Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 15 The Glamorous Life of a Missionary November 23, 2015

Dont worry Im not coming home (; Just flying to lima to pickup my visa!
So a lot of things happened this week but I don't know... I just don't really feel like writing them all. Sometimes I write them out and then erase them because I don't think anyone is going to want to read it, ( I-(Hannah's mom- tried to assure her that we are extremely interested in everything she has to say) For example my area is on the downhill.. the whole zone came to help us Saturday night to recruit people to come to church, 20 missionaries and nothing happened, my pensionista found 8 dead giant rats in her living room under rice sacks... we had a lesson with Isaura and Jorge and everything with them completely fell apart. It's super sad because Helen wants this so bad for herself and her family but we can't force them on the correct path. My companion just sat on the curb after the lesson and cried and I realized how mentally and emotionally draining being a missionary is. I saw an owl sitting on a sidewalk this morning and it was so pretty, when I got closer I saw that someone had tortured it and jabbed its eyes out, it was sitting there bleeding and helpless, people kept poking it to see if it was alive and it was, it was so sad to see it made me cry. Also I have gained like 10 pounds so I'm fat. But don't worry, I'm staying positive!
Subway exists in Lima! Best meal ever and it was COLD in Lima...a great break from the scorching hot sun in Piura.

We cleaned the Capilla on Saturday, The glamorous life of a missionary..

Finally got around to taking pictures of my apartment! The white building is ours, also pictured is a typical tacky mototaxi

Here you can see our kitchen. We really have one of the nicest rooms in the mission I think. Also, my chocolate no-bake cookies are a huge hit and I'm sure I'll be making them my whole mission. (In my ugly PJ dress)

Selfie stick picture out our window because there was a parade below.
And snuck a pic during planning ;)

Squished in a combo with our whole zone on the way to th ebig soccer tournament with 8-ish different zones and president! Best Activity Ever!!! (Sadly I spaced taking more pics....and we lost the final game to a PK in over-time)

My favorite Hermanas ever! Hermana Thomas and Hermana Shumway.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 14 November 16, 2015

My companion gave me a tour of the Catholic church today. It was pretty intense...they love their statues.
This whole week was spent walking hours on end going to appointments only to find that everyone "didn't have time" There was a straight two days where every single one of our appointments fell through. Near the end of the second day I sat down on a curb in frustration. I asked my companion what we were doing wrong and explained the pressure I felt to get a baptism by Dec 12th (the goal for our zone). She pretty much just laid into me, "Is that why you came to Peru? To baptize people? What good did baptism ever do for Raul? Or Estrella? (Converts of a year who are completely inactive). Then she continued on with a lecture until I just said "okay okay you're right, lets go knock doors" She really made me think about why I am here. I guess if all I did on my mission was learn to be obedient, or patient, or how to work hard, or even to help someone through a hard day... when all is said and done I don't think I would have any regrets. For now I'll just keep working and learning.
Package from home!!! In front of my front door with my almond butter. I was so happy to get that!
Update on the comp:
I love my little fireball Latina companion Hermana Apeña! I taught her how to say "I am chubby" Now When we are walking down the streets in the hot sun I can say "Hermana Apeña, what are you?" and my comp can respond with "I am chubby, wait hermana Ingram is it chooby or chubby?" ¨"Its chubby Hermana Apeña, good job" I get a kick out of it.

We found some awesome new investigators the other day while knocking doors. A family of four. They were really eager to have us in their home. The mom was really awesome and has a super strong testimony of the power of prayer. Some of her relatives are Mormon and they have really impacted her life. I can see a lot of potential in her especially. At the end of the lesson we had the dad offer the closing prayer. After some pressure he reluctantly agreed. In his prayer he thanked God for "sending two of your virgins to our home" My companion and I both were holding back from laughing. We're missionaries! But I guess if you want to put it that way...

Yesterday I gave my first talk during church! It was a breeze, the topic was missionary work so it can't get any easier than that. I wrote it all out the night before and had my comp correct grammatical errors and then I was set! It was pretty fun to stand in front of the Branch and in a round about way tell them that it was their responsibility to help us with the work. Members are so crucial and we really need more activity from them. 

Yesterday My comp and I got locked out of our apartment, bad news. The owner of the building was out of town and there was no place for us to go! So we went and got the president to help. Yesterday I learned how to open locked doors with a plastic soda bottle... Interesting..
Lunch on a good day....I need more ideas for food!
Miss you all so much! If someone could please send me a cafe rio pork salad that would be great! (;
Hermana Ingram

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 13 November 9, 2015

Hola everyone!
By the time Monday comes around I can hardly remember what happened, It feels like a blur! I do however remember my companion receiving quite a few phone calls at odd times (6am, 10pm) With weird guys named Fernando or Jose asking for me. "Is Hermana Inga (they never get my name right, its always either inga or ingrid) there? I just want to talk to her "My companion thinks it's hilarious but I'm thinking we are going to have to stop putting our number on our pass along cards or something..
I also remember eating with the pensionista in Chulucanas and the mountain of rice.. how could I forget? I also remember the pensions face of death when the LATINO elders said they couldn't finish their plate. Haha my companion and I are champions!
My district
Last night we visited with one of my favorite families. Hermano Jorge and Hermana Isaura and their two kids Helen (the little girl who has always wanted to be baptized) and their little boy who everyone just calls Chiquitin (a common nickname for little kids).
In order for anyone to really understand the situation I have to cover some background info: so as short as possible, this family lives next door to Pres Huertas and his wife Hermana Ide. Hermana Ide is Hermana Isauras Aunt. Missionaries have tried working with this family for years and years without any luck.
After the first couple of weeks in this area my companion and I stopped visiting them. The biggest reason being that Elder Cruz had informed us about the time he tried to get them ready for baptism and how close to impossible it is. But lately I've been having some strong feelings for this family. So yesterday I told my comp that we needed to visit them. Immediately before we stepped into their house I told my comp that I wanted to be very direct and straightforward. Right after I said the opening prayer I looked over at her and she asked .."So why haven't you been baptized?" They kind of just sat there and stared for what felt like 5 minutes. My companion looked at me to say something. I felt inclined to tell them how much I loved them and how special their family was to me. Then I testified of Jesus Christ and his love for them and how he was the perfect example. I told them of the numberless blessings available to them if they just followed his example. I told them about my own family and how unbelievably blessed we are because we have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. Then I told them again of the blessings that are available to them only through baptism. Then I asked them if they would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. They looked at me and kind of half nodded. Hermano Jorge then proceeded to explain that of course he wants all of those things but he can't commit because he doesn't think he can just get up and change his life. He kept repeating little by little, little by little. To be a little more brief. He told us about all of the things that are keeping them from being baptized. He has had a drinking problem for a good part of his life. So we took care of that by helping him set weekly goals and committing him to say "No I need to spend time with my family" anytime his work buddies want to take him to a party. We promised him that if he prayed for help he would receive it. You can tell that this is something he really wants to change and obviously his family wants it as well. Throughout the whole process his kids were patting him on the back and telling him he could do it. Also another fairly large road block... Isaura and Jorge aren't married.. extremely normal, marriage hardly exists here. We addressed that as well and told them how easily we could help them get married if they just have the desire. During the lesson my companion was talking about baptism and how we can be clean from our sins. Then Helen wrote a note and passed it to her mom who after reading it passed it to me. It said ..."Mami, I want to be baptized so I can be clean from my sins"... If that doesn't totally rip your heart out then you don't have one.. So after asking several times we finally committed their family to a baptismal date of December 12th... The word commit might be a little on the strong side... At the end of the lesson we spent 30 minutes alone just getting Hermano Jorge to say the closing prayer. There we all were kneeling on their dirt floor just coaching him. It is extremely important that he prays right then and there, because you know that if an investigator doesn't pray then, they definitely won't be praying later. So we were determined. Finally after his entire family was getting a little impatient with him and our knees were in some pain he reluctantly gave a less than half hearted prayer. But it was good, it's progress, and we'll take what we can get!
More than anything Hermano Jorge is afraid. He's afraid of all of the changes he will have to make in order to be baptized. I really feel that with a ton of hard work and continuous reassurance we could get him on his feet and heading towards the right path. Without Hermano Jorge on board we won't be able to baptize Isaura and Helen.. who both know our message to be true and have known for a long time. It truly would be an absolute miracle if we were able to get Hermano Jorge prepared for baptism by December 12th. But I guess miracles happen everyday!

In the words of Hermana Rasmussen- Chow babies!
-Hermana Ingram
Mastering the self-timer ;)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Week 12 November 2, 2015

There have been a lot of zapos (toads) in the street at night. I've been told that it's because El Nino is on it's way.

Weeks are flying by!

This week was a little bit interesting, I have once again learned more and more about our struggling branch here in Morropon. Yesterday at church the 4 of us missionaries talked to the Branch President and turned the third hour of church into a little bit of a branch inventory. Elder Cruz did a really good job of chastening them with love. We asked them to name all of the problems in the branch and then right there we figured out solutions to the problems. At one point the meeting went a little bit off topic when some members brought up gossip and drama from four years ago. We then just had to tell them they needed to get over the past and focus on what's important now. Something I learned this week is that Latins here LOVE gossip. In Spanish its called Chisme. People here are constantly making up gossip about other people and spreading it around. They do this because when they know that someone else's name is being talked about they also know that for that moment their name is safe. It's really horrible actually, more often than not they target missionaries too. I hope I'm never the victim of gossip here. Hermana Shumway told me to never get comfortable, don't ever do anything that could easily be twisted into something that it's not. After the meeting with the branch I didn't feel that it even worked. We can talk to them all we want but it's their decision whether they want to act on it or not. I truly believe that this area hasn't seen a baptism in almost a year because we aren't meant to bring a new convert to this branch. It's not what it needs to be. The investigator we brought to church doesn't want to come back because she didn't have a very pleasant experience the first time. We had to sit her down and tell her that that wasn't normal. I am scared to even bring investigators to church now. I feel pretty overwhelmed with the branch! I have yet to find a real solution to their many problems!
Yesterday was Dia de los Muertos (day of the dead), so I thought I would also go and celebrate.
I can't say that we have any truly progressing investigators... it's sad because the only reason they don't progress is that they don't keep commitments!! We drill it into them to just read this chapter in the Book of Mormon and ask Heavenly Father a simple question. I don't know why but it's impossible for them to do that much. They are very very lazy. We constantly are reminding people to read and to pray but nothing... The other day we taught a girl named Rosa, we showed her the restoration video and taught her lesson 1. It was pretty cool because afterwards she had this amazed look on her face and told us that she has been having all of the same questions as Joseph Smith about why there are so many different churches. We committed her to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. Yesterday I saw her on the streets and asked her if she had started reading and of course she had a frequently used excuse that "I didn't have time" so we drilled it into her that it was extremely important to keep the commitment. Now we just have to wait and see...
Elder Cruz is getting transferred. I'm sad because he was the only other person in Morropon who could speak English and he carried the mission work here.
The other day my comp and I went out contacting, and for the first time in my mission someone refused to talk to me. I walked up to this lady and started introducing us to her and she wouldn't even look at me, she looked at my companion and said "I don't want to talk to her because she's from a different country" I was pretty shocked and just stood there while my comp talked to her. Later my companion noticed I was a little upset and she told me to never forget that because I'm set apart in this calling that I have power and Authority, regardless of the language. Immediately after we were invited into a home and we put it into play. We taught two very catholic people with power and authority, telling them that we knew without question that this was the only true church of Jesus Christ. I love being straightforward with people... And I love that my companion knows her stuff (: She knows everything about the catholic church because she was a strong catholic growing up.
I caught a lizard just as we were going into a house for a visit so I put it in my scripture case.  Sadly he was squished...there he died on top of his salvation.
Every Friday night we have a branch activity, this week we had La Vos (the voice). In Peru they have their own production of La Vos Peru and the people are absolutely obsessed with it. It's on every single television, one of the member's daughters was actually on it a few weeks ago. So we made it an activity. Sadly the few members who were there made me sing because they wanted to hear a song in English. I had to sing Ed Sheeran thinking out loud and I'm proud to say all of the judges turned around for me. At the end of every activity the same little 4 yr old girl (our pensionista's daughter) volunteers for the prayer. I didn't notice it until my comp pointed it out but this entire time she has been saying one of the catholic memorized prayers. Oops.

Until next week! Chow!
-Hermana Ingram
Little kids are always wanting to talk to me (it's good Spanish practice) so this little girl named Melina started talking to us about her school etc. She also was reluctant to let me ride her bike. My companion thought it was hilarious.