Monday, May 22, 2017

Letter 29 Mesa, Arizona May 22, 2017

Hi Everyone!

So, I don't have a lot of time to write today, but I have some news to share.

Two months before my mission, I had a pretty bad injury, where I managed to slip a few discs in my back. Over the last 10 months since the injury, the pain in my back has gotten progressively worse. Over the course of my mission, I have been getting treatment for my back injuries. Sadly, the injuries are only getting worse.  My Mission President and I have come to a decision to come home early for some additional treatment. I will be coming back home to Kentucky tomorrow (Tuesday). I am not sure how long my time home will be - it could be only 3 months or it could result in me not being able to come back on my mission. This has been a heartbreaking decision, but I know it is best for me right now. I have loved my mission more than I could ever express. My heart is destroyed that I will not be a missionary. But, I know the Lord's plans are bigger and better than our own. Thank you so much for all of your support, love and care for me. I am so thankful for the last 8 1/2 months I have spent here in Arizona. My heart will be here forever with these people.

I love you all! I will see you soon.

Hermana Abigail Valenta

 My Uncle Jeff came to surprise me in church!

Sister Irizarry and I were reunited for an hour last night and we got to see our recent convert Luis and his friend Noah!

Our last house dinner together :(

*Abigail's Mom and Dad here....
We know that the decision for Abigail to come home has been agonizing for her. As she said, she has loved her mission so much so this is not a decision that was made lightly. When Abigail called to tell us of the decision that she and her mission president had to come to, she had to hand the phone to her companion to have her tell us she was coming home because Abigail was crying so hard. Our hearts were breaking for her.

During the months on her mission she has been an example of Christ-like virtues. She has loved unconditionally, served faithfully, been an example to many, and touched the lives of more people that she even knows. Sister Christensen (the mission president's wife) told us that from the time Abigail arrived in Arizona she hit the ground running even though she arrived in Arizona in a cast from her upper arm to her finger tips because she broke her elbow while she was in the MTC in Mexico! She has been an awesome missionary and they love her so much. If she were any less of a missionary the mission president probably would have sent her home months ago but they have not wanted to let her go as much as Abigail hasn't wanted to go. Recently, President Christensen talked on the phone to Abigail's dad and told him how much he and his wife love Abigail and how good of a missionary she is. He said that as a mission president you wait a long time to have a missionary like Abigail and he feels a bit cheated that she has to come home but he knows that she needs to. 

We are so proud of Abigail! She has done awesome things in the time she has served in Arizona and we know that she will continue to do awesome things wherever she is! Thank you to all who have been following Abigail's mission through this blog and for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers for her! 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Letter 28 Mesa, Arizona May 15, 2015

Hi everyone!

This is been a really great week! The mission is my favorite place to be - as usual! We got to go to the Gilbert Temple on Tuesday! It was so beautiful! I had never been inside before, so it was a really great experience. We went with some members we have been working with for a bit now! It was so great to be in the House of the Lord with them! 

I just wanted to share a miracle from Thursday. We have been working with a woman named Marjory for the past few months. She has been meeting with missionaries for like a year! The lessons have never really clicked completely with her, so she doesn't have a lot of motivation to come to church or anything. On Thursday, Sister Bound and I both were looking through our area book to see who we could find. Both of us turned to each other and said we felt like we needed to go see Marjory that moment. Immediately, we drove up to Marjory's apartment, and just as we pulled up, Marjory opened her door to sit outside with her dog. We jumped out of the car and ran to her. When she saw us, she started crying! She explained, "I had just prayed for the first time in a long time that she could find comfort and peace, and then BAM here you both are!" We sat down and talked to her for a while, and testified of our Heavenly Father's love for her. We all 3 ended up in tears! The Spirit was so strong!! AND, Marjory told us that she wants to be baptized!!!!!!! AND, that she wants to go to church!!!!!!! I am so thankful that Heavenly Father led us to find Marjory that day. I know He will also lead you in your every day lives - if you let Him.

We also went on exchanges the other day, so I was with Sister Jun! We had a lot of tender mercies happen while on exchanges! We were able to make appointments with 3 different people who would never answer their doors before. So cool! We are looking forward to working with so many new people!

The Lord really does love us. I am so thankful for the time I have as a missionary to see people's lives change. I have witnessed the Spirit touching a person's heart for the first time. It is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I love helping others come closer to their Savior! 
I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day! I am truly blessed to have my beautiful mother in my life! Shout out to Momma Valenta!!! I love ya!!

Until next week everyone!!

Hermana Abigail Valenta

Me slack lining!!! 

 My district! We made barbecue today in honor of our last district P-Day

Skyping home for Mother's Day!!

My favorite dog in the world!

Sister Jun and I on exchanges!

 This is Carla who used to live in Nicholasville and then her family moved to Arizona. Carla took her mom to church on Sunday and saw Abigail's name in the ward bulletin and she went to track her down!!  So glad she did because we got this awesome picture sent to us on Mother's Day! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Letter 27 Mesa, Arizona May 8, 2017

Hi everyone!

Arizona is getting a liiiiitttle hot.. it hit 108 degrees the other day! So crazy! I didn't know it could be that hot in May..... but it's a good time though!

This week, we had an awesome miracle! We have been trying to meet with this woman Therese (pronounced Ter-ez) for the past 2 months... Our appointments with her kept falling through, and it has been crazy trying to get a hold of her. On Saturday, we stopped by out of nowhere, and she INVITED US IN! Finally! We taught her the Restoration of the Gospel, and she loved it! She agreed that she would read the BOM, and said she wants to come to church this Sunday! It was so cool to finally meet with her!

Sister Bound is seriously the best! She has become one of my best friends, and she makes missionary work so much fun! She is awesome!

The Lord is definitely guiding the work here in Arizona. It is so cool to see His Hand in my life, and all those we come in contact with. I love my mission so much. I wouldn't trade these experiences I am having here for anything! I love helping the Work progress in the Kingdom of the Lord.

ALSO, don't forget Mother's Day is this week! Do something great that shows your love for your Mom! And, do something great this week to show your love for the Lord ❤️

Love you all!!

Hermana Abigail Valenta
Sister Bound and me!!!

Sister Bound, me, Sister Blyel and Sister Jun at a local Mexican restaurant! 
The manager is a recent convert, and gave us lunch for free, 
and asked to take a picture with us! So sweet!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Letter 26 Mesa, Arizona May 1, 2017

Hi everyone!

I cant believe it is already May! The weeks and months seem to be passing so quickly. I am approaching my 8 month mark! I can't believe it! I want time to slowdown!

We have been working with a lot of less active members in the wards we cover. It has been such a blessing to be in their homes! We have made goals with almost all of them to get them back to the Temple! So exciting! They are all coming back to church, and looking forward to walking through the doors of the House of the Lord again.

Sister Bound and I continue to find new investigators! We are hoping for 2 of them to have a baptismal date here in the next few days!

This week, all of the missionaries in our district were able to help with a free car wash at the church! While people were getting their cars washed, they were offered a free tour of the church building! We as the missionaries were assigned to give everyone the tour of the building. There were 3 people who walked into the building who only spoke Spanish. Funny thing is, I am the only Spanish missionary in our district! So, I got to give the tour of the church by myself! I was really nervous at first, because I hasn't spoken Spanish in so long.
But, we were all able to feel the Spirit, especially as we walked into the chapel. It was so cool! The church is true in English, AND Spanish!

I have been reflecting a lot on the Earthly ministry of Christ. I am reading the New Testament and focusing on His life, and how He treated others. It has been an amazing experience to read the words of our Advocate, and how He genuinely loved everyone He came across. I have been inspired by Him, and I have challenged myself to offer kindness and help to all I have met. I have felt myself become happier, and enjoy my time in Arizona so much more. I have been able to feel of the Spirit more, and to feel of the peace that is offered by and through His Atonement. I am so grateful for the perfect example that Christ continues to show! I challenge you each to find how you can serve those around you this week!

I love you all so much! I am thankful for all the support you each have given me. I hope I can pay it forward.

Love you! Until next week!
Hermana Abigail Valenta

We played mini golf for our district activity today!

Afterward we went to a Korean restaurant! Super fun!