Here is a recent letter from Sister McNevin:
Well the time finally came for me to move into the great abyss–Chile. My first area is called El Sauce and im in the peñaflor stake. Basically Im surrounded by ferocious dogs, and lots of poop. Its unfortunate because literally one of my biggest fears is dogs. The first night I got here, I was put straight to work and we went out to go find people to teach. While in a neighborhood, these two dogs just start going at each other like two wild beasts who havent eaten for months. My companion just kept walking while I was standing there like, oh my days what have i gotten myself into haha! The houses here are very humble and most people barely have anything.
But all is well because the people here are some of the most incredible people I have ever met. They are so loving, giving, and so kind, Im absolutely in awe. The people here all have gates in front of their house so when you want to knock on a door, you just say, HALLLOOOOO! really loudly and then the people come out. The members here are awesome as well. This one lady cut up a melón and gave one half to me and one half to my companion. haha i was like uhhhh ok if you say so! Let me just say, that was one of the most delicious fruits i have ever eaten in my entire life, holy moly.
So we only eat two meals a day- breakfast and lunch. For lunch, we go to a members house everyday. Holy moly, the food they made for us is absolutely divine. At one house I got this like flank stake with rice, papas fritas, and then this strawberry and vanilla helado with loafers on top….. Im drooling just thinking about it!! Dont worry, they feed us very well here despite the lack of dinner. I usually indulge in some Chilean cookies during nightly planning.
My companion, Hermana Campbell, is the bees knees! She is super positive and extremely sweet. Im so lucky to have her as my companion because the first few weeks in the field are extremely difficult. You have left the luxuries of the CCM and now have to actually work. We are out walking on the streets for about 9 hours everyday. I have blisters on my feet and in the hot chilean sun, my legs feel like bricks. We also get a lot of rejections. Many people say they dont have time to hear our message or dont want anything to do with us. But with the afflictions and sufferings come the miracles. As Elder Holland says, we cannot expect to be true disciples of Christ until we walked where He walked. It is really easy to get discouraged on your misión. Especially for me when I see these families and friends together because I think of all of you and how much I love you! Most days we walk on empty streets praying for people to talk to and it can get very lonely. But the trial of your faith is more precios than gold (as it says in the bible) and you must endure your suffering with patience. That is really difficult to do when all you want to do is curl up into a ball, eat cookies, and watch a disney movie. nevertheless, This work is absolutely glorious. Each day I am helping people remember the Savior and Redeemer of the world.
This one family- who was my favorite from day one- is very receptive. Its two parents and a child. They are truly Golden. We were teaching them a lesson about eternal familes and I started crying because I was feeling the Spirit so strongly. The dad kept saying, tranquila! Tranquila! because most people arent used to having two random girls come into their house and start crying haha. But anyway, I bore my testimony of this church and I promised them many blessings for their family through Jesús Christ and his marvelous góspel. Gosh I love them so much! They are truly incredible!
So, of course, I have a funny story of the week. We were talking to this old lady on the Street and her daughter was trying to tell her to get on the bus. Amidst all the commotion, the daughter got distracted and the old lady called a cab and tried to get in while the daughter wasn’t looking haha meanwhile, we are trying to teacher her how she can find peace and joy through Jesus Christ- it was quite a sight.
So Im also totally in love with grandma (we teach a lot of grandmas in chile-luckily, not all of them are trying to escape in cabs). When we got to her house it was already dark and we were both exhausted. When we entered her house, she hugged me so tight and gave me a kiss on the cheek. Her warm embrace was nothing short of a miracle. She is lovely and loves the góspel. I cant wait until our next visit with her.
I just want to say how awesome all of you are!! Im sending you all a huge chilean hug for all of the love and support you have shown me. Seriously, I am very very blessed. I pray for you all multiple times during the day!
Until next week,