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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

June 15, 2015

It's official: I will be staying here in this sector of Trinidad for at least six more weeks with my sweet companion, Hermana Vergara! I'm always ready for a change but I'm really happy to be staying here for another round and work with these amazing people. It's getting pretty chilly down here!

Spiritual Experience:
On Saturday, we had a service experience of cleaning the chapel. We, the six missionaries, pulled up and there was hardly anyone there. Soon, Salvador Rhor, the father of a less-active member that we've been working with and the old stake patriarch, strolled in. He's 80-something years old, and he showed up alone, walking probably about 40 minutes to get there, and stayed about 6 hours to stack one-by-one, slowly but surely, all of the chairs. As I was across the room on my knees scrubbing I looked up to see him over there in the cultural hall, all alone,  dragging one chair to the stack, my eyes pretty much just filled up with tears. This man truly understands the law of consecration. 

The other night a less-active member was telling us all about how he smuggled these super-hot mexican chilly pepper seeds across the borders and planted them. He handed me one to check it out. A couple minutes later my eye had a little itch and I rubbed it. It was really bad timing too, because my companion was bearing her testimony all proufoundly and what not. IT BURNED SO BAD. I tried to endure it for a second but the left side of my face got all hot and swollen, so I just made a little sound like, "emmm ahhh..." and had to stand up and sprint to the bathroom and stick my whole head under the water spicket. haha! Now I can see clearer than ever! 
My companion and I with Salvador Rohr 
Talking about the war between nephites and lamanites with recent-convert javi, so we justified playing dart wars for a minute.
Mi zona 

June 23, 2015

This week was a great one! We found two less-active members who are really receptive. One of them is an elderly lady named Ana Elbira and she is hilarious! We also had a ward activity and a family of five investigators finally came! Erika said she would be baptized, but she's still just waiting for her health situation to improve. I've felt the spirit in every lesson we've had with her so far. Our mission president and his wife, Presidente y Hermana Wright, leave this coming week. We had a special P-day today with them up north of my sector to say goodbye. It feels weird and sad that they're leaving.

Spiritual Experience:
So, in the first lesson with this less-active member, Ana Elbira, we left her a reading assignment in her scriptures. She told us she can't see very well or read, but she'll try. We passed by again a few days later and she was all excited. She said she opened her book to read it, and she saw! "Lo abrĂ­ para leerlo y vi. ¡VIIIII!" Haha, it was awesome. I think even more awesome than the fact that she saw clearly, is the excitement we saw in her to be returning to the path that she knows to be true. 

Funny Story:
So lately I've been greeted by a lot of people in the ward by, "La Fat!" or "fat" or "la hermana fat." I even walked up to an hermana that I didn't really even know and she pointed to me and she's like, "Oh SHE'S that fat!" At first I thought I was hearing wrong but then it just kept happening. I kept thinking, "I'm not that big...." haha! Finally, I asked one of the sisters why they say that and she explained to me that I look like some Turkish actress that's really popular in their novellas here and the hermanas in the ward had talked about it. Her name's Fatmagul. 

Javiera and her friend Leo. Javi is the one on the right and she and her grandma have a baptismal date. She's a cutie and very smart.
Baptism of Evelyn.
She's not from my sector, but I did have the chance to talk with her and participate in some activities and service projects with her. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

June 8, 2015

Hermana Vergara and me

This week flew by. It included divisions, three new investigators, and two baptismal dates! We're excited that they finally set a goal to become members. It's a grandma and her granddaughter. We found her through one of the members in the ward who actually gave us a reference to the woman in the middle of them. (The daughter of the grandma and the mom of the granddaughter. It's a little hard to explain in writing.) Turns out she wasn't really interested but her daughter and mother were. Pray for the Rodriguez family! Changes are coming up this week, so I may or may not have the opportunity to keep working with them, but I'm excited for them either way!

Spiritual Experience:
At the start of a lesson with an investigator, she came right out and said, "I just want to tell you guys that I don't believe in the resurrection." I thought, "Oh man. This is going to be awkward." Somehow though, I just felt peace, though, and I knew we were supposed to talk about it because we had planned before-hand to teach about that that day. We started talking about it and reading into it a little more with her and her attitude just completely changes. She went from having one strong opinion to forming one on the exact opposite end. Her name is Hermana Erika and she's progressing really quickly! 

When we started teaching English classes in the church, we were presenting ourselves as missionaries and the two hermanas before me were from Peru. As a joke, when it got to be my turn I said my name and that I was also from Peru. Everyone laughed a little bit because I am obviously white. On Friday, I went on exchanges, and and we taught an investigator that was at the English class. His friend entered the room and said hello and asked us where we were from. When I said Utah, the investigator that was at the English class looked at me and said, "What! But you said you were from Peru..." Haha I guess I should have clarified that it was a joke!

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

This week flew by! It was complete with a family night, zone conference, and a missionary activity in the ward; Noche de Talentos! Unfortunately, none of our investigators came to church. It really is our biggest struggle out here. This coming week though...!

Spiritual Experience:
On Friday the missionaries and the ward missionaries put on a talent show for two of the wards in our stake. It was planned really fast and sort of thrown together, and I'm not going to lie, there was a pretty sad turnout. Something so cool happened, though. We get to the chapel and we see one of the less-actives that we've been working with helping set up everything, and then stay to M.C. the talent show! He had so much fun and I just couldn't believe that this man, who when I met him hadn't been to church in years, was now so involved and so happy. 

Funny Story:
We were in an appointment getting ready to sing the opening hymn.. We explained how we just sing the first line of the top part, then go to the first line of the next part.... and I guess that was enough explanation for her.  We finished singing the first verse, and to our surprise she started over with the first verse again. Then again. Then again. Just singing the first lines over and over.  Hahaha my companion and I kept looking at each other like, "should we stop her? or..." but we just kept singing. Finally we stopped and she just sighed and said "Ah que lindo." or "Oh, how pretty." :) hahaha

Lunch with the Perez family and an ex-missionary that came back to visit
"2 peruvians+2 norte americanas= good times"
 So one of our recent converts went to Argentina and she tells me she brought me back a gift. She hands me this and I think, "I think she got me a thneed."  Then she's all, "You can use it like a scarf, or on your head, or anything really..." and I thought, "It really is a thneed." Haha! - A FINE THING THAT ALL PEOPLE NEEEEED!