Monday, June 29, 2015

Three more Days and Welcome Home Jakers!!!!!!!

This week was great!  We are working so hard here and seeing lots of miracles because of our efforts.  Remember our investigator, Patricia, that we found while trying to look for a reference?  She came to church yesterday and even accepted a baptismal date for the 25 of July!  To tell you all a little more about Patricia, she has four kids and two of them still live with her in her home becasue they aren't married yet.  She is a sweetheart and loves when we pass by to teach her about the gospel as well!  The only problem is that she has a really bad memory and usually forgets what we teach her, but after reviewing things a few times over, she can remember and understand a lot better.  As of now she is our investigator that is progressing the most and we are going to do everything possible to help her be baptized in a month!!  I am super excited for her and she wants us to start teaching her two sons as well! 

We have 12 investigators and we are working hard to not only help them, but to help all the members as well (who are all basically recent converts!).  One of the recent converts in our area is struggling a ton and has fallen back into drinking.  About 2 weeks ago something really tragic happened to her, so now she is trying to deal with the post traumatic stress by drinking and doing all the things she did in the past.  I don't want to use her name or say what happened for privacy reasons but it is so sad what she is going through and we are trying so hard to help her.  The hardest part is that just 4 months ago she was baptized after having changed her life around a whole 180 degrees. Before this big change, she smoked weed, robbed homes, was pregnant at age 15, drank all the time, among many many other things.  She met the missionaries about a year ago and then from then on slowly changed her life around and was baptized in March before I got here!  After her baptism, up until what happened 2 weeks ago, everything was going really well but now she is falling back into old habits to cope with what happened.  Anyway, if you all could pray for the members and investigators here in Chos Malal that would be so great because Satan sure is working hard here!!

Happy 4th of July next weekend! And more importantly, I CAN'T BELIEVE JAKE GETS HOME THIS WEEK!!!! Sure wish I could be there to see him but I am so proud of him and his service to the Lord these past 2 years.  I know he served an honorable mission and was such a bright light to the people in the Philippines.  I love you Jake!!! Congrats!!!!!!

Quote of the week:
I shall go to my grave saying that missionaries generally speaking never rise in their entire life above the stature they carve out for themselves in the mission field.
-Henry D. Moyle 

Hermana Van Boerum

ps THANK YOU MOM for the best package ever!! Gluten free Trader Joe's cookies and all :) also thank you to Mimi & Bubba, Toshy, Katie Nydegger, Bridger Healey, and many others for the letters this week!! love you all!
Pic with Hermana Vilca
Sunday Morning before church
on our way to get Patricia.
Freeeeezing Cold!!!

What the sky looks like every night here in Chos Malal

Soccer with the district this morning!
My team won :)

One of the members here named Angel...he is the BEST!!!

Icecream after soccer yay :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Feliz Dia del Padre! Happy Father's Day!

First off, this week we received a reference of a less active member named Romina that moved here to Chos Malal 5 months ago.  We passed by her house to get to know her and help her out since we heard that she is a single mom who is struggling a lot right now.  She warmly les us into her house and as we sat there in the 12x12 foot room she lives in with her 3 kids, she started crying and filled us in on all that is going on in her life.  She lives alone with her 3 kids in a small room that a friend let her borrow and they are financially struggling a ton.  On top of that, her ex husband is trying to take away her kids to run her out of town.  So basically she doesn't know what to do because she doesn't have any money to buy a lawyer and save her kids, and Romina's life just isn't getting any easier.  As missionaries we can't help her financially of course, but we promised her that with the gospel, this hard time in her life will be a lot easier and happier.  It is going to take time but I am going to do all I can to help Romina return to church and enjoy all the blessing that her Heavenly Father has in store for her!

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY (yesterday) to the best dad in the world!  I miss you so much Dad!  I am sorry you were working yesterday but I hope you enjoyed the company of those four crazies and your banana pie in the hospital :) Here in Argentina we had roasted goat (pics below) and celebrated with the Leal family.  All the aunts, uncles, and cousins of the Leal family were there and I felt ast though I was right at home at another Sunday family dinner in the Olson or Van Boerum home!  Of course Father's Day wasn't the same without you Dad but I though about you all day and I am so grateful for all that you do.  The other day I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants and came across the scripture in chapter 93 verse 40 that says, "But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth."  Thank you Dad for always leading our family and raising us in truth and light.  We are so very blessed to have a worthy priesthood holder like you to guide our family into the eternities and I am so very thankful for the example you have set for all of us.  Whether it comes to work or normal every day life, you are one of the most hard-working and selfless people I know and you do so much for everyone around you.  Thank you for being one of my best friends and for all that you do for me, I love you "Salt & Pepper"!!

Also, Happy Father's Day to all my uncles, Bubba, and Grandpa Howard!! 

Quote of the week:
We can alter the face of the earth one family and one home at a time through charity, our small and simple acts of pure love.
-Anne C. Pingree

Hermana Van Boerum :)
I made Alicia cookies for her birthday.
3 hours of baking wore me out!

Alicia and I the day of her birthday!
She invited us over to eat roasted baby pig with her fam.
I sure love her!!

The Goat and I :)

District Lunch for P-day
Ate in a restaurant for the first time in 8 months!!
Roasted Goat...Delicious.

Monday, June 15, 2015

This week we found two great new investigators, Graciela and Vitalia! Graciela is a single mom of five kids and they are all Evangelicos.  They had tons of questions for us the first lesson but when we told them that baptisms in our church are done the same way as Christ was baptized, they all committed to following his example and preparing to be baptized the 18 of July! They still have lots of doubts but we are going to do the best we can to help them realize that our church is the only church with the fulness of the gospel!  Vitalia is awesome as well.  She is about 68 years old and super Catholic.  We taught her the Restoration of the gospel and at the end of the lesson when I asked her if she would pray to know the truth of our church, she broke down crying. She told us all about how she has 5 kids and neither them nor her husband visit her that often, so she feels very lonely.  She is in her house almost all day every day and is struggling to find peace and comfort in her life because she is so lonely.  We then were able to teach her about the Atonement and how through the mercy and grace of Christ, we can find strength and peace to not feel lonely in our lives because he is always there.  We promised her that through the gospel of Jesus Christ, we will be able to help her find what she is looking for in her life.  She thanked us a million times at the end of the lesson and told us that she wants us to definitely come back :)  I am super excited to do all I can to help Victoria and Graciela come unto Christ and learn of His beautiful gospel!  
I wish I had more time to tell you all the other things that happened this week but I will fill you all in next week!! Thank you for all the prayers and support!! love you all so much!
Hope summer is treating you all very well! :)

Quote of the week:
Do not wish to be anything but what you are- and try to be that perfectly.
-St. Francis de Sales

Hermana Van Boerum

Stefani Mora likes to steal my camera and take pics!
group activity Saturday night!
Nadia (recent convert) and I 
the district at 1am this morning saying goodbye to Elder Jenkins
Leila Mora and I
Roxana Leal and I 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Happy First Week of Summer!!!

Another great week here in Argentina!! Wow I cannot believe it is summer there!! This week is the first week of winter here for us :)  Enjoy the summer sun and spending time with all of your friends and family!!

Yesterday the branch presidency from Rincon de los Sauces came to visit us and bring a few things that we needed in our church.  Recently their "group" in Rincon became a branch so now they are coming to Chos Malal every few weeks to help us transform our group here in Chos Malal, into a branch like theirs! The branch presidency is awesome and I am super grateful to be working with them though.  Yesterday, they gave a great lesson on the repetition of gospel principles in our church.  For example why are we always repeating the same things in our talks every Sunday?  Why do we teach the same principles and doctrine over and over again in our lessons every single year?  I had never thought about those questions before but I loved the example they used to explain the purpose of repetition.  When parents ask their children to do something, do the kids automatically listen and start doing it?  Or do the parents have to ask about a hundred times and always remind their kids what they need to do? (I have seen this countless times in my home, sorry Mom and Dad for all the times you had to remind me to do the dishes or take out the trash!) Anyway, this really put things into perspective for me about the church and I now realize that we as members have to constantly learn and be reminded to do all that Heavenly Father wants us to learn and do.  It is the same reason that in the temple when we do baptisms or any of the other saving ordinances, we always use the same exact words.  We need to remind ourselves of these things in order to always be prepared to enfront the struggles of life, and sometimes it takes the 100th time to truly learn it.  All in all, I found this an interesting concept because repetition applies to every aspect of the church!  The Sacrament, principles in the Book of Mormon, temple ordincances, talks, lessons, General Conference talks, etc.  Repetition is key!

Not too much happened this week but yesterday, for family home evening, we watched Meet the Mormons with Alicia Mora and her 3 girls!  Alicia an dI cried lots at the missionary part but it was fun to watch and it made me think lots about my fam and how blessed we are to have this gospel :)  All our investigators are doing great and we are working hard to find them and teach them!  I will fill you all in a little more next week! :)

Hope you all have an amazing first week of summer!!!!!!

Quote of the week:
You can either complain that the roses have thorns, or thank God that the thorns have roses!

Hermana Van Boerum

Lots of Rain This Week!

the Sister Missionaries in My Zone

My Whole Zone

Roxana, Hermana Leal and Me

A Pic of Our Church Building Where We Hold Our Sunday Meetings
Super Small!

The Mora Fam and Me

Our District at the Top of the Mountain we climbed this Morning
It was Pouring Rain, Super Super Windy, and SOOOO Cold!
Happy Winter!!! 

Pics of Chos Malal and My District!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Two more weeks until President and His Wife leave

In the mission when a sister missionary trains a new sister missionary, the trainer is known as the Mamá (mom) and the new missionary is known as the hija (daughter) haha.  It is just a term that the missionaries use for fun, but on Thursday I met my hija, Hermana Vilca!  She is 27 years old and from Peru (yes my hija is 8 years older than me)!  Hermana Vilca is super funny and came with a big desire to serve the Lord so I am excited to work with her for the next 12 weeks and train her the best I can! Although training can be a little stressful sometimes, I feel super privileged because new missionaries come into the mission field with SO much faith.  I remember my 12 week training and I was just full of faith and ready to share the gospel with any person that looked my way!  Those 12 weeks with my incredible trainer, Hermana Pérez, were full of miracles and I am excited to fill these next 12 weeks with the same.  It has been a wild week but so far everything has been going pretty well and it is such a blessing to have the opportunity to train Herman Vilca!  I almost think she is teaching me more than I am teaching her! :)

Speaking of miracles, I have been wanting to tell you all about our 40 year old investigator, Juana!! This happened about two weeks ago but I haven't had time to tell you all!! The other day Juana was walking in a school building and noticed a book lying on a set of stairs that everyone was walking on top of.  She decided to pick it up because it caught her attention and then took it home.  Juana started to read it and said that the words touched her heart so much that she just wanted to find what church teaches from this special blue book!  Two days later after praying to Heavenly Father to help her find this church, she walked past the missionaries in the street and something told her to go back and talk to them!  It is all history from there but my comp and I are now teaching her!  Such an amazing miracle and you can just see the Lord's hand in helping Juana find her way to the true gospel!  We have only been able to teach her twice (Hermana Huisar and I) but she says that she wants to be baptized!  After teaching her the necessary steps to prepare for baptism, she realized that she isn't quite ready yet because she can't quite forgive someone who hurt her really bad.  We are hoping that through lots of prayer and scripture study she will be able to find strength to forgive this person.  We have a lesson with her planned for this week and I have felt impressed to share the "mormon message" video about Chris Williams and his story of forgiveness, so we will see how things go and I am just sure it will help her soften her heart :)

Hope you all have such a great week!! Oh also hope that you are all enjoying the warm weather there because it is 22 degrees today and I am in a skirt...IT IS SO COLD! haha love you all so much!

Quote of the week:
A candle that lights another loses no light itself.

Hermana Van Boerum
My New Comp

It is so pretty here!!!

Susana who lives in Mesa, Arizona but is from Mexico!
She is my homegirl, love her!!!

Me, Diana our investigator, and Vale!

Group lunch with the members and investigators.