Tuesday, June 18, 2013

P-Day Again???

June 17, 2012

Hola Familia!

PDay again?? Wow, how fast time is flying now that I got the hang of things! I'll report what I have from my Investigators, but there's really not much because just about all of them are out of town right now! There's some sort of break from school so most of this week we were knocking on doors (my first time in my mission) and finding new people to teach. Oh, and guess what else? Wedding Planning. I didn't realize I'd be a wedding planner but the majority of this week was focused on planning weddings. We have two couple that we are marrying on Friday and Baptizing on Saturday this upcoming week and I am stoked!!!! But it's been a lot of work and we've really had to pull some strings and fork out some cash to get their permission and such, but looks like everything should run smoothly!

Bessy: Bessy makes me never want to have kids. I can't believe how much pain I feel watching someone that I love so much refuse to make the right decision. Her mom was telling us all about how Bessy is reading the Book of Mormon every night and praying, etc. She's coming to Church and even doing a little bit of Missionary work. But, she refuses to be Baptized and when we left her house on Friday, my companion and I looked at each other and I just said "We can't go back to her, huh?" Hna Vasquez just shook her head sadly. The Lord's time is so precious and we can only spend it with people who want to progress and we can feel that we can't do anything more to help her change her mind. It's definitely a leap of faith to stop visiting her for a while.

LuzClarita: I am SO excited for her Baptism and wedding this week!!!! Her future Husband asked us to be their witnesses for their wedding and we are way excited. I'll send pictures of her wedding and Baptism.
Alex: Alex will also be married and baptized this week! He is marrying the daughter of our Ward Mission Leader, Alexia. Alexia is pregnant with his child and it's been rough on the family, but we're seeing this beautiful change with repentance and faith as they prepare for marriage and Alex's Baptism.

Deysi: She and her daughters accepted a date for Baptism and we are preparing them for the 27 of July (they're heading out of town for about 2 or 3 weeks) but we found out the other day that Deysi is still meeting with the missionaries from Jehovah's Witnesses and we are going to have to commit her to stop that as soon as she returns from her trip.

We taught a lot of lessons this week and invited people to baptism, but they haven't come to church yet, so we don't feel completely sure. Other than that, the same people are progressing and we're continuing to teach the people I have talked about in the past, but there is not a whole lot of updates to share. Since I don't have a ton to share, I want to explain a little bit more about what I have learned. 

When I was in Lima I wrote that the people had won my heart. Now that I have a little bit more time, I want to explain what happened. I finally learned two lessons that I should have learned a long time ago, and I think it's pretty sad that I had to move to Peru to figure these out.

1: It's not about me.
2. I don't need to take myself so seriously.

It started with a man named Luiszea. He was the first person I met when I got here. He is a recent convert of my companion before I got here, and he has a little booth set up in the streets everyday where he fixes watches. The first words I ever heard him say were to my companion "What happened to your other companion?" Being me, I instantly put a wall up and was certain that he hated me. He never, ever talked to me and I wouldn't try to say much because I thought he didn't want to talk to me. In my rotten head, I thought that it made matters worse that he bought us coconuts almost every single day because I have never liked to drink coconut milk.

Then, as I sat in a lesson with him for the first time, I had a huge realization. He wears the exact same outfit every single day. He sits at his little booth, but I've never really seen him have business. When I spoke to him, he looked surprised and I had the strongest feeling that the reason he hadn't spoke to me before was because he thought I didn't speak Spanish and didn't want to embarrass me.

Words cannot describe the way that my heart broke. Here I was thinking this man hated me when everyday, this man who has absolutely nothing insists on buying me a treat. To make matters worse, I was always silently complaining that he was doing it. I felt awful for who I was and how I was only thinking about myself and I was putting walls up to these people who had done nothing but love me. Yes, I talk to him quite a bit now and I sure as heck ENJOY my coconut.

After I came to the realization of how selfish I had been, I prayed super hard to have a better perspective. Heavenly Father helped me realize that the members here are on my side. I've been working so hard thinking I needed to prove myself to them when really they already accept me. They laugh at me often, but why do I need to take myself so seriously and get offended? They treat me like they treat family. They laugh and joke, but most of all they love. I just got a completely new perspective of the whole world that week.

It's funny how things can change. One Sunday I was standing in the church crying my eyes out to Elder Gondara saying that everyone hates me. The following Sunday I was sharing my testimony and sincerely thanking people for showing their love to me. No, the whole world didn't magically change in one week. I changed.  Here I was thinking everyone else was the problem, when really the problem was myself and all I needed to do was change my heart, and I feel like I'm leaving in a totally different world right now.

I LOVE THESE PEOPLE. At lunch one day, one sister in the ward literally got choked up when I told her how delicious her food was. I asked one man how his son was doing and he lit up and thanked me for asking as if I had just handed him a grand gift. 

When my blood sugar was low one Sunday night and I got super shaky, my companion made a phone call and in just a few minutes a sister in the ward was there with a full on meal for the both of us.

We gave a case of Spanish Hymns CDs to a lady and she cried like it was a big deal. When someone was missing yesterday that was supposed to give a talk, I was the first person the President came to and after I had so many people coming up to me and thanking me and telling me how beautiful it was.

When I was in Lima, we were talking with this sister and she was having a really hard time and she and I really hit it off as I shared experiences where I had to trust in the will of the Lord and shared a scripture or two. As I left, she hugged and kissed me and started crying and looked me in the eyes and said "I am different because you were in my house today."

I finally understand my calling. I want to make a difference in these people. Not because it's my calling, but beause I love them.

Love Always,

Hermana Simonson

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