Thursday, February 26, 2015

Peace and Blessins y'all

Another great week!!  Today we have transfers and Hermana Peres is leaving to go to Cipolletti!  My new companion won´t be here until around 5pm but her name is Hermana Oliveira and I´ve heard she is awesome!!  When they told me who my new companion would be they said, "Hermana Van Boerum, your new companion doesn´t speak English...nor does she speak Spanish...her name is Hermana Oliveira and she speaks Portuguese, from Brazil!" hahaha anyway, I´m excited to meet her and I will tell you more about her next week!!  Oh p.s. I am still in Godoy A, Villa Regina for this transfer!
This week was great and we found 3 new investigators!!  We also had a "tsunami" in our area where all the other 6 missionaries in our district came and contacted for 4 hours!  It was good and now we have some people to go visit :)
Yesterday I gave a talk about charity and it went really well!!  We also stopped by a few houses of members so Hermana Perez could say goodbye.  Sad that she is leaving but it´ll but changes are good and it is good to learn different things from different people!  I´m a little nervous because I have never had to show an area to someone who know nothing about it but hopefully it goes well!
Nothing too exciting happened this week so here are some random things that happened:
I sat for 20 minutes and taught a 40 year old woman how to do division haha, we mad a gluten free pizza to celebrate the end of the transfer and my 4 month mark yesterday!!!, this less active member showed me his "Anatomia y Fisiologia" book because I told him how I wanted to study medicine!
Whelp, I hope you all have a great week!! Mom and Dad I hope you are drinking lots of piña coladas and eating lots of guacamole for me in Puerto Rico!! Toshy, Britt, and Torb do something fun since Mom and Dad didn´t take you to Puerto Rico haha.  Jake, keep killin it in the Philippines!!! I miss you guys so much!!
Peace and Blessins y´all, have a great week!!!!!
Hermana Van Boerum

Pics: Hermana Perez and I, pic in the middle with Hermana Thorpe in our ward!!

love you all!!!

Monday, February 16, 2015

It's a holiday

Sorry I got on a little late today! Today is a "holiday" and the internet cafe is closed until 4 pm.  Anyway, El dia de los enamorados...Happy Valentine´s Day on Saturday!! I hope you all had a wonderful day with lots of hearts and more importantly, chocolate.  Mom, I definitely missed waking up to pink heart pancakes, pink milk, and all the fun things you do for us on Valentine´s Day.  Dad, I missed your flowers! I love you both!!

This week was awesome!! We found a new investigator and her name is Agostina.  She is 15 years old and the most selfless girl I have ever met! She is absolutely darling and basically all she does is clean her family´s house, go to school, and then babysit her nephew.  Originally her mom was a reference that we had been given but we could never find the mom when we passed by so we started talking to Agostina!  The first time we taught her we explaine the Plan of Salvation and she started crying because she loved it so much.  She said how she wants to preach the gospel in the Spirit World to her grandpa who passed away last year.  We invited her to be baptized on the 21 of March and with the biggest smile on her face she said that she would love to!  Our second lesson with her was awesome as well!  We shared the Book of Mormon and she had read everything we left her the lesson before.  She seriously is amazing and so so sweet.  She told us that her sister has celiac disease as well so she wants to make me a chocolate gluten free cake!  Anyway, I am so excited to continue teaching her and help her come closer to Christ.  Her mom is the only religious person in their family (Catholic) and the rest don´t like religions but we would love to teach the whole family so if you could all pray for the Loaiza family that would be awesome!! 

Toshy, Britt, and Torb, yesterday I was teaching the Plan of Salvation to this guy right outside of his house.  He had music playing super loud inside and then all of the sudden the song, Boom Clap, came on!  Holy smokes I was trying so hard not to listen to it and be distracted! I couldn´t help but think of all the times we drove together in my car with the windows down singing to that song.  Then Bob Marley came on and it reminded me of Mom, Dad, and Jake!! Jeez I miss you guys!

Shout out to Bubba, happy birthday last Tuesday!!! I love you! 

Quote of the week:
Bless us with a desire to reach thy kingdom, and to bring those who we love with us.
Rusty Clark

Love you all soooooo much and I am absolutely loving the mission and all the experiences I am having!!!!


Shrek was my Valentine 
Valentines Day!

Maybe the turtle was my Valentine

Monday, February 9, 2015

Crazy weather here in Neuquen!!!

Mom's Cookies

My Valentines Card from Torben

Storms, Floods and Fires!

I am convinced that this week was the craziest week of my life.  It started out with a huge rainstorm last Monday.  It was pouring rain so Elder Clements, Elder Adams, Hermana Perez, and I decided to take a bus out to Godoy to help the people there.  When we got there the streets were filled with water and we ended up having to walk in knee high water to get to the member´s houses.  Water had entered in most of the houses but it was hardest for the families that had dirt floor in their homes because they were basically walking in mud to get around.  We went to the house of a member named Leslie who is 17 years old and lives with just her mom and sister.  When we showed up to their house they all just started bawling.  Everything they owned was ruined because of all the rain.  They live close to a canal so they were in the worst area for floods!  We entered into the house and inside there was water up to my knees.  It was freezing cold and there was hardly any light because the power was out all through the city.  I don´t think I have ever seen something so sad in my entire life.  All of their clothes were wet so they didn´t have warm clothing, their beds were soaked, all 70 of their chickens died (they lived off the money from their chickens), and they had not a clue what to do.  As I stood there in the freezing cole water, I realized that more than anything Leslie and her family needed some peace and comfort so I asked everyone to stop what they were doing to say a prayer.  After, we helped them for a bit but there wasn´t much we could do with water everywhere so we helped out a couple more families and then headed back to our pensions at about 9pm.  When we got back, the power was out and there was water seeping through the walls and covering our floor!  People have told us that it hasn´t rained this hard in 20 years but it was definitely a day I will never forget! 
The next day there was a huge storm as well but on top of that, there was a giant fire in the middle of the road about 100 yards away from our pension, it was crazy!  
Our investigators are doing alright! We are losing lots of our investigators but are trying not to get discouraged.  We had an appointment on Friday with Cristina, Melisa, and Mariana Pozas (the girls who had a baptismal date for the 21 of February) and when we showed up at their house, the mom told us that she doesn´t want us coming back anymore.  She said that the girls were to young to make a decision like that and we shouldn´t come back.  Melisa and Cristina were 100% on track to be baptized.  Reading, praying, going to church, everything.  They were so excited to be baptized!  But it sounds like we aren´t going to be passing by anytime soon.  All in all it was a tough week.  We had no electricity for 3 nights straight, no water for two days (no showering, the toilet didn´t work, etc.), we have lost the majority of our investigators, and things aren´t gettin any easier! But I am happy, smiling, trying to stay positive, and I am looking forward to this new week! :) On the brighter side of things, Mom I made your sugar cookies this morning and gave them to my zone today!  Heart sugar cookies with blue and yellow frosting for the colors of Argentina :) My zone loved the cookies and said how they wish I would have made more hahaha. Best cookies ever!
Whelp, I hope you are all happy and I hope the snow gets better for skiing!  I love you all and can´t wait to share more experiences next week! The mission is tough sometimes but I am learning and growing every single day.  And I am still so very very happy!  

Hermana Van Boerum

Monday, February 2, 2015

Milagros (Miracles!)

Okay so first off, the question mark on this keyboard doesn´t work so when I say ¨ (Q mark)¨ that means that I want to put a question mark there hahahah.  So sorry! Also, so sorry that my emails are always so scattered, hope they make a little sense!

This week we had exchanges with the SIster Training leaders!  Hermana Perez went with Hermana Roja and Hermana Gil came to Godoy A to work with me for one day!  I learned a ton working with Hna Gil on Friday and one of my favorite things she taught me is how I can bring the Spirit into our lessons more.  She said that during lessons, instead of worrying about what I am going to say, I should be praying for my companion.  When my companion is talking in the lessons, I should pray for her because prays are more effective when we pray for someone else than when we pray for ourselves.  So cool.  Not only will it bring the Spirit more but it will bring more unity into the companionship as well.

On Tuesday I started feeling sick and I figure it was because sometimes people here serve us water from the sink (which we aren´t supposed to drink water from the sink). Anyway, I decided to drink tons and tons of water from our water jug in the pension to wash out the bacteria from my system.  On Friday the water jug ran out and when we went to change it, we found blue and green MOLD all through our filter!!  Oh man.  It was so nasty.  But now we have a clean filter, I found the source to my sickness, and I am feeling better now with the wonderful pills I bought the other day haha :) 

Saturday we had an activity with the young men and young women in our ward.  It was split into 3 parts: one activity planned my the missionaries, one by the YW leaders, and one by the YM leaders.  The missionaries planned a bunch of ¨ minute to win it¨ games, the YM presidency did ping pong and a water balloon fight (it was 100 degrees that day), and the YW presidency did a cake decorating contest! (mom, remember when we did a cake decorating contest for mutual(Q mark) I brought this idea up and the YW presidency loved it so they did it for their activity!)  Anwyay, the activity was a hit and we had 14 young members and investigators show up!!

Last week in  President Lovell´s weekly letter he said, ¨The adversary tries to convince us that God isn´t a God of miracles.  There are many challenges and difficulties in the world.  There are many that suffer and ask him for more help from the Lord.  But God is a God of miracles.  We live in a world of miracles in the mission field.  Remember that miracles are to confirm our faith, not to give us faith.  Miracles are manifestations of our faith.¨ I love this so much--really every week is a week of miracles here, but his week I put it to the test by showing my faith to my Heavenly Father.  I saw many miracles:  The great big smile on Cristina´s face when we talked about her baptism in 3 weeks, the glimpse of hope Maria Laura had when we told her that she can follow the example of Christ by being baptized, the Spirit I felt when I bore my testimony to Maria Ochoa about the relationship we can create with Christ when we read the Book of Mormon, being able to share the Plan of Salvation with Karla and Leonel who don´t believe there is a God, and so many more.  I have a true testimony of Miracles and the hand of God in our lives.  I know that Heavenly Father is just waiting for us to put our faith in him so he can show us miracles.  I feel so blessed to live in a world of miracles in the mission field but I know you are all living in a world of miracles as well.  I challenge you all to put your faith in God this week and really try to see his hands working in your lives and the lives around you.  You will see miracles!!

Hope you all have an awesome awesome week and avoid drinking water with mold in it ;) love you all so much!  

Hermana Van Boerum

Quote/Scripture of the week:
 22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall begiven to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.

Thank You Olson clan for all your darling notes!!!
Me and hermana Perez after the water balloon fight.
No the rip on the front was not from me but I was definitely
THAT excited to open my package.

Activity with the Young Men Young Women!