Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Week 37

February 24, 2014

Hey Guys! 
So this week we walked a lot. How is it that everyone always disappears at the same time? Huh. But walking around is much more exciting when it´s Carnival!  Carnival is basically a huge South American water fight in the month of February.  We've had several water balloons thrown at us now, but nobody´s really got us yet. I just always smile and hold my arms out real big at all the little kids with water balloons and then I say ¨casi ¨when they miss. Basically I am just really asking for it. This Sunday, though, is when they really go crazy, so maybe someone will get me. 

Remember Ernesto? The awesome old man that´s the best? Yeah. Well we were teaching him and his wife and at the end, she gave us a nice drink (Cusco weather is kinda nuts. This week has been really hot. It just feels like the sun is too close...) but anyway. We were drinking it and Hna. Luque just looks at me and she´s smiling about something but I didn´t know what. So I just made a face at her and kept drinking. And then she starts to laugh but she had drink in her mouth so it starts coming out. But then it continued for awhile, and upon further inspection it was vomit. Lots of vomit. Lots of pink vomit. It was like a fountain that just never stopped and kept going onto her hands, skirt, and legs. And we were just like, is this real life?  It was just really surprising!  Hna. Luque was surprised too. She said she felt great and she just couldn´s stop laughing. She said my face killed her. Oops. And why do we always die of laughter there?  But we cleaned it up right away and apologized profusely and apologized some more and disinfected and apologized some more and left. It was just very strange. The weird part is where we got to the point where we usually ask when we can come back again, but I just couldn't get myself to say it.  But hopefully sometimes we get the courage up to go back because they are really so awesome. 

It seems that Hno. Farfan (my favorite less active member) read some anti-Mormon stuff. So that was really sad sad. Praying for him.

Roxanna talked with her boyfriend and it went well. I´m so proud of her.

Well, I realize this was a strange email. But it was a strange week, so there it is!  Love you guys tons! The church is true!
Hermana Beckstead

The Trio

Monday, February 17, 2014

Os digo. Vosotros. Como estais. estais. estais. So fun.

Week 36

February 17, 2014

Emma's Christmas package finally came so they put together the gingerbread house just in time for Valentines!

Hey Guys! Hope you had a great week! This week was pretty nuts.

Monday: found out that Hermana Smedley had a transfer. Really really sad.
Tuesday: say goodbye to Hermana Smedly. Really really sad. Another Hermana from our house left too. So that day I hung out with Hermana Florian, and when her new companion got here we became a trio.
Wednesday: Spent the day in said trio. We had a great lesson with Olimpia and her sister Vilma too. They face a lot of opposition in their family because whenever there is a family get together there is drinking. But now the two are trying to quit. So they can help each other during the family get togethers. Before, Olimpia had told us how she doesn't really understand the scriptures that well. We invited her to pray before reading to help her understand what she reads. This lesson we were talking about baptism and how you need the authority to do it, and she´s just like, oh like in this chapter where Christ gave Nephi the authority to baptize? And we were just like, wow, good job! And she´s just like, Gracias a Dios. She is so cool. She said she prayed for help and while she was reading she wasn't really understanding but then afterwards she remembered all this stuff! Blessings come after the trial of your faith. Don´t give up..... 
Thursday: My companions took so long to get here because they came from Puerto Maldonado, the Jungle, and the road was super messed up and mudslides and stuff. But they made it! And they brought Hermana Ostler by to visit for a second. That was a second of Justin Bieber singing being crazy bliss. But just for a second, then she had to go. So yeah! 2 companions! Bunk bed.
Friday; I don´t remember.
Saturday: I don´t remember.
Sunday; My favorite less active came to church again! Hermana Farfan. Seriously, that family is the best. They are almost reactivated in the church. 

My companions- Hermana Luque. She is 19 and was born in Ecuador but lived most of her life in Spain. So basically I am just always saying, ¨como estais vosotras?¨as we are walking down the street in a trio. I should probably learn how to say more stuff in Spain Spanish. But she´s great! And also, I would like to publicly and profoundly thank Hermana Ostler (her last companion) for teaching her ¨Man, I feel like a woman¨by Shania Twain. I´m not sure if she knows what all the words mean, but I will never get tired of her singing it. Ever.

Hermana Hansen- remember her? MTC! Yeah, I got a companion from my group! It´s really fun. Because she is the same good old Hermana Hansen but now we know Spanish and we are like real missionaries. She´s from Payson and went to BYU. 

Basically it was a crazy week but I am so excited to get to real work with my new companions! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

They Tried To Make Me Go to Rehab...

Week 35

February 13, 2014

But I said no, no no! Don't worry, I'll explain that later. Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great week! 

So let me tell you about Yon.  Hermana Smedley and her old companion visited him and his less active family about a month before I came, but hadn't been able to go back since. In that lesson Yon didn't believe in God. Well, we were able to make another appointment, and when I was talking to Yon I wasn't sure if it was the same person Hermana Smedley had described to me. He was great and seemed to have lots of faith in God. So we told our mission leader about our investigator in Kaira (pronounced like cousin Kyra - shoutout! It means 'frog' in Quechua, fun right?) and he wanted to come with us on our next appointment because he had a reference for us there. There was a former investigator in Kaira that he had a dream about and needed to go back to visit. So our mission leader is showing us the reference's house and turn by turn, it turned out to be Yon's house. Apparently about a year ago he almost got baptized. God led us to him again, so maybe now is his time.

Remember Vilma (Melani's mom)? That same day we met and taught Olimpia (Vilma's sister and Melanie's aunt) She has a lot of desire to follow God but is living with someone and sometimes has trouble with drinking. But we are working with her. She already has recognized an answer to her prayer through a dream (seriously, lots of dreams here). We invited her to be baptized and she told us she wouldn't commit because she was scared she would drink again and she knew baptism was something to be taken seriously. While she was talking, the Spirit brought a scripture to mind. I had her read D&C 39:10 and we didn't say anything afterward. Just silent. The scripture was so perfect, and the Spirit touched her heart and she eventually just said, "Well, it says it quite clearly, doesn't it?"  She felt the Spirit so hard it was fun to watch. She has many hurdles left but it was an incredible lesson. The gospel isn't for perfect people. It is what helps us change so that one day we can become perfect in Christ.

We have an investigator who is very addicted to cigarettes. This week my companion and I were studying about overcoming addictions in Preach My Gospel and we got to an activity that said to think of a habit you have, something you do without even thinking. I told Hermana Smedley, "I think I have an addiction to speaking English" and she was just like, "yep, that's it."  So we gave up English. We have made sooooo many language goals together and failed at all of them. But this would be like a new twist. I asked Hermana Smedley what the rules would be - like if there would be any exceptions when we could speak English and she asked if those with an addiction could drink just one drop of Alcohol - it's still alcohol. Good point. So we quit English cold turkey and it was hard! On one particular occasion I accidentally without thinking spoke in English to Hermana Smedley and she responded in English and we realized it with horror at the same time. A few minutes later I caught myself singing the "They tried to make me go to rehab" song and I realized that I must be in the denial stage! The next day is when I hit rock bottom. I found out the Olympics had started and I started to sing "God Bless the USA" at lunch. And wow. For some reason these past weeks I have just come to realize that I LOVE America so much. And I wasn't homesick, I just love America!  And I got emotional. And started to cry! I was just trying to explain to my comp and all I could say was "I just love America". I felt like that girl on youtube with the "I love cats" video. She just makes that statement and begins to cry. Except America is way cooler than cats. And I think Hermana Smedley was just kinda confused so she's just like, "you can take a few English moments if you want".  And then I realized how addicted people feel. It was like drinking away the tears. So okay, that's gotta stop.  And yeah, we are still working on it. But the road to recovery is long and hard. So just don't get addicted to anything, ever. That's my advice (reminds me of Michael Scott's advice: don't do anything to anyone, for anyone reason, at anytime, ever, at all, for any reason...      Well. Yeah. And I'm staying in San Jeronimo but they are taking Hermana Smedley away from me. It looks like I'm going to be in a trio with a gringa and a latina so I will speak Spanish. Promise. Love you all! Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

God Bless The USA

Week 34

February 3, 2014

I love America. And all things American. I got my package today! Thanks family! And happy Christmas! 

So we are still working with Roxana (Traci´s mom) and, wow, it is amazing. We were going to have a lesson and she had to reschedule, but she was like, could we just do a little prayer? It was so cute. And we gave her a pamphlet to read for the next lesson. She actually read it. People never do that on the first time! Okay, well I guess ¨never¨ doesn't work here anymore. And she is reading the Book of Mormon. This week we were walking to her house to teach her and I was thinking about what we had planned to teach her and it just didn't seem exactly right. And I told my companion and we chose something else but I still felt kind of iffy. Well when we got in there and were getting ready to start the actual lesson, I knew what to teach! We taught the law of chastity and it was the best! It was cool because she understood it´s importance very quickly, because she has seen many consequences in her life from breaking it. She is living with someone right now and it´s pretty bad, although he is gone far for work now. He hits her. And it makes me sick. But we can´t counsel people on personal decisions, just teach the doctrine. But we felt prompted to have her pray right then and there with us. And she did. Her prayer was so beautiful. She asked for forgiveness in her life, and she asked for help. She finished the prayer and we didn't even have to ask. She just told us, ¨I know it´s going to hurt, but I think I need to separate.¨ Wow. She is so amazing! She is changing so much and accepts what we teach! I know the Lord has prepared her, especially through her daughter´s baptism.

My favorite less active came to church Sunday! I love teaching him because his family is there to support him and he is so honest with us. He tells us his concerns and his complicatedish questions. And sometimes I don´t know how I teach in there. I really do feel like the Lord´s instrument. Like it´s not me teaching. Because things just come out of my mouth really well, and in an easy, bold, way. We had a lesson and he just prayed and gave thanks that people accepted him and were nice to him at church even though he left it for awhile. He thanked God and asked him to bless his angels who found his lost sheep. Oh man. That was a payday moment. I´m loving being on the mission! 

Also, I read this awesome quote this week. "There is neither man or woman in this church who is not on a mission. That mission will last as long as they live, and it´s to do good, to promote righteousness, to teach the principles of truth, and to prevail upon themselves and everybody around them to live those principles that they obtain eternal life." Pres. Brigham Young

Andddd, do family history!  Äs you receive priesthood ordinances in behalf of those who have died, you become a Savior on mount Zion for them (Obadiah 1:21). Your effort approaches the Spirit of the Savior´s atoning sacrifice -you perform a saving work for others that they cannot do for themselves.¨- True to the Faith. That was really strong to me too.

And sorry. I can´t really think of a funny story right now, but I love you guys and have a great week! 

Hermana Beckstead

Week 33

January 27, 2014

Hey Guys! Hope you had a great week!

This week we taught Melani's family. It was great!  We asked a member to come with us and we got to the house and when they opened the door the member was like, "Oh, these are my friends!" Haha so that was great! 

Gillermina has come to church every week since we found her. This week she brought her two kids and grandkids. She just kind of dances into the chapel and looks so happy to be there. I need to take a picture with her sometime.

And we are teaching this recent convert here and he is the best! He is super old and makes my day whenever we visit! He's kind of blind, but you wouldn't be able to tell just by watching him. He reminds me of Great Grandpa Brown. He always wears some hat that looks like it came straight from Newsies. And I just love him and his wife. We were teaching them about family history (by the way, reading about family history in the book True to the Faith just made me want to come home and do that instead AWESOME!)  Well they always put me in a laughy mood anyway because they don't understand my comps questions, the guy always is the one to fetch the wife her scriptures, even though he can't see. They are just too adorable and the things they say make me laugh. Well, we were singing Families can be Together Forever and I look up and in a matter of seconds Ernesto had fallen asleep and, I don't know what happened, but I just couldn't control myself and started laughing, startling the poor old man awake. And then my comp started. And we couldn't stop. Like really. WE COULD NOT STOP. And I'm not really a giggly person. But after various failed attempts, we finished the song with much difficulty. Luckily, we were able to pass off our uncontrollable, unjustified laughter, as some serious respiratory issues. And Ernesto just was telling us how it's because Cusco is so dry (Which, why is Cusco so dry? It rains all the time! I guess it's because we are so high) -But yeah, they are my favorite. And that is my embarrassing missionary story of the week.

I love you all tons!
Hermana Beckstead

That Awkward Moment when your investigator asks you out on a date - you definitely did NOT explain your purpose well enough!

Week 32

January 20, 2014

So that happened.
But don´t worry- this week was AWESOME! In December I started keeping a miracle calendar - writing down one for everyday. And sometimes it was hard to think of one for everyday. And Ollantay was a hard place. But I kept doing the calendar. But I think I´ve passed that little trial and gone to missionary miracle heaven! Seriously. Here´s a few of the awesome things that happened this week:
  • The other day we were trying to get to know a certain area better and talked with a member there about other members that lived close. She told us about a young woman named Melani who lived with her non-member parents. Happy Birthday missionaries! She wasn't exactly sure where she lived, but she said she'd be at church. But then we didn't see her. Not happy birthday, missionaries. A couple days later I studied about the importance of not only teaching, but finding people to teach by the Spirit. After plans fell through, we were walking to a potential investigator´s house when I saw a street. And I just wanted to knock doors there. On the second door, a nice woman answered. We got to talking and she told us that her daughter is a member of the church. What´s her name? MELANI. Ooh when that happened I just got the chills! We have an appointment with her tonight and we have an other member to come with us. I´m so excited!
  •  Oh yeah. And our ward is huge. 1015 members, but only 380 attend.
  • And then Traci. We were set for her baptism this Saturday. The font was filled and heated (I must never take American faucets for granted again. EVER. If I wanted hot water, I could just twist the red knob!) And it was time but Traci and her aunt and uncle hadn't come. We weren't really worried because people are just kinda late here. But as the time passed by we starting wondering and so we called the aunt. (Okay, just a little review. Traci lives with her aunt and uncle and they take care of her, but the legal rights haven´t been passed over yet. Her mom had to sign to giver her permission to get baptized) and she told us Traci´s mom had come and taken Traci away. The aunt couldn't get the mom to listen. She asked us to go talk to the mom. We offered a prayer in the chapel and went to the mom´s house. She finally came to the door and opened it just a crack and told us that Traci left with her dad (another separate house) but we kind of didn't believe her so we just kept the conversation going to I-don´t-really-know-what. We didn't really have a plan. It was all in His hands and we were going to do whatever He wanted us to. Eventually we saw Traci pass by in the background. She waaaaas there. Somehow we got in to the yard, and then she invited us into the actual house, and then let us sit down. We listened a lot. and said things the Spirit told us to. And her mom came to a conclusion. And somehow we came out of the house (probably about an hour and a half later) with Traci and her mom´s word to come to the baptism. We walked to the aunt´s work to tell her the baptism was back on. We just walked in with Traci and the aunt was watching Faith in Christ and had tears in her eyes and that was awesome. And then there was more stuff to take care of. But the point is that at about 9:00 pm we had one of the most beautiful baptisms ever. And it clearly touched the mom´s heart. She came to church the next day and just beamed. I asked her last minute (like, after someone else had been announced) to give the closing prayer at the baptism. And I'm glad I did. She said in it that she knew she hadn't done good things to help the baptism happen, but she was glad her daughter was able to baptized. It was crazy. And amazing. And Traci was so happy and is so golden. And now we are excited to try and help the mom follow her daughter´s good example.  
This week was awesome! Love you all so much! 
Hermana Beckstead