Why hello English world (except I've spoken more english here than in any other of my areas, so it really isn't that foreign). How are you? It sounds like you all are doing good. I'm doing good too!!
First off, um...questions...I haven't gotten my packages yet. I think they'll come...soon? I hope. Probably next week. Or maybe tomorrow. But the ZLs didn't say anything about them today, so I'm guessing it'll probably come next week. As for my birthday (23...WHAT!!!) well, here, specifically in Guadalupe, October 28 is a huge day for them. Apparently, in the Peru-Chile war there were a bunch of Chileans here, but something happened, and 3 Peruvian shoemakers were martyred, but they helped Peru out in some way(I'm not quite sure who won the war...it was a long time ago). Anywho, all of Guadalupe will be celebrating my birthday for that, and plus, it the day of "Señors de los Milagros" here in Peru, (Lord of the miracles) and they celebrate that too...Right now for my birthday we have planned to do our weekly planning in the morning. Then in the afternoon we're going to go to the cemetary. No really. Apparently about 6 years a woman who was really faithful in the church but the only member in her family died. And here, there have some sort of ceremony even years after their families have died. Anywho, because she wasn't Catholic, her family didn't do all of the Catholic stuff for her, but they still have their traditions. And they've invited the members of the church to this ceremony thing. The branch president at first wasn't going to say anything, but then he thought it would be a good opportunity to find new investigators, so he asked me to give a 20 minute talk about the Plan of Salvation, and my companion to give a 5 minute talk on the Atonement. After we're done at the cemetary, I'm not quite sure what else we'll do. Maybe have a little party in our pensionista's house with her family :)
This week has actually been pretty cool. On wednesday, I had the first opportunity in my life to give away a copy of "The Book of Mormon." No really. Okay, so the second day we were here, we went downstairs to the pharmacy to buy some toothpaste and stuff. While we were there, a little girl said we were "gringas" which happens a whole lot, and her mom asked if we spoke English, which we also get a lot. When we said yes, her mom started talking in English! Like, good, American, english! Turns out she's lived in California since she was 6, and like 10 years ago moved here to Peru...because...well, I'm not really sure what the reason is. The majority of her kids are still in the states, and their teenagers now. Anywho, we started talking in English to her, and she gave us her number to call, and she told us to stop by and visit her. She also told us that she's really been searching for God in her life too lately. Perfect! Anyways, we called her a couple of times, but it didn't really work out what we planned. Finally, we told her we would go to her house (which was actually in the neighboring town, about 10 minutes away by car) to talk to her. And we did, and it was...great! She talked a lot to us first. She just lives in the middle of nowhere with her daughter who's 9. Her name is Brenda. Anywho, she told us basically her life story, and how she really wanted help. We gave her a copy of The Book of Mormon that I had bought a couple of months ago, and we read through the introduction. She said she really liked how it says to read it and then ask God, because then we aren't forcing them to believe it. The thing with her is that she doesn't think like a Peruvian, which is actually kind of refreshing (because everyone here talks about how God is always with us, how Jesus died for us, and that's about it, and sometimes I feel like the people just don't get it). But she recognizes that her lifestyle is wrong, and that she is far from God, and she wants to change that! She told us that she's gonna be a hard one to change, but we told her we were gonna help her. It was cool to try and teach in English. And really, when we needed to talk in English, we could. I think the Lord really helped us, that he put us here to help her (3 north american sisters in the mission, and 2 are here in Guadalupe-the other is in Monsefu, just starting out like I did!)
Anywho, the other thing that I wanted to share with you was about my studies. So I'm still memorizing The Living Christ, which is SO cool! And I decided to start reading Jesus the Christ, which is also WAY cool! And it's been really cool to see, even in the past week, how my thoughts have been more turned towards the Savior. And as I have done that, I have had such a greater desire to share the Gospel with the people here. There are so many people here who know that Christ died to save them from sin, but they don't realize that that means they can repent, that their life here can be better, that they can change! And I just want everyone to feel how happy the Gospel can make them! Even though we haven't been seeing too much success, I feel as if the Lord is blessing us.
Well my family, I think that's about it for this week. Happy happy birthday, from all of you to me,
You wish it was your birthday, so you could be like me!
Happy happy birthday, may all my dreams come true,
You wish it was your birthday, so you could party too. Hey!
I love you all so much!