Monday, November 28, 2011

Jamie's Pictures Nov 28, 2011

The Christmas tree in the mission home.

Hna Risso had just finished decorating it and it was beautiful
Us with the Christmas tree. We're all beautiful!

Me with my Thanksgiving dinner. It was heaven!

I wouldn't have traded it for anything!

Me with Hna Chira. She's currently in Tuman, my old area.

She came to replace me and was with Hna Machuca for 3 weeks.

Then Hna Machuca got changed to Jaen, an area about 7-8 hours from Chiclayo :(

and now Hna Chira's training a north american, Hna Bang.

And and and and and! Hna Machuca is training! A north american!

I'm a grandma! (actually, I think I told you that last week. I can't remember.)

Anywho, it was so fun to talk to her about everyone in Tuman, and even though I never served with her, we just clicked, and I love her :)

The zone. We went to a big tomb in the ground again today.

It's pretty cool the stuff they find here in Peru.

It was fun to be with some of the other missionaries that were also with me in Pomalca when we went and saw ruins/tombs and stuff. I love it!

Jamie's Letter Nov 28, 2011

Hello mom :) And dad and Cameron and Laura and Emily. How are you?

I like the scrapbooking stuff you gave me. I'll find ways to use it! (I already have-I don't know that I'll use all of it, but I definitely can use it!) I'm glad you got my letters. That's what happens when you have a bunch of friends that are American going home. And you still have a couple of american stamps left from the MTC. (I don't have anymore, but I'm not sure that I'll find many other north americans leaving before me. At least that I'll be able to give stuff to. If so, I'll let you know. How weird. I'll be home...soon.) So I've pretty much broken in my new shoes. I still have a bit of a blister on the side of my foot though. But I have moleskin, and so everything is fine!

So right now in Guadalupe, they are having their "feria" (fair) to celebrate the virgen of Guadalupe. Which means that we get woken up at 5:30 every morning to a marching band right outside our room. And it's not marching band practice. It's a marching band that does it's little parade at 5:30 in the morning. And 11:30-12 at night. I might go crazy. Hna Westman and I are both probably gonna go crazy. But hey! Great mission experiences, no? At least I won't have to worry about sleeping through my alarm for the next 2 weeks...

This week was pretty good. I must say I had quite an unforgettable Thanksgiving. I ate PLENTY! Well, so like I said, Monday our ZLs told us that we were gonna go to Chiclayo for a training for new missionaries and their trainers (ps-I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be training my whole mission. Or pretty close to it.) So Wednesday night we packed up, and rode the bus up to Chiclayo-about 1 1/2 hours. It was fun though, because we were with Eld Conforme and Eld Harrop in our district. And the seats were comfy. Like my old car (good for taking people to the hospital, right Ilarene?) Then we got to Chiclayo, but we didn't really know what was going on after that. We walked to the mission office, and ended up getting locked in for a little bit, but then a nice lady came and let us out. That was a little adventure. We eventually ended up finding Pres and Hna Risso, but none of us had eaten, so we went to Real Plaza again, and got hawaiian pizza! I was content. And Hna Westman and I spent the night in the mission home. Which meant breakfast in the mission home! There was real toast, cream cheese, cereal with milk (it was almost like home...but the milk still is a little different) basically I was content with breakfast. Then in the training, we had pizza again! And since pizza is a real treat, I ate the 4 slices of Hawaiian. Yes. I had pizza for Thanksgiving. Cool? I definitely think so.

But it was also a really good opportunity to learn. We talked about how it is being trainers, helping a lot of our companions learn Spanish, because the majority of them are north americans. It's hard. Some of them really struggle. But it's been good for us, because I know exactly how it is to struggle with the language. I don't really have something to measure me by, but I know that I've definitely improved in the year since I've been here. We also talked about improving our companionship study, which is another thing I need to do better. Sometimes I just feel like I need to be better. But hey, that's what life is for, right? To get better. So I'm getting there.

I do love being a missionary though. We've been doing well with our investigators. We're still working with Brenda. We had a cool experience with her Wednesday. We had had planned to watch the Restoration with her, to help her understand more about Joseph Smith. But when we got there, she was just feeling really down. She's found out some bad news about her kids, and her mom doesn't really help her out that much either (they all live in CA). She spent about an hour venting/crying about how hard it is for her to be in Peru, and for her family to be in the states, not working, and man...she has just had a really hard life. And during all of this, I'm trying to figure out what to say. I've never been anywhere close to the situations that she's been in. As we were sitting there listening to her, I was trying to think of different scriptures, something to say. Then I had Mosiah 24:12-15 pop into my head. It's a good scripture, talking about the people in bondage. (I actually remembered it from a devo the Eld Bednar gave in the MTC my first tues there-he gave that as a good scripture for people trying to get over addictions). And I showed it to her. She said as she read it, she felt like it was totally speaking to her, telling her what the Lord wanted her to know. It was so rewarding to see the Spirit touch her, work with her, as she is really putting into practice the principles of repentance. And as I work to try and listen to the Spirit, He really does tell us what to say. I think the Spirit helps us so much more than we even realize. And I really am trying to be better at listening to the Spirit.

Another cool thing that I wanted to tell you. So Tuesday it was my turn to teach district meeting. And we were talking about the importance of the Holy Ghost in conversion. A little while back, I got a letter from Grandma Williams, talking about some of the different steps of conversion. It starts off by learning of Christ, than listening to him. When we are baptized, we are coming unto Christ, and we have the chance to follow him even more. And as we follow him, we then get to the point where we can walk with him. It really was so cool to think about, and it reminded me of something it says in preach my gospel, that you can't convert someone beyond you're own conversion. Which I really liked. So we talked about that. Well, I talked about it. It really was more of me thinking out loud, trying to learn more from the other missionaries too. I liked it a lot. I think everyone learned from that. So, just so you know, Grandma Williams is amazing (well, all of my grandparents are amazing). But I just loved being able to share that with the other missionaries. Hna Westman said she really liked it a lot too, that she learned a lot.

Well, it sounds like everything is going well at home. Know that I love you all, even though I will be perfectly honest and say I don't miss you guys that much No, I love being a missionary even though it is the hardest thing I've done. I know I've grown so much though, and that it's because of the gospel. Because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is just amazing. It can change people. And it's still changing me. Take care! I love you all!
Hna Williams

Jamie's Pictures Nov 21, 2011

Plaza de armas yesterday. This is the big fair of Gudalupe, where they celebrate the virgin of gudalupe. Anywho, yesterday they had a huge bingo game to start off everything.

The 2 grand prizes, 5000 soles or 20 sacks of rice. I'm not kidding... (and these sacks are 48 kg each ... Food storage anyone?) There were also other things you could win, like a fridge, a big TV, a stove...but 20 sacks of rice??? You can't beat that!
Katty's baptism. Us, her mom, sister and the bro that baptized her.

Us with Katty and her mom. Her mom's name is Jemmy (pronounced Jamie).

And her dad (who is not there) is Jimmy. One of my greatest fears...

Us with Katty!

My church building! It's little, but I like it. It's quaint :)

Jamie's Pictures Nov 14, 2011

Our zone, at our last zone meeting.

(Hna Westman, me, Hna Arracca, Hna Sutta
and the elders Eld Harrop, Eld Conforme, Eld Despain, Eld Bassett, Eld Rodriguez,
and Eld Derocher)

Our Free P-Day. We played games all day!

Us with our barbie monopoly that we bought, "deluxe edition".

It was all just cardboard. But hey, monopoly is monopoly!

And we played chess, snakes and ladders, sorry....the board had it to play

backgammon, but I couldn't remember how.

Mom'll have to teach me when I get home.

We also made up our own battleship board and played battleship.

Good Times!

A picture of us with giant seahorses in Pacasmayo.

How could we say no?!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jamie's Letter Nov 21, 2011

Hello mom :)
I hope I get the packages sooner too. If not, well, I'll get them sometime, don't worry! And for calling you for Christmas, I really can just buy a calling card here for 10 soles, and I can talk to you for like an hour. That's what I did at mother's day. That'll be weird to call you. This'll actually probably be the last time that I talk to you, considering the fact that I will get home like a week or two before mother's day. But hey, I think it'd be better to be there in person than to call you. Question-would it be possible to get the D&C DVDs in Spanish and send them to me? There are 3 discs, and one of them has a bunch of movies and everything? I ordered one a long time ago, but it doesn't look like there here. Sadness...because they really are such great teaching tools. Anywho, even if you just took them out of the case and put them in a slip case, it would be awesome.

Kristalyn's getting married?!?! Gah!!! Tell her to wait until...May 5. Or May 6. I'm not sure which one is a Saturday. But tell her that I love her! And I'm so incredibly happy for her too!

This week has been a good one. We worked hard, and we found quite a few people that we can work with. Yesterday we had an interesting experience. So I told you in the email with the fotos that I sent about the huge bingo game that happened yesterday. Which meant that all of Guadalupe was there, playing bingo. And all of appts had fallen through. So we decided to go and pick up our laundry that should've been done Sat, but it wasn't. And we needed our clothes. So as we're walking there, we passed a bunch of small groups of people, drinking, right, because it's sunday, so what better excuse do we need to drink? Anywho, we passed a group of 3 guys, and one of them calls out to us (also, not unusual) but then he yells at us that his brother is a missionary like us (he's not completely sober, but he's not drunk either). We kind of yell back, telling him to visit us in the chapel, but he walks across the street, and tells us that his brother is a member, that his mom and sister are members too in Trujillo. But his mom was here, visiting his grandma. Anywho, he takes us to his house to meet his mom, and sits down and talks to us for a little bit. His brother has his mission call to colombia, and he'll leave in Jan. This guy (his name is Juan) got a little choked up when he started talking about how his brother was gonna leave for 2 years, and he just really wanted the people in colombia to treat him well. Anywho, he agreed to listen to us, and afterwards, his mom said that she really didn't expect that from him, but it just made her so incredibly happy that he would take the iniciative to talk to the missionaries. So we'll see how it goes. Hopefully he really does have desires to listen to us, and isn't just saying that because he had a little bit of beer in him (we told him right then and there to just leave the bottle behind...we'll see what all happens.) The interesting experiences that we have though.

Brenda is doing well. She didn't come to church yesterday though, which made us sad. I just want everyone to be happy! But we did have a baptism of a little girl, Katty, Saturday. Her family are members, but they've been inactive for the past 3 years, and they are recently starting to come back to church. After she was confirmed, she walked back to her seat with her hands over her heart. It made me happy to know that she was feeling the Spirit. It was a good reminder too, because sometimes I feel like I'm not really doing that great of a job here. But then I see little things like that, and I know that I probably will not see 75% of the results of what I do here, and that I just need to keep doing the best that I can.

Well, I love you all so much!! Here's all of my love from Peru!
Hna Williams

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jamie's Letter Nov 14, 2011

YES! I got your packages! I got 3 of them. I got 2 from you, and one from Erin/Ilarene, which I also loved :) Yes, Emily can use my winnie the pooh clock. I'm not using it... Yeah, Pdte and Hna Risso came down to interview us on thursday so they brought them. I also got a letter from Grandma Williams which I loved, and a letter from Hna Westman's boyfriend, Tyler, who's getting ready to go on a mission too (he wrote me to wish me happy birthday). It was actually pretty cool. Yeah, just put my name on the package still. Stuff in my christmas pacakge...another thing of the mascara that I like? It's Loreal, I think, and it's got the 2-step thing...I don't have anymore of that and I like it. I'm also gonna need another thing of contact solution before the end of my mission. Footies are always good. I have enough nylons though. I like the shoes. I just have to break them in now, which I haven't broken in a pair of shoes for a year! My poor little feet. Well, they're actually quite big... Hna Westman also got a package at the same time, and we been pigging out on candy for a while. I loved the oreos! We always buy oreos here, and I was actually thinking about asking you to send a package. But now I have them! and they're great! And I loved the clothes too! They fit nicely. I didn't take a picture...I'll try to this week and then send you the pic next week.

This week has been good. We had an interesting experience with Brenda this week. So. We went friday to her house to see her. It was good. We went inside, and we finally were like, we're gonna talk about the restoration. Because we still hadn't taught her about joseph smith or anything yet. And we needed to. So we started off, talking about prophets, the church that Christ established, and the great apostasy. We get done talking about those, and we just get started on talking about the restoration. Then one of her "friends" comes in to visit her. I don't know why he was there. He's about 50 years old, and she invited him in to come sit down and listen to us. Somehow, we ended up talking about baptism first, how the Catholics do it wrong...and then he sort of starts preaching to us. And you could just feel the spirit leave the room. It was kind of ridiculous. He's going through a bajillion differnt passages in the bible, trying to prove...I can't remember what. Brenda had a question though. Her question was "what happens to the people who die who never hear about Christ? Do they get punished too?" And he kept trying to say that if people heard about Christ and they chose not to believe him, they wouldn't be saved. He couldn't get it in his head that there are people who don't hear about Christ. That don't know what he did for them. We tried to answer, but he didn't really give us a chance to. Brenda was really kind of frustrated with him, and his inability to answer. Then we had to leave. Because it was late. But she said she would come to church sunday.

And she did! We were so excited to see her there! (It was also the primary program, which I loved-it was very simple, but the spirit was there). During gospel principles, we started talking about the millenium, what was going to happen and everything during this time. We talked about how there was going to be a lot of temple work done, and we talked about baptisms for the dead. We totally answered her question in the class, and she told us. She was like "that was my question the other day with that guy, remember?" It was just kind of interesting. We still haven't taught her about Jospeh Smith. And we wanted to give her a baptismal date which we also didn't do. But we're visiting her tomorrow. So hopefully we'll do that then! She is just so ready for the gospel. I love it!

So we had transfers today. I'm staying here, with Hna Westman, like I figured I would. But Pdte told us that there are 5 new sisters coming-4 americans and 1 argentina. Wow! I'm not sure what they're gonna do with all these new missionaries! It's pretty much awesome! Being a missionary is just great! I love being here!

Weell, I think I'll call this a letter. I love you all so much, and I know that what we are doing is the truth-the work of the Lord. Thanks for all of your love!

Hna Williams

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jamie's Pictures Nov 7, 2011

Family of Hna Kelly-her husband, and their kids on Halloween!

I just think they're adorable!

Our Zone - last p-day together (we have changes next week,

and everyone is gonna change but us)

In the words of Elder Despain "Its a picture with a cow. How can you say no."

Jamie's Letter Nov 7, 2011

Hello to the world :)

So I still haven't gotten the packages. I don't think that's very high on the priority list of the people in the office. I keep telling them it would be easier to just send me to Chiclayo to get them, but they think it's better that I stay here. Lame. Anywho, I just keep on waiting. One day I'll get them. Maybe. I would love an english copy too of the Ensign from Conference. Is it out yet? I haven't seen them here, but I think it takes a little while to get here. Requests for Christmas? I did have something, but I forgot what it was. If I remember I'll tell you. If not, well, I guess I won't get it. Funny how that works.

It sounds like you all have had a pretty fun week. It's weird to think that in just a little bit you'll be telling me all about thanskgiving, which is weird, becuase I feel like you've already told me about it (from last year). Halloween isn't really a big holiday here like it is in the states, but they're starting to pick it up. It was a pretty calm night for us.

Well, things are going pretty well with Brenda. She didn't come to church yesterday, which made us sad. But it was kinda cool to see how she is progressing. We visited her Saturday, and while we were there, she decided to just pick up the book of mormon and she said "well Lord, let's see what you want me to know" and she just randomly opened it and started reading (which is something I love doing!) Anywho, she opened up to 3 Nephi 7, and started to read the chapter heading. The first thing that it says is that "The Chief judge is murdered..." and I'm How are we gonna explain that? But she just kept on reading. At the end of the ch heading, it says "many repent and are baptized." She then continued to read the first 3 verses outloud. Afterwards, she said that the only thing that stuck out to her was the "many repnt and are baptized." So she figured the Lord was trying to tell her she needed to be baptized! Sweet! She asked us about the requirements for baptism, and we started talking a little bit about that. I just love her. Her prayers are awesome too. She sometimes makes little jokes in her prayers, but not in a disrespectful way. She really just talks to the Lord like he's there, like he's one of her best friends. And she cries, and she laughs, and it just really helps me to understand a little bit better my relationship with the Lord. We just need to keep helping her to quit smoking. But I know the Lord can help her, and he is helping her.

That was kinda our week. Saturday night I got kinda sick. I think I had a 24 hour flu thing. Which meant I only went to Sacrament meeting, and then we went home and slept. Because I just felt horrible. Well, I slept. I think I ended up sleeping 5-6 hours during the day yesterday. But don't worry, I'm doing a lot better now! :) I just hated missing church!

But other than that, life is great! We keep working here, and the work goes on great! It's crazy to think that I only have a little bit of time left. Oh yes, I did get Robbie and Cammie's anouncement, and I love it! And I'm happy for Sean too!! That's cool. Stuff from Canada...well, I don't know that you can bring kinder eggs across the border :) But hey! Smarties are always good. And salt and vinegar chips. They're all good. Really anything you just wanna send me.

Well, I think I'm gonna call this a letter. I love you all so much tons! (Oh-tell Emily to keep reading the book of mormon too!) Becaue the book of mormon is awesome! It really does change your life. And if you know it's true, it will protect you! I know that's true!

Know that I love you!
Hna Williams

Jamie's Pictures Oct 31, 2011

This is Gudalupe. This is the view from our window.

Friday everyone was celebrating my birthday.

Okay, maybe it wasn't my birthday, but they were definately celebrating something!

When we went to lunch, Neal and his older sister Geme (pronounced "Hema")

made me a "dress", from tissue paper. They're so cute!

Then, after lunch, I opened my present.
Mom, you are amazing.

Looky, what I got. Just what I always wanted!

Isn't it just fabulous?

Yes mom, you are amazing!

Hna Westman even says so.

So today is Halloween, right?

Well we decided to give our zone a little treat from us!

We made ghosts from suckers-kleenex, a little bit of yarn,

a heart hole punch Hna Westman has, and a bunch of face drawing skills

by me! I thought they turned out cute!

A close up of one of our ghosts!

I loved it!

Us with our ghosts!

We're silly.....:)

And then we gave them to the Elders,

and they thought it was really cool too!