Monday, October 26, 2015

Palermo Week 7: Going strong with the 4th hija

Hey everyone! Once again it's been a Full week, getting to know the area and my new companion! I'm with Hermana Cuevas from Salta Argentina:) However, she's lived in the states for a good 12 years, so it's a 50/50 gringa latina mix;)

a gift from my hijas (doesn't Argentina have the coolest keys?!)

My former companion and Martin Lopez


My new companion, from Salta, Argentina
Hermana Cuevas

On Tuesday we all gathered in San Fernando at 5 to meet the newbies! Hermana Johnson was one of the sister training leaders helping with the new missionaries, so I got to see her! The assistants around 5:45 ushered us into the primary room, as the newbies were coming in and we needed to hide! Hermana Johnson's hija, Hermana Sanchez, was with us as she would be training for the first time. She seemed a little nervous, but I sat by her and put an arm around her, assuring her that it was normal to be nervous, and that even I, on round 4, was a little nervous;) The assistants handed us hymn books and off we went in a line, ready to come in singing Called to Serve.

Once again I was in the front of the line... someone has something against me. We came in singing, and once we had all entered the room Hermana Ayre and President started naming companionships. When they called me up I went up to Hermana Cuevas, gave her a hug, and we sat down among the other companionships. After President talked to us briefly and we ate pizza Elder Perry was ushering us towards a remise to Palermo. Off we went! It was about 8:20 when we got to the apartment, so we didn't have time to work that night, but we planned for the next day and I got to get to know my comp a little better!

Treats for the hija and the pension


The apartment we share with two other hermanas
 my bed with the banner

My study space

On Wednesday we took off running with weekly planning, followed by our weekly vianda from the Cucaresse family. We ate at church, and shared a little bit about ourselves as we did so. After lunch we went to the hospital, as my comp had to have a stitch taken out of her hand. I was scared for her, but the doctor took it out in about 2 seconds! After that we went to meet up with our member who was going to accompany us. Unfortunately he didn't ever show up... So we got Victor to accompany us and visited Kathy:) The idea was to go over and help build her up, but she did the opposite, building up Victor and helping him understand that he was progressing and developing in the gospel and to recognize what he was achieving. What should I expect, once a missionary always a missionary;) My companion also shared Doctrine and Covenants 122:7 and 8 with Kathy and Victor, which really brought the spirit. We then saw Daiana and Luciana! We talked about tithing and fasting:) After visiting with the two of them we ran off to go to our weekly meeting with our mission leader. ...We eventually found the church and were able to help plan our upcoming activity as a ward:) The Hunters were there and gave us Halloween candy, fake tattoos, and plastic vampire teeth. Pretty much the best family ever!

The Hunters and Hermana Muro

With Maida and Karen

On Thursday as we left the house to go to our zone meeting we were greeted by an absence of functioning subway! We found a bus and made it, albeit late;p The zone leaders had asked me to take 7 minutes or so to talk about commitments. I wasn't too thrilled, as I had to do it alone in front of everyone, but it actually went quite well:) I also enjoyed the visual demonstration Elder Wilcox and his companion showed. They made a cup tower with cups that had each of our names written on the front. The top cup was called "the goal". They pointed out that each one of us would be needed to hit the goal. To illustrate the point they asked one of the Elders to take away his cup. The entire tower shattered, cups flying everywhere. It was a powerful example that engraved itself in my mind.

Hermana Montoya and Hermana Dani


We then had lunch at 4 in the evening... talk about hungry! It was very good however:) We then went to visit the Sandon family. We helped Joseph, their son, to set a goal to read the Book of Mormon and for the family to start holding family scripture study:) We then went next door to visit Daiana. I received inspiration, and asked her if she would accompany us. She said yes!! With Daiana we visited Mayo and set an appointment with the entire family for Saturday! We also visited Carlitos:) 

That night I had my first family meal in 15 months... with 3 of my hijas! Hermana Bekaouche did the  dinner, Hermana Yancey did the show, and Hermana Cuevas and I were the guests:) As I gave the prayer for the food I gave thanks for the chance we had to be eating together as the Dickson family... it was sort of crazy! Great to see all of them:)

Riquelme is training, but here is Yancey and Cuevas, and Beckaouche is here too

On Friday was my dad's birthday!!!
We ate alone once more... or as Hermana Cuevas puts it, our "Forever Alone lunch". After lunch we went to get Victor, but when we passed by he told us he wasn't doing well and that he couldn't accompany us... It put a bit of a damper in our plans, but we were determined to endure to the end! ;) We decided to visit Mari and Jaghira and shared Ether 2:22-25. Read it, it's good;)

We then went to try and find Karina. We had been calling and texting, but hadn't been receiving any reply. And so we went over to her house, hoping to catch her home. We rang the bell and nothing happened. We were about to leave when Karina came walking by. When she saw us she looked confused and asked us why we were in front of her building. We told her we had been trying to visit her. She didn't have time to visit with us, and left very quickly. As we left I have to say I felt a little down. I felt like she had been so close and that now she didn't want anything to do with us or the church. However, my daughter wisely commented that we should pray during planning that night to ask Father if we needed to try to see her once more or if we needed to give her space for now. She helped me feel calmer about the situation as she told me that I'd done what I could and that the rest depended in Karina and in God's timing. She's right.

We then visited Paulo and got a referral. Whoo! From there we visited Daiana in the Sandon house. We taught the 10 commandments with hand signs, which was just a little bit too much fun;) 

We finished off the day with dinner at the Licursi house:)

On Saturday we ate in the abasto, a huge shopping center:) With Victor we visited Anderson and talked about service. I don't think he really understood the importance of serving others until I asked him, "How would you feel if you came into the kitchen in the morning and breakfast was ready and waiting for you?" I hadn't even finished the question when he smiled and said he'd really enjoy such. I explained that each of us can bring that easy happiness to others, and challenged Anderson and Victor to find little ways to serve.



We saw Daiana, who is now reading in the book of Enos! She's going to be finished in no time!! 

The day finished up with a visit to the Gonzales Family:) We watched the Mormon message "Origin". Another invite: watch it! 

On Sunday all of Argentina was voting, so after going to church and picking up our vianda we were told to go to our pension and stay there for safety reasons. That we did. At church I really enjoyed the lessons! We studied Uchtdorf's talk from this last general conference and watched a video on our true identity. In gospel principles class we talked about the holy ghost. Hermana Hunter commented that often we think of the Holy Ghost as the weakest member of the godhead and underestimate just Who he is and just all he can do. It really made me stop and think about the power of the holy ghost. Something to study!

The view outside of our apartment

Map of our area

My companion gave a talk on missionary work in sacrament meeting that went really well!

The rest of the day was spent studying inside. I enjoyed studying, and finished the Book of Mormon!! This will be the fourth time in Spanish. As I was finishing it up I could really feel the spirit and the reality of the book. I've already started reading it again. The Book of Mormon is truly full of a power hard to explain. 

It was a great week:) My comp and I will continue to endure to the end, search for investigators, and enjoy our forever alone lunches;)

An Argentine treat :)


Take care!
Hermana Dickson

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Week 6 in Palermo

Talk about a full week! Here I am, writing the fam and friends in the internet cafe in San Fernando where I always used to write before;) Waiting to receive the fourth hija! We know that of the 6 new missionaries coming in that 2 are from the states, 2 from Argentina, 1 from Mexico, and 1 from Spain. We'll have to wait and see who the Lord has in mind! 
I will miss this girl (Hermana Muro), the people of Parque Patricios (my first area) will love her!
Here she is with a peanut butter sandwich I made :).

On to this last week shall we?;)

On Monday for Pday we went roller skating! I have to say, I thought I kind of knew what I was doing, but I quickly learned that skating isn't as easy as it looks! It didn't help that my rollerblades were a little messed up. However, I enjoyed myself anyway! It was humbling, as a lot of people skated past me like it was nothing. It reminded me of all of the progress I'd achieved in the mission. Looking back on how I was when I arrived in the MTC to now I'm a different person completely. Things that I thought I would never be able to do or enjoy I do without giving it a second thought now. It's amazing how the Lord molds us. 

After Pday off we went to pick up Karina for the Family Home Evening with Hermana Kathy and her two children:) They shared a beautiful mini lesson on trials and on enduring to the end. We ended the evening with a lemon game that I wasn't very good at and dessert! 

On Tuesday Elder Merma, our district leader, led his last district meeting before ending his mission! We learned about 3 things that missionaries needed to be successful. He mentioned 1. animo (excitement) 2. oracion (prayer) and 3. deseo (desire). It was profound, that in 2 years the key to success were 3 such small and simple things. My companion and I did a practice with the district afterwards. I pretended to be an old lady with a bag of fruit. As I hobbled towards Hermana Muro I dropped my bag dramatically, to which she rushed to my side and started to "help" me. She then proceeded to teach me;) It was a great example of finding on our own initiative:) 

Interviews with the AP

That night we also went to visit with Karina. We taught her the law of chastity and went over the baptism questions. Everything was going well:) However, when we got back to the apartment that night we learned that we didn't have any water! A bit of an inconvenience, but that's ok...

The water returned on Wednesday! We also faced quite a few challenges. We had been teaching Daiana's sister, Luciana, and she wanted to be baptized. Everything was going well until we talked with her mom, who told us that she didn't have a problem but that she wanted Luciana to hit 12 or 13 before making such a decision. A little disappointing, but the real hit was when Karina canceled our appointment for that night and told us that she didn't want to be baptized at this time. Usually I take things pretty well and calmly, but I felt absolutely devastated for some reason. It was hard for me to hold back the tears, and right after planning I went straight to my journal to write out the swirl of emotions. I was reminded of Mario from the MTC and Emanuel. I felt like Karina was so close, and that she was now abandoning us. It was extremely difficult for me. 
On Thursday we had arroz con pollo with the Sandon family, Peruvian food! After lunch we went to meet up with Victor who was going to accompany us. As we approached him we saw that some random guy with a cello was talking to him, trashing his religion and the things WE believe. My companion and I weren't going to settle for such, and came up behind Victor, greeting the cellist with smiles but with a serious stare that dared him to continue attacking Victor. He was instantly submissive, and after sharing a little bit about the church he left. From there we visited Kevin, who offered the closing prayer! It was truly a spiritual experience:) 

On Friday we didn't have lunch, so I made PB&J and took it with me;) I felt like I was in middle school as I ate my sandwich with a little juice box. But that's ok, because it was delicious;) After lunch off we went to visit the Herrera family, Veronica, as well as Daiana and her sister! The two of them were reading the book of mormon, and Daiana was already near the end of 2nd Nephi! Talk about mind blown! I also got to pull a joke with the members we visited, as to take anything out of my bag I had to pull out the spaghetti sauce I'd bought. I got more than a few weird stares;)

The Herrera Family

On Saturday I felt like I was fighting my way along all day! During lunch the husband of the sister we were visiting with started attacking the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, etc... Interesting, given that he's a member! I did my best to be patient and loving, and stand up for what I believe in. Later, while visiting a less active member the same thing occured... A day to be strong, that's all. While visiting with Anderson later that day I made a comparision between food and spiritual hunger. I had first asked Anderson if he was reading his scriptures. He told me he was, but in an on and off fashion. That didn't fly with me, so I decided to pull an example. I asked him if he ate food every day. He said that he did (obviously). I then asked him why. He said because it was necessary to survive and to have the energy needed to go through the day. I then asked him why he was starving himself spiritually by not reading every day. The example was a little strong, but he felt the spirit, and told us that he would do his best to read daily from then on. We finished up the night with Carlitos! Always so nice to see him! 

On Sunday we watched "Lift" with Ayelen:) The spirit was strong, and I was reminded of the power of service. Highly recommended for those of you who didn't do your homework when I asked you to watch it last time;)

And finally yesterday! My last day with Hermana Muro... Sad! We tried to go to lunch, but the subte was closed, so we ran around trying to find a colectivo! We finally made it, albeit late. From there it was run from one house to another! We shared "Lift" once more and ended with a family home evening with Hermana Kathy and Daiana. We watched a video on Christ's ministry, which really helped bring the focus on Christ and reminded me of just how powerful the atonement is. It was a day to strengthen my own testimony of the Savior and what he did for each of us, for Me. 

Love you all! The time is ticking by FAST!  
Hermana Dickson

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 5 in Palermo

Esteemed friends and colleagues...
Nah;) Hey guys! Once again a wonderful week in Palermo:) We ate lunch on the stairs with a demon cat, searched in vain for a pharmacy, Diana was confirmed, and Karina went to church with us!

On Monday my companion and I had a family home evening with Karina in Hermana Saverry's house:) It could not have gone better! We taught her about the Plan of Salvation. Hermana Saverry was the perfect member, sharing her testimony and bringing the spirit. Karina really felt at home with her and they developed a lasting friendship from the first. What a blessing to have members to help us in this work! Without them we wouldn't even have found Karina to begin teaching her. She was a referral from a member, and after contacting her with a member, here we were having family home evening in the house of a member. Members are truly the key to missionary work! Couldn't work without them. 

On Tuesday my comp and I headed off to the District meeting in the rain:) We were greeted by facturas and juice: Breakfast! One of the main topics was the importance of teaching about the Sabbath day and keeping it holy. Our leaders stressed the importance of explaining the entire Sabbath day, and not just taking the sacrament. As they were teaching and explaining, and as my companion and I did a practice in front of the district, I thought of my own Sabbath day attendance and what I can do to improve.
We had lunch with Tamara, an RM, next:) She had welcomed us in to the house and we were able to sit down when the phone rang. She answered it, and then quickly ushered us down into the stairwell. She works for a Jewish lady, and her son was coming, someone known for picking on and bullying missionaries. Tamara, being the wonderful person she is, didn't want us to suffer unjustly, and so we sat down on the stairs and waited to see if the son was going to stay or if he was just popping in to say hi. Turns out he planned on staying... so my comp and I sat on the stairs while Tamara snuck out of the room and brought us our food. Talk about crazy! As we ate on the stairs every little noise put me on edge, because I thought we were going to get kicked out of the building for being missionaries!

However, lunch went smoothly, besides the company of a demonic cat that kept trying to eat through the door to get to us. It kept howling and scratching at the door... how pleasant;) 
It was truly the most interesting lunch I've had during my time in the mission, and it made me think a lot of what those before us had to pass through for their religion. All of the persecution, especially the pioneers, to allow us the religious freedom and privileges we enjoy so freely. Something to think about:)
Photos from my current area

On Wednesday I woke up without a voice! I tried to talk with my companion during companionship study, but it was a bit of a joke.... In the morning we went off in search of a pharmacy, because I needed a refill on a face medication. I think we visited 15 pharmacies and walked 20 blocks, but didn't find one that could fill my prescription. Every pharmacy said something different! Some claimed that I needed a new RX because mine was old, others said nothing about the age of the RX but said that the formula for the medication was incomplete. Many didn't do compounds at all. As we went from pharmacy to pharmacy I couldn't help but relate it to Joseph Smith and his search for the true church. Every one had something different to say, and each claimed to have the truth, but couldn't fill his needs. Like Joseph, the pharmacy was not to be found on earth at this time... and so I'll just have to be thankful that I have the restored gospel, even if I don't have the "restored pharmacy". 

We also visited Karina that night! We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ:) She was a little unsure about her baptismal date on the 18th, as she was beginning to feel opposition from family and friends. As she shared her feelings I shared the experience I'd had with my college plans. How I had thought that going to school in January would be too soon, but that I knew that I had to follow the spirit, even if I didn't know how everything was going to work out. I know this was an experience given to me from Father to help others facing similar trials.
The mission president prayed and fasted about whether I would be a sister leader or train again at this next transfer. He felt inspired that I would train again and so that night I learned that I would be training... for the fourth time!! I'm very excited about this opportunity.  It's a calling I LOVE!  Someone is waiting for me!

On Thursday, after the training meeting in San Fernando, my comp and I headed back to the pension to cook, as our lunch had fallen through. We made french toast;) From that moment every plan and appointment we had fell through. Our member canceled on us, and every single appointment. My companion even lost her sube, the card we use to take public transportation, and as a result all of the money we had just put on it... it was a rough day, but regardless of the struggles we were able to go through it with a smile. Amazingly enough, I was patient and calm, even as everything seemed to be going very wrong. Before, at the beginning of the mission, I would have been extremely impatient. Stressed out. Worried. But I was calm. It was truly a miracle:) 

On Friday we made up for the pain of Thursday by asking for referrals, visiting recent converts, as well as Daiana and Karina! We taught Karina the word of wisdom. She didn't know if she was going to be able to live it, but Hermana Saverry was able to share a powerful testimony of God's power, and that Nothing is impossible for Him. She is so wonderful and I don't know what we would do without her! 

Saturday we found Becky;) Which is to say that Hermana Bustos lost her llama pen, and we got her a new one, sneakily taping it to the door;) She really liked the surprise!

On Sunday Daiana was confirmed! Karina also came to church:) 

It was truly a great week! 

Love you guys, take care!
Hermana Dickson

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 4 in Palermo

Consisting of last minute changes, the shape and color of our blessings, contacting miracles, and the power of the spirit, this is the 4th week of PALERMO.

Zona Congreso
with President and Sister Ayre

So, let's get going;)

On Monday we left the apartment early to go to the mission house and view the woman's conference. I was extremely excited, as was my companion. Upon arriving and saying hi to a LOT of other hermanas all of us gringas gathered into a little room to watch the session. I had come prepared to receive answers and act on said answers. However, the answer I received was the Last thing I had expected! I had been praying and wondering when I would be going back to BYU. I had considered going back in April or even in June, but didn't feel like I'd gotten an answer from the Lord as to what He wanted. Yet, while sitting in the conference I felt a strong impression come rushing into my mind: "What if you went to school in January?" The very thought scared me, as I'd never considered such! However, to be obedient to the answer I wrote it down among my notes. And then every single thing said afterwards confirmed the answer I'd received. God was clearly telling me that I needed to go back to school in January. I wasn't very hungry after receiving the news! 

At the end of Pday we went to have a family home evening with Soledad and her family. My companion shared 3 Nefi 14:13-14 and shared her testimony regarding the straight and narrow path that we must take in order to get back home. I felt prompted to share that God's path for us is narrow, and that to travel through it our eyes must be closed. So much depends on the trust we have in God. It's not that the path is extremely twisty or full of rocks. It's that we must take the path with our eyes closed, trusting that God will guide us every step of the way, because we really can't go even a step forward on this path without Him. 

That night I called President and told him what had happened and the experience I'd had. He told me to follow the spirit, and that he would support me. And so here I was, with the answer I'd been searching for for quite a while and terrified to finally have it! However, as I prayed that night I felt very at peace. I knew that I was going to do what God had planned, and once I knew His will regarding the matter, all of the stress, doubts, and concerns melted away. 

Thus we move into Tuesday. One of the office elders had called on Sunday to let us know that our building contract would be ending on Wednesday. Concerned regarding this, as I didn't know where we would be living, I called him in the morning. He responded that Yes indeed we would be leaving the pension, that we should start packing immediately, and that we would be moving in with the sisters from Juncal. What?! 
The apartment we left

Thanks to Raul for his help!
And therefore we packed, and packed, and packed. I can't say I was too sad, as we would be leaving the huge cockroaches behind... I have to say I was a little apprehensive to be moving in with other sisters, but upon arriving I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It's like being back in college! Not to mention that my first hija, Hermana Yancey, lives a floor beneath us... talk about unexpected plans and blessings! 

The morning started out with going to exercise machines on the 10th floor for exercises. Spoiled much? I love it! From there we all went to the zone meeting. My companion and I talked about the importance of obedience. I also talked about the blessings we are sometimes waiting for. At times we are obedient, expecting to receive a certain blessing in return. Perhaps I'm on the look out for a blue box the size of my hands that will obviously come to me from the right side. But if I'm so busy looking for This blessing, My will, I might never notice the yellow star shaped blessing flying towards me from the left. God picks the blessings, how they come and when. We can't be so busy looking for what we want that we miss what He is sending.  

After the meeting and a vianda in the church we visited Hermana Sandon and helped her cut up more onions, followed by inviting Daiana to set a goal to how much of the Book of Mormon she wanted to read daily. It was great to see her enthusiasm!

Thursday morning was spent with President in interviews! As always it was Great to see him and hear from him how I was doing and where he wants me to go in the mission:) After interviews and lunch my comp and I were both feeling pretty ill (with colds or something similar) so we stayed in the apartment. My comp rested while a guy came to fix the lock on the door. After he left we switched places and I got some needed rest. 

On Friday the miracles came pouring down on us, as well as the rain. I felt as we were leaving from visiting with a family that we Had to contact a referral we'd received on Sunday. My companion wasn't initially thrilled, as it was far and we had a different appointment in about an hour. I refused to be moved, however, and she agreed that we ought to go. And off we went! We ran the doorbell and she immediately answered! Her mom invited us in, and we began to share with Karina and her mother Dolores the Restoration. As I shared the first vision of Joseph Smith in his own words the spirit was Undeniably present. As I finished I couldn't help but ask her, " Can you not Feel this? The spirit?" She looked at me as tears came to her eyes. "The Holy Ghost?" "The same" I replied. The spirit had touched each one of us in a Powerful way. An unmistakable way. When we invited her to be baptized it wasn't surprising to hear a yes leave her lips. She had already felt a spiritual confirmation. We all had. We left the house in awe at the mercy of God. My companion and I had had a difficult week with the last minute move, doctor's visits, and sickness, but had both felt that we were going to find someone prepared to receive us. And find we did! 

After Karina we stopped by to see the Gonzalez family. We explained how trials Bring us to Christ as I shared Alma 38:5. It was also a spiritual moment. 
Gathering to watch General Conference

On Saturday and Sunday we enjoyed General Conference. Listening to our prophets and apostles, for my third time in Argentina, was a beautiful and sacred experience. It's hard for me to believe that a year ago I was watching the conference in Argentina, in Parque Patricios with my mission mom. And now here I am, at the end of the mission sort of, watching these same inspired leaders in Argentina. The experience was very similar, but I am a very different person than who I was before. Every little bit of me has changed. I've been stretched, stretched into being more, being stronger, being closer to my Savior. More humble. More willing to apply the atonement in my life. More willing and able to pray, to read my scriptures.
A Wonderful Meal of French Toast with the Hunter Family

On Sunday Karina came to the last session of conference all by herself. Yet another miracle and tender mercy from a loving Father above. 

What a blessing it is to be a part of God's work. To be the hands. To be molded myself.
Hermana Dickson

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Palermo Week 3

Once again, an extremely full week! I wanted to start off with a scripture I found this week that really got my attention.

Ausi and I at the Baptism

Alma 38:5 from the Book of Mormon:

"as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troublesand your afflictions,  and ye shall be lifted up at the last day." 

Alright, on to the week we go:) 

On the Way to La Boca 

La Boca 

On Monday we went to La Boca:) We had planned on taking pictures and shopping, but the weather had other plans. With the howling wind and rain we decided to go straight for the Boca chapel where we played ultimate Frisbee! It was Sweet, even if I did get a little beat up:) 

ouch! frisbee pain

After a fun p-day we met up with All, who accompanied us to visit Daiana:) We taught her the word of wisdom and the law of chastity, helping her understand that her body is a temple and something sacred, that she truly is a daughter of God with divine potential. We then visited with Hermana Veronica and her little son Luca! 

On Tuesday we started out the day with our district meeting:) My companion and I talked about the importance of unity in a companionship. To teach the principle we decided to demonstrate a lack of unity;) I taught the entire thing, going on and on. Afterwards I said we were going to read a scripture. My companion started to announce where the scripture was found but I cut her off mid-sentence, telling her that she was wrong and that the scripture was actually in Alma. All of the Elders in our district looked at me with their mouths hanging open! However, before everyone got the impression that I was an evil dictator, my companion explained that we had been acting, and explained the importance of having unity. I thought it went really well and enjoyed acting;) Elder Cook also had his birthday, so we sneakily bought him a cake as a zone and sang to him:) After the district meeting we had lunch with Hermana Chiclayo who took us to a restaurant close to her house:) Yum! After lunch my companion was feeling sick with a bad cold, so we headed home so she could rest. I didn't mind, as the wind was horrible outside, smacking against the windows! To keep myself occupied I read my scriptures and marked up my bible. 

On Wednesday both of us felt ill! You'd think I'd be used to such things by now... After our vianda of rice and milanesa, Javier accompanied us in the rain:) With him we were able to teach Anderson, Medita, Kevin, and Daiana. Afterwards we met up with the Sandon family and did some practices for how they could invite their friends to go to church:) It actually turned out really well. As we got back to the house at the end of the day I realized that Javier had actually been teaching me as well throughout the day. He taught me the importance of fasting, and that we shouldn't worry if we don't receive an immediate answer. Every fast will be answered, but in God's time and in His way. I also loved what he had to say about prayer. About following through with promptings received and trusting in the Lord. It was amazing!

On Thursday I read about 20 chapters in the Book of Mormon in the morning, as my companion still wasn't feeling too well. It was so cool to see the entire mission of Ammon and his brothers and how the Lord used them as instruments to save so many thousands of people! Later that day Victor accompanied us:) I managed to lose 76 pesos... but it was a good day regardless:) We visited Juan, a less active member. He had a Book of Mormon that he wanted us to give away. I told him we would be happy to do so, but only if he was willing to do three things before that. First, read a single chapter in the book. Second, write his feelings or testimony regarding what he had read. And third, go with us to give the book away to one of his neighbors. I don't think he was expecting that! However, we didn't give him room to wiggle his way into excuses and agreed that yes, he would read, write, and be ready to give the Book of Mormon away the following week. Success! We also visited a referral we had received. His name is Brian and he's currently in the hospital recovering from an accident. He was actually very receptive and we were able to teach him a little bit about the Restoration of the gospel:) This lesson was followed by visiting Daiana, with whom we went over the baptismal questions:) She had also already finished everything we'd left for her to read, so I had to think of some more homework for her! We finished up the day visiting Carlitos and teaching him about the importance of the temple:) Before leaving we sang "Families can be together forever" in English and Spanish so that we could practice for the real deal on Sunday. It went really well and the spirit was felt.


Friday came around and off we went to lunch with the Herrera family:) It was my first time, and I have to say I loved it. They are such an example of living the gospel in their family. The love between husband and wife and towards their children is evident immediately. After lunch my companion and I headed back to the apartment as we both felt ill... yay! However, we had Daiana's baptismal interview later that evening, so off we went at 6 to pick her up and head over to the church. Everything went extremely well, and after the interview Elder Cook and Elder Merma gave my comp and I a blessing. As Elder Cook was giving me the blessing I felt as though Father was giving me instructions and guiding me. He talked about the importance of prayers, to always remember that God is my Father, and that I needed to be prepared for the people that were prepared for me. 

My Companion's Wonderful Peruvian cooking!

Cutting onions makes her cry.

Lomo saltado with rice

Papas fritas
(French fries)

Saturday consisted of making lomo saltado, a Peruvian dish that I love, with the Sandon family! After cooking it and eating it we visited Jaghira and Mary, and I got to hang out with Mary's little daughter and her legos:)

We then headed over to the church to teach Zulieka the gospel of Jesus Christ lesson. After teaching her briefly my comp and I didn't know where to go. We called and called but no one was home, or didn't want to answer their phone, or couldn't receive us on such short notice. then, all of a sudden, my companion felt prompted to call Daiana. We both knew that she was out of town for the day, but my comp had been receiving the prompting several times to call her and hadn't really paid attention to the feeling. However, when we called Daiana answered and said that she was home and that we could stop by. What a blessing! I've learned many times on my mission that when we receive a prompting from the spirit we HAVE to act, no matter what. It doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense or if it's not what we want. All that matters is trusting in God, trusting that His vision exceeds our own. 

And then she was baptized! That's right, on Sunday Daiana was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints! But let's back up a second. In the morning when my companion and I entered Relief Society, the sister speaking pointed at me and started talking about my piano abilities. She then asked me, in front of the class, if I'd be willing to play for sacrament meeting. Shocked, I said sure, to which she found one of the bishopric, scheduled everything, and came back to tell me that I would be playing a special number that very day! Talk about nuts! I ended up playing Pachabel's canon in D. Then we had the baptism! It was beautiful. All of Daiana's family came. I couldn't help thinking as we sat there how we hadn't done anything to bring about the baptism. That really EVERY baptism was God's baptism. We don't prepare the people. We don't even choose them. God puts us together. It's beautiful and humbling, working side by side with God in the mission. My companion and I also sang our song Families can be together mix in Spanish and English:) We had lunch with Elder and Hermana Hunter (awesome) and the rest of the day was pretty sweet:)

Beautiful Baptism of Daiana

I'm extremely blessed to be here in the mission and love every moment I have been given and every moment yet to come. Love all of you! 

Hermana Mallory Dickson