Monday, June 27, 2016

Hello everyone! Well, Im writing you from a new area. I got transferred to Arequipa! Im in a ward called Las Torres in the stake Selva Alegre. Its right near the volcano, Misti. Im also training! Which means my companion is new to the mission so I have to show her the ropes. My companions name is Hermana Estela! Shes from Chiclayo and shes awesome! She came pretrained to the mission, she already knows so much! Its almost like shes the one training me haha. We are opening the area that we are in, or in missionary terms its a "whitewash". Training an opening an area isnt easy, but im up for the challenge. I know that the Lord knows I can do it! But Arequipa is beautiful! There are three volcanos in Arequipa, right now we are closest to Misti, but we can see the other two, Chachani and Pichu Pichu from here. We spent this last week getting to know the members here and getting to know the area! The members here are super supportive and are helping us a ton. The weather here is super weird.. There is sun during the day and when youre in the sun its super hot, but in the shade its super cold. And our room is literally like antarctica because the sun doesnt make it through out window haha. And at night its freezing! Today for Pday our zone is going to have a bbq! Im super excited because I havent had bbq in almost 8 months! And im also really excited to meet other missionaries! This week we get a new mission president! His name is President Johnson and hes from Utah. Im really excited to meet him and his wife! Im excited to see what they have planned for the future of the Peru Arequipa Mission!
My companion and I had a really awesome experience teaching a lesson this week. We had just met this family who is less active in the church and they completely opened up to us and we were able to teach to their needs and help them out. Its moments like this that really strengthen my testimony that I truly am doing the work of the Lord. Every week I am more and more grateful to be here. I am learning so much, I wouldnt trade this experience for anything. And I cant believe I almost have 8 months in my mission, time is passing by so fast.
Anyways, I dont have much time so thats all for this week!
Hermana Celardo

Monday, June 13, 2016

Hola! I hope you all had a great week! I sure did! Before I talk about my week I want to say that I´m sorry if you send me and email and I don´t respond right away. I only I have 2 hours every monday on the computer and we use this time to write our families and do other things concerning missionary work. So if I don´t respond to you right away I´m sorry! Just know I appreciate every email I recieve and I read everything and I´m super grateful to all of you who support me!
So my week.. we found out there´s this little pueblo town about 45 minutes from where we live, but its part of our area! It´s called Ite (ee-tay). So we took a bus out there to contact people. There´s also members out there who showed us around. It´s not very developed and theres a lot of farms and cows everywhere. It´s also right on the beach too.. super weird haha but I love it! We started walking along this dirt road that leads to the main part of the town and we passed by a little school. All the kids came running to the gate to say hi to us! My companion and I definitely look like we´re not from Peru so they were super curious and anxious to meet us haha we felt like celebrities! We walked by the gate of the school and gave them all high fives! It was super sweet. We ended up contacting a ton of people in Ite and we´re going back this week to follow up with them. The problem is there´s no church buildings out in this little town. So to come to church, they have to travel by bus 45 minutes to Ilo. Hopefully if we see some progress, our mission president will open up an area and send missionaries to live out there! We shall see.
I have truly been humbled by the people out here. There are so many people with so many different stories and situations that make me SO grateful to have grown up in California, or just the United States in general. Now that my Spanish has improved I can understand the people here more. It´s truly a miracle that I´ve been here for only 7 months, and with no spanish experience before, and I´m able to understand these people and able to speak to them in their own language and help them progress. I know this would not have been possible without the help of God. I know that miracles are possible in this life. God promises us miracles, but first we have to show him our faith. God cannot grant any miracle unless we show our faith first.
Well, I´m about 99% sure I will be getting a transfer this next week. It has been an amazing 6 months in Ilo! I will definitely miss being by the beach. I will let you all know what happens next week! I love you!

Espero que tengan una buena semana!

Hermana Celardo

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hello everyone! I hope these last couple weeks have been great! They've been great for me! I'm still here in my first area, Ilo. my companions name is Hermana Alais and she's from Mar del Plata, Argentina. She's awesome!! We work really well together. Everyone in the mission says that the missionaries from America and from Argentina get along really well! And it's true! We're working really hard to strengthen the members of our ward. In the mission as a whole, we're working with the members on their family history. Luckily I was able to work on my own family history and figure out before my mission. It has been a blessing because I have been able to help the members here with their family history and help them send names to the temple!
On another note, I ate some pretty crazy foods this week. One thing I've learned on my mission is if you don't know exactly what you're eating, don't ask until after you're finished with your food. This week I ate chicken stomach.. and cow intestines. Not in the same occasion but still it was interesting to say the least. I'm sure there will be many more crazy food opportunities in my mission haha. I will keep you all updated on that!
My companion and I had a crazy experience yesterday! We had people contact us. Usually it's the other way around haha as missionaries we are always walking up to random people and talking to them about the church. But these two ladies came up to us, because we look foreign, and asked us where we are from! Turns out she married an American and they live here in Ilo, in our area! We are going to have lunch with them soon. Super nice people! Oh and they also wanted pictures with us because she said we looked like dolls haha.
I just want to express to you all how much I am loving the mission (: it's not easy. But the best things in life are never easy. I've learned so much in my almost 7 months of being a missionary! I know I will never regret my decision to serve this mission. I want to testify to you all that I know that the work I'm doing here in Peru is truly the work of the Lord. I know that The Book of Mormon is true and contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same church that Christ established when he was here on the earth. I want to share a scripture with you in The Book of Mormon, in Moroni 10:3-5...
"Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall recieve these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
And when ye shall recieve these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ya may know the truth of all things"

I know that every single one of you can come to the truthfulness of this gospel if you simply ask God with a sincere heart. And by the power of the Holy Ghost, you will know.

I hope you all have a great week! Until next time!

CuĂ­dense mucho

Hermana Celardo