Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Bible

Happy Mother's Day in Argentina!  This we got to help with lots of Mother's Day activities and do service to help out some of the single mothers here in el Bolsón.  Form weeding, to feeding chickens, to cutting firewood, to cutting tress with a machete, we had lots to do!  But Hermana Lopez and I really enjoyed it and it was nice to serve some of the wonderful mothers here who do so much for us missionaries.  This week I was a lot better cutting firewood with an ax but unfortunately didn't have that same luck with the machete!  While cutting tree branches with the machete - everything was going great until a foot long piece of branch instead of flying forward when I cut it, flew back and hit me in the face haha ow it hurt a LOT.  But we all got a good laugh out of it when I stood up and realized that the left side of my face was swollen and my forehead had a bump the size of an egg haha.  Fun mission experiences!  
This week I was thinking a lot about how I can help the members, investigators, and less actives enfront their challenges and trials in life.  Lots of the people here in el Bolsón, and lots of people in general, have trials and difficulties that test their faith in the Lord.  But when we have an eternal perspective and understand the Plan of Happiness we will realize that everything that happens to us as children of God, is all apart of Heavenly Father's plan.  We will realize that we are not bodies with spirits, but that we are spirits with bodies and we are here on this earth to learn and progress.  So as the "floods and the winds beat upon us" instead of the natural man instict of asking "why is this happening to me?" - with the eternal perspective we will ask ourselves "for what is this happening to me?"  What is it that our Heavenly Father wants us to learn from this trial?  As we look back at our most difficult times we will be able to see the blessings and our very own personal growth that we have had; and instead of asking ourselves "why" we will ask "for what?"  I truly believe that when we understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and the unconditional love of our Father in Heaven life is so much easier.  As Elder Uchtdorf said in the Women's General Conference, "God didn't design us to be sad, He wants us to feel joy."  God wants us to learn, progress, and be happy during our times of greatest doubt, struggle, and sadness.
I also would like to share my testimony about the Bible!  About two weeks ago I finished the New Testament which I abolutely LOVED; the stories of Christ are just so powerful.  And now I have started reading the Old Testament, reading about Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac.  Every day I read the Bible and Book of Mormon but what amazes me most is how these two books are really meant to be used together.  Before I only had a testimony of the Book of Mormon becasue I only focused on reading the Book of Mormon, but after studying the Bible a bit I have truly grown a testimony of this special book and how amazing it really is!  The other day I had just finished the story of Abraham and Jacob in the Bible and then 10 minutes later as I was reading in Alma, Captain Moroni had mentioned to his army the story of Abraham and Jacob!  So it was really cool to see the power of these two books working together and how both of them together contain the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I know it is something super simple that took me a long time to realize, but I want to invite all those who only have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon to start reading the Bible in order to gain a testimony of this incredible book as well! Anyway, all is well here in el Bolsón and our investigators are just great!  We are seeing lots of blessings from our Heavenly Father and I feel so grateful to be serving the wonderful people here! :)

Quote of the week:
God cares a lot more about who we are and who we are becoming than about who we once were.  He cares that we keep on trying.
Elder Dale G. Renlund

love you all soooooo much!!!!
Hermana Anika Van Boerum

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