Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Last Letter from Peru

Well, I have only got about 10 minutes to write my email today because my district surprised me with a trip to Catac, which is a town about an hour away... and it is beautiful! Our zone is going there today and we have only a little bit of time on the internet. I bet you're asking yourself, ¨Wait, I thought the zone was going to get together LAST week to say goodbye??¨ Well, I'll tell you what happened...

Don't freak at this story, I am totally fine now. Last week on Pday, at the church (outside in the soccer field), we started having a water balloon fight. Some of the sisters didn't want to get wet so they ran in the bathroom. Well, the Elders wanted to soak them , and they knew I could get them to come out, so they sent me to get them out of the bathroom. Well, I went to the bathroom, and as I slowly opened the door to the bathroom, the three sisters ran towards the door and flung themselves at the door to keep me from getting in. Long story short, the door slit my face open and broke my finger!!.I was soaking wet and it was cold outside and when I saw all the blood above me eye, my body went into shock! haha. So Pday was kind of ruined after that! But, luckily the senior missionary couple was there and the they were able to help clean up the cut above my eye and help me with my finger and my arm. The cut is A LOT better now! It is just a scar above my eye now, so that is good...I will always remember Huaraz thanks to this scar :) I am fine now :) 

Also, the story with Manuel this week is interesting(remember him from my last few letters). He came here to Huaraz to train to be a policeman. Well, he told us that he wasn't sure if that is what God wanted him to do. I told him the story of me deciding to serve a mission. I told him that I didn't know what it was that Heavenly Father had planned for me. I prayed and prayed a lot because there were a lot of things telling me to not serve a mission but I felt that I should do it. Until finally one day, I felt the Spirit SO strongly that I should serve a mission. It was as strong as I had felt it when I asked the Lord if the Book of Mormon was true. I knew from that moment on, that it was in God's plan for me to serve a mission and I was determined to do it, no matter what obstacles were in my way. We invited Manuel to pray as well to ask Heavenly Father what he should do. A couple days later, Manuel told us that he had been praying and he felt the same feeling of the Spirit that I felt when I knew I should serve a mission. He said that Heavenly Father had let him know that he should not study to be a policeman and he should return to Trujillo. Well, he had that same determination that I had apparently, because the next day he travelled to Trujillo. He promised us that he was going to look for the missionaries first thing and get baptized in Trujillo. Well, that was definitely NOT what I was expecting!! It was kind of disappointing for us to be honest, but at the same time, I was happy that I was able to help Manuel figure out what Heavenly Father wants with his life. Manuel is amazing, and I know he will be a STRONG member of the church in Trujillo. He follows the Spirit and He trusts in God. One of the most important things I have learned on my mission is submitting ourselves to God's will and not losing faith if His will is not our will. Sometimes we ask ourselves if we have enough faith to receive answers to prayers but sometimes, as Elder Bednar says, we should ask ourselves if we have enough faith to NOT receive answers to our prayers. Even if it means I couldn't be at Manuel´s baptism, I know that it was God's will for Manuel to go back to Trujillo and get baptized there. I am so grateful because I have been able to develop an unbreakable faith on my mission that I know will help me throughout my whole life. Heavenly Father knows what He is doing. And we have to have faith in His will, even if it doesn't exactly align with ours :) I know that He lives. I know that He is our Father and He loves us SO much. There is nothing that I am more certain of.

We did find an incredible family this week.  One morning we woke up and decided we would go out knocking on doors.  I haven't had much success on my mission with this approach, but we prayed about where to go, and we both felt inspired to go to an area of Huaraz that we hadn't spent much time in.  It was raining SO hard, and not many people would open their doors.  Finally, we knocked on a door, and a woman answered.  She was home with her husband and 4 kids, and they were interested in listening to our message.  We asked them if they wanted to strengthen their marriage and their family.  Both Mom and Dad started to cry and told us YES they wanted to make changes in their life, and strengthen their family. The Mejilla family is excited to learn more about this gospel of Jesus Christ, and want to be baptized in November. The Lord answers prayers, and leads us to those who need the gospel in their lives. I am sad I won't be here to help teach them the gospel, but I know they will be in good hands with Hermana Medina. 

Well, I can 100% understand NOW why the Spirit told me that day that I needed to serve a mission :) I didn't understand it at the time, but now I do :) I have been changed and prepared for my life. I know this gospel, and every aspect of it is true. I have experienced the changing power of the Atonement and I have seen the power of the gospel in the lives of the people here in Peru. I will never go back to who I was before, because of this testimony I have gained of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I know that He lives and thanks to him, we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. I loved my mission. I am sure you will hear ALL about it for the next couple of months...I wont be able to stop talking about all the amazing experiences that I have had :) I am thankful for everything I have learned...from the Book of Mormon, President Archibald, and the Spirit. I love you all and I will see you next week! I can't wait to see you!! 

Con mucho cariño y gracias,
Hermana Agle

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I Am Changed!

This week has been great!! Enjoying every last minute of walking with my name badge :)

This week was stake conference so President Archibald came with Elder Costa to train the missionaries on Saturday and then to the conference on Sunday. Wow, the work of salvation is being HASTENED, I love it! I am so grateful for the chance I have been given to be a part of this work in THIS TIME. This is a very special time to hasten the work. And I have been able to be a part of it! How lucky am I?? :) I loved, as always hearing from President Archibald and a member of the Seventy. Everytime I hear them speak I just confirm my testimony that these men are called of God. Their Spirit is so strong and every time I hear them speak, I learn new things from the Spirit. It is amazing! Seriously, so many people are waiting for this gospel. And we will have NO idea who they are until we OPEN OUR MOUTHS. It could be our neighbor, our kids teacher in school, our mailman! Anyone! But we need to open our mouths and share it with everyone. If we are going to hasten the work, we need to put in our part and share this amazing gospel with our family and friends and neighbors and everyone so that they can receive it and return to live with their Heavenly Father. I love being a has blessed my life more than I ever thought possible. And I am excited to continue the work of salvation when I get home!!

Manuel de la Cruz is still preparing for his baptism this Saturday! A couple of things have come up that are little obstacles, but he is so excited to be baptized. We are praying and fasting a lot, so that he can make this covenant with his Father in Heaven! I can't believe it will be my last baptism(in the mission field). I have all sort of different feelings...sadness excitement, nerves. But I feel so happy with my mission. I feel changed. I have experienced the miracle of the Atonement of Christ and I know that my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and the Spirit is real. I have no doubt of that. I am not coming home the same Cami (I jump just at the idea of hearing my name :)).

This week was Chile's Independence Day so Hermana Medina and I had a LOT of fun. I left my camera at home, but I will show you the pictures in 2 weeks :) We also did a lot of service this week with the zone. A zone leader, Elder Brimley, and I are finishing together this transfer, so we have done lots of things as a zone. We also had a family history training and we all went out to eat at my favorite restarant that was great :) This week I have LOTS of things to do, it is my last week in Huaraz! Today is our zone Pday where we will have our ¨Goodbye Elder Brimley and Hermana Agle¨ party and this week I will have to say goodbye to Huaraz! So it will be a busy couple of days! I love you all! Thank you for all of the support, and letters and emails :) I know this church is true! The mission has been the biggest blessing in my life! If you are thinking about serving a mission, stop thinking and do it!! :) It is the best. The church is true!

Hermana Agle

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Power of Prayer

This week was a really busy busy busy week with lots of happy things and lots of disappointments as well...and lots of spiritual progression. Anything that happens on the mission teaches you something...I learn something new every week. 

Well Juan and Kari were not baptized this week. Juan ended up working all day on Saturday and he wasn't even able to get to his baptismal interview. So it was a pretty big disappointment. As a missionary, you come to love your investigators and the families you teach SO much and you just desire so much their salvation...and when they don't make baptismal covenants it is devastating. After so much fasting and praying and studying for them and following what the Spirit tells you to do and it doesn't happen...they aren't is a HUGE trial. But here is an experience that was very very spiritually uplifting this week:

This week I had a great experience with prayer and experiencing the power of the Atonement. It was very hard when Juan and Kari told us that they were not going to be able to be baptized on Saturday. I was pretty devastated to be honest. When things like this happen in the mission, Satan attacks. He makes me feel like the worst missionary on the planet. I was feeling like that and I decided to go and kneel down and say a prayer. In this prayer, I felt so much peace. I really felt that Heavenly Father was listening to me and communicating with me. I felt His understanding and I felt so much love. I realized that the atonement of Jesus Christ provides so much comfort to us when we need it. He knows us inside and out and He knows EXACTLY how we are feeling. I could feel that power in this prayer. And I know that anytime in our lives that we are feeling down on ourselves, and Satan is attacking us, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are there to provide the love and comfort that we need. I am thankful for the opportunity that we have to pray and talk to our Father in Heaven. I know that prayer is real and the Atonement of Jesus Christ strengthens us and provides the strength we need in our trials. I have grown to know my Savior in this past year and a half and I know that the Atonement is real. There is a song that I like that says ¨How can I keep this gift to myself, When I can lift somebody else? I am a witness of His miracle and His mercy¨ I am a witness of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and I love sharing this gift and lifting other people and sharing the happiness that I feel from the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love this gospel and I love being a missionary. 

This week we also did and ALL day long service as a zone. There is a house that is 4 stories and we had to sand the walls. Well, here in Peru the houses are all concrete, so for about 5 hours we were sanding concrete walls. and we STILL didn't finish with 24 of us!! It was pretty fun though :) I like being with all of the missionaries and serving those that need our help. The family was so grateful and I love being able to help other people feel good :) Service is a great blessing to everyone. 

Well, in these last 3 weeks of my mission, 2 of the weeks we can't baptize because of stake conference and general conference so on the 27th of September I have my last baptism (as a missionary :))!! I know, on Tyler's birthday!! I am going to be celebrating VERY well with my last baptism as a representative of Jesus Christ. It's a pretty great way to celebrate. His name is Manuel de la Cruz. Ok, lets just remember how my FIRST converts name is Manuel de la Cruz from Leesburg VA. I wasn't there for his baptism because I came to Peru but I set the baptismal date and he was baptized. And my LAST converts name is Manuel de la Cruz :) Just a fun little coincidence :) But anyway, he is from Trujillo and was listening to the missionaries there and just moved here to Huaraz. So, we scheduled his baptism for the 27th of September! He is super great. He is 20 years old and studying to be a policeman. When he goes running in the morning, he brings his pamphlets that we give him and he reads them on top of the mountain and then prays out loud to know if what they say are true. He says that every time he prays he gets an answer :) So Manuel is great. We are going to continue working hard with him to make sure he is very well prepared to be baptized the 27th! 

Wow, I only have 2 weeks left here in Huaraz, and I am just going to enjoy every single minute that I have with Hermana Medina. I love being a missionary, it is an experience that I will never forget and I will have permanent changes in my life thanks to everything I have learned, and the testimony I have gained on my mission. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and this is HIS church and there is no other on the face of the earth. This gospel brings happiness and blessings. The Atonement is real and we can find peace and strength from it everyday. Heavenly Father loves every one of his children and listens to our prayers. Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God and Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet today. Go forward with faith! I love you all! Sè con ninguna duda que todas estas cosas son verdaderas y que Jesucristo es mi Salvador. Les amo.

Hermana Agle 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Temple Blessings

Max and Mandalyn preparing for their sealing in the Lima Temple
Well, I have about 5 minutes to write today! But a quick update:
This week we have challenged Juan and Kari to get baptized this Saturday! It will be a huge miracle...but I know we can do it! We will be praying and fasting a ton this week for them to get baptized. As of now, they still have their old doubts, but last night we taught them an amazing lesson about faith and how their faith in this decision is going to determine whether or not they have an eternal family in the future. We are working to help them walk by faith by being baptized this Saturday and sealed on September 13, 2015 :)

This week we had a pretty amazing experience. A man contacted us in the street and he said ¨Are you guys Jehovah's Witnesses?¨ We just smiled and said ¨Nope, we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we share a message of happiness with all of the families here in Huaraz¨ He gave us his address and told us to come back the next day to meet his family. Well, we got there the next day and this man explained to us his story. He said that the day before, he and his wife had a big fight, and they both just felt so sad and depressed and Edwin felt that he should go outside and look for help. He felt that God was going to put someone in his path to help his family be healthier and happier. And that is when he met us...and invited us over! It turns out his wife is a member of the Church, and Edwin expressed to us his desire to improve his family and be the man of the family that can be a protector and an example to his children. It was amazing!! Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us and He is so aware of our situations and our needs! I am so grateful to be able to teach this family about the gospel and see the fruits and blessings this gospel brings to families.

OH! And Wilder entered the temple this week(See photo above) to do baptisms for the dead! He loves family history and he has already brought his family names to the temple to be baptized for them! The ward here in Huaraz has a trip to the temple every 3 months and this week was the trip and Wilder was so excited! It was the best feeling to get photos of him at the temple :)

I feel a little bit strange finishing my mission. I am going to miss it tremendously. It hadn't hit me until this week when the offices were calling me every second telling me my flight plans and which airport I should fly to and what I will be doing the first week of was very odd. So Hermana Medina and I are just going to enjoy these 3 weeks we have left together and expect miracles :) I know this work is real and that this is the true gospel. I am so priviledged to be a missionary, and to serve the Lord. I love you all! Until next week!

Hermana Agle

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Work in Huaraz

This week was great! A little slow...haha. We had about three days in a row where we walked and walked and walked all day long and no one let us in. So that was a little rough. We got home SO tired at night!! But there were a few awesome things that happened!
This week we went to Kari and Juan's house and taught them how to make lasagna! Oh my goodness, I haven't eaten American food (lasagna isn't American but it's something that I LOVE) in so long and this lasagna was SO good. So we went to their house in the morning and cooked for them and surprised Juan when he got home from work. That was really fun! They are progressing. Kari comes to church every week and Juan comes when he can...his work schedule is really difficult. Kari said that as she was praying this week to know if she should get baptized, she flipped open the Book of Mormon right to 3 Nephi 11 and read about baptism. She said that she felt like it was an answer, and we helped her realize that Heavenly Father really listens and answers our prayers, and that He was trying to speak to her through the scriptures. Growing up we had a quote in our house that says ¨If you want to talk to God, Pray. If you want God to talk to you, Read Your Scriptures¨ That quote is SO true! Heavenly Father communicates through the scriptures and He did that day to Kari. Unfortunately, we have agency and sometimes we don't listen to what He is telling us. We are going to keep working with Juan and Kari so they can both decide to be baptized and make this covenant that is so important to Heavenly Father (the picture of Huaraz is right in front of Juan and Kari's house).

This week we had another interesting experience. We had walked ALL day long, and nobody would let us in their house. We were both really tired and we didn't really know what else to do besides contact in the street. Well, we walked past the church and it was open, so we decided to go in and kneel down and say a prayer and ask Heavenly Father where He needed us to go. I had a very strong impression that we should go visit a less active named Javier, and ask him for references. I felt very strongly that he had references to give us. So we got up and headed straight over to his house. We went in and taught him about missionary work and at the end of the lesson we invited him to share the gospel and we asked him if he had any references for us. At first he said no. He said that he didn't know anyone. Well, I KNEW that he had a reference, so we insisted. Turns out, he gave us 4 references that were great! 

The next day in the morning we went out to contact all of these references. We got to one (that was a family of 5) and knocked and they weren't there. But the neighbor came out and so we started talking to her. Turns out she and her 4 kids have been looking for a church and we taught her about how her family could live together forever in the presence of God and she was so excited to hear our message! She is a widow. The Lord was able to lead us to this family that is so prepared to hear the a very interesting way...but I know that Heavenly Father heard our prayer and provided a way for us to find this family that needs the gospel in their life.
This picture is of a little baby boy named Mattias who comes with us to almost all of our lessons. He is a convert's nephew and we bring this convert with us to a bunch of our lessons and Matty usually comes with us :) He is so cute, he'll sit in his little chair and as we read the Book of Mormon he just sits there and smiles with the book open in his lap. He is really cute :)

Hermana Agle

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wilder's Baptism

Well, this week was a good week :) Let me tell you, it was the MOST stressful week that I have had in my mission, but also one of the best weeks I have had. I learned SO many different things! :)

Wilder was baptized this week!! Wow, we saw a HUGE change in Wilder this week because of the gift of repentance! This week, Hermana Medina and I have been studying our purpose as part of her training. Lots of missionaries think that their purpose is to baptize baptize baptize. But they forget the first two steps and repentance. Hermana Medina and I have been focusing this week on building the faith of our investigators, inviting them to repent, and by doing this, they will choose to be baptized. In 3 Nephi 7:24 it says that all of those that repented, were baptized in the water. I have used that scripture as a reference many times in my mission. Focusing on the repentance of my investigators to prepare them for the covenant of baptism. And when they really repent, they are always baptized. Repentance is powerful. It drives people to have a strong desire to be baptized. With Wilder this week we had a small problem and it required a repentance process before his baptism. After making the mistake he told us that he didn't want to get baptized anymore. He felt all the feelings we feel after sinning: shame, doubt, heavy load. He told us that he didn't want to be baptized anymore, and he came up with a bunch of excuses like ¨it's too soon",  and "I need to learn more¨ and ¨I don't know if I will go every Sunday¨. His face was just dark. We invited him to repent. His faith has grown so much in the past month. He reads the Book of Mormon everyday, and his faith in Jesus Christ is strong. So, we invited him to repent, to kneel down and talk to God and ask forgiveness and ask God if he should be baptized. We set an appointment with him for the next day to see how it went.

When we returned the next day, he looked like a NEW person. The second he walked out of his door I asked him, ¨Have you been praying??¨ And he just smiled and said ¨All day long!" He told us everything. How he was feeling, how he was so excited for his baptism, he bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Jesus Christ and the Atonement. He even told us that the day we arrived at his house, he was unable to walk (he has problems with his feet). ...but when we invited him to come with us walking 15 minutes to the church, God gave him enough strength in his feet to get up and walk down to church. He said he knew that this was the right path and that he was going to endure to the end. So...he was baptized this Saturday :) He really was a new person! He just had a glow to him! I know the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and that it can change us. I saw it in Wilder this week, and now he is happier than he has ever been :) The gospel makes us happy, and I TESTIFY to that.

Wilder's baptism was part of a zone "Noche Blanca" or White Night...there were 9 people who were baptized on Saturday!

Also, Hermana Medina finished her training this week!! She is so excited and SO ready to work miracles in her mission! She was super excited to finish her training with Wilder's baptism. I found out today I will stay here in Huaraz with Hermana Medina for my last transfer and I am excited to work harder than I ever have in my mission. Tell Sister Gold's dad that I am still expecting miracles, even in these last 5 weeks of my mission. I head down to Lima on October 1st, so I really only have 5 weeks left. It is super weird but I am excited to see what happens in these next 5 weeks! My 18 months is flying by and I have to enjoy every minute that I can. I am so grateful for my mission :) It is an experience that I will never forget!

Love you guys! Have a great week!

Hermana Agle

Finding, Finding, Finding Families

This week has been a little stressful. We have difficulties with our three baptisms scheduled for this next Saturday. But, we are going to keep fasting and praying for our investigators so that they can be baptized!!
With Juan and Kari, a bunch of doubts have entered their minds this week. We had a lesson and we invited Juan to say a prayer and ask God if he should be baptized on Saturday. He said a 15 minute prayer and was in tears as his prayer ended. He said he felt better about it but he still wasn't 100% sure. So every single day this week we are going to be with them helping them receive their answer. They are a GREAT family and they have a goal to be sealed in the temple. We've got to get them baptized first though :)

Yesterday, on top of all the stress, we had an amazing experience. In the morning we received a call from the zone leaders with a reference that had shown up to their ward. They said her name was Luisa and that she had attended a lot of different churches but she really wanted to join the church of Jesus Christ with her daughter. So we called and contacted her and went and met her and her daughter. Her daughter couldn't come to church, but Luisa came with us and she LOVED it. When it ended she said she was sad because she loved it so much. So we are really excited to be able to teach them! It was a little tender mercy that we needed. 

We have been finding, finding ,finding lots of families this week too. We taught a family that in the beginning, were totally against the church and saying horrible things....but after teaching them, we could see the Spirit working in them, and they completely changed. We finished the lesson with them saying they wanted to attend church with us and they wanted to learn more. So I know that the Spirit is working with Hermana Medina and I.

This week Hermana Jones shared with me the story that you shared of Shadrac, Meshac, and Abed-nego, and I studied it along with the story of Abinadi in the Book of Mormon. Sometimes, the outcomes are going to be different. Sometimes God isn't going to answer us like we want Him to. We have got to strengthen our faith and keep pressing on knowing that yes, God is still with us and we are not going to abandon Him. That is an important lesson I learned from serving with Hermana Leyva. I am really grateful for everything I have learned on my mission. 

This week I got to help Nancy Tafur cut up her guinea pig and fry and eat it :) So that was fun! Here are a couple of pictures :) 

Hermana Medina and I are finishing up her training this week! Time has flown by so fast! We can't believe it! But I have loved my time with Hermana Medina! She is one of my best friends! We have gone through a lot together and have seen LOTS of miracles in the work. I have been able to really strengthen my testimony being with Hermana Medina. We will see what happens in transfers next week! 

Alright well that is all for today. I love you all!
Hermana Agle

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Lord Prepares His People

This has been a great week! Juan and Karin are progressing towards baptism and Wilder as well!! Wilder is doing so great! We have seen so many miracles with him. He loves the Book of Mormon and he loves the church! Everything we teach him he is so open to!! Here are a few awesome things that have happened this week:
Wilder and Jorge
This week we had a really amazing experience with Wilder. Like I said, he reads his scriptures every day and understands and is praying and coming to church. I have seen the miracles that happen in someones life when they live the gospel. Wilder just keeps telling us that he feels so much joy in his life. He tells everyone who asks him ¨Ever since I have been meeting with the missionaries, I have just felt so much joy in my life¨. Wilder, when we found him, worked on Sundays. We taught him about the Sabbath day but probably not as well as we should have. We didnt commit him to stop working on Sundays, just to come to church. So we decided to teach him the Sabbath again and commit him to not work on Sundays to keep the sabbath day holy. Well, we started the lesson and after the prayer Wilder said ¨Hermana's I have something to tell you. I liked church so much this Sunday, I decided that I am going to stop working on Sunday's so that I can dedicate this day to the Lord and go to church.¨ He has been so prepared!! When we heard that, we promised him blessings and continued with a different lesson plan because he was so prepared for that lesson haha. We have seen these kind of miraces in both Wilder and Juan and Kari. They have just felt so good in their lives, keeping the commandments, that the Lord is preparing them for baptism. We are praying and dilligently working so that they can be baptized on the 23rd of August!

Also, Wilder commented to us that for the past 20 years he has heard about the church. He said that His uncle (who was a branch President) invited him every Sunday, but he never went. He said he just never felt anything...but he said to us this week ¨Hermana's, when you guys came and talked to me in the street that day, I felt something different. I felt a Spirit that was telling me to listen to you. And everytime I learn from you two I feel that same spirit again and I just know that I need to listen to your message because it is true. You two are different and this time it is different...I feel it!¨ That was pretty amazing to hear. Hermana Medina and I read Doctrine and Covenants 100 this week and we know that we have been prepared to teach Wilder. It is interesting because throughout my whole mission I have been working on developing Christ-like attributes, specifically humility. I have prayed and fasted my whole mission to help me develop this attribute that is so important. And one thing Wilder said was that he liked how humble we were. He noticed that and decided that he should listen to us because of that. I know that the Lord prepares us to bring His gospel to His children. I am so grateful for the experience to be here and find Heavenly Father's children that are prepared to accept the gospel :) 
Yungay and the Statue of Christ
We went to Yungay and it was AWESOME! Basically what happened in Yungay is way back in 1970 there was an avalanche and the WHOLE city was covered with snow. Every single person in the town died, except a school of little kids who were on a field trip up to the statue of Christ that day. Legend has it that when the avalanche happened, they were up with Christ and the snow reached up to the feet of Christ...but didn't go higher. So, the little children with Christ were saved :)
Well, I hope you all have a great week! I love being a missionary and I am learning more and more every day. I know that the church is true and that Christ is our Savior. Heavenly Father knows and loves each one of us. Keep pressing on! Love you all!!

Hermana Agle
Hermana Bills and her companion...Love them!

The Atonement of Christ is Real and Life-changing!

This week has been amazing! We are continuing to work hard and we are finding new people to teach and help come unto Christ! It has been a good week.

We are still helping Wilder prepare for baptism! He had the chance to attend a baptism this week and he loved it! He said he liked how it was so reverent and the Spirit was so strong. 

Juan and Kari are also still on board to be baptized the 23rd. They are on vacation here in Peru so we haven't seen them for a while. We have an appointment tonight to see how things are going and to help them continue to progress as a family.

Here in the South America Northwest area we have something called ¨rescued¨ from Thomas S. Monson´s ¨Go to the Rescue¨ talk. We have decided that not only are we going to baptize converts, we are going to rescue less actives as well. Because there are a lot. For example, my ward has about 1,200 members and the church attendance is 120...yup, we've got a lot of work to do here in Peru. But anyway, we ¨rescued¨ a less active this week named Madeley. To rescue someone, we need to teach ALL of the lessons again, have them attend church regularly and have interviews with the bishop. Here is the experience we have had with Madeley.... It's a great one...

This week we were able to rescue a woman named Madeley. She is married to a member who was recently activated. We met Madeley when her husband mentioned in ward council that they had separated and their marriage was not going well. Mandeley was completely inactive. We went that week to meet her, and found her very very depressed. She was drinking, her marriage was broken and she was living in her kitchen with a little blow up bed. We taught her repentance and invited her to church. Well, she came to church. So we started visiting her more frequently, 2 or 3 times a week. The process has been hard, she would be doing so so well...and then fall again. And that happened a lot of times. But we continued to teach her about Christ and the Atonement and the repentance process. Through the whole process, I have seen the changing power of the Atonement. It has been a hard process for her. It has taken a lot of effort and interviews with the bishop and time. But in our last lesson with her this week, we asked her how she felt now that she was active in the church. She described to us the feeling of happiness that she felt. The liberty and how good it felt to be clean. Something that she had never felt before and a happiness that was impossible to find in the life she had before using the Atonement. As she told us this, we sat in her kitchen, her bed wasn't there anymore, with her husband, they were hand in hand and she was just beaming. She was a completely different person. She was just filled with the Spirit of Christ. That morning I had read Mosiah 2:41 and I saw the evidence of that scripture in Madeley. She was just FILLED with joy from living the gospel. She was so blessed temporally and spiritually. Temporally in her fixed marriage with Max and spiritually in the cleanliness and pureness and the Spirit that she was able to feel. Yesterday she received a calling in Young Woman´s, she took the sacrament for the first time, and she sat in Ward council talking about how to help other people come unto Christ with her husband. It has been so amazing working with Madeley and seeing the changes that only Christ and His Atonement can make in our lives. Now we are working to get them sealed :)

Well, one more fun experience from this week. As we were teaching a lesson, there was an old woman killing guinea pigs and chickens behind the investigators house. We were in a house and the kitchens are sometimes on the outside. This woman would take a guinea pig, cut its throat and then hold it upside down until all the blood drained out and then throw it into the boiling pot. Then take it out and pluck it. Then she took the chicken and did the same thing but...after cutting it's throat it got away, and was running around the yard squawking until it finally fell over. The dog went over, licked up its blood, then the woman went over and threw it in the pot (still alive) and its feet were kicking up everywhere in the air until finally it died... so she pulled it out and plucked it. All of this happened as my companion and I were teaching the restoration and inviting our investigators to be baptized. I know, graphic, but just imagine sitting in my place WATCHING all of it happen. It was so bad!! I have had trouble eating guinea pig and ckicken now haha. I'm definitely not in the States anymore :) It was a fun experience :) I think Emily will really like this one :) 

Well, I love you all! I am so blessed to be here in Peru as a missionary. I even enjoy getting to know the animal-killing old ladies :) I love sharing this gospel and I know that every aspect of it is true. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father. And I now they love you all too. Keep strong in the gospel! Like Elder Birrell says, ¨you'll be happy you did¨ :) Love you all!!

Hermana Agle

This is me with my new bag I bought (I LOVE IT) Also, we are going to Yungay today for Pday. Look up the history of Yungay, it is SO cool!! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Power of the Book of Mormon

This week has been a great one! I am going to send a bunch of little emails with pictures and explain everything that happened this week :)
This is a poster we put together for our dessert activity :)

SO these pictures are pictures of a ward activity that we had this week! It was called ¨Postres Celestiales¨ or Heavenly desserts in english :) What we did was we invited all of the members to make a dessert with an investigator, then come to the activity with their investigator...and their dessert, and we were going to have a competition to see who had the best dessert. Peruvians are very very proud of their food, so it was a good activity to get lots of people there :) And we got a pretty good turn out...and we got to try lots of great desserts and meet new investigators :) These pictures are pictures of the winners :) Her name is Madeley and she made crema volteada. It's kind of like flan. It was SO good :) She made it with her cousin that we are teaching. Madeley was a less active that we recently activated so we were super excited for her :) In the picture with all of us, her husband is the one in front and we are working with them to get them sealed this coming January :)

We also did a service this week for a less active lady in our ward who has bronchitis. We had to go to her house and wipe all of the dust off of her little things because the dust was affecting her health. Well, she is one of those little old lady's that collects all sorts of little things and puts them on display in her house.  All of the shelves were made of glass, so we spent about 3 hours cleaning the dust off of these little objects...being careful not to break the glass!! It was quite the project, but by the end she was happy and grateful so it was very worth it :)

Also, this fish was my lunch one day. Haha I just thought it was funny that our pensionista just sent a bowl with a fish in it for lunch :)

This week has been really amazing investigator wise as well. To be honest, things have been moving very slowly here in Huaraz these past couple of weeks. I am used to Lima where everything is fast paced, and people get baptized in 2 weeks...and the work is moving fast. Well, here in Huaraz, in the provinces of Peru, the work isn't as fast. We are in the process of hastening the work here. I am so grateful that I have the chance to be one of the missionaries to help these little towns of Peru understand the work of Salvation and hasten the work a little bit more for the people here. And the Lord is definitely helping us do it!!

This past Monday we had so much faith that we were going to find a new investigator to set a baptismal date with. We prayed as we left our apartment, and the Lord literally just placed him into our hands. We start working at 6 on Monday, and at 6:20 we contacted a man in the street. He was entering his house and I felt pretty strongly that I needed to talk to him. Well, we gave him a Book of Mormon and set an appointment for the following ThursdayOn Thursday, we taught him, and he accepted baptism so easily! He is PREPARED! His name is Wilder and he is 48 years old and single. He was so receptive to the gospel! He loved everything he heard and accepted a date to be baptized.  He will be baptized the 23rd of August. The spirit was so strong in this lesson! I was just beaming as we left the lesson. Also, one of the recent converts in the ward, Jorge (Hermana Winter's convert), is the leader of the Single Adults in the ward and he met Wilder and was just so excited for him to get baptized! We taught Wilder in Jorge's house and Jorge just kept saying ¨Oh let's just bring him to the font now, he is ready to be baptized!¨ And he kept offering himself to baptize him! haha. It was awesome. We are very grateful for this miracle to find Wilder. I'll keep you updated on his progress.

Also, Juan and Kari...remember them? Well, we stopped teaching them a while ago because they were progressing very slowly. Well ,this week we went back and thanks to the Book of Mormon, we have seen a HUGE change in them and they are ready to be baptized! They accepted a baptismal date for the 23rd of August as well, and are so excited. They are the cutest couple! They are about 30 years old and they have their little son Hans who is 5. So cute!! So...we are helping them prepare for baptism as well :)

I have seen the power of the Book of Mormon once again this week. The first day that we met Wilder, we gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read it, and we set an appointment to come back to teach. Well, when we came back to teach, we asked if he had been reading his Book of Mormon. He said, ¨This book is from God. Everytime I read it, I feel such peace and I forget all of my problems. I love the Book of Mormon¨ We continued to teach the lesson and at the end of the lesson he accepted baptism so easily. His heart was SO open to our message and he was so prepared. Because of his testimony of the Book of Mormon, he is willing to do everything possible to follow Jesus Christ. I know the Book of Mormon has the power to change the hearts of our investigators, and if our investigators are reading it, and praying, they will feel the Spirit! With Juan and Kari it is the same. They have been reading and praying as a family for weeks now and they were prepared to accept baptism. The Book of Mormon changes people. I know that it is true.

Well, I think that is all for this week. The Lord is working with his missionaries! I know that this is true. He has the power to change people and prepare them to hear the message of the Restored gospel. I know this church is true and that Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior. I am so grateful for this knowledge :) Love you all!! Oh, and He answers prayers! Always! :) Love you!

Hermana Agle

Yay...Hermana Agle's Grandma DeeAnn returned home from the Tonga, Nuku'alofa mission this week!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Scripture Study brings me Peace

This week has been a huge one regarding my spiritual progression and the progression of my investigators. I have been so lucky to serve a mission and learn all of the amazing things that I am learning.

I have so much to say I don't even know where to start. Lets start with Tafur Leon. They have SO many questions for us. They are the first family..or people to be honest...that I have ever taught that don't have a firm background in christianity. They believe in God, but have a LOT of doubts. This week we had the chance to explain the Plan of Salvation again to them. We asked Nancy what she thought her purpose was here on earth? She said that she was here on earth to be a good mother and preserve the earth to prepare it for the future generations to come. Then we asked her what she thought was going to happen to her after she died? She said that she believed that everything ends when we die. After hearing these answers, we had a VERY VERY powerful lesson, testifying to Nancy that her purpose here on earth is much much more important. We told her she can live with her family forever and she is here on earth to prepare her family to be an eternal one. She has so much love for her family and it made me sad to think that she believes that everything ends after death. As I was able to bear testimony to her that she CAN be with her family forever and with Heavenly Father and Christ, the Spirit was very very strong. It is crazy how the world is so confused. How some people don't have this knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. So I am very grateful to be able to bring this news to the people here in Peru.

This week I have developed a HUGE love for the Book of Mormon. The mission is FULL of trials. It is really hard. Sometimes in trials, we feel like we have been abandoned, we feel like the whole world is against us and that there is no way out. But this week I have learned that trials are for our good. That God loves us SO much that he gives us trials so that we can learn new things and so that we can become better people. We could compare it to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Without leaving the garden, they would NEVER progress. They would never learn and feel real joy. Well, if we don't pass through trials in our lives, we will never learn, progress or feel real joy. Our testimonies cannot be strengthen. Well, I have seen huge results from my trials.. I think the biggest one is my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I have grown to love the Book of Mormon. I know that it is true. I know that it is inspired of God. Every single time I need something, I can go to the scriptures combined with prayer and I always receive an answer. I am going to share an experience that I shared with President Archibald this week:

This week I have been able to strengthen my testimony of the Book of Mormon so much. Literally, everytime I have a question, frustration, sadness, or anything, I can go to the Book of Mormon and ALWAYS find my answer. It is always there. You taught us that the Book of Mormon brings us closer to Christ and brings us away from Satan. I KNOW that this is true. For example, one morning this week, we received a text from an investigator, that had a baptismal date,  where she told us she didnt want to listen to us anymore because she was not going to be baptized. That hurt so much!, and I was really frustrated. I just felt like the whole world was ending and that nothing was ever going to happen in my area. Satan was working on me. But luckily, it happened right before personal study. SO... I went to to scriptures for answers. And I found them! I felt so much peace and even happiness after my study!! I left my study with literally the opposite attitude than when I started. I didnt feel any of the influence of Satan, but only the influence of the Spirit. It was so strong. Hermana Medina even asked me why I was smiling so much haha. I felt very uplifted and my testimony of the Book of Mormon increased so much. I am really grateful for the Book of Mormon and I know that it is true. We can go to the Book of Mormon anytime we want, and when we combine our scripture study with prayer, we find answers. Everytime. I know that this is true. 

I know this gospel is true!! Daily scripture study helps to strengthen us and to endure in this life. Life isn't easy, and somethimes it doesnt go the way we want, but reading the scriptures and prayer daily sure make life a lot easier :) I love this gospel and I love to teach the people here in Peru :) Love you all!

Hermana Agle

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Teaching Families

I am a giant here in Peru...this is a classic Peruvian door
Let's just say I am SUPER happy the World Cup is over. During this time of the year, here in Peru, the people are GLUED to their TV´s watching the World Cup. As we walk past houses we can hear the families inside screaming at the TV ¨GOAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!¨ It is pretty entertaining :) But in the Tafur Leon family, the World Cup is like general conference for them. Priority. So it has been hard this week to teach them and prepare them for their baptism!!  They love us so much, though, they called every day saying ¨just break the rules today and come over to watch the game!¨ But we did get to go over this week and cook with Andrea (their daughter) which was AWESOME. The mom, Nancy, travels to Lima every week to sell products in the market, so she leaves her daughters alone Monday through Friday, and she asked us to go over and teach them and keep them company during the week. We did, and we learned how to cook REALLY yummy food :) We made Escabeche which is one of my favorite meals here. See photo below :) The family is progressing. I really think they are the hardest investigators I have ever had. They have a LOT of questions and a LOT of doubts. But they love the church. They love our principles, our teachings, and the doctrine. They just don't understand that it is THE true church. The ONLY way to receive salvation. It was great because this week President Archibald came up to Huaraz and trained us on prayer. We learned the difference between an honest, sincere prayer, and praying just to pray. We learned that the Tafur Leon family have been praying for a long time now to receive an answer about the church, but they haven't been doing it with a sincere heart and real intent. We were able to kneel with them and teach them how to pray to Heavenly Father to receive answers. It was a really great experience. So this week we are going to keep working with all of them to get their answers.
Cooking with Andrea

Andrea is one of the daughters and last night we were pretty direct with her. She says that she wants to get baptized but she has barely read in the Book of Mormon and she has barely prayed so she said that she is not ready. We were very very direct with her. And at the end of the lesson something changed in her. Hermana Medina and I right now are living for this family. We eat, sleep, and think about this family. Every free second we have we are talking about what we can do to help this family progress. I have never thought so much about investigators before. We have developed a great love for them, and when they don't fulfill their commitments or when they don't progress, it is really hard for Hermana Medina and I, because we know that this gospel is what is going to help them in their life. So, Andrea hadn't gone to church, so we went and taught her. We told her that we were very concerned about their family and her progress. We were able to bear strong testimony to her that this gospel is what is going to change their lives and that we love them so much that we want them to enjoy the blessings of the gospel. And that is why we gave them assignments in the Book of Mormon and why we were inviting them to pray...To prepare them for baptism! Andrea was able to realize the importance of our message. Seeing our concern for their family really helped her, I think. Being a missionary is so draining emotionally. We put everything into our investigators and we have to rely on their agency. A lot of the time there are disappointments...but some of the time, there are MIRACLES. It is the most rewarding feeling to see someone that you love accept the gospel. And I know the Tafur Leon family is going to be one of these miracles. We are going to continue to fight for them.

I am getting really comfortable with chicken feet :) Here I am peeling the foot. They sell just full dead chickens here and so we went to the market to buy a chicken and according to Andrea we have to use EVERY part. So I got to peel the chicken foot. Andrea and Hermana Medina got a good laugh out of that!
We are also working with another family too, and they finally came to church this Sunday! The husband has a drinking problem, so we are trying to help him out a lot. They read their Book of Mormon and pray as a family every night :) They have strong desires to follow Christ. They are Kari, Juan and Hans (the cutest little 5 year old :)) To help Juan with his drinking temptations I told him to get a picture of his family and carry it around with him EVERYWHERE. And when he felt tempted, to pull out the picture and think of his family. The next lesson when we went back I asked him, ¨Juan, do you have your picture in your shirt pocket??¨ (thinking to myself that he had probably forgotten). He smiled and pulled out a picture of his family from his shirt pocket that he had cut into a heart :) He said ¨I did what you told me, and it worked¨ :) So we are excited to work with this family to get them baptized as well :)

Well, I am going to send a few pictures. I am so grateful for this gospel. I know my Savior lives and that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. The scripture are FILLED with things to learn. I learn something new and deep every time I read the scriptures. I love the Book of Mormon and I know it is true. This gospel changes lives...I've seen it happen many times! I love you all! Keep being diligent in the gospel!

Hermana Agle

Now that I have 3 months left I decided to buy myself a tracting bag....I wish I would have bought it earlier!!
Also, the people here in Huaraz carry their babies around in these :) So I bought one for my future children :) Not only babies, but anything! Like the lady that washes our clothes comes with her manta to carry our dirty clothes away on her back. It's awesome!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The week in photos

Well, I've got a whole bunch of fun pictures to send this week, so I think this email is just going to be pictures...hope thats ok! Each picture has a little story :)

It is raining here in Huaraz...crazy because it is not the rainy season
I celebrated the 4th of July with a banana was my companion's idea : )
La familia Tafur Leon gave us little mini bird eggs to eat. They are so yummy!! 

Nancy Tafur Leon also made us a typical Peruvian dish called Tocosh. You should look it up if you can, but, it is basically a potato that they leave in the ground for a month to rot, and then they take it out and make a pudding out of it. It smells SOOOOO bad. They love it here because it is supposedly really healthy. Nancy she made us some, and I ate it all...but my companion took one bite and was done! haha. 

THIS IS MY DISTRICT! Last week we climbed this HUGE mountain and on top there is a yellow cross. It was a beautiful day!!!