Smitten and Flea-Bitten‏

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eating the famous turròn, which is a traditional to celebrate El Señor de los Milagros down here. Also, looking like one of the holy virgin paintings for fun :)

Ok, WHY IS EVERYONE SEEING MEET THE MORMONS?? I am so flipping jealous. We’ll get it down here in Spanish who-knows-when. Dang!

 

So everyone who serves a mission down here has to get fleas at one point, by law. Well, it’s my turn!!! YAY!!!!  Haha, well, that actually sounds a lot more serious than it is, but I do have like 10 flea bites in total. It’s basically like having a mosquito bite, but when it’s not swollen from scratching, it looks like a little freckle. Hermana Borg thinks that it’s just from the fleas outside in the world (oh goodie), and so she just had me get some calming cream, but if I keep getting bitten, that means that I’m going to have to burn like everything I have and scrub the house. Cool.

Seeing Esther for the first time too!!! She seems like she's doing REALLY WELL! Hopefully she'll get sealed to Josè here soon.

Seeing Esther for the first time too!!! She seems like she’s doing REALLY WELL! Hopefully she’ll get sealed to Josè here soon.

 

This has officially been the longest week of my life. So on Monday, we had to work like normal because we moved our P-day to Wednesday. Then on Tuesday, we had our monthly Mission Council meeting that was from 9:00 am until about 3:30 pm. And it was INSANE. This was the first one that Hermana Capps and I have gotten to go to. All of the sister training leaders and zone leaders are invited, and we just have huge discussions about what we want to do in the mission and what new initiatives to take. The air was so tense I seriously could have just taken out a marshmallow and put in on my pen and roasted it right there. Surprisingly, the President didn’t talk too much this time. He just sat and listened to all of our discussions and let us find the answers, occasionally bearing his rock-solid testimony. We talked a lot about introducing and completely integrating family history in all of the goals we make, how we teach, and how we record our numbers. Hermana Capps and I have some really great ideas about making Family History pass-a-long cards and also making new discs with family history videos for the mission to use in their lessons. We use a lot of burned discs here that the secretaries in the offices make with Mormon Messages and such, for our family nights and lessons with investigators. The idea is to make a new one! It’ll be cool. We’re going to the offices right after this to go and make it with the secretaries.

 

Then, on Wednesday, we got to go to the temple! I love the Lima temple so much. Just so you know, the official church photo that they use to show the temple does NOT do it justice. I got to do the initiatory and endowment for Aunt Linda Kenison! It was really great. It was the first time that I had heard the initiatory in Spanish and it was so peaceful, just what I had needed. The only thing that Linda needs now is getting sealed to her parents and husband! :)

After the temple, going to La Parque de Las Aguas  (we are SO going when you guys come down!)

After the temple, going to La Parque de Las Aguas (we are SO going when you guys come down!)

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After the temple, we went to the Parque de las Aguas! I’ve been there once but it was SO FUN getting to go there again! I got some good videos.

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On Thursday we had intercambios (exchanges) and I stayed here in Magdalena with Hermana Zaracho while Hermana Capps went to the Bolìvar ward with Hermana Rivera. Hermana Zaracho is just the sweetest, coolest person and I want to be like her when I grow up. She’s a great missionary and she’ll go far out here. Super charismatic.

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We finished the exchange on Friday and from there, spent the entire day looking up names from this list of like 50 people that the area wants us to find. They’re all names of people who have been inactive for many years and that we’re not sure if they still live here or not. We’ve found a lot of them but we still have about 30 to go. We have to get them all done by the end of the month!

 

SEEING A REAL HOUSE!!!!!! This is the first house that we've seen with a real SHINGLED ROOF in so long! And it's brick! It was amazing! Both Hermana Capps and I stopped in complete awe. God bless America :`)

SEEING A REAL HOUSE!!!!!! This is the first house that we’ve seen with a real SHINGLED ROOF in so long! And it’s brick! It was amazing! Both Hermana Capps and I stopped in complete awe. God bless America :`)

On Saturday, we got to watch General Conference again! This time, at the ward. One of our old investigators wanted to come, but when we went to pick her up for the afternoon session, we noticed that she seemed a little tipsy… But she wanted to come so what could we do? She REALLY loved it though, especially the talk by the Seventy who spoke in Spanish (his name escapes me right now) and the theme was ”Sì, Señor, yo te seguirè.” She had to go right after it was over, but we’re going to visit her again this week to really see what she thought. And to teach the Word of Wisdom again.

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Sunday was the same drill, conference! I got to see everyone from Pueblo Libre (all of the old members!) and it was SO FUN!!! We had lunch at the house of the Kairo family! Sister Kairo has a daughter serving a mission in Arizona. We six Magdalena missionaries were there, plus, as a surprise, two temple worker missionaries! They were a senior couple from Arizona, and they chose to serve an 18-month temple mission. I recognized them because I’m pretty sure the sister did my initiatory when I went to the temple for the first time! We totally saw them on Wednesday! It was interesting to talk to them. Couple missions are totally different than our missions. They can do whatever they want.

SEEING MARIA PAULA for the first time in forever yesterday at conference!!!!

SEEING MARIA PAULA for the first time in forever yesterday at conference!!!!

 

 

Conference Splurge, much needed. Milky Chocolate.

Conference Splurge, much needed. Milky Chocolate.

Even though this week has been super full, things sure have been slow lately with regards to investigators and recent converts and less actives… We haven’t been able to find anybody at all for the last couple of weeks. We had two investigators that were progressing really well, but they’ve fell off of the face of the earth. It’s been hard just walking and walking every day, and you can’t help but feel a little sad when you’re supposed to be a leader for the mission and your sector should be an example when your numbers are really crappy and you have nobody to teach. I’ve really been trying to contact every family that I see in the street though and we’ve been able to get a few new appointments of people to visit.

 

I truly love being a missionary though and I just feel so comfortable here. I can’t help but feel a little scared to go home, to be honest. In the mission, you have to completely drop the old world that you have and create a new one in the field. It creates this huge push-pull feeling between the two, and in the end, you have to leave the second world just as you had left the first. Hard things. But I still have plenty of time out here to do plenty of good work. I sure love you guys and I’m happy to hear that you got home safely, Mom! You are all the best :)

 

A heartfelt shout out to Steve and Taryn Evans, and the whole Evans family! I sure love you guys so much!!!!

 

Love,

Hermana Hollberg

 

cool fountain-pyramid!

cool fountain-pyramid!

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