My Last Testimony

Monday, May 23, 2016

Dear Friends and Family,

Wow, it is so incredibly weird writing today and knowing that I am entering my last week here in the mission. Wow, the time has surely gone by incredibly fast and I´ve been so happy to enjoy every single minute of it!
It´s so interesting because I came here on my mission out of a sincere desire to serve my Father in Heaven and be able to help bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to some of His children. Yet, I don´t think that I could have ever imagined the experiences that I would be able to have and the personal opportunities that I´ve had to learn and grow while I´ve been here. The mission was hard, harder than I could have ever imagined. It was hard physically, emotionally, espirtually, and socially, yet I wouldn´t have changed a second of it for anything:) I am so eternally grateful for the opportunity that my Father in Heaven has given me to see the amazing changes that come from applying the principals of the atonement in ones life. It is truely the most amazing gift that God has given us, His Only Begotten Son who sufferied, died, and was reserrected so that each and every single one of us now has the chance to return to our Father in Heaven again to live with him and our families forever and ever. Christ´s atoneing sacrifce is what gives us the power to change, the power to be forgiven, the power of strength in our moments most difficult, understanding when we don´t understand, power to heal from our deepest wounds, and the power to be resurrected and live forever! All thanks to our Loving Father in Heaven and His faithful son Jesus Christ.
It´s been an amazing experience to deepen my conversion and that of others to our Father in Heaven. And, I have alot of mixed feelings as I finish up my mission. I´m both super excited to come home and see everyone, but I´m also sad to have to take off the name tag and stop being a full-time missionary…..although, I´m gladdend to know that this isn´t the end. One story that I was able to read lately is in the New Testament after everything that happened with Christ, the apostles weren´t really sure what to do and at the end of the book of John we see that several of the apostles went back to their old lives as fishermen. Then, while fishing, Christ appears to them and asks the question three times, Do you love me? and of course the response is yes. And so he said, feed my sheep….now I like to relate that back to my mission. The apostles had just passed through an incredible ministry alongside Jesus Christ and had learned many things, yet afterwards they just went back to their old lives and then Christ had to come and ask them what they thought they were doing:) He had shown them how to be his true disciples and now it was time to use that knowldege to bless his other children and ´feed his sheep´. And so too is our missionary service…. The greatest thing that I´ve learned while on the mission is that the mission isn´t the end, but the beginning. In the mission I´ve strengthend my testimony and learned many of the skills that hopefully will help me be a disciple of Christ for the rest of my life. That is the coventant that we make at baptisim and in the temple, not just to follow the commandments, but to help others do the same by continuing to share with and serve others.
So, thank you all for reading my letters over the last year and a half. And I want to extend one last invitation as a missionary to those back home for those that have experienced the blessings of the gospel in their lives to strive daily to share those blessings with others, and that I can promise you that if you do a new light and life will enter into your lives. And for those who haven´t had the chance to learn of this great gospel, I invite you to read the Book of Mormon and ask God with a sincere heart, and He will answer! I know that this church is true and that God loves and watches over his children and that no matter what we have done in the past, it is never to late to repent, change, and be embrassed by his love.
I love you all soooo much! Thanks for all of your support!
Hermana Marvian
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A Great Week

Monday, May 16, 2016

¡Hola Familia y Amigos!

So, I`m entering in on the last two weeks of my mission and I can hardly believe it! Wow, where has the time gone?
But, anyway, it`s been a pretty good week and God has blessed us with quite a few miracles this week. Last Monday while we were walking around, we ran into a mother and her 13yrs. daughter who began to talk to me and told me that they are members who lived here awhile ago, but then left and have been living in Buenos Aires for the last several years and that in this time they haven`t been active in the church, but that now they are back and they have the desires to start going to church again. So, we gave them the information for the church and then sent the Elders to go visit them since they live in their area, and it was super great because they ended up coming to church yesturday and it also turns out that the 13yrs. actually isn`t a member, but she expressed a desire to get baptized so that should be pretty cool.
Also, we have also been blessed to come in contact with several other great people this week as well. We found a really cool lady yesturday who`s husband is Catholic, who`s daughter is a 7th Day Adventist, and who was attending another church all together….she had alot of questions for us and we were able to share with her a bit about the Restoration and about the Book of Mormon which was great and you could see a light in her eyes as we shared those things with her and she was super excited when we invited her to pray and read about the Book of Mormon. So, hopefully it will go really well this next week.
Plus, interesting story, a couple of months ago I came to San Vicente on Divisions with Hermana Cardeñas the week before I got sent to the area to be here permanantly. And while on those divisions we came across a lady named Norma who gave us the chance to visit with her in which we did and we tried to share a couple of things with her but it was difficult and it seemed like she just wanted to talk alot more than anything and we left without the intention to go back…..but, this last week Hermana Rubilar and I were contacting and came across her house in which I didn`t realize that it was the same house, and so we ended up talking to her again and she was just soooo happy to see us and told us that she thought we would never come back and that she had really enjoyed our visit last time….so, we got to teach her again along with her husband and a daughter that was visiting from Posadas and it was super awesome….way different then last time….it was so cool. Now, we`ve continued to visit them and we have invited them to be baptized which they said that they would pray about and we`ve gone back a couple more times and have seen some cool progress…it`s kind of interesting how things work out.
But, I hope that everyone is having a good week and I look forward to sending a bit more as I finish up this last time as a missionary:(
Love you all!
Hermana Marvian
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Here is a picture of our District….
Left: Elder Isidro(Columbia), Elder Guayua(Bolivia), Elder Hudson(Utah), Elder Rocha
Left: Sister Huanca(Peru), Sister Johnson(Idaho), Me, Sister Rubilar

Adventures in Puerto Rico

Monday, May 9, 2016

Hey Everyone,

It`s been a pretty good week. I enjoyed having the great opportunity to skype my family yesterday:) It`s always great to see everyone and Happy Mother`s Day to all of you mothers out there!
This last week we got the chance to do a large `group division` as you might call it in Puerto Rico. We went there with the other 6 sisters in our zone, 8 in total and all worked in the area there to find new people to teach. We were each given an area on their map and then we switched up companions to be more fun and went contacting for a good 8 hours. It actually turned out to be a pretty cool experience and every companionship was able to find a couple of good people for the sisters in the area to start teaching:) My companion for the day, Hermana Quechua, and I found this family that was really cool that we started to talk to in the morning and they told us that we couldn`t teach them right then but that we could come back in the afternoon and teach them. So, we went back and the mom answered the door and wasn`t too happy to see us and she told us that she didn`t want us to visit her family….but, as we continued to talk to her more in her doorway and listen to her and share with her a little bit her complete atitude changed and without having to ask again she told us that she wanted us to sit down and talk to her….so we did and ended up having a really nice chat/lesson with her which pretty cool. Sometimes people really do want to know what we have to say, they just don`t always know it until we start talking, haha. But it was pretty fun.
Other than that, a normal week. It`s been a bit cold down here and rainning alot but my companion and I are trying to make the best of it:)
See you all soon,
Hermana Marvian
Here are the four of us with Sister Navarro and Sister Elsa celebrating the birthday of Elder Isidro!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Here is a photo of an overview of part of our area in San Vicente from our apartment balcony!

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Our sleep over/division in Puerto Rico…the pension really isn`t big enough for the 8 of us…haha

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Setbacks and Progress

Monday, May 2, 2016

Hello Everyone,

This week has been a difficult one but also full of good experiences. We`ve had some major set-backs this week. We had two families that we were working with that have told us that they don`t want to continue with the missionary lessons because of different persecutions that they have received from family and friends….they`ve decided that it is easier to just stick with what they`ve always known in order to fit in with those around them….it`s always pretty sad when people `fear man more than they fear God` especially after we`ve had some really good spiritual experiences with them….but, what can one do? I`m sure there are lots of other great people that are waiting to hear about the gospel.
In fact, this week my companion and I were praying about where to go contacting, or searching for people, and we decided to go contacting in an area that we don`t normally go to and as we got to this area we found a woman that was walking into her house and so we stopped and started to talk to her and at first she was a bit appreahensive, but as we began to share and testify with her at her front gate she began to cry and told us that we could come in and teach her. And so as we sat down and began to talk to her she told us that she usually didn`t accept visits from missionaries but that today she felt like she needed help and said that life has been pretty hard and that she is suffering from depression. So we had the chance to share with her and talk about the atonement and the plan that God has for his children and it turned into a really nice experience:) It`s cool how God leads and guides us to his children who need him:) And it`s cool to be an instrument in his hands.
Other than that, besides searching for investigators we`ve also been able to work alot with the branch this week. Here is San Vicente a part of our work includes strengthening the branch alot. So, we`ve been working alot with our Relief Society President this week seeing as she`s a recent convert and just became the president and at least in recent months there hasn`t been much of a relief society to see as an example here, so this week we`ve been teaching her about her different responsibilities and this upcoming week our branch president has asked us to work with her to create a list of visiting teaching for the sisters in the rama so we are excited about that to help her and this sisters out in that way. They are super great:)
Well, that`s about it this week. Hope everyone has a great week!
Choe,
Hermana Marvian
P.S. Pictures of my companion and I with the Elders in Montecarlo: Elders Rochue and Elder Guayua in Montecarlo where we spent P-Day today!

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Interviews and Divisions with Hermana LaPierre

Monday, April 25, 2016

Hello Everyone,
This week has been a pretty good first week to the new transfer. My new companion is pretty awesome and we´ve hit it off to a great start. This week´s been a little bit crazy and we haven´t had alot of time to proselyte but it´s still been nice. The highlight of the week was that we were able to have our branch conference here in San Vicente and the interesting part is that San Vicente isn´t part of another district or stake but is directly linked to the misión so for our conference our misión president was able to come out and talk to everyone and also lead our priesthood/relief society class along with talks in sacrament meeting….I always love getting the chance to here from him and others in the mission. It´s super great! Plus, we were able to have interviews with him as well to talk about how the work is going and how we are doing personally. It went super well and I just have to say that missionary work is sooo awesome! I talked alot with him about the miracles of the mission and I don´t know if I´ve mentioned before but one of the things that I love about missionary work is the fact that through missionary work we are able to gain Access to many powers of the Atonement….because part of the atonement is being able to be cleansed from our sins but also another great part is the ability to be perfected and become like God and as we do His work, God´s work, we gain Access to those powers that help us to become like him. It´s really true what it says in the scriptures that he who gains his life shall loose it and he who looses his life for My names sake shall find it…..
Apart from our conference and interviews, my companion and I also had the chance to take our mission president´s wife out with us to visit a couple of our investigators and it was a super cool experience being able to teach and testify alongside her and having her with us:)
Well, besides that, not much to tell…..Hope You all have a great week!
Love you all,
Hermana Marvian
P.S. I´ll try to send pictures next week….

Last Transfer!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hey Everyone,

This week has been really great. My companion and I have been working hard with our investigators and have been looking alot for new people to teach. We had a cool experience this week with our investigator Ramona that we mentioned before. We went back and taught her again and she told us that she did what she asked and prayed about our message and she said that she was able to get an answer to know that it was true. She said that she now knows what she needs to do….it was super cool! The only problem now is that she has been receiving alot of persecution from her family and so she has doubts but we are trying to help her have the faith sufficient to act upon her answer, so hopefully that will go well this week!

Other than that, it`s been good. Today, I`m actually writing you guys from Encarnacion in Paraguay….It`s then end of transfers and my companion Hermana Cardenas is going home tomorrow! Yep, all the way back to Mexico…it`s crazy how time sure flys. We took the 4 and a half hour bus ride to Posadas on Sunday and have been in the office this morning for her last interview…I sure will miss her:) But it was good and our mission president gave us permission to cross over into Paraguay to buy some souvenirs that she wanted and I`m just super happy to be in one of my old areas again….although I had to promise not to visit any members in order to cross, but that`s ok…haha, it just feels good to be back. I love Paraguay so much.

And, as for my new companion her name is Hermana Rubilar and she`s from Chile and is pretty new in the mission. I`ll get to meet her this wednesday for transfers but until then I`m going to do divisions with the sisters in Posadas which should be lots of fun. Other than that I`ll be letting you all know how this next week goes. I`m excited to see all of the fun miracles that we should be having over the next six weeks….my last transfer!

Choe,

Hermana Marvian

Ups and Downs

Monday, April 11, 2016

Family and Friends,

Have any of you seen Tangled? Remember that part when she leaves her tower for the first time and there is that scene where one second she is super excited to be free, then the next second she was breaking down, and then she was super happy again, that constant change? Yep, that was kind of this week. It was pretty good and we`ve had alot of cool experiences this week, but it`s also been a bit tough…lot`s of ups and downs and constant change as my example above….I think the mission is just like that in general.
However, the best part this week is that we`ve been working with a couple of really cool people that are starting to progress. We are working with a single mom named Alejandra who is super awesome. She told us that she feels strongly the need to start following God and she is looking for a church to join. So, this week we`ve been teaching her and have been able to explain the restoration and talk alot about the importance of the family and also a bit about baptisim and it`s been super cool. She`s promised to come to church this next week so hopefully that will go well and hopefully she will be able to get an answer to her prayers this week as well to know if the words that we have spoken are true.
Also, we have another lady named Ramona that we have been working with. I`m not sure if I mentioned her before but we started working with her awhile ago and have been trying to work with her. We went over to teach her this week and have found out that she`s really been through alot of pretty hard stuff in her life, especailly with alot of death in her family and other problems. She also told us that she likes listening to our message but that she has no intention of changing her religion because one she`s been Catholic her whole life and two she feels like going to church isn`t necessary and believes that we should just be able to worship God on our own……So, we prayed alot that we would really know how to help her and as we began to teach her it was so awesome. We talked alot about baptisim and the need for priesthood authority and how we believed that as a church we have that authority. We also explained alot of the great reasons for having a church(which is talked about alot in a great conference talk given last October) and we talked alot about a need to follow him….But the coolest part was how as we began to talk and teach with the spirit she changed alot, she began to talk less and listen alot more and in the end she told us that she really wants to believe in our words and even mentioned about maybe coming to church with us and we also challenged her to pray about it and she promised that she would. Wow, it is so cool to see how the spirit works on people. There is nothing so cool as seeing how the spirit works on people and to see how people change as we teach them the truths of the gospel and bare testimony of those things!
Really, it`s so cool to be in the mission and see and feel of the love that God has for us. If you are wondering whether God loves you or not, try studying Romans 8 in the new testiment. I was reading that this week and it was so cool. Really God loves us soooo much that he gave his only begotten son and watched as he was tortured, killed, and then reserected so that we might have a chance to return to Him. God`s love is so great for us that he was willing to watch his perfect son suffer so that we could be made free if we would repent. Wow, how great are the blessings of our Heavenly Father.
Hermana Marvian
I had to take this cool picture with this huge cool bible in the middle of town….kind of interesting.
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Here is a picture of all of us in our district in Montecarlo. Left: Me, Hermana Huanca(Peru), Elder Guagua(Bolivia), Elder Hudson(Utah), Elder Choque(Argentina), Elder Berrìos(Chile), Hermana Cardenas(Mexico), and Hermana Johnson(Idaho).

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