Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 27, 2012



I am now an hour and a half away from Trujillo with my new companion Hermana Herrera. She is the best!! This is her last change, and she is a wonderful missionary. She is so sweet, but has this spunk to her that is awesome!! I love Her so much.

Casa Grande is beautiful!! It’s this small little pueblo in the middle of the sugar cane fields; its surrounded. I love it. The factory is right in the middle of town and the majority of the men in the city work in the factory. I love this town. My area is one of the best areas in the mission and we are going to continue in the paths of those before us. I am replacing Hermana Sheridan who is in my same group.

Leaving Monserrat was so so hard, especially leaving some of the members, most Hermana Fidencia. She is always willing to help us. I love her.

So mom I have been thinking lots about your talk you have to give on Helaman 5:12 and how important and strong a foundation is and what is our foundation. Every day we are teaching about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is based on five important pillars:  Prophets, Apostles, Revelation, Priesthood, and the scriptures. These 5 things have helped me so much to have a strong foundation in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have a living prophet on the earth today, who loves us and is here to help us, same with the Apostles. They are called of God!! Also my strong foundation has come from having the priesthood in my home while growing up. I watched my dad use his authority to bless my mom, my siblings and myself. The priesthood is key to having a strong foundation in Jesus Christ. It is not the Church of Christ without the authority. Also Revelation. It is amazing that we can receive revelation directly from God. Through the prophet and apostles we can receive direction from God. Also we as missionaries are entitled to receive revelation for our area and for our investigators. This happened yesterday as we were studying for an difficult investigator and we both received revelation for the same person, about the same principle during our personal study. It was cool!!! The last pillar is that we have the scriptures. We have the Book of Mormon!! It is another testament of Jesus Christ. We can feast from its pages every day and learn, and change our lives. We can read and pray about its message and gain a testimony of our very own!!

So I have to say that I have never been this happy in my life. And even though I have a goose egg on my head, blisters on my face, a constant pounding headache, a million mosquito bites, and glasses still on my face, and with wonderful cat calls from the fi-fis (homosexuals). I have NEVER BEEN HAPPIER!! I have been so so blessed in my life; with wonderful parents, and siblings, and a lot of other family. I know my Savior lives and loves me. I know that through the atonement we can be forgiven. I am so happy to be serving a mission at this time in my life, to share the gospel and happiness with those here in the middle of nowhere.

I love you all so much!!!

Love Hermana Sandstrom

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 19, 2012
How are you?   
I have to say that this 
past week has been crazy!

Thanks grandma for lunch, we went with the other Hermanas to a botanical park and had hamburgers.  They were SOOO delicious!! 

We also had interviews this past week!!! Yay!! It was the best. I always love hearing from President and Hermana Turk and the assistants. There are probably pictures on Hermana Turk’s blog (Thurs March 15th post).  But it was great fun. My interview with president Turk was great. I love hearing from him exactly how I can improve and how I can be better as a missionary and as a person. I know that he cares about me and thinks about specifically.  It’s individual and personal. I love it.

One day this week we went to Salaverry to change telephones and on the way there I thought I was on the harry potter bus from movie 3. It was crazy. I could just picture the little Jamaican head laughing at me. The drivers here are super crazy!!

So Oscar gave us a reference this week. His friend wants to be baptized and his mom gave us permission so we are super happy about that. Well we went to get Oscar before the appointment with his friend Pierro. But Oscar couldn´t leave because his mom was gone and his little sister was there with him. He had this great idea to do divisions. Haha he said Hermana Sandstrom you stay here with my sister and ill go with Hermana Mendoza to Pierros house. It was a good idea but sorry Oscar.

We went this week as district to help a member. Her roof fell and we were going to use our height (with 4 north Americans we have the advantage) to put her roof back together. We are going to another Hermana’s house tomorrow to help her too.

Yesterday we had a baptism of a little boy in our ward. His whole family is members, but a lot of them are inactive. His grandma is actually a temple worker in the Provo temple. I think, I know she lives in Provo and works there. It was a great baptismal service. The family of Hermana Turk is here and their nieces and nephews sang the new primary song, I know my Heavenly Father loves me.  I think that is the name of it. Not sure. But they learned it in Spanish. It was so great!! I loved it. The spirit was so strong!!! Reminded me tons of home, all my little cousins.
Today we went with the Turks and their family to the famous beaches of Trujillo. We played volleyball and flew kites. It was an awesome day!!  My face is so sunburnt. Oww
(see Turks blog March 20 post 11:39 am rough start...fantastic finish)

SO tomorrow is CHANGES!!!! I´m leaving Monserrat but I don´t know where I´m headed off to yet. I´ll find out tonight.  I´m sad to be leaving but it is a needed change. I have grown to love the members of this ward so much. I love Trujillo.

´Thank you all for everything!! I´m excited for the this change! It will be good.
Love you all lots!!!

Hermana Sandstrom.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hola Familia!!
Oh how I love you and I love hearing from you.  You must know I think about you everyday and pray for you all the time.

So you know you miss mom's cooking  when your pensionista gives you popcorn or porcork for dinner and its the best meal ever!
So you know you are a true missionary when you are always tired and the 10 minute taxi puts you to sleep.
So you know you are having a great time on your mission when the Noche de Misional turns into a water balloon fight between the missionaries and the ward mission leader.  So funny.
So you know you are a good missionary when you and your companion wake up at 4:30 in the morning to call the other hermanas investigators to wake them up and go to work so that they can go to church.

Last Monday, we spent the majority of the day at a funeral.  I didn't quite know what to expect, we were there for three hours in the morning and I was fine (there was no casket), but when the casket came in I don' know why happened.  All of the memories from Lindsay's viewing and funeral came flooding back.  I don't remember all the details, but the overall events.  I guess I could never fully appreciate the significance of having the gospel as part of our lives during that time.  As I sat in the chapel on Monday, i watched people cry, and mourn because, as for their knowledge, this was the end.  Oh how powerful it was for us as missionaries to stand and testify of the plan of salvation.  Because its real.  'He lives to grab me daily breath.  He lives and I shall conquer death.'  It's because of the atonement, crucifixion and the resurrection that we are able to conquer just like he did.  He is our perfect example.  
Thanks so much for being great examples to me during this time.  It was hard in different ways for all of us.  It would have been easy for all of us to be done or stop being productive for a while.  but we had this unseen force behind us.  Thank you for pressing forward. 

This past week has been quite the experience. We only have about two investigators and we have been searching for new people like crazy. Seriously it’s been a roller coaster. But the Lord knows what he is doing and why. And he knows who he wants us to become. I have been thinking about the talk from general conference about where the Lord is the gardener and He knows what we can become and this is why sometimes he is cutting us back. Because HE LOVES US!!! Its true, He loves us so very much.

I was having some struggles and during our interviews with our zone leaders on Tuesday I asked for a blessing. And you know what, it was the coolest. I have found so much strength through the blessing. During the blessing I heard some things I wasn´t expecting to hear but throughout the week I know why the Lord wanted me to hear those things. After the blessing Elder Elmer told me to go write those things down because they definitely didn´t come from him. It’s so true. Those things come directly from God, Our Father in Heaven. I invite those of you who are struggling right now in your life to ask for a blessing.  You will receive the guidance that you need and feel the peace and then if you follow the council given you will feel the support and help from God as you go about those things. I know the priesthood is real and it has been restored to us in these latter days.

As for my 2 investigators; Ceni is such a hoot. I love visiting her. She has a restaurant and gives pension, which means basically she regularly feeds people. She always calls us ‘mi amor’, which means my love. I love hearing that. So this is her struggle. She can´t come to church and doesn´t have much time when we can really teach lessons. But I swear one day she is going to be future relief society president. She is such an amazing person. Please pray for her that she will be able to sacrifice one hour Sunday morning to come to church with us.

Our other is Annamelba. Her daughter was baptized with Hermana Oliveros. (who I got to see this past week!!! So fun) I visited annamelba with Hermana oliveros and she wants to be baptized but doesn’t want to commit to a date. She doesn’t feel like she has her absolute answer. But she loves coming to church and wants to be baptized. Its funny. But we are planning her baptism service for the 24th. I know we can help her, she is great!

WE had quite the encounter with an hermana last Sunday. Her dad was our investigator but she doesn´t want him to listen. She was yelling so loud neighbors were coming out of their houses to listen and see what all the commotion was. It was horrible. I just sat there and cried. She yelled at me, you must not understand Spanish because I told you two months ago i don´t want you to visit my dad. The thing is her dad wants to listen and it’s not even her dad. Her mom and her are renting rooms there. He is married to someone in Spain. Its so weird. But it was awful.

So last week we received an invitation to read the Joseph Smith Story multiple times before General Conference in a couple of weeks. I invite you to do the same. I know it will help us receive personal revelation during Conference (Its the most wonderful time of the year). :)

Anyways I love you all so much! Thanks so much for everything
Love Hermana Sandstrom
DC 6:13,14-19 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March 5, 2012 
Hola Familia!!!

Everything is fantastic here in Peru. We have had quite the week. So first off we had a great Mission night. It was great; we had so many people there, less actives and investigators. It was so fun. I´ve got some great new Peruvian games to play!
During the last part of the mission night activity, Oscar had his interview. He knew all of the information and Elder Elmer said that he was really smart, but he sensed that something was wrong.  Oscar said that he had been seeing ghosts and having really bad nightmares. So after the interview Elder Elmer wanted to give him a blessing. It was cool. He also brought his arm to the square. He did it all in english because he didn´t quite know how to in spanish.  It was really powerful and the blessing he gave Oscar after was awesome. so much comfort and advice that he was able to feel. 

Isabel's baptism

So the best part of this week was that we had two baptisms. OSCAR AND ISABEL WERE BAPTIZED. It was awesome. Isabel was so excited. She was great. She was calm and confident and then after bore her testimony. It was so sweet. She has grown and made such a change in her life. It was cool.

Sweet Isabel

Oscar's baptism
Oscars baptism was also great (although a little nerve racking when we had issues in the font again).  Maybe one day I’ll have a calm baptism. ha.  Well Oscars whole family was there and his dad, who isn´t a member, really loved the service-- so we are going to work with him now (yea).  Also his family from another part of trujillo were there. There were also lots of members from the ward. It’s so great when the ward gets involved. We really did see the Lord’s hand in our work this week. 

He really does bless His missionaries. It’s so powerful. I am learning so much everyday that is making me a better person. I can´t imagine my life without my mission. I have already learned so much!! He is watching over us all. 

I love you all thanks so much for you prayers. 
Pray for me extra hard this week it’s going to be a tough one. - Thanks

love Hermana Sandstrom