Monday, December 30, 2013

I see trees of green. (no red roses too)

I cannot even begin to describe how good this week was. It was HANDS DOWN my favorite week of my mission. So many miracles have happened, and I have had so many eye-opening, humbling experiences.

1// We have christmas eve dinner with a family (their parents couldn´t come) whose mom is a member, and we had a HUGE breakthrough with the dad. I have been teaching them since my second week here, and their progress is slow, but looking back, they have changed so much. Just the fact that the dad isn´t a raging drunk is a miracle in an of itself.

2// I learned so much about myself. So. Much. I learned what I want in life, what is important, what I´ve been taking for granted, and just... so much. I wish I could tell you everything that has happened, but I can´t even think of the words to describe it. I love Peru, and I am grateful for my life in the states. We are so blessed. 

3// Violeta and ribaldo. We found them the first time by a miracle, and we found them a second time by a miracle. God prepared them. And they were baptized 2 weeks later. When she finished changing after, I went to the bathroom to see how she was doing. She just started crying and said "I´m new. It doesn´t matter anymore. I have never been so happy in my entire life." I just cried and said "Yes you are. You´re 100% new. Now listen to me. Never go back." So many sweet moments have been shared with her and her family that I will never forget. I love them. 

4// I got SUPER sick at 2 AM Sunday morning, and threw up until 7AM. Not sure what I ate, but man... it happened. Most miserable 5 hours of my life. 

5// When I finally stopped throwing up, President called us and asked me to be a Sister Training Leader, I was half dead, but I said yes as enthusiastically as I could haha. He didn´t tell me where I was going at that point. I had to wait until transfer calls later that night. 

This means I´ll be traveling all around the mission to visit the other Hermanas and to work with them. Good thing I have lots of motion sickness pills.... cuz if not, I would be dying every time we took a bus. Not sure about what else I have to do, but I´ll find out this week. 

6// Then, there were the transfer calls. HUGE surprise. I was just expecting "hey you´re going to Puno(super super cold), or Cusco" which did happen. I´m going to Cuzco :) Ward Ttio (yes two T´s) BUTTTTTTT then our district leader said "ALSO, Hermana Nelson, You´re going to Inti Raymi (another zone in Cusco) and you´re opening a sector with Hermana Thompson (um. YES that would be MY Hermana Thompson who just broke her leg but now she´s fine. I LOVE HER). My mission daughter will do great things. But that means there´s no one STAYING in Sicuani. As much as that should scare me, because I worry that people we have worked SO hard with to get to progress even a little bit are going to be forgotten, I feel good. I know that God has a plan, and that my mission president works by revelation. He is a good man, and I am so grateful that he is my mission president. 

I love where I am. Like I said to Violeta after her baptism, I am never going back. 

Love, Hermana Allred

Oh yeah. I forgot to share one of my new favorite memories of my mission. 

We were teaching sweet lil ol Alejandro in his store, and we always sing to him and ask what song he wants to hear, but he never wants to sing with us and never names a song at the end of our BEST lesson we´ve ever had with him, Hna. Nelson randomly flipped to Nearer my God to thee, and I was trying to find which number that song was in spanish, and I look over and she already had it ready. So we sang it. And he started singing with us. In his sweet little off key singing voice, he sang the whole song by memory. At the end, I asked "Alejandro, is that your favorite song?" to which he smiled his nearly toothless smile and said in Quechua "yes. yes it is." And I smiled bigger than I ever have before. I will miss that sweet old man. 

1// Feliz Navidad from Peru
2// Spent Christmas Eve eating dinner, panetone, drinking hot chocolate, and making paper snowflakes with these lil nuggets. (they´re the ones I give all the stickers too. MOM AND DAD THEY LOVE YOU FOR THAT haha)
3-- Walking home in the rain on Christmas Eve

1// We went out to a little pueblo a couple hours from Sicuani on Christmas morning to play with the kids and give all the people clothes and hot chocolate. I can honestly say this was my favorite Christmas. every bit of it was focused on other people. and there was a lot of hot chocolate involved, which is always good haha. This is our sweet bishop teaching a kid how to play a game in Quechua. It was his idea to spend Christmas there. He is just the best. I love him and his family.
2// All the people were scared of us cuz they´ve NEVER seen white people. A lot of them cried when we tried to talk to them. How many panais can you see? haha. 

3// I. want. to. ADOPT HER. not joking. 

4// Dad and fam, this is the little girl I was talking about. She doesn´t have shoes (it´s super cold there) and she ONLY has that rag skirt and sweater on. Nothing else. It´s tied on with a string. I love her and want to snatch her up and take her home. I´m pretty sure she´s one of the orphans there. 

1// A less active (juan) teaching us how to sew peruvian style. 

2// Brittany, thought you might want to see what I got to use for an hour. SO COOL!

3// the top one, Juan´s. The bottom one... well, I think you can guess whose it is. MINE. hahaha. What a joke. one day I´ll be awesome at sewing. 

4// Violeta (Giovanna) and Ribaldo at their baptism. Such a special day. 

1// Hermana Anita made all the hot chocolate with some of the other Hermanas in the ward. 3 GIANT pots of chocolate. 

2// All the little kiddies waiting for clothes and hot chocolate. Half of them are orphans. That broke my heart. 

3// The whole family. kind of. Her dad was in Cusco working. (her mom is a member) 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Everybody it´s Christmas

Well I once again used too much time sending pictures. Sorry. But MERRY CHRISTMAS! Next week I´ll tell you about our miracle baptisms that are this saturday.

Love you all

Love, Hermana Allred

p.s. SO EXCITED to see you on wednesday. I have skype all ready to go. WHOOT! 

1-- Once again, went to Raqchi. Much better this time

2-- BOM in Peru

3-- again

4-- Yoga in Peru

1-- The sheep was kicking me. This is more difficult than it looks haha.

2-- door to the cemetary in some random pueblo

3-- Mi hija y yo en el cemeterio. sorry we´re smiling. we didn´t know what else to do.

1-- hike and hike and hike all the way to raqchi. way more fun than a bus. 

2-- we talked through the window like this for a good 20 minutes.

3-- good morning baltimore

Monday, December 16, 2013

There´s no place like CUZCO for the holidays

I only have time for random happenings of the week because I still don´t know how to manage my time on pday haha. sometimes time limits are the WORST.

1-- hna flor called me tweety bird´s grandma because of my glasses and bun. Yeah whatever. My hair is ridiculously long and it drives me crazy, so BUN IT IS. erry day. I refuse to let anyone here touch my hair with scissors. I´ll just wait another 10 months and let the split ends run wild. 

oh yeah. by the way. I will hit my 8 month mark this week. STOP IT. ugh. too fast. 

2-- Sometimes it just amazes me that i speak spanish. I speak a language that no one in my family understands. WHAT IS THAT! I remember working in Chef´s table when I couldn´t understand the dishboy and just wanting to be able to communicate so badly. I could say "La basura, amigo." "mas platos por favor" "que quiere comer?" "no mas cerveza amigo" "donde esta el pollo?" and... that´s about it. Now if I ever want to work in a kitchen again, I´m SET. 
3-- Hermana Flor just got internet in the house so we can skype you guys. She loves us too much. 

4-- We´re going to Cuzco this friday to have a christmas dinner with the president and the 2 other zones in Cuzco, and I GET TO SEE HERMANA THOMPSON AGAIN! 

5-- Ribaldo (son of a less active who forgot she was a member) Has a baptismal date for the 28th. The weekend before transfers. HE is so excited and just soaks up everything we tell him. This family is incredible and their trials have made them so much stronger in their faith. I love them. 

I just wanna let you all know once again how grateful I am for this gospel. For teh opportunity to be a missionary. IN PERU! For the chance God gave me to change and try to pay him back by coming here. My life is worlds different than what it was even just 18 months ago. I am so grateful to be here. I know exactly where I would have been if I didn´t serve a mission, and I thank God every day for letting me be here. I love my mission president, my companion, ward, family, and most of all, I LOVE this gospel, God, and Jesus Christ. 

That´s all.

Love, Hermana Allred

1-- Pday as a Zone playing soccer in the Rosaspata Sports complex. Luckily it was sunny and there was a playground or I would have been bored to tears. 

2-- Hermano Alex and his english students. We went to help them with their Finals. They had to talk to a gringo for 5 minutes. They had no idea what I was saying.... I didn´t know what they were trying to say either. But they tried haha. 

3-- We helped this family set up their nativity (with a million random animals) and also do some farm work in their "yard". The mom´s name is Yolanda, and he has had cancer for 2 years. They told her she had 6 months to live when she got it, but she said God told her she would be okay. She is almost 100% recovered. But this christmas, she is going to be in Arequipa ALONE going through Chemotherapy. She is the most positive happy person I´ve ever met. She said "the first thing I´m going to do when I´m better is go with the missionaries to visit people who need help".... wow. Even when she is the one who needs help more than anyone, she is still thinking about others. I love her. SO MUCH. 

1-- Dancing in the ampitheater while the elders play soccer... again. 

2-- The nativity

3-- switching out my 100 soles with hna. Flor cuz NO ONE has change here. but Hna. Flor is like the richest person in Sicuani, so she´s got my back. Also, look at her face hahahahhaha. I don´t know why she looked so upset. She is happy I promise. 

4-- The cute lil tree in the pharmacy

1-- Vanessa Clavijo McCann. ARE YOU DEAD YET!??? hahahahha. When I saw this sign, I just thought of you. 

2-- Seesaw while the elders... again... play soccer. 

3-- random parade for no reason. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Doors

Well, it´s been a blustury week here in Sicuani. Yes I´m still here. It´s raining like crazy every day. We don´t like rain (hahaha family, that cute picture book we always read, I feel like that. but there is no bathtub to unplug.) One of the members was acompa├▒├índonos (once again I don´t know the word in english) and it looked like rain, so she asked us when our birthdays are, and since we were both born in the dry season (june and july) she told us to blow on the sky... hahahaha. Apparently the people born in the dry season have power to make the rain go away. It worked that day... but not any other day.
I cooked REAL FOOD this week with a less active family. Chicken, mashed potatoes, and Sauteed veggies in BUTTER. not nasty vinegar. I was dying from happiness. It took forever cuz there was no oven to finish off the chicken, but so worth it. I forgot how much I love normal american BASIC food with no Anise in it. I love peruvian food, but sometimes I just want mashed potatoes and a medium steak. 

Anyone have a waffle recipe?

Alejandro... I love him so much. (70 year old whose wife moved to Arequipa a couple weeks ago and works in a little candy-soda store) He´s like my grandpa while I´m here. We have been re teaching him everything because he hasn´t gone to church in over a year, and when we taught him about the spirit world, he said "wait... are you saying I´ll be able to see my dad again." my eyes welled up with tears and I said "yes. That is exactly what that means." He just started laughing and smiling and was SO HAPPY. He has been a member since 1979, but he just forgot all these things, or maybe just never fully understood it.It is so incredible to see the light just click in the less actives. when they remember what they have been taught their whole lives, they just... It makes all the hard times worth it. Every difficult moment of my mission is WORTH IT when I see the light turn on in the eyes of someone who has been through so much. I love him. 

 He wants an American hat cuz he has about 50 right now, but I didn´t bring any, so I´ll probably just buy one in the plaza and tell him it´s from the states haha.

Speaking of... If anyone ever wanted to know where all the clothes go that don´t sell in the states, they come here. I´ve seen super old school boston hats (only on their heads... i can´t find one in any store), random student council shirts, underarmor from some random football camp in the 90´s, and an infinite number of cheerleader hoodies.... worn by boys. It´s un poco chistoso porque NO SABEN lo que dicen sus ropas. some of them say things like "rebel" or "I´m not listening" or men wearing shirts that say "princess" ha. I guess that´s what it´s like for us when we have shirts in French or something. NO CLUE what it says, but it´s french, so it´s cool. haha. 

Hermano Corrales gave me a hiccup cure. I have been hiccuping more than usual, so he said "put your arms above your head. they go right away." So I did it, and IT WORKED!!!! Try it. 

I just want to say once again how incredible my companion is. She is SO KIND to everyone. She always thinks of others first. The other day, she was correcting me on something and I got super defensive and instead of saying something, I just shut down (like always). She didn´t get mad at me, she just waited until I calmed down and let me talk it out. She never told me that I was being ridiculous, she just let me deal with anger the way I needed to. I love her so much and every day, I want to be more like her. It´s incredible. Her Spanish is way better than she thinks it is. I bet she´ll train soon. She´s awesome. So proud of her. 

Well, I´m out of time, but I love every one of you and hope you´re enjoying this christmas season with your families. 

Love, Hermana Allred.

1-- Door
2-- We did Margarita and Karen´s hair for their promocion party. they looked DANG good if I do say so myself. Karen wanted to be a princess haha
3-- Door (one of my favorites)
4-- People don´t usually hear when we knock on the door, so we have to throw rocks at the window. We haven´t broken any... yet. 

1-- It was raining INSIDE during dinner. Our roof is falling apart. Luckily I have an awesome rain jacket
2-- Hermana Flor FINALLY let me take a picture with her. After running away from me for 10 minutes. 
3-- This is my life. I love it. (postres means desserts)
4-- The giant blue catholic church "pampacucho". I don´t know how I haven´t taken a picture of this til now. It´s on every sign for sicuani tourism. maybe cuz there are so many drunks around it.

1-- hna. Flor running away from me
2-- Brithny and her family, Alex, Mariela, Kevin, and Sidmari
3-- Abish. I want to steal her and take her home, but I think the bishop would miss her haha. 
4-- Panai in the Pharmacy