Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hillbilly from Jaen

                                            Breakfast in the nicest place in the world

February 23, 2015
Hola fam! Holy smokes this week has been like none other on my mission. This week I got bit by a dog (didn't break the skin though, just scared me!) ate 9 pieces of pizza (I totally cried when I ate the first piece... so good!) saw a full length mirror, caught a lizard, stuck my finger in a fan (luckily it just cut my nail... one of those dumb stories haha) officially became a blonde on my Peru ID... Very abnormal, haha. 
I had to travel to Lima this week to get my DNI (ID) for Peru so I don't get kicked out. And since I'm in Jaen, it was 3 and a half days of traveling, so not a lot of teaching and normal things that happened. 
But wow, I realized that I have turned into quite the hillbilly out here in Jaen, and that truly it is different than a good amount of Peru. I felt carpet, saw real houses, Air conditioning, ate yummy food, slept in a normal bed, had a HOT SHOWER. Ate Mcdonalds and pizza (so good). Oh man, it was honestly crazy and I was kind of freaking out the whole time, it was so weird for me! We stayed in Chiclayo for two nights with Hermana Thruston and her comp and it was such a nice area right next to the offices! Then my trip to Lima was even more culture shock, I have changed so much! I realized all people don't eat with their hands and that it can get cold at night haha. 
Best part was, at the end of the trip all I wanted to do was go back to Jaen and sweat and be in cement houses, etc. I realized how nice the people of Jaen are, and really, the carpet, hot water, etc. is just kind of fluff. The only thing that we really need is the gospel and those we love, the rest just isn't important. 
But I got to see Hermana Thruston, Elder Romrell and Mecham who were in my CCM District so it was a BLAST! We just laughed and talked on the planes and airports, etc. I honestly loved it so much, laughed so hard I cried several times. 
Also I had an intercambio this week and learned SO MUCH. We were so productive and I have never worked so hard nor felt so great! I had to lead the area so that was kind of nerve racking, but turned out alright. It was awesome! I’m stoked to work just as hard the rest of the week. 
So not a lot of lessons, etc, but if anything I truly realized how important the gospel is. It truly is everything in our lives and all that matters. I also learned that being obedient is truly the most important thing we can do. I realized that if we put EVERYTHING in the hands of the Lord, and do all we possibly can to do His will, he blesses us every time. Even in the little things I have seen miracles in my studies, people we teach, and the way I see the world by having the opportunity to give all I have to Him. 
Hope you all have a great week! I sure appreciate you all and can't express how happy I am to be serving here in Peru. 
Hermana Clegg 
"Spot It" with Gladys for FHE

Our lizard Pepino...almost got away

Cute little boy that read stories with me on the bus. Taught me all the animals here

Nicest hotel ever!


So excited for the package!

Culture shock in the city

Breathtaking views

Played "Spot It" with my district

Monday, February 16, 2015

February 16, 2015
 I read about the constitution in D&C this morning, and WE SAVED EMILLA! We have loads of menos activos, but kind of like baptisms you can teach them lessons and other requirements and get them active again and it’s called saving them. So we were pretty stoked to save her because we´ve been working with her for a while. But she is doing so well and is just loving the church. I love seeing the true change of heart with these people when they realize the value of the gospel and live it. She definitely is my favorite crazy Peruvian old lady. In our lessons in the mornings with her we do everything from start fires to cook her rice, look at her animal pelts... super sweet hermana though. 
Fun things for the week, one night in parque central there was a guy spray painting pictures with fire! So we went over to check it out, and all of his paintings were OF THE MOON! And so obviously I had to buy one. Super legit and was pretty much the best night ever. 
Also we had a family home evening with a family and played home made catch phrase and it was SO FUN! Only problem was I didn’t know all of the words in Spanish so it made it a little difficult and was filled with lots of laughs haha... I seriously love the members here. They always help us out and feed us lots of sweets.
We had a zone meeting this week and we had to teach in it how to invite people to be baptized because we had so many invitations haha... so that was fun and a little bit scary.
We have started to teach Deysi and Christian again, a couple who we were teaching a while ago and have a date for them to be baptized and married, but first Christian has to stop drinking, so we’ve been making lots of plans and hopefully can get him on the road to recovery. Its just kind of surreal when in the CCM the teachers would pretend to be drunk and you had to help them overcome it, and actually trying to figure out and help them. But so far he has been doing pretty good. 
Valentines day was AMAZING. Every single cita we had fell through... but we heart attacked a lot of members, made our contact cards into valentines haha, and cleaned the church... whoo. So nasty, but really fun to serve with the members. Then that night we hit up our favorite ice cream burger place Sabor y Miel to celebrate and saw a recent convert Sandra there with her mom. She comes and helps us a lot for lessons so we ate with her and just laughed and talked the whole time. 
One thing I have definitely realized is the more love you give, the more you get. I’ve felt so blessed to be here in Jaen and to meet the members, investigators, missionaries, all of it. The love of Christ is so real, and the more I work to develop it I just feel like I am blessed more. 
One thing I have learned this week is about the ENABLING power of the atonement. I feel like at times I don’t necessarily have sins, but faults and things I want to overcome. And really life is about pushing through and trying to better yourself on your own. When we turn our lives over to the Lord and let Him help us become better and have more strength to help those around us, we can become more through the ENABLING power than we ever could on our own. 

Pretty much just loving everything about the mission and couldn’t be happier. It’s hard but the blessings that follow are indescribable. 
Thanks for your love and support! Have a great week! 
 Hermana Clegg
Valentine's Day

Mopping away at the church

Monday, February 2, 2015

When the sun goes down

Paola, Gladys and Pool haha... our favorite youth and grandma 

February 2, 2015
One thing I LOVE about Jaen is that when I still haven’t figured out where the sun rises and sets. The whole sky just gets bright in the morning and at night the entire sky lights up. Like above us, on all sides, all mountains.. it’s amazing! That’s kind of how I feel about this week. I’m not really sure where the sun set or what happened, there was just a lot of contrasts and colors to the week. 
On Monday my comp continued to get worse health wise as I started to recover... we had a FHE with Rosa and Jhonson that was really important with members that we had to go to, so we just left. But then we ended up just sitting on a curb because Hna Bean couldn’t walk, and we had to call people about the FHE and figure stuff out, so all of the sudden I knew Spanish! I had to call everyone and talk to the people all by myself... kind of scary but actually a confidence booster because I could kind of do it! Rosa and Jhonson were not showing up, so I just kept praying and praying they would, and then they did! Moral of the story is that prayers work haha.. 
Everything went well, but after Hna Bean started to get a fever so I had to call zone leaders and President’s wife and stuff... haha I had no idea what to do. But it was fun adventure and now she is better and talks on the phone. 
Our new district is good... very different, but hopefully it will be good. We also have a zone conference with the Pres this week... stoked for that! 

Haha not sure about the rest of the week, but later on we stopped by Rosa and Jhonson to find Jhonson drinking and Rosa and her baby in a moto... turns out Jhonson has a drinking problem that we didn’t quite know about. So that was kind of a big bummer, because she doesn’t really want to get married to him anymore. But later on in the week we had another lesson and I kind of just called him out on it, and we all talked through it and the bishop came and gave him a blessing to overcome. I really have faith they can do it, and we’ve been working with them for a long time. Hopefully haha. 
Also this week we got to do some service and help a hermana move in which was super fun, except we were like the only people there to help and just lifted all of the furniture up over a wall... I was SO SORE. Hahaha but a good workout and we ate like 50 carrambola.. I think starfruit, because they had a tree. 
Funny things for the week.. one morning we were walking and a mentally handicapped man grabbed Hermana Bean by the arm and I had to un pry his arm from her haha... I was laughing so hard I was crying. 
Then our family Espinosa we were teaching and Hna Beans eyes were red, so they told her to put pee in it. And that every time they have stomach problems they drink their pee and it goes away... so hard not to laugh. These people are so awesome and crazy. 
Also we ate ice cream in the park with a man who has killed two people, first time I’ve met someone who has killed someone... but we talked for a bout half an hour, gave him a BOM because he lives in the jungle and answered a lot of deep questions. Pretty cool. 
Sunday we had 7 investigators attend church which is more than I have ever thought could, so we are definitely receiving lots of help from the Lord.
Also, our Pentista made Keenwa (quinoa) and I literally ate the whole pot at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was SO STINKIN YUMMY. Not sure why I liked it so much, but its my new favorite thing in Peru. 

More than anything, my testimony of prayer has been strengthened this week. IT WORKS. Whether it’s for someone to show up, to find Hna Gladys glasses, or to have someone stop drinking, or just to feel better, it works. If nothing else I’m grateful for the opportunity to be on a mission and learn how to pray. Heavenly Father ALWAYS answers. 
Love you all and thanks for your prayers and support. Hope you have a great week with all of the great and not so great things. Look for the miracles. It really is the contrast that makes it beautiful. 
 Hermana Clegg

Planning late at night with a bage of yummy fruit
from an investigator... not sure what, but sure were yummy!

Another transfer in Jaen

                               Soaked after running through the flooded streets

January 26, 2015
Hey everyone! So another transfer in Jaen with Hermana Bean! Super stoked… our entire district except two elders left though.. and none of them had 4 transfers, so hopefully it was just inspiration, really strange though!
Haha highlights of the week were when we were talking to two little girls and one asks me, ¨What language are you speaking?¨ Safe to say I still am working on the Spanish.. Also we taught some Jehovahs witnesses, that was exciting and it made me crazy to just sit there and not argue, but we just bore very strong testimony and left… Also, we have officially entered the rainy season, it rains every night/morning and we still run in it. But one morning we went running and the streets were pretty much flooded, so we just ran through wáter half way up our shins and splashed each other the whole time… SO SOAKED. But such a blast. Definitely a mature missionary thing to do haha. It still gets hot later in the day and one of our members said all the animals die because of the cold and hot weather, and there are TONS of bugs, but I've gotten pretty good at not scratching the bites. So kind of like the plague, but makes it fun to run!
Oh man, we've been trying to strengthen the Ward by having FHE with members and investigators, or just members. And because every FHE has an activity, we play "don't eat pete" every time, and wow. You would have thought it was an x box! We played one night and like 15 people were crowded around the window, and another 10 in the room playing, SO FUNNY. Guess you kind of take for granted the fun things, but now the kids always ask ¨¨Are we going to play No Comas a Pedro?¨
Our Ward is super great though! One Little girl asked “When can I come knock doors with you?” and have been giving us references a lot. Food is really the entry to people haha, and showing we love them. But its been going better since we've had the ward's help. Missionary work really is through the members.
Our investigators are doing alright. We are right on the verge of dropping like 3 because we just haven't seen ANY progression in about 3 weeks. Its hard though because I feel like through the spirit we found and taught them… so why are we supposed to drop them? Our couple Rosa and Johnson have everything to be baptized except attending church. And besides give them chocolate bars every day, testify and encourage them, I’m not quite sure what else we can do.
Also Hermana Paola (the sixteen year old) we found out can't get baptized for 3 months because her grandma is less active, and President wants to make sure she is converted and her family también. So that date fell which was kind of sad. But on Sunday, apparently there was a MASSIVE RAINSTORM the night before because the city looked awful. So much dirt and debree everywhere. Paola's house had flooded so they couldn't come to church, but we got some members to come help them out after which was really good, I love service!
One thing I've really realized this week is how incredibly easy my life has been. I have encountered a lot of problems that are just HARD. And I honestly don't know what I can do to help. For instance, we gave candy to this crying girl, and her and her little brother were crying because their dad abuses them, and they had some injuries to prove it. Another hermana is trying to figure out what to do because she found out her daughter is not her husbands, and now her husband is leaving her. People come up to us and tell us they are sick and going to die, Gladys tells us she has no food to feed themselves. I just pray to know what to say and how to help, and usually all we can do is bear testimony of Gods love for us, say a prayer and pray and fast for them. The blessings of the góspel are so real its crazy. Never take it for granted.
My favorite part of the week was when we taught a lady named Lucero who is a single mom and super nice. One of our last lessons she asked, “What more does God have for me? I have a house, family, work, what more is there?” It was awesome to feel the spirit and testify of the eternal blessings and happiness of the góspel. She prayed and asked that question to God, and the spirit was so strong. She then said, “It was like words straight from my heart, burning.” We explained that was an answer and that really there is more that God has for her.
All in all, life is good here in Peru. I’m excited for another transfer and to finish my training. I feel a little bit like the kid throwing starfishes into the ocean on a beach that is covered in them. It seems like he is not making a difference, and that is what everyone else thinks too, but when someone tells him it doesn't matter, he throws in another starfish and says “it mattered for that one.” So true, just hard to remember sometimes when results don't really show.
Thanks for all of your love and support, I hope you all have a great week and remember more than anything that God is our loving Heavenly Father, and really the opportunity to talk to him is a miracle it itself.

Hermana Clegg 

Don't Eat Pete haha... happening stuff