How is everyone this week? My week was pretty great and It’s crazy to think we only have one week left till changes!! Can you believe it? It’s flying by people! Anyhoo responses for this week: Grace wanted to know if I felt safe walking around… haha yes I feel safe during the day and at night we avoid the dark unlit areas so we are pretty safe. So Mom wants to come to Peru… I’ll tell you this that Peru has already become a part of me. The first sector you start your mission is where you were born, so to speak, and Abancay has become my second home. People are always saying hi to us and our neighbors always say hi when they see us. I would of course love for you guys to meet Rene and Carolina. That’d be great! I would love you guys to meet the people, ride in the Combi’s and experience total! So Yes I think it would be pretty awesome to see my parents in Peru. You guys would love it! So yes maybe you should come Okay so a strike here is pretty intense. Everything closes down and if your store is open they will come in and trash it. People from a nearby pueblo came and that’s why we watched them pass our house and trash our neighbor’s store. It’s kind of a free for all so they steal things and hurt people who don’t join them. Crazy. Days like that I’m grateful for America. The internet cafes here are just places with lots of computers. I don’t really know how to explain them. They are pretty crowded because people don’t have internet at home so they “go to the Internet”. They are popular too for this reason. If kids have homework that they have to do online or print something they have to “go to internet”. Or people really love facebook here. They call it FACE. So if they want to have time for their face they “go to Internet”. And fancy. Haha nothing is fancy here.
Ungoogable fact about Peru: Sometimes people parade around with shirts that say American words or phrases. Sometimes it’s a success and they actually are grammatically correct, Other times know and its either absolutely horrifying or hilarious. It makes me never want to wear a shirt with phrases in other languages or get a Chinese symbol tattooed on my arm. For example, Sebast has a Alvin and the Chipmunk shirt. The first part is in Spanish, but if you look closely at the drum set it says Alvin and the CHIPHUNKS! Yeah Hermana Holland and I laughed pretty hard at that. If anyone wanted to make a skit about Alvin and The chiphunks I would love you forever. Another Sebast story for ya. Hermana Holland and I have our favorite candy that we love to buy, it’s about 3 pennies in American money and we can only find them at this one store so we only get them once in a while. Anyways we decided to buy ten because we thought we had mission correlation but it turned out the meeting was canceled so we didn’t know what to do with all of them. When we got home we decided to put them in the lunch bags of Sebast and Diane. Well the next day at lunch after they got home from school. We were eating at the table and Sebast came running in with his little crocks and German jersey that he always wears. He came running in and then before he got to us he slid on his knees and put his little arms in the air and yelled, “GRACIAS HERMANAS!” It was the best thing and made us laugh really hard. He’s the funniest little kid ever!
This week we finished a lesson a little early and decided to visit a home of a menos actives. Mauricio is the menos active and right now he is in Lima trying to get surgery on his heart. His mom is really sweet and has a really hard life. We decided to stop in and ask her if there was anything we could do for her. She was a little hesitant at first but she let is in and said we could help her make lunch. Hermana Holland and I decided we would make scrambled eggs for her. (they don’t make them here) Anyways we made them and she thought it was hilarious! She could not get over what we were doing and afterwards she refused to eat them. Haha! It was pretty funny. Later before she left she said that before she came she had been crying and really missing her son and then we knocked on the door (or more like called her name, because she doesn’t have a door) And with our crazy gringaness we cheered her up. I think we may have helped her a little bit and it only took some scrambled eggs.
Last Pday we had a girls day with Hermana Sandberg and the Hermanas in our Zone. It was so much fun. Hermana Sandberg is the best and we love talking to her! She has so many crazy stories and its fun to be in a semi American kitchen. Also she made us guacamole and queso and Hermana Hunter provided fun fetti cake which was just heavenly! I wish you guys could meet the Sandbergs! They are great. Elder Sandberg just got released as the branch president so it is going to be weird to not see them in sacrament meeting. Also side note: Mom I played the piano in sacrament. Woot woot. The piano player found out I could play, He happens to also be the ward mission leader, and one of our favorite people so I couldn’t say no to his request. Now I am the Piano player. The nice thing is that we always sing the same song for the sacrament and when I asked if I could play another, President Sanchez suggested that I just play the same song because everyone knows it. I decided I better get better at the left hand if I am going to play the same song every Sunday.
Edgar came to church this week and brought with him his two sons. Monica was working and couldn’t come. But wow Edgar had such a great experience! In our class for investigators we talked about the Holy Ghost. It was such a great lesson and in the end Edgar basically shared his testimony and shared how he received his answer that the church was true. Now they just need to get married and maybe have more time for visits because they only have time together on Sundays. This experience just strengthened my testimony that Church attendance is so important. When investigators or menos actives come to church they really learn a lot and I know that it is because the spirit is there. We have a lesson with him and Monica tonight, so I hope everything goes well! Saturday we got to watch the Women’s session and thanks to a small tender mercy from God, I understood all of it in Spanish. I loved the theme about families and I hope that we are all prepared to defend the family in the years to come. I know that I am ready and being on my mission has only strengthened my testimony that families ARE a part of God’s plan and that it is in our families where we find true joy and happiness. I really loved all the talks and I can’t wait to read and study them a little more. It also made me nervous for what’s happening in the world and what’s going to happen. But for now all we can have is faith in Christ and continue doing the things we promised we would do.
Well This week Carolina didn’t come to church! We were so nervous and didn’t know what happened. So we decided to visit her after Church. When we found her at her house she said that she wanted to talk somewhere else. We walked a little ways away and sat on some rocks. She opened up to us and told us that she hadn’t read or prayed all week therefore she felt unworthy to take the sacrament and that is why she didn’t come to church. I was in awe at this example. She is fourteen years old and truly understands the importance of the Sacrament. I wish I had been this aware when I was 14 years old. We talked to her about repentance and assured her that she could only ask God to forgive her and that he would. She was so repentive and really sad for what she did. She said she could feel a difference in her week. I am so grateful for her testimony and example. It makes me want to be better and to really take the sacrament worthily each week. She is the sweetest girl .Well one last thought. I was reading in Jacob chapter 4 this week and really liked verse 7. The Lord shows us our weakness’s so that we can remember his grace and repent of them. I feel like on my mission all of my weaknesses are right there in front of my face, but I feel grateful for this because then I know what to work on and what to pray for. It’s something really cool. Anyways love you all so much. And to my dear sister Sophie, Keep your head up. The Lord has a plan for you and don’t you waste one minute of your senior year. Be a friend to everyone and continue serving. Maybe there is something that you need to do that you couldn’t do as SBO. Remember that I didn’t make two of the three dances that I wanted to my last senior year. It was upsetting and really hard to go through. AT times I just wanted to quit. But now that I look back on it I realized that the Lord needed me to be focused on other things. Trust in the Lord and press forward with lots of faith. lOve you sis.
Love everyone so much, Hermana Russell