Missionary Monday: Sister McNevin Serving In Chile


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,

Hermana McNevin– The dog whisperer
Sister McNevin is serving from the Summit View Ward. You can visit her blog by clicking HERE.

Stake Youth Talent Show Pictures!

Thank you to all the wonderful young men and young women who came and shared their talents at the Youth Variety Show! We have a few pictures to share, but we would love to post more! If you have any to share, please e-mail them to HIghlandsRanchMormons@gmail.com (and, likewise, if there are any pictures you would like to have removed, please e-mail us and we will remove them).



Great Idea For Getting Kids Excited For Conference!

Jamie H. from the Westridge Ward shared a brilliant idea for getting kids excited for conference. The original idea came from The Ensign, and Jamie has had great success implementing this simple game into her family:

birthday 009 We have always tried to make conference weekend different.  But I wanted to do something to lead up to conference.  I saw this idea in the Ensign a few years ago and thought it sounded great.  The game is “Guess Who Is Coming To Dinner”.  For the two weeks leading up to conference, I place an empty chair at the dinner table.  Each night (they loved it so much we actually ended up doing it at every meal) I put clues on the chair about a certain apostle.  “In the navy,” “Mission to England,” “Born in Idaho,” “Has 6 kids,” etc… things like that.  Then they would guess who it was.  The first time we did this they did not have any idea who anybody was (except for Monson and Uchdorf – they knew them) – but that didn’t keep them from guessing – and it was fun to put Dad on the spot to see if he knew who was who. This conference marks the third time we have done it, and we had our first apostle “visit” last night. I was shocked when my 8 and 6 year old were able to guess M. Russell Ballard on their first try! They are learning! After they guess, we put their picture on the chair and  the children insist they get a plate and utensils also.  They love it and eat this game up.  Then we hang the picture on the wall to stay all week.  During conference, they remember things when it came time for conference, and they talked about them often.  This worked so well that I decided I am going to do it in all areas of our lives – prophets from the scriptures, historical figures the kids are studying in school, ancestors, or even family members living far away.  It is so fun!

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If you would like to try this idea at home, you can click on the link below for fun facts about the apostles and prophet:

Guess who is coming to Dinner

Thank you for sharing this great idea with us!


Missionary Monday: Sister Arbuckle in the Amazon


Here is a recent letter from Sister Arbuckle:


I am officially leaving for Manaus in 3 DIAS!!!!!!!! I am so freaking excited!!! My flight is going to be just over 4 hours long haha – yeah Brazil is GINORMOUS! This week was super super good. It is our last week at the MTC and we are finishing strong. We are so sad to leave some of the people and friends we’ve made here but super ready to move on!

Going to cosmetology school was pretty much the best idea ever. I seriously use those skills all the time for the girls I live with. This week we focused on everyone’s eyebrows J

This week was daylight savings in Sao Paulo which meant we got an extra hour of sleep!! The sunrise in the morning now is breathtaking – I’ve become obsessed with it haha. Sao Paulo is so beautiful! I can’t even imagine what Manaus is going to look like.

Today we were told that a general authority was going to visit so I spent time curling my hair (yeah, huge waste of time because now I look like I have dread locks because of the humidity). Turns out a former mission president was visiting our area and he was super cool.

Sis. B and I are starting to love the beans and rice which is good considering we eat it at almost every meal. One day they actually ran out and we craved it all day!

Mom, please don’t be mad, but I gave away one of my suitcases. I’ve been so stressed about my carry on being too big and when I measured it this week it was two inches over the limit. So, I went to one of the Hispanic sister’s rooms and asked if anyone needed a suitcase and this sister from Guatamala raised her hand and said she would love one. Then she pulled out an old duct taped suitcase she had brought and said it was the only one she had. She was so amazed and so so grateful that I could give her mine. Before I go I’m going to stuff if with things I don’t need. She then tried to give me a bag her mom had made for her out of her baby clothes!!! So sweet and so so generous and oh my goodness…so humbling. Don’t worry though – I bought a backpack and will use that instead. I’ve discovered there aren’t a lot of things I actually need.

Someone asked me this week if I was Brazilian?!! What. Yeah, made my lifeeee!! Something that I love is when you randomly hear over all the Portuguese “Hallo how a you?” or “what is sup?”.

Learning a new language is hard. Like, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. It’s the most overwhelming, frustrating, demanding, takes all my concentration, but coolest experience ever. Everyone should study the Book of Mormon in a new language. I firmly believe this because you actually come across words and phrases that make more sense in another language. You can also start to see patterns of different prophets, what connotations they used, tenses, forms, etc. In the end though, we just need to teach by the Spirit and teach what Heavenly Father knows the investigator needs to hear.

My spiritual thought this week is from a note my Dad sent me. I read this all week and am memorizing it in Portuguese! It’s in Doctrine and Covenants 76:2-7:

2. Great is his wisdom, marvelous are his ways, and the extent of his doings none can find out.

3. His purposes fail not, neither are there any who can stay his hand.

4. From eternity to eternity he is the same, and his years never fail.

5. For thus saith the Lord – I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.

6. Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.

7. And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.

What I am learning is that although each of us are unable to understand all of God’s ways, the things He has asked us to do, the callings we have or the things that are placed in our individual path we can be assured of two things: 1) He loves us. He loves us so so much and as a missionary it is so awesome to get to learn about this love through teaching people about Him. Learning how to be a disciple of Jesus Christ allows us to feel of His love for all the people we teach. It’s so amazing that the Lord has given us the gift of tongues not so that we can be fluent but so that people will be able to understand our message the way that they need to. All so that His children can come to know of His existence and eternal love and plan for them. 2) He has given us the gift of the Holy Ghost. (This is a gift we receive after baptism). Through the Holy Ghost we can feel comforted, loved, happy, and like Moroni says when we have real intent in our hearts we really can come to know the truth of all things. What a huge promise.

The Lord is at our side every step of the way and I would never be able to do this without him.

Everything is really good here and my when I send my next email I will be officially in the Amazon with my insanely broken Portuguese! Love you all so much – keep sending me pics and stories and emails. They help so much!

Sister Arbuckle is serving from the Heritage Park Ward. You can visit her blog by clicking HERE.