Monday, July 27, 2015

Another week en CHIMBOTE!

The lake we went to in Huaraz!

Hooooooola everyone!!!
I hope that everything is goin' alright for you people up there in the north :) As for things here, they're pretty great!!

We've been workin and workin here in our little area! And things are progressing bit by bit! First off is our investigators!!! WE HAVE INVESTIGATROS!! WOT! Miracles really do happen :)
First up in Freddie, who is the cousin of a less active family. He is so very receptive to the gospel and wants to learn as much as he can. It's so amazing to see the progress of the people we teach, expecially in their prayers! He was so worried when we first started teaching him that his prayers weren't good enough. But after some gentle coxting, he's been able to gain confidence in his prayers and start getting answers from the Lord. He's the greatest. His batismal date is for the 15 of August!

Next is David Daniel who is a reference from the Temple in Trujillo! He went to the open house and after the tour wanted the missionaries to teach him more. He told us that he wants to return to the temple and feel the same spirit and peace that he felt! It's amazing. Funny thing is is that he has actually been attending a different ward for about 2 months with some of his friends and doesn't really want to attend our ward and leave his friends! But we've been working with introducing a bunch of the YSA in our ward. His date is for the 22 de August!!

The other is Luiggi (no he doesn't have a brother named Mario....) . He's been coming to church faithfully for the last 3-4 months. Including seminary, mutual and is in the stake choir! The only thing impeading his baptism is his parents. Because he's only 17 he needs the permission of his parents first. And they have been pretty close minded about it. So for all this time, he has been praying that he would be able to talk to his parents. And this week, his mom agreed to speak with us!! So we went over and spoke to her about the church, the gospel and answer her questions and calm some of her fears. But the most amazing thing was the tesimonio of Luiggi. And in the end, we invited her to pray about it and she said that she would. So in the next few days we'll know! Luiggi is pretty excited to say the least and so are we!!! :)

Last is the familia Lopez! About a week or so ago, we contacted this couple in the street who were out walking with their two kids. We went a few times to their house but they were never there. But Saturday we went in the morning and they were there! We taught about prayer and the blessings of coming to church and they were very receptive! The father told us at the end that he was suprised how family oriented we were and how greatful he was for our message and wants us to come back!!!
So poco poco (little by little as they say here) we're finding people who are ready to listen to the gospel! Its amazing how the Lord will prepare people and put them in our path! We just need to have faith and trust that he will!

Alright, funny story time. So Saturday night we went to the baptism of the elders in our district. It was a baptism of four girls of the same family so me and my companera were in the bathroom helping them out of the font and everything. So the last girl gets out and is waiting for the bathroom stalls to open up when she asks us if she can get in the font again. And I THOUGHT she just meant put her feet in. But nope. We said yes and she JUMPED back into the water and started swimming in the FONT!!!!!! I thought I was going to DIE!!!!!! Gotta love being a missionary!

Well, got to go everyone, but I know that this church is true and that everything we go through in this life is to prepare us and is always for our benefit, even if we can't see those benefits right now!
Love you all!
Hermana Stephenson

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hola Nuevo Chimbote!!

I hope that everything is goin great for you all! I'm still alive, so that's great news :)
So yeah! I got transferred out of the mountains of Huaraz and am now in the port city of Chimbote!! Bit of a change there, but I'm really loving it! Missing the mountains and green things.... I'm back in the land of SAND, but with the ocean so close, it makes up for it! Aaaaaaand we eat a whole lot of FISH! WOT! I loooooove fish....
The bus ride down was quite the adventure! Probably the steepest, windyest, craziest road I've ever been on. AND it was in a HUGE double decker tour bus that was just crusin down the mountain! It was like a roller coaster ride the whole way down, all 8 hours of it!
As for my area, we're working hard everyday to find investigators!! This area hasn't had hardly any success as of late, but my companion and I are DETERMINED to succeed here! And after hours and hours and hours of knocking on door after door and begging for references from members, we ended up having 5 investigators who came to church yesterday!! Bridgett, who is a single mom we found, Freddie, who is a cousin of a member, and a few others who had listened to the missionaries before that we tracked down :) So the work here is progressing! Slowly but surely!
My companion is Hermana Carbajar and shes Peruvian!! She's from Huancayo and is the greatest ever. She's from the Trujillo mission and I'm from Lima Oest, but we're working on uniting our teaching and work styles! It's amazing how the Lord can work within a companionship if we just let him!
My spiritual experience for this week comes from the talk 'the Fourth Missionary'. And if you haven't read it LOOK IT UP AND READ IT RIGHT NOW!!!!! It doesn't matter if you're not a missionary. It changed how I look at EVERYTHING in this work and in life really. It speaks about giving EVERYTHING to the Lord, not just your time and energy, but your heart and mind too. How sometimes we can be doing what the Lord would have us do, but deep down inside we're fighting it, really just wanting to do what WE want to do. BUT if we can give our all, the Lord will change us to become like HIM.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a missionary! Yo se que este inglesa es verdad y que nosotros PODEMOS cambiar, solo si nosotros pone el Senor en nuestros corazones!
Love you all soooooo much!!!!
Hermana Stephenson

Here are some pictures of my last zone and of my last area up in the mountains!

The gringo companionship in Caraz with us!

The lake we went to a few weeks ago! SOOO PRETTY.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Mision Peru Trujillo Sur!

This week has been INSANE!!!! Okay, I think I say that very week, but this week FOR REALS.
So first, we got to meet our new president!! WOT!! He's pretty much the greatest. He's this short Peruvian but he's so funny. LOVE IT. We had a huge training all day on Saturday where we also got to learn all the new rules. And there are a WHOLE lot! But its cool :) But one of these new rules is that we only get an hour for internet every week when before it was 2! So sorry if these letters get really short!
But yeah, so we also have CAMBIOIS (or transfers) tomorrow. Surprise! They called us late last night and guess what, I'M HEADED TO CHIMBOTE! Yep, I'm getting transferred! I'm super excited to know another part of Peru, but also so sad to be leaving my area!!! Caraz is literally one of the most beautiful places I've EVER been in! It's so high in the mountains and peaceful and I LOVE THE PEOPLE HERE SO MUCH!!! But I know that I'm suppose to be going where I'm  going. It'll be really weird at first, because the missionaries over there have a VERY VERY different way of working, but I know things will be alright!!!
I love being a missionary! Including all the crazy things that happen sometimes! I know that my Savior lives and is watching over each and every one of us!
Love you All!!
Hermana Stephenson!

And this computer won't let me upload pictures EITHER! So sorry!! But next week for sure!!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

What a Week!!!!

Hoooooola todos! Como estan?
This week was CRAZY! Way good :) The work here in Caraz is really starting to pick up. Because we opened this area, we've just been searching and searching (and getting lost) and searching for people to teach! And finally this week, our area is pretty solid :) Fist we have 3 people who have accepted to be baptized! First is Milagros who's 14 and is the niece of our pensionista. Her parents live in Lima right now working and she lives alone up WAAAAAAY in the mountains in this little village. It's quite the trek actually. :) But she's the greatest and has come to church for the last 2 weeks for all three hours. The only problem is that she lives so far away and sometimes it's hard for us to get to her! But the Lord knows that and is teaching her too as she reads and prays. :)

The other is the niece of our pensionista's husband :) (they're the greatest for references!) Her name's Yessica and she was actually at their house one night when we stopped by for a bathroom break :D And she was there with her fiance. So we ended up teaching them both! It was crazy because we had been searching ALL DAY for people to teach and hadn't had any luck, but we walked in and they were both sitting there!! Miracles really do happen! But anyway, her fiance lives in Yungay which is a city about 30 min. away BUT is still part of our ward! So we're teaching her and the Elders in Yungay are teaching her boyfriend, Fidel. They also both came to church yesterday :)

Last is Celeste. She is the friend of a member who wanted us to teach her. She's 23 and goes to school at the little university here. She's THE BEST and really wants to learn more. AAAAND she came to church too! Seriously its the greatest when investigators come to church. Its like Christmas!

Okay ready for a funny story? Alright. So because we are changing missions here, we've had NO MONEY FOR 2 WEEKS! We traveled all the way to Huaraz last week only to find that there wasn't any money in our accounts! And so it was only inevitable that we would run out of toilet paper. And sure enough we did! With three of us living in the same room, we go through the stuff pretty fast :) So we were walking down the street on Wednesday I think, and I looked down and saw 50 centimos (cents) en la calle! I was so happy. We were all laughing because it was pretty much all we had! THEN a few hours later, Hermana Gomez found UN SOLE! We were rich! (Thats like 70 cents mas o menos btw) Okay, not really, but still. And so we were walking home that same night when we rememberd that we didn't have any toilet paper. BUT then I remembered that we had $1.20! Which is the EXACT amount for two roles of toilet paper that the little tiendas sell here!! SO WE COULD BUY TOILET PAPER! The Lord really does provide for His missionaries. Of that I have NO doubt! Its the little things that matter :)

Thanks for all the birthday wishes everyone! I had the greatest birthday EVER! Our penstionista made a HUGE lunch of Peruvian TACOS and it was AMAZING! All the Elders of our ward, the Bishop and a bunch of families came :) I could feel the love of all you at home through them!
Love you all so much!!! I LOVE being a missionary and being here teaching these beautiful people of Peru! The Lord is very aware of us and knows what we can do! The church is true!

Hermana Stephenson

PS. Our new President, Presidente Rios is coming THIS WEEK! We're headed to Huaraz on Friday for a big training and Sunday night, we'll know who has transfers!!! CRAZY!

PSS. So we traveled to Huaraz on Saturday (the Fourth of July) and the whole way there, the convi (bus) played classic 80's music from the States! It was the best! GO AMERICA! And PERU!!!

Here are some pictures. I have more but this computer is SO SLOW AND WON'T LOAD ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!

Two elders in my district. CLASSIC. The one has the baby and the mom is chasing the other!!! We all about DIED!!!!!