My new companion is great!
It is the middle of winter in Peru and the nights are freezing cold!
My comp and I have to wear several pairs of fuzzy socks each night to stay warm, brrrrr!
Hermana Pintado taught us how to make a pineapple cake.
The finished product.
Everyone loved it!
Lots of ups and downs this week. It has been somewhat crazy adjusting to life in Begonias. We are focusing on working with less actives and recent converts. There are millions of them!!! I thought that if we are always working with menos activos and recent converts we would never have baptisms because we don't have investigators, but I was very wrong. By working with them we are able to find people who aren't members within their families. This is a plus because they already have some background with the church and they have a built in support system. This week we have been working with M. He has been through a lot in his life. He has gone through drugs and rehab (Grandpa John, I can hear you on your soapbox already!) and now he is finally ready to make a change. Immediately after leaving rehab he sought out the missionaries. His mom is a recent convert and has the strongest testimony. We taught him the story of the Anti Nephi Lehis, and how their repentance process included burying their swords profundamently into the earth, and then being baptized. We explained to M that he too needs to put the past behind him. Dig a deep hole, put away all of his past sins, try never to commit them again and then come unto Christ. We all make mistakes. The good news of the gospel is that we have the atonement to fix things. Applying repentance daily is something we all need to do. Every day we need to be progressing forward and becoming better, trying to find a way to become more like Christ, and leaving our selfish natural man behind.
Another investigator that we have been working with is E. Her daughter L recently joined the church But E is a little bit more skeptical. She also has been through many trials and has a lot of problems. Teaching her has made me realize how important the plan of salvation is. When E was young she witnessed her dads death. His killers were never found and she said that it haunts her every night that they might still be out there. She has cut her self, her husband is cheating on her, and she is going through a lot in her life. She is in a really sad place. This week we started to teach her about the pre-mortal life and how we chose to come to earth to receive a body and be tried. As we explained this to her she said she would have rather just stayed as a spirit and never came to earth. It makes me so sad that any one could think this way. I hope that once she understands the whole plan of salvation that she will have a little bit more hope, faith, and strength to keep going. A lot of people ask why Mormons are so happy and I honestly believe its because we understand the plan of salvation. We know our purpose hear on Earth and what is going to happen when we die. The plan of salvation gives us hope, strength and faith. I'm so thankful for it in my life and I am thankful to be on a mission to share this plan with others.
Our other Investigator is R. She was a reference from the previous sister missionaries. She has been attending church for 3 weeks and she really likes what we have to offer. She is a single mother of four active, crazy children. She works at a little fruit stand and tries her best to keep her kids calm and respectful. I think she loves the church because it is so focused on family. Hermana Pintado and I have had two noche de hogars with her family because she really wants her kids to have religion and develop a spiritual respect. One way to calm her kids down is singing hymns! R loves to read the scriptures and said that she reads an hour every day. We invited her to be baptized but she needs a little more time to prepare. I can see her as a great member and I Know that the gospel will bless her family in a million different ways.
I really love my new ward. The members are so fantastic. The other day we had an activity with the relief society. Hermana Pintado knows how to make keke de pina., basically a Pineapple cake. So we motivated the Sisters to do their visits by making keke de pina and then going out to do their visits with them. I am really thankful to be in Peru because I am learning so many new things!! I am learning a new language, a new culture, I know how to flag down a taxi and navigate the bus everywhere. My companion has taught me how to dance a little bit and its awesome! I love the opportunity I have to develop all these cool new skills. My mission is literally the BEST, I LOVE it. And even though there are ups and downs I try to always look at the bright side and find the good in things.
Love you all!
See you next summer!