Monday, January 26, 2015

Buen Dia!

Buen Dia!  This week we had zone conference and it was awesome.  We all went to Roca on Thursday for the conference with President Lovell and I learned a ton!!  He talked a lot about becoming consecrated missionaries and the new changes of the mission.  During the conference I decided that I want to focus more on the needs of my my investigators and the Holy Ghost during my lessons.  Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to figure out what I am goint to say and how I am going to say it in Spanish, but now my focus is solely in helping the people I teach truly feel the Spirit.  One of the things President Lovell said that really stuck out to me was, ¨ If we really want to bring others unto Christ, we need to constantly be asking ourselves, ´do I have the Holy Ghost right now or no?' ¨ I love this because I think it applies to everyone, not just misionaries.  If we truly want to be representatives of Christ and make a difference in the lives of people around us, we need to have the Holy Ghost with us!

Our investigators who are progressing the most right now are Melisa and Cristina Pozas.  Cristina is 18 years old and Melisa is 14! Melisa reminds me a lot of Toshy and Britta so I love teaching her :)  Anyway, they are so awesome and they have a baptismal date for the 21 of February!  I just really hope they can keep their commitments and continue to pray and read the scriptures.  They are super nice, receptive, and they love music from America so we get along quite nicely ;) but hopefully they can keep coming to church and continue progressing! 

This week we had a super spiritual experience with a less active family in our ward.  We shared the scriptures D&C 84:46-47 about the Holy Ghost and asked Brother and Sister Oviedo when they have felt the Spirit most in their lives.  They proceeded to tell us how they feel the Spirit when they are with their family, when the missionaries come to their home, and things like that.  But after, I asked the 20 year old, nonmember son if he felt the Spirit and love of God when his son was born 2 years ago.  He responded with a ¨ yes¨ and began to cry.  The Spirit was super super strong and I told them how they are doing everything right but they are missing one coventant that will allow them to all live as a family together, and that is going to church each week and partaking of the Sacrament.  The lesson went really well and they committed to praying and reading the scriptures more which is awesome.  Definitely one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission so far.  

Miracle of the week:  We gave a Book of Mormon to a Jehovah Witness, taught her the story of Joseph Smith, and prayed with her at the end of the lesson!  Usually they won´t even look at us since we are Mormon missionaries but Ana Marie (the Jehovah Witness) said that she wants us to keep coming and visiting her (to talk about the Bible of course)!  This is the second time we have talked with her and she is just great!

I gave a talk yesterday in church about reading the Book of Mormon daily and with our families.  I shared a story about M. Russell Ballard and explained how we could have the golden plates in our hands right now, but we would never know of their truthfulness without truly reading and asking our Heavenly if the words inside are true. your scriptures every day peeps!!! I love the scriptures.  Mom and Dad, thanks for all the times you woke us up early in the morning to read scriptures as a fam! 

Quote of the week:  
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.

Whelp, love you all so much!!!!!!  I have the best support at home and I am so thankful for all of you.  Fam, Thursday was my 3 month mark in the mission, time is flying by! Miss you guys so much :) have a great weeeeeeeeek!!!!!

Hermana Van Boerum

All the pictures are from the Zone Conference in Roca!
I got to see Hermana Taylor from my District in the MTC
and I also got to see my MTC companion Hermana Houston!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hola Family and Friends!

Hola Family and friends!  Fam, I hope you had a blast in California and Torby I hope you told Mickey Mouse hello for me!!

This week was awesome!  I am sper grateful for all the changes in the mission that I talked about in my letter last week and I am already seeing lots of miracles!  I have a strong testimony that this change is inspired!  Now, we aren´t so focused on numbers, we are focused on the people!  This week we foudn three new investigators which is a miracle in itself because this area is know to be super tough and the people here do not like when we knock on their doors!  Anyway, our new investigators are Gustavo, Vanes, and Emiliana!

Vanesa is 35 with 2 kids and she is a hoot!  We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she liked it, but she also has some doubts because she is taking lessons from the Jehovah Witnesses as well haha.  Two very different religions but we are praying hard to help her see the light and happiness of the true gospel of Jesus Christ!

Gustavo is 43 with a wife and son!  He is awesome and he lovesss to chat!  Our first visit with him he told us all aobut how his wife isn´t able to have children, but 10 years ago they had a miracle and his wife gave birth to their only son Lucas.  Gustavo has a strong testimony of God but doesn´t believe he needs religion because he is happy!  Hopefully we can help him realize how special the gospel is but we have a long way to go!

Emiliana is 72 years old and her second husband (her first husband died when she was 35 years old) died 17 days ago.  When we knocked on her door she told us how she has a friend who is a member of the church but she doesn´t really want to listen to a message from us.  Within minutes she started crying and telling us about her husband who died.  It was super sad but she invited us in and we taught her the Plan of Salvation!  The lesson went really well and she truly wants to live with her husband again in the eternities.  At the end of the lesson she told us that she doesn´t really want to go to church or anything like that but we are hoping this week to change her mind!

One thing I learned this week is how much trust people have in us as missionaries.  We knock on the doors of people and start talking, and within minutes, the people are crying and telling us their problems and some of the most difficult times in their lives.  It is amazing and you can truly see the power of the Spirit working on them.  It is these moments that strengthen my testimony and make me realize how truly grateful I am to be here! I love being a missionary!!

Hope you are all happy and enjoying life, I miss you all!  Britta, HAPPY BIRTHDAY on Thursday!!!  I attached to this email a birthday pic for you!  Wish I were there to celebrate but I will be thinking about you all week!  Stop growing up while I am gone! ;)  Have the best week ever and I am sure you kicked butt in your lacrosse tournament!  (can missionaries say that?) You are amazing, you are beautiful, I love you, and happyyyyy birthdayyyy Britta!!!!!!

Hermana Van Boerum

Quote of the week:  
If you want your neighbor to see what Christ´s Spirit will do for him, let him see what it has done for you.
-Henry Ward Beecher
This is Tati. She is 4 years old and the cutest girl ever.
She is the daughter of the first counselor in the bishopric and she is
always crazy during sacrament meeting ha ha
She sits on my lap every Sunday and draws pictures for me.
The cutest!

Hermana Salgado in our wads taught us how to make alfajores!!
We made half normal and the other half gluten free with rice flour.
They were delicious!!
I Love You So Much!!!



Monday, January 12, 2015

"To Enter Heaven a Man Must Take It With Him" Henry Drummond

Hola everyone!!

About a week ago we were all told that there is going to be a huge change for all the missions in Southern South America! On Friday we had a zone meeting and our zone leaders told us that we are getting rid of all ¨ key indicators¨ and instead we are just going to focus on one baptism and one reactivation (of a less active member) every month!  For those of you that don´t know what key indicators are, they are the ¨standards¨ that all missionaries around the world are working towards every day.The key indicators are: investigators baptized and confirmed, investigators with a baptismal date, investigators present in Sacrament meeting, lessons taught to investigators with a member present, other lessons taught, progressing investigators, references, new investigators, and lessons taught to less actives with a member present.  So basically every missionary around th world is working towards these standards every day and trying to fulfill every single indicator at least once a day!  But, all of the mission presidents of the missions in Southern South America met together with an Elder of the Seventy and decided to get ride of all the key indicators and solely focus on one baptism and one reactivation a month!  Of course we still need to have lessons with members, references, and all those other things...but now our main goal is to baptize and reactivate!  It is crazy!  Not only that, President Lovell decided to get rid of having all the missionaries report in weekly letters if we are following the missionary schedule (ex: wake up at 7, go to bed at 11, only one hour for lunch, etc.) Now it is up to us whether we are truly obedient and follow the missionary schedule!! If we choose to follow or not follow, it is between us and Heavenly  Father!  Anyway, I am super excited about all these changes and I look at it as an opportunity to become a fully converted, consecrated missionary!

This week was great! We have two new investigators named Maria Laura and Debora.  Debora is 35 years old and we pay our rent to her every month.  We have talked to her two times before but never mentioned anything about the church! On Thursday we went to pay the rent and the first thing she said when she sat down at her desk was ¨ Cuando viene Jesucristo?¨ (When does Christ come?)  Perfect question to get us talking about Christ and the Book of Mormon!  We talked to her about the church for about 4 minutes and she know a ton about the Bible!  She told us that she would love to learn more and read the Book of Mormon, how cool?!  Hermana Perez and I are super excited to start teaching her and we hope that she will be able to take time off of work to come to church with us next Sunday!

Fun things that happened this week:
-Transfers!  Transfers were yesterday but nothing changed for me!  Hermana Perez is still my comp, I am still in Villa Regina, and I am excited to have one more transfer here!
-Asado with Fabian!  Asado is basically a bunch of grilled meats and it is delicious!!! Fabian also gave us peaches that he has had bottled 2 years, they were sooooo good! When we thanked him for the asado, he said, ¨ Of course!  You both have been so patient with me to teach me all of the lessons, this is just an act of charity to thank you both!¨  He is the best.
-The other day it was 104 degrees!! crazy
-The Chippings and the Healys, thank you for the Christmas cards! I was so excited to receive mail!  Also, shout out to Kuilina, I LOVE YOU! Thank you for the letter!!!!!  I will be replying to all of you soon!!
-This week we got the statistics of our ward and we have 300 members in our ward!! But, we have an average of about 30 members coming to church every we have a lot of work to do! 

Shout out to Mimi, good luck with your hip surgery!!!!! I love you!

Quote of the week:
¨ To enter Heaven a man must take it with him.¨
-Henry Drummond

Hermana Van Boerum

Sunrise New Years Day
Happy 2015!!!

Made Crepes for 70 Missionaries.
Thanks Mom for the recipe!

Our Zone before Transfers

Me and Hermana Perez

Asado with Fabian!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Years y'all

Happy new years y'all!  I love P-day! Today I made 70 crepes for all the people in my zone and it was a blast!  We had crepes with dulce de leche, chocolate syrup, bananas, strawberries, powdered sugar and more!! No they weren´t gluten free but it was a fun morning!

This week was a blast!  Yesterday Fabian received the Priesthood in church and it was so awesome.  His baptism last Saturday was the first baptism in my area for the past TWO YEARS!  We have one of the tougher areas in the mission but I am thankful to be serving here!! Fabian was smiling from ear to ear yesterday, I loved it!

On Saturday, my district did service for this lady known as the ¨cat lady¨...she literally has 30 cats and is quite interesting but we spent four hours yesterday cleaning up her backyard! It was a blast and at the end she gave us ice cream (with a little cat hair in it)!  #meow  

For our New Years celebration the whole zone met up at our church and we ate popcorn and played card games all night!  We had to be back to our pensions by 10:30 but around 11:30 we had a district phone call with all the members of our district and had a ¨count down¨ to celebrate the New Year, I loved it!  On January 1, my district woke up at 4am and we hiked up a mountain in Villa Regina to watch the sunrise.  Oh man it was beautiful!!  After the sunrise we went back to our pension, took a quick nap until 7am, woke up, and then cooked a big lunch with meat and potatoes!  The rest of the day we played soccer and card game ¨scum¨ :) so fun!

This week Hermana Perez and I were waiting outside of an investigator´s house to teach a lesson and this lady named, Maria, came up to us and said that she wants to start taking the missionary lessons!  She is Catholic and her daughter, Angela, was baptized last year.  She told us all about how hard her life has been and she sees how happy her daughter is with the Gospel, so she wants to learn more and possibly be baptized!! So cool.  Maria reminds me a little bit of Mimi (my Grandma), a little crazy, but so so so much fun!!! I love her.  I showed her  pictures of my fam and she wouldn´t stop saying how beautiful my mom is (shout out to you mom, whenever I show pictures of my family to the Argentines they always say how beautiful you are!) Anyway, I am super excited to teach her and we are planning on setting up a baptismal date in our next lesson with her!!

Sorry I don´t have tons of time today but I love you all and I hope you all have had a great beginning in the year 2015!!
Service For the "Cat Lady"

Esponja Bob
Tosh , Britt, Torb this pic is for you!
"Hi, how are ya?...
I'm normal"
ha ha ha ha

Sunrise 5am