Monday, August 25, 2014

Somos hijos de Dios

Hello All!

So last week we ``broke free`` from the mission, and it was so great! It was fun to see the historical parts of Lima. We went and visited the catacombs in the super old Catholic churches and it might have been the creepiest thing I have ever seen. No joke. We went on a tour of a cathedral from like...the 1600`s or something and we went down into the catacombs where they told us that about 25000 are buried down there. There were piles of bones everywhere. It was all dark and underground and small. I was feeling a little claustrophobic and all the skulls staring at me didn`t help. Oh well. It was still interesting :) I`m gonna try and send photos. 
Hey Ky! I saw your pictures from your blog. You look beautiful! What a cool experience.

Hey, has there been anything in the news about an earthquake in Peru? We felt a really strong ``little earthquake`` last night and they said there was one in another part of Peru.


This week. It’s been a good one! I got your package! Yay! Thank you for all the notes, you are all wonderful! Kristen, you look AWESOME! I hardly even recognized some of the cousins; you are all so grown up! :) I read each and every one of the notes, and translated them all for my companion :) Thank you everyone!

I would like to share just one experience with ya`ll this week. On Saturday we were walking down the street when a man walked up to us and asked if we could direct him to a place where he could hear the word of God. We told him where the chapel was and said we would be there the next day, Sunday. He looked a little disappointed and said he needed to find one to listen to right that minute. So I said, well if you have some time we could share a message with you right now. He looked at us with hope filled eyes and said, ``would you?`` He then proceeded to ask us if it was alright to commit suicide. Whoaaaa kay. We were like OK yes, please come with us, let’s talk. He then proceeded to tell us one of the saddest stories I have ever heard. He is originally from Piura (the north part of Peru) and he had a wife, and 4 daughters. He was the owner of a restaurant and said he was living happy until one day the police came and beat him up and took him from his house. They had found a bunch of drugs hidden under a table in his restaurant and they were blaming him. He had no idea they were there, he was innocent, but they didn`t believe him. They took him from his house and gave him 25 years in prison. The things he told us about his time in prison I won’t repeat. But just know that the conditions where inhumane and that word does not even give justice to what he told us. He was there for 15 years without any contact from his family, nothing, until they finally realized that he was innocent and let him go. Just, let him go without giving him anything, or any money to get back to his home. He has no idea if his wife and kids are even alive, does not have any way to find out, and is living on the street trying to find a job to get money to go home. He then told us that some men had offered to give him 50000 soles if he would kill a man for them. They gave him the gun and everything but he said that he could not do it. (At this moment my companion and I got a little nervous but we looked at each other and both felt a strong impression that we would be alright, that he was telling the truth, and to keep listening to him) He said he did not feel right with using ``dirty money`` and he said he was a good man. He has always believed in God and he had served 15 years for something he hadn`t done and he was not going to do anything to send him back there. So. He escaped. and just started to walk without any direction. He prayed to find direction, to find help, and to find God. And....not even 5 minutes later he saw us walking down the street.
As he was talking I couldn`t help it. My eyes filled with tears, and they just poured as he talked. And we all cried together. It was the saddest thing I have ever heard. But we were able to testify to him of many things. First, that he is a son of God who loves him. He said he knew that was true, that he knew he was helping him. That he had led him to us. We had a good talk, gave him a pamphlet and he promised that as soon as he got back to Piura he was going to look for the church and start going with his family. I don`t know if I will ever see him again, but one thing I do know. Heavenly Father is always watching over us, he knows all of our situations, he knows it all. He loves ALL of his children. That experience is one I think I will never forget. 

Well, Ok. Gotta go. Love you all!

Que tenga un buen semana y que nunca olviden que tienen un Padre Celestial que les ama.

Hermana Shelton

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ser Misionera es ser feliz :)


Wow! The Ogden temple is completely different! I can`t believe it! Also, everyone looks so much older in those pictures (only the little people, not you mom. :)) Especially Emily. When did ya`ll get so big?

So we have had just a fabulous week here in mi bella area, bello horizonte. We finished the week with 39 lessons! On Saturday night we were adding up all of our lessons from the week and we were at 33. My companion and I looked up at each other like, what?! haha and counted again. And then all the lessons we had yesterday were just the icing on the cake :) We officially have a ``rescued`` member and three new baptism dates! yay! We had so many cool experiences this week and I want to share them all, and I don`t know how much time we have so I am just going to write as much as I can. Listo.

Tuesday was super great. It was transfer day but because we didn`t have transfers we were able to leave early in the morning to work because we didn`t have the usual district meeting and it was so great! We went and visited the hna C. We visit her all the time but when we walked in I had the strong impression to ask her about her daughter in Chile. I asked her and her face kind of fell. And she started to tell us about a fight they`d had the day before and some problems they were facing. And it turned out to be so perfect because that morning we had been studying in our companionship study for her and had found a talk in the Liahona that turned out to be exactly what she needed to read. During the lesson she started to cry and said that Heavenly Father always sends us right when she needs it. Experiences like that just never get old. I love when we have followed the spirit and it ends up being the answer to someone’s prayer. Best feeling ever :)
Then later that same day we had our first lesson with an investigator that we had invited in the street to come to church and he actually came! In all my time in the mission that has only happened twice. Well in our lesson with him on Tuesday he told us that he had been praying for guidance and for a church to join permanently. And then the next day we stopped him in the street and invited him to church! He took it as a sign from God (well, yeah! :)) and that is why he came. The lesson went really good, he has lots of questions and I think we might have to pass him to the elders cause he`s a single man but still! It was a cool experience :)
Then later that SAME day, we had our first lesson with E. I told her about you last week I think. She was the friend that was talking to L. that has two sons that are inactive. Man, that lesson was so great. We just started talking to her and she told us about her life, and how just really just wants to change and live a better life. She has a small drinking problem and likes to go to ``fiestas`` but doesn`t want to live that way anymore. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its power to change people and when we invited her to be baptized the spirit was SO strong. She accepted! There are some obstacles to overcome (marriage and word of wisdom problems) but I know she is going to progress :) As we kneeled down so she could offer the prayer she just started to cry. Her prayer was so beautiful. I almost wanted to cry as well! As we left the house Hna Torrico just gave me a big hug, and said ``wow, que bonito`` It really was. Why is being a missionary just the coolest thing ever??
As we know, that sneaky little thing called ``opposition`` (is that how you spell that?) comes in, and when we went to go get her for church yesterday her neighbor came out and got mad at us for knocking on the door because her brother (of E.) was inside and was drugged and drunk. He had been outside bothering all the neighbors in the night and they were all locked in doors. He had finally gone to sleep and she was afraid that we would wake him up and we would be really angry. So...we were like, yeah. We`ll come back another day. Ha. Oh well. L. and M. weren`t able to come to church either, (cue ``the district`` quote, ``JUST COME TO CHURCH`` haha) but we just need to keep trying. True change isn`t something that comes easy. 
I know there is more I wanted to share but I can`t think of it right now. Bleh. Oh well. 
OH! super cool experience yesterday. Our stake president after sacrament meeting had everyone stay seated and talked about missionary work and how we need references. And he didn`t let anyone leave the meeting without first writing down the names of 3 people they know who need the gospel. The elders and us have toooons of references to visit this week, and I am excited to do so! The work is really progressing here, I can feel it. 
I know that when we are being obedient, and doing our best Heavenly Father blesses us. It may not always be in the way we expect (for example, baptism dates) but it is always in ways that we need to learn and to grow. 

Well, I guess that’s it for this week. Guess what, we`re breaking free today! Woo! We get to go to the center of Lima where all the cool stuff is at. Like, the cathedrals, museums, cool touristy stuff :) That’s why we wrote early today. 

Mom, you`re scaring me with the ``after mission`` talk. I have absolutely no idea what I want to do :P I`ll think about it this week and let you know :) 

Ok, well, love you all! Que tenga un buen semana. 

Con amor,

Hermana Shelton

Monday, August 11, 2014

The week without a subject line...

Querida Familia,

Hola! Como estan todos? Me alegra mucho sus cartas y experiencias. I couldn`t believe it Em when you said school is starting soon! what?? Time is flying by so fast. Today is transfer day and I officially only have 3 transfers left. ahhh! again I say, WHAT?? way too fast is going the time. 

So it’s been a good week. Nothing too exciting. Actually kind of sad, remember that family we found that we were super excited about? That accepted baptism and everything? Well....they moved this week. Que triste mi vida. Pero bueno, que podemos hacer? Sigamos no mas. 
We did have a cool experience. I am pretty sure I´ve told you about Luz that we found her and her daughter as we were contacting trying to reach our goal of 32 lessons, well I feel like she is kind of our ''reward'' for working hard and being dilligent. Because last saturday we had had 8 lessons and it was 8 thirty at night. So we thought, we can look for one more lesson or go visit the familia sandoval and share a scripture with them. We started walking down the street and found....Hna L. and her daughter m.! We had a lesson with them out on the street and it went really well. And then this week we went and found her again and she was talking to a friend that as we started talking to her found out that her sons had been baptized but had gone inactive. She wants us to come visit them, and she commited to come to church this week! La hna L. that day was a little closed off and worried, and as we asked her why she said her daughter had gone missing a couple of days ago. Oh. Well, yeah, thats a reason to worry! She said she wouldn`t be able to come to church or concentrate really well in the lessons until she found her daughter and we said we understood, but that she would receive many blessings through coming. We said a prayer with her there, and then my companion and I kept praying throughout the week, and on saturday as we were walking down the street we ran into her again and she said that they found her daughter! Yay! She was really excited to come to church yesterday but wasn`t able to make it. Oh well. One miracle at a time :) 

So this week I have been feeling really tired, and kind of sad, feeling like we weren`t seeing the results that I wanted to see. My body wasn`t tired, it was more like my spirit was tired. But I read this scripture that I really love and want to share with you. It’s in Doctrine and Covenants 64 and it says, 

''And behold, I, the Lord, declare unto you, and my words are sure and shall not fail, that they shall obtain it.
 32 But all things must come to pass in their time.
33 Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
 34 Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.''

I like that it says, ''be not weary in well doing'' and that all we are doing is laying the foundation for a great work. Maybe we can`t see the fruits of our labor yet, but it is all worth it and will come forth in the due time of the Lord. This scripture really helped me a lot, and I hope it helps you too :) 

Well, I guess that’s about it for this week. Mom, I don`t think it’s a coincidence, I have had that talk by Elder Bednar sitting on my bed opened up in the Ensign all week, and was finally able to read it last night. I am going to print off your talk and read it this week. Thank you for sharing :) I am glad to hear it went well! Also, that is super good that you are studying Preach my Gospel! Start by learning the lessons. What you can do, is look up all the scriptures for the different principles, and then in Family Night you can do ''practices'' practicing teaching the different principles, just an idea :) 

Also, Holly I got your letter this week! Thank you! :) I am going to try to respond today, since we have a free p day :) Also, Dad, do you know if Grandma ever got my letter?

Bueno. Esto es todo por este semana. Que disfrutan su ultima semana de verano, y hablaremos la proxima lunes! Ustedes son lo maximo y las quiero muchisimo.

Como Siempre,

Hermana Shelton

Monday, August 4, 2014

To the Rescue

Hola Familia!!

It’s been a good week, as always!

One of the good things about dias patrias is that everyone is on vacation, and they can all accompany us! This week we went on visits with the stake president and his wife, with the relief society presidency, with the elders quorum president, with a bunch of young women who presented us to some of their friends, and more! It was awesome! I feel like we got to know even better the members of the ward, and we met so many new less actives that they presented to us. 
This week we had 34 lessons! Woo hoo! Even more than the mission goal. 14 of those lessons were with less actives. The goal is usually around 6 or 7... But I love visiting the less actives.

I feel really grateful that I am a missionary in this time, where the focus is so much in going to the rescue. Our bishop in this ward is a really good example of that. We were talking with him on Thursday before correlation and he told us about how he has been able to help rescue some of the families that are super active in the ward now, and he really focuses on that. 

I feel like I teach and help better those that are less active as well. I love going to find them!! If all goes well this month we will have 9  ``rescued`` members. :) We are also teaching a family together with the elders that have accepted a baptism date at the end of the month! Their son was less active but had an ``experience`` (I`ll tell you about that one when I get home, ya?) And now we are teaching his mom dad and brother and sister! We teach the mom, and sister, and the elders are working with him, his dad, and his brother. 

Sorry this letter is so short! I hope all is well at home, thank you for your letters, and Jess, be careful out there on the roads you licensed driver, you! 

Que tenga un buen semana! Las quiero mucho!

Hermana Shelton