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. 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!

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 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.

hermana aguas