Well, a few people have requested a final post on my blog. So here it goes...
The last week in my mission was fantastic-ly insane. My companion for health issues went home, after a series of clinic visits the last week. Luckily, my parents happened to come pick me up from my mission the same day that my companion went home. We sat in the mission home for a minute when we went to drop off my companion, then ask my mission president who will be my companion for the last day and a half of my mission. Well, he decided the best course of action would be for me to proselyte just with my parents. Alright then. So I got to teach a few lessons with just my parents. Meaning that I basically taught full lessons alone. It was fun. It was also stressful as I closed my area to hand off to the office secretaries, who are the new missionaries in charge of the ward. I really hope they care well for those amazing, prepared people we've just found. I hope to hear good things one day.
I don't know too much what to write to wrap up the whole mission, so 'll go ahead and leave my testimony. I know that first and most importantly, our Savior lives and loves each one of us. We are children of a loving Heavenly Father who not only lets us talk with Him, but desires that we speak to Him and allow Him to guide us. For we really all have agency, that beautiful privilege to shape our lives and destinies. I also know that as we trust our Savior, our lives will become so much more than we ever imagined. Priesthood power is real. God has a plan. We have the true church today on the earth! How marvelous is that! I love my Savior, and I am so grateful that the Lord has sent me to minister to His children in Peru.
Monday, April 11, 2016
Okay, general email first since I kinda forgot about that last week.
This week was funny. A great week too! Okay, mostly yesterday was funny. It was election day. Weird day. Weird weird weird. So Marìa Elena while coming down her stairs when we went to her house after not finding anybody at all home all morning (So much walking, so much sun!), was chanting, Keiko Keiko Keiko! Before she saw us, I responded, we don't vote! She realized it was us and laughed. Our dueña (the same one who sat on a glass pane the other day) was trying to fix her broom with a knife and dropped the knife. I don't know how she manages to not hurt herself. She's such a funny lady. So nice though. :)
Then we tried to go find a less active in Primavera 2 (still caring for two areas here- way to keep me working President! Well, she said she didn't have time because she was about to go vote (surprise surprise) AND was making lunch. Okay. Well, then she got locked out of her apartment, and locked in the gate. She was stuck. And couldn't do either. Part of my five year old self (okay this is really mean) inside laughed a bit thinking, well, that's what you get for saying no to the missionaries. But then I actually felt really bad for her, and kinda concerned that her stove was on inside her apartment. We passed by later and everything seemed fine.
We taught Enrique. I guess Estefanìa isn't going to California this week because he said she didn't clear it with him first. Haha. She'll get there though, I think... Enrique was asking us if it's a sin to get remarried since he's divorced, because his son was saying so (he's from a different church). So we had a bit of explaining the purpose of God is giving us exaltation and how he needs to get sealed for that to happen. But both us, his daughter, and his girlfriend are all trying to get him to go to church. Just listen to the women in your life! We have a a point. He's just an awkward person though, so it made a weird day just a bit weirder. Then we had a lesson, and our pensionista came with us, and then left in middle of the lesson, and RETURNED. I was so confused. It was just an odd day. It made me happy.
We met the best member reference ever this week. Karina! Marìa Elena contacted her in a park with Hermana Diana and we passed by and did some major testifying. And she said she'll be baptized in May. We also taught her later in the week lesson one, and she started reading the Book of Mormon the second it was in her hands. We were sitting there like, wait, keep listening to us! Okay, I guess you can read the prophets' words... Uh... But we did manage to finish the lesson, and even though she had some typical first lesson doubts, like Joseph Smith seeing God and Christ, she loved it, and is excited to read and pray. :)
Hey, another weird thing. I had a dream last night with President Uchtdorf and Elder Bednar. (They're my favorites.) Well, Elder Bednar was giving sandwiches to some really hungry kids. And then the hungry kids shared with some other kids who were literally starving. So random. Then President Uchdorf (just remember this is just a dream, but it made me happy). spoke, and he was saying the keeping a journal helps us triumph over trials. It had some cool alliteration, and I woke up repeating that phrase in my brain. Well, I must have written in my journal right before going to bed! :D
Aside from that, I've sung twice at zone things this week. I think they have some obsession with my voice or something. I really don't sing THAT well. And I'm not the only one who sings. My companion sings too.
Okay, well, I don't know what end of the mission reflections I maybe should add, so I'm just going to leave it as a normal letter home. It's been a great week, and I'm working to the end! Have a great week, love you all, see you in some days or weeks depending on who you are. ;)
Monday, April 4, 2016
I'm alive and well. And ran out of time. Woops! Sorry, I'll write home next week. Two accepted baptismal invitations, conference was great, and Estefanía, less active is moving to CA. To Fresno! How cool!
Have a great week! Love you all!
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Okay, I suppose I should write a bit about my week. It was wonderful. SO wonderful.
We sang in the multizona. That was fun, but I was super nervous to sing. Later on in the week we had Sunday. We didn't proselyte at all because the office called us and invited us to be part of the missionary choir for the day. We sang in my building for three stakes, and later in La Esperanze for two other stakes. So we got to church at 8:50ish. We brought two investigators too! Yay! Melissa and Yanela, the cousins we found. People are progressing! Por fin!
Then we stay for consejo. We stay for choir practice. We stay for the performance. We leave about 7 or so to go to la esperanza and then are there until 9 or 9:30. It was so good. I felt a lot like I did when I performed with Zion's choir. Such a sweet familiar spirit singing in a choir. There were also some very beautiful special musical numbers involved too. I think this is one of the best Easters I have ever had. And I've always had good Easters. :)
Then today we got to go to the temple. I got to see Hermana McCally. :) That was the best. For Easter and in the temple. I also woke up at 4:40 this morning to get ready to go to the temple. My comp wanted to get there early. And we got there when nobody else was around. The lights weren't even on. There were only security guards. Haha. But shortly after everyone else showed up. It's so amazing to be in the temple again. I love the Spirit I feel there.
Oh, we also had picture slide shows as part of the Easter program, and there's one of this little girl with curly hair and Christ. It made me happy.
Oh. The other big news. I knew I had forgotten something. So in the middle of the transfer, this Thursday, they closed Primavera 2. So now my companion and I are taking care of it until they can put missionaries there next transfer. Our area just doubled in size, and we have to maintain all the progressing people over there. That's insane! Well, hard work to the end! :) Just the thing I need to keep me overly focused. I think I'm going to be very tired by the end of this transfer.
So Sister Beasley is going to Pacasmayo and Sister Vasquez to OTUZCO! So her new comp (btw they're the sisters who were in Primavera 2), came down from Otuzco, and was with us while Sister Vasquez showed us around her area and presented us to some of the people she's teaching. Well, Hermana Rimache (amazing missionary, so much light in her countenance), told me about a ton of amazing things going on in Otuzco. One lady I worked with Consuelo is now rescued, they're working on getting Elkin baptized, and he's finally getting his act together. He and his wife aren't fighting anymore!!! Um, Marilu was with a baptismal date. What else... I don't know. But it was so great to hear that there is real progress there in the branch. It makes me so happy!
Oh yeah, women's conference was the best. Sister Marriott makes me laugh. Especially when she chuckled a bit after her experience.
Lessons are lessons. I learned something from one of the members who came with us this week. She said that we know we're truly happy if we can be happy with ourselves, with God, and with those around us. I like that a lot! :) Happiness is a choice. It doesn't depend on our surroundings. :)
President Marler spoke to us about obedience this multizone and we watched the spiritual crocodiles video. Then he said there's a lot of them when we go home. Well thanks for worrying me president. Haha. No, but it's all good. :)
We moved again this week, too. We're back on the same street we used to be. Different room though. But now my companion can sleep at night. So that's good.
Okay, it's long already. I love you all! Have a great week!
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Okay, first thing's first. Next week pday will be on TUESDAY because we're going to the temple. So I will write you TUESDAY. I don't know at what hour, but that always changes anyways. :)
This week. SO much happened. And when we report on Sundays I always feel like nothing happened. Then I actually look back through my planner, and SO much happens every week!
Well, Estefanía came back from Germany. She's so weird. I really like her a lot. I think working through her, we'll be able to reactivate her and her dad. She promised to start reading and praying and coming to church again. She's actually- praying. It's a start. We'll just have to remind her more often.
We taught Melissa and Yanela the first vision. The Spirit was so incredibly strong in that lesson, I can't even believe it. I invited them to baptism. They said yes if they do come to know it's true. They definitely responded with the Spirit. Then Satan came in with the doubts after how that means they'd have to change a lot and who knows what else. I think they're already getting their answer. They felt the Spirit so much. The next visit on Thursday, Melissa hadn't prayed. But not out of laziness, she's scared of what the answer will be. So we explained to her that everything that comes from God is good, and it's a blessing. And that He's there to support her and help her. She recommitted to pray about the restoration.
On Wednesday I had an intercambio with Hermana Alvarenga. She's from Argentina, so everyone on the street calls her gringa. And she told me that she hates that because she's not north american. She's Latina. She's such a cool person! She's so happy and optimistic. And we just had this amazing day teaching Estefanía the first lesson and finding new investigators in the morning. But more important, we found Angela. I've been having the impression time and time again to go to her house. (She's on the directory). We found her this time, and got in the door. Well, some fun facts first. She had cranberry juice (I forgot that existed!) She's thinks it's gross, then I saw what it was (it was in english) and got super excited about it. So good! And gave us cake as well. Then I learned that her job is cremating. Wow. She described the process to us. Not going to lie. I was pretty disturbed. I'll leave it at that. I freaked our zone leader out about it later on in the week just mentioning it. Haha. But then we got to the spiritual. She can't have kids. Her husband is a returned missionary who doesn't want anything to do with the church. (She wouldn't tell us why). She says that she feels very alone in a church that talks so much about families. That centers on them. She's basically just lost hope. She doesn't see a point. Well, after she went on and on about how the church centers on the family, I thought, well, it also centers on the atonement. I asked her, what do you know about the atonement? And she was quiet for a moment, and said, Wow. I haven't thought about that in a long time. I testified to her that through the atonement, all the injustices in this life can be made right. But we must do our part and come to Christ so that He can pour the blessings out on us. And maybe they won't come in the moment, but they will come. But we must remember the gospel is what we must live as conditions of the atonement. Faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end (Or see, living the pattern of faith, repentance, and renewing covenants). How amazing that our mission president right in this time is having us, as a mission, study about the atonement in depth for the multizone we're having tomorrow. My testimony of the atonement is being strengthened and relivened as I do the assignment we have to prepare, and also review my own experiences in my journal. I am so grateful for the Lord's love. For the angels he's sent me to lift my burdens. For the miracles I've seen. And for the changes that people can make thanks to the grace of the Savior. That lesson was so spiritual, and I could see renewed hope come into her eyes. She admitted it would still be a process, but she went right after the lesson to share a scripture Hermana Alvarenga had shared in D&C6 with her husband. What a blessing to see that lesson.
We've also found two convivientes. One menos activo and his wife is investigator. He wants her to be baptized. He wants to reactivate. She wants to know more. We talked to her of the temple and eternal families, and now she really wants to know. They're young. 19 and 20. They'll progress. :)
I'm so grateful for this week. It's been full of amazing experiences.
Have a great week!
Love you all!
Monday, March 14, 2016
This week. I felt really happy when a menos activo told us he wasn't
going to come to church, but changed his mind when we called him the
night before. I wasn't happy that he wasn't going to go, but I
realized that those small acts can really mean a lot for some people.
It's also nice to see how someone can be so GRATEFUL for small things.
Gratitude is so important. It's something I've been trying to work on
lately. Being more grateful for everything.
But we had this awesome lesson last night focusing on faith in the
Savior and repentance. I swear I learned more in that lesson than he
did. The Spirit was so strong. I could really feel it as the Spirit
spoke through me on how repentance isn't a punishment, but rather a
way to hope, light, and healing. It's the way to avoid the punishment
for sin. It says so in the Spanish guide for scripture study!
Repentance is the best! And when I asked him how his faith in Christ
was, he completely opened up and just told us everything was with the
members (It's always because of the members). I told him to just look
straight to God. And testified a lot of His love for us and how He'll
always support and help us through everything. It was an amazing
lesson, and Carlos is now committed to come back to church. He's
convinced that now is his time.
Lesson: This gospel is one of hope. (How appropriate for this Easter
season). And the small things really do help in a big way. By small
and simple things. :)
Antony Chunque is looking for his mom's permission to be baptized.
He's 12. A super fast learner, but I want to help him have truly
spiritual experiences. He understands everything, but I want him to
have a true conversion...
We taught Luis yesterday. He's the father of Diana who we lived with
before we moved. He's been uber prepared. He basically told us he's
willing to be baptized with time, but that he wants his wife to listen
too, and also basically told us he already knows it's true. Well,
having the missionaries in the house for a year probably helped a bit
with that. I'm so grateful that Diana took him to the temple open
house and that she keeps a picture of the temple and pictures of
Christ on the walls. He's really prepared, but I hope that means that
he's ready to act. He said he'd start praying daily though. :)
I think those are the best experiences I had for this week. I sang in
our zone conference. I was super nervous, so it wasn't my best
singing, but I could still really feel the Spirit come in a lot. I
sang I'm trying to be like Jesus with my companion. Such a sweet song.
It's still one of my favorites. I can never figure out where to
breathe in one part of it though......
Yeah, so have a great week!
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
So my week. Nothing crazy has happened. But the work is picking up like crazy. We're finding really good people, including the daughter of my companion's convert from another area. Still nobody comes to church. Even though we do everything we can on our part.
We found a less active who left the church right after she was baptized as a kid, so we're basically teaching an investigator. But she's better than the members with missionary work. She has a friends she wants us to teach already! Yay!
We were using the directory this week to find families. Well in one house we went to, this family had never lived there, but we found Karla, an amazing new investigator. She's studying medicine, and we really feel the spirit with here. But it's also always really awkward when we first get there, which is kinda hilarious.
We're also working to rescue an RM, he has all the desires and is almost there. His brother and wife are also less actives that are starting to come back to church, so we basically just get to teach them and support them. Yay!
We went to Kathy, the daughter of Hermana Utley's convert, one day when we didn't have a cita, because I felt like we needed to the night before. I don't usually do that if we already have an appointment planned, so it was cool. We went and she really needed us in that moment. She has desires to repent and be baptized, so we just have to get her to stop working on Sundays, and she'll progress really fast.
We also found two other university students, who are cousins. I think that they think we're really weird, but my companion and I really felt the Spirit teaching them, so I think they'll figure it all out pretty fast. This girl, Melissa, actually told us she used to pray every night, and one day she felt like God betrayed her, so she consciously decided to stop praying. This was a few years ago. So we invited her to start again, and she agreed to it. She's also super sincere and told us she wasn't going to come to church just because, she feels like it's too fast. I like that it isn't a yes and then she just doesn't come. It's a lot easier to work with them when they don't tell us just what they think we want to hear. Honesty is the best. But she did say she'd pray. Pretty good when all we taught was that- prayer.
We're working with Ronaldo on accepting living prophets. That's my favorite part of our message is that God lives. We have the same church, the same gospel, the same blessings for us today. It isn't just some tradition, or something that happened in history. The gospel is an active thing. The Savior is involved personally in our lives. So we left him the homework of praying and watching a conference talk. I think it should help. He can usually resolve his doubts pretty well.
My companion and I will be singing in the zone training tomorrow, and hopefully a multizona later this month. We'll see how it goes. We're trying to arrange two songs together for the multizone. But I'm excited! We also have conference coming up. Yay! And a temple trip at the end of the month. So much is happening these weeks. :) It will be good.
Have a fantastic week!