September 26, 2016

Another FABULOUS Week!!

Mi Familia y Amigos,

What a fabulous week!!! We were really able to see that hand of the Lord these past few days, and his many tender mercies. AHHH!! I'm really happy today!! And how amazing was The General Women´s Conference???? Pretty amazing if you ask me. It was pretty funny, all day Saturday my companion and I were counting down the hours until we got to go to the Stake Center to watch it. We weren't disappointed! It was exactly what we needed to hear, when we needed to hear it. 

We had something happen that was a little sad on Sunday. We had two men come to church, one is inactive and the other isn't a member. They have lived tough lives in the past, and let's just say their exterior is a little rough. They have a lot of tattoos, and at first glance might not be someone that very many people would greet with a smile. But they came to church. They've changed, and want to learn more about Christ. Well let me tell you what happened. We didn't know that they were coming, so to see them there at church was a cool surprise! My companion and I greeted them, directed them to the Sunday School class, and went to go tell the teacher that we were going to have a class today. As we were walking to the classroom, we saw the two men storm out of the church. We were confused, so we went to a group of people that were gathered together and asked what had happened. Apparently some members were afraid and started to stare at the men and ask them what they were doing here. The members made a scene, and made our investigators feel really uncomfortable and judged... so they left. They left. The house of the Lord, where the people are supposed to be representatives of Christ. My companion and I were really hurt, and couldn't believe it. 

It made me think about Mormon 8, a chapter that the Sister Leaders of the Church were focusing on. It says that in the last day, the church would be puffed up in pride. That people who aren't prepared are going to fall. It was a little harsh, but oh so true! We have to be careful. We have to be humble. We have to be strong!! We have to do everything in our power to be better representatives of Christ. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I'm grateful that we have the chance to repent. But we have to remember. Remember what Christ did for us, and the love that he has for ALL us. He knows our hearts, and he is the only one with the ability to judge. I encourage you all to read Mormon 8, and think of the things that we can do so that when our trials come, we are ready. 

I love you all!! I'm grateful for every single one of you(: Have a FABULOUS week!! 

Hermana Van Deusen

September 19, 2016


Mi Familia y Amigos,

This was another wonderful week! Since my companion and I already know each other and the area, there wasn´t much adjustment, so we really hit the ground running! WE have a lot of plans to make sure the people that have fetchas bautismales this change follow through, and we are trying really hard to work with the members so as to get the ward to where it needs to be. I´m really excited!!! Our mission president has started a new program for us called ¨5 Families¨... it´s about five families(; The purpose is that with the help of the ward council we select 5 less active families to focus on each week of the change. We are supposed to visit them 2-3 times a week, with the intention to obviously reactivate them, but also to find new people to teach. Less actives know a lot of non-members, and even some of their immediate family isn't baptized, so with that we have a window of opportunity. We've only been doing this for a week, and we can already see the blessings!! 

I love Panama so much because the people are so inviting and warm, and you can strike up a conversation with just about anyone. This week we were contacting and we met a family that after 10 minutes of talking with them invited us to have dinner with them, gave us enough food from their garden to feed the equivolent of our whole zone, AND set up a follow up appointment all on their own!! It was like... well OKAY! I have so much love for this area and all the people here. It's incredible. I never want to leave!!! 

This week I read in Alma 36... In this chapter Alma is sharing his conversion story with his son Helaman. It is absolutely incredible, and I encourage you all to read it. Repentance is not something to fear, it is something to take advantage of. Repentance is how we use the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He already payed the price, and now his hand is stretched out, with the plea that we will take it. TAKE IT! I love this gospel so much. I am so GRATEFUL for my chance to be a missionary. Words can't express it. I love you all and I hope your week is amazing!! 

Hermana Van Deusen 

September 12, 2016

Another Change Down...

eMi Familia y Amigos,

Another change has come and gone... definitely the fastest change of my mission. My companion and I are both staying put, which while we didn't expect that, is a wonderful blessing!! I'm so grateful because we have some VERY positive investigators right now, and I really want to see their baptisms!!! This change is going to be a good one. I can feel it! 

This change we were focusing a lot on the less actives in our area.... it has been so beautiful to see some of them return and remember their sacred covenants! But for others, it is still a brutal struggle. They struggle with lack of faith and too much pride... and we can see the hurt in their eyes. Many of them became less active because of one small decision, that changed the course of their lives. They forgot their purpose for just a second.... and look at where they are now.  This week I was reading in Alma 23, and it made me think a lot about what it means to be converted. This chapter is about the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, the Lamanites who were converted by Ammon and his brothers. in verse 6 it says ,

"and as sure as the Lord liveth, so sure as many as believed, or as many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them- yea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away."

They were unshakeable. When their faith was tested as the wicked Lamanites fell upon them in an act of war, they remembered the covenants they had made and as stated in Chapter 24:23 , they "praised God even in the very act of perishing under the sword".  They didn't fear. They knew in whom they had trusted. 

I encourage you all to read these chapters, because they are awesome!! But how true it is... we ned to develop our testimonies in such a way that when our tirals come, and they will come, we won't have to wonder what to do or where to turn. We will know. Don't just have a testimony.  Be a convert. 

I love you all and I am so grateful for your love and support!! I have pictures , but my computer is lame today and they won't load. Next week!! Have a fabulous week!!! 

Hermana Van Deusen

September 5, 2016

Mi Familia y Amigos,

This week was absolutely swell.... it was just one of those weeks were there wasn´t anything particularly note-worthy... but you just feel happy!! Sunday was probably the highlight... we had 4 investigators and 4 less actives come to church, which is AWESOME!! We are trying to work really hard this change (well every change...), and we are beginning to see the fruits of our labors! Oh how I love this work!!!!! 

This week I was reading in the book of Alma. In Alma chapter 5, Alma the Younger is beginning his ministry among the Nephites... he left his family, his job, basically his whole life, to go out and preach the gospel. In verses 14-16 of this chapter he says something that absolutely blew me away... 

 14 And now behold, ask of you, my brethren of thechurch, have ye spiritually been born of GodHave yereceived his image in your countenances? Have yeexperienced this mighty change in your hearts?

 15 Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him whocreated you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith,and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and thiscorruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God tobe judged according to the deeds which have been done inthe mortal body?

 16 say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that yehear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day:Come unto me ye blessedfor behold, your works havebeen the works of righteousness upon the face of theearth?

Wow. He really was asking some tough questions. When I read this I got a little emotional... because how true is that. One day, we are going to see the face of our Savior. He is going to sit us down, he's going to look us in the eyes, and what is he going to see?? What is he going to say?? How are we going to feel?? Personally, I think he is going to ask us something like this... "Did you use my Atonement? Did you take advantage of the loving opportunities I gave you? How did you use my name?" Now is the time to prepare ourselves for that day. Now is the time to "receive his image in our countenances".... because who doesn't want to hear "Come unto me ye blessed"? I testify that the only way that we can have unending joy, is mediante Jesus Christ and his Gospel. It's the ONLY way. How blessed we are to have that knowledge, and to have so many countless opportunities. 

I love you all and I am so grateful for your love and support!!!! Tengan una buena semana!! 

Hermana Van Deusen