Monday, October 28, 2013

The activity was a big success! We felt like cave men.

This week was a good week but was really busy as always. Our area is doing awesome. Our zone leaders called us and said we have the highest numbers in the zone. I don't know how it is doing so well but it is. It doesn't make any sense to me. We have transfers this week a little bit early. They will be on Sunday if I am training or Monday if not, or I could be here and finish Hermana Alpacas training. Who knows. But if I do have a change I might not write on Monday so be prepared for that. 

Our activity was a success this week too! We had a lunch planned but their idea of a lunch for a ward activity in Peru is bringing about 40 whole cooked chickens and boiled potatoes for everyone. We tore up the chicken with our hands and put it with potatoes on a plate and ate it with our hands. They didn't bring any silverware or napkins or anything. We felt like cave men. But it was good. The activity was a big success for our ward. I felt bad because the other wards didn't have as good of a turnout. We ended up receiving 40 references this week from the activity and church. We have lots of work to do this week! 
We had a crazy storm on Sunday but it was still a good Sunday. My companion and I gave talks and I did it without a paper like I like to talk. This time for the first time. Spanish is starting to really feel natural and I felt the Spirit work though me again as I was speaking. The teacher for Relief Society didn't come so I taught that lesson too about how to find peace in the last minute. It was so good. There were a few people crying. 

 A baptism
I ended up talking to President about what to do about this guy that is interested in me. He wrote me a love note and gave me a bracelet this week. I have just been avoiding him for the past few weeks because I didn't want to make a big scene about it. I don't know if that means I have a bigger chance of being transferred or not, maybe. I wouldn't be upset because it would mean I wouldn't have to do as much.
We found an awesome family this week. They were just from a street contact and brought their entire family to church on Sunday. We had an appointment with them and the mother would hardly let us get started talking. She sat us down and said..I have some questions for you. I have been to tons of churches and I have never felt like I felt in your church. Why? And I want to know what I need to do to return to live with God again. We usually don't like to teach too much at once but we ended up teaching them about the restoration and the plan of salvation the first time we met with them because they were just asking all these golden questions. She told us that it was like she had a hunger to learn more and that she couldn't wait until it was Sunday again. They also came to one of the baptisms we had this week. We have great hopes for her and for all of her family. I know that God really has prepared people here for us. My testimony is strengthened of God every day. I know that he is real and is helping us.
We spent about 1000 soles on pads for all the sisters in the mission. Long story. It was hilarious buying all of it though. I wish i had a picture of the cart.
Have a great week!

Hermana Rhoten

Monday, October 21, 2013

Our area is doing awesome right now.

Sorry that for some reason my letter didn't send last week. I can't find it and really don't know what happened. Bummer. I'm doing a lot better this week. Our area is doing awesome right now. I had been feeling really discouraged for a few weeks because I have been in this area a long time and have really wanted to see a change in this time that I have been here. This week the Lord really let me see that the ward is changing and that the effort we are putting in is doing something. We had ten investigators and all of the recent converts that have been baptized in my time here at church yesterday, and had more lessons, references, and new investigators than we have had in months. The bishop is super happy and we had our first ward council without contention yesterday! Yay! We are preparing to have three or possibly four baptisms this week also. Its really a miracle when you think about it. An American who is learning Spanish and the shyest Peruvian girl working together and being successful. I guess its because its not our work.
This pretty much describes my companion and I. She likes to look gothicy and I'm just me.
We are also planning an activity for the three wards for this Saturday. Its like a mini MTC for members where we are going to train them in different classes and then help them go out and proselyte with us. PresidentHenderson is going to come and speak at it too as the ¨president of the mini MTC. They kind of put the activity a lot on my shoulders because I have done things like this before and I feel like I am using my activity planning skills. We printed fake mission calls yesterday and passed them out to members and it looks like we should have a good turnout because everyone is working together. 
This is Hermana Dula at her house. She has a really really nice house for here. A member family that we love.
I didn't really take many pictures this week
Other highlights or just things that happened this week were...
Finding out that that chewy stuff that my pensionista sometimes mixes into dishes is cow stomach. Awesome. I really didn't like it that much at first but I have realized that I have gotten used to it. Its just really really chewy. Like gum or something. 
My rediscovery of my love for Abinadi and his teaching style. If you haven't read those chapters of Mosiah recently you should go back and read them. They are so awesome.
I realized that shoulders are a lot stronger than I thought. We got to carry jugs of water on our shoulders like women in the old testament from the church to the five blocks or so to our house. No water is clean in this mission so we get jugs of drinkable water and carried them on our shoulders. I kinda wish I had a picture of it.
A random three year old girl on the street grabbing my leg and refusing to let go. I miss children with my whole heart. I didn't get my fill of them with swim lessons this year. I guess its worth it though to teach the gospel.
We also got followed by three drunk men this week. I think that has to be a record somewhere. And there is a less active member in our ward that has a crush on me I think. The problem is that he has been sending us all sorts of food to our pensionista and the other hermanas don't want him to stop. They think its great. But we should probably talk with him this week. But on the bright side he has been coming to church every time I invite him. We are trying to talk the bishop into giving him a calling, he is a good guy and I think if he had a calling he would fulfill it well.

I have more to write but I am running out of time this week so it will have to be good enough. Just know we are doing good and really feeling God's love this week. Love you all! Have a great week.

Hermana Rhoten


Monday, October 14, 2013

 I am not sure why but for some reason or another Miranda's email didn't come through last week but her pictures did :)

Fishing and trout. Our fishing poles were literally a tube and a line inside it.

These are from last Monday during p day. I wasn't feeling super good in these pictures but it was fun.

My stomach infection lasted all through this week but we went to the clinic and I got some new medicine that seems to be helping. It might have been the same one but it was a lot worse this time.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hola familia! What an awesome conference week!

 Conference is the most exciting thing as a missionary. Its like Christmas. Maybe even better than Christmas. This conference was really great for me and for our investigators. The best part was that they set up a little room in the back of the church with conference in English for all the gringo missionaries. I could understand it all! I felt like this conference was one of the most direct conferences I have heard and missionary work was talked about a lot. It is a great time to be a missionary! I want to testify of the words of the leaders of the church with experiences I had this week.

Lena's baptism
"Ask God for direction, then go and do as the spirit prompts you... Find the great joy that comes from acting in faith." M. Russell Ballard
We had a day this week where everything fell through. Plan A, B, C, D and really we didn't know what to do. We had set a goal to find new people to teach but didn't know where to go. We stopped on a street corner where there was no one around and I prayed out loud that we would know where to find who we needed to go to find who we needed to. I finished praying and a street name came to my mind Jose Olaya. It wasn't anywhere close to where we were but we started walking. Once we got there we started knocking doors and ended up teaching a young woman in her doorway and when we finished she pleaded that we would come back and talk to her family this next week. 

Waiting in the rain for the bishop to come with keys before the baptism.
"We wake up every morning to a new day. Each of us has challenges sometimes physical, emotional...The challenges we face will be for our ultimate good." Richard L Maynes
Sunday morning I woke up to a new day with my own challenge. I was throwing up like crazy and have a stomach infection. The perks of serving a mission in a third world country. I was so very miserably sick. I asked for a blessing and my district leader came over and gave me one. In the blessing he told me that I wouldn't be healed right away but that my body would function properly enough so that I could go to conference and hear the prophet speak and receive the revelation I needed at this time. I was throwing up getting dressed into my skirt and about 1 minute before I walked out of the door to leave for the conference. But as soon as we left I had control of my body again enough to listen to conference. It increased my faith and the faith of those who had seen me to see the miracle that occurred. And don't worry mom its getting better, I take my medication everyday.
Me on pday. Sorry I'm always wearing the same thing. I don't have many options for pday.
pday fotos with the hermanas
"God expects us to use all the gifts he has provided. Live by faith, hold fast to hope and lift one another" Jeffery R. Holland
This week we were on divisions, I was with another gringa in her area. We were contacting in the street and came to a house that looked kind of crazy and we were a little scared to approach it but we felt to go forward and we began introducing ourselves to a little old lady sitting outside. She told us that she couldn't understand us very well because she spoke Quechua. I started to speak to her in Quechua, everything that I had practiced with my pensionista. I was able to remember things that I hadn't practiced in awhile enough to complete the contact, introducing ourselves as missionaries, ask for her name, and where she lived. She told me a bunch of things I didn't understand but I understood the word sad jumbled in and could see it on her face. I hugged her with all my strength and said we would see her soon. 
My city....
"No person has ever lived free of suffering and sorrow. Difficulties allow us to change our lives for the better. Our purpose is to persevere and endure but to also become spiritually refined." Thomas. S Monson
This week was really tough for my companion. She was really very homesick and she is very very shy. I found out that before her mission she worked in an internet place and was on the computer for 7 months so she was going through withdrawals. She always talked about her family and pday. One day she was just so sad and started to cry. I asked her if she knew why she was here. She said she just wanted to but didn't know why. I told her that we should kneel down together and pray and ask God why he wanted her to be here and what we should do. Her half of the prayer was so very sweet. She felt the love of the Lord and somehow stood up from that prayer ready to go forward. I know that the Lord gives us trials to help with our development.

I testify of all the words of the leaders of the church. I know that they are true. Either from my own experience or from the spirit I felt so powerfully as they spoke them. I know they are called of the Lord because of the revelation I received. 

Have a good week! 

Con amor,

Hermana Rhoten