Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Que Semana...Gracias por Sus Oraciones!

October 27, 2014


Um, I just don’t even know where to start. Last week was basically nuts. I should probably start out by saying thank you so much for your prayers this last week. Without a doubt they were answered! I felt them so strongly. We were able to see Norma and teach her in her apartment every single day. She had her baptismal interview on Friday and passed it and everything. It was really great. :) And then came Sunday.... We had planned her baptism and everything. But when we went to get her for church on Sunday, she wasn’t home. So we called her and she quickly said, "I can’t talk I’m in church" and hung up. Yep, she was in a catholic church the day of her baptism.... Why? Well, in the catholic church you just show up and the priests bless you, whereas in our church they just don’t give out blessing like that. We told her that you can receive blessings of health and explained the priesthood authority again, but she said she had never seen blessings given at church, even though she has received one before. (Her memory is really not that great since she fell down the stairs and hit her head.) So needless to say, she still doesn’t understand everything about the Restoration. Yeah, it was a rough Sunday for me during church yesterday. I think it’s probably the biggest taste I’ve gotten yet of someone using their agency. Needless to say, I’ve learned so much from this experience. 

One day this last week I was studying the Sacrament Prayers and I can’t believe how much I learned from just two prayers that I hear every single Sunday! So here’s what I was able to learn/realize- or at least it’s my point of view. In the prayer for the bread we make 3 promises, which are to take upon us His name, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. When we partake of the bread we are committing to keep those promises that we make. We are remembering His body. It is because He died for us and then resurrected, that we too will live again. That gift is free. Then we have the prayer for the water, where all we promise is to remember Him. But to remember Him is to remember the promises we recently promised to keep by partaking of the bread. We are sealing that promise and we do it in the memory of the blood He spilt for us. The blood for which he sealed His atoning sacrifice. It is only through that atoning blood that we can return and live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ one day. And that must be earned by keeping the covenants we have made. So yeah, that was the relation I was able to see between the two prayers más o menos. What I loved was having the Spirit teach me through simply reading two prayers that I hear all the time. There is ALWAYS something to be learned. 

So this week was pretty rough for me energy wise. I just wanted to die at the end of every day because I was so tired. The heat has started. It’s like already 30º Celsius which I have no idea what it would be in Fahrenheit. But basically it’s only October and the real heat shouldn’t come until like January and February. I hear those months are the ones that are just unbearable. It’s also only Spring, so I’m freaked out for Summer. Just not a big fan of the humidity. Also, because of the heat and the humidity I have the worst blisters. I have wanted to straight up cut my feet off every single day this last week. It’s been rough in that sense jaja. But whatevs. I’m buying summer shoes today thankfully. 

Well, thanks again for your prayers on my behalf. I felt them so much this last week. I love you all so much and hope everything is going spectacular with you all! :) Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen! And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

Hermana Van 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween...just not the same

October 20, 2014

Buen Día!!!!!

Okay, so this week the letter is not going to be all the great because I don’t have much time like at all to write. I’ve been downloading music from the church website pretty much the whole time because the other day I bought a pen-drive from some guy in the street. It’s a cute little minion from Despicable Me! :) Hopefully it’s not a rip off. It was 180 pesos and it’s 16 GB which is super cheap here for so much storage. I guess we’ll see. Wow, I have no idea why I just explained so much about my pen-drive. Meh, oh well.

So to start, Happy Mother’s Day in Argentina all you mothers out there! Yep that’s right, yesterday was Mother’s Day here in Argentina!! Everybody asked us if we got to talk to our moms...jaja no, I wish!! Oh well, just two more months ‘til Christmas, so it’s cool. 

So there is an Elder in my ward from South Jordan so we decided it would be super fun if we did a Halloween party in the ward kind of like Trunk or Treat where everyone can dress up and get candy, but instead of cars do it in the classrooms in the church because hardly anyone has cars here. So yeah, we planned the whole thing with our ward mission leader, Elder Walton made fliers and everything and we started inviting investigators. Well, yesterday at church we had a meeting with the Bishop and he told us that people were complaining about the activity because they thought it had to do with Satan or something like that. Umm....OKAY. The bishop told us he was all for the idea, but we just wouldn’t have successful because the members didn’t feel comfortable with the whole dressing up thing and what not. So now we’re going to have a talent show sometime in November. I’m pretty bummed. Cultural differences are real. That’s all. Hopefully we’ll have success in November with the Talent Show...

So we have this little old investigator named Norma. She’s the cutest. I think I already wrote about her and how she only has half her teeth. Well, she went to church yesterday and stayed for almost all of it! It was great! Between our time teaching her and the time before when the missionaries were teaching her she has like 8 church attendances which is a ton! Usually we baptize with 3 attendances. The thing with her is that she doesn’t have all the lessons because we can’t see her very much since she’s so busy. Just keep her in your prayers so that we can teach her and she can get baptized this week! 

So I’ve been reading the New Testament for a little while to be able to know how Jesus taught and how I can apply it into my own teaching. I absolutely LOVE it!! It is so beautiful and I have learned so much! His perfection amazes me more and more each day (some how that’s possible). Also, 2 days ago I decided I want to read the Old Testament too. I don’t have much time in my personal study in the morning so I’m reading it at night after our planning session. I just decided I wanted to understand the stories, history, and doctrines in the Bible better. Let me tell you, it is fascinating! I love it! I just love reading the scriptures so much and I can always feel of the truthfulness of them as I read them, whether it be the Bible or the Book of Mormon! It’s the greatest!

Well, that’s all the time I have today! Sorry I couldn’t write more about my week! :/ Maybe next week’s letter will be better... Love you all! Thank you for your prayers and your support! They mean the world to me! Have a great week! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

Hermana Van  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Feliz P-Day!! :)

October 13, 2014

Buanas Tardes mis queridos!

Wow! What a P-Day! What a week!

So today for P-Day we went to the mission house (where President lives- la casa de la sounds better in Spanish jaja) and we watched the women’s conference (LOVED IT!) It was only the hermanas. And then we just hung out and ate tacos (definitely NOT an Argentine food jaja).  It was just so much fun. I can’t even tell you how much fun I had. It was so good to see all the hermanas; I seriously love them so much. It was nice to catch up with everyone and just talk and relax. I have come to make some incredible friends here in the mission...from all over the world. One of my favorite parts is getting to see mi mamá in the mission (my trainer) because she is seriously one of my absolute greatest friends and she just always gives me such great advice. I really just love all the hermanas jaja. Oh yeah! And President also called Sister Linda K Burton and we got to talk to her! It was so fun! She is amazing! She told us to tell our families that she loves them! :)

What a week it has been. I have learned so so much! My companion, Hermana Contreras (I forgot to tell y’all that she’s 26) is an incredible missionary. Straight up. She has the gift of finding people. We had so many lessons last week and we had 6 people with baptismal dates (until the majority lost them because they didn’t go to church dang it). But really I can say that I am learning so much from her and she is really helping the area. I feel like she is helping me become that missionary that I want to be since I’m learning a ton. I think I’m also learning valuable lessons for my life too. 

I have really learned so much about myself on the mission. One thing I think I’m discovering is that God has blessed me with the ability to connect with people whether they are missionaries, members, or investigators. We were in a lesson with an investigator (she’s married to a less active) and I think she got really defensive when my companion asked her a couple questions, and I was able to listen to the spirit and connect with her on a different level. By the end, she was crying and 100% willing to pray to find out if the Book of Mormon was true. (I wish I had time to write the whole story because it’s really cool.) Now I’m not saying any of that to say like hey look at me, I’m so great, because that is definitely not the case AT ALL. But I’m starting to discover talents the Lord has given me, and I’m starting to learn how to use them through the gift of the Holy Ghost. Every day, I’m in awe of what I learn and ask myself how I could have learned this stuff if I weren’t here on the mission. I feel very fortunate to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord here in Argentina. 

Well, that’s all I have for today! Not much time to write since we had the activity with the Hermanas today! I love you all and pray for you! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen! And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged! :)

Hermana Van 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Another Transfer Has Come And Gone!

October 7, 2014

Hey y’all! Long time no talk!! jaja! :)

So basically even though it’s only been four days so much has happened. Like literally the craziest stuff. The full stories are going to have to wait until I get home, but I’ll explain what I can.

Alright, to start off, I have a new companion, obvio, since my other companion finished her mission, and I’m still in Almagro. My comp is from Perú, and she has a year in the mission. Yesterday, my old comp Hna Cipriano had her final interview with President and then after her interview I had a mini interview with President. He told me that he can see that I have already progressed so much. He told me that I’m ready to be senior companion and that I’m ready to train also, but right now, the Lord has something else planned for me. He said that the Lord wants me to be companions with my new comp, because she needs me. He said I have many talents that are going to help her and that this is exactly what the Lord wants. So that’s what I’m doing. I know that I am going to learn and grow a lot from her so I’m excited to learn a lot this transfer. I’m always excited to learn a lot jaja. :)

Well P-day on Friday was a smidge of a disaster but it was pretty much the best p-day ever because of everything that happened. It’s waaaay too long of a story but basically by the end of the day with half of the zone we were in the villa (the ghetto) in the Buenos Aires WEST mission. So we weren’t in our mission, instead we were in the mission where the president got kidnapped and we were in the villa where the Hermanas should NEVER be. The zone leaders were freaking out and super antsy the whole time. It was pretty funny. We had to wait for a train there in order to get home so that’s why we were there. Nothing happened so it’s all good.

So conference straight up ROCKED. Oh how I LOVE conference! It is seriously the best! Between the temple and General Conference I was able to receive a lot of revelation. The coolest part was that when we had investigators in the sessions, the talks were just what our investigators needed to hear! One of them, Ruben, was crying and told us that he was going to go to church every single Sunday. The problem with him is that he’s not married. :( So yeah, we’re trying to work on that with him. He’s already made so much progress! All the gringos (Americans) in the stake watched Conference in English which was so so great because we got to hear their voices and their emotion and everything. I absolutely LOVED that they had some give their talks in their native language! It was beautiful to have the witness that the church really is a worldwide church. This is the Church of JESUS CHRIST. :) 

So yeah, that’s all I got for the past 4 days. Well, all the time I have to explain all that has happened in the past 4 days jaja. I hope all is well at home. I love hearing from you guys. Thanks for you prayers and support. I love you all! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!

Hermana Van 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Temple Fun

Hola! Como andan??

Okay, so where to start this week? I’ll start with the beginning of this week....or maybe last week. Okay last week. Quick recap of last week. We had divisions with the Hermana Entrenadores (STL) and it rocked. I was with Hermana Zendejas and I was able to learn a lot. We even found a new investigator so that was good. Then Saturday we had a Capilla Abierta (Open Chapel). It’s a tour of the church and we as the hermanas have to give all the lessons in basically 5-10 minutes. Then they continue the tour with the elders throughout the rest of the church. It’s the funnest. I love Capilla Abiertas! :) So then last Sunday was the despedida or Farewell of Hermana Cipriano. Every transfer at the end we have this thing called La despedida where all the missionaries that are going home bear their testimonies and we watch a little slide show of a few of their converts and then the Joseph Smith Restoration video. It’s a really awesome experience! In order to go you have to have had investigators in church that day and you have to bring with you an investigator or someone you baptized that transfer. It’s a super big thing and tons of members go. So basically its a super great opportunity for new members and investigators to feel the spirit. So yeah, my comp was in the despedida this transfer. It was really good. It was also kinda sad. 

So I don’t know what else to say about this week. I mean, it’s been pretty rough to be honest because we’ve been working super hard and I’ve been exhausted the whole week. It’s crazy how much difference p-day makes jaja. Needless to say, I needed p-day very badly, and General Conference and the temple.

Speaking of the temple! Let’s talk more about the temple!! Oh how I absolutely LOVE the temple! There is no where better that’s for sure! So today our session was at 8 am and we had to be there at 7. Well, Hna Cipriano and I went with a different zone to the temple and we caught a bus at 6:30 that took an hour and a half to get to the temple. So our whole zone was already in the temple and in the session when we arrived at 8. However, luckily we were able to get our clothes quickly and change in like 5 minutes so they still let us in to one of the 8:00 sessions! We were suuuuper lucky! Also, because we were late, we didn’t go to the same session as the rest of our zone, but it was better because we got to see the new video presentation! It rocked!! I loved it soo much! :) Then in the celestial room I just had the greatest experience. It is the coolest thing seeing the room filled with missionaries seeing everyone just pondering and receiving inspiration for their investigators and areas. I just sat there pondering asking Heavenly Father questions and then answers would immediately come to me. Like complete sentences and phrases were forming in my head from the perspective of Heavenly Father. And they definitely weren’t my own thoughts. It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had in the temple. I testify that it truly is the house of the Lord and we can receive so much revelation there. 

Well, that’s all I got time for today. I have to go! We’re doing something as a zone and they all want to go. We have transfers next week so I’ll be writing Tuesday! Love you all and thank you so much for your prayers and support! Remember when you love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously engaged!! :) 

Hermana Van