Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ciao Lima

Well, this missionary is no longer in Lima!! I am serving in Barranca Peru with my new companion Hermana Leyva!! I couldn't have been more excited in transfers when they said I was going to Barranca with Hermana Leyva! She is SO awesome. She is from Trujillo, Peru and she studied at BYU for 3 years! Barranca is about 4 hours north of Lima and my area is PURE BEACH. It is the BEST. For example, we have an investigator who lies on this super green hill that overlooks the ocean and as we teach her we sit on the hill and she feeds us sugar canes that she growns herself...goodbye dust, dirt and dogs...hello paradise! Haha...I love it here!! I am serving in Hermana Brown's old area so that's cool too :) My area is called Limoncillo. It is a small branch...not a ward, and the Branch President is so awesome. He is a fisherman and is very, very humble. Hermana Leyva and I are Sister Training Leaders here in Norte Chico. The mission is split into 2 parts: Lima and Norte Chico. So now I am over the sister's here in Norte Chico! Which means I get to travel to Huaraz, Huaco and Huaral! Huaraz is about 4 hours from Barranca so we are going to be doing a LOT of traveling! But I am excited to get to know Peru a little bit more :) For example, tomorrow we have a leadership training from Elder Waddell (AHH) so Hermana Leyva and I, with our zone leaders, are heading back down to Lima tonight for the training tomorrow. Lots of traveling but it will be cool! Hermana Jones is a Sister Training Leader as well!! I am so excited for her! These next few transfers are going to be awesome!!

So, this next Saturday we have 3 baptisms here in Barranca! There is a woman named Edith, and her son, that have been coming to church and are SO excited to get baptized! We met them, set a baptismal date, they accepted, and we are really excited for them. Edith is awesome. She called us yesterday and told us how much she liked church that day and how her kids had finally fallen asleep and she called us to tell us she was reading her Book of Mormon :) She has 3 kids and her little two year old is the cutest! She has down syndrome and just smiles all day long. She is to die for! We love teaching them and are excited for their baptism this Saturday.

Gloria is also getting baptized this Saturday! She is a part-member investigator. She is 10 and excited for her baptism as well. She hadn't gotten baptized in the past because she wasn't sure if she should be Mormon or Catholic. So we invited her to pray and find out from God which one she should be. When we went back the next day, she said, ¨I have gotten my answer from God! And it starts with ¨M¨¨!! So...she is getting baptized Saturday, as well. Mom...she LOVES the CTR ring I gave her! Thank you for sending me those!!

Well, I am so excited to be here with Hermana Leyva! We work really well together and I am excited to learn everything I can from her :) I am happy that I will be able to see her at BYU after the mission :) We already decided that we are going to have ¨Peruvian food Thursday's¨ and we are going to cook together after the mission. I am very excited :) Hermana Leyva and I are here in Limoncillo to baptize families. I have been studying the doctrine of family a lot more deeply since I've gotten here in Barranca and I am ready to help families be ETERNAL families. So that's what we have been doing. Contacting families like LOCAS. I know that the gospel brings happiness to families. I have seen it in my family. Being in Peru, I have realized how much sadness and how Satan can influence families so much. But the solution to this is the gospel. I am excited to bring this gospel into the homes of the families here in Barranca. To help them receive the ordinances necessary to be an eternal family. I know that families can be together forever if they are based on the principles of the gospel. I love being able to be a missionary and share my testimony with the people here in Barranca. I am going to miss Lima, and Los Olivos and Hermana Lopez A LOT. But I am excited to be here in Barranca and work harder than I ever have for the last 6 months of my mission. This gospel is true. God and Jesus Christ live. They love us and desire our happiness. Keep pushing along in the gospel and working hard to keep the commandments. LOVE YOU ALL!

Hermana Agle
The mark Los Olivos left on me!!

Hermana Jones and her 2 trainees

My favorite meal here...Pachamanca (before & after)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Semana Santa

Well, this week was a pretty interesting one.

This week was the SEMANA SANTA here in Peru. It is the week that the people here in Peru celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the states, we celebrate a day (Easter), but here in Peru, the people walk around the streets all day, people go to church all day, every day for the whole week! Every church has something different that they do during the Semana Santa. Some people go to the center of Lima to climb this HUGE hill where there is a cross on top to ask forgiveness for their sins. Some people visit 7 different churches to show their devotion to Christ. NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE (members of the church included) eats meat...Just fish. They don't even sell meat in the markets. So I have eaten a good amount of tuna this week...haha. I never want tuna again! But anyway, we have had to face a lot of Apostasy this week. But it has been cool as well, because every time someone asks us what our church does for the Semana Santa, we get to tell them that we don't celebrate the Semana Santa, because we have the privilege of remembering Jesus Christ EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY of the year when we partake of the Sacrament. Christ is ALWAYS a part of our lives, not just one week of the year. I am grateful for the Sacrament and the covenants that we can renew every single Sunday :)

So we have transfers tomorrow! I don't know what is going to happen to us, but I will let you all know next week. It will be interesting to see what happens?!! I have LOVED my time with Hermana Lopez here in Los Olivos. I have learned things that I never thought I would learn. I have been able to develop some of my weaknesses, I have grown to REALLY love the people here, and we have had a lot of success. I love it here. Hermana Lopez finishes her mission in a month...So if we are separated now, it will be the last time I will see her. That is kind of freaking me out!! I love her a lot. She has helped me get to know my Savior and I will ALWAYS be grateful to her for that. She is my best friend :) She says Hi to everyone :) Mom, she says that you are a magic mom and she really wants to get to know you :) I always talk about your food, mom :) Because Peruvians are always like ¨food in the United States is gross because it is all from cans and McDonalds¨. Well, I have to defend my country...So I always tell them that my mom cooks SOO yummy and I always talk about your food...then they change their mind :) So Hermana Lopez says that she wants to try your food one day :) And she says HI to the whole family and that we are a great family :) And she says HI to Cameron too and she apologizes for her bad pronunciation in English haha :) But she thinks you are really cool :) So anyway, I'll let you now what happens next week!!

So, this week we have seen some GREAT miracles. We had 10 investigators come to church! We contacted in the street...like none other this week...and we saw results. People came to church and we were able to set some baptismal dates. We met a boy named Marco, yesterday, and he is WAY cool. He is 18 and he came to church with a friend. We set an appointment for that night and had him come to our pensionistas house to teach him. We started the lesson off by asking him how he liked church? Well, he started talking about how different it was from all of the other churches, and how we did weird things, and he felt strange and it wasn't anything that he had ever grown up with. As he was talking I was like ¨ahhhh, dang...one of these cases...super catholic that just wants to fight with us...¨ But after he finished saying all of his thoughts about the church he looks at us, his face lights up and he says, ¨I have never felt the way I felt in your church and I LOVED it.¨ Man, Marco is great. He loved hearing about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. He accepted the invitation to be baptized the 10th of May. So...we are excited to keep working with Marco, and be in this battle with Satan until the 10th of May. Our President always says that when we set a baptismal date, we are declaring war to Satan.  I am excited to win this war :)  !!!

Well, as always, I love being in this work. I love being a missionary. The mission is hard. And there are lots of challenges and really difficult times. Times where you feel completely alone and like there is nothing you can do to feel better. But in those times, Christ has always been there for me. In different ways, but I can ALWAYS feel him. And I love that. And I know that Heavenly Father is working with us and he loves us and wants us to learn and progress. We have challenges for a reason. He doesn't want to just see us suffer, but he wants us to learn, grow and develop. I am grateful for this gospel and the blessings I receive everyday from it. I love you all!! Until next week!!

Hermana Agle  

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book of Mormon Challenge!

Well, this week has been an emotional roller-coaster! 

1. I am officially an old missionary! I have a year in the mission! My MTC district is emailing like crazy just wondering how it is possible that time has passed so fast! I can't believe I have been here a year already. Just 6 short months left. I am going to do EVERYTHING I can in these 6 months to help these amazing people in Peru accept the gospel :) I have learned SO much in the past year, and I am going to put it all into practice these next 6 months! I hope to see lots of results :) These pictures are of a poster that my pensionista and her family made for me on my year mark :) 

2. So something pretty interesting happened in the South America Northwest region this week. Elder Uceda, Elder Waddell, and Elder Grow made a huge announcement. Not so much an announcement, but invitation. They asked that in the family home evenings here, the families are going to focus 100 percent on the Book of Mormon. Families are invited to read the Book of Mormon together every single day for 15 minutes and finish it before the end of the year. Once we finish it, the bishop will send a letter to the 70 and they will write us a personal congratulations letter in response! :) SO I am SUPER pumped about this invitation!!! I just finished the Book of Mormon this week and I am totally going to read it again before I finish my mission...so that I can receive one of these congratulations letters!! 

It was awesome this week as I was able to finish the Book of Mormon. Church yesterday was focused 100 percent on this announcement from the area Presidency and I was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting on the announcement and the Book of Mormon. I loved being able to speak to the members(and our investigators that were there) about the amazing blessing we have by having the Book of Mormon in our homes. The Book was written by prophets specifically for us in this day...For our families! President Packer describes the Book of Mormon as our spiritual protection and I believe this is true. The Book of Mormon testifies of Christ, that is obvious, but it has a certain power that is indescribable. It is so amazing and has worked miracles in my mission. I have a very firm testimony of this book, and when people spit in my face, telling me that the Book I hold in my hands is a book written by fools...I am glad that I can walk away with a firm testimony that I KNOW this book is true. It has helped me with spiritual protection in my life. I am excited to take up this challenge and make the Book of Mormon even more present in my life.

Well, that is all for this week. We are pushing forward ready to receive LOTS of miracles in this work. Bring it on Peru :) Love you all!!

Hermana Agle

My awesome district :) Elder Alvarez from Cusco, Elder Montesino from Honduras, Elder Larsen from Logan, Elder Congora from Huancayo, Hermana Hewitt from Logan and Hermana Pinto from Bolivia :) And me and Hermana Lopez :)


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

General Conference was AMAZING!

The Quiroz Family...LOVE!
Well, this week has been a good one. A LOT has happened! We will start with some news:

DAYANA QUIROZ IS GOING TO THE TEMPLE APRIL 10 (my year mark) TO DO BAPTISMS FOR HER FAMILY :) I had another work visit in El Olivar this week and was able to see the Quiroz family. I continue to see the miracles the gospel brings into our lives through this family. They have progressed, and gained strong testimonies of this church. They are doing so great :) We baptized them 6 months ago but they are just too special to not talk about them always :) Mom and Dad, I cannot WAIT for you guys to meet them!! They will not be able to talk to you haha but they will just LOVE you. So I was really happy to hear that from Dayana :) She is also attending seminary every morning with my old pensionista Hermana Juanita :) 

Well, Conference was amazing as always. I love conference weekend...It is better than Christmas :) I received so much strength and guidance from our living prophets and I could feel that they were speaking the words of God himself. What I really loved was Boyd K. Packer's talk. Wow. SO POWERFUL. His testimony at the end left me with my heart beating pretty fast. I felt it strong. All of us gringos went into a little room to watch conference in English and we were silent as we listened to the STRONG spirit fill the room as Boyd K. Packer bore his personal witness of the Savior. I also loved Elder Bednar's talk. I love when he speaks because his talks are always directed towards EVERYONE. Everyone can benefit from what Elder Bednar says ALWAYS. I loved being able to understand this scripture in Matthew better. I also loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk. I loved them all haha. It is a goal of mine to re-read ALL of the conference talks before I get home. Next conference I will be coming home!! AHH. Time goes way too fast.

This week I was able to strengthen my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I have studied, marked, searched and pondered the Book of Mormon this past year, and this week I will finish it completely. I am excited to bear a powerful testimony that I know that every single page of the Book of Mormon is true. I know t is true. I have strengthened my testimony of Jesus Christ through this book and have been able to feel the Spirit so strongly testifying to me that it is true. So I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and everything it has taught me. It is just so true! There is no way to explain the miracles it works in our lives but it really works miracles! It can comfort us, it can help us understand the misteries of God, and it helps us draw closer to our Savior. I am not a prophet or anything but I want to challenge all of you to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover and try Moroni's promise and ask God if it is true. I know that you will receive your answer and your faith will be strengthened so much through doing it. It is a powerful book and I tesify of its divinity!!

I had a pretty painful experience this week with one of our investigators. She completely shut.us.down. And it was PAINFUL. I haven't felt that must sadness in a long time. Seeing someone reject the gospel after hearing it...hurts A LOT. What I learned from it, though, is that just because someone is rejecting the gospel, does not mean that it is not true. This was one of the whirlwinds that Helaman talks about in Helaman 5:12, but if we have our foundation in Christ, we will not fall in our testimony. Like many said in conference, NOW is the time to stand as witnesses and disciples of Christ and not let worldly things get us down. We are always going to see people that will reject what we believe and tell us it is not true and we are dumb for being a part of it. BUT STAY STRONG. Remember who you are. A member of the Church of JESUS CHRIST. This is His church. There will be opposition. But let's stand strong and never deny the things we know to be true :)

Alright well have a great week! I love you all!! Keep inviting your friends to church and following-up with them. Take them by the hand and WALK with them as M. Russell Ballard invited us to do :) Les amo!!

Con cariño,
Hermana Agle
Susie's brand new teeny tiny puppy!

Hermana Agle(the CAT) has grown!!

Classic family photo with the Quiroz Family!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Work Visits with the Sisters!

This week was VERY very busy. Lots of work visits with the Sister's, traveling around Lima, getting bitten by insects, CUY, and immigrations. Hermana Lopez and I were separated for 3 days in a row because of work visits we had and I had to go to the center of Lima to go to migrations. So this week was a little unusual.

Lets start with the bugs biting me. Well, I had a work visit and SOMETHING bit me, I don't know what it was, but what I do know is that it got HUGE and it HURT!!..haha. I have these two red spots on my ankle and I had an allergic reaction to it so my ankle got really big and swollen. It was really painful!  I took some medicine and it is getting better. The swelling has gone down so thats good :) 
Ouch...swollen leg!
The CUY :) Cuy is guinea pig. Well, here in Peru sometimes they sell rats and say they are guinea pig. The way you know if it is a rat or guinea pig is if the ¨guinea pig¨ turns black when you fry it...Its really a rat. So on Friday night, a recent convert was frying cuy in her front yard and we were helping her and one of them turned black. She told us that it must have been a rat but it didn't matter because it tasted the same anyway...Ok! That was gross!! So here are a couple pictures of us frying guinea pig and rat and feeding them to the party guests :) Mmmmm :)

So the work visits with the Sister's are going so well. I had a goal starting my mission that I was going to help the Sister's in the mission so that we are baptizing just as much, if not MORE than the Elders. When I got here, the Sister's struggled a lot and it bugged me. I have never been a feminist or anything but I could see the potential in the Sister's and I wanted to help them reach that potential. I am glad I can work with them individually, working in their area, and helping them progress with their investigators. I love being able to travel around Lima helping the Sisters in the mission :)

We have been working a LOT and we have a LOT of potential right now! We have 4 baptisms planned for the 12th of April and we are SO excited for conference this weekend :) Our investigators are excited to go to Conference and listen to the words of the living prophets. President Archibald sent an email to us today that talked about how the words from the living prophets are MUCH more important than the words from dead prophets. How lucky and blessed are we to have a living prophet to listen to today? I am excited to go into conference with my doubts, questions and concerns, ready to find answers and comfort. I know that the prophets are speaking directly to us and their messages are inspired of God.  I hope all of you can go into Conference weekend looking for an answer and be listening to the Spirit to receive your answer. I promise you, your answer WILL come :)

I really enjoyed the Womens Conference. I felt very strongly the love of our church leaders and I LOVED the talk by Henry B. Eyring. I feel so much excitement to be a part of the Lord's work. Not just here in the mission...but to go home and keep working. Womens Conference really got me excited to make a difference in the Church and to serve. I have realized how much giving service can bless our lives and the lives of others and I want to always remember serving the Lord in my life :)

Thank you for all your prayers and love...I love you all so much! Keep on being the great latter-day Saints that the Lord needs and being an example to the people around you. There are a lot of people around us that need help and we can be that light they need in their lives. Keep looking for opportunities to serve :)

Con mucho amor y emoción,
Hermana Agle