Friday, November 29, 2013

Visit from Elder Russell M Nelson

This week was one for the books! I´m (again) time limited, but I´ll try to give you a brief overview of how AWESOME things are aqui en la MPA-

-Last P day, we went go karting with the office elders, and it was by far, the coolest thing that I´ve ever done in a skirt. Which now that I think about it probably wasn´t the smartest thing to do, but it was FUN. And then we played volleyball, and one of the elders can hit it really hard- but I can hit it harder, which made me feel better about my absolutely dismal soccer skills.

-This week, we lost an investigator, Hna D, who we thought was just so prime, seeing as how her husband is a member, and her family needs help and it all just seemed like a recipe for a conversion, but in the end, it fell through. But Hna Pug and I are getting better about not stressin so much about things that we can´t control.

Elder Russell M. Nelson came to our mission! And, because Hna Pug and I crazy North American sisters, we got to the capilla yesterday like wayyy early. Like, we were there with the ladies who came to clean. And then we went, and although I hate it when other people do this, we saved seats for our zone. And then it was just... incredible. Some Hna Leavitt notes:

-Our Area 70 .... i have no idea how to spell his  name, talked about how the scriptures say that " we should not trifle with sacred things" and how the open communication between heavenly father and his children is one of those things, and that we need to honestly examine our prayers to see what we pray like. And I know, personally, when I´m so tried from walking all day, I sometimes maybe don´t give prayer the reverence it really deserves. Things to work on I suppose.

Woah, we just had a little earthquake. Anyways-

-Sister Nelson talked about how she saw a shirt that said "born to play soccer" and about how we were NOT born for that (much to the latinos chagrin, I´m sure) but how really, we are born to grow, we are born to put away childish things, and in time, become men and women of God. She also talked about our premortal life, and how if we could just see how we lived as spirits with God before, we could handle anything that happened in this life, because we would know the potential that we all have.She gave an example of a caterpillar and a butterfly, and how, yes, there are times to be childish, or to be a caterpillar, but we are here, going through this huge and difficult "practice test" of a mission, to prepare for everything later on in our lives. She also said that Heaven is closer than we think, and that if we need help, we can pray, by name or attribute, for one of our deceased relatives to help us in this time, and that they are ready and willing to do so.

-Elder Nelson began by showing the importance of learning English, or of really learning any language, and then continuing to study it throughout your life, and that he doesn´t want us NA to struggle for words at our homecomings, because that will mean that we didn´t teach our Latin companions as much as we should have. Then he talked about how our identities are premortal, mortal, and post mortal, and how we have divine and immense potential. I have more notes I´ll send in a letter, but it was just amazing.

All in all, I honestly feel that every day, my perception of this Gospel changes. That it becomes something different, something better, and I realize I can´t go back to who I was before.

I love you all!

Hna Leavitt

This is a pic of me in Pedregal. The sun is bright, that´s why my face is weird.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Hello Everyone.

Another week down in PerĂº, and I can barely believe it! This week was really awesome. Hmm.... let me think of what I should share.... I suppose I´ll start with last P Day-

Well, the office elders "forgot" to invite us to their off-roading adventure in Chivay (Hey, hermanas are new in the office, I guess I can see how that would happen...) so we ended up going with President and Hna Zobrist to Pedregal! And we went in the mission van- a good ol´Toyota, which was just so comforting- and we bought snacks and everything, and took a road trip! It was about an hour and a half, and when we got there, we ate pizza with the elders and hermanas there, and then we went and looked at the local clinic there. It was....... not fit for medical care. I still get the heebigeebies just thinking about it. There was dirt everywhere, and they had all this old medical stuff that made it look like it was the scary hospital on Lost when they find it from the people who started the Dharma Intiative. I almost passed out when we walked into a room and there was a lady laying there on the bed. There wasn´t anything wrong with her, it just weirded me out. So I sat down for just a second, and then I was fine. I don´t know how I´m going to do this without Hna Pug. But anyways- I´ve got some cool pictures that I´ll try and send, but the internet is being kind of slow. So maybe another day.

This week, we worked a ton in the office, trying to finish all these binders that are going out to all the missionaries. It´s been interesting, trying to remember how to use all of my Adobe inDesign skills, but I´m actually working pretty fast. The book is looking legit, and I´m making an awesome cover with a picture of misti on it, personalized with every missionaries name. That´s only 278 covers to make! What a piece of cake. But i LOVE working with the computers, because, in all honesty, I get this twinge of nostalgia, like I´m drafting up an ad for the Progressive Dairyman or something, and I like thinking about Jerome and my home, and my work, and my school, and my family. That´s Zion. So I´m doing great. It´s funny, sometimes President will want a document that looks like it´s from the church, so the members take it more seriously, so I look at a church document and try and replicate it. It´s kind fun.

It´s actually awesome to be in the office, and to be able to do things from Prs and Hna Zobrist! They´re so fantastic, and I´m learning so much from them.

Well, that´s really all I´ve got to say. We worked in the office, we worked in our area, and we´re getting along great! Hna Pug is sucha  huge blessing in my life. I love her! I got letters this week- two from you all and one from Chase. So a GREAT week for letters!

I love you all. I´m sending you a picture of a skirt I got today for 10 soles. That´s like 4 dollars. Barrato y fantastico!

well, until next week!

Hna Leavitt

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy Veterans Day!

Today we have the awesome opportunity to go to Pedragal with Persidente and Hermana Zobrist and some of the office elders, so my time to email will be a little shorter than normal, but I´m so excited to go there! Especially because I´ve never been outside of Arequipa on my mission, and if I end up being the mission nurse, I won´t ever get to go to Tagna (southern) or Ilo (coastal) I´ll only ever be in the city- which is kind of a bummer, but at the same time, we get to do so many cool things and have so many opportunities that other people don´t have, that it´s a small price to pay for being able to do things I wouldn´t be able to do otherwise.

This week was pretty rad (phrase borrowed from the mission journal of Alan Leavitt), we got to work in the office all three days we planned, and while hna P did mission nurse things and took out appointments in the computer, I worked on retyping our mission health book and our little mission book. And as I was working with Adobe InDesign, with my many pages and layers and outlines and plans, I couldn't help but get a whim of Progressive Dairyman nostalgia. I love working in the office and doing things like this! I made some awesome covers for the books and I don´t know how I´m remembering to do all these things, but I am. And I´ll have to send you some pictures of what I´ve been doing, but I love it! I also helped a few converts this week get started on their family history. That was fun. The Church websites really are so streamlined and beautiful, I love how they look and how easy there are to work with.

We´ve been working really hard. Like, really, really hard. I thought that I was walking a lot before, but I was wrong! We´re walking so much more. And my feet are feeling it- but I´m also feeling better than ever. That´s the great secret about missionary work I guess- the harder you work, the better you feel!

I´d like to take just a moment to hold with tradition and send a big THANK YOU to my Grandpa Palmer for his service for America! Veterans Day is this next week, and since I won´t be able to write before then- I thought that, even though you´re in Africa and I'm in Peru, I would let you know that I love you and appreciate you, and am so grateful that men like you exist in the world, to defend liberty and the standard of truth that we have received from our Heavenly Father. Thank you so much for your example Grandpa!

I was the most envied Hermana in the world, when to my surprise, I received 6 HUGE packages from home. I´ve got the best family ever!!  Thank you so much.

I love you all, and I´m doing so great. Hey! I get to talk to you in almost a month! Can you believe it? I´m so excited!!

Keep up the good work Leavitts and Palmers and Williams and Wrights.


Hermana Leavitt

Here is a picture of the road that leads down to our apartment.  A little snapshot of Hunter for ya´ll!

Our Apartment

Hermana P and I are dressed up for Halloween!

Me at the Plaza De Armas

Happy Halloween!

What a week! Well, actually, it´s only been a few days since I´ve emailed last- and that´s because our Pdays are now on Saturdays! Yep that´s right, we´re movin and shakin things up here in the PAM. This week-

-We were lucky enough to attend the leadership training in the mission home this past Tuesday, because my companion is awesome, and also she´s the nurse and she had to give a presentation on what exactly is an emergency, and when we should go to the emergency room, because, believe it or not- alot of the latins in our mission just want to go to the emergency room for really little little things. So we made something up real fun, and we had this dart competition to see who could hit these pieces of paper, and we thre out candy, and I pretended to call hna P and ask if I could go to the emergency room because I had a bloody nose and it was just great. We have to make them really interactive or the missionaries just zone out, because it´s a whole day of training.

-On Wednesday, we worked half a day in the office, because we had some more zone training in the morning, but I´m glad that we did go in, because there is so much to be done. It´s because there have never been hermanas in the office before, which means that things could have the appearance of being organized, but as soon as you opened up the closet doors, it all came pouring out. So, while Hermana P was doing all of her nursing duties, Hermana Zobrist and I started to clean house. We threw away so much stuff! We found a typewriter! It was just nuts. But I loved it. And I was totally okay with it too, because I equate Hna P and I to Batman and Robin, and sometimes Batman needs to go fight crime while Robin cleans the bat cave.

- Halloween!! Believe it or not- they celebrate that here! Yeah, not to the extent as us crazy north Americans, but celebrate it they do. And.... it turns out that if you´re companions with a gringa... then you can both kind of celebrate it as missionaries too! We didn´t do too much, but the things that we did do were awesome. We decided to be fictional characters, if they decided to go on missions. So she dressed up as Elfeba, from " Wicked" and I dressed up as Jesse from "Toy Story 2". And then we bought all these little caramel candies and gave then out to kids, and talked to their parents about the Gospel- which was just awesome! I love Halloween.

-Friday, we had our first full day at the office, and while my comp did her thing, I organized like crazy. And we really got a lot done. The office looks so much better, and we have a much better system for everything. Plus, I found the elders a coast rack that they didn´t know they had. We´re working on getting the computer all set up to make these notebooks we´re doing for all the missionaries, and then get a newsletter going. I also learned that I might be in charge of our mission facebook page (so go and like it mom) and put up fun pictures of the new missionaries, and missionaries leaving and service projects and etc etc. I´m also going to eventually be in charge of taking out appointments at the hospital, so I´m designing a more efficient whiteboard system to use than the one we have.... and since right now we don´t have one that shouldn´t be too hard. We just kept finding all this old stuff that the office elders, or president didn´t know that we had. It was pretty fun.

-Today! We tried emailing in the morning, but myldsmail was down for maintenance, so we just went right ahead and adventured on down to Plaza de Armas! It was great, we got to see the old architecture and we went inside this old catholic cathedral and it was pretty neat.

Then we did a little shopping, and I decided that maybe I should just wait for you all to come here to buy the stuff I really want for you, because it´s crazy expensive to send it home in a package and maybe for this Christmas I´ll just send you small things in an envelope. Is that okay? Also, the picture  I´m sending here is of a family in the plaza that wanted to take a picture with us. I guess it´s not everyday that you see white people.

I love my area, I love my companion, and I love you all. I´m doing great, I´m almost done with Jesus the Christ, and I´m reading the Book of Mormon for my 3rd time  but this time only in Spanish! Keep up the good work my favorite family!

(Also, I got the sweetest letter from Emily Olsen- tell her thanks for me will ya? I wish I had time to write her back, but as you know, I don´t!)

Also, also, I got to eat some Nutella this week, and it rocked.


Hermana Leavitt