Thursday, October 31, 2013

Inviting = Baptizing

The Quiroz sisters....Love them!
Mom and Dad,

Wow, that is SO great that Emily is inviting so many friends to church!! And that the ward is focusing so much on missionary work. The focus in church has really changed, huh? I've seen a huge change in our ward here, and I was wondering if this was going on all over the world...or just here in Peru? And I am SO happy that it is happening all over the world!! Everyone needs this gospel. Keep inviting friends! My friend Mikilah Gregerson sent an email this week (she is on her mission in Colorado, Denver North) and she said that she is teaching so many high school students because their friends had shared the gospel with them....So, tell Emily to keep inviting her friends! Give them a Book of Mormon! It might sound scary, but it's really not. It is what makes us happy. And if we love someone, we want them to be happy right? So give them a Book of Mormon! They deserve to know the truth, too!! Everyone does! 

This week in our ward, we hit an all time high of members who came to church!! Because there are thousands of members in the ward but only about 100 of them are active. But this weekend there were about 250 people at church! People here are inviting, inviting, inviting, which is great for us because that means we are baptizing, baptizing, baptizing!! :) And of course this week is when everyone came...the week when I was assigned a talk!!  It was so cool giving my talk and seeing the benches of the chapel full :) It made me happy! :) I spoke on recognizing the impressions of the Holy Ghost. Before my mission, Cameron told me that I should try to give all my talks without any notes and just go by the Spirit. So that's what I did! I had thought about it all week, about what I was going to say, and I just got up and starting talking, and it went really well!! After my talk, I sat down, and was thinking about it and I was like, "wait a second. I just gave that talk in Spanish! What?!" It's amazing how Spanish is just like my second language now! It's getting to the point where sometimes I can't tell the difference when someone is speaking to me in Spanish or English. I am scared to lose my gift of tongues after the mission! I love Spanish so much!

This week, I have seen a lot of the fruits of my missionary work. I have realized that being a missionary...while the main focus is helping people come unto Christ and be baptized...but so many other things happen too. Our old ward mission leader is 21 years old and he did not want to serve a mission at all. But, we've been inviting him to come out with us to lessons and be a part of our missionary work. Yesterday, he told us that seeing our missionary work and having the opportunity to work with us these past couple months, he decided that he wanted to serve a mission!! So, he turned his papers in yesterday and we are waiting for his call to come! Also, we are still teaching the Quiroz family and they are very, very humble. They don't have light, water, or food in their house. So our ward has gotten together to help the family. We are providing food for them, and the Bishop is working with the owner of the house to make a contract to hand ownership over to the Quiroz family so that the church can go in and fix up the house and give them light and water. It has been so cool to see the ward come together and help this great family...and they deserve it so much :) There are SO many ways to do missionary work like this. Missionary work isn't just contacting in the street and handing out pamphlets. It is helping people come unto Christ. And there are so many different ways to do that! Being an example, doing service for someone you love, giving out a Book of Mormon and telling them what a blessing the gospel is in your life. All of these things bring people closer to Christ :) I know this church is true and that everyone needs this gospel!

I had a really cool experience with the Quiroz kids this past week. We were doing an "Iron Rod" activity where they had to go from one end of the room to the other and I was standing on the other side holding the candle representing the end, or eternal life. After the kids had gone through, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end...they finally made it to me and gave me a big hug and kept saying "We made it! We made it!" That was a really cool experience and it made me think of our Heavenly Father. I was so happy when the kids had finally made it to me and they just gave me a hug and were so happy and excited. I imagine that is what it is going to be like when we get to return to our Heavenly Father. He is watching us here on earth and he is rooting for us to get back to him. Now is the time to keep enduring. Keep enduring through the hard rough times, and enjoy the blessings of the gospel. Because Heavenly Father is watching over us and rooting for us to come back to Him, ad when we finally make it to the end, we'll be able to give Him a big hug and say "We made it!" And that will be a very very good day! :) I know this church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and every time I read it, the Spirit testifies that it is true. I know that Christ came here to America to visit the people here and teach them the gospel. And I am so lucky to be here in Peru with the descendants of those people :) I love it here. I love being a missionary and sharing the gospel with the people of Peru :)

Thanks for everything Mom and Dad. For your emails, and your support :) I am praying for you always and I miss you!! Love you all!

Hermana Agle

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Love, Love, Love teaching the Gospel

Samahara's Baptism this week...isn't she just the cutest!!

This week was awesome! A little girl named Samahara was baptized!! She is 9 and her mom is a member, but is very inactive. We have been working with Samahara these past couple of weeks to prepare her for her baptism and she was finally baptized this past weekend :) She is so sweet, and she really wants to be a missionary some day :) Her baptism really helped her mom as well. She is starting to re-activate and we will continue to visit them almost every day. We have a new key-indicator in the mission called "Rescued" for the less-actives that we help re-activate. So we will rescue Yulisa, Samahara's mom :) The family is so great :) Samahara's dad lives in Virginia(the DC South mission!!!!!!) and he was just baptized this past weekend as well!! It was so sweet to have two people get baptized this weekend from the same family, in two very different missions in the world, both of which I served in. Kind of cool, huh? :) So we are happy for this family! :)

We continue to work with the Quiroz family to prepare them for their baptism!! They are still so great and every time I teach them, I am humbled. Their house is just a little straw house with no light and we just teach around a little candle. They LOVE the Book of Mormon. LOVE it. If every member of the church loved the Book of Mormon as much as they did, Christ could come tomorrow because we would be ready! It has been so incredible watching their testimonies slowly grow and their love for the church sky-rocket. They love it every time we visit. And they are just the cutest little family. This is the kind of family that everyone wishes to find on their mission. The ward also loves them so much. Everyone is involved to help the family with anything they need, and so humbled every time we ask them to come with us to a lesson at their house. I love this family. I love love love them! And am so excited for them to get sealed in the temple. They will be able to get sealed around Nov. 1 of next year so I might just chill in Peru after my mission until then so I can go to the sealing! haha. It is amazing how much love you can develop for your investigators! I feel as if they are my own family :)

Thanks for all your emails and all of your support! I miss you guys a lot! I am glad that everyone is doing OK, Dad enjoyed his birthday, and Ave could come home for the weekend. Sounds like you guys had a good time. And tell the Harts that I am praying for them. Sounds like a really hard time for them. It also sounds like they are handling it the right way. Heavenly Father is watching over their family, and Jordan. I love you guys! Talk to you next week!

Hermana Agle

Food from America...brought by our Pensionista's daughter

Samahara's beautiful family!
Dayana and Priscila Quiroz :) So Cute!
Peruvian dogs are hairless!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Still Small Voice

Stephany at her baptism!
This week has been incredible. One of the best weeks of my mission :) I feel like I say that every week, but really... It was amazing!! Stefany was baptized!! The 12 year old girl in the big family that we are teaching :) Her baptism was so awesome :) We had a Noche Blanca (white night) with our district because we all had baptisms this week so we did the baptism together :) Stefany was so cute after, when we got back to the house to celebrate all of her friends ran up to her and said "how do you feel??" and she said "NUEVA!" :) She is really happy :) And the whole family came to the baptism and were able to feel the Spirit so it was really really cool :) We are working with the rest of them to get them baptized soon! :)

I had one of the coolest experiences this week. The first time that I  actually HEARD the "still small voice" of the Spirit...and it was AWESOME! Hermana Jones and I were walking to Previ from Condor and ran into Irán and her mom and one of their friends that was about 40 years old. We talked for a little bit, just a quick little conversation and said goodbye and walked away. As we were walking away, I had the strangest feeling.  As we were crossing the street to Previ, I heard "turn around right now!" as if the Spirit was yelling at me! So, I immediately turned around and started walking back and Hermana Jones was like "where are you going?" and I just said "I don't know" and kept walking. Right at that moment, Irán, her mom and their friend turned the corner walking back towards us flagging us down. Turns out, the woman that was with them, her name is Jackie, has wanted to listen to misisonaries for a long time, and she just has never had the chance. So we went to her house to teach her and she has 3 little kids. Marjoire (13), Priscilla (11) and Luis (9). Their house was the most humble house I have ever seen and her kids the most respectful, well-behaved kids I have ever met. So sweet and just so cute. They live in a little wood shack with a straw roof and they don't have electricity. We huddled around a small candle to share the gospel with them (it was night time). We shared a message with them, and the Spirit was SO strong in the room. They told us they wanted to get baptized as soon as possible :) They are getting baptized the 26th of October :) This family has been PREPARED. And I'm so glad the Spirit yelled at me and told me to go back so that we could find this family and bring the gospel into their lives. They are the kind of family that is already so humble and good and following Christ.  Now they have the gospel and will receive all of the blessings that the gospel brings to families. So we are so excited for them!! :) 

Kervin was able to go the temple this week and he bore his testimony about it the Sunday after :) He is really progressing and going to be the best missionary :) Also, Julio and Estela are in the process of getting married so they can get baptized and enter the temple as well. Julio called us (he calls us a lot because we can't visit him anymore), and told us that and it made me SO happy. I love that family :)

A dog attacked me this week, it was really scary! But...the funniest part is, Hermana Jones totally abandoned me! Haha! The dog ran up and bit my skirt and was tugging on my skirt and I turned around and Hermana Jones was bookin' in down the street. I was able to get away from the dog, though, and he calmed down a little bit and walked away...but it was scary! Apparently Hermana Jones thought so too! :) We got a pretty good laugh out of that!. I just turned around and my companion was nowhere to be seen!! It reminded me of a story that Steve told me about his mission with dogs attacking him and his companion :) 

Last week on Pday we got to climb this huge hill and the hill is a Peruvian cemetery. They bury people above the ground here. So, going up the hill is just like a maze of graves that are above the ground.  At the top there is a Virgin Mary that is watching over all the graves, and at the top we found a bunch of human bones just lying around. It was SO sweet!

Well, so many more great things happened this week but that's what my journal is for :) I might just send my journal home so you guys can read all the great experiences I'm having. The mission is so great. I love it. It is HARD and takes a lot out of your body and when Pday comes, you are TIRED but it is SO WORTH IT. Seeing the joy this gospel brings to families makes everything SO worth it :) I love this gospel and I know it is true. I know Christ lives and God is our Father and He loves us and listens to us. I love you all so much. Thanks for all the support :)

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Agle

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

General Conference was the Best!

This boy's name is Josua(Joshua)...he's basically Joshua's twin!

Hey Mom!
This week has been incredible!! We were able to get 9 people to general conference! And every single one of them loved it! Conference was SO AMAZING!! I really loved all of the talks too! I thought it was cool how President Monson said that this conference has been one of the most influential he has ever heard! Isn't that amazing?!  I loved his talk on Sunday morning. I also LOVED Elder Holland's as well! Also, the talk on Saturday morning about Christ-like attributes, I really liked that one! Helped me a lot! Conference is the best on the mission :) Better than Christmas! Here is a really cool experience I had this week! I wrote this to President so I'm just going to copy and paste :)

This week, like I said, we set the Villa family on date. And it was a really amazing experience! We were all huddled together in their little carpentry shop and we had just finished teaching all of them lesson 3. We have been teaching them for a while but one of them, Bryan, it was our first time teaching him. After we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we invited them to live it and be baptized. We went around the circle specifically to each person and invited them to be baptized. The spirit was SO strong! I felt like I was in a testimony meeting, because one by one we went around the circle and each person expressed their desire to be baptized. Even Bryan, who we had never taught before, expressed his gratitude for general conference and his desire to be baptized. The 14 year old, Naysha, said that during conference, she had received answers to some of her questions and she also expressed her desire to be baptized. I could feel Heavenly Father's love so strongly in that room. We taught them about the Celestial Kingdom and one of the steps to get there as a family is baptism. The spirit was so strong and we could see the desire in all of them to get baptized into the true church of God. It was really an amazing experience! We are so excited for this family!

The Villa family is the family I told you about last week :) We are SO excited for their baptism :) It was interesting because remember how we changed our areas? The DAY we started working in El Condor, our new area, we met this family and we've been teaching them ever since :) And from the beginning I have had such a strange feeling about them. I feel like I know them! Like I have met them somewhere before! And I have felt from the beginning that they are ready for baptism :) It has been really exciting working with them and preparing them for baptism :) 
So a year from TODAY, I will be coming home from the mission. Crazy huh?? The transfers are October 7th next year. I really hope you and Dad can come here to Peru to pick me up and you can meet all of the ward members and converts! Although you wont be able to speak Spanish...but I will translate! You have a year, start practicing! :)

That is a great idea to set aside 30 minutes a day to study your scriptures! (I mentioned to Cami that I had recommitted myself to this each day)It will help you a LOT! I'm glad I have the mission where I can develop those habits. It will really help you remember the Savior throughout your day. Something I have learned here is that we can't just depend on Sunday's to get our spiritual nourishment. Every single day if we read and study the scriptures, or read a conference talk or something, we can strengthen our testimony a little bit, and grow firmer and firmer in the gospel. I loved the talk this weekend about how NOW is the time to strengthen and live our testimonies and told tight to the Iron rod. I know that reading your scriptures every day will really help you do that. You will grow so much closer to your Savior, and strive to live more like him. This church is so true. Every time I teach someone about it, my testimony grows stronger! I am so happy and privileged to be one of the 80,000 missionaries that is serving in the world right now. It was so amazing to hear every single person that prayed in conference, include the missionaries! I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ :) Love you all!!! Keep working hard to strengthen you testimonies!!

Con BASTANTE amor,
Hermana Agle :)
I met Collin Russell's teacher from the Peru MTC...he's in my Stake!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Teaching a Family is the Best

Together Again! Hermana Brown came to El Olivar to visit this week!

 Hey Mom and Dad!

Wow, the conference looks GREAT! Nice work mom :) That's so cool that so many non-members went too!!(Our Stake held a Women's Conference in conjuction with the General RS Broadcast) I wasn't able to go see the RS General Broadcast, but I am sure it was so good! I am excited to get all of the people that live within the boundaries of my area to GENERAL CONFERENCE!  We are making huge posters to put around town and a bunch of fliers that we are going to hand out all week. Everyone needs to hear the words of the Prophet and Apostles! And I think it will help our investigators progress a lot! I am also really happy because my Spanish is fluent enough now that I can watch conference in Spanish and actually benefit from it and understand the messages :) So that will be cool! I don't think I have ever been so excited for conference before. Once you are on a mission, things like conference just have a whole new meaning. I am SO excited! 

This week has been COOL. We are teaching a bunch of families and teaching families is literally the best. We found this guy named Julio César in the street a really long time ago, when I was with Hermana Muñoz. Hermana Jones and I see him ALL the time so we finally asked him if we could teach him, even though he is SUPER busy all the time. He doesn't live in our area, but we decided we would just go to his work and teach him there, because his work IS in our area. We went to his work one day, and ended up finding a family there with 9 people that we can teach! We were teaching Julio César and another boy named Andy. Andy did not say ONE word our first visit(he is really really shy), so we kind of focused on Julio César thinking Andy was not very interested. When we came back, Andy had read 12 chapters in the Book of Mormon and said he wanted to get baptized!!! It was SO cool! He says that there is just so much power in the Book of Mormon and he knows that it is true! We are teaching him, and his little sister, Stefany, and their cousin, Naysha (she was going to get baptized 2 years ago but ended up not for some reason), and their Mom and Dad, Marlene and José Luis. Andy, Stefany, and Naysha all came to church this week and loved it! It is so cool because we always teach them in a little carpentry shack next to their house and we had a lesson with them all last night in the dark. There was just a little bit of light coming in from the street and we were all just crammed in this little shack huddled around 3 Book of Mormons (because Hermana Jones and I are handing out Book of Mormons like CRAZY and we ran out haha :)) Everyone would get so excited for their turn to read their verse in the Book of Mormon. We were reading in chapter 13 of 1 Nephi which talks about the gentiles and how in the last days, they will all have the chance to hear the gospel.  I could just feel the spirit so strong that night in our warm little shack all huddled around the Book of Mormon! It was so great to see all of their desires to read the Book of Mormon and study the words of God. We are so excited and lucky to be teaching this family :) It's hard teaching a family like this though because not everyone can always be taught at the same time...But we are continuing to work with them and are so excited for their baptism the 12th of October!!! 

Sé que esta es la iglesia verdadera y que José Smith fue un profeta. Sé que el Libro de Mormón es verdadero y contiene la plentitud del Evangelio de Jesucristo. Sé que Él es mi Salvador y Redentor y por medio de Él, podemos volver a vivir con Dios y nuestras familias por eternidad. Amo mi Señor y mi Dios y estoy MUY agradecida por el Evangelio restaurado y el amor y misericordia de Dios. Ojalá que puedo decir todo el Peru sobre estas cosas para que puedan sentir el Espíritu y saber la veracidad de todas estas cosas. Sé que esta es la iglesia verdadera con TODAS las ensañanzas de Jesucristo. El poder del Sacerdocio es grande y verdadero. Gracias por todo su apoyo y ayuda :) Les amo MUCHO :) 

Hermana Agle