Monday, January 27, 2014

I'm A Missionary...NOT A Lawyer :)

Familia :)
         Another boring week for you guys eh? That’s just the way I like it ;) There´s no such thing as a boring week in the mission... Sorry. But this week FLEW. I think every week goes by faster than the one before. I don’t like it. But it was a great week :)
         Okay let´s see... Okay first Hermano Julio. He´s a keeper. I’m pretty sure I told you all about him? But yeah we had another lesson with him this week, and he loved it! He said if he can get an answer, (which we all know he will if he really wants to) then he wants to get baptized :) He came to church yesterday, and loved it also. It was so neat to watch the members help him out. They were by his side every second! And a little bit about him... He´s 56, and divorced. He said he had depression because of it for a while, but feels like he´s in a good place now. He lives with his mom and sister and they are soooo against the church. But with time they’ll come around right? :) 
         Richard is also getting baptized this Friday! We had the most awkward lesson I’ve ever had on my mission (and that’s sayin somethin) about the Law of Chastity. Hermana. Arce is new, and it was her first time teaching the Law of Chastity, so she didn’t talk much, so guess who got to have pretty much all of the embarrassment? Yep. Me. She just laughed at me afterwards, that lil punk haha. Love her. But anyway... I whipped out my Law of Chastity pamphlet and he seriously just started laughing! What the heck Richard?! He’s 23, and is quite a funny bugger, but really?! But he´s great, and even if it was awkward, he is changing his life around. Worth all the embarrassment! Gotta love those Law of Chastity lessons... 
         And guess what?! Cesar has a baptism date! He’s the one with that disease I can’t spell... But yeah, we were teaching the Word of Wisdom and he started talking about the voices he hears and stuff and I was ready to say, "Okay can we end with a prayer?" When Hermana Arce says, "What are you willing to do to feel peace in your life?" I just looked at her like wow. That´s my companion right there. Challenging Cesar to baptism again even after he turned her down the first time. (And she was pretty bummed the first time) But then Cesar says, "I want to be baptized. I know I said I wanted a year to prepare, but give me one more month, and I’ll be ready." Such a miracle! He´s getting baptized Feb 28th :) Love my companion :) 
         Funny story time. Okay Hermana Blanca is a lil crazy haha. She’s a lil old lady... 80 somethin years old. Well, we saw her walking down the road and decided to go help her. She ended up taking us to this house she said was her husbands that she wanted to get into. I’m not sure what happened, but she doesn’t have keys to get in. So she asks the people in charge of the apartments if she can get it and they told her no, that she doesn’t have the right to get in. So then Hermana Blanca says, "It’s been four months. Why wont you let me in?!" and then points to me and says, "Look! I brought my lawyer with me today to talk to you!" WHAT? Pretty sure I’m a missionary NOT a lawyer lol. It was so funny! But the best part was after. We walked her back to her house and taught her a little bit, and invited her to come to church with us and she says, "Hermanas... I don’t like to lie. I don’t think Ill be able to go." Hmmm... Doesn’t like to lie eh? Gotta love Hermana Blanca. 
         Also another funny thing is watching us run from water balloons. Here from Jan. 20th to Feb. 20th EVERYONE is throwing water balloons all the time! Usually it’s little kids, but this week we had full-grown men throwing them at us lol. What did we ever do to them?! :(
         Sad moment of the week... For the third Sunday in a row Diana and Gabriel didn’t show up for church. :( We went and saw her this week, and it was great. Gabriel wasn’t there so we didn’t talk about marriage, but we talked a lot with her about how she feels about the things she found on the Internet and the Book of Mormon. She admitted that she was a little mad when she found everything, but now she understands that everyone has weaknesses. She said she feels bad for Joseph Smith because he had so much responsibility, and that people need to be more understanding. She also said that she finally feels like shes a part of something. She said before she read the Bible by herself, but now she feels like she's part of a family. She also said to tell mom hi :) She said we´re best friends for now, but you can have me back as your bestie in 10 months haha. Something I’ll always remember that she said though was, "No debemos preguntar por que. Debemos preguntar a Dios PARA que." This pretty much means we shouldn’t ask why things happen, but we should try to look for what we can learn in every situation. So I asked her what she thinks the reason is that she came to know about the church and she said to become a better person, and have more unity and love in her family, and to be happier. Keep praying for them! They’ve gotta come around someday... But like you said mom, it took our family a looooong time to come around, so I definitely need to be more understanding. 
         Well, that´s about all that I can think of that happened right now... And I don’t have much more time anyway soooo talk to you next week :) Love you so much family! 

Hermana Roper

Monday, January 20, 2014

Something Good In Every Day

Hola Familia :)

         SO happy your week was boring. SO happy. Thank you for having a boring week, and I’m happy Ty is doing better :) 
         My week was good here. We´re working hard, that´s for sure. We´ve found 4 new investigators this week... 3 of which were references from members. Members are the key to missionary work! Especially in areas like this... We could knock on doors all day, and MAYBE one person would let us in, but when we work with members we can find the people who are truly ready. 
         Richard is doing great... Even after we taught the Word of Wisdom! Yay :) He was a little surprised at the whole coffee and tea thing, but he’s improving. We felt the spirit so strong in this lesson with him. He told us a lot about his past. There was a time in his life when he was so involved in drugs, he almost died. He was sick for over two years, and didn’t want to live anymore. He told us he feels like this is his second chance. His chance to turn his life around. He´s so great! His baptism will probably be January 31st along with another 10-year-old we´re teaching. He´s changed so much. 
         One of the other new investigators we found is named Julio. Pretty much Edward bailed on us, and so did our back up plan and we had a member with us so we knocked on Julio´s door. We had met him once before, but nothing much happened. He ended up being there though, but said that the people he lives with are really against hearing about other religions and Hermana Arce was in the middle of setting up another appointment with him when I was like, "Can we walk to a park and talk a little bit?" When it came out of my mouth I was surprised, too haha. So we all four walked to a park and had a lesson. SO great. He thought we worshipped the body of Joseph Smith in the United States and all sorts of crazy stuff, but when we explained a little more, he was really interested. The member that was with us, Mariana, is a convert and bore such a powerful testimony. Once again, we need members! Julio didn’t end up coming to church, but we´re hoping he can progress. 
         We also found another family... The “B” family. We were walking to another appointment, and people started shouting things in English at us, which always happens, but we just thought, "Oh geez... Not again..." but we ended up talking to them and turns out they´re all really good friends with a family in the ward. Their 18-year-old daughter is studying English so I went over to help her a little and we ended up setting up an appointment to have a family home evening this week :) Crazy to see who the Lord puts in our path. 
         As for D&G.... AHHHH. We just don’t know what to do with them! This week they were reading in the Book of Mormon about the Lamanites when God put the curse on them to have a skin of blackness and of course, they weren’t happy about that. Gabriel straight up said, "I don’t believe it. I don’t believe God would do that." And Hermana Arce and I were just like uhhhh... Okay. This is awkward. But seriously, I love them SO stinkin much, but lately it just seems like they just want us to come over as friends, but that’s not our purpose. If they’re not gonna act on their faith, I don’t know what we´re supposed to do. We´re gonna try to have a lesson with them and the bishop about marriage though this week. Diana is always saying how much she believes in the Bible, and in the Bible marriage is a commandment, so we don’t know what’s holding her back. AHHHH. Yeah. I don’t even know. I just don’t want to screw it up, because they´re such a special family.
         This week we also had multizone conferences with President Rowley and that was great. What I really got out of it is how important our attitudes are. Yes, a mission is hard, but if we look for all the bad things it’s gonna be even harder. We have to have a good attitude! We have to be like, "Yes, the water in this shower is FREEZING cold, but hey at least we have somewhere to live" or "Yes, these mosquitos are eating me alive, but at least they’re not cockroaches" :) There is something good in every day. 
         Embarrassment for the week? It was a "had to be there" moment. We´re all walking and Hermana Arce almost biffs it and I start laughing and making fun of her when I biffed it SOOOO hard. Like laying face flat on the ground hard. Karma. (I’m not sure if that’s how you spell that word... But my English is awful now.) It wasn’t one of my brightest moments. Even better that we just happened to be walking in front of Real Plaza where there’s a ton of people. Great. Even more attention for the blonde American freak! Welp. That’s my week. Don’t have more time :( LOVE YOU ALLLLL! Have a great (hopefully boring) week :) 

Hermana Roper 

Monday, January 13, 2014

One Voice

       WOW. How amazing is our Father in Heaven? Words can’t even describe how grateful I am right now. I am so grateful everything is okay. Love you Ty! SO scary! But you’re right mom. Maybe we´ll never get an answer as to why things happen, but He knows. As hard as it is sometimes to trust in Him, sometimes it´s all we can do. It´s so hard to be in the mission during a time like this, but I know there´s not another place God would rather have me be. There’s nothing more I’d love to do than give you a HUGE hug right now, Ty, but just know I’m praying like crazy for you! You’re so strong. Our family is so blessed! 
       As for my week, since Monday I just felt worried, and I didn’t even know why. It didn’t help when Tuesday a Hermana came up to me and asked if I was okay and when I said, “Oh yeah, everything´s great,” she was like, "Well I had a dream about you that someone in your family died and I have been worried about you this week." WHAT?! Seriously? Haha so since Monday I just knew something had happened and just felt worried alllllll week. Good to know her dream didn’t come true though sheesh ;) But yes, I just had the strangest feeling all week, but am so grateful. 
       EDWARD SE BAUTIZÓ!! Saturday was his baptism, and Sunday he was confirmed :) As much as I love love love baptisms, this one had its stress haha. Nobody was in the church when we showed up. So we ended up hurrying and cleaning the room and the font and filling it and everything, when finally everyone showed up at 5:45.... 15 minutes before the baptism. Gotta love punctuality in Perú... Sometimes I wonder if they have watches? It was great though :) The spirit was so strong. The Bishop baptized him, and it was just great. He has made SO many changes in his life. I mean, remember when he was calling, asking us out on dates? Yeah...He´s come a long ways haha. He can be such a great example for his family and friends. It all starts with one person.
       I did have my share of embarrassment with him this week though. Okay so we had his final lesson before his baptism and we´re about to leave and a member, Isabel, says, "Here is where you´ll find your exaltation!" And then I go "Exactly! That is why we´re here. That´s our purpose here with you." Yeah... when she said "Exaltation" she meant his wife. She could've filled me in on that little detail! She explained to me afterwards that she said that because he can’t receive his exaltation unless he gets married in the temple. Good one, Hermana Roper. Good one. I’m pretty sure he thinks I'm here to be his wife now... Awesome. 
       We also have Richard that is getting baptized the 1st of February. I challenged him to baptism and everything went dead silent, and he was just staring at the ground for what felt like ten minutes and then said, "Yeah. I want to get baptized." WOOOO! This week we´re teaching the Word of Wisdom though so I´ll keep ya updated on that one ;)
       This week we also had a Reunión de Hermanas and I LOVE them! It´s so good to spend a day with all the Sisters in the mission :) Me, Hermana Boone, and Hermana Escalante sang a song called, "One Voice." Love that song! Not sure who it´s by, but it says something like "I am just one voice, but one voice can carry far" and I just love that. We´re all just one voice, but we can do so much. Jesus Christ was only one voice, and just look at all the miracles he performed. Yes, we´re just one voice, but gosh darn it we´re gonna be heard! 
       Hmm let´s see what else happened this week... Oh! I ate pig. Oh. My. Gosh. One of the biggest rules in the mission is that we don’t eat pig!! We ate at a member’s house and her husband walks in, starts eating and says, "Oh que rico, que es?" And his wife is all, "Chancho." Hermana Arce looked at me with the most scared face haha. We had already finished! Everyone else had chicken, except for us and her husband! But don’t worry :) I’m still alive :) 
       Also... There are SO many cockroaches here! They give me the creeps. They’re huge. I’m bringing some home for you all. I’m gonna start a collection. 
And...Drum roll please...The best part of the week!! We had FHE last night and one of the girls asked me, "You’re from Brazil, right?" I just started laughing thinking she was kidding. Nope! She really thought I was from Brazil! And this was after we taught the whole lesson so guess what that means?! She didn’t notice my lack of Spanish!! I was super happy about that :) 
       Welp. That’s about all I can think of for now. The heat is still killer, yes, but tell Aunt Sharon thank you for the little package :) We´ve been using those little neck coolers all week! Also I received tonssss of letters this week from everyone in the ward. Thank you SO much! I’m so blessed to have so much support. 
       Well, familia. Please don’t have another stressful, crazy week. And Tyson...Be careful! Your nice big hug will have to wait a little bit longer, but you’ll get it sooner or later :) I’m honestly so amazed at how blessed our family is. Heavenly Father has been so good to us. I know he has given us this experience to bring us closer to Him. Sometimes, like you said mom, he needs to let us know who´s in charge haha. Love you all so much! I don’t even know how to express how much I love you all. Have a great week!

Hermana Roper 

To Believe Is To Achieve

Hola Familia! :) 
       I’m pretty sure I’ve learned more this week than in my whoooole mission. Holy crap. Being a mom is hard work! We all know how bad I am at remembering things... Yeah, well this week guess who had to remember everything? Me! I’m not going to be a forgetful person when these 12 weeks are up haha. My new companion is Hermana Arce. She’s from Paraguay. Funny story... So we´re sitting here emailing and I have just barely realized where she’s from. In Spanish Paraguay sounds like Par-uh-why and I didn’t know how to spell it, so I just barely asked her and now I actually know where she’s from. Awesome haha. Anyway, she’s 19 and is great. She also struggles with the language a bit because they speak a different language in Paraguay with a little Spanish, so maybe I can learn three languages ;) But I KNOW companionships are inspired. It’s been a rough week adjusting for her. She misses her family like crazy just like I did, so I’ve been her shoulder to cry on this week. She’s really doing so great though. She has the desire to be here, and that’s what’s important. She’s also hilarious so we have gotten along great! :) I think I’ve learned more from her this week than she’s learned from me. Wow. Stressful, but I love it. 
       Hermano Edwin was baptized this week!! My favorite baptism in my mission. Edwin was always a little bit quiet, but we had him share his testimony afterwards and it was one of the most powerful testimonies I’ve heard. He said that before, he had friends that just used him for his money, but here, in the Church of Jesus Christ, he has found a family that loves him for who he is. Now if only he can convert his wife.... :)
       And what was even better was that Cesar and Edward were at his baptism. Edward is gonna get baptized this Saturday. And no we´re not goin on a date afterwards! Haha. But Edwin´s baptism got him a lot more excited. We´ll see what happens this week :) 
       And Cesar... Well I wanted to punch him. So here we are... I got Hermana Arce to challenge him to baptism and everything and guess what? He said... NO. That’s the first time I’ve had someone here say no to baptism lol. I told her before too, "Oh don’t worry, he’s ready. He might be a little shy about it, but I bet he says yes." Really Cesar? You couldn’t lie and say yes? So Hermana Arce was a little bummed haha but it’s all good. Oh! And that same day I had my first door just slammed in my face! Most of the time they just say, "Another day" or "I’m busy" but this time the girl just smiled and BAM. And then Hermana Arce says, (and this is why I love her) "Well, at least she smiled before the shut the door..." Yep. She’s a keeper. 
       We have a new investigator this week too that LOVES everything about the Plan of Salvation... Except Adam and Eve. Said that they weren’t real people, and that he wants to read in the Bible where Jesus himself is talking about them... I should have read the Bible more before my mission... Yep. BUT! He loves everything about the Plan. We taught the Kingdoms of Glory and he was like, "So... I’m a good person, but if I don’t get baptized I can only inherit El Reino Terrestre?" (Yep... That just happened. I can’t remember how to say that in English.) But we told him yes, and then we talked about Eternal Families and Temples and he goes, "So what do I have to do to enter into this temple of yours?" Well ya see Hermano José... First ya gotta enter into our waters of baptism... So yep. We´re working with him a lot :) 
       Probably the best thing this week though... ANDREA. I found one of my friends. Probably one of the coolest experiences I’ve had. Rosita (a member) was like, "I have this girl staying at my house that I think would like to hear about the Gospel" and me, being stressed training and running from appointment to appointment, kinda blew it off. We made our plans for the next day and everything and I didn’t think about it... But the next morning, I decided we should go stop by because Rosita is always helping us. Well we did and when she opened the door I just knew! SO cool. So we start talking with her a bit and she tells me, "When I opened the door I felt a strength I’ve never felt before. It’s like we knew each other before." That’s when I remembered the blessing President Bennion gave me that said I will meet people from the pre-existence and feel an immediate connection. It was so awesome! What’s sad is that she lives in Lima. She was only here for a week, but she said she´d keep in contact. I’m still shocked at how stinkin awesome it was. 
       I’ve been too stressed to have embarrassment this week (or too stressed to notice) but I have a thought. In our Ward Council the Bishop said, "El creer es poder." Which basically means, “To believe is to achieve”, but its way prettier in Spanish. I loved it though. If we believe in ourselves we can do it. As inadequate as I’ve felt this week, I have a belief that somehow everything is going to be just fine. Not sure how, but it will be :) 
       Anyway... Love you all so much! Have a great week! Hope Ty gets feeling better and that old fart of a dad of mine has a great birthday :) 

Hermana Roper