Monday, March 30, 2015

Feliz Pascua de Resurreccion 2015

Well, I have come to realize on the mission that is very important to use the scriptures during lessons because as missionaries we need to help those we teach, have faith in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is important as it is the foundation of our testimonies! I shared Mosiah 24: 9-16, with someone this past week and this person began to cry. I really like these verse because, although the circumstances did not change but the people changed and they Lord did comfort them. It will make more sense when you read it.

I appreciate you sending me Monica's letters. Tell them I say hello, and I miss them. 

We have been sharing the #BecauseHeLives card. It is so good. Have you seen the video? If you haven't here is the link: ElVIVE.MORMON.ORG invite everyone you know to watch it!!

It is because of Jesus Christ that Life Eternal is possible. That we too can live again, with all our loved ones. What a sweet message that is.  Also, we are all preparing ourselves for the spiritual General Conference this 4th and 5th. I am so excited!! But how can we prepare more fully for General Conference? Well, arrive 30 mins before it starts to be settled down and spiritually ready. Go to the church, if possible, since at home there may be too many distractions. Did you know the church has had General Conference every six months since the church was first organized. I invite you to prepare yourselves for General Conference by asking yourself a question that is important to you. (D&C 43:8) and be ready to act on what you hear.

Pick two things that you have learned or felt and be prepared to ACT!!! 

This past week was full of the Lord’s tender mercies. We found a wonderful sweet little family of three while knocking doors. This is a young couple and they have a 28 day old baby. The dad’s name is Daniel and his wife Maria. He let us in and we were able to teach them. My companion and I are excited as we have a return appointment tonight to talk about the Plan of Salvation.

Also, one of our investigator had a break through this past Saturday. You see, he is a ‘Testigo de Jehova’ and it was hard for him to leave his church. He said he wanted a bible that didn’t have anything taken out and we gave him ours. He started to compare them and realized the missing things. He is almost done reading the Book of Mormon and said he is leaving his church. He is ready and wants to be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints!!

The Lord’s tender mercies were given and much appreciated. Thank you all for your prayers on my behalf. 

Les Quiero Siempre,

Besitos y Grandes Abrazos!

-Hermana Arce

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Mighty Change of Heart...

Mom--Thank you for sharing with me the story of Abinadi! It is so true that he laid down his life for the gospel and for what he knew to be the truth.  Thank you again for sharing this edifying story.
Something I would like to share what I learned as I studied this morning the importance of ‘Being Spiritually Reborn’ or in other words, ‘A Mighty Change of Heart’. They both have the same significance but why is it so important that we experience this change? As it is described in Mosiah, we learn be spiritually changed and transformed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Alma declared:
Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God” (Mosiah 27:25–26)
So, what are the fruits of having a change of heart? Well, first we exercise faith in Jesus Christ. Someone asked-- what is our purpose as missionaries? It is Faith, but not just Faith in general, rather Faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which leads to have full reliance on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which in turns, is the GREATEST Doctrine we can teach as missionaries. Another fruit of having a change of heart is, HUMILITY. When we are humble we are teachable and when we are teachable we learn, and when we learn we APPLY and ultimately when we apply we CHANGE. Great chapter.
Also, let me share a very humbling but yet funny story. So, here it goes:
Remember from last week's post of a lady we found while door knocking and she was amazingly nice? I hope you can remember. If not just read my last week's post! Well, we went to visit her as we had a follow-up appointment.
We visited and asked her how the reading of the Book of Mormon was going? 

By the way, I should mention that I personally like to teach with pictures because having pictures explain our message in a clear and efficient manner. Well, while we were teaching the restoration of the gospel out of the pamphlet (Jesus holding the lamb), as I was flipping the pages in the pamphlet, I asked her what did she see in the picture? She answered, "I see Love, Protection, Compassion, Peace, etc." I said –“that is exactly right, Maite”. While still pointing to the picture, I said this picture explains our message – “We share that Christ loves us and holds each and every one of us in His arms. I continued pointing to the lamb that Christ was holding and said, "…Y aquí usted es la vieja...." Her eyes got so big and my companion kept smiling. Then, I realized I mixed up the word for "old lady = vieja" rather than saying "sheep = oveja" ... It was so funny! I quickly apologized but all in all, we had had a good laugh. ‘Gotta love the mission life!’

I love y’all! 

-Hermanita Arce

Monday, March 16, 2015

We Walked Away With Full Gratitude…

"Mister Jelly Man, Mister JELLY MAN! Did you DIE!??" Finding Nemo is definitively my favorite movie as it is the best. Kind of funny story-- My comp, Hermana Rodriguez, bless her heart, has a bad memory. I am always having to remind her of things, people’s names, streets, etc. It is funny because the members of our Ward always say she is like Dory (the friendliest fish in the ocean) from the Finding Nemo movie. I just laugh as I think to myself of being the little turtle and do the ‘Noggin’ thing with Daddy. I miss you guys!

I will be honest, this past week was a little tough for us! Our investigating pool got smaller and smaller. However, we were extremely blessed, as we are constantly finding people who were truly ready to make that first baptismal covenant.

Interesting enough, something amazing happened. After going through our daily plans, my comp and I felt we needed to pray. She wanted me to say it. As we bowed down our heads sitting on a park bench, I felt inspired that we needed to ‘humble’ ourselves—however, NOT discouraged. These are His children. He KNOWS their hearts. He knows who is ready. All He asks from us is to be Obedient, Have Faith and Work! After the prayer, we did just that. We started to work with people we had from an old investigator list as we knocked doors at a nearby apartment building. We knocked the first door and nothing. The second door and nothing and THEN the third… Still nothing. After the sixth door, a lady answered. She let us in and we had an opportunity to talk to her for a little while. She shared that she had been studying different religions and we were able to teach her straight from the Book of Mormon as she said she would read it. We quickly scheduled another follow-up appt. with her! We walked away with FULL gratitude in our hearts as the Lord had answered our prayers!! 

I love this gospel and love being a missionary. I know this is His work and His glory. I love sharing this truth that families can be together forever! Such a small phrase with such powerful meaning. His gospel is perfect and the Family is central to our Creator’s Plan. The family is essential to our happiness and success.

I leave you these thoughts humbly in the name of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Love yall!!

-Hermanita Arce

Hermana Rodriguez and I on a bus...

Lady of Elche. This statue is everywhere in the city.

Do you see the mountains?

Monday, March 9, 2015

A lesson about Temples

This week was great and productive! We had a lesson with a member present to a man who is atheist. He doesn’t believe in God and he is a little resentful but all in all he was willing to hear our message. My companion and I prepared a lesson for him but when we sat down and started to observe, listen, and seek. We let the Holy Ghost teach instead. He kept saying that he had so many problems and felt like his life was getting worse and worse. I felt like asking him if He could share with us some of his problems so that we could help. --I was a little hesitant but I felt like it was the only way to meet his needs—He then shared with us everything and we were able to help him and taught him based on his needs. It turned out to be a wonderful experience! We had the lesson with a family member and at the end the father gave him a blessing. It ended up being a good lesson!

Also, my companion and I are working on recent converts to get to the temple next month! I will be taking that magazine you all sent about temples and show my favorite Temple –The Washington, D.C. Temple where my family has been sealed for time and all eternity… sniffle, sniffle!  

I am honored and privileged to serve God and be an instrument in His hands. Although, I can only be an instrument if I am obedient, and seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost at all times. Because if the Spirit is not there I cannot teach. I cannot be that instrument that God would have me be. I love our Heavenly Father as He has blessed me beyond measure. This is a time that I have not thought about me, but rather what I could do for His sheep! What I can give and whose hand I can lift up. This is truly my joy. If we are going through a problem, we must remember that either that problem can purify us, change us, or it can defeat us. We have to remember that if we lived a life of no problems HOW would we ever change…or in other words, why would we want to change? Let’s always ask what I am to learn from this experience, in a positive way. 

I love you guys!!

You would not believe what happened to me yesterday... I was walking and this member’s dog bit my shoe! He bit my shoe while I was walking... no idea how that was possible ---and I was “WHAT THE HECK!” I almost jumped on the couch as it didn’t hurt it just scared me. Now I have a HUGE bite mark and scratch mark on my boot.   

OH, OH! So you know those funny little car commercials of squirrels crossing the road—
Well, I experienced something similar this past week.
It all started when my companion and I were crossing the road to go to an appointment. There was this car flying down the road as I didn’t think they were going to stop. All the sudden, we froze in the middle of the road (although we had the right away—so, don’t worry). Anyways, my heart started to beat really fast as this vehicle started to get closer and closer and by the time they got to us THEY IMMEDIATELY CURVED off really fast and I was frozen in the middle of the road. As a matter of fact, I think I had one open eye and I kind of felt like those squirrels when they cross the road and wanted to pass out right there! It was so funny. I wasn’t really going to pass out but the moment just seemed so appropriate and perfect.

Okay, I’m done. That was my AWESOME superhero week 
Over an Out!

-Hermana Arce

A lesson to our newest investigator...

Monday, March 2, 2015

Larger Working Area

Hello familia & friends-

We have been teaching this family from Ecuador and they have a little daughter Jennifer who is 8 years old! We love her so much! We invited them to an activity at the church and loved it! I love this Ward Elche 2 as they are so supportive and willing to help. It is so nice to know we have such good members working together. We are working machines!! We have been given a bigger area to work in and we are consistently talking to people on the streets! Transfers are coming up! Hermana Rodriquez and I will be staying together until April 14. She is awesome!

Love you always!

Hermana Arce