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.


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