Monday, April 27, 2015

"I thought about Captain America"

My dear sweetest Aponte's,

What do I even say this week? We went to the temple with the familia Fuenets and they did baptisms for their family! It was great and they were so happy :) They even stayed after we left to just keep doing names!! The temple is great, so take advantage and GO!!!

Hermana Escobar is from GUATEMALA and Hermana Young has a deep love for Lord of the Rings :) I LOVE THESE TWO!!!!
This week I did divisions (I think they're actually called splits or something in English) with Hermana Chapman in Ñuñoa. Hermana Chapman is precious and has like 5 months in the mission and Ñuñoa is a wealthier part of the mission where every is busy and has nannies and tries to speak English with us :) It's great. We actually taught a whole lesson in bad English, but I don't even think the kid noticed because in the end, he accepted a baptismal date! it was so weird to teach in English and I kept stumbling over all my words, but it's was cool!

Anyway, the rich area of Ñuñoa. Things got crazy on this division. We were just looking for the house of a reference when a man came up to us and was like: "Hermanas, I'm a member fo the church and I need your help! I just moved here with my wife and 3 daughters and they're sitting in a mark right now and I need 10mil (like 20 bucks) to get us a hotel!" We felt pretty bad, but we can't give people money. It's jsut not even our money, ya know?! Well, he kept talking and was like "I'm not asking the missionaries, I'm asking the human being inside of you!" sidenote: missionaries are humans, too!

We told him that we coulnd't give him money, but that we could call the bishop to see if he could help. Then the guy got a little desperate. He was like "I DON'T WANT TO TALK TO THE BISHOP! Think about it, he has money! He's not going to help a man like me!" Then, he took my Bible out of my hand and put my hand on my Bible and was like "You can't lie to me with your hand on the Bible! This is the problem with you guys! You love man more than you love God! If you loved God you would follow His commandment to love your fellow-man!"

Then, I was like "Buddy, we can't give you money, but we CAN call the bishop, so if you want our help, just let us know. That's what we can do." Then he got in my face and was like "Look at you, all painted up and wearing makeup. You don't love God! He says that woman can't wear makeup!" Then, Hermana Chapmen started talking and he got SUPER in her face and started yelling at her, all "JUST GIVE ME WHATEVER MONEY YOU HAVE!" Then I was like, "Listen, we tried to help you, but you obviously don't want our help. That's all we can do, so if you want, we can call the Bishop!" Then, he started poking my chest and was like, "YOU don't have God in your heart! YOU love man more than God! YOU'RE not His servant! You don't even love Him!" Then walked away. 

So, we pretty much thought that was the end of our mission/lives and that he was going to pull out a weapon or just beat us up, but all's well in Zion! We pretty much booked it out of there and everything was pretty great for the rest of the day! Actually, right after, we contacted 2 old ladies who were precious. They were like "We're soul friends and you guys need to find your sould friend, too!" Then one of them was like "Look at you twp! You're both so pretty! You better be careful. You're so pretty that someone might try to rob you!" Oh lady, if only you knew what we had been through 5 seconds before. It was good to know that people only try to rob us because we're pretty :) high-fives all around is all I'm saying!

I don't know if I ever told you guys about Paula and Charlotte, the mom and daughter who are recent converts that moved here from the South. Well, we started teaching the husband and 20-year-old son, Carlos and Carlos. THEY ARE SO GREAT! This week we went over for a FHE and we were asked them what they could do to be more united as a family. We were really just trying to teach them about family prayer, but Carlos (the dad) was like "I think if we all got baptized that would help! Then we could get sealed. That's what you guys call it right? That sounds pretty united to me!" And we were like, well, if YOU think so haha  They all went to church, AS A FAMILY, this Sunday and it was GREAT! We see so many miracles everyday :)

So, I've been studying about the different names of Jesus Christ. It's an invitation that Hermana Wright gave us to get to know the Savior better and it's amazing. I'm inviting you all to start doing it! Just do it!! 

Today I started studying about how Christ is the Good Shepherd. Jesus talks about how His sheep recognize His voice and will follow it. Somehow, that led me to Joel 2:11, which says that the Christ will direct His voice to his army and how His army will find strength in following His voice. I LOVE THAT. I am not just a sheep following the Savior, but I am a part of His army! The verse keeps going to say that the day of the Lord's coming will be great. I read that and realized that I don't want to be JUST a sheep. I don't want to be just following the Savior and casually waiting for Him to come. I want to be a part of His army. If the day of His coming will be great, I want to be on the battle-front, preparing the way. I don't want to just follow the Savior--I want to fight at His side. 

As I pondered that a bit more, I realized that maybe I'm not that great of a soldier. I thought "What if I'm so whimpy and lame that it's probably just easier to fight without me?" But, then, as I prayed, I thought about Captain America haha I know that's weird, but think about it! He was lame and skinny and whimpy, BUT he had a good heart and he wanted to fight. That's all the Lord asks of us to fight at His saide--a good and willing heart! I studied a lot more, but I don't have time to share. I love you all! Keep going, even if you think you're not good enough and even if you think you don't have much to offer. The Lord asks for a good and willing heart. If you keep going, He will make you into a Captain America typer of soldier. I know that is true because I feel it happening with me. I'm not Captain America yet, but He makes what I have to offer so much more everyday.


Monday, April 6, 2015

"I am grateful for parents who defend the family."

I AM SO EXCITED!!!! We are blessed.

This week was crazy! We had 3 different meetings, did divisions, AND General Conference, so that doesn't exactly leave a whole lot of time for intense missionary-like activities, but we did it anyway! We found a couple of good new investigators! Janette went to a session of Conference and LOVED it. As did Janene, who even took notes :) One of our new investigators is a Haitian named Joanel. He couldn't go to Conference with us because he went to watch it in a different building with his friend, so high-fives all around. 

I forgot to write down if anything insanely interesting happened and I nothing is really coming to mind right now, so I guess it was all pretty normal. There was an earthquake during Zone Class, but that is also becoming a normal thing around here. Oh wait, I REMEMBER!!!!!!!!! GENERAL CONFERENCE HAPPENED!!!!!!!! I really don't feel like I need to say much more than that because it was amazing and you all watched it, so I'm sure you know. I will talk about it anyway. 

I don't know abou you all, but I was detecting a bit of a theme called: la Familia. Our leaders talked and talked about how the family is the purpose of God's plan for us. President Packer said, "The end of all activity in the Church is that man, woman, and their children are happy in the home and sealed in the temple." I testify that this is the plan of our Father in Heaven. That is EXACTLY what He wants for each one of us. Because of that fact, the family is under attack from all sides. We repeatedly heard the importance of defending marriage and family in this world we live in. It is our duty as Latter-day Saints and children of God who recognize our divine identity.
In the margin of a page of my conference notes I wrote, "I am grateful for parents who defend the family." As I heard our leaders testify of the importance of defending the plan of our Father--of the importance of defending the family--I couldn't help but feel extremely proud to be an Aponte. My parents are actively doing everything they can do defend the sanctity of marriage and the family in today's world. I am so insanely thankful for that. I am so thankful for parents who understand their roles and who try to live according to the eternal picture only our Father in Heaven truly sees. Mom and Pa, I love you both so much more than I could ever say! I am so grateful for you both and I am proud to be your daughter. 

My favorite 11 siblings, I really hope that as our parents start their 2nd mission focused on strengthening marriage and family, you are all at their sides. Sustain them in their calling. Defending the plan of our Father will not alwasy be easy, but I promise it will be worth it. I love you all so much. 

I'm pretty much out of time here. I went to conference with 7 different questions (I'm a problem child) and left with all the answers I needed. I know my Heavenly Father lives and I know He loves us. I know that this is the true Church. I know that President Monson is the living prophet. I would like to repeat that for all to hear: I have no doubt AT ALL that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet of God. I KNOW that the Church is true and that our Savior, Jesus Christ lives. I sustain the living prophets and I will never cease to do so. The only way to the tree of life is holding on to the iron rod. The iron rod is the word of God and I promise you that that comes from living prophets. Follow tham, sustain them, pray for them, and heed their counsel. It is the only way to fully partake of the love of God (all the blessings He has for us) that are found at the tree of life.