Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Would you like your last drink of unpurified refresco?

November 17, 2014
Week 75

"my holy tights and my happy souls"
Why, yes I would. That's what my comp asked me before pouring me a glass of delicious refresco from unpurified water. The area has noticed a lot of sick missionaries I guess and they think it is due to water that is not sufficiently clean. So we hit off the week delivering huge jugs of bottled water to our pensinista. That was fun. 

Also, we got trapped in the capilla for awhile because the District Leader didn't have the key and someone shut the door. Here in Peru the capillas have huge walls all around them so hoolagans aren't constantly playing futbol in the cancha. 

Also this week we recieved a reference from the hermanas lideres. We went to our first appointment and he was a little late and he was like I'm sorry I was 8 minutes late! 8 minutes late? I think that is the most precisely I have heard time described in a while. And feel bad you were late? He is awesome! His name is Anotoni and has lots of member friends.

Katherine canceled our appointment and didn't come to church and we don't know why! We are sad but trying to regain contact.

Also, that family we had our first lesson with last week, the Familia Fuentes, we asked if there was anyone else in the house that wanted to come listen and they asked if they should bring their son in. Yes! His name is Hector, is 8 years old and so cute! The parents carried him in and gingerely set him on the couch.The way they carried him reminded me of the people that lowered that man down in a bed. They did it with a lot of love and it was adorable. He has been in bed several months because of a fractured leg that won't heal. I asked him if he had any questions and he just said "no, señorita". Bascially he is just super cute.

The dog of a less active named Nikol followed us around for a little bit. My comp said he was guiding us. I told her that he was going to pee on a door to show us the way. Right after I said that, well, what do ya know, that dog went and péed on a door. Of COURSE we knocked on it. I mean how much clearer can revelation get? They didn't answer, but we left a pass along card. I will have to keep you posted on that one.

Also I had a stie in my eye and it was red and puffy. I love the Peruvian explanation of why these occur. My companion said it was because you had seen someone naked. Well, nope, definitely not that one. And my pensionista said it was because you had seen someone that is about to die. Yikes! But good news, everyone is alive and well.

We are having great experiences contacting families. President challenged us to contact every family and pareja in the street we see.  This week we saw the same family three times in the street and I am not very good at memorizing faces, I guess, because the second time we saw them we started contacting them and they were just like, yeah, you already told us! And the third time I went for it again but my companion let me know it was the same family so we just did a little follow up. Haha, it has been pretty fun trying to contact all the families.
This week we started teaching a member's mom. She was one of the first people we tried to contact I think about 6 months ago when I got here with Hermana Hunter. She said a lot of things like she didn't have time and she bailed on us in the citas and all that so we left her for a time. But she has gone through a lot of hard things and is ready to listen again! Her name is Lucrecia and I am grateful God gave me a chance to really get to know her. She loves the Book of Mormon and has lots of faith. Her son was headed down a real bad path and she prayed so hard for him. That is when he was introduced to the church. She said that now it is her turn to change and be happy.
Also we had a lesson with a less active and her non-member pareja (not married but live together). They also have a really cute 2 year old, Melani) . As we explained the Restoration he asked where the priesthood was now. Great question! And then later asked how he could get the priesthood. I liked his questions. There is some great potential there. They both came to church on Sunday and the less active member skipped work to come!  I feel good because we are finding new people to teach. And I want to leave this sector well off for my companion and whoever comes here. We are doing good! Just that my companion knows I am a liar.  Our relationship is built on LIES! I forgot to tell you guys she found out a while ago that I am going home. Oops. But she is doing great! 

I love you all! Have an awesome week!

"Waterfall we went to today. My comp and I tried to relive Pocahontas exept the part where we go down the waterfall. "

"oh yeah, the best part was that we saw alpacas!"

That´s how the cookie crumbles
November 10, 2014
Week 74

Hey guys!
So remember how we are teaching Angie? We are trying to get her Mom active in the church again. Well, her grandparents happen to be active members who are the same members that tried to give me all that Malaysian nutrition scam stuff? We wanted a family night with all of them together so we went back there. Big mistake! Angie couldn´t even come and the hermano launched into a full blown sales pitch. The good news is that they gave us cookies. I think I was getting a little stressed out, though, as he went on and on about how if I go into business with him I can earn points to go to Cancun without stopping to take a breath. The cookie I was holding in my hand--I guess I held it a little too hard and it exploded and got crumbs everywhere. It was funny.

Guess what?! Ever went to the temple this week to do baptisms for the dead! Our ward goes to the Cochabama Bolivia temple twice a year. It is about 14 hours of travel plus time to go through border control and all that. But he was so happy! He just was talking about how it was paradise and he just turned to me and said thank you for helping me know this. That was a payday moment. He wants to go back to the temple and was just so happy! He had a wonderful experience and I am so happy he had that opportunity.  The sad part is that he is going kind of far away for work. He is going to the border of Peru and Brazil to work. But he is going to keep going to church so he can go back to the temple. It will cost him 15 soles and is far but I am grateful he had this strengthening experience before he leaves.

We had a few first lessons with less actives we haven´t been able to teach before. One is named Maria. We asked her why it is important to go to church and she said because it is a commandment. I like that answer. We asked what happens if we know a commandment but we don´t keep it. And she said we go to hell. Okay, well we can explain the plan of salvation in more detail later but she understands that there are consequences for not doing what we KNOW we should. She is super smiley and got married and baptized with her husband on the same day. Excited to work with them!

We were walking the other day and we passed a house where a man Hermana Hunter and I had contacted lived. I felt like we should stop by and we met his teenage daughter Liliana. We asked her when the whole family is together and she said Domingos. We came again on Sunday and they let us in and we had a lesson with the father, mother, and daughter! It had been a long time since we had taught a full family for the first time. And it was so much better! It just feels a lot more effective because they can make changes together and there is none of this wondering about what their spouse or parents will say, because we already know. And they are letting us come back! Also we have a really good relationship with our landlords and they always want to talk to us, but we have never really been able to teach them, but we finally made an appointment to share something with them and it was great! I was nervous because they are our landlords and it was kind of weird but once we got going it was great. We learned they are a great family and were touched by the things we taught about the family and parts of the plan of salvation. They didn´t give us a return appointment, but we left them with a little reading and they are going to get back to us. So we are trying to focus on families and it is wonderful.

This week I met a girl named Milady. Or, my lady. Haha. I felt so strange telling her, “nice to meet you my lady!” And so many other things. It was so funny using her name and I am telling you this because you speak English and will get this.

I love you guys so much! Have an incredible week!
 Ruins! They are called Sillustani. I went to these with Hermana Hunter too.

Love you and have an awesome week!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Catching Up

November 3, 2014

Week 73

Okay. I’m sorry I haven´t written in a couple weeks so I have lots to catch you up on. Let´s start with Nilton.

Recently, Nilton entered the Army.  When he first arrived they dumped out all his stuff to check it, and out came his Bible and Book of Mormon. The Army guy told him that he wouldn´t find religion here, but that he would get along well with Salas (our pensionista´s husband who is a member and is awesome at not drinking and stuff despite a lot of temptation).
The problem is that they don´t give him a whole lot of time for reading. He has 10 minutes to eat lunch and they turn the lights off early. But, he is going to memorize a scripture he can say to himself. Good news is that he is praying every night. His bunk is the very last one off in the corner and the guys make fun of him but he just ignores them while he is praying. He has also made some friends in there from Iquitos that he is going to share the gospel with who are interested thanks to his example (there are people there from all over Peru because it is the main army base Peru has). They let him out sometimes to study and stuff and we can teach him. He asked for Sunday off beforehand but since he is new they don´t always treat him very kindly. But we are hoping with some faith and prayers and help from members he can attend church and we can get him with a new baptismal date goal.

Also. The Elders from a different area gave us a reference! She is named Katherine and stopped by their capilla when it was open. She is 20 and is studying. She doesn´t disponer a lot of time but we’ve had some good lessons. She and her boyfriend Edu have come to church together twice now. Guess what, they don´t live together! That is so great! But also means that Edu lives in a different area and so we had to pass him along. But he is cool too. Before we passed him along (because this is an Iglesia de orden) he showed up at our lesson with Katherine because she had invited him. We taught the Restoration and the whole time he had a really serious look on his face. After we had taught about how Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet and restored the same Church Christ had established to the earth again, we asked him what he thought about it. He said that he thought everyone has the right to choose which church they want to belong to and that he had attended many when he was young. His parents are Catholic and he had decided... (in that moment we were braced to hear that he was Catholic and couldn´t change because that´s what they usually say)… but then he said, and I am sure that this is the Church where I want to stay. Wait… WHAT did you say? Surprise! He also said he was grateful to Joseph Smith because of the Restoratino, families could be together forever (in the Gospel Principles class the lesson was on Eternal Marriage. Haha he kept on asking us all these hypothetical questions. He wants to get married to Katherine in the temple! At least that’s what I think. Get married yeah! ) We invited Katherine to be baptized the 15th. She wants to learn more and still wants to mention it to her parents.  She didn´t accept the date but did accept to be baptized in general. Then we asked Edu and he said he had more time investigating the church and felt he was ready. Surprise, while in Cusco, he went to church almost every Sunday in Tio! That was probably frustrating over there to have someone coming to church almost every week and then disappear. Because it seems like people here are always disappearing (like Ana, the one that bought skirts to come to church :( ) but he is found! And we gave the most golden reference over to the zone leaders last week.

Also, I am a grandma! Hermana Hunter is training! Dream come true.

This week Hermana Viricochea went to Lima for paperwok and I was in a trio (see photo). Their pension is AMAZING! It is the cleanest nicest house I have seen in so long. We walked in and WASHED OUR HANDS and then she fed us tons of fruits and vegetables and there was CUBED ICE in our drinks! So that was fun.

This week we were waiting for a member that had agreed to accompany us and up came some drunk guys who weren´t too terribly drunk and one of them told us about how he used to go to church and he is the black sheep of his family and he had read the whole Bible and was telling us his favorite story in the Bible about Andre, which I have never heard of before. I thought it was kind of funny because the drunken man was not making sense and started to cry and I look to my companion and she is BAWLING. Okay. Just wiping her eyes gently with a kleenex. Turns out just allergies, but still pretty funny. Also, keep the word of wisdom please!

We were walking the other day down the street and we saw a lady that just seemed kind of down. I wanted to talk to her and so we turned down the street where she had gone. We didn´t get to talk much but did brighten her day I hope. I thought I recognized the street we had turned onto but turns out it was a different street, one that we had noticed in the ward directory and there were people on that street we needed to visit! We found the houses of one of the people on the list and I realized it was a house a member had been looking for to show me a long time ago but she couldn´t remember their name or who they were really. So now we know where this person that needs to be rescued lives and we were able to hopefully help someone have a better day. It seems that almost every day something happens that makes me grateful for our calling as missionaries and helps me remember how important it is.

So it was a great week! I love you all so much! Have an awesome week and CTR and read your scriptures and re watch/read conference.

We were invited to a baby´s 4 month birthday party. It was quite the milestone that they needed to invite us to some cake. Not complaining! The funny part is that they will celebrate every month until the year mark, then just at the years. So you are going to have cake every month until the baby can actually eat cake!? Cruel.

Love, Hermana Beckstead