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 sometimes...faith 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!!