Monday, September 29, 2014

A Pretty Great Week!

So this past week we helped S. Pacheco be baptized and we finished reactivating his family. We're super happy for them! They are super active in the church and want to invite everyone to do a noche de hogar -- ha ha. Hermano Pacheco is helping out a lot with the ward choir. Hermana Leon, the bishop's wife and choir director, has a violin and she asked me to play with the choir in Sacrament Meeting and in a devotional. It was fun to play a little bit and help the choir. Oh, and FYI, the bishop really is called Obispo Leon...and do you know what his name is? Rey!!! His name is Rey Leon -- ha ha (For you gringos: Leon = Lion, Rey = King, or "Lion King"). Que chistoso! Tenemos hacunamatata cada Domingo en Consejo de Barrio ja ja.
S. and his dad.

 And guess what else? W. in my last area was baptized! I finally got the pics. I am so happy for her!

This week we also had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. I went with Hermana Villatoro to Puente Piedra for 24 hours. It was really great and I learned a lot from her. She is really good at contacting and taught me how to contact better and gave me some really great ideas.

I really loved Women's Conference! Well, what I saw. On Saturday we had our baptism in the morning and in the afternoon there was another baptism in the district that we had to go to, so we got to the Women's Conference about 20 minutes late! I was dying because I wanted to see all of it. I missed the Korean children's choir, so I'll have to look it up and watch it. I loved how President Uchtdorf really said things how they are! It was so good! Be obedient!

The Pacheco family at S.'s baptism.
Hermana McIntosh taught me this morning how to knit. She says it's to relieve stress, but right now I feel like it stressed me out even more -- ha ha.

Speaking of stress, we had a pretty busy and crazy week! I'm glad it's over. Hermana McIntosh had to go to the doctor on Wednesday morning but we had appointments. So, we did divisions in the morning and I stayed in the area to work with a member. Then on Thursday afternoon we had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders, and we had to prepare for our baptism on Saturday, and just lots of things. We're also stressing because Hermana McIntosh ruined the floor in our apartment. I don't know what she was thinking, but she thought it was a good idea to use bleach to clean the black porcelain tile. BAD IDEA! She put the bleach directly on the floor and then used a wet mop to spread it around. Now the tile has grey spots. She calls it the "dalmation floor." So anyway, the sister who lent us the apartment is really nice, but she wants to replace the entire floor, and the tiling is really expensive. Hermana McIntosh is dying because it's a lot of money, but what can she do? We called the mission and they're going to send someone to look at it and change the tile hopefully for cheaper (the guy the landlady found wants about 950 soles!). So ya, kind of a stressful week for that. But we have faith that it'll work out. Just always remember to NEVER use bleach to clean a black tile floor. NEVER!

We also had a really good Zone Conference with Presidente Archibald. He talked a lot about how we need to find people to teach and drop those that aren't progressing. But you know what happened? He invited me up to do a demonstration with ping pong balls. I had two balls taped to my hands that represented two families that aren't progressing but I don't want to drop, and I had to try to grab the other balls he threw to me. Another missionary was grabbing the balls but without anything taped to her hands. Obviously, she was able to grab more balls. But while president was throwing balls at me saying ¨Here's a family of 4! Here's a family of 5!¨ He threw one and said ¨This one is single!¨ Well, I was already trying to grab all the balls and I was actually able to catch that one...and you know what he said? "Oh no, it looks like Hermana Olsen is already trunky! She is thinking about singles!¨ So, later in the conference he said again that I was trunky....and my companions are having a hay day -- ha ha! They take every moment to remind me that I'm trunky because if President Archibald says so, it has to be true. So there you have it, my mission president thinks I'm trunky! Oh dear.

Now, we're packing our bags because tomorrow we're going to move to our new apartment. Lots to do this week, but we're working hard. Hope all is going well back home and with Alex in the Mexico City CCM.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Stake Conference, Domino's, and A New Apartment

So, this week was Stake Conference here in Los Olivos and Elder Calderon of the Seventy came and talked in the conference. He says things how they are and invites us to repent. I loved listening to his talks and I know some of the things that I need to do to be better. I hope that he helped the leaders to realize some of the things they need to do better as well. He explained even more about the function of a Seventy and the role of leaders, including keys. It was really interesting!

We've also been working with the P. family and helping their son S. prepare for his baptism. They are a really great family! They love music and the father is a professional pianist. He also sings really well! We love this family and we're so happy to be able to help them so that they can begin preparing to go to the temple.

Not sure whether the Domino's near our apartment
is a good thing or bad thing. Yum!
We also were walking one night, really tired because all of our appointments had fallen through, when we saw a pizza flier that informed us that there is now a Domino's pizza really close to our house...with free delivery! So, of course we bought a pizza to share! Yum!

Here is the grand view from our current apartment!
Happy first day of Spring from the Southern Hemisphere!
Oh, and we also found a new place to live! We can only live in our aparment for the month of September, so we'd been looking like crazy for a new place. I'd been praying all morning that God would guide us to a place that met all the strict requirements. So, after looking for over an hour in the morning, we began walking to our appointment and, lo and behold, we see a sign on a beautiful house that is renting out apartments! The landlady lives on the first floor alone, and there's only a married couple that lives on the 3rd floor. She told us she doesn't rent to single men or couples with little kids, so we should be good and on Sep. 30th we'll be moving into our new apartment! It's super nice and new and has a big kitchen and two bedrooms! yay! We're super happy. We also found a spider in our apartment this week, but I'm just glad that here in Lima there aren't any tarantulas! Yuk!

We're getting better at waking up in the morning. My companions are trying to be better about the schedule, and we're seeing good results. We're having fun and looking for new people to teach. I think that that is our biggest challenge right now, finding new people to teach! Most of the people we contact fall through, so we need to contact even more.

And here in Peru it's the first day of spring! I am so happy that it should start warming up now, because it's kind of chilly, especially at night! Anyway, that's about it this week. Tell everyone at home thank you for the prayers and emails and letters. They mean a lot to me!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mornings, International Lunches, and Lugging Heavy Things

Things are going pretty good here in Lima. Just working hard. My companions are struggling a little bit with obeying the schedule. They were companions in the MTC and have become really good friends, so they want to stay up talking all night. They go to bed late, and then get up late in the morning. It's been a little hard trying to help them. I'll admit, there were days when I first started my mission when I seriously struggled to get out of bed in the morning, and I wasn't always perfect with that. So I prayed and fasted for God's help, and since this last transfer I'm not struggling to get out of bed and even have time to exercise in the morning. So I'm trying to be a good example for my companions. Other than that, we have been doing really well. We've had lots of divisions to get to even more lessons, and yesterday was a little crazy but we got a lot of work done. There are lots of perks to being in a trio!

We also cook lunch for one another. Each person has 2 days during the week to cook, and on Monday for P-Day we buy something to eat. Since we started doing this, I've made chili dogs (Mexican style), fettucini alfredo, pancakes, and soup. My companions have made some really good Chinese food and chicken saltado and wraps. We are loving eating food from different countries, and we're super happy to not be eating rice -- ha ha! In fact, my companions loved the fettucini alfredo so much they asked me to make it again this week. I'm glad they like it -- I learned from the best (love you Mom)!
On the left is Herman McIntosh who is from Panama.
Hermana Cardozo (on the right) is from Argentina.

This Sunday is Stake Conference here in our stake. I'm excited because I will get to hear from another General Authority who is coming to the conference (a Seventy I believe). The downside is that we can't have any baptisms this week. Also, here in Lima they hold their elections on the 4th and 5th of October, and in Peru it is against the law to hold any gatherings of any kind that weekend. So just like last year, there won't be any Church on October 4th and 5th even though it's General Conference! In Peru, they church leaders record Conference and we get to watch it on October 11th and 12th instead. I was super bummed that I would have to watch it a week after, but some of the leaders did invite us over to their homes to watch some of Conference on the 4th and 5th, so I'm super happy about that. The bad thing to all of this is that this means we also can't have any baptisms on the 4th or the 11th of October either -- and not just our Stake, but the whole Mission (and probably all of the missions in Peru)! That's a lot of weeks without any baptisms, but we just have to keep working hard.

Speaking of baptisms, the S. family wasn't baptized this week. They are having a hard time keeping their commitments, but we're still working with them. We hope they will be ready in October. However, we have a baptism still scheduled for the 27th of September for a 9-year-old boy named S. We've been working with his family to reactivate, or rescue them. They started coming to our ward last week, and when they tried to move their records to the new ward, they realized that there was no record of their son's baptism. So now he has to be baptized again and we're going to help him be ready. Also, the P. family has yet to be sealed in the temple! So we're going to rescue this family, baptize S., and then help them be sealed together! We're super excited for them.

On Saturday, we performed some service by helping a family in the ward move to another home, and they had lots of heavy things! I don't think the Elders were very happy about lugging so many things up to the 3rd floor where the new home is, but they did it and got their exercise in for the day! Otherwise a pretty normal week.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Transfers and the Missionaries on the Bus Go Up and Down

As I mentioned last week, we had transfers 1 week ago, and I had to say goodbye to El Trebol. I only had time to despedir a few people. I included a few pictures of some of them. I haven't heard from Hermana Pinto about W.'s baptism plans, but if things go as we hoped, she should still be baptized this coming Saturday! I sure hope she will be!

The bishop in El Trebol, along with his wife and a
hermana who invited the missionaries in the ward to breakfast. 

In my new area, we are teaching the S. family right now and trying to help them be baptized this week. However, they still need a few lessons and their daughter, M., is still on the fence, so it will be a small miracle it it all comes together in time for this Saturday. But if not, we'll try for Saturday, September 27th (the 20th and 21st are Stake Conference).

I'm excited that Elder Olsen got to Mexico alright! It's kind of sad that his P-Day is on Tuesdays right now, because that means I have to wait until next week to hear from him ... ug. But that's OK.

Hermana Cardozo, me, and Hermana McIntosh

So these are my new comps! Hermana McIntosh and Hermana Cardozo (she is shorter).They are pretty awesome and funny. We are getting along great and are enjoying working hard together. I have to say they're both a little crazy, but it keeps us from getting bored -- ha ha!

Our bus full of missionaries on our way to the conference.
I also included a picture of our bus as we rode to the big Area Conference (the one I performed my musical number for). There were five buses of missionaries! It was pretty cool to see almost the whole mission there!

This week we also did an awesome service! We got together as a stake (stake missionaries also) to help the community. The city was planting trees and laying sod in different areas and we helped lay some of the sod between two busy roads. In our group there were about 30 of us, and we got an entire truck load of sod laid down in about 25 minutes! It was a huge truckload! Anyway, it was a lot of fun. I didn't take pics, but my companions did, however, they both forgot their cameras today... so the sod pics will follow next week!
Our first correlation in my new area with the Elders in our ward.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hola Los Olivos 2!

Before my brother's missionary haircut...

...and after. So proud of you Alex!
I'll include a link to his blog on mine.
I'm so glad that my little (? he is 6'2") brother Alex is going on a mission and I know that the Lord will protect and bless him. I am so excited for him! I'll be thinking about him and praying for him as he leaves on his mission early Wednesday morning.

So, the news...

I got transfered! I'm now in Los Olivos 2...really close to Pro and Prolima where I served before -- ha ha! I'm pretty sure I'll be staying here until I finish my mission. So, I've gotten to know Lima really well. I hope to someday get to know the provinces and the other parts of Peru.

Also...I'm in a trio! We're the only trio in the mission. My companions are Hermana McIntosh from Panama and Hermana Cardozo from Argentina. They were actually in a trio together in the CCM (MTC) with Hermana Morales, so we feel like we were meant to be together. We're pretty happy and we're working hard. Now that we're three, it'll be really easy to do divisions and get double the work in...we want to be mentioned in El Llamado de Fuego (the mission newsletter)!

The bad part was that Hermana McIntosh and her previous companion were about to move to another apartment, but it was already really small, and now that we're three it was impossible to live there ... so we had a day and a half to look for a new apartment within our small budget and strict mission guidelines ... so, ya we didn't find anything. Fortunately, there is a member family that was getting ready to rent a really big apartment, and told us we can live there for one month as we continue to look for a new place to live. The apartment should rent for $900, but she's letting us live for the $400! The apartment is super nice! I feel almost like I'm in a house in the USA! So we moved there last Friday.

Then, on Saturday we had our conference with Bishop Davies and President Uceda of the Seventy. It was super good! And the musical number went super great! I got my shoulder rest on Tuesday from Sister Archibald during cambios, and then we had a rehearsal on Friday where I was able to get the violin again so I could practice. Thank you so much to my parents and Bishop Hardy's family for sending it to me. Oh, and tell the CTR-7 class and Sister Watts and the Relief Society back in my home ward (Sycamores 4th) thank you so much for the cards! I loved reading them! And don't worry, I shared the chocolates with my companions! Yum!

With the huge new group of missionaries, there was a new missionary who arrived in our mission. His name is Elder Drysdale and he actually plays the violin professionally, so he received special permission to bring one of his violins with him into the mission field. So, on Friday we rearranged the musical number a little bit so we could both play our violins together with the choir singing. It turned out super beautiful! It was an amazing experience that I will never forget!

This new area and new ward in Los Olivos 2 are really great! I'm super excited to be here and work. The ward seems really great, and our chapel is just beautiful! I feel like I'm in the USA because this chapel has air conditioning and lots of paintings on the walls. There's also a General Authority from the Seventy in our ward...crazy, right? Here in Los Olivos 2, we're working with a family to help them be baptized in September They're struggling a little right now, so we're working hard with them. Hermana Pinto told me that W. is good to go for her baptism on Saturday, and now her boyfriend also wants to be baptized! Yay!

I'm really sorry, but I forgot to bring my camera more pics next week!