Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Referrals, El Mundial, and a Baptism

Well, here in Trebol we're working hard to find new people to teach. We still haven't had very many new investigators, and it's killing us! But, we had a little miracle this week of receiving 11 references! During all of my time here in Trebol, we haven't received even 10 referrals, and this week we received more than that! We're grateful to have these references to work with, and now we have high hopes to meet the standards of excellence for new investigators this week.

Hermana Pinto is really awesome. She has a really strong testimony and knows how to teach really well. She also has really great ideas to help us find new investigators. I'm really glad that I am her companion. She is a lot more quiet than my other companions, but she actually has a great sense of humor. She also really likes chocolate and likes to make brownies... there's no way I'm gonna complain about that! I'm learning a lot from her and we have high hopes for this transfer.

This week, we had a really great Zone Conference where our leaders taught us about the importance of being happy in the process of missionary work, not just in the baptisms. I've been trying to take that to heart, trying to find joy in contacting even when they reject us. Looking at each step from contact to investigator to member as an important part of what we do and that we need to value each part because without each step there are no baptisms. One of my goals that I set at the beginning of this transfer was to be a happier person, regardless of what is happening around me. Act as my own agent, and not let other circumstances act upon me to effect my attitude. With this in mind, I am trying to be happy in my contacting and finding investigators. It's not easy, but I am working on it and learning how to enjoy my mission more.

Here in Peru, it's el Mundial (the World Cup), and there is a lot of soccer going on! So many men are sitting around watching futbol and drinking...yuck! It's been a little bit of a challenge to teach sometimes because they don't want to be distracted from their game. But, we've been working through it.

Also this past week, we had an entire less active family come to church! We were able to rescue two members of the family, and we're hoping to rescue the other two within the next two weeks. I am so happy for this family! We had a Family Home Evening with them last night, and the father told us that he is beginning to understand the purpose of repentance and the importance of the family. He said that as a family, they're putting forth all of their effort to change their lives and be unafraid to stand up for what they believe. When I heard him say that, I felt such joy in my heart. I prayed that God would bless this family to help them stay on this path to endure to the end. Now, our goal is to help them prepare to enter the temple and be sealed as a family for eternity.

The Santiago family
Other than that, nothing really new! Just working hard and doing my best. So this week one of the recent converts of the Elders, Hermano Santiago, baptized his son, T. It was a really great baptism! In less than one year, they can go to the temple to be sealed as a family! What an awesome experience it was to help with the baptism.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Transfers, Socks, and Chicken Nuggets Well Done.

Mom and Dad on Trek at Martin's Cove in Wyoming.
This is Devil's Gate behind them on the trail.
Sorry for the delay with this week's blog, but my parents were off on a Pioneer Trek with the Stake Youth and could not upload everything until they got back. They said other than the swarms of mosquitoes, constant Wyoming winds, and the bus breaking down on the way home (resulting in a 4-hour delay), they had a great time. The youth were well-behaved for the most part, and Martin's Cove is a very spiritual experience. The trek experience gives you only a small taste, but it truly makes you appreciate what the pioneers went through.

My awesome brother! Watch out Nicaragua.
The first thing I have to do is give a big shout out and congratulations to my brother who just got his mission call. He will be leaving in September and will serve in the Nicaragua Managua South mission. I'll still have about 2 months left on my mission mission when he leaves, so we won't see each other for almost 3.5 years! Oh well, I know that the Lord needs him in Nicaragua. Wow! I am so freaking excited for him! And, we're both gonna be able to speak Spanish when he gets back ha ha! When I write him on his mission, I'm gonna write him in Spanish ha ha. That is so cool! I wish I was there in person to tell him congrats and give him a freaking huge hug and kiss from his sister, but this will have to do. I am so proud of him!
Hermana Jaramillo and me in our new Zone Polos.

I would warn him not to look up too much about Nicaragua, because really the mission is so different than what the pictures show or what other missionaries say. Where he's at, he'll feel just at home and get to love the people of Nicaragua and their culture. It's normal to be nervous or scared. When I found out I was going to Peru, I immediately thought of desert and snakes and really poor people that would rob me. But now that I'm here it's nothing like that. It has a culture all it's own and I love the people here. The more time I spend here, the more I love it and want to stay. When I got here, I wanted to go back home to what I knew and where everything was comfortable. But now, I want to stay because this feels normal. I know that it will be the same for my brother. Like my Uncle Joel told me before I left, the mission will the hardest years of my life, but also the best. I'm understanding that now!
Some of our neighbors' laundry.
This was just one of the clotheslines.

Hermana Jaramillo saying goodbye to the Guillen family.

Well, last Monday, we found out that Hermana Jaramillo was being transferred and leaving El Trebol! She was really sad to go, so we went and visited about half the ward, including the Guillen family who we have been working with to reactivate. They are super nice! Also, when we got back to our apartment that night it looks like our neighbors decided to wash all of their pairs of socks! There were 3 full lines of socks hanging up to dry haha! We thought is was pretty funny.

Hermana Jaramillo and her new companion,
Hermana Villalobos, at cambios.

Hermana Jaramillo was transfered to Las Palmeras, which is really close by. She's in the same zone as the mission offices, so that's pretty nice for when there's conferences. This is her new companion, but I can't remember her name. ¡Qué verguenza! 

Hermana Pinto's chicken nuggets.

So my new companion is Hermana Pinto. She's from Bolivia, La Paz, and has been a member of the Church for about one year and 8 months! She has been on her mission for about 6 months now, so that's pretty amazing! She is really nice and is a pioneer in her family. While she has many aunts and her mom that are members, she is the first in all of her family to serve a mission! How cool is that? She's super nice and really organized. I'm super excited to be with her and learn from her.

Anyway, Hermana Pinto decided she wanted to try to cook chicken nuggets in the microwave, but she cooked them for way to long! They burnt through the plastic tupper ware and it smelled terrible! Oh, the adventures we have in the kitchen!

Me and Hermana Pinto at cambios.

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Plethora of Activities: Ping Pong, Movie Night, Choir Recital, Game Night, FHE, and a Moving Party!

Zone P-Day Ping-Pong Tournament
Three weeks ago, we had Zone P-day and we played ping pong as a tournament and then we ate completos. It was delicious and pretty fun. If you're wondering, I didn't get a chance to play singles because it got too late, and so I only had a chance to play doubles with my companion. Well, she's never played ping pong before, and we lost terribly. But hey, we had some fun.

Cleaning up after the Movie Activity.
Thanks Mom and Dad for the new BYU shirts!
We had a mission activity one week ago on Friday where we had a movie night and everyone from our ward and another ward were invited. We actually had an entire PF and less active family come! We were so happy! We served popcorn and soda, so as you can imagine, the chapel was a disaster afterwards. The next day, Hermana Jaramillo and I went and cleaned the chapel in our new BYU shirts. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Our Ward Choir -- I'm in the back row on the left.

The stake decided to do a Choir Recital, with a choir from every ward participating. The Bishop asked my companion and I to help the ward choir as a service, with me playing the piano and my companion singing. It was a lot of work, but it was fun. The ward decided to buy dresses, and they bought them for me and my companion. They are such a pretty color! The choir turned out really well! It was a lot of fun.

I just love the color of the dresses they bought
us for the Stake Choir Recital.

Last Monday we said goodbye to Elder Bulacio by throwing a surprise party for him in the church. I don't know him very well because he's in the other district in our zone, but he seems like a really great missionary. He's going home tomorrow!

Hermana Jaramillo thinks it is already too cold!

I'm sorry that it's getting hotter there in Utah, but I'm happy that here it has cooled off completely! I think the autumn here feels just great, but my companion doesn't seem to like it very much. She's already cold, and winter hasn't even begun yet.
Game Night.

Last Friday night, we had a game night in the church, our ward combined with the other ward in our building. It actually turned out pretty well and quite a few people showed up. We played lots of games. Unfortunately, I didn't win a single one -- ha ha!

Game Night.

Aji de Gallina -- Yummy!

So, Hermana Caballero made ají de gallina for us this week. It was really good! Her family is super nice.

Family Home Evening and tacos with the Guillen family.
Hermana Jaramillo and the Guillen Family
We also had a FHE with the Guillen family this week. We made tacos with them, and they were super delicious! We are super happy for the Guillen family! We were able to teach them twice this week, and they told us how grateful they are for our help in returning to the Church. They really want to make this step in their lives, and are really pushing for their son C. to go on a mission. I feel so blessed to have been able to help this family.

Tacos with the Guillen Family
I  really am grateful for this opportunity that I have to be here serving a mission. One thing that Hermana Jaramillo has shown me by example is how much I need to value my time as a missionary. She loves being here and has such a love for the people. She has told me that she just wants to stay here and be a missionary forever. I have learned a lot from her during my time as her companion, but tomorrow is cambios and I have a feeling one of us will be transferred. I want to really enjoy and give my all these last few cambios that I have.
Service Project: Our Zone helped a family move.
Fortunately, they lived on the first floor -- ha ha!