Monday, April 27, 2015

Those Who Inherit

Hey all!

I am bubbling over with excitement about this week! It was so successful for Hermana Mariano and I and we are pumped for another week of work. We really made an effort with our lessons, contacts, and baptism invitations and the fruits of our labors have begun to show! I love my companion and she is serving an excellent last transfer of her mission. 

We found an awesome girl yesterday named Fatima. Hermana Mariano and her previous companion had excellent progress with her but a tragedy happened to her brother I believe, and she opted out of baptism. We met with her for my first time yesterday, and I felt the Spirit work through me so strongly although I didnt understand why. We conversed super smoothly and I talked to her as if she was already a member. It brought such a distinct spirit in and she listened intently to all that we said in the lesson. At the end, herself and her mom, Esperanza, showed great faith and trust in us and broke down with their feelings about their difficulties. We hadnt even prompted them or asked them about it--it just came naturally from the spirit`s strength in the visit. We are super excited to visit them and we believe Hermana Fatima will be ready to be baptized soon!

This week I finished up Galatians and thought I would share from chapter 4 verses 4 through 7:

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Sonmade of womanmade under the law,
 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
 Wherefore thou art no more servantbut sonand if son, then an heir of God through Christ.
I was so hit by the thought of "adoption into the family of God and Jesus Christ." Previously, Paul had been discussing the heritance of Gentile and Jew; though many Jews believed that Gentile would NOT receive the kingdom of God, Paul clarifies that it is those who FOLLOW Christ and LIVE His law with faith in Him that will inherit the kingdom of God. I mulled this over for awhile and came to thinking that regardless of blood of Gentile or Jew, all are subject to the law and only the livers of the law can be the children who inherit the Law Maker`s fortune. Those who choose to live in sin and live outside of the law will only come to find that THEY will be the servants of the celestial. 

I hope all of us can LIVE to receive the inheritance our Heavenly Father has in store for us. We simply cannot receive blessings and promises of a law we dont obey. When we are frustrated with the results of events in our lives, we must always review our discipline and intentions to TRULY live the laws God has laid before us. 

I`m out of time for this week, but I thank all of you for your support and words of encouragment. I can say that I know the power writing missionaries really brings to us that are in the field and I hope our words can encourage all of you that serve in different pastures. Stay safe everyone and love you all!

Hermana Furness

p.s. found a motorcycle with baby Jesus hailing the front. We also took a district photo of us in Guadalupe. Enjoy! (:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dependent on Christ

Dear friends and family,

This week WAS legitimately crazy. I lie not when I say that Friday was the most excrutiating and difficult day in the mission, and possibly my life. But as Alma contrasts his afflictions with his joys, I have never experienced a more real closeness to God. I find the need to run on the Atonement of Jesus Christ as a source of constant energy--I have never seen more weaknesses within myself but have never been more confident in abilities. I feel that I am coming to better understand what having humility and spiritual power means. 

As far as the news from yesterday, Hermana Mariano and I are together for the next 6 weeks! We started it off with a fun Pday and visited a museum that had a mummy and old art from traditional Peru. We decided to snap a few fun shots and I attached 2 of the them. My companion, Hermana Mariano, is from Lima and is a fantastic missionary. Yesterday we held a lesson with a couple who is living together and who`s daughter recently passed away. After Hermana Mariano delivered an incredibly spiritual testimony and lesson about marriage, we invited them to set a date and they readily agreed to it! They both were just passive about the thought of marriage all their lives, and now that they know it can mean salvation or suffering, they felt the Spirit`s prompting to make the effort in being married. We are looking forward to working with them and their family (:

I`m now in Galatians this week, and found a scripture that helped me a lot during the rough times this week (although this is from Corinthians).
From chapter 4 verse 17 we read:

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

Since I am out of time, I`ll just give that scripture for thought. Have a great week everyone!!

Hermana Furness

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spiritual Gifts

Dear family and friends,
What a crazy but great week this has been! This past Friday was our Zone Training Meeting AND our interviews with President. I was out 2 days just to rest my foot because some aching in it hasnt gone away for a few weaks, and so our time to work was super limited this week. But within the time we found to work, Hermana Mariano and I have found some great investigators and discovered the power of Family Home Evenings with members! We have a "Noche de Amigos" nearly every day and it has been reaping in tons of references along with added strength for our member workship. 

During our weekly planning, Hermana Mariano and I had our breath taken away at the fact that we only have 1 more week of this transfer. We are pretty sure that we will be together for the next transfer too but you really never know! Our time together has been so great; my Spanish is improving 10 fold to say the least. She has such great strength in working with the rama and a personality that many investigators and members connect with. Our conversations are always enriching and I have learned so much in just 2 weeks! 

I have been reading this week in Corinthians and the number of highlighted verses and phrases in my Bible are tripling. One verse I particularly enjoyed this week is from chapter 14, verse 12 that says:

 12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

As I read and thought about our call to find talents (and not bury them), I pondered on what purpose I was using MY talents. It came to me quite easily that if we desire to have talents and if we are to develop spiritual talents successfully, we cannot endeavor with a purpose to simply havethe talent. We are to edify the church, uplift others, and seek to do good with the talents we have. I hope all of you will seek to strengthen and discover new talents with purpose to serve others this week and in weeks to come. Any talent or righteous desire is attainable to those that allow the Lord to guide them in their pursuit. 

It seems thats all the time I have this week for my email, but I hope everyone is doing well where they are. I also hope we can choose to be happy this week and forgive ourselves of the imperfections we have. Love you all!!

Hermana Furness

Monday, April 6, 2015

Guadalupe--City of beauty and crime

Queridos amigos,

A WEEK here in Guadalupe. I cant believe it flew by so quickly, and I have learned super quickly how dangerous little Guadalupe can be. I wrote to my family about the various encounters we had this week with the moto taxistas that try to rob people. We almost got hit but the Elders accompanied us near our cuarto and then we booked it to our pension. Its a thrill to keep an extra eye out for danger! Just hope nothing too bad happens while we are here. 
In other news, Guadalupe IS dangerous but it is also way beautiful. The sunsets are picturesque and the town parks and sites are fun. 
Outside of the town though, our work was great this week! Our contacts were slacking but after 4 sessions of General Conference we are pumped to get back on the horse! I love working with Hermana Mariano and she is truly an excellent missionary (: We especially had a great lesson with 2 less actives who went through the temple but need to renew their covenants yesterday. They are SO open and ready to come back to the church,but are strung on the actions of other members and past experiences. They just need a little push of faith and I KNOW they can fly. José, the husband, was a leader in multiple positions in his past and loves serving people in the ward. He accompanied the Elders near 24/7 and wants to be apart of that life again. It is sad when the members only see strength and faithfulness from the missionaries here in South America. There is a desperate need for strong members that will build a tradition and structure of commitment here to carry in future generations.
Since time is starting to run short, better get to my scripture study from this week. I am now in 1st Corinthians and I ran across one of my favorite New Testament verses this week. It says:

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but Godis faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
When we feel down and beat ourselves OR God up about our trials, we shoud honesty keep this verse in mind. Everyone suffers, everyone thinks that they are a failure at some point--but it isnt anything we cant change on our own. AND we dont necessarily change on our own! As President Uchtdorf shared with us this week, we can use the Atonement of Christ to help us CHANGE and not just be forgiven. From birth we are already saved from the fall of Adam--we are saved from the effects of death and it is a HUGE gift (more investment) that we receive from the Atonement of Christ. THIS life is to be spent trying to master and gain self control to be more heavenly. As Brad Wilcox says it, "heaven will NOT be heaven, for those who are not heavenly."
That seems to be about all the time that I have this week! I attached a picture of our last day to be twins (Hermana Arenguren and I - my last companion in Potapo before I was transferred out of the area)  
Love you guys and keep your health!
Hermana Furness