Well … I AM OFFICIALLY 20 YEARS OLD!!! I CANNOT believe it! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your birthday wishes!! You are all so incredible! It definitely was unforgettable. I feel so blessed for all of your support and love from the USA and also for the love shown to me from the incredible people in Algarrobos! LOVE YOU ALL!!!
A cool fact of the week is the people here are so into Soccer! We know what is happening in the game because EVERYONE SCREAMS and SHOUTS as we are walking down the street if someone makes a goal or does something bad! I think it is an international cup or something right now in South America and everyone is showing off their futbol spirit! It is too great!
So this past week a few super exciting events happened! First off, THE TEMPLE IN TRUJILLO WAS DEDICATED!! And what an incredible experience that was. Saturday we watched the broadcast of the youth from our stake performing for President Uchtdorf at the Temple Cultural Event. OUR YOUTH started off the event and were amazing!! Youth from our stake and other youth from all over Peru showed off their incredible dancing talent and it was so special to be part of that experience. They sure know how to dance!! Our pal Jimmy was a spectator during the show, and many youth from our ward went!
And then Sunday, we got to participate in the dedication of the temple. President Uchtdorf dedicated the temple, and the whole experience and emotion from everyone here in Piura and Trujillo was amazing. There are now TWO TEMPLES IN PERU!!! It is an incredible blessing and it brought me and my comp to tears just to be a part of this historic event.
This week we are struggling a little with Grabiel. We thought that everything was going alright, and he even had his baptismal interview and it went perfectly! But after his interview, we have passed by many times and can never find him. He is also going to his friend’s church and is struggling between the beliefs of his friends and our lessons. His baptism is in two weeks, and we are worried we might have to move it out. This week was a little rough for him and us. We honestly can’t figure out what we need to do. We are going to be praying a lot for him this week! Oh and we are teaching his brother-in-law Percy again!
Family Alcalde is just amazing! They came to the broadcast of the cultural event for the youth and they also made me a cake for my birthday! It was so sweet of them! We have been passing by a lot these last few weeks and our relationship has grown so much! I think I have transfers next week, and will have to say goodbye to this incredible family! But they are set on getting baptized, and have started working on their wedding papers. They love the church, and we are working on helping them to get to know members! But the story of how we found this incredible family and where they are at now just blows my mind. It all started one SUPER sunny day, the second door we knocked, we found Hna. Maria and presented us as missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She timidly invited us to pass by another day, we passed by, and now they have a baptismal date and we have fallen in love with their family! We love them, and it is going to be hard to leave them.
Also this past week I had an experience that I wanted to share. A few days ago we were walking down the street, determined to get to our other appointment. We passed by a chica that was watering the dirt, we said hi and kept walking by. I felt so strongly that we should talk to her, but disregarded it, listening to the story my comp was telling me. About 10 steps more, it hit me again that I needed to talk to her. I said to my comp, "Wait one sec", and turned back to go talk to the chica. I told her I just wanted to present who we are, and as we got talking and I asked if she had time right then for a quick message. She invited us in, we met her mom, and her mom told us that in the city where they lived before, they had listened to the missionaries, but when they moved they lost contact with them. She told us she will always be grateful for everything they did because they helped her through a lot of trials. She told us she had been waiting for more missionaries, and it is a miracle that again, we are in her house teaching her and her family! We set time for another appointment, and will pass by later this week. But when my comp and I left, we couldn’t believe it! We had been looking for families, and found one!!! They are incredible, and are very excited to listen to us! IT was a miracle!!
This next week I am about 99% positive that I am going to be transferred. I will let you know how it goes, but this transfer is going to be really tough. I HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE with this area, and our investigators, and the dust and dirt! We’ll see what happens, and I’ll let you know in my next email.
I know this church is true, I absolutely know it. Every day I feel so incredibly blessed for the opportunity to trudge around in the dirt, sunburned from head to toe, teaching about this incredible message. It is something I LOVE now and I LOVE BEING a representative of my Savior Jesus Christ.
Thank you for all of your support, have an incredible week, and do what’s right! It is so worth it, I promise!
Until next week,
The long awaited pic … Happy Birthday Hermanita Shumway!
The elders and ward members surprised me with a little fiesta!
And ... yes ... I have a video to show how this all came to pass. But let me tell you ... it was TOO GREAT!
My comp hiding the balloons the night before (she didn’t think I would notice)
My sweet comp decorated the room while I was sleeping
And then put notes on every balloon! She is a doll!
Jimmy LOVED his ring! He was always telling us how much he wanted a HLJ (CTR) ring and right before he traveled to the youth event in Trujillo, for the dedication of the temple, we gave him his ring! He literally was beaming!
And in this photo of our hands Jimmy told me he would turn his hand over to the whiter side so that I don't feel so white! I just about died of laughter because I still stand out like crazy. HA!
Oh … I just had to include photo of his Jimmy’s cousin Wilder … MY LITTLE BEST FRIEND. This kid is nuts, but adorable!
Our sweet pencionista Yolo
She made me a cake for our lunch!! She is the cutest!! WE LOVE HER!!
Look how incredibly beautiful!
Celebrating my cumple with Family Alcalde ... I love this family so much!
They have the "Family - A Proclamation to the World" we gave them in their living room. And they also have their photo of Jesus Christ front and center. So great!
I had to snap a quick pic with their doggy Tom
Looking outside of our room ... I love it here!
We definitely have fun together
Starting off our P-Day with some jumping pics ... woot woot