I have the coolest companion that’s been teaching me little phrases in quechua!!
I hope that you guys have had a great week! Things are going really well down here in Las Brisas. I think these last two cambios have been the most fun in my entire life! Like really though. Hermana Choque and I have been hitting hard with this Él es la Dádiva thing (He is the Gift) and we’ve put the cards on our apartment windows and in the center, and we talked to all of the other family history consultants about showing the video to the visitors that pass by. Attendance is down a little bit over there in the IRU because classes are out for this month, but it might be to our advantage because we going to focus on getting a hold of all of the main YSA leaders in the different stakes and inviting them to come down and get excited about it all. Hermana Choque and I are really fasting and praying for new investigators. We’ve got a few that totally want to get baptized, but have problems with marriage papers and such. It’s a rough spot. Hopefully we can get everything worked out. As for gaining trust in the ward, we’ve been taking the Ammon approach (service) and it’s been really helpful. I think things are really brightening up down here. Our ward council is gaining more and more trust with us, and the only thing left that we have to do is help them to use our progress reports. Up until now, they’ve been a little pointless but with a little patience and diligence in the meetings I think it’ll all be alright!
This week, it’s been a little difficult as far as visits go. I know that the missionary handbook of rules says that supposedly holidays are the best days to proselyte because many families are home, but that sure doesn’t hold true down here in Peruvia. Nobody wants to receive a visit from the missionaries right now. This week has been a whole lot of walking and walking and walking and walking…. I feel like every day we’re singing that primary song about Pioneer Children.. ja ja ja… It’s ok though. Things’ll let up soon. We’ve been contacting a lot of people in the street and it looks like we’ve found a few new appointments for this week. One of the great things is that for the last month or so, we’ve been finding just in the road (they’ve come up to us every time!) about 3 golden investigators or golden less-active members that are ready to be reactivated PER WEEK (I’ve never seen so many cases like this in a row in my entire mission!), but every single time they’ve been referrals for other missionaries because they live in other ward boundaries or stakes. D’oh! Nah, but it’s ok because we’re really happy for them and for the initiative that they’ve taken to increase their faith and get to know the Savior more. The important part is that we’re helping the Lord out with these guys.
I forgot to mention it last week, but on Saturday, our ward had our GRAN Feria de Historia Familiar!! It was probably one of the best, most organized that I’ve ever seen — and the best part was that the ward did everything! It was incredible. Our High Priest Group Leader planned out everything from organizing a ton of different classrooms to be operating simultaneously, to balloon archways, to giving out gift bags to all of the visitors with pens and booklets and cards about the temple. The only thing that they asked us to do was to be there and bring a few other companionships of missionaries to contact people in the street and bring them in for an introduction to the church. We got permission from the zone leaders to borrow a few more from the zone, and it was a huge success! We taught about 20 new investigators!! Even one woman said that she used to always walk behind the church to get to her house, but for some reason she felt like walking in front, and that’s when the Elders contacted her. Lucky Elder Gonzalez and Elder Scott have about 13 referrals or so… Hermana Choque and I are totally jealous. It was such a flawless effort between missionary work and family history. So proud!!!
One of our dear member friends named Anibal loaned us this incredible and original book that’s hand-written from 1914. A hundred years ago! It was written by his grandmother here in Lima, and it’s all beautiful, beautiful poetry. He loaned it to us for two reasons — there was a poem in there in English that was really sweet about how we should always keep learning our entire lives, and he wanted me to translate it into Spanish because he never knew what it said. Also, he was wondering if we could scan the whole thing in and digitalize it with the scanner in the family history center, so that it could be preserved. The Elders helped us out and after about an entire hour of scanning, we got it done. I totally meant to bring my USB so that I could send you guys a photo so you could see the amazing calligraphy, but I left it home this morning! Sorry. But I’ll send it next week for sure.
On Friday we had a really fun family night at the house of our mission leader and we made Christmas letters and watched church Christmas movies and ate panneton and hot chocolate and ice-cream and it was a lot of fun. We invited a couple other recent convert families and it was a bash! Hopefully they can forward on the photos to me. :)
So Christmas is approaching, and tonight I have to go to dinner at the President’s house along with everyone else who’s finishing their missions in December. It’s a mission tradition that everyone who’s finishing goes to eat with him and Hermana Borg cooks. I don’t know how it will go but I’m kind of nervous. It’s weird because it doesn’t even feel like the Christmas season at all! Not just because it’s almost summer, but in general. This Christmas is so much different than the last one. Sometimes Hermana Choque and I forget that it’s going to be so soon. The same goes for going home. The other missionaries in the zone sure have a hoot making fun of me and joking about how I’m getting ”trunky” and counting down the days, but the sincere, real truth is that I haven’t! I know that I’m going to be with my parents in about two weeks, but it just seems like a dream. It doesn’t seem real. It’s just work as usual! In fact, if anything, I think that my stress is taking the form of wanting to get as much work done as possible, and it’s making me anxious to try and teach 1,874 lessons and find 896 people every week. I want to get everything done before they kick me out!! There are still so many things that we have to do in the center that we’ve planned!!! Agh. But who knows. Life is weird. I’m content with not being trunky though. I’ll let you guys know how everything goes!
¡Noq’a yachani kay iglesia verdadero casjanta!
¡Jayanakusun kunintan! :)
Love, Hermana Hollberg
Playing with this crazy kitten we found in the street. It took us about 10 minutes to catch it. It did NOT want to be held!!! It was a housecat though, don’t worry.
I don’t know we were really bored that night (it was a very long day of walking and walking and walking with no luck) so we just took a ton of pictures of this cat playing with its mom. The mom-cat brought the kitten a little cockroach to play with. How sweet… haha