Monday, June 29, 2015

Off we go to Trujillo!

Me y Hermana Gomez

Here we are again! 

Well this week has been a BUSY ONE! I think we had about 3 or 4 days total working in our area! With this mission split an everything, things have been quite the mess :)

We had a big farewell and interviews with Presidente Archibald in Huaraz and it was a day full of good byes!  T_T But Presidente said that as hard as it is to let us go, he´s so excited for us to be pioneering this new mission, And that this new mission president is going to need our help! And I´ve really felt the spirit this week testifying to me that this is where I need to be. When we were coming back to our area a few days later from district meeting, I was just looking out at the BEAUTIFUL mountains and farms and all the people in their colorful clothes working in the fields and I just felt this over whelming love for these people here. And a calm peace just filled me. And no matter how strange or different this new mission is going to be, I know that I'm Right where I need to be!
Me and my compies at the farewell lunch

Farewell lunch with Presidente Archibald
We were hiking a mountain to this village and I stopped to take a picture of the city of Caraz!

Alright time for a funny story. So we were in this convi (that's what they call these 14 passenger buses that take everyone everywhere) heading to district meeting in Carhuaz (about an hour away) when the convi stopped to pick this guy up. As the driver opened the door, the guy threw two giant bags full of LIVE CHICKENS in the back! And me and my two companions were sitting in the last seats! When he couldn't fit a third bag in the back,  he shoved one bag under our seats!!! And the whole time these chickens were all squaking and mocing about. My companion Hermana Gutierrez nearly DIED. Then the convi started moving again and suddenly I felt a chicken pecking at my leg! Yeah, I nearly screamed, but I held it in :) It was SO FUNNY! I love Peru.
A FARM!! (or chacra en espanol)

Speaking of my companions, I in a TRIO! First is Hermana Gomez. She's from Utah, but her parents are from Guatemala´. She speaks perfect Spanish and looks totally latina! So when she tells people that she's from the States they don't believe her! She has 16 months in her mission and only has one more Cambio left. Next is Hermana Gutierrez! She's from Equador and is AWESOME! She has 15 months and is an AMAZING teacher :) Love 'em both! It was strange being in a trio at first but we've really worked things out. The only problem is that our room isn't big enough for THREE! But its funny, we're all crammed in there :)

Well that's about it! This week one of us three is going to Trujillo to unite with a trio from Truillo North mission this week, but we don't know who! The Zone Leaders are headed to Trujillo on Friday to meet with the new mission presidente! AHGHGGGGH!!! Crazy!

Love you all! CHO!
Hermana Stephenson
Me in front of our window

The view from our window in the morning

Monday, June 22, 2015

Welcome to the Misty Mountains!


Well, this week has been QUITE to dosee! But to start off, I'M IN A NEW MISSION!!!! Yep, I'm no longer in misión Lima Oeste, but the newly created misión de Truijllo Sur (Trujillo South)! It was quite the shocker actually. We had our big meeting for transfers on Tuesday and Presidente Archibald told us all how difficulty it was to send off 24 of HIS missionaries to this new mission. But he bore such a powerful testimony of the role and guidance of the Spirit in each and every one of the companionships that were headed out, and that he loved each and EVERY one of them. And during the whole time he was taking, I just KNEW that I was being transferred into the new mission.
He spoke specifically of a trio of hermanas. How he just couldn't get the sisters to all line up two by two. Then, the night before cambios (transfers) the mission president of Trujillo called and asked if he had a trio of hermanas. Because if so, he had a companion for that girl. That if Presidente Archibald would send his trio to Huaraz (the zone that would be part of the new mission), he would too, so that in the end, everyone would have a companion.

And as President told this story, I just KNEW, knew in my heart that I was part of that trio. And when my name was called with Hermanas Gutierrez and Gomes, the spirit testified so strongly that I was going where the Lord needed me to be. As hard as it is to say good bye to my mission president and his wife and all my friends in Lima Oeste, I KNOW without a doubt that I'm here, in the city of Caraz, for a reason! And that the Lord has people prepared for me here and in Trujillo!
I can testify of the power of prayer and the peace that only the Savior can bring. I'm so glad to be able to bring the peace to others here up high in the mountains of Peru. It's so beautiful here and everyday I look out our window and see the mountains and all the people in their traditional clothes and I know I'm right where I need to be.

We opened a new area up here, so not much for investigators. We're just trying not to get lost!
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH and have a great week!

Hermana Stephenson
Me with a bunch of kids who kept following us

Saturday, June 20, 2015


Well everyone, its official. I'm leaving Ventanilla!!!!! I´m getting transferred!!
Its kind of crazy, actually! My companion left today for home, she´s finished her mission, and so we left early for the mission offices. Then I brought two sisters back with me! Hermana Gonzalen from Chile and Hermana Cruz from Paragya. They both only have 2 months here (cute little baby missionaries!) and their companions also finished their missions and so we´re together for today and will head to transfers early tomorrow morning! Its quite fun.
My district here in Ventanilla

It was kinda funny though, it was when we were on the bus heading back to my area that my district leader called and told me that I have Cambios (will be transferred). I never thought that I would be leaving my area because my companion has already left and I didn´t think they´d put two new missionaries in my area. BUT the Lord calls us and sends us where HE needs us. It was amazing the peace and comfort that filled my heart and I know that my time here in Ventanilla has come to a close, my FIRST AREA!! But Im SOOOOOO excited to start this new part of my mission in another area!
Something cool this week was our NOCHE IN BLANCO!!! We had 17 baptisms in our zone this week, so we had a big stake baptism and it was AMAZING! To see everyone all lined up in white. Wow!

Noche En Blanco
Well other than that, JUAN SAMANIEGO WAS BAPTIZED THIS WEEK!!!!!! WOOOOT!!! Its been a LONG time coming for this kid. My first night here in Ventanilla (and in the mission field) we had a Family Home Evening and he was invited by a friend to come. And so, after 3 months, he decided to be baptized! It's only fitting that my first investigator here would be my last baptism! Kinda crazy!
Juan's baptism day!
And so, my bags are (mostly) packed and headed off tomorrow! I kinda feel like Bibo Baggins, I´M GOING ON AN ADVENTURE!!!!!!!I know that this church IS TRUE!! It´ve felt the enabling power of the atonement so powerfully in my life and it's SO REAL. Christ is there waiting to help us, we just need to ASK for it. I love the Savior and know that he walking beside me everyday!

Love Hermana Stephenson
Ventanilla--My first home in Peru

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Hola Everyone! ¿Como fue su semana?
Well my week was pretty great!! Sad note, a lot of the people we had been teaching just weren´t progressing and so we had to stop teaching them, BUT we found a lot of new families to teach instead!
We taught Rai and Milusca the first lesson and they accepted a baptismal fecha for the 11 de Julio (July)! Milusca is really interested and loves when we come, and Rai too, but he REFUSED to get up for church yesterday! AGH! I just wanted to chuck a water balloon at his face. But don´t worry, I resisted. Barely :) Mom, I understand your pain of having to wake me up for all those years..........
I also learned this week that working with members to find new investigators is GOLDEN. Enserio. We were just walking down the street with a member from a lesson and she stopped at this house and told us that an active Sister lived there, but she has a less active daughter. So we knocked on the door and turns out that there are also 2 others who aren´t members in their family!! Mayra and Emilio are 22 and 24 AND Mayra has a baby who´s 8 DAYS OLD!!! HE´S SOOOOO CUTE!!!!!! And so tiny! We taught them this week and they accepted a baptismal date of 11 de Julio too! They are such a fun family. And the mom, Hermana Rosa is so excited that we are teaching her family. She told us that she´d been trying for years to get her kids to come to church but they weren´t too interested. Miracles! 
Also, my companion is dying!!! Hahaha, not really but in the mission, when it is your last transfer, you DIE. So yeah, Hermana Flores has finished her mission and she keeps telling me that I´ll gonna have to drag her out the door!! She´s taught me so much these last few weeks and I'm a COMPLETELY different missionary because of it! That's about it for this week! Love you all and I love my mission! I´ve really learned about just loving the people and thinking of my investigators instead of myself! Christ has ENDLESS love that He´s so willing to share when we need it. I Love my savior and know that it´s through Him that we can live with our families FOR ETERNITY!
Well, that'
Hermana Stephenson

my pollo dinner!!!! YUMMMMM!!!
THE CERRO....... looks like the MOON. and the ghosty looking fence things :)

Me in all my sweaty nasty glory

This is the view from my chair right now :) there is a child sleeping underneath the fruit stand!

The CERRO...looks like the MOON (with ghostly looking fence things!)

My pollo dinner---YUMMMMMM!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Always Walking and Never Stopping!

Hola Everyone!
Me and the other American sisters that came from the CCM with me!!

Sorry I couldn´t get a letter out last week! We were running a bit late! But here I am, Alive and with the calves of a track athlete I'm SURE!

This week we did a whole lot of WALKING! We´ve made a goal to walk more places instead of taking a bus or moto so that we can contact the families we come across on the street! Our area is HUGE so we have to walk pretty fast in between citas, but its good exercize! Most days I come home with my feet aching and just crash after planning for the next day. It's great! I definately feel like a missionary :)

As for last week, we had the baptism of Kayla! She´s SUCH a sweet girl. Her parents and older sister are miembros but are inactive. We found their family though a reference of a member (MEMBERS ARE AWESOME) and as we taught her the lessons, we also have been working with her family! Her mom, Jessica is the most interested in coming back to church, but with Kayla helping them read and pray every night as a family, they´re all making progress again!
Kayla's baptism!

This week we found this kind older gentleman who stopped us on the street and told us that he´d listened to some of the discussions a few months ago, but was working so he couldn´t come to church. But now his work has changed and wants to learn more! His name is Oswald and he came to church with us yesterday and really liked it! The only difficulty is that he smokes a WHOLE lot. But he really has the desire to change his life around. We have a recent convert in our ward, Juan, who was an alcoholic. So we´re going to introduce him to Oswald this week! A member friend is the greatest thing an investigator can have.

Also, we found familia Orsmeno while walking down the street. They´re SO AMAZING! Rai y Milusca with their little baby Valintina. We taught them  little bit about prayer on Saturday and they were ready to go to church on Sunday. BUT Valintina got sick during the night and they coudn't go! AGH! Satan is very astute and will do ANYTHING to stop the people from coming to church! Talk about a thorn in our side.......

But I love working with these people! The temple in Trujillo is going to be dedicated the 20th of June and EVERYONE is so excited about it! We even had a special meeting (or a training they called it) about what´s going to happen for the dedication. And they actually had me help explain some things because I was one of the only people who´s seen or been to a dedication! It was a bit nerve wracking trying to speak Spanish in front of practically our whole ward, but it wasn't too bad!

A funny moment for the week was the other day when Hermana Flores and I were walking and stopped for a second to check our planners and a bird pooped ALL OVER my companion!!!! We just stood there for a second then burst out laughing. It got all over her shirt, but I was spot free! Then for the rest of the day she was chucking small rocks at all the birds we passed, it was so funny!

I love this work! Even though there are hard times, the Lord is ALWAYS with us! Even when we don´t think he´s there. Through sincere prayer and love for the people around us, he can help lift us out of our darkest moments! The church is true!

Love ya´ll tons!
Hermana Stephenson