May 15, 2013
Hola Familia y Amigos! WWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW
This is my last P Day. Well kind of. Once my family gets here every day will be P Day ha-ha. Wow I can't believe it. This week was awesome. We worked super hard. We went out and visited a bunch of recent converts from about two years ago. We got a lot of new people out to church and to reactivate. It was really exciting. I just kept forgetting. We would make appointments and I would just full on forget that I won't be here for them.
Sunday it hit me. That was really embarrassing. We were sitting in Sacrament meeting and a less active family came in. We have been visiting them for a while and to see them all walk through the door made me SO HAPPY!! I started thinking about what we would share with them on Saturday and then I realized I won't be here Saturday. I just started crying and I couldn't stop. Seriously all throughout the santa cena I was just bawling. So embarrassing. Our mission president just happened to be visiting our Branch. He probably thinks I'm nuts ha-ha. I was able to pull it together and share my testimony, crying, but at least I was somewhat under control.
I'm going to miss this a lot. I love seeing people change. I love the happiness that the gospel brings.
This week we had an AMAZING experience with Berta. So Berta has been having a really tough time since her baptism. Which happens to a lot of recent converts. Every time we would go visit her she was so angry with her ex husband, the anger was just eating her up inside. She said that she was praying and praying and didn't feel like God was listening to her and she doubted that God even loved her or cared. Obviously I was concerned so we visited a lot these past weeks. We would come, listen and share a message, but nothing was helping.
So Tuesday we were on our way to visit Berta. To get to her house you have to pass through a really poor part of town. The houses are literally shacks, with dirt floors and plastic or tin roofs. In this neighborhood there is a member. Her name is Gaudencia. She is 70 years old and got baptized a little less than two years ago. She is in a wheel chair and lives by herself. We decided to stop by and visit her. As we visited with her I was SO IMPRESSED. If someone has reasons to be depressed its Hermana Gaudencia. She can't walk. She lives by herself. Sometimes her family comes to visit her and sometimes they don't. She goes days without having food. Her circumstances are just heart breaking. But her audited is AMAZING! She has the most amazing smile. She talks about when the Elders built her roof for her, she talks about all the blessing she has. She loves the lord and the gospel. When Gaudencia first got baptized the members were really great about coming, visiting and taking her to church, but about six months after her baptism she got really sick and had to move to Lima. When she moved back 6 months later it seems the branch just kind of forgot about her. No one comes to pick her up for church. As I listened to her talk about how much she wanted to take the sacrament my heart broke. But you know why it broke, because she was so positive. She didn't complain, she didn't curse the members for not coming, for not caring. She just humbly said that they all must be very busy. I couldn't hide my tears. I thanked her for her example and promised that we would bring her to church on Sunday. After that amazing visit we went over to Berta's house.
There was Berta again. Cursing out her ex-husband her situation and even God. I prayed. What can we do to help her. Then it came to me. Let's go. I want to take you somewhere. We took her to visit Gaudnecia and than Hermana Arora who both live in very hand circumstances, have terrible health, but amazing testimonies. I unofficially assigned Berta to visit these two sisters twice a week. This week when we came to visit her it was just to pick her up and take her to visit someone else. Sunday we also had her take Hermana Gaudencia back home after church. Sunday night when we went to visit Berta we found a completely different person. She was all smiles and didn't have a single negative thing to say. She said that taking her mind off of her own problems, visiting someone and taking from their good examples has helped her realize that she has many things to be thankful for. She told us how excited she was to visit these Hermanas and she also told us that she had a new goal of waking up early on Sundays so she would have time to bring Hermana Gaudencia to church. She finally got it. The joy that comes from living the gospel and DOING the things that Christ would do.
That's what it all comes down to. I mean she was reading, praying and coming to church but wasn't happy. Why? Because it's not enough to know how the Saviors stories. You have to live them. You have to do as he would do. That's when you really feel the joy that the gospel brings.
I don't worry about Berta going inactive. Not now. Now she gets it. I know if she keeps service as a part of her life, she will never lose her way. We taught her about temple work Sunday night and she is really excited. After the lesson she told me that if just helping Hermana Gaudencia take the sacrament one time made her happy, she could only imagine how happy she would feel to help people receive saving ordinances like baptism. At the end of the month she is going to go to the temple with the Branch. Alfunso will as well.
This time here in Chancay has been such a blessing. Not just here in Chancay but here in Peru. There is a joy in the gospel that you don't find in anything else, and if you are reading this thinking that you don't feel a joy in the gospel then I can say without doubt that you are not fully living it. Like Berta you may be going through the motions, but when you really take the time to do as the Savior would do. You can't help but feel happy.
I know that God lives, The Jesus Christ is his son. I have never seen them, but I feel it. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Christ's restored Church on the earth. I know that if someone follows the teachings found in the Bible and the Book of Mormon that they will find a joy beyond words. I testify that Families can be forever. I know it. I love it.
I'm sad that this part of my life is coming to an end. I will miss being a missionary. More than I thought I would. But I know that ending my mission doesn't mean I have to stop doing what Christ would do.
I love you all! It breaks my heart to know that soon I will be leaving Peru. But I am extremely excited to see you all again.
Thanks again to Bradi for posting all my letters and pictures on my blog. You are the best!
I love you!
Hermana Sadie Jean Taggart
Hola Familia y Amigos.
Wow we are getting super close to the finish line. Crazy. This week was good. Called people to repentance, preached the gospel. You know all that good stuff.
We are teachings Bertas son, Jerson and his girlfriend Geradine. We got to the house the other day and he asked us a question. He has his ears pierced and always has an ear ring in his left ear. He asked us if it was o.k. for men to use ear rings. We said no, and before we even explained he reached up, took his ear ring out and then looked at me and asked why. For me it was such a great example of faith and obedience. Him and his Girlfriend are working on getting married and I know once they do they will make AMAZING members of the church.
Everyone keeps asking me if I'm trunky. Well in some ways I think I have always been "trunky" I have always joked around about boys and dating and all that jazz. I'm sure none of you are surprised by that ha-ha. I'm still working. So I'm not that type of trunky who thinks, yeah I'm gong home so they stop looking for new people. I want to leave my area in good shape for the next Hermana who comes in. But I can feel my heart getting distant. I don't feel really invested in anyone or anything because I know that I won't get to see the end. It's not to say I'm not working because I'm trying to. I'm just not getting attached.
I can't wait to see my family. That's probably why I'm o.k. with finishing my mission. It's going to be hard. But nothing compares to my family. I'm 100 percent sure that seeing my mom again will be the happiest moment of my life.
I'm scared to leave my converts. It's like when you leave an area, but worse. I wish I could take them all with me and keep visiting them and make sure that they are doing what they are suppose to be doing. At least there are things like face book and email that make it easy to keep in touch with people.
This week we also had a conference with two members of the 70. We were together with the Lima Central Mission. I ran into my companion from the CCM. Hermana Cartagena.It was crazy to see her again. She was happy to see that I can finally speak Spanish ha-ha. Also ran into Janaes roommate again. It's a small world.
Well. . . That's about all I have to say. I know lame right. Soon I will be home. CRAZY. Sounds like the 26th is my home coming talk. Mark that one on your calendars.
Love you all!
Hermana Sadie Jean Taggart
April 26, 2013
|Hermana Cueva and me with Berta's baptism|
|Me and my new companion, Hermana Bendixen|
|Me and Hermana Bendixen do a service project|
Hola Familia y Amigos!
WOW!!! Where is the time going! This week went by crazy fast. I feel bad for my companion we had to go to Lima twice again this week due to a choir practice and mission conference and with immigrations we might have to go again. It's frustrating because I only have a little bit of time left here as a missionary and I don't want to waste it in the Z Bus but what can you do. I just hope she is having a good mission experience. I worry I'm not teaching her enough. I'm just trying to ease her into everything. I remember my first months were SO overwhelming trying to do mission work and not understanding a thing. So I am really just trying to help her learn and give her a few small responsibilities. But then again I think I might be doing too much and when she gets her next companion it will be like a smack in the face. I just really want to ease her into everything.
Even though she claims that it's not happening, I think the culture shock is starting to set it. The way men treat us is REALLY bothering her. Not to mention how everything starts late ha-ha. She keeps saying she wants to buy a watch and I keep finding ways to not let her. Maybe that is terrible but I know how North Americans are ha-ha. I know how I was and my watch breaking has been the greatest blessing because I have just learned to chill out . We are suppose to help the culture of the church change and get things started on time. But its poco a poco we can't change the whole culture of Peru over night.
Funny story of the week. Which might only be funny if you have lived in Peru. So side note. In Peru there are these people that have bicycles that have carts in front of them. Then they go around with a megaphones and sell the stuff they have in their carts. Some people sell fruits, tamales, recycled garbage ha-ha. But they all go around with mega phones shouting out what they are selling. So the other day someone passes by our house selling stuff like normal and I hear Hermana Bendixen shout from the other room, and she sounds scared. "Hermana Taggart! There is a man with a mega phone yelling at our house!" ha-ha I got a kick out of that. I'm just getting too use to Peru.
Oh yeah today made me laugh as well. Being with a new North American has shown me just how much I really have let myself go. She still puts on makeup everyday and spends time picking out what she is going to wear. Whereas I just put on whatever and I only put on makeup if I believe we will be taking pictures ha-ha.
I feel like the different between a North American with 2 weeks in the field and 18 months is best shown by what happened this morning. We left and then two seconds later we both realized we had to go back to the room because we had both forgotten something. She had forgotten her name tag . . .and I had forgotten to put on deodorant. Ha-ha I have really been here too long. I've got to get myself back to the states and back to real life while there is still hope.
In other news my mom informed me that about 10 people got engaged this week! No worries that didn't make me trunky or anything. Man alive! But I'm super excited for everyone. I had a nightmare the other night that I came home from my mission and all my friends were in coffins, I told an Elder about it and he told me it's because subconsciously I know that all my friends have socially died ha-ha. Well I hope when I get home you all ditch your husband's for a night a revive yourselves socially.
All is well in our area. We are teaching a new girl names Gasmina. She is wonderful. She could possibly be ready for baptism before I go which would be exciting if she is. But I'm not going to rush her. I really don't like when people rush baptisms just to have one more number. For me every convert is a HUGE responsibility! I believe if we baptize people just to have one more baptism but they don't understand what they are doing or aren't ready to make the commitment that they are making and they fall always we as missionaries will be somewhat responsible for that. I just think it's a balance. For me the most important thing is that Gasmina gets baptized and stays an active member of the church, but if that happens before I leave or after doesn't matter to me.
We are also teaching a few young couples that are preparing to get married. It's the same thing. I might not get to see them get baptized but I'm happy that they are repenting, learning and growing spiritually. One day when they do get baptized they will be amazing strong families in the gospel.
I'm just trying to finish strong. Stay focused (which is hard at times) and teach my companion the ropes of missionary life.
All is well.
I will see you all VERY SOON!
Love you all!
Hermana Sadie Jean Taggart