Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Crazy Week!

Hey everyone!
So this week was pretty crazy! We taught a WHOLE bunch of people and were walking all OVER the mountain to see people! We have these two little families that live in the Cerro (the little wooden huts all along the side of the mountain) So we´ve scaled up the mountain so many times this week!! I feel like a mountain goat.

The first family Mercy and Duber with their little baby Ariana. Ariana is actually pretty sick and Duber, the father, can't seem to find work. Their little house is so humble and they are in such need of the happiness the gospel can bring them. Please pray for their little family.
The other is Monica and her mom Irene. They actually live right next to Duber and Mercy and watch Ariana a lot when they are working. They both were so ready to accept the gospel! Both families accepted to be baptized on the 23rd of May!
Bit of sad news, the Pantas family and Juan S. didn't get baptized this week. They all said they know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, but don't want to commit to baptism. So we´re still working with them. They all came to church yesterday though!! So wot!
Sorry this is so short, but got to run! I'm going to Pro Lima for a day for splits. It's like a 2  hour ride on one of those CRAZY buses so it´ll be fun!

Love you all!
Hermana Stephenson
P day today and me TRYING to play soccer. I'M SO BAD

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week of walking and miracles!!

Hola everyone!
Sorry I couldn't write last week! I had to go to Immigrations with a bunch of other gringos to get our stuff all finalized so I can live here! WOT! I've got a sweet Peruvian ID card now. Buuuuuut we sat in room after room after room for like 9 hours. There goes my P-day. It was actually pretty fun though to, well, speak English like all day :) and to get to know some of the other missionaries in my mission!
As for this week.... SO MUCH WALKING!!!! Holy cow! We were back and forth across our area every day all day! But it was great. It's slowly getting colder because here, its winter! It's still SO HOT during the day (I got sunburned on Wednesday and everyone is like 'why is your face red?' its actually pretty funny) but at night Hermana Alsonso always complains that its too cold!!! ¿¡Que en el mundo?!
Now for some of our investigators! Sorry I've been so bad about telling you guys about them! But first we have this familia, Familia P, and its this couple with a little 3 year old. They LOVE hearing about the gospel, but they ask so many questions is CRAZY! They talk SO fast too so half the time I can only catch like a few words here and there! But they're great.
Next we have this guy named Juan (I'm pretty sure half the population of Peru is named either Juan or Jose, no joke). He is so good at read the Book of Mormon and coming to church, but says that God isn't answering any of his prayers. His baptism is this week and he says he'll get baptized only after he gets his answer. It's a bit tough because there is only so much we as missionaries can do for him! There comes a point where he has to decide, and we can only help him!
Other thing. So we have this system in Lima Oeste called 10 Maneras or 10 ways to find new investigators. Each week we have 10 specific things that we do to get into houses and teach. Singing hymns, offering service, stopping families on the street and making balloon animals for their kids (I'm a BOSS at making dogs), stuff like that. And our mission president has promised that if we diligently do these 10 things, we will baptize EVERY WEEK. So this week we worked hard at doing our 10 Maneras, but we only had 1 new investigator. ONE!!! All week! Everyone we talked to politely slammed their door in our faces. We were a bit more than disappointed. But here comes Sunday and we have one Manera left, and the minute we knocked on this door to share our last Manera (asking to share the "El Vive" video the church put out for Easter and if you haven't seen it go WATCH IT RIGHT NOW. But I don't know what its called in English!) and there was a HUGE family inside!! As we got to teach them and they want us to come back! Then for the rest of the night, we found new investigators. Not even joking. It was the greatest thing ever!
So diligent obedience really is the key to all success! I know that this Church is true and can change lives, because I've seen it here!! The book of Mormon was written by real prophets and contains the fullness of the Gospel of Christ! Christ Lives and is my rock (Helaman 5:12)!
Love you guys!
Hermana Stephenson

**Note from mom: The video Megan talks about above can be found on youtube and is called "HE LIVES"
p.s. I also cut my hair today!!!! its AMAZING cuse its so hot and I have no time to do it in the morning! My companion nearly had a heat attack. it was so funny.
BEFORE the haircut

AFTER the haircut

Hermana Alosno's heart attack during the haircut

me in all my white glory (the flash didn't help...) and our district!

 little Johan! The downs boy

Love his hugs!

The city at night

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The week it actually RAINED ONCE!!!

Enjoying General Conference at the Stake Center

You don't even know how big of a thing it is when it rains here!! In NEVER rains!! So much so that most of the houses here have random spots where there isn't a roof! It's so weird! So when it started ´raining´(aka the ground wasn't even totally wet) people were all freaking out. It was SO funny! Also there was a HUGE rainbow and it was amazing. I would send a pic but I can't cuse I don't have a cord yet! Lo siento.
Anyway some other random facts about Peru. EVERYONE wears Crocs! I mean everyone!!! There is every color shape and size of Crocs and it makes me laugh. Also, the people here love soccer (no surprise there) but also volleyball. They are CRAZY about volleyball! It's so fun to see the families all out in the parks playing together. We are also the only sisters in the whole ZONE of Ventanilla! Crazy! But all the elders here a super awesome and it's so much fun when we all get together for meetings!
And I just realized that I never told you all about my AMAZING companion Hermana Alonso!!! She really is the best EVER. She´s from Honduras and so we are quite the pair walking around Peru - black and white in a world of brown! Love it! She's such a hard worker and pretty much the best example of a trainer I could ever get! love her!
Next, funny story of the week:
So we had a training for the new missionaries this last Wednesday at the mission office that's in a different city about 2 hours or so from here. So we got to take the HUGE city buses on a road trip! And let me tell you, there is no need for roller coasters in the country when they have buses like that!!!!! AAHH! It was so crazy fun! We went with some of the other elders from our zone and it was just a crazy adventure. At one point, I was wedged between this tiny old lady and this other lady with a GIANT box of mangoes. I don't even KNOW how she got on the bus with that! And I think I still smell like mangoes. They pack those buses so tight with people its insane. And the drivers swerve and brake and jump forward the whole time!! It's so much FUN!! Love it. Although I almost biffed it a few times when I would lose my footing!
Alright, so conference. THE BEST EVER. But I'm pretty sure It was only like an hour long! Que en el mundo?! And I'm also sure that half of those talks were for me! Also here, they have everyone come to the stake center for conference for the Sunday morning session. And it was SO PACKED!! Every room had a TV and even a big pavilion outside with a projector. They even had a small room for English speakers (aka the gringo missionaries)!!! And funny story. Because I'm the only English speaking sister in the zone, we had to get permission from the AP´s so I could sit in the English room with 8-9 elders while my companion sat in the chapel. It was sooooooo weird!!!!! But I was so grateful that I could watch it in English, I've missed hearing the prophets voice!!
Anyway, one of my favorite was Wilford W. Andersen talk about finding and keeping the music of the spirit in our lives. As a missionary, I'm helping others find that music, and its not always easy! And I find myself singing the song of long suffering more often than I´d like :) But always keep trying and moving forward with faith and the Lord will make up the difference.
Well, that's about it! Lots of walking and teaching. But we are having our first baptism this week!!1 Familia M. is SO AMAZING and they want ME to speak at their baptism!!! AAAAAHHHHH!!! So, we´ll have to see how that goes!
 Love you all!!
Hermana Stephenson

our penstionisa´s family! she makes us lunch every day!!