Wednesday, July 17, 2013

leave of absense

Although there has been a sudden absense of letters since my sis Kelsey left on her mission, I promise I was infact, still alive. But I got home on June 26th. Scratch that, I came back to my house the 26th. That place in the picture is my home. For so many reasons.

I'll admit, my letters.emails.all form of communication was next to non existant my last few months. (sorry friends and fam) But my mum insists I update this. Possibly tell stories. Update my sister's.

But really, I'll probably spill it all on my other blog.

but then again, even that makes me somewhat queasy. I guess I can make exceptions though, just to talk about that great adventure.

anyways, no promises. But we'll see what happens.

PS. if you're one of the lucky ones who does get called to the great ATM, somehow stumbled up this place, and have questions, let me know! I'll gladly talk to you about it all.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Just because Sister Waters has pretty hair doesn't make her your lifesize personal doll

April 8th

Hi family,

So this week had so many little miracles. I'll probably just have to categorize it by peopel, otherwise I'll confuse myself.

{YODA} she's been progressing beautifully. she's basically mormon. remind me, how much have I told you about her? Well, If I haven't...just let her name describe her :P not by looks but personality. So...anyways, she has a TON of health problems. so without fail, every saturday night until monday night,Satan has gotten sick. missing church. not *cough *cough.."oh i'm sick" but having cysts on her ovaries rupture and needing to go to the hospital sick. like I said, Satan. We went in on Thursday and her entire countenace had changed. Usually she looks a little sick, or tired...or throwing out some witty/borderline offensive comment..but this time she just had this light about her. We went in and started talking about faith. I asked her what it meant to her and she said, "it's a belief, but more than that. a conviction. something you actually strive to do. Not a lot of people have it, I only have a little...but I'm working to get more".. I then asked her how she knew God existed, because she used to not believe. She went into this amazing story and how one day she just decided, sister shrader then asked, "what do you know about the church? what do you believe?" She then bore her testimony saying, "I know you are doing things right. The word of wisdom, the law of chastity, reading. I'm doing these, and they are making me more pure, and there is no way I would be able to get out of my problems without them. I believe in the scriptures. There are tons of prophets in them to give guidance, and I believe we have a prophet today. It only makes sense, because we need guidance too. I believe in you guys, in the people. I feel comfortable and safe there. I feel peace." Sister Shrader then said, do you realize you just bore your testimony? She started freaking out and got all excited
the next day we went over, and after we had said the closing prayer she had a panic attack. She said we could leave, but after a minute she said, "please stay...i'm usually always alone for these". Our recent convert jenna pulled out her phone and started playing hymns...once the pain got a little bit more bearable we asked if we could read, because it always calms her down. We read Alma 32, and by the end the attack was over and everything was calm.
She came to conference the next day and Loved Elder Scott's and Elder Cook's talks about peace of's exactly what she needed. Then she came to both sessions on Sunday and Uchtdorfs was all for her! She kept saying, "what was his name again? I wanna remember him." She even asked if she could get podcasts of it, so she could listen to it at night when she can't sleep from the pain because it always helps her out.

oh I love her.

{SHARICE}We've also been looking for Sharice all week and couldn't find her, ever. She wouldn't respond to texts or anything. Well it turns out that she had been texting us, but it hadn't been recieved by our phone. She was asking us to come over and have more lessons. She also has a big fear of prayer and going to church, but on Saturday she said, "so we actually prayed the other day". She was helping her sister move and we offered to help, but she said no that they were good. Turns out they had this huge dresser that they couldn't budge, so right as they were giving up, 2 elders go by on their bikes and help them. Her sister turns to her and says, "have you been praying? maybe you should go to church"
She said she would go to conference on sunday and that she didn't want to be late, because she HATES being late. at 9:01 she still wasn't there and I was freaking out. she texted saying she couldn't find her keys and that if she couldn't find them in the next 10 minutes she wasn't coming. stupid satan, always hiding keys. I said a prayer while in the chapel while motab was singing. a minute later I get a text saying, "found them! i'm on my way!" She loved conference, and after she committed to being baptized!

there were other great ones, but those are the ones that stick out the most. I love being here. I love being a missionary. Conference was exactly what I needed, and so many of my prayers were answered. Continue to grow in your belief and faith, be obedient and just begin where you are. Light will always conquer darkness. (like how I just encompassed like 80 talks?)
also some wise words from president uctdorf sent to me via President Killpack
t is not your responsibility to convert anyone. That is the work of the Holy Ghost. Your task is to share your beliefs and to not be afraid. Be a friend to all, but never compromise your standards. Stand true to your convictions and faith. Stand tall, because you are a missionary, and He stands with you!

love you!
hermana aguas

Sunday, March 31, 2013

"I had a clever title then I forgot it"

March 25th

So this morning, we were planning on going on a little hike up bear canyon. They told us it would be about a 3 hour total hike.
no. it was like 5 1/2. so hot. but so pretty. I'm pretty wasted right now though. and scorched from the sun. we all ended up drinking out of a river (I know..water in AZ? who knew?) so we wouldn't be dehydrated. so if I come back with a parasite, we will all know why.
Last week was really good. A lot of things fell through. Satan definitely put on his boxing gloves, but no matter. We taught Britt and Yoda the law of chastity and the word of wisdom, and they basically came out and said, "I should have been mormon a long time ago. this is fantastic"
Elder Chamberlaine, Elder McKenna, sister Shrader and I also had the inspiring idea that we should go to the community college campus and draw out the entire plan of salvation with chalk. They quickly realized my obsession/passion for chalk...and a few people started walking by and asking to take pictures.
I found out the next day that we probably could have been arrested for it...but, we didn't so all is well. The church is true, and His plan has never looked cooler.
The more people I talk to, the more I realize how much everyone needs the gospel. I was talking with Sherice, one of our investigators and she kept talking about how she's so confused in her life right now. She doesn't know what she needs to do, or who to be with. I'm pretty sure for 20 minutes strait I was just asking her questions, and she finally said, "I don't think I ever realized that all these (certain events) effected me so much. Maybe that's why I stopped praying". I asked her, "what would you do to be with your little nephew again?" (who had just passed away a few years ago)
She completely opened up, and finally making the big step in wanting to know if this is where she can be with him forever. She told me she had never talked to anyone about that before.
Lots of great things are happening. Sorry I'm somewhat slow winded. Kelsey's emails will probably blow mine out of the water. But I love this work so much. I love these people so much. Christ said it right in the book of Matthew where he says there are many to harvest...but laborers I have few. I'm glad I'm one of them.
I hope you have a wonderful easter!  celebrating The Atonement of Jesus Christ isn't just about paying for our sins, but enabling us to be forgiven, to forgive and allow us to be the people we can be.
love you all. Pray for you always.
-hermana aguas

"what could successfully make my breath smell like pinesol"

March 18th

Hi fam,
Hope you had a good st patricks day. did you get to go up and visit the cemetary for Grandpa Jack? You didn't mention it in the email, but I figured you probably did.
this week was amazing. I don't really remember why it was so good, but I finally felt like I got back in sync again--which was much needed.
I think I told you a little bit about Yoda, but if not, she's a girl I'm teaching. 22, and an incredible artist. As in, she recieved a $32,000 scholarship to an art institute based on a portfolio of her work. anyways, just thought I would throw that out there. We taught  her the plan of salvation and she LOVED the spirit world and the whole concept of premortal life. She had so many questions and she said, "i have never heard any of this, and I've studied a lot of religeons. None of them fit, but it's like you guys picked my brain for everything I subconsciously believed...and put it all out into a lesson". She then started talking about how she feels like something has been pulling her the sin and do bad things, like it was some sort of influence, and wants to find some sort of "armor" (her words, not mine) to help her to stop her from doing it. ding ding ding. holy ghost. We talked about it and then we committed her to be baptized right then at the end of the first lesson. She said, "yes. yes. This is what I want. I've felt something lacking, and I think this might be it. What do I need to do to really be committed to this?"
Then we went back and going over all her questions, and she said, "I really like this. But when does Joseph Smith come into play?" (she had heard about him from her grandma or something). We taught the whole restoration and she's just was saying "" during the entire first vision. at the end she said, "I believe that could have happened. But I definitely want to pray, and read more of his words...because I feel like I will know more of who he was as a prophets if I read his words (by their fruits ye shall know them)"
she has started to read the book of mormon,  and she came to church yesterday and loved it!
love her.
Right after, we were on cloud 9, and we decide to go visit a girl from the unbaptized list we got from bishop. We have been looking for her for weeks, and could never get anyone. We finally found her, and as I was trying to discern what lesson or thought she might need to hear I just blurted out, "what do you think about baptism?". She told me how her mom is a member, and she had been preparing a year ago, but got so busy it never happened. I then asked if she wanted to get baptized and she said, "yes. when do you think I will be ready?"
oh man. it was so great. Sister Shrader walked out and she's like, "do you normally do that. Just come out and ask?"
good times.
anyways- this week has been great. I wish I could tell you more but I'm getting kicked off!
love you. have fun!
-hermana aguas

Thursday, March 14, 2013

(March 11)

This week has been awesome. Even Sister Shrader turned to me and said, "this week just felt/feels different...kind of freeing". It's been so fun. We found a new investigator. Her name is Yoda (I know right?) At first she wasn't for it, but after talking for a few mintues she completely opened up and said she needed something more in this life, and she needs something to believe in. We are meeting with her tonight, and praying she continues to have an open heart.
We've also seen crazy miracles with Less Actives. We were knocking and started talking to this 18 year old girl...after a few minutes she said she needed to go back to church and that she was lds. We taught a lesson, and she got all excited again as we explained the need and blessing of the sacrament, and she said "i'm gonna miss getting dunked like the first time. Maybe i'll go take the sacrament then jump in my pool!"
We also got a referral for a new move in, Jessica, who came to the baptism. She was baptized when she was 8...but then her parents split, she moved in with her dad and hasn't been to church since. We've been teaching all the basics, and she's clinging to the atonement. She asked us to introduce her to everyone at the ysa and she loves every part of it. She said, "so many things have been happening these past three days...and I really feel like its because I'm believing in God again."
Camie, another LA has become friends with Jessica, and now both working on coming back. It's been so great to see the progress in a week.

(March 4th)

lots of cool funny stories this week. hope this make sense.
I contacted one of those guys who flips signs to get you to buy pizza or whatever. he's been doing it professionaly for 7 years. and he's jewish.
I stalked someone for 10 minutes, wrote down their apt and car make. (i'll tell the full story later)
i'm super creepy. but its all for the gospel.
a man did kung fu outside my window the other night.
I got a call Monday night from President. He said, "sister waters...I have something for you. A methodist group gets together every week to compare and contrast their beliefs with another religeon. They've been studying the LDS church for the past 5 weeks and want to talk about the life after death. Could you and your companion come speak with us at their next meeting?"
I was like...WHAT THE?
President came over the next day and we had a comp study together, and decided that in order for us to understand life after death, we have to know where we came we were going to teach plan of salvation.
Oh my gosh. It was so cool!
the pastor got up and started talking and she said regarding life after death..."we just don't know. we don't have any tools or knowlege of what happens. and we just have to go by faith."
it was so comforting, as we testified about who we were before, what we are doing, and what happens after and realizing WE DO KNOW. we have modern revelation, we have a prophet, we have the tools to understand where we will be and who we will be with.
they had tons of questions for us after...and I felt on top of the world. The spirit was so strong.
I texted president when we got out and said, "Hey President, did you know the church is true? because it is"
We also had stake conference, and one of the speakers talked all about finding out our identity and divinity. loved it.
and...oh my goodness. I had the sweetest (as in, coolest/most rewarding) experience.. So when I left El east side...I left A LOT of people I loved. All my investigators and converts...and I think I wrote a huge email about all of them when I was in NM. Anyways, most of their baptisms, I just barely missed. BUT NOW I'M BACK IN EAST DOING YSA. and at stake conference...I saw ALL OF THEM. they all ran up to me. gave me hugs (even the guys..that was awkward). Bella started crying and saying she was in heaven. Victor got the biggest smile on his face and asked where I was now. Jesus is like COME OVER AND SEE ME! Mario was saying he and his mom are soooo happy. the members were freakin out. Evie wouldn't let go of me.
and I felt home. I felt so good. all the stress and disappointment and frustration...just melted.
Bella told me, "when you left...I cried and cried. but I still knew this was the truth. And seeing you again, was the biggest answers to my prayers. you are the only one who could have gotten me into this gospel. You were the only one who knew my spirit enough to allow the Holy Spirit to change me."
cloud 9.
this church and this gospel is it. I have a whole thing I wanna talk about..and i'll probably have to write a letter. but I just know it.
i love this. i love all you.
be good. have fun.
go give em heaven kelsey!
hermana aguas and sister waters out to save the world :P
love-hermana aguas!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Christlike Attributes

I cannot believe that kels had her farewell...crazy stuff. I hardly even remember mine--so I'm glad it was magical for you guys.
Last week was kinda rough--especially last night...but we wont go into that, BECAUSE  I just wanna tell you how cool my mission president is. All last night and this morning, I've been praying. I've been more stressed out this past week than I have been in a really long time, and I hit this wall of exhaustion. I went and checked my email from president, and it just brought the biggest peace to me. This is what he said,
 "Dear Elders and Sisters,
Preach My Gospel defines the Christlike attribute of diligence as being steady, consistent, earnest, and energetic in doing the Lord’s work. The Lord expects all His missionaries to work diligently. The Lord also condemns those who are not diligent. He says, “Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent.” (D&C 60.13) But when we are diligent, He promises us joy, peace, and happiness in our labors.

Sometimes we find it easier to “chill”, to flow with the crowd, or to waste time by being involved in missionary things rather than missionary work. Such decisions almost always lead to feelings of frustration, disappointment, worthlessness and loss of hope. The cure for such is work. If you are unhappy, work. If you are discouraged, work. Idleness gives room for doubts and fears. If disappointments come, keep on working. If sorrow or discouragement overwhelms you,…work. When your faith falters and your understanding is weak, just work. When dreams seem shattered and hope seems dead, work. Work as if you mission were in peril. It really is. No matter what trial you face, work. Work faithfully. Work diligently. Work selflessly. Work is the greatest remedy available for all things that burden us down."
I've found so much joy and happiness in this work..and I cant let those things that I'm worrying about bug me so that I'm not fully immersed in it.
I also realized something amazing. I watch people. I analyze people. I watch how they react, and I can generally know everytime what will make them tick. And I've discovered, that when people say, "No" almost always doesn't mean no. It means, "maybe"  "I'm scared" or "not yet". We had two situations this week that stick out to me, where they were flat out rejecting everything. One, would not take a book of mormon, and another was a former who wasn't interested in starting again. But by the end of listening to them, and making the gospel so personal, in only a way that the spirit would ended up taking the book of mormon. And another has agreed to meet with us. It made me so pumped. And also made me so grateful for the spirit.
I love the mission so much.
I don't know what I would have done or who I would be without it. I know I've changed, and I cant exactly pinpoint what (cause i'm always with myself)..but I love it. and I want more of it.
love you all so much! have a fun week with kelsey!
-hermana aguas