And a lovely bathroom that I used this week. When you gotta go you gotta go. The no toilet seat thing is very normal here, I literally used the word ¨classy¨ to describe this bathroom after I left just because it had toilet paper. Welcome to Peru.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Not a lot to say this week! After skyping with my family yesterday I feel like there isn´t much left to say!
My companion and I are still struggling a little bit, just because no one that we teach, whether investigator or less active, seems to have any desire to progress or change. We keep saying that we´re just a little tired of not seeing the fruits of all our hard work, but we also know that one day the results will come. And that maybe we´re just here to plant a lot of seeds. We´re now calling ourselves chacra workers. Just planting and planting and planting and watering and weeding and waiting. Maybe we can´t see the results yet, but we know that without hard work the results will never come. So we just have to work. That´s always the answer.
I just want you guys to know that even though I´m having a little bit of a hard time and I´ve been feeling exhausted and have diarrhea basically just all the time, probably thanks to my parasite friend who we decided has come back with a vengeance, I´m happier than I´ve even been in my life. I´m learning and growing everyday. And in these hard times I´ve learned, once again, to rely on my Heavenly Father. My testimony of prayer has never been stronger. I´ve never prayed so hard in my life, and I know that He listens. He loves me and He knows me.
I love you all! Have a great week!
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Honestly, this was a really hard week for me. My companion and I just found ourselves exhausted and not knowing what more we could do, what more we could give. It´s hard to work and work and work and come home at night absolutely exhausted every single day, and then not see any results. I found myself asking my Heavenly Father ¨Why?¨. Why the people here don´t want the gospel, why they don´t understand how beautiful and important it is, why in months we haven´t had an investigator come to church, why He can´t just give them the desire to come and to accept the gospel.
And then today I was reminded of a talk that I love by Elder D. Todd Christofferson (Mormon Message- The Will of God).
President Hugh B. Brown, formerly a member of the Twelve and a counselor in the First Presidency, provided a personal experience. He told of purchasing a rundown farm in Canada many years ago. As he went about cleaning up and repairing his property, he came across a currant bush that had grown over six feet (1.8 m) high and was yielding no berries, so he pruned it back drastically, leaving only small stumps. Then he saw a drop like a tear on the top of each of these little stumps, as if the currant bush were crying, and thought he heard it say:
“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. … And now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me. … How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”
President Brown replied, “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.’”
Years later, President Brown was a field officer in the Canadian Army serving in England. When a superior officer became a battle casualty, President Brown was in line to be promoted to general, and he was summoned to London. But even though he was fully qualified for the promotion, it was denied him because he was a Mormon. The commanding general said in essence, “You deserve the appointment, but I cannot give it to you.” What President Brown had spent 10 years hoping, praying, and preparing for slipped through his fingers in that moment because of blatant discrimination. Continuing his story, President Brown remembered:
“I got on the train and started back … with a broken heart, with bitterness in my soul. … When I got to my tent, … 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 now, almost 50 years later, I look up to [God] and say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.’”
I love this talk, and mormon message, and it was exactly what I needed to hear right now. As I was typing out this email I looked over at my companion and saw that she was watching the same video. Sometimes it´s hard for us to accept God´s will, and to understand that He has a plan for us. But He does, and His plan is far better than anything we could ever imagine for ourselves. We just need to trust in our Father and His plan, and submit our will to His.
This week I was the sad currant bush, not understanding why the gardener would cut down my branches. But I know that as I was upset and asking God ¨Why?¨, His answer was ¨I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be¨.
Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down.
I love you all!
P.S. I really do promise that I´ll send picturse later day. I owe you guys.
Monday, April 20, 2015
So today are changes, and I´m thrilled and super grateful to say that Sister Sullivan and I will have another 6 weeks together here in the beautiful Majes Valley. I´m looking forward to this next transfer and Sullivan and I have lots of goals and hopes for the Branch and the work here in the valley. We have lots of work to do!
One of the adventures of this week is that we went to do a service for a member of the Branch Presidency. Presidente Vigil amazes me because in order to get to his house from the town where we live, and where the chapel is, you have to take 2 different convis for an hour, and then walk about an hour and a half to this beautiful little town of like 10 people that´s at the base of a little mountain. We went to his house to build some walls that were destroyed when we had that storm a few weeks ago. It was super fun because to build the walls they just have a bunch of sticks stacked up, and then they make mud and just throw the mud at the stick wall and smooth it out. And as you can imagine, after throwing mud with 4 elders for a while I ended up covered in mud. And then I became a Peruvian woman, after washing all the mud off me and cleaning out my hair in the river, I washed a bunch of potatoes in the river, then we ate way more than we wanted to (I ate 6 potatoes and 2 steaks (Vigil has a rule that we can´t leave any food uneaten)) and then washed the dishes in the river. So it was a good Peruvian day.
This week was another rough week because once again, we traveled a lot. It was a little ridiculous because we traveled 4 hours to have a sisters conference with our hermana lideres, and it ended up just being a spa day. Literally we did face masks and painted our nails while elders played guitar and sang worldly songs to us, and then all of our zone and district leaders made us lunch. Only in the Peru Arequipa Mission. We didn´t have a single lesson , our best work day, to do all that. Sorry that I´m complaining it just frustrates me when we lose good work time.
This week was a little sad because our little district got divided. We were 6 gringo missionaries here in the valley and in the Aplao Branch. Elder Kleinlein finished his mission last week, and Elder Cooley left to be a zone leader in Ilo. Elders Garcia and Paredes will now join our little family. We´re sad but we know it´ll be great to have 2 new elders here. I know that they will contribute to the work and then the Lord sent them here because they can help us to strengthen this little branch. And having 2 latinos will probably help our spanish a lot, it´s hard to want to speak spanish when you´re a group of 6 english speakers. Especially because the 4 of us that remain are all fairly new to the mission.
All in all things are going great. The last couple weeks have been rough, and we haven´t had nearly as much time as we would like in our area, but it´s been great nonetheless. There´s still much a lot of work to do here, and I´m grateful that the Lord trusts me to help do it.
You´re all in my prayers!
Your favorite Peruvian missionary
Is that how you spell unneccesary? It looks weird but who knows, I´m forgetting how to spell in English.
So this week was a little obnoxious. We´ve traveled so far 12 hours in this week. And we´ll have 7 more hours of travel this week. Which is obnoxious. It´s a little complicated so I won´t explain all the travels but to sum up my frustration, in 2 weeks we will have had 7 days not working in our area. But that´s okay, just gives us a reason to work harder!
Fun story of the week: On wednesday we were out working in Pedregal Chico (about a 2 hour walk from the house) and we needed to be back in Corire by 5 to take the bus to Pedregal (for a meeting). After the lesson we waited a little bit for the convi (bus) but it never came. So we decided to start walking and hitchhike in order to make it on time. After about 15 minutes a truck stops with 3 men inside and offers us a ride. And then they open the door of the truck for us to get in and we realized by the smell and by looking at them a little more closely, that these men were fairly wasted. So we decide to just get in the bed of the truck (we´re the smartest women on the planet I know). And after about 15 minutes of crazy driving they pull over in front of a house. At this point I started to get a little bit worried. They get out of the truck and the driver tells us he´s just going to get something. and the other 2 men stand on either side of us and start talking (mumbling mostly) to us. A few minutes later the driver comes out and apologizes to us for his very drunk friends and tells them to get back in. One of the 2 decides to hop in the back with us which made us a little uncomfortable. And the driver gets out of the car and tells his friend to leave us alone and get inside the truck. His friend says no and so the driver pulls him by the shirt out of the bed of the truck and the man is so drunk that he just falls over on the ground. And then 20 minutes later we arrived safely in Corire, just in time to take the bus! Just another Peru adventure I guess. Lesson learned.
This week was a little hectic, more than a little stressful, and we slept a lot less than normal, but it was a great week anyway. We had a conference in Arequipa where not only was I able to see a lot of my missionary friends, including my old companion, but we were able to hear and learn from President and the Assistants. It was great and gave us the motivation to work harder and to challenge even more people to learn about and accept this gospel in their lives.
Also when I spoke with Hermana Lucano, she told me that one of our investigators, emy, got baptized, another old investigador (Jisaac) accepted the invitation to get baptized, and a couple that we were teaching FOREVER are getting married/baptized in 2 weeks! Really makes all the hard work we did there seem worth it. I remember being sooo frustrated with Jisaac, and know he´s so excited to get baptized. And I think of alll the lessons we had with Jessica and Christopher and sometimes I doubted if they would ever get married. I know that hard work pays off, even when you can´t see the results right away.
Well I love you guys! Have a great week!
aka. Marshall Matters
Another crazy week here in Corire!
This week I had divisions in Camana because that´s where the sister leaders for our group of sisters are. Camana is about 2 and a half hours from my area so I got to do some traveling solo! It was quite the adventure. In order to get to Camana I had to take a minivan to Pedregal, buy a ticket to Camana and wait for the next bus. So I waited about an hour in Pedregal, then headed to Camana. I was expecting Hermana Uriona to be there when I arrived but she wasn´t there. So I went a found a phone and called her and she had me take a moto taxi to where she was. And then I spent a wonderful day with her and heading back the next morning! Divisions are great but I was happy to be back with Hermana Sullivan.
And then this weekend was CONFERENCE! I had been looking forward to conference for months and loved every minute of it. The American missionaries usually get to watch it in English buuut we don´t have a whole lot of technology here in Corire so we watched in it Spanish with some members in the chapel. I mean I understood everything so it was fine but it´s different having to listen to a translator and not their own voices. I LOVED conference. Last night we were teaching one of our investigadors and he asked us how we know if the prophets and apostles are called of God, and we explained to him that we had just had the General Conference, and that as we heard these men speak to us we couldn´t deny the Spirit that we felt and we knew that their words came from our Father in Heaven.
It was so great and I was taking notes like a mad woman the whole time. It´s funny because if you look at my notes it´s like 4 lines in Spanish, 1 line in English, and then 2 more in Spanish, and then 3 more lines in English. I was listening in Spanish, and I guess my brain was about half & half between the 2 languages. Or maybe I wrote direct quotes and scriptures in Spanish and just impressions from the Spirit in English. Who knows. Either way conference was great and the Church is true. I was going to share stuff from my favorite talks buuuut I forgot my notebook in my cuarto, so maybe next week!
I hope you all were able to watch all the sessions of General Conference, including the General Women´s Session and the Priesthood Session. If not I encourage you to go back and watch/listen to them. And when they're available, read and study them. Every single message of that conference was for us. There is something that we can and should learn from each message that was given. I also hope that you were all able to sustain the Prophet, First Presidency, and Quorom of the 12 Apostles, along with the other leaders of the Church, and I encourage you all to think of the ways that you can sustain them in your daily lives, remember that it´s more than just raising your hand for the vote.
I love you all! Have a great week!
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Fun Facts of the Week: This morning I counted the bugs bites on my legs. 52. Oh the joys.
There were 2 murders in my area this week. One kidnapped in a taxi and the other stabbed to death and left in the cemetery. But don´t worry I´m probably good.;) Hit 6 months today! One third holy cow. Okay that´s all I got. Next week I´ll update you on the bug bites and maybe I´ll count the nasty drunk men and the dead rotting dogs that we find on the sides of the road here in piles of trash. Haha I love it here so much it´s crazy. Life in the valley.
This area is so different but I´m learning so much. Like I said last week we do a lot of stuff for the branch, and a lot less normal missionary work. Which is hard and I get frustrated sometimes with our numbers but I know I´m still doing the Lord´s work. I already love all the people in our little branch. Last week our attendance was like 65 for sacrament meeting and when they counted again at the end of the 3rd hour there were only 30. And there are about 400 members that live within branch boundaries, so we have a lot of work to do. My companion Hermana Sullivan is so great. She only has 2 transfers more than me but I´m learning so much from her. She´s awesome and loves to work and serve the Lord.
On Saturday my companion and I went to a little town to visit a contact that we had made a few days earlier. It was so great because she was there and we were about to teach her a full lesson! Which doesn´t happen a lot here. She had tons of questions and seemed super interested so we were so excited. And towards the end her son (25 years old and named Moses) came out and told us that he had a lot of questions for us. But we were running super late and our next appointment was a long walk away so we told him we would come back another day. And then we prayed and left. After walking about 10 minutes down the road we decided that we needed to go back. So we did and it was great! We talked to him for a good 20-30 mintutes. We learned a good lesson about listening to the promptings of the Spirit, because we really just should have let him ask us his questions and have taught him right when he asked, but we were too worried about being late to our next appointment, and then that whole 10 minute walk we were just feeling bad about not talking to him. When we talked about going back we were just thinking about how late we were going to be and that they would think we were weird if we went back, but we decided that we needed to do it, and we were so glad that we did!
Okay that´s about all I got for this week. Honestly it went by so fast that I can´t even remember a lot of it. I´ll take notes for next week so I can be more interesting.
Also I´ll be sending pictures a little bit later from the computer in the chapel cause there are one million viruses on the computers here, last week all the pictures from my camera got wiped out from a virus so I´m gonna play it safe for a while.
Talk to you next week!
Sorry that I´m a little late but we went adventuring today and didn´t have time to email earlier. But I am absolutely IN LOVE with my new area. I was so sad to leave Casa Blanca but I immediately fell in love with this place. And my companion, Hermana Sullivan, is AMAZING. I love her to death and we work really well together.
My area is a little complicated. So we´re about 3 hours from Arequipa, in a gigantic valley. We have a tiny little branch with outrageous boundaries. So the branch boundaries are cut in half into 2 mission areas, Aplao and Corire, There are 2 elders in Aplao and 2 elders in Corire, me and my companion have the two areas. I´m not sure if that makes sense, but we have the area of Aplao and Corire, and work with the elders there. Which is a little weird but we, along with the elders, have a ton of branch responsibilities as well so it´s necessary. So my area is CRAZY huge. You can travel for 4 hours in a bus and still be in my area. Also the six of us missionaries in the branch are all gringos so we´re pretty pumped about that, we have fun together. And we pension (eat all our meals with) the elders of Corire and live across the street from them, which is weird but super awesome.
In the Branch we work with the Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society, which is crazy but I love it so much. This week we planned a YW´s activity, spent 3 hours making the invitations and YW handouts for Personal Progress, made the list for Visiting Teachers because they didn´t even have one, And every week we teach primary. I´m the sharing time teacher and I love it. Also I conduct the music in Sacrament Meeting.
It´s weird here in Corire, the mission is 100% different. But I love it so so much. We have lots to do and we´re pumped to work hard and help build this branch.
Love you all! Thanks for all the love and support!
Sunday, March 8, 2015
A crazy short week here in Casa Blanca! And possibly my last! We have tranfers on Monday so we'll see what happens!
Yesterday at church we were starting sacrament meeting and Berni (served his mission in California and has perfect English and is way cool) starts the opening prayer and an earthquake starts. We´re all just sitting there and he just keeps praying but the whole chapel was shaking. And then as soon as he said "Amen" it stopped. That sounds dramatic but I promise it happened.
Oh also we lost our cellphone yesterday so that´s a problem. The mission is probably going to kill us but it´s fine. We´re still praying that it will turn up but it´s not looking like it´s going to happen. With looots of faith.
So this week we fasted twice, once because it was fast S and the other because we had some specific things that we really felt we needed to fast for. One thing that I fasted for, and that I´ve fasted for before, is that my companion could get her patriarchal blessing. She´s a convert of 2 years and got her patriarchal blessing just a few days before she left for the mission, and she´s never gotten the paper copy of it. She´s called her stake president, and the mission president, and requested multiple replacement copies, but nothing. In these 10 months she hasn´t had it. And just right now just got an email with an electronic copy of her blessing. Right now she´s sitting right next to me just so happy reading her blessing. I love that girl. God is great.
Okay sorry that I don´t have any cool stories for this week, honestly it went by so fast that I can´t even remember the majority of it. It´s just a blur. I´ll take notes this week though so I can have cool stories to tell you guys. I love you guys so much! Thanks for all the love and support!
Saturday, February 28, 2015
So today I hit 5 months! I feel like yesterday I was freaking out about hitting 4 months, and 3 months, and 2 months. It is so crazy. And we only have 2 weeks left of this transfer. If time could please slow down that would be great.
This week we had divisions and I went with one of our sister leaders to her area in Zamacola. It was my first time working in an area other than Casa Blanca and it was a really great experience for me. I have it so lucky here in my zone, yeah my cuarto is super tiny and I share a bathroom with a bunch of randoms, but I´ve been really blessed here in Casa Blanca. The people, and especially the ward members, are so great.
Also I went to do a few tests at the hospital this week and found out that I officially have parasites so that´s disgusting. Haha always an adventure here in Peru. But that´s what I get for eating street food and drinking parasite infested water. Hahaha.
Yesterday at Church was seriously so great. We were in sacrament meeting, and just as background as missionaries during sacrament we just sit there watching the door hoping that our investigators and the less active members will show up. When the meeting started there were almost none of our investigators or MAs. And then suddenly a huge group of people walked in, one of our investigators and like 10 of the less actives. I was soooo happy. It hit me that many times I don´t have faith in the people that we are teaching, some of them I don´t even expect to show up, even if they say that they will. But I sure learned my lesson yesterday as I sat in sacrament meeting and just looked around sooo happy to see all of those people there.
God is great and I´ve seen His hands in this work every single day. I know that He is preparing me, and the people who I will teach, to be ready when we find eachother. I know that there are people just waiting desperately to find the truth and the joy that we have found in this gospel, and it´s our job as missionaries to help them find it.
I love you guys and am so grateful for your love and support. Have a great week and remember that there´s a missionary in Peru who loves you!
Holy cow how is it already Monday again.
This week was super fast and super great! We had 2 baptisms planned for Saturday but they fell throught because Karin and Dela haven`t been attending Church. Which is a bummer but we`re going to keep working with them and I know they`ll progress!
On Tuesday I was drinking out of my water bottle and after taking a sip I looked down and saw 3 parasites happily swimming around in my water. And when I looked in the big water jug that we have in our room I found more. So that was digusting and I literally was gagging with my head in a plastic bag for like 30 minutes because we had been drinking out of that water jug for almost 2 weeks. But I`m still alive so I guess drinking parasiting and their pee and poop isn`t really that bad for you.
This week was a little bit tragic. Haha on Thursday night we were at the chapel and in walks an Elder with his parents and siblings. He had just flown in from Mexico. He was super cool but looked super sad. We went and had our lesson in one of the classrooms and came out and he was standing there with his family and the Stake President, without his missionary plaque. I was talking to him and said something like "You arrived with your plaque and you`re leaving without it." And he was just so sad and I was so sad for him. And I realized right then that I don`t want to go home. I don`t want to be released and have to take off my plaque. I never want to stop being Hermana Marshall.
That same night Hyrum, one of my pensionsista`s 5 sons, got home from his mission in El Salvador. He was so devastated to leave those people. He shared his testimony with us and his family the next day and he said something like "I`m happy to be here with you guys, but I´m sad to have left my family and my home in El Salvador". And then he cried and I was crying because I realized how true that was. These people, especially Mama Irma (pensionista) and her kids, are my family. And I absolutely love our ward and each person that we have been teaching in these 4 months. And I know that leaving this country and these people in 14 months will be be the hardest thing I`ll ever do.
Anyway I`m sorry that this email is so long and I`ll cut it off now so you guys don`t hate me. Just know that I`m happy and loving the work! The Church is true. :)
So I maybe procrastinated writing my group email a little bit so I don´t have a whole lot of time left. Whoops.
This week went by so fast and in such a blur that I honestly can´t remember much of what we did. But that means it was a good week and we were working hard!
First of all, it´s been POURING rain here in Arequipa for the last 2 weeks or so. Absolutely pouring. Usually it´s either cloudy or just barely sunny in the morning, and by early afternoon the rain starts, and then it rains and rains until we´re soaked and frozen to the bone. But it´s all good! I have my umbrella, and my scriptures and folletos in plastic bags in my backpack. And by the time we get back to our cuarto at the end of the day we´re soaking wet and so cold and just curl up in our blankets and plan for the next day. So is the life.
Yesterday at church a little girl that´s 9 years old walked right up to us and said "I want to get baptized". And I said "We can help you with that!". Her family is inactive and came to church yesterday for the first time in a long time. So don´t worry we´ll be working on that. Haha the Church is so true life is great.
Okay that´s about all I got. Life is good and the gospel is great.
I love you! And sorry that I´m not sending pictures, next week I promise!
This week was AMAZING! Seriously one of the best weeks of my mission so far. On Saturday we had 2 baptisms! Marilu and Carelya! They`re so amazing and I love them so much. They were both miracles because they both came looking for us.
And then yesterday at church a couple that we were visiting a while ago and then stopped because the appointments always fell through and they weren`t progressing, randomly showed up at church and talked us and the bishop and said that they want to get married/baptized.
The Lord is blessing is with so many people just ready for the gospel. I can`t even imagine how many people are ready or looking for the gospel but don`t know where to find it, but that`s why we`re here! We just need to trust in the Lord and He will send them to us, or us to them, when they`re/we`re ready.
It has been raining like CRAZY here in Arequipa. Yesterday it rained harder than I`ve ever seen in my life, even in Portland. But we kept going! I fell and cut up my knee pretty bad but we bumped into an investigador and she cleaned me up and reprimanded us for not being more careful and not having an umbrella/rain boots.
Okay that`s about all I got for this week! I love you guys!
I hit 4 months this week! How is that even possible? My training also ended today which is crazy. I`m on my 4th transfer of my mission. And in 2 weeks I hit 1/4 of my mission. Time flies when you`re having fun!
I was super happy to find out that I`m staying one more transfer in my area! I love it here and wasn`t ready to leave. Also my area more than doubled with this change. My ward was split into 2 areas with 4 hermanas sharing the ward boundaries, but they took the other hermanas out, so it`s just us! Our area is gigantic.
This week I was super sad because my convert, Maria, left me and moved to Cusco. We had our last lesson with her on Saturday and at the end she bore her testimony and told us how grateful she is for us and everything we`ve done for here and I couldn`t stop crying. She kept saying "no llores hermanita!". It was so sad, but she`s called us everyday since then and we`re going to keep in contact with her to make sure she stays active.
We have baptism this Saturday! Marilu! She`s so great and has a really strong desire to change and draw closer to the Lord.
Also yesterday at Church a 20 ish year old girl walked up to us and said "I`ve been in Cusco for the last 2 months and I had all the discussions and I want to get baptized, can you help me?". Hahaha heck yes we can help you! So we have an appointment with her tomorrow and hopefully she`ll get baptized this Saturday with Marilu.
That`s about all I got for this week! Which is a lot! We have a lot going on now, especially with our area doubling, so this week should be super busy and great! I love you all!
P.S. Go read President Uchtdorf`s talk from the General Women`s Conference "Living the Gopsel Joyful". I love it! Remember what a huge blessing it is to have the gospel in our lives and share that joy with others!
Monday, January 12, 2015
Another great week in Peru!
This week I really realized how far I`ve come in my Spanish. I understand pretty much everything! And I can speak without thinking most of the time. I`m really just lacking vocab and my wording isn`t very sophisticated. Haha. This week a friend from the CCM and one of my teachers emailed me and I read and replied to their emails without even thinking about it. And yesterday I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting. And I was just hanging out and talking to my zone leaders a couple weeks ago and they were telling me that they`ve really seen the gift of tongues in me. When I got here I couldn`t understand anyone and I could barely say the most simple sentence, but now I can converse without having to even think about it. I know that the Lord is helping me to learn this language, I wouldn`t be learning it as fast as I am without His help.
For all of you who know how picky I am, you`ll be happy to know that this week I was fed a cow tongue sandwich. And tuna spaghetti (tuna is my least favorite food on the planet). Oh also I`ve gotten over the whole cheese thing. For the holidays we went out to eat twice at Papa Johns and I was so happy to eat pizza that I didn`t even think about taking the cheese off. And guess what? I liked it. The pizza, not the cow tongue or the tuna. Haha. My cow tongue was casually thrown behind me into the trees and half of my tuna spaghetti went right into my bag when the lady went to get something from the kitchen. Haha I`m the worst I know.
I went on divisions this week with the sister leaders, which means that one companion stays in the area and one of the sisters leaders come to replace her comp, and the other comp goes to the sister leaders` area. I stayed in my area, which was a little weird because they almost never leave the trainees to direct their area, and I was super nervous to be responsible for my area and to have to know all the directions (everyone knows that I`m severely directionally impaired), and Hermana Waldron came to be my comp. IT WAS THE BEST. I learned so so much from her. My companion is great but never really gives me an opportunity to talk and because I have her and I know that she`ll do all the talking, a lot of the time I just let her do the majority of the lesson. But Hermana Waldron wasn`t like that at all and I did pretty much everything! Which was terrifying at first but I realized that I`m a lot more capable than I thought. Now I feel a lot more confident and comfortable and am taking a bigger part in the lessons.
Okay well I love you guys! Have a great week and know that someone in Peru loves you!
Merry late Christmas! I hope you all had a great Christmas and got to spend time with your family remembering the birth and life of our Savior. Christmas really is the best.
This week was so great! We had a lot of Christmas activities with our zone, other Hermanas in the mission, with President, and with all the other zones here in Arequipa. Which was so fun and great but also meant that we didn't have a lot of time for missionary work. But this week we´ll just work even harder to make up for it!
It was amazing being able to Skype my family! It gave me motivation to keep working hard and to really put all my strength and energy into this work.
So my family asked me about all the people that I´m visiting and teaching and I realized that I never write about them! So I´m gonna try to work on that.
First we have our niñas. Heidy (11), Ale (8), y Guade (8) were baptized a few months ago and they´re the sweetest. Their parents, Marlene y Richard, just won´t get married which drives us nuts. And they can´t get baptized until they get married. Marlene really wants to get baptized and comes to church every week but her convi just doesn´t want to marry her for whatever reason. We´re working on making that a goal for them. But their daughters are seriously the best. The sweetest girls ever. I think I sent a picture last week with 2 little girls? If so that´s Ale and Guadelupe. These girls have soo much faith and such strong testimonies. I wish you guys could hear them when they pray. Their prayers are so sincere and sweet. They literally pray for everyone. They teach me so much.
Marlene and Richard are 1 of 3 couples we have that want to get baptized but just won´t get married.
Karin and Dela both have fechas for the but need to take care of some personal/work stuff first.
We have some more people but those are the people that we´re really focusing on right now.
I can´t believe that in this week we´ll end 2014 and begin 2015. Dos mil quince holy frick. This year flew by and it´s scary because I know that 2015 will fly by too! And then I´m home the beginning of 2016! Crazy!
My goal in this year is to give all that I have to the Lord and to the building of His kingdom. I have the wonderful opportunity to spend every single day of 2015 as a missionary working to bring others to Christ. What a blessing. I hope that I can take advantage of every day and give all my time, talents, and energy to this work.
Merry Late Christmas and Happy New Year!
Another absolutely great week!
The highlight of the week was definitely Maria`s baptism on Saturday. She was so so nervous before so I was freaking out a little bit. After I was waiting on the side of the font with her towel and I asked her how she felt and she just said "so so happy". And that was all I needed to hear. I am so grateful for Maria and for her testimony and her willingness to follow the example of our Savior.
Wednesday we got to have a Christmas Devo/lunch with President Zobrist and 4 other zones in Arequipa which was so great! President and his wife are so awesome. And it`s always great to meet up with other missionaries and eat delicious food and have fun.
This week my super cute sister Brooke got her mission call! She has been called to serve in the North Carolina Charlotte Mission! She is so so happy and I`m so happy for her! I`m so proud of the decision that she has made to serve the Lord as a missionary and I know that Charlotte, North Carolina is exactly where the Lord needs her. She will be such a blessing to the people there and I know that it will be such an amazing experience for her.
Merry Christmas everyone! I love you all and I`m so excited to talk to my family in 3 days!
I have no time this week to write out a long email but I`ll try to sum up my week really quick.
Yesterday was the last day of my first transfer! I survived my first transfer in the field and the first half of my training! it`s hard to believe that I already have almost 3 months in the mission!
This week I ate guinea pig so that was an adventure. Luckily my pensionista loves me and understands that some foods are just too weird for me so she gave me chicken and they only made me taste the guinea pig. haha.
Maria´s baptism is on saturday and I`m so pumped! She`s so ready and excited and i`m super happy for her.
2 of our other investigators have baptismal dates but they want to wait until Februrary, so we`re working on that. She has some addictions that she needs to take care of first.
I have no idea but I love you all! Have a good week!