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Week 77: Changed for Good

Click HERE to listen to Karissa's last voice recording from Peru!

Pensamiento Espiritual* (*Spiritual Thought): Helaman 10:4

HELLO ALL! :D anyway. Today's email is going to be a little bit different. First, I'll contarles* (*tell you about) my semana como siempre* (*week as always)... but then comes algo especial* (*something special). :)

P-Day* (*Monday- Preparation day)! :) Well, today was a normal tranquilo* (*quiet) P-day! We ran errands, printed pictures, and made oreo and cream cheese snacks with Marcia! :) Luego* (*Then), we took Diego and Luis Alberto, conversos* (*converts), to a noche de hogar* (*family home evening) of all the JAS (YSA) of Barrio Alameda! We explained the plan of Salvation. :) Fun day. :)

Martes* (*Tuesday) began with a district meeting in English on the importance of the Book of Mormon! :) And I didn't have to give the training, even though I'm the only AMERICAN! not bad. :) After lunch, we went on divisions* (*divisions)! I stayed in La Alameda with Hna Huanaco. :) We looked for our assigned less actives and found one- Viviana! :) We got to know her and I helped her kids a bit on their science fair project. :) Then, our cita* (*appointment) fell through, and I had a very strong impression to visit Xiomara's family. At first, I pushed it aside because it was far, we had another cita with them, etc. But the third time that the impression came, I decided to follow it- and we found and taught her mother Vilma and her siblings Franco y Michel! :D And they are SO great. We shared the Restoration with them. :) Although they shared that Ana, investigator, moved and now does not want to get married or baptized until December, I still felt happiness for the ability to meet and teach her family. :) God works in mysterious ways. And always shows us miracles. :) Amazing day!

On Wednesday, we finished up divisions, did practices, ate lunch, and went in search of a locksmith to fix our bathroom door (which wouldn't open)! No worries, we got it all fixed up. :) We did realize just how necessary bathrooms are though. They are a BLESSING. Anyway. :) We then visited Margarita, new investigator! We felt a little off in su casa* (*her house), but we talked a bit about the Plan of Salvation! Luego, we visited Luis Alberto, converso* (*convert), and talked about diezmo* (*tithing) and ayuno* (*fasting)! And he loaned me his dad's guitarra* (*guitar) again! :D

Jueves* (*Thursday)! We went to take tables to the Pedro Puelles sisters and visited with them for a bit. :) They're so sweet! After lunch, lots fell through, but later, we took Xiomara to historia familiar* (*family history)! And WOW. She filled up to her bisabuelos* (*great-grandparents) in Family Search! :D And she was SO excited! :D I truly believe those on the other side are praying for her to get their work done. Such a tender mercy. :)

Friday! We weekly planned for Week 6. Not fair. But after lunch, not a single cita* (*appointment) fell through! :D We visited Margarita, investigator, and shared why we're here on Earth. However, we both get a really weird feeling in her house, so we may not keep visiting her. But hey! We planted a seed. :) Then, we went to Kely, conversa* (*convert), and talked about eternal marriage and the ley de castidad* (*law of chastity) before heading to church to teach piano! :D Para terminar* (*Finally), we had a noche de hogar* (*family home evening) with Xiomara (conversa), Vilma, Franco, and Michel (investigadores) with a member family! We talked about the power of prayer. And wow. This family is just brilliant. :)

Sabado* (*Saturday) was a travel day! We went to Tingo Maria in the morning to see the sisters! They just moved, so we helped them clean and organize a bit. :) We visited with them, dropped off things they needed, and traveled back to Huanuco, where I helped Marcia with ingles* (*English). :)

Domingo* (*Sunday)! We had correlacion* (*correlation meeting) in the morning and then a big family lunch with the pension! I really feel like they are my family. and oh I love them. :) Even though they made me sing My Heart will Go On for them. :) (they gave me ice cream as a reward, so it works for me!!!) Church was great, so many people have such powerful testimonies. :) just wow. And then we had a devotional from the area Sudamerica Noroeste transmitted by satelite and talked about upcoming missionary-member coordinated activities! :) I love Sundays. :)

And now for Part Two. :)

Well. I never thought that I would get to this point. 18 months. Wow. And quite honestly, I'm incredibly sad that it has come to an end. Here in Peru, I have found my home. I have found my brothers and sisters. I have been Oxapampina, Cerreña, Huancaina, and Huanuqueña. And through trials and afflictions, I have looked for and found my Savior and my God. His grace is all-encompassing. His love is incomprehensible. And He has trusted me with the insurpassable opportunity to share His gospel with the people of my beloved Peru for these 18 months. Alma 29:9 9 - I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. He has given me strength when I have felt that I literally couldn't walk any farther. He has given me comfort when I have fallen before him on my knees in prayer. Although in difficulties I felt that He had abandoned me, He has shown me more and more each day that He NEVER has and NEVER will.

I would like to share the words of Nephi, who expresses aun major* (*even better) the words and feelings I wish to share.

2 Nephi 4: 17-35

17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.

18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.

19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.

20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.

21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.

22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.

23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.

24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.

25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.

26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?

27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?

28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.

29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.

30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

31 O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?

32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!

33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.

34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

I know that I alone am nothing, but with Him I am and can be more than sufficient. Alma 26:12- Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever. In His strength, I know that I can do all things according to His will. It amazes me more and more each day how much trust God puts in us as His imperfect children. And just HOW MUCH POTENTIAL He sees in us.

I know without a doubt in my heart that we have a loving Father in Heaven who wants us to become even as He is, and for this reason He has given us the fullness of the restored gospel. I know and testify that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God; that through angelic revelations, the Book of Mormon came forth. I have no doubt that it is both good and true. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Church of my Savior, the Lamb of God. I testify that He has never left us alone and will never leave us alone. He is the Firstborn of the Father in spirit and His Only Begotten in the flesh. He is the light and the life of the world. He is my Savior, my Redeemer, my Brother, my Everything, and my Friend. He is Hope Everlasting. His love and His atoning sacrifice make possible our daily improvement and progression. Of these truths I am certain.

I am and will ever be eternally grateful for my mission. I have never been so exhausted, so depressed, so stressed, so sick; but I have also never been so full of joy. God has pushed me to my limits and has helped me to change and grow. This experience has not only changed my life, but it has changed me. And oh, am I grateful. :)

Hermana Karissa Noelle Schmid

Misión Perú Huancayo

February 2016 - August 2017

(*Translations made by Karissa’s mom using google translate)

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