It’s been too long.

Hey, I know that it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here, but I decided to start again. Let me update you on my life: I got home from my mission in November of 2015, and my family came and picked me up. It was a lot of fun, we rode horses (I got thrown, and have vowed to never ride a horse again) and we got to see a lot of my friends. I loved it so much, I can’t wait to go back. After I got home, I started dating my best friend (that was a guy, not my girl best friend, that’d be silly) and we ended up getting engaged that next summer on July 2. I started studying forensic science at UVU and I loved it. The next summer I did an internship at the state crime lab, and that was super interesting. On August 11, 2016, my best friend and I got married. After that I cut my hair short and I am loving it. And that’s basically been my life for the past two years. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs and some things have been hard and others easy, but other than that, I have loved it. I hope to write here more soon, I just wanted to do a quick update on my life to hopefully get me started back into the blog writing. Anyways, I hope you hear from me soon!!

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Hermana Irvine, you have been voted off the island (aka the mission).

You guys…. this is it. I don’t know how many emails it’s been, but I do know it has been 18 months. And these last 18 months have been the best ever. But before getting into that, first you guys.

Mom I am so happy I was able to moved! It’s 5 million times better, we even sleep better!  It’s amazing. Conference with President was amazing, he said a lot of great things and General Conference was amazing too, I prayed for answers and I got so many answers. I am so prepared! I am so happy! When they spoke in Spanish (because the English listeners get banished to a tiny room to watch it in English) we all ran to the Sacrament room to hear it in Spanish. 5 million times better! He’s saying the words the way he wants them and not as the translator says them! It’s super chevere. I am doing great for the most part, I am super tired, but it’s normal, and everyone is doing great. I feel like we kind of slacked off because we were moving, but we’re jumping right back on it! Kake!!! Keep reading this email until the end and I’m going to tell you something (really I’m going to tell everyone, but it’s for you) and I think it’s going to help so much! Zach I am super proud of you, for the way you wear a fanny pack like nobody else (you’ll really fit in down here I promise) and the way you stand for your standards! YOU DO THAT! Ash I am super proud of you too! You are just too cute that I could not go without mentioning how much I love you! I love stupid question day! Ironically Hermana Routson and I were randomly trying to think of stupid questions this week, so thank you for the supply! NOE! I panicked when I heard about a Typhoon in Okinawa, and I prayed super hard and of course, the power of prayer really works, and I know that so many people were praying for you too and I was so relieved to see your email waiting for me in my inbox, it told me you were ok and that I would be able to see you again 🙂 That was super cute about the Down syndrome kid! I would have so sent him a card from Peru! That is too cute! And we’re basically family! TOO CUTE! I love the conference quotes, CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING! So glad to hear all is well with you guys and I can’t wait to see you in a week! AHHHHHHHHHHH! Ok to me really fast.

I thought a lot during this short time of writing this email what I wanted to say…. And I decided I didn’t want to talk about my week, but rather bear my testimony in this last email as a missionary. I want you all to know how much I have loved these 18 months. The good and the bad. The tears and the laughter. The hurt and the joy. Every bit of it has been worth it all. I cannot express my love for the changes and the things I have grown to know and to chance I have come so much closer to my Savior during these last 18 months. I know that there is no other way I could have done it without your support (yes those of you who are reading this), my family’s support, and the Savior’s support. I am so grateful to all of you and I want to thank my family so much for letting me leave them to go serve in a strange country for 18 months, not knowing how safe I would be, and for the prayers they sent my way every day and for their love and support in my life, since the beginning. If it wasn’t for them I would not be here having the best experience of life, becoming the person the Lord would have me be, and helping others to rise to their full potential. My family has been my biggest driving force on the mission, during my hard times and during those times when I needed it, thank you so much. I have always looked forward to your emails of encouragement and of love every week, but I can’t wait to have it face to face. Thank you so much for your great example to me, I am so grateful for that. I also want to thank you guys who are reading this. Thank you so much for the prayers, for the love, for helping my family when I couldn’t and for being great examples to me in all things.

I know this is the church of Christ, I know that with all my heart. It doesn’t matter what others say, it does not matter what others do, this will always be the true church and there is no changing that. I know that God loves us, we are His children and He loves us all so much. I cannot understand all the love that He has for us, but I do understand that His love is immense and will never change for us. I know that a mission changes lives. Not only the people you serve, but also your life. The mission is not about baptisms or the number of members you reactivated; it is not about the numbers. The most important thing about the mission is helping others to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him, through your example and actions and your service.

Baptism and reactivating is a way of helping others to fulfill that, but it is not a measure of success. We all succeed in different ways and when we let the mission to pass through us and not us through the mission and let those changes come, is when we really have success. The scriptures say “And if ye shall bring one soul unto me, how great thy joy shall be!” (Sorry if that’s not exact). That one soul is us. Like what was said in conference. You cannot help others if you are not fully converted first. We need to bring our one soul unto Him and afterwards others, and we are still promised joy beyond measure.

The mission is something that has changed my life forever and I will never forget the influence it has had on me. I have become so much closer to my Savior, my testimony has been so strengthened, and the gospel means so much to me. Before the gospel was something I knew I had to live, it was something that was a part of my life. Now it is something I HAVE to live, it is something I NEED in my life. We are promised that when we live the gospel and endure to the end, we are promised eternal life, but not just that, we are promised eternal life WITH our families. How great of a joy and blessing that is! To be with the ones we love forever and ever without end. And that is only possible through the atonement of Christ.

I still do not understand the atonement completely and I never expect to understand it completely, but now I understand how important it is to each of us. We are in such need of His atonement for us. Without it, we would be nothing. We could never live with our Beloved Father and Brother forever with our families without. It is through His atonement we are cleaned and it is through His atonement He can fully judge us on the day of judgment for the desires of our hearts and it is through His atonement that He understand every trial, temptation, and pain that we have ever felt, from the pain of a paper cut, to the loss of a loved one, to our own pain that we think only we can understand, because He understands it too. I am so grateful for the love and atonement of our Savior and for our loving Heavenly Father, who sacrificed His Son for us, so that we may live with Him forever.

Yo sé que este evangelio puede cambiar vidas. Ha cambiado mi vida en una manera yo nunca pensaba era posible. Yo sé que Dios ama cada uno de Sus hijos y este es porque Él mando Su Hijo al mundo para morir para nosotros, y porque tenemos un profeta hoy día. Sé que Thomas S. Monson es un profeta llamada por Dios, y cuando él habla, estamos escuchando las palabras de Nuestro Padre que nos ama. Yo sé estas cosas con todo de mi corazón. Digo estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo, amén.

And I want to share this with all of you with all my love that I can give, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Hermana Irvine

Don’t cry because it is over; smile because it happened

Hey everyone, super crazy week, but all in all a week! But first to you guys!

Well my week was…. crazy. Let me explain. Monday: After writing our families, the ZL’s tell us that next Wednesday will be our P-day, not Monday because the President is coming. Yeah, that wasn’t too cool because we all thought our parents would freak out when we didn’t write and there was no way to tell them. But all is well! Then Tuesday was Hna Routson’s birthday! Yeah here you throw eggs and four at the birthday person. That was a party! Cake and everything! Then Wednesday was normal. Then Thursday we were told that we had a place to move. We freaked out! So we started calling people (Zl’s, landlady, etc.) to get permission to move. The ZL’s didn’t want to give us permission, even after I told them about all the stuff outside. They told us next month. We were like “…. yeah right. We’ll talk to the President on Monday.” The next few days were us helping a member to move into her new house, us moving her mother in her house, and us getting ready to move into her mother’s house. Can I say how tired I am? Way too tired. We also didn’t get to watch conference because it was Election Day in Peru and there are weird laws, and we weren’t allowed to watch it. Sad right? Then Monday it was my comp’s and another sister’s birthday. After conference with the President we got to go eat dinner and they were ready for eggs and flour. I ended up with more flour than the two of them. But it was so fun! Then yesterday we were moving and today we are unpacking. Can I sleep yet? Ha-ha it’s been crazy! But so happy, I slept so good last night. There were no drunks in the road. No parties. No music. Just silence and darkness. And I was so tired ha-ha. But to my thought!

While I was packing up I found this quote from Dr. Seuss “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” And I thought “This is way too perfect for me” because I’m getting ready to finish. And I’ve thought “I’m just going to cry when I go. I don’t want to leave” but really we should just smile. What a blessing it’s been to have this moment in my life! I would never trade it for anything in the world! I would rather remember it with a smile than with tears. It was a good time, a great time! Give it what it deserves! Don’t forget that; don’t be sad if there’s an ending, be glad that you had it for while you had it! And get ready to embrace the change that comes! I love you all so much!

LOVE!

Hermana Irvine, Chuspiñawi

God is Good

Hey everyone! Hope all is well and that you’re all doing great!

So this week was rather…. I don’t know, it’s just been really cool this last transfer. I have seen a lot of miracles and I have seen the biggest one this week. I don’t have too much to say about this week, it’s basically been the same as other weeks, so we’re going to go right to my spiritual thought and the title of my email. This week I saw a miracle. Almost a miracle of miracles, but not quite. This week we went to go help a woman paint her store and we came back to eat lunch with Hermana Roxana, when she got a phone call. Here is what she heard on the phone call “Your brother just had an accident. The gas in his house exploded and his whole face (cara) is burned. You need to come now.” And she ran crying out the door looking for a taxi (thankfully our Branch Mission Leader was there and he took her) to take her to her brother’s house. We all sat there so scared and praying so much for her and her brother and his family. It’s just him, his wife, and their baby girl. So we called our penchinista’s daughter and told her to go with her mom and help her out. Afterwards we got a call back. Everything was fine. Or better said, everyone was fine. It was his whole house (casa) not his whole face (cara) that got burned. Her brother then had nothing, not even a shirt, or a bed or anything. Nothing for his baby, literally the clothes they had on their back and in their arms. It happened in seconds and could do nothing. But that was a miracle. None of them were burned or even hurt. We thanked God I don’t even know how many times for that miracle. Yesterday they had a fund raiser kind of thing and they got all the money they need. They are now doing a lot better. They were eating with us the past few days because they had nothing. And today I was listening to a song by Nashville Tribute called “God is Good.” and I love the words. It basically says that after all the hardships the pioneers had; God still was blessing them in their trials. That is through our trials we can be blessed. There was one line that I loved and it says “We’ve come so much farther than we ever thought we could. God is good.” And I just love that!!!! So be thankful for your trials and the little miracles that God brings your way, because they mean so much! LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!

LOVE!

Hermana Irvine

Dying? Who’s dying? It’s not me who’s dying……

HEY EVERYONE! Hope all is well with you guys, sorry I’m late, I was…. lost looking for a waterfall that really didn’t exist, but I’m here now!

Mom my legs look ugly and dead from the mosquito bites, but we’re healing them up with salt and water! All should be well, but it might take a bit!

I don’t really have a lot to say about this week, but I do need to mention something my comp did today. She asked me for my planner so she could decorate it and I said yeah cool! Do it! And I got it back. Who wants to guess what was on it? If you’re thinking temple and marriage…. wrong! If you’re thinking super missionary stuff, wrong again……… There are like 8 photos of batman on my planner. I almost cried and told her I would sleep with it at night, and I think she thinks I’m kidding……….. We’ll see what she things tonight ha-ha! This week has been great, we’re still working, Ana and Percy now have a tentative marriage date, the 17th of October (right before I go home!) And they are so ready to follow through with it! But we got to work hard, because right after we put the date, their son started having really weird medical problems and might have to travel to Cusco, HOPE NOT! That might affect a lot of things! So just keep them in your prayers please!

This week something that has been happening a lot is people saying “Hermana Irvine, you’re dying right?” and to a lot of people they think “WHAT?! DOES SHE HAVE CANCER!!??” but no, in the mission when you finish it’s called dying, and I have literally thought “ha-ha no  that’s in 9 months” but it’s a lot closer than I’ve realized (please, don’t make myself aware of this) but I’m putting in all my efforts to finish good, I’m ready to end this the way I started, STRONG! Love you all sooomuch! Thank you so much for everything!

Love Hermana Irvine, aka Chispuñawi

The Haka

Hey everyone! Love you all so so much! So glad to hear from all you and for the prayers I’ve gotten recently! They really mean so much! Before I continue, just want you to all know the strike has stopped (we ended with a total of 8 deaths and a man half beaten to death (possible by police) who is now in jail) but we are safe!

I’m writing really fast because we’re going to a waterfall today with our Zone (We’re actually going to do something this time! YES!) and we’re leaving at 2, so I’m running! But this week Hermana Tango left and I got Hermana GarcĂ­a and its super fun!  Hermana Tango and I cried a little bit when she left, and she’s called me since and she sounds like she really likes Siquani! So I’m happy for her! Hermana GarcĂ­a is helping heal my legs up real nice (because they are sooooooo ugly and dead) and she is helping me to stay focused! I’m the second person that’s she’s killed, so she knows what she’s doing! She’s great. Really. This week was mainly us trying to work a lot with the branch and help Vincente out a lot, but he’s doing great! All is great in Quillabamba! Now to my thought!

So first to be funny, Hermana GarcĂ­a came with a video of an elder doing the Haka (if you don’t know what that is, go watch Forever Strong and then come back) and we all became obsessed and we do it all the time now. So it’s funny to watch, but for my thought, the Haka is…. a lot of things, but the Tongans would do it when they went to battle to call upon their ancestors to help them in the battle (Noe don’t kill me if that’s wrong!) and I’ve been thinking about that a lot. We’re working in unity with our ancestors in this work to fight this final battle, we need all the help we can get, we got to work with our ancestors if we ever want to win, there’s a scripture in D&C that says we won’t be saved without our ancestors and it’s true, we got to keep that in mind and do our family history work to have them with us in the end. So we can all be together in the end, victorious. LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Thank you so much for everything and for the prayers!

LOVE!

Hermana Irvine

The Walking Dead

So to start off, today are transfers. Yes I am starting my last transfer of the mission. Oh. My. Gosh. Too crazy. But I now know where I’m going to die….. HERE IN QUILLABAMBA! YES! Hermana Tango got a transfer to Siquani with someone in her own group so she’s super happy and Hermana Rasmussen is going to Sacred Valley and she’s happy. But I’m super happy to die here! My wishes come true! My new companion is Hermana Garcia and I’m super excited to work with her! And for my week……… We’re still in strike. I won’t put in all the details here, my mom has them all, if we want to know, talk to me or my mom and she can send them to you, but…. it’s a little crazy. We have military here and AK-47s and everything so…. it’s been a party. But I feel like I’m in The Walking Dead. There’s the possibility of them attacking you if you walk out the door, all stores are closed unless you knock and can prove you’re not part of that group, the town square is closed down due to riots and they have threatened to burn down city hall if their demands are not met, cars are overturned the roads to block them off, people are burning tires in the road, and there have been 6 deaths. 4 of which are in connection with the strike and the others were killed due to vengeance because during a strike, if you die, there’s nothing you can do, so if you want you can rob and kill (which they’re doing) all you want and nothing will happen. Savages. The whole lot of them. Oh great… they’re screaming and yelling outside… Today someone knocked on the closed internet door and everyone jumped thinking someone was about to enter and throw us out into the street ha-ha what fun….. we’ve just been doing a lot of service inside houses and studying and just doing things we don’t really ever have time for ha-ha. But it’s all ok because we know the Lord is taking care of us and that all is in His hands we just need to trust in him. But.. prayers don’t hurt, so if you remember, please pray for us here in Quillabamba and Cusco! The strikers want to take the Airport, so it’s moving to Cusco! Thank you so much all of you for the prayers and the help you have already given! Love you all so much!

 

So my spiritual thought. It’s a thought I’ve had for almost a month now ever since the earthquake we had and now during the strike. And it’s something that one of my best friends has talked about before (yes, that’s you Noe!) and it’s: when the time comes and you have to grab the things you love most…. what will you grab? Do you have things you really need or is it just things you want? And I’ve been thinking about that so much. Like if Presdient decides in a moment’s notice that we need to leave Quillabamba because we don’t have food, or the strike is getting way too crazy, what would I grab? And I know what I would want: My scriptures, pictures of my family and friends, and some clothes and garments. I guess it’s easy as a missionary because you don’t have a lot, but this is something that I want to remember forever, the things that matter most to me. So remember that this week, do you have the things you love most right at hand? LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! You’re all in my prayers and I love you all so much!

 

LOVE!

 Hermana Irvine