Monday, August 31, 2015


I have yet to recieve my camera from Juliaca so it will be another pictureless week... Sorrrrrrry!
Ok so I know my emails have been less than stellar these past couple weeks so I'm going to make up for it with two killer stories. Listo? Lets go.
Story number one. We were sitting on the side of the street that borders Lake Titicaca, visiting an Hermana named Braulia. She is a super cute old lady and she doesn't know how to read so we started teaching her.... Wednesday I believe. She has a little store she runs (Actually not a store. More like a little wagon she keeps under this make shift tent she uses as shelter from the sun) and this is where we teach her at. Hermana Gonzalez made this cute little book for her to practice writing and everything so she was doing that when a guy came over to buy something. And in the process of this, a bottle fell. About... 6 or 7 feet away from where I was sitting, a dog was just chilling there and minding its own business. After the bottle fell, I went to go get it and return it to the wagon. So i get up, take about.. 2 and a half steps, and all the sudden I feel teeth in my ankle. I looked down, and there was a dog clamped onto me. Imagine my surprise. I screamed, kicked, and ran. It didn't hold on or anything, but after it happened, all, I could think about was the discussion we had about dogs in the mission home when I first got to Cuzco. And two words stuck in my mind. Rabies and shots. Yeah so I was bitten by a potentially rabid dog. Fun right! And everyone I talked to was like "Hermana's NEVER get bitten! I have never heard of an Hermana getting bitten!" I mean lucky me right? So I may or may not have rabies right now as we speak. I have to wait 10 days from the incident (So Friday) to find the dog and see if it's dead or not. If it's dead, that means I have rabies and need treatment. Which sounds horrible. If we find it alive, I'm good. Rabies free. The only problem is that I cannot remember for the life of me what the dang thing looked like. So if I can't find it at all, treatment it is.

 Alright so same story same day, about 30ish minutes later. We all know how the drunks love me and I have way more stories about encounters with drunks than I care to count, but this one was just so gosh darn funny! So yeah like a half hour after the whole dog thing, we were walking back to our house to call our district leader and tell him the whole terrible story. I was a little hysterical still, thinking about shots and all, when a seriously drunk man walks up to us and starts talking to Hna Gonzalez about me. Where's she from, what's her name, where's she going, all sorts of stuff he asked. She told him I was from Cajamarca (are there white people in Cajamarca? because this is always her go to city...) and that I was mute. To this he responded that it didn't matter whether or not I could talk, he still loved me just the way I was. After this, he gets down on one knee and starts reciting poetry to me in Spanish with hand motions and all the theatrics. So I had myself a learned drunk. That was new. After his proclamations of love, he stands back up, digs out his wallet and hands me 50 SOLES! Ha but get this, they were fake. So 50 false soles is what I am worth apparently. I think I'm worth a little bit more.... Any ways he hands me the counterfeit money, looks at Hna. Gonzalez's tag, reads "Jesu Cristo" and turns to me, talking to Hna Gonzalez, and says "I love her more than Jesus does." And then he walked away. And that was that And I was left with his generous donation of 50 soles. This is by far my favorite encounter with drunks. And I will keep that 50 soles my whole life. Its taped to my wall right now. 

Story number 2
WE HAD A BAPTISM!!! Ok I kept the details of this one private because last time I talked to you guys about our two baptisms, they both fell through. Not that I'm superstitious. Just a little stitious. But yeah now I will freely spill the details. Her name is Maxi, I believe I've talked about her once before... not sure. Anyways. She's 17 and her older sister Miriam is a recent convert. We've been working with the other sister Carmen to baptize her because she's of age. But Carmen left for... somewhere so we've been working with Maxi, regardless that she didn't have permission from her parents yet to be baptized. Well like 2 ish weeks ago, we met with her parents, and the agreed and signed the papers and it was just a joyous little reunion and then this past Saturday, Maxi was Baptized!!! My first baptism!!

 But it did not go off without a hitch. I teach an English class on Saturdays at 4 and Maxi's baptism was scheduled for 5. So we told her to meet us there at 4 for the English class and while I taught, Hna G was going to help Maxi get all situated and everything. So we get to the chapel at like 3:45, and wait. And wait. 4:30 passes, and no Maxi to be found. then its 5. Still no Maxi. then 5:30. And still no. Meanwhile we have people showing up for a baptism that doesn't look like its going to happen, and Hna Gonzalez and I are frantic because we can't even call her because she doesn't have a phone. So we call her cousin Silvia, who has been a member for about 2 years. And Silvia tells us that Maxi doesn't want to come, and then hangs up. I've never felt my heart break... harder. We were so sure that she was going to come because we saw her the night before and she was super excited and everyone was excited and we just could not believe that this was happening! Hna G is crying, I'm on the verge of tears, and we have no Idea what to do. Elder Flores comes up to us and asks us what happened and we explained and he told us to call again. So we did. This time Miriam answers and tells us that she and Maxi and Silvia and Veronica (another cousin) are on their way right now and not to worry, and then that very second, they all jump out of a bus right in front of the chapel and maxi is with them all ready to go! Yeah turns out it was a horribly cruel trick that Silvia decided to tell us for who knows why and I'm still a little ticked at it because WHO DOES THAT!! But it doesn't matter because Maxi came, I gave a talk and sang, most of the people that we asked came, and MAXI WAS BAPTIZED!!! It was super cool to see someone that I had been working with and thought we'd never have the chance to baptize her go down into the water with Elder Bodily and make that sacred covenant with Heavenly Father. And the best part was that I knew she knew what she was doing. That she was doing it for herself, not for us, not for her sisters or her cousins, but because she had a testimony for herself. So yeah, super cool. By far the coolest moment I've had on my mission. 

So yeah these are my stories to make up for my lameness for the past couple weeks. And I'm just about out of time. I know the Church is true and I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, and that He lives.
Hope everyone is doing well and stuff! Love you all! 
Hermana Rust

Monday, August 24, 2015

#13 Lame email... I´m sorry!

So I have approx. 4 minutes to write this so we´re gonna be brief.

 Update. We had a special conference with our ward and another ward that lost their sister missionaries and now we´re one ward! Our wards were combined and now we are no longer barrio Victoria and barrio Los Incas, we are Barrio Central. Kinda a lame name if you ask me, but I wasn't on the naming committee so,,, I mean what can I do. In the process they released everyone who had a calling in both wards and so now we have no leaders or anything, Just a bishopric. So things are a little crazy and now my sector is twice the size and I´m not really sure what to think about it, but there you have it!

 And I´m really sorry that's all I have time for! And I left my camera in the house of some other hermanas so I can´t even send pictures! I promise I´m not turning into a lame mission emailer, just this one time I promise!

I love everyone and see you next week!

Monday, August 17, 2015

#12 Chuño Central

Ok so here in Puno they have this food called chuño and they have this long running joke with the missionaries that our stake is actually Chuño Central and not Puno Central. That's what they call it at least. And what chuño is is potatoes that have been stomped on, sunk in the lake for however many months, and then sun-dried. And apparently its horrible and everyone gets sick when they eat it. I never had the pleasure of trying it, until this week that is. Our pension made it and put it in a soup and I just ate it not thinking it would be anything super gross and it ended up being actually pretty good! After I had finished eating the soup, our pension, Elida, came in and asked me how I liked it with this sly grin on her face, And I told her I thought it was good! And then she said "Ahh you like my chuño!" So yeah I officially became a Chuño Central Missionary this week. And you know I'm not seeing any lasting effects.

Ok so last week was cambios right? Right. So I figured Elder Orellana would be getting the old heave ho, But I didn't guess that both Elderes Orellana AND Cuba would be getting shipped out! And that no Elders would be replacing them! And that now Hermana Gonzalez and I are the only companionship of missionaries in Barrio Victoria! Yup that's right. It's only us. And hardly ever is it only one companionship in a sector, especially Hermanas. So this week has been pretty hectic. We obtained the Area book de los Elderes and we have just been trying to find all their investigators and contacts and everyone. but it turned out being pretty successful and we taught a tooooon! They've got some good investigators. And now they're ours! Muahahah!

 One is named Nancy and we had our first cita with her one Saturday where I committed her to baptism!!! It was my first time asking someone to be baptized and I gotta say, I kinda nailed it. Another is a suuuuper young couple, both are 21 and have a 5 year old kid. They are Ariel (This is the boy) and Mariluz. And they are both suuper receptive and want to learn and they're already married so bonus!  But yeah its been a super fruitful week with lots of great experiences. We also vistited on of the old investigators this week. Her name is Yuliana and gosh I just love her already. It's been a year since she was last taught and we're not sure why she terminated the lessons in the first place, but she basically told us that she needed to learn more and pray. And no one ever says that to us without us asking them to in the first place. So yeah Good week for investigators! And last week we had 0 investigators and less actives in sacrament meeting. But this week we had 5 investigators that stayed for all 3 hours mind you, and a whopping 11 less actives!!!!! Most of which it was their first time since they've been active! Can you believe that? I was in wondering awe. Literally. So yeah once again, good week for the work. And Julio returned to church! For those of you that remember Julio. That man loves to talk. We had an appt with him this week and we didn't get a single word in. But he's a big fan of D&C so that's cool. 

Spiritual moment
So Presidente Harbertson has been counseling us to let go of our "Guerras de rebelión" or our weapons of rebellion. And as I think more and more about that, what that really means, I realize how much I really do need to change and how many things I use as weapons of rebellion in my mission. Whether it be staying in bed for 2 minutes more, or allowing myself to think only about myself and not focus in those things that need focus. These are my weapons of rebellion. And they are things I am trying to bury just like the AntiNephi Lehis. So I invite you all to think of those weapons of rebellion we carry around. And I invite you to bury them. Because the load is so much lighter without them. 

And that's all I got for now folks! Picture time!
Con mucho Amor,
Hermanita Rust

This is Elder Flores. He's from Chile and kinda the chillest person out there. And this is him Quidditching! He's a Potter Head as well. Foto Cred. Me.

And this is me on top of a giant Inca Head. So basic everyday stuff. Mt. Rushmore of Puno I guess you could say. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

#11 It's Time To Say Goodbye

Hna. Gonzalez loves to sing this song. I´m a fan. But yeah It´s time to say goodbye because I am officially done with my first transfer!!! Can you hardly believe it? Because I sure can´t. And no not goodbye to me. I´m sticking around Puno for a little bit longer. Which is fine by me. I´ve grown to love this place. And also the Elders and Hermanas that are here. And it is them that I am saying goodbye to. My dear Hermana Condie died and I am so sad. She was my Hna Leader and I loved her to pieces. So If an Amie Condie adds me on FB, please accept mommies. She was swell. Also Hermana Sanchez is dead. And that is also sad. And now the sisters in my zone are down to 3 companionships instead of the four. Which also makes me sad. And also Elder Orellana is probably gonna go. We´re not sure yet. He was an Elder serving in our ward and he was the bomb diggity.
So yeah cambios are kinda sad. But I´m super psyched to meet more people and broaden my circle of missionary friends! So that's exciting. 

Well this is kinda gonna be a lame-o letter because I wanna spend some time sending pictures and responding to some of you lovely people who wrote! So I´ll just share 2 things more.

We have 2 investigators who are sisters, Carmen and Maxi. Carmen has 19 years and Maxi 17. They are both suuuper receptive to the gospel and want to get baptized, but their parents haven´t shared this desire that they have. So they haven´t been baptized. And we never had the chance to reason with their parents because they live in the Selva (Jungle) which is suuuuper far away. Carmen and Maxi and their sister Miryiam (who is a recent convert) go to university here in Puno. So yeah never had contact with their parents and we´ve just been teaching them for the time being. But they actually came down to Puno this week and we had the chance to share a message with them and talk about baptism for Carmen and Maxi!! And the dad, who is super cool by the way, like super chill about everything, Isidro, said that he was totally cool with Carmen and Maxi taking the plunge! And he said, I think... Not totally sure on this one, But I think he said he was really happy with how Miryam was living her life and so if his other daughters want to be baptized, he wasn´t going to stand in the way! So we got the go ahead and we´re shooting for baptism for Maxi this month, and Carmen the next month, hopefully. And after the end of our message, we invited the whole family to kneel down and pray together and Carmen offered the prayer. Before, she was a little timid about praying in front of everyone. But this prayer was so sincere and you could feel the spirit so strong. She prayed to be able to continue on the right path for baptism and to be able to put into practice the things that she had learned from the Missionaries (That´s me!) and yeah it was just super powerful. And I know her parents felt something after it. And I just wish we could teach them so bad because really they are the sweetest. But they don´t live here and there aren´t any missionaries in the Selva. So that's a bummer. But yeah tha'ts the story of Carmen and Maxi! 

And I know I said I was going to share two things more, but I plum forgot the other. So I´ll fill the void with pictures! So yeah that was my week! I hope everyone is well and spreading the gospel like wild fire! Because really, that´s what we need to be doing! Thanks for all the love and prayers and thoughts! Love you all and have a splendid week! 
Hermana Rust 

 Hna. Condie and I. So sad she´s gone :(

 For Pday a couple weeks ago and for today we went to what is called the condor. But from what you can seeeee it´s not really a Condor as much as it is a giant Turkey. I think they call it Conder to make gringas like me think it´s really cool when reallly... it´s just a giant turkey. there are approx. 650 steps that you have to trudge up in order to behold this... amazing creature. Not totally sure if 600+ steps is worth it, but I´ll let you be the judge. And without futher ado, Giant turkey. Oh uh I mean "Condor"

And here is me holding the sun atop the great Condor. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

#10 Slug Bug Guess What Color

Everyone and their Uncle´s pet dog has a VW Bug here. They are literally on every street corner. So it makes the slug bug game a little lame here. Because you get slugged approximately 5 times per street. But nonetheless, Hermana Gonzalez is a big fan of the game. So I´m becoming really good at my colors in Spanish.

Every week it gets a little bit harder to remember what´s happened this week because they all meld together like none other. But it sufficeth me to say that it was a pretty swell week.

Oh I know! I´ll tell you about Julio!
So we haven´t had any new investigators in weeks and we haven´t been able to find any of our progressing, so we decided to go through the area book and just contact a bunch of antiguo investigadores. And one of them was Luigi. He´s a younger guy who had a baptism date but couldn´t quite get over his WOW problems. And I guess the whole time while they were teaching him, they wanted to teach his pop too, but Luigi always said that he would never accept the gospel or anything. So they didn´t teach him. Bummer. So we went to find Luigi and who answered the door? Julio! His father! We told him about the English classes we offer and he was super pumped about that because he wanted to learn what his sweatshirt said (It said "Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off today") And then we told him that we were missionaries and had a message about Jesus Christ and then he just went off about how much he loved God and wanted to learn more about him and how he knew there was a purpose in life and he prayed to find happiness and all this cool stuff and we were just like Wow! And so we wanted to set an appointment with him and he was like well I´m super busy, can I just come to church with you on Sunday and we were thinking "Heck yah you can come to church with us on Sunday get baptized while you´re at it why don´t ya!" Like can you say Investigador de oro?? Because I sure can. So Sunday rolls around and we´re waiting outside the capilla for our investigadores and 10, 20, then 30 minutes pass, and no one. We had called so many people and stopped by houses to get our people there. But no one. And we were especially bummed about Julio. So we go through sacrament meeting, and gospel principles class, just normal. And then someone knocks on the door of the gospel principles room. And its the son of one of the members of the Stake presidency. And he says that there´s a man outside waiting for the Hermanas. And Hna G and I were like,,, um kay. And we go out, AND THERE¨S JULIO!!!!! WE literally almost started crying. Because we had been fasting for our people to come to sacrament meeting! AND JULIO CAME!! well a couple hours late, so he wasn´t actually in sacrament meeting, but hey I´ll take it! He apologized for being late and said something about how he couldn´t get there on time because there was a fiesta and a car and I´m still unsure about that whole part. But he came and stayed for the rest of the meetings and participated like a regular ol latter day saint! We were so happy. And everyone was saying "What? That´s Luigi´s dad? I thought they said he would never come!" Yeah it was a little bit of a miracle. He´s a super swell gentleman and loves to talk and just wants to learn. I think we´ve got a real shot with this one!

Ok one more short story and then I´m gonna upload photos because I haven´t done very much. Last night we went to a family home evening in the home of a less active. And gosh that house gave me nightmares. The walls were plastered with cupids, there were toy Elmos' everywhere, and dolls. Dolls. DOLLS! Just everything that you would picture in a horror movie about kids or something. Terrifying. I have a picture of me and one of the dolls. it´s a baby. I´ll send it.

Oh one more funny thing about Puno. They have the worlds largest amount of hair salons on one street record I swear. And they funny thing with all these peluquerías is that they all have pictures of like famous people as their models as if those people had actually been there. There´s ones with Hilary Duff, Linsdey Lohan, even Beyonce. I just think it´s funny. 

Well for my spiritual thought this week, I´ll share something I read in my personal study this week. It was about Joseph Smith and how it´s so easy these days for people to fall away from the church because of the things said and read about Joseph Smith.And one thing Elder Neil Anderson said was that we need to fasten our own spiritual oxygen mask before we can help others with theirs, otherwise, we´ll be caught in the same trap. And I know this to be true because if we are not continually striving to strengthen our own testimony, we will not and we cannot help others. And so what I say is the same as Elder Anderson. Learn for yourself. It´s the only way to help others and to stay strong for yourself.

Well I´m out! This internet cafe is playing a bunch of american music and it´s kinda stressing me out. Like right now it´s Pumped up Kicks. Weird.

I Love you all and hope everyone is just dandy! Keep being awesome and SHARE THE GOSPEL!! Thanks!
Hermana Rust
The color was naranja by the way.... 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

#9 Oh He loves me!

So usually I spend a good... half hour thinking about what I am going to say in this email. But alas, I have not had sufficient time to think about it today!  But here goes nothing.

1. We had a conference with Elder Uceda of the seventy this past week! It was super cool and I got to conduct the hymns! Now Elder Uceda knows that I can lead! Not that that is important... But yeah super cool and I learned a lot, well about as much as I could in Spanish. Poor Hermana Gonzalez was hacking up a lung the whole time, but besides that, it was swell.
2. So we had this family home evening with a new couple in the ward and it was basically the best night ever. Hermana G. and I want to start teaching the members how to teach so they actually share with their friends and give us references. So we started with this couple. They are called Fioriela and Dennis. They are both converts to the church, Fioriela 6 years and Dennis 3, and they are just so strong. So we taught them about the Book of Mormon and how to share the introduction with others. And then I bore my testimony, sort of, and Hermana G. Bore a powerful testimony, and then Fioriela bore an earth shattering testimony and we all just cried together. And one thing she said to me that just put me over the moon was, and I quote, translated,,, "Hermana Rust, I know you said that you can''t speak Spanish very well (Yeah I said that ) but I just want you to know that we can understand you perfectly. Through the spirit that you bring and that you have. We can understand you. And thank you." AWESOME RIGHT!! And after that, on that day at least, I was way more confident in my Spanish and just talked regardless of whether or not my Spanish was totally correct. What she said helped me out a lot and I've been able to remember this and it's given me boosts of confidence through out the week.

3. I went on my first intercambio this week with one of the Hermana Leaders. Her name is Hna Mendez and she is from Argentina and pronounces all double l's (like llama) as sh's or shama. And because of this, I was terrified to go with her because I didn't want to not understand her because believe it or not, those sha's make a difference. So I was freaked. But it ended up being... Alright. Not horrible which is really good! I could understand her waaay more than I thought I could. 

4. We have a recent rescue that we are teaching named Alejandro. He is something like 70 years old and I just want him to be my Peruvian Grandpa. I don't understand what he says 87% of the time, but he is just the cutest old thing I've ever met. He owns a little tienda and always gives us chocolates and excuses about why he didn't do his family history. But I can't even be mad at him because he's so cute. We finally did his family history with (for?) him this past week and it was funny watching him trying to remember the birth dates of his kids and siblings. I love our Alejandrito. 
Well that's a little bit about my week. No baptisms yet, which is a bummer. But we're hoping for this Sunday for Rafa. We''ll see. 

Oh and I just love watching the District. It fills the void in my heart that Netflix left. But there's one episode with a lady named Jynx. And they were talking about how much they Elders loved her and one of the members that was present in the lesson says "Well if they love you this much, think about how much Heavenly father cares about you!"To which Jynx responds, with all the conviction and normality in the world Oh he loves me! And this is how I feel. Everyday I find something else, something knew that makes me say "OH He loves me!"So look for those things to. Because He does! I know it! And I love you all too! 

Ciao! (This is not the Spanish spelling, but I like it better... ) 
Hermana Rust