Monday, October 27, 2014

Meta Cumplida! (Goal Reached!)

Dear Friends & Family;

Last week was full of miracles and blessings! As mentioned, our goal last week was to find 888 new investigators for the Malaga Mission. Well, we ended up finding 897! Wow, it was an amazing and miraculous week! Hermana Crockett and I worked so hard this past week and the Lord definitely placed people in our path as we searched highs and lows. We also set a new high in two other areas:  216 investigators in church, which is an all-time record high, and 3,586 people attending church across the mission, which is also an all-time high. Wow!

As for my Spanish, it is incredible! I am picking up a little bit more each time we meet and talk to people. It’s incredible and amazing. I am so surprised! The Lord has been really good to me. THANK YOU so much for all the prayers in my behalf!

The baptism of a new member turned out wonderful!! He is now a member of the Church! We are so happy for him. He wants to be a missionary too!! He’s only 13 years old, but I know that he will also have a chance to bless others! I love my mission…

Keep up the hard work! You all are such a good example to me for the hard work and sacrifices!

Have a wonderful week family & friends! Hugs & kisses to everyone! 

York Ward: Thank you so much for the prayers on my behalf.
By the way, tell Brother Schuster that I still have the key he gave me! :)

Los amo mucho!

Hasta la próxima semana!

Hermana Arce

The Baptism of a New Member

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Restored Fullness of the Gospel...

Que Tal Familia y Amigos;

Malaga 4 District at a cookout in the campo on P-day.
As a missionary we study a lot about the Restored Fullness of the Gospel. The Restoration is one of the first thing we teach to investigators. Through Joseph Smith, our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ restored the fullness of of the Gospel.
The more I learn about the Restoration the more gratitude I have for the scriptures; especially the Book of Mormon. I will share a scripture that I have been studying lately:
Helaman 5:12

"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."

I know when we always try to focus on the gospel and actually do the little things that are crucial, our foundation of faith must be strongly rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, the mighty storms of the adversary will destroy us if we are not watchful. Pray constantly about everything and everywhere of all your feelings, emotions, desires and seek guidance. We must not only read but also ponder what we learn from the scriptures. I have learned that the Spirit teaches individuals differently because we are ALL different but when we ponder the scriptures is when we are taught. I have a testimony of that; along with attending church. Having the privilege of partaking the sacrament each Sunday is the reason why we attend church. The sacrament is a holy priesthood ordinance that helps remind us of the Savior's Atoning Sacrifice. During the sacrament, we partake of bread and water to remind us of His flesh and His blood, which He gave as a sacrifice of all of us. We do all these things so that we are firm on the rock of our Savior and Redeemer, even Jesus Christ.

Now, I love how the apostles and prophets remind us to do these very things, specifically so that we keep in mind to stay firm on the rock of our Savior Jesus Christ.

I will share more experiences next week....


Abrazos y Besos,

Hermana Arce

Monday, October 13, 2014

Semana De Encontrar...Finding Week!

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Family & Friends of the Spain Malaga Mission:  This week, our mission is having a "Semana de Encontrar", or Finding Week.  Our goal is to find 888 people who have been prepared by angels and by the Holy Spirit to receive the gospel. Please pray for us and for those the Lord has prepared for us to find!. Thank you for all your love, prayer and support!

I will share a little "milagro" (miracle) this week! Last Sunday, we had two young girls who showed up at church. They both are studying here because they are in their early 20's. One of girl's names is Yoanna and she is from Bulgaria but she speak English very well!. We taught her lesson 1, and I was able to extend the baptism question. She answered and said "YES". Then, we said "Wait! No, it may be too soon". But then she was like "Absolutely! Although, I have not finished reading the Book of Mormon yet." She has researched our church on and she is always asking us how she could live and keep the commandments and the meaning of scriptures and what they really mean to her. Yoanna is like "GOLDEN" and she is super prepared!  However, back in Bulgaria, she has been getting negative vibes from her parents, suggesting that our church is another "Sect", and obviously, they do not support her on this decision. However, Yoanna is firm with a solid and growing testimony and so she still wants to be baptized. Yoanna wants to be part of this gospel too bad! We are super excited for her! Julie, Yoanna's friend, is the same way (they are roommates) but Yoanna is progressing much faster than Julie. Anyways, as this turns out this is such a huge "milagro" for us and a blessing for Yoanna and Julie. It is crazy!! We also have a baptism this coming Saturday with a boy named Precious.

Have to run...I love "mi familia" 

Enjoy your week!

Besos y Abrazos
Hermana Arce

Monday, October 6, 2014

"Hermana, Que Dijo Ella..? (Sister, What Did She Say..?)

Thank you so much for sharing your favorite talk from General Conference! I actually really wanted that talk but it wasn’t yet available on THANK YOU…THANK YOU! I really enjoyed conference! Did you listen to the talks in Spanish? All the missionaries were so excited to hear this conference in Spanish. I stayed in the room and watched & listened it in English instead; so that I can get the most out of conference. In fact, I know that all conference messages are directed and guided by the Spirit which God talks to us through the Spirit. So, no matter what language we listen, the Spirit will touch our hearts based on our personal desires and preparation. In all honesty, WE NEED to ACT UPON and STUDY these talks! Actually, they are NOT intended to be heard once but rather over and over again. That is only ONE reason conferences are available to us - the other reason, is for us to STUDY and APPLY the teachings; and ultimately, these messages will help us improve our lives! It is indeed a privilege and blessing to have a living prophet and apostles to guide us in this latter days! I just LOVE conference.

For the first time in history, it was super awesome to have men and women talk in their native languages. Although, I don’t have a favorite talk yet, I really liked the message from our prophet. It’s crazy because the past two months being on my mission, I have been thinking on the most important attributes and qualities that I need to focus on since there is so much to do. I am reminded of the following scripture: “….what kind of men ye ought to be, thus saith the Lord, Even as I am”. So, lately I have been praying and pondering about that scripture! Likewise, as a missionary I need to develop certain attributes needed to do the Lord's work and hope to become an example to others as our Savior did. As a matter of fact, it felt so good and my heart rejoiced when President Monson mentioned this very same subject in his talk. As if Christ was looking at me and answering my prayers. I love that we have a modern day “profeta” that leads and guides us today. I love our “profeta” and all that he does for us. I really like how the talks focused a good bit on the home. I know that the home is so important and that parents are the prime teachers to children. Home is where it all starts!!
This week has been a little hard but we are picking up more “investigadores” and our teaching pool is growing-- which is awesome! We have two baptisms coming up, so I’m really excited about that. We are still working and pressing hard!  

You know how the people in Spain has “Z” (pronounced as “theta”); well by now, I can understand about 75% of any given conversation. That being said, the other night we were talking in a “cita” (an appointment) when this lady stopped us and started talking to us. I tried SO HARD to understand AT LEAST ONE thing she said, but I couldn’t get anything out of it, other than “Dios”, which is God. Oh my goodness I felt so sad and discouraged! To top it off, this lady had a strong Spanish accent and she had no teeth making even more difficult to understand anything that came out of her mouth. It was so funny, having no teeth + a really bad Spanish accent = ONE confused missionary trying to understand this poor 92 year old lady. After we left that appointment; I asked my companion: “Hermana, what in the world did she just say..?” and my companion answered: “..Hermana Arce, I have no idea what she said..” After that incident, we simply laughed our hearts out and kept walking. On the other hand, when we meet people who are from South America, I get so happy because they talk with such a cleaner Spanish and I just love it!! It seems as their words are much clearer and well-pronounced. However, people in Spain have strong accents which naturally makes it hard to understand. The “Ss”, “Zs” and “Cs” and ALL seems so crazy—enough of that “theta” madness!

On a separate note, I met “una familia de Chile” and I told them that my “Papi” is from Chile and EVERYONE I come across, keep saying that I don’t look “American”. I then explain that my father is from Chile and they are like—“Oh, yeah! we can see it that now”. Of course, it’s an instant connection and it's an automatic LOVE... What can I say! 

A funny story this week: So, we were walking back to our “piso” (floor) and we heard loud drums going off. I was like, my goodness what is that??? And my companion casually explained: "Oh, that’s right-- it’s just the Virgin parade" and then my companion further explains that all virgin girls in Malaga get together and celebrate as a tribute to the Virgin Mary—It is a Catholic event. Then, I said: “Are you kidding me?...” and I said: “Hermana, let’s run-- we gotta catch up and join the parade!” To my disappointment, when we arrived at the parade, there were a couple of floats and all was decorated nicely and a statue of the Virgin Mary was placed on top of a float. It seemed as the people were like worshiping her and a band playing music and everyone was dancing around the floats. It was super freaky, but still funny!! I just looked at my companion and I said: “Hermana, we are NOT in Kansas anymore—We ARE in Spain”….

Love you all!

Hermana Arce, Sissy, e Hija