Monday, October 12, 2015
Hola Familia y Amigos!
Wow, another transfer has begun...time is flying! This transfer I will be staying in my area in Chosica but have a new companion! Her name is Hermana Chavez from Guayaquil Ecuador (yeah definitely spelled that wrong). She’s the best and I already love her so much. She is afraid of dogs...and here in Chosica there are 5 dogs on every corner so please pray for her in this aspect. She is a hard worker and we have so many plans for this transfer! She has such a strong desire to serve and help the people and knows what her purpose is. I can already tell we are going to have a transfer of miracles!!!! I´m so excited.
Last pday of last transfer! The Hermanas of Chosica
The new Hermanas of Chosica this transfer...recognize the tall one? Hermana Samuels, my companion from the CCM! I´m so excited she´s here!
My new companion, Hermana Chavez! She is from Ecuador and is the best!
So something fun from this week before I start into the serious missionary business. :) Here in Peru we eat a lot of rice, potatoes, and chicken. Pretty much that every day. So our pension decided to try and give us a little break and mix things up...let´s just say it´s been a rough week for my stomach. :) This week I have eaten oyster, crab, fish, clam, squid, and octopus. Not lying. Never in my life did I think I would ever ever ever eat those things. My family knows I do NOT do seafood at all. But I can now testify of the missionary superpower of being able to eat everything served to you on your plate. Wow, I feel sick thinking about it...but also just a little bit proud of myself. Ok SUPER proud of myself. Dad, I hope you are too. I was thinking of you the whole time and all the times I told you never in my life would I eat things like that. :) Ok back to the missionary-life stuff....
One pic of the "seafood surprise" we ate the other day...all the other little pieces of things in the rice are octopus and squid. :)
There is so much that needs to be done here in this area. After this week ended, Hermana Chavez and I just sat down together and cried a little talking about everything we´d seen throughout the week. There are so many needs here and so much work to be done. I honestly feel like Alma when he saw the wickedness and apostasy in the land and left his judgement seat to go out and teach and bring the people back. Chosica is the edge of our mission and less developed and organized. The wards are functioning and there are a lot of great members, but also a lot of apostasy and confusion about doctrine and order. But we were able to turn to the Lord and receive revelation about what we need to focus on first and how we can start working one step at a time to help this ward and all the people in our area.
Yesterday we ate lunch with a member of the ward named I.... Her family doesn´t have much because she is a single working mom with 2 kids and her aged mother, but she still gave so willingly to us. After we sat down to share a message and I felt impressed to share the scripture about Jesus Christ coming to the Americas in the Book of Mormon and instituting the sacrament. As we talked about the importance of the sacrament and the blessing it is for us, she confided in us and told us that she has not been taking the sacrament for 8 years. She told us that when she married her husband (who was not a member and not the best person) her bishop told her that she could no longer take the sacrament and also withdrew her rights to hold a calling or anything in the church. She didn´t understand why because she has never committed a big sin, yet accepted it and kept attending with faith that someday she could participate again. Her husband was awful to her and finally a year ago she separated from him. She also told us that she is endowed but during this time felt that she was in some way unworthy and so she removed her garment and hasn´t had her temple recommend during this whole time as well. She said that after she separated from her husband she finally went and talked to the bishop now and he told her that she could buy her garments and that they would talk about if she could now take the sacrament but nothing has really been done about it and after so many years she still feels this guilt inside her that she´s not worthy. Yet she has stayed true to the church and kept going and participating even though she has been missing out on all of these blessings for so long. As Hermana Chavez and I sat and listened to her we both just cried and tried to express to her the Lord´s love for her and what a faithful member she is to have stayed strong even through everything that has happened. We have plans to talk with the bishop this week to make sure that everything is ok for her to once again begin taking the sacrament and receive her recommend to enter the temple again. We promised her that we will be here with her every step of the way to help her be able to enter the temple once again and renew her covenants. She shared with us her testimony of the gospel and that she knows that the leaders of the church and members aren´t perfect and that they make mistakes. But she doesn´t feel angry, just grateful for her testimony of the truthfulness and perfectness of the gospel that has helped her through. She is just one example, Please pray for her.
This week we also were shown over and over again that there are many members who really don´t have a testimony, in fact, many who don´t know what a testimony is. So we are going to be working really hard this transfer with increasing the testimonies of the members and less-actives in our area. Please pray for M... and her son J..., M..., S..., X..., and the Familia C.... All less-actives who we are focusing on now.
But we are also seeing many miracles and I really feel that this next transfer we are going to be able to do so much good. I feel so excited and motivated to help these people and a great love for them.
There are so many faithful members here but also so much work to be done. But we have been praying, fasting, studying, and doing all we can to search for the help of the Lord to really do the work he needs done here in El sol. Here comes a cambio of miracles.
After all that we´ve seen this week, my testimony of the importance of the little things has really increased. Going to church, having family home evening every week, doing our visiting and home teaching, reading the scriptures every day, and praying sincerely personally and as a family. SO IMPORTANT!!!
I know that Our Heavenly Father really is our loving father in Heaven. Jesus Christ is his son and performed the atonement for us. Joseph Smith restored the church through revelation in this dispensation and President Monson is the living prophet of God on the earth today. The church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints truly is the Lord´s true church on the earth today. I know it. And I feel so grateful for the chance to share that knowledge every day.
Love you all! Please keep the prayers coming this way!
Here is a pic of the other sisters in the ward with some members