Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week 26: "I really like the Mormons. Their message is beautiful."

Lunes, 29 de Setiembre del 2014
     We went to the beach to do exercises and then got ready for the day.  We did our studies and then we went to internet to email.  All the emails were amazing!  I enjoy reading about people's weeks and crazy and regular experiences.  After we finished emailing, we talked with the internet lady for a while about her life and family.  We see her every week, and today, we decided to get to know her.
     Then we went to the Super (store) and ran into Jenna.  She is a North American who lives here in Pimentel.  We talked with her and her friend for a bit, but we were getting hungry so we went and found ingredients to make chicken salad sandwiches.  Let me say one thing...we are pro at making chicken salad sandwiches.  We ate them on little plates and cups that I bought here.  They are super adorable!  The sandwiches were to die for!

     After we finished eating, we cleaned up and headed to the beach to read on the grass.  I decided I wanted to nap, so I was relaxing when all of a sudden I hear a scream from Hna Kingsford.  As soon as I opened my eyes, I saw this little black puppy attacking me.  I screamed out of terror for my life, until I realized it couldn't do anything to me.  Well as the owner of the puppy was coming over, the little mutt stole my sandal and ran down the hill!  Don't stress...I got my sandal back, but I was still a victim to this perrito!  haha  Well, since I was wide awake, I decided to paint my nails.  I haven't done that since I've been on my mission.  We relaxed a bit more and wrote some letters.  Then we headed back to our cuarto to clean it and get ready for our teaching.
     At 6:00pm, we met up with Edilver at the corner of our pension.  He had 2 fake roses for us.  He is so sweet.  He told us that we are his best friends and he is really grateful to have us in his life.  He is always smiling and bouncing off the walls.

     We taught him in the park about the judgement, resurrection and the three kingdoms of glory. He wants to better his life.  He told us today that he has had coffee only once since our lesson about the Word of Wisdom.  He says that he can see a difference!
     After our lesson, he left and we waited in the park for Ricardo.  Martin showed up on his bicycle and wearing his boots like always.  And like always, he had a treat for us.  Every time he sees us, he buys us treats.  :)  This time it was chocolate cookies called tentaciones.  They are waffle cookies and so delicious!  While we were talking to Martin, Ricardo showed up and he had bought us suckers because I had told him that I had eaten a sucker of maricuya and that I loved it.  The suckers here have awesome flavors.
     Anyways, we went to the house of Lucy to teach him about the 10 Commandments and a little bit about the Law of Chastity.  He lives with his girlfriend, so we explained about how this law says that we should wait until we are married to live with someone.  He completely understood the law of God and said that he wants to follow, but right now he and his girlfriend are disagreeing and she doesn't want to talk to him, but he said that he is going to try to fix the problem and talk to her about marriage, because he wants to live the commandments of God.  He is such a cool guy.  In the end, we sang "Nearer My God to Thee" (Mas Cerca Dios de Ti)  He loved it.  He was speechless and kept reading the lyrics after we stopped singing.  He really wants God in his life.  I am excited to help bring Christ and God into his life.  He offered the final prayer and he said, "I am grateful for the Hermanas, Dodson y Kingsford, for helping me everyday become closer to Thee."  It was beautiful and heart felt.
     Then we went to dinner ( soup and veggies), and went home to plan.  Martin called us to ask us about our cita with him tomorrow, and then he told us that we were his angels who brought the light of Christ back into his life!  I love Martin!

Martes, 30 de Setiembre del 2014
     We woke up and did our exercises like always and got ready for the day.  We headed to Chiclayo for a 7 hour meeting.  It was a multi-zone conference.  It was an awesome meeting.  First we started the meeting talking about families.  The then picked apart "The Proclamation to the World:  The Family"  I challenge everyone to read and understand every single part in it.  It is from our Prophets, meaning it is inspired of God.  And like the title says, it is for the world!!  Then we talked about cleaving unto Christ.  President Williams walked over to the white board on wheels, grabbed the top and hung onto it for dear life.  It was hilarious!  We talked about a couple other things and then headed to lunch.  They had hamburgers brought in from Bembos.  It was really good.  Still not North American burgers, but good.
     During the entire meeting, Elder Chavez and I would make faces at each other, and during the breaks, we would run around causing a ruckus.  haha  We just laughed and laughed.  Elder Chavez gave me my book of recuerdos back.  His recuerdo is awesome!  He is a great artist!

recuerdos by Elder Chavez

     At the end of the meeting, Pres. Williams quoted the movie, A League of Their Own.  He said, "It's hard.  But it's the hard that makes it good."  He then shared a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 101: 3-4.
     Then we left the meeting and on the bus ride home, we met a couple people.  This man in front of me turned around and asked if I was a Mormon...and when I said yes, he asked me to come and teach him.  He said, "I have the Book of Mormon.  Has it changed at all, because if so, I would like the most recent copy."  I told him that it hasn't changed and never will, because it is the word of God.  He was excited to hear that, and we continued to talk until he got off the bus.  Before he got off, I took down his name and address, so we could give him to the Elders in Monsefu, because that is where he lives.
     After  finishing talking to him, the woman sitting next to me asked me to take down her information and to come visit her, too.  She is super cool!
     Once we got to Pimentel, we went out contacting because it was late and the people we were supposed to teach, weren't home.  We met two different men. The first, was this old man who came up to us an shook our hands and then he took my hand and put it on his cheek and smiled at me.  And then he told us that he lives in heaven and that his 18 year old son is a doctor.  He was either drunk or losing his mind, but he was a sweet man.  The second, was a man with a huge white mustache.  He was very religious, and when we were talking with him, we realized that we had to leave because it was time for dinner.  When we told him that we had to leave, I stuck out my hand for him to shake it, and the next thing I knew, I was engulfed in a giant bear hug!  I wish I could have seen my face because I was so surprised!  :)
     We went to dinner (veggies and homemade fried cheese sticks), and then went home to call the Presidente, because we got some new rules today at the meeting, and we were still a little confused by some of them.  By the end of the phone call, we found out that we can no longer teach Edilver, because President doesn't want him to be "in love" with us, so he is going to send the Elders from Monsefu to teach him.  We also can't baptize Lucido until he is 18 years old.  That is not until next year....bummer.  I am pretty bummed that we just gained so much trust with a bunch of people, and now we can't teach them any more.  It's with good reason, it's just sad.
     After finding out all that news, we planned.  Then the funniest thing happened.  Hna Kingsford was in the bathroom, and I hear, "Hna Dodson...there isn't any toilet paper in here...will you bring me another roll?"  Well, I walked over to grab a roll, and we didn't have any!  I told her that, and she started screaming!  I came up with a solution.  We had paper towels in the kitchen, so she just used those.  Tomorrow, we are going to buy toilet paper!!  :)

Miercoles, 1 de Octubre del 2014 (only 19 more days until my Birthday!)
     We bought toilet paper!!!  That is after I did the same thing as Hna Kingsford, and got stranded on the toilet!  haha  We had to figure out our money situation this morning, so we could pay Lucy and our cuarto lady, Berta.  Berta is a hoot.  She is an older woman who always has her crazy upbeat rap music playing, wearing a pajama shirt and a funny hat thing that looks like a pioneer bonnet. :)
     We went to lunch and had rice soup.  Bruno was home today, and he is such a sassy kid!  haha
     After lunch, we went to contact a reference, but she was busy, so we left and while we were walking down the road, this little boy started talking to us.  He asked us if we taught English.  We said, no, and then he invited us to his house to meet his Grandma.  Her name is Yolanda.  She is such a sweetie!  While we were talking to her, Cristian (the little boy) drew each of us a picture.

     We taught a little lesson, and asked if we could come back and visit again, and she said yes, because she said that before her husband passed away, he told her, "I really like the Mormons.  Their message is beautiful."  How awesome is that?
     After leaving her, we contacted a bunch more people.  We contacted this young man named Michael. He said that his family would love to hear the message.  He also told us that his cousins are members, and that one of his cousins was going to go on a mission, but died before he left on his mission.  He truly has interest in the church, and so does his family!!!
     We also contacted a woman named Elena.  She is so spiritual.  She makes clothing for her living, and everything she makes is beautiful.  When we knocked on her door, she smiled and when we told her that we were missionaries, she said, "Come in."  We talked with her about the church and she said that she is very faithful and prays everyday that her husband will open his heart to Christ.
     Then we went and taught Mayra, the daughter of Lucy.  We had a heart to heart with her about the church and why she isn't baptized yet.  She told us that she knows that there is something special about our church, but doesn't know if it's true.  She is a very smart girl, and she is a very logical person, so that makes things a little harder.  We invited her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.
      We hurried to the church because we were 30 minutes late to Ward Council, but when we showed up, no one was there except for the Relief Society president and Carlos, the Counselor to the Pres. of the Rama.  We talked with them for a bit and then it got late, and no one was coming, so we left.
     As we were walking to our pension to eat dinner, there was this guy who looked just like Emanny, so I said, "Buenos Noches", and he said something back, and his voice sounded just like Emanny.  So I asked him what his name was, and he just kept walking, turning around every once in a while to smile.  I swear it was Emanny!  Hna Kingsford said that it's not him, but he was way to similar to not be him!  After finding "Emanny" in Peru, we ran into Martin and he gave us a bag of bread, and said that he would go buy more for himself.  Martin is such a sweetie!
     All day long there has been roads closed and parades.  For elections, there are big stages throughout town for people who are running, to speak to their fans.  It's just a lot of music, screaming and cheering.  Our friend Alex is running for office in the election.  Go Alex Isique!

Jueves, 2 de Octubre del 2014
     After lunch, we went out teaching.  As we were walking down the road, we saw our little buddy, Leonardo.  He yelled, "AMIGAS!" and came running down the sidewalk to us.  The next thing I knew, was that I was on the ground with Leonardo hugging me.  It was the cutest thing ever!  After he got off of me, and I stretched out my hands for help up, he hugged me again!  We talked with him as we walked up the road to see his dad.  His dad really wants us to visit his family and "cleanse" their souls with the word of God.  He is cool and his wife is a sweetheart, and Leonardo is the coolest kid in the world!
     After talking with them, we went to find the parents/family of Michael (from yesterday).  We ended up finding his dad, Hugo.  We talked with him a lot, and he told us about the cousin who died before going on his mission.  He was shot in his doorway over his cellphone.  How sad...  But on a good note Michael talked to his family about us and how we were going to stop by at some point to teach them all about the church of Christ.  Hugo said that Michael is really exited to learn more and that the whole family has interest in the Church.  (Yay!  We found ourselves an awesome family) After setting up a cita with them we headed to Fonavi,  We contacted a few people with Estephany or Esteffany (I don't know how to spell her name... Awkward).  She is an 18 yr old girl in the rama.  She is from the familia Cachay.
     At 4 pm we went and taught Marco Leyton.  In the middle of the lesson, I said something and he looked at me and straight up says, "Sierra Dodson"  I was so surprised.  I just started laughing.  He felt so bad, and he kept saying "sorry" at least every 4 seconds.  He said he was thinking about me and my name and it just came out.  It was so funny.
     After that, we taught another lesson to Zora (the sister of Ruth - the mom of Estephany) we got invited to cake because it is the birthday of Said (Sieed) (13 years old).  We sang to him and took a couple gangster pictures with him and headed back to Pimentel.  We ran in to Martin and he gave us candy :)  He is such a loving man.  He rode his bike next to us all the way to our next cita, with Zimona, Daniella, Anaiyz, and Katanna.
     They are such a sweet family.  I love them dearly.  We taught them about family and family prayer.  They were really digging it.  We ended with a prayer and they invited us to peach juice (sooo good).  We talked about the elections and one of the guys running has a popular song (tune) for his campaign song with his name and his beliefs and stuff.  (soy soltera)  I started singing his campaign song and they loved it.  They thought it was hilarious.
     We left and ate dinner (broccoli, beets, soup).  After dinner we ate jello "cake".  It was all jello but it was pina flavored jello with milk poured over cubes of mint Jello and orange Jello.  It was really good.  It was to celebrate the beginning of Spring (Primavera).
     After dinner we called Edilver to say sorry and goodbye.  That was really hard.  We gave his information to the Elders in Monsefu, because they are going to call/teach him for us.  (Elder Coons and Elder Cardoso).  I really hope the elders actually teach him, because Edilver is awesome and he is going to make a great member of the Church one day.
     We had a lot of lessons today.  We met a lot of new people and found more families to teach.  It was a successful day!

Viernes 3 de Octubre del 2014
     Today was planning and we made more chicken salad sandwiches during our planning.  Berta came pounding on our door, so we let her in and she comes in with this man who needs to fix something on our window in our bedroom.  It only took 10 minutes but it was pretty distracting to have them in our cuarto.
     After planning and lunch we went and taught Martin and Carlitos.  Yesterday was the birthday of Carlitos, so Martin saved 2 slices of cake for us.  It was really good.  Martin started taking pictures of us eating the cake.  He is such a hoot.  Like always he called us his angels and then said "when you leave, I'm going to be really heart broken".  I will be really sad to leave Pimentel, and I will probably cry if I have to leave Martin.  He is my best bud.  After we taught him about repentance (Alma 36: 17-20, 2 Nephi 1:13, 2 Nephi 9:9-10, John 12:40), we started walking to the Provivienda (in Provi, Peru), because we had some citas out there.  As we were walking, a man in a moto that we had contacted a while ago, pulled up next to us and told us that he would take us the rest of the way.  He dropped us off and asked when we could visit him and help him turn his life around.  He said that he is always in trouble with the police because he drinks a lot...but he wants to change.  We set up a cita with him. :)
     Then we went and taught Ana.  Half her face is paralyzed and she has 3 kids (one my age, one that is 15 yrs and one who is 11 yrs)  We talked with her about Joseph Smith.  We invited her to be baptized, and she said, "I really want to, but first I need to learn more."  We explained that we were inviting her to baptism, to gauge her doubts and beliefs, and to make sure that she understands that we will be there to help her make this covenant.  She is excited  to work towards baptism- to make this beautiful covenant with God.
     Then we taught a woman named Rosa.  She lives with her "husband".  They have 9 kids together, but aren't married.  She said that they are making plans to get married.  She is so spiritual and so ready to hear our message.  She is so interested and excited to learn.
     We stopped by a couple of other citas, but no one was home, so we ran to the church to use the bathroom.  When we were walking away, we ran into Victor and Emerson (kiddos we were teaching), and their mom.  We had to stop teaching them because of the new rule that we can't teach or baptize anyone under the age of 18, unless their parents are members, or unless their parents are being taught as well.  We said hi to them and chatted for a bit, and as we started to walk away, we saw the mom say something to Victor, and then Victor yelled to us and asked us to come by and teach them.  We explained the rule and the mom said, "Ok.  I will be in their lessons."  We have never been able to get her to listen to our lessons, but I think she is missing the good things her children were learning.  We set up an appointment with them and then headed to our last cita with Janeth.  She is a woman who came up to us on the 25th, begging us to come teach her and her "husband", Luis.  We met Luis yesterday when we passed their house, but Janeth wasn't home, so we set up the appointment for today.  They have a son together and he is 4 years old.  His name is Jhordy and we are best friends now.  By the end of our visit, Jhordy had invited me to come over and draw with him, go play at the park, have a sleepover and play games on his mommy's phone.  He is so adorable.  We taught Janeth and Luis about the Proclamation to the World: The Family and the importance of marriage.  They said that they don't want to continue to sin by living together, so they are going to discuss marriage. We left them with some "homework" to do, which is to pray as a family.  They were really excited to do that! Once we finished talking with them, they invited us to milo and rice with a corn burrito thing.  We ate, talked for a bit and then headed to our real dinner. (soup, broccoli, and carrots)  We ate and went back home to a really clean cuarto.  The maid lady had come today, to do a deep clean before the daughter of Berta was going to be coming over to stay in the cuarto next to ours.  Berta is really particular about cleanliness.  haha  Fine by me.  Now we have a CRAZY CLEAN cuarto and a crazy clean bathroom!
     We planned and got ready for bed.  Today was a great day.  We taught some amazing people who are prepared by God.  I am so excited to help all these people have that second chance, to have a fulfilling life full of blessings from God- full of family unity and full of knowledge of God and the plan of salvation.
     We met a woman today, who had lost her mom 3 years ago, and she started crying so we both went closer to her and hugged her as she cried.  We shared a little message about the Plan of Salvation.  I am grateful for the knowledge that families are forever.  I love that I am here in Peru to help people make a covenant with God through baptism, so that in a year, they can all be sealed as a family.  I can't wait until we are all in heaven and I will get to see all the beautiful people who found the gospel through the missionaries and members here on earth, all together with their families.

Sabado, 4 de Octubre del 2014  [Feliz Cumpleanos Marco!]
     We went out to the Dunas to meet a reference from a member, but she ended up working today, so we headed over to Fonavi.  We tried to contact a few references from other missionaries, but they were either gone or too busy.  So we went and said Happy Birthday to Marco Antonio. (the big 18!) We took some photos with him (which are on Facebook), then we talked for a bit with Marco, Clara and Alicia.  Clara thinks I'm adorable, like a little child.  haha  She is so funny.  I love the familila Leyton.

     After that, we went and set up citas with a few people and then headed to lunch at the house of Daniel and Ede Diaz.  Daniel wasn't home, but the family of Ede was home, so we ate with them. (chicken, rice, cut up pineapple and peppers, and fruit salad with condensed milk)  For dessert, we had bon bon alfajar. (cookie dipped in chocolate) :)
     After lunch, we went and taught Egnar and his daughters.  He is a cool guy.  He is an awesome father, who wants the best for his daughters.  He also promised us that he would read the Book of Mormon everyday, and share what he learns with his daughters.
     Then we went to teach Jose y Juana, but they were throwing a huge birthday party for their son. One of their friends came up to us and started bashing the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.  It was intense.  In the end, we invited him to read and pray with an open mind, so that he could know that it is true.  He denied us and told us that God would bless us if we would stop spreading lies to others and then he left.
     We went to the house of Estrellita, Teo, Gloria y Paula.  We asked Teo to take us to his friend's house that he had told us about last week.  He said yes and then asked to borrow my name plaque to "look" like a missionary.  He is so funny.
     We ended up contacting a few people on the way and then met up with his friend, Gino.  We got talking with him and it turns out that Gino is already a member!  Teo had no idea he was a member! Surprise!!  Another member that we didn't know about.  He is 15 years old.
     After that, we went and taught this old man.  We sang him a hymn and had a really precious lesson with him.
     Then we went back to Teo's house to teach Gloria a little message.  During that time, the mom of Teo and Estrellita came over to me and put a beautiful bracelet on my wrist.  She said she made it for my upcoming birthday.  Then Paula, the grandma of Estrellita and Teo invited her neighbor Editte over, because Editte wants to be taught by the missionaries.  Editte told me that my accent is really good and that she thought that I have been on my mission a lot longer than I have!  :)
     We headed back to Marco's to get cake from him.  We talked with him and his brother, David, for a little while.  For the longest time, since I've been in Pimentel, David has always ignored me, but tonight he was talking to me!
     Then we headed into Pimentel to our pension, but before we could make it there, we ran into Martin and out of his basket on his bike, he pulled out two apples!  He is such a sweetie!  He called us his angels and sent us on our way.
     For dinner we had broccoli with a potato mix, avena with milk and chocolate and bread.  It was so good.  After we ate, we headed home, planned for what was going to be an interesting day, because it is the day of elections.  Nothing is open and everyone is traveling everywhere to vote.  I hope we find people in their houses!!  It's going to be weird not going to church in the morning.
     Today was a successful day.  We received many references and we found a lot of people in their houses, which almost never happens.  It was a lucky day!

Domingo, 5 de Octubre del 2014
     No church.  So we went out like any other day and we found this man who is a member of a church called "Missionaries of the World."  The entire time, when we tried to teach him anything, he would cut us off and try and fight it.  After quite some time of us sitting silent, because he wouldn't let us talk, his sister came in and told him to shut up, because we had great things to share with him. He listened for a second and then cut us off, so we thanked him for his time and left.
     We headed to lunch at the house of a member.  The family name is Mendoza Gonzalez.  They are all about 4 ft. 5 inches tall.  We look and feel like giants in their house!  They are a sweet family. The parents are Felluta and Alejandro, and they have 2 children name Adam (27 yrs) and Maria (24 yrs). They are really willing to help.  Adam isn't a member, but we set up a cita to teach him because he told us that at some point, he wants to join, but he has a few doubts.  Hopefully we can help him through those.
     After lunch, we contacted because there were so many people in Pimentel, to vote.  Then we went and taught Michael and Hugo and their family, Hector Hugo (24 yrs),  Ariana (13 yrs), and their mommy Hilda.  They are an amazing family, who are prepared to listen and learn.  We taught about the family and marriage from the Proclamation, because Hugo and Hilda aren't married.  We asked them what was stopping them from getting married, and they said that they have tried to get married 4 times, but every time something always happened.  We joked with them, but were also being serious when we said, "Well, the 5th time is the charm!"  We then ended the lesson by singing "Soy un Hijo de Dios" and "Familias pueden ser Eternas".  They loved it.  They invited us to eat yogurt. Peru definitely knows what they are doing here with yogurt.  They have the best yogurt ever! We set another cita with them, and Hugo told us that their door is always open to us. :) Yay!
     We talked with Janeth for a second because when we were walking past her house, her son Jhordy yelled to us and told us to talk to his mom.  We played with Jhordy for a bit.  The kids here are just so adorable!  I can't get over it!  As we were leaving her house, Martin found us and gave us cookies! :) I love Martin.  He is such a sweetie!
     We headed out contacting again.  We ran into some guys from Germany (Leon), United Kingdom (Stewart) and from some other country in Europe (Reinar).  They are really cool.  They are here to learn Spanish, to teach English and to work for their internships.  It was fun to speak in English and talk about the church in English.  For the first time, my entire mission, I introduced myself as "Sister Dodson.  I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."  (All in English!) Weird. :)
     After we finished talking with them, we went and taught Elba about the Book of Mormon.  She loves everything about the church.  She even told us to visit her brothers and sisters and their families.  That's the best, when people have so much trust in you to visit and teach their family and friends.  At the end of the lesson, she gave us cake and anis.
     Then we went to dinner.  We ate some chicken organ.  I'm pretty sure it was chicken stomach. The texture was disgusting, but the flavor was yummy.  After eating, we ran a Book of Mormon to Elba and then went home to plan.
     Oh, because today was the elections, everyone and their dog were drinking in groups of 10-15 on every corner.  And all of them were yelling in English at us.  The best part was when we walked passed one huge group of men, who were wasted, and Hna Kingsford leans over to me and says, "Let's go drink, and let's go vote!"  as if she were one of the men.  I started giggling so hard.  It was funny!
     Tonight, we found out who won the election.  His name is Jose Gonzalez and they had a parade of honking cars, screaming and chanting people, and music.  Thankfully the parade started by our cuarto, so by the time it was time for bed, they were long gone.

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