Monday, January 27, 2014

Photos

Elder Brian Burgess is serving in the Mexico Puebla North Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Photos!

Enjoy

Elder Burgess

Spiderman

Don't Judge a Book by its Cover


Our Nerf guns


My companion losing at Jenga


A picture of a sweet Porsche I found. It's owned
by a member in our ward.

Making Tortillas and Memories - Sister Lindsey Jeppson

Written by Sister Lindsey Jeppson, serving in the Arizona Mesa Mission / Mesa Temple Visitors' Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

(Note to reader: Clicking on highlighted words will link to more information.)

This week was fabulous!

District lunch at Haven Burger
We had exchanges...with Hermana Valladares (my trainer). It was a little weird to be her companion again. But, it went super well. At the end of exchanges, we do an evaluation. When she was telling me of my strengths, she started crying and said, "Sister Jeppson, you are just so humble. So willing to learn." It went really well. I feel like our friendship was solidified.

During our exchange, she showed us the new video for the youth theme, "Come Unto Christ". If you haven't seen it yet, stop everything and watch it. It is so good. What I love about it, is how they were able to relate the teachings of Christ to our day, and the typical trials that come.

We are doing very well. Everyday is an adventure. I am continuing to meet new people everyday. People from all sorts of backgrounds. I'm not sure if I told you about our Bulgarian friend. But we stopped by one day and found this guy from Bulgaria. He moved here to be free. He speaks very little English. He told us to come back in a year when he learns English better. Every time we drive by and see him, we honk and wave, and he blows us kisses. We decided to get a Book of Mormon, "The Living Chirst," and "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," in Bulgarian. Yesterday, we found him and gave them to him. He read the title of the book and said, "MORMONS! You're MORMONS! I read about you on the internet. There's one man with 10 wives and 50 kids!" We were like, "No, no, no, not true. Read this, not the internet." He then went on to say that he watches football (soccer) and doesn't read. So he didn't accept the Book of Mormon, but he did accept the other two documents. We're in the process of finding a returned missionary from Bulgaria that can talk to him.
Making tortillas!
The Book of Mormon changes lives. We are teaching someone who has a brain tumor. She is 20 years old. She has gone through SOO many trials. She has been reading the Book of Mormon and she says that she feels peace. We also took her to the Visitors' Center and showed her, "God's Plan for His Family" (go watch it at Salt Lake Temple Visitors' Center). We also showed her the exhibit about prophets. She has made a goal to get her family (less active husband and step daughter) to the temple. She is probably one of the strongest people I have ever met. She has agreed to be baptized, and she is working hard to get to that point.

My mission has changed me more that I could have ever thought possible. I am learning so much.
Thank you again, for all your prayers on my behalf, as well as on behalf of the missionaries all around the world. LOVE YOU ALL!!

Hermana Jeppson

Half Way (January 20, 2014)

Gilbert Temple Open House (February 3, 2014)



Elder Wilsher's Birthday - Elder Kolby Madsen

Written by Elder Kolby Madsen, serving in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Danish.

(Note to reader: Some names are omitted for privacy. Highlighted words link to more information.)

Mor (Mom),

Well this week was way good. We had an opportunity to go on splits, and we knocked a ton down in the other area, which was crazy. Half way through, we were prompted to stop knocking and visit one of their investigators who has cancelled on them a couple of times. He was home, and while we talked to him, he said he wants to make an appointment for next week. He told us that he had just stopped smoking, so that was really good to hear. Then we went on knocking our hands off. It's great though. I enjoy talking with people. I just have to make sure I am talking with them, and not to or at them.

When we got back in our own area, we had an appointment with T**. He told us that he will be coming to church this week, so that was way good. We are excited for that. After that we met with Coach and had a great chat about gay relationships.

On the way home, a girl walked on the bus and stared at us (like usual), then she sat down. Three minutes later, she spoke to us in perfect English, saying she is from South Africa and wanted to know the difference between our church and Danish churches. I wanted to say, right off the bat, that we believe people should come to church every week, not just on Christmas, but I refrained. We explained that we believe in the prophets of old, and we believe God still speaks to prophets today. She said, "Well, I have always wondered about that. You know, where the authority went?". A rush of excitement went through my body. I had no idea people knew what that meant, outside of the church, so we gave her our card, told her to give us a call, and said we would love to meet with her and talk about it further. We are waiting to hear from her.

Yesterday we went to visit some of our less active members, and one of them was home and way sick, so we told her we would come back another day. Then we went to Coach's house for Ældste Wilsher's birthday. It was great! Coach prayed out loud, which was the first time in 18 years he has prayed out loud in front of missionaries. We were so grateful, and it was a way good prayer.

The best part of this week was definitely Saturday because it was Elder Wilsher's birthday! The night before, in our planning meeting, we didn’t really have anything lined up and were confused about what we should do. Nothing was really fitting the way it usually does. When we woke up, we went to get pastries because we don’t get them that much and they are amazing...AND it was Elder Wilsher's birthday! After that, we studied, and while getting ready to make lunch the phone rang. It was J**. He asked if had time to come by because he needed  help with some tasks his wife needed done. I looked at Elder Wilsher, smiled and said, "Let's get our service clothes on."

J** picked us up and took us to his house. The job was cleaning up the mud from last week. I honestly was not surprised, but it was fun.  The whole time, I kept trying to think of what to do when we were finished, but J** kept coming up with "one more thing." At 6 o'clock he said, "Okay, we're good. Thanks for all your help. Let's go get a cake. I think you guys deserve it."

On our way to get cake, I told him that it is was Elder Wilsher's birthday. J** was just beaming, so pleased that Elder Wilsher would give up his birthday to serve a friend in need. Saturday was amazing because I got to watch my companion serve others on his birthday. He is such an example to me! Never complained and didn't say it was his birthday. He just cleaned up the mud and dirt with a smile on his face.  I have seen Elder Wilsher grow so much from the first day I got him as a companion to now. He has taught me more than I could ask for, and he is a blessing to serve with. I feel very fortunate to have a great, dedicated, hard working companion who loves the Lord and others so much that he forgets about himself. I love him so much!

I love you all! Have a great week. Gud vær med jer!

Med Kærlig Hilsen

Ældset Madsen

Mud (January 20, 2014)

Kristus (February 3, 2014)


Elder Madsen :)

Something's Fishy - Elder Jake Avery

Written by Elder Jacob Avery, serving in the Peru Lima West Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

That was a great story, Dad. I hope you enjoy the snow. They should just start expecting snow every year on the east coast because it seems like it's gotten steadily snowier and snowier. If the polar bears loose the arctic, they'll always been welcome in Connecticut.

This week was a challenge. After using lots of time to look for apartments for the sister missionaries, and actually finding a very good one, our leaders told us that the sister missionaries won't be coming until March. On the bright side, we already have the room picked out for them.

We extended the baptismal invitation several time this week and we got a bunch of ''NO'' 's. That's okay though because there's always next week.

We're working with the Bishop in looking for who the Lord wants to be the next ward mission leader. Our old one left on a mission to Chile. It's really cool too because his dad (who is not a member of our church) has come to church twice since his son left the first week of January. We're really excited that the ward is putting missionary work up on their list of priorities.

Relax, Mom! I'm just trying to keep things fun :)
Interesting story: The other day, as we were walking (which we do quite often) we smelled fish. Not like ''oooh, I smell fish,'' but like, ''The ocean has receded and a whole coral reef and pod of whales is exposed, dead and rotting.'' Then for lunch, we ate fish, but that didn't explain why our whole town smelled like blubber. During our next lesson, we noticed that two story buses were passing through this dirt road, detouring off the Panamerican (highway). ''How strange,'' I thought. ''There must have been a wreck or something.'' Something was definitely fishy...Come to find out the next day, a tanker truck of fish oil had crashed and spilled fish oil all over the highway. There's really no lesson from this story, it's just something that happened this week :)

Well, I'm glad to say that I know that the Church of Jesus Christ is on the earth and it's the true path to happiness. I tell people that everyday, but I think we underestimate what it means to say that the Church is true. The Church being true means several very important things:

1. Jesus is the Christ, and through Him we can be cleansed from sin and return to live with God.
2. God speaks to man through prophets in every time period in the history of the earth.
3. We need to keep the commandments or we will not be as happy as God wants us to be.

As we listen and follow to the instructions and commandments from the Lord, as revealed through prophets of all dispensations of time, we can be cleansed from sin through Jesus Christ. One of the most critical parts of this system is that it requires US to DO what the Lord requires. We receive instructions through others, receive forgiveness through Another, but we can only partake of these blessing if we do it for OURSELVES.

Have a wonderful week. My favorite elder, Elder Howell, is leaving my district. We've been together since the airport in Salt Lake and now we have to get split up :,( He says ''hi'' though :) Love you guys!

Elder Avery

Happy Martin Luther King Day (January 20, 2014)

Happy Birthday, Mom! (February 3, 2014)

Thoughts on the Atonement - Sister Hannah Avery

Written by Sister Hannah Avery, serving in the Chile Vina del Mar Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

(Note to reader: Highlighted words will link to additional information. Some names are omitted for privacy. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.)

Hello family and friends!

We had a busy week this week! We had intercambios (exchanges) on Friday, and I was in Limari with Hermana Stott, a Sister Training Leader. We are getting ready for cambios (transfers) again...Ahhh! We will know if we are being transferred tomorrow, but the actual transfers happen on Wednesday. I am praying that I don't leave Ovalle, but I will go where the Lord needs me!

So, its been a LOT cooler this week, and super windy! That has been such a blessing for sure! We were melting here, haha. Claudio is getting ready to receive the Aaronic Priesthood, and that is one of the reasons that I don't want to leave here yet. I want to see him pass the Sacrament! AH! My little boys...they are so cute! It's amazing to see the changes that they have made in their lives, and it's all for the better!

Hermana Puertas and I had our very FIRST service project with a less active member of the church this week! We helped Hermana P** paint her house! They have been working on the addition to their house for months and it's now ready to be painted! WOO! We did that for about 3 hours, and then we had to leave for lunch. But it was fun! Sadly, it didn't make her want to come to church any more than before, but at least we were able to serve her :)

So, my inspirational story for the week is about a lady named Alejandra, who I met while on my intercambio in LImari this week. She is about 35 years old and has cancer. She weighs about 90 pounds (or less) and has to use oxygen to breathe. She was baptized yesterday, and has the absolute strongest testimony I have ever seen. Her doctors told her that it wasn't a good idea to be baptized because you have to be completely immersed in the water, and she is extremely weak. But, she knows that this church is the true church of Jesus Christ, and she wanted to be baptized no matter what. She and her daughter were baptized together. The hermanas (sisters) in Limari are very happy! I am too. Just getting to know people like her and her daughter strengthen me and my testimony.

Last thing for this week! I have been thinking a lot about the Atonement, and how often times, people feel repentance is a scary and hard thing to do, when in reality, it is one of the greatest and best gifts that our Heavenly Father has given to us. He gave His only Begotten Son to suffer all of our sins, pains and sadness in life so that one day, we can return to live with them again. Often times, we find it embarrassing or difficult to repent for our shortcomings and sins. Rather than see our weaknesses as a bad thing, we should turn those weaknesses into strengths, to make us better people. We should allow Christ to enter into our heart and help us with our imperfections, rather than feel like we are not worthy of His light because of them.

Christ is always there to help us, we just have to be humble, and accept His will. Humility unlocks the door to change, and the Atonement gives us the power to walk through it. Christ will never abandon us, no matter what we do. I encourage all of you to turn to the Lord for all things, and if you have those shortcomings, sins or weaknesses, turn to Him to help you overcome them and become more like Him. One day, we will realize that the short period of time that we spent repenting will bring us eternal happiness. And having an eternal perspective like that will help you want to be better and become clean in every way possible, so that one day we can all be together in the Celestial Kingdom of God.

Well guys, I hope that you all have a wonderful week! I love you all SOO much and pray for you everyday. You are all in my thoughts and prayers! I will talk to you all next week, and let you know where I am in Chile! And...I will be 21 the next time that I talk to you all! AHH! I am so old! haha! ¡Ciao!

Xoxoxoxo,

Hermana Avery

Walking...and walking...and walking... (January 20, 2014)

Birthday Week Surprise (February 3, 2014)

Locked Out?!?!

Written by Sister Justyce Oliphant, serving in the Mexico Tuxtla Gutierrez Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Dear all,

Well, we had a small adventure last night when we returned to our house and realized we didn't have keys!! Our land lady was gone, so we didn't even have the option of her spare key! I climbed along the wall a ways to try to check the window (remember, we are on the 2nd floor so it's up high!), but the window was locked  we are good and safe and keep everything locked up, haha). I used one of my bobby pins from my hair to try and pick the lock, which failed. Then Hermana Pèrez tried, and failed. And then Hermana's real criminal skills came out, and she used a laminated card to open the door (sliding it in the crack!). I was just glad we didn't have to sleep on the stairs or anything... not that we would have!

Another small adventure this morning happened when I was showering. I went to dry off my face after my shower and a HUGE, GIGANTIC SPIDER was looking me right in the eyes! On my towel!! I HATE SPIDERS!! I did not have my contacts in, so when I shook it onto the floor I could not see it. A few seconds later I felt it crawling on my legs. Guys, I seriously thought I was going to die! I really don`t like bugs or creepy crawly things. But I kicked it onto the ground and smashed it with my flip flop. I am glad we have to wear shoes in the shower, because who knows how many bugs I have stepped on in there!!

This week I went on a companion exchange with Hermana Euceda. We visited a family who speak Tzolzan (not sure how to spell it... it's a dialect but not Tzolzil). After our lesson, the hermana helped me learn a few phrases. I am not sure how to spell them, but I know how to say, "good day", "I am hungry", and "I love you" in that language! And she said my Tzolzan is better than my Español! It is because the way the words are said are closer to English, or German maybe, than Español! It is fun to try new things!

Speaking of new things, I was asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting last Sunday!!! All four of us sister missionaries in our ward spoke. I was so scared! But I used Google to translate my talk and then Hermana Pèrez helped me make it correct Spanish. I felt so prepared. I was speaking on missionary work, which is easy! I went up to speak and was asked to only bear testimony. WHAT?!! I floundered at first, but finished strong! haha! The good news is, I now have a talk ready for when I am asked to speak in church again ;)

An interesting fact that the boys might like to learn about is garbage truck day! On Mondays a garbage truck drives down every street. A man runs ahead of the truck and knocks on all the doors. People bring their garbage out to the street and then when the truck passes, you throw the garbage in the back. Two hombres (men) stand on the back of the truck to help sort it all out and squish it into the truck. Interesting, right?!

Well, that's about all for this week. We eat lunch each Monday with the family Lowe who lived in West Valley, Utah, for 10 years. Brother Lowe is from Utah!! So he speaks English!! And they always make American food. Today we had mashed potatoes and gravy and grilled chicken! AND! There is no peanut butter here, so Brother Lowe made me homemade peanut butter!! Oh my goodness, it was so yummy!!

I love you all! Remember to pray together and read the Book of Mormon together! I am just finishing Alma!

Hermana Oli

Mi Amor (My Love)

This is Hard!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Sending Love from Duplin County, NC!

Written by Elder Dallin Remund, serving in the Virginia Chesapeake Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Hey y'all.

I had a really, really, really great week. Not just saying it either. This one was specifically fantastic!

As I may have mentioned before, the mission has raised its vision and goals for the amount of work we are doing. Elder Lovell and I have been setting higher goals and have been really involving the members in the work out here. With that has come a ton of miracles.

I'll share a couple highlights from this week.

Just this morning, we got a call from a Hispanic youth in our ward that wanted us to drive down and teach a friend who is struggling with an alcoholic mother in his home. He grew up in Australia and has an awesome accent. His name is C**. He is super humble and just a good kid. We shared with him the basics of what we teach and testified of how the gospel blesses families. As we spoke with him and bore testimony, the Spirit touched his heart and he started to cry. He accepted a date to be baptized on February 22nd. At the end of the lesson we all knelt down and he offered up a simple, powerful prayer. The Spirit was so strong.

The members this week have been super helpful. Inviting investigators into their homes, going out on exchanges, inviting us over for dinner and allowing us to teach them about missionary work. I would encourage all back at home to try and establish a good relationship with the missionaries in your ward and refer them over to people (non-members or less-active or whoever!) who need God's light in their lives. To go even a further step, invite those people to your house first and then invite the missionaries to teach them in your home. The Spirit is so much stronger in these situations and the work is blessed in the area. Even though they might not be ready, they won't forget the love you showed them.

I can't put into the right words how grateful I am for the Spirit and its touching influence in my life. I know that this gospel is true and that we'd all be a lot happier if we put it into the center of our lives.

I'll talk to y'all soon.

Con muchisimo amor,

Elder Remund

"Wherefore, let us be faithful to Him."

From Country to City

Half Way - Sister Lindsey Jeppson

Written by Sister Lindsey Jeppson, serving in the Arizona Mesa Mission / Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors' Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Hola mi amoroso familia! Como estan todos?? Bien? Que bueno! Este semana fue muy muy bien!! (Hello my loving family! How is everybody? Well? That good! This week was very good!)

I haven't talked about it, but I hit my half way mark...and I think I went through a mini mid-life crisis. It really put me in turmoil. I was thinking about the last few months and thinking about who I have become since my first day in the MTC (Missionary Training Center). I had thoughts like, "Am I doing enough?" During personal study, I have been making goals about how I want to change. Which is kind of ironic, because that has been the theme of the transfer.

I'll tell you my goals:

1) Confident - I want to be more confident in myself. I know this church is true, and I know that what I am teaching is true. Then why have I had a hard time testifying to the stranger who is fixing his car? I also am striving to have more confidence in Spanish. Ya, I know I sound super gringa, pero yo se que puedo compartir mi testimonio sin probelmas (but I know I can share my testimony without any problems). I have already seen many miracles. For example, we now have three investigators with a baptismal date.

2) Bold - People won't do anything unless you're bold. I have been walked on too many times... now, when commitments aren't kept, my response won't be, "Oh, you didn't have time, that's okay"...

3) More Loving - I want people to feel the love that I have for them. As you know, Mother, I have "back off" written on my forehead at times. It's changing...I promise :)

Anyway, thank you for letting me rant about my mid-life crisis.

This was an amazing week!!! Our family from California came back! We'll call them Familia Garcia. They came back and invited us to dinner. It was SOOO good! It was an Americanized beef stew (which just means it had less sodium and more vegetables). Afterwards, we taught about the restoration of Christ's gospel. It was powerful. They understood it all, but they just had a hard time accepting that their is a living prophet on the earth today. We're working with it. Our only problem is, they have to work a ton, so we're never able to see them. We call them or text them everyday... BAHH... They'll come around.

Also, sad day...the Beckstrands went home on Friday. We had a farewell meeting with them. We did skits of our favorite memories of them. SOOO funny. We have videos, I'll have to show you later. I am not sure when their homecoming is, but I'll let you know, and you have to go! They live in Bountiful.

The Camerons came in! They are our new directors! They are so amazing. We woke up early today and gave them a tour of the Visitors' Center and sang, "Come Unto Christ" in front of the Christus for them. We recorded it, and it should be on Facebook. Look at the Mesa Temple page for it. But they are great, and I am excited to work with them!

I love you all so much! Thank you for everything!

Con mucho amor!! (with much love!)

Hermana Jeppson

Commitment (January 13, 2014)

Making Tortillas and Memories in Mesa (January 27, 2014)


Walking...and walking...and walking... Sister Hannah Avery

Written by Sister Hannah Avery, serving in the Chile Vina del Mar Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Hola familia y amigos!

Wow! Are you sick of me saying we're DYING of heat here in Chile?! Everyday this week was about 100 degrees or more. And to make things more fun, we were in the streets ALL day, every day, because no one is home! Everyone has left for vacations until March or so, making the streets less busy, there are fewer people, etc. It's tough! But, when you are on the Lord's errand, the heat seems a little easier to deal with, and the aching in my feet more tolerable :)

So, Claudio and Ignacio wore their new ties that we bought them to church yesterday! Oh, they were so handsome! They are so cute, and we just love them to death! They told us yesterday that they are looking forward to serving missions of their own one day, and to receiving the priesthood. Just think.... if Hermana Puertas and I had not come out on our missions, and hadn't knocked on their door, we would have never been able to share the gospel with them. And they would never know of the happiness that the gospel brings!! Seeing their joy makes me happier than I can express.


Hermanas Avery and Puertas
Presidente Kahnlein
Chile Vina del Mar Mission
We had interviews with the mission president this Friday. They were all of about 30 minutes (15 minutes for each of us) and they went great! He asked how things were here in Ovalle, how we feel the work is going, etc. He told me that my Spanish has improved significantly and that it is amazing to see the difference! That made me feel like the hard work is paying off, for sure! And, he told us that we have the CLEANEST house in the entire mission! WOOHOO!

So, we are walking.. and walking.... and walking. All day. Everyday. And it is SOOO hot (have I mentioned that before? haha!). But, when I think of the lives that can improve as we encourage them to come unto their Savior, the pain and the heat don't matter. I know that this is where the Lord needs me right now, and it's where I want to be. And, boy, is it FUN work too! Hermana Puertas is amazing and such a great friend to me. We laugh everyday! Crazy girl...I sure love her!

Well, that is all I have for now! Have a fabulous week and stay warm in that snow of yours! haha! Love you!

xoxoxoxo Hermana Avery

Locked Out?! (January 13, 2014)

Thoughts on the Atonement (January 27, 2014)


Grapes growing in our back yard - YUM!

Happy Martin Luther King Day - Elder Jake Avery

Written by Elder Jacob Avery, serving in the Peru Lima West Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

(Note to reader: Clicking on highlighted words will link to more information. Some names are omitted for privacy.)

Happy Martin Luther King Day to you all. We were doing service, shoveling boat loads of sand and dirt to flatten out a member's land. There were six Elders, including me, and the member, but we were still shoveling practically nonstop for three hours. Maybe because in some remote part of our brains, we remembered that it's near Martin Luther King Day, so we were singing "Jeremiah was a Bull Frog", "Follow the Drinking Gourd," "Let it Shine," and "Amazing Grace." It was a lot more inspirational than the traditional Peruvian music playing off in the distance. Then C**, the member, brought out his sub woofer and blasted dub step... so much for our inspirational moment :)

Elder Avery and Elder Calderon
We found a family to teach. A single mom and two teenagers. We taught them the Plan of Salvation on Saturday, and they went to church on Sunday and stayed all three hours. It was exciting. The bishopric recognized them in Sacrament Meeting, a strong active family in the ward turned out to be friends with them, and the bishopric is going to visit their house this weekend.

I'm finally in the groove. I'm not looking at the calendar like, ''I'm going to die here!,'' but I'm looking at the calendar like, ''Because I'm doing this every day for two years, other people will be happy for their entire lives and beyond.'' I really am happy. I'm doing video blogs in my room, and I'll send my sim card to you guys soon. I'll make sure it's safe.

I read in Mosiah about the people of Limhi. With King Noah, they were very naughty and they really spiraled downward for many years, spiritually and politically. These people weren't anywhere near "saints." They used their daughters to seduce their enemy, and swore in their wrath to kill the king. But even they, with a real concern for peace and for prosperity, turned to the Lord and He did hear their cries. I have hope that even our country, in it's declining state, can turn back to the Lord. It won't happen over night, and it will get worse before it gets better, but when we really have genuine concern for the important things like family, peace, progress, that's when the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be the obvious answer to all of the worries and problems that face us.

Have a great week! I get to look for rooms for the Sister missionaries because they're coming the 28th!! I love you and miss you lots! Happy Martin Luther King Day! He was a truly great man.

Love,

Elder Avery

The Worth of One Soul is Great (January 13, 2014)

Something's Fishy  (January 27, 2014)

Mud - Elder Kolby Madsen

Written by Elder Kolby Madsen, serving in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Danish.

(Note to reader: Images can be enlarged by clicking on them. Clicking on highlighted words links to more information. Some names are omitted for privacy.)

No new investigators this week. We had a lot going on, and we ended up in København for two days. Then we had district meeting, which takes all day. I use a little more Danish just because when people speak to me I just respond in Danish. They can try to speak English all they want, but I just answer in Danish and then they finally just switch over to Danish. Comfortable? That’s another story. I'm not fluent or comfortable, but the Lord provides. I am way jealous of Hannah and Jake for the opportunity they have to just learn the language.

Everything is going smoothly, like I said. We were in KBH (Copenhagen) this week. While there, we got to go to the temple. It was so much fun, and it was in Danish. Awesome. I understood most of it. But that’s not hard considering I went so many times before left. So I just knew everything. I love the temple. The one here, on the outside, doesn't look like much, but on the inside it's just as beautiful.

After that we came home. Seven hours of travel, waiting for trains and such. We went to bed, then woke up to go do some service for our friend J**. It was great! We got there and started to help dig a hole in his basement, through 5 inches of cement, then 2 meters down to get a pipe in so that he could drain all the ground water from beneath his house. It took 8 hours, and the hole was only about 50 cm square. I barely fit, but I had to go down to get all the rocks and stuff out once it got deep enough to go in because we could not reach with shovels any more. We never got a picture of how deep it was when we finished. To put it into perspective, the floor was about 2 feet taller than me when finished. It took the rest of my strength to climb out of the stupid hole, but well worth it. It ended up being an all-day project, but a great one at that. So much fun. I was covered, waist deep, in mud and all over my body from the drippings of putting the shovel overhead, one small scoop at a time. I had mud and dirt in places I never thought could hold dirt or mud. But, it did.

After going to the temple and feeling the Spirit so strongly, and then doing service for a whole day, I knew exactly why I was on a mission in Denmark. We are here to show God’s love and give all we have spiritually, mentally, and physically to our brothers and sisters over here. I felt the closest to Christ when I was in a hole 2 meters down, covered in mud, thinking, "Why are we doing this is hard labor?" haha. But J**'s needed this done, and he couldn't do it himself. He works late into the night from 5:30 in the evening to 8 the next morning, and never gets to sleep. I prayed to ask for forgiveness for complaining, even the slightest. I was blessed to serve a fellow brother.

I learned a valuable lesson this week. It is simple, but very powerful. In Danish it's called, "Gør din bedste til din næste." Translated it's, "Do your best to your next." As I think about it, it's probably better understood to mean, "Do your best to those around you." The best is what Christ did. He is walking among us. I see it in my life, and if you look for Him you will, see him in yours too. Do our Father a favor and help your neighbor!

Med Kærlig Hilsen (with love),

Elder Madsen

This is from the man we helped, who we are also teaching. I hope you enjoy it. He wanted to send pictures of his family as well. If it doesn't make perfect sense, it's because he is Danish and his English isn't perfect. He is a great man! 

"Sometimes God sends his Angels to look out for our needs. If you say yes to Jesus, He will never let you down. My name is J** M**. I am married to AK**. We have two girls, ages 3 and 4 1/2 years old.

I trust in God. People say that our family has been through a lot, but the more reason to spend time with God. I am a first lieutenant in the Danish Army, but at the moment I drive a cab in Herning. We are true soldiers of God, but sometimes you need backup. My two brothers are here in the pictures giving what God has taught us: love, thoughtfulness, hard work.

They are not to be called boys after their service to me. They are now to be called men. In my house, they are called brothers of Christ and my friends. God is sometimes hard because he knows what is best for us. I am the same. Again, thanks for your service.

 John 3 :16

With Love,

 JM (First Lieutenant), AK (Designer), IKM (child full of love), NKM (child full of charm)"

It Hailed on Us All the Way Home (January 13, 2014)

Elder Wilsher's Birthday (January 27, 2014)


Mi Amor (My Love)

Written by Sister Justyce Oliphant, serving in the Mexico Tuxtla Gutierrez Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Sometimes the easy choice is to give up, but we are all instructed to never give up and endure through our trials until then end. I  have been studying the Ensign from October Conference and I liked these quotes from President Uchtdorf's talk, "Come, Join with Us!"

"One of the purposes of the church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith, even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty."
 
"The church is filled with people who DESIRE with all their heart to keep the commandments, even if they haven't MASTERED them yet."

"None of us is quite as Christlike as we know we should be."

Also, in Elder Bednar's talk, "The Windows of Heaven," he explains how sometimes we ask for certain blessings, and when we don't get exactly what we want and when we wanted it, we get upset or discouraged. But, like it says in Isaiah 55:8-9, our ways are not the Lord's ways. When we ask for help, the Lord always gives it; we might just need to sometimes take a step back and look for it, but his help is always there.

I also love the scripture in Alma 26:12 where it says that without the Lord we are nothing, but with Him we can accomplish anything. I love that because I know that without the Lord, I would not be able to accomplish anything on this mission. I rely on Him for everything; comfort, peace, help in deciding what to study, help in our companionship in planning who to visit and when and where to go. We are constantly praying and relying fully on the Lord. I wish that I would have realized how much He can help us before my mission! It truly is amazing how much He does for us.

In Preach My Gospel, I love the quote from President Monson on pg 120.  Also, I would suggest studying humility and patience. I have been studying those this week and found a lot of help! Also, in the Ensign from October Conference, I am studying this week, "The Key to Spiritual Protection" by President Packer. Join with me in my study? :)

This week was pretty normal. I didn't get transferred last Monday, which is good! I like my companion and I like our area. We are working hard at contacting lots of people because we need new people to teach. We have a few people who are wanting to be baptized, but they need to get married first and their 'other' half doesn't want to get married...which causes problems! But we are working with them! One sister is doing awesome, her testimony is so strong. We are praying for her to find a way to be baptized... meaning softening his heart so they can get married.

Other than that, nothing out of the normal.

I have been having allergic reactions to something; some of the ward members think it's bugs...I think it might be the milk here so I have stopped drinking milk. Looks like it's water and juice for the next 16-ish months! Our doctor did say that the red bumps on my legs and arms are bugs (I am not sure what), but we have sprayed this stuff in our house and have a lavender candle thing that will supposedly kill them all...so hopefully the itching will soon stop!

I love you all! I pray for you by name every day. I am so excited for Damon. It's such a different experience living away from home. I sure love that kid, give him a huge hug for me okay!?

Tell Wendy I love her new house I got the picture from g and g... so fun!

Until next week!!

Hermana Oliphant

The Lord's Way

Locked Out?!?!




Monday, January 13, 2014

It Hailed on Us All the way Home - Elder Kolby Madsen

Written by Elder Kolby Madsen, serving in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Danish.

(Note to reader: Click on photos to enlarge them. Some names have been omitted for privacy.)

Mom!

Well this week has been just amazing. We had Zone Conference on Wednesday and had the opportunity to talk to President Sederholm. He is just an amazing man. We talked about a lot of things, and the worry and stress was melted away by the spirit of our chat. Now I feel better than ever, and it was time to work.

This week we went to visit the less active member who lives about 7 miles away. We road our bikes to his house and had a great time with him. His only problem is that he lives with his girlfriend, and they can’t decide whether to get married in a Muslim church or a Latter-day Saint church.  I told him to get married in the Catholic church because it doesn’t matter where he gets married at this point. They can be worthy for baptism faster if they will just get married, then they can work toward the temple. So, it was a good little chat. She is a member of our church, but her family is Muslim and he is a Dane.

During our conversation, we asked him about his daughter who moved to the states at 18 and married in the temple to a returned missionary. Now she is back in Denmark, alone, with two kids. We asked if she needed anything and he said to pay her a visit, so we plan on doing that on Tuesday of this week.

Saturday brought some fun bike riding. We felt impressed to ride out to see S**. Usually we just get a ride form the Johansens, but it was late notice and we had to go then. He lives in a little town that is about 25 km away from our house, so we hoped on our bikes because we don’t have the luxury of a car or trains that go out there (that's the hardest part about this area). So 10 km into the trip, my tire goes flat. I filled it up with air and started to ride again, but 1 km later, out in the middle of nowhere, it's flat again. Luckily I had grabbed the tire repair kit the day before and put it in my bag. While on this highway where unfortunately they did not have bike path, I began to repair my tire, knowing that it was at least 6 km either direction to the city.

I tried to find the hole but couldn't, so it was getting frustrating. I began thinking to myself that maybe this was just a thought we had that we made out to be more than that. Then the thought came to my head, "Anything that is good is of God." I remembered how strong the feeling was to go see S** right then. In that instant, I looked down at the tire again and I saw the hole right in front of me. So we fixed it up, got the tube back in the tire, and got going.

Three hours later we got to S**'s house. Before knocking, we prayed to invite the Spirit to be with us and help us know what to say. When we knocked, he came out and the first thing he told us was that his wife (not a member of our church) was having heart problems and she was in bed. I asked him if she would like a blessing. He said that he had the same thought right as he saw us, but she would not want one. Then he asked us where the Johansen's car was, and we told him we rode our bikes. He just looked at us, and we said, "We don't mess around."

So, he invited us in for a soda. While we drank, he talked to us about his mission and his family. I asked how often he gets to see his daughters and he said, "You know, before it used to be every other week, but now they are older, so it's whenever it works for them." I just sighed and said I know how that feels. I was only 13 years old when I started to not see my dad that much. I told him that I was sorry and that I'd seen how it made my dad feel when I did that.

We talked more about random church things, then gave him a card from one of the members of our congregation. He'd wanted to speak with S** and the last number we'd had for him didn't work. When we gave him the card and he gave us his cell phone number. He told us to have a great evening and ride safe. He thanked us for coming by and told us it was cool because he didn't go to work because his wife wasn't feeling well, so he'd taken the day off.

On our way home, it hailed on us...the whole time! All we could do was laugh. For some strange reason, we enjoyed our 25 km ride home. Despite being soaking wet, we felt prompted to visit an old investigator about 5 km from home. As soon as we buzzed her door, she let us up. She opened the door and said, "Oh, hey, I thought you were someone else, and I'm leaving for a party, but come back next week sometime." We made an appointment for Tuesday, then we rode home.

By this time, it was 8 p.m., which means eating time since we hadn't eaten all day! Needless to say, it was the longest biking day ever, but more importantly, we got to talk to two people who needed us and the Lord knew that.

In church yesterday, right at the beginning, we had the typical nine people. Then a family showed up with three kids and a father, so we had 13 people who were not missionaries. I was feeling so inadequate, like we are working so hard and no one is coming. I decided right there we were going to work harder and just knock all day long, unless we have appointments...no more of this taking off to visit less active members out of the blue...

So, we went to prepare for the Sacrament, and while sitting there getting ready to give our talks (sermons), President Amdi stood up and said, "Let them in." I looked back and there were people in the foyer. It was the daughter of the guy we'd gone to visit the day before with her two kids, and another family that we'd visited the previous week! Then more people we'd visited showed up. We had 26 people in church!! It was amazing.

I have learned a lot this week about patience and, more importantly, that this is the Lord's work, not mine. Things will happen in his time and in his way. We have been told through the prophets and through our local leaders that we need to help those that are lost find the truth, help those who haven't heard to hear the gospel, and to strengthen those who are already members of the church. I can't believe it took me so long to figure out, but I have and I am grateful. I've gained a testimony of that.

This is, indeed, God's work. It happens in his way and in his time. We are His humble servants. Christ never complained about the cross he literally had to carry. Why should I complain about not seeing the work progress like I want it to. Even in his darkest hour, when Christ asked if there was any other way, he still finished his mission, giving his life in complete submission to the Father's will. I know the Lord's way is the best and only way!

Love you all. Have a great week.

Med Kærlig Hilsen

Fireworks and Lessons Learned (January 6, 2014)

Mud (January 20, 2013)

Commitment - Sister Lindsey Jeppson

Written by Sister Lindsey Jeppson, serving in the Arizona Mesa Mission / Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors' Center, speaking Spanish.

This was a good week. We're still adjusting to everything, but it was good. We live with members. The sweetest family ever. Our desks are in the same room we sleep. So we are in there about 9:30 pm until about 1 the next day. It's my cave... ha!

Sister DeMille and Sister Jeppson
The family that moved from California.... so, on Tuesday, we called them and confirmed dinner and the lesson. She was SOO excited. The next day we got a call from her husband. He told us that his wife's aunt (who she was close with) passed away that morning and that they had to cancel because they were leaving to California... It was so sad. We haven't been able to talk with them since. They should be coming back either today or tomorrow, so we'll see...Braden, maybe they need to hear your plan of salvation talk! We went to go heart attack their door, then realized we didn't bring the hearts, so we ended up taping pass along cards onto their door. I'll have to send you a pic!

So we found another family to teach! Mother, father, and 5 kids. Almost like our family...it goes girl (20, married, not living with her family), boy (19), boy (17), boy (10), and girl (8). We taught them about the restoration and committed them to read the Book of Mormon!! At the end, they all requested a copy of the book. So cool. Tonight we have a Noch de Hogar (FHE) with them! We're praying for miracles! They have had pretty amazing experiences with receiving answers to prayers, so we'll see what happens. The little girl is just so cute! We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon a few days prior, and she has the introduction read up until half way into the testimony of Joseph Smith. She just loves it!

I have never talked to so many people! It is so cool...you don't get this experience anywhere else! Like, we met a 66 year old man who is from Bulgaria and barely speaks English. He told us to come back in a year when he knows English better, SOOO sweet… then we met a 16 yr. old boy from Puebla, Mexico. He lives with his aunt and uncle, selling food on those bike carts in the street (this is mini Mexico, I'll get a pic and send it to you). He doesn't know how to read or write and isn't even in school. We told him how much worth he has, and gave him a Book of Mormon and a mormon.org card with our number on it. We told him to call us when he can. He doesn't know his phone number or address, so there was no way we could send missionaries to his home... It was so heart breaking.

I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting. I was so nervous. So I said a prayer and just opened my mouth. What happened was a miracle and definitely an example of the gift of tongues. I spoke, with out reading the talk I prepared... I of course followed it, but I was able to look up at the congregation and speak. That has NEVER happened. SO COOL.

This work can not be done with out the Spirit. In personal study today, I was reading Chapter 4 in Preach My Gospel, about the Spirit. And at the end, there was an activity where it asked me to think of certain events. When I thought about all the miracles I have experienced, I realized that they ALL had to do with the Spirit.  There is so much power to faith and prayer...

COMMITMENT!! Will you pray to find someone to share this Gospel with by the 18th of March?
I know, I promise…that if you ask in faith, then do all you can to find that person, you WILL see miracles.

I love you all!! Have a fantastic week!!

Love,

Hermana Jeppson

Transfers and Miracles (January 6, 2014

Half Way (January 20, 2014)

The Worth of One Soul is Great - Elder Jake Avery

Written by Elder Jacob Avery, serving in the Peru Lima West Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

(Note to reader: Clicking on photos will enlarge them. Some names are omitted for privacy.)

Hi Dad,

Everyone is sending me emails like I am a nervous wreck. I'd just like to confirm that it's true. I am a complete, nervous wreck, haha. Nah, I'm okay. Things are going well.

We feel like we have received direction from the Lord, so we're busy trying to complete the task he's given us. Luckily our mission president has decided to intervene and is coming with us to M**'s house today! We fasted on Sunday for them and another family that wants to be baptized, but the dad of the family doesn't approve. Obviously, he's not taking the lessons, making time to take the lessons, or even reading the Book of Mormon.

Exchanges
On a better note, families are the goal of our mission. We're teaching several families and almost all of them are progressing...like a turtle in molasses, but their progressing. We might even baptize two Seventh-day Adventists. It's a long shot, but I'll go for it.

We're working to get all of our converts to the temple. If that means strapping them on the bus to Lima, I'll do it, haha. The majority are going peacefully on their own :) We can't actually go with them as missionaries (it's outside our area), but we can send them with members, so we're looking for a date in January or early February.

Well, I'm going to send pictures this week! I love you guys and I thank you for all you're doing for me! Please be safe and please be good!

Hi, Mom! Don't worry, your emails aren't always too long. Some weeks I want something long, some weeks no. It's like guinea pig...sometimes fried, sometimes baked. It depends on if I'm drinking it with Inka cola or Ecco :)

I'm so sad to hear that Hannah is having some health problems. I'm healthy as a horse. Or at least I hope I am. I'm knocking on wood right now.

One thing I'm really done with is dreams. The people here tell us about their dreams...a lot. They have a lot of concern about dreams and put a lot of trust in their dreams. Something I know for sure is that not all dreams have a meaning. Dogs and horses have dreams too, but that doesn't mean they're receiving revelation. Even worse, some people consider their dreams a more reliable source of guidance for them than the scriptures. Preach My Gospel warns us that if our spiritual guidance is out of line with the teachings of the prophets, it's not spiritual guidance.


Studying (and glistening!) in the blazing heat
Happy January, everyone!
Speaking of dreams, I dreamt that Josh and I were shooting a rifle from the back of a pick up truck. I'm not sure what we were shooting at, but I know it doesn't have anything to do with whether the Church is true or not, haha. It just shows that even after six months of missionary service, Call of Duty is still engraved in my brain. Yes, I admit it...I probably played too many video games :P

This week we learned that if we teach by the Spirit, He will put words in our mouth. We had a lesson that started with the family telling us, ''We don't think we can keep doing these visits.'' The lesson ended with them accepting the baptismal challenge. Miracles are happening, and although not everyone is progressing in the gospel, the worth of one soul is great in the eyes of God (and in mine as well!).

Have a great week and enjoy the snow, ice and rain. I'll be tanning on the beach, haha. In my dreams ;)

Love,

Jake

The Paws on the Guinea Pig Freaked Me Out (January 6, 2014)

Happy Martin Luther King Day (January 20, 2014)







Spiderman

Written by Elder Brian Burgess, serving in the Mexico Puebla North Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Hey Hey Hey! It's Elder Burgess!

So this week was great. We had a zone conference Tuesday with Elder Stone, the assistant to the president, and tomorrow we have another one with President Christensen. Tuesday, in the night, I locked us out of the house. So we grabbed a ladder from a member, carried it a mile or two, and put it on this telephone pole. We did some Spiderman moves to get to a window that my companion hadn't locked. It was a miracle it wasn't locked!

Our house has been REALLY cold, colder than UTAH, cold. All houses are concrete, and my bed is right next to a single pane window. I sleep in jeans, shorts, sweats, shirt, long sleeved shirt, sweater (sometimes two), and a jacket. And my scarf...very cold. Also, our house is above this little store, and there wasn't a door separating us from the store, or the store from our house. So when they opened the store, cold air just tunneled up the stairway to the house. Well, this week a member in our ward finally put in two doors, one to separate us from the store, and one to separate them from us. It would have been really easy for anybody to just walk up the stairs and steal our stuff. But that never happened! :) So now our house is a little bit warmer! AWESOME!

In our ward there are two sets of missionaries, and we decided to start a ward activity night with the other Elders. So last Friday, and every Friday from now on, we'll have an activity night. It was great. Me and my companion had the lesson. We taught about the Godhead and used Mormon Messages. The other Elders put together a minute to win it activity. Next Friday it's our turn (Elder Valis and I) to plan the activity and they will teach the lesson. It was a great experience and I'm happy we could start the tradition.

Some weeks are tougher than others. Last week seemed like every appointment fell through, and I am SOOOO EXHAUSTED all the time. So I hope that this week will be full of success and open eyes.

I know this church is TRUE. I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for the life I have, and the knowledge I have about the Gospel of his son, Jesus Christ. Honestly, my life has completely changed on the mission. I am on cloud nine!

Your favorite missionary,

Elder Burgess

Day of the Kings

"Wherefore, let us be faithful to Him."

Written by Elder Dallin Remund, serving in the Virginia Chesapeake Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

(Note to reader: Some names have been omitted for privacy.)

Good morning!

Wishing you a happy, happy preparation day from Albertson, NC. We're emailing at the Albertson library today. We're usually in the library at Pink Hill. It's the big "city" in our area. I look outside and see the mall, AKA, the R-Mart. Famous for their groceries, hardware, and fried chicken.

I'm in the middle of nowhere.

Six months ago today, I woke up to my first real day in Albertson. A lot has changed! My testimony has grown, my Spanish has skyrocketed, and my fears of talking to anyone have been thrown out the window. Even the past week, I felt that I have reached a turning point in the way I teach, plan, and talk to people.

We taught R**, our progressing investigator three times this week! This woman has real intention to find out about the gospel. She is in the middle of 2 Nephi right now, toughing it through the Isaiah chapters. It is so much easier to teach people when they are reading the Book of Mormon and going to church. The Spirit is really, really strong in the lessons. She knows there is something different here.

We saw the fruits of member-missionary work yesterday. The Hernandez family invited us to come over and eat lunch and teach the Restoration with their daughter's friends' family. They made us some AMAZING Honduran food. Remind me to go down to Honduras when I come home. Afterwards, we shared the restoration with the family and Jose and Daphne, the members, added the perfect Spirit into the lesson with their testimonies. This situation is what the whole world needs to be involved.

Well, the time is up! The gospel is true! I hope y'all have a great day.

Much love,

Elder Remund

Greetings from Antarctica!

Sending Love from Duplin County, NC!

Locked Out?! - Sister Hannah Avery

Written by Sister Hannah Avery, serving in the Chile Vina del Mar Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Hola familia y amigos!


Claudio and Ignacio in their new ties!
We had a crazy week! AH! First off, Claudio and Ignacio were FINALLY confirmed yesterday! WOOHOO! They are the newest members in our branch :) That was the big thing of the week for sure! We are now working on teaching them all of the lessons and making sure that they continue to go to church, etc.

Well, the water is bad again...Everyone is getting sick from it! There was hardly anyone at church yesterday because everyone is in the hospital waiting for medicine for upset tummies. Poor things. Luckily, Hermana Puertas and I buy filtered water, so we are feeling good as ever!

We have entrevistas (interviews) with the mission president this week! AH! We have SOOO much to do…We have to clean the house and the yard REALLY good, because they are going to be inspecting everything to make sure we aren’t slobs, LOL!, which we aren’t, but there is a lot of deep cleaning that we need to do. That is our mission today after we buy food… and more water :)

It has been hot as hot can be, but yesterday and today, we were blessed with CLOUDS!! Woohoo! I have been loving this weather for sure! And the air is chilly too, so it feels really good! I have missed weather like this, but now my tan is going to go away, LOL!


So, funny story…. We got locked out of the house TWICE this week! And the funny thing is…we have a huge spikey gate around the house, so we couldn’t get in without a ladder! The first time, the gate was open still, but I had to lift Hermana Puertas to the second level of the house so she could climb through the window and get the keys! Haha! The second time, we were in interchanges with Hermana Valencia (a sister training leader), and one of our neighbors scaled the wall of our house and climbed through the window, haha! Crazy stuff…. It was an adventure, needless to say, and after two times being locked out, we check for the keys EVERY second now LOL!

Spiritual thought for the week! Its in 2 Nephi 4:5. It reads, "...for behold, I know that if ye are brought up in the way ye should go, ye will not depart from it." AMEN! That is soooo true. When we are raised the right way and put the Lord first in our lives, and always try to live according to His commandments, we will not depart from the straight and narrow path. Stay strong guys! I pray for you everyday and love you all soooo much! I hope that you have a great week, and I will talk to you all again soon! I love you!!

xoxoxoxo Hermana Avery

Heat of All Heats (January 6, 2014)

Walking...and walking...and walking... (January 20, 2014)




The Lord's Way

Written by Sister Justyce Oliphant, serving in the Mexico Tuxtla Gutierrez Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

I am so amazed at how fast the time has been flying by! Hermana Pérez and I were talking this morning, while washing our laundry, about how it feels like it was yesterday that was P-day (preparation day)! When we stay busy trying to find people to teach, we don´t have any time to worry about other things, only who we will be teaching next!

I am loving it here. It has been really cold, and the members have said that Enero (January) is one of the coldest months of the year!! wahoo... hahaha! It's a good thing I like the cold.

We have been struggling to help our investigators progress. When we think we have people moving forward, we find out something that they are struggling with that sets them back and basically makes us have to start over. One of the biggest things is that people are not married, but living together and have children. They just don´t want to commit to be married. It is really frustrating, but we do all that we can to help them. One couple is still, slowly, progressing towards marriage. They are out of town this week, but will be back on Thursday and we will meet with them and see how things are going.

Transfers are today and so far so good! I don´t think Hermana Pérez or I will be transferred because she is training me and it's a 12 week training period. I hope we don´t change because I love being with her and I am learning so much from her and her example. Ultimately, it's up to the Lord and what he wants and needs from us! That's one thing I have been learning, everything we do here on the mission should only follow what the Lord wants. Sometimes it's difficult, but I know the Lord is always right!

Another hard thing here on the mission is having to say goodbye to investigators who are not progressing. We had a sad week because some of our favorite investigators stopped progressing and didn´t want to work towards baptism anymore. I just hope that someday soon, the message of the gospel will touch their hearts and they will come to realize how amazing this gospel is!

We met a less active member. He has been a member for 12 years and his wife died 16 years ago. His house is about the size of mom and dad's bathroom. He has a bed, small table and some shelves. He works as a guard for the neighborhood. We visited him on Christmas, New Year's and last Friday. He is 80 years old and has problems with his knees. I am not sure what it is, but his one knee is bent funny and causes him so much pain. On Friday, he expressed his feelings about the gospel and Christ and how he knows that when he dies his pain will be taken away and he will see his wife again. He is hard of hearing and his voice shakes when he talks, but you can tell in his eyes how much pain he is in, and also how much love he has. Walking away from his humble home Sister Perez and I were silent and when I looked over at her, she too, had tears running down her face. We arranged for a ward member to pick him up for church every other week (he works every other Sunday and can not attend church). I am loving all the people that we meet. Everyone has different stories, his is only one of MANY that I have. I have been truly humbled to meet and talk with all the people in the various situations here in San Cristobal!!

Well, week 6 is finished here in Mexico! I hope everyone is doing well at home. I am doing well!

Always remember to pray together, and personally, and the Lord will bless you!! I have definitely seen the blessings that come from prayer in my life!

Le amo mucho!!!

Hermana Oliphant

Happy New Year from San Cristobal!

Mi Amor (My Love)

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