Monday, June 24, 2013

Hola familia!‏

So we are doing great here.  This week has been so busy. I felt like I haven't had much time to think so I apologize if my thoughts are a little all over the place. I had so many happy moments this week.

The reason I am writing late is because President Ardila came to Huancayo and we had a huge meeting with him this morning. Things will be crazy this week because the mission is splitting. We have a big celebration here on Saturday to welcome the new president for the Huancayo mission. We will have a big program and dancing and all sorts of fun stuff. I'm getting ready to meet my third mission president thus far in my mission even though I've only been out three months. I also heard that I might have to make another trip to Lima this week to get an equivalent of a green card. I hope that is not the case but we will see.

Although we understand the importance of this rule, being home on time is the one that we are always so close to breaking. There is just so much to do and so little time and it seems like we are always teaching right down to the very last minute. One night this week we really cut it close. My companion and I both knew what time it was, got out of the lesson as soon as we could and as soon as the family shut the door my companion and I started full out sprinting. We ran three blocks to find a moto and arrived home with only 7 seconds to spare. Not quite the last second but pretty close. 

One of the great highlights of this week was that we taught two good families whose parents were married. This is a huge miracle. We have great hope for baptism with them. The hardest trial to overcome at this time is helping people get to church. Everyone works on Sundays, actually all the time. There are many who are reading the Book of Mormon, praying and progressing in the gospel but have a hard time getting to church and it is keeping them from baptism. My companion and I are making this a focus for this next week to help improve it. This week at church I spoke in church and helped teach primary which was really fun. Peruvian kids are so cute. 

I was stopped by a man in a dark back street this week that asked for money. For some reason I wasn't scared. After we told him we didn't have money on us, the man pulled out a grocery bag full of cocaine. We talked with him for a moment, told him who we were and invited him to come to Christ. As missionaries we invite all people to come unto Christ.

Everyone in their letters asks me about food so I will say a little bit about food. There are a few plates that I love, I don't remember their names at this moment, nor would I know how to spell them but they are pretty great and I want to learn how to make them before I leave Peru. My pensionista also regularly makes papaya, banana smoothie things in the morning that are wonderful. I also ate guinea pig yesterday. I didn't find out until after I ate it what it was because they had it mixed in pretty good but I didn't think it was that great. The people here think it is wonderful and the family that lives below us raises them to eat. I'm already getting sick of white rice. Usually about half of the plate of every meal is rice. I've started mixing it with whatever I can find to make it a little more bearable, ketchup, mustard, strawberry jam anything really.

One of the hardest transitions for me was that everything they drink here is hot. Hot milk, juice, jello, everything is hot. I really do love manzanilla, its a herbal drink and it tastes like drinking flowers. The jello here is clear and is the consistency of hair gel. It actually looks like you are eating hair gel. This week one of the greatest moments of my week was getting a jug of drinking water that was room temperature. I'm pretty sure I drank 12 glasses straight.

My letter wouldn't be complete with out a dog story so here goes. Keep in mind that most of the dogs here are really calm and we just pass them on the street. However there is one that lives with one of our investigators that really doesn't like us. He sees us coming from all the way down the street and starts running and barking at us. We always bring some sort of bribery for him so that we can get into the little path way between two mud walls that leads to their home. This week one of the times we visited this dog was especially mad and we used all our bribery to get to her home and she wasn't there. The dog had sat down in the middle of the three foot walkway and wasn't planning on moving. After a few attempts we decided to say a prayer. The literal words my companion used as she prayed were that the dog would arise and we would pass by without problems. About one minute after the prayer a man who lived in the area rode up on his bike, picked up the dog and we walked past without any problems. God is looking out for us.

This last experience that I had this week is my favorite. We found a guy in Peru that didn't believe in God. My first one that I have come in contact with. We started teaching him and we could feel really quickly that he thought we were young and that his intention was to prove us wrong. Our conversation went very similar to Corihor in the Book of Mormon. He strongly believed in science and when I told him I graduated in science he was a little caught off guard. I bore powerful testimony to him that we have a God who lives and that he is our father. If there is anything in this world that I know it is that God lives. He is real. We decided we wouldn't spend much time with him because we didn't want to argue so we were bold and bore our testimonies and left. During the course of our conversation baptism came up for a brief moment and we invited him to come to one on Saturday at the church. I think the greatest miracle of my mission thus far was turning around to see this man in the church as the baptism was about to start. After the baptism we taught him about the plan of salvation in the church and we could tell that his heart had been softened because he asked sincere questions. He told us that he felt good after the lesson. It was incredible and a huge miracle.

All is well here. I appreciate everyone's letters and emails. Thanks for all your support and prayers. I feel them as I teach more than ever. Have a great week everyone!

Hermana Rhoten

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