Thursday, March 26, 2015

Because He Lives!

This last week another one of Heavenly Father's precious children entered the waters of baptism and his name is Chris!  Last transfer Sister Chayama got a voice mail from Christ telling her that he had gotten a call from us and was calling us back.  The funny fact is that Sister Chayama had never called Chris before.  Well,l he agreed to start learning more about the gospel from us and a month later he was baptized!  Chris is from Mississippi and so we never knew what he looked like, but because we could feel Heavenly Father's love for him as we talked over the phone, we were able to truly know who he was.  It was exciting when he sent us his pictures from the baptism!

    Temple Square gets more and more beautiful every single day!  The flowers smell very refreshing, the birds are chirping, the weather is warm and gorgeous, and to top it all off, the Temple radiates the light of Christ.  General Conference is next week and I am very excited to be here at this time!  As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we believe that the same exact church that Jesus Christ established when He came to the earth still exists today.   We believe there is a living day prophet for the whole world, like Moses and Abraham.  Today, our prophet is Thomas S. Monson.  General Conference occurs ever six months and it is the meeting that the prophet and the apostles speak to us.  They give us council and direction that God has given them.

    Easter is also approaching!  The church has made a new video for Easter.  The message is all centered on the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Because He lives). I invite each of you to watch this video and share it on your social media with an uplifting message as to why you are grateful for the Atonement or Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Had Jesus Christ not been resurrected from the dead, we would never have the opportunity to have eternal happiness.  I love my Savior and my Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  All of my pain,my weaknesses and my shortcomings would never be erased had He not sacrificed himself for me.  I know that He died and was risen!  I know that He lives!  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Developing a Humble Heart

There is so much to be learned in this life and it is really important we pay attention to the simple things so we can learn the greater lessons in life. This past week Sister Hampton has been having stomach aches and head aches on and off throughout the day. Sunday, after church, we needed to come home so she could rest and hopefully get better. Well on our way home, as we crossed the street an elderly couple was coming from the opposite direction and I said hello to them. They both responded with a warm smile and hello. Then the lady said "Don't you know how to talk?" Sister Hampton and I looked at each other confused. She stopped Sister Hampton and said, "I said hello to you." Sister Hampton didn't notice but when I looked back I saw the lady shake her head at her husband. I could not believe what this lady had just done to Sister Hampton! Sister Hampton was very ill and wasn't paying attention because she was in pain and this lady was chastising her because she didn't hear her say hello?

 As we continued to walk the question came to my mind, 'How often do I criticize someone else without knowing their situation?' My answer? Too many times to count. I realized that although I did not agree with what this lady had said, I was guilty of this myself. I learned that it can be very easy to be quick to criticize, but it can be difficult to turn around and sincerely love as the Savior did. Many times throughout our lives we blame others or judge them when life doesn't go our way or when we disagree with others' choices, but as we strive to follow the Savior's example of humility, we will be able to see everyone as precious children of God who are loved and who we can love. In the Book of Mormon it says, Yea, and many did preach with exceedingly great power and authority, unto the bringing down many of them into the depths of humility, to be the humble followers of God and the Lamb (Heleman 6:5).

I invite each of you to serve one person who has offended or hurt you. You could send them a text asking how their day is going, or write them a letter telling them why you appreciate them, or pray for them to overcome a trial they are facing. Whatever it is you decide to do, serve them with sincere love and care. If you aren't sure who to serve, pray to God and ask for His help. I promise you that as you serve this person with love and humility, you will be happier and a weight will be lifted off of your shoulders.
I know humility brings eternal happiness. I am not perfect at being humble and never will be, but I know through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I can learn to love everyone! I have a strong testimony of trials and that they are a blessing from heaven. Without trials I would not be able to grow a stronger relationship with my Savior and Heavenly Father. I know that the Book of Mormon brings the peace I seek in times of darkness and confusion. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Sister Aquino

Companionship Unity

Happy St. Patrick's Day! (And yes, my shirt really IS green;-) )
Explore Day! Humanitarian Center

On exchanges with Sister Suarez

Zone Conference
P-day! Whole wheat Krusteaz muffins! YUM!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Savior's Love Is a Perfect Love

On Sunday I went to "Music and the Spoken Word."  When you are companions with a departing sister you get to sit on the bottom floor closer to the front.  It was a phenomenal performance!  They had special guests.  I don't remember the name of the group, but they were a men's A'capella group and they were really talented!  The Spirit in that program was very enjoyable and heart warming. 

We now have a recent convert in Liberia as of Sunday!  We have been teaching him for a few months now and he had been waiting for quite some time before we taught him.  Because of the Ebola virus, there are no missionaries in his area that could teach him so we were his missionaries.  He has such a strong testimony and love for Heavenly Father.  He taught me the importance of the principle, "endure to the end."  Even though he was unable to be baptized for a long time he still stayed faithful and patient, and continuing to share the gospel with others so that they could be blessed.

Sister Chayama left Wednesday to go back home to Japan.  I have been very blessed to have her this past transfer.  She taught me how to be patient and the importance of being open with your companion, even if it is the "littlest thing" that bothers you.  I know that we were able to be happy and enjoy the work so much more because we were always open with each other.  We were always laughing and joking around.  We were always happy!  Tuesday night I had the opportunity to meet Sister Chayama's parents and what a treat that was!  They were adorable and very sweet!  I am grateful to their sacrifice for sending their daughter on a mission.  I absolutely do not like goodbyes, but I know that I will have more opportunities to make new friends and have more wonderful experiences. 

I have been asked to be a "mother"(a trainer) for the next two transfers.  I am really looking forward to learning from Sister Hampton.  Sister Hampton is from Maryland.  I know that she has the Spirit of Jesus Christ with her.  I can see how much Heavenly Father loves her.  She will continue to be an amazing missionary not because of anything I have done but because she loves the Lord.
My "daughter" Sister Hampton

"And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love;  wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation." Moroni 8:17.  Now that I am a trainer I have been constantly thinking back to the experiences I have had with my past two companions and especially with my trainer, Sister Palmer.  Everything that Sister Palmer did for me was because she loved me.  She desired to help me continue to move forward towards my eternal salvation.  I now have the opportunity to serve another sister and and pass on those same blessings.  As I meet with all different types of people on Temple Square I experience opportunities to love these people as the Savior does and see them as individuals and precious children of our loving Heavenly Father.  I hope that I can have this feeling for the rest of my life.  I challenge each of you this week to serve every single person you come in contact with.  You could simply give them a smile or you could make them a meal or write them a letter.  Anything that is showing sincere love is Christlike love.  Pray to have these experiences and then see how you are answered.  I promise you that it will be very rewarding and you will be able to see miracles in others' lives.

The love of the Savior is real.  The Saviors' love is testimony to me that Heavenly Father knows me personally.  The companionship of the Spirit is something I hope everyone will have because it such a peaceful and desired feeling.  I know that the Spirit will never mislead me.  He will always protect and warn and teach me so my testimony will be safe.  I know that the Spirit loves me because He has always helped me to keep my covenants with God.  I know that this missionary work I am doing right now is the work of salvation; the greatest work that could ever be done.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love you all!
Sister Aquino
Lunch at the COB (Church Office Building)

My District

East 1 Zone-Beehive House
East 1 Zone

Last day in the Beehive house

On exchanges with Sister Haight

Good-bye, Sister Menken! :-(

Good-bye, Sister Richardson! :-(

Good-bye, Sister Ma! :-(

Good-bye, Sister Chau! :-(

Good-bye, Sister Garcia! :-(
Andy was here for work and came to visit again!