Monday, July 28, 2014

Feliz dias Patrias!


So today is the 28th of July. Which is Independence Day in Peru. Woo! It’s cool that today is P day cause some members of the ward invited us to a barbeque and after internet we`re gonna go eat some delicious barbequed anticucho (cow heart) yummmm..... :) Its actually super delicious. I`ve been craving it for a while :)

Thanks for all the info from home! I`m glad the family finally got to see just how crazy Abby really is ;) hahaha. Love you Miss Abby!

It’s been a good week! This week we had a work visit and I got to go to another area for the day and work with Hna Goulding who is of my best friends in the mission. We were in the CCM together and are so much alike it’s almost ridiculous. So it was a good time :) 

We`re still working with our new investigators and are hoping to have lots of baptisms in August! Our ward really is so great. Tomorrow the stake president and his wife are going to accompany me and my companion for a couple hours to visit some references and less active members. We are also taking advantage of the holidays and are going to have one or two young women with us each day. 

There is a really sweet old lady in our ward who is 90 years old. She can`t go to church anymore for her health so we visit her during the week to share a scripture and sing a hymn. She is so so sweet and her daughter who lives with her is special, and always gives us the biggest hugs when we come over. She is a pioneer of the church here in Peru! She was baptized back in the 60s when the church was brand new and always tells us about when she helped build the first stake center in Lima. It’s cool cause we`ve been there! Its where we have had the meetings when the apostles come. She is always so grateful when we come over and whenever we need to lift our spirits we visit her and feel so much better :)

Yesterday I celebrated my half birthday with la familia Sandoval cause I won`t be here for my birthday. One of the pictures I`m sending is me with them :)

I didn`t leave myself much time to write a good email, lo siento!

Just know I love you all, I am doing really great, and the church is true! 

Mom, could you send me a new hymn book in English? Maybe two? Just the small cheap ones. I gave mine away to mi hija :P 

Viva la Peru! Love you all!

Hermana Shelton


Monday, July 21, 2014

Want to be happy? Forget yourself and GO TO WORK!

So, sometimes being a missionary is just the happiest thing ever.
Like, really. 

We had such a good week!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It started with interviews with President. I always like being able to talk to him. He told me that to him, the number of baptisms is not what matters. For him, what matters is that when I get home no one will even recognize me because I have changed into a better version of me :) I hope that’s true!

This week, my companion and I really wanted to be able to reach the mission goal of excellence of 32 lessons. We were so determined. We prayed all week, that we would be able to find people to teach, and we just talked to everybody we could find. Also, this week I trained the zone on the Christ like attribute of diligence and it was cool to study it and learn how to apply it even more in our work. So we set goals, and worked HARD. And do you know what? WE DID IT! we taught exactly 32 lessons this week and had so many cool experiences. And I want to share them all but don’t know if I`ll be able to but we`ll see how this goes!

So like I`ve mentioned before, we have been struggling a little to find new investigators. Last week we found a new family and we had 6 nuevos. Well, this week new investigators just started coming out of the woodwork! I am not even kidding. This week we ended with 9 new investigators! Two families. Woo!! On Saturday we hadn`t planned on visiting a person we`d contacted, but their names were just playing over and over again in my mind, and two of our other lessons fell through and so we went to this contacts house. Well, we found him, his wife, his daughters, and a friend of the family, and they let us in, and we just all started talking like old friends! It was so cool. We taught the first lesson, and I literally felt SO happy. Especially when we ended the lesson and invited the dad to offer his first prayer. We all kneeled down and I have to tell you, it is one of the coolest feelings in the whole world hearing a dad praying for his family for the first time. We have another appointment on Thursday. :)

Also, remember the family I told you about last week that had the picture of Christ with the little children in their house? This Sunday they came to church! and....we went to visit them afterwards and they told us that they absolutely loved it. They said it felt like they were surrounded by family and that they had just felt good being there. We invited them to be baptized and, they accepted! :) They need to be married first, but told us that they had been planning on getting married this year. Also, the lesson this week in gospel principles was on eternal marriage. They (especially J.
, the wife) loved it :) haha

Ok. Another experience. Last night we were at 30 lessons and it was 7:45. We had one more cita fija at 8 but we knew it was going to be our last lesson of the night because it was a family night. We had been praying all week to be able to have the 32 lessons and had gone to three houses and none of them had time. We did not want to end with only 31 so we decided to try contacting someone in the park and teaching them a short lesson. The FIRST person we talked to, before we could even introduce ourselves properly, just started to talk to us like we were old friends. She began to tell us about her life and family, and a problem that she`s going through, and when we asked if we could share a short message with her about how she could find happiness in this life, she said, Yes please sit down. I need to feel some of the peace I can see that you have. And so we were able to have about a 20 minute lesson with her there in the park and I don`t know if I have ever seen or felt so strongly before how it is that the gospel blesses our lives and brings us happiness. I could see SO clearly as we were talking to her about things she’s gone through, exactly how the gospel could help her and we were able to testify of those things and share a little of the plan of salvation. We have another appointment with her and her daughter this week :)

Church yesterday was so great was well. We had SEVEN investigators come, and 3 less active families that are in the process of being reactivated.  Ah! The chapel was full. It was a little intimidating cause I had to give one of the talks yesterday, but it went well :) 

So, once again, we know there must be opposition in all things, and it comes in many forms. I think one of my oppositions on the mission is my health :P haha. So for about a week or two I have had a lot of stomach pain. (That’s a new one, right? Not my heart this time, woo!) And it was getting so bad that a couple days ago I called Hna Erickson. I told her my symptoms and she was like, well it sounds like your developing gastritis! Oh yay. That’s wonderful :P Its when your stomach creates too much acid and burns. It’s not permanent and can be treated with a diet. It’s also suuuuuuuuuper common here in Peru because of all the acidy foods we eat so it’s not too big of a surprise. Crazy "coincidence" as well, my companion was recently diagnosed with the same thing! (we all know there are no such things as coincidences) so we are on the same diet together :) But I am really fine. It mostly just bothered me in the mornings when we were in the house for studies and whatnot, and then when it came time to go out and work I was fine! I so did not want to stay in the house and rest, because we had a goal to meet, and Heavenly Father blessed me! We only had to rest once, Friday night we went to the house of our favorite family and they made us herbal tea to help us feel better :) 

I just want to let you all know that there is SO MUCH HAPPINESS that comes from serving others. And from being a missionary! I love seeing how the gospel blesses and changes lives. I know Heavenly Father blesses us when we are diligent, and obedient. There is literally a POWER that comes when we are obedient. That is something I have been learning about exact obedience. You literally can feel it. I love being a missionary. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done, but the most rewarding. Emily, you were joking me about the 148 days, right? That can`t even be possible! 

I hope you are all well. I love hearing about everything going on at home! It sounds like a crazy, busy summer.

Well, I have to go. Love you all! Have a wonderful week!

The Church is true :)

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Shelton

P.S. My companion is a black belt in taekwondo. Sometimes for exercise in the morning she teaches me how to kick things. It’s good times. 

So. Surprise. The picture is of me. In the hills... once again. Gotta love the cerros!  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Gringito el Angelito

Hola a todos!

It’s been a fun week. This week we had a big stake activity where the "entrance price" was to bring a less active, or non- member. It was a circus with clowns and magic and it was pretty cool! They also had the missionaries put on an act and we did a sketch about a disobedient angel named gringito. (Hence the subject line) It turned out pretty good :) The story line basically is that there is this angel who is sent on special errands. The first is to stop Abraham from sacrificing his son. The second was to save Daniel from the lions, the third was to save Nephi from his brothers, and the last one was to save two sister missionaries (Me and Hna Torrico) from a robbery. But each time he was distracted by something, for example...his cell phone, his friends, a party, pizza, once he fell asleep, etc.... And each time he failed in his task. And....we all died. At the end we all find him in heaven and "got our revenge" haha. It was pretty funny. The moral of the story was along the lines of "don`t let the things of the world distract you from the things that matter most"  We thought we were hilarious. When we were practicing we were all laughing so hard that my heart started to hurt. Ooops. My companion has videos, I`ll have to get them from her and show you when I get home. (I don`t think I can send them...The internet is pretty slow)

But anyways. It has also been a good week because we found a new family to teach!! Yay! We have been struggling a little bit with finding investigators, but a couple weeks ago we contacted a lady, and on Thursday we were finally able to meet with her, and we found her with her mom, her three kids, the boyfriend of her daughter, and her husband. (her husband didn`t listen to the lesson, but we were able to at least meet him.) It was really cool because we walked in and they had a huge picture hanging up on the wall from the church! It is the one with Jesus and the little children, that is super common, know which one I`m talking about? and when we walked in I thought...hey! are they members? But no. They told me that the picture showed up out of the blue in their moms store and they liked it so much they kept it and put it in their house. Their daughter told us that her and her boyfriend have been wanting to find a church to attend and be baptized because they want to start out their lives well together. It was crazy because just before leaving the house that day we`d prayed to find a family to marry for August, and....we found them! They have to get married first since they are living together but we have a lot of hope for this family. We are praying super hard that all will go well and that they will progress. Prayers would be appreciated :)

Oh. Mom, like you said in your letter, there is opposition in all things! We killed another mouse in our apartment this morning. Ewwwww. I have had it up to HERE with these things. One or two of them have been running around for about a week and we finally got one of them. We found its droppings by our food and dishes, and behind our suitcases as well. And I repeat, EWWW. Hna Erickson is coming for apartment checks this week and hopefully we can talk with her and get everything fixed. 

I hope all is well with you all! Thank you for all your letters. I`ll be thinkin about you Jess up at trek this week. Have a wonderful time! 

P.S. Mom and Dad, Just so you know my favorite family (I mention them in like every letter, it’s the family Sandoval, por si a causo) Have decided that I am going to be part of their family by marrying their nephew. Last night in the Family Home Evening he was there and they all started planning the wedding. It was super awkward. But funny at the same time cause they were all so in to it. They even started calling me "sobrina"(niece) and his mom who was also there started calling me her daughter in law. He is working on his papers for the mission so it`d still be another two years. 
How would you feel if I married a Peruvian?

HAHAHA don`t worry, it’s just a joke! ;) Love you all!

Hermana Shelton

Pictures! Me and my companion Hna Torrico with la Hna Lita. Us in Plaza Norte last week, and Me with Milagros and Gaela up in the hills by their house. They are part of the Familia Sandoval. (My future cousins...HAHA just kidding! :))

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy (late) Fourth of July

                                                                                                                                  July 7, 2014


first off I need to apologize for that horrible letter I sent last week. If you can`t tell I wasn`t feeling to good and all I could think about was how sick I felt. haha. But don`t worry! I`m all better now and I promise not to write such a horrible letter again. Also, I finally figured out how to say "apesar" in English. I literally sat on the computer for five minutes trying to figure out how to say that last week. I looked it up in the dictionary when I got home. It means "in spite of" Ha. Hopefully I can speak normal when I get home!

So, transfers were this week! Hna Valdivia was transfered and I received my nueva compañera, la Hna Torrico de Cochabamba Bolivia! My second companion from Bolivia :) Mom, in what cities did you serve in again? She`s awesome. We get along great. We`ve spent the last few days sharing stories and laughing and having a great time. I`m excited to be working with her! She has 6 months in her mission. She is in the same group as Hna Valdivia, they got here at the same time.

Also, my new zone leader went to school at Maeser so we have some friends in common! It was nice to talk about good ol` Utah for a while. :)

Things are so good here! I think I am literally in the best ward in the mission. Bello Horizonte is so awesome. The members here work so hard! The ward council goes out and does massive visits to all the people we are teaching and to less active members and recent converts. And they are always willing to accompany us. I really love this ward a lot. Yesterday, testimony meeting went over for a half hour because everyone wanted to share their testimony. Mom, there is an hermana here who said she was going to write you. La Hna Lita. She has a daughter in the mission right now as well and loves getting pictures from the members of the ward in Brazil where her daughter is serving and said she wants to write to you, and the mom of Hna Torrico as well. I`m gonna give her your email address, yeah? 

We have been having a lot of success with the less active members of the ward. A couple weeks ago we went out with the Young Womens president to visit some of her less active young women and by chance ran into the mom of one of the young women that we weren`t planning on visiting. She was baptized when she was nine but has never been active. We just started talking and asking how she was and ended up staying for over an hour. Then she invited us back and we have been teaching her and her daughter ever since. It is amazing how prepared she is to come back to the church. It is true that everyone has "a moment" the missionaries visited her before but she never was interested, never had time, etc... but because of certain circumstances in her life she is now so prepared. It is almost like teaching an investigator...just because she has never been active ( Her family, yes. Her brother just got home from his mission and is our mission leader) only that....we can`t invite her to be baptized again :) But she has come to church the past two Sundays, with her daughter who is also a member, but has been inactive. And yesterday they blessed her daughters little baby. 

There is also a recent convert in our ward who is so awesome! He is an older man (ìn his 60s, I think) Who just a couple years ago forbade his wife from going to church, but now he is baptized and super active and reads his scriptures all day. Two weeks ago in stake conference he received the Melchezidek priesthood and yesterday had some questions about the priesthood. And, Hna Torrico and I don`t know as much about it as say, the elders... But I really felt the spirit guiding the lesson and we were able to teach and respond to his questions, and I even learned something new from the words that came out of my mouth! The spirit is the teacher, not us. It was a cool experience.

A ver, que mas. Oh. Funny story. Yesterday we were with my favorite family and as we were leaving their 11 year old son accidentally touched the arm of my companion and she looked at him and said, (in Spanish obviously) "Touch me not! For I have not yet returned to my Father.... And from the mission." hahaha, maybe thats only funny to me, but I almost fell on the ground I was laughing so hard. We have a good time together :) 

Good news! We now have permission to leave the mission on P days to visit the cool parts of Lima. Like all the historical places and the beach and stuff. Our mission literally has nothing but dust, hills, and dogs, so this is a big deal!! The bad news is we can only leave once every two transfers. When I heard that I was like, hey! but I only have four transfers left! Everyone accused me of being trunky, but I`m not trunky I promise! 

Well, I better go I am almost out of time. I loved reading all about the reunion, and what you wrote me dad about that book and his experiences, and following the spirit. I liked that a lot. I`ll have to read it in 5 and a half months. (But I`m not trunky!) I wish I could have been there too. Mom, will you send me my t shirt? :) thank you!

I promise I`m not trunky! I absolutely love being in the mission, and would stay for two years if I could. I love being a missionary and seeing the gospel change lives. It’s true. I know it, I live it, I love it. It’s the small things in the life that make the difference. 

Have a wonderful week!

With love,

(The not trunky Sister Missionary in Lima Peru!) :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Tirando Arriba"

Hello Everyone! Happy Birthday again Miss Abby.

I am sure I had things to tell you, but my mind is blank right now!

It’s been a good week. It was the last week of the transfer and my companion has been here in her first area for six months so we are pretty sure she is leaving, but we`ll see!

You`ll have to tell everyone hi for me at the family reunion! I hope you all have a wonderful time.

Ha, so usually I feel like I have so much to tell you about and there isn`t enough time, but today the only thing I can think of was a not so fun experience on Friday.

I love the food here in Peru, I really do. But sometimes it doesn`t love me. My companion and I had both been feeling pretty sick this week in our stomachs and especially on Friday. On Friday I woke up feeling super nauseous. We went to lunch and afterwards I just felt like all the energy had drained out of me. The family we were eating with (my favorite family here) could tell I didn`t feel so good so they gave me some herbal tea and some medicine for stomach aches. It must of worked cause we went back to the apartment and I laid down for a little bit and then as I stood up to get ready to leave I got super nauseous, and just threw up everything in my stomach. Unfortunately I hadn`t made it to the bathroom and so my poor sweet companion cleaned it up while I kept throwing up in the bathroom. After I had gotten everything out and I was cleaned up we were getting ready to leave to our next appointment when....I threw up again. But there wasn`t anything in my stomach except stomach acid. We then went to a members house who made me another herbal tea. And I threw up once in her house, and once in the street. After that we decided it was time to go back to the apartment. :P Sooooooooo that was a fun day. I feel better than I did then, but still not quite back to normal. 

Sorry I don`t have anything better to write about this week! Just know that apesar de todo (I don`t remember how to say that in English) I`m doing good and am happy!

Love you all!

Hermana Shelton