Monday, July 27, 2015

Merry Christmas in July! and a Happy 9 months in the mission!

Well this week was just a little bit crazy!! Tuesday we got a call and we were told that we would be heading to Zapala again in order to help the hermana leaders in their area.  We packed up four days of clothes, and then right away hopped on the bus for the 3 hour bus ride to Zapala.  During those 4 days we did exchanges with the hermana leaders, we had great lessons, contacted tons of people, and even had a mini "Christmas in July" celebration with tacos (because this cold weather makes us Utahns feel like it's Christmas time)!  It was a fun experience and we had a great time with our Hermana leaders, Hermana Bitton and Hermana Espinosa!
While we were gone, we obviously weren't able to teach our investigators but they are all still doing really well!  The elders had a great lesson with our investigator Mica and they invited her to pray again about if she should be baptized!  This week we have a lesson scheduled with her so we will see if she was able to receive an answer from Heavenly Father.  She wants to wait until she finishes reading the Book of Mormon but we will see how things go!!  My comp and I got back Friday night and then the next day we spent all morning helping the elders get ready for the baptism of their investigator, Dante!  Luckily we got back to Chos Malal on time because the baptism needed a "woman's touch" haha.  Not only that, the elders hadn't even filled up the giant baptism pool we have and there was only one hour left until the baptism!  So luckily my comp and I were able to get the fire station to come and fill up the pool haha.  But everything turned out wonderful and it was such a special day for the elders and Dante!
I am officially halfway through the mission and time is just flying by!  I have been reflecting a lot lately on the first half of my mission and I have realized that I truly wouldn't want to be anywhere else.  I am so so happy and so grateful for all the opportunities I have had to share the gospel each and every day for the past 9 months and I absolutely love my mission.  Yesterday as I sat there in Sacrament meetin, I looked at all the beautiful, smiling faces around me and realized how glorious this gospel truly is.  I love being a missionary and I am so thankful to be here serving the Lord.

Family, have the BEST time in Newport!!!!! I love you guys so much!!! Eat lots of Bear Flag for me and go to the donut shop :)

Quote of the week:
The best thoughts, affections, and aspirations of a great soul are fixed on the infinitude of eternity.  Destined is such a soul, for in mortality it finds all that is not eternal too short, and all that is not infinite too small. 
-the Memorial Church at Stanford University

P.S. watch this video, it is sooooo cute!! one of my favs. 

Hermana Anika Van Boerum

Pday with the Zone

Merry Christmas

Fire Station Filling the Baptismal Pool

Baptism of Dante
One of the Elder's Investigator

Elders cleaning their pension due to complications.
A pension of elders is the nastiest thing I have ever seen...
so dirty and gross!!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Baby It's Cold Outside!

This week was great!! Our investigators are doing pretty well but it has been tough trying to get tem to go to church and teach them because everyone is on vacation!  With one of our investigators named Silvia, we taught her the Restoration and had an awesome, spiritual lesson with her.  But unfortunately she sent us a text yesterday saying that she has her own beliefs and that she isn't interested anymore which is a bummer.  On the bright side though, Patricia, our investigator who is progressing the most, is working towards trying to stop smoking!  Right now she is on vacations as well, but we are just praying that while she has been gone she hasn't been smoking!  Other than those few things not too much happened this week!

Lately President Casariego has been putting a big emphasis on not drinking water from the sink or drinking water given by investigators and members because tons of missionaries are getting sick.  We now have to wash all our fruits and vegetables with a little bleach as well because the fruit is causing health problems since it isn't washed...Unfortunately 15 missionares are being sent home this week for getting sick from the water and unwashed fruit so now we are being a lot more careful!

Sorry I don't have tons to write about this week but I hope you are all happy and enjoying your summer!! Family, I hope you are having lots and lots of fun in Sun Valley as well!!!  Thank you so much for all the prayers and support!

Quote of the week:
The invitation to "follow him" is the most simple, direct, and powerful invitation we can receive.
Eduardo Gavarret

Also, shout out to Little Jon, happy happy birthday!!! I love you and know that you are killin it out on the mish!

Hermana Anika Van Boerum

In the bus at 1am, We are exhausted

yummy asado

Sunday as ado with the elders and the Mora Family!

Yes I look very tired because it took me 2 hours to make homemade
cinnamon rolls with the elders and the Mora family!
Everyone ate them all within minutes.

the cinnamon rolls I made :)

Monday, July 13, 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Well first things first, IT SNOWED here!!! Since I got here, everyone has told me that it never snows in Chos Malal, but lucky me, I got to whip out my snow boots this weekend!  Seriously I don't think I have ever been so excited to see snow in my entire life and it makes me feel right at home in Utah!  The only thing I don't like about it is that I feel like Christmas is soon when in reality it isn't for 6 months...but I am trying to take advantage of the "Christmas spirit" by singing Christmas songs in the street and drinking lots of hot chocolate.  My companion thinks I'm crazy but it's all good, I am happy :) #FelizNavidad The other downside to the snow is that everyone used it as an excuse not to come to church yesterday.  Only THREE people came to church!!  Can you imagine going to church and there only being two other people there??  So crazy!

This week we got to meet our new president and his wife, the Casariegos!!  They are so awesome and I already love them so so much.  In the conference with President, him and his wife both spoke and it was super spiritual.  They talked all about faith and their experience being called as mission presidents.  As I sat there listening to them, I felt a confirming spirit so strong that they both truly have been called by God and that they are supposed to be here in Neuquen to guide us missionaries at this time.  It was a feeling that I will never forget and I can't wait to see all of the things they have in store for the Mission Neuquen!  Also, remember the talk that I attached to my email a few months ago called, "Faith in Jesus Christ" by Gene R. Cook?  The talk tells a story about a super faithful missionary from Paraguay who worked miracles in all of the areas he served.  He even baptized 18 people in 25 days!  Turns out, that missionary is President Casariego!  If you want to understand more about why I am so excited to have him as my mission president, read that talk!  It is amazing.  Anyway, to top things off, President even changed a few of the mission rules this week so now we can drink Coca-Cola and play sports with members!!! Basically it has been a super exciting week!  

Our investigators are doing really well and I am trying to take advantage of the 4 weeks I have left here, but I hope you all are enjoying your summer and having lots of fun!!  Jake I heard your homecoming talk was so awesome, I am so proud of you bud!!! Love you so much, family!!!!

Quote of the week:
Use what talents you possess.  The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
Henry Van Dyke

basically lots of pics of snow (Hermana Van Boerum calm it down with the selfies), and Coca Cola :) I am going to send another email with more pics as well!!


Monday, July 6, 2015

Chile beat Argentina in the America Soccer Cup!

Whelp, this week we had to stay in the pension Saturday night (for safety reasons) because of the soccer match between Chile and Argentina...and Chile won!  So that's a bummer but I hope you all had an awesome 4th of July filled with fireworks, family, and fun!  #AmericaILoveYou

Friday we had exchanges with the hermana leaders and I got put with Hermana Bitton from Ogden, Utah!  We had a great day together with wonderful lessons, contacting tons of people, and LOTS of English! Haha it was a fun day and nice to talk English because I have had all Latin companions since I got her in Argentina!

Lately I have been studying the New Testament and this week I really enjoyed the scripture found in Luke 4:18.  Jesus was in Nazareth and He had just stood up in a synagogue to read from the book of Esaias, which was cutsom for him to do on Sunday.  As he read the words, 
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hathanointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to thecaptives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set atliberty them that are bruised,
all of the people in the synagogue thought that he could never do such a thing, but Christ knew that He was sent to this earth to do these things and do them with the Spirit of the Lord.  As I read this scripture in Luke, it reminded me that as members of the church, we are here to do the same.  We have all been given the gift of the Spirit of the Lord when we were baptized.  We are here to preach the gospel to the world, heal those with broken hearts who are struggling through trials, preach deliverance to those who don't know they can receive a remission of their sins through the Atonement, and to help "the blind" and those who have been bruised by reminding them that their Savior Jesus Christ is always there with them.  Just like Christ, we have been given the Spirit of the Lord and we are here to share this message of hope and happiness with everyone.

Here is a poem I found this week that I really like and it goes along with our duty to help the Lord with His work:
Where Shall I Work Today?
Master, where shall I work today?
My love flowed warm and free.
He pointed out a tiny spot
And said, tend that for me.

I answered quickly, oh no, not there,
Not any one could see
No matter how well my work was done;
Not that little spot for me.

When He spoke He was not stern,
But He answered me tenderly,
Little one, search that heart of thine;
Are you working for them or for me?
Nazareth was just a little place.
And so was Galilee


Search that heart of yours and ask your Heavenly Father in your prayers tonight, "Heavenly Father, where shall I work today?"  I love you all so so much and I hope you all have the best week ever!!! 

Jake,so glad to hear you made it home after being dettained in Hong Kong hahaha I love you!!!!!! LOVE YOU FAM!!!!

Hermana Van Boerum
Our Investigator Mika came to Church!!!

We Still have fun as Missionaries!

All of us after Sunday Lunch at the Leal Family's House

Selfie with the District