Saturday, March 7, 2015

I sure miss this place, anyone else?

It's been about three months. I miss Peru a lot, and sometimes it feels like a dream, like it never even happened. So I tried to compile some of the wildest moments caught on camera during those days high in the Andes. Here's the final product (DISCLAIMER: I am in no way, shape, or form, a videographer):



I wish I had been a little more focused on the aesthetics of that beautiful place, but I guess something kind of important (I don't know... the Lord's work) got in the way. But I still like it :) #trunkey

If anyone still looks at this, welcome. Aren't Peruvian babies just the cutest?


Monday, November 24, 2014

The Last Epistle



WEIRD. I still don´t believe that this is my last Pday... it is all like a dream. But in terms of life, this was probably one of my favorite weeks in the mission. 

We went to Cusco. 
We had an almost mission wide conference in Cusco on Tuesday with Elder Evans of the 70... and jefe of the mision department... it was seriously the most spiritual experience almost ever. Bam, bam, bam, Spirit, testimony, take that wow! It really rocked. Something I loved was when he talked about the branches and wards that we work in; the work never goes exactly according to plan, but the only thing we can really control is ourselves. Crazy branch president? Fix Hermana Wahlen. Crazy companion? Fix Hermana Wahlen. Terrible mission leader? Hermana Wahlen. I loved it and it was definitely something I needed to here... life lessons in the mission. 

We went to the prison.
I think that was the first time I had ever been to a real life jail. We went to visit a less activĂ©s son and it was heartbreaking. Like people.... be lawful citizens! Because in jail they just take everything away. We couldn´t teach any lessons (mission rule), but we took a ton of copies of the Liahona and the people just swarmed to take one. Repentance is real. 

I thought I was going to be really scared going in there, being my first time in a prison, and one in South America nonetheless, but I didn´t see a single delinquent. I didn´t see robbers, or felons, or murderers. I saw children of God and I realized that He loves us all and will forgive anyone and everyone that is willing to accept his Atonement in their life. It was cool, powerful, and almost made me cry... but you can´t cry in the prison (I saw Shawshank). 

We watched the Familia Sequieros Bravo join the church. 
Jeny and Navel were baptized. It was such a special day. Jeny had been waiting for it for so long, and they smile on their faces was priceless. They both ahve been through a lot, but with that ordainance it was all just washed away! Ah! I love being here and seeing the change the gospel makes in people´s lives. It is just the greatest. 

We climbed Ampay. 
It is just this giant mountain in Abancay and it was SO HARD. But so beautiful :) Good way to finish it all off! Even if I can´t walk tomorrow...

I am a missionary. 
I love being a representative of Christ. It has been the hardest, fastest, longest, craziest, most rewarding and incredible 18 months of my life. I don´t think I have made a huge difference in the numbers of the church, but I know that I have been changed. I am a big girl now! I don´t want to take my badge off, but on to the next adventure! More than anything... I know that Christ lives. He loves us all and will carry anyone that goes to him towards exhaltation. Joseph Smith is a prophet and thanks to Him we have the Restored Gospel. Thomas Monson is the voice of the Lord in these days. The Book of Mormon can and will change your life if you read and pray about it every day. And I am rambling. But this is what I do every day FYI! 

"I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee."
3 John 1:13-14

Love you all. See you very very soon!

Handshake, 

Hermana Wahlen


AMPAY! the lake... 3 hours of mountain climbing later. 




Jenny and Navel :)






Monday, November 17, 2014

Another few things to check off the bucket list..


Holaaaa!

THis week went by WAY too fast. And we did some of the WEIRDEST THINGS EVER and I added them to my bucket list to be able to cross them off. 

1. Eat blood. 
The sisters in Talavera (we went to visit Andahuaylas) have the wackiest pensionista ever. For breakfast she comes out with this steaming plate of... something. I take a bite... and she tells me it is LAMB`S BLOOD and if I didn`t like it I didn`t have to eat it. Duh. I love Mama Maria and she never makes me eat weird things. Blood is definitely not kosher... but a real question... are we even allowed to eat blood? I feel like that is not okay. I am not Edward. 

2. Self Portrait. 
There`s this lady in Andahuaylas that is trying to learn English. Her name is Luz. And she drew a picture of me! And spent like 3 hours shading my upper lip. I love her. She isn`t a member or even an investigator, but I think that counts as planting seeds. 

3. Make a wedding cake. 
We made a wedding cake! Well... the idea was to have the relief society do it... but they all just real conveniently turn off their phones when we call... but that`s okay because it was real fun :) I feel Food Network ready. And the big day was the BEST. 

4. Be a witness in a wedding. 
That`s right, we were that witnesses! WE had to sign and fingerprint for Jenny and Navel`s wedding, but them and Eli and Saul are married now! It was the longest, craziest day ever... but so worth it. 

They got married in this massive ceremony with 40 couples and at the end the MC said something like... Congratulations everyone! Until death do you part! Uhhhh... no! Families are forever! Everyone just kind of smirked and we all knew that he was very wrong. After the ceremony and lunch, there was a reception in the chapel. Presidente Paredes (Branch Pres) gave the couples time to say a few words and Navel stole the show. He said "Jenny, te quiero y te llevarè hasta las eternidades!" It sounds really funny and Forest Gump in English but... I love you Jenny and I want to take you into eternity. Something like that. But so cute, right?! Families are forever. Especially that one... they are getting baptized this week and have goals to go to the temple next year, yay! 

5. Have a personalized wawa gato. 
Jenny made me a wawa gato. I love that woman. 

All in all, this week was hectic. We had a lot to do.. but it was so worth it. I had a moment where I was just happy. Looking at these two families that I love so much and just knowing that they are progressing spiritually and repenting every day... it`s just the best! I love being a missionary. It is by far one of the hardest things I have ever done, but definitely the most worthwhile. God sure does love us. 

Well... that`s all I got for you! Have a good week. Pray for miracles. Trust in God and everything will be okay! I love you all to the moon and back!

handshake, 

Hermana Wahlen





selfie :)








The wedding luncheon! Yes, that is cuy (guinea pig). It was soooo good. And they gave us this veal that was the best thing ever. Luckily they filled us up because the other couple made pork... and we had to say no :( 



Monday, November 10, 2014

Awkward is still a thing....even when there isn't a word for it in Spanish



Hi everyone! 

These weeks are going by too too too fast. I don`t like it. I feel like I had just woken up when I go to bed every day. Weird. 

Anyway... It`s been a miraculous week! We have been teaching our two power couples like none other because Saturday is the big day, they are getting married (#chastity)!! 

Eli and Saul are the best. They are progressing so much... and they drive us to our pensionista after every lesson :) Feels like carpool or something. We just have one problem. Eli is pregnant and one of her symptoms is that she cannot stay awake in the lessons for the life of her! I feel like we`re getting to a real spiritual point in the lesson, like the Holy Ghost will guide you a protect you after you`re baptized, or something like that... and her eyes start rolling up back into her head! It`s super creepy and difficult. So we try to slam all the key points of the lesson into like 15 minutes... Pray 4 her porfas. So that was good and awkward. 

And we had a SUPER awkward moment. We got a reference of a family and have been trying to meet with them for like 3 weeks. Last week, the excuse was that Lily was having her baby... so I guess that was valid. But this week we finally met them! We go and are talking about families, and it was so cute with their newborn just sleeping away. 

They started asking us a lot about what to do with marriage problems... and I was like... uhhhh... I have a dog and sometimes she likes my dad more than me?  That`s the extent of my relationship problems! But we drew a triangle with God as the top, the husband as one point and the wife as the other and how they would have to work together and with God to make things work. I thought it was going well, the wife was nodding... and the husband had this real deep thought face going on. Then he asks, "Why  did you draw my wife bigger than me?" haha whoops! Total Freudian slip... he`s shorter than me and she is normal sized... haha I am going to miss being tall here in Peru. 

Well... that`s like what we`ve got going on this week! I love you all, pray for miracles, you will see them! God loves you. So much. As I have been working amongst his children, I can really feel that He loves them! And you too :) Smile, share your slurpees or something... and see you next week! 

handshake, 

Hermana Wahlen

Isaias 41:10


Pday adventure: Pachachaca (earth bridge)... some hot springs and a colonial bridge with the members #gts






Power Couple: Sauli. Look at Eli`s face! That is what happens EVERY LESSON. 



video

Well hello there Elder, what big arms you have!
jk to see if anyone reads the captions





Monday, November 3, 2014

wawa tantas, day of the dead, weddings, YAY!!!


Okay hiiii!

Okay... this is going to be real fast and real scattered so lets go!

Call me J-lo because we`re just planning weddings!(Wedding Planner-the movie, get it?) It`s been a great week. We`ve been in the municipio every day making sure all the paper work gets done, but Eli and Saul, and Jenny and Navel (orange) are getting married! We`re so happy :) 

Wawa tantas
That means baby bread in Quechua. That`s the tradition here in Abancay for All Saints (first of November) and Dia de los Muertos (2 of November). They just make these babies and horses out of bread... but they like kill themselves doing it. HOURS in the over (here the ovens are like a business and made of out adobe... you just don`t have one in your own house... that would be silly, right?). So we were helping Jenny (future wife) make her wawas! I almost died of heat, but it was a good time :)

Day of the dead was also the best because everyone and their dogs (but not really their dogs... all the dogs still live in the street) went to the cemetery! And the cemetery is in our area! So all the families were very conveniently strolling through our sector Sunday :) Lots of prepared people ready to be sealed forever! 

Homemade noodles. 
I am soooo looking forward to the day where people don`t take joy in making us eat until we want to explode and get super offended if we don`t finish all the food on our plates. Our mission leader and his wife made homemade tallarines (noodles), and papas, and chicken, and cake, and gave us a MOUNTAIN and told us they would never give us another reference ever again if we didn`t finish them all. That is called bullying where I am from... but we did it! And wanted to die after... it was like Thanksgiving plus Vegas buffet plus Cheesecake all at once. Oh Peru. 

And.... to make this slightly spiritual... We were also in Cusco this week for a meeting with Presidente and Elder Wadell of the 70. It was the best. Elder Wadell is this REAL tall person (I had forgotten that I am actually short in my country... bummer) and has such a presence. He talked so much about our purpose. That as a representative of Jesus Christ, I live, I eat, I breath to preach the Gospel so that people can live eternally in their families. This world was CREATED to creat eternal families. Wow. A little bit of perspective. It was just the motivation I needed to be able to bam it out and give it my all. My family is eternal, and I want every one else`s to be too! 

Well.... yep. I love you all! Have a wonderful week! Be nice to people and share your Halloween candy (fun fact... Halloween here is devil worshipping so the members don`t participate and looked at me weird if we tried to scare them with plastic vampire teeth.... anyway...) Hermana Wahlen loves you and God does even more!

handshake, 

Hermana Wahlen



trying to trick or treat when no one was really home... 
How cute it that little king???!!!
wawa tanta. They have little masks and everything! cute, right?


The Great Wall of Wawa Tantas


Here's my mountain of homemade noodles!


Monday, October 27, 2014

familia



Helloooooo family! It`s been a really good week. Kind of nuts. But those are always the best kind! Transfers were last week and the zone leaders both finished their missions so we were in charge of the zone... that was fun? Lots of house hunting and picking people up from the bus terminal... anway

So this week was all about the family. Presidente Harbertson challenged us to contact every single family we see in the street and promised that we would see miracles a few months back. Well, we`ve been working on that. A long time... And FINALLY we are seeing results! 

Jenny, Navel, Mia. 
They are the cutest. So converted and they just told us they were ready to get married and baptized. Like, okay cool. 

Eli, Saul (or Adriel... he uses a different name every day) and Damariz

SIDENOTE: This keyboard is wayyy broken so sorry for all gramtical and spelling errors... 

They re also the cutest. They were a reference from a member, and I actually met them doing work visits with the sisters in our branch (Intimpas) and last week they closed the sector and tadaaaa! New family for us ;) 

They have a restaurat like  half hour away from the normal part of our area, so naturally, we wanted to be able to visit their house. Addresses don`t exist in Abancay, so we scheduled with their niece that`s a member to take us. We waited the normal Peruvian 20 minutes... nada. Another 10. Nada. Her phone ws broken... we were so sad. We were walking to our backup plan all broken spirited when... SAUL! He was leaving the maarket! We were literally jumping up and down and were so happy. 

He took us and our pensionista, Mama Maria, to their house and we had the best lesson with them and committed them to get married on the 15th in the massive wedding ceremony the city is putting on! It was a miracle on a miracle. But we just went to the municipio and it`s going to be a little bit complicated to do their paperwork and we will be in Cusco this week... so please pray for them :)

And last night we had a huge family home evening with Jenny, Navel, Eli, Saul, branch President and family, and our BFF`s Alex and Katy. Talked about families and stuff. The branch presidente was bearing his testimony on families and how important they are and it was really spiritual. But Damariz (Eli`s daughter, 6 years old), had fallen asleep... and tooted SO LOUD. I had the hardest time containing myself. So we kind of all calm down, invite the spirit again.. and the baby farts again! I lost it. It was so bad. I still need to grow up a little bit.... but Alex and Katy did too! Haha good times. 

So yeah. That was our week. We are seeing SO many mircles here in Intimpas (it`s a tree.. and in Quechua it means tree of God). God loves us. He loves FAMILIES! So we keep looking for more! Have a wonderful week and read your scriptures!

2 Nefi 5:27.... we live happily! 

handshake, 

Hermana Wahlen


Mama Maria is teaching me how to knit! #catladyprep 

Inka Kola chicha morada... we were really excited but it was NASTY. Don`t buy it. Mama Maria spit it out. And yes, I have another cold sore and still have to tell people I have herpes. Love Peru. 





video