January 25, 2017 11:24 a.m. (Lima Peru)
Semana 1 ¡Buenos Dias mi familia! ¡Te Amo Mucho!
I love you. I testify that the Lord is mindful of us. My roommate, Hermana Bucknum, came to Lima on the same flight as me from Atlanta (her stake president had gotten a phone call about a month before that her departure date was moved to one day later). Even our CCM presidente wasn´t sure why. I believe that God knew that my flight would be delayed and that I would need a friend on January 18th. She is also one of the only other missionaries here at the CCM going to the Peru Lima Norte mission. Coincidence? I think not. 🙂 The first night here (19th) I was writing in english in my notebook and I kept accidently writing words in spanish. I´m concentrating really hard to not write this whole email en español. I know that the gift of tongues is real, and we pray for it every day.
Mi compañera and I taught our first gospel lesson on my second day…. in Spanish! I´m pretty sure that we all thought our maestra was kidding when she said that. Some of the people here have never taken spanish before, or only a few years in high school. I testify that the Holy Ghost is the true teacher, because going into the first, second, third, and fourth lessons that we´ve taught so far, I have not known if I would be able to understand the person we would teach, or be able to form sentences. I have felt the love of God so strongly for me, my companion, and Diana (our investigator) in every lesson so far. (Diana is actually Hermana Garcia, a teacher at the CCM, so a little less stressful thankfully.) We will teach one more lesson to her tonight then meet a new investigator of the church.
So far, I have memorized the missionary purpose, baptismal invitation, and Moroni 10:4 & 5 in español. I have learned how to pray, testify, promise blessings, introduce myself and get to know others in spanish. Our schedule every day is different, but we always eat three meals (don´t worry I am eating, mother), actividad fisica (exercise), personal study, companionship study.
The food is muy diferente in taste but I like it! Every day we have multiple dishes of some recipe made with pollo y arroz. We have this yogurt-like dish every morning for breakfast. It’s in a bowl and sometimes different colors. It tastes like strong-flavored yogurt but more runny. I like it. Mi compañera is amazing! I love her so much. Hermana Wilson is a piano performance major from Utah (so was my mom!), and she is so chill and easy to get along with. She has a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and of the power of the Holy Ghost. She has taught me about listening, letting go and playing, and quiet strength. Our district has 10 members, 4 hermanas y 6 elderes. We are fun, and one of the most hard-working districts, which makes me happy. I love to learn every word that I hear and I have been filling my notebook for palabras nuevas (new words) every day with at least 30 more (I know because it’s my daily goal:)).
I was so blessed to be able to come just in time to shake hands with Elder Quentin L. Cook and watch him give a devotional (in english with a translator). We just got back from the Lima Temple so I don’t have my notas with me, but I will write you later about what he taught us. We (all of the CCM missionaries (about 150, 40 Americans)) also sang in the coro a combination of I am a child of God and Called to Serve in español. I loved feeling the Spirit testify of the truths and grand opportunities that we are experiencing. In these 6 days, I have had more experiences dear to my heart and received more personal revelation than any other time in my life. I testify that your Heavenly Father knows you, he wants you to be happy, and he cares about everything that you care about. And prayers are answered in his timing. I had prayed a little, but mostly pondered about something way before my mission, and mostly forgotten about it in the whirlwind of things since finals at BYU. But, the Lord didn´t forget. I call these heart prayers and I have had countless experiences of the Lord answering mine. I know that he will answer yours if you let him into your heart and ask him for peace.
Con mucho amor siempre,
P.S. Photos attached. More to come next week. We are only allowed to take picture on PDay (which is today).