Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Writing to Hermana Abram

For any of you interested in writing to Hermana Abram, she would love you hear from you.  

The two best ways to reach here are:

Postal Service (new address):
1400 Mall of Georgia Blvd Apt #214
Burford, GA  30519

Email:  madeline.abram@myldsmail.net


Monday, November 9, 2015

Adieu to Roswell

Hello everyone!

Guess what! My first transfer has arrived! I will be leaving the Cumorah branch and I am heading to the Lanier Branch in Buford! I am excited, sad, scared, and prayerful. My new companion will be Hna Ray. She is from Lakewood, CO! Cool, huh? I met her a while ago. She is not a native speaker, so that will be an adventure ;) Two gringas together! Apparently the Lanier branch has a lot of really great members and it's a very beautiful area. That was Hna Martinez's (my trainer) first area, and she loves it. I'm excited. Im scared too. It's my first big change since I went to the MTC! Please keep me in your prayers!

Last night, I was released as an Sister Training Leader and I pretty much cried all night. I loved that calling. I loved it because although it was extremely challenging, it brought me extremely close to my Savior. There were times when He was the only one I could turn to. We were single STLs, so my STL companion was not often near me. My dependence upon and appreciation for the Lord grew exponentially.

SO.... Jocelin Luna was baptized yesterday!! It was such a tender mercy to be there for her baptism. We had been praying so hard for a baptism and working as hard as we knew how. I have been working so hard with this family for the last 8 months. And yesterday I got to see them grow and take another step forward back into the church. I love them. I am so grateful I was able to stay another transfer. I have seen so many miracles and tender mercies. Even though it was THE hardest transfer of my mission, it brought the most conversion and blessings. I guess that's a lot how live is, isn't it?
(please forgive the ugly hair. It was a long day with a lot of rain) 
Another cool experience! I was on exchanges with Hna Wallis in Norcross this week! She lives with the Couch family, family friends of my parents. I got to stay in their house, but I also got to talk with them for a few minutes and we went out with their daughter to visit investigators that morning. It was amazing and so fun! I was so blessed to have them right here for so long :)

In Mission Leadership Council this week, someone mentioned something hat touched my heart. She had asked a General Authority, "Will I ever feel adequate?" He responded, "You will never feel adequate because you are always becoming." I loved that. It's okay to hunger for improvement and to desire to change. It's okay if we fall or fail. What counts is that we use the Savior's Atonement to repent and become better.
(Also I got to see my trainer again!!!) 
I'm so grateful for the many people I have met thus far on my mission. Truly, this week and this transfer I have seen incredible miracles. Sis Ayala and I finished strong this week, exceeding all our goals. When I heard I was leaving, I was able to truly tell myself that I have no regrets. Lessons learned! But no regrets. 

Hermana Abram 
Sent from my heart

 
(sisters preparation day this morning) 



(All the Spanish Hermanas in the Roswell Zone) 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Lessons From Liberty Jail

¡Feliz día de los muertos!

This week has been really awesome and I'm not sure why :) blessings of
the mission!


Halloween was this week and we were supposed to be inside after 5pm,
so we decided to leave out a bowl of candy for the tick or treaters.
But! We were smart and left the candy taped to Mormon.org cards ;)
unfortunately, not many people came to knock on the door. SO LAME. but
we had a good laugh :)

We got to go to the branch Halloween party, which was fun, but we
couldn't stay for too long because my companion was sick all week. She
had strep throat, so Sis Abram will probably be sick as well this week
:)

I have gained a super strong testimony about Joseph Smith this week. I
have heard a lot of bad opinions because we sing a song called Praise
to the Man in his memory. And I used to be a little hesitant to talk
about it, but this week, I realized that we shouldn't be apologetic
for appreciating all he did. Honestly, he sacrificed so much and gave
so much. He suffered so much and he was constantly trying to do the
Lords will. I think we sometimes are overly apologetic as members of
the church when we face questions or oppositions. But truly, I
appreciate him so much.

I was reading a talk this week from Elder Holland called "Lessons from
Liberty Jail." He addresses all that we can learn from Joseph Smiths
prison experience. He explained, "you can have sacred, revelatory,
profoundly instructive experiences with the Lord in any situation you
are in. Indeed, you can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly
instructive experiences with the Lord in the most miserable
experiences of your life....the real test of our faith and our
Christian discipleship is when things are not going smoothly. That is
when we get to see what we’re made of and how strong our commitment to
the gospel really is."

It is so true that we are tested during the most challenging points of
our life. And somehow, the Savior can carry us through it all and He
can and does support us through our trials. We are not alone, and we
will always be supported by the Lord as we follow Him and continue on
our path to discipleship.

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week, and don't forget to pray! ;)

Love, Sister Abram







Sent from my heart

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Miracles in the GNAM

Dear friends and family,

This week has been full of a lot of really spectacular miracles! I've

learned a lot and been able to see the hand of the Lord abundantly in
my life. I'll share a few of them with you:

1. Sunday morning, we received a call from Hermano Morales, who told
us that the sacrament meeting speakers cancelled last mingute, and
because the missionaries never say no, they called us to speak! I was
so excited, you guys. I have had so much on my mind recently, and I
loved the chance to speak so I was able to express some spiritual
insights I had. The miracle was being able to give the talk. It was
amazing to see the extreme difference from the assignment to talk in
May, and the assignment to talk in October. Same branch, same
responsibilities, totally different Sister Abram. I was so calm, no
anxiety. Whereas in May, I had a huge meltdown and panicked at the
idea. This time I was able to speak for 20 min in Spanish, with no
problems, and with the spirit.

2. We have been working really hard with less active members recently.
Two in particular have been wonderful to work with. Both are married
couples. We challenged them both to enter the temple in the beginning
of 2016 so they could have an eternal family. Both accepted, and we
are helping them make necessary changes to come back to church.

3. While Sis Ayala and I were knocking doors one night, we were
complaining about how we never have miracles when we knock doors like
the other missionaries have. Then we knocked on one door, and the
woman, China, happily let us in. We taught her about Joseph Smith and
the church, and then she happily accepted us back for tonight! She
said that she was waiting to go upstairs right before we came by
because she felt like she needed to do something more. Then she told
us that we were the reason why she stayed.

4. Last Monday night, we visited an investigator that we felt like we
had lost. But to our surprise, we ended up talking to her about
baptism and she happily accepted a date to be baptized. It was
wonderful and truly miraculous.

Truly, I've learned this week that the Lord is always with us. Even
when we don't feel Him. Obviously we don't see Him, but that's what
faith is: believing that He is supporting us, even when we don't feel
His support.

Estoy sumamente agradecida por este evangelio! Sé que, de verdad,

bendice a las familias porque permite que las familias sean eternas--
algo que no tenga ninguna otra iglesia. Y aunque no sepa todo, tengo
la fe que algún día, todo tendrá sentido y estaré en los brazos de mi
Salvador y de mi Padre. Tengo la fe que nuestro Señor siempre nos
apoya y siempre está pendiente de nosotros.

Con amor,
Hermana Abram

Sent from my heart

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Feliz lunes!!

This week has been full of tender mercies and miracles. I wish I could share all of them, but some are too personal, and there are so many that I will definitely forget to share all of them.  The biggest one was about our baptism. We have struggled a lot to have a baptism recently, and  someone finally committed to be baptized on November 7th. We were unbelievably excited. And then a few days later, when we asked her why she wanted to be baptized, she told us that she had actually changed her mind. And then we were heartbroken. 

So... The miracle is that a few days later, we stopped by the Luna's. Many of
you will remember that the Luna's are a very special family to me. I
have been working very hard with them. The last month, Hermana Luna
has made such a wonderful effort to set the example for daughters and
attend church every week. Now Jocelin,one of the daughters, will be
baptized on November 7th :)

This Sunday, we had 15 Less Active members at church. Three families
that we have been working with for so long. The Hernandez family, the
Luna family, and the Reyes family. Each of them have such a special
place in my heart. And I got to watch them all return to the House of
God for the day and remember Him and be comforted.

To be honest, when I was told that I would not be transferred from this area, I was extremely upset. I have been in this area for 8 months, and it becomes very challenging to continue forward without many changes. but on Sunday, I was humbled as I realized that Heavenly
Father simply wants to bless me. He blessed me to see these families begin to return to activity and compare it to when I first got here. Truly, all the time and stress and prayers and fasting and work were absolutely worth it. And in the end, staying here for (at least) 6transfers, hasn't been a sacrifice at all, but a beautiful blessing.

Another tender mercy is regarding exchanges. The Lord knows us, everyone! I am constantly in awe as I realize that every time I go on an exchange with a sister, she is facing a problem that I have
recently gone through. She is facing something challenging and needs a friend. And I can be that friend for her because I have been there before. I can testify of the Savior to her and together we can face the challenge. This gives meaning to my trials and challenges.

I realized this week that serving the Lord with your whole heart,might, mind, and strength includes letting go of results. We need to serve "with no thought of reward." This means that if you spend all day trying to share the gospel, and no one hears you, it does not mean that you failed. You don't think about that. You don't think about the results. You think about the Savior, and you have so much joy because you know He is your companion in this work. You have joy because you focus on His sacrifice and His love. And then the results don't really matter.

Love,
Hermana Abram


Sent from my heart

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

This Week in the GNAM

Hello all!


It seems like this week was very successful! We were immensely blessed with a member referral and we began teaching the whole family. We taught them The Restoration and invited them to baptism, which the mother and children accepted. But it was amazing to see that after months of praying and working to teach a family, Heavenly Father
finally put one in our path.

On Monday we were practicing how to give church tours. As we were finishing up, we saw a woman standing outside, so we opened the door for her. It turns out that she was not a member and was looking for the a Family History Center. We gladly showed her the FHC and then we offered to give her a tour of the church!  Not only were we able to practice, but she really enjoyed it. She truly did not know that we believed in Jesus Christ, and she told us things like, "Now, you all have changed some of your beliefs because I don't think you believed in Jesus Christ fifty years ago." It was a huge blessing because she seemed much more open to the Church and the Gospel, and she was very appreciative to understand more of who we are.

On Saturday, we began trying to work in Marietta. There hasn't been a lot of work down there, so we are starting from scratch! We caught a ride down there from other missionaries and we had no car! It was actually really not productive for us because we only encountered Brazilians. But Sis Ayala and I were walking around pretending to speak Portuguese. Turns out the only thing we know how to say is "Temos uma mensagem sobre Jesus Cristo para compartiliar com voces" and I think all of that is actually wrong. Everyone said yes to a return appointment, it was wonderful! But at one point we asked the Portuguese Elders to come show us where a referral was. When they did, they ended up finding and teaching a family on the way back to their car. So it was really cool to see how the Lord helped people find the gospel through us!

Love you all so much :) The gospel is true and being a missionary is the best.

Sister Abram

Sent from my heart

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Always remember Him, that they might have His spirit to be with them

Buenas tardes mi gente!


Life in the GANM is going well. There are so many people here to talk to and so much to do! We spent the majority of the week informing the world about the upcoming general conference where we would hear from the Prophet! It was so fun to testify about the Lord and His mouthpiece.

I learned a lot from General Conference, and I had my questions answered, which was wonderful. I think the biggest thing I learned was about the spirit-- I've been struggling to really feel the spirit, especially in challenging times. 

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we are promised that as we keep our promises, attend church, and partake of the sacrament (bread and water) each week, we will have the company of the Holy Ghost. And included in the prayer for the sacrament is the reminder that we must do our part to remember Him.

Ive always thought of this in regards to worship, but as I listened to the prophet and apostles of the Lord, it was confirmed to me that in times of trial and challenge, difficulty and fear, we need only remember our Savior and focus our minds on Him. By doing so, we will be filled with an indescribable joy that cannot be felt from any other source. 

It was also confirmed to me that as we attend church regularly and keep the Sabbath day holy, we can and will be forgiven of our sins. 

Missionary work is the best! Whenever you face a trial, think of the Savior, and you will find peace and healing every time :) 

I love you all so much! Thank your for your great examples and your support. 

Funny story: this week we were coming home from Mission Leadership Council and the elders were trying to race us. We took a left hand turn and a police car flipped on its lights and drove behind us as we kept driving. Finally I pulled over, and he kept going. SO the funny part about all this is that the elders thought we got pulled over. So we totally rolled with it and ended up convincing them that I had been pulled over, given a ticket, and taken away. Long story short, we ended up beating them to the church and had a good laugh.

Con amor, 

Hermana Abram 

P.s. We adopted a piñata named Esteban Julio Ricardo Sibanakoliso Jo Shaqueeta. You can see him from pictures sent earlier. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Quotes from General Conference - Women's Broadcast

“There is enough that doesn’t go right in life, so anyone can work themselves into a puddle of pessimism and a mess of melancholy. But I know people who, even when things don’t work out, focus on the wonders and miracles of life. …
“… God didn’t design us to be sad. He created us to have joy! So if we trust Him, He will help us to notice the good, bright, hopeful things of life. And sure enough, the world will become brighter. No, it doesn’t happen instantly, but honestly, how many good things do? …
“… Now is part of eternity. It doesn’t only begin after we die! Faith and hope will open your eyes to the happiness that is placed before you now. …
“… Everything … in the gospel—all the shoulds and the musts and the thou shalts—lead to love. When we love God, we want to serve Him. We want to be like Him. When we love our neighbors, we stop thinking so much about our own problems and help others to solve theirs.” …
As you walk along your own bright path of discipleship, I pray that faith will fortify every footstep along your way; that hope will open your eyes to the glories Heavenly Father has in store for you; and that love for God and all His children will fill your hearts.

Sent from my heart

I Am the Gardner

Hello friends and family :) Happy Monday.

I don't have much to write this week except share a story with all of you. In the General Women's Meeting of General Conference this weekend, President Uchtdorf shared a story with all of us, and asked us to apply it personally so that the Spirit could tell us what it's meaning and application was for us. Here's the story I've picked for this week:


I was living up in Canada. I had purchased a farm. It was run-down. I went out one morning and saw a currant bush. It had grown up over six feet (two meters) high. It was going all to wood. There were no blossoms and no currants. I was raised on a fruit farm in Salt Lake before we went to Canada, and I knew what ought to happen to that currant bush. So I got some pruning shears and clipped it back until there was nothing left but stumps. It was just coming daylight, and I thought I saw on top of each of these little stumps what appeared to be a tear, and I thought the currant bush was crying. I was kind of simpleminded (and I haven’t entirely gotten over it), and I looked at it and smiled and said, “What are you crying about?” You know, I thought I heard that currant bush say this:
“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. I was almost as big as the shade tree and the fruit tree that are inside the fence, and now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me because I didn’t make what I should have made. How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”
That’s what I thought I heard the currant bush say, and I thought it so much that I answered. I said, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down. Thank you, Mr. Gardener.’”
Years passed, and I found myself in England. I was in command of a cavalry unit in the Canadian army. I held the rank of field officer in the British Canadian army. I was proud of my position. And there was an opportunity for me to become a general. I had taken all the examinations. I had the seniority. The one man between me and the office of general in the British army became a casualty, and I received a telegram from London. It said: “Be in my office tomorrow morning at 10:00,” signed by General Turner.
I went up to London. I walked smartly into the office of the general, and I saluted him smartly, and he gave me the same kind of a salute a senior officer usually gives—a sort of “Get out of the way, worm!” He said, “Sit down, Brown.” Then he said, “I’m sorry I cannot make the appointment. You are entitled to it. You have passed all the examinations. You have the seniority. You’ve been a good officer, but I can’t make the appointment. You are to return to Canada and become a training officer and a transport officer.” That for which I had been hoping and praying for 10 years suddenly slipped out of my fingers.
Then he went into the other room to answer the telephone, and on his desk, I saw my personal history sheet. Right across the bottom of it was written, “THIS MAN IS A MORMON.” We were not very well liked in those days. When I saw that, I knew why I had not been appointed. He came back and said, “That’s all, Brown.” I saluted him again, but not quite as smartly, and went out.
I got on the train and started back to my town, 120 miles (190 kilometers) away, with a broken heart, with bitterness in my soul. And every click of the wheels on the rails seemed to say, “You are a failure.” When I got to my tent, I was so bitter that I threw my cap on the cot. I clenched my fists, and I shook them at heaven. I said, “How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?” I was as bitter as gall.
And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, “I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.” The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness and my bitterness. While kneeling there I heard a song being sung in an adjoining tent. A number of Mormon boys met regularly every Tuesday night. I usually met with them. We would sit on the floor and have Mutual. As I was kneeling there, praying for forgiveness, I heard their singing:
But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I’ll go where you want me to go.
To be honest, my mission has been extremely difficult for various reasons that I never expected, and I think that's true with each of our lives, as well. But I know He is the Gardner. I know that as we go where He wants us to go, we will be who He wants us to be. And it will be so much father than we ever could have gone and so much better than we could have been on our own. 

1 Nephi 11:17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

Love you all, 
Sister Abram ❤️

(I grabbed the wrong tag this day and didn't realize it till that night. Oops!) 
Sent from my heart

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Enduring and Prayer

Hello everyone! 

I wrote out a long email and it got deleted. Now I am crunched on time so I will cut to the chase. 

Enduring to the end is a principle that we know we must obey. We have to just keep enduring. BUT in D&C 121, we learn that we have to endure well. We must endure well through our trials, and not just grumpily pass through them. They are wonderful blessings and opportunities for us to grow closer to our Savior. 

Principle #2: prayer is powerful 

I have wanted something very specific recently, but I have been afraid to ask for it because I wanted to always ask what was in line with the will of he Lord. Then, on exchanges, I found this in the Bible Dictionary: 

"As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings." 

Don't be afraid to pray to your Father! He truly is your Father and He has so much in store for you, just waiting. You are His child, and as you remember that, you come to understand that when we kneel in prayer, it is opening a beautiful communication between parent and child. He wants to bless us, and sometimes He is just waiting for us to open the door. 

I will have a lot more to write about prayer next week, so stay tuned :) 

Also this week I was told that I look and sound like I am from Colombia, so there ya go :) 

Con todo mi amor, 

Hermana Abram ❤️

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"My faith is in Jesus Christ and is not dependent on outcomes."

Hello friends and family!

Let me start by telling you how much I love being a missionary. It's
really fun, and it is worth every sacrifice you have to make. I have
grown so much closer to my Savior than I ever thought was possible,
and I recognize His hand in my life so abundantly.

This week the word "miracles" was brought up a lot and I got thinking
about what that word could mean. I think miracles are so abundant
around us, but we never notice them, partly because the whole point of
a miracle is that it's not expected. But I think a miracle isn't
always splitting the Red Sea or someone rising from the dead. I think
a miracle is that someone decides to follow Christ and be baptized. I
think a miracle is something that happens that once seemed impossible.

Sometimes bad things happen. A lot of times bad things happen. But why
do we lose faith in our Savior? Why do we let our faith be conditional
when His sacrifice for us was infinite?


My mission is nothing that I expected it to be. It's so hard but every day I grow closer to my Savior. It's challenging in a way I never expected, but I would never change it. And it's the same with life.  It's really hard, and at times unbearable. But why let your faith be
conditional when He can unconditionally heal you?

I love being a missionary. I love this gospel and it's our way back home. Our Savior loves us, and I promise you that the hardest of challenges are always blessings because they always bring you closer to Him if you allow them to.

I love you all very much. I pray for you, and I will continue to do so!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Abram

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Refiner's Fire

Hi family! 

Let me start out by telling you how much I love you all and I'm so grateful for you. 

I've reached a ripe old age of six months on my mission as of Tuesday, and I've learned one important principle that I felt I should share with you: missions are really hard. 

In the church, we talk a lot about "the refiners fire" and how "our needed conversions are often achieved by suffering and adversity rather than by comfort and tranquility." And that's really true! 

Being in the mission field, I feel like I am definitely in the refiner's fire. However, it's a different kind of "hard." 

In life, hard is when you struggle in school, hard is when you struggle with employment, hard is when you break up with someone and when your testimony is shaky. But it seems like being in the refiner's fire is a choice. Because all these challenges are sooo difficult, but it's up to us individually to decide if we will let the Lord make something of us in the mean time. 

We can choose to allow our trials and challenges to overcome us and swallow us up and defeat us. Or we can let go of our need to control and our need to fix and change situations, and allow the Lord to mold us and to shape us. 

That doesn't mean any of this is easy, or that letting the Lord change you is easy. That's why it's called a fire, not a beachside resort. It's not easy, but if we really want to allow the Lord to shape us, we will. 

In the Book of Mormon, Laman and Nephi faced very similar situations. They both left all their possessions behind, they both went with their family to face the dangers of the wilderness, they both struggled to find food and both had to provide for their hungry families, they both had to return to Jerusalem for the plates which Laban had in his possession. But what's the difference? Their attitudes and their faith. Laman complained the whole time about how it was hard. He got angry, he doubted, he didn't believe God wanted him to know anything. Yet Nephi faced the situation with stalwart loyalty to the Lord and regardless of what the circumstances may have been, he always said, in an essence, "Lord, I will go where you want me to go, say what you want me to say, do what you want me to do, and be what you want me to be. It doesn't matter if it's hard, it doesn't matter if my family goes hungry and my very life is put in danger. I will offer up all I can give to you-- my heart and my will-- and be what you want me to be." 

There's a quote that I read this week that explains the way we should face our challenges: "Character is revealed in the power to discern the suffering of other people when we ourselves are suffering; in the ability to detect the hunger of others when we are hungry; and the power to reach out and extend compassion for the spiritual agony of others when we are in the midst of our own spiritual distress." 

I have learned so much these past few months about the painful process of becoming what the Lord wants me to be.  And I would never change it. Because although it took a lot of hardships, I am so much closer to my Savior. 

A departing missionary recently said, "The joy is in the work." I believe the joy can be in the change if we let it. If we realize all that the Savior is making of us, and thank Him for our challenges and thank Him for the chance to learn, their is joy in the fire, in the hardships, in the pain. 

I love you all and I pray that you grow closer to your Savior each day. I pray that you truly seek Him out through prayer and seek His help. 

Have a wonderful week! 

Sister Abram 

Monday, August 3, 2015

"And he went out, and he wept bitterly."

This week, I learned a lot about the atonement of Jesus Christ, and repentance.

Before the mission, when you make mistakes, you feel bad. Big mistakes of course feel worse. And maybe it's just me, but since being a missionary, the littlest mistakes cause my heart to heart, and I think it's because as a missionary, you are closer to the spirit. You have the unique opportunity to fully represent the savior. And when you don't always live up to that, it hurts. (I'm talking about mistakes/transgressions like not opening my mouth to share the gospel or letting people pass me by, not serious sins, although those can apply, too). The little things make a huge difference.

I used to think the apostle Peter was a pretty silly guy. Why would you deny knowing Christ three times of you had walked with Him, seen His miracles, especially if He warned you before hand? Wouldn't you be proud to represent Him? But this week I realized that I'm a lot like Peter. I fall short. I wear my Savior's name everyday, but I'm not perfect like He is. 

And, like Peter, we all fall short every day. We fail to be 100% dedicated and consecrated. The little things cause us to fail. And when the cock crows and we recognize how we've fallen short, we weep bitterly as he did. 

Which brings me to the atonement! There's a quote in Preach My Gospel that says, "As your understanding of the atonement increases, your desire to share the gospel with others will increase also." So, I decided to study the atonement. And would you believe it if I told you PMG is right?! I began to study the atonement and the effort that it took for the Savior to give absolutely 100% of himself for our Salvation.

Check out these awesome quotes I found: 

1. "The Savior’s submission to the will of the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane set an example for us, inviting us to submit to God’s will in our life. Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “It takes great faith and courage to pray to our Heavenly Father, ‘Not as I will, but as thou wilt’ [Matt. 26:39]. The faith to believe in the Lord and endure brings great strength. Some may say if we have enough faith, we can sometimes change the circumstances that are causing our trials and tribulations. Is our faith to change circumstances, or is it to endure them? Faithful prayers may be offered to change or moderate events in our life, but we must always remember that when concluding each prayer, there is an understanding: ‘Thy will be done’ (Matt. 26:42). Faith in the Lord includes trust in the Lord”

2. "First, an enormous sense of responsibility, for He realized that except it be done perfectly, not one of His Father’s children could return to Him. They would be forever banished from His presence since there would be no way to repent for broken laws and no unclean thing can exist in the presence of God."

3. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of the significance of the Savior’s plea to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane: “In that most burdensome moment of all human history, with blood appearing at every pore and an anguished cry upon His lips, Christ sought Him whom He had always sought--His Father … [Mark 14:36]. This is such a personal moment it almost seems a sacrilege to cite it. A Son in unrelieved pain, a Father His only true source of strength, both of them staying the course, making it through the night--together” (“The Hands of the Fathers,” Ensign, May 1999, 16). On another occasion Elder Holland commented further:

“Mark says [Jesus] fell and cried, ‘Abba, Father.’ This is not abstract theology now. This is a Son pleading with His Father, ‘All things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me’ (Mark 14:36).

“Who could resist that from any child, especially the perfect Child? ‘You can do anything. I know You can do anything. Please take this cup from me.’

“That whole prayer, Mark noted, was asking that if it were possible, this hour would be stricken from the plan. The Lord said, in effect, ‘If there is another path, I would rather walk it. If there is any other way--any other way--I will gladly embrace it.’ … But in the end, the cup did not pass.

“In the end, He yielded His will to the will of His Father and said, ‘Not my will, but thine, be done’ (Luke 22:42)” (“Teaching, Preaching, Healing,” Ensign, Jan. 2003, 41).

4. “What weight is thrown on the scales of pain when calculating the hurt of innumerable patients in countless hospitals? Now, add to that the loneliness of the elderly who are forgotten in the rest homes of society, desperately yearning for a card, a visit, a call--just some recognition from the outside world. Keep on adding the hurt of hungry children, the suffering caused by famine, drought, and pestilence. Pile on the heartache of parents who tearfully plead on a daily basis for a wayward son or daughter to come back home. Factor in the trauma of every divorce and the tragedy of every abortion. Add the remorse that comes with each child lost in the dawn of life, each spouse taken in the prime of marriage. Compound that with the misery of overflowing prisons, bulging halfway houses and institutions for the mentally disadvantaged. Multiply all this by century after century of history, and creation after creation without end. Such is but an awful glimpse of the Savior’s load. Who can bear such a burden or scale such a mountain as this? No one, absolutely no one, save Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of us all” (The Infinite Atonement [2000], 105).

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, truly was our Savior and Redeemer. His Father-- our Father-- commands us to be perfect, but knew we would not achieve perfection in this life. And that is why Christ came here. That's why He suffered for everything we would ever feel in this life. So that He could perfectly understand us. So although we fall so short of perfection, we still have the glorious hope of returning to His presence by having faith in Him, repenting daily, being baptized by the property authority, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost to be our constant companion, and using the rest of our lives to follow Him just a little bit better. 

“Now, if there be those throughout the Church who by word or act have denied the faith, I pray that you may draw comfort and resolution from the example of Peter, who, though he had walked daily with Jesus, in an hour of extremity momentarily denied the Lord and also the testimony which he carried in his own heart. But he rose above this and became a mighty defender and a powerful advocate. So, too, there is a way for any person to turn about and add his or her strength and faith to the strength and faith of others in building the kingdom of God” (“And Peter Went Out and Wept Bitterly,” Ensign, Mar. 1995, 2, 4, 6).

I know my Savior lives and love us. I know repentance is essential to His plan and I know that this restored gospel brings us the hope we need in this life, and the only way back home to our Heavenly Father. 

Love, 
Hermana Abram

Mission life is the best life

Hey there!

I love Hermana Ayala. She is so great and teaches me a lot. I'm pretty sure she's training me, not me training her.

So I hit my 5 month mark on Saturday and I actually wanted to cry a little bit. A year ago I was finishing my second semester of college, and now I only have a year left of my mission. It's going to by so fast, it's kinda scary.

I love you all sooo much but man I can't imagine my life back at home. I can't imagine my life outside of missionary work! An elder from the stake was released on Friday and it was so sad to watch him take off his tag and leave behind the missionary life.

I think what makes this so great is the fact that I don't have a lot of time to think of myself. I am studying, praying, living for other people. For their salvation. It hurts when they don't accept the
message. It hurts when they don't come to church. It hurts when you love them so much but you have to let them choose for themselves to change their lives. But I wouldn't trade it at all.

I don't know what it's like to have a day off anymore, and I'm glad I don't!

Mission life is the best life. But more than that, the gospel life is the best life. There really is nothing in the world that the gospel can't mend and help. It's worth all the sacrifice necessary. This is
literally salvation.

Being on a mission gives you a clearer vision. When people come to your with their problems, the gospel is all you can offer them as a missionary. And I think slowly you come to realize that if they choose to truly live the gospel, all their needs will be met. Even if it takes time.

I love you all so much!

Hermana Abram

Happy Pday!



Happy Pday!

This week was pretty great, full of funny tracting (door knocking) experiences, powerful lessons, and lots of Spanish.

We have a wonderful investigator named Gloria who always invites the spirit when we meet with her. She is very dear to me and she is pretty much my family at this point.


We are also teaching Fausto, who is diligently reading the Book of Mormon and always has really intriguing questions and perspectives. It's wonderful to watch how people's live change and how they find so much peace as they begin to study the gospel.

Having Sister Ayala as my companion has been wonderful. She's a great missionary, and she is also so full of knowledge and love. Also it's extremely helpful to be able to practice my Spanish so much with her. I have already learned an incredible amount!

This week, I learned how important the little things are. I learned that doing the tiny things the Lord asks of us, as well as the big things, are essential for our true happiness. As we truly take time to study our scriptures, pray, attend church, and reach out to others, we will come to find light that fills our souls. Answers to questions we never knew we had will appear.
You guys, I know this is true! Each day my testimony grows more and more. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Joseph Smith was His prophet. I know that families don't end after this life but they have eternity to spend together. And I know that any sacrifice you make to live this gospel is not only essential, but you will be rewarded 100 times more.
I love you all!

Con amor,
Hermana Abram

Hidden Miracles

This week has been full of hidden and interesting miracles.

I had been praying and fasting all week to find people to teach--people whom the Lord had prepared to receive the gospel. I was getting
so frustrated almost every day because we never found anyone to teach, no matter how many doors we knocked, how many members we visited. As luck would have it, I was called on in district meeting to share miracles. I felt as though I had nothing to share, so I decided to make something up because God certainly hadn't answered my sincere prayers. And as I was sharing, I realized that my miracle was true. We HAVE found people who are ready to learn! We have given out countless referrals to the English speaking missionaries, two of whom will be baptized soon. No, we never taught them, but the Lord DID lead us to the people He had prepared!

About a month ago, we received a member referral from a current missionary in SLC. She sent us to her grandparents. Her grandmas name is Gloria, and Gloria and I have grown very close. I feel a certain warmness towards her, and I know I have found one of my life long friends (even if we are at very different stages of life). She has touched my heart in ways words can never describe. She is earnestly seeking the truth, she acts on her faith, and prays with her whole heart. And she receives big answers! This week, I asked her if she has prayed to know if the Book of Mormon and the things we have taught are true. She said that she doesn't need to because she already knows they are true, because there is no way two 19 year old girls could make this up!

Gloria has been so special for me as I have diligently studied, prayed, and fasted to know her needs and know what to teach her. I received answers to those prayers as I felt so many ideas rush through
my head with a strong burning that led me to understand her.


I realized that even if people don't understand it, they DO recognize us as servants of the Lord. This realization hit me when I thought how crazy it is that so many adults welcome us (strangers) into their homes and pour their hearts out to two kids. They take our testimonies and pray about the things we have taught them. And then I realized that I'm not 19 (and a half), I'm not Madeline, I'm not a college student, and I'm not just a kid. I truly am set apart to be a real representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. You never get an opportunity like this again.

My testimony has grown so much since beginning my mission, in ways I didn't know it needed to grow. If this work wasn't true, then us crazy 18, 19, 20 21 year old missionaries would have messed this up a long time ago :)

Les quiero con todo mi corazón. Yo sé que esta obra es la obra del señor, que no hay otro camino para llegar a la presencia de Él, y que nuestro Padre Celestial nos bendice cada día, cada hora, cada minuto, aun cuando no las reconozcamos esas bendiciones. Esta obra es maravillosa y aunque es muy difícil, no querría hacer ninguna otra cosa que ser una misionera para mi Salvador.

Con amor,
Hermana Abram

Monday, July 6, 2015

"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."



This week was full of lessons about going outside of my comfort zone.
There's a great article in the Ensign for the month of June 2015
called "Faith to Leave the Harbor." You all should read it when you
get a chance!

Transfers are this week. Sister Martinez and I will be split up and I
will be getting a new companion, but staying in the same branch!

No time to write today, but enjoy the pictures!

Love you all!







Monday, June 29, 2015

Operation "Luna"

Hi everyone!

I have a big favor to ask of you all :)

We are currently teaching a family called the Luna family. They are so precious to me and I love them with all my heart.

I'm wondering if you wouldn't mind please keeping them in your prayers and keeping us in your prayers so we will know how to teach and how to help them.

I am so sure that prayers from each of you will make a tremendous difference, and that this family will be eternally blessed because of your faith and prayers for both them and us.

 

I love you all so much. Gracias por todo lo que hacen uds para mí y por siempre ayudarme. Los quiero y les agradezco por sus ejemplos y por la fe que tienen todos.

❤️ Hermana Abram

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Lord's Timing

Buenas tardes!

Esta semana tuvimos la oportunidad de asistir al templo (This week we had the opportunity to attend the temple). It was a wonderful experience.

The whole time we were at the temple, I felt so much peace. I had missed being able to go so frequently to the temple and I remembered why i love that place so much! We won't go again until December, so I have 6 months to make and achieve some goals so I can have an even better experience.

We have a family investigating the church, and the mom is very close to my heart. She has a rough past with the church, and We haven't really been able to understand how to help her. We didn't see her for two weeks because she had many doctors appointments. Finally, she called us Sunday morning and asked if the Elders could come give her a blessing because she was having serious back pain and wasn't able to move. We stopped by that night to check on her. When we did, she invited us upstairs to visit with her in her room. We began talking and then her daughter came upstairs to tell us that there was smoke all downstairs because one of the daughters forgot to put water in her ramen, thus burning the ramen and the bowl, which nearly exploded in the microwave. Sister Martinez ran downstairs to help the girls get the smoke out of the house, when she felt that she should make them dinner. Meanwhile, I stayed with this Hermana and she began to tell me everything about her past. She explained her pains and the reason she feels the need to wait to be baptized. She wants to have a united family in the gospel, not simply personal salvation. As I listened to her, I felt the Spirit confirm that her decision was correct, and that the Lord knows her individually as well as her heart. I held her hand and told her that I want to come to her baptism one day when she is ready.

A very cool part of the story is what sister Martinez and I each did.  I am terrible at cooking, and I never could have made a decent meal for that family, but I do enjoy listening and conversing. Sister Martinez, on the other hand, felt that she didn't know how to help by talking, but she could show love by caring for their temporal needs.

I know that everything is in the Lords timing. It is His work, after all. I have so much hope for these families we are teaching. I see them with the eyes of the Savior, not just my own eyes.

¡Yo sé que este es el evangelio y la iglesia de Jesucristo! Tengo un testimonio fuerte de José Smith y sus sacrificios innumerables para la salvación de todos los demás. Yo sé que él fue un profeta de Dios y que el Libro de Mormón es otro testamento de jesucristo. Estoy tan agradecida por esta oportunidad de servir en una forma que nunca voy a poder hacer después.

¡Les quiero mucho! Disfruten su semana!

Hermana Abram