Monday, October 27, 2014

Piano Lessons, Training Meeting, and a Few Trunky Goals

Saying goodbye to Tatiana as she leaves on
her mission next week.

So, this week was really bad numbers-wise, but really good spiritually. Like these last couple of weeks, all of our appointments fell through and no one wanted to listen to us. I think here in Huaral, they're a little more wary of religions and don't want to get involved. However, I have faith that we'll be able to find more people to teach. We just have to get out more and work harder. We had lots of meetings this week, which was partly why our numbers were so bad. 

Not sure why, but our pension was babysitting
a bird this past week.
I started to teach piano lessons and it turned out pretty well. The children in the branch are actually practicing for their Primary program and the Primary president asked me if I would help them to rehearse. Since no one had showed up for my piano class, I decided to help out. After the rehearsal, a number of people had come late for the piano lessons, and all the Primary children stayed after their rehearsal to learn how to play. There actually turned out to be quite a few people who came and as far as I could tell they understood what I taught them. Then, on Sunday, a few of the Primary children came up to me and wanted to show me that they could already play the song I taught them because they had been practicing. I was so proud of them! President Archibald also came to our branch on Sunday and after Sacrament Meeting, he asked if I could teach some piano lessons to the branch members because the meetings seemed so different now that they could sing with someone accompanying them on the piano. I was proud to tell him that we had already started doing the classes!

We also had a really good capacitacion (training meeting) with President Archibald on Friday. We left Huaral early in the morning on a bus and travelled up to Ventanilla. Our two zones were able to learn a lot about policy changes, how to focus our missionary efforts, and the Second Coming. So good! After the meeting, we had interviews with President. In my interview with him I was able to talk about lots of the goals that I have for when I get back home and what I'm doing to help the branch before I leave. I learned a lot from him and he gave me some really good advice. He told me it's ok that I'm thinking a lot about when I go home because now is the time to plan. Not gonna lie, some of my goals are trunky, but President told me he'd help me with those goals when he gives us the marriage talk during our exit interviews when we're going home ha ha.

I ran into Hermana Morales at our training meeting.
She is now a Sister Training Leader and doing great!!
Eating yummy food at our pension's house.
On Saturday our zone/district had three baptisms and it was nice to be able to feel the Spirit there. Even though I haven't had many baptisms in the mission, I really like to go feel happy with the other missionaries and their converts.

That's about all that's happened this week. It wasn't a bad week, but there is definitely room to improve. On the positive side, only one dog barked at me this week (the wild dogs are definitely not as bad here as they were in Lima). Hermana Hyer's mom told her that we have to run to the Finish Line together, even if we have to drag each other a little bit. I think we're both trunky and tired, but we still have the will to work and leave some investigators for the next missionaries. I know we can do it!

A cool sign that we walk past most days.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fifteen Minutes and Mas Chacras

Hermana Hyer, Tatiana's sister, and me
Me, Tatiana, and Hermana Hyer

So this week was a little frustrating because everything we had fell through. We ended up walking a ton with little success. So, we've talked about some things we're going to do so that this week turns out better. Now it's a new week and I'm ready to get back up and do better. Since we've finally had a normal Sunday, we also got to meet the ward and now we have some plans of what we're going to do to help the ward and ward council as well. One of the members, Tatiana, is a joven in our rama that is leaving on her own mission this coming week. She and her sister have been a huge help to us this last couple of weeks in getting to know our area and more of the members. We're super excited for her.I'm excited for this week because I'm going to start teaching piano lessons here to find more people to teach and bring the ward together. Lots of people have said they're going to come, so I have high hopes that we'll get some good references from the classes.
On P-Day I found this cuy in a Peruvian outfit.
Super funny! I loved it!

We did have one highlight this week. On Saturday, everything we had fell through and we were walking to find a member in the directory when we saw a young family walking through a park. We went and talked to them, made sure they were married, and then made an appointment with them for Sunday. So yesterday, we went by at the time of our appointment, but no one answered. We tried calling them, but the phone was always off. After a few minutes of knocking, we decided nobody was home and left a note on the door. Well, President Archibald taught us to start knocking on neighbors' doors and ask about the family to help contact them. As we were knocking on one door, we heard a sound from the first family's door across the street, and someone came out! We went back over and talked with the mother, then she went inside and told the family that we were outside. When the family finally came out, they were at first a little reluctant to talk (busy, sick child, etc.) but we asked for just 15 minutes and they let us in. It was just a short lesson about how God loves us and we must pray to Him, but the Spirit was definitely there and strong. In the end, the father told us that they've been having lots of family problems, and that we came to their home like angels. His prayer at the end of the lesson was so sincere. We have another appointment with them tonight and we're excited to teach them about the Restoration.
A surprise picture of Hermana Hyer during our service project.

We also had a service project this past week painting a member's home. It was fun to serve and get to know our zone/district a little better. By the way, our zone is so small that it's also our district. There are only ten missionaries total in our whole zone!

I need to take lots more pictures these next few weeks because there are some pretty parts of Huaral. It is nice to be out of Lima and in a little more rural area. Here in Huaral, they actually produce a lot of the food for Lima, so there are lots of chacras (crop fields) and irrigation streams.

I had to laugh a little bit this past cambios. A lot of the new sister missionaries that are arriving in our mission are telling me how much they loved reading my blog! It's kind of funny because they already know a lot about me -- ha ha! Thank you so much to my parents for helping to keep it ip during my mission. Lots of people are reading it, and that in itself is missionary work as well.

Anyway, that is about all for this week. I'm just trying to work hard and enjoy every last minute of the mission.
Hermana Hyer and two of the Elders in our zone/district.

Me and some of the other missionaries in our zone/district.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Surprise Transfer and Itinerary Revealed

Me and Daniela and her daughter,
 a dear friend we were working with
 on reactivating her to Church in Los Olivos.
I LOVED conference! It was so great! I especially loved the Saturday morning session! They are doing some burning down there in the conference center and I bet the people in the first few rows went home without eyebrows! My spiritual batteries have been recharged and I'm ready for more work. I loved President Packer's talk and the Seventy that talked right after him (sorry I don't remember his name and I don't have my notes with me). Follow the prophet and your leaders! Don't let yourself fall into apostasy! It was such a great conference! I just loved the Saturday morning session so much! Know what else was cool? I listened to the Spanish talks in Spanish and I understood everything! Yay!
A huge NdH that we did with the Pacheco
 and Salas families before I left Los Olivos.
They are so great and I'm going to miss all
of my friends in Los Olivos.
So I know we're supposed to be super spiritual missionaries and everything while we're watching General Conference, but we were talking during one of the choir songs, and Elder Lansing, is our zone leader and he's super funny. We saw a lady with really big hair singing, and Elder Lansing said, "Are you from X-men? Because your hair looks like it's mutated." We were laughing so hard!

So I got transfered! I was so surprised because I thought for sure I was going to "die" (finish my mission) in Los Olivos. It was such a great area and ward and I'm really sad that I only got to be there for one transfer. But on the bright side, I actually get to be outside of Lima before I finish my mission! Now I'm in Huaral, a little branch to the north of Lima. It's nice because it's actually a little more green here! It even sprinkles rain sometimes, and we're close to the ocean, but it's not in our area. And guess who my companion is? You'll never believe it! Hermana Hyer from the MTC! Isn't that just crazy? We don't know why we were put together, but God must have a reason. We're actually re-opening the area here in Huaral, which was closed for a transfer. So, we don't really have anything to work with, but we're working hard to hopefully have some baptisms before we leave and leave some baptisms for the next sisters.

I'm going to be trying to enjoy evey minute that I have left in Peru! I see all the wild dogs, the dirt, and the old buildings. We have a pensionista here that cooks really good and we're enjoying the food too (I just hope I can still lose a little more weight before I come home). Since I'm with Hermana Hyer we have to try hard not to be too trunky. Our zone leader and district leader are also finishing this transfer to we've got to help eachother out to keep working hard.

So, the pics that I sent are of the huge NdH that we did with the Pacheco and Salas families before I left. I'm also there with Daniela, a less active that we were working on reactivating. They are so great and I'm going to miss all of them!

I'm so excited that Alex is in Nicaragua! I'll get to talk with him on Mondays a little bit now! I hope he's doing well and can adjust to living as a missionary in Nicaragua. He still hasn't answered me in Spanish, but I usually write part of my letter to him in Spanish and he says he understands it, so that's good. I think he'll do fine with the language, he'll just need a couple of transfers to adjust.

Hermana Hyer, Hermana Pinto, and me at cambios.
So I got my itinerary today! Yay! The only bad thing is that I'll be home on Tuesday, November 18th, instead of on my birthday (which is November 17th), but that's ok. I just really hope I don't get egged before I get home! I'll be a double target because not only because of my birthday, but also because I will be finishing my mission. I should get home at about 1:02 in the afternoon on the 18th. Super excited!

Anyway, that's trunky talk ha ha. Since I'm with Hermana Hyer, we have to try really hard to not be trunky. We can't talk too much about home or anything. It's also funny because our zone leader and district leader are also going home this next transfer. This has got to be the trunkiest zone in our entire mission! Anyway, we're actually all working hard and doing our best. So, yeah, a pretty crazy week, but I'm doing pretty good.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Elections, Conference, and Brownies

So this week, we finally got moved into our new apartment. We hope we never have to move again! It was a lot of work, but now we're pretty comfortable and the apartment is really peaceful. There is plenty of space and we're pretty comfortable, especially since it's an apartment set back away from the street and it's super quiet. We've slept pretty good. We're super happy!

It was so weird with the elections here in Peru, which were held on this past Saturday and Sunday. According to the law, no one is allowed to be in groups or have meetings on Saturday and Sunday until after 4pm. But you know what? I'm pretty sure the only group obeying that law is the Church of Jesus Christ! There were so many religious groups and parties and organizations having meetings. Well, at least we know that we obey the 13 articles of faith and respect the law of the land! As a result, we didn't have any church meetings, and President Archibald wouldn't let any of the missionaries watch Conference (some of the members could watch on the internet in their own homes). So we get to watch it next weekend at church.
Family Home Evening with the Pacheco Family

Yesterday, because of the voting, we had almost no appointments. So, we decided to try one of our ways to find, which was play the violin in the park and contact. When the Bishop and his family found out (they own the violin), they wanted to participate and they called the ward choir to come and help out. It turned out to be a lot of fun and helped bring more members of the ward together. We played in the park for about an hour and the Elders in our ward were able to contact a family and are going to teach them. It was a great experience and we're thinking about doing it again this Sunday a little earlier so that we have more success.
Our trio is getting split up today!

We love the Pacheco family! They are so great and really want to help us. We had a couple of Family Home Evenings, one with just them, and another with a less-active sister. It was a lot of fun. I even showed them how to make brownies! They LOVE brownies down here in Peru!

Today we find out about cambios. We know for sure that the trio is getting broken up, but we don't know who is leaving. I really hope that I get to stay here for my last transfer! I love this area and I don't want to change!

So, just working hard and loving it!