Monday, October 31, 2016

#66 I Feel Like I Found Where I Belong

Last night, I attended a mission farewell. Here they do it different. They have like a separate little meeting aside from the sacrament meeting where we share testimonies and we eat right before they missionary goes to get set apart. It's super sweet and I like it alot! So I was asked to direct the music and we were singing called to serve right? Anthem of the mission. We were in the last verse where it says "Combatamos la maldad!" or "We fight evil". Well I just was getting into it like my mom always does, and in the midst of all the excitement I changed one little word that just ruined the whole meaning of the song. Instead of saying "Maldad" I said "Verdad" which would be like saying "We fight against the truth." I thought that no one was going to notice, but everyone started laughing and when I saw them laughing and realized my error, I was gone. So that's just one of those classic "white girl speaking spanish" stories where everything goes wrong. Love those stories!

Well this week, or really yesterday, we had a great appointment with a young woman who will be getting baptized the 13th of November, or in other words, my last official day in the mission. So we are pretty excited for that. She has had 3 baptism dates that have fallen through, but now we understand why. 

Her name is Elidia and she is 16 years old and a sweet heart. Yesterday we watched The Restoration video  with her. We were a little worried because when we started the video, a buuuunch of people came to visit her aunt and they were talking really loud and it was kind of really annoying. So I was just kind of upset and hoping that she was going to grasp something if anything from the video. So it ended and we began to talk about it a little bit. I asked her how she felt and she said that she was a little confused about who appeared to Joseph Smith. We explained that it was God and Jesus Christ. And then after that, she started sharing some more about how she felt. She told us that she had heard the story before, because we taught her it, but that she never understood it before; that it didn't enter her heart. But when she saw the video, she could really feel that this was something real. Not just a story, but something important that has affected all of our lives. She said that she felt in her heart that it is true. Then she started explaining her overall feelings about the Gospel. She said something along these lines: "I have been to a lot of churches. And each one was good. It was nice. But I never felt comfortable in one. I never felt complete. Then my sister invited me to come live here with her mother in law. I had no idea that they were mormons. Even when they invited me to church, I thought we were going to the catholic church. But then we went to the mormon church, and I met you! And now I have been here and I feel different. I feel like I've found where I belong. I feel like I have found the lords house. I think that all the other times I didn't get baptized is because God knew that I needed to know more. And now I know. I can feel it. Now it's my time." 

Holy cow it was sooooo powerful! And she was talking with just such an excitement for finding the restored gospel. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my mission. Like I've never cried in a lesson, I'm not that kind of person and like that doesn't even mean anything if you cry in a lesson, but I cried. So take that how you will. It was just an amazing experience to see someone know. I believe that all my converts have been prepared, but I think that Elidia has been prepared more than anyone. 
Well that has been my cool experience for the week! 

I hope everyone has a lovely week and I will see yall real soon!
Hermanita Rust

That's my district. And Elder Ccente. He's the one up front and not from my district. He says he looks like a frog in this. I would be inclined to believe.

So the day of the living is something celebrated here and it was yesterday and they give bread with a baby head in it. 

We found a combi (or van that is public transportation) from Talavera in Cusco! 

 We went to puerto a few weeks ago and it is literally so hot that.. you can't that is why I look like this.

Marilia left on her mission. She was like our third companion. Her and Danessda aaaalways came with us! So it was sad to say goodbye.

We took Pati to institute! This was the whole class (And it was "the eternal family" how trunky is that?) 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

# 65

Well I'm glad the crisis of last week is over because this week was soooo much better. Thank you sooo much for the prayers in my behalf. They were heard and answered and felt.

Well this week we had a baptism! I don't know if I've talked about Paty before, but we met her about a month and a half ago. In fact it was exactly 1 transfer after we met her that she got baptized. Yesterday in fact. Last transfer, in week one, we met her, and week one in this new transfer she got baptized. It is by far the fastest baptism that I have had, but it was also the most... solid. Like Paty was seriously prepared from the get-go. She's not going anywhere. She has gone through a lot of hard stuff in her life, and she is only 20 years old, like heart surgeries, possible cancer, ugly break ups (that's actually how we met her...) and the most recent one is that her mother does not support her. At all. She came to her baptism alone, crying, but with the firmness still in her heart of the decision she had made. She really is an amazing person. It's been a hard but short road with her, and yesterday, we got to participate in her baptism. Have I ever told you how cool it is being a missionary?? 
SO yeah I'll send pictures when my comp finishes sending them.

Lets see what else. 

Well, we went to a hotel to go find Rene, our recent convert from August. He's going through some stuff so we went looking for him at his work. We knocked on the door, some guy walked out, we asked if Rene was there, he said no, we turned to leave. But just as I was turning, a white guy walked out of the hotel. And it was Michael Buble!!

I hope someone actually believed that.  Probs not. Ha no it was some white skinny guy and he starts talking to me in Spanish. He says "This is a very economic hotel. Its very nice and you wont find anything like it anywhere close to here." Well I wasn't looking for a place to stay obviously so I just told him "Oh we live here in Cusco, we're just looking for someone. Thanks!" And I thought to turn again, but then something told me, "Wait!" so I stayed for a second, even though this guy was scaring me a little bit. But after just a second, he says to me now in English "Mormon right?" 
"Yeah! you know about the church?"
"Of course. I was one. A long time ago." Well his English was perfect, and his Spanish as well, so I didn't really know where he was from so I asked and he said that he was from California, but had lived in Peru for 7 years. His mom is Colombian and his dad gringo. His name is Rico Johnson. 
Well his statement about having been Mormon a long time ago intrigued me, so I asked and he spilled the whole story. Wow this guy could talk. And he did so in Spanglish. Which is the language I speak best so all good for me.
He was a missionary in Florida like... 20 years ago. And then just because of certain things all throughout his life, he starting distancing himself from the church. He calls himself a missionary now. He goes to little communities around Cusco and helps them and lives among them and gains their trust and becomes there friends. He doesn't have any work or anything, just goes around living. So interesting guy right? Well during all this, I was wondering why he even came out and started talking to us in the first place, because he didn't even work in the hotel. He just left. Well after talking to him for about 30 minutes, he told us why. He said that he was sitting in the lounge of the hotel, listening to some Peruvian preacher on the radio and reflecting on how he needed God more in his life. Then, he looked out the window and saw blonde hair. Blonde curls he said, I curled my hair that day, and that he figured it was some tourist looking for a place to stay. And well, he's very "good Samaritan" type so he felt that he should go help the poor tourist in distress because maybe she doesn't speak Spanish and needs help, so he exited the hotel. And then he saw the plaques and thought "Well God literally just pulled me out of the hotel and kicked me into the street saying ´you need them!´!" And he accepted the missionaries and he wants to read The Book of Mormon again. And it was just very interesting. And the weirdest part of all is that Rene, didn't even work at that hour and we knew that when we went, but completely forgot. So everything just kind of fell into place for us to find this lost brother. I don't know if he'll go back to the church, we won't even be teaching him because he lives in a different ward, but I know that he found us because God prepared the way. Everything was prepared. 

So those were just two things that happened this week. There really was much more, but alas, I do not have time. But miracles are always around the corner.
Well that is all for the week!
Hermana Rust 

Monday, September 26, 2016


I loooooved the focus of Women's Conference. I found a lot of guidance for my life. I'm slowly leaving the comfort zone that I have made for myself here in the mission, and the things that I learned in Women' s Conference are going to help me with that.

Well this week had some bummers and had some Miracles. 

We always start with bad news right? 
I talked about Elidia last week and how she was going to get baptized this week. Well that didn't happen. There was a HUGE misunderstanding about her sister and a strike that was going on in Machu Picchu and angry words were spoken (mostly by me) and tears were shed (mostly by my companion) and it was just a  big hooplah!  Now, we're not entirely sure what's going to happen with her, but we're hoping she'll be able to get baptized the 7th of October (it's so weird that that is soooo soon.) So yeah, bummer of the week.

But like we learned... 3 months ago maybe, is that there can be miracles when you believe! (has anyone listened to that song?) 

So I was in divisions with Hermana Johnson, she's new in the mission. And we were trying to find our appointment,  ( which we never found) and we were knocking on doors that could possibly be the door of the lady. Well a young man opened the door. At first sight, he just screams PUNK! Like screamo listening, back tatooing, house ransacking punk. I wasn't going to contact him, but something told me that I should. So I did and gave him the card. set an appointment, and we left. So we had our appointment with him Saturday. He's seventeen, got blond hair, wears scary shirts, and has piercings. Like I said, punk. But when we started talking, I asked him why he had accepted our visit. He said he wanted to know God. That simple. He didn't say anything else. Just that he wanted to know God. Well we thought that was just as good a desire as any other. So we continued. We asked him what he felt towards God. He said nothing. And that's why he wanted the visit. He doesn't know if God really exists. First person I've met in allll my mission that has said this. But he wants to know. He talked about repentance. we bore our testimonies of a real living loving God. He listened. It was special. We asked him to pray, and he was really nervous, but he did. He gave thanks over and over again for our visit, saying that he was very content, very happy that we had come. He asked God to help him believe. And then we set another appointment. I have yet to see a youth so.... hungry to know. His name is Ivan and I'm really excited to see where he goes. 

But I learned a valuable lesson. That God looks not upon the outward appearance. And how WONDERFUL is that. He loves blond haired, pierced, and tatooed Ivan. He loves loud mouthed, zitted faced, crazy Hermana Rust. He loves us regardless. And that's what I learned. That we are all children of our Heavenly Father, and each one of us has the light of Christ in our hearts. Each one has the capacity to feel, recognize, and act on that light. Regardless of how we dress, where we are come from, or what we have done. And Ivan has felt that light. It was probably something that he had never before experienced. And I was there to experience it with him. How cool right?

Well weeks will always have there bummers, but they also will always have their miracles. And that's a promise. 

Send my love to all! I'm gonna send some pictures of my P-day with Travis. Best P-day ever! 
Love you all!
Hermana Rust

That's us at Koricancha. 

We bought matching pants. And jumped in the street. And that's an undershirt, worry not. 

Also, Travis found a gross soccer ball and decided it made him look more "street". He was right.

He posed in all my companions pictures.  

We all tried taking selfies, but he's just so dang tall that he had to do it. He did it well!

 And the girlies.


Monday, August 29, 2016

# 63

We had a baptism!!! It was kinda sorta a last minute thing, but it went off without too many hitches. I don't know if you remember René, he never showed up to his first baptism and he's the one who had the alcohol addiction, but he went sober and got baptized. It was a simple service, Obispo Dueñas baptized him (The one who served with Brandon) and it was all just super nice. We went to go pick him up, and when we knocked on the door, he opened it, quickly said "Nobody is here! Bye!" slammed the door, and then opened the door again with a big smile and said "yeah just kidding, come in!" Haha it was funny, and then we left! He's been a long... kinda hard process. But after everything, he did it and he grew a lot in his faith because of it. If there's something I've learned on my mission, it's to never give up on anyone. Even the most lost of causes. There is siempre a miracle that can take place in their hearts. And that miracle took place in René´s. 

We also had a suuuuper cool ward activity brought to you by the missionary work (that sounds really weird in English, but makes a lot of sense in Spanish... por la obra misional! Nat will get it I think...) We had a  talent show. It started at six, and at six, it seemed like this talent show was going to a flop. But when 7 rolled around, there were still few people, but there was more promise. By 7:30, everyone was having a jolly good time. Peruvian standard time = 1 and a half hours late. But we didn't let that get us down. We were all singing and dancing and it was fun. The ward mission leader was MCing and there was an 11 year old girl who was dancing lambada for her talent and she pulled Hno Mandujano onstage to dance with her. He's a short little guy, so they made a good pair, until he dipped her, and with the momentum, fell on top of her and broke the microphone. Moral of the story is that we need to dance waaaaay more lambada in the talent shows in the states. It was hilarious. And then the son of Hno Mandujano danced the dance from The Mask (I've never seen it, but everyone said it was juuuuuust like the movie) with mask and all. Suuuuper cute. I have all the videos, so one day in the distant future we'll sit down and see just how cool Latin American talent shows are.
Well it's been a long, busy, exhausting week for the both of us. I had to pick up and drop off sisters all week for transfers and then plan an activity and then a baptism.. so hands full. But this week should be more chill. I mean, still jam packed but with all the stuff that I actually like to do!  
Send my love to alllll! Here's some pictures of the week! 
Hermana Rust

We had to say goodbye to our favorite district leader, elder Lopez. Transfers stink sometimes.  He went to puerto. He was always shooting us with his hand guns. He's basically a Peruvian Logan Call. 

Oh I forgot to mention that I sang in the talent show. I sang somewhere over the rainbow in a key that was waaay too high and waaay too low. And also, when I sing, I look slightly... well you can decide.

Las cuatro amigas. I lufff them. 

Rene got baptized! I hate taking pictures with guys. Its sooo uncomfortable. 

#62 *original post August 22, 2016

 When I saw Travis... holy cow it was wild. Like I was on a bus, and we were passing the corner where I live, and I vaguely see out of the corner of my eye a tall guy with a hoodie on. I remember briefly thinking "wow, he looks a lot like Travis!" And then when I took a closer look, IT WAS HIM! I started hitting the window to get his attention and everyone was staring at me, it was a little embarrassing, but he saw me, smiled, and then just hopped on the bus.  
But yeah I just started screaming "What are you doing here? Where are you going? What?!  Haha. Everyone was staring at us.

Not everyday that your brother comes to visit you... on your mission... in Peru. Haha his face kills me! 

 Got my nails did today. this manicure cost.... 2.50! Can you believe that?!?! 

We went to a zoo and he grabbed my hand. I made him let go, so I think that's why he is upset.

Monday, August 8, 2016

#61 Just a little note.

This is kind of going to be a short little email. Not much to report. I mean there are a few updates I could give. Reiner came to church yesterday! And it was cool because it was stake conference! And he came! He admitted to sleeping a little through it... but I mean I also did that.. so I can't judge. And then that night, my comp and I were in divisions, but when she went to go visit him, she invited him to be baptized! And He said YES!!! it was suuuper cool. I mean I wasn't there, but I imagine that it was super cool. 

That's basically what has happened this week. I was in divisions all week with other girls and so I hardly saw Hermana Conde, but I got to get to know a lot of the other sisters so that's fun. Now... I don't really have much to say but I will use my spare time to send pictures! So enjoy that. 
Love everyone and hope you are swell! Mom send me questions again. I need more material. 
Hermana Rust 

That's Marilia. She's 19 and just got her mission call. I lufff her!

I loook suuuper plastic in this, but that's hermana arza and hermana david. We visit them. Argentina and colombiana.

That's me and cusco. And the tahuantinsuyo flag. Try saying that I dare you. 
And this is an inca door.

we played futbol with president this past pday. Fue legit. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

#60 Everything is great everything is grand

I don't have a tooooon to say this week, just to start out with that. But I can give an update on Reiner. We had an appointment with him yesterday and he's still a little closed, but he's softening up. I can see the spirit really working through him. He´s got a long way to go, but we're getting there. Little by little.

This week I want to talk about René. He's an investigator that we have been teaching for a loooong time, since I got here. He had a baptism date, but he never showed up due to his alcohol addiction. He is a great guy, but he's suffered a bit his whole life with addictions and things like that. he´s 33. So he disappeared for like a month. then we taught him again. Then he disappeared again for another month and finally, yesterday, we found him!!! finally!! He came to church and then we set an appointment for that same afternoon. And we went in and it was kinda of like another declaring repentance type of thing. He was finally frank with us and his addiction and we were finally able to get somewhere. We set plans and goals for him to stop drinking and smoking, including deleting numbers from his phone and avoiding certain people. It was awesome! and he was helping us set the plans! Suuuper cool and he had like a different light in his eyes. Waaaay cool. And so now we've got that going. So the work is going. It's hard sometimes, but it's moving. 

I don't really have anything else to say today... everything is well, I'm a little stressed out about school and all that stuff, but it's all gonna work out. 

I'm just going to send pictures now... But I looooove everyone who reads this. 

Hermana Rust 

This week we washed blankets with our feet... 

that's hermana Stickle. I love her!

It's my group!! All together again! hermana Baker, Hermana Rust, Elder Vance, and elder Tsosi! 

that's hermana Vicky, my pensionista! 

And that's Zoe, the granddaughter of my pensionista. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

#59 There can be miracles...

Well this has been the TRUNKIEST p-day ever.

Here's why. We went to Chili's to lunch and then got frozen yogurt. 2 things that I have not done in over a year. Then a Michael Buble song came on in the mall. And then I logged onto my email to find emails about college, an email from the mission offices asking me questions so that they can buy my plane ticket, and an email from Elder Winzenreid saying he gets home next week! Like what the heck! I still have like 6 months left. So I'm nooooot trunky nor will I ever be. But today, yes it was trunky.

But we're not going to focus on that. 

Instead we'll focus on the miracles. There's a song that I always listen to that is actually from the movie The Prince of Egypt which I have never even seen but the music is top notch and it's a song that is called "When You Believe". The original from the movie is lovely, but I am partial to the Whitney Houston/Mariah Carey rendicion because you know I love it when the black girls belt it out (I strive to be able to do that better, for that I listen to the masters). I invite you to listen to them both. In the chorus it says "There can be miracles when you believe. Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill. Who knows what miracles you can achieve, when you believe, somehow you will, you will when you believe." Inspirational right? And now just imagine two powerhouses busting their lungs out singing it and try to hold back the tears. 

So this has kind of become my.... lema? how is that in English... 
Because you see, we had concilio this past week, and all we talked about was the missionary broadcast that there was this past January about preaching repentance and baptizing converts. Our new president is really focusing in on just that. So me and my companion were discussing about how we could better incorporate that into our proselyting and we decided to have repentance be it's own lesson because sometimes we don't put enough emphasis on that. But it kind of scared us because who reeeeaaaallly likes crying repentance to people? It's uncomfortable and awkward. But we decided that there was a reason that this had such a large emphasis, not only in our own mission, but in missionary work as a whole.
Well this determination that we had was put to the test yesterday. We found a new investigator last week. His name is Reinar. His wife is a member but he has absolutely ZERO interest in the church. He's heard the lessons before but quite frankly he just made fun of the gospel. Last week was our first appointment and it was... awful. His poor wife has been going through some hard stuff with her autistic son and just with being the only member. Struggling. And we tried teaching them that the gospel could help us cope with these things, that their son would be perfect in the next life, and that they could be an eternal family. He didn't believe it and wasn't too excited with our setting a return appointment. But we did and it was for the next Sunday, or yesterday. So we go to the appointment yesterday, kind of nervous and scared because we didn't know what to teach and we didn't know how he would take it. The night before we planned to do repentance as a show of our faith that this is what God wants us to do, but I don't think we really trusted in the promises that had come with the invitation to preach repentance. But we did it. 

We started the lesson, putting on our brave faces. We read with them from Alma 36, Alma's conversion story, and we just discussed it. How Alma felt, how we feel when we sin, how it feels when we repent. All that jazz. And during the whole lesson, the weirdest thing was happening. Reinar was LISTENING. Not just listening, but intently, drinking in the words, nodding in agreement, reading the scriptures, participating. It was a miracle. A complete 180 from the first time we had visited him. And we asked him how he felt, to which he responded that he believed that everything we had said was true. A miracle. 

Now he's still not the golden investigator that every missionary hopes to find and baptize, but now he's a man open to learning. Maybe he'll get baptized, maybe he won't. but I am sure that when he does get baptized, it is because he is converted to the Lord through sincere repentance. It's the only way we can be converted. 

So what I learned is that God knows what he is doing. He gives us the opportunity to act on his promises and then fulfills them. Every time. it was kind of lame of me to not trust in this promise, what can I say the flesh is weak, but every time my testimony is stronger and stronger about the fulfillment of the promises of God. He works miracles. If you believe. 

I just want to end making a few birthday shout outs and these people will get their own emails of course because I love them, but just so everyone else can see how great I am to remember birthdays even when I am on another continent ;) 
Happy Birthday to  my favorite of all the Chuppies, Phat Knat. You're a great sister and I love ya to Peru and back. 
Happy Birthday to my main Bae Ansley Jo. Stop having dreams that I'm going to desert you ok?
Happy Birthday to my Hal Pal who doesn't even know who I am anymore and calls me Natalie... kind of destroys my heart completely but I still love her and I hope she still watches Reba at 2 everyday and then takes a nap. That was our routine. 
And a very belated Birthday to my Poppo! I'm sorry it's taken so long, I'm a bad daughter sometimes, but I love you too Paps! 

Well that has been my week! Enjoy the 100+ weather, I know I will be enjoying the 60 degree weather here.

Send my love to all and remember that there are miracles when you believe! 
Hermana Rust 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

#58 Transfers Week

Holy Hannah Montana, I am EXAHSTED. Like too tired to even try to  remember how to spell exahsted. So we will leave it at that.

And you must be asking why I am even tired. That's a very good question. Because i didn't even get transferred. Didn't even move. But I am tired because I was basically the mother to 19 hermanas this week as we picked them up from the bus station, took them to our house, made sure they had food to eat and a place to sleep, and then took them back to the bus station the next day to go to their new areas or to the hospital to work out all the stomach infections that go around here. I think we can say that I am pretty darn prepared and will have a good hand on motherhood. 

We had Hermanas at our house from Tuesday to Friday, and for that reason we weren't able to work in our area as much as we would have liked, but I think Heavenly father must have seen that we runned our little hind quarters off, so he gave us a few miracles by having a new investigator come to church yesterday and finding 4 new investigators on Sunday alone. It was exactly what my little worn out heart and mind needed. Tender mercies! 

But one of our lessons  yesterday, oy me asustò! She was one of the most closed off people I had ever met! Me and Hermana Conde were scared to death while we taught her. Like she would listen to us, but the minute we would stop talking, she told us how much she disliked everything we were saying. And I've never been in that situation before. Like there are people who don't really  want us to visit them, but at the end of the appointment, they still listen and are gracious and then just stop answering our phone calls. We part ways peacefully. I sooooo prefer that! But I think that this must have been a little test for me, to see if I could still, in the face of blatant opposicion,  share this message with the conviction and spirit it deserves. To be honest, I don't know how well I did, but it was something terrifying that I'm pretty sure that I had to go throw to test the strength of my own testimony. So It was necessary and it was what I needed. 

Well That's really all that happened this week. 

This Wednesday is our first concilio with Presidente Herrera, so that will be fun to kind of get to know him on a more personal level. Looking forward to it!
Hope you have a splendid week and we'll talk to ya next week!
Hermana Rust
 "Be happy!" 

This  is a perro peruano, or Peruvian dog. It's probs the ugliest thing I've seen because it does not have hair and it feels like a rat. For that reason, i have named it smegol (i knew how to spell that at one point... maybe thats right.) his owners weren¡t too  pleased with my naming it. But they should have picked a less repulsing dog.  

from this angle, he looks more like dobby. Smegobby I will call him. 

   funny story. We were picking sisters up from the terminal and we just so happened to run into two guys that hermana conde and I reactivated from Talavera!! what a strange coincidence that once again, 
hermana conde and I were companions! Fun small world stuff that happens. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

#57 Golden Girl

So we've got an investigator who just Rocks! She's golden.  Her name is Susana and I looove her!

 We stop by her store everyday to chat for a few minutes and she is ALWAYS, without fail, reading on her tablet from the church library app a conference talk, or from the scriptures. Last week she started and finished the Pearl of Great Price and thinks that Moses just blows Genesis out of the water. How cool is she! She's had a few baptism dates now that have fallen because she wasn't ready yet or because she was passing through difficulties, but we have full confidence that she will get baptized. She wants to get baptized with her two children, Eduardo and Claudia. Eduardo is 10 years old and at first did not want to get baptized because he was afraid of the water, but now he's all for it if he can wear white socks so that the people won't see his feet. We told him that we are just fine with that.  Her daughter is Claudia. She's 19 and she's a little less excited. We're having some problems with her and we hope that we can help her to come to the knowledge of the truth of the gospel. We hadn't known what to do lately, because Susana won't get baptized unless it's the three of them.
Well last week, Eduardo got sick. He's got asthma so he gets sick really easily. We've told Hermana Susana about priesthood blessings and she said that she'd like Eduardo to have one. So we set it up with the Elders and we went over to give her a blessing. To our surprise, Claudia was to receive one as well because she has the same problem. So elder Huallparuca and Elder Lopez gave her a blessing. And the words that were said literally were the words that she HAD to hear. The words she NEEDED to hear. We didn't tell the elders anything about Claudia, we didn't even know that she would be there. But because the power of God is so undeniably real, he communicated the things to her that he wanted her to know. And it was incredible. I was so grateful to be apart of the experience. 
Now we haven't seen Claudia since that day, so we don't know if it's had an impact on her or anything. But I trust that it's something that will change her life. Because it changed mine. I am so grateful to know that we have a God who loves us enough, who trusts us enough, to give us his power so we can feel of his love and power even more. How incredible, no?
Well that was my favorite experience of this week. Nothing really funny happened this week...

Last night I was picking up dinner from my pensionista's house. She told us it would be Aji de Gallina which is a chicken dish that is AMAZING and I'm going to have to learn how to make it, but they only make Aji de Gallina when tourists come to there house. So we figured we be seeing a bunch of gringos in their house which isn't anything out of the ordinary, so we walked in. But was it just an ordinary tourist? no! It was ELDER MONTOYA! Who is in the area presidency! And I had no idea who he was!! I walked in and I saw them and just smiled and then Hermana Vickey says "Sisters, this is Elder Montoya." I was just like "Oh! I'm sorry! How are you?Good night!" just a wreck. Then I went and hid in the kitchen. And then when it came time to say goodbye, I went and shook his hand and said "Nice to meet you! Good night hermano! Wait no! I mean Presidente! Oh no wait I mean.... what's your title??" And Hermana Vickey once again "ELDER hermana! Elder Montoya." And yeah. Mortified myself. It was fun.
If you walk into your pensionista's house and find yourself with an area 70, please don't do what I did. Learn from my mistake.

That is all!
Hermana Rust

That's Hermana Susana with Eduardo and Hermana Borja when she was ending her mission.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


*  Holly had her ID and Debit card stolen over 2 months ago, and her new one finally came in the mail!!   Yeah!! She has access to $$$ once again!  -

Well this week was fun. And sad. Hermana Borja left for home, and so did President Harbertson. But it's ok. I only cry at night now. 

But we strangely had a lot of success this week. I want to tell you about Brenda!
Brenda Huessenberg is her name, and yes she is Peruvian. I don't know where she got a German last name, and she doesn't even say it right, but she was one of our new investigators last night. We contacted her the Sunday before and it was kind of a weird contact because we stopped her in the street and offered to give her a card, to which she responded with a slightly blank stare and then said "Uhmmmm, yeah. I need to go to the pharmacy, but wait for me I'll be right back." And then crossed the street and entered the pharmacy. Well Hermana Borja and I were a little confused... we just kinda looked at each other with a "should we wait" look, and then with out words, decided that we would wait. We waited like 5 minutes, and she came back and told us that now we could give her the card. She told us that she had heard of the Mormon church through documentaries that she had seen. When we heard that we just thought oh no that can't be good, so we set an appointment to tell her the TRUTH about the Mormon church. She accepted and then yesterday was our appointment.

 She started like suuuuper cold. Like she didn't really say anything when we walked into her house and it was painfully awkward. She we started with a prayer, and then we just asked her what it was that she already knew, or thought she knew about the church. Now I thought that I had heard some weird rumors about the Mormons, but I had never heard these. Like weird reasons for being excommunicated and requirements for getting baptized. Just some weird stuff that we couldn't help but laugh. And that's how we broke the ice. We were laughing, she was laughing saying "yeah when I heard that I thought it sounded a little strange." And just laughter. Then we explained to her in what we really believe. And she really liked it. I mean go figure, because the things that she heard were awful. And we invited her to church, and she said that she would love to and now she's going to come with her children, and it was just a suuuuuuper cool appointment. We also met her sister in law, who has attended the church like 5 times in Puerto Maldonado and wants to learn more and it was kind of just the perfect appointment. And so what started out as a weird contact became one of the most golden investigators that I've found on the street. Goes to show that we should always trust in God and that in one way or the other, he's going to present us with the prepared. 

And there's something else that I've kind of learned from this, and that it's that no effort is wasted. In missionary work, I think that's the most common misconception, that if I don't talk to such and such person, it won't matter because it's just a quick contact in the street or in a store. What difference does it make right? But it makes all the difference. Even if they completely reject you! Because there's a cool metaphor that I want to share. People are like fields, right? You need to plant the seed in order to receive the fruits right? And we always expect to see the fruits of the seeds that we plant. Well sometimes folks, that just doesn't happen. You aren't always going to see the fruits, the results of your efforts. And you know what, sometimes, you're not even going to plant the seed! There are people who have soooo much anger, or sin, or misconceptions of the church that there literally cannot be a seed planted in their heart, or in their field. But sometimes what we do when we share the gospel with people is that we are clearing the field of all the weeds. We are tilling the ground, preparing the earth so that when the time comes, a seed can be planted. Sometimes, that is our part. We don't plant the seed, we just clear away some of the bad stuff so that the seed has room to grow. And how cool is that! It literally defines that no effort is EVER wasted. So your efforts will not be wasted either. So share the gospel. Do it fearlessly. Because the worst that can happen is that you'll be pulling a weed or clearing the field. Don't expect to see the fruits right away, just trust that the will come.
So that's what I have learned this week. I meet Presidente Herrera today... Ahhh I'm nervous! But I've only heard lovely things about him, so I'm also excited. 
That's all for this week, I'm heading out! 
Hermana Rust 

 In honor of the fourth of July, we ate dunk and donuts (just the donut part, worry not) and Papa Johns. Cusco is very americanized.

 This week, Hermana Conde braided my hair like a big beautiful black lady. 

 Here are the results! I was Alexa Seely for the day. 

 Dog with a serious underbite.

Sister missionaries with equally serious underbites. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

#55 New Beginnings

 Well this week is just going to be a whole lot of new. President Harbertson leaves this week, as does my companion, my little Borjita. She's ending her mission and will be back in Ecuador before the week is up. I can't believe that the time has already come. It makes me sad having to say goodbye, but it's also good I think. Change is good. I hate admitting that.. but change is good.

However, not everything is new. Why? Well just wait till you hear who my new companion is!!! HERMANA CONDE!!! That's right, my dear Hermana Conde with who I was with in Talavera 2 changes is coming here to Cusco to be my companion again!! Ahhh when I heard I just screamed! I never thought I'd have the same companion twice,  but here we are! She actually just got here and it was a very happy reunion. Now we'll be the Hermana Leaders here in Cusco to give Presidente Herrerah the grand welcome! Can you believe it?? So I'm very happy for that. Very sad to say goodbye to Hermana Borja, but very happy to be with Condesita again.

 Well I haven't got a lot of time, I'm very sorry! Next week things should be slowing down a little bit, so I should have time then... but right now no tanto. Lo siento! But I'm doing well and we'll see how this transfer goes!
Hermana Rust!

That's a puppet of me that one of our less actives made for a class. Cute huh! Somos igualitas! 

Monday, June 20, 2016

#54 I've run out of cool subject lines.

We have a less active youth that we are working with. He is 17, his name is Paúl, and verrrry rebellious. He's got tattoos, piercings, and hasn't been to church in something like 2 years and he is very OK with that. He's got a looooot of questions. Interesting questions.

This week we visited him with the intention of teaching lesson 2, the plan of salvation. We started with the preexistence right? That's when the questions start. Things about why God didn't allow Satan to have his way, about how we know if Heavenly Father really is the good guy in this whole story or if Lucifer is just wildly misunderstood, or how agency is even agency if God knows exactly what we are going to do anyways. Maaaany questions. And usually when you hear these questions, their the youth that just want to show that they are difficult right? But Paúl isn't like that. He asks, we answer, he listens, and then he understands. Paúl is a super cool kid because he WANTS to understand. Although some of his questions aren't all that important in the eternal scheme of things, he's genuinely searching to find what his soul is looking for. And one of the things he is looking for is someone to allow him to ask questions and then answer them and help him to understand. 
Something that makes me really sad is when I see a young adult really looking for the truth, but because the have made bad choices or if they have tattoos or piercings, their local leaders don't let them change. They write them off as a lost cause, a rebellious youth, and don't give them a chance. How many times have I heard that on my mission "Sisters, don't waste your time. He's just a kid and he's not going to listen." But what happens when you lend an ear to a troubled soul. They'll talk. They'll show you where they are weak, ask for help, and then let you help them. I've seen it time and time again. So yeah. He's a rebelious kid. He's got tattoos. He's got an interesting way of thinking and he expresses his opinion. But does that mean a lost cause? Of course not. I hope that everyone can see that there are NO lost causes. Everyone can change. Everyone needs help. They just need someone who will listen with an understanding heart and then help them to have one as well. Paúl will come back to the church. I don't know when. But I do know how. By loving him regardless of what he's done or continues to be doing. That's what I learned this week. 

Also this week, we had concilio! Concilio is cheveraso. And it was even cooler this week because we went to a cool bridge. We had to drive roughly 3 hours to get there in a super windy mountain road and allll of us got motion sickness, but it was well worth it. It's called Qeswachaka, which is Quechua for bridge made out of hay. It's the last functioning Incan bridge in existance. Every year, villagers from all the surrounding villages gather there to have a great big ceremony of taking down the old bridge from last year and making the new one. It's completely made out of hay. And they do it for a week. Making the ropes and working together to make the bridge. And it's no small bridge either. I'd say it's something like 30 ft long. And it works. I crossed twice (scared me to death, but I did it.) and well that part was suuuuper cool. But what was also cool was how we compared this bridge to our life. Specifically how the bridge is like our lives after the mission. President ends his mission this next week, so he's been giving us a lot of advice about the end of the mission. And well he said that the solid ground that we are on before we cross the bridge is like the mission. We feel save, secure. Because we're doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing. We read our scriptures everyday, pray every minute, serve others, and we try to be obedient. That helps us feel safe. Like nothing bad will ever happen. But then after the mission, we have to start crossing the bridge that is our life. It sways back and forth, it looks scary, unsafe, like we are going to fall. We feel unsure. But if our bridge is built on the same principles that we learned in the mission, we wont fall. In this bridge, there are four anchors, or duros as they say in spanish. And these anchors are what makes the bridge so strong. Strong enough that 25 people can be sustained on this bridge at a time. A bridge made out of HAY! So President compared these four anchors to a theme that he has put for the mission. This theme is Vaya SOLO. That means "go alone" but in english the real theme is "Go with the PROS" SOLO and PROS are both acronyms for the four things that we ALWAYS have to have in our life to not fall. PROS is Pray, Read, Obey, and Serve. SOLO is the same, just in spanish, Servir, Orar, Leer, y  Obedecer. And so if we have those four anchors in our life, the bridge will NEVER fall. And I just think that's cool. I don't really know how to explain this well, but you get the idea. So I just want to testify of those four anchors in our life. If we always do those things, although our bridge is swaying back and forth, our lives a little crazy, we can trust that we will NEVER fall because we are anchored. So it's just a cool thought. I'm gonna send pictures and everything.
Well that's my longish letter for this week, as promised. Stay anchored, my friends. If not, you'll fall. 
Talk to you next week!  Hermana Rust

 This is the bridge. Once again, just out of hay. It's largaso!

And one up close.

And that's the sign that is there. 

Monday, June 13, 2016


Well this week I wasn't actually very productive. I got a cold that hit me like a .... really bad cold. It was awful. And Wednesday I believe... I was in divisions with an Hermana and we had to stay inside because I got a migraine that I'm positive came straight from the devil that split my head in two for a good three hours. We were in lunch and all the sudden it just started throbbing and I started sobbing because it HURT SO BAD! I think I scared our pensionista's daughter because when we were going home in a taxi, I got a phone call from Hermana Harbertson (the president's wife) asking if I was ok. (I think I have to explain that a little. I pension at the house of Hermana Vicky, who works for president and sister Harbertson. So I think the daughter called her mom who told Hermana Harbertson. I was a little embarrassed... but tevs.) So yeah I was in the house all day and we decided to call the Zone Leaders to give me a blessing because I could just not stop crying because it hurt so bad! So they came and theeee cooooolest thing happened. Elder Choque is the one who gave me the blessing. And the instant he put his hands on my head, I literally felt the pain leaving my head through my ears. Like those cartoons where the smoke comes out of their ears because they are really mad, well that happened to me, but it was pain coming out because the power of God is AMAZING! It was the quickest relief I've ever gotten from any blessing and I know that it was the priesthood power. I love the priesthood. Performing Miracles since 1,000+ BC. And one more got performed this week for me. The priesthood is soooo real! 

This week I was only with my companion for one day. And we were both still sick. And it's because we were in exchanges allll week! But it's fun doing exchanges with all the sisters. I get to know them and help them and they help me and I learn a ton from them! It's like the best and worst thing about being an Hermana Leader. I'm almost never with my companion, which is sad because I love my little Borjita, but I also have like 10 other companions. So for that reason it's cool.
Well I don't have a lot of time this week, I'm sorry! But I'm thinking that next week I will have a ton so it will be a nice long juicy letter! To make up for little words, I'll send some fun fotos from today!
Love ya!
Hermana Rust

My last interview with President... that was sad.  I love them both so much! 

Monday, June 6, 2016

#52 A picture is worth a thousand words. So here's like... 10.

This is probably going to be a very short email because I'm really short on time, but I'd just like to send a couple pictures because I don't think I have done that since Machu Picchu. So I think this is going to be a picture email. I'm just gonna send pictures now ok? Love everyone! 
Hermana Rust! 

 I cut my hair today! My hair was soooo gross that everyday my companion would tell me that I had better do something about it because it was so ugly. Like my split ends. So I chopped it all off! And that's Hermana Stickle there in the back. She never smiles. 

That's a wall that I found. It says above it "Club Friendship". And I think that is utterly inspiring. 

 This week we went to visit an investigator and when she answered the door.... she was a little tipsy... So she invited us in, which now, in hindsight I guess the proper thing to do would have been to politely decline and come back when she was sober, but ya fuimos. And so she took us to her living room, gave us a plate of  food to eat, and went back to drinking. It wasn't one of our most 
effective appt.
These are cute old people we teach. They are both deaf and legally blind and so we just shout at them during the lessons, but in our last lesson they told us about their lives. he's 86, she's 84, they started living together when he was 16 and she was 14 and literally haven't left eachother's sides for the past 70 YEARS! So mom and dad, I know you just completely 35 for which I am very happy for you two!  Now just 35 more to get on Honorato and Fransisca's level. Si se puede!  

Here's the picture from concilion that I was going to send like.... 3 weeks ago. Time escapes me. 

 I've been teaching Hermana Borja how to cross her eyes because it seems to me that NO ONE in south america knows how to do it. Her eyes shake a little when she does it and it kinda scares me, but she's getting better. 

We found a teetertotter. And decided to try it out for a second. But Hermana Borja got scared. So it was literally just a second. 

Cusco pizza is not the best pizza... but it's a lot better than Puno Pizza. 

 So this waaaaaas our district like two weeks ago, but we had transfers. There's (starting from the back left) Elder Laso, Elder Huallparuca, Elder Cuba (he was in my ward when I started in puno), Elder Graham (He just finished his mission), Elder Mateo and Elder Chang. In my district now, there's only Elder Huallparuca. All the others had transfers to other district.

These are fish eggs that my companion ate. I had to buy her a powerade after it because she almost threw up but it was worth it.