Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Week 3: Hermanas, Hermanas, Hermanas! Earthquake!"

Martes, Abril 22, 2014

     We went to the temple this morning at 6:40am.  It was an amazing experience.  Tender mercies from God today:
           1.  english headsets in the temple
           2.  traffic laws
           3.  spanish cards in the temple for answering
     After the temple, we as districts 107 and 106 went to the temple store and bought scripture cases, a HLJ ring (CTR ring) and sticky notes.  Then we went to Metros (a ghetto Walmart) haha  We got some yummy treats and I got some inca cola!  It is a soda that tastes like bubble gum.  It is super popular here in Peru.
     When we got back, there were new Latinos at the CCM.  We have two new hermanas in our room. Hna Rodriguez and Hna Garcia.  They are super cute!   We ate lunch and then did our laundry.  I seriously, with all my heart, hate doing laundry at the CCM.
     We went and ate dinner and finished our laundry and went to watch a devotional being broadcasted from the Provo MTC.  Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke with his wife about missionary work.  They both spoke about loving your companion and loving them always.  "Have a vision of who you are and what you are called to do."  Elder Oaks  Today was a day full of laughs from "had to be there" moments, but it was such a great P-Day!
     The Church is true.  Yo se que la Iglesia de Jesucristo es verdadero.  Yo le que Dios es huestro amoroso padre celestial.

Miercoles, Abril 23, 2014

     Well my best friend left on her mission today.  I am so proud of you Sister Loftis!  You will change so many lives, I know it!
     Today, I had a ton of study time, but I used all of it to study Spanish.  I studied church terms so at least that was "church" related!  haha  Spanish is pretty hard and I don't know why?  Just kidding, I know it is hard, because you are relearning to speak.  Somedays I wish I just knew everything, but other days I am glad I don't know it all, because I see miracles happen.  For example, today Hna McGinnis and I had to teach Sabastian and we studied some spanish for the lesson, and when we went in there, we taught him, answered his questions marvilleso-ly.  haha  We committed him to read the Book of Mormon and pray diariamente (daily)!  He accepted and we left.  We did great for not knowing Espanol and not having an exact lesson plan.
     Before planning every night at 9:00pm, District 106 and my District 107 get together and sing "A Child's Prayer"!  My teacher Hna Villanueve recorded us singing and wanted to tag us on facebook, so accept her request, please and thank you!  :)
     My teacher Hno Ceasar Aguila thinks I am hilarious because I am always teasing him.  He is always saying "Freakin' Latinos" in his adorable latino accent.  :)  But today he said something in Espanol and I didn't understand so I said, "Freakin' Espanol!" and he seriously laughed for a good 20 min...Okay...5 min.  haha But he laughed.
          "Rock, Paper, Scissors" in Espanol.
              Yah, que, po
           No nose goes en Espanol
              No nariz van
We play this with our nueve (new) roommates!  They are so cute!!!  I love Latinas!  :)

Jueves, Abril 24, 2014

     Just a usual day at the CCM, except for some odd reason all morning my brain would not focus!!  It was so annoying.   I tried so hard to focus but I couldn't. :(  But thankfully my brain sorta focused when Hna McGinnis and I taught "Ernesto" at 10:40am.  When we finished our leccion, he told us that we are his favorite companionship!  It meant a lot!  Because first he is a teacher and second he is such a cool guy!  He is the same teacher that took me proselyting on Sabado.  He is a cool guy, but he is quite the trickster because he speaks PERFECT ENGLISH!  But he pretends like he doesn't know a lick of it.  silly silly man.
     Tonight during Spanish class Hno Ceasar Aguila told me I was doing a great job.  So far in class there are the missionaries who are very good at Spanish or those who are bad.  I am the only one in between. They haven't had an issue with me and they also haven't used me to make perfect examples.  haha  But today I felt like I am making my way up to good!  After class all the missionaries got ice cream tonight!  They said we are all working so hard that we deserved it!  :)

Viernes, Abril 25, 2014

     Tonight Hermana McGinnis and I taught "Maria" and it was so amazing!  We taught her about the Book of Mormon and how the Bible and the Book of Mormon are meant to be used together!  She said she would read the introduction to the book, and we told her we would help her read it!  It was so great.  We had her pray at the end and it was so spiritual.  Such a great experience.
     Today, during language study, I really forced myself to work even harder and I can feel it working.  I also try and speak more Espanol than English and that helped me today as well.
     During morning classes with Hno Chavez y Hno Hans told us a tongue twister in Espanol and made me say it super fast.  And in return, I made them say "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"  It was so funny because they have such strong accents that it sounds so funny.
     During night class Hno Aguila is always teasing me so I called him sassy and old (because he pulled a muscle in his leg trying to kneel down) so I told him he is like my Dad. haha  He didn't think that was funny because he is maybe 27 at the oldest.  haha
     Tonight right before daily planning was over, all the hermanas in my district decided to start reading Jesus the Christ!  I am very excited about it!!  I love this church!

Sabado, Abril 26, 2014

     Oh my goodness.  Santa Vaca....(holy cow!)  it's already Saturday.  My days are flying by!  18 months is going to be nothing!  Well Hna McGinnis and I were supposed to teach "Carlos" at 9:30am but he was busy so we taught "Oscar" (He was the same teacher who pretended to be Ernesto)  Well our lesson was not as good as I was hoping, but when he gave us feedback he told me I did an amazing job.  So that was nice.           During my personal study today I read Jesus the Christ and I seriously love that book!  I am only 30 or so pages in but the beautiful descriptions of Christ and His Atonement are so touching.  I made a little "poster" about it.   I like it a lot!  I put all the names of Christ and my 2 favorite quotes about Christ.
     During night class tonight, we were doing practice teaching and one of the "security" guys came over to me and my companion, Hna Lofgran, to help us teach.  His way of helping was saying he was the Holy Ghost and whispering stuff in our ear.  I started teaching when all of a sudden, I hear in my ear, "You is so good. Keep going."  You should have seen my face....we all started busting up and the hermana I was teaching was trying to kick us out, because she didn't have time to hear our message....but the guy walks over to her and whispers, "You know this is true, get baptized!"  And so she says..."Baptize me."  and we all busted up again!  One baptism in less than a minute. :)

Domingo, Abril 27, 2014

     Well last night around 11:30pm I woke up to the Latinas yelling, "Hermanas, Hermanas, Hermanas!" And all the lights flick on and all the Norte Americanas were thinking, WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU YELLING FOR?  When they finally had us all up they told us there was an earthquake.  None of us felt it, but apparently it really happened!  We all thought they were trying to trick us, but everyone this morning that was up at 11:30 pm felt it, but everyone else that was sleeping didn't.  Well...I survived my "first" earthquake...how interesting.....
     Today at church all the speakers spoke on the Book of Mormon.  It was such a spiritual day.  Also today the sacrament was very spiritual.  I went early to watch the Elders set up the sacrament and I have never noticed how gentle and spiritual the men are with the beautiful ordinance.  It was so wonderful!  I love this gospel!  While everyone was speaking about the Book of Mormon, I read the the introduction and it is so beautiful.  I challenge you all to read it!  And read the Book of Mormon and take Moroni's promise and ask to know if it is true.  
     During personal study I read Jesus the Christ and on page 25 at the bottom it reads 2 Nephi 9;  read the entire chapter.  So I read it.  It is so amazing!  Read it!!  After that I read my Patriarchal Blessing and I love God with all my heart!  Read your blessing!!  Get your blessing!  It is worth it!

Lunes, Abril 28, 2014

     Today I had a lot of study time, so I studied Spanish...It is so hard to know what to study and trying to review everything I've learned!!  I also studied the scriptures and memorized the first vision in Espanol.  "Vi una columna de luz.  Mas brilliante que el sol.  Directamente arriba de mi cabeza y esta luz gradualmente decendio hasta decansar sobre mi.  Al reposar mi la luz, vien el aire arriba de mi a dos personajes, cuyo fulgor y giona no admiren descripcion.  Uno de ellos me hablo, llamandome por mi nombre, y dijo denalando al otro, "Este es mi hijo Amado, escuchalo"  Saying it in Spanish and understanding each word is so much more spiritual for me, but it could just be me, but it is so amazing in Spanish.  Hna McGinnis and I taught Maria and it was not as good as we were hoping. :(  But bonus, tonight at 8:00 pm we taught the Latins! And we walked into the room and they randomly assign us topics to talk about and we got the restoration!!! :)  It was perfect.  We hardly knew what to say because we don't have the Spanish, but when it came to the vision, I said it and the spirit was so strong and the hermanas we were teaching (the hermanas in our room) started to cry.  It was such an amazing experience.  I love this gospel and I know even if we don't speak the language as well as we would like, we can say simple truths and with the spirit we can bless lives!

Our family drawn by Sierra

District 107 drawn by Sierra
Hna Favero, Hna Kennedy, Hna Waite, Hna Blackburn,
Hna Lofgran, Hna McGinnis, Hna Dodson,
Hno Pawn-Kalilikane, Hno Sandholtz

my classroom

Hermana Dodson and Hermana McGinnis


Hermanas Felizes!  Happy Sisters!

New pants!

New Jersey

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Week 2 "Mi casa es muy alto" :)

Martes April 15, 2014

     P-Day! After emails we did laundry.  Just imagine 8 machines with 35+ hermanas needing to wash their clothes.  Crazy.  What we do to stay clean. :) haha  Dinner was at 6 pm and then we had a devotional at 8pm that was being broadcast from the Provo MTC.  Elder Anderson spoke with his wife.  Sister Anderson said, "Read the words of the general authorities often because they write their talks over 10 times because they want to make sure every little word is what God wants them to say."  And Elder Anderson said about the book of Mormon, "You must know it!  Never separate yourself from it.  Know that it is true!"  They gave amazing talks.  After we broke into districts, we all talked about our emails and it totally bonded us. Today was amazing!  P.S. Any vehicle you are in in Peru is CRAZY!  There isn't any traffic laws and pedestrians have NO rights here!  So....haha.  Thankfully we have many blessings!!

Miercoles Abril 16, 2014

     I had to wake up at 5:30am because Districts 107 and 106 had to go to interpol.  When we got there, we saw 6-7 missionaries there and when we were talking to the gringos they had a hard time speaking English, which gave me hope to be able to speak the language at some point.  We were there for about 7 hours and when we got back to the CCM it was time for physical activity.
     Spanish class was super hard.  I stress myself out with all of this stuff!  I seriously keep thinking I'm never going to get it!  But then I think back to the little Spanish I did know to now, and I feel like I've improved but I still am not fluent.  haha  Tomorrow Hna. McGinnis and I teach our first "investigator".  I'm a little nervous but I'm sure it will go fine.

Jueves Abril 17, 2014

     Well his name is "Ernesto" and we did terrible.  Then again it was our first lesson, but it was bad.  We have another investigator tomorrow and we feel more spiritually prepared this time, so hopefully all goes well. Today was my last physical activity with all my Latino buddies because they leave Tuesday and they have important stuff to do before they leave!  I am jealous they get to leave, but I am so excited for them!

Viernes Abril 18, 2014

     Meals and physical activity were boring because the latinos were busy. :(  Norte Americanos are boring. haha  Well Hna. McGinnis and I taught "Sebastian" and it went so much better.  I mean it wasn't amazing but it  was so much better than the lesson with Ernesto.  It is easier to teach in English than Spanish.

Sabado Abril 19, 2014

     Today we went proselyting!  I was paired up with a Latina Hermana who is leaving Tuesday.  Her name is Hna. De La Cruz.  She is amazing.  She only speaks Spanish!  But she is going to Bolivia! :)  So happy for her.  We left the CCM at 1pm.  The drive was about 45 min. the whole way to the chapel in Lima North. My companera made me practice my preguntas (lessons), por ejemple, "Que recuerda de su baptismo?" haha  Once we got to the chapel we went over some rules and stuff and then we got assigned a teacher.  My teacher ended up being "Ernesto" - How embarrassing.  And then we got assigned a member to come with us and it ended up being a young man named Alexander.  We walked around town to find all the less actives and talk them into going to church.  We also had to find teenagers to join seminary.  Our first stop was at a young man's house and we signed him up for seminary, and he was very excited to do it!  While he was filling out the papers, I bore a very simple testimony in espanol, and he smiled because I am such a gringo.  haha Oh well.  After that we had to go up some really sketchy stairs to get to the top floor/roof to get to a man named Christian. We were about 4 stories up and the stairs were outside the building and the railings were wiggly and scary. Once we got to the top the entry was blocked off and we had to yell through this man's window which was by the stairs, and between the stairs and building was about 2 feet of empty space.  I felt stranded on a rickety staircase with no escape.  Once we got his attention, he let us through to the other building. Once we got to the door of Christian's house he let us in and we talked about if his family was okay.  And after he answered, Hna. De La Cruz talked for a bit about the church and baptism. She wanted me to bear my testimony, so I did.  I told him, "Yo se que la Iglesia de Jesuchristo es verdadero.  Yo se que el libro de Mormon es verdadero.  Yo se que Dios es nuestro amoroso padre celestial."  I ended and he cried. He said that it was the most beautiful testimony he'd ever heard and I felt good about myself.  We then went to another house.  It was a small familia.  A papa, mama and hijo.  The dad was gone but the mom and son were home.  They welcomed us in- they kissed my cheeks and I didn't know what to do when the son flung himself at me!  It was so funny.  It was super awkward!  haha  Mi compenera's face was priceless!  ha ha! Proselyting was amazing.  I just testified at every house and the spirit was strong!  I can't wait to be out in the field in Chiclayo!

Domingo Abril 20, 2014

     Happy Easter!  Today after sacrament meeting we were part of a huge broadcast from the MTC in Provo, UT.  Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke to us and it was amazing.  He talked about not fearing man and talking to everyone.  He shared an amazing scripture, it is 3 Nephi 5:13!  The quote I got from him today is "work hard, depend on the Lord, and fear no man!"  After lunch we watched  an old MTC broadcast from Richard G. Scott.  He spoke on prayer.  He said, "You can't rush an effective prayer!"  and "He will not abandon you.  He inspired your call.  He knows who you are and what you need."
     After, was companionship study and I went over to the garbage to throw away a water bottle and Elder Gozo called me over and asked for my email and right after that another Elder called me over to him and he gave me this note and on the back it says "I like when you smile"  haha  Man oh man.  Latinos. hahahahahaha
     After we had another broadcast from Elder Russell M. Nelson.  He was hilarious!  "Obedience brings success, exact obedience brings forth miracles."  Then we had a district meeting.  Everyone in my district is, Hna. Kennedy, Hna. Favero, Hna. Waite, Hna. Lofgran, Hna. Blackburn, Hna. McGinnis and me.
Funny story of the day- Hna. McGinnis and I were talking to some elders and they were saying their missions were in high altitude places and as serious as can be, Hna. McGinnis said, "Mi casa es muy alto." (My house is very tall)  I busted up laughing!  We are now the crazy white hermanas!

Lunes Abril 21, 2014

     Today we taught "Ernesto" and it was better today, but we just don't have the words to express all that we want!  We had a lot of study time today so I studied espanol and had some scriptures to read.  During one of the hours of study all the hermanas in my district all cuddled up together and read a talk called "Miracles of a Mission" by Elder Holland.  It is amazing!  Find it and send it to me.  Please and thank you!          After dinner today all the Latinos going to Bolivia left.  It was a hard goodbye and the rest leave in the morning.  But the Elder that gave me the note came over to me, and said "I'm leaving in the morning.  Can I have your email to write you?"  I said sure and gave it to him.  He doesn't speak English and I hardly speak Spanish so he probably won't actually write me.  haha  Tonight at exactly 10pm all the girls went to the bathroom which is connected by a wall to the boy's bathroom and we ALL sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again".  It was beautiful. Boys and girls all together saying goodbye in the way that we can-  through song. :)  Love y'all so much!

volleyball court 

Lima, Peru Temple

at Lima Temple

New Spanish Scriptures

my bookshelf

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

1st week

hola family and friends!!!!
April 8: tuesday: i arrived in lima peru this night!!! it is pretty surreal that i am here!!! so i started out in slc and and flew to atlanta. when i got to the gate where i was to get on the plane i met up with about 6 missionaries going to peru!!! it was nice having them! the flight was about 3 and half hours, but the one to peru was even longer.. 6 and a half hours. hahaha the plane ride to peru was superrrr bumpy hahahaha it got so bumpy that the carts the flight attendents use, two tipped and injured 2 attendents!! :( once we landed we had to go through customs, and there ended up being 19 of us that were on the plane together!!! well so the lady that helped us through customs was super grumpy and stuff, so that was hard, but i made it in!! right after i got through i was waiting for the others to get through and this secrutiy guy came over to me with a dog and the dog was sniffing me and he goes "you got fruit?" i was like, no. and so he left and then came back so this time i used some of my spanish to ask him questions and stuff and he was super excited i spoke some spanish he didnt accuse me of sneaking fruit any more.. hahahaha thankfully my bag didnt get lost, but my poor companera lost her bags..... :( once we all got together we found this bus with some ccm workers and they took our bags and we got on the bus and drove to the ccm (Missionary Training Center/Centro de CapacitaciĆ³n Misional). which is about 45 minutes from the airport. my compenera is from colorado, and went to school in lubbock texas. her name is hermana mcginnis. we are a lot alike. hahaha
April 9: wednesday: we met the ccm president and his wife today. they are so sweet!! hahaha they are from colombia, and their last name is Gonzalez, he use to be an area of the 70. we also met our branch leader and he liked me apparently because i am now a senior companion. pretty cool stuff. my district leader is from hawaii, his name is Elder Pawn-Kilikikane he is so cool!! my district has 7 hermanas and we all love eachother and its only been one day!! Having a constant companion is wierd. i am getting use to it but.... i mean we have to stand outside the bathroom and read out scriptures while they pee. what the heck......... hahhahahahahaha
April 10: thursday: we started spanish today. holy intense. we have 5 books that teach us spanish.......... just imagine my straight face that i give when i am kinda annoyed. hahhaahahaha hermana mcginnis is really good at spanish so its nice to have her around all the time, so when i have questions she answers them for me. we started physical activity today too, i love it. me and hma mcginnis play volleyball, so it is pretty cool. hahaaha we played with the latino elders. i love them!! they are all so funny, and are super sweet! there is an elder from boliva and his name is elder gozo (joy in spanish) and he was making fun of an elder who kicked the volleyball and he yelled "elder, this is not soccer, it is baseball!!" we all start busting up laughing and i turn to him and say this is volleyball but close, and all his friends started swinging their arms like they were playing baseball to make fun of him. hahahaha it was super funny!
i love peru!
April 11: friday: elder gozo (baseball) hahaha wants me to help him with his english, and he will help me with spanish! hahaha i had a bunch of spanish classes today. super overwhelming..
April 12: saturday: i cant wait to know spanish. right now i am so overwhelmed with the language it is intense. ahhhhhhh. i got my return date today. it is october 8, 2015!!!!!!!!
April 13: Sunday: today was wierd, becasue we had church today, but it is weird being in wards of all missionaries..... hahahaha i memorized the purpose of a missionary in spanish!! i am so proud of myself. i am going to get so fat here. we eat so much rice, bread and chicken!!! haahahaha
April 14: monday: we had immigration today, which means, I GOT MY VISA!!!! hahaha i have interpol on wednesday, to finish up all my paperwork, but i get to stay!! hahaha there was about 16 of us trying to do our paper work and it took about 5 hours to do it. we left at 130 and got back at 645....... we ate dinner and then went to spanish class. and then to bed.
April 15: tuesday: PDAY!! we went to the temple! it was amazing! and then we went to this store called tottos, it is a "walmart of peru" hahaha everyone was staring at us becasue of our huge group of white people who dont speak spanish!! hahahaha 

April 8, 2014
Group of missionaries that Sierra met up with in
Atlanta, Georgia

Almost  a 10 hour flight to Lima, Peru

April 8, 2014
Airplane left Salt Lake City at 11:09 am.
Arrived in Lima, Peru at 11:12 pm

My first companion, Hermana McGinnis

Hermana Dodson and Hermana McGinnis
at Lima Temple

District 107 at Lima Temple

Beautiful Missionary

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Sierra's email address is:     sierra.dodson@MyLDSMail.net

If you would like to write a hand written letter or send a care package the address is:
                                                    Sister Sierra Dodson
                                                    Peru Chiclayo Mission      
                                                    Calle Los Alamos128
                                                    Urb. Santa Victoria
                                                    Chiclayo, Lambayeque

                                                    Phone:  51 74-205-436

If you ship a package via a private courier, you will need the mission office telephone number listed above.
Small packages of nominal value may be sent through regular mail.  Photographs, tapes, CDs, thumb drives, etc., should be sent in padded envelopes because they may damage postal equipment or be damaged during transit if placed in flat envelopes.

Packages sent to other countries often do not reach their intended destination.  When they do arrive, they are subject to customs duties (taxes) that the missionary must pay from his/her personal funds.  This amount may be equal to or greater than the cost of the items being sent.

I made it!!! :)

Hey family!! i miss you guys sooo much!! i made it to peru and i am loving it! the people are beautiful and so is the culture!! dont stess i didnt get sick on the flights, but i did have a kinda rough flight!! i will right about all my expericences on my p day which is tuesdays, so you will hear from me then about everything!!! i only get 5 mintues today to write... hahahaha my companion is wonderful and we get along great, so YAYAYAYAY!!! tell my friends that i love them and i miss them dearly! (you know who they are) hahaha i love you all so much and i miss you, but it has been such a fun experience to be here at the ccm with all the missionaries!! the spirit is so strong because we are all here for one cause and that is to spread the gospel!! we have many people from all over so it is cool to hear about where they are from! i know this is going to be a long and hard process but it will be worth it! i love this gospel with all my heart and i cant wait to share it with others in chiclayo! thanks for all the support!! i am going to need it once i start learning spanish tomorrow! ahhh!! i am so excited! i am going to be able to speak spanish!! please pray for me and all the missionaries here at the ccm that we may have the spirit and be able to learn and understand what we need to say and learn.
love always,
Hermana Dodson
ps i got my name tags today!! i look like an offical missionary now!!
i will write you tuesday!! much love sent from peru!! :)