Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fiestas y Torta!

June 22, 2015

Hey Hey Hey it´s Christmas Day! 
Nah, mentira, but it has been SO COLD here in Argentina that it could be Christmas...

ANYWAYS! Last week was interesting. What I can say is that it has been a great week of learning. Sadly Miguel and his family didn’t go to church last week so only Miguel will be able to get baptized. We still don’t know everything that happened, but yeah, it was sad. We’ve changed the plan. We’re hoping that Miguel will get baptized this week and then in 2 weeks he can baptize his family since he will have the Priesthood and all. So please please please keep him and his family in your prayers! That would be greatly appreciated!! :)

So it happened again. I had another bout of throwing up last week. I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with me. This is the third night in less than a year where I have been up all night throwing up. I think that’s more than the last 10 years of my life jaja! But I don’t know, I’m fine! No worries! This last week my stomach has been pretty sensitive! And lately I’ve been losing my appetite. I don’t know why. But yeah, I’m totes fine now. 

Yesterday, we were talking to a guy in his door way when his adult son showed up and asked us if we wanted some cake. So obviously we said yes. I was thinking like a tiny little sliver of cake but NOPE! He came back with 3 huge slices of cake, one of each of us! It was so funny! So we took the cake, finished our small lesson and then went and sat down mas o menos in the street with Kevin (the member accompanying us) eating cake with our fingers. It was pretty much hilarious. It was pretty dang good too the cake! :)

This last week I went to a Bolivian birhtday party for a one year old. It was the hugest birthday party I have ever been to IN MY LIFE! And it was for a ONE YEAR OLD! How is that even possible! It was in the church. We felt very uncomfortable so we went and helped make empanadas... We went because It was a recent convert that invited us and we had to eat top ramen for lunch that day so we went with the intentions of eating some good food. (gotta be honest). So yeah, it was the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced! 

Last week, we were just searching so hard for new investigators with no luck. We’ve come to realize that we have been doing the same thing every day and having the same results, so basically we need to start mixing things up. We’re starting to come up with new ideas so that we can really find these people that God has prepared for us here in Chacabuco!! 

Okay, sorry this letter was super short!! Anyways, I hope all you Fathers had a stellar day yesterday!! :) And of course, Happy Birthday to the best sister in the world!!! :) I hope you all have a fantastic week this coming week and pray for missionary opportunities!! :) Love you all with my whole soul! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

Hermana Van

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

El Comienzo del Fin :(

June 16, 2015

Como andan???? :)

Fua, cada vez hay mas cartas trunkis jajaja!! Bueno me supongo que es la vida ahora que solo me quedan 2 meses.....:( 

So anyways! Today’s the day of TRANSFERS! And guess what?? I’m staying in Chacabuco!!!!! Ah, I’m seriously so so excited!!! I can’t even believe it! And I’m staying here with Hermana Urra. She is an amor!!! So, I’m excited! So I only have a transfer and a half left:(, so basically she’s killing me in the mission since this transfer will be my despedida. It’s funny, because she killed my mom, Hermana Centeno, in the mission. So yeah, she’s just killing´ the whole fam! (I really hope you understand what I mean when I say ´kill´ in the mission...)

Moving on.....
So this week has been good. Kinda crazy. Life is just flying by so fast that I don’t know what to do with myself. Déjenme pensar un ratito................Oh yeah. We did divisions with pretty much my favorite sisters ever. The thing is is that we got to the area at like 5:15 and then we had our meeting with the ward mission leader at like 7:30 so we didn’t have hardly any time to work. Asi que medio truchas las divisiones, pero esta bien. I was still able to learn a ton from this hermana (Hermana Olivares) though. She’s so capa! Ah I just love her with my whole heart. Sometimes I don’t know how I come to love these missionaries and people SO MUCH, SO QUICKLY. It’s the craziest thing to me. But yeah, she’s a super great missionary. 

Que mas? Well, we went to the despedida with Miguel on Sunday. The despedida is when the missionaries who are returning to their houses share their testimonies and show some pictures of the converts and then the members and their converts and the missionaries can talk to them one last time before they go. So in order to go we had to take an investigator so Miguel being tan capo went with us. I love the despedidas because I get to see all the members from my other wards. But yeah, that takes place the last Sunday of every transfer. It was a really great despedida. There are a lot of incredible missionaries that are leaving this transfer!!

Last Tuesday we had a lesson with the familia Julca. We were planning on sharing the Word of Wisdom, because Miguel needs a little help with that. But the day of in our studies, we felt that we needed to change the lesson and share the Family Proclamation with them. When we were in the middle of the lesson Alicia stopped us and started crying and poured out her soul to us. They told us about how they had decided to separate. It was amazing to see the hand of the Lord because I know without a doubt that He wanted us to teach that lesson so that they could know what God wants for them as a family! The spirit could be felt so strongly. I know that the Gospel is exactly what they need right now in their lives. I have no doubt that if they do their part and apply the Gospel in their lives, that God will do His part and their situation will change and they will become a more happy and united family! I just love this family with my whole being!

Well.........that’s pretty much all I got jaja!! :) I hope y´all have a FANTASTIC week!!!! :) I love you all with my whole soul! Thank you so much for your support and prayers, I feel them and I really need them jaja! Thanks for everything!! :) Love you all lots!! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :) 

Hermana Van 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Siga la Vaca

June 8, 2015
Hola mis queridos!!

Wow! Where to start?? I do believe that this has been one of the greatest weeks of my mission. What a blessing!! The work is moving along so well. Everyday passes faster and faster. I can’t believe that it’s all going by so quickly. 

Okay to start. I just want to say Congrats to the old man! ;) I really have no words. It’s so crazy to me that you’re bishop, but hey it’s not that surprising. You’ll be amazing! I’ll write you your own letter, don’t worry. Just a quick note in this one to say congrats. :) 

So this week. Well, we had a crazy big miracle. You know Miguel? Well, he is the greatest. He’s always been saying that he wants his family to listen and he wants to get baptized with them and that because of that we needed to wait to put a baptismal date. But it wasn’t looking hopeful with the fam because they never wanted to listen to us. Well Tuesday night we go over to his house and he answers the door and we ask him how he is and he says that he’s super happy and content. We walk in and his family (his wife and child) and sitting at the table ready to listen to us. We end up putting baptismal dates with all of them and then we had stellar lessons with them the rest of the week. Then when we went to look for them on Sunday they were all ready to go right when we knocked on the door. They all really really loved church and are super excited to keep going and learning and preparing for their baptisms. Ah, I just can’t even believe it. It’s so beautiful. They’ve had some real beautiful changes in the family. The gospel is bringing them so close again. The Gospel is real and true and changes lives. It’s something that only Jesus can do. That is what I love about being a missionary. I love seeing the miracles and I love seeing the CHANGES that the gospel brings to the lives of those who LIVE it. 

Mission Zone at a Mission Activity
This week has been a week of miracles. Honestly. I’m amazed. I mean, we’ve just been working hard as normally and we’ve been blessed with a lot of success. God is really the one doing everything in our area. We now have quite a few people progressing towards baptism, but I was thinking about what it is that we did differently to have more success, but it was just the timing of the Lord. Honestly. He has done everything. I just love seeing the Lord’s hand in His work. He does it all and I get to try to help a little and in the process, become a better, more Christ-like disciple. Well at least that’s the goal. I still lack a lot to be a true Christ-like disciple. But I’m sure trying my best. I just feel so humbled to be apart of this grand work, being so imperfect. There is no other work more important in this world. And I have the privilege to dedicate all my time and energy to this sacred work. 

Okay, so Friday and Saturday were RIDICULOUS! I’m not even kidding. It was SOOOOOO humid!!! I think they were the two most humid days of my mission! And that is saying something. I felt like I was literally in a cloud. You could FEEL the water in the air! I’m not even exaggerating!! There were like little droplets that you could feel. The sidewalks and the streets were WET and it didn’t even rain. All because of the humidity. It was nuts. So yeah, the weather has been a mess the last few days. But the weird thing is that it’s June and it’s not even cold. I mean, it should be winter and it’s been hot. Something’s up. I’m not too sure. The weather here in Argentina is even weirder than the weather in Utah. Crazy right? 

All you can eat Steak!
Today we went to a place called Siga La Vaca with the Zone. It’s an all you can eat steak house. Um heaven. And it was only like 200 pesos, or 20 dollars. It could be worse. It was super fun! We had a really great time siguiend la vaca! :) 

Well, I think that concludes what I wanted to tell you guys this week. I hope that you all have a fantastic week. I love you all and am so so thankful for each and every single one of you in my life! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :) 

Hermana Van 

Los Dones de Dios

June1, 2015

Hola hola hola!!! :)

Playing Soccer
Okay, so quick eye update. Last week I had to go to a member’s house and get it disinfected because well, it was a smidge infected jaja. But now it’s all good! Last Tuesday and Wednesday it was super black! It was the coolest thing ever! :) But now, it’s a lot better, not quite as bruised at all, oh well. It’s cool. Oh and the cut is just fine. I disinfect it twice a day just to be sure. But yeah, it’s just fine. And my glasses continue to be broken, but they’re not too bad. They work just fine so I’m just going to truck along with what I got until the end of my mission. I mean, why spend money when there’s really no need? 

Soccer War Wounds! Lovely Black Eye!
Okay, what else? Well, we had to stay home Monday and Tuesday because we were sick, but I think you already knew that so.....moving on. Ummmmm.......Oh yeah, Nestor was confirmed!!!!! :) Another door open! It was really great! His mom went to church yesterday and has a baptismal date for the 13th! Let’s pray she arrives to it! She did tell my companion when we were on divisions that she wanted to be apart of everything and support her son more. So that is fantastic news. So I do believe that she and her other son will be getting baptized soon!! :) Miguel, sadly, was not able to go to church this last Sunday. He had to take care of his 12 year old son. I guess he couldn’t leave him for like 20 minutes. I’m not going to write too much about that, because it just doesn’t make sense to me. Anyways, just a little opposition. We’ll get everything back on track. 

Umm.....I’m super sorry, but I’m pretty sure this week was just like really weird and I can’t really explain everything in an email so it’s going to turn out to be like a really boring email. Sorry about that!! :/

Random comment: It seems like every Liahona article and church lesson/talk I read or hear is about Eternal Marriage. Like what the heck? A sign? Probably not jaja. 

We did divisions last week. I was with an Hermana that was with Hermana Yancey in the MTC. (Mi hija has 5 months in the mission already, can you believe that?? I can’t!) Anyways, being with her reminded me a lot of Hermana Yancey! The divisions were very successful actually. Like super super great! Anyways, I learned a lot from her, Hermana Chelson. She shared a quote with me about the gifts we are given from God. That changed my life. Because there are SOOOOO many gifts God has given us, or so many that we have the opportunity to develop. And I think that sometimes I just don’t realize how many there are. When I read about a few of them, I realized just how imperfect and weak I am and how I have a great need to develop more gifts of God. I also realized I have some gifts that I didn’t recognize before. Because I think a lot of times we see gifts and talents as things like playing an instrument, or a sport, singing, dancing, etc. But I’ve realized on the mission that those are such a small part of the talents God has blessed us with. In my mission I have come to know my weaknesses and my strengths and talents so much more. Ones that I never new exsisted. But yeah, I’m just super excited to make goals and focus on developing these new gifts I’ve read about. I think it is something that will help me a lot. 

Well, that’s really all I got for this week. I’m really sorry it’s such a boring email. It’s literally probably the most boring email I’ve written in my mission. Well I guess it had to happy sooner or later. I’ll try to whip something up really exciting this week. Anyways, I hope you all know just how much I love you! Cuídense mucho! Les amo un monton!! :) Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :) 

Hermana Van