Monday, December 28, 2015

In our Orbit

Hola familia! 

So.... I guess I don't have much to say because we talked three days ago, but honestly this Christmas was so good. I loved talking to you guys and seeing your faces. It's crazy what six months can do to you- I'm not the only one who looks different ;) 

This week with all of the christmas activities I finally was able to get into the Spirit. We had a ward Christmas party with games, a nice video and a bunch of food (paneton, mas paneton, jello with paneton... Paneton is a fruitcake type bread in Latin America that Savannah does NOT love) We had huge success with having a lot of investigators and menos activos that came. We also did a little Christmas exchange in the zone. I was sad about not being able to participate in the big family christmas exchange but what we did was almost as good. About two weeks ago we drew names and then all traded and ate brownies. I gave Elder Kimball a basketball and received a really cute scarf. Then, of course, all of the festivities as the whole Mision Peru Lima Norte with the skits, games (volley, dodgeball, futbol...) movie and seeing everyone from the CCM and other districts/zones. AND TALKING TO YOU GUYS! En serio, fue muy divertido a verles (seriously, it was so fun to see you!). I can't believe that this year is coming to an end. And I can't believe we're already at cambios again! Someone told me that the mission is like the three grados de gloria (degrees of glory). The first six months is like the reino telestial (telestial kingdom), the next six are like the reino terrestre (terrestrial kingdom), and the final six are like the reino celestial (celestial kingdom). The time is picking up and I am feeling more confident and happy in our role as missionaries. 

This week I was reading an article about how God placed the star that led the shepherds to Christ's birth in orbit thousands of years before His coming and how God places us in "orbit" with other people in order to lead and help them. I got to thinking how the people placed in my orbit have affected me personally (especially after talking with the family) and how we all are affecting others lives. It may be with talking with friends, serving in a church calling, saying "no", accepting a responsibility, being an example, doing a secret service or offering a smile. With the new year rolling around, I hope that each of you can remember in your personal goals to look around your orbit and see how the goals you set can and will affect those around you. I hope your New Year is a good one! Thanks for all you do,

Hermana Stone

With Hma Kingston and Hma Adams

Monday, December 21, 2015

His Hand is Stretched Out Still


Yay okay I guess I'm a little excited to talk this week. One thing about Christmas that I love here is that almost every house has a huge nativity scene complete with several little glass figurines. The best part is that almost all of them are peruvian, o sea, (that is) they all have little peruvian hats and braids and traditional clothing. Nothing like a little national pride eh? 

I was able to buy a new camera this week and I learned my lesson about backing up my pictures. I'm just glad that I still have my journal and a good memory :) This week for P day we accidentally got locked inside the church. Some people were locked inside the building, some of locked in the basketball court area, and two sisters outside the gate. The man doing the yardwork locked everything up and took the keys with him (which is why I was forced to decorate the sugar cookie through the window!) Elder Cowger's mom sent him a mix and we made them as a district.

 This week was really good. We were able to have another visita de trabajo with one of our zone leaders and although they always stress me out before hand, I always learn so much. He told us that we need to trust ourselves more, rely more in our own words which are brought to us by the spirit. Several times during the visit I wanted to stay quiet for him to answer the difficult questions or to teach something that I thought that he could teach better than me. He said to repent and trust in the Spirit of the Lord. We have the same right to the Spirit that he has with our callings as missionaries and just because his calling is a little different than mine, doesn't change the power by which we teach. I got to thinking a little about the role of the Spirit in our lives. I have always been one to freak out while making decisions and it is often easier to wait for someone else or a situation to make the decision for me. However, we as missionaries, and baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ, have the RIGHT to the companionship of the Holy Ghost. We have the RIGHT to his guidance in our decisions, in teaching, in parenting, in serving. We just have to be worthy of Him and looking for the subtle promptings that will always come. Although I have felt that I am not seeing BIG success or changes in the people we are teaching, I started recognizing how the Spirit is working small changes in the lives and hearts of these people. It may be one man to see that there is a difference between rezar and orar (to repeat prayers and to express our feelings and desires) and to make the changes to pray correctly. It may be a less active start to go to church again and give us references. It might be someone who is learning how to apply Christlike attributes such as patience to deal with their family in a loving, not violent, manner. Just as it says in 2 Nephi 28:30 "For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, 'We have enough', from them shall be taken away even that which they have." God is working miracles line upon line and teaching me little by little how to recognize His hand. I know that he is aware of each of us and that "His hand is stretched out still". I hope that in this special time of year each of you can stretch out your hand to someone and remember not only that Christ came, but also WHY He did. I know that he is our Savior and that He is literally with us every step of the way. Until Friday......

Hermana Stone

PS something funny this week was while we were doing estudio del idioma (language study).The instructions said "Use el pluscuamperfecto de subjuntivo en la clausula que empieza con siy el condicional compuerto (I can't translate this- even with the help of Google translate!)" I started laughing so hard because neither of us had any idea what that's supposed to mean. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Lost and Found

Yeah, as you know there aren't any pictures this week because my camera was stolen with all of the pictures I have so far from my mission. It was kind of upsetting (okay, super upsetting) because I can't ever send very many due to how slow the computers are. When that happened I was really frustrated that I lost all of these memories. Afterwards I was praying that the Lord could give me understanding and the Spirit to teach. Not thirty minutes after we were in a lesson with Jose. He is an investigator that we've been teaching for a while. He wants to get baptized but can't because he isn't married and is living with his "wife". We've talked to them several times about marriage and his wife doesn't want to marry him because she doesn't love him. He also lost his job about 6 months ago and was diagnosed with Tuberculosis 8 months ago leaving him without energy or strength. After talking to him I felt really stupid for being so upset about a camera, something so temporal. Yeah, it's too bad that I don't have all of my pictures but I have a family that loves me, a body that is healthy and strong, and my convenios con el Señor (covenants with God). And who knows, whoever has my camera now might be able to sell it to feed his family and enjoy all of the embarrassing photos we have ;) This last p day we went to Canta! It is an area outside of mission boundaries and absolutely beautiful! Everything was green and we spent the day exploring by the river, playing ultimate frisbee and taking in the view from the car because it was a pretty long drive. I literally felt my heart fill up with happiness to see NATURE. I miss it haha We went with zona santa isabel and all ate dinner together in my old area Los Angeles in the Polleria Parades. (Where we always went for fries) We had servicio in Trapiche again this week. The elders were splitting wood (they broke almost every ax) and helping clean the stalls of the chanchos and we (the hermanas) swept the patio (it was all dirt but it was meant to smooth it out or something) and helping cook lunch for everyone. We learned how to make aji de gallina, causa, and lomo saltado. AND IT TASTED SO GOOD.

 This week we had revisiones de cuarto and entrevistas with presidente. Revisiones de cuarto is when Hermana Erickson (mission President's wife) comes to see if everything is clean and working okay. The good thing about that is she always brings a treat from america (Milkyways!) and now our thermo is fixed and have hot water again POR FIN (FINALLY!)! They also fixed our fan because everything is about to get really hot. My entrevista (interview) with presidente was good. It's always nice to talk to him. The Spirit is so strong and I know that he is called of God and has the keys to receive revelation for us here. We had a baptism that was supposed to take place Saturday that fell through. Her name is Yenilda and is 23 years old and was faced with many problems, including lack of support from her family who are active members.  She has a new baptismal date for the first weekend in January. This week we were also able to have a visita de trabajo with Elder Parra, one of our zone leaders. I was really nervous to teach with him because I felt like he might judge my teaching or something but ended up gaining confidence learning a ton from him, mainly how to love the people and ask questions that are truly inspired by the Lord. He was able to find out their needs and apply the gospel to them individually. One goal that he left for us is "nunca despreciar la importancia del Evangelio". To remember that no matter what these peoples backgrounds are or problems are, what they need is the gospel. Be persistent. Be patient. Love them. And testify that there is NOTHING more important than applying this to their lives and repenting. I am really grateful for this last week that was a little bit hard, but despite all of these things I was able to learn a lot and feel that God loves me and these people. I hope you guys are enjoying this Christmas season. Do something for someone TODAY!
Love always,


Monday, December 7, 2015

A visit to "Great Aunt Rose"

Familia! A Su!! 

The provo temple looks so beautiful! Tell Sadie and Maddie good job with their basketball games and Footlocker! I'm glad dad has someone to be proud of as far as the sports go. haha This week I was able to have several interesting experiences- Everything from service projects splitting huge trees of wood and helping clean the stalls of chanchos (pigs) (some of them were longer than I am tall and weigh at least 6 times as much) to a visita de trabajo en Tungasuka with the Hermana Capacitadoras to being condemned by a man who told me to come back when I've read the whole Bible and am more "prepared". People are so interesting. We are having a hard time entering into the people's houses. We are being lied to a lot "I'm just visiting" "I'm busy" "I'm about to leave" "I've got to watch the baby" and more. I was starting to fall into the trap of self pity and frustration when I read the talk in the General Womens conference by Elder Uchdorf about a visit to great aunt Rose. Despite things not turning out how this woman expected or hoped for, she was able to make a difference in the lives of so many by choosing to see the beauty and miracles that occur every day. It said "Seems to me that the best things, like homemade bread or orange marmalade, take PATIENCE and WORK." I guess if it takes patience to make bread, it's going to take a little bit of patience to find and teach God's chosen children. I got to thinking about how we are to "harvest" the viña de Dios. However, it is impossible to harvest something that isn't first planted, watered, cared for, and waited on. I can't just expect to arrive and harvest without first going through several steps. In Hechos 5:41-42 (Acts 5:41-42) it says: "Y ellos partieron de delonte del concilio GOZOSOS  de haber sido tenidos por dignos de padecer por causa del Nombre. Y todos los dias...por las casas no cesaban de enseñar y predicar a Jesucristo". (41 So they departed from the presence of the council, REJOICING that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His[a] name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.")These apostles suffered bastante (alot) but were joyful to be taken as worthy to suffer for the name of Christ then continued teaching. I am so grateful for the example of so many faithful servants of the Lord who give me just the slap in the face I need thousands of years later. I want to invite you each to be patient, go to work, and be happy to suffer and share. We promised to do so when we were baptized and as part of the Sacrament, when we renew our covenants,it isn't just renewing in the sense of being able to be cleaned of our sins from the week and receive strength for the upcoming week, but also renewing our promise to serve others, take upon us the name of Christ and keep the commandments. Always remember the power of our covenants with God. He is just waiting to bless us, it's our responsibility to be worthy of it. I hope you have a good week! 


Hermana Stone
I split this by myself!

Because I wasn't there for family pictures...