Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Just Dodging Knives This Week....

         Hi. I’m Hermana Roper, and I love toilets that flush. Yep. I said it. What is happening to meeee?! This week Hermana Rios and I experienced what other people’s bathrooms around here are like. We were walking and both had to go sooo bad and were sooo far away from our room so we asked people to use their bathroom. I have never smelled something more bad in my life lol! I love America!
         This week was better though. Still hard, but better. That’s all that matters right? Haha it’s still really frustrating to not understand! This week Hermana Rios was really frustrated. Imagine her yelling and sharing her feelings and me occasionally nodding and smiling lol. Yep. Fun.
         I have lots of stories this week! I even wrote them down so I wouldn’t forget to tell you all :) Okay so we find this new investigator, Hermana Santos. We teach her how to pray and told her to observe Hermana Rios. Well she ends up repeating every line Hermana Rios says. It was so funny! Then in the lesson we ask her why she ttttthinks babies need to be baptized (she’s catholic) and she says, "Because breast feeding is a serious sin?" Say whaaaaat? Haha Preach My Gospel didn't prepare us for this! 
         What weird things did I eat this week, you may ask? Well chop off a fish’s head, cook it, and slap it on a plate and that was my lunch. Along with some shrimp rice that went on for milessss. I also had crab soup which wasn’t great either lol. I’ve probably eaten every part of a chicken as well... I just try to eat really fast so I have to suffer for a less amount of time ;) 
         This week I have found a new hatred for dogs and chickens as well. They’re mean! We always have rocks ready to throw at the dogs. The chickens just roam around houses. This week we had a chicken pecking at our feet. We’ll show you little pecking chicken, when we’re eating you for lunch tomorrow... For real though haha. 
         We also had a weird experience this week as well. We’re walking and this guy is just chucking knives! I don’t mean to scare you either haha but we took off running!! Gotta love Peru... It was quite the sight I’m sure. Run missionaries, run!!
         I also think I’ve seen it all... People vacuuming cement haha! Like what?? I just don’t understand.  It seems like just extra work to me ;)
         As for lessons this week.. We always have a lot. The people here are really welcoming! We had 10 new investigators this week! We had two baptisms for August, Hermana Maryori and Hermano Adolfo (the father of her kids haha), but Hermano Adolfo is a stinker. We gave him money for a moto to do us a favor and he ended up taking the money and buying beer! Hermana Maryori still has a date for August 10th though and is so excited. I really love her! 
         One reeeeeally awkward lesson this week: The crying lesson. So we go to teach two investigators and their mom just sits down with us and starts talking. Of course I have no idea what is being said, but before I know it she’s hysterically crying! After, I ask Hermana Rios why she was crying and she said her daughter (one of our investigators) beats her... Never would’ve guessed that! Ummm... Yeah. I love Spanish. 
         Okay well that’s about all the craziness I can think of haha. (have fun correcting all my mistakes. This keyboard is a beast) But I just hope every week gets better, cause at times it’s so discouraging! But I didn’t come here to fail. President Rowley said, "The Lord didn’t send you to Peru to fail. He knows you can do this." For me, it’s comforting to know I’m in the hard part. Before my mission and even in the MTC it was always, "These next few months will be hard" but now the hard months are here, and I know there has to be a light at the end. These next 16 months won’t last forever. I have these 16 months to work hard, and I’m sure when I look back I’ll just laugh at how big of a wimp I was haha. Yes, right now it’s hard, but I’m too stubborn to give in... You already know that ;) Every day is a new day! I love you all though. I’m amazed at the support I get. I don’t have time to respond to everyone today and I’m so so sorry! But keep writing because I read them all and they make my day :) Love you alll! Have a great week! I’ll be here in Peru dodging knives ;) haha! Kidding mom! Talk to you next week :)

Hermana Roper
aka the toilet lover

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Craziest Thing I've Ever Done!

Hola familia!
I apologize in advance for this bad grammar.. This keyboard is alllll messed up! Haha! But yes I'M IN PERU!!! This is by far the craziest thing I’ve ever done lol. I won’t lie and say this week’s been all good.. It’s been the hardest, most stressful week of my life! But guess what? I’m still alive and great :) 
Hmm lets see.. Well after we landed in Lima I think we were all wondering what we just got ourselves into! It was CRAZY! We stayed the first night in a hotel in Lima and then took off the next day on a small plane to Piura. The mission president and his wife picked us up and we chilled at their house for the day (which was gorgeous) The next day we had training and met our new companions and after a 6 hour bus ride, here I am in La Cruz :) 
My companion’s name is Hermana Rios and she knows zero English. Talk about frustrating!! But it’s all good :) Thursday was my first actual day in the mission. I’ll never forget my first house we went to. I don’t know if I can even call them houses. I haven’t been in one place that has something other than a dirt floor. I’m always really grateful after a day visiting members.
Anyway, the first house was Hermana M. Me and her are now pretty tight... I mean, I’ve seen her bare chest at least 6 times now! During the first lesson her one year old goes walking over to her whining and I was just thinking, "Pleeeease don’t take it out pleeeease!" And whooop there it was. Right in my face. Awesome. I knew public breastfeeding was common in Peru, but really?? On my first lesson ever?? Kind of awkward, but at least I’m getting used to it now haha. But, I really do love her! She has such a desire to change, and has a lot of faith despite everything she’s faced. I don’t remember many names here because they’re pronounced weird, but hopefully by next week I will. 
So some things about Peru hmmm.. Well the driving here is NUTS. There’s no traffic laws. Everyone and their dog drives motos, which I’ll have to show you in a picture sometime. They’re pretty fun to drive in though :) The people here are sooo touchy. We greet people with hugs, which you know is weird for me cause I’m not touchy lol. We do have a pensionista, and we eat chicken and rice for every meal. No lie. They feed us a ton here. I usually only eat lunch because I’m never hungry after eating five inches deep of rice. I’ve learned to just not ask what I’m eating haha. 
So pretty much around here I’m a blonde freak of nature. When I walk by, people go inside their houses and get their family to come look at me lol. We were teaching a lesson outside a house and a girl walked by staring, left, and then came back with five more people who continued to stare at me. I see what you did there lady. Nice try! I get whistled at a lot, and my companion is really protective haha. But it’s definitely weird.
Oh! We were teaching                another  lesson outside and we were saying the prayer and little kids came up to me and started poking my eyes like they’ve never seen ‘em before. Yes children, I have eyeballs too just like you lol. Yep. I’m a freak. 
All I do here is bear my testimony in lessons. I’m starting to understand more, but it’s sooo hard to talk. I hope it gets better cause it’s so frustrating!! Can I just know Spanish already?? Por favor?
The one thing that keeps me going is getting out and working with the people. At times I just want to quit sooo bad and go back to my comfortable life, but then I get to see how bad people need this gospel and somehow I make it through. It’s seriously so hard though. Sometimes I wonder how I’m going to do this for 16 more months, but I need to give it my best shot :) I would regret it if I didn’t give it my best right now.  I know these people need me and I need them.
Today for pday we went to this place called Puerto Pizarro with the zone. The other elders speak English so it was probably the best thing ever in my life!  I’ll try to send pictures. We don’t have much time today to write. I have to go buy a backpack and food. Normal pdays I’ll only have an hour, so it sucks, but oh well. 
As for my living conditions I’ll send pictures. To you all it would seem terrible, but compared to the homes here it’s sooo nice. We have a bathroom (with a working shower), bedroom AND a kitchen. Shocking, I know haha. 
I better go now though :) I love you all and miss you so much it hurts, but ya know what? I get to be with you forever so I can suck it up right? Tell everyone thanks for the support and sorry if I don’t have time to write them all back this week. Talk you next week! 

Hermana Roper 

Friday, July 12, 2013

On My Way To Peru!

Hola Familia!

Last P-day at the MTC, say whaaaaat?! 3. More. Days. Holy crap!! Pretty much we have been waiting for reassignments and about passed out on Monday when we walked in to see travel plans on our desks. We then had to go through the whole night freaking out because the travel office was closed! What were they thiiiinking?! So first thing in the morning we went to the travel office and were officially told we were leaving for Peru Monday. I've never felt so many emotions at once! The other Hermanas in our district are still waiting for their reassignments, though. All of the Elders also leave Monday as well. It's sad we're all leaving! On Sundays we always sing "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" in Spanish for the people who are leaving and I know for a fact I'll be bawling! I'm so excited though :)
This week for fast Sunday we had Mission Conference. First things first.. Fast Sunday at the MTC=worst thing ever! I've never seen Elders eat so much before! Dinner was craaazy! I swear each Elder had four plates each! Oh Elders...
Anyway, I learned so much! I loved President Hacking's talk.  He talked a lot about personal prayer. He said, "If we struggle with personal prayer, we will struggle spiritually. Prayer is the beginning, the forerunner of faith. Prayer secures blessings God already has for us. They are given when we ask. When we recognize the significance of our relationship with God, we are His children and He is our Father, prayer becomes natural. We can't know anything at all without prayer."
That's one thing that's strengthened a lot while I've been here. I always prayed before, but only because that's what I knew I was supposed to do. I've gotten so much better at just talking with God. I look forward to the time at night when I get to have personal prayer :) It took me a while to just realize the relationship that He is my Father.  Now when I pray I make it a goal to talk to God like I would to dad, and I love it! :)
Sister Nally also talked and she talked about the pioneers. The pioneers had thousands of miles to walk in faith, and one different footstep on their part would've changed generations. We, as missionaries, need to be pioneers of our own families. She also said when we have faith we won't ask, "What else do I have to do?" but rather, "What more can I do?" It was a really good conference :) Even if our stomachs were growling uncontrollably...
I really loved Tuesday's devotional too! Elder L. Lionel Kendrick (Emeritus Gen. Authority) talked. I wrote down so much from him! He said we will know we are serving God and not only serving time when we wake up in the mornings and instead of asking, "What do I have to do today?" ask, "How am I going to get everything all done today?" I loved so much about his talk, but my favorite part was definitely the end. He gave all of us missionaries a priesthood blessing! How awesome is that?! I've never seen that before. He blessed us with the comforting influence of the spirit, that our knowledge would be quickened and that we will be able to recall what we've learned when they are needed. He blessed us that we would remember fond memories of the truth we've learned, and that we will feel the spirit always. He also blessed us to learn our languages. He also told us that, as missionaries, sometimes we just expect the spirit to be with us because we ask for it. We have to be sincere and do our part :) It was a good devotional to end on :)
On Wednesday we hosted again. I actually hosted a sister going to Chance's mission so that was neat! Both of the sisters I hosted were handling it well :) I've never realized how heavy luggage is though! We were all exhausted by the time we were done lol. I did see the DeBry's driving away after dropping Sister DeBry off :) I've seen Sister DeBry a couple of times and she seems like she is doing great! It feels like I was the one just being dropped off, and now I'm leaving to Peru! It's so crazy.
Yesterday we had In-Field Training annnnd I'm not gonna lie.. So boring. I think our teachers are just too awesome, because we had already learned all of the lessons pretty much. But I did learn some new things and it gave me a better idea of how the mission will be so it was still great :)
Our teachers really are the best though!
This week Hermano Sagers was helping us all with problems and Hermana Petersen and I had no idea what specific thing we needed. We just needed help in general. So I asked him what I need to improve on and he said, "Why are you asking me? God's the one with the answers; ask Him." So at first I was thinking, "Why wouldn't you help us? You helped everyone else individually, but not us" and then Hermana Petersen opened up her scriptures and immediately read 1 Nephi 7:12:
Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all athings according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise bfaith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.
There's our answer! I don't know why I doubt so much. So then Hermana Petersen and I went for a nice walk around the MTC and talked about everything! We decided we need to have a "Sacred Grove Prayer" Sunday night before we leave. Elder Powell and Elder Moffitt challenged us to do this. We're just going to go find a quiet spot and each have individual prayer time... We decided we need a box of tissues for each of us because the mission has made us into pansies!
Today the teachers also each left us a picture and a reason why we received that picture. I was given a picture of Mary teaching Jesus to pray. They said that learning a language is hard, but that I've never lost patience, so that's a good thing right? Haha I don't have the letter with me, but I'll tell you later exactly what it said later. That's just the thing I remember because I don't consider myself patient lol.
         Okay now for our mouse experience! We are convinced we have a mouse living in our room. We keep having nibbled on granola bars! One of them was from fast Sunday so we know that wasn't us... I've never been so paranoid in my life... And then I realized I'm going to Peru... And they have giant rats... And spiders... And who knows what else... Awesome. Bring it on Peru, bring it on!
         Funny quote time... Okay so one of the Districts below us has suuuuper touchy Elders lol... Super funny for us Hermanas. Anyway.. This week Elder Keetch says, "I thought when I came on my mission my butt would stop getting touched..." We just all stared at him lol and then he thinks for a second after nobody says anything and was like "Umm... Yeeeahhh... That came out wrong..." SO funny! Have I ever mentioned I love my District? ;) They're seriously the greatest! Funniest Elders you will ever meet. By the way my whole District makes fun of Ferron sooo they all decided we're having a District 2A reunion in good ole Ferron, Utah! The first time I was describing where I lived someone thought they were clever and said, "Is that even on a map??" Reeeeal funny. Just wait. They'll come to Ferron and never wanna leave! They even made fun of Grub Box and that was just crossing the line... I won't put up with such nonsense! ;)
         Well I'm gonna go now because I really can't think of anything else that's happened. The days get all mixed up! And every time I log off I think of like ten things to say... I need to start writing stupid moments down every day so I can remember to tell you... Maybe... We'll see :) But I love you all so much and am so grateful for the support. There's no way I could even think about hopping on a plane and taking off to Peru if I didn't have the support and love I do. I have no idea how I've been so blessed! LOVE YOU! Have a great week :) Talk to you next week... FROM PERU!! :)

Hermana Roper