Monday, February 24, 2014

I LOVE Peru!

Hola Familia! :)
Yep... I’m now 20 years old! That’s right ;) Everyone here thinks I’m 26... So that’s just great. But it was a great birthday week :) I’m glad Danella sent mom pictures because I knew she´d have a rough day :( BUT don’t even worry, mom. I had a suuuuper birthday :) I didn’t think many people knew when my birthday was... Wrong. Apparently everyone here knows my name too because they’ve all been Facebook stalking haha but anyway... Everyone knew! We went to go eat lunch, like we do every day, and our pensionista, Berny, ended up having cake and Inca cola waiting and tons of food! One tradition here that I didn’t know of is biting the cake. Mariela held the cake up to my face and everyone was like, "You have to bite it!" I had no idea what was going on, or why I had to bite it, but I went to take a bite and my nice, lovely companion shoved my face in it... Yep. Now I know. They usually smash eggs on peoples’ heads too when its their birthday, but luckily I made it through the day without a single egg smashed on my head :) 
Then we went to teach Cesar and he had chifles, King Kong (which is delicious), and more Inca Cola waiting for me :) Then we went to the Bustamante Family and they had more food waiting and gave me a super pretty necklace :) They sang happy birthday in English, Spanish, and then Guarani (I have no idea how to spell that... But that’s the language Hermana Arce speaks). It was a great birthday :) I was very taken care of here! Although I wasn’t with you all, which was a bummer, I felt like I had a family here. I absolutely LOVE this area! I don’t want to leave. 9 more months here pleeeeease?! 
I don’t have much time to write, but we did have one cool story with a convert, Edward. We were trying to think about what we needed to teach him, and decided to emphasize the Book of Mormon. We had him write his testimony in a new Book of Mormon so we could give it to another investigator and they could have it and read his testimony. I translated it (or tried...) for you all in English. He said, "In my life I had many hard trials. One of them was the loss of a loved one... My dad. After he passed away I was left in charge of my home and felt the sadness and loneliness would consume me. It was because of this I opted to go out with my friends on the weekends to drink and party so I wouldn’t feel alone. Nevertheless, there was something in me that said this wouldn’t take me anywhere. Then one day I opened my door to the missionaries asking for a woman that was renting one of my apartments. This happened two times and the third time I decided to ask them when their meetings were. They gave me the day and hour and offered to bring me their teachings. But I had a question. Why would these two girls come from so far away to preach and walk all day and decide to stay in Piura? The answer: faith in God. Through this book I have found many answers to many questions and was able to strengthen my faith. I felt at peace. That was how I made the decision to get baptized. When I got baptized my life changed. Now I feel like every day I grow closer to God by keeping the commandments and praying every day. God gives us trials, but every day he gives us blessings. Sometimes we just don’t notice them. I bear testimony of this book that has helped me strengthen my faith and bring my heart closer to God." Super great huh? It’s amazing what a small testimony can do. We gave the book to a girl we´re teaching and all she had to say was, "I NEED to read this book." One testimony makes all the difference! Everyone needs to get a hold of a Book of Mormon, write your testimony and give it to someone. If you don’t want to give it to someone yourself, give it to the missionaries. DO IT! :) His testimony made the difference. 
As for our other investigators... Cesar is getting baptized Friday! He’s super excited :) And Julio on the 15th :) 
Can I just say I LOVE Peru?! Last night we had a huge rainstorm and it was probably the best thing ever was to run outside with Hermana Arce screaming and running through puddles :) I love this place! These are moments I’m never going to be able to live again. Sometimes I find myself stressed and worried, but sometimes we just need to all take a breath, look around, and realize how amazing life really is. I love my life!
Hope you all have a great week! Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes :) LOVE YOU ALL! 

Hermana Roper 

Ugh!  Farmer's Tan!

Yes, I do wear this hat EVERY day :)

Such a sweet family :)

I love these sweet ladies!

Monday, February 17, 2014

It's In the Small Things :)

Hello there Roper family! :)
         Glad to hear everyone had a pretty good week :) Our week here was great! Richard was baptized! :) It was so great. The baptism was Friday at 5 and he showed up at 4:30, got dressed in white, and sat and waited for everyone to show. He was SO excited! He couldn’t even stop smiling :) He was sharing his testimony afterwards and said, "Before I felt empty. I felt alone. Now I feel happy." Awww :) Love him! (In a totally not weird way...) He has changed so much! What was super funny was the cake we ordered. So I forgot that here everyone is Catholic and baptisms are usually for babies... Well when she asked me what I wanted the cake like, I told her it was for a boy´s baptism... Well, we picked up the cake Friday and it had little blue baby booties! How embarrassing! So we somehow scraped off the booties before he saw... It’s the thought that counts right? It was a super great baptism though. 
         We found thee most amazing family! The “C” family. (Their last name means green house in English so I almost laughed when they told me their name) There´s “M”, “N”, and their little girl “E”. We´re gonna baptize an entire family! They have a baptism date for the 15th. I’ve never met such a strong family here on my mission. They’ve both had the hardest lives. Both have a rough family situation. He doesn’t have a job right now, and they’re living with her mom who is less than pleasant to say the least... “N” was telling us of one experience growing up. He said that his mom told him and his brothers that if they didn’t do their jobs, they didn’t eat. His brothers never worked or did their jobs, so they didn’t eat. Well, “N”, being SO stinkin awesome would wake up every day at 4 in the morning, do their jobs, so he could do his jobs too, and then they could all eat. They are a family that gives and gives, even though they don’t have enough for themselves. So prepared! (They’re the family with the glasses that I sent you)
         We also had stake conference this weekend. I’m not sure why I never went to stake conference before my mission haha cause it was great! One thing our stake president said was that we need to be more grateful. "We are always noticing the things we don’t have. When we notice the things we have, the Lord will make up for what we don’t have." So true! It seems so much easier to complain sometimes, when we really have so much to be grateful for. 
         President Rowley also talked and he said, "We can change the lives of many people by doing the small things." This is also true. Sometimes we want to make big changes in our lives, or change other peoples’ lives, but its not possible all in one day. If we do the small things we´re going to change lives, including our own. 
         I honestly just love this area SO much! It’s weird because at first in the mission I felt weird, and out of place, and now when I think about home, I feel like I’m gonna feel even more weird and out of place! I just love the mission. I love seeing people change. I love seeing myself change. I don’t want to leave this area! The bishop told us, "You have changed this ward. In all of 2013 we had one single baptism. We now have had 3 this year in less than two months. Thank you for the work you’re doing." Aww :) Our bishop is the best. Some days I don’t feel like I’m making a difference, but I can see that the small things really do count :)
         My question this week is when will the embarrassing Spanish stories stop?! I’ve been here 9 months almost and still can’t speak right! Haha Hermana Arce has already spent all her money for the week... Elder Caño, Elder Don’t Know His Name, Juan, Richard, and I were all making fun of her. Well what I wanted to say was, "Va a morir de hambre" which is "You’re gonna die of hunger" but one stinkin letter changes the whole meaning and I accidentally said, "Va a morir de hombre" which means "You’re gonna die of man." ALL week everyone has been makin fun of me. "EVERYONE is always like Hey Hermana Roper! Va a morir de hombre?" Reeeeeal funny, guys. Real funny. NOT. One day I will conquer Spanish! But for now I’m the ward joke...
         Welp no more time :( Love you all so much! :) Have a great week!:)

Hermana Roper 

Monday, February 10, 2014


Buenas Tardes familiaaaa :) 
        Glad you all had a great week :) My week here was great too. People were NOT lying when they said it's hotter in February. I am gross and sweaty ALL the time! But it really was a great week :) We´ve had a lot of neat experiences here.
        Hermana Arce is learning so much every day. We´re halfway through her training already! It´s seriously flying! We had a training in the mission home this week with all the new missionaries and trainers and I've gotta say, I love my daughter :) All of the other trainers were asking things like, "What do I do if my companion complains allllll the time?" or "What do I do if my companion wont listen to me?" and here I am like... "What do I do if my companion just doesn't like to learn English?" She is amazing! Yes, she's still learning a lot, but I came away from the training just thankful for how awesome she is. 
        Like I said, we´ve had some really spiritual experiences this week. My testimony of prayer has been strengthened SO much this week! Saturday seriously ALL of our plans fell through. So there we were standing in the middle of the road with one hour left to teach. We honestly had no idea where to go. So I turned to Hermana Arce and said, "How about we say a prayer?" So we did. Right in the middle of the street. Cars honkin, people screamin stuff in Spanish, but it didn't even matter. We ended the prayer and just stood there for a sec..... D&G. We hadn't visited them all week. So we went to visit them. We´ve visited Diana a bit but Gabriel has been working a lot. Well he was there! At first I was super excited, but it didn't take long to see that he didn't really want us there. He was SO different. He tried tellin us everything was fine, but when he left to talk on the phone for a sec Diana told us that they're not okay. He wants Diana to work during the day, but she doesn't want to leave her little boy. Pretty much Diana wants to go to church. She came to the Talent Show and said she hasn't had that much fun in a long time :) But Gabriel doesn't want to. It´s sad, really. They're not the same people. I'd love to say they came to church Sunday, but once again, no. I'm not sure what to do, but I know God listens. He answered our prayer. Maybe Gabriel didn't want us there Saturday, but Diana needed us. God answers prayers! We just have to listen. 
        Now for some happy news! Richard is getting baptized Friday... On Valentines Day! Haha but he has changed a lot. He finally decided to pray with real intent! He prayed about the Book of Mormon and that night had a dream. He said in the dream he was wearin a shirt that said, "Soy Mormon" which is "Im a Mormon" :) He has a testimony!
        Cesar is so great too! Such a different person. Ive never seen someone change so much. This week he told us "Im so grateful to you both. You have changed my life. I feel good. I feel happy." Thats what its all about. He should be baptized the 28th :)
        Julio also has a baptism date for the 28th, but the problem with him is that he only wants to meet once a week. If he wants to get baptized he has to have more lessons! Haha but hes great. He already is giving out Books of Mormon to his friends and told us hes ready to defend his religion. Gotta keep workin with him for sure :) 
        We also have gotten so many references from the ward :) Just yesterday we had 4! We have 7 people who want to get baptized... Richard, Cesar, Billy and Maricarmen (they're new. Were gonna teach them for the first time tonight), Kiara (she's 10 and her mom's a member), Julio, and Harold. 
        Funny story about Harold. We taught him yesterday and he said he had talked with missionaries before, but he knew so much! He has a friend in our ward. So we talked with him, he said he wanted to get baptized and assist our Ward instead of his ward, and we set up an appointment this week. Well we ask him, "Which Elders taught you?" and he says, "Elder Caño and Elder Julcapoma" Elder Caño is our District Leader haha! We called Elder Caño and told him about it and he was pretty much like, "What the heck Hermanas?!" Pretty much we stole his investigator and we didn't even know it haha. When we told him he wants to get baptized, Elder Caño was in shock. I guess Harold wasn't assisting at all with them, and then Sunday just showed up to our ward wanting to be baptized :) But props to them. They taught him real good... He knew a lot ;) haha. 
        Something I've learned this week is that we have to do our part. I was SO bummed Friday. We went to visit a family and didn't teach as much as we had planned. We barely taught! They just kept changing the subject and talking about random things. A lot of people do this, but usually we can turn the conversation around, but not this time. I was SO frustrated with myself! I was just mad because I didn't feel like I did my job as a missionary. I also felt like I wasn't being a good enough trainer and example for Hermana Arce. I usually am pretty calm and all, but I was so bummed Friday. Hermana Arce was probably scared of me haha. She was finally like, "Tiene que tener paciencia con usted misma" which is, "You have to have patience with yourself." It was exactly what I needed to hear. Nobody is perfect. Every missionary has strengths and weaknesses. Every missionary has lessons that just don't go as planned. I need to stop stressing out so much, but try to improve every day. I have to do my part. It's not enough to just be in the mission. Sometimes we think that just by being here we´re goin to see miracles. But no. We have to do our part first. I have to work every single day to turn alllllll my weaknesses into strengths. I seriously struggle so bad having patience with myself, but Hermana Arce is right :)
        Welp. Time to goooo. LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Have a great week!

Hermana Roper

P.S. Thanks Grandma for the package! LOVED it and LOVE you!

P.S. number two! Brenna Ballard.... If you read this, I just barely got your letter Friday, and I know you enter the MTC Wednesday so I have no time to write back :( Sorry I couldn't help much! See you in 6 weeks! :) 

Monday, February 3, 2014

I Am Good Enough :)

Familia :) 
         Glad you all had a great week :) It was good here too! The weeks are flying. 
         This week Richard didn’t get baptized which is a bummer :( We were going over baptism questions with him and asked him if he believed Jesus Christ was our Savior or if Joseph Smith was a prophet and he said, "Puede ser" which means "Could be, I guess" pretty much. Soooo he needs to gain a stronger testimony first. He has changed a TON, but he thinks that baptism is first. He needs to repent and then get baptized. Maybe two more weeks. 
         We also had a talent show this week that was good :) Guess who played piano? ME! I don’t even know who I am anymore... And if anyone´s interested, I’m teaching piano Saturdays at 4 ;) Seriously. Who am I?!  But the talent show was great! We had Cesar, Richard, Edward, Bertha, Diana, Alex, and the “B” Family there. Love it! :) Our ward needs to start having talent shows like theirs! These people can DANCE! It was a little hard to not start dancing with them... 
         The best part of the night though was that the “B” Family was there. Can I just say I love that family? I’m not sure if I’ve told you about them. May is a member, but left the church when she got married. Well, just so happens she had a dream of her dead sister. In the dream she was looking for her grave, and couldn’t find it. Then her sister said to her, "Why are you looking here? I don’t live here. Come to my house" and then led her to her house which happened to be the church here in Piura. Then Hermana Escalante and I knocked on her door after she had this dream, and she let us in. She said the day we met her she had told her daughter and husband that she felt like she was gonna meet someone that day, and they just laughed it off, but that was the day we met her. So pretty much God is amazing. I know that there’s a reason we knocked on her door that day. But yeah, they came to the talent show and Hermana May felt the spirit SO strong. All of her childhood memories came flooding back and she was in tears. They are such a special family! 
         Cesar was also at the talent show... DANCING! What is happening here in Piura Central?! He´s a funny bugger now haha. Love lessons with him! 
         Diana came too, but not Gabriel. Not sure what’s goin on with Gabriel. He’s never home, and always working. We´re gonna try to talk to him this week. 
         Okay so here’s my embarrassing story... Probably not blog appropriate, but whatever. So there’s this word in Spanish... Pijamada. It means “sleepover” and usually in Spanish J makes an H sound. So I thought it was pronounced like Pee-huh-mod-uh. NOPE. For some reason this word is different. It’s like Pee-juh-mod-uh. Well... Smartie pants Hermana Roper first of all forgot the whole word and I was just saying pija which sounds like pee-huh... Well... Wanna know what that word means in Spanish? This is how Hermana Arce finally explained it to me after I had said it wrong 3 TIMES in front of people! She said "Es el miembro de un hombre" which means "It’s the member of a man." I had been saying this word and she didn’t tell me anything! You could say Edward laughed quite a lot at that one... I don’t think my face has ever been so red. Awesome. That’s my embarrassment of the week.... 
         I’ve really learned a lot this week, but the biggest thing I’ve learned is that I AM good enough. When this whole thing happened with Richard I just couldn’t help but think maybe I’m not a good enough teacher? Or maybe I didn’t study enough? Or maybe if a different missionary was teaching him he’d be baptized? I just felt super inadequate! But then I just had the thought, "Just love them." I just need to love the people! Sometimes all they need to know is that someone cares about them. I need to stop thinking about myself, and what I should do, and just think about THEM. If I love them, I’m going to do all I can to help them, and the rest is up to them. Sometimes I just want to make people change! But that´s not God´s plan. They have to make the decision. I am called of God. I am called of a prophet. I AM good enough :) 
         Well familia :) Hope you all have a great week! I love you all so much, and am so grateful I have an eternal family. Thank you for EVERYTHING. I don’t know how I got so lucky. LOVE YOU!

Hermana Roper