Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Week 43: "The mission is the greatest thing anyone could ever do, besides having a family!"

     Today turned out to be a great pondering day.  I got thinking about my studies and I have now decided to look into the field of finances.  I don't want to be an accountant, but I want to learn more about how money works, for my future (single life, married life and kids).  I want to be more wise and responsible.  I also want to study interior design, because I love that, too.  I just want to have odds and ends jobs so I can just be a stay at home mom.  But whatever God has planned for me, I will do.
     Anyways, that subject came up because Sunday, Sharon taught a class about being self reliant and also about asking God for help and inspiration about important decisions in our lives, like marriage, career, kids, etc.  So we printed off talks about these subjects during emailing time.  The talk is titled, "Eternal Marriage, Student Manual".  It is really interesting.
     This week I got some really amazing emails.  One of them was from my friend Emanuel Chavez.  He sent me a poem that a friend had written.

                                        I challenge myself.....
          to be so strong that nothing can disturb my piece of mind.
          to talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet.
          to make every person I meet feel that they are important and loved.
          to always look at the sunny side of everything.
          to make all of my dreams come true.
          to be honest in words and deeds and always speak the truth.
          to think only of the best; to work only for the best; to only expect the best.
          to be confident, content, and open to others.
          to be pure, compassionate and gentle at all times.
          to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.
          to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greatest achievements of the future.
          to wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every person I meet.
          to give so much time to improving myself that I have no time to criticize others.
          to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, too happy to permit the                        presence of trouble.
          to think well of myself and to live in faith and proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud                        words, but in great deeds.

I loved this.  These should be goals of all people.  The world would be a brighter place.
     Well Yohana (the menos activa that I previously spelled her name Joana).  She didn't make us pay for internet today and then she handed us 2 slices of moist, caramel frosted cake.  It was so yummy. She is the best.  I am very blessed by all that I have met here in Peru.
      We weren't hungry for lunch after that, so we went home and cleaned.  Then we read the talks!
After that, we went out teaching.  We ended up teaching Luz and Leonardo.  Leo is so cool.  He read the pamphlet and had tons of questions, and he has so much excitement to learn.  After sharing a message, we ate muffin cake and drank ginger ale.  We talked for a bit about what our lives will be like once we get home from our missions.  It's weird to think about it, and there is going to be a lot to do when I get home....bleh....
     After that, we went to dinner and went home to plan.

Martes, 27 de Enero del 2015
     This morning we headed up the elder's cuarto to say goodbye to Elder Dagley.  We took pictures with him and helped him bring his luggage to the curb.

Elder Encalada, Hna Furness, Hna Dodson, Elder Dagley
     After he got on the combi, we left and got back to work.  We went and visited Lili, and she still wants to be baptized!
     Then we knocked doors and every single person accepted us and asked us to come back!  Our last couple were menos activos that we found on accident.  They were excited to have visits from us.
     As we were walking to lunch, we turned down a road to find a man, drunk and dancing....and it wasn't just any was 5,6,7,8...with claps and snaps!  He was really getting into it, but once he realized that we were watching him, he ran away...but he was still counting 5,6,7,8 as he ran. :)
     After lunch, we went and taught Enmanuel, Maria Jose and Mirella.  Mirella was acting really different today, so we were trying to figure out what was wrong.  We taught a message about the Book of Mormon and about the Sabbath Day.  Enmanuel said, "My mom wants to take me to the tottus for my first time on Sunday, but I am going to keep the Sabbath Day holy."  At the end, Enmanuel and Maria Jose left to get in their pool outside, so we stayed inside with Mirella.  I hugged her and told her that I loved her.  She started crying and let us know what was going on.  She is having problems with her mom and with school, and so she is feeling really bad.  We talked with her and let her cry and then told her that she could call us anytime she needed us.
      Then we went and met Angela (an investigator that the Elders had to give to us because she is young single woman).  She is really cool and had invited a friend to listen with us.  She wants to prepare for baptism. :)
     Then we went to teach Maritza.  Hna Francisca came with us to visit and she bore her testimony. The entire room fell silent and she just glowed as she bore truth of the church.  I love when members do that!
     Oh, one more thing happened today.  We ran into the elders today.  Elder Encalada and his new comp Elder Caceres.  He looks Latino so I asked him where he was from.  He said, "I was born in New York, and raised in Texas."  I was so thrown off guard that all I said in response was, "I love Texas!  Well, we have a cita over there...see ya later."  The new elder seems cool.  I am pumped to work with him and Elder Encalada!

Miercoles, 28 de Enero del 2015
     This morning we had our district meeting.  We got two new people in our district- Hna Villa, from Mexico (she has 6 months in the mission) and Elder Caceres from Texas (he has 23 months in the mission!)  I am completely in love with my district.  We get along great and I can feel that everyone in our district works really hard.
     Once the meeting was over, Hna Yaulli gave us all a treat and an Orange Crush soda.  Then we headed to get our mail.  I got 2 packages (Valentine's Day), 4 letters from home (3 from my mom and 1 from Danielle- which got sent to Malaysia on accident- haha).  On our walk to the combis, to head back to Patapo, a member from the ward in La Cria stopped us and invited us to Inca Cola.  He was funny.
      Once we got on a combi, Elder Caceres asked me why I came on a mission.  I told him about my experience with my seminary teacher, and that I wanted people to know that when you make a mistake, that it isn't over...that we can always become better and that God gives us a second chance.
     When we got to Patapo, we went to lunch and read our letters and opened our packages.  I loved all of my cards and the copies of all the Christmas card pictures of everyone!
     After lunch and studies, we went out teaching.  As we were walking from one area to another, we ran into the elders by Yohana's house.  Yesterday she had asked for a blessing of health, so we asked the elders if they would come with us and give Yohana a blessing.  They jumped at the chance!  They talked with Yohana and made her feel really loved.  Her blessing was so beautiful.
     As we were leaving Yohana's house, she gave us a water balloon to throw at the elders.  As soon as we were walking in different directions, I threw the balloon towards them, and it almost hit them. We laughed so hard, and some guys who were sitting with their motos started laughing too.
     We ended up just walking around and contacting because no one was home.  At one point, we decided to talk with Moroni.  He really wants to make his life better for his children, so we made some plans for him to follow.  1st:  Go to church for all 3 hours  2nd:  Read the scriptures every day 3rd:  pray 5 times a day- when he wakes up, breakfast, lunch, dinner and bed time. He says that he wants to do it.  I really hope so.  He is a good member, he just has fear of judgment from the other ward members.  We tell him all the time that it is not between him and is between him and God.
     We left and went to dinner. After dinner, we planned and got ready for bed.  We didn't have much success today, but we worked hard and got super tired.  Tomorrow is going to be a good day.

Jueves, 29 de Enero del 2015
     This morning when we were out teaching, we found some less actives as we were knocking doors. There are so many members here, but hardly any of them go to church.  Unfortunately most of our citas in the morning fell through.
     In the afternoon, when we were leaving our cuarto, a Jehovah's Witness was knocking on our door.  We gave him a pass along card with a picture of Jesus getting baptized and we told him that if he wanted to find us, he could come to our church every Sunday.  He 'agreed' and we went on our way. :)
     We went to meet up with some members, so we grabbed a moto.  When we got to our meeting place, the moto driver wouldn't let us pay him.  God really looks out for us, and those that serve us.
     We first visited with a less active man.  We shared a beautiful scripture of 3 Nephi 27:27.  He didn't listen very well to our thoughts, but he agreed to be at church on Sunday.
     The next cita we had was really special....this family is the Familia Tello.  The two sons, Julio and Juan are baptized and we have been teaching their mom, Angelica.  During our lesson today, we invited her to baptism....and turns out...she is already a member!  She denied the invitation and said, "I am already baptized."  We thought she was just saying that she was baptized in general, so we asked her more questions about her baptism...and she really has been baptized in our church.  This whole time, we were teaching her like she was an investigator.  Well, once we figured out this "little" piece of information, we focused on teaching her about church attendance.  She told us that she works 4 hours away every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so she can't go to church.  As we talked with her some more, she told us about how she could quit that job and try and find a different job that would be closer to home.  It was awesome how willing she was to give up her work.
     After that, we visited a family we had contacted in the street a couple of weeks ago.  Pablo, Rosa and their kids Juana (7yrs) and Pablo Jr. (4 yrs).  Only Rosa was there, but we still taught her a little lesson.  We told her about how our church was restored and that we receive guidance from God through a living prophet today.  And that the prophets wrote a proclamation to the world about families.  She really liked it and wants more knowledge.  We set up another cita and left a pamphlet for her to read about the Restoration.  She is excited to read it with her family.  I think this family could definitely be ready for the truth in their lives.
     Then we went and visited a active member named Rosa.  Her husband is also a member, but right now he has some drinking problems.  We visited with her to help her figure out a plan of action that would help her family and her husband.  She is such an amazing person.  She is one of the few who got baptized as a child, who has stayed faithful her entire life.  She is so active and so happy.  She reminds me of my mom, and the way she acts with her two daughters, reminds me of my mom, too. She is a cool lady.  At the end of our visit, she gave us mangos.
     The next visit was with Enmanuel, Mirella and Maria Jose.  We had a long discussion about the Plan of Salvation.  They have so many questions, sometimes questions that aren't really on topic, so we have to spend a lot of time answering their questions  and then getting the focus back where it needs to be.  haha At the end, they hugged us and thanked us for being wonderful friends to them.
     We went to dinner, planned and then got ready for bed.  Today we contacted a lot of people and most of them were more ready than ever to hear from us.  I am loving everything about the mission. It is the hardest work I have ever done, but I grow spiritually everyday.  The mission is the greatest thing anyone could ever do besides having a family! :)

Viernes, 30 de Enero del 2015
     This morning we went running at a really cool soccer field.  I was able to do a lot of pondering during this time.  I got to thinking about my time in the mission and what Christ like attributes I have gained and what more I need to learn about.  I realized that I need to work on being more "happy" and showing my happiness by smiling.  Sometimes I forget to put my smile on.  I want people to love to be around me and feel happier because of being with to smile more is my new goal.
     This morning from 10am-1pm, we had our weekly planning.  Our companionship  goal is to develop diligence, obedience, charity and love.  We have been working hard to do this and to better ourselves as missionaries.
     After lunch, we had language study and then we went out teaching.  The first house that we went to was an older couple named Porfilio and Carmen.  We taught them about baptism and invited them to be baptized.  Porfilio accepted and said, "Well, we have to because Jesus did."  His wife on the other hand wasn't so readily agreeable.  We left them a pamphlet, and as we we left and were passing by the outside of their house, we saw them reading it. :)
     Later, we visited a sister named Angela and her friend Estefany.  They have had many lessons from the elders, so we asked them if they had any questions and they asked about baptisms for the dead.  We explained it to them.  During the lesson, there were lots of children running in and out of the house with Mickey Mouse ears and clown noses on.  They were adorable.
     After that, we went out to Yohana's and chatted with her.  We asked her is she had any questions and you'll never guess what her questions were about....yep...baptisms for the dead.  So that ended up being the topic for the day.  It was fun to remember back on the days when I would go to the temple and get baptized for the dead.  It is such a beautiful experience.  I can't wait to have more opportunities to enter into the House of the Lord and serve my brothers and sisters in heaven.  The temple is a wonderful blessing that we have here on the earth, to bless the lives of millions who have passed on without the opportunity to feel the forgiveness and love of God.
     Today wasn't super eventful but our day was kept interesting with the bugs that kept flying up our noses and finding our pass along cards ripped up on the sidewalks.

Sabado, 31 de Enero del 2015
     Well January has just flown by.  The longer time I have in the mission, the faster the time flies.  I seriously can't believe I have almost 10 months in the mission.  Today turned out to be a great day!
     This morning, the people we ended up teaching were not part of our plan.  I always walk into those lessons praying that whatever needs to be said or shared, will be.  Well, every single one was completely lead by the spirit.  I could feel the impressions very strongly, and I myself learned something new from "my teachings".  In one lesson, we were talking about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and also about loving everyone and becoming more like Jesus.  I made a comparison that if Christ was willing to die for all of humanity, what are we willing to do to serve and love those that Christ died for...enemies or not, because Christ even loved those that killed him.  I was wonderfully surprised with my comparison, because I hadn't ever thought about it in that way.
     After teaching a few more lessons, we headed to lunch.  We met up with the elders at the Dulceria. We all sat together and shared stories.  We all get along so great!
     After lunch and language study, we went out teaching again.  We visited Beatriz (less active) and she gave us mangos, fresh off her tree.  I can't wait to eat tomorrow after my fast.
     We visited a couple people with Hna Meri and then we dropped her off and went to visit Enmanuel.  During his lesson, it started to rain...and by the end of his lesson, it was really pouring down.  His grandma kept trying to make us take a moto, but we just walked happily down the empty roads in the pouring rain, trying to avoid the HUGE puddles forming in the roads.  As we got to the main part of town, we stopped by the Dulceria and everyone was giggling at how soaking wet we were.  As we were talking with everyone, the power in the whole city of Patapo went out.  It was out for about 15 seconds.  When it came back on, we received a phone call from the elders asking us where we were.  Then they told us that if we didn't have any citas, that we just needed to go back to our cuarto and stay inside in case there was another power outage.  We followed their wishes and went back to our cuarto.  As we were getting ready for bed, the power went out again. We didn't receive a phone call from the elders this time, but we were sure that the elders were probably having a freak out party. haha
     This is a P.S. of the day.  Hna Mila (she lives with us and is the aunt of Rossana) is always giving us "health tips" today she told us not to hang our wet clothes in our room, because the chemicals from our clothes would enter the air and we would breathe them in and get sick.  She also told us not to sleep with the fan on, because we would forget how to breathe for ourselves.  haha  I didn't realize the fan was breathing for me. :)
     Also, the entire time we were walking in the rain, everyone was looking out their windows and telling us to get inside because "You are going to die!"  I love Peru and all their crazy beliefs! :)

drawing from Hna Furness of us in the rain

Domingo, 1 de Febrero del 2015
     I love Sundays in the mission because during Sacrament Meeting, you can have that minute to yourself to think only about you and the sacrifice of Christ.  The atoning sacrifice is something so beautiful, that everyone can apply in their lives.  Well as I was enjoying a peaceful moment to myself, the sacrament meeting filled up with 5 of our investigators and less actives.  Yohana, Estefany, Carlos, Karen and Moroni all came today!  I was so happy to see them all there, but it was my favorite to see Moroni walk in with a smile on his face, and a kid in his arms and another kid holding his hand and Karen's hand.  My heart almost stopped because I was so happy!
     During sacrament meeting, the topic in almost every testimony was about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. It was such a beautiful meeting.  After the meeting, we had our other classes and Moroni stayed for all 3 hours!
     On our walk home from church, I just started contacting everyone in the streets, and almost every single person accepted our invite for more visits....and they weren't "joking" around...they were really sincere about wanting our visits.  One of our contacts was Jose.  He actually invited us into his house to teach him and his sister-in- law named Winnie. (20 yrs) We shared a short message with them and had a little prayer.  They are excited for our next cita with them.
     As we left Jose's house, our stomachs were so hungry and making really loud noises, so we headed to lunch.  We had a lunch appointment at the house of Victor (the brother of Rossana) for his birthday.  We ate cabrito (baby goat), yuka, sweet potatoes, rice and beans.  It was really good, but the downside was that we had to leave before the actual party got started, so we missed out on the cake :(  haha
     We went out teaching afterwards and ended up talking with Jacky.  She is a 'forever' investigator. She doesn't want to put forth any effort to progress.  She has a lot of problems in her life.  Poor thing. Before we left, she told us that there are 4 people she trusts- God, Jesus Christ, Me and Hna Furness. I never know what to do for her, but we always pray for her and hope that she will progress.
     At 5pm, we had a meeting with the elders, the bishopric and the priesthood president.  We talked about the people that we are working with and then at 6:20pm, we went into a different room and watched a 2 hour video about ward council from our area leaders.  (Elder Waddell is one of our area leaders and I can't remember the other guy's name)  The video was great, but we kept getting distracted because tons of bees just kept dying on the ground all around us and we didn't know why.
At 8:30pm, we left and went and ate dinner. (fruit salad)  We went home and planned or our P-Day tomorrow, filled out the area book and got ready for bed.  This has been a long week, but we have been working hard to help change the lives of many people.  I LOVE THE MISSION!

I finished the drawing of our family!
my crazy comp! hahaha


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