Thursday, June 26, 2014

My LOVE is growing!

Wow, what a great week it has been :) Once again :)

But I'll start with the bad part. I threw up ALL day Tuesday. It was bad. I ate bad rice I guess...? Haha. But I didn't eat for a couple days...and I am better now, so I cant complain!! :)

So this week...Hermana Medina and I travelled to Lima on Wednesday. We travelled all night in a bus Wednesday night, got there early Thursday for the New Missionary Training, and travelled home all night Thursday to get back to Huaraz at 7am Friday morning! It was insane! I was nervous to be outside of the area for so long, but we were SO BLESSED :) I will get to that a little bit later :) 

Well, in the training Presient taught us a LOT of always. But there was one story that I really loved. In Moses, there is the story of Enoch talking to God asking him WHY he was crying? Enoch didn't understand how the heavens could cry if everything was just so happy in the heavens. Enoch asks God and God answers him by telling him that he is crying for all of his children that disobey Him. He has such immense love for ALL of his children and when they disobey, He cries for them. Enoch in this moment feels this love for the children of God here and earth and he, in this moment, UNDERSTANDS the immense love that God has for all of His children. And because he was able to understand that, HE started feeling this love for the children on earth and a sincere desire to help them. I am starting to understand that LOVE as I have grown to LOVE the people here.

Well, this week, I remembered an interview that I had with President Archibald about 10 months ago in September. He asked me if I had charity for the people of Peru. I answered yes, thinking that I really truly did. Well, President told me that later on in my mission I would develop a love for the people here that will be so pure that it will be almost impossible to leave them, and stop serving them. Well, this week, Hermana Medina and I were doing practices for her training. We have an hour a day of training and we usually do lots of practices to help her learn how to teach and apply the principles of Preach My Gospel. Well, in this practice I was acting as one of my old investigatrs, Julio and Kervin Cortes. Remember them?? Well, as I sat there, acting as Julio and Hermana Medina practiced teaching me, I was overwhelmed with love for Julio and his family. I felt such a need to get on a bus to Lima to go visit them and continue to teach them the gospel. As you all know, Kervin was baptized but his parents could not because they didnt have enough money to get married. Their family has a lot of problems, and as she was teaching me, I couldn't help but cry for them. I love these people so much!! And in this moment, I really understood that these people are children of God. That HE cares so much for them. He needs them to return to Him one day. It is not an option. His children are very disobedient nowadays and it is our responsibility to help them back. To be active disciples of Christ and bring back those who are drifting away. God needs us to do it. It is something URGENT. And I was able to feel that sense of charity and urgency for the children of God. Especially with those here in Peru. These people we are dealing with are not objects. They are children of God with certain needs that we can really help with this gospel. I KNOW that the Atonement of Jesus Christ changes lives. I know it, because I have seen it. Many times in these past 14 months. I know that God has such a deep love for his children and He needs our help. Those of us that already feel the joy of the gospel, it is our responsibily to help OTHERS feel it. The first two great commandments are to Love God and then Love our neighbor as ourselves, right? Well, what are we doing to show that love to others?? When we serve others, we are serving God. And I testify that if we reach out to those the are fallen away and serve them with Christlike service and charity, our joy will be GREAT. Keep praying for those that are on a different path. Keep being a dilligent disciple of Christ and working in the work of Salvation. We can have a HUGE influence on those that are lost. Lets start with one family member, one friend, one less active. If we all helped one person, think how great the JOY of our Heavenly Father would be. I testify that this is His work. I know that He loves ALL of us. And I know that bringing others to Christ brings the greatest joy into our lives. I am greatful for the opportunity I have had to serve the children of our Heavenly Father in Peru. 

I know this gospel is true!!! I hope we can all act on the plea that Pres. Thomas S. Monson gave us exactly a year ago today to ´Go to the Rescue´. I am greatful for this gospel and all the blessings it brings my family. Thank you all for being so great, and helping in the work of salvation!!!  

As I said earlier. we were way blessed this week!!! We had 6 investigators come to church. One was the family that we will baptize the 19th of July. La familia Tafur Leon. They are awesome! Also Camilo, who will also get baptized the 19th of July... and Kari :) The Lord is working with us here in Huaraz!!!

Love you all,
Hermana Agle

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I LOVE Huaraz!

Hey, sorry I don't have much time today. Things are going great! I love being here in Huaraz! Here is part of my email to President Archibald this week...

Hermana Medina and I are doing great. I am trying to speak English to her as much as possible. She was very surprised at how important learning English is in the mission, and I let her know that she WAS going to be fluent by the time she finishes. This week she has learned how to say a prayer and bear a simple testimony. I am really determined to help her with her English! We are doing great together. She is amazing! Very very smart with a strong testimony. We have the same goals. We were a little frustrated this week because our family of 4 didn't come to church...they were traveling in Lima. But we have set goals for this coming week, and are ready to achieve those goals. 

This week I realized the importance of repentance in my own life. If we are not repenting as missionaries, we will not help our investigators to repent. And like one of my favorite scriptures in 3 Nephi, all of those that come to repentance will be baptized in the water. So I am focusing a lot on my own personal repentance so that I can help others to be able to repent. In your meetings this week, you talked about the importance of teaching with power and authority, and I want to be able to declare repentance with power and authority. So, I am making repentance a bigger part of my focus and I know we will be able to help so many families repent. Also, the sacrament has really had a different meaning for me ever since I have been focusing more on my personal repentance...dramatically. I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. It has changed me and changed the lives of people I have been able to teach. I know it will also play a role in the future families that Hermana Medina and I teach.

Love you all!! Keep working hard!!

Hermana Agle

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Nokakuna Cuya Jesucristupa Representitantekuna!

Yup, the title is totally in Quechua because this missionary is in Huaraz! :) I was transferred to HUARAZ and I am training! My companions name is Hermana Medina and she is from Chile! She officially has ONE WEEK in the mission field and she is SO great! She is super cute :)...and really really short! haha. An investigator called us David and Goliath this week. I didn't know if I should laugh or be offended :)  Hermana Medina is from Iquique, Chile and her whole family are members of the Church and ALL of them have served missions...her parents, her two older brothers, and she is the last! She is a powerhouse :) And yeah, we are here in Huaraz!! It is BEAUTIFUL. Oh my goodness, when you think of Peru, Huaraz is what pops into your mind. People dress in traditional bright clothing, there are huge green mountains, and rivers, and snowy mountains in the background...and people are selling guinea pigs everywhere :) It is really beautiful, and our ward is great! It has been kind of crazy because I have opened 3 of the 4 areas I have served in....Los Olivos, Barranca and now here in Huaraz as well  It has been interesting to get to know our way around this past week, but we finally know where we are and the work is pushing along :)
Notice the HEIGHT difference :)

This week we have come across a LOT of Apostasy. It is crazy! Never in my whole mission have I found so much Apostasy, and people who don't like the Church.  I read the talk from Elder Holland this week titled ¨The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship¨, and it really helped me a lot. In it he says, ¨...defend your beliefs with compassion, but defend them.¨ The times  that I have shared my testimony with people that are just so so confused, have been the moments that my testimony has grown the most this week. It is hard to hear so many people bashing the Church, and saying things that are just so sad to hear, and so offensive to Heavenly Father, but when Hermana Medina and I have shared our testimonies, is when I have felt so strongly that YES, this is the true Church. Usually when I hear apostasy, I get really angry and argue, but this week the Spirit really helped me keep calm. Seriously, it has been crazy the things we hear. Like some things I don't even feel comfortable writing in this email. One member of the Church told us that Doctrine and Covenants was written by a man, and as I bore my testimony of Joseph Smith that he is a prophet of God, I felt it SO strongly. I think it was the first time I have ever cried in front of a less active member, but I am so grateful that my testimony is able to grow through experiences like this, and not be damaged. I can see the difference in the TESTIMONY I had before my mission, and the CONVERSION I have now.  I am so grateful for all of the experiences I have had to gain this conversion, and a lot of them came from Barranca. So, even though I was confused about my time in Barranca, and why I was sent there...I can see now that I received a huge part of my conversion there, and I am so grateful for that. The Lord is definitely closest in our difficult times. 

So, Hermana Medina and  have been tearing it up! Working so hard! I want to be a great example to her, and I want her to start her mission off successful. So, we have been working harder than ever here in Huaraz!! Seriously, my feet HURT!  There are lots of fleas here so I am literally eaten alive, but we are pushing through! We were able to meet a family this week and set a baptismal date for the 5th of July. La familia Tafur a mother with her 3 daughters, Kari, Andrea and Fatima. They are awesome!! Kari was so excited to answer the door to a gringa because she studies English and needed help. The girls are VERY smart. They understand the gospel. They had great questions and it was a GREAT first lesson. Hermana Medina, being the best trainee ever, invited them to be baptized finishing the lesson and they accepted!! So we will be fighting Satan hard this next month so that they can receive an answer and be baptized. Be praying for them...La familia Tafur Leon. They are awesome :) 

Hmm what else...OH...Hermana Jones and Hermana Leyva are companions!! Haha! Two of my best friends, and now they can be friends. Basically, BYU is just going to be THE BEST when I get home :) Also, Hermana Lopez is already home! She left Monday!!! She called to say goodbye. Really, the people you meet on your mission leave a HUGE impact on you. I am really really grateful for Hermana Lopez and everything she taught me!! All my companions have played such a huge part in my progression as a daughter of God, and each one has helped me come closer and closer to Christ. I am excited to see what great things Hermana Medina has to teach me :) 
Hermanas Agle, Jones & Leyva
Well, I am sure in these next weeks I will have SO much to write about because I am in HUARAZ, and Pdays are going to be AWESOME. Oh also, my zone leader now is Elder Martinez who is the missionary I was in a trio with for a day in the hospital. He is super great! Basically, I am just really excited to be here and to be working in the zone in the mission that is closest to heaven :) 3 miles above sea level, and about 8 hours from Lima. It is really hard to breath sometimes, and it is super dry, but so great! I am excited to see miracles here!! I am finishing my mission strong! I know this gospel is true and I am so blessed to have this chance to share it here in Peru!

Hermana Agle

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Best of Times/Worst of Times

Man. This transfer has been one of the best and one of the worst in my whole mission. Different experiences, different people, different climate, different everything than I have been used to in the past year. is only going to last 6 weeks because SURPRISE I have transfers. I am leaving Barranca tomorrow!! I am going to miss it. At first when I heard the news I was so confused! I was like ¨Ok, Heavenly Father, what was my purpose here??¨ (...long story, Ofelia didn't get baptized). But after thinking about it a while, I know what my purpose was here. I have grown more than I have in my whole mission. I know that this work is real. I have been converted here. It has been the hardest time in my mission and that most precious time for the conversion that I have received. That conversion came from everything that happened in my area and from Hermana Leyva. So yes, God has a plan for all things. I am sad to leave now that I finally know the area but I am excited to see what is up ahead!! I am so grateful for the time I had here!

 Through all of this, have been able to strengthen my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know the Book of Mormon is true. It has a power that cannot be described. Every time I read it, my worries just kind of fade away and I feel such a peace and love and I know that this book was written by prophets inspired by God. These times have been hard for me. To go from so much success to nothing. But from the Book of Mormon, in a way I have never thought of before, I have learned that I will never learn anything if I am always in a happy state. If I am always successful it will be as if I am in the Garden of Eden my whole life. I wont be able to experience joy and saddness and I wont progress ever. So yes, hard times are necessary and I am learning from them just as God wants and needs me to. I always wondered why the Book of Mormon talked so much about wars and tribulations and why it never talked so much about the people in their peaceful state. Well, I can understand now that if it always talked about happy people in their peaceful state with God, we wouldn't learn anything from it. It would just be like a novel. But we can learn from the stories of war and afflictions. We can figure out how NOT to repeat history and change and learn and progress as children of God. So no, the world is not always going to be perfect and happy. We have to have hard times. It is a part of life, always. And all of it because God loves us enough to let us experience and grow. I am grateful for hard times. I never thought I would say that haha but I really am. I have learned probably more in this past transfer than I have in my whole mission and I have changed. I have really converted myself. And I consider that a huge success. It is interesting how in the lowest times you kind of find the deepest conversion. I am grateful for my mission and what I have learned and how I have grown.

Well, I dont have too much time to write because I have to go pack my bags. But I love you all! This gospel is true and it really has changed me. I am grateful for all of the amazing things that the Lord has given me. I am grateful for Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I'll let you all know where I go next week!

Con amor,
Hermana Agle

Sunday, June 1, 2014

First visit to Huaraz!

Ofelia and her son Sneider...I love them!
Well, this week has been crazy busy!! 

I made it up to Huaraz!! But only for 12 hours! haha...The bus ride was TERRIFYING!!! It is just zig zagged roads up the mountains the whole time. And we were in a double decker bus that swayed from side to side.  It was TERRIFYING!! We arrived at 7pm Tuesday night. I stayed with Hermana Winters and Hermana Solis so that was awesome!! We were going to be there two days, but that night our district leader called and said we had a training from President THE NEXT MORNING. It was a surprise visit!! So Hermaa Leyva and I headed back down to Barranca at 6 o'clock the next morning. The way down was even more terrifying. We took a taxi that drove 75 mph the whole way down. Huaraz is three miles above sea level...and the road is 100% zig zag. I felt like Tyler was in the front seat was terrifying. But it was a GORGEOUS morning so I was able to take a few pictures out the car window :) We will go up again to have a real work visit with the Sisters in a few weeks :) But yes, I have officially been in Huaraz :) 

We have a baptism this Saturday!! Ofelia Gonzales :) She is so excited for her baptism! And I am too! She has almost nothing and she suffers a lot in her life. But the gospel is changing her life...specifically, the Book of Mormon. She loves it. It has changed her heart. She has been humbled and realizes how she needs to repent and be baptized to be clean and she is so willing to do it. I am excited to see the blessings that she will receive by following the example of Jesus Christ :) She SO deserves this gospel in her life. Her little son, Sneider, is the CUTEST little boy. The most unsanitary... but the cutest :) We've become good friends :) I always sneak him cookies in our gospel principles class :) But yeah! We have been getting the branch super excited about the baptism as well. There hasn't been a convert here in a long time so we are making this baptism a big event. We made invitations and fliers and we were running around church all day yesterday announcing it to everyone :) So I think it will be a great day. Satan works hard the week of the baptisms...but we are going to work harder this week! We are going to fight for Ofelia because she so deserves it :)

This week Hermana Leyva made me my favorite meal...Lomo Saltado. It was SO good!!! All of you should find a Peruvian restaurant and ask for lomo saltado and you will die. It is so yummy. I already contracted Hermana Leyva as my wedding chef to make lomo saltado so be looking forward to that in the future :) Also, we visit Ofelia almost everyday and right outside her house there is a ají field. Ají is like the MAIN food here in Peru. Second to rice. And there are these workers there that we contacted and they are super FUNNY. They gave us a couple ají's (ají is a chili pepper) and said that we needed to come with soda the next time to pay them back. Well, the next time we actually came with INCA kola and gave it to the, so they gave us a huge bag of ajís!! And thats why Hermana Leyva made me lomo saltado.  We have about 3 kilos of ají that we have to use! haha. But yeah, I learned that through contacting, you can get a bunch of free ají :)

Something that I am learning in these weeks is the importance of listening to our leaders. President Archibald has been an amazing guide for me in the mission and the words of the prophets, apostles and members of the 70. As I have studied and put into practice their words, I have come to see the promises that they make us. If we just listen to our leaders we will be blessed! They really know what they are talking about!! I testify that they have communication with God through their Priesthood Authority. Sometimes we think that we can do things on our own, but it is so much easier if we just listen to our church leaders, those that receive revelation, and act according to their counsels. I have seen miracles from listening to our prophet Thomas S. Monson, Elder Waddell, and President Archibald. I know they are called of God.

Something we are doing in our branch is ¨Adopt a family¨ The ward members are thinking of a family in particular, or a person in particular, that is less active and they are going to ¨adopt¨, or be responsible to help them come back to church. If we have one family or person in mind, we can work one by one and start bringing God's children back to the fold. It has been very effective :) I would love it if you would all think of one family, with lots of prayer, that you could help come back to church. Heavenly Father will help you know who is ready to come back, and what should be done to help them in the process. It works! I have seen it! :) 

Well, today my Branch President is going to teach us how to fish :) He is a fisherman :) So I am off to the beach!! Have a great week! The Church is true!!

Hermana Agle