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.

kaits.lovin.life@gmail.com

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 mind...it'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!
love,
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 "wow..wow" 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 from...so 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 Dorado...in 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


familia
 
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"...it 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 know...one 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
 

Sunday, February 24, 2013








Kaitlyn's surprise transfer for 19ers


fam
lifes pretty crazy. as always. I sang in sacrament the other day with sister rupp. President was there, and right after he pulled us into another room. he told us that we weren't going to be working together anymore cause sister rupp is training, and that he wants me to open a brand new ysa area and train. so here we are...super bummed im not with her anymore. the aps kept saying, "i cannot believe we split you up...hopefully this will be good. i can't believe we split that up" BUT I feel real good about where i'm going...and what's happening, so I can't complain.
anyways..met my new comp today! her name is sister shrader from kaysville utah. she's one of the 19ers... I'm gonna be covering east tucson and rincon (back to my OTHER old area) doing all ysa. I'm still at the UofA..so I'll still be with Rupp and the APs all the time..just a diff apartment, and area and comp. if any of that makes sense.
also..pretty sure the next few transfers will be even crazier..but i don't know all the details yet..just that i'll probably be doing a lot more crazy stuff real soon.
 
also...i'm really tired and can't even think.
So many good things are going on in the 1st ward (my last ysa ward...i'm now in 2nd). we just had a lesson with aaron yesterday, and prophets is what made things start clicking. he started understanding authority and prayer...and it was so so awesome.
I really wish I could just record everyone's AHA moments and send them...but by the time I get to the comp to write..my brain is fried...and I can't fully explain how cool it is. still pretty bummed i'm not teaching him anymore. or vince. or elliana...and everyone else...but at least i'll still see them at the institute...like everyday. :P good times.
 
have I ever told you I love ysa.
because I do.
 
anyways. sorry this is short. I have to go wander around and try and find my apartment..
because..we have no phone. no map. no real directions.
just a key and an address...and a "good luck sister waters"
 
haha i love my mission.
 
love you all...
ps i'm SUPER stoaked about everything that's happening in the fam :P
keep me updated.\
enjoy the pics
 
love!
-kait
hermana aguas
 

Monday, February 11, 2013

"sister killpack.. we need to cut some of sister waters and sister rupps hair.. so i can clone them" - president killpack

we're pretty tight with the Killpacks.

I wrote an entire story...then realized, it's really sacred- so remind me to tell you about my february dream...where Sister Rupp and I both woke up feeling the same way...when I get home. ok?

great..glad we are on the same page.

so President gave this training the other day...and I wish I had my notes so I could tell you..BUT one of the biggest things I remember is that sometimes we dance around our doctrine, and when people ask us questions...we tell them something so they think it's somewhat similar to theirs..and that it's not "too different" to scare them off....BUT WE ARE DIFFERENT. It's maybe not what they want (right now) but what they need..and if they recognize that difference, the elect will follow. (if you build it, they will come)

Well, we had a girl come to church yesterday. She said afterwards to me (we've never taught her before)..."I just have one question. I was raised Catholic, and we baptize when they are babies. But you don't do that. You would think we would be more similar because we read from the same bible...but you guys are so different. How do you guys do it? Why are you so different?"

DING.DING.DING.

I briefly explained baptism, and our belief in Christ..and guess what?
she loved it.
and wants to learn more.

I love the gospel.

but like I explained to kelsey..this email is gonna be a short one. but I love you! thanks for the package! its definitely going to good use. IT'S ALL GOOD IN THE HOOD. happy heart day!
love you.!!!

xoxoxo
hermana aguas


Monday, February 4, 2013

blessings.


Familia-
 
I'm sore, stiff, hurting, and so tired...but I'll try to make out a coherant letter.
I'm so stoaked about yesterday. This whole week, we've been working really hard on being diligent in our lessons and working on visiting every member in our ward. After church EVERY single lesson planned for the rest of the day contacted us and told us that they couldn't make it. we were at about 15 or 16 lessons, and wanted so badly to reach the 20, because we had made those plans and goals...and it was completely achievable, before everyone dropped. We started praying like crazy. We were hitting up less actives, and struggling members. At 7:30-7:45ish we are at 18 lessons, and we had a practice to sing with our zone at 8 so we had no idea how we were going to get it. We both prayed over and over who we could help strengthen that night. We decided to go visit a less active who we had a hard time contacting, and she was home and willing to have a lesson right then. We taught the atonement and had an amazing talk about repentance and how it releases us and allows us to find happiness. ( ps I realize that in my haste of writing this I sound like we aren't sitting and having meaningful lessons, but all of them were super powerful...and I loved all of them, which isn't always the case)At 8:15 we head to the singing practice not knowing how we will reach our last lesson. We walk into the church, and tell all the elders our situation. They were all trying to rally together to figure out who we could teach..because they know we are working our tails off to teach in this area...and we get a text as we are talking to them from a a girl Christine. She is a recent convert of almost 3 years, and all she wants to do is serve a mission. So she gave up and sacrificed so much in preparing to serve, and as she started doing her mission papers her parents said it would be the worst decision she could ever make. After lots of this influence, she decided she couldn't tear her family apart, so she decided not to go. (this was before we met her)...in her text she said that the promptings to serve wont leave...and she doesn't know what to do, and she really wanted to talk to us. We asked if we could meet at the stake center, and we had a lesson in the chapel all about the holy ghost, and personal revelation. It was one of the strongest times I have felt the spirit, as the three of us prayed in the chapel and just asked the Lord for guidance and peace about the people we are supposed to be. I left feeling so good knowing that God really does want to help us in everything, to help strengthen other peoples faith...but also to help build our own confidence in being obedient in His work.
man..it was so cool

Needless to say, we were pretty exhausted afterwards.
 
We started teaching Aaron last week, like I mentioned. He's super funny. and then Vince is still a stud. He came to church yesterday all dressed up in a suit, like he already belonged.
 
I'm gonna cut this short so I can email Kelsey-- but everything is going great! hope all is well with you!
love you.
-hermana aguas

Monday, January 28, 2013

"sister waters & sister rupp are boss."


First I'll tell you about the ward...I LOVE this ysa. It's a LOT bigger than NM, and our area is ginormous. We drive like crazy, and knocking isn't exactly fruitful...(can't really knock and say, "hi, do you fall between the ages of 18-30...and single---because we aren't over the dorms) but the members, we're basically all best friends already and they are finding people for us to teach.
We're teaching this kid Ryan with the APs- and he is awesome! He's completely consumed in the book of mormon, and has so many questions---and has probably asked more thought provoking questions than anyone I have taught. I honestly think the only thing stopping him from being baptized right now is his parents...but he's working through it. He's been coming to church, and yesterday he hung out with us all day (church, choir, lesson, dinner and ysa fireside)
 
We also just found this guy named Vince. He had been taught before, and thought we'd text him to see if he was still interested. He told us that right before we texted, he had been thinking about trying it out again and been working to get work off to start coming to church again. As soon as we texted him, it solidified his decision.  We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he told us he wants to be baptized. He's been thinking about it A LOT, and it's something he's striving for. Especially because he feels really strongly about becoming a father....but he's still trying to fully grasp repentance, on how HE can forgive HIMSELF. One of our members, Amber talked all about the atonement and how with repentance it sets us free. (sister rupp and I were just blown away because it's exactly what we had been studying this entire week. about the enabling power)
We asked if he has read any of the Book of Mormon, and he said he has read the entire book, pearl of great price, and most of doctrine and covenants. He told us stories from each and says he knows it's true. He just needs to just over his own insecurities...and then he'll progress. We're praying he gets sundays off so he can come to church regularly.
basically I am in awe of this guy.
 
also remember Edgar from when I was in the West? (my first area). He was the one who had a dream about his grandpa, and it was his answer, and helped him understand the plan of salvation?...anyways, I was laying in bed one night, and I turn to sister rupp and I said, "I know someone we need to teach"
We went over to his house, and he was still there (they had talked about moving...but I guess it didn't work out). He opened the door and freaked out when he saw me. I said, "remember me?" and he said of course! he remembered how long it had been since I had been there a year ago and kept telling me stuff about when I used to teach. He's YSA age, so I can teach him, and he said he wanted to learn again. I am SO SO SO SO SO EXCITED that I get a second change to teach him. I think the biggest thing holding him back was all his family stuff, but maybe the University ward is exactly what he needs to progress. I feel SO  strongly about it, and I just want him to understand...which I have told him multiple times. That first night he shook my hand while saying goodbye and said, "thank you so much for remembering me"
pretty stoaked.
 
 
we're also going to start teaching this kid named aaron this week. I'll write more about him next week after our lesson.
 
getting kicked off. shoot.
uhm..i LOVE being a missionary. sister rupp and i are having a blast. i'll have to send you our rap sometime with kennington and deyell.
the gospel is INCREDIBLE...and revelation and the truths of the gospel are amazing.
...read the book of mormon. it literally tells you EVERYTHING you need to know...and shows you what you are capable of being and doing
everything we could ever want, or what we should desire.
 
it's pretty great.
 
love you all!
-hermana aguas

Friday, January 18, 2013

back in tucson!


Alright-
we'll see how much of this info I can get out and still make sense:
 
I was transferred from New Mexico, back to Tucson. Sister Rupp (my new comp..she came out with me) and I are now working with the APs (assistants to the president) to open up a new area in Tucson, and we are the first sisters ever to serve on the University of Arizona. so I'm still doing YSA! It's nuts because it's the exact same area as my first area in the West (a little bigger) except I'm doing YSA instead of Spanish.
It's crazy, and we're figuring everything out..but it's super exciting. Sister Rupp and I are already loving it, because we've both been out the same amount of time--so instead of having to go over the basics, we can just hit it running. We're already talking about getting the APs to keep us together for a little while, to really solidify the area- and be together longer :P
 
we've already had some super funny experiences with our house. the only food in our house currently is a box of frosted flakes and milk, we didn't have any spoons the other day (who doesn't have spoons in a house?) so we've been eating cereal with forks. We don't have any heat in our house (and it's actually been getting around 20 degrees here) and we get locked inside our bathroom daily. the only way to get out is to have the other one jam a knife inside the door frame and crank it open. Add that to running around with the elders and surprising everyone on campus that there are sisters now...and we've probably laughed more than anything.
 
I could probably go off on New Mexico stories...but I'll have to save those I suppose. (There's this anxiousness inside me right now...in a good way...where I just feel like I need to get up and move. I guess it's cause we've been go go go, and I haven't just sat down to put all my thoughts together yet- so I appologize for the lack of stories, or put a conclusion to New Mexico)
 
BUT I WILL SAY THIS. Mum, Dad. I hope you start planning for us to take a trip back to New Mexico and the rest of my mission once I get home. And pretty soon too. Because, as you can tell from my last email...I kinda love it. (that's an understatement)
 
I was reading in D&C lately, and I came upon this in section 58:
 "3.Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
6.Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you-that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come.
7.And also that you might be honored in laying the foundation, and in bearing recored of the land upon which the Zion of God shall stand.
27.Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
28.For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward."


I love this, because I feel like we all go through our trials, and we don't understand why. Why am I going through this? why did this happen? Why is it, that even though I'm doing all these good things--"this" happens?
we are falling into seeing with our natural eyes. We haven't fully grasped what we are capable of becoming in that situation. The gospel and atonement has already provided us with the keys to successfully get past these blocks, yet we place a barrier that we can't seem to get over.
But He's called us to do something. For me, it's serving a mission right now, but it's applicable to everyone. Our hearts are being prepared to bear testimony in some aspect, so that we may better understand Christ--
and there, our foundation will start. Our first step, or our first step in helping others getting over that wall has started...and from then, we need to constantly be adding to that.
And the coolest part, is that God has endowed us with power to do all of this. We are helpless children attempting at something.  He has given us to power to achieve it. We just determine when.
 
It's been super cool seeing this happen-- I'm learning A LOT right now, and I know that between all the crazy things Sister Rupp and I talk about, I'm going to learn a lot more. I'm seeing the impact of the Atonement in people's lives, and my own...and I'm so grateful for it.
 
Well, I better go. But I'll write again on Monday.
Love you and hope all is going great!
love you.
-Hermana aguas

Monday, January 7, 2013

a new heart i will give you

So, I'm not really sure how I can get everything I'm feeling out--but I'm gonna try. As you all know, my people here in Silver City have a real special place in my heart. And yesterday at church, I saw so many miracles. My investigators are coming to church, progressing, and loving it. Less Actives have been coming and bore strong testimonies. Recent converts are making HUGE steps in progressing towards the temple and missions--
and as I sat there in testimony meeting, and the most overcoming feeling of love filled me.
It made me think of 3 nephi when Christ is talking to the multitude in the America's and says, "behold my bowels are filled with compassion towards you... and now behold, my joy is full."
I looked around at all of them, and I've seen how they've taken me in, and allowed me in their lives, but better than that...they've taken down some big walls and allowed the Savior in. I got a glimpse of the Savior's love, and happiness by knowing that they are opening their doors. There is a change of heart that has been happening here, and it's been happening in everyone, and they are all noticing. A life that has been missing, is coming back. And it's amazing.

And I still look at all these people, and just like the Savior looked unto them, he asked that they come and be healed. I still see how many hard things they are going through, lots of hardships and trials to overcome. And I want to heal them as much as I can, and pray for them, and show them everything they are capable of doing... and then I remember I'm not God, and I won't be here forever. Even Christ knew He had to leave.

But we'll be ok

"A new heart...will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh" (ezekiel 36:26)

"Behold, ye are little children, and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me; and none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost." (d&c 50:40-42)

"I know, that God loves me. And even though I do lots of stupid things, I know that through the Atonement I can be forgiven. And that's enough for me." -heather

"I believe in Christ. I believe in Joseph Smith. But most of all, I believe in you guys, because you kept me here. Even though everything has fallen apart, when I went to the temple, I knew everything would be alright. Thank you for getting me there."-Cody


I'm so grateful that I'm a missionary, but more than that I'm grateful I have the gospel. It's the only thing that will keep us going. We don't know or understand all things, but if we understand God's individual love for us, His children...we know everything.

So since I haven't really given a challenge in awhile, I challenge you all to think of all the ways God has shown you He loves you. Write them down. Share scriptures. Share them with others. Write me and tell me about all of them--and look for more ways that YOU can emulate  that love.

I know he adores us.
And that's He's always with us.

I love every one of you, and hope to someday love as He does.

xoxo
hermana aguas