Tuesday, October 27, 2015

#21 It's a small world after all....

So I had two cool "It's a small world" moments this week.
The first is for Grandma Skousen! Grandma, I met someone that knows you! Our stake president! His name is Presidente Soto and he's only 32 years old (and he's already been in the stake presidency for 7 years! how crazy is that?!) and he served in Cochabamba 10 ish years ago and I told him "Hey my grandparents served in Cochabamba 10 ish years ago!" and he was all like "Oh cool what's their name"! And I said "Skousen" and he paused for a moment and then said "Oh did they work in the temple" And I was like "Heck yeah they did!" And it was this cool little reunion and all joyous and it was a good time.

The second was today actually. You see, my companion is going home this next Sunday so today, for her last Pday, we went to Juliaca, which is an hour away from Puno. Its kinda really dirty and loud and smells kinda funky, but it's near and dear to Hermana Gonzalez's heart all the same. So we went to go say goodbye to some families with whom Hermana Gonzalez served. And one of these families is Familia Rivas. And while we were there, the Hermana (I don't remember her name) asked where I was from. I just say Vegas because who doesn't know Vegas. And then she tells me that there was an Elder here that was from Vegas who liked to cook and dance and who had already gone home some years earlier. She said Elder McCan. I was like yeah have no idea who that is. So she offered to show me a picture. I just thought there's no way that  I could know this elder, Vegas is huuuuge. But I took the picture all the same and when I saw it, low and behold I knew who it was! It was Grant Mecham! I had no idea that he served here in Cusco! I mean I knew about Kade and Alyssa Ramos, but holy hannah montana this mission has gotten a lot of moapa valleyites! But yeah I told them he was from my stake and the hermano (I don't know his name either...) started crying and just asked me to tell Grant how much this Hermano loved him and that Grant was very close to his heart. He started crying and  it was all very sweet. But sadly I don't have any contact with Elder Mecham, so if facebook, or mom, could do your magic and get that message to him. I also have a picture with the two that I will send right now. But yeah it was kinda cool.
 This is the Rivas Family that knows Grant Mecham!

As for this week, I'm sorry I really have nothing to report. It was kinda slow. Oh wait, Julio is back in business! We decided to actually give him his teaching record so he would know that we actually do have things to teach him and stuff, because
before it was really hard to teach him because boy is he a chatterbox! But now we've got it going and he's going to pick the things from the record that he wants to learn first and we'll just go from there. He's a real cool guy and we know he's going to get baptized, just not sure when yet.... But yeah that was a fun time.

Well I've gotta be heading out now. We've got to go visit some more families here in Juliaca. But I love you aaaallll! Ask the missionaries how you can help! Go on visits with them! Members in lessons make alllll the difference! Thanks for the love and support and prayers and examples you are to me! 
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Rust

PS. I have a new drunk man story. But this one wasn't fun. Usually they're all romantic and just want to marry me, so like they're not scary. But yeah this week I had a run in with an angry one and he punched me in the chest. Like not super hard, but the air got a little knocked out of me. But I guess it was nice not to have a proposal for once. This one shook things up a little bit. 

 This is Haley. She's the cousin of Ruth. I sent a picture of Ruth last week. She's getting ready to dance the Waka Waka. It's a dance about bulls. That's all I know. 
 This is Juliaca. It looks a lot like Puno. 
 This is a cat that I found in Juliaca. 99% sure its Carter. Because Carter lives forever. 
 And another one because I like selfies and cats. 
And to all my Sharons out there.... (I don't know any Sharons and I really wish I did.) 

Monday, October 19, 2015

#20 It's an Eternal Joy

Hello friends and family and people of the virtual world! How ya'll doing? I'm swell. 

Well Hermana Gonzalez has made her excursion to Machu Pichu to do that whole Inca thing, so I am currently with my favorite gringa, Hermana McMahon. I luffff her.  But fear not because Gonzo will be back tomorrow and we'll be back to our cute little companionship of a giant white girl and a 5 ft nothing mexicana!

 So today during our companionship study, Hermana McMahon said something that was just super profound to me and kind of made me think a lot differently about the mission. For all you out there who don't know, the mission is not a walk in the park. It's really hard actually. Everyday, you're feeling pushed to your limits emotionally and spiritually, and sometimes physically, and it's a lot to deal with. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. But's its the most fulfilling. Its the most rewarding. Its the most I've ever learned and grown in such a short period of time. And it's something that I will never forget.

Hermana McMahon said "These aren't the best two years (or eighteen months). It's not the happiest well will ever be. But it's a different kind of happiness that we gain here. It's a different kind of joy. It's an eternal joy that we come to feel." An Eternal Joy. I just love that. Because I know its true. I know that this will bring me joy into the eternites, as well as other people. To be able to preach this gospel and help others learn and learn ourselves, this joy is just too much. And something that I will have forever. It's a joy that comes from surviving trials and from hard work and overcoming things that seem impossible at the time, but work out only through the help of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. It's a joy of learning and falling and picking ourselves up again and starting something knew. I'm a new person now. I've learned so much. I've experienced a lot of sadness. But I've experienced a new kind of joy that I didn't know before. And eternal joy. And if I can think in this perspective, it doesn't matter what trials might befall me. It doesn't matter the problems that I will face. It just matters that I will be able to feel this joy forever. So thats my food for thought this week. Thanks to Hna McMahon. 

Well I don't really have anything new to report regarding our investigators. The wedding has been postponed again and it looks like it won't be until November which is kinda a bummer. But there still will be a wedding. Besides that, we haven't had a toooon of success this week. But we're looking forward to this coming week with hope! We had a pretty good turn out in church yesterday and Julio finally came back to church (I wrote about Julio once... a long time ago!) but yeah that was really good. Besides that, kinda a slow week. This coming week will be better and I'll have lots of stories and good stuff to tell you all! Deal?

Well I love you all, I love the gospel, I love the mission, I love joy.

Happy Birthday Shout out to Avonlea this week. Love ya Gupta! So that's a wrap. I'll talk to ya next week! xoxoxoxoxo
Hermana Rust

Four gringas waltzing around Peru. what could go right? 
That's Hermana McMahon (my temporary comp), me, Hermana Baker (my ex comp) and Hermana Tirell (The daughter of hermana Baker) 

                               I'm absolutely in love with this little boy. that's him praying. His name is Alvaro.

And here's a super awkward picture with president and his wife. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

#19 Voy a reir, voy a bailar, vivir mi vida lalalalala!

Shout out to our very own Phat Knat for introducing me to this song before I left. I thought it was pretty cool before, but now that I understand Spanish its kinda the bee's knees and my self proclaimed theme song. Y'all should look it up and listen and then look up the translation. I actually have no idea what it is called, but it's by Marc Antony (or however you spell that) and I just really like it. That subject line means "I'm going to laugh, I'm going to dance, live my life lalalala!" My favorite part is the la la's. Po.

So this morning I went running with a German shepherd at 6:00 in the morning in Peru. Yeah what'd you do? Because I'm jealous of anything else. But yeah that's the truth of how I started my p-day. I guess it was kinda fun and now I know that I can run faster than a German shepherd so, bonus! His name is Shadow and Hna Gonzalez is absolutely in love with him. I'm a little less fanatic about him ever since the whole dog fiasco that has since made me the joke of the entire mission. (Not an exaggeration. Everyone, EVERYONE, knows.) He's a police dog and the dog of the brother of one of our less actives. You guys remember Angela right? I wrote about her once. Well yeah that's her!
So this week has been... normal. Just preaching and praying and walking. And I don't mean for that to sound like I'm bored or think it's lame. Because I have neither time to be bored nor time to think stuff is lame. It's mission life right? And it's super cool and I'm super cool because of it I think. But one thing that happened this week is that we had a multizone conference! And that means Pres. Harbertson came to town! And it's way better than Santa. But I'm looking forward to Santa too. But yeah suuuper cool conference and I have a super cool story that may not be super cool to any of you, but I was kinda over the moon when it happened so I'm gonna share.

 So one of the zone leaders from BellaVista was conducting and he forgot to ask some one to lead the music. I was sitting in the front row right in front of Pres and his wife, so when we were getting ready to sing the opening song and nobody got up to lead, President looked at me and motioned for me to lead the music. I was like yeah normal and I walked up to the stand and got ready to lead (#another shout out to Sister Maughn who gave me and Mckenzie Hauver leading lessons when I was like 12!) President beckons me to walk over to him, so I do obediently, and then he leans over to me and says, and I quote "You sing really well so I knew that you would be perfect to lead." Can I get a holla at your Hermana! I don't know how he knows that I sing really well, because like, I do, but some how he knew and knows that I'm a boss leader (once again, thanks Sister Maughn) and I just thought that it was legit. Once again, I understand that you might not understand why this has significance, but oh boy does it. 

This week was the 26th birthday (yesterday actually) of one of my favorite ladies in our ward. Her name is Veronica and she is awesome. She got baptized like... 2 years ago and she's still super strong and lovely and the best. Well they (her and her sisters and cousins, one of which is Maxi whom we baptized) invited us to celebrate her birthday. so last night we went and it ended up being like this super spiritual family home evening complete with lessons and songs and the whole shebang. And I was so impressed by them, because here they are, a bunch of young girls, celebrating a birthday in the way they thought best. Talking about the savior. And I just thought geeze. My sisters and I would be watching Harry Potter or something like that (not that this is bad. Harry Potter Rocks.) But I just felt such an appreciation for these girls. Because really they only have each other. None of their parents are members and all live like 8 hours away, but they are always together and supporting each other and I just think they are a great example to everyone. A great example to show that family is so important. And whats more important is to live the gospel as a family. And that is what they are doing. I thought it was awesome. 

Well I think that just about covers it. We're not going to have a wedding this week... boo. But we're trying for the next week. So keep your fingers crossed. I love you all and hope all is well with everyone. Remember the little things in life. Prayer and scripture study are the foundation of everything. So build it up. 
Con mucho amor de Puno,
Hermana Rust 

 Also today we made real Mexican enchiladas. Take notes pops. Also, why yes, I do open my mouth really wide in every picture I take! 

 Running with Shadow. 

And that's maxi. I don't know if I have shown a picture of her yet. Well there she is. 

  Veronica ( Birthday girl) and Ruth. I love them. Oh also, if anyone wants to look up the words to that song I was talking about and send them to me, greatly appreciated. I don't know all the words and I want to learn. Tanks!
Ignore my horrible acne. It wasn't a good week for my face. But this is a very common Peruvian meals called... panchuto or something like that. Its just a hot dog cut in a spiral. I think they build things like way up in Peru. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

#18 The 10th day (plus like a month) The Sequel.

Ok remember how I had a little incident with a super lame dog a few weeks ago? Well for those who do not remember, I had a little incident with a super lame dog who bit me when I was trying to help this poor old lady who dropped a bottle of juice. There you are caught up. So I had to receive treatment of 5 different injections in the course of 2 ish weeks because after the dog bit me, we couldn't find it again to see if it had rabies. So I finished my treatment last Monday (I forgot to tell you...) and I was feeling pretty good because I was done being injected and I didn't have to visit doctor creepy (my doctor was an uber creep) and I was rabies free! So yeah feeling pretty good. So Tuesday, one day AFTER I finished my treatment, we went to visit the same lady who we were with when I got bitten by the dog. She has a little store (wagon) on the coast of Titicaca. So we're sitting chatting, selling, all the above, when out of the corner of my eye, I see a dog, lounging underneath a bench. I gave the dog a closer look and, sure enough, its the little booger that bit me!!! I found the dang dog that caused me five days of pain and creepiness the DAY AFTER!! I don't know how the dog knew, but oh that dog new that I had finished my treatment and the day after he decided to come out of hiding. I was ticked.This dog has forever soured me on dogs and I will now not permit my kids to have a dog. It's all your fault demon dog!!

Well on a happier note, we've just about completed the marriage papers we need to get Gaby and Victor hitched!! Their date is for the 17th of October and right after the wedding, Gaby is taking the other plunge into the font. It's gonna be a great day. So yay for next Saturday!

Ok how great was General Conference! Do all the women out there feel as pumped as I do?! Between Holland and Nelson, I'm convinced that I'm basically the best thing to walk this earth (along with all you other lovely ladies out there, you know who you are) Like holy Hannah Montana I just want to be a mom and go talk in everyone's ward councils (I won't do either of those anytime soon, but boy am I ready.) Super great talks. Also I felt a little nostalgia (literally have no idea how to spell this word... help mom! Or Nat!) seeing good old Kim B. Up on that screen. Felt a little BYU-I pride coursing through my veins. You go Kim B.! And the three new apostles look like little babies compared to the others, but I know they're gonna be stellar too.

 Oh and mom I am all down to Ponderize with ya! But right now I have a goal to memorize The Living Christ in English and Spanish, so paragraphs are going to be my scriptures. I hope that counts! I decided to start doing this last week because I felt that my testimony of Jesus Christ needed some more support. So I just started memorizing. Right now in both English and Spanish I have the first 3 paragraphs. It's really been something that I love and I can already feel my testimony growing ten fold. So my ponderizing this week will be in the fourth paragraph of The Living Christ. 

Well I can't think of anything else that I want to share... I hope this email makes up for my lame ones... I vowed before my mission to not be a lame email writer! But I think I might be failing a little. But I will repent and do better I promise!

 Well I want to leave you with some words that I have been thinking of for the past week. I don't know who said it, but I remembered it during one of the conference talks and it's a quote in the CCM. it says "You are not called for who you are, you are called for who you can become" And then another that a sister shared in here testimony also in the CCM. I actually think I already shared this like.. in the CCM, but I just loved what she said "You are enough. You are SO enough! Never forget how enough you are." And I add my testimony to both of these little quotes. That God knows our potential and that for now, we are enough. Just don't stop learning, don't stop progressing, and you will always be enough. That sounded really good in my mind, but I'm not sure it makes total sense. Put on your spiritual ears and maybe it'll make sense... Well I love you all, the Church is True. God is our loving Heavenly Father, Jesus is the Living Christ, and through these three things, we can have eternal happiness! 
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Rust

Me and a fish that is indigenous to Lake Titicaca

THIS IS THE DOG OF SATAN! I will forever hate this dog. 

 I was just really into photographing little boys in a not creepy way this week. These are Andre and Alvaro. They are the sons of a recent convert named Nellie. I call this picture "Brothers". Yeah I'm not that good at naming stuff... 

This is the little boy of Gaby and Victor. His name is Aaron and he is two and he is a chunk. Like Riley when he was a baby in Peru form. I think this picture is artistic. Go art.