January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014
So this week, wow this week was a little loco. Okay, I can´t even really remember well everything that happened haha. We were planning this week to baptize Sheila, Maria, and Juan Carlos. They were all set, and the night before their interview we had a lesson with them on the Word of Wisdom. No problems there, not even with Coffee or tea because Sheila is battling cancer and cánt drink that stuff. Well perfect, we´re ready to go...when...bam....she asks us if the church provides MARRIAGE SERVICES. Hermana Cueva and I exchange looks...¨Hermana Sheila, are you not married?¨....¨no¨. Are you SERIOUS?! We asked her and her husband weeeeeekksss ago and they said that they´ve been married for 14 years. When we taught the Law of Chastity, they said they would live it with no problems....yeah that wasn´t understood very well. So we were heartbroken...seriously heartbroken...and battling whether we should still baptize her children or wait for all of them. She is planning on getting married at the free ceremony on Feb 14th....and baptized the day after. We battled with whether we should baptize Maria and Juan Carlos, and felt that we should. We got permission for the ZLs and these two have TONS of support from their parents.
Friday we had a service activity in Yungay. Saturday there was a man that got baptized who is one of the most noble people I have ever met. He has SEVERE arthritis and his family owns a bunch of farming fields...that´s how they make their living. He can´t make the trip anymore, as he can barely walk. We pretty soon knew why. It´s about a mile and half straight up the mountain side to get to their fields...carrying farming tools and supplies, that´s one heck of a workout. I was exhausted just GETTING there...thank you elders for pointing out my red face haha. Then we began to rip out all of the grass in a field, the old fashioned way. It was like weeding our yard on steroids and it was SO much fun. We just goofed off and talked for hours and I felt SO good actually doing something with my hands knowing I was helping someone in need. I talked to the wife of the man as well, she was fascinated that I was a gringa working hard in her field (momma didn´t raise no slacker), and she was telling me how every day she comes up with her kids to save their fields and care for their animals...I just was so humbled by their circumstances and their diligence. Her youngest is Jake´s age and he´s their only son at home, he keeps a ton of the work going, and the fact that they make that hike each day is crazy. They´re an inspiration.
I got eaten alive at that field...my bug repellent does NOTHING for the insects here. So Saturday at the baptism, everyone was commenting on my giant, swelled up arm haha, don´t worry, I´m fine. The baptism was beautiful. Our whole district came, and a ton of members showed up. The river was a little swift but the sun was shining and I felt the Spirit there. I was so happy to have helped bring Juan Carlos and Maria to this Gospel, but it was bittersweet as their parents were sitting on the sidelines. I hope we can help them get married and baptized in the next little bit.
We have cambios (transfers) today...I´m nervous and I don´t know why. I´m pretty sure I´m here to see Hermana Cueva off to her house (she only has one more cambio!) but I don´t know...I guess we´ll see!
I love you guys so much. You´re an inspiration for me and keep me going each day. Always keep this gospel in your hearts and in your lives and be the shining examples I know that you are. I love you tons.
Have a wonderful week and know that I think of you often!
Con amor,
Hermana Carr

January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014

Querido Fam bam,
How fun that you got go to Jace´s open house! I hope that they are SO happy, it sounds like she´s a keeper.
So this week was psycho. And by psycho I mean completely awesome. I feel so blessed to be a part of this great work. On Monday we went into Huaraz to pick up Hermana Brown, our Sister Trainer, to do a work visit with us. She is seriously the coolest. We went to the Solis home and taught a POWERFUL lesson with them that was really beautiful. Hermana Sheyla has been battling the after effects of cancer, and H. Brown had the thought to call the Elders for a priesthood blessing. They came right away and the raging pains H. Sheyla has been battling went away right after the blessing. It was a powerful witness to me that the priesthood is real and the Lord works according to our faith, because Hermana Sheyla has GREAT faith. It was a beautiful night for us. Hermana Brown stayed with us all of Tuesday. She´s hilarious and we had a blast talking to her. She gave me a ton of advice for my dying mission body, because she went through the same thing...battling her hair and nails and just everything haha. We talked about a ton of stuff and she´s just one of those people that can be your instant friend for life, and mom...she was the one that ate the cake batter on that blog you found...baha that was a hilarious moment when she was talking about it and I said ¨THAT WAS YOU?¨. Love. Tuesday night we took her back and I was sad to let her go. She´s an awesome girl and I hope we have some more mission adventures with her later.
Thursday....was even crazier. Thursday morning we had a training meeting WITH PRESIDENT ARCHIBALD at 9am, ONLY OUR ZONE. We live really far from Huaraz...and I didn´t know that it started at 9 until I woke up at 630 like usual. Yeah... we were running around like crazy people getting ready and left the apartment as a disaster. We made it during the opening song. We had a morning of an AMAZING training session. This year our mission is focusing on FINDING FAMILIES. We learned about the doctrine of the family, and how our ultimate goal is to help these people be sealed for time and all eternity. We talked about how this is the ENTIRE purpose of the gospel, everything we teach is focused on the FAMILY and if there aren´t eternal families...the earth is utterly wasted. D&C 2...studdyyyy that out. It´s cool. We talked about how we can´t go to the Celestial Kingdom unless we´re sealed, and so the Celestial kingdom is made up of families, and the Celestial Kingdom is going to be the earth, so if there aren´t eternal families...everything is wasted. My mind was blown. We also had a training on a new contact activity. We´re contacting families and teaching the Family Home Evening first... with the ¨If you have a frowny face¨ song and Don't Eat Pete and everything, it´s super fun and we tried it later this week and the family absolutely loved it. After our training session, the AP's came up to us and told us that we were riding in the President´s car back to Caraz. Immediately I thought of our DISASTROUS room. I had a mini panic attack. We got in the car, then went to lunch in Huaraz. The President treated us to lunch and gave us a lot of insights about our area and found out more about us. It was really comfortable to be with him, his wife, and his two youngest kids, and the APs...they´re all really great people. We drove to Caraz and I answered all the questions I could about the area, because it was their first time coming this far out to Caraz. We gave them a mini tour of the city and then they came to the house. Hermana Flor almost DIED when we introduced them haha, the PRESIDENT was at HER house! Yeah...I was freaking out too. I asked Sister Archibald if we could go straighten up real quick, so we ran upstairs and did our best. They came up just to make sure we were in decent living quarters, told us before coming in that they weren´t there to judge how clean we were or anything, just really chill. Then when they saw how much we lacked, they told us that we have permission to buy the things we need for the house, because we really only have the basics and we don´t even have bedding from the mission home, which apparently we were supposed to get. Sister Archibald told me that I shouldn´t hesitate to call when we´re lacking, and the President too told us that we need to call him for any reason...apparently we are living down to the basics haha... I had no idea, I just figured this was the mission and this was my life...Hermana Cueva didn´t tell me anything on that one haha .It was so fun to spend the day with them. They gave me my packages (Thanks Momma and Thanks Sister Rogers. You two are seriously the best). And we said goodbye. They were awesome to come, Momma don´t you worry, I´m being taken care of.
That night we tried the Family Home Evening contacting activity which was way cool. We tried it with a family that owns a tourist business and speaks English. It was super fun, and they were really cool. We only talked in Spanish but they really think it´s amazing that I´m living here and for that they were really receptive to what I had to say.
We´re continuing to work with the Solis family. Their dad has some problems that we´re trying to work through, but the other three are determined to be baptized this Saturday. PLEASE keep this family in your prayers, I think satan´s working pretty hard with them.
One thing the Archibald´s taught was that they started family home evening the week after they were married and they have NEVER missed a week. This is my challenge to you guys. I believe the promises of unity that come with FHE are REAL and I think that our family can be EVEN MORE UNIFIED if we don´t falter in FHE. Please always, always have it. Always have scripture study and family prayer... I know we aren´t perfect in that, but I just feel really strongly that I should encourage you to do it!
PS. Shout out to Eric Smith, Tanya Shuvarikov, Rachel Cranney, and Mikalikalaela Johnson for emailing me this week, I was so surprised and SO excited.
This is the church of Jesus Christ. This is His work. We are ALL children of God and WE ARE ALL important. Do what you can to help another, share the gospel. And to my nonmember friends, don´t shut the door when the missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints come knocking. They have a message SO important for you, if anything remember your crazy little friend Stevie is in the middle of a foreign country sharing the same message they are...and if I´m out in the middle of nowhere spending a chunk of my life doing this, then I MUST KNOW something important, then THEY must know something important. This Gospel has changed my life and my family. It can change yours too, for the better. Have an open heart.
I love you all so very much,
Hermana Carr
 Me and Hermana Cueva at Campo Santos

 President Archibald and us
Me with Maria and her new skirt

January 14, 2014

January  13, 2014

Querida Familia,

Mom, I´m so glad that you got a do nothing week. Sometimes we just NEED those, and you definitely deserve it! You shouldn´t even feel a little guilty haha. But yeah, this was a productive week for us! We´re finally seeing changes and improvement, and it makes me nervous that I´m going to get transferred because of it haha. Sounds like you learned the same lesson in Sacrament meeting that I´m learning. Last week when I told you about our loco meeting, all I could think about is ¨WHAT IS THE SOLIS FAMILY THINKING?¨ When I should have just focused on myself and found that inner peace and time to think about the Savior.

This was a fantastic week. I love seeing myself progress and I love that I´m starting to understand people and to be able to speak and have them understand. It´s a true blessing. Monday was a great, relaxing P-day. Our district spent the day at the Castillo home (where I live), and we made pizza and watched Ephraim´s Rescue. It was super fun. Seriously Hermana Flor is the best, if I ever come back to Peru, I´m coming to Caraz, even if it´s JUST to visit her. Seriously.

This week we´ve been working hard with the Solis family who I introduced to you last week. Maria and Juan Carlos are seriously adorable. Monday night we had a family home evening with them and watched The Restoration. The mom, Sheyla said the closing prayer and the spirit was so strong as she asked to know if this was the right path for their family. She´s reading her Book of Mormon and developing a testimony of these things. We´re working hard to help her husband to recognize these things as well. Tuesday we had an activity in the Capilla, Hermana Cueva and I introduced the members to the movie The Testaments. We had four investigators come, including little Juan Carlos, he´s 11 and Maria is 14. Juan Carlos LOVED that movie. The next day when we came to visit their house, we had assigned them to read 3 Nephi 11. He was so excited as he exclaimed that it was the same as in the movie, and that Jesus said ¨Venid a mi y toca mis manos¨¨. It was sooo cute. Our new YW president is the wife of our ward mission leader, they are an upbeat, young couple and she has been great for Maria. Maria has come to church twice and is already starting her personal progress and has a part in the New Beginnings program. When people meet Juan Carlos and Maria, they firmly declare that they are getting baptized on the 25th. They have permission from their parents, who want to get baptized ¨mas adalante¨ but we´re working witht hem and I think they will be baptized as a whole family. At mutual on Saturday they talked about modesty, and Maria asked me if I had an extra skirt so she could look her best for Sunday. Thanks mom for sending me those two skirts from Seagull book. They´ve come in handy, and I gave one for Maria so that she could look her best and be modest for church. She loves it. Church dress is a problem in our ward, and in our ward council Hermana Marilin excitedly told everyone how even our investigator came to church in a skirt. The Solis family is fantastic. 

Another little miracle. Antonio, the man we recently helped to be reactivated, has a grandson that´s recently moved in with him. He´s been coming to church, loves the Young Mens program and is taking the discussions with us. He also wants to be baptized on the 25th...we´re working on getting permission from his parents. (for the family only=i´ve been studying my patriarchal blessing a lot lately, and there´s a part that says that I´m going to be an important leader for the youth, helping them to be on the straight and narrow path....I don´t think it´s a coincidence that we´re finding families with youth that are not members of the church. It´s so cool for me to see how my blessing applies to me in different parts of my life)

I´ve also started up Classes de Ingles otra vez. This was our second week trying again...and it was amazing. We had 5 of our investigators show up, and 20 members-menos activos. Before we were lucky to have 6 people show up. It was awesome, they participated, it wasn´t awkward, and I think THEY LEARNED!  

That´s my week in a nutshell! I´m so happy. It´s so much easier to be here when I feel like I really am making a difference for people, and the last two weeks I´ve felt that way. I feel like I´m doing what the Lord wants me to do, and when I´m actively working to become more like Him and bring His children to Him, that´s when I feel my best.

Thank you for all of your love and support. I feel it and I love it. I´m so blessed. This IS the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This IS the only and true way. This gospel helps men become better and people to know that they are children of a loving Heavenly Father, I absolutely LOVE it.

Love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD LUCK WITH FINALS BRETT AND KACEY.

Con MUCHO amor, su hermana, hija, y amiga,

Hermana Carr
[PS: I had chicken feet and intestines for dinner this week at the Solis house. Yum Yum. Count your blessings, name them oonnneee by onnneeee 

PSS- Sorry no pictures this week, the computer hates my camera today

January 6, 2014

January 6, 2014
 This is tuna! Only here it's a fruit not a fish
 Hermana Cueva and me wearing our New Year's yellow and drinking Aunt VeLynn's hot chocolate!
My Christmas package finally made it! I love peanut butter!!!

January 6, 2014
Happy New Year Fam Bam!
Sounds like you had a great New Year´s Eve and that it was a ton of fun. I´m sorry that your break is over and life is starting up again, just remember some of us don´t have a life break hahahaha. Brett, I´m glad that you´re doing better and that you´ve healed up so quickly. Mom thank you for sharing that scripture with me, I just read it last week and LOVE it. KACEY, you taugh a family history class? TEACH ME, TEACH ME! I was such a slacker in all of that, I want to learn so bad now. Jake, way to put up a fight in your game, that´s awesome. And I´m jealous you got to go see the eagles. TJ, you have AWESOME new teachers, and don´t hurt yourself skiing like Brett, okay? Bahaha Brett, I´m glad you love disney princess movies, that one line made my day. And if you´re in Gospel Doctrine, heck you ARE old. Good luck with your finals, after those you´re basically done with school...second semester is a breeze. I wrote dad in the other email. I LOVE YOU GUYS!
This has been a great week! Last week was a real battle for me, but one of the American Elders was kind enough to give me a blessing before everyone showed up for District meeting this week and ever since then I´ve felt so much more at peace and so much more able to do these things, and ít´s definitely shown in our performance this week as well.
New Years was special haha. Obviously we didn´t stay out until midnight, but we did wear yellow! Here in Peru, it´s tradition to wear yellow to bring in the new year. I went to sleep on time, then at midnight Daysi and Hermana Cueva woke me up screaming and the whole world was literally on fire, it was epic...I thought the Christmas fireworks were crazy, they had NOTHING on this! It was a great way to ring in the new year.
We found a WONDERFUL FAMILIA DE ORO this week. Let me just relay this story to you. There´s this kid named Jaime. He´s my age. We found him once, taught him in his house, and committed him to baptism. Since then, we haven´t been able to teach him. But two times since then...we´ve had interesting experiences with him. The first, Hermana C and I were walking down the road and saw a boy walking towards us...she had this overwhelming feeling to talk to him...and it was Jaime! That was before we taught him, when we had been looking for him. We taught him that one time, couldn´t find him. Then one day we were in the park waiting for someone, and there was a guy in a hoodie on a bench nearby, I felt the overwhelming feeling simply of ¨JAIME. Go now.¨ And sure enough, it was him. The Lord wanted us to talk to Jaime...and now I know why. We still haven´t had the chance to teach him, but we stopped by his house again and found his parents and two siblings. His little Sister Maria is Kacey´s age and she is one sharp cookie. She understands everything we teach, and relays it a second time to her parents, she is super cool. They are awesome, we got to teach them twice this week and the spirit there was soooo strong. They´re prepping for baptism and I pray that they go through with it.
Saturday, I was a little sicky. BUT I GOT THE PACKAGE! Elder Dorado had to go to Lima to the clinic, and he promised to bring my package. It traveled with him all the way to my house and it was like Christmas all over again. Hermana Cueva, Daysi, and I were all stoked. Thank you mom. I said it once and I´ll say it again, you guys know me so well. I´m a freak, because the old skirts smelled like our house and that made me feel like I was home. I´m in love with the skirts, died in heaven with peanut butter and american chocolate... and cried my eyes out as I read the Christmas stories we read each year and looked at the awesome pictures you sent me. I love every part of that package...and Daysi LOVED the seagul book skirt...we both sported our new skirts on Sunday. I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH. SERIOUSLY THANK YOU.
Sunday...oh dear. Okay, so the Solis family, the one that we´ve been working with, said they would come to church. Saturday night I was having weird dreams about them coming the whole time. I couldn´t sleep very well. Well...Sunday might as well have been a really weird dream. Our capilla is in a five story building. Well, yes they came, and I was stoked. But there were people on the first floor doing construction work and we couldn´t hear any of the testimonies, and then one of the ladies...her two dogs wandered into the chapel and were walking around...we tried to get them out but they wouldn´t budge, and all of the babies were crying because of the noise...oh man it was ridiculous, I couldn´t believe it was actual happening, and the pressure was ten times worse because this golden family was with us. We have another cita with them tomorrow though so I guess things are okay.
 Today I read a really great article by Elder Holland, of course it´s by Elder Holland, the great ones are haha. It´s called FAITH TO ANSWER THE CALL. It is AWESOME. He relayed stories about the pioneers and talks about the faith that they had to do what they did. At the end he said that we need to cultivate this kind of faith. ¨The fundamental driving force in these stories is faith...that this is the very church and Kingdom of God and that when you are called... YOU GO¨. I loved what he said at the end ¨We can serve the Church near at hand or at some distant outpost...like peru... if called. If we have loved and taught those at home, they will understand that when the call comes, they can be certain that (paraphrasing) their sister is going to go¨. You better believe I´m here. You better believe that Sister Stevie Carr knows that she´s supposed to be here. When the going gets rough, I just think about those pioneers. They went through so much for this gospel, why can´t I go through stomach pain, language trouble, and culture shock? It´s a small price to pay in comparison. I want you to know that I KNOW where this calling comes from. Brett, Kacey, Jake, TJ....I want you to know that ALWAYS when the calling comes, your sister is going to go. I want you to have that conviction. Root yourselves in the Gospel right now. Prepare for missions, every one of you, Kacey even if you don´t decide to go, still prepare. We need to have this kind of faith so that it is a reservoir for when the going gets tough...so that we can get going.
I love each of you. You´re always on my mind and your in my heart. I don´t mean that in a sappy way, but it´s true. Every time I feel week I remember that I´m the first one to go, and I need to be an example for my siblings. I´m trying my hardest not to disappoint you four... or our parents. You do your best not to disappoint them, me, and most importantly the Lord. You know what´s right, so do what is right.
Con todo amor,
Hermana Carr