Monday, February 23, 2015

I freaked out...

Holita my favorite Aponte's,

I hope everyone is doing just dandy! Hey, just a word of advice: don't watch videos of me that are going to make you all cry! Why did you guys do that? haha It's just not the best idea I've ever heard of haha but really, I'm flattered that you all made a video of me. Don't watch it! 

This week has been a little crazy! I now spend half my money to travel the Metro for divisions and meetings with President Wright haha it's the best! This week we had a meeting for Hna Leaders where we talked about Learning by Faith. Everyone go read Elder Bednar's talk "Seeking Knowledge by Faith." That's a lousy english translation, so I'm not 100% sure that's the name, but it's something like that! 

I was thinking about that, how the scriptures tell us that we need to learn by faith. What does that even mean? Learning by faith is the kind of learning the changes us. It lets the spirit into our hearts and leads us to become more like the Savior. I don't know about you all, but that's exactly the kind of learning that I want to do! It happens by ACTING in faith. When we hope for something that is not seen (which is faith), it leads us to act (which is faith), and that leads us to a conviction or a testimony of some principle (which is also faith)=learning by faith. That process leads our faith to grow, so that the next time we have to act in faith, we have enough faith to do it. It's really just a beautiful cycle that I hope we can all follow in our lives. Act on the hope you have and I promise you will see miracles. When I learned about this cycle, I remembered Mama and Papa and their conversion story. They really had no idea if the church was true when they met the missionaries, but they HOPED it was. That led them to ACT and that action has CHANGED their lives and mine. I'm so thankful for that.

This week we met a lot of new investigators, so I'm super excited to see how they all progress!! There is one lady named Carolina, from Peru, who is great! She has a 7 year old daughter named Valeska, who reminds me a lot of Ella :) Anyway, Carolina was a reference of the niece, who we are also teaching. She had a stroke in December and had to learn how to do everything all over again. She has so much faith and is now looking to draw closer to God. She is grateful to be here with her daughter and she just wants to show Him that! I love her :) Anyway, she went to church on Sunday(WOW) and her and Valeska both loved it!! She's already said that she will be baptized! Valeska is even going to sing with the Primary in Stake Conference this sunday! They're awesome :)

We also found a couple from Peru, Santos and Janette. They contacted the other hermanas in the street, so that's kind of cool! They have 2 kids and tell us to pass by whenever we want! They beautiful thing is that we can actually teach a whole lesson without starting to talk about the weather or the futbol game or the dirt on the ground or whatever other random stuff that usually comes up in lessons. We went to visit them while on divisons and Hna Stokes was like "You know they're not Chileans when you can teach Lesson 1 in an hour." TRUTH haha but, it's great. Chileans just have a lot of character, that's all :)

I really just don't have a lot of time today, but I don't know why! I'm sorry, but don't worry, that's really all the exciting stuff that happened this week! Actually, random story:
We were in the Metro, debating whether or not we should contact a lady who looked kind of busy. We ended up talking to her and she was actually very interested in having missionaries pass by. However, she was apparently changing houses and was on her way to her daughter's house that very second and didn't know the address. She asked us for a website or a phone number to call, so we have her a pass-along card, but I was still a little dissapointed. I'm telling you, this lady was great!! She was super interested in learning more about the gospel and even asked us for the address of a chapel, but I didn't know what to tell her. Then, the guy sitting next to her pulls out his earbuds and is like "The gospel is a really beautiful thing and I promise it will bless you. Here, I'll look up the address of the church and help you contact missionaries." It turn out this lovely man was a member of the Church and decided to speak, jsut as we had to get off the Metro. I love being a missionary! Yeah, maybe it didn't all turn out exactly how I would have planned it, but it's still a beautiful experience. In that moment, I had one of those "learning by faith" experiences. I cam to understand a little better the love of God. He really does know each one of us and His plan is so perfect. I am positive that part of His plan was that that lady was sitting next to a member. Part of His plan was that we contacted her and planted the seed, even if we couldn't get an address. He is so good. He really does know.
Anyway, I have to go, but I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! Be good and keep wirting me :) Ella, Sam, and Liv, your letters are in the mail!

I LOVE YOU.

Love,
Nomi 

P.S. Grandpa was here this week and called my phone. I freaked out and didn't know what to do because we can't actually talk to our family haha In the end, I called President Wright (who just laughed at me for freaking out) and had to tell dear old gramps that I couldn't see him. He was pretty OK with it and apparently is going to come to pick me up at the end of my mission! What a guy :) He was also proud of my spanish-speaking skills.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"talk about stress"

Holita, my favorite family!!!
 
Holita means little hello, so that's great. I feel like I have so much to say, but I don't even know where to start! Let's start with: Hermana Allred is at the airport right now! I just left from saying good-bye to her. There were tears, but I'm so happy for her! Her family is waiting and she's done such amazing work here! Like she says "Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened." I'm smiling...through the tears. I kid, I kid.
 
In other news, Alicia and Martina were confirmed members of the Church yesterday. Those two are so happy :) Now we're working to get her husband on board so that they can become an eternal family! They really are great. I will send pictures, I'm so sorry!! We also went to the temple and did a tour with Alicia this week. It was great! She said it was all pretty normal, until they let her walk into the temple. She only went in up to desk in the front, but she felt the Spirit so strongly. She sat down and was just in tears. She could literally feel the closeness to her Father in Heaven in that place. In that moment, she imagined her eternal family and was full of hope and love. She said to us afterwards, "I'm going to come here often." It's such a blessing to have a temple in our mission. We can talk and talk about the blessings we receive there, but it's so different when they can experience that Spirit for themselves! She wants to go with all of her family :)
 
We met this super awesome lady named Andrea the other day. We talked to her about eternal families and she is super interested! She says her and her husband have been looking for a church to attend and that we were an answer to her prayers :) She invited to come to her house and share something with her, so we made an appointment. When we went back, her husband answered and said she was in the hospital because she had their baby girl!!!! Even though Andrea wasn't there, we were able to talk to her husband for a bit and he invited to come back later this week, when he and Andrea and both listen. Yay! I'm excited to teach them!
 
As you all know, we had transfers this week! How it works is that on Friday or Saturday President Wright calls us to tell us if we have changes or not (if we'll be changing sectors or have a new companion). Pretty much, the phone burns a hole in your pocket all weekend and everytime it rings, everyone's heart is going to explode. Just talk about stress.
 
Well, if there are a lot of changes in the mission, the Zone Leaders will call instead of President Wright. This time there were a lot of changes, but the Zone Leaders called jsut to say that they had the changes and would be stopping by the let us know what they were. So we waited and they came. Hermana Williams and Hermana Grannis are going to keep working together in Macul. Hermana Contreras left and is now with another hermana who has 6 weeks in the mission. I am now without an official companion (but, I'm here with Hermana Parra) because my new companion...drumroll... gets here from the MTC tomorrow! I am training a new missionary, so that's crazy.  I still feel like I'm new! I'm super nervous, but I'm excited for the opportunity. I'll let you all know more next week!!!
 
Another crazy part of the change is that I am now an Hermana Leader. That's also kind of insane because I don't feel like I have enough to offer to be a leader, but I know there's a lot to learn from these opportunities to serve. A lot of prayers for your favorite Hermana Aponte, por favor :) 
 
Anyway, that's all the crazy news fro this week! I love you all and I'm happy to hear that everyone is doing well :) Thank you al Titi Emma, Gramps, and Sister Tyler for the packages!!! You guys are awesome :) The "thank-you" cards are in the mail!
 
I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!
 
Love,
everyone's favorite hermana

Monday, February 2, 2015

Hermana Allred se va!!

Holita mis quieridos!!

I hope everyone is doing GREAT!!!! If I'm 100% honest, I didn't get the chance to read a lot of your email's because we only have an hour to email today!

I'm here with Hermana Allred and her companion, Hermana Pendrod because Hermana Allred se va!! She's going home next monday, so you all know I'll probably just be crying that whole day. Have I ever mentioned to you guys how blessed I am to know that girl? She is an amazing missionary. The fact that she was my trainer convinces me that God loves me more than the rest of the missionaries here :) Also, there are transfers next week, so there are a lot of "May the odds be ever in your favor" feelings happening right about now! I love my sector with all my heart!! Macul is the BEST. That's why they call it Mas-cool.

This week was all a blur, but we did a lot of prepping for Alicia and Martinia's baptism. Oh, did I perhaps not mention that? ALICIA AND MARTINA GOT BAPTIZED! It was beautiful and I will send you pictures next week!! They are super happy and Alicia just keeps talking about the peace she feels and how excited she is to keep growing in the gospel. I love this family with all my heart. She's already taught her husband about eternal families, so we'll just see where that goes! I want to see this family together forever!

Do you guys remember the family you met when I was skyping? Victor, Teresa, and Hans, whom we LOVE? Well, we have FHE with them every week and they are always saying precious things about how much they love us and it usually all ends with everyone crying. I feel the love. Anyway, last week Victor and I were chatting and he was like "Hermana Aponte, I love your family like they are my family. I am waiting for the day when I can hug you parents and thank them!" So that was adorable and I had to share it with you guys. People pray for you ALL THE TIME. I hope you know that. People ALWAYS ask blessings for our families and it is the most beautiful thing. I wish you guys could see it. They don't know you, but they pray for you and ask that you're blessed. The people here love you guys haha Live in a way that you can receive the blessings they ask for!! 

Also, we always see movie posters and it just reminded me to ask about the progress of my movie list. I don't want a lame list that you guys put together the day before I get back! I'm not thinking about the movies and I'm not trunky (missing things from home), but I do want a quality movie list, people! 

This week I've been studying a lot of 1 Nephi. You know, those chapters that we've all read 500 times! Do we even realize just how cool Lehi and Nephi are? A lot of times, I would read those chapters and it was just like "Yeah, it's Pehi, so he's awesome and it's expected." But, I love reading about how Nephi, and even Lehi, GAIN testimonies. Lehi heard the words of prophets and while he was PONDERING their words and PRAYING, he has his visions and starts to understand the will of God. Nephi, that gem of a guy, doesn't actually beleive the words of his father immediately. But, what's the difference between Nephi and Laman and Lemuel? Nephi didn't know if the things his father taught were true or not, but he ASKED to know the truth for himself. He first had a DESIRE to know, then he PONDERS, he ASKS for guidance from God, and FEEL THE SPIRIT testifying that those things are true. He developed a testimony, he wasn't just born with it :) I love that. My invitation to you all is to live in a way so that you can have spiritual experience that will help you develop your testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Live worthy of spiritual experience--LOOK FOR THEM. I promise that if you have a desire to know and do your part, the experiences will come. God will let you know He is there. His Spirit will bear testimony of the truth.

I love you guys so much!! Kepp writing :)

Love,
Hermanita Apontita