Monday, August 31, 2015

More Miracles!!! :)

This week has been wonderful and full of lots of spiritual experiences!  On Thursday we had exchanges with the hermana leaders from Zapala and I got to spend the day with Hermana Maldonado from Buenos Aires, Argentina.  We had a fun time together and taught five awesome lessons which is great because we never have that many lessons in one day!  We worked super hard without stopping that day and it was fun to have an Argentine comp for a day!  Nadia, one of the recent converts, when we visited her said to Hermana Maldonado, "You're from Argentina?  FINALLY! Someone who know how to talk Spanish!"  Hahaha she was just joking around but we were dying of laughter!

Whelp, unfortunately Mica didn't get baptized this week like I had hoped and prayer for.  We had a lesson with her Wednesday night after having fasted the day before and she told us that she wants to be baptized, but she can't because she is the godmother of a little girl named Josefina in the Catholic church.  She had committed at the beginning of the year to not only be the godmother of Josefina, but to never leave the Catholic church as well.  So when she went to Josefina's parents to tell them that she wanted to be baptized, they told her that if she chooses to do it, she won't be Josefina's godmother anymore.  As Mica was telling us this she was crying becasue she has received an answer from God and she wants to be baptized, but Josefina's parents just won't let her.  I could tell that she really wants to be baptized and I started crying as well because I love Mica so much and I know that this gospel would be the best thing for her and her life.  And I told her that as well as I bore testimony to her, but now we are just going to have to pray hard and wait for Heavenly Father to work His miracles.  The day after that sad lesson with Mica, I read a scripture during my personal study that really stuck out to me in 1 Corinthians 2:6-7 which says:
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God that giveth the increase.  7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.  
I loved this scripture becasue it helped me realize that although I have done my best to "water" and "plant" with Mica, at the end of the day it is only God who at this point will truly be able to increase her desire to be baptized according to God's time and will.

On the plus side, with our investigator named Claudia, this week she decided to share with us all the miracles she has seen in her life since we started visiting her two months ago.  In our last lesson we had kneeled and prayed together, and when we stood up, Claudia started thanking us for all the blessings that God has brought into her life because of us.  How there is now a different, happier feelig in her home.  How her kids are usually super sick all the time but they have been happy and healthy for two months.  How sometimes she doesn't have enough money during the week to feed her kids but now she has sufficient.  Even her best friend Romina told Claudia that "the girls" (us) should keep teaching her because Romina has seen a big difference in Claudia and her life as well!  But more than anything, Claudia told us how grateful she is for our visits because she can truly see the desire and happiness we have to share the gospel and it has changed her life :)  Claudia's words were a testimony of the love God has for every single one of us and how he loves to bless His children when they live the gospel.  

I hope you all have an amazing week and I love you all so very much!!

Quote of the week:
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
William E. Henley

Hermana Anika Van Boerum
My new car #holla

I got my birthday package!! Two more weeks and it will be my birthday!
And the package from the Monsons...thank you Heidi!!!
And thank you Van Boerum Family for signing the
darling pillow cover!

For Pday our district went to see the nearby
 volcano with Dante and his family.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Us in back of a truck because we decided to hitch hike
instead of walk 45 minutes after our p-day activity.
(Mom does not approve of the hitch hiking :( )

Sunday with President and all the members.

President Casariego visits Chos Malal!

Mica is doing super well and her baptismal date is this Saturday!!! Tonight we have a lesson scheduled with her and hopefully everything falls into place this week so she will be able to follow the example of the Savior and be baptized!  Fingers crossed and lots of prayers!! :)

Caro and Aníbal are our new investigators and they are so awesome!  Caro, 20, and Aníbal, 18, are dating and have two kids.  They found out about the church through Noelia and Ignacio, who are both dating as well, and are the brother (Ignacio) of Aníbal and sister (Noelia) of Caro!! Hopefully that all made sense haha.  Anyway, Caro and Aníbal have gone to church the past two weeks and want to be baptized, but the only thing holding them back is that they don't want to get married becasue they believe it isn't necessary.  They both are such special people, but I want to ask all of you to pray hard for them so Heavenly Father will be able to soften their hearts and help them realize that marriage is a divine commandment and blessing from God!!

Juana is still doing great!! She works a lot so it is hard to find and teach her but last night we had such a wonderful experience with her.  At the end of our lesson we asked her to pray and ask Heavenly Father if our church has the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We all kneeled down in prayer and as Juana spoke her first few words in the prayer, the Spirit flooded the room.  She said, "If you give me an answer God that this is the true church, I promise I will never leave it."  Literally I have never felt a prayer so powerful in my entire mission and it was such a special moment for Juana, Hermana Vilca, and I.  Juanita has so much faith and I just know that she is going to receive the answer she is looking for.  Please pray for her as well!!! :)

President Casariego, his wife, and his daughter all came to visit Chos Malal yesterday!! It was such a special special day and they were able to meet all the wonderful members here :) 

Quote of the week:
It is not so much what you believe in that matters, as the way in which you believe it, and proceed to translate that belief into action.
-Lin Yutang

HAVE THE BEST WEEK, I love you all!!!! Hope everyone is having a great start in school! And congrats to both Beth and Jordyn for getting married this week!!! So happy :) love you both!!

Hermana Anika Van Boerum

Monday, August 17, 2015

Peter the Apostle :)

Lots of miracles this week!! We started off the transfer really well with 4 new baptism dates for our investigators Mica, Claudia, Caro, and Aníbal.  Of course not everything is set in stone and they are just dates, but with faith we will be able to help these 4 children of God come unto Christ and be baptized!  I am super excited for them and even more grateful to be able to help them enter on the path to return to their Heavenly Father.

This week I have studied a lot about the apostle Peter and I really have come to love him and the great faith that he had.  In the Bible Dictionary it says "Peter was one fo the greatest of men.  It is true that the New Testament recounts some mortal weaknesses, but it also ilustrates that he overcame them and was made strong by his faith in Jesus Christ."  Peter was a simple fisherman who with his brother "straightway left their nets, and followed him" after the Savior had called them to be His disciples bye the sea of Galilee.  Working side by side with the Lord, Peter tried his best to exercise his faith- Christ "saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God."- but Peter still fell short due to his mortal weaknesses.  Some of these well-known incidents are when Peter "was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"  Or when "Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.  And he (Peter) went out and wept bitterly."  Of this incident Elder Uchtdorf in a recent instruction to new mission presidents said, "Perhaps Peter overestimated his own ability to withstand oppostion.  Perhaps he underestimated the severity of the trial of which the Savior warned him.  Perhaps he simply needed to learn to trust himself a little less and trust the Lord a little more."  But our merciful, forgiving brother Jesus Christ overlooked the weaknesses of Peter and put Peter's faith to the test once more as Christ and His disciples were dining at the sea of Tiberias after His resurrection.  "He saith to him the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?  He (Peter) saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.  He (Christ) saith unto him, Feed my sheep."  And that is exactly what Peter did.  He baptized 8000 people in one day, and was even selected by the Lord to hold the keys of the kingdom on earth.  But more importantly, Peter was able to do these things because he overcame his natural weaknesses through his great faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  
And that is the invitation I want to extend to all of you as I do to myself, that perhaps we need to "learn to trust ourselves a little less and trust the Lord a little more."  As members of the church we as well have chosen to "leave our nets and follow Christ."  To leave our worldy habits behind and do the best we can to follow the example of our Savior.  But if we truly want to overcome our natural weaknesses, and work miracles in our personal lives and the lives of others, we need to have a powerful testimony of the living Christ.

I love you all and I hope you all have the best week!!! Smile! :)

quote of the week:
Not what I have but what I DO is my kingdom.
-Thomas Carlyle

Hermana Anika Van Boerum

-the baptism of one of the elders' investigators! I am now in a district with pure latins:  Two Mexicans, two Argentines, and one Peruvian!
-my comp and I startin off the new transfer!
-found this cute puppy so I just had to take a pic :)
-us in the bus on our way to Zapala last night!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Hermana Van Boerum you are going to....stay in Chos Malal with Hermana Vilca!

Well this is just the biggest surprise ever, I am staying in Chos Malal for one more transfer!  After writing 15 goodbye/thank you letters, packing up all my things, having everyone tel me that for sure I was going to be transfered somewhere else, and being really excited to serve in a new area, the zone leadres called us Saturday night and told me that I will be here for 6 more weeks with Hermana Vilca!  I gotta say, at first I thought it was just a joke and so did everyone else but nope! I´m staying here in Chos Malal!  Later that Saturday night the assistants to President Casariego sent me a message that said, "Hermana Van Boerum, there is a very specific reason that you have to stay in Chos Malal.  We don't know it, but we feel it.  Find the reason :) Ask your Heavenly Father and we promise you he will answer.  He lives Hermana, we love you."  As for now I have been praying hard to know the reason that I am still here but I look forward to what my Heavenly Father has in store for not only me, but more importantly for the people here in Chos Malal.  I just have to humbly have faith and trust in Him :)

Last week we had conference with President Casariego and he is really changing lots of things in the mission!  He has a very interesting vision for the Neuquén Mission and the big focus is going to be on those who are not members.  If we eat lunch during the week with families who aren't giving us references we have to change that and find a different family to eat with who will give us references.  President also said that less active members and recent converts aren't our job as missionaries.  They have already had the opportunity to partake of this gospel and we shouldn't worry because it is the members job to visit them, and the members will also one day be accountable with the Lord.  President doesn't want us to completely stop working with less active members and recent converts, but we now have to focus more on our investigators and those who aren't members!  That is definitely a lot different than what President Lovell taught us but I know that President Casariego receives revelation from God as well so we will see how his new vision for the Mission Neuquén works and I have faith that these changes will wrought miracles! :)

Yesterday we had two new investigators, Caro and Anibal, come to church!  I will tell you more about them next week but pray lots for them!!

This week I really liked the scriptures in Moroni 7:35-36 which say: Sometimes it is hard to see the hand of God in our lives, but the miracles to this very day haven't ceased.  God truly has provided us with everything we need in order to see his miracles; ministering angels, the Holy Ghost, and more-but it is only through our faith that we will be able to see His great work in our lives.  It is our decision :)

quote of the week:
We carry upon our shoulders the reputation of the church - each and every one of us.
Heber J. Grant

LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!! have a good week!

Hermana Anika Van Boerum

Fries and Fanta (Haven't had fries in forever!)

Group soccer activity

Our District

Monday, August 3, 2015

Happy Day :)

Sorry I am on a little late!! Today, Dante-the elders' investigator that was baptized a few weeks ago-wanted to take us on a tour of the outskirts of Chos Malal! I will be sending lots of pics (sorry) but it was absolutely a blast and we all had so much fun!  In the back of his van he put chairs and a couch for us to sit on because the back part doesn't have seats but we spent a couple hours just driving around taking pics.  When we got to a city that is about 45 minutes away called Andacollo, Dante and his wife had brought a bunch of snacks for us to have a little picnic.  So we also got to just hang out in a nearby park while playing cards and soccer together!  It was a blast and the "tour" was SO beautiful.  Definitely a day I will never forget! :)

Whelp we still don't know transfers until next Sunday but I am pretty sure this will be my last week in Chos Malal.  I truly love this place, and love the people here even more.  In my 4.5 months here in Chos Malal I have had some of the greatest experiences of my mission and created some of the best relationshiops that I know will last throughout the eternities--I sure am gonna miss this place.  Although it was a bit overwhelming coming to an area so new which then added on even more responsiblities then I already had, it was such a growing experience for me.  Not only being here in Chos Malal, but the opportunity to train Hermana Vilca as well have both twisted, stretched, and challenged me in so many different ways, but I have grown in more ways that I could have ever imagined.  It has been such a blessing to be here and also training Hermana Vilca, who I have grown to love so so much.  I am more than thankful for all the personal and spiritual growth I have been able to experience her in Chos Malal and I look forward to the next adventures awaiting me.  

quote of the week:
"Happiness doesn't come from external circumstances. It comes from the inside—regardless of what is happening around us."
—Dieter F. Uchtdorf
p.s. family I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hermana Anika Van Boerum