Thursday, December 25, 2014

Week 37: My new area is Patapo-Polmaca!!

Lunes, 15 de Diciembre del 2014
     Well this is my last P-Day here in Pimentel.  How crazy is that?  For P-Day, we went to Chiclayo to send a package home.  And while we were there, we ran into Elder Coons and Elder Alvarado...small world.  :)  After we sent the package, we headed to Pimentel and Fonavi to say goodbye.  I said goodbye to Daniel Diaz and the familia Leyton.  Daniel was sad that I was leaving, even though he is always joking and asking me, "When are transfers?"  haha
     After saying goodbye to him, we ate lunch with the familia Letyon.  We shared childhood stories. They really want my family to come and visit them, so they can tell childhood stories about me.  :)
     After eating, Hna Corona and I headed to internet so that we could email home.  Then we went back to the Leyton home and did our gift exchange.  Before we gave our secret friend their gift, we shared some kind words.  Turns out that everyone had someone completely different and Marco and I picked each other's names.  He is a good guy.  He is going to send his mission papers in really soon, and I am super excited for him!  Well for my gift, he game me a wallet and made me a poster of pictures of us with little notes on every single one.  It was the sweetest Christmas gift I have ever received.  We ate popcorn and drank hot chocolate with milk.  (In the words of Clara, "Chocolate and combination there is!  as she points to her skin and mine.)
     Then it was time to leave.  That was the hardest thing, but the only thing keeping me sane is that I am going to come back someday.  I am going to miss the familia Leyton.  They made my whole mission here in Pimentel shine.  They are my everything.  I have never had so much love for a family that isn't my own.  I love them like my own family.  They are all recent converts in the church and they are so strong and they just shine with the light of Christ.  They are my angels.
     Transfers are tomorrow in the morning.  I hope all goes well and that I will feel the love from the familia Leyton where I go.  I love the mission.  I love Peru.  I love the familia Leyton Ruesta!

Familia Leyton

Martes, 16 de Diciembre del 2014     MY NEW AREA IS PATAPO-POLMALCA!!
     Cambios!!  Well this morning Clara Leyton came to our cuarto to help me with my luggage.  Once we got a taxi, we headed to Chiclayo to find out who my new companion is.  We sat in the meeting forever.  Hna Corona found out her new companion before I did.  Her companion is Hna Wood, from Canada.  She is fresh from the CCM.  She is so cute.  She was talking to me the entire time trying to understand what was going on.  I was the last person to find out who my companion was.  Her name is Hna Furness, and I am going to be her trainer...haha...I don't even know how to train, but she has 1 month in the mission field and she speaks really well.  She is from Idaho and she is almost 21 years old.  Her birthday is 21 de Diciembre.  I love birthdays!  I am really excited to work with her!

Hna Dodson y Hna Furness
     After finding out our new companions, we said goodbye to our friends and found out that we had a meeting at 4:30 pm in Chiclayo.  Before we left, we went and grabbed cards from home.  I had 7 cards and then everyone was handing me recuerdos (pictures with cards).  We talked a little with Elder Chavez and he was really upset that I'm not going to be there for his last month of his mission.
     We left and took my luggage to our cuarto!  It is awesome here in Patapo, but there are millions of bugs here!  Then we went to lunch.  Our pensionista owns a restaurant and she is a baker.  Now I'm going to get even fatter!! Oh well, it is totally worth it!  :)
     After eating a really good lunch and drinking the best lemonade frost (frozen lemonade) I have ever had, we went back to our cuarto, so I could unpack for a few seconds.  Then we headed back to Chiclayo for our meeting.  I found out that this meeting will teach me how to train.
     After the meeting, we went into the office to get money to head home.  Then Pres. Williams asked us to walk his wife home.  Once we got to the mission home, Hna Williams invited us up for some cold chocolate milk and some home baked rolls.  We talked for a bit and then went home to Patapo-Polmalca.
     On the car ride there, we contacted a few people in the combi.  They are really cool guys.  They said that they are going to visit the church!  Hopefully they really do!  haha  Once we got back, we unpacked the rest of our stuff and then headed to dinner.  Rossana, our pensionista, gave us her famous chocolate cake.  I am truly going to die here!! haha  After dinner, we headed home and planned and then talked forever in our beds about our lives before the mission.  Hna Furness is a great girl.  I am super excited to work with her!

Miercoles, 17 de Diciembre del 2014
     This morning, we had district meeting.  We have 8 missionaries in our district: 4 elders-  Elder Dagley, Elder Watkins (district leader), Elder Olsen and Elder Encalada.  I call him Elder Ensalada (salad)! :) and 4 hermanas- Hna Yaulii, Hna (can't remember her name) and us.  Today we had the zone leaders there with us, too.  (Elder Ararrayo from Argentina and Elder Escobar from Bolivia. The meeting was really good.  After it ended, we went and bought frozen chocolate milk packages (chicolas) and ate those on our combi ride back into our area.  When we got to Patapo, we walked with Elder Dagley and Elder Encalada until we got to our pension....then we went in and ate lunch.
After lunch, we studied lanuage and then went out teaching.  While we were out, Hno Franco (ward mission leader) called and told us we need to visit his girlfriend, Hna Cynthia.  So we headed to her house, and it ends up that Hno Franco also invited the Elders, too, so we were all there.  We decided to go out visiting less actives all together after we left Cynthia's.  As we walked, Elder Dagley and I sang Christmas songs!
     After teaching with them for awhile, we headed to dinner, and there was a huge party going on at our pensionista's restaraunt.  Tons of men were there to watch soccer!  After we ate, we went back to our cuarto to do Hna Furness' training.  Then we planned and went to bed.

Jueves, 18 de Diciembre del 2014
     We taught a lot of people today.  One of the couples we taught are named Santos and Santos.  They are both 80 years old and wear matching Peruana beanie hats.  They totally don't have an interest in the church, but they are so stinkin' adorable.  We ended our visit with a prayer, and left with smiles on our faces.  They reminded me of my parents when they wore a scarf attaching their heads together!  haha (please attach that photo here)

my weird parents!
December 2011
     The next family that we went and visited are members menos activos.  There names are Carlos and Elena.  I walked into that lesson completely blind, but the father who usually says no to church actually said that he would go to church because he felt something special from the words I shared through the spirit.  I love the spirit! I don't remember what I said, but what's most important is that he felt the spirit of God.
     Later in the day, we visited a couple named Wilmer and Rosa.  They have 5 young kids.  We taught a little about Christ's life and the apostasy.  In the end, they asked if we could say a kneeling prayer.  During the prayer, Hna Furness and I both saw the same thing...we both saw them as an eternal family...we saw them being sealed forever and it made us cry.  It was a beautiful vision.  I love missionary work!
     After that, we went to teach a left active named Moroni and his non member wife Karen.  Moroni was the only one home, but we got him to agree to come back to church.  I really hope that we can baptize his wife and get him active again, so they can be sealed in the temple forever.
     We were completely exhausted at the end of the day.  The sun is getting stronger and stronger every day.  As we walk and walk and walk, we get drained from the sun's heat, but I seriously love missionary work!

Viernes, 19 de Diciembre del 2014
     We had our weekly planning this morning.  After that, we went and met up with a member named Betty (20 years old), so she could come teaching with us.  We went and taught Nicol (15 yrs) because her mom is less active.  Nicol understands everything and really wants to be baptized.  Now we just need to get her mom active so that Nicol will have support after she gets baptized.
     Then we went and taught Lizet.  She loves our visits and she has quite a bit of knowledge of the church, because she lived two houses away from the church in Caljamarca and the bishop lived across the street from her.  She is excited to learn more.  She has a Book of Mormon, so we got her started on reading the introduction and the testimonies.
     Then we went and visited a member (Pres. of the Priesthood) named Hno Kaycara.  He is really smart and spiritual.  After talking to him for a minute, we got a call from the Elders Dagley and Encalada, saying that they were leaving to go to Chiclayo for an if we wanted to go with them, we needed to leave right then.  We hurried and ran to the paradero and caught a combi to Chiclayo.
     Once we got to Chiclayo, we helped set up for the activity.  We put up microphones for singing Christmas hymns.  We also got to watch fun Christmas videos.  Our activity lasted from 6-9pm. During the activity I saw Hna Kingsford and Hna Corona!  It was so fun to see them again!  I also sang with Hna Williams and we were having so much fun.
     At 9:00pm, we tried to leave but everyone kept trying to get us to stay longer.  We ended up staying a little longer, but we left with some other hermanas and caught a taxi and then a combi.  We got to Patapo around 9:40pm and we called the zone leaders to tell them that we made it home okay, because during our entire trip home, they kept calling to see if we were okay.  At 10:30 pm, we got a call from Elder Dagley asking us if we were safe and in our cuarto.  Thankfully, all was well.  We planned and got ready for bed.

Sabado, 20 de Diciembre del 2014
     This morning, we went out contacting, and we actually got invited inside by a few people.  One of them was Rosa.  She let us in right away.  At the end of her lesson, she let us know that she has a daughter that is a member, and that she would love for us to come back and teach her with her daughter.  Then we taught Coyla.  She let us in right away, too.  She gave us cake, which was super cold and tasted refreshing on such a hot day.  She was really friendly.
     After contacting a few other people, we were walking home, when a woman called us and told us to come to her house.  Obviously, we went...and it turns out that she is a less active member from Chiclayo.
     Then we went home to train Hna Furness.  After training, we went to lunch and today all the wonderful people in the restaurant were playing English music!  haha  We got to meet Rossana's dad, who lives in West Jordan, Utah!
     After lunch, we had a heart to heart about difficult trials that we have had and we are even closer than before.  Hna Furness is so cool.  We totally would have been friends before our mission, if we knew each other.
     After our talk, we headed out teaching.  We were knocking doors when a woman named Jenifer opened her door.  We asked if we could teach her and she said yes, but then shut her door and we waited and waited and waited.  Then a little girl opened the door and said, "My mom can't come, she is cleaning."  We talked with the kiddos for a bit and they tried to take pictures of us.  We started to walk away when another hermana came out of a house asking a question.  We asked if we could enter her house and talk.  She said yes.  Turns out that she is a member!  How crazy.
     Then we went and visited an older man named Victor.  He was alone and started talking about how lonely he is, so we sang some songs to him. He is a sweet heart.
     Later in the night, we visited an older woman who is 88 years old and only has 2 years in the church.  Her name is Bermalina.  She is the sweetest thing.  We prayed with her and just sat and held her hand.  She has such a precious spirit!  I love her so much.
     Today was a crazy day.  We were teaching and contacting everyone!  It was a super successful day! By the time we got to our cuarto, we were so exhausted that when Elder Watkins called us to ask us a question about Christmas, I answered the phone saying, "Buenas dias" and well he and his companion thought that was the funniest thing.

Domingo, 21 de Diciembre del 2014   [FELIZ CUMPLEANOS A HERMANA FURNESS!]
     We went to church today super happy and bubbly because we knew this would be our first impression, and everyone will decide whether they want to help us or not.  Luckily, we made a good first impression.  For sacrament meeting, it was a primary program.  The children here are amazing! Sweet, sweet spirits.
     During sunday school, Wilmer walked in!  In Relief Society and sunday school, everyone kept calling me a doll, and asking me to help them teach.  I'm super excited that they have that much trust in me already.
     After church, we headed over and started helping Cynthia with cooking lunch for all of us missionaries.  We ate arroz con pollo, cebiche de sting ray, papa de huancaina.  After lunch, we had coordination with Hno Franco, our ward mission lider.  We all were having a good time giggling and sharing experiences.  We have great friendships here in this ward.
     At ward counsel, tons of people showed up to surprise Hna Furness for her birthday.  They had cake and soda.  We sang, took pictures and giggled and joked around with one another. Then we got our assignments for our gift exchange.  I got Hno Nelson.  He is a young guy and I barely know him, so it will be interesting to find him a gift.
     We left ward counsel and headed to dinner.  At dinner, we had a birthday party for Hna Furness. We smashed eggs on Hna Furness' head and then covered her in flour.  We shoved her face in a cake, too.  It was so fun!  Then we went next door so Hna Furness could shower off and change her clothes. Then we went back to the restaurant so she could open her presents.
     After the party, we went home and planned and popped some popcorn and ate it with chocolate.
     Today was a good day.  We got sick from all the food, but it was worth it. :)

Lunes, 22 de Diciembre del 2014
     We went out contacting this morning and almost every single house we went to let us in without question.  It was awesome!
     We knocked on a woman's door to teach her husband, but he wasn't there, so we asked if we could go into her house to share a small message, but she denied us.  So I asked her if we could go in and sing a quick Christmas song, and she said yes and let us in.  We sang a song, and shared a short thought.  By the end of the message, she begged us to return tomorrow, because she wants us to visit her family.
     Then we went and visited more people and one of them was Victor (the sweet old man).  We sang for him and taught him about our purpose on earth.  And when we asked him to offer the closing prayer, he kept saying a bunch of little prayers and then said a big amen at the end.  Bless his sweet old man heart.
     As we were walking to another cita, we decided to contact a couple sitting on the side of the road. Turns out that they had been living in San Antonio, Texas.  Jorge is from Peru, but his wife, Kimberly, is from Michigan.  They were speaking English to us because Kimberly doesn't know Spanish.  It was kind of hard to speak English.   haha They are super cool and they actually want us to go over to their house and teach them.  We are going to teach in English.  I am super pumped!
     We then headed to the last cita of the night with Wilmer and Rosa.  This lesson was beautiful. Their kids were being super rowdy, but the spirit was crazy strong.  We taught about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  Wilmer and Rosa were completely radiating with desire to know if it was all true.  They promised to pray about the Book of Mormon and ask if it is true.  We left that cita with so much happiness and hope that we stopped and contacted a bunch of people.  Every time we contacted someone, we would sing them a Christmas song.  Today was a super successful day!

Martes, 23 de Diciembre del 2014
     I woke up this morning throwing up.  And not too long after that, Hna Furness threw up, too.  It was like this all morning.  We were on bed rest.  We couldn't move.  It was so painful.
     We left for a little bit to go and buy crackers and powerade, and while we were in the little store, I had the urge to throw up.  The woman giving us the food told me to throw up in her dirt garden. So...I threw up in her garden...haha.
     Later in the night, we tried to call Rossana, but she didn't answer, so we called the restaurant (Dulceria) to see if she was there, but they told us that she was in Chiclayo.  So we asked if someone from the Dulceria could bring us Powerade.  Victor (25 yrs) showed up with our drinks.  He was super worried, so he said that he would be back with his aunt.  During this time, we called the elders to ask them to come over and give us a blessing.  They showed up, along with almost everyone from the Dulceria.  The elders gave us blessings and during my blessing, I passed out.  They put me in my bed and called Hna Williams and asked what they should do.  She told them that we needed to go to the doctor.  I didn't want to because the doctors here don't make me feel comforted.  Elder Dagley told me that I had to go, but I really didn't feel like I had the strength to move.  The women helped me get into the moto.  We took the moto to the doctor's office and it turns out, there were no doctors there.  The elders called Hna Williams, and she told us just to go back home and rest and see how we feel in the morning.  All night long, people were calling us and bringing us powerade, crackers and jello.

Miercoles, 24 de Diciembre del 2014  FELIZ CHRISTMAS EVE!
     We went to a district meeting this morning and ate chicolas (chocolate milk popsicles), which made us feel sick again.  We needed to call home to let our families know when we were going to skype.  When I called home, my sister Danielle answered the phone.  She had no idea it was me, but when she found out it was me, she freaked out.  Later in the day, we did a practice skype to check the connection.  Luckily, at the restaurant of my pensionista, the owner lives in Utah, so she has a phone from Utah, here in Peru, so it is free to call Utah!  After all of that, we went back to our cuarto and just rested and talked until the ward activity of Secret Amigo.  We switched gifts.  Hno Enrique had me.  He is the second counselor in the bishopric.  He is really cool.  After the activity, we headed to dinner.  We were all sitting around waiting for dinner, but it got too late, so we had to go to our room. Everyone was disappointed that we had to go, but we have to be in our cuarto by 9:00pm. The problem is, that here they celebrate Christmas like this:
     8:00pm- Start party
     9:00pm- dancing/drinking
    12:00am-eat dinner and put Jesus in the manger
     1:00am- 4:00am- party

Well, we can't party like that, so they brought our dinner to our room.  We had turkey for dinner.  We had seen the turkey in the room next to ours this morning,  and then it was on our plates at night.  We also had empenadas and a famous Christmas treat here called paneton.  After eating, we felt sick again, so we hurried and planned and got ready for bed.

Jueves, 25 de Diciembre del 2104


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