Monday, December 29, 2014

Oh what a Day!

Talking with my wonderful family! As a missionary this is a very anticipated hour... Oh but how wonderful because I was able to see Elder Frame clear in California as well. I basically cried the whole time because I was so filled with emotion! 
So this week was one for the books! One I will never forget! I was able to experience Christmas in Peru of all places, in crazy hot weather, and also have my first baptism! WOW CAN I TELL YOU WHAT…. IT WAS A CRAZY WEEK! Oh and to top it all of I got to see my wonderful family! Oh how I love them, yes miss them, but sorry not enough to come home quite yetJ

So first of all Christmas. WOW! We had many gifts from our families that we enjoyed oh so much--- thanks parents and family for all the crazy great missionary gifts! We were able to study, enjoy our time together and also visit so many families, converts, and members. It was definitely one to remember.

My gifts on Christmas! THANK YOU FAMILY!

Hermana Hoskins was sent a puzzle and we LOVED putting it together. It reminded us of our families on Christmas!
The best part of all of Christmas though was when we were able to visit Hermana Engrasia (abuelita) and take part in her Christmas. She is so old and she couldn’t go to Cusco with her family so she was alone all of Christmas Day which just broke my heart. But visiting her was an experience I will never forget. She was pretty low in spirit as we arrived that night around 7, had spent the day all alone, and had not eaten because her stomach has issues. Oh my heart was hurting so much. And to top it all of I had just got done talking with my family and feeling so blessed to have them in my life. But as I sat there thinking about my home in the United States I then came to realize how important this moment was for her. She is 89 years old, WITHOUT family, WITHOUT a big Christmas dinner, WITHOUT presents, WITHOUT friends, and struggling with her physical health. Wow, I was completely humbled. We came to a moment in the lesson when I was sharing a favorite scripture about Christ and she just started crying. OH MY GOODNESS!  I AM CRYING JUST WRITING THIS. She was definitely feeling so lonely. So we decided to just stop and start singing Christmas songs. We sang fun ones, hymns, and any other Peruvian Christmas song we knew. We even sang our favorite Christmas songs in English. Oh to see her countenance change. Her eyes just beamed with joy, she was smiling, and wow!  I couldn’t be happier! It hit me hard. Christmas once again wasn’t about the presents, the Christmas trees, the lights, the commercialism. It’s the things you give from the heart. It is love that you share. Oh abuelita I will never forget you. Thank you for making my Christmas a memorable one.
Oh what a day!
Wendy's baptism day! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!! Oh and our district leader Elder Jensen and Elder Belliston!
WENDY!!! I don’t usually talk about investigators but, WOW SHE IS THE BEST!!!! She is 23 years old, works in a moto taxi (and LOVES it), is single, and LOVES to talk about “God’s word” with us. She is amazing! We, as a companionship, have been teaching her since the 2nd week of being here. It is so special to me because this woman has been there since the very beginning of my adventure here in the mission. She was there the first lesson when I spoke two words (basically Jesucristo and Hola) and I couldn’t understand her at all to now when I can understand her (most of the time), and I can sometimes respond and also teach whatever I want. She is such a great example to me!
yep the GREEN water
But funny story! On her day of baptism we went to see if the zone leaders were filling up the font and WOW!!! Hilarious!! We show up and the water is green, completely green. Okay, to the Peruvians this is like normal apparently but I was flipping out about it. I was like- come on people we are going to baptize her in this?! But of course I bit my tongue because of course everything would be fine. Okay and then we go to find the baptism clothes. There was a bazillion keys the president gave to us and we couldn’t find the closet they were in so we were sitting there trying every key in every cupboard (mind you there is like 20 in the church). Oh heavenly glory. But then of course the elders show up and we are talking with them about the water in the font, and what happens but my companion DROPS THE KEYS IN THE WATER!!!!!! And we have no key to unlock the font yet because one of the counselors had it. Oh goodness me. And you can just picture me freaking out because I am a perfectionist and this is a baptism we are in charge of and I want it to go smoothly. Long story short we did find the clothing, my companion fished out the keys, and yes even though the water was green Wendy got baptized in it because she said “Oh! It’s just like a swimming pool”. I could not believe it! The swimming pools here are also this disgusting green color so apparently she was fine. Thank heavens. It turned out as a great baptism and such a memorable day! OH WHAT A DAY THOUGH. 

Today I am so grateful. So grateful to be out here on the mission. I love every part. The hard parts, the crying, the people, the missionaries, the tiny apartments, the food, the holidays, the culture, I could go on and on… But I am feeling so blessed. The biggest blessing is to be here learning, teaching, and spreading the gospel. It is true. My favorite thing to say to investigators is that either the church is true or it is not. You can find out for yourself. I promise it will change your life because it has changed mine. I appreciate all of you that have been a part of my life. I am grateful for the support. I am thankful for a family that loves me, for friends that care, and for a Heavenly Father that knows everything I am going through. Basically I JUST LOVE THE GOSPEL. Well, I better go. Have a great week and enjoy your New Years!!! I am sure I will be coming with crazy stories next week from what will happen here in Quillabamba Peru.
Hermana Frame
Christmas morning breakfast! Panatone (fruit cake and chocolate)

A manger scene in one of our converso recientes house.
 It was definitely different but I loved it! Purple lights and all!

Christmas dinner for us at a member’s house! Definitely one I won’t forget! It was delicious though!

A fun picture I took while waiting for an investigator of Quillabamba

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