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