September 18, 2017

10 days....

Mi Familia y Amigos,

Well Panama is giving me everything it's got!! This week I almost got bit by a coral snake, a dog (who am I kidding, SEVERAL dogs), and the lightning has been striking very close.... 

BUT life is good!! We are working harder than ever and seeing the miracles for it. 

There's not much time today, so I'll leave it at that. I love and miss you all! See you soon. 

Hermana Van Deusen 

July 31, 2017

ALCALDE DIAZ



Mi Familia y Amigos, 

I LOVE ALCALDE DIAZ!!! It's beautiful and lively, and I just really REALLY love it! The only thing that is not so fun are all of the hills (more acurately described as mini mountains)... we don't walk, we hike! But I'm loving the excercise (at least that's what I tell myself haha) and the people we meet definitely make it all worth it! My comp is fantastic and a really hard worker, we are having fun running from all of the dogs together... (;

This week I fell in love again with the story of Zeezrom. If you don't remember, Zeezrom was a rich/wicked lawyer from Ammonihah who after hearing the words spoken by Alma and Amulek, repented and changed his life. My favorite part of the story is found in Alma 15. Zeezrom, laying sick with a burning fever, asked Alma to heal him. Alma responded as follows, 

"6 And it came to pass that Alma said unto him, taking him bthe hand: Believest thou in the power of Christ unto salvation?
And he answered and said: Yea, believe all the words thathou hast taught.
And Alma said: If thou believest in the redemption of Christ thou canst be healed.
And he said: Yea, believe according to thy words.
10 And then Alma cried unto thLord, saying: Lord our Godhave mercy on this man, and heal him according to his faitwhich is in Christ.
11 And when Alma had said theswords, Zeezrom leaped upon his feet, and began to walk; anthis was done to the great astonishment of all the people; and the knowledge of this wenforth throughout all the lanof Sidom.
12 And Alma baptized Zeezrom unto the Lord; and he began frothat time forth to preach unto the people."
May we all follow the example of Zeezrom, and "Leap upon (our) feet". Life is hard, and their are always trials, but if we believe in the "power of Christ unto salvation", we have no need to fear. I love this gospel so much!!! Have a fantastic week!!!! 
Love, Hermana Van Deusen
When I say "Kayleigh in the Jungle"... it's not a joke haha

July 24, 2017

Wait...what?!?!

Mi Familia y Amigos....

WELL, I´m not in Santiago anymore! My companion was sent home for health reasons, and President Current decided to send me to San Miguelito with another sister who's companion had to go home as well. SO here I am! I only had 3 weeks in Santiago, but I'm really excited to be here!! 

But because of that there's not much time because we literally JUST got back... so this email will be short... but I'm now in the area of Alcalde Diaz with Hermana Larraviere from Peru! She's great, and we are going to have a lot of success here!! 

I love and miss you all!! 

Hermana Van Deusen

Pictures from last Pday... we made tembleke!



July 17, 2017

Matthew 7:7-8



Mi Familia y Amigos,

Well this week was exhausting! but what better work is there than the work of salvation??? I love being a missionary!

this week I was thinking a lot about prayer. It´s something so basic, yet so very important. An experience that we had early in the week reminded me that prayer is one of the most powerful tools that we have been given: 
Lately we´ve been meeting with a cute 11 year old girl named Kimberly. She REALLY wants to get baptized. She´s gone to church a handful of times and understands very well everything that we teach. The sad part of Kimberly´s story is that she doesn´t have a good home life. To make a long story short her mother is not very responsible and passes the week at her boyfriend´s house, her father is not in the picture, her sister works, and Kimberly is overweight and they all verbal abuse her. It´s just a sad situation, but she´s always smiling... even on her birthday when nobody in her family remembered or did anything for her. She is a trooper!! BUT the worst part of the story is that she needs permission to be baptized, and when my companion and I spoke with her mother she flat out told us no. She said, ¨nope! She doesn´t deserve what she wants! Maybe in January I´ll think about it.¨

Heart. Broken.

But like I said, this little girl is awesome. In the closing prayer of our last lesson with her, she got down on her knees and said, ¨Heavenly Father, I want to be baptized. Please soften my mom´s heart and bless her to be happy. I know that you want me to be baptized, so please help me get permission.¨

It was short, it was simple... but the spirit immediately filled the room. Matthew 7:7-8 immediately came to my mind, ¨Ask and ye shall receive¨. Kimberly taught me a very important lesson that day, the Lord ¨hears and answers every child´s prayer¨. I don´t know how her story will end, but I have a pretty good guess. That little girl is going to get baptized.

So let us pray. Let´s pray with everything we have. Let´s talk with our Father in Heaven! 

I love and miss you all!! Have a fantastic week!! 

Hermana Van Deusen

Me and my comp
A weird fruit that I am currently eating... not sure exactly what it´s called...but it tastes good even though it looks like a brain

July 10, 2017

Santiago Week 1


Mi Familia y Amigos,

What a week! I went from city to country, ward to branch, Ramsey to Aliaga... I think I´m experiencing a bit of culture shock! Santiago is different, but It´s growing on me! It´s the third largest city in the country (which sounds impressive... but really it´s like half the size of Elk Grove) and my comp and I get the whole thing to ourselves (apart from a very lovely senior couple)! I´m excited to see what happens, we´ve got a lot to work with(:

This week I´ve been thinking about obedience. I´ve decided that I love rules. I love them! I recently learned in a mission leadership counsel that there is a difference between ¨obeying¨ and ¨being obedient¨. If we obey, that´s good... but that obedience may stem from another´s expectation, a want of reward, or a fear of the consequences. ¨Being¨ obedient is a way to be, a way of life. It is when obedience is ingrained into your very nature because of your love for God. It is when our response echos that of Nephi´s, ¨I will go and do¨ (1 Nephi 3:7) and ¨I must obey¨(2 Nephi 32:15).

Preach My Gospel explains obedience as, ¨The first law of heaven. It is an act of faith... As you obey, you increase in faith, knowledge, wisdom, testimony, protection, and freedom.¨... Those are six blessings that I sure want to have. During my mission I have seen others suffer because of disobedience to the Lord´s commandments, such as the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. Their lives are full of more worry, anxiety, and pain than is neccessary. At the same time, I have seen others change their lives to be de acuerdo con the laws of God. The promise mentioned in Preach My Gospel has definitely become theirs! (Example: Our recent convert Guillermo).

The moral of the story?? Keep the commandments! BE obedience. Remember the testimony of Nephi, ¨For I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commanded them.¨(1 Nephi 3:7).

I love this gospel!! I love being a missionary!! I love you all!!!!!

Hermana Van Deusen

Me and the new companion... Hermana Aliaga de Peru 

July 3, 2017

What Just Happened???



Mi Familia Y Amigos,

So a lot of things have happened and I don´t really have enough time
to adequately explain it all... but let me start with the most
important thing:

GUILLERMO GOT BAPTIZED!!!!

All the sweat, tears, and anxiety was all 100% worth it because on
Friday that 70 year old man entered the waters of baptism!! It was
beautiful!! ... and also funny because he was baptized by a man who is
at least 80 years old (Guillermo almost didn´t make it OUT de las
aguas del bautismo haha).  It was a special moment, and Hermana Ramsey
and I were really grateful to be able to be a part of his story. One
of my favorite baptismal services ever.

SO GUESS WHAT ELSE?! Last night we had changes. Sadly, but not
completely unexpectedly, Cardenas was closed! I got transferred! Now I
am in a place called Santiago in the province of Veraguas. My
companions name is Hermana Aliaga from Lima, Peru. It´s all kind of
been a whirlwind and I´m still in shock kind of... but here I am!!
Santiago is in the Interior of Panama and is actually pretty close to
my first area. I feel a little ¨deja vu¨ed.

Overall, this week I learned the importance of trusting in the Lord.
He really can do anything and everything he wants... and what he wants
is our eternal happiness. When we trust him, he can bless. He can make
us much more than we are. I am so grateful for this time that I have
to be a missionary!!

I love it!! I love you!! Have a Fabulous week!!

Hermana Van Deusen

June 26, 2017

AHHHHH!






Mi Familia y Amigos,

AHHHH!!! Okay so I had something planned to write you guys but that all went out the window because one of my converts send me an email that I just read that made me so happy and I want to talk about that instead haha!!

So Hermana Jheizzy PĂ©rez wrote me, she is the wife of one of my converts from Tocumen, Edwin. I don´t know if you  guys remember, but Edwin didn´t want to get baptized for a very long time because he wanted to be sure that this was what God wanted him to do. Well we worked with him for about 3 months and on March 18th of this year he got baptized. I love his family and it was a very special experience for me. WELL Hermana Jheizzy just told me that on the 11th he received the Melchizedek Priesthood (which would have been exciting enough) and then told me that on the 18th he was ordained a high priest and received the calling to be in the bishopbric!!! They are working hard to go to the temple on their one year mark.

I can´t express my joy!! True, 100% joy!! It is something unexplainable to be able to see people come to know their Savior, and follow him. It is so beautiful to see them heal through Christ´s miraculous power, and to see them bring others unto him as well.  

In 3 Nephi 17, there is a verse that I have loved ever since my teacher shared it with us in the MTC. Verses 7 and 9-10 read,

"8 Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.

 9 And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.
10 And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears."
I love this gospel so much. I am so grateful for the people in my life that have brought ME. I´m so grateful for the opportunity that I now have to do the same for others. But more than ANYTHING, I´m grateful for my Lord and Savior. I bow down at his feet and will bathe them in my tears. He is everything.
I love and miss you all so much!! Look for opportunities to share the gospel and bring your loved ones unto Christ... It is quite literally the best gift that you can give!
Love,
Hermana Van Deusen
We went hiking today.... gotta love Panama heat and Panama views