Querido familia y amigos, I’m loving Oxa. It’s fantastic, the people are brilliant- all es tan chevre. :)
Last P-day, we had a p-day de las hermanas aqui en Oxapampa, which was fantastic because we have literally zero pasaje. No money to travel. All the hermanas in our zona (La Merced) came here to Oxa, and EIGHT of them stayed in our room, so it was a bit cramped to say the least. We went to a really expensive restaurant for lunch, hiked the same waterfall, and went to a mirador! This mirador had crazy steep stairs and tons of them, so Hermana Pfister, Hermana Holland, and I went adventure hiking in the jungle plants right next to the stairs! We thought this was a good idea, but it was super muddy, and in my Sperry’s I didn’t stand a chance. I slipped and fell and my entire pant leg was covered in mud, but it was still incredibly fun! We got PIZZA (yes, pizza) for dinner and it was absolutely marvelous. It was incredibly caro tambien, pero vale la pena*.(*expensive, but worth it).
Tuesday, we had a reunion de distrito here in Oxa tambien! Our district is fantastic- it’s the elderes y hermanas from Villarica and Oxa. It consists of Hermanas Alva, Cadena, Keeler, Johnson, and I and Elderes Cunningham, Egan, Molina, y Hernandez. Basically all gringos except two. We received DVDS of the Easter video put out by the church, #Aleluya, and discussed the resurrection! It’s such a great video. I’m a big fan, especially considering the fact that we watched it about 100 times this week! Following the reunion, we contacted a woman named Luisa (nueva investigadora ahora!*) (*new investigator now) and taught her and played with her dogs, including a newborn that sat on my lap and slept throughout the lesson. Luisa was so ready to hear our message! Her baptismal date? El 7 de mayo. J We also went to a noche de hogar* (*family home evening) with the elderes to a fantastic house in Santo Domingo and I got to play not just one, but TWO guitars!!! This family is a family of music enthusiasts. We watched the video de Pascua* (*Easter) with them and then went to the capilla* (*chapel) and watched the Restoration video with two of the elder’s investigators, Lizandro y Bruce. We invited our investigator Dessyi and she said she would come, but she never showed. The film, however, is amazing.
On Wednesday: 1 nueva investigadora, I challenged someone to be baptized and they accepted, and we got free Feliz Dia*. (*Happy Day) Need I say mas?
We shared the video and the message of the resurrection with six people today. The message of the resurrection is such a happy and hopeful one. Aleluya! Then we ended up contacting a girl working in a store, Jasmina. We taught the Restauracion and it went so well! She understood so much! We invited her to church on Sunday and set a cita and she accepted. Following this, we went to teach Arlety, la prima* (*the cousin) of a member, Celeste! We taught her the Restoration and I got to share the part of the First Vision, my favorite to share. We challenged her to read and pray, and I challenged her to be baptized and she accepted! We haven’t set a fecha yet, but she is desafiado.* (*a date hasn’t been set, but she’s been challenged). Following this, we got a call from the Elderes in Oxa to meet them at Feliz Dia to “discuss a noche de hogar.” We went and the worker motioned us inside, saying the elderes left catorce soles* (*money) there for us to use! We called them to make sure it was for real, and they said yes, it was to thank them for helping them to magnify their priesthood, for they gave Hna Alva a bendicion de consuelo* (*blessing of comfort) yesterday. We all got pieces of cake and jugo de fresa con leche* (*strawberry juice and milk). FANTASTIC day.
On Thursday: Today, a puppy peed on me. But other than that , good day! We visited the fair today and bought a ton of chocotejas (I’ve been super unhealthy lately, sorry Mom). Then, two citas fell through but we visited Hermana Luisa otra vez*! (*again) The lesson went well and she is prepping for her baptimsal date. The adorable little newborn puppy she has is at fault- he peed on my skirt and the floor. Gah. At least it was a newborn, I can’t get overly mad at it. Then we went to Rosicela and taught The Plan de Salvacion! We are working to set a baptismal date for her. Despues, we found a menos active* (*less active) named Joseph! He’s 14 and says he doesn’t have time to read, pray, or go to church because of video games. I told him how much I love video games, but how much more important it is to put the other things first jaja. (Update- he came to church on Sunday!) Following that, we had Noche de Deporte* (*sports night) and played futbol, voleibol, y basketball. In the rain. Good times!
Friday! We only taught two lessons today. So many people here say they’ll do things and come to citas, and don’t show up. It’s okay though! We went and visited Hna Jocelyn, a converso reciente* (*recent convert). She just received a calling in the Primary Presidency! We talked about how to magnify callings and I shared something I discovered in my personal study of the life of Nephi: don’t ask WHY, ask HOW. :) Despues*, (*after) we went and visited Brigitt, also a converso reciente, and talked about el Evangelio de Jesucristo! Then we went to the Noche Misional and shared videos de Pascua and played games.
On Saturday… we had basically the least productive day ever, but for good reason! We visited the fair and bought a few more chocotejas in the relentless rain. We had to go back to our room and change before our lecciones, we were so mojada*! (*wet) The 3:00 cita we had was actually a surprise party for Hna Cadena, who is most likely leaving us this next cambio*. (*transfer) They surprised her with a massive cake from Feliz Dia with the Columbian flag and TONS of candies and sodas. It’s a tradition to smash the person of honor’s face in the cake, so naturally we did just that to Hna Cadena, who did the same to Hna Alva because her birthday is on Thursday, who did the same to me. It was hilarious and SO filling. Way too much candy. Then we had to go back to the room with leftover candy, cake, and frosting on our faces to shower and leave the candy before Nuevos Comienzos en la capilla*! (*New Beginnings in the chapel) Both Hna Cadena and I got the booklets for Personal Progress to do it again here in the campo missional*, (*mission field) they showed videos, and we got… more cake. Despues, we had Clase de Ingles in the capilla tambien* (*English classes at the church), and then the reunion general de las mujeres*! (*Women’s Conference session) I loved the messages of service and love. We truly can’t serve others if we are focused on ourselves! The message Pres. Hinckley’s father gave him in his mission is the same for ALL, mission or not: FORGET YOURSELF AND GO TO WORK.
Pascua Sunday! I woke up to a great big massive sugar hangover. However, it went away before la capilla! We planned our capacitacion para maestras visitants* (*training for visiting teachers) for Relief Society. Two of our investigadoras, Luisa y Nadia, came to church!!! They both have fechas bautismales, so this was great. Our capacitacion went well and so did the classes! Fantastic Sunday. Despues, we did divisiones! Hermana Alva and I went with Mara. I figured out that Mara and I have actually met before, in Lima two years ago! She was also in Barrio Jose Galvez and is good friends with Valery Landauro, another girl I was good friends with in Lima! She knows all the people I know! This made me so happy. Although we don’t quite remember each other, we were both there at the same time, and now here in Oxa! BLESSINGS. We visited con Hna Rosa and her husband, who are less actives. He told us he was only baptized because his wife asked him to be baptized. He has TONS of doubts about the Libro de Mormon. I had the thought to ask him if he’d ever read the introduction of the Book of Mormon, so I asked and he said he hadn’t. We read the introduction all together, and despues, he said the purpose and importance of the Book of Mormon were much clearer. Hopefully he starts reading the book now! After this, we got Hermana Celia to accompany us because Mara had to leave and we ended up contacting and teaching an 100 year old man who was not super open to our message, he wanted to share his own. Regardless, it was pretty cool to teach a viejito jaja*. (*old person, hahaha) Then we visited with Celeste (miembro) y Arlety (investigadora) and read the intro to the Book of Mormon. She’s really got a desire to learn more. :) In other news, Hna Cadena and Luz visited Ayde and Julio (menos activo y investigador) and guess what?! THEY COMMITTED JULIO TO BAPTISM for May 15th! I’m so incredibly happy about this. So happy. :)
This P-day, we basically have no plans because we have no pasaje. We’ll see. Hermana Alva did my hair so I have three french braids on one side of my head, and it’s super chevre. I do believe we are going to Feliz Dia and pizza today, to say goodbye and celebrate the last pday here in Oxa of Hna Cadena y Elder Molina. I saw the presidential candidate for Peru, Keiko, today! She had a rally here in Oxa.
I hope all is well with all of you! Con amor y mis oraciones, Hna Schmid
(*italic translations by Karissa's mom using google translate)