Monday, August 25, 2014

He IS There!

 Hey everyone! :)
         I seriously can’t believe school has already started. Seems like you all just got out for summer vacation! Time is flyyyying. 
         This week was a good one :) All of our intercambios ended up falling through so that means that this week is going to be suuuuuper crazy. I'll only be with Hermana Rivera Friday, Saturday, and Sunday haha but it’s all good. This transfer is about over so we've gotta squeeze em all in! We might have procrastinated a bit... Yep. I still haven’t changed that much ;)
         Our investigators are all doing good. We haven’t been able to find Jorge Louis, gosh darn it. Mariel’s baby is better but now she’s sick. Go figure. But it’ll all work out :) Karin is a little weird with us now. Her husband stopped listening and every time we've gone he’s drunk. So after he stopped, she’s kinda stopped reading the Book of Mormon and doesn’t wanna go to church. Her sister-in-law Myrium is great though! She loves everything about the church! The only problem... She’s not married. Surprise, surprise. And her husband doesn’t want to get married. Yaaaayyy. Her and all her kids have been going to church. Jefferson, her son, might be getting baptized the sixth. He’s come to church the past four weeks in a row, but he’s only 12 so we need to wait a few more weeks to see if he keeps coming. We need to make sure he’s going to stay active after his baptism, because nobody in his family is a member. His mom said she’s gonna keep coming to church though so we'll see :) 
         Darwin came to church this week though! All three hours! :) He came with the mom of the Familia Grande :) The other chicos didn’t come but whatever. I’m so happy he took the initiative to come by himself. It was a big step. 
         Hermana Luz also said she wants to be baptized! But she’s said this like five times.... So we'll see :) Sandra is doing great after her baptism :) She said she feels SO great. She said she can really feel the difference. She can feel the Holy Ghost in her life. That’s something I want to feel is the difference from not being a member to being a member if that makes sense? I’ve been a member my whole life so I don’t know what its like to not have the gift of the Holy Ghost, but she can feel such a huge difference in her life. She has really helped her mom out a lot. Her brothers Moises and Jesus on the other hand are on my bad list. Yesterday they would not stop making fun of the whole I love Elder Rojas joke lol. We had to go talk to the Elders for something and every single one of the youth started humming that wedding song, dun dun dun dun dun dun dun as we were walking over to them. We’re pretty much the ward joke. sheesh lol. 
         This week I learned SO much though. We have a less active, Omar, that is really experiencing what its like to repent. He’s one of the sons in the Familia Grande. This week we watched, "To this end was I born" and it really had an effect on him. We got done and he was like, "Hermanas, why this topic today? What are you trying to say?" He said that he couldn’t sleep that night. He called us and was like, Hermanas I need to tell you something, can I meet up with you both tomorrow? So during Ward Council he came to the church to talk to us. He’s done some things he really shouldn’t have done, but now he’s seeing the consequences. He was like, "I don’t know where the good in me went. I don’t even know who I am anymore. I don’t want to feel like this." He was even thinking about taking off to Lima because he doesn’t want to face his family after he tells them what he did. He knows it’s a part of repentance to try to fix the things he’s done, but wow it’s just hard for him. He was like, "Before, I didn’t believe in God, but now I do. I know you guys have been visiting me a while, and sometimes I don’t do the things I should, but I want to be better. I might come off like I’m fine, but I’m not fine. I’m not fine." We talked for a good while about the Atonement and he’s gonna talk to the bishop tomorrow. We are honestly so blessed to be able to repent. Christ already suffered every single thing we have, are, and will go through. HE IS THERE. We just need to go to him. Omar is finally starting to realize this, and it’s so great. 
T       here was also something else I liked that President Rowley sent us last week. "Encontramos lo que buscamos." We find what we seek. It’s SO true! He was tellin us this so we would find families to teach, but it applies to everything we do. If we seek happiness, we will find it. If we seek to be better, we will be. If we seek Christ, we will find him. We find what we’re looking for. I just loved that. 
         Anyway, It’s been a good week :) Hope you all have a great week! TE AMO FAMILIA! :) haha love you all :) Chowww. 

Hermana Roper 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Family Home Evening With The Gringa

Hello familyyy! :) 
         Sounds like everyone is ready for school to start :) Well, except for Tyson. But he’s never ready so that’s no surprise ;) I really can’t believe it’s already time for school to start though. SO crazy! This week was a good one over here as well :) We've been busy, but that’s how we like it :) 
         We only had one intercambio this week and I was with Hermana Ballard. She’s from Las Vegas and adorable! We had lots of fun :) I love intercambios. Especially with my gringas :) 
         Sandra was also confirmed yesterday so that was great :) She is so happy. Her ex, Joel, isn’t so happy though haha. Oooops. Now he knows he can’t live with her and she doesn’t want to get married now. Last night we were over at their house and he was over there seeing his kids and walked downstairs, looked at us, and walked out the door. Yep. Poor guy ;) One day he'll see that Hermana Sandra did the right thing. 
         Jorge Louis is also progressing... Well, was progressing. He was ready to be baptized and everything! All he had to do was pray and see if the 30th of August was the right day. And he didn’t pray.... So we told him to pray again. But then we went to church yesterday and he wasn’t there and his friend told us, "Jorge doesn’t want you two to talk about baptism. He wants to learn more but he’s not ready to be baptized yet." AHHH. Freak. We have a lesson with him tonight though so we'll see :) If he doesn’t want to be baptized, that’s his choice. We'll do all we can to help him though :)
         Mariel is also having problems. Her baby is super sick and so is she. She weighs like less than 100 pounds and won’t eat! And her baby is sick as well so she can’t leave the house with her which means she hasn’t come to church. She told us yesterday she thinks she needs to wait till September to be baptized. She’s still great and excited about everything, but right now she’s dealing with a lot. We've been praying that her baby can get better so she can come to church.
         We've also been working with a less active, Dana. We always are over at her house for lunch on the weekends with her aunt, Elisa. (She cooks the best food EVER. Well, besides you, mom....) And she has problems with some of the girls in the ward. We all know how girls can be sometimes.... Yeah. So she doesn’t wanna come to church, but yesterday she finally came!! And every single one of the people her age completely ignored her. What the heck?! She left and when we went over later for lunch, she had been crying because she felt so bad. Stinkin girls! Why do they have to be so clicky? It’s really sad to see, but her testimony is super strong. Hopefully it gets better. 
         This week we had a talent show too :) That was super fun! Let me just say, us missionaries are hilarious ;) (And super humble too...) We did two little acting number things. (Yeah, I forgot the word in English so hopefully you understand.) You'll have to wait for the videos but it was fun. I played the part of the dumb gringa who doesn’t know Spanish. Imagine that! haha. It was a fun time. Some of the youth played their boxes too. Yep that’s right. A box is an instrument here and its sweet! It was a fun time though. There’s another talent show Friday but for the stake so we will definitely be there :)
         Yesterday we had a cool experience. Here we live with the G. S. family. They’re less actives. There’s Jose, Julia, J. and I. (they’re evil) and she has a special needs boy, V. They just frustrate me sometimes! They’re such a great family, but just don’t have the determination to go to church. (Kinda like our family a few years ago haha) But it’s just ironic. They live with missionaries and don’t go to church! So we decided we are going to be the missionaries to activate them, and that is that. We've been working hard with them, and they started coming to church, but an hour late. So yesterday we were just like whatever, someone else can worry about picking up our investigators. We ARE going to get them to church. So we woke up and made pancakes, and got them all ready to go. It was great :) Annnnd then her husband was just getting in the shower as we were walking out the door. (Kinda like dad would always do when we wanted to go somewhere... Always the last to shower and get ready....) So we had to leave without them. They showed up late, but made it through almost all of sacrament. They walked in as I was giving my talk (They always make the missionaries talk in sacrament!) but they made it :)
         Then in Relief Society, the teacher called on Julia (she’s our pensionista) to share her testimony about eternal marriage. Her and her husband were sealed but stopped going to church. And as she was sharing her testimony, she got SO emotional. She made me cry, the little bugger! She was like, "I know I’m up here for a reason. The missionaries know it too. I know the church is true and eternal marriage is important, but I’ve just let things get in the way. I know I don’t attend church like I should, but I know God has blessed me with an amazing family." It was so great! It was amazing to see that our work paid off and that she had such a spiritual experience. If we wouldn’t have gotten up and made them go, she would have missed out on such an amazing experience yesterday. It was so great. As much as they frustrate us, we really love them so much. And as much as we want to kill J. and I., we love them too :) 
         So funny story. Last night we had FHE with the Cisneros Family. We ended with a game and guess who lost? The gringa, of course. So I had a punishment. And they all decided it would be funny if I ran up and down the street yelling, "TE AMO ROJAS!" which is, "I love you Rojas." Who is Rojas you may ask? Another Elder in the ward. :/ NOT funny guys. Not funny. But I did it. And everyone stopped what they were doing to watch the gringa running up the street like a crazy person. And everyone ended up crying because they were laughing so hard. I’ve never seen Hermana Luz laugh so hard and Michelli just kept saying, "How embarrassing!" Yeah. You’re tellin me, girlfriend. SO embarrassing. I always lose when we play games here. So not fair. It’s also on video so you all can look forward to seein that one :( 
         Hmmmm I’m not sure much more happened this week. It was a good week :) My testimony grows every single week, and I learn so much more every week. I love you all SO much :) Have a great week!

Hermana Roper 

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Atonement Can Work Miracles

Hello there everyone :)
         Wowzers. What a crazy week! 2 intercambios, consejo de lideres, and a baptism (which always has its difficulties).
         The intercambios were great. I was with Hermana Garcia from Lima and Hermana Salamanca from Chile. Both really great :) 
         Consejo de Lideres was the BEST. Love it! President Rowley is just the best! He always knows how to help us. We talked a lot about the culture of the mission. Elder Ballard said the culture of the mission is what the missionaries are doing when the president isn’t there. So we talked about how to improve the culture of the mission (wow this keyboard is awful. sorry.) He was like, "I know how you all act when I’m there, but I want to know how you act when I’m not around. Now, we´re gonna put the skunk on the table." So that’s what we did :) We talked about allllll the bad things that are happening in the mission and how we can fix it. It was great. By the end we had a nice big skunk on the table, but then we found ways we can get rid of it. We all talked about how we can improve the mission and came away with a lot of great ideas. 
         I loved the whole skunk concept though :) It’s not something that’s just for missionaries. I think we can all put the skunk on the table. We can realize the things that we don’t do, that we should, and find a way to fix it :) Sometimes we don’t like to think about our weaknesses, but its necessary if we want to grow and progress. 
         Now for the baptism... Wow. One of the craziest yet. Really. It was incredible to see how Satan was working against us. He did eeeeeverything he possibly could! First of all, we were rushing to finish her lessons because this week she just happened to find a new job and is working from 8-8pm. Everytime we went to see her she wasn’t there. That also meant we couldn’t review her baptismal interview questions. We thought, "Oh it’s all good. She won’t have a problem...." Wrong. We went an hour before her interview with our district leader (oooops. our bad.....We know....) "and she ended up having a teeeeeny tiiiiiny issue.... An issue that had to be talked about with President Rowley..... Yeah.... Oooops. Our bad. So she looks at us with her big, brown, shrek kitty kind of eyes and is like, "Am I going to be able to be baptized still??...." She was in tears, but we just told her, "Uhhh... We´ll be right back." and we ran to a public phone to call President Rowley. President Rowley was in Sullana that morning with our zone at our zone meeting (Yes, he surprised us again) so we had hope maybe he was still in Sullana. Nope. He was in TUMBES! That’s like 6 hours away! But because President Rowley is amazing, he set up a way for the Stake President to interview her. So we´re waiting in the church till after 9 and she doesn’t show. We ended up havin to leave because of curfew, but guess what?! She finally showed! She showed up just as President Alborada was leaving for the night :) and she passed her interview! :) And the baptism was AMAZING. Her daughter was cute. She told me, "My mom was nervous, but I told her to just enjoy it like her bath!" :) It was such an amazing moment though. We all ended up soaking wet from hugging her so much afterwards haha but it was great.  
         Ready for the craziness?? I got peed on. Again. But this time it was a dog. Yep. The Familia Grande has cute puppies so they handed me one and I was playing with it and before I knew it my lap was full of pee :( It got all over everything! Even my scriptures! I have the best luck, I know. But to top it all off, I handed it to Hermana Rivera because I was freaking out and it got scared and peed on her too :) If I’m going down, she is too haha. Everyone found it quite funny. 
         Also, I’m SO excited to see you all, buuuuut after this week I’m a little scared. I was sitting in our room freeeeezing! I went and put on fuzzy socks and used a hoodie for the first time and was just freeezing. Then I look at the thermometer..... 75 degrees. Uhhh.... I’m not sure I’m ready to go home to snow in December haha. I seriously couldn’t believe it! You better be ready with like five coats. No joke.
         This week I’ve learned a lot though. I learned a lot about the Atonement. Hermana Sandra felt soooo broken and sad about what had happened before in her life and she just thought that forgiveness didn’t exist for her. But after she came out of the water she GLOWED. She just kept saying, "Amazing! Amazing! I feel so happy!" I got to see first hand how the Atonement can work miracles in the life of someone. We aren’t perfect. And we never will be in this life, but that doesn’t mean Christ and His Atonement can’t help us. We can reach to Him in ANY moment. Yes, we make mistakes, again and again, but He will be there again and again, to catch us when we fall. That’s a promise. 
         It was a great week though. Hope you all have a great week! I love you to the moon and back a million times! :)

Hermana Roper 
(This week a little kid told me he’s gonna call me Hermana Queso because I’m white haha.... Awesome. Just call me Sister Cheese.")

Monday, August 4, 2014

Lovin Me Some Cow Udders!

 Hello there everyone :) 

         LOVE all the pics! You’re all so darn good lookin ;) Thanks for the pics though. I’m sending lots too :) 
         This week was a good one! Yes mom, we survived Independence Day haha. Ended up going back to our room early :( but it was alright. 
Our week was good though. Our investigators are doing great! Mariel is still set for the 30th. She’s great. Her husband is too funny though lol. He’s a member and so she asks him questions. She asked him about baptism and he was like, "Well first you enter into the water, then they shut the curtain and hold you under water for 30 minutes." Haha seriously?! She was too funny the next day. She was like, "Hermanas... Is it true that they’re gonna hold me under for 30 minutes?...." NO!! haha not true! And then she’s like, "Is it true that it’s a sin to mark my scriptures? Because I marked one in my book of Mormon that I liked. But if it’s bad I can use white out..." Her husband is a funny one eh? 
         Sandra is all set for Saturday too :) We´re excited. Hopefully nothing happens this week. This past week we went over and she was like Hermanas you’re gonna kill me. Joel asked me for one more chance and we´re thinking about getting married... AHHH! But then somethin happened and she said no, she’s getting baptized and that’s that. Pleeeease pray for her! Yeah? Okay thanks. 
         Luz on the other hand still doesn’t want to get baptized. She said she will get baptized, but doesn’t want a date. It’s so frustrating! We don’t know how else to help her... Maybe her daughter’s baptism will help. 
         Jorge Louis is just great :) He didn’t come to church though. We taught the word of wisdom this week though and he was like, "I really like tea, but if you say I shouldn’t drink it, I’m not going to. You two are my teachers and you’re always right." Yay :) He just needs a date. A baptismal date, that is. 
         We found two new investigators this week :) Martin and his mom Shirley. We went with our mission leader, Angel, Thursday to see him. We got there and he was suuuuper drunk and he knew it. He just said, "Look here. I’m drunk right now. I really want to listen. I just have had a hard week. I want help though. I’m not in the condition to talk right now, but can you come back Saturday?" So we did. We ended up having a really great lesson with him. His mom is worried about him as well. He’s her only son and she wants him to stop drinking. He loved everything we talked about though and we have another appointment Tuesday :) It was just crazy to see how different he was with and without alcohol. He was super respectful without alcohol! He has a lot of potential though. 
         Now for the craziness of the week yeah? Guess what I ate last night?! Cow boobs!!! I ate the udder of a cow. Oh yeah. That’s how it’s done. We live with our pensionista and she brought us up cow boobs to try haha. Oh man. Who am I?! I NEVER would have eaten that before lol. I’m soooo Peruvian now ;) 
         Anyway, that’s about my week in a nutshell. This week is full of intercambios and going back and forth to Piura. Tomorrow is Consejo de Lideres so I’m excited for that. A whole day in the mission home yay :) Air conditioning :) Yay :)
         Anyway, I think that’s about it. LOVE YOU ALL! Have the bestest week :) 

Hermana Roper