Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Las Llaves y el Ascensor

April 27, 2015


Ummmmm.....where do I start? Well as of last Wednesday (the 21st) I’ve been in Argentina for a whole year. That’s so nuts to me. It seems like just yesterday I arrived and ran into the glass door of our apartment building. Crazy to think how fast the time flies.

First off, good news: Nicolas was FINALLY confirmed! It took so much work! He ended up having to spend the night with a member because his mom had something where she was going to have to take him to provincia. I can’t even believe how much opposition there was and how much it took to get this kid confirmed. Oh how I love him though. He is incredible! He stayed the night with the Patriarch and learned so much. He was telling us all about it. He’s so cute! 

The week was pretty normal. Yesterday Violeta went to church. She had a suuuuper long list of questions that she wanted to ask the bishop. She trusts him more than us I guess....whateves jaja. Anyways she’s Evangelist (is that the word in English) and she just has sooooo many doubts about the Book of Mormon. So she asked the bishop about them. Basically her questions were ridiculous. Like straight up ridiculous. She knows everything about the BOM (like about the jaredites, the lamanites, the dark skin, wars, etc.) because she has been reading a ton ABOUT it on the internet. But what she has yet to do sincerely is READ it, not ABOUT it. Amway she was saying that there is no physical proof of the BOM and what not. It was just a really interesting experience. My heart really hurts, because she’s so great and a real sweetheart. It’s such a shame that she was so deceived. :(  As I listened to all her doubts I was super sad for her, but the spirit burned strong within me as it testified that they were just lies of the devil and that the Book of Mormon is true. I could never deny it. 

We had divisions this week. My favorite part of the assignment I have is that I get to know the Hermanas and I get to learn SO MUCH from them! En serio. I love it. They are so amazing and I learn so much from them every time I’m with them. I don’t do much to help, but I know that I’m being strengthened so much by these hermanas. Heavenly Father has some absolutely incredible workers in His vineyard! :)

Okay, so I already briefly mention about how we had to have our lock changed right? Well we had another eventful occurrence with the keys. Okay quickly I’ll explain how the elevators work here in Argentina. There’s a door that you open and then there’s another door on the inside that you have to slide open and then you can enter. So we’re leaving to go to a district meeting and my comp has the keys. Well she opens the elevator doors and drops the keys right where there’s a crack in between the doors and they fall ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM. (We live on the top floor.) All I could do was laugh hysterically! :) Jajaja! It was so so funny. My comp just kept saying Hermana, it’s not funny, it’s not funny. But I honestly had no other reaction! We ended up have to call the elevator guys and they came and lifted the elevator up and went down and got the keys for us. So everything just turned out fine jaja! :) Too good!! :) 

Well, that’s all the patience I have for writing this week. Congrats to Brad and Ali! I’m super happy for you two!! Oh! Also, I’ll be writing next Tuesday because we have transfers next week. Yeah, it’s nuts. I can’t believe it. Anyways, I love you all and hope you all have an amazing week! You are in my prayers! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :) 

Hermana Van 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Una Semana Milagrosa!

April 20, 2015

Muy Buen Dia!! :)

Como est├ín todos?? Espero de diez!! :) Bueno, this week has been pretty crazy! It’s been a good one! :) Last Tuesday we had to go back to the apartment around 4 so a locksmith could come and change our lock for some technical reasons. So we had borrowed the movie 17 Miracles and decided it would be a good time to watch it. (Unbeknownst to us at the time that it was against the rules, because someone told us it wasn’t and then later we found out it was....don’t worry I’ve repented jaja.) ANYWAYS....17 Miracles. I think it changed my life. I know, it’s crazy that I hadn’t seen it until now, but hey, I guess it just didn’t call my attention before because I must have been a punk. But really, it changed my life. The love I have for the pioneers is sooo much greater than what it once was. I just cried in the movie. It caused me to reflect muchisimo on their lives and sacrifices and then on my own life. It makes me think of the trials I have or have had to face and in comparison to theirs mine are nothing. Ah, I just can’t get over how beautiful the movie was. I think of everything they had to go through for their beliefs. Everything they did to build up the kingdom of God. I am literally awestruck. One lady in the film said just as she was dying that everything would be worth it if her posterity was faithful. Being a pioneer descendent, that struck me so strongly. It is my duty and responsibility to be strong and faithful. They sacrificed so much and thanks to their sacrifices, I have been given the blessings of the gospel without doing anything on my part. I will be eternally grateful for them, what they did, and to be a pioneer descendent. 

Okay, I’m going to be completely honest here, while I love love love my companion, I’m just not a fan of killing people in the mission. (in other words, be the last companion before they go home). Because honestly, it puts me kinda trunky. Ugh, the worst. I’ve been thinking a lot about the fact that I only have 4 months left and it’s sad. I’ve been thinking about what that means and if the attributes I’ve developed have been instilled in me for forever. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can still be a missionary after the mission and how I can apply the things I’ve learned about in the mission. I’ve been reflecting a lot on my own personal conversion and what not. I’ve just had a lot to think about when I talk with my companion about how the post mission life will be. I honestly don’t have very many answers, but I do know that I want to work to make sure that the person I have come to be will continue and progress after the mission as well. 

Last Saturday we met 2 people through a member, Violeta and Saul. They’re 19 and 17. They’re absolutely incredible! We met them and talked with them for like 5 minutes on Saturday and they both came to church the next day even though Saul usually plays soccer at 10am. It was a huge miracle! And Violeta was already talking about how she wants to continue learning more and then maybe one day be a missionary like us. It was absolutely beautiful! I’m so excited to see their progress! Then as we were sitting in Sacrament Meeting  a 12 year old kid walked in all alone! His name is Nestor. We met him through his member friend (see how the members are the key?) this last week. We didn’t focus too much on him because him mom wasn’t too big on the whole church idea, but then towards the end of the meeting, or like half way, his mom and little brother walk in also! It was so so nuts! Miracles all around yesterday! Oh and then he went to the Family Night we had at church! It was so so awesome! The Lord is blessing us so much!!

So this email is a little long and I don’t have much more time to write. So I’ll leave you with this quote to reflect upon by Pres. Howard W. Hunter. "A great indicator of one’s personal conversion is the desire to share the gospel with others."

I hope you all have an incredible week! Love you a fuuuuulllll!!!!! :) Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

Hermana Van    

Friday, April 17, 2015

Vos Sos Colombiana?

April 13, 2015

Hola todos!!!

Well, it’s been an interesting week. I don’t really know what to say. It’s been a little bit of a difficult one. My poor companion is in a lot of pain pretty much every day. She hates staying in and resting, but it’s a necessary thing. Some days we aren’t able to leave so it can be hard on her because she wants to go out and leave so badly. And I mean I do too, but sometimes I have to be the reasonable one and tell her that it’s okay and her health is the most important. Sometimes I just feel like I have no idea what to do in order to help her. So that can be really hard because sometimes I feel like I’m failing her as a companion. But igual, hay que seguir adelante. She’s super great though. I’m definitely learning a lot a lot this transfer!

Last week we did exchanges with some hermanas. (There’s a super awesome story that I’ll be saving for after the mission, so make sure when you ask me about it to ask me about my first exchanges with Palermo jaja) I was with a new Hermana (she’s in her second transfer of training) named Hermana Olivares from Chile. We were in her area and it was just so much fun. She is an incredible missionary already. I love her. I learned so much from her. I found a life long friend in just one day of divisions. She’s so awesome! :) Something she told me is that something she thinks is super important in a future spouse and just in life in general is to be able to suffer well. I thought about that and I basically thought it was genius. I mean, we all have struggles and trials in life, and we can always choose how we suffer through the trials. (This actually all might make more sense in Spanish....Sufrir bien). Anyways, what it means more than anything is that we choose the attitude we have in our trials. We can choose to go through trails with a bad attitude suffering horribly and constantly asking why me, why me OR we can choose to smile through the hard times and be happy. There is always something positive in every situation and we choose if we want to see the positive or not. Suffering well, or suffering happily. It’s something that I want to apply in my life personally. 

Also in the exchanges we were just sitting there waiting for a member to accompany us when this guy just walks up to me with his hand extended to shake my hand and says "Hermana Van!!" I was like what?? Then I realized it was a member from Palermo that had accompanied me and Hermana Cipriano like 7 months ago! It was crazy! It turns out that he is now menos activo and the hermanas in Palermo had never been able to get in contact with him before. And then I just show up knowing him and we find him in the street! Too crazy!!! :)

Basically the greatest thing ever happened to me yesterday!! We were just talking to some ladies knitting in the street yesterday when one of them turns to me and was like "Vos sos colombiana?" Translation: "Are you Colombian?" I was thrilled!!! It’s super rare when people think I’m not from Germany or Ukrainia or Holland. If they think I’m from South America it’s always Brazil! But nope, not yesterday! They thought I was from an actual South American Spanish speaking country! All because of my accent (well that’s what she said to me afterwards.) So yeah, it was a very proud moment of mine!! :)

Basically not a whole lot to report this week. PERDOOOONNNNNN!!!! Jajaja! I think mostly I’m just getting super lazy. But I can’t even think about what else has happened. It’s just been a normal week. Well, Nicolas didn’t get confirmed, but next week he for sure will!! We’re having a bit of a hard time finding right now, but it’s okay. We’ll be finding elegidos super soon! This week without a doubt! Thanks so much for everything! I love you all a fullllll!!!! :) Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

Hermana Van

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter, Conference and a Baptism!

April 6, 2015

Buen Dia!!

Oh what a glorious weekend it was!! I'm seriously so so happy with how this weekend!!! :) Easter, Conference, and a baptism! What more could you ask for???

Hannah got to see her second family at Conference!
So Conference was just stellar!! I loved it so so much. I was very disappointed however that President Monson only spoke one time. It was very very sad! I love hearing our Prophet speak more than once. I can't decide which talk is my favorite. I just loved them all. I love that in conference we are able to receive so many answers to our questions and so much personal revelation. I honestly received so much personal revelation. I know that every single general authority is inspired and called of God. The amount of sadness I feel is unreal as I think about the fact that it was my last Conference in the mission. I don't know why, but conference is just extra special in the mission. It's hard to explain. Crazy to think that this October I'll be chilling with y'all watching conference. Oh also, set a goal for something in your life that you are going to improve on because of what you heard in conference. If we don't set goals and make plans in order to improve based on what we have just learned, it will have been wasted time watching conference. 

Hanna, Nicolas and Hermana Palacios.
So yeah, Nicolas got baptized!! It was absolutely beautiful!! :) Not even kidding. As he was in the font I looked up at his mom (She's not a member) and she was just crying so much as she watched her son enter into a sacred covenant with God. It was a very tender moment to witness. I have no doubt that he will one day be a missionary and that he will help so many people enter into this exact same covenant. Thus, we will never see the full fruit of our labor. 

So right now we're in President's house. My companion is quite sick. President wanted us to come today so that he could have interviews with both of us. This last week has been super rough for my companion and her health. But honestly her health has been really bad for the past few months. I feel so so bad for her. :( Basically she just got out of her interview with President and told me that she will be going home early. Mostly like at the end of this transfer. I'm so incredibly sad for her, however I know that this must be God's plan for her. She told me that she is extremely extremely sad, but that she also feels a lot of peace; that peace no doubt being a tender gift from the Spirit. I think sometimes we take for granted the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is without a doubt one of the greatest gifts Heavenly Father could offer us. I know that God has a plan very specific for each one of us. We are all His children and we are all unique. Because of our uniqueness we all have a plan that is very very unique. I have learned through watching my companion go through this trial that we must never compare the plan God has for us to other people's plans. We all need to pass through different trials and experiences so that we can learn and develop. And since we're all different we don't all need the same things in order to learn and develop. Remember mis queridos, to always trust in His plan. He is in charge. Life is a lot easier (even when we're in the midst of a really hard trial) when we accept His plan and His will. Se que es asi con todo mi corazon.

 Well I feel like that's it for now. Thanks for all your prayers and support. It would mean so much to me if you would all keep my companion, Hermana Palacios, in your prayers. She is incredible!  She is a hero of mine. Thanks for everything! I love you all so so much!!! Remember, when you love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :) 

Hermana Van

Ps. I'm typing on an American keyboard. It's weird. #argentine