Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy yet Homesick

November 28 2011
SO week 2 in Monserate.

Monday is p day as you have noticed and last week we spent the day with our district leader and his companion because my companion wanted a new shirt and to leave our area we have to have our district leader. It was a great day. Our district leader’s companion is North American, so for a couple hours I got to speak English and feel like a normal person. It was a great afternoon. After hours of shopping we finally found her some shirts and headed back to write some letters and chill in the apartment until it was time to work at 6.

Tuesdays are our zone and district conferences (and this is the mail day = best day of the week).  Except this past week we had a district meeting with President Turk and the assistants and our zone leaders. It was a great reunion and we got eat pizza (I have never been so happy to see pizza :) ) The food here is delicious! I love it. Out pensionista is great and its so fun to be with her family everyday. Her husband served his mission in Trujillo and just got done with his mission last December. So he has us go back and find his old investigators and contact less actives. It’s great!  Her son Frank was just baptized yesterday.  He was so excited to be baptized. We have been singing primary songs for days! 

This is also the view from their window every night at dinner. 
It’s so gorgeous!

During our meeting with the Turks I had a fabulous interview with President. It was so great; he is so caring and knowledgeable. I felt really comforted after meeting with him. So here is the honest truth. I have been really homesick this past week. I have never felt this homesick before. I know this is where I’m supposed to be and I know I have work here to do. But being here all alone, in a world where I don’t understand the language and somewhere where I can’t readily access my family is hard. Sometimes we’ll be walking down the street and I’ll have tears running down my checks. As I sat eating my soup for Thanksgiving day, my companion asked what my family was doing right then. Ha. That didn’t help at all!!! I explained what went down on Thanksgiving and the days following. Not fun. Also I realized that not only am I missing Connor being ordained on the 25th but I also won’t get to be there when he does baptisms for the first time. So sad too.

Through all of this though, President Turk challenged me to find comfort scriptures.  Here are some that I have found Alma 34:14, 26:12, 1:25, DC101:38,  and of course my favorites DC68:6, and Philippians 4:13.

So yesterday we had 8 or 9 people tell us that they were coming to church, and when church started we had 0 there. After the opening song an investigator walked in with her son and a member.  We were so happy!! They are awesome. I hope they continue to be receptive.  As we had a lot of our progressive investigators not show up, I again was discouraged. I was missing my life back home, my family, friends, and my everyday life.  But I had a scripture come to my mind as I was praying.  Matt. 10:39. whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Also in this chapter is verse 14, and 19.  They are gems. Shake of the dust of your feet and be not discouraged. It is not you they are rejecting it is the Savior Jesus Christ.

S0 every day I have tried to find a positive quote in my personal study. Some I have found are: we are going to do something extraordinary!, and You are going to save souls (President Kimball). Do you have any ones that you like that you could send me? They’re little motivation pick me ups every time I open my planner.

Another thing president Turk said that I am going to learn in my first three months here is patience and humility. It’s so true. Peru has no time schedule. You make an appointment for 3 but that means that it really doesn’t start until 3:30 or 3:45.

Read in preach my gospel, page 13 from Pres. Harold B Lee and Ezra Taft Benson. What are you doing to be a missionary and help with the missionary efforts in your ward?

I’m trying everyday to be happy and I’m sorry this letter is so sad and discouraging. But I’m trying!!

So this morning I left the house and it smelled like mink....haha....gross....I don’t miss that...,
Also I had cow liver this past week. It was actually pretty good. Also I had this purple corn goo gel stuff that was pretty good.

Thanks for all of the love and prayers!!! LOVE YOU ALL!!

Hermana Sandstrom

PS Send dear elders! I love getting them. I’ll respond and send letters home once every month or so.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Loving Trujillo

Why is it that I always start to cry when reading your emails? I don’t like it. I have been super homesick these past couple of days. I have been sick-sick, of course. I could feel it coming on in the airport and as I felt crappy I just wanted to be home.


I love it. This is where I am supposed to be and to be spreading the gospel right now. I love the city. I want to take tons of pictures, but we can’t be tourists so I’ll leave it to you guys to take tons of pictures when you come. You’ll be fresh.  I’ve already become used to a lot of the stuff in Trujillo.

Its really a poor area here, but they are living comfortable.
So my first week in trujillo.... well we have no hot water, like we are supposed to. They moved into a new apartment the day before I got here, and its doesn’t have a thermostat yet. I’m stoked about having hot water soon, and the freezing cold showers have not helped with my cold.  And you aren’t supposed to put the toilet paper in the toilet.  It clogs them. We found this out the hard way. hahaha!!  

My spanish is coming along pretty well. Most of the people can understand me and I can participate in lessons. Not completely equal yet, but a lot better than I though it would be. :)
I’m in the Monsaratte area. It’s right in trujillo.

So we started out hard that first night we arrived, we got to go on splits right in my area. Then the next day after more training and meetings with president Turk and his wife, we went to their house for lunch and then it was off to meet our companions. We started off teaching that night. I had no clue what was going on but I bore my testimony and could understand a lot.

I saw a bag of chicken feet in a bag at a house vendor yesterday. haha weird.  And I ate tomatoes, onions and fish all in one meal. and i didn’t die. surprised dad? haha. 
We have pensionistas that cook for us, they are pretty cool. They just returned from serving a mission in trujillo so we are going back to visit a lot of their lost investigators. Its been going great and I’m learning lots.

Hermana Oliveras is my trainer, she is from Mlima.  We will be together for 3 months as part of a new truing program.  i love her so much, and we have already had a lot of success and we work great together. 
We already had a baptism - he is a stellar kid and so excited to be a member of the church.  His grandma is a member and it's just great! (see photo below)

We also had a baptism while i was in the Lima MTC - she was our district's investigator. 

I love you all..
Hermana Oliveros & I
First baptism in the field
Our MTC baptism - right in the middle

The Hermanas of Laureles Zone are Spectacular.
They are smart, clean, bright, courageous, happy and selfless. says Sister Turk

The Laureles Zone

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Made it to Trujillo

Nov 16, 2011
Dear family,
I am here in Trujillo.  We got here at about 5:00pm yesterday, all is well. Last night the missionaries, and President and Sister Turk picked us up from the Airport. Then we had dinner, went out teaching with some missionaries here in Trujillo and rested in the hotel, today we have a bunch of trainings and I will meet my trainer later this afternoon.   I am tired, but fantastic!!!
I will email you more next Monday.
Hermana Sandstrom 

ps love you and they prewrote my script i only get this ps -love you. i have so much to share with you next week

Mom note :) I was able to pull information and photos off the Mission Blog - (the link is in the side bar)

Tuesday ...The new arrivals are here... all 19 of them.  
We loaded them on the blue eagle..
First stop... the Temple Grounds.
It is always a grand experience.

We checked them in at the Blue Malibu Hotel 
where they were going to eat dinner.
Then they are all paired up with great missionaries
and working tonight in nearby areas.
Wednesday, orientation, training and assignments.
They are going to be a dynamic group.

Hermana Sandstrom from Utah will be trained by
Hermana Oliveros from Peru
and they will be in the Monserrate area here in Trujillo.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

One week and counting...

Today all of our new district went to immigration with some of other missionaries, so we got to hang out with our old district.   It’s been great to just chill. I spent some of my morning sewing 2 shirts 2 skirts, and 6 pairs of elders pants. Haha - so fun. After letter writing it will be to futbol it up before the temple this afternoon.

My mission life is going great! I'm so excited to leave next week. I’m ready for the field but so nervous for what is coming next. Ready or not here I come, and this is what I'm doing for the next 16 months.

Okay so here is what happened this past week...Last Sunday was awesome. We had a couple hours of study time and then we watched a church movie ‘Mountain of the Lord’, and a devotional by Dallin H Oaks.  It was great.  I love spiritual p days.
Also this past week, I finished the New Testament. It was so great. I don't think that I have ever read it from cover to cover; I have always stopped after the four gospels. It’s so cool and there are so many good scriptures after Acts. I love it. Phil 4:13.   Now my next goal is to read the  D&C before I leave.  It’s so coo.  I have already found some gems.  The boys will love these scriptures -  D&C 38:13,28 haha.  What movie does this remind you of? Ha ha

This past week they have gotten really strict with some of the rules.  The really small annoying ones and it has been really hard to be 100% obedient and to have a positive attitude about things. It takes so much out of me not to complain about the way they do things (which isn't very efficient) but I have to let them learn and just go with things. The language barrier has really been hard too. I thought my language was going pretty good, until yesterday and I had a hard time during a work-shop that we had.

my new sweet latin companion
I'm down to just a couple days here and can't wait to get on to the next step. Its will be scary and interesting for the next couple of months. haha.

Thanks for everything! Love you lots, I'll write you again from TRUJILLO in just a matter of days!!
Love H. Sandstrom

Touring Lima
with Hermana Adams 

Hermanas going to Trujillo