The title of this email sums up how I´m feeling right about now! I´m a little overwhelmed but all around okay! This past week has been a blur of members, investigators, contacts, and español. Because this is a new area for my companion, and obviously my first area – things have been pretty rough! We´ve been trying to get to know all the past investigators, recent converts, less active, and members in the area which is a lot to do with so little spanish!
Companion: My companion is from Buenas Aires and doesn´t speak any English. It´s great because it forces me to figure out how to say things in spanish, but it also stinks at times because I can´t fully express myself and there´s only so much I can say in spanish at the moment… and I can´t just bear my testimony to her over and over again… haha. The other challenge is that she has to do a lot of the talking in conversations… the people here love to talk and often times my mental translator only works for 5 min of their 20 min explanation to my question “Why do you believe in God?” But, I´m learning little by little and my companion is starting to help me with my spanish which is great!
Food: The food here is really good, although vegetables are hard to come by! – It´s mostly potatoes, rice, and chicken with this hot juice. We have Pencionista that cooks lunch for us every day and we make our own breakfast and normally don´t eat dinner. Our Pencionista is this short, gordita abuela who makes the Best Soup Ever! It´s a good thing that we don´t eat dinner with our pencionista because every member´s house we go to we get fed! Normally it’s some kind of torte or pan- but it´s still so filling!
Doctrina de Cristo: Our Mission president has asked each of us to memorize 2 Nephi Chapter 31 beacuse that chapter is essentially our purpose as missionaries! As part of this task we are suppose to read it daily and apply it´s principles in every aspect of our teaching. My favorite part of this chapter is when it asks if we are following Christ if we don´t keep the commandments of God. It’s so powerful & I invite all of you to read it this week if you have time!
Peru: Wow. It´s surreal actually living here now! Seeing the homes of all our investigators and the members has helped me to realize even more – how blessed and fortunate I have been in my circumstances growing up! There have been homes where 7 people are living in two rooms, it´s definitely a different way of living. Also: Dogs. Dogs are everywhere!! And therefore there is poop everywhere! Most of the time when we are walking I have to keep my head down a bit to make sure I don´t step in any! I´ve had a few close calls!
All in all the mission is grand. Challenging, but grand. When I start to have a rough moment in a lesson, I just remember how strongly I feel the spirit when I bear my testimony to my investigators, and it just reminds me that even with my few words and jumbled grammar I can make a difference!
Love you all!
This was Hannah’s response to one of my letter’s, tells how it really was this week
So glad everything is grand with the fam! I miss you guys too! The language is coming… but now that I´m in the field, I feel like my Spanish is worse… naturally because my translator is tired. Everyone around me is a native speaker! I´m staying positive and hope more Spanish comes to me… for now I´ll still be plucking out phrases in Español! Things with my comp has been a bit rough… I don’t understand her half the time and often I feel like she gets annoyed that she has to explain stuff to me or that I don´t understand her fully. We´ve had 2 moments where we cried together because I tried my best to explain to her in Spanish that I really was trying to understand , but that it is so so hard sometimes. I still only understand portions of what is being said which makes it hard because i feel like I can´t fully express myself – which for me is huge- but hopefully in the coming weeks things will get better°! I hope! Everything else is fine. This has for sure been the hardest part thus far.. Adjusting to everything. This week has really flown by though and I know the other weeks will as well! Hopefully my letter didn´t sound negative and was still good!
Love you so so much! also if you can burn a cd with church music and send! That would be great- not Mormon tab it will remind me of you and I´ll probably cry! Love you! Tell dad I love him too and the bishop of my new ward kind of reminds me of him!
Hey family! Only one week left in the CCM! I can´t believe it´s already been 5 weeks!!! Wow! So here´s a little run-down of the week!
4th of July:
Wow. I´ve never felt so grateful for a 4th of July celebration! The CCM went all out and decorated our entire dining with American flags and cooked a special meal for all of us! Instead of hamburgers and hot dogs, they made an entire Thanksgiving meal for us- including the pumpkin pie! All the food was so good and it was so funny how such a simple gesture, made everyone feel so at home!
This week during one of the lessons with our “investigators” we were talking about the importance of The Book of Mormon and inviting her to read the introduction and the Testimony of the 3 Witnesses. Never having said the word “witnesses” in Spanish, I decided to try and read the word upside down from the open Book of Mormon on the lap of my investigator. Bad Idea. Instead of saying “testigos” I said, “testigulos”…. and thus asking my investigator to read the Testimony of the 3 Testicles. My Investigator who is also my teacher stopped me and told me I was pronouncing it wrong and to never say that word… I immediately started laughing and saying “lo siento” because I knew exactly what I had said!! Oopsies! I´m just glad it didn´t happen in the mission field! Phew!
Food is the same [rice & meat] however; the popcorn at the dining hall keeps getting better and better!!… it´s so good! They also have really good fried plantains that are super addicting! Also: this week we discovered this new chocolate called Besos de Moza! They are basically chocolate covered s ‘mores with extra marshmallow fluff- hence, heaven on Earth.
This week I have come to recognize how easy it is to forget how blessed we truly are! With all the new missionaries coming in last week, it was interesting to see their reactions to things at the CCM, compared with the missionaries that have been here for 4-5 weeks! It´s interesting to see how much we have already changed, and have come to appreciate the little things so much more! I know I will only come to change even more and become more aware of my many blessings!
Book of Mormon:
Almost done! This week I´ll be finishing the B.O.M and I am so excited! My favorite part of reading this week is when Christ comes to the Americas! Ah! It is so great! I just love how he repeats so many sweet things from the Bible and even expands on doctrines and principles! It´s so cool to me that the Lord loves us all so much that he would take the time to visit, teach, and minister to the people in the Americas as well as the people in Jerusalem!
It´s crazy I´m finally in countdown mode again! I only have one week left before I leave for el campo! I cannot wait to get out in the Lima Sur! Although, I know it will be tough I´m so antsy to just go out and teach the people of Peru!
Love you all so much! Hope you have the best week!
Wow! I can´t believe I only have 2 weeks left!! It´s crazy how fast the CCM is flying by!
This week we got to go proselyting which is my absolute favorite!! This time I was in a trio and a maestra came with us as well! It was such a great experience! Here are a few of my favorite moments:
This week I got to do a lot of street contacting! My Latina compañera was a little bit more timid and shy than last week so I always ended up being the one to start the conversation and whip out one of the many church pamphlets that we carry around all the time! Surprisingly, I loved it! Most people are super interested in what we have to say and are really attentive and kind. They also stare at you a lot because I´m white, blonde, and semi-tall for Peru! However, there are a lot of people who listen to you, but just don´t make eye-contact… that has to be the hardest thing ever! There was one moment during street contacting where I was talking to these two women about the plan of salvation and when I noticed they weren´t really looking at me, I abruptly stopped and apologized for my Spanish and asked them if they understood me. I figured they might not be looking at me due to my semi-Spanish babbling… but to my surprise they both responded that they understood everything I had said and were interested. That moment was really a blessing in disguise because it taught me that I really know more than I think!
Kids in Peru:
Another thing that happened this last proselyting day was that I got to teach kids! After making a few street contacts, we noticed a group of girls playing in the street and decided to go over and say hi! They were all so excited to meet me and gave me hugs and kisses! – It´s so cool how in Latin America, even if you don´t know someone, you get the warmest welcome ever! They asked me where I was from and when I told them I was from CA, they all got super excited. When I asked them what they liked to do, they all said Facebook! and were totally shocked that I had a Facebook too! Now it really became fun when I asked them who their favorite band was, they all said One Direction and then we had this huge conversation of who was our favorite and why! It was so fun to just chat to these girls and also so crazy to see how different their lives are, but yet how similar they are to kids in the USA. Before we left I taught them a quick lesson: On the cover of one of our handouts it has a picture of Jesus Christ holding a lamb. I explained to the girls that the lamb is a representation of each of them! That Jesus Loves them and wants the best for them! I told them that I knew this was true, and that if it wasn´t for Jesus Christ and the Gospel, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I wouldn´t be in Peru! Then I gave them all the little handout of Jesus Christ and gave hugs and kisses goodbye. Wow! This moment was probably one of the best things thus far on my mission- I got to interact with the people, have fun, and share the message that we all have someone (Jesus Christ) that loves us and cares for us!
At the end of proselyting we had made 10 contacts and taught 3 lessons! It was such a busy day, but also such a fabulous day! I had felt the spirit so strongly and realized that Peru is the right place for me and I cannot wait to go out into the mission field!
One other thing about proselyting, as we were going from contact to contact and casa to casa, the maestra that was with me asked me how I was so confident with Spanish and why I felt that the Lord was helping learn Spanish? I came to the conclusion of 2 things:
1. When I came to the CCM I really did not like Spanish, and my desire to learn Spanish was not too high, but as I began to pray for help and have faith that I would be able to learn it, I began to love it, and Spanish seemed to come more naturally. What I came to realize was that: I love the gospel, I love the people of Peru, and if I love all these things & Spanish is the avenue through which I can act on that love, than I love Spanish too! (and as we all know, loving something makes dealing with that something so much easier!)
2. When I talk about things that I love I tend to get a little extra smiley, bubbly and excited, and when I talk about the gospel, there is nothing different. I love this gospel so much and I´m so grateful for the happiness it´s brought in my life, so nothing brings me more excitement and happiness when I get to tell others about it!
I can´t wait for el campo in 2 weeks! Love you all! Have a fabulous week!