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

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mother Nature is a cruel woman.

So, remember how happy I was about the sun last week? Turns out it was just a trick and the cold and ``rain`` (wet air) came back with a vengeance. Today is the first day of spring, but outside it is super cold, and wet and humid. It’s the kind of cold that enters the bones and your whole body hurts. But....oh well. What can we do? The good thing is that the weather didn't affect the great week we had :)

So today is transfers, and there is like...a 99.9999 percent chance that I will be transferred, or my companion. Que triste. I have absolutely LOVED my time with Hna Torrico here in bello horizonte but I know that whatever the Lord has planned for me will be where I need to be.

So this weekend was the baptism of J! and the Elders in our ward also baptized a mom and her daughter. So we had the baptism together. It was probably one of the best baptisms I've been in in my mission. One of the other wards in our stake also had a baptism that night, and 8 were baptized! and...the baptism was at the same time as ours. Bad building planning, but...oh well. So we combined with them as well! There wasn't enough room for everybody in the room with the font so we started upstairs in the chapel, and then our ward went down first. Everything turned out really well and J. bore a really beautiful testimony. I. and her daughter as well. J. told the story about how we had found him, that he had been feeling lost spiritually and prayed that God would lead him to the path that he should be on, and to find the church that he should join permanently, and then 2 days later we contacted him in the street :) I. shared something similar, that her daughter always saw the elders pass by and she told her mom that she wanted them to teach her about Jesus. Her mom told her that if she prayed and had faith, then they would stop by one day to teach them. And...then the Elders came up and contacted them :) The spirit that was felt in that room was really beautiful. 

Earlier that day we also had another really beautiful experience. We went and visited la Familia L., (P.) and we talked to him, his sister and his grandparents. His grandparents aren't sealed in the temple yet either and so they are another family that we have been working with to get them to the temple. We had a really good lesson (we watched the Mormon message video about the temple in El Salvador and the brother and sister were the only ones active in their family, but they were able to be an example, and brought their mom and dad to the open house and they regained the perspective and are now active and preparing to go to the temple.) So we watched that and talked to P. and his sister A., about how they are just like the brother and sister we saw in the video, that they can be the examples their family needs to make it to the temple. Their grandma thanked us and told us that for 13 years tons of missionaries have passed through their house, but that we are the first set of missionaries that have motivated them to be sealed and to go to the temple. The most beautiful feeling came over me when she said that. I almost started to cry right then and there :P It just felt good to know that what we are doing is making a difference. They have a goal to be sealed before the end of the year :)

This week we found two new amazing investigators! A mom and her daughter. She told us that most of her life she has ignored the things of God, or hasn't given much interest to them, but a month or so ago her nephew was diagnosed with a brain tumor and it completely changed her perspective. She wants to make things right with God, and she has a hunger to learn more. Her sister is a member, and lives in Utah, and so she had heard about the church before. Also, one of the girls that works in her daycare is a member, and so she asked her if someone could come by from the Mormon church to teach her. That’s where we came in :) We had two super awesome lessons with her and her daughter this week, and she alone started to read the Book of Mormon. She has lots of questions, but she has a strong desire to know for herself. They both came to church yesterday and had a great experience :) E. came to church again as well! We had 5 investigators come yesterday. What a great day :) 

I think I have struggled, but learned the most, in this area, then in any of my others. It has been so hard, but SO good at the same time. I feel like it is here where I have grown the most, and matured the most ;) (hopefully) I can`t believe how fast the time has flown by. I am just grateful to my Heavenly Father for all of it. 

Well, it’s almost time to go. Here are some pictures from the baptism and other adventures this week. :)

Love ya`ll. Hasta luego!

Hermana Shelton


Peru: Where the chickens come to die. (not a joke. The one thing you can count on here is that each meal you will eat rice, and chicken.)
Sorry if the picture grosses you out a little bit. I`m used to it. :) My companion was like, ``Hey my companion is from the states and wants to take a picture with your chickens to send to her family`` and the lady was like, ``yeah! sure come on back!`` They thought it was really funny :)


Monday, September 15, 2014

Sun, Sun! Precious golden sun!

Guess what?! I saw the sun this week for the first time in months! It was the greatest thing ever. Actually, kind of funny experience, I was reading the book  ``Our search for happiness`` during personal study that morning, the part about the first vision, when all of a sudden the room flooded with light. At first I was like, what the?! whats going on?! But then I realized it was just the sun deciding to make its appearance in Lima. Haha. It made me laugh. My companion and I were in such a good mood that day. :) I`ll send some pictures we took. 

It made me laugh that everyone mentioned that fall has arrived at home. While you all are excited for the cold, I can`t wait for the HEAT. At least I`ll have a little taste of spring and summer before coming home to winter again :)

So I am sure I had more to tell you, but I can`t think of anything! I did tell you last week that J. was going to be baptized on Saturday but....he went on a business trip instead.... It’s been interesting teaching him. He knows that being baptized and being a member of the church is what God wants of him, but he was really active in his old church and it is hard for him to let go of some interesting beliefs he has and to accept all we teach him. So, we will see how things go this week.

Also!! Remember E.? The mom we found who`s two sons are members, but inactive.  That we have been wanting her to come to church for forever, but hadn`t come? Well yesterday she came with both of her sons! I almost couldn`t believe it when I saw them walk in. I was so happy :)

 Fun moment of the week. My companion is learning English and she actually speaks it really well. We had a lot of fun talking and telling stories in English this last week. One of her goals was to better her verbs, (like past tense, future, etc...) And so we were telling stories from our childhood as we walked from lesson to lesson, and we were laughing so hard. it was weird trying to tell stories in English, I kept reverting back to Spanish and she would hit me and say, Speak English! I understand you! It was good times :) President has been really focusing on the latinos learning English and they are always asking to learn funny phrases or jokes (I taught my companion a couple of knock knock jokes this week) But unfortunately there is an elder in the zone that the only phrase he knows how to say is ``shut up`` :P His last name is Niño and it has become a catch phrase of the zone whenever anyone sees him is to say, ``shut up niño``  hahaha. 

Anyways. The week has been good! We started out the week well, teaching lots of lessons, but for some reason nobody was home or could receive us on Thursday and Friday and Saturday and we walked, and walked, and walked.... My legs are sore. But its ok. Hopefully  more people will be home this week :)

Well, I guess that’s all! I tried connecting my camera to send the pictures but it wasn`t reading it. With the time that’s left I`ll try again.

Love you all! Ciao!

H` Shelton

Soaking up the the Sun!

Monday, September 8, 2014

"The Gum Experience"


I feel like I start my letters the same way every week but oh well. It’s been a good week :) Piero was baptized on Saturday!!! Yay! It was a really good experience. His dad (who has been less active) was able to baptize and confirm him! Their whole family was in church on Sunday. And because it was fast Sunday Piero, and his dad bore their testiomonies. I almost cried. It really affected Jimmy (his dad) to be able to baptize him and we are hoping that this will be the experience they needed to become active in the church. Next step: the Lima Peru Temple! It’s time to get this family sealed. Piero, in his testimony said the cutest thing. He said, ``to all those who aren`t baptized I hope you choose to do so soon so that you can feel as happy as I do`` I looked real quick over at our investigadors to see if they were listening :) 
J., our other investigador with a baptism date will be baptized this Saturday.

Last Tuesday I had kind of an interesting experience. I was walking down the street with my comp and felt something hit my back. I asked Hna Torrico to see what it was for me and she said, ``eww! someone threw a huge wad of gum at you`` I turned around to see (cause it had landed on my backpack) and it was true! It was huge! I didn`t know it was possible to fit that much gum in someones mouth. At first I felt kind of sad like, ```hey! what did I ever do to you?`` but then I remembered Elder Hollands talk from this last conference about sometimes having to face personal abuse simply for being a member (or missionary) and how it is actually a blessing because we are in our own small way ``bearing the shame of the world`` along with Christ. And it made me feel a lot better. And actually kind of glad, like, ``yes! thank you for throwing that gum at me`` Cause now I can say in my own very very small way that I know what it feels like. What else ya got for me?? 
I shook the gum off my backpack and we went on our merry way. What a waste of a good piece of gum for them!

Well, I guess thats it for this week cause I want to try sending some pictures.

Love ya'll. Que tenga un excelente semana! And, if faced with moments where you have to defend your faith, or stand alone for what you believe, or even bear some personal abuse, remember these words from Elder Holland,

''Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t live it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them. A long history of inspired voices, including those you will hear in this conference and the voice you just heard in the person of President Thomas S. Monson, point you toward the path of Christian discipleship. It is a strait path, and it is a narrow path without a great deal of latitude at some points, but it can be thrillingly and successfully traveled, “with … steadfastness in Christ, … a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.”19 In courageously pursuing such a course, you will forge unshakable faith, you will find safety against ill winds that blow, even shafts in the whirlwind, and you will feel the rock-like strength of our Redeemer, upon whom if you build your unflagging discipleship, you cannot fall.''

Como siempre y con mucho amor,

Hermana Shelton

Pictures:  Baptism of Piero! And ''studying with my companion'' Don`t worry mom, we don`t really study that way( or are that messy) . We just set it up for the picture :)

Monday, September 1, 2014



 So, I know I had things to tell you....but my mind is blank right now :) Also this keyboard is super messed up. And makes it hard to write. Oh  well.

Oh yeah! Remember the guy I told you about, that we contacted on the street and he said that he`d been praying to find a church to join permanently? He`s getting baptized on Sunday! :) Also, this Saturday will be the baptism of P., the son of a less active family we are working with. It’s gonna be a good weekend :)

This has been a good week. We had a really good experience going on visits with the ward council on Saturday! We went and visited a family that their 19 year old son recently passed away. They have been inactive, and before he passed away we went and visited him and shared a scripture about putting our confidence in God. As we were there talking to his grandparents I felt impressed to share the same scripture. It was a powerful moment, and I got choked up as we talked. Their testimony has really been strengthened through this trial and they said they are ready to come back to church because they want to have all their family back together again.
We are teaching the familia B. R. and we also went and visited them with the ward council. Only their son is a member, but after an experience they had, they have started coming to church and receiving the lessons. They are really awesome! 
We had a really beautiful experience with a less active member this week. Ever since I got to this area almost 4 months ago she has been on the list to visit. And we went several times but it was really awkward, because she was really closed off and didn`t really want to hear anything or answer any questions. But last Tuesday we went and it we found a completely different person! She let us in really excitedly and we just started to talk, and talk, and she opened up completely to us. I think one of the most powerful moments was when she was talking about when she joined the church. She told us she has always had a testimony of the Holy Ghost, that she could always feel it in the church. And then she looked at us and said, Just like I can feel it now. You two have brought the spirit to my home. And I have missed this feeling. In that moment the spirit entered the room SO strong, and after that we were able to ask her why she had stopped coming to church and for the first time she answered the question. As she talked the perfect scripture came to mind, and as we had her read it  her face completely changed. She hadn`t been coming because she had been having problems with her husband and she would come home from church and they would get in a fight and he`d ask her if that is what she had been learning in the church. She said she didn’t feel worthy to be there and so she decided to stop coming. We shared the scripture that says something like the healthy don’t have need of the medic, just like the perfect don`t have the need of a church... I don`t know exactly what is is in English ha, but basically that you don`t need to be perfect to come to church. And her face completely changed. And in that moment we gave the invitation ``so, will you come to church with us this Sunday?`` and the spirit was so strong! And she accepted :)
The spirit is so important in all we do. Even now as I write this email I feel the spirit so strong. I know that everyone has their ``moment`` and that we should never give up on anybody. Heavenly Father knows them perfectly and will send us in the moment that they are ready, we just have to be prepared for that time. 

So, yeah. That was a really beautiful experience :)   Thanks for all the good news from home! Congratulations Chris! and Grandpa, will you be the sealer in my wedding? Congratulations on your new calling :)

I hope everyone is well at home and that you have a wonderful week! Love you all!

Hermana Shelton