Monday, July 28, 2014

Service - 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, I have about 5 minutes left so I will make this a quick message. I got transferred to Fuertes. I am once again with my companion, Elder Araujo, from the Dominican Republic. We are the Zone Leaders here and it is way fun. Fuertes is in the heart of the authentic part of Puebla, with nice buildings and roads and hills. It is a nice area with nice homes. I am having a lot of fun!

Service project pictures- some sisters in our zone changed houses and we helped them move. The couch didn't fit down the stairs so we threw it out the window, haha! :) I love service!

This church is true! The sky is blue.

ELDER BURGESS

Transfers and More Hamburger  (July 21, 2014)



Pioneer Day and Tamales - Sister Lindsey Jeppson

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

Hola mi familia!!

So it has been a great week. We had transfers this week, and are you ready to find out what's gonna happen? Three English sisters went home, and three are coming in. I have known since Tuesday. President called us and asked us for our input, then a few hours later he called again and told us what was going to happen. This transfer isn't going to be as drastic as the last.

Ok, so here it is. I am getting transferred. My new area is Tierra Rica which is near my first area. I'm going to miss it here, but I'm excited to go to this branch.

My new companion is Hermana Castillo!! She is amazing!! Love her! She is from California but her family is from Guatemala.. She speaks fluent Spanish and English but I'm going to ask her to speak only in Spanish because my Spanish has really suffered. Sister Orr is staying in our area, but taking it full field. We were sad that we only got one transfer together. She'll go to BYU after, so we'll still be friends.

There are two Visitors' Center (VC) trainers now instead of four (which is how it usually is), me and an English sister. I'm SUPER nervous to do all the trainings and everything. But there is a reason why I am here.

Other than transfers, this week was super great!! Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we had pioneer story time at the VC to celebrate Pioneer Day and to get more traffic in the morning. It had a great turn out. The first day, there were almost 500 people. Sooooo many of them were children (my desire to have children has been cured, jk :). But seriously it was nuts. There were kids laughing, screaming, crying, running, climbing all over the Christus. So crazy.

La familia Lopez are so amazing. The dad lost his jobs and they were about to lose their apartment. So they decided to sell tamales and asked us to spread the word. So Sister Orr and I went crazy on Facebook. We sent messages to everyone. We got almost 70 dozen tamales ordered. They were so happy!! They woke up at 1:30 a.m.on Friday and started making them, we went over at 11 and started delivering them. We were just going to deliver the ones for the people who only spoke English, but they were so exhausted that we delivered all of them. We delivered tamales on and off from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Long day. We also got local wards to donate school supplies. They were so happy!!!

In the VC, one of my investigators who lives in India went to church! It is a huge deal because the nearest church building is two hours away from where he lives. My other investigator from Africa FINALLY got in contact with his local missionaries. Remember that sketchy guy that came in the VC last Sunday?? We will call him John. Well, he came in the VC twice during the week and both times I wasn't there! He left his number, and I called him. He came in on Saturday and we talked for an hour. He told me about his life. He had been clean from drugs since he came to the VC and he put himself in a 90 day program to help himself get back on track. I taught him the Restoration, sent the local missionaries, and invited him to church. HE WENT!! He is so great!!

Love you all! Have a super great week!!
Con amor,

Hermana Jeppson

Our Search for Happiness (July 21, 2014)










The Holy Matrix - 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.

Elder Mamani and Elder Avery
In the background of this photo you will see that Elder Mamani and I have created a plan to keep track of our work in this area. I have named it, "The Holy Matrix." I'm expecting great things to come of it!

You can really never say that you had a bad week while you're a missionary, but you CAN always say that you hope the next week will go better. We had a fantastic first half of the week. Our numbers were super high, we were teaching our investigators with baptisms scheduled, then the Lord decided that he wanted me to exercise a little more. So, we walked around and around and around the rest of the week. The bright side is, my calves are so toned right now. It's like I was playing in World Cup ;) 

I don't know what happened, but our appointments fell through so on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We had one appointment each day, despite being in the street for 10 or 12 hours a day.

While I was walking, I had time to think about why I was still feeling happy. Yes, I was walking like a lost zebra, but I was happy like a moose :) I explained to my companion that I was still happy because when I'm on my mission and working I feel like I'm doing something important. I think everyone wants to be important, or at least do something important. We want to do something and look back to see that that we did was worthwhile. On my mission, I feel like even my least productive days are days worth living because the effects of this work are Eternal. The blessings we receive for practicing and even teaching this Gospel last forever, while everything else in this world like culture, games, movies, studies, careers, houses, awards, toys, music, and money will end. How embarrassed would I be to admit to God that I didn't help hasten the work because I was with my friends, I was working, I was in school, or I was just tired?

I walked around in circles all day(s) talking to people that put all of these temporary things in the forefronts of their lives instead of where they belong, in the back seat. I am so grateful for the Gospel that the Lord restored through the prophet, Joseph Smith, and that I have the information I need in order to know the difference between what really is important and worthwhile to focus on in life, and what simply is not important.

What is important is improving ourselves and helping others come closer to Christ. The whole point of this life is to progress spiritually. The only way we can do that by having faith in Christ, repenting, making covenants and doing our best until the end. It's that simple.

Well, I love all of you and I pray for you people :) I wish you a great week and a great last month of summer while I'm enjoying my last month of winter. See ya! :)

Love, Elder Avery

Back to the Dust Bowl (July 28, 2014)

Bautismo! - Sister Hannah Avery

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

  Hola familia y amigos! :)

We finished another week! AHH! It was a busy and a very crazy one, but in the end, we had two baptisms! :) J** and M** were baptized on Friday and were confirmed members of the church yesterday. It was a really great baptism, and we made over 100 mini cinnamon rolls, brownies, etc for refreshment afterward. It all turned out great, and the Chileans LOVE cinnamon rolls, haha! It was awesome :) N**, the mom, said that she loved the baptism, and we are PRAYING that she will be baptized next! :)

We also had a little bit of a slow week this week since my companion has a plantar wart. She has been limping for a few weeks now and tried to tough it out until she gets home in 2 weeks to have it removed by the doctor. But she couldn't anymore because she's developing tendonitis from walking wrong (to keep pressure off the wart). So, last night at about midnight we removed her plantar wart and it's gone for good! She is still limping because she's cut the thing out of her foot, but we are hoping she will heal up quickly so that we can start walking at a fast pace again. We need to keep finding the people who are seeking the Gospel! :)

Other than that, we really didn't do much this week. Like I said, my cute companion has been in pain. Please pray for her and for our area so that we can find the people who are waiting for us, even though we are moving at a slower pace right now. I love you all soooo much and will talk to you all next week! :) I love you!

xoxoxoo Hermana Avery


PS: Scripture for the week: 1 Nephi 9:6: "But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen."  :)
View of my area


Caboose Toilet - 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.


Hej Mor,

Well that’s great to hear that Maren got there and back safe. I think she has made the trip as many times as I have now. Freak, that’s crazy. Yes, I got my package and the watch was in it. Thank you for that. The candy, spot on. I love and miss red dye number 4, haha! It was a running joke around here because Denmark has way weird candy. It's not artificially flavored = not as tasty, haha.

Well this week was a little crazy.  We had some great things happen. The first week in the area we went to a medieval festival, which was fantastic. We were able to go with a less active member and her boyfriend. We also went to his house and ate lunch. He has a beautiful home with a huge yard, and we told him that if he wants, we could come and do service. He took us up on the offer this week. I love service so much. I was on this ladder and re-cementing the peak of his home. It was way fun. I had never used cement before, but it was awesome.

I drive the train once a day and get to "blow the horn" :)
We went to meet with a friend named A***.  We knocked his door twice this week and there was no answer. We found out later that he was in the hospital and that he was requesting a visit from us, so we went and tried to meet with him. We found out he was in the psychiatric ward and when we showed up he was out cold, so we had to come back the next day. When we went back, he had been moved across town so we could not meet with him until Saturday. We finally met with him and he is doing great.  He has to meet with his doctors before he can travel because of his illness, so we met with him and talked to him about getting an education because it's free here in Denmark. So we talked to him about the importance of an education. He was very grateful for the feeling he got when he prayed. We suggested that when he is feeling sick, or just really flustered, to pray. He said that prayer brings balance back into his head. We're hoping to meet with him again this week.

Yesterday after church we had the chance to go eat with the recently released bishop (of six years) and his family. They are awesome. Both Brother and Sister Mathiasen are converts and they both have very inspiring stories. Sister Mathiasen’s story was exceptionally inspiring. She told us that one of the missionaries who knocked on her door and taught her went throughout his whole mission without hearing from her again. She got baptized after he went home, two years after he knocked her door. She said that when she went to the U.S. to visit, she looked him up and they had dinner. She said that when he met with her, he asked her if she was a member.  She told him that she is, has three kids, and her husband is the bishop of the ward in Aalborg. She said he began to cry a little because he went his whole mission without any "success."

When he found out that she had been through the temple, sealed and has three children in the church, he was just overjoyed. He then told her the story of how they knocked her door. He said he was just barely with his second companion in his training area. He was walking around thinking of who to visit when a name and address popped in his head. He said that he did not say anything to his companion because he was so young, and he didn’t want to sound weird. The idea came again, so he told his companion and they visited the house where Sister Mathiasen lived.

That was a huge testimony builder because that same thing has happened to us so many times. We get a little impression and so we go and act on it. Most of the time it’s just a little contact and things are great, but they don’t want to meet again (for now). But T** in Randers was one of those. We felt impressed to visit his girlfriend, V**, and now he is working towards baptism.

The works goes on. All we need to do is follow and listen. We need to have the faith to receive the revelation and inspiration. It comes no matter what. The faith and courage to follow is where the magic happens.

I love you! Have a great week.

Med Kærlig Hilsen,

Ældste Madsen

Happy Birthday, Elder Madsen! (July 21, 2014)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Our Search for Happiness - 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.

 Dearest Familia,

I can't believe Alec had his farewell! Sounds like a lot of young men are leaving now. That is so weird!  They still seem like little sophomores in high school to me. I can't believe Maren graduated and that Nadine, Braden and Sabrina are starting senior year! Time really does fly. Enjoy these moments, because they go in a blink of an eye.


Something we have started doing is taking more pictures to capture the memorable moments.

Things are as crazy as ever. The week has flown by, but as I think about what happened on Tuesday, it feels like that was an eternity ago.

Tuesday, we had our typical meetings. But we also had interviews. They were short, but good. When I walked in, the first thing President asked me was if I was ready to go solo as Visitors' Center (VC) trainer... Then he asked me about my concerns. He told me how my mission is a very, very small portion compared to eternity, but that the things I am learning will have eternal effects. He even started to tear up. It was a tender moment. He is like a second father to me. He really loves all of us missionaries so much.

Wednesday, we did service for one of our investigators. They don't own a vacuum, so they sweep their carpet. We went over with our vacuum and vacuumed the entire apartment. Then Sister Orr shampooed the carpet while I washed the base boards. Afterwards they gave use breakfast. We just got to know them and laughed. It was fun. We kind of lost track of time and showed up 30 minutes late to district meeting... It was bad, but worth it.

Thursday, we went on exchanges in the morning with some sisters. The sister I was with is just finishing up her second transfer. She is also Spanish speaking. She reminded me of me when I first got out, except she's more confident. We got to practice a lot of things. After that, we went on exchanges in our area with our Sister Training Leader. She goes home next week, so we were her last exchange on the mission. It was so much fun. She is a very bold missionary.

Friday, we finished our exchange, had prep meeting... Yup, that's all I can remember of what happened.

Saturday... More exchanges, and more meetings..we met with our investigators again. I think I named them familia Lopez. The parents have been in and out. They are super busy with work and things, so we have taught the children. The oldest two are 12 and 13. We reviewed the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation with them. And they got it! One of them said, "I can't wait for you to leave, so I can pray and ask God if it's true".... so cute!! (I didn't take it personally)

Sunday, we were supposed to have 12 investigators at church today (three families) but only one showed up. The others had some family emergencies. But it was a good day at church. We had some less active members come!! Miracle. We were on shift at the VC from 6-9. They are doing some renovations on the temple, so it's closed. This makes some people think the VC is closed as well... So the last week has been pretty slow.

Yesterday, I was at the front with Sister Cameron (director's wife) when this sketchy looking guy came in. I was about to leave, but I decided to stay with Sister Cameron, because she was the only one up there. He had to use the phone to call someone to come get him... As I overheard the conversation, I felt impressed to stay and give him a tour. So I waited for him to get off the phone. I talked to him for a while, and he had made some mistakes in his life and hit rock bottom. He is trying to find his way. I wasted no time, the second I got him seated in the room with the Christus, I asked if he had found God. He said no, but that he was looking for him. I proceeded to say that it wasn't a coincidence that he came to the Visitors' Center.  I played the Christus audio for him and he told me that the part that left the most impact was when Christ said, "For behold, I had suffered these things for all that they might not suffer if they would repent." After, I felt impressed to play the Prodigal Son. So as we were watching it, I went and got a Book of Mormon and the pamphlets and started highlighting and marking all the things he should study right away.

When he came out, I testified of the power of the atonement and began to teach kind of the restoration, plan of salvation, and gospel of Jesus Christ in 10 minutes. Just bits and pieces. I also told him that he is worth so much and that God loves him. He told me thank you and that there was a reason he came. He also said that he would be back in 5 days to the VC to learn more. It was amazing, God allowed me to feel the love that he had for this troubled young man. I know that God knows each and everyone of his children individual. I know that he LOVES his children so so so much.. I have felt it. Every time I see someone, before I muster up the courage to talk to them, I pray to feel the love that God has for them, and then I try to imagine them in white, in the temple.

There is definitely nothing like missionary work. I love it so much!!

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the True church. I was reading out of "Our Search for Happiness" by Elder M. Russell Ballard, and there is a quote that I would like to share:

"You can never do more for The Lord than He can do for you."

Being a missionary I hear a lot, "Oh, you are sacrificing so much, thank you for your service." I am sacrificing nothing compared to what I am getting. God blesses me so much and I have gained more than what I have given.

The reality is, I am on the downhill part of my time as a full time missionary. I am not wasting a minute. I feel such a desire to talk with everyone about the gospel.

I love you all, and I pray for you... you should all write me and tell me how you are doing... Braden, Taylor, McKinsey, Brycen....I love you bunches. I have pictures of you all so I don't forget what you look like ;)

Love,

Hermana Jeppson

Becoming Like Christ (July 14, 2014)

Pioneer Day and Tamales  (July 28, 2014)

The Good News Is....I'm Staying in "The News" - 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.

Bueno!

So, as you see in my subject, I'll be staying in Newport News for another transfer. Elder Barber and I are going for transfer #3 together. This will be transfer #5 for me here! I love it so much and I can't believe how lucky I have been to stay in my first two areas for such a lengthy amount of time. This assures strong ties for me and the members and the investigators that I've served with. I love them!!

I'm going to give an update on all our progressing investigators who are coming towards baptism in the next month or two.

E** and M** are going to get married this month! This came as a big surprise because they were insistent on December for a while. They're going to get baptized after their wedding. We are so excited for them. I am so blessed to see their conversion and faith. They changed the wedding to earlier because E** felt that it was a shame that they went to church every week and have to skip taking the sacrament.

J** P** is our new investigator and he came to church for the first time yesterday. He loved it and he ended up hugging a couple of the brothers after third hour. I think he feels at home being surrounded by faithful Hispanics who love the Lord. Good feelings there! The first week at church always makes me a little anxious because you never know what can go wrong. Our biggest focus for J** will be teaching the Word of Wisdom and helping him quit coffee and cigarettes. This is not going to be easy! But we have faith that the Lord will sustain him and the branch will help him in his struggles.

N** and C** are still working on getting papers from Belize so they can get married. They are now neighbors with some really solid members of the church, and the members are always over at their house. Cindy should be having her baby today! We will see! But they are loving the church so much, and the branch has been super supportive and loving to them at this exciting time in their life. Once they get married, N** will be baptized!

Amidst all the great things happening with our investigators, we've been planning and also done a little bit of partying as my birthday hit last Wednesday! As we say in Spanish: I completed 20 years!! Haha, the members have been giving us a lot of cake since they heard about my birthday. In fact, we're going to have some more cake tonight at E** and M**'s! I went to Red Robin with some birthday money and ended up spilling on a new tie I got from the family! Haha! Dry cleaners, here we come! And then one of my favorite families took us out to Tucanos on Friday to celebrate my birthday. We had a blast and Sister McCoy was cracking me up with her extravert-edness. She was cracking out jokes and bribing the waiters to get more food then they normally give. They're the beeest!

More than everything, I'm grateful for the Savior. I got to pass the Sacrament yesterday and had a great opportunity to reflect on the miracle of the Savior's love for us by giving us ordinances to renew our covenants and remind us of Him. The sacrament's significance continues to deepen and my testimony of repentance and forgiveness grows as I help other people receive the Savior's restored gospel.

I hope you all have a great week! Que todo salga bien con ustedes!

Con mi amor,

Elder Remund

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

Happy Birthday, Elder Madsen!

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

Mor!

Well thank you for the birthday wishes. Yes, Elder Hansen has died and now he is on the other side (Elder Madsen is explaining that his friend finished his mission and returned home). It's way weird. I remember when me and him were together, we talked about how because he was such a young trainer that by the time he left, my time would fly. I am choosing not to think about that. Not good. Yeah, Sister Bishop went home two transfers early. She had some major back problems for the greater part of her mission. She had an interview with President, he gave her a blessing, and they decided that the Lord wanted her home. She was not very happy. She wanted to stay, but the Lord has other plans. I love that about the sisters in my group. They are all very focused and want to serve at all costs. It's way inspiring. Anyway, I’m loving it here.

This week was great.  Everything just hit the ground dead sprint. We have had some really good stuff happen. We were able to contact some less active members who have not been visited in a while, and it went very well.

This is the oldest companion I have had since Elder Hansen, but he is still younger than me. It's crazy. Up until now, I have had young companions. We have gotten along fantastically. We had some really good things happen.

We found this older Greenlandic lady.  She told us that her husband and her daughter, along with three grandchildren, have passed away in the last year. It was really sad. We told her about the Plan of Salvation and she wants to meet after August when her grandchildren leave from their vacations. We are looking forward to that.

After that, we were riding home. This was on Thursday. I got a call from the Randers senior couple, and they told me that T**  is going to be BAPTIZED on the 30th of August!! I am so excited for him! It's great stuff.

That pretty much just sums up the week. We worked hard and things are rolling. I am loving it here. Elder Zalewski is in my district and he is training, and so are the other three companionships. It's great. We have been able to teach the new missionaries some good stuff as well.

I am hoping that this week we can pay a visit to the grave of Hans Peter Madsen’s father. The other Elder Madsen served here and got a picture of the old house and everything. So I am hoping to get to do that.

We are finding a ton of people and trying to get some potential investigators to become progressing friends. We play soccer and basketball each week. We had an experience this week where we met with a family that was living on Greenland because the father works for the Danish government. He was kind of the "king" of Greenland-ish, and he is member of the church. He was there with his family for 28 years. His daughter served in the Temple Square Mission and came home right after I left København. She lives there for school, but I never got to meet her. We talked to them about how he was the branch president in Greenland, and they were the only members over there. The Greenland area is not open for proselyting, so we can't be over there to teach. So the work does not move that much. We came to eat with them, and afterward we shared our spiritual thought about working with the missionaries and how it is the Lord's will that all of us work together. It’s hard, but it’s the Lord's way. At the end he started to cry and just thanked us for coming to visit because he said it has been 28 years since they had missionaries in their home. They miss the feeling that having the missionaries in your home brings. It was a huge testimony builder because it's hard for us to feel any difference when we are just us. But we can see the feeling the people around us get when they invite us into their home. It’s not us that brings the feeling, it's the Lord.

When these humble, loving members open their homes to two imperfect missionaries, just trying to work hard and do our part, the Lord blesses them with a feeling of love. He touches their hearts.  It’s been a very comforting feeling to see it from this point of view. The Lord loves those who love his missionaries!

Love you! Have a great week and keep up the good work.

Med Kærlig Hilsen,

Ældste Madsen

Leaving Randers (July 14, 2014)

Caboose Toilet  (July 28, 2014)


We found Subway!!

Nine Months in Mexico - 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.
 
Hello!

We do a lot of walking and praying that someone will open their door and let us in!

I miss my harp so much. I don't have calluses to play it but I can't wait to build them up again!

We had our interviews with our new mission president this last week! His name is Arley George and is from Cody, Wyoming! His wife doesn't speak Spanish and while we were waiting our turn for our interviews, I had the opportunity to work with her in the kitchen (making sandwiches!) and got to know her and also translated everything so that my companion could participate in the conversation!
In my interview, President shared a few scriptures that I really love about how we are the clay in the hands of the Lord. (Isaiah 64:8 and Jeremiah 18:1-6) I love them! We then talked a lot about marriage and how I am learning things from each companion to prepare me for when I find my future husband. He also talked about having the end in mind when we make choices. El fin en mente! We need to remember that every choice, every decision, has a consequence and it can be either good or bad.

President George also told me about the meaning of threshold (the part under a door). It's called that because before there were floors in houses people would put thresh (like the stalks from wheat) on the floor so that it wouldn't be so muddy, but when people would walk out of the house they would drag the thresh with them. So they put a piece of wood across the opening of the door to hold in the thresh. Therefore, its called a thresh hold! (I hope that makes sense!).

We have been going to provide the sacrament to a family who lives far away each Sunday. We leave before 8 in the morning and ride in the back of a pickup in the wind!!! Needless to say our hair is a bit messy when we get there, but hey, it's all part of the adventure!

Well as for my investigators, we had to stop visiting a lot because they just don't want to read, or pray, or go to church. We were teaching a teenager who seemed really excited to learn, accepted baptism and wanted to come to church; but then something terrible happened....his girlfriend died. Now he doesn't want to pray, or anything. We have been visiting him with some guys in the ward, but there isn't any progress happening which is so sad.

Two sisters are progressing towards their date for baptism! One has told her older sister, who is a member, that she wants to be baptized! The other sister does too, but she is a little scared. We pray for them every day and have been trying to visit them different times each week. It's a little hard because they work, but if everything goes good they can be baptized in about 3 weeks!

We have another investigator who loves listening and wants to change her life but won't go to church!! She always says that she and her family will be there, but they haven't made it. But she has been sharing the gospel with her friends and invited them to listen to our message, so at least she knows that it's true!

Well, I am afraid that my time is just about up for today. I love you all!

Love
Hermana Oliphant

Happy Birthday, Sister Oliphant! (July 21, 2014)

Transfers and More 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.

Soooo...way fast week! I have transfers! Tomorrow I will be leaving my area, Teotlalzingo, and going somewhere else in the mission. Tomorrow there are about 27 or 28 missionaries that will be ending their missions and going home. So, many new elders and sisters will be coming to the mission. I actually heard that every companionship in the mission will be affected by transfers. I am not going to be training a new, incoming elder. But I will be going to a new area. I am excited to see new faces, even though I will definitely miss the investigators and members here in Teotlalzingo.

I bare my testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church on the face of the planet! The Lord has restored his priesthood and his church once again on the earth, and Thomas S. Monson is the prophet that the Lord has chosen to guide us today! I love you all and pray that you are all happy!

Picture that I will attach... me while I was waiting for my hamburger to be cooked today at a cafe.

I hope you all have a great week!

Love,
Elder Burgess


Circles (July 14, 2014)

Service  (July 28, 2014)

Busy, Busy, Busy - 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.

Hello family and friends!

Well, to start off, we did NOT have transfers this week! :) I am still here with Hermana Giron in Mirador. She only has about 25 days left in the mission! AHHH! So, I will be with her on her last day of the mission. And, I will have to get a new companion probably half way through this change since she will probably be going home before the next transfer.

Also, our area got expanded!! The Elders that were in our ward here with us before left, and the mission president decided to give Hermana Giron and I the area, along with our current area, instead of having two new missionaries go to that area. So, we are SUPER busy because we are now in our current area AND a brand new area! We are contacting lots of people, and tracting like crazy! Pray for us! We are super tired, but SUPER excited to have more area and more people to teach! :)

The next big news for this week is that we have conferences with our mission president tomorrow! We are meeting up with him tomorrow with 3 or 4 other zones as a big conference. It should be a lot of fun! I will fill you all in on that next week :)

The biggest news for this week is that we are going to be having two more baptisms this week! Javier and M** are going to be baptized on the 26th (this Saturday!) Their mom still doesn't feel  comfortable being baptized, but told us that if she feels something in the baptism of her husband and daughter that she will do it. Well, I sure hope that the Holy Ghost can work on her this week! :) Pray for her! She is amazing, she just needs a real testimony. She is reading and praying, just hasn't come to an answer yet. But, I will let you know how things go in the baptism next week!

I got an awesome email this week from J**, one of my investigators from Ovalle! She wrote me this week and said that she and her little brother, I**, were baptized this week and that her Mom and Grandma are now receiving the lessons too! This makes me SOOO happy! She was going to be baptized with me in Ovalle months ago, but her family wouldn't give her permission to do it then. But, now she is baptized! Miracles happen for sure :) I am beyond happy to see that some of the seeds that I planted months ago are now starting to bloom into baptisms and eternal families... oh, I love this Gospel!!! :)

Well, other that that, we really haven't had much else happen this week. We did have a crazy guy from Canada, who only speaks English, find us in our new area. He came up to me and started yelling at me saying that "Joe Smith isn't a prophet and you are all false" yada, yada, yada.... yeah, I told him that I loved him and that God does too. What else can I say to someone who is yelling at me in English in front of a bunch of people who speak Spanish?! haha! But, I prayed for him that night that he would receive the missionaries and be baptized one day.... who knows :)

Well guys, I hope that you all have a great week! We are going to be busy, busy, busy this week and for the whole rest of this transfer I believe! We are seeing miracles and working like crazy everyday! I will talk to you all next week! I love you!

xoxooxo Hermana Avery

Be Ye Therefore Converted (July 14, 2014)

Bautismo!  (July 28, 2014)

Back to the Dust Bowl - 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.

I'm not the kind of person to swear, but I think I nearly cursed eight times this week trying to cross the street. I'm back in Lima, and that means you must run across the street or you will be made into a pancake by a 20-year-old refitted school bus. The city is surely a lot busier, which is pretty nice because in Ancosh there was just a stunning lack of people.

I'm in a ward called Huandoy. It's shared between the district San Martin de Pores and Los Olivos. It's the nicest area I've been in my entire mission. The streets are paved, the houses are painted and I haven't been attacked by a single dog. The people are a little tougher but they're soft and gooey underneath.... I hope! We only had one new investigator this week :( No bueno. But we also had a baptism.

My new companion is a Bolivian and was trained by my MTC companion, Elder Larsen. He's really cool but I will give him a whollop if he forgets where we are or where someone lives one more time, haha! Just kidding. I'm lost enough, as it is. He's a perfect example of a Jared crossed with a T** D**. I like him a lot.

So my experience of the week has to do with my traumatizing event. We visited a part member family last night, and the dad (who's not a member) was a little drunk. He was a big scary black guy, the second big scary black guy I've met on my mission. Luckily my experience in the mountain lands taught me how to deal with drunk people and win their approval. It worked too well, and he ended up kissing me three times on the cheek telling us how much he loves missionaries and calling us his little children... We're excited to go back when he's sober :)

So this week I've felt super blessed to be in this area. I feel like this area will really test and refine my finding and teaching skills. It could also be my second to last area, depending on  how long I spend out here.

Well, have a great week. I love you all and will be praying for you!

Elder Avery

Visit from the Mission President (July 14, 2014)

The Holy Matrix  (July 28, 2014)


Monday, July 14, 2014

Visit from the Mission President - 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.


Visit from President Archibald
We were blessed (and surprised!) this week with a training by our Mission President. President Archibald is from Alabama, taught Institute, was a bishop, has 10 kids, went to Argentina on his mission, is handwriting a copy of the Book of Mormon, and pretty much just has POWER. He's a very great man, and one of the best mission presidents. He also has the ability to scare the bajeebees out of me and make me feel like a complete idiot without saying anything ;)

Anyway, he came to teach our zone a few things that he had learned in a training with Elder Oaks, and to teach us about prayer. Elder Oaks basically told him that we need to do a lot more than we're currently doing, so I'm not going to elaborate on that. When he taught us about prayer, President used Joseph Smith History, paragraphs 8-18. He summed up the most important things about prayer by using the format of what he considers the three most important prayers; the prayer offered by Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, the prayer by Adam and Eve after leaving Eden, and the prayer offered by Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove. All three of these prayers had a similar and important format:

Elders Avery and Martinez, Yungay, Peru
  • They were all vocal prayers (note in Joseph Smith's historical account, it says that Satan bound Joseph's tongue when began to pray)
  • They were offered while kneeling down
  • They were done with great faith
  • They required a considerable amount of thought and preparation beforehand
  • They were done in a pre-determined or otherwise ''special'' place (note that Judas Iscariot already knew where Jesus would be when he brought the mob. Probably because Gethsename was a special place for Jesus and the Twelve Apostles).
Well, President taught us a lot more, but I feel like it's enough to say that he's a really smart guy.

When I had my interview, he told me a few key things to help my area, but I think he summed it up best in one sentence, ''If you guys are working this hard and not seeing baptisms, then something you're doing is stupid.'' Let it be known that I made a commitment with by companion to end my stupidity. President made an excellent point. We're putting a lot of energy into people who don't progress that we could be putting into new people who are ready to be baptized.

I don't want to bore anyone, so I'll leave you with a great Peruvian moment. The most popular radio show in Ancosh plays Star Wars music for their breaks. It's hilarious!

Love you all! Have a great week. Stay true to the faith :)

Elder Avery

8 Sol Hamburger (July 7, 2014)

Back to the Dust Bowl  (July 21, 2014)


Circles - 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 Y'all,

It's Monday again...wow the week just flew by. So Tuesday we had to go to the mission offices and we were there about the whole day, because my companion had to sign some visa paperwork. And then the secretaries just left the offices to go eat without telling us. So we get back to the offices... and no one is there. So we had to wait about 3 hours for them because we had my companion's visa and a sister missionary's visa as well, and we had materiales and letters in the office as well. So long story short, we lost the whole day and got back at about 8 p.m. We got one lesson in, and then had to go back home.

Wednesday we had the zone conference and the zone leaders came to my area. Actually, Elder Hunsaker my zone leader came on divisions with me. He lives in Providence so we were just two Cache Valley white boys on divisions together. It was pretty sweet. I know how the Elders in the USA feel now. That was way to fun. He is a cool Elder, and he taught me a lot.

Thursday we finished up divisions with the zone leaders and planned for the week.

Saturday we went back to the center of Puebla again, to the mission offices, because I had to sign my visa paperwork.... lost that day as well. Then in the night we had our ward mission activity. We got to play soccer with our investigators and members and it started raining, but it was still fun!

That was my crazy mission life week.... I feel like we could barely work.

I love you all. This church is soooo super, duper true.

ELDER BURGESS

Flying in Mexico (June 30, 2014)

Transfers and More Hamburger  (July 21, 2014)

Leaving Randers - 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.

MOR!!!!!

It's going to be short this week. We have some stuff to do, and that is what happens when we have transfers on Mondays. It’s all good.

Anyway, long story short, this week we were completely packed with lessons in Randers. We had two very good lessons with T** and V** and B**. T** and B** were in church, and they both are waiting on a baptismal date. I am hoping it will happen in the next couple of weeks so that I can go to both of them. That is the great news!

Man, I LOVE Denmark!!
Other news: P** went to church for the first time in 5 years this week. It was great. He liked it, and the members liked him. We had four investigators in church and a less active member who has never come to the branch before. It was a very big blessing for my last week in Randers. The best part was that the branch president got a cancellation on Friday and called me to ask if I would speak in church since I was leaving. I could not say no :) So, yeah, the pressure was on. I felt like it went okay. The Spirit defiantly did the teaching because I probably made no sense.

It was a great week. I am very happy with the work and the progress in Randers. The Lord has really been keeping the branch (*small congregation) in mind. I am not going to lie, the whole idea of being in a ward (*large congregation) is freaking me out. To have more than 35 people in church is going to be new, or at least not what I am used to anymore. I have spent the great portion of my mission in branches of 6 to 50 members, so that will be a new experience. Anyway great week.

Keep being busy. It’s a lot better than not. Business keeps the heart pumping. Anyway, love you. We’ll talk next week.

Ældste Madsen

 Lots of Work in Randers (July 7, 2014)

Happy Birthday, Elder Madsen!  (July 21, 2014)


Becoming Like Christ - Sister Lindsey Jeppson

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

Dear Familia,

I can't even believe it is Monday again. I feel like I just sat down to do emails yesterday. The weeks are just flying by. In the Visitors' Center (VC), we have a weekly meeting with the director and his wife to discuss the needs of the sisters in the center, the needs of the VC, and plan for the weekly training. One of the concerns we have is Christmas Lights. We looked at the transfer schedules and by the time Christmas Lights start, half the sisters will be home, and all the new missionaries will be training. Every single sister will be training by the time Christmas Lights comes. I am terrified. So we have been planning our trainings to prepare the sisters for Christmas Lights. In the exchanges we do, we have been setting goals to help the new sisters feel confident to 1) train a new missionary and 2) lead Christmas Lights. I know the Lord knows what he is doing. He knows these sisters can do it!

The Visitors' Center is going well. I do spend a lot of time there. We are changing some things, and it's just great. On Friday we had a training about starting and ending movies. We spilt up into groups and practice. It's a little intimidating to get up there in front of the whole VC and give a training. I think, I'm too young in the mission to be up here, then I remember, I am on of the oldest Spanish sisters in the VC. The Sisters are amazing, and they are so great to help me out. I just hope that I have helped them.

I'll give you a little run down of my week:

Monday:

We had a lesson set with one of our investigators. We will call him Santiago. We had a member present and everything. When we got there, he asked if we could go back in an hour. So we left to visit another family. When the hour was up, we went and met Santiago in the Visitors' Center. But our member had to leave, so we didn't have a member. As we were driving over, Sister Orr asked me to pray to find a member. So as she drove I prayed. After I was done, I sat there and thought about any possibilities of members being there in the VC. One name of a member of another ward who is always at the VC came to my mind. When we got to the VC, we saw Santiago sitting right next to the member that I had thought of. It was a complete miracle. It was a great lesson as well.

Tuesday:

I was in the VC all day. 8AM-9PM for various meetings, trainings, and shift (LONGEST DAY EVER).

Wednesday:

I am having a hard time remembering what happened this day. But I know that we stopped by Santiago's house and taught him with a girl who JUST BARELY got off her mission, Spanish speaking, in California. IT WAS SO GOOD! Santiago completed all the commitments we left him. He calls us las Hueras (I believe that's how it is spelled, any of you Spanish speakers please correct me) it means white, blonde girl. He'll say "ok Hueras, si hueras, hola hueras". As we were teaching him, his roommate came out!! (a less active member who hasn't been to church in 2 years). He told us that he wanted to come back to church, so we set a time to have a lesson at the VC with them both!!

Thursday:

This day, we had ZTM (Zone Training Meeting) and a lesson with our miracle family! We taught the Plan of Salvation.

Friday:

Today was prep meeting! We got up super early and went to the VC at 7 for prep meeting. I ended up taking a tour that took the whole morning. It was a family reunion. All the older kids were in the temple doing baptisms while the parents took the younger kids to the VC. There were about 10-15 kids between the ages of 1 and11. They were so loud. But so cute. We watched a movie, did a scavenger hunt, sang "I Love to See the Temple," and then we watched "God's Plan For His Family." At the end, I asked the grandparent's to share their testimonies. The Spirit was so strong, I wanted to cry. They reminded me of our family when we were younger.

Saturday:

JORGE GOT BAPTIZED!! It was so cool! I started teaching him a little over a year ago, and I taught him for the first 7 months of my mission. He kind of disappeared, then he started working for the ward mission leader in a neighboring ward. This guy took Jorge under his wing. I saw Jorge for the first time in 6 months last week. And he has changed so much! He is so much more confident and talkative!!! He asked me and Sister Leon to speak at his baptism. It was kind of last minute, so I didn't have time to really prepare, plus President showed up so I was ten times more nervous. Pretty sure my whole face went red, but hey.... he got baptized, and that is all that matters.

Stacey Young came in and visited me today! (I think it was Saturday). I didn't recognize her until she showed me a picture of Braden and Noel at homecoming. So good to see her!

Sunday:

Today we had branch conference. NOBODY was there. I think they were all at home watching the World Cup. Anyway, we had sacrament last and I was SOOO tired. While our Branch President was speaking, it was so hard for me to stay awake. I kept nodding off. Then I actually nodded off for about 30 seconds. When I opened my eyes, I looked up and made eye contact with the stake president. He just smiled at me, I felt a little embarrassed, then I turned to my left and saw our Ward Mission Leader, and he was just chuckling to himself. At the end of sacrament, the stake president came and shook our hands. When he came to me, he pulled me off to the side, and asked if everything was alright. I said yes, just a little tired. He laughed and said, "Ok good, you have a good smile, keep on smiling" (something like that). I guess when I was struggling to stay awake, I had the look of death plastered on my face.

We had the VC this night as well. And for some reason, all four companionships that were there were all Spanish missionaries. It was good, because the majority of the visitors that came in were all Hispanic. I spoke Spanish the majority of the night. It was fun.

Anyway, life is going great. Missions are crazy... but I love it.

Something that was really cool... there is a sister missionary about to go home, and she was talking with us one day. She said she was reading her call letter and received some pretty cool insight. She said that she hasn't been as happy as she has been on her mission. As she contemplated it, she realized it was because we are keeping our covenants. As missionaries, we strive every hour and minute to be like Christ, thinking of others and serving. I thought... wow, that is true. I feel so happy. My biggest fear about coming home is losing that. I am not focusing on coming home, but it's the reality. I have to make goals now in order to not go back to how I was. I have changed so much. And the test will be continuing to apply what I have learned and will learn on my mission. How can you be more Christlike in your daily life?

Love,

Sister Jeppson

Exhausted but SOOO Happy! (July 7, 2014)

Our Search for Happiness  (July 21, 2014)

Be Ye Therefore Converted - 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.

Hello friends and family!! :)

We had a CRAZY week this week! We prepared the baptism for A*** M*** this week, and it was some tough work! The baptism was awesome, but man was Satan working on us.... pretty much everything went wrong at the last second. We had to do pretty much everything alone, but we ended this week with a successful baptism and a happy convert :) To me, all of the tears and frustration and hard work these past three months were totally worth seeing him enter the waters of baptism! We are now preparing two more baptisms for the end of the month, on the 26th! Keep them in your prayers. We know that they can do it! :)

We also had another earthquake this week! AHHH! You all know that I hate those, LOL! It was like a 5.6 or something, so not huge for Chile, but, here is the story. (I hope you all can laugh about these things while I wipe away tears of fear, haha!). So, Hermana Giron and I were talking on my bed about what things we have learned in our time together as companions, what things we hope to do before finishing the mission, what we want to do after, etc. You know, really sweet talk and all.... and then, as I am telling her about my goals for the mission... BAMMMM! The whole apartment starts shaking like crazy for about 45 seconds, and we hear this horrible roaring sound from the earth moving (why?!?!? hahahaha!) and a ton of people started running out of the apartments and screaming, which doesn't help me nerves much. Well, my companion is scared of earthquakes too and froze, so I had to be superwoman and unplug everything like Lightning McQueen, and open all the doors! I don't know where I am living right now, but clearly, the earth didn't like my goals :P Yes, we are happy and safe, and I have kept my goals to myself these last few days, hahaha!

We are going to be having transfers this week. I believe that Hermana Giron is leaving me, since she goes home to Guatemala in about 3 and a half weeks! She won't be able to finish the mission as a leader, so we think that she is being transferred this Wednesday, and I will be getting a new companion. Sad day! One of the hardest things about the mission is all the changes. But, changes are a good thing :) They help us to grow in more ways than one!

Well guys, I hope that you all have a great week! I will talk to you all next week, but until then, "don't worry, be happy" :) I love you! Talk to you all soon! :)

xoxooxo Hermana Avery

My Yoke is Easy (July 7, 2014)

Busy, Busy, Busy  (July 21, 2014)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Exhausted, but SO Happy! - 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.

Dust Storm!
Dearest familia!

It has been a great week! Many surprises!

First of all... Angela Hopkins came and saw me!! That was a great surprise! I didn't even recognize her! I was ending "God's Plan for His Family," and as I was standing there watching the last screen, when the daughter gets married and the flash back of the grandpa, the door opens and she walked in. Not recognizing her, I invited her to sit down and enjoy the rest of the film. At the end, she was just smiling at me. Still didn't recognize her. I bore my testimony and we had a great spiritual experience. At the end, I thanked her for coming and she was just laughing and said, "You don't recognize me do you?" I suddenly stopped and just looked at her and said no. "I'm Angela Hopkins." Right then I recognized her and of course started crying. We had a great chat. She knows sister Orr's family and they have some mutual friends. Great, great!!

We had MLC (Mission Leadership Council) this week. Quite the experience. A little intimidating, but great. Our zone had the most baptisms in the mission. Crazy, Spanish work is so much fun.

We also had preparation meeting. I gave a training on using Preach My Gospel. We also went on exchanges...Guess who else visited!....Hermana Valladares!! My trainer from Honduras!!! So great!

Our area is doing well! We found this family through the Visitors' Center. We will call them familia Lopez. Anyway, we put them on date for the end of the month. They are awesome. They came to church the past two weeks and loved it. This weekend they went to Las Vegas with their family and came back 5 a.m. Sunday morning, and STILL went to all three hours of church. They are so great!!!

Things are going well!! So exhausted, but so happy!!

Hope you all had a safe, happy Fourth of July!!

Love

Hermana Jeppson

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

Becoming Like Christ  (July 14, 2014)


Lots of Work in Randers - 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.

Mor,

This week was great. We have been able to reconnect with a couple of old friends who met with the missionaries before. That was great! One of them is a recovering crack addict, and his wife walked out on him 4 years ago, leaving him with their two little girls. It was a sad story. He got remarried and tried to follow the path of life, but then it took a turn and he has fought very well through it. He is very focused in his daughters. We talked about the love that God has for His children, and it went well. He invited us back. I don’t know how positive he was towards the message, but he loves the chats and the feeling. So that’s great.

We met with a lady who I'd met with Ældste Brindley, but she'd dropped us. Well, the other day we were walking down the street and she invited us back to her home. We met with her, and this time we took a new angle tried to talk about why she'd cancelled her dåbs dato and she just said she became too busy with work. So then we focused on her feelings when she was reading and going to church.  She said she loves the feeling, it’s just hard to read and all that. We'd brought a member of the ward along with us, and we all invited her to come to church. The member we brought is so funny because he is a convert himself.  He was one of those guys who dropped out in high school and joined a biker club. He has some great stories, and he is from the most west part of Denmark....like by Herning. He also had a stoke, but he is one of the hardest Danes to understand! It's always fun to talk to him.

Well, that appointment went great. The next day we found a couple of people to meet with this week. T** and V** had to cancel our appointment, but we will met with them on Wednesday. We met with B** again and had a great lesson. We watched The First Vision and invited her to baptism. She said yes and she needs to pray about it. The members of the ward have taken her in so well. I am excited for her.

Yesterday we were waiting outside the church for those who we'd invited to show up. While waiting, we remembered that B** said that she could not come because she goes to this club once every three months, and it was the only time that she can go this year. We were just talking to the members outside the church and then, all of a sudden, here comes B**. She came to church, all three hours, and then she was excited for us to meet with her on Thursday.

Long story short, the Lord has really blessed Randers this week. We also found out that in August Randers will open another companionship in the area. They will be splitting the area. After President told me that in my interview, it all just made sense as to why the Lord has been so merciful and blessed the area with so many new people to teach. I am not going to lie, I am really nervous. We get transfer calls today, and I feel like I will be leaving.  I don’t want to because I feel like everything is about to explode. But I will go where I am called to serve, in any case. This is not my mission!!

I am glad that all is well. I hope and pray that you all will continue to have a great week. I will let you know if I get transferred.  Love you.

Med Kærlig Hilsen

Ældste Madsen

Two hours later: Transfer

I am going to be serving in....Aalborg, the city of where Hans Peter Madsen was last before traveling to the good ol' U.S. of A. I am super excited, but I don’t want to leave Randers!!

 Prayers Drive the Work (June 30, 2014)

Leaving Randers  (July 14, 2014)

My Yoke is Easy - 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 guys! :)

Wow, has it really been another week already?! Is anyone else feeling like the time is just flying by? I feel like I just wrote you all yesterday! :)

I hope that you all had a great 4th of July! :) Hermana Giron and I celebrated with ice cream and "churipan" which is chorizo with bread. Super good. It doesn't exist in the USA, but it made up for the BBQ that we didn't get to have this year, haha!! What did you all do this weekend? It was sure weird to feel like the only person on the planet celebrating the 4th of July in Chile, but you know, gotta celebrate your country's freedom, even when you are millions of miles away!

So, this week we had to REALLY fight against Satan...ugh! When we are preparing for baptisms, the temptations for our investigators are just ridiculous....but, we finished the week with a SUCCESSFUL baptism interview for A** M**, who will be baptized this Saturday, July 12th! :) His children will be baptized by him when he receives the priesthood in two weeks :) It's the sweetest thing ever to think that a man who once was a big time smoker and drinker, with hardly any unity in his family, is now going to make covenants with our Father in Heaven and baptize his children with the power and authority of God..... wow. If that's not miracle, I don't know what it is! It's truly incredible to be an instrument in changing the lives of others for the better!

This morning, my companion was feeling a little bit sick, so she slept in and I stayed up and had extra study time!! woohoo! (not for her being sick, but to study more haha!). I studied a lot about the Atonement, repentance, and forgiveness. It was awesome! I found some really great scriptures to use in lessons, but most of all, this morning, I was able to feel the love of my Savior for me, and for others. His sacrifice is sufficient for everyone, no matter what we have done in the past. It is only through His grace and sacrifice that we can be clean and return to live with our Father in Heaven. I know that I am not perfect, and that I never will be. But what I do know, is that there is one person who is perfect, and who is walking by my side everyday helping me become the person I need to be.

A scripture that has become one of my favorites in the mission is in 1 Nephi 21:14-16. It says, "But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not. For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me."

Friends and family, many times in our lives, we feel alone, or that we maybe aren't good enough to receive the help and love of the Lord. As a representative of Jesus Christ, I testify to you all that the love of Christ is big enough for everyone and anyone. As it says in this scripture, the Lord can't forget us, because everyday he can look down and see the marks in His own hands and feet, and He will always remember what He did for each and every one of us. The "walls", trials and affictions in our lives may seem great, but remember that He went through it all first. He knows how to help you and lift you over the wall. He is on the other side, ready to help. I am a personal witness of an imperfect girl who made her way back to Christ through the Atonement. I have done it myself, and have seen others do it hundreds of times in my life and my mission. The Lord has not forgetten you!! His atoning love changes our concept of perfection. We can put our trust in Him, diligently keep His commandments, and continue in the faith. Fully accepting our Savior’s Atonement can increase our faith and give us courage to let go of expectations that we are somehow required to be or to make things perfect. Remember what He has said in the scriptures, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”

Well guys, I hope that you all have a great week! I love you all sooooo much! I will have pics from the baptism this Saturday for you all next week :) I love you and will talk to you next week!

xoxoxoox Hermana Avery

Never Walk Alone (June 30, 2014)

Be Ye Therefore Converted  (July 14, 2014)

8 Sol Hamburger - 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.

My District in Yungay, Peru
So, this week was my huge one year week, and I'm so thankful that things are looking up in Yungay. We visited lots of people and several were able to go to church. We even had two people accept baptismal dates. My days of affliction are almost over :)

Basically the week's success came from constant obedience and not getting frustrated. If you're patient and just keep at it, something good is bound to happen. We received a random phone call from someone who had a cousin who received a Book of Mormon, so they got our number out of it and wanted their own copy. We received 5 referrals from them, and contacted them all. The members came out and visited with us, T** finally came to church, and I bought a hamburger for 8 soles!

A sol is the money that they have here in Peru. It literally means ''sun'' because the Incas worshipped the sun. (Well, they're actually called nuevos soles because the original sol failed like 20 years ago so they changed their money.) Anyway, a sol is worth about 35 cents, but basically has the same value as a dollar in the U.S. because you can by a bag of bread, pay a bus fare, buy a Coke, buy several avocados, or use the computer for an hour....all for 1 sol. So, on the 4th of July, I remembered that I had pulled out money from home and still had about 20 soles in my pocket. The power in the town went out, which meant we wouldn't have been able to use the microwave when we got home, so we went by a member's hamburger store. Thank goodness she uses a gas stove, so she was still in business!

 I saw on the menu that she had a hamburger with basically everything imaginable on it: cheese, fried egg, bacon, ham, brat, french fries, tomato, lettuce and pineapple. It cost 8 soles, which is pretty much more than I pay for bread for an entire week. Eight soles is basically 8 dollars, so it'd be ridiculous for me to buy something like that. Then the inner American spoke to me and reminded me that it was the 4th of July. I remembered BBQ's, McDonald's, and the voice of Larry the Cable Guy. Then I remembered B-Jep and how he says, 'merica. So I bought that colossal burger and ate it in about 2 minutes! My companion just didn't understand that the Americanness of an American may be measured by the kind of hamburger of which he partakes on the 4th of July. My companion went for the 2 sol hamburger :)

Anyways, I didn't just eat hamburger this week. I also learned a lot about prayer and about being specific in prayer. I was kind of frustrated at the beginning of the week because I was always so dead tired at night and didn't have enough time to do everything I wanted to. I then heard the talk that Henry B. Eyring gave in the priesthood session of General Conference. He talked about prayer and how a true priesthood holder should pray. He went into detail about how prayer will surprise us and change us when we do it correctly. I can attest to that! I began to be more thoughtful and conscientious, and my attitude has changed dramatically. Changing my attitude about my time constraints was a favor that God could have always done for me, but I had to ask him. Praying allowed Him to help me change my attitude.

Well, everyone, don't forget to make your prayers mean something. Don't forget to floss (I witnessed a 9 year old girl who had to get a big old molar yanked out because it was infected), and don't forget to be good people :) Have a great week! I love you!

Elder Jake Avery

Fireside and Smores (June 30, 2014)

Visit from the Mission President  (July 14, 2014)