Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 24 I'm training! January 25, 2016

My Latina compañeras 9: The greatest! (after our training broadcast)
This week was a speedy one!

During the very first few weeks in my area Miguel Grau, Hermana Arce talked about an awesome investigator named Manuel. They had taught him two times and he came to church twice and even accepted a baptismal date! Once I got there he completely disappeared. His sister told us that he moved to Paita for a while to work. He is an alcoholic and sincerely wanted change in his life. During my entire time here we never saw him, until last week. As we were walking down his street on our way to a lesson we passed by his house and his front door opened and there he was! He asked us immediately when we could come and visit him, his lesson is tonight. We invited him to a stake baptismal service that same night to come and see the baptisms. After the service, we sat waiting for the closing hymn to begin. He turned to us and said "Hermanas, the other day I was inside my house praying and asking God to know which church was His church. Then I opened the door and there you were! I want to get baptized. When can I get baptized?" I was a little bit in shock but I bore testimony to him that God was giving him his answer and we placed a date for the 27th of February. It was the first time that an investigator has told me that they know that the church is true. It was surreal! The real challenge is his addiction but I know that if he has a real desire and faith, NOTHING is impossible.
After the stake baptismal service
It was Hermana Arce's very last week in her mission and it was a little bit sad. She was tough through it but occasionally she laid on the floor to have a little cry. Poor thing. Hermana Arce left on her mission in December of 2013 but after serving 11 months she had a seizure due to epilepsy and was sent home. After 5 months of taking care of her siblings while her mom battled cancer, she made it back out on the mission to finish up what she started. Boy am I grateful for her and for her example and testimony. She is going to be a strong member of the church for the rest of her life.
So sad because she's leaving :(
(if you know Hannah, you'll recognize this face as one that is holding back tears)
I won't know who my new companion is until tomorrow,  but I'm going to train a new missionary!!! 4 new hermanas are coming and they're all Latinas. I'm terrified but excited to be senior comp and to teach someone.

After Hermana Arce's very last interview with President I was called into his office. President then told me that he felt that I was ready to train. I have to admit I was trying to hide a smile. I'm super excited! There will be 4 new Latina hermanas coming this transfer and one of them will be my "hija." I am also completely terrified and overwhelmed. As a trainer you set a precedent for the rest of the new missionary's mission. You also do almost everything by yourself for quite a while. I'm excited and anxious for the challenge.

And just a heads up...I know this is going to be super hard so I'll probably need a lot of spiritual support. (aka.....please include Hannah in your prayers)

I have to go now, I love you!
We were able to travel to Talara (area by the ocean) so that she could say goodbye to some members
For a second there I thought I was out road tripping in Southern Utah!
With Hermana Babbio and her husband Julio. They are so fun!
Hermana Aida is such a kid at heart! Playing pranks on the elders.
The very last puppy, Pamela (:
Stinky missionary feet! With some pretty intense tan lines and the very last bit of my last pedicure in the states!

Going to miss my companion soooooo much!!!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 23 Update January 18, 2016

My last P-day with Hermana Arce. I'm sure going to miss her!
More about last week: (I didn't have email/cell service so couldn't get the details so I asked more about what happened)

Mom's question: Are you settling into your new apartment? How much money did they take from you? Do you have any idea who it was? Do the doors not lock very securely? Should I send some pepper spray in your next package?

Hannah's response: In total they took somewhere around 1300 soles. Which is a ton here as missionaries. I can almost gaurantee it was our neighbors that lived directly in front of us. A group of super creepy men lived there and they were always watching us as if we had a movie playing for them or something. We tried to keep the window closed as much as possible but it's just way too hot here. The next day after we were robbed they all moved. The door on the street had a good lock on it but I'm pretty sure we didn't close it all the way by accident. It was always hard to tell. The door to our actual room was broken so that one anyone can get into.
Sprained my ankle and it started to swell. A cold mango made for a decent ice pack!
Mom's question: Did you get more time to spend with your investigators this week? How is Diego doing?

Hannah's response: Oh and we tried really hard to talk Diego out of it but he moved to Lima for a job opportunity. His dad lost his job so he felt pressure to get a good job to help his family.
Peruvian food
Hannah's short summary of the week:

Dont have too much time but ill try to write a little summary.
Our little 9 yr old investigator with a baptismal date, Hno Marcos, has parents who are separated. Some things have happened between them this week and we had to postpone his baptism. The elders also had to push back their baptism as well. It just goes to show how important baptism is, Satan really is working overtime to try to keep it from happening. But I know it will happen soon. We also had one of our investigators come to sacrament yesterday! Her name is Maritza. She is married to Denis and has a 9 yr old son Mateo. She is awesome and we have had amazing lessons with her. I see so much potential in her and she loves us and everything we teach her! Please keep both of these families in your prayers. 

This is Hermana Arces last week and I know its going to be hard for her. She has so much genuine love for EVERYONE. I have learned so much from her and her amazing example.

Hermana Ingram
Peruvian recipe: Go to your local pet store, buy and guinea pig and then fry it. Delicious!!
Hermana Arce really wanted to try a chicken foot. I'll stick with my favorite food..Antecuchos! Cow heart!
P-day at the beach. Hermana Aida came too! (pic at top)
Hermana Aida insisted on a photo eating our marcianos- sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, sugar and coconut frozen in a bag. Anything cold in this heat is delicious!

Week 22 We Were Robbed!!! January 11, 2016

Sad because we were stressed. Searching for a new place to live is not easy!
Well this week was slightly stressful....

On Tuesday morning Hna Arce and I left our room at around 10:30 to go and teach a lesson. As we were walking Hna Arce told me she had a really bad feeling and that something bad was going to happen. I could tell she was super freaked out so of course that made me freaked out. We continued walking basically hugging each other and stayed on our toes the whole time. When the lesson ended we needed to go back to our room and get money to pay the pension. When we got to our room everything was completely normal. Except every last bit of our money was gone. I even had some American money and that had completely disappeared too. So we went down and talked to our neighbor. She looked shocked and said that at around 11 she heard a moto pull up to the building and 3 men go up our stairs and through our door. For some odd reason it didn't make her too curious she said she just thought "Well that's weird those girls never take guys in their room." Then after a little while they left. We called our Zone Leaders who told us we needed to start looking for a new place to live immediately. I was pretty heart broken because I sure loved that room with the balcony. That same day a member from the ward took the elders to the police station to report the crime. We got a call saying that we needed to be there. We probably spent 3 hours with the Peruvian police and got nothing done. They only interrogated us on why we were in the country and where were our legal documents. I was even told that I needed to deport back the US. Test of patience for sure! Never going to the police again.. So we spent about two days looking for a new room. Holy was that an adventure! I love some of these Latins because they use their entire body to talk and everything is super over exaggerated, they have a talent for making a pile of dirt sound like a palace. It was honestly a pain in the butt and super time-consuming but we finally made a decision and packed up and moved. The whole thing was a long process but I'm glad we moved somewhere safer and now we can get back to work!
Jumping picture fail
Today we went sand boarding and played sand soccer on the beach! Super fun but my sunburn begs to differ. Sadly not a lot happened this week with our investigators because so much time was spent looking for a new apartment etc. but this week will be better!

Hermana Ingram
Sand-boarding....felt like we were in the Sahara desert!!
Hermana Arce and I have some pretty bad sunburns. Here, she is referred to as a Gringa bamba which means a fake white girl. I get a kick out of it every time people tell her that her Spanhish is awesome and ask what part of the US she is from. (She is from Paraguay)

Driving to the sand dunes in Sechura! Pictured: Rosita and Marily....Hermana Aida's daughters. The poor elders rode in the back of the car and got caked in dust!
The elders helping us move! What good guys.
Had to stop and get a burger! My comp can't get enough of them. She even has burger delivery in our phone.:) Nothing like least not where I live. 
Hermana Arce snuck a pic of me getting some shut-eye while waiting for lunch to be served. My well known talent: I can fall asleep anywhere! It's not always for my benefit.
The new tiny room....without my beloved balcony ;(
A tender mercy after a stressful week

Week 21 Feliz Año Nuevo! January 4, 2016

Decorations for the New Year! The color for New Year's is yellow...apparently it's a lucky color
I have to say I wasn't a huge fan of Christmas in Peru but New Years in Peru was a blast! There was always all of this talk about blowing up dolls (muñecos) and the whole time I thought that meant Barbies... until I walked down a street one day and saw a man stuffing straw into a pair of jeans.... Life sized stuffed dolls!!
We found my doppelganger!
It was a little bit bizarre at first but I think I need to start this tradition in the states. Hermana Aida who is the most amazing member in the ward let us burn a muñeco at her house at 9pm... a little bit earlier.... Then we lit fireworks and drank Inca kola and it was a blast. Even more fun was spending the rest of the night on our balcony watching the partiers below get more and more drunk. Drunk people and fireworks are not a good mix.... At one point someone almost shot a firework through our window.

At midnight I swear it felt like we were in the middle of a battle zone....or a zombie apocalypse movie.  Explosions and fires everywhere! The next morning the partiers were still going at it. I thought for sure they were going to die from alcohol poisoning. New Years day was a crazy day because the Borrachos (drunks) had multiplied from the usual 15 or 20 to every single person on the streets. It was scary!! There was a lot of violence and we were on our toes the whole day. After a lesson fell through my comp and I sat on a curb in the shade to make some phone calls. Across the street a drunk on his balcony started preaching to us about God and a lot of things I couldn't make out. He kept asking us if we wanted Paneton and we nicely shouted back NO GRACIAS! He disappeared and five minutes later showed up on the street with a bag of paneton and started chasing us down. I grabbed Hermana Arce by the arm and we booked it around a corner into a whole herd of borrachos. Luckily they don't have a lot of stamina so we made it out in one piece (:
Hermana Aida let us burn a muñeco at her house! Normally you wait until midnight but missionaries do it at 9pm of course.
One of our awesome investigators Pedro completely disappeared! His phone number is no longer valid and we can't find him anywhere! It's pretty sad because he had a baptismal date and really wanted to change. He knows where the church is so maybe one of these days he will show up. Espero que si!! Our little 9 year old investigator Marcos is doing well and his dad is almost set to baptize his son. They are going through a lot of trials right now financially and also in their family but we make sure to visit them super often to keep them on track. Lately we have been checking up on a young man named Diego. Diego is 21 years old and the only member in his family. He served a mission in Paraguay for 14 months until he had to go home for personal problems. We have been visiting with him to try to help him get back out on his mission! He is going through a lot of trials right now and doesn't have the support from his family. So amazing hna Aida has really taken him under her wing to try to help him in whatever way possible. One problem is there has been some judgement towards him from some of the members. I was so proud of Hna Arce yesterday at church when she pulled certain people out of classes and burned them a little bit about being a good example and not judging others. We were even able to go with hna Aida to Diego's house and march him into the bishops office so that he could get the help he needs. It would be awesome to see Diego overcome his trials and go out and finish what he started!

Food lately..... SO MUCH RICE. Normally we cook rice with water right? Here everything is made with tons and tons of Oil... Sometimes I think they are feeding us laxatives in the form of food.... "It's so healthy because it cleans your stomach!" If I had a sole (Peruvian dollar) for every time someone told me that while I was eating... The other day we ate Maracuya plain. It looks similar to a Granadilla except NOT sweet. Still I would classify it under Loogie Fruit. I guess its passion fruit in the states. It was pure acid! The members thought my face was so funny while I was eating that they videoed me to show their friends. Broke a sweat accomplishing that fruit.

It seems like a lot of South Americans believe in sicknesses derived from temperature. For example. Nobody uses fans here because they believe that it makes you sick in your throat. So many times I have sat in this little hot stuffy Internet and heard people say "Senora please turn off the fan I am sweating" That phrase in general is a huge test of my patience.

Things are well here in Piura! Hope no one is taking the snow for granted!
Sending lots of love from the "city of eternal heat"

Hermana Ingram
Peru has a lot of interesting New Year's at midnight they walk around with suitcases to symbolize a new year full of traveling! (That's exactly what that lady is doing) The also eat 12 grapes for good luck.
Fireworks with Elder Beidleman and Elder Riquelme, who are also our zone leaders (at Hermana Aida's house)
Classic puppy picture because Hermana Aida has 9 puppies!!
GLAMOROUS! Poor Hermana Arce is also suffering from sleep deprivation...
Sunday Night is movie night! My favorite! ;) With popcorn for the neighbors (and don't worry's approved)

Week 20 Today Is Another Day To Be Happy! December 28, 2015

Translation: Today is another day to be happy!!!
Singing in the plaza on Christmas Eve!
My Christmas tree that I love sooooooooo much!!! Almost felt like the real thing...well sort of.
My comp sure loved her present....Thanks mom
Just making Christmas breakfast (the day after Christmas)
They sell Betty Crocker at Tottus....I sure love that lady and her pancakes!