Monday, July 22, 2013

Picarones, a Baptism, and an Anti-American

22 July 2013

This week has been great! I had so many experiences, I hope I have enough time to write about them all! We found 8 new investigators this week, so things are getting busy.

Last Tuesday, we got up at 5:30 AM and went to help one of our investigators named Nora make picarones. She sells them on the street and we stopped and tried some and LOVED them! We asked her if she could show us how she made the batter, and she said yes! We went to her house and made them, and it was super cool and fun. I have the recipe and I totally want to make them back at home if I can find all the ingredients! Anyway, after we had made them, we shared a scripture with her and talked about how God loves us and is grateful for what she is doing to help her son (who is 10) and her daughter (who is older and lives in Canada and who has cancer). Her husband is in Spain I think trying to get work, so she is alone. In order to support herself and her son while she is also studying, she set up the picarone stand. She was so touched by our message and started to cry! It was the Spirit touching her heart. She agreed to continue meeting with us for lessons!

On Friday, we had the opportunity to teach lesson one to Nora. Hermana Solis wanted me and Hermana Brown, my temporary companion who is on her second transfer, to teach the whole lesson. It was so hard! But it was really good and she could feel that what we were saying was true. She agreed to read the BoM and if she feels it is true she is going to be baptized!

Later that night we met with Alicia, who has been taught by sisters before and never had the desire to be baptized. She let us teach her again becuase she had a brother die recently and she wanted to know where he was now. We taught her about why we are here and where we go after death, picking apart the scriptures to help her understand. She said she felt super good and at peace, like she had never felt when she was taught before. I think she was finally prepared by the Lord to hear His message! She also agreed to be baptized after she learns more about the church! She asked us to teach her about repentance, so next time we will teach her about that.

Then on Saturday, we taught an investigator named Henry. We had orginally contacted his mother, and we came to teach her for the first time on Wednesday night, and Henry sat in and listened and participated. We taught about prayer and got to know the family, and then we gave Henry lesson one to study because he is extremely technically-minded. He believes in Christ, but not the saints like his mom (she is super catholic, which is normal here). So on Saturday, we returned and only he was there to teach. We discussed lesson one with him. I am starting to teach parts of the lessons and comment on things. While I was there, I know the Spirit was helping me because I remembered words I didn't even know I knew, like antepasados. Where did that come from? The spirit! We told him about the first vision and he said he felt something good and peaceful but he wasn't sure why. Woohoo! We told him about the Holy Ghost and how it was testifying to him. This feeling compelled him to want to know if the church is true, and he agreed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. He says if he feels it is true he will get baptized! Wow, it was a great lesson!
Omar, Hermana Agle, Hermana Munoz, friends and family

Our apartment is the only one in our mission that has more than one companionship in it, which has been really fun. The other hermanas in our apartment, Hermana Muñoz and Hermana Agle, had a baptism on Saturday that we attended. It was super cool because sometimes I go on splits with the other hermanas and I had the opportunity to help teach two of the lessons to Omar, who is the one who got baptized. Super exciting!

I spoke in church on Sunday. None of our investigators could come to church to hear me, but it wasn't for any lack of trying on our part! Ironically, I talked about the importance of Sacrament Meeting. It went fairly well, and lots of people came up to me afterward to tell me they liked it. Hopefully that means they understood it!

The view from our apartment

It is wintertime in Peru right now, and usually during the day, my coat is enough to keep me warm. At night, I wear a cardigan underneath the coat, along with my polka-dot scarf. With these things, I am warm. It's not that it's super cold, it's just the humidity that makes us want a coat. My bed is wonderfully warm, with the super thick peruvian blankets in addition to my big brown one, which is nice, but makes it kind of hard to get out of bed in the morning -- ha ha!

Hermana Juanita is getting fancy! I didn't love the taste,
but it sure looked pretty!

I am getting plenty to eat, and the food here is usually really good. I usually really like it, or I don't. Most the time it's freakin' delicious! The pastries here are going to make me so fat! You would think with all of the walking that we do that we would lose weight, but most of the sisters gain pounds because all we really eat are carbs. I haven't been able to exercise once because my companions don't like to, but I am hoping I can get permission to go running in the morning with Hermana Agle.

Hermana Brown and Hermana Solis reenacting our ride
in the taxi.

I finally received all of my stuff I was supposed to get from the mission office. When I got here, I don't know if it was confusion or what, but all I got was my debit card (which still has no money on it, but my money is on my companion's card for some reason). So now I have an extra set of sheets, a journal, my own desk, and information papers. Yay! Getting the desk to our apartment was quite interesting. We had to find a taxi that was bigger. Once we did, we put the seat down to fit the desk, and one of us sat in the front and me and another hermana sat in the back next to the desk on top of the seats. It was not super comfortable, but it worked. I didn't understand everything the driver said to us during our 20 minute drive, but I understood enough to know that he was the most racist person I have ever met in my life! He hated Americans a lot, and kept looking back at me with my blond curly hair and blue eyes. I wonder why he even picked us up? Anyway, it was interesting to say the least, and Hermana Solis, who is from Paraguay, changed the subject for the last 5 min to talk about his family, so we left the taxi with a little less tension than when we started. It was kind of funny in a way to meet someone who really didn't like Americans.

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