Saturday, August 29, 2015

Live the Gospel and Christ Will Change Your Heart


I spent a lot of time reading letters I never had the chance to read and just emailing you guys back and forth, so I don't have very much time to write this week. Which is seriously a bummer. I'll write an extra good letter next week (:

First of all, the temple is amazinggggg. There is sooooo much power there. I really really REALLY want to go to the temple ASAP when it opens. But I can't wish away the open house, because it really is such a special opportunity we have to teach our investigators! You really can feel something special there. I've been on 2 tours and each time I've walked into the Celestial room I've gotten the most amazing feeling of peace and love and I just feel like God is there. It's pretty crazy how strong the spirit is because it's not even dedicated! But really, the temple is so special. 

Yesterday I taught the Word of Wisdom to English family who we LOVE and is progressing so well! It was my first time teaching it in the field. And I was a little nervous. It's just a commandment that some people struggle with and so I wasn't sure how they would take it. But really, they were so receptive and willing to follow it. The mom even told us that she had known a bit about the Word of Wisdom before we taught it to them and so she had stopped drinking coffee. Like, what??? When you are a missionary you can't even dream of a response better than that. They have so much faith. And I think that that is why they are doing so well. Sometimes missionaries question the rules and members question the commandments, but really when we have faith, we tend to not question things. I feel like my faith has grown so much during my mission and I haven't felt like the rules are a burden and I feel a desire to be super obedient because I believe in what I'm doing and I feel that this is God's work.

There's a quote, I believe by Elder Packer (?) in PMG that I really like that essentially says that a study of the gospel of Jesus Christ will change behavior faster than a study of behavior will change behavoir. It's so true! When you know, believe, and live the gospel you want to change your behavoir way more than if you just know the rules and the behavoirs that you should have, but don't actually have faith and live as though you believe. It's like that conference talk from last conference, I believe, where one of the general authorities said "I can show you the dance moves, but you have to hear the music for yourself."

Don't forget to do the little things that help you to have a testimony. I love having the opportunity to really feast upon the words of Christ here, but really I had that opportunity at home, I just didn't always take it. So be better than me! 

Love you all soooo sooo much. Have a fabulous week!


Hermana Aubriana Wolferts

Here's a goofy pic of me and 2 other sisters! The one on the right is my comp, Sister Wong, and the one on the left is Hermana Lambert, who I live with! 

Since Aubriana lost her camera a few weeks ago, her District leader from the CCM, Elder Miller, contacted me and sent me some pictures that he had of her in his collection.

I'm Becoming Mexican!

          August 17, 2015

Hello all!

Life here is very exciting. Here's a short list exciting things that have happened:

1.The other day an old lady sang authentic Mexican music to us on the street. It was pretty great. They are really good at singing their music. Hymns on the other hand.... I'm not sure what it is, but they just can't sing the hymns. Yesterday we didn't have anyone to play piano for the sacrament hymn and they actually started singing the tune to the chorus for the beginning of the verse. I've never tried to sing so loud in my life. Hna Lambert and I were trying to carry the ward.

2. I'm becoming a Mexican. They have lots of hand signals. If you hold up the back of your hand to people it means "thank you," which is very different because that is not exactly nice in the states! Also, if you hold up your pointer finger and bend it a few times it means "yes." So I'm picking up those things. Also, the people here LOVE jello. We get jello all the time from members. I mean, I think jello is okay but I've never been crazy about it. But the other day I ate this jello desert that I actually thought was pretty good! I turned to my comp and was like, "is this actually really good, or am I just becoming Mexican?"

3. As previously alluded to, singing might not be a huge strength of the mexican people in general. Actually, that's not totally true. They are good at singing Mexican music, just not other things. Anyway, I've been trying to teach my Mexican comp how to sing. We play "match pitch," but sometimes it can be a little rough. I'll joke with her and be like "how can you not sing that note?!" and she will joke back and be like "the same way you can't say (insert spanish word) correctly!" It's great fun. She's awesome. 

4. The other day our sketchy metal water heater broke but I really had to take a shower. So I just took a cold bucket shower. It was really stressful because the water was so cold I would gasp every time I poured it on my head but then I would freak out because I would get it in my mouth and be trying to spit it out. We think one of the other American hermanas that came with me has a parisite. I've been really lucky and still haven't been sick, but I try to be careful because it can definitely happen. 

5. We had a meeting with a lady the other day who always says hi to us. We just wanted to see if she was interested in investigating the church. Well, she didn't totally understand what we do and she ended us asking us to give her forgiveness and she wanted to pay us money to listen to her talk about her problems and confess her sins. That was interesting. We woudn't accept the money, so she insisted on buying us juice boxes. As if we didn't already stand out enough, there we were 20 something year olds in skirts with tags saying hi to everyone while sipping juice boxes.

6. I'm working on my accent. Hna Wong says it's getting better. A few weeks ago we were at a house with no doorbell ringer thing and so we had to yell to notify them that someone was at the door. So, I yelled "buenas tardes" and Hna Wong was like "wow, that was really good" and I was like "really? (:" and she was like "No, that was terrible!" However, my accent has come a long way and is much better now. We say hi to everyone, so I'm much better at saying "buenas tardes" now. I read the Book of Mormon out loud to practice. It's pretty cool to see how my Spanish is getting better though. The scriptures are harder to understand than any other reading materials I have in Spanish and I used to not really know what I was saying when I talked out loud. However, now, I usually know what I am reading about! So that's pretty cool. 

Okay, now for a spiritual experience.

Working at the temple is so cool! At first my favorite thing was working in the video room because it is more of a memorized script about how the people need to turn off their cell phones and not take pictures and blah blah blah... Which is easier for someone who doesn't know spanish. However, now I like the reception tent more! It's so cool to see people right after they come out of the temple. They are so calm and happy and kind and touched by the spirit. It's so special.

The other day an Hermana and I were talking with a woman in the reception tent. She was telling us that she had friends and family who were members of the church and that she had met with the misisonaries and always felt good, but wasn't super motivated to be baptized right now. It was something that she would do eventually, maybe. But then she told us that after walking through the temple she wanted to be baptized, like now! She was like "Give me 10 minutes, I'll be ready to go!" The other hna (an american) and I were looking at each other like "are we understanding each other right? Is this real?" Wow it was just so powerful! And we had the opportunity to bear our testimonies about temples. Really, temples are so amazing. What a gift it is to be able to be with our families forever. There's a quote by Elder Holland in the pre temple tour video about how heaven wouldn't be heaven to him without his family. How true that is! I love you guys. 

One last experience. This one is more about how real the gift of tongues is. I was talking to a guy who had a question and he was using words I did not know. I could tel he was trying to figure out the name of something but I couldn't really get a grasp on what he was describing. Then I had the word "ordenanza" come to my mind. But I was also thinking "I really have no idea what he said, I should call over someone who actually speaks Spanish" but I just decided to say "ordenanza" and he was like "yeah, that's it!!" That was pretty cool. The spirit is greatttttttt. 

Well, I love you all so much! Thanks for all your notes! I read them all!


Hermana Aubriana Wolferts

The crazy hail storm we experienced this week!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Families Are Forever... Mexico City Temple

Wow, what a cool week this has been!

Really every week here is amazing. And I don't just say that to be positive. It really is. 

Today I had the opportunity to walk through the Mexico City temple!!! It is so beautiful!!! And the Spirit is so strong there, and it's not even dedicated yet! One of my favorite things is that there are many pictures of Christ appearing in the Americas, which has special meaning here. And being in one of the sealing rooms was amazing. Families can be together forever. I teach people that cada dia but I just felt in the temple how true that was. Really, it's such a HUGE blessing from Heavenly Father.

Spanish is.... well I don't really know. It's surprisingly hard to measure progress with learning a language. It almost feels like the more you know the more you realize you don't know a lot... but I am definitely understanding a lot more. It's always funny though because I'll feel like I understood pretty much everything and then my comp will mention something after the lesson and I'll be like "they said that?" Like yesterday we had an AMAZING lesson (with a family, who is interested!!! Families are the bomb because they understand temple blessings just a bit better than others) and my companion was like "that story about how the girl was kidnapped was crazy, huh?" And I'm just like "they said that?" There are so many words I don't know! The reason I miss things is because I don't know words like "kidnap" or things that don't come up very often. But they also aren't the most useful words to study so...

I can't believe how the time here has flown! Today is my 2 month mark. Sometimes I forget that my time as a missionary is counting down. I only have 16 months left ): I know, it's a lot but also, it's not. That realization makes me want work really hard every day.

Also, I got to see my American friends from the CCM. I really love those girls so much!! I'm excited to get to see them for the next 20ish days!

Everyday life here is exciting (: We wake up at 6:30 and try really hard to exercise. Usually exercise time consists of stretching and yoga. There was one Sunday morning where I was in bed stretching and another Hermana I live with was like "it's Sunday, we don't have to exercise." It was funny just because it's so sad. But wow, missionary work tires you out and makes you sore so stretching is my fav (: 

After that we have an hour to get ready and eat breakfast. I don't think I've mentioned this to you all, actually, but due to the water situation at our apt, we shower with a bucket and cup. We stick this sketchy iron thing in a bucket full of water and plug it in and heat the water. And then we shower with that! It's really not bad. We just don't have a sufficient amount of water available for 4 people to have a real shower. But it's nice and it's warm! But another thing is that there is neither time nor water for daily showers. We usually aim for every 3 to 4 days. Haha... baby wipes and perfume are big parts of our lives. But seriously, our apartment is beautiful! I wish I had my camera so I could share pictures! It has windows and pretty orange floors and blue tile in the bathroom. I like it (:

At 8 we start our study time. We have an hour for personal study (which just flies by, I always want more) and an hour for comp study where we plan our lessons and stuff. After that we do 12 semanas, which is the training program for new missionaries. We just practice teaching and stuff. And after that we do language study. I read the Book of Mormon out loud and Hermana Wong corrects my pronunciation. And then I take some time to study vocab and grammar. It's great fun! And at noon we are finally out of the house. We eat a HUGE meal at around 2 or 3 pm, but besides that we have lessons (usually 7-10 a day. My comp and I want 13 because the record is 12 (: ) and we try to find a bunch of people. Things never really work out the way we plan, but we feel the Spirit guide us EVERY day. We walk a lot, so that's good because they feed us a ton! The people here love this thing called mole, which is like a chocolate sauce with spices. The chocolate is pretty subtle, but it's definitely different! I like it alright though. And corn tortillas! Wow they are produced in abundance and eaten with every meal here. There are tortillarias on every corner, literally. I like the food and I've been really lucky and haven't been sick!

At 9 or 9:30 we come home. First, we plan what we are going to do the next day and give our numbers to the district leaders, then we talk and write in our journals and relax and study and pray until it's time to go to bed at 10:30. Usually planning takes like 30 or 40 minutes so relaxing time isn't super abundant, but nights are nice. In the mornings I sometimes feel apprehensive because we have some great investigators and I don't want to ruin our lessons because I can't speak Spanish, but every night I just think about how everything went better than expected (: I've always felt like that. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, but I just feel Heavenly Father's hand in my life helping things to be better than I could have imagined. It's a great blessing!

This Church is true. God loves us and has a plan for all of us. Sometimes I wish I were just speaking English because I feel such a strong urge to share the gospel but sometimes I literally don't have the words. But then I think that God loves His children here too, and they need the gospel too, and then I feel a renewed desire to really learn the language. 

Love you all!

Hermana Aubriana Wolferts

Also, one quirky thing about these computers -  because I write in English, everything is underlined in red as being incorrect. So, I can't see when things are spelled wrong. So sorry.

The following photos are from Sister Stutznegger.

On our way to the Mexico City Temple

"I Love to See the Temple"

"...Families can be together forever through Heavenly Father's Plan. I always want to be with my own family. And the Lord has shown me how I can..."

I wouldn't choose to be anywhere else or with anyone else... I love serving with these wonderful ladies!

Friday, August 7, 2015

(: What week is this? I've already lost track...


It was another GREAT week! 

One of the funniest things is how much attention I get just because I'm white! The other day someone gave me free food and said "because you are white." The people here are so giving. If you complement them on something, they will most likely give it to you! It's crazy. And it's always entertaining when people talk to me in English. They usually know very little, and just say "hi" or something and then out of habit I respond "buenas tardes" or something and then they are all like "¿¡Habla Español!? And I'm like "HAHAHA... no." No, in reality my Spanish is getting better but it's definitely a process and my strong point is most certainly the gospel vocab. One really hard thing is telling stories. I always want to really set up the first vision and tell the story and everything, but past tense is pretty difficult for me. In Spanish, there are imperfect and preterit tenses for past tense and it's tough for me to use them correctly and consistantly without talking really slow. But I'm feeling a bit better about it.

One super cool thing is I talk in my sleep IN SPANISH. I live with my comp and another companionship and they have all heard it haha. The other night I sat up and started praying in Spanish out loud. It's like I'm a missionary or something...Taking "pray always" to a whole new level. #missionaryjoke. Good times. But apparently it happens nearly every night. I'm wondering if this is a thing I've done all my life or just a mission thing?? 

One really fun thing we do is teach English class. It's the one time during the week where I feel like the tables are turned, and I'm the one who is comfortable with the language. Needless to say, it's an uplifting time of the week for me. Also, doing this service for people is great because English classes are a program by the church, and people can feel the Spirit there and they start to ask questions! Which leads to another AMAZING story...

We met this one family at English class and last night we went to see them. WOW they were so prepared!! We were really just coming to visit their son, but when we started asking them about religion and getting to know them, the mom and sister joined us. And when we started talking about how God is our loving Heavenly Father, their Dad came in. Pretty soon they were all there with their Bibles in hand, following along through the folleto, telling us how they were Catholic, but how they felt something was missing and that they felt that things had been changed by men and weren't from God. This is AMAZING when you are about to teach the restoration. I became really nervous because the Spirit was so strong and I felt that God had prepared these people and I kept praying and praying that I would be able to speak Spanish well and have the Spirit when I taught. All in all, it was an amazing lesson and easily in the top 3 most spiritual experiences of my mission. We felt really strongly to give them a date for baptism, and they accepted! So right now we are working toward Sept. 6th. The joy I felt after that lesson was indescribable, the kind of joy that only comes from doing God's work. Being a missionary is the BEST. 

Also, we have another investigator who just had his baptisimal interview and is hopefully getting baptized next week, along with his 9-year-old son. I'm so excited for him!

You all look like you are having so much fun! I miss you, but there is so much going on here and I love the work so I haven't hard a hard time with being so far. 

Have a great week!!


Hermana Aubriana Wolferts

P.S. Sad news... My camera is missing and so I haven't been able to take pictures for a couple of weeks. The good news is my Mom is able to get pictures from my Mission Mom, Sister Stutzneggar's posts on Facebook. Here are some of the recent ones, since leaving the Mexico City CCM.


All of the new Mexico City Southeast Elders and Sisters leaving the CCM on July 20, 2015
 The Elders
 Hermanas :-)

 Traveling to the Mission Home to meet President and Sister Stutznegger
 Waiting to hear words of wisdom from our beloved Mission President Stutzneggar

 Training with the Hermanas for the Mexico City Temple Open House the end of July 2015
 I love Hermana Garner!
 Hermana Jones - My companion in the Mexico City CCM
It is so great to be back together with these lovelies!