26 May 2014

¿A Donde debo ir?

Hello Hello Hello!! How is everyone this week? I hope you all enjoyed your last week of school, Porter GRADUATED, and already enjoying your summer vacation. CRAZY that you are already on summer vacation again... I don't know about you... but this year went fast, right?? 

The week for us was great also! We've been focusing on finding this week. Elder Ballard told all the mission presidents a while ago that it would be a good idea to set a standard for the mission to do 20 contacts daily to find new people to teach. This was something that has been hard for me do. BUT, my companion and I set the goal to really focus on this this week. AND, we've seen success! With our goal to find the family, we contact everyone that is walking with a kid, and we've been able to get many addresses and appointments! Not only do we see the blessings of obedience, but the blessing of Talk to EVERYONE! Everyone needs the gospel, everyone is a child of God! "But are kept from the truth because they know not where to find it." 

Also, good news from this week, I went to Priesthood for the first time ;) haha Jorge, our convert from last week, recieved the Priesthood, so my companion and I went to the opening of Priesthood with him to see him recieve it and the blessing. It was so great to see, and I was so happy for him! 

In my study of the Book of Mormon, I read again the story of when Nephi broke his bow (1 Nephi 16: 23, 18-24). I loved what he did. He didn't complain. He had faith in the Lord. He got up and made a new one. And asked the Lord where he should go, willing to go wherever. This is something my companion and I have been praying for, to be guided to the people that are ready. To be guided in what to say. To be guided in what to do. 
Nephi is the best example of this. Especially with even his family complaining. But, humbly went to make a new bow. Complaining wouldn't change the situation.  So, may as well make the best of it! He decided to look for the best in the situation and to solve it. 
I know the Lord will guide us to the people that are ready, will guide us in the right direction with every aspect of our life, and will always always ALWAYS help us! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Enjoy your first full week of Summer Vacation! 
Love you!! 
--Hermana Severtson

19 May 2014

Orar Con Fe

Buenas Tardes! 
I want to start this email today, saying that this week was GREAT!! It was super quick, and flew by, but it was excellent. 

Jorge and Vanessa got baptized. They are fully involved and dedicated. They are ready to keep going! They are amazing! The baptism was really great, so many members came to support them in this decision. The whole ward is excited to take them in to the ward family. Along with the 2 converts from the Elders we share the ward with. 

I am also happy to share, that we recieved our transfers, and IM STAYING! :D I wanted to stay, and I am! :) Im excited to keep working here with Hermana Calarco and work towards our goals and plans we have for this transfer. 

Like I mentioned, we went to Iquique this week, and it was amazing! Elder Spannaus and his wife are so great! It was weird to return to Iquique, to my same sector. I thought being there would help me remember a bit... nope. I really do not remember hardly anything from that transfer. haha It was SO long ago ;) 
They talked to us about sincere prayer with faith. A prayer shouldn't be a "wish list". It should consist also of a plan. What we will do, to help work towards the things we are asking for. Be specific. This is something we've been working on as a companionship, and its been a lot more effective. We feel better when we pray this way. We think before about the things we will thank and ask, and they have more meaning. 
Then, to end the conference, Elder Spannaus gave us a challenge and a promise. To read the whole Book of Mormon before September 1, highlighting anything that has to do with names of Christ (Savior, Redeemer...), the atonement, and the Gospel of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, holy ghost, endure to the end). The promise, was that if we do this, we will strengthen our testimonies of Christ, and learn something new about him we didn't realize before. I accepted this challenge, and I will do it! :D And I invite any of you would like to do it, to do it as well. I know this promise he gave us is true! 

Pray with faith. Prayer should be a conversation, it takes effort and energy. There really is an extra difference in the day when we pray... pray with faith. This testimony I've learned here in the mission especially. God answers prayers. He knows us. He knows our needs. He knows best. 

I love you lots!! You are all the best! You are great examples of hard work and testimony. Enjoy your last week of school this week, and work hard until the end ;) 

--Hermana Severtson

12 May 2014

No Dudo Que Mi Madre Lo Sabía

Hello!! and Happy Mother's Day!! 
It was great to talk to you all yesterday, and to hear about BENTLEY'S MISSION CALL!!!!! I am so excited for her, and excited to tell anyone that will listen to me ;) She is going to LOVE it! It is the perfect mission for her! There are people there that are waiting for Sister Clark! 

We had a great week!! We will be having a baptism this week! I'm super excited for that!! After working and working with this father and daughter, they accepted to be baptized, and are excited for it! 

This week, we are going to IQUIQUE! A member of the Quorom of the 70 is coming, Elder Alin Spannaus. All of Arica will travel to Iquique to hear this conference. I am excited to go see Iquique again--during the day. We always pass through in the middle of the night and I recognize a little ;) Im also excited to hear from Elder Spannaus. It will be a great conference! 

I studied this week about the 2000 Sons of Helaman (Alma 53-56). I really like the part they talk about the traits of these young men... Brave. True. Faithful. Serious. Mature. Obedient. Strong. Because their mom's taught by example. They were confident in the testimonies their mother's had, because their mothers shared their testimonies by word and action. 
I thought too, especially with Mother's Day, that I KNOW that my mom knew too. She always taught by example, and showed us the right way. She taught me SO much more than she probably realizes. She was always patient in all things. Her example of service and charity until the end is an example of love and selflessness. She accepted everyone for who they are and a friend to all. She is SO loving of all things. and HAPPY. I think that's the thing I am most grateful for that she taught me. How to be happy. How to be optimistic. This is something you can only teach by example. And she was the best example there is. I don't remember ever seeing my mom sad, angry, frustrated, ... always happy, smiling, laughing, having fun, and enjoying every moment. 

I hope we can all live in such a way, that no one will doubt that we KNOW this Gospel is true. That we have no doubts about it, and that for our confidence, they too want to learn more. I love hearing your stories of inviting neighbors, testifying to your friends, and being great examples. Because that is the best way to show that you BELIEVE and KNOW and LIVE the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Happy Mother's Day! 
I love you all LOTSS!! 
<3 Hermana Severtson

05 May 2014

Cosas Pequeñas Y Sencillas

Hello Hello Hello!! 
Another GREAT week we've had here! Im loving every minute of every day right now! My companion is AMAZING, we are seeing lots of success, and we have lots of fun together! 

My Birthday was fun too... cant believe I'm 21! Especially when the whole world still tells me I look like I'm 18 ;) hehe But it was a good day! 
We went to Antofagasta, traveled Wednesday night, leaving at 9:30, and leaving Antofagasta at 6pm the next night. But the meeting was great, and it was fun to see a bunch of my old friends and companions on my birthday ;) 

This week, we had an activity called Cine Bingo. We watched The Restoration, the 20 minute one, and had bingo cards with phrases from the movie. When you heard the phrase, you marked your card, and whoever got Bingo first, won! It was really fun... but no one won.... haha ;) But it was neat! 

MOTHERS DAY. BENLEY'S CALL. I sure hope she gets it! Yeah, if she does happen to get it on like Wednesday, don't torture her, and she can just open it ;) hehe But I'd like to see too, if she can stand it. But dont plan it all around me. ;) 
We will have to figure out too how to do it, because I cant talk to other people besides family. So maybe if i talk to you all for a while before, then she can open it at the end, and I just hang up there? I dont know. we will see! :D But either way, I'M SO EXCITEDDD!! 
My guess! I never guessed yet. I'm going to guess that Bentley will go somewhere back East.... like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia... something like that. or foreign.... France or Russia ;) hehe 

You asked me too about my TK20... I dont know what that is... but either way we have to purchase it, so just get it whenever is a good time. i have no idea. ;) 

This week, I was thinking about Alma 37:6-7. How SMALL and SIMPLE things bring about great things. "By very small means the Lord bringeth about the salvation of many souls" It is true!! I was thinking about all the small and simple things we do, say, and how the Spirit testifies of it. Even little small acts of obedience bring great blessings. 
Last Sunday, we had our 2 investigators Jorge and Vanesa (dad and daughter) come to church. I dont remember if I already told you... I hope not. But anyways. We were waiting for Vanesa to get ready, and Jorge shows us a picture of his nephew who passed away a few years back. Jorge's sister and her family are active members of the church, and were in this ward when her son died. He showed us the picture and told us a little about him. Next, we go to church, and in the talk, he mentions this family, and this boy. It was a random story, that didnt seem to have TOO much to do with the talk, but it was exactly what Jorge and Vanesa needed to pay special attention and recieve this little miracle that God knows their needs. 
Another, is a member, Olga, that is doing AWESOME with missionary work. She asked us for some pass-along cards she can give to her clients (she works with "seguros"--I forgot what that is in English... wills and trusts I think?) AWESOME! It just made me think that yeah, maybe no one she directly gives a card to will accept the gospel right away, but maybe one day, a friend will invite them to something, and they will remember the nice lady that gave that card. Our example really affects people. Many people know a member of the church, and will want to listen if they know there are "good people". 
Jorge and Vanesa recieved a special blessing from Bishop this week too, to help them recognize their answers and prepare to be baptized. It was EXACTLY what they both needed. After church, we walked them home, and they were both awe stuck with how perfect it was. I hope they can keep progressing. 
This week too, from little things, I strengthened my testimony. Of planning. In the morning, we planned to visit a few people, and to try a few addresses of less-actives in the ward we didnt know. And we had success! But, that same day, for a few things that came up last minute... we didnt follow our plans, and we didnt have too many lessons that night. Planning really is important. The Spirit can tell us where to go... but we just need to Follow it! 
Also, with the Book of Mormon. We have an investigator that was progressing, kinda. BUT, her neighbor is a member, and this investigator was sick, and "took advantage of the time" to read the Book of Mormon! She told us she LOVES the story of Joseph Smith. She LOVES the Book of Mormon!!! And, the same story of a different investigator. We didnt see her for like 2 weeks, and thought we'd just have to drop her. But, her aunt (lives next door, very active) helped her again, read the Book of Mormon with her, and now is super excited to be baptized! 
There is power in the Book of Mormon, and also, power in working with members. There is more "power" if a member says something sometimes, than the missionaries. Members are "normal" people, and have automatic trust. 
Another small and simple thing, are the missionaries. We are young, we are inexperienced. But we are the ones here, doing the work, learning, growing, strengthening.... We see people every day who are amazed that we left behind our home, family, friends, school, to serve a mission. 80,000 missionaries, in comparison with the population of the world, is small. But 80,000 small things put together, is creating something large and wonderful! 

Work on the small things. Small things really do make great things. Be an example, people notice the difference. Bear your testimony. It doesnt always have to be "Id like to bear my testimony..." just little things "I know that" or "Im happy that.." :) Thats something I've really learned in my mission, not to be afraid or nervous to say what I know. The Spirit can only testify if we bear true testimony, of things we really know and believe. So share it!! 

Im SUPER excited to talk to you all on SUNDAY!! I will call around 6:30 or 7 here. My companion will call her family first, an hour before that. Maybe I can log in real quick before her and ask about Bentley's call and figure something out if she is going to open it. 

I hope you all have a GREAT week!! Remember that I love you LOTS!! and I miss you too, but time goes quick.... (and like you all always remind me :)   ) I'll see you soon... The mission is the best thing in the world, and I know its the only place to really learn and grow. There is no other opportunity or experience I'd trade this knowledge for. The church is true. Christ lives. We have living prophets. That's what makes the difference, and the difference is what makes it true! 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Severtson