Monday, February 23, 2015

Miracles of the week - Feb. 16, 2015

Satan just knows how great we are. Hermana Estes and I have been given girls with the MOST emotional problems and then when you focus on them, and neglect for so long their companions, they break down then too. Also, our district leader who is VERY difficult to understand told us the other week he thought we were robots. We felt really bad, really heartless. Like the tin man in wizard of oz and repented. Then when we couldn't do anything right our zone leader explained to us its because we aren't being specific enough with our problems that we write down on our informe de area. Elder Vera es SO hard to comprehend. Not because he speaks Spanish, but because he says one thing, but MEANS to communicate something entirely hidden in concept. Yesterday he made my comp. Hermana Estes cry, he told her to work on her Spanish, because the informe has alot of mistakes.......she has 16 months in the mission and this whole week people have been grilling us and our accents. It's just been a merciless week from all. Haha, also! one of the girls we went to visit, we heard she had another crying attack, so we went and bought cookies and chocolate and ran over to her house to see what was wrong with her. She told us, she doesn't feel like anyone loves her for real. That we are obligated to love her because it's our calling, and that none of her leaders really love her, its just what we're called to do, so it doesn't count. I feel like Hermana Estes and I have just given our all. Talents, time and HEART to these girls, and our zone and our investigators, and they just reject it all and say it was not done with sincerity. but its ok. Everything is alright, and there are still miracles that happen around us everyday.

Miracles of the week.

Carnaval. the good. the bad. and the ugly.
I mentioned before the holiday that starts in the beginning of Febrero and has no end right? Everyone has dirty water and paint that they just throw on anyone in the street. there is no mercy. So the ugly was the festival itself. We unfortunately had the party street. A radio station came to do the siging and beer advertising RIGHT in front of our house. and they sang off tune, and repetitively for 2 days straight. it started at 9 pm Saturday night, and then stopped at 4 in the morning Sunday. Then started back up Sunday at 2pm. and then wouldn't stop until 10:30 at night. It was so loud, Hermana Estes and I couldn't speak to each other and hear one another. The president even ordered all of the missionaries of Iquitos to stay and hide in our houses for the day. We had permission to go take the sacrament and split it. We had to have our food delivered to us in the morning before the party started. What we saw from our houses, was lots of dancing, music, beer, and wet brightly colored people. Oh and the most important part were the humishas. They're like opposite of Christmas trees. They bring palm trees from the chacra, and tie presents and new things onto the top, then secure them into the sand, and at the end of the night, the drunkards dance around the trees with machetes cutting the tree down and all the children collect the fruit and gifts that fall with the tree. We had 5 on the street of Yurimaguas. Demasiado era. the GOOD is that God loves us and does not tolerate wickedness. So RIGHT as 10:30 hit, when it was missionary time to go to sleep, He sent the rain :) and the radio station had to run to protect their equipment! yay! So we got to sleep last night.

She has schizophrenia. and the FIRST day she met with us, she didn't understand us. But not our Spanish, she didn't understand God, she didn't understand the doctrine. She told us she couldn't pray to God because she did not had money to buy more candles. (catholic tradition, i think?) but we taught her prayers are free! and not memorized! Little by little, we've seen a change in her. Then when she received the priesthood blessing. wow, EVEN BETTER! she smiles more! then, our fault, we were slow to give her a BOM because we have limited supply in mission Peru Iquitos, and she hardly could read our folletos. Miracle time. Thanks to the idea of our district leader, we brought her one. And that day, in entirety she read Enos and UNDERSTOOD IT! she explained to me what the word expurgar meant! She was learning what remission of sins was, and not just in meaning, but in practice. This was the woman who thought she had no sins, and that there were multiple Jesus`s. The Lord is changing her heart and her abilities! she is a miracle.

The reference.
We are teaching this awesome family, and yesterday we asked for references. The dad who is recently listening and telling us he wants to get married and baptized (miracle in itself) told us to visit his mom! So we went searching her house. on the street that is infamous for being a disaster of disorder. While stuck in the corner of the street, lost, a man walked up to us and asked why God permits so much suffering. I didn't know how to answer, if he was looking for a fight, or a real answer. Hermana Jiminez was quick and explained that He wants to allow all men their free agency, and in this way, can he judge and punish them according to their acts. He was satisfied and told us he was wanting to be baptized before, but the elders had transfers and left. We asked to visit his family. I asked for his direction and it matched the reference of Percy`s mom! I asked the man if he knew the mom, and said it was his tia! He showed us where he lived, and we taught him and his cousin, who are excited to be baptized!

The sloth find
Hermana Estes has a little sister who is SO determined that her sister find a baby sloth here in the jungle, and whats more. whats a picture! The Lord grants us all things if we ask in faith. So while walking through the markets of Belen, We found a member who helped us find a woman with a baby sloth. It was for sale. which is sad, she totes stole this baby from his home in the chacra. She was selling it for the US dollar equivalent of $20.00.
And idk if its the dress, its color, or just my essence. but after Hermana Estes held it, she let me take some pictures and the baby sloth fell asleep on my shoulder :)

Our area is growing! We are finding more people! I seriously love Hermana Estes. Shes from Alpine Utah, Abigail Estes. Shes so sweet and I have never worked so hard and so obediently in all my mission! the Lord is blessing us. No baptisms yet. but we're close :)

Take care all!
I love you, and I love the mission :)
Hermana Talbert

Saturday, January 31, 2015

There is still SO much work still for me to do - Jan. 26, 2015

The Presidente has told me that I need to focus still. In my last interview with him, I told him I did this exercise with one of our sister missionaries. She was having a really rough time getting baptisms. She is a perfectionist. so she was just killing herself being here. She asked why she was here. She told us she had no faith in herself, but she THOUGHT she had faith in Christ :( so I used a trick Hermana Reyes taught me (my hija) (daughter, ie trainee) and I told this hermana that she should pray to the Lord and ask Him directly if He was satisfied with the work she was doing, or if she should just go home. I made her do it in our estudio de companerismo (companship study). I told her i didn't want her to talk to me, until she had prayed, reflected and wrote down everything she thought or felt. I did the same.
She calmed down, and now she`s doing better. but from this experience, the Lord also responded to me. I asked Him if what I had done was sufficient, or if He was mad I hadn't ALWAYS done my best. I did feel a little sad for all the times I COULD'VE been more diligent, but then an overwhelming feeling filled my body. He let me know that there is still SO much work still for me to do. Like I could be happy with the work I had done, and constantly change. I cannot lose any time. I need to focus.
and then in my interview the president just reaffirmed that to me. He said there is much to do still.
This week was a testimony to that. We had 19 new investigators, and 5 of them were in the chapel! (after finding like 7 of the saturday!) Last night we set a date for a couple to even be married and baptized. Sachachorro is seeing Spring. this dead winter ground is sprouting so many potential members and bishops and teachers for the barrio (neighborhood) of Sachachorro. And I could not have seen this miracle without the help of the Lord and my wonderful companion. She is so humble, and so obedient.
speaking of spring. there are no seasons here. you could ask like 5 different people. some will say its winter, because its raining, or some say its summer cuz its so hot, spring and fall don't exist at all here....neither does winter really either. Haha, its hot. I wont lie. I sweat SO hard daily. but I realized, after converting celsius to farenheit, that I start to freeze and want a sweater and gloves at 20 or 18 degrees celsius. (That's the temperature the elders put the air conditioning at in our conferences and meetings) what is that, like 70 degrees? haha....

oh yea dad! could you send me some more money? I won't have enough to write you guys next week! Please? :) also, I need to buy new shoes...the average Peruvian shoe lasts me a good 2 cambios (transfers.  - 1 transfer = 6 weeks), then  it literally falls of my foot. I`ll take pictures, it's actually pretty impressive what the missionary life does for a ballerina flat. ( it makes it ugly and smelly)

Thanks for everything! I love you all! and pray for you every night :)
Hermana Talbert

por fin - Jan 12, 2015

Sorry, I thought I'd try to write a TINY family letter, haha, after like 7 months.
So Iquitos is cool. It`s like Indiana weather in the summer. It`s super hot and humid one second, then the next we`ve all got our sweaters and scarves on because its pouring tons of rain. Like it makes me question if God WOULD flood the Earth again. or at least Iquitos.......

Transfers are today! haha, my companion from Primavera, Hermana Reyes, emailed me last week and said Hermana Elizabeth the woman with SO MUCH FAITH has been praying that God will send me backto Pucallpa to now baptize her son, Josepth. Haha, i love her, but sadly, i don`t think God will let me back into the promised land, until I can find abundance in this land of Desolation......also my companion wants to leave :) idk if its me, or the area, or our district leaders or our sisters in the zone....haha, but i hope she stays. for her and for me. I love this little chilean, for all that she is and all that she does.
One of the perks of being a sister leader is that I get to work in EVERY area in this zone, except for the Elders' area, duh. But this week one of our sisters was having a mental breakdown panic attack morning/week, so we decided to go and do like an intercambio (exchange) for a few days. Which is very rare, but needed. I got to hang out with this misionary, and I realized what an AWESOME misionary she is. She`s just SO hard on herself and her imperfections. but as I helped her set her goals and reach them, as I taught with her, and just lived along side her. I realized how motivated she is. She just didn't have alot of faith, hope, love or patience with herself. She`s good now! she`s smiling and she`s hopeful :) I`m glad I could try and share a little of that gift which was given to me at birth ;) We`ve got to have hope for a better world, di? if not, nothing would ever change.
ok also......we`re NOT doing our best. we have low numbers, we`re not helping the families we have progress. buuuut, thats ok. i``m going to make that happen this week. whether my comp. feels like it or not. I have learned to love this area, and i WANT TO SEE PEOPLE IN WHITE. its been far too long. so, idk what pic this is, the computer wont show me, but I thought id share some. i`ll try to take more of my area, but in the  REALLY cool parts, i have much MORE fear that someone will rob me....but i`ll try this week :)
love you all!
happy new year!
hermana talbert

Christmas Devotional, and Katherine - Dec 8, 2014

Did you watch the Christmas devotinal? I DID! and i loved loved loved it. it honestly made me want to be and do better. it made me realize what i needed to testify still and help other people realize. That Jesus Christ suffered it ALL. but HOW could he have felt EVERYTHING that Katherine is going through, how could he know ALL of the heartaches and fears of us....the answer came to me immediately upon asking it....its because he is literally, physically, directly the Son of a God, our Heavenly Father, and because He loved us. HE loves us. Love, is the most powerful force en the whole world. it's what saved us, it's what sent Christ, it's what inspires Christmas, it's what makes the world spin.
I will pray for her. I will pray and pray and pray for her. I have learned SO many life lessons and have learned how to LOVE unconditionally from Katherine. Does her family know, can you let them and Katherine know that she has changed my life. She has been such a powerful missionary in the sense that she worked the will of God on me. I am constantly becoming the person I need to be, because She had inspired me. because Katherine loves me :) and because I love her.

um, so the clothes, some of them did fit! and i loved them. others were a bit big, but i LOVED it all :) sorry i opened it before my birthday....but, i had two packages and no room and a transfer. so i made a choice. luckily the Christmas package is STILL waiting in the bottom of our closet. thanks mom!
oh yea, i came to iquitos! in zone iquitos. and the Lord called me as a Sister trainer, sorry idk how that translates. but basically i`m the zone leader of the hermanas, in respect to their health, their feelings, their companionship. stuff like that. oh yea! and super stoked because i get to see Hermana Benyo again :) LOVE this missionary. haha, she`s sweet. also, its super cool. i have like 4 Americans in my zone. and they`re all super chevere. and good focused missionaries. my companion es Hermana Astete, she`s got casi lo mismo tiempo en la mision que yo (she got to the mission about the same time as me) and shè s from Chile. She`s a good leader and she teaching me a lot about my calling and new area. I love her, she`s teaching me a lot about compromise in a relationship. haha. so thats the update. oh and thanks! i`m excited slash, not that exited for my birthday, no one here knows me, so no one will care, but i know you guys will. thanks!
take care! i love you :)
Hermana Talbert

Stressful week - Dec 1, 2014

Last week was nuts! It started out super stinky because we missed 2 appointments Monday night, which caused our leaders to burn us. that didn't make us feel good. then Tuesday and Wednesday they shipped me to Lima, so my comp. was all alone with a member RM, Diana, but they didn't teach anything?!? it turns out the Chilean zone leader was stressing her out about the wedding that was having problems. then Thursday, the day of the wedding everything turned around. When I got home Wednesday night, our district leader called me and started telling me we needed to start getting to work, my comp. cried, I couldn't explain why the numbers were so low and he told us to do divisions the rest of the we did, then Friday we did a work visit, and Hermana Allphin helped me teach so many lessons. we taught 5 lessons from 10:00 am to 12:50. it was awesome. and well best of all, the family Tamani Maynas got married?!?!?!?! They are so stoked to go to the temple and Juan is super interested in sacerdocio (priesthood). like what it is, how he can have it, how he can bless his family. uh, they are SUCH a prepared family :)
I love all of our siblings!
Mom, I love you! stay strong, thanks for your example!
Hermana Talbert

Thanksgiving in Peru - Dec 1, 2014

haha, totally forgot about thanksgiving! My leaders, hermana kirk and hermana allphin are both from Utah, and they´re companions, they showed up to weekly planning wearing brown and tan and orange and red, i thought, how strange....oh yea! its thanksgiving day! they went home and baked a pumpkin pie.....for lunch i ate grilled chicken and rice......thanksgiving went unthanked in Primavera :/ It's ok, it´ll make it so much more sweeter when i get home!!!

So my year came and passed without much fuss, I asked my cook to find peanut butter and the bread from the states. haha, so by consequence, I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a week straight. breakfast lunch and dinner. ´be careful what you wish for i guess´ I haven't burned anything yet, i did throw my shoes in our trash burning pile though. the other day we got caught far from the house without our boots in a huge rainstorm, so I walked through questionable water and mud and let them dry. I´m not putting those ballerina flats on again unless I want a bad foot fungus. THOSE I plan on burning. but clothes. never clothes. don't worry :)
DAD i got the two packages! finally my leaders stopped holding them captive!!!!! aaaaand i was going to wait....but i opend the one for my birthday already! listen why. there is reason to my actions.
1. I think I'm getting changed this transfer, so i wouldn't have room
2. It had the other package from Abby in it too, so it was really combined with a package that I COULD open now.
3. I saw they were clothes while opening the package from Abby and really decided I needed new tops because the ones I have now have numerous holes in them.

Thanks for being a great leader in the church dad! Even though it shouldn't be this way....there are many members who become less active, or offended by other leaders and members, and for this reason they fall away. But really, a good leader makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
We would hope that if you were called to another calling, the young men would stay strong, and THAT is an even stronger evidence of what great strong priesthood holders they are.....teach them to be faithful members.

In my district, I only have Elder Hecker. he´s from...Las Vegas, but he´s in the area that's like an hour away from all of us. haha, and then in my zone my zone leader, the sister leaders, and the newbies are all American. But the sad thing is that our zone is weird, we finished this transfer with elders that were dying. like they all flew home this week. and they were the zone leader, district leader and trainers......
This week we finished it out strong. Juan and Dulce finally got married!?!?!?! and they have their hearts set on the temple. they´re getting baptized this 13 of December. We worked so hard this week. its a new rule in the mission to be able to teach a lesson every 30 minutes. so that means, teaching a lesson in 15 and walking to the next appointment and starting in the next 15. I finally got it down dad! I know where almost every new member, less active member and contact lives.
so, I´m getting transferred. right before my birthday, right before Christmas, right before the baptism of the family I love.
because life, nor the mission is fair.
idk transfers yet....but i´m just trying to emotionally prepare myself for them.

actually, this morning, I prayed about our baptismal goal for January, and about the transfers, I asked God to put me with the companion, in the calling that would make me be the missionary He needs me to be. I know I'm not done changing, nor learning.
Pray for me Dad.
Hermana Talbert

Like a rough stone - with eye snot - Nov. 24, 2014

Wow, I cant believe I only have 6 months left? and i´m STILL learning. STILL having struggles. The mission is never easy. its ALWAYS teaching me something. This week, I´ve had the cold. i just bought some medicine. haha, but I've never had the cold like this.
1, its dumb, because its never cold here, idk how i got this
2. my nose is runny, but its like water falling out of my nose?
3. my right eye has swollen up, like the hunchback from Notre Dame. Yesterday it was watering and i´m pretty sure snot was oozing out too. but I´m fine. I'm better, and OH I have seen the magic of makeup.
The GOOD THING is that we have a wedding this Thursday!!! i LOVE the family Tamani Maynas , I loved them since the day we contacted them. I knew they had something special. They have a goal to make it to the temple. Their baptism is this 6th of December. so thats ok
Dad, I love you. I love the mission. I feel like a hard rock. One that God has to mold. To cut stone, you don't use pillows to mold it into place, you use knives, hammers and nails. the latter hurts, but it makes me who I need to be, in the Lord´s time. Not in my own.
Pray that I can recover from my cold, and from all the molding God is doing. I´m a rock. i´m strong, but these experiences still hurt, pray for me and my companion, that we can more quickly become who the Lord needs us to be.
Love you dad!
Hermana Talbert