Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 33: "I opened up some really early Christmas packages!"

Lunes, 17 de Noviembre del 2014
     After studies we headed to Monsefu to look around at all the handmade crafts of Peru.  To get there, we had to take one car to a town called Santa Rosa and then another car from there to Monsefu. Well Hna Corona sat in the front seat and those that sit in the front HAVE to use the seat belt.  So Hna Corona put her seat belt on, and when she tried to unbuckle it, it wouldn't unlock.  The driver tried and then I tried, but we couldn't get it unlocked.  So the driver had a plan for Hna Corona to just climb out of the seat belt.  We were all giggling at this experience, until the man drove away and I couldn't find my wallet.  We chased the driver down, which must have been a sight- 2 young ladies in skirts chasing down a car.  Anyhow, we caught up to him, but he didn't have my wallet.  He told me to look on the road because I may have dropped it.  So we ran back, and thankfully it was there! Luckily, the position that it landed on the road, looked like garbage so no one had picked it up.  Once we made it to Monsefu, we looked at a million little tiendas and saw so many neat crafts.  I bought stuff for my family for Christmas.
     After shopping we went back to Pimentel for lunch.  Then we went home to rest and I put the Christmas package together for my family.  Then we headed to internet and emailed home.  Lucky me, my mommy was on so I got to chat with her!
     After emailing, we headed home and relaxed for a bit and then headed out to teach.  First we went to visit Sonia and Evelin, but Evelin wasn't there, but Sonia had invited a friend over.  We TRIED to teach them, but the entire time was full of distractions.  There was a parrot that was talking....Sonia's sister was making treats, so she was running in and out of the kitchen moving things around....and then Sonia's friend left right in the middle of the lesson.  Her sister brought us treats, so we ate the treats and then went to visit Luis and Janeth.  When we got there, they told us that they had to leave and take Jhordy to the doctor because he is really sick.  So we rescheduled with them and started contacting.  During this time, Martin found us and gave us sublime chocolate.  We talked to him for a bit and then continued knocking on doors.  There was this one house that had a teenage son who answered.  We talked to him and asked if his mom was home.  She came to the door, and we asked her if we could come back sometime to teach them.  She agreed, so we are going to go back another time and teach the whole family.
     We went to dinner after that and then went home and planned and got ready for bed.  P-Day always flies by!  I never feel like I have enough time to relax.  haha

Martes, 18 de Noviembre del 2014
     We had a district meeting .  We talked about the Attributes of Christ (Chapter 6 in Preach My Gospel).  Hna Cruz shared a quote that says, "We should be a missionary like Jesus Christ, not just do the work. "  Then Elder Coons walked up to the board where she had written her quote and he erased "a missionary" and said that we should be like Christ in ALL we do, whether we are here in the mission or at home or in school, working or laying on the couch.  And we, especially missionaries should return from our missions changed.  We still need to be us, but we need to live on a higher standard for the rest of our lives because we took upon us the responsibility to be representatives of Christ.  That is a big job...not just anyone can represent Christ.  So when you are representing or have represented Christ, you need to live a better life.  As baptized members of the church, we all took upon ourselves the name of Christ, so all baptized members have the same responsibility.  We agreed to act like Christ.  I challenge all of you for a FHE activity, to write or make a list of the Attributes of Christ and how he acted when he was on the earth, and view how Christlike you are.  In Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel, it has an activity that you can fill out and rate your life compared to the life of Christ. This activity is really eye opening.  Do it. :)
     After the meeting, we headed home and ate lunch.  After lunch, I opened up some really EARLY Christmas packages!  I also got some letters from fun people!
     Hna Corona told me that I have a really good accent for my Spanish, but she is going to help me become even more Latina, so that people here will think that I am a legit Latina.  I am so pumped! She is going to help me drop the little American accent that I have, so people will think that I am from here!
     We taught a few people, but nothing real exciting today.  The lessons went well, but everything felt just a little off.  Both Hna Corona and I were both feeling a bit under the weather.
     We went to dinner and then we went home and planned- which turned into talking until almost midnight.  We were giggling and sharing CCM experiences and talking about all our friends.  It was super fun!

Miercoles, 19 de Noviembre del 2014
     We contacted a chunk of Alto Peru this morning.  Alto Peru is a part of Pimentel.  It is a poor area and most of the people who live there are fishermen.  In Alto Peru the dogs are CRAZY.  We almost got eaten multiple times.  Hna Corona was super paranoid.  She would not even walk 3-5 feet by any of the dogs, and if the dogs would move or make a sound, she would spaz out.  It was pretty funny.
     We went to lunch after contacting some houses.  After lunch, we had language study.  I learned "I don't give a crap" -"no importa un pepino"- literal translation is "not important, one cucumber"  haha
I also learned "It is really tasty!" -"ser para chuparse los dedos!" Hna Corona taught me those and  I taught her, "Bless her heart."  During study, we were remembering the English songs that we like, and we both have the same taste in music.  Love it!
     After that we went teaching and our first cita was with a young woman named Pina (19 years). She wasn't home, but she had left a note saying that she was sorry that she wasn't there, but that she had exams all day long.  She left a couple of different dates and times that we could come back to visit.
     We then ran into Martin and he gave us cookies and sorreno (best chocolate ever!)  Today was my first time ever trying it!  Then we headed to the Super to meet Stephany Cachay so she could help us teach.  We taught Martin about the Ten Commandments.  During the whole lesson, he just kept saying how we were his earth angels.  :)
     After his lesson, we headed out teaching and contacting.  Stephany is the muerte!  She kept running up to houses and would ring their door bell 6 times, and if someone wouldn't come within 10 seconds, she would run to the next house and ring their doorbell 6 times!  At one house, there were two stories of stairs to climb to get to the door.  Stephany agreed to go up.  When she finally reached the top, the next thing we saw was Steph trying to run down.  When we looked behind her, we saw a dog chasing her down the stairs.  Being the wonderful missionaries that we are, we started laughing and laughing, and we were laughing so hard that we couldn't do anything to help.  When Stephany got to the last two stairs, she tripped and fell into us.  We all fell into the wall behind us and just laughed forever!
     At the next house, the doorbell was really high up on the house, probably because they don't want people to ring it.  But Stephany was determined, so she climbed up the door frame, in a skirt, and rang the bell 6 times.  Turns out that no one was home.  I love working with the members.  They crack me up!
     For our last lesson of the night, we visited a man named Pedro.  He never let us talk.  We had to cut him off because we had to take Stephany to the combi because it was getting late.  We asked Pedro to offer the closing prayer.  He agreed, but offered a silent prayer.  So we sat there with one eye open, so that we would know when to say Amen.  Well, when he ended his prayer, he never said anything, and me being my corky self, said "Amen" and it came out a lot louder than I was expecting. Pedro looked at me like I was crazy, but then he thanked us for our visit.  He invited us to come visit him again and then kicked us out of his house. :)
     As we walked Steph to the combi, we walked around for a bit and contacted.  One of the older women that we talked to owns the casa capilla (house chapel) that we use every Sunday.  Small world.  :)
     We went to dinner and Chela had some Mexican music playing.  I love it!  The singer is Jose something...it is legit old Mexican music.  Listen to it, and get used to it because when I return, you will be hearing it all the time! :)

Jueves, 20 de Noviembre del 2014
     This morning we were knocking doors and with our luck, and by accident, we knocked on the door of a church....an athiest woman who whole heartedly believes in magic...why does our luck always find us knocking on doors that we aren't suppose to knock on?  Awkward.
     After lunch, we headed to Fonavi.  We went to see if Gloria could come teaching with us, but she couldn't.  While we were there, she asked Hna Corona if I talk in my sleep and joking around, Hna Corona said that I do and that I was teaching about Joseph Smith.  And me, being the witty missionary that I am, "corrected" Hna Corona and said that I only teach about the Word of Wisdom in my sleep, because that is the only lesson that we need to teach Gloria for her to not be a menos activo.  Before our visit with her, I was trying to think of a creative way I could bring up this subject to teach Gloria, and there it was....:)
     After that, we headed to Clarita Leyton.  We visited her for awhile.  She told me that Marco hates being so busy and missing the lessons and our visits.  Clarita said that she and Marco would love to spend a P-Day with us sometime.  I am really excited for this.  I don't know when, because Marco is super busy at the University, so we will just have to see....I really love the familia Leyton.  When I come back to Peru after my mission, they will be the first  people I visit.
     Then we went to visit Ivan and Gaby.  Ivan hurt his back at work, so he is going to be at home on bed rest for 5 days.  It is sad that he is in so much pain.  We taught about obedience, praying often and scripture study.  The coolest part was that I could share experiences about doing it as a family and really testify that it brings unity into the family.  Ivan and Gaby are really excited to start this habit and grow closer as a family.
     We went and taught Alinder, the husband of Norma.  He is still searching for unimportant details that aren't going to give him a testimony.  I don't know what to do with him because the family wants him to get baptized, but there is no way we are going to baptize him without him having a testimony. At the end of every lesson, we tell him that if he truly wants to know anything, he just has to ask God, and every time he agrees with us and wants more details about everything. All we can do is to continue to pray, that he will pray, and find out for himself.
     At dinner, Chela and her son Alonzo were asking questions about the Restoration pamphlet.  So we explained some about it and then they agreed to read it again and then they can ask us more questions.  We feel that she thinks that it is correct and true, but is scared of change.  I really hope that we can help her.
     After dinner and baring our testimonies, we went home and planned.  We called Gloria to ask her if she could go teaching with us tomorrow.  She has to work and then she has a birthday party to go to.  She said, "Sorry beautiful" (in English) and then to say goodnight she said, "Dream with angels and Captain Moroni." (in English, too)  Gloria is such a hoot.  I love Pimentel!

Viernes, 21 de Noviembre del 2014
     Today was not at all eventful or successful.  We had our weekly planning which takes up half the day.  And by the time we went out teaching, everyone that we had a cita with, fell through.  So we were trying to contact, and almost every contact rejected us.  It was great, because an old man opened his window and as I was giving the shpill of who we are, he started to close the window shaking his head.  We attempted to give him a picture of Jesus, but he just shook his finger at us and closed the curtain...and left us there by his window holding a pass along card.  At another house, the woman basically told us that the Bible says that all churches but the Catholic church are wrong and are here on earth to confuse us.  We tried to explain our point, and she told us that she didn't have time.  She took the picture of Jesus from us and then closed her door.
     We ended up running into Channy and Bruno and they invited us to visit them next week to teach them.  The entire time we were talking, they kept saying that they really miss us.
     We went to Karla's house, and we were there forever, because she loves to talk.  After visiting with her, we went to dinner.  Martin and Carlitos were waiting outside our pension with cookies for us.  La muerte.  haha
     After dinner, we planned and got ready for bed.  I also worked on the Christmas package for home and wrote letters in Spanish. :)

Sabado, 22 de Noviembre del 2014
     This morning as we were contacting, we knocked on a door of a woman who is Christian, and in her church they basically do the same things as we do, but they just don't have the right authority. We told her who we are and she said, "Oh, Mormons...you don't believe in the Bible because you have your own Bible."  At that moment, I pulled out my Bible and showed her that we believe in the same Bible as she does.  She let us in and we talked for a bit about all sorts of things.  The best part is, that she was asking us for answers to her questions, that the people in her church didn't know.  We told her that we will look into them and bring answers the next time we visit.  We set up a cita, but she told us that if there was any family member at her house that didn't want to hear our message, that we couldn't stop and visit.  We agreed that that would be ok.  First time that we have ever had someone be embarrassed to know us.
     After that we headed to Fonavi.  We taught Ivan.  At the end of the lesson, we asked him how he felt about baptism, and if he would be ready to be baptized next Saturday.  His answer was a huge surprise.  He said no.  He then added, "I want to be baptized, but I don't know when."  We tried to figure out why...hopefully the next time we visit him, we can find out what his doubts are.
     Then we went and met up with Daniel.  He told us that last Sunday when we left consejo (council meeting) early, the leaders started talking about how we aren't bringing success and that they think we aren't working.  Thankfully Daniel stuck up for us.  He said , "I can tell when people are working, and I KNOW that these Hermanas are working hard, but lack the help of the members.  That is why there isn't success."  I am so grateful that he said that to them.
     Oh, during lunch, we were at the house of the familia Vigo. (Norma, Alinder, Carlos (Presidente) and Marietta)  Well, they weren't home but the maid, Yarelis, was there, and she served us.  She is a return missionary and has worked for this family for a long time.  Long story short...she was very truthful with us about how this Rama (branch) is full of gossip and judgement, and until that gets fixed, this Rama cannot progress. The saddest part is that she will not go to church here because she knows the people too well and does not want to put herself in a situation of gossip and judgement.
     We can only pray that this Rama can progress because right now they are not progressing.  They do not have the true love and no one wants to work harder or strive to serve higher in their callings. No one wants to take responsibility...so they are blaming the missionaries.  Que feo.  (It's sad)
     We taught Elba today, and she is great!  I really hope that she can progress, but personally I am afraid of her becoming a part of this Rama, because I worry what could happen to her in the future. Guess we will wait and see.

Domingo, 23 de Noviembre del 2014
     We had consejo de la Rama (ward council) and once again, it was our fault that no one wants to be baptized, and its our fault that there aren't many people who we are teaching, who are progressing. When this topic came up, Daniel was right there backing us up once again.  To me, it is sad that the Rama thinks the missionary work is only on the shoulders of the missionaries.  The Rama wants their own chapel, but they are going to be stuck in a house chapel if they continue to work like this.  The lideres (leaders) keep telling everyone that they need to help the missionaries and give them references...but then the lideres don't ever do anything to help us...so no one feels the power behind their words.
     Anyways, in Relief Society, we sang Christmas songs.  Here, it is okay, because they don't have any holidays in November, so they start early on Christmas.  Everyone and their dog have their "trees" up...well they build mountains in the corner of their house and put a nativity set on it...
     After church, we ate with Giannina and Mariana.  They really want me to marry a Latino....they don't care from where, just that he needs to be Latino.  haha
     Then we started knocking doors and there was some little boys on a a balcony playing with a half chewed on pencil tied to a long green cord.  They were hanging it down into the road, and then they accidentally dropped it.  We, being the heroes that we are, tried to help them get it back.  We tried throwing it up to them, but every time, it would hit the wall and fall back down.  We tried several times and the little boys thought it was the funniest thing.  They were laughing so hard at us.  Gotta love being the laughing stock of Pimentel.  Well, with luck and a prayer in heart, we finally got it up to them.  And as we were walking away, I tripped and almost died...okay, not almost died, but I almost ate dirt, and the dirt is not very clean, so that would have killed me.  :)  Hna Corona started laughing and then stopped and looked at me as seriously as possible and said, "You can't die.  You're my only hope right now."  Then we both started laughing so hard that we both almost died because we couldn't breath! :)
     After contacting the Provivienda, we headed to the road called Jose Quinones and started contacting.  Well, one contact opened her door and there were two other ladies sipping coffee with her.  She invited us in, but she did not invite us to sit down, so we stood by the door while they asked us questions.  When we told them that I am from the United States and that Hna Corona is from Mexico, they started talking about my Spanish, and that it sounds great.  Then they said that they were Catholics and thanked us for our visit and then kicked us out.
     After that house, there were many who rejected us.  Then Martin found us.  He said, "Hna Dodson, I brought you your favorite thing!" and pulled out apples.  I was so excited, because we were just talking about how if he continues to give us cookies, we are just going to continue to eat them, so we were excited that it was something healthy to eat.  We celebrated too soon, because in the next second, he handed us cookies and said, "You two are going to leave Peru fat."  haha  We told him thank you and then went back to contacting.  We met a cool family.  They were very willing to let us in and listen to our message.  They had questions and so we answered a few and promised to return.
     We ate dinner, planned and reported to our district leader.

Hna Corona with our lunch, sopa de carne (meat soup)
 at Leonardo's Restaraunt

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week 32: "Welcome to the life of a missionary. You work so hard everyday that you fall asleep during prayers!"

Lunes, 10 de Noviembre del 2014
     After studies and doing part of internet time, we went shopping.  We walked every aisle in the super and the marcado.  Then we went to lunch.  Leonardo was there today, but he was more serious and quiet than usual.  I think that he just needs to get used to Hna Corona.  After lunch, we dropped off our purchases at our cuarto, grabbed our blankets and headed to the beach.  We rested and ate chifles (spicy!) and drank orange flavored water.  I read the Book of Mormon in English, while Hna Corona wrote in her journal.

orange flavored water, chifles and my English Book of Mormon
     While we were at the beach, Martin showed up with cookies and soda.  We all talked for a bit and then we left to go email our families!
     After emailing, we went home and cleaned up and were making recuerdos and reading our recuerdos from other people, when I found a "Build-a-Buzz Lightyear" kit in the back of my notebook.  So of course, this being an obligation, I built the Buzz.  It turned out super adorable!

     We went out teaching after that, but all of our appointments fell through, so we just started contacting.  One family let us in, but the Dad kept saying, "We are strong Catholics" every time we tried to teach anything.  We kept teaching anyways because his wife, his daughter and his grandsons had interest in our message.  At the end, we tried to set up an appointment, but the dad and one of the daughters refused to set a time, so we told them that we would just stop by again another day.
     We started contacting on another street and every door we knocked on, no one would answer.  The best one was, when Hna Corona chose the door, and when she knocked on the door, she commented that the door was really hard.  Well, I looked up to see that it was a store or something and there we were, two LDS missionaries knocking on the door of a dance pub.  We both started laughing so hard! We laughed forever.
     After that, and having no success on that road, we started for another road, when Martin found us and gave us cupcakes.  :)  Then we started contacting again.  As we were at the house of a contact, a huge group of members from Fonavi were walking by.  Well, they kidnapped us and took us to the house of the family Arroyo, because it is the birthday of Venessa (the sister of Pres. Arroyo).  We were all sitting there, and we needed to leave, but they wouldn't let us go without taking a plate full of food.  And they told us that we had to return tomorrow for cake!  In the end, we got 2 dinners and really full stomachs!
     It was a fun P-Day.  Oh yeah, we went to the muelle (wharf) and the woman guarding it, let us in for free because we know her sister and niece really well.  A bonus of talking to everyone.  Most people know who we are!  Gotta love the life of a missionary.  Besides the fact that when P-Day comes around, we never know what to do.









Martes, 11 de Noviembre del 2014
     We had a district meeting and we showed up 5 minutes late and right before we entered the room, Elder Chavez called, and when we entered the room, he started teasing us by clapping and congratulating us for showing up.  haha  Well, the meeting was great!  The best part was when we were talking about how it's important to know the ages of our investigators, so that we know what church groups they can be a part of, Elder Chavez chimed in and said, "Yeah, but there is the group AS (which stands for Adultos Solteros and is pronounced ass), so all the English speakers busted up laughing and explained to those who didn't understand why we were laughing.  It was pretty funny.
     After that, we went to lunch and then home to study language.  My comp taught me some new stuff and I helped her learn some English.  She wanted to learn some "fun things" so I taught her how to say "Dang it" , "I want to sleep" and "he cooked them."  I love her accent when she speaks English.
     After language study, we went out contacting and teaching.  We were out knocking when we knocked on an open door.  Well, the woman looked around the corner at us and told us to come in. We walked in and it turned out to be a spa.  We both started giggling and explained that we were missionaries and that we didn't mean to knock on her door...but that we would love to visit them in their houses.  They denied us, but said that maybe one day they will come visit us at the church.
     After knocking on some more doors, we decided to try a different road, so we started knocking on Balta.  After being rejected a few times, we went to the cuarto to grab my coat because it was getting a little chilly (70*).  Then we went back to work.  As we were walking down the road trying to decide what house to go to, we saw a woman sitting alone at a table in her house.  Her door was wide open, so we stopped by.  She quickly let us in.  We got to know her for a few minutes and then we bore testimony that we know that the church is true and could help her.  She started crying and explained that she has been having a hard time, and prayed to God to help her find a church to attend.  She told us that we were her answer to her prayer.  We set up a cita to visit her this week.  I really hope that we can find her again, because she is definitely ready to hear our message.
     We knocked on her neighbor's door and she gladly accepted us, but she was about to leave.  She asked us to return in the morning at 10am.  It is such a beautiful thing to feel the spirit radiate from people who are ready to know our truth.
     We headed to a house of a contact named Luz.  We shared a message about the family.  After that, we headed to go teach one of our other contacts, but they weren't home, so we started knocking doors again.  As we were passing a house with people outside, I turned to Hna Corona and said, "Let's contact them."  We started talking to them and they had tons of interest and questions.  We answered their questions and left them with a folleto (pamphlet) and told them to read it and have some more questions ready for us on our next visit.  In the beginning of teaching, there were 3 people, and by the end, there were 9!
     After that, we had a lesson with Luis y Janeth.  We were very direct with them about marriage. We told them to pray about marriage with specific dates in mind, because Luis wants to wait 5 years and Janeth wants to get married tomorrow.  I told them to think of five different dates, one for each year, and then ask God which date would be best.  And then listen for the answer.  They agreed to do it.  We are going to return and see what is going to happen with them.

Miercoles, 12 de Noviembre del 2014
     We went out teaching this morning and we taught a woman named Gladys (the neighbor from yesterday).  The entire time that we were teaching her about the great apostasy and Joseph Smith, she kept saying that she was grateful that we have the Catholic church, because everyone knows that when Jesus comes again, he will only take the Catholics with him. She also said that she was grateful that we were in her house teaching her more.  We tried over and over again to let her know that our church is not the Catholic church, but she just refused to hear it.  We set up another cita and left her a pamphlet to read about our church.  We will know if she actually reads it, depending on what she says to us the next time we visit, because if she reads it, she will find out that we are Mormons.  haha
I am actualy really excited to see what happens with her next time.
     After that, we headed to visit Oscar.  He is really cool and really Catholic.  He has potential though.
     After lunch, we were walking around in an area in Pimentel called Barrio Chino.  This area is poor and the people are so humble.  As we were walking past a house with a bunch of children in the yard, a young man (22 yrs old) came up to us and asked us if our church was on Manco Capac.  We told him that it was and asked him if he had visited before.  He explained that he hadn't, but that a tall white girl had invited him to go to church and that she would teach him music...I never remembered Hna Kingsford telling him that before, but then we figured out that he was talking about the Jenna, the American.  That was cool to see that she had been doing missionary work.  She had given them a pass along card, so they had directions to our church.
     After that, we went and taught Rosa and her husband ended up being there, too.  We taught Lesson 2 again, because Juan (the husband) and the daughter-in-law, Yessenia, hadn't heard it.  Well, they were all really into it, and at the end of the lesson, we found out that Juan has Sundays off, so we set up a cita for Sunday.
     Then we went and taught Keith, the "spouse" of Karla, the recent convert.  I really hope that he progresses, because I want their family to be sealed in the temple.  During the lesson, we got a call from Pres. Vigo asking if we were going to the Noche Misional.  We told him that we were and headed over to the church.  We didn't stay very long, because we had another cita, but when we got to the cita, they were busy, so we rescheduled and went back to the activity.
     The members were complaining that there wasn't very many people at the activity.  They asked us if we had invited the members in Pimentel to come.  When we told them that that wasn't our responsibility, they asked us where all the investigators were.  We told them that they couldn't come. Then the members said that they needed more people at the activities.  We told them that they needed to help us invite people.  They told us that there are families in Las Dunas that need visits.  Las Dunas is more than 20 minutes from our area...so we told the members that our area is huge and that we already don't have enough time to cover our areas of Pimentel and Fonavi...so if you know people that need visits, set up citas with them and let us know when we can visit, or you can go and visit them, too.  We then explained that the missionaries are here to support them, but this isn't our Rama. Missionaries get changed often, so you need to be visiting them, too.  We need to help each other. Then Hno Monja said, "That is right.  These poor missionaries try to find people to help them, but no one helps them....because everyone says that they are too busy."  We told the members that if they want growth, they are going to have to help us out.

Jueves, 13 de Noviembre del 2014
     This morning, all of our citas fell through, so we started contacting all the houses we could.  We were at a house and we had knocked twice, and no one answered, but we could hear someone inside, so I started knocking again....but my mind got distracted by the story Hna Corona was telling me, that I didn't realize that the whole time I was listening, I was still knocking.  Then we heard someone yell in an irritated voice, "Quien?" (Who!?) Well, if you say missionaries, they don't answer because most of the time, they think that we are missionaries from Testigos de Jehovah...so then they just yell that they are busy....so I politely responded, "Buenas" and with that, there was no answer and no response. Hna Corona thought that was hilarious that this woman screamed to us and that I answered her by saying, "Buenas." (Good!)
     Well, at the next house, there was light music playing so I told Hna Corona that someone was probably home there.  We knocked and a man answered.  Before we could introduce ourselves, he said to come in and walked away.  Knowing of our rule of not entering a house when a woman isn't present, we just stayed outside by the door.  We taught him for 5 minutes as we stood there by the door.  Then we gave him a pass along card and set up a cita with him.  He is really cool.  I'm excited to teach him again.  He seems to be a very dedicated person.
     After lunch, we headed to Fonavi.  Our first visit was with Alindor, the husband of Norma.  We were very direct with him and told him that he needed to do his part in his conversion.  He accepted our challenges, so now we pray that he will do his part so that he can know the truth of our teachings.
     Then we went and visited with the familia Leyton.  The only people there were Papa Leyton y Clara.  As we were talking, we decided that Clara needed to make us arroz con leche...she said that she would.  So after we gave our message, we went to another cita, and then we returned and ate arroz con leche.  It was really yummy!  Thank you Clara!
     We tried our last citas in Fonavi, but no one was home, so we headed back to Pimentel.  We tried to stop and visit Augusto and Cynthia but they were "busy" so we are going to try and stop by another time.
     After that, we decided to return to a contact's house from Sunday, because the couple (Sonia y Santiago) wanted us to meet their daughter.  So we stopped by and she happened to be there, so we went in and were getting to know her.  When her mom, Sonia, came in, we started teaching about prophets.  Evelin, the daughter, is super Catholic, super religious and super spiritual.  At the end of our message, we scheduled another cita for Monday and told them that they need to read the pamphlet, and that will explain some more.  They seem super interested.  I am excited to be teaching them.  Hna Corona and I both feel something special about them.
     After that, we headed to dinner.  Chela was asking questions about the LDS church.  She asked about the Book of Mormon and so I pulled out my Book of Mormon and Bible and let her look at them.  She read some pages from the Book of Mormon.  We gave her and her son, Alonzo, a pamphlet to read also.  When we left, we looked inside the window and we could see that Alonzo was already reading the pamphlet. :)  I really hope at some point that we can help them understand and know that the church is true.  I am super excited about all that has been happening with them.
     All night, we were planning what we could say to Chela and her family about the church.  We decided that we would have a Family Home Evening with them.  We don't know when, but we will make it happen. :)

Viernes, 14 de Noviembre del 2014
     Well, we had our planning for the week today.  During the meeting, we needed to decide on a date for Alindor to set as a goal for his baptism.  He is being pressured by his family, so we don't want to add more pressure on him, so we decided to pray about two different dates...and we both feel that the 6th of Deciembre is the day we are going to offer to him tomorrow.  We hope that he will accept it and prepare for that day.
      After planning, we went out teaching.  Our first cita fell through, so we were knocking doors. One of the first doors that we knocked on let us in.  We just thought that they were interested in hearing our message...but turns out they were die hard Christians and were asking us a lot of basic questions to test our knowledge and beliefs.  We were very straight forward in all our answers.  They told us that they really enjoyed our time and told us to come back if we wanted to share some more. We plan on teaching them about the Apostasy and the Restoration the next time.  Hopefully their hearts will listen to us.  They told us that they have a lot of respect for us.  We were laughing a lot at the end, so I think we left a good impression with them.  The dad also commented that he likes the way we teach and that we teach with power. :)
     After that, we headed to our next cita, which fell through too, so we knocked on more doors....and this time....lucky, lucky us...we knocked on a door that actually answered.  Well this woman started fighting with us about tons of things in the Bible.  We just stayed silent until she gave us a chance to speak.  Then we shared what we believe....and then she told us to wait a second at the door as she ran to get her Bible.  It was at that moment, that we realized what situation we were into.  We were talking to a Testigo de Jehova.  They are the hardest to teach, because they all have the entire Bible memorized.  As we waited at the door, Hna Corona said, "Dang it.  Testigos."  Haha  Well, she returned and told us to enter her house.  We knew that this was going to take a while, and we had a citas at two houses down the road in 7 minutes.  The woman then spent all this time trying to prove to us that the Catholic church was wrong.  We stopped her from talking for a second to let her know that we completely agree with her and then she was confused.  She asked us what church we were from, so we told her The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints...and right after that, she completley dropped her fight and was super friendly.  We chatted for a minute and she wanted me to offer a prayer, so I did and then we left.  That experience was the best lesson I have ever had with a Testigo. Probably because she didn't realize that we were Mormons.  haha
     After that, we taught Marta (mama) and Bryan (12 yr old son).  We were teaching them about the apostasy, when Bryan excused himself and we could hear him digging around in the freezer.  We assumed that he was taking an experiment out of the freezer.  Nope.  He returned with a bowl of ice cream.  What?!  He couldn't just wait until our lesson was over in 5 minutes?  Apparently not.  haha It was actually really funny.  We left that lesson giggling at the fact that he got up right in the middle of our lesson to get ice cream.  The best part was, that he offered to get us some, too.  We politely denied and then he said, "You can have some.  There is still some left."  We busted up, because the way he said it sounded like there was only a couple bites left.  haha
     Then we went and taught Elba.  She loves our lessons and our teaching style.  I really hope she can progress.
     Then we contacted one more house before dinner.  Well, they shut the door on us because they were "already Catholics".  Today, we talked with many from different churches.  It was an interesting experience.
     At dinner, Hna Corona was blessing the food and I fell asleep or something because the next thing I know, everyone in the house was giggling.  So I opened my eyes and Hna Corona said "Amen!" as she was giggling.  I said, "Welcome to the life of a missionary.  You work so hard everyday that you fall asleep during prayers!"  Right after that, the power went out.  It was only out for a minute or two, but it was a little hard to eat.  It came back on and then we headed home.  We planned and searched in the scriptures for a scripture that would prove that Jesus is Jehovah...so we can share it with our Testigo friends.

Sabado, 15 de Noviembre del 2014 [FELIZ CUMPLEANOS SISTER MCKENZIE LOFTIS Y MARTIN!]
     This morning was crazy!  We had scheduled for a member to help us this morning, and we had it all planned out, with all our citas in the morning to be with men that we needed another woman to be present, (for example, Martin), but the member bailed on us.  Today was the third time that we rescheduled with Martin because of this problem.  So we couldn't do it again, which was especially sad, since today is his birthday.  We searched all morning for a member who could come and help us out.  We even called the member who we were supposed to eat lunch with, to see if she could just come on a visit with us for 30 minutes, but she said no.  Then we asked her if she was still planning on feeding us lunch, and she had totally forgotten and wasn't home and wouldn't be home until later that night.  So then we started calling around to figure out our lunch plans.  So now, we were trying to figure out three things:  Who could help us teach Martin?...Where are we going to eat for lunch? and "What are we going to get Martin for his birthday?"  By 11 am, we had all three answered.  We taught Martin in the house of Karla, because she has a baby and couldn't leave her house.  We got a call from Hna Monja, telling us that we would just have to buy our lunch.  And for Martin, we made him a card, blew up some balloons, put a candle in a loaf of bread (because he doesn't like sweets) and we bought him cinnamon scented incense.
     We bought our lunch and then studied language.  Then we headed to Fonavi.  We picked up Estefany Cachay and went out teaching.  We contacted the entire time.  During one of our contacts, I rang the doorbell of a house that we had just barely contacted, so we ran away down the road!  Oops!
We taught a lot of lessons, and when we left Fonavi, on the combi ride back, Richard, a combi helper that we contacted a long time ago...well, when I payed him for our ride, he handed back my money and said, "I'll cover it."  haha
     Once we made it back to Pimentel, we contacted and contacted by knocking on doors.  Well as we were knocking, there was a bunch of people inside one home. (from what we could see through the cracked open door) So we turned and asked some girls that were sitting outside if there was a meeting going on inside, and they said, "No, that's the hospital."  Why do we ALWAYS knock the doors of stinkin' businesses that have huge signs above them, telling us not to knock, but we do anyway. Obviously we are just dedicated missionaries! :)

Domingo, 16 de Noviembre del 2014
     Well in church today, we were sustaining a bunch of people and when the leader said, "And if any of you object, raise the right hand"- well, not realizing it wasn't to sustain, Marietta raised her right hand and the entire ward started giggling and then she realized what it was that she did. :)  haha
     During Sacrament, the young men passing the sacrament accidentally dumped almost all of the water on me because he bonked a chair and so my legs and lap got soaked!
     After church, we went to lunch.  After lunch, we went out teaching and all of our citas fell through, so we knocked doors all day long.  Well, we knocked a door of a veterinary...haha...you'd think we would learn! :)
     Well, it started getting really cold here, so we headed to our cuarto to grab coats.  Then we decided we needed to do a contact over the phone.  Well, we typed in a random number and a man answered, "Yes?"  I looked at Hna Corona in shock and then continued to contact him over the phone.  I asked him if he had ever heard of the church, and he said that he hadn't, but that he would like to learn more.  So I asked him where he lived and he said LIMA!  Well, I told him that there are a lot of churches in Lima, and then I gave him the church website to find out more and to find the nearest church building to him.  He said thank you and take care and then the phone call was over. Hna Corona and I just stared at one another, and then we started dancing around the room, saying, "We contacted someone in Lima!"  haha
     After that, we left and there was a surfer man staring at us, so we decided to contact him.  He said that he is going to come to church.  Once we walked away, Hna Corona turned to me and said, "If he comes to church...it's not because he wants to hear the word of God...he wants to see you....and wants to marry you and become mission presidents here in Peru." haha
     We ran into Martin 3 times today, and each time he had cookies for us and the last time he gave us bracelets.  Gotta love Martin!
     Well, we got 103 contacts! It was hard work, but we did it!

     Stories from Saturday that I forgot to write.  After knocking on the hospital door, we knocked on a door three houses down the road, and a man stuck his head out the window and we told him we had a picture of Jesus Christ for him.  He came down and we talked for a bit and then invited him to church.  He said he would try, but he was a surf teacher, so he was going to be teaching surfing in the morning.  Well, we left and contacted his neighbor.  Then we heard, "Hey, amigas de Jesucristo!" We looked up and saw Luis, the surf teacher hanging out his window.  He yelled, "I have cupcakes for you!"  So we walked over and he dropped the package down to us.  Then we went on our way and made a few more contacts.  As we were heading back, Luis was hanging out his window again, with a mug and a cupcake.  He then said, "Hey ladies, do you want milk to go with your cupcakes, because that is my favorite way to eat them?"  We said no thank you, but maybe next time.  He promised to do that and we headed to our pension.  Martin (birthday boy) showed up with two mini jello cakes, one for each of us.  He walked us to our pension and we ate dinner.  Then we went home and ate our cake and cupcakes, and planned and talked about our day! :)










   

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Week 31: "I was sitting on the couch in shock and gagging because a kid just stuck their chewed up cracker fingers in my mouth!"

Lunes, 3 de Noviembre del 2014
     After our studies today, we went shopping and bought the ingredients to make cinnamon rolls. After we finally found everything, the Elders and Hermanas in our district met us at our cuarto to head to our new pension to make cinnamon rolls.  Elder Coons and I made the rolls and we were making a mess and just laughing a ton.

Hna Dodson with Elder Coons
Hna Cruz

     After we made the rolls, we left them to rise and went to lunch at Leonardo's.  Leonardo was there and he came up to me and said, "Wow Hna, you have a lot of friends!"  I told him, "Of course, because I am cool!"  He just laughed and said, "I have more!"  hahahaha
     After lunch, we finished the cinnamon rolls, which were amazing.  Then we played Charades.  It was really funny.  We acted out movies.  Hna Cruz, Elder Coons and I were one team, and Hna Kingsford, Elder Alvarado, and Hna Cachiwere were the other team.  My team kicked trash!!  :)
     After that, they all left to go to Monsefu and Hna Kingsford and I headed to internet.  It was really late, but I got to chat with my mommy! :)
     After internet, we went to the beach (malecon) for Hna Kingsford to buy some souvenirs of Pimentel.  I bought some really pretty necklaces made of white shells and turquoise beads.  They are really pretty and really inexpensive.  Then we bought some peach drinks and took some beach pictures.



     Then we dropped off our things at our cuarto and got ready to go out teaching.  First we headed to the really cool familia Fernandez, from last Monday.  Well....the lesson started out great, but in the end, they started to "fight" us on everything.  They fought us about the differences between the Catholics and the Mormons.  They said that they know that worshiping the Saints and Mother Mary are against the 2nd Commandment, but it's part of their culture....then they asked us not to come back. They did thank us for helping them become a closer family by challenging them to read scriptures and praying together.  We left that appointment completely heart broken because they understood our message and they understand that their religion is not completely correct, but they still decided to continue in their old path.
     After that we headed to Janeth and Luis, but Luis wasn't home, so we just taught Janeth.  She said that her and Luis have only missed one day of not praying together.  They are so strong in the habit. I am so happy for them.  We also challenged Janeth to place a marriage date for her and Luis.  She agreed to talk to Luis about it.  They are a great couple with the cutest kid.
     After their lesson, we went and ate dinner.  Alonzo, Chela and her oldest daughter, Cris joined us. I love this family.  They are great and really fun.  Very Catholic, but very awesome!  
     After dinner, we ran over to Elba for Hna Kingsford to say goodbye.  Jhordy was there and he attacked me with hugs and kisses again.  Then we told him that Hna Kingsford was leaving and wouldn't be visiting anymore.  He almost started crying and then he turned to me and said, "And you? Are you going to visit me?"  When I said, "Yes." he screamed and then hugged me.  After saying goodbye to Elba, we went to say goodbye to Lucy and family.  They were all really sad, but were happy to hear that I was staying.  Then we went home and packed up Hna Kingsford's things. :(

Martes, 4 de Noviembre del 2014
     Today was transfers (cambios).  We got to the stake center and found our letters and packages from home.  Thanks for the Halloween package mom....




and the card with quotes....but from now on, write the quotes in Spanish because my new companion is from Mexico!  Her name is Hna Corona! She is 20 years old and super funny.  We get along great and we teach well together.  After we received the news that we were companions, we took some pictures with Hna Kennedy, Hna Corona's last companion.

Hna Dodson, Hna Kennedy, Hna Corona
One last picture with Hna Kingsford
     Then we headed to Pimentel.  Once we got there, we took her bags to our cuarto and then went to lunch.  After lunch, we went back to our cuarto so Hna Corona could unpack her stuff.

Hna Dodson  and Hna Corona

     Then we headed out teaching.  We picked up Lucy to come teach with us.  Our fist cita was with Martin.  Martin wasn't home yet, because he went out to buy treats, so we just waited with Carlitos. As soon as Martin came, we introduced him to Hna Corona and then taught him about the Plan of Salvation.  
     After that, we went contacting on the Malecon and as we were making good progress with this one man, a man from the States came up to us and was trying to speak Spanish...then he tried to kiss me. I pulled back and he apologized saying that he thought it was proper to greet with a kiss on the cheek. I explained that we are missionaries and that we aren't allowed to be kissed.  Then he told me that he was from "Cali....fornia." And then I said, "Well, I'm from Utahhhhh..."  Then he said, "Ohh, you must be one of those...." and then I finished his sentence by saying, "Mormons?"  Then he laughed, and that ended our conversation.
     After that, we started contacting houses.  We knocked on a door and a man answered it...and then just stared at us.  Then all of a sudden, we heard a woman's voice say "Come in."  We entered and taught a little lesson to them and they invited us to come back when their family would be there.
     Once we left their house, we ran into Jenna and she said that she goes home on Monday!!  I can't believe it.  It's going to be strange being the only person at church from the States.  haha
     Then we headed to visit Elba.  We taught her about keeping the Sabbath day holy.  Hna Corona nailed it.  She is awesome.  I am super excited to see our progress as a companionship.  Elba promised to come to church with us!!! :)
     After our lesson, we contacted a couple houses.  At one house,  the woman who answered the door was just there visiting her brother.  We asked her if we could get her information and visit her at her house, but she denied us.  So we knocked on the next door and the woman who answered let us in with no problem.  She told us the next time that we pass by to stop because she wants us to teach her children, too.  :)
     After that, we headed to dinner. (salad, broccoli, carrots, beets, green beans and hard boiled eggs) During dinner, Chela asked us a few questions about the church, so we answered them and she thinks that what we are doing is beautiful.  I really hope at some point that we can really touch her heart, and that we will be able to teach her...she would be an amazing member!!  
     After dinner, we planned.  It's really strange being the only one knowing the area, but she is a great support and is helping me grow a ton!  I am really grateful to have her.  I have a really good feeling about her!!

Miercoles, 5 de Noviembre del 2014
     This morning, Hna Corona was super tired because we have roosters next door and she hasn't had time to adjust to their noise.  So when they started up at 5:00am, she was woken up by them.  Poor thing...but she thinks it is funny that we have roosters for neighbors.  She is so adorable.
     After breakfast and studies, we headed out to go teaching and we found Aaron and Daniella, but they were getting ready to leave, because Daniella is leaving on vacation this week.  They were taking her things to Aaron's mom's house.
     So we started contacting the houses around them and guess who we found in their house? Augusto!!  He was home and so we set up a cita with him!  And later, after leaving, we saw him again with Cynthia and she was walking!  What a miracle!  Now that we have a cita scheduled, I will ask her how it all happened.  I am so excited for her.
     We went to lunch.  We ate soup, salad, fried fish and aji.  It was all so yummy!  After lunch, we went out teaching to this area to find two houses, but the houses were gone.  The houses don't even exist anymore!  The best part was, that there were holes where the houses were supposed to be.  We started giggling pretty hard and then Hna Corona said, "Hna, this must not be our area.  We don't have luck here."  Haha  We ended up contacting another group of houses in the area.  We ended up finding the hermana of Alex, the almost deaf man that speaks sign language.  She is 19 years old with a 2 year old kid.  She is really sweet.  I hope something good can come from this family.
     After that, we were walking passed two men sitting on a wall, and they called out to us, to ask us what church we were part of.  We started talking to them and they had a lot of questions and doubts, but in the end, they wanted to come to church.
     Then we went and taught Rosa.  We taught her about Joseph Smith and she is super excited about all of it!  She really wants us to teach her husband, too, so hopefully one day, we can find him in the house.
     After that, we contacted and contacted and contacted.  I tried to contact this woman and as I was about to introduce myself, she said, "Me voy." (I'm going) and then she walked away.  I turned to Hna Corona and said, "What just happened?  I was trying to contact her."  Hna Corona almost fell down laughing.  We laugh so much, because we are always running into silly situations like that. :)
     After that, as we were walking around searching for a house of a reference (which doesn't exist either), we ran into a man who had some questions for us.  He asked us if we lived here in Pimentel. I said, "Yes, we do.  We live on the road Balta."  Then he started asking us questions that most people ask us...."Are you married?  What kinds of food can you not eat if you are part of your church?  You guys can't drink or smoke?"  We answered his questions and then said goodbye and continued to contact houses.  
     Then we bought churros filled with manjar blanco!  Then we went and picked up our laundry from Esperanza (the mom of Pres. Arroyo) and then went to dinner. (salad and hard boiled eggs).  
     All day today, everyone kept asking, "La alta?" (The tall one?)  That is how they asked about where Hna Kingsford was.  It was funny.

Jueves, 6 de Noviembre del 2014
     Last night we finished planning early, so we hurried and got ready for bed so that we could sleep. Well, as we were laying in bed, the phone started ringing.  I jumped out of bed to answer it.  It was the Hna lideres.  They were just calling to check up on us, which was really sweet.  After we talked to them, we tried to fall asleep again, when the phone rang.  This time, it was Elder Coons reminding us about the meeting we had tomorrow (today).  After that, I turned to Hna Corona and told her that now all we needed was for Pres. Williams to call us so we could hear from all our leaders in one night. She laughed and then we went to sleep.  No one called us after Elder Coons.  :)
     This morning, we had a district meeting.  We did a couple practices of contacting doors.  Anytime we do practices, we laugh and laugh because Elder Coons is always doing some crazy hard situations for the missionaries to "fix".
     After the meeting, we went to lunch.  I seriously love Chela with all my heart.  She cooks well and she talks with us.  She is great!  After we ate, we still had part of our lunch hour left, so we made recuerdos. 
     Then we headed to Fonavi.  We went to the familia Leyton first.  The only people home were Clara and Hno Leyton.  We taught them about the spirit world, judgement and the kingdoms of glory. Clara was super interested and had many questions.
     Then we went to Gloria and taught about temples and family history.  I really want to go to the temple.  I miss it so much!  Gloria can't wait to go through the temple and take out her endowments. I'm super excited for her.
     After her lesson, we tried to go to several houses, but no one was home.  So we went to Daniel's house to introduce Hna Corona to him.  Turns out that they already knew each other.  She had knocked on the door of his grandparents and he answered the door.  Small world. :)  Well, we were figuring out some visits we need to make, and Luana, the baby girl of Susan, was eating crackers and as she was chewing and sticking her fingers in her mouth, I grabbed her hand and said, "Que rico!" (how yummy!) and then I pretended to eat her hand, thinking that she would be like most children and pull their hand away laughing...nope...she is not like other children.  She stuck her finger in my mouth.  Well Daniel and Hna Corona started busting up laughing as I was sitting on the couch in shock and gagging because a kid just stuck their chewed up cracker fingers in my mouth!
     After that, we headed back to Pimentel because if we stay too long in Fonavi, we wouldn't be able to find a combi to take us home.
     Once back in Pimentel, we knocked on a few doors, but no one was home.  And that is when I remembered a man named Segundo.  We had found him leaving for work in Lima for a month, but he told us return to him in Noviembre....so we stopped to see if he was home.  He was and he let us right in!  We talked for a minute and gave him a short message about how we know this gospel is of Jesucristo and that it blesses families.  We ended with a prayer and then talked for a minute about his Christmas set up the corner of the room.  He built a mountain and on top was a nativity scene.  And above that, he had strung lights as the stars.  It was pretty.  The coolest part, is that he uses the mountain scene as his tree and puts presents on the different ledges on the mountain.  He told us that he would help Hna Corona and I build one for our cuarto...we are going to try and build one with his guidance.  haha  Well, right before we left, he told us that he has a Book of Mormon!!!  And he said that he has read some and really likes it.  Awesome!!
     Then we went to dinner.  We talked with Chela and Alonzo forever about tons of different topics. The best topic was about pets.  Haha  They all thought it was funny when I told my tragic story about my pet fish named Caddy dying when I was three years old.  
     After that, we went home and planned quickly and got ready for bed.

Viernes, 7 de Noviembre del 2014
     We had a zone meeting this morning.  When we showed up, there were 2 packages for me.  One from my family and another from my Grandma and Grandpa Pearson.  There were also cards! Everyone in the zone was totally freaking out at how much I had.  I was super excited!!
     During the entire meeting, like always, Elder Chavez was picking on me.  At the end of the meeting, he had me help translate for the newbies in the mission.  One of the sisters was really looking sad.  I was trying to help her, but in the end, there wasn't anything I could do but support her. Her companion is Latina and she is from Utah.  I told her (the North American) that I would always be there for her and that if she just needs to speak English, to call me.  I could tell that she felt a lot better about all of that.
     After the lengthy meeting, we headed home to Pimentel.  We got home at 2 pm.  We were an hour late to lunch....oops.  After we ate, we went out teaching.  Every single person on our plans were not home, but we found one woman, the wife of Ricardo.  
     After talking with her, we decided to go look for a member to clean our clothes.  Every member in Pimentel said no.  Bleh...Well we were contacting when we got a call from Marta, saying that she couldn't be in her house for her cita at 7 pm but that she wants us to return the next Friday.  She felt really bad.  I am super excited about her.
     After that, we headed out to an area called the proviviendo.  There are a couple of roads being redone and there was a huge tractor, and well it started driving backwards right towards us.  We screamed and started running in the opposite direction with our arms and legs flying through the air. It was quite the sight.  The best part was, that the man driving the huge tractor wasn't even affected by us screaming or running.  Don't worry, we didn't get hurt or die.  All is well. :)
     After that, we headed home to do our weekly planning that we weren't able to do this morning. We did that all the way up to dinner time.  Then we headed to dinner, ate and went home and planned some more.  During planning, the Hna lideres called to let us know that they are going to come do a visit of studies in the morning.  Then we got ready for bed.
     Small details of today:
- we almost died of sleepiness
- as we were knocking doors today, there was a mom with her kids and as they were walking down the road, the little boy started walking a little faster than the family.  So the mom called to him, "Jose" and instead of stopping, he walked even faster so she called out louder, "Jose!"  Well after that, he started running, so she yelled "JOSE!!"  Hna Corona and I just busted up laughing at this situation.  The voice of the mother reminded me of Kid History when the mom is in bed and says the guys name (Kyle) several times in different voices.  It is so funny.  I love Peru!
- during planning, we were laughing a ton and one thing I love about Hna Corona is that she really laughs at my jokes! :)
P.S. Can you ask Grandpa to draw a picture of Hna Corona and I?
P.S.S. Hna Corona's birthday is the 5th of January! :)

Sabado, 8 de Noviembre del 2014  [7 Months in the Mission!]
     Man oh man, time is flying by.  It feels like just yesterday that I was in the CCM!  Crazy.  It's been 7 months since I left.  
     Well, the Hna lideres showed up this morning to do studies with us.  We studied for an hour or so and then they left.  After they left, we studied language.  I was helping Hna Corona learn English. Her phrase that we use is, "There's a fly in my soup with chicken pox."  When she says this, it melts my heart because it is so innocent and sweet in her accent. :)
     After idioma (language), we finished up our planning and headed to lunch.  We were assigned to the house of Lucy's to eat.  The food wasn't ready and the cita we had, was really close, so we left and went and taught.  We taught Segundo and his wife Arminda.  They are really attentive and understanding.  They really want to know about our church..
     After we finished teaching them, we headed back to lunch.  It was lasagna!  Thank you Lucy!  It was so yummy!  The entire time we were eating, everyone in the family was in the kitchen talking to us because they haven't seen us in forever and my companion is new.  It was nice to talk to everyone again, because I was starting to miss them.
     After lunch, we headed to Fonavi to have a meeting with Daniel.  During our meeting, we talked about the people we are trying to baptize and the less actives we are trying to reactivate.  After we finished talking, I pulled out the quarters for Daniel's collection.  He almost started crying.  He was so excited!  He said, "Hna Dodson.  Your mom is the best!"  
     After that, we went and taught Mari-Isabel, but her husband wasn't there, but her friend Gianina was home.  We taught them about families.  In the end, we invited them to pray and they refused...most people say, "I don't know how, but can you teach me?"...or something along those lines, but they just said, "No."  So we were about to pray when Gianina got up and basically ran out of the door and the next thing we heard, is throwing up and children screaming, "Mommy,  mommy are you okay?"  Well, Mari-Isabel told us to stay where we were and then she went to check on her. About 8 minutes later, they all came back in.  Hna Corona offered the closing prayer, and at the end of the prayer, after we all said Amen, a huge chicken came running into the house.  Mari-Isabel started chasing it around, trying to scare it outside, but it wasn't working.  We were completely scared and everyone was giggling at us screeching.  It was funny.  After the chicken finally got chased out, we asked if we could come back, and they said yes, and Gianina was super excited to have us visit her in her house.
     After that, we went to the family Monja to use their bathroom.  Then we headed to a lesson with Ana and her son Segundo, and her daughter Rebecca.  We talked about the family and prayer.  The entire time, Segundo was listening and answering all the questions.  He is so stinkin cute.  In the end, we invited them to pray as a family every night and Segundo said, "We will do it!"  and then Ana said it, too.  I am so excited about them, but it's a hard situation, so it will be a long process, but I am excited to be in the start of their progress.  We ended the lesson with a beautiful prayer from Ana. We said goodbye and started running to our last cita with Alindor and Norma.  
     When we got there, no one was home, but Daniel, so we waited in their front patio thing.  They were all at a birthday party down the street.  They didn't end up showing up until 7:45pm, and it was nearly impossible to find a combi after 8pm, so we tried to have a short lesson....but nope.  We didn't leave until 8:30pm.  Luckily Daniel walked us to the station and waited with us and you will never believe it.  There was a combi!!  When we got on, there was a woman who was really interested in our message. :)  Destiny!  God puts prepared people in our path.
     For dinner we had humitas and cake.

Domingo, 9 de Noviembre del 2014
     At church, during Relief Society, Clarita was joking around with me and we were having a fun time when all of a sudden Hna Paula started hugging each person in the room, and when she got to me, she said, "I love my gordita!" and patted my cheeks.  Everyone started laughing and I busted up.
     After church, we headed to Fonavi and visited Ivan and Gaby.  Ivan really wants to be baptized.  I am so excited for him.  Hopefully, we can baptize him soon.  
     After visiting them, we headed to lunch with the familia Cachay.  They are so wild!  We were cracking up the entire time we were there.  And before we left, they gave us chicha de mani (water of peanuts).  It was super yummy!
     After we finished, we went and picked up Gloria and headed to Pimentel.  We took a combi and the three of us had to sit separately.  Hna Corona in the front, me in the middle and Gloria in the far back.  Well, Gloria ended up sitting in a group of young men.  She invited them to church.  I love Gloria. She is always sharing the gospel!
   After not finding anyone in their houses, we decided to contact other houses.  We were taking turns knocking and at every house I knocked on, no one answered.  Gloria yelled, "Why is no one answering their doors?  We have a message that is really important!"  And then I knocked really loudly on the door.  Hna Corona thought it was hilarious.
     As we were knocking doors, we got invited in to a house by a hermana.  As we were talking with her, she was really interested and then Hna Corona was talking for quite sometime, and then in the end, Hna Corona asked the lady a question, but the woman just sat and stared at us.  So Gloria asked the same question and the woman answered.  We found out at the end, that the woman couldn't hear Hna Corona speaking.  haha  During the closing prayer, the woman offered it and she forgot how to end the prayer, so Hna Corona whispers, "en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen."  Well the woman says, "I can't hear her! Que dijo?" (What did she say?)  Gloria said it a little louder and all was fine.  After we left, we were giggling about the lady being able to hear everyone but Hna Corona! 
     After that, we headed to see Elba.  We taught her a great lesson and at the end asked her to offer the closing prayer.  As she was thanking God for our visit and for being able to meet Gloria, and then Gloria says, "and Hna Corona", and Elba says, "yeah, I already know her."  We all started laughing! Gloria kept saying, "Forgive me, forgive me!"  It was so funny.  We laughed forever after that one!
     After that, Gloria left to go to Fonavi, while Hna Corona and I continued contacting.  Martin found us and gave us cookies. :)
     Well, we knocked on a house and an older woman answered the door and she had the door wide open and we started to tell her about the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, then she slowly started to close the door a bit, and then we told her that some people call us Mormons.  Then she said, "I don't have time." and shut the door.  Unfortunately, that happens all the time.  Bummer.  
     After contacting, we headed to dinner and talked to Chela forever about our traditions with our families.  It was super fun to hear the traditions from Peru, Mexico and the U.S.A.  
     Then we left and planned for our first P-Day together!  Then we got ready for bed, that is after we sat at our desks for most of the night giggling about all that happened today! 
     Story about Said Lachay at lunch.  We showed up and headed upstairs to eat and the table was set and ready, but when we were all sitting down, someone was missing.  It was Said.  Well, Hno Cachay said, "He stayed at the church for some reason.  He better show up soon!"  5 minutes later, we hear the little girls yelling, "Here he comes!  Here he comes!"  When he finally got upstairs, there was only a salad at his place at the table.  His Dad then says, "Son, you're on a diet, because you're fat. Eat your salad." Then Said says, "But I'm hungry."  And then Hno Cachay says, "Then you should have showed up earlier.  Why were you still at the church?"  In the middle of him trying to explain that he was with the President's secretary, his dad cut him off and said in a voice strong and jokingly, "You know you were playing...."  We all started laughing really hard.  I love this family because they are always speaking the truth, but no one ever takes offense to it!  I love it!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 30: My new name- Hermana "Karate"

Lunes, 27 de Octubre del 2014
     This morning I woke up and decided that I wanted to re-read Jesus the Christ.  I want to understand the new testament more and know my Savior more.  After studies, we went to internet.  I had a lot more birthday wishes! :) Thanks everyone for the great love and support!  After internet, we went to lunch at Leonardo's restaurant, but he wasn't there...how sad (que triste) :(  After lunch, we headed home and grabbed our scriptures and headed to our little piece of grass on the beach.  As we were napping, the phone went off.  It was Martin.  The conversation went like this, Me: "Hola?" Martin: "Hermanita.  Donde estan?  Tengo sus galletas."  Me:  "Estamos por la playa."  Martin: "Okay."  Then the phone cut off.  Ten minutes later, Martin was there next to us with cookies. :)  He sat for a minute and then said he needed to go, but would return soon.  He was gone for a bit, and then returned with apples.  As we sat and talked, he drew pictures and wrote letters to us.  Then he said that he had to go get Carlitos, so he left and returned soon with soda, but no Carlitos.  I came to the conclusion that he must have traded Carlitos for the soda.  haha  We sat and talked and read until 5:30pm.


Martin
pictures and notes from Martin
     Then we went home to change, so we could head to our first cita with a new family we contacted on the Malecon on Friday.  They live in one of the buildings on the Malecon, so it is really nice. Once we got there, we pushed the button to call them and they answered and opened the door for us.  We walked in, but we didn't know where to go, so we sat in the lobby for a bit, when we heard a little boy yell, "Come up!"  So we started up the stairs and found the little 5 year old son, Jose, waiting for us. He walked us to his house and his mom, Gerine, (pronounced Herine) greeted us at the door.
     She let us in and the family came into the family room and joined us for the lesson.  Arturo- Dad, Gerine- Mom, Belen- 11 year old daughter, and Jose- 5 year old son.  They told us to sit down.  Their couch is most comfortable couch I have sat on since I've been in Peru!  Anyways, we talked with them for a bit about who we are, and they had questions about how we got sent to Peru.   I explained the process of mission calls, and that we use our own money to come and live in another country. They thought that was cool that we are here dedicating our time and money to the Lord.
     Then we started teaching them the lesson.  It was so smooth and was guided by the Spirit completely.  It was beautiful.  They were intently listening the entire time.  After we finished explaining about Jose Smith, we asked them what they thought.  They said that they liked it, and that it is very different than their Catholic religion.  They proceeded to say that they don't have a "real" reason as to why they are Catholic, except that it is just the tradition of their family.  At the end of the lesson, we invited them to pray to know if our message is true, and we promised them that they would receive an answer.  They agreed to it and then invited us to a snack that they had prepared for us.  It was mini Hawaiian pizzas, and they had a tray with five different drink options for us to choose from.  They are such a cool family.  They wanted us to return earlier, but the dad is going out of town for work and won't be back until Sunday, so we planned to go on Monday again.  I am so excited to see how they progress.  They have so much love and Spirit in their family, and I know that by having our church in their lives, will just bring more love and guidance to them.
     After their lesson, we went to teach Luis and Janeth, but on one was home.  We did end up running into Gerson, and he was so happy to see us!
     We contacted a couple of other people and then we headed to dinner. (beets, carrots, and girl turkey- haha)  It was really yummy.  During dinner, Bruno came in and talked to us and then we left so we could head home and plan.
     During our closing prayer of planning, Hermana Lideres called.  They informed us that we will be doing intercambios tomorrow and that I will be heading to Chiclayo, in the area Las Americas to teach.  I will find out my companion tomorrow.  I am excited to check out that area in Chiclayo.  It is a busy city, so it will be different than what I am used to.  After we stopped talking on the phone, we tried to finish our prayer, but got interrupted again by a screeching teapot from downstairs. Thankfully, at one point, we finally finished our prayer.  :)

Martes, 28 de Octubre del 2014
     We had a district meeting this morning.  We talked about making goals and how that when we make goals, we need to make sure they are realistic.  At the end of the lesson, Elder Coons said that he had a game.  It's called "You need to answer these questions correctly or I walk away with this box of packages and letters."  We all started freaking out....okay....I started freaking out because I knew it was my birthday package.  We didn't answer some of the questions correctly, but luckily Elder Coons was super nice and let me have it.  I got new clothes, skittles, lemonade packets, socks, pictures of me from when I was a baby till now, and also a card.  It was so fun to receive gifts!

Hna Dodson in her new birthday shirt
     After the meeting, Hna Kingsford and I headed to Chiclayo to do intercambios.  I stayed in Chiclayo with Hna Martinez and Hna Kingsford headed back to Pimentel with Hna Hawkes.

Hna Dodson (in new birthday outfit), Hna Hawkes, Hna Martinez, Hna Kingsford
     After lunch, we headed out teaching.  We found an older woman sorting paper garbage so she could take it in and get money.  We helped her sort it and then we taught her about the family.
     Then we taught a young woman named Fiorella. (16 yrs)  She has a five month old baby.  She is less active and today we met her older brother Cristian (17 yrs), who is a less active member, too. We taught them about the Plan of Salvation and they seemed really excited to come back to church.
     Then we taught some members about the importance of paying tithing.  I bore testimony multiple times about how my family and I don't have much, but that we always have enough food and all our necessities, because we always pay our tithing.  I know that when we pay our tithing and keep the commandments, God will pour down blessings upon us.
     Right after that, we went to a house of a less active man and his wife, who is an investigator. Before we got there, Hna Martinez told me that the husband is difficult and cold hearted, so it may be hard to teach them.  Well, we entered in and began teaching Paola, the wife, about the Family Proclamation.  She was really enjoying it.  Then her husband walked in.  He sat down with the complete intent to ignore us, but I wasn't going to take that, so the entire lesson, I kept talking to him and joking around with him.  By the end of the lesson, he was involved, and when I asked him to pray, he said yes!
     When we left, Hna Martinez turned to me and asked me how I did that.  She said that he never prays, and never participates.  I just told her that I let him feel the love of God through me, and made sure that he felt the importance of the words I shared.  It felt good to know that I did something good, even though it wasn't really me.  It was God working through me to soften his heart.  I hope that when they return to teach him, that he will listen.
     We headed back to the chapel to have a meeting with the Lider Misional of the Las Americas ward.  When we got there, we were alone with the leader, so we stayed outside and watched little owls eat as we waited for the Elders to show up. (Elder Noriega y Elder Lalli- who is from Bountiful, UT!)  Well, they didn't show up until 8:45pm so we talked for only a minute, and then headed to dinner. (eggs, potatoes, cheese bread, and ecco)  After dinner, we planned and got ready for bed.

Miercoles, 29 de Octubre del 2014
     Well, we woke up and did our studies.  After breakfast and during our companion study, we received a call saying that Hna Martinez had to go to the doctor because they have the results of her blood test.  So we left and sat at the doctor's office for about 2 hours.  We talked and shared pictures. It was an adventure.  When it was finally our turn, we were in the doctor's office for about 1 minute and 17 seconds, while the doctor told us that there was nothing wrong. :)
     We ran out of the hospital to catch a combi to Pimentel to trade back companions.  When we made it back, we were in our cuarto talking, when Hna Kingsford tells me that they taught some German girls in English.  That is my dream, to teach in English!  Luckily, the girls want the missionaries to return, so I will get my chance to teach in English!!
     After we said goodbye to Hna Martinez y Hna Hawkes, we went to lunch. (rice y chicken)  After lunch, we went out teaching.  As we were walking around, a man named Augustine called us over to say hi.  We walked over to him and he was with some buddies, so we contacted them all, and one of them was really cool.  His name is Alex, and he can't hear very well, so he likes it when people can use sign language with him.  I told him that I can sign in English.  He was excited and wants us to come by and visit him and his family.  He said that he would teach me some sign language in Spanish! :)
     Then we headed to visit Ana.  We read Alma 36 with her.  In the end, we invited her to baptism. She accepted and in her closing prayer she said, "Please bless the hermanas that they can continue teaching and finding new people that they can bring to our church."  I almost fainted when she said that.  It was a beautiful surprise to hear how serious she is about baptism.  I really hope that we can prepare her well enough for her to feel completely ready.
     After that, Pres Carlos Vigo called us and said, "I need to talk to you.  Come to the chapel."  Well it turned out that his dad, a non member, wants to finally get baptized.  He's had missionary lessons multiple times, and has never wanted to be baptized, but now he does!  We are very happy that the news he wanted to talk to us about was good news.  We were nervous at first....:)
     After that, we started walking back into the main part of town, contacting everyone as we went. On our way, we ran into Leonardo and the father of Leonardo.  He is a cool guy and is always talking to us.  Quite some time ago, we had set a time to go over to their house to teach them, but something came up and it didn't happen.  But when he saw us tonight, he grabbed my arm and said, "I was just praying in my heart for help from God, because we are having family problems, and you just showed up.  I need you to visit us.  Can you come tomorrow morning?"  We didn't have time, but asked if we could come at 3pm on Friday.  He accepted and was so excited to have us come over.  He is a giant teddy bear and he looks just the same as his son, Leonardo.
     We contacted a few other people and then headed to dinner.  We ate, went home, planned and got ready for bed.

Jueves, 30 de Octubre del 2014
     Daniel Diaz helped us teach people this morning in Pimentel, and each person that we taught, begged for us to return.  It was an awesome experience to see them in the beginning not to want to hear our messages, but then in the end, to be begging us to return. :)
     We went to lunch (rice, eggs, fried bananas, and soup).  Right after lunch, we headed to Fonavi.
     First, we stopped by Gaby's to ask her to come visit with us and to use  her bathroom.  During the time we were waiting for Gaby to change, we were given juice and cupcakes with manjar inside.  We took some pictures with Gabriel (5yrs) and Ivan (8yrs).  The entire time, Gabriel kept calling me Hna Karate.  Gaby later told me that is what he calls me all the time...anytime he talks about us, he says Hna Kingsford and Hna Karate.  haha  I have no idea why, but it's a cool nickname!  haha


Gabriel, Hna Kingsford, Ivan y Hna "Karate"


     As we walked around finding people to teach, Luzziel found us and tried to drag me to his house because, "Hna...I forgot your drawing again.  Go to my house and get it."  He literally grabbed my hand and sweater and dragged me down the road.

Hna Dodson with Luzziel



     He finally let go of me and we all walked together-Gaby, Luzziel, and Marieta (mama of Luzziel) to the house of Norma.  She wanted us to come and talk to her because she wants her husband to receive the lessons and get baptized. Her husband agreed to take the lessons, because this is how Norma invited him.  She said, "Honey, I am going to receive salvation, and it's your choice on whether we are going to receive it together as a married couple, or not."  :)  He agreed with good reason.  Hopefully he will want all of this for himself, not just because she threatened him.  haha
Norma with Hna Dodson

Hna Dodson, Marieta (mama of Luzziel), Hna Kingsford
     After talking with her about her desire for her husband to be baptized, we went and visited the familia Leyton.  The entire familia was there!!!  David, Marco, Mama, Papa, Alicia y Clara.  We taught them about temples and eternal marriage.  We set a goal for them, because now they have all been members for a year and can go to the temple and be sealed and take out their endowments. They are pumped to do it!
     After our lesson, Marco left and came back with our birthday presents.  He gave me the child picture that I love of himself, with a written note on the back and a stuffed animal bunny that plays a song called "Tengo tu amor".  It is super cute!


     For Hna Kingsford, he gave her the same kid picture of himself with a note and a music box that is made of baby egg shells.
     We took pictures with them and ate flan (pudding).
Back:  Hna Dodson, David, Marco
Middle:  Papa, Mama, Hna Kingsford
Front: Alicia, Clara


     Then we headed out and went teaching with Gloria.

Gloria and Hna Dodson

     We taught Ivan, the husband of Gaby.  We taught the Ten Commandments, the Law of Chastity and keeping the Sabbath Day holy.  It was such a good lesson.  The spirit was strong and the attention was great.  Everyone (Gloria, Gaby, Ivan and Marieta-Luzziel's mom) were listening and commenting.  It was such a success.  In the end, we talked to Ivan about the church and baptism.  He said that he really wants to and tries really hard to go to church, but with his job (Army), he can't always make it.  He does try hard and he is a great guy.  We left them the For Strength of Youth pamphlet and Ivan was already reading it before we left.  We took some picture with them.  It was really fun!
Hna Dodson, Gaby, Ivan Sr., Hna Kingsford
Ivan Jr., Gabriel

     Then we headed to dinner.  Everyone hung around the table tonight and talked.  I love how close we all are in the pension.  We are like family.  It's so awesome.  After laughing, eating and playing around, we headed home to plan and get ready for bed.
     Oh, one funny thing.  On our way to dinner, Luis and Janeth saw us and called us over.  We went over and invited them to church.  Luis started to give some excuses as to why he couldn't come.  I cut him off and in a teasing manner told him I didn't want to hear his excuses, and that I wanted to hear him say, "I want to go to church."  And then anytime he tried to give me an excuse, I cut him off.  We were all laughing pretty hard.  In the end, he agreed to just come to church.  Hopefully he and Janeth really come.
     Oh, one more thing...Martin found us after talking to Luis and Janeth.  He gave us apples and mint cookies. :)

Viernes, 31 de Octubre del 2014 [HAPPY HALLOWEEN!]
     As we had our planning for the week we got a knock on our bedroom door.  It was Berta saying someone named Hna Monja was looking for us.  We went downstairs and Paola and Ede (Daniel's mom) were waiting for us.  They came by to invite us to a baby shower tomorrow for a member named Nancy, and then they left.
     For lunch we had turkey and mashed potatoes and of course some rice.  haha  It was so good!  It tasted like Thanksgiving day, but Peruana style.  haha  After lunch, we went with Lucy next door to us to meet our new pensionista...because Lucy is moving....to Lima....next week. :(
     Our new pensionista is the mom of one of Mayra's friends named Bryan.  She makes and sews clothes.  She is really cool.  I am really going to miss Lucy but I am excited for this new lady.
     After that, we went to our cuarto to study language and I got thirsty, and bad news, I left my water bottle in Fonavi...so I pulled out my 'Steripen' (the pen that cleans water) and we used it and made lemonade.  Good news.  It works because we didn't get sick!  Yay!


     Then we went out teaching.  We stopped by Leonardo's, but no one was home. :(  So we headed to Karla's, the aunt of our bud Sebastian. (the little artist)  We taught about the Plan of Salvation and it was awesome.  She really liked it and told us that her Grandpa was a member of the church!!  What?! And also that her dad was a member before he died!  How crazy!?  After we taught her, she said the closing prayer and then offered us peaches and fruit flavored marshmallows.
     Then we went to a different Karla, a recent convert.  I love her so much.  She is so faithful and sweet.   We taught her about faith and the Holy Ghost.  She is so open to the spirit and has so much faith, that God is always giving her exactly what she needs.  She reminds me of my mom, because my mom is so faithful and spiritual, and so close to God, that she is always receiving exactly what she needs. :)
     After we finished talking, we took some pictures and then she told us that we mean the world to her. How sweet.
Hna Kingsford, Karla, David (her son), Hna Dodson
     As we were walking towards our last cita, we saw Max, the dog from our adventures on the beach quite some time ago.  He didn't remember us, but it was Max....
     For our last cita, we went to a new contact named Marta.  She was really excited for us to come over.  We knocked on her door and a young boy let us in and told us that she would be there in a minute.  Well, when we went in and sat down, the TV was playing Scooby Doo in English!! hahaha
     Marta came down with her son Brian (12 yrs) and we taught them about prophets.  They were really receptive.  Brian studies at a school called 'Chino-Peruano' (Chinese-Peruvian).  They teach Chinese there, so we made Brian speak to us in Chinese.  Then we asked him if he liked his school and he said, "No, because there are a lot of kids that say bad words."  My first thought was that they swear in Chinese, but when he said, no... I guessed that they swore in Spanish...and he said no again. Then he said that they swear in English.  He said, "Most of them do not know how bad or serious the English words are that they are using.  It's sad."  I couldn't believe how spiritual and grown up he is.
     Before we left, I took a picture of 2 stuffed animals she had on her couch.  A Christmas bear and a Thanksgiving turkey.  It was so cute to me.

Merry Thanksgiving!
     Marta gave a beautiful prayer saying, "Please bless these angels that every door they knock on will let them in and accept the word."
     Then we went to dinner. (broccoli, sweet potatoes, and a surprise that she put on the table as we were blessing the food- CHOCOLATE CAKE!!)  As we were eating, Bruno came in...he wasn't sassy and he was being really nice.  After we told him that today was our last time eating here, he pulled out his phone and took some pictures, that he is going to put on Facebook.  haha
     After we finished eating, we took a family picture with those at the house.  Gerson, Mayra, Nicol, Channy, Hna Kingsford, Lucy, Juanita and me.

Back row: Hna Dodson, Juanita, Lucy, Hna Kingsford
Front row: Gerson, Mayra, Nicol, Channy
     Then we went home and Elder Coons called about P-Day plans for the district.  We are going to be making cinnamon rolls!
   
Sabado, 1 de Noviembre del 2014 [HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIGUEL!]
     This morning we went out running by the beach, and we ran into Clara Leyton.  She told us that they are going to the hospital for the next couple days because their dad is not doing well.  He has stopped eating and drinking.  The doctor says that their dad just doesn't want to live anymore.  We are praying that something good comes from this all. :(
     Then we went to breakfast with our new pensionista.  Her named is Chela.  She is really awesome! She is out to please us and she is doing a great job.  She gave us tea, juice, and boiled bananas with cheese!!
     At lunch, we ate with the familia Tello- Yovanna, Cristhian (20 yrs), Oliver (12 yrs), Pamela (20 yr. She is married to the older brother of Cristhian and she has a baby).  Lunch was delicious.

Pamela, Hna Dodson, Hna Kingsford,
Yovanna holding Pamela's baby, Oliver, Cristhian

     After lunch, we tried to stop by our citas but no one was at home, so we started knocking doors. We were knocking on a house that was green everywhere...the windows, door, walls...EVERYTHING!  (I'm green daba du daba di...daba du daba di....)  Anyways, as we were waiting for an answer, I started singing Feliz Navidad...I don't know why (maybe the green color?), but it was fun.  People were watching us from afar smiling and giggling.
     We knocked a few more doors and found a chef.  He told us that if we pass by on Saturdays in the late afternoon, that he will have treats for us.  Awesome! :)
     Then we went to a scheduled cita, but we weren't exactly sure where he lives because there is some fields next to Fonavi and he said that he lives over there.  So we went searching and as we were passing a house with a gate with a huge wall around it, we both felt like it was his house, so we entered and it turns out it was the right house!  Some small details about this guy.  There was this day that we were walking down the road, when I heard someone yell out, "Dr. Dodson!"  I turned around and saw this man building a brick wall, waving at me.  We went over to him.  We don't ever remember meeting him, so we weren't exactly sure how he knew my name, but he knew it.  Well, we got his name, which is Oscar, and his "address" and he told us to stop by.  Well today we went by and he and his "wife" (girlfriend of 20 years) are AWESOME!  The entire time we taught them something from the Bible, they were so excited for us to explain it to them.  They liked us because everything we were sharing was conforming to the Bible, and they loved that.  They loved that they finally found people who teach them correctly.  They said they have heard from multiple different missionaries from many different religions and we were their favorites.  They told us that they tell people that they are Catholic, because they haven't found a church that conforms to the Bible and teaches things along with their personal beliefs.  They begged us to come back.
     Oscar gave the closing prayer and it was totally awesome.  He is so spiritual.  His wife's name is Mari-Isabel and they have 7 kids together.  Next time we teach them, we are going to talk about marriage and eternal families.
     After their lesson, we headed to the baby shower for a member named Nancy.
Nancy
 We played a bunch of games.  One was to put a balloon in our shirt and to try and tie our shoes!! haha  It was so funny! It was hard...I don't like it....haha.  Everyone got a really good laugh from seeing a "pregnant" missionary!




     During the activity, a woman named Fiorella showed up with her son (13 yrs) who is a member of the church, but she isn't.  She is really cool and wants us to visit her.  We got her address, and she really lives far out, but we are going to try and visit with her.
     We took lots of photos of the baby shower before we left.
Hna Kingsford, Nancy, Hna Dodson
Gloria



     On the combi ride home, there were 2 white girls sitting by us.  Hna Kingsford started talking in English to me about them.  She asked me if I thought they knew how to speak English.  Then they turned toward us and asked us where we were from.  We told them Utah and they told us that they are from California. They are here working and teaching English.  We only talked for a bit, but we gave them a pamphlet (in Spanish)...and now we are hoping to find them again, so we can maybe teach them. :)
     We ate dinner (salad made of beets, broccoli, and green beans, chocolate milk, yogurt and cereal).
     We went home and planned and got ready for bed.  We got a call from Pres. Carlos Vigo reminding us of our meeting we had tomorrow.

Domingo, 2 de Noviembre del 2014
     At church, it was testimony meeting and it was awesome!  The members here in Pimentel are so spiritual.  Every single testimony was radiating strength and light.
     In Sunday School, Daniel taught about repentance.  It was so powerful, like always.  During the lesson, he was being very forward with a lot of people there.  So today was a class of men/young men with us missionaries, and Daniel said, "If anyone of you are solely here because you think the hermanas are cool, you aren't always going to be here.  The real reason we want to be at church is to grow and learn...not to look at the hermanas, because they will have cambios at some point, and they will not always be here."  I am really happy that he said that, because it worries me that sometimes people accept us and come to church because we are white girls.  Karla showed up, so that was exciting!
     After church, we went to Fonavi for lunch with Susan (sister of Daniel), Cesar, her husband, and their kids Mathias (6 yrs) and Luana (2 yrs).

Cesar, Mathias, Susan, Luana, Hna Dodson, Hna Kingsford
Mathias with Hna Dodson

                                                            Daniel also came to lunch.
Daniel

     It was really fun.  For dessert, she gave us jello and when she brought me my serving, she had another huge bowl of jello in her hand, too.  She handed me the small portion and put the huge serving bowl near her husband...so I made a joke that I wanted to trade with him. Daniel took a picture of me with both because he thought it was hilarious.
     After lunch, we visited with Giannina and Mariana.  We laughed and took some pictures with them, and then taught them a lesson.
Hna Kingsford, Giannina, Mariana, Hna Dodson
Giannina is the mother of Mariana
     After finishing our lesson with them, we headed across the street to meet Daniel, so we could go teaching with him.  Well, we waited and waited and waited.

waiting and waiting and waiting in the park...
     Since we were waiting for so long, we decided to contact everyone in the park.  When Daniel still didn't show up, we decided to call him and ask him if he got lost.  When he answered the phone, I had woken him up.  haha  He then giggled and blamed me that it was my fault that he was late, because I should have called him earlier to wake him up.  haha  As if I knew he was going to be sleeping.  He said that he was sorry and said that he would meet us by our cuarto.  Daniel finally showed up and we went out teaching.
     We ended up having a really good lesson with Aaron!!  We taught him about the Restoration of the church.  It was awesome.  The best part was that in the end, Aaron said that he feels a difference in his life, because since we haven't been over to teach him in awhile, he can feel the difference in the spirit in his house.  He also said that when we were teaching Omar, his younger brother, he had noticed a huge change in Omar's character, and that Omar was a better person.  But since we haven't been visiting Omar, he has returned to his rebellious ways. Que triste.

Hna Kingsford, Aaron, his son, Daniel, Hna Dodson
     After we were done, we walked Daniel to the paradero so he could take a combi home.  Then we stopped by Luis and Janeth's to remind them of the cita tomorrow.  We talked to Luis for a bit and Jhordy saw me and came running.  He grabbed me and told me to kneel down.  I kneeled down and he looked me in the eyes and then he attacked me with a huge hug and yelled,"Te quiero!" over and over again.  He kept saying "Hna Dodson, te quiero mucho!" and he kept kissing me.  When we had to leave, he said, "One more kiss, so I bent down for him to kiss me and he grabbed my head and gave me a huge, wet kiss on my cheek!  He is so adorable!
     It was then time for dinner, so we headed over and our pensionista's son, Alonzo opened the door and joined us at the table.  We just got to know him and Chela some more.  Alonzo is 17 yrs old and he likes to run and play the guitar.  Once we found out he plays, we made him go and get his guitar and play for us.  As he was playing, he started singing.  He is a really good singer and he sang a song called Flaca.  It was really good.
     We went home and we started getting ready for bed when Elder Coons called and asked if we had asked Lucy if we could make cinnamon rolls in her house.  We hadn't, so at that moment, we ran over in our pajamas to ask her.  She said that we could, but she doesn't have an oven that works right now, so she told us to ask Chela.  So we headed back over to Chela's and she said that we could. :)
     Once we got home, we called Elder Chavez....and he said, "Hna Dodson, your companion has a change"...meaning that Hna Kingsford has cambios and will be leaving Pimentel and me :( , but the best part is, is that she is going to be training a newbie and opening a new area!  I am so excited for her, but she is nervous.