Monday, April 28, 2014

Testimony of the Atonement

Hey, forgot my memory card reader in the apartment, so once again I don't have pics to send. Super sorry! But hey, FYI, I let my companion cut my joke! My hair was a little scraggly and had lots of dead ends, so I let Hermana Jaramillo cut it. It's just a little shorter, but a lot healthier. It also looks good, because she studied at beauty school for a few months before the mission. Today was cambios (transfers), but neither me nor my companion were transferred this time.

This week, my companion and I have been trying hard to work with members so that they can share the gospel with friends and family. We are really struggling to find new people to teach, so we're hoping that God is preparing people for the members to find so that we can teach them and help them come unto Christ.

I have finally begun to read Jesus the Christ, and I am learning a LOT! I am learning a lot about the circumstances of His birth and His foreordination in heaven. If anything, my testimony of Christ as my Savior and Heavenly Father as wise and loving father has been strengthened. The Atonement was a divine gift on our behalf, and was an essential part of the Plan of Happiness. I have studied a lot about repentance this week, and I have become even more aware of my imperfections, my weaknesses, and my mistakes. I am so grateful that my Father sacrificed His Only Begotten so that I can repent and be better. It's thanks to Him that I can live with my family for eternity! I am indebted to Him forever, and I want to do what He asks because I love Him and want the promised blessings that He has made possible. "His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life, and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine son!"

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter? Egg Bombs, and Almost a Baptism

So we didn't really do anything special for Easter. Here in Peru, it seemed like only the Catholics really celebrate Easter. The Catholic church down the street had lots of activities going on all during the week. I think they did a little procession or something because Friday or Thursday night they had this huge cross out in the street waiting for the meeting to end. Not sure what they did with it, but it was a little freaky. Our ward did absolutely nothing. It was kind of weird in Sacrament Meeting because only one of the speakers briefly mentioned Christ's resurrection, and no one said or did anything special. No hymns for Easter, no musical numbers, no talks about Christ, nothing! I was a little bummed.  But I remembered it was Easter and wore clothes that made me feel Eastery and I thought about Christ and it was good.

The day before Easter, we had a welcome BBQ for Andres, and my companion showed me a tradition at home in Mexico. In her family, they hollow out eggs and then fill them with confetti. When people are walking by their house or when they're with their family, they break the eggs over each other's heads. So, we made 6 confetti eggs for the activity. It was pretty fun to break one over my companion's head (hey, she started it first!).

My folks told me about the little earthquake back home in Utah. I have never felt an earthquake, and in Peru, they're supposed to have little ones all the time. That is so crazy that there was an earthquake! I'm just glad that everyone is safe and nothing was damaged. Makes me laugh that my parents' first thought was that my brother had done something to the house! Ha ha ha ha.

Well, bad news about the baptism for Hermana K. She was all excited the weekend before, but then her family came down for the birthday of her son and they talked her out of it. The day of her interview, she wasn't home, and every time we had an appointment she wasn't at home until Friday. We finally got the chance to talk with her, and she told us she no longer wanted to be baptized. We have faith that one day she'll be baptized, but it just might be by other missionaries. On the other hand, the Elders in our ward had a baptism on Saturday and it was super beautiful. They baptized the father of a family where everyone was a member but him. The Spirit was super strong and now they are excited to begin preparing to go to the temple in a year!

So I plan on leaving most of my clothing here in Peru when I come home from my mission. I am already sick of wearing a lot of things, and I know I won't wear them when I get back. I will probably only bring a few skirts and shirts home, and leave almost everything in Peru. There are actually quite a few latina missionaries that don't have a lot and don't have a ton of clothes. So, I will gladly leave things here for them to wear.

I forgot to bring my camera today, so I won't be able to send pics until next week. Lo siento! Thank you so much for everyone's letters and emails and words of encouragement! Hope everyone at home had a wonderful Easter!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sharing Testimony Through Music, Sharing the Gospel, and Sharing Skirts

We are so happy because last Saturday, Hermano A. was baptized! The service was beautiful and many people came to support him! He is excited to serve a mission in a year and already has made many friends in the ward. It was such a blessing to get to work with him! This past week, our district had 4 baptisms total! We had the one with Hermano A., and another companionship had 3 in one day! How cool is that? For the first baptism, one of the Elders asked me to sing a duet with him a Capella. It actually turned out pretty good but I was so nervous! It was the first time I can remember singing in front of people without being in a choir! For the other baptisms, I played the piano. The piano books that have the hymn arrangements have been such a blessing to have! I love playing out of them! I have had lots of opportunities to play the piano for sacrament meetings, baptisms, and mission meetings. I'm trying to do what you said and share my testimony through my music, and I love it!
Hermano A.'s baptism service. Wonderful day!

Today, I studied some really great stuff in Predicad Mi Evangelio. We have been struggling to find people to teach, so I thought I should read about it. God is preparing so many people to hear the message of the Restauración. (Read Alma 16:16-17) Many people around us are looking for the truth, they just don't know where to find it. We need to have the faith that God will put in our path those that are ready to listen. This counsel isn't only for full-time missionaries, it's for all members of the church! Everyone is a child of God, and so we are all brothers and sisters. When we were baptized, we promised to serve our fellowmen and be witnesses of Christ. Therefore, we must work toward sharing this Gospel with those around us, because we are there with them for a reason, and we know that this knowledge can bless and change their lives. If we pray for opportunities to share the gospel, the Holy Ghost will not only help us find those that are prepared, but will also help us know what to say! (Read D&C 100:4-8) All we need is faith the the Holy Ghost does the rest!

Anyway, we are super excited for this week because we are helping another one of our investigators prepare for her baptism this Saturday.

So, I took my memory card to a Kodak tienda and the guy was really nice. He tried to get my pics back, but couldn't. But, he was able to debug my memory so I can use it again. Unfortunately, I already bought a new one, so now I have two memory cards. I also bought two USBs to back up my pics. Hopefully, I won't have any more problems with losing pics again!

For Easter, we're not planning anything special. Hermana Jaramillo told me about a tradition that they have in Mexico. For a couple weeks before Easter, they eat lots eggs and hollow them out. Then, they fill the shells with confetti or flour or stuff like that. Once made, we can use the egg bombs to throw at people! So, we are thinking we'll make a few. We're planning a little bbq for Hermano A. this weekend with other Young Single Adults, and we pull them out and have some fun -- ha ha.

There are lots of Catholics here in Peru, and so this week might be a little interesting. I don't know a lot about their traditions, but there is a huge Catholic church down the street from our chapel and there have been lots of services there the last few days, and lots of people walking around with flowers. Every day this week is another specific day of celebration, but I'm not sure what they are exactly. Lots of people also have work and school off this week, so there are more people out and about. I'll have to ask around and see what each celebration means.

So my mother noticed in the picture last week that my companion, Hermana Jaramillo, was wearing one of my skirts. Ya, she likes to wear my clothes. I'm fine with it so long as I am not going to wear it that day -- ha ha. She really really wants a BYU shirt, so I might give her one of mine. Also, the skirt in the pic is her favorite of my skirts. She has mentioned that I should sell it to her before she leaves. I'm not gonna sell it to her, but when we have our next transfers, I'll surprise her by giving it to her before one of us is transferred. I don't wear it very much any more anyway because one of the Elders told me I look like a little girl when I wear it. Ugh! I really liked the skirt until he said that! But ya, she absolutely loves it, so I plan to give it to her at transfers as a surprise.

The time is starting to get shorter, and so I've set some goals before I finish my mission. It seems weird to think that I'll be home before the end of the year. Now, I just need to work and really focus and enjoy every moment. Happy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Watching Conference, Memory Card Crash, and Vanilla Coke

I absolutely loved General Conference! I received the answers to all of the questions I have been fasting and praying about. I also got to listen to all the sessions in English, so it was easier for me to understand. I am super grateful for the opportunity we have to listen to God's prophets and apostles in these days. My testimony was strengthened and my enthusiasm for the work has increased!

Me and the other Hermanas in our Zone attending Conference
I am also really happy because one of our investigators, A., attended every single sesión of conference, even Priesthood Sessión! He really is embracing the Gospel and progressing toward his baptism this Saturday! Not only that, but he told us that he wants to serve a missión in a year! We are so excited for him!

So, i have some bad news memory card was completely erased last week when I was on the internet! All of my pics are gone, and now my card has a virus or something because even though there are 10 pics, it says it is completely full. So, I plan on going somewhere to see if they can recupérate my pics. I will buy a USB and try to download the pics onto it. So, ya. Probably lost all of my photos, but life goes on. Luckily, I have printed off many of my pics from the last transfer and have them in my apartment, so at least I know that I have many of the most important memories saved!

Hey, my companion and I are getting along much better, and as a favor for my father, she said she'll teach me how to make some mean enchiladas! Yum! I am learning a lot from her about how to cook, it's pretty great!

Yum! I love Vanilla Coke Zero!
The other night when we went into a tienda to look for something, for the first time in my missión, I saw a vanilla Coke Zero! I was so excited that I had to buy it! I love vanilla Coke Zero!

Unfortunately, our appointment to the temple fell through because the family had an accident (but everyone is ok).

So happy birthday to my little brother and sister! Sorry I got your birthday cards mailed late, but they are on their way!!