Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Hey! So sorry I couldn´t write on Monday, I went to get my ear checked during our normal internet time and we had a "P-day de Hermanas¨"activity afterwards, so I didnt get the chance to have internet.... But I´m so happy to hear everything went well for the farewell and right about now I´m guessing Sadie is in the MTC!! How exciting! BTW, does anyone have a copy of her talk that I could read? I´m so proud of you Sadie!! So this week we worked HARD. We have met a ton of new people to teach and things are going well! We also have been doing a lot in preparation for Yessica and Edgar´s wedding reception (although they´ve been legally married since the week before). We also have had to head to La Molina for a few more choir practices for our meeting with Elder Cook on Saturday... which was AMAZING!! We all met up at the stake center in La Molina Saturday morning pretty early to practice as a choir and prepare for the meeting. We had the meeting with the entire Peru Lima South Mission as well, so it was full of missionaries! Elder Cook arrived with our mission presidents and their wives and also Elder Waddell of the Area Presidency. When he (Elder Cook) walked past us in the choir section, he asked me (because I was the first American he saw) if we were the choir. I was almost speechless that an Apostle talked to me! Haha. But I said "Yes!" and he said, "How wonderful!" It was pretty cool. Before everything started, we all got to meet Elder Cook and shake his hand, which was surreal! I remember he thanked me for my service and has such a kind spirit about him. When the time came, we sang a medley of "Divina Luz" (Lead Kindly Light) and a song called "Te Hallare mi Amigo", which also exists in English but I forget what it´s called... anyways, it´s about a two friends who promised in the pre-existence that the one would accept the gospel from the other and it´s really pretty. Elder Cook doesn´t speak Spanish, so we found the chorus in English and taught all the latino missionaries the words so that we could all sing the chorus the second time in English. It was really cool to get the opportunity to sing for an apostle, and he and Sister Cook really enjoyed it! All the messages we heard were amazing, but I learned a lot from Elder Waddell and from Elder Cook. Elder Waddell stressed the importance of preparing this people and how our goals shouldn´t end in baptisms and confirmations, but we need to help people become covenant-keepers and help them get to the temple. A lot , but it really made me think past just baptisms and how I can help people become converts. Elder Cook talked a lot about how the work is hastening and explained how the mission assignment process works. I had heard before about the process and how since the great announcement, the amount of apostles working on that every week has more than doubled and each assigns no less than 300 missionaries every week. He shared with us that each missionary is assigned based on specific revelation to the apostle in one of three things: 1) They should work under a specific mission president 2) With a certain people OR 3) There is someone essential to that missionary in that mission I found that really interesting. I often wonder what category my call fell in, but I know for sure I´m meant to be here! Elder Cook taught us a lot more, but what I remember most was his testimony of Jesus Christ and the apostolic blessing he left with us. The Spirit was SO strong and I remember clearly when he said, "I know the Savior lives, I´ve heard his voice." That was incredible. I´m certain that everyone left that room edified. You could tell he loves each of us and radiates the light of Christ. After everything that happened with Carlitos and all of his doubts about living prophets, my tesimony again has been strengthened of the fact that God calls prophets and apostles to guide us because this is His restored church. After that amazing meeting, we were headed off to get everything ready for Yessica´s baptism that afternoon and set up for her wedding reception that night! The baptism was amazing and all of the missionaries there sang the same song for Yessica that we sang for Elder Cook and it was so sweet! Seriously, our day Saturday couldn´t have been better! I am so happy to see the faith of this young family and their desires to keep the commandments. I have grown to love them so much, as if they were part of my family. We really have seen a miracle here as not even a month after we met her, Yessica is married and a member of the church! Hopefully the pictures can show better than I can explain how amazing that day was! So yeah, the work is going well and we are really excited to see what the next few weeks have in store! We have been teaching lessons like crazy and are working to help these people put their outstanding faith into action, like Yessica and Edgar. BTW, I got the llama b-day card from the fam and loved it! Thank you! I love my fam and friends and I wish you all the best in the things you´re doing! Sigan adelante! Hermana Bledsoe Fotos: Look who I found! (Elder Taylor) Yessica´s Baptism :) The wedding cake :) The Fernandez-Baca Family! :)
Monday, August 19, 2013
So this week we had a multizona (mutli-zone conference) on Wednesday that was way good, I learned a lot! It was cool to see other missionaries and now that the mission is a little smaller geographically, we´re able to do that more often! At one point President Ardila called me up (to my surprise!) in front of everyone, which was like 4 zones and teach! President Ardila came and visited Carlos with us once and I used the visual with the cups (Thanks Mom!) to explain Christ´s church and the Apostasy. President Ardila really wants us to teach this well so that our investigators understand the Restoration and authority that we have now in the church. He apparently had talked about our story with Carlos a lot in the other zone conferences and wanted me to show everyone what we taught that turned him from an eternal investigator to having a baptismal date. Que loco! haha.
On Friday it was my birthday(!!) and we had the opportunity to go to La Molina and attend a practice for the missionary choir that will be doing a number when ELDER QUENTIN L. COOK comes this Saturday! It was awesome because I got to see all of my friends there and Hermana Aguayo even brought me my my favorite chocolates, called "Besos de Moza." Mmmmm! Haha. At the end of choir practice everyone sang to me and it was way fun to spend the morning with my mission family! Later, Hermana Pardo and I went out to lunch at a polleria with our pensionista and her family and it was way cool! It was a really great day, however, it was a day of work, of course. The following is my letter to my mission president this week, hopefully yall can translate it, but I wanted to share this experience that actually happened on my birthday (and unfortunately don´t have time to rewrite it in English). I´m very happy to be in the Lord´s work right now and to be spending all of my year 21 on His service! :) Thanks for all the birthday wishes and for thinking of me!
Con bastante amor,
These are from Peru´s independance day when one of our investigators was performing in a dance (with the demon mask haha)
The lady behind us cracks me uppppp.
Finally! Photos from Jesus´ baptism!! :)
Este semana estaba llena de nuevas cosas a aprender y experimentar. Me disfruté mucho la multizona y aprendí bastante. Siempre es mi meta para llegar a ser una mejor misionera y ayudar mis investigadores mejor y aprendí mas como puedo poner en practica eso. Gracias por la oportunidad para compartir con todos un poco de que he aprendido y espero que ayudó a algunas para explicar la iglesia de Jesucristo y la Apostasía.
Es con corazón tan pesado que tengo que decirle que Carlos no se va a bautizarse este semana. Tuvimos un lección con él en día Jueves y nos dijo que no va a bautizarse si no tiene una respuesta de Dios de Thomas S. Monson es Su profeta. El próximo día le mostramos la película acerca nuestra profeta y todavía no quería creer que el es una profeta de Dios. Sabemos que este no es su problema en realidad, solo es una excusa para no arrepentirse. Entonces, hablábamos mucho con él y nos dijo que no quiere mas visitas de nosotros. Mi compañera y yo explicamos la carpeta de área y que en cualquier momento, cuando esta listo y tal vez mas adelante con otros misioneros, puede llamar nos y estamos dispuestas a enseñarle de nuevo. Ahora sentimos que Carlos tiene deseos a cambiar, pero su corazón todavía esta duro y no esta dispuesto a hacer cambios realmente. Me da tanto dolor para él porque sé cuanto felicidad puede hallar en este evangelio. Tengo esperanza que mas adelante se va a bautizarse. Él sabe que este es la verdad, solo necesita su propio tiempo.
He llegado a saber que el albedrío es un gran bendición. Cristo hecho la Expiación por cada de nosotros, y tenemos la libertad a aceptarlo y utilizarlo cada día de la vida. Nuestro propósito como misioneros es para "invitar a las personas" y siento que mi compañera y yo (y también las hermanas anteriores) hemos hecho todo posible para invitar y enseñar Carlos la verdad a su entendimiento, pero tiene su albedrío y respetamos. Estoy un poco triste por él, y me puso a llorar, pero me da un poco de felicidad también porque eso me mostró cuanto amor tengo por mis investigadores. Ahora tengo más entendimiento de como siente nuestro Salvador cuando rechazamos el gozo que podamos tener a través de Su sacrificio y Su evangelio. Él nos ama más de que podemos comprender. Entonces nos vamos a seguir adelante, siempre con Carlos en nuestros oraciones.
También tenemos buenas noticias porque este semana una pareja se va a casar y la hermana se va a bautizarse! Este es un gran milagro y nos agradecimos a Dios todos los días por eso. Ellos tienen bastante fe y he aprendido mucho de su ejemplo. Gracias por todo Presidente!
I (Sadie) used google translate for the letter, some of it doesn't make sense translated but you get the general idea:
This week was full of new things to learn and experience. I enjoyed the multizone and learned a lot. It is always my goal to become a better missionary and help my research better and learned more as I can put into practice that. Thanks for the opportunity to share with everyone some I've learned and hopefully helped some to explain the church of Jesus Christ and the Apostasy.
It is with heavy heart that I have to tell you that Carlos is not going to be baptized this week. We had a lesson with him in day Wednesday and told us not to be baptized if you have an answer from God of Thomas S. Monson is His prophet. The next day we showed the film about our prophet and still did not want to believe that is a prophet of God. We know that this is not your problem really is just an excuse for not repenting. So we talked a lot with him and he said he does not want more visits from us. My companion and I explained the area book and at any time when ready and maybe later with other missionaries, you can call us and we are willing to teach again. We now feel that Carlos has a desire to change, but his heart is still hard and not really willing to make changes. I feel so much pain for him because I know how much happiness can be found in this gospel. I have hope that later they will be baptized. He knows this is the truth, you just need your own time.
I have come to know that the will is a great blessing. Christ made atonement for each of us, and we are free to accept it and use it every day of life. Our purpose as missionaries is to "invite people" and I feel that my partner and I (and previous sisters) have done everything possible to invite and teach Carlos the truth to his understanding, but it has its will and respect. I'm a little sad for him, and I began to mourn, but give me a little happiness also because it showed me how much love I have for my research. Now I have more understanding of how you feel our Savior when we said that we can have joy through His sacrifice and His gospel. He loves us more than we can comprehend. Then we will move forward, always with Carlos in our prayers.
We also have good news because this week a couple is getting married and the sister is getting baptized! This is a great miracle and we thanked God every day for that. They have enough faith and I learned a lot from his example. Thanks for everything President!
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
...And the miracles keep coming! So last Sunday night we had a Family Home Evening with a less-active family. The dad, Edgar, is the only member and just recently started coming to church with his young family-- Edgar and Jessica (who is only 19, mi niña!!) aren´t married but have two young children. We went for it and taught them the Law of Chastity (dun dun duuuuunnnn) and how they will receive blessings if they get married and keep this commandment. We also taught them about the temple and how families can be forever through covenants there.
We were suprised at their reaction... usually when we teach this kind of a lesson, the couple has a million excuses of why they can´t get married and how their wedding needs to be spectacular and their entire family from Timbuktu needs to be there and everything. In Perú, it´s easier to make excuses because it´s super hard to get married here, each person has to find original documents from the province where they were born and present them to the government and it´s quite the process. It´s also pretty costly.
However, all this week Edgar and Jessica have been working super hard to get everything in order and have plans to get married the 24th of August!! Not only are Hermana Pardo and I preaching the Gospel here, but we´re also doing some wedding planning! :) We and the ward have been helping Edgar and Jessica organize everything and right now it´s looking like we will have a wedding and a baptism (Jessica´s) in the same day! A week after that lesson, we have almost everything planned for the 24th!
I am so happy with the desires that these parents have to follow the Savior and I know that this will impact not only them, but their family as a whole forever. It´s really exciting to be a part of!
We also were finally able to set a baptismal date this week for an investigator, Carlos, who is, well... "duro." Haha. President Ardila will come and baptize him on the 23rd! It´s crazy because he´s been taught by several hermanas up until now, but Hermana Pardo told me that before I came, Carlos told her that he dreamt that her next companion would be a tall gringa with blonde hair... she thought he was joking around until the day of transfers when we met! Haha. Way cool though. These people are literally descendants of Lehi and a lot of things come to them in dreams. Cool/random story!
So things are going well here in Lima! I got some letters today and I´m so grateful! Thank you! It´s always great to hear from mis amigos! I hope all is well in the US of A and that you´re enjoying reading about some of my experiences!
Hermana Pardo and I with our pensionista´s son Eliseo (7 years old). Missionaries!
We have a cerro in our area, you can see all of Lima from the top!
Monday, August 5, 2013
Hope everyone is happy and that summer is treating you well!
So this week we had transfers and... I am now in a new area! Right now I am serving in San Luis in the Salamanca Ward! San Luis is a zone that used to be in the mission Lima Central, but since July 1st is now a part of our mission. It´s located really close to La Molina, which is where the mission office and the MTC and the temple are. It´s cool to be more in central Lima and our area is a lot more city than Alameda was. But I miss Alameda like crazy!! Everyone says leaving your first area is the worst and I learned that it´s true. It was also way hard to leave Hermana Aguayo because we really became the best of friends but my new companion, Hermana Pardo is way cool too. She is from Santa Cruz, Bolivia and is from Misión Lima Central (most of my zone is too). She has a lot of time in the mission but is very humble and is super funny like Hermana Aguayo, so we get along well! I´ve learned a lot from her already!
Remember my golden investigator Jesus that I told you about before? The one who wants so badly to be baptized and receive the priesthood and one day serve a mission and everything? So the day before transfers our main objective for the day was to find Jesus´s mom, Edith, (who is an investigator too) and get her permission for him to be baptized. We met her and Jesus my very first day in Perú and have been teaching her ever since (8 weeks).
We spent probably a little too much time with them because Edith wasn´t progressing (she never attended church on Sundays) but we did just about everything we could to serve them-- we helped her in her store a lot and talked to her countless times about allowing Jesus to be baptized and nothing came of it. She didn´t want to allow it because she basically didn´t have confidence that Jesus was ready and worried he would only stick with it (the church) for a little while and not take it seriously... really ironic because I´ve never met anyone who has wanted to be baptized more in my life!
So yeah, we had planned to read Alma 5 (!) with her and really address her fears about her son´s baptism that day but she never came to her tienda (store) to meet with us. However, I later found out that the day I left, Hermana Aguayo and her new companion visited her and had the same lesson we had prepared and she said YES! (Looks like I was the problem! ...jk) What a miracle!
So on Saturday I got permission to go back to Alameda with Hermana Pardo for Jesus´s baptism!!! It was amazing. I´m still on cloud nine! I got to see all of the people I love so much in Alameda and see one of them be baptized. The Lord´s plan is full of suprises! I now know what it feels like to really be a part of a person´s conversion and the absolute joy it brings! My first convert! :) He was confirmed yesterday and will pass the sacrament next week! :)
My first day in training with President Ardila he told us to ask the Lord why we were in the area and with the companion we were assigned... now I know that my 8 weeks there were for 12 year old Jesus Paco ("Gian Claude" is his real name hahahaha :)). I am so so so happpppppyyyyyy!
Moral of the story: Believe in miracles. Trust in the Lord and His timing. Love the people He puts in your "camino."
Con bastante amor,