Monday, August 26, 2013

L-O-N-G Ward Council Meetings

Hello Everyone! How goes it?

Things here are pretty normal. Well, as normal as things can get in AREQUIPA PERU. Ahh! I still cant believe that I´m here. I´m in Peru- And things here are so different.

My comp and I made some strides in our relationship this week. Strides forward and Strides backwards. But I think we've maybe gained some more common ground. I´m going to try something this week. I´m going to try and talk in the mornings. Because up til now, I mostly just make noises like "Mhmm." "Si" Because I´m so tired and I hate mornings. But my companion just talks my ear off. So, I´ll let you know how this goes. It is an experiment that will take lots of effort.

This week was a little rough, investigator wise. We really have been working to try and make the family of C see that she needs baptism, because she has the mentality of someone older than 8. It´s just her body that isn't like everyone elses. But her mom says that she doesn't need it, and so yeah... how do you change someone´s mentality that´s so stubborn? With love, I suppose. So we´re trying to show lots of love.

Ward Councils are very interesting. And by interesting I mean LONG. But it´s good, because if we don't talk about every person that needs help then we don't know who to help or how to help them. My ward has problems, oh, sorry, I mean, opportunities to grow, with weekly sacrament attendance. So many less active members!! But we´re trying to help excite the ward and make them realize that after baptism, they need to preserverar hasta el fin, and how important it is to renew baptismal covenants.

I made brownies in one members house. And they were alright. All the ingredients are a smidge different here, so they weren't exactly the same, but I enjoyed them thoroughly.

Well... as for other things... We´re working hard. We don't have language study nearly as much as we should, but it´s because we have so many people to visit, that this time is the is sacrificed first. Which is a bit frustrating, but maybe I´ll learn Spanish faster through sacrificing this. No se.

I have a letter to send to you all on Wednesday that has way more details about the work. I´m happy, healthy, and safe. And I´ve only had a scary run in with a dog once. So, all in all, pretty successful.

School is starting for you all!! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, suckers!! Keep me updated.

Dad, again, reading in your mission journal after your first transfer after your first comp has given me lots of inspiration and HOPE. Seriously, reading your wise words of wisdom help me so much. And I cant help but giggle when I read that mom sent you some "choice" pictures. Ha, ha, your slang is so groovy dog.

I love you all, and pray for you nightly. Gramps and Grandma too, thank you for you letter, I love you so much. Tell Jaime a late happy birthday!

Lots of love,

Hermana Leavitt

Monday, August 19, 2013

1,2,3,4 I declare a thumb war!

August 19, 2013

Hey- Two months! Today! That´s crazy.

Familia! I´m doing much better this week. I think it´s because I am starting to learn to be patient with myself and my companion is learning to be patient with my limited abilities tambien. So that's helped a lot.

We had an awesome Zone Conference this week, with Pres Zobrist, and he is seriously so awesome. I heard exactly what I needed to hear to have my spirits lifted. He talked a lot about opposition, and my life is nothing but filled with lots of opposition right now. The language mostly, but there are other things as well. Like tradition. Catholicism runs deep, deep, deep here, and sometimes, because their parents and their parents parents were a certain religion, people don't want to look for something else. We´re not trying to tear down their religion, we´re simply inviting others to study something else, pray about it, and receive an answer for themselves. So we´re trying to think of different ways to make people want to listen, which is a bit difficult when all I know how to say is "somos misioneras, somos representantes de JesuCristo" but I´m working on it.

Random experiences this week:

-I taught my comp how to play 1,2,3,4, I declare a thumb war, and she went nuts and wants to play it every night.
-I gave a talk in sacrament meeting about member missionary work and I think it went okay. I think it was like on the other side of heaven when people just smile and nod to be nice when they don't understand, or when I say something terribly wrong.
- My companion almost died of jealousy at those scripture stickers you sent me mom. She asked me to ask you for some. Seriously, she is envious to an extreme. I can't put them in my scriptures in front of her, cause she just stares at me.
-My zone is straight up jealous of all the stuff I get from  home. But I share whatever I can with them. :)
-The Daughter of a King book is seriously my favorite, and I´m working on translating it as we speak. Well, not right now, Right now I´m writing you all.
-I was on a bus for small people (aka every one else in this country) and we went over a speed bump going way too fast and I hit my head on the ceiling so hard. It literally rocked my world. I thought I was going to die. Well, not really, but I do have a nice bump on my head now.
-We walk so much. My feet are going to be as strong as Frodos by the time I get home.
-There´s a young woman, 18, who wants to be baptized so much, but she´s handicapped, in a wheelchair, limited movement of arms, but she has such a special spirit and we´re going to work really hard this week to have her baptized soon,

I love it here. It´s hard, but I´m in the service of my God and there´s no where else I´d rather be.

Well, I´ll talk to you next week!

You are all amazing. Read the scriptures, pray as a family. We´re in good hands, huh?

Hermana Leavitt

Monday, August 12, 2013

"No Entiendo"

¡HolĂ  famila!

Wow, so much to say! We had a baptism this week, Hermano A y Hermana L, and it was awesome. Things here sure are different Clark. There´s less... reverence? I don't know, maybe I'm just used to how things are in the states, but during the baptism there were kids and adults just chatting like it was brunch. But other than that, and being asked to play impromptu Spanish hymns that I have never heard before, it was good. Leidy is 10 years old, and when she got in the water she suddenly got scared and it took about 5 minutes of the hno baptizing her to talk her into it. I had a very fervent prayer in my heart and my companion was grabbing my arm so hard. But, all in all - bonita!

My mission president says that there are no problems in the mission, only opportunities to grow. I have had lots of those these past week. My companion tries to be as patient as she can with me, but when I say " no entiendo" for the 13th time about something, it gets a little interesting. Pray for me! I need a lot of prayers right now. This is hard. Haha, I don't know what I was expecting before, but geez louise, this is hard. But I´m trying my best, and I know that has to be good enough for now. But still, pray for me, will ya?

We work hard here, and I´m thankful for good shoes. We walk... about 4 solid hours everyday. I think I could do that 50 20 thing. But when we get back to the apartment, I'm about ready to drop. But I cant imagine my life without good shoes. Also, I guard my sleep like a Peruvian dog guards it´s trash. At 10:30 I am out. No exceptions. Sleep is basically like Wheat in Settlers of America. Valuable.

Okay, thank you for all your letters and emails. I love them all! I would suggest, if you want specific questions answered, pick one or two and put them at the top of your emails. I want to answer them all, but I don't have time to pick them out.

I´m in a pretty urbanized area, it´s part of the main city Arequipa, so I can buy mostly everything I need, no worries mother.

Okay, I have some random thoughts that might help you get an idea of how my days go:

-I like carrying my Spanish English dictionary because it´s basically the same size, weight, and type as The Return of The King. I find great comfort in this.
-On the same Lord of the Rings note, I´m in a valley of volcanoes. I´m living in Mordor, at the base of Mount Doom. I also have crazy daydreams of what would happen if they all exploded at once. I don´t find great comfort in this.
-I saw a Peruvian man that dressed exactly like you Dad! I found your Peruvian twin! Seriously though, I think he was creeped out because I was staring at him and almost crying. There´s something comforting about a plaid short sleeve button up shirt, blue jeans, and tennis shoes.
-If I was hired at a place where I had to write what I heard in Spanish correctly, I would be fired from that job.
-I ate popcorn the other day that reminded me so much of basketball games in the JHS gym.
-I don't know how to say a lot in Spanish, so me and my comp don't talk too much when we walk. So I've resorted to reciting songs in my head. The full Fresh Prince of Bel Air song is my most played.
-People here don't know about Netflix. Netflix. N e t f l i x.
-Sometimes when I walk behind my companion I pretend we´re in a real life Mario Kart and I send invisible shells at her to slow her down. She walks fast.

I am so sorry to hear about Kelsi!! Geez, what a tough time for her. I´m praying for her lots and lots.

Well..... not too much more to report. We work hard. And I´m being pushed a lot to use what little Spanish I know, and above all, I´m having to trust in the Lord more than ever before in my life.

I´ve been studying about Abinadai a lot. He´s so awesome. What a great missionary! He had the chance to recall his words and his testimony to save his life, but he wouldn´t. That´s strength.

I love you all, thank you for all that you do! Tell Zach hi for me!!! :)

Hermana Leavitt

Monday, August 5, 2013

I want to be a Peruvian Dog

Is that even the right date? I don't know. Time is weird here.

I don't have much time, so forgive my errors and tangents.

I´m in Arequipa! Can you believe it. I have a Latina companion named Hna Zapata and she´s great. She doesn't speak English and I don't speak Spanish, so as you can imagine, we have some quiet days. But the Spanish will come with time. RIGHT?!

I want to be a Peruvian dog. Why? Lots of reasons. You get to run around all day with your friends, get into random fights, no one tells you what to do, and you can just go through people´s garbage for leftovers. So you never have to cook. How nice is that?

Thank you all for your emails and letters!! i wish I had more time to read and respond, but I don't. And I don't want to try and explain to my companion in Spanish why I am taking pictures of the computer screen. I got your greenie package (and my comp went wild over the candy. She´s officially addicted to Ice Breakers. Also the conversation of me trying to explain what Ice Breakers were in English is one for the books) (Also, Chase, I got some awesome letters from Whitney!)

I´m in an area called Hunter or Avenida. I think Avenida. I don´t know really. I just follow my comp around like a Peruvian Dog. So I guess I got my wish.I like in this weird apartment thing. I cant really describe it. Like a million people live in one building, and like up and behind the building too. But anyways, we have to walk to our pensionistas house for food, and I love that family so much! They don't understand me and I don't understand them, but I can feel of their love for me and me for them, and that´s what counts.

We had a great few days. The people here are so receptive and man alive, I can tell there will be a lot of success to be had if I work hard. I got here on Wednesday, and by Saturday night, we had 15 new investigators. I try my best to open my mouth and speak as much as I can, but sometimes, when people laugh at me, I´m not gonna lie, my face gets all red and I just kind of stop mid sentence. That has only happened about 4 times though, usually people are nicer.

I´m sorry you missed my phone call! I tried every number I knew. But you have those lovely voicemails of me sounding slightly frustrated with you to keep you company! :)

My mission president is awesome. He´s funny, but a hard worker. I can tell he expects success and I like that.

The food here just keeps getting better. I think I´ve actually lost about 5 lbs here though, because of all the walking. I brought my `pictures to the families house that feeds us, and they just about went nuts over you all. You´re all gorgeous apparently. Also, they just about teased me to death about having pictures of Chase. I thought you were bad Dad!

Okay, I gotta jet, but I love you all! More details next week!

Hermana Leavitt