Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week 34: "We were able to teach Irene, and the dogs never ate me!"

Lunes, 24 de Noviembre del 2014
     This morning we made our Christmas decorations for our room.  We made a mini Christmas tree, a Santa Claus and we turned Buzz Lightyear into an elf.  It turned out so cute.  I have missed doing crafts like that.

     After we finished those, we went to Elba's house to eat lunch.  We ate arroz chauta (Asian Peruana dish).  It was so good!  After that, we headed into Chiclayo.  First stop was the oficina of the mision, because I had a package at the Serpost (the post office) which means that I needed to get my passpost paper.  Turns out, that I had 4 packages and 2 cards in the oficina!  We bagged up all my stuff and headed to print out pictures, because I want to send some surprise pictures in the package I was sending home to my family.  During the waiting period, I decided to spend some of my birthday money on some new shoes, because my other ones were falling apart.  My new shoes are so adorable!

Happy Birthday to me!
         Then we went and grabbed the pictures and went to the Serpost.  I finally got my package to my family sent off, after jumping from one line to another. Sending stuff out of the country is bien feo. :( After getting my package sent, I got back into a different line to get my package.  It was a package from my Greatma, and it was huge!  So now I was running around Chiclayo with all sorts of packages in my arms and trying to find a place to do internet, so I could write home.  We finally found a place, but the connection was pretty crappy, but at least it worked.
     After emailing, we headed home to Pimentel.  Once we got there, I opened my packages.  Thank you Santa (family) for the peanuts and nuts!!  Thank you Greatma for the treats and adorable Hallmark stuffed snowmen!
Our little winter scene
The snowmen are from my Greatma Buckmiller,
the snowballs are from my family and the Christmas stocking
was left over from a previous missionary.
   Then we went out teaching.  We taught Pina (19 yrs).  She is really cool.  She wants to know what the true church is.  At the end of her lesson, she offered a beautiful prayer.  She prays to God like someone talking to a friend.  It was awesome.  I am so faithful that something good is going to come out of this.
     After that, we went to visit Lucero.  She has so many questions for us that her church doesn't have answers to, but we do.  It is really cool to teach her because she is really spiritual and Bible smart.
     At dinner, we talked with Chela for a bit and went home and planned.
     Oh, I forgot to tell this part.  On the combi ride home, an older woman got on and when she saw me, she started asking me how I was and started hugging and kissing me.  She sat behind me and Hna Corona turned to me and asked who she was.  I shook my head, because I had no idea.  When the woman got off the combi, she said, "It was nice to see you again!  I love you my lindisimo hermanita!" :) Hna Corona laughed forever!

Martes, 25 de Noviembre del 2014
     We had a meeting of the Districto.  Elder Coons taught us about the talents and gifts that God has given each person.  He told us to read Matthew 25, which is about the talents.  Then he had us make a list of our talents.  He told us that we have to know what all our talents are because we don't want to return to our Father in Heaven and have only used 2 talents if there were 3 or 4 that we were given. He also told us to pray for guidance before reading our patriarchal blessing, to see all the talents and gifts that it tells us that we have.
     After the meeting, we headed home and ate lunch.  We studied language and then went out teaching.  We taught Lucero again, and the only thing she wanted to talk about was Joseph Smith. But for her to understand why Joseph Smith restored the gospel to the earth, she really needs to understand about prophets and the Great Apostasy, so while we were trying to explain this, she just kept asking, "But the senor Jose Smith?" and "Why the name Mormons?" and "Why is the libro called Libro de Mormon?"  We tried to explain it all but we had to set up another appointment for another day because we ran out of time.  She has potential and she said that she is going to pray about these things....but she wants a dream or a vision to come as her answer...
     Later, we taught Irene.  She is awesome.  She remembers things and wants to know if it's true. When we first got to her house, her dogs were growling at us, so I started to growl back at them. Then the dogs started barking at me, and then Irene yelled, "Shut up!" to her dogs and Hna Corona started to laugh so hard.  She said, "Those dogs are going to kill you.  You got them in trouble with their owner."  I just laughed, but I had a prayer in my heart that the dogs wouldn't hurt me.  We were able to teach Irene, and the dogs never ate me.  The funny thing was that the dogs would not allow Hna Corona to say anything.  Anytime she opened her mouth, they would start barking really loud. We were all laughing so hard.  When I spoke, they were silent.  haha
     After a few other lessons, we headed to our last cita with Channy. (sister of Lucy)  She wasn't home, but Lucy and her family were home so we stayed for a while and talked with them.(Lucy, Bruno, Nicol, Juanita, and Gerson).
     Then we went to dinner.  We ate quickly so we could get home and plan and get to bed.  But when we got home, our phone was ringing off the hook...we were receiving so many references and setting up citas with so many people.  At 10:20pm, we finally got ready for bed....long day and night.  I love the mission!!

Miercoles, 26 de Noviembre del 2014
     Today was full of bad luck.  First I woke up with my tendon/ligament behind my knee hurting.  Second, when we were trying to leave to go out contacting, the front door almost killed me, because there was a really strong wind blowing.  When I opened the door, the wind blew it open and it almost took me out.  Third, as we were contacting, all the dogs were being really aggressive and kept barking and growling and following us around.  They wouldn't let us knock on any of the doors. Fourth, almost every single one of our citas fell through.  Fifth, we had to take a combi to visit a reference who lived 7 minutes away.  We caught a combi and we were sitting in the back, and when we tried to tell the driver that we needed to get off by the University of Sipan, he told us just to sit up front by him.  So we did, and we got to talking and testifying of the church, and then we were at the University of Chiclayo.  I asked where the University of Sipan was, because that is where we needed to get off.  Turns out that we had already passed it.  He told us to just get off at the University of Chiclayo and walk back to it.  We got off and started walking.  We were walking for 15 minutes when we received a phone call from Hna Nidia (menos activa) asking us where we were.  We explained our situation and she said to call her when we got closer to the hotel.  After almost getting killed by other combis as we walked on the dirt highway, we finally made it to the hotel.  At this point, our luck turned good.  First, Nidia is the sweetest woman ever!  Second, her house is huge and beautiful.  It has a yard, basketball court, fireplaces and tons of seating.  Third, her son, Armando, 11 years old, is awesome and is completely and utterly adorable.  Fourth, Nidia is a return missionary and she wants to be sealed to her husband who passed away a couple years ago.  Fifth, at the end of our visit, we ate panqueques with manjar and bread with cheese!  During this time, we all just sat around the dinner table giggling and eating and learning more about one another.  When it got late, Nidia walked us out and helped us catch a combi.
     Once we got back to Pimentel, Martin found us and gave us cookies. :)  Then we headed to set up another cita with Elba because she wasn't home this morning.  We got to talking with her and she gave us juice (chicha morada) and after that, we headed to dinner.  We ate and played with Alonzo (2 yrs old).  He is the son of Chris, who is the daughter of Chela.  He is adorable.  We laughed and played for quite some time.  I love kiddles!
     Then we went home and planned for tomorrow.

Jueves, 27 de Noviembre del 2014  [HAPPY THANKSGIVING!]
     This morning during our companionship study, we got discussing about the end of the world.  We ended up reading most of the book of Revelations.  It is super intense.  I love studying things that are really deep, like el fin del mundo.
     After studies, we headed out to teach Lucero.  She told us that she is grateful for our testimonies that we have brought, but she doesn't want to change her religion.  She said no more visits. :(
     After lunch, we headed to Fonavi.  First we visited the familia Leyton.  Marco was home, so it was fun to be able to visit with him.  We taught a short little lesson about faith.
     Then we went to our cita with Ivan.  This lesson we had was the most successful lesson we have ever had with him.  His whole family was gone, so the house was silent.  The spirit was able to dwell there easily today.  We taught about testimony and prayer.  During the lesson, the spirit got super strong and we invited Ivan to offer a prayer with us, to ask God if the Book of Mormon was true.  He agreed to pray.  We knelt down and he offered a simple, sincere prayer asking if the Book of Mormon was true.  After he asked the question, we sat in silence....then a really beautiful thing happened.  He told us that he felt really good and that he felt peace.  It was so beautiful to see him light up.  We set up another cita with him and when we return, we are going to help him plan a day for baptism.
     We headed to a few more citas and then went back to Pimentel.  We went to dinner and then went home to plan.  We got a call from Elder Coons asking us about our day and to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving. (Feliz dia de Gracias)  The funny thing was that he was trying to get Hna Corona to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving, but she couldn't understand his Spanish...so he tried to tell her in English, but she couldn't understand his English either!  It was hilarious!

Viernes, 28 de Noviembre del 2014
     This morning, we had our planning for the week.  During the entire planning session, we were searching through old registros de ensenonza to find people who could maybe make progress now. We were laughing the entire time at some of the notes that other missionaries had written on these registers.
     After planning, we went to lunch and ate chupe- my favorite soup here.  We also had a slice of watermelon because it is almost summer here!
     After lunch, we studied language, and being the good missionary that I am, taught my sweet angel companion how to say CRAP!  It is adorable when she says it in her sweet Latina accent.
     After study, we went out teaching.  During that time, Daniel met up with us and helped us teach. We taught quite a few people, but we had one lesson that was awesome.  We had headed to the house of Pina, but she wasn't there, but her sister Ofelia let us in to teach her.  They have a dog named Nieve (snow) and it did not like Daniel at all!  For the first half of our lesson, the dog kept barking and growling at him.  At one point, Ofelia took the dog upstairs. but anytime after that, when Daniel would get "sassy" with one of us, we threatened to have Ofelia get the dog to attack him.  :)  The coolest thing about this lesson, was that Ofelia had a lot of deep questions, and we could tell that her interest was sincere.
     We taught a few more lessons and then went to dinner.  Then we went home and planned.
Oh, yeah...one contact of the day was a woman with some dishes in her hand, and trying to carry her laundry basket, too.  I ran over and told her that I would help her out.  She told us that she really needs more angels like us in her life, who are willing to serve and share God's word.  She invited us to visit another day.

Sabado, 29 de Noviembre del 2014
     We always have "really good" studies.  I built a tower during personal studies because my mind was "on one".
     We had lunch with the familia of Luzziel. (Melita, his mom)  Then we left to have our meeting with Daniel about the progress we are trying to have here in Pimentel.  After we talked for quite some time, we headed to the familia Leyton and I helped Alicia with some of her homework.  Part of her homework was to translate an interview into English.  Translating is really hard, because it is difficult to think of two different languages at the same time.  It was mentally exhausting....
     I love the familia Leyton and they love me.  Thank heavens...

Domingo, 30 de Noviembre del 2014
     Holy cow, the last day of November.  The time is just flying by.  I am going to have 8 months in the mission in one week!  How crazy is that!  It feels like yesterday that I was in the CCM.
     This morning was interesting.  We had ward council before church and we left 15 minutes early to meet with Nidia, Armando, and Ofelia.  Well, no one was there so we were calling to ask where they were.  No answers, but about 5 minutes after calling, Nidia showed up.  On our way to the church, Ofelia called and told us that she would meet us at the doctor's office near the church.  We were so excited to have some of our investigators coming to church with us.
     Church was great.  Ofelia loved every second of it.  She said her favorite part was when the Young Women talked about "your body is a temple."
     After church. we were running around the church setting up citas with people.  Then we walked Ofelia home and went to lunch with the familia Sanchez Siguay. (Gaby and Ivan)  Well, like always, the food was AMAZING!  After eating, we played with Gabriel, Ivan (hijo) and Gaby.  We played Tops. (trompos)  It was so fun.
    Then we got to work.  First we visited the familia Cachay because they had a death in their family. We had a plan... to just give a short message, offer a prayer and leave, but that didn't happen.  When we entered, the house was in complete chaos.  We dropped our bags and started to help clean.  I was cleaning the kitchen while Hna Corona cleaned with a big scrubber thing.  After cleaning, the family thanked us for helping and then we left to do other visits.  It was so nice to do a service for them.
     Our second visit was with Gloria Monja.  Like always, Gloria did tons of funny things.  First, Paula (Gloria's mom) was telling us a story, when Gloria interrupted her mom, looked at us and said, "Que guapas!" (You are so good looking!) We smiled and thanked her.  Then she said, "You both just get more beautiful every time you visit."  Second thing, she had my scriptures and she found my pictures and cards from family and friends inside of it. One card had my first name written on, and Gloria said, "Sierra is spelled with a C, not an S."  Not knowing that Sierra was my name, everyone just kept saying Sierra over and over again, talking about its spelling, etc.  Hna Corona knew that it was my name and she started laughing.  That is when everyone looked at me and asked, "Sierra is your name?"  When I nodded my head, they all freaked out, saying that I was the first gringa that they knew named Sierra, and that Sierra is not a common name here in Peru because it means 'saw mountains' and it is a place in Peru with really bad food.  haha
     After that, we decided to do secret friend gifts ( amigo secreto) for Christmas with the familia Monja.  I am super excited to do that!  We shared a message about the Word of Wisdom and then headed to the familia Leyton.
     We talked for a bit and then Marco wanted to test out my mision plaque, so I drew a little Elder Leyton tag and put it on my tag for him to wear.  The whole family was super excited to see his missionary tag.  He was glowing!  At the beginning of our visits with this family, Marco didn't want to go on a mission, but we have talked to him a lot about how cool it is to serve a mission and now he wants to serve a mission!  Yay!!  We are all hoping he will get called to Salt Lake City, Utah!
     Then we headed to visit Nidia and Armando.  Armando came running to the door and hugged us before he let us in.   He is such a sweetie.  We sat at the table and taught a lesson.  We played games with Armando so that he would like the lesson and be able to understand it better.
     At the end of the lesson, Nidia brought out tacos and hot sauce- tabasco.  We were both super excited.  As Nidia was serving us our plates, Nidia accidentally dropped a hot wing in my tea.  We all laughed and laughed.  After we ate, we played a game where you name things that go along with the category of the leader.  For example...'Names of boys that start with the letter B'...well whoever answers last, has to sing a song.  I lost three times...I sang three songs.  Armando was so cute, because after every time that I would sing, he would clap.  haha
     We left, and it took forever to find a combi.  Once we found one and were riding along, Elder Coons called us.  It was so loud on the combi and we were trying to report our numbers to him, without him knowing that we weren't actually in our cuarto...but he heard all the talking and the music and told us to just call him when we got home.  We hurried home and reported to Elder Coons and then headed to dinner.  At dinner, Alonzo (hijo of Chris) kept asking what our names were and we would tell him Hermana Dodson and Hermana Corona.  Then when we would ask him what our names were, he would say "hermanita CORONA!!!!" and "hermanita DODSON!!!!"  He would say hermanita really quiet and then he would yell out our last names.  It was so funny.
     After dinner, we left and went home and planned out our P-Day, which consists of sleeping and buying trompos! (tops!)

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