Monday, October 31, 2016

well well well here I am living in Arequipa speaking Spanish everyday and my comp is my best friend and we have progressing investigators! Life is so good! I couldn't ask for anything better! Me and Hermana Kunz are having the best time and we work really great together. The very first lesson we taught, everything just flowed and the Spirit was so strong and we support each other in everything and it's amazing! We're so excited for the time that we'll have together! We realized this week that we're going to be together for Halloween (Happy halloween by the way!), our one year mark in the mission (which honestly we cannot believe), Thanksgiving, Hermana Kunz's birthday (dec 7), Christmas (yes we're already listening to Christmas music), and new years! But the most important part of this is that we work super well together and the way that we teach is easy to understand for all the people we teach. And we're going to have a baptism this Saturday! Our investigator Fernando is getting baptized. Pray for him! He was supposed to get baptized back in March but he backed out last minute so we hope that doesn't happen again (: But he's so prepared and converted so we have faith it's going to happen.
Today hermana Kunz and I are going to this super Arequipeña restaurant with our elder friends from the area right next to us.  And then after we're going to a church to play sports with our whole zone. This week Hermana Kunz and I made pancakes from scratch for our district meeting and they were pretty good! They tasted like home haha. This week was also our leadership conference! We had really great food and talked about what we can do to better the mission, and this tuesday we'll have a zone conference to transmit all the information to our zone. The zone leaders and us as sister leaders will be speaking. Hermana Kunz and I have some great plans so I'll update you all on that this next week (: We had an activity Saturday with our ward! Another dessert night..haha heres a tip if you want people to come to your parties you just have to have food and they will come. We had a really great turn out! Hermana Kunz and I always talk with the couple that we live with. They're the owners of the house and they're older and the husband is the patriarch of the stake. I've talked about him before in one of my other emails but honestly he's like a walking book! He knows sooo much! We talk to him as much as we can because we learn something new about the doctine of the church every talk we talk to him. I'm super grateful for being able to live with him because it's taught me a lot about the importance of studying. We HAVE to learn as much as we can in this life. My testimony has grown so much about scripture study in my time here!
I love the mission SO much. I honestly don't know where I'd be if I never made the decision to come. I can't imagine my life without it. I have learned so much in my time here and I can't wait to see what these next couple have in store for me. It's my testimony that the gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives, it has changed mine. We have to APPLY what we learn to be able to receive the blessings that God has prepared for us. Like the scripture says, faith without works is dead. Act in faith everyday and I promise you, you will see miracles. I know with my whole heart that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. It is the same church that Jesus himself established on Earth when he was here 2000 years ago. The work that I'm doing here in Peru is true. It is the work of the Lord. I know that God and Jesus Christ LIVE.
Make it a great week (:

Hermana Celardo 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Hello friends! I hope you all had a great week! All is swell down here in Peru. This week was a good one! I want to start off by telling you that I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich last night for dinner and it was glorious. I hadn't had a pb&j in 11 months! Peanut butter isn't really a thing down here, you can find it in a supermarket but no one really eats it. We went to a members house, and their daughter was born in peru but lives in Bermuda and is visiting with her husband so we celebrated with pb&js! Also her husband is white so I got to speak english for a little bit..and I realized how much i stink at english now. It came out more like Spanglish haha bu

t I guess that's what happens when you go to another country for 18 months.

My companion and I are having a blast in our area! We have a couple investigators who are progressing and a lot of references from members that we still need to contact. There is one investigator, his name is Fernando, he's about 65 years old and lives alone. He is separated from his wife and his kids have gotten married and moved out of the house. He was going to get baptized in March, but didn't end up going through with it and the missionaries at this time stopped visiting him. My companion and I found his teaching record and decided to go back to visit him. He told us he was thinking a lot about going back to church and has the desire to get baptized! We have taught him a couple lessons and he is SO prepared. He understands everything we teach. He has the desire to learn more and read the Book of Mormon. These are the types of people we are meant to find as missionaries, the people who are ready to receive the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know I talked about this in my previous email but it is literally THE GREATEST thing in the whole world to see someone convert themselves to the gospel. There is no happiness that can compare to it! Fernando is going to get baptized on October 29, so keep him in your prayers (:
This next week we have transfers in the mission, which means my companion is probably leaving the area. She has been here for a while so her time is up! I'll update you all next week on what happens..
I want to leave you all with a scripture from the Book of Mormon. the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. In this part of the book, a prophet named Jacob is explaining the importance and the necessity of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He says..

Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.
 For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.
 Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement—save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.
(2 Nephi 9:5-7)

We learn from these scriptures that Jesus submitted himself to men in the flesh and died so that all men would be able to submit themselves to him. Physical death and the ability to sin are consequences from the fall of Adam and Eve, therefore the atonement was absolutely necessary to be able to redeem us from death and also from sin. The two things that impede us from returning to live with God are physical death and sin. And we cannot overcome these things without the help of a higher power, something beyond us. It is absolutely necessary to have a Savior. We cannot overcome these impediments without the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ. But here's the thing, we cannot and will not gain eternal exaltation if we do not APPLY the atonement in our lives. It all depends on YOU. You have to apply the atonement to your life to be able to gain what Heavenly Father has in store for you.

Take care this week! And meditate for a good time with what I've just shared with you (:
Love you all!

Hermana Celardo