Monday, September 29, 2014

Dos Companeros! Dos Bautismos! - 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.

Dos Companeros! Dos Bautismos!
(Two companions! Two baptisms!)

Ro** y Ma** have finally been baptized and confirmed into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was really neat to see them as husband and wife get baptized. They looked like little angelitos. I thought it was so cool. Yesterday, they paid their first fast offering and received their first visit from their home teachers. That's how you begin enduring until the end.

We also had the unexpected arrival of Elder Mohlman this week. He's a brand new missionary. He left the MTC (Missionary Training Center) less than a week ago and had nowhere to go until changes next week. So they put him with Elder Estrada and I in the meantime. He's already been reassigned, but for several days we were in a trio (but I prefer the term trifecto!). It made it much easier to stop people in the street, but a lot harder to make enough breakfast and dinner. He was our lucky charm because the people also seemed to be much more interested in what the white gringo had to say than in what the "gringo falso" had to say. The best part is, he got to see a baptism his first week in the mission, so now he'll be a missionary machine in the field.

Well, that's my update for this week. I'd like to thank everyone again for all your support, prayers, and effort in the Work of Salvation. I know that it's a real work and that it's being realized by millions of people. We are taught by prophets, seers and revelators, both living and dead. We have a marvelous opportunity to eternally grow as we participate in this great and marvelous work. I love you all and hope the very best!!


Hi Mom!

I had a great week. We were with Elder Mohlman for several days. It was really weird to see what he's like, as a brand new missionary, and to think about how I was when I started my mission. I'm so thankful for President Archibald and all that he has done to make this a successful and happy mission. When I started, I was put with a kid who was only 2 months in the mission and hadn't finished his own training yet. Neither of us knew what to do, haha! But now I see these new missionaries finish their training as powerful teachers and strong in every phase of the work.

It was super nice to finally have baptisms. We're sad though because we can't have more baptisms until the end of October. Next Sunday is elections, so we won't be able to watch General Conference at the church. They'll show it the next week, then finally we'll be able to have more baptisms. I'm hoping to have a hundred by that time ;)

Mom, I love you more than you know! I'm so thankful that you guys raised me well and helped me understand what is important. I love you so much and I'm doing what I can to be true to what I'm learning :) Tell the family I love them and miss them!! Have a great week!

- Elder Jake Avery

Keep the Commandments  (September 22, 2014)

Reflections on a City Bus  (October 6, 2014)


Preparing for Conference and a Baptism - 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.

Chile Vina del Mar Mission Leadership Council
Hey family and friends! :)

Wow! This week has been one of the fastest ever! I don't have a ton of time to write, but I will try to type things out as fast as possible before time is up!  :)

First, we had a really great week getting ready for Ma**'s baptism scheduled for this Sunday! She is going to be baptized October 5, between sessions of General Conference. She will be my first and only General Conference baptism of my mission. She is the sweetest lady ever. It has just blessed my life beyond words to know her, and to help prepare her to make covenants with the Lord <3 She passed her baptism interview last Friday, and we are just getting ready for the baptism now! :)

We also had a Family Home Evening this week with converts, less active members and investigators! It was GREAT! Ma** came, Al** and his whole family came, and a bunch of other less active members and converts came! It was amazing to see everyone all together learning about the Gospel, and then getting to play games together :) It really helped bring everyone closer! We really need that here in the ward for sure, so it was a blessing!

Here is an invitation for you all! I invite each of you to think of a question, concern, or doubt that you have with the Gospel and pray this week to receive an answer to it in General Conference. I promise it will be answered! Tell me your stories about it after and I will tell you mine! :) Enjoy it! I LOVE CONFERENCE! :)

have a ton of pictures to send you all, but my camera has been acting up and won't install the software to send them! UGH! Hopefully next week. I will try again! I hope that you all have a great week and I will talk to you all next week! Love you!

xoxoxo Hermana Avery

Independence Day in Chile (September 22, 2014)

Never Judge a Book by Its Cover  (October 6, 2014)

Always learning!

The Second Harvest - 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.

Denmark Copenhagen Mission Leadership Council
Mor!

I still can’t believe that you are trying to sell the house but I understand why.  I guess I have always guessed that you would move while I was gone, it’s just different actually hearing about it now, you know? Good news, Elder Ludlow is coming back tomorrow. He will be back, but transfers are next week and I don’t think I will be moving. I just got here, but you know stuff happens, haha. We will find out about transfers later. There are a couple of missionaries coming in this transfer who don’t have their visas yet. Way lame. This visa crap is ridiculous, but everything happens for a reason.

Well, this week we had some really good stuff happen. We were very blessed to have a ton of things to do this week, which was great. We had some missionaries down from Frederiksberg on splits, way good stuff.  We were able to meet with some new converted members who have just made plans to go to the temple for baptisms for the dead. We are looking forward to that.

We also had some good times on Tuesday. We had some appointments, one with the lady from Brazil. She is great. She is getting so close to being baptized and stuff. We meet with her twice a week and talk about prophets. She has a hard time with Joseph Smith, but it is coming. My Portuguese is coming along nicely (just kidding!). It’s fun to learn new languages, haha.

We had a great week with S** too. He has picked the time for Saturday the 11th  at noon to be baptized. That is great. We are really looking forward to that and, of course, General Conference is way good. We already have plans to be with our friends (investigators) at their houses instead of at the church for Conference, which is way exciting. Every single one of us will be with less active members or investigators… goal achieved so far.

We are really having fun with S**’s family as well. We did some service with them last week, and we were able to teach them more and answer some more questions. They plan on coming to Sander's dåb as well. That should be good, and it will help them feel the Spirit as well. So we are excited about that.

We had a great experience this week with some of the less active members. We were talking to a member a couple weeks ago about the people she has not seen in a while in Slagelse. She told us of one who was also from Brazil and was very active, but then she just fell away. So we did some searching and called her. The number was incorrect, but then two days later I got a call from a lady saying that she needed help with moving and that she was moving into Slagelse. We went to help and it was this member from Brazil. She felt like she could trust us. Now the bishop has her contact information and she is planning on coming back to church. We are excited for that.

She has an awesome story. She was born into the Baptist church and her father was a priest living in Brazil. She saw a ton of Latter-day Saints missionaries and one day asked one of them to teach her. Long story short, she got baptized at 13 years old and has never looked back, even though her family are still very active in the Baptist church. So great to hear about the faith and trust that she has in the Lord. She will come back, and we are excited about that.

We had a fun little leadership conference.  This week ended with the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders, along with the Assistants and President Sederholm. We had an activity afterwards.  We played soccer, it was way fun.  Then we played volleyball. I cannot jump as high as I used to, before the knee surgery. It will come back, I know it.

Four of the six Sister Training Leaders for the mission are from my MTC group, so that was fun. Five of the eight Zone Leaders are also from my MTC group, so we all had a great time catching up and saying goodbye to our Sisters because they leave next week, right after General Conference. It's crazy how fast time goes by. Then, Lindsey will be coming home right after that. I can’t believe it.

Oh, and I lost my really good knee brace on a train coming back from København. Is there any way I could get one just like it, the ACE one? It was great with side supports. I liked that one the best.

Anyway, great week.  The Lord's work is really going strong here in Denmark. The mission numbers have almost tripled since I first got here. The second harvest is really here and the time is now!!

Love you have a great week!

Med Kærlig Hilsen

Ældste Madsen

My Big Brother (September 22, 2014)

Blessings in Denmark  (October 6, 2014)

Scheduled Baptisms - 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.

Flashback to 16 months ago today! It was goodbye at the MTC. 16 months later, and everyone's grown up and my sister has her mission call, and just barely went to the temple for her endowment. It has been the greatest sixteen months of my life thus far!
Hola a todos!

We were very blessed this week with lots of success. We hit our goals once again for 5 lessons with a member present; not an easy feat in sharing a small Spanish branch with 2 other companionships of Sister missionaries! Seeing lots of miracles from taking out members, like always!

Quick update:
J** W**, one of our American investigators who is a Latina member's husband is getting baptized this October on the 25th! Very excited for him and the changes he has made as he's come closer to Christ at this time in his life. His wife and sons are members, so that completes the family and the goal is the temple a year after his baptism! So amazing to be a part of this. This will be my first baptism in the mission after 16 months! A true blessing!

E** and M**, the couple from El Salvador that I've been teaching since I got out here in February, are getting married on December 20th and baptized on January 10th! Wonderful news after having taught them since the beginning of the year. They too have come a long way and I'm enjoying the blessings of staying in an area for 7 transfers in seeing the fruits of faith and repentance!

Les quiero mucho,
Elder Remund

Another Remund Missionary! (September 22, 2014)

Jamestown, Virginia  (October 13, 2014)

One of my favorite street names out here. Perfect for missionary work! Diligencia!!



When it Rains, It POURS! - Sister Lindsey Jeppson


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




Dearest Familia y Amigos,

This week was a great week... SOOOO busy... ALWAYS sooo busy.

Monday

We went hiking (I think I told you that) and it was great. It was a little difficult. That night we replaced the calories we lost on the hike. Before we went back to work, Sister Leon's investigator took us to a Mexican restaurant and we ate a ton. Then we went to a FHE (Family Home Evening) and ate dinner AGAIN and desert (our investigators provided the desert, so of course we accepted).

Tuesday

Pretty sure we had district meeting. We practiced teaching more in unity. It was a great practice. We each could only speak for 30 seconds at a time. It was hard, but good.

Wednesday

We went to visit Maria. We reminded her of the fast then we talked about the baptismal questions. She is so solid. She answered them so well (well at least the first half, because that's all we got to).

Thursday

We went to the temple. And guess who was there?!?!?! President and Sister Ellsworth, (the Mission President before the Jenkins). It was a tender mercy, because the first time I went to the temple as a Mesa Missionary, was their last time. Because it was their last time, they went through with us. Then for my last time, they were in the session with us. It was a tender moment. Especially sitting in the celestial room with them. They only recognized three missionaries from our zone (that definitely made me feel old).

Friday

We started our fast with Maria.

Saturday

We went to visit a few families. One of them was Maria. We went to see how she was doing through the fast. She was doing great! She told us how hard it was. She made breakfast and lunch for her family, and she didn't eat ANY of it. We talked about sacrifice. And she just kept telling us how grateful she was for us for coming on missions and caring about her and her family. I have seen her change SOOO much in just a few weeks I have known her. She is going to be such a great member! We went to the VC (Visitors' Center) for the night shift, and watched the Women's Conference there. The theater wasn't working, so we ended up watching it on our Ipads. It rained so much, there were deep puddles all around the VC so hardly anyone came.

Sunday

A girl in our ward returned from her mission earlier this week, so we got to meet her. She is amazing! Her mom gave the lesson in the Relief Society, and she just cried and cried. It was so touching to hear her testimony. We went over later that night to get to know her better and she told us about her teaching pool. She is working with two different families and a few other of her friends. She has invited them all to FHE's and invited us to come. She is on fire with missionary work. In the VC, we had a surprise Spanish tour of about 85 people. IT WAS INSANE! And of course we were the only Spanish sisters on shift. It went really well, but we didn't leave the VC until almost an hour after our shift ended, which made us REALLY late to dinner. But, our members were super understanding. Always on our toes, you never know what to expect EVER.

Anyway, overall a really great week!

HAPPY CONFERENCE!! I am so excited to hear the messages, SO EXCITED. General Conference is like Christmas for missionaries!!

Have a super, fantastic, miracle filled week this week!

Love,

Sister Lindsey Jeppson

Mesa Arizona Mission

Elder Nelson Visits Arizona (September 22, 2014)

Winding Down  (October 6, 2014)





Monday, September 22, 2014

Independence Day in Chile - Sister Hannah Avery

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


Hello family and friends!

This week was a fast one! We had a lot of celebrations, and lots of exciting things going on. Here is the update for this week:

Monday: We wrote our families and went shopping, then went home to relax and talk :) It was a super relaxed day! We did have a Family Home Evening with a less active family in the ward and had a great time. But when they dropped us off at the bishop's house afterward, the security gate to the apartment complex closed on their car and left a dent and broke the side light. We made them a "sorry about that" card, even though it wasn't our fault. Their car is fine and they aren't mad...thank heavens!

Tuesday: We did quite a bit of walking around! Pretty much everyone canceled on us, so we walked around and around and around...nothing too interesting :)

Wednesday: We saw Mat*** who is still getting ready for her baptism, but we had to move her date to the 5th, after General Conference, since she didn't come to church yesterday due to illness. She is doing great and is ready to get baptized. It's just a matter of time now :)

We also saw A*** (our new convert) and his family and, well, they are in pretty bad shape. They are fighting a lot and have several problems in the family. It was a hard lesson to be in with them yelling at each other, but we have faith that things will get better. He still comes to church every week and is fine, but it has to be hard being the only one in your family who wants the Gospel...please pray for them!

Thursday: Was the 18th of September! That's Chile's Independence Day. No, we didn't eat a ton, but we did go to our ward mission leader's house and helped him make empanadas, bread, etc. to sell because he has a in-home bakery! We had a lot of fun, and yes, I am expert in empanada baking now :) We also saw a few less active members that day, but we didn't find hardly anyone since everyone left town to celebrate with family. It was a fun day with our ward mission leader and his family though :)

Friday: We had zone conference with our mission president! We learned a lot about how to be valiant, and how we should always be faithful and obedient. It was a really awesome day with the mission president. Sorry to not write more with this, but time is killing me here, haha! I will try to write more on it later :)

Saturday: We had interchanges with Hermanas in another zone in Quilpue, Chile. We had a pretty good day, but did a lot of walking and visiting less active members. It was a LONG day and very hot!!! We had success, but I was just ready to get back to my cute companion, Hermana Mori, ASAP :)

Sunday: We had a great Sunday. It was the first day of SPRING here in Chile! It is getting hotter everyday, and we are starting to leave the apartment without coats! Wow, my tan lines are back on my feet again from my shoe straps, LOL! It feels like just yesterday that I had these in Ovalle. How the time flies! We had "once" with Mat**, which is like "tea time" here in Chile. It was super fun, and she is super excited for her baptism. She always thanks us for coming over because she lives alone. Sweet lady :) I love her so much!

Well guys, I don't have much news other than this! Thanks again for all that you all do for me and for my family :) I hope that you all have a great week, and I will talk to you all again next week! :)

xoxoxoxoo Hermana Avery

A Week in the Life (September 15, 2014)

Preparing for Conference and a Baptism  (September 29, 2014)

Justice and Mercy - 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.

Well fast week!

I love you all!

This last week I was studying about Justice and Mercy. I love the need for both of these essential parts of our salvation. God requires Justice!

In the scriptures we read in Matthew 5:48: Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Then we read that in Doctrine and Covenants 1:31:  For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;

How can we be perfect if sin makes us imperfect? 

And in Romans 3:23, Paul says we are all sinners. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

God is just.

In Alma 42:5 we read, "What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God."

If any man sins, he is bound by justice.

Elder Holland said, "One of God’s attributes is justice, and we would not have the faith—because of fear—to live righteously or to love better or to repent more readily if somehow we didn’t think that justice would count for us, if somehow we thought God would change His mind and decide there was another set of rules. Because we know that God is just and would cease to be God if He weren’t so, we have the faith to go forward."

The need of MERCY! The blessing of MERCY!

In Alma 34 verses 15 and 16,  it says:

15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.

 16 And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.

Mercy can satisfy the demands of justice! I testify that God is just. He has to be, or would cease to be God. Through the sacrifice and Atonement of Jesus Christ, He opened the gates to the prize of Mercy,
2 Nephi 2:7
Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

And Mosiah 15:8-9 it says: 8 And thus God breaketh the bands of death, having gained the victory over death; giving the Son power to make intercession for the children of men—

 9 Having ascended into heaven, having the bowels of mercy; being filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice.

Literally, Jesus himself acts and will act as our advocate. I imagine him standing between my Father in Heaven and I, having the following conversation, (cited from Doctrine and Covenants 45:3-5):

3 Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—

 4 Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;

 5 Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.

I testify that if we repent, we will be forgiven. Mercy and Justice can't lie. 

Mosiah 24:14: And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand aswitnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

I pray that we can reflect a little on the need for Justice and the need for repentance! I love repentance. I love my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He suffered so that you and I can be clean, and can receive our eternal reward through our diligence to the commandments!

This is my short and humble testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN

ELDER BURGESS


El Lobo  (September 15, 2014)

Service in Mexico  (October 13, 2014)

Read the Book of Mormon

Keep the Commandments - 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.

This week an Area Seventy presided at our Stake Conference. We brought our investigators and new converts to the meeting and prepared them to be spiritually edified by a representative of the Lord. Well, we were surely edified spiritually, but I'd really say that Elder Calderon of the Seventy unleashed a taste of the wrath of the Lord.

First of all, he spoke very directly, clearly and even loudly. In our sacrament meetings, the speakers are normally ''tranquillo,'' while other Peruvian churches have ministers or preachers who yell, throw things, and cry as they give their sermons. The peace that is felt in our meetings has always been one of the things that attracts people to the church.

Elder Calderon didn't yell, cry, or throw anything, but he sure wasn't here to pat us on the head and send us off to pick marigolds. He spoke very clearly and directly about paying tithing, fasting, gossip, and really whatever the Spirit told him he should say. He reminded parents that they have a duty to instruct their children by example, openly pointing out in the Sunday session that almost none of the parents had brought their children to the Saturday session. He said, ''Maybe someone has a really good excuse like they had to work. If there's something like 4 people in the Saturday session and a thousand in the Sunday session, do you really mean to tell me that ALL 996 of you were working Saturday night?! It's the job of the parents to bring their children to conference!''

Moral of the story: Go to Conference. I'm thankful that my investigators and converts were able to learn that.

We have two baptisms planned for this Saturday. We're working really hard to make sure they are really ready so that they will receive the Holy Ghost the moment of their Confirmation.

Okay, I love you all. Thanks for your prayers, help and service. I'm happier than a clam right now, and I recommend to anyone if they want to be happy, just keep the commandments. It's fairly simple. John tells us, ''God is love.'' If we keep the commandments of this All Knowing, All Loving Being, we're bound to be happy. We won't be able to help but to be happy. It really works and it's proven! With that said, have a good week!!

Love,
Elder Avery

Speechless (September 15, 2014)

Dos Companeros! Dos Bautismos!  (September 29, 2014)

Elder Nelson Visits Arizona - Sister Lindsey Jeppson

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

Well this week was great!

How did you know a General Authority came?? Did I mention that last week? Anyway, Elder Russell M. Nelson came. We got there almost 2 1/2 hours early to get a good seat. We were combined with the Arizona Scottsdale Mission, so we had about 500 missionaries there (that was the mission we split from last year). The second he walked in, you could feel the Spirit. The first thing he did was shake all of our hands. When I went up he looked me in eyes and said, "Hello Sister Jeppson" (thank goodness for name tags right). His eyes are green and he just has a bright countenance. For being 90 years old, he had a firm hand shake and just so much life. He has a sense of humor too. He said, "Be grateful that you get a time release. I have to die to get an honorable release."

He talked about companionships, about family history, about self mastery. He also talked about marriage - surprise, surprise! He said, "Sisters, when Prince Charming comes and kneels, and asks you to be his, you say 'NO'...Until you know that he loves The Lord first."

He said that we don't use the spirit of Elijah as much as we should. We are all responsible for putting together God's pedigree chart by making sure that all of the work for our ancestors are done. That's a tool that we have in missionary work. Family history, because a lot of people are interested in where they came from....The spirit of Elijah... It's real stuff.

It was so inspiring. I especially loved when he talked about gaining self control. He fasts once a week. Fasting helps our spirit gain control over our body so, essentially, fasting helps us overcome the natural man.

We had a super great weekend. We visited Ma** y Pa**! Well just Ma**. Pa** was working. She told us that she really wants to get baptized, but she doesn't want to do it without Pa**. So we talked about how she can be an example for him. The member we brought told her conversion story. She said that at first, she wanted nothing to do with the church, but her husband was so patient and supportive. He would rip out pages of the Book of Mormon and put them all over the house where she would find them. Ma** was so touched. She talked about Esther, and how she stood up for her people and fasted for strength to enter into the King's Court. We watched the Mormon Message, "Courage," and then she committed to fast with us for her husband!!! We are going to fast this weekend with her:) We are so excited!

On Sunday, we left our apartment early to go invite the world to church. And NO ONE answered. It was almost depressing. When we got to church, Ma** was there. Which was good. We had a great time. During Sunday school, (we have sacrament meeting last), Pa** came!! He didn't tell Ma** that he was coming, and he surprised EVERYONE. He told our branch president that he was going to come mas siguiente. We were SOOOO happy:) I love them so much.

I love being here. This is the best thing ever. For those preparing to go on missions, prepare with all your heart, might, mind and strength:)

Love you all!

Sister Lindsey Jeppson
Mesa Arizona Mission

The Rains Came Down and the Floods Came Up  (September 15, 2014)

When it Rains, It POURS!  (September 29, 2014)

My Big Brother - 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.


Missing seat and slashed tires...could be worse!
Mor!

Sounds like you all had fun with the family and stuff. That’s crazy that is has been that long since you were all together. Well, sounds just like Josh waited until the last second. He will learn. (Kolby is referring to Josh finishing his Eagle Scout project).  You don’t have time to wait until the last second on the mission. It’s now or never, haha.

Well I am sad to hear the Broncos. Still can’t beat the Seahawks, way lame. They need to get it together. I am sure it was good game. I can’t believe that you're selling that house. It hurts to think that it will not be ours when that time comes, and I come home. Geez, well.

Lindsey has a month. That’s weird. Elder Earl just got his five month letter. It was funny. I was laughing at him, then he made sure to mention that mine will be here in about a month, which was not a fun realization. Time is flying too fast.  I can’t believe it. I guess that is just a part of life.
                                                      
Well, this week we had some great things happen...some sad and some fantastic To start off, the bad news. We went to get my bike from the train station and someone was being dumb, stole my bike seat, and slashed my tire. On the bright side, I still have my bike. I just have to buy a seat and new tube. It could defiantly be worse!

We are still going strong with Sa**. He had to change his baptism date because he forgot about some previous engagements, but he will be getting baptized on the 11th of October. So, that is great news.  He is progressing so well...just so willing to follow our big brother, Christ. He also has stopped smoking.  He said he does not really have the desire to even smoke anymore. The Lord has really blessed him, he says. Great to see him realize these things for himself, and to see his strong faith. We are excited to continue to work with him.

We also met with his mom and dad. They were really wondering about the church because it is kind of frowned upon around here. So we went over and taught them a little, answered all their questions, and had some really good chats. Well, long story short, they want us to come over and do service and to teach them more. They will be there when their son gets baptized.

Denmark Sunset
The Lord is so merciful and knows His children. We are excited to just go out and help them and teach them. We also taught another friend this week and showed him a video of Thomas S Monson's talk about being courageous and standing tall. Long story short, after the lesson we asked him if he believed that Thomas S. Monson was a true prophet who was called by God?   He said,“ Yes I do! I don’t know how, I just feel that he is called of God to be a prophet.” So great!

We are looking forward to General Conference. We  have a goal of seeing all four sessions that are broadcast here in Denmark. We have a goal to see all four of them with investigators and at their house. It will be tough, but we feel like it will be a great goal to have them see the prophet in their own home. So we look forward to that.

I  love it here. We just heard from Elder L**. He might be coming back to the mission next week.  He has one more doctor to clear him. So great! The Lord is so loving and just great. I love this!

I have a poem I want you to print out and read with the girls and to talk about it. Read it together at a time when you are all home ASAP. And talk about it. I love this poem.
                                          
                                                               My Big Brother

            When I was just a small child, I had a favorite big brother. He was great to me. He'd put his big arm around me and we'd go scampering down some cool dirt path. At times like this I felt ten feet tall. He didn't seem to mind me tagging along one bit, and there was nothing I liked better.
            I was so proud of him! When I was with him I felt like I was beaming stronger than the sun. He was good at everything. I never could seem to match the mountains he made out of sand. Mine always seemed to crumble and sag, but his would stand as firm as the Rocky Mountains.
            Dad always tried not to show how proud he was of him...him being the oldest and all, but his smile always seemed to be a bit brighter when my big brother came around.
            I felt that my world had collapsed when he went on his mission. Dad and Mom both had to fight back the tears. He called Dad and Mom regularly and let us know how much he loved us. He even told us about how great his mission was, so Mom wouldn't worry.
            The persecution was really bad there as the church was just getting started. But he never seemed to let himself get down, even though the people wouldn't believe his message. We'd all share in his joy when he'd get some new converts, but I don't mind saying that I was scared that the nonbelievers would do something to him. It even got to the point where men were plotting to take his life. But Dad never seemed to be worried for some reason.
            Then one day we received word that his mission had ended, but not as most men's do. I was struck by the terrifying news.
            They finally got hold of my brother. The big brother that I had played with. The one who never seemed capable of doing anything wrong. My big brother who loved everyone he knew, and who most everyone loved.
            They beat him and mocked him. He suffered all they did to him without striking back. Why would anyone want to hurt my big brother? I couldn't understand.
            A mob took him to a hill just outside of town, and spitting on him, they nailed him alive to a cross. My soul moaned as I heard that he begged father to forgive them. Racked with unbearable pain, he gave up his life for what he believed. My big brother, my king, my idol was dead. I cried though what seemed to be the darkest day of my life. Where was my big brother with whom I had shaped mountains of sand? Why did he of all my brothers have to die like this?
            Time passed and I was called on my mission. Sometimes I forget what happened so long ago, but every Sunday a small piece of bread and a small cup of water remind me of what my big brother did for me and assures me that he yet lives. - Author Unknown

Very Simple, Very True (September 15, 2014)

The Second Harvest  (September 29, 2014)

Let go of the rod, and wonder around in the mist :)


Another Remund Missionary! - 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.

Hey y'all!

I'm running short on time so I'm attaching pictures! Very busy today!

Just wanted to tell y'all that my sister, Megan (soon to be Sister Remund for 18 months), got her mission call to the Phillipines Angeles Mission. She'll be speaking Tagalog. She is heading to the Phillipines MTC on Friday, December 19th.

As her "elder" brother, I am very excited for her and can't wait to have a sibling out in the mission field. She's going to be great!! And no, I'm not just saying that!

We had a very busy and highly rewarding week. We met all of our goals for our lessons. It stretched us and we had quite a few miracles talking to people out of the blue who were searching for, or were in dire need of, a message centered on Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon.

Not super great quality pictures, but we were walking a lot and there was a forest out in front of us.

Paz!

-Elder Remund

Photos from Virginia  (September 8, 2014)

Scheduled Baptisms  (September 29, 2014)



Monday, September 15, 2014

El Lobo - 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 world. I took a nice picture of a Lobo (Wolf) next the Luna (Moon). The cake shop El Globo had a couple lights go out. So I took a picture for a memory, haha. And then the other picture I attached is of my companion and me. His name is Elder Mendoza from Baja California. We are in our new house, and it has an amazing boiler. Nice, hot water when I shower.

This week we added four investigators to our teaching pool of four investigators. Opening a new area is hard. But we are seeing miracles! I honestly am really tired... my mind is running blank of things to write. I hope my emails aren't pointless. Sometimes I feel like I just say, "hey," and attach a few photos. But I want you all to know that I know that this church is true! The Spirit has testified it to me. And I will never deny it!! I love you all sooo much!

This week my companion and I had a meeting with President Christensen, the stake president, and the other two zone leaders, about the stake and the progress we can see in the missionary work. Then Friday there was a stake activity. The stake president said all the missionaries in Fuertes needed to go. So we gathered up the zone and went. We ate, then they had a stake dance...so ya, we got out of there really fast. I still am confused to why the whole zone went. But hey, it was fun! haha. Except the dance... just really awkward being there. Haha. Fun day.

I love you all so much!

Elder Burgess

The Epistle of Elder Burgess  (September 8, 2014)

Justice and Mercy  (September 22, 2014)

Elder Burgess and Elder Mendoza

Lobo (wolf) and Luna (moon)  :)

Very Simple, Very True - 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 (Mom),

So again, way sorry about last week. It was way too crazy of a day. That’s way crazy about Dallin. I can’t believe he is leaving already.  That should be way fun. He will be great on his mission.

It’s actually way fun being with Elder Earl.  It's wired because we can talk about all the good old times and people back at Bingham (high school) and middle school. He was actually in the class that me and Lindsey had at Bingham as well.

It’s fun. We have taught so much this week. It’s great to be with someone in the mission that is not younger then you, haha. The new area is awesome. I love it. We are getting some really great help from the ward, and we taught a "member present" lesson every single day last week (that means the missionaries took another member of the congregation with them to teach). Great stuff. We were able to apply the things we have been learning from the leaders who visited our mission in the last three weeks; Elder Taxia, our area authority, and Elder Bednar. Great man. I love him so much.

We had some really good stuff happen. So as I said last week, we had an emergency transfer because of Elder L**’s exit home. He is doing well. They are still trying to find out what is going on with him, but he seems to be happy and having a good positive attitude about the whole thing.

We have a friend here in Slagelse who is one of the most prepared people I have ever met in Denmark.  He will be getting baptized on the 27th of September. He meets with us daily and loves to read and follow in the scripture. He is working on the Word of Wisdom right now, but he has come to church every week since he met the missionaries. He even shares his testimony and participates in class in a very positive way. It's great! He is only 19 years old...future missionary. He will do great!   This week we taught him about many good things. We had the chance to actually teach him with our bishop and stake president on Wednesday.  It was very powerful.

We also met with this family that got baptized in the States while on vacation for three months. Their family is the best. They are actually moving to Utah when they get their green cards, so I will be able to meet with them for the rest of my life, haha. Kristine, the wife, reminds me a ton of sister Kluger. They are great!


Some great things happening here in Slagelse. This ward is one of the smallest in Sjælland, but it is the ward with the most baptisms year to date. The reason why is the ward is on board with the second harvest. It’s not only saying. They are really believing and they are acting on it. The work is moving forward because it's God’s will and the members here are doing their part.

We had the chance to go on exchanges with Nykøbing Falster which just happens to be where Elder Brindley is serving right now. It was way fun to be with him again. We had a good time working together again. He has grown so much.

We also had some good service with some of the members this week, by really building the trust with them and just doing our part. We actually got an assignment yesterday to go down to Næstved (south of where we live) to go and teach a ninth grade class about growing up in America. We just spent the last four hours down there, no time to prepare just talking, haha. They had some great questions and we talked about the church as well. We even got to show them that we are not just robots without a personality. So we had fun! They all seemed pretty comfortable around us by the time the meeting was over.

After our appointment with the stake president and S**,  he talked to us about what we are doing as missionaries to help with all the excitement around about second harvest. We answered honestly and told him that we are not doing anything differently. It’s the fact that the members are stepping in, coming with us, befriending the investigators, and really doing more than they have ever before. We still work. We still knock. We still teach. The members are the ones who have changed. This work is going forward in Denmark because the members are following the new council.

I had a thought this week as we were preparing for a spiritual thought for a member who was feeding us. As we read James 1:5, we thought about the effect this scripture has had on us personally and the world we live in today. We thought about what James was thinking at the time he wrote it down, and then the thought came... he had no idea that what he was writing was going to be the start of the restoration of the fullness of truth to the earth. He was not thinking that a boy of about 14 years old would read this scripture in the future, and that boy would get the true church back into the world, through the power of God. No, James was probably thinking, "This is a true thing, and I know without a doubt it works." He was probably thinking about the fact that he had prayed to our Father in Heaven many times and had gotten his answers. Then I thought about what that means for me today and forever, not just as a missionary, but as a member of this church after the mission as well.

Sharing simple testimony has a lasting effect. Just sharing simple things that we know to be true. Simplicity is the key to bringing the Holy Ghost. The Spirit testifies of truth. To say, "ask and ye shall receive." "Ask of God." Very simple, but very true. The Spirit will fill the room so fast that there will be no way any son or daughter of our Heavenly Father can deny the truth they felt. I know that prayer is a tool by which we communicate with our Heavenly Father, and I KNOW He listens and answers our prayers. In His sacred and holy name, even Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love you.

Med Kærlig Hilsen

Ældste Madsen

Emergency Changes  (September 8, 2014)

My Big Brother  (September 22, 2014)

Elder Madsen and Elder Earl

Elder Madsen and Elder Earl

We are in one of the three areas with cars. We have a brand new Opel with 34 miles on it :)


Photos from 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.

Hey everybody!

Don't have time to write a big email but I thought I'd send some pictures.

 This morning at the beach seeing the sunrise. We all took a sunrise selfie.


Elder Cannon and I on Buckroe Beach for the sunrise.

One of the trailer parks we tract in all the time flooded after a ton of rain. It was crazy!

Twelve Weeks of Trabajo and Training (September 8, 2014)

Another Remund Missionary!  (September 22, 2014)

A Week in the Life - 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! :)

We have had another great and really FAST week! Here is what happened this week:

Monday: We went to therapy for my companion's back in the morning and then we had our normal preparation day (P-day) :) We had Family Home Evening with a less active family who is preparing to go be sealed in the temple in a year, and they are doing awesome! We are re-activating them and they are coming to church weekly now! WOOHOO! :)

Tuesday: We we to therapy AGAIN in the morning :) Then we got back in time for lunch with the bishop's wife, Gloria. She is seriously the funniest lady ever! They are super young, and just way fun to be with! We helped her plan out things for the bishop's birthday this week, and we just laughed and talked while we ate. It was a great day! :) We also saw M**, a 75 year old lady who we are teaching. She is the grandma of a girl named Vanessa who was recently baptized in another ward. We scheduled a baptism date with her for the 28th and she accepted! We also visited with N**, a lady from Venezuela who lives here alone. She is doing great. We just have to get in contact with her more! We also saw N**, the lady with dementia whose baptism is scheduled for the 28th, and with G**, another less active lady that we are working with.

Wednesday: We had Zone Conference! It was awesome! Hermana Mori and I had to give a presentation about sharing our testimonies and prayer. It was great, and we all learned a lot from the Zone Leaders. Apparently our zone is one of the top-baptizing in the mission! WOOHOO! After conference, we visited with my recent convert, A***. He is doing well, but his family is still struggling a little. His wife doesn't want to come to church and won't let us go to their house more than once a week. It's a struggle, but we are working on things. Pray that their family will all re-activate soon! And that we can baptize their two kids!!

Thursday: We had therapy AGAIN. Yes. And we had our weekly planning session. We had lunch with another less active member who we are re-activating and then we visited some old investigators from months ago who want to go to church now! They are a family of five, so if we can get them to keep commitments, we will be set! :) Pray for them too! They are awesome! They just need a little extra push to do things :)

Friday: We had interchanges with Hermana Coray and her companion again! I was with Hermana Coray, who is from Idaho :) She has three months in the mission, and reminds me a lot of me at the beginning of my mission! She is doing great and we always have SO much fun together! I love her so much! She will be a great friend to have throughout the years for sure! We had a successful interchange, and it went by all too fast!

Saturday: We were out in the street pretty much ALL day long and ended up with the Z** family (recent converts). We made cinnamon rolls and had BBQ for lunch. We didn't get to see anyone else that day, but we definitely didn't go hungry :)

Sunday: We had three investigators come to church! WOOHOO! One of them was M** (scheduled for baptism) and the other two were A***'s kids. We were outside yesterday ALL day long too. We did get to go by the church to wish Bishop a happy birthday, then we had to go out and work again. We walked around all night long and came home with sore backs and swollen feet. No work goes unnoticed in missionary work :) The seeds we've planted will bear fruit one day :) Hoorah for Israel!

Well guys, that is all that happened this week! This week is Chile's Independence Day celebration, on the 18th and 19th, so we will be eating a lot of BBQ and celebrating here! I will send pics and give you the details next week! :) Remember how much the Lord loves each and every one of you, and remember to share the Gospel with those around you :) We are blessed to have it! :) I hope that you all have a great week and I will talk to you all next week! :) Love you!

xoxoxoxo Hermana Avery

Finding and Teaching  (September 8, 2014)

Independence Day in Chile  (September 22, 2014)

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Speechless - 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.

We had a fairly productive week. We've been looking for new investigators and I've just come to the conclusion that I have a third eye or horns coming out of my head, because everyone is scared of us. The best part is, we're getting in great practice for Elder Estrada.

We made some progress with R** and M** V**! They're an older couple. They have two children. One of their children has a kid and the other has a girlfriend, so we're waste deep in infringements with the Law of Chastity. The parents are super good, and we're working with them to help their kids with that stuff. R** has wanted to get baptized for a while, but he's been waiting on his wife. He has a great testimony of the Book of Mormon and is a pretty big fan of Joseph Smith (me too!), but his wife has always been a little timid with the idea and hasn't been reading her Book of Mormon. So we went to their house, and this time we were determined to get them to schedule a baptismal date because they didn't follow through the first few times. We ironed out a few of the wrinkles M** had with the Book of Mormon, then the Spirit just moved the theme to baptism in 2 Nephi 31.

In a super spiritual moment R** told his wife, ''Baptism is how you enter into God's Kingdom. Right now, you're outside. The missionaries can visit us for a year, but nothing is going to happen if you don't get baptized.'' Well, we talked about it for a few minutes and, long story short, they're getting baptized the 27th at 5 o'clock!

So this week we also had a huge service project with eight other missionaries, helping a family move. I remember Mom telling me that she'd never ask the missionaries to help move again, and I was reminded of that as we helped them move. They had tons and tons of stuff. Two washers, two fridges, a gas stove, couches, tables... etc. We finally finished loading the truck, then came the great news that we'd also be unloading the truck.

So I was on top of the stuff as we were in route to the new house, and Elder Amazon was below me with one of the fridges. I told him that we had to be careful because that fridge might fall over when we started moving. I was right, but I didn't know how right I was. We hit a huge bump and the fridge and stove came tumbling down! There was a small TV on top of the stove that flew off with a dresser drawer that contained all of their scriptures, and the only person down there was Elder Amazon. Well, he fixed things up a bit and we safely made it to the house.

The new house was in the 3rd floor of an apartment. The staircase was skinny, so a wardrobe ended up getting stuck. We couldn't get it out so a few guys talked about cutting it apart but, after a good kicking, they got it unstuck. Finally, at like 2 o'clock, we finished moving. Despite our best efforts, I think every single one of of their earthly possessions got a little bumped up. I guess that's life.

Well, thanks for listening. The next few weeks are going to be crazy for us. We have Stake Conference, General Conference, then elections land on Sunday so we're not going to see General Conference until the following week when they rebroadcast for Peru. We're using these weeks to find families to teach.

One of the most important concepts that the Spirit has impacted on my soul is the reality of eternal families. We can be together forever. Christ made an eternal sacrifice to make it possible. It's not the easiest path, but it is the straightest and simplest path. On it we will acquire valuable experiences and knowledge that will prepare us for eternal progression in the world to come.

I love my family and I'm so proud for all of their great examples :) Have a great week! Have many blessings! Love you all!

Elder Avery

Training in Peru  (September 8, 2014)

Keep the Commandments  (September 22, 2014)

Request a FREE copy of the Book of Mormon 


The Rains Came Down and the Floods Came Up - 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.

Matthew 7:24-27

"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

So last Monday, I think I told you about the rain we got, but I don't remember what details I gave  you. Last Monday, at 2 a.m. we were awakened by lightening and thunder. It rained all night long, and rain even started coming through the window. When we woke up, we went outside to find a pond in the backyard. The members we live with have a pool, and the pool was just about overfilling with water. It rained until about noon. So for about 12 hours. Later that day we saw pictures of people swimming and canoeing in areas that filled with water.

Do you want to hear the results of the rain?? We got a record breaking amount of 3.5 inches of rain in a 12 hour period. Some parts of Mesa were evacuated because of flooding (my old area included). Missionaries were called in to help people evacuate and help save some of their belongings. They said that the water was knee deep throughout the streets.

On Friday night, we all got a message to meet at a stake center early the next morning to help. By this time, all the water was gone, but the damage still remained. So Saturday morning, at 7 a.m., 225 missionaries gathered together to provide service for these families. We were there until about 1 p.m. LONGEST day ever.

It was really neat to help. Everyone who was affected were just so humbled. We walked the streets and just knocked doors offering help. One door we knocked was a couple covered in tattoos and earrings. They were both smoking and drinking coffee. They obviously were exhausted. I was expecting to hear them say, "no, that's ok, we're not interested," but they said "thank you so much for all you are doing. It's inspiring to see these many young people out here helping. We were telling our
kids to notice the good people in the world. So thank you."

We have a lot to learn from this. I want to refer back to the scripture. The wise man built his house upon the rock and when the rains and floods came, the house stood still. The foolish man built his house upon the sand, and when the rains and floods came, the house fell, and great was the fall. We need to make sure we have a strong spiritual foundation because that's what will help us when the
storms of life come.

Other than the flood, we had an interesting week. We had a therapist come in for preparation meeting and talk about being happy! It was so inspiring. We also are teaching a Jewish man over the phone. That's an experience. He doesn't believe Jesus Christ is the Savior. But he finds the Book of Mormon very interesting. I'm learning so much by teaching him, it's crazy.

In our area we are still working on finding new investigators. We are teaching a lot, but no one really is progressing. There is this one couple, and I have talked about her before. We'll call them Maria y
Pablo. The missionaries before me dropped them because they kind of stopped progressing. He disappeared because he felt pressured, and she just wanted to support him. Three weeks ago we stopped by again and Maria was SOO happy. She has come to church every Sunday since. On Friday we visited them and they made us banana splits. It was so fun! We talked about baptism. She is so ready, and he could be but he wants to take it paso a paso. We're praying and fasting for them.
They are so great!

Anyway! Hope all is going well! Love

Sister Lindsey Jeppson
Mesa Arizona Mission

Fruit of my Labor (September 8, 2014)

Elder Nelson Visits Arizona  (September 22, 2014)

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Chat with a Missionary

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Epistle of Elder 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.

Hello World!

I love you all! I hope all is well in Utah or whatever part of the world you are currently located.

So last Tuesday I had transfers. I am now in the same stake but in the ward of Resurgimiento. My new companion, Elder Mendoza from Ensenada Baja California North, Mexico, and I are the zone leaders here in the Fuertes Sur zone. We have 0 investigators, and we are in the process of changing apartments, but we have had fun together this last week! I love life, and hope you all do too!

Today we went to a Catholic Cathedral here in Puebla. It's the biggest one and most famous one here in Puebla. And it's on the other side of the street from our mission. So we called President Christensen to get permission to go out of the mission to see it. It was pretty old, and big. A while back, when I did a  bus tour of the center of Puebla, I sent a picture to you guys of me and the bus in front of the cathedral. Today I will send another one, because I actually went in today. :) The Catholic Church has a lot of history and old buildings. It's different from how I would imagine a church building, but it's interesting.

Our church is so true! I love you so much!

ELDER BURGESS

El Lobo  (September 15, 2014)

Photos from Elder Burgess  (September 1, 2014)

Welcome to my new apartment, haha! Actually, it's the cathedral.

  Just doing some street proselyting, looking for the priest.