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!

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