Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Team Work

Dear friends and family,

Simply put, this week was INCREDIBLE with my hijita Hermana Aldana. These past few days we have been contacting, implementing new work methods and strengthening the ward missionary effort three fold. Hermana Aldana is an amazing missionary and it's hard to believe I have been called to train her! She has strong experience working with the missionaries in Argentina before she came to the field and her ideas blow me away! One of our greatest accomplishments from this week has been our ward missionary meeting yesterday that we assigned the missionaries to visit all the recent converts in the ward. I'm so happy to see this getting underway because our ability to reach all the recent converts is very limited! I'm so excited to be working in Huanchaco with Hermana Aldana!!

I had a great study in Jacob this week in chapter 2, and the last verse of the chapter really caught my attention. It's so aching and sorrowful that I had compassion for Jacob in his admonition to the Nephites. It says:

 35 Behold, ye have done greater iniquities than the Lamanites, our brethren. Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you. And because of the strictness of the word of God, which cometh down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds.

Reading this verse makes me think about the examples of parenthood that I have seen in all my life. My own parents, the parents of friends, aunts and uncles, the fathers and mothers I have seen in Peru; all have given me a great range of parenting styles. I know that not one child is ever raised the same as another and being a great parent isn't accomplished without God. To read this verse though, it really gets to me. It's so emotional and so tragic to think about the damage that can be done when we throw our families to the side. God has ORDAINED the family and, according to the scripture's definition, it means, "To appoint or confer authority or office."The family IS a position in the church, or even an office that requires our compliance to fulfill it's duties. We are very aware of the consequences of not fulfilling our church duties, which includes the salvation of our own and others' souls. To think of the family in more serious terms, this verse has helped me understand the eternal consequences of the hurt we can cause our family. I testify of the blessing that a loving family can bring to an individual, thanks to my family and their love for me. I know that when we make the best effort to communicate our love and serve them daily, we form eternal bonds and blessings that will await us and will support us all our lives. 

Seems that's all I have time for this week, everyone. But I'm so thankful for families and for the love they give. Love you all!
Hermana Furness

P.S. Photo of our last baptism for Hermano Enrique Chuquipoma and also a photo of me and my companion. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Guess who's expecting?

Hey all! 

Seems that my turn has come to be called as a trainer!! I am going to receive my first "hijita" tomorrow while my dear companion, Hna. Bronson, will leave to her second area in Cajamarca. It has been an incredible 12 weeks with her and I have learned so much about the pure and forgiving love of Christ from her. I don't know if I have met a missionary quite as talented and hilarious as her either. I love you Hna. Bronson!

On Saturday, we had the baptism of Frances in the Primavera chapel at 5:00! The experience was very spiritual for her and she couldn't contain her smile (: I attached a picture of us this day and one of us with the ward council on sunday. We have another baptism planned for this Saturday and we're hoping to get the ward even more involved! 

We had a multi-zone meeting with Elder Calderon from the 70 this week too! What a crazy spiritual feast that was. My mind was blown and my heart changed!! He is a spiritual POWERHOUSE. Of the infinite things he taught us, one that stuck with me more than anything else was his concept to change us from just teaching the investigators to feeling is to get them thinking as well. The Spirit IS the key to conversion, but the investigators must consciously recognize that it is the spirit and understand what feeling his influence means. If not, it becomes a series of good feelings that aren't connecting to good behavior. Doesn't that make it so much more true when the Lord says:

16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them
                                                                                                                           Hebrews 10:16

The heart, mind, body, and spirit are ALL connected. And the spirit speaks to each one of these faculties, who need tender love and care. I aspire to improve my teaching ability by seeking out how I might help the investigator THINK and FEEL the message we have to share. And I challenge everyone to incorporate, if not combine, their scholastic worlds with their spiritual worlds! Because for God, they are one and the same.

Hermana Furness

P.S. Around Christmastime, although I'm not sure what day exactly, we will be having a LIVE broadcast of the mission Christmas program in the Plaza de Armas in Trujillo. It's apparently a huge event that brings an enormous crowd and thought I'd give the heads up to those at home to keep an eye out for the broadcast in December. Anyways, love you guys and write you soon! (:

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ooo Meh Gersh

What a great week it has been. Even though one of our investigators that is preparing for baptism has fallen through, I felt like I have seen nothing but miracles, happiness, and peace filled moments within each day. I am SUPER stoked for the baptism of an investigator, Frances, this coming Saturday. YEE! She is astounding and powerful in her testimony. So many members have commented on her maturity and readiness to be baptized. We will also be going to her art exhibit on Tuesday that we received permission for so hopefully I can snag pics of us together there (: If not, there will be baptism pictures! :D

Oh and speaking of pictures, totally slacked on those this week. So I attached a picture of our pensionista's kids, Monica with Victor sporting a moustache.(:

This week, my studies led me to some great revelations. I especially liked my studies in Ephesians in preparing for teaching chastity to an investigator. In chapter 5 verses 1 through 5 it reads:

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor uncleanperson, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath anyinheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

I wanted to use this verse in our lesson because it doesn't just address adultry or fornication alone. My favorite part is that of verse 4 that mentions our manner of language and joking as a way to be virtuous or vile. God IS holy and clean of crude language, jokes, and gestures. He doesn't ever put someone's name down for the sake of joking nor criticizes them because "that's the way he justs sees it." Yes, even THAT is part of virtue. Anything that makes us filthy, takes down the true joy of another, and chases the spirit makes us shine more dimmly. I have learned, thanks especially to my intercambio with Hna. Pineda, that the question "who can find a virtuous woman?" is real and "for her price is far above rubies" rings true. Maybe we're quick to say, "oh well I've NEVER gone that far" but slow to recognize that the way we speak to others and "joke around" doesn't suggest so. I challenge you all to observe the way that you speak to others and how it builds them up or tears them down--including the way we speak about ourselves! :)

Hermana Furness

Monday, October 5, 2015


Are you all on that GC vibe still? I am FLOATING cloud 9 for these past 2 days. General Conference was perfect and I am so happy to be a witness of such a historic event with watching 3 new apostles presented in one conference. There are a lot of things I loved from each talk, and I feel like the invitations to act have made me take away something more from this year's session. Have you all begun to ponderize?? (:

Our week was a whole lot better than the previous one. These spiritual boosters have definitely helped and I hope to use my notes from them to live a lot better. I have been focusing this week on being strong even when everyone else is weak,and have found out how hard it is to be strong alone. Thankfully, I have a great companion that supports me and I don't have difficulties supporting her decisions. We both are striving to improve on how diligent we are and how we can help solve life problems even though we're just young kids without doctorates or degrees. Did I spell those right?? (:

So anyway. I LOVED a verse that President Marler shared with us in our multi zone conference this week. It was a verse about Enoch and how he felt insecure for his disability to speak or publish the peace:

31 And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?

If there was a verse that could describe how confident I usually feel in being a missionary, this would be it. I in NO way feel qualified or talented or exemplary enough to meet what is required in the shoes of a missionary. This is the most SACRED work I have ever done in my life. I only seem to become more and more aware of how I can never meet every expectation. But the Lord didn't worry about choosing Enoch--His focus was on qualifying. On the other side, Enoch was worried about qualifying himself and not choosing to trust in the Lord. (but just in this moment) (: I am learning that the Lord asks me to forget myself and stop worrying about what I lack. I will ALWAYS lack something. He asks me to make the choice to trust Him and He will do the work. It's HIS work, HIS strength, HIS spirit, HIS gospel, HIS power and are HIS hands. Nothing more. WE basically just get to watch it all happen. How blessed we are to be front row to that kind of glorious work. 

That's all for now (: Enjoy your week everyone and choose to be happy. Stop making excuses by saying "it's not that easy." Happiness IS a choice. So let's choose the right! (:

Hermana Furness