Thursday, October 30, 2014

man oh man, here we go!

ANYWAY, man oh man, here we go! This week:

1) We had divisions and we have a new Hermana leader, Hermana Fillerup who is like 1 of 10 kids or something crazy like that! I was with her companions in Ñuñoa, Hermanas Stokes and Todesco. Those two are fun :) We got to their sector around 11am and we were prettty much outside until 6pm, so that was INSANE haha mosty because it was 100 degrees with the beaming Chilean sun! It's beautiful, but we had to stop to eat popsicles so we wouldn't die. Hermana Stokes (we left the CMM together) and I cleverly got grape flavored one's that dripped all over our clothes and bags..."Always be professional" they told us before leaving the CMM. Nope. We walked around the rest of the day trying to hide our popsicle stains like 5 year olds haha Can you say, vergüenza? 
On divisions we were getting off the bus and I went to let this lady get off first while the other Hermanas got off. That's a perfectly missionary-like thing to do! Except she wasn't getting she just stood in front of me and the doors closed and the bus started driving away. I was companionless on the micro in a sector I don't know haha how embarrassing! Then I look and see Hermana Stokes and Todesco chasing after the micro, waving their arms like crazies haha it was hilarious! I know you're all probably on the edge of your seats with this story, so I'll just let you know that the bus stopped and all was well in the end :)

2) Hermanas Grannis and Contreras (the other hermanas from our ward) had a baptism yesterday! Patricia and her 12 year old son, Victor! THEY ARE PRECIOUS and it was beautiful! Victor bore his testimony in the end and was like "I just feel good! I'm going to be a good Mormon!" That kid is so adorable that Saturday I almost saluded him con un beso and we were both traumatized! He left all shy-smiling telling everyone "I almost kissed the hermana..." Que vergüenza on my part. He just reminded me of Ricky and Jacob!

3) Irma and Gaston went to church, which was beautiful because we actually forgot to invite/remind Irma, but she's a pro by now! I love that woman. Also, Gaston can only go like once a month because his work! These two are amazing people and making a lot of progress :) I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! We also painted Irma's fence this week and practiced English during blows my mind how my English and Spanish are both super fome haha

4) I found out a little statistic that BLOWS MY MIND. Our ward has 1000+ members...100 are active. It's like this across our entire mission, so Presidente says we are a reactivating mission. Also a baptizing one, but now all the missionaries are scared to baptize people! All because a couple of decades back they baptized everyone, even if they weren't ready and now everyone's a menos activo *sigh* we have a lot of meeting about having faith to baptize :) Can I just say though, I love working with the menos activos. The joy you would get from a baptism is the same joy you should get when someone comes baack to Church! In both cases it's a child of God returning to Him. That is BEAUTIFUL! 

*side note* How are Brooke and Cheryl (the investigators) doing?

5) Hermana Allred is pretty much leaving the next cambio, so that's slightly traumatizing, even though she'll soon complete 11 months here...we agree it's just not enough! Have I told you guys that in our mission 11 months in a sector is 100% normal/expected? We usually have 2 or 3 sectors our whole missions and I LOVE THAT! Anyway, we had interviews con Presidente and she was all "you can leave me because I love it in Macul!"
He didn't really say no, but he didn't say yes either. Obviously this hurts my heart because this girl has become a best friend to me. Oh the miss is just full of delightful changes and I LOVE CHANGE (there is a lot of sarcasm there).

I'm sorry that this email is a little crazy and random and all over the place!! I really have no excuse to give you! Just know that things are beautiful here, as usual! I'm learning SO MUCH everyday. 

Everyday I am amazed at the love Heavenly Father has for me and the rest of His children. His Plan of Salvation is AMAZING. I've been thinking a lot about the Plan of Salvation this weel. Our perfect God wants nothing more than for us to become like Him and return to His presence. So He made a plan. This plan is perfect, just as God is. It WILL NOT fail. His purpose is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." A perfect God could not make an imperfect plan. He knew about our mistakes and shortcomings. He knew we would never make it on our own. That's why there is a PLAN and He has already provided the way to overcome our imperfections. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the solution. It is the least understood point of doctrine in the world...also the most important. Study the Atonement and the Plan of Happiness. Have faith in the plan He made!!



Monday, October 20, 2014

Holy cow, what a week!!!

Dear Family,
Holy cow, what a week!!! I am continually in awe of how good our Father in Heaven is! We had a great week over here in Macul :) We are doing great about meeting our goals and our investigadores are progressing!! 4 came to the chapel this Sunday, 2 for the first time and they loved it!

We're teaching this new lady and she is GOLDEN! Seriously, the first lesson (where we pretty much just tell her who we are and what our purpose is) she was like "I would really like to belong to your Church!" and we didn't even know what to say haha We went and taught her lesson 1 and in the end she prayed saying "Thank you for the hermanas. I was tired when they got here, but I'm not tired anymore because what they shared with me!" It was the most beautiful thing! We all have the knowledge of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and because of that we shouldn't be tired either! That knowledge should fill us with excitement and give us the motivation to live the way Heavenly Father has commanded! This gospel is so beautiful! Next time you're tired and feel like you can't keep going in any situation, remember the plan God has for us; remember that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. Thanks to that and thanks to Him, thanks for our Savior, there is always a way to overcome anything.

Friday we had divisiones where 2 hermanas from the CCM (MTC) came to our sector and we showed them what it was like to be a "real" missionary. So I took one out teaching and Hna Allred took one. I was with Hna Williams, but we couldn't find anyone! So pretty much I looked like a fool haha but then I took her to a menos activo lady named Rina. Rina is like 85 years old and a bit of a hoarder...also she waits for us to come over to do her laundry haha I LOVE RINA! Anyway, we taught her, but the whole time her cat wat attacking Hna Williams. That poor girl left with cuts on her arms and is now probably scarred for life! No, she actually took it pretty well. Missionary Life :) Anything can happen to you, but you just keep smiling!! Anyway, it was weird to be the "senior companion" and lead everything (especially since I only have 2 weeks more in the mission than Hna Williams), but it was all great in the end! Super fun!

The District class went really well, I think! We got cookies for it, so that's ALWAYS good! We'll see this week if it actually helped anyone...also, I got your package and the letters from Pa and Abe!! So, MUCHAS GRACIAS!! We ate everything in like .5 seconds haha it's starting to get pretty dang hot over here (which means earthquake season!! EXCITED), so the summer theme was great :)

Que mas? I really think that's all...I'm sorry!!! Nothing too exciting, except we are on fire haha no, but really it has nothing to do with us. Hna Allred and I are always talking about how crazy it is that Heavenly Father even lets us participate in this work. Like, we are just weird 20ish year old girls who are slightly immature and probably laugh too much for our own good. Yet, God uses us as instruments in His hands to save His wandering children. Our most "successful" week together, yet we've never felt like we're doing less. Not that we're not working because we really do work super hard, but it's all Him! It's beautiful. This work is amazing and God is good :)

I love you all SO MUCH!! Keep writing me and don't forget what I look like :) I'm talking to you, Brody and Molly! Also, Liv, Sam, and Ella. Do you guys still know who I am?? haha

Seriously, you guys are awesome!! I LOVE YOU!!

Hna Aponte

Monday, October 13, 2014

The mission is a party!!!

Dearest Familia,
I hope everyone is doing great!!!! It sounds like it, so that makes me VERY HAPPY!!!!

So, not a whole bunch to report this week! Only that it was the most beautiful week of our lives haha Seriously, a very successful week and a lot to thank Heavenly Father for :)

We met the mission "Standard of Excellence" for lessons with members present! 10, which is really hard, OK?! I know it doesn't sound like it, but a lot of work goes into that! It's great because a lesson with a member is another testimony born, another experience shared, and a friend for investigators. That's invaluable! Anyway, now we're teaching the District class this week about how to get more lessons with members...not too excited for that one...

Also, Ketty, Elsa, and Antonella have chosen baptismal dates. It's more of a goal to work towards and definitely not 100% solid, but keep them in your prayers! They are AMAZING!!!

We found this Haitian family that we are going to start teaching this week. It's kind of tricky because the are learning Spanish, so don't understand too much...but, they're great, so we'll see how it goes!!

I don't know if there is anything really specific that you guys want to hear! This aren't too exciting, so sorry about that! Honestly, the Spanish is still a struggle, but everyone says it will come! It really is a beautiful language! I don't know why English is such a hideous language...really it doesn't even make that much sense, either! So, Mama and Pa, you guys are SUPER impressive for speaking it so well. Way to go :)

On Nov. 10 Elder Nelson is coming, so that'll be SAWEEEEET!!!! There is a ring mark in one of the pulpits here from the last year when Elder Holland came haha isn't that awesome?! Like, he smacked the pulpit and left a ring mark. I love that man! 

Also, I'm sorry I don't send good, serious pictures! I'll take one this week haha It's just hard because I've literally neevr had so much fun in my entire life! The mission is a party, what can I say? Yeah, we wake up at 7:30 and go to bed at 11:30 after working our butts off all day and I've never experienced such emotionally draining ups and downs, but it's A PARTY!!! I'm so happy to be here serving these people! If I'm being honest, they often teach me more than I teach them. I LOVE this sector and the people and our ward and Hna. Allred and this mission! Also, I LOVE YOU GUYS!!! There's just a lot of love haha

Seriously, you guys are the best! Also,today is my CUMPLEMES!! Which jsut means that I have 2 months in the mission! Man, time FLIES.

Here's to the AMAZING 16 months to come :)


Nahiomi aka Hna. Aponte

Friday, October 3, 2014

my formal invitation to the world to watch

I really do love being a missionary!

"The trials ahead are NEVER as strong as the strength behind you." - Brad Wilcox (Su Gracia es Sufficiente) READ THAT!! Jesus Christ is the strength behind you guys, supporting you in this. Make Him the center of everything, help these kids to develop their own testimonies. They've got to know this truth for themselves :)

I have like 5min to write this email, so sorry about that!! The Internet was being weird AGAIN.
We met our goal of 9 lessons with members this week (one away from President Wright's standard of excellence), so that's AWESOME!!! Also, like 3 different people have told me that the Spanish is coming along nicely, so hopefully that's true!
A dog peed on my foot, so that was traumatizing. Also, I had a crying day where I felt super terrible about myself and the kind of missionary I am, but OF COURSE, Hna. Allred was there to save the day and change my life. Seriously, that girl is a gem. 
Can I just tell you all to read the talk by Brad Wilcox called "His Grace is Sufficient." IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is there for so much more than we realize. It's not just for when we sin and mess up, it's there to make good people better.
Also, something pretty life-changing that I learned this week: People always say that we are saved "after all that we can do," but that doesn't actually mean Christ is going to help us AFTER we've done everything we can. He is not waiting for us at the finish line, He is there with us EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. He doesn't make up the difference, He IS the difference. 
Anyway, what is new in the Aponte casa? Also, is someone making me a movie list? You guys know I don't want to miss a thing!!
Also, we've found a couple of new, REALLY GREAT, investigadores (how do you spell that in English?), I'll keep you updated with that. I'm sending letters in the mail because I'm out of time, but I'll write more about people we're teaching and everything next week. 
Can I just say, FELLOWSHIP investigadores y menos activos y conversos because it is hard to be new!!! Also, General Conference this Sat. and Sun. (Oct. 4 and 5). This is my formal invitation to the world to watch it with questions, searching for answers from our living prophet and apostles. They really do speak for God.