Hola todos! This week was a super awesome week and this next one will be even better because…WE ARE HAVING A BAPTISM!!! On Saturday at 4pm, if any of y’all wanna take a last minute trip down here to Pacasmayo you all are totes invited. There will be cake 🙂 Hermana Peel and I are super excited because for both of us this is our first baptism. Her name is Lorena and she is 11! She and her mom, Liliana, have a great story:
Liliana is a returned missionary, she actually served in this mission years ago and now she lives here in the mission she served in! Butttt she went inactive and has been for a long time. For years the missionaries have tried to visit her but she always slammed the door, never wanted to listen. But back in May she took her daughter, Lorena, to the Puertas Abiertas (Open House) at the temple. That really softened and opened her heart to the gospel again. Lorena loved the temple open house, she decided that she wanted to get baptized, she just wasn’t sure if she should get baptized into the Catholic church like most of her friends and family, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints like her mom. But back in July us missionaries met her and Liliana finally let us in…she has been so prepared. The temple is seriously working miracles among these people. If it hadn’t been for the temple and the temple open house we wouldn’t be having this baptism. Liliana has completely changed and turned her life around to come back to church and to help her daughter get baptized. She kicked her conviviente (live-in boyfriend) out, quit her job (so that she could come to church on Sundays and also so she could work in a better environment – she used to work in construction and she decided it was having a bad influence on her)! We have witnessed the biggest change in her! She is happy and she really has a light in her eyes that wasn’t there before. She knows what she is doing is right and I know the Lord is so proud of her. As for Lorena, at first it was hard to get her to pay attention, she’s only 11 and she asks a LOT of questions. Good questions, just a lot of them! But we have helped her gain her own testimony of the Church and of the Book of Mormon and she couldn’t be more excited for her baptism!! She prays every morning and night and she reads her Libro de Mormon (Book of Mormon) every day. Liliana says that Lorena is really trying to do everything ‘exactly right’ so she can be ready for her baptism. We watched the Joseph Smith Restoration video with her and she LOVED it – so much so that she wants to have a movie night and show it to all her friends! I told her that after her baptism we will plan something to have all her friends come over to watch The Restauration together 🙂 AND, she turns 12 in October…you all know what that means! She can go to the temple! She is already counting down the days til she can go to the temple for the first time (I believe today marks 41days haha – she tells us the new number every time we see her). She wants us to go down to the temple with her when she goes for the first time. She has plans to do the work for her grandmother…I am just so grateful and so humbled to be here to help her come unto Christ and accept this gospel with all her heart like she is so doing! Liliana and Lorena are seriously little miracles!
Also happened this week…I met my first brujo (witch doctor)! Yep, pretty scary. Hermana Peel and I were walking past the church building when we saw a man standing right outside the doors, so of course we stopped and talked to him. He told us all these things that I feel like should have tipped me off that something wasn’t right – but I just thought he was kind of weird, or maybe drunk. Anyway then he told us our future and said something to us in some weird language (which he told us was Swedish – and which I totally believed. But afterwards I was thinking about it, and like what Peruvian speaks Swedish? Why am I so gullible?? I believe everything people tell me to a fault.) Anyway then after he left someone came up to us and asked us if we knew who that was…and we were like no, we just met him. And they said that he’s a witch doctor and we need to be really careful around him and people like that. Apparently he has a TV show here in Peru where he teaches people how to make potions and cast spells. Creeeeeeepyyyyyyyy.
On a happier note, I FINISHED THE BOOK OF MORMON THIS MORNING! I started a few weeks ago marking all the places where it refers to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and keeping a list of all the names by which they are referred. Here are the results:
Heavenly Father – 2706 references – God, Eternal Father, God the Father, Father, Almighty God, Lord God Almighty, God of Israel, God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacod, Lord God, Eternal God, Shepherd, Lord of Hosts, Mighty God, Holy God, Maker, Holy One of Israel, Lord God of Hosts, King, Almighty, Most High, Creator, Lord (our/their/his) God, Heavenly King, Heavenly Father, Being, God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, Lord the Almighty God, Supreme Being, Great Spirit, Most High God, Supreme Creator, Eternal Head, Eternal Father of Heaven
Jesus Christ – 1625 references – Jesus Christ, Lord, Christ, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, Messiah, Son, Savior, One, Lord (our/their/his) God, Redeemer, Lamb of God, Son of the Most High God, Son of the Eternal Father, Son of the Everlasting God, Holy One of Israel, Lord Redeemer, Redeemer of Israel, Holy One, Mighty One of Jacob, Mighty One of Israel, Holy Messiah, Mediator, Lord God, Creator, Immanuel, Prince of Peace, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Stem of Jesse, Root of Jesse, Lord Jehovah, Only Begotten of the Father, Son of Righteousness, Eternal God, Beloved Son, Beloved, Only Begotten, Only Begotten Son, Stone, Jehovah, Lord Omnipotent, Father of Heaven and Earth, Creator, Christ the Lord, Lord God Omnipotent, God, Father, Eternal Father, Good Shepherd, Christ Jesus, King, Christ the Son, Jesus, Well Beloved, Eternal Judge, Shepherd, Savior Jesus Christ, Alpha and Omega, Man, God, God of Israel, Maker, Husband, Lord of Hosts, Lord (our/their/his) Redeemer, Being, Holy Child
WOW as you can see I learned a lot from doing this exercise of reading and keeping track of all the times and names they were referred! My testimony (and understanding) of the Book of Mormon have grown SO much by doing this. I finished this morning and I cried. The Book of Mormon is just so beautiful and so TRUE. I am so grateful for that book, this church, this gospel, and the opportunity I have to share this happiness to the people here in Perú. If you haven’t read the Book of Mormon in a while, please do!!! You will be strengthened by it!
Another picture of my beautiful town, Pacasmayo!