Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jamie's Letter Dec 26, 2011

Hey girl! How are you? It seems so long since I've talked to you! Not really. But if you think about it, the next time I'll probably talk to you, I'll like be talking to your face. As in, in the United States, right? CRAZY! That's pretty funny about the weatherbecuase it's been raining here the past couple of days-more than I have EVER seen in my mission! It hardly ever rains here. But I loved it for Christmas! (I'll probably come home and there will be snow then!)

Here Christmas Eve is more the big thing. They wait until 12 at night, then they eat turkey, fruitcake (I'm not joking. They LOVE fruitcake!) a bunch of different types of bread, and then they open their presents then. Christmas day is just kind of relaxed, set back. We did open the few presents that we had. I'll enjoy my packages when they get here. Maybe I'll get them this week! Who knows. It'll just be good if I ever get them.

So I might just turn this into my big email. I might as well. So, we got the results of changes-I'm staying in Guadalupe and Hermana Westman is leaving-her first change! She is so sad, she really doesn't want to leave! And it will be weird for me too, because I've never stayed in one place and gotten a new companion. I've always been the one to leave. So hopefully I can remember who all of our investigators are.

It's been kind of a crazy week, up and down. But it was SO GOOD to talk to you all yesterday! It made me so happy, to hear your voices, and to know that you all are doing well. I hope mom is still alive, after waiting to talk to her children. I hope it was worth it ;) I think I told you most about what ended up happening this week on the phone with you guys.

Christmas was really amazing though. We read the Christmas story in Spanish, Hna Westman and I, and it was awesome to go to church on Sunday, to remember the whole reason for Christmas. I loved it! And we figured out a way to hook up the keyboard to the mic system so that everyone could hear it, like the organ! For the first time, I think the members here are learning more of how the hymns really go! That made me happy! And I'm gonna start teaching Gema how to play the piano. She's got a little keyboard of her own. She's smart. It'll be good.

Well, I've gotta run, but I love you all so much! I know that this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I love it! Love, Hermana Williams

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jamie's Letter Dec 19, 2011

Hello all! (so just a warning, the space bar key on this computer isn't working too well, so if words are stuck together, it's not because I don't know how to type :)

I was surprised too to get on my email so early. We had to leave by 10 in the morning, and we didn't get back until 8:30-ish, so I ended up having to write earlier. But it's all good. Because that just meant thatI got a whole bunch of email today, which was happy :)

So this week has been another rollarcoaster here in the mission. Elder Uceda came and spoke to us Monday. It was really good, although I did feel like he was calling us to repentacnce, which never really feels good, but many times necessary. He talked about the white handbook, and the importance to always be with our companions. I have since made an even stronger effort to make sure that I'm always with Hna Westman. (not that I'm ever not, but still. I can always be better!) He also talked about studying for our investigators. Which was also great. He drew a picture of a chess board on the whiteboard and asked us how many squares there were. Most people answered 64.
I remembered having done that problem in my elemenatry ed math class, and I found the answer, but Icouldn't remember. (Turns out there are 204 squares total). His analogy was that when we read the scriptures, many times there are hidden squares, squares we don't always see, and when we study the scriputres, even the ones we have read a bajillion times, we should always be looking for hidden squares, or newthings to learn from the scriptures. It was really good. We analyzed Ether 3:1 about a really good example from thebrother of Jared of how to receive answers to our prayers. Good stuff!

Tuesday was great too! We went to visit Brenda again. We started talking more about baptism, and she knew that it was important, but she was really scared to be baptized, because she didn't want to be baptized and then fall again. She didn't want to disappoint the Lord. I told her how baptism was like how we finish the repentance process. She then said "so maybe you're trying to tell me that if I get baptized, and receive the holy ghost, that will give me more of the strength I need to get over my weaknesses, instead of waiting until I'm all better to be baptized." YES! That is EXACTLY what we were trying to tell you! I'm so glad that the Spirit can speak through us! Then Hna Westman showed her Alma 7:15, that says to "come, and fear not." That just hit her, and she said she was ready. She wanted to be baptized. How amazing was that moment! Now we just have to hope and pray that everything goes well. Her baptismal date is for the 23rd. This Friday. She really does have the desire. But Satan is still throwing things in her way. I just really want to help her get this! What an amazing Christmas this should be! I think this will kind of make or, well, not break, but you know, Christmas. I'm so excited for Christmas, and I'm not really feeling homesick at all.Maybe because it still doesn't really feel like Christmas here. It's more likeChristmas in July, which is fine too.

I still haven't gotten the packages yet. I'm thinking I'll probably get them the 24th, because we're going to Chiclayo on Saturday to do our thing as amission. Or at least as the zones here close to Chiclayo. I mean, I might get them tomorrow at our zone meetings if our elders in theoffice are more effecient. We'll see though.

SoI'm supposed to call you on sunday?? Oh yeah! Awesome! So... I'llprobably call around...11-ish your time. Sweet!! SoI'll talk to you all then!
Well, I'llcall this aletter! I hope you could read it all! I love you!
If I think of anything I'll tell you....SUNDAY!!!
Hermana Williams

Monday, December 12, 2011

Jamie's Christmas Tree Dec 12, 2011

Our little tiny baby Christmas tree! We bought some garland and kind of formed it into a tree. Then we bought some lights, and a ribbon to wrap around it. It's so tiny, about a foot and a half tall, but it makes me so happy!

Jamie's Letter Dec 12, 2011

Hello. I'm here! Are you surprised??
So another week has gone and past. And here I am!

It's been a relatively tranquil week. I still haven't gotten my packages, although there is a small chance I might get them today...but I doubt it. I still need to give the elders my papers telling the people that they have the right to get my packages. But I'm sure I'll get them before Christmas. I'm thinking I'll probably end up calling around...maybe 1 or 2 my tim, which would be 11 or 12 your time. I'm not sure. I think I'll get to call the day before to coordinate really well when I'm going to call, because then I'll have a better idea of my schedule. I'll let you know though. OH! Can you send me the recipe for slush? I want to try and experiement here! And maybe, if possible, could you scan me a copy of some Christmas music...I'm not exactly sure what, a manheim steamrollar or maybe Kurt Bestor...something that I could possibly play for a devo Christmas Eve. Scan it and you can email it to me as a pdf, and I can print it off here. Genius? I think so! But you pick the music. I trust you :)

So this week I had the chance to go and do a...well, in Spanish we call them "visite de trabajo" I'm not sure what they're called in English. It's where we switch companions for a day. I went to go and work in a town called San Pedro de Lloc, which is about 45 minutes away. I went with Hna Aracca, and my old companion, Hna Chamorro came here to Guadalupe for a day. It was really good to work with Hna Aracca. She's from Puno, which is close to Lake Titicaca...(I think that''s how it's spelled). She really is just so humble. She grew up that way. She grew up speaking Quechua. She didn't really learn Spanish until she was in elementary school. And she's lived a very humble life. But she has such a testimony of the gospel, and it was so fun to get to work with her. There weren't a whole lot of people in San Pedro...the people don't come out of their houses...but we worked well together.

All of our investigators are really good. They all have desires to listen to us, but sometimes it seems hard to get them to keep their commitments. But I guess that's where studying chapter 11 of PMG comes in, right? I'm also really excited too, because it looks like we're probaby going to be starting a family group in Ciudad de Dios, where Brenda lives. Ciudad de Dios is a small town about 10 minutes away from Guadalupe. There are 2 or 3 members that come to church regularly, but there are other members there that are inactive. I think for a lot of them it is hard to pay the passage to go and come every week. But we're working on getting it so that they can start meeting there, even if it is just in a house. Hopefully that will be up and going in January. It's so cool to be a part of taking the gospel to everyone. The Church has never been in Ciudad de Dios. The missionaries have visited...a little bit, but to have a place where members can go and visit, they haven't had that. They've had to travel to Pacasmayo, or to Guadalupe, which are further away! And just think, maybe in 20 years, there will be a branch or a ward there! And I'm so blessed to be a part of starting that! Pres Risso wants to put missionaries there in the next couple of transfers, which will be really cool too! There haven't been missionaries assigned to Ciudad de Dios specifically either. How cool is the Gospel!? Anywho, so that's the things that are most exciting that are happening here.

Sorry this is shorter. But hey, next week, I'm sure I'll have much to tell you! I love being a missionary. So many wonderful experiences every day. And I just love these people so much. I never thought that I really would just want the absolute best for random people, that I would feel so sad, frustrated, when they didn't seem to progress. But I know the Lord is in this work-it's His. And I love it, even though it's hard! Keep working hard there. I love you!
Hermana Williams

Jamie's Pictures Dec 5, 2011

Us! We went to a cool place today by the ocean. There was a small abandoned city. So we took pictures. Awesome? I think so!

Me! Again Awesome!

Our zone! We also are awesome!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Jamie's Letter Dec 5, 2011

Well, this will probably be a shorter letter than usual. But that's what happens when you get to chat with me, so I'm sure you're not gonna be too disappointed :)

This week has been good. We have a lot of different investigators, many that can progress, and are progressing...but slowly. It's kind of frustrating sometimes, but I know that we are doing our part. They all have desires to keep learning about the gospel. It's just hard to find them sometimes. And then when we do find them, they haven't kept their's hard. But we keep on working, because that's all we can do. We also have an awesome plan to try and help out the members here. The members here are really strong in the Gospel, and this really is the strongest area I've served in as far as people that come to church, that hold the priesthood and everything. We just need to help them help us, to see this as more of one work, rather than the missionaries have their job, and we live our lives. But we're gonna start teaching the members about the restoration in this week, and helping them to know how they can share the gospel with others now.

Remember the guy I told you about a couple weeks ago that called out to us when he was drinking with his friends? His name is Juan and we're teaching him now. He really does have a desire to learn about the Gospel, and it's cool to see him learn. The other night we talked about how we lived with God before we came to earth, that he is the father of our spirits. He said he had never heard that before, but he liked it. We've invited him to be baptized and he says he will be if he knows it is true. And he is praying to know the truth. He just expects a dream, which actually does happen a lot here. I don't know how the Lord will answer him, but I know he will.

So I've been reading the Book of Mormon again, but this time in Spanish. Right now, I'm still in 1 Nefi, but it's really interesting to see how many times Nephi tells his brothers to be diligent. Such an intersting thought, to be diligent in keeping the commandments. Anywho, that was just something cool that I've been thinking about. Basically I just love the Book of Mormon! It's amazing! It really does have such power to change lives. It's definitely changed my life.

I also think it's kind of funny your story about visiting teaching. It's kind of like missionary work, just to active people! And how many times do I make appointments, but then we get there, and the people have forgotten, or they're busy. It happens, I feel, like at least once a day. But then you do have those tender moments with people, and you just feel how much the lord loves us! Isn't it wonderful? I am kind of excited to be a visiting teacher again when I get back. Because that's what I'm doing pretty much full time here. It's also cool to see how the Lord answers prayers. There have been various times when I have prayed to have the energy to teach, and I've had it! It's been great! I love being a missionary, even though it's so hard sometimes. The blessings are amazing!

Well, it looks like the computer is gonna kick me off. But I know that the church is true and I love you all so so so so so much!
Hermana WIlliams
Didn't you just love the dvotional last night? :)