Monday, December 1, 2014

The reason for the season....

I held a bird....we all know how much I hate birds!

Peruvian Thanksgiving....Service, Turkey Sandwiches and Inca Cola!

Well. This week was awesome. I am therefore exhausted. Hahaha, but when I sit down at this computer to write to my family every week, I am just hit with how much I love the mission. It is an amazing thing. Every single part of it :)

Anyway, I will start at the beginning. On Monday, we went to the stupid Huacachina again (I love the Huacachina.... but it is like the most intense exercise ever to climb the stupid thing) and I just stand on the top of the burning hot sand dune and marvel at how many things the Lord has created. It is... beyond comprehension I think, but mostly it just makes me really tired to think about it. Hahaha also, I actually ran down the dune this time and it was soooo scary. I almost died. Adrenaline rush :) Then that night we were teaching in the Sister's area and we were teaching this guy and he was saying that it isn't physical hurt that bothers him, it is that his soul hurts, his heart literally hurts (his 14 year old daughter died of cancer). We were able to share with him the powers of the Atonement beyond just the cleansing power. It was a powerful lesson, and I in the middle of the lesson just felt so strongly that God loved this man perfectly, and that sometimes he lets us suffer and go through devastating things so that we can more fully appreciate when he takes away our burdens.

Then, on Tuesday, we had our zone meeting and when they gave us our time, we were really serious. The last week we only had 9 lessons, and Presidents emails were scaring me, so we said it was time to get real serious. I talked about obedience and the levels of obedience, and we talked about how we obey for love of our investigators and converts and rescues. We bring them and take time out of our day and sacrifice for them to do their family history because we love them and want them to go to the temple. The fire was really there at the end because they were all fighting for lessons slots.. It was awesome. We pension at this little restaurant of a member family across the street and this little old lady who is a member and has a daughter on a mission is like the waitress.  When we went to pension on Tuesday, she just kept hugging me and then she told us that her daughter had changes in the mission that day and that all of the emotions and feelings and longing for her daughter were just really close to the surface that day. I have had days like that (where all I want is to see my family for 5 minutes and hug them and touch their face) and I told her that her daughter loved her and was happy, that she was okay and that it would all be worth it in the end. Because that is what I would have said to my mom. I love you guys :) and sometimes, when for some unknown reason the separation hurts more than others, just remember I love you and I am happy :) and it will all be worth it.  (only 7 fast Sundays left, after this week.... :))

ON Wednesday we were crazyyyy busy. We taught 8 lessons! there is one older recent convert couple that has been coming really regularly and they are so cute. and they have a bunch of names and they are so excited to go to the temple.  Every time we add in a new name or talk about the temple they just cry and talk about how grateful they are. Their names are Manuel and Maria Ferreyra, and they are preparing to go to the temple on the 13th. They have been diligently searching all over to find dates and all the necessary information to go, and the other day when they had a lesson, he just came running in with his temple recommend all signed and he was just glowing. I love family history.

There is this mother/daughter duo that is also prepping to go to the temple that I just adore. Their names are Carmen and Rosella and they crack me right up. They are actually a little insane but in the best way possible. They are also recent converts and have a lot of fire and excitement to work in their family history and spread the gospel and just anything really that has to do with the gospel. The second lesson we had with them they brought like a binder of info and just called uncle after aunt and cousin after and it was awesome. They are so determined to find as many people as possible to help receive the ordinance of baptism :)

On Thursday (yay Peruvian Thanksgiving! Which means it doesn't exist!) We did service with some of the Elders. We took them turkey sandwiches to celebrate Thanksgiving and the member we did service with bought Inca cola and we all went in a circle and talked about what we were grateful for and it was actually really a beautiful moment. It was one of the most special and unique Thanksgivings I have ever had. My comp also left me notes and made me hot cocoa for breakfast and we ate pizza for dinner. So all in all, it was a really great Peruvian Thanksgiving :)

That afternoon, we were in one of the other chapels that we go to every week to teach lessons and it was awesome. The people in that ward are amazing. There is this couple named Luisa and Ismael that always come when we are there so that they can observe the family history and to talk to us in the quiet moments. They are sooooo funny. It kills me. They are a really humble, poor family and they are giving all that they have to be able to go to the temple on the 13th as well. In that same ward, we are teaching one recent convert named Juan who is working soooo hard to get a recommend because the bishop won't give it to him until he finishes the Book of Mormon (I don't know, pretty sure it is apostasy? but he has the keys....) and it is really awesome to watch his progress and determination.  And there is this other little convert of 14 years old and he is AWESOME.  His name is Julio and he is one of the most converted converts I have ever met. He is the only member in his family so he is going to go by himself! (Well, with the caravan and Juan). He is so cool. I am learning so much from the faith of these converts and rescues that I get to work with.  And the family history just lights a fire in them :) It is amazing.

Well, all in all it was a crazy week. We taught 28 lessons,and our goal this week is 35. We are planning to take about 20 recent converts and rescues to the temple on the 13 of December which would be AMAZING (and amazingly stressful) considering we have only taken 4 since we got here (because it is 7 hours away and expensive). I am learning so incredibly much about the power of sacrifice. These people sacrifice so much to go to the temple, and in my house it is 15 minutes away in pretty much whichever direction I choose. GO TO THE TEMPLE. DONATE TO THE TEMPLE PATRONS FUND. The temple is the most important thing in the whole world, and for much of the world it costs and awful lot more than 3 or 4 hours and a gallon of gas. 

I love you so dang much family. More than I can even say :) I am not even sure how this much love can fit in my heart. Actually, I thought I was a loving person before my mission but I really wasn't. And I am still not. But I am trying to learn it! Oh how I love you. Until next week!!! Happy December!!! Listen to Christmas music for me :) :) :)

Moroni 8:26


I love you!

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