Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Week 19 Loving the City December 21, 2015

Classic puppy picture, this time in the city
First off.... Miguel Grau (my new area) is amazing! Second... My comp (Hermana Arce) is even more amazing!
Hermana Arce! So sad I only get her for one transfer (her last one of the mission) The motto is: No sea tronky! (don't be trunky) The goal is: Bautismos!
We are now in the city and I have to say I love it so much more than out in the middle of nowhere. The Ward here is super strong and the members are beyond helpful with the missionary work. This whole week it hardly felt like we were working because it was so fun. We exceeded all of our goals!
Hermana Aida (in our branch) is super funny and loves the missionaries. She wanted to be Mary for the nativity scene. The Angel Gabriel appeared to us and Hna Aida ;)
Yesterday we had three investigators come to church (I had one investigator come to church my entire 3 months in Morropon) so that was a shocker for me. The work here feels so easy. I especially love my paraguaya companera. She is so humble and is literally the funniest person. I laugh until I cry at least once a day. We work so well together and I'm even learning some guarani. We probably eat a little too much bread but the bakeries are a little irresistible. Speaking of the bakery.... The baker is a snake and the last time we went in there he wanted to make it clear that he was going to marry me and that I'm his princess. YUUUCK. Next to him was a different heavy set lady who had a hold of my arm and kept saying "oh how precious!" then she asked if my eyelashes were real. (I'm tempted to start telling them that yes my eyes, hair, eyelashes, skin... all fake) I told her yes they were real and the baker asked if he could touch them, before I even understood the question he stuck his finger right at my eye and touched my eyelashes.... I was mortified. Then he asked for a hug and my reaction time was light speed. NO! Then the lady said "You can't but I can!" and I got a big squeeze from a crazy lady... We sprinted out of there pretty fast...
Singing hymns and contacting in the plaza! My favorite thing ever is contacting!
Last night as a zone we sang Christmas hymns in the plaza. People gathered around and took pictures and videos. After, we went out and contacted everyone in the plaza. It was super fun, especially with Hermana Arce because she is such a people person! We got a little carried away with talking to people when we realized that the whole zone had left to go to the fireside across the bridge in the stake center. So we started running. Directly in front of me on the sidewalk was a guy heading the opposite direction. I tried to go around him but everywhere I stepped he stepped in front of me. He grabbed my hand and started pulling me with him in his direction saying, "Mi amor, my love" I kind of started to freak out and my comp grabbed me and was yelling at him to let me go. He let go and all was well. We even got a laugh out of it.
Right before we were attacked by the crazy guy...
Overall I'm sure loving my mission right now! I have a feeling we are going to have success here! Super excited to see the faces of my family after 4 months without! I have a feeling Christmas will be a good one. How awesome it is to wear Christ's name everyday, especially during the celebration of his birth.

Fun Peruvian Christmas facts
1. Every single house has the nativity scene but baby Jesus doesn't show up until the 25th!
2. You cant celebrate Christmas in Peru unless you eat paneton and drink chocolatada. Paneton is a weird cake with fruit snacks inside, the only way I can describe it is that its stretchy...... chocolatada: Hot chocolate.
3. Fireworks!

Our cute little one roomer... It even has a balcony

Hermana Babbio actually feeds us green veggies!! We eat with a pension everyday of the week, the weekends are with members.
Some days lunch is...
Than others...(rice and chicken, not again)

Love you all!!!
Hermana Ingram

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Week 18 Cha Cha Changes... December 14, 2014

Banana splits at our mission Christmas Party
I've been transferred! Let's rewind a week first...
The last week in Morropon we decided we would work super hard to meet our goals even though there would be 3 days without a lot of work. It was good!

My sister leader Hermana Vasquez came to Morropon to do a split with me. It was kind of like a final test before I ended my training. AND HOLY IT WAS SO FUN! I really surprised myself! It's fun to lead everything and fly solo (of course not completely solo) for a little while. We even met with Maria and Julio and taught them about the Book of Mormon which they are super interested in. After that time with Hermana Vasquez I really knew that I was ready to be done with training.
My first and second companions in the mission
Maria and Julio are still super awesome but they are still struggling in finding time to say their prayers and read the Book of Mormon. The other night my companion and I were out knocking doors before our lesson with them. Across the street I noticed Maria pushing her baby in a stroller and was a little bit worried because we needed to visit them! So my comp and I may or may not have secretly followed her around until we knew she would be in her house for our lesson. It was the best lesson! President even came and bore his testimony about Joseph Smith and shared his conversion story. One thing with Maria and Julio is that they are always telling us that they want to investigate every religion before deciding on one. That's when President stepped in and basically said, "Well why waste time searching for an answer when you could just ask someone who knows everything?" Say your prayers people! God knows all!

Later on in the week we went to the Christmas party! I'm convinced President Rasmussen and his wife are the greatest mission presidents out there.
Hermana Ingram and Hermana Spainhower with President Rasmussen
The Rasmussens threw the most amazing Christmas Party!! Soooooo much fun! Eight hours of games, a devotional, treats, and we even watched "It's a Wonderful Life"! The are absolute angels for doing that for us!
The next day we were told to stay in Piura to help with the noche blanca. It was such a cool sight to see so many baptisms all at once. Also I have to say I may have cracked a smile to see how terrified some of the people were of the water. I remember those days when I was scared to put my head underwater too (: They sure faced their fears like champs ready to follow Christ!

That night we missed the bus to Morropon and had to stay with Hermana Shumway and Hermana Thomas. We spent the night eating top ramen and watching Johnny Lingo. I sure do love those two. In the morning we made it back just in time for church. I was exhausted. Later that night I was informed that I needed to go back to Piura and leave in 45 minutes. When I hung up the phone and saw everything that I needed to pack and knew I couldn't say goodbye to anyone I was a little stressed... a little (: But threw it all into a moto, then into a bus, then into a taxi, and then into my new room! Probably a highlight of the week is that I got to stay in President's house last night! HOT SHOWER!!!
White elephant gift exchange for the district. Hermana Shumway gave away chicken feet and HOLY COW they smelled so bad!
So anyway my new area is right in the city, its called Miguel Grau and I've only heard good things! My new comp is Hermana Arce and this is her very last transfer. She is from Paraguay, super sweet and awesome. My room on the other hand.... Yikes... Our new room is disgusting and we have a huge bug problem. There are tiny fruit flies EVERYWHERE! Off to go buy bleach and bug killer.
counting down the days until I get to see my family's faces!!!!!
Top:More photos from the party...Hermana Spainhower and ? (Hannah didn't caption this one)
Bottom: We aren't exactly used to air conditioning...

Funerals in Peru

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Week 17 December 7, 2015

Not too much happened this past week. Most of the time was spent just trying to find new investigators and get lessons, It has been a bit discouraging because it seems like no one will really listen to us. But yesterday we found some amazing new investigators, Maria and Julio. When we found them they told us how they were in the middle of the catholic church and the Jehovahs Witnesses and looking for the truth. LOOKING FOR THE TRUTH!? That was music to my ears. That has never happened to me on my mission. So we sat down with them and they had a lot of questions, let me say that again.. A Lot Of Questions. It was kind of hard because I wanted to just try and focus on one part instead of teaching a little of the restoration, the Book of Mormon, the plan of salvation, the commanments etc. It was all over the place. But either way they are super interested. For the first time in my mission I was asked the polygamy question, I just told them I would really like my husband to myself and then let my companion explain the rest (: I am so excited for these new investigators! They are like the light at the end of a dark tunnel! The moment of truth is whether or not they actually kept commitments. We will see tonight!

So the Elders had an Investigator come to church yesterday (Miracle!) It was an interesting fast and testimony meeting to say the least... During the third hour the elders were upstairs in a classroom teaching their investigator, little did they know that the door to that classroom is completely broken. So for 45 minutes there were trapped inside. Of course I had to run outside and take a picture of them. Finally president had to get the other brethren upstairs and they broke down the door, at the same time, Hermano Cristian (the snake) started asking me what color my eyes were and calling them beautiful. Next thing I knew pres pulled him into a classroom and chastized him for a bit about not flirting with the missionaries or any girls who are 20 years younger than him for that matter. Later, President informed me that Hermano Cristian had told him that I was the one starting it.... Oh boy church is always fun
Elder Godoy and his wife (photo courtesy of Pres Rasmussen)
A general authority from the seventy came, Elder Godoy. He was an AMAZING speaker. At one point in his visit he had all of the missionaries (about 100 of us) sing "I Hope They Call me on a mission" in Spanish and in English at the same time. It was one of my absolute favorite moments in my mission. Some time before he came we had heard that he would be choosing 3 elders and 1 hermana to have personal interviews with. When the meeting ended my mission president walked up to me and said "Hermana Ingram Elder Godoy has selected you for an interview" So first interview with a general authority! For some reason I had a feeling that he would choose me for an interview. I don't know if you could really call it an interview.  He first asked me my favorite part of the mission, I said seeing progression in myself. He asked me my least favorite part. I said feeling inadequate. Then he asked me what he could do for me in my mission. I kind of panicked a little and thought "What do I ask a General Authority to do for me?" So I just asked, "What's your number one advice?" and he said "find yourself" and that was the end of it. Now I am still trying to find myself (:

This is my last week in training! YAY! time is flying, I love all of you so much!
-Hermana Ingram
It's mango season in Morropon and we have about 30 mangos in our room...and I don't even like mangos. Oops!
 Under a mango tree

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Week 16 Feliz Dia de Gracias! November 30, 2015

We found real, fake Christmas trees!...so a picture was necessary.
Wow I have truly come to realize that the branch and the members are the base for missionary work!! Update on the last sacrament meeting.. One of the teachers forgot to man the door during the passing of the sacrament so a few stray dogs strolled on in... President was pretty mad and tried to chase them out, it was quite the scene him running around with his arms spread out trying to heard them out the door. The person who had been assigned a talk for sacrament meeting bailed last minute so the two counselors to the pres (the Elders) did a quick rock paper scissors to see who had to cover and give a talk on the spot. During the president's talk he asked a hypothetical question like "And why is it important to repent everyday?" But before he could answer his own question the members started chiming in "Its because of this! or No this!" I think they forgot that there are no discussions during the first meeting... Then to top it off, one of the members who is a bit of a snake said the closing prayer, at the end he closed with "In the name of the father, of the son and the holy ghost" a little bit on the catholic side, he's been a member for years and years so it's surprising to me that he still says catholic prayers. This is just to help you get a small idea of what we are working with here, so our base right now is like the consistency of my Thanksgiving mashed potatoes... not very strong and supportive.

Since Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday there was no way I was going to miss out. So we cancelled the pensionista and whipped up this Dia de Gracias in an hour and a half. I have to say, the mashed potatoes and gravy and rolls were actually delicious! The corn...well, my comp sure liked it!

Earlier this week we went out knocking doors and found a lady to go and teach. She lives in a more sketchy part of town next to all of the borrachos (drunk guys) It was kind of funny walking to her house for our appointment one night. All of the neighbors were out sitting in their plastic chairs and started yelling "Gringa!(white girl) What are you doing here? Turn around go back! There are borrachos!!" But we needed to go to that appointment so we dodged the drunk guys and made it safely in her house. When we sat down with her we just started talking with her to try and get a feel for what her needs might be. During the conversation she reached down to her leg and unwrapped a dirty rag from off her calf, underneath was this massive flesh wound. It was oozing a lot of liquid and was really deep. Her skin on that part of her leg was completely black. She told us that she has had it for 7 months and no doctors have been able to help her. She said it started out as a pimple (a motivational horror story for all of you pimple poppers out there, (Uncle Shane.. mom..) and then she had basically picked at it and it turned into what it is now. It honestly looks like rotting flesh to me. It was super sad though because you could tell that it causes her a lot of pain and she feels helpless at this point. We had an awesome lesson with her though and the spirit was so strong she cried the whole time. What's frustrating is that we haven't been able to get a second visit with her! We have gone to her house everyday and she either isn't home or she has her son answer the door to tell us that she's too busy. That's a common scenario with a lot of investigators, it's like we teach them once and then the next thing you know they have fallen off of planet earth! I'll be honest, there really hasn't been a lot of progression here! Super frustrating, but we'll just keep on working!

Hermana Ingram
If I get a disease in Peru, it will probably be from all of the puppies I play with.

My FAVORITE family in Peru!!! (my pensionista Juanita, Alan her husband, their 3 kids Angela, Leah, and Sami, and her younger sister Yajaida)
A random little girl I asked to be in my picture ;)
Our Thanksgiving feast.