My dearest family-
Wow. Has it really only been a week since I talked to you? Since I found out I was being changed? It has been a ridiculously insane week. Another week full of firsts!
-I had my first baptism in La Cria. In a river. Yes, that's right. A real river. (There wasn't any water in the church to fill the font, so the river was our next, well, really our only option.) A young girl named Yarida was baptized. She's 9, and her family are members-less active, but they were really happy that she was baptized. They're working on coming back to church.
-I went to Lima this week. Yeah, Lima. As in Lima Peru. Which is not in my mission. I found out Wednesday night that I needed to go to Lima to get my "tarjeta de extranjeria." Basically it's my card that says that I get to stay in Peru as a stranger. Or something. So Thursday morning, we woke up at 5:30, I finished putting my stuff together, and we left at 6:30 to be in Chiclayo at 7:30 (we're about an hour away from Chiclayo-1 1/2 hours from Monsefu). My companions left me in Chiclayo, where another hermana, another and I rode the bus for 3 hours to get to Piura. Once we were in Piura, we ate lunch, then went to the airport, where we traveled in a plane for about 30 minutes to Tumbes (which is north-and Lima is south). After people got off and other people got on, we headed south for Lima. 1 1/2 later, we were in Lima. We got to Lima about 7:30 in the evening. It was exhausting, but good. We spent the night in a hotel in La Molina. The next morning, we headed out to...I don't know. Immigrations, perhaps? The place where we needed to go to get our cards. And we were there until 1:30. It reminded me of the DMV :) Highlight of the trip-we got to visit the temple! We didn't have time to do a session ;( but I finally got to visit the Lima Temple! It was so good to just be on temple grounds again. I'm sad that it'll be another year before I get the chance to go again, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to go. Highlight number 2 of the trip-we got to go to the Distribution Center! There, I stocked up on videos and pictures that I have also wanted, but haven't been able to get yet. It was worth the trip to Lima for that. Later that night, we flew back to Piura, spent the night in Piura, and Saturday morning, traveled back to Chiclayo where I found my companions. I was back in La Cria at 12:30-ish, Saturday afternoon.
Because of all this travel, I haven't felt like I've had the opportunity to do a whole lot of work in my area. But I have been able to teach lessons in my companionship. Working in a trio is much different than working with just 2 people. Hna Cruz is really good-she kind of reminds me of my friend Rachel from high school :) Hna Chamorro is more shy, but she has a great love for the people. And then there's me. I would be lying if I said I didn't miss Hna Lopez and Monsefu, but I just keep remembering that the Lord put me here for a reason. I remember all of the other things that I have done in my life-that at the beginning, I didn't like, I didn't want to do, but after I got used to things, I was so grateful that I did them (going on a mission comes to mind :) We did get to play volleyball today as a zone, which made me happy :)
Cool experience for the week though-when I was on the plane, a man got on in Tumbes, and sat next to me. I asked him if he was from Tumbes, which he said he was. I asked him if he had listened to missionaries before. He told me he had listened to everyone, that he wanted to know what really was the truth. We ended up talking the whole hour and a half from Tumbes to Lima about the Gospel. He is ready for the Gospel-the elders in Tumbes just need to find him. I gave him a Book of Mormon, and he was really grateful. He said it was like our sword-not to destroy, but to build up, our weapon. Armor of God, anyone? It was really amazing to help someone who is so ready for the Gospel. For the first time in my mission, I had a desire to go to Tumbes (it has a reputation for being ridiculously hot all year long). I left him 4 different chapters in the Book of Mormon that answered different questions that he had. This was a really cool experience for me. Hopefully the elders can find him. I'm going to send them his address for them to visit him. I just love missionary work!!! It's the best! :)
Food, we eat chicken and rice a lot, potatos too. They like to fry things here, especially bananas. They're okay, but I like unfried bananas better. The children here play a lot outside. They are entertained very easily. They're sweet though.
Random thought of the day-one year ago today I made the decision to serve a mission. I am so incredibly grateful that I made that choice to serve. This has blessed my life like no other, and I'm so excited to still have a whole 'nother year to work. The missions are going to split at the end of this cambio. I am hoping to stay in mission Chiclayo, but, as we found out last cambio, sometimes what Hna Williams feels isn't what the Lord wants. I'll just keep trusting in Him, and I know it will be for the best.
Thank you for all of your love and support. I love you all so much!! I know the Gospel is true!