Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jamie's flight comes in Tuesday May 1 at 12:42 pm.  Delta flight 983  in terminal 2.  

Jamie will report her mission on May 13th, at 11am in our church building 4588 N Eagle Mountain Blvd

Hey!  Wow!  Another crazy week in missionary world here in Peru.  So, to answer your questions...yeah, I think I'll be coming into Salt Lake with one or two other elders, but there are about 10 of us leaving the mission.  So we'll all fly down to Lima together, and then go our separate ways from there.  I'm not quite sure which day I get home, but I'll let you know as soon as I get this figured out.  The thing is that in the past, the missionaries have left the mission Monday afternoon to go to Lima.  I'm imagining that this time it will be the same.  The elders in the office....well, gotta love them (I still maintain my position that the office would run a lot smoother with sisters in it...but they have a lot to learn there I guess.)  Really, you can do whatever you want for dinner.  Just not rice.  (I do understand that there will be rice in my cafe rio, but it will be mixed in with a bunch of stuff).  Although I must admit it seems totally normal for me to have a portion of rice along with a bbq steak!  I'm in the process of giving away stuff, buying stuff, etc.  I'm thinking of leaving a bit of my clothing here.  I've given a lot of my clothes to Hna Rocha, which is actually perfect because she likes my clothes and the majority of them fit them a lot better than her own clothes  (She's lost quite a bit of weight since she came on the mission, but her clothes are still the same, so even though she's lost weight, you can't really tell.  But I'm helping her to change that.  It's perfect!)  That's exciting for Laura!  So Emily will start living at home alone even sooner!  Wow!  That'll be fun!  (Make sure the stake knows that I'm returning from the Peru Chiclayo Mission and not from the Piura mission-that would just be good.) 
Well, this week was kind of tough.  Blanca didn't end up getting baptized :(  She was feeling too much pressure, apparently, but since she's shy she didn't tell us, and her dad told us for her.  But they still came to church.  There's something there...we haven't figured out what it is yet, but well, we'll keep praying, and we believe in miracles, no?  Actually I think everything I've done on my mission has been a miracle.  That I've learned Spanish?  Definite miracle. That I've gotten over my fear to talk to random people? Miracle (doesn't mean that I'm a huge fan of it though, but I can do it!) Seeing people change their lives completely when nothing else has worked? Miracle.
People keep asking me what I'm gonna do when I get back.  Well, after hugging everyone and probably crying a little, going to cafe rio.  After that...I'm not so sure.  I do know that the day after I'm released I want to go to the temple, si o si!  I miss the temple so much.  It'll be amazing to go again, and to feel of the peace again.  I had an interview with President this week, and he actually helped me a lot to feel better about things.  It's interesting, because when I left Guadalupe, I remember thinking that if I were to end my mission right then, I would feel content with myself about the work that I did.  And yeah, these last 12 weeks have been rough, but I am.  I'm just gonna give it my all this week.  Because starting next week, I take off my plaque, and I become just Jamie again.  How odd. 
Well, I'm thinking this is probably the last time I'll write you a weekly email.  I will find a way to contact you, whether I email you or someone from the office emails you or calls you or something to let you know exactly what is going on on what day.  But know that I have such a strong testimony of this Gospel.  I know it is the truth with all of my heart.  My testimony has only grown.  It has been tested and tried in so many different ways, but it's been incredible to feel how it has grown.  I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and it is because of his Atonement that we have the Gospel.  It's amazing, really, it is, to think how one act that one person did 2000 years ago changed everyone's lives! I know it has changed mine.
Well, I think I've gotta go.  It's late.  (But I have some rock awesome pictures to show you of Gocta when I get back!)  I love you all so much, and I really am excited to see you again.  Love you!!!!!!
Hermana Williams

Monday, April 16, 2012

Jamie's Letter April 15, 2012

Hey mom. And dad. And everyone else that I love :D
So this week has been better. I still have struggled, but I think part of it is like the ultimate trials and stuff before I go home. Thank you for your prayers. I still need them. I actually don't know how we found Pantera and Blanca. Hna Captain and Hna Machuca found them somehow, and taught and baptized Pantera's other 2 daughters, Lady and Luisa the saturday before I got there. But I have seen them change, become happier since I have started teaching them. My companion has been helping me out a lot too to be more optimistic. Really, I've just felt super overwhelmed. I am feeling better though. We did find out that Pantera and Blanca aren't a couple, which was something that has been bugging us for a while...we've been fighting with the ward if they were or weren't a couple. Blanca has a baptismal date for this Saturday, but I don't know if she feels ready or not. We'll try to keep helping her, and hopefully I can see one baptism before I leave Jaèn. If not, I'll still leave with the satifaction of knowing that I helped people come to a knowledge of the truth.
We taught Sunday School yesterday in church. We talked about revelation. Honestly, I feel that sometimes the members are stuck in a routine. It was good for me too. Just that sometimes, like in Sunday School, some people start arguing about doctrine (in this case it was if the Lord would send someone else to tell the prophet that he was wrong, and that he needed to be better...don't think so). Oh, question, so I know we make a covenant when we are baptized, but do we make specific covenants when we receive the gift of the holy ghost? I haven't read anything specific, but the bishop was talking about that the other day.
Congrats to Julie and Joanie! So many babies! That's exciting though :) Sounds like you're doing good at getting life all figured out for me. Thanks for doing that! I'm excited to be able to start classes and stuff again. PSYCH!!! That'll be fun to watch again :) So, just in case you wanted to know, I want Cafe Rio when I get back. Everyone is asking me what I'm gonna do when I first get back. I tell them that I'm going to eat a pork burrito or a pork salad. They then laugh at me, because for them, burritos are little donkeys. Anywho, let me know next week what more or less your plans are then for the 1st of May. Sounds like everyone is doing pretty good. I'm gonna keep on working hard, I'm praying for all of you too. Even though it is hard, I love being a missionary. It has been an incredible experience to share the Gospel with so many people, even when they don't understand and don't change, because I have changed. Thank you for all of your love and support. I love you all so much!
Hermana Williams

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jamie's Letter April 9, 2012

Hello everyone!

So this week, the "e" on this kyboard is having issus, so if somthing looks like it should hav an "e" but it doesn't, use your imagination and add it yourslf!

Congrats on the pageant Laura!!! And why doesn't anyone tell me what her talent was? I wanna know how cool it was! I loved doing it! It's a lot of fun, and a great experince. Who would've thought we become a somewhat pageant family? (Okay, just me and my sister, but still! Cool beans!) And that's nice that grandma was able to be thre with you guys too. I'm excited to see her when I get back.

So I havn't been able to talk to Presidnte. He didn't nd up coming up hre to Jaen, so I'm still pretty clueless about what is going on. And the office elders...well, sometimes they do stuff. I think they should put hermanas in th offic. Everything would run a lot mor efficiently, I think. But whatver. I guess the elders need to learn something on their missions. For all I know though I could be staying anothr change (which I don't think so...Laura would kill me!). My back, well, it still hurts somtimes, but other times it's good. I haven't really been taking anything, becuse it just treats the symptoms. I think I'll just surviv until I come hom, yeah?

Ush...this week. Well, it's been good. It's been "semana santa" which is where they all celebrate thursday and friday as easter, and they do it....DRINKING!!! and SMOKING!!!! I'm pretty annoyed by it. I pretty much am sick of it. But hey, what can I do about it? Just teach them the gospl (whn thy're sober of course) and then see if they hav the desir to change. Which some of them do. And it's amazing whn they do actually chang. It's bn kind of hard too because I feel vry much without a whol lot of energy. I blame it on complting 17 months in the mission.

Then there are our investigators. We have Pantera and his "adopted" daughter Blanca, who is 18. She's got a baptismal date for the 21. Except everyone in ward council told me that they are actually living togther. Ever since I started visiting them, I always thought that they had a daddy-daughter relationship, as Blanca's real little sister Luisa and Pantera's real daughter Lady live with them too. It was something that I had heard before, a rumor, but I didn't believe. Because they act like a father and a daughter. When she cam hom late with Lady, he got after them a little. But the ward tell me that thy are actually boyfriend girlfrind sort of a deal. Yesterday during ward council, it made me mad. Not necesarrily mad at any of thm, but at myself. That I could really be fooled for so long about somthing so trivial. If it is true. But if it's not true, imagin, a new convrt, coming into th church, with everyon talking bhind their back that he and the young girl that he's helped to raise are living together. Either way, I think I was madder yesteray than I have been in my whol mission. And then if it is true, I lose confidence in myself to discern the Spirit. Either way, it sucks.

But other than that, I'm doing well. Just trying to enjoy th littl bit of tim that I supposdely have left. It doesn't feel like I'll be home soon. I'm sorry this email isn't the happiest. Somtimes missionary work is hard. Actually, a lot of the time it's hard. But hey, I do what I can, and I try to give all of me, even though it really isn't much anymore. But I guess even if I could give verything, I'd be an improfitabl serveant, lik King Ben taught us. I'm thankful for this chance tht I do have to learn though. It is great. Thanks for all of your prayers. They're amazing. Love you!
Hermana WIlliams

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Jamie's Pictures April 2, 2012

So this a picture of some of the hnas after General Conference yesterday. It's Hermana Lopez (also from Guatelmala, but not my trainer), Me!, Hermana Bang (from Michigan) and Hna Rocha. She's wearing my blue shirt. And I taught her to wear her skirt up around her waist. Doesn't she look cute?
So Hna Case sent me a note with a Warhead in it, with instructions to give it to a child. So we gave it to Andre, our Pensionista's son. His face is classic!! It was probably a little mean, but it was still awesome!

Jamie's Letter April 2, 2012

Yeah, so one month. Except the zone leaders were bugging me today, telling me that I would stay for another half of a transfer. Somehow, I don't think they're telling the truth...fortunately, President is coming this week, and I'll get to talk to him and make sure sure sure that I'm coming home in a month! I don't know what I would do if they asked me to stay longer...I want to serve 18 months-no more, no less. (I feel it's like asking to stay in a calling like RS President after they've told you your going to be released...) But I'm here, working hard, hoping to be able to help our investigators still.

Things with me and Hna Rocha are going well. My Spanish has definitely improved. She's cute, and she's a typical sister missionary. She actually asked me to help her out with her clothes and everything, and help her to know how to dress better. A lot of the clothes that she came with are handme downs that really just don't fit her that well. And she's lost quite a bit of weight since coming on the mission too. So we've had a little bit of fun playing "what not to wear" (except I'm WAY nicer than Stacey and Clinton). And because she's almost my size, I can hand her down some of my clothes that I don't want to take back with me. And then I teach her how to wear them. She also asked me to do her makeup for the conference. It's been fun.
Besides all of the What Not to Wear business, we've also been really busy in the work of the Lord. We're starting to really see our investigators progressing. Pantera came to General Conference yesterday, and he liked it. The only thing that really bugged him was all of the people getting up, walking in, walking out, talking, and not really paying attention. We watched it at the stake center, and well, the members of the church aren't perfect, and how he's a military man, he's very big on discipline. But I'm really hoping and praying that he will be baptized before I leave. He's been big on counter terrorism here in Peru in the past, and it's actually kind of scary. But he says he wants to change, and I've really been noticing a change in him since he's started coming to church.

We also are working with a recent convert (Manuel) and his girlfriend (Estefanny) to get them married. She's pregnant, and she's going to give birth at the end of April (hopefully before I come home). She just barely turned 18 like 2 weeks ago, and now we want to help them get married and keep living the law of chastity! Yupi! We've been teaching her for a while...she's catholic, but I think she's seeing about the truthfulness of the gospel. She also came to conference yesterday with Manuel, and I think she enjoyed it. We've got a FHE with them tonight, so we'll see even more what their thoughts were.

I really did love conference. I think the talk that hit me the most was Eld Scott's talk, about receiving revelation. I think that's become such a huge part of my life, and will continue to be, especially as I continue to make huge life decisions. It's definitely one that I will have to go back and read again (in English). I really liked Pres Uchtdorf's talk too, about not gossiping, and to just "stop it." That's something that I've tried to NOT do in the mission, because really, I have learned that you can just love everyone. That everyone has something to love about them. So to talk bad about them, it just makes things so hard for everyone else. Especially in the mission, because of all of the transfers and all of the different companions, everyone knows everything if you let them. But as always, I can do better about it. I also loved the MTC choir. It made me remember the times that I had in the MTC, and really what a special time that was for me. There is such a spirit in the MTC that there isn't anywhere else. As I look back, I realized that I felt the Spirit testifying to me SO many times that this is the truth. It was really incredible. I also heard that David Archuleta was in the choir! Chile! Wow! That's cool. I heard he was going on a mission. Eld Despain said he saw him, but I wasn't looking specifically for him. I'll have to go back and see if I can find Elder Archuleta. :)

So I think it might be a good idea to make a doctors appointment for me. My back is still bugging me some. I told they zone leaders and they told me that they'd talk to the doctor, and they told me to take something called naxoproxeno (I'm sure it's similar in ingles) and do some exercises...well, I'm not sure what's wrong. I don't think it's anything serious. It just bugs me. And it would be good to make sure I don't have any diseases or anything, although I have been quite blessed here in the mission.
And you can drive with me. That's fine. (That was kind of a random thought, but hey, it's good to think about). Just don't yell at me, k? Contention is of the devil ;) (Pres Uchtdorf for you there!)

As far as easter goes, I don't know that we really have any plans. Try to not to follow all of the processions that the Catholics do??? Maybe? The ward I don't think has planned anything either. I feel like the ward here is a bunch of Sunday members. Sunday we go to church. The rest of the week, we live our lives normally. They're converted to the church, like Eld....Hallstrom? said? Saturday morning. It was a good talk too! Anyways, I want to help them get excited about the gospel again, and becoming converted to the Gospel, but I really have no idea how. I'll keep praying and everything to know how. (Did you like how Pres Packer talked about Peru!? I loved it!)

Oh PS-I've heard rumors that next week we might be going to Gocta, the 3rd largest waterfall in the world. So if I don't write next Monday, don't worry. I'll write on Tuesday. But I'm not sure yet. It might be in two weeks. I'll let you know next week!

Well, I think I'll call this a letter. We really are so blessed to have the Gospel in our lives. It's amazing too to see how it can really change lives! It's changed my life too. And it's all because of the Atonement of Christ. Which I love. Even though I don't understand even the hundreth part of it. Well, I think I better call this a letter. But don't worry, I'll write another one next week! And the week after that and the week after that....but I don't know about the week after that. We'll see! I love you all so much! Take care!
Hermana Williams