Hermana Abigail Valenta

Monday, March 20, 2017

Letter 20 Mesa, Arizona March 20, 2017

Hi Everyone!

This week has been pretty good! Sister Anderson and I have been finding a lot of new people to teach! We have literally had a few people walk up to US and ask us if they can be taught the Gospel! It is a pretty cool thing to experience 

We have a baptism this Saturday! Her name is Natalia, and she is 9 years old! She has been adopted by a family who are LDS, and she has been going to church with them for the past 6 months. We have loved getting to know Natalia as we teach her the lessons of the Gospel. We are so excited for her to grow, learn and understand as time goes on. We also will be having another baptism on April 8th!!! We have been teaching a boy named Mikey for a bit now. He is 11 years old, and the son of a woman who is LDS. He and his mom agreed to having him be baptized!!!!

We have been teaching a Vietnamese man named So for a while now too! He doesn't speak very much English at all. So, our lessons are pretty interesting! But, despite the language barrier, he has a desire to learn more. He has been reading the Book of Mormon every night, and also praying! We are hoping to find someone who can translate into Vietnamese haha! So, if any of you out there know someone, PLEASE LET ME KNOW haha! 

This is us with Mikey after one of our lessons! 
(His little sister didn't want to show her face)

Sister Anderson and I hitting the streets!

The sunsets here in AZ have never been prettier! 

It has been in the 90's these past 2 weeks, and it is only March!!! So crazy! The summer here miiiiiight be the end of me, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see haha. 

I just want you all to know of my love for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Through Him, all wounds - physical, mental, emotional - can be healed. As we lay down our burdens at the feet of the Great Physician, all can and will be made right - but only if we let Him help us. 

I love you all so much. Thanks for all of your support and prayers. 
-Hermana Abigail Valenta

Questions From Mom
What the best thing that happened this week?
We put another person on date for April 8th!

What are you studying and learning about?
I am studying a lot about the Atonement with Easter coming up. I have learned that the Atonement is seriously the most important event in all of the history of the world. Without the Atonement, we wouldn't be able to get back to Heavenly Father, so there would be no reason for this life. The Atonement can heal anything and everything, if you let it.

Do you know that I love you?
I sure do! Love ya mama! :)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Letter 19 Mesa, Arizona March 13, 2017

Hey Everyone!

This has been a pretty good week! Our area has been a pretty dry one for some time now, so we have been in the process of rebuilding and reconstructing the whole area haha! It has actually been pretty fun though! We have been finding a lot of new investigators! We hope to be able to continue finding even more, and helping others to come unto Christ!

It has been heating up here in Arizona! The past 2 days, it has hit above 90! It's only March! Talk about hot! But we have been blessed with a car, so we don't have to be outside as much as others.

We are teaching a young girl who has been living with a very active family. Her name is Natalia! She is 9 years old! So far, the plan is for her to be baptized on April 8th! So exciting! Her older sister, Elisa wants to be a missionary so bad, so we let her borrow our tags during the lesson! She is so awesome!

Only in Arizona would you find this sign haha! Our only question is how did it get away from you so fast to the point you couldn't find it? 🐢 So funny!

Also, the mission had to replace our car..... sooooo, we are now the owners of a new mom van... we're not too sure how to feel about that hahahaha!

I can't wait to report more next week on how our investigators are progressing! 
I love you all! Thanks for your prayers!!!

Hermana Abigail Valenta

Abigail has been out for 6 months today!

Abigail learning to sew! 
This picture was sent to me by someone in Abigail's ward! 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Letter 18 Mesa, Arizona March 6, 2017 TRANSFERS!

Hi Everyone!

Well, this week has brought on a whirlwind of changes! Our mission recently had a lot of English sisters go home from transfers! There were so many sisters lost, that there aren't enough English speaking sisters to cover all the bases. So, they took a lot of Spanish missionaries and moved them to English areas for a while, just until they can rebuild the English areas. So I have actually been moved to an English area.

We cover 2 English speaking wards in Gilbert. It has been really interesting because I have not taught a lesson in English before! So, when speaking in English to the ward members, and investigators, everyone thought I was from another country learning English! Hahaha it was a little embarrassing! But being in English work has been fun! It is definitely different than Spanish, but it is great!

I love you all so much! 
Hermana Abigail Valenta

My last day in Spanish, Sister Irizarry and I got stuck in a downpour! 
It was raining soooo hard!

 Said goodbye to Luis!

This is my new companion, Sister Anderson! She is sooooo sweet! 
This is her last transfer. She is so hard working! 
She is also 4'11" so it's a little funny that we're paired 
together since I am 5'8 1/2" but it's all good!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Letter 17 Mesa, Arizona February 27, 2017

Hi everyone!

This week has been such a whirlwind, but it has all paid off! My companion Sister Irizarry has been sick with the flu for the past 5 days! The poor girl couldn't eat anything for those whole 5 days! So sad :( BUT, she is recovering and feeling much better now! I wish I had a lot to share this week, but with being inside, there was just a bunch of studying haha!

But, yesterday (Sunday) our investigator Luis was baptized! Luis is only 12! He has been so excited for his baptism since the day we talked about it! A youth named Daniel baptized him! It was so cool! The second Luis came out of the water, he was smiling so big! After he changed and sat down, I came up to talk to him. I asked him how he felt, and he said, "I am so happy, Sister Valenta! All my sins are gone, and I am so clean! I feel like I want to scream - but in a good way! I want everyone to feel like this!" My eyes watered. It was so amazing to see his happiness radiating from him. His parents are so excited for him, and they said they can't wait until they are baptized too! So exciting!

Well, transfers are this Wednesday, so we're excited to see what happens! 
I love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Abigail Valenta

 Me, a youth Jason, Daniel, Luis, Sister Irizarry

Me, Sister Irizarry, Luis and Daniel

Me, Sister Irizarry, Elder Madriaga, Elder Inchin. Elder Madriaga finished his mission today, and is on his way home to the Philippines!

 We ate cactus again the other day!

Questions From Mom

Did you have a baptism on Saturday? Tell us all about it!
It was changed to this last Sunday! It was so amazing! Luis was soooooo happy, and he couldn't stop smiling! It was so good to see him so excited. His little brother keeps asking when he can get baptized too!

Did you get the Valenta’s Day (the Valenta name for Valentine's Day) box we sent?

I did! Thank you so so so much! We haven't really been able to eat much of it yet, because Sister Irizarry has been sick with the flu for the past 5 days, so chocolate isn't high on the list of desires for her right now. But, maybe this next week!

What is one of the things you have learned while being on your mission?
I have learned to stay positive in every situation. It is easy to get down and sad out here in the mission, but it is also easy to choose to stay happy. Happiness is a choice, and it's one that I have learned to make every day!

What was your best experience of the week?
Because we have been in most of the week due to Sister Irizarry having the flu, we weren't able to talk to too many people. But, Luis' baptism was a really amazing thing to watch. A lot of obstacles popped up on the days leading up to the baptism, but it was so cool to watch the Lord fix them all!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Letter 16 Mesa, Arizona February 20, 2017

Hey everyone! 

The weeks out here in Arizona are zooming by! I have loved my time out here so far, and I am looking forward to the rest of it! This week, I got to have a really cool experience. We did exchanges for a day, so my companion, Sister Irizarry went to a different area, and an English speaking Sister came with me to Mesa. I was so nervous because I had never led the area before, and Spanish by myself is a little scary haha! But, as I focused more on the Spirit instead of my imperfections of Spanish, I was able to speak with power and with clarity! It was so amazing to watch! We were able to find some new investigators as well! So cool! 

This week, we have been preparing Luis Gonzalez Jr. (one of the sons in the Gonzalez Family) to be baptized this Saturday! It surprises me how much I learn every day from investigators. Luis is so ready to be baptized! When we asked him why he wanted to be baptized in this specific church, he said: "Because I feel in my heart that it is good, and I know this church is true." 
AHHHH it was so cool! We are so excited for him!

In other news, my brother Andrew was passing through Arizona and visited my Uncle, and my Mission President gave me permission to see them!
I was so happy to see them! I love them so much!! ❤ 

Anyway, the work is progressing here in Mesa! I am so excited to see what the Lord has planned for this area!

I hope you all are doing well! Remember to read your scriptures every night, and pray fervently like your life depends on it - because it kinda does!

I love you all!

-Hermana Abigail Valenta

Monday, February 13, 2017

Letter 15 Mesa, Arizona February 13, 2017

Hi everyone!

I am kind of limited on my writing time this week, so I'll make it fast!
This week has been a great one! We took our investigator family, the Gonzalez family, to the Mesa Temple grounds! We showed them all around the visitor's center, and walked the grounds with them. The day could not have gone better! They felt the Spirit so strong as they learned how their family can become eternal through the Temple. By the end of our visit, the mom, dad and kids were all crying, and hugging us. They kept thanking us for teaching them the truth about their worth to Heavenly Father. It was seriously so touching!

Something I heard this morning was really inspiring. I was in a physical therapy office when I heard this. This woman was nailing her exercises, and a man asked her how she has the energy and the attitude to keep going. And she said back, "my advice is to keep going forward, not backward." The Spirit testified of that simple truth to me. As long as we continue in patience and keep moving toward God, we can't fail. Don't turn back. Don't go backwards.

I love you all! Thanks for all you do!

The Gonzalez Family at the Mesa Temple

Abigail with Sister Bateman 

Abigail with her companion, Hermana Irizarry

Monday, February 6, 2017

Letter 14 Mesa, AZ February 6. 2017

Hi Everyone!

This week has gone by so fast! I have been out for almost 5 months now! So crazy to think about how fast the time goes. I never want my time as a missionary to end.

I don't have much to report this week, because a lot of crazy things happened, and so we weren't able to teach a lot. BUT, our investigator family, the González's came to church for the 3rd time! They are falling in love with the Gospel, and it is so fun to watch.

We were actually teaching the Gonzalez Family on Saturday, and during the lesson, one of the daughters asked if she had to be baptized again if she wanted to join the church. We explained that she would have to be baptized by the proper authority of God. She was a little upset, and said she's already been baptized, so she doesn't want to do it again. Then, her dad (who is also an investigator) said to her,  "No! Do you not understand? After the death of Jesus Christ, the proper authority of God was taken off the earth! But, that authority to baptize and stuff has been restored by a prophet of God named José Smith! You need to be baptized by the proper authority of God!"

I WAS SPEECHLESS. Like, he was spouting off straight up Preach My Gospel! (a publication missionaries teach from) My eyes actually watered because I was so impressed and happy! But, it was a different kind of happy. It was a happiness that only comes from the Spirit. It was such an incredible experience to watch someone who knew nothing 3 weeks ago, testify of the Restoration. I am so proud of our investigators, and I know the Lord is too! The Gonzalez Family is praying about being baptized on the 18th of February. So, we are hoping they receive an answer soon! We're so excited!

I love you all! 

Till next week,
Hermana Abigail Valenta

These awesome missionaries.... :D