Monday, September 28, 2015

Singing Loud and Proud

I died laughing at the picture of AJ. He's got the Flynn Rider smolder down to a tee! This week was good. It's a little frustrating when we've been working hard and not being met with much success but I know that there are people prepared for Hermana Stone and Hermana Haro, we just need to find them. That's the problem with the people here in Peru. Almost everyone will listen to us at least once because we are sharing "the palabra"  but have no desire to ACT. Most people are catholic by tradition but there are also a lot of dedicated Evangelistas. When we ask them to attend church with us, or pray, or read the pamphlets or the Book of Mormon it's a little bit of a struggle. It got me thinking a lot about the phrase "exercise your faith". We've all heard this a million times but I was thinking a lot about the word exercise. When we want to get stronger physically, we need to exercise. Not once, not twice, but every single day. When we exercise we start by warming up before getting into the harder things. While exercising, it takes endurance to push through the pain and hard times in order to grow stronger (physically). It's the same with growing stronger spiritually! We need to be working, DOING THINGS, every single day. Pushing through hard times in order to grow stronger. IT's not just believing in something, but working and enduring. I love the scripture in Mal. 3 that says y probadme ahora en esto, dice Jehová de los ejércitos, si no os abriré las ventanas de los cielos y derramaré sobre vosotros bendición hasta que sobreabunde." In this God is talking specifically about tithing, but it can apply to anything.  God has promised us so many blessings and only asks us to try him through our obedience. See if he'll bless us like he says he will. I know one hundred percent that he'll fulfill his promises. Because I've tested him. 

My Spanish is definitely getting better. I can understand the gist of almost everything. The other day it was really funny though because a woman was relating a story to us about her husband. I completely misunderstood her and thought she told us that her husband died and I started teaching about the plan of salvation and directing the entire lesson towards this problem. At the end while we were walking away, Hermana Haro asked me why I went into that lesson. Needless to say, I very much misunderstood her and her husband is very much alive. This always seems to happen to me. 

We had a ward Noche de Hogar that was really fun and always with good food. We also were able to watch the Womens conference in the Stake Center and are looking forward to General Conference this weekend! Everything is in Spanish except for the hymns. I sang along loud and proud haha It's funny how different things make you excited as a missionary. I seriously was so pumped to go to the Womens conference and it made me regret never taking it seriously in the past. It also made me remember working at Kneaders the last two years during womens conference and all the Mormons coming for desserts afterwards. I always hated working that night! We were at the house of a convert last night for a "lunche" (I know my spelling is horrendous) which is like a mini dinner with tea (I LOVE TEA AND FEEL LIKE A PRINCESS EVERY MORNING WHILE DRINKING IT). And no worries, it is allowed. I teach the word of wisdom all the time! But this Hermana is crazy haha when she heard that Hermana Haro has a career technica in architecture she was trying to convince her to move to Peru after her mission because she can have a lot of plata or in other words, be really rich. She had crazy eyes and was dead set on helping Haro become rich and famous, with her help of course. Her son was also impressing us with magic tricks. Finally when we went back to our house there was a HUGE fiesta outside with a full band, lights, and everything. We literally were stepping over drunk men and women at our doorstep smoking and dancing and it didn't end till four in the morning but these are things of the mission. I am working hard, learning so much, and am really HAPPY (if you can't tell by my overuse of caps) I hope all is well. Love you to the moon and back! (I wish I could've seen the blood moon)

Hermana Stone
Visita de trabajo con las hermana capacitadoras

Enjoying "burgers". The owner of the restaurant invited us back for free lunch the next day!

I'm losing all of my hair :,(

Monday, September 21, 2015

I'm grateful to be a Missionary

Familia! Wow lots of updates and MADELINE YOU LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL! Also big congrats to you Sade! You look good with your young women Medallion- I haven't seen a smile that big in a long time :) 

This last P day we had a P day of Hermanas which consisted of cake, the Lion King (the jokes aren't as funny in Spanish) talking, nails yada yada yada it was really fun to get to know everyone in my zone (Santa Isabel) and in the zone of San Felipe too! While we were all doing nails and listening to church music (holla for mission rules!) we listened to a song by David Archuleta called "Nunca Pense" and holy nuggets! It is my new theme song. It made me think of how Sadie was in love with him haha It is all about the importance of Family History and is so good! I also learned from one of the hermanas how to say audiologist in Spanish- otorrinolaringologo. I was going to wait to impress you guys at Christmas for Skype but honestly, I don't know if I'll be able to remember how to pronounce it by then ;) 

This week we had Revision de Cuartos where Hermana Erickson comes to check if everything in our house is working and spotless. We cleaned everything super well which took a few hours. We had to defrost our fridge but there was a huge block of ice in it so we took all the food out and put it in a cooler and put our fridge in the shower over night to defrost. We were laughing and scrubbing and passed without any problems. We also had Entrevistas with Presidente! We have entrevistas (interviews) every other transfer. I was a little nervous at first but it turned out to be really good. He really stressed the importance of me not relying on my companion so much in lessons. HAVE CONFIDENCE HERMANA STONE. He shared with me a lot of scriptural examples but one that really struck out to me was in DyC 24:10. It is about speaking with a voice de trompeta, to open our mouths, and there is a promise at the end that says "I will give him strength such is not known among men". What a promise. Not only does he promise to fill our mouths when we open them, or give us strength, but He promises to give us strength that is unknown among men! That was a great comfort to me. I have a lot of work to do to become a better gospel teacher but with the Lords strength, I know I can do it. Speaking of becoming a better gospel teacher, that is one of the Mission Peru Lima North Metas (goals). First, Voy a ser completamente obediente (I will be completely obedient); second, voy a ser trabajador (I will work hard); Third, voy a amar la gente peruana (I will love the Peruvian people);  Fourth, voy a buscar soluciones (I will look for solutions);  Fifth, voy a ser un mejor maestro del Evangelio (I will be a better gospel teacher). Hermana Haro and I made up the sixth mission rule or goal which is essentially "si tu compañera engordo, tu tambien" (If your companion gets fat, I will too). 

As far as the earthquake news, we heard about it too! We were teaching a family of converts and Luis, one of the kids who's 18, told us we need to prepare our backpacks to flee to the cerros for the tsunami warning! We were trying to explain that we're a good hour and a half from the beach but he was very concerned for us hermanas haha But if a disaster really does occur here, our plan will be to pray a lot (???) 

I learned how to cook papa relleno this week from Hermana Josefa. These are the kinds of things you learn on your mission that will bless your future ;) We celebrated Hermana Haro's "cumpli-mes" with a treat called Besos de Mosa. They're soooo good and the only besos (kisses) we can have here in the mission (aside from every female stranger we contact in the streets haha) 

A few funny things from this week- we were going to one of our appointments and some testigos de Jehova (Jehova's Witness') were trying to contact the same house. It was super awkward and an almost stand off. We just passed by and went back later in the night. 

Most of all from this week I have realized how grateful I am to be a missionary. Obviously because I am spreading the gospel, learning so much about the scriptures, myself, Christ, and much more. But I am also learning a lot about how we are all God's children. It has been so fun for me to make friends with people who are super different than me but so similar at the same time. With my Mexican companion, my District with two Argentines and a colombiano, with people in my zone from just about every other country in South America, and obviously with so many people here in Peru. We all have different backgrounds, stories, dreams, career goals, but are all here for the same reason. We're not that different. 

This week I hope you guys will look for the people who you think are different than you. Talk to them. They might become your best friends. Keep up the good work! Read your scriptures. Say your prayers. These little things will make a big difference, I promise! Stay sweet,

Hermana Stone

Mucho Amor

Las Hermanas

My cheeks and shirt are the same color and we're using a screwdriver to chisel the ice out of our fridge to prepare for revision de cuarto with Presidentes wife

Mirror Selfie, no shame!

"Los Angeles 4" about 3 minutes ago

My compi found tortillas. Too bad they are super expensive (12 tortillas for 9 soles) A picture will have to suffice.

P day of hermanas. We all got hawaiian leis with chocolate from Hermana Fosita one of our capacitadoras from New Zealand. These are all of the Hermanas in Zona Santa Isabel  and Zona San Felipe.

Got a shipload of letters this week!! My whole zone was crazy jealous. Special thanks to DIANE AND FAMILY!! xoxoxo

With Hermana Josefa y Ivan our "mission parents" Also, Elder Sepulveda and Elder Narvais (he goes home in 2 weeks!) :{(  hahaha this looks like a mustache and it was an accident but I'm going to leave it.



Monday, September 14, 2015

Another Week!

The pictures from the cabin are so beautiful!! I'm glad you guys were able to go up and spend time with the family. This week was really average, but really good nonetheless. Last P day we went to Plaza Norte which basically feels like America for a few hours. It is a huge shopping center and we ate Burger King for lunch. Anyways, we had the whole day to shop, and you know how much I love shopping. Unfortunately, one difference between Hermana Haro and I is that she actually loves shopping, a lot. We spent a good two hours trying to find a pair of pants that she likes for Pdays. And that was after looking for a good skirt to match her new shoes. Afterwards with the Elders we were all talking about it and some of the Elders had the same problem with their companions looking for new ties and shavers. I guess I should count my blessings. Another day this week we were taking the bus to the stake center and I was helping Hermana Haro with her English. We completely missed our stop and were backtracking while walking as well as contacting. However, we didn't know the area super well because it's not our area. Let's just say it's not too convincing to invite people to attend the church when the missionaries don't even know where the church is. Again on the bus, sorry all of my stories have to do with busses, I was mimicking the cobrador. A cobrador is the person who yells out the window where it's going "Comas" "Universitaria" and what to do "baja" "sube con bebe" etc. I wish I could do the voice through the computer because I am surprisingly good at it. I had the real cobrador laughing to the point of tears I kid you not. 

We have a tradition to get fries as a district after consejo de barrio. It's a sort of reward because consejo de barrio is literally the longest thing ever. This week we had two visitas de trabajo. One with the Hermana Capacitadoras (24 hours in the area of the leaders and one of them came to my area with Hermana Haro) and one with Elder Miranda, our Zone Leader. I always stress out way too much for these but always end up learning a lot from them as well. It is interesting to see the different manners people teach, the different examples they use, scriptures utilized. But I also learn a lot about myself. It is reassuring to see a little bit that I can do it! I have examples, scriptures, and a testimony that contribute to the lesson too! One thing Elder Miranda taught me was how to ask what we call "preguntas inspiradas" because if we don't know what is important to the people, how can we teach them according to their needs. That's what's incredible- we teach the "same" lessons every day but it is always different because every single person has different lives, problems, trials, and families. One question he asked was "Cual es su mayor anhelo?" and then "Que esta HACIENDO para lograrlo? or What is your dream or goal (for yourself or for your family) and what are you DOING to achieve it. This is what's important. We can have all the faith in the world but if we're not actively working towards it, no pasa nada! This is a good reminder for me. If I want investigators in the capilla, I need to be working with them throughout the week. If I want to be able to teach about tithing effectively, I need to be studying the ancient law of tithing and practicing the vocabulary to teach it. Also, if I want to have an eternal family, what am I doing? A good job? happiness? Really it applies to everything. 

Finally, I want to tell you guys about my new District for this transfer. My District Leaders name is Elder Sepulveda and he is from Argentina. At first I thought he was North American and started talking to him in English. It was super embarrassing but we're past that haha. He is like an Argentine hipster and knows a lot of the same music as me, just doesn't understand all of the words to the songs! He has 19 months in the mission, and has really good capacitaciones. Elder Narvais is his companion. He goes home this transfer! He is also from Argentina but has a really heavy, obvious Argentine accent unlike Elder Sepulveda. The two of them together are a lot of fun. We have lunch with them 3 times a week. (We have a schedule to almorzar (eat lunch) with members every day) Then there is Elder Espitia and Elder McClain. Elder Espitia was my zone leader last transfer and it has been fun to get to know him more this transfer. He is from Colombia and goes home in November. Elder McClain is from Springville and is a newbie in the field. Finally someone younger than me!

Anyways, I know that this email wasn't terribly exciting but, hey as is life. I am doing well. Some days are hard when people don't want to listen to you or tell you that you're wrong or crazy (or a gringa) but at the end of each day I feel happy. I know that the Lord is with us and I am so grateful for the many things that go well every day. Love you guys!!

I almost forgot to tell you guys! Last night we were having a Noche de Hogar with a family that the dad has been Menos Activo for quite some time but has started coming back to church and they are preparing to be sealed in the temple! Anyways, they have a son named Justin who reminds me a lot of AJ. I was telling them this and he told me that his name is actually Alexander Justin. He also is ten years old and their personalities are so close! Anyways, last night we were teaching about the restoration of the priesthood and how through temples we can be together forever. At the end of the lesson after our testimonies and the testimony of Hermana Josefa (our missionary mom and their grandma) Justin asked if he could share something. He just said something to the affect of "Thanks for helping my family be together forever". I obviously knew that families can be together forever through temple ordinances, but his one sentence testimony struck me straight in the heart. Everyone felt the Spirit of this little boys testimony.

Space Shuttle or Bus??

Challenge from Madi McCann to take a picture with an animal. It was the dead chickens or wild dogs. 

Next Investigator :)

May or may not have had a problem with our kitchen this week.....

Monday, September 7, 2015

Gringo Moments


Wow I love hearing from you guys and seeing all of the pictures. This week was really good! First of all I need to tell you that I love my new companion. I'll be honest, I was a little nervous at first but I have found out that she's my "Ekins" here. She is from Mexico like I mentioned last week and has a ton of support from her family. It's actually really cool because her entire family, and I mean ENTIRE family are members. Her grandma was a missionary back in the day when her mission was all of Mexico! She didn't have a badge or any training but went out with a companion and 4 dresses to spread the good news. Hermana Haro is great and although she doesn't speak English much, she understands almost everything (because Mexico is very gringo-ized) This is nice because we can have actual conversations and I feel like she is not only my companion but also my friend. We also like a lot of the same music (I know, I'm so blessed!) and she's also the oldest child, is sassy, lkes to joke around and loves french fries. It's great honestly. Yeah, it's hard for both of us to be newbies and not know the area super well or how to be an amazing gospel teacher, but we are always positive, exactly obedient, and work hard. Anyways, last P day we were able to watch the new Minions movie. I am grateful we can watch movies, even if our "no love" "no romance" selection is a little pitiful. haha  Afterwards, we went with Elder Espitia and McClain for Pollo Broaster. I don't know what it is, but I love their "fry sauce". It's kind of spicy and super delicious. There's also a salad dressing here that I like. I will get a recipe so maybe I can be healthy in 16 months. (I'm also embarrassed that 40% of my emails are always about food) NO REGRETS haha At the beginning of each month the entire zone meets up at a bank to take out money for the month. It's so funny to me because we have to remove our badges so people won't know that we're missionaries. Because it's not completely obvious that 20 young people in church attire, many of which are foreigners, are missionaries! I really like my zone too.
I had a lot of "Gringo Moments" this week. First of all, it was night time and I was trying to signal a bus to take us home. Turns out the bus that I was signaling was actually a vegetable truck. TWICE. I am also always falling. Literally. Out of the bus, on the bus, tripping over rocks. Hermana Haro asked me if the problem was me or my shoes. We wrote it as one of our goals this week haha. Finally, my most embarrassing gringo moment was while we were doing laundry with a woman in the cerros. We offered to help her because she was washing for 8 people. First of all, I don't ever want to hear you complain about doing laundry unless you're doing it with cold water for eight people by hand on the top of a cerro in Peru. It was a good experience and was only embarrassing because almost everything that I washed, she redid because I didn't know how to do it right. 

This week wasn't without challenges. Like I mentioned, we are working really hard but aren't being met with much success. It is frustrating because people will seem like they're progressing but then won't follow through with their commitments such as reading parts of the Book of Mormon, the pamphlets we leave, praying, and attending church. Yesterday we went to 4 different houses of our investigators to pick them up for church and only ended up with 1 coming with us. And that was after we were very persistent and helped with laundry (to eliminate the excuse). It is hard because I see other areas with baptisms and baptismal dates and with lots of investigators in the capilla and we don't have any that are honestly progressing. Yes, we have some that are promising to do things that would make them progress but never actually follow through. If they only knew what they were missing out on. 

We saw a HUGE miracle this week. Every Friday we can take our new converts to the Stake center (20 minute bus ride away) to do Family History with some missionaries that specialize in that. Anyways, we dropped off one family and went to pick up another girl named Jimisue. While we were waiting to catch a bus back up, there were 2 we could have gotten on but decided not to for some reason. We got on the third bus and about five minutes later there was a huge crash for the bus we almost got on. The bus crashed into a truck carrying rocks and the entire front was smashed in. We're not sure of all the details but there is for sure one person dead. I know that the Lord protected us by prompting us to wait for another bus. That was a huge eye opener for me. 

That's about all I have for this week, sorry there aren't more pictures. I am jealous you are at the cabin! I hope you enjoy all the beauty up there. I also can't believe Quinn is home. Hasn't it only been like 6 months?! 
In response to your questions: I don't hardly see the mission president. Once every transfer we have a training with him and this month we have a review of our houses with his wife to see if everything is safe and clean. (That's scary haha) But we have to email him every Monday before we email you guys to tell him all of our problems and he always responds that way. Also there is a group email to our mission every week. I have gotten one letter from Diane! I wrote her back (and a letter for you guys too) but the problem is, I can't find a post office anywhere. I keep them in my bag in case we ever come across one so wish me luck in that. I can't think of much I want for my birthday or christmas. Honestly my favorite things are letters and pictures. I would say a Costco cake and flowers but that might be a little hard to send ;) Maybe just save up your money and I can have a fake birthday when I get home. The only thing I can really think of is a package of blue BIC pens a picture of the family and maybe a white shade shirt. Super exciting haha I am understanding a little bit more spanish. It's not super noticeable because I'm still lost a lot of the time but I'm a little less lost than before.

Thanks for the love ! Sending lots of it your way,
Hermana Sav
I LOVE my Comp!

This is why missionaries gain weight. Featuring Elder Espitia  (Colombia)  and Elder McClain (Springville)