Monday, August 3, 2015

...Seek God's Help to Overcome and Endure the Challenges of Life - Joseph W. Sitati

Hello family and friends--

What a wonderful but just as busy as last week we had three exchanges with wonderful Sisters in the Zone. It actually started Monday, we had exchanges on top of picking Sisters up from the bus station to do their residency to teaching to making sure everyone had a place to sleep and something to eat. I felt like the mommy. It was so fun though. A little tough because it was my first time staying in the area and my companion not being with me... I may or may have not gotten lost a couple of times. Lol but it's okay because we got to meet a guy named “good luck from Africa” and he seemed like a pretty cool guy as we found him knocking doors looking for someone else but found him, so it's all good. We shared with him what we believed in and set a return appointment. As well as while we were on “intercambios” we had an appointment with one of our friends named Sebastian and let me just tell you he is something else. He is so amazing. You see, Sebastian is from Malaga and met the missionaries as they contacted him in the park three months ago. We actually did a fast together this past weekend and he said it went better than he thought. Because he is a fairly large man, it was hard for him as it was so nice to see his progress. What warms my soul is to know that he knows he is a son of God and he is now exercising his faith.

Also we met someone famous!! Aha (no not really) but professor Magonalgol the women who plays in Harry Potter and transforms into a cat. Yeah! We found her in Cat form in the street and took a picture with her ;) 

So, i hope you have THE BEST WEEK and if it's not your best week make it your 2nd best week and if isn't your 2nd keep going down TIL it is the best week.


Hermanita Arce 

You cannot connect the dots looking forward. - Steve Jobs

Nephi is gorgeous in the film, if he asked me to join me in the wilderness, the last thing I'd do is murmur... - Crazy old lady in our ward

The thing about truth is, it exists beyond belief, it is true even if it no one believes it. - President Uchtdorf 

Monday, July 27, 2015

"Remember, failure is an event... not a person, and yesterday ended last night"...

"Yooo-Hoo!!!!!! Big summer blowout!" - frozen. Alrighty.. here we go! What a week. I am getting like a complete Gomba. (Shrimp which means red skin) because of the KILLER heat!! Wow--it's amazing at how scourging it is in southern Spain- but hey, it comes with some killer tan lines as well. 

We had a baptism yesterday!! It was definitely a “locura” (crazy) day, we decided to do it right after church but while we were in the 2nd class halfway through, I have to admit, it was the Spirit that reminded us that we forgot to fill up the baptismal font and the programs. So, there we were, two hermanas hauling big buckets of water from the kitchen to the font (see photo). We were determined there was going to be a baptism that day! Thankfully, it all turned out great and as planned. Eglys, a 22 years old Cuban girl was baptized. We contacted her my second day in Malaga as she was actually a referral contact. She was so well prepared as it still amazes me every time to know that the Lord really is preparing His children. She was so filled with the Spirit and light the day of her baptism. We sang her a song and she was so happy as she kept giving us hugs and “besitos”--kisses. It was a wonderful experience. Of course, like all baptisms!!

Also, this week, I had an awesome exchange with the Hermanas from Malaga 3. I went to their area and while we were contacting in the streets we stopped by a lady and she had such a cute little dog. So, here you go I had to take a picture with my new friend -- hopefully Ella won't get too jealous.

Hermana Arce

"Analogies are banned in certain parts of the mission after a handful of recent converts still refer to the third member of the Godhead as Casper the friendly ghost"

"Remember failure is an event... not a person, and yesterday ended last night"

...Two hermanas hauling big buckets of water from the kitchen to the font...

...With our cute little friend...

My MINION goggles...

Malaga Mission Leadership Council

Sister Training Leaders (Super Hermanas Entrenadoras - SHEs).  They add so much and are a key part of the mission leadership council.  Before the Church announced the name for their position in Spanish, our mission president felt the best translation for them would be "Hermana Entrenadoras", or Sister Trainers.  But as you can see, the abbreviation would be "HE".  We just couldn't have that for Sisters, so our Mission President suggested jokingly that we should call them "Super Hermana Entrenadoras", or SHEs.  The name stuck.  Here they are--our "SHEs". 

Watermelon and a shepherds pie! So American. The nurse of our mission invited us to eat! 
Since Spain is so hot and the Spaniards are so poor that EVERYONE has a personal fan (called "Abanicos").   Although it's more for women, you may see even men carrying them around. It's like an accessory! Of course, I bought one and love it.
Photo of my area, I like the view of the mountains.

During a teaching appointment... 

Monday, July 20, 2015

"... Behold the Wounds in Jesus' Hands."

Hello family and friends! 

Well, I would like to share a thought that touched me greatly this week. One day this week, I was looking at a picture of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon when He came to the Americas and showed the people the wounds in His hands. I was reflecting upon this... and thought if He had a perfect body why are the wounds in His hands?

It was a thought that slipped my mind and then I melted when I read across 1 Nephi 21:14-16. In this chapter Nephi is telling his people of the Savior and His atonement:

"14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me--but he will show that he hath not.
15 For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.
16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me."

I found great comfort to know that the marks in His hands are specifically there for a reason not only to show as a witness what He did for us but because He cannot forget us as we journey through life. I testify that He knows each and every one of us and understands fully what we are going through in our lives. Only He can heal, clean, and purify us. That is something I wanted to share with you this week.

I hope you have a wonderful and productive week of work and callings!

Much love…Besitos y abrazos

-Hermana Arce

Monday, June 29, 2015

Adios y Hasta Muy Pronto Elche...

Hello Family and Friends!

Welcome to 95 degrees with over 100% humidity in Spain! …and without air conditioning --we are living it up, as we are embracing the culture of Elche. 

One more week left here in Elche. Adios y hasta muy pronto ya que me llevo muchos recuerdos bellos de Elche...

I am so grateful to be able to see our friend Bako get baptized this past Saturday. It was a wonderful turn out! We have been teaching him since January as he had many, many trials during these months. As mentioned in my previous letters, Bako was a “testigo de Jehova’, but everything changed when he really put himself in a serious study of the Book of Mormon. As you remember, Bako is from Mali, Africa and his native language is Bambara. It is wonderful to see him reading the Book of Mormon in Bambara. And on the day of his baptism, let me tell you that the Spirit was so strong as he bore his sweet and beautiful testimony! Also, it is wonderful to see the ward has been very supportive as they make him feel so welcomed and part of their family.

Also, as you may or may not remember, ‘Presidente’ Deere and his wife are leaving this Wednesday (7/1) and we will be receiving our new president this coming Tuesday. We meet him and his wife on Saturday. (4th of July :) 

Hermana Asay and I had our last planning session this week! It was so sad. But I know she's so ready! She's a máquina!! Everytime we cook I always say --man the cook can't get better than this and it does! As a matter of fact we had delicious baked bread and ate it like pizza. It was delicious! So so so good! That being said, --look out, I'll have plenty of yummy recipes!

Oh! Everyone please don't forget that I am leaving Elche this week, so don't send anymore letters to the address where I am at as I won't be here in time to receive them. 

Con mucho cariño, 

Hermanita Arce

Never thought I would find "Cactus" in Spain!!

Our new member fiend.

Enjoying our P-day at a park in Elche.

More fun at the park in Elche.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hola, ¿Como estáis?

First off, I would like to take the time to Thank All those who wished me a Happy Birthday! I had a fantastic birthday. I will not mention my age… no, I'm kidding!  Hermana Asay made me an Oreo ice cream cake that she remembered her mom made once. It was so funny I came into the kitchen to see how everything was going with the cake and all and she looked at me with this puzzled look and said: “Hermana… I think I missed a very small tiny detail that my mom did but I don't know what it is.” It turned out so yummy though. The best “Compie/Hija” award.

As for on the East Southern part of Spain - Elche has been good to us in whether wise this past week. Thank goodness! However, all the members tell us “…Oh you just wait TIL August.” Aha we will see. ¡¡Venga lo que venga y disfrútalo.

What a wonderful week Hermana Asay and I had. I am proud to announce that I am going to be a grandmother. Yes, she will be training next transfer and I sadly will be getting the boot! I am so proud of our ward. I have seen night to day transformation with them regarding missionary work. Our ward mission leader, Hermano Caballero, has a goal of giving out 50 Book of Mormons to his friends. Could we say, “el es una maquina” (he's a machine). And we have so many families who want to help and share. We haven't seen Maxi in a while, but we have a planned appointment with her this Wednesday with Guido.

Oh man, oh man! I have to share with you some powerful words Hermana Asay said during a lesson with Jorge. We were following up on the reading about 3 Nephi 11. We were explaining and talking about this chapter and we were about to close the lesson and Jorge asked: “You're saying --I can find peace and happiness in these book? Then all of sudden, Hermana Asay perked up and said with power “Yes, I know you can find all these things in Christ which the Book of Mormon testifies and strengthens your relationship with the Savior.” I just got chills and when she finished I boldly testified right after her word. I seriously felt like Alma and Amulek. I love teaching with her, and I am so proud of the missionary she has become. She is such a good example to me, as I have learned more from her than she has from me. I am sure of that!

I have set some goals this week as to how I can leave this area better than I found it and how I can do all I can to help Hermana Asay as she gets ready to receive her own hija. We have been studying together a lot about Grace in 1 Corinthians 12:9. I know that Christ’s Grace is sufficient to bring all our weaknesses to strengthen us. I know the promises of the Lord are eternal and anyone who draws near unto Him, He will draw near unto you. I love each and every one of you.

Thank you for your examples. Thank you for your prayers and thank you for all your encouraging letters.

May God bless you in your goals and efforts each day. Heavenly Father acknowledges all our successes even the small ones.

Until next week!

Hermanita Arce

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

¡Vale la Pena! ... It's Worth It!

Hello to everyone! Family and friends who live in the United States... Canada… Chile… Italy…Spain… Japan… Germany… and England… That should be just about everybody...right!?

So, the weather forecast here in Spain... Slightly scorching hot with a little shade and a refreshing Mediterranean breeze every once in a while. It is all good!

First off, I just want to share how much I love my companion Hermana Asay! She is has been such a dedicated missionary, and she has a strong testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. I am privileged to be serving beside her in this marvelous work that is happening here in Spain. In preach my gospel explains the importance of companionship unity. Well, we definitely had a bonding moment while we were cooking last Wednesday as we both had tears in our eyes from cutting a Spanish onion together surely strengthened our relationship and unity even more!! We couldn't stop laughing as the odor of the it was so strong we both had tears coming down our cheeks. We surely ate well though! By the way, Hermana Asay has so many good recipes that we have been cooking as I am always excited when we have time to cook for each other! 

We are being so blessed to have Maxi in our lives (investigator). She is amazing, and just loves learning more each day. Last week, we had an awesome appointment with her as we shared and read from the Book of Mormon. We also had a lesson with Bako (another old investigator) on Saturday night as well. It was such a sight to see that two missionaries drenched from head to toe had smiles from eye to eye. I will explain why....

When we left our apartment we realized we probably should have brought umbrellas due to the dark grey clouds that hung over us. But we pressed forward and continued to work hoping that the rain would happen later. We set an appointment to meet with Bako. But you see, he had sent us a message the other night saying that "… he always knew the Book of Mormon was true but now he is sure." As missionaries…these are precious words to our ears. We were so happy about the message we thought we'd make an appointment to see what had changed in him. As we met, in a nearby park, we sat down on the benches it sure enough began to drizzle a little but then pouring rain. However, we were anxious to know about Bako’s story. We learned that he started to translate the Spanish Book of Mormon in Bambara. You see, Bako is from Mali, Africa and Bambara is his native language. So at first, he didn't understand the book that well. He began to explain his feelings that he has received from reading and understanding it. Hermana Asay and I were so touched to know his best effort as he is trying to understand the Book of Mormon. As a matter of fact, he even told us that he knows the Bible is the word of God in the past and the Book of Mormon is a new witness in his life. --It translated over a lot more beautifully in Spanish-- but it was so amazing.

To top the story off, Hermana Asay had brought a hand-written letter to Bako from her Dad and so she gave it to him to read. It was so sweet, even Bako couldn’t believe that so many people were praying for him. By the end of our meeting we said goodbye and we were drenched from head to toe. But it was so worth it! After having that lesson with Bako, it certainly made our day. As some would have thought we were crazy as two girls walking with huge smiles on in the cold rain at ten o'clock at night. ¡Vale la Pena! --It's worth it!

Another great opportunity that we had this past week to serve is a boy named Jorge. He is 20 years old and he is studying English, so that he can take a proficiency test to live and take college classes in the United States. He is super cool. We are teaching him English and the gospel at the same time. We just recently taught him about prophets and the Book of Mormon, it was just so incredible how we went form like talking in English and when we started to talk about prophets the spirit just flooded in! As it amazing it may sound, we taught Jorge in English but I couldn’t do it as it was super hard. I kept coming in and out of Spanish as I had to think harder in English. Everyone says that I  talk faster than the people here in Elche.... And I tell you, the people of Elche talk super-fast …I can't help it. Our plans are to help Jorge prepare for his exam in July and then help him have faith in Jesus Christ by reading the Book of Mormon. We gave him 3 Nephi 11 to read in English but he's got his Spanish just in case he doesn't understand. I just love helping people!

Keep watching the hands of the Lord unfold.

Con mucho Amor,

Hermanita Arce 

" if the water tempture isn't right... It won't be a Baptism, is will be a human sacrifice..."

.."We often see ourselves as Yesterday and today but God sees us in terms of forever."
President & Sister Deere in Alicante Zone Meeting

President & Sister Deere. Their mission is ending end of June.

Acueducto Vibora, Elche

Monday, June 8, 2015

Spain and their Soccer is for Real....

Hola amigos, familia y personas que yo no conozco pero estan leyendo! Jaja

You would not believe what happened to me. I got stuck in the doors of the bus.
So we were getting off to our stop and the doors opened and I took a step out but while I was in the middle of getting off the bus the doors close and I was like squished in between two doors. For a minute I thought the bus was going to start driving again with me In between the doors. Luckily, I was released, walking away with a couple of black strap marks on my arms. All is well! 

We were teaching this fairly older lady who was an old investigator. Also, on Saturday there was an international soccer game with Barcelona playing against Italy... So there was absolutely no one in the streets. It was almost ghost town! Anyways, we decided to go past Pepita who is like 80 years old and lives alone. She let us in but little did we know she was watching the soccer game as well. She didn't want to turn the T.V. off so she put it on mute. We began talking to her when all of the sudden the entire city of Elche was blowing horns and yelling, "GOOOOAAAALLLLLL" and then she freaked out and said "… Forgive me God for interrupting your words, but I really want to see this goal!..." It was so funny. It was when Barcelona scored their first goal… I assume Barcelona won? It was definitely a crazy night here in Elche. Spain and their soccer is for real. 

I have truly felt like an Angel this past week. Or maybe because all our investigators and members have been telling us so. We got sad news about Guido and Maxi. They were a couple and they broke up last week so good in a sense because now Maxi could get baptized. However, she works every Sunday morning from 8 until 3 p.m. So, that is the reason why she can never come to church. She is just the sweetest lady you would want to meet. We love her and she wants to come to all the church activities that we have. We just have to pray and wait that she can find another job. 

Until next week... 

Con Mucho Amor,

Hermanita Arce

Hermana Asay y yo en nuestra capilla

Selfie of Hermana Asay and investigator.

Sunset on our way back from "Una Cita"