January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

Mi familia y amigos,

Hola!!! Feliz año nuevo!!!! I hope you all had a fabulous new year! It almost felt like I was back home because we got NO sleep. It wasn't from a lack of trying... it's just that here in Panama a holiday isn't a holiday unless there is music BLARING from every house on the block. Yeesh. But the fireworks were beautiful and the food was swell! I love this place(:

This week I also hit my half way mark! 9 months in the mission... like Whaaaat?! 9 months in 2016 completed, now here comes my 9 months in 2017. AHHHHH.... I'm trying not to blink!

This morning I was trying to decide what I wanted to share with you all.... and the subject of my studies this week came to my mind. This week I was focusing on prayer. It's something so simple, so basic... everyone always tells us to pray. It's the go to primary answer. But in my time in the mission, I have seen it's power. Prayer is literally the most powerful thing that we have. In the Bible Dictionary under to word 'prayer', it teaches us that our prayers are the way to tell if we understand who we really are. We are children of God. He is the father of our spirits. BUT we have to decide whether or not we want to accept that divine gift. We will always be his children, but we have to decide if we will accept him as our father. Prayer allows us to grow that relationship, and really get to know him. Sincere prayer can and will bring miracles.

Last week my companion and I started praying that not only we would be able to find the people that are prepared for the gospel, but that the people that are ready for this message would be able to find US. The second day after we added that to our prayers, we were sitting in a park waiting for one of our investigators. My companion and I were sitting there reading our scriptures, when all of a sudden this guy came up to us. He said, 'I noticed that you were reading the scriptures, and I felt the need to come and talk with you... do you mind if I sit down and we talk a little bit about?' ... haha, my companion and I were like... Uhhhh, yes! Sit right on down, here's a pamphlet!

I know that God hears our prayers. I know he's really there. I testify that he loves you. He really, really loves you. Take that time to talk to him. He holds the keys to everlasting peace.

I love you all so much, and I hope that your week is absolutely fabulous!!!!!

Hermana Van Deusen

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