Monday, December 30, 2013

...y prospero ano nuevo!

                                                                                                       December 30, 2013
Hello everyone!!

It was so good to talk to you on Christmas, and a whole lot easier to explain things in person than try to write them in an email :) haha

I can`t remember all I told you on Christmas so I will just give you a little summary of what we did for Christmas.

So on the 24th we had the big party in the offices with all the missionaries. The elders played soccer and the hermanas talked and then we had a barbeque for lunch and then a special program followed by watching the movie Monsters University. That was a LOT of fun. Our mission is pretty small so I know the majority of the missionaries (especially the sisters) and I absolutely love being able to see everybody together and talk with all of them. Then, that night we received special permission to spend Christmas with the other Hermanas in the zone, and that was really fun. (They had the Christmas tree in their apartment that we all bought together when we lived together so we decided to go to their apartment :)) So in Peru, everybody celebrates Christmas the 24th at midnight. At midnight is when they have their huge special Christmas dinner and it is also when about a million fireworks go off. Seriously. Everybody and their dog does fireworks and the night sky literally lights up with fireworks.  And then after the dinner and fireworks everybody opens their presents and then goes to bed and sleeps all day on the 25th  
So we went up to the roof of the apartment building at midnight to watch the fireworks and it was so awesome! I have a video of it I will try to send. But...what we didn`t realize was that we closed the door of the roof behind us and accidentally locked ourselves up on the roof. oops. :P We were thinking that we just might spend the night on the roof, but we were able to yell down to a neighbor who lives across the street and we dropped the keys down to her and she rescued us. Funny coincidence, turns out that she has two sons that are on missions, but she isn`t a member. So the hermanas are now teaching her and she accepted baptism! Woo hoo! I`m thinking that that really wasn`t a coincidence :)
And so then on the 25th we went and did service in the morning and then talked with our families! We also had to go back to the apartment a couple times because my companion was sick and throwing up. That wasn`t so good. She blames the Paneton and Chocolatada. Oh yeah! That is another huge tradition here in Peru. Paneton is kind of like fruit cake but it actually tastes good. And everybody (not even lying, EVERYBODY) eats paneton and chocolatada(hot chocolate) the whole month of december, but especially for Christmas. It’s really good but I think I ate so much that I will be ok with not eating it again for a year. And you can`t even mention the word `paneton` to my companion without her gagging :P 
And then that night the whole zone got together for a special Christmas dinner and we ate Pollo a la Braza and french fries with mayonaise, and had a really good time together. Elder Peterson brought christmas music from home and gave us `special permission` to be really trunky for the night :) Hermana Nelson and I had a lot of fun singing along to all the songs we missed out on hearing this year.

So that about sums up my only Christmas in the mission! It was definitely one I will always remember, especially because we received three very special `Christmas gifts` this Sunday. We were able to baptize A. last night, and let’s just say that it was a miracle that everything went smoothly. A lot of his family who are inactive were there and I think it was a really good experience for them. And then, our other two christmas miracles. First, our `family` P. and Y. (who went to the temple with us and that we have been teaching for a long time) FINALLY came to church! yay!!!!! Not even kidding, I was fighting back tears of happiness all throughout sacrament meeting I was so excited to have them there. And then another family we are teaching who aren`t married (she is a less active member and he isn`t a member) told us yesterday that they have decided to get married! We put the goal with them for the end of this month and we are so excited for them. Next step is getting him to accept baptism. He has said he will get baptized, but only when he knows FOR SURE that it is true. We know he`ll get there and we are praying that he will be ready by the time his wedding rolls around.

It is very, very possible that I won`t be here to see their wedding, or be here to help P. and Y. progress and get married and baptized because cambios (transfers) are in two weeks. And....since I`ve been in Independencia my whole mission I will probably be leaving. But, we will see. They are putting two new sisters in another ward and everyone is joking that my transfer will just be to that new area in the stake (since I have served in two different wards in this stake) and that I will serve only in the mission Peru Lima Norte, Estaca Independencia. Haha, but we`ll see. It’s all in the Lords hands.

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you have a wonderful New Year! Next week I will have to tell you about the crazy new year’s eve traditions they have here :) 

Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Shelton


Doing `fireworks` (sparklers) in our apartment for Christmas Eve

My MTC district back together again for Christmas :)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hey mom!!

We literally have no time today as we will be talking on Wednesday :) So just to verify the plans I will be calling around 12:30, on Wednesday. I checked my skype today and it looks like everything is working. But just in case have your email open as well so I can send you a message if there is a problem or something. 

Love you!!

See you soon!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Shelton

Monday, December 16, 2013

I'll be home for Christmas...but only through Skype!

                                                                                                      Dec. 16, 2013


So I don`t know all the details yet about calling home, but several members have offered their homes/computers for us to use to skype. I know it will be the 25th and that I will get to call you sometime this week to set up the details :) I can`t wait to see all your faces!!

This last week we had the awesome opportunity to go with our ward to the Lima Temple and bring our investigators with us. We were able to bring a family of six, and also a family that is menos activo(how do you say that in English?) and it was super great! P. and Y. are the family that we are teaching and we are hoping to get them married and baptized soon. They have both said they want to get baptized and married...but not yet. They want to wait :P We`re hoping that the visit to the temple helped them get excited about getting married, we`ll see when we visit them this week :)

Sorry this email is so short! I`m not sure what else to write, this week was pretty normal as they come. Also, we get to talk in person in a week and that will be even better than an email!

Love you all!!

Hermana Shelton

Monday, December 9, 2013

Still in Independencia

                                                                                                                                            Dec. 9, 2013

Hello Everyone!

Not much time this week, but I`ll write as fast as I can :)

So just like I thought would happen I am here in Independencia for at least one more cambio. I am most likely going to finish training Hna Espinoza here and then be transferred in the next cambio in January. We are living in our new apartment in our area and it is SO GREAT. I love living in our area and being so close to all of our investigators and the members. Our apartment is small, but cute. The walls are painted in happy colors. In our study room the walls are bright green, in the main room/where we sleep the walls are bright orange, and in the bathroom the walls are bright yellow. But that is normal for here in Lima. :) All of the houses are painted bright colors like that on the outside as well. For example, the outside of our house is teal. :) We live on the third floor of a house that is owned by a really sweet family. Their entire family (grandparents, kids, and grandkids) live in the house as well. Each family has their own little ''apartment'' and we have a little mini departmento on the third floor. We can walk up the stairs in front of our apartment to the roof which is awesome because we have a great view. You can almost see the ocean from there. :) On Christmas we are going to go up there to watch all the fireworks! The family is very religious (not LDS, Evangelical) but they like us a lot and we want to have a family night with them some time and invite them to come to church with us. We`ll see what happens :)

Health wise I am doing a lot better! The results from the tests said that my heart is healthy and normal. The tests did show (just like the ones that were done last year) that I have a heart arrhythmia and that sometimes my heart beats faster than normal, but they gave me some medicine to help next time I have an episode. Also I basically need to eat as healthy as possible, (absolutely no caffeine-which is every Peruvians favorite thing-I can`t drink Inca Kola anymore :( ) and I can`t have a lot of sugar or a lot of greasy fatty things. (which is pretty difficult tambien aqui en Peru :P) but hey. thats ok. My ward is super great. They have all been really supportive and have gone out of their way to cook lunches (we have lunch every day in the casa de un miembro) that are really healthy and they have been giving us homemade fruit juices instead of inca kola :)

I did get to watch the christmas devotional! it was awesome! And mom, brother Allen (the one who sent the picture) was here visiting our stake president who was his mission companion in Bolivia! cool, huh? I told them both that you served there as well, but you served about ten years before they did. :)

Oh. Weather wise. Summer is definitely starting. It is SO HOT. And I have been told that it is going to get worse. Bleh. Oh well. At least it’s finally sunny! Lima only sees the sun in the summer time so that is a plus.

Well, I have to go! our zone is going to go play volleyball and cook tacos for P-day, woo!  I`m excited.

I love you all and can`t wait to talk to you in a couple weeks! 

cuidese mucho!

Hermana Shelton

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy December!

                                                                                                                                         Dec. 2, 2013

Hello Family!

I am doing great, but this last week has been an interesting one. In answer to your question, yes I am still having episodes with my heart. Last weekend (like a week ago), and the weekend before that I had several, pretty bad ones consistently and was forced to stay in the house. I wanted to be out working but the zone leaders said no. :P They came over and gave me a blessing that was actually a really cool experience. My whole body had been shaking and as they started to put their hands on my head the shaking intensified. But as they started to give the blessing I felt a calm throughout my whole body and by the end of the blessing the shaking had stopped. After that I was able to relax and sleep and I felt a lot better. The power of the priesthood is real :)

But I am feeling a lot better! I had to go to the clinic in central Lima three times this past week for some tests (yes mom, the office got the test results you sent, thank you :)) and I will find out the results on wednesday. I haven`t had an episode in about 5 days and so I am doing great :) 
In answer to the weight loss question, I walk. A LOT: :) Also, we only really have one real meal a day in the house of a member for lunch and then we just have snacks and stuff in the house for breakfast and dinner. The reason for that is because we were living in a different area and didn`t live close enough to a member to have a pensionista and so we were on auto pension. But if you`ll notice I said we WERE living in a different area. Guess what? I moved this weekend! again! This was another miracle we saw this last week. So for the past 12 weeks all of the Hermanas in Zona Independencia have been living together in the area of our zone leaders. We have been looking and looking for mini departamentos in our areas but we could never find ones that fit all the prerequisites of the mission. Well, out of the clear blue Hna Espinoza and I decided to walk up a different street last Tuesday and much to our surprise saw a sign for a mini departmento! So we went and looked at it and it was PERFECT. We called the zone leaders immediately and they were able to come right then and we signed the deal and had ourselves a new home. But, the problem was that now the other Hermanas needed to find a place to live, ASAP because they couldn`t stay in our old one because of the cost (it was too much for only one companionship to pay) and also, the end of the month was this week and we needed to pay rent. Well, the very next day they went out and, what do you know? They found an apartment! Everything fell perfectly in to place and I could definitely see the hand of the Lord in it. It has been an absolute blessing to live with the other Hermanas and I think that we were supposed to live together for these past 12 weeks, but it was time to have our own apartment in our own area, and everything happened in the Lords timing :) 
So on Saturday the whole zone came over and first we moved out the hermanas de violetas, and then we moved out Hna Espinoza and I. I won’t lie, there were a lot of tears shed. Like I said, it has been an absolute BLESSING to have lived with them and I am going to miss it a LOT. but, everything happens for a reason and I am just so grateful for the opportunity I had to have 3 ¨companions¨ instead of just one :) (Literally, we did EVERYTHING together.) It’s gonna be weird adjusting I think. Especially because Hna Mamani (who I have been with every single day since I entered the field four months ago) finishes her mission today. Yeah. I am crying right now just writing to you about it. I am going to miss her SO MUCH. She was my mommy and has been such a big help to me as I have been training and I really don`t know what I am going to do without her. It is even more difficult because well, she is from Peru and I don`t know if I will have the opportunity to see her again in this life. But that just makes me even more grateful for the knowledge that I can see her again once we are all back with our Heavenly Father. I`ve never been very good with goodbyes and I knew that I would struggle with that on my mission, but wow. This is hard. Ugh. I am like, bawling my eyes out right now in the internet cafe :P haha. But! one of her goals in life is to travel to the United States and visit Temple Square and I told her that she always has a home in Utah with us if she is ever able to come :) 

In answer to your other questions, I have received every single story except....for the very first one :) haha. So I will start reading them tonight and hopefully the first story will get here soon. :)

Well, today is cambios and I am pretty sure I will be staying in my area to finish training mi hija but who knows? I`ll let you know in a week :) 

Well, I have to go. I love you all, MUCHO and hope everyone is happy and healthy at home. Jess. I can`t believe you are driving. BE CAREFUL. :) And make sure you look both ways when you are at an intersection that is only a two way and not a four way stop. Remember that experience mom? Hahaha :)

Les Quiero, cuidese!

Hermana Shelton