we got a new one yay) and the power went out! So we had to turn the power back on! Then I go to turn the shower on and we have absolutely zero wáter pressure to the point where no wáter is coming out of the shower head...then it finally kicks in and we have no hot wáter! But that is okay at least we have a shower right? So I am showering and the power goes out and this time stays I got to shower in the dark!! Hahaha 

But really I am loving it out here! You never know what to expect! The other day when I had intercambios (exchanges-this is where they swap companions for the day) my companion and I went and started talking with this guy and he kept saying this word we didn't know. So he said he would show us! The next thing I know this guy walks out with a dead, frozen armadillo!! He had skinned the face and when you flipped it over he had taken all of its insides and was keeping it in his freezer!! After he was done showing us he handed it to his five year old son to go put back in the freezer. What is that?! haha It was pretty funny and definitely not something I was expecting! But hey it is a good story! 

This week my companion and I got to go to Durazno for a baptism and we got to sing as well! So that was pretty exciting! And to go along with traveling we have to go to Montevideo twice this week for conferencias! So I am pretty excited! In one of the conferences my companion and I have to run the workshop which is a 45 minute class for our zone! 

Last night we had a family home evening with some recent converts! Well they had forgotten about it so they were cleaning up really quick right? So we are helping entertain there three little kids and the dad disappears! Next thing we know he comes running back with all this soda and food! He had gone to the store and bought all this stuff for the fhe(family home evening)...thanks for breaking the sabbath day to feed us? haha it was pretty funny! 

We currently have about six solid investigators! Two of which have baptism dates set! One of them is Angelina, the lady who said she wasn't going to change! I am so excited for her! She is so sweet and so fantastic! We just have to help her meet all of the requirements for baptsim! 

Last week for a zone meeting our zone went and visited the huge cathedral here! It was pretty interesting to have all these mormon missionaries walking around the catholic church but the building is insane and super cool!

Well that is about all I have got for you! But I love you all so much! And I want all of you to know that I know that this góspel is true. That Heavenly Father sent us here to Earth to gain experience and learn. But also, to have families and find joy in this life. When things get tough always turn to our Heavenly Father. Every trial he gives us is one we can support and overcome with his help! When we want to talk to God we pray and when we want him to talk to us we read the scriptures! This is why it is so important to study the scriptures everyday! I know that the Book Of Mormon is the Word of God. I know that through the atonemnet of Jesús Christ we can find forgiveness, comfort, and be with our families for the eternitities. I love this góspel so much and I am so grateful for it and the knowledge and comfort it brings me! I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week and can recognize the Lord's hand in your life a little more!


Hermana Rich
Eating burgers with Hermana Mortensen

On exchanges

Exchange with Hermana Bagley

Yay!!!She got our package!

Monday, February 1, 2016


Kim here again!  Another Monday down and another fun email from Mackenzie. (Allen informed me yesterday only 70 more Sundays to go!) She has been busy and is loving her mission!  Here is her latest email and pictures!  Hope you enjoy reading it!

Hi everyone!
This week has been great! We have one investigator, Angelina, She is the lady who said she knew the book of mormon was true but didn't want to change! Well this week we talked with her more and talked about how God only has one way for us to return to him and that the sacerdocio or priesthood is they key that opens that door! She then asked if she could just break the door down haha but she is great! We had a Noche de Hogar or family home evening with the Blanco family and our investigator Victoria! The Blanco Family is soo amazing! I love them so much! I always talk about soccer with them and the other day their seven year old son brought out all their cleats and was talking to me about them and what he does at practice and stuff! Way fun! Also, We have this less active member, Miguel! He is so funny! So he doesn't come to church becaus he refuses to come wearing anything but shorts and a t shirt!Well the other day we ran into him and he said he had something for us and ran behind this random house and gave us this window screen! So funny haha. This week I have been studying more about patience and how we need to trust in the lord and his timing. We need to bear our trials with patience because we are given them to help us learn and grow! I really have been trying to have more patience with everything that is going on around me and have patience with myself and the language! I know it takes time and that the Lord requires us to work for our answers! We have alot of people who straight out tell us we are wrong and don't know what we are talking about and it makes me sick to my stomach! Because I know without a doubt that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and I know that through Him we can be with our families forever. I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesús Christ and when we read it and study it daily we draw closer to Him and can understand what God desires of us! I know that God always provides a way for us if we will turn to him! I live on my knees out here and constantly am praying for different things! I love this góspel and all that it brings me! I love you all and pray for you every week! I am sorry the letter isn't very long I will do better rnext week! 


Hermana Rich
The entry hallway where Mackenzie lives

She said they call this chicken pizza!

The infamous "screen"

The Blanco family

Mackenzie at El Campo, where the city is more worn down
On a funny note, Mackenzie also found out that her companion is from Woodscross High school in Utah!  Her companion was at the same choir festival that Mackenzie was at in San Diego a few years ago.  Small world!  Anyways, Woodscross came into the festival and beat out Fountain Valley who had a long run at first place.  Well when it came time for the awards, Mackenzie was so excited that Fountain Valley got beat that when they announced Woodscross as the winner Mackenzie was jumping up and down and cheering.  Her companion told her that they all told funny stories about the girl who was so excited that they won and she wasn't even from Woodscross high school.  Well that girl was Mackenzie and now she is companions with the girl from Woodscross.  Amazingly small world.  Love you all and thanks for reading about Mackenzie's time in Uruguay!


So we got some clarification on the blog.  I can post on the blog.  But I need to make it perfectly clear that this is Kim (Mackenzie's Mom) posting on this blog and not her.  She doesn't have access to this blog and anything posted here will ALWAYS be from me.  (At least until June of 2017 when she will come home!)  When it sounds like her writing, that is because she always sends me an email from her to post to all of you!  It is NEVER her posting to this blog!  With that being said, here is her email from last week!

Hey everyone!!

I hope you all have had a great past week! This week was a little interesting for me! I got the gripe, or the flu! I have got to say that the flu here is way different than back at home! I would take the flu back at home over the one here any day. I kinda felt like I was dying..and that is me not being dramatic or anything hahaha. So unfortunately I was only able to work two full days this past week! It doesn´t help that it has been so hot outside but I am way better now!!

Also, our washing machine is broken! So I get to wash all of my clothes by hand today, yay! When the machine is on it takes our power so before we figured out that it was the washing machine we would sometimes have to plan in the dark! haha But we are hopefully getting a new one soon!

We had the opportunity to teach Sunday school again yesterday and it was pretty fun! Once again, I love teaching! We taught a lesson with this lady this week and these were here exact words: I believe the Book of Mormon is true but I just don't want to change. WHAT?! It is times like these that I know the Lord is really trying to teach me patience! But I still love her and we are gong to try and help her! We also found a less active family at the end of last week and had our first lesson with them this week! Well it turns out that there are three families living together, all related, but one of the daughters is eight and hasn't been baptized. We taught the restoration of the gospel with them and this little girl was super interested so the Grandma went and woke up the mom and asked her if she could be baptized! The grandma walked out and said oh she can be baptized so we committed her and the whole family came to church yesterday and the little girl loved it! So we are super excited about that! We are working with two other main investigators but they don't have dates yet! One of them was baptized but he doesn't understand that he needs to be baptized with the proper authority! But they are all super great and they understand me so that is good! Plus the more I am around them the more I understand too! 

The whole two weeks I have been out here I have realized we witness a miracle every single day. Every single day we see Heavenly Father´s hand at work! For example, yesterday our lunch fell through and we weren't quite sure what we were going to do because we didn't have food and we can't go buy any on Sundays! ( We didn't have food because the majority of it has been gong bad because our fridge doesn't work right lol we are working on that too!) Well we were talking to a lady in the Ward and she randomly said you should come over for lunch. We explained our dilemma and she said she had gone grocery shopping the day before and felt impressed to buy more food than she needed and so she had plenty! I know that isn't a major miracle or anything but it was a miracle none the less! Just goes to show that Heavenly Father is aware of each of us and what we need even before we know what we need!

I have been studying the atonement a lot this week and I can't begin to explain my gratitude for my savior! It is so important that we use the atonement daily! It is through the atonement that we can be with our families forever and live with Heavenly Father again. Through the atonement we can receive comfort! Jesus Christ knows exactly what we are feeling. He took on every sin for every person in the world and all he asks for in return is that we live his commandments. I have never used the atonement more in my life than right now. Heavenly Father knows our thoughts and the intents of our hearts and so he knows every single mistake we make, big or little! But the size of our sin is not important because the atonement covers it all! All we have to do is ask for forgiveness! I am so grateful for the atonement because I want to live with my family forever and I know that it is only through the atonement and the sacrifice that my Savior made that that is even a possibility. I know that this gospel is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and when we read it we are truly reading the words of God and that we can find any answer we need through diligent study of the Book of Mormon. I know that we have the true authority of God on the Earth today! I know that baptism is not the end but merely the beginning and that we can renew our covenants each week by taking the sacrament and we can start each week fresh! I know that Our Heavenly Father answers our prayers if we will have the patience to know it is in his time and He knows what is best for us. I know that God lives and loves us! I love my mission and I am so excited for the work ahead! I hope you all have a great week! Know that I pray for you all every day and I love you all!


Hermana Rich
Sky view of part of Mackenzie's area

Another sky view shot

Back of the Catholic church near where she lives

Mackenzie's desk.  Looks like lots of studying in Spanish!

And just a side not from me, Mackenzie is feeling much better and she has been asked to sing at a special sister missionary conference.  Wish we could all be there to hear it, but I am sure it will be amazing!  Thank you all for checking in!