Monday, February 29, 2016

To act and not be acted upon

This week was pretty good!  Unfortunately we still have very few investigators but I still have the faith that somehow through our efforts we will find more.  We haven't been able to talk to Kiara's father to get permission for her to be baptized because he is never at home (she lives with her dad and grandma).  But, Kiara has talked to him twice about the idea and he has told her that she absolutely will not be getting baptized.  She was supposed to get baptized this Saturday but the father won't be home until next Sunday and we have done everything in our ability to get his permission, so things are looking pretty gloomy.  We are doing our best to not get discouraged though because Kiara is so so ready to be baptized and her father is the only obstacle.  We even asked her the other day, "Kiara, do you still want to be baptized?" And the little 10 year old replied, "Yes hermanas, it is the greatest desire of my heart."  After hearing this and seeing her exercise her faith by going to church and reading/praying every day, we are a little heartbroken with the situation.  But I know that whether she gets baptized during my time here or not, she will one day remember these lessons she had as a little girl and have the opportunity once again to be baptized.
This week was also super special because we got to see a live broadcast given by Elder Bednar while he was in Buenos Aires.  For those of you that know me, you'll know that I was especially excited because Elder Bednar spoke, but he also gave some wonderful advice and counsel to us missionaries in he South Sout American missions.  One of my favorite parts was when he talked about how we need to act and not be acted upon. He shared an example of this with the story of the Israelites, which I am going to share through and excerpt from a talk of his from 2006.  He says:

We find a powerful example of the interaction among assurance, action, and evidence as the children of Israel transported the ark of the covenant under the leadership of Joshua (see Joshua 3:7–17). Recall how the Israelites came to the river Jordan and were promised the waters would part, or “stand upon an heap” (Joshua 3:13), and they would be able to cross over on dry ground. Interestingly, the waters did not part as the children of Israel stood on the banks of the river waiting for something to happen; rather, the soles of their feet were wet before the water parted. The faith of the Israelites was manifested in the fact that they walked into the water before it parted. They walked into the river Jordan with a future-facing assurance of things hoped for. As the Israelites moved forward, the water parted, and as they crossed over on dry land, they looked back and beheld the evidence of things not seen. In this episode, faith as assurance led to action and produced the evidence of things not seen which were true. True faith is focused in and on the Lord Jesus Christ and always leads to action. 

There are many examples of faith given to us through the scriptures but I especially loved that example of the Israelites seeing the miracle "after the trial of their faith."  Elder Bednar related this story to a common thing that all of us as members do.  Many church members read the scriptures just a certain amount of time every day because it is a duty.  But what we really need to be doing is going in as agents with a question.  We have to act and not be acted upon.  We can't just read and wait for "God to deliever the goods" as Elder Bednar put it.  We need to knock and it shall be given to us.  Another example of this is how many a time we have heard church members say in their prayers while at the pulpit in sacrament meeting, "Please bless the people who didn't come today so they will be able to make it next week."  When Elder Bednar said that in reality when we say that sentence, we are actually "doing it all wrong."  The type of prayer we should really offer should say something like, "Heavenly Father, please bless everyone one of us here to think of at least one person who isn't here today so that we can go visit them on our way home from church.  And please bless us to not all think of the same person because that could get awkward."  haha a little funny but so true! We need to be agents that act, not objects that are acted upon.  Just a little food for thought but I hope that we will all be better agents who act according to the great faith we truly have.  I love you all and have a wonderful week!!!

p.s. next week are transfers so if I email a little late, that is the reason why!! I will probably be staying here in San Martin to end my mission though so I will probs not have any changes, just a new comp!

Hermana Anika Van Boerum

-doing the same hike that we did on New Years Day!!! 
-hot chocolate in the park...the weather changes from day to day here!! one day it is super hot and then the next, it is pouring rain and freezing cold like winter! I love San Martin :)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

te quiero---i love you

Hey friends and fam!! Sorry for not sending out an email last week.  The computer I was on had a virus and must have been all messed up because I had sent all my emails but apparently none of them really sent!! So here is my email from last week, enjoy!!

Hey everyone!! I hope y'all had a wonderful Valentine's Day yesterday.  Here in Argentina they don't really celebrate that holiday but my comp and I celebrated by eating some of the yummy candy my mom sent in a package!  I love you Mom!! Anyway, things are good here in San Martin and we had a pretty uneventful week! From Thursday until Saturday we were in Bariloche for a conference with president and divisions.  It was pretty fun but it is hard spending so much time outside of our area!  The work here is going well thought but pretty slow.  Our investigator Luis sho has all the missionary lessons, church attendance, and had a baptismal date for the 13th of February--has now stopped communicating with us for over a week.  After many calls, messages, and passing by his home, he still hasn't contacted us and we just aren't srue what to do anymore!  Kind of a bummer.  But we do have an investigator named Kiara who is 10 years old and super cute.  She is progressing pretty well and we are hoping to baptize her the 27th of February.  We are gonna need your prayers!!
About 2 weeks ago we watched a missionary broadcast shown to missionaries all over the world.  I just want to leave you all with two questions that Elder Anderson asked us about faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement.  And I invite you all to ask yourselves and ponder these questions as well! He asked:
What do I believe about the atonement of the Savior?
Am I personally experiencing the atonement every single day?

I know that the atonement of Jesus Christ is everything.  It is central, or should be central, to all that we believe and do each and every day.  I hope that you all at one point have been able to experience the joy that comes from the cleansing and healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  The greatest gift of love that we have ever been given.  
I love you all so very much and hope that you all have a wonderful week!!!! Happy Valentine's Day yesterday, fam.  I LOVE YOUUUUU GUYS!!! 

Quote of the week:
There is only one day that you and I have to live for, and that's today.  There is nothing we can do about yesterday except repent, and there may be no tomorrow.  The thing for us to do when we arise from our beds as God gives us a new day, is to take whatever comes to our hands, and do it to the best of our ability.

Hermana Anika Van Boerum

-pics from our hike! the one with the elders and I looks like a super lame band cover haha ;)
-pics from our bus ride to bariloche
-pics in our sweats after a rainy cold night in Bariloche, super fashionable :)
-valentine's day selfie 

Monday, February 22, 2016


Hey everybody! I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend last week and had lots of fun.  This week was pretty good to us here in San Martin and we are seeing lots of progress with our 10 year old investigator, Kiara.  Yesterday she had a great day at church and then in the afternoon we got to teach her and her friend, Florencia!  The lesson went super well but what impressed us most was when Kiara basically taught the entire first lesson to her friend!  It was super cool because all this time we had thought that Kiara didn't understand too much. or that the things we taught her just didn't "stick."  But Kiara totally surprised us as she sat there for 10 minutes explaining the first vision and Christ's baptism, with the pamphlets we had given to her last week!!  It was one of the sweetest thing I have ever seen and the spirit was so strong as Kiara closed the lesson with a beautiful prayer.  I just know with all my heart that this little girl is ready to be baptized, now the only obstacle is going to be getting permission from her father.  But we know that with lots of prayers and faith it will happen!! I sure love the work of the Lord.

Alrighty friends and family, this week I want to share this wonderful poem written by John Bytheway that I heard while listening to one of his talks.  I really loved it and it helps me realize how truly special each and every one of us are.

Did you ever go up to the fun house to play, and look in the mirrors there?
They bend up your face and widen your waist and alter the shape of your hair.  
And in one place you're as huge as a hot air ballon, in another as thin as a stick.  
At first you're as slim as a telephone pole and everywhere else you are thick.
Some people are mirrors reflecting to us an image we really are not.  
If we think that those mirrors are telling the truth, we've been blinded to all that we've got.
Some might say that we're awnry or stupid or weird, some might say that we're stuck up or fat.
But in others you'll view a reflection of you that doesn't have any of that.  
Who are the best mirrors that you and I have? Who gives us a reflection that's true? 
Who sees us for all that is hidden inside?  Your Father in Heaven, that's who.  
You've also got teachers and parents and friends, whose reflections are true and correct.  
When peers say you're homely or haughty or dumb, God says "You're my child, you're elect." 
So get out some paper and pick up a pen and write down what others may say.
Then turn the page over and fill it with things the Lord and the prophets convey.  
On one side you'll have all that others have said, some true, some are hard to conceive.  
Then turn to God's side and ask yourself--"Which side am I going to believe?"

by John Bytheway :)

Which side are YOU going to believe?? I know that God loves us and has given each of us divine, special qualities.  We have to remember that we are all His children, elect individuals with a great individual worth.

I love you all!!!
Hermana Anika Van Boerum 💙💛

A Family we met at the Art Market

Pics with cute little Kiara on Sunday

A birthday party for Melina Fortino (a member)
Who turned five years old

We LOVED playing with all the little kids
 and they LOVED playing with us.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Plan to Bring Us Closer to Him

Hello folks! Hope you've all had a wonderful week.  Here in San Martin things are still going pretty well.  We were able to find a few new investigators but they have already dropped us, so we continue on with the search for more investigators!!  But things are good and I am very very happy, as always!  :)

Saturday night as missionaries we got to go to a transmission from the South, South America Area Presidency that was broadcasted all around Argentina.  It was a transmission of what they called, " A plan to bring us closer to Him."  The focus on this plan are three things:
  • The Sabbath Day- Finding the delight of keeping the Sabbath Day holy.
  • Spiritual and Temporal Autosufficiency- Becoming to be spiritually and temporally autosufficient
  • The Temple- Enjoying the blessings of the temple
So the idea of this plan is to increase the faith in our Heavenly Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in Christ's Atonement; through these three things above.  To bring us closer to Christ.  The Area Presidency also did a focus on saving the rising generation and getting members involved in the work of the Lord which was great.  How we need to strengthen the church now so that our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy the blessings of the gospel in 30 years.  And how the greatest way to hasten the work of the Lord still continues to be through help from the members.  Two things that I strongly agree with!  But one of my favorite pats of the broadcast was when a quote was given in on of the training videos that they showed us.  The quote said, "The gospel of Jesus Christ is quite simply about helping people.  Helping people progress and live with their loving Heavenly Father again."  I loved that!  The gospel of Jesus Christ isn't just about us and our salvation, it is truly about helping othes come unto Him and find the fulness of happiness that God has prepared for us.  It is our duty to make a difference in the lives of othe.  We just need to have faith that the words of the Lord will tell us what to do, and the Spirit will show us what to do -- and as Paul the Apostle taught, "not one effort in this work is in vain."

I love you all SOOOOOOOOOOO much!!! Have a beautiful week!!! :)

Quote of the week:
By helping others come unto Him, you will find that you have come unto Him yourself."
-Henry B. Eyring

Hermana Anika Van Boerum

Monday, February 1, 2016

18 Months, Sacred time

This first week of the transfer went pretty well!  We actually were able to have a few good lessons and make a few appointments for this coming week so that is just great.  We don't have lots of investigators, but we are working with this 25 year old kid named Luis.  Luis still lives at home with his family and is super super sweet.  The only problem is that he has super low self-esteem and often times finds himself very unhappy and depressed.  We have been working with him since I got here 7 weeks ago and he has progressed little by little, but yesterday I was able to invite him to be baptized the 13th of February and he finally said yes!!  It isn't set in stone, but with faith and lots of prayers, I think that he will be ready by the 13th to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized!

One of my favorite experiences this week would be when we ate with a recently returned missionary here in San Martin named Vicki Lang.  It was her 3rd day home and we got to eat with her and her family last Friday!  As we opened our scriptures to share a message with them at the end of lunch, tears started to roll down Vicki's face and the Spirit filled the room.  Instead of giving the message, she was now receiving it.  This moment made me realize how short our time is as missionaries, and how my mission will soon be coming to an end in about 2 1/2 months.  At the end of our message, Vicki shared her testimony with us and she said, "Now being on the other side of things, I now recognize that missionaries truly are representatives of Jesus Christ.  You both are glowing representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ, and thank you for choosing to serve the Lord."  I know I still have a little under 3 months left of my mission, but his sacred time has been everything to me and has gone by so so fast.  I am so grateful to be apart of the greatest work there is upon this earth.  I know I am a representative of our brother Jesus Christ and just as I desire the salvation of God's children, so does He.  Just as I am rejected daily, so was he as he walked the streets of Palestine.  But just as he changed thousands of lives, I know I can too.  And though I haven't had hundreds of baptisms, I have done my very best and planted seeds that I pray will one day be harvested.  And I too will be able to send an email like this one I received a few weeks ago:

"Hermana Boerum, 

Sorry for the email from a stranger...

I was a missionary in Bolsón in 1980!  The city had been closed for about a year when we got there.........
......I was looking up photos of my old mission cities for a misson-prep class I am teaching and I found your blog, so I decided to send a letter.....
.....Thanks for your service.  You will treasure these memories for your entire life.  I hope you are having success harvesting all the seeds I planted for you 35 years ago.

Cháu Ché"

I know I will treasure these memories from my mission for my entire life :) I love being a representative of our Lord and Savior.

Love you all so very much and thank you for the constant prayers and love!

Quote of the week:
"You'll have eternity to think about what you did in this life."
-Elder Gary E. Stevenson

Hermana Anika Van Boerum

sorry, not lots of pics this week!! Just a few with my comp on Sunday and then one of our desks and my pension decorations :)