Monday, September 30, 2013

Be Happy! Always Smile!

Hola Familia! :)
         Week number 11 down. That means only one more of my training. AHHH! Scary! This week flew like no other! I’ve never felt more stressed than I felt on Wednesday. We had exchanges... And I stayed in La Cruz with one of the sister training leaders while Hermana Rios went to Talara with the other. That meant I was in control of all of La Cruz... By myself haha yeah. I was freaking out. Wednesday we had all of our day planned out.... But nobody was home. Seriously. We went to Hermana Corona, Yesica, Milagros, Rosalia, and Monica and NOBODY. I tried to keep my cool and all, but on the inside I was about to explode. So finally I was like welp! Guess we can go see if Hermano Victor is home, secretly hoping he wasn’t because lessons with him are intense. Well guess what? He was home haha. And I had no lesson plan... With a total different companion... And a member with us. Pressure on. At first it was suuuuper awkward, but somehow I said something about my family being sealed in the temple and he says, "What’s that mean?" YES!! Perfect! So we went on to teach about eternal families and I’ve never seen him so interested. (That could be because he was focusing really hard so he could understand my sucky Spanish haha) But it was great! The stress was all worth it! Gotta love the Spirit. I know this wasn’t coincidence at all :) 
         I also realized that I know much more than I give myself credit for. I have just kept thinking that there’s no way I could teach a lesson by myself. Hermana Rios always starts the lessons and I just say a little bit here and there, but she does most of the important explaining. Well with no Hermana Rios that meant I had to do it and I was terrified. But somehow I did it. There’s hope for me to learn this language! Haha It was good though and taught me a lot :)
         This week Juan and Said were baptized!! It was so great! Nothing like the baptism of Hermana Maryuri. There was reverence! Crazy, right? It was so great, and I know Juan will be such a strength to our ward. One thing he needs to work on is his prayers... Oh boy. We have taught him how to pray soooo many times! Even made him a little paper to remind him and every single prayer he still begins with "Oh Senor Jesus" and throughout the whole prayer he says it over and over. One day he’ll get it... One day ;) He really is so chosen though. 
         I have also seen the Atonement change a family this week. Said almost didn’t get baptized. He has had past situations with one of his cousins that he hadn’t taken care of or even told us about until the night of the interview his mom finally told us. It was so sad to see an 8-year-old have these problems. BUT we aren’t perfect. And God doesn’t expect us to be. It was so amazing to see his family change in only two days. They went from being so so sad and discouraged to being so happy Saturday! I’ve never seen a little boy with a bigger grin on his face :) And his mom as well. The Atonement changes people. I’ve seen it this week! 
         Another awful situation with an investigator is Hermana Rosalia. I’m not sure if I told you, but she’s the one that we’ve been suspecting is pregnant. Welp! yep she sure is, and her "husband" doesn’t want kids. He’s 65 and one of the most prideful people I’ve seen. He is a captain of a boat here and has money and thinks that’s all he needs. She came to church Sunday and wanted to talk to us. She just started sobbing! Pretty much he told her if she doesn’t have an abortion he’s leaving. This leaves her without a house, two kids, and no money. It was so sad. All we could do was hug her and tell her this baby is a blessing. I don’t know what she’ll do. She was going to the hospital today to see how far along she is and we’re going to visit her tomorrow. Ugh Hermano Vicente is awful though! I don’t know how to have more love for him. It’s his baby and he wants nothing to do with it. She shouldn’t have to put up with that. He has over 10 kids with 5 different women. When one of his "wives" gets pregnant he leaves to find another. So sick! Rosalia definitely needs prayers goin her way. 
         Now I can give you something to laugh at.... I got peed on. No. Really. It happened. We were walking and someone was peeing off a balcony and yep. Right on our heads. YUM. Ooooooh Peru. Gotta love it! ;) 
         It’s so crazy to think I’ve been in the mission field 4 months though. I never thought so many experiences could fit in such a small amount of time! I’ve had ups, downs, good days, bad days, but one thing I’ve learned is no matter how alone or abandoned we feel, the sun always comes up the next day. There have been days where I’ve felt beyond inadequate, days where I wanted to give up, and days where I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but guess what? Somehow I’m still here! “Seguir adelante.” It’s probably my favorite phrase in Spanish. Keep going. Keep pushing. The hard times don’t last forever. Christ is always there to lift us up. "For I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." He knows exactly how we feel; He’s already felt it. There’s nowhere we can go that Christ hasn’t already been. He knows us inside and out. Yes, this life is hard. Really hard. But that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Christ suffered for every single one of us. How can we expect to become like Him if we don’t suffer a little bit too? We’re here to grow! It’s in those times of difficulty that we learn the most about ourselves. I’ve learned more about myself in these last 4 months than I’ve learned in my whole life. For example, I’ve learned I’m not really a fan of chickens, dogs, or scorpions. I’ve learned I have a lot of patience... With everyone but myself!  The most important thing I’ve learned though is that I have a Heavenly Father that loves ME. He knows ME. He has a plan for ME. He loves each and every single one of us. Yes, we will still have hard days, but we don’t have to do it alone. What a blessing this gospel is in our lives! We have so many reasons to smile :) So be HAPPY! Don’t let the little things get in the way of our eternal happiness :) Always smile! 
         Thank you again and again for EVERYTHING! I have the best family in the whole world :) Tell everyone else thank you as well. I couldn’t ask for more :) Have a great week! I LOVE YOU! :)

Hermana Roper 

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