Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Hello everyone! It's official! I've survived my first week in the mission field! WOT!
Okay, so the city I'm in is called Ventanilla and our area is Pedro Beltran! It's pretty much the coolest place in the whole mundo (world)! We´re right up against the mountains and it kind of reminds me of Heber Utah but smaller and NOTHING GREEN. Seriously, It's like I live on the moon. It's so dry and hot here too! But there is always a nice cool wind that blows up through the mountains, so that's WAY nice. There are about 1.3 million people in our zone of Ventanilla and I believe it! There are so many buildings, but they are all like 1 or two stories, so they just spread out ALL OVER the place. All up the mountain side and everything! Also, fun fact about Peru: its the poorer class that lives up on the mountains, in these little homemade shacks of whatever they can find really. We taught a lesson in one this week and it was quite humbling. And we literaly climbed a mountain to get there.
It was a bit intimidating at first getting here. My Spanish is definately a work in progress! But once I started to get to know the people and our investigators, it started feeling a lot more homey.

So now, a bit about how my day goes! First we wake up and exercise! I about killed my companion with our little WOD. It was so funny :) Then we jog down and buy our bread for the day at this little bakery! Its SOOOOOOO GOOD. I can't even say. Then we study till about 12, eat lunch, then are off to work for the day! And something I learned real fast on my first day is that we don't stop for dinner! So I about starved my first day!! We eat dinner when we get back to our apartment at about 9. So now, I just pack a little snack.)

Now for investigators!!!!! Our mission focuses on families. When we see a family (mom, dad, kids) walking down the street, we ALWAYS stop them. No matter WHAT! So we always have families to teach and it is so much fun! I LOVE teaching them and their kids! So first up is Familia M! They are pretty much the best. They have a little 3 year old daughter who is just a little spitfire! They are so accepting to the gospel and always have great questions. LOVE THEM SO MUCH! And they always come to church= GOLDEN. Familia P. also has a 3 year old daughter and they are so fun. We taught them about temples this week and they want to get sealed so bad! And also we have this little family that I just love. Familia G. People always say that there are people prepared for us and ready to hear the gospel. But and I've never really seen that until now. They are so wonderful. Andrea is the mother and Miriam and Xiema are her two daughters. And I got to invite them to be baptized!! and they said yes!!! They all came to church yesterday and everything! So awesome. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!

So yep, that's about it! Funny little fact, there are these fat little birds here that sound like farting bullfrogs. Not even JOKING! It's so funny! And on Sunday the members kept asking me if I was from the FACTORY, or Utah. It made me laugh so much!
Anyways, Love you all! Qidense!
Hermana Stephesnson
PS: I don't have a cord for my camera, but I'll send some pictures my companion took!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

We received the letter from Megan's mission president and his wife a few days ago along with a few photos. They wanted to let us know that she had arrived safely and was being well cared for. We are so excited to hear from her on her first P-Day--hopefully that will be tomorrow :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Note from Mom: Megan left the MTC (or CCM as she calls it) today and traveled to the area in Peru (Lima West) where she will serve the rest of her mission. We received this email tonight from her mission.

Dear Family Stephenson

Your Missionary has arrived to the best mission; I am sending you the letter of her, and her photo with her new companion.


Elder Lara
Secretario Personal
Misión Perú Lima Oeste

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Love My CCM Companion Sister Updahl
Last Week in the CCM!

Hola once again from Peru!

Can you believe this is my last week here?! As of next Tuesday morning, I'll be out in Lima West as a REAL missionary! Well, I'm missionary now, but just a baby missionary in training :) Its so exciting! Everything is happening so fast! 5 weeks ago, I couldn't understand a lick of Spanish, now I can get almost everything the Latios are saying (if they talk a little slower!) But just the other day, me and my companion, Hermana Updahl were playing volleyball with a bunch of the Latios and I could talk and laugh with them 'cuse I could understand them most of the time! Its crazy. Sometimes I just think 'holy crap, I'm in PERU speaking SPANISH' and my brain explodes. LOVE IT.
My favorite ladies of the CCM--only one more week together

So as another week goes by so does another week of classes: LOTS of Spanish grammar classes and other classes that just teach us how to be the best missionary we can! Always something new to learn. But I can't WAIT to get out there and teaching real people :) Also, something cool this week, we had a member of the 1st quorum of the 70, Elder Ulisses Soares, came and give a devotional! It was amazing. He talked about exact obedience and how it is through obedience that the Lord can bless us. Makes me realize how much I need to work on, but through Christ, everything will turn out fine. So cool.
I love all the flags flying outside the CCM!
Along with all our learning, my district always finds ways to laugh everyday! Once when were in the computer lab doing our computer language program thing, Elder Campbell fell asleep spread out on 5 computer chairs with his face in his Book of Mormon! We were all laughing so hard when he finally woke up. Also, my companion's camera broke so we all tried doing camera surgery and took the whole thing apart..... buuuut we still haven't gotten it to work again! Oh! And the other day, a big group of primary kids came and walked through the CCM AND THEY WERE SO ADORABLE!! Yo derrite (I melted). All the girls came up and gave us little kisses and hugs and I just loved it! Some were kind of shy, but so cute.

Well, that's about it for this week! But to end I want to share an awesome scripture I came across this week. It's in the Book of Mormon Mosiah 24: 13 - 15. This is the story of the people of Alma who were bound in slavery and had to bear terrible burdens. But through their prayers and faith that somehow things would work out, the Lord blessed them. It says in 15 'the Lord did strength them that they could bear their burdens with ease and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord'. Sometimes God won't take the burdens from you, but will give you the strength you need to carry them. He knows better than anyone what you can handle and what will make you stronger. And I just love that!

So, have a great week!

-Hermana Stephenson

Missionary Selfie :)
Last week with my CCM district
Crazy Bunch!
Coming home from the temple
Me and my Latino sisters

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

 Week 4: Avansados!

¡Hola familia y amigos!

This week went by CRAZY fast! Holy cow! And, as of today, I've been here for a whole month!! Is that insane or what? I don't know how I feel about time moving so fast! Weeeeeeird.

Anyway, just another ol' week here at the CCM! Lots of classes, lots of laughing and LOTS of Español! It's great. On a sad note, the 'oldest' group here just left for the field, Including Shaw Tanner!!!! It was so fun having him here! Slightly crazy, but awesome at the same time. He'll be such an awesome missionary.

On a random note, the CCM here is divided into like 4'ish sections: Pricipiantes who are the 'babies' of the CCM and they're the ones who've been here for 1-2 weeks. Next is the intermedios who've been here 3-4 weeks. And last is the top of the totem pole, Avansados! And guess what, that's ME now! 5-6 weeks baby! Is so exciting, and slightly weird, to be the 'oldest' group here. But the new group of Americans that just got here today are so fun and there are SO MANY OF THEM. Oh and the last group is all the Latinos, and they're only here for a week.

So, with all our studying, my district also has some good fun. Which is nice because if not, I might have gone crazy by now :) Some highlights of this week include one of my teachers impersonating Golem from Lord of the Rings (which with a Spanish accent is one of the funniest things I've ever heard), me slurping a whole Granadia down in one bite (and if you don't know what that is, Google it RIGHT NOW. THEY ARE THE BEST EVER. We call them brain fruit), and a very interesting volleyball game.

So this volleyball game yesterday was SO FUNNY. None of us could even hit the ball!! And the sun was blazing outside (which is weird because usually its cloudy in Lima) so every time we'd look up for the ball, our eyes would be stabbed by the sun. The best part was when an elder was trying to hit the ball, but missed, so it hit him smack in the face and he went flying to the grass. WE ALL ABOUT DIED. It was great.

We also played a lot of gringo soccer this week. Normally we play with the Latinos (which is SO FUN) but they were out doing stuff so it was just us. Also, a bunch of the missionaries joined me in my daily Crossfit workouts and it was SO FUNNY! Oh my gosh, one day, we were all just laying out on the grass sweating SO MUCH and everyone fighting for the little spots of shade that the few trees here have. It was great. Tony and Trina, Crossfit lives on here in Peru!

Oh! Last thing! I saw the Kents this morning at the temple! They're here picking up Conner. And funny story, one of the elders in my district knows them! He's from St. Gorge and lives right next to them. Crazy! This world is SO SMALL sometimes.

Alrighty, so scripture for this week is Alma 32:27. It says ''if ye will awake and...experiment upon my words, and exercise even a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, then let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.'' This has easily become one of my favorite scriptures. You don't need to have total knowledge or complete faith in God to move forward. Even if you have just a particle of faith, our Heavenly Father will help you to know what you need to do. And being here in a whole different country, not knowing exactly where I'm going, its so comforting to me. It reminds me of Elder Bednar's 'Patterns of Light' talk. Its on Youtube so check it out. I love it. We've watched it a few times now here!

Well I love you all and I'm so happy to be here!!!

-Hermana Stpehenson

My new jersey I got today! Is that the Italian flag? I hope so. Go Italy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Week 3   Note from mom: no pictures this week :(

Hola all you wonderful peeps! ¿Como fue su semana? How was your week?! Well, life here in the CCM is just a bustlin´ away! Can you believe I've been here for 23 DAYS already?! It kind of blows my mind into pieces when I think about it too hard. We've got this saying here: ´the days go by slow, but the weeks go by faster than you think´. And its SO crazy true. Some days, all you want to do is lay in the grass and take a nap in the warm sun, BUT you gotta keep going. My motto for the CCM is from "Meet the Robinsons", just keep moving forward!

So I thought I would walk you through what a normal day is like here in the Missionary Training Center in Lima, Peru! First off, wake up call is at 6:15 AM (see mom, I CAN get up early ^_^) and breakfast is at 7, Then we have personal study until 8:15. This is my most favorite time of the day because the sun hasn't really come up yet and so its not too hot and the birds are everywhere singing all kinds of songs! It's so pretty and calm that I love just sitting there and reading my scriptures. It's still kind of crazy that I'm in PERU! Like, I'm living in a whole different country! It blows my mind a bit.

Anyway, day goes on with class in the morning till lunch. My morning teacher, Hermano Chaves, is pretty much the funniest guy ever. And he speaks great English, so that's a bonus. Also, his wife just had their first baby girl this week!!! So he won't be here for a few more days, but we were all so excited! We're trying to get him to bring in his new little daughter! But anyway, the other day, he was telling us how to survive Anaconda attacks and it was so funny. He also told us of this one time when he and his companion on his mission got cornered by iguanas. First off, the iguanas here are like slightly smaller kimono dragons and they have super sharp tails. So basically they escaped by using their Book of Mormons as shields and battering their way through the iguanas. Crazy huh?! I can't wait!

So lunch is rice and chicken. And so is dinner. Pretty much everyday. But it is really good! They have different sauces and vegetables you can choose from and so you never get tired of eating pretty much the same thing every day :) It so much fun to sit with the Latina girls and chat with them during meal times! They are so much fun and are super patient with our growing Spanish. Sometimes we have to play charades to figure out what each other is saying, but its great! And great Spanish practice!

In the afternoons we have more study time and then something called TALL. TALL is the language learning program we use on the computers to help us learn even more Spanish! But the computer rooms are always SO CRAZY HOT! I'm serious, its like 20 degrees cooler outside than it is in these rooms. Even now, I'm sitting here sweating! Its all great though. The best part of the day is right after TALL. It's called Physical Activity!! PA is seriously the greatest ever. We run and change our clothes then head outside for an hour of fun! I usually do a Crossfit workout (thanks dad. You're evil fatherly laughs are pretty evil ^_^ ) and sometimes my companion or some of girls from my district join me.  Mostly they think I'm crazy. Then we play futbol (soccer) with the Latinos for the rest of the time! It seriously is so much fun! They are all crazy good, but so nice! They pass the ball to us gringos all the time and are just the nicest and funniest people EVER. Love it.

After PA, we take a shower and get ready super fast for an hour of class before dinner! Dinner is always the best because a lot of the time, we get ice cream and it makes me die of happiness. No joke. I LOVE ICE CREAM. After dinner, we've got two hours of class before bed. And let me tell you, I've learned more about enduring to the end during those last two hours then almost anywhere I think! Hermano Florez is our evening teacher and he's AWESOME. But when you've been in class pretty much all day, everyone's pretty tired! He always has funny games we play. We teach him American games and he teaches us Peruvian ones, so is a lot of fun. I've taught everyone a bunch of games that I used this last summer when I was a camp counselor at Aspen Grove for 11-12 year olds. It was great!

So then, the best part of the day is 9:30 when we can head upstairs to our rooms! We get ready for bed, chat with all the Hermanas, write in our journals then poof! Gone in la-la land. Then wake up and repeat!

So yeah, that's my day! There are always things goin' on, lots of laughing and lots of studying! Last thing, actually two things. First, if you look up John 2:9 in the bible, there is TOTALLY a winky face. Not even joking. It's so funny.

And second, my scripture for this week is in 2 Nephi 4:20. It says ´my God hath been my support he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the water of the great deep'. I've really found the truth of that in these last few weeks. We may not see how our Heavenly Father works in our lives, but he is there, supporting us in so many different ways. I love this church and know that I'm out here for a reason! Love you all and have a great week!

Hermana Stephenson!!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 2
**Megan wanted me to tell everyone that you can use Dearelder.com to send letters to her. It is a free service that will deliver letters right to the missionary. Her mission is the Peru Lima West Mission**

¿Como estan ustedes? How are you all?! Well, things over here in Peru are AMAZING! It actually rained yesterday, like the ground was totally wet and there were puddles! Pretty big deal 'round these parts because Lima is a hardcore desert. And when I say desert, I mean the mountains look like you're an mars because there is NOTHING growing on any of them. They look like giant mounds of rock and dust NO joke. They say Idaho is a mountain desert but they LIE. I miss green mountains!
Anyway, life here in the CCM is movin' along. Lots of Espanol and rice. Nothing too exciting!

We are teaching"investigators" (aka our teachers) and that's fun. They're really good and have some hard questions! So a lot of our time we're studying for our lessons. Its nice because it also directs our Spanish study too. I mean, you gotta know how to say your lesson in Spanish! And I'm starting to feel like I can understand a lot of what the investigator asks and I can express myself more during our lessons. Lots of good work!

So, one of the best things about learning here, is that our teachers don't know English all too well and we're all still learning Spanish. So there are bound to be some interesting conversations! This week, one of the Elders in our district asked our evening teacher if he liked the night shift. But in the end, he got 'we dont like your class' instead! And he dropped his stuff and walked out of the room all dramatically! He's so funny. The elder was like 'nononoononnoo!!! Also, another funny story. Our morning teacher the other day (he actually speaks really good English) was trying to talk in a British accent and combined with the heavy Spanish accent, it was the funniest thing ever! We also taught him what swag was, sorta. And now he says it all the time. Best ever.
Also this week, we went to Migrations and Interpol to get our stuff for our Peruvian ID's! We went Monday and Tuesday morning and we didn't get back either day until like 1 PM.  We would leave at 7AM! Soooooooo much waiting. We sat for so long. Oh! And at Interpol, they had to check our teeth out. I went into a little room with a rickety dental chair where this lady was. But she just looked at my teeth so don't worry dad! She did say I had pretty teeth though :)

Also this week, we got a big presentation from the area doctor. He's a senior missionary from the states and him and his wife are so funny! Anyway, we had this big long thing about what to do and what not to do. And the biggest thing he said was to not eat food that you don't
know how was prepared. And we were all like 'alright, easy enough'. But THEN, during class right after our teacher said that the most offensive thing you can do in Peru is to not eat the food they give you!!! ¿Que en el mundo? That means, 'what in the world?!'  I'm pretty sure that's everyone's favorite saying around here.

Next, I gotta tell you about our day today! P day is the BEST here because we get to get out of the CCM and go int the city! First, when we got out of the temple, there were a huge group of kids! They were so cute! They kind of just stared at us, but when we went up and talked to them they were all giving us hugs and besos. We couldn't really understand them and them us, but it was
okay. I was in heaven! After the temple we walked down the street for like 15 minutes to get to a few stores. I got a Peruvian soccer jersey and pants and I got a mango that's as big as my face. It was awesome. They also have a drink here called Inca Cola that everybody loves. It kind of tastes like bubblegum and cream soda. But it really is good!

One last thing, songs here get stuck in my head SO BAD!! We can't listen to music here so the minute anyone starts singing something, its stuck in my head for hours! The Elders taught the Latino's the Star Spangled Banner and they were singing it in the hall all the time so it was stuck in my head all week. Also Called to Serve is the death of me! I don't know why, but the Spanish version is permanently ingrained in my brain. LISTOS SIEMPRE LISTOS!!!!!!!!!! And there's this song called Mayonesa and yes, it is about mayonaise and our Elders won't stop singing it!
Well, that's about it for me this week! Love you all!

He was older. He and his parents got off the bus right be fore us! I waved to him and he waved back!!!!

Pictures for the week: 1. my district at the temple. 2. the little kids we met outside the temple. 3. me at the market!