Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Temple Trip!

I attached a photo today of our trip to the temple as Zona Primavera and Zona Central. The other is of the charla fogonera (fireside) we had on Sunday with my companion and the sisters from Primavera. Both of those experiences were spiritual highlights and I can't BELIEVE how much revelation I received. There were so many things I learned and the Spirit I felt was incredible. I am having some fantastic experiences and Sister Alvarenga and I are growing closer every day. This week we have some more meetings and best of all.......GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! Are you all ready?? I love what my companion is doing and we've both created a list of questions to things we want answers to--things both temporal and spiritual. I invited everyone to write up a quick list of things you are searching an answer to and dare you--not challenge, but DARE you--to put your faith in the apostles and prophets of the Lord to see if they don't answer them. The Lord is providing answers and direction 24/7 and we just need to tune into His channel to hear it! I testify that Heavenly Father does NOT wait until the moment when we don't know what else to do and are in a crisis to help us know where to go/what to do. He can give us constant direction and help if we turn our will over to His-the very thing which provides a deeper joy and richer purpose. 

I came across a verse that I really love this week. It's found in Hebrews 5 in the New Testament in verses 12 to 14:

12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age,even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

When I read the verse I wondered if I should be "drinking milk" or if I was mature enough to eat "strong meat." I think I overestimate the amount of doctrine I should learn sometimes before getting down the milk. The curiosity and thirst for heavenly doctrine might sound the most appealing but it won't do us good if our stomach (spirit) can't handle it. The key for me in these verses is in verse 14 that speaks of those that "have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." That is one of the hardest things for me to master--discerning the good and evil easily. I learned a lot in the temple today and admire that Adam and Eve were such faithful examples. They easily recognized Satan and understood what special blessings the Lord had given them. I desire to follow their examples and understand what comes from the Lord and what comes from below. For this reason I'm commiting to frequenting the temple and continuing to observe the Sabbath to maintain the ability to detect evil from righteousness strong. The prophets have warned us that it will be harder to do such things in these days when there are many who "call evil good, and good evil; that
darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20). May the Lord bless each of us this week to find the subtle evils that can enter into our spheres if we lay our guards down for a moment. I wish you all the best week; talk to you soon!

With love,
Hermana Furness

Monday, March 21, 2016

I feel like it's been awhile since I've wrote! Sorry for keeping any of you hanging but as far as a quick update on what's been going on in the mission: everything's been incredible! Hna. Alvarenga has been the best to work with and we're seeing quite a few fruits in the pool of investigators and less actives we've got. There's a mountain of spiritual highlights in the coming weeks as well--including a trip to the temple, a fireside between 3 stakes, a multi-zone conference, women's conference, and general conference! 

We're staying busy as sister leaders and have been learning so much from the sisters of the Primavera Zone! This week we had an amazing FHE with an investigator named Sonia who is truly converting to the gospel. The other night when we were teaching about Christ's church established on earth, Sonia said "so, THIS is the church of Jesus Christ? It has His authority and is lead by HIM?" My stomach filled with butterflies and I could hardly contain myself from jumping up from the sofa and squeezing Sonia to death. We of course told her that she was right and when we went to the FHE at her neighbor's home, we talked about the temples because she's been excited about going to the temple to learn more about it. She came to church for all 3 hours and went to the autosufficient classes later that day. Her only concern is the standards because she's not familiar with what they are and wants to know if she'll be able to live them. We thought it important to focus this week on helping her gain a testimony of faith of commiting to being baptized regardless of what the standards might be. It came to me to help her gain that testimony this week in Sacrament Meeting and it made me reflect a bit on my faith as well. It's so important that the testimony of an investigator isn't built after knowing what's required or knowing what new paths will bring. Faith is required before knowledge and Sonia must not let her fear of what she might have to do determine whether she'll do it or not. What if one of the commandments seems too hard to live? Would I deny the answer God gave me that this is His church and I should be a part of it? Would I only join the church because the commandments are easy to keep? Or am I willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to follow Christ and be a part of His church? 

I want to invite everyone to read up on faith in the scriptures this week. I don't have a chapter or verse for you to read, but I invite you all to take iniciative and SEARCH the scriptures on faith. If anyone has anything interesting, share it with someone and work to apply it in your life! The power of the scriptures is real and I know that God reveals higher and superior information to us through them. The very reading of scriptures is an act of faith alone in hoping that God will bless us and teach us if we read the words of His prophets. Happy scripture searching all!

Hermana Furness

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Dear family and friends, 

This week undoubtedly was one of the best weeks I've had in the mission! I'm stunned by my companion and the abilities she's brought to the area. I think I mentioned a bit about her in my last email, but after getting to know her better this week, I have to share a little about my dear companion Sister Alvarenga. (: She just came from an area called Laredo, I'm her 3rd companion, and she has about 7 months in the mission. She's from Entre Ríos, Aregentina and is 19 years old. She loves a good meat cooked on the grill and comes from a family of 6 who are all members--her older sister is currently training a new sister on her mission in Chile. Sister Alvarenga is one of the most humble people I have ever met and has completely changed my perspective forever on working with members. The relationship with the branch members in Villa del Mar is so different for me and I am more motivated everday to help them fall in love with sharing the gospel. We also have a kick-bomb mission leader, Brother Miguel, who is shifting the work into overdrive! There are some great changes being made in ward council and we're seeing much more involvement from the members. I can't wait to see the changes that can come! Just this last week we had a record amount of attendance at church-144--and we need to hit 150 to be able to convert to a ward! There were 11 investigators that showed up to church and we feel like it was due to the incredible things we learned in concilio this week. 

President Marler, Sister Marler, and the assistants talked a lot about "inspired questions" at concilio and it has made a world of difference in our teaching. We really narrowed down the questions that usually get asked to stop "checking for knowledge" and start "checking for understanding." Our lessons have become considerably shorter despite the investigators and less actives talking more, because we have to teach little when we ask inspired questions and THEY become their own teachers. It's so incredible what a small tweak in the machine can do. We have been able to reach to so many people and devote time to multiple activites. 

I read a great article a couple months back that I invite you all to read from the December Liahona. It's about asking questions in the right way and for those who teach others, it's highly recommendable. Read up here!

My time is up for today but I hope this week is incredible for each one of you. I am loving the work more than ever and can't wait to see what this week brings. We'll be going to Otuzco to do the zone training and share these goodies about "inspired questions" with the other missionaries. Have a great week!

Hermana Furness