Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 68: "...President Williams cut it open and dumped it out, and it was....Mentos."

Lunes, 20 Julio 2015
     First P-Day in Villareal.  This morning, we got a call from Elder Epperson because he thought we were the sister leaders in his zone, but we aren't.  haha
     All morning we were in the Tottus.  We bought all sorts of stuff and we ate lunch there, too. (pepperoni pizza)  We bought a shower curtain to hang up on our window because it is a lot cheaper than buying normal curtains. :) haha

Funny magazine I saw at the Tottus
"Obama and the Americas: Hope or Disappointment?"
     Later in the night , we went out visiting and once we finished eating, we went upstairs to grab our coats and I have no idea why, but I got super sick, so we rested for the last hour of visiting.
What a great P-Day...

Martes, 21 Julio 2015
     This morning we visited Lucas Isaac and Rosa (older couple) and their daughter Isabel.  It went pretty  well.  We talked about Prophets and Priesthood.  They understood a little bit, but it hasn't quite clicked yet.  I know we can help them find the truth.
     Later in the afternoon, we went visiting with Paquita.  She is 87 years old...and by "with her", I really mean that we were 'her' members, that she dragged around to her citas.  She would stop any old person and call them unto repentance.  She got into some heated discussions with some very Catholic got pretty ugly.
     She had me laughing all day.  Anytime we knocked a door and the person answered, she would push her way inside and then she would make the situation really messy with contention.  After getting everything heated up, she would look at us and say, "Share something that will help them understand that they really are wrong!"
     Another experience with her was actually life threatening.  There is a highway running through our area ...and to get to the other side, you just have to look both ways and wait until you can run across without getting hit...well Paquita grabbed my arm, and started pulling me out onto the highway in the middle of traffic.  Once we were in the middle, she realized that we were in danger and was trying to return back to the side we left from, but I just pulled her to the other side.  Luckily, we made it. Maybe Paquita is our lucky cricket! (Mulan) :)

We had some door way lessons and they weren't super successful, but the spirit was felt.
Later in the night, we had a FHE with Rosa and her jokster son, Alan, and his wife Raquel.  We talked about the Familia Proclamation.  It went pretty well.  After the lesson, they served us cookies with cinnamon hot chocolate.  It was good.

Miercoles, 22 Julio 2015
     We had a district meeting today.  It really is so weird that we are all North Americans...I don't think I will ever get used to it.  haha
     Of our very few lessons we had today, I really enjoyed our time with Evelina and Evelina (mom and daughter).  We had a great discussion about the Ten Commandments.  They are great women and they are both so excited to be active in the church again, after such a long time of not going.  I really love them.  They always make me laugh a lot.
     In the night at dinner time, Hno Antonio (Arsenia's husband) came downstairs in his matching pj's, held up his arms in the touchdown pose and said, "All is well!"  haha  Then he joined us for a great dinner discussion.  We taught him our names.

Jueves, 23 Julio 2015     FELIZ CUMPLEANOS JENNA BUG!
     Today we saw miracles.  Not all at once or even all day, but we saw some miracles. :)
     First, Hno Antonio came into the house this morning yelling, "Dodson!" over and over again. When I congratulated him on remembering my name, I asked him about my companion's name, and he just sat there in silence.  Once a good amount of time had passed, he giggled and said that he couldn't remember.  Silly man.  But Miracle #1 is that he remembered my name!  He is a forgetful man, so it really is a miracle! :)
     Second miracle happened after we found out that the member who was suppose to help us out, couldn't help us today...then we ran into Pepe and Bertha.  They are siblings, and Pepe is a member. His sister, Bertha, really wanted to hear more about our Miracle #2 was that we got let into a house! :)
     Miracle #3 was a reference (referal) from Mily (RS President).  Their names are Martha and Angel.  Martha is a member, but she hasn't gone to church for quite some time, and Angel is a good guy.  He is an artist.  The only problem with this couple, is that they aren't married, but they want to get married really soon.  We are so excited to teach them, because Martha really wants to go to the temple and be sealed for time and eternity.
     To end the amazing miracles on a good note, we had a super awkward moment.  We had a FHE with Esther and her kids.  We taught them about putting on the armor of God (Ephesians 6: 11-18) Well, to show them that having protection helps us to not "sink" in a world full of wickedness, we put a mandarin orange in a glass of water with the peel (armor) still on and it floated.  Then we peeled the orange and put it in the water, thinking it would sink without its peel....but it floated.  We started to giggle and realized that we should have tested the experiment first, to make sure it worked...well, now we know. :)  It still turned out well.  Esther was really grateful for the time we took to teach them something really special.  To thank us, she gave us bananas.

hahaha :)

     Once we got home, we planned and got ready for bed.  We also did some nighttime chores.
     Today we finally saw blessings come from our dedication to find those that are ready to listen.

Viernes, 24 Julio 2015     HAPPY PIONEER DAY!
     This morning during our studies, we got pondering about a phrase that a contact had said to us when we told her that God loves us all.  She said, "It doesn't matter who you are, because the sun still shines on all of us!"  What a beautiful representation of God's love.  He allows his love to touch all men. ALL.
     We had our weekly planning, and after lunch, we had to go to the mission office to have interviews with President and Sister Williams.  I always enjoy my time with them, because they always brighten my day with their appreciation of the work I do, and they always give great advice. We were the first interviews in the afternoon, so we got to choose who we got interviewed by first. I went with Hna Williams first.  I truly love her.  We got chatting quite a bit and President got a little impatient, so he came in and cut us off.  haha  She gave me two peanut butter-corn flake cookie balls, and then I went to talk to President.
      So....last week, we received a call from President, asking me if my mom had sent me some pills. I said, "A while ago, she sent me some Ibuprofen.  Why?"  He responded, " in in, I have a package here from  Dawn Dodson, to you, with the package description saying  "candy", but I highly doubt it is candy."  So I said, "Well, when my mom sends me stuff, she is very honest in all she sends, so I'm sure it is candy."  So he says, "Well, I wanted to call and let you know that your package (pills) is here waiting for you."  I said, "President, if you want,  you can open it to see what it is."  And he said, "No, I will just wait until you come in for your interview."        
     So when I walked  into his office, there he was with my package and some scissors getting ready to cut it open.  As soon as I was in, he cut it open and dumped it out....and it was Mentos.   The disappointment on his face was priceless.  He wanted them to be pills. :) haha  He then told me to tell my mom that he had been waiting a week to open a package to her daughter, hoping to find pills, so that his family wasn't the only people who "smuggle" pills in packages with candy. hahahaha  He is so funny!
     Then President goes on to tell me before I left, that Elder Bednar is coming to our mission to visit us!  He is coming in August!  I am super excited!
     After our interviews were over, we went out working.  We had some crazy experiences.  First, we walked for 15 minutes to the wrong cita...and on our way to the correct cita, we got contacted by a 16 year old boy.  He was cool, but as Hna Lofgran was explaining a gospel principle, he interrupted her by saying, "You are beautiful!".  Hna Lofgran responded by saying, "That is off the topic...but you are invited to go to church with us at 8am...yeah! 8am."  haha
     After that, we went and picked up a member named Emily (19 years).  That is when the second crazy thing happened.  We got invited into a baby's one month birthday party!  haha  We ended up sharing a scripture with everyone there.  It was super funny.
     And our last experience was with a less active named Luis.  He has been inactive for 15 years because 15 years ago, his fiance left him to marry the elder that baptized her... Well in the end, he said that we were his angels, and promised us that he would go to church on Sunday.

Sabado, 25 Julio 2015    FELIZ CUMPLEANOS MOMMY!!
     This morning we had a few people actually let us into their houses, but every time we were about to explain a really spiritual principle, something would happen.  Luckily, the people still want us to come that is good.
     After lunch, we had some great lessons!  But once it hit 5:30 pm, no one was home.  At 6:30 pm, we decided to stop by the chapel to use the bathroom.  Well, the chapel has an alarm system, but luckily I remembered the password before it went off.  We used the bathroom, but when we tried to leave, we couldn't figure out how to re arm the alarm.  It took us 30 minutes to finally get it turned back on.
     Then we went and visited an older couple that have been converts for a year, so they are going to the temple next month!  Their names are Raul and Petronia.  They are so sweet.
     After that, our next cita fell through, so we went to the bakery and bought  fresh baked, buttered croissants. :)  Then it was time for dinner.  Dinner was a hoot tonight.  Whenever we would ask Antonio what our names were, he would pull out a napkin from his shirt pocket and pretend to read our names that he had written down.  haha  Anytime he would do that, Arsenia would call him a crazy old man.  I love them!
     We got home and planned for tomorrow and got ready for bed.  Hopefully all the people that promised to go to church, will really go.  That would really brighten my day. :)

Domingo, 26 Julio 2015
     Today started out kind of interesting.  When we showed up to the church 5 minutes before 8 am, which church starts at 8 am, everyone was still standing outside the gate, because no one from the Bishopric had showed up yet.  Luckily, we had keys, so we could let everyone into the church. At 8:15 am, the Bishopric showed up and we started the meeting.  We had two investigators show up, 2 people that we haven't taught yet, but are friends with a member named Robert.  He is a return missionary (came home 2 years ago) and does a lot of missionary work by inviting and bringing everyone to church. :)
     In Gospel Doctrine, the Bishop taught the lesson about Honesty.  He teaches really well.  He really knows how to work with people.
     After church, we had Ward Council, and in the middle of the meeting, the door opened and Julio and some little helpers brought in glasses of juice and a package of cookies for everyone.  Best ward council ever!  haha And not just for the treats, but the discussions that were made actually were efficient!  I am excited to see if it will continue that way.  After that, we went and ate lunch.
     Then we went to work.  It wasn't super successful....we basically didn't find anyone home until the night.  We found a less active named Carmen.  She believes that it isn't necessary to go to church to show what you believe.  Not true....
     We also visited with an active member who is married to a less active, and she is going through a lot of trials.  So we stopped by and let her talk it all out.  We shared some scriptures, which made her feel a little better.
     Right before we went to dinner, we met a Catholic who lives with a religious leader.  He wore glasses, hearing aids and had a giant cross around his neck, and he carried a doctor bag.  He walked into the front room and so I stuck out my hand to shake his hand, but he went in for a kiss.  I pulled away and told him to just shake my hand, but he grabbed my head and kissed my cheek.  Then he said, "This is a sign of peace."  haha  Hna Lofgran thought it was hilarious.  I was shocked because he is a what is he doing kissing people?

     We went to dinner and ate with Hno Antonio. :)

     Earlier this week, we met a woman named Eda from Maryland.  She is homeless here.  Her situation is super complicated, but she wants to stay here in Peru.  We prayed with her and gave her a little picture of Jesus.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 67: "I am in Fredrico Villareal with Hna Lofgran!"

Lunes, 13 Julio 2015
     For our final P-Day we packed, cleaned the cuarto and fixed up our carpeta de area.  Later in the night is when it got hard.  We said goodbye to a few more people.  First, we stopped by Anaximandro and Victoria.  They were both so sad that we were leaving them.  We giggled a lot, then we shed some tears, and left.  Second, we went to say goodbye to Judith, Santos and Francis, but only Blanca (Judith's mom) and Francis were home.  We shared a message with them about being firm.  They liked it and then Francis treated us to some Inca Cola.  It was very sweet.
     Lastly, we went to Milagros, Juan Carlos, and Yelena.  While we were there, we wrote down our names for Facebook and took a picture.  They invited us to eat "brunch" at 8:30am.  haha  As we were eating, they downloaded the pictures we took and found us on Facebook.  It was really cute. They told us that they can't wait until we come back to Peru to visit them after our missions. :)
     Then we went home and packed until almost midnight.  We couldn't sleep, so we stayed up for a bit more until we stopped thinking about cambios. (transfers)

Martes, 14 Julio 2015     TRANSFER DAY!
     We are so lucky.  This morning we got a ride to our transfer meeting from Freddy, who is an investigator of the Elders.  We had a great conversation about the gospel.  Freddy knows more about the Book of Mormon stories than I do.  We told him to get baptized.  Hopefully he will soon.
     We got to the church early and had to wait an hour for the meeting to start.  At 11 am, it started, and like always, our zone/sisters were the last ones to find out where we were going.
     "Sister Dodson, leaving Pomalca, going to zone Latina, area Villareal as a sister leader with Hna Lofgran!"  Another comp from my CCM group!  We were so excited!!  I am super happy for us, but nervous because we are opening the area, meaning that we don't know the area at all.

Hna Dodson and Hna Lofgran
     Hna McGinnis is opening an area and she is training a Latina from Chile.  She is really excited, too.
     After the meeting ended the zone leaders came over to help us take our stuff to our cuarto and show us where everything was.  Our cuarto is on the third floor and it is cute. :)  We live in the same edifice (building) as our pensionista.

our new cuarto

     We dropped our suitcases off there and then we went to lunch.  Our pensionista's name is Arsenia and she is 66 years old.  She is married and her husband reminds me of Greatpa.  He is hilarious.  We ate with them and got to know them.  They have been married for 50 years.  They are a good couple. I know this will be a good transfer.  Arsenia cooks really well and they are both so funny.  We all laughed so hard. :)
     Then we went upstairs to call some people to figure out the area.  We also looked in the area was practically empty, so we decided to unpack.  After we were unpacked, we grabbed the map, some contact cards and headed out.
     It was super windy, so the entire time, we were trying to keep our skirts down.  We were giggling a lot!  We made some good contacts and we even met a family who wants us to visit them.  We are excited to see what we can do to help this area.

Miercoles, 15 Julio 2015
     This morning we had our district meeting.  Our entire district is North Americans.  It is Me and Hna Lofgran (Washington), Elder McKell (Provo, UT), Elder Driggs (Provo, UT - he is just brand new into the mission), Elder Peabody (California) and Elder Romrell (Idaho).  On our way to the meeting, our moto got pulled over, which made us late....and that led to our district leader, Elder McKell, calling us to ask us what was going on.  They all laughed when they found out.
     It was weird to have an all American district, because we would speak in English every once in a while.  It was strange.  I really like our district.  We all get along great!
     Once we got home, we went to lunch.  We laughed a lot with our pensionista and her husband. Then we went on our search for members.  Our first contacts were with some less actives named Evelina (age 70) and Evelina (age 42).  They have been inactive for almost 10 years and recently started going again.  We talked about prophets and the Book of Mormon.  The 42 year old Evelina thanked us for our explanation of some things about the Book of Mormon.  Then the 70 year old Evelina told us about some crazy things that had happened years ago when some sister missionaries visited them.  Apparently, Evelina had a son that was 7 years old, and a sister missionary really wanted to see him get baptized, so they baptized him a month early because he was "basically" 8 years old.  So the baptism was invalid.  So after he turned 8, he was baptized again, but then they lost his record, so now he refuses to be baptized again... so now he's not a member, but has been baptized twice!
     Later, we went to find the bishop and his wife.  They live in a complex and they have their # on the ward directory as 202, so we called the number.  A woman answered and yelled, "I'm busy!" and turned off her speaker pad.  We thought that maybe that wasn't the right number, because you would think that the bishop's wife would be nicer. Well, as we were walking down the street, we decided to knock a door, which ended up being some members! (the Second Counselor in Bishopric and President of the Young Women).  We asked them what room number the bishop lives in and they said it was 202.  Hna Lofgran and I busted up laughing, because of what happened earlier.
     After leaving their house, a dog in a window almost bit my face.  I screamed and jumped at Hna Lofgran to save myself.  We giggled for quite a bit after that.
     In the night, we ate dinner with our pensionista's husband.  He is so funny.  We got laughing so hard.  He is such a good Grandpa because he teaches important principles in  funny ways.  My face always hurts after leaving their house, because I laugh and smile so much.  I love them.

Jueves, 16 Julio 2015
     Today was a good day.  In the morning, we went searching for some members from the directory. One of the names that stood out to us was a woman named Rosa Ordinola.  At the beginning of our visit, she was a little closed off, but after I shared a few scriptures and some personal experiences, she opened up and invited us to come back to visit her non member husband, and also her daughter-in-law.  It is so beautiful to see the spirit touch the hearts of the people.
     Later, after lunch, we went searching for a recent convert named Guiliana.  We found her, and her friend, Sayuri, was over and Sayuri had some questions about the church.  We started with a prayer and we taught about the Restoration.  She was really interested.  She said that she would try to go to church with Guiliana on Sunday.  Sayuri is from Santa Rosa (right outside of Pimentel and on the way to Monsefu)  You could see it in her face that the spirit touched her heart.  She even opened up and shared some personal experiences that she had been praying about.  It was very special to have her trust us so openly, because she let us know that she has never told anyone what she was telling us.
     After that, we picked up Daniela, a member, that we met on Wednesday.  She took us to some houses of some members.  At one point, she told us that she was going to try and introduce us to the First Counselor in the Bishopric.  She said his name was Julio and that he works a lot.  As we were approaching his house, I asked what Julio's job was and Daniela told me that he was a doctor.  I immediately knew that it was Dr. Julio who helped me when I had my ear infection.  Well, his brother answered the door.  He let us in and gave each of us a cup of Coca Cola and called for Julio to come downstairs.  When Dr. Julio saw me, he lit up and said, "Oh good! You are still alive!" haha He is excited to have me in his ward and  I am super excited to have him in my ward!  He is a great guy.
     Later in the night, we visited the Bishop's parents and it turns out that the Bishop lives in 101, so we rang the doorbell and Carolina, the Bishop's wife, let us right in.  She was really nice and very helpful.  She helped us go through a list of members to know if they were active or inactive.
     We ate dinner with Arsenia and her grandchild.  They are so cute.  I really love this place.

Viernes, 17 de Julio 2015
     This morning we had a pretty unsuccessful planning session, since we hardly know anyone, but we made some plans to help us with the area.
     After lunch, we went out visiting.  Ingrit, a recently returned inactive, came out visiting with us. She is 19 years old and she helped us get to know a few more members. Then it was time for our cita with Evelina.  When we showed up, Evelina (42 yr old) introduced us to a friend.  Her friend lives in a different area, but we taught her a little something and then read 3 Nephi 27.  Everyone there loved it.  It made them all open up more with us and they bore their testimonies.  It was a long lesson, but it was a really good discussion!
     After that, we visited a woman named Paola.  She is a young mom of a four year old and a 4 month old baby.  She is really receptive to the gospel, but her husband isn't receptive at all.  She isn't willing to progress because she wants to keep the unity with her husband.  He works in a far away city and comes home every 15 days for a week, so we are going to try really hard to visit them when he is home.
     Ingrit helped us out a lot at our visits today by baring her testimony.  She has been to the States a lot because she has a sister that married a North American and lives in Utah.  She let me know that her family is going up to Utah in Agosto until Novembre, and that when they are there, they want to come by and meet my family.  haha  I agree!

Sabado, 18 Julio 2015
     This morning we met Bishop Garcia.  He and his Counselors are big guys on campus.  They all have intense jobs, so they are always super busy.  It was a miracle that we found him.
     In the afternoon, we went visiting with the Relief Society President.  As we were sitting in her house waiting for her to get ready, we got talking to some men that were sitting on her couch.  Their names are Eddie and Alan.  We were trying to get to know them, but they kept lying.  When we asked them if they were friends, one said, "brother" and the other said "cousin".  I got a confused look on my face and they both started laughing.  We kept getting different answers whenever we asked them a question.  By the end, we were all laughing really hard.
     For quite some time, we didn't find anyone in their homes.  We ended up finding a member named Esther and her two sons, ages 8 and 7.  When we entered her house, we both felt a strong feeling that we need to help this family.  We found out that her husband is not a member.  We shared a scripture with her and that helped us gain her confidence.  She invited us over for a FHE and also to cook something with her one day.  We ended our visit with a prayer and the 7 year old offered it.  He said the cutest thing.  He said, "Please make the sisters stay here for one more year."
     After that, Mily, the Relief Society Pres. introduced us to an older woman named Francisca, but everyone calls her "Paquita".  She is a return missionary and she asked for some pamphlets to give out to some friends.  I am excited to work with her.  Then we dropped Mily off at her house.  She lives below our cuarto.
     In the night, we had a sweet tender experience.  We taught a less active and her grandchildren. Her grandchildren are part of the Church MMM (Misionero Mundial).  They are always out to win discussions about Gospel topics.  We taught a little lesson and afterwards, I decided to have the kids bring over a hymn book that they were looking at, and we sang the hymn, "Families Can Be Together Forever".  The kids loved it and begged their Grandma Virginia  to bring them to her church tomorrow.  Hopefully they go. :)

Domingo, 19 Julio 2015
     Well....they didn't come to church...:(
     At church, we introduced ourselves a few times and the sisters in the ward are excited to work with us.  They are all really sweet sisters.
     After church, we talked with Dr. Julio and the Patriarch.  The Patriarch has family in the States (in Utah) and he said that when he goes to visit them in Oct. that he wants to get together to do something! haha We talked to them for a while and then we left to go and find some references from Paquita.  Today she walked up to us and gave us a list of 13 names of friends that she wants us to meet and visit.
     We ended up finding a few of them before lunch.  They are all old, but really nice.  After lunch and studies, we went out teaching.  We ended up not finding anyone.  We literally walked for 5 hours and no one let us into their houses.  We found people, but we had to set a different cita because we caught them in the middle of something.
     We reported our numbers at 8:15pm during dinner and then we went home and planned our P-Day.  We talked about experiences in life.  It was nice to get to know each other a little more.

Hna Wood :)  I love her!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Week 66: "Sister McGinnis, you have transfers. Sister Dodson, so do you."

Lunes, 6 Julio 2015
     This morning we went to a museum called Senor de Sipan.  He was a King.  The people found him and his wives buried in a pyramid here in the zone Pomalca.  We met up with the Sisters from Las Delicias (Hna Monson and Hna Meneses) and we went on a tour together.  It was super interesting.  I really enjoyed seeing the history.

     We were there for a while and when we wanted to leave, we had to walk until we found a car...we didn't get home until 2 pm.  When we got back, the sisters from Patapo (Hna Nelson and Hna Corona) called us and told us that they were coming to Pomalca to take out some money from the bank.  We met up with them and took them to a couple stores and then we went home and made some PB & J sandwiches!  After eating, we cleaned the cuarto and paid everyone with the mission money. (housing, food, clothes/laundry)  Then we went to internet to write home.  I love hearing from everyone!
     Then we went home and got our stuff ready and headed out teaching.  After teaching two families, we went to dinner with Monica and her family and the elders.  We ate pizza....and it was good pizza, because a sister from Canada showed Monica how to make we ate some real Canadian Bacon pizza.  I love eating at Monica's, especially when the elders can eat with us, too.  This was Elder Brunis' last P-Day.  I am going to miss him.
Martes, 7 Julio 2015
     We went to Chiclayo this morning for the leadership meeting.  We taught about prayer, and everyone seemed to love it.  Many came up to us afterwards, to thank us for opening their eyes even more, to the reality of the ability to pray to our Father in Heaven.

Our Zone
Hnas in the Zone
McGinnis, Dodson, Corona, Nelson, Monson, Meneses
Hna Corona!
with Hna Meneses
     We ran into Elder Epperson at the meeting.  He says that he misses Pomalca.  Oh, Elder Brunis and Elder Epperson say thanks for the packages mom.  They loved them!  Elder Brunis put his socks on immediately.  He loves them.
     After the meeting and lunch (McDonald's), we went back to Pomalca.  We felt a little sick, so we rested.
     In the night, we went and bought pollo-a-la-braza.  Usually they give us ketchup to go with our fries, but they didn't have any, so we stopped by a tienda and bought salsa de tomate, which we thought was the lower class way of saying ketchup....nope.  Turns out that means spaghetti ate spaghetti sauce with our fries.  It was pretty good....wacky, but good. :)
     Then we got ready for bed.

Miercoles, 8 Julio 2015     FELIZ 15 MESES!
     Time is flying by!  Fifteen months!?  How?
     Well, this morning we tried to visit Eduardo, but he wasn't home, so we went to Luis' house to see if he had returned from Lima, and he had!  We went in and talked to him for a long time.  He is just so excited to do all that he can to be on a good page with God.  He says he is feeling better, so we invited him to be baptized on the 1st of August, which is the earliest that he could, but he let us know that he will be leaving for Lima again for tests and results on his health status.  He really wants to be baptized, but for now, it is not his time. :(  He is completely turned to God, though.
     After that, we visited Elsa.  She fell asleep during our lesson.  We didn't realize it until we asked if she had ever heard of Joseph Smith before, and there was no answer.  Then we could see her head nodding off. :)
     Then we went and visited an old woman named Rosaelba (89yrs).  She is so sweet.  She does everything herself and she just loves to talk about God.  As we were teaching, her 5 year old grandson came in and joined us.  He even offered the closing prayer.  It was the sweetest thing ever! He calls God, Papa Dios. :)
     Later in the night, as we were walking down the street, we found Luis with a man.  Luis was talking to the man about how God can help him in his life, and then he started reading a part in the Bible to him.  Luis is awesome.  He told us that if he can be healed, he wants to go and preach every single day.

Jueves, 9 Julio 2015
     This afternoon we visited Eduardo.  He loved the pamphlets that we gave him about the Apostasy and the Restoration.  As we were teaching, a young mom walked in with her daughter, who was very sick.  Eduardo told us that he invited them over because he feels something special from us and he told us, "I know you can heal this little girl, Anali."  We explained the priesthood power to him, and it was at that moment that the Patriarch told the mom, Mabel, that he would be over at their house in an hour to give Anali a blessing of health.  We testified of the power that the worthy men in the LDS church have.  The spirit was really strong, and then we ended with a prayer that I offered.  The room was filled with the spirit and it felt "cozy".  It was amazing!
     Later, we visited Graciela.  She is quite a hoot.  Today we were talking about loving God and our neighbors, so I asked, "How do we love our neighbors?" Graciela responded, "Well...if you like them, you need to be nice...but if you don't like them, we might have to grab them by the hair and scream a bit."  haha  Obviously, I had to correct her thinking, but she always has some crazy ideas.  haha
     After that, we ate dinner.  Then we went to Noche Misional (ward activity).  We played a couple of games that got us all laughing.  The first game:  You pick a topic, for example, colors.  Then one person chooses a color and writes it down and then asks each person to say a color.  The person that says the chosen color gets water squirted on them.  The second game: One person has a rolled up newspaper and goes up to someone, and that person has to say the name of someone else in the circle, and the person with the newspaper runs over to that person and has to hit them with the newspaper unless they say another person's name first.  We were laughing so hard!  At one point, someone yelled, "Dodson!" so Teo, who had the newspaper, came running at me.  I sat there not knowing who to say, so I said, "Uhhhh..." SMACK!  "....Obispo! (Bishop)"  Everyone started laughing that I would send Teo to hit the Bishop. haha :)

Viernes, 10 Julio 2015
     This morning on our way home from breakfast, we saw something really interesting.  We saw a man walking with a bike, a giant cow, and a dog following, barking his little lungs out.  The best part was that they were heading to the slaughter house at the end of the road.  Welcome to Pomalca.

     In the afternoon, we visited Mara Marin, and she made us talk to her son who lives in Lima, on her cell phone.  It was pretty awkward.  haha
     Later, we visited Anaximandro and Victoria.  I love them.  Before we left, we took pictures with them.  After we took one picture, Anaximandro looked at it and said, "Something that would complete the picture is if I had my hat on."  Then Victoria said, "What hat?  You don't have a hat." Anaximandro then said, "That one...and points to a doughnut pillow sitting on the chair."  Then Victoria said, "Hombre (man), that is not a hat."  Anaximandro grabbed the "hat" and we took another picture.  I always leave them feeling so happy. :)

Anaximandro, Hna Dodson, Hna McGinnis, Victoria
Anaximandro's "hat"

     In the night, we visited the familia Espinoza.  We talked about the Word of Wisdom, and they loved it.  We did practices of what we would do if someone tried to invite us to use the 5 things we shouldn't use.  It went well.  After our lesson, they invited us to eat hamburgers and soda.  Then we took a picture with them.  They all 'smile' like Peruvians. :)

Hna McGinnis, Diana, Sebastian, Cesar,
Enrique, Sergio, Hna Dodson

Then we went home and planned.

Sabado, 11 de Julio de 2015
     This day was a LONG day.  First, we went to Gladys', hoping to find Luis, too....well he was there, but denied our visit because he was preparing to teach a class at some Evangelist church....

with Gladys
Then we tried to find a reference named Angelica.  We found her, but she lied to us.  We ended up leaving her a Book of Mormon because she wants to study it, but she doesn't want our visits because she is from the Evangelist church....
     Later, something completely heart wrenching happened.  We visited the familia Ysique Garcia. It all started with Maria explaining that her mom and sister Magdalena went to Lima to get treatment for the tumor her mom had.  While they were there, Maria's brother, who is a member of a church called MMM (Misionero Mundial).  Well, supposedly Maria's mom was "healed" by their church, so they committed themselves to that church.  When they got home, they began to bully everyone into joining the church Mundial.  They really got to Maria because when we got talking, she told us that she is really confused.  They also got to poor Pedro...Pedro now wants nothing to do with our church. The entire time we were there with their family, we were crying.  It was such a rough time.  We just kept testifying of the truthfulness of the Gospel.  I am so worried for them.  It is hard because Maria has a hernia and is super sick and wants to be healed like her mom....
     It is crazy.  In one day, we lost 2 investigators and in the process of losing recent converts.
     We left San Antonio crying, to head to an urgent ward council meeting.  When we showed up, it turned out to be a surprise party to say goodbye to Elder Brunis.  They went around the entire room to say something nice about Elder Brunis.  Then we took some pictures of everyone.

with Indiana, the Patriarch's wife
     After that, we went to dinner and to make copies of our progress report.  Then we went home, planned, got a call from President Williams, which was about our cuarto...which made us think that he is going to take us both out of has been a long, hard day.  Pray for us and all these people. We all need help.

Domingo, 12 Julio 2015
     Today I had one of those "proud Mom moments".  Cergio Espinoza (son of Cesar and Diana) passed the sacrament for the first time.  It was something really special to me.  He was glowing and he was so excited.  He even showed up to church 40 minutes early to be ready. :)
     After church, we tried to leave but no one would let us go until we took a picture with them, because they know that we have transfers tonight.
Hna Dodson, Diana, Enrique, Hna McGinnis
with familia Espinoza
Hna Dodson, Lucrecia, Betsi, Hna McGinnis, Mary
After taking some pictures, we tried to visit some people.  First, we went to Graciela.  She asked us to come back tomorrow, and tried to go buy us a Coke.  We said, "Hermana, it's Sunday.  We don't buy things."  Graciela responded, "I'm inviting you...there is no need for you to buy, I am going to buy it." We said, "No, members of the church, we don't buy anything on Sunday."  Graciela said, "I always buy on Sunday...but I will wait until tomorrow because you are being so stubborn." haha  I love her.
with the "one and only Graciela"
     For lunch, we ate with Martha, Pablo and Olenka.  I love them.  We talked and shared laughs and smiles.  They told us that they have come to love us a lot and don't want either one of us to have cambios.
     After lunch, we visited Clara Zambrano.  We told her that there is a possibility that we are going to have transfers, and she started to cry.  She shared with us that we are her confidants, and she will really miss us.
with Clara Zambrano
     We also visited Vianca, Maria and Antero.  While we were there, there was a knock on the door. It was Diana.  She was searching for us everywhere and finally found us.  She told us that we had to go over to her house to get a goodbye gift from them.  We told them that we would go over in the night time. She left and we finished teaching.
     Then we went to our meeting at the church.  Hna Bertha gave us a report of all the visits she and the ward missionaries made this week.  They are awesome.  She is an amazing missionary.  We took a picture with our ward missionaries.

Elder Allgaier, Elder Brunis, Teo , our ward missionary,
Hna Dodson, Hna McGinnis
The misioneros de barrio
Front:  Bertha, Carlota, Maria, Elder Brunis, Elder Allgaier
Back:  Hna Dodson, Hna McGinnis, Silberio, Flavio, and
some man from the ward
     Then we went to ward council.  After ward council, we went to the familia Espinoza.  They gave us both pretty necklaces and a cute bag that holds cameras and/or cell phones.  They also gave me a beautiful bracelet.  The bracelet and necklaces are made from pearls that they find here in the ocean.

     Then we went to the pension and ate budding, which is a cake drowned in something really liquidy.  It is really good, but it looks like wet cake. :)
My Peruvian Family
Family of the pensionista
Hna McGinnis, Zuletzi, Bertha, Silberio, Cecilia with Kimber
in her arms, Hna Dodson
with Bertha
she is our 'companera'
     We went home and then our zone leaders called.  They called at the most inconvenient time...I was on the toilet.  So I hurried and got out of the bathroom and that is when I heard Elder Brunis say, "Sister McGinnis, you have transfers.  Sister Dodson, so do you."  Our reply, "Are you serious?  The both of us? Are they putting new sisters here?"  They said, "No. You are shutting down Pomalca 2."
We got off the phone and started planning, and then we packed.
     How crazy.  I can't believe I am leaving Pomalca.  I thought I would end my mission here....but I guess I'm not going to.
     We got a call from Hna Corona, who has closed almost every area she has been in and she gave us pointers on how to close an area.  It was actually helpful.

Me, McGinnis, Martha (in back), Jade and Fanny
McGinnis, Adrea, Me and Martha

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Week 65: "Christ had the same hair as you do."

Lunes, 29 Junio 2015
     Life is to be enJOYed, not just endured.  This came true today.  I got up feeling a lot better than the past week.  BONUS :)
     We decided since I was feeling a little better that we would go to Chiclayo to buy some needed products, send my package home that I've been working so hard to get sent, and then  just to mosey around, taking pictures.  We had it all planned out.
     Well, we first went to the Paseo Yortuque, in Chiclayo that has statues and art that tell the history of  the Incas and the Gods they had.  We were only able to get some pictures because my camera died. haha I just smiled it off.

I spy Hna McGinnis.....

Where's  Hna McGinnis?

"As we were taking pictures of the Inca culture, we
turned around to see USA art.  We laughed so hard!
We had to take a picture!"
Then we went to buy our souvenirs from a cool store, so I could fill my box for home all the way up. We ran into Enrique and his brothers (from Patapo) there.  They said that they and all the members in Patapo miss me.  They are such sweeties. :)
     Then we headed to the Serpost (post office) and it ended up being closed for their lunch break, so we decided to lug everything to another store to buy more stuff and to eat lunch.  Our lunch was supposed to be fried chicken and french fries, but they deceived us.  I'm pretty sure we ate plastic. haha  At least it was cheap. :)  Once we ate, we went back to the Serpost because it should have been open by then...but when we showed up, it was still closed.  Then we realized that today was a holiday called "El Dia de San Pedro y San Paulo" which means,  "go to the beach to drink and party." haha So we just laughed at the fact that I lugged around a huge box all day long and couldn't even send it. What a joke. :)
     As we  were trying to decide what to do, we saw some white people who were staring at us, so we waved, and they all came running over to us. They were from Utah, and they were Mormons! They were there to help with some humanitarian project in Puira. They were all super cool. They got so excited to see American missionaries.
     Then we went to another store to buy Nutella and Peanut Butter!  We are so excited that we have found peanut butter!  Then we wrote home.  After writing, we shared email stories and then we headed out to work.  Everyone we wanted to see wasn't home, but we decided to try a contact.  We saw a woman with some kids.  It was awesome!  We actually got her interested in hearing more. Then we walked another road and we decided to contact another woman.  It was super successful, too.  It was awesome....2 contacts...2  new appointments!
     Then we went to dinner at Monica's.  She is an active member and has 3 kids, Adriana (19), Pablo (15), and Ruth (10).  Monica's parents-in-law came over with their daughter Olenka (27) and we ate pollo a la braza.  I didn't eat because I was feeling sick, but I enjoyed the company. :)

Martes, 30 Junio 2015
     This morning, we started intercambios with the sisters in Las Delicias- the other ward in Pomalca. I came back to Pomalca with Hna Monson. (Utah) She is adorable.  Hna McGinnis stayed in Las Delicias with Hna Meneses. (she is going home in two weeks)
     Hna Monson and I went crazy.  We just started visiting everyone.  We visited Milagros (less active) and she told us that she thinks that she is ready to return to church. Yay! It was cool to see her light up when she said that.
     Then we visited Luz (less active) who also was grateful to us and loved the message and the spirit that she felt.  We read from Alma 7.  After that, we visited with Graciela, who in the end walked us to a tienda to buy us some soda.  Then we went to lunch.
    After lunch, we got talking about all our stories.  It was really nice to get to know her better.  She is super cute.  As we were talking, President Williams called.  Well, I wish that I wouldn't have answered because he told me, "You and your companion are going to teach at the leader's meeting for 30 minutes." Once I recovered my senses, we went out teaching in San Antonio.
     We went and taught Cesar Rivera.  He is so cool.  We taught about prophets and how we have one today, and he readily accepted it.  He promised to pray about it, so I really hope that he does.  He has so much knowledge of the scriptures and has a lot of faith so he would be a perfect follower of Christ.
     After that, we visited a few more people.  They were great and powerful lessons.  Our last cita of the night was with the Familia Ysique Garcia and it was really good.  We talked about a conference talk by Elder Bednar about hushing fears.  They loved it.  We talked about how we need to do three things: 1- Look unto Christ  2- Build a foundation in Christ  3- Be steadfast and endure in our faith in Christ.  It was powerful and the spirit was definitely felt.  I have missed them.  They are a special family.  They really like Hna Monson and think that she is sweet.  It was a special moment for all of us to sit around a little dinner table and share spiritual experiences by candle light.
     After that, we headed to Pomalca to eat dinner and go home to plan and get ready for bed.  During all our planning time, everyone kept calling us.  It was crazy.  Thankfully 10pm came, because no missionaries can call or accept calls after that....unless it's President Williams.  haha

Miercoles, 1 Julio 2015
     After studies, I packed up a bag for intercambios that we were going to have with the sisters in Patapo.
     After Hna Monson and I were ready, we headed to the church for our district meeting.  It ended up being a really good meeting.  Elder Jarman had all of us close our eyes and he asked us reflection questions about our missions.  It was a really special spiritual moment for all of us to think about the progress and knowledge that we have gained here in the mission!
     After that, Hna McGinnis and I headed to Patapo.  Once we got there, we started with a prayer and then Hna Nelson (Spanish Fork, Utah) and I headed to the Dulceria for lunch.  Everyone was so excited to see me, and I was so excited to see them!
     After lunch, we went home to study language and then we went out visiting.  Everywhere we went, people were recognizing me.  They would run up all excited and hug and kiss me.  It definitely made me feel good to have everyone so excited to see me.  During the time that we had to visit, I was helping Hna Nelson get to know the area.  She was very grateful for that.  We ended up seeing a bunch of members everywhere we went!
     During our time out, Fransisca's husband Juan was on the search for me because he wanted to give me a necklace made of beads from the Incas. (shakiras) They are a super cool beads that are really expensive here.
     After visiting a less active family, we stopped by to see Shirley and then headed to dinner.  Juan was there waiting with the cool Inca necklace.  He told me that I really touched the hearts of all the people in his family and this necklace is how he wanted to thank me.  Juan use to be less active, but now he has started to go to church and he is super happy now.
     We had fruit salad, tres leches torta and a yummy strawberry smoothie for dinner, and then the greatest thing happened. Jose Sandoval walked into the Dulceria.  As he came closer, he realized who I was and then he stopped and just stared.  I got up because my heart was so full and tears were coming to my eyes. I walked up to him and he had tears in his eyes and he said, "I must be in a wonderful dream....this is undreamable."
     We talked and I shared some scriptures with him about how he needs to pick up his cross and go, and by doing so, he will receive the promised blessing.  I got pretty direct with him because he hasn't been going to church...but after our conversation, he knew what he had to do.  The spirit was so strong and he promised he would go to church every Sunday to keep his covenant with God.  He offered the prayer before we left and it was so sincere.  He thanked God for my words that I shared with him because they helped him remember what it is that he promised God.
     We went home, planned, talked, shared stories and got ready for bed.

Jueves, 2 Julio 2015
     This morning we went out visiting and when one of the citas fell through, we decided to stop by and talk to Maria (Emanuel's Grandma).  We found her taking care of her parents.  Jesus is her mom (88 years old) and the entire time Jesus kept talking about how "Maria prays that God will take me away (die) so she can live a normal life...but everyday I pray that I can stay longer just to make Maria suffer longer."  They were both giggling about this.  Then it got even better.  Maria began to talk about a Christ video she saw on the TV and that she loved it, especially when Christ looked so lovely. Then she looked at me and said, "Christ had the same hair as you do."  I started to giggle because that is first time that anyone has told me that I have hair like Jesus.

Maria, Jesus, Hna Dodson
     I really do love Patapo because everyone makes me feel really special all the time.
     By lunch time, it was time to switch back.  Hna Nelson thanked me for doing intercambios and for helping her learn more about the mission and herself.  She is a great missionary.  I really enjoyed being companions with her.
     We switched back and headed back to Pomalca.  We were an hour late for lunch, so we hurried to the pension and ate as fast as we could, and then met up with Clara Cortez (member) to go on visits with her.  She ended up dragging us into the elders area and presented us to all of her friends.  We gave the elders a lot of references. :)
     Later, we visited some other less actives and the spirit was really strong because we have been reading the Book of Mormon with them to help them get more excited about the Book of Mormon.
     In the night, we went to an activity at the church (karaoke) but we had to leave before it got started.  Everything starts super late drives me nuts!

Viernes, 3 Julio 2015
     Today was a normal day until we went and picked up Katia to go visiting with us.  Everyone that we tried to visit wasn't home, except for Elsa.  As we were visiting with Elsa, her son came into the room and picked up the table and carried it outside, and then he came back and got the TV to take outside.  We were thinking that he was trying to give us a hint to leave so he could watch the soccer game, but then he told us that he was just taking it outside for a better signal.  haha
     On our way to take Katia home, we decided to stop by Rosillo's house. (less active- at least we thought) Well, she has been sick for 10 days and was really needing help, so the three of us stayed with her.  We sang hymns, prayed,  and comforted her.  After we left, Katia let us know that Rosillo was baptized but never went to church to be confirmed.  This whole time we just thought that she was less active, but turns out that she is an investigator because her baptism is incomplete.  Crazy stuff.
     On our way to our cuarto, we made a really good contact with a man named Eduardo.  He had a lot of questions for us and really wanted to hear more about what we testified of.  I hope something comes of him.

Sabado, 4 Julio 2015    Feliz Independence Day!
     This morning as we were leaving to go visiting, we started talking to a man sweeping and we always offer to sweep or clean for him, but he usually always denies us, until today.  He just handed the broom right over to me.  Once I started sweeping, I realized why.  There was so much dirt!  There was a mountain of dirt that I got stuck sweeping.  It was ridiculous! :)
     We also made some funny contacts today.  One was especially funny.  We tried to tell a man that we were missionaries of  "La Iglesia de Jesucristo de Los..." and he cut us off and said, "Ahh yeah....La Iglesia de Los Santitos (little saints)...we giggled at the "little saints" thing. haha
     We visited a lot of people and the best thing happened on our way to our cuarto.  We were already down the road when we heard someone yelling, "Hermanas! Hermanas!"  We turned around to see the Patriarch of the Pomalca stake wobble running towards us.  We stopped and walked toward him. He told us, "I have a friend, and you need to come and visit him right now!"  So we walked with him and when we got to the house, we saw that his friend was Eduardo. (the contact from last night)  God really wants Eduardo to hear the message. :)  We couldn't enter to teach him, because there wasn't a woman there to teach with, so we set up a cita for another day, so we can get another woman to be with us.  I am super excited to teach him!

Domingo, 5 Julio 2015
     Well....I am leading the music again.  haha
     In the night, when we were visiting, we stopped by Anaximandro and Victoria's to see how they were and they let us in on some good news.  The divorce of Anaximandro and his  "ex-wife" will be final next Wednesday!  Victoria and Anaximandro can't wait until they can get married, and then Anaximandro can get baptized!  I love them so much!  They are very special to me.
     Later, we visited the Familia Espinoza.  I love them, too.  We talked about baptism and enduring to the end.  We had a good discussion with them.
     Oh yeah, I church today, a young man read his mission call over the pulpit.  He is going to Ecuador and leaves for the CCM in Colombia, in September.  He is really excited!  He is the nephew of Cesar Espinoza.  Also Cergio, the son of Cesar and Diana Espinoza, received the Aaronic priesthood today!  He is so excited!
     This week was an awesome week.  It felt good to be able to put my whole heart, mind , might and strength into the work again.  I love this work.  It just brightens my life!  I can't believe how fast the time flies.  In three months from today, I will be on a plane to Lima, to take a plane back home...crazy.