Monday, November 30, 2015

Lantern Ready?

Familia! What the.... I didn't even know that Taryn is pregnant!! But tell her congrats haha To clear up a few things from my last email (sorry I am always suuuuper scatterbrained when it's internet time) Elder Reschke was my District leader but got transferred. My new District leader is Elder Rivas (from Equador) and my zone leaders are still Elder Parra (California) and Elder Pastenes (Chile). I am still in San Felipe and I love Hermana Gaona. She is my third Mexican companion like I mentioned last week and we have a good time haha siempre estamos bromeando (always joking) and laughing. We're in the same house (with Hermana Yuri) and everything is going well! For Thanksgiving (dia de gracias) we didn't do anything because it doesn't exist here. Also, I'm not convinced that there is other kinds of meat available besides chicken (a joke but medio-serious) Hermana Gaona and I did cook "pie de queso" though to celebrate. It is a mexican pie that is with cream cheese, condensed milk, eggs, vanilla, and a crust of cookies and butter. It tasted like cheesecake and was SO. GOOD. We also got to try a drink from Equador that we made with our district- palta con leche! It's avocado with milk and sugar in a blender and it sounds weird but it's so good! Like an avocado smoothie. Toshi, Yuri's oldest son, had his 7th birthday and Krystal, her sister in law made an incredible cake based on "animal planet" that also tasted good. They told us that they feel like we're part of the family. It's nice to have one away from home :) 

We were able to do a big service project in Collique this week filling and hauling sand bags up a cerro. It was a lot of hard work and we looked a little like the scene from the Prince of Egypt when the slaves were hauling things to build the pyramids, but it honestly feels so good to make a difference and to help people. We were sweaty and sunburned and our legs and arms were basically useless for the rest of the day, but the eyes of the family that lived there were all the thanks we wanted. We also were able to do another "mini" service project sanding the paint off of old fire extinguisher canisters. The man said that the powder inside is only SLIGHTLY toxic. haha pray for me ;) 

This week I was able to reflect a lot on my own testimony. I was thinking about how often I can feel the spirit in the lessons and throughout the day and was disappointed by the lack of it. I didn't really know what to do- I'm teaching, bearing testimony, praying, being obedient. Why wasn't I feeling it more often? Then, like an answer from the heavens, I was told in conversation during a lunch that we need to CREATE spiritual experiences. This hit me hard. Later that day I was reading back on some notes from a capacitacion and read a quote from one of the elders in my zone that said "no existe bendiciones casuales"(casual blessings don't exist?). I realized that I was waiting for these things to happen instead of creating the right circumstances to allow the Spirit to testify. I changed something in my prayers and am trying to really love the people and to not let frustration or impatience deny the Spirit. In Mateo (Matthew) is the famous story of the 10 virgins. As I was studying this story I realized that all ten of these women WENT to the event, but only half of them were ready. I felt like this applies to us. We may GO to church, BE on a mission, but are we really prepared? Do we really have our lanterns ready? Are we creating spiritual experiences that can't be borrowed or bought? 

I love seeing the pictures and smiles on your faces. Try to think of something to talk about on Christmas because I'm telling you everything about my life via email.... haha Stay sweet and eat some food that I miss. Your favorite Hermana,


Monday, November 23, 2015

OLA (Not Hola!)


This week, like so many in the mission, was crazy! After internet last week we met up to announce cambios and Hermana Gomez se fue. Fourth transfer, fourth companion. Normal. We all went to lunch como zona afterwards to talk and laugh and then watched a movie together. (It was puss in boots. I thought it was funny until I realized that I might just be thinking that because I haven't seen a "real" movie in 5 months).  Tuesday we all met up for cambios and my new companion is Hermana Gaona! She is also from Mexico (estado de mexico) and is super cool. So far I have gotten along really well with the Mexicans! We "purified" the house and the Area book, both of which were big jobs. There were clothes, shoes, papers, registros, and crap from the Elders who were here almost 2 years ago!  

I discovered my new addiction, fried yucca with a special crema that tastes like the sauce at Red Robin. One of the Menos activos we're working with owns a restaurant and it looks like we'll be having a lot of lessons around dinner time ;) We were trying to follow up with a family that went to church with us last week and were met with a bunch of excuses. It breaks my heart to have people experience something so wonderful, and then fall into the temptation of their natural man. Laziness, excuses with work, etc. We left their apartment and ended up teaching a lady in a room dedicated to her hamsters (seriously 12 cages) It was an interesting experience. We are working with some good families and trying to get them to COMMIT to doing the small things (What we call OLA- orar, leer, y asistir) OLA is the secret to conversion. I hope each of you will evaluate your OLA and if you're one of the people that have fallen into the trap of "not having enough time", read in the bathroom. Listen to your scriptures while making dinner. While driving to work. One of the people we live with (the mom of Hno Yoyi) teaches seminary every morning at 6 am, has a job, cares for her parents and kids and grandkids, is a teacher in Relief Society and is always really busy. But she wakes up at 3:30 am to study her scriptures. Make the sacrifice and I promise that it'll be worth it! I guess the only other new thing for me is that I bought a new deoderant that I'm allergic too. Dang it Peru haha I have a nasty rash in my armpits but hey, at least I have an excuse now for not shaving ;) Keep up the good work and give everyone a hug for me!

Hermana Sav

Old District

Siempre Sassy

Monday, November 16, 2015



Wow I can't believe how beautiful the river trail is! I feel so weird that it's November. I seriously forget what time of year it is- my only reference is my daily planner. You guys look great and super happy which makes me happy. This week I thought of you and your diet. We are teaching someone with a problem with Coffee and I made him a deal that if he gives up coffee, I will give up soda. It has been hard because everyone and their dog offers us a coke or IncaCola at the end of each lesson and I've started to just carry around my water bottle. *tear* haha 

The highlight of this week was my first ever MUNDIAL. This is the "World Cup" of futbol for the Mision Peru Lima Norte. We all gathered at some fields in Independencia and had several games leading up to the championship. My zone came in third place and it was so fun and pretty intense. Our zone was definitely the best cheerers however. Between me and Elder Pastenes (one of the zone leaders) we made up and led everyone in some pretty fun cheers. One of them was "Arroz, frijol, queremos un GOAL!" We also did "Dame un P (P!) Dame un P (P!) Dame uno mas P (!) Que dicen? SAN FELIPE SAN FELIPE SAN FELIPE!" We were all jumping and cheering and laughing and it was super fun. I got fried on my neck (I used sunscreen on my whole body except my neck because I forgot). Point is, I'm going to DIE in summer. haha It was also fun to see everyone from my other zone again, Hermana Valbuena (she dies this cambio!) and my friends from the CCM. Hermana Haro bought me a mini cactus for my birthdaythat she was finally able to give me! Do you guys still have the cactus I bought for you to care for?  We will all meet up again on Christmas day. 

The hermano who made us arroz con leche also owns a cevicheria. We're not allowed to eat ceviche but he made us a plate of conchas de albanico, langostinos y pulpo (shells , shrimp and octopus).. I thought I was going to die with the octupus but with enough aji it was actually delicious. I can seriously eat almost anything now. 

We've been playing basketball at 6 am lately with part of our zone. It has been fun to play (embarrass myself) even if it means sacrificing an hour of sleep. This week we were able to find a lot of great new people to teach. We learned about the importance of asking for references in finding nuevos and wow, what a difference. It is so helpful because the people automatically trust you a little more, because their friend recommended us. It also helps them have a friend in the ward, someone they can relate to (you know, better than two twenty year old extranjeros) and someone to go to with doubts or concerns. We put it in practice this week and asked everyone for references. I challenge each of you to take a look at your friends, neighbors, and family and look for someone to share the gospel with. You shouldn't be afraid to share it- these people are our brothers and sisters who literally can not be saved without this gospel. Think of your sister or daughter or some family member lost in the city. Are you going to ask everyone in the streets if they've seen her? Are you going to look till you're darn right exhausted in order to find her and save her? It's the same for those around us. Put forth the effort with joy! We have cambios today and I seriously don't know what's going to happen. I know that whatever happens will be for the best. I am really enjoying the mission, not in the way that some people might think. It has been really cool to see people in a different light. To weep for them. To laugh with them. To tell them something that they've never heard before that will change their life forever. It has been interesting to learn how to work with a companion. To see how similar and how DIFFERENT you can be. To try your patience, with others and yourself. To spend time STUDYING the scriptures. I know that this gospel is true. Before my mission I think I only had an idea but now I am sure of it. I have a lot to learn and am far from perfect, but I know that the Lord is pleased with what I'm doing which is the most important thing. Keep up the good work. Be missionaries now! 

Love you tons,

Hermana Stone

bye hermana valbuena. Good luck with real life in Colombia!

expect a lot of mundial photos whoo hoo!!

Zona San Felipe!

The Red Sea

lunch at our favorite place in town, El Ruedo

Met up with Kaylee Kingston at Mundial!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Get Your Feet WET!


First of all thank you for sharing the talk from Elder Scott with me about the Holy Ghost. I love how he said that we need to act and if it is right, we will be confirmed. If it is wrong, He will tell us before it is too late. This week I was reading the story of when the people had to cross the water and it didn't part until their feet were wet. This is a great reminder to trust that the Lord trusts you. 

Thanks for keeping me updated on the news from home. Give grandma a big hug for me! I also love what you said about getting answers from the scriptures. This morning I was studying in Preach my Gospel about how we can recognize the Spirit. I challenge each of you to go online and read the chapter on recognizing the Spirit as well as DyC chapters 8 and 9. This week we had a special capacitacion with Presidente Erickson. I want everyone to know that I know that we are assigned to our mission not only for the place or people, but moreso for the President in which we work under. He is a man inspired by God and I learned so much. The topic was Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon in the function of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Among all of the powerful things we learned about him, backed up with scripture in Doctrina y Convenios, the book of mormon, and the Bible, was the role of the Book of mormon in the Final Judgement. We learned that this book will be what divides the people. Those who choose to accept it (and learn and act upon it) will receive a crown of glory whereas those who reject it will be condemned. I love how the scriptures are so direct. There really is no other way we can be saved and receive this "crown of glory" with eternal life without the restored gospel, without the restored priesthood to perform the saving ordinances of baptism and confirmation of the Holy Ghost. When people make fun of the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith, Presidente told us to DEFENDELO. Don't be shy about it. He told us that if we declare these things, and they choose to reject our message (His message) we will stand as witnesses against them at the bar of God. However, if we are timid or unclear, the culpa will fall upon our heads. I know that God has sent us here as missionaries, but also each of us as members, to declare the truth with a voice of a trumpet. I want to invite each of you to reflect on the moment when you KNEW that Joseph Smith was a prophet. When you KNEW that the Book of Mormon is true- and DEFENDELO. If you aren't completely sure right now of these things, study the Book of Mormon and pray directly for an answer and I promise God will answer in one way or another. 

We have a lot of great people that we are working with, all of which have problems (laziness, need to get married, have crazy inlaws...) The crazy inlaws part was funny because everyone always talks about crazy inlaws but these inlaws were so mad that we were coming that they ordered a sacerdote (priest) to their house to try and set them straight from all of the "mindwashing the Mormons are doing". I hate how people won't even listen one time to see that all of their ideas about us (that we're all rich, worship Joseph Smith, don't believe in God or the Bible... etc) are COMPLETELY WRONG. We are finally starting to see success in this area and are working hard to help these people make covenants with their Father in Heaven. I'm thankful for all of the support and love you guys send me. I pray for you every day. Love always,

Hermana Piedra

Toshi and Tadashi, the kids of Yuri and Yoyi (who we live with) They are ANGELS in a cute annoying way haha

Worlds best arroz con leche by Wilson Cumpa-a recent "rescatado" He's been inactive for 20 years and just got his temple reccommend for this week

zone leaders (yes, they're all hipsters)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Ears to Hear, and Eyes to See


Wow those homemade donuts look amazing. There is a food called "picarones" that is basically donuts but with a honey glaze they put on it. There are two ladies on the corner of my area who sell them and are our friends because we stop a little too frequently. How embarrassing haha but we get a discount! All of the kids looked great for halloween too! In the morning I bought a bunch of hard candies that I handed out to kids while we were proselyting and teaching. Hermana Adams and I also dressed up as Ana and Elsa from Frozen which was really fun! We spent Halloween teaching like normal but in the night met up with the Lidres de zona and the other Elders whose area borders ours in the house of Yuri for pizza and soda and stories! 

My birthday was also good! We had service (painted another house and helped move sand bags) and 4 different people brought us cake! At the end of the day we went to Yuri and Yoyi's house (we live with them but in a seperate entrance) and all the lights were out. We walked in and their entire family jumped out "feliz cumpleaños!" There were balloons, a sign, a torta de galletas con manjar (YUMMMMM) and a big family hug. It was so sweet of them and I felt really loved. Hermana Gomez woke me up singing a special Mexican birthday song and gave me a peruvian backpack. (smiley emoji) My birthday package was also the best! Thank you so much for the new clothes, TORTILLAS (gomez is excited for this too) and the new BIC pens haha 

This week we saw two people get robbed, one of which was assaulted too. We aren't allowed to carry much money. My investigators are good. We have several people we are working with who are progressing but also have a lot of problems. Permission from parents, needs to get married, is addicted to alcohol, etc. We are working hard and praying harder. I hope we can start seeing some fruits of our labor! This week I had an interesting experience. I am obviously feeling the Spirit during the day but was having a hard time recognizing it. I would pray for guidance of where we should go, what we should say, who we should focus our time on, and feeling like I wasn't getting any answers. I was so frustrated that a name didn't pop into my head, that there wasn't a "burning in my bosom" or someone pass in front of me when I was praying for these things. I have been studying a lot about the Holy Ghost this week in the scriptures and Preach my Gospel and realized that the whole time God has been leading us and protecting us   Y ocurrió que cuando oyeron esta voz, y percibieron que no era una voz de trueno, ni una voz de un gran ruido tumultuoso, mas he aquí, era una voz apacible de perfecta suavidad, cual si hubiese sido un susurro, y penetraba hasta el alma misma; (google translate: And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, or a voice of great tumultous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and penetrated to the very soul)
I know that God is always with us, we just need to be looking and listening a little more carefully. Have ears to hear and eyes to see. I love you guys and pray for you every day. Love always,

Painting another house. Word got out that the gringas do service for free
Halloween as Anna and Elsa

missionary poker (or paying over 600 soles of american food)

moto taxi "Dios esta con nosotros"