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!

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