Monday, February 24, 2014

Feeling Better and Tortillas

Kind of a shorter blog this week as I was writing a few emails. So first off, I guess my Mom got a little freaked out about my bronchitis last week. Well, I am happy to say I am doing a little better than before, but still coughing a little. I got a priesthood blessing on Friday, and I have another appointment with the doctor on Wednesday, so hopefully they will give me the last of the medicine that I need to not cough anymore. Hey don't worry about the medical care, the mission sends us to the best places and we get all of the bells and whistles. I also got a phone call from my mission president's wife to make sure I was OK. So things are better on that front. No worries! Thanks everyone for the prayers and love!

So this past week, my companion and I have been trying to make tortillas because she has been missing them a lot (she is from Mexico). Well, her mom sent her the ingredients, but no instructions (I don't think her mom knows how to use a computer very well -- ha ha.) So if anyone has a good recipe for tortillas, and could send it to us, we would sure appreciate it!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Investigator Success, Valentine's Fun, and Bronchitis

This week has been pretty good, and our investigators are coming to church and progressing! Yay! We have been working hard to help our investigators progress, reading the Book of Mormon with them and bearing our testimonies in every lesson. Everything hinges on the Book of Mormon, so the progress of our investigators hinges on their reading and gaining a testimony of it. We have a family of 7 that we have been teaching, and we are helping them to read the Book of Mormon. The father of the family is the one who is really interested, and so our goal is to help him first gain a testimony. He has accepted to be baptized when he finds out it is true, but wants to learn more about the church before accepting a date. We have high hopes for this family!

I have been able to feel the Holy Ghost testifying to me during this week, helping me to bear a strong testimony and know what to say. My faith has increased as a result of testifying of the Book of Mormon and how the Gospel has blessed my family. I want all the blessings that I have to be enjoyed by those I am teaching. All they have to do is to use their agency to commit to living the commandments and make sacred covenants. I have been working with this ward for a while now, and I feel like I am feeling the Christlike love that is charity for many of them. Heavenly Father is helping me to change and be better, and has put many people in our path that we can help.

We have three investigators that have accepted to be baptized the 1st of March. Please pray for them that they will gain a testimony and have the desire to be baptized and change their lives.
Valentine's Day craziness
I want to start running again, but it is just super hot! Even when I wake up in the morning, I just want to lay there and stay cool. Still, I am happy that I don't have to shovel snow. It seems like every day we try to escape the sun. I am sure pretty tan, though! Lots of people don't realize it until I show them my tan lines and how white I really am, and they tell me I should stay this tan. We'll see if it lasts until I get back.

The birthday girl is in the dark blue shirt on the right.

So this week we celebrated Valentine's Day in our own awkward way -- ha ha. We ate manjar blanco and made faces and told one another how much we loved each other -- ha ha, but there's only so much you can do when you're a missionary.

We also went to a birthday party for the daughter of one of our less active members that we are teaching. She turned 13 and it was the first birthday party that she has had in her whole life! It was super sweet and fun! Hope everyone back home had a great Valentine's!

This past Wednesday was crazy! In the morning, Hermana Morales had to be in the offices at 6:30 AM to go to immigrations. In our hurry to leave, she didn't realize that she put on two different pairs of shoes -- ha ha. Super funny. While she was in immigrations, I went with Hermana Leyva and Hermana Lopez to San Diego. We got back to the offices at around 3:30 PM. I've been fighting a nasty cough for a couple of weeks, and finally I was sent to the clinic. The appointment was at 4:00, so once I got back to the offices to pick up my companion, we just stayed there for 30 minutes and then walked to the clinic.
Nervously waiting for my shot. The screaming girl isn't helping.

Hermana Morales telling me not to scream.
We waited in the clinic for about four hours to see the doctor, and it was so long! I finally got in, and they told me it was bronchitis or something like that in Spanish, and he gave me a list of five different medications. So, we went down to the  pharmacy, and it turns out one of the medications was a shot! Ack! After running around getting things Ok'd by different departments, we found the room for the shots by listening for the screaming...literally! When we got there, there was a little girl screaming inside! I was already a little nervous, but when I heard that I was freaking out a little.
 Well, I got a big shot in the butt, so I know how Ashley feels -- ha ha. The problem was that the shot was some pretty poweful stuff, and I needed oxygen for 15 minutes, wait 15 mintues, and then 15 minutes of oxygen again. At the time I got the shot, it was 7:55 and the clinic closed at 8:00. So, they gave me the shot and sent me to the emergency room for the oxygen.  It was great fun, and definitely an adventure. We didn't get back to our apartment until 10 pm.

Already starting to feel better.
I had to go back on Thursday as well to get an X ray of my lungs, but that only took about 30 min. The mission is really taking care of me, and Hermana Archibald called me and told me I needed to sleep more. Wow!  For the past few days I've been sleeping an extra hour, and I think I am starting to get a little better. I should get sick all of the time if I get to sleep more! Chiste! No quiero estar inferma. The mission is taking care of me, and all is good, so don't worry! It's been quite a week.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mass Weddings and Peruvian-Mexican Food

Well, as far as I know, Valentine's isn't anything too special here in Peru, but several cities have mass weddings and lots of people get married that day, so that's good. If anything exciting happens, I'll let you know.

Noche de hogar with our pensionista's family.
The Book of Mormon really is great! Something I've noticed is that when my investigators actually read it on their own, they progress and gain a testimony of the church. When they don't read, they don't progress. The Book of Mormon is so important, the keystone of our religion!

Oh, my parents told me about the 50th anniversary of the Beatles playing on the Ed Sullivan Show this past weekend. It would be fun to listen to them again. I have heard their songs a couple of times in Peru, but not many people really listen to the Beatles here.

Mmmm tacos!
My parents also mentioned the Olympics started in Russia this past week. I didn't even know they were going on. I haven't seen anyone watching the Olympics here in Peru and haven't heard anything about them. There are actually quite a few members here that have BYUTV in Spanish, and they get to see BYU play soccer and some other sports. It was really weird for me to see them watching a BYU Women's soccer game -- ha ha! I was like, hey, that's my school!

So, this week, nothing really exciting happened. We had a fecha bautismal fall through. We're working with our investigators to follow through with their commitments. We have been trying to get Hermana I. to come to church, Hermana F. to pray and decide to be baptized, Hermana E. to follow through with her fecha, and for Hermana K.R. to come to church and want to be baptized. We have been working with these people so much, and hope they can be baptized!

So, here are a few pics from last week. We had a noche de hogar with the family of our pensionista, and she bought us (Peruvian) Mexican food in honor of Hermana Morales. Mmm tacos! It was actually pretty good, but I prefer Café Rio!

Hermana Morales is super sweet, and made me a sign for my 9-month mark on Saturday. Also, this Thursday will be my hump day! Don't get trunky now! Woohoo! Sometimes the time flies by so fast.

Well, that's about it for this week. I hope that everyone at home has a great Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Busy and Another Flea Circus

We were really blessed this week in being able to visit with many people. Can I just say it was a super crazy week? We taught more lessons in the past week than I have ever taught in one week during my mission so far! Needless to say, I am super tired! The Holy Ghost was definitely with us to tell us where we should go and what we should teach. We had the opportunity to give the first lesson to some of the families that we have found, and we also shared a family home evening. While no one has accepted a date for baptism, all of them said they will read and pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true. We have been practicing with one another how to invite people to be baptized, including a date. This week, we had the chance to meet a member's reference, named Hermana M. We did a short family home evening with her family, and then two days later we went back and taught the first lesson, in which she accepted not only to be baptized but to prepare for a date. She has definitely been prepared by the Lord! She recently returned home after a trip to visit her mother, who is a member. She told us that she was able to see how the gospel has blessed the life of her mother, and she now wants those blessings in her life. Visiting with her husband, however, will be a challenge because he is very Catholic and when we invite him to join us, he always has an excuse. We will continue working with this family so that not only Hermana M. is baptized, but hopefully also her daughter and her spouse!

Me and Hermana Morales overlooking Los Olivos
We have also been working with Hermano F. and his partner Casimira, who is less active. This family needs lots of help and patience, and tonight, we will be having family home evening with them. For the lesson, we are going to use some new booklets we received that teach about how to have a happier family. We've felt very strongly that we should help this family be married, and so we are looking into information for matrimonios masivos. We are hoping to strengthen and unify this family, and to help them be sealed in the temple one day. Because we have this cita with Casimira and Hermano F. tonight, it means we have to climb a huge hill to get to their home. At least I'm getting some exercise in.

These last few days have also been stressful because we are having another encounter with fleas! Two days ago, we could see fleas jumping around on our floor, so we went into crazy mode and cleaned and disinfected everything for almost 2 hours. We've just about killed all of them in our apartment. Then this morning, our neighbors called the exterminators because all of the houses in our area are having problems. I already told you that I had fleas once, so I know how it is, and about five days ago, I started getting what look like hives or a rash on my feet and ankles. Then, about three days ago, I started noticing a few flea bites. The puzzling thing is that if we have fleas, Hermana Morales should have a ton of bites too, right? Well, she only has one bite on all of her body. That's so not fair. So ya, that's my exciting story -- ha ha.

Hermana Morales and I are doing great, and she is really helping me with my Spanish and teaching. We are getting better, but we still have a lot to improve on. I know for sure that I need to train her better because Pres. Archibald called me last night to ask me why we still don't have any baptismal dates. He was not very happy and told me that I need to be better at inviting people to be baptized and that I need to teach Hermana Morales how to do so as well. Needless to say, I've been pretty stressed this week, but we've been working hard and this week we finally have a baptismal date for one of our investigators.
The weather here is getting hotter and hotter, but I think we're just about in the time of year when it is the hottest. We just sweat all day and do everything we can to stay out of the sun. Hermana Morales told me that in the summer at her house, everyone sleeps on the floor because it is cooler, and she has suggested that we do so one night because some nights are pretty warm. We'll see if we do, but definitely not until the fleas are all gone -- ha ha.