Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy New Year

Family and Friends!! What a great week it was to celebrate Christmas and be able to see my family! The Christmas tradition here is super fun. They stay up until midnight the day of Christmas and EVERYONE sets off fireworks and starts the Christmas celebrations after. When midnight came we went on the roof with the other hermanas and watched all the fireworks going off. It was CRAZY! What a celebraion. It was fun being here for Christmas but Im glad that I will only miss one Christmas away from home since the real celebration of Christmas is with the family. As for the work, we are almost positive that we are going to have 2 baptisms in January! They are brothers and want to get baptized on the same day. The mom is super supportive, Margarita, and she would love to get baptized but as for now she cant since her husband and her arent married. She would love to be baptized but its sad because she cant. Other good news is that we had 2 new investigators come to church this Sunday! They came to our ward activity for Christmas and we set up a day to go visit them and invite them to church. Best news is that one of the members, Cielo, already knew them so in the morning she came with us to go pick them up at their house. They both came! January we are hoping to see baptisms! Baptisms are the best. I love seeing people come into the church and be converted. This week was a good week! Hope you all were able to feel the love through the Christmas spirit this year. I love Christmas time! Love you all! Hermana Flora

Sunday, December 28, 2014

FELIZ NAVIDA

Family and Friends!! This is the week! Christmas has finally come! I look forward to seeing my family this week. As for our time here in Peru this week. We have been able to celebrate the holiday season. We had a christmas party with some of the missionaries and President in Tacna. We also had our ward Christmas party which was the best. We ended up having some investigators come to the activity and tell us they wanted to hear more about the gospel. It was great! We have some good references for the next week. The activity was super good because it gives the less actives a motivation to come back to church and it makes it easier to invite friends to the church in a less intimidating way. Thanks to this activity we had some less actives come to church and also non members! This week we are planning on going out with members to go caroling to less actives and some people we are teaching. I love sharing the holiday spirit here along with missionary work. As for this week of Christmas. We are going to go out tomorrow to go singing to different houses and then Wednesday we are going to a plaza to carol with the ward. The tradition for Christmas here is to stay up until midnight on Christmas Eve and celebrate then. A bunch of fireworks go off and they have their feast at 12 in the night! Its crazy. As for us, we wont be staying up until midnight haha but with the other hermanas we are going to have a sleepover. Im excited to SkypeN with our families. Im looking forward to this grand week! Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and spend lots of quality time with the family! Love always, Hermana Flora

Monday, December 15, 2014

El Nacio

Family and Friends!! This week was our Recital Musical for Christmas called El Nacio! It was also transfers!! Everyone thought I was going to leave down to Tacna but Im staying here in Moquegua for one more transfer with Hna Bourque! Im happy to be here for the holidays and be with Hna Bourque and with the people in San Antonio! The Recital Musical ended up turning out really well. It was stressful but was more than worth it! I directed the choir and it was super fun! From the Christmas Recital, we received 4 new investigators! I got to be on the TV to announce and talk about the Recital Musical with 4 other missioanries. It was really cool. My first time on TV and it was in Spanish, I was just a little stressed haha Im excited to see how this new change will go! The work still moves on. I really hope to see another baptism here in San Antonio before I leave. I hope all is well in the States and that the Christmas Spirit is being felt! Love you!! Hermana Flora

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bold

Family and Friends!! This week I had a goal to teach with more boldness. As missionaries and representatives of Jesus Christ we have the great opportunity to promise blessings. This week I have been focusing on using this great opportunity of being bold and promising blessings. In my efforts to do so I have seen great miracles. As I attempt to be closer to the Spirit and teach what I feel like the investigator needs I have felt the gift of tounges in my life. My Spanish still isnt perfect, nor will it ever be, but when I have really been focused into the needs of the person and testified with boldness, I have spoken PERFECTLY without hesitation! It really surprises me as well as my comp and the people we are teaching. For example, we recieved a reference from a member named DONNY! He is the best, mainly since he has the name of my little brother! haha Anyways, we went to the house of this family. There is one member named Tania, who is less active as of 2 years more or less. Then her mom, Maria, who isnt a member but who has asisted before. The daughter, Tania who is 27 years old, accepted to come back to church easy, the difficulty was the mom. The mom, Maria, told us that there is NO WAY her and her husband can come to church on sunday because it is the day that her husband goes to the farm and they both go there allll day. Its his tradition to go every Sunday and they cant go anyyyyy other day because.....excuse, excuse, excuse. Last week I probably would have told her to try to go and that its important, but this week I was testifying more boldly because I think this has been my fault with some of our other invesitgators. So this time after asking her why they had to go to the farm on Sunday instead of Saturday I told her that she has to come to church on Sunday because its a commandment from God, its not just something that I want but its what the Lord wants. There will be trials and sacrifices right now but the blessings will out weigh the trials or sacrifices you had made. She told us that she wanted her husband to go to church and wanted him to change so then I continued to tell her that he will not change or go to church unless you change and go to church. When I was teaching this I could feel the Spirit sooo strong. We explained to her that we have 6 days in the week to do whateverrr we want and only 1 day the Lord asks us to dedicate time for Him, only ONE day. At the end of the lesson, she actually accepted to see if they could change the unchangeable habit of going to the farm on Sunday. I was surprised! I shouldnt have been since everything I was teaching was true, but I was happily surprised and thankfully. We promised her blessings that as she strives to change and go to church the Lord WILL bless her in her obedience. I am praying and hoping that next week when she said she could come to church, they will show up together as a family. This week I have learned to teach with more boldness. Because its all true! The Lord DID give us commandments, DID promise us blessings, now we just need to teach this to others or help them remember! I love being a missionary! Teaching and testifying of Christ is the best way to have the Spirit of the Holiday Season. I encourage all of you at home to be a little more bold, have a little less fear, because the Lord WILL be with you. Dont doubt what He can do. He is ALL powerful. Do you not think He could change someones heart? Fear not, for the Lord will be with you! Be BOLD. Its all true. Love always, Hermana Flora

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Baptism!

Family and Friends! As you can all see from the photos, we had the baptism of Nicole! It was such a great day! I didnt save much time to write but it was such a great day and I will write more about it next week. The photos should explain the day. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Love always, Hermana Flora /Users/bettyflora/Desktop/Our little family in the misiĆ³n.docx/Users/bettyflora/Desktop/Nicole and her mom after the baptism.docx/Users/bettyflora/Desktop/Program for Nicoles Baptism.docx/Users/bettyflora/Desktop/Baptism de Nicole.docx/Users/bettyflora/Desktop/Ilo.docx /Users/bettyflora/Desktop/Noche de magica.docx

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 17, 2014

Family and Friends!! The weeks have now been passing faster and faster. I cant believe that its already Monday again. This week has been a little crazy. In general I have been looking for the miracles all around us because sometimes I let the little disappointments bring me down. Since I have been looking for miracles I have seen many! The first miracle has been the transformation of our ward. When I first got here we never had Consejo de Barrio....Ward Counsil. In my 2 months here we only had it twice, when we were supposed to have it every week. Now the bishop is really trying and making a huge effort to get everyone back on track. It is going to change the ward if we can have a support group with the ward. Another miracle. This Sunday we got a new mission leader. This is such good news because we didnt get much support from the other mission leader. Then they also called 6 ward missionaries. Hermana Bourque and I and the 2 other Elders in our ward had the biggest smiles on our faces! We are going to have a HUGE support system now. I can now feel like there will be people to help us with our activities, lessons, being friends with our investigators, and everything! Im so excited! The last great miracle. When we were sitting in the sacrament meeting an investigator just walked into church! Shes friends of a member, whos name is Donny! He asked us to come visit her so we set up a time to go visit her with Donny this Tuesday night. Also, that night after a conference we recieved another reference from a member. Our Relief Society president gave us the information of a family that wants us to come and teach them. Wow! The miracles really do come in our hard work. We have both been worried about who will be our next new progressing investigator since Nicole is getting baptized this week and is our only invesitgator who has progressed the most. So now we are excited to see and meet these new investigators. And of course the best news of all. Nicole is getting baptized this week! 20 de November! Im so pumped! Its going to be such a good baptism. We planned the whole baptism and are inviting the whole ward and making assignments based on what Nicole wanted. We are also going to have a choir with the mujerers jovenes...Young women. and some other members. Its going to be great. So next week you will see many pictures from the baptism of Nicole! Im so happy! The finish up the week. This Saturday we went down to Tacna for a rehearsal for the Musical Recital that they are going to do down there. Hermana Bennion and I are the only ones in 5 Stakes that can play the piano. So she went down for the other rehearsals and I told her I could go down if she needed help since its a 2 hour drive down in bus and takes up time out of our area. But I told her I would be happy to do it. I have used my piano skills so much in the mission and I have loved it! It has been a blessing to have the skill that I do and I can feel the Lord helping me in my weaknesses. There are many miracles all around us. We just need to open our eyes and take note of what we see. When we do this we will be happier and find joy in our lives. Open your eyes and count the many miracles that all of you have around you! I will be doing the same here in Peru! Thanks for your support and love while Ive been here on the mission. The onther day marked my 10 month mark....I cant believe it but I am sadly on the downhill. The time is FLYING! Remember to count your miracles! Love always, Hermana Flora xoxo

November 10, 2014

Family and Friends!! This week has been revolutionary. We are seeing a lot of support from the ward members and we have a member leave with us everyday! Some days we have 2 members and so the whole day we are always with a member. This week we had 12 investigador lessons with members present. This is the highest Ive had in my whole mission. We can see the excitment of the members to do the work with us. Another highlight of the week was Sunday. Nicole called her mom who lives in Tacna and she set up a date to come up the 20th of November for her baptism! Its official! Im so excited! Then that same day she came with us to a baptism in another ward just to see how a baptism is. She was so excited to see what happens and what will happen at her baptism. After the baptism she told us she was more excited for her baptism. It was a really good experience. Thats exactly what she needed. Another highlight. I am now the new English Teacher for the Zone. I have the responsibility to help the latinos in my zone learn English and give them English tests. Im happy to take this responsibility. So now Ill be calling the Latinos and checking up on their English and giving them tests. Its actually an awesome opportunity that the latinos here have because they can study English everyday for 30 mintues to an hour their whole mission and take these tests, and at the end of the mission they can take a test run through BYUI! And they can be certified in English. This certification also can count for credits at BYUI. Its pretty awesome. Another highlight this week was when I let Hermana Bourque take charge for one day. I gave her the phone, the keys and gave her the opportunity to be Senior companion for the day. At first she was all happy and leading during the studies, then when it was time to go visit people the nerves started coming, especially when the phone rang. The poor girl was trying her best but I could feel the stress leading up. For me, it was nice just following her around. By the time we got to the room she was looking for the keys and they were no where to be found! If she wasnt stressed before...haha thankfully she found them 5 minutes later. But when we got into the room she took the keys and the phone and put them on my bed and said theyre yours now, Im happy with my role! haha The rest of the week shes been thanking me for the work I do haha I think it was a little much for her so Im just going to start giving her little responsibilites to prep her for when she will be in charge. I know she will be a leader so I want to prepare her to be a great leader. Funny incident that happened this week was when we were ordering chicken one night and Hermana Bourque turned to me and asked me how to say leg in Spanish and I said, pie, and then the lady looked at her like she was crazy. Then a guy that was sitting right by the lady said, Pierna! haha Then I realized that I told Hermana Bourque Foot instead of Leg. hahaha everyone started laughing when they realized that we just asked for a foot haha Its been another great week here in Peru! Im loving this opportunity I have to be a missionary. Love always, Hermana Flora Next week we are going to Ilo with Ruben and Margarita to see their son get baptized! His name is Cristian and we were the missionaries that found him and taught him his first lesson and then passed his information to the missionaries, Elder Petersen, in Ilo since he lives in Ilo. Im excited to see him get baptized and I think it will also help the testimony of Ruben and Margarita.

November 3, 2014

Family and Friends!! Its November! I cant believe how the months are flying by. This week we sent 2 missionaries home, so we had little farewell parties as a zone before finishing the mission. The pictures are from last P day when we went to the waterfall as a zone. Its the big activity we do here in Moquegua on the last Pday of the change. It was way fun! As Im sure you will be able to see in the photos. This week in general we have been working more with the members and we have grown closer to the members here and we are working on helping the members get closer to our investigators so they will feel more comfortable when them come to church. Also, it was Halloween! They dont exactly celebrate Halloween here. Which is a little sad. We saw some cute kids dressed up in costumes running around at night but theres a lot of people that are superstitious and think that Halloween is an evil holiday. I was so sad to hear that. But we had a little celebration during dinner with the Elders and Magaly and her family for Halloween. Nicole passed her baptismal interview this week! We practiced a song for her baptism with the ward choir on Sunday and are getting everyone excited for her baptism as well! Another exciting thing from the week was our activity this Sunday night that we had, called Plan Oveja. Sheep Plan haha to look for the lost sheep that arent coming to church. It was such a success! I was so happy to see many members at the church for the activity. They were ready to help! We got them excited to go do visits with us and help invite these people to come back to church! Hopefully we can do this activity every Sunday or every other Sunday night. I think it is a good opportunity to help get the members visiting other less actives and for us to meet more people with the help of the members. This week was a great success, just as always. The mission is going great. Sadly, today is tranfers and we lost both of our Zone Leaders...Elder Chipman and Elder Birtcher. We went to say bye to them this morning. It will be weird having two new zone leaders but the new zone leaders seem like they will be great. The work is pushing forward here in Peru! Hope all continues to be well at home! Love you all. Love always, Hermana Flora

Monday, October 27, 2014

Worth of Souls

Family and Friends!! Another great week here in Peru trying to serve the Lord the best I can! Highlights of the week... We met Nicole's mom this week! She's great and has no problem with Nicole getting baptized, she just wants her to be secure with her decision, which we told her that this was our goal as well. Had a great spiritually guided lesson with Evangelina about the Plan of Salvation. She told us about her sister who had passed away a few years ago and she wanted to know where she was right now. As we taught we described to her the blessings that could come if she were to be faithful in this life and the blessings that could come to her sister as well. She was very interested in this message of hope that we all have to share. Evangelina told us she wants to hear more. This week we had Stake Conference and Elder Uceda, from the 70 here in South America, came down for our conference and also President Zobrist. It was SUCH a great conference. Saturday night we brought Nicole, one of our investigators who is prepcole was inviting Jasmine to come again to the Sunaring for baptism, and she ended up inviting her friend! Her name is Jasmine. We had our special musical number that I played piano for. We used the arrangement that I came up with for our other ward conference for our stake choir for the Saturday night session. Then Elder Uceda taught with such power, the whole conference was filled with the Spirit. Called us all the repentance. The missionaries and the leaders. Taught us how we can more effectively have Ward Council and for the missionaries how we should teach more carefully. We talked about rescuing the Lost Sheep. We are looking for converts not baptisms. I love this concept because we don't want to baptism people just to have more numbers, we want people to stay for life! This is true! That night we met Jasmines mom and she invited us to come over whenever to teach her daughter. We might have a new family to teach! YEAH! Sunday conference was super good as well. We had Nicole and her friend there too! Her friend seems excited to listen to us. We set up a lesson with her with Nicole this Wednesday. We shall see how things go with Jasmine and hopefully her family! This morning we went to Seminary! My comp had the great idea to teach a lesson in Seminary. The assigned chapters were Mormon 5 and 6. Its about the battles that went on as Mormon as their leader. Talks about how sad it was for him to see the death of his people because they wouldn't repent. We had them draw a picture of one of their friends thats not a member on a piece of paper at the beginning of class then saved it for the end. When we talked about the destruction of Mormons soldiers we took out their papers of the drawings they drew of their friends and ripped them up. We repeated the scripture that said that all the people died and said that their friends would have all perished. They were like the Mormon leaders to their friends. They were all shocked when we ripped up their friends pictures and the girls almost all cried. But then we said that thankfully we have repentance and we still have the chance to bring our friends unto Christ! We pulled out their actual drawings of their friends, because we only ripped up papers that looked like the papers that they drew their friends on. Their faces were priceless! They were so happy to see their friends drawings again. Then shared the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 18 that the worth of souls is great in the sight of God and how great will be our joy when we bring souls unto Christ. It was such a great Spirit driven lesson. The Seminary teacher, Noelia, thanked us for our service and after the lesson told us how Mondays were the hardest day for her to teach Seminary and sometimes they don't have lessons so we told her we could help her out and she invited us to teach Seminary every Monday. It was super fun so I look forward to have the opportunity to teach every Monday morning! Another successful week here in Peru. Just trying to do the best we can here in San Antonio! Hope you all too can help bring others come unto Christ. We are the light of the world and have the light of Christ with us. We need to feel guilty if we are not sharing this with others. Remember that the worth of souls is GREAT in the sight of God. Love you all! Hermana Flora

Monday, October 20, 2014

Family and Friends!! This week I hit my half way mark in the mission, 9 months. That explains the prego pictures haha Its kind of crazy how fast the time is flying. It makes me a little nervous but gave me time to think and reflect on what I have accomplished so far and what I want to accomplish before I go home. Basically I just decided that it really comes down to living everyday to the fullest, that is the only way we can live without regret. Big events this week. We did a missionary activity for our ward, Noche de Magica. Magic Night. We invited all the counselors to come. We made indiviual invitations and took pictures of each person and asked them how they felt about their calling. We turned these photos and their responses into a slideshow with videos that we made as well. During the activity we played games, had fun, and got to know each other better. It was a really good idea to get us closer with the counsels in our ward. Then we did the Musical Recital in Ilo that we had earlier in Moquegua. It went pretty good. Good news! One of our investigators, Margarita, her son Cristian lives in Ilo but one day last week we ran into him at her house and invited him to the Musical Activity and told him we would be coming down. We got his information and sent it down to the Elders in Ilo. When we saw him at the activity he had his Book of Mormon in hand and the Elders told us he is preparing to get baptized!!! I was so happy! Even though we won't be able to go to the baptism we were just happy to see that we found him and now he is on the path to happiness! It was a blessing for us. The work is universal and I'm just happy to help everyone in the work. Plans for the work in our area are to hopefully see 2 weddings then 4 baptisms in total! The weddings would be of Carlos Salinas and Paula who is a member. They have 4 kids. Then Ruben and Margarita! They would both get baptized. Then we have Nicole, who could get baptized any day now! Pray for us to reach our goal and help the Lord in this wonderful work of salvation! This story is a little long but READ IT! I read this for the first time on a bus on the way to district meeting and was holding back tears. I love it. Here it is.... The File Room In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index'card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemed endless in either direction, had very different heading. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read ¨Girls I Have Liked. I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one. And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. Thie Lifeless room with its smll files was a catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldnt match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files. Some brought joy and sweet memories, others a sense of shame and regret so intense taht I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone were watching. A file named [Friends[ was next to one marked [Friends I have Betrayed.[ The titled ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. [Books I Have Read[, [Lies I have Told[, [Comfort I Have Given[, [Jokes I Have Laughed At[. Some were almost hilarious in their exactness. [Things I have Yelled at my Brothers.[Others I couldnt laugh at. [Things I Have done in Anger[ [Things I Have Muttered under my breath at my Parents[. I never ceased to be suprised by the content. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. The sheer volume of the life I had lived overwhelmed me. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 yearsto write each of these thousands or even millions of cards. But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature. When I pulled out the file marked [Songs I Had Listened to[ I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tigthed, yet after 2 or 3 yards I hadnt found the end of the file. I shut it ashamed. Not so much by the quality but more by the vast amount of time that the file represented. When I came to a file named [Lustful Thoughts[ I felt a chill rush through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size and drew out a card. I shuttered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recored an almost animal rage broke over me. One thought dominated my mind, No one must every see this card. No onemust ever see this room. I have to destroy them. In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didnt matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end, and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and puled out a card only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it. Defeated and utterly helpless I returned he file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long self pittying sigh and then I saw it. The title bore [People I Have Shared the Gospel With[ The handle was brighter then those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box, not more than 3 inches long, fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained in one hand, and then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that the hurt started in my stomache and shook through me. I feel on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear filled eyes. No one must ever ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key. But then as I pushed away the tears I saw Him. No, please not Him, not here. Oh anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He bagan to open the files and read the cards. I couldnt bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bear to watch His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read everyone? Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at my with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didnt anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things, but He didnt say a word. He just cried with me. Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card. NO! I shouted rushing to Him. And all I could find to say was, NO, NO! As I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldnt be on these cards, but there it was. Written in red, so rich, so dark, and so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written in His blood. He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I dont think I will ever understand how He did it so quickly but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, It is finished. I stood up and He lead me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written. This story brought a new meaning of Christs Atonement to me. I hope this story touched you as it did me. Thanks to Jesus Christ we are saved. We owe everything we have to Him. I love Jesus Christ and I am thankful for this time I have to serve a mission! I love you all! Share the good word and love as Jesus loves. Love always, Hermana Flora

Monday, October 13, 2014

Conference!

Friends!! What a pleasure it was to watch General Conference this week. Just one week later than everyone else haha It was nice hearing about how much everyone loved conference before so it got me even more excited to listen to it. I have never been so excited to listen to conference before. Everything that I heard was for help to us in this wonderful missionary work. I'm just a little sad that it is already over, it went so fast. I will never take advantage of the great opportunity we have to listen to the prophet and apostles. I didn't realize how much a blessing it is until I began to teach everyone about it and the feelings of sadness I had when many people didn't show up. It really is a bummer to not have the opportunity to listen to a prophet but we do have the opportunity! At the least, 2 times a year, so we better take advantage of it to the fullest. This week, I feel like the weeks are all mixing together by now and the time is flying. This upcoming week will mark my half way mark, 9 months down and 9 more to go. Weird. I can't believe how the time comes and goes. In these past 9 months I have been able to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover, and this week I will be finishing the Book of Mormon cover to cover in Spanish! It has taken me awhile to read it in Spanish but I know that it has helped me enormously with my ability to learn the language. With my companion we have a goal to read the Book of Mormon together in Spanish and finish it by the end of her training which is in 3 months. It will be something that we need to be extremely diligent with in order to accomplish it, but we both have the desire to do it! For this next 9 months I have the goal of reading through the whole book Jesus the Christ. I have been reading through it but I really want to put more emphasis into it and read the whole book and learn more about Christ. My other goal is to read through the Book of Mormon in Spanish again! I know that this will help me become more prepared and become a better missionary to all those around me. With the mission field. Everything is still going great. I love being a missionary. The joy of bringing souls unto Christ really is the greatest joy we could ever receive. I loved Conference so much! Hope everything is going well at home. Help the missionaries out, share the gospel with those around you. Remember that everyone is watching. Try to be like Christ in every moment. Just as our prophet taught us. Follow Christs perfect example. Walking where He walked is less important than walking AS He walked. Strive to put Christ in the center of your lives! I will be working on this as well! I love you all! Cuidense mucho. Les amo! Hermana Flora Family and

Monday, October 6, 2014

Perseverar

Family and Friends!! This week we had a little bit of some set backs because my comp and I were sick. My companion had a stomach infection so we stayed in more than normal to try to get her back to normal. Thankfully now we are both doing great and my companion can now keep down her food, thankfully! I didn't tell you last week but we weren't able to watch conference this week because here in Peru there were elections yesterday and it is illegal here to have meetings on the same day as elections. You are basically forced to vote. They make sure you have no excuses haha so there was no church this Sunday. It was weird! We will be watching conference as a Stake this Saturday and Sunday! The end of this week was very successful. Karina committed to a date to get baptized! Only one little problem, she just told us yesterday that they will be leaving for a trip to Chile for a month or so... just a little bit of a setback so we will have to change this date for when she is ready. But the good news is that we had a lesson with her whole family on Sunday night and we found out that her older brother was an investigator before, he knows SO much about the church and is reading the Book of Mormon, was reading it earlier. He told us that the only thing he faulted was to get baptized! Well theres two of them in the family that told us they have desires to get baptized! Our goal is to baptize the whole family! It will be a while from now, a month or 2, because of their plans to travel. But we are both excited for their family. Other good news, Nicole told us on Sunday that her mom is happy about her decision to get baptized and she can get baptized if its her desire! YEAH! We are really happy for Nicole, she also is super happy about it too. She is one of our best investigators. I always love coming and teaching her since she is always prepared and ready to learn. I want to find more people like Nicole. She is awesome. She is also starting to do Personal Progress. She has told us she wants to pay tithing. She is golden. We are hoping she will get baptized this month. Her mom lives in Tacna which is about 2 hours away on bus so we need to plan a day that will work with her mom so she can come to the baptism. We are going to meet the mom this Wednesday so we will figure out a day then! We're excited for this! Other than our little setback at the beginning of the week, we were able to move past that and work hard at the end of the week. Hermana Bourque is awesome. She is a hard worker. When she was sick and throwing up she still wanted to go out and work. So we did as much as she literally could. She is a stud. I hope you all enjoyed Conference! I look forward to watching it this week. Remember to apply the things that you've learned from Conference. Follow the prophet! Love always, Hermana Flora

Monday, September 29, 2014

Brave

Family and Friends! This week has been filled with great news. To begin, Monday, after Internet we went to lunch with President and Hermana Zobrist as a zone and then all the trainers went back up to Arequipa with President and Hermana Zobrist. It was a fun car ride up. I was filled with so many feelings. I was nervous, scared, and excited to train. That night we had the training meeting in the mission home. Hermana Riverin and I were both super nervous to be training. Its crazy how far we've come. It felt as if we were companions in the CCM just starting the mission just a few months ago! At first we were both nervous but after the meeting we were pumped and ready to be the best trainers we could be! That night I was blessed to be able to sleep in Graficos, my first area! I got to see Hermana Ogden and the family who I stayed with for the first 5 months of the mission! The next day we went and visited the bishops family and Hermana Deby. It was so great to see them all again! Then we went to a stake center in Arequipa to meet our NEW companions! They started the meeting with all of in the room and went over the basics of the mission then we all at lunch. After lunch is when the excitement began. At this point we had no idea who our companions would be! They divided us up into two groups, the trainers and the new missionaries. They called the new missionaries up first and had them put their backs to us then told them where they were going to go, then called up the trainers after to stand behind their back. When everyone that was in the same area got called they had the new missionaries turn around to see their new companions. It was so fun waiting behind my new companion and then having her turn around to see her great excitement to be together and her excitement to work hard! I just loved it so much. My new companion is Hermana Bourque! In mission turns she's my daughter! Since this is her first area and Im her first companion and training her, Im her mom in the mission. Hermana Bourque is from Washington and 20 yrs old. She has a SUPER good attitude, which is the thing I love about her most. Starting the mission is super hard but I know she will have a much easier time since she has a great attitude and well of course because I am her companion! haha jk chiste! She's great. I just hope and pray that I can help her have the best first 3 months that she can have! Its been an added responsibility to be the companion in charge and the one that speaks Spanish for the both of us. Thanks to this I have been growing a lot more and I can feel the Lord blessing me and helping me. Especially with the language. I can also see my companions growth as well just in these past few days. We made a goal to read the Book of Mormon together by the end of training. Which means 8 pages everyday. So far its been really good and I hope to continue on in this goal and see our Spanish improve more and more everyday! Together we have been working really diligently and eficazmente....efficiently haha We went out with 3 members this week and were able to meet more people and also get to know the area better as a companionship. I love how my companion is so brave and willing to speak. She just speaks the best she can and then Im here to help her if she needs it, but she is super brave. This week we had seen the blessings of our diligence. We went to pick up one of our investigators to go to church yesterday but she wasn't able to come. At Zone Conference this week with President Zobrist, he taught us that when someone says no it doesn't mean no, it just means that they need more information! So we applied this with Karina, our investigator, she said she would come later but the good news is that we ran into her brother. It was the first time we had ever met him but with this advice from President Zobrist we kept giving him more information about church and the blessings that will come when we go to church and also that he could only come for an hour to see what he thinks and we gave him more information until YES he came! This is never heard of! The first time meeting someone and having them come to church with us! It's a blessing to see the Lord help us out after we give it our all. We don't know who is prepared and ready for the gospel but we just continue to work hard and then the Lord will put those people in our paths. Another blessing this week. One of our investigators, Nicole, 13 years old. She is from a family of all members of the church who are less active but are returning to come to church. She is our best investigator. She came to church Thursday for me to teach her piano and then after we taught her a little bit about faith. After the lesson we gave her the pamphlet of the gospel of Jesus Christ to read before our next lesson on Saturday. When we came on Saturday she was all prepared and ready! She read the whole pamphlet! We asked her what she liked about it and then she went on to say that she liked baptism. We taught a little more about the covenant to baptism and how it's a blessing to get baptized. She ended up telling us she wanted to get baptized! The date isn't set but we told her that we are here to help her prepare for her desire to get baptized. YAY!! We will be seeing lots of success here in Moquegua! I look forward to these next few months that I have with Hermana Bourque! Love always, Hermana Flora

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I'm Legal!

Family and Friends!! I am officially legal! Yayy!! Went to Lima Sunday night and was there doing paper work all day Monday so now I have the chance to write all of you! The secret to life is Faith in God and gratitude. This is the key to happiness. If we know that everything will work out if we are obedient and are thankful for what the Lord has given us, there is no doubt that we will be happy. This week I have found joy in the little things. My joy has come in teaching this beautiful message we have with the people here. What a great blessing we have to know this gospel. At times I don't know if we truly realize how great we have it. I look at the people around me, rushing to and from, waking up, going to work, eating, returning home, going to bed, and repeating this all over again the next day. How sad would it be to think that this was the only purpose to life. Work, eat, sleep, and repeat. There has to be more than that. Thankful to this gospel we know that there is. This life will move faster than we can imagine. Our purpose isn't just to live and die. We are suppose to live and prove ourselves to the Lord. We are in training for a better life. We need to prepare for the judgement that will come upon us after this life. Thankful to Jesus Christ we can be saved. All He asks of us is to come unto Him and we will be saved. He gave us SO much and asks for SO little. With this knowledge we need to give Him our gratitude by coming unto Christ. Everyone can come closer unto Christ. We just need to have Faith, Repent of our sins and all our wrong doings, Be baptized by His authority, and Endure to the end! This week was kind of crazy. I went to Lima Sunday afternoon to do my paperwork on Monday. I got back to my area Tuesday morning and only had 24 more hours with my companion before she left. Its so sad to see her go but its exciting to be with her during her last moments in the mission. We had a super good last week together. We have new investigators and the work is moving slowly but surely here in Moqugua! This Sunday we have our grand music recital for the Stake. The missionaries from Ilo are coming up to our area and we are having a big choir, special musical numbers, and talks. It will be an awesome night. We are inviting investigators, members, and basically everyone! I look forward to it! I am playing the piano for parts of it and singing as well. I look forward to seeing how it goes. My companion left this morning to go to Arequipa and have there conferences before going home. Im sad to see her leave me :( but this is just a new chapter in my life! I am now just waiting the arrival of my new companion next Tuesday! I Cant Wait! Enjoy what you have. You never know what you have until its gone. Hot showers. Heavenly. Thank you for your love and support! Love always, Hermanita Florita

Monday, September 8, 2014

Family and Friends!! I would be the last to believe it, but I now actually LIKE the rice dessert. What? haha Its called Arroz con leche. I was oddly craving it for 2 days this week and during one family home evening with some members they served it to us and I had never been so excited for the rice dessert. Miracles do happen. haha Big news from the week. We had Zone Conference and have been working a lot with getting people to better understand the Atonement. From Neil L Andersen's words to us last week, we are putting his words into action and teaching a lot more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is so true that if everyone truly understood the Atonement they would do absolutely do anything. There would be no excesses, just actions! This week we have gone to the Family Salinas house to read the scriptures with them everyday. The family is recent converts as of April and the dad has desires to get baptized. They have 4 kids. Carlos is the oldest at 14, then Karla at 11, Angel around 9, the last Danielle at 6. We are hoping that they will be getting married either this week or the next! He needs to get married before he gets baptized, so right after the wedding he will have his baptism! The sun is super strong here and it gets hotter and hotter by the day. My companion, Hermana Chamorro has been teaching me more the area and having me meet more recent converts, less actives, and members. The area is HUGE so I just get a little worried since this is my last week with Hna Chamorro and then she leaves, she finishes the mission in just one short week. Crazy! Then after that I will have a fresh new missionary and will train! Im nervous but I know I will be learning and growing a lot in this time. I will be trusting in the Lord A TON. Pray for me! This Sunday was another highlight. We had a training meeting with all the leaders in the ward and taught them about Ward Counsel, and the forms that they should be using in their organizations. It went really well because apparently before the ward wasn't doing much to help and in the whole month of August there was NO ward counsel. I hope this training will help them move to actions. There are some members that were super motivated and helping others get excited to help. We will be following up on them so they can keep this excitement and also continue on with their responsibilities. It will be nice to receive help from the ward! The missionary life is going great! Theres the good days, the alright days, and the amazing days! Thankfully there are more good days than bad. When there are bad days its only because I am thinking selfishly. I when I start complaining to myself about things such as the heat or other things, I just think of the people around me and this usually helps me forget myself and go to work, as Presidents Hinckley's dad told him while he was on the mission. Also, my testimony just keeps growing and growing and my knowledge of the church and the scriptures is expanding. What an amazing experience this is to serve a mission. Thank you for your support and love! Love always, Hermana Flora

Monday, September 1, 2014

Change

Family and Friends!! This week has been filled with much excitement and change. This Tuesday we recieved a call from the Zone Leaders and found out that we had emergency transfers and I will be leaving Arequipa to another area. I didn't believe it at first but yes it is true. I am now in Moquegua! At first I was bummed because I had only 2 days to prepare to leave and then I was gone. I didn't get the opportunity to prepare for the change or say bye to everyone. The reason we had changes was because there were 3 sisters that finished the mission in the middle of the transfer so President had to make some changes in other areas. When we were talking to President Tuesday night we asked him why he was going to change us and he told me that I am going to a new area to get ready to TRAIN! My companion right now is finishing her mission in 3 weeks and then I will be training. He told me I have 3 weeks to get to know the area before I train. OH MY! This is big news. I was excited about this news but also a little overwhelmed. I felt better about the emergency transfers because I knew it was for a good reason. I would rather leave now and have time to prepare than go to a new area with a new companion and train. That is just wayyy to stressful. Soooo I am now in Moquegua, which is 4 hours south of Arequipa. My new ward is San Antonio. My new comp is Hermana Chamorro! Moquegua is a desert. Its pretty hot and humid. Moquegua is surrounded by mountains and everywhere is covered in dirt. Here is more like how I pictured Peru. Theres not much greenery here but its pretty in its own way. My new companion is almost done with her mission, only 16 more days. Hermana Chamorro is super sweet and so nice. She is very humble and also funny. We get along really well. I am still getting to know her but I can tell that I will enjoy these next weeks with her. I want to have her enjoy the rest of her mission that she has! She's 23 years old and is from the Central part of Peru. She's sincere and easy going. Im happy to have this time to get to know her. This Thursday we had the big conference with Neil L Andersen. WOW! It was incredible. Being in the presence of an apostle is unexplainable. I learned 2 big concepts from him that I will apply in the mission and in my life. The first is the Atonement. He taught us saying that our investigators need to understand the Atonement. If everyone understand the Atonement then everyone would have a change in their hearts to do whatever in needed for the Lord. If only everyone could have this change in their heart or this knowledge of the Atonement. We need to help the people understand the Atonement and have this grand change in their hearts. This is our role as missionaries. The second concept that I really liked was when he was talking about honesty. The bases of spirituality is honesty. If we want the spirit we HAVE to be honest. To me, this was obvious. I feel like I don't have problems with being honest but then when he compared it with our investigators it really hit me. He said that if our investigators aren't being honest with us then how can they expect the Lord to help them feel the spirit. This hit me because there are SO MANY people that tell us one thing but do another. So many tell us they will go to church and don't come. So many tell us they will do something but don't REALLY have the desire in their hearts. This is something we need to change. I like this because I want to help others be honest. Honesty is such a good quality to have. I want people to be honest with us and not tell us they will do something if they don't have the intentions to do so. From this I want to help others realize the importance of honesty and of the Atonement. The last thing I learned was that the gift of tongues is real. Neil L Anderson spoke to us in SPANISH. He knows French and Portuguese but said he only knew a little bit of Spanish. He said he would speak as much as he could in Spanish and have the translator help him if he needed help. Well, he spoke the WHOLE HOUR without the translator. OH MY. I was so impressed and wished I could have this great gift as well. He has a lot of humility and diligence to just try and speak a language he doesn't completely know in front of a group of people. Wow. I was impressed. He spoke sooo well. He is definitely a prophet of God. In his testimony to us he told us that prayer is a blessing and is something muy grande that we have here on earth, then said that we are all children of God, and that he KNOWS that the Savior lives. I love hearing the apostles say this. I also know that the Savior, Jesus Christ, lives and loves everyone of us. I am thankful for what He did for us, for our salvation and for our happiness. We would be lost without Him. I am thankful to have this time to serve as a missionary for Him. Thank you for all the love and support! Love always, Hermana Flora xoxo

Monday, August 25, 2014

Preparations

Family and Friends!! This week was a week of contacting. On Tuesday during district meeting we talked about contacting people on the street. I have never been good at contacting and never liked it. My district leader read us a scripture in D/C, It was Section 60 verse 2 and 3. It says, But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them. And it shall come to pass, if they are not more faithful until me, it shall be taken away, even that which they have. This scripture burned a little. It was exactly what I needed. I didn't like contacting on the street but after we read this scripture my whole attitude chaged and now I have been contacting like a crazy woman! And now I like it! It's pretty fun. People are nicer than I thought and it has made us happier because we are sharing the gospel more! On a normal week we have about 3 contacts per week, which is really sad. This week we had 61 contacts! We are working hard on imrpoving our contacting skills, opening our mouths and using the talents that God has given us. It has made the week better, I know it. This week we have been preparing a musical number for when Neil L Andersen comes THIS thursday! I'm so excited! Wednesday we had a womens conference with all the sisters in Arequipa. It turned out to be pretty good! Funny highlight of the day. While we were at the mission home, President Zobrist was talking and joking around with Carol, the bishops wife in our ward, about how we were troublemaker missionaries and saying how we just cause trouble. Then Adreano, Carol's son, the 3 yr old boy, hit president in the leg and said MALO! Bad! He's bad! hahaha we were dying laughing and had to reassure him that President was only joking. It was just a joke. It was super cute to see our little friend protect us against President haha I was dying laughing so hard haha At the womans conference we learned that we need to be more united as missionaries, especially between the girls. Apparently there is a lot of problems between the cultures and when we are all together we need to speak Spanish instead of English so everyone feels included. We also did a fun activity where we wrote our testimonies on a piece of paper and tied them to balloons then got another hermanas testimony, took the balloons to our areas and let them go for someone to find them. It was an awesome activity. Highlight of the day on Thursday. We went to the Visiting Teaching Training for our ward, Graficos. The leader got up and was speaking about how the sisters need to have sincere love for the sisters they go and visit. Then she looked at me and said, This is why I love to see Hermana Flora, because she is always smiling and happy. It was super sweet to hear, especially because I don't know her that well and I haven't had many experienes to talk with her so I felt good knowing that I have an impact on people that I don't even realize. I got the letters from the family that they wrote at family camp! There was a pile of 15 letters! I was so happy to read each and everyone of your letters! Thank you so much, it made my day! Letters really are the best thing. We made goals with the bishop this week to improve the ward and the ward council, since it's been slacking. We have already seen the improvements! This Sunday we had more people at Ward Council and the new way to run ward council was much smoother and more successful! Poco a poco. WE GOT A BAPTISMAL DATE! One of our new investigators that is a refernce from Hermana Lady and Marjory accepted a date to get baptized. This was on Dads birthday! What a great present for us. It has been awhile since we've had an investigator with a baptismal date. I love baptisms so much because we get to see people literally coming unto Christ and literally changing their lives. What great joy. Her name is Iessa and she is 13 years old. She had talked with missioanries before but apparently never came to church because missioanries never came to get her to go to church. Well, that's okay because we are here and we will come get her! This lesson was the best lesson Hermana Ogden and I have had in awhile. We were both feeling the spirit so strong. We were in perfect unity and teaching by design of the Spirit. Lessons like these are THE BEST! If only we could have every lesson like this. It was so good. Also, we got permission from our other investigator, Enzo! He had been out of town for 4 weeks and just got back, but last we heard was that his mom said no to baptism. We were super bummed since his parents live far away, in another mission, and have no way to talk to her and teach her what we know. Welllll....when Enzo came back, his mom was with him! NO WAY! So we had a Noche de Hogar with him, his mom, and Noelia, the member that he lives with, and Hermana Deby and her husband. We taught the mom about our purpose here on earth and about the form of baptism that we do. Well, by the end of the lesson, she gave us permission that if Enzo knows with assurety that the church is true then she will sign the papers! Yeaaa! We assured her that this was our goal too! Sunday. Our other investigator, Nicole, ended up coming to church with her aunt, Amparo. YEAH!! After sacrament meeting, we introduced her to Marjory and Nachme, 2 young women around her age. We sent her off with them to go to the Young Women classes. We checked on her after the second hour and everything looked like it was going well. By the end of church they were just talking, getting each others numbers and having a good time together. THANK YOU YOUNG WOMEN! This is such a blessing! I just loved seeing Nicoles face and how happy she felt to have more friends and to feel wanted. When we found her she had a fight with one of her best friends who said lots of mean things to her so we both knew that she had been feeling lonely for awhile so it was good to see her happy face! Just another good week here in Arequipa Peru! Hope as is well at home! Love always, Hermana Flora xoxo

Monday, August 18, 2014

Arequipa Day!

Family and Friends!! Happy Birthday Donny! Big 21...is that real? I don't believe it. haha crazy! This week was filled with some good work here in Graficos. One day this week we went out with two young women in the ward and did divisions. We ended up getting some good references since some of our appointments fell through. It was fun going out with the Young Women. The one I went out with is Marjory. She was asking me about the mission and how I decided to go on a mission. She is thinking of going on a mission as well but her parents want her to finish college first. We shall see what happens. I loved seeing her excitement with the work and how willing she is to help us. If only we started going out with her sooner! At least we know now haha We had a zone meeting with all the missionaries in Arequipa city. Its always good to hear from President and to see Hermana Zobrist. Our CCM group was together for the first time since the mission, all we are missing is Hubert! It was so good to see the other hermanas. This week on Friday was Dia de Arequipa! Arequipa Day! 474 years of Arequipas birth. There was a parade that went through the city. As a zone we met up and then went contacting around the parade. What a cool experience. We saw an entrance to the parade with an officer standing by the entrance. And I just decided to see if we could get in just to look at the parade so I entered. The police officer said nothing to me so my comp and 4 other elders in our district followed. One of the benefits of being white in Peru, they just assume we have no idea what were doing. haha Anyways we were walking in the parade! We had little cards with Jesus and with the Salt Lake City temple on it so we started walking in the parade and passing the cards out to people sitting and watching. I have never had people beg me for things of the church ever in my life. If someone didn't get a card they were dramatically waving their arms at us saying that they didn't get one. Wow. If only thats what people did to get into the baptismal font. haha After that experience we escaped from the parade when we ran out of cards and pamphlets and started contacting and talking to those on the street. It was a fun experience. By the end of the night we were DEAD. We were walking allll day in the sun. We crashed at the end of the night. Happy Arequipa Day! Saturday started off pretty well. We went to a Young Womans and Mens activity for our ward, got a cake for Hna Lady's birthday and celebrated her birthday with her for a little. Later at night we went to visit Ruso, Juan, and Ines, the Condori Family with Hna Ladys husband, Wilfredo. We had a Family Home Evening with them. Started off with reading a scripture in the Bible saying to Suffer the little children to come unto me...something along those lines of not stopping the children to come unto Christ. Well, long story short. Juan got really offended and told us that he knew where we were going with this scripture and he stands where he stands about letting Ruso get baptized. He wants to wait until he gets better and then Ruso will get baptized. The pride kills. We were both bummed about this news. Ruso has been ready for baptism for about 6 years. Its just sad that the only thing holding him back is his parents signature. We fasted Saturday night and Sunday for Ruso and the family. We are going to put our faith in God and pray for Him to help us. Tuesday we have a lesson with him and we will come EXTRA prepared, with inspired questions, a game plan of how we can get through to Juan with a humble heart. We want to offend him again but I feel like we just need to tell him how it is. How can you do that without offended someone? Well, we are counting on the help of the Spirit. Please pray for Ruso and for the heart of Juan to be softened. Thank you for your love and support! Happy Birthday to Dad this Saturday on the 23rd! Hope Dad and Donny both have wonderful birthdays! Love you both! Love always, Hermana Flora xoxo

Monday, August 11, 2014

Family and Friends!! This week was transfer week. I was worried this whole week because I didnt know what was going to happen. I was either leaving to Tacna or staying with Hermana Ogden and I really wanted to stay with Hermana Ogden. We find out transfers Saturday night. The highlights of the week. The Choque family, the Condori family progress, and the Pioneer walk with the Stake. First, the Choque family is a family of converts. The last one out of the family to get baptized was Francisco, which is the dad that Hermana Bazan and I were able to see get baptized. I never realized how great of an impact I had on the family. I guess I just underestimate myself at times. But anyways, it was a blessing to the beautiful notes that they wrote me this week because we didnt know if I was staying or leaving this week. They thanked me for my service and for the work that Hermana Bazan and I did for their family and how they will never forget about me. They told me that I better not forget about them. I was just really touched by all that they wrote me. Also, Francisco travels a lot so we dont have the opportunity to talk to him very much. Thursday we called him to just ask when he will come back to town. When he realized it was Hermana Flora on the phone his tone of voice changed and was filled with so much joy. I was so surprised to think he would be so happy to hear from us! He told us he is coming back this Tuesday and wants to get an interview to get the priesthood! I just feel blessed to have the opportunity to get to know the Choque family and hopefully be able to see them go to the temple in one year! They are the strongest family that we have taught. They still have a long way to go since they have their weaknesses, as we all do, but I hope to see them progress more in my life. The Condori family. Juan and Ines. This week was the last week to turn in papers in order to get married here in Arequipa for FREE. In order for the family to progress Juan and Ines need to get married. Juan says he wants to get baptized and Ruso, 15, also wants to get baptized. We have had so many good lessons with them and they have been the best progressing investigators that I have ever had. Well on the last day for the papers we came back to see the final final decision. Ines wanted to get married before but Juan had always put it off. She told us that she wants to wait until he gets more things in line and in order before she marries him. Its also a little bit rushed for them both. How many years have you two been together? 16 years. This was a huge crush on me. We read scriptures about keeping the commandments and the blessings that will come both temporally and spiritually. But they were more concerned about other things. Sad. Sad. Sad. On this day I had never felt so much sorrow in my life. I know the blessings that they will recieve. I know the happiness they could have. Why cant they just listen and do what is right. We came back to the apartment and I just cried. How come people just dont understand? Its just so easy if we keep the commandments and obey. Why wont people just do it? During this experience, I would like to say that I was able to experience just a tiny piece of what our Savior Jesus Christ must feel every day. There are so many people in the world that know the gospel but choose to reject it and choose wickedness over righteousness. They put the things of the world at a greater importance than the things of God. How sad. I felt this sadness that day. This makes me want to be a better person because I dont want Jesus Christ to ever be disappointed in me. I know I will not be perfect but I want to try my best. The pioneer walk. It was an awesome Stake activity. We dressed up as pioneers and had the carts as the pioneers and walked from Independencia to PorVenir, which was about 5 or so miles. Up and down hills. We walked for 2 hours. They put us into our wards and we walked together as a stake. I really liked the activity because we were able to bond more as a ward and we got to get to know the members better. As we were walking all through the town we got many stares from the people and people wondering what in the world we were doing haha We passed out flyers of the history of the pioneers to all the people we passed on the street. What a great idea of contacting! The spirit was really strong through the activity. Everyone enjoyed the activity and had just a small little piece of how the pioneers felt. Well Saturday night came as slowly as ever. I didnt know if I was staying in Graficos or leaving. Elder Wells called and told me that I was off the Tacna. I was a little bummed since I wanted another change with Hermana Ogden but I know all is in the will of the Lord. We were both a little bummed. Then an hour and a half later Elder Wells called again and asked if I was packing and I by then I knew he was playing a joke on me. I am staying in Graficos for one more transfer with Hermana Ogden! Yaayyy!! I am so happy! I was so mad but he was getting me back for all the jokes I pulled on them. Sadly Elder Wells is leaving Selva Alegre. He has been my Zone Leader since the time Ive gotten here on the mission. But my new zone leaders are Elder Meza and Elder Murdock. It will be fun! I look forward to having this last 6 weeks here in Graficos. We have a lot to look forward to in the work. Hopefully Ruso will get baptized this week! We had more attendence this week and are 2 people away from reaching our goal of 100 members in the sacrament meeting! Also we had 3 different less actives come to church today! We have a lot of blessings coming our way these next few weeks! Keep barrio Graficos in your prayers! I hope all is well at home and everyone is healthy and reading their scriptures and going to church! Keep doing the good work and remember to share the gospel with your friends! Love always, Hermana Flora xoxo

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Gratitude

Family and Friends!! Congrats to my baby brother for being ready to leave this Tuesday for Salt Lake City West mission! I love you Donny! We will be serving together!! Hermana and Elder Flora! Monday. Went to the office and got to see President and sadly he said that he might transfer me after this week and send me to a new area to prepare me to train. I really would have liked to have another transfer with Hna Ogden since we get along so well but I know that everything happens for a reason and it will be a fun experience to train. It will be scary at first but I know that I will grow and learn a lot from the opportunity. We shall see what happens! Tuesday. After District Meeting we visited Juan Condori in the hospital and Ines was there too. We were just talking and Juan told us that Ines wanted to see my figures that Jessica made me for the Plan of Salvation. It was perfect so then we taught the Plan of Salvation to Ines and Juan. She said she really liked the plan and didn't see anything wrong with it. The lesson went really well! Juan is still reading the Book of Mormon and telling us about all he is learning. This just makes me so happy. Then they talked to us about the temple and how Juan wants to go someday. He told us to never forget about him. Of course we will never forget about them. I really hope to see them go to the temple someday! I think Ines is happy about getting married. I want them to get married and have the wonderful experience of being sealed as a family for eternity. They will be a golden family. Juan is filled with so much faith. Wednesday. Went to help Hermana Zobrist in the mission home with the binders for the new missionaries who are coming next week! Then we went to the Family Choque house and taught about the General Conference talk from Russell M Nelson about Demonstrating your Faith. I love this talk because it talks about our priorities and where we put in our first priority. Do we put the World Cup in more importance than the church? Was a question we asked, since they love the World Cup here. Thursday. This morning we went running in the Selva Alegre park. I love running! When we were done we were waiting to get on a bus to take us up to the top of the hill to our apartment. One said Independencia on it which is the area of our Zone Leaders and Hermana Smith and Sullivan so we just jumped on it and thought we could take it up to the top but then instead of going up all the way it took a turn and I thought it's okay it will go back but nope! We were going to another Independencia in Central which is the opposite direction of Graficos. This was a problem especially since we didn't have our phone or money for another bus. We only brought sufficient enough money for ONE bus. We were getting lost! An older lady got on the bus and was struggling to get on so I got up and helped her get on. Thankfully I helped her because she ended up being our blessing. She paid for our bus fair and walked us to the place where we needed to take the right bus back to Graficos. We would have been lost with no way to communicate with anyone, in PERU. I don't like thinking of how bad that would have been. Lesson learned, always ALWAYS help those around you because you never know when you will need help from others. Mosiah 2:17, when you serve others you are serving the Lord. I will always remember her kind service of paying for our bus fair when we didn't have enough to make it home and for her service of getting us to the right bus and making sure we were safe. She was a blessing to us in this day just by her small act of service. I would hope to have such an effect to others as she had to us this day. Today we went to visit one of our investigators but she wasn't home and ending up finding Nicole, Amparo's niece. She looked as if she was crying. We asked if we could share a message about Christ and our purpose here on earth and she invited us in. We had a lesson with Amparo, who is a convert as of a year and is SUPER strong in the church. We taught her about Christ and His Atonement for us and how He knows how she feels and knows the burdens she is going through. The best part of this lesson was when Amparo shared with us that she was praying for help while she was talking with Nicole and then two angels came to her door right after she finished her prayer. She was telling us that we came as a blessing and answer to her prayers. Wow. That made me feel good. It's crazy seeing the Lords hand in everything and in our planning to do the Lords will. I never realized how we could really be blessings to other people. This experience made me super happy and realize that we are blessings to others. Our shower got fixed today! No more showering out of buckets haha It was actually pretty fun. Better than I thought it would have been! haha August. What? The time has gone by so fast. Today I wanted to express my gratitude to those that have helped me so far in the mission because with Amparo yesterday I learned how good it feels to receive gratitude for the things that we do, so I wrote a letter to Elder Wells, my zone leader who has helped me the whole time I have been here on the mission. Elder Petersen, who was my District leader and taught me a lot about being an example through your own actions. Hermana Smith for just being her and being a wonderful friend to me. And of course to Hermana Ogden for being a wonderful companion and all the things she has taught me. It was fun writing the letters and giving my thanks to others. It just makes everyone feel better when they realize that they are doing good in the world. I love gratitude. Saturday. Found out that Donny is going back to the mission this Tuesday. I was dying of excitement when I found out! I think I almost had a panic attack when I realized how fast he was going to be leaving. But I am so proud of Donny for his decision to go back out after all he has gone through. That's my baby brother! Saturday morning. We met up as a zone and went to the park to do personal study and then share with the zone after. We got to go to the Selva Alegre Park which is only open on Saturdays and Sundays. The park was beautiful! There were monkeys there too! I went to touch the monkey and he grabbed my finger and was pulling me in the cage! I have a photo of the after damage when my finger is all red from the monkey haha it's funny. At the park we went around and each shared our conversion story. We got to learn more from the zone and feel the spirit from each of our conversion stories. What a good activity. It was fun to bond as a zone. Sunday. Fast Sunday. It was happy to see the fruit of our labors when 5 less actives came to church that we taught during this week. I know that this is all with the help of the Lord. What a blessing to know that we are really changing lives and bringing them back unto Christ. This calling is very stressful because we have peoples SALVATION on the line! That's just a little pressure. We still have a lot of work to go, but we are changing the world here in Graficos one person at a time! I love this time I have to be a full time missionary. Time is going faster than I ever expected. I want to take advantage of all the time I have. I love you all! Love always, Hermana Flora xoxo

The Golden Team

July 28, 2014 Family and Friends!! Last Pday we had an activity with the hermana leaders and all the hermanas that they are in control over. We went to the mission home and had hamburgers and tried on traditional clothes from Peru. The one that I tried on that will be in the pictures is from Columbia! It was fun! Then we wanted Frozen in Spanish and had yummy cookies and ice cream. Libre soy! Then after we did a little devotional in the mission home and we talked about companionships and the qualities that Jesus Christ has. Earlier they had each companionship come in and write all the good things or jokes or memories we have together on a board behind the other companion and we didn't see what the other wrote until the devotional. It was fun seeing what everyone wrote about each other. It was a super good day and ended really spiritual. We watched videos on Jesus Christ and what He did for us. The one part that I really liked was when Jeffery R Holland said something of the sort as to why aren't there more people coming into the church and why aren't we suffering from ammonia from being in the cold baptismal font for too long. Then he said, it wasn't easy for Jesus Christ. Why would we think that it would be easy for us. Salvation isn't easy. This time on earth is a test, unfortunately not everyone will get the same results but we need to do our best to be our best and help others to be their best as well. Tuesday we received 2 new investigators who were references from a member in the ward. References are the best! We visited a recent convert Fabriscio who is 11 years old. We read with him in 3 Nephi 11 about when Jesus Christ came down to the Americas. It was good that we sat down and read with him because the last two lessons with him we gave him a chapter to read and he still hadn't read them so we just read with him and explained the scriptures as we read. At night we visited Jorge, 14, who was the first person that I saw got baptized. The lesson went better than normal. His family life right now isn't the best. His parents are separated and I can see the effect it has on him and his sister. It's a bummer to see families separate. His mom is receiving the lessons from the Elders in Alto Selva Alegre and the Elders told us that she wants to get baptized! So we told him this and he seemed happy about that and more willing to come to church and do what is right. He said that he wanted to receive the priesthood. Hopefully he comes this Sunday! Wed. We had interviews in the morning with President, the Assistants, and Hermana Zobrist at the mission office. President told us that we are the Golden Team and he is going to keep us together for another transfer! We are both so excited about that! The Assistants said we were doing really good work together. My favorite part of today was seeing the Lords hand in today. Our lesson plans that we had all fell through but we ended up running into Hermana Amparo who introduced us to her husband Victor. Ever since I have been here we have been trying to meet her husband. It's been almost 4 months that we've tried to get in connect with him! At first he didn't want to let us in but we said only 10 minutes. Only 10 minutes! He let us in! We are so excited to teach him because his wife is a convert as of a year now and she is super strong and getting prepared to go to the temple this August. At first her husband, Victor, was SUPER distant and was telling us I'm not going to get converted, I'm Catholic. Super distant and the lesson wasn't going well at all. We were both a little nervous since there was a lot of pressure riding on just 10 minutes of a lesson....What do we teach in just 10 minutes? Hermana Ogden asked him an inspired question that led us perfectly into what he needed to hear. Plan of Salvation. He told us that he just believed that we die and there is nothing else. In my head I thought that must be really sad to believe such a thing. We asked if he would like to know what happens after we die. He agreed. Yes. The lesson was still rocky but I started praying for Victor to feel the Spirit and for Hermana Ogden and I to teach with the Spirit. Heavenly Father this is your child, please help us teach in a way that he can believe in the truth that we are teaching. As we continued, we talked about Jesus Christ. The Spirit came and was SO STRONG! I felt the Spirit guiding me in my testimony when I was telling Victor that he can know the truth for himself. He ended up being very receptive. What a great miracle. I remember during the lesson I pictured them both dressed in white standing outside the temple thanking us for bringing the gospel to Victor. I know that all things are possible with the Lord. I was so happy that the Spirit helped us in the lesson with Victor. We are just tools in the hands of the Lord. Lessons like these remind me of how much I love being a missionary and bringing this happiness to other people. Thursday. After lunch we went to visit Jaime and Diana. It was like marriage counseling. Diana was upset with Jaime for lying about things and it was just a little hectic. We ended up stopping them and saying that they needed to write down the positive attributes of one another and then also write down their goals they want to accomplish individually and together. At night we visited Marianela Fernandez. This lesson was sad for me. She told us that she is moving out of the house at the beginning of August. She will move out with her daughter Camilla, 6 years old. Another family that will be splitting up. It was hard for me to accept this. We asked her if she prayed about this decision. She said she did and felt peace. I still was bummed to hear this but told her that if you feel like this is your path then do it. If the Lord has told you this is right then it must be right. I don't know the answer to everything but He does. I don't know why the Lord would want a family to break up but I know there must be a reason for everything. I come from parents that had broken families and if they didn't break then I would have never come to earth. Who knows what the Lord has planned. Then I said all I want is to see you happy and coming to church. Marianela felt comforted after I said this because I was being sincere and I really do just want to see her happy. But most of all I want to see her going to church. I said that when I see her at church I will probably cry with happiness. We have been working with her for 3 and a half months and her progress has been coming, very slow, but she has been progressing. She said that she will go to church in her new ward, which will be in Elder Peterson's ward which is at 8am so we will be able to see her since our ward is at 10am! I just want to see her happy. It's rare when she is happy but when she is laughing and smiling it makes me feel like I have helped just a little. I just want what is best for her. Friday. Today started off really well. We went to visit Juan Condori in the hospital. It had been a little bit since we had last seen him. He was bummed that we hadn't come to visit him earlier. He started talking about how he had been reading the Book of Mormon. We asked what he had been reading, he showed us his book and pulled out a chapter in Mormon. Then he said that he had read what we left him all the way up to there. We left him Alma 34 to read and now he is in MORMON! He read more than 200 pages! Oh my gosh! I was so HAPPY! I couldn't believe it. We were both so happy. Then we talked a little about the wars and I started telling him about my favorite person in the Book of Mormon which is Captain Moroni and how he had so much success because he was FIRM in keeping the commandments of God. Then we flowed right into what we were planning on teaching which was keeping the commandments but more importantly the Law of Chastity since Juan and Ines aren't married they are just living together with their two children. Unfortunately this is really common here. So then we talked about the commandments and about how God has revealed more commandments through our latterday prophets, such as la ley de castidad. It was perfect. We told him about how there is going to a FREE matrimonio service on August 23, Dads birthday! This is a blessing because after the operation they won't have much money. Juan said that was great! He is going to talk to Ines and see what she says. He then asked us what else he needs to do. This is music to our ears to hear his great desire to do what is right. He also told us that he wanted to share the chastity pamphlet with his son Ruso. It was such a good lesson. His desire makes us so happy. He gets his operation next week and then he will start recovering after that. He is one of our golden investigators. He just needs to recover fast! Then we went to the chapel to help Elder Peterson and his companion get ready for their baptism. I just love baptisms. It's fun to see people change. After the baptism we went to visit less actives and then our District Leader called us and told us that the Elders emptied the water without turning off the gas, and we are the only ones that have the keys for the gas so he told us to RUN to the chapel. So we came running down the hill to turn off the gas. After we turned off the gas we found out that the Elders didn't empty the font and it wasn't as much of an emergency as we thought so then we thought it would be funny to pull a prank on our district leader since he made us run down the hill for no reason. We called him back and I told him that Hermana Ogden fell and hurt her ankle and couldn't move. He started worrying and said he would have the Elders come get us. Then he called us back and I acted like I was crying and told him that Hna Ogden was going into shock. He was frantically saying CALL THE NURSE, CALL HERMANA ZOBRIST! I was dying laughing haha then after it went on for a few minutes we told him we were joking. It took him a little to realize that everything was alright and it was just a joke haha That was a good laugh. Especially when we found out that he called the Zone Leaders and was so nervous and didn't know what to do. After that we went and visited Edwin Aguero and taught him about the Plan of Salvation and our purpose here on earth. After the lesson we went to the chapel and had a movie night with the Elders in the stake and members, our investigators, and less actives. From our ward we had some members come and Marianela came. The movie we watched this week was Tangled. We made popcorn for everyone and passed out drinks. We were the servers for the activity. It ended up being a really good activity and brought investigators to church and less actives too so we are planning on doing it every week! This week was super good. Lets just say I am loving the mission. I am so proud of my little brother for sending in his mission call. We will be serving together!! I am thankful for all the support and love from all of you! Love always, Hermana Flora xoxoxo

Monday, July 21, 2014

Family and Friends!! Such a stress filled week but such a good week. Tuesday we visited with a new investigator that we contacted on the street last week. His name is Marcelo Diaz. He was super impressed that we came at 10am sharp. He has been one of our good investigators because he read the pamphlet that we gave him and had lots of questions. He said that he wants to be a better person. We scheduled another lesson with him since we forgot that we had District Meeting at this time. Tuesday afternoon we went out with a member and he gave us some references to go visit. The reference we went to visit was a 19 year old boy who he went to school with. When we were talking to him his parents drove up with his sister and they started unloading lots of boxes out of the car. We instantly went to help and at first they were resistent but then accepted our help. This was my goal for the week, to find more opportunities to serve others. It was a good way for them to build confidence with us. Then they invited us in. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation. He didn't know what happens to us when we die but after the lesson he really liked the whole idea of the Plan of Salvation. He was really interested and focused during the lesson. He said he would pray to know if the church is true. Later we went to visit Jorge and Camilla and Ghilmar. We taught them about the Book of Mormon. We told them about our activity coming up that Friday and they seemed pretty excited to come. Wednesday. In the morning we visited our new investigator Marcelo Diaz at his work. He seems very interested. He is progressing since he had read everything that we have given him. In the lesson we taught him the Restoration. The spirit was really strong in the lesson when he asked us how we got our testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel. We told him to pray and if he prays he will receive an answer for himself that this church is true. In the afternoon we went to the mission home to help Hermana Zobrist out with notebooks together for the new missionaries coming in August and September. At night, we went to visit Samuel. We asked him why he didn't come to church and then he told us that he really didn't know what to believe and why he needed to go to church. We began to teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the five things we need to do while here on the earth. Which are Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Recieve the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End. He told us that he faults repentance. We then talked about the importance of the Atonement and how repentance is a HUGE blessing from God. While he was talking I started thinking about my testimony of repentance. I told him that was my favorite part about this church, then I bore my testimony on how I felt about repentance. I started crying and saying that only through Jesus Christ we can feel the burdens of sin leave us and have happiness come back into our lives. He then wanted to know the steps of forgiveness and wanted the pamphelt that talked about repentance. He told us, Voy a arrepentirme! I am going to repent! It was such a good lesson! Thursday. We spent a good part of the day planning for our awesome activity we were going to have Friday. We got a few things that we needed and then invited more people to come. We planned this activity to get investigators to come to church, to get less actives to come and to have more unity in the ward. We were getting so excited for the activity. It was super stressful since we did 90 percent of the whole acitivty all by ourselves. Friday! The day of our activity! The theme was Este es Guerra, This is War, which is a TV show here in Peru that EVERYONE loves. It's a competetive game with obstacle courses, games, trivia, and other similar things. There are two teams, the cobras which are blue and the lions which are yellow. So for our activity we had two teams, The Lamanites, blue, which was my team! and the Nephites, yellow, which was Hermana Ogdens team! We put up yellow, blue, and white ballons and decorations. When the people started coming we divided the members into different teams. Little to say, the activity turned into such a success! It was STESSFUL! I never want to plan an activity again! But this one happened to be worth it. So for the activity we had different games similar to the TV show, such as cup towers, obstacles courses, and trivia about the gospel and about the members in the ward. We got everyone super animated during the activity! It was so fun. Thankfully the Elders came and helped us because we couldn't have done everything on our own. Anyway, my favorite part of the night was the end. The final game or challenge was when we asked for the most powerful man on each team to come up. We had them do an arm wreslting contest to see who was the winner. We then told everyone that because he is the most powerful man in this chapel he will recieve a huge prize. It was two big plates of cookies. We asked him if he would like to keep this all for himself or share with everyone at the activity. He said he would share so then we started passing them out. But when we gave the cookie to one person we said that the winning man had to do 5 pushups for each person to recieve a cookie. By the time we passed out 8 or 9 cookies we had people yelling at us saying CASTIGO! CASTIGO! At the time I didnt know what that meant but I knew they were getting a little upset haha One member came up to me and said that we needed to stop since people were getting upset. We continued on but the people got more angry with us. Finally Hermana Ogden said, Who doesn't want a cookie: Then I said that he still needs to do a pushup for them. I thought the members were about to kill me at this point haha the commotion was so strong and SO LOUD. Then the second I said this is the same as what Jesus Christ did for us. It was dead silent. I said that since he was the only winner in this room, Jesus Christ is the only perfect one in the world. He is the only qualified one to do that job. The cookie is significant to the great gift that he has given us, Whether we accept it or not it will always be there for us. He suffered for us whether we want it or not. Then we asked them to think about people they knew that aren't partaking of this great gift that Jesus Christ has given us. We ended up getting some references that night but more importantly we had a super spiritual ending to our activity. My favorite part was seeing the change in the people when they were yelling at us to the dead silence in the room when we compaired this activity to Jesus Christ. SUCH A CHEVRE ACTIVITY! Saturday morning we went to Independencia to give service to the less actives in Hermana Smith and Hermana Sullivans ward. We moved rocks from one side of the yard to the other. The sun was so strong that day, but it was fun to be able to serve the sisters and the people in Independencia. I love service! Sunday. This week had just been a week a stress. We were both dead by the time Sunday came around. Hermana Ogden and I both were assigned to give talks. We were planning our talks in the morning and I was getting a little nervous because I had been praying for awhile to recieve inspiration on what to talk on, but nothing really came. I prepared my talk and everything. When I got up to start speaking I got though half my talk when our investigator came in the room, Marcelo Diaz. I instantly felt that I shouldn't read the rest of my talk. I then stopped reading my talk and said that I wanted to try and express the feelings that I had in my heart. I could feel the Spirit testifying through me and helping me be able to speak the desires of my heart. Never would I ever do that in English but here I go, just speaking from my heart in SPANISH in front of my ward! Wow, things have changed! haha This is good!! In this experience I gained a testimony on preparing for a lesson or for a talk but then changing based on the needs of the Spirit. The Patriarch, which is the house we live at, told me that I did a really good job on my talk. It was like recieving a compliment from my dad because he doesn't just give out compliments unless he really means it. He told me that he understood everything I was trying to say also that I was an instrument in the hands of the Lord because I was letting the Spirit testify through me. This week was filled with lots of stress and Hermana Ogden and I have been super tired but I haven't been happier. I am thankful for this opportunity I have to be a missionary and to be able to share this wonderful gospel with those here in Peru Arequipa. It's not always easy, but it's always worth it. Thank you for all the support and love that I am recieving from home. I know that I am being blessed while here on the mission. I feel blessed to be able to speak and understand the language so fast. I feel comfortable with the language and I have no more fear. I can't speak perfectly and I learn something everyday, but this is the life. Change. As long as we are changing for the better this is a success. Everyday try to think about what Jesus Christ would do if He were in your same position. That's what I try to do everyday since I have his name on my chest. I try to do my best to be the best representative of Jesus Christ that I can be. Siempre gracias, Hermana Flora xoxo

Monday, July 14, 2014

This is the Mission

Family and Friends!! Another good week in Arequipa. Tuesday we went and visited Lalo who is 19 years old and hasn't been coming to church. He got to know Hermana Ogden and we had a good lesson with him. We are trying to get him to come to church this Sunday since it's been awhile. We are planning on visiting him with a member that's around his age so he can have some friends and feel more comfortable coming to church! Tuesday afternoon we visited with Elsa, she is the sister of Hna Amparo, she is a recent convert of about a year and is SUPER strong! We planned on teaching her about the gospel of Jesus Christ but we both had the impression to teach the plan of salvation. We felt the Spirit super strong in the lesson and ended up giving her a book of mormon. She accepted it and wanted to know more! She also accepted the challenge to pray if our message is from God. We are excited to see her progress. At night we visited Marianela Fernandez. We have been working with her for the past 2 or 3 months, basically since I've been here. But she hasn't come to church yet. I am losing hope and running out of ideas. We are buds but she's just not coming. She wants a divorce from her husband but she is still living with him because of her 6 year old daughter Camilla. Marianela is from Lima which is an 18 hour bus ride away and Camilla doesn't want to go to Lima so it is either leave her daughter or stay with her with her husband. We are trying to get them to stay together. Her husband, Frank, wants to be with her and is committed to save their relationship. So tonight we talked about forgiveness. She opened up more to us and told us that she doesn't feel worthy to go to church. It made me sad but also frustrated because Satan wants her to feel this way. God wants her to come to church and repent. God never wants us to feel so bad about our sins that we turn away from Him. He wants us to feel bad about our sins so that we would turn away from our sins and turn towards God. We shared this with her and shared Matt 18 about forgiving other 70 times 7 times. We also taught her that she needs to forgive herself as well. Sometimes it hardest to forgive ourselves. Wednesday. In the morning we had zone conference training. The Zone Leaders taught us about what President wanted all of us to know. Then while we were in the chapel there was an EaRtHQuAkE!! It was pretty strong since we were about 2 hours away from the epicenter. It was a little exciting. Nothing happened though, just a little shaking and screaming haha Nada mas. Thursday Hermana Ogden and I had divisions with our Sister Leaders. I stayed in our area Graficos and Hermana Odgen went to Casa Blanca. It went really well. Divisions are always fun because we get to know other hermanas and learn more from other people. The Hermana Leaders told us that they wanted to do divisions with us first since they know that we're not having any issues and they wanted an easy division first. We're the best! haha just kidding. But really Hermana Ogden and I are doing super good together and working really well and having lots of success. This is super good! When I was with Hermana Leavitt we went out with one of the members in our ward and taught some of the families in the ward. It was fun learning from Hermana Leavitt and getting a different teaching style. I like to see everyones teaching styles and ideas because I know that we can all learn from each other. My favorite part of divisions was Friday morning. We ended with writing a letter to Heavenly Father. It was a spiritual experience for me and it was a good way to better express my feelings. It was like a written prayer. I would recommend doing this if you can! Then the other part that I liked was something that Hermana Leavitt told me. She said that she wanted to study the Light of Christ, not because I said anything about it, but because you showed me the light of Christ. I was super touched by this and surprised to hear it, but it made to happy to hear that others can see light in me and that I am spreading happiness to those around me. Then Friday afternoon Hermana Ogden, my sissy, came back! We went and visited Juan Condori in the hospital. It was such a blessing to walk into his room and see him reading the Book of Mormon! It made me so happy! We taught him about my favorite character in the Book of Mormon, Captain Moroni! He told us that he wants his faith to grow and he wants to get baptized! It was such a good lesson. He is super humble. At the end of the lesson he prayed and during his prayer he teared up and was full of gratitude. He told us how thankful he was that we brought this happiness into his life. I was filled with joy! I started to tear up when I heard him say this to us. This is the mission. Saturday. The stress begins. Today is the day for Diana's baptism! In the morning we went to the Pulcha Family house to do service. Elder Wells, Elder Meza, Elder Peterson and Elder Devenberg came to help us out. The Elders helped move things in their house and cut weeds, and we helped clean. It was fun giving service. This is one of our new goals, to give service every week. Then Hermana Ogden and I ran to get the font filled and to start heating up the baptismal font. We called Jaime, Diana's husband at 11 and said remember you need to be at the chapel at 2pm and pronto. They are always late because of him but we trusted he would come....Well at 2pm we were stressing a little because we told all the members that it really would start at 2pm. All the missionaries in our District came to support us so we felt bad that we couldn't start yet since they weren't there. Well we called Jaime and Diana and at 2:30pm Diana told us that she was all ready but the truth was that Jaime just got in the Shower! WHat! But actually everything all worked out. Some members came at 2:15pm but had to leave but a good group of members came at 3pm and said I knew it wouldn't start at 2 haha they just know Jaime too well. So at 3pm we started the baptism! It was such a wonderful experience. Diana was a little nervous but more excited. The baptism was really special because when she came out of the water she started tearing up. I asked if she was alright but she just told us that she was so happy. It was a sweet experience. The best part of the baptism was when she got up and bore her testimony in front of all of us. She told us that when she came up from the water she felt a huge peace come upon her and that she felt like her past life was behind her and she was forgiven of all her sins. She was crying a lot and thanking everyone that was there to support her and then thanked us for helping her get baptized. At that point I was tearing up myself! It was such a happy moment! This is the mission! All the bad times I ever had were all wiped away and I felt like I was helping people come unto Christ. This is why people serve missions. SUCH A GOOD DAY!! Sunday. Well it was just a little stressful. Jaime really has a problem with tardiness. 10am is our sacrament. There weren't there. We were just getting a little nervous. By 10:30 we were getting a little frustrated at Jaime. But the odd part was that there were many delays in our sacrament meeting. For example, they had to say the prayer 3 times and we sung the sacrament hymn twice. I don't think I've ever seen that before. Anyway, these little blessings made it possible for Diana to receive the Holy Ghost. Literally at the LAST minutes she calls us and ended up coming all by herself. She walked in with us right when they were closing the meeting. We sat down and then the first counselor said now we will have Diana come up and receive the Holy Ghost! What a blessing! It all worked out! At night we had a lesson with Edwin, one of the less actives in our ward. It went really well because he opened up with us and told us he wants to stop smoking and drinking and come back to church. SUCH A GOOD WEEK! I love you all! Love always, Hermana Flora