Saturday, August 16, 2014

Good

8-11-14

"I am good. My companion is good. Our ward is good. I have some new ideas, and those are good too. I will talk to you about them  when I see you (because somehow I always see you)- but I just wanted to let you know that Hna Leavitt is doing good. "

The above paragraph is my letter to President this week, because I am once again, out of time. Way out of time, but- I just wanted to let you all know that I really am doing good. Things are really progressing here in our ward, and we have seen such a difference in this past month and a half.

Changes are today- Hna Clemens and I stayed the same, here in Casa Blanca. I think i will die here. With no posterity. But that's okay- because I am doing good.



Pictures from Paucarpata!


Teaching Moments

8-4-14
So this week, I had the opportunity to work on the Newsletter of the mission for the next change, which meant that I got to spend some time with President and Hna Zobrist, which as usual, was just awesome. I love those two so much, and I feel like they really love the missionaries in a very genuine way. So I always love being around them, and I almost always learn something new. This time, it was something called 'teaching moments' - about when you can use a life situation of circumstance to teach someone a valuable lesson.

It all came about as we sat around the kitchen table, as I took a break from putting all these pictures on a document using a program (Word) that is more frustrating than trying to get Issac to put on sunscreen, because its not meant to be used with lots of pictures. As we sat there, President asked about our zone and the elders, and how things were going- and I sure did have a lot to say. That's something that has been a challenge for me on the mission- working with some people who don’t really respect me, or the things that I have to say. Its happen quite a bit with investigators, less actives, and even some Elders. Actually, most often with the Elders. I'm not saying that its happened with ever Elder, I have had some amazing examples and leadership from them that I am very grateful for,  but there are some have difficulty recognizing that, we as sister missionaries,  have the same calling and mantle that has been given to them, and that ideas that come from a sister should be seriously considered. We may not have the Priesthood, but we do have priesthood power. We are on the same level, one is not better than the other, and neither is one inferior. I don't know if that's "advanced thinking" or anything like that, but its something that I have really run into problems with while being out here.

So anyways, we talked about that for a long time, and President taught me, that if Im ever put into a situation again where an Elder lacks the respect that is owed to me as a missionary and a woman, that I don't have to put up with it, and can use that event as a catalyst to teach a lesson, and about how moments like that will come up in my life often, and when they do, I need to not get mad (something I am, ahem, working on), but calmly, cooly, use the moment to my benefit and the benefit of others.

So that's something I am thinking about a lot this week. About how to make every moment a teaching moment. :) And, that's all I have time to talk about. I love you all, and hope that you have a fantastic week.

Pictures from our sister conference

Monday, August 4, 2014

Being the Answer

7/28/14

This week was much better than the last. :)

On Monday we had our training with all of our girls, and I think that they liked it! We went to the mission home, where our amazing mission president made us hamburgers, and then this lady from our ward brought all these typical Peruvian dresses, so we dressed up, and took pictures, and then we watched Frozen. While this was going on, I was directing an activity with the companionships, one at a time. I will attach a picture of what my companion did for me.

Then, at 6, the spiritual part began. We talked about companionships, about looking for the best in people. and then we showed the pictures we had done earlier in the day, that they hadn't seen yet. Then we talked about Ruth and Naomi, and what we can learn from them. Then, we talked about Christlike Attributes, which was one of my favorite parts, because we had asked each companionship to bring an object that represented that attribute to them and then to teach everyone about it, and to see them all up there, sharing what they thought, made me so proud of each of them! I mean, our goal as STL is to have them be the future leaders of the mission, so giving them chances to lead is when we get to see our girls shine. And I love seeing them shine. :) After the presentations, we had a really spiritual slideshow of some beautiful art of the Savior´s life, put to the music of "I know that my Redeemer lives" and I shared that the way that I have come to develop more Christlike Attributes has been through coming to know who my Savior really is by my study of the book of "Jesus the Christ" and also of The New Testament. Not just knowing what He did, but discovering who He is,  and what that means to me. After that we talked about the Sacrament, about how its a time each week that we can ask "How am I doing Dad?" and then promise to be better. We also talked (once again) about the relationship between the Atonement and the Sacrament, and then we watched the video "Missionary Work and the Atonement" and talked about why its not easy for us- because Salvation is not a cheap experience, but as we come to understand the Atonement now, we will be able to better help our investigators understand, and be stronger in our lives after the mission. And then, sadly, we ran out of time to do the object lesson that I had been preparing for. We had went out and bought these little cupcakes, and were going to offer them to the girls, telling them that if they take a cupcake, then I would have to do 5 pushups, and then, even if they didn't take one, I would still have to do 5 pushups. And we all know, I don't have lots of upper body strength, and I haven't had the best luck in the health department here on the mish, and it would have been for 17 people, so you can see why I would be a little nervous. But I mean, I was more than willing, even though it would hurt a lot. It helped me prepare spiritually all week, thinking of the pain the Savior went through, and how he must have felt. So, maybe another time.

The girls said that they liked our time together though, and some even approached me afterwards, and said that it came at a time that they really needed it, which made the whole thing worth it.

We also tried to do a Pioneer Day Activity on Friday. But not a lot of people came, and everything that could have gone wrong did. But that's okay, it wasn't easy for the Pioneers.... so maybe that's why it wasn't easy for us.

The sweetest experience this week though, has to do with the title of this email. On Saturday, we had the impression in the morning to go and visit this sister in the ward. It was kind of a weird impression, I mean, her and her two daughters had always seemed fine to us, nice and strong members. But, we went anyways, at around 11 in the morning, and when we arrived, we found out why. The sister was sitting across the street from her house, at the little newspaper stand that she owns, and when we came close, she just started crying. Crying kind of uncontrollably actually. We sat down to ask her what was going on, and she just sobbed into my shoulder for a good 20 minutes. When she finally was able to talk, she told us that last night her daughter, who was 20, single, halfway through her college career, the director of music at church, her mothers pride and joy, was 4 months pregnant.

Needless to say, we were shocked. We did our best to comfort her, we read some choice scriptures, talked about forgiveness, and then firmly directed her to go and talk to the bishop, and encourage her daughter to do the same. I felt so guided by the Holy Ghost, I mean, in those situations, you have to be really careful that you don't counsel people on what to do, so I was just praying that we weren't crossing any lines- but the best part of the visit is when the sister told us that she had been crying all night and had been praying to her Heavenly Father for help, to feel some support, to receive some direction, some comfort, and that's why she started crying when she saw that we were coming. Because we were the answers. She said that over and over again. We were the answers.

I felt very humbled that day, and still do, that Heavenly Father would trust us enough to send us to one of His daughters who was hurting and who needed some of the balm of Gilead that His Son offers to all His Children. It was a very sweet, sacred experience to know that we don't just offer prayers, but sometimes we are also given the chance to answer them, and that's why we need to be worthy, willing, and working all the time, so that we can be those answers. A tender mercy for sure.

I love you all, and hope you have a great week!

Hna Leavitt


Monday, July 21, 2014

Little Miracles

This week has been hard. Probably one of the more difficult weeks that I have had on the mission... and it turned out to be a time of trial right before the rain clears and the sky comes out and it suddenly all makes sense, and you end up being grateful for the storm that you just went through.

We've been working extra hard to find new people to teach, because all the ones that we had 2 weeks ago, just all kind of dropped off the face of the earth. They didn't answer our calls, they weren't there for our appointments, and it just felt like on rejection after the other. That's something that we get a lot on the mission, rejection. But this week seemed to be a double dose of "we´re really not that interested." I got a pretty good taste of it. But, we kept on working, planning things out for our training today, our activity this Friday, and the mutual we are in charge of Saturday, and searching desperately for new people.

Also, since we are in charge of 14 girls, that means that we have to do divisions 2x a week, so on Tuesday we did them with Miguel Grau 2 and then on Thursday with Miraflores 2. I love divisions so much- not because I don't like my companion or anything, but because I get to learn so much from these Sisters. On Tuesday I left to go work with Hna Kuhn, and it was an awesome division. She is finishing up her training, and it was her 2nd time leading her area, and she did a great job! She is very very musically talented, and also has the desire to share the Gospel with everyone that we ran into. She is a really obedient, hard working missionary. We had one of the best studies in my whole mission that morning. We shared what we learned in Personal Study, and then we decided to go over the Plan of Salvation. And go over it we did. Especially when Sisters start out on the mission, I like to make them stretch a little bit, I don't want a study of memorized points, I want to know what that aspect of the Gospel means to them and why its important to help other people understand it. So, after every point, we would ask each other "why?" and then share what we thought. For example, we talked about the Preexistence, and then we would ask "Why? Why does our Heavenly Father want us to know that we lived with Him before? Why do we have to help others understand this?" So, overall, those divisions were awesome, and I loved my time with Hna Kuhn.

Then, on Thursday, I got to stay in my area and be with Hna Bennion- from my group! It was my first time leading my area here in Paucarpata.... and I would be lying if I said that I didn't get lost once.... or twice..... or all afternoon. But hey- I guess that's how I'm going to learn, right? Right. We had a great time together, Ive always admired how driven Hna Bennion is, and I learned a lot from her. We had a cool study in the morning too, as we talked about how we can really take our missions home with us, and we shared all sorts of goals that we have for when we are home. We both had a pretty long list. :)

By the time that Saturday rolled around, and all the appointments we had fell through for the 5th day in a row, I was feeling pretty stressed. And then we found out that we had talks the next day, and that we had to teach Principios del Evangelio, and we had to make invitations for activity on Friday (we are celebrating Pioneer Day- a day late),  and we had to gather all the last minute things for our training today, and it was already pretty late on Saturday night, we had worked hard all day to find new people and to visit less actives, with little success. So, we did the best that we could that night- I made the invitations, Hna Clemens filled out our Informe de Progreso for Consejo the next day, and we worked right up until 10:30 and then went to bed just hoping and praying that we could do it all the next day.

The next day, we woke up, got ready as fast as we could, and then raced over to our Pensionistas, so that they could copy the invitations and in form for us, then we went over to the church 15 minutes before it started (at 8am) , so I could practice the hymns (all of them with 4 flats, and songs I never played before...) while my comp called all the possible investigators that could come to church. And then, when they started the meeting, I sat down and started to try and think about what I was going to talk about.(Becoming Perfect in Christ, from the recent Liahona)

Attendance was not the best when the meeting started. 20 people. And our bishop was 10 minutes late. And none of his counselors were there. And the Stake President came. By the time the meeting was over, we got up to 89 people, and by some miracle, two new people of ours came to church! We were worried though, because a sister that we had planned on rescuing didn't come to church, and she was just missing her interview with the bishop... that she was supposed to have last week.

So, as soon as the meeting was over, we tried to round up all the people to be in Principios, and then taught the class. Then, we had to go find scissors to cut out the invitations, and finally found some in the Primary room. So we cut those out and then made it to RS and the Priesthood just in time to hand them out. Then, we had ward council- which actually went pretty decently.

And, our Ward Mission Leader, who is usually pretty busy all the time, invited us over for lunch at his house, along with the Bishop and his family, who is also too busy to meet with us during the week- so that was a prayer answered. We have been trying to figure out how to build a relationship with them, and that was how. We had a great time together, and I learned a lot about them. I shared all my weird talents, and that seemed to make their kids warm up to me.

The best part: after the lunch, we told the bishop about this sister that we wanted to rescue and report this week, and that she was missing her interview, so he actually came with us to her house, and did the interview there, because she was too sick to come to church. That was so nice of him. It really helped us. :)

Then, by the time we got out of there, we still had so much to do for the training today, so we ran around trying to get it done,, and we actually ended up finding all sorts of loose odds and ends that were exactly what we needed exactly when we needed them. And we actually ended up with 4 new people for the week!

It was getting later, so we decided to go by the sister who had the clothing that we are going to use today. We finally got there, and she was getting all the things out, when we realized that we forgot to get some sacrament cups that were going to be a huge part of the presentation, and we both just sat there and wanted to cry. We had done so much that day, and to get that done, it would take another hour. We just kind of sat there, not knowing what to do, and I just said a little prayer in my heart, asking for help, telling Him how tired I was, telling him I just wanted the training to go well. I felt impressed to ask the sister if she had any, and she said she didn't, but then 10 minutes later she walked out and said that she remembered that she might have some, but she didn't know how many. She went to look for them, and then came back with 14 cups. The exact number that we needed. A little miracle, that let us know that Heavenly Father really is looking out for us.

I will report next week about the training. I love you all so much!

Hna Leavitt

A Floral Division

Its crazy how fast the time flies, isn't it? Every time I sit down to write I think to myself "wait, wasn't I here just the other day?" But here I am again, to tell you all about my awesome week-

-We had consejo this past week, and as usual- it was great. We talked a lot about the Savior, about obtaining Christlike Attributes, and about the Sacrament. The last one especially gave me a lot to think about, and I find myself pondering a lot more during the week and on Sundays about what the Sacrament means to me. There is so much beautiful symbolism in every aspect, there is just so much that someone can draw from it if they just look. For me, the sacrament is the personification of the Atonement. We know that through Christ and His sacrifices for us we can overcome the two types of death that entered into this world with the Fall- physical and spiritual, and if you think about the Sacrament prayers, they address the two- the body that was sacrificed that by which we can all resurrect, and the blood that was shed so that we can all repent and be clean again to stand in Gods presence. I have a whole page of notes that I will send in my next letter that talk more about it- let me know your thoughts, will you?

But, overall, consejo was awesome, I got to see Hna Robinson again. :)

-Our area is doing pretty good. We had a week where a lot of people made a lot of empty promises, but we are excited to find some new people this week that are actually willing to progress. I love my companion, and am so grateful to have her.

-One time we were walking in front of this garage shop, and the guys out in front thought that they were so funny, so they cleaned the ground in front of us as we went by with the air compressor that they had been using. We laughed so hard afterwards.

-I went on divisions to a place called "Graficos" with a sister named Hna Flora, and I had such a blast! She is one of the most genuinely happy people that I have ever met, and just by being around her, I felt lifted up. She has so much light in her, and I have a theory that by spending time with her, someone  can have "Happiness Osmosis" where her happiness just makes you happy. I had a really cool teaching experience with her, where we read the story where Moses rejects Satan's temptations to worship him with a less active who was drinking again. I didn't even know that I knew where the story was- but I just opened right to it without thinking. Now we know- Pearl of Great Price, first chapter. It was so powerful. But anyways- I love these sisters so much, and I learn so much from them every time that I go on divisions!

- Next Monday, we have an awesome Sister Training planned, for just our girls. We are going to eat lunch in the mission home, take pictures in traditional Peruvian clothing, watch Frozen, and then have a spiritual training, focused on the savior. I have to do a pretty big part, where I make a small sacrifice for each of the girls, in an Atonement object lesson, that I'm pretty nervous for, because Im not all that strong anymore, but I suppose that "greater love hath no man than to do an object lesson for his friend." I  will tell you more about it after its over.

-That's something we talked a lot about in Consejo too, that the only way that we can really start to develop these Christlike attributes, we have to come to understand who he really is. And, being halfway through "Jesus the Christ" for a second time, I can testify that is true counsel. I know that He lives and loves each of us so much. And I feel like I am lucky enough to get a small taste of that love that He has for His children by the love that I feel for the people here in Peru. And for my family and friends at home.

-We are going as a zone to a place called "Sogay" (pronounced "Sogai") which is supposed to be really beautiful. I know, I laughed at the name too. I will send you pics next week!

I love you all so much, and I hope that you have a fantastic week!


Hna Leavitt


Making tacos with a member, and then eating them.



The White House

That's the name of our ward: Casa Blanca. So we have decided that we feel pretty cool- working in the White House and all. We both are very excited for the next round of elections though. Anyways....

My first week in the city has been a week of "getting used" to things again. Do you want to know what happened on my 2nd day here? A family invited us over to have a FHE, and they then presented us a good friend of the family that they had prepared to receive the lessons, and then proceeded to bear their testimonies, and offer their house as a place to teach her. I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped to the floor when it happened- I just couldn't believe it! Something ideal had actually happened, something that could have been put on the Preach My Gospel DVDs, and I was just blown away. I couldn't stop talking about it all night. I have never ever received anything like that before in my mission. In Hunter, the members were super shy and afraid to prepare people like that and would usually just give us an address to visit (not a number of course, more along the lines of "you know the blue house? Yeah, well on the opposite side of the street, where the tree is, on that corner, you go down the street for two... or three blocks, and then you see an apartment building, and then you go past the gas station, take the road to the right and go waaaayyyy back there, and then youll see the another apartment building, and they are on the 4th floor... but I cant remember the number.... so just knock on all the doors") and then they say to not tell the person that their friend gave us the reference. And in Corire.... yeah, no way jose.  They aren't there yet.

So, that was really cool, and I am super excited to teach this girl, I think shes got amazing potential. Plus she has been to church over 10 times..... so I can already see her in white. :)

We had other cool experiences like that all week- where the members are so willing to help. (They took us out the eat the other night. And I had sweet and sour chicken. And it was so good. That was a first as well- for both things) These 2 Laurels were with us all day yesterday for one of their Personal Progress Projects (speaking of which.... I am 3 projects away from finishing mine.) and its been fun to work in new and different ways. No lies- our Consejo de Barrio (Ward Council) needs a lot of work, but that just gives us something else to learn and do. Everything will come with time.

Our 4th of July celebration wasn't anything too big. We wore red, white, and blue, sang some American songs, I accidentally broke that big blue glow stick you sent me all over my skirt, and we ate french toast in the morning, Italian food in the afternoon, and Chinese food at night. So it was a "melting pot" of experiences... which I guess IS pretty American, now that I think about it.

I think my companion is exactly what I need right now. It was hard to leave Hna Robsinson, but I really have lucked out with Hna Clemens. She is really great and willing to work. She doesn't have as much experience as a STL, so we are going to try some new and exciting things with our girls this transfer that I am psyched about. We have plans to eat tacos today and get some things (like another camera cord.... because mine was stolen last Monday. Its the only thing I have consistently lost on my mission. But don't worry, we will find one today.)

Our motto, for us and our girls is that we are going to be "examples of faith and obedience" because that's really what the purpose of Sister Training Leaders is. Examples of faith and obedience. Faith. Obedience. :)

I have discovered that I really love teaching. I do. And its so much fun, and has made me realize how much better I can participate in lessons when I'm home. Ive just got lots of confidence- that what I know is true, and that it will help the lives of these people if they do the small simple things that they ask. For my Faith value project, I decided to reread Jesus the Christ, and getting to know my Savior on such a personal level, has helped me better reach people in my lessons.

Have you read that article in the Ensign, about becoming Perfect in Christ? If not- I suggest that you do. From someone who likes things to be a little bit too perfect sometimes (something I believed I inherited from Mom) it really got to me. I cant be perfect now, but I can be made "complete" through the Atonement, and I need to trust in the grace of a loving Father who knows that I will make mistakes, and do the same for people in my life.

We had a good "momentum building week" and hope to see the results in these coming weeks, as we work and strive for our goal of 5. Pray for us will you?

Thanks for all the support (like the amazing 1 year package) and the love. Have fun in Hawaii mom and dad! I love you all so much, and know that the Lord really is hastening his work and perfecting the saints, and I am so lucky to be apart of it.

Hna Leavitt

This is me with my pensionista.... after she burst into tears. So cried on my shoulder like a puppy for about 10 minutes.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Paucarpata

The subject of this email is the name of my new Zone. That's right/ transfers came, and then they went, and they took me back to the city. We were both pretty positive that we were going to be staying together, so getting the call at 10:25 on Saturday night was pretty unexpected.... and very unwelcome. But who are we to choose where the Lord needs us? The zone leaders called, told us I had changes, and then Hna Robinson and I just sat in silence for about 20 minutes, and then I pulled my blanket over my head and started crying. Change is tough. Goodbyes to best friends are tougher.

We had a little goodbye party for me and Elder Praag, and it was well attended.... with both people and tears. One of the hardest moments was saying goodbye to all "my kids" in the Primary. I will have to send some pictures along of the last little bit we had together.

But I am here now, back in the city, back in the thick of things, with 12 sisters to take care of, and with an area to help, and I know I'm supposed to be here.

My new comp is Hna Clemens, from my group. She likes the Red Socks, and I think shes awesome, and I am so excited to work with her. Our area is called Casa Blanca.... so watch that movie for me, will you?

 We are right in the main city... which has been a bit overwhelming. We went to church today for our District Meeting, and it was weird, that we weren't in charge of cleaning it or taking care of it. I have to find my role as a missionary all over again.... But I can do it. It will just take some time. That's what I have to focus one, doing things one thing at a time.

I already miss Hna Robinson a lot. But we have plans to hang out in Mexico when I get back, so I really shouldn't get too sad about it. Ill see her soon for Consejo next Monday and Tuesday.

Everything will be okay. Change happens so that we can learn and grow. (Can you tell that I'm giving myself a pep talk? Hahaha.) Hna Clemens and I have adopted a "sprint to the end" mentality, since we both only have 6months left... we are going to finish strong, in a "sprint" so to speak.

Okay, well, we have got a lot of work to do today, so I will respond more to individual emails that you have sent next week. I have an amazing Pensionista with amazing, clean food again... so you can tell mom to stop worrying so much. :)

I love you all and hope that this week is fantastic!!

Hna Leavitt


Me and the goofy elder Praag at our party

Us with Prezzy V
With our Rescues- William and Elizabeth (who now have the callings of 2nd counselor in the presidency and 1st counselor in R.S.) Best recuse EVER!!

With a recently reactivated family

Monday, June 30, 2014

Branch Baptisms

This week was awesome!! It was a week of baptisms for the branch. Through the amazing process of “going to the rescue” we have been able to see more and more families come together. I'm sending a picture of us with a family, whose little boy was baptized this past Saturday. The Dads name is Juan Carlos. He recently came back to the church after being less active for years, and separating from his wife and doing dumb things that he shouldn’t have done- and when he came back- he REALLY came back. He started reading everything he could get his hands on, and watching all the church videos that we had, and was recently called to be YM President and has been working really hard to get the YM active. And he has been praying that his wife would come back to him. We had visited her once when she rolled into town a month or two ago, she had on heavy makeup, immodest clothing, and kept on saying that she didn’t want to be with her husband, she just wanted to be by her kids. And then we couldn’t find her after that.

Then, it was so awesome to see, that when I went with Hna Payton (a new missionary I did divisions with. She is just so excited to work!)  to visit them- that she had come back, and she looked like a normal, happy person. She is ready to try and put her family back together, and they both supported their son (Juan Carlos Jr.) in getting baptized.

That same day, Samantha was baptized as well. Her family has been inactive for a long time, but the missionaries have always visited them, so they still know a lot about the church. Her mom still isn’t too interested in coming back, but it was so cool to see her at her daughter’s baptism. Samantha is so excited about everything, and she wants to be my best friend. (a.k.a. she goes through all my stuff all the time and clings to me glue.)

Then, later that afternoon, Adriana was baptized, whose family is working to come back as well. (Shes the one who was sitting on the bench with me in the blue dress in that picture I sent last week.) Shes an incredible little girl...  when she shared her testimony she said that "she felt that she had been touched by God" and then she proceeded to invite her family to join her up front and then shared a very dramatic and very cute testimony.

It was such a good day, a day where families seemed more united, and their children, who should have been baptized when they turned 8, were finally able to make promises to their Heavenly Father and  get the blessings that we all so desperately need

We also have been working with a less active family who have already started to progress so much. They started doing their family prayers and scripture study, and they have plans for an awesome FHE tonight. I love them so much…. And their son isn’t baptized either, so hopefully I'll be sending some more baptism pictures soon! (The Dad drives a MotoTaxi, so that’s where all the pictures of that come into play….)

Things here are good. Changes are coming up next week. But Hna Robinson and I are pretty sure that we are staying together (but throwing some prayers our way for a 4th change wouldn’t hurt at all…. Please and thankyou).  I love you all so much and hope that things are good back home!! Have a great week!

Love,
Hna Leavitt


Juan Carlos and Juan Carlos Jr

The Valley from Aplao


ONE YEAR

Yep- its true- its almost been 365 days since Ive been here in Peru! I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it either- part of me is excited to be able to say that I have been serving and sacrificing for my Heavenly Father for a full year now, but the other part of me views the short time ahead and sees December turn from a finish line to an expiration date. There is so much urgency about my work now, as I see the time that I have to wear a name tag on my chest dwindle every single day. There is so much to be done, so much to get better at, so many people to help. I want these next 6 months to be the most intense, tiring, and fulfilling months of my life. I love it so much, being out here and helping people understand who they really are.

I had such a sweet experience this week with a girl named Esther that brought the reality and divinity of my missionary purpose to life like never before. We were on divisions with Hna Ango and Hna "Unsinkable" Brown in Camana, and the night before we had a coordination meeting with the District President in an attempt to get some organized training and help from Camana, and then that night we went back to their pensionistas, and were just sitting there, eating dinner, when Esther walked in and sat down with the two of us (everyone else had already finished up by that time) and we just started chatting. We had met her a few months before, when we did our first divisions there, and we found out that she was an orphan, that both of her parents had died a few years ago in an accident, and that she had just been bounced from home to home, and was now staying with the sisters pensionista. So as we were talking, we asked her if she knew why we were there, in Peru, so far away from our homes. She said she didn't know, so we explained to her that we are here to help people with their faith in Jesus Christ and to help everyone make it back to the presence of our Heavenly Father. And then, knowing her past, we asked her if she knew why we were here, on the earth. She said she didn't know, so we explained our purpose as children of God. And then.... then we told her that after this life, there is another one. The surprise and confusion was so easy to read on her face, and she said that she had no idea what we were talking about. So we took it really slow, and very simple, and explained to her that our goal is to make it to a beautiful, bright, happy place (called the Celestial Kingdom) where we can live with God and Jesus Christ, and our families forever, and we saw happiness replace confusion and the sweetest question that I have ever been privileged to hear  in all my life fell from her lips "You mean... that I can find my family again?" It was so sweet and so tender and the spirit was so strong that Hermana Robinson had to explain it as I turned my head to hide my tears ( I didn't want her to worry her or anything.) But in that moment- what we were all experiencing just pierced my heart and touched my soul. There wasn't much potential for her to be a future investigator, as their pensionista is strongly Catholic, and it wasnt our area and we couldn't count it as a lesson, but I felt like I had better fulfilled my purpose as a missionary in that moment than ever before. In an instant, that little kitchen turned into a holy place, as we helped a little girl understand that families could be together forever, and that her Heavenly Father loves her so much.

And that was the "crowning experience" this week that assured me that I'm here,  in an extraordinary work that will roll forth until everyone has the chance to understand who they are.

I love you all and hope that you have a fantastic week!!

Hermana Leavitt



Me with a Llama

   
Another Picture at Natalys Baptism
Our GIANT friend... Baxter. He likes to follow us and protect us from mean people. And he also likes to kind of slobber attack me when I sit down.

With some of my friends (under the age of 10) after they had a fathers day dance festival.
A beautiful Peruvian Flag on Flag Day!
A picture of me on Flag Day! Red and white all the way!!
A branch activity- Christmas in June
Me and my compy at Consejo


From my visit to Andy!

TRAINing

We are training here. Actually, maybe it would be better to say that we are TRAINing here in Corire, allowing the leaders to be able to magnify and fulfill their callings so that they will be self sufficiently "steaming along" on the path of correct church administration (to borrow the Train metaphor that Dad came up with...)

But in all seriousness- we really are doing some intense trainings here in Rama Aplao. This past Sunday we had all the leaders stay for a mandatory "introductory" training, where we gave them a checklist of things that they need to do for their organizations. Its something pretty simple that we came up with, and with the help of the elders and the presidency, was executed fairly well. We had presidente Zobrist skype call in, and then we presented the papers, and then they all split up to plan. I think it will really help the ball get moving! The goal is to have them doing the right thing well enough that the next missionaries here will be able to focus more on the traditional missionary work, and not have to worry about things like this. I think we are most definitely on the right track, and now that we have a system to be able to use to do more followup, I think the rate of improvement is going to increase dramatically. Its all about thinking outside of the box, and doing new and innovative things that they have never ever done before. These people are amazing, and I know that if they can just get the tools that they need to be able to do their work the way the Lord wants it done, then miracles will happen.

I am, yet again, so happy here! We had an amazing activity, Christmas in June, that 60 people went to. We did basically everything for it, but it was our "example" to the ward of what needs to be done... and its the last time we are being that involved, so if they want to have fun activities, they will have to work for them. We are willing to support, but its time to start stretching and growing a little bit.

We have a little family that we are working to get baptized, and I am so excited for them!! They are all so awesome. Also, we are trying to help a less active who is living with this man get married, so that they can get baptized, and now that he has a ring to propose with, we are excited to see the results!

Things are moving and progressing here, and I am so blessed to have been able to  be such an active participant in hastening the work. Ive learned so much in these past.... 355 days. I love it so much and I hope that I get to stay here for a long, long time!

I love you all and I hope that you have a great week!

Hermana Leavitt

Natalys baptism
Skypin' with the Prez

Training Checklist for Leaders

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Road to Pitis

- A few months ago (2 months more or less) a lady was baptized into the branch, and her name was Paulina. She is 57 years old, comes up to about my hip, and has a broken arm, and osteoporosis, so the broken arm cant be put together, and it just kind of dangles there, out of place. She also has problems walking and uses a cane. And she doesn't have teeth. (If you go back to the email when we had to help get her dressed for her baptism, that's the same lady.) She hasn't been to church for the past 3 weeks, due to health reasons, but the thing is that she lives so far away that its hard to visit her. We had been thinking we probably should, and then the Lord made it clear to us that we needed to.

We saw her once in Corire, moving super slowly and taking a break about every 50 feet, so we went and chatted, and she said that her health is getting worse. So we made plans to visit, for the next week, because our schedule was just too  full for the weekend. Then, the next day we were up in Aplao, running around trying to get things ready for a mission night, when we saw her, resting about 20 ft away from the entrance to the emergency room. So we went up and talked to her, because she is so cute and we love her so much, and she said that she needed to go to the hospital for an injection because her bones hurt so bad. So we helped her with a bag, took her in, got her the help  that she needed (I didn't watch her get the shot, believe it or not) and then we bought her some snacks, put her on the combi and sent her away, wondering how many times we were going to run into her.

Then, that next day, all of our appointments fell through, a day decided to prevent us from finding an investigator, and we weren't sure what to do, so we thought that we better pay that lady a visit. She lives on the other side of the valley/river in a little tiny pueblito called "Pitis", which we remembered walking by one day as we were stranded in Pedregal Chico before the bridges were built and we had to walk home ( a 3 hour walk), so, trying to be smart, we took a bus all the way up to the Mesana, and then got off, thinking that in 10 minutes we would be there.

Turns out, its more of a 45 minute walk.

So we ended getting there around 6 at night, and had a nice visit with her and her family. She was even worse that day, because she ended up twisting her ankle on her way back from the hospital, and her daughter (LuzMarina, who is her exact same size) had to literally pick her up and carry her in the room. Her daughters not a member, and she is 25 and just works in the fields all day when people will hire her. So we started talking about how special Paulina is for us, and how much we love her, and how we know that things are hard right now, but that with faith we can bear all the burdens in our lives. I felt impressed to talk about how we know that Jesus Christ visited the Americas after he was resurrected, and as he visited the people here, he taught them the doctrine of prayer, through teaching and also through his example. She was so excited and changed by our visit, we left basically ready to start filling the font again! But, due to the spontaneous nature of the visit, and also because we had no idea it would take that long to get there, it was pitch black outside.

And we were a long way from home.

So.... since we couldn't stay there forever, we started walking. And, to make a long story short, it was a scary walk home. All the circumstances made it seem like the longest road in the history of roads, and all I wanted to do was get off of it. But, we had felt distinctly impressed to go visit Paulina, and we knew that the Lord would protect us for following a prompting, so we walked. It was literally, walking by faith. Because we couldn't see anything and we had only been there once before. But, as we half walked and ran home, I couldn't help but feel protected, like we were literally being surrounded by angels that kept all the danger away. It was a special, exhausting time.

But it was one of the best visits we have ever had.

An update on the branch:

People finally have callings! We have had a dramatic increase. Now almost all the callings are filled, and more and more men are advancing in the priesthood. Now comes the tricky part: training. Our District isn't too much help. At all. They do live 2 hours away, but still. No help there. So, its yet again, up to us. But I'm excited, because I have had an idea.

We have been trying to get the organizations going for awhile now.... but they just don't know what to do. And then we tell them, and they get all overwhelmed, and then they don't do anything. We try and do simple things, but it still hasn't been giving us the results that we need. Things need to start moving and rolling here in the branch!! So, I got this idea of having a mandatory training next Sunday, and then presenting all the leaders with a little "checklist" of things to do. The first thing: get your presidency full (if its not) and registered in MLS system. Then, they have a list of trainings that their presidencies need to attend (allowing them to schedule 2 of their own and 2 that we are putting on in the church), then, they need to plan out their meetings and activities for the next trimester, and do the simple things every week, like going to ward council and cleaning the church. And we made it in a nice, pretty format, that they should take seriously.

Sometimes I wonder if I need to have more patience.... I want it all to be perfect. And I know that perfection takes time and faith, so that's the challenge now.

Guess who I am going to visit in 10 minutes?! ANDY!!!! That's right, we are in Hunter, going to visit my old family. And I am just giddy with excitement.

Well, that's about all the time I have. I love you all so much, enjoy the pictures!! (yay for fast internet!)

Me and my companion Hermana Robinson


Us with some newly activated members (he become 2nd counselor shortly after this picture)
Making some tin-foil dinners


Tender mercy - getting a ride on a tractor so we wouldn't be late to an appointment

Norma and Aldo with their bap certificates. And Angeles. She is crazy.

This is a dog we found, shivering on the side of the road. So we made him a dog shelter. And then my heart broke when we had to leave. But there is a part II to this story. Its a happy ending.


Lehi's Dream Activity with other missionaries

End of Lehi's dream activity



This is me with Norma, she is awesome!

Picture of the valley

Knocking on a scary door


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Pursuit of Happyness

5/26/14

I just got back from Arequipa, and am finally able to email. And I only have a few minutes.

Its been quite a week, I actually havnt been in my area. I went to Arequipa to get some things taken care of last Monday, and then... we ended up being there all week. More details next week, I've gotta go. I am so sorry, I will try and get on tomorrow! I love you all so much!



5/28/14

Here I am again, just like I promised! I am so sorry about the quality of my emails lately, but I think I am coming upon the busiest (and possible best) part of my mission. There is so much to do, and so much that we can do to help, and that desire to be as useful and productive as possible gets stronger and stronger everyday.

I am so happy. I cant explain it, and don't know if I should even attempt to do so, but all I know is what I feel right now. My life is filled with purpose and direction, and I get to interact with people that I love every single day. I know my purpose as a missionary, and I have come to know the true purpose that I, Hermana Leavitt, have in this specific area. I know that I am so blessed to be here, to be able to feel this love for the people, and to feel their love in return. For example, Francisca, our recent convert, just bought us jello about 30 seconds ago. The other day we were going to be late to an appointment, and a man gave us a ride on his tractor. Our Pensionista has agreed to use filtered, bottled water when she cooks, so maybe I don't get sick. I know that these aren't huge events or anything, but they have filled my life with such happiness, I cant help but be grateful. Ive heard it said once that every person can contribute to the overall happiness of the world by small, simple daily acts of kindness done for others, and I really have come to believe that's true. I know that its contributed to my personal happiness. That's something that Ive been working on my entire mission, trying to feel that perfect love for everyone in my life, and last week I memorized a scripture that helps me every single say. Moroni 7:48.

Let me tell you a little bit about Norma and Aldo. They live in this place called Pedregal Chico, and are a little family struggling to get by. Shes a single mom, 29 years old, with 2 kids- Aldo and Angeles. Her boyfriend really isn't the best person in the whole wide world... and the pain that he has caused her is something he will have to account for someday. To watch her come to understand the Gospel has been an incredible journey. She was an investigators of some elders that left awhile ago, and had been coming to church by herself for awhile now, and one Sunday when she was there, I gave a talk on what we need to do to go to the temple, and how important the ordinances are, and she came up afterwards and asked me what she had to do to get there with her family, and one thing lead to another, and then, last Saturday, they were baptized!! She is so amazing, and so accepting, and he is just a regular kid that likes to play and mess around, but he is getting the priesthood this week and will be passing the sacrament the week after. We went last night to give them some presents, and I have some good pictures of them with their baptismal certificates I will try and send another day. I love them so much, and our lesson with them last night, as we explained, that if they want to do vicarious work in the temple this year, that they could go with the branch in September. Her eyes filled up with tears, and said that she was so happy she didn't know how to explain it. She had a cousin take her own life about 18 years ago, and has always wondered, what her life would be like if she had this Gospel, and that she wants to do the work for her cousin, so she doesn't have to wait anymore. I love this family so much, and Angeles ( 5 years old) is so cute, and one of my best friends. I have my small army of children in the branch that are  some of my best friends. I think they can tell that I wish that I was still a kid, and that's why we get along so well.

Speaking of which, I am sending a picture of me with Luciana. She is the daughter of a recently activated member, and I played with her the other day while her mom received some training on her new calling, and we had a blast. I don't think the kids here get too much attention, and it feels good to be able to be the person to show them that they are loved and important.

Well, that's about all the time that I have. Sorry that it wasn't too much of a news update and more of a feelings letter, but that's what I felt impressed to send. I don't know where the time goes every week, but I promise to be better and write you all next week, like I should. I love you all so much, and want you to know how happy and content I am. This is the best decision I could have ever made! My mission has helped me become more of who I am really supposed to be. I love it. :)

Love,

Hermana Leavitt


Sorry, sorry, sorry...

5/19/14

My week has been good. I wrote a lot in my journal..... can we just read it together when I get back? I don't have too much more time to write. Actually, not true, I am just lazy. I mean, I just lived through it. And some weeks I don't want to rehash it.

Our branch IS growing and we have the Young women presidency completely FILLED!!!!!!!! And that my dear mother is a miracle!!!


I got all my packages! Well, the food ones, not the one with the My Family booklet. But anyways, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I LOVE GOOD FOOD. :)

Happy Mother's Day

5/12/14

Sorry, sorry, but today's email will be short short short, because we have got to prepare and execute an activity here with all of our sisters, and there is still so much to be done. So we are cutting down  on email time to make that happen.

This week- has been an interesting one for sure. We have had the chance to work a lot with our branch president, Presidente Vitaliano. And its been an incredible blessing! He is such a sweet spirit. He loves the work and he loves his people. He will work for 3 days and then spend 4 days visiting people and doing things for his calling. Some of the members don't really respect him like he deserves, but he just keeps going forward, trying to be the best that he can be. He told us that when they called him as Branch President, that he looked towards the door and seriously thought about trying to escape, but even though he felt inadequate and had just got out of the hospital after being in there for a year, he accepted. And he has not had the help or the training that he needs, but that never ever gets him down! We went and did visits the other day, and people were so rude, we just kept getting rejected in these terrible ways, and then we asked him how he felt and he said "I feel good about doing my part. And.... they can hide from us, but they cant hide from God." He really means so much to us, and its a huge blessing in my life to know someone like him.

Happy Mothers Day Mom!!!! You're the best mom in the whole wide world. :)

Love you all, sorry, sorry, I will write more next week.

Hna Leavitt

To Be Clean...

4/28/14

We had another baptism! And this woman is so "chosen" its incredible.

We found her about a month ago, when we had to go print off a recommendation for a patriarchal blessing for our pensionista, we walked into an internet café place, printed it, and then she said "Hey! You're the sisters that just got here recently! I was there on the first Sunday when you had to go up and share your testimony."

It turns out that her 14 year old cousin is a member, along with her aunt. And she went that one Sunday, and remembered us. Since then we have been visiting her, and helping her learn the commandments and helping her read and understand the Book of Mormon, and the change that we have seen in her is incredible. She has a 2 year old daughter named "Smiley" (I know, she got it off the internet...) and no husband, and her mom takes care of her daughter in a small town about 3 hours away, so her family life has been kind of difficult, and she is only 22 years old.

Her baptismal service was held before church and it was so great! She was so happy afterwards, and as she was getting changed in one of the stalls in the bathroom, Smiley came in and said " Mom, why did you take a bath?" and she laughed and said " To be clean. To be completely clean." Tears filled my eyes at that moment, and I knew that she knew. She still has a lot to learn, but she knew in that moment, that she was completely clean, and that she could start over and live her life to be in harmony with God and His commandments.

Her and her family stayed for Sacrament meeting, where she receive the Holy Ghost, and I got to use every single little child distraction technique that I have ever learned for Smiley to make it. It didn't help that the dinky little fair across the street decided to set off fireworks during the sacrament. But all is well in Zion, and I am so looking forward to helping her understand even more and get a calling and work to help establish the kingdom. And I know that if she stays strong, Smiley will be raised right and be able to handle the temptations thrown at her.

Overall, it was an amazing Sunday, with a sacrament meeting attendance of 95, a 20+ person jump from last week, that was all due to a FHE every night of the week at the different little towns up and down the valley. Its been a sacrifice for everyone, but we are already seeing results! Things are finally rolling here. Still without priesthood leadership, but we are still looking for the solution to that problem, with faith.

Well, I hope this week treats you all well. I am so looking forward to talking to you all this next Monday!!! Love you all!

Hna Leavitt


She even checked out the font, just to be sure.

The picture of me with the Elders is a funny story that I ran out of time to tell. Remind me next week. These Elders are the best! They work so hard for the ward, and we always have such a good time together. Like 2 silly brothers that do dumb things and teach people about the gospel.

Sincerest.....

4/21/14

Apologies! I have yet again cut myself short on time. And I've still got to write President. So, a short update-

I am good. I am happy. We are working to find leadership to save the ship so the ship can stay afloat when the missionaries leave. And that's been a real faith building experience, and we are looking forward to seeing the results. Someday. :) We are writing in the internet café of Francisca. She is going to be baptized this Saturday! Yes! 

The church is true. Easter is amazing and an awesome reminder of the "why" we do the work of salvation that we are so anxiously engaged in. He lives. He lives for each one of us, and we need to live in a way that shows him we are grateful for the sacrifice that he made. Its all true- all of it.

I am so excited to get those packages. For lots of reasons. I'm not complaining but... okay I am, the food is TERRIBLE. Haha, its so gross. I cant wait to show you my pensionistas kitchen. It is out of this world. But I'm not going to die. I have lost a lot of weight here though. I'm sitting at about 130 right now. Its from the miles of walking and being grossed out by food. Dang it. a bug bit me while I was typing to you. 


I am BURNING through Personal Progress. I cant believe that I didn't finish it when I was in  YW. And, when I do some values, I just think- hey! Ive already done this. Because I did. Years ago. But anyways, I will most definitely be done by the time I'm home. With my honor bee as well. ACCOMPLISHMENTS. I am going to want all the stickers and ribbons too, when I'm home.

I am sending a weird sepia toned picture of me with my little Easter bunny peep- That's the only candy that lasted until the actual day. I didn't realize it was on this setting until I looked at it. So there you go. 

Okay, I love you all, keep up the good work, go to church. 

Love,

Hermana Leavitt

(Cant wait until Mothers Day!!) :)








Monday, April 14, 2014

The Stars are Prettier in Corire

Its true, when you're walking through the valley at night, and its dark, and you're still a mile away from your room and you have to walk because there are no buses at that hour, all you can do is look up at the sky and say ".... the stars are prettier in Corire." Because they really are. Its so gorgeous here, and love it more and more every day. I'm starting to doubt if Adam really went to Adam-ondi-aman after leaving the garden of Eden... I think he actually came to Valle Majes, and planted a few mangoes here.

Things here in Rama Aplao have been going.... somewhere. Haha, this area is such a patience builder! We just have to work with the leaders so much.... but we can only teach so little at a time, or it goes over their heads. So we are having to learn to work at there pace and not at ours. And sometime their pace is s-l-o-w as slow can be. But that's all part of the ball game here. We have really been trying to rescue as many people as we can... but are starting to see that all efforts are just kind of .... stunted by the lack of Melchizedek priesthood holders in positions of leadership. But we are looking for the chosen men, to lead the church, and I know that they are out there. They just.... haven't made it out to church in awhile. But we can do it! I know we can. After 2 months here, I can already see a difference. There is still a few football fields left to go, but that will come.

I have restarted the Book of Mormon, again, and I just cannot express enough how true that book is. It is so true! Everything about it. I am so grateful to have been introduced to this book at such a young age, and to grow with the knowledge that it exists.

We had to chance to visit with this less active lady named Elizabeth, and she is just awesome! She has such a strong testimony, she just got shaken by something that happened with their adoptive son that suddenly made her question everything, but she knows that all these things will be for her eternal benefit, and that it really is time to come back. She cried and cried with us, about so many things that really would be hard for anyone to bear, but then she just transformed, and knew that our visit to her was her Heavenly Father saying "Hija, es hora para regresar a mi redil." And it was so special to sing her favorite hymn with her "Ill go where you want me to go" and it was amazing to see the Atonement applied and received right before our very eyes. She was filled with such anger and bitterness and sadness when we got there, but when we left.... you saw her eyes filled with an undeniable, indescribable hope. Hope that she really could change. Hope that it wasn't too late. Hope that she will receive blessings when she keeps her covenants. And that's really what we preach- hope to everyone.

Ive gotta jet, but I hope you know how much I love you all! I am so lucky to have such a great family. :)

Love,

Hermana Leavitt

Note: I asked Melissa about reading about some sisters serving in Chivay now. (If you remember that is where she wanted to serve sometime) and I asked her also about being a sister trainer. Per Melissa's request I tracked down Hna B's mom and with her permission I share Melissa's experience with her daughter. Missions are hard, especially in a foreign country. If the missionaries can get over that 3 month hump (after leaving the comforts of the MTC) - things get a little easier day by day. This is her response:

"Yep- sister Stone and sister Weller got put into Chivay, and they are both AWESOME! Seriously, phenomenal sisters, and I am so psyched for them. This past week they had an attendance of 6 people..... so they have got a lot of work to do! And I still might end up going there after serving here.... I just need to prove to president that Hermana Leavitt can build Branches, no sweat. Sister training is actually awesome! We get to go on divisions, and get to know the girls and see how they work, and we end up loving them even more every time we go, and then we put goals on things that we can all do better. We had a sweet division with one of our companionship in C.  I went (by myself...... one of the challenges of being 2 hours away.... one of us from each area leaves at the same time so we don't waste the whole day traveling) and was with Hna T, who is the biggest sweetheart ever, and we just got a brand new gringa in the other companionship there, her name is Hermana B, from UT. I had talked to her the night before (her 2nd night in the field) and she told me that her mosquito bites were huge, so I brought some hydrcortizone cream with me, and when I saw her at the bus terminal, it was like looking back in time, 6 months ago. Shes got glasses just like mine, huge bug bites, knows absolutely NO Spanish, and has a Latina trainer that just barely finished her training a week ago. She is me, mom! So when I saw her, I imminently told the girls that we were all going to meet together at the church the next day at 12, and it turned out to be completely inspired. All 4 of us were in a room, just making small talk, and then I had had Hna T prepare a simple training to give to Hna A (Hna B's trainer) and get some feedback from her, so they went in another room, and I got to talk to Hna B alone. Shoot- that first three months really IS hard! Dang, she just got really emotional and started talking and talking about everything from the food to the communication, and everything she said rang true. It is so hard to be in those shoes. But it was awesome- I got to share with her all the wisdom and tips that I could possibly think of, and I think it helped her. I had written her a letter the night before, calling her "the unsinkable sister B!" and also gave her that "Missionary Commission" card that you sent me with the Bruce R. McConkie quote on the back, just trying to let her know that she really CAN do this. And I know she can. Plus, I am going to be there for her! And that's something I most definitely didn't have during my training. We have things schedules out, from Special P-days to service activities, so that we will be able to see her at least once a week this change. Really, the solution, as hard as it is to hear, is time. It's realizing that this will all come together on the Lords time, not on ours. But she is going to do great, I know it! If you happen to know her mom on your FB group, let her know that we are going to take care of her as much as we can! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Need to Rescue

Hey Family! I hope those whose emails went unanswered due to leadership training are now satisfied, thank you all so much for being so consistent in giving me the support that I need.

This week, it hit me just how important it is to follow President Monson's plead to "go to the rescue." All week we had been kind of worried about Gustavo, our convert of 12 years old who was baptized last week, because we had to go to Arequipa on Mon and Tues, and then someones father in the ward died on Wed, and his funeral was on Thurs, the same night we had to run around like crazy all through the valley to get people to come to Melchizedek Priesthood interviews with President Zobrist that we were given shorter notice about, Friday were the interviews and a church activity, and we went to try and invite him to conference and the activities but we just couldn't find him, so we get to church on Sunday, after going to pick up a less active boy, and we see him sitting there! I cant even describe the feelings of relief that came over me, and he is kind of a more timid  boy, so I was surprised to see him sitting next to someone his age. We went up, said "hi" and then asked who his friend was, and it turns out that this friend was actually his cousin, and his cousin was a less active member, who came after Elder Narramore and Luzardo visited his mom and invited the whole family to come back to church. None of us knew that they were all related, but it was such a sweet, incredibly tender mercy of the Lord, that I will never ever forget that relief and gratitude that I felt. This branch is so shaky, and there aren't a lot of members in Corire, where he lives, much less young active members, and Gustavo needs more friends than two white sister missionaries. That situation right there outlines and personifies to me, the importance of rescuing. Now Gustavo has a friend, his own cousin, that he can learn and grow and progress with, and he has his aunt, who is a parental figure that can help him with things that his nonmember parents cant. The elders had no idea that they were answering our prayers and Gustavo´s need, they just were trying to follow the counsel of the prophet to go find the lost sheep, and through those who come back to church, those who are new will be more likely to stay strong.

We weren't able to watch conference, just one session we downloaded and showed 4 times. But I will read the talks when they come out!

And, lots of other great things have been happening here. The branch is progressing. I am here for sure for another 6 weeks!! Yes! Okay, the time has escaped once again. I love you all so much and I know that the work is true and essential. I love it!

Hermana Leavitt

Monday, March 31, 2014

Not Much Time

As usual, when conference time is here, there is no time to write, but I thought I would let you all know that I am healthy, happy, and having good experiences every single day. I am sending some pictures, of baptisms. Gustavo got baptized this Saturday! He's the best and is going on a mission someday. :)

I love you, I love this church, and I know its all true!

Hna Leavitt

Gustavo's Baptism

Picture of the Valley