Monday, January 30, 2017

Hope you all had a super awesome week! This week was great for us. We were able to find more people to teach that are willing to listen to us which is always great! Last Saturday there was a big parade here in our area. They shut down one of the main streets in our area and different groups of people were just dancing down the street! It was awesome! There's so many different types of dances here in Peru and every single one of them has a story and a place of origin. As a dancer, I really appreciated it! They were all dressed up in super Peruvian clothes too! The Peruvian culture is seriously so beautiful! 
We had a worldwide missionary broadcast this last Wednesday. They announced some changes that are pretty big for us missionaries! The information we report to the mission every week is different now, before there were 9 indicators that we reported. Now there's only 4! Which is pretty big difference, all you people reading who have served a mission understand haha. Also they schedule changed. We have a lot more freedom in the time that we do our studies. We also have the option to go to bed an hour earlier which I am so excited about because I am so tired at the end of every day!! I really think these changes are going to help us and allow us to work more effectively with the time we have to proselyte.
Something I've been thinking a lot about this week is patience. It's definitely something I have developed on the mission and something I am still working on haha. Patience is the ability to endure affliction without retaliation or complaint. Our Savior was perfect example of patient. He was rejected by so many but never complained, he never opened his mouth. He knew it was the will of the Father and he had to complete it with perfect patience. One of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon is Mosiah 14. It relates to some of the things that the prophet Isaiah said in the Bible. It talks about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Personally, I think it's one of the most beautifully written chapters in all the scriptures. The next time you are feeling frustrated or impatient, remember all the rejection our Savior experienced. Remember his Atonement, and find strength in him.

 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
 Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
 All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.
 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so he opened not his mouth.
 He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgressions of my people was he stricken.
 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no evil, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Mosiah 14
Que tengan una bonita semana (: los quiero mucho, chau chau!
Hermana Celardo

Monday, January 23, 2017

Well this last week was probably the craziest but most miraculous week of my mission! We had 5 BAPTISMS!! Ahh! Biggest miracle I have seen in my work here in Peru! So my companion and I had been working with a family of 5, a dad and 4 daughters. The mom had left them about 4 years ago. This family has had so many trials. The dad used to be a pastor for the iglesia adventista..(I honestly cannot remember for the life of me how to say the adventista church in English haha but I'm sure you all understand) and he was pretty set in his ways when we met him a month and a half ago. Well he had so many spiritual experiences and was not able to deny the truthfullness of the Book of Mormon. He gave his daughters permission to get baptized, but at first it was looking like we would have to baptize his daughters first and he would have to get baptized later. Because of some things that happened in the past it was up in the air whether or not he could get baptized with his kids. We planned out his daughters' baptisms and everything but a couple days before the baptism we found out that everything was clear and he was good to get baptized with his family! It is honestly the BIGGEST miracle considering everything that has happened in his life. Him with 3 of his daughters were baptized this last Friday (: His youngest daughter is only 6 years old so she has to wait until she's 8! At their baptism, the daughters were baptized first and the dad was last. In the moment he came up out of the water, he had the biggest smile on his face and began to cry. It made me and my companion cry haha it was the greatest feeling of happiness I think we've felt in the mission. I will never forget that moment. This gospel changes lives, but only if we let it change us. I will always look to this man as an example. He completely relied on the Lord and followed the Spirit despite all the other things that were happening in his life. God is SO good (:
We had another baptism last Saturday too, her name is Nayeli! She's 13 and her aunt is the only other member in her family. She had been going to church for years but never got baptized! She was so prepared before we even met her! I know there's people like her out there that are waiting to find the true and everlasting gospel that is found in the Church of Jesus Christ.
Weeks like this last one make all the hardships worth it. As missionaries we face a lot of opposition. But when we see the fruits of our labors, when we see people come unto Christ and enter the waters of baptism, when we see people truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, it makes everything SO worth it. I will be forever grateful for the time I have had here in Peru. It has changed me. I'm also super grateful I still have 4 more months to work in this labor of love among God's children in the Peru Arequipa mission.
BE HAPPY this week because this life that our God has given us is so, so beautiful (:

Job 37:14

"...stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God."

¡Que se cuiden y tengan una bonita semana!

Hermana Celardo

Monday, January 16, 2017

Transfers came this week and I'm staying in my area in Tacna! My companion is also staying and we're pretty excited about it (: We have a lot of good work going on in our area and neither of us wanted to leave! We have a baptism planned this Saturday, her name is Nayeli. She's 13 and she has some aunts and uncles who are members and has been going to church for a while but never had permission from her mom to get baptized, until now! It was awesome to see how excited she was when her mom told her she could get baptized. She said it feels like she's been waiting forever to get baptized! We're very excited for her, so Saturday should be a really special day!
This week my companion and I will be going to Arequipa for a leadership conference with all the other zone leaders and sister leaders. The leadership conferences are always the best because we get to learn how our mission president and his wife want the Lord's work to progress in this part of the world. It's always super spiritual and the food is good too (:
So this last week my companion and I were in a taxi and we started talking to the taxi driver. We told him we were missionaries form the Church of Jesus Christ and started to share part of our message with him. I asked him if he goes to church, he told us he is Catholic. He then went on to say that he doesn't believe in an after life, that this life as we know it is everything and then we die and then nothing. Just nothing. We went on to explain a little bit more of our beliefs of the "the after life" so to speak, and it made me think. It is so hard for me to fathom that there wouldn't be a life after this one. There are so many manifestations in this world of a Supreme Creator, of a high power, of a Heavenly Father. I know that God exists. I know that He has prepared a plan for us, a plan of salvation, that allows us to return to His presence after this life. This life on earth is but a trial of our faith. It is but a speck of time on the scheme of eternity. Our potential is divine because we come from an all-powerful God who loves us and wants us to become like Him.

Moses 1:39 (found in the Pearl of Great Price)
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Take care my dear friends (:

Hermana Celardo

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy new year everyone! 2017! Still can't believe it haha time is flying. We had a baptism this last week so of course it was a great week! Our investigator Carlos got baptized. He's awesome, he was SO prepared to recieve the message of the restored gospel and he's so converted. It's incredible how the gospel can change our lives. All we have to do is live it and the blessings just come!
Ok so something pretty funny that happened last week.. we were going to do divisions with the hermanas that are in Ilo. So I get on the bus and 2 and a half hours later I'm in Ilo where elders are waiting for me to tell me that the hermanas had emergency changes haha. So I just went to Ilo and back for a day.. I spent about an hour there with other sister missionaries! We had lunch and then I went back to Tacna. But it was great to be in Ilo again (:
So new years here is pretty much the same as Christmas. Everyone eats dinner at midnight and lights off fireworks. New years day there was no one home haha it was super hard for us to teach because everyone was at the beach or sleeping.
I don't have much time today, but I hope you all have a wonderful week! Always remember how blessed you are to live in this beautiful world that our God has given us.

Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.

Mosiah 5:15


Hermana Celardo