Monday, September 26, 2016

Can I just start off by saying how much I love being a missionary? There's honestly nothing like it in the whole world! And I'll never have this opportunity again, so I'm trying my best to take it all in (: We had an awesome week! One of our investigators, Yilmer, got baptized! My companion and I were a little worried because he had been telling us that he has the desire to get baptized, but still had some doubts and didn't have a strong testimony. Every time we had lessons with him we would tell him that he needs to pray to ask God if what we teach is true. As missionaries, we teach what we know to be true. We teach the doctrine of the church. But our purpose is not to convince people of our message. The people we teach have to gain their own testimonies; they have to know that what we're teaching is true for themselves. We explained this to him many times but he would tell us he hasn't had time to ask, or he just hasn't recieved an answer. My companion and I said many many many prayers for him, to be able to recieve an answer for himself. The day of his baptism, he shared his testimony with us. He said the night before he kneeled down and said a very humble prayer and asked if the church was true. He said as he asked this question, a feel of peace came over him and he couldn't help but cry. In this moment, he knew he'd recieved his answer. As missionaries, WE LIVE for moments like this. Moments where our investigators are converted. Where they realize the truthfullness of what we teach. There are no words to describe the happiness we feel as missionaries when we see our friends come unto Christ. It's the best (:
So we're in springtime here and its HOT. We're at a super high altitude and there's no ozone layer in Arequipa so the sun just burns like no other haha. But I use sunscreen so don't worry yourselves (; I'm loving my new area! My companion and I get along great and we teach super well together. We live in the house of the patriarch of the stake here. I've have never met someone with more knowldge of the doctrine of the church. It's incredible! I've learned a lot from him. When we have breakfast we talk and talk and talk about so many different aspects of the church and it truly has strengthened my testimony that the church is true. As missionaries we have a couple hours in the morning for our studies, but when I get home I'm going to continue studying so that I can have the knowledge that the patriarch has! He's inspired me haha.
How grateful am I to be a missionary, to be a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. It truly is the greatest privilege to be an instrument in the hands of God.
One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon about missionary work is Alma 29:9-10.

I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
 10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.

Have a great week and take care (:

Hermana Celardo

Monday, September 19, 2016

So first week in my new area, it was awesome! I'm still getting used to it, but I love it so far. My companions name is Hermana Rivero, she's from Aregentina and she's the best. Our personalities are very similar in that we're both super laid back but we know what we need to get done and we work hard! Also, everyone from Argentina drinks mate. It's like tea but not tea and you put the mate in a special cup and drink out of a bombilla (special straw) that filers it and it's sooo good. The tradition is that everyone drinks out of the same cup and same straw and you just drink your part and then add more water and pass it down to the next person. It's like a social bonding experience. But we drink it every morning and every night together to bond as compaƱeras(; We also do lots of exercises every morning which I love! My companion has a bunch of those insanity exercise videos so we do those every day.
As a sister leaders, we have leadership conferences with all the zone leaders, the sister leaders, our mission president and his wife and his assistents. We had the conference this last Thursday and Friday and it was super inspiring. We learned a lot. We will have a zone conference tomorrow so I hope we as well as the zone leaders will be able to convey everything that was taught! One thing our president focused on was keeping up our animos. I say the word in spanish, animos, because I cannot for the life of me think of what it is in english haha. Animos is like the desire to continue on, to always be happy and stay positive. If we don't have animos, we're not going to see miracles in the work we're doing. But if we keep our faith, stay positive, and animos animos animos we will see the good in everything! We will see miracles! I know this is true with anything in life. We have to keep our head up, even when trials come. We have to keep our faith firm in Christ. There's a scripture in the book of mormon that says..

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

(Helaman 5:12)

Keep your faith in Jesus Christ because he knows us and understands what we're going through. Trials in this life are inevitable, but with Christ they are bearable.

Take care folks!

Hermana Celardo

Friday, September 9, 2016

Hi there! All is good in Peru. We've actually had a couple earthquakes these last couple weeks and everyone is saying that a big one is coming. But they say that in California too and nothing has we shall see! I can't tell you all how much I love the people here. I don't know where I would be without some of the people that I've met on my mission, they've changed my life. I'm so grateful for the time that I have in the mission and for the time that I have left. The time is passing by way too fast.
Wow so many great things happened this week you guys! Our mission president always tells us, ¨obedience in the morning, diligence in the afternoon, miracles at night¨.. it has more of a ring to it in spanish haha but you get the idea. My companion and I have trying our best to apply this principle to our lives as missionaries and wow we have seen so many miracles. This transfer has been one of the harder ones for us. We've been working super hard so that the area we're in can progress, but we haven't seen many of the fruits of our labors, until this last week. We had a bunch of investigators come to church, the members here are supporting us more, we have baptismal dates for this month, and we have more people who have contacted us that want to learn more about the church. Along with this, I've seen so many miracles at home. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have the preach the gospel of Jesus Christ here in Peru. I've learned so much in my time here. I know that the capacity of the blessing we can recieve depends on our obedience to the commandments that God has given us. So be obedient!
Take care!
Hermana Celardo