Monday, February 24, 2014

Cambios, again.

                                                February 24, 2014

Well, a whole other six weeks have rolled around! I can´t even believe
how fast time goes sometimes. I feel like we just had transfers, but
here they are again. There is a good possibility that my companion
will be transferred because she has been here for her whole mission
(she is in the same group as my last companion Hna Espinoza) and so
it’s possible she´s leaving, but! we have hope that we will have one
transfer more together :) (Mom: her name is Lizbeth Apaza if you want
to send it directly to her, or you can send it to me and I can pass it
on :) If you send her the package of beef jerky I am pretty sure you
will have a new best friend for life mom :) hahaha. Also, Mom, did
someone named Rochi Perez (or Rosario-not sure what her name is on
facebook) add you as a friend? She has an album of pictures of Hna
Olachaea that have pictures of me as well. Hna Olachaea is one of the
other missionaries in my ward (we have 2 companionships of sisters)
and Hna Rochi is her pensionista. Also, if you can talk to her, mom,
there is a lady that comes back and forth from the states every
several weeks and brings packages from us to you, and from you to us
for missionaries. Its less expensive and a more sure way of getting
the package, and she brings them to Hna Rochi who is in my ward which
makes it even easier! You can talk to her about it for the details. It
will give you a chance to brush up on your Spanish ;)
The medicine I am taking is called...Inderal? I am pretty sure that is
the name. They are little pink pills and I take one every day in the
morning. I went and saw the mission doctor this last time and guess
what! We have a new mission doctor and his wife has almost the exact
same problem I do! She has been taking this medication for almost 30
years and says it helps her a ton. So that was a comfort to me and I
was able to talk to her. I haven´t had another episode like the one I
described last week, but I have had a couple smaller ones. Mostly I
just feel exhausted all the time (we´ve had to rest a little more than
usual) but I am feeling better than last week and I hope these little
pink pills will do their job!

I love that poem, Highs and Lows. Thanks for sharing it Mom! My first
companion Hna Schroader shared it with me in my first transfer (when I
was struggling just like Kylee described-don´t worry Ky! It’s normal!)
And it helped me a ton, and it was exactly what I needed to read again
today Mom, so thank you. Also, Dad, thank you for those quotes! They
were exactly what I needed to read today as well. I´m gonna print off
both of your emails so I can read them again throughout the week.
Thank you for being such awesome parents :)

This week has been good! We taught 28 lessons, woo hoo! And we
received a reference from the Elders for a single mom and her daughter
that we are now teaching and they are going to be baptized next
Saturday :) She is the sweetest lady, but her story breaks my heart.
We had a lesson with her yesterday and she told us that her husband
abandoned her for another woman, but left the house he built for her.
The problem is that her ex-husband’s family also lives in that house
(just a different part of the house-houses are different here, it’s
hard to explain)  and they have been trying to kick her out for years.
She has been living without water or light for 5 years and she lives
in fear that her husband’s family is going to do something to her, or
her daughters, or her house. The problem is, that her job is cleaning
a building after events, and it’s not very consistent, so she doesn´t
have money for a new house and her daughters aren´t very supportive of
her and tell her that she is worth nothing because she can´t provide
for them. Amidst all of this, she has the strongest testimony. and she
is so sweet. She has been going to Church for the past two weeks and
she is reading from her Book of Mormon every day and after her first
Sunday she brought home a tithing envelope and asked us to help her
fill it out. I feel really grateful that we have been able to get to
know her and work with her and I just know that Heavenly Father is
going to bless her so much for this decision. :)

Well, that’s about it for this week I guess! I´ll have to let you know
next week about cambios :)

I love you all! Stay strong! Do something every day to build your
testimony. Every day your testimony either gets stronger, or weaker.
We have to be constantly working to keep it strong.

Ok. Until next week,

Hna Shelton :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

“One month older, and wiser too! Happy 8 months…to me!” …on Wednesday :)

                                                 February 17, 2014

Hola Familia!

Thank you for all your letters and support, they help me so much! Hey
Jess, where is the email and pictures from your first date?? I want to
see them!!!

So. It`s definitely been an interesting week. In the mission field
when it’s good, it’s really good, but then come the downs and they
aren`t always so fun.

We had a fabulous week the week before, in which we had a lot of
awesome experiences and four of our investigators accepted baptism and
came to church, we found several new families, and we taught 26
lessons and had our 100 contacts that week, which was the most we`d
ever had! and then...last Tuesday I had a pretty bad episode with my
heart and we had to stay in the house all day Tuesday, then we had a
training for most of the day Wednesday and were only able to teach one
lesson that day. Then we had to go to the doctors on Friday (I`ll
explain more about that in a sec) and for some reason or another
everything just kind of fell apart this week :P One of our baptisms
that was supposed to be for this Saturday needs to get married first
and we are still waiting for all the papers to go through for that to
happen. The other two that were supposed to get baptized this week as
well disappeared off the face of the earth. We have called and called,
but the phone is turned off. And we havent been able to find them in
their house. (Their names are C. and S., mother and
daughter) And they have come to church the past four weeks, but didn`t
show up yesterday. So....we still don`t know what’s happening with them
:P We also had tons of lessons fall through and we were only able to
find less than half of our investigators this week, which was pretty
discouraging. Also, the cat that used to live outside our house
escaped, but left us a little present. All of the fleas that used to
live on him...have now found a new home. Me and Hna Apaza. Yup, we
have fleas. But we spent the entire morning cleaning the apartment and
hopefully they are gone now! I feel like I understand dogs and cats so
much better now. It’s no wonder they are always scratching, these fleas
are drivin me nuts! Buuuuuut life goes on :)

We had an experience this week that I want to share with you. So one
of the recent converts in our ward (she was baptized in December)
disappeared off the face of the earth and Hna Apaza and her companion
before had tried calling her over and over again and visiting her, but
no one was there, or answered the phone. So we had basically given up
on trying to find her but the other day out of the blue as we were
trying to think of a plan B for a lesson we had we decided to try
visiting O. one more time. Well that day we had planned to try
visiting her at 5, but one of our other lessons fell through and we
were close to her house so we decided to go earlier. We got to her
house and called up to her window and knocked on the door
and....nothing. We waited and waited and right when we were about to
leave a moto taxi drives up and out steps....O.! We were super
excited to see her and she let us right in and we were able to find
out that her mom was sick and she had had to leave to her pueblo to
help her mom. And in her pueblo there is no cell phone service, but
she had only planned on being there for a couple of days, but a couple
of days turned in to two months. and she had just barely gotten back,
and she was getting ready to leave again, and she told us that if we
had come at any other time we wouldn`t have found her! She also told
us that she will be back in a couple of weeks and that she wants to
talk to the bishop, and not to worry, she still has a strong
testimony. It was definitely a small miracle and she told us that the
fact that we had found her exactly in that moment was a testimony to
her that Heavenly Father knows, and loves, and is looking out for her.
It’s a great feeling being an answer to someones prayers :)

Ok. About my heart. Don`t worry, I`m fine, but this last week I was
having a lot of chest pain again and while I was eating lunch last
Tuesday the entire left side of my body tensed up and my left hand
that was holding my fork cramped up completely and the fork dropped
(and scared everyone at the table :P) and I had a lot of chest pain
and was having a hard time breathing. So....I layed down at the
members house for a little while and the zone leaders came over and
gave me a blessing and on Friday back to the doctors I went :P So I am
now on a medication that I have to take every day and it seems to be
helping so....we will see! I`m feeling a little better, but extra
prayers would never hurt :)

So, the picture I attached is of me with some of my district last week
for P day. We played carnivales and probably filled up more than 300
water balloons, and had a full out war with the zone. It ended with
people dumping full buckets of water on each other, and there was not
a single person in our zone that was not completely soaked. Like,
completely. But, it was probably one of the funnest p days I have ever
had. :) After it was over we all layed out in the sun on the water
soaked soccer court and the water was warm, and the sun felt so good,
and Elder Florian one of our zone leaders made a comparison to the
soccer field and the celestial kingdom, haha :) It was good times. I
tried attaching a picture of the after math as well but the computers
here are so slow!

Well, that’s about it for this week! Love you all! I am excited for
Ashley and Marlee! That is so crazy that everyone is going to be
grandparents except for you two mom and dad. Give us a couple more
years ;) haha

The church is true. Families are forever. The Book of Mormon can help
answer any questions we may have.

Les Quiero!

Hna Shelton

Rachel and some of her district getting ready for a water balloon fight!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Saving the world, one starfish at a time

                                              February 10, 2014

Once upon a time, in a beach far away, there was a big storm. And
because of this storm many, many starfish had been washed up on the
shore. After the storm had ended a man was walking along the seashore
marveling at the destruction the storm had caused. As he was walking
he ran into another man who was picking up starfish and throwing them
back into the ocean. The first man walked up to the man who was
throwing the starfish back in the sea and said, ``Are you crazy? There
are thousands of starfish along this shore, there is no way you are
going to make any difference at all.`` Smiling, the other man picked
up one more starfish and as he was throwing him back into the sea
said, ``yes, but to that little starfish, I`m making all the
difference in the world.``

Hola Familia :) ¿Como estan? This week has been absolutely wonderful.
Right now as I am sitting here writing to you I am just feeling really
happy, and at peace. I learned a lot of important lessons this week
and I would like to tell you about a couple of them.
So, I am Begonias right now where there are more than 900 members and
only 200 that attend Church. And ever since I got here my focus has
been the menos activos and finding and helping them, which is good.
But, I was only focusing on that and putting to the side a little bit
looking for new investigators. It’s a little embarrassing to admit but
my attitude was, ``this ward already has 900 members, they don`t need
anymore!`` And I was getting a little frustrated that we weren`t
having as much success as I wanted, but I didn`t understand why. Well,
the other day we were in a little tienda next to our house and as we
were getting ready to leave the owner asked us, ``and are you two from
a church?`` and of course we responded ``yes!`` and started talking to
her. Well she told us, ``I would like to talk to you two, I have been
looking for a church for many years.``
well, that statement hit me really hard. And has been repeating in my
head ever since. Yes, helping those who are already members is super,
super important, but, there are still people out there looking for the
truth! It isn`t about how many members the ward has, it is about how
many people are ready to come unto Christ, no matter if they are
members, or otherwise.
I am really grateful for this lady, even if she doesn`t progress as an
investigator, because she helped teach me a really important lesson.

Ok, another experience. So here in Peru there are a lot of really poor
people who don`t have very much. And I have seen way more poverty than
I have ever wanted to see in my whole life. But one little old man in
particular has caught my attention here in good old Begonias. He is a
tiny, bent over old man who spends his days limping up and down the
street selling candy from a wooden box that hangs down around his
neck. I see him just about every day and from day one seeing him just
tugs at my heart and makes me a little sad. Well, this last week as we
were walking down the street we passed him and for whatever reason my
companion and I both turned around and said, ``I want to buy some
candy from that man`` and so we chased him down and bought a little
bit of candy and he was really grateful and gave us a really sweet
smile as we were walking away. From that moment on my companion and I
have decided to buy a little 10 cent candy from him every time he
passes. I know that may seem a little silly, but to that sweet little
old man, it makes a difference.

Another experience. There is a family in this ward that has become
really special to my companion and I. They recently moved here from
the Jungle and they moved because they were receiving a lot of grief
from family and friends about joining the Mormon church. They are
super sweet and loving and we love visiting them, but this last week
as we got to their house we felt a different spirit in the room. They
all seemed a little sad and didn`t greet us with a bunch of hugs and
kisses like normal. Well, as we started talking to them we found out
they together as a family they had come across anti Mormon literature
on the internet and it had really shaken their testimonies. One of
their daughters said, ``I don`t believe any of it anymore, not in
Joseph Smith, not in the Book of Mormon, and I don`t even know if I
believe in any type of religion. And she started to cry, along with
her mom as well. Wow. My companion and I just looked at each other and
I can`t even tell you now what was said, but it was one of the most
powerful experiences I`ve ever had. We both were able to testify about
the things we knew were true and the spirit was there in the room with
us. The next morning we went back and brought the full length movie
about the Prophet Joseph Smith and we all watched it together. At the
end we asked them how they felt, and they all smiled and said that
they felt good and at peace. And we asked the daughter who was
struggling the most is she had any more questions or doubts and she
said, ``no, all my doubts are gone. Thank you``

Wow. And the week just got better from there. I wish I could tell you
all of them but we have to go.

The Church is true everybody! Every part of it. And at times the work
seems overwhelming or discouraging but just remember, that if you are
able to help even just one person, you are making all the difference
in the world.

I love you all!!!!!! Have a wonderful week! Sorry I don`t have time to
respond to you all individually, next week, I promise :)

Hna Shelton

Monday, February 3, 2014

I can't think of a clever subject line...

Happy February! and....Happy Birthday once again Jess!! I can`t believe how old you are. Hey dad, do you have your shot gun out and cleaned? :)

So while ya`ll are celebratin groundhog day and the super bowl, February in Peru means CARNIVAL. or, the month where it is socially acceptable to dump and throw water at everybody in the streets. Oh yay. :P haha, luckily my companion and I have survived unscathed so far, but we shall see. 

What is new, what is new. A ver... OH! I got my package last week!! Thank you so much! The offices received it before my birthday but it finally got to me on the 29th :) My companion tried the beef jerky and hasn`t stopped talking about it since haha, she said she would be the happiest person ever if you would send her a package of only beef jerky :) Also, we ate all the starbursts in day. haha :)
Pictures on facebook? I want to see these. If you can can you send them to me? 
My birthday last week in Independencia was so great! I loved it. I got to see Hna Shriver and Hna Espinoza and all my friends from there and we had a lot of fun :) I miss Independencia but my new area and zone are awesome and I love it a lot here as well! 
The investigators that we have right now that are progressing are C, and her daughter S.. They`ve come to church three times, the only thing that is making it difficult right now is her job. She is super busy so it makes it difficult to meet with her during the week, but she is awesome. She met with the missionaries before but didn`t feel like she could change, but she came to church on her own and found us and told us that this time she was ready. :) She is super sweet and I am excited for her.
I am just blanking out on this week! It was a normal week as things go. I am still getting used to how big my area is! It makes it a bit difficult when one of our appointments is 20 to 30 minutes walking distance from the other and we don`t have a lot of money to take the bus or moto taxis but, all is well. New area, new challenges, different blessings :)

Well, maybe next week I will have more to tell you! Have a wonderful week everybody, and enjoy the snow for me. I miss it :( I`ll have to take a picture of some of the sweet tan lines I have from the sun here. They are pretty drastic. 

Love you all! Every night to finish my prayer I ask Heavenly Father to let ya`ll know I love you. I hope you`ve felt it, cause I`m sendin lots of it!

Que tenga un muy buen semana!

Hermana Shelton