04 August 2014

18 Cosas Que Amo De La Misión

Now that I'm here ending the mission, I want to send a special email. For 18 months of service, 18 things I loved about the mission. These are things that I have especially seen and loved (or learned to love) here in the Misión Chile Antofagasta these last 18 months. 

1. Power and Authority From God
Starting Day 1 in the MTC, most of the talks had to with the revelation that was recieved with our mission call. I remember that day (feels like yesterday) that I recieved my call. Read CHILE ANTOFAGASTA and knew. Knew that CHILE was the place I needed to go. And now, being here, there has been SO many times that I've felt that same assurance. I am called by a prophet of God, someone who speaks in His behalf, to be here. GOD called ME. HERE. 
Then, that we are set apart with the power of God to do this work. For just a short amount of time, we are given the authority to talk to people, teach, ... not to be shy or embarrassed. Its our responsibility. My natural self is like that, a little shy or nervous to get out of my comfort zone. But I reminded myself, I decided to go on a mission, knowing I'd have to do it. Why be shy? Be valient. Just do it, just talk to them. It might be a little awkward, but who cares? That's my job, to just talk to people! I'm a missionary! It's expected of me!

2. Focus and Dedication to the Gospel
I love 100% focus and dedication to the Gospel. It's the only time in our lives we have to do it, and its great! In these 18 months, I've learned SO much more about the doctrine of Christ than I ever had before. I thought I knew it before... It was nothing! haha I love everything I was able to learn and try and do and see. Life has a greater meaning and potential when we put all glory to God and follow His plan. I feel like now, I am more determined, more decided with what I want to do in life, all because I had this time to really focus on it. 

3. Being with a Companion
I never thought I'd love so much being with a companion! haha As you know, before the mission, I was usually by myself. Doing things alone, working, studying, ... and I was fine with it. Starting the mission, it was a little difficult being with someone always... but now, I learned to love it! I love the company! Its great to have someone else that supports me, helps me, grows with me, makes me stretch, makes me learn, ... Someone else who's always there to fill in where I can't make it. 

4. Meeting New People
I've had a great opportunity to meet many great people. Missionaries, Members of the Church, or Non-Members, this world is full of good people. It was fun to meet people from Chile, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Brasil, Ecuador, ... but even greater to learn from them. 
I've learned to not be as shy. It's not as hard as I thought, to extend the comfort zone a bit. Talking to strangers, becomes as a game. My companion and I started having a contest together how many contacts we could do in a day, how many gave us their address, and how many lived in our sector. It became fun! Like the Lord says (open your mouth and it will be filled), I've seen and experienced that! It's amazing! 

5. Seeing How Much is Possible in One Day
I always thought before the mission, that once I was in school or working 7 or 8 hours a day, that was sufficient. I had done a lot. But, in the MTC (and even more since then) I've learned that with good time management, we can do SO MUCH in just 24 hours! In the MTC we were in "class" 6 hours, AND studied an hour, AND studied language an hour, AND had exercise an hour, AND planned for the day, AND had an hour three times a day for meals, ... etc etc. WOW! I realized how much time I had wasted before! 
Then, here in the field, that we can do SO MUCH! Studying an hour, really is just a little bit of time! Then, we go out to work, how many people can we talk to today? And have a lesson with? And plan a next appointment with? 
Time is valuable. Time is short. Use it wisely. Budget it according to your priorities... and put God first ;)

6. Feeling Closer to God
I have felt closer to God than ever before since being here on the mission. From helping me learn the language, to finding investigators, to comforting me on a hard day, I have felt his love and his presence. I feel like he knows me, he puts me where I need to be, with who I need to be with. I have no doubt that he loves me, and has a plan for me. He knows what I need to grow more, what I can handle, and what I need to learn. He hears my prayers, and answers them, according to my needs. But he hears me. And I know he always does what will be the best for me.

7. Learning/Studying/Developing Attributes of Christ
Here in the mission, I feel like it's the best time to focus on our Savior Jesus Christ, and how we can become more like him. Every day, in every aspect, there's something we can learn about how Christ is and how he would do the work. These last 9 weeks, my companion and I have focused on one of the attributes of Christ found in Preach My Gospel, and how we can develop it better. It was amazing to see certain things that happened during the week, that helped us better to learn the trait. For example, the week of "humility" we had a hard week of work and lessons. The week of "patience" we had 4 more sisters living in our apartment... ;) haha I feel like here in the mission, I learned more about Christ, I loved studying about him, and trying every day more to be like him.

8. Seeing Miracles
Witnessing miracles is a testimony builder. It's amazing to see miracles, big and small, every day. And we see MORE when we are more focused on it. Everything is a miracle. Miracles are based on our faith. If we have faith, we are able to do great things, because we have the help and confidence of the Lord. 
We have the potencial to do miracles. We just need to have the faith. I know miracles are real, and they testify of Christ, and help us learn more of him. 

9. Trials = Blessings
Hard times are times to learn and grow. Its the perfect opportunity to change something and do something different and better! I've learned to "love" trials, for that reason. After they've passed too, I feel more accomplished, stronger, and better. 
I heard someone say "When you have opposition, you know you're doing something good" That's so true! Satan attacks us when we are about to do something good, because he doesn't want us to do it. I've learned about that in the mission too. Through problems of health, people preparing for baptism, or going through the normal day, always before something great happens, its hard. But, you know you're doing something good ;) 

10. Adventures
Here in the mission, I've had a few great adventures. haha From the dog bite in Copiapo, to the earthquake in Arica! And I gotta admit, now looking back, they were fun! Maybe some of those "trials" that turn into blessings ;) haha I got to experience things that I would have never experienced in any other way. And it was fun! Life is full of adventures. That's what makes it fun and unique. Especially the mission! It's an adventure in itself!

11. "Other Knowledge" 
On top of coming closer to Christ, I was also able to learn "other things" that were great too! I got to learn Spanish, knowing the gift of tongues is real. That will be a great help in other aspects of my life too. I got to learn more of budgeting money and making it last through the month. I got to learn more of cooking! (Heads up, Ill be sharing that with you at home!!) Stuff from Chile, and Argentina too! I learned more of "not being shy" and talking to everyone. I learned to live with someone and how to get along with them. I learned self-reliance. I LOVE THE MISSION ;) 

12. Recieving Revelation
I was able to strengthen my testimony of revelation more here in the mission. From our Mission President and his teachings, to the leaders, to my companion and I in our sector, revelation is necessary to do the things right, and how God wants them done. Revelation really is the communication with God to his children. He knows us. 
Revelation is received in many ways. Through the power of the scriptures, prayer, words of someone else, thoughts, music.... in a personal way, but a real way. From God. 

13. Seeing Blessings Immediately
Blessings are given immediately based on obedience. There were many times that I was able to fast or pray, and saw the blessing immediately. But, there are also other times, that God needs us to wait. But the blessings always come. I loved being able to experience many times that God knows me and hears my prayers, and blesses me in the way that is best for me. 
I remember a few times, fasting for new investigators. Either immediately after ending, or still during the fast, we found someone great, recieved a referral, ... something that was a great answer. or Praying with faith, for help and direction during the day, and seeing God's help in obvious ways. 

14. Learning that Change is Good
Change is a good thing. It's hard to get out of your comfort zone to go into something new. For example, transfers. At the start of my mission.. it was SUPER hard for me when transfers were close. I got anxious, nervous, and just wanted to know what would happen! But, I learned that they are always for a new experience to learn and grow. We get to meet new people and try new things. 
Change is an opportunity to grow. To keep progressing. And now, I like change ;) Look at change as a blessing, because that is what it is. A chance God gives us to keep moving forward.

15. Power in the Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I was able to witness great conversions through the power of the Book of Mormon. People that at first didn't seem to progress, would read the Book of Mormon and not be able to put it down! It's a great witness of Joseph Smith and the restoration, the divinity of Christ, and how the Holy Ghost works. It is necessary in the power of conversion. It is full of answers to fill the soul. It contains the fullness of the Gospel. It is a perfect and true book! 

16. Putting on the Armor of God Daily
Studying the scriptures daily is a great way to fight temptations. Putting on the armor daily is a big strength that we need. I loved being able to recieve answers and revelation during Personal Study, and also with my companion. It's the only way to stay good on the path. At least a little a day, but it gradually brings this "hunger" to keep learning. 
The Gospel is a wonderful thing. We are promised to know the "mysteries of God" if we dedicate ourselves to studying with the desire to learn more. I know that if we do, we are revealed many great and important things.

17. Power of Conversion from the Spirit 
The Spirit converts, not people. Something we always tell people is that we aren't here to convince them of what we have, we are here to invite them to hear our message, then to ask God directly if it is true or not. It's interesting how it changes the outlook of people, knowing we don't want them to do anything because WE say it, but because GOD says it. It makes us different from other missionaries and puts the glory to God and the Holy Ghost. 
A true answer from God and a testimony from Him is what makes a true conversion. If God says something and witnesses something, it cannot be denied. 
Seek a testimony and to always strengthen it. It's the best tool you have to stay strong. 

18. Strengthening My Testimony 
The experiences I've had in the mission have helped me strengthen my testimony. God always knew what I needed to help me become stronger. I think my favorite thing I was able to learn from the mission, was my testimony. I always believed these things before, but now, I KNOW. 
I know the church is true. I know it was restored by Joseph Smith. I know he translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. I know the Priesthood also was restored by him. I know this authority is important and essencial. There are prophets in these days that lead and guide us. Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet. I know Christ lives. I know our Heavenly Father loves us. We are His children. He knows what is best for us. Families are forever. The Temple is a sacred place to perform eternal covenants. 
We are blessed when we obey. God is always there to listen and answer our prayers. He is always there. 
We have the Atonement of Christ to become perfect, try harder every day. We can be forgiven. We can be comforted. We can feel his love and his presence. He can take our trials and our pains and relieve guilt, and anguish. He loves us. He did it all for his love. 
I know God is real. I know we have potential to become like Him, and that is our purpose in life. I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to be able to return to live with him. It's the only way. 
These things I know, because of the power of the Holy Ghost. He testifies of all truth.

I have loved these last 18 months of my life. So far, the best 18 months I've ever had. The best times of good and bad, where I've learned the most, and grown much more than I've ever expected. 

Thank you for all your love and support. I have felt it, being this far, every day in my mission. I think of you all often, and hope you can too have the experience of serving a mission. So you can really understand the happiness it brings. 

Love you!! See you SOON! :)

--Hermana Severtson

Buenos Recuerdos

Hola Hola!! 
Wow.... Here's my last email to you.... Crazy right how fast the time has gone? I can't believe it... But, I'm happy for the time I've had here to serve in Chile Antofagasta!! 

This week was a fun one for us. We went to Antofagasta this week too, for the leadership council. I once again got to play the piano there, along with a prayer and ending with my testimony. This time, we were just 2 Hermanas going home from the council, but in total 18 missionaries will go home... 11 Hermanas. 

A while ago, but still since I've been here in this ward, there as a Colombian couple, Alexander and Esperanza that were preparing for marriage and baptism. Esperanza had to return to Colombia for a few things, and was going to come right back. We've been waiting for her for probably 5ish months...and finally, she came this week!! It was so great to see her again, she is a great lady! They have plans to be married and baptized as soon as possible. Esperanza also came with 2 more sons too, that are both just as amazing. The Elders in the ward are teaching the sons, and they too are preparing for baptism! Im sad I won't be here for their baptism... but I was happy to see Esperanza again. I wanted to see her before I left, and she came on Wednesday! 

Like I had mentioned before, we had found many Less-Active members these last few weeks. We've been starting to work more with them, and have been able to find so many new investigators through them! Once again, I'm sad I won't be here for it, but I will definitely keep in touch with them and the members and my companion ;) 

This week, we have great plans. We are excited to take advantage of my last week, and do all we can to have the best week ever!! I know it will be! 

In our leadership council, President Dalton talked about making good memories. I started thinking a lot about that after. He mentioned how we are eternal beings, but the memories we are making in this life we will remember forever. We will have a perfect remberance of all things. And how the memories we are making now, will determine our state and glory in the life to come. 
After, he applied the same thing to our mission. Live the mission to the fullest, every moment, because once it comes to and end, it's ended. And we can't change the memories we've made. 

I really liked this talk that President gave. All of our actions and choices now, are memories being created. Are we creating memories that we will want to remember for all of eternity? Are our memories reflecting our great potential? Some great things to think about. It's never too late to change a few things, if we want to. Christ always gives us a second chance to get up and try again. Let's take advantage of this live we've been given. To enjoy every moment. To live in a way to see our Heavenly Father happily one day. To help others live the same. To serve lovingly. That we have no regrets. 

I love you all lots lots lots. Thank you for all your love and support. You are all amazing. Thank you for writing me, for keeping me updated on all the great things happening in your lives. You are the best. Remember who you are and why you're here. Live every moment to its full potential. I love you!!! 

See you soon!

--Hermana Severtson

28 July 2014

Si La Vida Fuera Fácil....

Hola Familia!! 
Crazy how today's email, then next week's, and Ill be home! The time has gone SO fast, and I can't believe it!! 

This week, we had interviews with President Dalton. Mine was short and sweet, and "How are you feeling?" and "How are you ending...?" haha ;) But it was great! 

We also had 4 more Hermanas living in our pension this week, because they were repairing some things in their pension. Going fom 2, to 6 in one day (for a week) was a big change! We definitely got to learn time management, patience, sharing, ... ... :) haha. But they are all great Hermanas, so it was also a lot of fun!! 

We were going to go today to Lago Chungara. Its up in the mountains, about 4 hours away, and super pretty apparently ;) Part of the lake (lago) is part of Bolivia, and part is of Chile. The Stake President here was going to take all of us Hermanas here in the stake, and rented a van. But, the guy he was renting from had to take an emergency trip, so probably next Monday we will go. SO, heads up, I WILL write you my last email, but it'll most likely be later in the day ;) 

This week, we have a fun week! Everyone was still on "winter break" so it was hard still. BUT, we found a new family!!! 
When we had English Classes in the church, we put a flyer on the door of our apartment. We never heard anything from anyone, and we stopped the classes, and that was that. BUT, last week, a guy stopped us in the street, seeing if we still did the classes or if we could help him. He lives in our apartment building with his wife and 2 kids. We set up an appointment, and they are great! Turns out, the dad, Rodrigo, is a member who got baptized almost 20 years ago, and stopped going because he didn't have much time since he's in the military. His daughter Tamara is 10, and she loves us, and we help her a lot with her English. His wife, Pamela, too. They are a great family, who seem like they are already members ;) They already have a lot of confidence in us, have interest in the church too, and are so great!! We pass by 2 or 3 times a week, and its great ;) We will see how they progress, but I won't be here :( 
Our other people that were going to be baptized, are also being postponed. Marriges still need to be done, going to church more, ... but the important is that ONE DAY they will be baptized ;) 

I talked to the boys about the jerseys they wanted, and Im going to try to get them. Like I had mentioned, they are cheaper in Peru, so depending on if someone can get out there and get some, Ill send them with the errand. But itll just depend ;) Theyll also be about $10 each, so also depends on if i can get that much cash to send ;) hehe Ill try :)

Remember that no matter what, serve the Lord first. Do your duty and responsibilities, and put the Lord first, and all things will fall into place. He has a greater plan, He knows best. Ending my mission now, I've realized so much of that. This is God's work. Even if you're not on a mission, it's God's plan. He puts everything where it needs to be, in the time it needs to be there. And it's perfect. We can't change his will, or if we put ours above His, it doesn't work. We are only truly happy, when we put Him first. 
Now that you're all starting school, remember that. Always make time to read your scriptures, at least a chapter a day. Pray daily. Always make that time. And study hard. And when you do, I promise you, that if you ask the Lord for help, He WILL help you! If you do your part and remember him, he will help you! Something that I've been remembering, is something Dad says, "If life were easy, it woudn't be hard" I know is super obvious, but life is supposed to be a little hard, so we can learn. BUT, it doesnt need to be extremely difficult either. It's always easier on the Lord's side ;) Always easier, happier, and with more reason. ;) 

Les quiero mucho! Y estoy muy MUY animada verles en dos semanas mas! Gracias por su apoyo y su amor, por recordarme y escribirme cada semana ;) 
Tengo la mejor familia que hay ;) Y no dudo eso por nada. Les amo, y les extraño por un tiempito mas ;) 

hasta luego! 

<3 Hermana Severtson

21 July 2014

Ningún testimonio hasta después

Wow, this week was an interesting one!! We worked our hardest, got exhausted, and kept working hard. And, at the end of all of it, we didn't meet our goal. 
This was really hard for me at first. WHY, if I set a goal, and did my part, why didn't God bless me with the miracle? It was something good, something possible. But we needed his help... why didnt he help us?

But, we quickly took that doubt out of our heads, and changed it into something positive. 
Its okay. No, we didn't meet our goal, but there was a bigger lesson in this. 
We learned what its like to work HARD, to really focus on what we want, and to do everything to get it. 
We learned that God does bless us for our work, but those blessings arent always what WE want them to be. 
We learned that God has his own plan, and his own way to do it. We need to submit ourselves to THAT plan, and there we will see miracles. 
We learned that even though we didnt meet new investigators, we met LOTS of new "less-actives." No, they can't be baptized, but they can be reactivated. They have families that aren't members. These people weren't on the ward list, and now we can help them better. 

We just kept thinking all week : You recieve no witness until AFTER the trial of your faith (Ether 12:6) In Spanish, the word witness is changed to testimony. I liked that a lot. 
On Monday we had a hard day, then Tuesday, then Wednesday, ...and we thought the "trial of our faith" would be trying our work untilSaturday night.. THEN we would find a family of 5. And at the end of it all, no. The trial of our faith was to keep working, when we didn't see the blessing at the end of the week. We could have easily given up, thinking if we wont have the blessing, why work? But, we have no doubts now. "If we would have done...." "If we worked harder with..." no. We honestly feel like we did our part. We set the goal, we did our part, and the miracle is up to the Lord. We recieved a different miracle. Our testimony/witness we recieved was of work. Of doing our part. Of never giving up. And that God does give miracles and blessings. ;) 

So, at the end of it all, it was a great week still ;) 

Saturday, was my companion's birthday! And that was fun ;) It seems like all the missionaries that come here to Juan Noe have their birthday when they're here ;) haha its fun! 

I cant believe Porter Derrick leaves this week, that Nicholas already left, that Brandon Gale leaves... these kids are all so young! haha ;) 

Well, see you all in a few weeks. I love you lots! 
Remember to always give your all. Even when it's hard, and doesn't "seem" worth it, give your all. God is bound to bless us, if we do what he says. He WILL bless you! ;) Work hard, never give up, and endure to the end :)

--Hermana Severtson

14 July 2014

Ora Siempre... Para Que Salgas Triunfante

Hello Family! How was your week?

We had a good week here! Lots of running around and working hard! 

We had a great zone conference this week, where the Zone Leaders talked about not being "comfortable." When we are comfortable, we aren't progressing...and when we are progressing, we aren't comfortable. So, get out of the comfort zone and stretch, learn, grow, progress! It was great! 
So, this week, we set goals to "be exhausted" haha its our last week to be able to find people, that can go to church, and be able to be baptized my last weekend. It is going to be fun! ;)

This week, we had a fun ward activity. We had a "treasure hunt" that the clues were all in code. The clues were scriptures that talked about a part of the church, where the next clue was hidden. 
for example, if the clue was "the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me" for the little box where you put the numbers of the hymns, and the code was PRIESTHOOD, P=1 R=2 I=3 E=4 S=5 T=6 H=7 O=8 D=9 you'd write the clue "674 58ng 8f 674 23g7648u5 35 a 12ay42 un68 m4" haha it was fun! hard, but fun! 

We had a great experience too this week. One of the ladies in the ward asked us to go with her to visit a few members that were sick. On the way, we ran into the lady who walked down to the store. walking back to her house, we passed Mirella and Waldo's house (they're neighbors, and friends of the member). We had an appt with them around this time, but we were going to visit the member for a sec, then go. RIGHT when we passed their house, Waldo came out, and asked if we were coming to see them. We started to say we'd come in a few minutes, but the member said "yes! we'll all go!" we had a great lesson with all of us, and it was fun! Mirella was originally a referral from this member too, so it was great for her to come with us. They committed to come to church with us, finally!! We asked to see if they wanted us to stop by and go together, and she said "no! If we say we are going to go, we are GOING to go!"
Sunday, we were waiting for them at church... waiting... waiting...and it started. No Waldo and Mirella. Announcements...song...prayer...announcements...song...sacrament... still no. I was sitting at the piano (I accompany for the ward) and thinking of what more we can do to get investigators to go to church. Why didn't Waldo and Mirella come?? I said a quick little prayer in my heart, hoping that at least they'd come late, but had the desires to come. I open my eyes, and see the usher pointing to someone who's outside the door, telling them to wait a few minutes. Hmm. Someone came late. I was waiting, waiting to see who it was coming in... and I saw them pass by the window... Waldo and Mirella!! :) They came!! :) I was SO happy!! They LOVED the church, they were happy they made it. :) They plan to be baptized Sept 20 if all goes well ;) Sad I won't be here...but happy they'll be making the decision ;) 

Saturday too, we worked all day hard, to find new people. We said a prayer before we left in the morning, to be able to have help to find lessons and great people to teach, that can help us with our goal this transfer. We did it! It was a great day! We felt SO good at the end of the night, and set a goal for this week, for every day to feel the same ;) We will do it!! 

With that, I once again strengthened my testimony on prayer. God really hears our prayers. If we tell him what we want to do, and how we plan to do it, he blesses the plans, and helps it all work out. Always! Its so amazing! 
"Pray always, the you may come off conquerer" Doctrine and Covenants 10:5. Come off conquerer!! But we can only do it with the Lord's help! Only HE can place people in our path that we need to meet. Only HE can organize it all in the right way. Only HE can help us grow and progress. Only HIM. And he will help us be conquerer. 

Remember to pray always. You have a Heavenly Father who loves you, wants to hear from you, and wants to help you!! We can only do it with His help, allow him! He's just waiting! 

I can't believe I only have one month more here in Chile... It seemed to go SO fast! I am excited to take advantage of this ONE month, and do all I can to be able to finish out strong!! 

Les quiero mucho!! :) 

--Hermana Severtson

07 July 2014

Saltemos De La Barca!

Hola Familia!! 

Like I always start my letters... This week was another GREAT one! :D 

We travelled to Antofagasta again, for our "consejo"... council?... with Presidente and Hermana Dalton and the Assistants. It was fun, because now, I get to see Hermana Albornoz, Hermana Rindlisbacher, and Hermana Tuft! 3 of my old companions! :) And a lot of other people I know ;)
It was a great meeting. My companion and I decided to exercise faith this transfer, and set a goal for 5 baptisms. (Ill mention about those we already have here after). Then, everyone that spoke, talked about setting goals with faith, faith is things you can't see but hope for, praying with faith, jumping from the boat.... Jump from the boat was one of my favorites. 
Like Peter, we all have experiences where we need to put all trust and confidence in the Lord, and "Jump from the Boat". Having 5 baptisms this transfer, will be a LOT. Its something we can't see right now, but its possible. Of ALL the people that live in our sector, how can it be that 5 of them are not ready to be baptized? We have plans to contact all the future investigators we have right now, contact more, ask for referrals, and keep our minds focused in the goal. 
Jump from the boat. Get out of the comfort zone. 
The Elder that spoke about this, had a good point of view too. He and his companion had set a goal for 8 that transfer, and got 6. BUT, he doesnt see it that he didnt meet the goal. If they set a goal for 3 or 4, they would have been satisfied with the 3 or 4, and not even got the 6. That's the mindset I want this last transfer. Reach for the 5!! But, being diligent and working hard until the last day, will be the real "achievement".

So, Waldo and Mirella... They are still great and progressing. But, according to the laws of Chile, we found out that Waldo needs at least a month and a half to be divorced (if there are no problems), then 15 days to process the divorce. THEN he can be married... so al final, I won't be here for their baptism. But, the important is that one day, they WILL do it! 

Happy 4th of July also! :) We wanted to do SOMETHING, but we ended up not having time. We did though have a FHE activity in the church like we do every Friday. Someone mentioned that it was the 4th, "Dia de los Estados Unidos" and everyone came up to me and Elder Dennett (the other american elder in the ward) and hugged us, congratulated us, all super happy and super excited. haha Like we did anything to help with the independence of our country... ;) hehe 

I saw a cool quote I liked this week... "Ya tienes el NO, haz algo por obtener el SI" (you already have the NO, do something to get the YES). Thats so true. Every person we don't talk to in the street, or every person we dont invite to go to church or be baptized, gives us the answer NO. unless we DO talk to them, and give them the chance to say YES! 
Don't be afraid to at least try! The worst that will happen, is that they will still say NO. But, at least you did your all to try, give them the chance. ;)

I was happy to hear too that dad mentioned that Garrett got his license! WOW! Congrats buddy! 
and that Caleb will be taking Spanish next year! woo hoo! Ill talk to you in Spanish and help you! ;) 

Ok. I think that's all for today. No se olvide saltar de la barca. Ponga su confianza en el Señor y Su plan. El sabe mejor ;) Sabe TODO! 

Les quiero mucho, y nos vemos prontito! ;) 

--Hermana Severtson

30 June 2014

Raíces Fuertes

Hola Hola!! 
Wow, can you believe it? Today, starts my last transfer here in the mission. 6 weeks. That I know will go by SO FAST. 
BUT, I am happy to say, that I AM STAYING IN MY AREA AND WITH MY COMPANION!! :D We were both super excited when the assistants called us to say we would be staying ;) This transfer is going to be fun! The last one... but it will be a good ending :)

Sad to say... Chile got eliminated from the World Cup this week. It was a sad day... like normal, the whole country stopped to watch the game, and after... we knew they lost, because we could feel the sadness. 
I never thought I'd be so into sports, but I've been super excited to hear everything about World Cup, and wanting to watch the games! haha in 4 more years, Ill watch it for sure ;) haha 
Even though it's sad, we are kinda relieved, so we can keep working good haha. We were lucky that the games were usually during our lunch or meetings, so it didn't affect us too much, but just an hour or so sometimes was during work time. And it was hard! haha! 

Happy Anniversary to mom and dad this week. Wow, 23 years! How fast time goes... 

We had a great week! We saw miracles! 
There is an investigator, Mirella, who I've been teaching for a while now.. since February. She was a reference from a member, but we could only go in the mornings so we couldn't ever see her that much. She always told us only the morning, because it was when her husband wasn't there, since he would "never like to listen to us". She couldn't progress well because he was "hard" "closed" and couldn't ever go to church or anything because of him.
Then, there was a baptism in the ward a few weeks ago, and we invited Mirella. She showed up with her husband, and they loved it!! 
Little by little, we started teaching the husband, Waldo, too. Wow, is he a miracle! Mirella is super excited that Waldo is recieving the lessons now, and they are planning to be baptized on the 9th of August. We could always see the desires in Mirella, but I thought it would be a while until she could do anything. Waldo prayed, and ended the prayer saying "We are going to do it, it's not going to be easy, but we will do it. And the missionaries are going to be happy!" And Mirella cried and was laughing and super happy! 
They are studying the Book of Mormon together and learning a lot! 
Now, just the trick. Waldo and Mirella aren't legally married... Waldo is married and not divorced to someone else, due to the recent laws of Chile permitting divorce. His "wife" and he are separated for more than 20 years, but she is wanting money from the divorce. We are asking for a miracle... to be divorced and remarried to Mirella in 6 weeks. Keep them in your prayers ;) 

The other. Angelina. She had mentioned to us that she didn't feel ready for baptism, so we changed the date to the 26th of July. She accepted. We shared with her the importance of a testimony and her own answer. She started studying and applying the stories in the Book of Mormon, and we've seen more excitement in her. Last night, we saw her. She told me that she WILL be baptized the 26th. She feels so good in the church, better than in "her catholic church". Her grandma that raised her passed away, and her uncle that she lives with was drinking a lot, and she made the decision. She was going to do it, because she wants the help from the Lord. 

The last, is Elmer. Who also has a goal to be baptized the 9th of August. He has been investigating the church for a LONG time, but never could because his "wife" (not married) lived in Peru. She is a less-active member, and he was waiting for her to come here, so they could get married, and he could be baptized. She came a few weeks ago, and they are trying to do all they can to get married quick, and be baptized too! 

It was an amazing week ;) So far, we have 4 investigators with goals to be baptized this transfer! It should be a great ending! ;)

My companion and I studied DILIGENCE this week. Diligence. Endure to the end. Strength. Will to the Lord. Until the end. It was a great study, that I definitely needed this week. 
Diligence doesn't only mean keep working. But to keep working with your heart, might, mind, and strength. It means to be obedient. It means to use time wisely. It means to have the desire to keep working. To want to keep going. 

My companion had a letter from her brother that she read to me, and in a few lessons this week. About Bamboo. 
Bamboo grows 32 meters in a month, so like a meter a day. Or 5 cm an hour. So fast, you can SEE it growing! You can cut it down from the bottom, and it will still continue to grow 32 meters monthly. (Different from any other tree, that if you cut it at the trunk, it stops there). 
But the interesting thing... if you go to plant it right now, and nuture it well, you won't see anything. Not the fault of the ground, climate... because it can grow in any weather, in any soil. So, why won't it grow?
It actually IS growing. Bamboo grows down first, for 7 years, strengthening its roots so it can withstand quick growth and strength. 7 years of strengthening. So when someone comes and cuts it down, it will keep growing. 
How interesting, that our life could be the same. If we focus on strengthening our roots (but more than 7 years....) by having a testimony, praying, reading the scriptures and applying them, going to church, having spiritual experiences, inviting others to come to church or activities... we are strengthened. So when a trial comes and "cuts us down" we can keep growing. We are still strong. It won't affect our growth. We still have our strong roots. 
I loved this comparion. "Be a Bamboo." Do all you can to have your roots strengthened. 

I love you all lots! Take advantage of the time you have... because you never realize how fast it goes, until it's almost over. 
See you soon!

--Hermana Severtson