Monday, November 30, 2015


Happy (late) Thanksgiving!! I hope you all were able to have a wonderful Thanksgiving day full of family, food, and gratitude.  Argentina doesn't celebrate that holiday so the only thing we did to celebrate was draw "hand turkeys" (keep in mind there isn't much you can do as a missionary haha) and say what we are thankful for haha.  I also made a big breakfast with pancakes, eggs, and fruit for my comp and the hermana leaders but other than that nothing too crazy!  We also ended the night with grilled sausage, chicken, blood sausage, meat, salad, potatoes, and fanta!  Romina and her fam brought it all by our pension that night just for fun!  So that was super nice of them and with all the food they gave us it felt a little bit like Thanksgiving! 

Alrighty well not too much happened this week but our investigators and less active members are doing great!  Since this week was all about being thankful, I would jus like to share one of my favorite, yet very simple, scriptures about gratitude!  Doctrine and Covenants 59:7 which says: "Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things."  I have definitely come to understand that a little more while being here in the mission.  Sometimes we only thank God when everything is going right.  But when everything is going wrong, our prayers then change from "Thank you Heavenly Father for this, this, and this..."  to "Heavenly Father I need this, this, and this..."  But what we need to do is be thankful in all things.  When we are going through a hard time, we need to pray to our Father Above and say "thank you for the things this experience will teach me."  No matter what the circumstances, we truly need to be grateful.  Because if we really understand the Plan of Salvation, we will understand that everything we go through happens for a reason.  God gives us tests, trials, and hard times because he loves us.  Because through these tests, trials, and hard times, He can mold us into what He wants us to become.  Which that is to become like Him. 

I am so very thankful for the blessing that my Heavenly Father has given me.  The two greatest blessings that I cherish most are my family and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  The two cloest things I have to my heart.  I am sure you all had a moment to "count your blessings" this week but I just would like to invite all of you to say a prayer of gratitude tonight.  Don't ask for one single thing, just thank your Heavenly Father.  And thank Him as well for all the experiences both good and bad, that have made you into the very person you are today.  

Quote of the week:
One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living.  We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon--instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.  
-Dale Carnegie

Be grateful!  I love you all so much and I am so thankful for your support!! :)

Hermana Anika Van Boerum
Mom wanted to see my pension

Thanksgiving Day

Monday, November 23, 2015

Receiving Revelation

Hello friends and family!  I hope that you've all had a wonderful week!  Things are going well here in el Bolson and our investigators as well as less active members are doing great!  Marcelo is still preparing himself to baptize Romina, Norma is a less active member who hasn't gone to church in 9 years but she has now gone to church 3 times in a row, and Lilia is a new investigator that is really interested in knowing more about the gospel!  Unfortunately Jose sent us a text saying that he never wanted to be baptized nor does he want to listen to our lessons anymore, and Silvina also decided that she doesn't want Yenien and Elias to be baptized because she doesn't want to have to take them to church every week...but Hermana Tapullima and I are praying lots and strengthening our faith in order to find new investigators!  It was a week full of lots of ups and downs, but the highlight for me was watching Marcelo and Romina hold hands as they sang "Families Can Be Together Forever" with their two kids Morena and David, during their first family home evening ever.  The spirit was strong and I was able to catch a glimpse of the beautiful, eternal family they are going to be one day.  I love them so much.

Well I am sure all of you have already heard about the new church regulations that were released a few weeks ago.  I know it is a touch subject to instead of talking directly about it, I would like to share a few thoughts on revelation.  I would like to start off by saying that the "heavens are not sealed" as Elder Russell M.  Ballard once said.  I say that with the intention to remind you all of two things.  First off, from the heavens above, our Heavenly Father gives divine revelation to our prophet Thomas S. Monson.  If we believe that President Monson is the prophet of God in this time and day, we believe that he is the man on this earth who speaks the words of God, as if God were here with us.  One needs to decide if they believe in prophets who receive revelation or not.  To decide if President Monson, through revelation, speaks the words of God or not.  It is like keeping the commandments in order to receive eternal life.  One cannot choose which commandments to follow and which not to follow, and expect to receive eternal glory/life.  It is black or white.  Öne chooses to follow all the commandments and recieve eternal life in the Celestial Kingdom, or chooses to follow only the commandments they like, and lose all that the Father has to offer them.  The same goes with the words of the prophets.  There is no "gray area"  to say "yes I am going to follow this, this, and this...but not that."  Do you believe that God revealed new truths in the Book of Mormon?  Do you believe in God's angels?  do you believe that God and His Son Jesus Christ came to Joseph Smith in a vision?  Do you believe that God is all powerful?  I sure do, and if you do as well, what makes communication between the president of our church and God any different?  God can do anything and everything.  And if he could do all those things above, what stops him from directing this church with His Son Jesus Christ through our Prophet Thomas S. Monson?  Family and friends, God never seals the heavens, only man does.  So let us not seal the heavens, let us keep them open and strengthen our testimonies knowing that our prophet has received revelation from our loving, all powerful, Father above.

My second though is about personal revelation.  In the Bible Dictionary under "Revelation" it says "the principle of gaining knowledge by revelation is the principle of salvation.  It is the making known of divine truth by communication with the heavens and consists not only of revelation of the plan of Salvation to the Lord's prophets but also a confirmation in the hearts of the believers that the revelation to the prophets is true."  I challenge you all to pray about his matter, the new regulations of the church.  Ask your Heavenly Father why? what? and for what?  and I know that you will recieve revelation and an answer from Him.  Why do we read the scriptures every day?  Why do we pray every day?  Why do we go to church each week?  Is it because we have seen the Celestial Kingdom and we know that it exists so we do all those things in order to get there?  No.  It is because one time when we were going through a hard time in our life, we opened the scriptures and found guidance.  Because one time we found peace to our soul as we kneeled down, prayed, and our Heavenly Father spoke to us.  Because one time we felt the Spirit touch our hearts as we sat in church listening to a message that just happened to have the perfect words for us in that moment.  Or to say all of this in an easier way, it is because we have received revelation.  And we have hope that if we do the things God asks us to do, we will be lifted up and exalted in the last day.  

Revelation exists and the heavens are not sealed.  Don't listen to others or look for you revelation in social media.  Don't let your testimonies be shaken by what you see on the news or hear on the radio.  Look for revelation in the heavens.  From your Heavenly Father.  And he will give you the hope and firm testimony you need to endure these "faith testing" moments.  As the 13th Article of Faith says, "We believe all things, we hope all things, and hope to be able to endure all things."  I hope that we will all be able to endure all things through the greatest tool our Heavenly Father has given us to do so, revelation through the Holy Ghost.  Remember, only we seal the heavens.  Not God.  :)

Sorry for the long email but I loveeeeee you all!!!!!!  Have a happy week!

Hermana Anika Van Boerum :)

Romena and David (Romina and Marcelo's kids)

Cute Little David

Sunday Photos!
We couldn't leave our pension yesterday because of elections...
so we took some photos outside.

Yenien, Elias and Me

New Snow

Monday, November 16, 2015


The Lord is really blessing us these days here in el Bolson and we are seeing lots of miracles!!  This week I want to share the story of an inactive member names Gustavo.  This week we had lunch with the Villablanca family and Sister Villablanca wasn't there to eat with us, so her brother Gustavo joined us and the rest of the family to eat all together.  It was the first time I had ever met Gustavo and as the lunch went on, we got to know him a little better.  After eating, we shared a simple but powerful scripture in Doctrine and Covenantss 5:35 which says:
And if thou art faithful in keeping my commandments, thou shalt be lifted up at the last day. Amen.

We then began talking to Gustavo about the reasons that he stopped going to church and as I sat there listening to him, I could just fell the power of his testimony and I couldn't believe that he had left the church for so many years.  He told us how we had been preparing to serve a mission and was super strong in the church, but then he started making bad choices and slowly fell away.  He then became disappointed in himself and felt unworthy for not having served a mission-and that became the turning point of when he became inactive.  It was sad for me to see this 25 year old member of the church so disappointed in himself and the choices he had made, so I started talking to him about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how it gives us "new starts."  How it gives us blank pages that allow us to not only change, but to change the future of our own personal story.  And that is what I told him.  I said, "Gustavo, if only you could see yourself how I see you now.  I met you about an hour ago and during this short time I have been able to see your incredible testimony of this gospel and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I don't know the bad choices you made.  If you wouldn't have told me that you didn't serve a mission, I would have though the opposite because of the strong spirit that you have.  For all I know, I would have thought you were an active member in the church.  But I want you to know that the way I see you now, is the way that your loving Heavenly Father sees you.  A strong disciple of Christ without blemish.  You have so much potential Gustavo.  All you have to do is repent, and faithfully keep the commandments of God as the scripture we shared says.  That is the beauty of this gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  The Savior is always waiting and willing to give us a new start, to let us be new people.  But we need to do our part.  Don't let the choices you make now, affect all of the eternal blessings that God has in store for you.  You can change, and you can start today through the Atonement of the Lord."  I know this to be true with all of my heart and I have seen the power of repentance throughout my mission many times.  Repentance through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ changes everything.  We can always have a new start thanks to Him.  I love my Savior and I hope that we will all be able to recognize the great blessing He has given us thanks to his selfless act upon the cross of Calvary and in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Thanks to Him, Gustavo was able to go to church again after 6 years of being inactive.  I believe in miracles, but I even more so believe in the merciful love and forgiveness of our living Savior Jesus Christ.  

Quote of the week:
Godly sorrow leads to conversion and a change of heart.  It causes us to hate sin and love goodness.  It encourages us to stand up and walk in the light of Christ's love.  True repentace is about transformation, not torture or torment.
-Dieter F.  Uchtdorf

love you all and have a beautiful week!!!! :
Hermana Anika Van Boerum
Hiking in Bariloche

Hermana Tapullima and I the day she
completed 9 months in the mission.
I took her for ice-cream :)
and yes there is quite the height difference ha ha

Yenien and Elias
Two of our investigators!
They are 9 & 11
So darling!!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Buena Semana!

This week went really well!  Hermana Lopez and I were able to find lots of new investigators during our 6 weeks together so now with Hermana Tapullima, my new companion, we just need to help all of these investigators keep their commitments, gain a firm testimony, and then arrive to the waters of baptism!

One of our investigators, Romina, is the wife of a less active member named Marcelo.  When I first got to el Bolson my comp told me that Romina didn't want anything to do with the church and that we should just leave her alone, but I told my comp, "let's visit her one last time just to make sure!"  And that's what we did!  After a few lessons with Romina, Marcelo is now preparing himself to be worthy to baptize Romina the 28th of November!  Romina is going to take this first step of baptism to begin her eternal family and I feel super grateful to be here in el Bolson at this time because I know that Romina has been prepared by the Lord all these years.  Romina even shared with us a dream she had the other day that was an answer to her prayers.  She said that she had prayed asking God if the church was true and if she should be baptized.  Turns out that Hermana Lopez and I were in the dram and we talked to her about things she had done in the past.  And when Romina woke up from her dream, she said that she knew what she needed to baptized.  After rejecting missionary after missionary for many years while being married to Marcelo, she finally realized that she knows the church is true and we have decided to prepare her for the 28th of November to be baptized!  I can't wait and I know that this is a huge miracle from the Lord!!
Quote of the week:
If we are not rejoicing and edifying one another in all our conversations, then we are doing something wrong.
-Eric Huntsman
I don't have much time but I hope you all have an amazing week!! Remember to always edify one another through your thoughts, words, actions, and deeds.  I love you all!!!
Hermana Anika Van Boerum

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Worth of a Soul

Well I don't have much time today because it is transfer week but my new comp just got here and her name is Hermana Tapullima!  She is from Peru and from what I have seen in these few hours she is just a sweetheart!! I already love her so much and I know that she will be a wonderful companion :)

Anyway, this week I wanted to share something special that I have been thinking lots about since my mom got back about a week ago from her volunteer trip in Haiti.  As you can see from the photos below, there is a picture of a painting of Christ and a little boy from Africa.  My best friend Steph gave me this little copy of the painting before I left for the mission.  Since then I have kept in in my scriptures and as I have opened my scriptures each day in the morning to read, I would always see this beautiful painting.  But as I read my mom's email and looked at her pictures from Haiti, this picture and the story on back finally became a reality to me.  So I decided to send all of you the pictures she sent me and I am going to put the story - that is on the back of the painting - below so you will be able to see the beauty that I see in these photos of my Mom:

The Worth of a Soul
by Liz Lemon Swindle

When Mathers Without Borders approached me about going to Africa, I told them I was not interested.  For me Africa was a world away, "and besides," I though, "I am too busy."  Imagine my surprise when I found myself on a plane to Zambia in June 2007.

One of the first children I met was Kennedy, the little boy you see in the painting.  At three years old he has lost both of his parents to AIDS and was found living alone with his six year old brother and ten year old sister.  When I thought of those three children struggling to survive and the millions of others across Africa in similar circumstances, I felt an overwhelming hoplesness and said to myself, "No amount of money can fix this."

Later that day while we were filming, Kennedy jumped into the arms of the man portraying the Savior.  As I stood watching them, Kennedy turned towards me and our eyes met.  At that moment I knew it wasn't hopless.  I realized that the Savior can fix not only the problems of Africa, but of the whole world...and we can be His hands to do it.  

Looking back I realize that my reasons for not wanting to go to Africa are likely the same as yours.  We are busy and feel like we cannot make a difference, but I know now that neither is true.  We are neer too busy to lift another and every good work is known to Him who said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of...these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

As the story says, "the Savior can fix not only the problems of Africa, but of the whole world...and we can be His hands to do it."  I admire my mom so much for going to Haiti and volunteering in an orphanage.  For being the hands of the Savior and helping those beautiful Haitian children feel a little bit more of the great love that our Savior Jesus Christ has for them.  I have to be honest, the first time I saw these pictures I started crying, and I am crying while writing this as well.  I cry because as I look at these pictures of my adorable mom full of joy and light with these children, and the powerful image of Jesus Christ embracing this child in His arms, it is a testimony to me that the Savior lives and can fix all the problems in the entire world.  His grace, love, and endless mercy can change everything.  But not only that, "we can be His hands to do it."  It doesn't take a volunteer trip to Haiti, a humanitarian trip to Fiji, or a thousand miles to do this great work of the Lord and fix the problems of the world.  It takes a willing heart as well as the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and we can even start within our very own homes.  Be the hands of the Lord.  Serve one another.  Lift another.  And remember that "the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." (D&C 18:10) Each and every soul. 

I love you all so very much.
Hermana Anika Van Boerum

My new Comp & Me :)