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!