Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 73: "Be the kind of missionary that your mom thinks you are." Sister Bednar

Lunes, 24 Agosto 2015
     Today definitely wasn't a day of rest.  haha  Right after studies at 10 am, we went to Violeta's house to try on my dress that she is making for me.  Then we went to the Tottus and bought some things, and then off to internet to write home.  I had tears come to my eyes to hear about Matt Palmer's homecoming.  It sounded so special.  He is a special son of God who changed not only my life, but MANY others.
     After internet, we ate lunch. (pizza and a cherry cheesecake)

the food looks good...but the pizza tastes like plastic,
and the cheesecake is fake....haha
     After lunch, we went to the mission office to pick up the keys to our dresser.  We ended up talking to President Williams for a while and in the end, he told us that if we wanted to go souvenir shopping, we could.  So we went to a cool store and bought some cool stuff.  We were there for a couple hours. When we finished, we went to another store to pick up our scripture cases.  They turned out adorable. I am going to try to make and sell them at home.  We will see if I can learn to sew.  P.S. That means I need a sewing machine that works, so I can practice...cough, birthday...cough...October 20...haha.
     Then we finally got home, but by that time, it was time to head out teaching.  First we went to see Paola.  It is her little boy's 2 month mark, so we celebrated with some queque.  It was yummy. Second, we went to a FHE with Rosaura and Ronald and all their kids. (less actives)  It was a nice night.  Their 15 year old daughter taught us about repentance.
     At the end of the night, we were supposed to teach Junior, but for some reason, he was angry, so he didn't want a visit from us.  We were super confused.
     It was a long day.

Martes, 25 Agosto 2015
     A miracle happened this morning.  As we were contacting some people, we decided to stop by a less active's house.  Well, every time we go there, she always turns us away.  Today, she still opened the door "coldly", but this time, I decided to ask her if we could help her cook, clean or wash. Usually everyone turns down our offers, but not today.  She agreed.  We went inside and conversed, and then the second miracle happened...her husband (non member) showed up.  We got talking with both of them.  It was an amazing discussion.  Their names are Roberto and Cecilia.  They were begging us to come back...we willingly accepted!  haha
     Later that morning, we ran into Alan, who we had to practically torture to give us referrals.  He introduced us to his brother (return missionary, but inactive now).  We talked with them and their uncle for a little bit.  Then we went to lunch.
     After lunch, we taught a few people, like Venesa.  We talked about the Book of Mormon.  She was really into it, so hopefully she prays and asks God about it.
     Later, we visited Jose Luis.  When we got to his house, he was reading his Book of Mormon.  He is already in 2 Nephi 17.  He told us all of the story he has read so far.  Then we taught him about faith, repentance and baptism.  Then we invited him to be baptized.  He said, "But I'm already baptized."  I then explained that he needs to baptized the way that Christ was baptized, with authority from God.  He told us that he would pray about it.
     Then we stopped by to see Erene and Ernesto.  We told them that we don't have transfers, and they almost cried out of happiness.  They are seriously adorable.
     Then we went to dinner, and sang cute children songs in English, with Arsenia's granddaughter.
     Later, Violeta stopped by to give me my dress.  It is gorgeous!  It is a simple red dress...and I love it!!  Then we got ready for bed after planning.

Miercoles, 26 Agosto 2015
     This morning we visited a young married couple in the park.  They are super educated and they were really interested in what we have to share.  Jose, the husband, shared his beliefs with us, and at the end, he was pleasantly surprised that we were still listening to him, because he told us that all other religions that have tried to teach him, went running off whenever he would share his beliefs. He does have a very different belief than most Peruvians, but he said something that we knew we could work with.  He said, "You can feel the truth.  You feel it in your heart."  And that is when we knew that they would be really interesting investigators, that can progress.
     In the afternoon, we went visiting with Rita, the Bishop's mom.  She is so cute. She calls us her pretty little princesses. :)
     In the night, we had a FHE.  It was us, Felicita (the home owner of the house that we held it in) and Luis Wong. (less active) We taught about the Atonement.  During the lesson, I got feeling super sick.  We hurried and finished, said a prayer, waited for Felicita to give us her refreshment of popcorn to us, and then we headed out.
     We hurried to the pension to grab dinner for Hna Lofgran, and then went home so I could lie down. I don't know what overcame me, but I did not feel good.

Jueves, 27 Agosto 2015
      This morning we had our district meeting.  There are now new people in our District.  The district is Elder Romrell (10 months), Elder Moore (3 days in the field), Elder Salas (2 months), Elder Warren (1 year), and us sisters.  It was a really good meeting.  Elder Warren is a great district leader. The spirit really guided the class.  In the end, we all bore testimony of a miracle from the week that passed.  It was a great feeling to hear some amazing growing experiences.  I am excited to be in this district.
     I got my package of Tootsie Rolls!  Thanks!
     At lunch, Violeta came by to have Hna Lofgran try on her dress.  Then we took pictures in our dresses so she could show a friend the dresses that she made.
     We had quite a few appointments fall through, but the ones that we had were pretty good.
     Bonus of the day....we ate coconut chocolate cake!

Viernes, 28 Agosto 2015
     This morning we had planning.  After planning, we went visiting.  We visited Evelina Chavez and she let us know that her husband is reading a book from the church, and that once he had read the whole thing, he wants to have visits from us.  We are super excited!  Evelina has been patiently waiting for a long time for this day.
     Then we visited Paola.  She said that she is actually going to start to prepare to be baptized, but she doesn't want a date yet.  One day soon....

Sabado, 29 Agosto 2015
     Today was a very special day in the mission.  Elder Bednar and Sister Bednar came to speak to our mission.  It was a beautiful experience.  We had to be at the Institute building at 9:30am.  At 10:00am, we took a picture as the mission...and that is when I ran into Erin Kelly, Danielle's friend from high school!  She just got into the mission field 5 days ago!  It was so crazy to actually run into someone I know.  Small world!

Hna Dodson (wearing her new dress) with Hna Erin Kelly
     After pictures, we went inside and we started the program.  We sang a song, then Elder Tonga (from the U.S.A., but speaks Spanish) went up in front of everyone so we could sing Happy Birthday to him. :)  Then we sang a beautiful song in Spanish about Christ.  Then President called on 2 people to share their testimonies:  Hna McGinnis and Elder Perez.  Then Sister Waite and Sister Hebdon sang a beautiful hymn, "Savior, Redeemer".  Then Elder Lalli started to give his talk....when the door opened and Elder and Sister Bednar came walking in, with some other general authorities.  Elder Lalli cut his talk right then...and we all stood up until Elder Bednar sat down.
     The first people to address us, was Bishop Stevenson and his wife.  They gave us a piece of advice...Make the spirit the 3rd member of your companionship...and then allow that companion to speak.
     Second to address us was Elder Godoy and his wife.  They are from Brazil, but right now they live in Lima.  Their advice was...Understand that the mission president and his wife are here for you... for a reason....they are here for my life....for my eternity.  They will forever be people who helped me reach a higher level of what God wants for me.
     Third to speak to us was Elder Suarez and his wife.  They are from Brazil and his wife speaks only Portuguese.  I really want to learn it.  It sounds like Spanish mixed with French.  Their advice: Give your testimony every fast Sunday... No matter where you are, bear witness of what you know...because we are all witnesses of Jesus Christ.
     Then Elder Bednar and his wife spoke to us.  Sister Bednar talked to us about something that I know, changed everyone's way of being.  She said, "I want to be your mom right now.  You are all glowing and are just so happy.  I know they would love to see you right now.  Your mothers love you and have great plans for you."  She ended with this phrase, "Be the missionary that your mom thinks you are."
     After she finished her thoughts, Elder Bednar spoke.  The way he teaches makes everyone feel good and he keeps it so interesting.  He started his talk by telling us that in the church, we have this false tradition of "writing down all that speakers say to us". He went on to explain that the Book of Mormon was written on two sets of plates...the large and the small.  The large are for all the facts and history.  The small were for the spiritual matters.  He then described to us that if we write all that a speaker says, we are just adding history to the large plates, but if we write down the thoughts and ideas that come to our mind, from the spirit,  that we are writing on our small plates.  He then challenged us to write on "small plates" as he spoke to us today.  I realized that I have been taking notes wrong my entire life!
     He didn't just give a talk, we had a discussion with him.  It was really special.  Something that really impressed me was that they talked about children.  They told us never to use the phrase "If you ever do that again, I'm going to (fill in the blank)!....unless we are actually going to go through with the consequence we say. :)
     Another point that he taught was that we usually say our prayers and after we say Amen, we wait...but he said that when we say Amen, that is when the prayer starts...we need to act according to the prayer we just said.
     During the entire meeting, the spirit was so strong.  The power of interpretation is amazing!  It gives you a larger desire to focus on what is being said because the sentences are being broken in two, so to understand them, you must focus and meditate.
     When the meeting ended, we were singing the last hymn, and Elder and Sister Bednar mouthed out to me "What hymn number?"  I showed them on my fingers.  haha  It put a smile on my face....that they are just normal people.  I love and adore them so much.
     After the prayer, they got up and all of them left.  When they left, you could feel the strong influence of the spirit leave, too.  We could still feel the spirit, don't get me wrong, but his spirit is 10 x more powerful than just the missionary spirit alone.  It was such a special experience.  I am so grateful to have had such a great blessing to have seen and 'met' Elder Bednar.
     After the meeting, we ate pizza for lunch, as a whole mission.  It was really fun.  There are very few sisters in our mission, but being a small group makes it easier to get to know each of them. :)
     We went visiting after and no one was home!  At the end of the night, we were able to visit Erene and Ernesto.  They had a christian over name Christian.  :) We shared a little bit about the Plan of Salvation and then Christian shared his testimony about God's plan.  He is a really cool guy...he belongs to another church, but hopefully we can help him find the fullness of the gospel.
     We made Mac-n-Cheese using spaghetti noodles, for dinner.  haha It was yummy!
     Then we went home, planned and got ready for tomorrow.  A lot of people should be coming to church tomorrow.  I really hope it happens!

Domingo, 30 Agosto 2015
     Well....only 2 less actives showed up to church!  2!  We taught 17 less active families this week and only 2 people showed up!  That was definitely disappointing.  We just have to hope that next Sunday, more will come.  After all the classes, we stayed for Ward Council.
     Then we went visiting until lunch.  We stopped by Ernesto and Erene's house to see why they didn't come to church.  Erene woke up sick and Ernesto stayed home to take care of her.  We chatted for a few minutes and then we went to lunch.
     After lunch, we studied and then went out visiting some more.  We visited a couple named Wendy and Miguel Angel.  We had a pretty interesting discussion with them.  They want to continue listening, because they think that our message is interesting. :)
     One of the other lessons that went really well, was with Luis Wong, his sister Gladis, and their niece Anmary.  We read Alma 24 with them.  Usually when we read with them, Gladis gets bored and starts to fall asleep, but today, no.  They were all so intrigued with the story, that they couldn't wait to keep reading after we would stop and explain what was going on. :)  They were so excited to apply the teaching of  "burying weapons", that they want to bury their weapons/sins.
     To end the night, we taught Shirley and Darwin. (less actives)  We taught them about the Family Proclamation.  They really liked it.  We get along great with them.
     It was kind of a disappointing day, but the visits we had were something really special.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 72: "...the husband of the woman who died, came over and started singing with us. It was probably one of the most awkward moments in my life...I highly enjoyed it!!"

Lunes, 17 Agosto 2015
     This week we are trying to read "all" of the New Testament.  In one of the Liahona magazines, there is a "Read the N.T. for children", so we are going to read all of that. :)
     After studies, we cleaned and then went to the Tottus to buy more ingredients to make cookies. We ran into President Williams and Hna Williams.  They offered to buy our ingredients for us.  We said, "no", but told them that they could buy our stuff next time, when we make more expensive cookies! haha
     We went to the pension and made the dough, but it didn't turn out how we thought it should, so we put it in the fridge to see if it would harden it....
     We made ourselves chicken nuggets for lunch.  It was really good.  After lunch, we went to internet.  Then we went to a store called Boulavard. (It has a bunch of tiny one room stores inside) There is a member in one of the stores that makes covers for scriptures, so we went to pick out covers.  They are going to turn out so cool.
     Then we went home and relaxed until it was time to go out visiting.  At 6 pm, we visited Paola and we read a little bit from Mosiah 4.  Her kids were a little whiny, so it was a little hard to teach, but she seemed to like the lesson.
     Then we went to our next cita...the lady wasn't home, but her brother Fernando was, so we talked to him for a bit about the church.  He is excited to learn more. :)
     Then we went to dinner (cheese and yuka)  and made our cookies.
     It was a good day.  Oh, when we were making cookie dough earlier, there was a word that we didn't we asked Antonio what the word engrasada meant, (grease), but he thought I said embarazada (pregnant), so he looked at me with wide open eyes and said, "Estas embarazada?" (You're pregnant?!)  I about screamed when he said that and then we all busted up laughing.  It was a fun time.

Martes 18, Agosto 2015
     This morning, miraculously, we found a few people who wanted to let us in to teach them of God's gospel.  In the afternoon, we visited several people, too.  It was a busy day.  The first visit was with 2 women.  They shared with us interesting situations that have happened in Bertha's house after she moved in. She believes that the house has a spirit.  They are very sweet, but they weren't when we first knocked on the door looking for Bertha.  When we first knocked on the door , a woman opened the door and asked us who we were looking for.  We told her, "Bertha", and then she told us , "No!" and shut the door on us.  As we were walking away, we heard someone calling out to us.  We turned around and saw the same lady who shut the door on us...We headed back and she asked us again who we were looking for and we told her "Bertha".  Then she said, "I'm Bertha, come on in."  And that is when she told us her stories.  I think she realized that once she shut the door on us, we were an answer to her prayer, on how to become closer to God.
     The second  visit was with Vanesa.  She believes that she has faith, but doesn't feel like she has a lot of it.  We talked a lot about faith and about how we need to help it grow. (Alma 32) It was a good lesson.  After the lesson, Vanesa seemed happier to know and be reminded that she has faith...she just needs to feel it everyday and care for it.
     Third visit was with Jorge.  He doesn't go to any church...not even the Catholic, because of some childhood experience.  We got into some really interesting discussions and he really wanted us to return to visit him and all his family.  He is really cool.
     Our last real visit of the night was with Junior.  He told us that he knows it is true and that he is going to do everything in his power to be baptized.  He said, "I'm willing to prepare myself, be baptized and serve a mission."  He is so cool.  I am really excited to be working with him.
     Today is Ingrit's Birthday.  We stopped by her house and they gave us a tamale covered in mayo and a glass of soda.  Yum...Not.  But it was such a sweet gesture. :)
     At dinner with Antonio, we got laughing so hard.  We made rain sounds with our hands...we sang hymns...we laughed some more.  Then Antonio started playing drums on the table as we sang hymns. haha  He is so cute.

Miercoles, 19 Agosto 2015
     We had our last district meeting for the transfer. Elder Peabody and Elder McKell are going home on Monday/ Tuesday.  We said our final goodbyes and then we went home.  We found our clean clothes waiting outside our room, so we put our clothes away and cleaned the room a bit.  Then we went to lunch.
     After lunch, we went out visiting with Ingrit.  We had a lot of fun with her.  We laughed, ate treats and shared testimonies.  Not very many people were home today, but we were able to visit Paola. She knows all the lessons backwards and forwards.  I know she wants to join the church, but she can't until her husband does, so they can be "united in beliefs".  Hopefully she chooses to just follow her testimony and then he will see her example and follow her.

Jueves, 20 Agosto 2015     FELIZ ANNIVERSARIO MAMI Y PAPI
     Last night we got a call from President Williams and his wife asking if this morning was a good time for them to stop by and take pictures of our cuarto.  They came over and Hna Williams brought us homemade chocolate chip cookies.  As President was checking out the cuarto, he literally dived onto my bed and laid on it for a good amount of time, and then he asked if I thought my mattress was comfortable.  I told him, "Yes." and then he told me that he didn't think it was comfortable at all. haha I wish I had gotten a picture of him, but I was laughing too hard that I couldn't grab my camera.
     Today, we only had 2 visits. :(  First we visited Virginia (less active) and second we visited Jorge and his aunt Bertha.  We taught the Restoration and it was awesome.  He listened so well and it was really cool because we bore testimony of our experiences of receiving answers from God, and he ended up sharing an experience with us.
     At one point in the lesson, he pointed me out and he talked about some of my personality characteristics that he knew helped people come to God.  He thanked me for my testimony and he said that he know God has a really special future planned for me.  :)
     We left that lesson with a feeling that one day soonish, he will accept the gospel and will get baptized.
     In the night, Violeta (the other sister missionary's pensionista) came by and tested out my dress to make it fit me okay.

Viernes, 21 Agosto 2015
     Almost all of our appointments fell through.  It wasn't a super eventful day.

Sabado, 22  Agosto 2015
     This morning we got a call from some Elders in the mission office. (Elder Casas and Elder Haddock) They told us that they would be coming by before lunch to move our new dresser into our room.  We got a new dresser because we didn't have enough room for all our stuff.  Well, we went out visiting until it was time for them to come.  They brought the dresser all the way up the stairs and put it in our room.  Then we went to lunch.  After lunch, we came home to put our clothes in the drawers, but the drawers were locked and we don't  have a key.  hahaha
     We visited a lot of less actives today.  The most memorable of them all was the one with Erene and Ernesto.  We taught about eternal marriage.  They want to be sealed, but they want to feel ready for it.  We shared some thoughts and it was beautiful.
     When we first arrived to their house, Ernesto had just finished working out and was making his "cool down" drink made of bananas, eggs, chocolate, water and muscle powder.  He made me try it.  haha   The entire lesson, he would flex his muscles, trying to see if we would think he was strong. His wife thought it was funny.  I made a joke at the end of the night by counting how many animals they had in that one room with us...I said, "4 cats, 2 dogs...and 1 bear (and pointed at Ernesto)." Erene busted up laughing.  Now the nickname for Ernesto is "oso" (bear).  They are such a sweet couple. After the lesson, we had a cute little chat over hot chocolate and little rolls.  It was really a great experience.  I love them.

Domingo, 23 Agosto 2015     FELIZ CUMPLEANOS DANIELLE!
     Today at church, all the topics that were taught were super interesting.  In sacrament meeting they talked about scripture knowledge, talents and life after death.  In Sunday School, we talked about talents, and in Relief Society, we talked about the Plan of Happiness.
     The coolest thing happened today.  Five less actives came to church, and one of them hasn't come to church for almost 15 years!  All the members couldn't believe that we have gotten Ernesto and Erene to come to church two Sundays in a row.
     During Relief Society, I sat next to Erene and she told me that she is really grateful for us because we have helped her husband to come back. She then shared with us that a really famous body builder was coming into town to have a meeting with other gym rats, and he had invited Ernesto to go, but the meeting was today during church hours, so Ernesto denied the invitation and told the guy that he was going to church.  That right there PROVES that he is dedicated to the Lord.  I seriously feel so lucky to have met them.
     At 5:30pm, we sang at a funeral.  Don't start "awwing" just was not super great.  The two other members we went with got up in the middle of the people sitting down and told us to start with them and then we started singing some songs.  Luckily the husband of the woman who died, came over and started singing with was probably one of the most awkward moments in my life...I highly enjoyed it!!!!
     After that, we stopped by to visit Junior, but he wasn't home, so we went to find Robert.  He was playing soccer (legit game) on a Sunday, so we called him over and talked to him about how he shouldn't be playing soccer on Sunday.  He told us to come over to his house later tonight, because he wanted to talk to us about what is going on with him and Junior....apparently something happened.
     We left the game and went to visit Anmary (14 yrs), Luis, who came to church for the first time in 15 years, and Gladis (Luis' sister).  We read Joseph Smith's History, and they loved it.  At the end of the lesson, they opened up more than they have in all the time that we have been visiting them. (5 weeks)
     After that, we stopped by Robert's house and found him and Junior on the corner.  They asked us to come and visit tomorrow.  Hopefully they don't bail...
     We went to dinner and then reported our numbers.  Later in the night, we got the transfer call...

"Crazy cactus tree....
...I decided that you would really like them!"

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 71: "Thank thee for sending the missionaries to us, because they are like little prophets."

Lunes, 10 Agosto 2015
     We made lunch today.  We had spaghetti and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  It was so good. Antonio loved it all so much.  He kept saying "Your future husbands are very lucky."  We told him that if he wanted to give a recommendation, we would gladly except...He is going to write us a card to help us get husbands.  Isn't he a doll? :)

     Later, we went out teaching.  We taught a young man named Junior (23 yrs)  He is super religious. He is a friend and a reference from Robert.  We talked "deep" with him.  We had some great discussions about God and Christ.  The spirit was strong.  At the end, I shared a scripture from Romans 8: 38-39.  I told Junior that God knows who he is and always has him in His mind.  He just started crying and told us that he wants to do everything he can to be closer to God.  We invited him to baptism.  He agreed and we gave him a pamphlet to read and then we left.  It was a pretty great experience.

Martes, 11 Agosto 2015
     Today in the night time, we visited Paola and her husband Bonney.  All the people that we have talked to say that Bonney is tough meat and he doesn't like to listen.  Since he was at home, on a work break, we invited him to join us.  He agreed and as we taught about the Plan of Salvation, he listened intently and wanted to know more.  We had to go, and knowing that he would be traveling again on Saturday, we asked when we could come back and Bonney said, "Tomorrow."  We accepted and then left.  We couldn't believe it.  He was so interested.  I am very excited for him to know more about the Plan that God has for him.
     Dinner was cooked by Antonio because Arsenia went to visit her mom in Piura (3 hours away). She will come back Friday, so until then, Antonio will be cooking us breakfast and dinner.  He is so adorable.  We got cheese and bread.  haha

Miercoles, 12 Agosto 2015
     We had a multi-zone conference.  It was a good meeting.  President Williams and Hna Williams are really guided by the spirit.  We talked about "Beware of Pride" by Ezra Taft Benson.  It is such a good talk and we had a great discussion about it.
     President let us know that now in this mission, there is only 130 missionaries, and in the two multi-zone conferences, there is only about 25 sisters.  Crazy.
     During the meeting, President talked in detail about what is going to happen when Elder Bednar comes.  He put a question on the board that said, "What would you ask an Apostle of God if you had the chance."  Well, me not processing where I was (at a table full of Elders), I turned around, facing an Elder and said, "Do you love me?"  At that moment, I realized what I had just done.  I covered my mouth and started to laugh.  Hna Lofgran almost threw up lunch, because she was laughing so hard. It was one of those experiences that happen out of coincidence...

The Zone Latina
     After the meetings at 6 pm, we went back to our area to work.  The greatest lesson we had was with Paola and Bonney.  We talked about the Plan of Salvation and they both liked it.  We invited them to baptism...they denied, but they did agree to read the Book of Mormon.  I know that if they continue to read the Book of Mormon, they will want to get day soon.

Jueves, 13 Agosto 2015
     This morning after studies, we started intercambios with Hna Gonzalez and Hna Paredes.  I stayed with Hna Paredes in Jose Balta.  She recently got here to the mission.  She has 5 weeks...sweet little thing.  She is from Ecuador and because I know Elder Brunis (from Ecuador), I can hear a distinct accent that they have.  I love that every country has their way of speaking.
     It was a long day with her because for a good chunk of the time, we had no one to visit.  We did end up visiting a woman named Luz.  She gave us a really gross drink called chicha...but it wasn't purple like was was so gross.  Hna Paredes plugged her nose and chugged it.  It was a struggle for me to drink it.
     Later, we visited a family of a single mom with 3 children. (Sabastian, Jhon Paul, Maria Belen) They are really cute kids.  We taught them about the iron rod.  They loved the game we played.  We, as missionaries, held one end of a string and the kids with blind folds on, had to try to get from one side to the other, without getting distracted by their mom, who represented all the temptations. It went well.  Jhon Paul (10 yrs) gave the closing prayer and he said, "Thank thee for sending the missionaries to us because they are like little prophets."
     In the night, we ate a plate from Ecuador.  Here in Peru, they call it verdes con queso. (boiled bananas smashed and served with Peruvian cheese.)  The pensionista, Jose Balta, sews wedding dresses, too,  and she said before I leave to go home, that she is going to make me a dress...not a wedding dress, but a dress. :)

Viernes, 14 Agosto 2015
     At breakfast, we ate pancakes with condensed milk on them.  It was so good.  Then the pensionista took my measurements and then we went home and studied.  At 10 am, Hna Lofgran and Hna Gonzalez showed up to switch back.  Once we switched, we headed home to plan and eat lunch. Later, we went out visiting.  We ended up finding only two people home for the whole day.  We taught a woman named Venesa.  We taught her about the Restoration and she thanked us for sharing, but she doesn't want to change from being Catholic.
     Then we taught Martha Garcia.  We taught her about the Book of Mormon.  She didn't have any questions, but when we invited her to go to church with us, she turned us down because she told us that she is Catholic.  All day, everyone kept telling us that they would listen to us, but that they don't want to change.
     In the night, we ate and cooked with Antonio (Arni- nickname).  After eating, we sang a song (How Great Thou Art) and we shared a scripture and discussed it for a while.  We ended with a prayer and then went upstairs to plan and get ready for bed.

Sabado, 15 Agosto 2015     FELIZ CUMPLEANOS ARSENIA!
     This morning no one ended up being home.  In the afternoon, we accidentally crossed into the other area of Hna Corona and Hna Johnson.  We talked with them for a second and then we headed to the church to help paint.  The guy in charge of the painting forgot the paint, so we couldn't paint, so we visited with everyone until it was time to meet up with Karen (young woman) who was going to come visiting with us.  As we were across the street from the church, visiting a woman, I thought I saw Clara Leyton, so I just stared at her, but I couldn't see her clearly.  Once we got over by the church, she was gone.  Then we turned the corner, and there she was...Clara Leyton.  I hugged her for quite some time.  She is so great.  She decided to come visiting with the four of us went out. No one was home.  At 7 pm, we dropped off Karen and Clara at the church, so they could walk together to their destinations.
     Then we went to visit Junior and Maria in the house of Robert Palmer.  We invited Junior to get baptized and he agreed and asked to get baptized on the 28th of September!  We have an investigator who wants to get baptized!
     Later, we visited Erene and Ernesto.  Well, Erene told us that she had a dream about us, and that we were angels who saved her.  She is so sweet.  This area is really hard, but I really do love the people a lot.  Those that want to listen to us are such great people.

Domingo, 16 Agosto 2015
     This morning at church, I was so happy.  First, Erene and Ernesto showed up.  Second, Junior showed up.  Third, all the topics in the classes were about missionary work.  It was such a good day.        After church, we went searching for some referrals, but the road doesn't we ended up trying to find a young woman named Carla.  We found her, and her non member mom joined us, too. They both haven't liked going to church, but after our visit, they want to try and go.  They are really excited.  We had a good talk.  In the end, her mom, Beatriz, took a picture of us with Carla. :)
     After visiting them, we went to lunch.  Then we studied for a bit and went back out to visit.  We taught some people that are not going to progress, so we won't be going back. Right after we decided that, we met a young couple who have questions about the church.  They seem really cool.  Their names are Wendy and Miguel Angel.
     Later in the night, we taught Anmary (13 yrs), Gladys (50 yrs) and Luis Wong (55 yrs).  We talked about listening to the spirit.  It was a good lesson.  Luis really wants to change, but feels trapped in his past sins.  We are trying to help him out.  Hopefully teaching him can bring some sort of hope that he can be forgiven.
     On our way to dinner, we ran into a man in  a leather jacket, named David, who asked us if we were sister missionaries.  We said, "Yes."  He went on to tell us that the sisters before us, visited him, but he hasn't seen them for 5 weeks.  So we set an appointment with him and went on our way.
     Once we got to our building, I had a feeling to talk to Erinson, so we talked with him for a second in the doorway.  Then Mili invited us in and we told Erinson to look up the video called, "Because of Him."  We watched it, and they loved it.  Then Mili gave us alfajores.  They were really good.  Then we went on the roof to report our numbers, because we couldn't get a signal inside.  haha  New talking on the phone on the roof. haha

funny dog :)'s a whole chicken in the freezer :)



Hna Lofgran and Hna Dodson

giving out a contact card

fitting in perfectly...

1, 2, 3, Pull....

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 70: "When one dies, that means... more food."

Lunes, 3 Agosto 2015
     We went searching for an ATM today to take out money for the payment of our pension and our cuarto, but NOT one of the machines we went to that made the situation complicated.
     During internet, it was crazy.  There were so many kids screaming because they were playing some killing game on all the computers.
     For lunch, we made nachos.  Arsenia and Antonio loved it.  They still can't believe that the cheese really is cheese.  And they LOVED the jalapenos!  haha  They are so cute.

Arsenia and Hna Dodson
making Nachos!

     After P-Day was over, we went out teaching.  All of our plans fell threw, so we stopped by a member's house.  She is usually "too busy" to let us in, but before we knocked, we told one another that we were going to get in this time.  We knocked, and she opened the door and said, "Come in."  I can't imagine what the amazement that was on our faces looked like!  We had a good conversation with her.  She is less active and she always has excuses to not go to church...
     Later we went to a FHE that was planned for a less active family, but the family didn't come.  The Bishop did a lesson about being self reliant.  It was good.
     Then we went home and ate dinner with Antonio, and all he could talk about was the nachos. :)

Martes, 4 Agosto 2015     FELIZ CUMPLEANOS HNA MCGINNIS!!
     Today, we had our leadership training meeting.  The sister leaders had their meeting at 8am with Hna Williams, and at 9am, all the zone leaders and sister leaders had a meeting.  It was an awesome meeting.  President Williams is the mission president here because I need him.  He did so amazing. My favorite part had to be the last thing of the meeting...Testimonies from those that are going home. Four elders and 1 hermana (that are leaders) are going home, so they bore strong spirit piercing testimonies.  The most touching for me was from Elder Otivo.  The way he speaks...I couldn't not look and just listen intently...and of course the testimony from Elder Epperson.  He answered my prayers through his testimony.  He speaks with so much charity and power.  The meeting ended on a good spiritual high.

Sister leaders with Hna Williams
     For lunch, we got burritos. :)  It was good.  This week for our count down, it was suppose to be "Red and White" week, but we don't have enough of these colors....but so far, we have eaten a version of Mexican food let's see if we can keep that up. haha
     This afternoon while teaching, we had some amazing experiences.  First was when we visited Martha Garcia.  She told us that she hasn't received her answer, but she had some questions, so we clarified everything.  At the end, we invited her to baptism.  She accepted!  Next time we visit her, we will set a date.  Second, we visited Jose Luis.  Powerful, spirit filled lesson!  After explaining the Apostasy and the Restoration, he looked at us and told us that he knows that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church.  We also invited him to get baptized.  He accepted and we will set a date with him at our next visit.
     We saw and felt the spirit work through us today.  It was a good day.  At dinner, Antonio told us that for lunch they ate nachos again.  They still love it.  They are so cute.  We are going to try and make tacos with them one P-Day.  haha  We are trying to get them addicted to American food.  haha We will see how it goes. :)

Miercoles, 5 Agosto 2015
      Before lunch, we headed to Las Delicias to do intercambios with the sisters there.  Well, Hna Lofgran stayed in Las Delicias with Hna Nelson and Hna Monson and I headed back to Villareal with Hna Clegg.  The sisters are in a trio.  Hna Clegg is from Utah, and she is so cool.
     Today, we saw some crazy stuff happen.  First...not very many people were in their homes, but as we were searching for someone to teach, we saw an old blind man who was about to trip over a branch.  We decided to help him.  When we held out our hands to him, he grabbed them super tight and then he started to squat down.  We looked at each other, super confused, and then we told him that he needed to keep walking.  He stood up again and walked to the sidewalk and wouldn't let go of our hands.  He finally let go and left.
      After that, we went to teach Angel and Martha.  We taught the Restoration.  Angel had some awesome questions.  He was really into it all.  In the end, he understood it all and he had a different light about him.  He then tells us that usually after he receives visits from most religions, that he tells them that he is done with their visits, but he invited us to come back.  He said, "This is a different message and I want to know more about the rest of what you teach."  We told him that he needs to pray to receive his answer, to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet.  He said that he would.  It was a super long lesson, but in the end, he didn't have any doubts.  He received clarity.  The spirit was there and it definitely manifested the truth to all of us.
     In the night, we had a meeting with our ward mission leader.  Then we went to dinner.
P.S. While picking up Hna Clegg from Las Delicias, we ran into Cecilia (pensionista)

Jueves, 6 Agosto 2015     FELIZ 16 MESES!
     As we were out searching for people to teach, a woman who was decked out in too much make-up asked us where we were from.  We told her that we were from the States and then we invited her to go to church on Sunday.  She declined our invitation and said goodbye.  She touched my forehead with her pointer finger, said goodbye and walked away. :)  Hna Clegg was laughing a lot and we joked about it up until we had to head back to Las Delicias.  We ran into Cecilia again, but this time she had something for me.  She gave me banana bread.  I love her.
     Hna Lofgran and I went home and then went to lunch.  We ended up staying in the cuarto after, because my foot started hurting me yesterday, so I needed to rest it.  We did some studies.  It was a good time to get to know each other better.
     Later in the night, we went to dinner and we talked with Arsenia, Antonio and their son-in-law. We had a good time.

Viernes, 7 Agosto 2015
     This morning we had a zone meeting.  The zone leaders here in Latina zone are great.  (Elder Alcantara and Elder Wilson)  Today, they taught very well.  The spirit was very strong.  We, the sister leaders taught, too.  Elder Alcantara told us that we did a good job.  Hopefully we really did, and he wasn't just being nice. :)  Well, what happens next, would only happen to me.  We packed up our stuff and headed out.  We called over a moto taxi and on our way home from the stake center (10 min away), we got a call from Elder McKell telling us that he just found our we had to head back and get them before going home.  The moto taxi was teasing us a lot.  When it came time to pay him, I handed him the amount that I thought it would have been, but he didn't charge us as much...and when he handed back my change, he  asked me for my phone number.  I denied him, and we could tell that he was then regretting charging us less..haha...too late.
     We went to lunch and then studied language.
     Then we went out teaching.  Our first cita was with a less active, and when we got to her house, she let us in and she had some visitors over.  We decided to start teaching, but I wasn't sure what to share, when all of a sudden, I felt to talk about prayer.  It was a really good lesson.  The spirit was strong and the visitors really enjoyed it.  There ended up being another less active there named Gladys.  Once we finished, she took us next door to meet her husband, Eber.  Eber can't talk, because he has a hole in his traquilla (throat).  He does everything through a tube in his neck.  He was so sweet and just listened and wrote down his questions.  At one point, he got tired of writing so he started mouthing words to Gladys.  The coolest thing happened!  I understood him better than Gladys did.  I know that God was helping me.  I really have a good feeling about him.  He has a special spirit.  While we were teaching, I could only see him dressed in white, being baptized.   I believe he will be a very great convert.
     After that, we visited Jose Luis.  We taught him about the Book of Mormon and he told us that he had read it all the way up to Moroni, but then he lost it.  We gave him a new one and he was excited to read it again.  The spirit was so strong as we bore testimony about the Book of Mormon.  It was very special.  He is a great man.
     Later in the night, we had a family home evening with Mili and her husband, Erinson, and their children.  We talked about family prayer.  The spirit was strong and we all shared experiences.  It turned out to be a nice FHE.  We played a game at the end which got us all laughing pretty hard. :)
     Then we went to dinner.

Sabado, 8 Agosto 2015
     We had a lot of random lessons today.  Why, you ask?  Because we went out visiting with Paquita. She wanted us to teach everyone.  The only hard thing, is that she is always entering into houses while we are running to our citas.
     In the night, we visited some less actives named Erene and Ernesto (the gym people).  Anyways, we shared Mosiah 18:8-9 with them, about baptismal covenants.  We asked Ernesto if he knew where his scriptures were at.  He left the room to go and find them and he came back with his Bible and his Triple combination.  As he was looking through his scriptures, he found tons of money.  Erene told him that God is talking to him, telling him that the scriptures are worth a lot.  They promised to read. As we were leaving, they gave us each a slice of chocolate cake.  It was delicious.
     Then we went to dinner.  We ate with Antonio and Arsenia.  During dinner, we talked about what happens when people die, and I asked Antonio, "What would you think if I told you that Hna Lofgran died?"  And his response was so funny.  He said, "When one dies, that means... more food."  We all busted up laughing.  I love our pension.

Domingo, 9 Agosto 2015
     Today at church, the meeting started with 18 people.  Here in Villareal, there are 190 active was super sad.  That means that there were 172 people who weren't able to renew their baptismal covenants. :(
     After church, we went and visited some people, and then we went to lunch.  After lunch, we studied the scriptures and then we headed out.
     Later in the afternoon, we visited Martha and Angel.  They are super excited, especially because now they have copies of the Book of Mormon.  During the lesson, as we explained where the Book of Mormon came from, we could see that Angel just wanted to read it.  He is very curious about this book.  He loves what we teach, because it is something new that he has never heard of.  He has literally been to almost every other religion, except the LDS church.
     He still hasn't come to church, but he is taking our "ask God if the Book of Mormon is true" invitation seriously.  He wants to know.  Once we explained the Book of Mormon, we asked them if they had picked a marriage date, and they hadn't.  I got forward with them.  I straight up looked them in the eye and said, "You are living in sin."  I shared all the scriptures that proved my point and they both realized that they were living in sin.  But Angel is scared of marriage because he has seen friends get married and everything goes downhill.  We explained that you will always see problems in the world...marriage, work, etc., because it is life...but to be married and by keeping the commandments of God, you will be blessed.  Angel was a little more open to it, and Martha was trying to talk him into getting married this month....but in the end, I think they agreed to September.
     We visited some other people and then we contacted the rest of the night.  As we were contacting a cute lady, a young man came over and started listening to us.  I asked them if they knew each other, and they didn't, so I introduced them to one another.  We talked about the church and then we left. On the way to the pension, we passed by where we had talked with them, and the two of them were still sitting and laughing and talking!  SCORE.  Two contacts.  Two people who want to visit the church in their cities.  Two people who may or may not have a date tomorrow.  Match Maker, Match Maker, make me a match.... :) haha

Me and my cute socks!
"drunk man on the side of the road....
mattress on the other side of the road...
He almost made close....
maybe next time."


Friday, August 7, 2015

Week 69: Peruvian Dog Week

Lunes, 27 Julio 2015
     We had a weird P-Day.  First we cleaned the cuarto and we found more glass from the broken bottle that Hna Lofgran knocked off the table....don't stress...we got it all cleaned up.  Second, we went to Tottus.  While we were there, I ran into Betsi and Danilo, from Pomalca.  It was so fun to see them.  We also ran into Cesar Espinoza's dad and brother.  They were excited to see me.  Then we ran into President and Hna Williams.  This time, we weren't by the food for animals, so when he called out to us, I grabbed Hna Lofgran and we "ran" away...and then he started to "chase" after us.  We ended up helping him pick out some sticky notes.  Then we left to go find a watch for Hna Lofgran. Everything in the store ended up being 50% off, so I bought a few fun things for myself.

Then we went to find a hamburger restaurant, but it wasn't open, so we went back to Tottus and bought a pizza.  After lunch, we went to internet.  I talked with my family and also did some college registration stuff...I am not excited for that.  As we were there at the internet, there were tons of kids screaming and playing some kind of killing game...when the kids realized that we were writing and speaking in English, they started to want to talk to us. :)  It was a wild time at internet!
     After that, we went home and rested until it was time to go.  Our first cita was with a sister who is less active.  Her name is Virginia.  She let us in and while she was talking to her daughter-in-law, I started talking with a man sitting on the couch next to me.  His name is Manuel.  As we were talking with him, he looked at us with so much certainty and said, "There are four beings in the Trinity. 1- God the Father (El Padre), 2- Jesus, the Son (Jesus el hijo), 3- Holy (Espirino), 4- Ghost (Santo)." We corrected him and then he realized that we were right about the Trinity being just three beings. :) I love all the crazy beliefs we run into in the mission.
     After conversating for quite some time with him, Virginia could finally talk with us, but it was time for us to leave, so we set up a new cita and left.  Unfortunately, all our other plans fell through, so we spent the rest of the time contacting.

Martes, 28 de Julio     FELIZ DIA DE INDEPENDENCIA!
     Well, today we started a challenge this week.  We have a countdown of 10 weeks, and every week we have to do a specific activity for the entire week.  This week we are having Peruvian Dog week....which means that we have to take pictures of as many Peruvian dogs that we can.  Today was a successful day!

     Because today is Independence Day for Peru, everyone was gone.  No one was home, so we taught many people in the street.  We met some really sweet people.  At 7pm, we decided to visit an investigator named Martha.  When we got to her house, it didn't seem like anyone was home, and no one was answering.  Then a guy showed up with some keys and opened the door.  He told us that he would check to see if Martha was home.  She we taught her about the Restoration.  By the end of the lesson, she realized that we had just explained why we know our church is true.  She promised that she would ask God in her bedtime prayers to know if the church is true.  I know that she will do it, because she said the last prayer and she told God, "Please respond to my questions about the church that I will ask later tonight."  It was very sincere.  I am really excited for her.
     After that, we went to dinner.  We ate fruit salad with home made yogurt.  What I love about being here, is that almost every meal, we get to eat with Arsenia and Antonio.  At dinner, we told them that we were searching for Peruvian dogs, and that is when Antonio told us that he is a Peruvian dog...and then he told us that he was a Peruvian elephant.  haha  We laughed so hard.  I love them.

     At first, today felt like a waste, but we really did have a lot of pretty successful contacts and a great lesson with Martha.  And to end the day full of smiles, laughter and turned out to be a great Peruvian Independence day.

Miercoles, 29 Julio 2015
     This morning we had a district meeting and Hna Lofgran taught the class about stress and how to over come it while in the mission.  It went really well.  She shared a quote that everyone liked- "If you don't like it, change it.  If you can't change it, change the way you think about it."  This can be applied in any point of life.  We must be looking for better things....ALWAYS.
     After that, we did "practice teaching".  Elder Peabody and Elder Romrell taught the lesson to the 4 of us, as a "family".  It went well.
     At the end of the meeting, we took some district pictures.

Hna Lofgran, Hna Dodson, Elder McKell,
Elder Romrell, Elder Peabody, Elder Driggs

Turns out that Elder McKell served in Pimentel for a while after they took the Sisters out.  He was in Pimentel when Elder Marco Leyton got his mission call.  He showed me his video that he took of Marco opening his call.  It was so special for me to see him get to open it.  I almost cried because the call from the Lord to serve in His work, is something so sacred and beautiful.  I couldn't hold in the happiness I felt, knowing that Marco is an Elder in Africa! :)
     After the meeting, we left.  The motos that took us to and from the church almost killed us.  They kept trying to talk to us while they were driving, and of course they had to be looking at us while they talked!  Don't stress...we survived!
     We had a GIANT lunch!  We had green spaghetti with fried beef, a papa a la huancaina and some juice.  We were so full afterwards.
     Since today was also a big celebration day (continuation of yesterday) one was home.  We did find one person home and she was willing to let us in the house.  It was sweetheart Evelina (less active).  We taught her about tithing and fasting.  After the lesson, she gave us some pizza that she had made.  It was delicious.
     Later, we went to the church for a meeting, but no one was there.  We called everyone to see if the meetings got cancelled, but no one answered.  We waited for quite a while.  As we stood waiting inside the gate by the doors of the church, people would walk by and look at us, and then look at the name of our church.  We felt like animals in a zoo.  It felt like everyone that passed us was thinking, "Ohh wow...what are they?  Oh! Look at their badges...they are interesting..." haha
     Then we went to dinner.  Like always, we had a great time with Arsenia and Antonio.  They are so funny.
     Then we went home, planned and cleaned the room.

P.S. Today we matched....on complete accident.  We got our clean clothes given to us, and we both picked out our outfits and put them on....then we realized that we matched.  haha  We decided to stay matching.  It was fun to see the people react.  haha

Jueves, 30 de Julio del 2015
     We went visiting this afternoon with a sister named Maria.  She was showing us some houses of people the other sisters used to visit when they were here.  One of the houses was a we knocked on the door and this kid comes to the door.  We asked if the owners were home and he said no.  So we left, but as we were walking away, we saw a woman who looked liked a "gym rat", so we decided to talk to her.  Turns out that she lives in the we set a cita to return when her husband is home.
     As we were walking down the road away from the gym, we ran into a huge ripped "gym rat", and Maria and I looked at each other and at the same time we said, "I think that's the husband."  It was so funny.  We laughed and laughed.
     Then we taught Manuel (the guy from Monday).  He read the pamphlet and he filled out the questions.  It was fun to teach him.
     In the night, when we were eating dinner, Antonio joined us.  He told me, "You have touched my heart a little bit everyday, like no one else has been able to.  Thank you for being my friend."  It made me feel so happy.  He is a sweet man.  I truly love him very much.

Viernes, 31 de Julio, 2015
     So much happened today.  First, we had weekly planning.  Second, we taught Isabel, and she fell asleep during the First Vision.  Third, we visited a man named Jose Luis.  He reminds me of Jose Sandoval (from Patapo).  We gave him the pamphlet about the Restoration and he was so excited to read it.  He gave the closing prayer and it was so sincere.  I have high hopes for him.
     My favorite experience was when we were at the pension eating dinner.  Antonio joined us and he got talking to us about how he doesn't like when they have loud parties in the church buildings, because it shouldn't be loud in the Lord's house.  He said that his favorite kind of parties, are the spiritual ones, when you pray, talk to God and listen to uplifting music.  (He was telling us this, because the ward was throwing a party in the church, and everyone was really excited about it, excetp for him).  As I sat listening to him, I felt in my heart that we needed to throw a "spiritual party" right then.  So I asked him if we could, and he said yes!  So we gathered ourselves together in the nice chairs in the living room, and we started with a beautiful prayer given by Antonio.  Then we sang three songs. 1- Praise to the Man  2- How Great Thou Art  3- I Know That my Redeemer Lives.  The spirit that filled the room was amazing.  The house and the time stood still.  When we ended with the last song, Hno Antonio thanked us for the beautiful night.  With tears in his eyes, he turned to me and thanked me for giving him the idea of having a "spiritual party" right then.  I thanked God for guiding me to do so.  He then told us that never in all the many years that missionaries have eaten in his house, have any of them done anything like that.  He thanked us again, and asked if we could do it again.
     Tonight was a very special moment for me.  Antonio is usually really fun and happy, but tonight he was very tranquil....but the happiness that spilled from his eyes and countenance was something I hadn't seen from him in a long time...or in better words...never.  He is a very special man and I am grateful that God could use us an an instrument to build up and make His son, Antonio, feel of His love.  I LOVE being a missionary.  I don't ever want it to end!

P.S. We got a call from Elder McKell that Elder Driggs went home on Wednesday night, because he got sick.  He only had 1 1/2 months in the mission.  Poor thing. :(

Sabado, 1 Agosta 2015
     Wow!  August!? Already?  Time just flies when you are working in the Lord's Vineyard.  Today we had 10 set citas....7 fell through, but the visits we did make were to several less actives.  I saw many times today that these people had no peace in their lives.  I got to thinking as to why and came to this conclusion.  "No Jesus. No Peace.  Know Jesus.  Know Peace."  These people have distanced themselves from God for a long time, and they don't truly know Jesus.
     Luckily today, the homes that we entered, felt like we were able to help them know Jesus more.
     Our very last visit we made was with Erene and Ernesto, the gym rats.  Ernesto told me that he remembered seeing me that day in the road and that I looked at him like I knew him.  haha
     As we were talking with them, Ernesto started joking with us and told us that he was born in the States with blond hair and blue eyes, but when he moved to Peru, the sun burned him and blackened his hair and darkened his eyes.  So I joked back that I was born in Peru, but when I moved to the States, I whitened up!  haha  Well, they believed me and asked what part of Peru I was from.  When I told them that I wasn't Peruvian, they didn't believe me.  It was funny.  They still think I'm Peruvian...what can you do? haha  They are a really cool couple.  They own an intense gym and are both gym rats.  I already love them.
     This morning, we had a contact that just asked question after question after question.  One of the questions was, "Why Christ? Why the name Christ?"  I myself wasn't completely sure, so I told him that I would study up on it and then let him know.  What a deep question.  Why Christ?  What does that mean to you?

Domingo, 2 Agosto 2015

"Be the one who nurtures and builds.  Be one who has an understanding and forgiving heart, who looks for the best in people.  Leave people better than you found them."  Marvin J. Ashton

     Today I saw this throughout our day.  I saw that I truly entered houses or talked to people with the intention to leave them better.
     First: At church, there is a member named Robert (24 yrs old).  Well, he had brought an investigator to church, so he called me over to meet him, but as we were talking, the investigator was being pretty cold.  I wasn't sure why, so I decided to try to put a smile on his face.  By the end of the day, he was really happy and he was hugging everyone in his path.  It was cool to see the difference.
     Second: We helped our pensionista try to find her phone...we think that it was stolen, but we left her better because we helped her look for it everywhere, which gave her peace at heart...that at least we looked.
     Third: We visited the family of Guiliana (recent convert).  She is the only member, and when we entered their home, her family wasn't super happy to have Mormons there, but in the end, we gained love and trust from them.  We helped clear up their doubts and focused on the subject of Family.  We left them happy and more open to the Mormons.
     Several more things happened just like those, that all we did was really love them and try to leave the situation better than we found them.