Monday, June 17, 2013

Hola familia! And happy fathers day yesterday to my wonderful father.

This week was great with some unexpected twists. We are still working so hard because there is so much work to be done here. We got fourteen new investigators this week that we feel pretty good about, taught a zillion lessons and in our spare time were able to street contact a hundred people. I lay down in bed every night exhausted but somehow I am blessed with the energy to wake up and do it all over again the next day. 
My pensionista (cook) & one of her daughters
My working hard was interrupted by two things this week. First was I got sick, it had to happen sometime. We were invited over to a members house for lunch one day. The way the house was set up was three separate small buildings, the living area, an outhouse and a cooking hut in that order on a slight hill. The cooking hut had rocks set up with bricks and metal sheets to put the pans on to cook and was surrounded by tons of rotting food. We watched the family move all the animals out of the hut and we were then invited to come and sit down at the table to eat. There was a swarm of flies over the table and all over the food. My companion and I tried our best to get the food down without swallowing a fly or throwing it up. Dad wouldn't have been able to handle it. Needless to say the rest of the day I was pretty worthless. In the middle of my misery I got a call from our zone leaders saying that I had a bus ticket to travel to Lima tonight so that I could meet with immigrations the next day. I knew in the condition I was in that I wouldn't be able to make an 8 hour bus trip so I asked for a priesthood blessing. The blessing was one of the most special blessings I have had in my life. To me, the miracle wasn't in how quickly the sickness went away although that was an incredible miracle in and of itself. The greatest miracle was that although the blessing was in Spanish I understood all of it so clearly. I understood that blessing better than any Spanish that I had thus far on my mission. They finished the blessing I was in awe at what had just been communicated to me.
My companion & I collapsed after a hard working day.

My second interruption was my trip to Lima. It was a quick trip. I rode a bus all night and then the next night rode it all the way back to Huancuyo. In the morning we were picked up and taken to the temple and showered. I then went to the hospital to be with a sister who had just had a surgery so that her companion could shower and get things that she needed. When we got back we spent a lot of time with the mission president and his wife. He is such a wise man and I learned so much from him. He has either been a bishop, or stake president since the year after he was married. We then met with immigrations for about two hours while they examined our teeth, fingerprinted us and took our pictures. There were lots of missionaries there from many different missions. Hermana Johnson and Craig were there and it was awesome to spend some time with them. They were each really struggling adapting to Peru, and I was able to boost them up and help them be more excited for their missions.
Hermana Johnson & Craig in Lima

There was another great miracle that happened in our mission this week. There was an Elder who was known as the most obedient missionary in all the mission who was finishing his mission and heading home. He was on a bus a few hours before me on the same highway alone when the bus was hit by a gas truck. The bus caught on fire and 7 people died. The Elder was sitting in the bottom of the bus where the truck made contact and everyone around him died including the man sitting next to him. The Elder walked out of the bus alive with a small bruise on his face and a bruise on his knee. I was able to see him come back from the hospital while getting checked out to the mission home. The mission president told each of us that he was protected because of his obedience and faithful service on his mission. It was a loud reminder that god always watches over those who are obedient. I made a commitment to be more exactly obedient for the rest of my mission.
food don't ask me what it all is cause I'm not sure chicken & something
Here are some random things about my week and things that are happening on the mission. 
My companion and I have mastered the game of guess this word that I am thinking of but don't know how to express it to you. We would dominate at catch phrase and charades. 
My English class went great! I love teaching. It was different to have people stare at me blankly for once. 
I have been asked for help reaching tall things for the first time in my life. I'm five four and I have never been considered tall in my life.
I had rice and potato or both in every single meal this week.
My aim with small rocks has gotten much better on the mission. It is not super common for people to answer their doors. More likely we knock really loud and they stick their heads out the window to talk to us. More often we throw pebbles at their windows to get their attention.
I stopped a whole volleyball game the other day just because I walked by. It got quiet and i turned around to see everyone staring at me.
Among the many great experiences and things I am learning I am learning to be a dog tamer. There is a dog that belongs to the people who live below us that hates us. This week after slowly trying to befriend it with food it didn't bark at us today!
view from my apartment
Speaking of dogs, I had a crazy dog experience this week. We were walking down an abandoned street to get to the homes of one of our investigators and all of a sudden angry dogs were running and barking at us from all directions. It was like in beauty and the beast when Belle was in the forest and this pack of wolves came. It was terrifying. We picked up rocks and threw as many as we could. I'm pretty sure I kicked some of them and I know my companion smacked one with her Book of Mormon. We avoid that street now.

One thing I have really come to appreciate about the people here is their love of God. When we stop people in the street and ask them if they believe in God I have never heard someone say no. When we ask if we can come to their home and share a message about Jesus Christ they always say yes. In my setting apart blessing it asked me to find the things that people in Peru do in their culture that are better than those that we in the United  States do. I've thought a lot about that since I have been here and the one conclusion I have come to is that  God is more important to these people than he is to others in the world. Everyone here is very well educated in the Bible and I am learning to love the bible more than I already do. I am always so impressed with children off the street who are so young but that I am able to have intelligent conversations with about God. These children were taught by their mothers and are prepared to hear the gospel. I hope that I can learn from their example and develop a culture like that in my home someday.

Well, all is well on this part of the world. Love you all and talk to you next week.

Hermana Rhoten

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