Monday, July 20, 2015

#8 Remember that one time I was kissed by a drunk man?

Oh boy this week was a doozy. Lets start of with the important stuff yeah? I was kissed by a drunk man first of all. Only cheek action but still. I was just going my merry way and saying buenas noches to anyone that would listen because it´s all I can say really and this man passed so I buenas noched him and all the sudden he flips around, gets this huge smile on his face and proceeds to get right into my face. Stll learning the customs here, I thought this might be normal and gave him a big smile but then Hermana Gonzalez leaned to me and said "Borracho!" meaning drunk. But by that time I was stuck. He wanted to come with us to wherever we were going, but Hna G kindly informed him that I was in dire need of a bathroom and we had to be going. But this did not appease him so we gave him a pass-along card (without our number of course) after which he started crying of gratitude and had to be consoled by Hna. G. She then received a very chivalrous kiss on the hand, and then the borracho advanced towards me. I held out my hand to say goodbye, but instead found his arms around me. Somehow I knew a kiss was coming, and he was a short little fella, so I stepped up on my tippy toes to distance my face as much as possible. But he wouldn´t have any of that and used his hands to lower my face and planted one on me. Needless to say, I´m not  generous with my Buenas Noches any more.
So last week I reported that we would be having a baptism. Well.... unfortunately that is not true. The baptism was supposed to be yesterday, and we went to Rafa´s house on Saturday to teach him the last couple principals he lacked. But his mother informed us that he was really sick, like coughing up blood and that she didn't want him to be baptized the next day for his health. Well we were like yeah if he´s that sick he should probably wait. Well that night we had this huge festival of dances for the church (more about this to come) and who showed up? Rafa. Looking totally fine health wise, but a little sad. So Gonzalez and I were like ok what´s up? Later that night we talked to his father and asked him what he thought about the baptism and he said that Rafa could not be baptized the following day because they were going on an unexpected trip. And now we´re just totally confused because all of Rafa´s brothers and sisters were in church yesterday. So we did not have the baptism yesterday. And I´m bummed. And we think Rafa is bummed as well. It´s no bueno. And our other baptism we had planned kinda fell through as well because he has missed our last 3 appointments and now we don´t have time to teach him everything before his fecha. So we had to post pone his as well because he went on a trip to Arequipa. Another bummer. But we´re still working with them and we think both will be baptized, we just don´t know when.
Also this week we had our first zone conference and multizone conference. The multizone conference was with Presidente and Hermana Harbertson and the conference was held outside on the shores of Lake TitiKaka! Hna Harbertson calls it their zone conference in the wild. It was suuuuper good and I just love my mission Presidente with all my heart. He quoted Sid from Ice Age in his address. And mimicked his voice. Like how much cooler could a mission president be? The only problem is that our group was like stalked by dogs and it was freezing. But beside that I learned a lot. We talked mostly about finding people and wow has it changed the way I look at contacting.

Yesterday, I gave my first talk as a missionary!!! And it kicked trash. Well the talk itself did. My delivery... maybe not so much. I was so nervous because the stake president was there and I just really wanted to do a good job. I read the whole thing, which I'm not proud of, but I got through it and only pronounced half the words wrong. Little victories.

Well I´m trying to remember other things but I think that´s about all I´ve got. Oh this week we are being visited by Elder Uceda of the Seventy and he is having interviews with 7 missionaries. I don´t know if I want to have this opportunity or not. I´m kinda scared to death and excited at the same time that it´s going to be me. But there will be like 100 missionaries at this conference so I may be in the clear.. But yeah that's exciting. I was supposed to do a special musical number with some other missionaries for it, but that fell through for some reason.

And now, funny things about Puno
1. People have clocks on their walls, but they never, ever work.
2. I don´t understand why Arroz con Leche is a thing
3. Every time I pass a little kid, they turn to their moms and say "Mama! Gringa!"
4. We ride in the bus like van things sometimes call combies. I hit my head every single time getting in and out of them.
5. There's this guy sitting next to me and he is amazed that I use all ten of my fingers to type. I told him it´s easy. He said he couldn't. I told him to practice. Now he´s practicing. Ha!
6. The time of day I dread most is lunch. Not because the food is gross or anything, but because our pensionista serves us so much and we HAVE to eat all of it. And I think my body is finally realizing how much rice it´s taking in because every time I swallow, it literally triggers my gag reflex and I have to choke it down. I´m becoming really good at it. Sorry that´s really gross. Mom feel free to leave that part out of my blog.  
7. Dogs. Everywhere.

Oh I forgot about the festival of dances! It was this huge event put on by the stake where all the youth from each ward prepared a dance complete with costumes and everything! They were all traditional Peru dances and it was so fun! And the whole event was this huge reference thing for the missionaries. The tickets were blank questionnaires that you wrote your name, dirrecion, and number on. So all the members brought their nonmember friends and now we have all their information to contact them!! And it´s not creepy because they gave it to us! The whole night was a huge success and a ton of fun. And at the end of the night, we handed out books of Mormons and Family Proclamations. Yeah it was a big deal.

 Well My time is about up! But before I log off I want to share a scripture I read this morning that brought me great comfort.
¨"But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen."
And thus it is. It´s as simple as that! Trust that he has all power and thus it is. 
Love you all and thanks for prayers, support, etc! 
Love always,
your borracho kissed Hermana Rust

Lake TitiKaka! I´m actually not 100 percent on how to spell that.

This is a Catedral in Puno. That´s all I know about it. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

#7 No Clever Subject Line This Week...

My mind has kinda been in a boggle this week. (Is that an expression?) The Puno winter finally caught up to me and I've been a little under the weather. But never fear all is well. Mostly.

So so much happens these days that I don't really know what to say so my plan was to just send a bunch of pictures and videos but this computer doesn't recognize my camera as a camera so... I cannot. Sorry! So I guess I'll just tell you some cool stuff.

1. Puno is cool. I'm in the ward Victoria where every one is super nice and super late... to everything. It's like living with Beebo all over again. (Chiste. Love ya beebz. write me.) But yeah its Moapa Valley standard time but 4 times worse. So that's... a tad frustrating but hey when in... Puno. 

2. We have a baptism this week!!! 2 weeks in and I'm already convertin'! Can I get an amen? I guess I can't really take credit for this one. His name is Rafael, he's 9 years old, and his family is currently on the track to being reactivated. He's a sweetheart and super excited to be baptized! 

3. We have a baptism next week as well!!! And I have a little bit more to do with this one. His name is William and we've had.... 3 visits with him. He's 20 and super chill and just really loves to learn. He's open with his questions and just really has that desire. So that's really cool. 

4. It's really funny because people talk to me, and I have literally no idea what they are saying. Ever. Until Hna. Gonzalez translates it for me in her Spanish which is usually the exact thing that they said. So it takes twice as long for me to have a conversation. Woo! 

5. Today for p day, it was an all zone p day and we went to this giant,I mean huge, but I cannot show you, community slide. Which is just as gross as it sounds. It's probably one of the least sanitary things I've ever done. But it was also super legit. Gahh I wish I could send my videos! It's like 3 stories high and just the sickest (in both senses of the word) thing. 

I don't really know what else to say... 

6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!! I totally made this cute little card and took a picture of it to send to you, but my pictures won't work!! So I can't send it! I'm sorry! 

Well that's about all I got this week... I'm still learning about the people and the language and the whole mission thing. My life feels like... I don't even know. But once I do, these letters will probably be a little bit better. But until then, this is it! Keep doing great things, or start, whatever.I'll catch ya on the flip side. All my love, from Puno, 
Hermana Rust! 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

#6 MTCSpanish

In the movie best two years, there is a part where Elder Calhoun is speaking Dutch and if you put on the subtitles during this part, it says "MTC Dutch" when he speaks. This is my life. I speak MTC Spanish. And let me tell ya it's a completely different language. 

So yes. I am officially in the campo! My first area is Puno, land of the pinays (Quechua for the old ladies that still dress in traditional peru attire) and lake Titicaca. It is freezing here. Really regretting not bringing my BYU I getup. So yes, cold, but very beautiful. I am a little culture shocked, but I am loving this area more and more each day! And I've only been here for 6 days! So I can't wait to see how much I love it in three months. Fun fact, me and Hermana Baker (my comp from the CCM) are still together! We're not comps, but she lives in the same apartment as me. 
Now for my trainer. Holy cow Santa Vaca! I love her. She's 24, from Mexico, and the fiestiest little thing you've ever met. But she's also the hardest person you've ever met. She just goes and goes and goes and makes you do things you didn't think you wanted to do (like teach relief society on your first sunday!) and makes it seem like it was your idea. And she just loves everybody. Really, she's the Mexican equivalent of Hermana Bolton. I love her. Oh and her name is Hns Gonzalez. We're not allowed to tell each other how long we've been in the mission, but I think this (my training) will be her last 2 cambios. And she'll be with me for the whole time! I feel a little bad because it takes us literally 2 hours to do 30 minutes of planning because she has to repeat everything she says 2 times so I can understand. But I'm finally starting to understand her spanish. it's everyone else's I have to worry about.

Ok so like a ton happened this week so bullet points are a go!
1.President and Hermana Harbertson are the maximo (this is hermana G's favorite word and it means just really cool. or dope. I'm not quite sure.)
2. We took a bus ride of 8 lindas horas (another Hna G-ism) to Puno in which I was forced to watch ninja turtles. 
3. I already said this, but it cannot be stressed enough, it is FREEZING here! Freezing. It hailed. it's something like 12 or 13000 feet high up here, which is a couple thousand  more than Cusco. So its cool. (appreciate the pun. I don't know how to pun in spanish.) 
4. My first sunday here, I was called on to bear my testimony, teach gospel principles, and Relief Society. They don't waste any time here. 
5. We have like a ton of investigadores and menos activos and I can't quite tell them apart yet. So once I  can, I'll tell ya all about them. 
6. Suprisingly, I've only seen like 2 llamas. Like is this even peru?
7. I'm constantly freezing.
8. I keep dreaming that I'm in the CCM. I can't decide if they are dreams or nightmares... Stay tuned. 
9. I saw Elder Bryant. He's a zone leader in one of the Zones in Cusco. 
10. I really cannot remember anything else. 

Now it's time for spiritual upliftment. 
In the CCM, we watched a Devo by Elder Holland from the Provo MTC. In it he said that all Satan has to do to keep this work from moving, all he has to do to win, is keep us from opening our mouths. I now realize how true this is. I have never been so hesitant to open my mouth in my entire life. Everyone who knows me knows that I never hve my mouth closed. But now in the mission field, I know that it's the adversary. So I need to open my mouth. Elder Holland shared a scripture. The account of the first vision. The part that talks about when the force came upon Joseph and he could not open his mouth. (mom please look up scripture and insert it here. I do not have my scriptures handy... whoops.) He said that the worst thing Satan could do was keep Joseph from praying. Because if he hadn't, the gospel would not be restored. Satan had not the power to kill Joseph, but closing his mouth would have been just as detremental. And so now I say, Open your mouths. Open them to anyone that will listen, and even those who won't. Open your mouths. Help the missionaries (I can say this now because I am a missionary). They need your help. Open your mouths. I will if you will. Ok  not really, I will anyways. But really. I know that this gospel needs to be shared to everyone. And it's not going to happen unless we do something about it.
I love you all and hope everyone is doing well. I don't really have time for personal emails so forgive me please! Keep calm and preach on.

con mucho amor de Puno,
Hermana Rust!

My first official meal. Papas con salchicha. Looks tasty right? 

 Me and Hna Gonzalez upon meeting eachother. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

She's In Cusco!

Dear Parents,

As you can see in the attached photo, your daughter has arrived safely to the Peru Cusco Mission! We are thrilled to have her here! She looks great, a bit tired from the travel, but ready to go! Thank you for allowing us to watch over her for the next year and a half. She has promised that she will be a missionary we can trust, and we have now given her that trust. As well, you can trust that we will do everything that we can to care for her and to help her to become a successful missionary.

Con Gran Amor,

Presidente y Hermana Harbertson