Monday, January 25, 2016

Lost Scriptures

Hello everyone!!  Happy Monday!  And happy bday to my girl Britty on Friday!!!  Well we got transfer calls Saturday night and I am going to be staying here in San Martin one more transfer with my best friend Hermana Webb!  I couldn't be happier.  Although we had a rough last transfer because we struggled finding investigators, I really look forward to these next 6 weeks because I just know they are going to be full of miracles!

This week we had a really neat experience seeing the power of fasting.  My comp had lost her scriptures the day we got back from Neuquen about a week ago and we had just looked up and down to find them.  Hermana Webb decided to fast in order to find them, and just two days ago as we were contacting a neighborhood that we don't normally go to, this random lady came out of nowhere with my comp scriptures and asks, "You guys are religious, right?  Do you know anyone who has maybe lost some scriptures like these?"  It was the coolest thing ever!  The lady didn't end up wanting to talk to us about the church but it was just so cool to see how powerful fasting can be through the strength of our faith and prayers.  

Some exciting news I found out this week, Isaias, the 9 year old who was going to be baptized in el Bolson but his older brother wouldn't let him, was baptized just a few weeks ago!!  I think he got baptized the week after I left, but I am so happy for him and that his mom finally decided to support him with his decision.  So great!!

Food for thought:  For those of you who keep up with my emails, I think that y'all have noticed that I've been talking a lot about love and charity these days.  To keep the theme going, I would just like to share something about the Lord's "second great commandment."  In Matthew 22:37-39 it says:
37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart , and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind . 
38This is the first and great commandment . 
39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 
The other day I was thinking a lot about what makes a successful missionary.  After much thought, I came to the conclusion that love is what makes a missionary successful.  If a missionary truly loves the people they serve, there is nothing greater they could do.  As these thoughts were coming to my mind, I definitely got thinking about the Inalef family from el Bolson and how much I have grown to love truly love them.  So, focusing on the Lord's second great commandment, we are supposed to "love our neighbor as ourself."  With that being said, can we truly love others if we don't love ourselves?  If I want to be a good missionary and follow this commandment, can I truly love like I should if I don't love myself?  I, as I am sure all of you, have heard this commandment hundreds of times, but I have one question--Do you really love yourself?  I promise each and every one of you that as you begin to discover who you really are and see yourselves as your Heavenly Father sees you, you will have a greater capacity to love as the Savior did.  To "love thy neighbor, as thyself."  I love you all so very much and have a wonderful week!!!! :)

Hermana Anika Van Boerum
just a bunch of random pictures....lots of selfies sorry!  ;)

Monday, January 18, 2016


This week was suuuuuper crazy!  Monday night at 12pm we took a 7 hour bus ride to Neuquen in order to do paperwork for us to receive our visa.  We were there from Tuesday morning until Friday night when we got back to San Martin at 3pm.  This week was full of lots of fingerprints, talking, and early mornings.  And then the afternoons were filled with working in Neuquen, hot weather, and LOTS of mosquito bites!!  It ended up being a good week though and Hna Webb and I had lots of fun together during our travels.  Plus it was nice to have people actually listen to us as we preached the gospel which almost never happens in San Martin!  It was a good break :)

So now here comes the best part of my week.  Yesterday morning Hna Webb and I looked for two hours straight for someone to come to church with us (p.s. they changed to rule I told you guys about lsat week, we can now go to sacrament meeting without investigators, but we aren't allowed to go to the first two classes without investigators).  It was a long morning and on top of things I realized that someone had probably stolen my camera during our trip back from Neuquen because I just couldn't find it.  Anyway, Hna Webb and I were headed to the church to go to Sacrament Meeting and to be honest, I was just a little bummed out because we are working hard and don't have many investigators.  All of a sudden out of nowhere I hear a little girl yell, "Hermana Van!!"  and when I turn around, I see Romina, Marcelo, Morena, and David all getting out of their car!  I can't even explain the joy I had when I saw them and I felt God's love so strong in that moment.  It was such a tender mercy and one of the greatest moments of my mission being able to see them again.  After lots of smiles, laughter, hugs, and tears, they told me that they had this trip planned to come and visit me since the day I left el Bolson.  Turns out that they left at 5am that morning and then got here to San Martin at 10:30 just in time to meet me at the church since they knew I would be there!  It was the BEST surprise ever.  We all went to Sacrament Meeting together and then went to a park after church and caught up on life.  It was the sweetest thing because they had even brought a bunch of gluten free cookies and snacks, a gift for me from el Bolson, and a gift for my companion (and they didn't even know her!).  After a few hours, they had to get started on their 5 1/2 hour trip back to el Bolson so we didn't have too much time to be together.  But all I can say is that yesterday was one of the best days of my life.  Just so you all know, the Inalef family is going to church every week and they are super strong in the gospel.  Romina is now the second counselor of Young Womens, Morena is going to be baptized by Marcelo next month when she turns 8, and cute little David is saying his prayers every single night.  I couldn't be happier with their great news and my joy is so full right now.  After not being able to hear from them for 1 1/2 months, I am more than grateful.  I love the Inalef family and I love my Heavenly Father so very much.  

I want to leave you all with an excerpt from Romina's letter she gave me yesterday, which really touched me:
"Today I though about the greatness of our Heavenly Father, for allowing us to come here this day and see you.  And what worried me was not being able to make it on time to take the sacrament and renew my baptismal covenants, but even up to those details, God took charge.  I feel happy and so thankful with Him for having put you in my way.  I know that the Father sent you to help me and many others.  I love you my friend."

I testify to all of you that Heavenly Father truly does know and loves us.  He knows our hearts and our greatest desires.  And because of that, I love Him.  Have a wonderful week and don't ever forget how much God truly loves you.  

Quote of the week:
Reaching out to rescue one another, under any condition, is an eternal measure of love.  That is the service that counts.  
-Ronald A. Rasband

Hermana Anika Van Boerum

fun times in Neuquen!
an Oly "O" pic with my amigo Elder Lloyd from Olympus, GO TITANS!
pics with the Inalef family :)

Monday, January 11, 2016


This week we had zone training and let's jsut say that President Casariego sure is changing the Mission Neuquen Argentina!  We ahve already gotten TONS of new rules but I think that one of the biggest to hit our mission is a new one they gave us this week.  From here on out we are not allowed to go to church unless we have an in no I can't take the sacrament unless I bring an investigator with me to church.  It wouldn't be that crazy of a rule if we were always able to get investigators to church, but that isn't always the case!  The new rule has caused quite a stir with the missionaries and even members here because not many people are in agreement, but we will see how things go!  Yesterday my comp and I weren't able to go to church until the 3rd hour because none of our investigators or other people in the street that we talked to wanted to come to church, but it was a tender mercy when our investigator Luis showed up for the last hour.  I have a feeling that this rule is going to change a little bit by next week because it is causing quite a mess here in the mission!  

This week I want to quickly talk about one of Christ's many attributes, charity.  What is charity?  Moroni 7:45-47 says:
45And charity suffereth long, and is kind , and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked , thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 
46Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
47But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever ; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. 
Many people compare charity to the pure love of Christ but I think that it is even a little more than that.  Jesus Christ in Matthew 5:46 one said: "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?"  It is easy to love.  I can love someone who loves me.  I love my little brother Torben and it is easy because I knows he loves me.  But what about those who don't love us?  Those that treat us poorly at school, at our workplace, or just in life?  Or in my case, those that close the door in my face day after day, laugh at me, or reject the greatest gift of all -- the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is the difference love and charity.  Charity is loving those that don't love us.  I can honestly say that I haven't always been a charitable person, but as I have walked the streets for these past 14 1/2 months it is something that I have slowly been able to develop, as I still have lots of room to grow.  Leaving the pension knowing that the majority of the people you come in contact with that day are going to reject you is hard. Having people insult you and make you feel bad isn't easy.  But that is when charity comes in.  When I am able to make a conscious effort to remember the names (or write them down because there are so many) of the people who reject me each day so I can pray foir them at night.  That one day they might accept the gospel.  When I am able to grit my teeth or hold back tears and say "Have a great day!" after being treated like nothing.  Doing as Christ did as He walked the streets of Palestine and was treated as the farthest thing from "God's Beloved Son."  Charity.  Loving those who don't love us.  Christ loved us first, now it is our turn to love and forgive as He always does.  Have a fabulous week and know that I love you all so much!

Scripture of the week:
44But I say unto you, Love your enemies , bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 

Hermana Anika Van Boerum

Fun times in Bariloche buying yummy chocolate 
and taking pics of the beautiful Cathedral


Zone Bariloche

Monday, January 4, 2016


Happy 2016!  Ok so here's the scoop: I am convinced that during the holidays is when Argentines least want to listen to us as missionaries so these past two weeks have been pretty tough!  Hermana Webb and I have been working super hard but we just can't quite find the people that our Heavenly Father has prepared for us to teach.  I wish I had some special experiences to share this week with you all but I've got to be honest, our days have consisted in just walking everywhere and talking to everyone!  I definitely think that this is a test of our faith and diligence, but I do believe that through our obedience and desires the Lord will bless us.  I am just trying to have confidence in this wonderful quote by Mohandas K. Gandhi: "It is for us to make the effort.  The result is always in God's hands."

Alrighty so this week I want to talk about how faith and life are like riding a bicycle.  As we all know, when we are either pedaling or coasting down a hill, we are able to keep our balance.  We are able to keep equilibrium and not fall over.  But as we also know very well- and I think that all my family members who love cycling are quite familiar with this - that if we or the bike are in movement, the only way to not fall over is to put our foot down.  Sometimes we just aren't even able to unclip fast enough and we just hit the pavement after a big hill climb or at a stop light, like I did when I went cycling with my Mom and Dad haha.  So how does this relate to life and faith?  There is a famous quote by Albert Einstein which says, "The only way to be in equilibrium is to be in movement."  Or in this case the only way to not fall while riding a bike, is to be in movement.  It is simple and I believe that the same thing goes for our faith and very own lives.  If we are not constantly trying to increase our faith, or constantly pedaling, we will end up falling and losing all the blessings that God has in store for us.  If we are not diligently trying to progress in life and become better people, or climbing up a steep mountain when we slow down a bit, the same thing will happen and we will just fall over and not reach our destination.  We need to always be exercising our faith or we will just lose it.  We need to always be progressing in life or we will not make it to our final destination of being with the Lord and our Heavenly Father again.  We need to always be in movement.  Each and every one of you are such special children of God and your potential is greater than you can even comprehend.  So let's make this year of 2016 a year of movement!  Always pedaling so that we will be able to find that equilibrium that will increase our faith and allow us to progress and become what God wants us to become.  Pedal with all your might, and even take a break while oasting down a big hill, but don't ever stop being in movement.  
I love you all more than you know!  Thanks for all your support and love :)

Quote of the week:
The secret to happiness is not to always do what you love, but to always love what you do. 

Hermana Anika Van Boerum

New Years Eve Dinner
A Celiac's Delight

Skyping My Family On Christmas

Family is Everything

We may have gone over on time...but just a little bit ;)