June 19, 2017

Mi Familia y Amigos,

Happy Father's Day!!! I hope you all had a great weekend! Here in Cardenas it was a little slow... but we did see lots of miracles! Our investigator Guillermo is progressing really well, and will probably getting baptized at the end of this month! Yesterday my companion and I were walking in an area called Condado del Rey and this guy just randomly came up to us and asked if my companion had been in Santiago (a city in Panama). Well TURNS out, he had gone to church a few times in my companions old branch and is now living here in our area. He said we could come visit him if we wanted, and we are really excited to see what happens! In my experience, good things happen when random people stop you in the street and ask about the gospel (Examples: Robin and Iribel, Gido, etc) haha.

Yesterday my companion and I were studying and she pointed something out that really impressed me. We were studying what it means to endure to the end, specifically what that  means after baptism. WELL she turned to the hymn book and read hymn 85. For our entire lives, we had thought that the hymn "How Firm a Foundation" was written from the perspective of a Saint. That it was a good, energetic song meant to express our desires to keep going. Well... that's not true. Verse 7 of How Firm a Foundation says the following:

7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!

It is written from the point of view of our Heavenly Father!! My mind was blown and I felt so silly for never having realized that before. But now it means so much more to me!! He will not, he cannot desert us! He loves us so, so very much. It makes me smile to know that he is always there for me, and I know that he is always there for each one of you! In the good time, in the bad times, in the terribly awkward times (I have quite a few of those). He's there, and he's cheering us on.

I love you all so much! Read the lyrics of hymn 85, I promise it will make you smile(: Have a fantastic week! Share the gospel!!

Hermana Van Deusen

No pictures this week.. I know, I'm lame!

June 12, 2017

Re:

1. at the canal
2. the canal
3. the way Panamanians cut hot dog buns....
4. me and my comp(:

On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 3:10 PM, Kayleigh Michelle Van Deusen <kayleigh.van.deusen@myldsmail.net> wrote:
Mi Familia y Amigos,

What a wonderful week in Cárdenas! This week we were able to find/work with some really awesome people that we are like 99.9% sure are going to get baptized this month(: I am so excited to see some progress in this area and be a witness to all of the miracles that the Lord has/is performing.

Some food for thought:

In the old testament there is a scripture that we as missionaries us to explain the importance of tithing. In this verse the Lord extends a challenge to us all. In Malachi 3:10 we read,

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there might be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

Did you catch it? Did you recognize the invitation?

..."prove me now herewith". 

In Spanish the word "probar" is used. "Probar" means to try or to test. And as you all know, the English word "prove" can mean the same thing, but it's primary definition is to bring forth evidence. I really love this, because the Lord is inviting us to recognize that there is NO limit to his power! In D&C 130:20-21 we learn that when we are obedient the Lord is obligated by the laws of heaven to bless us. He WANTS to bless us. He wants to show us all that he can do! And "all that he can do" is more than we could ever imagine.

So why do I share this with you? Because I have seen so, so many people in need. Spiritually and temporally. And the thing is, is that the Lord wants to help them! He wants to help. He wants to be proved. He wants to open the windows of heaven. So what do we have to do? We have to bring the meat to the storehouse. We have to make the sacrifice.  And what sacrifice does he require? 3 Nephi 9:20 provides the answer, "a broken heart and contrite spirit". Humility. We just have to ask, and take the counsel from his hand.

So let's prove the Lord.  And when we do, when he shows us his hands, let's share it with the world! I testify as a representative of Jesus Christ windows of heaven will be opened. I've seen them!

I love you all!! Have a great week!

Hermana Van Deusen

May 29, 2017

Cardenas.

Mi Familia y Amigos,

I hope you are all enjoying your memorial day weekend! This was an interesting week here in Cardenas haha. Cardenas is so different from all of the other areas that I've had... so different... but not in a bad way!!! Basically I feel like I'm in America... I've taught like 5 lessons in English so far, which I mean, is weird. I can't speak English very well anymore, the members make fun of me haha. The people that live here are very intelligent and are deep-thinkers... which is both a positive and a negative. To sum it up... I'm adjusting!! BUT I absolutely love my companion. This is Hermana Ramsey's last change, but she is so focused and is such a hard worker! We have fun and I know that I'm going to learn a lot from her!

This week I've been thinking a lot about faith. Faith as explained in Alma 32 "is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true". This scripture has helped me so much not only this week, but throughout my whole mission. Faith and hope are 100% interconnected. One is not possible without the other. To me, faith means to believe in the potential that Christ gives us. It means to have hope even though we can't see ourselves becoming what we so desperately want to be... it means knowing that with Christ, we can do it all. I firmly believe and testify that faith is the beginning of it all. If I can nurture and grow my faith each and everyday, I can receive the light that I want. I can glow(:

I love you all so much and I hope you have a fabulous week! Believe in yourselves, excuses are for the weak... Philippians 4:13

Love,

Hermana Van Deusen

May 22, 2017

New Adventures....

​​​Mi Familia y Amigos,

Well.... this week was changes week... and guess who had changes?!?!?! ME. I left my beloved area of Nueva Esperanza and am now here in Cardenas. Cardenas is in Panama City, and it's actually really cool because the temple is in our area!! We get to see it every Sunday when we go to church(: The only down side about Cardenas is that it's kind of known for being a really difficult area as far as baptisms are concerned. Our area is what you might call "rich". We have a lot of people here from the U.S. and other European countries... just to give you an idea, we are the ONLY area  in all of Panama (other than the Assistants) that has an IPhone haha. BUT I'm really excited because there are a lot of people here with potential and I am 100% sure that we are going to have a lot of success here. It's kind of weird to think though that this is probably my last area before I go home... YEESH.

My companions name is Hermana Ramsey. I've met her before in consejos de la mision and other things like that. I think we will have a great change together(: She goes home in July so I'll be her last comp. It was sad to leave Hermana Denning, but I know that she'll do great things in Tocumen.

BUT HEY!!! Yesterday we had another baptism!! His name is Albert. He got baptized in 8 days(: It was probably the best way I could have left Tocumen. He is a friend of Cristian and Glenis, and he is so excited about the gospel!! He's only 16 but wow he's made a lot of changes in his life in this short amount of time. It was such a blessing to be apart of his story(:

Welp... to end I just want to share one scripture with you: Alma 26:16. I really really love this gospel!!

Love,

Hermana Van Deusen

May 1, 2017

Mi Familia y Amigos,

This was a fantastic week!! There's not much time to tell you guys all HOW fantastic it truly was... but just to sum it up... ORLANDO GOT BAPTIZED!! Who's Orlando you ask??? Good question, I've never talked about him in my letters before haha, but it's because we just met him last Wednesday. He was a reference from one of my recent converts, Cristian. Orlando is 20 and got baptized 11 days after we met him! He truly had the desire to change... and he acted on it. It was one of the coolest experiences of my mission. 

I truly, truly love my Savior Jesus Christ and am so grateful for the potential he brings into my life. He makes it possible for me to change. Isn't that incredible??? I testify that repentance is the way that we show him that we love him in return. 

This gospel is AMAZING!! I love being a missionary!!!

Love,

Hermana Van Deusen

April 26, 2017




Mi Familia y Amigos,

This week was a wonderful week working in the Lord's vineyard!! It had some really high points... and it had some really low points... But looking back I can see that I really learned a lot this week! I feel like each week I understand a little bit better why they always say, "be grateful for your trials"... they really make you who you are.

One particular day this week was especially hard. We had a lot of rejections, a lot of fall-throughs, and a lot of lost time... to sum it up we had a whole lot of nothing! You would think that after more than a year in the mission I would be used to rejections... but hey, they still sting a little! To make a long story short, we came home really exhausted and a little bitter. That's when I remembered a scripture that I had read earlier in the day... 1 Nephi 7:8-13. Here Nephi rebuked me along with his brothers as he said, 

And now I, Nephi, being grieved for the hardness oftheir hearts, therefore spake unto them, saying, yea, evenunto Laman and unto Lemuel: Behold ye are mine elderbrethren, and how is it that ye are so hard iyour hearts,and so blind in your minds, that ye have need that I, youryounger brother, should speak unto you, yea, and set anexample for you?
How is it that ye have not hearkened unto the word ofthe Lord?
10 How is it that ye have forgotten that ye have seen anangeof the Lord?
11 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten what greatthingthe Lord hath done for us, idelivering us out ofthe handof Laban, and also that we should obtain therecord?
12 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lordis able to do all things according to his will, for thechildren of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him?Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.
13 And if it so be that we are faithful to him, we shallobtain the land of promise
Sometimes when I read, I find scriptures written just for me. 

It's really easty to forget. It's easy to forget the amazing things the Lord has done. I felt ashamed as I realized all of the miracles that I had let slip from my mind that day. Not just from that day but from my whole mission! I have actually seen someone accept the gospel and change their life in 8 days!! I've seen someone's countenance change as they heard the plan of salvation for the first time. I've seen a family become united in the gospel and start the path to eternal life TOGETHER. I've had angels protect me and the Holy Ghost protect me from some very dangerous situations. I've seen the Savior's smile and his outstretched hands as I've read the scriptures. 

I've seen the hand of God. 

How could I ever forget that??

If there's one thing that Ive learned on my mission it's that God lives and loves me. So, my dear family and friends, let us be faithful and always remember him. The prize is eternal life. It's definitely worth it. 

I love you all!! 

Hermana Van Deusen

Good thing my comp took pics this week!!!! 

April 17, 2017

Mi Familia y Amigos,

¡¡Feliz Pascua!! Happy Easter!! Easter here in Panama was a lot different than back home... but it was a cool experience! Everyone here eats fish and patacones and travels to the interior... which I mean the fish and patacones was fantastic, but the whole 'traveling to the interior' thing made it kind of a hard week as far as missionary work is concerned haha. BUT my comp and I were trying to work hard, and we saw a lot of miracles(: 

Easter morning as I was preparing myself to take the sacrament, I read John's account of the Savior's first appearance after his resurrection. The experience of Mary Magdalene really called my attention as I was studying. I want to share two verses with you, and I want you to just read them slowly and imagine yourself there in Mary's posistion... John 20:15-16 states the following, 

15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and will take him away.
16 Jesus saith unto her, MaryShe turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
There was Mary... scared, confused, and heart-broken. She didn't know where to find her Lord... she thought he was lost and that she was all alone. But then, in the midst of her despair, Jesus came to her. He asked why she was crying... and then, in the way only he can, he comforted her. He simply stated her name. Mary. And in that very instant she knew with who she was speaking. It was him.

Jesus Christ knows us all personally. He knows me by name. He knows how to succor me... He is my Master. He is my Redeemer!! And the most beautiful part of it all... is that he LIVES!! The question that we all must ask, is what we will say when he calls our name. Who is the Savior to you?? 

I love this gospel so much! And I love all of you!!! Have an absolutely fabulous week!! 

Hermana Van Deusen

Sorry memory card still broken