Monday, December 15, 2014

“The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Loved to Do…

...Was Getting on this Plane and Coming Home to You´´

Well, This is it.

My official last letter as a missionary, and I can`t lie, the tears are pouring down my face as I write this. This has been a super emotional, but amazing last week. Full of Goodbyes and See you Laters, Lots of hugs, lots of kisses, lots of tears, lots of work, and many memories that I will never forget.

This last week I had the amazing opportunity to go to the temple and watch my wonderful Peruvian Sandoval Family be sealed for time and for all eternity. There aren't words to describe the joy that was felt to know that I had been a tiny part in helping them get to that point, and to see them make that covenant together. This week was also the wedding of the family C., that the Elders have been teaching but that we have come to know really well as well, and then on Saturday they were baptized, Mom, Dad, and son, along with our investigator R. It was wonderful. 

Yesterday both Hna Ortuño and I gave talks in church, and then cried together last night as we walked out of our last lesson as missionaries. Being a missionary is the hardest, most exhausting, amazing, fulfilling experience I have ever had in my whole life. I can`t believe how fast these past 18 months have gone, and it seems surreal to me that tomorrow I will be released. It also seems surreal that I will be in a different country, Peru has come to feel like home to me and I will miss it so much, along with all of the wonderful people I have met. 

The gospel changes lives. Of this I testify with all my heart. I am so grateful for the opportunity my Heavenly Father has given me to have front row seats to the change in so many people. But most of all I am grateful for the change that has happened in me. I know that I am not the same Hermana Shelton that left home 18 months ago, and I hope that I have become who it is that my Heavenly Father wants me to be.

Yo amo esta obra. Amo la mision, amo ser misionera. Amo Peru. :) Se que esta es la Iglesia verdadera, que Jose Smith fue un profeta y que por medio de el hoy en dia tenemos el Libro de Mormon que fue escrito por estos tiempos para ayudarnos a volver a la presencia de nuestro amoroso Padre Celestial. Se sin ninguna duda en mi corazon que el Evangelio bendice a las familias. He visto la differencia que hace el Evangelio en la vida de muchas personas, y he tenido experiencias que nunca olvidare. Espero poder ponerlos en practica ahora que voy a ser misionera, que extraño. :)

(Translation- I love this work. I love the mission, I love being a missionary. I love Peru. :) I know that this is the true church, that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that through him we have the Book of Mormon today. The Book of Mormon was written for these times to help us return to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father.  I know without a doubt in my heart that the gospel blesses families.  I have seen the difference that the gospel makes in the lives of many people, and I have had experiences that I will never forget.  I hope to be able to put these things into practice now that I will be a returned missionary...ahh, how strange. :)  )

I love you all. Thank you for all the support, love, and prayers that have been sent my way, I have felt them. I can`t wait to see you all soon :)

Les amo con todo mi corazon. Nos vemos mañana!

Con mucho amor, y como siempre....

                            Hermana Shelton

Monday, December 8, 2014

“I’ll be home for Christmas” …for reals this year!

^ if that’s not the trunkiest subject line! jaja

Hello Everyone!

In answer to your question, I think I will email you one more time next week, but I`m not sure. This just may be my last email of the mission! Ah... no pressure or anything...

So. How am I? I would be lying to say it hasn`t been a pretty hard week. But, those hard weeks are just as much a part of the mission as the good ones.
Raul and Marina won`t be getting married or baptized this week. We went to sign them up for their marriage only to find out that on the birth certificate of Raul it was missing his second last name....and that is something that will take about one month to fix. So it will be postponed for about one month. sigh....Marina and I cried together in the municipalidad for a good ten minutes, but what can we do? I had to humble myself and realize that the important part isn`t that I would be present in the wedding or baptism, si no that the important part is that they will be getting baptized when they are ready, and prepared. They promised to send pictures through facebook. :)

Good news, An hermana that we have been working with since my first week will be getting baptized this saturday :) Hna Rut. I am so happy for her!

I also had the opportunity to go back and visit Independencia and Begonias this last week. It was incredible being able to see so many people I love! Goodbyes are always hard, but thats why we`ve got facebook and skype :)

  I hope you have all had the opportunity to ``sharethegift`` or as we say here in Peru, ``compartir la dadiva``. I am really grateful i have had the opportunity to be a missionary still and contact in the streets with the little cards and share my testimony of Jesus Christ in this Christmas time. He is the reason for the season, El es la Dadiva.

I hope you all are doing well, and that you have a wonderful week!

Como siempre,

Hermana Shelton

This picture just kind of says it all....

Monday, December 1, 2014

"And everyone that hath forsaken houses..."

“...or sisters, or father, or mother, (....) for my names sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:29

Hola familia!

Throughout my mission, especially around transfer time I have pondered and thought of all the many people I have met and grown to love in my time here. It’s always amazing to me, I am so sad to leave an area and the people I have come to love as family, and then I get to a new area and meet new amazing people that I come to love as well. And one day I was thinking about that, just counting in my mind all the people I had met and the number astounded me. And then this verse came to mind, and everything made perfect sense.

I had read that verse many times before, but never had really understood what it meant. And it has come to have a special meaning to me since that day. It literally blows my mind to think of all the incredible people I have met and gotten to know in my time in Peru. People that I consider as part of my family, and it breaks my heart to think about leaving them behind. (can I just say that I have never been more grateful for facebook in my whole life?) but there is another verse I found in the bible that I love. It sounds a lot better in Spanish (The bible in English is makes so much more sense to me in Spanish..) but here it is,

But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.
Basically, although we may be separated in presence or in distance, they will always be in my heart. And the hope is that one day we will all be together again with our Heavenly Father. That’s why I`m here isn`t it? I love that about the gospel. If we all continue faithful there doesn`t have to be any ``goodbyes`` just...see you laters. 
At the same time that my heart breaks to leave mi familia peruana, it yearns to see all of you. Whenever anyone asks me what I am most excited for when I get home I say, ``to spend time with my family`` and its true. I can`t wait to see all of you!
But don`t worry, I`m not trunky. :) We`re still working hard, enduring to the end :) Everything is going well with our family. We actually had an amazing experience teaching the word of wisdom. Turns out Hna M. has a coffee addiction... she got super mad when we taught that lesson, but the spirit was the guiding influence. My companion said that she felt prompted to stay quiet and let me talk. And I had a tons of thoughts come to my head. My companion told me after the lesson that I spoke in such a calming quiet way that everything turned out ok. She is really committed now to quit and has been doing so well this week.
Well, I have to go.
Have a wonderful week everyone. 
I love you all!

Hna Shelton

Monday, November 24, 2014

I am grateful for.....being a missionary! :)

Hi family!

Happy Thanksgiving! That sure came fast. That makes me cold just thinking about the rain and snow that will be waiting for me, I like the sun :( Oh well its ok. This week I am grateful for being a missionary and for all of the many blessings and miracles I have seen and received her in the mission. I received one of the sweetest tender mercies yesterday in church, one of my biggest desires getting to this area was to be able to teach and baptize a FAMILY. Well, remember our family that we are teaching? This last week we found out that there will be another wedding on the, wait for it, 13th of December. So now we are preparing everything for this day. It looks like we will be having a wedding and baptism the last Saturday of mine and my companion’s mission. How crazy is that? Also, remember the family I told you about that we found my first week here, the dad who found a book of Mormon and contacted us? Well my tender mercy yesterday was being able to sit in Sacrament Meeting with R and M on one side of us, And G and M and their kids sitting in front of us. And then the elders walked in with a family that will be getting married and baptized this week (the dad has had a hard time dropping his drinking habit, but he has been doing so good.) Elder Johnson gave him one of his white shirts to wear to church and when I saw them walk in to the chapel with his white shirt on, and I looked around and saw my families by my side my eyes just welled up with tears. I can`t explain it, but it was just such a beautiful feeling. And then last night we taught the lesson two (the Plan of Salvation) to a less active family and the spirit was SO strong, especially when we talked about the celestial kingdom and the temple. They have a goal now to not let 2015 pass by without getting sealed. They promised to send pictures through facebook :)

One of the grandest lessons I have learned on my mission is that the Gospel really does bless families. I have had a unique front row seat to so many home and family situations, good and bad, and I have seen the difference the gospel makes. IT’S SO TRUE. One of my favorite quotes before coming out here was `Missionary: someone who leaves their family for 18 months so that others may be with their family for eternity` because that is really what it is all about. This Thanksgiving I am also grateful that my Heavenly Father blessed me with such incredible parents and sisters. Thank you for all you have done for me, and for supporting me. I am who I am today thanks to you and your examples.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and a wonderful Thanksgiving. Try not to eat TOO much turkey. Save me some pumpkin pie, ok? :)

Love you mucho,

Hna Shelton


Hna Mamani came to visit us! Happiest day ever. It was so wonderful
seeing her and talking with her again. Mi Mami de la Mision :)

So surprise! yet ANOTHER picture of me in the hills. They just never get old.

So, you know you`ve been in Peru for a long time when to celebrate
your 17 months in the field instead of buying cake or ice cream
 or pizza you buy some delicious anticucho y patita (fried
           cow heart and fried chicken feet). Yummmmmmmmmm................

Walking to church yesterday with G and M and their sweet family. :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Feliz 17 meses!

Hola a todos!

So, it’s been an interesting week. Remember how I told you about our family? Well, we got all the way to the center of Lima, waited in line for a long time and started the process when they informed us that something was wrong with their birth certificates and that they wouldn`t be able to sign them up for that wedding. :( BUT they gave us other options and we haven`t given up hope. We are waiting for one more paper and then hopefully this week we will be able to get everything taken care of so that we can get this family married and baptized! They are so wonderful. I absolutely love teaching them. We had two awesome lessons with them this week, and my favorite was when we taught the plan of salvation. The spirit was SO strong, and Raul said afterwards, wow, I feel so much peace knowing this. I love teaching them because they always take notes on everything we say, and then they come up with their own conclusions (for example, when we talked about Adam and Eve he sat there thinking for a moment and said, So it was necessary for them to partake of the fruit, and it was all part of Gods plan.. YES! That’s exactly what we were getting at!) So we are not giving up hope, I know that everything will work out how it should.

Something SUPER exciting is that my Mommy (in the mission) Hna Mamani is here in Lima right now! She came up from Arequipa to visit me and Hna Schroader before we finish the mission. And I talked to her this morning and will be seeing her in about....15 minutes. EEE!!! I am so excited.

I`m sorry, I didn`t leave myself a lot of time to write today, so that’s all for now, but I am doing really good, I still don`t feel like I`ll be home in one month. But its coming quickly! I am just trying to focus and work as hard as I can and enjoy every minute.

I hope ya`ll have a wonderful week! 
Hna Shelton

Rachel will be home on December 16, 2014!  
She will report her mission on December 28, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.

Monday, November 10, 2014


Hey ya`ll!

Some strange things went down this week with transfers. First, my companion was transferred. We knew it was coming but it was still sad. We cried. It happens every time. I`m used to it by now. I`m on my 11th or 12th companion I think. :P
So that wasn`t the strange thing. The strange thing was when they announced my new companion...and it was the Hna Ortuño! We both looked at each other like...wait what? Because, she finishes her mission this transfer as well! Ha, President made the joke when he put us together that we were to be ``co mayores`` not ``co muertos`` Ummm not sure exactly how to explain that it English, but basically in mission slang when someone is finishing the mission they say that you`re ``dying`` and since we`re both ``dying`` together he was basically telling us not to be trunky. :) jaja, ok. So maybe it’s only funny in Spanish but everyone here got a good laugh out of it. 

So, we`re finishing our missions together! Its super weird, but super fun at the same time. Apparantly there aren`t as many sister missionaries entering, and also our area is a little dangerous for hermanas, so President is going to put in another companionship of elders in this ward when we leave. The whole ward is kind of bummed when they find out, They like having sisters, but we`ll see what happens. 
So Hna Ortuño is`re never gonna guess Mom, Bolivia! My third companion from Bolivia. But this time she`s from Santa Cruz. Each one has been from a different part, Oruro, Cochabamba and now Santa Cruz. She`s awesome! We didn`t know each other when we started the mission because her original mission call was to Venezuela so she served 6 months in Bolivia waiting for her visa to Venezuela, and then she was there for only three months before they took out all the extranjeros (what is that word in English? for someone from a different country? my mind is pulling a blank.) And all of the Bolivians were sent to Peru. Last night we were having a hard time sleeping, the both of us, so we just laid there and talked for a long time and she told me all about her experience in Venezuela and how scary it was, and how hard it’s been serving in three missions. I can`t even imagine! So anyways. Thats a little about her. We get along great and we`re having a ton of fun ``dying together`` :)

Last night we had an amazing experience. Back story: I`ve been praying my little heart out to be able to baptize a family before finishing my mission, and the truth is that I`d been losing hope. But this week we found an investigator that we`d lost contact with for a couple of weeks, and were able to visit with him nuevamente. Yesterday him and his ``wife`` (their not married yet) came to church. And we went to visit them at night and had an awesome lesson. They are literally SO prepared, he had prayed about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and said he felt a calming peace, and his wife said she`d felt the same way in the chapel. He had been attending the Jehovah’s Witnesses before and they both expressed their feelings of confusion that for years they have been looking for the true church, and she said she`d been frustrated because she`d never ``felt`` anything in any of them. So we were teaching the third lesson, The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the spirit was SO strong. I know I have felt the spirit in my mission but MAN I haven`t felt it that strong in a long time. We got to the part on baptism, and I extended the invitation and it was quiet for a moment and first, she accepted. And then R started to talk. He hesitantly said....yes...and then he said, I don`t know how to express what I am feeling right now. I feel like my very heart is on fire, it literally moves me, and I feel like I want to cry, what does that mean? We were able to testify that it was the spirit testifying to him that this was the path he should take. He said that he`d always analyzed all the decisions he`d ever made, and that they usually took a long time but that in that moment his first instinct was to say yes. Long story short. They are preparing for baptism on the 29th of this month. :) But that isn`t even the most amazing part. After that we had to talk about marriage and the law of chastity and I was a little worried but I hesitantly brought it up and they said that yes, it was in their plans. And after we explained that they had to get married before they could be baptized but that we could help with the process he looked at us and said, Ok! Marry us! What?!?! 
So we were like, yeah okay, well turns out that there will be a marriage sponsored by the church on the 21st and the last day to turn in the papers is...tomorrow. He looked at us kind of shocked and was like, ``Imagine that! For God there aren`t any coincidences, are there?`` No there definitely aren`t. Then we came upon the next problem. It can sometimes take a long time to get all the papers ready and the birth certificates sent from other parts of the country to get a marriage ready and so we brought that up and he said, well, we actually have all the papers ready, look here they are! And he grabbed them off the table and gave them to me. At this point my mouth literally fell open and I blurted out, ``EN SERIO?`` haha. Seriously?! Yeah. Seriously. we are giving up our P day to go to the center of Lima to get them all signed up. This morning Satan tried to discourage them and they were worried about the costs and how fast it all is, but we were able to talk about it and pray and they decided to go through with it. :) Every little thing is falling into place. I feel like I am watching a miracle unfold in front of my eyes. But, Satan always tries to get in the way so we are going to be praying SO MUCH in these next few weeks. 
Oh. Ok, so their names are R and M, and M told us that she has a 12 year old son that we haven`t met yet that hasn`t been baptized in any church yet. She`s going to bring him to the next lesson :) 

Heavenly Father answers prayers, and miracles do happen. I love, love, love being a missionary, and can`t wait to see what these last five weeks bring. Time seems to be speeding up with every second and I just want to take advantage of every last one of them. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week, I know I will!

Love ya`ll,

Como siempre, 
Hermana Shelton

Just realized I didn`t have a picture with Hna Ortuño so we just took one in
the internet cafe and here it is! Its not that great but, oh well. :)

Also! Hna Shroader and I are together again in the same zone.
She was my first companion with Hna Mamani. Starting, and finishing the mission together. :)
We matched one day and took a picture.

Doin` laundry like a true peruvian

Me outside the Elders house

With our favorite little family. 
And district VillaHermosa on our last night together with the bishop 
and his wife. Hna Sanchez and Elder Buckner had transfers.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The primary answers aren't just for the primary kids!

Buenos dias a todos!

I have a lot of thoughts running around in my head that I would like to share and I hope it all comes out making sense.

First. Tomorrow marks the first day of my last transfer. EL ULTIMO CAMBIO. If thats not the craziest,scariest,most exciting,happiest,saddest thing ever. Ha. Lots of mixed feelings if you can’t tell! We find out in about an hour if Hna Sanchez is staying with me, or if I will get a new companion. Everyone has been teasing me that I am going to train for my last transfer. We`ll see.....

This last week we had an awesome Family Night with the ward. With our new ward mission leader we have set the goal to have a family night in the house of a less active or recent convert every Tuesday night. This last Tuesday we had it with the family of those super adorable kids that live at the very top of the hill (that I sent a picture with them a couple of weeks ago) y fue EL EXITO.(It was a huge success :)) 31 people came!! 31 people climbed to the very top of the hill to be with that sweet family. We filled up their small humble house completely, but it was so awesome. In the lesson we were able to use the experience several people had climbing up all the stairs as an analogy for our lives. It was dark outside, and so those that got to the top first had flashlights that they used to light the path, and there were groups of people helping those that struggled a little bit with the climb and we used that as an analogy for our lives. That the path to eternal life with our heavenly father is a climb. It’s not always easy, and we are going to pass through a lot of difficulties but we have our families and ward members to help us along the way, and prophets and scriptures etc... to light the path. And that it will all be worth it when we are all together again with our father in heaven. We put on a small Mormon message video about the temple and it all went together really well. The spirit was really strong, It was an awesome night :) 

Another thing I have been thinking a lot about this past week, a lot for some of the things you told me in your email last week mom, and also for some personal experiences and things I have seen in the mission, is that Satan’s power is REAL. In the scriptures it says that in the last days mens hearts shall fail them, and even the most elect will be tricked by the cunning ways of Satan. He is going to be working SO hard to make us fall. To make us doubt ourselves, and our testimonies. He also was with us in our premortal life, and that means that he also knows us very well, our strengths, and our weaknesses, and he knows exactly how to get us where it hurts the most. So what can we do to keep ourselves from his influence? The exact things they have been telling us in church our whole lives!!! In Spanish we call it the ´´OLA´´ como hola...(Orar, Leer, Asistir o, Pray, Read, and go to Church) The simple answers that we give every week in church. But it is TRUE!! This week to help a less active family learn how to really search and study the scriptures we had them read to 1 Nefi 8, to Lehis vision of the Tree of Life. And then last night we studied, and drew out the dream, and applied it to our lives. ESCUDRIÑAMOS juntos. It sounds cooler in Spanish, lo siento. Anyways, I had a huge breakthrough about the four different groups of people it mentions in the dream. To be short there is one group that doesn`t even enter the path, but goes straight to the great and spacious building. The second group enters the path but doesn`t grab hold of the rod. (What’s the rod? It’s the word of God. How do we grab hold of the word of God? OLA!) So that group treats very lightly the word of God, and when the mists of darkness come they wander off and are lost. The third group enters the path, grabs hold of the rod and partakes of the fruit! But afterwards they still wander off and are lost. Why? Let’s look at the fourth group. The ONLY difference between the third and the fourth groups is one word. CONTINUALLY. The fourth group held fast to the rod continually. They were constant in their studies, they were constant in their OLA. That is the only difference. That hit me hard.
I invite anyone who reads this email to be more constant in your study of the scriptures, in your daily prayers, in your attendance at church, in keeping the commandments. Whatever it is that you may not be doing in this moment. Because I know that Satan will come and he will tempt us and make us doubt our very dearest beliefs. He is smart, and it is not a matter of IF he will come, but WHEN. That we may do all we can to be built upon the ROCK that is our Savior, and press our way forward continually holding fast to the rod of iron. 
I absolutely love what one of the apostles (I think it was Elder Holland or Elder Uchtdorf) said a couple of conferences again. Doubt your doubts before doubting your faith. 

I know these things are true. I want to make it through this ´´climb´´ that is our earthly life with all of those that I love so much. That would be all of you reading this email :) It is going to be difficult, there are going to be pitfalls and times when we feel like we have lost our way, but there will always, always, be someone at the top holding a light, guiding the path and cheering us on. 

The gospel is true. It BLESSES and CHANGES lives. I know it.

I love you all con todo mi corazon :) 

Have an absolutely wonderful week and don`t forget to do your OLA. :)

Con Mucho Amor,

Hermana Shelton

Monday, October 27, 2014

"Here comes the bride..."

Ha! Don`t worry. I`m not trunky, but we did have a wedding this week! Woo!

We have been working with P and J, P is a member, J isn't. I think I told you about them before. Well, they were married this last Wednesday and we got to go! Best part was that we got to escape the mission :) They were married at the Plaza de Armas right in the heart of Lima and it was so beautiful. J still doesn't have a baptismal date because he can`t attend church yet for his job, but the day after the wedding we had an awesome lesson with him and we talked about the family, and the sacrifices we have to sometimes make so that our family can be happy. He is praying to know if he should quit his job and look for another so that he can come to church and progress towards being baptized. They are an awesome family. Hey Em, you`ll like this. Their little girl is named Emily! And P is pregnant with twins. She was less active, but is now coming to church every week. I am grateful that we were able to be a part of this chapter in their lives! I would love to see J be baptized, but we will see. 

Let’s see, what else.....

Our pensionistas dog bit my companion this week. That was fun....

We met some awesome new investigators this week. We are teaching E, who has 18 years, and is a single mom. We have been teaching her outside of her house, right next to their goat. I think he likes listening to us too. (.....ha ha...) And on Friday when we were teaching her three cats got into a full on fight right above our heads on their tin roof. It was a little scary. (Also, our house also has a tin roof, and I sleep on the top bunk about 3 feet below the roof, and it is a pretty common thing to be woken up in the middle of the night by cats fighting right above my head. I usually wake up thinking it’s an earthquake or the end of the world or something, but nope. Just the dumb cats again.) Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah. E came to a Relief Society activity with us on Saturday and stayed afterwards for the baptism the Elders had. So that was awesome :)

E. didn`t come to church this week again :( He went out with his friends so that was pretty disappointing. But oh well. We just keep working hard :)

Well. I guess it’s time to go. Talk to you next week!

Les amo mucho!

Hermana Shelton


I thought I`d send on this picture we got from our mission conference with all the Hermanas in our mission :)
 When I got here our group of 11 girls more than doubled the number of hermanas, and now look at us! :)
Me in front of the equivalent of the white house!

Here are some pictures from the wedding!
And, a lovely typical scene of my beloved Peru.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Change that only the Gospel can bring.


Hi! It’s been a great week, and let me tell you why.

So, we are working with a new investigator. We found him because we have been teaching his family. His brother is serving a mission right now and when he left he was the only member of his family. Since then two of his older sisters have been baptized but his mom is a member of another church (and even holds the priesthood in her church....o.0...) and wasn't progressing much as an investigator. My companion wanted to drop her, but I wanted to teach her atleast once before making that decision. So we went and we both got the distinct impression that if we dropped her now, she would never accept. And that we needed to keep visiting this family. So, we went back. and....found E. When we got there he was drunk, but my companion has no fear and we started to talk to him. He invited us in and as we talked he told us about how he was the ¨black¨sheep of the family, the one that everyone knew as ´´the drunk´´ and that he`d been that way for 15 years. When his brother left on his mission, he left crying and begging his brother to change. It really affected him. We promised him that he COULD change, and if he really wanted to we would come back and teach him how he could, but that he had to be sober. We set up the appointment for the next day, and he promised us he`d be there, sober. As he offered the closing prayer, he started to sob. It was a really powerful moment. But we weren't sure if he was going to remember because well, he was drunk. :P But anyways we went back the next day and he was sitting there, waiting for us. Completely sober and humbled. And he remembered everything. Long story short, we have taught him every day for the past week and a half. He has reached 1 Nephi 14 in his personal scripture study. And is praying every night. The first weekend, he fell. And went out and got drunk and drugged with his friends. We got to his house to teach him and found him that way and talked pretty forcefully with him. We went back the next day and he was really embarrassed. We said we were there to help him, but he had to put in his part. We read Alma 5 together and put small goals together. His first goal was to not go out with his friends this last weekend. He said that while we are there teaching him, or when he is reading the book of Mormon it is easy to resist temptation but then he leaves his house and it gets ten times harder. This last weekend was the first ¨test¨ and on Saturday night we went and had family night with him and his family. We ate popcorn, chips, and pizza, drank Inca Kola and watched the Testaments. And...he did it! He made it through this whole weekend without leaving. He was excited to come to church, but chickened out at the last moment because he is afraid about what all the members are going to say about him. Oh well. Next obstacle to overcome :) It’s been so cool for several reasons. First, his mom has been sitting in on every lesson and has opened us so much. Second, our convert of less than a month, Ricardo, overcame the exact same problem before his baptism and has come to three of the lessons with us this week, and to the family night. His testimony and friendship is helping so much. He is changing, little by little. After the first few lessons he took out his earrings. And his entire countenance is changing. He accepted a baptism date for November! It’s so awesome to have front row seats to his change. I love being able to see this perspective because I know his brother is working hard in his mission and praying for his family, because we are seeing the miracles occur here at home. It’s SO COOL! The Gospel has the power to change lives!

It was a fun week for my companion and I. We have been working so hard. We talked a lot as a zone this past week about contacting. When we contact in the streets and strive to have 100 contacts each week it brings the spirit of missionary work so strong. So we have been focusing on that and its true! This week we had 35 lessons, 101 contacts :) And we have found SO MANY PEOPLE. I swear they are coming out of the woodwork. We have so many new investigators and references. I always joke that I work better with less actives than investigators, I just seem to have better luck with them, but it’s true! Right after we`d decided to strive harder for contacts (especially to families) we walked outside and the first family we saw, we contacted....and turns out they are inactive members. We were like, Hi! We`re missionaries from the church....etc.... and they were like, hey! we were baptized there several years ago! But when they moved they`d lost contact with the church. So...we've been visiting them and they came to church yesterday for the first time in years :)
Yesterday at church was so great. It was the first time we`d had church in 2 weeks, and so many people came! The Elders and us were sitting kind of at the back, and we just watched in wonder, and kept looking over with silly grins at each other as we watched as less active, after less active, investigator, after investigator, and recent convert walked in. We made a list of everyone that came and it had about 30 names. We were so so so happy. Members that hadn't come in years were there. Such a happy feeling :) Yay!

I know I had more I wanted to tell you, but I have already written a ton. :) I hope you are all feeling better! I am feeling a lot better this week. Also! It’s been so sunny, and hot. I love it :)

Well. I guess I`ll end. Have a wonderful week everybody! The church is true!

Hermana Shelton

Monday, October 13, 2014

Greetings from San Juan de Lurigancho

Buenos dias!
^quote from Elder Cristoferson :)

I am jealous of all those fall leaves I see in the pictures! Que bonito. It’s just starting to warm up here in Lima and I`m back in San Juan where the sun shines even brighter so I am happy about that! Just in time to get a tan before heading back to winter :)

So, conference was great! I loved all the talks given in SPANISH! Everyone here was pretty excited about that. Ky, that quote you mentioned in your last email by Elder Christofferson was one of my favorites as well. I wrote it down in my agenda, but it sounds even cooler in Spanish! ``un dios que no exige es lo mismo que un dios que no existe`` ooo....I liked it a lot :)

This week was good! Today is my companion’s birthday so I woke up sneakily in the night and blew up a bunch of balloons and wrote her a note and placed them all over her bed and on the floor for when she woke up. Tonight we have dinner with Mamita, and the birthday traditions here are nuts. They have been planning for weeks all of the things they are going to throw at my companion. Flour, Eggs, and Cake in the face. Oh, Peru. Good Times. Also, since my companion is from Mexico I tried singing her the ``estes soooon, las mañanitas`` birthday song from Mexico, but unfortunately those are the only words I know :) Also, we started singing another Mexican song, that goes, ``Ay, ay, ay, ay, canta no llores! etc....`` anyone? anyone? haha it brought back memories from Elementary School :) 

Remember the family I told you about last week? The dad came to conference with us! And he liked it a lot, and he now isn`t working on Sundays and is excited to come to church. We were pretty sad to find out this week that the only way to fix his wife’s birth certificate is for her to go her hometown which is really far away, and they don`t have money for it. But, miracles exist. We`re going to find a solution :)

In the meantime!! One of our families is getting married on the 22nd!! The wife is less active, and her husband isn`t a member. So we are teaching them both and we are helping them with their marriage! El hermano works on Sundays so he hasn`t been able to come to church, which means we can`t put him on a baptismal date yet, but we`re working on it. One step at a time. We got to go with them to the centro de Lima this week to sign some papers, and their marriage is going to be in the Plaza de Armas, and we get to go! woo hoo! We`re pretty excited about that :)

We had a good week! We are working on finding new FAMILIES and we contacted 101 people this week, and 16 families. 12 of those turned into new investigators, and 4 families. So we`ll see how this week goes :)

We had a conference with all the Hermanas in the mission this week! I`m going to send a picture I took with all of my companions :) Hna Shriver goes home this transfer so it was the last opportunity to be with all of them :`( Also, the mission world cup was awesome! We won team unity :) For some reason the zone thought it would be a good idea to make our zone jerseys fuscia (fucia? the ugly pink color...) and I was opposed to the idea, but they turned out all right :) I`ll try sending a picture too :)

What else, what else.....

Oh. So I don`t think my stomach likes this whole ``having a pensionista`` thing and eating food again. I`ve been living off of water and pepto bismol this week. We had a scare cause we thought I had appendicitis, but turns out it was just cause my stomach was inflamed. It’s whatever. I think I`m gonna go on a diet :) 

But don`t worry about me! I`m fine! Happy! NOT counting the days, I still have like, six months, right? :) haha

Well, I guess that’s it for this week! Love ya`ll!

Hermana Shelton 


Zona Magnolias!

With Mamita and Nayeli (one of her grandaughters) in the mercado this morning!

The picture with all of my companions on the mission! (minus Hna Mamani)

Saturday, October 4, 2014



So this Monday we are having another ``world cup`` in the mission which means....we are writing today, not Monday! It’s gonna be sweet. All the zones have made their special ``zone`` jerseys and instead of being teamed up according to our country, we`re going to play zone, against zone. Bright and early Monday morning :) So President gave us all permission to write today. I love when the whole mission gets together!

This is actually going to be a super strange weekend all around, because tomorrow is election day in Peru! which church tomorrow. It’s against the law to have any type of meeting or reunion on this day, so we all have to stay in the house for a good part of the day so everyone can go and vote (which is also a law, everyone has to vote and if you don`t vote you have to pay a big fine). But unfortunately election day falls on general conference day! So next week is when they are going to broadcast general conference for all of Peru. But we have permission to watch it in a member’s house if we can so after internet we are going to go watch it with Mamita. (mi pensionista) yay!

I feel all weird writing today instead of Monday. But it’s whatever. I will just wait to hear from ya`ll the next week!

So, what’s been going on in my life this week....a ver.  Cool story! We are teaching a new family! My second day here we were walking down the street when a man called out to us, and started to chase us down. My first instinct was...what the heck? run! but my companion turned right around and started to talk to him. Turns out he`s harmless :) (you never know with some of the men here...I have some crazy stories for ya`ll when I get home) anyways. So this man, Guillermo, works cleaning convis(buses) and one day he found a book of Mormon left on a seat. He said that he felt like he needed to take it home with him, so he did. He said that he`d always seen the missionaries pass by and knew that it was one of our books so when he saw us he called us over to return it. We were like, no! This book is for you! He said he didn`t really understand how to read it, but he would like to know more. So we said we could come by one day to visit him and explain it and he got really excited. He told us we could come by whatever day we wanted, so we did :) And....long story short, we are now teaching him, his wife, and his four kids. They are veeeerry humble, but SO receptive. They aren`t married (like almost every couple in Peru) but it’s not because they don`t want to. There is something wrong with his wife’s birth certificate (her dad put that she was a hijo (son) instead of hija (daughter) so she has to get that changed before being able to get married. But they don`t have the money to do it. But, it’s a good thing the mission is expert in things like this :) They really want to make things right with God and want to be baptized. And we are going to help them! Their whole family is coming over to Mamitas house tomorrow to watch a session of General Conference. :) Also! Other small miracle. Guillermo told us that he wouldn`t be able to come to church because he works every Sunday. But this last week there was a change in salary in his job (it was lowered) so he said he is going to look for a new job with a better salary, and that allows him to come to church on Sunday. I felt prompted to tell him that if he started saying his prayers every day, asking specifically to find that job, that he could find it. I am excited to see how everything goes :)

So other than that...let’s see. My companion is wonderful! Hna Sanchez is a convert of three years, and she was less active for two of those years. The conversion story of her and her family is super bonito and her testimony is SO strong. I love teaching with her because she teaches with so much passion and spirit. We get along great and we have a goal to baptize a family together. Our goal is to contact three families in the street every day. 

Well, time to go.

I hope you are all ready and excited for General Conference! Which is about to start ten minutes. Yay!


Feliz cumpleaños otra vez Emily!

Hermana Shelton

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ciao Bello, hola Villa Hermosa


So, yes, it happened. I was transfered to what is very very likely to be my last area in the mission. Guess what? I`m back in San Juan de Lurigancho! about 10 minutes away from my old area. So that’s exciting. My new companion is Hermana Sanchez from Mexico. Funny story, we were supposed to be companions back in February, but then all the weird changes happened and I ended up training Hna Aquino, and she was put with another hermana in the zone. So we`ve been in the same zone together, and I already loved her which was nice. Also, it looks like we were meant to be companions! And I am excited for the opportunity to work with her. So now I am in barrio villa hermosa, in la estaca Magnolias. During transfer meetings one of my friends told me that my area could be called the ``celestial kingdom`` of the mission, mostly because of our pensionista. It’s true. This is my first time really having a pensionista and its great! La Mamita Charo is so wonderful. We live like four doors down from her family and we are there every morning for breakfast, and every night we read from the Book of Mormon with them in their family, so we are always there. It’s almost like being part of a family again :`) que trunky. I`ll have to tell you more about them and their story in another email, It’s awesome.

Ok. I have so much I want to tell you, so little time! I hope everything that comes out makes sense.

One of the nice things about transfers is that sometimes you ``inherit`` baptism dates. This weekend we had two baptisms :) And the elders in our ward had one as well. Cool story. Our first baptism was el Hno R.. A couple of years ago he was addicted to drugs and was arrested by the police. And crazy enough, it was the son of my pensionista that arrested him. (he was inactive at the time, and the sisters before me helped to reactive him) well, now, R. completely changed his life around and was baptized this last weekend, and guess who baptized him? El hno I.! (my pensionista's son) how crazy is that? It was a really beautiful baptism service. The other one who was baptized was A.. His wife has been a member for about a year, but he didn`t want to be baptized and kept putting it off, but he finally accepted and was baptized this weekend as well. The elders baptized  la hna C. Her and her family are my new favorite little family. We went and visited them with the elders my first day here, and yesterday as well. They live at theeee top of the hill, almost as far as you can go up. I had to almost crawl on my hands and knees to get there. crazy. anyways. Her husband was a member, but had never been active. They have three little kids. Their oldest is seven. When the elders got to their house and started to talk about baptism and that they needed to be married, their little daughter looked at her parents and said something along the lines of, that they were breaking Gods law, and that they needed to be married so that God could bless them. Her parents looked at each other and were like, well, why not? They were married last weekend and carmen was baptized this weekend. :) And they are super excited about being members and living the gospel. I love love love their little kids. I am going to try and send a picture. Yesterday after church I taught them how to play ring around the rosy. :)

I know I had more to tell you but I want to send pictures so I guess I’ll end. I`m doing really good, happy in my new area, loving the mission! And I promise I`m not trunky ;) hahaha.

Love you all! Que tengan un feliz dia! ciao!

Hermana Shelton

Hermana Shelton and Hermana Sanchez