The Cycle of Pride 6-16-2014

 

But before I forget….¡Feliz día del Padre! Es tarde pero no pude entrar al internet ayer, lo siento papá. Espero que lo hayas pasado bien. La segunda foto en esta carta tomé especialmente para ti.

 
So I came up with this analogy to explain what’s going on right now with us and in our area. In the Book of Mormon there is this pride cycle. (Try and read that whole book without getting a little frustarted with those dang Nephites!) The Lord blesses the people when they’re being good and keeping the commandments, so they start to get prosperous. They’re really happy for a while, and they’ve got everything they need so they start to get prideful and start doing their own thing and forget about the commandments. So then they go through their wicked stage before they realize they have to repent and then they start being good again and the blessings return. Well the pride cycle of Alameda 1 started a couple months ago when I got to the area. Things were going alright, but then Hermana Mack and I started working hard and we were on fire and everybody was progressing and we were happy and getting along splendidly and had 5 baptisms in one month. So we got a little prideful and kind of forgot to keep looking for new people….and last week the last of our group was finally able to get baptized and Hermana Avendaño and I realized we didn’t have anyone left to teach besides recent converts and less actives. So this week we entered the repentance stage of the cycle and spent a loooot of time searching. It was a little rough and I may or may not have been a little low on ánimos. But it’s cool….we know that the prosperous stage isn’t too far away and this time we know what we’ve got to do to not fall again.
 
Eduardo got a calling yesterday…he’s the new second counselor in the Young Men’s presidency! Woohoo! He told me to tell you all hi. 
 
Hermana Sagástegui is on her way home right now so that’s a little crazy and like I say every week the time is passing faster and faster…..transfer calls are tonight and I wonder where I’ll be. I obviously want to stay here…one reason being Alameda is missionary dreamland. The people are so receptive and the ward is extremely supportive….yesterday the elder’s quorom president handed me a list of all the days and times that people can come with us to appoinments. And our room is really awesome…..and I’m in love with the people of course. Also I have poured my life into this area book. Mom I’m pretty sure that’s what finally turned me into an organized person by the way, getting so frustrated with the kinds of conditions other missionaries leave all the teaching records and information that goes in there so now I’m OCD about it. But I figured out that Heavenly Father doesn’t give me what I want if I pray to stay in an area or with a companion…(I miss Hermana Mack soooo much) so instead I just pray that I’ll accept His will whatever it may be. It works better that way. Besides, I did get to come to a foreign country and speak Spanish which was what I really wanted so I am pretty happy with that! Also I never would have wanted to leave Salamanca but if I didn’t I would never have gotten to be here in Alameda so I’m cool with whatever. 
 
Did you all know how important you are to me? It’s a lot! Yesterday we ate lunch with the Ñañas and started off their goal to read the Book of Mormon together as a family and it was just nice to be with them on Father’s day and everyday I just feel more and more grateful for my own family. And I wish that I could have family prayer and scripture study with you and think what a dummy I was for being hard about it sometimes. Anyway, LOVE YOU GUYS. 
 
Til next Monday.
Love from Lima,
Hermana Villarini

Remember who you are 6-9-2014

So last week I didn’t write that much and I kind of used time as an excuse but the truth is I really just didn’t have a lot to tell because I’d been in kind of a funk that week. It happens sometimes right, when you just feel down for no reason? Well it could have been a number of things but I’m back on track don’t worry. Just means I’m a missionary but still a normal person. I used to think that missionaries were perfect angels but you might all be surprised to know they’re not. Some are closer to it than others (I hope I’m one of them) but we’re all just trying to be more like Christ and as missionaries we just have more opportunities to do it all day every day! The only other thing I had on my mental list to tell you was that I found a place that sells Snickers. Yay America! Oh and you might want to know a little more about that family that got baptized I don’t think I’d ever talked about them. Their parents are members but were less active when they turned 8…they’re 12 and 13 now. Other missionaries last year reactivated the parents but dang let me tell you those girls were tough to crack! Lots of hermanas waited for that day that they got baptized haha but it was sooooooo sweet that their dad was the one who got to do it. The mom kind of reminds me a little bit of you, Momma. She’s my Peru mama. I already have a few of those haha.

 
Do you all remember how at home when I really like a song, I go buy it on iTunes and then it’s the only thing I listen to for about 4 days to a week until I move on to another one? Well the same thing happens on the mission but with the topics I choose for personal study. I spent literally almost two whole weeks studying all about the Holy Ghost, then a week on the Plan of Salvation (woah learned a TON….go study that in detail I promise you will learn something new) anyways last week or the week before I got on to Chapter 1 of Preach My Gospel, which is about our purpose as missionaries. Sometimes it’s so easy to forget why we’re really here and I loved studying that chapter cause it just puts it all in perspective. Having baptisms doesn’t really mean you’re a good missionary if you’re not obedient and becoming more Christlike and actually working hard. Last week we got to go to a rich part of Lima for a Pday activity and while we were there we went to this big supermarket called Metro. I needed to buy a new camera, but there’s a rule in the mission that you can’t use your personal card or take money out without getting permission first. I guess the point is to help us learn how to live with just a tiny budget….but anyway I walked into that store and I was like “WOOOOW” ……but really it would have just been like walking into a normal Target at home. Anyway I wanted to buy the camera but didn’t have permission and was torn because I knew they would give me permission anyway and I just wanted the camera right then. But I decided to wait. And when I left the store I was shocked at myself because it didn’t take even a whole hour for me to just walk into a normal store and go back to the “I want it NOW” mode that everyone is so used to at home. I just thought to myself, why is it so easy to forget what really matters sometimes? We go about our normal lives everyday and we might even be saying our prayers and reading our scriptures daily and going to church everyweek, but sometimes we still forget who we really are and why we’re really here. I thought of Dad’s phrase “Remember who you are” and wrote it all over my agenda so that it’s a little bit harder to forget. I love being a representative of Christ and I think most of the time I don’t even really realize what that means and I’m so used to wearing the tag everyday I forget what a privilege it is to bear His name. But I kind of felt renewed this week after studying that chapter and having that experience to do a better job at serving with “all my heart, might, mind, and strength.”
 
So how’s everyone doing reading the Book of Mormon? You’re all reading, right??? I knew it. Keep up the good work and let me know how it’s going. I started it in Spanish and I’m in Mosiah. King Benjamin is a pretty legit guy.
 
Until next Monday!
 
Love from Lima,
Mandypandy ummmm woops I mean Sister Villarini.

I’m sorry too… 6-2-2014

First of all I just need to complain because Miley Cyrus isn’t even escapable in Peru…We Can’t Stop is playing right now and I want to barf! So not as good as all the Spanish love songs they usually play. Those at least always remind of hearing dad singing at home.

 
Woops so I wrote that when I first logged on but then saw the million emails I got this week (thank you yayyy I love feeling loved!!!!) but responded to a bunch of those and now I don’t have time to tell you about how this week went….but not alot happened anyway except our baptism. Oh and stake conference yesterday with Elder Uceda of the 70! Remember him from Caldwell stake?
 
Looks like me and Em are on the same wavelength but yeah I promise mine will be better next week too!
 
Love the dresses they wore….the one Milleth is wearing is actually the same temple dress I have! Okay yeah sorry for so few details.
 
Love from Lima
Hermana V

Who invented subject lines anyway I don’t always know what to put here 5/26/2014

So you should all be dying to know what happened last Monday night when they called for transfers….I’m still in Alameda….but Hermana Mack is not. Not to be dramatic or anything but there was some wailing and gnashing of teeth. Haha just kidding only a couple of tears but it’s okay cause she got sent to zona Surco which is the promised land of the mission. (Supposedly it’s just like the States) Someday I will go there. My new companion is Hermana Avendaño from La Paz, Bolivia. And she’s a super sweetheart. And she likes to practice English so that’s fun too because she’s actually really good at it. It will be a happy 4 weeks with her. (This transfer is going to be short because of the president change.) Oh something else interesting, Hermana Bledsoe was her trainer. Hermana Bledsoe also trained Hermana Sassetti who was my trainer…and she has been in both Salamanca and Alameda so in the next couple transfers be waiting to hear that she’s my companion haha. 

 
Last Monday I went to Gamarra with Hermana Mack. I’ve told you guys about that place before right? It’s kinda like going shopping in NY but way more people and way dirtier and just a ton a ton a ton of cheaaap CLOTHES everywhere. It was fun and I was able to get some new skirts. Yipee!!!
 
I figured out why we’re not allowed to hold babies. It’s because it would make the sister missionaries suuuper trunky haha. We visited a family this week that has the most adorable baby girl and I just wanted her so bad! The good news is that this week I learned how to fry an egg too so when I do get home and it’s time for that stuff I will oficially be ready to get married. Hehe.
 
I have never done exchanges my whole mission but this week I got to do them twice for different reasons so that was kind of fun! One time was because an hermana from the other companionship in Alameda was sick so my companion stayed with her and her companion came with me to the correlation meeting. Another time was so that I could escape from an appointment with an investigator who is kind of in love with me. He comes to church and is super involved in the ward but we’re gonna wait to see if he’ll get baptized once I’m not here anymore. Most awkward moments of my life.
 
Proud parent moments of the week – Eduardo came with us to an appointment and helped us teach. When we passed by his house to get him he made us wait so he could change then came out in a shirt and tie with his Book of Mormon. Love that guy. Also, Aylin called us over at church yesterday to tell us that some of her friends came over and saw her Book of Mormon and pamplets and stuff and asked her some questions and she explained it to them and so they want to come to church now. She also wanted us to come over tonight to do a FHE at her house. I’m so proud of that girl. The last couple weeks she’s come to church alone but she’s there.
 
Keep on keeping on family, I love you all imense amounts. And seriously, email me some pictures of your lives please. For every picture that Sarah and Liz post on Instagram, I expect them to email one to me! 
 
Love from Lima,
Hermana Bellarini (super shark moment of the week when above mentioned investigator called me that….)

Solo quiero darte un libro 5/19/2014

Okay crazy week. We had four people pass baptismal interviews! And one of them got baptized….the other three didn’t just for scheduling problems so hopefully this Saturday. It was so funny though. We had three of the interviews planned for Thursday night and when we called our district leader to ask him if it was possible that he’d have time for one more he just gasped and was like “Are you guys serious?!” Haha so that’s our phrase now. Well the phrase is actually “DE VERDAD?!” but yeah you get it. 🙂

 
We find out about transfers tonight…keep Hermana Mack and I in your prayers because we both want to stay here so bad. I can’t believe it’s already been 6 weeks in Alameda! I swear every transfer goes faster and faster. I officially love Alameda just as much as I loved Salamanca which I never thought would be possible. But it’s cause I’m meant to be here. My other family lives in Peru.
 
We went to the temple this week and it was wonderful as the temple always is. But this time it was extra special because President came with us! Hermana Mack & I had a really cool chat with him in the celestial room. He is so awesome and we’re gonna miss him so much. I kind of expressed to him that I just want to be the perfect missionary so I get frustrated with myself sometimes but he said something I loved that I’ll pass on to you guys. It’s okay to not be perfect, Christ knows we aren’t. But we’re trying to be, so what matters to Him is that we’re clean and obedient.
 
Eduardo got baptized yesterday and it was so spiritual and awesome. A lot of people came and they were all reverent (which was not the case at our baptism last week.) Hermana Mack & I sang I Stand All Amazed in English. Before he stepped in the water I saw him say a little prayer and then when he shared his testimony after I just saw it that he is going to be such a great leader in the Church because he is SOLID. I love their whole family so much ahhh it was the best. It was so cool too because his brother, who got baptized a month ago with Hermana Mack and her old companion is the one who baptized him. When we first started teaching him he used to stay stuff like “yeah well in my church this, and in the church that I go to that,” but this week in one of our last lessons he said something about “our church.” I loved that.
 
Oh so before I go let me explain the subject line. There’s the really popular song that goes “Solo quiero darte un beso” which means “I just want to give you a kiss” but we’re changing the words to go like “Solo quiero darte un libro,” which is “I just want to give you a book.” It’s fun. Don’t worry Emily I will still be working on the rap!
 
Love from Lima
Hermana Villarini