Monday, December 21, 2015


Well Fredi, after that amazing lesson with Hna Maritza, FINALLY ACCEPTED TO BE BAPTIZED HERE IN PUNO ON THE 16TH OF JANUARY!!! 

 Oh my gosh I cried. I just was so happy. Like before he just was like "Hey yeah I wanna get baptized but I wanna wait and do it in Lima." But in our lesson I asked him, So Fredi have you thought more about baptism and the things Hermana Maritza said? And he told me "yeah Hermanas. I've been thinking a lot. And praying a lot. And meditating a lot. And after all that, I've decided that yeah, why should I wait? I want to get baptized here. Before I leave to go to Lima." Can I get a WHOOOP?! Like I actually whooped in the lesson. It was totally necessary. And I asked him if we could plan a date right now and he said " Yeah. When can I get baptized?" And we set a date, taught him a great lesson, he came to church, and everything is just going swimmingly. By far the happiest moment of my mission. Like when Maxi got baptized, it was equally happy, but it was just such a fight with  Fredi and we finally won!!! It was a good day that day. Super good.

Other good news, Gaby, the one who was going to get baptized like 3 months ago, finally is going to get baptized. Next Saturday!!! We finished her papers yesterday and she's already had all the lessons for months and we're finally gonna get er done! So January is looking to be a pretty good month. I'm really excited!

In sad news, our one baptism that we had planned, she decided to get up and head off to Arequipa without telling us and she was supposed to get baptized this week. But alas, that did not happen. And because Arequipa. I'm bummed. 

I don't think I really have anything else to say... just one more thing. Today was pday de zona and I went to go get the volley ball that fell in the puddle, slipped and fell and got all wet. It was really lame. 

Well family I will see you so soon! And so we'll plan for saturday, 12:00 your time. I can't wait to see you all! Love you!  

These are some cute kids that I just adore. Ian Paul, Erik, and Fabrizio 

Long live llama sweaters. It's seriously my favorite thing I own

That's a rabbit that the elders had that they were going to kill and eat. I don't think they ever did. 

District chanu chanu! Me, Elder Pearce, Elder Bravo, Elder Reyes, and Hermana Rodriguez. Well Actually, that's not our district anymore. But yeaaaah. Oh elder Flores is in there too next to elder Pearce. 

We love integrackers. 

And last one, that's me living up to my momma leading the missionary choir in good ol Puno Peru! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

#29 17 Miracles (well like 4 really)

Well this week started really lousy, got really great, and then today, got kinda lousy. Because today are transfers. And our whole zone is changing. I'm particularly bummed because Hermana Baker has had a transfer. And I don't know what I am going to do without her. We've been together for 7 months, living together no less, and now she's off to Abancay as an Hermana Leader! I can't believe how quickly she is being called to positions of leadership! It's seriously so fast. People usually aren't Hermana Leaders until their 8th or 9th transfers. And she's already there. I'm so proud of her. She is going to be great. But I'm really sad for me. She's been my best friend here through everything. I feel like I'm leaving home again. Like leaving family again. And I know she's bummed about leaving so I don't want to say anything, but seriously my heart is breaking. I'm going to miss her so much. And I hope and pray that we can serve in the same area again. Soon.

 Also Hermana McMahon is leaving. Other piece of my heart. Gone. And everyone else that was in my original zone when I got here is gone. Elder Pearce, my zone leader, Elder Bodily, we shared a ward, and now I'm the oldest here in Puno Central. Like by 2 transfers. So that's weird. I'm kinda jealous. Like I'm going on my 5th transfer here in Puno. By the time I'm done training Hermana Rodriguez, I'll have almost 9 months in the mission. And I don't get how that is possible. I'm convinced that it's not and that this is all just a weird coma. I just feel like I'm starting the mission all over. Transfers stink. But you know it's a good thing. I know I'm not done here yet and the month of January is going to be jammed packed of baptisms and weddings! Yeah now we're to the good part. The miracles of Christmas! 

So this week we were like hey you know what we're just going to be awesome. Well it didn't start off like that. Awesome I mean. Hermana Rodriguez came down with a bug and was walking dead for a couple days. So we didn't have a whole lot of work that we were doing because she just wasn't doing so hot. But we always left in the afternoon to try to have something and boy did we have something.

 We'll start off with Fredi. Fredi is a 6 ft 4 19 year old Peruvian (duh) who is just awesome. Like in our first cita with him, we challenged him to be baptized and he responded with "Oh Hermanas. I would LOVE to be baptized" and we were all whoop and hallelujah. But then things got kind of weird. Like he still wanted to learn, but he was really closed off about it. Like we freaked him our or something. So things got reeeeaaaallly slow with him. He told us he still wanted to be baptized but that he wanted to wait until January (he told us this in October) and that he wanted to get baptized in Lima. And it's like well yeah we can try to convince him to get baptized sooner and to get baptized here, but he was like a mule and so we're like yeah we'll keep teaching him and hope for the best. But yeah nothing really changed. We kept teaching him but he was like nope. Lima. Bummer right? But This week something changed. He's a young single guy so obviously we can't go alone to teach him and our usual plan A, Gaby, had classes and couldn't come with us. So like 2 hours before the appointment, we called in a moment of desperation our Bishop's Wife, Hermana Maritza! She is awesome! I remember like my fist transfer here I compared someone to sister Bolton, well I retract that and now I'm saying that Hermana Maritza is literally the soul sister of Hermana Bolton. They are the same! Hermana Maritza is just really short. But yeah she's like hey lets go. So we went and she just told him straight up "Fredi, I know that you are an awesome kid, and I know that your going to get baptized. So just do it. Don't worry about anyone else. Just do it. because you know. And I've never seen you in the chapel, so this week we'll see ya in church. Listo?" And he was like uhhh what? But guess what, HE CAME!!! AND STAYED ALL 3 HOURS! That never happens! He always goes to Juli in the weekends and never goes to church.But he came. And I almost cried. He's going to Lima the fines de Enero for  vacations, but we're going to try to get him baptized before se va! 

Miracle number 2. 
Remember Maribi and Giomar from last week and Giomars questions that kind of killed me inside. Well this week holy cow our lesson was awesome. We brought this time our Bishop and his daughter (the bishops family rocks) and in the beginning we confirmed with them that they were going to come to church this week. Well Maribi was still a go, but Giomar told us that he wouldn't be able to because he was going to travel (People here always travel. Always.) And we were like Dang. We don't want that. But what can we do? So we just kind of left it. And then the Bishop just talked to them and gave them the fellow-shipping of a lifetime and they talked for like 45 minutes with us just watching and usually that would bug me but in that lesson, I was so grateful. Because Giomar, who is a less active, told us before he didn't want to come to the church because he was worried that people would judge him and wonder how he wasn't married and already had a kid and he just didn't want to go for that. But the bishop just opened his arms and his heart to this family and the whole spirit in the house changed. It felt like a big happy family reunion. And at the end of the lesson, Giomar asked us again at what time our meetings started. We told him 9 to 12. He said "Yeah. I'm going to do all I can to come. You can plan on me too with Maribi". It took all my strength to not scream and jump for joy in that moment. Because before  he was always like "yeah the next week hermanas. I promise" and that fell 2 weeks. But yesterday I had the pleasure of watching him, all suited and tied up, walk into the chapel hand in hand with Maribi and their little son Evan in tote, also in suit and tie. It's the first family that I have brought to the church services. And it was seriously the best feeling in the world to see them there, take the sacrament, and sing the hymns. We gave them both Books of Mormon with our testimonies written in them. During the sacrament, they both read in their Book of Mormon our testimonies. I wrote in Giomar's and Hermana Rodriguez in Maribi's. I was sitting behind them so I couldn't see Maribi very well, but Giomar was diagonal to me so I could see his face as he read. And I swear I saw a tear. He laughed at a couple parts, I don't know why, maybe I'm funny, or my grammar is still really bad, but you could just see a brightness about him. And I just watched as they read. and they showed each other their own and it was just such a precious moment for me to witness this family learn and feel the spirit together. I loved every minute of it. I can't wait for them to come this following week.

 It's just so amazing to see the impact that really the members have in this work with the investigators. I think that's the thing I learned most this week. That wow it really does make a difference. These two things that happened this week I am convinced would have never had happened had it not been for the members, in particular the Bishop's family, that helped us. Before I shrugged my shoulders at the members. Like no pasa nada. But where was my faith? Where was my faith in the work that God has for them? I am not doing to this obra de salvacion alone. Nor should I. I just have to get off my high horse and accept the help that is so ready to go with me. That's what I learned. That the members aren't the problem. It's my pride that's the problem. Humility is an interesting thing isn't it. Cuts you down right when you need it, but blesses you more that you can imagine. I studied that this morning; that if I am not humble, no pasa nada. And God really humbled me this week. And I had more success this one week then I have had in months.
 Love you! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

#28 Angels We Have Heard On High

So we have started a missionary Choir! And guess who is the director? Yours truly! Haha mom you'd be so proud of me! We are singing two nights a week in the main plaza of Puno and contacting as we do so. And our first night was Saturday night! And boy can we not sing. But it was still so fun and because Puno is a super touristy place, we had people from all different countries watching and listening to us! It was the best! And they enjoyed it! Everytime we stopped, they begged us for more! Don't ask me why because we sure weren't angels, but maybe we had a couple accompanying us that day. I like to think so. And then at the end, we were geting ready to leave, and a mob of moms and little girls came up to me "Perdon senorita, pero una foto por favor? una foto por favor?" and you know me, I like to please the fans so I posed and smiled and did all that famous stuff. So yeah I think it's safe to say I'm Puno Royalty or something. I'm going for it. And they didn't ask anyone else for pictures, just me! (insert hair flip here) 

Ok my moment of pride is over, we'll get back to the good old missionary work. 
So this week was kind of slow... We have two investigators that are just awesome and I love them both so much but they are driving me crazy! Neither of them will accept a baptism date! No matter what we do, they both just say no. All the time. WE fasted for them both yesterday and now we're hoping for a miracle. One is  Isabel and she just wont talk to her husband about marriage. I don't understand why nobody here is married. It's really getting on my nerves. She's afraid to talk to her husband about it and she knows that she has to because she has to get married before she gets baptized, and she knows the church is true, but there's something else wrong that we've gotta figure out before she can take the plunge into marriage and the baptismal font. Right now I'm just really hoping for a miracle of extreme measures for her.

 The other is Julio and he's been attending the church since... Julio. Since like my second week here. And he too knows that the church is going to bless his life, but he doesn't want to accept a date until he knows everything. We're trying to get him to understand that he doesn't need to know everything yet, that what he's got is enough faith to be baptized, but that's not good enough for him either. He's not reading the Book of Mormon a lot, so we're trying to put more emphasis in that so he can really get a testimony. But those are our two, stubborn, investigators that I just love with all my heart but they are really driving me bonkers. I guess that's true love though,. right?
This week we also had a a great and terrible lesson with this new family we are teaching. Their names are Giomar and Maribi. Giomar is a less active of... 12 years. He lives with Maribi (They aren't married of course) and she is an investigator. They have a 2 year old son named Ivan and they are going really well. We've only had 2 lessons with them, but we've got big plans for a wedding and a baptism. But this past lesson we had was just kind of... rough. you see, Giomar has a lot of... doubts. And one of these is why all the people, all the leaders, of the church are from The United States. And he is very vocal about it. It's one of the reasons he fell away he told us. And I've never even thought about that before. It never even caught my attention. I mean we know that there are leaders from all parts of the world, but his beef is that the 12 and first presidency, with  the exception of President Uchtdorf, are all American. And I didn't have a clue what to say. I mean its a bit awkward because I too am from the United States and I felt almost a little attacked, and I wanted to fight him on it. But I didn't because what good would that do? So I just told him that I had faith that God knew what he was doing. I told him that I had faith that God loved all his children, not important where they are from, what language they speak, or how they looked. I told him I had faith that God was preparing people in all parts of the world to be instruments and leaders in his hands. I don't know if what I told him gave any peace to his mind on the subject, but he did back down and accept what I said. I told him to pray to find peace in this; to find a way to maybe not understand, but to accept. And at the same time, I received peace and comfort from this too. Because it's easy to get caught up in these little things. To think that God doesn't love me as much as others because I don't have the priesthood, or because I was born into a certain family, or whatever the problem may be. But we can't let our faith lessen in respect of how much our Heavenly father loves us. How he loves all of us the same. That we are all his children. So that was our interesting lesson with Giomar and I hope that he can receive peace from these feelings. 

Well that's all I've got for you now folks! But I just want to wish a very very happy birthday to my Beautiful mother who prepared me for this moment of fame I had as choir director. I learned everything I know from her! I love you mom and I hope your day was awesome and that beebz was nice to you! Also Happy Birthday to Danny Boy. You've got a beautiful son thank's to your beautiful wife (you're not too bad yourself) and I just hope that you guys are having the best time as your little family. Seriously that boy is beautiful. I can't wait to meet him! Oh and it was so fun to see Emily in the Christmas devotional all up close and I screamed when I saw her and all the missionaries got mad at me but I didn't even care because I got to see PB!!! It was the best. Well I love you all and hope the spirit of Christmas is all a glow in  your homes and Hearts! Two more weeks and I'll see ya'll real soon! Love everyone! 
Hermana Rust

 This is from when I got my hair cut and it's just to show the monstrosity that are my roots. 
Hermana Baker was a little scissor happy
 Selfies and Cuteness
 We went to an inca and The condor. The condor at 3 in the morning. Why do I do these things?