Francisco! He had a special tunic made
so he could be like Jesus when he was
All the missionaries in our area.
We are seeing many miracles in the work because of the Open House of the Trujillo Temple. It was held from May 8 to May 30, 2015. They had more than 90,000 visitors and 3,000 refrences. We were not able to attend the Open House since it is not in our mission! The Temple will be dedicated on June 21, 2015. All of the Saints in the Chiclayo Area are extremely excited about the dedication of this temple. Instead of a 12 hour bus ride to Lima, they will be 3 hours from the Trujillo Temple. We feel that it will make a huge difference in the strength of the Saints in this area to be able to attend the temple on a more regular basis.
The other day, two sister missionaries told me about a woman that they are teaching. Her husband, Guillermo, was baptized last month and his wife had not been very interested in the church. She reluctantly started listening to the sisters. She has had a recurring dream for several years, where she wakes up in a strange place and other people inform her that she is in a graveyard. She is always confused and cannot understand why she is in a graveyard. Then she has always seen a huge lighted building in the distance. This dream has haunted her a little bit, unable to understand what it was about. Then she attended the Temple Open House with her husband. When they got to the temple, she realized that the Trujillo Temple is built right next to a large graveyard and she recognized this as the place in her dream. She exclaimed to her husband, "Guillermo, this is my dream! This is what I saw in my dream! We are supposed to be here!" She felt the Spirit very strongly and especially loved being in the Celestial Room. She has now accepted June 27, 2015 as a date for baptism.
The family that was baptized in March was struggling and having to work on Sunday and felt that they could not attend church any more. The sister missionaries were very worried about them and afraid that their fragile new testimonies were going to be tested. Then they went to the Temple Open House. When they came home, their whole attitude had changed and they were at peace and told the missionaries, "We will do or sacrifice whatever we need to in order to keep attending church. We want to be able to go the temple." This has always been my experience in attending the temple. Things can seem so confusing and hard to know what to do at times, but then when I attend the temple and everything becomes so clear again. I remember the covenants I have made and my priorities are always put right back in order. What a blessing it is to have temples on the face of the earth and to have the ordinances restored in this day.
Recently, I was told about a Peruvian woman who worked in the Lima Temple and one day when she took a taxi there, she asked the driver if he had come there much. He said he had dropped off many people at the temple. She then asked him how he felt when he came there. He said that he always felt peace. She then asked him if he would like to know why he felt that way and if he would like to meet with the missionaries. He said, "yes". He was taught and baptized. About 11 years have passed and he has served as a bishop and now as a stake president . . . only because a sister was willing to open her mouth one time and because the driver felt the spirit of the temple.
This is a cute little monkey we always see on our
drive to Jaen. They wanted a picture of me with
him because I always watch for him. I'm not standing
too close because he was really scared and crying.
Recently, I have marvelled at the miracles that my husband and I have witnessed in the mission field. I have been so humbled to see how we have been blessed with the gift of tongues in the last year. I cannot even describe how difficult the last year has been for me as far as speaking Spanish has been. There have been many times when I have been extremely discouraged and just felt that it was impossible for me to ever have a decent ability to speak in Spanish. I have spent many moments on my knees in prayer pleading for the Lord's help and for the strength to keep trying. I know that my husband has done the same. We have been humbled to the depths of humility trying to be effective in our speaking and teaching in a foreign language. It has not been an easy thing to do.
Many times as we have prayed, we have both received the same impression: work harder, try harder. I know now, looking back, that the more effort I have put into learning, the more greatly the Lord has compensated my efforts and blessed me with the ability to speak. The hardest part has been being patient and waiting for the miracle to happen. At one point, I realized that this was going to take a lot longer than I had hoped and knew that it would probably be at least a year before I could speak and understand comfortably. I compared myself to a newborn child. Babies do not talk to a lot of people and they sleep a lot. My life is the same at times. I am at a great disadvantage in learning Spanish because I do not talk and listen to people every day, all day in Spanish like the missionaries do. I decided that if a baby can understand a language after a year and begin to speak some sentences after two years, that maybe it would take that long for me!
Nine ready to go home! Five Zone Leaders and a
Sister Training Leader in the Group.
We have always been blessed with the guidance to know what to do; what topics to speak about and address in our meetings and what changes to make in the mission. It is just amazing how often things change in the mission field. Transfers are done every six weeks. We have missionaries go home and arrive every six weeks. Then there are always other changes that need to be made. Our last transfer was on June 1 and 2. Nine missionaries returned home on the June 1 and we received 13 new missionaries on the June 2. This transfer was a little more tough for some of the missionaries because it meant that some will be put in the other mission. We had one sweet elder from Lima who wept for ten minutes and just told us how grateful he was for all we had done for him.
Saying goodbye at Cambios (Changes)
I am standing on a stair. She's really
taller than me! Off to the Trujillo North
The next day, Wednesday, one of the new elders had to return home. This always causes a ripple effect that leads to a number of new changes. My husband left the house on Thursday morning for an appointment and appeared that the weight of the world was on his shoulders not knowing how to make these changes. When he came home for lunch that day, he was as light as a feather. One phone call that morning and some new information had made all the changes perfectly clear to him that had to be made. Because of this change, the elder from Lima and a few others came back to our mission. I have seen this process with my husband happen time and time again. The Lord always lets him know what needs to be done. It is such a miracle that any mission president is able to do all of this!
Then there was the miracle of my migraine medication! I was almost out and I depend on it a lot. I tried for three weeks to get a doctor I had seen in February to fill the prescription for me. But this office was not cooperating at all. I had it all arranged with our friends the Sutphins, that the medication would be shipped to them (nobody ships to Peru) and they would bring it to me when they came on their visit to Peru. The timing had seemed perfect, but now I was running out of time and did not know what to do. This was so important to my health and my ability to function in the mission. I could not understand why it seemed that the Lord was not helping me with this. I thought I had prayed with faith. One morning it seemed impossible that the prescription I needed would ever get filled, when I had thought. In the back of my mind, I remembered an LDS doctor I had seen in Wyoming, who told us before we left on our mission that if we ever had any problem with any medication, to just call his office and he would take care of it. So we made the call. The next day the presciption was filled and the following day it arrived on the doorstep of our friends (the Sutphins), two days before they were leaving to come to Peru. I thought I would have to go a week without the medication, but it was only two days. The timing of everything was such a miracle. I know that the Lord answered our
Touring the sugar cane factory with the Sutphins:
The greatest blessing that has come to me because of the temple is, of course, my eternal marriage and family. We were able to celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary in the mission field. It was a great opportunity to share with our missionaries the feelings and blessings we have because of our marriage. We have definitely experienced a lot of things in 34 years and 23 moves. We could not have done any of it without each other. Every time I attend the temple, the one thing that brings more joy to me than any other is to know that I will be my husband's queen for all eternity. He has always treated me as such. I know that he will be my faithful friend forever. The greatest miracle of all time is the atonement and I know it is only because of my Savior Jesus Christ that I can be with my husband and posterity forever.
34 years and still in love!
At the windy beach after hiking in
Our anniversary was a little different in Peru . . .We had a Stake Conference the night of our anniversary, so we had dinner the night before at "the best restaurant" in Chiclayo. I really wanted shrimp but they did not have it that night for some reason. The waiter talked me into getting something else that he said was really good. I was not even sure what it was. When they brought our meal, they brought me a platter one and a half feet long with a huge lobster on it, the whole thing. His little eyes were staring at me! They had removed the meat from the shell, so no problem. I could do this! It was not very good, being full of gristle and a bit bitter. I tried to douse it in the sauce they gave me, but that did not help much! I think I had three bites and then I hid the rest of it under the tail. I was too embarrassed to say anything about it to the waiter. It was not good and it cost 171 soles or 63 dollars. I can't believe we paid that for something I did not like!
The doomed lobster. He died for nothing!
34th Anniversary Dinner.
On Saturday, we went to an archeological site called, "Piramides de Tucume". They are brick piramids that are eroded. They are not like the piramids in Egypt or Mexico. These were piramids that they actually lived in and worshipped in. The built them up high to be more near to the Gods. It was actually a very nice place. It had a nice museum, landscaping, a garden and a nice trail. We had an enjoyable morning walking and exploring. It was just really hot, so we pooped out after a few hours. We did not go on the full hike up the mountain. We are waiting for cooler weather and when someone in our family comes to visit before we do that. Then it was amazing that we went from one extreme to another in the weather. We went to a beach we had never been to called Eten Puerta. It has an actual working port with a huge pier that we only saw from the distance. It was windy and extremely cold, so we did not stay long. But it was nice, so we will go there again sometime. Maybe when someone in our family comes to visit. I keep saying that to give my family a hint!
Some "interesting" religious traditions in Peru.
One of the Piramids in the distance.
We just finished a six week tour of Stake Conferences. We spoke for six weekends in a row at two sessions of Stake Conference. My husband also speaks in Priesthood meeting. It always makes the weekend a little hectic and I sometimes don't feel very good in the evenings, but the Lord always sustains us. No matter how bad I am feeling physically, when we go to do the work, I always feel fine and know that I am strengthened by the power of the atonement. I am always overwhelmed by the spirit I feel there; the spirit of love from the Saints, the spirit of dedication and sacrifice and the spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ. On Sunday, as I looked into the faces of the Peruvian Saints, I felt such joy and happiness to know that the gospel is true and that it truly is the way to happiness in this life and eternal joy and salvation in the life to come. I love to bear my testimony of the gospel and of our Savior Jesus Christ. I feel such gratitude in my heart for all he has given us. We are living in the dispensation of the fulness of times. We are such a blessed people.