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!



All better...?

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