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Week 12: “I’m not an owl!”/ Let Change Be Your Quest

Buenas, amigos y familia! I hope this week was amazing for all of you- for me, it was both incredibly difficult and rewarding, but such is the work. I can’t complain.

Spiritual thoughts from this week:

  • “Weaknesses become strengths, challenges become opportunities, trials become triumphs, and adversity becomes an adventure in the service of the Lord.”

  • “Let change be your quest.”

  • “Love is a daily decision.” Loving your life is something you have to choose every day- choose to love it, choose to enjoy it, and choose to press forward with faith.

Last Pday was a pday de las hermanas here in Oxa! In the morning, Alva trimmed my hair and we cleaned before getting out next month’s money, ordering takeout Feliz Dia for the seven of us hermanas in the zona La Merced, and doing Internet. Despues* (*After), we met up with the other hermanas at our cuarto and took a combi to Chontabamba, where we went back to Rancho Victoria again! Keeler, Alva, and I went on a straight up steep hike to a cueva* (*cave), which provided us with fantastic views but much exhaustion- it was a far hike. The cueva was really small and smelled absolutely horrid, but was a massive tunnel before getting to the opening with just a guide and flashlights- obviously, I got quite claustrophobic and we couldn’t go all the way to the big opening. We hiked back down and took pictures and played cards while the other hermanas began to hike the cueva after us. We ventured back to Oxa in combi and met up with Elderes Hernandez, Riser, Giles, and Ayala and talked for a bit before getting cake from Feliz Dia. All the hermanas left and so did the elders not from Oxa, so the four of us Oxapampinos played cards in the park for a bit before going back, changing, and going to a noche de hogar* (*home night) with Obispo y su familia! We taught about the worth of souls and joked around and ate rellenitas after. Era tan chevere. :)

Martes began with a really good reunion de distrito y capacitacion* (*district and training). We talked about service, how to ask for references, and Alma 47. It was fantastic and really ayudable para mi* (*great for me). Despues, we took fotos (because our district is going to change after cambios next Tuesday) and went to Italo’s, an extremamente caro* (*extremely expensive) restaurant aqui en Oxa that is insanely delicious and nice! Alva and I split a chorizo with fries and platanos fritos. It tasted almost American. (that’s how we measure goodness of food here, jaja!) Despues, we went to Luisa y Angelica, a few of our investigators, and taught them a part of Alma 7 a cerca de la Expiacion de Jesucristo* (*about the Atonement of Jesus Christ) and left a La Familia with them to read. :) Then we went to Jocelyn and taught her about the mandamiento of servicio* (*commandment of service) through the hymn A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief and asked her to write down a list of people she knows and pray about who needs our message. It was a super cool and spiritual lesson! :) En siguiente* (*Next), we went to a menos activo named Shakira and taught her about albedrio y responsabilidad* (*will and responsibility). Following this, we went to see a contact we made a few weeks ago; Delia, a viejita* (*elderly lady) who loves to share her life stories. We sang a hymn, talked to her, and left her the folleto del plan de salvacion* (*Plan of Salvation brochure). :) Then we went to a noche de hogar* (*home evening) with a member who completely forgot about it; but we taught her and her son, Arturo, our investigator about La Expiacion* (*The Atonement) through a video. We went to Maruja and shared about service, again through the hymn book. It was a really good dia- good food, good lecciones, y good people! :)

Miercoles! Today was incredibly difici* (*difficult). After a great morning of studio* (*studying), we went to our investigador Antonio with Hermana Maruja. He’s been a bit contentious in the past, but today tome la torta* (*takes the cake). We started sharing about Christ and how, through Him, we can all be forgiven- and he took the lesson and asked to teach us what he knows, because he’s Christian and we are wrong in doctrine and principle. He told us we were damned if we didn’t listen to his message, and when we testified and said we’d already found the truth, he said we were rejecting him and Christ inside him. It was a very disheartening and contentious, but we did what we felt we should and testified to him; and sometimes, that’s all you can do. Then we went and talked with Hermana Pilar, the bishop’s wife, and got to know her better and shared about ourselves. She shared the quote from the beginning, love is a daily decision. Every day we can choose to love our lives, and every day we can choose to love the work; aun cuando la obra es bien dificil* (*even when the work is difficult). :) Then we went to our investigadora Rosicela and taught her about bautismo before teaching a converso reciente* (*recent convert), Geraldine, about gratitude y honradez y integridad (*gratitude, honesty and integrity). It was an incredibly difficult day, but a strengthening one. :)

Jueves, we went and visited a fantastic menos activo Hilda, with Hermana Jocelyn! We read la introduccion del Libro de Mormon with her and she said she’d had two dreams that she thinks were revelation, but she doesn’t understand them. We challenged her to pray about these suenos* (*dreams) to know what they meant and what she needs. It was a great lesson. :) Despues de almuerzo, we went to Claudia, our investigator. She said lots of things about how we worship Joseph Smith and idols, and we kept telling her that we don’t do that, but she was very stuck in her perception. She said that God wouldn’t want us to play with her life by giving her more scripture, but we just testified and asked her to study the Libro de Mormon before coming to a conclusion. She accepted but she will be out of town until Julio* (*July), so she’s got lots of time to think. Then we went to Brigitt, a converso reciente, and taught her about gratitude y honradez y integridad. She kept asking us to give her friends little messages, hence the weekly email title of “I’m NOT an OWL!” (Hermione Granger). Regardless, the lesson was good. Then we went to noche de deporte and played voleibol! Another day of a bit of discouragement, but we’ll be better off for it. :)

Friday was different, and therefore must be related a bit differently. Over the past few days, doubts have begun to infiltrate every crevice of my mind, and today, it felt like there was a weight and pressure on my heart weighing heavier by the second. Hermana Alva felt the same, so after our lessons, we had a mothers day party at the chapel and both of us asked the elders for bendiciones de Consuelo* (*blessings of comfort). Each blessing was incredibly unique and personal, and I can testify that it was exactly what I needed to hear. I am being shown my weaknesses because I need to work hard to convert them into strengths. It told me that the mission is exactly what I need to be doing at this time and that the mission will shape me into the person that I need to become to complete the work He has for me to do in this life. He knows me better than I know myself, and I need to put my trust in Him and Christ’s atonement to have the strength that I need to change. I had a feeling before the mission that I was going on the mission for others and would find myself; I think I’m finally ready to discover who I am and to be molded into the person my Heavenly Father needs me to become. Change will be my quest and I will not give up. :)

Sabado began with a viaje* (*travel) to San Ramon at 7 am for the conferencia de zona, where we had a really good capacitacion* (*training) about daily contact with investigators. Then Alva and I left with Hna Burga and her companion, who is a return missionary named Rayza (because her mini missionary comp left). We did divisions and I was with Rayza all day, and we contacted basically all day and taught one lesson before doing her maestros visitants* (*visiting teaching) visits. It was incredibly hot in La Merced, but the area’s beautiful and a gorgeous jungle city. After a mix up of whether or not we could go to the adult session of stake conference, we speedwalked for about 25 minutes to get there an hour late and hear Elder Godoy, a Seventy, speak. He gave counsel to families and made jokes; it was really good. :) Incredibly exhausting day, but a fun one! :)

Sunday, Dia de la Madre* (*Mother’s Day)! This holiday’s actually big here- people get off work and school, throw big parties and parades, etc. We woke up to torrential rain in La Merced, got ready, took some pictures together (especially because Hna Burga is the shortest hna in the mission and I am the tallest) and went through clothes the other hnas had left behind, resulting in me getting a Batman suit onesie! :) Then we went to stake conference, where they asked me to play piano throughout, which was really fun. Our stake is Oxa, Villa Rica, La Merced, San Ramon, Pichanaki, and Satipo! A new stake presidency was also called! Fantastic discursos* (*talks) were given as well as good almuerzo* (*lunch). Then we went back to Oxa, arriving much later than planned, and talked to our families, the elders each taking 2 hours talking to their families. NO ES JUSTO* (*It’s not fair). Pero* (*But), I finally got to talk to my family from 9:30 to 10:30 pm Peru time, and it was absolutely chevere to be able to talk instead of email and to see their faces and how they are doing. Les amo mucho. :) Era lo maximo!* (*I love you very much. It was the best!)

Pday otra vez* (*again) today! We’re going to go to a catarata* (*waterfall) with just us Oxapampinos, eating at Feliz Dia, cleaning, and probably playing some cards. A tranquilo pday in Oxa sin viaje* (*a calm pday in Oxa without travel)? Baccan.* (*fabulous) :)

Mucho amor a todos y que les vaya bien este semana* (*Much love to all and have a wonderful week)! :)

Con amor y mis oraciones para siempre* (*With love and prayers forever),

Hermana Schmid

(*italic translations by Karissa's mom using google translate)

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