Monday, July 30, 2012


  Aren't we so cute? Sister Lucas is getting so big she's already been out for 3 months!

 Isle De Montreal Zone in the Botanical Gardens. Such a peaceful place in downtown Montreal!

Hello my wonderful friends and family!
I got some shocking news this Saturday for transfer calls. I am leaving my gorgeous greenie baby and Sister Cantu to flush into a French ward in the same area. It's an area called Hochelaga and I'm surprisingly pretty excited! I'm sad that I can't keep improving my Spanish for the time being, but I'm happy that I'll get to improve my French. Maybe I mentioned too many times that I wanted to speak to my babies in French. I also found out that I will be learning French sign language for an investigator who is deaf. I'm pretty excited! I feel like the Lord is blessing me with a new experience. I will be with a veteran named Sister Sandoval, who I actually met one time before the mission. New  adventures up ahead!

This week we laughed a lot. Actually I feel like the theme of my mission has been laughter. I feel like even when things get really hard we can still laugh. I love that about this work, even the really hard days we still have so much to rejoice over. One thing that we certainly could not stop laughing about happened on Tuesday. We decided to go over and help our beautiful Tatiana with some cleaning. She is 7 months pregnant and is running around like a crazy trying to clean every nook and cranny of her cozy little apartment. She's a doll! She asked us to move some boxes into the basement of her apartment. So we all go down and she's locking the door and for some reason that we're all still unaware of, Sister Lucas pulled the fire alarm. Yeah! She pulled the FIRE ALARM! As I watched her pull it I kept thinking...there's no way. No. Yes way. She pulled it. Tatiana started freaking out and Sister Cantu and I just stared at her with our mouths wide open. So all the neighbors are running around like crazies and poor little Tatiana is telling everyone it was her fault. Oh it was crazy! Even Sister Lucas isn't sure why she pulled it....we've been doing our best to keep her away from fire alarms. Aye-yi-yi.

This week my Spanish was rocketing. Really. I felt pretty good...until Friday. On Friday we had a lesson with a less Active named Jelmo. Yeah the Elders told us his name was Salmon. And then I thought it was Elmo and then Jelmon. It's a hard name. Anyway we went to see Jelmo on Friday and he is probably the most hospitable person we know. He always has some amazing juice that's he's blended and some little treat to eat with it. On this occasion he was blending berries and bananas and he said, "Hermana Perkins deseas galletas con sucre?" (Do you want crackers and jam?") And I heard, "Sister Perkins have you ever had crackers and jam. So in my cute gringa-ness I said, "No! Nunca!" and I waved my hands to emphasize never. My companions both looked at me like I was bonkers and then I realized that he asked if I wanted some. I felt pretty stupid. Oh I'm going to miss making a fool out of myself in Spanish:)

This week we had the opportunity to attend Zone Leader Council which is always amazing because it reminds me of how amazing this work is. 19 and 20 year boys run the Lords vineyard! Crazy! Anyway, Sister Cannon gave us a training on committing people for baptism on our first lesson with them and then mentioning baptism to everyone we talk to. So later that day after we had been sufficiently jazzed we went and tried it. The first door we knocked on a little Haitian man opened and we said, "Hi we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We're here to teach people about baptism." This turned into a 20 minute conversation about baptism and a return appointment. Incredible! It was such a testimony to me that I need to be more willing to invite others to come unto to Christ through baptism. I'm a missionary that's my job! It was a really neat testimony fortifying kind of experience. 

So this morning we joined a few of our fellow missionary friends and had a devotional on top of Mount Royal. In the next three transfers we have some 60 missionaries leaving our mission. It's so depressing. I'm going to miss them so very much. They are more than my friends, they are my comrades. We fought this war together and it just won't be the same. But the Lord will send others of this I am certain. This morning I was studying in the Words of Mormon and I was thinking about this new challenge. New area, new companion, new ward, new language(s), so many things. It should be overwhelming, but for some reason it's not. I feel so peaceful. I know that the Lord will help me. I was so happy this morning when I was reading and read the following: And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will. I think that's were the source of all peace comes from. Knowing that we don't have to know everything, but because He does we will be more than okay. Life is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably actually a salesman, NOT a missionary. We get that a lot. But I know without a shadow of a doubt that if we turn to the Lord and put all of our worries, and disappointments in His hands he will make the wrong right again. I know that. My testimony has become this very near and dear thing to me, like that cozy blanket you can sleep without. I need this gospel. I love this gospel. 

I wish you a happy week. I pray that you will remember to you are loved. That you are perfect. And that he is watching over you. 

I love you.

Hermana Perkins (for just a couple of days longer)

Monday, July 23, 2012

 Isn't she radiating goodness?!

 The lovely Tatiana and Sebastian. Oh we love them!

It's kind of ridiculous how much we eat. 

How is everyone doing? I'm doing really well. We had a BAPTISM on Saturday!!!! It was so neat to see our little Tatiana in all white. Oh she was so beautiful! 

This week we were doing a lot of knocking as usual. And lucky for us we had a member with us so we were able to split up into two teams. So, Sister Cantu and I went and knocked a building  and the first door we knocked was a woman from El Salvador. We talked for a second at the door and then she let us in. We taught her about the Restoration and it was almost too good to be true. Then I offended her. Okay not really, but almost. As we were getting up to leave I noticed her El Salvadorian flag and so I tried to compliment it. The only problem was that I couldn't remember the Spanish word for flag (bandera), I could only remember the French word for flag (drapeau). So in my awesome French/American/Spanish accent I said "Me gusta su drapeau." She thought I said "su trapo" which I'm told means rag. She looked at me for a second like are you for real, and then after she realized I'm just a little Jesus-loving-Gringa she laughed and asked where I came from. I'm glad that I'm the endearing little gringa who makes a fool out of myself ALL.THE. TIME. Good to be charming:)

So baptism!!!! Tatiana was so ready for the day. Actually she was ready about two weeks ago, but we still had a lot to teach her. She was beaming! After she changed into a beautiful white dress and sat down you could see her antsiness, later she told us she was just so excited she wanted to jump in the water. We went back to the font so we could do a quick towel hand off and as Elder Call said the prayer the spirit was so strong that we couldn't believe it. When she came out of the water we all cried and hugged our very wet very clean Tatiana. It was beautiful. I have loved this experience of teaching her. Tatiana's conversion reminds me of a song Sister Chadburn and I used to listen that says something about conversion being more like "falling in love, than something to believe in. And more like losing my heart than giving my allegiance." I've learned so much from watching her change. Our testimonies are more than just a belief it's a way of living. And watching her walk out of the water reminded me that we all have the opportunity to be clean and that feeling is worth waiting for. 

This week I've really been missing Ottawa. A lot. I think I left my heart there. Or at least a piece of it. Oh how I miss that beautiful city. I just keep reminding myself that it took me a while to really feel like Ottawa was home. But now I just want to go back. Don't get me wrong I love my area and our little investigators but Ottawa is where I learned to be a real missionary. 

If I had a favor to ask of you this week it would be to please, please, please pray for our little investigators. Our mission currently has 30 people committed for baptism for this week and last weekend. We would really love for all of those children to be able to enter the waters of baptism. But we need your prayers. 

This week in personal study I finished the whole conference edition of the Ensign. It was sad. I love Conference!!! I really loved all of the talks from the young women's broadcast and I especially loved President Monson's council in his talk about obeying and enduring.
"I have spoken over the years with many individuals who have told me, “I have so many problems, such real concerns. I’m overwhelmed with the challenges of life. What can I do?” I have offered to them, and I now offer to you, this specific suggestion: seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one day—and then one more and then one more after that—until we’ve lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit, a lifetime close to the Lord, a lifetime of good deeds and righteousness. The Savior promised, “Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life." Our goal is eternal life. That really struck me as I watched Tatiana make the first covenant with Heavenly Father this weekend. It was such a tender reminder that we all have to take it a day at a time and in the end we can inherit Eternal life.

I wish I had more to say. I feel like a lot of what happens is too sacred, or too impossible to explain in words. But I know that the Lord lives. I know he loves me. and I know that this is where I need to be. Thank you for your love. Your prayers. Your support. I need them and oh how I pray for you.

Sister Perkins

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hello my dearlings!
Rain, rain everywhere! I can't believe how much rain we've had here and it sounds like you've had rain there! Oh my goodness! I love the rain. Except for when it makes everything hot and muggy:( 

I got the most beautiful package in the mail today. Holy smokes! You really spoiled me! So many beautiful things! I'm one lucky Sister:) Packages and snail mail mean so much to a little Sister! Many many many thanks! Beautiful!

This has been a really crazy week and it's about to get crazier because we have a baptism this weekend. Our lovely little Tatiana is going to be getting baptized this weekend and I'm so excited. But more than me she is beyond enthused! She can't wait. I love baptisms!

This week was once again a very crazy and as always bizarre. I. Love. My. Life. Really! It's so awesome the amount of crazy things we see in a week. This week we went to the home of one of the recent converts in the ward. He is in his 60's and suffers from epilepsy, it's made him slightly different, but he is oh so kind. But everytime we go to his house I cannot control myself. I laugh and laugh. Most of the time I don't even know why I'm laughing. So last week I decided that I would do my very best to keep a straight face. I prayed and prayed that somehow I could be able to keep it together. Well, we sat down and for some reason he started telling his parents (who are not members) that I'm from Ohio and that I speak AMAZING spanish for someone from Ohio. Well, as you can guess my poker face didn't last too long. I've never even been to Ohio. And no matter how many times I tried to tell him I was from Utah he insisted that I was from Ohio. The things I learn about myself. 

On Friday we had a dinner appointment with one of the families in our ward. Their an older couple in their 60's from Mexico. For some reason most of our dinner appointments include us eating by ourselves and the family watching us. It's pretty weird. I've never eaten with an audience before. But I must say my poise for Sisters is rocking! You should see the way I rock table manners. Anyway, so the Sister comes in with a bowl of soup and then the plate of food, she sets it in front of us and goes into the living room and sits down. Her husband turned on elevator music and sits down in another chair and then we realized that they were both asleep. Sound asleep. REM cylce sleep. It was incredible. So we ate  and sat there for a while. Then Sister Lucas said, "So what do we do in these situations?". Sister Cantu and I laughed because honestly these situations don't usually happen. Eventually their daughter walked in and woke them up so we didn't have to. It was pretty memorable. 

This week I've been studying the pamphlets that we hand out to our investigators. I realized a couple days ago that it's kind of hypocritical to have my investigators study the pamphlets if I never have myself. So as I've been reading I've realized a lot of small simple truths that have really strengthened my testimony. This week I was reading in the Restoration pamphlet and I was answering the little questions in the back of the pamphlet and marking the scriptures, and I was really struck by a scripture in Malachi 2:10  that says, 
"Have we not all one Father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?"
It really struck me. I've thought about these questions a lot. It has made me really think about the way I treat everyone. My own family. My friends. My investigators, companions, strangers I meet on the metro. I think if we could really embody the answers to these questions we would always treat others kindly.  Never forget that you are a child of God, as such your family is all around you. That is something I've learned on my mission. I have family everywhere. Family from Haiti, Ottawa, France, Switzerland, Tahiti, Colombia, Mexico, Ivory Coast, China, Montreal, Utah...Ohio. Family is the most precious word to me. I love my family. They have brought me immense joy, immense love, and undeniable happiness. Have we not all one Father?

I hope that you all have a lovely week. Enjoy the beautiful summer rain. Play in the puddles. Eat watermelon. Smell those gorgeous roses in the backyard. And when you look up remember there is someone always watching over you. 

I love you.

Sister Perkins

Monday, July 9, 2012

How is everyone doing? We're are enjoying cozy warm sunny days here in Montreal. It's actually pretty nice right now. It's hard to believe that in just a couple months we'll be layering on the sweaters again:( Boo! to winter. But for now we will bask in the warm summer sun and pretend like winter will never come:) 

This was an interesting week with too many peaks and valleys to count. But it wasn't unbearable in any sense. Because we are doing the Lord's work, we are entitled to the Lord's help. And as always we laughed so much along the way. No matter how often we got told "No." or smurfed, or avoided, we found reasons to laugh. I thank the Lord every night that Sister Cantu and I have Sister Lucas to make us laugh. 

This week while we were knocking, we knocked into a Peruvian woman who had a big dog. Me, being the uber-enthusiastic gringa said loudly, "Que bonito su Pedro!" Yeah. I know the word is Perro, but for the life of me I can't say that word. Pero. Pedro. Pedo.....It's going to take some work.  My goal is to not sounds like a fool the next time I say it. Don't worry mom,   I'll try to make you proud.

This week we also got lost for almost 2 hours with one of our members. After we had been smurfed yet again, this cute little 65 year old member said, "I know! We'll go visit my friend. She's not a member and I know she wants to hear the gospel." We asked her for the address so we could put it into our GPS. "No se preocupan, Hermanas" She insisted that she knew the way. Well, I started driving and she talked, and talked, and talked for a good 35 minutes. We were getting close to our area boundaries and she insisted it was still a good 20 minutes, so we had her call her friend who actually lived 20 minutes in the other direction from where we originally started. So we drove back in the other direction and ended up getting to the friend of the friends house because she didn't actually know where they lived. This friend showed us where the other friend lived and when we finally got there they yelled and banged on the door...and wouldn't you know it? Norma was on vacation. After we dropped the little members off we promptly went and bought ice cream, for it's healing properties to heal days gone awry. 
Yesterday  I was told about 2 minutes before sacrament meeting that I would be giving a five minute missionary moment in sacrament meeting. My stomach dropped because as the Pedro incidence indicates my Spanish isn't amazing yet. Well, I talked to the Lord all during Sacrament and as soon as the speakers were announced I walked up bore my testimony and sat down. Both of my companions had eyes as big as saucers. "That was perfect!" It was all the Lord. I'm here to tell you the gift of tongues is real.  

Tatiana is doing amazing! Oh my goodness! I love Tatiana! She will be getting baptized in two weeks from Saturday and she can hardly wait. Yesterday she practically bolted to us to show us her new Book of Mormon triple and mini Spanish Hymn book. It was a beautiful thing to see her so happy with her new books. This week she is going to set up an appointment for us to start teaching her Mama. We are so thrilled!

This week was one of those trial of my faith kind of weeks. But the Lord was there, as always. It seemed like no matter how hard or long we worked nothing worked out. At night I would talk to the Lord and never ask why, but just talk to Him. I always feel like Heaven is so near than when I'm praying after a long day. There are times in those really tender moments that I can feel His warm embrace and I know that I am His. Yesterday we were planning a spiritual thought and my companion, the lovely Sister Cantu, shared this scripture 

  24 Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock—

 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.

 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand—

 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.

And then she shared that just because we are members of the church it doesn't mean things will always be rosy. This scripture teaches us that the rains will still come, but if we are built upon a firm foundation, our testimony rooted in the Savior, we won't be washed away in sorrow when those rains come. I've been studying the Book of Mormon in Spanish and this week I was stunned to see how many things I learned differently from reading in Spanish. In 2 Nephi 2:25 says "Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy." I always took this to mean that because of Adam's fall we should all be walking around with big grins on our faces all of the time. But as I read in Spanish I realized what this scripture is saying is that because of the fall of Adam we will know joy, because we also know pain and sorrow. Each trial brings us closer to better understanding why Adam's fall is so important, so afterwards we can experience joy. 

I hope you have so much joy this week! And if you don't feel it this week I know it is on it's way. We are here to feel joy! If you can't find it look in the scriptures, talk to the Lord in prayer, listen to the speakers at church. Joy is all around us. 

I love you!
Sister Perkins

Monday, July 2, 2012

It sounds like everyone is doing really good and is busy busy busy! It's good to be busy:) I can't believe it's July! I can't believe how fast everything has zipped by this year. I feel like time is flying at an alarming rate, but I'm so grateful for the time I get to spend here in Canada. I also can't believe it's almost the 4th! Make sure to have fun swimming and BBQing for me:) 

This week was good! We were running around like chickens with our heads cut off, but all in all it was so nice to be so busy. We've been getting to know the families and members here in the ward and that to me makes all of the difference in my area. I love the members! They are so kind and don't worry mom we have a dinner appt. EVERY DAY. I'm a little scared. But they are just so happy to have sisters they don't know what to do with themselves. It's good to be loved:)....I just hope I don't have to roll home. 

On that note let me tell you about my first legit Spanish ward D.A. So, we had just finished metro contacting with the A.P.'s and were running behind schedule so we grabbed our car and put the members address into the GPS. Problem number 1: the address didn't exist in our GPS. I have a love/hate relationship with Bonnie our GPS. She is always getting us lost and last week even took us off of the Island. I nearly died. Anywho. So we can't find this house and we call the members who apparently thought we said we would be there an half hour earlier than we actually said so they were already super bugged. Problem 2. So we race (going the speed limit) over there and finally after coaxing Bonnie into doing here job find their house. When we got there they were super happy to have us. And they ushered us in to sit at the table. I look at the table and there are 5 large plates of some yellow looking stuff. It looked like really thick nacho cheese:) So we sit down and the cute little sister says, "Potatoes and my special cheese sauce." Problem 3: Sister Lucas is lactose intolerant. But at this point it was too late, so my brave little greenie baby starts downing that thing. Problem 4: No sooner than my first bite she sets down another plate covered in rice, potato salad, and steak. I instantly start praying. Every bite= another prayer answered. I ate the whole plate of cheese potatoes and started on my second meal. I was struggling hardcore and the little sister says, "Oh I forgot to tell you, you don't have to eat everything." Almost in unison we all put our forks down, like little white surrender flags.I was so happy I nearly started crying. Problem 5: Dessert. She brings out a huge bowl of fruit for each of us and at this point everyone is bursting at the seems. But I'm proud to say I ate most of it. I still can't believe we survived. But bless that family for their generosity. Pray for me. 

Another blessing in this area is an investigator named Tatiana. She is pretty much as golden as they come. We've taught her a couple of times and were unsuccessful to commit her for a date. But this week we started the Plan of Salvation and decided to teach it in two parts the first part was up until our life here on Earth and she nearly died when she realized that we weren't going to finish. She's a seeker. So, we left her the pamphlet and told her to read ahead. When we got to her house on Friday she was busy making us banana bread. This woman is so generous. She basically only has enough food for her and her son, but she never let's us leave without something. They are usually small somethings, but they always make us feel so loved. Since she was baking she told us to teach her little boy named Sebastian (who I lovingly refer to in my head as Chancho). After our lesson with Chancho, Tatiana shoos him away and completely breathless tells us she read the pamphlet and she knows it's true. Then she told us about a dream she had about 6 months ago about the Plan of Salvation. She said this is exactly what she has been looking for and she knows the Lord showed it to her earlier so she would recognize it now. Needless to say we were all crying. As soon as we collected ourselves she said, "So what do you think? Two weeks?" At this point we were speechless and could only nod our heads in agreement. She pulled out her calender and felt drawn to July 21st. We could not be more happy! She is also so excited because she will be having another baby in October and she was beaming when she found out her baby could be blessed in our church. Oh I love her! 

For the past 4 months I've spent a lot of time studying the state of our heart in relation to our conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's kind of been puzzling to me how to maintain that change. I felt like there were times in my mission when my heart was so tender and others when it wasn't. And I realized that whatever it takes I want to stay tender to the Lord. This morning I recieved an answer to my prayers. I was studying the new conference talks and it kind of just hit me all at once when I realized that the way we preserve a change of heart is. I started thinking about how in the Book of Mormon different people have these mighty changes of heart and that once they do all they want to help other people. Then I realized that the only way we can preserve our own change of heart is by helping others do the same. By being personal by really being human. It reminds me of when the Lamanites begin to preach to the apostate Nephites. Their hearts were so hard, but in the end they were the ones trying to soften the hearts of their brethren. Helaman 15:4 says, 
But behold my brethren, the Lamanites hath he hated because their deeds have been evil continually, and this because of the iniquity of the tradition of their fathers. But behold, salvation hath come unto them through the preaching of the Nephites; and for this intent hath the Lord prolonged their days. 
The Lord prolonged them because of their service to the Lamanites and through their service to their bretheren. Don't forget that missionary work is more than sharing the gospel with those who have never heard it. It includes rescuing those who have strayed too. And as a missionary I can tell you if the members were more involved in helping those who have strayed  we could do more for those who have not heard this message. 

I hope you are doing well. I hope you remember how much I love you. I hope that you have a great week and that you don't get invited to 7 Spanish D.A.'s. Kidding:) 

I love you!
Sister Perkins