Wow, another week come and gone! Every week goes by faster and faster, it`s crazy! So many things to tell about this week! This week was Semana Santa here in Peru, in their culture, which is dominantly catholic, they celebrate the entire week and have big parties and stuff to celebrate and remember Christ. Most people either travel to visit family or stay and have all their family come visit them so it was a little harder to have lessons this week. But the lessons we did have were awesome and it absolutely loved getting to testify of Christ and that he lived, died, and lived again for us. It was amazing to be his missionary during this special time of the year. :)
And what made it even better was that we got to listen to conference!!! Wow, I love conference!! It was amazing to listen to our beloved prophet and the leaders of the church teach us about Christ, the Family, personal conversion, and so many other things. It was also really cool to be able to listen with the perspective of a missionary. Not only was I receiving revelation for myself, but I had the names of our investigators and other people we are working with running through my head and was able to find messages that will help them as well.
I loved the huge focus on the family, it`s really soooooo important. I`m learning that the greatest joys and happiness are found within the family, but that also means that the greatest sadness and hurt comes from Satan`s influences to destroy the family. The culture here is so family oriented, yet there are so many people struggling with family problems and concerns and it causes them so much heartache and sadness. We had at least 2 or 3 lessons this week were we just sat and cried with the person we were teaching and they explained the challenges they are facing, all related to the family. Satan is launching a full force attack on this key unit but we are so blessed to know the importance and have the tools to combat him and fortify our own families.
I`m also learning to develop true charity for the people here and I work with them, teach them, cry with them, laugh with them, and just do my best to help them let the Savior into their lives and live the gospel to find joy and happiness. It truly is an amazing blessing to be a missionary and have the commission to testify of Christ, our Savior, and bring others to him.
This week one of our most promising investigators moved to another area which was really sad, but hopefully we can get the missionaries to her there as well and she can continue to progress. Please pray for her, Olinda, and her sister, Celinda, that we just found this week who needs a lot of help as well. Also for Silvia, we are going to invite her to be baptized this week so hopefully she will accept and we can continue to help her progress. Also Octavia, Carolina, Raul, Lina, Dina, and Maritza.
When we contact it is almost always on the streets as we are walking around, it`s hard to go door to door because everyone lives in apartments that are stacked on top of each other and there is a big door or gate at the bottom and you have to push a button to speak to whoever you are trying to reach and then they can unlock the door from inside. So it`s not really effective to contact that way. But everyone is always out and about outside their house so it`s not too difficult to find people to talk to. Very different from back home. The people here are also really friendly for the most part which is nice and even if they aren`t interested they`ll still talk to you and take whatever you give them :)
We live with another companionship of sisters in our apartment but we also have people stay the night every once in a while if they are leaving or entering the mission or some other random thing because our apartment is big and really close to the offices. So it`s fun :)
It`s still pretty hot here but everyone has been saying it`s not normal. We are in fall but the weather is still the same as when I got here. I`ve gotten used to it though and just accepted the fact that I’m constantly sweating. It really doesn’t bother me :)
This week I felt my first temblo! (Earthquake) It was really little but still super crazy since I’ve never felt one before. My comp said this is the 3rd one she`s felt and she`s been here for 8 months. It was the strangest feeling to just feel the floor wobble and look outside to see everything rattling a little bit, but really it was so tiny. :)
Also another cool fact, one of the new 70s that was called in conference, Nelson Ardilla, was the Mission president here in my mission before President Boswell! So cool! And another one that was called used to be the stake president here in La Molina. The people here were so excited :)
Love you all so much! Hope you had a wonderful week and felt the wonder and joy of the Savior`s life and the miracle of his resurrection. May we keep him in our hearts always :)