Monday, September 30, 2013

El Olovar for another week


So, we guessed right! Hermana Agle and I will be staying here together In El Olivar for another transfer! Actually, only two people in our zone changed this transfer.  Our President doesn't like changing people around a lot because he wants us to just get comfortable with where we are and get to work, not using a lot of time to adjust to a new area/new companion etc.  Anyway, so Hna Agle and I are together and we'll probably stay together for a while.  Which is totally fine with us because we get along great and work well together as missionaries.  :) 

We've had a pretty good week this week! We are teaching a couple of families right now which is the best.  We are teaching a family of a missionary from our ward.  He is serving in Argentina, but nobody else in his family is a member.  So we are teaching them but they like to take things slow.  We're trying to help them realize that they don't have to know EVERYTHING before their baptism, but it's a slow process with them.  We're hoping and praying for a baptism with them before the end of October. Also we are teaching a family that is a reference from recent convert, so that's cool.  They're progressing really well but we've had a hard time getting them to church.  Actually, we've had a hard time getting most of our investigators to church, because church starts at 8am (whose idea was that?) haha so we get up early and spend our early morning on sundays knocking doors and waking people up, haha.  It's defintely an adventure before  church every Sunday. 
We're teaching another family as well that just keeps growing! Every time we visit them, another nephew or grandma shows up, haha.  So that's pretty fun. 

This week we did another service project with some Elders in our zone which was really fun.  We cleaned the man's roof, which is always interesting.  The roofs here are just like the backyards/garages, meaning there is just lots of STUFF up there.  And dust.  Have I mentioned how dusty Lima is? They have little fly/bug things here that are just full of dust.  You can just kill it with your hand, and there aren't like guts or anything, it's just dusty and just kinda blows off your hand.  Really weird haha.  Anyway, so we cleaned and sweeped his roof.  Sweeping in Lima is kind of like bathing a fish, what's the point? haha but we still had fun and helped him out a lot. 

To answer your question dad, there are 5 religions in Peru. Well, in Lima.  Catholic, Evangelical (is that how you say it in English?), Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and Christians.  Everybody is Catholic by default.  The other churches didn't really start growing until probably about 30 years ago so everything else is pretty new.  There are always a TON of JW's and evangelical missionaries out preaching.  And then there are "Christian" churches which is cool but we're Christians too so whatevs.  Anyway,  mostly everybody here has heard of all of the different churches and doesn't really know what to do about it because they all preach different things and have missionaries out all the time.  It makes me think of the time of religious excitement before Joseph Smith restored the church and how confused he was.  Luckily, we don't have to restore the church because it is already here, we just have to go preach it and bring it to the people that have been prepared to hear it!

The church is true! My testimony grows every single day.  It's so cool to see the hastening of the work every day, and how the Lord has prepared so many people.  Go out and be missionaries! Hurrah for Israel!

Hermana Jones

6 weeks?

Hola mi familia!!
What an awesome week this has been! I can't believe it has already been a transfer since I got to Peru! We have transfers this week, and we are supposed to find out today if we are leaving and what not, but we still don't know.  Hermana Agle and I are both pretty sure that we will be staying here together for another transfer, but we'll see!

Two of our investigators, Iran and Cianny, got baptized this week! They are 13, and 9.  Cool story about them: They have been taught by the missionaries for months, because their mom is a member.  The problem is that they haven't wanted to be baptized and kept pushing back their baptismal date.  When we switched areas a couple of weeks ago, they fell into our hands.  We worked with them a lot and it was so difficult to get them to commit to a date.  Then they got chicken pox and it was all just crazy.  They were supposed to get baptized last week but just kept wanting to push it back and we couldn't figure out why.  We finally found out that this whole time, they hadn't been living the word of wisdom! They love their tea.  We talked about it a lot with them and they finally agreed to stop drinking tea, and a miracle happened! The DAY AFTER they stopped, they were so much happier.  They understood better, they were more excited about everything, and they couldn't wait to get baptized this week.  It's so amazing to see the difference it makes to keep all the commandments! So they got baptized this week which was awesome.  The water was freezing, but they did it anyway and they got confirmed on Sunday.

The grandson of our pensionista got baptized this week, and she asked us to do a special musical number.  She requested that we sing "if you could hie to Kolob," because it is the hymn that the missionaries sang at the baptism of her family, 11 years ago.  That hymn is not in the Spanish hymn book, so we got the lyrics from her in spanish, and we did one verse in Spanish, one in English, and then one where Hna Agle sang in English and me and Spanish.  It was really cool and really fun.  And I have total confidence singing in front of people here because they are so nice and don't really know any better if we are singing wrong. It was cool. 

Also this week, we had a really cool conference with Elder Uceda, of the 70.  He and his wife came and spoke to some of the zones in our mission.  It was really really cool and powerful.  I learned a lot about what it means to be a missionary and have been looking at missionary work differently ever since.  He talked a lot about obedience, and how we need to ACT like the representatives of Jesus Christ that we are.  He talked about some other stuff too.  Pretty much it was just super cool and I loved it.  

Near the end of the conference, I realized that I understood everything he was saying and didn't even have to think to hard about it.  He was speaking Spanish the whole time! Woo! I was pretty excited when I realized that.  The Spanish is definitely coming more every day! I'm finally at the point where I'm not hindered in preaching the Gospel.  I still have a lot to improve on, but I can fulfill my purpose!

Love you all and thanks for everything!
-Hermana Jones

Howdy, Howdy

Mi Querido familia,
Hola!!! I got mom's letter this week and also can print dad's email.  Thanks for the letters and it sounds like everything is going well at home! I'm interested to see how everything goes with conference this weekend.  Let me know the details! Also, do you know yet who the General Authority is that will be coming?

We had stake conference yesterday here, and it was a broadcast.  I think that all of Peru watched the same broadcast.  It was really cool.  A member of the 70 spoke, (I don't remember his name) and his wife.  They both spoke in Spanish which was impressive.  Elder Bednar also spoke, but in English.  They had it translated, and it definitely wasn't the same without his voice! But definitely still a good talk.  Then Elder Scott spoke, and he also gave his talk in Spanish.  The favorite apostles of the people here are the ones that speak Spanish because then they can actually hear their voices. The whole conference was cool because it was really focused on the family, which is good for Peru.  People were really excited about it afterwards and had a lot about of good to say about it.  We had three investigators come to church, so it was different for them but cool that they got to hear apostles speak and they enjoyed it. 
Yesterday was definitely one of my "Pay-days" as a missionary.  My first baptism, Jose, (Who I challenged to be baptized on my first day here) was ordained an Elder in stake conference.  Suhweet! I might be more excited than he is haha.  He also gave the opening prayer in stake conference and it was an awesome prayer.  I'm definitely happy about that.  

This week has been great, and it's crazy because it's the last week of the transfer already! I seriously cannot believe that I've already been here for almost a transfer.  Time flies.  Next week we'll found out if we're moving or what-not, but I'm pretty sure Hna Agle and I will be staying together here for another transfer.  

We cleaned a house with the Elders in our district this week.  It was fun. We cleaned the house of a man that was the FIRST missionary ever from Peru! Spencer W Kimball came to his house after he was baptized and told him to serve a mission.  He said that his dad didn't approve.  So Elder Kimball (at the time) went and talked to his dad for an hour and his dad let him serve! It was cool.  Anyway, some elders in our district live with him so we cleaned his house.  Cleaning houses in Lima is interesting because I think it's the dustiest city in the world.  The house hadn't been cleaned in a while either, so I was coughing all that day after we finished.  But, it was definitley worth it.  It was fun and the man was very grateful.  Luckily, Hna Agle and I got the easy job of dusting the living room.  the Elders cleaned the roof.  The roofs here are just another room, because the stairs just go up there but it doesn't have a roof or walls.  That's where people hang their laundry and that's where all the dogs live.  It's pretty much their backyard.  Anyway, this person's roof was covered in dog poop. So, the Elders got that lucky job.  :) 
We started with our new area and had to do a lot of finding these past two weeks.  We've found some solid people and now we are teaching them.  We have some baptismal dates set for the end of September/beginning of October.  We had the goal to baptize weekly, but switching areas put a little roadbump in the way.  So we've gone two weeks without baptisms, but hopefully this week will change that! We have two investigators that are siblings, and they are still recovering from chicken pox.  We're praying that they will recover so they can be baptized this weekend! 
It's cool to see the Hand of the Lord in the work.  I've never known how powerful are Faith and Prayers.  They seem like such simple things, but they WORK.  Having a postive attitude, a lot of Faith, a lot of prayers, and working hard brings awesome miracles.  It reminds of a quote by President Uchtdorf.  I wish I could remember the source that I got this from exactly, but I think it was my Texas mission president that told us, because an apostle shared it at the new mission president seminar.  The apostles and first presidency were in a meeting a while ago trying to figure out a difficult situation with the missionaries in Russia.  They spent a long time discusisng different alternatives, but could not come up with an answer to their problem.  President Uchtdorf said, "Bretheren, we have to let the Lord do the heavy-lifting." I really like that quote, because I've seen that a lot here as a missionary.  I can't make people get baptized, but as I work hard and pray hard, the Lord will do the "heavy-lifting." That can apply to so many things in life too.

esta semana, yo terminé el Libro de Mormón otra vez.  Cada vez que lo leo, mi testimonio crece.  El Libro de Mormón es verdadero y estoy muy agradecido por todo el poder en eso libro.  Es el clave de nuestro religión y puede cambiar vidas cuando los principios son aplicados correctamente.  ¡Léalo!

Thank you for all the love and support and prayers! Love you all.
Until next week,
Hermana Jones 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

El Sol Aparecio

Hola Hola!
Ahhhh..... What a swell week.  The sun came out! It had been hiding behind clouds and Lima smog but somehow it appeared this week and everyone has been in a stellar mood because of it.  Fun times.  So yeah, this week has been great.  
Everything is going well here.  I don't know what to say because it's all good.  Hna Agle and I are working hard together and we get along well.  We are similar and both love being here.  We had to do a lot of contacting/tracting this week because we started in a new area, but it's okay because we found a lot of really cool people that are so ready for the Gospel.
This week we contacted a family, and they are not members, except for one son who is actually serving a mission right now in Argentina.  He left two weeks ago.  They had been taught before but weren't very interested.  So we visited them and it's cool to see the change they've had since their son left.  The ward helped them a lot with getting all his stuff he needed so I think that softened them a lot towards the church.  We taught them a couple of times and they already knew pretty much everything and had some really deep but cool questions about stuff like temples and family history.  The dad came to church yesterday, so we have a lot of Faith and Hope in them and their family.  How cool would that be to be on a mission and get a letter from your family saying they're getting baptized? 
Our baptism this week fell through because our investigator, who is 13, has the chicken pox. Yikes! She actually had them before but was expecting to be better by now, but she isn't still.  So we're hoping for this weekend.  Her little brother also wants to get baptized but he just got the chicken pox so it might be a couple of weeks for him.  Mom, thanks for responding to Hna Archibald's email.  I was worried because I said I've never had the chicken pox and everybody started freaking out so I looked at my shot record and it didn't have anything on there.  But turns out all is well and I can still go teach her! And hopefully the vaccination continues to work. :) 

I received the letter from Dad and the letter from Jennifer this week!(Thanks to the nieces/nephew for the beautiful pictures. I'm extremely proud of their swimming abilities.)  On the 4th.  Of course, they could have arrived earlier and maybe the Zone Leaders just didn't pick them up/hand them out until the 4th.  But they usually do about every week. So if that gives you any time range of how long it takes.  Also, my companion got a package that was sent two months earlier.  It was just in a regular box though and not one of those flat rate envelopes so I don't know if there would be a difference there.  Just for your info!

Mom, sending me those CTR (or HLJ) rings was the best.  We had a Family home evening with a bunch of people this week so we taught a little lesson on agency and had those rings for the kids. There were only two kids there, but it turns out that all the adults wanted them two.  So we gave out like 15 of them haha.  I figured only kids would want them but all the adults think they're sweet too. So yeah, they're going to go fast haha.  Great idea!!!!!! It's a great way to people's hearts. haha. 

I've learned a lot this week about the benefit of hard work.  I enjoyed Dad's letter that he sent where he included excerpts from his Sac. Meeting talk.  He gave some examples of the benefits we receive from doing hard things.  Justamente, I was reading in Moroni 9:6 that day and Jacob 1:19.  As a missionary, this time is so short to go and help people.  And I don't want to end my mission thinking I was lazy and having the regret that I could have helped more people if I had only worked harder.  So that's the goal.  

Thanks for all the love and support! 
Love you all,
Hermana Jones


Monday, September 2, 2013

Peru es lo maximo

I don't have much to say this week because I'm in shock that it's already been another week! 
We had a baptism on Saturday for Maria.  Ella es "de oro." I  can't remember if I talked about her in last week's letter but she just showed up to church one day, We taught her the first lesson that thursday, and she got baptized 10 days later! She is so sweet and bore her testimony after the service, it was really powerful.  She actually served a mission for her Christian church a few years back, so she is very strong strong in her knowledge and testimony of the Savior.  She is super tiny and we felt bad because the water in the font was freeeeeeezinnggg.  She was just shivering the entire time and for like 20 minutes after she was in her dry clothes.  But she got baptized! Then on sunday she arrived at church pretty late and we were freaking out because she needed to be confirmed but she got there and got confirmed as well! Hooray!

Starting today, we switched our areas with the other Hermanas in our ward.  There are 4 urb's in our ward and before we had Previ and Condevilla, but now we have Previ and Condor and the other Hermanas have Condevilla,  More efficient that way, but sad because we had to hand over all our investigators from Condevilla, and there aren't a lot of really progressing investigators in Condor.  It's all good though, we're excited to get to know that part of town and do work there. 

It's starting to warm up here a little bit, which is fine but it never really was super cold.  It's funny here because people are always talking about how freezing it is but it's really only like 50s. It gets cold in the mornings because there are no heaters or anything and only hot water sometimes, but it's all good. 

We got a new bishop in our ward this week and he is super awesome. Our other bishop was really great too but he had really bad experiences with past missionaries who were extremely disobedient and caused a lot of problems.  So it was hard for him to trust missionaries.  But now we have Bishop Mocarro and  He LOVES missionary work which is great for us.  His two missions for the ward are to improve the missionary work and the focus on the family.  He's great.

The Food continues to be awesome here.  Our pensionista is the best.  She taught us last week how to make chocotejas which are little chocolates and delicious.  
Life is awesome here.  I love Peru and the people and the food and my companion and the mission!
Love you tons! :)

-Hermana Jones

pics: the baptism and a family night we had last night with some members from the ward