Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm Still Here in Sullana!

Hello there family :) 
         Guess who’s gonna have 6 months in Sullana?! Meeeee! I’m still shocked! Eeeeveryone was pretty much packin my bags for me and telling me bye haha. Suckers! I’m still here ;) I’m super excited about it though :) Its suuuuper unusual in the mission that a missionary is in two areas in a row 6 months. One year in two areas haha love it :)
         I’m still here with Hermana Rivera as well, which I’m excited about. We have lots of fun together :) We’re also motivating each other to diet. We were thinking no more cookie dough, or Inca kola, or chocolate.... And then I received your package mom haha. LOVED it though! Made my whole week :) We are doing the 18 weeks to sexy sister missionary diet though lol. It should be six months to sexy, but I kinda blew that one by two months so now its the 18 weeks to sexy sister missionary diet. We started today.... We'll see if we make it through the week haha.
         This week was crazy busy with intercambios. Everyone has been going to Lima for their visa and we had to change everything around and ended up doing three intercambios this week. Crazy? YES. I love intercambios though. I always learn so much more from the other sisters. This week I was with Hermana Celis from Chile and Hermana Stringham again :) She’s the greatest! We spent most of the time laughing. She is hilarious! She will still be here in Sullana... Training! I’m excited for her! I wanted to train again :( Maybe my last two transfers...
         This week we have seen miracles though. Guess who has a baptismal date?! SANDRA! She is finally done with Joel and is getting baptized next week! She was supposed to get baptized this Thursday but didn’t come to church... Dang. But it’s all good. We’re really trying to work with Luz but she just doesn’t want to accept a date. She said she will be baptized but doesn’t know when. Come on, Hermana Luz! Get baptized already! God has a plan though. 
         Karin and Jimmy are also getting married :) I guess in the mission they’re doing a huge free wedding :) What are the chances of that? We’re so excited! They’ve never done something like this, but it’s so great. I’m not sure when the wedding will be. They all came to the activity this week. It was so great to see them at the church :) They don’t even have money for a moto on Sundays so they sell corn on the cob on Saturdays to make money to come to church. How awesome is that? I’ve learned with them that if someone really wants to change and come to church, they will find a way to do it.
         Her sister-in-law Miriam, though, is struggling. Her husband doesn’t want to get married. We went Sunday to pick them up for church and he had come home drunk the night before and beaten her soooo bad! It was awful. So she’s taking her kids to live with her mom. She wants to get baptized though so we'll see what happens this week. It was so sad to see her Sunday though. We ended up finding a way to take all her boys to church Sunday though. Hermana Rivera and I looked like moms with all our little kids around us Sunday haha. There were six of them! All of Karin’s kids and Miriam’s lol. And to top it all off, we got there late and had to sit in the very front row.... It was quite the sight...
         Sunday in church though, I learned something :) No basta saberlo, sino hacerlo :) A guy was giving his talk and I just loved what he said. It’s not enough for us to know something, but to do it. It’s so true! We can know it all, but until we actually do something, it means absolutely nothing. Knowing something and doing it are two different things. We can know we need to read the scriptures, or we can actually do it. We can know we need to go to church, or we can actually do it. We can know we need to be like Christ, or we can actually do it. We need to just do it! 
         Okay no embarrassment this week but I have another Peruvian belief! It’s a good one! Okay, so we’re with Mariel (Who is doing great by the way) and her baby (Who is adorable by the way) got the hiccups. She then says, "If you cut out a piece of newspaper, wet it with your spit, and stick it on your forehead, the hiccups go away." HAHAHA seriously?! Then my companion agrees with her! Like, seriously people?! She didn’t have any newspaper though so her poor baby was stuck with the hiccups... Ahhh man. So funny though lol
         Also today is Independence Day here. Guess what that means? Even more drunks than usual! We went out running this morning and there were already drunks on the street whistling and saying things I still don’t understand after a year here in Peru... Tonight should be interesting ;)
         Anyway, love you all so much! Time is going to fast and I'll be with you all before I know it! 3 more transfers ahhhh! How did 18 months turn into just 18 weeks SO fast? So crazy. Hope you all enjoy your week! Chowww :)

Hermana Roper 


Monday, July 21, 2014

He Will Always Help Us Out

Hello there crazy family :) 
         Love the pictures, as always! Looks like Haidyn is the only one enjoying Summer though lol. What is everyone else doin?? 
         This week was a good one. Went by fast, as usual, but that’s how it is every week. Can you believe transfers are already next week?? I have a feeling I’ll be leaving this area :( But if not, I’d be a happy camper. It seems like we finally have such great investigators. I don’t want to leave them, but that’s how the mission is...
         Vanessa, Aracely, and Mariel all accepted baptism, but not a date yet. Hopefully this week. We also have Karin and Jimmy that really started progressing :) Karin has always wanted to be baptized from day one, but isn’t married so we didn’t think much of it. Then we taught her husband. The first night he straight up told us he didn’t believe any of what we were telling him. We invited him to pray about it though and left. The next night we come back and he changed completely! He read the Book of Mormon and loved it. He did admit he has a little drinking problem, but is willing to change. I learned a lesson teaching them though. Hermana Rivera is so great at looking for the best in people. I won’t lie, sometimes I judge. When I met Karin and Jimmy I thought, "They’re not going to ever progress." Wrong. I need to look at people the way God sees them. I really love that about my companion. If it weren’t for her, Karin and Jimmy wouldn’t be progressing at all. It’s a trait I’m now trying to work on more. They’re great though :)
         We also found Jorge Louis again yay! He has actually been asking everyone if they could tell us to come visit him. We have gone so many times and he was never there. It’s been almost a month since we last saw him! We found him this week though and he is sooo different! He has been reading like crazy! I think the distance from us is what he needed to really realize what he needs to do. He told us, "I really missed my hermanas" haha. He came to church Sunday and stayed all three hours. He’s a keeper :)
         I also had a Flashback Friday kind of thing :) I got to go back to Piura! I almost cried I was so happy :) Wanna know the greatest thing ever? Almost every convert is still active in the church. Richard has a calling. Julio is just the greatest. Edwin is still attending. And Cesar is just going through a hard time. Edward is the only one who isn’t goin to church. He pretty much has fallen off the face of the earth. They can’t really seem to find him. 
         It was funny though because we had an appointment with Edwin, and Julio was gonna be there too to help. Julio walks in and sees me at the end of the hall, stops walking, stares for a minute at us, looks down at his Book of Mormon and screams, "Hermana Roper! I’m reading my Book of Mormon!" haha. I was alllllways on his back about reading and he was so proud that he was reading lol. He said that every time he wants to do something bad or drink, he sees my face telling him no haha. Whatever works I guess! 
         Cesar, though, is just hurt. I guess a member stood up in priesthood and said, "Is there anyone that can buy this guy a nice white shirt to wear to church?" and Cesar was super embarrassed :( He hasn’t come to church in three weeks because of it. We tried to go see him three times but he wouldn’t come out. Julio was like, "Hermana Roper is here to save the day!" ha but he still wouldn’t come out of his house for me.... :( He’s reeeeeally mad. Poor guy.  Annnnd D&G aren’t even listening to the missionaries any more, dang it. 
         While I was in Piura we met a woman named Karina. She honestly lives in a single room. I was SO humbled. She has nothing. Her husband is cheating on her. She has a 5 month old baby. And she has no job. She has a degree and everything but she can’t leave her kid alone. She’s super worried because her son is goin to start eating soon and she has no food for him. She says every once in a while her mom brings her food to eat, but that if it weren’t for her mom they would starve to death. As she sits in this room all day, her husband is out buying his other woman whatever she wants, while his baby boy doesn’t even have diapers. It was honestly one of the saddest cases I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a lot in the last year. The thing that was amazing though was her faith. She was like, "Other moms might give their kid away or do bad things to earn money. I won’t, though. I’m not a bad person. I know God exists, and will help me. I just have to make it through the hard times, but I know there will be an end to my suffering." She is amazing! I just came away wanting to be such a better person. As I complain about little things, there are people that live off of basically nothing. We are so blessed. But like Karina, we all need to recognize that God does exist, and that no matter how hard times get, He will help us out. 
         I don’t have much time left. It always goes by so fast! I had a funny story, but no time. So I’ll tell you a funny Peruvian belief my pensionista told me this week.  She said if a woman tries to make a cake while she’s pregnant, it won’t work. Where the heck do they come up with this stuff?! Oh man. I love Peru. 
         Anyway, have the best week! Love you all so much :)

Hermana Roper 

Monday, July 14, 2014

One Decision

Hello there family :) 
         It was a great week here. It had its share of craziness, but we made it through haha. To answer your questions, yep I made it to Lima :) It was a fun time. I always love my gringa time with the Sisters. We have the best Sisters here. And I’m finally legal!! Only took over a year to receive my passport... haha. But whatever :) 
         Funny story about the whole Lima trip... If it weren’t against the rules to touch an Elder we would have beaten up Elder Cook by now. Now that I think about it though, if we beat him with a Book of Mormon it wouldn’t actually be touching him right?... Right. Anyway... So he calls Sunday and tells us we need to be at the airport at 7 in the morning and that we need to be at the bus station at 5:30. So at this point Hermana Rivera freaks out and screams, "Seriously?! 5:30? In the MORNING?!" and sarcastically Elder Cook goes, "No Hermana... In the afternoon" and starts laughing. So we showed up Tuesday at 5:30 in the morning. We’re waitin there till almost six and finally decide to call Elder Cook.
         "Elder Cook! Where are you guys??"
         "Wait. Aren’t we going to Lima?..."
         "Yeah Hermanas... Tonight at 7."
         Yep. He’s going down. So we went back and slept until personal study haha sheesh. 
         Let me tell ya though... The bus station in Peru at 5:30 in the morning is interesting to say the least. So we’re sitting there waiting when we see this crazy guy pretending his broom is a rifle. He’s like aiming it at people pretending to shoot everyone and then starts walking over to us. Then he starts yelling stuff at us and points his broom at me and looks at my companion and is like, "Do I kill her?! Or no??" We just busted up laughing lol. Oh man. At this point we were like where are the Elders at?? There’s some crazy dude here trying to kill people with his broom lol. Wow. I love Peru. Love it. But yep. It was a crazy morning... 
         As for the week with our investigators. We have no idea where Andres is! He’s not the type to lie and trick us so its weird. (Lots of people lie to us around here...) But we’ll see what happens this week. 
         We have two AWESOME new investigators though. One is Mariel. She’s our mission leaders daughter-in-law. She has come to church a lot. Why we never talked to her, I have no idea. But finally our mission leader said she wanted to know more. We’ve been visiting her a lot this week. She wants to be baptized. I’m sure it will be soon. She loves everything about the church and knowing about eternal families. She even does her homework! I have no idea how to say what I want to say in English... Okay in Spanish it’s "Ella cumple con sus compromisos." But it basically means she does her homework... She’s great. Lets just leave it at that :)
         We also have Milagros. And wow she has problems. She’s married (yay!!!) but her husband has another chica. And Hermana Milagros knows. And her husband knows that she knows. And his other chica also has a husband and family. And she knows that her family and husband know. I’m probably confusing you all... Basically it’s just a big hot mess. But she needs so much help. We challenged her to baptism and she is suuuper catholic. But we have family home evening tonight so we’re ready to set up a baptismal date. Take two! Pray for her though. She has two adorable little kids too. 
         Then we have Darwin. He’s one of those guys that acts all tough but he really wants to change his life. He told us this week, "It’s not like I was a bad person, but I just want to be better. I want to change my life." The thing with him though is he says he wants to change his life little by little, and isn’t really willing to take that leap of faith and be baptized. We’ll see though. 
         Then we have Hermana Luz :) I still just love her. I can’t get myself to drop her completely. She finally realized that her husband isn’t going to change anytime soon and that if she wants to get baptized she has to do it without him. She said last night she was going to pray about a date and let us know. I know she can do it. She’s just scared. She said she first wants to learn how to forgive. What she really needs to learn though is how to forgive herself and just move forward. Her husband makes things so hard though. 
         Oh! Sandra kicked Joel out!!! Do you know how great that is?!?! He’s living with his mom and dad now. She finally did it! I’m so excited for her. We’re gonna see if it lasts though. But she can get baptized! :) I’m proud of her. 
         We also have Vanessa and Aracely that are great and accepted to be baptized the first lesson. They’re Teodoro’s daughters if you don’t remember. LOVE them. They didn’t come to church though so we’ll see what happens this week.
         Those are our main investigators at the moment though. Love them all. This area is really starting to progress, and I love seeing the change in people.
         We did have intercambios this week though. I was with Hermana Johnson. I LOVE that girl. She’s one of my favorites. So funny, but so inspirational. At this point she’s having a hard time. She’s going home soon, and on top of that she’s having trouble in her area and with her companion. But she said something I loved. She said that instead of try and change her circumstances, she’s going to apply the Atonement to herself first. We can’t change the world, but we can change ourselves. If we apply the Atonement, we at least change our own lives. We will never ever ever understand the Atonement, but little by little we can understand more and more and let Christ change us. 
         Today we also had a neat experience. A member from Hermana Riveras’ old area came to visit and she is great. Hermana Rivera opened a new area and after two transfers they closed the area. This is super weird in the mission, and nobody knew why. Today though Analy came to have lunch and now Hermana Rivera knows why. Analy told us, "Hermanas, I know there wasn’t baptisms in that area, but you helped ME. You helped me know that God loves me. I now know He loves me like He loves you. He changed me." And then she was like, "What would have happened if Hermana Rivera decided not to go on a mission?? I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t be going on a mission either." Then I just thought, "What would have happened if I decided not to go on a mission?" It’s a scary thought! One decision changes eeeeeverything. Sometimes we think we don’t matter, or that God loves other people more than us, but it’s not true. Analy said so many great things that I don’t even have time to write, but it really made me think today. Love the mission.
         Anyway... That’s all I’ve got for now. Hope you all have the best week! LOVE YOU!!

Hermana Roper

P.S. I almost forgot. This week someone asked if I had pets. I said we have a cat and they freeeaked out. They started telling me about people that die because they find cat hairs in their brains lol. They told me one lady had so many cats she found a hairball in her stomach ha! Wow. They seriously believe thee craaaziest things. I love Peru. Love it.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Gotta Get Back Up On Our Horse

Hello familia! 
         This week was great :) Sorry, this letter might be short, but I send sooo many pictures so I don’t even wanna hear it!  We were able to work lots harder this week. And I didn’t flood any churches, so it was a great week I would say haha. 
         We found lots of great, new investigators, had baptisms, and Multizone Conference. It was great. 
         The Chuyes family is now baptized! Now the mom just needs to get married and we’re good to go :) But they got baptized on the 4th of July. So yep, my 4th of July was better than yours :) (But I did love all the pics of you guys on the 4th) They were all confirmed yesterday too. Remember how something bad always happens when there’s a baptism? This time it was that Yessica didn’t want to come out of the bathroom because she said she looked fat in her baptism clothes. Yep. Something always happens. After 20 minutes we got her to come out though lol. And you guys think I’m a drama queen?? I think she’s got me beat! I think she’s even got Haidyn beat! But they all go baptized so that’s what’s important :)
Andres came to the baptism too! We haven’t been able to teach him yet though. He got out of work late. He liked the baptism though. He’s a keeper :) 
         Another investigator came to the baptism. Her name is Rossani. Rossani is what we call an eternal investigator. She’s had sooo many baptismal dates and went through soooo many missionaries. But we got her to enter the church after six months! 
         Cool story about her though. We haven’t really been visiting her. But we were close to her house with nowhere to go so we decided, what the heck let’s go to Rossani’s house. We walked in and she was all normal at first but then just started bawling. (I always feel awkward in moments like this one...) But then she starts telling us what had happened.
         I guess she had been having problems with her daughter. Her daughter just left and she hasn’t heard from her in weeks. Rossani was home alone though Friday and got the thought that the only way her daughter would come see her is if it was in the hospital. So she starting thinking about ways she could harm herself enough to go to the hospital but not die. Like, seriously?!? So as she’s thinking this, her little five year old walks in with two flowers and was like, "Mommy! Look what I brought for you!" and she said she just started bawling. Then we knock on the door. God is amazing! He has a plan. Being in Rossani’s house was the last place we expected to be, but because we followed the Spirit she ended up not harming herself and was able to feel the love that God has for her. It was one of those moments when it was just like wow... God knows what he’s doing. Then the coolest part. She came to the baptism that night and the next day her daughter called. Coincidence? I think not :) 
         Conference was great too! We went to Talara. We talked a lot about failures. I loved what President Rowley said. He said that a missionary isn’t a failure until he or she stops fighting. He talked about a John Wayne movie haha. He loves John Wayne! He told us that it’s not how many times we fall, but it’s how many times we get back on our horse and keep trying. LOVED it. Sometimes we think we need to be perfect, but we don’t. We just need to keep trying. Just get up and try one more time :) One day we’ll reach our goals, but for now we’ve gotta get back on our horse. 
         It was a great week, but it had its downs too. Last night was horrible!! We were going to appointments with a member, Cristell. She’s Yessica’s, Carlos’ and Yovanni’s older sister. She has a different dad. (She’s in the pics with the pattern leggings). Well, her dad has been sick for three months in the hospital, but they finally let him come home. We decided after we were done visiting the Familia Grande that we’d go visit her dad and step sister. We walk up and there was a ton of people outside. Our first though was, ‘Oh there’s a fiesta! Buuuut no. Cristell just started saying, "No no no no. Don’t say it, don’t say it!" and then just hugged us bawling :( Her dad passed away yesterday. I’ve never ever imagined how an experience like that would be, but we were in the middle of it. It was SO sad. She was so happy. Her family had just gotten baptized Friday, confirmed, and she was so excited to introduce us to her dad and then all that happened. What I’m SO grateful for though is eternal families. I’m SO grateful for my eternal family. We aren’t just here by chance. We’re a part of a plan. HIS plan. I’m so grateful for His plan. It was a rough night, and tonight is going to be rough too. The ward’s gonna do a devotional though so it should be good. Man, I’m just so grateful to be able to share the knowledge of eternal families though! 
         Oh yeah! I almost forgot! Tomorrow I’m going to LIMA! Woot woot! :) Guess what that means?! A hot shower! And pizza! Yay! I’m gonna be there till Wednesday. I’m crossing my fingers I get to go to the temple! :)
Anywhoooo... Hope you all have a great week! No funny or embarrassing stories this week. :) Love you all sooo much!

Hermana Roper