Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sacrifices....this won't be my last lesson either!

But what has become of me…well I can make a wicked Poke Bowel (a Hawaiian dish of raw, fish normally Ahi tuna), I can wash dishes in record time, make small talk with anyone, and can juggle 2 jobs, Crossfit, and a long distance relationship like a pro. Am I tired? Yes…do I want this to be the rest of my life no!! I’m hoping to cut it down to one job, keep Crossfit, and finally have a normal close distance relationship (28 more days till I be in AZ).

This past month I got the chance to learn something that will help me later on down the road. I feel I have been able to learn the true meaning of sacrifice.  It’s something I taught many investigators. However, I was only able to share other peoples’ experiences. Now I finally have one of my own (that I’ll use when I go out with the missionaries).
As I was leaving the mission, I remember being told (by who I have no clue) the importance of being generous with your fast offering. Meaning, instead of thinking “So lets say I ate breakfast at McDonalds and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch…so I will give X amount for fast offerings.” But in turn think “I went to IHOP for breakfast and I got the decked out strawberries and cream pancakes with eggs and bacon and an extra side of hash browns because you know how I love me some potatoes and then for lunch you hit up Red Robin’s because their burgers are soooooo good and their bottomless fries are heaven…so I will give X amount for fast offerings.” See how your end up giving (maybe even sacrificing) more for your fast offering? Even President Kimball agrees with that stating, “ I think we should be very generous and give, instead of the amount we saved by our two meals of fasting, perhaps much, much more—then times more where we are in a position to do it.”
However, why do we really pay fast offerings? I mean, besides the obvious reason of helping those in need, why are we asked to give that money we would’ve used for two meals?? I couldn’t have put it better than Isaiah when he speaks about it in chapter 58, verses 8-11

 ¶Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.
 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
 10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
 11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

I’ll leave it to you to count the blessings promised to those who obey the law fast in those verses. I really want to focus on one promised blessing. “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, here I am.” Wow! I love that promise! In regards to this scripture, President Harold B. Lee said, “ Do we ever want to be in a condition where we can call and he WON’T answer? We will cry out in distress and he WON’T be with us? I think it is time we are thinking about these fundamentals because these are the days that lie ahead, when we are going to need more and more blessings of the Lord.” Um, yeah…who wouldn’t want to have the confidence that they could receive the Lord’s help when it’s most needed? I don’t know about you, but I sure would!

Then again, while the blessings to come are a bit motivating, we must always remember, what we do for our neighbor, we do unto the Lord. When we have others in mind as we pay our fast offering we end up helping ourselves. All in all, fast offering isn’t so much for others, but for us. To prepare us “for the day when the higher law, that of consecration, will again become the financial law of the Church through which we will properly take care of the poor. Until that time, it is our responsibility and blessings—as a matter of fact, our covenant—to give generously from our surplus to bless the poor.” (Fast Offerings: Fulfilling our Responsibility to others, Bishop Victor L. Brown)

So what was it that I learned for myself this month about fast offerings? Well, as I was getting ready to seal up the envelope that contained my tithing and fast offering, I got this feeling like it wasn’t enough. In my head I thought, “well, yeah that should be good enough” So I got up and went to do other things. As I was going along my business, that same feeling came back, but stronger. I walked back into the kitchen opened up the envelope, opened my wallet and just sat there thinking ‘how much is enough Lord?!’. I then proceeded to take the rest of the money (all from tips) and one by one put them into the envelope. Once I had put all my left over ones in that little grey envelope the feeling had left me. I cried a little…still not really sure why, maybe out of my own selfishness or just realizing how faithless I had been. Either way I was taught a valuable lesson on how I should never be greedy with my fast offerings. Sacrifices are not easy at all, but they bring many blessings down the road. Let’s not forget that this offering is a “freewill” offering…meaning its up to us to decide what is generous or not. Yet let us remember what the Prophets have said about this matter. But in the end it is you and the Lord, and with the guidance of the Spirit you will be able to determine what the right amount is for your fast offering.

Monday, September 14, 2015

I've been back for a while...3 months actually

So how is it being back home? Well it has been about 3 months! It feels weird and I still sometimes hesitate when I introduce myself as Robyn and NOT Sister Perez! In more detail, I got sick once I got home...and I mean the food here in AMERICA wrecked me! It was horrible and I didn't eat for like a week. Yes, I was missing all the beans and rice! Haha! I still am, but not as much. Did I cry once I got home? No...I think I did a really good job at preparing myself to come home. Reminding myself that I had done my best and that the Lord was happy for the work I did. I am glad my mission happened, and I'm going to use all the things learned throughout my life. However, I will not let myself be sad that its over, but happy and grateful it even happened!

Of course I still keep up my scripture study (which has been limited to 15 minutes) and my daily prayers are still going strong. I go out with the missionaries when I can, but it can be kind of hard since they are Elders and not sisters...ugh! 

I do have some huge news....about 3 days after arriving home I started talking to my now boyfriend...Jordan. Who just so happened to serve in the same mission as me but we never met each other until he was put into my zone his last 2 weeks (I went home 4 weeks after him). And since then he has been my best friend! It has been great with him...not easy at all since it is long distance, but he is worth it all. What is even better is that we help each other grow spiritually and it is almost like having a comp all over again (not to mention next year he'll be my eternal companion). Right now he's juggling college, basketball, and trips to see each other is rare. In fact all of our visits were done this summer. But thank goodness for Skype! Being so far from someone you love makes your heart hurt and we are both feeling it. But like that quote says "distance makes the heart grow fonder" heart is going to be pretty dang fond by the time we are finally together for good! And this circumstance is proof that I clearly need to continue to work on my patience. 

What am I doing with my life right now? Working and working out! haha! Yeah, you bet I got back into crossfit as soon as I settled down in Huntington Beach (with my big sis). I even started the Whole30! Work is work...but Crossfit and eating clean have been amazing! I love it and missed it a ton! I feel like myself again and this time I WILL GET ABS!! I've even taken up a new hobby making and selling weight lifting wrist wraps! (I can now add sewing to my wife/mommy resume!)

Welcome back to myself! 

             Stay tuned to read all about my adventures!

Monday, June 15, 2015

The End...

Sad. Happy. Tired. And excited. That’s how I feel. This week wasn't how I expected. I just wanted to work até o pó, but with my dog bite I could barely walk. It would swell up and start hurting again. But McPherson was awesome and not only was she my comp but my nurse. She woke me up at midnight and 6 to take my antibiotics, got all the things I needed and literally made me stop walking and lay in bed. I love her so much! Then I had some ‘self-sufficient’ class that all the "dying" missionaries (note: those who have finished their mission and are ready to return home) have to lasted all day. And then I got to stay with Sister Dickson, my MTC companion. The next day with the ‘dying’ (see note above) group, we all went to the temple and had lunch with Presidente Perrotti and his wife. We then talked about ‘after the mission’ stuff...and a lot about dating and marriage...woohoo...the "next step" according to President Perrotti. Then...thanks to me, the party had to end because I needed to leave to take my next rabies shot before the clinic closed. That same night, the Elders from our ward met us to go out for dinner...ah, I'm gonna miss them. The rest of the weekend was spent packing and getting my clothes ready to give away. The only thing I'm really bringing home are books in Portuguese!
It's so weird thinking about going to see my family! Like I feel like they are just virtual...ha, ha, ha, but really!! I forgot what it's like to physically be with them. But I can't wait to see them all.
Surprisingly, I'm not worried about the future. After the temple, I got a feeling that everything is going to be ok. I just need to always remember the things I learned out here on my mission. And even though I'm done being a full time missionary with a name tag sharing the gospel 24/7...I'm starting the new mission...being a full time member missionary, being an example of Jesus Christ 24/7!!
Bittersweet is a better word for how I feel. But let the next adventure start!
Com amor,
Sister Robyn Perez
My last District meeting

Eating is what we do best

Rosangela, the investigator that took me to the hospital and did my eyebrows!

Saying goodbyes

Last time going through the Campinas temple!

Lunch with the all the other dying missionaries

Getting my second rabies shot

Temple with one of my favorite families

Seeing old friends...makes my heart happy

Gu and Bella!

Vivian and Diego!

Getting egged because I'm leaving...haha what??

President and Sister Perrotti

Leaving the mission with my MTC comp

Saying goodbye to my family! #sad

Monday, June 8, 2015

3 Days, 4 Hospitals, Rabies Treatment and 35 Thousand Hits on Facebook…

Wow! Where do I even start! This week was just a bunch of crazy things and a lot more stories to tell to my future grandkids!
Let me start with the fact that my body is like trying to kill me off. One day we were running to grab a bus and my planner dropped, I turned around and MC (Sister McPherson) told me to keep going. So quickly turning around and not looking at where I was stepping, I stepped into a huge hole and the next thing I know, I was on the ground. I thought that for sure I either broke my wrist (because it had caught my fall and I fell hard) or that my ankle was broken....nope. I just scrapped my knee up. It was a milagre…Then we walked to the bus stop and caught our bus a little after.
Then, I finally went to the hospital to see a doctor about my migraines and got some meds. That just made me young again! The day after taking the meds, I worked the heck out of MC. We got 4 new investigators in one day and the next day we found 2 more! Talk about being on fire!!
Let’s not forget to add the fact that a member in the other ward posted on Facebook a video of me singing and it got like 7 thousand views in 2 days and by Sunday it was at 35 crazy!
So, our week was going really well...all until Friday night. Dun Dun Dunnnnnnnn
As we were walking back from Gabi's house (she wasn´t home) literally out of nowhere MC and I were attacked by a pack of stray dogs. One came up behind me and started growling at me and then he straight up tried to bite me. So naturally I hit him in the face with my planner…but as I was turned around another dog bit my leg. I didn’t even feel it, until some lady in the street started yelling at me saying that it was all my fault and that I went at the dog first. Yeah...we were totally on the other side of the street...and so I was trying to get her name and number, but she wouldn’t even give it to me and she just told me that they were stray dogs. At this point I look at my leg and just see blood. So I asked her for something to clean it up with and she tells me she can’t help me and I need to go to the hospital. So I might have yelled at her to get me a paper towel so I could clean up the blood and after about 3 times of asking she finally gets me some.
Then we were lucky that we were on the street of a member. We walked up to her house and told her son what had happened and she yelled for him to let us in. In the meantime, I called my DL and Sister Perrotti. Then I get it and just like Sister Perrotti, Irmã Regina tells me to hurry and go clean it up in the bathroom with soap and water. Irmã Regina gets me a new bar of soap and a clean towel and I start cleaning up the bite...It was like a my leg! Not big but nasty looking. Then she called Irmã Cida to take us to the hospital. We went to the first one and a lady doctor sees me. She doesn’t even clean me up and tells me I need the rabies shot. She then looks at the bite, pinches it shut and tells me she can’t stitch it up because it’ll look ugly.
Then we start looking for a post (it’s what they call it here) to get the rabies shot. We were out of luck because it was a holiday and everything closed early. So off to another hospital we go...and here we walk in and Irmã Cida asks to talk to the nurse to see if they have the shot. This crazy nurse said I probably don’t need it, but I should see the doctor...we didn’t stay because there were about 80 people waiting. So we called Sister Perrotti again and she found a hospital but I would have to go there the next day. We get dropped off at home. Being a holiday weekend, I was sure we weren’t going to find someone who could take us to I called my District Leader. He called around and after 5 minutes he tells us that one of MY ex-investigators was on her way to take me to the hospital. Rosangela came and picked us up and we went to Santa Casa (another hospital) there I walked right in and saw a male doctor (which I am now convinced that they take better care of their sick people), He looks at it, says he would like to stitch it up but can’t because of the bacteria that is there. He says that they too have run out of the rabies shot, so they called UNICAMP (the best med school in Campinas, maybe Brasil) to see where I can get it and how getting these rabies shots will be handled, since I am leaving the country in a week. He was really nice. They set us up with a place that gives the shots, marked an appointment for Tuesday, and told us we need to get a stamp indicating I started here (Brasil) and need to finish in the states...they gave me a shot for the pain and then they cleaned up the bite. I also got antibiotics that I have to take every 6 hours. After that, Rosangela took us home at around 11 pm. We waited a little and then ate and I took my antibiotic and then we both passed out (not literally, just from exhaustion). The next day, being Sister Perez, I didn’t cancel our appointment with the Bishop’s wife and we left the house at 9:30...saw a less active and then went to lunch. After that MC would not let me keep we had to go back home. SAD...but I needed to rest. And we haven’t worked since Friday...and yes it killed me a little...but I really shouldn’t be walking. But I was happy I got to talk with 5 people in the hospital about the church!
So not only am I now famous for my FB video...but my dog bite...and I’ll never forget about Valinhos with the scar I’m gonna be left with.
Sister MC thinks I’m crazy…because out of our crazy Friday night I told her how we could use that experience in a lesson. So, there is only 1 true and living church. And that church has direct contact with God. Some churches can get you close to the truth, but won’t get you all the way there. Just like the 2 hospitals I first went to. They only helped me a little. But the last one I went to, gave us all the information we needed to be saved or rabies free. And they were able to help because they had the straight connection to UNICAMP. I just love putting the gospel to everyday things!
Even though I won’t be able to work as I would like...I still know I am giving my all...or at least all that I am able to do. I’m just gonna try to make it home in one piece. I might be crawling or limping, but Ill finish the mission out strong!
Keep the faith and fight a good fight meu povo!
Com Amor,
Sister Perez
Coming back to our area from our Zone meeting

Its secretly a ninja turlte

nothing beats buying your fruit from the side of the road

These grapes were smelt so good and tasted even better

Just some future missionaries!


That time I became famous on Facebook

And then I got bit by a dog

Just chatting with the nurse as she cleans me up was a great night

How do we make things better...order pizza! Duhh!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Walking Dead?

Things with Gabi have being going really well. We got her to church!!! And then there was a baptism after and she just loved it!!! She even knew one of the YW!!! She will be getting baptized.
I never thought that being at the end of the mission would be so hard. It is more of a fight inside. You want to go home...but you want to stay. You want to give 110% (because you’ve given that your whole mission) but now you can’t because your body can’t keep up. You spend your whole mission going at the pace of other people and then you have to readjust to your own pace at the end. Sister Perrotti found out about how much back pain and how many migraines I’m getting, so she sent me to the doctor today....just got a few pain pills. And then it all goes back to knowing where you stand with the man in charge. Prayer. I’ve spent a lot of time doing that. Talking to Heavenly Father to just give me strength. It helped that my Elders gave me a blessing. I know that I’ll finish strong. We will see milagres...we just need to keep on trucking.
A lot didn’t really happen this week...sorry!
Sister Perez
Another huge Brazilian hotdog!

Morning runs to cool places

Eating always

Seriously...eating pizza is what we do best

Chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side