Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 39: "Holy Hannah! It's 2015! Where did those 9 months go?"

 Jueves, 1 de Enero del 2015
     Holy Hannah!  It's 2015!  Where did those 9 months go?  Time is flying.  Well today was P-Day, and because our mission president loves us, we got to sleep in.  We slept in until 8:00 am.  Once I got up, I read the book "Do Not Attempt in Heels"  It is such a good book.  I am really enjoying it.  After we were both wide awake, I hopped in the shower and then we headed to breakfast.  We had hard boiled eggs, avocado, paneton, empanadas with sugared tops and hot milk with Eco.  After breakfast, we chilled in our cuarto until we had to head to the church to meet up with the elders, Shirley and Enrique to make tortillas.  We were talking last week and I told them that I know how to make tortillas and they decided that today was the day to make them.  So we got together and made tortillas and filled them with avocado, tomatoes, aji and lemon juice.  They were really good and Enrique almost started crying at the fact that he was eating tortillas.  He was loving it.

Hna Furness y Hna Dodson making toritllas

     After making tortillas, we went to internet and emailed home.  I started crying because I found out that my good friend Emanny is going on a mission to Chile!!  I am so excited for him.  The mission is such a blessing.
     After emailing home and withdrawing money, we headed home and chatted for a little while.  At 6 pm, we met up with our bishop and his wife and headed out teaching. We ended up visiting a woman named Jacky.  She is having a lot of problems in her life, so we told her that if she would put God first, that she would get the inspiration that she needs to solve some of her problems.  She didn't listen to us and just started making up excuses as to why she can't put God first.  We invited her to cometo church, but I don't know if she will.
     Then we went to dinner, and the restaurant was packed, so we ate at the computer desk.  After eating, we helped in the restaurant.  We cleaned dishes, peeled potatoes and peeled pineapple.  It was a lot of fun!  I love the people who work at the Dulceria so much.  They are becoming another family to me.
     We hurried home afterwards and planned.  We also had to take care of our crazy bug bites.  

Viernes, 2 de Enero del 2015
     Well we had weekly planning and it was very successful and quick.  After lunch we went and taught Angelica Tello.  Her sons are members of the church.  She let us talk to her outside of her house, so we sat on dirty stools by a pile of dirt and taught about the importance of being united as a family.  I testified of my family and our strength we have as a family because we pray and read together.  She was so excited to start praying as a family, and in the end promised to come to church with us and her boys.  She opened her heart to us today and I am really excited for her progress.
     Then we met up with Sharon (the return missionary in our ward) and went to teach Juan Luis.  He is a recent convert.  He is a great guy.  He had a lot of questions for us, so we did our best to answer as many as we could, but we ran out of time, so we scheduled another cita with him, so we could answer the rest of his questions.  He begged us to come by tomorrow in the morning. :)
     Then we went to visit Moroni (less active) and we talked about his plans for marriage to his girlfriend, who happens to be the mom to his three kids.  He told us that she had lots of things that she needs to change before he would marry her.  So we had a discussion about how we can all improve ourselves and that we need to change and improve our own selves before we start demanding that other people change.  We need to look at ourselves before we look at other people and their weaknesses that they need to fix.  This discussion really got me thinking....because before my mission, I was a lot more prideful and always wanted other people to change....but now in the mission, I am learning that I need to fix my weaknesses.  When you are with someone for 24/7, you become aware of attributes that you like and don't like, as well as attributes that you want to have.  I can testify that changing your own self is hard, but it is possible and with the help of Christ's Atonement, we can all change.
     After that, we went searching for a recent convert.  Once we thought we were in the right area, we would get sent to a different area.  This happened multiple times, and as we were walking to the last area,  Hna Sharon stopped a woman and asked where a young boy named Imanuel lived and the woman said, "With me."  Then she dragged us to her house.  Imanuel is 11 years old and is the only member in his family besides his Grandma and aunt.  He is a sweetie.  He was so excited for us to show up and share a message with him.  He told me that he likes to talk about the church and learn new things.  He is such a smart kid and he is really excited to become a missionary one day.  We shared a message and set up a new cita with him.
     Then we dropped off Sharon, who by the way is so awesome and so full of the spirit.  Then we went to dinner. (chicken, rice, veggies, and banana mango juice)  After dinner, we went home and planned and then I realized that I never got bitten by any bugs today!  Oh the miracles of the mission!!  haha

Sabado, 3 de Enero del 2015
     I finished the Do Not Attempt in Heels book today and the last part of the book has a great quote that I love.  In my words, it says, "Whatever storm life may whirl around, the answer is still the same. Keep your eyes fixed on Christ and keep walking.  Don't lose faith.  Seek for guidance.  Pray for forgiveness.  And with those beautiful, imperfect feet, run toward the mountain  and keep publishing His peace...with or without your tag."  The end of the book talks about the hardships of coming home from your mission and taking your tag off.  As I was reading that part, I started crying, thinking about taking my tag off....I am definitely having a huge change in my heart and I feel like I am more humble and that I am becoming a better instrument in the Lord's hands.  I am only in the beginning stages of my change, but I am working towards becoming more Christlike.
     At lunch, the restaurant had English music playing, and Hna Furness and I about died when the song "Total Eclipse of the Heart" came on.  We both started singing and everyone at the restaurant was loving it.  haha
     After lunch, we went to visit with Hna Celia.  We took a moto to her house and when we tried to pay the driver, I didn't have the right change and he didn't have change for the 5/10 that I offered him. I told him that if he would come to church tomorrow, that I would have the right amount and would pay him then, but then Celia came out and paid him. he doesn't have to accept my bribe.  haha
     We taught tons of people today, but I'm only going to share a few that really stuck out to me. One lesson was with a woman named Gilda.  She is a mom of a rebellious teenager.  She is worried about her daughter and really wants us to help her daughter.  She cried during the lesson when we talked about faith and patience.  We shared the story about Alma the Younger and how his dad had patience and just prayed and prayed for help.  His prayers caused an angel to appear to his son, which helped Alma the younger change.  She took comfort in the fact that she can pray for her daughter and have faith that change can happen.
     We also knocked on a door of a house of a contact, but it turned out that the contact lied to us about his address.  The woman who really lived there politely invited us in.  She said, "I am Catholic, so I shouldn't have to let you in, so hurry up and say what you need to say and go."  At that point, Hna Furness bore her simple testimony and we both saw and felt a change come over the woman. She had a complete change of heart and asked us to come back.  I was very excited for Hna Furness to have that spiritual experience.  The spirit worked through Hna Furness and helped Georgina feel the truth of her testimony.
     We had a really successful day and we reached all of our goals.  I know that if we have goals and plans and we ask God, with faith, He will help us reach our promises/goals.  I love the mission more than anything.  I am so grateful for all my hard times and the growth that I have had.  The mission is awesome and such a blessing!  Serve.

Domingo, 4 de Enero del 2015  [Feliz Cumpleanos Gladys Leyton Ruesta!!]
     We did divisions this morning to go and pick up all the people that promised to come to church with us.  I went with Hna Francisca and Hna Furness went with Hna Viviana.  Unfortunately, no one on our list came, but the day became brighter as soon as we got to church.  Hno Martin, from Pimentel, was outside the chapel waiting for me.  He had a big bag of stuff in his hands.  First he handed me a Christmas present from him, which was a beautiful necklace.

Second, he gave me the skirt and shirt that my parents had sent me. (My parents were trying to surprise me by putting them inside some packages that they had sent to Martin, but because I didn't know about the surprises, I just hurried and gave Martin the unopened packages before I left Pimentel.  I found out about the the new outfit when Martin told me that my parents must think that he is a girl because they sent him girl clothes! haha)  It was fun to get my new outfit.

My new outfit!  "I love it!! :)  Thanks!!"

Third, he gave me a giant bag of cookies, since he hasn't been able to give me any for a month now. haha  Fourth, he gave me a paneton.  He stayed the entire time for sacrament meeting and when he left, everyone was wondering who he was.  When I told them that he was a member from Pimentel, they said, "Again?!!  Man, Hna Dodson, what did you do to get these people to travel over an hour to visit you?"  I just said, "I loved them and did my best to serve them."  Then they told me, "You must have done a good job because they sure love you."
     After church, there was a huge lunch confusion, but it all got worked out and the elders ended up joining us at the Dulceria.  During lunch we talked with the father of the owner (Patti), Patti's brother Victor and their buddy.  They kept complimenting me on my Spanish and got really excited when I told them that I would love to live in Peru after my mission.
     After lunch we taught Wilmer.  He told us sad news.  He told us that his wife, Rosa, tried to take her own life on Thursday.  He said it was a very scary experience.  He also told us that she does not want to be with him whenever we come over to teach because she is tired of hearing the word of God. She also told him that she did not want to marry him.  We shared a scripture from Ether 12, about weaknesses becoming strengths, and that he can be strong for her, and that she can change.  He started crying.  We said a prayer with him.  Wilmer is such an amazing guy, who wants to lead a better life for his kids.  We prayed that Rosa would soften her heart.
     Then we went to ward council, and my little buddy Josue drew tons of pictures all over in my agenda.  The entire meeting I was joking around with Enrique and his brother Nelson....and then out of nowhere, Nelson looked at Enrique and said, "You are fat."  Of course, we all busted up laughing. This ward is great!  Super supportive and so loving.  I am going to grow to love this ward a ton.  This is my first area with a real ward and a real chapel.  It is really different, especially with the leader being bishop and not President.

My reflection entry:
     As I think back on all my experiences thus far, I am very impressed with the growth I've made as a daughter of a King, the all mighty God.  I am a stronger woman with stronger beliefs and also with a stronger testimony.  Everyday I am learning something new.
     As a missionary, life is a lot easier to not break certain rules in the church because there are stricter rules and also we have a companion with us 24/7.  But when we get home, we won't have that.  I got to thinking and proved myself wrong.  We do have a companion....the Holy Ghost.  As long as we have the desire to do what is good, he can help us know what to do.  I am nervous to go home. I am nervous to have all the evils come fight against me, without my "protection" of my calling as a missionary.  I know that with God's help that I can do the good desires that I have.  I know this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the true church of Christ.  I know that thanks to the restored authority that we have the opportunity to seal ourselves as a family for the eternities.

my new cuarto
Hna Furness in our cuarto

in the hallway outside our cuarto
Outside of our house...
it looks like a jungle!
by the gate on the outside of our house


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