Monday, February 29, 2016

The Best Joy


I don't know if I ever told you this but the faceswapping app was how I made it through AP Government without dying of boredom! haha Those pictures were scary... It is so good to see you guys at the temple open house. I am so excited to be able to go when I get back- too bad I'll miss all the weddings (I just sounded like a typical missionary haha) This week has been good. Not a lot of new stuff but I am happy and working hard. We painted another house, ate some food that was NOT rice and chicken (!!!) were yelled at by a bunch of drunk men while their kids were doing Carnivales (a tradition where everyone throws water on everyone every Sunday in the month of February. It was super big yesterday because it was the last Sunday of the month!) and were able to teach. One of our investigators, Marisol, is getting baptized this weekend if all goes well. Her mom was a less active member and now her mom is attending again and her daughter now is getting baptized! She is 19 and so sweet. I feel like we are good friends and I feel a kind of joy to be able to help my friend come unto Christ. I got your package yesterday and this morning I brought a bunch of the american chocolates to share with my zone in Internet. Everyone is currently saying thank you. Thanks for the letters, the new socks (that may or may not have been the highlight) the treats and everything else you do for me. I love you guys!

Hermana Stone

Marisol and her mom, Gladys

Monday, February 22, 2016

Not "More or Less", but EXACTLY.

Hola Familia! 
This week has been a good one! We were able to have a capacitacion de Presidente Erickson (always SO SO GOOD) and as usual I learned a lot. We focused a lot in 3 Nephi 11:
39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.

 40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.

 41 Therefore, go forth unto this people, and declare the words which I have spoken, unto the ends of the earth.

I love how it is so specific in teaching how we must teach and live the gospel. Not "more or less" than how it was taught originally by Christ, but exactly! We talked a lot about the importance of teaching and understanding that there are consequences for pecado (sin). When God created the plan of Salvation, there would be consequences for sin, and that is why a Savior was chosen to pay the debt and give all the glory to God. However, we know that Satan wanted all of the people to be saved- not given the choice. We talked about how possibly it could be that he would obligate everyone to be obediente, but more likely that he would not have consequences for sin- that it would be "okay" to not have faith, to not repent, to not be baptized by the authority of God nor endure to the end.  However, we know that there IS consequences AND WE MUST OBEY! Luego we had practicas with another set of missionaries and Presidente observed our group. It was a little stressful but he helped us a lot. This week Hermana Magne and I also got to go to the temple! We sacrificed our Pday  last week to go and it was great. I also got to meet Hermana Ekins mission president and wife and ran into my first bishop and ward mission leader! I love the temple and have missed it a lot after 7 months! I know that the church is true and that HIS Gospel is the only way we can return to live with Him again. Stay true to the faith!! Love you guys,

Hermana Stone

Right after this picture we were caught climbing over a traffic barrier in our skirts because we were trapped in a LOT  of traffic. Elder and Hermana Lowe, a senior couple in our mission ran into us at the temple about4 hours later and asked if we were the two hermanas climbing over the fence. OF THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN LIMA. haha que verguenza

Monday, February 15, 2016

But sometimes it is.

No group email today... but here is a snippet from our personal email to share:

The story of you guys serving the old lady was really sweet. On our way to lunch two days ago we were walking and there was an older woman struggling to carry some heavy bags back to her house. We offered to help and ended up going all the way home with her. The bags were full of bottles of cerveza (beer) but we were able to set up an appointment for another day.

We had another visita de trabajo with the hermana capacitadoras. I was able to teach with Hermana Eliason and she is one of my new best friends I think. We were teaching a woman who fell away from the church after reading some anti mormon things and that now she is questioning if anything that we have taught is true. She said that she has been reading the Book of Mormon but doesn't feel anything. We taught about how when Christ came to the Americas, a voice came from heaven three times before the people understood. The thing that changed is that they now had eyes set upon the heavens and ears to hear. (verse 3 Nefi 11) I testified to her that sometimes we are doing things right and feeling the spirit, but we don't really recognize it. In that moment, I felt the Spirit testify to me in a sort of "lightbulb" way. DING! Sometimes I feel bad because I feel like I don't feel the Spirit during the day as much as I should. But in that moment, I realized that it's not always a warm feeling in my chest. But sometimes it is. It's not always bringing a scripture or experience to mind. But sometimes it is. It's not always running into someone in the street that wasn't in your plans. But sometimes it is.

We bought a Frozen piñata to celebrate nothing :) 

Good week,

Hermana Sav
Finally got to see the ocean! (aka it rained a ton for the first time in forever apparently.) (for more information look up the phenomenon El Niño)
the last supper (breakfast) as a district

don't you love those?

This is what damaged hair looks like. I got it cut.... but it's still bad.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Study and Experiment.... No Secret Recipe!


Que tal? I am freaking out because this keyboard I am using in a different internet cafe is American and I am so used to using the other type that it took me a second to figure out what was wrong with my hands and why they weren't working! This week has been really good- Tomorrow are cambios (transfers) but they changed the way that missionaries have cambios for the whole world entonces (so) we received a phone call last night informing us that we do not have cambios. (Instead of the usual reunion de cambios where everyone meets up and it's called out by Presidente) but... MY FIRST TIME HAVING A COMPANION FOR MORE THAN 6 WEEKS WHOO HOO!  I am sad to see so many good friends leave the zone (and finish the mission- Elder Naranjo to Colombia, Elder Sepulveda to Argentina, and Elder Martinez to Honduras) but I am sure grateful for the good friends and memories that I have made, and for the chance to keep working with Hermana Magne. 

This week I tried "baked milk"which is like a rip off of creme brulee but reminded me of torching sugar siempre (always) at home! We were able to go to a chacra (small farm) for Pday and teach all of the Latinos some fun American games- aka football, ultimate Frisbee, and kickball! It was really fun and we ate pachamanca de la tierra (roasted Pork cooked in the ground) that was super good. We are working with several new people, it seems like all the good people we have found live in other areas but we are passing along lots of references :) This week I have been reading "Our Search for Happiness" and the biggest thing that stood out to me is the importance of our personal agency. It is so important that we have the choice to act for ourselves, to truly be tested to be able to learn and grow. I have thought a lot about WHY it was so necessary that we passed through the veil to forget our premortal life, or WHY we can't always see plain evidence for things forcing us to walk by faith, and not by sight. I guess I came to realize that it is impossible for us to truly learn without being in the dark for a bit. If I am taking a test in one of my classes but have a cheat sheet of all the answers, I will never know these things for myself, but rely solely on this cheap form of information. It is the same with us. We too have to study and experiment things for ourselves. We have to go to class, do our homework, and be agents!! God has made it so we must walk by faith, but has given us so many tools so that we can be successful- the Holy Ghost, the scriptures, a living prophet, and various other means. All of these things are available to us and we just need to put them to use, and work. There is a quote in Predicad mi Evangelio (Preach my Gospel) that says- trabajo trabajo trabajo, no existe ningun substitu satisfactorio, especialmente en la obra misional (Work, work, work, there doesn't exist a satisfactory substitute, especially in the Mission field). There is no way we can truly be happy and truly enjoy all of the blessings and benefits of this life without working. There is no secret recipe for success if we are not willing to do our part. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not passive, but progressive. I hope that we can all be diligent in our day to day activities, especially in those of the Lord. Thanks for the words of support SIEMPRE (ALWAYS) and don't get in too much trouble!

Love always,

Hermana Roca

With Hma Magne, Elders Kimball and Martinez


Pobre Reloj!

Crazy Hair!

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Sabbath Delight


As usual it's fun to see you guys looking so good in all of these photos. Myles is so cute :-) I'm excited to meet him when I get home! 

This week has been good. I wanted to start off with answering a few of your questions. First of all, my companion is Hermana Magne from Oruro Bolivia and I think we'll have another transfer together. She is 24 years old and before the mission was an elementary school teacher. Right now we are teaching several people but are in a kind of standstill with people who are progressing. We are in Comas, barrio Belaunde, and my area has flat area and 2 cerros (hills). We are dying of heat and sweating a lot but it has given us the chance to use what dad said and start a conversation over a cup of water because the people feel bad for us! We are living in the house of a member on the third floor. I love it because every morning when we wake up, I like to open up the windows and look over the park and the whole area. The members are in a different ward and we never talk to them (which was a big change after living with Yuri!) but they're always pleasant. 

I was able to play the piano for sacrament meeting yesterday which was so refreshing. The hermana that usually plays didn't show up and after singing the first hymn without accompaniment with a bunch of different melodies, I ran to the front to try and offer some help. It felt good to play an instrument again :) In Relief Society and Priesthood combined, we watched a training about Sabbath Day observance from April 2015. One of the segments we watched was about how we can spend the Sabbath apart from going to church. It got me thinking about a lot of the traditions we have as a family: "waiting" to eat until dad get's home, sharing what we learned and funny experiences around the table, baking treats with mom to take to neighbors and friends,Sunday walks on the river trail or family bike rides, going to grandmas house to play cards, etc. I am grateful for a home that has taught me how to appreciate and DELIGHT in the Sabbath day while spending quality time with family. I know that as we live the Sabbath day, not only by going to church, but by striving the whole day to do wholesome things with family, we will truly find rest and be better prepared for the week. I know that the sacrament is an ordinance that we should not miss for anything. It is literally the opportunity to be clean again. While participating in the Sacrament, we remember Christ's sacrifice, promise to take upon us His name, always remember Him, and keep the commandments, and in return we are promised de nuevo la presencia del Espiritu Santo (always have the His spirit with us), to be cleaned from our sins, and to be born again to be able to enter into His Glory. As we take and prepare to take the sacrament, we will be filled with the Spirit of God to testify to us PERSONALLY what we can do to be more like Him. I have felt the difference when we have been late and couldn't take it! I hope you guys will not think about this ordinance only while you're eating the bread and drinking the water, but instead reflect and repent before to be cleansed Sunday morning. Thank you for all of your support and love you're sending my way! 

Hermana Stone

"la fabrica" is what people say when you're from Utah. It means "the factory" of Mormon missionaries. Fitting

salió bien

Centro de Lima

One thing I love about Peru....