Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 52: "I like listening to the Mormon chicas because they are sincere and help me to understand."

Lunes, 30 de Marzo del 2015
     Just another normal P-Day.  We made ourselves causa limena for lunch and then we went to internet.  I watched the video "He Lives" on  It is so good.

     After internet, we went back to the cuarto and we rested until it was time to go.  At 6:00pm, we went to teach a couple named Manuel and Berbelina, but they weren't home, so we contacted some people instead.  At 7:00pm, we visited Hermes and Carlota.  Hermes was really into the topic of General Conference.  He said that he can't wait to go and watch it.  He also told us about his studies about the Salt Lake Temple and eternal families.  The entire time that he was speaking, he was smiling like crazy. :)  By the end of the lesson we asked him how his studies in the Book of Mormon were going, and he smiled and said, "Really well.  Every time I read, I feel like I am there with Nefi in the desert."  At the end of the night, Hermes offered the closing prayer and it was so powerful.  I haven't ever heard Hermes pray was amazing.  I was very impressed.  He is so ready to get baptized, but there are a few family Catholic traditions that he is having a hard time giving up, but I know that it will come.  They fed us some chicken salad sandwiches before we left to go to dinner, which ended up being chicken salad sandwiches.  haha
     We called the hermanas in Patapo to let them know that we would be coming to visit them on Wednesday to to intercambios with them.  I get to go to Patapo! :)

Martes, 31 de Marzo del 2015
     Today started out as an unsuccessful day, but every hour got better and better.  The best hour was at 6:30pm!  We were in San Antonio and we were visiting Royer and Maria.  We re-explained about prophets and the apostasy.  When we got done explaining the fall of the church, Royer cut me off and said, "The other day I was waiting at the bank, when a man from another church started talking to me. He asked me what my religion was, and I told him that I was visiting the Mormon church right now, and that two chicas were visiting me and my senora.  The man was appalled and whipped out his Bible and started throwing info at me. I cut him off and told him that I like listening to the Mormon chicas because they are sincere and help me to understand.  They don't just throw info at me."  Then he looked us in the eyes and said, "Senoritas...I feel something different.  I feel good inside.  I feel like I am going to know something."  We talked about his feelings and continued on with our lesson. Hna McGinnis shared James 1:5 and then I shared the First Vision.  The spirit exploded as I shared the words of Joseph Smith.  We were sitting in a humble house with 2 candles lit and 8 people gathered around us in a small dirt walled home.  Maria was nodding her head and Royer had tears in his eyes. We shared a moment of silence, and then I continued by quoting Joseph Smith when he saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.  Royer just stared straight ahead and then said, "I think I are telling me that Joseph had a lot of faith and then God and Jesus Christ appeared to him?"  Me: "That is exactly what I am telling you."  Royer: "Well, I feel something (touching his chest) and I think I know what I was missing."  Me:  "We have another invitation for you both. When you both ask God to confirm in your heart that what you are feeling is true, will you get baptized?" They both accepted!  Then Hna McGinnis said, "We like to work with goals, so will you prepare to be baptized by May 9th?"  Royer then said, "Can't it be sooner than that?  I need to join the church." Then we both said, "We still have some things that we need to teach you, so if we are able to teach you these things earlier, and you are ready, we can move your baptism date to an earlier time."  Royer held out his hand for a handshake and said, "I promise."  Then Maria said, "If he gets baptized too."  I know that if you were in that room with us, you would have seen me and Sister McGinnis glowing with happiness.  The spirit was so strong and it got even stronger when Royer decided to share another experience with us.  He said, "The day after your first visit with us (March 26), I felt something special, and well my brother invited me to drink some alcohol with him- and usually I would go and drink, but that day I told him that I just wanted soda.  That same night, my brother talked me into having some alcohol, but when I took one sip, I felt like I was going to die.  I went home and slept off the nausea that I felt.  I know that thanks to the spirit of God and the message that you brought us, that I am becoming a better person."
     I can't believe any of this.  Today was his second lesson, and we haven't even taught him about the Word of Wisdom!  He is already ready! :)
     Before we left, we gave each of them their own copy of the Book of Mormon, and they were so excited to start reading it.
     As we were getting ready to leave, Royer invited us to eat some bread and meat with them.  They barely have enough for their own family.  It was the yummiest food I have ever tasted, and I know it was because they gave it to us out of pure love.  They will be blessed for this service they offered us.
     I love this church.  I know the spirit of God touches the hearts of men who are humble and ready to follow.  I know I am in the truth.  I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today.
     I am filled with JOY.  It is spilling out of me.  I just need to dance and sing!

Miercoles, 1 de Abril del 2015     HAPPY APRIL FOOL'S DAY!
     At 11:00am, I was in Patapo and everyone welcomed me back!  I did intercambios with Hna Aranguren.  At 12:00pm, we went to lunch and everyone at the Dulceria was so excited to see me. Rossana gave us ice cream cones!  Hna Aranguren doesn't know a lot of people here in Patapo, because Hna Furness was sick a lot before she left, so we skipped language study so that I could show her some houses of people that Hna Furness and I visited when we were companions.  We ended up visiting Enrique and Shirley, Francisca and her husband Juan, Yohana and her kiddies, and Sharon and her aunt!  They were all so excited to see me again, and were asking me if I was back to stay.  They said that they miss me. I told them to give the new hermanas a chance, because they are great missionaries.
     We taught some people and Hna Aranguren is an amazing teacher and a really good missionary!
     It was really nice to see everyone in Patapo, but the entire time I couldn't help but miss Pomalca!

Jueves, 2 Abril del 2015
     Well, I didn't sleep hardly at all because my ear was hurting me so bad.  We got back with our original companions at 9:00am and then Hna McGinnis and I went back to Pomalca.  We had a district meeting.  I got a lot of cards from my mommy.  I am so lucky to have her as my Mom.  All the missionaries are jealous. haha  I also got a painting from Elder Escobar, from Bolivia.  He painted me a picture from my favorite movie, Howl's Moving Castle.  (It's his favorite movie, too!)  I was so excited! :)
    After the meeting, we went to lunch and then my ear started to hurt again, so Elder Hinostroza (district leader) and his companion, Elder Lewis, gave me a blessing.  My ear was hurting so bad, that we stayed in all day long.  I rested and read old General Conference magazines, to prepare myself for Conference.  I can't believe Conference is in just a couple of days!  The prophet is going to speak to us!
     P.S.  During intercambios (on April Fool's Day), Hna McGinnis was at the pension, and when she showed up with Hna Walker, Jamie (husband of Cecilia) asked her where I was.  Hna McGinnis responded that I had emergency transfers to Jaen.  Jamie freaked out and ran out of the room before Hna McGinnis could tell him that she was just joking.  So when I returned in the afternoon and he saw me, he was super surprised!  haha

Viernes, 3 de Abril del 2015
     This morning, I had an amazing shower!  Hna Walker had fixed our shower head, so now the water pressure was awesome and we have HOT water!  Yay!  I am living the life!
     We had our weekly planning and then we went out teaching.  We taught a few families and then at 6:30pm, we went to teach Royer and Maria.  They are getting more and more excited every day. They are reading the Book of Mormon and their sons are wanting to read with them.
     We saw many miracles today, which puts us more in debt to our Father in Heaven.
     When we finally got home, we planned and then we got so excited because tomorrow is General Conference!  It feels like Christmas Eve!

Sabado, 4 de Abril del 2015
     We showed up at the chapel and almost all of the missionaries in the zone were waiting outside.  I guess the alarm on the church got turned on and the password to shut it off had been changed and so no one knew how to turn it off.  It went off for over an hour, from 10:00-11:05am.  Luckily, Conference didn't start until 11:00am!  We ended up getting to watch Conference in English, in a classroom!  There were 3 Sisters, including me, and 6 Elders.  It was so nice to be able to watch and listen in English!
     After the first session, we went to lunch.  We ate an omelette with sting ray.  haha  It was really good.  At 2:30pm, we went and picked some people up and then head to the afternoon session.  There was a talk by Elder Michael T. Ringwood, about how members of the church should serve without guile.  Every word that he shared reminded me of my mom.  I couldn't believe it!  My mom is such a great example to me, in magnifying callings and more.
     I learned so much from Conference.  Here are some of my favorite sayings:
     "Two essential ingredients to a successful marriage are a cookie and a kiss."  Elder Packer
     "It's a priority to live what you believe."  Elder Oaks
     "The Islamic leader quoted 2 full paragraphs from the Family Proclamation." Elder Perry
     "I can teach you to dance, but you have to hear the music."  Elder Anderson  I loved this talk!!  
After the second session, we went and taught.  We visited the familia Espinoza.  We taught them about the Plan of Salvation.  Everyone loved the lesson and they thanked us for the lesson.  Cesar thanked us for helping him to put his focus back on the temple.  When we were teaching them about the Kingdoms of Glory, Cesar didn't think that he could make it to the Celestial Kingdom.  I told him that the Celestial Kingdom is a kingdom full of repented sinners, who changed their lives around. And that no matter what, God gives everyone a chance to make it to that Kingdom.  It was beautiful and when I said that, his eyes lit up, as if a light bulb went off in his mind, and he knew that he could change and that he could make it to the Celestial Kingdom. :)  It was great!
     After that, we visited Maria, the sister of Antero.  We taught her about the Plan of Salvation, too. We also watched the "He Lives" video.  We invited her to baptism, and she accepted, but doesn't want to set a date quite yet.

Domingo, 5 de Abril del 2015
     This morning we headed to the church early so we could teach Teodora and Jose and go over the baptismal questions. They did fine, but when we asked Jose if he had ever been in jail before, he looked at us and said, "Yes, because one time I was drunk and I punched a guy.  The police told me that I could either pay 2,000 soles or go to I went to jail." :)
     After that, all the English speakers went upstairs to watch General Conference.  After Conference, we went to lunch at the Relief Society President's house. (Rosario)  We ate with her, her husband and 3 daughters.  We got along great and we were laughing a lot.  After lunch, we headed back to the church for the afternoon session of Conference.  We got there 10 minutes early, but no one was there and the church was all locked up.  Everyone finally showed up at 3:00pm, so we missed the very beginning.
     After conference was over, we met with the Elders and our ward mission leader, Theo.  Then we went out teaching.  We ended up teaching a convert of Hna Reid named Rosita.  It was fun.  Then we went and visited Victoria, Anaximandro and their kids.  We taught them about families.  It was really good.
     Then we went to dinner, and then home to plan. Hna McGinnis found a great scripture that we are going to share with President Williams.  It is Doctrine and Covenants reads.....
"And let them journey together two by two, as seemeth them good, only let my servant [Sierra Dodson] and my servant [Haley McGinnis] with whom I am well pleased, be not separated until they return to their homes, and this for a wise purpose in me."

     Awesome scripture, right?!  Hopefully President Williams will get the hint.  What's another 6 months together?

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