Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Papa Juan´s

Week 31

January 13, 2014

Well. Let me start off by saying that Cusco has a new mall.  A new, Americanish mall. That has PAPA JOHNS. We went there today and last pday after email. First hot American food in about 6 months. The happiest moment of my mission. Okay, don´t worry. That´s definitely a lie. But it was soooo good!

Okay. My first day here in my area the ward had a new years activity and we went to some. That´s where I met Traci. She's been going to church for awhile now, but the hermanas haven't taught her yet. She is living with her aunt and uncle (awesome members).  Hna. Smedley's last companion started talking with her at the activity and she's awesome! She already knows pretty much everything and she said she wants to be baptized to be a good example to her little sister. The only thing was that her mom isn't super involved in her life right now, and she would need her permission. But we made an appointment and fasted. She had some concerns but it went so great! Her mom gave Traci permission to make her own decision. The mom even came to church with us. From our first contact with her this was a miracle. Fasting is the best!

Okay so this week Hna. Smedley had a doctor visit so we didn't make appointments for that block of time, but then we talked with the doctor and my comp was a little better so he changed the appointment. So we had an hour and a half and no one to visit. We sat on a bench to think of where we could go, came up with some ideas, and headed off. Almost immediately, the relief society president ran into us and asked us to visit an inactive sister who was having a really hard time. She gave us her name and generally where she lived. We miraculously found her by asking a little. We met Giermina. She told us she was going in for surgery tomorrow (an accident with the bus) and her daughter was in Lima (she had a tumor that was causing vision problems).  Her other kids weren't home and she was pretty lonely. The next day we came back with a member to visit her after her surgery. She was really sad and lonely (her son hadn't come back yet) so we talked with her about blessings and asked if she would like one. We then offered a prayer for her and her daughter. So we came back the next day with the elders to giver her a blessing and she was SO HAPPY! Like hugging us and holding my hands and grabbing our faces, dancing happy. She told us that after our prayer she slept better than she had in a long time, and she woke up to a phone call from her daughter telling her that the tumor was gone. Completely gone. She told us she would come back to church. And she did. Her less active son even brought her. It´s just amazing. God loves His children sooo much and wants them to return back to Him and be happy so much that He makes miracles happen so they can find their way back to Him. I'm just grateful He let me be a little part of it. Really amazing experience. 

I saw Cusco referred to as a city high in the Andes Mountains, but since I'm here it just feels like a city in some beautiful, green, rolling hills. But if you want to remind yourself that really you are at about 11,000 feet above sea level, go run! Oh man that was a little difficult! But if feels good to be sore from a good run again.

It rains like crazy here. And our umbrellas take a whipping. Hna. Smedley's umbrella was already a little broken. Then a dog bit her and she tried to defend herself with her umbrella. She´ll be needing a new one of those. Then a bird pooped on her head. Then a huge moth flew out at me in our kitchen and I thought it was a bat. All in the same day.

Okay, one more story. We were talking with some members and one asked Hna Smeldey and I what happens if neither of us understands (Spanish). And for whatever reason, we understood but just really delayed. So he asked us what happens if neither of us understand and there was just a long, funny pause. Haha good stuff! But we are actually getting along great!

Remember that members are the best! And you are all helping in the work of salvation whether that means being a parent, a good friend, visiting or home teacher, or helping the missionaries. God loves us!

Oh, and read His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox.

Pics- some ruins we went to today and papa johns.
Love you all!
Hermana Beckstead

Monday, January 6, 2014

I don´t Think I´m In Ollantay Anymore...

Week 30

January 6, 2014

Hey Guys!  So I'm definitely in a very new place!  Let´s start from the beginning.

Monday I said my last goodbyes.  Specifically to Luz Marina and Rajoo. That was basically the worst ever. And I cried.

And then Hermana Olivares and I traveled to Cusco together (she is staying in Ollanta but is going to train a new missionary again).  We stayed at the apartment of some other hermanas in Cusco. And I thought it would be cool to see Hermana Coffey, but I wouldn´t get to because I thought they were traveling the next day.  But then I saw Hermana Coffey!  I guess the traveling days changed for the holiday. Oh it was sohohoho awesome to get caught up! 

Then the next day I went to my new area, San Jeronimo. I met my new companion, Hermana Smedley. We are going to be great friends. She just finished being trained and is also 19. She went to BYU for a year and she´s going to go running with me!  Ohhh, I am so happy. I miss running so much.  But not for long. We actually haven´t been able to go running this week, though, because Hermana Smedley has been super sick. She has had to go to the hospital a couple times this week to see the mission doctor. A Peruvian hospital wasn't actually too scary, and I got to be the doctor´s assistant for a little bit! Obviously, we were put together as companions because of my extensive medical experience....haha.  But hopefully the doctor figures out what is wrong soon. 

And man. Here there is a ward! Not a branch! The difference is crazy! When I found out they actually do family history here I just wanted to cry tears of joy. And we have a ward mission leader! And we have a hipster bishop! Okay, maybe not exactly a hipster. But he´s a cool cat. They have to use a speaker in Relief Society Class. And they give us references! 

And my area is ginormous! We take buses everyday. Take the lion bus, but not the fox bus. and you can take the red bus, but not the star bus. And you take the batman bus if you want to visit Yolanda! You go to the street and wave down the right bus and then they have a person working at the door pushing (okay, not exactly) you onto the bus telling you subesubesubesube (get on get on get on) and then they have like an auctioneer voice calling off the stops and when it´s your stop you better let them know!  And then they let you off telling you bajabajabaja (get off get off get off) and you better have change, not bills!  So yeah. The bus seemed like a lot to take in but now it's just a fun daily adventure. 

San Jeronimo is also a lot different than Ollanta in the kind of people. In general I'm finding they are a little more educated (there is a college here, lots of young people) and a little more well off. Oh yeah. That reminds me. I took the hottest shower I've taken in a good long while. It was SO awesome. We live in a house, four of us hermanas. Three are gringas! Out of the three I have the most time in the mission! But when my companion and I are done binge-English speaking, we will speak more Spanish. Promise. Wow there is so much that is different I don't even know.  But I'll probably think of more stuff. And hopefully my companion will get better so we can teach more.  But I've already had some great lessons where I just felt the Spirit awesome!  There are some prepared people here!  Someone actually stopped US on the street to talk to us. It's kind of like missionary heaven. Once my companion gets better, I will have more to report next week!  Love you tons!