My heart is so full of joy for you all!! I love you all so
much!! I thought about you all many times through out the conference. The
powerful talks! The inspiring messages! The unity of our leaders in defending
the faith of God will never be forgotten. As the conference ended, President
Monson waved to us all. I could not help but feel the Savior’s arms around me,
or the angels that protect me…offering me a sense of belonging, a sense of
love. I had tear filled eyes as I watched as our beloved prophet when he left
the conference center. Conference had come and gone all too fast, yet thanks be
to the Lord God, the spirit still dwells here, it abides, I pray ever fervently
that it shall not leave.
The work of salvation is in every moment of this world. I
FEEL so honored to be apart of this work! It is in every thing. I agree with
the words of President Monson, it was one of the most uplifting and inspiring
conferences. The Heavens are open, our saints are ready, and our leaders are united
in the Lord. I know that they are inspired, righteous men and woman of God.
This is His work. Thank you for your prayers. I feel as though our Lord and God
prays for our success daily. Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
More than ever I know that I am a worthy Daughter of God. I
am a part of the work. I am already doing a part of my life mission! I am AM A
MISSIONARY! What prayers are offered. What strength we have…though agency plays
a role, who can deny the Holy Ghost? I know that the Holy Ghost will carry our
message into the hearts of those we teach and into the hearts of those who are
ready. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL! I love this feeling I have.
During the conference I could not help but think of you
guys. There were so many times when I felt your comments or felt your hugs.
LOL…or wished I could eat the crepe breakfast with you! :P Haha!
One of those times was during O´Divine Redeemer. Wow! I could almost see the tears through my own
mommy’s eyes! :). When President Monson
talked about a “Heart of Gold”…I thought of you Kaleb. When Hermana Carole M.
Stephenson talked about the priesthood and covenants…Daddy you were right
there. When I thought about the work of salvation…I also thought of you Karina
Darling girl! When Elder Dyches talked about The Hiding Place I remembered all those times, Mom, you would read
aloud to us great books and classics. :D I LOVE MY FAMILY!!!
Our investigadors (investigators) are PROGRESSING!! YES this
is a huge blessing of the Lord. I seriously felt like I could go no more. My
heart and faith said to hold on though after a very discouraging week. Then the
day dawn broke!! It was beautiful to see. As we were diligent, as we kept good
attitudes, and we pressed on the Lord gave us the opportunity to find nuevos,
place fechas, and change lives. We found a boy about 19 who had so many
questions. He declared, “How do we enter the presence of God?” We asked him how
he would do it. He said, “I need to repent. Yet I am not perfect.” Then he
thought, “How can I be clean? I want to be clean!” This was a beautiful moment
for my companion and I. It was wonderful to teach him that God has a plan for
him, and that he can be clean of his past, and that he can feel the Love of God
for him and enter into His presence after this life.
We had a milagro (miracle) this week, a powerful faith
building real milagro!! It was with an incredible woman who was vibrant and
full of love. About two weeks ago, we met with her. SHE set her Fecha (baptism
date)!! That was wonderful. She came to church and then…she was hit with an
illness. We had not seen her for two weeks, until Viernes en la noche. It
was 8:52pm. While heading back home we felt that we needed to stop and see
Shirly. She came stumbling out of the house. She was instantly scared when she
saw us. We cautiously and quietly said, “Shirly”?? Her health had deteriorated
her image a lot. She openly stated she doesn`t feel anything and desired to not
even live anymore. The beautiful light was gone from her eyes. She looked like
she was walking dead. It was awful. We took her hand and I began to pray out
loud. I began to pray that God would heal her. We don´t have the priesthood, yet
I know the Lord heard and answered our prayers. I know that God is the God of
the living. I know that God answered our prayers. She healed quickly after that
night. She is happy. We are going to meet with her today. The Lord God has
blessed us and her!
The Lord God is with us. We are His children. It says that
the truth angers those who are wicked. I know that the truth is at times hard
to listen to. Yet my soul illuminates with such love for God, for my faults and
weaknesses, yet I know he makes weak things become strong unto me.
Thanks for always being here for me family! I know I could
never do it without you! LOVE YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH. Until next week. ¡¡¿VAMO
Wow! This week has felt long in some ways and short in other
ways. I know that the Lord has really helped me overcome some things though. I
am still in Yerbal. Sad to say it has been a battle—and lately, every day to
think, wow… 6 more weeks of Yerbal. There has been many a time when I have felt
like I couldn´t go on...yet something inside of me said "hold on".
When there are transfers it’s often a good time to make new metas, GOALS. You
know me. I am so much my mother´s daughter... Goals! How can I improve? What lack
I yet? Sometimes that list gets pretty long. Yet I guess that’s our way of
saying, I am not perfect. Lord if thou wilt thou canst make me whole. To which
the master siempre (always) responds, "I will, be thou whole." First
it is by our faith, our actions, and our diligence that we become clean, whole,
and free from the sins that hang on our hearts and minds.
I AM SO FREAKIN EXCITED FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!
This past week so many answers came…so many moments of
comfort. I know that Yerbal is preparing me for different types of trials that
I will have in my life. I know that the Lord is in His work and though my
efforts are not shown in numbers or on paper I am changed. I love my companion
and I have come to know the Lord in a way that is beautiful to me.
This past Sunday I gave a talk that I call
"Teach Me To Walk In the Light". Thanks be to the Lord that I was
able to deliver a message about the Love of Christ and His light—which is a
part of each one of us. I spoke about how we should forsake those things that
are no longer worthy of light and put them in their place with the Love and
healing power of Christ. (Romans 13:12 and The Light of Gods Love by: Dieter F. Uchtdorf). Teach me Dear Lord
to walk in the Light.
A few nights ago I had the chance to walk along the streets.
We were looking for an antinguo investigador. We came across this elderly man
named Flor Pinto. He has had a tough life. He lives in the country to care for
live stock and garden, yet recently moved back to the "city" (which
isn’t really a city) to care for his health. He told us of his many experiences
and openly admitted that he doesn’t believe in God. He talked with us and asked
us "why do people suffer? Why do we go through things that are bad?"
He kept talking. Finally he slowed down and took a breath... Then it went
silent. We started to talk with him. My companion shared with him the Book of
Mormon about opposition in all things. Yet he didn’t want to listen... Finally
I felt the testimony grow within me. I felt such love for this man, and at the
same time I was tired that he wasn’t even caring to hear the beautiful promises
of the Lord. I know with all my heart that God is the God of the living and
that agency is a precious gift of God. We are free to look on the positive or
the negative. That will be moments in our life when it is dark and when it is
full of hurt and pain, yet I know with out a doubt that there will always be
light after the dark of night.
I told this man that if he desired to know for himself that
this church was true to come and see for himself. I encouraged him to look and
ask questions, to open his heart and let the Lord talk to his soul, because I
always know the Lord has something to say to me when I do this. I told him
about how God is patient. He is loving. He is the Lord of our souls and the
author of our salvation. I know that today is the day that Flor can accept the
gospel of Light and the Love of God. That he doesn´t have to sit in darkness,
but to have a peace and the knowledge that his life has purpose. He looked at
me with a lot of concentration. He didn´t blink, he looked at me. I saw such
light enter his eyes. Then it happened and this scripture entered my mind…for the
natural man is an enemy to God and has been forever and ever unless he yields
to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and putteth of the natural man and becometh
a saint through the atonement of Christ." HIS NATURAL MAN KICKED IN. He denied
the spirit which I know testified to him of his divine origin.... It was quite
frustrating... He started to talk again... about trials and suffering. I kindly
invited him to pray and that if he wanted to know more we invite him to come
and see... Only the Lord knows if he will or not
After this experience we went to a house of a member to see
if they could accompany us to a lesson with one of our investigadors named
Leonardo. Elias Goygochea came with us. It was at first a odd lesson.... lots
of sarcasm… if Spanish has sarcasm.... lol. Elias had been told some background
about Leonardo but not much. As we started the lesson, I was amazed at how calm
Elias was. He sat and then rose to make a statement. He told of his dark past
and how he had been alone, hurt, and made a lot of serious mistakes in his
life. He invited Leonardo with such love and power of "every member a
missionary" to come to church, to see what the church is and sealed this
invitation with a solid testimony of the Church has changed my life. I have
felt the Loving power of the atonement in my life and I know that I will
forever be changed because of this knowledge. Come and See for yourself.
I finally translated all of this (in our visit)... By the
time I did I felt an overwhelming love of God for Elias, for my sisters, for my
life that I have, for the knowledge and for the answers of Hope that I have received.
I was amazed and I felt the redeeming power of the Savior flow through me like
a gentle waterfall. I did get emotional. The spirit hummed throughout the
room... it was silent. It was clear, my words were of encouragement and a
second witness of the truth to what Elias had testified.
Yet when all was said and done, Leonardo stated frankly that
he had no desire to attend church. I looked at him in surprise. His obstinacies
were negative... I felt a little perturbed... I was thinking to myself, this is
kind of like you are shooting yourself in the foot. The Heavens are open unto
you, Leonardo, and I know not more what you need?! I felt frustrated yet full
of such pure love for this man and desired him to put down his defenses, pride
and social status and come to the Lord God. I felt like the lesson ended well
though. The Lord is in this work. He testified to my soul that He has a plan.
This deep knowledge has brought me closer to my Lord and Savior. Though Yerbal
be like a millstone around my neck, may I constantly remember the Lord God, may
I forever be an instruments in his Hands. Though I be but a mortal woman, I
know the Lord gives and the Lord takes (and He has given me mucho).
2 Thes. 5-24 has really helped me this week – Look into it!
THERE IS ALWAY SUN IN THE MORNING, NIGHT HAS NO POWER. The
DAY DAWN IS BREAKING!!!!
There are so many people who have emailed me this week! WOW
I feel loved! It was at first hard for my brain to switch over to English and
wow... I have been able to write many people and have found so much strength
for the coming week.
Mom, to answer your question, there are areas to print of
things, if you send me a link to another area that is not in the LDS web page
we have been asked not to open it, if the talk is in the email I can print it
out for later. We are not using the social network things yet. Uruguay
is behind in the technological sense.
is going well!! My area is good. I feel like this week has flown by. Quite
frankly there are so many different things to write and so little time.
Recently I went to Chuy, which is right on the border of BRAZIL and Uruguay. It was sweet! I went to Brazil
this past week too. We did an Open House for the church and wow, amazing things
The Casa Abiertas “Open Houses” are for the people who don´t
know much about the church and would like to learn more. There are a lot of
things that we teach and discuss at these. The first 3 lessons in “Preach My Gospel”
are taught and we do what we can to help bring the spirit. I have so many
amazing stories I could share. There was this couple that came in near the end
of the night. Raul is an Atheist and his girlfriend was very religious. There
was a special spirit in the Sacrament room. I saw Camilla take the hand of Raul
and a few tears entered her eyes. I felt like angels were softening the heart
of Raul and that we were perhaps the answer to many silent prayers of this
devoutly religious woman. They were from Santiago,
Chile and this
was the first time that they had heard the gospel.
We might be having a baptism next week! I am so excited. Her
name is Shirly. Wow! She is so prepared. We have had so many people fall
through, yet not this one. She herself personally set the date for her baptism.
She has a strong love and faith for God. I know that He has prepared her for
Thank you, Daddy, for your words about faith and being able
to change a whole city. I think that is exactly the difficult road the Lord has
called me to bare here. I feel overwhelmed at times. The salvation of so many
is waiting to be done, yet there is peace in knowing that the Lord’s plan will
always succeed. I know the Lord is God. That he will always help those who
trust in him and who are exactly obedient. I know the Lord lives and that he
Loves His missionaries. The more I am out here in the field the more I love and
am strengthen by the counsel of the Prophets. I AM SO EXCITED FOR GENERAL
CONFERENCE!! My poor Liahona… it is so battered and worn... lol this is not good,
but I know conference will help!
I love you all! I feel so much strength from you all! This
church is true. I hope to grow a lot this Transfer.
There is such a strong sense of why am here and where I am
going. As I have reflected and thought about how I care about doing things
right. So often I think one feels they come short and too often we feel
inadequate. Yet, I love the promise in Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and of a good
courage. Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with
you, whither so ever thou goest.”
Agency has been a principle I have come to know well. It is something I have come to understand and
to feel very strongly about throughout my mission. Agency is a powerful
principle of maintaining personal righteousness. Agency--it is something
that can make or create, ruin or destroy. Something I love about agency is that
through the atonement—there is the ability to change, to progress. And what is even
more important is the ability to be forgiven. This is that part that wraps
around agency. It frees the sin bound soul and heals the heart wrenched man. It
is important to remember that each one of our examples matters! My agency is
what I can control.
We have had very little progress here. The people here are
quite rude, yet THERE IS hope smiling brightly before us!! We know that our
works are not in vain. The Lord is a God of mercy.
Prayer is a constant companion for me. I find that both the
Lord and Satan are sending me promptings. Yet I look to the light and it
filleth my understanding (see Romans 13:12 and 1 Cor. 4:6).
I LOVE THESE SCRIPTURES! Here are some insights I have found
Do you have your scriptures close? vs. 2-- the Glory of God is
intelligence, that He promises to illuminate our minds and fill them with
4:6-- also endure His presence & cross reference to Moroni 7:48, 1 John 3:1 vs13-15.
Lord gives Moses
a deep knowledge of who he is. Which reminds us that Satan has no power
when we know who we are.
Gives Moses an experience to compare with the false glory of Satan.
God allows Moses to be tried and tested, because through our trials we
are proven worthy of much more. We will be given more blessings and
trials that will shape us and create us. WE ARE TESTED to the same degree
as our experience.
to God and Live --Mosiah 4:19-21, cross reference D&C 10:5 and
Luke 22:31, also see vs. 24 after we have stood firm, and yes it
took effort (3X) Moses was rewarded. He is not only had a testimony his
heart was converted to the Lord (2 Nephi 31:20). Vs 25 The Lord returns…which reminds us
that He never forsakes us. From all of this He now has a servant who will
be steadfast and immovable. He is a great example of the Believers and an
instrument in the Hands of God. It has helped me to remember the mission
and example of Moses. With his people did they all look to God and live? Were
they ready for the higher commandment? Did all follow Moses? Do all
remember God? Did not Moses perform miracles for the Lord? So many valuable lessons to learn from
Be happy! Learn to rely on the Lord and know that the Lord
is in His work. I DO so testify, the Lord is my light. I may not have very good
numbers with contacts and I may not know what to do at times, but I know that I
shall not be dismayed, nor shall I be afraid, the Lord my God is with me.
Es un placer para
mi hablar y escribir con ustedes hoy. Es un poco dificil para mi cambiar mi
mente a ingles pero... :D yo puedo. It is a pleasure for me to speak and write with you today. It's a
little hard for me to change my mind English but ... : D I can.
This past week has been full of such different types of
trials. I am so grateful for the time I have been given to contemplate life,
the reason I am in the mission, and learn to be more self-less in this divine
work of the Lord.
I have seen miracles as I have devoted myself to the work. I
feel much better than I have in a long time. The night is far spent, the day is
at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness,
and let us put on the armor of light.
I experienced an amazing scriptural experience the other
day! We were in the house of this unique lady, named Blanca. Up until last
Saturday I didn’t know she had Alzheimers (the illness Zeke had). Many “choice”
experiences occurred with her...Lol! Her son, however, is such a strong figure.
He has so much knowledge and takes care of his mom in her old age and his name
So we started a lesson with his mom Saturday night
and we sang a hymn and then entered Leonardo. He immediately told us his experience
with the missionaries... it was pretty negative, but we talked with him some
more. I felt prompted to start talking to him about the pre-mortal world and to
help him gain an eternal perspective. We talked about our purpose here on earth,
the gifts God has given us, and how agency is such an important and huge part
of why we are here. The spirit was so strong as I testified.
Leonardo openly admitted that he did not believe in God,
only a grand spirit. Instantly a part of the scriptures entered my mind, Alma 22. This is when Aaron
and his brethren are amongst the Nephites. Aaron is teaching the father of King
Lamoni. This was seriously an incredible lesson. Everything that we had taught
him so far was in correlation with this scriptural text. He believed in a great
spirit, he believed in prophets of old and had read the Bible. He wants to
believe and with what faith he has--he gave to us! I was amazed. We just
changed up the names--I was Aaron, Leonardo was the king, and Hermana Pazmiño
was Ammon! lol It was incredible how everything worked out! It was incredible
to me how Leonardo felt the spirit of what we were sharing with him. I felt the
words coming as we talked about the things of our heart. The promise that we will not be confounded
before men is a real promise!!
He said we gave him a lot to think about and that he desires
to know more. Near the end of the lesson I testified that no matter how far you
think you are from the Savior, He will always take your hand and walk with you
every step of the way. He will never leave your side. The spirit testified of
this reality. I know this is true, that the Savior will walk every long, dusty,
and perhaps difficult road because He cares for us. I know the Savior is my
dearest friend and I know the Savior came to be with us as we taught Leonardo
"The difficult path you are called to bare may in fact
be your only path to shine!"
The other night there was a huge rain storm!! It was
amazingly strong. We thankfully were in our house. Yet water was leaking
through the window. We have this storm protector curtain on the outer parts of
our windows (we live in an apartment) and well me being supposedly
"smart" Ha!Ha! NOT. Opened up my umbrella and was like “okay, I can
handle a little rain and close the storm curtains at the same time”. I opened
the window and it was like nothing I have ever experienced before. Haha! With
my umbrella open I still faced this huge amount of rain!! Dad, it’s like that
one time at 5th year girl’s camp when it rained. It was JUST LIKE THAT!
So I soon realized that it was way more than I could handle
and I start screaming! Like a man scream...HaHa! And all I can do is yell... I am in shock. My
companion looks at me, like "what the--!!!! Are you Crazy!!!?? AHHH I need
to help her!" So she ends up sticking her whole self out the window behind
my umbrella and closing the storm curtains. Haha!!! We both shut the windows
soaking wet and laughing so hard. I can honestly tell you it was HILARIOUS!! Lo
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass, it
is learning to dance in the Rain".
We had a short-plaza stay with us this past week, named
Katherine. Corto plaza- is the equivalent of a “Mini-mission”. She has been a
member of the church for only 4 months. The trials of the mission are really
hard for converts... There are so many doctrinal questions and wow there is
still a lot to learn, but SHE is incredible! The reason we have her is because
Hermana Peterson has a hurt ankle and it is getting worse. She has been out for
the whole change.... IT is really sad. Oh my dear companion! She might have to
go home. The advice of Dr. Allen gave me before I left has been so great--stretch
every day!! It really does make a difference. I have lost 14 pounds in the
mission... it is weird. Yet is all good!
There are many stories I could share about drunk investigators,
lesbians stocking us, and crazy moments of Spanish, but know it is all still
good here mom. Don´t worry! We are being safe, learning SO many new things, and
learning to be a light in the darkness!!! :D I truly believe that this mission
is like Jonah and the Ninevehites... Haha! Not every one likes to be told to
repent...yet just like Nineveh,
all of YERBAL will be converted one day!!
Having a latina
compañera is la MAXIMO. (<--- esta palabra es la favorita de mi
Compañera Hermana Pazmiño!) Ella es en serio capaisisimo like
fortisisisismo in musica (She is seriously like very strong and compassionate
music). My head is spinning with Spanish and English. At times it really is
much easier to speak in Spanish.
MOM!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY YESTERDAY!! You
were in my thoughts and I was like Yes, today is a special day! My wonderful
mom, this is her day! Lately I have been thinking of how to help a dear friend
of mine here in Uruguay.
Her kids have been acting up and yesterday (possibly due to it being your
birthday) I received promptings of how to help my dear friend here with her
kids. I remembered some of the things that you have done for me and taught me.
I created a 10 Steps to build a happy home chart. Remember all those charts you
use to make us?! Chore charts, exercise charts, love of learning charts, charts
for bed time, charts for practicing the cello, etc. LOL!
Those were helpful to keep us on task, yet it was other
things that made a bigger difference – it was all those times you read aloud to
us, those quite hours on Sundays when gospel truths were shared, the example of
prayer, and the scripture insights you were always giving us. It was those
times when I was angry over a decision and yet you still stayed firm knowing it
was best --that has made me who I am today. It was the hugs and consolation when
I was sad that helped me overcome my trials and challenges. Mom, I may be
lacking certain things, yet I know that God sent me an angel to watch over me.
This week was WOW --stressed filled, spiritually building,
and an opportunity for new lessons learned. A major stress was that we found
out that one of our investigators is lesbian… that was a bit of a shock and we
realized she had been hitting on us. We asked our leaders what the steps were
to help her and teach her. They said that it was not a good idea for us to help
her – even a bit dangerous for us to stay involved. It was difficult to know
how to end our relationship with her with kindness and friendship. After time some stress built up on that topic
and it looked like we were avoiding her and it seemed like none of our leaders
were helping us --because they had work and families. We lost our cell phone
too and the whole world felt a little like it was falling apart. We talked with
the bishop and well he said he didn´t have the keys to help us... great. There
is still so much I lack in the Spanish language and so I think he thought I didn´t
respect him as a leader --which was not the case at all. My hope is that we can
still work on the same page!
Anyways, I ended up crying it out and Hermana Dutra—and she
helped me so much!! She helped me see the perspective just like you would, mom.
Right now I feel as if many lessons have been learned through this experience
and I am so grateful for the things I have learned. It is important to
understand that God really does have a reason and it is important to honor our
leaders and respect their decisions. It is okay to cry and to feel emotional,
but it is also important TO RISE ABOVE the things that are bringing us down and
to stay strong! We must work hard and only give it our best! I have learned to
hold my tongue more, to speak only kindness, to not compare, to make specific goals,
and then keep them! Wow! The Lord is really helping me. I desire to be an
instrument in his hands! To be shaped into more than I ever could become
without him. He has really helped me this week with patience and Christ’s
There is a need for patience with some of the members here,
and to feel love for my new oro who is so far from home for her first time.
Distance is relative for me, actually. I feel like you guys are still
close--practically the same distance as it was when I was attending BYU-Idaho.
IT is not that far! LOL! I feel that way nearly every day. I look forward to
writing yet in all honestly I LOVE THE MISSION!!!!! I LOVE getting home at the
end of a long great day full of miracles and my feet burn and my mind feels
tired, but my spirit feels enlightened and I know I have done all I could do!
WHAT A FEELING. I love this work! I love the testimony building experiences,
the ability to express in both languages now and for the blessing of a
spiritually empowering companion.
This past week we have had an incredible investigator to
teach and work iwth. She is incredible! The Lord has prepared her to receive
the gospel! She will be baptized next week! I am so excited. She has such a
love for the Lord. Her name is Isabel Olivera.
My leaders here are astounding. The new Mission President
came up and visited us this past week and Wow! He spoke with such power of his
calling. I needed so much to hear the things he said. He talked about
discipline and obedience. Wow! Powerful!
So often we are obedient for spurts of time, yet it is when we are self-disciplined
to stay strong and to press on, well, that is when the miracles begin. I am so
glad to have heard his message. I am grateful for the leaders who help us to
make good use of what we have for work of the Lord.
The other night Spanish made a firmer click in my head! It
was so amazing to listen to a conversation without having to focus on each of
their palabras (words), translating and trying to gather the meaning.
There is a scripture story I have felt really strongly about
this past week. It is covers the topic about how the Lord cares about the one.
In a journey to another city, Jesus and his disciples stopped just outside of Samaria to buy food and
rest. The dusty roads lingered on their feet and the exhaustion of teaching all
day, healing the broken hearts, and infirm souls that the life of mortality
bares down with its weight on the body. I can see it now. All day no one has
been listening to the Son of God. They are hungry and tired. The Savior sends
his disciples into Samaria
to buy food. Yet, does Jesus join them, walking through the markets? NO. He
waits and stays back. Then there comes a woman who is a sinner and recognized
as such. She comes as she always does to the well.
The Lord is waiting there to talk to the one. Perhaps it was
this Samaritan woman that needed to hear His message the most the afternoon.
Perhaps it was this woman that needed the love and redeeming joy of forgiveness
the most in her life. It is a beautiful example from our Lord. He gets to know
this woman and her heart and literally raises her broken heart and sin bound
soul to a higher level of forgiveness because he was willing to patiently wait
for the one who would accept him. It says at the end of John I think, that not
enough books could fill the works of Christ. Can we not find reason to
rejoice?! We are all beggars; we all look to God for aid. Look to God and LIVE.
This is a special insight gained this week!
It is so good to hear from you all! I LOVED LOVED LOVED the
fotos! Thank you so much for sending me information about Kaleb receiving his
Patriarchal Blessing and Karina her endowments! Wow! What changes. Thank you
for being wonderful and close to the Lord. Karina, thank you for the quote and
update on your life… I LOVE You.
WOW! LOTS and LOTS of changes! I am a trainer for a new and
wonder Ecuadorian :D Sister Missionary. SHE IS seriously incredible. She is 20
years old and YES, my wonderful Karina, you read that right, she is from
ECQUADOR :D I get a little piece of where you are going right here with me too.
She is really amazing. Her name is Hermana Pazmiño. From what I can tell so far
the youth programs and the strength of the people/members in her country is
simply astounding. Hermana Pazmiño is prepared for the mission and loves the
Lord with all her heart and she has such a beautiful heart. Her love for life
is so beautiful and I seriously love being her trainer. We have already begun
to perform milagros por Dios (miracles for/with God).
We had a baptism this past week! Maria Julia is 87 anos. It
was seriously a miracle that she got baptized. We fasted and prayed with all
our hearts. It was a neat experience. I hope that we can continue to be
diligent and full of faith so that the Lord will lead and guide us. We have 4
or 5 more baptisms planned too. May the Lord God lead us and help us. They are
all wonderful people. With God’s Love we hope to extend and help them complete
their commitments with the Lord. And WOW! THE LIGHT that shines from their eyes
directly after their baptism…words cannot describe this moment. It is awesome!
This past week we were trained and met our new OROS. The
excitement was wonderful! I love being around other missionaries. I am grateful
for the determination and love of other missionaries. We are unified and our
friendships are built on eternal principles. One Elder made a comment that
helped me immensely. I came into the trainers conference with a few questions.
Elder Barlow answered these questions. He bore testimony of what his trainer
taught him and what he learned. I think we can all apply them to our lives.
1.) Look for milagros (miracles) every day and learn to wait
on the Lord. Be they small or big. (Don´t forget to look for the Forget-me-nots
amidst the giant Orchids of life)
2.) Teach and live the "why´s" of obedience. Our
agency is the most precious gift we have. As we learn to control ourselves and
give ourselves to the Lord, He makes us whole.
3.) Use the scriptures unto conversion. I truly agree with
this. It is the doctrine of Christ that heals. It is the peace of His words
that guides, that protects, that applies to everyone.
A thought hit me as we were riding back from the transfers,
in that all of us are SO different. WE all feel different, have different
personalities, yet it is our love in Jesus Christ that unifies us. It is the
GOSPEL that relates to every single person. I know and testify that this is
true. God knows us. He provided the way to return through Jesus Christ.
I am grateful for personal revelation, for the many
opportunities to grow, and for the angels that are here round about us to bare
us up. I believe in Christ. I believe in redemption. I believe that as we come
unto God He will make us whole. Every day I feel like I am lacking in one way
or another, but I have seen the Lord enter my life, and make up the difference
I really feel like the quote Karina sent me: “The Lord can
perform remarkable miracles with a person of ordinary ability who is humble,
faithful, and diligent in serving the Lord and seeks to improve himself.
This is because God is the ultimate source of power" (James E Faust)
I know that there will always be trials and there will always
be opposition. May the Lord prepare and strengthen me to overcome the
challenges that come our way.
I am so happy all is going well. WELCOME TO THE FAMILY JOHN
from HONG KONG!! May the Lord bless you for
your awesome personality and hard work. What amazing blessings come to those
With each new day, I thank the Lord that He provided the
WELCOME Exchange Student!! I have forgotten your name, sorry,
yet I know you are already awesome!! May God bless you and Kaleb as you both
attend American Heritage this year. What a great opportunity!
The reason I named this letter, “Dear to the Heart of the
Shepherd” is because I feel strongly that we are children of the most High God.
I have come to know my Savior more than ever this week and I am so grateful for
the blessings and faith building experiences I have had.
I often ask myself, “Have I done all I could for my area? Am
I a good missionary, because we have had so little success? And why are the
people not accepting the message we have? It is right in front of them!!! The
truth, the spirit, the love of Christ, the evidence and the words of
As I turned to the scriptures in searching for my answers I
could not help but cry and pray for the Lord to help me understand. And yes, He
did answer my questions and so many more. I felt Him lift my spirit to a higher
field of view. I felt such love for my brethren, for the people I have met and for
the one’s I have not yet met. I felt the tears come as I read of the prophecies
found in 2 Nephi 24-33. With each verse, I felt more that my Lord knows exactly
what I am experiencing and He seemed to cry with me. I could feel the words of
Nephi’s sorrow, and share in the feeling of having the people receive the words
and esteem them as naught. How come they so often say to me…God has already
talked to His people and we have no more need of His words or new revelation?
But who are you to say that God has only one people, be that
Who are you to say that the Lord is done speaking to His children? Who are you
to say that there is no more to learn? I KNOW with all my heart that God’s love
is infinite and it doesn’t stop with the changing of years of time periods. I
have felt of His love for myself. It extends endlessly. I know God lives and that
he has prepared the Book of Mormon to come forth. And I know that there are still
more records that will be given when the people are ready for them.
I can honestly say that I have seen so many things and heard
so many vile justifications of the "why
not´s" and "your church is not true because of this, and He loves us
all and all of the churches..." YES, He does love us all, but there is
just one God, and He has one Church and one faith. They see the words, they
feel the spirit, yet they open not their hearts. There are those faithful and
humble few that think they have found the truth, yet they are lead away by the
learned men who lean not to the Lord for understanding.
I have really enjoyed and received encouragement from Alma
29:9-10 and Alma 26:16.
It is good to have messages like these when times are tough.
These past six weeks have been pretty rough. However, even though my
companion, Hermana Peterson and I, experienced a prueba de nuestra fe (a test of our faith--Ether 12:6). We
also experienced a miracle this week. This
powerful, faith building experience has helped me to know that the Lord wanted
to make sure I would do the work His way and rely on him more.
Domingo (Sunday), we had the opportunity to proselyte after
attending church. We first talked with a potential investigator, but no matter
how many times we have tried to build his faith and allow him opportunities to
feel the spirit, to no avail, he resists and rejects our message. I could not
help but cry after our time with him. As we walked away I felt so much love for
that man, and desired him to accept the truth. I know the Holy Ghost testified
to him, but he still rejected it. May God help soften his heart and prepare him
to some day accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power unto
My leaders talked about not murmuring or complaining. I have
been fortifying my efforts this week and well…they were proven true. I know God
has heard and answered the prayers of my companion and I because later on
Domingo, we were walking by this man that we often see around our area and he waved
to us. I said to my companion, one day that man will hear and accept our
message. Then a little bit later, he stopped us. We started to share our
testimonies. He talked with us for about an hour. And he said he is going to need to pray about
if baptism in the church is right for him." ¡¡Que Milagro!!
Last night we had a wonderful Noche De Hogar (FHE) con our
Stake President and Bishop-- both of whom are neighbors and in our ward. It was
wonderful. The spirit was so strong. We were able to address this man’s needs!
We invited him to church, and he is preparing to be baptized. Yerbal has not
had a baptism since March! This is a milagro (miracle). I pray that my
companion and I stay worthy of this miracle.
The Quote from C.S. Lewis describes best the feelings and
truth I feel, "Give me all...give me your weaknesses, your strengths...and
I will give you myself. I will make you whole and full of light." I have
through my desires and will have asked God to help make up the difference.
EVERY time I open my mouth the Lord God is there. I feel weak and lacking many
things. I feel like through Faith we are made whole, "If thou will, thou
canst make me whole" He says I will, and says "thy faith hath made
thee whole, go thy way and sin no more. Cross Reference D&C 6:33-37.
This principle is true. WE need to learn to do things the Lord’s way.
We are ALL DEAR to the Heart of the Shepherd. He gives up on
no one. He is still helping us look for and help the lost sheep find their way
back into his fold. He loves and cares for each one of us. I am so grateful for
my trials. Thank you Lord for answering my prayers.
Sincerely, to my Lord, family and Friends, We are children
The scriptures referenced earlier:
I know that which the
Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do anotbglory of
myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is
my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some
soul to repentance; and this is my joy. And behold, when I see many of my
brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul
filled with joy; then do I remember awhat the
Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I
remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me. (Alma 29:9-10)
yea, we will bglory in
the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our
God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too
much of his great power, and of his cmercy,
and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you,
I cannot say the smallest part which I feel. (Alma 26:16)
Hello Familia y Amigos!! I send my warmest hugs and happiest heart to
all of you!!
The scripture you shared with me, mom, has so much power and
significance behind it. Especially since it describes my week, lol! The Yerbal area
is one tough cookie. Ether 12:2-6 has really helped me too. It is so important
to seek to have the spirit-- not only with me, but to also make it a part of
me. I am grateful for the scriptures. The more I read the more the eternal
principle of missionary work becomes a part of me. I feel so blessed to have the
knowledge I have and to have a strong testimony of the eternal principles found
in the gospel and its doctrine. I love learning and studying the scriptures and
words of the living prophets. They have impacted me so much. The Lord has sent
me so many incredible personal helps and promptings.
I love my companion. She has quite a few quirks and she
talks about as much as Joe Stack does. Strange for a girl I know, haha, but it’s
true. And…she ONLY speaks to me in Spanish. Unfortunately, none of our
investigators are really progressing right now. We are here to teach and preach
and to be tested. We are here to serve and share the light of Christ. We are here to love and to grow.
I agree with Alma
when he proclaims, “Oh that I were an angel and could have the desire of my
heart. To proclaim and have them believe.” I hope more people will want what we
have. To want this light, this peace, and this hope that the gospel of Jesus
Christ Brings!! I am so grateful for it in my life. It is not easy, because SO
often we here the words, “I can´t!” or
“Get out of here!” or “I just really don´t care about God.” Well, my dear Uruguayian
– Uruguagos --God Cares about you, each of you. And so do I.
Honestly, more than any passage of scripture I CAN
completely relate with Alma
26. Haha! We go from house to house, hoping that at least some souls will be
ready, that some souls care enough about God to listen and to let the spirit
teach them and that they will come to sing the song of redeeming love.
We walk a whole lot here, and yes, mom, my shoes are working
out great! My coats are warm and honestly I feel well prepared. Karina, when shopping/packing
for your mission, make sure you pack colorful clothes. Stay away from the browns
and blacks! I love colors. I am so happy when I wear colors.
I think I finally have everything figured out with how to
cook for myself here and get a decent balanced diet. The weirdest thing I have
eaten so far is… (Bethany Bailey you
would be proud) …cow stomach. It was honestly the grossest and weirdest thing
ever!!! It was slimy... and had weird pores on it. HAHA! I am so glad I didn`t have
them translate what it was until AFTER I had eaten it. But my stomach still freaked
out anyway. That was some real Uruguaso wonderfulness... haha :).
The Lord is really here. He has given us direction. I feel
so grateful for the experiences I have had. My love and respect for the prophet
Nephi has grown while here, especially as I share with others his story found
in the first part of the Book of Mormon. I love how Nephi wants to know the
truth of his father’s words (Chpt 2) and how he shares them with Sam, his
brother. I cannot help but think of Karina and I with this situation. Still to
this day we share the special and good things that we have learned! We rejoice
in the testimony building moments of the other. The Lord has blessed my life
with dear siblings and I am grateful I can share all kinds of things with them.
I like how Nephi first learns for himself (gains a testimony)
then testifies that he will follow the Lord, see 1 Nephi 3:7. Then he is
tested. His brothers want to turn back and he ends up following through with 3
different plans. And finally, through the will of the Lord and perseverance,
the plates are obtained. The Lord prepared him saying that you will be a ruler
over your brethren. Nephi’s faith is tested when he is far from his parents and
their support. Line upon line Nephi’s faith it built. He is prepared. He has a
testimony and the Lord places him where he needs to be to bring forth His
kingdom. He is someone who the Lord can depend on. I have felt the words come to
me as I teach these principles at different times and in different ways. It is
kind of funny how it doesn’t ever come out at the same lesson twice. It is
wonderful how the words come and I feel like they really are meant for the individual.
I have seen miracles occur when we are talking with less
active members. I like how we are actually getting to know them with the time
we have here and we are able to talk, joke, laugh, and share our love for God
with them. We are making friends and I feel like I actually know them! It is so
fun to see their personalities shining through and to feel the spirit working
through us in their homes, their lives, and their hearts. Thanks be to God for
this. I know it is by his hand that I have the gifts and blessings that I have.
My companion and I were asked to give the lesson in Young
Women’s yesterday. I felt the Lord work through me with this. I desired to
inspire and uplift the hearts and lives of the Uruguayan youth. Yesterday I
felt so much love for these young women. The words came and we fully expressed
the importance of families and making, being apart of, and deciding now who you
will be. It was a powerful experience.
Mom, how great it is that you have the opportunity to work
with Ms. Updike! I dearly LOVE her and the valuable principles she has taught in
the hallowed walls of American Heritage are of eternal significance. How
wonderful for you. Honestly, it has brought me to tears!
This work is amazing! This next week (Wednesday) we will get
a new mission president. I know this decision is of God. Thank you for your
prayers, for your examples, and for the blessings you share with me. How wonderful
is the Love of the Lord! He is in our lives. I love reading your letters and
seeing how the miracles and blessings of God are occurring in your every day
lives. I pray for each of you-- every time I get a chance. We are not alone.
You are loved! I LOVE YOU and I know with all my heart that God is our loving
Heavenly Father. You each have incredible potential! Never forget that God is
LOVE. Every time you feel love and give love--it is of God.
It is so wonderful to read your letters! I am so grateful
for the opportunity to write you all today. This week, and others, has just
flown by. I cannot believe that I have spent 5 months on this mission already.
This week came with different challenges, and the challenges of the coming week
are going to be different still, yet my faith in God feels stronger and better.
My love for this gospel is growing and changing, and I feel His angels around
me every day. Sometimes I look back and realize He was there--walking the dusty
roads of Yerbal with us. The more I ask Him questions, wait upon the Lord, and
allow this gospel to shine through me, the more the answers come, the more our
paths are lead in the right direction, and the more miracles happen.
This week was not monumental in baptism or people keeping
their commitments, but it was still a good week. I admit it has been tough. The
principle of agency has really beaten us down, yet I thank the Lord for
preparing my companion and I to overcome this in hopes that this coming week we
can mejorar nuestra compañerismo en la mejor manera (enhance our partnership in the best way). OH lol! Disculpe (excuse/pardon me). I am so use to
thinking in Spanish. We are trying to better our companionship and the way we
This past week I spoke, wrote, and studied EVERY DAY in
SPANISH! Today is my English day. Starting tomorrow I am studying,
speaking, learning, and thinking only in Spanish! The LORD is really helping us
grow from doing this kind of intense study. He is changing our lives and I know
that he is preparing the people for us. It is up to us to find them.
So many hearts, like Alma and Amulek, are hard. I found
strength in Alma
37:33 hasta el fin (until the end).
It really did make an impact. I am so grateful for the words of the
scriptures. They help me in so many ways.
Lately I have had a little doubt enter my mind. Thanks be to
the Lord for helping me over come it. I am on my way to understanding more as
time goes on. I have researched for 6 days in anticipation to finding my
answer. Last night, I made my doubt into a more specific question. He answered
me specifically last night. I am working on breaking down my uncertainties into
specific questions. It was hard to jump into the answers and really listen.
When I decide to truly listen the Lord speaks peace and calms my fears. He
helps me remember what I have learned.
The principles found in "Lord, I believe" by
Jeffery R. Holland have helped me immensely. To hold the (knowledge or) ground that
you have already won (or attained), to fan the flames of your faith, to put forth
your declaration of faith instead of your declaration of doubt. It has been
incredible to see Ether 12:6 work in my life. I have received a stronger
witness, thanks be to the Lord, after the trial of my faith.
Ether 12:6 is a scripture to highlight for Yerbal. It is
tough here, yet I know the Lord is helping us and we will receive a witness
after the trial of our faith. So MUCH is being required of missionaries, of
members, and of the principle faith – here and everywhere. Testimonies alone
are not enough. It takes a true conversion of the heart. I thank the Lord for
the opportunities to be more converted in His ways.
Thank you for writing me this week! It was good to read the
words you wrote. I am so happy for Regina
and her success! What blessing to her family. I know I have enjoyed the way she
writes. She has a gentle and intelligent air to the way she writes. I like
that. I hope to read her other books when I return. And thank you for sharing
about Benoit´s sister! She sounds crazy WONDERFUL! lol We all love Benoit! lol
How fun to get to know his sister.
This week has gone by in a wonderful way. I finally feel
adjusted to missionary life. I live, breath, think, dream, and talk about the
mission. My companion before was really quite "trunkie" (someone who
thinks a lot about home). It feels like there is a higher standard where I am
serving now. There are amazing things happening too. Through faith and trust in
God hopefully we will see positive results and help more people attain the
wonderful and sacred covenant of baptism. I have felt and seen miracles this
There was this one moment this week when I was talking with
two men about the gospel. They were very religious and opinionated. They had
talked to missionaries before and I didn´t really understand half of what they
were saying, but I kept a prayer in my heart and relied on the promptings of
the Holy Spirit. One of the "problems" they seemed to have with
Joseph Smith was that he could have interpreted the words of God--translating
the Book of Mormon differently --than the Lord would have wanted. I compared
that to Moses and how he talked with God face-to-face LIKE Joseph Smith did. Moses was given a higher law, yet the people
weren’t ready. I phrased a question, “Do you think that Moses misinterpreted
the 10 Commandments which is the foundation of religion on this earth?” They
were surprised. They believe strongly in the bible and the 10 commandments, yet
lol when they didn´t answer. I looked straight at them and said, “Moses didn’t
misinterpret God’s word, and neither did Joseph Smith”.
As we continued to talk with them they asked me a question,
the only part I understood was about the Holy Ghost. The words came like a sun rising. I felt the
words enter my mind and a page in preach my gospel came into my mind. A lightning
of thought streaked across my brain. I talked about how the spirit prompts us
that things are true. It is there to bear witness. Receiving the gift of the
Holy Ghost is when it is able to dwell in you and become apart of your being
and a guide for your life. It can only come through someone holding the
authority of God and after you are clean through the covenant of baptism you
can receive it. I was still unsure If I had answered his question, yet I turned
and asked, “Did I answer your question?” He eyes were surprised and he
commented that I had answered it sufficiently. He was a little taken back and
SO was I--quite honestly. It was really a great experience.
This week my Zone Leaders started something called FUEGO EN
33. This is when we have a goal and we watch as fire for the gospel message is
sparked in different areas in Trenta Tres! These goals are stretching us each
day to reach them, have faith, and work hard!!! Honestly I have never felt so
tired at the end of the day. IT FEELS SO GOOD! This work is incredible!
Last night the Fuego Meta was to place 3 fecha bautizmals.
It was the end of a long week, we had worked hard, and honestly I was
exhausted. When we received this text, my companion and I could not help but
feel a little overwhelmed. We had less then 3 hours to find 3 people and help
them to get ready for baptism. We went to a quiet place and said a prayer and
then went forth diligently upon promptings. The faith of my companion as she
offered a heart-felt prayer, with directness and trust—was honestly a beautiful
As we walked we talked with a lot of people. The first
person not interested. Could it be, the second person? We talked with him. He
knew a boy in the Barrio de Obolisquo who was serving right now his mission in Brazil. He
listened to our message. We got his directions and made an appointment. It went
really well... Then we continued to walk on.
Later we encountered two girls. We stopped and talked with
them. The beginning of the conversation was a little shaky but as we pressed on
they listened, we gained their respect and both felt the spirit. They both
agreed to be baptized on the 28 of July!! The Lord had answered our
prayers. I waited for disappointment to set in. We had worked and we taught
with the Holy Ghost, we were so close to the Fuego! Yet even though the first boy
had not accepted baptism... disappointment never came. It was amazing I was
instead filled with love and gratitude to my Lord and God. For all that he had
done for me. I am so grateful for the faith of my companion and for our
diligence. I know the Lord heard and answered our prayers last night.
In 33 my Líderes
de Zona are Elder Acosta y Elder Marroquine. I think you are familiar
with them and their outstanding personalities. Their faith has transformed my
mission. Their example has changed me and encouraged me to be ever closer to my
Savior. They held a conference that was inspiring--teaching us about faith and
repentance. It was an incredible conference. They teach with the spirit. They
inspire my companion and I, the other Elders, and the rest of us to become all
we can through the Lord. I am so grateful to be here on this mission! I feel
empowered and I feel finally, YES this is what it means! This is how I desire
to be! Yes Missionary work is an eternal Principle!
I had the chance to give a talk in Church yesterday. It went
really well!! I am grateful for the opportunity to have given my testimony
about "Every Member a Missionary". The words came through good preparation
and feeling the Lord helping me. My confidence is gaining. I am grateful for
this chance to grow in another language. Thank you mom for encouraging me to
keep working hard!! Lol I needed that! <3
Blessed be the Lord. He is the way the truth and the Light!
I LOVE this Gospel! It is amazing 70,000 MISSIONARIES and GROWING!!! ¡¡¡¡¡¡VAMO
The Lord is my light! May He be with you! And as this week
presents it’s challenges, may we over come them with faith and trust in our
loving Heavenly Father.
It feels so good to write you all today! I send my warmest
hugs and my biggest smile to all of you! The Lord has really blessed me. The
great thing (and the challenging thing obviously --yet lets not focus on that)
is that with every new area and companion, you can start a-new. I have felt the
redeeming power of the Lord as I am trying to set new goals and habits for this
My new companion is awesome! Her name is Hermana Peterson. I
hope to get a photo for you all next week. (My camera broke... lol of course it
did.) Our new area is considered one the hardest in the mission. Mom you
remember that story about the guy that was going to Uruguay in the Mcdonald’s drive
through? Well, we are good friends now and he is in the Secretary position
right now. He told me that Yerbal of Trenta Tres Uruguay is considered one of the
hardest areas... Well, watch out Yerbal because Hermana Peterson and Hansen are
ready and gearing up to build a solid foundation!
Hermana Peterson is like a mixture between Lisa Reid and Joe
Stack... hahaha!! She is so unique and has a natural talent for learning the
language. I seem to have a natural understanding of teaching (no where near
perfect yet), but that seems to be a strong area for me. I am grateful for her
positive and ready to work attitude. She had a hard companionship last transfer
and we both feel so grateful for this change!! Our companionship is practically
all Spanish speaking and so we are both progressing and helping this ward move
forward. Right now only 37 members attend regularly…and this is out of 256
members! Yikes! MEMBERS ARE SO IMPORTANT—especially these 37! They are doing
all they can, yet the Menos Activos (less actives) are really hard headed....
It is going to take a while, but with the Lord’s help all things are possible!
I love my new Zone and district leaders. Wow! I have never
met men like them in my life. I feel so grateful and blessed to have their
example in my life. I have never seen the way these Elders teach. I could
almost picture the Savior being a part of their lessons. They have the spirit
with them, they teach and they love. They have 100% obedience 100% and trust in
God and 100% faith in the principles of the Gospel. I hope to obtain a photo of
them as well. Seriously! I count them twice when I say my prayers of gratitude.
Yes, the area is hard, yet I know God’s angels are beside us!
Mom I received your packages! THANK
YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your letter. mmm Thank you. :´] you are the best
mom! Thank you for the vitamins, for the bag, for the thoughts, for all you do
for me and for our family.
Daddy! Thank you for all that you do. For loving mom! Thank
you for serving a mission. When I have to walk up a hill I remember the story
of your companion working off the "odd thing" he ate and I smile. Haha!
Karina, thank you for your love for your prayers, and for
telling me everything just as if I was there. LOVE YOU!
Kaleb, what a wonderful young man you are becoming. Thank
you for your message about looking up! I love you. Thank you, you are rockin’
Kimberli! I am so glad you had the opportunity to see our
family! What a blessing. I hope you enjoyed it for the both of us :P ;D <3
Mom said something about you coming back to Utah? Tell me more.
To all my friends, thank you for your examples in my
life!!!!! Thank you for your support. Thank you for all that you do in your
home wards, for all the blessings you bestow and do for others. God sees you.
He knows you! Each of us are Children of God. The closer I am to the Savior the
more I see this. Weaknesses are a part of this life. And yes, trials can make
or break us, yet if we remember the true principle of Love and look to God in
every thought, nothing is impossible with God.
Thank you mom for your updates about home! Thank you for
sharing the challenging RM companion stories from others with me. I feel not so
alone now. I try to remember that “what we are is more important than what
we´ve been, and what we can become is more important than what we are!” If you have time look up Phillipians 1:4-7.
WOW! It is sooo incredible! KARINA YOU ARE SUCH AN AMAZING
GIRL!!! The people of Ecuador
are so blessed to have you come! This work is so incredible. That mission conference
yesterday was amazing!! I felt so blessed and yes, members make all the
difference. If we don´t have a “missionary pro-active ward”, we won’t have as
much success. We need members to have the spirit of love in our wards and to
have a desire to share this love and light with others. When there is no love,
then there is more room for offenses to happen and problems.
My companion and I had a baptism this week!!!!!!!!!!!
Jessika Yaninia Marero Barrios!! She is one incredible girl! I am so grateful
that she has made covenants with God. The reality of this whole baptismal
process has really helped me see the value and importance of this church in
every aspect of our lives. The water was freezing for Yaninia -- poor thing.
Also, the level of it was below her knees because we forgot to assign someone
to fill up the font. Oops! So she was freezing and then the drop for full
immersion into the water was too much. She freaked out a little and her foot
popped out and her head didn´t go fully under. W
When one of the priests finally did baptize her he literally
had to hold her down because she would come popping up so easily. There was a moment
after her first time down where she was literally frozen and she was breathing
slowly and she hesitated for a long time. Her first look was one of, “I don´t
know if I can do this?!" and then she had this total change come over her
face, "Yes, I can do this!!" This gospel means so much to her already!
On Sunday she received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Her
smile was indescribable. She is already talking about doing baptisms for the
dead for her mother who died a little while back. She talks about missionary work and how she
wants her friends to feel what she feels!! She has expressed a desire to serve
a mission like us too. She really loves Hermana Calderòn and I. I feel so blessed to know her. Generations are
impacted because of her decision Friday to be baptized. This church
is so amazing. (There was a few things that happened and she was sadly not
baptized with the others in the stake center like we had planned, but it was a
special night and we made it all about Yaninia.)
OH MY GOODNESS Mom you are an angel sent from heaven! I have always known this.
Thank you for all your updates. About Jaely, Sarah Simmons, Jessica Davis,
Rachel Andersen, Freddy, and so many more! Thank you so much!!!! For all you
are doing. WOW what a life you have! How wonderful that you are doing so much
for so many mom. Seriously you are SO AMAZING! Thank you for helping Jaely. I
am so PROUD OF YOU MY DEAR BELOVED FRIEND--Jays you really are amazing.
Keep going I love you. Jessica D. and I hope you like living in Utah! And Freddy... I
pray that my letter finds him. The words I wrote were for such a time as
this..... please mother, put his name in the prayer roll... he is such a good
soul. The Lord knows Him. He needs God’s light in his life and I hope he finds
This past week has been crazy busy. We had the wonderful opportunity
and blessing to be part of two open houses in other mission areas of Uruguay. This
is where people come and go through a "tour-like” setting where they come
to understand more about the basic beliefs about our church. I have seen so
many miracles. I have seen people’s
lives change and a sense of understanding about who they are and what they are
looking for through this experience. I feel so blessed to be a part of this
church. This church is so incredible. Every aspect changes and influences lives
in positive and beautiful ways especially when done the way God intended for
them to be done.
I am so grateful for the opportunity my district and I had
to clean the temple today. The lady was so wonderfully nice. We were able to
walk into different rooms. There was even an opportunity to enter the celestial
room. We were wearing white janitor outfits to do the cleaning. I felt a sense
of peace there. He sent his angels round about me. I felt beautiful...I felt
whole. I thought about how one of my companions has been beaten and battered by
the world in her life and I was hoping she was feeling the comfort and peace of
the temple. I felt like there were people in the room comforting us and taking
away our burdens. I felt the pure love of Christ swell in my heart. It was an experience
I will never forget.
I send my biggest smile and warmest hug! I LOVE YOU GUYS so
much. I am so grateful for so many things. God be with you! We each are called
I am so grateful for your letters and photos! LOVE YOU! SO
many beautiful smiles and so many awesome moments shared, thank you so much!!
It was so great to see my friends photos too!
This week has been very successful. My companion and I are
working hard and for the most part we are on the same page. My Spanish grows
daily and I feel like we are really connecting with the ward. There are over
700 members here in La Paz,
Uruguay, but not
all are attending church. Part of our mission this week (and probably for a long
time afterwards) will be to reactivate members. We are doing what we can to
help them remember their true testimonies of Jesus Christ, to strengthen these
testimonies, and to help them see what a difference it makes to attend and
partake of the Sacrament and to enjoy the blessings of gospel.
My companion, Hermana Calderon, is a good teacher and she has
many strengths, and we are learning to work out our differences. Lately she has
been letting my take the lead in our teachings & lessons! We have finally
accepted that we are really quite different people in our personalities, but we
can still learn things from one another.
This scripture came to my mind a lot this week, "I have
prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted,
strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:32)
Each day I feel that I understand the vision of this mission
more and I understand what I am supposed to be doing. By chance we went to the
temple this week with our investigators. The mission President gave a great
lesson about the temple and the plan of salvation. It was so wonderful to step
onto the temple grounds. I was able to leave the burdens of the world behind,
there were no temptations, and I felt whole and eternal. It was a wonderful
Afterwards I had the opportunity to converse with President
Armstrong. We talked about the problems I was having with my companion. He gave
me a whole new perspective. I even felt self-centered part way through our
discussion and asked for his forgiveness for my short-sided views. Afterwards I
talked and shared some things with a wonderful Hermana here in Uruguay,
Hermana Marz. She commented to me about me being stronger and that is why I was
given someone who needs my strength. That was also a new way of thinking about
it and working through it.
Yaninia is progressing!!! Her baptism is this Friday!!
She is getting baptized in our “zone wide baptism”. This is where all the
missionaries gather with those who are ready for baptism and we all do a
service together!! This time we have 18 who are ready! It will be a night to
remember. I can hardly wait to see them ALL IN WHITE!!! :D How wonderful! The
Lord is in this work! I love it here in Uruguay!
Wow what a week!! So much has happened and I hope I can
adequately describe the events. Some tears have been shed and hugs exchanged as
the announcement was made that our dear Mission President Armstrong will be
leaving the mission due to the health of his wife. We found out after I wrote
to you last week and now the news has really set in.
At first I was in denial and shock. I didn´t know how to
take this, nor how it would affect my mission. My companion began to fuss and talk
about how she couldn´t “do” her mission without President Armstrong. He really
has worked with her a lot and I know that there are few concerning issues that
have come to the surface since I have been her companion, but her actions helped
me choose quickly which side I was going to be on with all of this --complaining
or understanding. It was still painful to come to terms with the words,
"The Lord’s will be done" and I have cried about it, but I know the
Lord does things as they need to be done—in His time and in His way.
The Mission President and his wife mean so much to me. I
remember the first time I met them. They greeted us as we got off the plane and
their looks of reassurance and welcome hearts to our wonderful mission were
exactly what I needed. I knew I would be loved by them and that I could grow in
this atmosphere of security and peace. During my first night in Uruguay I was
getting ready for bed and had a feeling to go into the living room and there
was Hermana Armstrong. I felt like I wanted to be near her.
I listened to what she was saying and the direction she was
giving to the other elders for the following day. It was wonderful to just be
in her presence. A scripture comes to mind as I look back on that experience,
"Did not our hearts burn within us as [she] did sit and talk with us and
share scriptures with us?" (Luke 24). I feel so honored to know them and to
have experiences with them that I will hold and treasure. Our new Mission
President is President Newsome. His trainer in the mission field was President
Armstrong!! Cool, eh? They both served in Uruguay, Montevideo Mission.
Things have really progressed here in La Paz, Uruguay.
I am grateful for this. The Lord really helps us and directs us if we live
worthy of having the Holy Ghost as our companion. We have one girl who is so
ready for baptism and she will be baptized on the 22 of June! Her name is
Yaninia (Sh-nine-ah). She is 17 and wow what a great girl she is! Our ward was
really accepting of her and I know the Lord lead us to find her. We have also
encountered four more potential baptisms by the end of June! May the Lord guide
us and help us with these investigators. He “Knows” them—He really knows them!
We only know them for but a small moment and we are here to serve them &
help them find Him.
We have yet a new companion here with us in our little family
of La Paz --lol.
Hermana Phillips has yet a new oro to train!! Hermana Spradlin left for the
other mission this last week and we have a wonderful new addition to our home, Hermana
Hatch. NOW GET THIS—Ha! Ha! I honestly am amazed by this. While I went to
school at BYU-Idaho she was my neighbor in Lamprecht Hall during spring semester!!
Can you believe what a small world it is?! It is so cool! The more we have
talked, the more I have realized how she really is a great person and someone I
can see myself being friends with for a long time.
Today (P-day) we have spent time getting to know one another
in casual-awesome way! Karina, you know how we have laughed and got into the
horoscope things, well :P haha she is born in January, so “naturally” we are
getting along, both being Aquarius’s and all. :) Karina, I don´t know if you
were praying for me to find a bosom friend, but I think this girl might be that
“gold” I have been hoping for and waiting patiently for. How fun!! I love
Hermana Janessa Hatch. We both admitted that the semester we met was not a good
time in our lives and that we are grateful to get to know the more experienced
and mission selves that we are today!! The Lord is so good to us!! :D I feel so
I have had a lot of time to ponder this week. We have a lot
of investigators that are biblically astute! I have been trying to read the
bible every day and to get more familiar with it. Any way, I felt prompted in a
charla (lesson) the other day to share about the history of the Bible from the
background I have studied. It was wonderful to find words come to my
head--words I didn´t think I knew-- and explain how the whole history of the
world was involved in preparing the people to receive the Book of Mormon as a
companion and another testament of the Bible and Jesus Christ. I went on to
explain how the religious world was ready for the Restoration.
This experience more deeply solidified my testimony and I
have a greater love and understanding for the saints who lived during the times
of the New Testament and for the sacrifice made by my ancestors—and all the
pioneers and Joseph Smith. How incredible this gospel is. How great is our
purpose. How wonderful the Glory of God is!
Samuel Merrill shared a scripture with me that I would like
to share with you. Alma
26:16 "Therefore, let us glory, yea we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will
rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who
can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power,
and of his mercy, and of his longsuffering towards the children of men? Behold,
I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." What a
beautiful scripture this is.
Kaleb, you said something that I like a lot with your
comments about kicking against the pricks—in Acts 9:5 where it mentions this, Saul
was learning that his actions were harming himself more than anyone else. When
we fight against what is right, we hurt ourselves the most. I too have learned
that it is important to heed the promptings of your conscience and as it says
in the quote at Mt.Vernon “conscience is a
part of heaven to guide us". This is SO TRUE! I love this and thanks for
sharing your wisdom little bro!! <3
I love this work. Hopefully the lessons will go well this
week! And may God be with you. He is here beside me, my Precious Savior, Dear
Redeemer (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:88). Love it!