It has been a wonderful wonderful week!! Week eleven in my training means that I am in charge of everything!! I was super nervous but I learned that I can actually speak Spanish and understand (a little) over a telephone! YIPEE!
For some responses. Dad, I actually know a ton of people who speak quechua! There is actually a class at the church that is taught in Quechua! I have learned how to say My name is, and eye. Lots of kids can understand it and I am finding that lots of teenagers can speak it too. Its really cool!! Hermana Holland knows a little more because where she was born they speak it a lot!! Also for everyone´s information, every day is a hike. Literally we are always walking through fields, up really steep hills, or right by bulls and cows. It’s definitely an adventure and I always end up thinking “How did I end up here?” Not on a mission, but like when I´m climbing up a mud hill in the pouring rain… ☺ maybe I wasn´t so good at leading us this week. OH and mom don´t worry about pushups or exercises! We are getting them in. We usually run around a block or two in the morning and that includes half up hill… Yes my calves are in good shape but I get my push ups in too.
For the ungoogleable facts about Peru this week
1. They all have a whiney voice that they like to use. Especially the elderly ladies. Its actually quite funny and Hermana Holland and I always use it to be funny!
2. The weather does not affect the shoe choice here, When its pouring rain and super super super muddy they are still rockin the crocks…. And sometimes I think “Why not?” They are way easier to clean!!! They also where flip flops in the pouring rain!
3. The power goes out here like all the time and its no big deal! Can´t use your electric stove…That´s okay just start a fire in your house! I am not joking I have experienced this all time!
This week for valentines day we went out to eat with Rene´s family!!! It was so good but so strange!! All I could think was wow am I really in Peru!! And am I really speaking Spanish!! We just love Rene´s family and we love when her husband is in town too!! They are like our parents and always give us counsel on what to eat and if it’s raining Herman a Rene tells us not to work…l but we don´t listen to that advice!! They really are the best.
Something funny and a little scary that happened this week. Hermana Holland and I found ourselves in a lesson that went a little longer than planned and we were in a dark area at night and there happened to be party music playing which means a little drinking and it was raining. We were trying to walk really fast to the area where there was more light. Anyways I couldn´t see really well and was falling behind trying to avoid the puddles! Anyways I hear people running behind me and screaming and shouting and it sounded like a bunch of men… I was so scared I really thought they were running for us and I was planning on what I could hit them with. It was probably the scariest moment so far… Anyways it gets closer and closer and Hermana Holland and I walk a little faster, but then Hermana Holland turns around and sees three of Elders, our district leader, his companion, and the zone leader…They saw us ahead and ran at us to scare us! Wow it worked and they got a kick out of it… They are really lucky they didn´t get a REAL kick out of it. Elders think they are so hilarious!!
So After a couple weeks of little success we finally saw the fruits of our labors. Three of our investigators came to church, and 6 of the menos activos we have been working with. We were so happy and surprised!! It rained a lot Sunday and we thought that would be used as an excuse for some of our investigators. But we were excited to see them and experienced a little stress getting them all to the correct classes. It truly was a blessing from the Lord after a couple rough Sundays.
We are so excited for one of our investigators Carolina! She is fourteen years old and we have been teaching her for almost three months. I have seen a great change in her and I believe she has a very strong testimony. She has come to church 6 times and is already part of the young womens. We need to get her a personal progress book pronto! Anyways the only thing we lacked was permission from her parents. They live in Cusco and only visit so often. Carolina is taken care of by her grandmother. This week they came to visit and we finally got to talk to them yesterday. We brought Hermana Rene with us, who was crucial in this lesson. We were able to answer her mother’s questions and I could feel the spirit there. It was amazing. Hermana Rene shared her conversion story and we shared our testimonies. We saw a miracle when her mom called her dad in and together they gave Carolina permission. They hugged her and congratulated her! I know that God softened their hearts and that our prayers were answered. It was a wonderful moment. She is set to be baptized February 28. We are so excited!! Carolina is a wonderful girl and I know that she will be a strong faithful member!. I just hope I´ll be around for her baptism but with changes in a week, I have no idea.
This week I studied a lot about the Book of Mormon. It is truly the keystone of our religion. I am 100 percent positive that if all the members read it and studied it, there would be a change here in Tamburco. Usually all the menos activos we visit are not reading the Book of Mormon. I know that the key to enduring to the end is having a continuous study of that book. It is the keystone of our religion. It is our witness of Jesus Christ, witness of the Doctrine of Christ, and our witness of the Restoration of the Gospel. I am so grateful for the opportunity to read it and I am truly beginning to understand the importance. I love it here and we had such a great week full of mini miracles!! I am so grateful for this opportunity and thank you all for the wonderful support!! I have the best family and friends ever!!
Con mucho amor,