Monday, May 26, 2014

Week 6: Mi Testimonio

Martes, Mayo 13, 2014
          We went to the temple this morning and I had such a wonderful experience while I was sitting in the Celestial Room.  I had a feeling to just go and sit in the sealing room.  I didn't know why, but when I was about to go in, I saw one of the hermanas in my district, Hna Blackburn.  And at the altar, I saw her brother with a beautiful lady and her family was watching them be sealed.  It lasted a brief second.  The amazing thing is that her brother died about 5 years ago.  I went over and told her what I saw and it was such a beautiful experience.  I am so grateful I was able to witness it.  We then went to grajes and metros.  While at metros, I had to find some coconut cookies and there were some workers putting cookies away and they looked at me and said, “United States?” and I said, “Yes.” and then one of them started guessing where I was from, and they kept saying I was from Texas or New York.  When I told them I was from Utah, they were like, “It's hot there huh?” and I said, “No, it is mucho frio.” haha They started laughing.  Then they asked if me and Hna McGinnis were Christians and we said, “Yes.”  He asked  if we read the Bible and we said, “Yes, and that we also read the Book of Mormon.”  And then we told him we were missionaries De la Iglesia de Jesuscristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias.  And he got excited that we were Mormons.  He asked where the church was, but we didn't have an address, so we gave him a pamphlet and got his information from him and then gave his friend one and left.  Today has been so spiritually uplifting, and I am so grateful I was able to have such an amazing experience.
          After shopping, Hna Olivas gave all the girls in my district and her district rings that say Peru around it.  It is bent wire inside to spell out Peru.  It is so cool. :)
          Tonight, we had a MTC Broadcast and Elder L. Tom Perry spoke.  One thing he spoke about tonight was on the Doctrine and Covenants.  He said no book on earth is as important as the D and C.  It stands above all of the books.  It contains the word of God for the modern days.  It is our book.  So we need to understand it.  After he said that, I was wishing for a more modern book and realized that General Conference is our modern book.  It is words of God given to us by prophets to help guide us just like the scriptures.  Take all the literature in the church seriously because all of it the palabras de Dios (words of God).  I love this gospel.  I love the scriptures.  I love modern revelation!
          Scriptures of great help to me: Jeremiah 1: 5-9
                                                   Exodus 4: 12 (gift of tongues)
                                                   DC 100: 5-6   
                                                   DC 20:8-12 (Joseph Smith- I love Jose Smith)
                                                   DC 50: 22 (teaching with the spirit)

          Ask, Seek and Knock Spiritually!  Get to know the gospel!

Miercoles, Mayo 14, 2014
          During personal study, I wrote thank you notes to all 4 of my teachers and the cooks (I call them angeles de comida) and also to all the maintenance people (my amigos).  I love writing notes to people for helping me with all they do for me!
          Every once in a while we have a class dedicated to reading the Book of Mormon, and today we were lucky and had it and we decided to read together out loud.  We read 2 Nephi 4.  It is such a powerful chapter.  Nefi talks about his struggles and his temptations.  He also talks of his prayers to God for help.  And I decided that I need to pray like Nefi.  I need to pray with exclamation points because it seems more powerful.  So I challenge you to read 2 Nephi 4 and in your scriptures write this question by that chapter, “Do I pray with exclamation points?” And by verse 33, write the hymn title, “I Need Thee Every Hour!” :)
          We taught “Juan Garcia” today and it went well.  We invited him to be baptized and he accepted.  And we did a great least that is what the teacher said when we ended. After that, we had dinner.  Tonight they made us these chips that were basically refried fried tortilla chips.  They were so good.  I have loved all the food here...Then again, here they feed you normal things at the CCM.  The only odd thing here is they don't serve fruit EVER for breakfast (its against their culture) and also they make pizzas on pieces of chicken.  Haha  They are trying to make us Norte Americanos feel at home, but really we just get confused. :)
          Tonight we taught the Latinos.  Our lesson went really well.  I always feel good after teaching them because they are so nice about the whole learning Spanish thing.   Haha  I am so grateful for this gospel and all my blessings from it.  I am also so grateful for my companera.  She is such a strong person with a testimony that could hold a city!  I don't know what I would have done if we had not been comps here at the CCM.  She has helped me grow so much!  I owe her so much!

Jueves, Mayo 15, 2014
          So I decided since today I was so hungry all day long, that I want to talk about the yummy food I get to eat everyday.  So this morning I ate 2 pieces of toast, a crepe, a scoop of yogurt with frosted flakes in it (it is really yummy.  Try it once!) and fresh orange juice.  I was never a breakfast eater at home, but here I love desayuno (breakfast). 
          This morning Hna McGinnis and I were suppose to teach Pilar but her class has P-Day today, so she wasn't at the CCM, so we taught “Javier” and our lesson went pretty well.  Javier was easy to understand, either that or I am getting better at understanding.  After teaching, we watched a video on called “Gospel in Peru” and Elder Cook is in it and while he is talking to the congregations, the man next to him translating, is the counselor to Pres. Gonzolez, so I get to see him often here at the CCM.  It was cool to see him. :)
          At lunch we had rice, beans, pork, guacamole y those fried tortilla chips.  It was so good! And for dessert I had a donut that is cut in 2 and has cream cheese frosting inside!  It is so good!  I am going to get fat!  Haha  Good thing my skirts are stretchy! :)
          Today tall Hna Kennedy showed me a video she found on YouTube of the Atonement/Missionary Work.  It is called “La Explacion”.  Elder Holland and Pres. Eyering speak in it.  It is amazing.  If you can find it, watch it. 
          Next, we did physical activity, and it was our last one here at the CCM.  I'm a little bummed about it, but I am more excited to get ready to leave on Tuesday!!!!
          We did practice teaching tonight and I was assigned an investigator, and I always enjoy being the investigator because when I put myself in the shoes of someone who doesn't have the gospel, I learn how I need to teach them.  Hopefully what I learn here at the CCM sticks with me and I can use it in the field.  My espanol is getting better everyday!  But I'm still not at the place I want to be at...:( esta bien.  It will come.  We talked a bit about the Plan of Salvation and a thought came to my mind to share with an investigator that God sent us to this earth in families so we can learn and grow together.  Family is the most important thing in our lives, so would God put us here in families just to break them apart after death?  No!  Of course not.  That is why we are sealed for time and all eternity.  I love this gospel and the beautiful blessings we are promised if we strive to be like Christ.  I know God wants all to return to him and he can't wait for the day to take each of us in his arms and say “I love you!”  And I am here serving in Peru so that I can help them get to the kingdom of God and receive that welcome with me by their side!  Until that day, pray to Heavenly Father and He will show you his love while you are here on earth.  I love y'all! :)

Viernes, Mayo 16, 2014
          Today was kinda a long day....we had an all day meeting so we could learn about things for the field.  Oh...did I mention that it is espanol?  I surprisingly understood most of it...or I think I did.  Haha  The meeting literally went from 8am-12:45 pm, then we had lunch and pictures from 2pm-8pm.  Long day.  Oh and I guess they fed us around 6-6:30pm...haha.  When we were sent to bed at 8pm, we all got in the shower and as soon as we all got out and got into our pjs, we get called down to the teacher's office.  We all just threw on skirts and had our shower shoes on.  It was quite a sight.  And the best one was Hna Waite.  She has a night gown with a big cow on it that says, “pasture bedtime”, and she just put a belt on with it and ran downstairs.  Funniest thing!  Another funny story that happened during dinner.  I was with all the hermanas in my district and 2 Latinas and we were talking and they started complimenting my eyes, saying so many sweet things in Spanish and English.  And then somehow, they got talking about my blanco skin and how they think it is beautiful.  And that is when I told them that I loved their skin!  And Hna Waite was listening in and says, “Mi gusta su carne!”  which means “I like your flesh!”  haha  The Latinas thought it was the funniest thing. 
          Well, back on point, we went downstairs and they gave us letters and they ended up being from our mission president.  The hermanas in my district going to Chiclayo all took turns reading it.  I am so glad to be with these ladies because they are my sisters, and now we all get to go to serve the beautiful people in Chiclayo.
          In the letter, they told us to study these scriptures:  DandC 84:106 and Matthew 28:19-20.  They are really good about the missionary purpose.  If you are in need of something to study, read with real intent Alma 7.  It  is about Christ and His Atonement/His Coming.  I love the scriptures!

Sabado, Mayo 17, 2014
          This morning as a district, we watched a talk from Elder Holland.  He spoke at an MTC Broadcast about converting yourself and loving Christ with all your soul.  Here are a couple things I enjoyed.  There is so much more that I love from it, but I got so caught up in the wonders in his talk, that I only took a couple notes...
1.      At the ages of 18-20 yrs, you are the hope of Isreal
2.      Jesus asks, “Do you love me more than what you were doing with your life?”
3.      Peter responds, “I do love thee, more than these.”
4.      Jesus replies, “Then feed my sheep.  When I asked thee to serve, it was forever.  We are in          this until the end.  You can't go back to your old life, you must always feed my sheep.”

          After that, we watched that Atonement video I told you about, and it is in all English, so try and find that one.  I cried a bit watching it today....
          Later, we had companion planning with our Latina companions for proselyting.  My compenera fue Hna Toscana.  She is from Ecuador and her mission is Lima Norte.  Today's area was 2 hours away.  It was a different part, because everything/everyone were more rude.  We got paired up with a teacher from the CCM, Hna Riverta and a member.  I don't know his name, but he was really intense.  We were given a list of names of less actives (menos activos) to talk them into attending church in the morning.  Every single person on our list had moved away....awkward...and since we had from 2-6pm to teach, we started contacting. Well, we were knocking on doors and a lot of people wanted to hear our message because they wanted to hear the Norte Americanos speak.  We had 12 people want to hear more about the gospel on another day.  It was great!  But during one contact, the member handed this older lady a pamphlet about chastity and told her we had a lesson for her.  We took the chastity pamphlet and gave her one about the Restoration, and taught her about that instead. :)
          At our last stop, me and mi companera were asking this man if he believed in God and Jesucristo.  He said, “No.” But that if they existed, they are extra-terrestrial.  
          After that, we met back up at the church building and then packed up and left.  I totally was asleep the entire way home.  Once we got there, we ate dinner at 8:30 pm.  I was so hungry.  After we ate, we all gathered as a district and talked about our experiences.  
          Today was quite the day.  I am glad tomorrow is Domingo.  I need a day to renew.  I am so excited to get out in the field in a couple days.  It is going to be so different from the CCM but it is going to be so amazing and such a growing experience.  God lives and He loves all of His children.

Domingo, Mayo 18, 2014
          Oh my gosh.  I leave in 2 days! :)  One thing I forgot to write about yesterday was the bus ride.  The bus felt like riding on the white roller coaster at Lagoon.  It was the most bumpy and jerky thing I've ever ridden in.  haha  I felt like eveything was going to just jump out the windows.  And during the ride, when we would be stopped by other buses or just by the sidewalk, people would get all excited to see Norte Americanos.  I would wave and smile and they would get so happy.  I love it here.  I love that the people want to talk to me and hear the things I say.  Haha  At least that's what I tell myself.  They probably only want to talk to me because of my skin color.  Bummer.  Oh well.  It's no longer “flirt to convert”, but to “use your skin to convert.”  Not as smooth coming off the tongue, but that's what you gotta do here.  Haha
          So in church today, everything was so amazing.  Elder Hill, one of the counselors in the Branch Presidency spoke about enduring to the end.  I told myself that he will/should be in the General Authorities because he has the voice and the knowledge of one.  And I am going to leave all my clothes here in the CCM and take Elder Hill with me as my personal Preach My Gospel and scripture mastery card.  Entonces, he said, “We are running a race here on earth, and even if we come in dead last, the only important thing is that we cross the finish line!  We need to touch lives.  Help those, who you left your finger prints on, to reach the finish line.”  He is so amazing!  He knows PMG better than the back of his hand.  Maybe one day, I'll be like him. 
          In Relief Society, we were talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and someone shared that when we say “I know this gospel is true”, we are saying faith in Jesus Christ is true, repentance is true, baptism is true, the gift of the Holy Ghost is true and enduring to the end is true.  We also talked about the Holy Ghost and baptism.  I know for me, I have definitely taken advantage of the gift of baptism and the Holy Ghost.  The gift of the Holy Ghost is a privilege to walk with a member of the Godhead.  We CAN walk with the Godhead always!  How beautiful is that image, and how beautiful of a privilege to have that gift in my life. 
          We had interviews today with the Branch Presidency and over and over again, they told me how amazing our districts (106 and 107) are, and how strong we are as separate districts as well as together.  I know that we were all sent here at this time because we were meant to be the strongest group to set a standard and example for all others to follow.  I am grateful to have been with so many that strive to be exactly obedient.  I know, because we are striving to do so and God will bless us. 
          After interviews, we started to watch The Testaments, but in the middle of it we had to stop and go to a class of how to teach English.  It was so fun.  We got to teach a couple Latins how to say a scripture.  It is so cute to see them speak English.  I seriously want their accents when I go home! Haha
          At dinner tonight, I was thinking about the food I miss, and I miss sushi and the macaroni hamburger from Rich's.
          We had a farewell tonight for all missionaries leaving on Tuesday.  After that, we had a testimony meeting with districts.  I love my district with my whole heart and I am so grateful for all the times I've had with them.
          Scripture time:  Job 19: 23-26, Proverbs 3:5-7, Helaman 10:4-5, Mosiah 28:3, D&C 15:6, Matthew 17:20, Alma 17:3, Alma 26:32, Alma 31:35-38, D&C 64:33-34, 1 Nephi 3:7.

                                                      Mi Testimonio

          I know I am here in Peru for a reason right now.  I know one reason now, and that was to have the district I had and also the wonderful maestros.  I know this church is true and that Joseph Smith really did restore the greatest blessing back to the earth.  I know this without a shadow of a doubt, that my brother, Jesus Christ suffered and died for me.  I know through him I can find forgiveness, peace, joy and comfort in times of struggle, especially here in Peru.  I love the temple and I am grateful for the opportunidad to attend 5 times while in Lima.  I know that families will be together forever.  I know that we are blessed with the scriptures, because our ancestors wanted us to know their testimonies and also about Christ.  The beautiful words on the pages are journal entries from our ancestors!  I love reading about their lives and their testimonies of Christ.  I love the missionary work in the scriptures because I like to think I can do the same things that they do when they get persecuted while preaching the truth.  I love the atonement, I love the scriptures, I love the ability to talk to God.  I love that anytime, even if not “prayer” form He listens to your thoughts and intentions of the heart.  I love this gospel and I am so grateful that I am able to share my testimony here in Peru! 

Love you all!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Week 5: Ultimate Football and Mother's Day Skype

Martes, Mayo 6, 2014

      P-Day.  We went to the temple this morning.  We had the early session and we were going to wake up at 5:45 am but instead got woken up at 4:00 am and couldn't get back to sleep because there was so much noise/things happening-  because everyone was leaving this morning for the field.  We left at 6:30 am and we got on the bus and this older guy jumped on behind me and smiled, so I said, "Hola, como esta?" and apparently that means, "Hey I really like when you stand close to me and basically use me as a pole"  And it was packed on the bus so I couldn't go anywhere....when we finally got to the temple, I was relieved.  The temple is so beautiful.  I am so grateful for the oportunidad to attend the temple on p-days.  I am going to miss the temple while I'm in Chiclayo.  Mom and Dad, when I get home, let's go to a Spanish session, because anything in Spanish is better! :)  We then went to the temple store.  After laundry and stressful emailing it was personal study.  I read Mosiah 1: 11-12 and I thought it was amazing because it talks of a people being distinguished above all people and they are given a name that will never be blotted out.  I love it.  As a missionary you are held to another standard and you have a name upon you that will not be blotted out.  I also read 1 Nephi 21:16.  It us such a strong scripture.  It reads, "Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands."  How awesome.
     Then we watched the most AMAZING broadcast.  Can you guess who spoke?  You got it.  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.  I literally took almost 4 pages of notes, front and back, from his talk.  You will have to look it up. It would be something like, MTC Broadcast May 6, 2014 Elder Holland- The Missionary Purpose.  There is so much I love about his talk I don't know what to highlight right now.  "You can't always/ever have Jesus and God in the flesh next to you, but you can have the Holy Ghost, and walking with the Holy Ghost, you know what it is like to walk with someone from the Godhead."  He said much more, but you need to just read it!

Miercoles, Mayo 7, 2014

      Today I did solo espanol.  It was awesome, because I grew so much in my Spanish.  Today in morning classes, Hno Chavez y Hno Hans were suppose to teach us querer + infinitive, but instead we talked about how scary Peru was in the 80's.  We talked about terrorists and how they were constantly hurting people, but not anymore.  Thankfully!
     So last night all the new Norte Americanos got here so it was nice to see new faces at meals.  Sad day because we didn't get roommates. :(  Oh well, now we won't get woken up at random times because of them.  I think I'll miss it.
      Hna McGinnis and I taught a new investigator, her name is "Cynthia" and this lady is so funny.  We knock on her door and when we got into her house, she had her music blasting, so we asked her to turn it off so we could focus on inviting the spirit.  Then we started asking questions about her life and her desires. While we would talk to her she would put her head down on the table between us and look dead.  So I was bearing my testimony to her and she would pop her head up for a minute with one eye squinted and then throw her head back on the table.  So I stopped talking and asked her a question and while she was responding, she started to fall asleep!!!  By the end of the lesson, McGinnis and I were having a hard time not laughing.  We finally ended our lesson and she said, "I want to know more about the Book of Mormon and that prophet you were talking about.  How about you come over Friday?"  We looked at each other and said that works great and left.  Right as she shut her door, we ran outside laughing.  She was such a fun investigator.  I can't wait to teach her Friday.
     Tonight in night class Hna Waite and I got paired up to share scriptures with each other and while she was sharing, she started bearing her testimony and she was saying, "I know we have a living prophet today...and then she says in a British accent, "Thomas S. Monson."  No se why she did but we both started laughing.  Also, today when she was going to the bathroom, the toilet seat fell off the toilet!  Bad luck always from Hna Waite!  Yo se que Thomas S. Monson estan profeta de dios.  Yo se que el libro de Mormon contiene la palabras de Dios y la palabras de profetas.  Te amo la iglesia de Jesuscristo de los Santos de los ultimos dias.  Yo agradicido por mi companera y por mi tiempo (at) el CCM.  Yo se que Dios y Jesuscristo viven.
     I love you all.  Thanks for all the support!  Mucho amor de Peru a ustedes.
     Favorite scriptures today:  Mosiah 8:13-18  talks of prophets!  They are true!
                                             2 Nephi 3: 12-15 y 24  Joseph Smith
                                             Alma 32  likens reading scriptures to a seed.  (seed of Faith)  26-43
                                             Moroni 10: 4-5  I memorized it en espanol.  It is a great promise!  Take it                                                                             seriously.

Jueves, Mayo 8, 2014

     1 month mark!  How crazy is that?!  Today was a pretty good day.  I did a lot of language study and read in the scriptures.
     At meals today I got to know new Latinas.  They are all so nice and understanding of our terrible espanol.  2 hermanas we talked to are going to Chiclayo with all of us girls!  It is such a good group of us.  I am way pumped!  Before dinner, we were learning about teaching people, not lessons.  And we had to practice with each other and we (Hna McGinnis and I) taught Hna Kennedy a lesson to help her with her "needs" and it was crazy.  While we were teaching her, even though it wasn't real, it felt real and the spirit was strong and we really "helped" her.  It was awesome.  After dinner a couple of us had to teach an investigator which tonight it was Hno Cesar and it was a hard lesson.  It was dificult :(  After we all taught, he told us that all we need to work on keeping the lesson focused because we kept allowing him to pull us away from the reason we were teaching him.  One of the Hnas took it kinda hard, so a bunch of us found scriptures to help her out and help ourselves.  My favorito escrituras hoy:  D&C 67: 1-2 (change elders to                                                                                                                                         missonaries)
                                                                                                               D&C 68: 3-6
                                                                                                               Alma 7: 23
                                                                                                               Mosiah 4: 27
I love this gospel and I am so excited to serve the people in Chiclayo.  I have grown so much here.  I pray every night/morning for 15 min!

Viernes, Mayo 9, 2014

     This morning during my personal study, I read in Mosiah 3-4.  There are so many promises in those scriptures!  I love it.  I also read my blessing.  Seriously, every time I read it, I find something new and I have read it twice a day since I have been here and I still find new things!  It is amazing.  It is like a "Father's Blessing" everyday for me.  Read your patriarchal blessing daily!!  Pray before you read it and ask what it is you need to see in it that day, and you will find answers and a lot of comfort!
     Also this morning during morning classes, Hno Chavez prayed at the end of one of our classes and in his prayer he literally said "Please bless the family of Hna Dodson.  Please bless the family of Hna McGinnis and so on until he blessed his family.  It was such a spiritual experience.  And before that we sang, "I know that my Redeemer Lives" en espanol and the spirit was so strong.  All day today, the spirit has been here.
     Hna McGinnis and I taught our new invesigador "Pilar".  She wants to be a nun, so she is very religious, but while we were teaching her, the spirit was so strong with us!  It was awesome!
     Right after teaching, my district had to email home about Mother's Day skyping/phone calls...hopefully my email made sense.
     Tonight before daily planning, I was reading Mosiah 5 and in verse 12.  I read a part of it that reminds me of my covenants in the temple.  The entire chapter is amazing so read it, but that verse stood out.  By the way, today I played ultimate football and I was kicking some trash. haha.  I blocked so many passes and I caught some crazy passes!  The elders were impressed.  NBD haha  Too bad I was wasting time playing volleyball all this time when I could have been in my competative mode.  Oh well, at least now I can play until I leave in a week!!
     I found this quote today:  3 Nephi 11:14-15 [One by one:  the importance of the one]  "I believe that if we could truly understand the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, we would realize how precious is the one son or daughter of God.  At the heart of the word ATONEMENT is the word ONE.  If all mankind understood this, there would never be anyone with whom we would not be concerned.  The irony of the atonement is that it is infinite and eternal, yet it is applied individually, one person at a time...never underestimate how precious one is."   Elder Ballard, 2004 Ensign

Sabado, Mayo 10, 2014

     Today was a spiritual day.  Anything I read, sang, or thought was super spiritual.  Throughout the day I made a goal to ask people why they decided to serve a mission, what their favorite part of the Evangelio de Jesuscristo, and why the gospel is important to them.  I think asking those questions when they least expect it is the best thing you can do, because it puts the purpose of being a missionary at the forefront.  I challenge you to bear your testimony several times a day.  Not crazy things, just simple beliefs. :)
     I studied about the atonement a lot today, because of that quote I found in my scriptures yesterday.  And tonight after planning and teaching, Hna McGinnis, Me, Hna Blackburn, Hna Waite and Hna Favero sang, "Yo se que Nuestro Redentor vive."  It was beautiful and spiritual.  I seriously love this gospel.  It is everything to me.  And because it is, I am here in Peru, so I can bless people with the gospel of Jesucristo.  I am grateful for all the blessings I have received from God and from those in my life! Read Mosiah 3!  It is about the atonement.  And then read 3 Nephi 11!!
     I love Jesus and His Atonement.  Without it, I would be lost and unwanted!  Use this gift we have been given!
     Can't wait to see you tomorrow!

Domingo, Mayo 11, 2014

     MOTHER'S DAY!  Today has been an amazing day!  During sacrament today, after 4 missionaries spoke, President Adams (branch president) spoke and last Sunday he and his wife were gone because they went to Machu Pichu with their daughter and on their flight home Friday the food on the plane gave them food poisoning and so in the middle of his talk, he stopped, walked out of the room and just blew chunks right there in the hall and his counselor, Elder Hill got up and started to finish his talk for him, until Pres. Adams came back, then he finished, and sacrament was then over.
     It was weird to be at church and not have people speak about mothers.
     Hey mom, I was sad this morning because I wasn't able to decorate for you and write little notes for you!  Hopefully this thought makes it up to you!  ha ha
     After all of our church meetings, it was almuerzo (lunch) and after that was personal study.  Today, I studied about 3 separate beings in the Godhead.  It was amazing how much evidence there is in the Bible and Book of Mormon that there are 3 beings.
     Right after study we all had "how to lead music" class.  That was interesting because every single North American knew how to lead music, but all the Latins had no idea how to.  haha  And then they wanted us to sing all together and without a doubt all the Latins can't sing on tune to save their life!  I love it.  It reminds me of when Miguel would try and sing. :)  Before class was over, it was the "older" missionaries' turn to talk to their families!  That was the best thing ever.  Hopefully my Spanish wasn't too awkward.  And hopefully my English hasn't been affected to bad. haha  It was nice to see all of you!  I obviously lost it when I saw your faces/body outlines (thanks to skype).  Thankfully, it didn't cut out!  :)  I love all of you, so so much!  Right after skyping, we watched a movie, no idea what it was, but the acting was terrible, so during it, I was reading in Alma 36 and in that chapter I found the verse that tells why I am here serving in Peru!  Verse 24. It reads, "I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste;  that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost."
     After la cena (dinner), we had a fireside and Presidante Gonzalez spoke to us about working with the Bishop and members.  Despues we had district meeting and we talked about the fireside and also our video chatting today.  Everyone's stories were so happy!  Cutest thing though, when we all went to the classroom, we (all the hermanas) had a treat on our desks with a little note - Happy Future Mother's Day: Hermana Dodson- and on the back it says, Love, Elder PK and Elder Sandholtz.  Our elders are so sweet.  They were sad they couldn't do something for their moms so they decided to do something for the future moms! :) How thoughtful!  Then we, as a district, came up with goals and some of them are, 1.  Solo espanol en la classroom  2.  share testimony once a day with a Latin  3. Fake contact once a day en la CCM.
     I love my district with my whole heart!  I believe that I didn't get my call sooner because I needed to learn and grow with the beautiful people in my district.  District 107 will forever be the best district ever.  We have a love/bond that will never fade.  We all have strengths that help us build up one another!
     P.S. During the fireside, my district sang [Abide with me, tis Eventide]  Conmigo quedate, Senor and it was so spiritual.  We sang the last verse acapella and....I love the spirit/music!!

Lunes, Mayo 12, 2014

     This morning Hna McGinnis and I taught Pilar Garcia again and it went so well.  We taught all about the restoration and I said the First Vision and it was awesome.  After I said it, I said "Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son Jesuscristo."  We know Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus.  It was very spiritual and we challenged her to pray and read the Book of Mormon.  She said yes and we gave her chapter 32 in Alma to read.
     I am loving Spanish.  It is still hard pero (but) I am really getting the hang of it!  During morning class we were talking about "we invite, they commit, we follow up."  and one of the points is bearing testimony and on page 198 en Preach My Gospel, there is a quote about doing so by Pres. Thomas S. Monson.  "Regarding one's testimony, remember, that which one willingly shares he keeps, while that which he selfishly keeps, he loses...teach and testify.  There is no better combination."  Bear your testimony once a day!  It strengthens you!!  I testify of that! :)
     Today, during additional study, I went to the computer lab to use a program called Tall.  It is a language program.  It is pretty helpful once you know how to use it.  It only took everyone 5 weeks to finally understand it.  haha  I was learning about present subjunche and let me just say...I suck at doing correct things in English and so I don't know how I am supposed to learn correct grammar in Spanish if I can't do it in English.  ha ha :)
     After that, it was personal study and I read my Book of Mormon en Espanol.  I learn so much reading in the scriptures.  It takes me 20 times longer but I learn a lot.  After that it was Physical Activity.  I played ultimate football and I was killing it.  The elders enjoy playing with me because they know when they throw me the ball, I will catch it.  Oh exciting news!!  I met 2 elders today that are going to Chiclayo but they don't leave until the very end of June.  It was exciting to have elders though! :)  (Elder Smith and Elder Bagley)
     At dinner tonight Hna McGinnis and I asked some of the Latinas to share their testimonies with us and during one of the Latina's testimony she bore it in Ingles and it was seriously the cutest thing I have ever heard!  "Iee knaw dat."  that is how she said it and her voice was so gentle and sincere.  The spirit was so strong!  Then they wanted me to bear my testimony so I did and they loved it. haha  Then they told us that we are going to be angels in Chiclayo.  And they said they love us and our beautiful spirits, and they know the people will love us because we are white. ha ha  So spiritual and then straight up.
     Tonight, we practiced teaching the Latinas and they told us we did good. :)  I seriously can't wait to get to Chiclayo.  I seriously can't believe that when I leave the CCM next martes, I only have 16 1/2 months left! Time is flying by!

Hermana Dodson y Hermana McGinnis by CCM sign

CCM sign

Matching bows 

District 107 Bus Ride
"We left at 6:30am and we got on the bus, and
this older guy jumped on behind me and smiled,
so I said, "Hola, como esta?"  and that apparently
means, 'Hey, I really like when you stand
close to me and basically use me as a pole.'

Hna Dodson, Hna McGinnis, Hna Kennedy, Hna Waite,
Hna Lofglan, Hna Blackburn, Hna Favero

bus ride

bus ride

temple address

Hermana Dodson y Hermana McGinnis y Hermana Blackburn

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Week 4 :Spirit World Quote shared by Hna Guymon

"Someday when you are back in the Spirit World, you will be enthralled by the other souls, who will be from many interesting time periods and who lived during the time of many great prophets.  You many ask one person; when did you live?  And hear something like, "I was with Moses when he parted the Red Sea.", or "I helped build one of the great pyramids."  or "I fought with Captain Moroni."  And as you stand there amazed at the people you are with, someone will ask you, "During which prophet time did you live in?"  And when you tell them you lived during the time of President Hinkley and President Monson....a hush will fall over every hall and corridor for Heaven and all in attendance will bow in your presence.  This is very important stewardship we have been given.  We were held back for 6,000 years, because we were the most righteous, most talented, most obedient servants of Heavenly Father."          -Brad Wilcox

"We must have gained patience while we were in heaven because 6,000 years is a long time to wait and watch so many others live a life you so badly want to experience.  You just have to think how much more amazing the next generations have to be."

Week 4: "I will do my best on earth, so that I can come find you, and bring you back..."

Martes Abril 29, 2014

     P-Day!  Today we went to the temple.  I didn't use the English head phones and I understood mostly all of what happened!  I think it helped that I knew it pretty well in English :)  I was still really proud!  After the temple we (18 personas) walked to Metros (ghetto Walmart) and it was closed because they were celebrating the working people.  So we went next door to "grajes".  It is a fair like place with booths, but it is inside a 3 story building.  I bought some cool pants there.  They are like my genie pants, but better. :)  I also got a jersey today, but I ordered it awhile ago with a teacher that works at the CCM because his friend can get them cheap.  :)  I love bargains!  After we bought our pants we walked to the other side of town to Tohus.  During all the walking, there were a lot of cat calls, and "hey bonitas" yelled at us.  Funny story...while we were walking by some construction guys they started whistling and yelling stuff at us and one of the Elders, Elder Meidell yells back, "Gracias, yo tengo bonita!"  The workers laughed and got back to work!  It was so funny!  Oh, that means, "Thanks, I am beautiful!"  At least that is what Meidell said.  haha :)
     Later, we had a devotional live from Provo.  I tried to find Kenzie, but I didn't see her :( Bummer.  Well D. Todd Christofferson and his wife spoke!  They both did amazing!  Sister Christofferson spoke about if you do your part in the field, God will bless you.  She also, right at the beginning of her talk, quoted Pres. Hinkley, because she was giving us "motherly advice" because our moms were not here speaking to us. "Please do not do stupid things." Pres. Hinkley  Later D. Todd Christofferson spoke, and he walked up to the stand and pulled a box of Cheerios out of nowhere and began talking.  He turned the box around and on the back it read, "Trusted...a brand that all mothers trust for their little ones."  He then adds, "I think all those who give their time to clean chapels can agree."  He is so funny!  He then likened it unto us by sharing a quote from David O. McKay, "It is greater to be trusted than loved!"  And continued by saying "How many of us can God trust?"  He closed by saying "We want God to say 'Well done my good and faithful servant', as we meet Him at the Gates of Heaven."  I think it is important that we all, missionary or not, need to work towards that because we should not want to embarrass God by not being a trustworthy servant of God.  Oh, he also brought up a point on blessings.  He said, "If you think you are in debt to God before your mission, you will be surprised at how in debt you will be after your mission because God showers you with blessings while you serve a mission."
     I challenge ya'll to read D&C 112!  It is amazing.  Also, I know this church is true and I know God loves every single person on earth, because His love is infinite!  Sorry for this long in put today!  Love you all!  Yo se que Jesucristo y dios viven!!!

Miercoles, Abril 30, 2014

     Well we finally taught Carlos, and it was okay....haha.  He told us we did good but I just keep wanting to be perfect at speaking but....that won't happen at 3 weeks. :(  esta bien.  We had service today.  We helped all those who clean the CCM with their cleaning!  It is so much fun. :)
     I drew a picture of my maestros today!  It is so cute!  I'll take a picture of it!  After I drew it my friend Hna Guymon shared an AMAZING quote with me about the spirit world.   It is so long- so I don't want to write it down again!! (See post Week 4: Spirit World Quote)  Lo siento. :)  Well tonight I showed my noche maestros the picture of them I drew and Hna Casear said, "I am not that fat." and I said, "get over it, at least I got your hair and thoughts right!"  Hna Villanueva laughed so hard at that! ha ha  They love me.  Not to sound cocky.....ha ha.
     After class we had to teach the Latins again.  This time we were with some Latin Elders and they taught an amazing lesson, but one of the elders spoke really fast and wouldn't let there be any silence, so it felt rushed, then again, we only have 15 min to teach an entire lesson!  Which is so annoying.  esta bien.  After our lesson tonight I was talking to Hna McGinnis about how I feel "useless" when I can't speak Spanish, so she shared an amazing scripture with me that made me feel good about everything.  D&C 50: 16, 24, 40.
P.S. Today I've been here tres semangis! (three weeks)

Jueves, Mayo 1, 2014

     Tonight Hna McGinnis and I taught Maria sobre (about) El Evangelio de Jesucristo. (Gospel of Jesus Christ) and it went amazing.  She had many questions for us. She wouldn't have had so many questions if she would have just read the chapter we gave her from the Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 11.  It was so perfect, but since she didn't read it. We read parts from it and asked her about her baptism and why being baptized like Jesus, would be a good thing for her.  We were only suppose to teach for 15 min.  We taught for almost 45 min.  oops.  We had a lot to talk about.  Oh awesome thing happened.  We committed her to baptism! She wants to learn more, but at least we committed her! :)  I am loving teaching even though I can't say much.  I am teaching lessons in Spanish and people understand me.  Last night one of the teachers told McGinnis and I that we are one of the best companionships at the CCM.  How cool is that?!  3 weeks here and we are one of the best compared to the people that have been here for 6 weeks!  I love this church and I love the CCM!  I would be a mess if I didn't have the CCM or my companion.  She is amazing and is always building me up when I feel down about my Spanish!  I love her with mi todas corazon! ( my whole heart)

Viernes, Mayo 2, 2014

     This morning we practiced teaching less active members and inviting them back to church.  After that Hna McGinnis and I were supposed to teach Carlos, but he wasn't here today, so we taught a "less active member" instead.  It was nice, because tomorrow we are proselyting!!  And we teach less active members.
     After teaching we had grammar, but Hno Chavez y Hno Hans got distracted with telling us stories, so we only learned about Spanish for 20 min instead of an hour. ha ha  We talked about his (Hno Chavez) proposal to his wife, and Elder Sandholtz asked him when are they going to have a baby and he says, "soon", so we all assume she was pregnant, so we asked when the baby was going to be born, and he said, "9 months."  We all busted up because he said it like he was so proud!  ha ha  And then we asked him if he wanted kids and he said yes and then said, "My wife is getting a little fat, so maybe she is pregnant...."  We asked him while laughing why he doesn't know if she is pregnant and his response was perfecto!  He said, "I no ask her yet!" hahahahahaha!
     Later in the day around 4:45 pm we taught "investigadoros" but they were just teenagers from the community coming to see their future as a missionary.  We taught 2 of the girls.  The first lesson was bueno, but the second lesson not so much!  I am so excited for tomorrow!

Sabado, Mayo 3, 2014

     Proselyting!!  My companera was Hna Perez.  She is from Columbia and her mision is Santa Cruz, Bolivia! :) She is super nice and really funny.  She only speaks Spanish so the communication for planning our lesson was a tad bit hard, but it definitely got better.  Once we left the CCM and got to our area in Lima Central Mision we got paired up with 3 members.  One was an old grandma.  Then one who was 18.  Her name is Reina, and then there was another who was 17 and her name is Angie.  They were so sweet!  After we were assigned we started walking toward the first house we were wanting to invite to attend sacrament meeting and institute.  We went to 3 houses and no one was there, but thankfully at the fourth house, someone "answered"- really we opened their gate and walked up some steps that had no support under them up to the 3rd floor (the roof) to their house, which was basically open, so we called for her and she invited us in and we talked to her and her non member husband.  Come to find out, they really liked hearing me "speak" Spanish and her husband speaks some English so he really liked when I would say English words to him. After that we went to the fifth house and there was no answer but while we were waiting for an answer, across the street there was a woman on the phone and next to her was a little boy who was maybe 2.  Well the little boy threw something of his mom's out the window so I ran over and grabbed it and tried to gather it all up for her.  When she came down to get it, we started talking to her about the church.  We ended up getting her information and left a pamphlet about the Restoration for her with the missionaries phone number in it.  I wonder if anything will end up happening with her!? :)  We went to a few other people's houses and got them signed up for institute and on our way back to the buses there are these people who drive these carts that have a huge speaker attached to the top to talk through and let people know what they are selling.  Well, the lady saw me and she literally followed us around forever just yelling into the speaker about her fruit!  It was so funny!  Once we got to the buses, my group took a picture on Reina's phone, so I am going to have her email it to me, but afterwards she asked for my email and hugged and kissed me and the old lady that we went with asked for my phone number, so if she calls you, ha ha.  Sorry :)
     I read some cool stuff in 2 Nephi 26-27 today!  I really love when the olden day prophets see prophets in the future!  It is late and its been a long day.  Goodnight!

Domingo, Mayo 4, 2014

     Well yesterday after lunch all the missionaries started our 24 hour fast.  I have never in my whole life felt fasting as powerful as I have with this one.  My whole being was so sensitive to the spirit.
     Today during fast and testimony meeting one of the counselors of the branch presidency got released because he goes home on Tuesday with his wife.  So we got a new counselor and his name is Elder Hill. Elder Hill helped write Preach My Gospel and is now serving a mission with his wife.  They are quite old to be serving a mission here, but I definitely look up to them and their service.  During the sharing of testimonies I had so many things stand out to me.  One of the sisters shared a quote from Jeffrey R. Holland, "Start fast, run hard.  Make it to the tape.  You can rest later."  Also, an Elder named Elder Rereba (Texas) he shared something that sent chills through my body.  He said maybe while we were in heaven, and when we received our callings, the people going to Peru were nervous and scared to go because they wouldn't be born into the gospel.  And while they were worrying we went up to them and promised them, "I will do my best on earth, so that I can come and find you, and bring you back...."  It was so simple but the most  powerful thing I heard today. That is how I feel here with all the beautiful people.  I feel obligated to help them get back to the path which leads us home to God.  The food after my fast was so delicious.  It always is, but especially today!  And all the cooks are so amazing.  I love them!
     Tonight we watched "17 Miracles"  It was so awesome to be able to watch that.  It strengthened me so much because if people can give up that much, I can serve a mission for 18 months, easy!  Well tonight we also watched another MTC Broadcast, and the best part is, it was given by Richard G. Scott and none of us noticed that the talk is the same one we watched for the Easter Devotional.  I started taking the same notes that I took when we watched it the first time.  So funny! ha ha!  We also had a district meeting and shared our favorite thing about 17 Miracles and then we all shared our "wants in a future spouse".  It was funny how different we all are but we all want an eternal family. :)
Ha ha  How cheesey :)
Future Spouse:
-Funny- make me laugh/can take a joke
-we can sit in silence without feeling awkward
-doesn't need constant reassurance
-supportive of my dreams/career
-do things for each other because we want to and not because it's "my turn" or "his turn"
-cuddling/kissing/standing together is natural and not weird.  Fit nicely together
-loves my family more than me
-sings with me, even if terrible :)
-has competitive side- I want competition
-loves me and all my flaws/ uniqueness
-wants to live in other places ex. Peru, Canada, etc.
-dedicated in work, school, church, even during hardships
-speaks another language!

Lunes, Mayo 5, 2014

     This morning a bunch of Latinas came into our room to sing Happy Birthday to Hna Garcia and well it was really early...6:00 am.  I didn't have to be up for another 30 minutes!  Dang it.
     In class this morning Hno Hans showed us a video about the Holy Ghost.  It was amazing.  It is Elder Bednar and it was called "The Spirit" in media portal.  He talks about the Holy Ghost and Elder Packer. Watch it!  It is awesome!  Also, we took the attribute activity in Preach My Gospel pg. 126.  Take it.  See what you must work on in your life.
     After dinner, we (my district) found out it was our teacher's birthday.  Hno Ceasar and he was turning 25. So I decorated a card and we all wrote a little message for him and sang Happy Birthday.  It was so sweet to see him light up when we acknowledged his birthday.  He came up to me later after Hna McGinnis and I taught "Carmen", an investigator, and told me my note was his favorite.  It read, "Feliz Cumplianos Fresco (sassy).  You are the best teacher.  Gracias por everything!"  He loved the sassy part, mostly because that is what I always tell him.
     Tonight we are saying goodbye to all the Latins and the Avensaros (the oldest group here Norte Americanos)  I become an Avensaro tomorrow...crazy.  I only have 2 weeks left at the CCM.  Time is flying.  On Thursday it is my month mark.  I have a super funny story about Hna Waite.  She is in my district and she always does the funniest things but tonight topped them all.  She went with her companionship to go and teach "Carmen" after us, and they were talking to her about repentance and baptism and Hna Kennedy looks over at Waite and sees her fiddling with her Book of Mormon and so she asks her if she wanted to share the scripture and she said yes.  She then shares Alma 27:45 in Spanish and it talks about the promised land and sorrows.  They had no idea it had nothing to do with their lesson until they looked it up after, and Kennedy shared the story with us and we literally laughed/cried for 5 minutes.  Also we just sang "God be with you till we meet again".  Super emotional night for everyone.

my name tag

Hermana Dodson

cartoon pic of Sierra drawn by Hna Kuhn.  "She is a terrible
artist and she embraces it.  I love it."  Sierra

fluffy flowers on the trees

district 107 with Hna Villanueva at Lima Temple

temple store

district 107 drawn by Sierra

new jersey, new tie for dad, coin purse

Hna McGinnis and Hna Dodson walking around

Hno Chavez, Hno Hans, Hno Cesar, Hna Villanueva