Thursday, July 25, 2013

Last email from the MTC- July 25, 2013

                                                                                                           July 25, 2013


Hello everyone!

    Well, this is the last email I will send from the CCM because I leave for the mission field bright and early Tuesday morning! Ahhhhh!!! I think that is going to be almost scarier than leaving home for the MTC. :) This week has been a good one. I don't think I mentioned before that I was called to be a Sister leader and I'm in charge of coordinating the music for all the devotionals/firesides/sacrament meetings for a few weeks here at the CCM. I’ts fun! I enjoy it. And I get to go to the Leadership meetings each Sunday morning. Other than that I’ts been a pretty normal, uneventful week. I'm definitely going to be sad about leaving here though. I have gotten so close to my district. It's crazy how close we've gotten to each other after being together for 16 hours a day for six weeks :) I'm so grateful that all of the hermanas will be in my mission. Apparently there are only 14 sisters in our mission currently, and with the 13 of us (9 from our district and 4 others) that are coming in we will be doubling that number! It will be interesting to see how training and everything will go. We are going to miss our elders (who are going to Cochabamba) but it´s ok. We are already planning mission reunions for when we're all home :)

     Oh! We were talking to our teacher who served in the Lima East mission, and he said that every Lima missionary gets to go to the temple once a transfer. So that's exciting! I love love love the Lima temple. This morning was our last time going for a while though. Hopefully we'll be back soon :) The computers are being really slow right now so I am going to send what I've written so far and hope it will send, and if not I'll have time to re send it. Oh! I just remembered. This Sunday is the Peruvian Independence day so we are going to have a mini celebration which will be fun. Also, we are going out proselyting again on Saturday! I'm excited :) Ok. I'll send what I have and hope it works. Love you all!


 Con mucho amor, 

Hermana Shelton.  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

One month in the MTC... July 18, 2013

Querida Familia,


Hola! Como estan todos? I am doing so wonderful and I hope everything is great at home! Thank you for all your emails.

Guess what I got to do this past weekend?! I went out tracting for four hours in the streets of Peru! That was definitely an experience. A good one :) Hna. Hulse and I were paired up with one of the local youth, a 17 year old boy, and then they gave us four book of mormons, 20 pamphlets, and reference cards and sent us on our way! We were actually in a pretty poor part of town, and I knew that there are places like that, but it was still a shock to my system to see it in real life. The houses were all kind of crumbling, the streets were full of garbage, there were dogs running around all over the place, and we were the only white people in sight :) I actually had a bit of a hard time at first talking to people because I was in shock still at what I was seeing. I was also having a hard time understanding everything that people were saying because they talk so fast and quiet. Luckily we had the 17 year old boy (I can't for the life of me remember his name!) and he was able to do most of the talking, but Hna. Hulse and I were able to bear our testimonies a lot and we were able to communicate with them for the most part. The best moment for me while we were out, was getting to talk to a lady that we met at the park. Her name was Zoila and we had a really good conversation and she seemed really interested in the Church. We gave her a Restoration pamphlet and the time and place for church on Sunday and she agreed to go! Well, about an hour later we were walking back through that same park and I saw her sitting there still reading the pamphlet and I got the feeling to go back over and talk to her and get her address so the missionaries could go find her. So I went over and sat down next to her and asked what she thought about what she was reading. Her face lit up and she said that she thought it was very beautiful and she would like to know more!! So I talked to her about what she'd been reading for a while longer, and then I got her name and address and gave her a book of Mormon and let her know the missionaries would be in contact with her, and she told me that she was going to try really hard to go to church on Sunday. It was so cool! Best experience of the day.

We were able to talk to a lot of people that day, and we got lots of references, but that was my favorite one. :)

AND THEN! yesterday we left the CCM for several hours to go to central Lima (p.s. I got to see some of the really old Spanish buildings and they are beautiful!) and take care of some immigration stuff. I was sitting next to Hermana Goulding and a lady sat down next to us and we started talking to her. We found out she was from Colombia and was here on a work visa, but then our conversation got cut short and we thought that we wouldn't get to talk to her again. Well, we were standing in another line later and she came up to US and asked if we could tell her about our church! Of course we said yes, and by some miracle, we had pamplets and an extra book of mormon with us, so we talked to her for a while and gave her a pamplet and the book of mormon and she agreed to meet with the missionaries and she was so happy to talk to us. Best part though, was while we were talking to her one of the security guards who was standing nearby came over and asked if he could have a pamplet as well! What?! Of course we were like....''uh, of course you can!! So while Hna. Goulding talked to the lady from colombia I talked to the security guard and told him about the book of mormon and answered his questions as best as I could, and then I gave him a pamphlet and showed him the website and told him to go on there to make an appointment with the missionaries in his area and he said he would! How crazy is that?!

AND THEN! Today on the bus ride home from the temple, Hna. Hulse and I sat next to a man and started talking to him and the first thing he said to us was, ''You girls have such beautiful eyes'' (he could speak a little bit of English) and we told him thank you, and then he asked us what we were doing here in Peru. So of course we started telling him about our missions and where we were from and about our church and we asked him if he would like to know more and he said YES! All we had to give him was a Liahona that had all the general conference addresses that we had just bought at the distribution center so we gave him that and wrote the website on the back with our names, and then he wrote down his name and number and told us to send the missionaries his way. He gave me the paper with his name and number and then he leaned over to me and said, ''Just so you know, I work for the Peruvian police and if you are ever in trouble or need help with anything, you just give me a call, OK?'' He was such a nice man, and he seemed genuinely interested and I am excited to give his numbers to the full time missionaries here :)


Wow! It just goes to show that if you are willing to open your mouth and talk to people Heavenly Father will put people in your path who are willing to listen! I am so excited to get out in the field! I absolutely love it here in the CCM but I am so ready to go out and talk to as many people as I can and to share the gospel with them! Ahhh!


Also, might I add that all of those conversations were done in Spanish!, Broken, very slow Spanish, but they were able to understand me, and I was able to understand them :) So cool.


Well, I am running out of time, and I have so much more I want to tell you, but I am planning on writing you a letter after so I will include it in that :) Thank you for the emails from everyone! I love hearing from you. Also, I am STILL finding little notes from you in my stuff and they make me so happy, so thank you! 


One more thing! I saw a familiar face arrive here at the CCM today! Elder Parra from our stake just arrived, and it was so nice to see someone from back home :)


I love you all!


Con Mucho Amor,


Hermana Shelton

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Half way through the MTC- July 11, 2013

Hello Everybody!

Well, I've made it halfway through the MTC! It's crazy how it feels like I've been here forever, but not any time at all. Time is crazy on a mission, or so I've heard from other missionaries :)

Ok, so info about what I'm doing every day. Every day is pretty much the same, we wake up, eat breakfast, do language or personal study, have a language class, additional study/teach one of our progressing investigators (our teacher) go to lunch, have more personal study, an hour of physical activity, more language study, another class, teach our other investigator (if we didn't in the morning), have another class, and then daily planning. More or less that is what I've been up to everyday :) lots and lots of studying and speaking Spanish.
Our teachers are returned missionaries living here in Lima. They are so wonderful!! Our district has two specific teachers, Hermano Granados and Hermano Meza, but we know a lot of the other teachers and they come in to our classroom and talk to us all the time. It is so interesting to talk to them and hear about how their way of life is so different from ours in the United States. Por ejemplo, dating is WAY different. You don't ask a girl on a single date unless you know that she is the girl you are going to marry. There were some more things they told us but I can't think of them right now!  One of the teachers,  Hno. Gonzalez is SO funny. He always comes in and shakes all of the hermanas hands, and then does a superhero handshake with the elders. He told us that one of his life goals is to go to the United States and make a snow angel. Also, every time he leaves the classroom he says, ''Hasta la Vista WaaWaa's!'' (WaaWaa is the Quechuan word for baby, I don't know if I spelled it right...)
There are only three buildings here, the administration building, the cafeteria building with the auditorium above it, and then the classrooms/dormitory building. The classrooms are on the bottom floor, then the dormitories are on the second and third floors. Elders on one side, Hermanas on the other :) It is really small here, but I love that! Everybody knows everybody. It's also cool because Presidente and Hermana Cardon know all of us too and we get to talk to them all the time. The thing thats not so cool about it is that sometimes you are teaching the lesson in your district for Sunday school and Presidente Cardon(The MTC president) walks in and sits down and stays for the entire thing. That was only a little intimidating :) haha.  On Sunday I also got to play the piano for Sacrament meeting for our branch! So that was fun. We are the Manti branch (which includes all of the Norteamericanos-beginners, intermediates, and advanced) and then there is the Zarahemla branch which includes all of the Latinos.
Physical activity is always fun! The other day the sun was out and we decided to play sand volleyball and it got a little crazy. We had 5 hermanas, and 4 elders playing and it was probably the funnest game of volleyball I've ever played. I also discovered that diving for a volleyball in the sand doesn't even hurt! I think I spent more time on the ground in the sand then not. I'm still finding sand in my hair :)
Hmmm, what else. My district and I think we're hilarious. We are always laughing, and trying to get our teachers to understand our American jokes. We've started taking American sayings and translating them into Spanish, even though it doesn't mean anything down here. Por ejemplo, one of our favorites is ''¡¿Que en el Mundo?!'' (what in the world?!) or another one is ''Oh mi palabra!'' (Oh my word!) We've gotten some of the latinos to start saying them and we're pretty sure they're gonna become a saying down here eventually. :) Another one we like to say after language class is, ''That was claro como lodo'' (clear as mud) or sometimes we say ''claro como chocolate'' tambien. Apparantly a popular saying down here when you greet your friends is ''Hola, Hola Coca-Cola'' so we've been saying that too :)
We don't have any native speakers in our district, but EVERYTHING is in Spanish and our teachers only mostly speak Spanish so we are talking in Spanish most of the day :) I have been sleeping so well! It's amazing what 16 hour days will do to you. I'm really grateful that I haven't had any troubles sleeping. I've only had one minor episode with my heart so I'm grateful for that too. Unfortunately I've had plenty of other problems to keep me humble though :) Our entire district has been sick with a cold since we got here, (I think I've finally gotten over it) and I've also been having pretty bad stomach pains all week. Hermana Cardon put me on an all liquids diet so I have only had water and gatorade and broth in the past 24 hours. I also have a bruised knee and a blood vessel popped in my right eye so I've been wearing glasses for the past two days. Pero, esta bien. I'll be fine :)
This week has probably been the hardest week for me here, but I know that it is just so I can be broken down and built back up by Heavenly Father into the missionary he needs me to be. I am feeling all of your prayers and it is knowing that I have all of you back home that keeps me going!
I hope I answered all of your questions! I love hearing about what is going on at home, so thank you! I left my primary music stuff at home, so it should be there somewhere! I have only been sending my weekly emails to you, Ashley and Spencer, so feel free to forward them to whoever wants to read them :) I get emails from Jackie but not Maddie. I am warm enough, and we are able to go shopping on P days to get what we need. Also, I am 99.9 % positive that I will be staying in Lima for my mission :) yay!

Ok, I don't have any more time, but I love you all! Thank you for your love and support! I hope I answered all the questions. Oh! This Saturday I will be out on the streets of Peru proselyting for six hours so extra prayers would be appreciated :)

Love you!!

Hermana Shelton

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Week 3- July 4, 2013

Hello my wonderful family and friends!

Wow! I feel so loved! Thank you for all the wonderful emails that you´ve sent. I will try and respond to them all, but if I don´t have time just know that I love each and every one of you :)

Hmmm, where to even start?! This week has been so awesome! First things first, Happy fourth of July everybody!!!!!!! I was a little sad to just barely be missing the fourth of July, but we actually had a wonderful surprise waiting for us when we got to lunch today! All of the Peruvian cafeteria workers threw a huge fourth of July party for all of us Norteamericanos and made a whole bunch of American barbeque food and served it as a buffet for us! They even all dressed up in red white and blue and decorated the entire cafeteria with flags and balloons and posters wishing us a Happy Independence Day! Isn't that the sweetest thing you've ever heard? I almost cried when I walked in and saw it all, and saw how excited they were to throw a surprise party for us :) Obviously Peruvian people are the sweetest people in the whole world :)

Something else SUPER exciting this week! Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the 12 was here!! I don't know if you've heard anything about this yet or not, but he was down here to create the 100th stake in Peru.  100 stakes?! But wait! It gets better! Missionary work has been going on here in Peru since around the 1950s. From that time until 2006, there were 50 stakes in Peru. So that means from 2006 to 2013 (7 years) there have been enough new members to create FIFTY STAKES! How insane is that? The work is moving forward so fast here in Peru, and I can't wait to see what will happen in the next few years with the increase in missionaries. I am so excited to be a part of it :)
So anyway, Elder Christofferson was here and he came and ate lunch with us here at the CCM and then spoke to us! We all also got to shake his hand and talk to him which was probably the highlight of my week. I've officially shaken hands with a member of the Quorum of the 12! :) After lunch we were all outside for physical activity and we were warming up by walking around the CCM and he walked out right in front of us! We were all pretty star struck :) Haha. Also, all of the new mission presidents came down on the same flight as him and ate lunch at the CCM as well, so we got to meet a bunch of them! Unfortunately our new mission president had already passed by our classroom when we went outside to talk to them so we didn't get to meet them, but that’s ok. Four more weeks and we will!

Abby! As soon as I logged off last week I realized I had forgotten to wish you a happy birthday on Sunday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I hope it was wonderful! Wanna know something awesome? My companion’s birthday was the same day as yours! But she turned 22 :) I thought about you all day. Are you excited for your baptism this week? I wish I could be there, but obviously I can't, just know that I will be thinking about you all day! I showed my district your baptism picture that I have with me and told them about how you were going to be getting baptized this Saturday and they are all super excited for you!

That is crazy how hot it is there in Utah! I have been freezing down here! I think I mentioned it before, but it’s in the 60s so it doesn’t sound that cold, but without the sun (you rarely see the sun in Lima during the winter) and with the humidity it is super chilly! We actually saw the sun for the first time this past Sunday and it was an absolutely glorious day! We all were lounging (I mean studying ,)) outside in the sun all day! When it is sunny here it looks and feels like paradise,  especially with all the tropical flowers and trees. There are a bunch of trees here that we call ´´Horton Hears a Who´´ trees because the flowers on them look just like the puff ball thing that Horton carries around. I've taken pictures so once I figure out how to send them I will!

Hey Mom, just go ahead and put everything I write on the blog unless I say otherwise. (You don't have to put this sentence on there :)) I don{t know why the pictures are doing that...sorry! Thank you for putting them all on there!
That’s awesome about the Lazyman ironman! Good luck! Also, I don´t mind if you use my phone, feel free! Also, let Ryan and Catie know I will be fasting and praying for their baby girl. Tell everybody I say HI and that I love them all!

Ok, I wish I had time to tell you more, but I want to send pictures. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and I love you! Don't worry about me, I'm in one of the happiest places on earth! (besides Disneyland :)) and I love it here. Missionary work is hard, but it’s so rewarding. My Spanish is coming along well, we've taught all our lessons in Spanish which is really hard, but we have improved a lot. Sometimes I get frustrated with myself because I'm not a ´´perfect missionary´´ or I fumble through a lesson in Spanish, or a million other things, but then I remember that I've only been here for 2 weeks and that it will all come with time. Another thing I've come to realize even more this week is how amazing the Book of Mormon is, and that if we read it we can find answers to absolutely any questions or concerns we might have. Remember that!

Te amo mucho!

Hermana Shelton

Rachel's district at the Lima, Peru Temple (except the last 2 sisters on the right)

                                                                                                 Hermana Shelton and companion, Hermana
                                                                                        Hulse in the Peru MTC cafeteria on the 4th of