Monday, July 25, 2016

Hola everyone! I hope you had a great week! These last two weeks we awesome for me! Last week I ate cuy for the first time. Cuy is guinea pig. Its a peruvian delicacy. No joke haha I tell people that we have guinea pigs as pets in the United States and they tell me that thats ridiculous and that cuy is too delicious to not eat.. and the truth is it's actually pretty good! What I am not a fan of is the way it's presented haha they fry the cuy whole, with the head and paws and everything, and then serve it on a plate. The lady who cooked it for us told us that there's a super tiny bone in the ear of the cuy that supposedly brings good luck if you keep it in your wallet. So we found the tiny bones in the ears and now we keep them in our wallets haha. Super weird right? But when in Peru we do as the Peruvians.
So my birthday is this Saturday! In Peru there's a tradition that if it's someones birthday, you crack eggs on their head and shove cake in their face. So I'm sure I'll have really great pics for you all next week. We also have a ward activity and a baptism Saturday, so it should be a great day (:
I want to tell you all a story of one of the members here. His name is Enrique and he is a convert to the church. He was baptized about 3 years ago, and now he has a calling in the church as the elders quorum president. But he has had a rough life, his childhood wasn't the greatest and he was in a lot of dangerous situations at a young age. He also used to be atheist. He met with missionaries years ago and continued to meet with them but never wanted to accept their message. He told us stories of miracles that happened in his life when he started applying the teachings of the missionaries, and he knew there was no way these miracles could have happened without there being a God. So he started believing and came to know that the church was true. This is a very short version of his story haha but it gave me so much hope that really anyone can change. The message that we have really is the greatest message of hope that the world has ever known. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of the gospel, of the truth.
Also, another story. Every transfer, so every 6 weeks, we go on divisions with the hermana leaders of the area for a day. So this week I went to the hermana leaders area and my companion stayed in our area. I met an investigator of the other hermanas who got baptized this last saturday, his name is christian. I told him my conversion story and he was really able to relate to me and my experiences as a convert too. He told me that I helped him a lot just by telling him my story. It's moments like these that we live for as missionaries. To be able to connect with these people and share experiences and help them grow spiritually really is the greatest feeling. I can't tell you how grateful I am to be where I am. I've grown so much and in so many different ways. I can't wait to see what's in store for me these next 10 months. Everyday my companion and I teach about Jesus Christ. Through teaching His teachings and also through my trials, I'm getting to know our Savior more than I could have ever imagined. I am not ashamed of the one who saved my soul.

Cuidense (:

Hermana Celardo

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a good 4th of July! There weren't any festivities here haha but independence day in Peru is the 28th this month so Ill just celebrate then. For their independence day and also for Christmas they have this fruit cake thing called panatone, but its not like fruit cake from home. Its actually really good! Everyone here eats it with hot chocolate. I hope that I can find it in the states when I get back!
Training is going well too! My companion is amazing, she came pretrained to the mission. We are having a great time together and we get along super well. I think I am learning more from training than she is haha. We work really well together in lessons as well, Im grateful for the Spirit that we feel in every lesson!
The area I am in right now is called Las Torres. Its right up by the volcano Misti! We have a sweet view of all the volcanoes here, Misti Chachani and Pichu Pichu. During the day the suns out but the air is cold, and at night its freezing! Theres no heaters here so we just bundle up in blankets every night and its enough to stay warm! The water we use to wash our clothes or to wash our hands is SO cold. Im pretty sure its just melted ice haha but we have hot water in our shower so Im extremely grateful for that!
My Spanish is improving! I have no problem talking about missionary work or teaching lessons or every day talk like little conversations. I can even bargain with the taxi drivers so Id say Im doing well! Its truly amazing that Ive lived in Peru for 8 months and Im already speaking Spanish.
So we had a baptism this week! His name is Luis and hes 9 years old. He lives with his sister, who is our pensionista (the member who cooks for us). Hes awesome! He has a really good understanding of all the basic principles of the church. Im grateful that I was able to teach him and be apart of his baptism.
I think the greatest part about being a missionary is helping people understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and what exactly is their purpose here on the earth, and then watching them apply it to their lives and then seeing their lives change for the better. Its truly amazing. I am a convert to the church of Jesus Christ of about 2 and a half years. When I compare my life before, and my life now, I can testify to every single one of you that I am so much happier now. Yes there are things of the world that can bring happiness, but there is nothing comparable to the happiness that the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings. I am so grateful for this time that I have to teach the gospel to the people here in Peru. I know that I will never have an opportunity like this again, so Im taking in every moment! I love being a missionary (:
Quiero compartir mi testimonio con ustedes en el idioma de mi corazón(: testifico a cada uno de ustedes que La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días es la iglesia verdadera de Jesucristo. Sé que esta iglesia es la misma iglesia que Jesucristo estableció cuando estuvo en la tierra. Al obedecer los mandamientos y al aplicar el evangelio en nuestras vidas podemos llegar a ser mas como Jesucristo, podemos legar a ser lo que el Señor quiere que seamos. Sé que Dios nunca va a darnos pruebas en esta vida que no podemos vencer. Tengo fe que Dios tiene un plan por cada uno de nosotros. Tenemos que someternos a la voluntad del Señor en todo momento para darnos cuenta quien somos, y la importancia y la razón que estamos aquí en la tierra. Estoy muy agradecida por el conocimiento del Evangelio. Quiero compartir todo esto en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Hasta la próxima semana!

Hermana Celardo