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

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