Sunday, January 4, 2015

Week 38: "Feliz Ano Nuevo, all the way from Peru, Patapo, where the bugs think they are vampires!"

Jueves, 25 de Diciembre del 2014
     We "slept in" until 7:15 am.  After we woke up, we got ready for the day and then headed to internet at the restaurant Dulceria to SKYPE home.  I went first, and it was so stinkin' fun to see my parents and sisters.  They were all wearing the shirts that I sent them and they were grateful for all the fun surprises I gave them for Christmas.  It was fun to see the happiness from that, even though I wasn't able to see their faces at the exact moment that they opened them.  We had such a fun time skyping.  We laughed together forever.  I love my familia!  After skyping we hurried and emailed home, too, since we didn't have a lot of time.  It was so fun to open my account and find TONS of emails from my dear, dear familia Leyton.  It made me so happy inside.  After all the internet, we weren't hungry, so we just headed home and wrote cards, laid on our beds, giggled, and told stories. Sister Furness and I are so much alike, its the creepiest thing.  haha  We are going to be best friends!
     Once P-Day was over, we headed to Hna Shirley's house to drop off our laundry for her and her husband (Enrique) to wash.  They talked with us for awhile and they really like us a lot.  After wishing them a Merry Christmas, we left.  We tried to visit tons of other members to sing to them and wish them a Merry Christmas, but no one was home.  We stopped by the house of Wilmer and Rosa, because we needed to give them copies of the Book of Mormon.  They are so prepared to receive the blessings of the gospel in their lives.  They told us that all night on the 24 de Diciembre they were praying for us to have a nice day because they knew we were far away from our families. They gave us empanadas and Inca Cola (bubble gum flavored soda).  They told us that they would read the Book of Mormon and that they want to get married and come to church.  We left that home "floating".
     After that, we headed home to plan.  We planned and then talked all night long about our experiences in the mission and our lives at home.  I love Hna Furness!  She is such a cool girl.  We have so much in common.

Viernes, 26 de Diciembre del 2014
     We had our weekly planning which was really successful.  Then we went out teaching.  We had the help of Sharon (a return missionary in our ward).  We taught a woman named Edith.  She gave us empanadas full of acetuna.  That stuff can kill a gringa!  The taste is really gross!
     We went to many homes, but no one was home.  We went and visited the Bishop and his family. We sang "Secreta Oracion" (Secret Prayer) to them.  I have sung that song so much here in Peru.  After visiting them, we went with Rossana to visit Victor.  He works at the Dulceria.  His sister owns the restaurant and she is the one who lives in Utah.  Victor is really cool and super sweet.  He has tons of kids and is always using his English on us.  Unfortunately, he didn't have time to have a visit from us, so we left and contacted people until dinner.  At dinner, Victor Jr. (Victor's son who is 25 years old) was talking with us.  He is super funny.
     We left and went home and talked about tons of funny stories from home.  We planned and then continued talking.  Today nothing too exciting happened....but that is the mission.  Some days there are days of crazy, spiritual experiences and other days that are just plain.

Sabado, 27 de Diciembre del 2014
     We worked so hard today.  As we were working, we ran into Moroni (less active) and Enrique (2nd Counselor) as they were working, and they jokingly whistled at us, which made the other people they were with start laughing a ton.  I have such a good feeling about my experiences and friends that I am going to have here in Patapo.
     As we were walking to lunch, we walked passed a house and I had the strongest feeling to talk to the people inside.  We knocked and told them that we are missionaries, and they let us right in.  We talked about the church and what we do as missionaries. One of the hermanos named Luis Oliver, kept talking about how he doesn't like when people say "I believe in Christ, but then don't do anything."  He also talked about the standards that God gives us and when we don't keep them, it is as if we are laughing at God.  He is super cool and he really wants to have our visits because he is having some personal struggles in his life right now and he wants to have guidance from God.
     After eating lunch with Hna Cinthia, we went out teaching.  We went and taught Victor Vilchez, the old man who melts my heart.  Today he wanted me to offer the first prayer, so I did and in the end, he said that my prayer was beautiful.  It was such a sweet experience for me.
     After teaching a few more people, we headed to an investigator's house name Maria Violetta.  We went with Franco, our ward mission leader and his girlfriend Cinthia.  Well, Maria is very religious and didn't seem to want to listen, but her husband was distracting us by cleaning up stuff while we were trying to talk.  Well, Franco, who has less than a year as a member, started teaching lesson 1. He is awesome.  He was teaching and testifying and they both started listening really well.  He then asked Maria to pray.  She agreed to pray, but told us that we needed to stand up and put our arms in the air.  We didn't put our arms in the air, and during the prayer, I decided to open my eyes for a peek to see what was going on and then the husband yelled at me to shut my eyes.  oops :)  Well, once the prayer was over, we left.
     As we were walking, we saw a big nativity scene set up in the middle of the dirt road with 5 women surrounding it and talking in some kind of chant.  They had candles lit and kept chanting louder and louder.  It was pretty intense.
     We went to dinner and then went home to plan.  Unfortunately, our neighbors started throwing a loud party, so I hope we will be able to sleep.

Domingo, 28 de Diciembre del 2014  [Dia de los Inocentes:  Fool's Day]
     Well, we went to church this morning and while we were in Relief Society, one of the young women knocked on the door and called us out.  When we got out in the hall, I saw Clara and Marco Leyton!  I almost started crying and ran up and hugged Clara and shook Marco's hand.  I was in awe. Well, they had a gift for me. (hand made heart pillow, flower made of marshmallows, cards and a home made frame with a collage of pictures with a scripture and also a home made key chain)

     After church got over, we walked them to the combis so they could head home.  On the way there, I was talking to Marco and he told me that he got called into the army and so now he won't be able to go on his mission.  Then he told me that he has to get married in 5 months, because the army requires that you be married and have a family- and that his marriage has to take place in the Catholic church. I almost started crying, because I wanted him to go on his mission and then come home and get sealed in the temple.  I couldn't think of anything to say, so as I sat in complete silence, Clara came up to me and whispered, "Do you know what today is?"  I said, "Yeah, the 28th."  Right when I said that, I remembered that today was the day of jokes here in Peru, like April Fool's Day in America. They started laughing and I wanted to punch Marco.  So within a short amount of time I felt complete happiness, to sadness, to anger and then back to love.  I was completely exhausted from all those emotions.  :)  We said goodbye and then headed to lunch with Hna Francisca (R.S. President).  We had to climb this huge mountain to get to her house.  After we ate, we shared a short message.  She told us that she has a lot of trust in sister missionaries, so that made us feel happy.
     After lunch, we went and taught Wilmer.  He told us that he knows the Book of Mormon is true and that he believes that Jose Smith is a prophet of God.  :)
     After visiting Wilmer, we went to Rosana's house ( a less active member).  She burned her entire front of her body with boiling water.  A bunch of members came with us to visit and one of the members was a nurse, so she took care of her.  Unfortunately, we had a cita we had to get to, so we couldn't stay and visit very long.  We left and met up with the cutest Grandma I have ever laid eyes on.  She looks just like the little lady from the movie UP.  Her name is Juana.  She is so religious and she radiates so much light.  I don't think that she will accept our message, but I love teaching her.
     After that, we had ward council.  It was nice going to a ward council where people show up.  They were late, but they showed up.  haha  It felt like a successful meeting, so I hope this week we can see lots of success.
     Patapo is very different than Pimentel, but I love it.  It is a lot like Motupe, so I know I am going to fall in love with it as I serve here.

Lunes, 29 de Diciembre del 2014
     We visited tons of people this morning.  We were lucky because we found the mom of Enrique and she let us come in for a minute.  We talked to her about forever families and she started crying because her husband had died about 1 1/2 years ago.  She really wants us to come back and teach her some more.  We are excited because she really wants to have a forever family.  She loved our testimonies and it was a really beautiful experience.
     In the afternoon, we didn't have too much success.  We returned to a couple who we had taught before and they told us that they didn't want us to come anymore.  :(  And then every door we knocked on were either not home, or denied us.
     But then we went to the house of the familia Estela. They are a less active family, but they are super spiritual.  They invited a family of non members to their house and we ended up teaching them all a family home evening. The entire lesson the familia Estela kept bearing their testimonies to there friends.  It was a beautiful night.  After the lesson was over, they drove us to the restaurant in their truck so we could have our dinner.  We had fruit salad and panqueques (pancakes). It was so super yummy!
     After dinner, we went home and planned.  Then we talked forever.  We have so much in common, and the things we don't have in common just compliment one another.  We are going to be best friends, even after the mission!  Hna Furness is so awesome!!

Martes, 30 de Diciembre del 2014
     This morning was an off day...but we tried to find people.  Well, we went to visit a family and we knocked on their door, but no one was home.  There was this little string sticking out of the door, so Hna Furness, like a curious child, pulled on it and it made the door open.  We closed it and then left and we laughed so hard!
     We then went to the house of Moroni.  We told him about our last visit of how his daughter had come to the door and when we told her to go get her parents, she left and then no one came back.  So Moroni called Rianna, his daughter, into the room to ask her what had happened the last time.  She said, "You were in bed and Mami said that I couldn't play, and that I couldn't go back to the door." We all started laughing.  We will be able to joke about this for a long time.  :)
     Later in the night, we visited a woman named Maria Violetta (woman from Saturday).  When we got to her house, and when she heard our voices she tried to run up and slam the door in our faces. Her husband stopped the door.  He then explained that his wife is mad at us because she thinks that we made her sick.  We could hear her yelling and screaming in the background...saying that Mormons are of the devil and that our souls are in danger.  It was super intense.  The saddest part was that Luis was telling us that he really liked our last visit and that he had read the pamphlet that we left, but that his wife burned it. We invited him to church and then left.
     After that visit, we visited Rosana, the woman who had burned her front side of her body.  She invited over a neighbor, who ended up being a reference that we were supposed to visit on Saturday, but luckily we got to meet him today.  His name is Abdino and his wife's name is Juana and he has a daughter named Rosmeri.  we talked about hope (esperanza) with them and shared some scriptures and experiences.  It was a really good lesson and we ended with the hymn, "Gran Eres Tu" (How Great Thou Art)
     After that, we just went to dinner.  We had fruit salad, Inca Cola, empanadas with spicy chicken and homemade alfojores.  After dinner, we went home and planned for tomorrow and got ready for bed.  Today started out terrible, but ended up a lot better!

Miercoles, 31 de Diciembre del 2014
     First off, I read the talk by John M. Pontius called "Die Buek van Mormon".  It was so good.  I love it, love it, love it!  And Hna Furness also has a book that her mom sent her called "Do Not Attempt in Heels".  We only read one chapter, but I highly enjoyed it.
     Today we had a district meeting and the zone leaders gave us all of our cards and packages.  I got a package from Ron and Deborah Brown, members in my home ward in Bountiful.  They were so sweet to think of me.  The funny thing is that they sent me leg warmers!! haha  It is like 90* in the early morning, so I won't be using them quite yet.  haha  Thank you Browns!!
     This morning on our district meeting, Elder Watkins wanted us to do a study on questions that he had planned.  The question that he gave Hna Furness and me was, "Why is there so many trials and suffering in this life?"  We did our study and found some scriptures to share.  2 Nephi 2:11 and 13 and Doctrine and Covenants 122:7.  Then the coolest thing happened in the afternoon.  We went to our first cita with a woman named Milagros.  We entered her house and sat down and started talking and I started praying in my heart for an idea of what we could teach her.  At that moment, Milagros turned to us and said, "I have a question....why is there so many trials and suffering in the world?" Our jaws dropped.  We were so shocked and then we shared the scriptures we had found with her. She started sharing all of her life problems with us and then we expressed that she needed to become closer to God and that good things would come from that.  She began to cry and thanked us.  We set up another cita to visit her and she was so excited for that.  She even offered the closing prayer and it was so beautiful.  She is an amazing person and so ready and prepared to hear our messages.  I am super pumped to teach her!
     Well all day today we got eaten alive by the stupid sancumes!  Dumb little things!
     Later, we got a call from the elders and they told us to stop by their cuarto because Elder Dagley broke his leg.  We stopped by their cuarto and Elder Dagley didn't really break his leg, they just didn't want to have to walk our stuff that they had for us all the way to our cuarto.  They had some more cards for me and some pass along cards for us.  We got the stuff and and taught a few more people. We headed to dinner at 7:00 pm because we had to be in our cuarto by 8:00pm.  We ate tres leches torta, empanadas with spicy chicken, turkey, ice cream and cinnamon hot chocolate.  It was all so yummy!
     We left and went to our cuarto.  Hermana Rossana had popped us some popcorn, so we ate that while we talked and talked.  We read some more chapters from the Don't Attempt in Heels book.  At 10:00pm, Elder Escobar and Elder Aramayo (zone leaders) called and wished us a Happy New Year. They are such cool elders.  I love that they are my leaders!
     At midnight, everyone went NUTS and burned their dolls and lit fireworks.  They really know how to celebrate New Year's here!  :) haha
     I love you all!  Happy New Year!
     FELIZ ANO NUEVO all the way from Peru, Patapo, where the bugs think they are vampires!

Happy New Year!
Home made doll from Chela
Me and Elba
Marco, Clara and Me
Me and Clara right before I left for Patapo
Look who I found at the Christmas singing activity!
Me and Hna Kingsford
Birthday party of Hna Furness!

dog that lives in our house

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