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

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