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