On Saturday, we all went proselyting. Talk about a crazy experience. Hermana Haws and I went out with one of the maestros, Hermano Hinostroza, and were walking the streets of the Lima East mission. We were all asked to help get contacts for the missionaries in the area. I was astounded at how receptive the people were. The area we were tracting was so poor. There were sidewalks, but the concrete was all broken. Most of the roads were dirt. There was garbage in all of the streets. We had to have seen more than 50 dogs roaming around. They all seemed pretty calm, and didn't really have any interest in the people around them. The houses are so small here. They are all lined up right next to each other with no yards whatsoever. A lot of them are painted bright colors, but the doors are almost all gated off. Instead of knocking doors, you use coins to hit on the gates. Almost everyone was willing to hear what we had to say, especially because we were North Americans trying to speak Spanish. I couldn't decide if they found it humorous, but most of them were trying to help us with what we wanted to say. The first family we talked to was sitting in front of their home with all six of their young children. They gladly accepted pamphlets on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a Book of Mormon. It was so encouraging to start our day with that. We ended up placing 3 Books of Mormon, a stack of pamphlets, and we got 5 contacts for the missionaries. It was an amazing experience to say the least. My fire was definitely rekindled as I came to realize how ready these people are to hear the gospel.
On Sundays we watch all sorts of videos from General Authorities. This particular Sunday, we watched an astounding MTC devotional from Elder Holland. That man's words can always cut straight to my heart. What I gathered from his words was that our experiences as missionaries are once in a lifetime. There should not be a day that goes by that we don't think about our missions once we get home. Being on a mission is about as close to "real life" as we're ever going to get, and we should never encourage a missionary to be more "normal" and to be more like they were before they left. A mission should change a person, and it needs to be permanent.
This week our District has gotten so close. On Tuesday, we were the only District outside during our normal hour of physical activity. We all ended up playing soccer together. I might actually end up enjoying playing soccer by the time I get home (crazy, I know). I don't think I've ever had that much fun running around and laughing. It's amazing to see how so many people from such different backgrounds can come together and learn to love each other so dearly. That night, our teacher had to leave because he was taking a final exam for one of his college classes. Hermano Lazo substituted for our language class. After we covered the material we were assigned, he was definitely inspired as he shared some very dear mission experiences with us. He was crying, and so was the entire district (including the Elders). I am always amazed when people are so in tune with the Spirit that they can be directed to speak the words that we so desperately need to hear. Many testimonies were born and strengthened that night. I know that some amazing missionaries are being prepared here in the CCM.
Yesterday we resolved our immigration. We drove out to the other side of the city to what seems to be the Peruvian equivalent of the MVD. We were there for about 5 hours, and we pretty much just signed a few documents, and had them approved by some nice man at a window. But we should all be legal now! So that's exciting.
I'm so grateful for the experiences we are all having here in Peru. I'm so nervous and excited to get out into the field to work with these blessed people. I am absolutely certain that there are angels among these missionaries.
Love Hermana Schroader