Monday, July 25, 2011

Jamie's Letter July 25, 2011

I'm so glad you all made it up to canada all right. Take some good pictures for me, k? And catch a couple of fish for me too!

Life here is going well. We keep working, even when we don't necessarily see the results we want exactly when we want them. We had one gal, Mariela, who was finally ready for baptism. She's 31, has 2 kids..I think I wrote about her before. anywho, she could have been baptized saturday, but she chose to respect the beliefs of her parents and at least wait until they tell her that if she wants to be baptized, it's her decision. right now they are telling her no. GAH!!! But i've seen miracles here in the mission, and i know we'll keep seeing miracles!

Cool story-so this week, we went to a part of town that we've been to...once or twice, to an appt that we had. We were walking, almost there, and we cme to a fork in the road. i took the one on the right, "knowing" that we were going until we came to a dead end. Hm. Okay, I guess it was on the left. So we backtracked, and took the one on the left. But I had the thought in my head "why did we go down this one road? hm...if our appt falls through, we'll go back and knock a couple of doors." We got to our appt, and well, they weren't there. My comp asked me what we were gonna do. I told her we were gonna go back and knock these doors. I told the Lord that if he led me down that path, i was gonna trust that there was someone there that would listen to us. And there was! We knocked a couple of doors and nothing, but at the end of the road we found an hermana that didn't have a religion, but she wanted us to teach her daughter. She said her husband always hid when the different religions came, but later, he came home and he joined us! It was sucha testimony to me of how much the spirit really is guiding me, even when I might not feel it. And I'm learning little by little how to recognize the spirit. it's AMAZING!!!!!

We had a couple of run ins with Jehovah's Witnesses...well, I know the church is true. And yes, we existed before we came to this earth, in the form of spirits, just in case you were wondering. Even Adam. I know this for sure, even if it doesn't say "Adam existed in the form of a spirit before the Lord created him" in the bible., Just in case you were wondering :)

Our ward is kind of struggling. We don't have a bishop...he wasn't officially released, but he had his callings taken away. I'm not exactly sure what happened (and I really don't care to know). We have a member of the stake presidency in our ward though and i guess he's gonna preside at the meetings now-he'll act like the bishop until they find someone else, i guess. the work goes on though. not even the imperfectios of the members can stop this work from progressing. it's something that i'm learning more of everyday.

well, i think i'm gonna send this letter. i love you so much!!!!! i don't think i've ever loved you more than i have in these (almost) 9 months that i've been on my mission. they've been a glorious 9 months and i'm looking forward to the next 9 months. have so much fun in waterton, and give my love to everyone.

there is no doubt in my mind that this gospel is true. i love it with all of my heart. the Lord really is shaping me into the person that i need to be life, i guess. thank you for your prayers, love and support for me.

love you!!!!
Hna Williams

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Jamie's Pictures July 18, 2011

All Pictures are of Jamie's Zone!

Jamie's Letter July 18, 2011

Hey y'all :) (Do I sound like Cameron?)

It sounds like everyone is having a lot of fun at the Cabin/Girls Camp/life as a bachelor this summer. I'm so glad that I only have to miss this once. (But I get to make up for it in the fact that I'm missing two Christmases and everything).

This week has been kind of tough, but like always I continue to learn. We've been struggling to find new investigators, but the investigators that we have found really have an interest in learning more about the gospel, and if we really are the true church. And we also have our Jehovah's Witnesses here. There are more here in this area than in any other area that I've been in so far. They're good people. Their doctrine drives me nuts, but they're good people. We've had a couple of conversations with them. And well, yeah, they're good people. Our ward is kind of stuggling too. It's so interesting to be in parts of the world where the church is younger, and to hope that something that we're doing will one day help the church become stronger. We're waiting for a temple in Trujillo-what they are missing are more people to offer to be workers-to go to Lima for 3 days or so to receive training. And we're waiting for a chapel here in Tuman. It will be such a beautiful day when we can have a chapel here.

Mariela is doing really well. Really, I think we were transferred here for her. It's a lot easier for women to relate to other women, and a little more difficult with 19 year old elders. She's gone through a lot in her life. But she had another interview with Elder Cahuaza saturday, and she passed it! Which means we have her sheet that says she can be baptized. All we need is for her to feel like she is ready to be baptized. We're hoping that this Saturday she can be baptized. It'll be such an unforgettable day for her, and I really hope that I can be here to help her.

We also have our other investigators that are changing their lives. We have a 15 year old girl her who is our best ward missionary. She wants to serve a mission one day. Her mom isn't a member, but her mom is also a great missionary. (Kinda a funny day she'll take the plunge. I'm not quite sure when though). Her uncle, though, is pretty much an alcoholic, but we've been working with him, helping him to change his life, and he's gone almost 2 weeks without drinking! We keep praying that he has the strength to continue, and that he'll have the desire to be baptized.

One of the investigators we found this week is Milagros. She is Catholic, but mainly for tradition. She says she really has wondered why there are so many churches. She has looked at different religions, but has just felt that they don't have what she's looking for, so she has just stuck with her church. We've talked about Joseph Smith though, about how she can know for herself, and she says that if she gets an answer that this is the true church, she'll be baptized. I love it when people say that :)

In spite of all the struggles that we've had, the Lord continues to bless us. I testify that He is perfectly aware of every single one of us, and that He answers us. This Gospel is amazing, and I love it with all of my heart. I am so grateful that you taught me the gospel as a child, and that we have our family, based in the principles of the Gospel.

Dad asked me a question last week-and so I'm responding to his question. Yeah, I have felt that as I have really had to teach the basics of the gospel, I have understood them better. I've studied things so much more simply, and when I teach them, I try to so hard to make things clear and simple. And as I do that, the Spirit testifies to me that what I'm saying, what is coming out of my mouth, is true.

Well, keep on working hard. And playing hard. Because that is exceptionally important. We played some beach volleyball today as a zone. I love volleyball. We're gonna play when I get back, okay? Okay. As for the money, would it be possible to split it 50/50? At this point I think I've spent about $150 while I'm here, and I'm about half way done with my mission. If not, just put it all in my account.

Well, remember me at the Cabin this year. Play some Mormon Bridge for me, throw a couple of waterballoons at cousins for me, tell Kiki and Jen to play a couple of rounds of "what if?" for me, and pretend that Cam, Jordan, and I are there (HeY! Next year, Jordan and I will both be there! Yupi!!!)

I love you guys so much. Really. I don't think you know just how much I love you. Because it's a lot. Keep on working. I love you!
Hna Williams

Jamie's Pictures July 11, 2011

Jamie's District

Jamie's district, again.

Jamie's district with the Stake President & his wife.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Jamie's Letter July 11, 2011

Hey all of my wonderful family that won't read this until Friday except dad because he's home alone with internet access!!!

How are you? I'm doing well. Things here in Peru are "chevre" (it basically means cool) as always. This week has been very interesting. I've had my ups and my downs, like any other week. We've got a good number of people with whom we are working towards baptism. It's a good experience. We have our one hermana, Mariela. I think I talked a little about her last week. We taught her about the law of chastity, and it was actually a really powerful lesson. She told us if she could go back and change things, she would, but we can't do that! We also invited her to be interviewed for baptism (even though we knew she wouldn't pass). In this regard though, she'll be able to start putting goals to live the law of chastity. Our district leader, Eld Cahuaza interviewed her Saturday, and he helped her out a lot. We're going to keep working with her, and hopefully we can help her get to the point where she can be baptized. She wants to make this change in her life, and it's so rewarding to see. It hurts, sometimes, but it's something so worth it.

This week, for me, has been kind of rough. We keep working hard, and at the end of the day we're exhausted, but it doesn't really reflect in our numbers. I've really been wondering if I'm doing all that I need to be. I'm trying to learn to listen to the Spirit. The thoughts that randomly come to my head. Because now I'm the one that makes the decisions, and I need to rely on the Spirit more than ever. But I've been really doubting if I'm really doing all that I can. In my prayers, I've been asking if the Lord is pleased with my work, and I got my answer. Yesterday, we went to church, like normal. During the sacrmaent, though, I was able to feel the spirit so strongly. As I took the sacrament, I had the thought come to my mind "You are my daughter, and I love you. And I am pleased with the work you are doing." And it was such a feeling of peace, and serenity. It was just amazing. And the tears came. Like Laura and Mom and Grandma Williams. In these past 2-3 weeks of training, I have definitely learned how to listen to the spirit better. I'm still not perfect. I still have a bajillion things to make better. But I'm starting. Yeah, our numbers might not be where I would like, but looking at my investigators that we do have, seeing their desires to change, it's wonderful.

I'm attaching the pictures with email because the computers being a little stupid. Oh well. This is my district. Today we got together and cooked some sort of Argentine food (one of the elders, Eld Fabri, is from Argentina) and I made cookies again :) We then played some Uno afterwards. It wasn't as intense as Harry Potter Uno, but it was still pretty good since I haven't played for 8 months. I have a really good district. Well, all of my districts are good, but I like this district. One of the pictures is just our district, and the other is us in with the Stake Pres and his wife.

Have so much fun at girls camp this week! I can't believe Emily is going to girls camp. What is that? Well, Dad, don't have too much fun alone without anyone. :) Next week you all are gonna be at the cabin, right? Send my love to EVERYONE!!!!!!

I know the Gospel is true. Isn't that amazing? And I know that sometimes, it's hard. But it's still so good to see how the Lord blesses our lives when we put him first. I have such a strong testimony of this. I love you all so much!
Hna Williams
- Show quoted text -

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jamie's Pictures July 5, 2011

Everyone at Antony's baptism!

Us with Antony!

Antony with Eld Cahauza, our DL. Good times :)

Today we didn't do anything much for P-day, so we made cookies in our pension.
I may or may not be eating cookie dough... ;)

The cookies! They turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Jamie's Letter July 4th, 2011

Yes!! I'm officially 100% in Mission Peru Chiclayo! And it's been kind of interesting. Remember how when I opened my call, and read "Peru Piura" I had a feeling, that yeah, this was where I needed to go. But I never served in Piura. And now, to look at that name, it doesn't feel like my mission. It feels like I was supposed to be in Chiclayo, this whole time, but because the mission wasn't formed yet, I was assigned to the Piura mission. Because I really feel the Chiclayo is where I need to be. Anywho, random side note there.

Life with Hna Machuca is really good. She's a great missionary. She's still learning, but I feel like we're learning together, which is good. My new mission President is really good too. His name is Pres Risso. He's from Uruguay, and talks likes it too. I'm so proud of myself that I'm able to distinguish between the different types of Spanish now. It'll be to talk to others in Spanish when I get back and see how Peruvian Spanish compares with all the other places. That and I can't speak English anymore. I tried to pray in English out loud the other day, but it was SO HARD!! I couldn't do it! I could only think of the words in Spanish! I have a feeling it'll be horrible when I get back to try to talk to you guys.
Winter? What is Winter? When you find out what it is, send it this way. It feels more like September here. And apparently it's winter.

We had our first baptism here in Tuman yesterday! A young boy named Antony was baptized yesterday. His grandma was baptized about a month ago, and they're both really good. The members also supported us too, which was good. We had to go to Pomalca, because there isn't a baptismal font in our chapel, which is a house that looks more like where the Jehovah's Witnesses meet than the Mormons. But hey! It's still my chapel, and I can still feel the Spirit there, which is what is important. The baptism itself though was good. I was able to be reminded of how important this work is that we're doing. It was times like that that made the hard times worth it.

We have another investigator that we're working with-Mariela. Her sister is the YW Pres here. She's been praying to know if the Church is true, if she needed to be baptized, and when we visited with her Satuday night, she told us she wanted to be baptized! We were really happy! Now we just have to work on the law of chastity...Mariela has 2 kids from different fathers-she's not living with anyone, but the father of her daughter comes around sometimes and basically she's just living a soap opera. I don't understand exactly what all is going on, and really, I don't need to. We just really need to teach plainly and clearly the law of chastity. I think it'll be good though. She wants to make this change in her life.

Being here in Tuman is great. The members are really supportive of us, wanting to make visits with us. There are also a lot of "snakes" here. Basically being a white American girl means that all of the slobbery sleazy men here want to talk to you. That's why I have my companion though. We just ignore them. Other than that, it's nice here. Close to Chiclayo, but not in the middle of the city. It's good.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!! I think it's your birthday this week. Thursday, if I'm not mistaken. And I wanted to be a better daughter and not forget to say something before your special day :) I love you!

Well, my friends, until next week, I think I'll be done. I love you all so so so much! I know the gospel is true, and that it really can change the lives of people. I'm so grateful for all of your love and support!
Hna Williams