Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 25: "Help Hermana Dodson call me to motivate me to come to church."

Lunes, 22 de Setiembre del 2014
     Well yesterday I forgot something...we were contacting and there was this woman who had a big stomach, like pregnant looking, so we started contacting her, thinking there was a baby on the way, but as we got closer to her, I realized that she wasn't pregnant...but Hna Kingsford didn't realize it and she asked her when the baby was due, and the woman said, "I'm not pregnant...I'm just fat!"  I had to hold in my laugh!  After we walked away from that awkward situation, I busted up laughing.  It was hilarious!!  I love Hna Kingsford!  haha
     To start off our P-Day, we went to internet...and funniest thing when Hna Kingsford has more emails from my family than I do...:)
     After internet, we ran into Aaron and he showed us around the marcado, and helped us find some stuff.  Then we went home and cleaned, and then went to lunch.  We ate at the pension and we had cabrito (baby goat), rice and beans.  It was really yummy!  I am really enjoying the food here!
     After lunch, we went back to the cuarto to make recuerdos and to nap.  Hna Kingsford got in a war with the 1 fly in our cuarto.  She was setting traps and chasing it all over and around.  In the end, she got it!  haha  After she killed it, we went to the beach to kick around the soccer ball, and to also read in the grass!





     Edilver came by and showed us his Bruce Lee karate tricks.  Then we played a mixture of soccer and volleyball and talked forever.  When P-Day was over, we headed back to our cuarto to change and head out to teach.  Every one of our citas fell through, so we went to Elba's and talked more about the Book of Mormon, and she told us that she prayed about Jose Smith, and she feels good about it.
     Then we headed to dinner, and while we were waiting, we talked to Jerson (the boyfriend of Nicole, who is the daughter of Channy, who is the sister of Lucy...who is our pensionista) :)  He is really cool and we found out that he has 7 brothers!!  Holy cow!  We got his address, and we are going to start teaching them- we need more priesthood holders! :)  For dinner, we had beets, a huge tamale and anis.

Martes, 23 de Setiembre del 2014
     This morning, we wrote notes to 3 investigators who we were going to visit today.  The notes are uplifting words to help them know that we love them, and we added a scripture about helping them know what they need to do.
     Then we headed to lunch.  We ate fish (with the head, fins and tail still attached- meaning it had its teeth and eyeballs....) and rice and veggie soup.  After lunch we met up with Omar at his house. He was busy with stuff, so we set up a cita for next week and as we were leaving, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a huge handful of candy and gave it to us.
     Then we had a lesson with Martin y Carlitos.  Martin is so great.  When we showed up to the house, he had a treat for us. :)  We had our lesson and he called us angels 50 times! :)  At the end of the lesson, we gave him the note we wrote him.  He kissed it and put it in his pocket.  Oh, during the lesson, he was telling a story and his facial expressions and actions reminded me of my Grandpa Pearson!  I found by Peruana Grampa!  haha
     After his lesson, we had a lesson with a family that we had found last week- Jose (dad), Simona (mom), Ana Luz, Daniella, Fernando y Katrina.  They really want to learn more and grow stronger as people.
     Then we went and talked to a recent convert named Karla (the girlfriend of Kade).  She is so great and is so full of stories.
     Then we headed to Aaron and Daniella's, but they were busy and were getting ready to leave, so we just dropped off the note we wrote them and Aaron was so happy.  Then we headed to Jimmy y Giannina's.  We taught them about Jose Smith.  We watched a video and they seemed to really like it. They want to learn more.  The best thing was that Jimmy and Giannina offered the prayers and they were beautiful!
     Then we went to dinner.  (sweet potatoes, broccoli, and beets).  Then we went home and planned and called a lot of people to set up citas and to invite them to the activity tomorrow.  During that time, we got a call from Elder Coons...and he is my new District Leader!!  Small world! :)  So now he will be back in my stories again!  haha

Miercoles, 24 de Setiembre del 2014
     This morning we taught an old man named Eduardo, and I had found him with Hna Hawks, so this was his first time meeting Hna Kingsford.  After talking with him for a while, he said, "You are angels, but please don't come back to teach me, but you can come to eat and conversate."  I was not expecting that from him, because when we had found him, he seemed really interested, but I guess not anymore....he is adorable though.
     Then we went to lunch. (soup, rice, chicken and egg omelette).  During lunch, the cousin of Channy was over.  He is 11 years old.  He is so cute and we were talking for a while and I gave him a picture of Jesus and he was super excited about it.  We became best friends right off the bat.  His name is Julio and his birthday is the 26th of Julio!  haha
     After lunch, we went over to our cuarto to grab some stuff for our next lessons and Elder Chavez called.  He called to just chat for a minute, and to tell us that we have a new guy as our zone leader, because Elder Smith had cambios (transfers). :(  At least we still get to hang out with Elder Chavez. He is so funny, and he loves to practice his English with me and then giggles at my Spanish! :)
     When we went out teaching, we taught a husband and wife, Victor y Isabel.  They are really faithful and when we were telling the story of Jose Smith, Hna Kingsford started to say the first vision and Isabel cut her off and started talking about a time that she saw a bright white light in her room...and then Hna Kingsford continued with the first vision and talked about the 2 personages in the air, and Isabel cut her off again and told us that she didn't see anyone, but she did see the light.  :) In the end, they liked it and wanted to learn more.
     We went to several other houses, but no one was home. So we went to ward council, and because it's Peru, NO ONE was on time, so everyone showed up really late.  Since it was taking forever for anyone to show up, we went to the gas station near by and got drinks.  Hna Kingsford thought that she grabbed normal water, but it ended up being carbonated, and during our walk back, she was shaking it and throwing it up in the air, so when she opened it, it EXPLODED!  It was sooo funny!
     At 7pm, we had consejo de Rama and then at 8pm, we had the activity. (noche misional)  Unfortunately, we had to leave early, because by the time they started the activity, it was 8:30pm and we still had to eat dinner and be back to our cuarto by 9pm.  On our way out the door, they told us that we couldn't leave because we were giving the prayers.  We told them that we had to leave, and after a dramatic back and forth of no, yes, no, yes, no... we just had to leave.
     We went to dinner (bread y cheese), and then went home and called Lucido to see how he was doing.  He is so funny.  I love him.  He still makes fun of my "happy, sweet Spanish." haha

Jueves, 25 de Setiembre del 2014
     We had our district meeting in Monsefu this morning.  When we walked in, it was weird to have Elder Coons greet us.  When he started the meeting and was picking on me like he did in Motupe, I felt right at home.  haha  I missed him and his sassy-ness.  During the meeting, we practiced contacting and we were all laughing so much, trying to decide the best way to stop people on the street.  We decided it's best to capture their attention by handing them a picture of Jesus.
     After the meeting, we went back to Pimentel and contacted on the Malecon. (board walk)
We found some great people and we met a man from Lima and after we contacted him, he took a picture with us and went on his way.
     Then we went to lunch (cebiche de tollo, arroz con pollo, y yuka).  After lunch, we went to Fonavi and picked up Gaby and went to visit Marco Leyton.  We read 2 Nefi 4.  It is such a beautiful chapter!  Read it now!  haha
     After that, we dropped Gaby off at her house and her husband, Ivan, invited us in for cake and candy!  It was so good!  The goodies and cake are the best here!
     After that, we were kinda late for our next cita with a man named Pedro.  We had met him before, several times on the street, and he didn't seem to be super serious or punctual about time, so we weren't feeling too bad about being late, until we got to his house and he had had a bad stomach and had decided to walk to the pharmacy to get medicine when we didn't show up at our scheduled time... and on his walk, he saw us walking  and wondered why we hadn't visited him.  I almost started crying right there.  We asked for his forgiveness and rescheduled a new cita.  He is so sweet and he even got all dressed up, too.  I felt so bad. :(
     Then we had a cita with Zora, a sister of a member named Ruth Cachay.
     Then we headed to Pimentel to meet Ricardo in the park.  We waited for a bit and during our wait, Edilver showed up and we were talking with him.  Then I called Ricardo to find out where he was, and he said that he was in the park.  Then he told me that I should have worn my big black coat, and not just my yellow champa (jacket) because it is too cold.  I knew he was in the park somewhere, and so I looked around and found him standing alone in the dark with his hood on and waving to us.  It reminded me of a scary movie, except that he isn't scary. :)  We ended up going to Lucy's house to teach both Ricardo y Edilver about the Book of Mormon.  It was a great lesson, and we gave Ricardo a Book of Mormon and inside we marked our favorite scriptures.  When the lesson was over, we walked them out and we went back upstairs to eat dinner.
     Bruno (17 years) joined us for dinner, and I asked him to pray and he did.  All during dinner (arroz con leche y broccoli y beets), we were laughing and joking around. Then Bruno asked me what my name was, and I told him, and he was kinda like "hmmm...your name is interesting..." It's so weird...no one here really likes my name. :(  Oh well.  I guess it's because there are 3 different places in Peru that you can live...the Costas, the Celba or the Sierras...so when they hear my name, they think of the mountain area...haha.  I still like my name a lot! :)

Viernes, 26 de Setiembre del 2014
     This morning Hna Kingsford felt sick, so once we finished our weekly planning, she rested while I called investigators to set up appointments.  Then we went out to buy more minutes for our phone. When we were walking, we received a phone call from Ricardo saying, "I see you."  We looked around and found him, so we went over and started talking with him.
     Then we went to lunch. (steak, pureed peas and rice)  After lunch, we went out teaching.  We had no luck finding anyone home, so we started knocking on doors and a young man who answered one of the doors, was one of the guys that I contacted the other day.  His name is Victor.  He is really cool and I had no idea that he lived in that house.  He wants us to come back and teach him more and he said he is going to come church with his other friends that I had contacted him with.
     After not finding anyone else, and contacting everyone on the street, we crossed the highway and started knocking on doors, and we ended up finding a really cool family.  The dad is Wilmer, the mom is Yolanda and they have 3 kids named Brian, Hellen y Jeoffry.  We haven't met the kids yet, but they want us to teach their whole family.  They are a funny couple.  We shared a Mormon Message with them about showing and sharing your love.  Once the video was over, Yolanda joking around, looked at Wilmer and said, "I love you okay!  I love you!  I love you so much!  I'll do the laundry every day!"  It was so funny.  Then we discussed prayer with them, and she said, "Every morning I thank God for another day, and that I'm not pregnant!"  I busted up laughing, but Hna Kingsford didn't hear the part about not being pregnant, so she was just sitting there wondering why I was laughing.  :)
     After finishing the lesson, they walked us back into town so nothing sketchy would happen to us. That is when we met up with Edilver and we taught him about the Atonement of Christ.  I shared a scripture because it talks about how Christ suffered not only for our sins, but our pains, sicknesses and temptations.  He really needed to hear that because he has a hard life and had a hard life before he came to Pimentel.  During the lesson, we talked to him about baptism and he said that he wants to be baptized on October 18.  I am so excited for him.  He just wants to start over and be a strong son of God.  It is so beautiful.
     After we finished teaching him, Lucy invited him to dinner. (soup, veggies and bread)  Lucy is so great and is so giving.  I am grateful that she is the way she is because right now, Edilver needs someone like her in his life.  After dinner, Edilver talked to us about his hard life before he came to Pimentel. His mom is really sick and for a while, he was sleeping outside the hospital trying to get money from people to buy food and stuff, and he would walk around town asking people if he could do his laundry at their house.  It broke my heart to hear this.  But in the end, he said he was grateful for this trial because he learned to lean on God.  And now that he has the gospel in his life, it is getting better for him.
     We went home, planned and called Lucido to make sure all is well and then we got ready for bed. Today started out disappointing because we didn't teach anyone, but by the end of the day, we were super happy and uplifted.
     P.S. Thursday when we were walking around, a family member of Elba saw us and called us over and said that she wanted to start receiving the lessons because she sees something different in Elba, and she wants that in her life and her children's lives, too.  :)

Sabado, 27 de Setiembre del 2014
     On our way to the combi this morning to head to Fonavi, I saw one of the guys that works in the combis and so I waved at him, and after I waved, he came running over to me and started asking me questions about where we teach English.  We aren't allowed to teach English anymore, because Pres. Williams wants us to use all our time teaching the gospel.  So we told him that we don't teach English anymore, and so he started asking why we are here in Peru, and we explained that we are missionaries and that we help people come closer to Christ.  We took down his information.  His name is Richard (19 yrs) and he lives really close to our cuarto.
     Then we headed to Fonavi and we went to visit a man named Egnar.  He had contacted us and asked when we were going to visit him.  He is the single dad of 2 daughters, ages 10 and 5.  We were teaching him and in the end, we were telling him about baptism and how it is really important to be baptized correctly, like Jesus. and by the proper authorities...and then he cut us off and told us, "I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ.  I even have pictures."  We were completely surprised! We had found a member of the church!!  His daughters are adorable.  The entire time we were at their house, they were hanging on me.  In the middle of the lesson, Blanca (10 year old) told us that she had a song she would like to sing to us.  It was about the Bible, and her voice was so sweet.
     Then we left and went to lunch at the house of the familia Leyton.  We ate with Alicia (one of the older daughters of the familia) and the entire time, we were giggling.  After lunch, we went and picked up Cristian Tello and we went out teaching.  We went to teach Lucido at the house of Daniel, but he ended up having school...so we just talked with Daniel about how we can better help the Rama and he also sent pictures to my mommy! (below)

Hna Kingsford, Me, and Daniel (Ward Mission Leader)
In front of the church
Daniel, Hna Kingsford, Lucido, Me, Edilver
More birthday cake for Hna Kingsford at Daniel's house



     Then we left and contacted a bunch of people on the streets.  While we were  walking around, we passed a group of little girls and they told us to come with them to their house to meet their parents. We went with them, but it turns out, that it was a huge party with drinking, so we left and contacted a couple of other people.  The same little girls came running up to us with cups full of inca cola.  They were so cute!
     We went and talked with Gloria, Estrellita, and Teo.  I was talking with Teo about mission life, giving him an idea of what to expect once he gets his call and leaves on his mission.  He is so excited and is always asking me questions about the mission.  He is a cool and a good kid.  After talking for a bit, we went to Daniel's house to watch the Women's Broadcast with Ede (Daniel's mom).  The broadcast was so good.  Pres. Uchtdorf gave an amazing talk!!!  We watched the whole thing in Spanish, and everything that I understood, I loved!!
     We left, and went back to our cuarto.  On the way home, we ended up contacting this really cool guy who wants us to visit him and his family.  I hope we end up finding him again.  He is super nice and he paid for our trip back into Pimentel.  How nice!!
     Oh and one more thing about Daniel.  After the broadcast ended, Daniel came in and started looking up other church websites (Testigos de Jehova) and made us watch some of their videos.  I started to tease him, so he looked up on the church website about "mental abuse", and he read the definition to me...haha...he thinks he is so funny.  Then he said that he going to get everyone to fast on my birthday, so no one will celebrate with me, and so no one will give me any cake or goodies. Punk.  haha  Gotta love him and his sassy-ness.  Daniel and I joke with each other all the time.  We are always laughing and making others around us laugh, too.  It is so much fun.
     Today was a good day.  Long, but good.  We met a lot of really cool new people, and I am really excited to teach them all and their families!

Domingo, 28 de Setiembre del 2014
     Martin came to church!  He was so excited to be there!  I love Martin!  Edilver, Mayra, and Lucia came to church, too!
     After church, we planned a little more in depth for our lessons with investigators.
     Edilver was leaving today to go to Chiclayo and he didn't want to lose his Book of Mormon, so he gave it to me for safe keeping.
     Then we headed to Fonavi for lunch with Gaby and Ivan.  We ate cebiche with cancha (popcorn seeds)-so yummy, popcorn, steak, chicken, potatoes and purple and yellow sweet potatoes).  I love the food here!  After we ate, we played with our best friend, Gabriel, the son of Gaby.  He is so stinkin' cute!  He was feeding us popcorn like we were animals.  He would put his hand by our mouths and he would shake and chatter his teeth in terror.  It was so adorable.
     Then we went and taught Juana y Jose.  The lesson was awesome!  We taught the Ten Commandments, using the hand game.  They loved it!


     Then we had a lesson with Lucido.  We were reviewing all the lessons to make sure he doesn't have any questions about anything.  He remembered everything perfectly.  He is awesome!  When we were packing up to leave, we told him to pray for help that he would have the energy to get up and go to church.  During his prayer, he did ask for help and also said, "Help Hermana Dodson call me to motivate me to come to church."  haha  He is so funny.
     Later, we were walking and contacted this woman named Angie.  She said, "You guys are Mormon, huh?"  We said that it is just a nickname and that we belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  She then started apologizing to us, saying that she was raised in the Celba, so we need to forgive her.  When we asked her why, she then realized that the nickname "Mormon" is not an insult to us.  She was so worried that she had offended us.
     Then we went to a cita with Ivan and Gaby.  We invited Ivan to baptism, and he said yes!
     Then we headed back to Pimentel and taught Jimmy and Giannina.  When we were waiting for everyone to join us, Jordin was singing opera in the shower.  It was so cute!  When he came out, we complimented him.  He was a little embarrassed.  During the lesson, the power went out, and it was super dark.  They turned on flashlight on the phone and we finished the lesson.
     For dinner we had veggies and soup!!  I love Lucy (Ida Luz) so much!  She is my best friend here in Pimentel, besides my fantastic companion!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 24: Tonio wanted us to eat chicken foot soup: "I said I would eat the soup, but not the foot...Hna Kingsford ate the nasty foot!"

Lunes, 15 de Setiembre del 2014  [HAPPY BIRTHDAY HNA KINGSFORD!]
     Well we went to internet right off the bat, so Hna Kingsford could read all the Birthday wishes from everyone!  After that, we met up with all the people in the district. (Elder Salas, Elder Cardoso, Hna Mariano, and Hna Cruz)  We went to the Super (the grocery store in Pimentel) to buy all our ingredients to make tacos mexicanas.  When we finally got all of it, we went back to our pension to make them.  It took forever to make them, but in the middle of us making the tacos, Edilver showed up with a huge cake to celebrate Hna Kingsford's Birthday.  We all ate lunch together, sang Happy Birthday and then shoved Hna Kingsford's face into the cake and then ate the yummy cake.

Hna Kingsford, Hna Cruz, Elder Cardoso, Me, Hna Mariano, Elder Salas
Edilver, Hna Kingsford, and Me with the beautiful cake he brought


Lucy, my pensionista with Hna Kingsford

     After we finished eating, we got into a big circle and played keep away with the dog.  It was lots of fun!  Then we said goodbye to everyone and went shopping because we needed more snacks. Then we went to these little shops of hand made crafts in the park,  I bought Hna Kingsford 2 pairs of earrings and a cool wallet.  (I bought myself a wallet, too)  Then we went to the beach, and the place where we went had grass!!  So we sat in the grass, drew pictures, read our books and ate our snacks! I've really missed being able to relax in grass!  It was the best P-Day ever!  





     At 6:00 pm, we went out to teach, but no one was home.  Edilbuer met up with us at 7:00 pm and we ended up finding a cool family to teach- Pedro Antonio (24 yrs) and his mom, Imeida.  After that, it was late, so we headed back to our pension.  Before we went upstairs, Edilbuer said, "I want to dedicate my life to God.  I am praying everyday for the success of you both and the work of missionaries in general.  I also ask for guidance for myself to share the word of God with all!"  He is so awesome!! I can't wait until he is a member.
     For dinner, we celebrated Hna Kingsford's Birthday.  We had chifles (dried/fried bananas), shrimp flavored chips, broccoli, carrots, anis (tea) and tres leches cake!  We celebrated with the whole family, including Tonio.  


Lucy, Hna Kingsford, Tonio, and me

Hna Kingsford with her Tres Leches Cake
and wearing new earrings!

     After we ate cake, Tonio wanted us to eat chicken foot soup.  I said that I would eat the soup part, but NOT the foot....so I ate the soup, and Hna Kingsford ate the nasty foot!!  haha  It was so grose!



     All day and night, our phone was ringing off the hook because EVERYONE was wishing Hna Kingsford Happy Birthday.  It was a fun day!!

Martes, 16 de Setiembre del 2014
     We had a district meeting in Monsefu and Elder Salas kept making faces at me so I kept laughing, but no one knew why.  Trouble maker!  haha  We left the meeting and went straight to lunch. (meat, rice with peas, and spinach soup -so yummy!)  After lunch, we went and taught Martin and Carlitos. It was awesome to actually sit down with them and teach a real lesson.  We talked about baptismal covenants and the importance of renewing those covenants each week by partaking of the Sacrament. During the lesson, Carlitos stopped us and said, "I trust you two, and I am grateful you have brought this happiness back into my life."  At the end of our lesson, Carlitos said, "My door and heart are always open for you."  So sweet.
     After a couple other lessons, we contacted moto drivers because we like to teach families, and moto drivers always have families!  :)  A bunch of them want to come to church on Sunday, so that's exciting!  
     Then we contacted a couple of men who own restaurants, because I needed to use the bathroom!  One of them had a real interest and said that he would come to see us at church!! yay!
     Then we went to the park to have our lesson with Miguel. (the marine from the beach), but when we got there, he called to let us know that he had to take someone's shift at work, so he couldn't meet with us today. :(  So we went and met up with Edilbuer and headed to Fonavi for an activity (noche Misional) at the house of Marieta y Carlos.  We had 2 investigadores there:  Edilbuer y Lucido.  They are both amazing!  We watched a video about the Plan of God and after they both shared their thoughts about the video.  They talked about their feelings of knowing that they are children of God, and the importance of following God in all things.  
     At the end of the discussion, we had popcorn and pina juice.  We started throwing the popcorn at each other, to try and catch it in our mouths and I caught every single one!!  Everyone was so impressed!
     After the activity, we headed back to Pimentel and sent Edilbuer on his way home and we ate dinner.  Then we went home and planned and got ready for bed, because we were so exhausted.

Miercoles, 17 de Setiembre del 2014
     We made our sign for the activity we are going to have soon.  The sign says, "Quien somos?" (Who are we?)  It's super cute.  haha  After that, we went to lunch. (pasta with parmesan cheese and meat)  It was really good.
     After lunch, we went out teaching, and we found a new family.  They are really humble and loving.  Their names are Jimmy, his wife Giannina and their kids Jordin (12), Abigail (10), Aaron (8) and Ebner (3).  They want us to visit them twice a week.
     Then we headed to Youleidy and her mom Liliana.  We taught about baptism and we invited her to get baptized and she said, no because she has already been been baptized and married in the Catholic church, so she can't.  We then explained that her baptism wasn't valid, so she can be baptized again and that is when she said, "Even if I wanted to, I can't, because I am married in the church, so I have to stay Catholic."  My heart broke and I now have different opinions about the Catholic church, because it seems like they "trap" people into their church.  
     After her lesson, we contacted and helped a lady shovel some dirt.  We looked so good in our skirts in the wind shoveling...very professional. :)
     After that, we went to ward council, and left early because we had a lesson with Edilver (I've been spelling his name wrong all this time...awkward...so anywhere where I wrote Edibuer, or Edilbuer, it is really Edilver!)  Heehee  We met up with him in the park and while we waited for him, I contacted this guy on the bench.  He was really cool.  He doesn't actually live here in Pimentel, but he works here a lot, so he said that we could call him and teach him some more.  Then Edilver showed up, so we headed to Lucy's house to teach him.  We taught him about the Ten Commandments.  We also talked about his life and hardships.  We gave him a little notebook with some of our favorite scriptures written in it, so he can have them and have the notebook to write down his favorites, too. After the lesson, we gave him a bag of apples and crackers, because he has nothing.  He doesn't know that we know, but we do.  
     We went home to our cuarto feeling relieved that tonight he would have food. It breaks my heart, that most people here live day by day, and most of the time, they have nothing. :(

Jueves, 18 de Setiembre del 2014
     The zone leaders came to drop off new agendas for us.  They are great guys, and they both go home soon.  Elder Chavez leaves in 4 months and Elder Smith leaves in 6 months. Crazy.  After they left, we went to the house of Jimmy and Giannina to eat masamora (jelly dessert), but they ended up feeding us lunch, too. (pasta with meat, rice, fried fish, masamora and we drank chicha marda)  It was all really yummy!  Jimmy said that his little son Ebner (3 yrs) wouldn't stop talking about me after we left yesterday.  He said, "Daddy, she is so pretty.  She is funny."  How cute is that? 
     After we ate and chatted, we left and went to Fonavi.  As we were walking to our first cita, a huge gust of wind blew sand in my eyes, and right as I was about to complain, I heard a man's voice speak English, saying, "Got dirt in your eyes?"  I immediately responded, "Yes" and then I thought to myself as I looked at the man talking to me, "That is a random line to know in English...it's usually hello, good morning or good night"....so I turned to him and asked him in Spanish, "Do you speak English?" and in a really sassy tone he says, "What does it sound like I'm speaking?"  I was super surprised and excited, so I just started talking to him.  He lived in California for 18 years when he got into trouble with the law and got deported back to Peru.  (He was 1 1/2 years old when he moved to the states.)  So now he is here in Peru working as a driver of a combi with a desire to live in the states again.  He is cool, but he doesn't live in Pimentel or Fonavi....he lives an hour away.  Oh well.  After talking to him for a bit, we left and talked with a woman named Juana about when we could teach her and her husband Jose.  So we set up a cita with her,  and then headed to our cita with Lucido.  We talked about the importance of going to church.  He understands and knows he needs to go to church every Sunday. We also talked about bautismo and he still wants to be baptized.  He is so cool and super funny.  
     Then we had a lesson with Marco Leyton and Clara.  After the lesson, we chatted for a bit and looked at their childhood pictures and they really want to see pictures of me as a baby and a child. (send me some pictures please :)  I get along great with them, and they really want to visit Utah and want me to come and visit them when I come back to Peru.  I love them.
     We headed back to Pimentel for a lesson with a member named Gaby and her non member husband.  We watched the Mormon message from Thomas S. Monson, "Do what is right, even if you are the only one."  It is really good.  They really liked it.  
     Then we went to the park to teach Miguel, but he didn't show up, so we ended up calling Edilver and we went to the Malecon (beach walk) to teach him the Word of Wisdom.  He was hesitant at first, but after teaching, all he said was that he wants to follow God, so if he has to not drink coffee, then he will stop.  He said, "I'll do it for God."  It was such a great thing to hear him say that he will do it. I love that he wants to change his life and live the way God commands.  
     We walked to our pension and said goodbye to him and went to dinner. (beets, rice, potatoes with spicy chicken sauce on top)  It was really yummy.  After dinner, we came home and planned and got ready for bed.

Viernes, 19 de Setiembre del 2014
     We had a successful weekly planning.  After planning, we went to lunch. (lentes-lentils, rice, and chicken)  Lucy put aji (hot sauce) in my lentils, and when I got done eating, she asked me if my food "bit" me and I said, no, why?  And she just started laughing and told me that she loves that I don't feel the aji. haha
     After lunch, we headed to Fonavi.  We met up with Gaby and she introduced us to a friend named Mary.  Mary has 3 children (ages 22, 21 and 5).  After the lesson, Mary offered the prayer and she prayed that we would come back often to teach her of Christ and God.  Awesome!
     Then we picked up Daniel and went and taught Lucido the Law of Chastity.  It went well.  We used the For Strength of Youth booklet and he understood it all and Daniel was able to talk about what has helped him keep the Law of Chastity as a man.  After the lesson, we were all talking when Cristian Tello showed up to get Lucido to go to an activity for the "single's ward", and he and Daniel asked us if we were ready for our talks on Sunday....we said, "We are speaking?"  and they said, "Yes!"  I didn't believe them, but when Daniel said, "I'll call Pres. Arroyo if you want?" and that's when I believed it...so now...I'm speaking in sacrament meeting again!  After we discussed what we are speaking on (obra misional), we looked at Daniel's quarter collection.  He has every quarter from the U.S. except for Hawaii and Georgia.  If you find these quarters, please send them to me, so I can give them to him. :)  I almost stole his Texas quarter for my mommy's Texas quarter collection, but I decided to let him keep it. :) 
     We headed back to Pimentel and taught Edilver at the house of Lucy.  We taught about the fall of Adam and Eve and read the story from the Bible.  After we discussed it, he shared a dream he had.  It was very similar to the dream of Lehi and the Tree of Life.  So we read that story and after I invited him to baptism, for the 4th of October, and he said, "I need to ask God, but I want to get baptized, so yes!"  I was so happy because he is so ready to make this covenant.  Right after this conversation, he told me that he didn't drink coffee today!  He is really trying to change.  And right at that moment, Lucy invited him to dinner!  Which was exactly what needed to happen, because otherwise, he wasn't going to have dinner tonight. :(  But he got to have dinner!  Lucy is a great friend to him now.  After dinner, he told us that we are his best friends (mejor amigas) and that he is going to be sad when we leave.
     We planned, got ready for bed and did our stretches because our body's were tense.  haha

Sabado, 20 de Setiembre del 2014
     This morning, Hna Kingsford felt a little sick, so we rested until it was time for lunch.  We went to a member's house (Familia Monja).  Hna Monja is the Relief Society President and she reminds me a lot of Nana. :)  haha  A Peruana Nana...Awesome!  After lunch, we went out teaching and while Hna Kingsford was buying ice cream from a man on a bike, I started contacting a group of construction workers.  They are really cool guys and they want to learn more about the gospel, and the convenient thing is that their day off is Sunday!  Meaning they can come to church, and they all live really close to the church, too! 
     Later we went to the Malecon (beach walk) to contact.  We contacted 2 people.  First one was a die hard Catholic who believes some crazy stuff and he wouldn't let us talk, so in the end, we just gave him a pamphlet to read on his break.  He actually started reading it right after we walked away, and when we walked back in his direction, he held up the pamphlet and just shook his head.  haha
The second guy was an agonostic- scientific man.  He had no opinions about anything.  He just said, "Could be" to EVERYTHING!  After we got done talking to him, we met up with Ricardo.  We taught him about the Restoration.  He said that he believes it and wants to pray about it.  He is the cool combi driver I met on the 5th of Setiembre.  He lives with his girlfriend and their two kids.  One is 8 years old and the other is 4 months old.  His "wife" and kids are out of town so we only taught him, and we taught him right there on the side of the road on the curb.  He wanted to see both of us, so he sat out in the road. :) Surprisingly, the spirit was really strong and we taught all of Lesson 1!

Domingo, 21 de Setiembre del 2014
     We had 5 investigators at church today! (Edilver, Lucido, Mayra (Lucy's daughter), Ivan (Gaby's husband) and Kade ("husband" of Karla- a member of the church).  I gave my talk and when I sat back down by Edilver and Lucido, they both told me they loved my talk, and then Lucido said something that was really heartfelt, but completely rude.  He said, "Hermana Dodson, I will help you pronounce those words you can't."  Haha  It meant a lot to me, but it was a punch in the face. :)
     After church, Daniel wanted to take a picture of Lucido, Eldiver, Mayra, Me, Hna Kingsford and himself in front of the church.  
     Then we headed to lunch in Fonavi with familia Cachay.  They have a huge family.  We ate ceviche de tollo, rice, and these tortillas made from smashed up cooked corn and fried in grease, and beans.  
     After lunch, we went to the house of Daniel because his mom, Ede wanted to measure Hna Kingsford to make a skirt for her.  :)  Once we did that, we left to teach a couple named Juana and Jose, but Jose wasn't home, so we taught Juana.  Their four year old son named Luis came in and I started to play with him and now we are best friends!  He is so funny and he is obsessed with Spiderman and he was trying to capture me in his webs the entire time we were there. :)  After the lesson, Juana gave us arroz con leche.  It was to die for!!
     Then we went back to Daniel's house to teach Lucido about the Word of Wisdom.  He told us that he wants to live it.  And then he told us that he read 3Nefi 11, because I told him it was one of my favorite chapters.  He said that he loved it and wants to get baptized ASAP.  After the lesson, Ede walked in with a big chocolate cake.  We were celebrating Hna Kingsford's Birthday.  haha  It was so fun and yummy.  
     Then we headed back to Pimentel and taught Elba about the Restoration, and she believes it!  We didn't think she was ever going to progress, but after tonight, we think that she can.  We just have to pray that she will act on her knowledge now. 
     We went to dinner. (papas rellenas, carrots and avena)  Then we went home and got a call from Elder Salas to find out if we have cambios and he says, "Hna Kingsford, you have cambios..." At that moment both of us started crying...when all of a sudden, he says, "Just kidding."  Then we started screaming at him.  haha  Luckily, we get to stay together another 2 months!!








Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Week 23: "Ser dignos, no perfectos." "Be worthy, not perfect."

Lunes, 8 de Setiembre del 2014 [HAPPY 5 MONTHS]
     We wrote home right after studying today.  After that, we went to talk to Aaron and Daniella about helping us make a sign for a restaurant that doesn't have one, but it's too expensive for us to do. Bummer.  After talking with them for a bit, we went to lunch at the restaurant of our buddy Leonardo!  He is so funny.  He was picking up his backpack and saying, "I am the Hulk!"


                                                   He also showed us his Spider Man powers!  He is so adorable!



We did our handshake and his friend/cousin showed up, so Leonardo calls him over and says, "Amigo, meet my amiga.  She is white.  She is from the U.S. She is cool!"  He introduced me and we all played together for a little bit.
     After that, we went and bought snacks and dropped them off at our cuarto.  We bought yogurt, strawberry cereal, apples, bananas, Nutella, crackers y granola.  
     Then we went to Fonavi to get a frisbie from Marco, because we wanted to play frisbie on the beach today.  Unfortunately, when we got back to the beach in Pimentel, no one that we had invited to come play frisbie, came.  So we decided to walk the beach and went looking at souveniers.  I wanted to find a necklace that  I could wear with all my outfits.  While I was looking, a man named Victor told me that I should buy all the jewelry, because it would all look beautiful on me.  haha  I kept looking, and then all of a sudden Victor came up to me with a ring in his hand and proposed to me, and asked me to take him back to the States with me.  I declined.  haha Crazy stuff.  
     We left the beach around 6:00pm and went back to our cuarto to change and get our teaching materials, but we had left our keys upstairs in our cuarto, and the duena (landlord) wasn't home, so we were locked out!  We decided to go to Lucy's house and we just took turns reading verses in the Book of Mormon in Spanish.  We also had deep conversations about the gospel.  Hna Kingsford is one strong cookie, with a BEAUTIFUL testimony.  I look up to her a lot.  She has helped me grow so much.
     When we finally could get into our cuarto to change, it was already time for dinner, but we needed to buy minutes for our cell phone first.  On our way to the store, we ran into Aaron and Alex, a man who is running for some political office, so we talked with them for a bit.  Aaron told me he knows where to find some jewelry for cheap that is pretty.  So maybe next Lunes, I will find something.
      After we bought our cell minutes, we went to dinner (broccoli y carrots and Peruana "funeral potatoes" ) and talked with Lucy.  Then we went home, planned and got ready for bed.

Martes, 9 de Setiembre del 2014
     We had a district meeting in Monsefu and during the meeting, Elder Smith and Elder Chavez showed up.  They were doing intercambios with Elder Salas and his companion.  After the meeting, me and Hna Kingsford rode back to Chiclayo with the Elders so that we could do intercambios there with Hna Hawks y Hna Martinez.  We spoke English with Elder Martinez, and he speaks really well. haha  I feel like I'm talking about a pet..."Good boy!!  You did so good!"  Anyways, once we got to the church to meet the Hna liders, I paired up with Hna Hawks, and we headed back to Pimentel.  We went straight to lunch (rice, veggies, meat) and then we went to teach all our set citas, but no one was home.  Que pena.  haha  So instead, we contacted and found a lot of really cool new people.  One man was named Jose Luis.  He told us that he had seen us walk by him 3 times, and he decided he wanted to talk to us.  We invited him to the activity at the church tonight.  
     Later, when we got to the church, the whole street was black and the church had no lights on and the doors were locked.  So we started to walk to a tienda with lights on, when we ran into Jose Luis. He had changed his clothes and was all dressed up and had a notebook with him.  As we were talking with him, Daniel showed up with Cristian Tello, and they unlocked the church.  So in all, it was me, Hna Hawks, Daniel, Cristian Tello and Jose Luis at the activity. We watched the Restoration video and it was beautiful.  We also gave Jose Luis a tour of the church and he was blown away with how organized it was and he kept talking about the "different feeling" he was feeling.  We had crackers and c-fruit juice for refreshments.  Jose Luis said that he wanted to come back some more.  Yay! And since it was still dark out, Daniel and Cristian walked us to our pension.  What sweeties!  We had dinner (broccoli, carrots, cheese, yuka, manzanilla (tea) and bread)  Then we went home and planned and got ready for bed.
  
Miercoles, 10 de Setiembre del 2014
     This morning, Hna Hawks and I went to the road that the church is on (Manco Capal) to find some new investigators, and we ended up finding an older man who is the brother of one of our investigators named Oscar.  We talked to him about his family, and it turns out that his wife had died last year. :(  He was really sad, so we started talking about how he can see his wife again, and that they can live together forever.  He started crying, and we prayed with him.  Before we left, he took our hands and told us that we were his angels.
     The other hermanas called us to let us know that they were back in Pimentel, so we started speed walking to our cuarto.  Then Luis (menos activo) pulled up on his moto and told us to get in.  He gave us a ride and dropped us off at our cuarto.  We switched companions and went to lunch. (chupe: soup of veggies with a milk base- so good!  We also had a cooked banana with cheese on it. So yummy!)
     After lunch, we went out teaching and we contacted a man on the road named Juan Fernando.  We were teaching him when a younger man came up to us and started asking questions.  So I pulled him aside to talk to him, while Hna Kingsford continued teaching Juan.  The young man is Edibuer.  I taught him all of Lesson 1 right there on the side of the road.  He loved everything about it.  He promised to be at church every Sunday and I invited him to baptism, and he said yes. :)   Edibuer is awesome.  He was telling me that he believes in the Bible and knows that most churches don't follow the real doctrines of Christ.  He wants to find a church that does....cough, cough....The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!!  I'm excited to see his progress in the church. 
     After that, we went to English class and taught Youliedy, and her friends Maria and Nelgeli.  They are so cute and super loving.  They gave us huge hugs and now they are planning a scripture party for Hna Kingsgford's birthday next Wednesday, Setiembre 15.  We helped them with their homework and then left to ward council.
     We went to dinner (fried yuka, broccoli, beets and manaznilla).  We laughed like crazy again with Lucy and her family!  It is so fun at Lucy's.  After dinner, we went home and planned and got ready for bed.  We prepared for a long and hopefully successful day tomorrow. 
      I love the mission.  I have learned so much and I have grown to love EVERYTHING about Peru, not that I didn't love it before, but now I want to stay here forever.  I want to live here when I'm not a missionary, but still do missionary work as a "regular" person.  So when I get released as a missionary in October 2015, I am coming back to share more and hang out at the beach and paint!  I love this gospel.  I love the knowledge we have of the restored gospel and that God has a perfect plan for us.  I love God and His son, Jesus Christ.  I love all of you!  Thank you for your support always! Stay strong and serve God!

Jueves, 11 de Setiembre del 2014
     This morning for breakfast, Lucy made us a fancy granola cereal with yogurt, bananas, apples, quinoa, seed things and nuts and these fruity raisins that they have here in Peru that are very yummy! 
     When we went out teaching, we contacted a bunch of houses on the street of the capilla (church building), to find more investigators.  We ran into a man named Jorge.  I asked him what his plans were for the day, and he told me he didn't have any, so I told him the perfect thing he could do-  To read a folleto (pamphlet) of the church.  He agreed to read it! :)  After talking to him, we saw a man on a bike selling ice cream on cones, so we started to chase him down.  I literally couldn't run because I was laughing so hard at Hna Kingsford chasing him.  When we finally caught him, we talked for a bit and gave him a picture of Jesus.  He loved it, and said that he was going to put it on his cart, and whenever he sees us again, he is going to shout to us to talk to him again.  He has really yummy ice cream, and he wants to give us ice cream the next time he sees us!  That's cool!
     Lucia, Lucy's daughter (20 yrs) made us lunch today.  It was really good.  She made us rice, chicken, and potato salad, which had eggs, potatoes, carrots and aji in it.  After lunch, we went to Fonavi to visit Marco.  We watched the Joseph Smith video and after it was over, we asked him if he had any questions.  He asked us about the after life and extra terrestrials....interesting.
     Then we had FHE with Gaby, Carlos y Marieta and Dely y Diego.  We talked about families and the things we can do as a family to create strength and good relationships.  
     We headed back to our pension for dinner.  When we got there, we gave Myra her birthday present (chocolate y earrings).  Right after that, Lucy's boyfriend came in.  His name is Antonio, but he goes by Tonio.  I've talked to him on the phone many times, but it was nice to finally meet him. He has been on a work trip, and he brought back Hna Kingsford and I some hand made hats and some rice crackers.  He is so sweet!  




     We all sang Feliz Cumpleanos and they made us gringas sing Happy Birthday in English and then we ate cake.  The cake was super moist and chocolaty with caramel and M&M 's, gummy candies, gummy bears, chocolate raisins and cookies.  It was such a yummy cake.  Lucy really knows how to cook and bake.  I am so happy that I get to spend my birthday with her! :)
     During the party, I nicknamed Bruno, the son of Channy, "Sassy".  He loves it.  haha
     After dinner, we headed home, planned, took out the trash and got ready for bed.
     P.S.  I was talking to Tonio and he said that as he was passing through Motupe a month or so ago, and that he saw a sister missionary walking along on crutches, and he asked me if I knew who she was.  I told him that it was me, and everyone got really concerned and wanted to know what had happened to me.  Small world....that Tonio had seen me in Motupe and now his girlfriend is my pensionista! :)

Viernes, 12 de Setiembre del 2014
     Today we had a lot of lessons, but we had two that were amazing!  The first one was with Lucido. We taught him about agency and repentance.  We shared a Mormon message video from President Monson, about when he was in the marines and how he was a strong Mormon who chose the right.  It is about doing good, even if we are the only one doing good.  Lucido is such a good kid. Before we left, we gave him a For Strength of Youth pamphlet and I really hope he reads it and follows the counsel in it.  I know that if he follows the things inside, he will  have more direction and more happiness.
     After our lesson, we walked him to his house.  We taught a couple more lessons to some people in Fonavi before we headed back to Pimentel.  We headed to the park to meet up with Edibuer.  When we showed up, he was smiling so much and told us that he has been so excited about everything since Wednesday.  He also told us that when we first contacted him and taught him, that he felt something special, and that he had received the best birthday present!  I asked him when his birthday was, and he said that it was that Wednesday when we taught him.  He said that he was feeling sad because he was away from his family and he had no one to celebrate with, but then when he met us and "my beautiful heart", that it brightened his day, and that the message I shared made him excited and brought him happiness.  He said that after I gave him the pamphlet, he went home and read it and smiled and couldn't sleep all night.  How special is that?!  And during the lesson, he kept saying that he wants to be the best son of God that he can be.  He said that he is so grateful that we are teaching him.  His heart is so pure and good.  We taught him about the Book of Mormon and gave him one. He almost started to cry when he held it.  He loves everything about the message we shared.  We asked him to offer the closing prayer, and he did, but he did it silently.  We could feel the spirit radiating from him and he was so sincere.  It was so beautiful...I wanted to cry.  
     After the lesson and prayer, we asked him when we could teach him again, and he said, "Please teach me everyday!" :) We are going to teach him every other day!!  We set our next cita with him and started walking with him towards our pension, so he could go to his cuarto and we could go eat dinner.  He walked us to the door to make sure we were safe.  As he walked away, he thanked us for our love and messages.  I love him.  
     We ate dinner with Lucy and Tonio.  Tonio told me that I should eat chicken foot soup, because it would help me with my tendons!  I said, "No way!"  That made him laugh.  After we finished eating (chicken soup, broccoli and choco (corn), Lucy gave us cake and we got to visit with Tonio some more and got to know him better.  He is such a spiritual giant!  I love him.
     We went home to plan and got ready for bed.  We couldn't stop talking about Edibuer.  He is so cool!  I knew there was something special about him, when he interrupted our lesson with Juan, which is why I chose to contact him and teach him.  He has such a sincere desire to be good and follow God as correctly as possible.  He is 23 years old and works in Pimentel.  His family lives in El Durado.  He is always smiling with his mouth and his eyes!  His heart is so good and pure.  Beautiful. I am completely mind blown and speechless!

Sabado, 13 de Setiembre del 2014
     This morning we went out on an errand to find materials for an activity we are going to have next week.  We met a lot of nice people that were helping us find the paint, cardboard and brushes that we needed.  Once we found everything, we headed to the beach to paint the cardboard.  It was probably not the wisest thing, because it was windy and sandy!  Try to imagine 2 North American girls in skirts, speaking English, painting a piece of cardboard on the beach....we didn't stand out a bit!  haha
     When we finished, we went to lunch in Fonavi with the family with the 5 year old artist named Luzziel.  He drew me 2 more pictures.  I drew a picture of him and then he said that something was missing, so he drew a heart with him and I inside and also a little picture of Jesus at the top.  He is so adorable!  He made me draw another picture, because he wanted the "whole" family: Hna Kingsford, Me, his brother Valentino and his mom.  Right before we left, he drew himself.  


     After we left, we went and picked up Carlita (daughter of Carlos and Marieta) and Estrellita  to go teaching.  We taught Lucido.  It was really good, and I asked him if he had asked his mom about baptism and he said yes!  So I put the 27th of Setiembre as his baptism date.  It isn't set in stone, but it is a goal! :)  
     After his lesson and while we were walking to another investigator's house, we ran into a missionary from another church.  (World Missionaries or something like that)  He was super cool and super determined to change our minds.  We gave him a Restoration pamphlet and he said he would read it.  Awesome!  Now if he prays about it like he promised to, we will have 2 baptisms soon!  haha
     We headed back to Pimentel and contacted in the park.  We met a young man and we sang "Yo se que vive mi senor" and he loved it.  We took down his name and address and we are going to teach him and his family soon.  Right after we finished talking to him, we met up with Edibuer. We sang "Mejor de lo que crees."  He cried a bit.  He is so awesome.  He just keeps talking about how he wants to be a good son of God.  
     After our lesson, we went to dinner.  I ate half a fish....literally!  Scales and tail!  Tonio makes us eat and try weird things!  After dinner, we came home and planned and got ready for bed.
     P.S.  On our way to Fonavi, our combi driver wouldn't let us pay because he wanted to drive us for free, because he enjoyed that we talked with him.  I love good people!

Domingo, 14 de Setiembre del 2014
     Well, we met Edibuer on the corner by our pension to walk to church all together.  We went in and sat down.  Hna Kingsford was playing the piano, so I sat with Edibuer, and taught him about sacrament meeting.  He is so awesome and so spiritual.  After taking the sacrament, he said that he felt good and loves the beauty and meaning behind it.  
     During the meeting, Pres. Arroyo spoke and he said, "Ser dignos, no perfectos." ("Be worthy, not perfect")  I love that phrase because it means that we need to be the best we can, but since we can't be perfect, we at least need to be worthy.
     In Sunday School, Daniel taught about the Atonement, and he made a great analogy.  He said that sinning was like slamming the door in the face of Christ.  For me, that really put me in my place.  I do not want to do that to anyone, especially Jesus.
     After church, we were walking Edibuer to the beach, and the entire walk there, we were contacting a lot of people and Edibuer kept saying, "You guys are so nice and loving.  You can see on those people's faces that you made their day better!" 
     Once we got to the beach, we said goodbye and headed to Fonavi for lunch with members. (Carlos y Marieta)  They made us hamburgesas.  They were huge and completely bad for us.  They were made of egg, hot dog, ham, 2 meat patties, lots of mayo, onions, rocoto, bbq sauce and aji.  We drank orange juice, too.  After we ate, we watched a video called, "Marca Nebraska Peru."  It's about people from Peru visiting Peru, Nebraska to help them become real Peruanas.  
     After that, we went and talked with Daniel and headed back to Pimentel.  When we got off the combi, Edibuer was walking passed us, so we invited him to come teaching with us.  To every person, he bore his testimony about going to church and the feeling he had at church.  He also bore   testimony about his feelings of choosing to follow Christ.  He is so awesome!  During the entire day, he kept saying we are his angels who brought light and love back into his life, and that we gave him a purpose.  I love him so much!  He is such an amazing guy who has such a pure heart, and who wants to change and help others change, too.  He is so thoughtful and open with us.  The change in him from the first time we met him to now, is amazing.  He used to be so timid, and now he is talking to people about his spiritual experiences!  It is so beautiful!  While we were with him today, he offered a prayer that was so sincere and the words he used were so beautiful.  He said, "God help me change my life.  I want to be the best son to thee ever.  Help me change my life."  His desires to be good are so strong.
     At 8 pm, we went to dinner, which was a sting ray!  It was good...weird... not super fishy...but good.  
     Oh, by the way, our morning started out like this.  Hna Kingsford got up and opened the bedroom door to go to the bathroom, when she just stopped and looked at me and asked, "We don't have an animal right?"  She asked that, because there was a puddle of water by our door.  It turns out, that the floor outside our bedroom had an inch of water on it, because it rained last night and we have broken windows in our ceiling, so the water came into the house.  haha  Great way to start the day.  
     Today was a good day.  We met a lot of really cool people and we grew closer with Edibuer.  He told me that he wants to help us teach some more, because he thinks that our work is beautiful. Awesome!  We are so lucky to have him!

Family Portrait with the dolls the woman
 downstairs put in our cuarto!


Awww....cute

Whoops!

All better...?





Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 22: I have gripe...they rubbed vapor rub on my nose to "heal me", but I couldn't smell anything!

Lunes, 1 de Septiembre del 2014
      After our studies, we headed over to Aaron's house to do painting, but when we got there, they were packing up to go visit grandparents, so we didn't paint, but we talked to him and Daniella for awhile.  We left them with a prayer, which Aaron offered.  It was beautiful and when he forgot how to end the prayer, Daniella reminded him.  It was very precious to see the love and support between them.
     Then we went to internet and I found some fun church songs from lds.org and the EFY website.  Some in Spanish and some in English.  Then we went to lunch at our buddy, Leonardo's restaurant.  When he saw us, he said, "Amigas, que tal?" (Friends, what's up?) in a gangster voice.  It was funny!  We set up a cita with his mom to come to their house to teach them!!!
     We went home and cleaned our cuarto and organized ourselves.  On our way to buy necessities, we ran into our friend and investigador Miguel.  He was so set on treating us to lunch, so we told him that we had already eaten, but next Lunes.  After we chatted with him for a bit, we headed back to Aaron's house to paint, but when we got there, we ended up building a shelving unit instead.  The shelves were going to be used to hold boxes with bird's and nests in them.  It was really fun!
     Then we went out teaching.  We taught a man named Victor.  He is so amazing.  His beliefs match the beliefs of the church, so we can't wait to continue to teach him and his family.
      After that, we found a beautiful family to teach.  Jorge, his wife Zenaida, and their two daughters Rosaura (11) and Alexandra (10).  They don't know a lot of stories from the Bible, but they started reading the Bible as a familia, so they will learn and grow together.  The spirit and love in their home was special.
     After we got done teaching and we were saying our goodbye,  Hna Kingsford (since she is really tall) picked up the children in a hug and they loved it.  I made a joke and I held out my arms toward Hna Kingsford and said, "Me, too!", and she came over and picked me up.  The girls thought it was the funniest thing ever!  They were still laughing about it as we were walking out the door!  I am very happy we found this family and that we will be able to help them learn the word of God.
     We went to dinner [carrots, broccoli, yuka with cheese, and anis (tea)] and then we went home to plan our intense lessons for tomorrow and got ready for bed.  Today was a good day full of laughs and fun!
     P.S. Aaron is so awesome.  While we were upstairs building, we found a bookshelf of books and one of the books was the Bible.  When Aaron saw the Bible, he said, "I should put that downstairs to read."  Hna Kingsford and I looked at each other and smiled in joy that he is realizing the beauty of our visits and the word of God!!

Martes, 2 de Septiembre del 2014
     Well we had a district meeting and our districto lider, Elder Salas gave a great lesson about working with members to teach, and to excite them to do missionary work themselves.  When we got done, we went to catch a taxi and we all stuffed inside one small car!  6 adults!  It was ridiculous!! haha  Then we went to lunch.  It was ricisimo- it's like a rice with chicken salad mix, and we had also had chicken noodle soup with potatoes in it.  After lunch, we tried to go to our citas, but EVERY SINGLE ONE fell through, because everyone had to work.  So we stopped by to teach Aaron y Daniella, and Aaron was giving someone a tattoo!  What?!  haha
     One good thing about our unsuccess was that we found an ice cream stand that serves ice cream on cones for a sol!!!!  Awesome.  At 7 pm we went with Diego to a ward activity (noche misional) at the house of our ward mision lider, Daniel.  It was really good.  We watched a video called, "By Small and Simple Things" (watch it!) It is really good.  It talks about mission work for members.
     After the lesson, Daniel was talking to us and he asked us if we "remember the story of Nefi and Laban?"  We said, "yes" and then he asked, "What did the spirit tell Nefi to do to Laban?"  I said, "To kill him" and Daniel said, "Exactly, that is what I think when I hear children scream!"  We busted up laughing.  Just 5 minutes later, a child came screaming up to him!!  hahahaha
     We left the activity with Pres. Arroyo (Pres. of the Rama), we stuffed 8 people into a 5 person Camry.  Anyways, it was a fun car ride.  After we got back, we ate dinner and laughed with Lucy. She thinks I am hilarious and is always saying that I'm going to kill her by making her laugh too much. haha  She is the best pensionista!  Her food is so good and filling!!
     After dinner (egg and rice tortilla with beets on the side and hot chocolate with cinnamon), we went home to plan.  After planning, I listened to one of the Spanish songs that I got from internet today.  It was beautiful!  It's called "Salvador" ("Savior") by Jenny Phillips.  She is awesome!  I love all her songs!  It has the most beautiful lyrics ever!!  Especially in Spanish.  It made me so spiritually uplifted.  I'm going to learn it and sing it in lessons!  Because it has a special message.

Miercoles, 3 de Septiembre del 2014
     This morning was full of success! We went to the beach at 6:30 am to do exercises and while I was doing my stretches, a marine named Miguel came up and was giving me pointers on how to receive a better stretch.  He then proceeded to ask me if I was from Austrailia.  I told him that I was from the U.S. and that I am a missionary.  He had a couple questions about the Word of Wisdom.  As I was answering him, he told me that he wanted to learn more and understand more about the church. Since I didn't have any of my lesson things with me, I told him that we would come back later that day and give him a pamphlet and also to take down all his information.  I used up all my exercise time teaching Miguel.  It was awesome, though.
     After all our studies, we went back to Miguel to give him the pamphlet that I promised him and when we showed up, he ran up to us and sadly told us that he was getting sent to Lima, Peru for a week, but when he gets back, he wants to hear more!!
     Then we went and taught Elba.  It was successful, and she accepted baptism!  Hopefully she will stick with it!
     We then headed to a house that I had found last week when I was with Hna Martinez.  Their names are Agusto (33) and Cynthia (26).  Cynthia is paralyzed on one side of her body, but she is always smiling and has a great attitude.  We asked them if they had any questions about the Restoracion pamphlet we had left with them, but they only had questions about the Book of Mormon. So we went over all the points of the Book of Mormon and focused on the history and the story of the Book of Mormon.  They were so excited about it all and really have the desire to read the Book of Mormon. They are so prepared!  It makes me super happy!!
     All day after that, we had wacky contacts.  One woman wouldn't tell us her name because she thought we were going to steal her identity.  Then this older man basically snatched Hna Kingsford into his house, and I literally had to chase her down.  haha  This man proceeded to say,"I am Catholic.  I worship the Saints."  Then we asked if he wanted to live all of  the commandments, including not worhipping anyone or anything but God.  And he just smiled and sent us on our way. Then we met a man named Melqui David.  He is named after the Melquisidec Priesthood.  He lives with the mother of his 4 month old baby.  He believes that there isn't a church on the earth that is of God, because the churches he has looked into, don't follow the doctrines of the Bible or Christ.  We set up a cita with him and we ARE going to prove that our church is of God and that it does follow ALL the doctrines of Christ.
     We had ward council and then went and taught Youliedy and Joaquin English at their houses. Then we had dinner (broccoli y french fries).  We went home and planned and talked on the phone forever with lots of people figuring out our citas and our goals for the month.  It was such an awesome day!!  I have a lot of hope for all the beautiful people we taught today.

Jueves, 4 de Septiembre del 2014
     This morning we had a lesson with Lucido, in Fonavi.  It was awesome.  The spirit was so strong and the room was filled with a lot of love radiating out of everyone.  Daniel was with us, too, and he shared something so beautiful with Lucido.  He said, "These hermanas left there families in a country really far away from here, to help people like you, Lucido, come unto Christ and live a life like Him." After that, Lucido looked at Hna Kingsford and me with so much love and desire to receive this gift we are bringing him.  It was amazing!  I shared a few thoughts about our love and desire to help him and that every day we pray to God about him.  He loved that.  After the lesson, He said, "I can't wait until Saturday to learn more!"  :)
     We went back to our cuarto in Pimentel to study language and have lunch. (lentils, rice, chicken baked in oregano)  After lunch, we found Omar (Aaron's brother) on the street with David (Aaron's little boy).  They were going to the mercado to buy fruit, so we went with them to talk.  When we returned to his house, we taught a beautiful lesson.  We sang "Mejor de lo que Crees", a song by Jenny Phillips. When we ended the song, he had tears in his eyes, and he said, "I needed that.  Thank you."  He is like a little brother to us, so we were so happy to help him. :)  We then asked him when we could come back, and he usually picks a return date that is really far away, but he asked if we would return this Saturday!!  Yay!!
     Then we headed back out to Fonavi to teach a reference (Paola) of a member (Gloria).  It was a really beautiful lesson about prayer.
     Then we went and taught Marco Leyton.  We sang the same song that we sang to Omar.  He loved it and we had a great discussion about the meaning of the song.  After the lesson, his sister Clara Leyton came in and we all talked for a bit, and they told me that when they first met me, they thought I was going to be a serious person.  Now they think that I am one of the funniest missionaries and that Hna Kingsford and I are the coolest missionaries in Pimentel ever!  :)
     On our way back to the pension, we ran into Martin and we talked forever.  He asked me how I know Castiano (South American Spanish) so well for only having 5 months in Peru.  People just seem to like my accent! :)
     We went to dinner (Italian pasta salad with parmesan cheese) and since I have had gripe (cold/flu) all day, Lucy made me a "cure" which is hot water with a whole lemon squeezed into it with a spoonful of sugar.  It was really gross.  I really hope it works or drinking it will not have been worth it!
     We went home and planned and got ready for bed.

Viernes, 5 de Septiembre del 2014
     We had a zone meeting in Chiclayo.  In the combi (bus), I sat on the hump by the driver and I conversated with him the entire ride.  By the end of the ride, I had an appointment set up to visit him and his family next week!
     In the meeting, we were taught a lot.  Every "class" was great!  Especially the one given by Elder Chavez.  He spoke about the importance of teaching families.  It was amazing.  The only thing wrong, was that he was picking on me... he had me read everything and because I was sick with gripe, my voice sounded awful and would go in and out.  He thought it was hilarious to hear!
     After the meeting ended, we pulled out the cake to celebrate all the birthdays of Septiembre.  Hna Kingsford's birthday is Sept. 15!  I was joking around with Elder Chavez and Elder Smith, and before we left, Elder Chavez gave us his book of recuardos (letters and pictures from missionaries) so that we could add something to it.  I gave him mine and told him to add something cool!
     Once we got back to Pimentel, my body was dying and I had a fever, so we ate lunch and rested for a couple of hours.  At 6:00 pm, we went out teaching.  We taught Mr. Doubts (Ismael).  We talked about the Book of Mormon.  We read a scripture in Ezekial 37: 15-17, and in that scripture it talks about the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and how we need both of them.  After reading that, he was no longer Mr. Doubts.  We invited him to act on his knowledge by being baptized and he said that he has a few personal things that he needs to change first and then he would be baptized. :)
     Then we went to Aaron and Daniella's.  We taught them about the Atonement of Christ.  The spirit was so strong in the room, and there was a lot of beautiful words shared by all.  They are so awesome.  I just want them to get married, baptized and then sealed in the temple!!
     We went to dinner and talked about all the funny things that happened during our lesson with Aaron.  Hna Kingsford kept calling Aaron, Omar (his brother) and Aaron was like "I'm not going to do what you ask unless you get my name right."  And they also put vapor rub on my nose to "heal me", but I couldn't smell anything!  Daniella is worried about me.  In their prayers, they blessed me with health and they also  blessed our investigators that they will learn a lot from us and feel a hope and peace in their lives.  :)
     After dinner, we went home and planned.  Elder Chavez called and told me that someone else took my book of recuardos, so when I get it back on Tuesday, I need to give it to him the next time he comes to Pimentel, to do paper work with Hna Kingsford.
     After that, we got a call from Daniel telling us that Lucido lost a cousin today, so we called Lucido.  He was crying on the phone, and my heart was being torn into pieces, because I love him so much.  I just kept telling him that we were here for him always, and that we love him.  He told me he was excited to see us tomorrow for our cita with him.  Hopefully tomorrow, we can bless him in a way that can give him peace of mind.  It is so hard to lose people, and I know exactly what it's like, so I can share personal feelings of what helps me.  He was so sad.  It broke my heart.  This is when I wish I wasn't a missionary, so I could just run to his house and just sit and cry with him.  Hopefully he can feel my love and support.
     Even though I was super sick today, it was a great day!  I really hope all our lessons tomorrow go just as well.  Pray for Lucido and his familia.  They need the blessings and comfort.  Love y'all!

Sabado, 6 de Septiembre del 2014
     This morning we had an amazing lesson with Agusto y Cynthia.  We read the Book of Mormon and talked about baptism and going to church.  They are really excited to come to church tomorrow!! We were with them for an hour and a half, and before we left for lunch, Agusto ran and bought gasioso (soda) and cookies for us. :)
     Then we went to lunch at the house of the familia Tello and during lunch, we watched the video called, "On the Lord's Errand:  Thomas S. Monson"  It is so good!  Watch it!!  It's about the life of Thomas S. Monson.  My love and respect for him has grown even more since watching it.
     Then we went to Lucido's.  Poor thing.  We sang songs...well I mouthed the words because I didn't have much of a voice, but I shared many scriptures that have helped me in times like this.  Like D and C 42:45 Weep for those that die, because if we don't want sadness, then we can't love...also Alma 40: 11-12.  It's about all who die will return to the God who gave them life.  And the last one in Alma 7: 11-12.  He suffered for us and took upon himself all our pains.
     By the end of the lesson, he told us that he felt a lot better, still sad, but a lot better.  It broke my heart to see him sad.  I also shared my experiences of the loss in my life, and it was a really beautiful thing to have the connection like that.  To help him because I "know" how it feels.
     We talked with a lot of  members in Fonavi.  We went and talked to the First Counselor of the President of the Rama, Carlos y his wife Marieta.  Carlos is in the police department and his job is to train and break horses, and today at work, the horse he was training made a wacky move and hurt Carlos' knee.  So we were talking with Carlos about his job and he told us that he had a dream to own a motorcycle.  He loves my dad's bike!! haha
     After we talked with them, we went and talked to another member named Gaby, because we were trying to find her husband.  He wasn't home, so we shared a message with her and planned a Family Home Evening so that we could have the lesson with the Family of Carlos and Marieta and Gaby y Ivan.
     We headed back to Pimentel and ran into Martin, Carlos (special ed man) and an investigator of ours who owns a hair salon.  Her name is Jadira.  We talked with them for a bit.  Then we started heading home, when we ran into one of our really cool contacts named Ricardo.  I'm really excited to start teaching him.  When he saw us, he ran up yelling, "Hna Dodson!  How are you?"  I love it when people remember me.  We talked for a bit and then we went home.
     It was a long day, especially because I didn't hardly have a voice all day long.  It was such a pain, because I have a lot I wanted to share.
     We planned and got ready for bed.

Domingo, 7 de Septiembre del 2014
     We left during Sunday School, because Daniel (he's the teacher) said, "Let's use this time to go and teach people who didn't come to church."  So we took our one investigator at church, Mayra, the daughter of Lucy and Daniel and we went out teaching.
     We went and taught Lis Fernandez and her sister Cindy.  We watched a "I am a Mormon" video about a woman without legs and she talked about how she doesn't have limits because she tells herself that she doesn't and with the help of God, she can do everything.  It was a nice lesson.
     We returned to the church and we went into Relief Society.  The lady teaching was shouting and pointing her finger at each woman in the room and saying, "Sisters!  It's our responsibility to share the gospel!  It's our duty!"  :)
     After church, we went to lunch in Fonavi with Gaby and one of our investigators named Dely and her son Diego (12 yrs).  We talked to a couple of other people, and then I needed to rest because I had a fever.  After I rested, we went and talked with Agusto y Cynthia about why they didn't come to church.  Cynthia's body hurt really bad, so they didn't come. :(  que triste.  We talked forever with them about the gospel because Agusto has so many questions and thoughts. :)
     When we finally left, we ended up crossing through a road with a huge Bingo game going on.  It was super random.  :)
     We went to dinner, went home and planned for P-Day and called a bunch of people to set up citas and invite them to an activity at the beach tomorrow.  We called Lucido, and he told us that he was sad, and that he couldn't make it to church because he was at a funeral.  :(
     During our last planning, Hna Kingsford stabbed her finger with the rings in the three ring binder, and she shouted, "Ow!  My finger!" and then with a serious face and a monotone voice says, "Well that was extremely painful."  I busted up laughing.  I love our hilarious moments together.  And right after that, she continued to tell me in a disappointed voice, "Now I can't play soccer with a damaged finger."  I didn't understand that logic, but I'm sure there is something reasonable about it. :)