Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 64: 1 sore throat, 3 shots, and 7 pills later....

Lunes, 22 Junio 2015
     I woke up with a sore throat and what ended up happening is that as we were teaching Milagros about Alma 24, I got super we went back to the cuarto and I rested the rest of the day.

Martes, 23 Junio 2015
     I woke up feeling worse, so we called Hna Williams and she said it sounds like I have strep throat. She told us to call Elder Cabas to set up an appointment with a doctor to diagnose me.  We went to the doctor at 9:30am, and it turns out that I have strep.  He gave me some pills and also 3 syringes to have a nurse give me a shot in the rear end for the next three days.

My pills and shots that about killed me!
After the shot, I started feeling really weak, so I had to lay down for a little bit.  Then we left and when I got home, I rested.  I felt really gross, weak and sick.  We ended up staying in the cuarto all day long.  I received a blessing from the elders.  They are great elders.

Miercoles, 24 Junio 2015
     Once again, we went to Chiclayo so I could another shot in the rear.  I felt like I couldn't even walk.  We got back home.  I felt so sick and weak, so I rested some more.

Jueves, 25 Junio 2015
     We went to the doctor for the last shot.  We ran into some elders there and they asked us what was wrong and I explained that I had strep throat and one of them had the same symptoms, so he asked me what the doctor was having me do.  I told him, "Pills and shots."  The fear on his face was priceless. haha Then we stopped by the mission office to send home some stuff, and then we went home.  I felt so nauseous this time and my body felt so I rested.  I feel bad for not working, but my body is in bad shape and it is better that I rest and get better than to work and not let my body heal. :(

Viernes, 26 Junio 2015
     Today I decided that we would go out teaching.  It was a struggle because I was not feeling good. We went and taught Andrea and her daughter. And then we went to visit Fany.  Then we went back to the cuarto and I rested.  I don't know why I feel so sick. :(

Sabado, 27 Junio 2015
     I woke up still sick, so I called Hna Williams.  We talked for a little and she said that she wanted to talk to the American, Dr. Bart, to see what he thought of all of it.  I got a call a little bit later and she was not happy at all.  She let me know that the shots they had given me were making me sick. Once I told her all of my symptoms, she told me that she would talk to Dr. Bart to see if there is something I could do to feel better....but there isn't.  I just have to wait for the medicine to pass through my system.  We stayed in the cuarto all day....
     The elders stopped by to tell us sad news.  Elder Epperson has emergency transfers and will be a zone leader in Chiclayo.  He leaves Pomalca on Tuesday.  We talked with them for a bit.  They stayed outside as we sat on the stairs.

Domingo, 28 Junio 2015
     We got up and got ready and went to church.  For the first Sunday, I refused to lead the music because I felt so sick.  I just sat on our bench trying to tell myself that I was fine....but I wasn't.  We had to leave 2 times so I could go to the bathroom.  Once sacrament meeting was over, we tried to go to Sunday School, but I felt too sick, so we just went home.  I rested and an hour later I got a call from President Williams asking me how I was feeling.  I let him know that I was still really sick.  He let me talk to his wife. (she is so great!)  They said that they would keep in touch with me and let me know if they find out anything I could do that would make me feel better.
     As we were about to leave to go eat lunch, Pres. Williams called and said, "I am sending the elders to you.  They are going to give you a blessing of health, and I know that this will make you better. The power of God will work since nothing the doctors are doing is working.'
     I hung up the phone with him and we went to lunch.  As we were eating, the elders showed up and talked with us.  They definitely lifted my spirits with their jokes and happy faces.  Then they told me that they were going to give me a blessing.  We said a prayer all together and then Elder Brunis annointed my head.  Elder Epperson gave me such a powerful blessing.  The spirit flowed through my veins.  I could feel the sickness slowly but surely being sucked out of my body.  He kept saying over and over again that through all this suffering, I am going to receive huge blessings (Doctrine and Covenants 58:1-4)  He also talked about how I am a vessel of the Lord and that many will know me as a servant of God, not just now, but after my mission.  He talked about how God knows of my personal changes and commitments that I have made with Him and that He is pleased with my promises. It was a very needed blessing.  I love the elders so much and appreciate their faith and love.
     After the blessing, we went home so I could rest.  Once we got home, Hna Williams called and when I let her know that I felt a lot better after the blessing, she was so relieved.  I am so relieved, too.  I just want to be normal again, so I can work and serve and love everyone.  I have missed the work.

"As I was dying in bed, Hna McGinnis would do wierd things
 to make me smile so I wasn't too sad."
I love you Hna McGinnis!

[BYU Men's Choir sings 2 Nephi 4 to the tune of Be Still My Soul.  It is soooo AMAZING!]

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Week 63: We spent 9 hours in church today...We watched all 3 sessions of the Trujillo Temple Dedication!

Lunes, 15 Junio 2015
     After studies this morning, Hna McGinnis went and slept while I went through all my belongings and got rid of unneeded items.  Then we went to Cecilia's house and made ourselves arroz a la cubana. Then we wrote home.  When we showed up at the internet place, the elders were there, too, so all four of us wrote home together.  It was fun.
     Then we went and paid our light bill and bought some treats.  We went home and chilled out until it was time to go teaching.
     We went and taught Judith and Francis.  By the end of our visit, Francis was more excited about reading the scriptures and praying daily. :)
     Then we went to dinner at Monica's house.  We ate pollo a la braza.  The elders were there, too. We laughed so much.  We told funny health experiences we have had with doctors here.  We also had a discussion about how many continents there are in the world.  In the States, they teach that there are Mexico, they teach that there are 6...and here in South America, they teach that there are only 5....What!?  I guess only God really knows. :)
     We ran home after dinner, because we were almost late.  It was a fun night.

Martes, 16 Junio 2015     Hna Corona just got put into our zone!  She is in Patapo!!
     Today was a very efficient work day.  We worked really hard and we were able to visit a lot of people.  In the late afternoon, we went visiting with Carlota...she is awesome, but she is going to get us in trouble one day.  We were looking for an investigator who lives on the border of the division of our area and the elders' area....that investigator wasn't home, so as Hna McGinnis and I were looking at our agendas trying to figure out who to visit, we turn to look at Carlota, and she was over in the elders' area knocking a door, and before we know it she told the people inside that she was with missionaries that teach the word of God....then she entered and told us to go in with we entered.  Shhhh...don't tell the elders.  haha  We taught a single older woman.  Carlota bore her testimony with so much power.
     Later we visited the familia Espinoza.  Diana told us that we are some of her favorite sister missionaries. :)  After that, we went to dinner and ate panqueques.  After we ate, Hna McGinnis still felt hungry, so we went to the Polleria to buy pollo a la braza.  As we were about to cross into the elders' area to buy the food, the elders showed up, so we walked another direction so they wouldn't know that we were getting dinner.  haha  Once they were gone, we bought our chicken, headed home, shared the food, planned and got ready for bed.

Miercoles, 17 Junio 2015
     Well the change in climate got to me.  This morning, I got pretty sick and it didn't help that the power went out, so I had to shower with ice cold water, not just luke warm.  I was in bad shape.  I was sore and my joints I was out until it was time to visit the familia Ysique Garcia, because it was really important that we visited them and also the familia Flores.
     With the familia Flores, the mom, Maritza, was so into the lesson.  We explained that after Christ's death and the death of his apostles, the world fell into apostasy.  Then we went on to explain that God loves us, but before we could finish, she looked at us with so much desire in her eyes and asked, "Then who is our prophet today?"  We went on to explain about Joseph Smith and how after a prophet dies, one of the apostles takes his place.  We told her about Thomas S. Monson and she was loving it all.  She told us something funny at the end of the lesson.  She said, "I have had visits from other religions and they tell me to watch out for the Mormons because they worship Joseph Smith as if he were a God....but all this time that you have been visiting me, you always talk about God and Jesus and the Bible, so I wasn't understanding who Joseph Smith was until today.  It makes sense now.  No wonder you are grateful for Joseph Smith, because he helped Christ put His church on the earth again. Joseph was the connection with God that we all needed."  We sat there in awe because she basically bore testimony to us that she knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.  It was awesome!
     We went home, planned and got ready for bed.

Jueves, 18 Junio 2015
     This morning we taught a woman who tried to rob us my first week here in Pomalca.  Her name is Asuzena.  Well, she is the mom of Janeth, a less active member.  It was pretty weird to teach her.  It just shows that we missionaries forgive easily and are willing to help all of God's children come unto Christ.
     During our lesson with her, she told us, "I'm going to hell, and I can't do anything about it." I looked at her straight in the eyes and I told her that God doesn't want that, and all she has to do is change and be a follower of Christ.  She responded, "You are telling me that I have a chance to go to heaven?"  We told her that she could if she allows us to help her come unto Christ.  She agreed, and we set another cita with her.  I really hope we can help her.
     At lunch, Hna McGinnis dropped her water bottle and it cracked.  She usually fills her bottle up with hot water, so when she lifted it off the table to drink from it, the water was so hot that the pressure inside the bottle sprayed the water out of the crack and I got drenched! It was really funny.

     Later in the night, we went to the Father's Day activity.  We didn't get to stay very long, though. On our way home, we ran into Ana, Luis' aunt.  She told us that Luis just got home from the doctor and that he has lukemia... :(  She told us that he needs a lot of support and prayers.  I really hope a miracle can happen.  He is a good guy.  She let us know that he is going home to Lima to be treated, because the doctors are better there.

Viernes, 19 Junio 2015
     We had our weekly planning this morning.  In the afternoon, we went out and visited with Carlota. The first person that we visited was Andrea.  She has been going to church for years, and most people think that she is a member, but she isn't. Anyways, we taught her and her daughter.  When they asked me where I was from, they didn't believe me that I was from the States...they thought I was from Mexico. :) haha
     Later, we visited Gladys (recent convert) and her non member daughter Pamela.  Gladys really wants us to help her daughter get baptized, so we are doing all we can.
     We also visited Judith.  We read the General Conference talk about Saints, and how "saints are sinners who just keep trying."  She really liked it.  Hopefully, at some point she will understand that she doesn't have to be perfect before or after baptism....just as long as she tries to better herself everyday.
     On the way back to our cuarto, we ran into a little kid dancing in the road.  He was not only dancing, but he had on a hat with Mickey Mouse ears and he had glued a unicorn horn in the middle of the ears.  haha

Sabado, 20 Junio 2015
     This morning we visited Luis.  Poor guy is so sick. :( We taught him about the Plan of Salvation and he really liked it.  At the end, we invited him to get baptized on 25 de Julio (July), but he thought that we said 25 de Junio (June) ... the best part of it all was that he said yes to the one in June, but that he had to go to Lima on Monday to get treated. :)  When we told him that we meant in July, he said, "I will get baptized on 25 de Julio of I am back from Lima."  He is such a cool guy.  He and his family really need love and prayers, and lots of faith.  I know that God can heal him, it all just depends on if it is God's will.
     After lunch, we went to San Antonio to visit the familia Ysique Garcia.  We taught about scriptures and then we shared a dinner with them.  We brought peach juice and they fed us rolls with cheese.  It was yummy and very satisfying. :)
     After that, we went and visited the familia Flores.  It was a good lesson.  We taught about the Book of Mormon.  Maritza knows that the Book of Mormon and the Bible need to be used together. Towards the end of the lesson, she opened up to us about some personal difficulties and told us that she hasn't been able to trust anyone for a very long time, but that she really trusts us.  She told us that we are her closest friends and that she is grateful for us.  Their family has a lot of potential to make lots of progress in the gospel and be sealed as a family for always and forever.
     We hurried home, ate our queques and warm milk quickly so that we could get to our cuarto on time.  Then we planned and got ready for bed.  We also prepared ourselves for the temple dedication tomorrow.  I can't wait!

Domingo, 21 Junio 2015     FELIZ DIA DEL PADRE!
     We were able to celebrate a really special Father's Day.  We watched a servant of God give God a wonderful gift- a house dedicated to His work.  We watched the dedication of the Temple in Trujillo. We watched all three sessions.  It was great and the spirit was so strong.
     A fun thing was that during the dedication, I was able to see many members from Patapo there!  We ended up spending 9 hours at church today. :)
     Once we left, we went out contacting.  We found many cute couples celebrating Father's Day.  We also contacted "couples" who were really just brother and sister.  haha  They didn't like our comments of them being a cute couple. haha oops...
     We ate yogurt and cereal for dinner.  Then we went home, reported our numbers to our district leader, Elder Jarman.  He is so nice and a good district leader.  Then we got ready for bed.

Pomalca has sidewalks now!!
We are going to have roads by October!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 62: "When there isn't plata (money), we don't dance."

Lunes, 8 de Junio del 2015     14 meses en la mision!
     Time just keeps flying by!  Anyways, this morning we went running and when we got back, we decided we would wait to shower until after we had cleaned our cuarto.  Once studies were over, we were about to start cleaning when the elders called us asking us to bring them a cardboard box...we we were all gross and sweaty when we took it to them.  Since we were out, we stopped by the mercado and bought the ingredients we needed to make baked potatoes.  We also bought some flowers, so we could make thank yous for all the women that helped us this week.
     We headed home and cleaned the cuarto.  We finally showered and headed to the pension.  We made our thank you cards and handed out our flowers while our potatoes were cooking.  Turns out that baked potatoes don't really work we wasted 2 hours trying to make some American food, and in the end, we ate arroz a la cubana....haha.

At the pension with our pensionista Cecilia and her
daughter Zultezi
     After lunch, we wrote home.  I loved all my emails!  Thank you!  Then we went home and relaxed and ate some Peruvian pastries until it was time to go out teaching.
     As we were walking to our first cita, we walked past a road that was being worked on, and there was a string tightened across the street.  I tried to step over it, but my left foot didn't make it, so I almost fell on my face.  My reaction was, "Holy Crap!!"  Hna McGinnis responded, "I don't think they know what crap is!"  haha  Well, my shoe got ripped off my foot, so I put it back on, and as we were walking, it felt like there was a huge rock stabbing my foot.  When we got to the house of the investigator, I took off my shoe to shake out the rock, but to my surprise, I found blood in my shoe. I looked at the bottom of my foot and I found a hole in my foot!  Don't stress, it's not anything serious. :)  So we limped....yes, "we", because Hna McGinnis didn't want me to stand out, so she limped, even worse than me! haha  Once we got back to our cuarto, we cleaned my "foot hole".  Now my foot was hurting quite a bit, so we stayed home for a little longer than we expected.  We decided to play a prank on the elders....I will write about it soon enough....anyhow, it was time for dinner, so we limped all the way to the pension.  Then we went home to plan, talk, listen to music and get ready for bed.
     It was an eventful day of failed baked potatoes, holes in socks and feet, and also prank planning. Gotta love P-Days!!

Martes, 9 de Junio 2015
     This morning we studied and then headed to our district meeting.  I really like our district.  It is fun because almost everyone in it has over a year in the mission.  Elder Brunis- 23 months, Elder Epperson- 21 months, Elder Jarmon- 21 months, Elder Coca- 2 months (greenie), Hna Mejia- 1 year,
Hna Meneses- 17 months, Me and Hna McGinnis- 14 months!  We are all super good friends now!
     After the meeting, we went to lunch and then Jose came and finished fixing our shower while we studied language.  During our studies, the Elders showed up and surprised us with a bunch of Starbursts and a bag of Doritos!  They were wishing us a Happy Fourteen Month Mark.  We seriously have the best elders here!  I love them.
     Then we went out teaching.  We ended up teaching Norbil, who is Luis' cousin, because Luis wasn't home.  Norbil is really cool.  He is a member, but he has a lot of problems because he likes the party life and his "wife" just gave birth to a little girl less than a month ago.  He loves his daughter a lot.  Well, during the lesson, he asked Hna McGinnis where she was from.  She said that she was from the States.  Then he looked at me and asked me the same thing, and I said, "Utah." and then he asked, "Is that Northern Mexico?"  I responded, "No, its in the U.S.A."  Surprised that I wasn't Mexican, he asked if I know a lot about Mexico.  I told him that I have some friends from Mexico and that one of my companions was from there, also.  He couldn't get over the fact that  I wasn't was hilarious! :)
     Later in the night, we visited Graciela.  Tonight her line was, "When there isn't plata (money), we don't dance."  She is so funny. :)
     Then we went and ate dinner- banana bread and milk.  After dinner, we pulled a fast one on Antero.  We went to Antero's house (the guitarist) to try and teach him.  Well, he doesn't know that we know where he lives, so we knocked on his door and pretended to be looking for a different person.  He came out and helped us find the person and we got talking with him. Well....surprise, Antero got baptized 3 years ago!  Only bummer is that Antero is into drugs, but he gladly accepted our offer to come back to church.  He said that he really misses the church and talking about baptism. He is a cool guy.  I hope that we can help him.

Miercoles, 10 Junio 2015
     This morning all was well until lunch.  We were invited to lunch by a sweet member named Paula...she served each of us a full sized Thanksgiving dinner with a side of rice (a  mountain)! haha :)  Once we ate, we both felt ill, so we were out the rest of the afternoon.  We rested and studied...but mostly just rested.

Feeling sick....ugh....:(

Jueves, 11 Junio 2015
     I woke up worse today.  I pretended like all was fine, but after trying to eat breakfast, I felt super sick.  We ended up being in the cuarto all day.  I slept while my darling companion studied....and danced. :)
Hna McGinnis dancing :)
 Our wonderful pensionista Cecilia brought us our lunch (duck and rice) and also our dinner. (yogurt and cereal)  She is the best pensionista.  I love her dearly, especially since today was her Birthday and she still took time to care for us.

Viernes, 12 Junio 2015
     Well, this morning we were given birthday cake for breakfast. :) We had our weekly planning and then we went out teaching.  We went with a member named Nicida, and ended up visiting a less active member named Luz and her husband Cesar (not a member).  Turns out that Nicida is the visiting teacher of Luz, but can never find her home.  Well, we found her home and we had a good lesson with her.  In the end and after we left, Nicida thanked us for letting her be there to visit Luz and feel so strongly the spirit.
     After we visited some other women.  They denied our invite to baptism, but they still want to hear our lessons.  Then we knocked on some member's door and as we were waiting for someone to answer, some Jehovah's Witnesses walked by.  Hna McGinnis dared me to contact them.  I told her, "If you buy me a bodoque." (homemade popsicle)  She agreed, but told me that I had to make it a "good" contact...well I did it!  It was a pretty good contact...the man didn't want anything to do with it, but the other two women with him were chill about the whole situation...who knows what will come of it, but now they can't hold it against me that I didn't try to share the true gospel with them. Hna McGinnis couldn't believe the courage that I had. :)
     Then we ran into some less actives and they gave us candied apples.  We went to dinner and then went out visiting some other people.  We visited with Milagros (less active).  We talked about Ether 12 from the Book of Mormon.  The spirit was very strong as we testified of faith and of growing into stronger children of God by finding our weaknesses and asking for God's help to make us strong.  We all shared experiences of when we saw our faith bring forth a miracle.  It was very special.  Well her lesson ended at 8:55pm, so we ran home to be there on time.
     We planned and raced to get into bed.  I love being companions with Hna McGinnis.  We get along so well.  We just laugh all the time.  She helps me be a better person.  She makes me want to grow in knowledge and talent abilities.  She is awesome!  I love her so much!

Sabado, 13 Junio 2015
     This morning Hna McGinnis wasn't feeling super good, so she rested until lunch.  After lunch, we went out.  We were able to teach 3 people today.  We first went to see Clara.  We taught about the 10 Commandments.  When we talked about the 6th Commandment about not killing, we started talking about people in war and that it is different if they are doing it to protect life, family, country and religion.  Clara started telling us about her sons who have all fought in war and that they are mentally scared because of the killings.  As she was sharing it all, we could see a relief come from her...that she knew that her sons were forgiven. It was neat to feel the spirit work through us to bring peace to her mind.
     The second visit was with a woman named Angelica.  She is a really sweet, young mom.  Her husband works in Lima.  We ended up teaching a good portion of Lesson #1.  She liked it.  We invited her to pray and ask God if it's we hope she does.
     The third visit was with the familia Ysique Garcia.  The only people there were Maria, Maladiegue and Pedro.  After we read the scriptures with them, we decided to teach them a few words in English.  We taught them "High Five" and "Low Five".  haha  But before we taught them, I asked them, "Como se dice high five", and I high fived myself.  The kids said, "Chocala!" Then I said, "Y en ingles?" and then Maladiegue said, "Ocala!" It was funny!  They loved it!

drawings from Pedro and Maladiegue

Domingo, 14 Junio 2015
     Today was Stake Conference.  It was pretty good, but once it ended, everything went crazy.  I saw Luis there, so I hurried over to him and we were talking about how he was feeling and how his health was because he is sick.  He told me that he hasn't received his results yet, but that he would let us know if we could do something to help him.  Then the elders walked over and started talking to me with him, and that's when I asked Luis when we could come visit him again, and he said, "The elders are coming to visit me on Wednesday."  I looked at the elders to figure out why they pretended like it was okay that they were visiting our investigator, without asking us first.  Well, someone came over with a reference for us to meet, so we left Luis and went and set up a cita with the reference.  As I was talking with the reference, Hna McGinnis told me to stay with Hna Mejia, while she went to talk with Hna Meneses.  Then the elders came back over to me and explained why they were visiting Luis.  They told me that Luis has blood cancer and is dying, but that he doesn't know it yet.  My heart dropped....but I felt that it couldn't be true.  How would they know this?  Luis didn't even get his results yet.  I was so confused.  Then Hna McGinnis returned to me and told me that the sisters are having a hard time.  That weighed me down even more. :(
     We went to lunch and talked about all of it.  We were feeling down trodden and clouded.  We went home and cried and just prayed and read scriptures to try and take away all the sadness we were feeling.  It worked!  We felt spiritually fine.
     We went out teaching...and something that made me even happier, was when we went looking for a moto to go to San Antonio, Luis drove by in his moto with a huge smile on his face and looking as happy as could be.  He took us to San Antonio for free.  I love him!
     After visiting in San Antonio, we went to corelation (meeting with ward missionaries).  We talked with the elders.  We told them that we were going to practice a baptism invite with a date, but then we invited Elder Brunis to prepare himself to get sealed in the temple on September 4 .  He said that he would think about it.  haha  Then we got our temple dedication tickets to the Trujillo Temple! :)
     After the meeting, we visited Victoria and Anaximandro.  They are still sick and sad, but when we got talking all together, we got laughing and smiling.  I love them so much.  They are a really special couple to me.  I love them dearly.
     Then we talked with Graciela and Mikayela.  We just laughed our little hearts out.  I love all these funny old people.
     Then we went to visit Judith.  She is worried about Francis because he is with the wrong crowd and now doesn't want to go on a mission. :(  We comforted her and told her that we would come and do a FHE tomorrow and talk with Francis and get him excited to go on the mission and to do good things.
     Then we went to dinner and ate arroz con leche.  Then we went home, planned and raced to get ready for bed.

cool effect that my new camera can do.  I wrote this
with a flash light in the air. My camera can read the light
 and then make it into an image!
my Peru ring
my new shoes!
aren't they so cute?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 61: Hna Kennedy asked me, "Who is Sister Loftis?"

Lunes, 1 Junio 2015
     June already?  I can't believe it.  This morning we went to the doctor, to do all of the tests on Hna McGinnis, to see what she has.  We were there forever.  Why, you ask?....because we needed to get an ultrasound, and to do an ultrasound, you go in fasting....Hna McGinnis was fasting and as we waited for an hour for someone to call her in, a lady came and told us that Hna McGinnis needed to drink a lot of water and then not to go to the bathroom until she just couldn't hold it in any longer, and then they would be able to do the test at that moment. :) As missionaries, we drink a lot of water and we can't use the bathroom for long periods of time, so we have trained our bodies to not have to go right after drinking.  It seemed to take a long time for Hna McGinnis' "trained" missionary bladder to fill up!  haha :)
     After finally getting in, we got the results and took them to President Williams.  He offered to have us write home in the office, but it was 1:00pm, and we were starving, so we went to lunch at a restaurant called Kango.  We ate a brownie milkshake and shared a personal pan pizza. (Hawaiian) It was one of the better pizzas that I have tasted here in Peru, besides the Domino's pizza we had in the CCM. haha :)
     After lunch, we went to the Tottus to buy a camera.  I got a really nice camera that was marked down from S/800 to S/400, which in American dollars is from $266 to $160!  I was pretty excited about it.

     Then we picked up Hna McGinnis' package that got stuck in Serpost. (post office)  Next to the post office were some jewelry stands, so we went to check them out.  I bought some really cool jewelry.

     We went back home to drop off our stuff and then headed to internet.  I loved all the letters! Thank you!!  After internet, we went back to our cuarto to relax for a bit.  Hna McGinnis opened her package, and her mom had sent me a really sweet card.
     Then we went out teaching.  We taught a woman named Margarita.  Her story is really interesting. One day, we contacted her in the street.  She had an interest, so we set up a cita with her, but when we returned, she wasn't home.  A couple days later, we got a call from a member giving her as a reference.  So we called her and set up a cita.  As we were walking to go visit her, I felt that we needed to contact this man that was holding a child.  Turns out that he recognized my voice...because he had heard his mom, Margarita, talking to me on the phone!  I think God is trying to tell us that we need to teach her! :)  We went and taught her.  She is super Catholic but has a good heart.
     Then we went to the bank to get our missionary money.  We figured out our payments and then went to dinner.  After dinner, we went to the pharmacy to buy some repellent.  We ran into the familia Espinoza.  They love us.  We talked with them for a while and then challenged Cesar (the dad) to bear his testimony in testimony meeting on Sunday.  He was a little "iffy" about it, but he better do it. :)
     We contacted some more people and then went home for the night.

Martes, 2 Junio 2015
     This morning we got a call from President Williams, telling us that Hna McGinnis' test results were in the mission office and that we should go to the doctor today.  We set up a cita with the doctor for 5pm. Then we went out visiting.  We visited with Fany first.  She has so much trust in us.  She always opens up so much and asks for help.  We love her dearly.  Poor thing has so many trials. :(
     After her visit, we went to lunch, and then rested for a little bit.  We had to head to Chiclayo pretty early to pick up Hna McGinnis' results and talk to President Williams.  Turns out that there was a huge meeting for the elders' training, so when we walked in, the office was packed full of elders! haha   President Williams called us into his office, gave us the results and headed for the doctor.  The doctor said that Hna McGinnis is fine, it's just that her body is still struggling with the food here.
     We went back to the office and told the President what the doctor said, and then headed back home to Pomalca.  The coolest thing happened!  Two young adults got in the combi with us and they were speaking sign language.  It was awesome.  I was feeling too self conscience to sign with them, so I didn't talk with them.  But I watched them talk about us!  haha  It was funny!
     We got off in Pomalca and they headed to Patapo.  Bummer that I'm not in Patapo anymore...but I probably wouldn't talk to them anyways, because I was too nervous.  Once we got home, we went and visited some people.  Our last visit was with the familia Espinoza.  We read Moroni 7: 3-19. We had a good discussion and challenged them to write down some goals on a as a family and one personally.  They were excited to do it.  As we visited with them, some members showed up to visit them. (Martha and Pablo) It was a good lesson.
     After that, we went to the Pollerio to buy our rosery chicken (pollo a la braza) and took it home to eat for dinner.  After eating, we planned and got everything ready for our leader's meeting tomorrow, since our meeting starts at 7:30am.  I am super excited!  I always learn so much!

Miercoles, 3 Junio 2015
     We had a leader's meeting at 7:30am and then a sister training meeting at 8am.  They were both good.  We talked about the Atonement of Christ.  President Williams had us make diagrams of the Atonement. It was cool to see everyone's diagrams.

My diagram
     At the meeting, Elder Brunis and I were laughing so much!  We have the best elders in our area. They gave us a huge bag of Laffy Taffy and Butterfingers.  :)  We had McDonald's for lunch and then we took pictures with all the sister leaders.

Hna Dodson, Hna McGinnis, Hna Blackburn,
Hna Kennedy, Hna Favero
with President and Hermana Williams
     As we were all talking, Hna Kennedy asked me, "Who is Sister Loftis?"  I responded, "My best friend on a mission in North Carolina, why?"  Hna Kennedy then said, "Because my mom met a Sister Loftis, and as she was talking with her, my mom told her that I was on a mission in Peru.  Then Sister Loftis told my mom that she has a friend in the Chiclayo, Peru mission. My mom then told her that I was in the same mission and that we knew each other!  Anyways, Sister Loftis says Hi!"  Small world!  haha  I love it!!
     After the meeting we headed home.  Then we went out teaching.  We ran into this guy named Cesar (a contact that we made a while ago).  He had found a Bible study book from the LDS church in the trash, and took it home to study it. :)  He is really cool.  He changed his life after he decided to start to study the Bible, and he loves his new life!  He wants to learn more and is so excited to receive visits from us.
     Later, we went to visit the familia Flores. (Miguel, Maritza, Mancido, Emely, Miguelito and Lizber.  Ages 35, 33, 10, 6, 4, and 2.)  They are an amazing family.  We read from Matthew 7, about prayer and giving gifts.  We explained a little bit about prophets.  They are a very spiritual family and they like to study about God, especially the little kids.   In the end, Maritza offered the prayer.  We all knelt down.  She thanked God for us, the hermanitas, for teaching them and asked that they could continue to learn more from us.  She also said, "Thank you for my amazing husband, who works so hard everyday to bring home money for food."  That just touched my heart, because I could feel the sincere love that she has for her husband and the work that he does.  They speak kind words to one another, which is great.  We are excited for this family.  They have great potential.  Cesar and the familia Flores are going to get baptized...I just know it!

Jueves, 4 Junio 2015
     This afternoon during one of our lessons, Hna McGinnis started to feel sick, so went to the pension so she could stay with Cecilia.  Bertha came with me to visit some more people.  We had a great time!  Our last cita was with Luis.  Luis is a reference from his Grandma Amanda, who is a member.  We got to their house 15 minutes late, so Amanda went upstairs to get Luis, but he told her, "No...they came late...."  She came back down and sat with us and told us that Luis wouldn't be joining us.  As we were talking, Luis came down and shook our hands and joined us.  He said, "I felt that I needed to come down.  I don't know why, but I just do."  We started with a prayer and started talking about faith.  I shared Ether 12:6 with him.  He looked up at me and said, "That reminds me of an experience I had....I was trying to do all I could to get my moto taxi fixed....then one day, I prayed. The next day, a buddy sold me his new moto!  It was amazing!"  I told him that God really blesses those that have faith and act upon their faith.  He loved that.  He opened up more each time that I shared a scripture or a personal experience.  Luis is a cool guy who wants to give himself and his five year old son a better life.  He was raised in a one parent home, and then he got caught up with the wrong crowd.  He wants to break the "chain of badness", so he asked us to help him.  I promised him that we would do just that.  He went on to tell us that last week he went to Chiclayo to go shopping and he ended up buying himself some church clothes.  That was not in his plan, but he decided to keep focused on the changes he wants to make. :)
     After ending with a prayer, offered by Luis, we went back to the pension to get Hna McGinnis. She was still feeling sick, so I ate my veggies for dinner and went home.

Viernes, 5 Junio 2015
     This morning we had our zone meeting.  We got called by the zone leaders to come early to help set up for the meeting.  When we got there, the elders from Las Delicias were there. (Elder Jarmen, district leader and Elder Coca)  I got talking with Elder Jarmen and he is cool.  He has 21 months in the mission and is from California.
     The meeting started at 10am and the spirit was very powerful, especially when the elders taught about the Atonement.  After the meeting was over, we helped clean up and then went to lunch.  We studied language and then went to San Antonio to visit.
     We met up with Katia and Bertha to do divisions.  I stayed in San Antonio with Katia and Hna McGinnis and Bertha headed to Pomalca.
     No one was home, so we headed to visit with the familia Ysique Garcia.  Only Magdalena was home, so we talked with her for a bit about the fall of Adam....and once we started talking about the Atonement and the great need for it, Maria showed up.  She sat down and joined us.  The spirit was so one in the room could deny it.
     We headed back to Pomalca to meet up with Hna McGinnis and Bertha.

Sabado, 6 Junio 2015
     Well, this morning we decided to do our weekly planning, because Hermes told us that Jose, the electrician and an investigador with the elders, would be coming to put in new wires, and we had to be home while he was there.  Right when we started planning, Hermes called and told us that Jose would be coming at 2pm...not cool...because we had important citas with awesome investigadores. We hoped that the job wouldn't take too long, so that we could still get to our visits.  Jose came around 2:30 and when we asked him how long it would take, he told us 4 hours!  We called some sisters from our ward to see if one could go teaching with me, while one stayed with Hna McGinnis at home with the electrician.  Thankfully Bertha was willing.  Bertha would love to serve a mission, but her husband, Silberio, doesn't want Bertha said, "Fine old man, if I can't serve a mission with you, I will serve a mission with the Sisters!"  :)
     Bertha came with me and Hna Martha came and sat with Hna McGinnis.  Unfortunately, no one was home, but a funny thing happened when we were walking down the road.  We saw Clara Zambrano and her family sitting together drinking soda, and her husband Segundo (who doesn't hear well) was under the car working.  When they saw us, they all grabbed their drinks and chairs and hid inside, and by the time they were all gone, Segundo got out from under the car to say something to them, but no one was there.  He looked around confused, and then went back under the car to work. That part was funny, but it hurts when people run and hide from us :(
     Later, we went to San Antonio and taught the familia Ysique Garcia. Royer opened up when we started talking about repentance.  He fell for a temptation and drank alcohol.  We told him to do all he can to be strong, because the ward is preparing him to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.  He said that he changed his work schedule so that he wouldn't be there at the time that his co workers would be drinking. He said that he has also been studying the scriptures in the afternoon with his wife, Maria. :)
     After that, we went to visit the familia Flores.  Emely drew me a picture :)

     We couldn't stay long, because Martha called to let us know that she had to go home.  It was 7:30pm, so we headed back to the cuarto.  Jose was still there and wasn't able to finish connecting all the wires, because he ran out of light.  He said that he would come back on Monday to finish.
     We went to buy some things and make some copies and then went back home to plan and get ready for bed.

Domingo, 7 Junio 2015
     Well, I led the music and as I was about to lead the Sacrament hymn, Luis walked in dressed in his church clothes!  Then the best thing happened...Cergio and Sebastian, the sons of Cesar and Diana Espinoza (less actives) walked in dressed in white shirts, ties and slacks.  It was amazing!  I just gleamed as I led the next hymn!
     During testimony meeting, Royer and Carlota bore amazing testimonies that got everyone so excited and then everyone bore their testimonies after them.  Our meeting went over time.  It was great!
     After church, we ran into Natividad, the sweet old lady, and helped her to her house.
     Later in the night, we went to our meetings.  They went well.  We also ran into the Bishop from Patapo and he told me that everyone still misses me.
     We went home and ate panqueques with caramel for dinner.  We reported our numbers, talked about the American foods that we miss and then got ready for bed.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Week 60: Four dogs cornered me in a vacant was terrifying!

Lunes, 25 Mayo 2015
     This morning we did our weekly planning because we weren't able to do it the other days.  After that, we deep cleaned our cuarto.  Then we showered and went and bought our needs.  Then we headed to Monica's house (member) to help her prepare the hamburgers for our lunch.  The elders showed up at 2:30pm and we ate some really yummy hamburgers.  Just like in the other areas, I had to prove that I can handle the hot stuff...Monica had made some salsa from rocoto (one of the hottest peppers here in Peru) I put some on my hamburger and it didn't have a bite at all, so I put more on and still nothing.  I put more....and nothing.  Elder Brunis didn't believe me that it didn't burn, so I ate a spoonful of the hot sauce.  Once Elder Brunis not believing me, grabbed a spoonful and put it on his burger...He took a bite and started panting and waving his hand by his mouth....and then tears fell from his eyes.  Everyone started laughing and then they were so impressed by my immunity to heat.  haha
     After we ate, we ended up talking about doctrine for a long time.  At 4:30pm, we finally headed to internet to write home.  Everyone in my family wrote me so many wonderful things!  It brought up my spirit.  I really appreciated all the words and testimonies shared by them all.
     After writing home, Hna McGinnis wasn't feeling well, so we headed home and ended up staying in the cuarto until dinner.
     For dinner, we ate....TACOS!!
     I loved this day....except for the fact that my sweet, sweet comp is sick.  I feel bad.  I want to help her, but all I can really do is love her.  We called Hna Williams about her being sick, so we are going to the doctor tomorrow.  Hopefully the doctor can do something to help her.

Martes, 26 Mayo 2015
     This morning we went to a payphone to make our calls...again, because the elders still haven't given us our cell phone back.  Well, we were told that we had to go to the doctor any time between 10-12pm.  Well it was 9:45am, so we headed to Chiclayo.  Once we got there, we ended up waiting from 10:10ish to 11:40am.  We finally got to talk to the doctor and he prescribed her some medicine. After we got the medicine, we headed back to Pomalca.
     We made some phone calls and then went to lunch.  After lunch, we rested.  My companion was still not feeling too well, so we stayed in until 6pm.  By then, the medicine started kicking in and helping her feel a little relief from her pain.
     We went out teaching and we found a few people, but the best one was Clara.  She is a sweet old lady that wants to get baptized, but her struggle is going to church.  Today, she told us she had a revelation that she needs to do all she can to show God that she really wants to enter His kingdom. She told us that she is going to put forth greater effort to go to church.  She gave the closing prayer at the end of the lesson and she poured her heart out to God.  Her pleas were so sincere.  She pleaded for His help, so that she could give her all to Him.  The spirit was so strong.  She has grown so much in testimony since our first visits with her.  She is 75 years old and she is such a hoot.  I love her.
     After her visit, we went  and ate dinner.  We ended up talking with Bertha and Silberio forever about the time at the beginning of their membership.  Silberio told us that the Sunday after he was baptized, they called him to be Branch President.  haha  He said that for a long time, he postponed his baptism because he knew that they would call him as a Branch President.  We all shared spiritual experiences for an hour, then it was time for us to go home and plan.
     We planned, talked, got ready for bed and studied our scriptures until we fell asleep.

Miercoles, 27 Mayo 2015
     This morning Hna McGinnis was still sick.  Poor thing.  I wish I knew how to help her.  I want her to feel better.  As she was resting, I studied and wrote some letters.  Then at 1pm, Hna McGinnis woke up and we went to lunch.
     After lunch, we went home to prepare ourselves.  Then we went and picked up Karla, the bishop's wife, to go visiting.  We went to San Antonio and just our luck, no one was home, or if they were home, they were on their way out or didn't have time.  So we just walked a lot.  We had a good time knocking on doors and talking to people on the street.
     At one point, we turned to Karla and told her to pick a door to knock on.  She looked around and said, "Senor, guia me" (Lord, guide me.)  Right as she said that, she pointed to a we headed over and knocked.  Nothing.  So she picked the next door neighbor and the owner opened the door. It was a senora, about 75 years old.  Right off the bat she told us that she was a Jehovah's witness....but before she could reject us, we became her friend.  She still didn't want to set a cita for us to return, but she did say that if we found her home, she would love to talk. :)
     Later, we taught the familia Ysique Garcia.  We taught Magdalena, too. The lesson was kind of a struggle because Moises was screaming and making a lot of noise....luckily, we could still feel the spirit.  As I taught them about the First Vision, my heart and body felt like it was on fire.  The spirit was so strong, and the best part was that Magelena started to nod in agreement.  We gave her a Book of Mormon and she is excited to start reading it.
     We left and headed to dinner.  We searched for a payphone to make some calls, but none of the phones were working very well, so we just headed home.  We planned, got ready for bed and then cleaned up our flooded bathroom.  Water from upstairs came through the holes that we have in the ceiling...haha.  This is the third time this has happened in our bathroom.  We had another flood that came into our bedroom by our dresser and closet.  The floods keep our life interesting. :) haha

Jueves, 28 de Mayo 2015
     This morning at 10am, the elders stopped by to tell us that the President is coming to inspect our cuarto at 11am.  Luckily, we had already deep cleaned on Monday, so all we had to do is just straighten up a few books and put away our clean laundry that got dropped off this morning.  As we were waiting for him and his wife, we studied.
     At 11am in punto, they showed up.  Hna Williams had made chocolate chip cookies for us! :) We showed them our entire cuarto, and then we were invited by President to sit on our beds.  We sat with them and had a heart to heart talk for quite a long time.  They thanked us for being amazing missionaries and told us that we have touched many lives and have helped many areas to sprout.  We had a prayer together and then they left.
     A little while later, the elders showed up with our cell phone.  They said that President Williams told them to give it back to us.  Soon after getting the phone, Pres. Williams called and told us that Hna McGinnis has a doctor appt. at 5pm.  It was 3:30pm at this time, so we headed to the office at 4pm to get money to pay the doctor.
     After the doctor appt., we went back to the mission office and President told his assistants, Elder Lalli (Bountiful, UT) and Elder Flores to take us to another doctor's office to set up a cita to have Hna McGinnis' blood tested.  They did that and then sent us on our way.
     We went to the Tottus to buy some foods that the doctor recommended for Hna McGinnis to eat. When we got home, we got a random call.  It was Clara and Marco Leyton.  I was confused at how they had this phone number...but they were calling to say goodbye.  Clara is going to do military stuff and Marco leaves on June 8 for the MTC in Brazil.  He is going to learn Portuguese for 6 weeks and then he will head to Africa for his mission.  I am so excited for him.  He is going to touch many lives. I love them so much!  They have touched my heart so much!
     Then we dropped off a new cell phone to the elders on our way to dinner. (veggies)
     We got ready for bed and then we read the June Liahona. :)  Elder Flores hooked us up with them and they were in English!  It was exciting!

Viernes, 29 de Mayo 2015
     This morning we had our weekly planning.  During our planning, the elders showed up to drop off my package from home and all the letters from my mom. It was a spirit up lifter. Thanks mom!
     Then we went to lunch, came home, studied language and went out teaching.  We did divisions.  I went with Bertha and Hna McGinnis went with Carlota.
     As we were visiting, we went to contact a reference.  We knocked on the door and we heard someone shout, "Who is it?" and Bertha, being a smarty pants, said, "Me." Then the woman says, "Who is it?"  So I ask "Is Rosa Herrera here?" Her response was, "Come in!"  I looked at Bertha and we both stayed at the door.  Then the voice yelled, "Come in!" So Bertha reaches through the window on the door to pop the door open. She walks right in and sits down on the couch.  I followed her in and we saw an older woman sitting on the floor with a grandchild on her lap.  She was watching a soap opera. :)
     We sat down and she stopped watching her show for a second and looks at us and says, "I don't know you...who are you?"  We explained that we are missionaries and that we bring a really special message.  We started to teach the Plan of Salvation.  Bertha gave the closing prayer.
     After a few other visits, I had an impression to visit Judith (the mom of Francis).  I wasn't sure why, but we went and I am so glad that we did.
     We entered her house and the thing we had planned to teach didn't feel right, so we just got talking. She opened up about her concern for her son.  She really wants him to go on a mission, but the stake president won't let him because he has tattoos, which he got years ago, and he only recently got baptized.  He has one year in the church.  She knows that if he goes on a mission, it will make him stronger and he will come home with a different look at things...which is true. And then Bertha followed the spirit and told Judith that if she wants her son to choose well, that she also needs to make sure that she is living all the standards.  We invited her to pray, read scriptures and do Family Home Evening as a family.  Judith was very excited.  She wants the best for her son.  Then we talked about baptism and how if she wants her son to keep his covenants, that she should give him an example of covenant keeping.  By the end, I think that she was very intently thinking about getting baptized.  We didn't invite her, but the spirit that the three of us felt was indescribable.
     We left her house with more of her trust and love, and headed to Bertha's house to find Carlota and Hna McGinnis.  When we saw Carlota, she was just glowing.  I asked her how it went and she said, "It was great!!  I even bore my testimony!"
     We said a prayer together and walked Carlota home.  On the way home, she explained to us how she puts the idea of baptism, into the mind of her husband.  She finds a scripture about baptism and then she pretends like her eyes are "acting up" and that she can't read, so she takes her scriptures to her husband and says, "I can't see very well...what does this scripture say?" And then when he reads it, she can see him contemplating it.  haha  She is the best!
     Our last visit was with the familia Espinoza.  We went over the Ten Commandments.  We had a good time giggling, smiling and sharing.  It was a good night.  This family is opening up to us.  They are usually more closed off.  I really hope that we can help them.
     After that, we went to the pharmacy and bought some medicine for Hna McGinnis, went to dinner and then home.

Sabado, 30 de Mayo 2015
     For a big chunk of today, we were in San Antonio.  We went there this morning to teach a few people.  Then we left to go and visit Milagros in Pomalca.  We talked with Milagros and her niece, Cynthia. (26 years)  We talked to them about the importance of parents.  We had a wonderful time and the spirit was strong.  After that visit, we headed to lunch.
     After lunch, we took a nap, got our progress report ready and then we got ready to go out teaching. We headed back to San Antonio to meet with an investigator.  Her name is Angelica.  She is really nice and really wants to listen to our message.
     Then we went to visit the familia Ysique Garcia.  We taught about scripture study and the importance of asking God if the scriptures are really from Him.  We asked Magdalena if she has prayed about the Book of Mormon.  She says that she has, but she hasn't received an answer. We told her how important it is to pray with the intention of acting.  She has a hard time making her own choices, so it might be a long process, but it will be worth it.
     After teaching them, we got in a moto and headed back to Pomalca.  We went and bought some stuff for our cuarto and then went to visit Clara.  We taught her about tithing and fasting.  It went well.  She is such a sweet lady.  She is so willing to do everything the Lord asks her to do....we hope she will go to church tomorrow. :)
     When we got home, we pretended to be falling out our cuarto.  We laid on the ground and grabbed the edge of the top stair...and it looked like we were we pretended to "scream" for help. :)

Domingo, 31 de Mayo 2015
     This morning at church I led the music and then taught Sunday School with Hna McGinnis.  We taught about the gift of the Holy Ghost.  It went well.  The best part was when Carlota said, "I know that the words of the sisters are true.  I know that they are speaking the words of God, because the Holy Ghost is telling me."  She is the best!
     After church, we contacted and taught a few people before going to lunch. After lunch, we went to San Antonio.  As we were walking to the house of a family, four dogs came running out and cornered me in a vacant house that was getting built.  Hna McGinnis was so worried for me, and I just sat there scared out of my mind because they were barking and growling at me and kept getting closer and closer to me.  It was terrifying! Luckily this man came and saved me!

not funny....
     Then we were able to go and teach some families.  I am really excited for them.
     Later we  had a meeting at the church and the elders gave us candy!  They are the best!  After the meeting, we went out visiting some more.  When we got home, we got the transfers call....and neither one of us have transfers!!  We just broke our record of being with a companion.  We are going to end up having three transfers together!  Elder Brunis and Elder Epperson don't have transfers either!  We are all staying together!  We are all super excited!!