Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I can't wait...

Holita, my querida familia,

Les extraño y les amo MUCHISIMO!! I miss you guys and love you, A LOT!! I hope everyone is doing just beautifully this glorious Christmas season! We're so lucky to have this time to remember our Savior, Jesus Christ and be together as a family. Speaking of which, I will SEE you guys on Skype on Thursday at 6pm my time, so look forward to that! I only get 45 min, so if you want to write down what you want to say, that's fine with me :)

This week was good! We found Catharine and Lukas and everything is great with them! Remember how we thought they never wanted to talk to us again? It turns out they were just super busy. Catharine said those 4 weeks we didn't see her were filled of darkness and she just really doesn't want to go back there, so we have 3 lessons with her this week and she has a baptismal date for 4 de Enero. Pray for her and Lukas! She really is a great lady :) Also, when we asked Lukas if we could put a baptismal date with him, he threw his head back and was like "Yes, PLEASE!" That kid is golden.

We had a devotional for Christmas todayand that was just great! My zone sang Angels we Have Heard on High in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, so that was pretty cool! President and Hermana Wright and their son (who is visiting from the States) talked to us and it was beautiful. Hna Wright and her son talked about the importance of the temple and our temple covenants. We have to keep participating in the temple ordinances because it's through that, that we can access the power of the Atonement in our lives. The Savior's invitation in ALWAYS "Venid a mi" or "Come unto me." This about all the pictures of the Savior you've seen. I'm sure you can think of more than one where His arms are extended in that invitation. Go to Him. If you've made temple covenants, keep going to the temple to "come unto Him." If you've made baptismal covenants, He is waiting with open arms to forgive you and welcome you every Sunday through the Sacrament. His arms are open and the invitation is there. We need to accept it! It is only through that acceptance that we find realy happiness in this life and in eternity.

President Wright talked about the condescension of Jesus Christ. I don't know about you guys, but when the angel asks Nephi about that in 1 Nephi 11:16, I never really knew what he was talking about! But think about it for a second. The angel is asking Nephi what he understands about Jesus Christ coming to the earth. Think about the fact the Jesus Christ was born into this earth.

Before this life, He was a God. He was Jehovah, the Creator, the Great I Am. He had titles and glory long before He was born. He left all His titles and power and glory to be born, so that He could die and ressurrect for US. The Great Creator of the universe--a GOD--CHOSE to come to be born a helpless baby in a stable. He CHOSE to be born into a sin-filled world, so that He could redeem us. He didn think twice about leaving behind His titles and power and glory. In fact, He did it easily and happily, all the while saying "Father the glory be Thine." 

I love D & C 122:7-8. I have found a lot of comfort in these scriptures lately. I find hope in the fact that the Savior of the world knows exactly what we are going through all the time. I find strength in putting my faith and trust in Him. I know that He lives and I find no greater joy than being able to testify of that everyday.

Jesus Christ LIVES and He is your Savior. He is my Savior. He loves us and He is always waiting with open arms; not just to forgive our sins, but do give us peace and hope and love every step of this journey. 

I LOVE YOU GUYS! I can't wait to see your beautiful faces on Thursday! AT 6PM!! Don't forget. Also, yes, Mama, I got the other package! I didn't open it, so you should be proud of me :) 

Little kids, I only didn't answer you e-mails because I'll talk to you guys on Christmas! I LOVE YOU ALL :)

Muchos besos and a whole lot of love,

Nomi

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It's 100 degrees and I'm loving it!


Dear Familia Aponte,

This is for Jacqueline!!
I don't have much time because we had to walk to the other Ciber to write! I'm glad you all liked the pictures :) I really don't have to much to say this week! It's 100 degrees and I'm loving it haha I haven't had a P-Day nap in 4 weeks, so it's safe to say that I might die by next Monday! Everyone is always asking me why I look so tired haha A bunch of rudes, I'm telling ya.

I really can't think of anything to write...we had like 40 lessons this week and apparently that number is unheard of by our district leader, so that's pretty good! We really are working super hard :) BUT, a lot of people are on vacation, so we've been finding a lot of new people to teach this week. Also good, but I would LOVE to find our investigadores that are progressing, too! We'll see what happens this week!

This my beautiful area, Macul, Chile
We had divisions and Hna Stokes (from the States and has like 4 months in the mission) came over to Macul and we had some SUPER great lessons that day! We put a baptismal date (with one of our investigators) after having an intense lesson about the Atonement. It was kind of awesome because both of us speak like broken Spanish, but the Spirit was so strong anyway! We went in to teach the Restoration, but (she) had a lot of questions about how much God could forgive. We shared Jacob 6:5 and she just started sobbing and told us about some things she had done in the past that she thought she couldn't be forgiven for. We told her that God is just WAITING to forgive our sins, but we have to accept the Atonement in our lives! In the end, she was just super excited to be baptized and start a new life free of her guilt. She is great :)

I had some super intense personal studies this week. Thank you to Mom and Pa for that help! I read a super beautiful talk by Elder Holland (go figure) called Missionary Work and the Atonement--everyone go read it! My favorite thing that he says in there is that we all have to pass through our own tiny Gethsemane and Calvary in this life. How could we expect this life to be easy when it was never easy for our Savior, the only perfect person to ever live? Favorite quote from that: "When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known...you have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Son of the Living God knows your sorrows and afflictions." The very last part could be a little incorrect, but that's pretty much it! I LOVE THAT. Never in my life have I felt the Savior's presence like I do on my mission. He is literally walking with us every step of the way. Always find comfort in that! Heavenly Father is cheering for you and the Savior of the World is pulling WITH you. If we put our trust in Him, we can't fail :)

This is like my 1,000th bloody nose!!
I'm especially thankful for my beautiful family this week! You guys are amazing and I can't thank you enough for your constant support!! We have Zone Conference this week, so I'm sure next week's email will be more legitimate. I'm sorry this one is so lame!! But, I LOVE YOU GUYS and I MISS YOU ALL!!!!!!

I LOVE YOU GUYS!!! SO MUCH. I don't think I will ever be able to tell you that enough times. I will also never be able to thank you enough for EVERYTHING! I would not be who I am today without you both Mom and Pa. I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU! 

Love,

Hermana Nomi Aponte

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My heart literally LEAPED!!!

My Dear Family!!!

How was Thanksgiving without me?! I hope you all cried a lot and when everyone said what they were thankful for, it was me :) I don't doubt it for a second.
Obispo Cataldo and his family.  There is a great man!
This week was good! We are working ourselves to death over here in Macul and it is a great feeling!! You know you've "earned the pillow" when you're asleep before your head hits it. That's the best! Nothing too crazy happened, but there are a few life-changers I'd like to share! I don't have much time though!

Antonella went to church, which is literally a miracle if ever I've seen one!! We couldn't get her to go to Primary, so she came to the adult class haha baby-steps! 

Romina: She's a less active 16 year old who hasn't been to church in like 2 years. We always eat lunch with her grandma, but we've jsut recently started visiting her and she is great! She doesn't like us to talk about her going to Church because she feels super judged there (with her piercings and stuff). ANYWAY, we shared with her the video "Gracias a El" umm "Thanks to Him" in English, I beleive.. I don't know, but that video is BEAUTIFUL and you should all go watch it and let it change your lives, liek RIGHT NOW. We watched that and talked to her about how she can start changing her life right now, thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. She always says it's too late and she has greater comdenation because she knows the Church is true; she just doesn't want to live it. We shared with her the scripture in DYC 19 and talked about how Christ has already suffered for her! He had a moment in His suffering where he felt just the pains and sorrows of Romina. He is waiting with open arms for her to accept His sacrifice so that it's not in vain. In the end I asked her "So what are we going to do, now?" and she just looked at me and smilied, "We're going to Church on Sunday." AHHH, I love this girl :) My heart literally LEAPED for joy haha It's a beautiful thing to look at these people and feel the love that Heavenly Father has for them as His children. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!
Irma, Alicia and Alicia's kids: Jorge, Martina, Rodrigo, and Gabrielle. Paula is a neighbor girl and we're teaching her grand parents!! AMO ESE FAMILIA :)

Catharine our GOLDEN investigator :) I love her so SOO MUCH
Also, I don't know if you guys have seen it, but the Church has put a lot of time and effort into this video called "He is the Gift"...that could be wrong because it's my Enlish translation...but go to the website christmas.mormon.org and you can watch this 3 min video that is there to remind us what this CHRISTmas season is all about. It is beautiful. SAHRE IT WITH EVERYONE. 
*side note* Dec. 7 is the Church's day on youtube! This video will be the ONLY ad on youtbe across the world this day, so that's kind of cool. Also, it will be showing on the jumbo tron in Time Square, though I can't remember what days. This video is beautiful :) 

Remember as we get into the craziness of the Chistmas season, He is the Gift. He is the reason we celebrate this season. He is the reason that we can live in peace and realy happiness in a world so full of darkness.The Atonement of Jesus Christ is REAL. I KNOW that is true and I know it has the potential to change our lives, if we will just let it! That is my invitation this week: Accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ in your lives! Heavenly Father does not care how many times you fall. The only thing he cares about is how many times you get up. 
Matias, Paulina, and Juakin :) They remind me of Mom and Pa!!


Christ is the gift and I am forever grateful that God loves me enough that He sent His Son to atone for me :) 

I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

Besos y amor,
Hermana Nahiomi Aponte


PS. Letter in the mail for Heidi and Jamie :) SEND ME LETTERS haha Also, I got the Christmas package and I didn't open it! Be proud.