Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Pursuit of Happyness


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!


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. :)


Hermana Leavitt

Sorry, sorry, sorry...


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


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...


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.



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. 


Hermana Leavitt

(Cant wait until Mothers Day!!) :)