Wednesday, June 24, 2015

#5 And I´m ON my knees!

Yes and I realize... The only thing I know is...

The only reason to have bruises on your knees is from praying. Only valid reason. And it is my reason. I am on my knees all the time. I probably spend more time on my knees than anything else. And it´s not like I´m doing a total over abundance of praying (well is there such thing?) it´s just that every time we pray(which is at least 47 times a day) it´s on our knees. And it´s really cool. I love being able to say that I have bruises on my knees. From praying. It´s the only way to go if you ask me...

Anywho. This week was... normal. It´s my last letter from the CCM and I don´t really know what to think about that. I´m super excited to go to Cusco (and the surrounding areas...) and not understand anything anyone is saying! I genuinely am! I´ve never been so excited to be completely lost. 6 more days. Whoop!

Anyways this week was normal. Classes, teaching, pollo y arroz. The whole enchilada. One thing that is noteworthy, however, was that we got to watch the broadcast of the dedication of the Trujillo Temple! Now that was something! It was so cool. I´ve never been to or watched a dedication of anything and it was just.. awesome. Elder Uchtdorf was presiding and he was just adorable! When they were sealing in the corner stone, he just kept making all this awkward commentary and it was fun to see him talk without a teleprompter. We were convinced here at the CCM that he was going to make a surprise appearance here after he left Trujillo... no luck so far but we´re not giving up quite yet! But yeah dedication was super fun. He invited come children to come up and seal the stone as well and he just kept saying things like "Oh you will be a craftsman my boy!" and "oh  you start here, they messed this part up" And "don´t worry if it looks bad. I don´t think anyone can actually do this well." He´s a funny man. And the whole dedication was spectacular. I understood most of the spanish speakers so that was.. shocking. Totally cool experience and I´m glad I had it!

Well... That´s about all I have this week. And I probably won´t get the chance to write next week... because I´ll be flying out on that p-day. So this is so long for a couple weeks. And the next time you here from me, I´ll be a real life missionary!! I´m so excited. I´ve loved being her in the CCM, but it is time to spread my gospel wings and fly! I need to get to the land I was called to and teach MY people.

The Church is true. God lives. Jesus lives. And they love us. What else do you need?
Love you all and thanks for everything! 

This is Hermana Quakenbush. Quack. N. Bush. That's her name. I love her soley for that reason. It makes me happy.

 My district. Siempre Navidad (that´s what we call ourselves and basically all it means is that we sing Christmas hymns occasionally in our classes and keep a baby christmas tree in our room) Elder Wilde, Elder Vance, Elder Craig, our teachers Hermana Chacon and Hermana Loayza and then me, Hna Baker, Howelle, Tanuvasa, and Batty.

 Everyone that I came into the MTC with. They are all the best. And that´s Hermana Park I´m suffocating. She is also the best.

This is Hermana Wilson. We´re best friends. She´s like my little sister but she´s a year older than me. No biggy. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

#4 Avocado

My kingdom and stash of Peruvian candy to the first person to email me and identify the reference in my subject line. Tick tock.

So I am officially an advancado, or avocado as the Norte Americanos like to call it. And this means that I have only 2 weeks left here at my beloved CCM. It´s been weird seeing all the others leave and now I´m one of the old geezers here. But its also fun! I love it when new people come into the CCM. They all look like freshmen in high school and I just want them to be my little sisters.

So yeah 2 weeks unto I´m officially out and about roaming the calles of Cusco! And I could not be more excited! Last Saturday we had the opportunity to go out proselyting for 4ish hours with Missionaries serving in the Lima south mission. I got to help teach (AKA bear my testimony because I couldn´t understand what was going on so I hoped for the best) a couple lessons and then do street contacting. It was basically exactly what I expected. Which is a good thing. The people of Peru are so ready to learn the gospel, I can just tell. So I´m excited to start making that happen. My Spanish is... Mas o menos (refer to last letter). Some days its really good, some days its really not. Yesterday I read a sentence to Elder Wilde for a class activity and I read it so fast with such an amazing accent (my teachers words not mine) that he couldn´t understand me so that was fun. But I´m still trying. My main problem is that I have the hearing of a 97 year old man and people in Peru talk really quietly and don´t move their lips and are really short so I have to press my ear against their faces to make sense of their words. It´s a little awkward but you do what you gotta do right?

 I´m trying to think of some really profound thing to share, but I don´t really have it. This week was kinda just the same as all the others. I´ll just say that I´m really happy I´m on a mission and I´m really grateful for the gospel. I know its true as I see myself and all the other missionaries around me grow. I have grown so much in these past 4 weeks I don't see how I could possibly grow more. But I know that god´s gotta plan for me and for the people of Cusco. And I´m going ot do whatever I can to make sure that plan happens. The Church is true.

Oh I remember what I wanted to say that's all profound (ha not really). Well this week is Fathers Day right? And I was just thinking this morning that it's the first Fathers Day I haven't been with my dad. Which is kinda sad. But it´s ok because I´m always with my Heavenly Father.  My favorite things to teach are the first and last principles of the first lesson. They are God is our loving Heavenly Father and how to pray. I love to explain that when we pray, we are literally talking to our father and he wants us to talk to him like he's our father. I always tell my "investigators" (they´re just my teachers pretending) to pray like they talk to their dads. And then I realized that that isn´t really how I pray. So I tried it out and now I just have the best time every praying! Because I actually have a conversation with my father now. It´s amazing and it´s like I have my dad with me here right now.
I love that Mormon message about fathers. You should all watch it. But then at the end it says some quote l ine"Of all the names for deity, he has asked us to refer to him as 'Father'" And it just makes me so happy. God is our loving heavenly father. I know he loves me. And I love him.
Well how was that for a spiritual thought?

That's all I got this week folks. I'll send some pictures and such. Hope everyone is doing grood. I mean great. Great and good. Love you all!

Both Advancado Districts sprinkled with a couple intermedios. Loooove these girls!

This is a Quechuan Book of Mormon! The speak Quechuan in Cusco and I am determinded to learn it. 

and these are the words inside... Little intimidating, but totally gonna do it.

 And this is a sketch bus ride. I realize you can´t even see how many people are packed in there, but we´re packed to the brim. (Is that an expression...?)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

#3 Mas O Menos

Back story about mas o menos. It is seriously the catch phrase of my district. To any question, that is the answer. "Como esta?" "Mas o menos" "Como fue su dia" "mas o menos". We live the mas o menos life here. Elder Vance is the once that coined the phrase living the vida mas o menos. Oh and for you gringos out there, that means more or less. It just our favorite thing to say here.

Ok so this week was pretty good. They´re starting to go by faster but at the same time I feel like I´ve been here for years but that's alright. I´m slowly loving it more and more. One of the best things about this week is that at 6:15 in the morning (15 minutes before we had to get up might I add) we got a knock on our door and there was a Latina standing there asking for Hermana Rust. Well I was dead basically so I might have been a bit short with her but I told her it was me and then she asked if I knew Hermana Ramos from Las Vegas. It took me a while but it finally registered and I said yes and then she handed me this little package addressed to me from Alyssa Ramos! I was so excited! The Latina was from Cusco and had brought it from there to the CCM! I don't know Alyssa all that well but the package was just the sweetest thing ever and I was so happy! Inside were 5 of my all time favorite talks (4 are by President Uchtdorf), so candy, some laminate paper for my first planner to decorate, hand sanitizer, and a letter from her. And it was seriously exactly what I needed. Such a tender mercy from God and Hermana Ramos.

Then on Sunday we had this amazing testimony meeting. My district had the goal for all of us to bear our testimonies in Spanish and I did! It was really broken and probably not understandable, kinda like my written one last week, but it was fun to be able to do it and I felt the spirit so strong. And then Hermana Park (from another district) got up and bore her testimony and it started off with her grabbing the mike, pulling it as close to her face as possible, and basically yelled "What a time to be alive!!!" She just bore her testimony about how happy she was and how happy she was to be here and how we should all just be happy. And it really got to me. Because I had allowed myself a little bit to fall into the bad habits of "oh I´ll be happy once I get out of the CCM" or "Once I have my first baptism" or "once I get home" (Yes I thought that once... whoops.) But then I realized that I can be happy now!° Like thats totally allowed! I don´t have to wait for some grand event. One of the talks Hermana Ramos sent me was "Of Regrets and Resolutions" by Uchtdorf. Great talk. I love it. And in it it says that one of the greatest regrets of peoples lives is that they didn't let themselves be happy in their lives. And I am not going to make that mistake. I only have 3 more weeks here and I'm going to make them the happiest weeks of my life! So challenge for everyone, don´t wait to be happy. You are allowed to be happy right now. So just do it!

Today was an awesome P day. Our district had another goal (my district is awesome) to talk to 3 people while we were out and about in Lima. And me and Hna Baker actually did it! Well she did one by herself because I was checking out, but then we talked to 2 guys and they were totally receptive and actually flipped through the copies of the Book of Mormon that we gave them (yeah we even gave them a book of Mormon!!) after we walked away! It was so cool! Peruvians talk fast. and quiet. So everyone that told me they talked slowly, y'all deceived me. Because I couldn't understand  them hardly at all. But I felt the spirit with me and I was able to pick out a few things to keep the conversation going! It was awesome! This Saturday, all the intermedios (that's me) get to go out proselyting and I am so pumped! Actual mission work with actual people! Wooo! Well I think that's all folks! Oh I survived an earthquake. Now that's all! Love you all and thanks for the emails! Noelle you didn't send me pictures and its making me a bit homicidal. Anyways Loves to all! Hasta Luego!
Hermana Rust 

The first picture is my comp after "proselyting" today. A bird stinkied on her... but she was happy anyways because shes a missionary!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


The mornings!! They are so beautiful! Who knew how nice mornings were? Seeing as I used to wake up at like...9. SO That's been a nice addition to my life since the mish. 

Ok so I still am not very good at this whole emailing things so here's a lot of random but important (or not) things about life in the CCM. So I didn't bring any journals or notebooks here because I was a dummo and thought that stuff would be readily available here. Ha no. All the notebooks available ONLY HAVE GRAPH PAPER!!!! Its so annoying and I couldn't find any lined paper notebooks until today. So that's cool. 

Also I didn't get to talk a lot about PDay last week so here we go. Pday is awesome because we actually get less sleep (ok not that part is awesome) but we do get to wake up and go to the temple. And I love it. Its the smallest temple 'ever seen and its in a sketch part of town (the whole town is pretty sketch but...) but its still beautiful and I love the opportunity I have to go there every week. Its the best. Today I went through the session in Spanish and I actually understood it and it was way cool! And when ever I go through the temple, Its like I can hear grandpa Skousen's voice saying the words to me, especially here in Lima. I can really feel him around me and its really helping me out a lot. I miss grandpa.

 And then after the temple we go shopping. Today it was at this 3 story grocery store! Its massive! It's called metros and they have everything from granola to washing machines. So I don't know if its correctly identified as a grocery store. And then we went to "Garajes" and I bought a Renaldo jersey because you cant even consider yourself a missionary at the CCM if you don´t have either a Renaldo or Messi jersey and I was tired of being left out. And it was black and pink so really I couldn't say no. And no I don't know anything about Renaldo or Messi or soccer in general. But who cares! Oh and bus rides are terrifyingly fun... like still terrifying but you're laughing so hard because its so terrifying.

 This week my Latinas left me. I got really close to 4 of them and it was so sad having to say goodbye to them! We could hardly communicate about anything except  maybe the food and bumble bees (we have a 20 min convo about bees. it was awesome. lots of "zzzzzzz-ing" to get our point across) but we just loved them and they loved us. And the advancianos (norte americanos) left for their various missions. That was also sad. I got to be friends with a couple of them and Ill miss them. Oh here's a little piece of mission advice. If you are senior companion and you forget your PMG in your room on Sunday and don't have it for Sunday school., you will get publicly reprimanded by your branch counselor. That was a highlight I guess. Don't forget your PMG for Sunday school! Oh yeah I'm senior comp which basically means nothing in the CCM except that you cant forget your PMG. Got it? DONT FORGET IT! 

SO everyday MTC life is... the same everyday. I wake up, eat breakfast, go to class for 3 hours and then lunch, then more class, then teaching "investigators" (they're just my teachers) and then more class. and dinner is in there somewhere. I lose it amongst all the classes. But yeah that's what I do everyday. Luckily I've got an awesome district who keeps me entertained. But last night me and Hna Baker were "teaching" and we committed our "investigator" to baptism! We were interrupted by a giant cricket that decided to show its disgusting self and we all went into a screaming panic, but we got the commitment nonetheless! And even though she isn't a real investigator, I was just so excited and I really felt the spirit and It made me pumped to actually get out there!

 I sweat all the time here. Its so humid. It kills me. Except for in those beautiful mornings. I don't really know what else to say besides that I am really happy to be here. I am really happy to be a missionary and to learn Spanish (most of the time) and to do everything I didn't think I could do! But now I know I can. Yo se que la Iglesia es verdadera. Yo se que Presidente Tomas S Monson es un profeta de Dios. Yo se que todas cosas son posible mediante Dios el Padre y su Hijo JesuCristo. Esta concimiento ayudame cada dia. I love everyone! Whoever reads this! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers and I hope everyone is well! Gracias y les amo!
Hna Rust 

My district! Hnas in the back are Hna Howell *brown hair) Batty (Blond) and Tanuvasa. Then Elders are Wilde (on the ground) Vance (blonde) and Craig (glasses) Apparently Elder Vance knows Eric and Madi. He went to school with Madi.

Me and Hna. Tanuvasa on the first night that we flew in! I was so sweaty. This was at like 3 in the morning.

 My Latinas! I love them so!

Hna Baker. My comp. Shes a doll!