Monday, January 27, 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!


Hermana Avery

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

Birthday Week Surprise (February 3, 2014)