Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 29: Feliz Cumpleanos a Mi! 20 anos!

Lunes, 20 de Octubre del 2014 [HAPPY 1 YEAR AS A MEMBER TO MARCO!]
                                    FELIZ CUMPLEANOS A MI!  20 ANOS!  

     This morning while I was finishing up my exercises and Hna Kingsford was in the shower, the familia Monja called.  It was 7:10am and I answered the phone wondering who in the world it was, and the next thing I know there is a bunch of people singing Happy Birthday to me.  I talked with them until Hna Kingsford was out of the shower.  Then I showered and headed to breakfast. (hard boiled eggs, cereal and pina colada yogurt and tea)  When we were leaving, Lucy came running out of the bakery downstairs (which her family owns), and handed us bread with monjar inside, and gave me a huge hug.  We went home and did our studies.  During our first hour of study, Elder Chavez called.  He said in a very serious tone of voice, "I have a couple things to tell you...", and right then, he and his companion, Elder Rich, started singing Happy Birthday.  Then I talked to Elder Chavez a bit more and then he said, "one more thing Hermana....have a good birthday and I have one more song for you", and then he started singing Imagine Dragon's song called Demons.  He is a really good singer and we love singing that together.  After he finished singing, he wished me a happy birthday again and then told me that he is going to draw me a picture for my birthday. :) Yay!
     Then we started doing our companionship study and during that, Edilver called and told me Happy Birthday.  He told me that I am his best friend and he hopes that all goes well for me on my special day.
     After studies, we went to internet and I was pleasantly surprised at how many birthday messages that I had!  I am grateful for the wonderful friends and family that support me!  The entire internet time, I was giggling and smiling.  And every one in the internet place was staring at me.  Oh well.  I really started giggling when I was looking at pictures from my mom when they were at Gardner Village.  My sisters and mommy are so stinkin funny.  I also highly enjoyed the beautiful news from my mom that the Cowboys beat the Giants!  (haha take that Eli Manning!)  During internet, Martin called and asked where I was.  I told him I was at internet, but would be done soon.  He found us outside and was waiting with cookies and a Happy Birthday wish.
     After that, we went to lunch at the restaurant of Leonardo.  Today, he was there and he ate with us!  The entire time, I pretended to eat his food and drink his drink, so he started to do that to me.  He was giggling so much and every time I tried to drink his drink, he would say, "Be careful Dodson", while pointing at me with his middle finger.  Before we left, he drew me a picture and wrote  Feliz Cumpleanos on it.  It was adorable!
     After lunch, we headed home, changed and headed to relax in the grass at the beach.

     While we were laying in the grass, Hna Kingsford says, "I made you a card." and she pulls out this drawing of a dream she had of us walking around throwing flowers and sunshine to brighten up everyone's lives here.  She also gave me some cookies that Martin gave us and the bread that Lucy gave her this morning.  As she handed me the food giggling, she said, "I put a lot of thought and money into these gifts."  I busted a gut and thanked her for the good laugh and then ate the food.

     Then we took pictures of us with our hair braided as beards.  We were laughing so hard.  There was a point when we were laying there and a family was walking past us when we had our beards and Hna Kingsford yelled, "Hide your face!! They can't know!"  We started laughing so hard and hid our faces.

     As we were walking back to the cuarto, we ran into Jhordy and Janeth.  Jhordy looked at me and said, "Hermana Dodson, your mouth is really small." And then he walked away. haha What?  Gotta love children!
     After that, we went to our cuarto and got ready to go out teaching.  Unfortunately, every cita we had fell through, so once it was 7 pm, we picked up Martin and Carlitos and headed to Fonavi for the FHE/Birthday Party.
     There were tons of people there with gifts for me.  The FHE ended up being a "let's go around the room and take turns saying something nice to the birthday girl."  They even forced Hna Kingsford to say something to me, too.  We were giggling at each other the entire time, and it didn't help that she was sitting on the other side of the room and was having to yell across a huge circle of people.  She yelled some kind words and in the end of her speech, we all high fived.  Then they turned to me and made me say something.  Luckily, the familia Leyton showed up right then, and then I knew exactly what I was going to say.  I got up and smiled and said, "Thank you everyone.  Today is not just a special day for me, but for Marco Letyon, too...Today he has been a member of the church for exactly one year!" I pointed to him, gave him thumbs up and then everyone started clapping.  It was awesome.
     Clara leaned over to me and told me that she and Marco had been in San Jose, and Marco was totally freaking out the entire time that they were going to be late to the FHE to wish me a Happy Birthday.  But they made it at the perfect time!
     We closed with a hymn and a prayer.  Then I started taking pictures with different members, and I was taking pictures, Hugo, Hilda and Ariana walked into the party!  They came right up to me and hugged and kissed me and wished me a Happy Birthday.  It was so sweet!  At that point, it was time for cake, so they brought out 2 cakes!

     I blew out one candle while a member named Milagros (she had her birthday on Oct. 18) blew out the other one.  They all sang Happy Birthday and then Daniel yelled out, "Now in our language!" and everyone started singing Feliz Cumpleanos!  When they sang, it got so loud and powerful, it was AWWWESOME!  I ate cake and took tons of photos with many people.  It was quite the experience!  When it got late, we said goodbye to everyone and headed back to Pimentel with Martin y Carlitos.
        Martin and Carlitos walked us to our pension, and when we got there, Lucy was waiting outside for us and invited us in.  When we walked up the stairs, everyone was wishing me a Happy Birthday. And then I saw the table.  One cake!!!  A cheesecake of marricuya and mini alfilores. (cookies with manjar between)  My heart almost stopped.  haha  We took some pictures and the phone started going off.  It was Pres. Williams and Hna Williams.  They sang Happy Birthday to me and asked me about my day.  Pres. Williams called me "old" and Hna Williams said "you are all grown up". Then Elder Coons called and sang Happy Birthday to me.  When I got off the phone, everyone in the room sang Happy Birthday and I blew out the candle.  They told me that I needed to take a bite out of my cake, to make my wish come true.  As I bent over to bite it, Bruno pushed my face into it.  Luckily, the cake was dense, so my face didn't go too far into it.  The frosting was toffee, so it was super sticky on my face.  Then Tonio gave me some gifts.  He gave me body wash, chocolate orange fingers, and this pastry called Turrones, that is made in layers with lots of yummy things inside.  We sang a few songs, laughed and talked.  We threw popcorn into each other's mouths.  Jerson thought it was so funny, especially when Bruno tried to throw it in my mouth, because Bruno wasn't even aiming at me.  It was funny!

Lucy, Hna Dodson, Tonio
Jerson, Hna Dodson, Nicol
Lucia, Hna Kingsford, Hna Dodson, Juanita
Bruno, Hna Dodson

Mayra, Hna Dodson, Hna Kingsford
My bite out of the cake!

     After all the partying, we said goodbye and headed home.  We planned and got ready for bed.
     Gifts that I got:  Lotion and photo album from Ede Diaz
                               Besos mozas from Norma (menos activo who loves me)
                               earrings from Gaby, Ivan and their kids

Martes, 21 de Octubre del 2014
     Today was a not a super eventful day.  We had one lesson which was with two old men named Santiago y Santos.  Everything we said or asked about, they agreed with. It was pretty funny.  Later, we had a lesson with Martin and he gave us necklaces and rings.  They are adorable and all day people complimented us on them. 

necklace from Martin
     We did quite a lot of knocking doors.  Sometimes it turned out to be super worth it, but other times it just got discouraging having people keep telling us "no" or  "we are busy."
     Later in the night, we had a karaoke activity at the church.  There was an awesome turn out and everyone got involved!  We were all singing, giggling and smiling the entire night!

     At the end of the activity, the familia Cachay showed up with hamburgers for everyone.  As we were walking out the door with one, Pres. Arroyo ran over to us and gave another hamburger, so now we each had 2 greasy hamburgers...oh and before we left, a menos activos named Victoria handed me a present.  It was the most practical gift ever.  It was two rolls of toilet paper, a toothbrush, toothpaste and a bar of soap.  Gotta love it!!  I was very grateful!!!
     We went to dinner at the pension.  We were eating our veggies when the cousins of Channy showed up and they were making comments about us being on diets.  Hna Kingsford responded, "Do I look like I'm on  diet?" and I said, "Do I look like I need to diet?"  We both started laughing.  I decided to give my 2nd hamburger to Bruno.  He enjoyed it.
     After dinner, we went home, planned and got ready for bed, because we have a long day planned for tomorrow- we have an all day meeting in Chicalyo.

Miercoles, 22 de Octubre del 2014
     Well, we headed to Chiclayo right after breakfast (8am), so we could get there in time to practice for the choir.  We sang "Mando a su Hijo" (He sent his son) and "Yo Trato de ser Como Cristo" (I'm trying to be like Jesus).  After we practiced a couple of times, we all just waited around for the rest of everyone to show up for the meeting at 10am.  One of the people I ended up running into was Hna Reid!!  It was so nice to see her.  I met her companion,too.  She is not very happy and not at all sociable.  It must be so hard on Hna Reid to have a companion that has no desire to be here, nor wants to find any good in the situation she is in.  Let me testify that good attitudes bring forth happiness.  Even if you fake happiness, your attitude will change and you will be happier.  I wish her companion knew that.
Look who I found!  Hna Reid!
     Once everyone got there and were seated, Elder Waddell (from the Seventy) walked in.  He is super tall and super spiritual.  He said hello and then stood at the front of the room for all of us to shake his hand, and tell him our name and where we were from.  I was sitting on the front row in the first seat, so I got to be the very first one.  It was super awkward because I stood up and no one stood up to follow me, so everyone just sat and watched me shake his hand and talk to him.  He is a really down to earth guy.  Once we all shook his hand, he gave the first talk.  He talked about his family. He also told a story of a family who were baptized and waited a year to go to the temple and while they were being sealed together, the man doing the sealing stopped during it and asked the mom if the three kids that were around the altar were her only kids...and she said yes and he said sorry.  It happened again two more times.  After the fourth time, the sealer turned to the woman and asked if she had a child pass away.  She said, "Yes, my first child died when he was 2 years old.  Why do you ask?"  The sealer explained to her that he knew she had a son because every time he was about to seal the family, he heard a voice saying, "Mommy, it's me...your oldest son.  Don't forget me.  Mommy please don't forget me."  So they had someone join the familia to represent their son, so they could seal the entire family forever.
     After his talk, we had a short break.  After the break, we sang the songs that we practiced.  It sounded really good and it felt awesome to be in a choir again. (shout out to Leslie and the VV5th Ward Choir!)  
     After we sang, Elder Waddell chose 3 missionaries to give a 5 minute talk about families.  The 3 he chose were Elder Flores, Elder Chavez and Hna Fuller.  When they called Elder Chavez, he looked at me and mouthed in Spanish, "I have nothing prepared..."  I giggled and pretended to hand him my talk that I wrote.  haha  He did a great job...he is good at pretending to know what he is doing. :)
     After that, Elder Waddell spoke again, and told a story about a meeting he was in with the Twelve Apostles.  He said that Elder Packer said, "I know who I am.  I am nobody."  And with good excuse, Elder Andersen thought to himself, "Well if he is nothing, then who am I?"  And right after Elder Andersen thought that, Elder Packer looked at and pointed at Elder Andersen and said, "You are nobody, too!"  haha  Revelation!! :)
     For lunch, we went to McDonald's and had Big Macs and french fries.  It was really good.  We sat with Hna Reid and her companion, Hna Phillips and a couple other hermanas.  We had a fun time reminiscing about our memories.  SAD story...after Hna Reid had cambios, the hermanas in Motupe switched pensiones :( so Hna Crisalina is a little sad about the whole thing.
     We went back to the meeting and Elder Waddell talked again and then Pres. and Hna Williams talked.  It was such a beautiful meeting.  I learned a lot, and I am so ready to work twice as hard!
     After getting all pumped up, we ended the meeting and headed back to Pimentel.  Once we got back, we got straight to working, contacting and visiting.  We met a bunch of new families and we also taught Patty (the mom of Victor y Emerson).  We taught her about families, temples, and prophets and at the end, she said her dream is to go to the temple, because she wants to live with her family forever.  It was so neat, because she has never had any interest, and now she has so much interest in what we were teaching her.
     After her lesson, it was time for dinner. (broccoli, beets, tea and soup)  Tonio ate with us and he was telling me that when I get home from my mission, I am going to date and marry someone not at all like what I think...because I am changing and will continue to change by the end of my mission. 
     After that, we headed home and planned.  During planning, Hna Kingsford yelled, "I am hungry. I want cake!" and then she ran out of our bedroom and into the kitchen to grab the cake.  It was the funniest thing.  She ran out like her life was on the line! :)

Jueves, 23 de Octubre del 2014
     This morning we went to Fonavi and met up with Daniel to go out teaching.  First, we went to the familia Monja to get a name and address of a familia that the elders use to teach.  As we were waiting for Paola to find the information, we got talking to Hermano Monja.  He said to me, "Hna Dodson, I am annoyed with you.  You had a birthday party Monday and you invited everyone but me."  I responded, "Well, Hno, I tried to invite you...but Daniel got your invite....so he showed up....when I really wanted YOU to be there."  He giggled at that.  He forgave me and said that he hoped it passed by beautifully.  Then we got the address and headed out.  We didn't find the family because no one was in the house, so we headed to another part of Fonavi, and during our walking, we ended up finding more less active members who want to have visits with us.  One is an only member in his family, and we are going to teach him and his wife so we can help them reach the baptism and temple goal. The other is a mom of a young man named Gino.  He had told us that he was the only member in his family, but it turns out that there are more members...and the best part is, that this woman is cousins with the President of the Rama-  Jose Luis Arroyo!!!  Small world!  She was baptized in Motupe.
     Then it was time for lunch.  We had cebiche, chicken, rice and beans.  It was delicious.  During lunch, Channy was listening to her salsa music, when a most random song started playing...it was "Hopelessly Devoted to You" from Grease.  It was so funny to hear that song.  Right after that, Stevie Wonder's song, "I just called" came on.  What an adorable song that is.  :)
     After lunch, we headed back to Fonavi to continue teaching.  When we first arrived, we picked up Paola  Monja.  Let me just say that I love this woman with my whole heart.  She is so awesome.  We headed to our first cita and it was with a woman named Elena.  Elena wants to know more about the church and our doctrines because the other churches confuse her.  Well Paola decided in that moment to teach her as much as possible about all our beliefs.  Elena was cute about the entire thing.  She invited us to come back to teach her "husband" about marriage and temples.  She wants them to better individuals and to learn and grow as a couple.  I am excited for her and I really hope all continues to work out.  
     After that lesson, Paola took us to a reference's house, and when the sister opened the door, Paola held up her hand in a fake gun, pointed it at the girl and says, "Give me all you've got!"  I started laughing so hard.  And right after she threatened the girl, she then taught all of Lesson #2 about the Plan of Salvation right there in the door way.  Paola is so awesome!!!
     After that, we had a lesson with the primo (cousin) of Pedro. His name is Hilton.  We talked about prophets and Hna Monja gave him a Liahona magazine to read.  He was really excited and at the end of our lesson, he told us that our message and gift were exactly what he needed at that moment. Awesome!!  I love the guidance from the Holy Ghost. We had felt that we should go and visit Pedro, and when he wasn't there, but his cousin was, we asked if we could share a small message with him. How amazing and beautiful the work of the Savior is.
     After teaching him, we hurried to our cuarto to grab some materials to bring to the mini CCM activity that we had planned with Daniel.  The mini activity was a success!  We shared a video about the Atonement and missionary work.  Then we talked to the members about their responsibility to share the gospel, too.  Then we asked all the people that came to write down 3 names of familias that we as missionaries could potentially visit.  After they wrote down the names, we took time to pray individually about the people they wrote down, and to ask for guidance and to pray for specific blessings for them.  The spirit was so strong.  We asked them to pick a date that they could open up their homes to these people and help them get to know about the church.  We did some practices with the members of how they could invite their neighbors to learn more.  The simplest way is by doing a simple Family Home Evening with an activity, because it would not be too overwhelming.
     At the end, we watched another video about a family that did missionary work.  The family on the video just invited friends over to their house and had the missionaries over, too.  It was really neat! Then we prayed and Ede Diaz gave us her famous apple pie.  She gave us two slices.
     On the way home, we passed Michael working in the internet place, so I offered him one of my pieces of pie and he gratefully received it!  He is a good kid.  As we kept walking home, we passed by Luis and Janeth and Jhordy, and found out that today is the 4th birthday of Jhordy.  They gave us candy, masamora, cake and balloons!  Jhordy was super excited because he got some really cool Spiderman toys.  He is so adorable.  
     We headed to dinner.  After we ate, we headed home, planned and got ready for bed.  
P.S.  As we were walking around town with Daniel, we found a dead rat...how did it die you ask...well its head was run over.  So it was really appetizing to see. :)
P.S.S.  While we were at the familia Monja's house, Paola was grabbing chunks of hair on Gloria's head, and when she pulled on her hair, the base of Gloria's head made popping noises.  They said that it is trapped air releasing from inside her head, which was causing Gloria to have a headache.  What?! Crazy cure for things! :)  Gotta love it!

Viernes, 24 de Octubre del 2014
     This morning during breakfast, Bruno joined us.  He was singing and listening to English songs and he wanted us to translate some of the words.  Well the song just kept saying "Big Butt" over and over again.  We started laughing and never translated it!  It was hilarious!  
    We went home and did our studies and had weekly planning.  After planning, it was time for lunch. (rice, soup, chicken, onion mix and juice)
     After lunch, we went out teaching, and as we were walking to the Provivienda, our friend, Wilmer pulled up next to us in his moto and told us to get in and he would take us where we needed to go. Once we arrived at our destination, we got out and thanked him and invited him to church and he said, "I will come if you pick me up and pull me to church by my pinky finger."  I laughed and said no way and he said, "I will only come if Hna Dodson comes and gets me."  Hna Kingsford then said, "For me too? Will you come for me?"  He denied her and said, "No. Only Hna Dodson."  We started laughing so hard, and then sent him on his way.
     After that, we tried to visit Alicia (less active member) and her mom Rosano (the Jehovah's Witness), but neither were home, but the father of Alicia was home and he is a Catholic.  Never have I met one family here where all three adults in the family are from 3 completely different religions.
     Then we were walking to visit a family, when we ran into our buddy Sabastian (the kid who drew me a picture), and he invited us to his house.  We met his aunt Karla and we taught her.  She is really nice and super cool.  By the end of the lesson, she said that she can't wait to tell her husband about us, because he doesn't believe that there are nice or good people from other countries.  But she said that she can't wait to tell him about us, the nice gringas!  She also invited us to spend Christmas with her and her family.  She really wants us to go and spend time with them.  Before we left, Sabastian gave us each another drawing.  

     After that, we headed to Analuz.  We taught her about the Book of Mormon and we read about life after death in 2 Nefi 2, because she had questions about it.  It was such a good lesson, especially to have her alone because we could really focus on her individual needs.  She was really interested and wanted to read more.  She showed us the Book of Mormon that their family has and there are 2 different bookmarks, meaning people are reading it.  They are really awesome.  
     After that, as we were walking around trying to find people in their houses, Martin found us.  He gave us chocolate cookies and asked us if we liked his haircut.  We told him that we did, and then he left.  haha  We then went to Luis and Janeth.  Luis opened the door and told us that today wasn't going to work because they were tired and have been cleaning up the big birthday party all day.  We understood and set a new cita.  We talked with him for a minute, when Jhordy came running up to me, yelling "Hna Dodson!"  He then jumped on me and hugged me and made me play with him for a little bit.  He is so cute.  When we tried to leave, Jhordy wouldn't let go of me.  It was really funny.
     We left and went out contacting for a bit and also taught a couple lessons.  Then we went to dinner.  At dinner we invited Jerson to come to church with us.  He accepted very willingly! :)  Then we went home, took out the trash and started planning.  Taking out the trash consists of grabbing your little garbage can bag, taking it outside and setting it by the curb and walking away, because in the middle of the night, the garbage people drive through town gathering it up.  Wacky?  Only a bit. haha
     As we were planning, we heard someone open the door to our apartment room.  We assumed it was Berta, the owner of our cuarto...well the person came into our room and was about to turn off the light that we had on, when he saw us sitting at our desks.  It was Diego (the kid from the other night). He freaked out and ran away and told Berta that there is someone in there.  Berta had thought that the maid had come and cleaned and left the light on by accident, but she didn't...we were there.  Seeing Diego's face was priceless!! :)  After that excitement, we finished planning and got ready for bed.  I am so exhausted...I don't know why?! Goodnight.

Sabado, 25 de Octubre del 2014
     We headed out to Fonavi and stopped by Edinson to check up on him.  Turns out that his grandma died Thursday or Friday and today is her funeral.  We left him a chapter in the Book of Mormon (Alma 40) to read about the Spirit World.  I really hope he reads it. 
     After that, we went to visit that dad we found Thursday named Eduardo.  We ended up getting invited inside by his "wife" and we talked with them for a while.  He is married to another woman who is a member of the church, but they are separated and haven't gotten divorced, so he is living with this woman named Ana.  They have two kids together, and Ana has one from her first commitment.  Eduardo is a return missionary and he stopped going to church because people started looking at his situation and were judging him when he lived in Lima, so he felt uncomfortable and so did his "wife", Ana.  They are really cool and he really wants to start to come back again, and she wants to learn and have religion for herself and her children.
     After we left their lesson, we were walking past a park and there was a huge party, so we, being curious, walked over and were asking people what was going on.  We were told that it was the 1 year Anniversary of the Catholic statue of a child Saint in the park.  At this time, it was almost 12:30 pm and a bunch of them were whipping egg whites into whipped topping by hand, and then I asked a friend named Ronny what it was for, and he said for an alcoholic drink called cocktail.  Here, they get to drinking early. 
     After that, we went to Paola Monja to ask her to help us know how to find the house of Any (Annie) Vasquez, because it was her turn to feed us.  She walked us to the corner to help us find a combi to take.  The combi that we needed came, and Paola handed me money to pay for the ride to and from.  When we got to our destination (Las Pampas), there was a deaf man and he was trying to help us find the house of Any.  I used a bit of sign language and we ended up finding it.
     Any and her family have a ton of cows because they sell milk.  After lunch (rice, chicken, and refried beans), we went out and took pictures with the cows.  It was really smelly and loud.

Any, Hna Dodson, Hna Kingsford

     After that, we headed back to Fonavi.  Small world...when we got on the combi, Ivan (the husband of Gaby) was on it heading home for lunch.  It was good to talk to him for a minute.
     When we got to Fonavi, we ran to Marco's house to invite him to an activity in the stake center in Chiclayo for the youth.  We talked with him and Clara for a bit.  Marco is making me a present for my birthday, but it's still not done...Clara said that I'm going to love it. 
     Then we went and visited Karla, but her entire lesson felt completed distracted.  Then we went to find some contact's houses, so we could teach them.  Most of the houses ended up having directions (addresses) by the park with the party.  So as we were walking past, this couple sitting on a bench, called us over and started asking us questions about the States and missionary work.  By the end of the conversation, we took a picture with them and he said he is going to print one off for us to have. Then they said that they were going to go dancing and invited us to go with them.  We politely declined and went on our way.  That is when we ran into David, a guy that we have been trying to find in his house with his family.  He told us to come by on Thursday at 2:00pm to find him home. As I was writing it down, he told us that Thursday was his birthday.  How cool is that?  That he invited us to teach him on his birthday?  He is a cool kid and his brother, Ronny, and his sister are really cool.  After looking for people, and without luck, because most people were at the party, we started walking to a different cita when Luzziel came running at us screaming, "Hermanas!!"  I really needed to use the bathroom, so I knew finding him was a blessing from God.  We went to his house and he danced for us and posed for some beautiful pictures.  He is such a hoot!

     Then we left and went to Editte's house and as we were knocking on her door, Hna Paola walked out of her neighbor's house and stood by the door with us and told us she would join us!  Yes!!  I love her so much.  We read Alma 39 with Editte and explained scripture study and why we need to read every day.  Then some how, there was a tangent about how putting milk in one's ear will make it not ache. Hna Monja said, "I don't use milk.  If my ear hurts and I am in the shower, I tilt my head and get water in it and then tilt it the other way and just hit my head like this!" (as she starts smacking her head with the palm of her hand) She is such a hoot!  haha  We got back on subject and bore our testimonies and left Editte with her homework to read Alma 34.
     As we were walking away, a combi drove by when we hear English being spoken to us and we knew it was the American Peruana.  He talked to us for a second as he drove past us slowly.  Then he took off.  He is a cool guy.  I really want to help him find pure happiness, but he doesn't live here in our area, nor does he have time.  He works all day, every day.
     We headed home and as we were walking, Edilver found us.  We talked with him and contacted his friends that he was with-  A married couple who owns a store together.  After that, we headed to dinner, but before we could get there, Martin found us.  He gave us cookies and a tamale to share.
     At dinner (broccoli, beets, fried bananas, the tamale and tea) we ate with Lucy and Tonio.  He told us about some crazy dreams he has had.  He said that before he even knew about the temple, when he was freshly learning from the missionaries, that he had a dream and that it took place on the Salt Lake City Temple grounds.  A couple days later, he was at work and a woman was reading the Ensign magazine and inside were pictures of the temple grounds and so he went up and told her that he knew that place.  She said, "You've been to Utah!?"  He said, "No."  So she was wondering how he knew it then. He told her about his dream.  She explained the temple to him and told him to read the Book of Mormon and ask if it is true.  He did exactly that.  He went home and for the next couple days, he just read and read and read.  Once he finished, he prayed....and he knew without a doubt that it was true! Then he got baptized!

Domingo, 26 de Octubre del 2014
     First off, I had a hot shower.  Eat that world...:)  Second off, it was ward conference and we had 105 people there!  We usually only have 60 or so...but before we went to church, we picked up a few people.  We got Martin and then headed to Hugo's and the son of Hugo answered and said that he was alone, but that he would come to the church once he showered.  
    And as we were walking past the doctor's office in Pimentel, Ana, Segundo and Rebecca showed up ready to head to church.  When we got to church, there were so many people there.  The entire meeting, people kept pouring in.  Gino showed up with Teo Monja!! :)  Edilver was there and more. During the meeting, we got a new President of the Rama (branch).  It is now Pres. Carlos Vigo.  I am super excited because he is a cool guy.  His counselors are hard workers, too.  
     After sacrament, Luzziel ran up to me and told me that he drew me another picture.  He stuffed his hand in one pocket to find nothing, so he checked the other, and the other...and so on until he checked all the pockets in his army pants.  Then he looked at me with a sad, disappointed frown and said, "Hna, I forgot it."  He felt bad and promised me that I would get it soon.  What a sweetie.
     Then we went upstairs for Sunday School.  Daniel taught about faith in Jesus Christ and it was awesome.  He did a really cool demonstration of faith.  He stood in front of the class and put a book in his left hand, and asked Gino if he had faith.  Gino said "Yes, I have faith."  So Daniel said, "Use your faith to move the book into my right hand."  Well Gino said, "I can't." and Daniel said, "Why not?  God has told us that we can move mountains."  Well all of us were denying that it could be done, when all of a sudden Martin says, "It's easy."  He stood up, walked over to Daniel, picked up the book and put it in Daniel's other hand.  Daniel's face brightened up and he said, "Exactly!  Faith without action is death."  I thought that was the coolest thing.  I have always known that scripture, but never had I applied it in this way.  But it is true.  We have to do things to show God that we are capable and that is when we receive blessings and help.  It's an act of faith to do things and wait for the blessings.  Daniel is so cool.  Right after that demonstration, Hugo walked in!  He sat down by me.  It was such a great feeling to know that he came alone to church!!  Most people would never do that for the first time.  Church was awesome!  Oh and in our last class, it was all combined and the new Branch President was speaking and said, "One day it was fast Sunday, and we were all fasting as a family and when it was time to end the fast, we prayed and my son ran to the bathroom.  When he returned, I asked what happened, and he responded, 'I have been fasting of not going to the bathroom...what about you?' I responded to my son, "Son, when you fast, you can go to the bathroom, you just can't eat or drink."  He was happy to hear that good news.  I laughed forever after that.  Goes to show that it is important that the laws of God need to be explained clearly for people to understand and do correctly.  That means there is a lot of pressure on the parents and lideres in the church to teach correct doctrine.
     After church, we went to lunch at the house of Pres. Arroyo.  We ate rice, chicken, fried popcorn kernals, fried banana chips and chicha morada.  
     After lunch, we headed to teach Jerson.  He is such a stud muffin!  We told him that, too.  haha He thought it was funny.  He told us about his trials in life and his faith in God.  He thanked us for our last visit because we taught him that he can talk to God like a friend.  Today, we taught him about the Book of Mormon and the Holy Ghost.  Jerson asked for two homework chapters.  He is super excited to read!  Then he offered the most beautiful prayer.  Before he started, he said, "Let's all close our eyes and cross our arms." He says that anytime he prays.  Then he started...he said that he was grateful to learn more about Him and His gospel.  He also asked for help to read his "homework" and remember it.  Then he asked and said, "Please help the hermanas come every Sunday to teach me." The entire prayer was full of faith and spirit.  When we finished, he thanked us for our visit and told us that he is really happy that we are all so close now.  He thanked us for helping him talk to God without limits.  I love that...talk to God without limits.  We literally can talk to God about all!!! :) And He listens.  He wants to hear about everything from us.  He knows what happened, but it's always better to hear from the person that it happened to, instead of just getting the "facebook status update"...we need to show God that we are going to use our agency to have Him in our lives.
     After his lesson, we went and taught Karla (recent convert).  We taught her what we learned about in Sunday School, because she wasn't at church.  She really enjoyed it, and her prayer in the end was so sincere.  She thanked God for not forgetting her, because He sent us to her.
     We contacted a couple other people and then it got really dark in Pimentel, because the power had gone out.  It was dangerous for us to be walking around in the streets.  We tried going to Hugo and familia, but they weren't home, so we headed home because it wasn't safe.  But before we made to our cuarto, Martin found us and gave us more cookies. :)  We made it home, planned, did the paper work we needed to, and then we studied before going to dinner.
     Dinner was beets, broccoli, soup and toasted rolls.  While we were eating, Jerson showed up and he was talking with us and we were joking around.  I put broccoli on my fork and was singing into it and he thought that was funny.  He just radiates love and the spirit always!!  We love him.

P.S. Small story from Friday:  We were walking down the Malcon, when we saw two tall Germans. We decided to contact them.  The conversation went like this-
Us: "Hello. How are you?" (in Spanish)
Them: "Vat...doo..youu...vant? (What do you want? in a concerned voice)
Us:  "What are your names?  We want to know you."(in English)
Them:  "You speak English? We do too!  It doesn't matter.  It's not important, but why do you want to know?  What do you want?"
Us:  "We are missionaries and we like to know everyone.  Can we get to know you?"
Them:  "We don't want to hear it."
Us:  "Ahh...but don't you believe in God?"
Them:  "No! We don't."
Us:  "Really? Whyyy?"
Them:  "We weenttt to churchhhh wheen wee were little kids.  Sooo....we don't....I am not interested. Bye. Goodnight."
They started to make a break for it, but we didn't let them leave without a handshake and a smile....:)
I love being rejected.....not. But when we are rejected, we just have to make the best of it and leave them with a smile and a handshake.  :)

My Mission Family!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Week 28: "You look like a Peruana trying to dress up like an American, and pulling it off."

Lunes, 13 de Octubre del 2014
     Like every P-Day, we headed to internet and enjoyed our time writing fam and friends.  After that, we headed to lunch in the restaurant of Leonardo.  Depressingly, he wasn't there, but we were followed inside by our friend Martin.  He chased us up the stairs and gave us cookies and then left. :) After we gained 5 lbs from eating rice, we went and bought the necessities, which are shampoo and apples...and for Hna Kingsford, we bought crackers and hair dye.  She wants her hair to be chocolate brown!!
     We headed to the beach/grass and read conference talks and the Book of Mormon.  We also wrote in our journals and napped.  Then our buddy, Martin showed up.  We took a few pictures with him and then he left to go get Carlitos.

Martin in his cowboy boots and with his bike.
He is such an angel!
While Martin was gone doing his thing, we received a call from Elder Chavez, and he let us know that we have interviews in 2 hours with the mission president.  We wanted for Martin to return with Carlitos, and once they returned, we took a few more pictures and Martin started to draw us pictures for our book of recuerdos!

Hna Dodson, Carlitos, Martin
Hna Kingsford, Carlitos, Martin
     We had to leave, so we went home and got changed to head to interviews.  We walked into the office giggling and Hna Williams came out asking "Who is so happy?"  We said, "It's us!", because when we walked into the office, the office elders were drinking water from bowls and had sweat dripping from every pore.  We turned to go as far away as possible from them, so they wouldn't splash their sweat on us, and as we turned, we saw a white face with a brown body.  It was Elder Noriega with 3 pounds of sunscreen on his face.  When we questioned his sanity, he told us, "It's to protect my face from the sun."  We busted up laughing.  At that moment, Hna Williams called me into her office and she interviewed me.  She thanked me for my brightness and good attitude.  She said that there are not very many missionaries with good attitudes and so she really appreciates me. She also said that I must have been raised by wonderful parents, and I agreed with her.  I told her that my parents have raised me well, and have taught me to be happy and look at the bright side in all things.  By the end of the interview, she and I were giggling and she told me that I was one of her good friends in the mission!  Then she told me that she had a treat for me.  It was a Snicker candy bar!!  It was so nice to eat American candy!  Then as I walked out of the interview, her hubby came and grabbed me and interviewed me too.  In the end, he asked me if I had any questions for him.  I asked him what was a significance of a forever family.  He told me if we are not sealed, we will be single and separated in heaven.  We will be glorified alone.  And then he told me to read D y C 132! Read it!  It is amazing and powerful!  He asked me to end with a prayer, so I offered the prayer and he told me that my Spanish was excellent!  Yay!
     During the time that Hna Kingsford was in her interviews, I hung out with Elder Chavez, Elder Alexis and Elder Coons.  We laughed, we sang and we made up jokes.
     Once Hna Kingsford was out of her interviews, we headed back to Pimentel.  We went to the house of Luis and Janeth, to teach them.  They let us in and Luis was so excited to learn about Lesson #1, because he read some of the pamphlet.  We taught about Joseph Smith and Luis and Janeth believe it!!  We ended with a testimony of Joseph Smith and that we KNOW whole heartedly that he was a prophet of God.  Then Luis offered the closing prayer.  It was beautiful and so sincere.  Then they offered us hot chocolate and their son, Jhordy stole Janeth's hot chocolate when she went into the kitchen for a minute.  He dumped hers into his cup and when Janeth came back, she said, "What happened to my hot chocolate?"  Jhordy pointed at Hna Kingsford and said, "She took it and dumped it into her cup like this" (imitating dumping motion)  haha It was so funny!!
     Then Jhordy aked me, "Como te llamas?" (What is your name?) and I told him that it was Hna Dodson.  He was so confused as to why my name was Hermana, but he accepted it and ran around yelling Hna Dooodsoon!  During his spazzing, Luis pulled me aside and asked me if I could tell Jhordy to be obedient.  So I called Jhordy over and I told him he needs to be a good boy and be obedient to his parents.  He pinky swore with me that he would be. :)  Then he hugged me, and hung onto me all the way to the front door.  He even followed me outside and started yelling, "Hna Dodson, come here!" and then started running down the street.  I started chasing him, and once I caught him, he gave me a big kiss on the cheek!
     We left and went to dinner.  Mayra joined us and Lucy asked me what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday.  I told her that I really didn't care, because I like ALL the cake here.  But she really wanted me to choose, so I told her that I really like the Tres Leches and the cheesecake.  I told her that she could choose between those two ideas, and then Mayra chimed in and said, "We make both!!"  Lucy just laughed and said, "I'll see what I can do!"  We left on that good note and headed home.  We planned for tomorrow, wrote in our journals and laughed about how priceless today was.

Martes, 14 de Octubre del 2014
     We started the day with a district meeting in Monsefu.  We met the new companion of Elder Coons.  I don't remember his name but he is nice.  During the meeting, I had shared a couple thoughts and Elder Coons liked some of the things I said, and thanked me for sharing, and when he went to testify of one of the things I had shared, he said, "Just like what Hna Dodsford said....I mean Dodson. I'm sorry Hermana!"  Dodsford?  That was funny!
     While we were in Monsefu, we stopped by this little shop that has Nativity sets and I bought 2! Each one is completely different styles.  :)
     We got back to Pimentel and had lunch. (soup of lentils, rice, fried bananas and a fried egg)  It was really yummy.  After lunch, we studied language and right before we left our cuarto, we received a phone call from Martin asking, "When are you coming? Because I need to know how long I have to say my 3 prayers I promised you that I would say everyday."  :)  Last time we had a lesson, we made him promise that he would pray three times everyday, and well it turns out that today, he said all 3 right before we got to his house.  He gave us vanilla crackers and juice.  He also drew a really cool boat and wrote a sweet note to me on the back.  I love Martin so much!

     After his lesson, we headed to go teach another family, but they were leaving when we got there, so we rescheduled, and while we were writing down their new cita, I had a feeling to look down the road, and I saw a man sitting on the side of the road, and I KNEW that we had to talk to him.  So we headed down towards him, and sat down next to him and started talking to him.  I pulled out a picture of Jesus with The Living Christ written on the back.  We had him read 2 paragraphs from it and he was so interested.  He told us to come visit him, his wife and kids tomorrow.  We set up the cita with him and he thanked us for talking to him and lighting up his day.  He was really close to tears and told us that he needed our visit, and then thanked us again.  His name is Angelo.
     After contacting him, we saw this old woman standing in her doorway and we decided to contact her.  Once we gained enough trust, we asked if we could come inside and share a message.  She agreed and we went in and sat down.  She continued to stand in the doorway.  Since she wasn't joining us, we started teaching her brother who was sitting in the room with us.  His name is Omar. By the end of the lesson, he was saying that he felt peace in his soul as we preached.  We told him that it is because our message is true.  We invited him to start preparing for baptism and he said, "Yes...and please come back soon."  We set up another cita with him and had him pray.  His prayer was so sincere and he kept saying "thank you for blessing me with these ladies because they have brought peace into my soul and they have brought happiness because they just radiate it."  It was so sweet.
     We stopped by Aaron and Daniella's, but they wouldn't let us in because they had visitors, but Aaron told us that he will talk to Daniella about their plan to get married.  I really hope it is soon, because I want them to start receiving the blessings from keeping God's law.
     After that, we headed to the provivienda and contacted new people, and then headed to consejo. (ward council)  Daniel was holding his niece on his lap, when he made a face and put her down.  I wondered what had happened, and then he waved away the air by his nose because the little one had pooped in her diaper.  Daniel couldn't take the stench, so he pulled out his cologne and sprayed some on her bottom.  It was funny!
     After consejo, Pres. Arroyo brought in dinner for all of us. (fried chicken, greasy french fries and a salad)  We hurried and ate, planned visits with the women at the meeting and said our goodbyes.  As I was leaving, Daniel said, "Just so all of you know, there will not be any celebrating on the 20th of October, because there is not a significant meaning on that day."  I only laughed for a second...then I looked at Daniel and pointed at him, saying "I am watching you!"  Daniel giggled...and then we all left.
     We went to our "real" dinner (broccoli, soup of lentils, carrots, and toasted bread) Then we went home and planned and got ready for bed.

Miercoles, 15 de Octubre del 2014
     We did an "activity" this morning to help us find new people.  It's called "Mesa de Surgencias" (table of suggestions)  We set up a table in the middle of the parque principal.  We put up a sign that says, "Quienes somos?"  (who are we?)  Then we put a bunch of pamphlets and pass along cards on the table and then we sang hymns to attract people to our booth.  We talked to so many different people about Jesus and God.  It was a success!  Bueno!  We wanted to get our presence known, which we did, because who wouldn't be interested in two Gringas singing about Jesus in the middle of a park? :)  We found a lot of new people to teach!  Before lunch time, we had contacted 20 people!
     We got a phone call from Elder Coons telling us that we needed to go to internet and take a survey that Pres. Monson wants all missionaries to take.  The survey is to help Pres. Monson and the Apostles know what to teach Mission Presidents and missionaries that will help improve the missions and missionary experiences.
     After that, we went to lunch (potatoes, aji with an onion mix, fried fish and soup).  After eating, we headed out teaching.  We taught a woman named Maria and her 3 children, Perta (13), Anderson (8) and Diana (4).  She is a single mom who is trying to take care of all her kids and work a job of driving a moto, which doesn't pay very much, but she wants to have the freedom to choose whether she can leave her kids on a certain day or not.  Bless her heart.  We taught them about prayer and they really loved it.  They promised that they will try and pray as a family at least once a day!
     Then we met up with Lucy so she could go out teaching with us. Unfortunately, no one that we had citas with were home.  That was discouraging, but we did come across a lucky door of woman of the church of Testigos de Jehova (Jehova's Witness).  Her name is Rosano (70 yrs) and she had such a soft heart.  She listened to us and told us that she will never turn us away.  I really hope we can help her realize the truth.  She still has never been baptized in any church, but her daughters have been baptized into the Mormon church.  :)
     Rosano is a professional singer here, too.  I really hope I can hear her sing sometime- maybe I'll have her sing something at our next visit. :)
     We started knocking doors again, but no one was home, so we started street contacting.  We contacted 13 people and then we walked Lucy home.  Lucy said that being a missionary is tiring and hard.  We told her that it was, but every hour is worth it!  At the end of every day, when we look back on the day, we see many miracles....mostly small, but todavia miracles!
     We then went and contacted 2 women on a corner, who looked really sweet.  Well, they ended up being Testigos de Jehova, and they just kept telling us to be careful of what church we join because many churches have false prophets.  We tried to explain that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, so if God had prophets in the past, He would call prophets today.  Then we bore our testimonies that we know that our prophet, Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet who was called of God, and that God leads His church through the prophets that He calls.  Then one of the ladies said that there is much evil in the world and that we need to watch out for false prophets.  Oh well.
     After that visit, we went to a tienda to buy a little treat and we started talking with the owners, Orlando y Roxana.  Roxana is blind in one eye and has only 30% vision in the other eye.  Well, as we were talking with them, Roxana only seemed to be interested in Hna Kingsford and what State she was from.  Then Orlando asked me what State I was from and before I could answer, Roxana says, "She is Peruana!! She is not from the States!"  When I told them that I was actually from the State of Utah, she didn't believe it.  I asked her why she thought I was Peruana and she said that my accent is so pure!  Then Roxana got really close to my face so she could look at me with her "good" eye and then she said, "You look like a Peruana trying to dress up like an American, and pulling it off!"  haha I love when people say that.  It makes me feel even more at home.
     After that, we ran into Martin.  He gave us one apple and one mandarin orange.  :)  Then we went to dinner (broccoli, carrots and sweet potatoes).  While we were eating, we talked with Lucy and Channy about seeing the hand of God in our lives.  It was beautiful to hear everyone's different experiences.
     Then we went back to our cuarto and dyed Hna Kingsford hair!  Crazy stuff.  Hopefully it turns out good.

P.S.  Tonio called Lucy and told him that my new nickname is Sierrenita (woman who lives in the Sierras), but he will only call me that after my mission.  Crazy Tonio!

Jueves, 16 de Octubre del 2014
     This morning we went to Fonavi and the combi that picked us up ended up being our buddy Pedro.  He forced us to sit in the front by him, by kicking a man out of the front seat.  He told us to visit him and his family someday.
     Once in Fonavi, we stopped by our citas but no one was home, so we started knocking on doors. One house ended up selling bodoques (home made popsicles) so we each bought 2, lucuma y coconut flavors.  They were really yummy and the woman who sold them to us was such a sweetheart.  After we at our bodoques, we ended up getting invited into the house of a contact.  This lady was completely Catholic and unwilling to listen.  She had her 2 year old granddaughter, Luanna there with her, and Luanna thought that I was her mom, because her mom is white and has the same color eyes as me, so during the lesson, Luanna kept saying "Mama, Mama"
     After this lesson, we headed to lunch in Pimentel (soup and papas rellenas).  It was sooooo yummy.  After lunch, we went back to Fonavi and stopped by Paola Monjas's house to pick her up to come teaching with us.  While we were waiting for her to finish getting ready, we got talking to Estrellita and she was at the kitchen table and looked at me and scanned the room and said, "I didn't want to share, so I hid it."  And right then, she disappeared under the table and came back up with a 3 liter bottle of Pepsi.  We were so surprised that she had a secret stash of Pepsi under her table.
     Then we headed out, and as soon as we hit the road, Hna Paola started singing songs trying to find people to teach.  She started belting out Called to Serve, and she was really into it.
     Our first cita was with Karla, a mom of 2 girls and her husband is in the Army.  Her baby has a really bad sickness and needs a lot of medicine and doctor visits, but Karla does not have the money to do so.  Paola told me that she would help her.  :)
     Then we headed to another cita and when we knocked on the door, no one came, so Paola started pounding on the door, yelling, "Senor!" and then we heard a man say, "Si?" and then Paola yelled "Yeeahh!", so he came to the door.  He informed us that his wife wasn't home and then shut the door. After which, Paola started telling us that one day she was watching a woman about 50 years old door bell ditching.  She then acted out what it looked like.  When the woman would run away, she would tip toe dance and put her hands curled up in front of her, like someone being sneaky.  We laughed forever!
     At the next house we stopped by, we knocked and no one was coming to the door, but we knew they were there because we saw the husband walk in and we heard them talking, so I was joking around with Hna Kingsford by saying, "We know you are here...", and then Hna Paola said, "Sabermos!" (in that voice from the Hercules movie, when Hades says, "I know you know!" haha) We started laughing so hard.  The people in the house just ignored us...:(  so we went to visit Hna Paola's friend. When we knocked on the door, a little girl opened the door and said, "My mommy is sleeping."  Well Paola didn't believe her, so she yelled into the house, "Rosa! Come here!!"  Turns out that she really was sleeping because when she came to the door, she looked like she just woke up. Paola said, "I brought 2 angels to your house to teach you about Christ and His church.  Can we come in and talk for a bit?"  Rosa said, "No, not today." And Paola didn't like that and said, "Are you really saying no to Christ right now?  You don't have time for Christ?!"  They went back and forth for a bit and in the end, we ended up making a cita with her friend for next week.  Then Rosa y Paola kissed cheeks and started giggling.  It was such an intense conversation, but in the end, they acted as if nothing ever happened. :)
     After that, we tried going to another woman's house and Paola just opened the door window and looked in and yelled the woman's name several times.  We as missionaries, would love to do that sometimes, but we can't, so we just bring members who do!  haha
     After that, we had a lesson with Marco, his dad and his brother David.  I love this family- and of course Marco had his sass flying.  haha
     Then we headed to Daniel's for a meeting.  Paola said that she had to go home, so she hugged and kissed us goodbye and told me that they are going to have a FHE for the ward at the house of Marietta and Carlos Vigo Jimenez, and that they are going to celebrate my birthday, so I needed to be there.  haha  Such sweethearts!
     For our meeting with Daniel, we were discussing how we can work together better and how we can use Daniel more.  While Hna Kingsford was talking with him about this, I was writing down some activities for the ward, that we can invite investigators to, when all of a sudden, Daniel freaked. He cut off Hna Kingsford and said very intensely, "Waahhh...you need to call me.  You can't expect me to just do it all and to just know!!"  I'm not sure what was happening, but we worked it all out and in the end, we had a plan to have him come with us 2 times a week to meet our investigators.
     After our meeting, we went outside and we all saw Lucido heading home, so we went and said hello and talked for a bit.  Of course, Lucido made fun of my voice, like always.  Then we headed back to Pimentel.
     We went searching for a reference we received today from some Elders in Chiclayo.  They told us it's a man from the States who has a Book of Mormon and speaks English.  We went searching for his house, and as we were walking down the road, Martin showed up behind us and told us that he is going to walk (well ride his bike) with us to keep us safe because it was dark and late.  He helped us search, but the house number didn't exist. :( Bummer.  I was really wanting to teach in English.
     After that, we went to dinner. (broccoli, carrots and quesadillas!!)  It reminded me of the kind that Miguel always made me.  The only thing missing was my HOT sauce...I miss that stuff a ton!)
     After dinner, we came home, laughed a ton and planned.  Today was such a good day!  Oh, Martin gave us strawberry cookies and he made us eat them in front of him.  He always does that.  "Eat them!" and we say, "Okay.  We'll eat them!"  haha  He's such a sweetie!  I love Martin.

Viernes, 17 de Octubre del 2014 [Feliz Cumpleanos Papacito!] :)
     We had weekly planning today and during it, we got hungry, so we headed over to the tienda to buy a couple treats, when we heard, "Hermanas! Hermanas!"  We turned around and it was Martin, with his boots and bike and cookies for us.  He handed us the cookies, wished us luck in our work and then rode off.  haha
     After planning, we went to lunch.  We ate chupe!  The best soup in the world!  After lunch, we went out and taught Mariana (16 yrs) and Giannina- today is her birthday.  She is turning 37 years! We started teaching about the prophets and Christ establishing His church on the earth when he was here, and then all of a sudden, they were asking us questions about the spirit world, and paradise and spirit prison.  They are a mom and daughter, and they are the best  of friends.  I love teaching them, but every time I do, I start to miss my mom and our fun relationship we have.  Their relationship reminds me of me and my mom.  I also enjoy visiting them because they love me very much. Mariana is always so excited to see me, even though we hardly ever talk, except when we get lucky and find them in their house.
     After that, we stopped by a contact's house named Kathy, but she wasn't there, but something very interesting happened when we first arrived.  We knocked on the door, when a youngster opened the window in the door to ask us what we wanted.  I asked if Kathy was there and he left the window open to run and see.  Well in my curiosity, I looked inside the house and saw a pregnant woman standing very still, almost meditating, with an older woman rubbing a live cuye (guinea pig) on the woman's stomach and on her face.  A LIVE ANIMAL!  I am not sure if she was trying to cure her of something, but what I do know, is that that is completely new to me.
     The youngster then returned to the window, didn't say anything and then started to shut the window.  Then we heard a woman's voice yell, "We are busy!"  I thought to myself...busy rubbing cuye on someone?  When I told Hna Kingsford what I had seen, she didn't believe me, so we switched places at the door so that when we knocked again, she would be able to see them.  But when we knocked again, the mom of Kathy opened the door, and we just set up another cita, because Kathy wasn't home, and then we headed to our next cita.
     The neighbor of Kathy, named Edmundo, sells bodoques (peanut butter and chocolate), and we love to buy them and talk with him, but no one was home today.  On our way to our next cita, we kept looking for another person selling bodoques, but we had no luck. :(
     We set up another cita with a woman named Rosa and then we headed to another part of Pimentel to teach Simona,  Katarina, Ana Luz, y Daniella.  We taught them about the Book of Mormon and the authority we have in the church.  They loved it.  They want their own copy of the Book of Mormon, but we didn't have any with us, so we promised them that we would bring them one soon.  They are all really excited to read it more and understand it more.  At the end of the lesson, they gave us crackers and peach juice.  They are so cute.
     We left and were walking down the road, when we saw two men standing together talking, and we felt that we should talk to them.  So we walked over to them and started talking to them about the church, and they were really excited for us to teach them and their families.  We handed them a pass along card, and then went to teach Elba.  We taught Elba about the Book of Mormon.  The last time we saw her, we gave her the Joseph Smith movie to watch (the newer one).  She watched it and loved it!  She loved the story of Joseph and all his trials, and that he still continued in the work of building Zion.  At the end of our lesson, we invited her to be baptized at the end of Noviembre and she said yes!! Awesome.
     Then we went to dinner (corn covered in cheese and our usual veggies) and ate with Diego (a nephew of Lucy).  He is 15 years old, and the entire time we were eating, he just kept staring at us. So I decided to put on a show, so I started feeding Hna Kingsford.  I started laughing so hard at Diego's face, that I fell on the ground.  Diego started laughing, too.  I regained control of myself and sat back at the table again.  Then Diego's mom yelled his name from the street.  He finished stuffing his food into his mouth and then ran.  He disappeared so quick.  We giggled forever about that.
     After dinner, we went home, planned and got ready for bed.

Sabado, 18 de Octubre del 2014
     This morning on our way out the door, Berta gave us her world famous tamales.  We took them with us because we always get hungry through out the day, and we thought to ourselves that we can eat them when we get hungry.....well let me give away a secret...we never had the chance to eat them, because we got invited to food at every lesson we had!  The first person we talked to was Edinson (30) and he gave us cake and said, "To celebrate early your birthday!"  He is really cool and really nice.
     Then we headed to a lesson with Pedro.  We taught him and his mom, Mila.  She was a hoot.  The entire lesson, she kept interrupting us saying, "I have tried to teach him the words of Christ, but he won't listen."  Pedro agreed that he doesn't listen to her...so then she said, "Maybe you can teach him and help him understand why he needs to better his life and follow the doctrine of Christ."  Then she went off talking about all sorts of things...and then she asked for forgiveness and said that she would listen, too, and then she would sit in silence for a few minutes, until we would ask another question....and then she would start off again saying that Pedro would know this stuff if he would just listen to her.  By the end of the lesson, Pedro understood quite a bit and his mom told us to come back often. :)
     Then we went to lunch at the house of the familia Monja. (Paola)  After lunch, we left and started walking down the road when Hna Monja chased us down the road with oranges in hand, telling us to be prepared for when we got hungry.  haha
     We then went to visit a woman named Karina.  She has two sons and owns a really busy tienda in her house.  During the lesson, she was getting up and down helping people.  In the end, she still understood about the prophets, Jose Smith, the Book of Mormon and prayer.  She loved it.  She thinks it is all beautiful.  Now we just need her to feel ready to be baptized.  We invited her and she said yes, but she doesn't want to set a date, so we are going to help her feel better prepared.
     Then we visited Egnar!!  I seriously love this man.  He is such a good dad and his daughters are the cutest little angels ever!  We taught them why it's important to read the Bible and the Book of Mormon.  It's been years since Egnar had been to church, so we are trying to excite him.  Last week, he came to general conference, so maybe we are really touching his heart.  After the lesson, they all jumped up and went running out of the room, and came back with bowls of ice cream.  I was sitting with the 5 year old (I don't remember her name), but I pretended like I didn't know how to feed myself, so she was feeding me and we were all laughing a bunch.  After we finished eating, we took some photos and Blanca (10 year old) was really making me laugh because she loves making faces. We took so many pictures together because she kept saying, "Another one!  Another one!"

Hna Kingsford, Egnar, Hna Dodson
"Always looking good!"

We eventually stopped taking pictures because we had to go.  As we were leaving, Hna Kingsford told them that I was turning 20 years old on Monday, and they all started jumping around insisting that I come to Fonavi to celebrate my birthday with them.  I told them that we were having a family home evening at the house of Carlos and Marietta.  They said that they will be there!
     Our last lesson was a surprise lesson.  When we were walking down the road,  Edinson hopped out of a car that we had just walked past.  He called us over to talk and meet his family.  Well, we ended up meeting his mom and she insisted that we come inside their house and eat some cake.  We taught them a little about the prophets and sang a song to them.  We set up another appointment with them and took our cake and headed out.
     Once we got to Pimentel, we went to dinner because it was late.  For dinner, we ate green beans, carrots, french fries and chocolate milk avena.
     Then we went home and planned and called Martin to make sure that he was coming to church with us tomorrow.  He said yes, and that he was on the look out for us all day today because he had cookies, but he couldn't find us.  haha  Sweetie.

Domingo, 19 de Octubre del 2014
     Well today was Stake Conference, and we had the privilege to have Elder Scott Grow of the Seventy there and also Elder Costa of the Argentina Area.
     To start at the beginning, we met at the Casa Capilla in Pimentel, to take a combi to the stake center in Chiclayo (Santa Victoria Los Alamos #128)  Edilver showed up, and so did Martin with Carlitos.  We all hopped on the combi and headed to Chiclayo.
     Once we were there, we greeted a bunch of people.  In the end, there was a ton of people there, and the best part was that Karla came.  Hermana Paola Monja went and picked her up and brought her to church.  That is such a beautiful blessing to have members helping with bringing people to church and visiting them, with or without us.
     Once the meeting started, they released and called a new stake presidency.  The President is the oldest son of Hna Monja.  I don't know who the First Counselor is, but the Second Counselor in the one and only President Arroyo (the branch president here in Pimentel).  It was a huge surprise for us all in the Rama in Pimentel.  After they called the new Presidency, they started the program. Well, I was sitting with Jenna (the American here for internships) and during the meeting, she shut her eyes and Martin leaned over to us and told Hna Kingsford and I to "wake up the hermana- she is sleeping!"  I started giggling and didn't wake her up, so he leaned over again and told us to wake her up!  haha
     Well for the program, they had the old and new Presidencies speak and bear their testimonies. During Pres. Arroyo"s words, he said, "When God calls someone into a calling, it's because he wants to forgive them and give them a chance to gain his confidence again."  How beautiful is that?  I love that.  That we receive callings, challenges and trials because God wants to see if He can trust us...so we need to work hard and try our best to show God that He can trust us.
     Two of the other speakers were Pres. and Hna Williams.  They did such a great job.  Pres. Williams is such a hoot.  He had every single person busting a gut during his talk.  One thing he said was, "As members of this church, we believe in miracles, and right now you are going to witness one. You are going to understand me!  It was so funny.  I seriously am so grateful that I have them as my leaders.
     At the end of the conference, everyone had the chance to shake the hands of the old and new presidencies, Elder Grow and Elder Costa.  Well, I got talking to Elder Grow and he is from Bountiful, Utah and lives by my Val Verda Stake. Crazy.  Small world. :)  After that, I got talking to the familia Leyton about who is going to be the new president of the rama, when I jokingly said that I would. Clara y Alicia raised both their hands and their feet and said, "We want you!"  Marco didn't want me, so I said that my first change to the rama would be that Marco has to go live in Russia, until he accepts me as president.  haha
     Then Elder Chavez found me and reminded everyone around me that it was my birthday on Monday.
     We didn't end  up leaving the stake building until 1pm, so we got to Fonavi at 1:30ish, so we walked to the house of familia Cachay for lunch, but no one was home.  So we walked to Hna Paola's house to ask what we should do, but she wasn't home either...so we decided to try and go to Carlos and Marietta's house.  They told us that they would feed us.  We ate rice, fried chicken, lentils and fried bananas.  While we were eating, they told us about a video on YouTube about the Book of Mormon.  It's called "Journey of Faith:  Book of Mormon".  They said it's really good and shows evidence that the Book of Mormon is true.  Watch it.
     After lunch, we headed to Jerson's house.  He is the boyfriend of Nicol, who is the daughter of Channy.  He is such a stud.  We taught him and his parents, and it was an awesome lesson.  They really understand the story of Joseph Smith and we also explained forever families, and they were really into it and really interested in the temple.  To end the lesson, we sang Families can be Together Forever.  It was really spiritual.  We know that they felt the spirit, not only from their faces, but right after we ended, they begged us to come back!! :)
     Jerson is such a respectful kid.  He is going to work miracles here if he decides to grow in the Church of Jesus Christ.
     Then we went and picked up Pres. Arroyo, to come teaching with us.  Our first stop was Martin. When we showed up, he handed us our cookies and then we shared our message.  The entire lesson, Martin had Pres. Arroyo laughing really hard.  I am so grateful I know Martin.  He is such a light to everyone!  And everyone knows Martin!
     Then we had a cita with Hugo and his family.  Michael wasn't there, but the rest of them were. We talked about marriage and the importance of keeping the commandments of God.  They realized that, and said that they will think about it.  We told them about eternal families and they said that they want that, so hopefully they will get married and then we can get them sealed in the temple.
     After that lesson, we stopped by Luis and Janeth's, but they weren't home, so we headed to Simona and family to give them their Book of Mormon.  Turns out that the only person home was a daughter that we had never met.  Her name is Vanessa and she is 25 years old and has a 6 year old daughter named Kiara.  We entered and started teaching her.  The entire time, she kept saying, "I have doubts."  In the end, she still said, "I still have doubts, but I'm going to read this pamphlet and the chapter in the Book of Mormon to see if that fixes anything."  (3Nefi 31- about Christ coming to the Americas)  We told her that after she reads, she needs to pray and ask God, because that is the only way she can know for herself that it is true.  We asked her to offer the last prayer, and during the prayer, she asked to know if this message was true or not.  I really hope that she listens closely to the spirit and has an open heart and mind about all of this.
     Once we left, I was telling Pres. Arroyo that the rest of the family believes and they don't have any doubts.  And I couldn't believe that she is from the same family.
     Then Pres. Arroyo took us to our pension in his car.  We ate our dinner, reported our numbers to our district leader, Elder Coons.  Then we headed home and planned for our day tomorrow....My Birthday!

The shirt from the zone!
Elder Chavez designed it!

this is the invitation to all the activities
that we are going to have this week