Monday, January 23, 2012

Jamie's Letter Jan 23, 2012

I finally got your packages!!! Except lame customs had opened some of my presents!! But I think everything was there! I'm pretty sure they opened the scotch mints too, because they were all over the box they were in. I'm glad to for the contact solution! It made me happy. And pretty much everything too. I'm sharing all the candy and everything with everyone so I don't get fat. Hahaha! No, but we made brownies today as a zone. They didn't turn out quite how I wanted, but hey, when you're in Peru you can't be super picky. I really liked the card game quelf that you sent. It looks fun. I laughed even more at the part on the box that says "knowledge of english require." I thought you might have forgotten that I went to Peru, where everyone pretty much speaks Spanish. :) But I brought it to show people, and one of my zl's, Eld Burton really liked the idea of the game, and said it would be super fun to play...with gringos :) But we played other games too. The presents that are still wrapped I'm gonna open on Wed, and have a month-after christmas with the tiny christmas tree that's awesome!

Well, this week really has been one of the most emotionally draining weeks of my mission. My companion is great, but she's really been struggling with some things, and I've been trying to help her, but I don't really know how sometimes, and I don't know if what I'm doing is what I need to do....I know it's kind of vague, but it has been hard. She got sick too on thursday night. She had a temp of 102.2. Yeah, that kind of freaked us out. And she passed out in the morning. So basically we stayed in our apt all day friday, and saturday. I got a lot of good scripture reading in. Funny scripture of the week that talks about stormtroopers and the empire: Psalms 83:10 :) Enjoy it. She's feeling better now though. At least physically. I'm trying to help her out the best I can emotionally too. Missions are hard man. And I'm experiencing that first hand.

But even though we have our trials, we still see our miracles. Like remember Brenda? We visited her last week, and she put her own date to be baptized. And she chose to be baptized tomorrow. She had her interview yesterday in English with Elder Burton, which was weird for him. It's so weird to teach in English. And there have been so many obstacles in her way, but it's been so amazing to me to see how the gospel of Jesus Christ can change people. I think one of the reasons I came on a mission was to gain a testimony of missionary work. And I have a much stronger testimony of it now. But she's just so amazing. I want you to meet her one day, and I actually have hope that you can, as she is from the states (more or less) but that she hopes to go back to the states. But it's been good. Satan has been throwing everything he's got at her. I hate him. Just in case you were wondering. But I love how I'm on the team that's gonna win. And I know who's gonna win. It's such a fight. I have never fought so hard for someone before in my life. But the Lord has given me strength when I need it, and man have I needed it. So hopefully I'll have some awesome pictures to send you next week!

Well, I love this work so much. I can't even imagine how this is gonna influence the rest of my life, but I know that it will so much. My testimony, my knowledge of the scriptures, and my love for the people has just grown so much. I really do feel like Alma, in Alma 26, who would have thought the wonderful blessings that the Lord would pour out upon us, in giving us the opportunity to share the knowledge of the truth with the Lord's children. Or something like that, he says :) I am also so blessed to have an amazing family. I love you tons!! Keep doing what you know is right, and you'll be blessed :) Love you all!

Hermana Williams

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jamie's Letter Jan 16, 2012

Hey mom!
So last week was just weird. I think Satan really tries to get us down, because he knows that we're doing an amazing work, and I think I was feeling that last week. I was just kind of feeling that I write the same thing each week, and that you must be tired of reading the same thing every week for more than a year now. But Now I'm better. Anywho. I read the email from Cynthia and Brian. That's so scary! I'm glad everyone is okay though. And that's awesome for Tanin! I'll be there for about 2 weeks before he goes in, so I'll probably be super jealous that he gets to go be a misionary! And you didn't tell me that Tami had her baby! Boy? Girl? I don't even know!

My favorite scripture...well, I definitely have a couple now. I really love Alma 7:11-13 (those are greate Atonement scriputres) and 14-15 are good baptism scriptures. I also love Alma 26, Alma 29, where it talks about the success of his brethern, Oh! I found a cool scripture in 1 Thelsesonsians (however you spell it in English!) 2:17 and 3:10. I'm discovering the bible too. It's awesome! Basically the scriptures are just amazing!

This week has been good. We've found some really awesome people this week, and hopefully they'll progress. We also went back and found Brenda finally. She'd been gone for like 2 weeks, and had a horrible sunburn. I think she even got sunburnt on her lips. So she wasn't feeling too great, but she was happy that we came. We're gonna visit her again tomorrow, and she said she still wants to be baptized. We just have to keep working with her. Yay for miracles though!

As I've been pondering over the time that I have spent here in the mission, I've realized just how incredible this time has been, how much I've grown and learned. I've learned that I've really got to just trust in the Lord, and that He will bless me in everything. It seems so simple, but still so hard at the same time, because there is always that temptation there to keep part of you to yourself. I don't know if that makes sense, but it's been such a wonderful lesson to me. I'm working harder to be a better companion, a better missionary, a better friend...everything! And the mission is making me what I need to be. I'm seeing that even better now, and I love it, even though it definitely is the hardest thing I've ever done.

Well, Isn't it wonderful that we know that the gospel is true! I love it!
Hermana Williams

Monday, January 9, 2012

Jamie's Pictures Jan 9, 2012

Josue's baptism from last week. Good stuff!

All of our zone at the Christ statue in Chepen, another area here.
Today (Dec 26, 2011) we went to Pacasmayo. We went and saw a big Christ statue (there really are a bunch of those here) and took a couple of pictures. I'm sad because Hna Westman is leaving, and I don't want her to leave!

Jamie's Letter Jan 9, 2012

Hello :) Um...well, Hna Case's dad's name is John. I can't remember what her mom's name is. I'll ask her. she says that she lives really close to the temple though, like 5 minutes away. I still have yet to get my packages. At this point I'm just kind of like if they come, they come. If not, well, less stuff to haul back to the states, right? It sounds like they've been having problems getting the packages or something. They really want people to send the envelopes. I told my zl that would have been nice to know about 4 months ago. He just smiled and nodded. I'll let you know when the miraculous event occurs and I get them.

Sounds like life is going good back there at home. I'm happy for dad and his new calling! That's awesome! I really can't believe though that all of those kids are in the 9-10 year old class. Everyone is gonna be so grown up. Odd. Well, for me, it has been such a weird couple of weeks. I've been feeling so odd. Really. But hey, we keep working, trying to find new people to teach the Gospel to. And we're doing well. We haven't be able to find Brenda's been super hard to get ahold of her. I'm really hoping that we can find her this week, because I miss her!
That's so weird, that Cameron will hit a year on Thursday. I think it's still super weird to think of him on a mission. I think that's because I left before he did. I am excited to be able to talk to him though on Mother's Day, because I should probably be home for that! (I haven't heard anything official yet, but transfers are right before mother's day.) It's so interesting too to see the difference between our missions. It's so different, yet we're doing the same thing! Bringing the people to a knowledge of the gospel.

So can I just say how much I LOVE studying the scriputres in Spanish??? Because I LOVE it!!! Especially the bible! Honestly, when I was in Tuman, I almost didn't like the bible, because I didn't really know it, and the jehovahs witnesses would use it against us all the time. But now I'm really starting to get into the bible, espeically the new testament. It's hard to understand in Spanish, and in English, but when I study them both together, I understand it SO much better! I'm so glad that the Lord called me to serve in a Spanish speaking country, to Peru. The more I think about the time I have spent on my mission, the more I realize that it has truly changed my life. I know the gospel so much better than I did before. I love scriptures so much. Sometimes though I almost feel overwhelmed because I want to know it all, have it all in my head now! but I guess that's what I have the rest of my life for. And I'm definitely gonna keep studying in Spanish for the rest of my life too. And English. I really just do get a different perspective from the two languages. I understand it so much better.

Other than that, life goes on here as normal, finding people, talking to people, having people ask us tons of qustions, talking in Spanish...bascially this is my life now. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sometimes it feels so hard to do, but when I remember that I am a part of something so much bigger than myself it gives me the encouragement I need to keep going on, to keep working. I know my Savior loves me, that He is just as aware of my imperfections as I am, but He still loves me. And He blesses me when I try to do my best. Thank you for all of your prayers for me. Sometimes I forget that so many people are praying for me specifically and for the missionaries in the world. We need those prayers so much. But they help us out so much. This is a marvelous work and a wonder. That such weak people like us, 19 and 21 year olds are working for the salvations of souls! Wow! If the Church weren't true, we would've messed it up a long time ago :) But I love it. And I love you! Until next week!
Hermana Williams

Jamie's Pictures Jan 2, 2012

All of the sisters in our zone!
The zone, after we buried the zone leaders in the shells-we went to the beach again today, and instead of sand, there was a bunch of broken up shells. It was awesome!
So we found a random sting ray head in the water. Actually, there were a couple. We figured people were fishing, and cut off what they wanted, and threw the rest back. Kinda like we do when we fish on Cameron! Cool, eh?
I'm in front of the ocean! Cool? Yes. I think it's kinda funny that I never saw or touched the ocean until I was on my mission.
Here's a picture of my foot! And Hna Case's foot, and Eld Morales's foot. Becuase it's just been too long since you've gotten a picture of my foot! Enjoy it!

Jamie's Christmas pictures

Our zone after we did a skit for the mission party saturday. Every zone put on some sort of skit, and we chose to reenact the Christmas Carol. Eld Despain was Jacob Marley, and his ties were his "chains." Eld Ruiz was scrooge, I was the ghost of Christmas past, Eld Hemsley (the skinny one) was the ghost of the future, Hna Chamorro was the ghost of the present, and Hna Aracca was the Tiny Tina, and Hna Westman was her sister. And Eld Conforme was Bob Cratchet. It turned out pretty good. It makes me smile.

Christmas Eve with our pensionista and her family- Presidente Jave (he's the district president here), Hermana Kelly, and their kids, Neal and Gema. And us. I love them so much!
Our tiny zone-I love it!
Me with a little jewelry box that I got from a present exchange in our party with the mission saturday. I saved it til Sunday to open it. It's really cute!
Me with our little baby Christmas tree-"Daddy, it's a brella!"
Pretty, isn't it?
A little purse that Hermana Westman gave me for Christmas. She actually bought it with me, but being the oblivious person that I am, I had no idea until she gave it to me Christmas morning! And I saw her buy that, and the wrapping paper....I'm so oblivious!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jamie's Letter Jan 2, 2012

Happy 2012!!!! You'll get to see me this year!! That is, if the world doesn't end in this year....ha! Hey! Daddy has today off, doesn't he? That's why he was writing me! Awesome!

So this week has been really interesting. We didn't end up actually doing the changes until Wednesday. Hna Westman went to Chiclayo tuesday night, and I stay with one of the young single adults from the ward-her name is Elizabeth. Well, actually she stayed with me, until Wednesday afternoon, when my companion, Hermana Case, came down from Chiclayo. Yep! I have another north american companion! And she's not just american, she's an....american forkian? American forkite? What would you call someone from American Fork? Anywho, it's been kinda fun figuring out who we all know. Turns out one of her best friends was in my 6th grade class. Silly how life works! She actually was in La Cría before she came here. She's got about 3 months in the mission, still fairly new, but she's good, and I love her. I love it too because I can talk to her about Hermana Amelia, stuff in Pomalca and Tuman, and she knows that majority of people that I'm talking about. So this week, we baptized Josué, which was actually really cool. When I got here, the elders before me were teaching him, and he really wanted to be baptized. He just didn't have his dad's permission. He was doing so good, coming to church with a white shirt and tie and everything, and finally, we told him to ask his dad for his Christmas present to be his baptism, and he said yes! So he got baptized on Friday, and was confirmed yesterday. It was just so amazing! (I was gonna send you pictures, but right in the middle of sending this letter, the computer randomly turned off on me. Fortunately gmail does a good job of saving the drafts every 5 minutes or so, so I didn't have to completely rewrite you this letter!) It was a good day though. Other than that though the week was just kind bad for numbers and everything. But hey, I have a brand new year, a brand new week, a brand new cambio to make everything amazing!

For New Year's Eve we just stayed in our room and talked. I look at the clock when it was 11:59, then I told Hna Case that it was that time, and she started counting down from 10. When she hit 0, a bunch of firecrackers went on outside. Fun! Then we all got together as a zone on new years day to chill together, because working just doesn't work that well when people are drunk! Imagine that...

It sounds like everyone had a good new years, and that emily had an awesome birthday! I can't believe she's a teenager now! How weird! But I still love her, I promise! Well, thank you all for your love and support. I love you so much! I definitely know that the Lord has been blessing our family so much. Missions are just amazing! Keep working hard, and I'll keep doing the same here!

I love you!
Hermana Williams