Monday, January 19, 2015

Cuy, Chopped Hair, Chacra...

                                                                    No more hair! 

January 19, 2015
Haha.... I caved. I can't. Its so hot and muggy and it didn't even matter... I chopped my hair off! Haha... like literally with my two sole scissors in the bathroom of our cuarto... but, I like it and I don't sweat to death anymore! 
This week has been awesome. Hard, but awesome. Not sure how it works, but the weeks just get better and better, even if it is harder and harder at the same time. 
Fun things, we got locked on a roof with a crazy man yelling about something,.. and I could not stop laughing... we called our investigator to come open the  that was fun! Also, for Carnival all of the boys throw water balloons at girls and vice versa for like a month. So we've had a total of 3 balloons pelt us this week, but it feels so great! 
Also this week, we had the grand opportunity to eat CUY! Guinea pig... haha, after I got past the idea of all the pet ones we've had, It was really good.. definitely a fan! Our investigator that fed us has a farm, so she was really good at cooking it, so yummy! Also today we went to the Chacra (small fruit or other farm) and it was such a blast. We skipped rocks in a river and just chilled... love the Peruvian life style. They just sit, talk, stare.. not really sure, but it sure makes teaching lessons and contacts easier haha. 
A few people we are teaching are really looking good. We have a less active grandma who has a granddaughter that lives with her that we are teaching, and I'm really excited about the grandma, Gladys, and granddaughter, Paola, are super nice and we've had some awesome lessons and a date to baptize her Paola. Haha but every time we go she is ALWAYS having a party or friends.. kind of reminds me of someone I know  But It has been cool to share my testimony and the gospel with her and they loved church yesterday.... so we'll see. 
Also Hermana Deysi is doing well and we met with her and her husband to talk about baptism and marriage. I really hope her "husband" and her get married because Deysi has seriously made a 180 since I met her, and wants to change her life so much. 
Our family Espinosa, the one from the cake with the runaway daughter is doing well tambien. The hardest thing is helping people realize that without action, nothing can happen. We can't only believe in God, we have to do stuff.. like read and come to church. But they seriously feed us spinach eggs/tortillas every time, so they are my favorite haha...
We had to TRACT a couple times this week because so many people are on vacations and citas fall through, all I can say is I'm glad I'm not serving in a mission where that is the majority of the day... hard stuff. 
I really learned that it is our faith and attitude that make all of the difference. On the harder days, I just remember whose work it is and it makes it easier. That, and frozen chocolate milk (chicola) helps the days work out. All we need is faith that leads us to action. Action to do the little things, try to better ourselves, etc. 
I sure am grateful for the atonement and opportunity to become better, because holy cow I have a long ways to go as a missionary, and some days just feel like I'm not doing a very good job here, but then I remember it doesn't matter, because all the Savior asks is immediate progression and for us to try, not immediate perfection. 

Love you all and hope you have a great week! 
Hermana Clegg

 World war Z hospital.. all the workers are always drunk and follow after us like zombies... sketch haha.

Cuy! haha... so weird. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

The MIRACLES of a mission

January 12, 2015
Wow, this week has been great. Thank you all for your love and support, sorry for some of the Debbie Downer emails... but truth is the mission is not all sunshine and daisies, but it definitely is at times. The weeks, days and hours just get better and better for me. I LOVE this opportunity to serve in my life and really focus and realize what is most important. 

This week was awesome. Started off with buying a little blue backpack from this cute store called Glitter, and with that and the Spirit, everything worked out. Mas or menos haha. 

We are currently trying to teach an older coupled named Oscar and Requilda who are pretty old and pretty awesome. Every time we taught them the spirit has been so strong and I’m excited to keep going with them. One thing I have loved about the lessons with them is how interested they are in the Book of Mormon and personal revelation, what a great gift we have! Oscar recently had surgery on his knee, so they haven’t been able to attend church, but hopefully soon. 

Another couple we teach is Rosa and Johnson... they are SO perfect and have been taught for a long time, had a date to be baptized and married, but it fell through and we’ve been struggling to keep them progressing. Another thing I really love and have learned that really, if we gain a testimony of one thing, that God KEEPS his promises and we are blessed when we obey, everything else is CAKE. There is no question and everything works out. But first you have to try, and that seems to be the hard part. 

However, highlight of the week was this past Wednesday, started off with reading "The Miracle of a Mission" By Elder Holland. AMAZING talk and one that I really needed. There are a million things I learned, but one point I loved was when he said to start today, and love EVERY DAY of your mission. It’s not your job to succeed, its the Lords work, you just need to be an instrument. That really hit me because I’ve felt a little stressed with figuring it out, when really I don’t have to figure it out, only submit myself to the lord. 

On this same day a lot of things fell through, and we ended up seeing a piece of cake that looked SUPER good. So we went into the bakery and ate it. (Best Two Years moment.... inspiration hahaha indigestion!)  While we were in there the girl that worked there asked us question after question about the gospel, she lives in the jungle, so we can’t teach her, but it was awesome to see how the answers of the gospel helped her. While we were there a man came in and recognized us as Mormons and said I go to your church! Come teach my family! So of course we jumped on that and visited the family after. They were AWESOME. They sat and told us their problems of how their daughter is kind of off the edge in every way and they hardly know where she is, fed us a tortilla (eggs with vegetables... my favorite!) and we made and appointment to come back. 

Also on that day, my favorite investigator... probably a bad thing to say, but Deysi who is part of a part member family, and one of the only ones not baptized, READ HER BOOK OF MORMON. This really was a miracle, she is pretty sassy and not really keen to listen ever, but she read a ton and had so many questions, and wanted to know what she could do to repent. I have such a strong testimony that that book is the word of God and CHANGES LIVES! 

So pretty much through all of that, I learned that God keeps his promises, and that a mission really is one miracle after another. I wish I had time to tell all the miracles like that that happen. A lot of things don’t work out, but in following the spirit, what needs to does. 

Oh, and when we went back to teach that family, holy smokes. CRAZIEST LESSON YET. A straight up black lady that somehow was speaking Spanish but still just as black as anyone, when we walked in started to talk about how racist the Mormon church was and everything in front of our "golden" investigators! Then they told us that only 2 hours before they had come home from picking bananas to find their lock had been cut and that their daughter and stolen a ton of stuff and took off with her friends. It was SO sad... both the parents were crying and really struggling, I can’t even imagine. But the black lady (sorry I don’t remember her name) invited her brother who was a preacher for some church! haha right then I started praying pretty hard... Pretty much they all just gave advice, and I was really struggling to understand, but I felt that we needed to share Alma the Younger, and so my companion did, a long with some good advice and the spirit was so strong, it was really hard to see the tears fall down both of their faces though. I know that that wasn’t a coincidence, and although really scary and kind of awkward, the Lord helped us through the whole thing. 

In every lesson I teach, whether with the old less active ladies or new investigators, I realize that everything in my life has been preparing me for this time. I can help other people with the knowledge and experiences the Lord has given me, and really that is what it is all about. The little things matter. A LOT. Never forget the influence you have on others and how every decision determines our destiny,... and other peoples haha. 

Also had my first Zone meeting this week, which was awesome! I said I had two months and all the Elders went oooohhh.... haha. We also got to help out the Elders with a baptism, which was an awesome experience, and me and another Hermana sang a special musical number. The members and church are still the same in some ways, yet different in others. haha kind of wondering what is the line between a different country and apostasy 
Haha... and every morning on the roof across the street, a little chubby kid comes out and like practices karate and super hero stunts among the laundry. Usually only last about 2 minutes, but makes my study every day. This place is awesome. 

Honestly, I feel like I cannot express all I would want to about how well things are going here. I have really felt this week that all we need to do is Trust in the Lord and have faith. Nothing else even matters, it will all work out if we do that. 

Sure grateful for all of you, best of luck in your own adventures, and thanks for your love and support always! 

Hermana Clegg

                                                    Me and Hermana Bean... love her!

Mercado (market) sooo much stuff, creep right?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Las Naranjas

January 5, 2015
Well, short week, but SO MUCH BETTER. Honestly, adjusting to being a missionary is hard work. There are so many things that are just different, especially in a different culture, so it was a little bit of a rough week. I can honestly see how missionaries go home, at times it has crossed my mind, but then I always find a bajillion more pros than cons to stay. It’s hard, but when you turn to the Lord its possible. I love being out here, and am grateful for the trials and the good. 
Today for Pday we went on the sickest hike ever! It was called Las Naranjas and was about 20 min drive up the mountain to start it. It was so fun to hike with our district through the Peruvian Jungle and we got to see an amazing waterfall. Hopefully I can get the pictures to work! 
This week has gone well, there has been rough moments, but through prayer and hard work and blessing those moments turned into the good moments.... the worst part of the week was when I lost my water bottle in a gutter... good thing I bought another one before the mish (thanks mom!) but kind of sad...
We had a lot of good lessons, and a few really good new investigators. A lot of the work we do is reactivation, so we have taught a lot of less actives the last few days. We found a couple of new investigators who seem to be really prepared for the message of the gospel. One is a single mom and in our first lesson she asked if we knew a Hermano in our ward who is also a doctor. She went on to say what a nice man he was and how it always amazed her that he came over to take care of her kids when they were sick at whatever hour. 
That made me realize how important members are in missionary work once again. Because of his example we have had an easier time teaching her, so never forget to really show what the church is in the way you act. It makes a difference! 
Also, our pentista has been on vacation this week... so everyday we have eaten either cereal with sweetened condensed milk, or fried eggs and bananas.... I’m excited for her to get back haha.... 
I love the mission more and more each day... I just have to find little ways to have a good attitude and faith. For example, getting in a freezing cold shower isn’t as hard when I imagine jumping into Bear Lake! Or I put a picture of snowy trees from the Liahona by my bed, because its easy to get up to go skiing, and it makes the mornings better. 
One thing I’ve learned this week is that we all have strengths and weaknesses, although I think the mission is really good at pointing out weaknesses, I know that we all have spiritual strengths that the lord has given us to help others. As I try to focus on the strengths I have... talking to people, giving candy to kids, smiling, etc. It’s easier to make the weaknesses like Spanish not seem so bad. I know that this is what Heavenly Father wants for each of you as well, to make the weak things strong, and I know that it works. 

I love you all and am thankful for your prayers, letters, and support. Have a great week and know that the church is true  

Hermana Clegg 
My comp and me at the waterfall

My district

Our giant leaves!

We taught a circus... and ate a lamb

January 1, 2015
Well, the mission is nuts... so many times this week I have thought to myself ¨this is the mission¨ with a question mark that I don’t know how to make, haha... but its been great. 

There is a travelling circus on ice from Russia, Ukraine, Argentina, everywhere and we taught them! We’ve become pretty good friends with them, they are like a group of 8 girls, because we had Christmas Eve together and they are staying in the hotel we pension in! 

Anyhow, we’ve only taught them twice because they are pretty busy with shows... on ice in Peru.. yeah I don’t get it, haha... but it was CRAZY awesome to see how prepared they were for the gospel. One of them has two kids and says he asks questions that she just doesn’t have the answer to, like why we are here and stuff. We taught them the importance of the church and it made me want to share with you all that the church really does have all the answers, and also through prayer we can find all the answers! 

On Saturday we ate with some members at a big birthday party for her mom, and we started eating the meal... looked normal. Took the first bite and it tasted alright, and it was lamb so I expected it to be different... looked closer at the salad part and it had pieces of skin with hair on it, and later we found out the sauce was the blood of the lamb. So I moved from the salad and tried to eat the lamb meat, whoo.... don’t know what part it was, but It felt like I was chewing nasty gum... at the moment I realized what it is like to HAVE to eat something, and physically not be able to, haha... I started to pray, real hard, and managed to eat a little more of the salad, and half of one of the pieces of meat, but all my rice and potatoes.... I felt bad but I ate more than one of the elders so I felt all right.... so nasty. Probably wont be the last time with an experience like that, but definitely harder than I imagined it would be! 

On Monday we had intercambios with the Hermana leaders and I got to experience what its like to have a Latina companion... holy heck it was hard! I realized how grateful I was to be with a gringa and how much I need to work on my Spanish, but slowly by slowly its getting there, haha. Slowly. 

New Years was CRAZY here. The all burn ¨dolls¨¨ more like scarecrows to signify getting rid of the old you. Kind of creepy though, haha. We mostly contacted and helped the ward get ready for a party, even the members LOVE to party, and had to be in early. At midnight on new years and Christmas it sounded like we were being bombed. SO many fireworks. We went up to the roof to watch them and it was amazing. I love Jaen! 

We are slowly building up more investigators, but one thing I have seen this week, is that there really are no ends, only everlasting beginnings. We started to teach a couple who are older, sick, and its been an amazing experience to see the thirst they have for the gospel, and the hope it brings. They have their whole lives behind them, but through the atonement they can change and have so much more. Its never too late! 

Know as the New Year comes, it is only another beginning to leave behind the old and become more like our Savior Jesus Christ, because that really is why we are here. 

Love you all and wish you a happy new year!! 

Hermana Clegg
New years eve! People here are really ssuperstitiousand EVERYONE has yellow decorations, clothes, flowers, etc. for luck! So we put on some too on the roof! 

Bubbles on the roof!

A is typical shot of Jaen... mountain, jungle, city, hard to describe and this picture doesn't give justice for how pretty it is. So blessed!