Welcome to the Jungle!
Querido familia y amigos,
I'm incredibly sorry for the lack of communication lately. It's been crazy with transitions, but I'm in the mission field now! I've been in the field for 7 days and I've already had 3 areas. But more to come on that later. Right now, I'm in Oxapampa, in the JUNGLE! It's incredibly beautiful here and I'm in a trio. All's chevre. :)
So, last time I wrote you was a LONG time ago. So much has happened!!! On March 1, my last Pday, I got to go to the temple and actually got to spend more time there. It was amazing. I also got to perform an arrangement of Nearer My God to Thee in front of Elder and Hermana Alarcon!!! It was an incredible experience. The Latinos after that kept asking me to teach them both English AND piano.
Mar. 2: We taught Luis for the last time today and taught him about the Plan de Salvacion! It went really well. We played voleibol despues. Later that day, we had CRE teaching, and we went out to teach our investigator and HE DIDNT SHOW UP. Sad. But I guess it was good practica for when investigadores don't show up to citas in the field. Also, there was apparently a small earthquake during dinner. I felt nothing, but it was hilarious.
Mar. 3: We taught Isabel for the last time and COMMITTED HER TO BAUTISMO! It was fantastic. We played voleibol again, and our investigator actually showed up today for CRE, so it was awesome! I do believe one of the greatest blessings I've seen so far in the mission is to feel even a portion of the love that our Padre Celestial feels for each and every person. It is undeniable and hermosa.
Mar. 4: Today was filled with training for el campo misional, con the avanzados gringos and the other Latino districts! For sake of time, I only will relay a highlight reel. They tried to demonstrate the hard boiled egg into glass bottle experiment, but Elder Hawks almost lit the table on fire. We've also started a running joke- whenever my compañera talks to elders, I hold up the folleto for el Ley de Castidad. (note - I looked this up - it is the Law of Chastity brochure). It´s hilarious. However, for a spiritual side: DyC 4;2. Fantastic. It was a long day, but a funny one filled with information they deemed essential that I forgot the second after they said it. (Update: I´m still doing well without all this, so I think it was less essencial than they said. :) )
The next day was incredible. We spent the day proselyting in Lima Este, San Luis. First, we visited the home of some evangelists, and they INTERRUPTED MY PRAYER and I really didn't know what to do. It was hilarious. The second visit, we were street contacting and a man named Teseo came out and asked about us! We taught a bit of El Restauracion, and gave him the folleto. He said I have the same picture! And proceeded to bring out the picture on the front of the folleto. He'll go to church next week. The most incredible experience, however, was a woman named Blanca Liz. We invited her to church, and she invited us in for a prayer! There were dolls everywhere (my incredibly deep phobia) but I was calmed down after looking into Blanca's eyes. All I could feel was the incredible love that God felt for her. We sang Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing for her, and she asked me to pray after. I prayed for her to feel the love that I knew God felt for her. We shared a quick message for her in 1 Nefi 17:36 and I testified. She started crying, and we gave her a Libro de Mormon. It was incredible. She was ready. :) Entonces, proselitismo got me really excited for life outside the CCM.
Mar. 6: Sunday meetings. Good things. 2 Ne 9:49 (for the sake of time).
Mar. 7: Last day of classes and time with my whole district! It was really good, and we had travel meetings. It turns out I'm leaving on Wednesday for Huanuco! Hermana Calderon leaves at 4 am for Arequipa.
Mar. 8: Weird day. I was all alone in the CCM! Everyone in my district was gone. However, I was assigned to work with sisters in Lima Este (Santa Patricia y La Molina) for the day! We studied, and I studied a lot about the grace of God. We ate at their pension, and, since there were four of us, we split into pairs! I was with Hna Ekins and we proselyted in Santa Patricia, a really poor area of Lima. Nobody showed up to the citas we had, so we just contacted and then contacted in La Molina. We walked a lot, shared simple messages, and it was hard and incredibly hot outside, but it was a great experience. Following this, I went back to the CCM and said goodbye to my gringo district. It was a great day. :)
Mar. 9: Huanuco La Alameda hoy! It looks like Utah here. MY MOUNTAINS. It's beautiful. :) I took a flight at 9 am from Lima to Huanuco, and since the plane was so small, I had to check all my bags. It was rough. Anyway, on the flight I sat next to a girl named Jennifer, who was Catholic! We started talking about our lives, and ended up talking about agency for a long time. At the end of the flight, I gave her a folleto de la restauracion. I wanted to sleep on this flight, but Heavenly Father had other plans. :) Hermanas Trujillo (from Spanish Fork, UT) and Cushcagua (from Colombia) picked me up from the airport! They´re so friendly and awesome. My companions for the next two days will be Hermanas Cushcagua and Quispe! We had one lesson that went really well, and then we met with Presidente, and he told me I would be going to Oxapampa on Viernes! We had a zone meeting, and then we went and got pizza. Buen dia. :)
Mar 10: Today we had Multi-zone conference! I got to see Elder Glassett, Elder Christensen, and Elder Ramirez. It was fun to see some familiar faces! We listened to talks, played a game of Nephites - Jaredites - Lamanites (which got really violente, thanks to the elderes), and ate brownies. We also took zone pictures! Then we had mini pday for the rest of the day and went with Hnas Coltrin and Martiniano to get salchipapas, and then we went to a fun complex that had two turf soccer fields and a volei court! We played volleyball for a while (because there's a rule that hnas and elderes can't play futbol together, gah) and then played some soccer. After, we went and got ice cream, and then burgers and milkshakes to celebrate Hna Quispe´s birthday!!! It was incredibly fun.
Mar 11: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE. *cue AC/DC music* We began the day by doing a step class at the gym, and then Presidente, Hna, y the asistentes picked me up in Huanuco! We had a very eventful drive to Tarma, full of rules, stories, and jokes. We drove past a massive maca sculpture, and Presi rolled down all the windows and everyone bowed to it. They called it the Huancayo Mission Pagan Ritual. :) It was a hilarious drive, and a drive that took us through every altitude, from Cerro de Pasco to the jungle. We met up with my companions (Hermanas Alva y Cadena) at a restaurant and we all got chicken, and then the three of us left for La Merced to get my dinero from the zone leaders, and then we drove to Oxapampa! It was an incredibly long day, but the jungle (La Selva) is ethereal. It´s out of a storybook. It was also settled by Germans, so Schmid is not such a weird name here. :)
Mar 12: Today was different. We had a ton of citas planned, but after breakfast, Hermana Cadena (who has been having a really painful rash for a few days) was feeling horrible. We cancelled all our citas and went to La Merced to the hospital. We met with the sister leaders, and basically spent most of the day in two separate hospitals waiting for results. I got to talk to a woman in the hall (Antonia) while waiting for mi compañera and she told me of a dream she had where Christ slammed a door in her face. It was quite funny, but she said she wanted to meet with missionaries later, so I took her reference for the La Merced sisters. :) We found out that they still don't quite know what's wrong with mi compañera, so they are giving her tests from Monday through Wednesday. Entonces, Hermana Alva y yo returned to Oxapampa without her. We visited an investigator and then a less active family and shared short messages. All in all, it was a great day. Church, of course, is at 9 tomorrow.
Mar. 13: I had to bear my testimony in the capilla today, but it went really well! I met an Hermano Schmitt and he told me that Schmid literally means guerrero, or warrior. Whether or not it's true, it's chevre. :) We went to multiple citas after capilla- first Rosa, who we taught about the endowment, then Dessyi. Dessyi is incredibly great. She's dating the ward secretary but has lots of doubts about the church. We taught her more about the Libro de Mormon and about the Trinity, and it was great. We got to testify a lot. :) We then had ward council and afterward, visited a family, La Familia martinez. It was amazing, and we taught on ayuno. Afterward, we had dinner of salchipapas, and Hna Alva and I talked about everything from politics to family life to mental problems to Myers-Briggs personality types to Slytherins to life philosophies to religious questions. I'm incredibly grateful to have Hermana Alva as mi compañera trainer. (mi madre). She's kind, patient, funny, and unique. She's a great example to me of how you can love serving the Lord and do His will while being yourself.
Oxapampa es lo maximo. :) We´re going to hike a waterfall today! I love this place and these people. Con todo mi amor y mis oraciones, Hermana Schmid