Monday, August 22, 2016

Hey there friends! Well this week was a great one. One night this week there was a 5.5 earthquake! I woke up for about 5 seconds and then fell back asleep haha. Theres lots of little earthquakes here, just like at home, so I was already used to it. But this one was definitely bigger than normal! We're all safe so no need to worry! The weather is getting warmer here which I'm happy about! It makes waking up in the morning a whole lot easier!

We had the privilege as a mission to hear from Elder Renlund, from the quorum of the 12 apostles on Saturday and Elder Clayton, the president of the 70, on Sunday. WOW was is super edifying. Elder Renlund talked to us about aligning ourselves with the will of God. What was super neat is that this is something that Ive been thinking a lot about lately. I think a couple weeks ago in my letter home I talked about this! He shared a scripture in the Book of Mormon that I love, Mosiah 15:7

Yea, even so he shall be led, crucifiedand slain, theflesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Sonbeing swallowed up in the will of the Father.

This scripture is talking about Jesus Christ and his Atonement. He performed his great sacrifice to fulfill the will of the Father. We follow the example of Jesus Christ in lots of things, this being one of them. We have to align our will with the will of our Heavenly Father. He knows us so much better than we know ourselves, He knows what is best for us. Submit to his will, and you will be happy. We also had the privilege of hearing from his wife, Sister Renlund. She told us that her and her husband served for the church in the Southern Africa area. She said they were always in and out of airports, but in one closer to their home there was a phrase that stuck with her. It says ¨If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.¨ She then explained part of the doctrine of the church, that families can be together forever. Thanks to the temples that we have on the earth today, the priesthood, and the sealing power that was restored by the prophet Elijah, families can be sealed together for time and all eternity. I love my family so much, and I'm so grateful that we can be together after this life.
I can't express to you all how grateful I am for the knowledge I have of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know with my whole heart that it's true.

Cuídense mucho

Hermana Celardo

Monday, August 15, 2016

It was a great week here in Arequipa! Today, August 15th, is actually the dia de Arequipa. A little info about Arequipa, the people here are super pridefully of their city haha. Arequipa is like the Texas of Peru, everyone says that it should be its own country. So today there are tons of fiestas and parades and fireworks to celebrate! The people here also claim that the food is the best in the world! I will admit it's super tasty. In my area there's even a giant ceramic ricoto relleno and glass of chicha morada! (Ill send pictures dont worry) Ricoto Relleno is a stuffed pepper and chicha morada is a drink made from purple corn, it's a typical meal from Arequipa. But they constructed it especially for the dia de Arequipa!
So the climate here..It's bipolar. We are at a high altitude, and theres basically no ozone layer over the whole city of Arequipa, so the sun is really strong when its out. But when you stand in the shade it feels like you're in Antarctica. Theres no happy medium haha. Right now it's winter time, so Im just trying to prepare myself for summer becuse it's ridiculously hot here in the summer!
So this week is going to be THE BEST because there are 3 general authorities coming to Arequipa! Elder Renlund, from the quorum of the 12 apostles, Elder Clayton, the president of the 70, and Elder Montoya from the 70. On Saturday we are going to have the privilege of hearing from Elder Renlund, and on Sunday from Elder Clayton. The reason they are all coming is because the Arequipa temple construction is going to start soon! The area I'm in in Arequipa right now will be a 3 minute drive to the temple. Unfortunately, I will end my mission before the construction is finished but you can bet I am going to come back for the dedication!
I want to share with you my testimony about the scriptures. Before my mission I had a testimony of the scriptures. I read my scriptures. But I don't think I really READ them. The scriptures are awesome because there's stories that we can relate to to help us when we have trials, we can learn more about what God wants for us as His children, and we can learn more about our Savior Jesus Christ. The Bible contains the old testament and new testament, written by prophets of God and the apostles of Jesus Christ. The Bible takes place more or less in Jerusalem and in that continent. But what about the people in other parts of the world? We know that God loves all of his children in all parts of the world, so he would want to be able to be in contact with all of us. In John in the Bible, Jesus says, 

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

So we learn from this scripture there are other people in the world that will hear the voice of the Savior. We can find an account of this in the Book of Mormon. After his death, but before he acended to be with our Heavenly Father, he visited the American continents and ministered to the people there. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It was written at the same time as the Bible, by prophets of God, but here in the American continents. The Bible and Book of Mormon were written at the same time, but in different places, both by prophets of God. It is my testimony that The Book of Mormon is true. It was written by prophets of God here in the Americas. It testifies that Jesus is the Christ and that he is the Savior of the world. I invite all of you who may be reading this email to read the Book of Mormon. I know that when you read it, you won't be able to deny it.

Cuídense a todos (:

Hermana Celardo 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Hey there friends!
It was a great week in the Peru Arequipa mission! My companion and I worked super hard this week. We contacted like CRAZY. We talked to everyone. Strangers walking by, taxi drivers, people selling milk on the street, store owners, everyone! We saw a lot of miracles come from this. We have a lot of new investigators that are interested in our message! Hopefully this week we'll be able to meet with them and teach them more.
So last week I celebrated my birthday! It was so crazy, theres a tradition here in Peru that when its your birthday everyone cracks eggs on your head and throws flour on you and shoves cake in your face. And thats exactly what happened to me! I'm grateful that I'm only celebrating one birthday in Peru haha. There was a member who bbqed for us which was awesome! Later that day we had an activity with our ward and then a baptism! It was a great way to spend my birthday.
I have learned many things in my time as a missionary, but one thing that I think has changed my perspective on life is our agency, or our ability to make our own decisions. We make decisions involuntarily all the time, and we will always involuntarily choose the option that will make us happy. I've been thinking a lot more about the decisions I make, bigger decisions and small ones too. And if I'm making these decisions so that I will truly be happy, not just happy in the moment. Sometimes it's easier to make the decision that brings temporary happiness, or maybe it's not completely morally correct instead of choosing the right. There's a scripture in the Book of Mormon, in Mosiah 3:19 that says, ¨For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.¨
The ¨natural man¨ that is talked about in this scripture is the voice in our head that tells us we're too tired, or too lazy, or too busy, or too scared, or not good enough, and entices us to choose the wrong, or choose what might not exactly be the right thing to do. The natural man is an enemy to God. Because of this, we have to put off the natural man. We have to accept the fact the God knows us better than we know ourselves, therefore His will is better than ours. We have to submit ourselves to His will if we truly want to be happy.
I'm extremely grateful for the time that I have as missionary, for the things that I have learned, and for the opportunity I have to preach the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love you all! Until next week (:


Hermana Celardo