Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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

Elder Kolby Madsen, Denmark Copenhagen Mission
Ok, well first off, Elder Ogden is in my district. I love that kid. We were with them twice this week. They had a baptism here this week in Randers.  It was my first baptismal interview. It was crazy. It's a whole different experience being on the other side of the questions, and hearing people tell you things using the gift of the Atonement, defiantly a humbling experience. Just seeing a different side of it has helped me gain a better view of the Atonement. It was awesome. But yes, Elder Ogden is great. Crazy small world. His brother actually served in Germany and just got home.

Anyway, I loved the picture, and that’s way cool about Josh. That mission seems fitting for him. Finally, someone to speak something other than Spanish! I have a couple of friends serving in that area. They are the first set of missionaries that will be sent to China when it opens, and they baptize a ton over there. That should be a great mission.

Elder Brindley lives about 15 minutes from where you stay in KOA. That was a part of his high school and his best friend lives there. He spent a ton of time there. That’s crazy, and that will be way fun for the dates. I but you all had really good time.

Well, this week was full of splits and going from area to area due to the baptism. It was great and a way fun experience. Things started of like usual. We were a little bummed because we could only meet with T** and V** once this week, but he did his reading and even read the beginning of the Book of Mormon from the testimony of Joseph Smith. He had a question about the urim and thummim, so that was fun to explain. My first thought was, "Great, how are we going to explain this?", but then we just felt impressed to have him read the guide in the back that explains words. It was perfect. Then we invited them to come to the baptism on Saturday, but they were not able to make it because they had family in town from København. It's ok though, that is a good excuse.

The best part about the whole appointment was that V**, only having been to church once in the past ten years, shared her testimony about her baptism and what it meant to her. It was great! The simple testimony of someone coming closer to their Heavenly Father is the best testimony.

We had the fun opportunity to go to Viborg (**look at the street view photos!) with the Elders over there. Elder Ogden and Elder Pitcher (my mission godson) is also Elder Francis' son. In other words, he was trained by Elder Francis. It was fun. We had four appointments in three hours, the last being C**'s baptismal interview.

I met with a family that I was able to meet before, my first time in Viborg. They said that I need to come visit them after my mission and eat dinner with them. It was funny. We had a good fun time.

C**’s baptism was great. It went smoothly, except for two things. First, the investigators from Viborg got lost on the way to our church, so they actually missed the baptism. But it's okay because both Elders who taught C**, and the Elder who baptized him did not go over the proper way of baptizing, and they never gave him a quick run through. So when the time came to put him in the water, he didn’t plug his mouth or nose and he thought he was going forward. So when Elder Syversen started to put him back, he turned and looked very scared to go backwards and was not ready. Then when he went under, his feet slipped out and he had a hard time getting his feet back under him to stand up. C** is very top heavy, with tiny legs. When he came out of the water, he started coughing and  spitting out water. The first thing I thought was, "What would I do if I were in the pool right now?" I thought he was drowning. It was kind of funny because Elder Syversen just shoved him under water so he didn’t have to do it again. The first thing C** said when he stopped coughing was, "I got water in my lungs!" It was so hard not to laugh after we saw that he was okay! After that, it was very smooth. The investigators showed up just in time. C** had gotten dressed in dry clothes, so they didn't have to see him almost die, at the age of 65, while being baptized. Anyway, great week.

BEFORE Elder Brindley cut my hair.
 We also had the opportunity to receive and contact a referral given to us on Sunday by an old missionary ægtepar (senior missionary couple) that served in Randers about 10 year ago. That was great.

This week really was so much fun. We had some good time, and I really did learn more about the Atonement as I have physically and spiritually seen it work in C**'s life. Just participating in the interview and his baptism (even though it was not as smooth as we planned), you could see he was happy and that it was the "perfect" baptism for him.

AFTER Elder Brindley cut my hair....thanks a lot!
Well, love you. Have a great week and keep up the good work! Have you fed the missionaries yet?

Med Kærlig Hilsen (with love),

Ældste Madsen

P.S. Just got transfer calls and I will still be in Randers. My new companion is the same age as Elder Brindley and Elder Wilsher, so it should be fun. I am excited. Well, good stuff!



MTC Group Reunion (May 19, 2014)

I Gotta Save Souls and Stuff  (June 2, 2014)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Elder Hamburger - Elder Brian Burgess

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

Great Week! I have been working hard with my companion, and had the chance to go to two different conferences with our Mission President. One about the Book of Mormon, and the other one was a training conferences for the district leaders. I am so grateful just to be here in Mexico! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

I will attach a picture of a hamburger place that I hear is good. It's about an hour and a half from my area, and is never open in the mornings. So I still haven't eaten there. There is just a funny thing about an American elder with my last name, I guess.

Stereotype about America ---- We all eat Hamburgers.

So when they see my white face, and my name tag they like to call me Elder Hamburguesa (Elder Hamburger).


I love you all!

ELDER BURGESS

I LOVE Mexico! (May 19, 2014)

Hold to the Rod (June 9, 2014)

ONE YEAR! - Elder Dallin Remund

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

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

Hey y'all!

Things are going great in Newport News. The sun is beating in hot, and the humidity is settling in very nicely. Simply put, it's roasting hot in Virginia. It's a good mix of being on the same latitude as Southern Utah and being right next to the Atlantic Ocean.

To fill in on our investigator, F**, we had a great lesson with him this last week on keeping the commandments and we invited him to be baptized in June. He said he has to talk to his wife about it, but he says he has a definite desire! His wife comes up from Puerto Rico to Virginia this weekend! Things should start clicking after that.

We found this really awesome Hispanic man who just moved here from Texas a couple months back. We had knocked the door before he lived and there were only some Pentecostals who weren't interested in hearing from us. Well, we talked with this man named Nazario about the Book of Mormon and he seemed really interested. We're meeting with him next Sunday!! Whenever things like that happen, it just gives me hope that you can always find new people. You can say you've knocked every door of a city and have no one respond to you, but go back a couple months later and find a man or a whole family who have been prepared to be baptized. There is hope!

Wedding
Aside from the usual missionary efforts that we do every day, we had a really fun weekend.
I went to my first wedding in the mission field. It was a great time. **, the groom is one of our investigators and Y**, the bride is Sister M**'s sister. Lots of fun!

We went out with the M** family for snow cones and Cracker Barrel, and then headed out for Fort Monroe on the coast of Hampton. It was so awesome. In the fort, there's a museum. A lot of famous people have visited or been there. Abraham Lincoln, Edgar Allen Poe, Harriett Tubman, etc. Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States in the Civil War, was held prisoner there in that fort. I got a ton of pictures.

This family has made my time in
Newport News a blast!
I'm having the time of my life out here on the mission! Thursday marks a full year since I dropped into the MTC. I can't believe how fast the time has flown. Thinking on how I only have a year left pushes me to work harder every day to bring souls to Christ. It is not an easy endeavor, but it is the most rewarding thing I have done in my life. I love being a missionary!

Con todo mi amor,

Elder Remund


That Missile is Not Messing Around! (May 19, 2014)

Summer Days in Virginia  (July 9, 2014)



Always knocking doors!!

Llanganunco - Elder Jacob 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. Highlighted words link to additional information. Some names are omitted for privacy.)

So this week Elder Aldana and I went to the market one day and set up a table with copies of the Book of Mormon, pamphlets, Book of Mormon action heroes, a portable DVD player showing "The Testaments," and a big white board that said, ''Christ came to the Americas?'' We got several interested people, gave out a few books, and took contact information. It was fairly successful....and then the children came....

The first question one might ask is, ''What are children doing in the tarp covered vegetable market on a Wednesday morning?'' Doesn't matter. A bagillion kids got interested and began stealing pamphlets and watching the video. They wanted one of each of the 5 pamphlets, and another set for each of their cousins. That wasn't going to happen, so Elder Aldana and I began hiding the pamphlets but it turned into one of us on box duty and the other one talking to people.

After an hour or so of being in the market, we decided it was time to pack up. That's when we were swarmed. I began packing the box and all the kids freaked out and wanted something. I literally had to lean on top of the box to stop them. Then all the people nearby in the market wanted to see what was happening, and then realized that they too wanted free stuff. So we gave some adults a copy of the Book of Mormon, then told them enough is enough and left.
At least we got some publicity. We saw many of our pamphlets on the floor of the market a few hours later, but I guess now we know. Giving out free things in a Peruvian market is like dropping a bloody cow carcass in shark infested water :)


 
Later this week we got to do a family history project. It wasn't in our area, it was by the church. We started out by taking a table to the street with hundreds of unclaimed Ensigns from the past 5 years. We street contacted and tried to bring them to our family history display and, if they behaved, gave them an Ensign. We did the activity that night and had the participation of a few interested people from the street. I think more than anything it helped build ward unity (they were chasing down people with us!) 
Well, I don't want to bore anyone with too much info....here's some photos!
I finally found a llama for Abigail!
And when I got close enough to take a picture
with the llama, it SPIT at me!! haha!




























Other events:

We shaved sheep with paper scissors.

V*** (whose parents live in Lima but are members) was baptized in 2 feet of water. It took 7 tries at least.

We went to Llanganunco this morning (Google it!)

I love everyone. Especially my little brother, Josh, who is going to serve in Singapore! Have a great week!

Elder Avery

Has it Been a Week or a YEAR?!! (May 19, 2014)

Mass Internet Outage  (June 3, 2014)

Busy in Chile! 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.

Hey family and friends!

Another week gone! WOW! We had a CRAZY week this week! Lots of fun and exciting things happening! :) Ready?? Set.... Here we go!!

First off, we had a very normal week of teaching and finding investigators. They are all progressing slowly, but surely. This week we had a companionship fast to help our investigators progress and schedule some baptisms....we have over 30 investigators! We just want to help these people in the ways that they need. The Gospel has a way to help everyone, no matter what their situation, but we have to be like doctors and try to find a remedy for their diagnosis :)

Hermanas Giron and Avery at Mission Leadership Training
Well, our fast WORKED! Because guess what?! We have a family of FOUR with a baptism date scheduled for the 14th of June!! AHHH! :) They are SOOO awesome! :) It's a mom, dad, daughter and son. The mom is a less active member of our church, but the dad and kids are getting baptized! They accepted the date yesterday and we are THRILLED! :) Hoorah for Israel!

Next thing.... well, not cool, but kinda funny! ... We almost got jumped this week! SCARY! There is a group of teenage kids that smoke pot in the corner here everyday, and we pass by them to go back home at the end of the night. Well, last week, I told Hermana Giron that I could tell that they are starting to watch us and pay more attention to what we are doing and where we are going. Anyways, she noticed too, and we have been more careful about where we go, and we stay near people when it's dark. So.... this Friday, we were walking back home, and the group of boys (about 5 or 6 of them) started following us. They were all behind us at first, and then they split in half and half were behind us and half in front of us. I turned around and looked at one of the kids with one eye brow raised, and said, "Don't even think about it!"And then, they left! haha!

Anyways, the Lord definitely watches over His missionaries! It was scary! But, they are just boys, and honestly, they can rob my Book of Mormon if they really want to.... it can only help! haha!

Congratulations to my brother, Joshie, who goes to the Singapore Mission on October 15th! I LOVE YOU! And I am SOOO proud of you! :)

Well guys, have a great week! And I will talk to you all next week! Cuidense mucho! Les amo mucho! :)

xxoxoxoxooxox Hermana Avery

From the Other Side of the Planet.... (May 19, 2014)

Almost Heaven....McDonald's (June 2, 2014)

Scorpions - Sister Justyce Oliphant

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

Dear friends and family,

What a week! So it rains everyday here and when I say rain, I mean I have never seen rain like this before. The thunder is RIGHT above us and it is like we are in a water globe getting shaken up!
Because of all the rain, everything is green... and muddy. Our area is HUGE! And has soooo much potential!

We have about 15 colonials (small towns) in our half of the ward and the Elders have like 20. The Elders live about 30 minutes in combie from our church. We are lucky because the church is in our colonial! So I am not sure what the calles are called, but we live in El Provenir and if you find Chederaui, it's close to that.

Hermanas Oliphant and Garcia
My companion is Hermana Garcia! She is from Sinaloa, Mexico! She has 8 siblings and is so cute! She reminds me of my friend Brooke! Anyway, we have a good time together. I have kinda taken the lead in the lessons this week because she is sick. We got soaking wet on Wednesday and then walked around wet and she got sick :( But we keep going, just now bring umbrellas with us every time we leave the house because sometimes the rain comes out of nowhere!

Oh, and I knew her already because when I was in San Cristobal she was in Comitan. Our zones always got together for conferences, so I had already met her. And when I transferred to Tuxtla, we were bus buddies! So I was pretty excited when I heard she was going to be my companion!

I have been studying about patience this week. Patience and marriage... coincidence? haha! But really, I have learned a lot about how to be more patient with myself, my companion, with waiting for answers, with our investigators. We have a lot of people to teach here, but our problem is that the area is so big and we can't go to each part every day. Its definitely a HUGE change from small Jardines!

​AND we had a baptism on Saturday. His brother was baptized the week before. We are working with some of the other members of their family now too!

Four investigators came to Sacrament Meeting, which was so good. And we have baptism dates with some other investigators. The work is moving along great here in our ward, Vista Hermosa. I love teaching the gospel everyday and learning new things myself!

We have to check in our clothes before we put them on, and in our sinks, and in the shower for scorpions. I am sooooo scared of them and literally have had nightmares this week about them, and that some huge one is going to sting me. But I pray to not ever find one, and luckily haven't yet. We do have a million millipedes and centipedes and creepy crawly things in our house. My companion is nice and kills them all because they freak me out with their little legs.... eeewwww

Well, time to go back to work! I cant believe that this last week I hit my 7 month mark. It's going CRAZY fast! I am learning to enjoy the hard things, including the bugs... and just get lost in the work.

I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I love my Padre Celestial. I love my amazing family (and congrats to Aaron on his mission call!). I love this gospel and KNOW that it is the ONLY true church on the face of the earth. I am thankful for my musical talents that I have the honor to share every day when we sing with our investigators (and when I sing in the shower to not be as scared of finding a scorpion...). And also by playing the piano in Sacrament Meeting each Sunday.

I love, love, love you all. Until next week,
xoxoxoxoxo
Hermana Oliphant

Transfers (May 12, 2014)

I Should Have Knocked on Wood.... (June 2, 2014)


Monday, May 19, 2014

I Love Mexico - Elder Brian Burgess

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 Everyone!
I love Mexico! This culture has really made my life fun! I used to hate hearing bikes roll up and down the streets with annoying music, and voices coming from a broken speaker telling me to buy bread, or tamales, or tacos. Or a truck with tanks of gas, blaring their annoying music, selling gas for the water boilers and stoves. Also the sirens or dogs barking or party music all day, evening, and night....But now it is apart of me. I love being here in Mexico. I love opening my mouth to answer all the questions I hear, whether the question is, "What do you teach about?" "Did the government send you?," "What school are you from?," "Where are you from?," or one of the funniest to answer, "Do you speak Spanish?," to which I normally respond, "Sí" (Yes).
In my short time in Mexico, I have noticed that 100% of the drunk guys on the street want to talk to me. Whether it be Spanish, trying not to fall over, or whether it be a choppy sentence in English: "I speak the English. I is Americano. I in America 5 years. I know you. Want a beer?" To which I normally pull out a nice southern accent, or English accent, and have some fun with them. There is a drunk guy who is always outside of our apartment complex, who thinks I am from France. I just decided to go with the "flow," haha. I love everyday, being entertained by the things I see or hear.
I have had the amazing opportunity to meet many people who the Lord is preparing to receive our message, and I have seen many miracles and changes in the lives of people in Mexico. It humbles me to know I had a part in their conversion, or at least, I did my part inviting them.
This last week I spent a lot of my time in the morning during breakfast, or at night while preparing for bed, studying Spanish. There are still many things I want to learn and am learning.
So guess what? I am sick again. I have honestly lost track of how many days or times or weeks I have been sick here in Mexico. My mission president´s wife has me constantly on the "Sick Elder List" and I have become great friends with the mission doctor, haha! I called her the other day, and she just recognized my voice. "Oh hey, Elder Burgess, are you sick again?" haha. I love the food, but it doesn't love me.
I testify that this church is true. When we humble ourselves, and open our hearts to a message about the gospel of Jesus Christ, our lives change for the better! I see it everyday! I am a witness of the power of the priesthood. I have seen it bless many lives and many people. I testify that the same priesthood power and keys that Christ himself established and used in His church on this earth, has once again been restored on the face of the earth. And that today, there is a prophet of God that guides this church.
I love you all, and hope you have an amazing week.
LOVE,
ELDER BURGESS
Breaking In (May 12, 2014)

Elder Hamburger (May 26, 2014)

Someone Greater Asked the Same Question - 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.

HOLA MIS AMIGAS!

This week has been so great, so busy, and so crazy... We have had many meetings, exchanges, activities, etc.

So because of crazy things, we got 4 new missionaries from Ukraine this week, 2 missionaries who returned to the mission after being home for a little bit, and 1 who got reassigned here until her visa comes in. So, different changes have occurred. Like the Elders in our area are going to be in a trio. So we will have 7 missionaries in our ward. Because we are a Spanish speaking zone, we don't get to see much of the English speaking missionaries. I see new faces every day. So I have made an effort to get to know the English missionaries. It's fun to get to know them and their background. Each missionary is so different and unique. Each has their own personality. Missionaries are normal people. We are most definitely not perfect. On P-Days (preparation day), the missionaries reserve the tri-stake center, and we play volleyball and basketball. It kind of reminds me of the MTC (Missionary Training Center). My mission is unique because the mission is so small, we see missionaries more often. Unlike Kolby, where he only sees missionaries (other than his companion) at zone conferences.

We had exchanges this week, and because our Sister Training Leader doesn't have a license, Sister Alcocer had to get certified. So, she has been driving. We split up this time. Usually our Sister Training Leader will come with both of us and we'll be a trio for 24 hours, but this time they were individual. So Sister Alcocer stayed in our area, and I went to the other area. It's funny, because this was my third time going to that area for exchanges. I am starting to recognize the members and investigators now. They were saying that I am going to get transferred there. I don't think so.

Wednesday, I went back to the area, and I felt weird. All of our appointments fell through and dinners got double scheduled. So we went to one and another member was expecting us, so when we didn't show up, she called each companionship worried. Everything seemed to go wrong that night. When we got home, I just laid on the floor, tired and drained because it was over 100 degrees. I thought to myself, why is this so hard. Then a thought came into my mind. Words from Elder Holland, "Presidents, when your missionaries ask you why this is so hard, tell them that someone greater asked that same question." When Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked if the bitter cup could be taken from Him, but he continued forward until it was completed. I took a deep breathe, and just smiled. Yah, missionary work is hard, but what good thing in life isn't?

Yesterday, we went over to Pe** and Pa**'s home. There is a bit of an issue we have been having with them, and I don't think I ever told you about it. So Pa** has a relative in a neighboring ward, and so she has been going to church with her. Pepe has been coming to church with us. But they both wanted to get baptized in the other ward. We had no idea how to go about doing it. We would have to ask permission from both bishops and the mission president, which would have been easy, but it didn't feel right, so we haven't worried too much about asking permission yet. Well yesterday, when we went over there they started talking about their baptism, (we didn't even bring it up, because anytime we did in the past, walls would go up and we would get no where). They brought it up. They FINALLY picked a date first of all, AND they told us that they thought about it and that they would get baptized in our ward! I couldn't even believe it because they were so dead set on getting baptized in the other ward. We are getting everything all sorted out and scheduled, and it is going to be great!

We have been seeing many miralces in the Visitors' Center as well. We are teaching two people via Skype until their missionaries get to their area. I have a referral from Easter Pageant who set a baptismal date, I have two more that agreed to meet with missionaries, and every time I call them, they just seem so excited to continue.

The Lord has hastened his work, and it is continuing every day. I feel like this is just an exciting time to be alive. We are seeing so many miracles and evidence of this every day. Members are coming in to the Visitors' Center, bringing their non member friends. People have stopped us on the street asking for information.

OH! One quick story. We didn't have any set appointments one hour last week. And the plans we had didn't feel right. So we both just sat there thinking of people we needed to visit. We finally agreed on visiting a family in our ward. As we were driving to their home, we were passing this father and his sons outside, we both looked at them and kept driving. Sister Alcocer asked if we should turn around and go visit them. I hesitated because it seemed kind of creepy. So we continued forward. We stopped in front of the member's home, got out and knocked. But no one was there. So we decided to walk back to that family we saw. As we were walking, we saw the same family in their truck driving away. We were kind of bummed....but we kept on walking.

We saw this Hispanic man outside his house and we just walked right up to him. He had a friend with him. We got there, asked how he was, and a 45 minute conversation started. He just started talking and talking. Then he started talking about is Mormon boss and how he'd invited him to church. We didn't say anything. What was interesting though, was his friend. His friend was quiet, but from the few things he said, we found out that he has been driving back and forth from here to Mexico ever so often to visit his son who has kidney failure. He seemed troubled by it. When we invited them to church, he said he would try. He didn't end up going, but we are planning on visiting them again. After we left, I just had a very distinct impression that God loves ALL of his children and He is so aware of each of them. I am not completely sure why that happened, but I have every good intention to find out.

I am so glad to hear, that everything is going well! Say congrats to Dallin for me! He will be great! Looks like we'll barely miss each other. But that's ok. I am super jealous he is going to the MTC in Mexico though.

Congrats Taylor for making the Varsity Cheer team! That's crazy! I love you all! Have a great week!!! Be safe, and pray often!

Les quiero mucho!

Hermana Jeppson

Feliz Dia de Las Madres (May 12, 2014)

Hand Fans and Llamas  (June 3, 2014)

Has it Been a Week or a YEAR?! Elder Jacob 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.

This week really was one of the longest weeks of my life. I just wish that we had gotten more things done. Elder Aldana and I have gotten to the point where we just keep hitting a titanium barrier between us and the hearts of the people. Who knew some people would be so difficult?

On the bright side, we're thinking about being more creative in how we find new investigators. We received a huge box of copies of the Book of Mormon and are thinking about setting up a table in the market. It's a huge, gross, smelly, dirty environment, but half the city is in the market at any given moment. The nice thing is it's open and free for anyone to set up a stand and sell, in our case give away, stuff. We're  planning on doing it this week, so hopefully I'll have something cool to talk about next week. 

The family that was supposed to get baptized in two weeks confessed that they aren't actually legally married. :( Plus they're leaving town for a few weeks to harvest their family's field. It's kind of a mess. On the bright side, they have more time to read the Book of Mormon :)

I'm sending a picture of baptisms we had in the ward this week. We baptized in a new spot in the river and it was sooo pretty. It was really loud, but so worth it. We made the pool by stacking rocks to make a dam and prayed that it wouldn't rain that night to wash it all away. It all worked like a charm. One of the guys who got baptized was super excited the next day and kept talking about how awesome his baptism was and how awesome it felt. That's really when you know that baptism is for the remission of sins. When we demonstrate to God in such a manner that we are willing to keep His commandments our whole lives and repent of our wrongs, you can believe He forgives our sins the moment we come out of the water.

So, the thing that's most important is patience and charity. As a missionary, we literally rescue God's children by bringing them to the Savior. We need to work the way Christ would work if we are to have success. When we love the people and lead them along, and they're ready, they'll come. Just pray that you find the people who are ready.

Have a great week everyone! Be good!

Elder Avery

All of Us Have Four Roles (May 12, 2014)

Llanganunco (May 26, 2014)

From the Other Side of the Planet.... 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.

Hey y'all! :)

We had another GREAT week this week! Lots of work... HARD work! We had tons of lessons, and had FIVE people come to church yesterday! WOOHOO! It was a family of four who we are hoping to schedule for baptisms this week or next week, and N**, who is 86 years old! She is the cutest lady ever! :) Anyways, we are really excited, because we think that they will be baptized soon! Hoorah for Israel! :)


We also had our training for the "new leaders in the mission" this week. That was....interesting, starting out! We hopped on a bus on the way to Viña del Mar where the mission home is, and were smashed in a little school bus like sardines! There were seriously like 70 people on that thing! Oh my goodness, I got off needing an inhaler and new clothes! We were sooo hot and sweaty, and RAN to get to the mission president's house on time! They were ALL there waiting for us, and the mission president said, "Hermana Avery, did you get lost and forget where my house was?" Ummm.... yes! haha! That, and the bus was crazy! Anyways, he got a good laugh out of it, and the meeting went really well :)

Other than that, we did receive exciting news this week that Elder Lynn G. Robbins is visiting our mission on June 10th! WOOHOO! That will be awesome! :) We are all excited to meet together as a mission and hear him talk! :)

Well guys, that is all the news I have for this week! My foot is MUCH better this week. Thanks to a priesthood blessing, and lots of faith and prayer, my tendonitis is GONE! WOOHOO! That stuff is painful. But it can't stop me from doing the Lord's work :)

Have a great week guys! Talk to you all next week! I love you and miss you so much! :)

xoxoxoxoxo Hermana Avery

HALF WAY (May 12, 2014)

Busy in Chile! (May 26, 2014)



That Missile is Not Messing Around - Elder Dallin Remund

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

Good mornin'!
This is on the US Naval Weapons Station in Yorktown.
They have tons of missiles, torpedoes, and bombs on display.

I didn't have enough time to type up a letter last week, but I'm happy to be emailing y'all again! Hope things are warming up a bit out in the West. There has been some killer hot days. Wearing grey pants instead of black pants makes a big difference when you're tracting outside, haha!
Last week was great, and this week was even better. I got to Skype home and talk to the family. The forty minutes flew like none other, but I felt like I was just sitting in the living room with them like old times. Ending the Skype call ripped my heart in two, but it got me off my rear and had me working again so that's a blessing!

Elders Remund and Barber with two men they are teaching.
We had three investigators come to church yesterday. E** and M** came with their super cute baby and then Fr** came as well. It was a joyous day. He is doing really well. We had two lessons with him this week. He's been inviting his friends from the Army in on the lessons. Some of them have responded well from the lessons and one of them is actually reading the Book of Mormon and is going to meet with the missionaries in South Carolina where he was just transferred. Fr**'s wife is coming next week, so we are excited to teach them both and hopefully see them baptized sometime in June!!


One of the funniest, cutest babies I've ever seen!
There have been a lot of really neat stories where the Spirit has prompted me or my companion to talk to certain people. I wish I had the time to write them all down. Suffice it to say that the Spirit is real and that God helps us find 'the one' in missionary companionships every day across the whole world. It is so very personal and real. Although they might not end up progressing or necessarily be a miracle find, it is a testimony that God loves all His children and he gives us opportunities to use our agency in righteous ways.

I thought I better add some pictures. I love y'all so much. Hope you have a great week!

Con amor,

Elder Remund

I FEEL GOOD! (May 5, 2014)

ONE YEAR! (May 26, 2014)


MTC Group Reunion - 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.

This week we had some really good stuff happen. First off, we had an appointment with a less active member named Vi** and her boyfriend on Tuesday. It went great. He was way nice. We have this thing that we are trying to focus in our mission, to have multiple lessons a week for only like 45 minutes instead of one every week for an hour. We talked about Mormons Bog (The Book of Mormon) and then had a little introduction. Vi** helped explain why she believes in God because her boyfriend, like almost everyone else in Denmark, is atheist. But when we talked about God’s love and told him that he was a son of God, his whole demeanor changed. T** (boyfriend) has a very strong spirit. At the end of the lesson we made a return appointment for Friday, so we knew that we would be able to see him three days later.

Wednesday was my trip to København (Copenhagen).  It was great....just my MTC (Missionary Training Center) group. It was so much fun. It's funny because our group alone makes up 1/5 of the missionaries in Denamrk, and over half the Sisters in the mission. It's pretty crazy. My MTC experience was one unlike any other.

When we got to the meeting, President Sederholm said, "All of you have asked me why I called you here. I just want to let you know that I still don't know why. I just know that I am supposed too," (President Sederholm is a very spiritual man....very in tune). He said, in fact, that there were only five people in the room that had prepared something to say; him, Sister Sederholm, the Assistants (APs) and me. I got to talk about the white handbook. Every meeting, someone does it. President said that no one had conversed with each other on what to say, we were just going by the Spirit.

By the end of the meeting, we were just in tears, or just so full of the Spirit. We learned about how we need to enjoy our missions when it rains outside (which is daily). We need to smile, jump in a puddle, take pictures of the beautiful rapeseed growing. President Sederholm told us we need to enjoy the hike and the scenery on the way up the mountain. We can’t just walk with tunnel vision up the mountain until we are there to look back and not remember the detail of climbing.

After the meeting, we were very blessed to go to the temple in København. It is only open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, due to lack of use. We were privileged to have the temple all to ourselves for a session, and they even brought in the newest temple film, which was so cool! So, I got to see the new film in English, for the very first time, and then go through the veil in Danish. So much fun. I really enjoyed it.

After all this, we were traveling home and we all talked about how this training was much needed.  We all felt, first off, that we missed each other and that would be the only time to have us all together again in the mission. We all felt like we can just enjoy our missions instead of being so serious all the time. We still need to work and be missionaries, but we were all feeling like we had kind of made it not as fun as it should be. Well, I also heard that my Sisters from the MTC are going home on the 7th of October, which is freakin' crazy.

We had another great appointment on Friday with Vi** and T**.  We invited them to church and to read the Book of Mormon, and they came to church. I honestly have never had anything like this happen in my mission. It’s almost too perfect. We go forward and just teach and do the things that we need to do.

We had a great opportunity to visit on old investigator from Poland. He is so much fun to talk to. He loves us and told us that he will by our groceries in Poland because it's five times cheaper. We told him that's okay, but maybe some candy. We need  get some other culture in the mix, haha!

We had a great day in church yesterday. It was a huge blessing to have Vi** and T* there. The Lord has really been very giving to our mission lately. We are holding a mission-wide fast, so for 49 days we will have a companionship fasting throughout the mission each day. Thus far, things are working out very well. The work just goes on and that’s very evident in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission.

Well, great week. Love you. Have a great week.

Med Kærlig Hilsen,

Ældste Madsen

Happy Mother's Day from Denmark (May 12, 2014)

Drowning  (May 27, 2014)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Breaking In - Elder Brian Burgess

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

So I made macaroni and cheese this week. I forgot that the milk and butter are different in Mexico, so it took away all of that rich amazing mac and cheese flavor....

We went to the church house the other day for the Missionary Coordination meeting with our Ward Mission Leader. And when we went into the church house, it was flooded. I took this picture about an hour after we started cleaning out water. Don't worry, no damage was made to the church. Just a lot of water!

So Saturday the family who was going to make us lunch had to work, so they gave us money to buy our lunch. We ordered pizza! And since yesterday was Elder Match's birthday, he bought a cake to celebrate as well.

Also, yesterday after church and lunch we went to our house to change from our suits into a normal short sleeved white shirt and tie. I then realized at the door, that we didn't have the keys. So we had to break into the house! Behind out house, surrounding our back porch we have a brick wall, and above the brick wall there are metal bars that make it so people cant break in....but Elder Garrido, my companion, is skinny, and he fit into the 6 inch gap between the metal bars. And then I changed out the door knob on the front door for one of the bedroom door knobs because we have a key to that one. Then today, I paid a key store to  make a new set of keys for the old door knob. Crazy day.

I will attach some photos to clarify the above stories. Sorry I don't have a photo of Elder Garrido breaking into our house...

Then last Saturday I talked to my family for Mother's Day on Skype. LOVE YOU ALL, and don't forget to pray and read your scriptures.

ELDER BURGESS

Our Mission has a Facebook page!! https://www.facebook.com/MexicoPueblaNorthMission

Cinco de Mayo Where it Began! (May 5, 2014)

I Love Mexico (May 19, 2014)

Transfers - Sister Justyce Oliphant

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

(Note to reader: Clicking on highlighted words links to additional information.)

Hello my amazing family! It was so good to hear you all and see everyone last night. I really loved
seeing how everyone is doing! Thank you for waiting for two hours to talk to me (you were ready at 5:20 right?!)! Oh wait, there is the time change, I forgot. But still, I am so glad you are all my family. Thank you for everything, and I am glad you enjoyed your Mother's Day present. Tell Megan, "muchas gracias por su ayuda en esta regalo!"

Karla's family
So, we went back home after talking to you all, walked Karla home, and then planned for the night. We gave our numbers to our District Leader, Elder Beardsley, and then started writing in our journals and getting ready for bed. We were just about to turn the light off because it was after 10:30, and our phone rang. Weird right? It was our District Leader! He had been given the transfer list. I am headed to Vista Hermosa Tapachula! They called last night so that we could pack and clean the house because I leave at 2 p.m. today and have to be in the OCC (bus station) at 1 p.m.

Mother's Day call to my family!


So we washed my dirty clothes and hung them up all over the house and the clothes line, and Hermana Rodriguez and I packed up my things with tears streaming down my face. I really felt all day Saturday and Sunday that I would be leaving, but I didn't want it to be true. I have really loved working in this area with my companion, the members, the Elders, and our investigators. I am sad to be leaving, and a little nervous for my new companion and because Tapachula is SOOOOO hot and rains SOOOO much. But I will go where the Lord wants me to go. We listened to that song so much this morning ("I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go"). I felt like the words were speaking what is on my mind!

So that's the big news! We said goodbye to our investigator, his mother, and his brother. I really hope they soon accept this gospel into their lives! It's already changing them. He only needs to go to church a few more times and then he can be baptized!

I love you all. So much. Keep smiling and keep praying as a family and personally!

Hermana Oliphant

Receiving Answers (April 28, 2014)

Scorpions (May 26, 2014)

My zone

Feliz Dia de Las Madres - 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.

I hope you all had an amazing Mother's Day! We sure did! So in Mexico, Mother's Day is celebrated on the 10th of May, and then of course since we celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday, more reason to have a fiesta! So Saturday we had a ward party. And guess who was in charge, the men... It was so fun to see them all scrambling around organizing everything while the women were sitting in the cultural hall, listening to classical music and talking. In the kitchen, it was a mad house. All the men were rushing, trying to get everything set up. I looked at the bishop, and he just sat there nodding his head and rolling his eyes. It was fun. Our investigator, P**, was the DJ. We didn't get to stay too long because we had to work at the Visitors' Center (VC). The bishop also put us in charge of getting together a little gift for the mothers. He bought the stuff and gave it to us to make. It was just chocolate wrapped up in foil and tied up with red ribbon.

On Sunday, all of us VC Sisters met up and walked to each of the three homes of the senior missionary couples. When they opened the door we sang "Love at Home" and replaced the word love with mom and gave them flowers and a card. It was sweet. Each of them cried and said that they loved their missionary daughters. It was special.

At church, we had some great talks, and a great time passing out the candies to all the women. It was my favorite part because I got to hug each and every mother and wish them a happy Mother's Day. It was very meaningful because almost every single one of them has fed us dinner since I have been here.

Latinos like to be together. For dinner, we went to a couple's home and they had invited everyone. We even saw some of my investigators in my old area there. Food was great. We left by singing "Love at Home." Everyone had their phones out recording it. They're my family! They might just see us as missionaries who come and go, and that's ok. I love them all!

After that I got to Skype my family!!! So much fun to see all of you. I felt more comfortable this time also. Last time, for Christmas, I guess I just didn't know how to act. It was fun because it felt like the nights we usually had before I left. All together, telling stories, and laughing. One thing is for sure... I still have an attitude. Just ask all my companions and the people I serve with. There is even a few investigators that got a taste of it... Well just one.. That's okay because he still invites us to come over, and he's getting baptized.

In our area we have been focusing a lot on our members, and we have quite a few who are less active. We feel like that's what the Lord wants us to do because as soon as we started doing that, He blessed us with five new investigators. He has even blessed us with more people to teach in the Visitors' Center. We have investigators from ALL over. I even just had a recent baptism for someone who contacted us through Mormon.org. So many miracles.

Being a missionary is my favorite thing to do. It is the most humbling thing ever....The hardest thing ever.... But it brings the greatest rewards. I feel like we are at war with Satan all the time. That is why it is important to put on the Armor of God everyday.

I love you all!

Hermana Lindsey Jeppson

Following the Spirit (May 5, 2014)

Someone Greater Asked the Same Question (May 19, 2014)

All of Us Have Four Roles - 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 additional information.)

Probably the most annoying thing about Peru is the lack of seasons. It's pretty must the same weather all year long. In Lima it rains from May to October. They call that winter. It's sunny from November to April. They call that summer. I really only broke a sweat during the hottest 4 weeks of the year, and the rest of the year is pretty mild. I use a thin sweater or jacket at night if it gets cold. It's so mild that it makes me miss the psycho Utah weather spasms. You might ask why I'm talking so much about a small topic conversation, but here in Peru, weather is a pretty interesting conversation.

This week we got to visit a city called Barranca, where we met with Elder Waddell from the Seventy. He did an excellent training where he focused on obedience and preparing people for baptism. He explained to us that when we're breaking mission rules, we're breaking a covenant we made with God (ouch!). He also told us how important it is to teach with the Spirit and to help the investigators become converted before baptism, so they don't go less active the week after their baptism. I've always been pretty good about helping them prepare for their baptisms, but now that I'm really good, nobody wants to get baptized. We'll ask them why they don't want to get baptized then they'll tell us one of two things:

1. I'm not ready

2. I'm already baptized

''I'm not ready,'' basically means, ''I want to keep doing things I'm not supposed to do.''

''I'm already baptized,'' means we did a cruddy job at teaching them and need to go over everything again.

At least we're seeing progress everywhere we go. I'm still shocked that in a tiny town in a remote province of Peru there are 2000 members of the Church. That, in itself, is a miracle. So I should be a little less whiny in my prayers. We see miracles everyday, and we're continually guided by the Lord wherever we go.

We found a family to teach this week. It's a family that my companion had visited before I ever got to the area. They were never able to connect with the dad of the family. I felt really impressed one day to schedule them in as a back up plan during our planning meeting, and the next day our appointment fell through. So, we went over there! The husband was there, and even though he talked about polygamy (second time I've heard that in Peru) and tons of other things of no spiritual importance, we, or rather the Spirit that was within us, hammered that lesson. He and his wife both offered a prayer and committed to read the Book of Mormon and be baptized, if God tells them it's true. Awesome!

After seeing my family yesterday, I'm just so thankful for them and that we're so blessed by the gospel. I can't believe how insignificant everything else seems when I compare it to my family and their well-being. We get so caught up in all the stuff from the world, but really all of us have four roles that are more important than anything else.

The first is our relationship as a son or daughter of God. Second is in our family; I'm a son, brother, and future husband and father. Third is our calling; I'm a full-time missionary. Fourth is whatever else is left; student, ex-McDonald's worker, ex,ex,ex-boyfriend, etc. When we really focus our lives on what's most important, we feel happier, more purpose, and peaceful. It's the truth.

Thanks everyone for being awesome and for being great to me :) Have a great week!

Elder Jake Avery

Disappointment is Part of the Journey (May 5, 2014)

Has it Been a Week or a YEAR?! (May 19, 2014)

HALF WAY - 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: Clicking on highlighted words will link to additional information.)

Hola familia y amigos!
 
No! I'm NOT pregnant, haha! This is my NINE
MONTHS photo. It's something Sister missionaries
do to show we are half way through our missions!

WOW! What a CRAZY week this week! First off, we had interviews with the mission president this week and just talked about how things are in the area, the mission, etc. He is AWESOME! He always gives us so much great advice and support, and really makes me feel like being a missionary doesn't have to be boring or hard.... it's FUN! :)

We also had our Leaders meeting on Friday in Viña del Mar. We got a phone call from the Assistants to the President (APs) really early in the morning, and they said that Hermana Page and Hermana Mori were going to come stay at our house until the meeting at 9 a.m. So I got to see two of my old companions! So fun! It's so crazy how fast time goes by... wow! The meeting was great, and we learned a lot about how to invite people to make and keep commitments. I am hoping that the things we learned will help, because we are struggling with people keeping commitments here!

Next piece of news.... I have LESS than 9 months left in the mission! I hit the halfway mark this Saturday. Oh my goodness! Is time flying, or is it flying?! Seriously. I cant believe it! I feel like there is sooo much to do in so little time! AH! Hermana Giron helped me take my "9 month" photo. It was a fun day :)

We also talked to our sweet mamas and family over Skype yesterday! It was SOOO wonderful! I love and miss them so much, but know the mission is where I am needed right now. It was SO fun to see them and talk to them! I felt close to them even thought we are super far away. And, I got  to talk to Jakey in Peru for a bit too! YAY! He is doing great as well, don't worry! :)
















We taught the Primary class in church yesterday too, and they sang in a video for my mom :) There are only about six kids in Primary! haha! But they are so cute :)


Well guys, have a great week and I will talk to you all next week! Love you!

xoxoxoxoox Hermana Avery

To answer your question, yes, our electricity is back on, but there is no such thing as heating or air conditioning in Chile. At least we have lights and can take warm showers again :)

Dark and Cold (May 5, 2014)

From the Other Side of the Planet.... (May 19, 2014)
 
Hermans Giron and Avery with President Kahnlein
Chile Vina del Mar Mission


An awesome family in our local congregation

Happy Mother's Day from Denmark - 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: Clicking on highlighted words will link to additional information. Clicking on photos will enlarge them. Some names are omitted for privacy.)

Hey Mor,

Thanks for yesterday. It was nice to talk and see you all. I hope you had a great Mother’s Day. Seems like you are all doing great. Maren is graduating here soon, which is really crazy. How are the others doing? Everyone doing? Well?

The Rapseed plants are beautiful this time of year, and they are
everywhere! I stained my pants going in there.
Hope it was worth it!
This week was kind of like the past couple. We had about four appointments cancel on us, and it's usually no big deal. It happens. It's just that we only had six planned. But we were very blessed to get those two lessons, and they went well.

We had some time this week doing service, which I always love! We got to help someone move, and then we volunteered to help clean up an area owned by the city. It was some great publicity for the church. We had fun doing it as well, and that’s all that matters.

We also had a zone activity, and had a ton of fun with everyone. So that was great. We went out to talk to L**. I don’t remember if I told you about her, but she is a lady whose stepdad took her name off the records of the church when she was young. So now she wants get baptized again, which is great. I am excited. It's going to be in the next couple weeks. She is so great. She started smoking, so we just have to wait until she gets the green light from Salt Lake. And she needs a crane because she is about 160 kg and is missing a leg. She can’t walk, but she is ready to get baptized and receive those covenants back from her Heavenly Father.


This is supposedly the biggest ice cream in Denmark, but
it's nowhere close to the one I had in Copenhagen.
We also had a really great experience in church yesterday. The lady we helped move had been less active until recently. Yesterday she surprised us and came for the fourth week in a row, which makes her "reactivated."  She is a very nice lady with a fun little guy for a son. Anyway that was a tender mercy in itself.

I felt so blessed to have the technology we have, so that I could see your faces and hear your voices.  The technology we have is such a blessing in these days. I was very grateful to hear from you all.  It really gives me strength to keep going, and I am glad that you are all doing great.

Well, I didn’t get caught in the door or stuck in an elevator this week, so maybe next week. I love you all. Have a great week. Work hard and have fun. Remember to be thankful for the blessing we receive daily.

Med Kærlig Hilsen,

Ældse Madsen

We Are a Team (May 5, 2014)

MTC Group Reunion (May 19, 2014)

These are the only guns I've seen in Denmark, and I'm pretty
sure they are older than America.