Monday, June 30, 2014

We Can Always Do Better

Hello there familia :) 
         Love the pictures! So jealous! I miss the temple! You´re all lookin great though :) And Haidyn... Didn’t I tell you to stop getting big?? Sheesh. You never listen. Lil punk. And Tyson... You look like a full grown man. What are you eating?!?! And mom... I can’t wait to wear all the cute clothes you´re buying haha. You all look great though :) 
         This week didn’t quite go as expected. We were all ready to work super hard and then my companion ended up on crutches all week. Soooo... That sucked. But it was still a good week :) What happened was that in her last area she hurt her foot. She went to the doctor to get it checked and he took one look at it and was like, "It’s fine," so we kept working. But then it swelled up and was all purple so we went to a different doctor and he was more of like, "Why have you just kept walking?!?" and told her she needs to rest 10 days. We couldn’t find members to help us do divisions so we were stuck in the room two days until we got some crutches. Crutches are kinda hard to use here though haha. She found that one out the hard way! It took us like 30 minutes to get from appointment to appointment buuuut we did what we could :)
         This week we did have Consejo de Lideres which I LOVE. I have no idea how to say that in English. Leaders Council?? Whatever. I have no idea. But it’s when the zone leaders and sister training leaders go to the mission home all day and learn good stuff :) It’s my favorite. This time we talked a lot about not giving up. As a mission, we didn’t reach our goals. Lots of missionaries ended up thinking they were bad missionaries or something, but that’s not it at all. President Rowley went to a training this week with Elder Oaks and Elder Oaks was like, "We don’t accept things as they are. We can always do better.” Then we talked a lot about the type of missionaries we want to be. President Rowley asked us, "How would you like to be remembered?" It really got me thinking though about the kind of missionary I´d like to be remembered as. Or the type of person. We have the opportunity to change every single day. We make decisions that we will be remembered for every day as well. We all should think about the person we´d like to be. I’ve been thinking a lot about that this week. Will I want to be the person I’ve become, when all is said and done?? I sure hope so :)
         So after Consejo de Lideres we take all the stuff we learn and have a zone meeting and teach it all to our zone. I’m still not a fan of teaching big groups of people. But to make it even worse, President Rowley decided to do a surprise visit to our meeting haha. It ended up going great though :) I do love the Zone Sullana :) Our zone leaders are super great. 
         Okay so the familia Grande is still great :) We had Family Home Evening with them last night. SOO fun! I haven’t had FHE be that fun in a long time. We ended the night with games and ended up all covered in flour and our stomachs hurt from laughing so hard. The bigger the family, the more fun right? Right! The best part of the night was that we found a new investigator! Andres :) He’s the only son out of the 10 that’s not a member. He was always telling us no though. He was always like, "I go to my church. I don’t want to listen." But last night as we´re leaving he asks us, "Hermanas. When are you coming back to teach me?? Tell me the day and the hour and I´ll be there." Whaaaat?! I was shocked! We´re gonna teach him Tuesday. I’m excited :)
         And I have a kinda funny story. Well, it wasn’t funny when it happened, but now I can laugh :) So we got a phone call Saturday (luckily we were in our room because we forgot something) from two Elders freeeaking out. They had a baptism scheduled and there was no water at their church. So they asked us to get ahold of the keys to the stake center (because who can say no to two sister missionaries?? ;) haha) so we did and went over to meet them at the church. We got the water running and were waiting for the Elders to show up so we could leave and go to another appointment. Well then a guy from the church walks in so we figured we could leave and he could watch over things. Wellllll little detail. We forgot to turn off the water... Yeah.... Good one. So the whole place was flooded. Another little detail... Stake conference was that same night, just an hour after the baptism... Yeah.... Reeeeal good one. Our poor mission leader walked into a flooded church and I guess everyone they could find was helping them clean haha. I felt so bad! Our mission leader just laughed though, thank goodness. Poor guy. I need to buy him chocolate or something. 
         Anyway, it was a good week :) This week we have multizone conference in Talara Saturday so that should be great. Hermana Rivera will be on crutches until Friday though so that’s a bummer. We´re hoping to get a little more done though, or get some more help from members. It should be a great week.
         Hope you all have a great week and never forget that I love you all more than you can imagine! :)

Hermana Roper 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Remember The Small Things

Hello there familia :)
         How’s everyone? Sounds like everyone is enjoying SUMMER! I freaking LOVE the picture of dad and Haidyn! I probably laughed for a good five minutes haha! SO funny! My family is so darn funny :) 
         This week was a lot better! I love Hermana Rivera. She’s the greatest! We’ve had so much fun this week. Things have changed lots! 
This week I felt like we were starting from scratch. After Sandra and Joel didn’t get married, Luz pretty much won’t accept a baptismal date and Michelli either. Sooo... There goes four investigators. I felt like the bad guy this week! We had a training this week and they pretty much said if the couple isn’t married, don’t waste your time unless you have a good reason. And as of right now Sandra and Joel aren’t getting married until they work out their problems. Sandra has alllll the lessons, so we can’t really add much more. Hermana Callizaya and I were always with the Cisneros family, but this week things have changed. We still visited them, but only once. We went for the second time and Luz was quite upset with me :( She said that since Hermana Callizaya left, we don’t love her anymore. That’s definitely not the case! But we´re not quite sure what else to do. We´ve decided to visit them once a week, and let the members help us out. When they want to progress, great :) But we don’t have time to lose! So that’s the deal with the Cisneros family right now. Gotta do what ya gotta do.
         That meant that Hermana Rivera and I had to find lots of new investigators. Lets just say we walked A LOT and talked to A LOT of people. At first, we didn’t really have much luck and we were both discouraged, but it all paid off :) We were visiting everyone and asking everyone for referrals. We ended up finding TWO families! :) We ended up finding one guy, Teodoro, who wanted nothing to do with us haha, but his two daughters were very interesting. Vanessa and Aracely and Vanessa’s daughter Ariana. Teodoro was a referral. His wife just passed away two weeks ago from cancer and he’s super sad. He’s mad at God though because he said God didn’t heal her. We were showing them pictures of our families and Aracely asked me, "Don’t you miss your mom?" and I was like, "Well, of course I do! But I know I´ll see her again soon."  Aracely said, "You have hope you´ll see her again. We don’t. We don’t get to see our mom again." So we started talking about eternal families and it was AWESOME. Teodoro didn’t want to listen, but we´ll work on him this week :) So sad to me to think people can actually believe eternal families don’t exist. How lucky we are to know that we can be together forever. :) 
         We´re also working a lot with less actives. There’s one family, the Saldarriaga Icanaque family that we´re workin with a lot. Yeah, their name is the hardest name to say! From day one I’ve called them Familia Grande haha. They know it, too, and always make fun of me. But they are a big family! 10 kids! Then the mom, dad, and I don’t even know how many grandkids. They’re all starting to come to church :) They fill up like two rows haha but it’s the best. Working with less actives is just as great as an investigator, and SO important. If we rescue this family, its more than 15 people that have come closer to Christ :) It´ll be awesome.
         No embarrassment this week, thank goodness. Sorry :) I have been thinking a lot this week about Alma 37 though. Read it! It’s one of my favorites. We can’t stop doing the small and simple things! God’s plan is the easy way. Sometimes we just complicate things. We can’t get lazy just because of the easiness of the way. The thing is though, is that when people fall away from the church or get involved in things they shouldn’t, it’s because they’ve stopped doing the simple things like praying, reading scriptures, ad going to church. It’s not that one day they just decide to be bad. It’s a process and it starts with the small things we do every day. I´ll admit it, before the mission I hardly ever read, and only prayed occasionally and it wasn’t that big of a deal if I skipped church. But I can see such a HUGE difference in my life doing these small things. The small things make a huge difference. :) Okay. I’m done. :)
         Out of time :( LOVE YOU ALL! Have the best week :) Don’t have too much fun yeah? ;) 

Hermana Roper 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Gotta Have Faith

Hellooooo everyone! :)
         I’m still here in good ole Sullana :) Hermana Callizaya, however, is not :( She got transferred. I’m with Hermana Rivera from Lima. I’m pretty sure we're gonna get along great :) We already seem to have a lot in common. It will be great!
         As for this week however.... It wasn’t all that great. Everything seemed to go wrong! I was sick, Sandra didn’t get married which means she didn’t get baptized, there wasn’t, and still isn’t, any water in Sullana, and then the craziness of transfers. It was alllll crazy! 
         Last Monday we ended up going out to eat as a zone. We went to some restaurant and guess who ended up getting sick? Me :( If anyone heard of a sister missionary throwing up in the middle of a lesson thaaaat would be me. Oooops. My bad. It was sooo embarrassing!! I felt sick before going into the lesson, but was just thinking, "Okay you can do this. Just make it through one more lesson and you can puke at home" buuuut no. We were having family home evening with the Cisneros Family and teachin about the Word of Wisdom, talking about how if we don’t do drugs or drink, we’ll be healthy and all that good stuff.  Then there goes Hermana Roper running out the door puking... AWESOME. And that, my friends, is how it’s done. Bam. 
         So embarrassing though! All week they’ve been laughing saying I've made my mark in their home. Reeeeal funny, guys, but actually no. I made my mark outside of your house behind your car...Haha. 
But I'm good now :) I was super sick all that night but our zone leaders came over the next day and gave me a blessing Turns out nobody else ended up getting sick either sheesh! 
         Anyway... After that nice start to the week it got even better. Wednesday (Yes, two days before the wedding) Sandra decided not to get married. I do see her point though. I don’t want her marrying him at this point either. They need to work things out. He’s great, but it’s not the time. I admire her so much though! She was willing to get married just so she could get baptized! But she finally opened up to us all the way Wednesday and told us about their relationship. She had always told us they had problems, but she shrugged it off like it was over with. There is definitely hope they’ll work it out though so that's good:) It's because the wedding was planned for Friday the13th! ;) The Elders in our district keep telling me they didn't get married because they were scared I’d throw up at their wedding like I did at their house... Reeeal funny. Let’s just all make fun of Hermana Roper... 
         Oh and last, but not least, NO WATER. Nothing. There still isn’t any. Two days without a shower and we finally had to travel to the other sister’s apartment to shower lol. They definitely don’t mention these little things about missionary work in the Liahona! But... It’s all good :) Who needs showers nowadays? Not us! ;)
         As discouraged at  as I was this week, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve been thinking a lot about faith this week. Everything we do is by faith. Every day isn’t gonna be great. Things aren’t always gonna work out, but if we have faith, then we have hope that one day we’ll understand why. If we have faith though, we have to DO something. Faith is more than just believing. Everyone has heard that faith moves mountains. It really does. Faith moves mountains, but sometimes God just gives us a shovel. We have to do OUR part. Even when we don't understand why. With Hermana Sandra, I have no idea why any of this happened, but I have faith it will work out so we’re gonna keep working and teaching her and praying for her. If we have faith we will always act. So at times when we don’t understand the reasons for things, we just need to have faith and keep hoping that one day we will. It will alll work out :) 
         Welp. This week will be better :) I’m excited for this transfer! Hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Roper 

Monday, June 9, 2014

I Know God Loves Me

Hello everyone :) 
         Another week gone by! Transfers are next Monday and I can’t even believe it. I’m not sure what will happen but we will see what the Lord has planned :) 
         It was a great week. Marcos got baptized! I was so excited for this baptism. He was an investigator that wanted it SO bad. He honestly gave up everything. But when we got there, NOBODY was there. It was awful. It was us, two other Elders in the ward, and Marcos. The Elders took off to a payphone to call members and a few ended up showing up.... Two hours later. We sat there with him and I just wanted to cry for him. But the thing that amazed me was that he wasn’t sad one bit. It wasn’t important to him who was there. He was getting baptized and that’s all that mattered to him. What an example! Seriously. He was also confirmed Sunday. He came in the first time in his nice shirt and suit pants :) He couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. Love it!
         We also had exchanges and it was a blast :) I was with Hermana Finlinson from Utah. She is hilarious! We stayed up waaaay too late just laughing. (Shhh don’t tell anyone.) The next day we were so tired, buuuut oops. haha. One thing we learned is how awful our English is! We could not remember how to say "cliff hanger." We went around all day saying "hang cliffer" and it sounded right to us haha. My English is so bad. I’m pretty sure if I take an English class when I get back I’m going to fail. No doubt about it. 
         Anyway... As of now Sandra is still getting married Friday. She has her baptismal interview Thursday. We are praying like crazy for Hermana Luz. She still doesn’t know what to do. We'll see what happens. 
         We also found a family!! :) Cristel is a member. She’s 19 and super active. She introduced us to her sister who’s 13 and wants to get baptized. We went over and met the whole family. There’s also the mom, Mary, another sister, Yovani that’s nine years old, and Carlos who is ten. The first night there Mary told us that our message was great and all, but that it would be really difficult for her to change. Well, we went the next day and the WHOLE family accepted to be baptized! There’s only a small detail. Okay, it’s a big detail. Her "husband" is married.... To another lady.  Yep. I even asked her how long she had been married. I was suuuper specific and she told me 15 years. So then my companion asked where she got married (because they tend to lie and say they’re married when they’re not...) and then the truth came out. She said she’s willing to get married though so she can get baptized. They’re an amazing family! I don’t want transfers :(
         One thing that made my entire week was my interview with President Rowley. It just happened to be on June 5th. What a great way to celebrate the one-year mark eh? But it was amazing. He asked me why I loved my mission. So I told him I love my mission for lots of reasons, but mostly because of the person it’s made me become. And then he just looked at me with those huge, loving eyes and was like, "Who are you now?" Such a simple question, but wow, it sure made me think. I think a lot of the time when someone asks who we are we just say our name and where we’re from, but to stop and think about who we are is different. I feel like I’m someone who is a lot more confident. I know God loves me. I know I’m not perfect, but hey who is? 
         We also talked about goals. My goal from the last interview was to improve my prayers. I told him that I was doing better. I said I feel like my Heavenly Father knows me a lot better. Then he just stared at me (Yes, with his big, loving eyes) and said, "Your Heavenly Father knew you before. He’s known you all along. Maybe now you've just come to know Him." Yep. That definitely went in my journal that night. It was one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard! 
         My goal for this next transfer is to follow the Spirit,. Sometimes I second guess myself and don’t follow promptings but President Rowley told me, "If we don’t care who gets the credit, we will accomplish miracles." Isn’t he awesome??
         I’m almost out of time. I love you all so much! Have the best week! 

Hermana Roper 

P.S. Today is Riccardo’s birthday. Guess what he’s askin his mom for? To be baptized!! Please pray for him too :) Okay? Thanks :) 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Happy One-Year Anniversary!

Hello there everyone :) 
         It feels like I just sent an email yesterday haha this week has FLOWN. It’s been a crazy one. And yes, mom, transfers are soon :( The 16th so we still have 2 weeks left. But it’s gone by so fast! Hermana Callizaya goes home in one more transfer :( And then I´ll be home soon after. Ahhh I don’t like it! Love what you wrote though about enjoying every minute. I’m definitely trying my best. I´ll work a little harder though to enjoy every cold shower ;) haha the shower is even colder now! It’s a little cold at night here. A LITTLE cold, not much colder. But the water is LOTS colder haha. I´ll enjoy it though while I can :)
         So much has happened this week! Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE the Cisneros Family? Well I do! Turns out that Sandra can’t get married this week because we had to go 8 days before... And we went 7 days before gosh dang it. But she’s getting married next Friday, the 13th. She hasn’t caught on yet though that she’s getting married on Friday the 13th so shhh! Her husband would totally be the type to not get married just because that day is bad luck haha. We have made sure not to say Friday or 13th in the same sentence when talking about it :) 
         The whole wedding deal has stressed us out though. I was in a different area with exchanges but I guess Sandra called off the wedding one day and said they decided they didn’t want to get married. We went back the next day when I got back to Sullana and she said they were in a fight, but now the wedding is back on. We seriously need all the prayers we can get with these two lol. We just need to make it to the 13th! They’re getting married the 13th and the 15th is her baptism :) right before transfers, just like she promised :) Her husband is so stubborn sometimes though. The ward offered to pay for everything. Wedding, reception, EVERYTHING and he said that he didn’t like that someone else is paying for their wedding. Now they’re gonna have a little ceremony and nothing else. I’m good with anything as long as they get married :) 
         Luz is also SO great! She’s had a rough life. She opened up a lot to us this week and told us about her childhood and how she was beat and how her husband had a lot of women and just awful stuff. Seriously. I don’t know how she’s so great with all she’s been through. But guess what?! I was sitting by her in Sacrament yesterday and she leans over and whispers, "Hermana Roper. God answered my prayers about baptism." She wants to get baptized with Sandra!! :) Finally! 
         Here’s a little bit of the crazy part though. Her other daughter, Michelli, has lots of problems. She came back to live with her parents like a month ago and has been really sick. Well, now we know the reason. She’s pregnant. She got pregnant by some guy in Lima. It’s been so hard for her mom. A few weeks ago Luz told me, "If I had met you two sooner, things would have been so different" and I didn’t know why she said that, but now we know. She’s been super sad these past few weeks. Nobody knows though except for us, Sandra, and Luz. 
         Anyway, Michelli called us Saturday night after we had left their house just bawling and was like, "Hermanas PLEASE pray for my family. Something bad is gonna happen, I know it." Yep. We were freaked out. Then we got a call at midnight from Sandra. Michelli is suuuper sick and has been in the hospital. We haven’t seen her since, but Michelli wants to change too. She told us that she wants to join the church, but she doesn’t know how to change. Told you guys it was a crazy week. For real. But she’s better now :) 
         Okay hmm... What else has happened... Oh! Marcos! :) Did I ever tell you about him? Well he’s 20 and the one who is meeting with us behind his parents’ backs... Yep. He’s SO great. He’s getting baptized Wednesday. Yep, super fast! He was like, “Hermanas I want to get baptized!” And we told him we had to teach him a few more things and he goes, "Things like what? Ask me questions. I know the answers." And he did. He knew everything... Except about the part that we shouldn’t work on Sundays. He had no idea. So we taught the lesson Friday about Sundays. We shared our testimonies and he just wasn’t ready to give up working on Sundays. So we brought in another Elder that just happened to be in the church at the same time. Elder Huaripaucar (Yeah. Try sayin that name lol it took me a month to get it down) but he shared a powerful testimony. He gave up his job to be baptized and everything worked out for the better. After this testimony Marcos says, "Bueno... I’m gonna do something I’ve never done before. I’m not gonna work on Sundays." He was supposed to renew his contract Friday, and he didn’t. How amazing is that?! He has such faith. He now has no job. He´s a little worried, but says he knows everything will be okay. 
         A cool thing also happened yesterday. We realized that after the Cisneros family, we have pretty much nobody progressing. Yesterday we were bummed because we had only found one investigator all week. We knew that wasn’t okay. So we went out finding new investigators. Nobody wanted to listen though. I won’t lie, I felt discouraged. It was hot, we were sweaty, we were tired, and nobody would even accept a pamphlet. I remember standing at one door and just saying a prayer in my mind, "Please Heavenly Father. Just let us find ONE person today." Then we both said we weren’t going to return to the room until we found someone. (Unless it was 9:30, of course) We decided to go to an area we had never been and ended up finding two great investigators :) It was so great. It was just another testimony builder that God is aware of us. We might be only two missionaries in the world, but he cares about the work we are doing here. 
         Anyway, out of time :( Love you all soooo much! See you in 6 months! Happy one year! Have a great week! :)

Hermana Roper