Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Week 70 Last Transfer December 12, 2016

Pic from the infamous annual Christmas Party! (pic courtesy of Pres. and Sister Rasmussen)
And just like that my wonderful Hermana Sepulveda came and went. It was sad watching her pack her life away into two suitcases and head off into the desert abyss... She truly was another great one, I feel so lucky for awesome comps.
I wanted so badly just to rip up that bus ticket...
Is it really that time already?!?! :(

Good news! My new companion is Hna Sepulveda's trainee! Hermana Signs. She is from Cedaredge, Colorado and has been in the mission for 10 months.
Hermana Signs!
To start out the week we headed to Piura for the annual Christmas Party. The party started with a delicious Italian Pizza lunch, some fun games, a devotional- in which President always shares the Parable of the Bicycle and you can't help but get teary-eyed- special musical numbers, then to finish we watched "It's a Wonderful Life." It's now a Christmas favorite. "No man is a failure who has friends."
The Christmas Party!! (we have the greatest mission presidents of all time)
Manuel was baptized! These Hernandez boys are going places, here, let me rave about Toni for a minute. Toni, without any type of reminder or nagging, goes not only to seminary but also to institute. He has read the entire Book of Mormon and has blessed the sacrament every week since his baptism, given 2 talks, born his testimony twice, and has started his family history. He blows me away!! I am so proud of him. Just as we were so excited to see July and Jesus get married July realized her identification had expired and it takes 22 days to get it renewed.... but I loved her attitude when she said, "Well hermanas, everything happens for a reason!" Very true July. So stay tuned because I'm determined to see their baptisms!
YAY Manuel!!!
The Hernandez family with 3 baptized Hernandez boys! Up next: los padres!
Well friends, other than that, I don't feel like I have too much to say. Overall I feel so happy and grateful to be a missionary! This experience changes my life and my perspective every single day. My mission has been a catalyst in helping to solidify my testimony and understanding of the gospel. And for that every hard, exhausting, stressful day followed by a restless night is all worth it, every last bit. It is all worth it. As my time begins to slip through my fingers I am training my heart and mind to stay in the "now". I will have more than plenty of time to be mentally in Utah, but for now, I'm in Peru. There is nowhere else Id rather be.

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Ingram
My Christmas decoration for Hermana Rasmussen
The mission home in all of its Christmas glory.
I'm not sure why everyone else wasn't ready for the picture (; 
Rosales family and the Hernandez family
CAN'T YOU TELL HOW EXCITED WE ARE?! (we may or may not have secretly imitated the classic Peruvian picture pose)
The lizard-catching skills from my childhood kicked in the week.
My cute Hermana Sepulveda
Peruvian kids playing on a broken water pipe over a pile of trash...closest thing to a water park I guess!
Garbage! (I wish this picture was scratch-and-sniff so you could get the full effect)
A Peruvian road
Hermana Susanna tried unsuccessfully to hide her missing tooth when I made her laugh... She yelled at her husband whom she calls Chino (for his squinty eyes..) "No Chino! Delete the picture! You can see my missing tooth!" (: oops...

Week 69 A Good Catch Phrase December 5, 2016

I hope you're all Iluminando el Mundo! (serious Spanglish going on) #lighttheworld
A good catch-phrase (and I say that tentatively, we are by no means salesmen) for lesson 2, The Plan of Salvation, is:

"Have you ever wondered where you came from, why you are here, and where you are going after this life??"

Your average Peruvian: "...No."

Before when they would answer no with a passive shrug and a blank stare I would think, "What?! You've never wondered?!" Thankfully Elder Meier once shed a little light on the subject. In psychology you learn about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It's the little triangle ranging 5 levels of human needs. Starting at the bottom with Physiological, food, water, shelter, etc. Then to things like safety, love, esteem, and finally Self-actualization. In other words, Peruvians get so stuck on what they are going to cook for lunch that day (physiological) that they never quite reach the top. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. (:

Hermana Sepulveda is leaving! :( Next Monday I will receive a new companion, who will most likely be my last. Change is always nerve wracking!
Antonio was baptized!!
The Hernandez Family!
This week was the greatest. Antonio was baptized! We sat down with Juli and Jesus and started talking about how they needed to get married. At first, Jesus started naming of all of his requirements; a big party, his whole extended family present, money for a honeymoon, etc. Things were not looking to good. We just sat there and taught them about the importance of baptism and how blessed they would be. From there we let the Spirit work in them for a time and then finally, handed Jesus a calendar and said, "Ok Jesus, when do you want to get married?" He pointed to a day, "the 10th of December." We kind of just laughed until we saw the seriousness in his eyes. A truck load of Happy-stress poured into my body. YAY HE FINALLY WANTS TO GET MARRIED! Then... oh profanities... we have less than one week to try and pull off a marriage in a country with the most complicated marriage processes.... AAHHH Not to mention we need money... Praying for miracles over here! (:
Zona Talara
A new little sister from Arizona arrived to the field a couple of weeks ago. She is fluent in American sign language and has absolutely zero background with Spanish. Not too long ago she was asking me how I survived my training without anyone to talk to in English. It looked like tears were beginning to well up in her eyes as she told me of an experience visiting a woman who was pouring her heart out to them. Hermana Pinkard wanted so badly to understand and help this woman but could do nothing as the language barrier was too giant of an obstacle. She said, "I feel useless, I'm not helping anyone." Goodness I know the feeling all too well! It feels like just yesterday I was going through a situation virtually identical to hers. I tried my best to give her some words of wisdom as I related my own experience. It actually turned out to be one of the coolest moments looking at her and seeing myself a little over a year ago. I felt like I could see very clearly how far I have really come and knowing the potential this little Hermana has. She is like a flower just waiting to bloom! Whom the Lord calls he qualifies. Soon enough she won't be merely surviving, she will be thriving.

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Ingram
We made a mediocre sand castle
Dec 1-world wide day of service. Heading out to do some serious service (clean the beach)
She found a fish (not to mention 2 dead seals) 
Fishing boats
Talara in a nutshell: Fishing boats, petroleum plants, AND THE MOST RANSID SMELLS EVER!
The district! (with Hermana Parks visiting with her parents who picked her up)
Cool! (inside the caves were two dead sea lions...I dry heaved)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 68 #LIGHTTHEWORLD November 28, 2016

With the Elder's investigators 


This is the title for this years new Christmas Initiative! Stay tuned... (or if you don't want to read all of this then at least skip to the end so you can start the initiative (:

My comp and I came across a cute tiny little 90 yr old lady. She kept looking at the both of us, and thinking we were literally sisters said, "One came out like the mom and one came out like the dad!" haha ummm... that's how that works?

Zona Talara with Elder Montoya 

This week was a little different from the rest because Elder Montoya from the First Quorum of The Seventy paid us a little visit. He is awesome.

First we traveled down to Piura for a leadership meeting. I got to stay the night with some of my favorites! Hermana Macrae and Hermana Sandison! (forgot to snap a pic.. darn) The following morning we met with Elder Montoya for a leadership counsel. Here are a few things he taught us:

To expound on this point further he then acted out a scenario from his own mission.
Him and his companion knocking a door (in this case Elder Norman)
man answers door
Elder Norman drops to the ground and begins pounding out push-ups
Elder Montoya greets the man: "Good afternoon sir, we are missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we would like to share a message with you about how you can come closer to Christ and better your physical health, it's called the word of wisdom, may we come in?"
Man looking confused yet intrigued- "sure"
Elder Montoya helps his comp up and they walk inside, one a little sweatier than the other. Be bold!

"This small action can help those who are overwhelmed or burdened."
"The smile conveys: trustfulness, kindness, welfare, encouragement, incentive, hope, friendship, sympathy, solace, love, acceptance and many other spiritual gifts."
Smile at everyone! Be a happy person! Be a remarkable person!

3 hour combo ride with the whole zone 

Thursday morning bright and early the 14 of us in the Talara zone rode a combi through the windy desert road up to Tumbes for our conference with Elder Montoya where we were able to hear more awesome counsel.

He told us of his own mission president, Elder Dickson, an emeritus general authority. He has his right arm missing from the elbow down. As a young man he knew he needed to serve a mission and wanted to very badly. Just before he was to leave doctors discovered cancer in his hand, they informed him that he would no longer be able to go but needed to stay and do chemotherapy. He wept as he told his father of his current dilemma. Through his tears he looked at his father and said, "I know what I need to do." He returned to the hospital and asked, "how much of my arm would you have to take off to ensure that the cancer is 100% gone?" the doctor told him up to his elbow, he replied "cut it off." Elder Montoya expressed his love for his mission president, he told us that this is an eternal relationship. I am so happy President Rasmussen is my mission president!

Near the end of his talk Elder Montoya was sharing/imitating an experience with Elder Holland. He asked all of the missionaries who would be ending their missions in the present or following transfers to stand. I found a part of me telling my muscles to kick into gear and get on my feet while another part of me fought back saying, "No! Its not time yet! Sit down! Is this real? Do I really just have 1 transfer left?" He looked at us and said, "sometimes missionaries going home think they will go home to their ´real life´ where they will continue on where they left off." Then in his best Holland impression with all of the emotion he could render, slammed his fist down on the pulpit and said, "YOU CAN'T GO BACK!"

Well Elder Montoya if I could have responded to you personally I would have said, "I won't go back! Not ever." I have changed a lot and I like those changes. There is only moving forward. I know Heavenly Father will help me meet my goals and continue on the path of progression.

Quick points from the week:
-poor Hna Sepulveda was feeling a little nauseous during the conference, towards the end she ran out and made it to the bathroom just in time as her stomach decided it needed to shove all of its contents upward.
-Hna Rasmussen approved Christmas music for the ride home with just one exception, that we all sing along. 3 wonderful hours of the Michael Buble Christmas album. My poor companion turned to me, asked for a plastic bag, puked several times, tied it off, threw it out the window (no other option) and continued as if nothing had happen. Who is more macha than that?!
-Toni has now blessed the sacrament twice! He is doing awesome
-Juli and Jesus went out of town for an emergency family issue. we haven't seen them for a week. Jesus, however, did send a message to the Rosalez family saying that while all of his family members were drinking he instead drank about two liters of soda... haha.. MIRACLES!
-Antonio is getting baptized this week! yay!

This year's Christmas Initiative is awesome. Jesus Christ is the light and life of the world. This year we are invited to light the world through following his example and serving others!
Go to and watch the video. Then print off the service advent calendar, or download the app, and start serving! I promise you that if you take time to do one act of service each day of December through this initiative, you will remember why we celebrate Christmas, you will feel the joy that comes from service, and you will feel the Savior's love and be happier! "Those who bring (light) into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves" So be a light!

Love, Hermana Ingram

Peruvian driving at its finest! Use the left lane as you please....head-on collisions? 

My sick comp sleeping and the rice fields out the window 

Hermana Susanna's daughter from Lima 

Branch mission night. We set up a massive chair maze and blind folded people to be guided through it, listen to the prophet's voice! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 67 What Are YOU Thankful For? November 21, 2016

This is the furthest point west in all of South America
Buenas Tardes friends and family!

Shout out to Elder Sheanshang's mom for sending him a baseball after hearing about Elder Obrien's little accident with the last one..... I got a good laugh out of Elder Sheanshang, "My mom sent me a baseball but it's actually for you I think." (:

Can you believe Thanksgiving is already here? I remember receiving emails about last year's like it was yesterday. Time flies at the speed of sound or something.

I think this is probably the most insulting, yet hilarious, question Peruvians ask the Gringos who are struggling with Spanish: "Is it that hard for you to speak English too?"... think about it, a gringo tripping over his Spanish words and then a Latin asking him if he even knows how to speak at all!
I spy with my little egg carton, a flat soccer ball, and the letter N
Peruvian Table Manners: NEVER SAY NO, Don't leave even a grain of rice on your plate, don't start eating until they say "Servidos", if you take a break from shoving food into your mouth you will get yelled at-"Sirvese!" "keep eating!"-and finally, if you really want to impress the host, get your hands involved- to them this says that the food is so good you don't even have the patience to use a fork and knife. Top it off by licking your fingers (gross I know) and Voila! You will now get invited back.

We went 3 days without water this week... After day 2 of anxiously checking the faucets we decided we had had enough and grabbed 4 empty water jugs, called a moto, and filled them up in the janitor's closet at the church. Two to shower, one to wash the enormous pile of dishes, and one to flush the toilet, (we had to go to the grocery store to use their bathroom) When the water finally arrived we were so happy until almost immediately after, all of the electricity went out... You just can't have the best of both worlds can you?! I choose water over electricity any day...
Hitching a ride back to town with the district.
Happy Thanksgiving! Last night as I was getting ready for bed thinking about the past week, month, 20 years of my whole life, I couldn't help but feel grateful. I am SO happy! I'm almost hesitant to say it as I am haunted by a comment made by my charmingly optimistic hermana leader of yestercambio, "That's great that everything is going so perfect for you Hermana Ingram, but remember Heavenly Father puts us on highs to prepare us for the upcoming lows." (yes, she really did say that) well come what may! But for now I think I'll enjoy my current joy and continue feeling grateful as I think of the numberless blessings I've received at the hand of my Heavenly Father. I'm so grateful he has constantly guided me and allowed me to be a missionary at this time. I've learned and grown so much. (Don't worry I've still got a long long ways to go) I am thankful for; running water, electricity, Hna Susanna, emails from those I love each pday, friends, amazing companions, my mom, my dad (no that was not in any particular order:)) my siblings, Luisaac for letting me shove my food on his plate when no one is looking, MY SAVIOR, the cool ocean breeze in Talara, a good book, the noisy neighbors for helping me feel that much more grateful for silence, Spanish, the gospel, President and Hermana Rasmussen, General Conference Talks, my investigators and converts, the Scriptures, those mini bananas that taste like candy, divine help and guidance, Mormon messages, the juice shop, the members, opportunities to serve, my planner, my ukulele, morning exercises, and that one lady that sells bread every morning at 6am outside our window "EL PAN! EL PAN! EL PAN! EL PAN!" name but a few.....

Now I just have one question: What are YOU thankful for?

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Ingram
Cute little birthday princess! (Toni's little sister) It's always awkward getting invited to birthday parties because they blast the worst music...
 Oops...we liked our pensionista...(too much walking)
Juan Pablo (the Colombian) was punished for not reading his scriptures... (we took away his phone and made him read a chapter and then tell us what he learned and how he can apply it to his life)
How adorable is Sofia?! (Juan Pablo's little sister)
P-day beach walks...the Elders are always leaving us (;
We made it!
Peru Piura Mission in one picture...Dirt, and a Mototaxi...classic

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Week 66 November 14, 2016

I thought this picture was very fitting...Christ holding that which he created. THE SUN!
So out here in Peru the word on the street is that Trump won. Well, that is, "troomp", the next President of the good ole U S of A. I'm just waiting for the meme that says "You're fired" when he's inaugurated. It's not like us missionaries know anything about current events (other than the fact that all water in Talara is contaminated and Susana flooded her house yet again) but I would imagine that this means America will see a few more dark days ahead. But take it from Paul Harvey when he said:

"In times like these, it's helpful to remember that there have always been times like these."

With that, this week has been a little rocky. I don't mean boulders or anything, but you know, some medium sized stones placed in our path. Most of the time I like to sugar-coat my emails with rainbows and butterflies (missions do have a lot of those, only figuratively) but this week I can only be honest. The leadership of this branch has its imperfections, as do we all, but as of late it's beginning to feel slightly corrupt. No, no not Hillary Clinton corrupt.... So, I always thought that challenges for missionaries ranged from hard companions to rejection but, to my surprise, it seems to go a little further than that!

These problems are the kind that are out of my control. So all I can do is keep smiling, keep walking, and keep having spontaneous missionary-appropriate dance parties every time we find a new investigator. Works for me!
We are going to submit our "Missionary model" picture to be featured on (;
I can't tell you enough how much I LOVE the Hernandez family! Toni received the priesthood yesterday and the baptisms of his younger brothers will happen here shortly. YAY!!! Saturday night, we were sitting with the entire family, minus their dad Jesus. Not long after the lesson began Jesus showed up. The smell of alcohol was immediately noticeable. Juli was NOT happy. As we began talking he told us that he had seen us on the street while he was drinking and hid because he felt embarrassed. Imagine the feeling felt if he were in the presence of God! He cried as he told us of his own rough past (and boy, do I mean rough, gangs, mafia, etc.) and his desire to change but his lack of faith in his ability to make that change. Well if he doesn't have faith then I do! I see so much potential in this family. Antonio the 14 yr old twin suggested "Why don't we fast as a family for dad?" I just got all giddy inside seeing the determination in the kids to help their parents. Sometimes loving your investigators is not only a feeling but the action in helping them receive the restored gospel and become baptized. Well I love them and I'm determined to see them in their little baptismal tunics, getting all nervous at the thought of putting their heads underwater!

Right now I'm working on Charity, the pure love of Christ. I love this quote by Marvin J Ashton

"Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someones differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another's weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other."

After a potentially confrontational moment with some of the leaders I couldn't help but think about this quote. Before the mission I might have reacted differently but there's just something about wearing Christ's name that makes you want to act better, be better, and become something better.

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Ingram

P.s. Read the Peacegiver! You will never want to hold another grudge again.
Just hanging out under the Jesus statue
Gosh, isn't that THE most beautiful view you have EVER seen?!?! (sarcasm intended)