Monday, October 31, 2016

#66 I Feel Like I Found Where I Belong

Last night, I attended a mission farewell. Here they do it different. They have like a separate little meeting aside from the sacrament meeting where we share testimonies and we eat right before they missionary goes to get set apart. It's super sweet and I like it alot! So I was asked to direct the music and we were singing called to serve right? Anthem of the mission. We were in the last verse where it says "Combatamos la maldad!" or "We fight evil". Well I just was getting into it like my mom always does, and in the midst of all the excitement I changed one little word that just ruined the whole meaning of the song. Instead of saying "Maldad" I said "Verdad" which would be like saying "We fight against the truth." I thought that no one was going to notice, but everyone started laughing and when I saw them laughing and realized my error, I was gone. So that's just one of those classic "white girl speaking spanish" stories where everything goes wrong. Love those stories!

Well this week, or really yesterday, we had a great appointment with a young woman who will be getting baptized the 13th of November, or in other words, my last official day in the mission. So we are pretty excited for that. She has had 3 baptism dates that have fallen through, but now we understand why. 

Her name is Elidia and she is 16 years old and a sweet heart. Yesterday we watched The Restoration video  with her. We were a little worried because when we started the video, a buuuunch of people came to visit her aunt and they were talking really loud and it was kind of really annoying. So I was just kind of upset and hoping that she was going to grasp something if anything from the video. So it ended and we began to talk about it a little bit. I asked her how she felt and she said that she was a little confused about who appeared to Joseph Smith. We explained that it was God and Jesus Christ. And then after that, she started sharing some more about how she felt. She told us that she had heard the story before, because we taught her it, but that she never understood it before; that it didn't enter her heart. But when she saw the video, she could really feel that this was something real. Not just a story, but something important that has affected all of our lives. She said that she felt in her heart that it is true. Then she started explaining her overall feelings about the Gospel. She said something along these lines: "I have been to a lot of churches. And each one was good. It was nice. But I never felt comfortable in one. I never felt complete. Then my sister invited me to come live here with her mother in law. I had no idea that they were mormons. Even when they invited me to church, I thought we were going to the catholic church. But then we went to the mormon church, and I met you! And now I have been here and I feel different. I feel like I've found where I belong. I feel like I have found the lords house. I think that all the other times I didn't get baptized is because God knew that I needed to know more. And now I know. I can feel it. Now it's my time." 

Holy cow it was sooooo powerful! And she was talking with just such an excitement for finding the restored gospel. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my mission. Like I've never cried in a lesson, I'm not that kind of person and like that doesn't even mean anything if you cry in a lesson, but I cried. So take that how you will. It was just an amazing experience to see someone know. I believe that all my converts have been prepared, but I think that Elidia has been prepared more than anyone. 
Well that has been my cool experience for the week! 

I hope everyone has a lovely week and I will see yall real soon!
Hermanita Rust

That's my district. And Elder Ccente. He's the one up front and not from my district. He says he looks like a frog in this. I would be inclined to believe.

So the day of the living is something celebrated here and it was yesterday and they give bread with a baby head in it. 

We found a combi (or van that is public transportation) from Talavera in Cusco! 

 We went to puerto a few weeks ago and it is literally so hot that.. you can't that is why I look like this.

Marilia left on her mission. She was like our third companion. Her and Danessda aaaalways came with us! So it was sad to say goodbye.

We took Pati to institute! This was the whole class (And it was "the eternal family" how trunky is that?) 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

# 65

Well I'm glad the crisis of last week is over because this week was soooo much better. Thank you sooo much for the prayers in my behalf. They were heard and answered and felt.

Well this week we had a baptism! I don't know if I've talked about Paty before, but we met her about a month and a half ago. In fact it was exactly 1 transfer after we met her that she got baptized. Yesterday in fact. Last transfer, in week one, we met her, and week one in this new transfer she got baptized. It is by far the fastest baptism that I have had, but it was also the most... solid. Like Paty was seriously prepared from the get-go. She's not going anywhere. She has gone through a lot of hard stuff in her life, and she is only 20 years old, like heart surgeries, possible cancer, ugly break ups (that's actually how we met her...) and the most recent one is that her mother does not support her. At all. She came to her baptism alone, crying, but with the firmness still in her heart of the decision she had made. She really is an amazing person. It's been a hard but short road with her, and yesterday, we got to participate in her baptism. Have I ever told you how cool it is being a missionary?? 
SO yeah I'll send pictures when my comp finishes sending them.

Lets see what else. 

Well, we went to a hotel to go find Rene, our recent convert from August. He's going through some stuff so we went looking for him at his work. We knocked on the door, some guy walked out, we asked if Rene was there, he said no, we turned to leave. But just as I was turning, a white guy walked out of the hotel. And it was Michael Buble!!

I hope someone actually believed that.  Probs not. Ha no it was some white skinny guy and he starts talking to me in Spanish. He says "This is a very economic hotel. Its very nice and you wont find anything like it anywhere close to here." Well I wasn't looking for a place to stay obviously so I just told him "Oh we live here in Cusco, we're just looking for someone. Thanks!" And I thought to turn again, but then something told me, "Wait!" so I stayed for a second, even though this guy was scaring me a little bit. But after just a second, he says to me now in English "Mormon right?" 
"Yeah! you know about the church?"
"Of course. I was one. A long time ago." Well his English was perfect, and his Spanish as well, so I didn't really know where he was from so I asked and he said that he was from California, but had lived in Peru for 7 years. His mom is Colombian and his dad gringo. His name is Rico Johnson. 
Well his statement about having been Mormon a long time ago intrigued me, so I asked and he spilled the whole story. Wow this guy could talk. And he did so in Spanglish. Which is the language I speak best so all good for me.
He was a missionary in Florida like... 20 years ago. And then just because of certain things all throughout his life, he starting distancing himself from the church. He calls himself a missionary now. He goes to little communities around Cusco and helps them and lives among them and gains their trust and becomes there friends. He doesn't have any work or anything, just goes around living. So interesting guy right? Well during all this, I was wondering why he even came out and started talking to us in the first place, because he didn't even work in the hotel. He just left. Well after talking to him for about 30 minutes, he told us why. He said that he was sitting in the lounge of the hotel, listening to some Peruvian preacher on the radio and reflecting on how he needed God more in his life. Then, he looked out the window and saw blonde hair. Blonde curls he said, I curled my hair that day, and that he figured it was some tourist looking for a place to stay. And well, he's very "good Samaritan" type so he felt that he should go help the poor tourist in distress because maybe she doesn't speak Spanish and needs help, so he exited the hotel. And then he saw the plaques and thought "Well God literally just pulled me out of the hotel and kicked me into the street saying ´you need them!´!" And he accepted the missionaries and he wants to read The Book of Mormon again. And it was just very interesting. And the weirdest part of all is that Rene, didn't even work at that hour and we knew that when we went, but completely forgot. So everything just kind of fell into place for us to find this lost brother. I don't know if he'll go back to the church, we won't even be teaching him because he lives in a different ward, but I know that he found us because God prepared the way. Everything was prepared. 

So those were just two things that happened this week. There really was much more, but alas, I do not have time. But miracles are always around the corner.
Well that is all for the week!
Hermana Rust 

Monday, September 26, 2016


I loooooved the focus of Women's Conference. I found a lot of guidance for my life. I'm slowly leaving the comfort zone that I have made for myself here in the mission, and the things that I learned in Women' s Conference are going to help me with that.

Well this week had some bummers and had some Miracles. 

We always start with bad news right? 
I talked about Elidia last week and how she was going to get baptized this week. Well that didn't happen. There was a HUGE misunderstanding about her sister and a strike that was going on in Machu Picchu and angry words were spoken (mostly by me) and tears were shed (mostly by my companion) and it was just a  big hooplah!  Now, we're not entirely sure what's going to happen with her, but we're hoping she'll be able to get baptized the 7th of October (it's so weird that that is soooo soon.) So yeah, bummer of the week.

But like we learned... 3 months ago maybe, is that there can be miracles when you believe! (has anyone listened to that song?) 

So I was in divisions with Hermana Johnson, she's new in the mission. And we were trying to find our appointment,  ( which we never found) and we were knocking on doors that could possibly be the door of the lady. Well a young man opened the door. At first sight, he just screams PUNK! Like screamo listening, back tatooing, house ransacking punk. I wasn't going to contact him, but something told me that I should. So I did and gave him the card. set an appointment, and we left. So we had our appointment with him Saturday. He's seventeen, got blond hair, wears scary shirts, and has piercings. Like I said, punk. But when we started talking, I asked him why he had accepted our visit. He said he wanted to know God. That simple. He didn't say anything else. Just that he wanted to know God. Well we thought that was just as good a desire as any other. So we continued. We asked him what he felt towards God. He said nothing. And that's why he wanted the visit. He doesn't know if God really exists. First person I've met in allll my mission that has said this. But he wants to know. He talked about repentance. we bore our testimonies of a real living loving God. He listened. It was special. We asked him to pray, and he was really nervous, but he did. He gave thanks over and over again for our visit, saying that he was very content, very happy that we had come. He asked God to help him believe. And then we set another appointment. I have yet to see a youth so.... hungry to know. His name is Ivan and I'm really excited to see where he goes. 

But I learned a valuable lesson. That God looks not upon the outward appearance. And how WONDERFUL is that. He loves blond haired, pierced, and tatooed Ivan. He loves loud mouthed, zitted faced, crazy Hermana Rust. He loves us regardless. And that's what I learned. That we are all children of our Heavenly Father, and each one of us has the light of Christ in our hearts. Each one has the capacity to feel, recognize, and act on that light. Regardless of how we dress, where we are come from, or what we have done. And Ivan has felt that light. It was probably something that he had never before experienced. And I was there to experience it with him. How cool right?

Well weeks will always have there bummers, but they also will always have their miracles. And that's a promise. 

Send my love to all! I'm gonna send some pictures of my P-day with Travis. Best P-day ever! 
Love you all!
Hermana Rust

That's us at Koricancha. 

We bought matching pants. And jumped in the street. And that's an undershirt, worry not. 

Also, Travis found a gross soccer ball and decided it made him look more "street". He was right.

He posed in all my companions pictures.  

We all tried taking selfies, but he's just so dang tall that he had to do it. He did it well!

 And the girlies.


Monday, August 29, 2016

# 63

We had a baptism!!! It was kinda sorta a last minute thing, but it went off without too many hitches. I don't know if you remember René, he never showed up to his first baptism and he's the one who had the alcohol addiction, but he went sober and got baptized. It was a simple service, Obispo Dueñas baptized him (The one who served with Brandon) and it was all just super nice. We went to go pick him up, and when we knocked on the door, he opened it, quickly said "Nobody is here! Bye!" slammed the door, and then opened the door again with a big smile and said "yeah just kidding, come in!" Haha it was funny, and then we left! He's been a long... kinda hard process. But after everything, he did it and he grew a lot in his faith because of it. If there's something I've learned on my mission, it's to never give up on anyone. Even the most lost of causes. There is siempre a miracle that can take place in their hearts. And that miracle took place in René´s. 

We also had a suuuuper cool ward activity brought to you by the missionary work (that sounds really weird in English, but makes a lot of sense in Spanish... por la obra misional! Nat will get it I think...) We had a  talent show. It started at six, and at six, it seemed like this talent show was going to a flop. But when 7 rolled around, there were still few people, but there was more promise. By 7:30, everyone was having a jolly good time. Peruvian standard time = 1 and a half hours late. But we didn't let that get us down. We were all singing and dancing and it was fun. The ward mission leader was MCing and there was an 11 year old girl who was dancing lambada for her talent and she pulled Hno Mandujano onstage to dance with her. He's a short little guy, so they made a good pair, until he dipped her, and with the momentum, fell on top of her and broke the microphone. Moral of the story is that we need to dance waaaaay more lambada in the talent shows in the states. It was hilarious. And then the son of Hno Mandujano danced the dance from The Mask (I've never seen it, but everyone said it was juuuuuust like the movie) with mask and all. Suuuuper cute. I have all the videos, so one day in the distant future we'll sit down and see just how cool Latin American talent shows are.
Well it's been a long, busy, exhausting week for the both of us. I had to pick up and drop off sisters all week for transfers and then plan an activity and then a baptism.. so hands full. But this week should be more chill. I mean, still jam packed but with all the stuff that I actually like to do!  
Send my love to alllll! Here's some pictures of the week! 
Hermana Rust

We had to say goodbye to our favorite district leader, elder Lopez. Transfers stink sometimes.  He went to puerto. He was always shooting us with his hand guns. He's basically a Peruvian Logan Call. 

Oh I forgot to mention that I sang in the talent show. I sang somewhere over the rainbow in a key that was waaay too high and waaay too low. And also, when I sing, I look slightly... well you can decide.

Las cuatro amigas. I lufff them. 

Rene got baptized! I hate taking pictures with guys. Its sooo uncomfortable. 

#62 *original post August 22, 2016

 When I saw Travis... holy cow it was wild. Like I was on a bus, and we were passing the corner where I live, and I vaguely see out of the corner of my eye a tall guy with a hoodie on. I remember briefly thinking "wow, he looks a lot like Travis!" And then when I took a closer look, IT WAS HIM! I started hitting the window to get his attention and everyone was staring at me, it was a little embarrassing, but he saw me, smiled, and then just hopped on the bus.  
But yeah I just started screaming "What are you doing here? Where are you going? What?!  Haha. Everyone was staring at us.

Not everyday that your brother comes to visit you... on your mission... in Peru. Haha his face kills me! 

 Got my nails did today. this manicure cost.... 2.50! Can you believe that?!?! 

We went to a zoo and he grabbed my hand. I made him let go, so I think that's why he is upset.

Monday, August 8, 2016

#61 Just a little note.

This is kind of going to be a short little email. Not much to report. I mean there are a few updates I could give. Reiner came to church yesterday! And it was cool because it was stake conference! And he came! He admitted to sleeping a little through it... but I mean I also did that.. so I can't judge. And then that night, my comp and I were in divisions, but when she went to go visit him, she invited him to be baptized! And He said YES!!! it was suuuper cool. I mean I wasn't there, but I imagine that it was super cool. 

That's basically what has happened this week. I was in divisions all week with other girls and so I hardly saw Hermana Conde, but I got to get to know a lot of the other sisters so that's fun. Now... I don't really have much to say but I will use my spare time to send pictures! So enjoy that. 
Love everyone and hope you are swell! Mom send me questions again. I need more material. 
Hermana Rust 

That's Marilia. She's 19 and just got her mission call. I lufff her!

I loook suuuper plastic in this, but that's hermana arza and hermana david. We visit them. Argentina and colombiana.

That's me and cusco. And the tahuantinsuyo flag. Try saying that I dare you. 
And this is an inca door.

we played futbol with president this past pday. Fue legit. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

#60 Everything is great everything is grand

I don't have a tooooon to say this week, just to start out with that. But I can give an update on Reiner. We had an appointment with him yesterday and he's still a little closed, but he's softening up. I can see the spirit really working through him. He´s got a long way to go, but we're getting there. Little by little.

This week I want to talk about René. He's an investigator that we have been teaching for a loooong time, since I got here. He had a baptism date, but he never showed up due to his alcohol addiction. He is a great guy, but he's suffered a bit his whole life with addictions and things like that. he´s 33. So he disappeared for like a month. then we taught him again. Then he disappeared again for another month and finally, yesterday, we found him!!! finally!! He came to church and then we set an appointment for that same afternoon. And we went in and it was kinda of like another declaring repentance type of thing. He was finally frank with us and his addiction and we were finally able to get somewhere. We set plans and goals for him to stop drinking and smoking, including deleting numbers from his phone and avoiding certain people. It was awesome! and he was helping us set the plans! Suuuper cool and he had like a different light in his eyes. Waaaay cool. And so now we've got that going. So the work is going. It's hard sometimes, but it's moving. 

I don't really have anything else to say today... everything is well, I'm a little stressed out about school and all that stuff, but it's all gonna work out. 

I'm just going to send pictures now... But I looooove everyone who reads this. 

Hermana Rust 

This week we washed blankets with our feet... 

that's hermana Stickle. I love her!

It's my group!! All together again! hermana Baker, Hermana Rust, Elder Vance, and elder Tsosi! 

that's hermana Vicky, my pensionista! 

And that's Zoe, the granddaughter of my pensionista.