Sunday, February 23, 2014

True Change

Dearest family and friends,

Thank you for the news, the happy, the sad, the unexpected. I am delighted to know I have a new little cousin named CALVIN! Oh Kate and Brett, my sweetest delighted words of Congratulations. I can't wait to cuddle that new little baby! And my sweet friend Cami Fox for her wedding announcement! And good luck with the new job, Papa San!

I want to start today with my study on Humility if you'll permit me. Preach My Gospel, Christlike Attributes, under Humility.

Paragraph #1--It lists some important elements of humility here.
1-Submit to God's will
2-Give the Honor to God
4-Acknowledge that I need God's Help
5-Trust in God
6-Acknowlege God, His power, & Mercy
7-Confidence to do God's Will
8-Trust God's Servants
10-Hard Work
11-Serve Selflessly.

Paragraph #2
Elements of a Prideful Person:
1- Greater trust in oneself than in God & His servants
2-Put the things of the world above the things of God
3--Prideful people presume they are better than other people.
4--Give themselves the glory.

It's so important to remember that pride  was the downfall of Satan. All of the elements above listed under pride were exactly what got him kicked out of Heaven. On the other hand, let's look at the elements of humility. Who was our perfect example in demonstrating these attributes? The SAVIOR.

Some thoughts I have sketched in the margin of my PMG-
-Insecurities can be pride too (because we trust too much in ourselves and too little in God and the Atonement of Christ)
-Humility is knowing your relationship with God
-If you're filled with love, your scars and wounds heal up.
-Humility is a choice--not an absence of Pride. A conscious effort to recognize God's hand and his gifts to us.
-Evaluate your intentions.

One of my best examples in life of Humility is my Brother, Tyler. Tyler, you are a hard worker. you have worked hard in our home since the time you were little, helping Dad clean out the Garage, mow the lawn, help frame the basement, etc. You often spent whole Saturdays at Dad's side, laboring alongside him. Your interest for how things work even led you to a choice experience to operate Brother Larson's tractor-claw-machine (don't make fun because I can't remember what it's called) to help dig a hole for the trampoline in the Gummow's yard. Not to mention your hard work on your films. but through all of this I don't ever remember you bragging about any of your work to anybody, even though your work is incredible! You are a humble, hard worker. You are obedient to what Mom / Dad ask and do your best to follow their instructions when they give you an assignment. You SERVE SELFLESLY. I have seen you befriend so many young men in our ward when they were knew, and you brought with you many of your other friends to help them and become their buddies as well. you are a humble server. This attribute will help you and bless you throughout your life, but especially in the mission field. You will be an edifying, humble rock to your companions and the investigators and members you meet.

Scriptrures on Humility: Mosiah 4:1. Humility leads us to pray.
Mosiah 4:12  What blessings do we receive from Humility?
Alma 5:27  Humility, as we read here, is kind of a BIG DEAL. Why? What do we lose when we are prideful?
Alma 26:12  Give the Credit to Father.
Matthew 26:39  Christ's ultimate act of Humility was the Atonement.
2 Tim 3:1-5  pAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO VS. 2. These verses describe those who are prideful.
1 Nephi 15:7-11  We have to be humble in order to gain a testimony.

It has been an awesome week, to say the least. Soledad and her sons Giovanni and Stefano told us on Monday when we invited them to baptism that 1 March was way too far away, and that Sole wanted to be baptized on February 22nd because its her birthday and if she waits till March 1st, she's afraid there won't be room for her in the font for her tummy so huge and swollen with twins. She's due in early may but I wouldn't be surprised if they're a little premature because they're twins, like Ty and Jordan were born early. She is such a doll, with three young sons of 11, 9, and 4. It was quite the adventure to teach all of them all of the rest of the mission lessons this week, but they are so willing and so desirous to be baptized. Stefano and Giovanni were so well behaved and listened so well. They are half way through 1 Nephi in their own personal reading, and I am so delighted to know them and see their progress. I love them so much, they had their interviews this past Saturday and they will indeed be baptized February 22nd. Sole dropped Coffee without a problem and agreed to keep the law of tithing even though she's a struggling Single Mom. I just wish you could meet these people, they are such examples of faith. And it tickles me pink to teach a family, at last, in my mission!

Gabriel also has progressed by leaps and bounds and will also be getting baptized this Saturday teh 22nd. He's been kind of abandoned by his mother and his Dad died several years back. He has had a rough life and one of the members brought him into their home, that's how we found him--a reference from this family. He is a character to say the least, punk all around, but I love him with a sisterly love. His life will be so blessed in the gospel, he has dropped all addictive habits all together, and even sings the hymns on Sunday at church. He's developed a crush on a recent convert of 27, and when we invited her to a lesson, he all but fainted when he saw that we had invited her.

I am elated with joy to see these people growing and changing, and this Saturday these 4 will be entering the waters of Baptism. OH! It's a joy that comes from seeing our brothers and Sisters come to know the savior and the true changes that come from knowing him and becoming like him.

Humberto is still progressing but he didn't come to his baptismal interview. He was working and has been putting work before coming to church now, he has taken up several jobs on Sundays so that he can collect money to buy a house so that he can live with his young daughters again. They're in a bad situation living with the Mother and he wants so much for them to live with him. We just want him to See that when he puts God first, everything--including finances--will fall into place. It always works that way. When we pay our tithing, when we go to church, when we give our lives to God--He helps us obtain our righteous desires. We're still working with him and praying our hearts out to know what we can offer to help him progress.

All for now, Amor del centro sincero de mi corazoncito, saludos brillantes como las estrellas, y amor hasta la luna y un abrazo como el sol. love you forever,
Mikayla Reneela
Hermana Boren

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fire in Our Hearts

Hello My Family,

Another week of adventure in Paraná. I wish you could be here, truly. It's a city always moving, always bustling, and full of Jungle. There's nowhere like it. I love it here and have so much to tell you!

Firstly, let me tell a miracle I missed writing last week. One of those moments when you just know God is watching over you! When I first rode to paraná and got off the bus, I walked off the double decker bus and hugged my new companion and Hermana Telfer (yep! My companion from the MTC who was in trio with me and Hermana Alicea), and then a hug to Hermana Haynes. I shook Elder Vergara's Hand (he's my zone leader now! I could have hugged him too, my Chilean District Leader from Venado Tuerto, but I didn't don't worry), And then Elder Adair (who turns out to be Mrs. Dole's nephew, she was my 1st grade teacher!). And then I turned to shake whom I thought was another Elder's hand, when to my surprise, before me stood Mario B. I'm pretty sure I gasped like a fish gasps for water when it's caught above surface. I beamed my widest grin and exclaimed in absolute surprise, "MARIO?!?!?!" And he smiled his mischevious smile and explained that he had asked the Elders in VT where Elder Vergara had gone to, and packed up shop and moved on over to Paraná only a few days before. And when he found out I was coming too, He accompanied them to the terminal to greet me. I was so overcome with surprise and delight and so many wonderful memories from His Miracle Baptism in September that came flooding back to my memory. I scurried to one of my suitcases and pulled out a tie--the black one with green stripes--that my family sent me. And I gave it to him. And we took a picture. It was one of those tender, FLASH photo moments of absolute, unfeigned surprise and delight I will never forget. It was so good to see my recent convert from those miracle days of Venado Tuerto once again. God sure loves me.

MY COMPANION IS SO AWESOME! I wish I could put her to words. I love Hermana Diorio so much! She's kind of a shy cookie, but has finally started opening up and showing her goofy side and she is a HOOT. I love her sneaky side smiles, her faces of feigned desperation. Teaching with her, my goodness, I am learning SO MUCH! She knows how to help the investigators feel loved and comfortable, which helps them open up and feel comfortable to ask questions. She also knows how to listen. Somewhere in Preach MY Gospel it talks about how the investigators should talk 60% of the time and the missionaries only 40%. She knows how to do that, and I'm seeing the fruits of that kind of labor first hand. It's MIRACULOUS work here in Paraná, and I owe it to Hermana Diorio and Hermana Aragón before me and the LORD for all the work they've been doing together here in the 5 esquinas ward. Such a joy to see these miracles first hand and to take part in the lessons. I feel like Ammon when He faints from Happiness in the Book of Mormon.

Gabriel, our 19 year old punk investigator, but absolute ROCK in his desire to be baptized, has come to church 6 weeks in a row. He told us this week that he hasn't smoked since Tuesday and we are SO EXCITED for Him. Hermana Diorio told him "Con ese progreso puede leegar a su bautismo por 22 de Febrero" ("With this progress you can make it to your baptism on the 22nd of February") to which he responded "Yo llego donde quiero." (Basically . . ."I do what I want"). PUNK! XD  But so awesome at the same time! He's had such a hard life and I'm extremely delighted to see him growing and softening with the light of the Gospel. He has a goal to finish High School, and I have a dream of seeing him on a mission. OH. And he also starting preaching the gospel to his friends. KIND OF A BIG DEAL.

Humberto also is taking leaps and bounds. He too has dropped smoking altogether and is SO DESIROUS to enter the waters of baptism. This sweet man starts every lesson off with His testimony of the truth of this church, God's love for Him, and the changes He's seeing in His life. He is ON FIRE with the Gospel and calls us to make sure our appointments are solid, or when he can't make it. Any missionary will tell you that's a MIRACLE right there. We're praying for Him to keep his other commitments and the other commandments.

This week I had the privilege of going to a Mission Council, where we learned from President Giuliani the 4 elements of true conversion. He explained that while Obedience is the first law in heaven, it isn't the only law! Laman and Lemuel were obedient, they left Jerusalem and built the boat--but why do we love Sam and Nephi more? We should be earnestly working to be truly converted, too. The four elements are the following--
1. A desire to do good
2. No rebellion against God
3. Sharing the Gospel
4. To be filled with LOVE.

To finish, I want to share my Preach my Gospel moment for Study. I didn't get the chance to finish my Study on Patience with you last week, I got run short on time. I wanted to share who my example of Patience is, after we read the Second Paragraph of Patience in Preach my Gospel. Austin James, my oldest younger brother, is my example of Patience. I have been quite the older sister and some times too much of a boss in my lifetime, but Austin has loved me and been patient with me just the same. AJ, you helped me get Jackie dog ready in the mornings when I was running particularly late getting ready for the day before school, you helped me calm down after my one fender-bender and you were the only person with me (remember when you told me to call Dad first, not to call Mom because you didn't want her to worry?), you did the Dishes for me one Sunday when the Relief Society leadership meetings ran a little long in the Single's ward  and I got home later than usual to do them. I know you may not remember doing that act of service, but I sure do. I remember when you patiently taught the little guys at the kid's camp with me, and they LOVED you. You patiently played with them, prepared the snacks and crafts by my side. You even patiently agreed to put on a costume for mad scientist day, and dressed up to be my Egore. I love you for that, J bird. Despite my moments being bossy or and olderly sister, you have patiently kept loving me just the same. Thank you for that Christlike attribute I so admire and love in you. Keep it up!

Scriptures: Alma 26:27. If we are patient and keep on keeping on, God will give us Success.
Mosiah 24: 9-16. Prayer helps us receive the patience we need.
Alma 17: 10-11. What will God help us become if we are patient?
Romans 5:3-5 Patience in tribulations allows us a greater ability to LOVE.
Romans 5:8-11 Christ's patience with us & His love for us.

Next week I will continue with the next Christlike attribute, Humility.

I love you! Never forget that! Know that we are burning bright with the Fire of the Gospel in our Hearts. I love being a missionary. Dearest Brothers of mine--Austin, Tyler, Jordan, Corey-- NEVER lose sight of serving a mission. We give a moment to God here in the field, and he in turn gives us our Life.

Love, forever, your Sister Boren