Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 27: "You protect me from sin, so I must protect you from this crazy city."

Lunes, 6 de Octubre del 2014
     Went to internet today and during email time, I watched the conference talk by Neil A. Anderson and started to watch the one by Jorg Klebingat. I loved how Jorg started out asking us what we would do and feel like if we got told that in one minute from now, that we would be having a personal interview with Jesus.  What sins would we remember, that we never repented of?  I got to thinking about that, and I have decided that I am going to live my life as if I was going to report to Jesus every night, of all my acts and thoughts for that day. This will definitely keep me focused on the purpose of our life on earth- which is to become closer to God and to become perfect like Jesus Christ was perfect.  I then started to ponder about something my mom sent me.  She said that she was watching an interview after a football game, and one of the players shared the best advice that he had received from his dad, which is, "Know the rules, and play the game."  My mom went on to say that we have the rule book, and its an open book test all the time, we just need to play the game, and then we will win and return to our Father in Heaven.  I love that.  I love that God wants us to succeed, so he gives us rule books (Book of Mormon, Bible, prophets, church buildings, leaders, etc.) to help us play the game right, and to make it back to our loving Father in Heaven.
     After internet, Martin found us buying face wash and tooth brushes at the a little tienda, and he handed each of us 3 small packages of chocolate cookies.  He is so great!
     After purchasing  our items, we went to lunch at the restaurant of our little buddy, Leonardo. Unfortunately, Leonardo didn't show up until we were leaving.  He told us to pass by and eat there more often.  He then hugged us and we did our handshake, and we went on our way.
      We headed home to change into pants and then headed to the beach to read, relax and to talk.  We ended up talking forever.  During the couple hours that we were talking and relaxing on the grass, Martin found us again and dropped off oranges and apples for us.  Thirty minutes after that, Lucido happened to walk by with his brother and cousins.  He came and talked to us for a bit.  He told us that he misses us and wants us to come by his house soon.  We told him about the new rules and then he said that he would get his mom to join in on the lessons, because he wants to continue to learn.  Then Lucido left, and Martin showed up again with Carlitos and they told us that they would walk us to our cuarto.  On our way home, there was this huge protest/riot going on.  A bunch of people are mad about the new guy who just got elected- It wasn't our friend Alex :(  It was really loud and really intense, because there was a lot of chanting and honking.  They were all holding their signs that probably said something important, but I couldn't read them very well.  Once the huge long line of people passed, we made it to our cuarto.  During the last hour or so of our P-Day, we cleaned and organized our cuarto.
     Then we went out teaching.  We talked with a man named Jose Luis.  His is older and lives with his sisters and mom.  He is such a dear and by the end of teaching him and chatting with him, he told us that his door and heart would always be open for us.  He is so sweet and sincere.
     After that, we went and talked with Karla.  She shared some really personal stories and spiritual and trying times with us.  I love Karla with all my heart.  She is a good woman and mom.  She is always trying to do the right and always trying to serve everyone.  She is a strong woman with a lot of trials, yet she is still solid and running hard.
     Then we went to dinner (broccoli, beets, noodles with egg whites and parmesan cheese) .  For dessert we had masamora.  It was really good.  After dinner, we headed home and planned and got ready for bed.
Quote from Martin during the protest:  "You protect me from sin, so I must protect you from this crazy city."  Gotta love him and his cowboy boots and his bike. :)

Martes, 7 de Octubre del 2014
     During personal study, I read the general conference talk by Neil L. Anderson in Spanish.  It was really good.  He talks about 4 things that we can use as protection in this world of sin and confusion.        1.  Trust and follow God and his prophets
     2.  Read the Book of Mormon daily
     3.  Stand in holy places (go to the temple often)  For people who can't go, like  me, I thought of               something.  We need to have our heart and mind in the mindset of being in the temple.
     4.  Use the Atonement daily to repent and to resist temptations.
     I love a good personal study.
     After studies, we headed to Monsefu for our district meeting.  Elder Coons is awesome.  During our meeting, Elder Chavez and his new companion (Elder Puerta) showed up.  I love Elder Chavez. He goes home in a couple of months.  I am going to really miss him.  He is my best bud in the mission, besides Elder Coons and Elder Thompson.
     We headed home to Pimentel and at lunch, we learned how to sing Happy Birthday in Castiano.
"Cumpleanos feliz, Te deseamos a ti, Que los cumplas felices, cumpleanos feliz..."  After that they start to clap in rhythm and chant, "todos te deseamos, todos te deseamos.  En esta cancion, en esta cancion.  Muchas felicidadas.  Muchas felicidadas.  En el corazon, en el corazon.  Feliz Cumpleanos put name here!"
    After lunch, we went and taught Martin.  He told us that he wants to make us fat, so he gave us a cake without frosting.  It is called cece (pronounced queque).  If a cake has frosting, it is called a torta.  It was delicious!  His lesson went really well.  We spoke about Christ and how to build faith in Christ.  We each bore our testimony about how we know Christ is there for us, and what Christ does for us.  We shared John 15:13-15 (Read it!)  Christ calls us his friends.  We then sang a couple of hymns to him and he recorded us and was taking pictures of us during it.  He is so funny.  In the end, he really wanted one of us (Hna Kingsford or me) to say the last prayer, but we really want him to pray, so we said, "Gracias hermano, vamos escuchar." and then we folded our arms, bowed our heads and closed our eyes.  He said the prayer. :)  Word of the day from Martin- Francamente = Frankly
     After that, we went and taught Simona, Analuz, Daniella and Katarina, about prayer.  They promised us that they would pray about Jose Smith and baptism.  They said that they feel good about it all, which is great.  Simona said, "Baptism in your church will give us another chance."  They were all baptized as little babies, so this gives them the opportunity to choose for themselves and know and understand the covenant.
     Then we tried to find a kid named Richard (a contact).  We found his Grandma.  We asked her if we could sing her a song, and she said, "I don't like music...", so we said that we wouldn't sing then, but then after sitting there for a few seconds, she said, "So let me hear it."  haha  We sang "God be With you Till we Meet Again".  She ended up loving it a lot.  We then shared a short lesson.  Right before we said Amen at the end of the prayer, Richard walked in.  He was disappointed that he missed our lesson.  We talked to him about his life.  He is 19 years old and is studying English and works in combis.  We set up another cita with him and his aunt,  and we were about to leave when Richard said that he would walk us to the combi, so we could go to Fonavi.
     We got to Fonavi and went to the Noche Misional, during which we watched a video about keeping the armor of God on and choosing the right.  And then we talked about it.  Lucido and Marco Leyton were there too.  I love them so much.  At the end of the meeting, they handed out sandwiches (bread with a slice of meat) and ecco (fake coffee- which I like now)
     Then we headed home and the combi guy charged us each 1 sol instead of just 50 centimos! Sneaky kid!  Oh well.  We grabbed our dinner, because it was late and took it to our cuarto to eat. It was broccoli, carrots, cachungas (fried cheese filled omelette thing), shampoo with pineapple chunks in it.  It was all really yummy!
     It was a good day.  Good successful lessons.  Many open hearts.  I love Pimentel and all the wonderful members here and the lovely people we are teaching.

Miercoles, 8 de Octubre del 2014 [6 MONTH MARK!]  One year left!
     Taught Leni.  She has a broken hip and 2 little kids, which are adorable angels!  We taught her about prophets and the Proclamation to the World: The Family, and also about prayer.  By the end, she was begging us to come back soon to teach her more about baptism, because she really wants to have her children raised in something good.  She was really excited about all that we taught her! I'm excited to see her progress.
     After teaching her, it was time for lunch.  On the way to lunch, we ran into Aaron.  We haven't been able to find him and his family for so long.  He said that our picture on his wall is almost done. :) For lunch, we had stuffed peppers full of meat, eggs, raisins and asi tuna, and lentils on the side. After lunch, we went out teaching.
     We stopped by Karla's house, but she couldn't have a lesson because they were having lunch, but she decided to tell us a 20 minute story...because she had time to do that....haha.  After that, we went to another woman's house, but she wasn't home, so we started knocking on doors.  We found a man named Wilmer.  He lives with his parents, who are pretty old.  We taught him about Jose Smith.  He loved it.  He really wants to learn more about the church and wants to watch conference with us.  He is really cool.  He is 40 years old and he loves his parents so much and takes wonderful care of them. He even went over to his mom and fixed her hair and patted and kissed her cheek.  Adorable. :)
     After that, we headed to Fonavi.  We dropped off a card to Marco for his birthday. The card was super cute.  After that we were trying to find houses of some contacts and ran into Egnar.  He was happy to see us.  He talked for a bit and he told me that his daughter really loves me and always asks when I am going to come back.  How adorable!
     After that, we had consejo (ward council).  It was half successful, and slowly but surely we had enough members to fill the need of callings.  After consejo, we went and waited forever for a combi. As we waited, we sang Shania Twain songs.  That was fun to remember her songs.  When we finally got a combi, I contacted one woman and well, in the end, she told me that she was Baptist and then ignored me.  haha...oh well...next time.
     For dinner we ate broccoli, carrots, and a potato and egg omelette. It was delicious.  We went home after that and planned, called a few people and got ready for bed.  We had a dead day, but we had success because we found new people to teach.  I love seeing the changes that people want to make when they know this is the path for them.  The gospel blesses families and individuals, too.  I love the gospel very much!
     P.S.  We ran into Martin....he was not wearing his cowboy boots...instead he was wearing....DUN DUN DUN...tan crocs!  What?! Why?!  He had no reason.  haha

Jueves, 9 de Octubre del 2014 (11 days until my birthday)
     We headed out to Fonavi this morning to teach a few families.  We found one of them, but only the mom was there.  We taught her anyways.  Her name is Mariella. She has freckles and is super adorable.  She makes pillow pets as her hobby/job.
     We found the Grandma of an investigator.  When she first invited us in, she was saying, "I'm leaving, so tell me what  you want to say...quick..."  We decided just to sing her a hymn.  "Gran eres tu" (How Great Thou Art)  By the end of the song, her countenance was different and her face and body was more calm and accepting.  We left her with a prayer and then told her we would come back and she was really excited.  Music and the spirit can and will change hearts.
     We went back to Pimentel to eat lunch. (steak, potato salad with apples in it and soup).  After lunch, we went back to Fonavi to teach some more.  We taught Marco and Clara.  Anytime Hna Kingsford and I speak in English, they are always saying, "What did you just say?"  and everytime it is just what they had said, cause I am just translating for Hna Kingsford.  They think we are telling secrets, so they decided to try and speak really fast, but I understood them.  I love that I am catching onto Spanish more and more everyday!
     After them, we contacted a few different families and taught Gloria and her mom, Hna Paola Monja (R.S. President)  Paola told us a joke...It's really funny and goes like this:  There was a man on the corner of the street with a box of little newly born puppies...eyes still shut...Well the man was yelling,  "Come and get yourself a Catholic puppy!" Another man walking by, was confused as to why they were Catholic puppies, so he asked, "Why are these puppies Catholic?"  The man selling the puppies said, "Because that is what comes to mind."  Well a couple days later, the same man passed by the man selling puppies again, but this time the man was yelling, "Come and get yourself a Mormon puppy."  The man was really confused this time, because just days earlier, he was calling them Catholic puppies.  So the man asked "Why are the puppies  now Mormons", and the man answered and said, "Because their eyes are open!" HAHA!!
      Later, we headed back to Pimentel and Martin found us.  He gave us cookies and walked us to the different houses to make sure we were safe.  We ended up talking to Julio, the agnostic, again.  It drives me crazy how smart he is, but how dumb he is at the same time.  He us assumes that he knows something when he really doesn't...we all know what assuming does....:)  He is going to be the death of me.  I have faith that God can help him change!  I really would love to be here when he does change. :)
     We ran into Edilver tonight.  We haven't seen him since the rule change.  He is doing great and still wants to come to church and have lessons with the missionaries.  I really hope he stays strong. He is a good guy.
     Then we went contacting on the Calle Balta.  We found a couple new families!  I am really excited.  After that, we went to dinner, ate, went home, planned and called a few people about citas.
     Today at the house of the familia Leyton, the dad told me that I am looking more fat....Great...just what I wanted to hear!  Just gives me more reasons to work out harder and eat healthier!  haha
     We also ran into Luzziel and played with a globe ball for a few minutes.  He is adorable.  He asked when we were going to visit him again.  I told him that we would visit him when he wants to draw me another picture, and he yelled "Today!"  haha

Viernes, 10 de Octubre del 2014 (10 days until my birthday)
     We had a successful planning session.  I had a HOT shower!  Awesome!  After planning, we had lunch. (mashed potato casserole, tuna, onions, aji and spinach soup)  It was all so delicious.  After lunch, we studied Spanish and then went out teaching.  We met up with our little buddy, Diego (14 yrs), and he helped us teach.  He is such  a cool kid.  We taught one man name Jose Luis and his mom, Ana,  about Jose Smith and Diego gave a beautiful testimony.
     After their lesson, we went to many different houses, trying to find people to teach.  Then Diego turned to us and said, "Let's go teach Giannina y Mariana."  We agreed, so we walked over there and as we were knocking on the door, Mariana pulled up on the back of a moto with Danitza and told us that she has bad news for us.  I asked what it was, and she looked at me with teary eyes and said, "Elder Cardoso passed away....on Tuesday."  I denied it.  I just sat there confused, because Tuesday, we had our district meeting in Monsefu, and he was there giggling and healthy.  I told her that maybe someone was tricking her, because I could not believe it.  We said goodbye because she was just picking up her suitcase to go to Lima.  We promised to let her know what was going on with Elder Cardoso.  We called Elder Coons but there wasn't an answer.
     So we went to another street and started knocking on doors.  We met a really nice man named Valentin on the side of the road, waiting by a government building.  Well the government man told us all to enter and we all started talking about the church, when Elder Coons called us back.  And well, Elder Cardoso did die of a heart attack/seizure during a lesson on Tuesday.  They tried to get to the doctors quickly, but he died before they got there.  We were both in complete shock after hearing about him.  We couldn't believe it.  The two men we were talking to, said some kind and comforting words to us, and then we left.
     We headed to Janeth and Luis.  When we arrived, they were eating dinner, and the culture here, is that if you have food or are eating in front of people, you give them some as well.  So they served us some fish that was super delicious!  After we ate, we started to teach them about the foundation of the church.  By the end of the lesson, they were begging to learn more about Baptism.  They are so awesome.  On the way back out of the house, Jhordy ran up to me and held my hand.  I played with him for a bit while Hna Kingsford talked to Janeth.  I love this family.  They are good people out to learn more and progress.
     After that, we went to dinner. (mashed potatoes, broccoli, beets, arroz con leche)  We were all talking about Elder Cardoso.  We are all still in shock.  He was such a wonderful guy and a strong missionary.  He was working miracles here.  I know that he is helping in a marvelous work on the other side.  He is a good guy and I am so grateful that I got to know him, because he is a great friend and support and example.  Love you Elder Cardoso.

Sabado, 11 de Octubre del 2014
     During personal study, I was reading the Book of Mormon and I did a deep study on 1 Nephi 13. It is an awesome chapter about the apostasy.  Read it.
     After study, we picked up Martin and Carlitos, and headed to Fonavi to watch Conference at Daniel's house!!  During the talk of Boyd K. Packer, I was really focusing on the wonderful things he was saying when Martin looks at Hna Kingsford and me and pointing at the TV, he says, "Muy vejo" (really old)
     Only a couple talks into conference, Martin and Carlitos left, so Daniel put the conference into English.  He loves us.  As we watched the rest of the morning session in English, I loved the talk by D Todd!  I also loved that Elder Sam Wong spoke in his native tongue.  That shows that we are really a worldwide church!  I also loved the talk from Pres. Uchtdorf.  I loved the part when he talked about how God will answer our prayers.  I have such a strong testimony of that, and I really want the people here to take the promise from Christ seriously.  The promise that if you will seek, you will find.
     After that, we headed to lunch with a member named Adilia.  She served us a hamburger patty with french fries and rice.  After lunch, we headed back to Fonavi.  We went by a few investigator's houses to see if we could bring them to conference, but they couldn't come.  So we went back to Daniel's house and started watching conference in English again, when Egnar showed up to watch for an hour, because he said he would come last week, and he always keeps his promises.  So we watched the first 3 talks in Spanish, and that is when Egnar left, so we put it back to English.  Jorg Klebingar....that man and his slap in the face talk was beautiful.  Strong has heck.  I need to print it off.  I also need to print off Elder Holland's talk.  I loved the part when he said when God says shall, He means business!  God means business!  I love that the focus of his talk was on giving and when he shared about Pres. Monson shuffling through the airport in slippers, because he had given out his 2 suits and shoes to someone.  Beautiful.

     I also liked the talk from Elder Edwards Garraret, who spoke in Spanish!!  So cool!  I loved that his theme was, "Yes, Lord, I will follow Thee." (Si Senor, yo te seguire)  I loved that he pointed out that Christ is always using verbs like come... follow... walk... meaning that we need to DO.  It's an action that needs to happen.

     After conference, we talked with Daniel about some of his mission stories in Panama.  He had some cool experiences.
     After that, we went out teaching, but no one was home or could visit right then.  Then we got lucky and found Editte.  She let us right in and we taught all of lesson #1 about Jose Smith.  She loved it and then we explained the Book of Mormon.  She loved that, too.  At the end of the lesson, we sang, "God be with you till we Meet Again" and she said that the spirit was strong.  She is such a sweetheart.  I am grateful we met her.
     Then we headed back to Pimentel to eat dinner. (rice with hamburger, humita, carrots and beets)  As we were walking through the living room to say goodbye, salsa music came blasting through the house.  Channy looks at us and says "Dance!"  I told her that I didn't know how, but Hna Kingsford started to shake her hips like she had an earthquake inside her.  It was hilarious!  Hna Kingsford was totally embarrassed!  So funny!

Domingo, 12 de Octubre del 2014
     Well this morning, we waited for about 25 minutes outside the house of Martin.  Why, you ask? Because we were trying to take him to conference and instead of using his time wisely, he kept sticking his head out the window multiple times saying, "10 more minutes, ya?"  Once he was finally ready, he gave us cookies :), and then we headed out to Fonavi.  We went on a short detour to pick up Editte to come watch conference, but she said, "No...I want to, but I am leaving right now."  So we invited her to the afternoon session and gave her Daniel's address.  We left and got to Daniel's, which was full of members and Edilver.  We started up the conference and during the opening statements, a miracle happened and Editte walked in!  We have no idea what changed her mind, but she came!! And she loved every second.
     During one of the talks, Ede (Daniel's mom) sat down next to me and started swatting at flies in the room.  Well one landed on my leg.  She looked at it with fire in her eyes, and then she smacked my leg.  She got it.  When I looked down to the the twitching fly, she tappped my arm and told  me to step on it.  I did as she commanded. :)
     After conference, we headed to Lucy's house for lunch.  We ate green spaghetti (spinach mix) and for dessert, we had pudding with cracker crust (ricisimo).  After lunch, we went to pick up people for conference, but no one was home or they could not come.  We showed up at Daniel's house with no one in hand. :( But bonus, we started to watch conference in English, and I was blown away by the talk from Richard G. Scott!  Watch, read and meditate his talk.  It is perfect.  My favorite thing he shared was, "Don't yield to Satan's lies...and say 'I don't have time'.  Choose to have time!"  I love that.  I know that if we use our agency for good and make time for God and His teachings, we will have the time to do all that we need to.  I testify of this, because I see it in my life.

     In the middle of the talk by Elder Carlos Godoy, (the man who spoke in Portugese), Edilver showed up, so we switched it back to Spanish from then on out.  After the final prayer, we were all just talking, when Daniel says to us, "all those people in the building are my brothers and sisters...and Elder Bednar is my uncle, and Pres. Eyering is my Grandpa!"  So I said, "If I understand you correctly, Pres. Eyering is the father of God?" Daniel looked at me in disgust, and then busted a gut laughing.
     After he stopped laughing, Daniel says in a very serious voice, "I have a scripture to share with you.  It is from 3 Nephi 22:17; 'No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgement, thou shalt condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord."  And then he says, "Every word you say will impact someone somehow.  I know that the work is hard, but I know that you are touching lives. You are probably not going to see the results from some of the people right off the bat, but you will one day be on Facebook and see a picture of a family you taught, at the temple right after being sealed together."
     He told us that we were doing good and that we need to be strong and know that we are touching lives, even if sometimes it doesn't feel that way.  I love Daniel and his support, love and friendship. He is a great teacher, and I learn so much from him everyday.
     Then we went out knocking on doors.  We found a few people.  We met this Catholic woman who was laughing in our faces about a few different things.  Then we went and taught a less active member named Norma.  She has such a strong testimony, so I don't know why she doesn't come to church.  Her son is Carlos, the First Counselor in the Presidency of the Rama (branch).  We had a great discussion with her about conference and Jose Smith.  We ended with a prayer and she gave us crackers with butter and jam.
     Then we headed back to Pimentel to teach our last lesson for the night.  It was with Hugo and his family.  The only ones home were Hilda, Hugo (the son) and Ariana.  We taught about  Jose Smith and they were really loving it and understanding it.  In the end, Hna Kingsford and I both testified that the church was true and that it has been restored on the earth.  Then I said, "We left our home in the States, to come to your country, to preach in another language about the truth we know.  If we didn't know this is the church of Christ, we wouldn't be here teaching you about it."  The spirit was so strong, and when I looked at each of their faces, they were just sitting in awe.  And Hugo clasped his hands together and said, "Wow.  Powerful."  We ended with a prayer from Ariana and right after she said Amen, Ariana said, "Oh, I have one more tiny question...Are you prophets or apostles?"  We explained that we are disciples of Christ and that we represent Him and preach His gospel.
     We went to dinner. (broccoli, beets, noodles, fried bananas, and the pudding dessert)  Lucy spoils us.  I love her.  After dinner, we headed home and started planning for tomorrow.  We laughed a lot and listened to the blasting music and fireworks outside our cuarto.  By the end of the firework show, our cuarto was full of smoke!
     Today was a good day.  Stay strong and be a light and example to the world.  Love you.  Have a good week my loves.

cute picture of  Hna Dodson at the
Puerto Pimentel, that I found posted on Facebook
by Edilver

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