This week has seriously flown by. We have been so busy visiting members and menos activos. There are a lot of menos activos here in Abancay! I am able to print out your emails so feel free to write long, heartfelt letters to me. I was able to print out your emails and write some responses to them. First I just want to thank my family for always writing me and for you amigos who write me too. I just have so much love for all of you.
okay so responses!
Sophie... What are you doing for Falcons are Fabulous this year? I remember those times in school and they were always the best. You will look back on those memories and love them! Also how did the ACT go? Don't worry about how well you do as long as your future husband aced his! (: haha You will also look back on that time and realize that in the grand scheme of things... it really does not matter!
Dad... Did you find Abancay? I am in the Tamburco district which is the top of the hill. It is beautiful here! It rains almost every nice, so sometimes I wish I had brought a lighter rain jacket, but our pension always loans me jackets when I have to walk home and it is raining. I am going to try to buy one in Abancay. also fun fact. Dogs here in Abancay, are like Mcdonalds in the STates, one on every corner (: haha my favorite is the dog with dreads.
Ellie... You sweet thing, expressed to me how amazing our parents are. I back you up 400 percent. But do you want to know why they are so amazing? Because they are centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and because they are doing the things that parents need to do... teaching their children the principles of the gospel, through their every day examples. Families here...well they are very disfunctional. They don't have the gospel so they do a lot of things out of order. I can see the difference the gospel makes in the family unit. The gospel truly does bless families! Our parents are amazing because they love God and love the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The ogden lights look super amazing fun, but you all are stunners (: I love my family!! I love telling people about you guys. They are always surprised by me having four sisters! and I love showing them pictures!!
Okay Sisters: You all better start playing the piano again! I regret it so much and I am for sure picking it back up when I get back.. The people here have never played and don't have the oppurtunity to learn. I wish I knew some songs to teach them!
Traveling to Cusco! Well I had a lot of help. It was a pretty great flight and I spent two nights in Cusco, one in a hotel, which was super cute and reminded me of that one show where the girl is traveling through ireland to propose to her boyfriend, I think its called Leap Year? But I don't know. We spent the other night in the hermanas room. They have a ton of mattresses and I guess they see a lot of hermanas pass by.
Mom, how as the cake you made? I thought It was pretty snazzy looking. It reminds me of the lack of cake here. They have this holiday "fruit cake" here that is really popular. We had it the other night at my pensions house but its basically bread with fruit snacks spread around. Haha interesting but I'll take it.
So I translated my favorite saying into spanish. Coming in Hot.... Entrando Caliente... .Yeah not the same and Hermana Holland just laughed when I told her.
Amee: Palmer will always be adorable. even if she lost one eye, She would still steal the show. I love that cute girl and I hope that she is loving her glasses.
OKay! So my week! I wanted to tell you guys a little more about Hermana Holland. She went to BYU the same year I did and we actually had the same chem 106 teacher and the same TA for 107... So yeah she knows the BYU Groper. Which is just hilarious. We talk a lot about those classes and BYU. She was an RA there and loved it. Hna Holland is just the sweetest girl you could ever meet. She is a hard worker and has amazing faith! We have seen so many tender mercies this week and I know it is through her great faith. She also pushes me to speak spanish and often lets me lead lessons. Which causes a mental panic in my head, but she is always there to back me up. She is always in my corner and I know she could help me with anything. She is also a ginger... I think all my best friends are gingers! I am pretty sure I should have been one. I do have the whitest skin out of the fam. Anyways she is just super cool!
Because we visted so many people this week I can't possibly tell you everything. But I want to tell you about a girl named Yaneth. She is 12 years old and a menos activos. She lives in a very poor part of town. Her house is basically all dirt, no glass windows or really a door. We visit with her sitting on a little wood bench, and she sits on a broken plastic chair. We found her through a member named Candy, that showed us where she lives. She is the biggest sweet heart and really knows her stuff about the gospel. She is the only member in her family and I don't think she gets a lot of support. But we invited her to church and guess what, She came! I was so thrilled to see her! She stayed for all three hours. It was the best to see here there! I wish I had a skirt to give her or something, but I think I will give her a CTR ring (:
Okay so my pension is seriously the best! She is very very very healthy. Me and hermana Holland are almost always starving. We need more energy to climb these Hills! But she cooks really well. For example she gave us fish one day and a drink that had vitamin C in it. I guess that The vitamin C added with fish is supposed to help it even more, I don't know exactly how it works out, mostly because it was in spanish, but Its just really good to have fish and vitamin C. She has taken some nutrionsist classes and she is really on top of things. Here they don't have a big dinner, so lunch is huge! and then dinner is like a wheat like drink and a sometimes a fruit or some bread. It takes some adjusting but its good. We are going with them to the Mirador today! I don't have any new pictures but I will take some today. Our last p day was pretty boring and we told her this at dinner, and she said, Yeah my day was boring too, lets make next monday better! Yeah she is pretty great! She has a 6 year old boy named Sebastian who is out of control. ahah They were talking about a family one night at dinner, and I was drifting in and out of understanding them, but all of sudden Sebastian, pipes in "Soy Gay!" haha He has no idea what it means but we just laughed and laughed. Hermana Rene said " Nino confeso" (: Their family is really great, I am beginning to understand her more too, which is super nice!
One last story, We visited a menos activo named Martha, She has such a strong testimoney of the book of Mormon, we always wonder "why are you inactive?"! But she has little grand children and she owns a store, so during our lesson someone came to the store and she had to leave and help them. So her grand daughter comes in carrying three of the tiniest cats I have personally ever seen. and basically threw them onto Hermana Holland! ahah It was so great! We really shouldn't even touch the animals here, so Hermana Holland was like wow! Que Linda! and then the grand daughter grabbed them back and they were all clinging on to hermana Hollands skirt and I was just laughing and laughing! I should have taken a picture of that percise moment. It was classic.
Well I wanted to finish by answering Shelby's question. Is a mission harder than Finals? well I think I can answer that better when I have alittle more experience with both, but for now, I'll say, Yeah its alittle tougher, lots of stress, a little more physical and mental, sometimes you feel far away from anyone who loves you and sometimes you just need the encouraging words of you mom. Or sometimes Shelby, I wish I could have some of your wise advice, But with that said, there is a far greater reward from being on a mission, than acing a finals test. There is joy in seeing a young girl coming to church for the first time in awhile, or sharing your testimoney of the plan of salvation to a young 19 year old boy who doesn't know who is he is. The reward is worth the work. Salvation is worth the work. I love being a missionary because there is something powerful in seeing someone pray for the first time and there is something powerful about bearing your testimoney.
Well. I love you family so much! I feel so blessed to have each one of you in my life and in my corner. I am grateful for my Savior and I am grateful for this time of Chirstmas to really ponder about who he is and what he did for us. We should all pray harder, study more diligently, and serve everyone we can. Love you all!