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

April 10, 2017

Mi Familia y Amigos!!

This week was a good one!! It was the last week of changes and my companion and I tried to give it our all. We finished the week with a baptism of a little boy named Yorky! He's really adorable... I would send pictures but my memory card some how got a virus and I'm still not quite sure how to fix that... so ya. 

I got a new companion!! Her name is Hermana Denning! She is officially my first companion from the United States... it's going to be a whole new experience haha. She was in my zone in David like 9 months ago... it's funny, all of my companions have somehow been connected to that area!! But she's really great and we are going to have a lot of fun this transfer!! 

This week we had leadership council with President Current. He is such a wise man. He shared with us something that has really stuck with me. He talked about Peter. During Christ's ministry, Peter didn't really understand a lot of things. He just didn't get it. In Luke 22, Christ says to Peter:

31 ¶ And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32 But have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art convertedstrengthen thy brethren.

 Christ told Peter that Satan was going to do everything in his power to make him fall. To make him lose his faith. And what did Peter say??? 

33 And he said unto him, Lord, am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
34 And he said, tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
He just didn't get it. 

So what happened next?? Peter denied Christ 3 times... and he began to weep. He in that moment felt the gravity of his sins. Felt the sorrow, the pain, and the shame. He felt how many of us feel when we just flat out mess up. BUT, what is key here, is what Jesus Christ said in the beginning. He said, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not". 

Jesus Christ is praying for us, so that we can trust in his power and in his Atonement. We are always going to mess us. We are not perfect. But what do we do with that?? Do we use it as an excuse... or do we use it as a motivation? In those moments of grief, in those moments where you just feel so dumb and worthless...  DO NOT FORGET what Jesus Christ did for you. He payed the price, so that you can improve. So that you can one day become, what he already sees you are. 

Do you get it??? 

Think about it. 

I love this gospel so much!! I absolutely love being a missionary!! I love and miss each and every one of you!! Have an absolutely wonderful, wonderful week! 


Hermana Van Deusen