Monday, February 20, 2017

Hi friends! Can I just tell you all how awesome it is being a missionary? Seriously I've had the BEST experiences of my life in these last 15 months. We had a great week! We had the baptism of Maryori this last Saturday and it was beautiful and the Spirit was so strong. Speaking of baptisms, my baptismal anniversary is this Thursday! I'll have 3 years as a member of the church this thursday the 23. The time has passed by SO fast but it also feels like I've been a member my whole life. I had completely forgotten about it and this morning I was resting on my best and had my eyes closed, my companion fired a giant firecracker thing filled with confetti! She scared me SO bad it was the best haha then she screamed "Felices 3 aƱos!!!" (happy 3 years) and told me she didnt want to wait to do it until thursday. It gave us a good laugh haha I'm grateful to have a companion like her! She also told me she has more surprises for me this week so I'm actually a little scared but I'll let you all know next week what happens. It's so great to make friendships on the mission like this. With every companion I've had I've learned something from them, something that's made me a better person. I'm super grateful for the friendships I've made out here and for the things that my companions have taught me, I'm forever grateful for meeting them.
This week we are getting ALL the missionaries in the mission together in Arequipa for a conference! It's going to be awesome! In all my time in the mission we've never gotten all the missionaries together in one place so this will be super special! All of us out here in Tacna are the farthest away, so we're going to travel in the middle of the night the 7 hours to Arequipa. We are going to hear from Elder Godoy. He is the area president out here. I am assuming that he will be speaking to us about the temple that they are going to start building in Arequipa! The temple was announced in October of 2012 and they are going to start the construction Saturday March 4th. We have been waiting a while for this!
Temples are different than the chapels that we meet in every Sunday. Temples are houses of the Lord. It's where special covenants and ordinances are done that allow us to recieve blessings here on earth, but also in heaven. The authority and power found in the temple is eternal; it's the same power that exists in the eternities. So everything that is done in the temple is also put into effect in the heavens. The temples are where the powers of heaven and earth meet, and you can feel it being inside one of them. Temples are where families are sealed for time and all eternity. And I am so grateful that I have a knowledge of the beautiful restored gospel of Jesus Christ that allows blessings like this to be poured out onto all the people who follow Him.
Have an amazing week my friends.
Hermana Celardo

Monday, February 6, 2017

Hi friends! I hope you're all having a great week. My companion and I are having a lot of success in our area so we're pretty happy about that. The members in our ward are AMAZING and always give us references of people who are interested in our message. That's been keeping us super busy! So there's a member in our ward who is leaving for his mission tomorrow, his name is James. He's going to the Bolivia Cochabamba mission! We were with him in the morning helping him with some last minute shopping. It brought back a lot of memories of when I was preparing to leave! Pray for him and his success in the mission please! This last week my companion and I went to Ilo again! It was super great to be back in my first area again. I was able to see some of my converts and members in that area that have made an impact on me, so I definitely felt strengthened this week from this trip! 
This week I want to dedicate this letter to my dearest parents (: Mom and Dad, I don't know if there's anything I could do to repay you for everything that you've done for me. Your support for me here in the mission means more to me than you know. Even though you are not members of the church and the idea of a mission was foreign to you, you let me go. As I've come to understand more about the love that our Heavenly Father has for us I've also come to understand the love that you have for me as earthly parents. It's pure and unconditional. I am eternally grateful for this gospel, for the opportunity that we have to live with our families forever. Thank you mom and dad for all that you've done for me. Thank you for raising me with morals that have led me to become the person I am today. I am not perfect, nor will I ever be, but through all my faults and weaknesses I have always been grateful to have you two as my parents. I love you so much, thank you for being my parents (:
I hope you all have a great week. Recognize the blessings that our Heavenly Father gives you each and every day. And always remember that his love is unconditional.
Cuidense (:
Hermana Celardo