Monday, June 27, 2011

Jamie's Pictures June 27, 2011

Me, Pres & Hna Chipman, my companion, Hna Machuca -

the last time I'm gonna see Pres & Hna Chipman, until I'm in the USA ;(

3 Generations!! Hna Machuca, Hna Williams, and Hna Lopez!

Me and Hna Cottrell - the other American Hna -

she's also training, but staying in Mission Piura.

Me and my best friends here - Hna Choto, Hna Lopez and me.

Hna Choto is staying here which makes me happy!

Jamie's Letter June 27, 2011

Yep, so this week has been a week of changes, that's for sure. It seems like forever since I last wrote you guys. Well let's see. Monday morning I spent a good chunk of the time packing. Monday evening as well. Tuesday bright and early we went to Tuman to drop off my suitcases, and then it was off to Piura! I got to sit with Hna Lopez, and we spent 3 hours talking about our lives in this past cambio, and how much I was going to miss her. She said she was so proud of me-her "daughter." It was so good to just have that time to talk to her. I needed it, before saying goodbye to her...for...I don't know when I'm gonna go to Guatemala to see her, or when she's gonna come to the states. It'll happen sometime in our lives. I'm just not sure when. Anywho, Tuesday afternoon we went to a training for trainers. And then Wednesday morning we got our companions! My companion is Hna Machuca. She's from Paraguay, and she's great! She got to meet Hna Lopez too, which made me happy. Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet Hna Lopez's companion, because she's another North American who is playing the same game that I did (arrive in your mission alone, and meet Pres Chipman, Hna Chipman, and Hna Lopez at the airport). I guess she did such a great job training North Americans that Pres decided to have her do it one last time. Shortly after we got our companions, I said goodbye to her. And I cried. But I know I'll see her again. Sometime. For now, I'll just keep writing to her and praying for her :)

Hna Machuca is really good too. I'm really blessed to have her as my companion. She really motivates me to give my best of myself (not that I wasn't before, but I think I'm pushing myself to be better now). We're not supposed to call our companions our "hijitas" (little daughters), but I really do feel a great love for her, like she is my daughter. I want for nothing more than for her to succeed as a missionary, and I can only imagine that this is somewhat similar to the love the parents feel for their children. They want them to be better than they were, which is exactly what I want for her.

Our area, Tuman, is more like Monsefu than La Cria. But it's got it's own quirks too. We live above our pension which is also a bakery. The first night, I woke up at 4 in the morning to the smell of bread. Well, I've definitely woken up to much worse :) Our room is small, but it's my room, which means I automatically love it. The ward here is really supportive. So far we haven't had to knock many doors-all of our investigators at this point are references. It's great! I have a feeling that I am really going to like working in this ward. We have several investigators that the elders left us-one named Mariela. We went to visit her this week. She's had a kind of rough life, and she really is looking for the truth. The elders have invited her to be baptized, but she wanted to think more about it. In our lesson with her, we talked about the importance of the Holy Ghost in our lives, and how we can have the gift of the Holy Ghost after baptism. I could feel the Spirit really strongly-it was amazing. She said she was going to pray to see if this baptism is what she needed. She came to church yesterday too, and we have an FHE in her house tonight. It'll be so good! We have other investigators too that the elders left us. ALmost of of them need some help-have challenges or whatnot. But I know with help, and if we work hard with them, they too will come to recognize the blessings of membership in the Gospel.

Today we also said goodbye to Pres and Hna Chipman. Hna Chipman told me how grateful she was that I was here, on a mission, and that I was a kindred spirit :) Anne of Green Gables? She told me that she would never forget playing with me, and the miracle that I made in the lives of 2 other hermanas (my companions-Hna Cruz and Hna Chamorro). I told her that I just loved them. Nothing else. And she told me that because of that, I was going to have a great life. That I was going to have an exceptionally happy family. Yeah, we'll have our struggles, but I'll just "love them out of it" in her words :) She told me she had no doubt that was true. I trust her :) She really is amazing. Her and Pres Chipman are just wonderful. I'm so glad that I'll be able to have contact with them when I get back-I think they'll get back just a few months after me. I'm so grateful to have been able to have had this time with them. And I know our new president will be just as good too. His name is Pres Risso (I think that's how it's spelled). He's from Uruguay. We'll get to meet him on Saturday. I'll let you know how that goes. :)

Hm...I'm still not sure of the other address yet. I imagine I'll probably have an address ready for you next week. Are you still gonna send contact solution? Because that's what I want...among other things. It sounds like you guys had a fun week! I forget sometimes that you guys are in summer (it still feels like summer here-I don't think it's going to get cold). Yeah, when is the cabin again? I want to know too. Sometime in July. I can't believe that Emily is going to girls camp! I remember my first year at girls camp-Emily couldn't even say my name then! I was still "baga." (Where did she get that? I don't know...) And good luck Laura with your senior pics-I wish I could be there to help you, but know that you are absolutely beautiful, just the way you are!

Well, my family, I'll keep working hard, and you guys keep working hard. Okay? Okay. Know that I love you so so so much, and that I'm thinking of you. I know that this Gospel is true, and that it changes the lives of people. Isn't it amazing?!
I love you!
Hna Williams

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Jamie's Pictures June 20, 2011

Me, Hna Chipman & Elder Despain after our 2nd musical fireside. Eld Despain is staying in Chiclayo so we will still be able to play together if we ever end up in the same zone.

I'm gonna miss Hna Chipman, though!
Me, after stake conference, with one of the little girls from our ward.
She really wanted a picture and I thought it was cute!

Our baptism from last week - Rohny.

Seriously he's the best!


Last P-day we went to a cool museum. We changed our p-day because they aren't open on Mondays. So we got permission to work all day Monday and then have our p-day on Tuesday. It was cool. It reminded me of the Emporer's New Groove. So perfect for me!

Now I have to memorize that movie in Spanish....the quotes aren't quite as funny when other people don't understand them....

Monday, June 20, 2011

Jamie's Letter June 20, 2011

So yesterday we had our Stake Conference here in Pomalca. President and Hna Chipman were there, and they spoke. It was really good afterwards, I had a conversation with Pres. It went something like this:
(Pdte was talking to 2 Elders in my zone)
Pdte:Hna Williams, come here.
Me: Okay...
Pdte: No, closer.
Me: Okay... (So I moved in a little bit closer to form a nice little square with these elders and pdte)
Pdte: Now Hna Williams, you need to get to know the investigators in Tumàn really well.
Me: Okay... (confused).
Pdte: In other words, your new area is Tumàn.
Me: Okay... (Shock in my mind, and I almost start to cry).
Pdte: So take advantage of this opportunity, go with the elders and your companions, to get to know the ward mission leader and everything of Tuman.

What?!? I didn't want to leave!!! I wanted to stay in La Cria!!! But...I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord. This isn't the end of the story though. A little bit later:
(My comps and I were talking to Hna and Pdte Chipman)
Me: So, how exactly is all this going to work?
Pdte: Well, Hna Williams, you need to go to Piura to get your companion.
Me: What?
Hna Chipman: Oh Really?
Pdte: Yeah, so you'll leave tues to go to Piura.

Little side note-only those that are training new missionaries go to Piura from Chiclayo to get their companions. I'm going to be training a new missionary!! Just like Cameron!! My companions are staying here. I'm sad to leave La Cria, but I'm still in the same zone. So I'll still get to see them. I've really grown to love that ward. I didn't cry when I left Monsefu, and I was there for 4 1/2 months. And now I'm only here for 6 weeks, and I'm sad. :( It'll be a good experience though to train a new missionary. So much of who I am as a missionary is thanks to Hna Lopez (who is going to be in Mision Piura!!!!! NO!!!!!!! :( ) She's also training again in this cambio. It'll be fun to train at the same time. I just have to have faith that the Lord will help me to do what I need to do.

One reason I'm sad to leave is because of this amazing investigator that we found in this week. Her name is Lucero. She's 16, but she seems more like she's 20. She has plans to get married. But she's so interested in the church. She's seen us walking around, and she's wanted to ask us why we seem so "pure." And we knocked on her door, was perfect! She told me that she felt like she knew me before. And I felt that way too! And now I'm leaving... maybe one day I'll return. I'll just have to trust my companions to help her get married and then be baptized.

This cambio really has been good. I've felt the Lord preparing me, helping my companions. Really, I spent this cambio helping Hna Cruz learn how to be the senior companion, even though I've never been senior companion. Hna Lopez taught me well. I asked for a blessing last Wednesday from my zone leaders. It just strengthen my testimony of the power of the priesthood. It wasn't like anything was horribly wrong, but it has given me the extra strength that I have needed for this week. Things will be hard, but the Lord will be here to protect me.

And then with all the music-really, I haven't played the piano this much in all of my mission, than I have in this cambio. And I love it. Tuman doesn't have a chapel though, much less a piano. I guess we meet in a house. But it's a ward. I'm not exactly sure. I guess I'll find out soon though. I leave early tomorrow morning to go to Piura. I'm in the process of packing up my stuff. It's...a process. But I have 2 wonderful companions helping me.

Well, I think this is this week's letter. I love you all so much. I think about you often, but I also am concentrated on the work-no worries :) I know that this Gospel is true, with all of my heart, and that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I love Him so much.
Hna Williams

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jamie's Pictures June 14, 2011

Hna Lopez, Hna choto, and Me! We rock!

Hna Chipman & Me after the fireside!

Jamie's Letter June 14, 2011

Hello my dear familia!
How are you?
This week has been good! On Friday we had our music farewell fireside. We got to the church at 3:30, and I was practicing with people until 6:30. It was really cool. I ended up playing the piano with Hna Chipman on the violin and Elder Despain on the flute. While I was practicing with just Hna Chipman, she told me that I was "drop dead gorgeous." Who knew? ;) I'm gonna miss her so much (because I'm almost pretty sure I'm staying in misison Chiclayo...I'll find out for sure next week). I'll send you a program from the fireside. Because I'm pretty much playing for everything. And I think you'll like it. We get to do the fireside one more time this friday for the other stakes. It'll be really good. I just love music :)

Cameron is training???? What?!?! He hasn't even had another companion! And he goes from being trained to being a trainer! I still can't believe it. I'm pretty sure I'm still gonna be junior companion next transfer.

Anywho, back to the fireside. I got to see my bestest friends in the mission-Hna Lopez and Hna Choto. Hna Lopez has struggled some with her companion, and she says she misses me tons! We had the oppotunity to pray together, just she and I, before the fireside, and it was something that I really really needed, to be able to feel the spirit with her again. I think it helped her too. She found out though that this next cambio she'll be opening an area and training again! She's amazing! I'm gonna go to Guatemala someday, just so you know, to see her. I'm not sure when, but I'm gonna go :) And Hna Choto is just amazing too. I'm so glad that we live close-ish. California is a lot closer than Guatemala...

We also had a baptism this week-a young man named Rohny. He's pretty much the golden investigator. When we contacted him, we challenged him to be baptized, and he accepted (he has had so much contact with the Church though, so it wasn't that difficult). It was good to see him be baptized. The service was slightly irreverant though...the bishop baptized him, and I guess the bishop had never baptized anyone before, and so he wasn't exaclty sure how to do it. They got in the water, and there were people tyring to tell them what to do. It kind of killed the spirit. Afterwards, the bishop told us that he had his cell phone in his pocket when he went into the water...well, Rohny was baptized. We tried to sing hymns to try and invite the spirit again, which worked. It was good though.

We have stake conference this weekend, and I've been put in charge of putting together a choir from La Cria. Well, it won't be anything super spectacular, but hey, it's a choir. There's a brother here too that's kind of helping out. It'll be good!

I have such a great family. Really. I'm so glad you had a good birthday mom. I love you guys so much. I was looking at things today, and if I end up in mission Chiclayo, I'll be home after exactly 18 months, with transfers and everything. Keep working hard. Really-I love telling people about my family. (I showed the fotos of us to a couple of members, and they asked me if I cut the pictures out of a magazine! We're just amazing!) Send my love to everyone. The church is true!
Hna Williams

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Jamie's Pictures June 6, 2011

The Lagoon we saw on our hike last week.

Me in front of the Lagoon!

My zone from way up high.

Another picture of my zone from way up high!

No, I don't have chicken pox. I may or may not have forgotten my bug repellant....stupid bugs! I'm gonna kill them all if I don't scratch my legs off first...(don't worry I have stuff to put on them, and now I am very religous about putting on my bug spray).

The view! Utah, anyone?

Jamie's Letter June 6, 2011

How I absolutely love my family! You guys really are the best. I've been laughing out loud here in the internet place.
There's a Pirates 4? I knew they were making one, but I didn't realize it was out already. Wow. I've only been gone 7 months, and look what happens!
And Cameron's training already?!? That's crazy!! You must be doing something good, bud. Keep up the good work.
Yeah. You'll get your birthday thing from me...later. Mail takes a little bit longer to get to Utah from Peru than it does from Florida.
And my friend Amberly is getting married tomorrow too! Yay for eternity =)

Wow. So this week has been kind of normal. We had another presidential election yesterday, which meant another Sunday with no church. It kills me. But Peru finally has another president (his name is Ollanta) and they won't have their next presidential elections until 2016, at which point I hope to not be a missionary in Peru anymore. It's been good though.

On Saturday, we went on splits-Hna Chamorro went with one sister from the ward, and Hna Cruz and I worked together. I forgot how easy it is to teach with just one other person. I'm remembering, my teacher from the MTC, Hermano Black, told me that if I can teach in a trio, teaching with just a companion will be a piece of cake. Not that I don't love having 2 companions-I love them both with all my heart. I am slightly looking forward to just being with one other person again. But for now I'll just have fun.

I'm really really really excited for this week though-because on Friday, we're going to have a musical fireside with Presidente y Hna Chipman. Which means I'll get to play with Hna Chipman again (and probably other people-I've heard of one elder, Elder Despain, who can play the flute really well too...). But is this all? No. This is a musical fireside for 3 stakes in Chiclayo, and for all of the missionaries here in Chiclayo. So I'll get to see the people I love from Monsefu again, as well as Hermana Lopez and Hna Choto! This is my motivation to get me through this week! Yupi!

We've been really blessed in this week to find people who are ready for the Gospel. It's hard sometimes-we've found some people in some really crummy situations, but hopefully with a lot of help and the Gospel, they can change their lives. One of our biggest challenges is that almost everyone we meet is just living together. No one is married. It's so culturally acceptable. And it's so not okay. The people really talk about God so much but their hearts are so far from him. I understand more what that scripture means now. Another one of our challenges is that there are several people that don't know how to read. Which is kind of hard when we want them to read the Book of Mormon. But we're working with people still. It's been good.

Despite all of these challenges, we keep working. We can teach much better as a trio than when we first started out. We're listening to each other more I think too. I really have no idea what is going to happen in this next cambio. We have so much that is going to happen before this date.

One miracle for this week-we got a reference to go and visit a friend of one of the members. When we finally found his house, he said that he was almost baptized earlier, but for some reason or another, he just wasn't baptized. We didn't have a place to have a formal lesson with him, but as we were talking with him, I asked him, "Well, when do you want to be baptized, then?" He asked me what days we could do it. And we invited him to be baptized this Saturday, and he accepted! Now we just need to review the lessons. He says he knows the Book of Mormon is true, that he's prayed about it and everything. Proof that there really are people ready for the Gospel in "mini-Utah" :)

Well, my family, I love you tons! I think of you lots (not too much though-I have to keep my focus!) You guys rock though. Really. I'm pretty sure I have the best family and friends in the world. I know that the Church is true. Like always, there is no way I would leave all I've ever known if it wasn't. And I love it!
Stay strong!
Hermana Williams

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jamie's Pictures May 30, 2011

So I took a video of Hna Chipman and I playing after the meetings were over.

It's too big to send, but maybe I can compress it? I'm not exactly sure. Anywho, this is the picture from the video.
Me and my beloved Hna Lopez! How I love her so so so so much!

Me, Hna Lopez, and Pres and Hna Chipman. We never got a picture of the 4 of us when we were companions but, now we do!

All the Hnas at the conference.

Jamie's Letter May 30, 2011

Why hello my wonderful family!
Can I just tell you how wonderfully marvelous this week has been? Because it has been fantastic! It started off on a Tuesday-we had our zone meeting like normal. Then they told us that Friday we would be having zone conference...with my old zone La Victoria!! Meaning that I would get to see...Hna Lopez, and Hna Choto, and all of my friends (well, almost) of my old zone! I could hardly contain myself, becuase I have been missing them so much! That helped me get through Wednesday and Thursday. It's been hard, trying to help my companions sometimes. I've really struggled, because things are different, and I feel sometimes like we're just going around in was really frustrating me. But the knowledge of zone conference helped me work-it was my motivation. That and that I was going to have an interview with Pres Chipman, which also helped me.

Friday came. And it was a glorious day. We got to the institute building at 8 in the morning, the same time as Hna Lopez. It was such a glorious reunion. I started crying a little. And you know how much I don't cry. I was SO happy to see her. She tells me that the best 4 1/2 months of her mission were with me-and I think I have to agree with her. Oh she is so special. Hna Choto and I decided that one day we're gonna bring her to the United States, and then you can meet her. That would make me so happy! She also told me that one of the families that we had been working with is going to get married, and they have baptism dates! Yay!!! That made my day too!

We went into where we were going to have the conference. And here I learned such a huge lesson. And it was through music :) I think you're going to like it.

So I had known that there was a piano in the institute building, and that I would probably end up playing it, so I brought along my Jon Schmidt book to play some prelude. I started playing some of the songs from it. Pres and Hna Chipman came into the room while I was playing, and Hna Chipman told me she liked what I was playing. After I little bit, I decided to take my hymn book and do what I do with the hymns for prelude. I was in the middle of playing Abide with Me (166-I think..99 in Spanish) when Hna Chipman picked up her violin, and in the middle of the song, started playing along with me. Hna Chipman, is AMAZING on the violin! She's like me, only with the violin and not the piano. It was such a wonderfully spiritual experience. We got done playing the Lord is my Shepherd, and we just looked at each other-like wow! Can you believe what we just played? It was amazing. Then the meeting started.

We sang 264, and then listened to 2 talks by Hna Chamorro and Eld Velarde about attributes of Christ. Then Hna Chipman got up to teach us. She talked about how she enjoyed their talks, and then she said she needed to mention someone else to. I was just sitting there, thinking, "oh cool" and then she said "Hna Williams. She was at first playing her written music. But then after a bit, she put it aside, and started to play from her heart. And I, without saying anything to her, started playing along with her (later she told me that she hadn't been able to play with anyone like that since coming on the mission)." She then thanked me for my talents, and then said "this made me think of how we can work together as companionships. Sometimes we need to put away the written music and play from our hearts-listening to the Spirit." And that just hit me so hard. It was a music analogy. I realized that I've been trying to play my "written music" with my companions, which doesn't really allow for other instruments to play along very easily. I know how to accompany, how to follow in music, and that's what I need to do with my companions. It was perfect for me. Just what I needed to hear. It was such a good lesson for me, and I think Hna Chipman was the only person that could have taught me that lesson. It was absolutely amazing. I'm pretty sure I'm the only person too that got such a powerful lesson from that analogy. Really, it was incredible!!!

ANywho, the rest of the conference was really good. Afterwards, I had my interview with Pres. He told me that it was really good to listen to my music. We talked, in Spanglish :) (When Pres talks English, he has an accent like Grandma Williams. It made me smile :) We talked about my companions, how Hna Cruz has had a rough time, and how I can help her and my companions get better. It was so good to just be able to talk to him. It's probably the last time I'll have an interview with him, because at the end of this cambio they're splitting the missions. It sounds like I'll find out on June 21 which mission I'll be in. I'm guessing I'll stay in Chiclayo, since I'm here already, but as we found out last cambio, what Hna Williams thinks is going to happen isn't always what happens. But whatever happens, I know that I'll be where I'm supposed to be. At the end of the interview, Pres told me that I have a beautiful smile too. I just love my mission president!! Seriously, I wish you could know how much I needed Friday, to see Hna Lopez, Hna Choto, to talk with Pres and to play with Hna Chipman. We still have many many things we need to make better as a companionship, but I feel like I can do better at "accompanying them" as it were.

Anywho, I'm gonna call this a letter. Sorry it's not much longer, but it has some really important stuff in it to me. I love you guys so much. I'm glad things are going well-I loved hearing about your park city adventures. Send everyone my love.
Hna Williams