Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014

Family and Friends!! This week has had its ups and downs but mostly it has been a pretty successful week. We have 2 solid investigators right now! One is Diego, he is 10 and he is super! He comes to every lesson prepared and knows the gospel really well. We have taught him all the lessons and he knows he has to get baptized and wants to! The only problem....his parents won't allow it. Noooo! His grandparents are members and they want him to get baptized but we need permission from one of the parents in order for him to be baptized because he is under age. We have been praying for a softened heart in his parents. Our next investigator actually came and found us. Her name is Diana and her boyfriend is a member, Jaime. Jaime talked to us on Sunday and said he wanted us to meet with him and his girlfriend. Turns out she is golden! Our first meeting she said she wants to get baptized and now all we need to do is teach the lessons. One problem...they need to get married first. They are living together and don't want to leave each other so they decided on getting married May 9th and she is getting baptized May 10th! Jaime said that she helps him with the Word of Wisdom and she is a strength to him. Wow! She is really awesome! She said she will read the Book of Mormon and prepare for baptism and we will help them with the marriage arrangements! This week was the first week with piano lessons. I was super nervous about it because I didn't know if people would show up and I didn't know how I would teach in Spanish! We brought Diego to the piano class and I taught him first then 10 minutes later 3 more people came and then 5 more people came! So I ended up teaching about 6 people because that's all we had time for. I taught them the first line of I am a child of God individually. We ended up having 3 investigators show up to the piano class! My companion taught a lesson while I was teaching piano! Yayy!! So now I love the piano class. Not sure how I taught them in Spanish but everyone loved it and was so excited to be able to play a little bit! They are excited for next week and so am I! Last week we didn't have water 3 days during the week. This week we didn't have water for one of the days. I now have a greater appreiciation for running water in the house, but that's what makes the mission even better! Learning to apprecitate the little things in life that make a big difference. The end of this week was very successful. I feel like we have been working really hard and that makes me really happy! I know this isn't my time but it is the time of the Lord. I received 2 letters this week! One from my friend from Tucanos, Olivia, who is serving in Mexico! The other from Hermana Riverin! I wanted to share a quote from the letter of Olivia. It's a quote from C.S. Lewis.... "There is someone I love, even though I don´t approve of what he does. There is someone I accept, though some of his thoughts and actions revolt me. There is someone I forgive, though he hurts the people I love the most. That person is me." I really like this quote. When I first read this it made me think of forgiveness. We all have faults. We can forgive ourselves so why not others. READ THIS TALK!! Why 1820 by Hyrum W. Smith, from a devotional given at Ricks College, 27 Sept 1988. This talk gives a background history of the apostasy and events that led up to the Restoration of the church of Jesus Christ. I really enjoyed it! It' a good read! This Saturday we did a service activity with one of the recent converts in the ward. She was having a Fried Chicken lunch sale....not sure exactly how to explain it haha but we helped with cooking and prepared the food and getting members to come. She is pregnant and needs money and it was a pretty good turn out. I love service. This week that has been our goal, service. Sunday afternoon my companions foot was hurting so I went out with 2 of the girls in our ward that are around my age. It was a fun experience because I felt like I was able to teach more and since I was the only missionary teaching it made me speak more and it wasn't completely awful haha I actually got a baptismal date! His name is Ruso and he is 14 years old. He has the desire to get baptized but.....his parents won't allow it! Noooo! Not again! I don't understand. It makes me so sad but I am going to pray for lots of miracles this week! Thank you for all of your support and love. It helps me a lot to know that I have family and friends at home that love me and care for me a lot. I know this church is true and I feel so blessed to have been born into the church and know all the things I know. Read your scriptures everyday because it will protect you from the world! Love always, Hermana Kelsey Flora

Monday, April 21, 2014

One down, One million to go

Family and Friends! The place where we are at is really beautiful! Beautiful for 3rd world country. It grows on me everyday! At night it is the most beautiful because we are overlooking the city and you can see the city lights all around us. The city is super pretty! I was able to go down to the city on Pday! We went and got Papa Johns pizza! YUM haha then played soccer on one of the fields in our area. It was super fun. Hermana Bazan and I are the only Hermanas in our zone so we are outnumbered by a lot. The Elders didn't think we would be able to play soccer but when we were playing soccer I scored 10 goals! haha it was way fun. The missionaries here are awesome. My first pday was great. In Arequipa there is this trash truck that drives around picking up trash and it plays a Mozart Sonata...I should know which one it is haha but it plays this song every day superrrr loud and people come running from all over to catch the truck and throw their trash away. 4/16/14 Tonight we ran into one of the young men we have been teaching. He is less active and we are working on (regaining him). His name is Lalo, he is 19 years old. He practices his english with me! So when we saw him my companion ran towards him and told him to stop because he was supposed to be in the chapel talking to the bishop, so we talked to him and took him to the chapel haha then we taught him a lesson! It was super good! I really hope he comes to church this Sunday! He says he will! Ohh I found out I am speaking this sunday! I'm just a little nervous! My first official talk in Spanish. When the people here found out I could play piano, they all got so excited! So I am going to be teaching piano once a week at the chapel! I don't know how well it will go but I am excited because everyone else is so excited! We are also teaching English! 2 Elders from Utah and I are teaching English every Thursday night! 4/17/14 Tonight I taught the English class with 2 other Elders from Utah. It was super fun! It's the only time in the week where I can speak English! I love teaching! We are doing these classes and piano classes for the members and investigators to help build the ward up and make it stronger. The ward needs to be strong before we add more people to it. 4/18/14 AHH!! Tonight we went to visit Abuelita who had a baptismal date for tomorrow but we weren't sure if it would happen because she is 86 and has memory problems. She said to us, No. I'm Catholic, and I will die Catholic! haha so we ended up visiting with her grandson, Jorge, who is 14 years old. He has been taught all the lessons and has been to church 6 times. The only thing he needed to do was get baptized. At the beginning I didn't have faith that he would change his mind. Then I said a little prayer in my head asking Heavenly Father to help me know what to say because we were stumped. Then I got the courage to speak and express my feelings of what I felt I should say. We read a scripture, 2 Nephi 32:5, For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do. After I said, Do you want to know all things to do? He said yes and I said so do I! haha then I said, wellllll how can you receive the Holy Ghost, He said baptism. I said yes!!! exactamente!! Then I what do you need to do? Well...he said he wants to get baptized!! YAYY!! I was so excited! I can't wait for tomorrow! His family was so excited too! His family is all members and he is the last one in his family to get baptized. His sister had the biggest smile on her face, it was so precious! I am super excited for tomorrow. The baptism went really well! At first it was a little hectic because we were running around trying to fill the font then re fill it because it was dirty then we had to run to our pinchenistas house to get the baptismal clothes....yeah it was a little loco! haha but it ended up being super super good! My talk also went much better than I expected. As a missionary the Lord helps us in order to accomplish His will. The only way I was able to do so well was because of Him. I had faith that He would help me and He definitely did! I wrote my whole talk out in Spanish even my testimony but when I started bearing my testimony I decided not to read it because I feel like testimonies should come from the heart so....I just bore my testimony from my heart! I know I messed up at times but when I was stumbling some of our member friends in the ward were smiling so big and giving me the courage to continue on! I love the ward here. They are awesome! They work really hard and in the ward counsel meeting they said that the members need to work with the missionaries! YES!! That is soooo helpful! This week my companion gave me so much confidence to speak because she mainly does most of the lesson and I bear testimony or bearly speak, because I was letting fear and nerves get in the way. I finally realized that I didn't beg to get here just to observe people, I came here to TEACH! I would rather try and fail than not try at all. One baptism million to go! I love the work, I love the people, I love the food....for the most part... haha and I especially love the gospel and Jesus Christ. Have a wonderful week in the States! Hermana Flora loves you! Forever and always, Hermana Flora

Monday, April 14, 2014

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Family and Friends!! 4.9.14 Wow. Today has been a long day! At Atlanta I met up with lots of missioanries and a lot of them were going to Arequipa so I am excited to see them in 6 weeks! It was a long travel to get to Arequipa but I am just so thankful that I am here FINALLY! I thought I was going to be in Lima for a few days but I came strait here in Arequipa! I met my mission president and his wife at the airport with my new companion! My president and his wife are great and I love my new companion! She is the cutest latina. She made me the sweetest note and was jumping up and down when she saw me. I was soooo tired at the time but her excitment made me so happy. She is from Panama! her name is Hermana Bazan. She understands English but doesnt speak too much so that is a blessing. We are both helping each other out with learning Spanish and English. My new area is Graficos. My companion works hard and I am really happy that she is a hard worker because I know she will train me well! She has been out since Jan. 2 so she JUST finished her training! I wouldnt have been her trainer if I didnt come to Arequipa at this time! We met our pinchinista )she makes us food!= SO NICE! When I got to her house she made a welcome sign for me! It was so cute! 4.10.14 We set our first baptismal date today! His name is Hermano Evelio and he is around 80 years old. He is very receptive to the gospel. I didnt do much, my companion is awesome. I just try to understand as much as I can and then bear my testimony at the end. My companion is very supportive and she helps me out a lot. She gives me the confidence to try and speak. She is a great example to me. One more thing! Our pinchinesta gave us chicken noodle soup today for lunch and dinner and my poor companion had a whole chicken leg with the foot and claws on it! I almost died haha she ate the whole thing, Im so glad that wasnt in my soup! haha But I´m pretty sure I had an eyeball in my soup but I just didnt think about it haha 4.11.14 Sometimes it is hard to focus when everyone is speaking Spanish because I cant understand everything and if I can understand I dont know what to say or I am just too nervous to try and speak. The end of the night was much better because I was able to open up and be myself. I spoke the best I could and my companion helped me, it wasnt as bad as I thought it would be! I love how my companion is friends with lots of the members and the inactives here in the area. Everywhere we go she knows someone! She has a really good relationship with the members and this makes the work easier because the members can trust us and give us referrals. They also treat us really well :) The weather here in Arequipa is muy bueno! Its very similar to the weather in California! I love it!! I showed my companion pictures of my family today and she loves Donny haha she tells the members, ¨Look! Its my future husband!¨Haha shes crazy, I love it. The days seem superrrr long. We get lots of things done and I love that! It is hard at times to be in a complete Spanish environment and not be able to understand or speak everything I want, but I am out here because I know this church is true and that makes me happy. I couldn´t do this if I didnt know that this gospel was true. I had a good experience tonight. I was thinking to myself during one of the lessons...not focusing haha..and I was saying to myself Ï wish I could understand what they are saying!¨Then I heard a small and simple voice in my head say,¨Listen.¨The holy ghost was teaching me at this moment. So I stopped and listened sincerely. Wow. I started to understand a lot more! Not everything, but much more. The gift of tounges is given when we have faith and act upon this faith in love for others. 4.12.14 Happy One year anniversary to Melina and Adam!! :) I love you both! 4.13.14 Arequipa: Gets more beautiful everyday! The weather is perfect! The latinos think it is cold haha but its probably only around 60'65 degrees when they think its freezing. Perfect! We live on top of a large hill overlooking the city. It is sooo pretty at night to look at the city lights. The food is really good! They eat MUCHO!!! I dont understand how they can eat so much food! Today for lunch we had soup, in a HUGE bowl and I was stuffedddd and then they came out with more food!!! I was going to explode haha mucho rice! but thankfully they understood that we were full and could only eat a little more. Tonight was SUPER good!! I taught my first lesson with my companions help. We taught the Plan of Salvation to a partial member family. The father is an investigator and has a baptismal date for the end of this month! They are an awesome family! In the lesson I used the object lesson that Jessica gave me! I revized it a little because it was in english, but they loved it! Thanks Jessica Ñ= I am excited to use it many times in my mission! Of course the lesson wasnt perfect and my companion helped me with explaining things that I couldnt but other than that it went really well! Ñ= Here in Peru there are many things that I could complain about because it is very very different than America, but I never let myself even think about it! There is no place I would rather be! And there are soooo many more things to be excited about because I am a missionary here in Peru! I LOVE IT! The culture is very different but I am getting use to the change. Jenelle told me before leaving that David said in his mission something of the sort..The sooner I become comfortable with the uncomfortable, the sooner I will be comfortable. This has been very true with me here in Arequipa. There are many things that make me uncomfortable, the culture, speaking Spanish, not understanding people, the food...well basically everything! haha but I just think to myself, Become comfortable with the uncomfortable! It helps :) I have also lerned to just laugh at things and not let things bother me. There is no need for me to scared because I have the Lord on my side. I absolutley love being a missionary! It isnt easy but it is worth it. Every minute! I love love love it! Thank you for all the support you give me and everyone in the ward and my friends too! I love you all! :) Love always, Hermana Flora