Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Week 35: "...Satan has power and he creates hardships that most people can't overcome...it's a pain in the rear."

Lunes, 1 de Diciembre del 2014
     We bought trompos (tops) and then we went home and tried playing with them, but it didn't work. Well, mine didn't work....okay...that is a lie.  Hna Corona got mine to work...I just don't have the skill to play with trompos, but I am going to continue to blame my trompo.  haha  While playing with them, it got kinda loud on the tile floor and the next thing we know, Hno Victor (husband of Berta, who is the owner of our cuarto) called out "Hermanaaaasss!!"  At that moment, we grabbed our trompos and hid them so that he wouldn't take them away from us.  Luckily, he never came up to our room- he just yelled to us to scare us into stopping.  Smooth move Victor, because it worked! ;)
      After we cleaned our cuarto, we bought an air freshener because the chickens that are by our cuarto have a nasty smell.  Then we headed to a new restaurant (where Irene works) and we were really hoping that it would taste good.  Nope.  We ate chewy meat, oily rice, oily beans and oily soup, and a gross drink. The drink is really popular here, and most people love it, but I think its gross because it tastes like a watered down coffee flavor with some sort of green tea flavor.  We paid s/5 (soles) and went home feeling sick.  Next P-Day, we will just eat at Leonardo's.  We went home and rested for a bit and then went and emailed home.  Lucky me, my mommy was on and we chatted as much as we could with "email text". haha
     After that, we took pictures of Pimentel.  We took pictures of our cuarto, the road we live on, and a church around the corner called the Church of Jesus Christ.  A lot of people think we are from that church, but we aren't.  haha

the outside of our cuarto
the street we live on
the street we live on going the other way
the little Church of Jesus Christ
(not our church)
tiny walk path
     Then we went down by the beach and took pictures of some of the cool art painted on the walls.

      After taking pictures, it was time to go out teaching.  Our first cita was with Ofelia and Pina.  We taught the entire lesson #1 and we were having great discussions with them.  They want Book of Mormons and they promised us the that they would pray about all that we taught them.  They were really excited to set another cita for this week, so they can learn more.  I have a really good feeling about them. I know I say that a lot and then nothing happens, but that is because Satan has power, and he creates hardships that most people can't overcome...it's a pain in the rear.
     After we set citas with tons of people, Betty and Victor, some less actives, invited us to eat chifles that they had just made. :)
     Then Martin gave us Oreos and walked/rode his bike with us to our pension.
     Chela had her house all decorated for Christmas and had music playing.  It was a fun dinner.  Then we went home, planned and figured out our money to pay everyone.

Martes, 2 Diciembre del 2014
    We didn't have a meeting this morning, so went to the area Alto Peru in Pimentel (area of fishermen) and knocked doors.  We knocked on and talked to more than 50 different people in their homes, which is almost every door in the area. :)  Then we headed back into central to eat lunch.
     After lunch, we headed out teaching.  Our first two citas fell through...so we did what any normal person would do...we bought bodeques, which are homemade popsicles with a milk base.  They freeze them in these little tube bags and you just bite off the corner and eat it through the corner.  It's like frosting bags in a way.  This bodeque was Hna Corona's very first one, and just like all newbies, she had a hard time eating it and she accidentally dumped some on her arm.  We giggled about that forever.  We were so tired, that everything seemed extra funny today.
     We decided to see if Irene could have a visit, so we went and visited her.  When we entered the restaurant, Irene's father-in-law, Victor, was just sitting down with a bottle of beer.  He came over to us and started dancing and doing fake sign language, like my dad.  He motioned to us that we are angels from heaven, touched his heart, smiled at us and then left.  We busted up laughing.  Well, we taught Irene, and she is so dedicated to receive an answer about the gospel.  Hopefully she will receive her answer soon.
     Then we headed to another cita, but they weren't home, and since there were 7 big dogs that were getting impatient with us being there, we left as soon as we could.  We actually saw our lives flash before our eyes! :)
    As we were walking to a visit a contact, I had a thought that we should visit a woman named Mariella.  She is really Catholic, but the first lesson we had with her was good and she said that she wanted to hear more, but when we tried to return to visit her again, she wasn't home.  But, she came to my mind, so we went to see her.  She was home and she let us in right away.  She told us, "I like listening to the word of God, but I am Catholic."  We told her "That's okay, we just want to share our message, which will help you understand more and strengthen your faith."  We started with a prayer and then talked about families.  At first she gave us the impression that her family life was good, but by the end of the lesson, she had admitted to all her problems.  We testified that this Gospel would bring her and her family an eternal joy.  We said a prayer with her and she said that she felt good, and that if we could, to come to her house every day and teach her and help her reach God.  It was beautiful to see her heart soften.
     We left her lesson feeling really good, but the mood changed quickly when we saw a little friend of ours named Rebecca (9 yrs) walking alone on the sidewalk with a face of fear and sadness and crying.  We walked up to her and asked her what was wrong.  She grabbed me and started bawling. We stood there for a while and let her cry and then we asked her what had happened.  Turns out that her drunk dad kicked her out of the house and slammed the door in her face.  She was walking to the provivienda (which is on the other side of town) to stay with her sister.  We decided to walk with her, because that is way too far for a child to walk alone.  Martin showed up with chocolate and when he saw Rebecca, he left to go buy her a chocolate, too.  Martin was so upset when he found out what her dad had done to her.  He became very protective of Rebecca and joined us for our walk to the provivienda.  When we got there, we dropped her off at her sister's house.  She hugged us again, and then we left.  We decided to catch a combi to get back to where we were.  We said goodbye to Martin and headed to the house of Nidia y Armando.
     Once we got there, we taught them about Jose Smith and Armando really likes that story.  He had a lot of profound questions for us.  It was really fun teaching him.  After our lesson, we ate bread with cut up hot dogs, which they call hamburgers, and avena (oatmeal).  We ate and laughed and then they walked us to catch another combi.
     On the combi, there was a young man named Jonah, who is a member.  He is the only member in his family.  He joined the church when he was 12 years old.  Now he is 21 years old and doesn't go to church right now.  I told him to return to church and to find the elders to teach him, and that he should prepare to go on a mission.  He is a cool guy.  He told me that he would go back to church.
     At dinner, we were laughing all night long.  Chela told us that she was standing on the sidewalk, when she all of a sudden, she just fell over.  She said she just laid on her stomach on the sidewalk laughing after it happened.  Alonzo, a little boy, was laughing when he farted really loud.  Then we busted up laughing even more...none of us could breath!
     Today was an interesting day.  It was full of many miracles and crazy experiences.  I love the mission!

Miercoles, 3 de Diciembre del 2014  [Feliz Cumple 6 meses para Hna Corona!]
     This morning when we went out teaching, we were walking down the side walk when Hna Corona started freaking out.  I asked her what was wrong and the only thing she could do was point at my skirt.  I looked down and there was a huge flying bug, the size of a tangerine on my skirt!  I started freaking out and yelled, "Ayudame! Ayudame!" (Help me! Help me!)  Well Hna Corona had a plan. She said, "Okay.  I am going to throw my pen at it!"  I screamed, "No! I don't need this thing to get angry at me!"  We were really causing a scene, and luckily there were some tough men who came to save us.  One of the men came over and grabbed the bug with his bare hand and tossed it aside.  He told us to have a nice day and walked away.  Well, do you want to know what the big bug was?  It was a black butterfly...a stinkin' black butterfly!  We didn't know that until another person came up to us and said, "That's a butterfly." We felt really dumb, but we laughed all the way to our first cita.
     As we were walking, I heard my name being yelled from a roof top.  When I looked up, I saw a contact from a long time ago.  He was working with a bunch of his buddies and then they all started calling out my name.  And then one of them yelled, "Hna Dodson, you can teach me any day!"  Hna Corona and I busted up laughing again!
     Nothing too exciting happened until language study.  Hna Corona taught me some Spanish slang, and she even taught me how to say stuff with a Mexican accent.  One day I am going to speak like a Mexican and totally pull it off!
     After that, we headed out teaching and one of the families that we visited was Doris and her daughter in law, Crella.  The entire time, they kept changing the subject saying that I needed to return to Peru after my mission and marry a Peruano.  haha
     The sun was really strong today, and it keeps getting stronger every day.  That means that by the end of the day, we are completely drained.  Our days are full of SUN and crazy, crazy wind!  Oh, the life in the mision Pimentel.  Love it!

Jueves, 4 de Diciembre del 2014
     This morning Hna Corona told me that I was dreaming in Spanish.  When I asked her how she would know that, she said that I was sleep talking in Spanish!  Awesome!  I was super happy about that!  Making progress!
     We headed to Chiclayo because we had a zone meeting.  When we showed up, everyone in the office were freaking out at me.  I asked what was going on, and they told me to look in the box of mail for our zone.  I went and looked, and there were 4 packages and lots of cards!  It was so much fun to receive them all.  There was a package from my Pearson grandparents, 2 from my family and one from JDawg Loftis!  The huge joke here is that Hna Dodson is the only person who receives mail! Thanks everyone!!
     In our meeting, we talked about plans for Christmas:
          10 de Diciembre- multi zone party
          22 de Diciembre- no P-Day
          25 de Diciembre- P-Day!  We get to call home on Skype for an hour!
          29 de Diciembre- no P-Day
           1 de Enero- P-Day!

     After the meeting, I was hanging out with Elder Chavez and we were talking about how he goes home in January (Enero).  I joked with him about coming to Utah and he said that he would come in February 2016.  Then he asked me when I was going to visit him in Lima...I said, soon. :)  Then he told me that I am his best friend.  He is definitely my best friend here in the mission!

Elder Chavez y Hna Dodson

     After the meeting, we headed home and ate a late lunch at 2:30pm.  At 3:15pm, we headed to Fonavi and visited a few people.  Then we went to the familia Leyton.  We got talking with Clara and I realized that she and I are the same.  We both have attitudes.  We both are forward and kind of mean, but people love us anyway!  haha
     We left Fonavi late and on the combi ride home, we felt really sick.  We hurried to our citas, hoping to just do quick visits, but none of our citas were home, so we just went to our cuarto to rest for a few minutes.  Then we went to dinner.  I took a lot of videos of Alonzo playing his guitar and saying our names.  He is adorable!

Viernes, 5 de Diciembre del 2014
     Well, we have new tarjetas (pass along cards) about Christ, "El es la Dadiva" ("He is the Gift")  It was hard for us to contact with these cards...either it was the area we were in or it is because the cards are 'new', but we had some really strange contacts using them.  First contact told us a long story about how everyone in her family is a member of a different church and that they already have 'one' Mormon in the family.  Second contact: we stopped her on the road and started talking to her about the new video of Jesus...and she just stared at us and said, "The woman on the card looks like one of the virgins in the Catholic church." and walked away.  When we knocked on the third contact's door, a woman yelled, "Quien?", so we said, "Buenas Dias." and her response was "QUIEN?!!" (really loud and angry).  Then a really small older woman opened the door and started freaking out and told us to hurry inside.  So we hurried inside.  She started taking us around her house explaining every single family picture hanging on the walls.  She never stopped talking.  We found out that she is alone every single day from 3am-8pm, and that she doesn't believe in friends, because it can only bring enemies, and she doesn't like the idea of having enemies.  That is why she is alone.  We left feeling a little confused.  Contact number four:  we knocked on her door and she told us to come in.  She didn't let us talk at all. She just kept quoting the Bible and saying that she is "copying" the Bible into her mind. Then she recited a prayer and told us that her neighbor is of the devil...it was intense... We had other contacts that were just as awkward after them.  I really think it must have just been the area we were in, but every visit seemed to be crazy.  We want to come back at a different time, just to see.
     We headed home to grab two Book of Mormons for Pina and Ofelia, and then headed to their house.  While we were waiting for an answer, the man who always gives me fruit, stopped and gave me a bag of grapes.  :)  Two minutes later, Martin found us on the doorstep and gave us cookies. :)
     Finally, they opened their door and we only taught Pina, because Ofelia wasn't home.  We taught her about baptism and invited her to be baptized.  She said that she wants to be baptized, but she wants to wait until she gets back from her 2 week long trip.  We told her that we are happy that she wants to be baptized that soon, but baptism requires changing your life style and that there is much for her to still learn.  She is excited to learn, and so are we!
     Then we visited Segundo and his wife.  We taught them about the Book of Mormon and they loved it.  They are excited to learn more and they can't wait for us to return.  Then we went next door to visit Betty, a less active.  She gave us chicken sandwiches and hot chocolate in milk!  We chatted about the mission and how beautiful it is.  Then I told her how much I look up to my parents and she almost started crying because of the love that she could feel as I talked about them.
     We headed to dinner, played with Alonzo, went home and planned.

Sabado, 6 de Diciembre del 2014     
     So here, the members listen to music in English...and well they have no idea what most of the songs are saying...and...well...some of the music says swear words over and over again, and they have it blasting through their houses thinking it is such an adorable song.  haha
     This morning, we contacted the nice houses on the malecon (the beach).  The houses were really pretty, but the owners not so much.
     After contacting, we went to lunch in Las Pampas with Any (Annie) Vasquez.  This time she really opened up to us about everything.  I love when members feel trust with us, because a lot of the time, the things that they share with us, help us to know why certain people are the way they are. Any is a wonderful woman!
     After lunch, we went to Fonavi and had a short meeting with Daniel.  Then we headed to Alinder's house.  We taught about the Book of Mormon and prayer.  We testified again, that the only way he is going to know that our messages are true, is if he prays to God about it.  But he believes that he just needs to have more knowledge to know if it is true.  I told him some of my personal experiences and that I hardly know anything, but I am still a missionary.  Learning is a life long process.  We are never going to know it all while living in our earthly state.
     After that, we went to visit an older woman named Adela.  She was happy to see us and she thanked us for our spirit and teachings.
     Then we traveled all the way to Nidia's house, but she wasn't home, so we headed back to Pimentel.  We went to our cuarto to start our fast and then we went to Cecilia's house for FHE.  She had invited a friend to join us, but her friend never came.  So we shared the message about "El es la Dadiva." (He is the Gift).  Daniel took some pictures while we were there- so you can ask him for them if you want. :)  Then we ran home, because it was dark and late.

Domingo, 7 de Diciembre del 2014
     Today was a "Don't mess with me" day...okay, only in the morning.  That's because during consejo de Rama, everyone was getting on our case about how we aren't working hard enough, because we aren't having any progress.  Daniel stood up for us again, but everyone started fighting Daniel about it.  After four long months of hearing them question our work, I finally stood up for us. I said, "WE ARE WORKING!  AND IF YOU WANT TO SEE IT FOR YOURSELF, YOU CAN COME TEACHING WITH US!"  Well, they shut up after that, and didn't question our work for the rest of the meeting.  After the meeting, Daniel came up to me giggling because he thought it was hilarious what I did.  He also told me that I need to "Relax and be patient."  haha  We all know that patience is not my strongest attribute, but I really am trying to progress.
     After our meeting, it was time for church.  Today was fast and testimony meeting.  Not even joking, but every single person who bore their testimony said "Estoy en la verdad." ("I'm in the truth.")  It was a powerful testimony meeting.  Almost the entire familia Leyton bore their testimonies.  Papa Leyton bore a beautiful testimony.  He can't speak hardly at all, but his wife translated for us.  It was so powerful.  I love the gospel!!
     After church, we ended our fast and headed to lunch with the familia Mendoza Gonzales.  They have been members for 3 years and the dad of the family was called to be the 1st Counselor to the President of the Rama after only being a member for one month.  The trust that the Lord haD in him and also the trust that the President of the Rama had.  That would be so scary to be baptized and then be called as a 1st Counselor in a Bishopric. He told us about his conversion and also the panic attack that he had when he was first called.  He is now so grateful for the experience that he has had.
     After lunch, we taught a couple families in Alto Peru.  They all want to know the same things that Jose Smith knew.  We explained some things and then left a pamphlet for them to read.  We told them that we would return and answer any more questions that they may have.  They are really awesome families!
     At 6:00pm, we went into Chiclayo to watch the Christmas Devotional.  Turns out, that in Peru, we couldn't watch it until 8:00pm, so we just had a district meeting while we waited.  After our meeting, tons of people from Pimentel showed up and they all wanted pictures with Hna Corona and me.  All the other missionaries were teasing us about how famous we are. haha
     We entered the sacrament hall and couldn't find any seats.  Then Elder Chavez motioned to us to sit with him and Elder Rich.  Once it was over, we were all talking and then Elder Chavez gave me a Woody- Toy Story keychain!

     Then Elder Chavez told us that it was too late for us to go back to Pimentel and that we would need to stay the night in Chiclayo.  We ended up staying with Hna Kennedy and Hna Stewart.  Bad news was that we didn't get any dinner, so we went to bed pretty hungry.
     Once we got to their cuarto, we changed into some of their pj's and set the bedroom up for sleeping.  And then we talked and talked and talked.

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