Monday, November 25, 2013

A visit from an apostle

                                                                                                            November 25, 2013

Hello Family!

I hope all is well. I am great! In answer to your question, yes, my heart has been acting up again and I have had several episodes in the past two weeks. The mission doctor would like me to go to the cardiologist here just to check up and make sure that everything is ok. That is why they need the papers, just so they don`t have to do some of the same tests over again. Yes, I believe that those three papers are what they need. If you can, scan them and send them through email.  Hna. Erickson said that would work too. . But yes. Don`t worry, I`m fine :)

In other, much more exciting news, You`ll never guess who came to visit our mission this last weekend?! Elder Russell M. Nelson! He was here in Peru and they were supposed to be leaving for Venezuela on Saturday morning. But...their trip was delayed because of some things going on in their country, entonces, Elder Nelson asked, where should we go? to Elder Uceda, The area 70 president here and he said, To the Peru Lima Norte mission! And so, him, his wife, Elder Rasband, and Elder Uceda and his wife, all came for a special mission conference for our mission. It was probably the best experience in my whole entire life. I am not even joking. The spirit was so incredibly strong I can`t even put into words what I felt. We all got the opportunity to shake all of their hands, and then after I went through the line Hna Erickson asked me to go up and start playing the piano as kind of a background music while all the missionaries went through the line. So I was just sitting up there playing the piano when all of a sudden I looked up and Elder Nelson was standing RIGHT next to me listening to me play. He stuck his hand out and looked right at me and said, "Thank you for your beautiful piano playing Sister" and then he shook my hand again and sat down. I am pretty sure that was the best moment of my whole life. :)

All of the messages and things we learned were so inspired. I have so many pages of notes and I wish I could tell you everything that I learned, but I don`t have a lot of time. But one thing I absolutely loved was when the scripture in D and C 88:73 was shared. It says,  "Behold, I will ahasten my work in its time."
Elder Nelson told us that this is the scripture for our generation of missionaries. That we are the generation that was prophesied about. this is OUR time. And the greatest thing about that? Is that it isn`t just talking about the full time missionaries! With the new "Work of Salvation" we are now working fully together members and missionaries to bring about the work of Salvation. I couldn`t help but feel a sense of urgency as he was talking. We really are living in the last times. Another thing that really stuck out to me was when he said, "Write these numbers down and then save this page for your Grandchildren." He then proceeded to tell us the numbers of the church in Peru. For example, 100 stakes, 12 missions, 1 temple, and 2 announced. He then said, "I want to tell you all that this is only the beginning" We haven`t seen nothin` yet. :) And that one day we will be able to show this page to our grandchildren and they won’t believe that there were only "100" stakes in Peru. 
Ahhhhhhhhh! Doesn`t that get anybody else excited?! And that is not only here in Peru, but everywhere around the world. I am just feeling so grateful and excited to be a part of this. But remember family, even if you aren`t a full time missionary you are part of it as well! Now is the time to work together. 
I don`t have time to tell you anymore but I will try and tell you more next week. I want to leave with you a quote from Elder Holland,

"In fact, I have a theory about those earlier dispensations I have thought often about them and the destructive circumstances that confronted them. They faced terribly difficult times and, for the most part, did not succeed in their dispensations. In short, apostasy and destruction of one kind or another was the ultimate fate of every general dispensation we have ever had down through time. But here’s my theory. My theory is that those great men and women, the leaders in those ages past, were able to keep going, to keep testifying, to keep trying to do their best, not because they knew that they would succeed but because they knew that you would. I believe they took courage and hope not so much from their own circumstances as from yours. One way or another, I think virtually all of the prophets and early apostles had their visionary moments of our time—a view that gave them courage in their own less-successful eras. Those early brethren knew an amazing amount about us. Prophets such as Moses, Nephi, and the brother of Jared saw the latter days in tremendously detailed vision. Some of what they saw wasn’t pleasing, but surely all those earlier generations took heart from knowing that there would finally be one dispensation that would not fail. Ours, not theirs, was the day that gave them “heavenly and joyful anticipations” and caused them to sing and prophesy of victory. Ours is the day, collectively speaking, toward which the prophets have been looking from the beginning of time, and those earlier brethren are over there still cheering us on! In a very real way, their chance to consider themselves fully successful depends on our faithfulness and our victory. I love the idea of going into the battle of the last days representing Alma and Abinadi and what they pled for and representing Peter and Paul and the sacrifices they made. If you can’t get excited about that kind of assignment in the drama of history, you can’t get excited!" Elder Holland, Terror, Triumph and a Wedding Feast.

One last thing. Elder Nelson left us with an apostolic blessing. In it was included a blessing of health. I know that everything with my heart will be OK. I`m not worried :)

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Shelton


Peru has been good to me. If the scales are correct I`ve lost about 15 pounds :)

My first companionship reunited for the very last time at the mission conference with Elder Nelson. Hna Mamani finishes her mission next week. I`m gonna miss her way too much.

Monday, November 18, 2013

From one Sister Missionary to another...

                                                                                                         Nov. 18, 2013

  Buenas dias mi hermosa familia! Como estan todos? Espero que todos son felices y animados. No puedo creer que Kylee va a salir esta semana! Que rapido es el tiempo....

We had a good week! I forgot to tell you in the email last week, but we have been teaching a man named R. and he was baptized this last weekend! The reason I didn´t tell you about the baptism was because I wasn´t sure if he´d actually end up getting baptized, but all is well and he is now a member of the church :) He works in a polleria (a restaurant where all they sell is pollo a la braza or, like...roasted chicken? I´m not sure exactly what it’s called in english. But it is always served with the chicken, french fries(nice big thick ones) and a salad. And mayonaise. I didn´t like mayonaise before the mission but that is seriously all they put on all there food here and I have to admit, It’s really good. I put mayonaise on EVERYTHING now. but don´t worry. It’s not the nasty mayonaise we have in the states. It’s MUCH better. Also, Pollo a la Braza is probably my favorite Peruvian dish. of them.) Anyways, I got a little off track there, lo siento.

But yeah. So we have been teaching him in his polleria and he almost immediately accepted baptism and we have been teaching him for about a month and a half now. It took us a while to get him to come to church, but now he comes on his own right at 8 in the morning and he just wants to be a better person for his family. This baptism was really special for me because it was the first person we´ve baptized that I have been with them for the entire process. I was actually the one that contacted him outside his restaurant so it has been really cool to be there for all parts of his conversion. We brought him the gospel and he brings us pollo a la braza. It’s a good trade :) hahaha just kidding!

Also, this week (yesterday) we had a meeting with all of the youth in our ward that have their mission calls (one of them leaves this week too!) There are 8 in our ward waiting to leave right now and so the bishopric invited us to come to a special meeting with them and talk about ¨mission life¨ and answer questions. It was great fun. My companion is great. She was way too happy to, as she puts it, wipe their smiles off their faces and make them realize that a mission isn´t all rainbows and butterflies. This girl cracks me up. I can´t wait for you guys to talk to her on Christmas.

But anyways. Since Kylee is leaving this week, I thought I´d dedicate the rest of this email to her with a little list of advice of things I have learned in my short 5 months on the mission.

Here it is:

1. Elders gossip worse than Hermanas. Be careful what you tell them! I am not joking. An experience Hna. Shriver and I had together is now an inside joke in a zone up north. ¨Corre, gringas, corre!¨ Don´t ask....

That being said, they are actually really great when it comes to training and helping you with your investigators. My zone and district leaders have helped me a lot. Trust your leaders and don´t be afraid to ask for help. That is what they are there for. Also, they have the priesthood. If you feel like you need a blessing, for health or comfort, don´t be afraid to call them. Priesthood blessings help A LOT.

2. Waking up in the morning is difficult. I know you have always been better about that then me, but really. You are going to be EXHAUSTED some days but remember, exact obedience brings a whole lot more blessings than sleeping in does! So when that alarm clock goes off (I have next to my bed and the cell phone that I leave in the other room so I have to get out of bed to get it) get right out of bed and get down on your knees. I promise that if do that, no matter how soft and comfy your tigger pillow looks, you´ll be able to resist the temptation to go fall back asleep :)

3. Speaking of tigger pillows, bring a comfort item from home. Seriously, your favorite blanket or pillow will be perfect for those days when you just need a reminder from home.

4. There may come a time in your mission where you will realize that there is just not enough time in the morning to get everything done that you want to. So you may think that it’s a good idea to have your companion help you wax your legs so you don´t have to worry about shaving in the morning. DON´T DO IT! It’s not worth it. Bring tights.

5. Your companion will be your best friend. I don´t really have any advice on how to work with a difficult companion, because the truth is, I haven´t had one. Love them, serve them, and remember that they will be having just as many struggles and difficulties as you. Talk to them openly about everything. It makes everything so much easier when you have unity in your companionship.

6. Bring music! I wish I´d brought even more. Luckily all the girls in my apartment brought music tambien so we have a lot to listen too. Music helps so much. I am a big believer in the ¨Ipod shuffle theory¨ is what I´ll call it. Without fail, if I am having a hard time or waiting for an answer from Heavenly Father, I will turn on music and the perfect song will come on right when I need to hear it. It’s pretty awesome. Also, bring sheet music for the piano. I wish I´d brought more.

7. Read the mission manual EVERY DAY. As Elder Uceda said, It is the 5th libro canonico (how you do say that in English?) Basically, it is just as important to read as your scriptures. Memorize it and live it. Remember that obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles! 

8. You are going to have days of happiness, joy, peace, and excitement, but you are also going to have days of disappointment, sadness, stress, and anxiety. And you are going to have days where you will wish that you weren´t on the mission and you are going to want to go home. DON´T LET THEM GET TO YOU. You are strong. You are brave. You can do hard things. Remember that those feelings come from Satan and not from Heavenly Father. Make a list of all the reasons you decided to serve a mission and read it on those hard days. And also remember how many people love you and are praying for you. And read Romans chapter 8. It’s one of my favorite chapters in the New Testament. Especially verse 31, ¨What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?¨

9. SMILE! Remember who you represent and who´s name you are wearing. Our stake president here calls us, ¨Hermanas Felices¨ and always asks us what our ¨secret to happiness¨ is. We just smile and say, ¨The Gospel is a Gospel of Happiness!¨ It’s true. One thing my mission president said to us that I really like is, ¨Not everybody is searching for a true church, but everybody is searching for happiness.¨

10. The days seem like weeks, and the weeks seem like days. Enjoy every second! I really can´t believe how fast the time flies.

11.  Bring lots of pictures of your family and carry them around with you in your scriptures. Everybody LOVES to see those. Especially here. Everyone thinks that you and I are twins, and they can´t believe that we all have blue eyes. Just so you know family, half of Independencia Peru has seen your picture :) haha

12. REMEMBER I LOVE YOU! And I am praying for you. You are going to be a great missionary :) Just jump right in and work as hard as you can. Do your best and the Lord will do the rest.

I´m sure I am forgetting a ton of things I wanted to tell you, but here is a start. Good luck with this week!!

I will be thinking about you all on Wednesday around 2:00 and wishing I could be there with you.


Hasta la proxima semana.

Hermana Shelton

Teaching the future missionaries

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hola Familia!

                                                                                                                            Nov. 11, 2013


Hola Familia!


How is everybody this week? Thanks for all the Halloween pictures! I love them! In answer to your question about the weather...It is supposed to be warming up and we have had a couple days where the sun is shining and it gets pretty hot, but right now it’s cold and cloudy again. Everybody keeps talking about how strange the weather is right now. Usually at this point it’s a lot warmer. I can`t wait for it to warm up! Although everybody keeps telling us that as soon as it warms up we`ll wish it was cold again. Apparently the heat and the humidity are horrible in January and February. 

That’s awesome that you made that connection with Lisa Capt because Hermana Nelson and I made that connection too! I know her daughter Carlee Capt from my seminary class at PG and also Mrs. Herrick from when we went to Disneyland for Nationals. Hermana Nelson and I have already decided that we are going to be best friends when we get home from our missions so you should definitely call her mom and get to know each other in advance :) 

I hadn`t heard about the Typhoon in the Philippines...that is so sad!! You will have to keep me updated. It’s crazy, but one of the things I miss a lot is knowing what’s going on around the world and being able to read the news every day. 

I am trying to think of what happened this week. Not a whole lot, really. The best part of the week was a new investigator we found. Last Sunday we were walking around our area and starting walking down the street. When I suddenly stopped and just looked at Hermana Espinoza and said, ^I think we should go the other way...^ So we did and as we were walking we passed by a man sitting outside of his house. He was sitting outside of this tent type thing (they put them up for parties and funerals and things like that here) and as we walked by I just knew that we needed to talk to him. So I walked up to him and introduced us and started talking to him. Well, we found out that they were getting ready for the memorial service for his wife who had passed away from cancer one month before. We were able to testify about the plan of salvation and eternal families and he invited us back to come talk to him. We went back on Tuesday and not only was C. (the man we contacted) waiting outside for us, but his youngest daughter (who just turned 8 years old) and his granddaughters who are 8 and 10, and several others in his family were all waiting for us. We have been able to have 2 lessons with them and during the last lesson he looked at us and said, “Just, tell me what I need to do to be with my wife again.” Hermana Espinoza and I just looked at each other and smiled, and said, “that is exactly why we are here.” We invited him to be baptized and he told us that he is going to pray about it and talk to his family and let us know this week. Also, those three little girls, (A. his daughter, and his two granddaughters) are like, my new best friends. We started walking down their street towards there house on Saturday for our second lesson and they were all outside waiting for us and as soon as they saw us I heard, “HERMANA SHELTON!!!” and they almost knocked me down with their hugs. I guess you could say that I love this family a whole lot :) 

Ok, I have to go.

Les Quiero Mucho!!!

Hermana Shelton


Monday, November 4, 2013

Pass the Guinea Pig, please!

Well Family,

I had a monumental week this past week. Want to know why? I finally tried Cuy (Guinea Pig) for the first time! I don`t know why we kept our guinea pigs around for so long...they`re delicious! We should have eaten them a long time ago! Hahahaha, just kidding! ;)

There is a lady in our ward who breeds guinea pigs and so she had us over for lunch on Saturday and she killed and cooked several special just for us. Aren`twe lucky? :) They really are pretty good. It tasted basically like chicken, but there just isn`t as much meat on a guinea pig. 

The temple was wonderful! We had a good time together. I took a bunch of pictures and I am going to keep this letter short so I can send them.

We ¨sacrificed¨ our P day last week to go to the temple and worked all day Monday. It really wasn´t a sacrifice though because we were able to find a family we´d been looking for that day and we had an awesome lesson with them! We also had several other little miracles occur that day that we know are blessings from going to the temple :)

I would love to see pictures from Halloween! Please send them, I can open up attachments no problem :)

Also, Ky your mission pictures are beautiful! What day is it that you leave again?

I did read the letter from my mission president. I was really bummed too. They did say though that if you send it in a padded envelope it will go through like a letter. If you still wanted to send a couple small things in a big padded envelope you could try that? I am excited to get all the stories though in letters! I would love to be able to read a Christmas story each night :)

I hope I get to see Jeff! That would be so cool! 

Ok. The two photos attached are from the temple. The first one is just me and the second is with ¨Mi Hermanas¨ :) The Hermanas of Independencia. Hna Espinoza is on the left then me, Hna Mamani, and Hna Nelson. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Love you all mucho!

Hermana Shelton

recent baptism

Hermana Shelton and Hermana Shriver on their last night together.  H. Shriver went to Lone Peak High School, a PG rival. The only "problem" they had together.  hahaha JK

Rachel at the Lima Temple- Oct. 30, 2013

The Hermanas of Independencia-  Hna. Espinoza, Hna. Shelton,  Hna. Mamani, and Hna. Nelson   

Hermana Shelton at the Lima Peru Temple

Happy Halloween Hna. Shelton and Hna Espinoza switched name tags.

Rachel eating guinea pig.  She said it tasted great!

Welcome to Independencia!  The view from the front door of one of their investigators who lives in the tops of the cerros (hills)  They do lots of walking.