Monday, February 27, 2012

Jamie's Letter Feb 27, 2012

In another email to me Jamie said her release date is April 30th and she will probably be home May 1st. She will report her mission on May 13th. More details later as we get them.

Hello! I'm here.
So another week has gone by nice and fast. Actually, not really fast. This has actually been one of the craziest randomest weeks on the mission. We've had so many random things happen to us. It's funny though. I've got a list in my planner. We ended up having to write you on Tuesday cuz the internet was slow, we broke a sink, lost and found an old sister's USB with all her family history on it, made cookies with way too much butter (but we evened it all out with a bunch of flour), we saw a motorcycle accident (no one was hurt, but a little girl was kind of in shock, and crying and screaming), the alarm on the church randomly went off right after sacrament meeting, just, random. But it's part of the missionary life.

I think our relationship with the bishop has improved. We had a 2 hour long meeting with him yesterday, and we told him about how we wanted to have him meet with our converts more, how life in the ward is, and just other things. We told him it would be nice for the families of our recent converts who receive the priesthood to be present when they receive it. The bishop was like "you can't do that. You have to do it elders quorum, and to invite sisters into the elders quorum, I couldn't do that." I told him how I was there when Cameron got the melchezidek priesthood, along with my family, my aunt and uncle, but we kind of played it off like we didn't know, because we don't have a manuel. We got him to look in the manuel though. As he looked, he said "interesting. The manuel says that it has to be under my direction, but it doesn't say where. Hm...." And then he told us we were right. Hopefully he'll trust us a little more. He didn't say anything about me playing the piano, but I think he knows that I don't need to practice.

We had a cool experience though in finding a family this week. So tuesday night we were searching for a young girl named Irene. She was probably 21-22-ish. She was a friend of a member, and we stopped by the member, and he told us she was waiting for us to come that night, even though we hadn't planned for it. We had planned to visit her the next night, but I guess she had heard wrong. Whoops! So it was off to try to find her house. We couldn't find exactly the address, so we started knocking on doors, asking if Irene lived there. A lady told us that she lived across the street, so we went, and a lady in her 30s answered the door. "Does Irene lived her?" we asked. "I'm Irene! How are you? Come in?" and then Hna Captain was like "Oh hi! How are you? You don't know my companion, this is Hna Williams." And she starts talking like she knows her. What? I'm pretty sure this isn't the woman we're looking for, but she's also named Irene. So we teach a small lesson on prayer, because we still need to find our other Irene. We made a follow up appointment and then we ended up finding our Irene. But it was just kind of random. Actually, it was a blessing, because we ended up teaching her and her family again, and they seemed very interested. Hopefully we can keep up with them. Turns out Hna Captain had contacted her with Hna Machuca once, but they never went found her house. Basically, even though we've gone through a lot of random things, we've still been really blessed. It's been hard. It definitely hasn't been easy, but there has been a lot of help. I think there has been so many times when the Lord has given us strength when we've have none. I've been so exhausted so many times this week, but somehow, when we start teaching, I have the energy that I need to do this marvelous work. Hna Captain has also been feeling sick this week. I think I have this curse of making my companions sick or something ;) Not really, but we've been working super hard. We've got some appointments with the doctor for her.

Well, I've gotta call this a letter. But I love you tons! Keep working hard, and I'll talk to you all next week!
Hermana Williams

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jamie's Letter Feb 21, 2012

Holy cow! It seems like forever since I've written you all. The week has been really slow and really fast at the same time. This week has been pretty crazy though. I don't know if I've ever worked this hard before. Maybe I have, I just don't remember. It's good though. I want to go out strong :D Awesome? I think so. So now for your questions: We live in a room above a restaurant. The room is actually pretty nice. It gets really hot though during the day. And during the night. Basically the fan is my best friend. And I don't have lice. It's actually quite a miracle, because I'm pretty sure Hna Case had lice the whole transfer. And I spent the last day with her picking out eggs from her hair. I didn't realize that they were eggs until mom told me what they looked like. I just thought she had bad dandruff. But nope! A bunch of eggs. I didn't get them all out either. But I've been away for 2 weeks and I don't have anything, pretty sure. Which is such a blessing.

About my classes, so I got permission from Pdte Risso to go on and register for my classes. So I spent a while yesterday figuring out what all I needed to do. I guess I needed to confirm with the BYU education department that I was still gonna come back, so I sent an email to one of the advisors asking him about that, what all I needed to do to be able to register. Hopefully I'll find out next monday, and I can register for classes then. I also sent another email to the edu dept asking them to make sure that my scholarship would still be there next year, and they said it's all good to go for next fall! Yupi! Less tuition to pay! It might also be nice to maybe look around saratoga/provo-ish to see about jobs...cuz I'll have to start that beautiful hunt when I get back. Just kinda see what all is available.

YES!!!!!! I still love monkeys. In fact, I think I love them even more! They are just cool.

Sounds like Sacrament meeting was really good. I'm sad you didn't get to talk more about your kids. I have no idea how I'm gonna talk though when I get back. Trying to fit 18 months into 10 minutes does not go over well. I'm excited to talk to you all though when I get back, and force you to look at all of the pictures that I have. Ha!

So I just have a funny story to tell you. This morning, after I got out of the shower, I was getting dressed and ready for the day when I heard a loud CRASH coming from our bathroom. I run to our bathroom, and our ceramic sink is completely shattered-dangerous ceramic shards all over the floor, with water just gushing out of the wall. Turns out Hna Captain was in there, trying to shave her legs...(she'll probably kill me for telling you that, but that's what makes it so funny), and she put her leg up on the sink, and put just a little bit of pressure on it, and KABLAM!! So she's freaking out, and I start laughing, and trying to help her gather up the water in the one bucket that we have, while she runs downstair to tell the people in the restaurant (who need water to cook) to turn off the water. They were slightly irritated with us, but I mean, it was either that or we flood the entire second floor that we live on. Finally they turned it off, and we dumped the water out the window...and Hna Captain happened to spill some of it onto an old man. This is an awesome story, right? Then we go and call our zone leaders, Eld Almanza and Eld Despain (oh yeah! He's in my zone again! Cool beans.) and they come over to our apartment to try and help us. They may or may not have cut themselves a couple of times on the sharp ceramic shards (actually, I think we all suffered some battle wounds). But Eld Almanza was able to fix things up again to where they could at least turn the water on again. We still didn't have a sink though (I have pictures, but the computer won't let me upload them. Lame!) Then we had our district/zone meetings. Man, the stake has us working hard. But I'll tell you a bit about that in a bit. After our meetings, the zone leaders went out and bought us another sink, and they came and installed it this afternoon. Who knew that elders knew how to do stuff like that? I think it might just be a guy thing. They've just got that instinct or something. So our sink it almost fixed. We just need a new faucet that will fit into the sink that they bought. Turns out though that sinks here only cost like 45 soles, which is like $18. Cheap eh? (actually, that's probably why the first one broke in the first place.) Anywho, so we had quite the adventure this morning. Definitely a day I won't forget.

Other than that, the missionary work has been going along. We've been kind of frustrated lately though. We feel like we're working harder than ever, but people just aren't progressing. And our ward is kind of struggling some too. It kind of drives me and Hna Captain nuts. There isn't a lot of reverence. For example, we have someone who has been called to be the nursery leader, but she doesn't want to do it, so she just goes to RS and lets her 3 year old daughter run back and forth. And because of that, everyone else has to take care of their children, and the children don't really know any better because nobody teaches them. And RS/EQ goes over a lot, and the primary teachers don't want to keep the kids in longer, so she lets them go outside and run around (while she stays inside) until everyone is out. And the chapel is pretty dirty, which is sad because it's actually a nice chapel, fairly new. And we've tried giving suggestions to people, but they don't really listen to us. And I wanted to play the piano on sunday, so I told the bishop I could play. He told me "but you need to practice with the choristor first." First off, your choristor is 12 years old, second off, NO. I don't need to practice. He almost didn't let me. I promised him it would be fine. And it was. I think the piano really helps to bring the spirit into the meetings. Taking the Sacrament was refreshing, as it always is. So despite all of these problems, I still know that the church is still true, and that the promises we make are not with the people in the church, but with God. I'm so glad I know that. There are a bunch of other things that kind of frustrate us, and we really want to help our ward, but we don't know where to start. But I guess we'll just work here. The stake has a mission plan too, that we visit 10 less active families, and try to get them back to church, and that we visit members activos, and bug them untl they give us references. The goal is to have one baptism every week. It's a high goal, but hey, miracles. We're not sure exactly how we're gonna accomplish all of what everyone expects of us, with the little bit of time that we have, but hey, we believe in miracles. We're working super hard though, and we're so exhausted every night.

Things with Jose and Estefanny, well, they're doing good. They didn't come to church though, which is always frustrating. We'll have to meet with them again this week to see how they're doing, and if they've been able to get answers. We're also teaching a guy named Pantera. Which means Panther in English. His 2 daughters got baptized liked 2 weeks ago. He's a short guy, but a big muscley guy. Sort of like vinn deisel. But shorter. It's pretty awesome. He just needs to pray to know that he should be baptized! That's basically what everyone needs to do.

Well, I'm gonna call this an email. Even though I'm exhausted, I know that what I'm doing is the work of the Lord. I love you all!!
Hermana Williams

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jamie's Pictures Feb 13, 2012

So today we went to this really cool place, and they had a crazy monkey there. I had to get a picture! This is me with the monkey
And then the Monkey (which we named Teancum) tried to reach out of the cage to get my waterbottle. This picture isn't one that I posed. I hope you appreciate it!
Me and Hna Captain
Us absolutely tired after 4 days of super hard work! I love it!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Jamie's Letter Feb 13, 2012

Hello! I can't believe you're doing stuff for me already, like housing and stuff. I know where Victoria's Place is. I used to walk past it all the time last looks like a good place though. I'm not sure what I'll be doing for Spring/summer, but I can see myself staying in Provo a lot easier than I can see myself coming home. I love you guys so much, but I think after a mission, coming and living at home would be kind of hard. But hey, that's more than a year away. But you can go ahead and sign me up for a year I guess. That's a bummer about the pell grant. I almost made it. I asked President about if I could go on and sign up for classes, but he hasn't responded to me yet. I'm thinking that I'll ask him again and then next week see if I can go on. I know I can go on, I just need permission. Oh, and my companion is Hna Captain-from Arizona, but she was also an El Ed major at BYU, but she told me that the program changed last year. So I think it would be really good to go on and look at all that I need to do in the program. She told me she'd help me out with it though.

So results of the transfers....I left Guadalupe, which was about an hour and a half south of Chiclayo and I got changed to Jaen, which is about 6 1/2 hours northeast of Chiclayo! So much for staying in Chiclayo to be able to go and say goodbye to my old areas. It's probably very likely that I will end my mission here. I'm in Hna Machuca's old area, with Hna Captain, who is my "granddaughter" in the mission. I trained Hna Machuca, and Hna Machuca trained her! So that's pretty fun. And she definitely got the traits from her "grandma" in that she is the first companion (and probably only companion) that's taller than me! She's actually built kind of like Laura. She's tall, like 5'11" and she's skinny. Except where Laura is white and blonde, she's a little darker and has brown hair. I'll send you a picture of her! She's an awesomely hard worker, which is great, because I want to end my mission working harder than I ever have before.

So my new area is called Morro Solar, and it's part of a city called Jaèn. It's so green and pretty here! It rains a lot here too, which makes sense. I kind of reminds me of Waterton in a way. Like the Peruvian version of Waterton. And it kind of does feel like we're camping. It's super hot, and it can get humid sometimes, but hey, I just have to survive it for 12 more weeks and then I can come back and not have to worry about heat! Well...okay, maybe I will, but at least we believe in air conditioning :) the fan has become my best friend in the last 3 months or so (it was still super hot in Guadalupe too.) But that's sort of become my motto-"can I live with/without it for 12 more weeks?" I'm in the process of trying to give away a bunch of my stuff that way I don't have to lug it all back to the states. I'm excited to leave a bunch of it here. I gave the "forget-me-not" statue to Brenda as a birthday present. I left her a bunch of stuff, including my quad. I figured there's a better chance of me getting another copy of scriptures in english than there is for her, and I think she needs it more. I left her a bunch of other stuff too. I didn't end up making my gingerbread house. I didn't have time for it, and I didn't have room in my suitcase. :( So I gave it to Hna Case, and she was really excited to put it together. I told her to take pictures. If the elders would've gotten me my boxes sooner I would've been able to do it, but...well, what can you do?

So you get to talk about me this week! What a fabulous topic!! :) You know I love you guys. I'm not exactly sure what you want to talk about about me. You could pick an experience from one of my letters...This week was really cool, in that I was getting to know a bunch of investigators. It's so cool to see how the spirit works through us. That definitely is something that I'm learning how to recognize, how the Spirit works with me. I've felt the Spirit as I testify of things that are true. Like yesterday, we were teaching a man named Jose. He had some doubts about why we keep sunday as the sabbath day, and about how God, Jesus and the holy ghost were 3 different people. He thought they were all one. And so we pulled out some scriptures, and we showed him in the Bible where it talks about how the apostles gathered on the first day to partake of the bread, and we read the vision of Stephen, and how he saw Jesus on the right hand of God (I mean really, it's there in the Bible! Can you really get anymore obvious than that!? They're definitely distinct people!) But at the end, the thing that really helped more than anything I think is that we testified that we knew that these things were true. We challenged him to pray and ask God if the things we taught were true. I love being able to do that. It's like when I was little, I would go in and see Cameron eating a cookie, and I would say "What are you doing?!? You know you're not supposed to be eating a cookie!" And then he would say "Mom told me I could." "Na-uh...(insert emporers new groove clip here) and then he would tell me "Go ask Mom." And there it is. The test. To go ask Mom. And Mom will tell me the truth. Because I know that Mom doesn't lie. And it's the same with God. I love being able to tell people if they don't believe us to ask God. Because I know that God will respond to them if they ask and they really want to know. We also had another investigator, Estefanny. She started to read the Book of Mormon, and she got to 1 Nephi 4, and she couldn't accept that God would tell someone (Nephi) to kill someone (Laban). We explained so many different things, that God did it to help others know the truth, but at the end, we just told her she would have to ask God, if what was written there in the Book of Mormon was true. I guess we'll find out the next time we visit her what her answer was. And she said that that was what she would have to do, because she really didn't buy any of the other stuff we told her. But the beautiful thing is I know that if she asks God he will give her an answer.

This week though has been kind of hectic! It has seemed SO long! I pretty much threw all of my stuff in my suitcases Monday night, and Tuesday morning, we headed out with my 3 suitcases, and 2 suitcases of Hna Aracca (the only other sister than had changes in our zone) Our zone leaders had told us that our bus left from Guadalupe at 8:15 am, so we got there, and the people there told us our ticket was for 8:15 PM. I was NOT a happy hermana that day. I pretty much wanted to strangle elders, because I had stressed out so much to get ready. But it was good, because Wednesday morning, I got to see Hna Machuca and Hna Amelia for the first time in 4 1/2 months, and I was SO incredibly happy! Hopefully they just stay there in Chiclayo so I can say goodbye to them before I head back to the states. Our bus left at 2 in the afternoon, and we made it to Jaen about 8:30-ish at night. I'm excited to work here.

Well, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!! Even though I'm super far away, I love you all SO much! And I'm so glad that the Lord has given me this time to work as a missionary, to love these people with all of my heart! Keep on loving everyone, in spite of all their weaknesses!
Love you!
Hermana Williams

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Jamie's Letter Feb 6, 2012

Hello my dear family!
So Brenda is doing great!! Highlight of yesterday-she got up in Sacrament Meeting to bear her testimony! Wow! It was simple, but she pulled a Williams and couldn't hold the tears in. It's just been so amazing to see how she has come to love the Gospel and the Lord so much. And she wants other people to find what she has found. She brought one of her neighbors to church yesterday. It was great! And she wants me to get in touch with her mom and her kids when she gets back. I just said goodbye to her today, but I'll see her again when she comes to the states, and I'll be able to talk to her more continuously when I'm home too. She has 6 kids. 5 of them are in Cali. Her oldest is 30, then I think her other 4 are 22, 20, 18 and 16...? They're teenagers/young adults. She talks to them more on facebook and stuff. But it's so cool to see how much she wants her family to find the same joy in the Gospel that she did.

I did take pictures of my Christmas after Christmas. I just didn't send them to you, because I had a bunch of baptismal pics. Speaking of baptismal pics-we had 2 baptisms on Saturday! Vicki, Brenda's daughter, who is 9, got baptized, along with the older brother of our other recent convert, Josue. His name is Juan Jose. He's about 20 and has been coming to church for forever, but randomly, last sunday, he told us he was going to be baptized! Wow! I didn't see that one coming! So we helped to get him ready for his baptism. it was such a cool experience to see them get baptized! I felt like it was kind of a culmination of all of my time here, because, well, I'm being transferred! I sorta saw that one coming, but the past couple of days I thought I'd stay. Oh well. So tomorrow I'll find out where I'm going to die! Mwahahaha! No, just in mission terms. Where my last area is going to be. Whoa! It's so weird to think about just how much time has passed.

I thought Chasey might get baptized on Saturday! That's so cool! I remembered it was her birthday, and I thought, holy cow, that girl is 8! That means she'll probably be baptized! That's actually really cool, baptism. I love it. Baptisms sometimes stress me out, (coordinating everything) but just knowing that what we do really does save I cannot believe it. I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of this great and marvelous work. The Lord has blessed me more than I can even count, ways that I don't even know. But what I do know is that he loves me, and he loves all of his children, and he wants them to be happy.

The shirt and the skirt fit well. The skirt is kind of big, and kind of long, and in Peru, right now long and hot do not go well together. So I turned it into a dress! Hna Case let me borrow one of her black cardigans, and I put a black belt that hna westman gave me around it, and it actually looks pretty darn cute! And I love the shirt too! So you should look into if I can get a pell grant. Because that would be amazing to not have to pay for school. Have you gotten any emails from BYU about me registering for classes? I think they'll tell you exactly what classes I need to take, but I'm not sure if you'll do it or if I'll see about doing it here in Peru.

So I'm also hoping that I'll get to see Hna Machuca tomorrow too. I haven't seen her for SO long and I really want to see her again. Really, you guys just have to know everyone from my mission. I'm not sure how, but you have to know how amazing my companions, my friends, and everyone are! I'm not sure how we'll work that out, but I'm sure one day I'll make it work. :)

Well, I think I'm gonna have to call this another letter. You won't be getting too many more of these from me. Weird. But know that I love you tons, that I'm so grateful for your support and for your testimonies. They strengthen mine so much. Keep doing what you know is right!

Hermana Williams

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Jamie's Pictures Jan 30, 2012

Brenda and Vicki

Us with Brenda. Isn't she beautiful???

Me, Elder Burton, Brenda, and Hna Case

All of the missionaries and Brenda

A bunch of the people that came out for the baptism

Jamie's Letter Jan 30, 2012

Hello my dear family!! I'm not quite sure why it took so long. I think the people that they send the packages too at first changed some sort of form...basically I think I'll be good on stuff from the states for the next 3 months. I really just needed the contact solution. The DVD was perfect! I'm excited to have it. And I'm definitely planning on leaving a lot of stuff here. It's so interesting to see how my perspective on stuff has changed since I came on my mission. I really have found that I can live with nothing. Well, almost nothing :) Missions do that to you.

That's awesome for Aunt JaNae!!!!!!! And I'm excited to be home for Kiki's wedding!!!!! Yupi!!!!! That'll be awesome! Other than that, well, it sounds like you all are doing well. OH, and I want an answer to Jordan's question too, about Grandpa's patriarchal blessing. I can't believe that it's been a year since he passed away. I don't think I have really felt it yet, and I probably won't until I get back. But I'll worry about that when I get back.

So I'm sorry I'm on later tonight. We went to Chiclayo today to have a p-day for hermanas. We got to see almost all of the hermanas in the mission, except the hermanas that are in Jaen (Hna Machuca) and Cajamarca (Hna Westman). It was fun though. Anywho, we just got back so we just entered internet to write you all. I'm sorry I missed chatting with you mom.

However, even though I'm writing later, I do have to say that this has been one of the most best/hardest weeks ever. So...drumroll......BRENDA GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my word!!! I cannot even explain the joy that I had, to see her entered into the waters of baptism, and just throw everything wrong that she's ever done in her life down the drain. Really, it went down the drain. I wasn't quite sure if everything would work out, but it did. The Lord really is amazing. She chose to be baptized on Tuesday morning, the 24th. Normally we have our meetings as missionaries on tuesday mornings, so the whole zone came out to support her, which was amazing. And after the baptism, she just looked so happy. We went and visited her on Thursday, and she looked different. There was just something in her eyes. It was small moments like that that make this all worth it. And it gives me strength to keep on going. Because sometimes I feel like not going on. It just is hard sometimes. My companion and I have both felt it. But I've found strength in stuff like the Sacrament, really reading the book of's amazing. I was thinking about how blessed I have been to be able to participate in the work of the Lord. So even when life is tough, you just gotta keep going.

Well, this is the last week of the changes. Next week we'll find out if I'm staying or going. I think I'd almost rather leave, because I'm down to 2 tranfers, and I'd rather spend more time in my last area I think. But whatever the Lord thinks is best, I'll do. I've kind of figured that out on the mission, that the Lord knows what he's doing, he knows what is best for everyone, everyone that we need to meet and know and every experience is for our good.

Well, my computer tells me that I only have 3 minutes left...but I want you to know how much I do love you all, and how much I pray for you. I have been so blessed to just feel an outpouring of love for all of everyone back at home, and for all of the people here. The gospel really does have power to change lives! I love it!! And I love you all!
Hermana Williams