Monday, November 25, 2013

Cancun (will be the death of me)

This week has once again gone by so fast. WHEN IS THANKSGIVING!? I have no idea. is it the third or the fourth week in november? we´re celebrating it this thursday regardless haha.

This email is not going to really follow a pattern. I apologize beforehand. 

We were visiting the cruz family this week, and Miguel (the dad) starts walking up the stairs with 50 lb bags of sugar and flour and pasta, and I ask "um... do you always shop this way?" cuz most peruvians shop by the kilo. and they say "it´s cheaper this way. Miguel doesn´t like to waste money by shopping every day." I just thought.... Wow. They´re real mormons. they have food storage! haha. 

I forgot to mention last week that Lilliana didn´t get baptized. she and her pareja are trying to make things work and are talking about getting married. He´s a tough nut to crack, but we´re trying to help them. I just don´t want to be their couple counselor, so we are getting the bishop involved with them. 

There are so many random phrases I say all the time here. one of the most common is "Is that a gringo? I can´t tell. Let´s go talk to him/her.

Well, this week has been another short/long blur. I swear the a week is a day. I only have 11 months left of my mission... that is SO SAD! I hate thinking about it. 

I really do love my mission. I love my companion SO MUCH. I love how much she teaches me and how well we work together. She is going to do great things in her mission. and her life. If her family is by chance reading this, SHE IS AWESOME!!! your daughter is the missionary you think she is. Maybe even better. 

I love you all. don´t be afraid to WRITE ME LONG EMAILS cuz I can print them off and read them later if I don´t have time. But real letters are always good too :) My address is at the bottom of every email I send.


Love, Hermana Allred

p.s. I´m still in Sicuani. 5 months. WHOOOT! I´m going to stay here forever. Never want to leave. 

1-- Wilfredo giving Cuzco (their dog) a bath. His wife is a member, and we´re working on him haha. 

2-- My companion is a cat lady... I wouldn´t be surprised if our whole house is filled with fleas. She picks up every cat she sees. I still hate cats, but some of the kittens are cute. 

3-- Usually when we have pizza, it´s super soggy and gross. THIS PIZZA WAS SO GOOD! It was hawaiian pizza and I thought I was going to cry I was so happy.

4-- OH MY WORD! just... I have no words to describe how good these things are. They are like ding dongs, but a million times better and filled with COCONUT. If I come back 1,000 pounds, this is why. 

1-- Wilfredo´s Cuys. (pronounced cooh ees). Guinea Pigs. They are saving them for christmas. and when I say that I mean... THEY ARE GOING TO EAT THEM FOR CHRISTMAS. I have never eaten a guinea pig, but I think that time is coming up. I just can´t not think about Catherine´s guinea pigs when I look at them... so sad. 

2-- Family night with all my favorite people. Lilliana and John in the top left corner. Adreana Cruz in the middle, Abish asleep with the bishops wife, me, Karen and Margarita (next to me) then in the front, Hna. Nelson, Elder Lehman, Wiky (bishop´s son) Elder Valdivia, and Liz (bishop´s daughter) Elder Valdivia got a transfer and none of us were expecting it, so we had a little goodbye party. It was super sad cuz they were the perfect companionship. SO FUNNY together. pero asi es la mision.. 

3-- Misioneros de Sicuani 

4-- When I study in the morning, I bring my hair dryer cuz I´m ALWAYS cold. It´s been super super cold lately at night and the morning. 

oh yeah. there was a protest this morning. I thought it was a parade, so we went to the roof to see it, but nope. It´s a protest against domestic violence. It happens SO often here. I hate is so much because I can´t do anything about it. 

Time goes by.. by by. so QUICKLY.

Well this week has been full of lots of picture taking and long talks with people with lots of problems. The big news is, LILLIANA is getting baptized this Saturday. It has been a long and hard road getting her to baptism, but she is so ready and I am so happy for her. We are trying to make sure she understands all the commandments 100% percent before she gets baptized so she doesn´t fall back into the same habits. She has SO much faith and has been through so much. I look up to her. She is the strongest woman I know.

Hna. Nelson experienced her first dropping of an investigator. She was trying so hard to hold onto her, so we kept visiting her a couple more times, but she REFUSED to change and be happy no matter how many times we promised her that she would be blessed. She didn´t even want us to pray in our last lesson. She is a very very angry person right now, and she is not willing to accept it. Maybe mas adelante (i have no idea how tos ay that in english) she will soften her heart and accept God in her life. We honestly could never feel the spirit with her because she just wanted to FIGHT.  I refuse to fight with people or bible bash. It doesn´t get anywhere and the spirit isn´t there. (Mark 6:11 shake it off)


Why didn´t anyone tell me the Red Sox won the world series in FENWAY? My companion´s sister lives in Boston and told her. Thanks guys.

All the dogs in sicuani are being forced to get rabies shots. When they get them, they put a red collar on them. I´ve been avoiding all the dogs without a collar haha. I don´t think rabies was one of the shots for my misión.

Some drunk guy who I thought was just really sad (nope. Drunk.) started talking to us and said he was from Texas and Barak Obama was his brother. Might be true haha. Just kidding… our president is awesome. *toz* *toz*

We went to Machupitumarca again because I´ve been here forever and I´m the only person who has already been there. It was a lot more fun with Hna. Nelson cuz she likes hiking and I didn´t have to wait for her. Got some sweet pictures with a Panai. She only spoke Quechua, but one of the elders translated for me. She wanted me to give her money for taking pictures haha. Nope.  Joke´s on you. This gringa doesn´t have ANY money.

We also had a Ward movie night again, and we were in charge of popping 5 kilos of popcorn. Do you know how long it takes to pop 5 kilos of popcorn in a Little pot? A long time.  But the good news is that I never ever have to buy microwave popcorn ever again. I ROCK at making popcorn. My kids are going to love me.

I don´t remember what else I wanted tos ay, but I LOVE YOU ALL!

A scripture to get ready for christmas (Alma 5:57-58) Naughty and Nice list. Hahahha. I´m so funny.

Love, Hermana Allred

oh yeah. the Cruz kids had candy in their cheeks. that´s why they look so ridiculous. 

1-- I like your cow
2-- pitumarca (an hour from sicuani)
3-- (door) the meetinghouse in pitumarca. 
4-- (door) a random church

1-- panai
2-- machupitumarca
3-- sheep 
4-- panai and I

 this email
1-- garbage bag of popcorn. not even close to being finished
2-- before popping
3-- (dogs) We ran into the Cruz kids on the street and their puppies. the skinny white one´s name is Allred. yes. I have a dog named after me. 
4-- the internet cafe where we email all ya´lls 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Oh what a wonderful world

Emailing stresses me out. We only have 45 minutes to email everyone, and I always forget what I´m going to say. I have to come up with a better system.

First of all, ELDER NELSON of the 12 apostles came to Cuzco. We had a 3 stake devotional and 2,000 people came. It was the 2 stakes in Cuzco, and good ol´ sicuani. We´re so lucky we´re the closest zone because we always get to go to things in Cuzco. 

I could go on forever about how great it was. REally. He is an APOSTLE! Do you understand what that means? If not, watch conference talks by Elder holland and let it sink in a little bit. At the end, he said he wanted to speak to everyone in their language, and he just WENT OFF in perfect Spanish. I´m almost 100% sure that he doesn´t speak spanish. Even if he does speak some spanish, it was PERFECT spanish. As in 0 mistakes. I just started crying because I think for the first time in my life, I truly recognized that I was listening to a Prophet of the Lord. It is amazing. DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING!?? We have prophets in the world that talk with Jesus and tell us exactly what we need to do. SO DO IT! I just want to scream at everyone in the street how incredible that is. but people get scared pretty easily, so I don´t. I say it nicely. LISTEN TO THE PROPHET AND APOSTLES!!! 

So transfers are today. I´m staying in Sicuani another 6 weeks finishing up training. Then I´m positive I´ll be transferred. The next transfer is the 30 of December. Then I have no idea where I´m going. Hopefully not somewhere Hot. I didn´t plan for warm weather. haha. I only have a down coat and sweaters. 

Once again, Sicuani is the lucky zone. We get to go to Cuzco for Christmas and have dinner with the 2 Cuzco Zones and the president and his wife. WHOOOOT! I love christmas. And I love President Harbertson, so you could say I´m pretty excited. 

As for Skype, I have 45 minutes to talk to you guys on christmas. GET EXCITED! I´m going to unleash my spanish skills. Too bad no one in the family speaks spanish haha. Nessa, you´ll have to come over to talk to me haha. 

Sister Thompson (one of the girls in my district in the MTC) broke her leg. I saw her in cuzco, and man. rough stuff. she has to get surgery, but she´ll be back to normal in about a month. I LOVE HER! It was so good to see her. I haven´t seen her in 3 transfers. 

I just want you all to know how much I truly love each and every one of you. I love my mission. I love this gospel. I love the Book of Mormon and the Bible. I love Peru and all the people in it. even the ones that don´t like us.

Be good. Read. Pray. Go to church. Serve someone.

Love, Hermana Allred.

1-- our front door between two pharmacies (we live with the pharmacist on the left side)

2-- Asking Hna. Flor if I can take a picture with her behind the counter... she said no. haha. She REFUSES to take pictures with me. Rude.

3-- My lovely Hna. Flor Garcia who owns the house, but doesn´t cook. So Margarita comes and cooks instead. 

4-- Hna. Flor just barely told us she has an electric piano that she doesn´t know how to play. Guess who can practice whenever there´s time? THIS GIRL! So excited. there´s an ocarina keyboard and I play the Zelda theme song a lot. Hna. Nelson doesn´t understand any of my media references except Nacho Libre... ugh. 

1-- Adreana´s teeny tiny half size violin

2-- Goin to cuscotopia to see hna. Nelson´s grandpa.... joke. Elder Nelson is not her grandpa.

3-- Navidad in the mission office

4-- Taza de Gracias (jar of thanks) we dont´exactly have thanksgiving here... or at all. so we have a jar and we´re going to eat pizza with hna. margarita. not quite turkey and mashed potatoes, but it´ll have to do.

1-- Hna. nelson broke hna. Flor´s favorite juice pitcher. she was super sad and now we never have juice. So she put this note on her door. it says "I´m sorry! I feel bad that I broke your jar. I hope you can forgive me. I am going to buy a new one for you. I´m sorry. I´m sorry. I´m sorry. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, Love, Hermana Helson"
2-- Peruvian ALMOST almond joy. I just discovered them and I´m obsessed. I love coconut EVERYTHING. 

3-- Teaching Margarita how to make french toast last pday. This was the first time cooking since coming to peru. Sad... I know... What a waste of a culinary degree.

4-- CASTIGOS. here, when you lose a game, you have to do a ridiculous embarrassing thing. This one is called "espejo" (mirror) Gady (a member) lost in FHE, so he had to mirror everything I did for a minute. He was a beautiful ballerina. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

It´s get fat week, LET´S GO!

Sooo Halloween is very different here. Lemme just explain a Little bit about Peruvian culture. Halloween isn´t that big of a deal, they dress up or whatever sometimes, and have the TINIEST pumpkins to collect Candy. I was just thinking… what the heck? Where is your pillowcase? Go big or go home. Also, they are very very against it here. The church isn´t allowed to endorse it or celebrate it in any way. BUT the next two days are nuts. The day after Halloween is day of the living. They feed the living SO MUCH FOOD. Mostly bread. Lots and lots of bread… every single person we talked to gave us an absurd amount of bread. I loved it at first cuz, you know, I love bread and stuff, but holy… I CANNOT EAT 30 ROLLS IN ONE DAY! Stop feeding me.  Then the next day is day of the dead. Cuz all the living DIE because they ate too much haha. BROMA! They all go to the cemetary and feed the dead a lot of bread and pray and stuff. My pensionista´s husband died a couple years ago, so she went with her daughter and our other pensionista. Also, everyone drinks alot because they´re depressed. It was a Little scary to be outside that night. But it´s okay. I can run faster than drunks.

Speaking of bread, our Baker investigator invited me to help him make bread! Oh my goodness. I think that was my favorite day of my misión. Not really, but it was so fun. I just spent and hour making BOMB peruvian bread. I really think I want to bake when I get home. It´s so much better to be in a kitchen when no one is yelling at you.  I wish I had gotten a picture there, but I forgot… cuz I was making flipping pervian bread. SO FUN!

I made a goal to finish the book of mormon and the new testament in spanish by the end of the year (which conveniently is also the end of Hna. Nelson´s 2 transfers of training.) It´s gunna happen. And I´ll be so incredibly fluent when I finish.

I have really begun to appreciate my life lately. The more I understand Spanish, the sadder the stories get. I want you all to just take a minute and appreciate the fact that you don´t live in an adobe house with spiders and giant ants crawling around, and you don´t eat rotten potatoes every day because you can´t afford anything else. There are so many women here that get beaten day after day, and they just take it because they don´t think they can do any better. Their husbands leave them with their kids and NO money or home, and they have NO options. They just have to try as hard as they can to make enough money to feed their kids. We had a day this week, where the only people we taught were women with abusive husbands, or ex husbands. I cried after every single lesson. Hard. I want so badly to tell these women to just leave them. But I can´t. I just have to teach them how the góspel can help them. I know exactly what I want to do when I get home. I want to work in Social work. I want to be in a position where I can take kids out of terrible situations. I want to HELP people break free from abuse. There are so many problems in this World and not enough people doing something about it.

I love my misión. I love this góspel. I love the hope that it gives us in this life. I KNOW my purpose in life and I know that If I don´t help other people know their purpose, I´ll have to answer to God when I die.

I love you all so much

p.s. super random gospel question of the week

What happened with Cain during the flood? Did he just swim around, or was he one of the animals on the ark? I really do want an answer to this… I´ve been thinking about it all week. 

1-- Park´s coworkers will appreciate this one. Peruvian Bike Shop

2-- inside the bike shop


1-- I´m starting a new segment entitled "Dogs, Drunks, and Doors" This one includes two haha. A Drunk, and a door.

2-- Even though we didn´t celebrate halloween, and the ward canceled the "musica criolla" party, I still had to take a picture of my costume. PANAI ALLRED!

3-- funny story about this haha. We were behind the creepy hospital on our way home from lots of appointments that fell through, and it was POURING rain. We were cold, surrounded by rabid dogs, and did I mention behind the creepy hospital? Well, like always, the lights went out. I usually have my flashlight, but I had just cleaned out my backpack so it wasn´t there. soooo there we were walking down the scariest street in our sector in PITCH BLACKNESS. There were absolutely zero cars on the road and we were a lil scared. Hermana Nelson just started singing "the lord is my light" haha. We stumbled our way home and huddled on my bed until the lights came back on. Funny night.

4.-- Dog and a door