Tuesday, June 23, 2015

...bonds within the family can be eternal and peacefully joyous..." (6/22/2015)

So this is it! It's our last week in the Utah st George mission. Da
feels are real. We had a a amazing week last week though. We had zone
conference in ephraim! Super inspirational. Had an interview with
president that brought me to tears. We worked and watched the manti
pageant! Beautiful! Michelle, Caden, and Gary were baptized! Super
stressful day that was. Edwin continues to go to church. RL, Amanda's
husband got the priesthood and will be baptizing her this upcoming
weekend. Andddddddd we are getting a mini missionary today who will be
with us for 3 days. We got his crib ready. Haha. We told the kids at
the manor to haze him when he gets here. "He goin to learn today"
haha. Other than that all is well. I'm happily exhausted daily and I
wouldn't have it any other way. Gary had asked me to bear my testimony
at his baptism and in that I shared an excerpt from "The Family. a
Proclamation To The World". For those who don't know the article it
has been published by the prophets and apostles in these latter days
as Heavenly Fathers view on the family and the sacred roles a mother
and father have. Here is the excerpt!

"The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is
essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within
the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who
honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is
most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord
Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and
maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness,
respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational

I testify that the family is ordained of God as it mentions. I testify
that the value and bonds within the family can be eternal and
peacefully joyous through living the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is
no other way. I testify that a mother and father though there roles
are different are equal partners in the upbringing of Heavenly Fathers
children. What a great trust has been placed on us. Let us be inspired
and accept all the tools our God has given us to make sure we do it
His way. I love you all. Happy Father's Day!

Elder Luis Augusto Castellanos


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"May we have the courage to say as Moses did, "get thee hence satan"" (6/15/2015)

So it's the first week where we began covering all of delta. I'm just
tired :( haha it has all been worth it though. Especially for all the
change of hearts we've been witnessing. So here's some updates!

Noah was baptized Saturday! He had great support from the ward and
from his friends at the white river academy. It was one of the most
powerful baptisms I've been to. I'm grateful for Noah's example for
his friends. He will be graduating from the program in a month or so
and is eager to go home to teach his family! Along with him we have
Josh, Hunter, and Nick who will be baptized the 18th of July.

Edwin, Jocelyn, and the Flores family. New family brother Sorensen
introduced us to. Little Edwin is 11 and wants the gospel! We gave him
the first two lessons and he ate it all up. He even rode his bike to
church by himself yesterday! He has 4 adorable little sisters. His mum
also has interest in the gospel and we will start teaching her after
work schedules get worked out.

Brother Klein surprised us by telling us he was ready to make
covenants! His baptism will be this Saturday. You can imagine we were
bouncing off the walls.

Michelle Cropper and Her nephew Caden Cox will still be baptized this
Saturday as well. Our last meeting with them was a little rough but so
powerful as they shared concerns and inadequacies that they felt. We
reassured the love of their father in heaven and the power of the
atonement helping them overcome whatever feelings they may have. After
some testimony and emotions they decided to keep their date :)

Michelle Robison continues to be on track for the 27th of this month.
She has really transformed spiritually. I'm grateful for the influence
of the temple and what it did for our area.

We met a family out in Callao this last week. Mum, pop, and two little
boys. Cute little family. Part member, mum hasn't joined yet. She has
shared her desire for an eternal family though. She knows her
goal so we will do what we can to get them there.

And that's a few of the miracles we are experiencing! This week we
gave talks in sacrament. The theme was ordinances. I spoke on the
sacrament, but specifically applying the atonement through daily
repentance as preparation to partake of the sacrament on Sunday. It is
that sacred. Preparation is needed. I related to Moses' encounter with
satan. Satan tries to convince Moses that he is a son of man. Moses
understood his calling as a son of God and responded quickly with,
"get thee hence Satan". How many earthly things try to convince us of
the same? That we are not children of God but merely children of men.
How many satans are in our midst clouding our judgment making us
easily forget our divine lineage? May we have the courage to say as
Moses did, "get thee hence satan". May we receive the strength to do
so through daily repentance, a daily accountancy with the lord every
night of things we need to be forgiven for. May we prepare to partake
of those sacred emblems which are the body and blood of our eternal
savior. I love you all.


'Provo Mission?" (6/8/2015)

First and foremost, Matia got baptized! Woot! :) see the pictures!! Also, we found another adorable family! Parents and 6 kids!! We met with them this week and put them on date for the middle of July and one of the kids just yelled out yes! It was so amazing.
Second. It's true. Transfers are here and we will be both staying. Attached is a picture of a letter we also received on Saturday. Here is a brief excerpt from it.

"We will lose the following areas/stakes to the Provo Mission:

All of the Price Zone, the two Nephi stakes and the two Delta stakes.

With this transfer, the missionaries serving in those areas will become part of the Utah Provo Mission as of June 30, 2015. They will not only have a new mission, but will serve under a brand new mission president.
Yup...Elder Hernandez and I are officially part of the Utah Provo mission starting July. Say whaaaaa. I know. I cried. I had been called as a representative of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and assigned to labor in the Utah st. George mission. That's been my heart and home for 18 months now and all of a sudden it changes in a blink of an eye. After some conversation with my mission president and a lot of prayer I do however feel comforted. The Lord is preparing the next chapter of my life. I know that there are people in the Provo mission that my testimony needs to reach, and their testimony I need to hear. The work is the same, just in a different part of the vineyard. I'm also not the only one....33 other missionaries will be transferring over as well. At least I'm not alone, right? Elder Hernandez and I will also be taking over all of delta being the only set of missionaries in the area now. To put it into perspective, we were covering 3 congregations last transfer and now we cover more than 20 in two stakes. 🙀 I know. Nerve wrecking. I will have an assignment as soon as our new president come in. They won't tell me what it is though. We will see what exciting new things come to pass with this change. Blessings are waiting! I love and miss you all!

"I am a child of God, and so my needs are great." (5/1/2015)

Hello hello family! So sorry that I've been MiA the past couple of
weeks. It was Mother's Day then I was just feeling too lethargic to
write. So here are some updates!

Since the power outage occurred Maria will be baptized this weekend.
She will get confirmed the same day so she can be interviewed for a
temple recommend so she can watch the Payson temple dedication. How
cool is that!? Super cool. That's how cool. Her brother Gerardo
continues to come every Sunday. Such a great little missionary too.
He's been teaching all of his friends what he has learned. Haha we
started playing games with the kids in his apartment complex and now
they all love us. Super plus.

Jose told us he had questions about
baptism and that his desire kinda went away, but then his mum says
he's been asking her about getting baptized. So not sure where he's
going there. He might be doing it for a social status which then we
can't allow him to go through with it. The struggle is real.

Hugo we haven't seen in quite a while. We keep saying we will head to
hinckley to see him but then we get caught up or they're not home.
Last time we talked we asked his wife to be a little more supportive
with her testimony and what she expects for their family. She seemed
up for it but who knows at this point.

We continue to teach the poulsons (the ones we went to the temple
with) they are such a cute family. The older daughters Madison and
Audrey wanted to get into a summer program where they just do a lot of
fun activities so we pulled some strings and got them applications and
fed em straight to the head honcho.

We started teaching the Brooks family. Missy used to attend lessons
with us by herself but now she wants her whole family in on it. Neat
huh? We have also made it the focus to get her boys the priesthood. We
were supposed to have a lesson with them last night but it didn't work
out :( we will catch em next time!

As far as I go, everything is great! Elder Hernandez continue to have
a blast working together. This is week6 though so that might end soon.
Transfer calls this weekend! I'd be really sad to leave. So much has
happened with the families we teach.

We had testimony meeting this week due to the temple dedication next
week. My testimony was about family. Not only of the one I have at
home, but all those Individuals I meet on a daily basis. I testify
that God lives. He is the literal father of our spirits. We are his
children. Each and everyone of us are brothers and sisters. We must
embrace our identity as a son or daughter off God. We should know what
it means and how it applies to our lives. We must help all those
around us come to the same realization. The words of one of my
favorite primary songs comes to mind, and I hope it rings in yours as
you interact with those not partaking of the blessings of the gospel.
"I am a child of God, and so my needs are great. Help me to understand
His will, before it grows too late. Let us gather our family, for
their "needs are great". May we do it without fear or hesitation,
"before it grows too late" is my prayer and testimony, in the name of
Jesus Christ amen.

I love and miss you all.

Mother's Day (5/11/2015)

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there! I hope you realize the huge role you have in God's plan as not only His daughter, but as a trusted parent of His spirits. Nothing big this week after talking with my family. Hope everyone's week was full of miracles!
Also, check out this video of our zone meeting surprise!
I love you all! God Lives. We Are His Children. He Loves Us. All Things Are Done In The Wisdom Of He Who Created Us. He isn't a magician with a magic wand, but he's an omnipotent and holy being with a perfect plan.


So week one of a new transfer. Like you know I'm with elder Hernandez.
Super excited. Love that kid. We've been having a blast this week
while tearing it up in delta. It's #dabest so quick updates cuz we
don't have a lot of time today.

Gerardo was baptized Saturday. He was the cutest ever. He's the first
in his family to join. After the baptismal service we talked to his
sister and she said she was ready to start working towards her big
day. So she will be baptized may 30th if all goes well. Their mum is
soon to follow after working on some things! :)

Hugo continues to do amazingly! He could use more support from his
wife though but she is easily slipping back into activity. So we are
focused on getting her more comfortable.

The poulsons were supposed to go to the Payson temple with us Friday
but something came up so we rescheduled for next Friday. Sister
poulson shared she is really anticipating the trip because she wants
to get her family sealed. That will be a great day!

My testimony this week was on the family and the atonement. The
atonement makes the family work. It strengthens relationships and the
bond of family members. It allows pain yet inhibits growth. It urges
US To learn from one another and how to succor eachother as we seek
the Lords help as a unit. I'm so grateful for it, and I know I can be
better in applying it more. I love you all! Time is going too fast!


"Do we share in both the joys and the struggles and council with one another?" (4/27/2015)

So I don't have a lot of time to write today - have a lot to do with
transfers and a meeting we need to attend.

Transfer Call!
Elder Silva will be leaving and going to Enterprise to be in a trio
with Elder Becerra and Elder Steinback.
I will be staying in Delta and receiving Elder Hernandez!

Soooooo I'm excited :) haha

Last week was great! Met with Gerardo's parents and they agreed to let
him be baptized! &&&I they actually both sat in on the lesson with us
and asked questions. Also, Jose's mum agreed to let him be baptized so
he is praying for the end of this month. Evangelina got a new job, but
it has her busier than before. Just have to work with her to catch her
when she's free. Sister Owens in my district got her visa so she
leaves us today to go to Brazil. It was fun getting to speak to her in
Portuguese haha sister Lomiga will be heading down to my last area
with one of my daughters, sister Lopez-Hernandez. Fillmore areas are
combined and elder Mullen and elder mallet will both be staying. Elder
Howard leaves us to go to cedar city and elder Elliott is pregnant!

This transfer has been so great for growth. With every trial I faced I
reminded myself of the goal I had to have the attitude of the savior.
I had committed to always look for the lesson to be learned instead of
questioning why things happen. If it be God's will then it should be
our will. I'm grateful for my district this transfer. Through all of
our struggles and strengths we truly did edify one another. Made me
think of family back home, and how the same principle can be
applied...are we truly united in the home in a way that everything
that happens we are all involved in? Do we share in both the joys and
the struggles and council with one another? I love each of you! Til
next week!

P.s. Welcome Home Sister Peterson! I know Brazil misses you!