April 23, 2016

MTC Week 4

Familia y amigos,

Week 4 already?! 2 1/2 more weeks and I'll be on my way to Panamá!! QuĂ© en el mundo! 

This week has been awesome!! In all of my classes we have been focusing a lot on the gift of tongues. What a blessing that gift is! I have come to love and appreciate it so much. El don de lenguas es real! My teacher, Hermana Russell, is wonderful. She always prepares the exact lesson that we all need to hear. Yesterday she was teaching us about Alma the younger and the Sons of Mosiah, specifically about their conversion process. I can´t remember the exact reference, but she shared a scripture that talked about how the devil tries to discourage us, and we have to decide to focus on the light. She applied that to speaking Spanish, and how the devil will whisper things into our ears like "I'll never get this language", "So and So is so much better at speaking than I" or "I'll never understand"... Small things that if believed, can truly damage your motivation. We can't fall into that pit of lies. As missionaries, we have been called to the work. With that, the Lord is more than willing to give us everything we need. We need to work hard and have faith, and with that the Lord can work mighty miracles through us. Oh how true that fact is. We aren't learning a new language or coming to the MTC for ourselves, it is for the people in our missions who are being prepared right now to receive this beautiful message. The gospel is truly that, beautiful. 

Our TRC investigator Diana is progressing so much, and it has been such a wonderful experience for us. I'm like 90% sure she is a member, but we have learned so much from teaching her. On Wednesday we taught her the Plan of Salvation, and I almost feel like that lesson was more for me than for her. To see her face light up when we told her about the fact that she can be with her family forever was such a testimony builder for me. I love this gospel!! I love this work!! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Remember that the Lord wants to bless us, we just have to ask. 

Con Amor, 

Hermana Van Deusen

April 16, 2016

MTC - Week 3

Note to self: It's Planchos de Oro... not Platos.

Today was a wonderful week full of exciting new trials and lots of fun! We gained three new investigators on Monday.... which may not sound like a lot... but sure felt like it!! It has been a growing experience for sure! Our TRC investigator named Diana has been a challenge. She believes that God exists, but doesn't believe he wants to help her/loves her because he hasn't answered her prayers in the past. Our first lesson didn't go as well as we had hoped, but our next lesson was amazing! We read in Mark 15:34, when Christ is on the cross and cries "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me". We explained that God loves Christ SO much, he is his Beloved Son, but he didn't save him in that moment. There was a greater purpose that needed to be served. We then read in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world..." Heavenly Father doesn't always do exactly what we want him to do, exactly at the moment we think he should... he has a perfect plan, and we need to trust in it. In D&C 95:1 we read that Heavenly Father chastises us because he loves us, and our trials will make us stronger. I truly believe that this lesson was more for me than for anything. I have a testimony of the fact that God loves us more than we could possibly imagine, and ALWAYS does exactly what we need. \

I have grown so much, and I love being here. I love all the time that we have to read and study the scriptures...they truly are the word of God. Our branch president has encouraged us to read 15 pages in the Book of Mormon each day, and we will be finished with it before we leave the MTC. I'm already in Alma, and I can't believe how much I am learning. Take the time to read the Book of Mormon everyday, even if it is just a little... it is worth the time. 

I hope you have a wonderful week!! I love and miss you all!! 

Hermana Van Deusen

AND keep writing me!! It makes my day better!! (;

April 9, 2016

MTC - Week 2


In the MTC we have this saying that "the days feel like weeks, and the weeks feel like days"... Es la verdad! I feel like I've been here for so long, but at the same time it feels like it's going so fast! 1.5 weeks down, only 4.5 to go!

I can only describe this week as a whirlwind of spiritual uplifting (If that makes sense haha)! General Conference is COMPLETELY different here. I think I have about 20 pages of notes... and I was so sad when it was over!! The prophet and apostles are truly men of God. On Sunday night Vocal Point came and did a singing devotional for all the missionaries, and oh my! They are so talented, and the spirit is so present in their music. Tuesday at the MTC is devotional night, and a general authority comes and speaks with us. This week it was Ian and Paula Ardern. He is a member of the seventy from New Zealand, and his words were incredible. He gave us a list of ten things that would help us to become the most effective missionaries, but my favorite quote from him was this, "You get to choose what kind of missionary you will be". How true that is. Successful missionary work is dependent upon the effort you are willing to put in to it. The Lord will ever bless those who recognize their dependence on him. 

Speaking of dependence, this week also had some very humbling moments. Everything in the MTC is so fast paced, and we have already finished teaching our first investigator Nohelia. Hermana Allred and I were humbled on more than one occasion while teaching her. I have a firm testimony that the only way we can teach the Lord's gospel, is if we are teaching with his spirit! Our Spanish was horrible, but our first responsibility is to learn the language of the Spirit, and then trust the lord in our efforts to learn the mission language. Our purpose as missionaries is to invite and help others to come unto Christ.... no where in our purpose does it say teach. We are to prepare and provide information through revelation for our investigators, and then do everything in our power to open the door to the spirit. For he is the teacher, and he is better at it then we ever could be. 

My district is great, and I love my companion, life is good!! This work is so fun!!! I love being a missionary(;

I love you all, and I hope you have a wonderful week. You are in my prayers!!

Hermana Van Deusen

AND You guys should all write me Dear Elders, because I can get them that same day!! *wink *wink

April 2, 2016

MTC Week 1

Hola mi familia y amigos,

I have decided that the MTC is the best place on earth... other than Panama that is(; These past four days have been amazing. I am learning so much, and the spirit is so prevalent. It's basically EFY 2.0(; My companion is Hermana Allred, and I love her!!! We get along so well, and I can tell that in these next 5.5 weeks we will be able to learn a lot from each other. The Lord put us together for a reason!! The same goes for my district, we have a lot of fun(: I am so grateful for the people I am surrounded by here.

The MTC is fast-paced to say the least. Yesterday we taught our first investigator... In SPANISH! We attempted to teach her about prayer... and by the end of the lesson she was talking about life after death... Yup. PERO, I was able to understand most of what she was saying, and form decent if not basic responses... so I definitely have a testimony que el don de lenguas es real. It was a growing and humbling experience for Hermana Allred and I. We teach her again on Monday and we are so excited!!

We were also able to go to the temple yesterday, and oh my. Seeing so many missionaries dressed in white, their faces glowing with the spirit, is something I will never forget. I love the temple and the ordinances we take part in inside it. 

My testimony has been fortified in these past four days, and I can say without a doubt that I know I am supposed to serve a mission. I have felt the love of Christ, and I have no greater desire than to share that love with the people of Panama. I know that Spanish will come with time, and that the more effort I put in to learning it, the more worthy I will become to obtain the gift of tongues. I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week!! 

Hermana Van Deusen

ALSO Shout out to Gaby and Bishop for sending me and my district cupcakes!! MUCHAS gracias(: