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 split...it 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!!!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

BIG plans in Huaraz this month!!

This week was amazing! We are finding families and the families are coming to church!!! La familia Tafur Leon (Nancy, Karin, Andrea, and Fatima) are all getting baptized the 19th of July. La familia Fernandez Leyva (Gayle, Abelino, and their 11 year old son) will be baptized the 26th of July. La familia Gonzales Dias (Karin and Juan) will be baptized the 26th as well :) And even more came to church! We are so blessed, and have big plans for the Huaraz ward this month of July :)

This week we went to a goodbye party for a girl in our ward who is leaving on her mission. It was all great and fine and dandy until they fed us chicken foot soup! Chicken foot soup is a really popular food here that I have been able to avoid for about 14 months. But, Peru wouldn't let me leave until trying my chicken foot soup. Oh....but it wasn't just a chicken foot, it was a hen foot which is a lot bigger with HUGE toenails...so it was kind of gross!! At least I can now say I've had it, and the soup part was pretty tasty!
We also had a really random rain storm this week. It poured with thunder and lightening and we get SOAKED. It rains a lot here in Huaraz but usually only January through March. So it was way random. Hermana Medina and I were looking for a house when it started and for a whole hour we couldn't find the house and no one would let us in. A woman passed us running to her house and she said ¨get inside, you are going to get sick!!!¨ We were like ¨Well, we would if you would let us in!!¨ Haha, we were a little bitter but it was a good experience :) We had fun. My shoes will be wet for a long time now, though :)
This week it was Andrea Tafur Leons birthday so we went to their house and celebrated with them :) The food and the cake were SUPER yummy :) So this is their family with us and a few friends of Andreas :)

Hermana Leyva also got to come to Huaraz this week(see photo above) to visit Hermana Medina and I!! It was the best :) Hermana Jones came too!!! Man, it was the best to be with them again! :) I love those girls. Your missionary companions really just become your best friends :)

Well, thanks for all your support! The gospel is SO true and I love it! Have a great week!!!

Hermana Agle