Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 59: President Williams looked at us with eyes wide open and asked, "You've got a cat?"

Lunes, 18 Mayo 2015
     This morning I read the General Conference talk by Elder Holland, where he spoke of Jesus saving us from falling "to our death" after sin.  I was meditating about how that applies to me as a missionary.  I got thinking and realized that we are the ones that grab the "falling" and give them desire to call upon Christ...and once they decide to receive him, Christ takes over and pulls these people up off the cliff side.  We, as members of the Church, have this responsibility.  We are to grab hold and help Christ.  We need to help give the desire and then let Christ do the healing and the saving...then we have the responsibility to "hold hands" with these people and keep them away from the edge.  We need to help them stay firm and steadfast.
     After study, we headed to Chiclayo.  As we were there in the Tottus, we ran into President and Hna Williams.  It was nice to see them, and as a joke, we went down the animal food aisle and put a giant bag in our cart.  President Williams asked us what the food was for and and we looked at him, and said, "For our cat." haha  He looked at us with eyes wide open and asked, "You've got a cat?" We laughed and said, "No." and put the food back.  They started laughing with us. :)
     We bought some needed things.  I got a new pair of shoes which cost only $6.00.  I love them, but I have a bad tan line going...I guess I'll give it a couple weeks and maybe I can get that fixed.
     We went home and ate lunch.  We had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!  We found peanut butter in Tottus!!  We had a great time eating our delicious lunch!
     After lunch, we went to internet.  I received a lot of uplifting emails from my mommy, which was nice.  After emailing, we went home, read some letters and talked.  Then I wrote some letters and pondered on some General Conference talks while my companion slept.
     At night, we went out to teach, but all of our appointments fell through.  Luckily we had Hna Bertha with us, and she helped us find some other people to visit.  After visiting, we went to dinner.

Martes, 19 Mayo 2015
     Today we did divisions.  I went with Hna Bertha and Hna McGinnis when with Katia. (wife of Bishop Iman)  I love Bertha so much.  She was giving me tons of references and we visited several of them.  One of the references was a woman named Luz.  She is an inactive.  She was really nice and when we talked with her, she said she felt good and asked that we come back another day to talk with her whole family.  She also said that she would come to church on Sunday. :)
     After teaching her, we went and visited her nephew.  He recently lost his wife and when we talked about the Plan of Salvation, he felt peace.  When it was time to leave, we asked him to offer the closing prayer. During his prayer he began to cry, and he asked God t help him do what he needed to do to see his wife again.  It was a beautiful experience.
     After that, we met up with Hna McGinnis and Katia to end the divisions.  We went back to the room because my companion didn't feel well.  Once she rested for a bit, we went back out to teach some more.
     We visited Victoria (less active) and Anaximando (investigator).  They are an older couple and I love visiting them.
     Later, we visited the familia Espinoza.  We taught them about the Ten Commandments.  They loved it.  We got laughing a lot with them.
     Then we went to dinner and then home.

Miercoles, 20 de Mayo 2015
     This morning we finished planning our class that we had to give at our district meeting at 11am. When we got to the chapel, all the missionaries in our district were waiting outside, because the door was locked and they were waiting for someone to come to open the doors.  This brought back some bad memories...baptism day with no water. :)
     As we were waiting, President and Hermana Williams pulled up in their car.  They had an older couple with them.  The older couple was the new missionary couple.  It was fun to meet them and get to know them a little.  They are from the States.  He took a picture of our district before they left. The zone leaders gave us all coconut flavored bodoques.
     We taught our class about contacts and references.  It went well.  After the meeting, we went to lunch and then home to study language.
     After language study, we went to San Antonio to teach.  We visited with a member named Noemi. We taught her about temples.  As we walked out of her house, we ran into the Elders, who were wandering hopelessly, trying to figure out the division lines we set up in San Antonio. :)
     After talking with them, we went and picked up Glenda.  Glenda told us that she had a feeling to visit a kid named William.  He is a member of the church, but hasn't been going for quite some time. We went and knocked on his door and he didn't answer at first, but then at the last minute, he opened it.  He let us in and we talked with him.  One thing lead to another, and we were talking with him about true repentance.  He was so interested.  The spirit was so strong as we talked about the promise that God makes, of forgetting our sins after we truly repent.  He said that he was going to start repenting right away.  We saw a beautiful change in his person when he decided to change.
     Later, we visited the familia Ysique Garcia, with Maria's sister, Magdalena.  We taught about prophets.  Pedro kept trying to teach with us, but the things that he would share kept confusing Magdalena, so I had to try to keep Pedro from talking. :)
     After that, we went home and had dinner.

Jueves, 21 Mayo 2015
     Here in Pomalca, one of the businesses hasn't been paying their workers, so all the workers are on strike, and today was an intense day, so all the missionaries in Pomalca had to stay in their cuartos all morning.  Our pensionista brought our lunch to us.  President Williams called and let us know that we had to stay in our cuarto for the rest of the day.  The conversation went like this...
     Pres. Williams: "You need to stay in your, it sounds like I'm grounding                                                         you....haha...You're grounded."
     Me: "We're grounded?"
     Pres. Williams: "Yep.  You are grounded, and tell Hna McGinnis that it's her fault." :)

So I am sure that was a first be "grounded" in the mission.  haha  So all day long, we just studied, talked, laughed and played chess.

Viernes, 22 Mayo 2015
     This morning we woke up sick.  We ended up being sick all day.  By the night, I felt a little better, but Hna McGinnis was still in bad shape.  We studied...talked....slept...studied...talked...nothing too thrilling happened.

Sabado, 23 Mayo 2015
     My companion was still sick, so as she rested, I studied a lot.  I found a cool talk by Elder Lynn G. Robbins called , "What manner of men ought ye to be?"  I love this talk.  It describes the differences and similarities of the "To Do" and the "To Be".  It is really interesting.
     We also asked random questions and then flipped open the scriptures for answers.  It was so funny.  We got laughing a lot.  You should try it.  haha  For example, one of the questions we asked was, "Why am I sick?" and the scripture that I opened up to was in the Old Testament and was talking about killing and blood.  haha  Then I opened to another scripture in Jeremiah 32:17. which was a much sweeter response to the question.  haha
     As we were eating lunch in our cuarto, we heard little pebbles hitting our window.  When we went over to the window, we saw the elders.  They told us that they needed to talk to us, so we went downstairs to talk to them.  Turns out that they got their cell phone stolen, so they needed to come and "steal" ours.  So now, we are phoneless....what a deal.
     The rest of the day, we rested and talked.  The elders came over to our pension to eat lasagna with us.  They let me know that I would be giving a talk in sacrament meeting tomorrow in church.  Why does it always happen like that?
     The elders also gave Hna McGinnis a blessing before they left.  It was very special.

Domingo, 24 Mayo 2015
     Well today at church, I felt like I was doing everything.  First I led the hymns in sacrament meeting, then I gave a talk in sacrament meeting...then I led the music in Sunday School and then in Relief Society I led the music and gave the prayer.  I'm sure everyone is sick of seeing and hearing from me.
     After church, we visited some references, and taught a contact on the road.  Then we went to lunch and headed to San Antonio to visit.
     After helping some people to feel peace in their hearts, we headed to the church for some meetings.  We ended up being at the church until 8pm, and since we don't have a cell phone anymore, we had to report our numbers to our district leaders from our pensionista's phone.
     After the meeting, we hurried to dinner and reported our numbers.  At 8:50pm, the zone leaders called to invite us to eat lunch with them tomorrow.  We accepted and then headed home to plan and get ready for bed.
     Today was a special day.  I felt the spirit so strong.  Hna McGinnis came to the conclusion that it was because me, elder Epperson and elder Brunis all spoke in sacrament meeting and that the spirit spoke through us.  I thought the elders did so good today.  They spoke with a lot of power.  I was very spiritually uplifted.  I learned a lot.  I love Sundays that are super uplifting.

                                                         Empty Linen  by Emily Harris

                                                The linen which once held Him is empty
                                                It lies there,
                                                Fresh and white and clean.
                                               The door stands opened.
                                               The stone is rolled away,
                                               And I can almost hear the angels singing His praises
                                               Linen cannot hold Him.
                                               Stone cannot hold Him.
                                               The words echo through the empty limestone chamber,
                                              "He is not here."
                                               The linen which once held Him is now empty.
                                               It lies there,
                                               Fresh and white and clean.
                                              And oh, hallelujah, it is empty.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 58: "How can we have a happy home?" "Kill the husband."

 Lunes 11 de Mayo del 2015
     We didn't do anything exciting today.  We did our normal P-Day rituals.  We bought needed items and then we went home and rested until lunch. (yogurt and cereal)
     After lunch, we went to internet and wrote home, and then went back to our cuarto to rest until P-Day ended.  At 6 pm, we headed out to teach.  As we were walking through town, one of the crazy guys found us and asked us to write his name in English on a pass along card that he had.  So we wrote Michael Angel Blonde and handed it to him. We said, "Goodbye Miguel." and he said, "No, yellow!"  What?!  Welcome to our English conversations we have here.  haha

Hna Dodson and Hna McGinnis
New shoes....old tan line :)

Martes, 12 Mayo 2015
     We had a  multi-zone conference in Chiclayo today.  We ended up going with the elders in a taxi. On the ride there, some cops were doing some random checks on the cars passing through, and our car got chosen as one of them.  The cops asked us for our IDs.  We all pulled out our passport copies. Luckily, one of the cops was a member of the church, so he didn't make us do the crazy background checks.  That was nice.
     Once we got to the office, we were talking with other missionaries that were there, and Elder Epperson told me that his family moved to Utah!  He promised that he would be at my homecoming!
     At 10 am, the meeting started.  McGinnis and I entered into the assembly hall to find some seats, and all we could see were Elders everywhere.  We looked and noticed that the sister missionaries were all on the other sat down with all the elders. :)  When President Williams got up to talk, he noticed us and then teased all the other sisters for being afraid that the Elders have cooties! It was funny!
     We talked about the scriptures the entire time.  We talked about the power that comes from them. I learned so much and I just had a craving to study my scriptures.  The new mission focus is to use scripture mastery more.
     We ate McDonald's for lunch.  haha
     Then we got our mail from home.  I had a letter from Danielley and also one from my mom about the beautiful Payson Temple in Payson, Utah.
     After that, we headed home to go teaching.  We visited Clara and the lesson went well.  She wants to get baptized, but she has to come to church first. :)
     Then we visited a member named Ana.  She opened up a lot to us.  By the end, she expressed to us that we were angels sent from God to listen to her and bring her comfort in her time of need.
     Then we visited Judith and Santos.  We read 2 Nephi 31.  It is all about baptism.  They still don't want to be baptized....maybe one day.
     We ate dinner- banana bread! Then we went home and planned.

Miercoles, 13 Mayo 2015
     This morning while we were studying, there was a big riot, so we ended up staying indoors for safety's sake.
     Once it was calm, we went to lunch.  When we returned to our cuarto, I felt sick, so we stayed in for the rest of the night.  We studied scriptures and scripture masteries.
     Later, we went to dinner and went home and got ready for bed.

Jueves, 14 Mayo 2015
     This morning, on our way home from breakfast, there was an old woman with two large bags. She was trying to carry them into the mercado, so she could sell her things.   I had a feeling to go and help her, so we ran over to her.  She handed us her bags and then held onto my arm as we walked her into the mercado.  When we entered, a lady recognized her and told us that her table was on the other side of the mercado.  Apparently the older lady has memory problems and sometimes forgets where her table is, so we just started walking in the direction the lady pointed.  Thankfully, when we walked past the old woman's table, she recognized it.  We got her settled and then we asked for her name. She told us it is Natividad :) and then we told her to have a good day.  She asked us what she needed to pay us for our help, and we told her that we didn't want any money.  Her eyes filled up with tears and she hugged us and thanked us for loving her.
     We went home to study and then to lunch.  After lunch, we were getting ready to meet up with a member to go out visiting, but we got a call telling us that we needed to go to the mission office to sign some papers.  So we headed to Chiclayo.  I had to sign some papers because my ID here says that I live in they had to change that.  As I was waiting for Elder Casas to give me the papers, I went and checked the mail, and there was a large envelope with the General Conference Ensign waiting for me from home.  Everyone in the office saw me reading it and they were all talking about how lucky I am to have my mom.  And then they were all trying to read it with me. haha
     Once we got back to Pomalca, we went to pick up Elena to go teaching with us.  One problem is that Elena lives in the area of the Elders, but we weren't going into the area to contact or teach, we just wanted to get Elena.  Well, the elders just happened to see us knocking on her door, and wondered what we were doing.  Unfortunately, Elena's family are mostly inactives, so we had to explain to the elders why we were there. :) We got Elena and then left.
     We had some great lessons.  One of my favorites was with Fany and Jade.  We taught them about tithing.  We gave Jade a tithing envelope, and she whips is open and asks, "Where is the money I'm going to pay?"  We all busted up laughing and told her that she needed to put her own money inside it. She smiled and said that she was excited to pay her tithing.
     After a few more lessons, we headed to the noche misional. (ward activity) The familia Ysique Garcia were there and I got talking with Royer.  Today, he went visiting with the Elders.  He told me that he was nervous to go, but he went anyhow.  He said that at one of the houses, they were visiting a less active member and her friend.  He said that he shared an entire page of scriptures from Mosiah 18 with them, which is about baptism.  He said that the friend began to cry, and said that she needs to change her life.  She told them that her mom had died and she knows that the only way that she will be able to see her mom again is if she becomes a better person and gets baptized.  Royer felt so proud and said that he felt a "hotness" in his chest, and that he wants to feel that more.  He told us that he is going to study the scriptures more so that he can share them with others. :)
     As Royer was telling me about his experience, the spirit was so strong and he was glowing.  I was so proud of him.

Viernes, 15 Mayo 2015
     This afternoon, we went to teach the familia Ysique Garcia.  Royer told us that he has an interview with the Bishop tomorrow about receiving the priesthood.  We ended up teaching about the priesthood.  Royer is so excited to receive the priesthood...he wanted it right then. :)
     Before we left their house, they asked us if they could invite us to a "little something" to eat. We agreed to it, and their "little something" ended up being a giant plate of rice with two pieces of meat. One meat was chicken and the other meat was duck.  Once we finished eating, we headed back to Pomalca.
     We visited with Diana Espinoza and then went to dinner.  We had cake for dinner, because they were celebrating the special occasion that Cecilia,our pensionista and her family, were going to the Trujillo Temple open house tomorrow. :)

Sabado, 16 Mayo 2015
     This morning we went visiting with a return missionary named Diana Liatas.  She told us stories about her mission.  I have never ever laughed so hard in my entire life!  I love missions because they are hard, spiritual, fun, and hilarious!  Anyways, later in the night, we went and visited Graciela and her daughter, Rosa.  We talked about families and how to have a happy home.  This is part of our conversation:
     Me: "How can we have a happy home?"
     Graciela: "Kill the husband."  We all laughed, but Graciela stayed really serious
     Rosa: "Mom, don't say that.  You are scaring the missionaries."
     Me:  "Ok then....I was thinking more along the lines of praying, reading scriptures, serving and loving one another....
I love lessons with Graciela! :)
     When we got home, we got a call from the zone leaders telling us that the sisters in Las Delicias are angry with us for teaching in their area.  We have not taught in that area, so we are really confused....

Domingo, 17 Mayo 2015
     Royer received the priesthood. :)
     I led the music again....and I ended up singing the sacrament hymn ALONE because none of the Peruvians knew the song...Awkward :)
     After church, we went to lunch early because we had a lot of citas and a meeting, so in order to get everything done, we had to start earlier.  We visited the familia Ysique Garcia.  Royer is different now.  He is more dedicated and serious about sharing the gospel, because he has the priesthood.
     Today, we followed the spirit and ended up being exactly where we were needed to be to help others. Our lessons weren't the best, but the people really needed us to be with them in their homes. It was a really special night.
     When we got home, we called the sister missionaries from Las Delicias to talk with them about why they think we are teaching in their area.  They said that some members in their ward told them that we were teaching in their area.  We explained that we weren't doing anything like that, and they chilled down a bit more.
     I don't like it when there is tension between missionaries.  We are all here for the same represent Christ....and Christ was never like that with anyone.  I know that I have weaknesses and that I am not perfect, and sometimes I don't always represent Christ the way I should, but everyday I am trying harder.

                                                  Here are some of the pictures I wasn't able to send before.

May 9, 2015
Baptism of familia Ysique Garcia
Baby Moises, Hna Dodson, Pedro (in front), Royer,
Maladiegue, Maria, Hna McGinnis
May 7, 2015
Zona Pomalca
Second Transfers

May 7, 2015
When we sang for the Mother's Day Party
Hna Dodson, Elder Epperson, Elder Brunis, Hna McGinnis
April 19, 2015
Elder Olsen, Elder Brunis, Teo (ward mission leader),
Hna Dodson, Hna McGinnis
April 19, 2015
Bertha and Silberio (ward missionaries and 
parents of Cecilia, our pensionista), Elder Olsen, 
Elder Brunis, Hna McGinnis, Hna Dodson
April 10, 2015
Zona Pomalca
at first transfers

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 57: "When your wagon gets stuck in the mud....get out and push!"

Lunes, 4 Mayo 2015
     This morning we did some deep cleaning and our cuarto looks so good!  After cleaning and showering, we went to the mercado to buy bananas and eggs so we could make arroz a la cubana. :)
When we showed up at the pension to cook our lunch, we ended up crashing a party.  They were celebrating the birthday of Hna Coca who had served in this mission and was back visiting with her new husband.  We were invited to eat some cake with them. :) It was yummy.
     After lunch, we went and bought some repellent, light bulbs, and a pomegranate.  Then we went to internet.  I was giggling a lot!  I also got a really cool email from my daddy.  He talked about consecrated oil.  I loved it.  He sent me a part of a talk from Elder Russell M. Nelson, that was talking about the olive tree and the oil.

Olive trees are special in the Holy Land. The olive branch is universally regarded as a symbol of peace. This tree provides food, light, heat, lumber, ointments, and medicine. It is now, as it was then, crucial to life in Israel. It is not a deciduous tree, but everbearing—always green. Even if the tree is chopped down, life will spring from its roots, suggesting everlasting life. Jewish tradition often refers to the olive tree as the tree of life. To me it seems to prefigure the Resurrection.
Jesus came to the base of the Mount of Olives to effect the first component of the Atonement. This He did at the Garden of Gethsemane. The word Gethsemane comes from two Hebrew roots: gath, meaning “press,” and shemen, meaning “oil,” especially that of the olive.
There olives had been pressed under the weight of great stone wheels to squeeze precious oil from the olives. So the Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane was literally pressed under the weight of the sins of the world. He sweated great drops of blood—his life’s “oil”—which issued from every pore. (See Luke 22:44;D&C 19:18.)
Jesus was accorded titles of unique significance. One was the Messiah, which in Hebrew means “anointed.” The other was the Christ, which in the Greek language means “anointed” as well. In our day, as it was in His day, the ordinance of administration to the sick includes anointing with the consecrated oil of the olive. So the next time you witness consecrated oil being anointed on the head of one to be blessed, and these sacred words are said, “I anoint you with this consecrated oil,” remember what that original consecration cost. Remember what it meant to all who had ever lived and who ever would yet live. Remember the redemptive power of healing, soothing, and ministering to those in need. Remember, just as the body of the olive, which was pressed for the oil that gave light, so the Savior was pressed. From every pore oozed the lifeblood of our Redeemer. Throughout the joyous days of your mission, when your cup of gladness runs over, remember His cup of bitterness which made it possible. And when sore trials come upon you, remember Gethsemane.
I love it.  I now understand so much better and have a greater insight.  I wish I could have understood it a little bit earlier in my mission, when I was given millions of priesthood blessings.
     Once P-Day ended, we went to a cita with Judith, Santos, and Francis.  We read 2 Nephi 2 with them.  I know with the Book of Mormon and prayers, they will grow closer to baptism.
     Then we headed to the park to meet the familia Ysique Garcia so we could go to Family Home Evening together.  We ended up waiting a really long time, so we contacted people in the park.  As we were teaching some people, a woman called us over.  She is a member of the other ward.  She told us that it wasn't safe to contact people here, and that we should just stay in our cuarto.  We thanked her for her concern, but told her that it was our job to talk to people. :)
     The familia Ysique Garcia showed up, so we went to the house of our pensionista for FHE.  We played a game after the lesson, which had everyone giggling!
     At 8:50pm, we had masamora for dinner.  Then we headed home.  When we got to our cuarto, there was a bag waiting for us from our district leader.  It had papers, pamphlets and chocolate inside. He is the best leader!  haha

Martes, 5 Mayo 2015
     Well thanks to our buddies, Elder Brunis and Elder Epperson, we showed up to a leader's meeting late.  We were told that the meeting was at 9am for the sisters, and then another meeting for all the missionaries would follow at 10am.  Well, as we pulled up to the church at 8:45am, thinking that we were 15 minutes early, we received a phone call from President Williams.  After I answered the phone, he said, "We have something to say to you."  and then a room full of missionaries yelled, "BUENAS DIAS!!!"  Then President asked us where we were, because the meeting had already started.  When we walked into the meeting, President came up and shook our hands.  We said that we were sorry and that we received wrong info about the starting time, and President said that he could see that, because the elders weren't there yet either. haha
     Twenty minutes later, the elders showed up and came and sat with us at our table.  We joked with them about giving us "correct" information about the meeting time... and then we welcomed them.  The leader meeting was so great.  One of my favorite parts was when President Williams read part of a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland called "The Miracle of the Restoration" (Oct. 1994).  It was so powerful and spirit was so strong.
     At the end of the meeting, all the missionaries who were going home in June got up and bore their testimonies.  One of the missionaries was Elder Coons.  How crazy.  I can't believe that he is already going home.  I still remember starting my mission with him in Motupe....but it makes sense because I have 13 months in the mission!
     For lunch, we got to eat hamburgers from Chili's restaurant!
     After the meeting, I took a picture with the sisters leaders in my group, Hna Blackburn and Hna Kennedy.  It was nice to see them again.  I also got to see Hna Corona.  She is a sister leader, too, and I am so happy for her.  She will be so great!
     After we got done, we went home and headed to San Antonio to pick up the familia Ysique Garcia to go to the church for their interviews for baptism.  As they each took their turn, the zone leaders (Elder Brunis y Elder Epperson) showed up.  They were really nice, and apologized for making us late this morning.  Then we planned what we were going to do on Thursday night for a ward activity for Mother's Day.  The elders want us to sing, so we decided to sing a Mother's Day song in Spanish. Really creative....I know. :)
     Good news!  The familia Ysique Garcia all passed their interviews and are getting baptized on Saturday!!
     We got home late (9:30pm) and found a contact named Carlota pounding on our door.  She was bringing us homemade cake from her son, Jesus' birthday!  So we ate cake...:)

Miercoles, 6 Mayo 2015
     We did intercambios today.  I stayed in our area in Pomalca with Hna Mejia.  She is a cool girl. She is super funny...always making jokes and making others laugh.
     We ended up going to San Antonio to visit some people, but no one was home...but as we were walking down the road, we decided to contact a woman in her house.  She ended up being very interested and begged us to come back another day.  We made a cita to see her again on Friday. :)
Her name is Isabel.  I have a really good feeling about her.
     Our last cita was with the familia Ysique Garcia.  We read 1 Nephi 8, which is about the Tree of Life.  They really loved it.

Jueves, 7 Mayo 2015
     We ended intercambios at the zone meeting this morning.  Our zone leaders are so awesome.  I always learn so much from them.  I am so grateful we share an area with them.  We also taught at the meeting, because we are sister leaders.  I felt like it went well.
     After the meeting, we went home and rested because my comp didn't feel good. :(
     Later in the night, we went to the church for a women's activity and to practice singing our Mother's Day songs to the ladies.  As we waited for the activity to start, I played with Pedro and Maladiegue.  We laughed so much and we were making everyone else giggle that was around us.
     Right before the activity started, Elena showed up and she looked sad.  We took her to the side of the church building and talked with her.  She needed some love, so we gave her hugs and kind words, and she felt better. :)
     The activity started and we sang, "Mother, I Love You" and some other mom song.  It went okay I guess....everyone seemed to enjoy it....haha  Then we went home.

Viernes, 8 Mayo 2015     FELIZ 13 MESES!
     Today we visited in San Antonio.  We visited a couple named Raul and Darleen.  They are an awesome couple.  They are great member missionaries.
     We visited Isabel and she was waiting for us, and let us right in.  We talked about the church and she was really soaking it all in.
     After teaching her, we taught a few more investigators and all the lessons went well.  Our last visit in San Antonio was with the familia Ysique Garcia.  We focused on baptism.  They were nervous but excited for tomorrow.
     Our last cita of the night was with Judith, her mom Blanca and her dad Lorenzo.  We ended up reading the Book of Mormon with them.  We read Ether 12.  Lorenzo, who had never had visits from the missionaries, was really loving it.  We gave him a Book of Mormon before we left.  I love the power of the scriptures!
     Tomorrow is going to be a stressful day...wish me luck.....

Sabado, 9 Mayo 2015
     To start the day, the power went out.  My heart stopped, because we were supposed to be Skyping with our families later that afternoon.  A good minute later, and after praying our little hearts out, the power came back on! :)
     Once that small little trial of faith happened, we thought we were good for the rest of the day.....NOT.
     At 10 am, we stopped by the Bishop's house to get the keys to the church, so we could clean and fill the font.....well, when we got there, some people from the other ward were already cleaning. They light heartedly said, "There is no water.  You don't have a baptism today, do you?"  We answered, "Yes, we do have a baptism."  Panic appeared on their faces, and all the cell phones started making calls.  Our first solution was to call a water guy to come by and see if he could get the water working, but we weren't sure what time he would be able to come, so we decided that we better just get to work on our own.  We grabbed some buckets and started walking to find water.  We found a car wash place that had water!  The elders showed up with buckets, so we filled our buckets and walked back to the church.  When we tried to go inside, the church was locked....and our keys were in our bags which were inside the church.....
     Thankfully the elders had their cell phone, so they started calling for help.  There we were, four missionaries, 3 buckets of water, and stranded outside a locked church....15 minutes before we were supposed to Skype with our families.  About 3 minutes to noon, the stake president showed up on his bike, smiling at us. He let us in the church and we hurried and dumped our buckets of water, and it filled the font about 1/2 inch!  We started giggling and I shared a quote, "When our wagon gets stuck in the mud, God is much more likely to assist the man who gets out to push than the man who merely raises his voice in prayer."  I told them that I learned this from my mom.  My mom always just jumps right into the problem and starts working and every time, a miracle happens and everything works out.  So after giving this pep talk, the elders told us that they would continue to work while we go and Skype with our families.  We grabbed our stuff and ran to internet.
     It was a hectic morning, but it was fun to talk to my family!
     After Sykping, the elders called us and told us the water guy had showed up to fix the water, so they were eating lunch.  We decided to eat lunch, too.  After we all finished eating, we went back to the church to fill the font.  When we turned on the water, it only worked for a few seconds and then stopped again.  So we grabbed our buckets and were on our way to the car wash, when the water guy asked us where we were going.  When we told him the water wasn't working, he went back inside and wiggled a couple pipes and the water began to pour into the font!  What a miracle!!  We were able to then relax a little and get the font filled quickly.  Everything was prepared for the baptism!
     At 3:30pm, the familia Ysique Garcia showed up and we got them dressed in their white clothes. It was the most special witness to see the three of them dressed in white, walking hand in hand into the church building.  My heart was filled with so much love.
     The baptism didn't start until 4:30pm...this DRIVES ME CRAZY!  Anyhow, me and Hna McGinnis sang, I am a Child of God, and then it was time for the baptism.  When all three of them left the font, they were all glowing and said that they felt something special while they were in the water. :)
     After they all got changed, we went back into the church and they bore their testimonies.  When Maria got up, she began to cry and said, "I am so grateful to be part of this church." It was so powerful...we could feel her thankfulness.
     After testimonies, I got up and lead the last song, and as I was leading, I saw Pedro staring at me. When we finished singing, Pedro spoke really loudly to his dad, "I've decided that Hna Dodson is going to lead the music at my baptism, too!"  haha  When I went down and sat with him, he laid his head on my shoulder and told me that he loved me.  I love Pedro.
     After the baptism, my comp wasn't feeling good, so we headed home and rested.  We talked, planned and got ready for bed.

Domingo, 10 Mayo 2015      FELIZ DIA DE LA MADRE
     At church, Maria came up to me after she was confirmed and hugged me and said, "I am finally a real member!  Thank you so much!"  I love them so much!
     At 1:30pm, we ate lunch with them.  We ate arroz a la cubana! (my favorite!)  We all laughed and smiled as we ate our lunch around a little table.  It was so special.  They are going to be awesome members of the church.
     After doing some visits around town, we went to a meeting at the church.  The zone leaders were standing there with packages from home for me.  One was from my parents (Thanks for the puzzle!) one was from Lucile (Thanks for the hot chocolate!) and one was from the Young Women in my home ward! (Thanks for all the cards and candy!  I love it!)  The elders saw that one was full of candy, so they begged me for some candy.  I let elder Brunis try some candy for the first time.  My favorite was to watch him struggle as he tried eating a pixy stick!  haha
     After the meeting, we had ward council.  We were talking with some return missionaries and they taught us a new word: Latingo (Latino + Gringo)  haha  It's my new favorite word!
     Ward Council got heated, so that was fun....:p
     Then we went to dinner, went home, planned, reported our numbers and got ready for bed.
P.S. There were a lot of drunks around today, so we had to be super careful.  I can't imagine what Father's Day is going to be like, if it's like this on Mother's Day.

Trujillo, Peru temple
It is opening soon!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 56: "My banner will be clear."

Lunes, 27 Abril 2015
     After studies my comp slept.  As she rested, I cleaned up my area, wrote some cards and sang some hymns.  At 1pm, my comp woke up, so we headed to the mercado to buy the ingredients to make arroz a la cubana.  We realized why they call this "poor man's food", because the two bananas and two eggs it takes to make it only cost 2 soles...which is like $.75.  The best part is, that it is easy to make and it tastes so good!  We made arroz a la cubana for our lunch.  Then we went to internet. I found out that my home ward got a new bishopric!  Crazy.  I am excited for Bishop DougTerrill.  He is going to do a great job, and so will his counselors, Brother Jeff White and Brother Robert Edminster.
     After internet, we went home and talked about where we want to study and about our futures.
     Then we went teaching.  The only people that we found at home were Victoria and Anaximando. We tried teaching them about the Law of Chastity, but Anaximando had just taken some pills, so he kept falling asleep.  It was a hoot.
     Later, we went to dinner, and then home to plan and get ready for bed.  We made a plan to do divisions with some members here in Pomalca.  I hope we have more luck than last week...we tried to do three divisions, but all of them fell through.

Martes, 28 Abril 2015
     We had our district meeting today, and then we went to lunch.  After lunch, we went to pick up Elena (17 yrs) and Rosa to do divisions.  Elena could go, but Rosa had to bail out at the last minute. We had great lessons!  Elena is powerful!  Her testimony is so strong and the light of Christ just glows from her.  She helped every single person that we visited today in a special way.  I am so glad that she was able to do divisions with us, because she touched the hearts of everyone.
     In the night, we visited the familia Isique Garcia...and at the end of the visit, Maladiegue told me that their last name is spelled like Ysique instead of Isique.  haha oops....oh well.  They are struggling with a lot of temptations, and even though they have fallen a few times, they have gotten back up and are trudging forward.  They are great people.  Royer can't wait to receive the Priesthood after he gets baptized.  I am so excited for when he will be able to baptize Pedro!!  That will be an amazing experience.
     We headed home, ate dinner and said hello to Carlota.  She let us know that Hermes has bronchitis right now.  She also told us that they really miss us teaching them.  Then we went upstairs, planned, made some phone calls and then got ready for bed.

Miercoles, 29 Abril 2015
     This morning when we went out to teach, there were TONS of men working construction.  They always yell stuff at us in English...but we usually just ignore them....but today, Hna McGinnis looked at me and whispered "sign language" and then began moving her hands around in fake signing.  It was so great!  It reminded me of when my dad would try to speak sign language!  Anyhow, the men totally thought that we were deaf.  hahaha
      On the way to another cita, we walked past this guy with a huge tattoo of Jesus on his beer belly. He started asking us, "Are you looking for me?"  We shook our heads no and kept walking.  He called to us again all mobster like, "Are you looking for me!?"  We shook our heads no, and then knocked on the door of a family.  He realized that we were looking for Marleny, so he said, "You looking for Marleny? Because she not there....and then he made a slicing motion by his throat...she died yesterday."  Just as he finished telling us that, Marleny opened the door.  Turns out Marleny is a member!  We had a good visit.
     We had some good lessons today.  We read the Book of Mormon with a few families and the spirit was undeniable. :)

Jueves, 30 Abril 2015
      This morning was great.  I love finding out that I am an answer to people's prayers.  It happened twice this morning- one visit right after another.  Both had been praying for a sign that God loved them and then we came knocking on their door.  They are less active families that are going through some crazy problems.  By the time we left their homes, they were feeling a lot more relieved.
     Today we visited a lot of people.  One was Teodora.  We are re-teaching the lessons to her and after we were done explaining our messages, her son-in-law, Gaspar, went over and whispered something into her ear.  All of a sudden, Teodora becomes a social butterfly and just started talking and talking.  We realized that she was stalling and trying to keep us there....then Gaspar returned with a giant bottle of soda some crackers to share with us. :)
     After some more visits, we headed to the ward activity.  The bishopric was supposed to be in charge, but when we got there, no one from the bishopric was there.  The elders assigned me and Hna McGinnis to teach and run the activity.  :) We did it, and it turned out great.  Theo, the ward mission leader took over at the very end, so we could get home to bed.

Viernes, 1 Mayo 2015  Feliz dia de Trabajadores!  [Happy Worker's Day!]
     This morning we went out to find a lab so we could have some blood tests done, but today is a holiday to celebrate workers, so no one was open.  As we were walking around, I heard my name being called. When I looked up, I saw my sweet family from Motupe- Ana, Crisalina, Lucero and the rest of the family!  (She was my pensionista in Motupe).  We all got so excited to see each other again.  I ran over to them and gave them all huge hugs.  They say that everyone in Motupe still misses me and have been worried about my foot.  I told them that all is well with my foot.  I told them that I loved them and missed them, too. Then we said goodbye.
     We ended up staying in for the rest of the day because my comp wasn't feeling well.... :(
     By the end of the day, she was feeling better and so our pensionista called and let us know that she was bringing rosery chicken and fries to us for our dinner. :)

Sabado, 2 Mayo 2015
     We did our weekly planning this morning since Hna McGinnis was sick yesterday.  After we finished planning, we went out teaching.  We ended up helping an older man demolish some bricks that were outside of his house.  He was really grateful for our help. :)
     After that, we went and visited Marleny. (less active)  She was watching her grandson...when we heard a fart...and next thing, there was poo all over the floor!  All of us busted up laughing!
     Today we met a lot of new people who made us laugh so much.
     At the end of the night, we ran into the woman who speaks sign language.  I am pretty rusty, but I could understand everything that she was saying to me.  I am so grateful that I studied sign language in high school!  I could see the gratitude in her face, that someone other than her family could understand her.  She is a beautiful woman and I am so grateful that I have a chance to show her love and to be able to speak back to her.  I have had several experiences here in the mission with people who speak sign language, and I know that I was sent to meet these people to be able to add a little more light into their lives, and they into mine. :)
     When I get back home in the States, I am going to do more studying in sign language and Spanish, so that I can shine love and light to those I may come in contact with.
     I love the mission.  I love the little miracles that happen everyday.  I love my companion.  I love Pomalca.  I love God.

Domingo, 3 Mayo 2015
     I was a happy girl today at church, because we had put so much effort into getting people to church, and everyone was there!  I was super happy!
     After church, we did our studies.  I studied in Romans....that book is so intense....I love it!
     At 1pm, we went to lunch with a member.  We became buddies with her little 6 year old grand daughter.  She kept begging us to stay and hang out with her when we were trying to leave.  We couldn't stay, because we had some teaching to do.  We went to find a reference that the elders had given us.  We ended up getting called over by a woman and her daughter.  The woman's name was Rosa, and she is a Buddhist.  It was cool to talk to her about religion.  She had a lot to say, but she let us teach her about the Restoration.  She really liked it and she wants us to come back to teach her some more. :)  As we were leaving her house, a 13 year old girl came running up to us and asked us if we were Mormons.  When we told her that we were, she got excited and invited us to her house to teach her and her family.  We told her that we would go with her to see where she lived, but we had another cita, so we would have to come back a different time.
     We went to our cita with Teodora and Jose.  We taught them about the Plan of Salvation and it went so well.  Teodora understands the Plan well, and she can't wait to go to the temple to complete more of the Plan. :)
     After their visit, we went to Corelation.  We were told that Thursday, all the missionaries need to put on a skit for Mother's Day....haha...surprise! Hopefully we can think of something fun to do. :)
     Later, we ended up teaching some less actives on the side of the road.  They all appreciated us coming up and talking with them.
     When we got home, we planned and then listened to Christmas music, because we want it to be Christmas! :)

Quote that Hna McGinnis shared with me:

"I am a part of a fellowship of the unshamed.  The die has been cast.  I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made.  I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.  I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still.  My past is redeemed.  My presence makes sense.  My future is secure.  I am finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed vision, worldly taking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals.  I no longer need pre-eminence, position, promotions, plaudits or popularity.  I don't have to be right, first, recognized, praised, rewarded or regarded.  I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with his patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power.  My face is set, my gate is fast, my goal is Heaven.  My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few.  My guide is reliable, my mission is clear.  I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed.  I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the mare mediocrity.  I won't give up, shut up, or let up, until I stayed up, stored up and paid up for the cause of Christ.  I must go until He comes.  Give until I drop.  Preach until all know.  And when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me.  My banner will be clear."

                                                                   Henry B. Eyring