Monday, June 30, 2014

Book of Mormon: What? Who? Why? How? - 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.

Why do we need the Book of Mormon?
Unlock the treasures of the Book of Mormon
Who is in the Book of Mormon?
What is the Book of Mormon?
Hola Mi Familia!!

This week FLEW by. I can't even believe I am sitting here typing yet another email. This past week was jam packed with so much good stuff... Meetings, trainings, Temple, tours, finding, teaching, activities, laughter, exhaustion.....all of it.

We had district meeting earlier this week. It went well. Because we are all "experienced' missionaries... our trainings are designed to fine tune our skills. So we practiced a lot. It's becoming more like a game now. I enjoy practices...sometimes...

Friday we had Preparation Meeting. That's when I get to give weekly trainings. This week we talked a lot about practicing. So we split up into groups and went around the Visitors' Center (VC) practicing different situations that we face all the time. It is really fun to apply the training and see what kind of miracles come out of it. I absolutely love the VC because I get to testify all the time, and be the facilitator of miracles and introduce the Spirit. I feel like a spiritual nurse attending to the needs of spiritually struggling people. It feels great.

Friday we also had a Noche de Hogar con nuestra rama (Family Home Evening with our Branch). It was about the Book of Mormon. The challenge for the month of July in our ward was to read the Book of Mormon daily and to write our testimonies in the cover of the book and give it away. We were planning to do this small, little activity, but the Branch President's wife made these professional invitations, so we thought we needed to 'step up our game.' So we did our research of fun Book of Mormon games and, I guess you can say, we kind of went over board. We did this activity called, "Unlock the Treasures of the Book of Mormon." The Book of Mormon is a rare treasure. But it means nothing unless we study and know what is inside. So our activity helped them discover the Book of Mormon by helping them answer these four questions:

1) What (What is the Book of Mormon?)
2) Who (Who is in the Book of Mormon?)
3) Why (Why do we need it?)
4) How (How can we know it is true?)

We made cute little candy gold plates, by gluing two golden Hershey nuggets to black construction paper, then gluing a white paper with a scripture over the chocolate. Then we put a red ribbon in the middle. I'll send a picture. Unfortunately, not a lot of people went, so our branch president asked us to present it in the 5th Sunday lesson. So fun. HE LOVED IT! And the people who went loved it.

While we were there, we got a call from sisters in the VC. A family had gone into the VC looking for their ward (non members). THEY LIVE IN OUR AREA!! We went to their home the next day to meet them. Mom, Dad, four kids (3 over the age of 8). We found out that they lived in Mesa two years ago and started going to church, then they moved to another state and couldn't find a church building, so they didn't go. They just recently moved back and want to go to church! We invited them to church, and they showed up 15 minutes early to meet the members!! They went to ALL three hours. At the end the dad said that he LOVED it and wants this for their family. We set up a return appointment and hopefully we will be able to help them be baptized. The members are AWESOME!! They have a few daughters young women aged, and the young women leader invited them to a breakfast activity this morning... THEY WENT!! So good!

These members are so willing to help. We are seeing miracles in this branch... little by little, they will be a ward again!! I love this area!!!

Being a missionary is great! The church is true!! If you don't believe me, pray about it!

Have a super week!!!

Love,

Hermana Jeppson

Things I've Learned  (June 23, 2014)

Exhausted, but SO Happy! (July 7, 2014)

Fireside and S'mores - 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.

Our Fireside :)
Well, this week I will be starting my second year on my mission. That is a very unreal experience, (or will be anyway) when I have my anniversary this Thursday. To kill all of the cliche things that other people say, IT DOES NOT FEEL LIKE I LEFT JUST YESTERDAY! It feels like a solid year, to say the least. It's been a very good and successful year, filled with lots of fun, scriptures, crying, guinea pigs, llamas, moto taxis and Spanish.

I am eternally glad for the decision I made to go on a mission, and even more for my awesome family who gave me the opportunity and ability to serve. Looking back over the year, there are three important things I've learned that stand out to me as more important than anything else.

1. The Church is true. No duh, but really, the importance of this statement can't be overlooked. As we consider this statement, we recognize that God has revealed His gospel to His children repeatedly throughout history, in a very perfect and organized structure. His church on Earth is an appendage of the same organization that exists in Heaven. That structure was organized though an ignorant young man named Joseph Smith. Can you imagine that he was 25 years old when the church was organized, and had the education of an 8th grader? My point is that God knows how to make us happy and successful, and He continues to reveal these things through revelation. The prophets and apostles He has called today are as vital as those He called during his ministry on Earth. His Gospel gives us all the information we need for our Salvation and happiness. The Church of Jesus Christ or Latter-day Saints, organized in 1830, is the same that existed in ancient times, the meridian of times, and the same organization that exists in heaven.

2. Families are made to last forever. God has a family, and he desires that we have the same joy that He has experienced. So He has put us into families and has given us the ability to create our own families. God is our loving Heavenly Father, and His family is His work and His glory. The same can be with us, if we put off the natural man and become saints. Our destiny is to create eternal families and dwell with them and with God for all eternity. When we align our lives better with God's commandments, the Spirit will deepen our understanding of this important truth.

3. The Holy Ghost is real. Just as real as God the Father, who is the personage of the Holy Ghost. He is sent by God to guide, help, illuminate and comfort us in this mortal life. We receive a right to His constant companionship when we promise to keep God's commandments and are washed from sin. It is Him who testifies of truth, so that we may feel powerful testimonies and have a conviction of the truth.

Well that's enough sermonizing for one day, haha :) I've also made a list of things for you guys to do if you get "trunky," to help remember me. (You can do one per month!)

1. Listen to the All-American Rejects
2. Grow out your hair and style it like Mufasa
3. Eat at McDonald's
4. Play basketball and throw an air-ball
5. Cite obscure Old Testament references 
6. Wear black skinny jeans
7. Talk about Maryland
8. Watch a season of the Walking Dead
9. Spin in circles while playing guitar
10. Listen to Muse
11. Be too cool to laugh at anything that is really funny
12. Look at a Mexican :)

Yes, you can also send mail to Elder Martinez. I think that'd be awesome! By the way, I got cards from Echo Acres and from Nantucket Drive. Please let them know how much that meant to me!

In my agenda, I made a little picture for the 4th of July. I drew an American flag and wrote 'merica. That will probably be the extent of my celebration this year.

I haven't been into the World Cup. Elder Uceda (from the Area) said that World Cup cannot affect the work. Our area is the highest baptizing in the world, and my mission is one that the Quorum of the Twelve are looking at as a model for missionary work. Unfortunately, I'm in the zone that baptizes the least in the whole mission, and I'm in the hardest area of the hardest district. But I'm not accepting that as a reason to be discouraged. Onward!

I memorized Matthew 6:25-33 to share with everyone in my area. I literally memorized the whole, darn thing. Only took me three days ;)

We were going to do a fireside, but there was a torrential downpour. Yes, a literal fireside. It rained a whole lot so everyone thought it had been canceled, but about 20 faithful people came anyways, haha! We used candles instead of building a fire, and I taught them how to make smores. We had thin cookies (because there are no such thing as graham crackers here) and everyone was asking, ''Are you going to pass out the cookies?'' No, you novices, these are to put around the marshmallows!

Well, that was my week.Thank you sooo much for everything :) I love you all! Don't forget to read your scriptures. See you in a year or so :P

Love, Elder Avery

The Book is Blue (June 23, 2014)

8 Sol Hamburger  (July 7, 2014)



We Never Walk Alone - 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.

We walk and walk and walk, but we never walk alone :)
Hello family and friends!

How are you guys?!?! We are starting to freeze again here in Chile! haha! Its weird to be cold when I know you guys are all nice and warm and prepping for 4th of July this week! WOOHOO! USA! :)

Well, we had a crazy week this week. First off, we had interviews with the mission president this week. All went well! We passed cleaning inspection :) We are just working our tails off now to have some baptisms before the end of this transfer! We have about two and a half weeks left, and have 6 people who can be baptized right away! Pray for us, PLEASE! But especially, pray our investigators!! :)

We also had some great Family Home Evenings with the members and recent converts in our ward this week! We are trying to strengthen the families in the ward here and help them keep the testimonies that they have. We are getting there!

We are freezing our buns off here too! We heard about the fact that Chile lost to Brazil and is out of the World Cup now.... darn it! But, it has been super fun to be here during the World Cup and hear EVERYONE cheer for Chile! And, it's great news to hear that the USA is still in the World Cup. VAMOS USA! :)

Well, I really can't think of a whole lot more that happened this week, other than the fact that I wore through my shoes, haha! It goes to show that we are walking like crazy here. There is no stop to the work!

Well guys, I hope that you all have a great week! I love you all sooooo much and miss you all like crazy! Happy year mark to Jakey on the 3rd! :) And happy 4th of July to all of you too! I love you! Talk to you next week! :)

xoxoxoxoxo Hermana Avery

Chi-chi-chi-chi-Le-le-le-le!  (June 23, 2013)

My Yoke is Easy  (July 7, 2014)


Flying in 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!!!

HOW ARE YOU ALL DOING?

Last week was pretty good. We had a conference with our Mission President and I learned a lot of new stuff! Me and my companion are happy and just working hard.

So we have seen a couple of miracles. I will tell you about one. The other day we were contacting people in the street...that day we only had about 5 contacts, then it started raining. And when it rains here, it pours!! We said a prayer that we would be able to hit our goal that day of contacting 20 people. As we started walking, the rain calmed down to just a light drizzle. The second we hit our goal, I heard thunder... then it started pouring again!! The streets were rivers in seconds. But I was happy we hit the goal!

I will attach some photos from this week! Know you are all in my prayers and I love you all!

Elder Burgess

Transfers (June 16, 2014)

Circles  (July 14, 2014)



Prayers Drive the Work - 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 links to additional information. Some names are omitted for privacy. Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.)

I found some sunglasses!
Mor! og menneskenes børn, haha! (Mother, and the children!),

I can’t believe that Nate hit his year mark this week, then Jake next week. Like, it’s crazy how fast everything is going! I can’t believe that Bree is going to be freaking 17 years old. I can’t believe it. I forgot Robert got home. Wow, I feel like he just left, and I was home just waiting to leave on a mission. Is Jodi back? Well, that’s way good that Maren is doing well. It’s about time she finds something she likes and that she is doing well. Anyway, great stuff. 

This week was so great. We were so blessed. To start off, we were on splits with Elder Hafen and Elder Pitcher,  just exchanges for a day. It was so much fun. We had some great things happen. We started to talk to each other on this hill going back to the train station because we were in Hobro, a city about 15 minutes train ride away from Randers. While we were talking, Elder Hafen was mid-sentence and I had this really strong feeling to talk to this lady as we walked by. So we did.

My new shoes, Eccos, should last me the rest of my life.
 The first thing we said to her was that we were missionaries. Then we asked her if she believes in God (which was unusual....I try not to be that blunt at first right off, but it felt right). We talked for a bit, and she at first did not seem very positive and stuff, then we talked about the Book of Mormon and bore testimony of it. Her eyes lit up, and she said that she wanted to read it and that she would love a copy. So we gave her a book and a card with our phone number on, in case she has questions. It was way inspiring. The Lord knows his children.

We met with T** and V**. It was a great appointment, but we still did not invite him to be baptized. We didn't understand why at first, but then we started to talk to him about prayer and he had questions about it. So we committed him to pray about the church and about the Book of Mormon.

Then, on Sunday, he and V** came to church. It was great! They talked to people after church, and the branch just took them in.

After that, we met with M**. He lives in Grenå, which is about a 2 hour train ride away, 2 and half by bus, or about 1 hour by car. But, Elder Hicks drove us, so it took an hour and a half, just kidding! We met with M** and it went so great. He loves learning about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel. We invited him to be baptized, and he said he would if he finds out that it is true.

After that, we had this great opportunity to meet with B**. She is a friend of the ladies in strikker klub (the knitting club) and the B** family. They had us over to teach her in their house. She talked about how she wants to have a feeling of peace in her heart all the time, like she has when she is with the ladies from strikker klub.

We talked about Joseph Smith, but more importantly about God's love and the Holy Ghost. She asked about how she can know if it's true or not. So, we told her that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that all we have to do is pray to find out if it’s true, and He will tell us through a feeling of peace and through the Holy Ghost. It was a very good lesson, the Spirit was so strong, and the B** family bore testimony the whole time and shared their conversion story. Member missionary work makes the work move forward in a powerful way. We will meet with her again this week, on Thursday, and find out how her praying went.

Great week! So many blessings. I am so grateful for our Heavenly Father’s love and the things this area has been blessed with. But I'm even more grateful for the blessings He sends to us (His children) here. The Lord is so mindful of each of his children. He knows us perfectly, and I was able to see a glimpse of that this week. I am so happy with for opportunity I have to serve here, in Danmark.

I hope that we will all continue to express our gratitude to our Father in Heaven for the blessings we receive, continue to remember alt som han har gjort for os (all He has done for us)!

Mom, I love you. Have a great week. Thank you for your prayers and love. Prayers drive the work for us missionaries every day. We feel them as we see the work of the Lord progress.

Med Kærlig Hilsen

Ældste Madsen

Weakness Can Become Strength (June 30, 2014)

Lots of Work in Randers  (July 13, 2014)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Things I've Learned - 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.

(Note to reader: Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them. Some names are omitted for privacy. Highlighted words link to additional information.)

Queridos Amigos y Familia,

It has been quite the week. First of all, good job Dad on your talk! Mom mentioned that you talked about the story with me working with one of Jake's friends in Peru. Did I tell you that story? Jake told him that I was his girlfriend, and when he asked me if that was true, I just had to roll my eyes. That's Jake for ya. It's a little tricky because they're in Peru, and I am here, and I'm only on Facebook at certain times. I am teaching someone in India, Africa, Peru, Canada, Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, and I had one in Panama, but he's not progressing anymore.

The only reason I get to teach those people is because I'm a Visitors' Center (VC) missionary. Facebook and Mormon.org are some pretty good finding sources.

This transfer is nuts. I haven't even fully unpacked yet. We haven't had time. We have been all over the place. Since transfer meeting, we have been in a meetings every day. I didn't even know that leaders had this many meetings. Tuesday we had two, Wednesday we had three (two of those were transfer meetings), Thursday we had one, Friday we had preparation meeting with all the VC Sisters (I gave a training), Saturday we had one, and Sunday we had one. Tomorrow it starts all over again, but this week won't be as crazy. There is so much to remember, I am one side of the brain and Sister Orr is the other side. The reminder app on the iPad is a lifesaver.

Preparation meeting was my first thing since I became a trainer. We prepared trainings and then trained the VC sisters. And guess what, president came. He hasn't come to a preparation meeting since Christmas. It was a little scary. But it went well. Oh man, and there is so much pressure. I feel like everyone is watching me now.  But hey, it's all good. The Lord calls the weak. That's me. Weak. What makes me strong is the atonement. The only reason we have success is because we are not the ones in charge. God is in charge. And that's the way it will be.

My companion is awesome. We have been out about the same amount of time, and she has a "get it done" personality. We are two white blondes walking the streets of the most ghetto part of Mesa, speaking Spanish. We are quite the sight. Today, we went to Rancho Market (a Mexican food market) and, oh my goodness, you should have seen the looks that we got.

I love my new area! It's a little Ramita (branch). Our area is right by the temple. We can see the temple from our back porch. There are two Spanish branches in this stake, Liahona 3 and Guerrero Park (us).


A year ago they were one ward, and then they split into two branches. It caused some hurt feelings. This area is so big, but it is completely filled with less active members. If all the less actives came to church, we could have two wards instead of two branches. I think a reason why they split, is to do just that... Reactivate the less actives. The branch members weren't a huge fan of the missionaries, but Sister Orr completely turned that around. This is her third transfer here, and she spent a lot of the past transfers mending those relationships. On Sunday, they asked the new missionaries to bare their testimonies, there were two of us. We went right after the first speaker, and since their wasn't a second speaker, I knew I had some time. I started out by talking about how excited I am to be in the branch, and talked about how Sister Orr told me that this branch was filled with the most faithful members. I shared the experience I had with P** and P** and how the Book of Mormon changed their lives, and then I bore my testimony. President got up after, and told the congregation that they had some of the best missionaries. A HUGE compliment. It was a great Sunday.

We also have had some pretty amazing miracles. We are teaching a 16 year old girl. She is amazing. I love her to death. She is Catholic, but recently has been questioning her beliefs. I'll have to share the story another time... But last night she prayed and said she felt good, which is a huge mile stone.

Also!!! Some exciting news... In my very first area, we were teaching an 18 year old boy. He was struggling so much. We taught him a lot, but he never got baptized, and he and his family ended up moving to another area. His name is J**. I got a call from the sister missionaries in his area the other day, and instead of hearing their voices I heard his!! I almost started crying when I heard his voice. This is what he said, "Guess what! I'm getting baptism [baptized] (that's not a grammar error) and you better be there." I was so happy!! There is a member (the ward mission leader) in the ward that kind of took him under his wing. I am so happy!!

I have learned so much in these few days... So much... Can't even believe it... Being a missionary is the hardest things I have ever done. I have never been pushed so much in my life. Pero vale la Pena, but I have never experienced this much happiness in my life. A lot of the messages in transfer meeting were about how this is preparation for marriage and life. And I'm like... Psh, I'm gonna be a missionary forever. I'm never getting married... Just kidding, that's a lie. I'll get married sometime, because that's how we progress, and if I get so much joy out of watching my investigators progress, I wonder how much joy I could have watching my own children progress.

Things I have learned on my mission:

- The Lord keeps his word (D&C - I will hasten my work in its time). It's time, and it's not slowing down.
- My view of life has changed. Life is really short, we should live it to the fullest.
- I have learned how to live life to the fullest, the hard part is going to be actually doing it.
- God is real. I have never felt His presence so strong.
- We are weak, but with The Lord, we are strong.
- I have gotten to know the three different people in the Godhead a little bit better.

The mission is great, I love it so much. Thank you for your prayers. They really help a whole lot! Have a great week. The church is so true.

Quote of the week: "You can't fake it."

Love,

Hermana Jeppson

Didn't See THAT Coming! (June 16, 2014)

Book of Mormon: What? Who? Why? How?  (June 30, 2014)




De la Costa de Virginia - 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.

Hola!

How are y'all? I didn't email the week before, but it was a rougher one. Not a ton of success from first glance. This week took things for a major turn and has me heel clicking all the way down the streets of Newport News!

Yesterday we had three investigators at church. E** and M** were there, and then N**, our new investigator came to church with his wife. They're from Belize. His wife, C**, was baptized in the church but has been inactive for years. This was her first time back in a very long time. N** said that he really liked church and that he would keep on coming every week. When I hear that, I just want to call up a mariachi band and start a big fiesta with piñatas. Maybe some potential investigators would show up to the fiesta, too! Haha!

But it was amazing! A couple hours later, a member went and picked them both up from their house in his tiny truck and we had dinner. N** and C** got along well with the members and we had a great lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At the end of the lesson, N** committed to be baptized on July 12th! You should have seen me last night. Whoo! We are very excited. It's going to be a busy next couple weeks trying to teach all the commandments and helping him to live all of them, too. We will be trying to arrange a marriage in the midst of it, too. This is no small feat, but we have faith that the Lord loves them and that the ways will open up for them to take this big step in their lives.

Everything else is going great. We're having lots of fun! We went to Williamsburg last week and we went disc golfing this morning. I'll get pictures to y'all once I get my camera! We might be going out to a lake with a buried church from Civil War days, so we're just having lots of fun and loving the growth from the mission.

I'm about in the middle of the Book of Mormon right now. I'm reading it in Spanish right now and I've seen my Spanish improve quite a bit as I've been reading out loud and understanding a ton more as well. I love the middle of Alma because it talks a lot about the sons of Mosiah and their missions. A lot of their records are bringing up the same exact feelings that I get as I teach and find people every day. It's pretty awesome. Aaron's account with his teaching King Lamoni's father had me feeling that same excitement and joy that I feel as I teach others about the Savior and prayer. Watching someone repent and change is something that just brings me so much happiness.

I love you all. I hope that all of us keep pressing forward this week!

Con todo mi amor,
Elder Remund

Summer Days in Virginia (June 9, 2014)

Miracle in the Heart of Independence Day Celebrations  (July 7, 2014)

Chi-chi-chi-chi-Le-le-le-le! - 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: Some names are omitted for privacy. Highlighted words link to additional information. Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.)

Hermanas Avery and Giron

Hola, family and friends!!

We had a crazy fast week this week! I will try to sum things up pretty quick here, since we don't have a ton of time. Here is the gist of what happened :)

First off, as you all know, we are in the middle of the World Cup right now, and well, CHILE is rocking it! haha :) I heard my good ol' USA is doing well too :) woohoo! As missionaries, we can't watch the games, but you can hear it from the streets when Chile scores, LOL! The first time it happened, it scared me so bad! There is literally NO ONE in the street because they are all watching the game, it's completely silent.... and then..... "GOOOAAALLLLL!!!" haha! Literally, it's like the whole country of Chile is asleep and when Chile scores, the whole world wakes up. It's a really cool sensation! :)

So yes, they have won both of the games that they have played, and they are in the middle of playing Holland as I write you this email, haha! Not sure who is winning, but I hope things are going well :) Hermana Giron and I wear Chile t-shirts and paint out cheeks with red, white, and blue Chilean flags when Chile plays. The Chileans love it! :) Of course, we have our jackets over top to look like missionaries, dont worry!! haha!

We are still preparing the M** and N** family for baptism, although they are going through some difficulties. Please keep them in your prayers! They are progressing, but Satan really tries to destroy families, especially when they are progressing in the gospel....UGH! I wish he would just "take it easyyyyy!" haha! But seriously....get outta here!

Othen than that, we are getting ready for interviews in our apartments with the mission president again this week. We have to clean like crazy, haha! It should go well. Our apartment is like a 5 star hotel! We are just working like crazy and trying to enjoy this super warm weather we are having! I feel so close to you all right now because it feels like summer, even though here in Chile, it's winter! :)

Well guys, I hope that you all have a great week! Pray that the M** family's baptism happens this Saturday! We are praying and fasting like crazy! Thanks for all the love and support everyday. And remember, the way to a Chilean's heart is brownies :) They FLOCK to the church!! Talk to you next week! Love you!!

xxoxoxoxo Hermana Avery

Visit from Elder Robbins  (July 16, 2014)

We Never Walk Alone  (June 30, 2014)

The Book is Blue - 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.

Well,we contacted a lot. Again. It's okay though because people are beginning to accept the invitation to be baptized. Our President told us that he doesn't want any more baptismal dates falling through, so we need to put the dates a little farther back, and Elder Oaks said that we need more baptisms and more converts, and that one cannot affect the other. To explain that, it seemed that the mindset in the South American missions was show the Catholics that they have been baptized incorrectly and need to be baptized again. So, two weeks after meeting the missionaries, people would get baptized by someone holding priesthood authority, then they'd never go back to church again. Elder Oaks said that they need to be converted before being baptized, and we still need more baptisms. This just basically implies that we need to be REAL missionaries.

One of the families we are teaching is an older couple. The dad is 78 years old and the wife is elderly as well. M** (that's the dad) was going to a church in Caraz a year ago (which is where our church is!), but their preacher got sick and went to Lima. They haven't heard from him or had church services since then. It's amazing to witness first hand how a church without priesthood authority can become extinct so quickly. We talked about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and they really liked it. They accepted a baptismal date for July. Woot! We just need to look up their four kids and get their families on board too.

A lesson learned this week is that Satan is very tricky. He will do very simple things like put you in situations to waste time. We had one day where we decided to help members paint, then we had one of those really long street contacts. Before we knew it, we had wasted the whole afternoon. Not that it was a complete waste, but it was surely not the potential we have as missionaries. Just remember, use time wisely. You can't buy it, borrow it, or reuse it. I think that I definitely wasted more time at home, and when I think of all the other things I could have done, it makes me wish I had done some other things.

To not bore anyone, I'll end there. Well, the Church is true and the Book is blue. Have a great week!

P.S. Lindsey told Hyrum that we're not actually together. I don't know why she'd lie to him about that ;) </3 hahaha!

(Background to this story: Elder Avery made friends with a boy in his first area named Hyrum. A couple of weeks ago, Hermana Lindsey Jeppson, who is Elder Avery's neighbor and friend from home, started teaching Hyrum's friend in Peru over Skype, email and Facebook (she is serving in the Mesa Arizona Mission, speaking Spanish, and also serves in the Mesa Temple Visitors' Center AND is a Facebook missionary). When Hyrum shared this with Elder Avery, Elder Avery said, "Actually, Sister Jeppson is my girlfriend. We are getting married." When Hyrum asked Sister Jeppson about this in their next lesson, Sister Jeppson said, "He wishes I was his girlfriend!")

The True Nature of Meat (June 16, 2014)

Fireside and Smores  (June 30, 2014)


Weakness Can Become Strength - Elder Kolby Madsen

Written by Elder Kolby Madsen, serving in the Denamark 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 additional information.)

Mor!

Things are going swell. I love it here. We had a great week, and things with Elder Howland are going great. Man, I missed Youth Conference. That was always the best time ever. I can’t believe that Lex got her call to Chile. Like, everyone is in Chile. Holy Cow. We need some more Scandinavian missionaries. That’s crazy cool. I am excited for her. It will be a great experience for her. Maren just better not get called to speak Spanish. It's lame everyone is Spanish speaking. I think she should go to Sweden. That would be fun for her. That’s so cool about all the mission calls, just as the Lord needs it. The more out, the stronger they are when they get back, and the more we can send out in the future. It's a great cycle, and it’s exciting to see the growth in the world.

We have had some great thing happen this month in our mission. We have had a fast for the past 49 days (each companionship fasts for one day). We have had 22 people reactivated and 9 people baptized in two months. That's very, very unusual here in Denmark. It’s great to see the work moving forward. I really enjoy it.

This week we have had some great opportunities to meet with a couple of people. The summer months in Denmark....I guess I just forgot what it was like last year. The sun goes down at 10:40 p.m. and comes up at about 4:15 a.m.  Last night was the longest day of the year, but it’s just wired seeing only sun. Især (especially) when I was in Herning, there was a total of 19 hours throughout the whole winter that we had the sun up and showing, haha! Just crazy, I love it.

We went to visit T** and V** this week. It went great. They had done their reading and stuff. We had a great lesson on prayer and why we do it. We are hoping to get T** to schedule a baptism date this week, which would be the highlight of my mission. This man is so prepared, but we will see how it goes. The Lord has His plan, and people have their agency.

This week we did a total of 15 hours of service for 4 different people. Service is defiantly the way to get people to see your work ethic, plus they can see that we mean it when we say we are willing to serve them. This area has picked up so much in service hours! I am so grateful I can be a part of it.

On Saturday we didn’t have much planned, so we were doing our studies, and on days we don’t have any lessons planned, I try to pray for help to study for those people we will come in contact with that day. I pray to have the Spirit with me so I will learn about what those around me need. During my study, I read in the Book of Mormon and then in the Liahona. There was a talk titled, "Challenges are Blessings," and I really enjoyed it. Right after studies, Elder Hicks (senior missionary) called us and said he wanted us to stop by L**'s home (a lady who is getting baptized) to see how she's doing with not smoking.

When we got there, she invited us in with a cigarette in hand. She tried to hide it, but then she just said that it is so hard to stop smoking.  I still had the Liahona in my bag, and that article I'd been reading earlier popped in my head. So we gave a little lesson about how, in life, we have challenges and we have weaknesses, and that we should look at them as blessings. Then we talked about Ether 12:27 (my favorite scripture), and told her that our challenges are allowed by God. He allows us to have challenges so that we can humble ourselves and come closer to Him. Through our faith and humility, our weakness can become strength.

That experience was an answer to the prayer that our studies would be useful to those around us, even though we did not have anything planned. It was definitely a blessing and (again!) another witness of following the Spirit. I am so grateful for my mission, the things I have learned, the blessings that I have received, and the blessings to others I can see through the Lord's work.

I love y’all! Have a great week, keep up the great work, and have a great summer!

Ældste Madsen

Holy Days (June 16, 2014)

Prayers Drive the Work  (June 30, 2014)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Visit from Elder Robbins - 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 link to additional information. Some names are omitted for privacy. Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.)

Hermana Hannah Avery
Hello family and friends!

We had a crazy week this week! First off, I want to apologize for not writing anything last week.... I got a little too distracted with missionary things and forgot to write! LOL! My bad. But, here is the email for this week :)

We had our whole mission meet together on Tuesday in Viña del Mar to listen to Elder Lynn G. Robbins. It was AWESOME! We really felt the Spirit for sure. We thought that he would talk about how we can be better missionaries, improve the mission, etc....but no, he basically talked about marriage the WHOLE TIME, haha! There are a lot of missionaries going home in the next month or two, so I think he was putting the pressure on them :) I am happy to not have to think about that for another few months!

Chile Vina del Mar Mission

It was a great visit, and we got to take a picture with all of the missionaries from the entire mission this week too! It was pretty cool :) I got to see my cute Hermana Puertas again too, as well as Hermana Mori, Hermana Stewart, and Hermana Page! All of my companions in one place! :)

Hermanas Avery and Puertas
We have been working our tails off to try to keep things going with our investigators! We have seven people with scheduled baptism dates, and the M** Family is doing awesome! The dad, A**, has FINALLY started to quit smoking! Pray for him! He has gone four days without drugs or cigarettes. It's amazing. He just cut it all clean and hasn't done a thing since. If he keeps this up, they can be baptized NEXT WEEK! Pray for our investigators!! :)

We got SOAKED this week with the rain too! We used black trash bags one day to cover up because it was super sunny in the morning, and then BAMMM! RAIN! But seriously, it rained ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT and we were soaked soooo bad. And I fell and hit my head pretty hard in the stairs near our Ward Mission Leader's house... that wasn't fun. But I am okay, and we were just laughing like crazy all day long because we looked like a couple of soaked crazy girls walking all over the place. Gotta have fun when life rains on you! :)
My trash bag is very stylish!

Anyways, I know that this email is not super long, but know that I love and miss each and every one of you, and that I am so grateful for all of the love and support you give me everyday :) You all are the best! Have a great week and I will talk to you all next week! Love you!

xoxoxooxox Hermana Avery

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

Chi-chi-chi-chi-Le-le-le-le!  (June 23, 2014)

Monday, June 16, 2014

The True Nature of Meat - 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.

Elders Avery and Martinez, Peru Lima West Mission
Well because all of the people I've been teaching for a while aren't progressing, we've focused a lot on contacting. I think the English word is tracting. Anyway, my district leader came over on Tuesday for our first full day of contacting and it went well. He showed me how to approach people so that they recognize us as representatives of Jesus Christ instead of Americans with money who like to giggle. He also showed me how to handle a situation where the investigators aren't progressing, and how to get into the door of almost any house. I had a successful day with him.

We kept going hard all week, trying to get people to come to church, and trying to get them to pray and read their scriptures. When Sunday came, three less active members ended up coming to church! It's a lot better than zero, but hardly the seven investigators and eight less active members we were expecting. One less active member had told us she would go to church on Sunday, so I called her while we were waiting for her at the bus stop to see what was holding her up. She told me, "Because today is Father's Day, my dad says I can't go to church. But I will send my daughter." To give a little background, this woman is 37 years old and her dad is 70.... I told her that she should invite her dad to come with her, then they could be together at church on Father's Day. It didn't happen, but was worth a try  :)

It's not always easy being a missionary, but it's rewarding. I really love being a missionary, and I'm very ready to find a family of 12 to baptize this week, haha! We had two lessons last night with full families, and they both promised to read the Book of Mormon. So, we'll see how that goes.

My companion is awesome! He works hard! I think his mission must be tough because he's 21 years old and he's the only member in his family. His dad is actually a preacher for another church.

I learned how to make some Peruvian meat thing called pachumanca (they haven't discovered BBQ yet). So, there was a huge pot of dead pig and chickens with blood. My job was to (with my bare hands) distinguish a chunk of chicken and a chunk of pork and wrap it up in paper, give it to someone who wrapped it with leaves, and they gave it to someone to put in a hole in the ground where they had made an oven out of mud. It was difficult to tell what was chicken and what was pork. The chicken skin was the dead give-away because it is super goose bumpy. Plus, chicken bones are smaller than pig bones. It was very traumatizing. To beat all, they had no running water, so I got to wash all that yumminess off in a bucket. Yeah, buddy!! After working two years for McDonald's, I finally learned the true nature of meat in one night in Cochauain.

Well, that's a little taste of my adventure this week. We're praying hard for baptisms. If the sun sets on Saturday and there's no darkness, it means we got a baptism in Yungay!

I love you lots. Remember to not be a stinker. Just because someone else is a stinker doesn't mean you can be stinkier (that mostly applies to Jared). I miss you guys a lot. But, hey!! I'm almost half way home. Keep being good!

Elder Avery

Miracles Happen Everyday (June 9, 2014)

The Book is Blue  (June 23, 2014)

Holy Days - 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.)

They celebrate them (Mother's Day and Father's Day) here, but they are just not as big as we do it back home. Plus their Father's Day is during the week, so that is weird. They have three huge holidays and they are all about Christ, but they just use those days to party and get wasted. It's funny because we did service on one of the days of remembrance, and this guy said that we should be home resting. When I asked why, he said, "Because it's a hellige day (holy day)." The member who was with us is a really good friend with him, and she said, "If it's so holy, why are you drinking and having a party tonight?" I thought that was funny, and he just walked upstairs and smiled. But it's true that holidays, which actually began as "holy days" have become so bad around the world....not only in Denmark.

Well, this week we had some really great opportunities to go and visit some people. We also had a great zone conference and many other things.

We Met with K** again, and he had many questions. We had planned to teach about the restoration of the gospel, but it turned out being a lesson on the plan of salvation instead. He is great and has lots of questions. He said that all his questions were answered! Having lots of questions is better than just sitting and listening to me teach. He is searching for truth himself.

Later we we met with H**. He's very quiet, said he is having a hard time with life and doesn't have enough energy to talk about anything. He said he would like to learn, but he is just not feeling good. So we talked about music because I noticed that he had a guitar. He really started to open us, and he played us a song. It was awesome. He is very good. He's what is called a førtidspentionist (pre-pentionsist). They become pentionists here at the age of 55 (I think). For health reasons he can't work, and he finds it really hard to fill his time. He said he needs friends and stuff, and he wants a job but he can't just go and get one because the government won't help him. Well, we told him that as he reads and prays for help with finding something to fill his time, he will be able to get something to do. We told him that we will do our part to help him, but we needs to show his faith to the Lord. He said okay and then played a song for us in English. I really liked it.

The next day we had our zone conference, which was amazing. We are to studying about how to learn our mission language. It been going really well. One of the things that I have not been able to do very much is to speak Danish all day, every day, outside of the apartment. The best way to learn the language is to speak it. Well, Elder Howland is very good at that, so we have been doing it and our language skills have gotten better. We both enjoy the language and now we speak more Danish than English in our companionship.

Teaching in Danish during Zone Conference
At zone conference, President Serderholm had invited some people from the area. Usually we have our conference in English, but our focus was Danish this time. For the meat of our discussion, we had the opportunity to practice teaching some Danes. We taught our lessons in Danish and they gave us feedback. There were seven people who pretended to be investigators, except one really is an investigator who lives in Århus. His name is D**, and he is half Spanish and half Danish. He has met with the sister missionaries in Århus for a while, has read the Book of Mormon, and knows almost everything. After all of our practice teaching and stuff, D** stood up and said that he has always been amazed at how fast the missionaries pick up the language. He said that he could recognize that there were a couple grammatical mistakes, and if there were more he didn't catch them because the message speaks for itself.

Long story short, speaking the language (Danish) is important, but the language of the Spirit is more important. President stood up and asked, "D**, do you believe in God?" He answered with a big, Danish, "NO!! But I love to learn about this church."

As we went on, President invited all of the people we taught to come up and stand at the front of the room so we could thank them. I have never done this before, but we sang acapella, "I am a Child of God." Half way through, I started to realize that we sounded way good, især fordi (in particular, because) we did not practice at all. President just felt impressed to do it. At the end of the song everyone left except D**. He wanted to stay and hear the rest of the conference.

As the conference went on, President Sederholm talked about how there is a difference between tongue and language....like in the scriptures when it talks about how everyone will hear the gospel in their own tongue and language. The tongue is the mission language, and the language is the language of love and spirit. This was very interesting to me because I remembered when I was companions with Elder Zalewski. We were both relatively young in the mission....I mean, I was only out six months and he had only been here six weeks. We made it by and even had some really good things happen. I remembered back to how bad my Danish was, how bad my grammar was, and it hit me. That's the language of the Spirit! It's what made our companionship function. We both relied on the Spirit so much, and that was when things started falling into place.

On our way home after zone conference, we got a text from the Assistants to the President (APs) telling us that D** scheduled a baptismal date! He had felt something so strong during the song. I know that President Sederholm is a man called of God to lead this mission. I know that he is inspired. This was truly a miracle and we are all very happy to be a part of it.

I love you and hope you have a great week

Ældste Madsen

Journey of Life (June 9, 2014)

Weakness Can Become Strength  (June 23, 2014)

Transfers - 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.

Transfers!

So this week was the transfers meeting, and my companion from Panama, Elder Garrido had changes. I am in my same area with my new companion from....Panama, Elder Batista. Kinda funny because there are only two Elders from Panama in the mission!

Elder Batista and I have been working really hard! He is a great and funny Elder! So glad to be with him right now! I love this work! And my area is really fun! We have spent the week talking to every person we see in the street and helping our investigators understand more about the doctrine! We were so fortunate to have four investigators come to church Sunday! And we have a baptism the 28th of this month! I am so happy and excited! I love you all! And hope you have a great week!

Photo that is attached - Me, grilling at the Stake Patriarch's house in our ward as a goodbye dinner for Elder Garrido! Alot of fun! They looked at me with hamburger buns, and meat on the table and said, "Elder Burgess, you're from the USA. You know how to cook hamburgers," and then they gave me the spatula, haha!

The church is true and the sky is blue. Two facts that I know!

I love you all!

ELDER BURGESS

Hold to the Rod (June 2, 2014)

Flying in Mexico (June 30, 2014)

Didn't See THAT Coming! - 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.

Well... This week was pretty eventful. Humbling experiences all around. Plus it's transfer week, so there will be some changes. I guess I'll start with Thursday.

Thursday morning we were suppose to be in the Visitors' Center (VC). I woke up, rolled onto my knees and prayed. Sister Alcocer went into the bathroom and came back while I was praying. When I was done, I found her curled up on her bed moaning. She had just thrown up. She looked so miserable. So I called the VC and told them we weren't coming in. She got a really bad stomach bug. She spent most of the day on the floor, passed out, with a garbage can next to her head. Every 30 minutes she sat up and threw up, then went back to sleep. I studied in the dark for a solid 6 hours. I also disinfected the entire bathroom, and everything else that she touched. We also got a few phone calls from concerned missionaries. One of them was from Hermana Orr. She is a VC Trainer (usually there are two VC trainers, one Spanish and one English, but this transfer we had three. They are like APs, but instead of Assistants to the President, they are assistants to the VC Director. She called and asked how my companion was doing. We also got calls from other missionaries.

Around 3 p.m. we got a knock on our bedroom door. It was Sister Green (the member we live with), Sister Orr and her companion. Sister Orr said, "Come on, we're going on exchanges," So her companion stayed with my companion, while we went to the Visitors' Center. When we got there, I was asked to go to the director's office, only to find President Jenkins. He said, "Oh hi, Sister Jeppson, come on in and take a seat." Long story short, he called me to be a co-VC trainer with Sister Orr. He also released one of the English VC trainers and called another. So instead of there being two, there are four. The new English VC trainer and I will be solo next transfer.

He gave us the rest of the transfer news for the VC sisters, then after he left all four of us got together and started planning the VC schedule for this coming transfer. That was a headache. We had to split all the companionships into teams, then organize temple trips, district meetings, zone meetings, and other meetings, so that the sisters can still be on shift.

President told me not to tell anyone the transfer news, so I knew what was happening since Thursday. So, this next transfer I am going to Guerro Park with Sister Orr, and we will be VC trainers. I will probably be here until the end of my mission.

I think that these last few weeks have been preparation for this. As a VC trainer, we are responsible for training all the VC sisters, giving weekly trainings and training the rest of the mission about using the VC effectively. We also are a part of the mission leadership council.

It will be great.... Prayers would be appreciated.

Sister Alcocer is training!! The sister that I mentored through Facebook is coming in this transfer, and I think sister Alcocer will train her.... I'm going to be a grandma!!!

Anyway, I don't have much time because I have to pack. I love you all!!! Have a great week!

Hermana Jeppson

Fruit of Our Labor (June 9, 2014)

Happy Birthday, Sister 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.

I can not believe that 8 months ago today I was headed to the Provo MTC. This is literally FLYING by!

Mom sent me some money for my birthday and I bought myself a new outfit! It's super cute and I wore it to the interviews with President Cardenas on Thursday! Momma also sent me this necklace!

T** and her husband are progressing so well. They have such a huge desire to be baptized and are praying and fasting for the opportunity to be married legally. They study Principles of the Gospel each night and are always full of questions when we go over to their humble home. To get to their house we walk across a huge bridge that scares my companion everytime we walk on it. I think it's quite an adventure!






Our ward mission leader, Arnold, is always so willing to come with us to visits or to introduce us to his friends.





I had a really good birthday! My companion decorated my bed with paper balloons and confetti when I was in the shower, and made a yummy breakfast and "cake" out of bread and peanut butter! Then we taught some lessons and our bishop asked us to come to the Ward Council meeting at 3 o'clock at the church. So we went to our lunch appointment and the hermana wasn't there, so we went to the church hungry and decided that we would eat something at the house after the meeting. Well, there wasn't anyone at the church for the meeting except the bishop, and he was interviewing someone, so we waited for a little and were watching Mormon messages.

Then the Elders came and so we waited with them. Okay and when I say waited, maybe we partied a little bit....Then, a hermana came and asked us to come with her and.... SURPRISE!! They threw me a fiesta! haha! Elder Reyes has more pictures on his camera that I will send later, but it was so fun! We ate tostadas and tamales and had cake! Oh, the Mexican traditions are fun!! They have a tradition of biting the cake... I didn't want to, but they said just bite the frosting in the corner. I thought, hey it won't hurt anyone! So I bent down to bite the cake..... and.....

BAM! My face was pushed into it!!! haha! The sister behind me is Sister Jairu and she helped my companion shove my face into the cake. There is a first time for everything!

I was asked to sing in the other ward that meets in our building yesterday. It went well! And after church, cute Andrea came with us to a few visits! It POURED on us!!







Well that's all for this week. I am so happy to be a missionary, and I can't believe I am 21 years old! I couldn't think of a better place to be than here serving our Lord and Savior. I know He lives, and I know he loves me!


Thank you all for everything you do to support all of us missionaries!!

Love,

Hermana Oliphant

Raining, and raining....and raining! (June 9, 2014)

Nine Months in Mexico  (July 21, 2014)


Monday, June 9, 2014

Miracles Happen Everyday - 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.

So, this week was the long awaited transfers. Elder Aldana went to Lima and Elder Martinez was sent to save my life. Elder Martinez is a Guatemalteco, about 5'5'', 21 years old (my oldest companion yet), has been out for more than a year, and is a convert of 3 years. He's helped a TON already and has only been here for a week. He gets up on time, talks to everyone, and is really great at inviting the Spirit. I don't have a picture of him yet, but I'm sure you're imagining the wrong guy in your head so stop imagining now.

We have been able to schedule baptismal dates for the two sisters (again? YES!) and they went to Sacrament Meeting. We'll see if they follow through this time, but I'm a little more interested to see how things go with their brother, P**. He had work on Sunday, but I'm making sure he gains a testimony of the Book of Mormon and gets baptized.

One member who has been a terrible alcoholic made a miraculous recovery this week! We were in a member's store talking about where less active members live (can I just say, it'd be a lot easier if house numbers existed....) when this member's daughter came in. I asked her how her dad was and, to my complete shock, she said that he was sober and in the house. We went straight there and found the whole family together. We talked about making plans to get them sealed in the temple, then gave the dad a blessing to resist temptation. I prayed so hard everyday that he would control himself and not drink. We called them and visited them many, many times, and he hasn't drunk yet (or at least not much). They gave a really lame excuse for not going to church, so we visited them on Sunday and thankfully found the dad sober, so we watched The Lamb of God with him. I reminded him that he needs to go to church and talk to the bishop so he can take the sacrament like the Apostles.

Well, that's my week. To sum things up, the Church is true, prayer works, and miracles happen everyday. I love all of you and miss you guys too!! Have a great week!

Elder Avery

Mass Internet Outage (June 3, 2014)

The True Nature of Meat  (June 16, 2014)

Fruit of our Labor - 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.

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

Outing to the Mesa Temple
Hola familia!!

This was the greatest learning experience week ever. Sometimes, when things aren't progressing the way I think they should, I try something different, then something happens. It's almost like the Lord says, "Be patient, Sister Jeppson, I know what I am doing."

Lately we have been working on finding. There have been times when we have spent 3 hours finding. Sometimes we have success, but most times we don't. We have been walking around some apartment complexes and people's reactions when they see us is almost hysterical. They make some crazy dodges, and a lot of the time they won't even make eye contact with us. It is as though they see us as something that will cause them harm. I have been thinking about why people do that. Then the thought came. I thought of our purpose as missionaries (which we recite everyday):

"Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."

The part that stands out to people is the word "repentance." No one likes to be told that they are doing something wrong. And as missionaries, we call people to repentance everyday. Both directly and indirectly. I can see why they dodge us.

When we hear the word "repent," we feel shame and guilt, so rather than facing it, we hide from it. When we know that we need to repent, the natural man says, "You don't need to repent. It wasn't even that bad." We are ALL human beings, we ALL make mistakes, and we ALL need to repent. It's the natural man that holds us back. We hold ourselves captive from true happiness and joy. The atonement of Jesus Christ can free us from those feelings. We have access to the healing power of the atonement through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Repentance really means change.

God knew it would be hard for us, so he gave us commandments to serve as our guides. I recently read a talk from the General Conference by Elder Robert D. Hales. Here is a quote that I liked:

"Obedience brings blessings, and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. Obedience is taught by example. By how we live, we teach our children, “Learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.” Obedience makes us progressively stronger, capable of faithfully enduring tests and trials in the future. Obedience in Gethsemane prepared the Savior to obey and endure to the end on Golgotha. My beloved brothers and sisters, the words of Alma express the feelings of my heart:

“And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto you that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him. And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times.”

Zone t-shirt: "Where is your baptism..."
"I bear my special witness that our Savior lives. Because He obeyed, “every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess … that he is [our Savior].” May we love Him so deeply and believe Him in faith so completely that we too obey, keep His commandments, and return to live with Him forever in the kingdom of our God is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

On a more up beat note.... we have seen the fruits of our labors this week.

1)  A few months ago we received a referral. We went by multiple times with no success. Last week, we went by with the intention to drop. She wasn't there. So we left a note on her door that basically said call us if you want to learn more. The next day she called us! Couldn't even believe it! We set an appointment and visited her. She is amazing. She accepted the invitation to be baptized, now we just have to set a date!

2) Sunday morning we were on shift at the Visitors Center (VC). There were only two companionships and a senior couple. Sister Ballard (the senior sister) came and got us because a man was requesting information about the nearest ward building in Spanish. When she gave us the address, I realized it was in our area. We went and found him and found out that he wasn't a member of our church, and that he came to the VC for Easter Pageant and has been looking for our church. We exchanged numbers and he came to all 3 hours of church!!

3) PEPE Y PATRICIA GOT BAPTIZED!! The biggest miracle of my mission. It was amazing. It was a little stressful to coordinate everything, but it went so well! President Jenkins even went! Brooke (sister DeMille) came down and spoke at their baptism. It was so good to see her again. On Sunday when they got confirmed, he actually wore a white short and tie! I couldn't believe that either! The ward accepted them and welcomed them. It was a great experience!

Great week!!!

Hope all is going well!!

I would love to hear from you all! I will try to write back as soon as possible!

Love you all!!

Love

Hermana Lindsey Jeppson

Hand Fans and Llamas (June 3, 2014)

Didn't See THAT Coming!  (June 16, 2014)