Sunday, January 26, 2014

One Year and Older and Wiser Too! Happy Birthday to Melissa!

Hey! I'm 20 years old now! That's so weird- but to answer the poparrazi- no I don't feel different. (also, the keys on this computer are unusually sticky, so I have a feeling that typos will be abundant)

My birthday happened como asì-
-Woke up.
-Went to my Pensionistas- to find that for the first time in the mission, at a special request from me, she made us pancakes! They were so good, and we ate them with jam. Delicioso.
-We went to the office, to finish up the video that we were going to present at Lìderazgo the follow day. And, since the conference was the next day, we were the only ones at the office. So it was kind of boring. But then there was this civil protest parade thing outside of the office building. So that was different.
-We went to the mission home, and ate some delicious leftovers. Hna Zobrist had wanted to go to Avelino (this big huge shopping place) for awhile, and asked us to take her. So then we went, and I found a red dress that I liked, and some cool pink Peruvian pants. So I bought them. It was really fun, and nice of her to take us.
-Went back to our area and worked as usual.
-The power went out in almost all of Arequipa around 6 PM. And it was raining.
-We had to go back to our room, because its not safe when the streetlights are out.... but then we left our room at 7:30 to go to a family night at my pensionistas. It wasn't optional.
- We had a lesson at their house (given by Andy, the 6 year old), and then they all went around and said nice things to me, and then played a game. They invited Hna LIlian, who lives in the same house as us, Hno Hugo-our ward mission leader, and Junior- our recent convert. I felt so loved and special, and was surrounded by fantastic people.
-They sang happy birthday to me, and then when I blew out the candle- Junior poured flour ALL over me!! Then, they told me that it was tradition to have me bite the cake- And then they shoved my face in it!! It was awesome.

Overall, a pretty good birthday!! I thought about you all that day, how you would be making me breakfast in bed and silly signs if you had the chance, but I really was happy. Its the only birthday I'll have in the mission, and my pensionista and her family really went the extra mile to make me have a special day- and that meant more to m than any present they could have given.

Tuesday, was leadership in the mission home, and it was great! We talked a lot about faith, which was great, after having Elder Grow com here. It helped me look at missionary work differently, and what I need to do to allow faith to be the biggest element involved when it comes to goal making. I got a lot out of it, and was so happy to be involved. We gave a presentation on Emergency Preparedness, and I made this video that started out saying "Like Frodo, we all have a mission to complete. And to complete such an important mission, we need to know what we should do in case of emergencies." and then it was followed by clips of Lego Lord of the Rings, and the corresponding emergencies that we could have here. It was so funny, and now a tons of people want the video. We also passed out chocolate, and when the terrorism part came on, we had people shoot fake arrows from the loft above. It was a great presentation.

We have some awesome people set to be baptized this month. A is progressing so much, and he understands our Spanish so well, and is one of the funniest people Ive met out here. He has a walking problem and some speech impediments, but its only because his spirit is so awesome, that Heavenly Father had to even it out somehow.

We are going to have a wedding on the 14th of February! L and N. They have been in this cycle of getting together and breaking up for years, but have finally found the glue that will keep them together, and that is the Gospel of Christ! She got baptized last May, when they were separated, and then these past two weeks N has been taking the discussions, and he wants to help his little family survive the challenges of this life, and is so willing to change.

E, is a 16 year old girl, who lives with N and L and watches their kids during the day, and who has been taking the discussions as well, during the afternoon, is making some amazing changes as well, and we know that shes getting more and more prepared everyday.

That's the amazing part about a mission- being able to see people change their lives through the application of the Atonement, and seeing the spirit touch their hearts and give them desires to repent and enter into the gate. Its an incredible journey that everyone goes through, and I feel privileged to be able to be a small part of it. I wouldn't give this up for anything, and am so glad that I'm here, and not at home (this week included), because I know that this is the absolute best thing I could be doing.

I bought a pan flute today, taking my first steps towards completing my New Years goal. Its harder than it looks. I have some instructions, but do you think you could look up how to play it and send me what you find?

Grandma and Grandpa Leavitt are home!!! Give them both big ol´ brazos for me, will you? I am so proud to have them as my grandparents. Making the decision to go on a mission was a little easier to make when I looked at the examples that both of my grandparents were giving me.

Next week, we are going to Chivay, this back country tiny town, to check out the medical situation, and as well to spend the night, and then get up way early, go to Colca canyon, and see the almost extinct Andean condors. (Perk number 13284092632982763 of being in the office) So I don't know when I'll get on next week, maybe the day before. Anyways, it should be an awesome time.

I love you all dearly, and hope that things are well back in Zion. Keep me in your prayers, and I'll keep you in mine. :)

Hna Leavitt

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