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,