Happy Birthday or anniversary to me. I have reached my 1 year mark!

Hey you guys love you all! Just want to say… GABE GEORGE I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOUR CUTE FACE HERE! For those of you who are now probably scared, my family has some close family friends named the George’s and we’ve basically grown up together. They have a son named Gabe who just got his mission call to CUSCO PERU!  Gabe you’re going to love here! They’re going to love you, promise! But anyways, on to you guys!

 

Nope got no diseases from Abish (who’s a girl) and now has a home! Also…. fun fact for those of you who didn’t know (nobody knows but my mother) but yes mom…. I did gain 20 pounds. But I think it’s mostly muscle. We weighed ourselves at a place that tells you how much fat you have and your height and everything and yes all my clothes still fit! So…. no idea where it came from. I will be willing to try your shakes if the Chia here doesn’t work (which it isn’t… I gain 100 grams, so need a new plan). Congrats on giving blood! I’ve been donating too down here! …. to the mosquitos. Anyways ha-ha SLCC orientation sounded fun. What did Kake think? Wow, Robert’s funeral sounded so good. I’m glad there were a few laughs there, that’s a good way to remember him. Neil A. Anderson?  That’s pretty cool!  So not UVU?  Its ok I understand!  And that’s what they were building when I left, I can’t wait to see it! Dang… you guys really are prepping up the house! Sounds like it’s going to look nice! Easter sounded like it was super fun! But sounds like you guys are all really happy! Love you guys so much!

 

To my week. Um… it was rather average. Oh to explain the title….. I had a birthday this week! Now you think “Another one…?” and… I had a Mission Birthday! HAPPY ONE YEAR!  WOOT WOOT! Anyways…the mission president came this week and we had a conference from 12 to 2 then 3 to 6 which was spiritually refilling. The next day his wife was going to talk to the Young Women’s leaders down here, but she can’t speak any Spanish. So…. I got to translate! This was awesome! She said some great stuff to them a lot of which I want to apply. But basically the goal is to get your Young Women to the point of being ready to serve a mission and to have that testimony! Cool right? They don’t need to serve, but it’s just to get them to that point! Then there was the conference that night for everyone and I had to play the piano (SURPRISE!) which was kind of weird ha-ha and then Sunday was more conference and it was really good. The sister leaders visited us too and that was really fun, I went with Hermana Allred and she was really fun! But now to my spiritual thoughts ( I have two).

 

So my first one. Sunday a sister wanted to talk to Hermana Harbertson (my mission president’s wife) and I had to go translate. This woman was talking about all these problems in her life, about she was a widow with two daughters who go to college and she doesn’t know what to do and how it was just so hard for her. Hermana Harbertson didn’t say what I thought would have been said. She said “Three things that you should do: 1. Do NOT lose your faith, 2. Look for God’s hand in your life, and 3. Pay your tithing.” That caught me so off guard! But it’s true! When we pay our tithing God really will bless us! It’s a guarantee! Awesome right? My other one was a little bit bigger…. this week I was feeling like a lot of missionaries look at me like I have no success and I was really upset. I felt like I have had success but I felt like a lot of people didn’t think so. When the Mission President came I just wanted to talk to him. I kept saying prayers that he would pull me in for an interview or something. Or that I would have to chance to tell him. Well… it never happened. But God always answers our prayers, and that’s just what he did. Saturday night I had given up hope, I had thought that President was just going to leave and I would just have to figure it out. While President was talking he randomly stops and says “I feel like we need to recognize the missionaries. Will they come up here and sing “Called to serve?” I gave him a look that said “Pres… Can’t play this song on the piano…” and he says “Don’t worry I’ll play.” So he played and we sang. Afterwards we were walking back when President looked right at me and said “Thank you.” Two words, and it was exactly what I needed. I almost started crying. Right on the spot. But God ALWAYS answers our prayers if we’re doing what we should. I know that’s true. And if you’re looking for an answer right now, do what you know you should do and God will answer you. Thank you so much all of you and I love you all!

 

Hermana Irvine

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Humble people, humble life

Welcome to another weird email from Hermana Irvine!

 

So this week we also got a reference to visit this woman in the hospital who has cancer. So we got there (so grateful for hospitals in the states) and we find out she has 3 kids, two of which still live with her, the youngest being 5 and that she is widowed. She has no work and lives about a bar in a tiny room with her brother and kids. We went to go visit her after she got home and we washed her clothes and afterwards she gave us Macha soup (it was weird and I still don’t know what is macha), but it was so humbling to see this woman. She is trying to do everything in her power for her family. God and her family come first in her life. What an example she is to me! She only cares about those things in her family first and everything else comes after. I love the love she has for her family and her willingness to keep going. I hope that she can be baptized and her family too. Love you guys so much!

 

Hermana Irvine

 

Miracles and blessings in the mission!

Hey everyone! I hope you´re all good; I hope that you’re happy and that you’re all having fun! First we’ll talk about you guys!

 

Yes, there are tons of waterfalls! We’re thinking about going to 7 tinajas today, so we’ll see!  I love my companion; she’s kind of like me! We basically like the same stuff, and we work really well together! Her whole family is LDS, but she only has a few uncles and aunts who are members. And I shall anxiously await the camera! So excited for your spiritual thoughts from Preach My Gospel!  What a way to apply what we learn! 🙂

 

So to my week. Me and my companion just have so much fun! I taught her a new word in English… “Awkward”. Along with the sign in Sign Language. Yep we use it frequently. We had an especially awkward day where a lot of awkward things just kept happening. One of which was while we were waiting for a less active guy to come to the chapel for a lessons and we’re standing there and we just happen to look at the street corner across the street and find him there. Just standing. He eventually came over, but it was… very awkward. ANYWAYS! OH! Everyone down here thinks I’m hilarious! Talk about an achievement! Here’s some more exciting news, let’s start with the one that happened after the first one (does that make sense?) because it’s the more normal of the two. On Friday, me and two other girls were asked to speak in church on Sunday. Thankfully I was giving the 5 minute one, but I think you all remember how I freak out during talks right and can’t talk… right? Definitely cannot give a talk longer than 5 minutes. But here comes the second new! On Tuesday we were talking to one of the Consejos of the District (Councilor??? Don’t remember the word in English…) (Oh and a district is like a stake, but… smaller!) (That’s for those of you who didn’t know) and he was telling us about the activity on Sunday (yesterday) for the return missionaries. There were going to be testimonies and talks given by the guy who was talking and the president of the district and then they were going to show off their memory stuff from the mission! As he was talking he says “While we were planning, we realized we needed someone else to talk and we all got the same answer… Sister Irvine will you speak for ten minutes to kind of start off the meeting?” I had two thoughts 1.”Whoa… You guys all knew I needed to give this talk? Dang… talk about revelation… And I was the one who the Lord wanted? Dang! I’m awesome!” 2.”What the freak?  You want the gringa to give a flipping ten minute talk to start off this meeting?  I can’t even talk for ten minutes! Please tell me this is a joke!” Yep, I was torn. Of course I said yes and he said “Great! You’re going to talk about the blessings and miracles of a mission!” Outside I said “Chevere! I’ll do it!” and inside I said “Chevere…. Here goes nothing…” But now… spiritual thought!

 

So spiritual thought is the continuation of this story. That day I gave my shaky 5 minute talk and I thought “I can’t do ten minutes. There is no way.” I had my ten minute talk all planned out and everything. I was reading it over and over again. Finally the meeting comes and I’m shaking. I’m telling my comp that I can’t do this. I’m asking the elders who have been in the mission longer than me to give the talk and they just laugh and say “You can do it! This is a special privilege!” Then I started to count the people as they entered. I counted 30 something. I was just like “I can’t do this!!!!!! I can’t speak Spanish, I can’t speak for ten minutes, and they’re going to hate me!”

 

I started praying for comfort, but nothing was working. It was in that moment I realized… I doubted myself. I only thought I couldn’t, because I was only seeing the doubts in myself, not in my abilities. I could speak Spanish, I speak Spanish everyday. I could speak for ten minutes, I teach lessons longer than that. And they won’t hate me, they’ll understand me. But I kept doubting myself. So then I prayed that my doubts be taken away, that I never turn back to them, that I would have the faith and trust in myself to do this. And… it worked. I had no more doubts. Yeah I was still shaking when I got up there and yeah I was a little shaky on starting, but I started talking with the confidence that I could this. And I did do it. I talked for almost 20 minutes, but that is beside the point! (NOE! I even talked about in my talk! Didn’t mention you by name, but I talked about you and your cute companion counting miracles! LOVE YOU!) Afterwards, my zone leader came up to me and said “I haven’t heard you speak Spanish that good before!” Little did he know that I had been walking in the road with my Spanish book practicing for almost a week, and that I had prayed for help and I had gotten it! Afterwards I realized that… that was a miracle! I had just witnessed what I was talking about that night! Talk about a testimony builder! So don’t EVER doubt yourself, it is all possible with the Lord on your side! LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! White family you are in my prayers! Thank you for the great example you guys are to me! Love you guys!

 

LOVE!

Hermana Irvine

 

The sister missionary from Puno:)

HEY EVERYONE! I hope you all loved conference and got answers to your question, I know I did! But more to that in a minute! First you guys!

 

So to answer your questions mom, I didn’t see any ruins, but that’s because it was raining. And yeah Dengue is running wild right now, but I haven’t seen any cases, I’ve been bit, but still living, so I don’t think it’s that bad right now. My comp. is from El Salvador in Central America, she has 3 months in the mission, so she just finished her training, and she has only been here in Quillabamba and doesn’t want to leave, she hates the cold. She doesn’t know any English, but I’m helping with it, it’s a requirement now to learn English too. The jungle is… cool I guess, I’m more in the city, but there’s still jungle kind of in my area, and it’s really pretty. I love it. Animals not so much, I did get bit recently by a giant ant and that freaked me out. After it bit I went to flick it off and I only flicked off its body and ended up have to pull its head off, because it was latched onto my finger… So I would go more for weird insects than bugs. Fruits, there’s a lot and they are REALLY GOOD! And Coffee? I haven’t seen an abnormal amount…. yet… So no idea about that one. Quillabamba is really small, there are only 14 missionaries in total here and we’re all in 4 branches. So it’s small compared to other places. Yeah I scare children, because I’m basically the only Gringa they’ve seen in their lives. Like literally, I scare them. They hide behind their mothers. I don’t really know what I should think. Excited for my package! I didn’t hear that about Brock’s mom. Harrison family, you are in my prayers! I’ll also be praying along with the White family. Love you guys so much. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY PARENTS! 23 years and still going! (Let’s hope dad makes it to 25 years…. ha-ha kidding!)  Sounds like you guys had fun! With having a date night with the priests and their mothers…. Ha-ha. Sorry I wasn’t there to help out with the TV guy #nosureifiwouldwanttobetheremom #soundsawkwardtome ha-ha I just hash tagged ha-ha. I did get to watch the Woman’s broadcast, but it was Spanish, but still really good! It was a little long, and for me… really hot, but it was still really good and so jealous of your Italian Sodas! Rachael! That time flew so fast! I remember first reading about your mission call and now look… you’re all ready to go! SO COOL! Love missions! I do have a new penchinista and she’s really cool! Love her and her daughter! They wash our clothes, but we wash our garments, which is totally fine with me!

 

Well first real week in Quillabamba… pretty good! Had conference! Which I shall talk about in the end! But last P-day, we went and saw two GIANT Waterfalls! I got so soaked! But it was so flipping beautiful! Loved it! But that is also where I got bit by the giant ant… I hate ants now. I have some nice bug bites now too, but that’s because I started sleeping without a blanket at night, but it’s worth it. Also they came and fumigated our room this week. At 6 in the morning. And we sat on our curb, for an hour in our pajamas. What fun right? But after an hour we went inside and… I learned what it would feel like to suffocate and die. Dude! That stuff was POTENT! Five seconds after opening the door I had my head out a window trying to breathe! We were also trying to open all the windows in our apartment to air it out, but dude…. that literally sucked. It took a good five minutes to breathe normally again. Not doing that one again. Conference was amazing! Even though we had to take a broken television that showed nothing on the screen, but we could hear everything in English, sit on the stage in the back where nobody could hear us, and then play with it every five minutes so it wouldn’t turn off #neverforgettingthisconference dang. Mom you hash tagged and so now I’m hash tagging! What is this? But one of my favorite moments has to do with the title of my email. This week we were helping an investigator with her little cart to sell things (normally I would just say Tienda, but nobody would understand) when another investigator comes up to us and is talking to us. He then tries speaking in English to me and then asks if we speak Quechua to which I respond with “¿Iman sutiki?” (What’s your name?) and he says “Oh wow! And what’s the response?” to which I say “PanayIrvinemmi sutini” and he was quite impressed. Then I decided to impress him futher (as in I’m not your typical gringa) and ask him if he speaks Aymara (the language they speak in the Uros) and he looks at me really confused and says “no… who does?” and I say “Kamisaraki?” (How are you?) and he just laughs and says “What is this???” and I say “The response is Waliki!” and he was just laughing and says “You sister are definitely not from here. You are most definitely from Puno!” And I straightened up my little gringa shoulders and stood a little taller and said “Yes. Yes I am!” Definitely made my day! I am sister missionary from Puno! Now to the spiritual thought!

 

Conference was SO GOOD! Learned so much and had so many questions answered! One question I had was “How can I be the best missionary I can be?” which was answered by two talks, my favorite ones. First by Holland, about how we all sacrifice, but just keep going. The second, by Uchtdorf, about how we should always be thankful. Those things as a missionary mean the world, to have that gratitude and humility and to be able have it ALWAYS! But then to also keep going and don’t give up. So this week that is what I’m going to focus on. Love you all so much and just keep going all of you ok? LOVE YOU!

 

Hermana Irvine