Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 58 Mas Enfermedades September 20, 2016

Talara's very own Book of Mormon delivery service!
Well due to reason #4 on my list of reasons why I feel unmotivated to write a weekly email I'm going to try and keep this extra short as the room continues to spin around me.

These past two days I have been more sick than ever on my mission. I was glued to my bed the entire p day yesterday (writing this on a Tuesday) and that's when you know a missionary is really sick. (; I've been feeling pretty miserable and called Hermana Rasmussen the other day to ask her if she would speak at my funeral. Ok, Ok I'm over exaggerating. Being sick on a mission makes you extra homesick. All I wanted was to lay in my mom's giant comfy bed and watch all of the best movies while she fed me tapioca pudding and catered to my every need. Aren't moms the best? But instead I was locked away in my Harry Potter closet while covered in my own sweat beads. But through this miserable yet relatively short experience I learned something. I initially thought I would be better off left to wallow in my self-pity and stress about looming deadlines and responsibilities. But then things changed, when I allowed others to serve me. I can hear an echo of my moms voice saying, "It's okay to not be okay." We are all beggars, we all need help sometimes! We talk so much about serving others but can you imagine if all of the "others" refused our service? Normally I might just grin and bear it but this time I allowed others to step in and lighten the load. The members, missionaries and my companion really helped to make my Harry Potter closet feel more like a home away from home (a continent away). I think allowing yourself to be humble enough to admit you're not okay and welcome the service of others is an acquired skill. And as we allow others to serve us we are helping them even more than they are helping us and I figured out an equation: Helping others help themselves by helping you.
Home sweet home! I like to call our house the upside down torta (cake) because of it's tiers. The tiny little open window on the top floor is where we live!
We have so many progressing investigators! I wish I had time to talk about each of them. I'm sure they will get baptized soon but are facing a little bit of opposition.

My favorite thing that Hna Martinez said this week, *walks up to an unusually large group of cats sunbathing with a full water bottle in her hand* "Do you know what this is? This is water.... Do you remember me?" and then proceeds to dump water and chase all of the cats. She is my entertainment.

Until next week,
Con mucho amor
Hermana Ingram
Goofy faces before things get serious in branch council
Hermana Martinez only has 2 weeks left! :(
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Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 57 Week 3 in The Holy Land September 12, 2016

Week 3 in The Holy Land

The other day Hermana Martinez and I were with a member out on the street when a man on a motorcycle pulled up to talk to us.
Hermana Martinez whispers to me, "Hey, look at his necklace? Does it look satanic?" *craning my neck to see what's on his necklace*
Me: "Hey hermano what does your necklace mean?"
The guy: "Oh this? I don't know I found it on the beach one day but every time I lose it, it always shows up under my bed. One time I lost it in Lima and it was under my pillow when I got home!"
You could hear crickets chirping as the three of us stared at him and then looked at each other thinking... "hmmmm how weird..."

Every Friday night we have Ward Mission Night! Every other ward mission night is Noche de Cine (movie night). This Friday we put on Big Hero 6 and handed out popcorn to everyone that came. It was awesome! So many people show up since the closest movie theatre is 2 hours away. Well during the movie Luisaac (our ward mission leader) noticed a ruffle/dent in the dividing curtain at the back of the room. He peeked back and was pretty surprised to discover a drunk man completely passed out! I had to go and take a look for myself, sure enough there he was. I ran and grabbed the Elders and told them they needed to get the drunk guy out. I have never seen anything so funny until they grabbed him by his ankles and wrists and carried him out of the church. Everyone was enjoying the movie so much that no one even noticed him stagger in and then pass out! Go Peru! Always keeping it interesting.
My Best Friend!! (photos don't really go with the this week's letter)
Homeboy Toni is doing great! (homeboy because he talks like a total gangster) He reads the Book of Mormon diligently! As we sat down with him in our lesson he told us how good he feels. "I don't know Hermanas, every time I read this book I feel happier. I don't yell at my little brothers anymore. I feel like I'm changing." You should have seen our faces, my smile was stretched as far wide as it could go! It's the happiest feeling when you see the changes being made in the people you are teaching. That's exactly how I felt the first time I read the Book of Mormon. I feel like it changed me! It made the me I was into me version 2.0, new and improved. Is it a coincidence that The Book of Mormon improves anyone's life just by reading it? Of course not! But it is absolutely amazing.

My favorite investigators are the Colombians. Before you learn a 2nd language you probably might not be able to tell the difference in accents. Now that I speak Spanish I can generally tell where someone is from just by hearing their accents. The differences are distinct between Argentina and Chile, Peru and Ecuador, Spain and Mexico, and now I get to hear the greatest Colombian accents. The best way I could describe it: If the United States was a Spanish speaking country the Colombians would be from Boston! We might ask "how are you?" and they would say "hahwahya?" They cut off and squish together all of the words and form one big giant blob of a sentence. Hermana Martinez and I LOVE the Colombians and their super entertaining accent. (: ( the Colombians are refugees that escaped terrorism in their country, they are basically members but cannot get baptized until Hermana Angela gets divorced and then married to her husband- which would mean a trip to Colombia)

My companion has a love/hate relationship with cats. She talks to every cat we see on the street. Lately she takes her toy water gun out with us and squirts all of the cats. Oh Hermana Martinez.

Con mucho amor!
Hermana Ingram
You know you're getting old in the mission when more and more people from your CCM group start showing up to leadership council!
The Tumbes girls
With my compi 
Pleasant surprise!!! Was able to see Hermana Sandison in Piura! I love her!!
I hope you all enjoy this picture of the lovely blonde Hermana Martinez as much as I do.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Week 56 A Week of Infermedades September 5, 2016

Week 2 in Talara

Fun fact: with the way that the "r" is pronounced in Spanish it actually sounds more like Talada than Talara.

In response to last week. Thanks to well prepared hermanas that had been in Talara previously we had emergency shower water. It lasted until our water turned back on.

As an hermana leader we frequently check up on how our hermanas are doing. Lately 1 companionship has been sick. My companion told them it was because they weren't eating healthy or exercising. They called us one night and said "We wanted to start our diet and buy veggies but then we got robbed and are out of money" when my comp hung up she looked at me and said, "Everything is out to get you when you re on a diet." Amen!

So occasionally I log onto this email feeling extra unmotivated to write a weekly email. These are usually the reasons why: 1) It wasn't the most ideal week 2) Internet is bad 3) I'm not getting along with my companion 4) I am sick

Well the good news is, we get to cancel out reason number 3! Hermana Martinez is the greatest!

Week 2 was a week of enfermedades! (sicknesses) First I got strep throat. I've had strep throat so many times that when I saw the white spots on my throat I thought "Okay somebody needs to give me a shot of penicillin..." How miraculous it was when the area mission doctor showed up to Talara the very next day! I've been on antibiotics for 5 days now. Yesterday I was having some really weird viral symptoms and had shortness of breath, exhaustion, headaches, chills, etc. I told the member we would be eating with that I was really sick and couldn't eat a lot. She said, "Ok I will just make you a little soup and nothing else." Well "de todos maneras" I was still served the montaƱa de arroz and chicken along with a big bowl of soup. What part of sick and no appetite don't you understand... Luckily I was nicer than that and started eating anyway. Then I felt my stomach start to clench and ran out the front door in the middle of the meal. I started doing the pre-vomit cough but shoved the upcoming food back down to my stomach. That was when the lady really got the idea and let me take the rest of the food home.

Note: Peruvians are very helpful people! Almost too helpful. If you ask a stranger for directions they will literally drop everything they are doing and walk with you to your destination. The problem is that even when they have no idea either they will still walk aimlessly for you and then tell you "this is the place" when in reality it's on the other side of town. When I told people I was sick they literally tried doing everything to help me. They made me put on winter coats, they gave me like 600 different pills (which had I taken them all I would probably be in clinica Teresa right now in a coma) all fans were turned off, I wasn't allowed to drink cold beverages, and worst of all... They said I needed to eat rice. That is when I put my foot down folks. NO ARROZ!!

I love these people and that is one thing I would want to apply from this culture. Be more helpful. Be willing to drop anything and go to someone in their time of need. But on the other hand I would also want to say "well, I have no idea where that park is but maybe the other guy does..."

Toni is our awesome investigator! He is 16 yrs old and just moved here from Lima. The kid has had a rough adolescence. He told us a story of when he went out with his friends and the only thing he remembers is waking up to someone dragging him to an ambulance. He overdosed on hard drugs. While Toni drifted in and out of consciousness the only thing he can clearly remember is hearing a voice clearly tell him to stop what he was doing or he would ruin his entire life. Toni wants to get baptized but doesn't feel worthy for God or His love right now. That's a lie! Only Satan in his misery would want any of us to feel like we aren't loved or wanted by our Heavenly Father! When I look at him during our lessons I feel like Heavenly Father lends me his eyes for a moment. I feel like I can see through His eyes and see all of His love for Toni. I feel that it's Gods way of helping me bear a very sincere testimony that God does indeed love him. More than he can possibly imagine! I know that rings true for everyone. God loves each and every one of us! He knows everything that we don't want anyone else to know about us and loves us still. Pretty amazing. God's love is without a doubt the driving force behind missionary work.
During our lesson hermano Rosalez (who has also had a very rough background) said, "Hermana Ingram, where did you come from?" "The United States" "Hermana Martinez where did you come from?" "Ica" "see Toni? God loves you so much he sent you two missionaries from far away places to help you in this very moment, I know they are here for a reason"

Well I had really awesome pics this week from the beach! But go Peruvian Internet... no me deja enviarlos.... all of you with Google Fiber I hope you stop what you're doing and start counting your blessings! (*photos added a week later)

Con mucho amor
Hermana Ingram
Well, it's not electric... 
Had to sacrifice my clean water to save the eel...
Sun burnt with a borrowed sun hat...happy camper

Baseball on the beach! (until Elder Obrien threw the only baseball in the entire country of Peru straight into the ocean)

Friday, September 2, 2016

Week 55 Week 1 in Talara-The Holy Land August 29, 2016

Good old Talara at 6 am after our morning hike I mean stroll through the park for Utahns
Week 1 In Talara- The Holy Land

My very first morning in Talara we woke up at 5 am to go running on the beach. I am now 100% Pro Pavement. I may even start a movement. We ran by several petrified dead dogs and 1 giant bloated sea lion. Next time you find yourself running on the beach watch out for ocean-kill.

Tender Mercies of Talara - It's COLD
Well, either it's really cold or I've just been here too long... The only time we bake in heat is at midday and early afternoon. Other than that there is a nice cool ocean breeze that feels like mother natures A/C and I am soooo grateful!

Each day here has mostly consisted of me trying to memorize the names of streets, members, investigators, their houses, etc. Transfers are always an adjustment. We live in a Harry Potter closet but I'm not complaining because we are teaching a Colombian family of 5 in their one room home that is even smaller. Last night we came home to find that we have no water! Our neighbors said that it will be about a week before we will have water again... the last time I went a week without a shower was on Kilimanjaro. And thanks but no thanks I don't want to go back to that, especially after knowing what my hair is capable of... this may be a small bump in this week's road.

Hermana Martinez is great and she even speaks English!
Hermana Martinez plays the piano each week at church. Yesterday we walked into church 2 minutes late and she walked straight up to the piano and began to play a prelude until the meeting started. The first counselor motioned to me and asked if I would direct the hymns so I said yes. As I went and sat on the stand while Hna Martinez played a prelude I immediately noticed something was not right. Everyone was looking at us like "what on earth is wrong with the hermanas." Little did we know that THE MEETING HAD ALREADY STARTED. It was hilarious! It took everything in me to keep a straight face while directing the first hymn. Great first day in my new branch (;

On Saturday my comp and I did a special musical number for a baptism. We sang Nearer My God To Thee on the ukulele and it was so fun!
Max was baptized! (the elder's investigator)
The other day we were walking down a street when a little homeless-looking girl ran up to us and told us that she has a Book of Mormon that she reads every single night before going to bed. Pleasantly surprised, we went back to her home the next night. Upon entering their house I was in complete shock, I could not believe their living conditions. It was a shack and absolutely disgusting. It smelled like something was fermenting and there was clutter everywhere. 15 people live inside that tiny, nasty home! We sat down with the little girl Nicol and her adult-sister Lucero. Nicol was wearing tattered, filthy clothing and her hair looked like she had taken scissors to it herself. But she had the cutest little smile and smiley eyes. Her older sisters were all extremely overweight and it seemed like they had just stopped caring. Clothes were merely something to cover skin and there is no point in washing them if they will just get dirty again. Shoes were optional and hair unkempt turned into mats. They told us that their mom used to take them to our church when they were young but around 6 years ago she left home and never returned. As we sat and taught them tears streamed down Lucero's face. Just by looking in her eyes you could see that there was a lot of hurt inside of her. We helped her pray for the first time in years. I am amazed at how truly blessed I have been in my life. Sometimes I can't help but wonder why? Why do differences in circumstance vary so greatly? I don't know. But I do know that to whom much is given much is expected!

I miss you all so much!
Shout out to Pam for sending me 6 months of letters!

Con mucho amor
Hermana Ingram
Mayday, mayday!! Dean Ingram, we need some serious help on the grill...
Elder Obrien playing some's therapeutic for the Elders (:
"Hold up the puppy so I can take a picture of him" Luisaac, "Okay but I don't want to be in the picture"....oops