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

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