Monday, August 26, 2013

Blessings in Acobamba

First, a note of clarification about our lovely garage apartment. We do have a way to lock the door, and there's a smaller door set into the big garage door, and that is what we go in and out of. We are making it work and now it is starting to feel like home!

So, not a whole lot of excitement this week other than that I am starting to teach lessons again and we are getting to know our area slowly but surely. The members are awesome and are helping us immensly with our lessons, becuase without them we wouldn’t be able to explain the lessons very well or answer questions that our investigators have. In some ways it’s tough to be with a companion who isn’t a native Spanish speaker. Hermana Larsen and I love working with each other and are having a good time, but we both hope that next transfer we can each be put with a native Spanish speaker as our companions so that our Spanish can improve much faster.

I have a great story from last week that I didn’t have time to write, so I will tell you now. We went to talk to our neighbors one night, who are recent converts. We were talking with them when a friend of theirs came up and he had a violin case…well, I told him that I play the violin and he insisted that I play for him. We went inside and I played a little bit, and he started freaking out. I guess he makes the violins as a hobby. He’s a math teacher, and so he likes the mathematics involved in making a good violin. Anyway, he started freaking out and I had to remind him I can’t give hugs -- ha ha…he likes to see other people play and from watching them learn how to play himself. He teaches kids how to play his violins and makes as many as he can when he has time. He told me that I play beautifully and that I should stop my mission and go play my violin for people instead. After I explained to him that I’m not about to do that, he then tried to get me to buy one of his violins -- ha ha. Anyway, he gave me his card and wants me to but one of his violins when I get back to the states. We'll see. His violin was nice, but I love mine much more and it has a much better sound. Super funny experience, but I loved the chance to play a violin!

Part of the coastline in Lima near Callao.
We had a multi-mission conference on Saturday with the Lima North Mission. I got to see my other MTC companion, Hermana Jones! She finally arrived after waiting for her visa in Texas for a while. She is doing good in El Olivar and adjusting to the culture. It was super fun to see all the sisters. I even saw a couple of the sisters that are in Lima North mission that went with me to New York to wait for our visas together. They got here recently like Hermana Jones. Elder Callister of the Seventy came and gave a talk and it was so amazing. He talked about how we need to reactivate the less active members becuase it is through them that we will find lots of investigators. It is just as important to reactivate less active members as it is to baptize new converts. We have tons of less active members in our ward, so we will definitely have some work to do. I think my goal for this next week is to get someone to the chapel. This last week, no one we invited, either less active or investigator, came.

We also had a relief society activity Saturday where we learned how to make aflajores...super duper delicious! Well, I told them I loved to make cupcakes and they insist that I show them how to make some...the only problem is that I don't have any of my recipes! I think I want to try to make some churro cupcakes from scratch, and they requested a chocolate cupcake with something inside of it. I told them I would see what I could do.

This week, my companion and I had a terrific lesson with a family. Our first day in Acobamba, we were out contacting and talking to people on the street and getting to know our area. We saw a woman and her daughter walking and we decided to go talk with her. She accepted our invitation to listen to our message, and we set a date. Over the next week, our dates fell through and we had to call and reschedule mulitiple times. However, she always seemed willing and even excited to hear what we had to say. Finally, one night we called and she said her family would be home in 20 minutes and we could meet her outside near her house, which we hadn't been able to find. We decided to begin walking to where we thought her house was. After about 5 minutes, we heard her calling to us. We had just happened to be walking by her house at that moment and we had no idea. We went up to their room and saw there very humble circumstances. This little family, the parents and their daughter, had a special feeling about them. After we began teaching the lesson, we saw that they had been prepared by the Lord to hear our message. The father had excellent, inspired questions. All he wants is what is good for his daughter. The mother has been seeking for the truth for a long time, and is excited to hear our message. When we gave them the Book of Mormon, they were touched and told us they were grateful for the opportunity that they have to read it and find out for themselves. During the lesson, the Spirit was incredibly strong and I could feel the guidance I needed to be able to teach the lesson according to their needs. So far, this lesson was the best I've had during my mission. It is amazing to me how the Lord is able to work though us and put us in exactly the right place at exactly the right time so that we could meet this woman and teach her family.

Well, I am fairly warm now that it's starting to turn to Spring here in Peru, and definitely tired at the end of every day, but that's a good sign -- ha ha. I love reading everyone's letters! Thanks so much to everyone your prayers, letters, love, and support.

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