Saturday, August 16, 2014



"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

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


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