Monday, August 26, 2013
Hello My Wonderful Family & Friends!
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
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 love.
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!
Love you all so much
Hermana Kaitlyn Hansen
Monday, August 19, 2013
Hello Dearest Familia y Amigos!
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 and more.
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 way.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Dearest and Wonderful Family & Friends!
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 Christ.
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 salvation.
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 of God.
The scriptures referenced earlier:
I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do anot bglory 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. (
Therefore, let us aglory, 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. (
Monday, August 5, 2013
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
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
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.
Love you all,