Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 42: "Hna Dodson, you are on my great missionary list."

Lunes, 19 de Enero del 2015
     We started out today running around town and then we stopped by the doctor's office and used their scale to weigh ourselves....well, I'm still fat.  haha  After our run, we had our studies, and during our studies, we got several calls.  First call was from Juan Luis (recent convert) asking us to come and visit him because he is sick.  We decided to call the Elders to have them visit him instead, so that they could give him a blessing.  Then we got a call from Elder Watkins telling us that we have interviews with the President tomorrow.  Then we got a call from the Hna leaders telling us that they are coming to Patapo to do divisions with us on Viernes.  After being on the phone for almost 45 minutes, we started studying again.  Then Hna Williams called and asked, "Do you remember when you were on crutches?"  haha  Do I remember?  Faintly, those 2 1/2 months I told her, "Yes." and she said, "Oh good, because we have another Hna on crutches because she broke her foot falling off a curb.  She is having some of the same problems that you had."  I asked who it was and turns out her name is Hna Fairchild, and Hna Reid was her trainer, just like me, and now she is on crutches, just like me!  haha  I asked Hna Williams what it is that Hna Reid had done to us...she giggled at the comment and then continued to ask me some questions about what helped me get through the tough times.  I gave her some tips and medicine names that helped and by the end of the call, we didn't have much study time left.
     Once study time was over, we went out shopping.  We bought some toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, food, and I bought some more animal print pants (cheetah).  When I wear them, I feel the need to sing Cheetah Girl's songs!  haha ("Cheetah girls...cheetah sisters...")
     After shopping, we headed home to drop off some stuff and then go meet up with the elders, so we could get a USB of music from Elder Dagley.  Once we got the USB, we headed to internet, but it was packed, so we decided to go to lunch first.  At 1:00pm, we went back to internet, but it was so slow, so we decided to try a different place (Joana's internet shop) and finished emailing.
     Then we headed home and cleaned and organized our cuarto.  Then we relaxed for a bit.  I read a talk that Hna Furness had printed off called, "One for the Money."  It is about financial plans.  It has really good counsel for new families...and everyone for that matter!
     At 6:00pm, we went out, and as we were locking up the house, 6 young men showed up outside our gate and asked us if they could have some coconuts.  We have several coconut trees with hundreds of coconuts, so we grabbed some for them and then went to our first cita with Beatriz (less active member).  We read Ether 12 with her and talked about humility, faith and charity.  She is a wonderful woman and is faithful in her studies and prayers, but struggles with coming to church. We are hoping to help her want to come back to church, and let her know that it takes more than just studying and praying at home...
     After that, we went to meet with the Bishop at La Dulceria, so that we could go out teaching with him.  We went to the house of a couple named Leonidas and Elicida.  Elicida had to leave, but Leonidas still let us in, and told us that he let us in because he could feel something special coming from us.  He said that other religions come by, but he doesn't feel the same "spirit" as the Mormons bring.  He is really open to our messages and is willing to change.  Let's hope he doesn't get caught up in the world now....
     After that, we tried to visit Victor Joel, but he wasn't home, so we tried a couple other houses, but no one was home there either.  So we headed to dinner.  We had to eat fast, because Enrique and Shirley were coming by our cuarto at 8:30pm.  Well, they never came, so we just planned.  Then at 9:30pm, they finally showed up!  We joked around with them and of course Enrique laughed at my humorous jokes!  haha  Then we got ready for bed and talked about the day.

Martes, 20 de Enero del 2015
     Today I had my prayers answered.  The beauty of the spirit just spilled out all over me all day long.  It started out on the drive to Chiclayo for interviews.  The entire ride, I was praying for peace in my heart, that the work that I am doing here is good enough to be a representative of Jesus Christ. Once we showed up to the office, we waited for some elders to finish their interviews.  Elder Williams came out and called Hna Furness into his office, and then Hna Williams came out and called me into her office.  We started talking about Pimentel problems that they are seeing.  Turns out that the elders have had 3 baptisms since getting there 5 weeks ago...and even though the sister missionaries work really hard, the members will not support them...they only want to support the elders.  After talking about that, Hna Williams just stopped talking and smiled at me and said, "Hna Dodson, you are one of the most humble missionaries I have ever met.  You are so dedicated, patient, and loving, and I'm not just saying that.  I really believe it."  That is so what I needed to hear.  I thanked her for her kind words.  Then she told me that she and President Williams talk about me often, about what a great human being that I am and that I am one of their best missionaries in the field.  She thanked me for being an amazing trainer and gave me 2 cookies (1 chocolate chip and 1 peanut butter).  We hugged forever and she said again how grateful she was to have me in the mission.
     Then  President Williams called me into his office.  Whenever I am with him, I always feel like he doesn't like me, because he has a serious face and he demands perfect obedience.  Well, I am not perfect, and I hold that against myself all the time.  I shouldn't, because no one is perfect, but I tend to feel worse about it anytime I am in an interview with Pres. Williams.  Anyhow, when I walked in, he handed me a pamphlet to look over.  We talked about it for a bit, and then he said, "Hna Dodson...when I sit down every night, I start thinking about all the disobedient missionaries and the missionaries that have problems...and then I tell my wife, 'I don't want to be a Mission President anymore'...but then I start thinking about my good missionaries and my great missionaries....and Hna Dodson, I want you to know that you are on my great missionary list.  And I want you to know that I have so much trust in you.  You are one of my strongest missionaries we've had and you are great example out there.  Continue working hard and continue being you.  We love and trust you!"  We ended with a prayer and then he told me that my Spanish is great.
     After the interviews and on the car ride home, Hna Furness told me that during her interview, the Williams praised me and talked about how strong I am and about the positive attributes that I have. Peace was in my heart.
     When we got home, we went out teaching and found a woman named Maria Santos.  Her husband had died 5 years ago and she wants so badly to be with him again.  We testified of forever families and about life after death.  She loved it so much and told us to come back as soon as we could.
     Then we went to lunch.  We ate rice, beans, chicken and chocolate cake with caramel frosting. After lunch, we had language study.  After language, we went to a meeting with the elders at the church.  The meeting was to talk about area divisions, and we decided that we are not going to have any.  I am very excited about that and really hope that we can work closer with the elders.
     After our meeting, we went out teaching with Hna Francisca.  She is great.  Every house we entered, she bore such a strong testimony.  The spirit was definitely felt.
     One of the people that we found was by happen stance.  His name is David, and small world, his wife is a member!  She is less active...okay...not active, but she is great.  Her name is Clara.  They are cool people.  We talked to David about his past visits with other missionaries.  He told us that he wants visits again, and hopes that this time, he can receive an answer to his prayers.  He said several times that he felt nothing when he prayed before.  We decided to set up another cita with them and told them that we would return and teach him about recognizing the spirit and answers when they come.
     Then we headed to Moroni's house.  Today his house was totally chill.  Their kids were quiet and doing reverent things.  Karen was sleeping, so we only taught Moroni.  We asked him about his favorite scriptures- 1 Nefi 3:7 and Malaquis 3:8-11.  We got to talking about commandments, tithing and obedience.  Most of the time when we teach Moroni, he tries not to be serious, but today, he was serious.  We talked about personal and deep things.  He confided in us.  He told us why he doesn't go to church and why he won't get married.  Once we established the changes that he would need to make, we had a kneeling prayer together.  Moroni said the prayer and it was beautiful and REAL! Once we left, we walked for a second, and then we stopped and said a prayer to bless him that he could remember the spirit and desire to change that he had felt tonight.
     Then it was dinner time.  We had fruit salad and pineapple juice.  After dinner, we walked home really happy about the day, and planned.  Right before doing our carpeta (area book) we remembered that the  district leader, Elder Watkins, wanted us to teach a class tomorrow on how to have better success with members and references.  Our points are going to focus on obedience and love.  When we love the members, we build trust and confidence with them, and then we will be able to teach with them more successfully.  I am excited to teach this class tomorrow.
     After planning, carpeta, and planning our lesson, we talked about the spiritual experiences that we had today, and that today was an answer to my prayers.  Everything that happened today helped me to know that God, President Williams and the members all trust me and my work. It feels good.  I love the mission and I love the growth that I am seeing in myself and others around me.  God loves us.  I know that , and I can feel His infinite love more fully everyday that I pray to see His love in my life.  God bless you!!

Miercoles, 21 de Enero del 2015
     This morning, we had a district meeting and when we were waiting for the combi, we finally see one coming and the zone leaders, Elder Escobar and Elder Brunis, were hanging out the window waving at us.  It was funny!
     On the way to La Cria, we were given our mail.  I got a card from my Mommy :) and a card from Robyn Dixon :).  At the meeting, I gave the thought in Spanish, taught the class and had to do practice contacting with the zone leaders....I guess that is what I get for having almost 10 months experience in the mission field!  The meeting went well.  After it was over, we took a picture as a district.  (Hna Furness, Me, Hna Fraser, Elder Dagley, Elder Brunis, Elder Escobar, Elder Olsen, Elder Watkins, Elder Encalada, Hna Ortiz, Hna Sequira, Hna Yaulli).
     Then we went and bought Chicolac (frozen chocolate milk) and I was talking with Elder Escobar again.  He told me that he is from La Paz, Bolivia.  I told him that my dad served a mission in Bolivia, but I couldn't remember where at in Bolivia.  Dad where did you serve?  Anyway, I told him that one day I was going to visit Peru and Bolivia with my parents after my mission, and he told us that we should visit him in La Paz and that he would lend us some motorcycles so that we could ride on the highway of death!  I told him that we would do that, so we are going to have to go and ride bikes in Bolivia! :)
     Then we went to lunch and finished early, so we went home and took a little nap before language study.  It was a much needed nap!
     After our study, we went out teaching.  We went and taught Lili, and we invited her to baptism. She said yes, but she wants to finish all the lessons and will get baptized in a month.  She is so prepared.
     Then we visited Sarela and her husband Luis.  Sarela had surgery on her stomach yesterday, and said that she feels like her stomach is full of air but that the air won't get out of her body.  Well, I had a funny feeling to tell her about Tums.  She hadn't ever heard of them before, but was willing to try them, so we ran to our cuarto and got some and headed back.  She took a couple and said that she started feeling a bit better.  We visited for a little while longer and then set up another cita.
     After that, we headed over to visit Luz, but she wasn't home.  Her mom, Gilda let us in and we talked with her about Luz and Leonardo.  Well as soon as we had the closing prayer, Luz and Leonardo came in.  We set up a cita with them.  They told us that they wanted to feed us yummy food at our next cita. :)
     Then we visited Joana.  Well she is saying her prayers and she is studying the Book of Mormon again!!!  She is so ready to be active again.  We read with her in the Book of Mormon.
     Then we headed to dinner.  We had fruit salad and an ice cream roll.  After dinner, we went home and planned and I started to feel sore in my joints and a little nauseous, so I laid in bed.

Jueves, 22 de Enero del 2015
     I woke up pretty sick, but we had two important citas this morning, that I didn't want to miss.  The first was with Juan Luis, who is a recent convert.  We talked about tithing and fast offerings, and he acted like he had never been taught that before.  I am worried about him.
     Then we went to our cita with Lili and her husband Segundo.  They are great.  They have their marital problems, but they are so ready to change and help one another.  They want more unity in their marriage, so we gave them some homework, which is to read a pamphlet together and to pray together everyday.  I hope they will do it and start to see the blessings from doing such simple things.
     After their lesson, we went back to the cuarto, because I was feeling so sick.  My body was aching so bad and I had bad diarrhea :(  I was out of it all day.  At 5:00pm, the elders came by and gave me a blessing.  They are such good guys.
     The rest of the night, I felt like I was getting worse.  I just slept and as I slept, I didn't feel it, but then I would wake up to sore bones and nasty movements in my bowels! haha  It was an unsuccessful day.

Viernes, 23 de Enero del 2015            [Feliz 4 meses a la Hna Furness!]
     Today was our weekly planning.  As we were planning, we received a phone call from the zone leaders and they were calling to give us their new number.  This is the third time, because they keep losing their phone.  haha  Well, they not only gave us their number, they also told us that we have the best numbers in the zone and that they want us to be the examples for everyone.  Then they said, "Hnas, when the Hna leaders come to your area today, show them how to work, and show them how to get lots of contacts."  I couldn't believe it.  The zone leaders want us to show the sister leaders how to work?  I asked them if they were joking with us, and they said, "No."  So after the phone call, we finished our planning and went to lunch.
     After lunch, we went home to get ready to leave with the Hna leaders at 2:30pm.  At 2:45pm, they still hadn't come, so we called to see what was going on.  It turns out that they were still waiting for a combi to pick them up.  They told us to just start our visits without them.  We went to meet the members that were going to help us, so we could do splits with them until the leaders got there. Unfortunately, one of the members couldn't come, so we just stayed together as a trio.
     Our citas kept falling through, so as we passed by the house of Emanuel, Maria Jose and Mirella, we stopped in to teach them.  That is when the Hna leaders called us to let us know that they were here in Patapo.  We finished teaching, set up another cita, and left to meet up with the leaders.
     I paired up with Hna Ortiz (from Mexico) and Meri (member).  Hna Furness paired up with Hna Fraser (from Canada).  Hna Ortiz and I went and taught lots of people.  The first house that we entered was the familia Tello.  We have been teaching Angelica. (mom of two young boys who are baptized)  Her mom, Alicia, joined us today.  She started off by saying, "I will not come to church because there is a sister in the church who likes to gossip and cause problems with others, so I will not go."  I told her that she would not find perfect people in the church, and if we want something to be better, we need to be the example for others to follow.  We talked about faith and repentance.
     Then we visited an older couple named Virginia and Bartolome.  Hna Virginia had a baby strung on her back by a sheet...just like in the pictures you see of Peruana women.  Bueno! It was awesome!
     Then we visited Catolino, a less active member.  He is pretty old and can't hear too well.  As we were talking, Elliott, his neighbor came in and sat down.  So we started sharing a little message with him as well.  Then Elliott got the hiccups and said, "I'll be right back.  I am going to go drink some water."  He left and we waited and waited and waited.  After waiting for quite a while, we asked if he was going to come back.  Meri looked outside and saw our friend, Elliott outside drinking alcohol. She told us that Elliott was drinking his 'aqua'.  Oh well.  We ended with a prayer and hurried back to the paradero so that the Hna leaders could head back home to Polmaca.
     Hna Furness and I finished up the last of our citas and contacted until dinner time.  We ate fruit salad and a fruit smoothie.  At home, we were figuring out our numbers from today and we couldn't believe how successful today was.  We are so grateful to have God so willing to bless us and help us reach our goals.  I am very grateful for many things, but I am most grateful that I have a companion who wants to work and also that we have members here that love working with us.  I am also grateful for the guidance the spirit gives us in all our lessons.  I just love missionary work.  I never want it to end.

Sabado, 24 de Enero del 2015
     This morning we went to visit a less active member that we met on Jueves.  His name is Arnold. He is 23 years old and has a girlfriend named Leonila and they have a baby named Amy.  We didn't know exactly where his house was, so we went searching for him and his house.  We decided to contact everyone on the street to ask about him. Every single exaggeration!  We finally found him and we were kind of late, and he was waiting for us.  He is super cool and he has so much desire to be a better person.  He only has 2 years as a member and we could see in him a "wanting" to come back.  After our visit, he took us in his moto to our next cita for free.
     Our next cita was with Lili and Segundo.  We talked about faith and repentance and how we need to be baptized, and we set a date for them on 28 de Feb.  They accepted!  Then we invited them to come to church tomorrow...and we got the usual answer from Segundo of, "Oh Hermanas, I can't. I've got...."  But Lili, without hesitation said, "Yes!"  Then Segundo said, "Ok.  I guess I have to if I want to show God that I really want to change."  My mouth dropped open.  I really hope they can stay strong!
     After studies and lunch, we went out teaching again and our lessons weren't super interesting like this morning, but what did happen is that we contacted 35 people.  While we were contacting, we ran into Moroni and as we were talking in the road a crazy cat jumped from one roof to the other and basically cut itself in half by hitting the edge of the roof of the other house.  Moroni started busting up laughing.  We got scared out of our minds, but started laughing as soon as we recaught our breath.

        After watching a cat almost die, we went to dinner.  We had fruit salad and Hna Rossana popped us some popcorn, so we ate popcorn and chocolate.  On our way home, we stopped by the churro stand and bought some churros.  Today turned out being a good day.  I really hope everyone remembers the spirit we brought to their houses.  :)  I love the mission life.

Domingo, 25 de Enero del 2015                [Day of transfers]
     Today was such a great day.  We went to church and Martin was waiting for me on the curb with Carlitos!  He handed me 2 bags full of food and also a card from Karla (friend from Pimentel).  He also showed me the card my mom wrote to him in Spanish.  It was so sweet and he says that he carries it with him all the time.  Then the bad news came out of his mouth.  He said, "They are closing the area of the hermanas in Pimentel, so there aren't going to be sister missionaries there anymore."  I couldn't believe it.  Actually, I could, because the sisters don't get any support, so it makes sense and when I had talked with President Williams, he was upset about the situation in Pimentel.
     As we were waiting for church to start, in walked Maria Jose, Wilmer and Jose Sandoval (a man that we taught once and he promised he would come to church and never did, but he came today!) Also Catolino (less active) and Beatriz (less active) came too!  I was just getting so happy and kept getting happier throughout the day!
     After church, we went to lunch...we ate cuy (guinea pig).  haha  Lucky for us, it was the full body on our plates! hahahaha  It is super good, but the skin on one side was nice and crisp and the skin on the other side was still kinda hairy and chewy.  I really do like cuy though.  haha


     After lunch, we went out teaching.  First, we taught Leonidas.  He has potential and he really likes our visits and our messages.  Second, we visited Wilmer.  We read the Book of Mormon together and talked them through some of their family problems.  Before we left, we took some pictures with him and his kids.

Wilmer and his kids

Wilmer's twins, Jon and Clara
     Our third visit was with Enmanuel, Mirella, Maria Jose, the mom of Mirella and Maria Jose, and their Grandma. When we entered their house, Maria Jose gave us a huge hug and thanked us for her Book of Mormon that we gave her at church today.  We all sat down, but Enmanuel was swimming and didn't want to join us, so I told him that if he didn't come join us that I couldn't "leave" a Book of Mormon for him.  He hopped out of the pool so fast...haha.  As we were sharing scriptures, I finished my thoughts and while Hna Furness was testifying, Enmanuel tapped my leg and whispered in my ear, "I have something to share."  I told him to wait for Hna Furness to stop talking.  When she finished, Enmanuel cleared his throat and said, "I want to bear my testimony, too.  I want to say that I know the church is true and that God lives.  I leave these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." The spirit that radiated from his eyes and words were so sweet and tender.  No wonder we need to be like little children.  They are so humble and sincere about everything.  At the end of the lesson, Maria Jose offered the prayer and she has the sweetest words.  She said, "Help the hermanas not have changes (transfers), that they can visit me and teach me more.  And help us go to church every Sunday."  I am in love with these children.  They are such sweet children of God, with so much desire to do good.
Enmanuel, Hna Furness, Hna Dodson, Maria Jose
     As we were walking out the door, we talked to Maria Jose's mom to ask her that if Maria Jose wanted to be baptized if she would let her?  She said that she would let her, but that we just have to reactivate her now.  haha  Hopefully one day, they can be sealed as a forever family.
     After their lesson, we headed to ward council, and talked with Enrique, Shirley and Elder Dagley. During ward council, we had a lot of success and the members were super involved in helping us.
     Then we went to dinner and hurried home to report.  We reported our numbers and Elder Watkins was in awe by our numbers and the success we are having.  He is so happy for us.  We ended up having to cut the phone call short, because the zone leaders were calling with transfers. He said, "You both have transfers!  Just kidding!  You are staying together in Patapo!"  We started hugging, screaming and jumping up and down because we were so excited!  But Elder Dagley has transfers.

my attempt of drawing our family picture....just starting :)

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