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!
|Ugh! Farmer's Tan!|
|Yes, I do wear this hat EVERY day :)|
|Such a sweet family :)|
|I love these sweet ladies!|