Monday, October 27, 2014

hApPy HaLlOwEeN!!!

Did you know that it is actually incredibly difficult to spell Halloween? just FYI.


And seeing your lovely faces made me very happy. Hahaha and I laughed really hard with the hump day screaming.  I think I might forward it to the other Hermanas just for pure entertainment. Hahaha


This week flew by. Every week flies by really. On Pday this week, the Hermanas (well two of them) from Nasca came down for Pday and it was hilarious.  It was Hermana chavez (who I was with in San Juan) and Hermana Wilkins. All we did was shop and talk but it was probably the funniest thing in the whole world. Then, that night I was praying like kneeling with my head on the floor and I heard a weird noise and then something touched my arm and I looked up and it was a ginormous cockroach. I just started speaking gibberish in Spanish and English and my comp was like"what the crap are you doing I was praying", and I was like "so was I, but there is a cockroach and IT IS COMING FOR US".  So we just started screaming and jumped on her bed and then the bed broke so we screamed some more and then we killed it. So now.... not as thankful for cockroaches. Because one touched me. I might pray with one eye open now.... even though we used so much raid we almost suffocated for a week.

On Tuesday we had a zone meeting and it has been so fun to work so much with the missionaries. It is almost like they are our investigators because we are trying to convert them to family history. Hahaha but seriously, the Elders in this zone are very very special, and they always make me think of the boys and how awesome they are going to be as missionaries.

This week Hermana Chavez (who is a sister leader) came up from Nazca to have an intercambio with us and we did it like in a trio. And it was a riot. Literal insanity. But it was really fun and I actually learned a lot. We had a really deep conversation during language study because they want to go to the states after the mish and study, but it is a big leap of faith. But I am like ninety percent sure Hermana Chavez has the gift of tongues and has received her answers... she just needs to do it. So I like went on a rant about trusting in God and living to receive the blessings of the temple and then we all just talked and bawled, but good spiritual crying. So that was fun. She seriously reminds me so much of mom it is crazy.... hahaha

The huge accomplishment of this week was that I now know all of the words to the Cucaracha song. Like the song that everyone always half sings because they don't know the words? I know them. And I am so very proud.Hahahahaha

Yesterday, we went to the stake center to  teach some lessons and like on Wednesday someone called us and was like "Oh, we want to have small training with you" and I was like "Ya sounds great" and we walked in and there were literally like 100 people. Oh that was fun. Hahahaha, but it really was a really spiritual training so that is good and it made all of the people excited about family history and going to the temple.  So we are gaining some member support and starting the fire in ica :) I really think if it just starts.... it is going to be remarkable. I just feel it :) Also, yesterday I got to take the sacrament after 1 month without it and it was the best thing in the world. Literally. Hahahaha D&C 59:9 was my scripture of the whole week just in anticipation for Sunday.

There is a song I want you to listen to, it reminds me of all the people who are special to me and of Heavenly Father and just it is a good song. But I don't know what it is called... The chorus is like "never alone, never alone, I'll be in every beat of your heart when you face the unknown".... so you should look it up :) Because I love you so so so much. hahahaha

Sorry this email is short.... it felt longer while I was typing. Also, I watched the hump day videos like 80 times laughing my head off, so I think it was time well spent. 

I love you all so so much it is crazy, I challenge you all this week to do something incredibly spiritual to mark my nine months..... like gift a Book of Mormon or a pamphlet, or bring someone to church or learn the cucaracha song.  And then tell me about it next week :) Hahahaha I love you so much! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! (I expect pictures of that from all.... or  I will kill you. Mwahahaha)


Monday, October 20, 2014

Strength Isn't Something You Have, It's Something You Find

Familia Whom I Love!! Hahahahaha How are you?!?!

This week.... was so fun! Weeeelll every week is fun because I just love the mission. But anyway it was a great week! I hope you all had a great week :) It looks very fall-y. Of that I am a tad jealous, Hahahaha. It is just hot here. It is seriously like Yucca Valley in so many ways. Maybe a few more pscyho people though. Just because it is Peru.

Huacachina!! So last Monday for Pday we went with the zone to Huacachina which is like an oasis thing. But apparently the whole goal is to climb the desert mountain of sand and be able to see the whole oasis which sounds and looks SO much easier than it is. We literally almost died. Hahahahaha but it was so fun and the elders in our zone are so dang funny. They crack me up. They also had to rescue my companion who was too afraid to run down the mountain which was even funnier because they had to climb up again. It was a way fun.  It was a hard Pday, but when we got to the top and were looking all out over the desert, someone said, "Wow imagine what Lehi felt like!" And then we really started talking about it because THIS IS ACTUALLY THE PLACE MAS O MENOS WHERE THEY WERE. Ah. It was so cool. Spiritual conversations on the top of a burning hot sand mountain :) are the best thing in the whole world. Oh, also, they were totally inhumanely killing pigs and I have a video of the Elders reactions that I cannot wait to show you in 9 months. Hahahaha

Well Tuesday was more or less uneventful, but we did have a lesson with these two little boys like 9 and 10 years old who were doing their family history for Duty to God and they got soooo excited! They were so excited to see the names of their great grandparents and it was a really cool spirit that entered when they got so excited.  I love family history! We also had a mashed potato disaster... Hermana Muñoz made mashed potatoes and she like tasted them a little and was like "oh they are delicious", but she forgot to put in the milk so when I put a big old spoonful in my mouth, I almost died. Straight instant potatoes and gross butter. Tears came out of my eyes and she laughed so hard we almost died. Oh the adventures of cooking in Peru.

On Wednesday... Hermana Muñoz's computer got a virus and it is equally as funny, albeit terrifying. It talks and opens up weird pages and we keep trying to fix it, but it is possessed. 

One of the fun things I have been doing this change is teaching English, not only to my companion, but to Hermana Alonso and Hermana Torres as well and it has been so fun, and funny. They all know how to say "What's up dude?," "You're a liar.", "I hate you", and "nitwit". So there is my success as a teacher, hahaha.

Also this week I was reading about Jemima Brown again and how when the pioneers would sing "All is well", she would think "Be gad, all is bad", and I feel like I really would have gotten along well with her. She sounds hilarious. 

Also,  this week, one of the elders brought us pecans that he picked off a tree in their yard and they were SOOOO good, but then we were trying to crack them and one bounced off the floor and hit a man in the head walking down the street in front of the church. Most awkward street contact known to man. Hahahahahaha

We have been trying a lot to like pump up the Elders to bring their people to visit us so we can have success and it has been so funny. They live in the boonies.... literally, in sand drifts, like half of them anyway.  On Friday we made a little handout thing and went to visit all of them and share a scripture and set a date for a lesson. We were in a little moto for like 2 hours and it was probably the scariest thing of my life, but I think it worked :) They are getting really excited.

And then, to top it all off, we had Stake Conference Saturday and Sunday (no, I haven't taken the sacrament in 1 whole month. I think I am inactive) and they talked ALL about family history. It was so perfect! But at the night Saturday session, the Seventy was talking all about family history (Elder Vallejo from Ecuador) and he called me up to speak and share my thoughts. I almost died. Hahahaha President was there and like 400 people. But I did it! And then the Seventy just kept telling me how great my Spanish was and it was a very terrifying, cool night. Hahaha

Then, to top it all off, yesterday we had an amazing experience at the end of the day with family history. A recent rescue and her son came in to do their family history. She knew her brother who works in the temple in Lima had been doing some of the work and searching, so we just started looking for names. Well they all started popping up! We went into the vertical view of her tree and there were even pictures! I clicked on the one of her deceased mother and there were like 6 so I started looking through them and all of a sudden I just felt her grab my hand. There were tears running down her face. Her son just looked at me and said she has never seen her mother. She died the year after she was born. It was the most touching moment I have had in family history so far, and it made it all worth it! Us and the Elders were all crying, and it was perfect.

Oh family, I love you soooo much! Do your family history :) Remember that you are loved all the way from Peru!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Cockroaches and Life Lessons

My Dearly Beloved Familia!  I love you all so dang much!

Well. this was a more or less strange week to be honest. Kind of slow, but all is well! And the work is progressing.

Also, I got to eat in Burger King on Monday, so I am very happy. Still. Since last Monday, or whatever day that was....
Also, I bought a new shirt and there are lots of cute clothes and stores here.... So I am really happy about that too. Hahaha it is kind of nice to be in civilization again for a second. Well, almost civilization. There is always something that is like..... oh you're still in Peru. Hahahaha

Also, there is a parrot outside our window and it makes noise allllll the time and I think I am going to kill it. But it is also sort of endearing because it says "Hola" like all day and makes me laugh. Hahahaha

Well, I honestly don't have a ton to report on because all is just starting new this week. We have had some really cool experiences with missionaries and the converts and rescues that we are bringing in, including one Elder from Utah who put in some dates he found and all of a sudden had one line that goes back to Adam and Eve.  His dad isn't a member, so it was a really cool experience for him. Did you know the Seavey line that comes from the Judd line goes all the way back? It is really pretty dang cool.

In the time when we aren't doing a lot, I have been indexing! And it has been awesome. There is a scripture in Mormon 9:30 and also Moroni 10:27 and I feel like family history and indexing are a way for us to hear voices speaking from the dust, like scriptures say. The scriptures are just records, just like our family history records! And it is really quite amazing.

We have some really big plans and goals for this area... Hermana Muñoz and I really feel like this is a chosen place. Well, we know it is. We have felt the Spirit very strongly in some of our planning sessions and I think that with a little time and a lot of work, we are going to see miracles here. Pray for us please! And do your family history :)

Conference was.... amazing. My favorites were pretty much the same as mom's,  and also Boyd K. Packer's and the Jorg guy. I watched in Spanish because there are no other gringas in my zone and I didn't want to be alone with the Elders.... Hahaha. But on the bright side my Spanish is getting really good again because there is no English. Hahaha Oh I love conference. The church is true!

Well on to the title of this email.... there was a cockroach in our apartment this morning.

And he taught me a lesson.

This morning when Hermana Muñoz went in to the bathroom to shower, there was a cockroach in there. She trapped it in the rug and dragged it out to like the washroom patio thing that is outside the bathroom. She went back into the bathroom and  I continued eating my cereal and reading. I happened to look through the door and see it crawl out of the rug. And so I kept watching it. T here is like a 3 inch step to enter the apartment and like a 4 inch step to get into the bathroom, so  I figured I was safe and decided to keep watching it because my suitcases were near it....The cockroach got to the bathroom door, the 4 inch step. Obviously, it wanted to be back where it was comfortable in its cockroach paradise of darkness and humidity provided by the 6x2 square foot bathroom.  I looked at the cockroach feeling around with its antenna things and thought, "Well. it wants to get back home, but he doesn't have the faith sufficient to climb the mountain", and maybe not the strength, having been having squished by my frantic companions shower crocs. 
As I watched the little (actually massive) cockroach continue its search, it seemed to be a little disheartened about the massive wall that was between him and the bathroom and started to feel around some more. He wandered to the rug that had just recently entrapped him and dragged him from his happy place and entered once again, but quickly realized it was the place that had power to entrap him and he quickly exited. He then continued exploring. There was the corner under the wash sink, but that spot was often filled with different forms of dangers and he would have to be super cautious to not be taken by surprise and die. He wandered through the cleaning supplies and the shade provided by my luggage, but saw that it would only provide him temporary happiness. 
He ventured  further and arrived at the step to the room, a slightly smaller 3 inch step. Here, he could put forth a small effort and enter in to the room. Here, he could probably find a more or less suitable home. He could put forth a little less effort and settle for a little less happiness. Pondering with his antennas feeling and weighing the options, he turned and slowly made his way back to the bathroom step.

Being a bug, I imagine he has forgotten all of the details of his former happy home. All he has is some sort of sense or feeling that it exists.... and that it is behind that wall. But he can't see anything... just a seemingly insurmountable wall. I felt for the cockroach.  Oh no I thought,  he has this big wall in front of him, he is injured, and he can't see the end. If he can't see the prize, he is just going to keep sitting there. Or pick one of the lesser options. He is going to settle! He is going to die. He is so close! But he can't see it. He cant see it! He is going to forget what is there. The opposition is too much. He is battle worn. He is tired. All of these propelling and compelling feelings and desires to get to a home he can't see or understand, but knows is his home.... maybe it would just be easier to pick the rug. Or the sink. Or the suitcases. Or even the 3 inch step. But he can't do the 4 inches. He can't see it!

Then, the cockroach taught me something.

We don't have to see the ending point. We just have to have faith and trust enough in these feelings to keep going. To trust in the promises and witnesses of the Spirit that we already have. He REMEMBERED. He felt it. And he started to climb. And, much to my companions chagrin, he made it. He had the faith sufficient to take the steps that he couldn't see to get home. There is no better option! There is no settling. The Celestial Kingdom is our home. And we can only see glimpses of it here and there, but our faith HAS TO BE enough to get us climbing. Because I KNOW that it is there. And it is just over the hill :)

Doctrine and Covenants 12 :7-8

Oh my dear family. This church is true :) As Elder Bednar said, absolute truth exists. And this is it :) I love you all so dang much it hurts. Keep on keeping on :) I love love love love you.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I Love the Mission

Josie and her family.

Our Pension's Family
Hermana Bailey, you have a change! You will be opening an area in Institute and Family History in Ica. Your new companion is Hermana Muñoz from chile. They will be closing your current area to Sisters and place Elders.


OH MY GOSH I HAD A CHANGE. And it totally shocked me. Completely. I literally almost had a stroke. Hahaha they told my comp first that she had a change and I was like "um, what?" And then they said the rest! I was so taken by surprise. I will be doing what Hermana Jameson was doing when I got to the mission in San Juan. 

Well, that night we were literally up all night packing and trying to get everything ready for the Elders to move in, fixing our area book, making notes on everything, etc. The next morning, we had to break the news to the family we live with. Then we heard music blasting outside and found our pension waiting outside to take us to his house for a farewell breakfast. Then, our ward mission leader took us out in his car to find every house and person that was important so that he could help the missionaries that are coming. Members were calling us all day. They are so sad that they are taking sisters out of the ward. I cried pretty much all morning saying goodbye to everyone and then again in ward council that night. 
When we finished all that, like 6 families came to our house to help us get all of our stuff to Cruz Del Sur, the bus station. We got there and it was insanity. Since there wasn't church to say goodbye to everyone, like half the stake was there to say goodbye to all the missionaries that were leaving. It was really tender actually. Then, when I had to say goodbye to Hermana Jameson,  I almost started bawling all over again.  I have been in a zone with her 4 out of my 5 changes, and this change will be her last. She is staying in Ayacucho to start half-time family history with Hermana Bott! They will be so great. Then, we got on the stupid bus. Hermana Wilkins had a change as well, so we were sitting by each other. We talked a lot because it is almost impossible to sleep. 10 hours of dark, stupid bus hell. Hahaha, it is not that bad.... but it is not good.

At 7 o'clock the next morning when we got to Lima, we piled in a taxi with all of our bags to get to the office. AHHHH civilization :) hahaha it was awesome. 

So I am going to explain what I know of all these new changes and such.

They called 6 companionships to work in family history. 2 of those (including mine) are full time working in Family History and Institute. The others will be half-time starting to be opening like family history stuff. Our title is Sister Missionary Retencion Specialists. this is one of the only missions in South America starting with this to the extent that we are. I kid you not I feel the Spirit so strong just writing about it. When we got to the office, 11 of the 13 sisters that will be doing it, including Hermana Bott (oh my gosh I was soooo happy to see her) Hermana Wilkins and Hermana Santiago all piled into a van with President Douglas and we drove to the area offices. There, we had a brief training and it was so spiritual. We were all sitting around a big table, and when they started testifying about how this would help with retention and change the way missionaries work, it was almost hard to breathe I felt the spirit so strongly. I am so grateful to be a part of this. I can't even explain it. 

Well, shortly thereafter we said goodbye, and I said goodbye to Hermana Bott. We went out and caught the bus to Ica, and I got to sit on an even worse bus for 6 more hours..... Hahahaha it was awesome. Hahaha but all went well and we arrived safely in Ica! Me and my comp as well as Hermana Wilkins and Hermana Freyre who both left for Nazca this morning. When we got there at 10 p.m.  The zone leaders were waiting for us and Elder Colton, my first District Leader, is my new Zone Leader! They took the other four Hermanas (also Hermana Torres and Hermana Alonzo from our zone) to their house and then came back for us. The two Elders went with all of our bags, and the taxi was so small they were literally hanging out the window. Hilarious! Hahaha at 11 o clock at night. Oh, I love the mission so much.

Well, I am a little in the dark about my new assignment too. Hahaha my companion was serving in San Juan in the Institute, so she knows whats going on :) Thankfully. We will be in an office in the Stake Center, working with recent converts, recent rescues, and less actives.

OH, I ALMOST FORGOT: I finished the Book of Mormon last week :) on the 1st of October. I know the Book of Mormon is true without a doubt in my heart. 

Also, I have an intense request. Plea.  I really need this. Everyone needs to get involved in Family Search :) Get on, scan in pictures, do the trainings, put in stories, everything. Let's do this together :) You can literally be doing what I am doing and helping me :) Involve the whole family! I feel that it is going to have a HUGE impact.  Seriously :) Also, mom, can you send me a separate email with all the dates and places of births, deaths, and marriages for all of my grandparents 4 generations back, as well as any brief facts about them? Also dates of birthdays for all my aunts and uncles and grandparents on both sides.

Oh man. I feel so scattered. So blessed :) So happy. So excited. I GET TO OPEN AN AREA IN INSTITUTE AND FAMILY HISTORY IN ICA PERU. Oh pray for us. Pray for this program :) I testify that the Lord is truly hastening His work in His time and we are all a part of it :)

Oh, I love you all so so so so much.


Hermana Jameson and Hermana Bott (note that one was before the 10 hour bus ride and stressful training and one was after. Hahaha no judgement!)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

8 Months Today.... :)

Rocio's Baptism

Memorize "The Living Christ" with me!
"The most important thing was their love of the Lord and their respect and love for their covenants."

That was a quote from the General Women's meeting! It made me think of my parents and all of the amazing examples of women and marriages in my life :) So thank you to all.


Wow. What a fast week. What a fast change!! It just keeps going faster and faster. I can't even believe it. Well, here goes another choppy, random email from the life of Hermana Bailey!

On Monday, we went to visit the Cordoba family that had baptismal dates. the dad, Lino, wasn't there so we were just talking to Jennifer (that has special needs) and her mom. They were sad, and they finally told us it was because the dad and also the older sister have a lot of problems with drinking and all that comes with it. I suspected it might be as such because they act like they might be abused. But they said it is only when he drinks... I hate alcohol. We left that lesson quiet and a little down about the world, and we passed a store where a mom was sitting outside drinking a beer while her two year-old cried at her  feet. It took literally all that I have to not grab her beer and chuck it as far as I could and do some kind of missionary repossession on her daughter and send her to someone who would love her as she deserves.  Look, lady, the purest love the world has to offer is crying at your feet. Open your eyes to the happiness that matters, that lasts! Ugh. That is my alcohol rant. 

This week and month in the mission, President has been talking to us a lot about repentance and how we can teach it better and it is blowing my mind. I don't even know how to explain it, but one thing  I was reading this week was talking about the parable of the unprofitable servants, and it says that the best they could do would be no more than their duty required, and I realized we can never ever pay back what He has done for us. And that living worthy of our Covenants like they talked in the womens meeting is all we can do to even try. It makes me feel humble, and so very loved by my Heavenly Father and my Savior.

I decided that missions are kind of like girl's camp for 18 months. A lot like girls camp. You are never really clean, never entirely comfortable, there are no down comforters, and it isn't all the way civilized. Hahahaha, anyway, this week we went with our mission leader in his car to look for our investigator with a baptismal date and we literally could not find her. We were desperate! I finally started just praying in my mind and the phone rang,  our investigator!!! No longer MIA!!! I love the power of prayer. I am gaining a way bigger testimony of that. 

This week  I was showing everyone the pictures of my family.... I kid you not they are all convinced Dad is an actor, Mom is a model, and every single one is in love with my brothers.  I think I am going to have to stop showing them to people. My entire family has a following in Peru. Terrifying, but you should all feel beautiful :)

So we have a huge new weekly planning program and it is EXHAUSTING, but I love it :) It makes me feel pumped and ready to work with plans to actually do it. I have heard we are sometimes called to a mission partly for the mission president... and I think that is true. The things I learn from President Douglas are the things I really need to be a better person in life. I think I want to major in international business administration :) Just a thought. Also this week during planning I got really hungry but was also very lazy, so I was just eating dry top ramen and I had a flashback to YMES and how that was such a huge fad when I was like 10..... Hahaha, oh life is so weird sometimes. 

This week,  I came to another conclusion about the Ruta. The Bus. The Combi. Hell. I truly feel that if only every other butt cheek belongs to you, they should probably stop letting people on the bus. It is worse than sardines in a can. So much worse. It is sweaty Mamitas and Peruvians in a bus touching every part of me.  I so do not have a bubble now,  but I kind of want it back....

Sooooo... WE HAD A BAPTISM THIS WEEK!!! On Saturday, our investigator named Rocio was baptized. I don't know if I mentioned her much before, but she is amazing. So amazing. So prepared. Well, it wasn't all roses and happiness to get her baptized. With 4 days left for her baptism, she disappeared. Didn't show to a lesson. Wouldn't answer her phone. And we only sort of know where she lives... so we went on a wild goose chase (that I mentioned earlier) to find her with our Ward Mission Leader. We finally contacted her, had her last lesson, and set up her interview. Then she didn't show up, but then she did for that night. Then, we found out she had a child that she had never mentioned before. We listened to her whole story about that (she only has custody every other year) and cried with her, and then all was ready. She was baptized by the Bishop on Saturday and it was very spiritual. then she stayed and sat with us for the whole transmission of the Women's Meeting! It was  great experience.

I loved the Women's Conference. After, I was thinking a lot about my family and my Mom. I sometimes wonder if I say things to the sky, they will somehow reach you. So if you ever hear whispers on the wind... they are my messages sent in words on the wind. Hahahahaha :) I KNOW I AM CRAZY. Another dog followed us yesterday. FYI.

Sunday.... was a little rough. All of our members who were going to pick up investigators.... didn't. Zero in the church. That was hard. But our leaders noticed, and I have faith the semana will be better!!! I love our Elders in our ward, sometimes. They actually drive me nuts, but it is so funny. We ate with them for lunch yesterday (arroz a la cubana. amo.) and it was great. Oh Elders.

Well!!! this week is Cambios... so no Pday for 10ish days. Also, i want to know the announcements for Conference and everyone's personal thoughts on Conference because I don't get to watch it!!!! Ok. I think that is everything..... I love you!!!! So so so soooo much. Thank you.