Saturday, August 24, 2013

Week 10

August 19, 2013
This week Luz Marina and her 8 year old son Rajjoo were baptized. They were baptized! My favorite part was right after the baptism when Luz Marina shared her thoughts. I loved when she said that she could feel the love of God. I love this because it is so true. God loves all His children so much and I am so blessed to have been able to be a small help in helping her do the things necessary to get closer to our Heavenly Father. Also as a reminder, she was a reference of a member!  I'm so glad that member was brave enough to trust us with her reference. Share the gospel with your friends and involve the missionaries! Today the schedule was a touch different because we went to Cusco! Guess who came to Cusco? Elder Cook from the quorum of the 12 and Elder Callister from the 70 were here today. They had an awesome message to share. Tomorrow we are going to Macchu Picchu. I feel really blessed to be able to be involved in this work at all, let alone in such an amazing wonderful place. I love you all so much and hope you are well! Thanks so much for your prayers and support! 
Love, Hermana Beckstead

Week 9

August 12, 2013

Hola! This week was pretty good! We found out we had fleas in our bed and I got sick. But I think those problems are almost resolved. And it only went uphill. 
A couple weeks ago missionaries gave the members Book of Mormons to give to their friends. There is a member in Ollantaytambo who is AWESOME. She always makes the trip to Urubamba for church and is just the best in general. She was praying about who she could give a Book of Mormon to and she had a dream of this woman that she knew. (A cool thing here is that this is very common. People here often have dreams as answers to prayers). So yesterday Hermana Beatriz (the member) took us to this woman. It was about a 45 minute to an hour walk each way but the lady is really cool. And we are going to continue teaching her. 
Also church yesterday was great. We are trying to reactivate. We have been visiting this less active guy who guessed he hadn't been to church in a year. He came to church yesterday! Yesterday at church we had 3 priesthood holders from Ollantaytambo plus the elders attend church. We have work to do but I do believe that one day Ollantaytambo will have a branch. 
As for English classes we are still trying to find a location, but we have a place in mind that will hopefully work out. 
This week we were visiting a less active sister and my companion and I were singing a hymn for her. I glance up and realize that the member isn't there and I think my face must have been pretty funny as I whipped me head around looking for where she went because Hermana Olivera just lost it and started laughing. We didn't finish the hymn because it was bizarre slash really funny. In a second she came out of this part of her house.
The pictures. Some are from last pday when Hna. Olivera and I hiked to some ruins above our house and you can kind of see our little town. 

Monday, August 5, 2013


Week 8

August 5, 2013

This week I flicked a spider off my head.
This week I ate a chicken heart. It tasted like chicken except the texture was a little different.
This week we walked to a part of our area called Bandolista. It was kind of like a hike at ragged mountain, with about 180 stone steps at the end. It was fun. A member (who is AWESOME) accompanied us and translated the Quechua to Spanish for us. I was pretty confused though because Quechua might as well be Chinese and Spanish might as well be, well, Spanish. 
One thing I’m really excited about is that I am going to have the opportunity to teach English! There is one girl that I have helped a couple times while visiting at her house but I’m excited to hopefully be teaching a class, probably with the help of another American elder here. It’s really fun to try and explain English in Spanish. Challenging for sure, but I enjoy it.
Our investigator Luz Marina is doing swell. She attended church again and I think her baptismal date will hold.
One note- if you have an appointment with the missionaries, don’t be drunk when they come. Just saying. My companion is helping me learn how to tell when people are drunk, because apparently it isn't one of my strong points. Don’t worry though, I’m safe. My companion knows. 
Anyways, love you all and thanks for the emails! 
Love love love!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Week 7

July 29, 2013

First of all, sorry for the cow story from last week. I realized afterwards that maybe it was a little graphic. Maybe.

Mom, you asked about my comp. She is from Mexico, knows some random words or phrases in English but that's about it. I teach her some English stuff though. She has been serving 18 months. She extended a bit to be my trainer! She is leaving in 4ish weeks.

I’m tall here. I hit my head on doors and I had to hover over the pulpit in church. But its fun.
People have the hardest time saying Beckstead. Not sure why. But its kinda fun.
Also, its winter. Nothing like a Colorado winter, but still chilly. Especially in our room for some reason. I wear my coat and my fuzzy robe inside. Cold cold. 

This week Peru had their Independence day. Ollantaytambo is small but somehow they found tons and tons of kids to be in their parade and dress up cool. 
We are close to Macchu Picchu and are going on August 19th. Woohoo!

I haven't been seeing tons and tons of llamas, but there are dogs everywhere! Some are cute. And most are nice. Except the one that went to snap at my leg and got my skirt instead. Now I’m a little scared of some of them, especially when dogs fight. But all is well. 
President Harbertson visited this week and told us how strongly he felt he needed to send extra missionaries to Ollantaytambo (me and my comp). The Lord has big plans for this area. We hope one day there will be a branch and chapel. For now, we take a 40 minute bus ride. It is 3 soles round trip which isn’t a lot in dollars, but is a sacrifice for people here, especially for entire families to attend.
This week at church my heart was full. One of our investigators came and two less active members that we spoke with came. YAY! 
Our investigator that came is named Luz Marina and is getting baptized August 17. She is a reference of our pensionista, Hermana Juanita. When we taught the book of Mormon, she said she knew Christ came here because here they have a story of a man in a white robe appearing to the people. It is a very special opportunity to teach the literal descendants of the Book of Mormon.
We found an awesome lady named Eulogia. She has children recently baptized. I love how the Lord places people in our path that are ready and have been prepared. I know the church is true!
Love, Hermana Beckstead
Thanks for your support, prayers, and love! 

Week 6

July 22,  2013

Hola! I’m in Peru, es cierto.
We landed in Lima about 12:30 in the morning on Tuesday. Learned that we are not going to the CCM there, but are going to Cusco! What a wonderful surprise! I think I will go to Lima to get my visa soon. The drivers in Lima are absolutely crazy. Blinkers are optional, people change a million lanes at once, and everyone honks. But it was pretty fun. We slept for about three hours then caught a plane to Cusco. When we got to Cusco I learned that my first area is called Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. This area is way awesome. There are a bunch of ruins here. Also, we are the first hermanas in this area, so we have a lot of work to do! My companion’s name is Hermana Olivera. She is from Mexico and is very sweet, although I often have no idea what she is saying. I will learn though!

Emma, her companion Hermana Olvera, Hermana Harbertsom, and two others

Since we are the first sisters, we have been doing a lot of finding. Our best success has been references from our pensionista, Hermana Juanita. By the way, the food is awesome, and I haven”t gotten sick from it. I also haven’t gotten altitude sickness (at least I don’t think so) The most physically demanding thing might be trying to eat all the food that she puts in front of me. Seriously lunch is a struggle everyday. So. much. food. But good food!
I will tell you about the most interesting door we knocked on. We knock on the door, the Peruvian woman answers. We usually shake hands but she had blood on her skin. Strangely, I didn’t really think anything of it and she invited us in through the door into the yard. What I see is this:  A bull or cow hanging by its legs. The head is cut off and the insides are on a tarp and the body has been skinned. It must have been somewhat fresh because I saw some of the meat of the cow twitching. There was a lot of blood in their yard area.  Hermana Olivera tried the whole, is there a time when we could come back and teach your more, type things, but they insisted that we stay-and showed us where to sit-front row seats to the bull intestines on these stone steps. While we talked, the brother had finished skinning the head and had moved to sawing the cow in half at the spine. This made for a very strange soundtrack for our discussion. The sister was busy working a hose through the bull’s intestines and rinsing them out. At one point, she put the hose through the ventricles of the bull’s heart. It was interesting to watch after taking anatomy. It was all fine and I was proud of my strong stomach until the stomach, ironically enough. Imagine slicing open a lawn mover bag and taking out the piles and piles of grass with your bare hands, except the grass is more much and mixed up and it is the worst thing you have ever smelt. Seriously though it reeked awful. I couldn’t speak because I didn’t want to gag or throw up all over the place. Once the stomach was over I was much better and hna olivera had a companion because I could speak after the air cleared. While on the steps, I accidentally dropped my pen. Horrified with myself, I decided I should just cut my losses. I don’t know what cow remains it landed in, but I didn’t want it. Before leaving, to my great surprise and joy, the pen had been saved from the bloody intestinal abyss by a merciful plant who caught my pen before it could be contaminated. Little tender mercies, it’s one of my better pens. Anyways, she said she would never come to church. She is set in being catholic, but it was an interesting encounter. And we have a dinner appointment! Haha, just kidding. While we were walking down the street after, we saw a piece of intestine caught in the little streams that run down the side of the streets. I am glad I have a water bottle with a filter. I’m definitely in a different country but I love it! I especially love the people. They are so incredibly awesome and the children are hilarious and super cute. Hope this story wasn’t too graphic, but it may have spiced up the email a bit. I am sorry no pictures, but I will try and figure it out for next week. Just imagine a beautiful place. Love you all! 

Hermana Beckstead