Monday, October 28, 2013

I love to see the Temple, I'm going there Wednesday!

                                                                                                                            October 28, 2013

Hola Familia!

Well, this week has definitely been a new experience. Being a Momma is hard work! 

First, my nueva compañera. Her name is Hermana Espinoza and she is from Honduras! She is 19 years old and she is the very first Sister Missionary to serve from her branch. (second missionary to serve, ever) She doesn`t speak any English except for the one phrase she learned during estudio de idioma which is, `good morning bishop, how are you?` hahaha. Her accent cracks me up. We`ve been practicing :) She is absolutely wonderful. I feel very blessed to have her as my `hija`. She has a strong desire to work hard and during our very first lesson together (We left the mission offices together around 2 in the afternoon last Tuesday and our first lesson was at 3) I started the lesson and then looked at her to see if she if she would take a turn teaching, and she did! I was so happy I almost cried. :) She has no fear of talking to people and she is already teaching half of the lessons and initiating contacts. Like I said, I am very blessed to have her! She is also always keeping me laughing. At first she appears really serious and reserved and then out of no where she will yell out a joke or a funny comment and I will bust out laughing and just look at her like, `Where in the world did that come from?!` Also. guess what? We have the exact same pair of shoes. The black ones with the bow on the side? Yeah. she has the exact same pair. I`m thinking that we were meant to be companions :)

Being a trainer is hard work! And a whole lot of responsibility. It has been a bit of a rough week investigator wise (We had to drop several investigators because they weren’t progressing, and then our investigator who was supposed to be getting baptized this weekend didn`t show up to church and we found out that his friends are discouraging him from getting baptized) and so we are in the process of finding new investigators. Each companionship has a different dynamic and the way that Hermana Shriver and I worked together is different than the way Hermana Espinoza and I work together. So we are figuring things out and looking for new people to teach. 

Good news is, I get to go to the temple this Wednesday! This is Hermana Mamani`s last transfer before she goes home and she wants to go to the temple one last time so the Hermanas in Zona Independencia (Hna Espinoza, Hna Nelson, Hna Mamani, y yo) got permission to go. Yay!! I am super excited :) I have missed being able to go to the temple. So my p day will actually be Wednesday. After we finish up here at internet we will be going out to work as a normal day. 

I can`t believe Kylee leaves for her mission is 3 weeks!! That is so exciting. I have been telling the members in my ward about my sister who will be leaving on a mission soon as well and they always ask about you and how you`re doing :) The spirit of missionary work is really strong right now in Barrio Independencia. We had 8 jovenes recieve their mission calls in the past 3 or 4 weeks and once they all leave there will be 19 missionaries serving from our ward! That is a pretty big number for a ward here in Peru and it’s all that everyone talks about :) 

In answer to your question, they do celebrate Halloween here but not to the extent we do in the States. I have seen a couple of Halloween decorations up and on the 31 some people will dress up and go out trick or treating at businesses but it’s definitely not as big here. The big celebration thats been going on this week (well, this whole month) is El Señor de los Milagros, which is a big catholic holiday. I am not gonna lie, it’s a little bit scary.... Look it up on google. There have been big processions throughout the city all week. 

Ok, I have to go. I love you all! Tenga un buena semana!

Hermana Shelton


Monday, October 21, 2013

"I'm gonna be a momma!"

                                                                                                                          October 21, 2013


Buenos dias Familia!

Como estan todos? Bien? Espero que si. Yo estoy muy bien tambien! Estoy muy feliz a estar aqui en Peru sirviendo una mision. Me encanta ser una misionera :)

So. I have officially passed the four month mark, and I also finished my 12 week training this past week. Which means.....President thinks I am ready to train. We have transfers today and last week in our interviews President told both Hermana Shriver and I that he was very happy with the work we accomplished together, especially cause we are both so new and don´t speak the language perfectly, and that now he needs us to train. So.tomorrow Hna Shriver is leaving to a new area to train a new latina and I will be staying in Independencia to train a new latina as well!


I am only freaking out a little bit. Ok maybe a lot. I feel very inadequate and the more I think about it the more I realize how much I don´t know, but if Heavenly Father and Presidente think I can do it, then I guess I can do it! But extra prayers this week would be very appreciated :) I don´t know much about my new companion, just that she is in the MTC right now and that she is from Guatemala. And I will meet her in the morning. I´m not gonna lie....I am really, really, sad that Hna. Shriver is leaving. We have had sooo many good times together. We just worked and got along really well, and that helped us so much. When you have unity in your companionship it reflects so much in the work you are able to do. We definitely, definitely had our challenges, and I think these past six weeks have been some of the hardest in my life, but also some of the happiest as well. I literally can´t believe how fast the time went! Ah! Time on the mission is SO weird. 

I was talking with Presidente during my interview last week and he was talking about this new generation of Sister Missionaries. I was telling him about how I was feeling inadequate and unprepared and nervous for training and he told me that with the age change for sister missionaries this is how it is for many sisters all over the world. We are part of the first wave of new sisters and with that it means the responsibility to train will fall on our shoulders for probably the entirety of our missions. But Heavenly Father didn´t send us here to fail, and his help will make up the difference for what I lack. We also had a mission conference this week with Elder Uceda, the area president here in South America, and he told us that the age change for the sister missionaries is not just a change in age, it is a fulfillment of prophecy of the Lord hastening his work here on the Earth. I still get chills when I think about that. I wish I could have recorded everything he said to us to send to ya´ll because the whole conference was INCREDIBLE. The spirit was so strong, I didn´t want to leave after it ended. 

Something else that Elder Christofferson said when he was here back in June is that, ¨The Lord isn´t waiting for more wickedness in the world before he comes, he is waiting for a more righteous people to come to. (Something along those lines, I´ll have to send you the exact quote in spanish if I remember to bring my journal next week) That is the reason why the Lord is hastening his work. It is time for everybody, everywhere to hear the message of the Gospel. The world doesn´t need to get worse, we just need to get better. Crazy, huh? Ah! Does that make any one else excited and scared all at the same time?! I just can´t believe that I am here, and am part of all of this. I feel so blessed and humbled to be a missionary right now.

Oh. Also, for the mission conference our zone got to sing again and I played the piano. The Elders sang ¨Brillan Rayos del Clemencia¨ (Brightly Beams our Fathers Mercy) and it was awesome :) I love that song. 

I forgot to tell you last week, but Hermana Schroader was emergency transfered two weeks ago. So we are down to four Hermanas in our zone. And that is how it is going to be for the next transfer as well. I am very, very grateful that we are still living in the same house as the other Hermanas because that means that my mommy (Hermana Mamani) will still be here to help me out :) This is also going to be her last transfer of her mission! She finishes in December. So, so, crazy. 

I hope everyone is doing well at home! I love and miss you all. Guess what? Only two more months until Christmas and we will get to talk on Skype! I can´t wait!

Tenga un muy bien semana y recuerda que hay un Hermana Misionera en Lima Peru que les ama mucho! Besitos y abrazos para todos!

Hermana Shelton


Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm eating what?!

                                                                                                                     Oct. 14, 2013


*Disclaimer: To all those who have read, are now reading, and will yet read my letters home.

As my Spanish skills are increasing, my English skills are decreasing rapidly. Please ignore any past, current, or future mistakes of grammar, incorrect spelling, or weirdly phrased sentences. (Also, on Spanish computers every English word I spell is wrong so the dumb spelling check is no help at all.)

If you agree to the above demands, you may continue reading. ;)


Guess what?! I got FOUR letters this week! I got three letters through regular mail, (the one from Emily, one from Holly, and one from Peggy) and then I got a Dear Elder letter from Sister Chappell. Thank you so much for your letters everybody, they definitely brightened up my week and it was so good to hear from all of you! It looks like regular mail works pretty good, so maybe that is the best way to send them? It takes about 4 weeks for them to get to me, but at least some have gotten to me! :)

And mom, you asked about what I would like in a Christmas package and I was thinking maybe some new CDs of church songs, a new skirt (the polka dot one from missionary mall maybe? :)), some of my sheet music for the piano (especially my sheet music for the EFY medley) and then just some letters and pictures from everybody at home :) oh! and some good ol´ American candy like starbursts would be nice too :) I am getting a little worried about where I am going to find contact solution because hasta ahora I haven´t been able to find any and I only have one bottle left, but I am going to talk to Hermana Erickson and see if she knows where I can buy some and then let you know and maybe you can send some to me? And yes, print out pictures of Jesus and the virgin Mary and paste them on the package, and then seal it really good with tape and it should get here without any problems. 

Dad, thank you for your stories about your mission! They made me laugh, especially the one about your companion getting in front of you and getting bit by the dog, because that exact same thing almost happened to me and Hermana Shriver! The dog was coming at us and she immediately jumped in front of me and hit it with her bag. Luckily neither of us were bit, but we´ve had some close calls :) I know what you mean about all the drunk people too. I see too many drunk people to count on a daily basis. We do our best to ignore them as well, but they´re pretty annoying. 

Ok. I promised the story about throwing up. So last week I was pretty sick to my stomach for most of the week. It is a feeling I am getting used to because no matter how hard you try to avoid it, we eat things that do NOT agree with our stomachs. So anyway, last week was just one of those weeks and we went to the house of a member for lunch. This lady is very sweet, but she likes to give us a whole lot of food. The first course, a soup, did not taste very good at all and it was making me super sick to eat it and there was a whole lot of it, but I somehow got it all down and was feeling ok. Then she brought out the second, and then third course, and by this point I was doing all I could to try and keep it down. We got up to leave and my stomach literally could not hold it all in anymore and I threw up the entire second and third courses all over their floor. and then, I threw up the first course as well. Hermana Shriver said that it was literally like watching a volcano explode, she couldn´t believe how fast and how much food came back up out of my stomach. (sorry if that grosses any one out) so anyway. That was fun.

And I just have to tell you about what I ate this past week. I still can´t even believe I ate this, but here it goes. So we were at Hermana N's house and she gave us these little meat looking things to eat with our bread. They looked a little funny but we couldn´t say no so we put some on our bread and started to eat. When I bit into it I saw that the inside was really, really red and we were a bit concerned, but the outside of it was practically burnt so we thought we were ok. Also, they didn´t taste too bad so we continued to eat them (because she kept bringing us more) well, as I was eating my third sandwich Hermana Shriver gets up the courage to ask N. what we were eating. And as I am taking a bite she says, ¨Oh, this is Sangrecita!¨ (in English that translates over to fried pigs BLOOD!!!) WHAT?!?! Hermana Shriver said my face was PRICELESS. My eyes got really, really, big and my mouth dropped open, and it took all my will power to not spit out what was in my mouth. Yeah. That was an experience...

Oh! I have to tell you! We had two baptisms this past weekend! J. is a 25 year old man that the other Hermanas started teaching back in July, and we got lucky enough to be able to be the ones who got to finish teaching, and invite to be baptized! And then we also baptized L., who has been receiving the missionaries for about a year, but had to wait to get married before he could be baptized. Well, they finally got married last month, and he was baptized this weekend! The baptism went really well, the spirit was super strong, and we had one of our other investigators there. She really enjoyed it and we´re excited to see where things go with her. Also, remember those kids we taught in the street last week? Our investigator that was at the baptism was their mom, and all the kids came with her too. It was a good weekend :)

Well, once again I have to go and I had more I wanted to write about, but I will have to wait to next week. 

I love you all and hope you all have a great week! I am sorry I don´t have time to respond individually to everyone but I wanted to let you all know that I read every single word of every email and they make me so happy. It is so good to hear about what everyone is doing. I will have to send pictures from the baptism next week, yeah? 


Hermana Shelton

Monday, October 7, 2013

Homeless men, Jehovah’s witnesses, and Devil dogs, oh my!

Hola Familia!

First of all, Conference was wonderful!!!! It was definitely a different experience watching it in Spanish but I was able to understand it (for the most part) and the Spirit speaks all languages :) It was a little sad to not be able to listen to the actual voices as they were speaking, especially when a veces I could hear what they were saying in English and could hear their voices, but it’s ok. It made me love Elder Richard G. Scott a whole lot more because I guess that before General Conference he recorded his talk in Spanish, so they played that instead of having a translator. It was a tender mercy getting to hear an Apostle give his talk in Spanish :)

Ok. I have like, five stories I want to tell you about and very little time so I will type as fast as I can and if I don´t tell all of them I will finish next week.

Ok, first. Devil dogs. So here in Peru everybody and their dog has a dog. I wish that was an exaggeration. Emily, you would not like it at all. You can´t walk five feet without walking by at least one dog, but most likely two. Most of the dogs are pretty nice and will leave you alone but there is this one dog (who just so happens to be the dog of one of our investigators who is getting baptized this weekend) who absolutely hates us. We can´t walk down their street (which also just so happens to be one of the main streets we have to walk down every day) without the dumb thing chasing us and snapping at our heels and barking its head off. It is completely black and sometimes I could swear it even has red eyes. Best part? This dog only barks and chases the missionaries. It doesn´t matter if they are latinos, gringos, elders, or hermanas. Somehow, the dumb thing knows. It does not even move a muscle if anybody else is walking down the street but as soon as we turn the corner its ugly little head pops up, he stares us down for about 3 seconds and then he practically falls over himself trying to get up as fast as it can to chase us down. We are pretty sure he is the spawn of Satan. If you can´t tell there is no love lost between us and this dog. We were plotting ways to get it run over by a car, but then we decided that probably wasn´t very christ-like so we stopped. But let’s just say that if this dog met an untimely end, we wouldn´t be very sad. :)

Ok. The Homeless man. So there are a lot of homeless people here too. It’s really sad. My heart almost broke one day when I saw an entire family digging through garbage looking for food. It is really sad that we can´t do anything for them, but that isn´t the reason I´m telling you about this, this story is actually pretty funny. 

Ok, so the other night Hermana Shriver and I were contacting in the street talking to a man when all of a sudden I felt a hand on my shoulder. At first I thought it was Hna Shriver nudging me but when I looked over at her she had a really worried look on her face so I looked on the other side of me and this homeless man had his arm around me! He was just standing there with his arm around me staring at us. So Hna Shriver pulls me back and says, ¨Hey! Don´t touch my companion!¨  And then the man we were contacting says, ¨Oi! What are you doing?! Can´t you see we are talking about the word of God here!?¨ And then all of a sudden the homeless man starts going into a rant about something, (not really sure what) and the man we were contacting and him get into a fight about religion right in front of us! Hna. Shriver and I just looked at each other, started backing away slowly, and said, ¨Yeah, well, siempre esta invitado a la Iglesia!¨ and started walking as fast as we could the other way. Ok. So maybe this story really isn´t that funny but for some reason to us it was the funniest thing in the world. The next day we were explaining what happened to the Zone Leaders and we literally had tears running down our faces we were laughing so hard. Elder Gneiting said, ¨So what you´re telling me is that a homeless man tried to make a move on Hermana Shelton, and it turned into a street fight.¨ Yeah, basically that’s what we were saying. And then Elder Huambo says, ¨Man, the Hermanas always have the craziest things happen to them.¨ (Something along those lines, it was all in Spanish :)) Yeah. It’s true.

Ok. Jehovah’s Witnesses. So the Jehovah’s Witnesses are always out proselyting on the weekends and this past Saturday we were walking past the house of one of our investigators, M., and saw them talking to her through the window! We were like, ¨Oh no you don´t!¨ So we made a little detour to walk past her window all casually, and as we walked by she yelled out, ¨Hermanas! Como Estan?¨ So of course we just had to go over and talk to her and she asked us if we had time to come in for a minute and of course we said yes! So she opened the door for us, and said goodbye to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and we had a nice little chat about the Book of Mormon. One point for the Mormons! 

Ok. Now a more serious one. Last night I had the most precious experience yet of my mission I think. We went to teach a family and the mom had to go run and get water and it was going to take some time, but she wanted us to wait so we said we would. There was a big group of kids, (two of them being hers) playing soccer in the street and they ran over and asked if we could teach them! We were like, well of course! And so all 9 of the kids, (between the ages of 7 and 14) sat down in the street and we talked about Jesus with them for 20 minutes! It was so precious. They were all completely attentive, and we taught them how to pray and how they were all children of God, and then we asked them how they could follow Jesus and they all raised their hands and named of ways they could be more like Jesus. And then we sang, I am a child of God, and one of them said the closing prayer, and then we taught them how to say some words in English. It was so tender I almost cried. :) 

Ok, I have to go. Remind me next week to tell you about the time I threw up my entire lunch in the house of the member we´d just eaten at :) 

I love you all! Happy Birthday again Emily!!! And mom, Yes, putting pictures of Jesus on the box helps packages get here.

I love you!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Shelton