August 17, 2015 {Week 9}: Oh this is the life, I tell you!

Hola todos! This week was great, I am finally getting into the swing of regular mission life because my first couple weeks were a bit crazy! But this week was more normal so a little bit less exciting stuff to say.
Monday we went to the lighthouse as a zone! So fun!
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Epic zone selfie at the lighthouse last week
On Friday we painted my pensionista’s house which was super fun, I’ve always wanted to paint a house and it was just a fun service project we got to do. [A pensionista is the woman who cooks for them. Apparently they have someone else who does their laundry.]
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Painting our pensionista’s house
Then, earlier this week, our branch president asked me to give a talk! In Spanish! So I gave my very first talk in Spanish yesterday at chuch. My topic was La Obra Missional and I talked about the importance of member missionary work in our investigators, less actives, and recent converts. I used a lot of examples from the Book of Mormon, which was really fun to do and research and find examples of member missionary work in the Book of Mormon. It really strengthened my testimony that we really are the very same  church that Christ established during His earthly ministry! [Abby sent a picture, actually page by page pictures, of her hand written talk.  If anyone is interested in a copy of it, please comment and I will get it to you.  I am beyond impressed that she spent six weeks in language training and now three weeks in Pacasmayo and she was able to write and deliver a talk in Spanish!]
Today is Elder Males’ birthday (elder in my district) so we are making brownies and chocolate chip cookies to celebrate this afternoon.
Hermana Peel and I happen to be teaching about 5 sets of mother/daughters – either the mother is a member and the daughter isn’t, or the daughter is a member and the mother isn’t, and all the girls are about the same age, 11 years old. It is so fun and sweet to be teaching such tender spirits and their mothers! So today Hermana Peel and I have planned a special Noche de Hogar for them all, based on the fact that we are all Daughters of a King and Princesses in His Kingdom. I am very excited to have this little activity with them tonight 🙂
I’ll quickly tell you about some of our investigators – Regis and Estela are my favorite. Regis is 71 and Estela is 58, they have been together for like 20 years but they aren’t married because their other spouses (they were both previously married) don’t want to get divorced (money reasons). We are working with them on divorcing their others and marrying each other. Yesterday we fasted with them to begin to see miracles in their lives. Regis is very special, he got into an accident (of which kind I am unaware) that left him paralyzed 10 years ago. He is in a wheelchair and can’t talk very well, Estela translates for him so we can understand that he’s saying. I just admire them so much, she cares for him so well and so selflessly. It’s beautiful.
Second is Rosemary y Theresa, one of our mother/daughters! Rosemary is 15 and Theresa is her mother. Rosemary got baptized when she was 11, but has since gone inactive because the rest of her family aren’t members. We had our first lesson with them this week and it is so clear that they all already know this gospel is true! We just have to prepare them for baptism. Also, Rosemary wants to serve a mission! And her parents want her to too! I am just so excited to teach a whole family who is so prepared.
It is a blessing to be able to serve the people here of Peru and bring families eternal happiness! I am so excited to work with Regis and Estela so they can be married for time and all eternity and Rosemary and her family so they can be sealed together. I know with all my heart we really are changing the eternities in this inspired work!
Love you all, have a great week! Read and pray and keep the commandments, that’s where you find lasting happiness 🙂
Love,
Hermana Butikofer
[In my personal email home this week, Abby included some additional information which she wanted me to share.]
Let me tell you about life here. Here goes…Hermana Peel and I live in an apartment in the middle of Pacasmayo. When I first got here I thought Pacasmayo was really poor but I have since realized that it’s not really that bad.  By American standards I suppose it is but these people still have a lot.  The houses don’t really look like much from the outside, but on the inside some of them are actually pretty nice. I can’t wait to take you guys here and show you around.  Pacasmayo is such a great town, I really love it! There are only two apartments in our building.  Us and a family across the hall. They are really great to us! When our electricity was out for a few days they let us borrow an extension cord so we used some of their electricity that way for awhile. Plus today they bought us a whole box of chocolate!  Thick truffle things. They also have a dog named Poly who lives in the hallway.  He’s up on the roof during the day and sleeps in the hallway at night.  The roof has the best view of Pacasmayo!
Oh the weather is beautiful here.  The skies are clear blue and the temperature is perfect and there is always a nice breeze. Oh this is the life, I tell you!
We walk most places but if we need to get across town in a short period of time we take what is called a moto (short for mototaxi). It is basically a motorcycle with a glorified cart attached to the back.  A ride on a mototaxi costs $1.50 soles (about 45 cents).
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Typical mototaxi
When we travel to meetings in Guadalupe we take cars.  We go to the bus station where here are always a bunch of cars taking people to and from the surrounding towns because people around here generally don’t have cars of their own.  Guadalupe is about a half hour north of there I believe.
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Hermana Peel y yo in Guadalupe last week
Our pensionista is named Fiorella Flores. She is married to David Millones and they have an adorable 5 year old daughter named Yazmin. She likes to talk to me and she helps me with my Spanish! They are great! So yeah, they are our pension. Hermano David is a welder and Hermana Fiorella is our pensionista but honestly she is not much of a cook.  Usually for breakfast we have bread, jam, butter and hot chocolate.  Sometimes we might have eggs too.  For lunch we eat lots of noodles, rice and potatoes.  For example, today we had all three. She makes spaghetti a lot but which is ironic since I don’t even like spaghetti.  One time she but chicken in the sauce.  We eat chicken, sometimes tomatoes as a vegetable. It’s really not too bad just a lot of white rice, white bread and white potatoes and white meat.  Dinner is always something small because as you know lunch is the big meal in South America.  Funnily enough we actually eat a lot of breakfast foods for dinner.  We usually have something like yogurt and cereal or pancakes (yum), or today for the first time I had arroz con leche con some purple soup thing that started with an m… [mazamorra] it was all in the same bowl together and it was hot.  It was okay.  It tasted like warmed up Fruit Loops and the purple stuff was like drinking heated jello.  I didn’t really like it that much.
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Arroz con leche y mazamorra
They eat mayonnaise on everything here which is kinda weird cause I think mayonnaise if gross.  But I’m not starving so that’s good. Don’t worry about sending me the vitamins. I know I included them on my list but I’ll be fine.  haha I don’t know what I was thinking.
The branch here is really, really great and a pretty impressive bunch if you ask me.  There are about 100 active members and they always have fun activities! Like last week, for example, they put on a modesty fashion show! So they created a runway in the gym/sacrament hall (it’s a small building so it doubles) and had tons of people model different types of outfits..primary, young men, young women, Relief Society, priesthood, sports, school, church, date night, prom. They even had a couple of wedding dresses.  It was impressive.  They had us missionaries model missionary clothes!  So that was way fun to walk down the red carpet.
We have our clothes washed by an hermana in the ward named Hermana Magda.  She is so great and faithful and oh she is just our best friend! And when my laundry comes back it is so nice!
On Pdays we have our personal study and companion study and then we go write our families as a district (mission rule-we have to write and go to Tottus together) and then we have the afternoon free.  Let me write out our schedule for you:
Normal Day
6:30 wake up, exercise (30 min)
7:00 get ready (30 min)
7:30 breakfast (30 min)
8:00 personal study (1 hr)
9:00 companion study (1 hr)
10:00 language study (1 hr)
11:00 doce semanas (my training) (1 hr)
12:00 teaching/visits
1:00 lunch (30 min)
1:30 preparation time (1 hr each afternoon to prepare for the rest of the day)
2:30 teaching/visits
6:00 dinner (30 min)
6:30 teaching/visits
9:00 planning (30 min)
9:30 prepare for bed
10:30 bedtime
I still love my clothes!  I feel really pretty all the time, which is nice cause I’m lucky if I have time to do my hair and all I wear is mascara everyday.  But I still feel really pretty everyday which is just nice!
We shower with cold water but rumor has it President Marler is gonna make sure we get hot water within a week or two so that will be great!  haha honestly every time I shower I dread it and I always say a little prayer to have the strength to endure another cold shower…it’s okay. I can’t think of anything else to say about regular life right now. Hope this answers some of your questions!
PS I have recieved several nicknames here in Perú because ‘Butikofer’ is so dang difficult – so among some I am now known as Hermana Beauty, Hermana Beautiful, or Hermana Butterfly 🙂 heehee I’m not complaining 🙂
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