Monday, April 27, 2015

Snow in Argentina! Just Kidding, volcano ash!

It has been quite the week here in Chos Malal!  On Wednesday night we traveled 3 hours to Zapala and there had conference with President on Thursday.  As we were getting ready to head back to Chos Malal, outside there was a ton of ash from the volcano that errupted in Chile!  There was so much that it looked like it was snowing and we couldn't see anything that was 100 yards in front of us.  We made it back safely to Chos Malal that night but all day Thursday and Sunday we had to stay inside our pension because President Lovell didn't want us breathing the toxic volcano ash!

The work here has been a little slow but we are doing our very best to find more people to teach!  On Saturday we found a darling mom and daughter and taught them a little bit about Jesus Christ.  We shared the  "Because He Lives" video and the mom, Silvia, started to cry while watching it.  After, Hermana Huisar and I bore our testimonies of Christ and the happiness we have been able to find through His gospel, and the rest of the lesson went really well!  I am excited to teach them more and that Saturday night they even came to our ward activity (group activity since we aren't a ward) to eat waffles with the members and other investigators!

In the conference with President Lovell this week we talked a lot about faith and the story of John and his brother from Elder Holland's talk in General Conference.  In our premortal life, like John in the story, we had the choice to jump or fall to our death.  But because we are here on this earth, we made the choice to jump, the faithful jump to follow Christ.  During our earthly life, we are to re-manifest this faith that we have in order to receive life eternal.  REally faith is central to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and without it, nothing in our church makes sense.  Baptism doesn't make sense, repentance, the commandments, temple sealings, nothing, because we need to believe and have faith that the Lord will keep His promise.  With all of that said, all of this talk about faith got me thinking about my decision to serve a mission because just the day before this conference I had completed six months in the mission field.  I realized how big the leap of faith was, that I took in order to be here in Argentina.  I left my entire life for 18 months to spend every single day serving others.  And now every morning as I put my missionary plaque on and walk out the door, I cnotinue taking leaps of faith that my Heavenly Father will guide me to those that are ready to hear the gospel.  I sure am thankful for this leap of faith I took and the leaps I continue to take each and every day because there is nothing that brings me more joy than sharing this gospel and seeing the miracles wrought by faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  

Have an AMAZING week and I love you all!!!!

p.s. Thank you Mimi and Bubba for the sweet card you sent me!!!!!

Quote of the week:
Faith, hope, and charity are active principles, not passive ones.  If we do not do them, we don't have them.
Janet Tanner

Hermana Van Boerum
Hermana Huisar, my comp, surprised me with a
darling card and 6 alfajores to celebrate 6 Months!!!
She is the Sweetest!

Pic with the goat we ate on Sunday!
It was delicious!!!
Dad you would love the meat here!

Alicia and her family!!
They are seriously the BEST!!
And so much fun

Me and the two random ladies we started talking to in the Park.
They were saying how crazy it is that I live in the United States
because they think there are a lot of tornados. Right before we
 took the pic one of the ladies yelled "Tornado!" and that is why
 we are all laughing :)
So Hilarious!!!

Selfie in the volcano ash with
Elder Herrera, Alder Le Baron and Hermana Huisar!

My "6 Months in the Mission field" celebration
with a gluten free cake and Dulce De Leche on my Face! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Modern-Day Pioneers

I am loving Chos Malal more and more each and every day!! The people here are absolutely wonderful and so humble.  Although it has been a big adjustment, I have already learned so much and I finally feel apart of the church's "Chos Malal family" here!  Being here is a lot of work, but I can just see the potential that this small city has.  

In our pension, we have a letter from an LDS woman named, Mónica Vanuffelen, who was baptized in Neuquen City, then came to Chos Mala with 15 Books of Mormon (Book of Mormons?), and started preaching to this small city about 18 years ago.  That was the very beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ being planted in the hearts of the people here.  Mónica ended up moving back to Nequen, but continued doing all she could to bring the restored gospel to the people of Chos Malal.  In her letter she said that the people here already have testimonies of Christ, but what they really need, is a message of the restored gospel and the Prophet Joseph Smith.  It is such a blessing for me to be here because there are many people who have never heard anything of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints and I now have the opportunity to share it with them!  Often times I have though a lot about how the church members here are a lot like the pioneers.  They are starting with absolutely nothing and yet they are moving forward with so much faith in hope to one day have a running ward here in Chos Malal.  Before I even knew that I would be serving here, I had heard many times that this is an area of miracles.  But after two weeks serving here, I have seen for myself how truly special this place really is and I look forward to the few months I have to see the restored gospel wrought miracles in the lives of the faithful and humble people of Chos Malal.

Yesterday I finished Jesus the Christ.  Wow, what an amazing book.  My favorite part is at the end it says, "Then shall the Lord Jesus 'deliver up the kingdom, and present it unto the Father spotless, saying- I have overcome and have trodden the winepress alone, even the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.  Then shall he be crowned with the crown of his glory, to sit on the throne of his power to reign for ever and ever.' The earth shall pass to its glorified and celestialized condition, an eternal abode for the exalted sons and daughters of God.  Forever shall they reign, kings and priests to the Most High, redeemed, sanctified, and exalted through their Lord and God Jesus the Christ."     How truly blessed we are to be rescued, saved, and exalted by our very own brother, Jesus Christ.

I hope you all have a wonderful wonderful week and if you need a good book to read, read Jesus the Christ.  793 pages of the pure love of our Savior and our Father in Heaven.

Quote of the week:
From the eternal perspective, it's not whether I win the battle or not that counts, it's the way I kept on fighting.
-Spencer W. Kimball

p.s. Mom and Dad, I play the piano during Sacrament Meeting here in Chos Malal! Yes I play from and 'easy hymns' piano book, but my piano lessons paid off! haha after 9 years of hardly even playing, I am still quite rusty but hey at least I can kind of play!  love you guys!! love you toshy, britty, torby, and Jake!!

Hermana Van Boerum

Monday, April 13, 2015

Our Chos Malal Group!

Wow the work here in Chos Mala is completely different in comparison to Villa Regina! Chos Mala is a small little town in the middle of nowhere and the missionaries opened this area about a year ago! We don't have a ward, nor a branch, but we have a "group" of about 20 members here.  4 months ago they were holding Sacrament Meeting in a barn in the back of a member's house, but just recently we started renting out a little store space in the middle of town!  There are four elders and 2 sisters here in Chos Malal and because the number of members is so few, we do just about everything!  We give the Sunday talks, teach Relief Society, teach Priesthood, teach Seminary, teach Institute, do "group" family home evening, and teach Primary on weekdays every single week!  We also don't have lunch with the members so we have to cook every day on a very small budget! There is definitely a lot of work here and I have been a little stressed but I am excited and SO grateful to be here!  The people here are so nice and Chos Mala is absolutely beautiful. 
The only investigator we have is named Alicia.  She has 3 kids and two of them were baptized a few weeks ago! Alicia is ready to be baptized but she just needs to get a divorce from her other husband and marry the man she is living with!  She is so awesome and even has her tithing all saved up to pay for when she becomes a member!
The Leal family is basically the anchor of the church here!  There are 3 kids and the dad isn't a member but Hermana Leal and the rest of the family are members and they are the best!! We go to their house every night before returning to the pension to do a family prayer with them and I can't wait to get to know them even better during my next few months here!
Chos Malal is wonderful and it is such a blessing to be here!!!

Quote of the week:
On those occasion when you don't feel like praying, you should get on your knees and pray until you do feel like praying.
-Brigham Young

LOVE YOU ALL and have such a great week!!! 

Hermana Van Boerum

(sorry I have no time to say anything about the pics but these are all pics from last week!!)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Chos Malal

This week has been craaazy!  Lots of goodbyes, packing, traveling and more!! We are still traveling to get to my new area Chos Malal and it has been a LONG day!!  I woke up at 3, took a 2 hour bus ride to Neuquen City, waited there for four hours, took a 3 hour bus ride to Zapala, and now we are here in Zapala waiting for 6 hours to then take a 3 hour bus ride!!! Crazy.  Anyway, my new companion is Hermana Huisar and she is from Mexico!! She is so sweet and seems way awesome!  I am a little nervous because I am senior companion now but I love my new area and my new companion, so it'll be a great experience!! p.s. I hardly have any time and I don't have my camera this week since it is in my suitcase which I don't have for now but new week I will have tons of pictures to send!!!

As you all know this weekend we had General Conference which was absolutely wonderful.  So many beautiful talks were given and it was an incredible experience watching it through the eyes of a missionary!! I wish i had more time to say more, but I watched it in the "English room" with 30 other "gringo missionaries" and I love it so much.  I loved how the grand theme was eternal families and marriages.  What better topic is there?  The one thing central to God's Plan of Salvation, eternal families sealed by eternal marriages.  As Elder L. Tom Perry said, "families are the key to happiness." I sure loved General Conference and I am so thankful for the blessing we have to listen to a modern-day prophet and his apostles.

Sorry I don't have a ton of time this week but I am so so happy and the mission is such and amazing experience! Family, I hope you didn't have too much fun without me in Hawaii¡  I missed sitting and watching General Conference with y'all but I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and I love you guys so much :)

P.S. shout out to Taite Rideout!!!! Congratulations to you and Ryan with your engagement!! I love you!!

Hermana Van Boerum