Sunday, 28 September 2014

September 8, 15, and 26, 2014

September 15, 2014
This weekend we had a multi-stake service project at a hospital in Caballtio!! I got to go back to my old area and see a whole bunch of people!!!!!! It was great!!! For the service project we were sanding down the exterior and repainting the banisters outside. Then on the inside we had to paint on this paint remover and the scrape off the paint, which I think is what we were doing in the picture. It was really fun. So, that was in the morning and then we got home, ate a little, showered, and we had to go help get ready for the Capilla Abierta (Open Chapel) which was from 5 until 8. It was a great success!!! A ton of investigators came, and we received a ton of referrals!!! It was so great to see the participation of the ward members! They MAKE EVERYTHING POSSIBLE IN MISSIONARY WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I haven’t said that enough over the past 16 months I had to say it again ;D.

Anita and Domingo are progressing nicely. We actually found out that they don't have to wait to get that document to get married if they have their passports. So we should be expecting their marriage and baptism pretty soon. Also we found a great family because of the Capilla Abierta. Elder Garcia just grabbed them off the street! They are really great ,and we are excited to work with them! All in all this week was a great success! Like always in missionary work!!!!!!

So, here we are just about to enter into spring! Looks like we won’t even hit summer until after I’m out of here so that’s good, I’ll get spared the heat! Here it’s been raining a ton, too! I’m so glad for good rain boots and a good coat!! Yesterday we got drenched!! We quite literally were dripping wet. But that’s mission life!!! It’s the BEST!!!!!! Wouldn’t ever change it!!!!!!
Don’t forget to study Preach My Gospel!!!
Love you!!!!!
Hermana Arntsen

September 22, 2014
This week was good. We found a really great family although we haven’t been able to talk as much with the kids yet but the dad, Miguel, is great! He read his assignment, and when he prayed with us he prayed to know “quickly” the truth about the Book of Mormon! He couldn’t come to church yesterday though, so I hope that he can hold out strong until next Sunday. He is really great. Then Domingo, from that nice senior couple, came yesterday even though Anita was sick and couldn’t come with him, he came alone. They are so great! I’m very grateful for the privilege it is to teach them! Hermana Dickson’s awesome! Growing every day!! She’ll be great!! No complaints just happiness in the work of the Lord!!!!

Oh! I almost forgot! I had a great epiphany this week!!! This shows why it’s so important to not just study the scriptures and doctrines but also to keep a study journal and to share your ideas. We were talking in companionship study about what we were going to teach a family, and I had an idea. So, normally we think that we have all these problems and challenges, so God gave us His Son and the Atonement to be able to handle them right? Well try thinking about it in reverse. As human beings naturally we need the Atonement to be able to return and live with God right? Right. So, Heavenly Father gives us trials and difficulties so that we use the Atonement for our salvation. Does that make sense? So, instead of the Atonement being the remedy for whatever problem, problems become the avenue to the Atonement. I hope that makes sense. All things point to Christ.  Pretty cool, huh? The Spirit knows great things!!! That’s why we have to diligently seek him and ask questions and study and discover!! Because HE WILL TELL US!!!!! (Moroni 10:5)
Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hermana Arntsen

September 26, 2014
(Excerpt from a quick note Megan wrote to us after hearing of the death of her great-grandmother this week.)

President called yesterday to let me know the Grandma Della passed away. Almost made it to 102! Wow! What an incredible life! I don’t know why Heavenly Father decided to give her such a wonderfully long and full life, but now I wonder if maybe I just needed the help to get on the mission and the inspiration. I know that she never made it to South America in all her travels, but I am doing it for her. Grandmother Della is an inspiration in her faith, charity, and spunky attitude! She had her share of life, and I’m sure she went happily.

I know what you are probably thinking: poor Megan; so much had to happen when she was away on her mission. But, please, don’t think that. It’s ok. (D&C 58:2-4 :D) Sure, it would have been nice to spend more time with Grandma Betty, Grandpa Alan, and Grandma Della before they passed on, and it would have been nice to be at Michael and Cassie’s wedding, but I will have all of the eternities to be with Grandma Betty, Grandpa Alan, and Grandma Della and even some earthly time to be with Michael and Cassie. All sacrifice is worth it in the service of the Lord. One thing I have learned is that sacrifice means to “make sacred.” All of these sacrifices are making this time that I have dedicated to the Lord even more SACRED. And I wouldn’t change that for all the time in the world!
I love you all so very much!!

Hermana Arntsen

Sunday, 14 September 2014

September 1 and September 8, 2014

September 1, 2014

Yeah, I did'’t think I would train because I am close to the end and have already done it a few times, haha! So, I am in fact training an American (yanky *sh-ahn-ky* as they say down here). Hermana Mallory Dickson from Missouri! She’s really great! Speaks great Spanish and teaches like a pro already!! So, it’ll be a good couple of transfers.

Loving people is wonderful advice! Really I would add on top of that to learn how to be out going. ALL PROSPECTIVE MISSIONARIES: learn how to be out going now. Just learn how to talk to people and have a conversation—any conversation—and then once you’re more comfortable with that start relating the conversations to the Gospel. You can’t love anyone you don’t know so learn to get to know people.

We had a miracle this week but I won’t tell you until next week because the miracle will be better! haha!!

All of my friends on the mission are pretty much home already! I only have six companions still in the field (including my current companion) out of the fifteen that I’ve had! Anyway, the important thing is that I’m still LOVING WITH ALL MY HEART the mission!!!!!!! Every day my testimony grows stronger and stronger, and I know with more and more surety that this is the Lord´s work!!!! I know it. I know the God knows it. I cannot deny it. The prophet Joseph said something like this: After all that has been said, the most important duty is preaching the gospel. Period. End of story. Truth. Reality? Do we really feel that as the truth?
Hermana Arntsen

September 8, 2014

So...... MIRACLES!!!!!!! So last Sunday (31st) an investigator, Zulma, came up to me and said that she was going to get baptized soon. I was quite surprised! She had been coming to church for about a year and had received all the lessons a couple times, but couldn't get baptized because she’s only 12 and her grandma didn't want to sign the permission without the mom (who is in Bolivia). We weren't even teaching her!! So, we stopped by her house to help her with English homework and we explained everything. She said that her grandma had told her that now she would sign, so we gave her the paper and she signed!! Now, the first Saturday of every month the stake goes to the temple in a bus. Zulma wanted to be baptized and confirmed in time to go to the temple. I was explaining to her that baptism without confirmation-- I only got that far and then she finished the sentence “isn't worth anything,” she said. Well, confirmations are done on Sunday, and she wanted to go to the temple the Saturday before, so I told her that unless Bishop said she could have a confirmation at her baptism, we would have to do it normally and we could arrange for someone to take her to the temple later. She said “well, Tuesday I’m going to go talk to Bishop then.” And that’s just what she did. Tuesday we had a meeting so we were there anyway and while she was waiting to talk to Bishop, Elder Garcia did her interview, which she passed and then she went in to talk to Bishop. Then Bishop came out and called us six missionaries (four elders and two sisters) and the ward mission leader in as well. He had quite the serious face and I worried what he might say. He said “ok, Zulma we’re just going to answer a couple questions in front of the missionaries, don’t be scared, just be honest. Why do you want to be baptized?”
“Because I want to be a member of the Church,” she replied.
“And why do you want to be a member of the church?”
“Because I see a lot of people after they get baptized that they are really happy.”
“Good. And why do you want to go to the temple?”
“Because they say it’s wonderful inside.”
“Elders and Sisters, is there any way that we can arrange a baptismal service and confirmation Friday so that Zulma can go to the temple?”
Shock and awe! YES!! OF  COURSE!!!!! So, Friday evening Zulma Patricia Gomez Flores was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! What a miracle!!!

And then another one!! Yesterday the elders in the ward had a baptism of a youth who had started playing soccer with everyone about four months ago and the MEMBERS encouraged him to come to church. The elders started teaching him, and then he wanted to get baptized. So we get to this baptism and we are waiting for everyone to show up. And then in walks a brother....and I look at him, and I realize I know him from Congresso. So, I go and say hi! And it was great to see him, and then he says yeah, so Sebastian is going to get baptized! And I was like yeah, you know Sebastian cool! And then in comes this brother’s brother who was the mission leader in Congresso and then their parents and the Jessica, who they rented from and we taught but didn’t get baptized. AH!! OVERWHELMING JOY!! It was great to see them all! And they were all like yeah, so Sebastian is getting baptized! And I was still confused as to how they know him and why they were here. Turns out, Sebastian is Jessica’s son, and I had met him in Congresso when we went to eat Christmas diner at their house and I didn’t even remember!! I knew he looked familiar but I thought because I had just seen him around here but no! I had met him almost a year before!! WOW!!! Crazy!!!!

Other news: do you remember all of those Capillas Abiertas (Open Chapel) that I've participated in? Well guess what?! Finally they are doing one in the ward where I serve!!! This Saturday we will have a Capilla Abierta! I’ll send pictures!!

Hermana Arntsen

Oh, so I forgot! After the baptism we were going to go home but the Spirit inspired me to check for the keys, and I didn’t have them because I had given them to the Elder to open the font who had given them to a sister who had left with our keys!!! AH!!!! So, we were there a really long time trying to call every phone number, and we sent the Ward Mission Leader to go to the sister's house and ring her door bell, but we couldn't find her. So, we called the Zone Leaders who are supposed to have an extra copy, but they recently changed our locks so even though they showed up a 10 pm in a taxi with all the spares we didn't find our key. So, they took us to the Chacabuco sister’s apartment, and we slept on the floor in borrowed gym shorts. How’s that for an adventure?!