Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Happy Dia de Papas (Fathers Day. Get it?)

HOLA FAMILIA! So every week when I come to email I get the chance to look over my past week and pick out some highlights. Knowing my memory and the lack of new things you do here, this might be a little short. Haha I dressed up like Anna from Frozen this week! A bunch of people said I look a lot like her and my compañera had a dark green dress she bought from some indian (dot not feather) place so I braided my hair and sang "El amor es una puerta abierto" all day!! I wish we were allowed to take pictures on days other than Pday because it was super funny! Also, sorry if I freaked you out last week. We learned in a health and sanitation lesson this week to not mention that you're sick to your parents if it's not too bad because then they'll spend the whole week wondering if you're ok.... I am fine. A little "siempres" never killed anyone (tell Vanessa thanks for her hippie medicine!!) I am LOVING the CCM. I honestly have so much fun and work so hard and feel the spirit so much and eat weird food and make best friends and everything is 100% great. There was a day this week though where I didn't exactly feel 100% great. I was getting pretty down on myself because compared to a lot of the people in my district, I don't have a lot of experience with teaching the gospel or finding scriptures to support lessons etc. Also the language is kind of hard. Anyways, I was feeling really down but I didn't want to say anything when Hermana Rivera (our morning teacher) said she wanted to take a break for a minute and show us a video. It was titled Missionary Work and the Atonement and SANTA VACA. It changed my life. It was by Elder Holland and Elder Eyring and I have never felt the Saviors love for me as strongly as I felt it then. Not only did I feel His love for me, I also realized something about going through hard things and how important it is that we go through hard things. If I hadn't have been feeling discouraged when we watched that video, I still would've enjoyed it but I wouldn't really appreciate it in the way that I was able to. I know that God and His Son and our Savior loves each of us so much!! Another spiritual high this week was continuing to teach our "investigator" Camila. I don't remember if I already explained this or not but we get to teach an investigator (our teacher) several times a week in these little houses they have outside. It is so cool because it is like a real approach. We do contacting and prepare lessons and it's great. Anyways, Hermana Eliason and I taught THE BEST lesson. We had a whole lesson prepared and literally only got about 5 minutes in of that because we were straight up led by el Espiritu Santo!!¡¡ We committed her to baptism and she accepted (we have taught her about 5 lessons). I could't wipe the smile off of my face. I can't even imagine the feelings I will get to have when it is a real investigator!!  On a different note, there are some key phrases you need to understand from the CCM. On any day you will hear the following:
¿Que en el Mundo? what in the world
Santa vaca. holy cow
La bomba (that was) the bomb
¿Que pasa calabaza? nada nada limonada. What's up pumpkin. nothing lemon (Yeah, it gets weird..)
This week Ekins and I took a bunch of the flowers they were going to throw away and hung them on the extra bed in our room. They touchup the landscaping around here so often that we get to take the flowers. It makes me so happy because fresh flowers are the best. Another kind of funny thing (again, I don't remember if I wrote about this last time....) but I play sports during our physical activity time! You really wouldn't recognize me running and trying to hit volley balls and play fútbol and playing ultimate frisbee.
 I still can't do a pushup though. That's a goal by the time I leave the CCM. Finally I just wanted to give a brief overview of what the typical day looks like in the CCM so you have an idea of what I do every day. We wake up at 6:30 and get ready like zombies until breakfast at 7:15. Breakfast is the scariest meal of the day but luckily they have cocoa puffs so I usually eat that. The leche fresca you put on it is a little different but it tastes good. From 8-9 we have personal study and it is so nice because we can just sit outside and learn the gospel! We start class from around 9:15-12:30 when lunch is. This class gets looonnnng but my teacher is the cutest and we break it up with a little bit of "flex time" where we play games and take a lap or something. After lunch we have companion study and then TALL. TALL is a language learning system that we do on the computers all about grammar etc. It was so funny because one of the Elders this week said "If I had to choose between going to TALL and cutting off my ear.... I would choose TALL but I still really hate it". We have PE from 3-4:05and then are back in class at 4:45-6 dinner. After dinner we go back to class but that is when we teach our investigators usually and go over feedback from our previous lessons. At 9 we do planning for the next day (it's super easy because our schedule is the same every day) and then do what we like to call "District bonding time". We share favorite scriptures and then I make everyone tell me their fun facts. I love fun facts. People are so surprising and SO COOL! I love the CCM and I love being a missionary and I hope you all are doing well at home! I hope my pictures are going through. Talk to y'all next week! (I don't know where this came from but lately I've been saying y'all a lot.....?????)
Your favorite hermana,
Hermana Stone
happy dia de papas (fathers day. Get it?) I think I´´'m funny

This is my twin Hma Ekins. She and I are the same person but she is only 5 feet tall and I love love love her!

The Beautiful CCM

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Week One: Check!

HOLA FAMILIA!! Warning: I dont know how to work this Spanish keyboard very well and there}s a big red countdown on the corner of my computer telling me how much time I have left! Wow! I have been here a whole week! <it has gone by "fast" like everyone says but the days are so loooonnnngg in the sense that we do so much it feels like something we did at ten this morning was actually two days ago! So for my letter this week I thought I would introduce my district to you a little bit. We have 4 sisters and 5 elders. Elder Williams is our District Leader, from Colorado, was on the dive team at BYU and is super cool! Elder Sanchez is a convert of 13 months and has THE STRONGEST testimony, it's awesome! Elder Driggs is a professional hip hop dancer and has competed on tv and in several national competitions and Elder Taylor loves doing impressions of famous people. That can be both a good and a bad thing ;) For the girls, Hermana Eliason is my comp. and is from Wyoming. I think that is description enough hahaha Hma Minson is our mother. SHe literally brought candy and stickers for us all and makes sure we remember to drink water and remember everything before we walk out the door. Hma Ekins is from Washington and is basically me in a 5 foot 0 kind of way. We have tons of fun together and she even got me to play sports with her during the Physical activity time. Yes, it was embarrassing but if nothing else, I WILL LEARN TO PLAY SOCCER! I'm in Peru for heavens sake! So I don't remember if I already told you about the Granadilla fruit (look up a picture) but the only way I can describe it is from a Harry Potter quote: troll boogies. Apparently it helps your digestive system so I may need to get used to it. Speaking of, I have been way sick the last couple of days. At least I don't need to worry about gaining the famous MTC weight :') I am doing much better now but still, pray that this hermana will be okay! So here in Peru apparently the women do this air kiss thing on your cheek. You should have seen my face the first (and second and third and fourth) time they did it. It was almost as good as the Latina's faces when I was trying to teach them how to say certain words in English. (they thought that fork and leg were the weirdest!) Another thing that is very different about Peru is the driving! This week we went to Immigrations and Interpol (two separate days) and it was LOCO. There were 3 lanes and literally 5 or 6 cars across and everyone was honking and pushing their way in. I am so #blessed to be in a walking mission! So today was our first P day (p.s. we are only allowed to take pictures on P day so this letter may be a little bit lacking) and it was so fun! We went to the Lima temple and it was such a neat experience. The session was obviously in Spanish which was very humbling but there was such a strong spirit there. Especially in knowing that no matter where you are in the world, the gospel is the same. AFter the session we went to the grocery store and to a temple shop (a bunch of trinkets they sell to missionaries) and I handed out two pass along cards. OH MY GOODNESS I CAN'T EVEN TELL YOU HOW STRESSFUL/WONDERFUL IT WAS. For the first lady I essentially said "This card. For you" (let's be real, I was never very good under pressure) but the second person was so good! It was on the city bus (Imagine about 45 sweaty Peruvians and missionaries packed onto a 10 foot long bus and it'll be scary close) and I was talking to the woman sat right behind my companion and I. I asked her how she was doing, if she had heard of our church, and then introduced myself as a missionary with the gospel. I handed her the card with the Savior on it and told her that God loves her and His church can make her happy and then we got off! What a rush! (I almost peed my pants though)

Despite the food, which is actually muy delicioso sometimes, the CCM is awesome! We get to teach lessons to Camila (our teacher) and we have a full soccer field, volley ball nets, ping pong tables, and several other thingsto do during physical activity. Also, I LOVE THE LATINOS. We sit with them every day during meal time to try and pick up the language and they are so funny and sweet! (There are about 70% latinos and 30% Americans) Also, the CCM is pretty chill. I was worried about it being super strict but there is a lot of time that we have where we are trusted to do our own personal study where we can go outside or memorize scripture or anything like that! I also have a great district and roommates so that helps a ton. The sky here is always gray. Correction, you can never see the sky. But the other day 6 stars were visible! I was excited and then saw two more stars that were so bright it was ridiculous! I made everyone come and see them (because they were so bright) and then one of the Elders kindly told me that what I was seeing were not stars, but lights on the mountain (dirt hill). Yes it was embarrassing but as is my life am I right? Well I am runnning out of time but I love it so much out here! Sometimes I feel a little discouraged with the language and sometimes I feel like we're studying the language so much that we don't get any "deep spiritual" time. But I realized that that's the beauty of it. The gospel of Jesus Christ is simple. It all has to do with faith in our Savior and obedience to His word. My testimony has already grown so much and I just get more and more excited every day. I love you all so much,

Hermana Stone

The District

Finally arrived at the Lima MTC at almost 3:30 am

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Arrived at the CCM

Hola mis padres! Just so you know, I just spent a solid 2 minutes trying to find the @ sign on this computer. Last night we got into the Peru MTC at 3:30 am! Our flight from Atlanta was delayed about an hour and a half but it just gave my missionary group all flying together more time to bond. AND HOLLA I  LOVE EVERYONE HERE!! Not only am I here with Ammy Trujillo and Kaylee Kingston, I've met so many other amazing (and hilarious) hermanas and hermanos MY PEOPLE!! We haven't started the classes yet which is probably why I'm so happy still... haha My teachers name is Hermana Luna (so pretty) and she is from the Lima North mission! She informed us that we will not see the real luna for a long time because you can never see the sky here! From what I could see at 3 am the city is pretty ghetto but the MTC grounds are beautiful! There is a large fountain, a lot of greenery, and a soccer field, volleyball courts, and several things that will potentially embarrass me. haha My companion here at the MTC is named hermana Elison (eely-son) and is from Wyoming (also going to Lima North). She is really cool and we have the same sense of humor so that{s good. Also there is this hilarious Elder who just barely turned 18 and literally everything he says is gold. Ammy and I have to give each other "the look" to try and not laugh at everything that comes out of his mouth. Anyways, we don{t have more time but just know that I am doing well! Love you guys!!
Hermana Stone

Made it to Atlanta.... on to Lima.  Plane delayed 1.5 hours