Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 29: Feliz Cumpleanos a Mi! 20 anos!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any, Hna Dodson, Hna Kingsford

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

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

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

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

My Mission Family!

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