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. 

#51 1. How has your mission help to you too love more? *Originally emailed on May 30th, 2016

* I (Lorri - mom)  could sense that Holly's emailing time was becoming a tad burdensome to her.   So I decided to ask Holly to expound on some questions in hopes of helping her out.  This is the email I received in response to the following question:

1.  How has your mission help to you too love more?

Holly's response:

"Yeah I would like the questions more often. Because sometimes I really just have no idea what to say. But I'm not going to have a lot of time today to answer them because it's transfers and transfers as an Hermana Leader are absolutely nuts because we have to make sure all the hermanas get to their place and there's just a lot to do. But I think I'll have a little time to answer one. The first one. Here goes nothing."

"Love is absolutely CRUCIAL if you want to be an effective missionary. I've learned that if I can't love the people regardless of their past or situation, I CANNOT feel the spirit and I CANNOT teach according to their needs. I see them more as a number than a daughter or son of God. And when you start putting numbers on people., you lose sight completely on your real purpose as a missionary, which is not to baptize, but rather to invite. We invite people to follow Christ because we LOVE them. Not because we want to have a cool story to tell or just have a lot of pictures of our investigators in white. NOT THE PURPOSE! So I think the mission more than anything has helped me a lot to see people the way God sees them. Love them for who they are, and love them enough to help them change. It's something that I noticed from the getgo. That I meet someone new and I just love them! It makes me so happy that I am able to feel that, because I don't think I ever had before. So I don't know if that really makes sense. But that's how I would answer that question."