Monday, March 31, 2014

Women's Conference, P-Day Activities, and Mexican Tacos

First off this week, I loved Women's Conference! It was super good and I loved listening to the talks, even though they were in Spanish. I can understand better than the last conference, but I am hoping that next weekend I will be able to watch General Conference in English so that I can concéntrate more on the message of the talk rather than what they are saying. I am soooo excited for General Conference! I cannot wait!

Next, my companion and I are getting along better than before. We are helping one another and learning from one another, so I think that we will be fine.

This week, we tried so hard to have a baptism with an investigator whose mother and brother are already baptized. However, in the end it didn't happen, even though he has had everything he needs to be baptized. So, now we have two investigators with baptismal dates, A. for the 12th and K. for the 19th. A. is 19 years old and has been attending Institute with some friends. Now, he wants to be baptized! He is excited. Also, K. is excited, but is also sad because her husband isn't showing any interest in listening to us or in changing his life for the better. Can I just say that I am so grateful for the Word of Wisdom? Anyway, we hoping to help her be baptized with her husband, or if not, that she can at least be a good example in helping him be baptized later. We were really hoping to baptize the whole family together.

On the other hand, Hermana Morales wrote me and told me that this last week, one of my investigators in my last area was baptized, Hermana F. I am so happy for her! Her mom also is preparing to be baptized, and I am hoping that they will be able to follow through and stay strong.

So, this week my companion and I might be going to the temple with some members that we helped to "rescue." In our misión, we are only allowed to go to the temple with our converts or rescues that are taking our their endowments. We are really hoping that it happens, but it is not for sure because they are having some challenges in their family right now. So keep them in your prayers.

My folks asked me about my P-Days (Preparation Days). On most P-Days, our zone almost always plays soccer. I hate soccer. I have tried to play, but just feel stupid running back and forth, so I don't play. I have played volleyball with my zone a couple of times and it was alright. Normally, in my other zone, we would open up the doors to the sacrament meeting so that we see each other outside and I stay inside and play the piano. For me, playing the piano is how I can really diffuse some of my stress. I am so glad that I have some of my books with me. However, in this zone it's not really posible to open up the doors to the court outside, so I'm not sure what I will do. But hey, I'm teaching my companion how to play the piano, and this week, I will be starting to teach piano classes in the church. It will be great.

Last week for P-Day, my companion and I made Mexican tacos for the district. It was super yummy! Hermana Jaramillo knows how to make really good Mexican food (which makes sense because she is from Mexico), so I am trying to learn some recipes and tricks from her. Now, I know how to make tortillas, tacos, and Mexican eggs. yum!

Also, now on our P-Days, we have to stay within our zone. This means that unless we're in one of the provinces outside of Lima, there really isn't anything to go see. Pres. Archibald has really made the rules more strict, so now it's really hard to go anywhere as a zone to see things. Once every 3 months we're supposed have a P-Day Afuera ("outside"), but I haven't had one since I began my misión (when we went to central Lima). Now, for P-Days Afuera, we have to stay within the misión and more within our means. Last transfer, this zone had their P-Day Afuera and they went 15 mintues outside of their área to eat in a restuarant and come back. Lame, right? Anyway, hopefully I will get one more P-Day Afuera before I finish my misión and it will be somewhere cool.

Here in Peru, there have been a few days when I haven't been dying of heat, and the nights are starting to get pretty cool. I hope this means that Fall is on the way, because I am just tired of all the heat! Well that about wraps up this week. Thanks for all the prayers! We'll keep trying to save the world one Book of Mormon at a time -- ha ha!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Patience, Graffiti, and a New Set of Wheels for Cesar

A Chinese Restaurant in Lima. The plate cost 9 Soles
(about $3.25),and the food was OK. We only get
about 90 Soles per week, so we splurged a little.

This week was pretty good, and I am learning a lot about my new area and how to work with my companion, Hermana Jaramillo. We don't get along very well right now, but we are trying to work through things. With time and patience, we should be able to teach and work together better. I am definitely learning patience. It was definitely a very trying week. I am very stubborn too and like things done a certain way. So we are learning how to compromise and get along. I know that we will be able to work things out and learn a lot from each other. 
Some graffiti on a wall here in Lima.
Me, Hermana Berta, and Hermana Jaramillo.
I'm getting to know my area a lot. Because I am more in the city now, there are lots of restaurants and little shops, which is pretty cool. On the downside, things are a lot more expensive. 

I took a picture with Hermana Berta, who washes our laundry and accompanies us a lot. She has a sister in Idaho, and her mom is moving there from Peru this week. She is super sweet and funny.

This ward is pretty good about helping us and being self sufficient. They are definitely better than my last ward, and so I am excited to work with them. The bishop is really great and accompanies us to our appointments sometimes. This ward has been a little down for a while, because Hermana Jaramillo told me that before her and Hermana Hewitt arrived 7 weeks ago, the ward hadn't had a baptism in at least 6 months. We are working hard so that we can help the ward be excited for missionary work. Right now, we are teaching a family of three, (K., H., and their one year old son P.). They have a baptismal date in April, and so if you can pray for them that they will progress. Especially pray for H., the dad, so that he will have a desire to be baptized and follow the example of his wife.

This week we had a really great experience of giving service to Hermana Rosa and her son, Cesar, who is special. When he was a baby, they found out that he had cancer and he had to have lots of therapy and operations. Now, he is about 35 years old and he has mental problems, is blind, is paralyzed, and has lost all sense of feeling. Hermana Rosa is about 70 years old now, and she has Alzheimers, so it is really hard for her to remember things but is super sweet and loving. Shortly after Cesar was born, her husband abandoned the family, so she has been raising and caring for Cesar all alone. She doesn't know how to read or to write, and was left with nothing to help her sons. She was baptized about 2 years ago, and the church has been helping her and Cesar, and some the of hermanas have been visiting her to help her learn how to read and write. 
Me, Hermana Rosa, Hermana Jaramillo, and
one of the hermanas from the ward.
This is one of the hermanas from the ward and her nina helping
us to deliver the wheelchair. Hermana Rosa and her son
live in such humble circumstances.

Hermana Rosa was so surprised and grateful
for the new wheelchair for Cesar.
We went on Thursday to clean and clear her house becuase the church bought a wheelchair for her son, but she had no idea. We cleared a big space in the middle and moved lots of her things outside. She wasn't sure why we were trying to organize and clear out her things -- ha ha. Yesterday, we helped bring the wheelchair as a surprise, and it was a very beautiful experience to see her face and her joy that her son will be able to leave his bed and move around after being confined for many years. Cesar was sleeping when we arrived, but we know he will enjoy his new silla de ruedas (wheelchair).

Monday, March 17, 2014

Goodbye Prolima, Hello Trebol!

Hermana Morales wanted to come with me in my
suitcase. She actually fits ha ha!

Oops, I totally forgot that it was St. Patrick's Day, and I'm not wearing any green! I better not mention it to anyone! No one here in Peru celebrates it, so that is good. Not a lot of Irish Peruvians, I guess.

Cambios -- Hermana Morales with her new gringa!
Cambios (transfers) were super crazy, ha ha! Hermana Morales was super nervous, and I kept teasing her that she would have to train. Well, surprise to us both when she was called to train a new gringa! I'm already a grandma in the mission, ha ha! I am super excited for her! She will continue to do great in Prolima 2! Which means I was transferred to a new area. Hermana Mirla, our pensionista, was super sad that I was leaving, and I will miss her and her family a lot! I also had to run around and say goodbye to a lot of people I had worked with in Prolima 2. It was sad.

However, my new area, Trebol 2, is super awesome! I am more in the city, and so there are lots of tall buildings and really nice houses, and it is super beautiful. The best part is that the ward really wants to help us here and the chapel is in our area! I don't have to take a bus to get to church! Yay! In fact, while in church yesterday, I almost felt like I was back in the United States because the people here have a little more money and dress a little nicer and the church building is really beautiful and has air conditioning! AIR CONDITIONING! While the area is considerably smaller compared to my last area, it has lots of potential. 

Hermana Jaramillo and me
So my new companion is Hermana Jaramillo. She came in with the same group as Hermana Morales, so she has been out on her mission for three months. She is from Monterrey, Mexico, and has a little bit of an accent when she talks. With two companions from Mexico, I've learned lots of words from them both, and I probably sound a little Mexican when I talk, ha ha! Hermana Jaramillo has lots of family on her Dad's side in the US, and she lived there for about 3 years when she was a little girl. So, she knows a little bit of English, but for the most part has forgotten it. I am helping her to learn more English.

Herman Jaramillo is really great! She has lots of confidence and a strong personality. She can really talk to people and the ward loves her a lot. She really likes to work hard and loves talking with people. I am super excited to work with her and learn all I can from her. So far, we are working great together, and our lessons are super powerful. I have a feeling we'll do some great things here in Trebol 2!

Proud to say I made myself some tyrines verdes!
They were OK... I need to try again!
Also great about this area is that we don't have a pensionista to cook for us, so that means I don't have to eat rice for every meal! Yay! I can already feel that I have lost a little weight. I eat until I am satisfied and it is a lot healthier! Yay! My companion has also been helping me to exercise, so now we are waking up a little earlier so that we can go running in a nearby park. It feels good to get out and run again.

Speaking of running, we did a lot of it this week as we were running around trying to get to know the area and the members. It's hard to have to be back to square one, but on the other hand, I am happy to be in a new area. We were doing pretty good the first few days until Saturday night, when poor Hermana Jaramillo got super sick. We're pretty sure that she ate something that didn't agree with her, because that night we had eaten dinner in a restaurant. She spent all day in bed, but she was able to go to Sacrament Meeting to take the sacrament (we live about 1 minute away from the church). It was a little stressful because we had to do divisions so that I could go the Ward Council, church, and to our appointments, but the ward was really great and helped us. Hermana Jaramillo is doing better today, and I am super glad.

Anyways, I am super excited to be here! This week we met with a couple of investigators that have been listening to missionaries for a while, and we had really powerful lessons about the Gospel and the importance of baptism. Now, we have two baptismal dates, one on this coming Saturday and one for the 5th of April. Please pray for F. that he will be excited for his baptism!

Saying goodbye to the Familia Aylas. They
are super nice, and I was helping one of their
daughters learn piano. They also have the ugliest
dogs I have ever seen in my life, and they
scare me to death.
Saying goodbye to K and her family
Saying goodbye to a family I was working with in Prolima.
The other ugly dog.
Hey, thanks so much for your words of encouragement and for your prayers. I am really grateful for this chance that I have to be here in Peru serving the Lord. I am also so grateful for my awesome parents, because they have worked so hard and sacrificed so much for our family. I love you all back home and hope that you have a great week.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Feeling Better, New Families, and Rain!

One good thing about Peru is there is no Daylight Savings -- ha ha! I'm super glad I didn't have to spring forward. I like my sleep! I am so happy to report that I am just about 100% over my cough and bronchitis now.

Hermana Morales, Sol's mother, and myself

This past week, we had the opportunity to begin teaching lots of new families! Normally, we always try to teach when the fathers are home, but most of the time they're not around or don't stay to listen. However, this week we were so blessed to be able to teach 4 families about the Restoration with the fathers present! The fathers really make all the difference because without them it is so hard for the family to really progress to baptism. The Lord blessed us to be able to come to their homes at the right time and know how to testify to them.

We also had the chance to teach with Hermana Archibald, our Mission President's wife, when she came to our area for one day. I am grateful for the opportunity that we had to learn from her. Even though she can't speak Spanish very well yet, she understands almost everything and knows how to testify about what we teach. She really cares about the investigators and tries to help them feel comfortable with us. She told us that when we taught, she could feel the Spirit, so that makes me feel like I am doing my job. It was fun to be able to see her out in the field with us!

I also tried to speak more in English to help Hermana Morales learn her English faster. She practiced a lot so that she could talk a little bit with Hermana Archibald. It was cool to see them communicate and try to help one another understand. Now, Hermana Morales has the goal to be able to not only understand Hermana Archibald, but also talk with her in English!

It sounds like Spring has come early back home in Utah. Well, this last week, we actually had some RAIN!!!! It almost never rains here in Lima, and so to have 3 different days where it rained (well, sprinkled really) was super cool. The temperature has finally felt pretty good here these last few days because of the clouds blocking the sun and a little bit of wind. The river in our area is super full and fast and it is cool to see it becuase when I arrived here in winter, it was pretty much dry! I am loving the warm-but-not-too-hot weather and I want it to stay this way forever! I don't know how long it will last but maybe this is a sign that it is starting to cool down a bit.

Well, training is over for Hermana Morales, and so now she is 100% ready to be a missionary and train others. She is a great example and I have loved working with her. I am super excited to see the success and miracles that she will have in her mission.

Sol and me. She helps me stay up to date.
No baptisms this last week, but we have two people with a fecha for this Saturday, March 15th. If I get transferred to another area before then, Hermana Morales will have to send me the pics! I saw Sol yesterday for the first time in about 3 weeks! She started school early and then got sick, so she didn't come to church for a couple of weeks and couldn't come proselyting with us. However, she calls us sometimes to give us updates if something happens in the family that is posted on Facebook. Thanks to Sol, I knew that Alex was accepted to BYU the night he got the acceptance letter -- ha ha. I was super happy!

So, I don't know if I've been transfered yet, but we will find out later today. I'm pretty sure that I will be, but who knows? I have 8 months left to be a missionary, and I hope that I can get to know a couple more areas in Peru before I leave. This transfer, we will be getting 5 more sisters, but the mission has now reached it's max with sister missionaries. There will be about 60 sisters in this mission! There just aren't enough safe areas to put any more sisters, so we won't be recieving more than we lose each transfer after this one. Pretty cool that there are so many sisters willing to serve, right?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Chest Therapy, Phlegm, and Catching Up

Loading sand bags at the bottom of the hill for our service activity
This week we had a service activity where we helped haul bricks and sand up a huge hill to where a family is constructing a house. Tough work!

Passing bricks up one at a time

This past week was also really rough because I ended up having to go to the clinic 4 different days. I'm starting the second half of the treatment for broncheus, which is a different inhaler and more jarabe (yuck!), and I had to go back for three days to get some chest therapy. The therapy was to help me get the phlegm (ew) out of my lungs. The therapist used a machine that compressed on my chest and then she
taught me some breathing exercises. Now, I just have to do the exercises and keep up with the inhaler and stuff. The worst is that I can't drink anything cold, and I have to drink really hot liquids throughout the day. The doctor said I should do it for about a month. I am dying of the heat here! But, if it means I can quit coughing, it's worth it.

At least they let me be at the top of the chain
I am just about healthy again, but our numbers this week are really low. We did divisions a couple of times in order to try to make up for the lessons, and we were still able to teach some new investigators. We want to work hard this week to make up for the numbers a little bit and get back to visiting all our investigators and less actives. This week we also had to drop quite a few investigators that we just can't find at home anymore, are always busy, or just aren't progressing. We want to be able to really focus on those that are progressing and find some promising new investigators.

We are teaching a PF named A., who is 13 years old and has a fecha for the 8th. We are really hoping that he is ready for the 8th and that his father, who is a Jehovah's Witness, allows him to be baptized. Pray that his heart will be opened! A. is really great and has already read more than 20 pages of the Book of Mormon! We are super excited for him!

The view from the top of the hill
Hermana Morales and Me at the top of the hill.
Good thing we're not afraid of heights.
Well, transfers are next week and I'm pretty sure I will be changed because I've been in this ward for 8 months now. If I stay for another transfer, I'll have 10 months here! Hermana Morales will finish her training this week, and is doing great. She is so ready to be a missionary and even train if she is asked to! She is a little nervous, but I know that she will be great! In some ways, I am ready to leave this area and go somewhere new. On the other hand, there is so much potential in this area and I love lots of the members. I will be sad to change, but I know that I can work hard wherever I am.