Hola Family! Happy New Year! Or as they say here... ¡Feliz año!
Last week was really sad to leave Sicuani... we ran aroudn like CRAZY trying to say goodbye to everyone! It was sad, but I feel like what I was there to do was done and there really is something great for me to do here in Cusco.
This new sector is AMAZING. SOOOOO different than Sicuani, it´s crazy. I still don´t fully comprehend it all yet... I was in this little town where everyone new each other and I came to know every street corner, every drunk, every dog, every owner of every store... and now I am in CUSCO, the heart of Peru! It´s huge. There´s lots of really big buildings, tons of tourists, cars!... It´s like I´m going through another culture shock haha. It´s crazy and I love it! This first week has been way crazy. So you asked what "opening a new sector" really means. Well, let me explain:
1. You don´t have a home. So you sleep on the floor for a week in the other sisters´ apartment (8 girls in one place... yes it´s insane.) So you have to take a taxi to your area everyday.
2. You are the first hermana´s in the area for a reallllly long time! Everyone we have met from the ward has been SO excited to meet us and say, "WOW, it´s been forever since we have had hermanas in our area!"
3. You don´t know ANYONE or ANYTHING. Therefore you have to meet everyone and learn everything! Luckily we have two amazing elders in our ward (more on that later) and INCREDIBLE members helping us (more on that later too).
4. Area book. Yeah that thing is empty.
We aren´t completely starting from scratch with this area because there have been elders here forever, but we are just added to the ward with them, so we have to start our own area book. What´s hard is that neither my companion or I know this area or anyone that lives here. That is really what opening a sector is. They put two new missionaries in an area to start from scratch, or almost scratch. But honestly, although it´s been a crazy week and it´s a little overwhelming to be in this crazy, yet amazing new city... I have seen INCREDIBLE blessings and miracles here. Do you want another list? Okay fine:
1. We found a house! This was probably the greatest miracle of this week! We thought we found a place in a perfect location, perfect size, perfect everything! We went to check it out with the Elders and the owner... and while we were there, everything looked perfect, yet felt so wrong. We walked away all with a bad feeling, like it just wasn´t right. Yet we didn´t know where else to look! We prayed and began a fast to be able to find an apartment. We had that same bad feeling about that apartment and both really felt like there was something better we would find. We followed those feelings we had and decided to turn down that apartment and continue looking, trusting that the Lord would put something in our path. My comp has been sick the past few days, so our dear Zone Leaders went out in the rain ALL day friday to look for a place for us to live. We continued to pray for a miracle that day. At aboutthat night, the Elders called us and told us a miracle happened! They found an apartment in a perfect location, right next to our pensionista and the Elder´s house. It really was a miracle. We also found out some crazy things about the owner of the first apartment we looked at. I´ll spare the details, but it is a place we would never want to live, nor will we ever live there. I am grateful for the guidance of the spirit, and the power of prayer and fasting. I believe Heavenly Father was truly guiding us and protecting us and prepared an amazing place for us to live!
2. Everyone loves us! Seriously, everyone is stoked to have sisters in the ward! The releif society president is stoked to work with us and we have already recieved countless references and offers from members to come with us to teach.
3. I am convinced we have the GREATEST ward in... well, the world. I have been completely SHOCKED at how incredible everyone is here. Ward mission leaders actually exist? Members actually WANT to come teach with us? Ward council... it´s possible to be under an hour... AND effective? We have a family history specialist... for our WARD? An attendance of 102 at church is low? Yes, it is all shocking, and such a blessing. It´s the ward of my dreams! These people are truly catching the vision of the Work of Salvation.
4. I got placed with the greatest companion ever! Hermana Thompson is incredible! She is so sweet and such a hard worker. She is so positive, yet realistic. She listens to my dumb stories and is so patient with my spanish... even when it takes my a year to get my point accross. She is uplifting and truly a blessing. I am so grateful to be with her here! I really feel like this companionship was inspired and we are meant to be in this area. I´m so excited to see what is to come in this new sector. Especially now that things are calming down and we have a house... we can REALLY get to work and start visiting all these amazing people in cusco!
I love Cusco! It is definitely different than Sicuani in EVERY WAY, but I am already falling in love with the people and the environment here. I know that this is where Hermana Thompson and I are supposed to be right now. We have amazing Zone Leaders and a District Leader, Pensionista, and Ward. They have helped us SO much!!
Welcome to CUSCOTOPIA!!!
"Venid a Cristo... llegar a ser como Cristo."