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 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 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, 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 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 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

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