Friday, July 31, 2015

Feliz Dia do los Pioneros!

July 28, 2015

Hola mis queridos!! :) 

So today we had transfers!! And guess what?? I’m staying here in Chacabuco for my last 3 weeks!!!! :) I’m so so happy!!!! I’ll be here in Chacabuco in a trio, which will consist of me, Hermana Urra and our new companion Hermana Hawkins! Hermana Hawkins is from California! She is just fantastic! I love her already with my whole soul. We were talking today and we found out that we were in 3 of the same classes at BYU and we never met each other! Too funny! :) The only time I was in a trio was in the MTC, so it’ll be interesting being in a trio. It should be fun. :) 

Hannah in her Trio with Hermana Urra and Hermana Hawkins!
On Sunday I had my despedida. It was so weird. Because I said good bye to everyone, but I’m still not leaving so I just didn’t know how to feel jaja. It was fun seeing the members from my wards and everything, but it just didn’t feel real. Because honestly, none of it feels real. I just can’t believe how quickly the time is passing! :/ 

On Pioneer Day, July 24th, we had an activity as a mission where we commemorated the pioneers and we read Moroni 10 as a mission to finish the Book of Mormon together as a mission. It was one of the most beautiful activities we’ve had. As we finished the BOM and sat in silence pondering, I was able to feel the spirit so strongly. I was able to have yet ANOTHER witness that the BOM is true. It is without the truest book that exists on this earth. I loved feeling the conviction again and again, as we listened to some testimonies from the missionaries. We then watch part of 17 Milagros to remember the pioneers and their sacrifice. I cry every time in the movie. I think it is one of the most beautiful movies there is. One of my very favorites. I always feel so humble watching it. It was a beautiful movie. It has been the most beautiful experience reading the BOM in 24 days. I have no doubt that it was completely inspired by our Heavenly Father. It was exactly what I need, exactly when I needed it. I know the BOM is true. I know it has the answers to all of our questions. It is such an incredible guide in my life. It has the power to change the lives of those who search and ponder it diligently. We receive God’s guidance through reading it. Don’t let a single day pass by where you don’t read it. I love the BOM with my whole soul. It is the greatest treasure to me. 

Judith and Aracelly didn’t go to church again last week so we’ve had to drop them. :( I’m super sad about it, but it’s for the best. If you love them, you gotta drop them. I know that when the time is right they will be baptized. They have the desire and they’ve received their answers, now they just have to wait until the circumstances allow them to. I’m glad I had the opportunity to teach them and show them the truth. Now we’re just about starting from zero, but I know that we’ll find. It’s when you have nothing that you see the biggest miracles!

Today, I had to go to a self reliance class for all the missionaries going home. It was weird....and sad. I think it’s just easier to stay on the mission.  Oh and it was also the last time I’ll see mi hija, Hna Yancey, it was really sad. :( 

Hideous, noisy pigeons!
Pigeon update: They’re absolutely hideous now. And now they make lots of noise. I will send pictures. 

Yesterday we talked to a lot of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I don’t know how. It just happened. It’s very interesting talking to them. I don’t really know why I shared that, it was just a random thought that popped into my head.

Well, I think that’s about it! Love you all and am so grateful for your constant support!! Have a fantastic week!! :) Remember, when we love the way the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

Hermana Van 

Monday, July 27, 2015

El Templo, Comida, y Palomitas!

July 20, 2015


Well, last week was pretty good all around. Last Monday for Pday Hermana Urra and I went to an authentic Korean restaurant since a Korean town is in our area! It seriously rocked!! It was lots of fun! :) It was pretty dang good. To me it was really similar to Chinese food, just more vegetables. 

Last week we went to THE TEMPLE!!!!! Oh que gozo!!!! En serio! I can’t adequately describe my love for the temple. But I  think I’ve said that many times. It is just such an incredible place to be. I love it because when I was in the Celestial room I was able to just feel so much peace and tranquility. I love conversing with my Father in the temple because it’s just so easy and there are no distractions and I feel like I can just receive revelation so much easier. It was just pure joy and beauty! Oh how I love it! :)

Hannah's favorite place!
Last week we found a family of 7 and the parents were MARRIED! Huge miracle. Sadly we had to drop them because they weren’t progressing. :( The dad was a chain smoker. I honestly have never seen anyone smoke so much in my life. I would leave the lessons smelling like a smoker. Pelo, ropa, todo lleno de humo! But they are really great people! We had to drop them because they liked learning out of curiosity, but pretty much only because of curiosity, not to actually make changes and what not. It was really hard to teach them a lot of time because they hardly let us talk since they had sooooooo many questions. And the mom had studied a lot with the Jehova´s Witnesses, so that was interesting jaja. But yeah, like I said they are super great people.

Yesterday Judith and Aracely didn’t go to church because they slept in and their mom didn’t want to wake them up. And now they’re saying that their parents want them to wait a year before they get baptized. I was pretty sad about it all during church knowing that they won’t be able to get baptized this week, but I just had the thought come to me that they have the right to exercise their agency however they choose, and Heavenly Father would never take away that right. I’m hoping that tonight when we go and visit them that they will have received an answer that they need to get baptized now, instead of later. We’ll see. I know that whatever happens is the Lord’s plan. 

Today, we went bowling with the whole zone. It was really fun! I had a really good time!!! I’m proud to say that I wasn’t the worst bowler jaja!! :)

Hey remember the pigeon nest with the eggs? Well this week we did divisions with Almagro and I said to the sister that stayed in Chacabuco with me, "Hey come look at this nest! Do you see the eggs??" And then she responds to me, "Umm...they’re not eggs anymore..." They hatched!!! So now we have baby pigeons outside our window! They’re pretty ugly, but oh well. We’ve decided we’re their aunts jaja!

Well, I think that basically sums up this last week. It’s the last week of the transfer. I can’t believe how quick time is flying!!! I hope you all have a fantastic week! Love you all! :) Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)

Hermana Van 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

El Dia de Independencia!!

July 13, 2015
Hola todos! :)
This last week was a good one. :) We’ve seen many miracles in our usual. :) On Saturday we invited a 15 year old kid to church. (We found him through a less active) and at first he was super mas o menos. Then we explained why he needed to go to church. So then he tells us that he was going to go to church and that he would go with his friend (the son of the less active that isn’t a member). Well when he said that he would go with his friend and that he didn’t want us to come and pick him up, I had kind of written him off in my mind, thinking he wouldn’t go because I figured his rebellious friend wouldn’t want to go. Oh ye of little faith. Just as they had promised, they were in Sacrament Meeting 20 minutes early. The rebellious friend is kind of rambunctious (how do you even spell that? no idea), but that fact that they came was a huge huge miracle! I couldn’t even believe it. God continues to show me every day that He is the one in charge of His work and that I need to increase me faith.
Aracely and Judith are progressing very well!! :) Last week we were able to receive signed permission for both of them. Their parents are really really awesome, but they work so we haven’t been able to talk with them much. Aracely was really tired and hungry yesterday morning so she didn’t really want to go to church that much, but Judith was able to convince her to go and they stayed for the whole time. They are just so fantastic. They’re working on receiving their answers to know that the church is true. They’ve been quite diligent about reading the BOM and praying, but they haven’t felt that they’ve received an answer, so we’re helping them recognize their answers right now. The other day Aracely prayed and it was the most sincere, beautiful prayer. I was able to feel the greatest amount of peace and love through her simple prayer. Kids have so much power!
We did divisions with an area called Palermo. It was an awesome experience. :) I was in Palermo with Hermana Johnson. I don’t have the words to express my love for this Hermana. She is incredible. She is my sister in the mission because we have the same mom (trainer). So that’s cool. I was able to learn so much from her. I love divisions because I love seeing how God uses me as an instrument. I mean, that’s every day in the mission, but it’s like I can feel it even more in divisions. This hermana is a huge example to me in diligence and sincere love and interest for those around her.

Last Thursday was the 9 de Julio!! :) Independence Day in Argentina!!! :) We had a really fun Stake Activity with lots of typical Argentine food and dances! The most common dance the members performed was la Chacarera! :) It’s the coolest. I love it so much jaja!! :) Look it up on You Tube! :)
Well, I think that’s about it for this week. Life is good. The Book of Mormon continues to be a huge strength to me. It’s been so fun to read it in such a short period of time. I’m learning so much. After 16 months in the mish I feel like I still know nothing. Crazy how that works. jaja! Well, I hope y’all have a fantastic day/week!! :) Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :)
Hermana Van 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

El Libro de Mormon, Nidos y Cementerios

July 6, 2015

Mis Queridos! 

I have sooooo much to tell you all that I gotta start YA! This week has literally been a week of miracles!!! :) I will start with one of the most beautiful parts of the week. The Book of Mormon! We have decided as a mission to put an extra big focus on the BOM, so because of that we have decided to read the entire BOM together in 24 days!!!!! :) (That means we have to read 26 pages every day) We started July 1st and we will end the 24th to commemorate Pioneer Day! Ah, I can’t even express my feelings about this little project we’re doing. It couldn’t have come more at a perfect time. In the last 6 days, my testimony of the Book of Mormon has been strengthened more than I could have possibly imagined! I’ve have been desiring and looking for a greater fire, to truly give it my all in these last weeks of my mission, and I had become discouraged at times when I hadn’t yet received it. But from the very first day I started the BOM the fire and urgency I felt during the day was exactly what I had been looking for. The love for the Savior that I have has been greatly multiplied. My testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ is stronger than ever. On every level my testimony has been strengthened through these 6 short days of reading the Book of Mormon. I testify with my whole soul that the Book of Mormon in the word of God. It is the most powerful and perfect book that exists. I have no doubt about that. God always fulfills His promises, of that I’m sure. "Look and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." I beg you all to READ the Book of Mormon EVERY SINGLE DAY without fail!! It’s power will be oh so present in your lives. 

I know that as we have put this greatest emphasis on the Book of Mormon that God has been able to work miracles throughout the whole mission. We found a few people this last week and they had planned on going to church, but sadly they didn’t show up. The only one that went with us to church was Nicolas, Miguel’s son. Well, that in itself was a great miracle. After Sacrament Meeting finished, we were going to go to Gospel Principles, when out of nowhere everyone started calling for us to go meet the investigators we had in Church. 2 little girls (Judith-13 years and Aracelly- 8 years) had walked into church with an invitation we had given in the street. Friday night at like 8:30 we had given an invitation to two women with babies, but sadly the street contact was really short because the person they were waiting for showed up and they had to leave. Well, we didn’t think anything of it and kept going. It turns out that one of them was the mom of these two little girls and she and her husband sent them to church yesterday. It was a huge miracle! Then, a member had brought her friend to church that lives in our area. Her name is Noelia and she has 16 years. She’s an amor!!!!! We had been trying to contact her, but never were able to find her. So her friend just brought her to church instead! Ah, en serio, so many miracles this week!! I really could not believe it when we were in church that so many investigators that we had never met were in church! #tendermercies 

Fun times watching the Copa Finals.
I don’t know if any of you have heard of the Copa America, but it’s a really big tournament in South America. Soccer obvio. Anyways, it’s like the world cup but smaller since it’s only in South America. Well, the finals were on Saturday and obviously Argentina was in the finals so we were allowed to watch it!!! :) It was Argentina vs Chile (and it was being held in Chile). So basically it was just a blast to watch! Sadly, Argentina lost to Chile in penalties. :( Needless to say, my companion was very happy.

Chile won, Argentina Lost. Sad Hermana Van:(
Last Monday we took the subway to a random place we had seen on a bus once and it ended up being a cemetery! It was the coolest cemetery I have ever seen!! I will send pictures. Some lady got mad since we were taking pictures so we had to be really subtle about it! jaja!

Saturday Nestor went to the temple with the ward!! Oh my gosh! I am so proud of him! Que lindo!!! :) Also, he passed the Sacrament to us yesterday! It was his first time. He is progressing so so much! It’s so beautiful! He is so golden! I just love that kid so much! :) (Just a quick update on Nestor.)

We have a pet! But don’t worry; we’re not breaking any rules because it lives outside of our window. A pigeon decided to make its nest right outside our bathroom window. And....wait for it....there are two eggs!!!! Now, I honestly hate pigeons. They’re literally so disgusting. They are EVERYWHERE in Buenos Aires. It’s the worst. However, this pigeon is the only pigeon I like because I like to look at the eggs jajaj! :) I will be sending photos! :)
Pet Pigeon Eggs

 Okay, well I think that about covers it all. At least the most important stuff. I could honestly go on forever I think. But I think that’s all I’ll write for today so it isn’t tooooo long. jaja. Oh and we’re going to the temple this Friday! I LOVE THE TEMPLE!!! I’m so so excited! We are being so so blessed! Anyways, I hope you all have a fantastic week! Thank you so so much for your prayers! I love you all so much! Remember, when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!! :) 

Hermana Van 

La Luvia y Un Bautismo

June 29, 2015

¿Como Andan? :)

Well, this week was pretty fantastic!! (Besides the RAIN! It was been raining a FULL!!! That means A LOT! I have been straight up drenched the last couple days. Because between the two of us we only have one umbrella and I let my comp use it. Because really, the umbrella bores me and I’m just tired of using them. I prefer to just walk around in the rain with my hood on. So yeah, that was the weather this weekend.) 

Miguel was Baptized!
Okay moving on from the weather....What was so great about this weed?? MIGUEL WAS BAPTIZED AND CONFIRMED!!!!!! It was a huge beautiful miracle! Ah en serio!! I’m just so so happy!!! :) He is so so incredible! I can’t even believe it. Or I mean I can obvio, because the Lord is just constantly working miracles. But yeah. Nicolas and Alicia have baptisimal dates for the 11th of July. And they REALLY need your prayers! pero mal! So if you could pray for them that would be greatly appreciated!!! Oh and THANK YOU for praying for Miguel so much! I know it is thanks to your love support, and prayers, that this miracle was able to come to pass! So thank you thank you thank you! :) You are all amazing!!!  :) 

So happy for Miguel!
This week we did divisions twice. I stayed in the area both times. Ah I just love divisiones because I learn so much. I also love praying and asking Heavenly Father how we need to do the divisions, like who needs to be with whom and where. Because honestly He guides us so much and the divisiones are inspired. I was able to see that this last week. I think what I love more than anything about being a missionary and then having the assignment I do is feeling and seeing how God uses me as an instrument in His hands. Ah, it’s something I just never want to change in my life. I want to continue being an instrument in the hands of God always. The happiness that comes from it is immense. Hermana Lines (the couple missionary in the offices) called me last week and told me that the date has been approved for me to leave early. So it looks like I’ll officially be leaving August 19th. Crazy, crazy stuff. I can’t even imagine it. It’s just so weird to think about. I just feel like my whole mission has been a dream. 

Fun Fact: (I may have already said this.....) My companion’s mom’s name is Marcia just like yours mom! :) 

Hannah and Companion Marcia (with same name as Mom)
What else.... Well we’re really in need of finding new people to teach so if y’all could just keep us in your prayers, which would be greatly appreciated!!! :) Basically the mission life is just great and moving along super rapidly! We have our ups and downs in the mission, but when it really comes down to it, the mission is literally the best! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the mission is the best decision I have ever made in my life. I can’t imagine my life without the mish. And I certainly can’t imagine who I’d be without the mission! 

I love you all and am so grateful for your love an support and prayers! I hope you all have a fantastic week!! Remember when we love the way the Savior does, miracles happen. And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!!! :) 

Hermana Van