Tuesday, February 26, 2013
This email might be even shorter than the last because reading your emails took about a year and a half, so I'm going to try and write fast and only tell the important details. My thoughts get kind of jumbled when I have to rush, though, so we´ll see how this goes.
First of all, Christian, I´m glad your surgery went well! I about died when dad said you looked like Voldemort, but I knew that was a chiste from the start. Being able to breathe is a very good thing, and I hope that your recovery is successful so you can breathe as much air (ayer) as your little heart/throat/lung desires. Dad, I hope all is well for you and that your arm, etc. can recover quickly! I pray for you all every day. Seriously, I am always praying for you. Mom, good luck with your CDL exam!! You´ll pro it up, of course. Because that´s what you do everyday! Thank you for being such a good example to me. I love you all like crazy. Parker and William, I wrote you personal emails, so no comments here. Lo siento.
All of the Latinos left again today. Why do I have to be here for so long?? I stay and everyone leaves me! I don´t know why it´s easier being the one leaving. It´s hard being the one left behind. I didn´t think I would become as good of friends with this group as the last one, but somehow I was mistaken. All the elderes and hermanas are so strong in their testimonies, open, and welcoming. I love it. I just love getting to know people from this culture. It has been such a blessing in my life. Apparently tomorrow, we´re going to be getting 38 HERMANAS!!!!!! Can you believe it?? We´ve had 12, then 15, and now we´ll have THIRTY EIGHT!! ¡LOCO! 5 of those will be from the states. It´s going to be nuts!
Anywho, let me give a little highlight from each day this last week:
Tuesday: we went to the temple (I attached a picture of it!) then came back and played futbol. I always want to take time to write letters, but then I just get caught up in futbol and don´t have any time left on pday. I´m so sorry!! During futbol last week, I ran into this big elder from the U.S. and my leg hurt for a couple days after, but then we both were fine by the next day. Man, I love futbol.
Wednesday: while my district was doing a service project, the secretary who works here told me that if I ever come back and visit Peru (actually, she said when I come back and visit Peru haha) I can stay at her house. She´s so great...even though I can´t remember her name. I honestly have gotten worse with names since I´ve been here, and I think it´s because I rely so much on nametags.
Thursday: I taught my investigator Luis how to relate the scriptures to his life. Honestly, this is such an important principle. It makes them seem so much more real and applicable if we find ways in which we can relate them to our lives. One scripture my maestro showed me that is an example of how we can receive answers from the spirit is 1 Nefi 2:16. Nefi listened to his father and wanted to know if it was true, so he prayed con animo, and the answer he received was a softening of his heart. Answers from the Spirit don´t have to be huge experiences; they can just be a burning in your chest, peace, love, etc.
Also on Thursday, our district sang prelude for the devotional, and we sang in parts and all of the Latinos loved it. I love music.
Friday: In class, we learned about the importance of focusing on the ONE. Like the woman who had the issue of blood in Luke 8, Christ could tell ONE person touched Him even though there was a crowd surrounding Him, and then He took time to show her love. That´s such an important principle everyday of our life, on a mission, in our callings, etc. We need to focus on the needs of each individual person and learn how to love and serve them individually and personally, because that´s what the Savior did.
Also, random funny comment from Friday, I asked a maestro here if it was hotter in Pirua, Peru, or Guayaquil, Ecuador, and he said, "It´s hotter in Ecuador--the temperature and the people." haha there are seriously some characters here. I love this place.
Saturday: WE WENT PROSELYTING!! It was so great! I had the same maestro with me as last time and we were in the same area, so we got to go back and follow up with some of the people we had taught previously. We were able to talk to one man we taught the Restoration to, and he had questions from the Book of Mormon (which means he was actually reading it!), and then had questions about the Plan of Salvation, so we taught that to him, and hopefully he went to church on Sunday! We taught 3 lessons total and were able to teach inside someone´s house for one of those lessons. The last woman we talked to apparently has a daughter who is a member of the church, so that was a cool experience. She knew a lot, but hadn´t heard the whole restoration, so we taught her than and she was very receptive. The best part was leaving her with a prayer, and I was able to say the prayer. We asked her if there was anything she wanted us to pray for, and she just opened up about how she has a son who isn´t making the best decisions, especially in regards to drugs, etc., so I prayed for her family and also specifically for her son. When we show love, people open up, and then we know how to better serve and help them. This work is incredible. This gospel is life-changing.
Sunday: muy tranquilo. Some elders and hermanas wanted me to write a little note to them in their journals, so I did that for pretty much all my free time. It was great, though. And that night, one of the elders made a big deal about asking one of the North American hermanas for her email address. It was pretty entertaining because we had no idea what was going on, and everyone was just acting really awkward. I don´t know if it was nervousness or just awkwardness. Yeah, I am NOT doing the story justice...sorry.
Monday/Yesterday/Ayer: All the Latinos were in their own meetings, so all I saw were N. Americans plus one Austrailian. That´s how it´s going to be for the next couple days, too. So weird. That night, I taught an investigator, but he was falling asleep the whole lesson! Can I tell you how frustrating that is?? Extremely. Oh well. Hopefully, I was still able to invite the spirit and help him to know the truth of the gospel even amidst the drooping eyelids.
Some quick last comments, because I´ve gone over my time limit already:
Sometimes, I think I might have ADHD because I get distracted really easily.
Anytime hermanas and elders talk, E. Duzett calls it "trilfing." Trilf is flirt backwards, but it´s better to say because then people don´t know what he´s talking about. I don´t count, though, because I´m apparently "one of the guys."
E. Duzett went to high school with James Tidd, so I pointed out that I went to his graduation because I went to James´s graduation. Funny connection.
An elder here from Provo has a friend who is cousins with the Holmes family!
Just to get an idea of the size of this place, there were 91 missionaries here in the last group.
I´ve had so many dejavus of the CCM since I´ve been here. It´s kind of creepy.
A Latino elder who just left today looks EXACTLY like the short chef from Ratitoulli. I can´t even tell you how much he looks like him. Every time I saw him, I called him Rattitoulli. So good.
There were 58 new missions announced, one of which is Ecuador Guayaquil West! So, like you said, Mom, who knows if I´ll be in the same mission to which I was assigned! haha Only time will tell.
That´s all I can think of for random pieces of interesting information, so I´m going to head out now. I went way over time. Whoops! Just know that I love you all and am praying for you ALWAYS!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck with all your snow and have a wonderful February vacation!
Ps attached pictures:
(1) They always put up a flag for every country represented at the CCM, so I sent along a shot of those.
(2) Half of the N. Americans at the Lima Temple
(3) The hermanas
(4) A few of my little Latino buddies. This picture was taken this morning so obviously I´m looking really good right now. Don´t mind the 50 lbs of stuff weighing down each of my pockets. Elder Garcia, Me, Elder Uriarte, and Elder Yapapsdofijsdf...something.
Ththththtthat´s all, folks!
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
FAMILIA!!! Wow, sounds like life is pretty exciting over there. Dad, thank you for the extremely detailed list of events going on. I was a little confused because you didn't say you breathed or slept during any of that time, but I assumed you just left that out for brevity. Thanks.
CCM life just gets more and more awesome. Not because anything happens around here, just because this place has become more and more like my home. I did not hear about any of the asteroids flying close to or hitting the earth, but it really is more and more evidence that the Second Coming is coming. It´s close. We are in the latter days and we need to do everything we can to prepare, and call people to repentance, and remain clean ourselves!!
Sorry, but this email will not be as long as the last ones because we´re going to the temple soon. Last week's temple trip/whole Pday was NUTS. It seriously could have been made into a movie. In the morning, this whole place was deserted. The email wouldn't work, but finally did after 50 billion tries. Went to the temple to do a session, but the brother told us they didn't have room for us, so we left. Someone came back telling us we could get in, so we went back. I was the only one in the 1:30 session. Elder Stanley and Elder Woolner got into the 2:30 session. Elder Duzett and Elder Cooper didn't get into any session so they did sealings. I got out and E. Duzett, E. Cooper, and I couldn't find E. Stanley and E. Woolner anywhere, so we figured they just went back to the CCM already. We got back and couldn't find them anywhere even though we asked the security guard if they had come back and he said, "Claro." Not claro! They finally came back and apparently had gotten on the wrong bus and during the bus ride, E. Woolner's 1 sol coin fell down someone´s shirt. It was just so nuts all around. But we´re alive, and I got to go to the temple, so it was fine. I´m going to take pictures by the temple this week so I can send them next week.
The new elders and hermanas came, and they´re really awesome! It was hard to get to know and like them at first because the last group was so great, but they've become great in my eyes. There are 4 new North American hermanas and they´re all really sweet. I don´t have a companion, nor will I before I go. I get to be a solo sister, but I´m always with someone, so I just don´t have an assigned companion. On the first day, I met an elder from Viña del Mar, Chile, who knows Mike Mace! And, one of my teachers-in-training, and one of my favorite teachers here knows Marisa Johnson!! Such a small world. I just love it.
My morning teacher Hno. Lazo is so hilarious and he gets more and more hilarious every day. His great-grandparents apparently were killed by the Red Dragon mafia in China and so his grandpa was adopted by someone in Peru, and apparently he was hired to take pictures of this man who killed his wife who was a member of the church, and apparently...I dunno. So many things I don´t know if I believe, but he´s awesome nonetheless. As he was leaving class yesterday, he said, "Peace out." It was so funny. My other teacher, Hno. Ibarra (the one who posted the picture on Facebook) is so awesome. He is the nicest, smartest, most spiritual little Latino ever. I've learned so much from him. He's part Asian, too. Asian Peruvians apparently are popular down here. And they´re all awesome.
Sorry if my thoughts have been a little discombobulated. I´m trying to hurry, but the information I feel I´m giving isn't that interesting. We have 2 investigators who we´re teaching, and it´s been cool to pray for them and receive inspiration for them (even though they´re just my teachers acting as investigators). It´s just been great, and I've felt the spirit so strongly. I know this spirit is the one directing my lessons and my Spanish-speaking. There´s no way I could do any of this without the spirit. We watched a devotional from David A. Bednar the other day on how you can tell if it´s the spirit or not, and he said, "Quit worrying about it." If we're doing what we´re supposed to, the spirit will always be directing our thoughts and our actions. We don´t need a big revelation to know it´s the spirit.
Quick last thing before I go, futbol has has been even better with this group than the last. Ayer, we played gringos vs. Latinos, and the gringos won!!! It was so awesome! And so fun! Also, there´s an elder here from Australia, and he plays without shoes, which is nuts, but it works, I guess, because he´s really good. And on Sunday, my mission president´s wife and I played violin/piano prelude together before the devotional which made me miss playing with Ashley so much. I also gave the closing prayer for the devotional and everyone complimented me on my Spanish. I was like, "Let´s think of the thing I do most during the day in spanish? Pray." It was nice of everyone, though, and I can DEFINITELY see an improvement in my abilities.
Anyway, I better run. I love you all so so much. I hope all is well for you and that you enjoy your snow and cold weather and presidents and states and surgeries and check ups and plowing and meteors and all those other great things. I don´t here about any news down here, but I did know it was president´s day yesterday, so I made sure to remind everyone.
Con mucho mucho amor,
PS I forgot to tell you that an hermana who was here before bought a cheap recorder from a store down here and so she and I had a RECORDER DUET!!! My recorder has already come in handy, so thank you!
PPS I´ve met the Latino version of so many people I know back home. It´s SO weird. But cool.
PPPS I´ll definitely be praying for dad, Christian, Dan, and Sister Flanders. I hope you/they are all doing alright. Faith.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
¿Cómo están ustedes? Espero que todo esté bien...I don´t know if I used the subjunctive correctly right there...but here´s to hoping. Lo siento if I´m wrong.
I´m so glad to hear you´re all doing well and that Sunkist is still alive. I´m glad the Kupsa went well with the missionaries, too. Can´t beat eating delicious food with your hands! I wish I could have been there for that. Also, I can´t believe how much snow you got!! That´s so nuts! I wish I could be there right now playing in it or sledding or snow ball fighting or snow man building it up with you all. It´s hot here every day. I already have my hair elastic and CTR ring tan lines back and I´m getting one from my watch. Somedays it´s cloudy, which is really nice, except it never rains! I never thought I would want rain, but it would just be nice at least every once in a while. An elder here is from Guayaquil and he said it´s even HOTTER in Ecuador, so basically I´m going to die. It´s ok, though. I can do all things through the Lord who strengthens me.
Also, Christian, thanks so much for the note you put in my Preach My Gospel! I forgot to thank you for that last week. You are the sweetest ever. :] I´ll definitely be keeping you and your surgery in my prayers. Good luck being the best Juror #4 in the entire world! I hope all those practices are going well and that you're proing it up. I love you!
Parker, thank you for the DearElder you sent me!!!!!! I totally forgot that that was a thing! An hermano came into class and started passing out pieces of paper and I got one, and it was from you! If people are reading this who want to write me, but don´t have enough time for a handwritten letter, write me at DearElder.com! Parker, thank you so much for your uplifting and inspiring words. I think you should be a motivational speaker/speach writer someday. You are incredible and you have helped me so much in my life. I love you! Thank you. :]
William, I didn´t hear from you this week, but I hope all is going well for you! I love you!
Mom, I've been thinking about you and your delicious Valentine´s Day cookies this week and how much I'm going to miss them. People always complain about Valentine´s Day, but that´s probably because they've never had your cookies...or felt your love. I love you so much and I got a laugh out of the covers you sent back to Dee. Whoops! Thank you so much for you loving words. I miss you and love you.
Dad, I´m glad you survived the snow plowing/shoveling experience and that you were able to get the snow blower working. And thanks for the fun facts on the presidents´ birthdays. Whether they´re completely correct or not, I don´t really know. But I can always count on you for the fun facts, which I love, so thank you. I love you so much! Keep practicing your Memory so you can whoop me when I get back! ;]
Speaking of fun facts, luckily this week I wrote down some things I wanted to remember to tell you, so I´ll give them now:
Hermanas get to cut to the front of every line because we´re "priveleged." It´s so great! I´ve been spoiled, though, by not having to wait in line, so that´ll be a news flash when I get back to real life.
The juice here is 100% fresh. It´s incredible. I can´t even tell you how delicious it is. Every night at 9:30, the missionaries go to the comedor (cafeteria) to eat fruit. They have some mandarin oranges-type fruits that are green on the outside, but look just like an orange inside. The weirdest fruit by far I´ve eaten is a granadia. Look it up! When you open it up, the inside looks like alien goo. It tastes like it, too. So weird. Definitely look up a picture. I had to watch someone open it before I did because I honestly had no idea where to begin. I only ate one, but I´m building up my courage/strength to eat another one this week.
Today ALL the missionaries left except the 5 of us in my district. It´s been pretty empty. I literally have no companion. When I´m on the girl´s side of the dormitorios, I´m alone. Definitely weird. We´re going to be getting 24 new North American missionaries, though, including 4 hermanas!!! None of them will be my companions because they´re just starting, but it´ll be nice to have people to speak in English to. I don´t know how many Latin missionaries we´ll be getting, but I hope they´re at least half as awesome as the ones who just left. There were so many wonderful elderes and hermanas that I got to know here. It was sad to see them go.
I put my bug spray on every day and didn´t get any bug bites, so one day I figured I should just not wear it because I hadn´t seen any mosquitos, and then the one day I didn´t wear it, I got 7 mosquito bites. Good news is now I know the bug spray works.
We get to go to the temple today!!!!!!!!!! I´m so excited! We´ll be going around one and get to do a Spanish session, so that´ll be exciting.
I received a letter from Dee yesterday (thanks, Dee!) and figured out that it takes 8 days for mail to get here, so you all still have time to write me!! 8 days. $1.10. That´s it.
On Saturday, we got to go proselyting!!!! We were being REAL missionaries! It was so cool! I was with Hermana Huerta, and she and I got 12 referrals, taught 2 lessons, and handed out 2 copies of the Libro de Mormón. It was a great experience. I didn´t say a ton, but I was able to bear my testimony and TRY to understand what the people were saying. They talk so quietly, but they´re really open. The world here is so different. You can´t tell what is a house or not, etc. The people live in such poor conditions, but that means their hearts are really open to the message because of their humility. It just made me grateful for our house back in NH, no matter how imperfect it is. It´s much much more than any of these people have.
The Lord has definitely shown me some tender mercies this week, too. These may seem like dumb things, but they were really wonderful to me: (1) Hermana Connors from TX was wearing the same pair of flats that I wore practically every day, but in Black. It was like I was back home with them. (2) I met someone named Guillermo, and all I could think of was William. I really wanted to call the elder Billy Gui from then on, but I don´t think he would have gotten it. Apparently his mom´s name is Sarah, too, so it was just a fun coincidence. (3) When we were proselyting I heard some One Direction playing and it just made me really happy. Ash and Camille, I sure miss you! (4) My Latina companion LOVES Just Dance 4!!!!! And her favorite song is my favorite, too! The India "Beware of the Boys" one. So great. Simple things that had a big impact on me, though. Heavenly Father is so mindful of me.
One thing that really impacted me this week from Preach My Gospel was a quote talking about how many of these people have been prepared to hear this message. I just felt the spirit testifying so strongly to me that I need to work hard so I can find God´s children and teach them about this joyful message. The Gospel is simple. The Gospel is life changing. Only the Gospel will bring us the joy we desire now and for eternity. I know God loves all of us and wants the best for us each and every day. He WILL answer our prayers. He DOES answer our prayers. We just have to make sure we´re in a place where we can hear/feel the answer.
I love you all and pray for you daily. :]
CON MUCHO MUCHO MUCHOOOOOOOO AMOR,
Hermana Sarah Yesterday
Ps most of the elderes/hermanas say my last name the way I say it if I were in the U.S. which has been really fun. They just want to say it right, which is so sweet.
Pss Dad, don´t worry about the reimbursement for my bag--I got reimbursed yesterday for it.
Psss I hope the pictures work that I attached! (1) My district [Woolner, Richards, Cooper, Duzett, (front) Stanley] Elder Cooper is a mix of Napoleon Dynamite and Alana. Just a ps. (2) An apple an elder gave to me. On the back it said "You´re a apple. Remember me. I´ll never forget you." haha so good. (3) Two of my roommates. The hermana on the left was my companion! Hermana Acevedo. The one on the right could speak pretty good English, which was really helpful at times. (4) All the hermanas here at the CCM.
Pssss Mom, don´t worry about my facebook or delete any emails I get. I´ll just take care of all that when I get home. I love you!
Psssss Tell Brooke thanks for the message!
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Hola hola hola!
Let me tell you, it has been QUITE the adventure already down here! I haven`t even had a full week yet because we got here at 2 a.m. on Thursday, but it feels like it`s been forever! Kinda nuts. Everyone says that when you`re on a mission, days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days. I want to testify that it`s true. The first day, I was EXHAUSTED (not how Ian understands the word), but it was mostly because I had to speak Spanish all day!
I know that I have never been on a mission before or been to another MTC, but I really have been put in a unique situation. In my group, there were 5 elders and 1 hermana (me), and we are the first 6 people ever to come straight to the Peru CCM and not have 3 weeks first in Provo. The reason there weren`t more people in our group is because the other elders and hermanas who were supposed to come here couldn`t get their visas in time, so they´re in Provo now until they can get those. I hope they get here fast because I want a companion who I can be with all the time! My actual companion is a Peruvian and she is so sweet. We have different classes, though, so we´re only together during meals, gym, and when we´re getting ready. Other than those times, my companions are the elders in my district. I have to stay with at least a pair of them always. Today, however, I have Pday, and my companion doesn´t, so my companions are the 2 other hermanas from the States, which is nice because I can speak English. The other elders from the U.S. are nuts and I think they´ve had a bad influence on the elders in my district. They seemed so calm on the plane and the first couple days here, but then went insane. Hopefully this doesn´t last.
Needless to say, I have been using my Spanish a lot. I actually speak better than they other hermanas who've been out for 6 weeks. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I took Spanish before I came. It has helped me out SO MUCH!!! Now that I've had to use it, I definitely know more than I thought I knew, and DEFINITELY more than any of you thought I knew. You would be surprised. The elders and hermanas here know I speak Spanish so they talk to me a lot, but I have to remind them so speak slowly. It really has been a cool experience seeing the gift of tongues in my life. At meals, the elders and hermanas from the U.S. usually eat together, but I've only eaten with them twice. Every other time, I've sat with Latinos and it´s been a learning experiences. If I don´t know a word I repeat it and ask what it means. It´s been really helpful. One of the Latinas I share a room with speaks a little English, so she´s been helpful when I can´t understand something. The other 2 hermanas want to learn English so they ask me to teach them phrases or, for example, they asked what the difference is between the pronunciation of "yellow" and "jello" or "but" and "bat". Kinda funny because for them it´s the same sound!
Also, just so you´re aware, I know for a fact that 4 of the Latin elders here want to marry me, and my companion told me that there are a lot more elders who like me. "Usted tiene un montón de fans." Too bad I´m taller than all of them. I have never felt so tall or so white in my life. These people are so tiny! They´re so funny, though. I think there just needs to be a larger population of caucasion hermanas down here and then it wouldn´t be such a big deal to them. Definitely the best thing about being here is playing fútbol with the Latinos. They were surprised that I wouldn´t back down when we played. "¡Qué mujer!" Also, I never knew that Latinos were so good at ping pong! I still haven´t been able to beat my companion. They way she hits the ball makes it look like she shouldn´t be good, but she´s SO good! There´s a basketball hoop here, too, but it´s messed up, so I´ve only shot around once.
The food here is really good, but we have the EXACT same thing for EVERY meal! Soup, rice, potatoes, chicken. Soup, rice, potatoes, chicken. Soup, rice, potatoes, chicken. Soup, rice, potatoes, chicken. Soup, rice, potatoes, chicken. Soup, rice, potatoes, chicken. Get the picture? Also, they eat yogurt with their cereal and think it´s weird to use milk. Oh well. It´s been great, though. The other day, quite a few people were throwing up, and luckily I´m not one of them.
Our first lesson was 4 days ago, and we had to give it in Spanish! It´s been great learning about the Gospel in Spanish, and having to teach. It´s hard, but it´s kinda fun. I usually teach by myself since I don´t really have a companion, so luckily I know Spanish. The gift of tongues is REAL! A couple of the elders in my district knew basically NO Spanish before they came, and I can already see them improving a lot. Out maestros are AWESOME! They´re the nicest Latinos ever. Their names are Hermano Choque, Lazo, and Ibarra. They teach mostly in English, which is good for us, but I´m sure it´s hard for them. This is their first experience having to teach elders and hermanas HOW to speak Spanish, so it´s been a learning experience for everyone.
Sorry I don´t have any pictures! Hopefully I´ll be taking some today. We get to go out and actually buy stuff, which is great because i forgot my flip flops. We´re also going to go and eat pizza next to the temple. We would usually be able to go, but it´s closed for 2 weeks for cleaning.
Anyway, I need to go. OH! I FOUND MY CAMERA BATTERY CHARGER!!!!!! It was in my suitcase the whole time. So stop looking for new cameras. :) Also, Dad, you can get refunded for the $75 extra bag charge from when I flew here! Call Sonja from Missionary Travel. I don`t have the number with me, but if you go to your dialed calls from last Wednesday, I`m sure you could find it. The weather here has been GREAT ps!
I don`t think there`s anything else I need to tell you. I don`t have my journal with me to remind me what happened, so sorry if my thoughts are scattered, but know that I love you and I am being well taken care of here. The mission president is from Washington and he and his wife are great. This has been a great experience! I KNOW the church is true, and the best part is that it`s true EVERYWHERE!!! Even down here in little, ol` Peru. I love this Gospel and I`m excited to share it with the Latinos here. They have such wonderful hearts and are so generous. Heavenly Father loves us so much! We are HIS CHILDREN!!!!!!!
CON MUCH AMOR,
Ps. I saw Whitney on a DVD of a devotional Elder Bednar gave at the MTC! She was singing in the choir! Tender mercy.
Pps. Congratulations to Sarah. I can`t wait to meet baby Finn someday!
Ppps. Ashley, if you`re reading this, an elder here knows Jess! Austin Richards. Ask her. And I think I won Rabbit Rabbit again.
Pppps. An elder from Mexico knew I lived in Lehi because he saw me in a picture on fbook with someone he knows. I still haven`t figured out who it is. Creepy.
Ppppps. I hope you had a great GROUNDHOG DAY! I definitely didn`t forget.
Pppppps. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!