Thanks so much for the pictures! love them :)
It was fun talking to the family last night! It´s so weird to think that life is just going on like normal at home.. This feels like normal life here in chiclayo now.
First off, transfer news.... I´m staying here with elder Thomson. I´ll have been here six months! And i´ll complete a year in the mission in only two proselyting areas! haha not many changes.. But my whole district is being totally changed, our zone is being divided, so now i´ll be district leader of only two other companionships. No worries about the package. If you want to get the info to me quick, just post it on Hna Graciela´s facebook and i´m sure she´ll tell me about it. In english is fine.
I´m so glad everyone in the family is doing well, and that you had such a great christmas! I´m glad you went with the byu shirt idea for the picture, but i wish i could have been in it! Dad is so skinny! just like me :)
The investigators are doing great! we´re going to invite a family to be baptized tonight i think, and we´re super happy about the baptisms we´ve been able to have. Six more weeks in Los Amautas, i´m going to work as hard as i can to baptize all these people we´ve been teaching forever! I´m out of time, we got back super late from our activities today and i only have half hour for internet.
I love you family!
Monday, December 26, 2011
Thanks so much for the pictures! love them :)
Monday, December 19, 2011
First of all, you´ve been getting all of my photos, right? This week may or may not work, this computer i´m on is ghetto. The computer place we usually go to was full and we didn´t want to wait.
Everything is going great with elder Thomson, there are a few things i´m really working on with him, number one is his spanish.. And i´m going to help him start studying more effectively, too. We get along great, he´s really a good missionary
Bad news, Estefany´s mom isn´t going to let her be baptized this week. it´s so so so so so frustrating, and has been happening a lot to us lately where the parents initially support everything and then last minute decide their kids can´t get baptized. But Estefany has a really strong testimony and talked with the bishop, and some ladies from the young womens presidency are going to go talk with her mom. She´s not letting her be baptized because she says that Estefany hasn´t changed enough and isn´t ready to accept God. We´ll see though, because from what i´ve seen, Estefany has had one of my most special conversion experiences of all! We´re praying lots.
Elder Uceda coming was awesome. First of all his wife spoke to us and chastised us for standing up when he walked in and told us we should only stand up for the quorum of the 12 and the first presidency. Then she and elder uceda in turn talked in depth about obedience and basically everything imaginable. Elder uceda talked alone for 2 hours and 15 minutes. I got to shake his hand and tell him my name, but after everything elder Thomson got a 1 on 1 interview with him for like 10 minutes.
That´s funny that in paraguay they paint all the houses around christmas, because it´s the exact same here! EVERYONE paints their houses to start the new year, it´s a suspicion thing. In our house we´re painting because their son comes home this saturday and hna Graciela wants everything to be perfect!
No package yet... I´m anxiously waiting!
My time frame to call is Sunday afternoon. I´ll get to call and set a specific time beforehand! and no skype because it´s sunday and so we can´t go to an internet place, and we´re not allowed to use members´ computers. bummer.
All the stuff with dad is crazy, it seems like a dream to me because i just hear little reviews of each week. That must be so hard and frustrating for everyone! I wish i were there so i could help drive dad around and everything. I´ll be praying a lot for you dad! I can´t believe you´ve lost 60 pounds! I want pictures of you! And just in general, i want pictures from the fam!
Christmas eve we´re going to spend like the whole day as a mission in the institute building doing skits, eating, etc. Sunday there´s only an hour of church and i´m not sure what we´re going to be doing.
Stuff that i´ve done lately.. I played the piano in the primary program last week, i forgot to tell you about that. I played i love to see the temple and if i listen with my heart, it´s a new song. I also directed the priesthood choir for our christmas program and played the piano in priesthood, oh elders of israel. (had to include the piano stuff to make mom happy :) ) Also, elder Thomson and I gave talks in sacrament meeting. It´s the third talk i´ve given on missionary work in the same ward.. You´d think they would be sick of me speaking by now. I´m sure they are. But i make my talk different every time. This one was the most generic, because i´m running out of stories to tell them! We´ve found a few cool families lately, i´m excited to work with them! And on sunday we had 7 investigators in church! That´s my second to highest, one time elder Insaurralde and i had 10! But we were happy with 7.
In my voice recording i complain a lot, but don´t worry, i was half joking.. And the bug bites i have all over me i´m beginning to think is an allergic reaction, because nobody else is getting bitten and they´re in places where bugs can´t reall bite me. It may be from the laundry detergent.. i don´t know.
There are transfers the 27th, i´ll know what´s happening the 26th when i email the fam. It´s almost sure that elder Morales will be transferred. He´s been in Los Incas for like 6 months. I´ve been here for 4 already! I´m sneaking up on 11 months! WOWWW time goes by so fast! I don´t even want to think about being half done!
Oh, mom asked me about a manger scene from Peru. Yes they have them, but it´s far away and would cost a lot to send it. It´s super expensive to send stuff from here to the US, so maybe next year i can buy one and we can take it home with us!
I love the mission so much, I love the person i´m becoming, and the changes i´ve made in how i act, and who i want to be when i get back home. I love the family, and i´ll be thinking of you lots on christmas, missing the snow and mom´s legendary casserole on christmas morning with the cinnamon pull apart things and orange juice. (yes mom, i miss your cooking)
In my studies i´ve been reading the Gospels. I´m getting started on john (i had to think for a while to translate Juan to john haha) and i´ve loved studying the life of christ! Today i read and really liked John 3:19-21. I also finished the book of mormon a while ago in spanish, i don´t know if i ever told you that. it took me about six months. I read my Book of mormon study manual along with it too. I love the book of mormon. This letter is really long, and i just realized i forgot to individually answer the sisters who wrote me a few weeks ago, i´m sorry! But just love me and i´ll talk to you soon!
My bible is dying
Monday, December 12, 2011
Wow what a week of craziness! Let´s start from the beginning. (a very good place to start)...
Monday we got the news that elder Hurst would be transferred, so at night we were bummed but went to our appointments with Estefany and Victoria and their family, and Cristian and Mario. We had fasted for Estefany (15) that she would be able to go to church (she works every sunday morning) and monday night she told us that she was able to get sunday mornings off of work and was super excited to go to church and asked us when she could get baptized!! It´s a rule that they have to attend church at least two times before being baptized, so we scheduled the 23rd as her baptismal date. She´s super excited and preparing well for her baptism! Then at the end of the lesson we told them that elder Hurst would be leaving and they were super sad! Same with Mario and Cristian. Especially because Cristian wanted elder Hurst to baptize him. But tuesday morning we got him all packed up and went to the office at 3 pm. I was nervous to have a new companion, especially because elder Hurst and i got along so well... We were waiting there for President Risso to get to the office with about 10 missionaries, he came in he shook my hand and told me that my companion is elder Thomson. He´s from American Fork. He has the same amount of time in the mission as elder Hurst.
This week went well, it was a bit rough getting used to a new companion, but we get along great! Every day we visited Mario and Cristian to get them ready for their baptisms on saturday... and they got baptized saturday! They´re great, accept everything we´ve taught them, and their mom supports them a ton. She even came to church yesterday for their confirmation. I baptized Cristian and Elder Thomson baptized Mario.
I´m writing super early today because this afternoon at 2:00 we have a meeting with elder Uceda from the 70! We´re all excited and nervous that he´ll burn us for not being good enough.
The package still isn´t here, but i´m sure it´ll come soon!
We did a service project saturday as a stake, but like nobody showed up. Just the missionaries and a few other members. We went to a big dirt field filled with garbage and started picking it up and putting it into empty cement mix bags. I was sure i would get diseased because we didn´t even have gloves and we´re just digging through peruvian garbage.. diapers.. dead animals.. used drug needles. but after a little while they gave us leather gloves and gas masks! it was so legit! i used my mormon helping hands shirt as a turban and with my gas mask i looked like a terrorist. after that we helped elder morales and gonzales build an adobe wall for a member. we made mud, dug a trench and everything. The backs of my legs ended up pretty sunburned.
Overall it was a great week! very eventful and not much time to do contacts in the street.. we only had 15 for the whole week! We normally do like 15 a day. But i´m happy and excited for this next week!
Our ward mission leader is the lead singer of a mariachi band. Hermano Gilberto Sanchez. Classic. This is him singing to our pensionista for her birthday!
We get excited the first day of every month when we get all our money, but then we realize we have to give it all away for our room, food, laundry, etc.
Mario and Cristian´s baptisms!
I had a little bit of fun while we were painting the house!
In case you can´t read my paint roller writing, it says Hatch lo hizo.. Aka Hatch did it. There´s all these things printed into the sidewalks that say El Pueblo lo hizo, or the people did it. And i always tell hna Graciela that i want the glory for the transformation of the house and that we need to paint Hatch lo hizo big on the wall so everyone knows i did it :)
Me as a mariachi singer!!! they call them Charros here.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Right now i have a lot of mixed emotions... We´ll see how it comes out.
First the big news, today the zone leaders told me that elder hurst is going to be transferred tomorrow. Five elders are going home mid change because of the difference between the chiclayo and piura transfer schedule, so elder hurst is leaving and i´ll get a new companion. Chances are that i´ll finish training another missionary. I´m SO bummed! Because Elder Hurst has definitely been my favorite companion. We´re great friends, laugh all the time, and finally have two baptisms coming up this week that should actually go through and Elder Hurst was going to baptize them! Bummer. And we went to say goodbye to one member who´s amazing and cuts our hair for free and she started crying, it was sad. So, today we have to get everything ready for 3 o´clock tomorrow when we have to be in the mission office for him to go :( But I´m sure my new companion will be great too!
To finish up the sad stuff, this week i decided to drop monica and armando. They just aren´t progressing now and monica didn´t go to church yesterday. She just doesn´t want to change and doesn´t really even have to change.. I´m sad and frustrated about them, because it´s so easy for me to see that they need to join the church! But not everyone will accept.
We have been working with two brothers, Mario and Christian. Their family is a referral from a member. Christian (10) accepted baptism super quick and is already doing amazing with all the commandments. His mom drinks coffee and gives it to the brothers every once in a while, and the mom told us that the next morning he made sure they were drinking hot chocolate and not coffee. Mario is 14 and goes to a military boarding school, he only comes here in the weekends. But they´re really great and i hope they can be baptized on saturday!
This week was hna Ursula´s birthday. She turned 63 or 64, not sure. But we got Hno Gilberto, our ward mission leader and mariachi singer, to serenade her while we ate lunch! it was so fun and Hna Ursula loved it! I have a bunch of fun pictures, but this computer is super slow and i already lost five minutes trying to upload pictures, but the computer froze.
It´s getting hotter and hotter here. I´m always sweating. it didn´t help that my hair was getting way too long, but today i cut it.
We went to a park and sang christmas hymns in an area of some sister missionaries. President Risso came, that was fun. A high school had just gotten out and all the kids were there gawking at us, asking us a ton of questions, etc. A Bunch of girls were swarming elder Hurst and i ( the tallest, most classic gringos) And they all wanted pictures with us.
We fasted for one of our investigators, Estefany (15) who has a testimony of the church and the book of mormon and wants to get baptized, but works sundays. We fasted for her to be able to change something to be able to go to church and get baptized! Sunday she told us she has news for us and looked really excited, she said she´s going to tell us today in the family home evening that´s become a tradition with them. I have high hopes, and am still praying that she´ll be able to do it!
Mom´s questions..Victoria´s father just thinks she isn´t taking everything seriously enough, which is true, but she is ready to be baptized and is already basically a member. He says she needs to wait until she´s 18, but we´ll see if we can change that. He wasn´t in the family home evening last week.
Yes i got the thanksgiving card! Thanks! and i liked the bookmark too. Yes i´ll get to call on christmas, maybe even skype. We´ll see.
Singing christmas songs is fun in spanish! I miss A Cappella and Madrigals though, that got me in the christmas spirit! Here we don´t sing much but i love when we do. And it is really throwing me off that its so hot at christmas time. The whole fun of christmas season is skiing! But surprisingly i don´t miss anything about home except the family. I miss you guys a lot! But in a good way :)
Our chapel is about five minutes walking from our house. Super close! In La Victoria, my city, there are like 10 or 15 chapels. In all of chiclayochiclayo, around 40.
Wow i didn´t realize your foot was so bad Dad! I´ll keep praying for you, and mom too, becauase i´m sure it´s rough on her to be doing everything around the house, etc. She really is an amazing woman.
Thanks so much for all your love and support! I have the greatest family ever, and am so blessed to have your examples and support in my life! Keep dong the easy, important things in life, like reading the scriptures every day as a family and personally, praying together, and going to church of course! It´s so sad to see when the people stop doing one or more of these things and their life goes downhill so fast! I have gained a testimony of the importance of constancy in the Gospel!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Well, this week was a bummer. We had three people with baptismal dates for saturday, and here´s what happened with all three. Victoria (15 year old girl) was super pumped and ready, but her dad said she has to wait until she´s 18.. We just met him last night, so we´ll see if we can help change his mind in the family home evening we´re going to have with them tonight. So, there´s one of the three down. Friday were Monica and Armando´s interviews for their baptisms. Monica passed her interview fine, she did hers at 6 pm, but her dad, Armando, could only do his at 8, so we had to do a few change ups, plus i had to interview elder Hill and Bohman´s baptism in their area, so i was in their area, and long story short, Armando got nervous and wouldn´t even do his interview. Number two down. We were discouraged, but still excited for monica´s baptism saturday night. Saturday night comes around, a bunch of members were there, we were excited. I had to interview a baptismal candidate for elder Morales and Gonzales and it took a while, and i didn´t finish until like 8:15, so elder Hurst went with elder Morales to pick up monica. Turns out she wasn´t at home.. She bailed last minute and it was a bummer to tell the people who were at the baptism that there wouldn´t be a baptism... yeah it was rough. But Sunday was a great day, we found 7 new investigators, and did a ton of contacts in the streets and the big park in our area, and after all we didn´t feel too bad about our week. We are working with a lot of really good people, some brothers, Mario and Christian, who have a baptismal date for the 10th, and we´ll see how they go.
My mission has costal desert plains, mountainous areas, and jungle. Where i am now is as flat as can be, and super deserty. The Cajamarca Zone is in the mountains, and the Jaen Zone is in the jungle. I´ll have been in chiclayo my whole first year, and i´m hoping to get out for at least part or all of the second! I hear Cajamarca is really beautiful.
As for portuguese, I don´t know anybody really who speaks it, but elder Gonzales who lives with us, went through a period where he wanted to learn it and printed a liahona off the internet in portuguese so i read it and was super excited when i could understand everything!
In a few weeks elder Uceda, a 70, is going to speak to our mission, so today we have to fill out a survey thing so he can help us as a mission with everything.
Everything is going well, I want to baptize more people, but they´ll come when they come. We just need to keep working hard and loving the Lord´s work! Hope everything is great in Utah, i´m jealous that it´s cold there- it´s changing to summer here and i´m sweating all the time!
This is a family we´re teaching! The girls are Estefany and Victoria and the little girl is Melanie. The young man is Brayan.
My district! I can´t remember if i sent this to you, but i´ll send it again!
Renato, Rozana, and Paola (members), Victoria, Melanie, Estefany, Brayan, elder Hurst and I
elder Juergens and i on the beach. He´s sister wright´s nephew who plays football for byu
A great glamour shot i took trying to be ugly, but it shows a classic lunch of chicken, rice, some brown things they say are peas or something, and fruit.
Monday, November 21, 2011
a great boat on the beach that says sun and sea, christ lives! I wanted to be an angry seaman
Monday, November 14, 2011
Great experience i just had... i was trying to find the usb port in this computer and bent over and the chair i was on broke and i fell on the floor and everyone laughed at me... but i played it off well.
Yeah the animals are on the roof. that´s where the laundry dries too. most people have their animals behind their house, but we don´t have a behind part, so they´re on the roof.
Monica came to church this week! We´re pumped about that. We kind of layed off teaching them every day this week, and it worked well. Monica said she wants to get baptized this week. Armando is still kind of indecisive.. But we have some other great investigators. Victoria is so golden, she just needs her mom´s permission! Pray for her! And more than anything, our investigators need to go to church!
Living with 4 missionaries is super fun! Our house, the family we live with, the ward, just everything is ideal right now! I´m in paradise. It´s so fun having elder Hurst as a companion too! We get along perfectly, and have a great time.
Bummer that Timpview lost! how´s byu doing?
Dad´s scooter crash story sounded funny. I hope you´re not getting too bored in bed all the time! you could take advantage of the time and do some arm exercises (totally forgot how to spell that word in english) or something! I´ve been doing tons of pushups and sit ups lately and i´m actually getting stronger! I´ve gotten a bit skinnier too, after fattening up in Campodonico.
Working as usual and loving life! So good to hear that everything´s good with the family!
pictures: Flashing some gang signs in front of our internet place. apparently they want to legalize marijuana here too.. There is graffiti everywhere!
Elder Hurst and I made the cookies, it was serious business..
Elder Hurst and I floating in front of the museum
Monday, November 7, 2011
The story of this week has been Monica and Armando. Monica is 19, she´s super friendly and has accepted everything we teach her. She went to church the first week we taught her and her dad, but since then she hasn´t gone again! She always goes dancing Saturday nights and sleeps through church, it´s really frustrating! She just needs to go to church once more so she can be baptized! But i don´t want to baptize her to be inactive either, so we´ll see. We talked to president risso about Armando, because he lives with the mother of his children but they´re separated as to sleeping together and live in separate rooms, etc. We got the ok to baptize him, and we´ll see what happens in these next few weeks. He has some grandkids that are super fun and i always play around with a little two year old girl who´s so cute, Jocelyn! Now my spanish is to the point where i´m not nervous to joke around with the people and stuff. In this last little while i´ve gotten more personable with the people, and try to be their friend and make them feel comfortable. It´s been really cool, and i´m trying to be a lot more loving,because i read a quote from an apostle.. can´t remember which, that says that if you don´t show your love then you don´t love at all! So, i´m being more loving :)
Elmer Gonzales Vitarte... There´s an elder vidarte in the mission, but he shouldn´t be using facebook... add him if you feel like it?
Halloween here was kind of lame. They don´t really celebrate it, more in the city with rich people.. and no, they don´t have daylight savings time here. so now you´re two hours off of my time right?
Lately a lot of songs we always hear in the street have been getting stuck in my head, and i sing them a lot, like the two lines i know of them. I´m sure elder Hurst loves that..
Speaking of him, he´s allergic to all the dirt that´s here, and every once in a while his allergies act up and he explodes during a lesson, and his nose starts running and his eyes get all puffy, it´s funny but i feel bad for him. He´s learning lots.
Preach my gospel is set up so that we can teach basically anything the spirit tells us to depending on the investigators´ needs and interests. default is the message of the restoration, but we can teach anything that a person needs. the four lessons are the restoration, the plan of salvation, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the commandments: word of wisdom, Sabbath day, tithing, and chastity.
we had a good time teaching a super duper 7th day Adventist 15 year old kid named Roger. I´ve found that the absolute hardest teaching situation is with a very devout 7th day Adventist. They always just want to argue about how the bible says we have to respect Saturday and not Sunday.. we taught him, but he´ll never change his viewpoint. it was fun though.
The church is true! The priesthood is real, and the scriptures are amazing!
Pics: the view from the roof of our house, and me being a gangster on the roof haha, a baby turkey, it looks like one of those pictures you´d see from africa or something.. and a picture from Jakeline’s baptism
Monday, October 31, 2011
This week was pretty normal... I´m pondering over what i should write. Haha i´ll start out with the best news, everything went great with Jackeline´s baptism! Well, except that my camera battery was dead and so there are only pictures on elder Hurst´s camera. We´ll see if i can send them. Her whole family was there, and a bunch of people from the ward were there too. It was super spiritual and i got to baptize her because her dad´s arm hurt so he didn´t want to do it. Everyone was really excited to have a baptism in the ward because this year they have only had a total of three or four others, and they´re mostly inactive now. And they were all happy that it was Jackeline because the Vasquez family is slowly but surely getting to be a family of all members! They´ll be a fantastic family.
Elder Hurst and I are having a great time together. We don´t speak much english at all, because he´s really good at spanish, every once in a while we throw in an english word.. It´s nice to have a code language to talk in sometimes to, so other people can´t understand us. This week we have started playing chess too. He´s really good, and i´m super duper rusty, but we have fun! We just got done playing a game for like 45 minutes and i was totally dominating, then i threw it all away and almost lost, but pulled off a draw at the last minute.
This weekend is the weekend of Señor de los Milagros= lord of the miracles. It´s a saint they have here, well an image, of christ being crucified. they have parades, the streets are all decorated, and it´s crazy! They have painted the actual street/ dirt in a lot of places too and it says bless us señor de los milagros.. interesting. It´s reminded us a lot of the story in the old testament of elijah and the priests of Baal when they have the challenge to see who can get the offering to burn. It´s so funny! When i read it i busted up laughing. It´s in Kings chapter 18. There´s a verse where Elijah starts taunting the profets of Baal and it´s great.
Monica didn´t go to church yesterday because she had to help her sister sell roasted pork in the streets, so she can´t get baptized this saturday anymore, because to get baptized they have to go to church at least two times. So, in these few days we´re going to set another date with her for the next week. In church a member brought a lady that lives down the street from her and she seems really interested, she´s already attended church two times, so we´re excited about visiting her!
I realized Elder Hurst had seen the new harry potter and about cried. That's the one thing i really wish i could see!
I didn´t voice record anything this week because i couldn't´t think of what to say! What to you want to hear? ask me anything and i´ll talk about it the next time.
So, as district leader i do the baptismal interviews of the other missionaries in my district. This week i did three. The assistants to the president are in my district, and they had two, and in Los Incas another baptism of one of my investigators! So this week was full of a lot of interviewing and a baptism, and our numbers weren't´t great, but we had a baptism which is all that matters, so i´m content.
I´m reading the war chapters in the book of mormon. I just finished alma today, and i had a fun time comparing Moroni and Amalickiah. Moroni was awesome, but my favorite is Teancum because he just likes to blow into the lamanite leaders´ tents and javelin them in the heart! haha i´ll be reading the scriptures at night, etc. and just start laughing because the stories are so great of all the killing and stuff. The other three missionaries don´t think they´re nearly as funny as i do, but elder hurst understands my sense of humor.
Sorry this email is kind of all over the place, i wrote it stream of conscience style! Love you and i´ll fast for dad this week!
And a funny pic of the zone last p-day
Daniel- the 10 year old kid who lives in our house, was carrying his electric piano through the kitchen and broke all the cups, so we´ve been using plastic cups that have a beer brand, cristal, written on them. So, needless to say, a lot of beer jokes have been going on this week.
Monday, October 24, 2011
This week has been AWESOME! And pretty much every week for that matter. I just love the mission. I´ve been forgetful in my emails lately, and totally forgot to thank you for the voice recorder and everything! I´m sending a few voice files i recorded, i hope it works. If you like it, i could just talk about my week and send it, and save a whole bunch of time writing emails!
Ok, about this week. Wednesday morning at 8 all the new trainers had to be in the office to receive the new missionaries! We had a few hours of talking with president Risso and the assistants, then it was the super intense moment of getting my new companion assigned to me! He is Elder Hurst from Dallas, Texas. He went to byu the same time as me, but lived in wyview. He makes me look small, which is great too. His spanish is really good, with a little practice he´ll be an awesome missionary in no time! As long as i don´t mess him up too bad...
We´re living with four missionaries now, it´s super fun! Elder Morales´ new companion is from Argentina, and lived in the same mission that Reuben Christianson is serving in, and served as a mini missionary, and was in the same room as Reuben! He showed me pictures and it was cool!
Barrio means ward, sorry :) sometimes i mix up english and spanish. Los Amautas is the other half of what my area was before. We were in two wards, and now elder morales and his comp have Los Incas and we have Los Amautas. Elder Gonzales, Elder Morales´ companion has been in the field for 8 weeks, but mine is fresh as can be. Hna Graciela, aka sister graciela, is my pensionista! She added me as a friend on facebook too! you should add her mom. you can be friends with my mom away from home! haha
I don´t have a coat, but it´s turning back into summer. I got super sunburned today playing soccer! But even in the winter a sweater is fine.
Hilight of this week- we taught Jackeline Vasquez for the first time with Elder Hurst, and the time before elder Morales and I had assigned her Moroni 10 to read. She has been an investigator for like three years. The sister missionaries even used to live in their house (her family is mostly members), but she just didn´t want to change. She lived in ecuador for a while, where she lived a partying lifestyle, but about a month ago moved back here with her kids and family. She knew she wanted to be baptized, but wouldn´t accept a baptismal date. We didn´t really know what to do with her other than pray. So, elder Hurst´s first day meeting her, we started to analyze moroni 10 a bit, and she had marked it all up with highlighter like she loved it. And said exactly what dad sent me in his letter this week. Elders, I have been meditating and prayed, and i want to get baptized. I freaked out for a while, then asked her when. she shrugged, so i suggested saturday the 29th, but she wanted to do it sooner! Tuesday! So she had her interview with the zone leaders (elder price) last night and she´s getting baptized tomorrow!
It´s so fun to be training and trying to help build the confidence of my companion. Now i know how elder Orcohuaranga felt with me! a newbie gringo!
Elder Hurst and I in the mission office!
Waiting for a van to take us to Monsefú on the panamerican highway!
Trying not to get eaten by a giant baby in the photo printing shop..
The elders in our zone.. There are 6 sisters too, but they were taking all the pictures of us!
Monday, October 17, 2011
First of all, thanks so much everyone in the family for your amazing emails! Whenever i read your emails i just have to try to not cry.. sometimes i succeed.. Love you guys.
This week has been so amazing. There are so many experiences to tell about, i´ll be brief and try to tell a bit about them all.
i´ll answer mom´s questions. the email is stinky and i cant open two pages at once, so i have to choose one email to reply to and answer all the questions from that email because i can´t remember the ones that other people ask me.. so sorry.
First of all, tuesday we did working visits with the zone leaders. I went to Las Americas (their area) with elder Nicaragua from nicaragua. he taught me a lot of good stuff, and tuesday night we had Cesar´s baptism. Elder Morales and i went to fill up the font and there was absolutely no water in the chapel. And all the toilets were full of "stuff", so we could tell that there hadn´t been water for a while. My mind started racing and i was thinking, do we go to another chapel? or reschedule? i was super bummed, but we decided to go into the utility closet and see if we could go into the attic to see if we could open a valve or something. There wasn´t even any water in the big water tanks in the attic. So, elder Morales was up there and i was standing at the bottom of the latter.. I started praying, and asked that Heavenly Father would help guide us to know what to do. Mid prayer, i heard rushing water... i stopped praying, and yelled to elder morales asking if he had done something.. he said no, and asked what i did. I just said that i prayed. I felt the spirit so strong as i realized that the Lord had just taken over because he knew we couldn´t figure it out. The font filled up perfectly in time for the baptism, and Cesar´s baptism was awesome. A future missionary, Ivan, baptized him.
Long story short, Yeiner and Jorge´s baptisms fell through. Yeiner wasn´t completing his commitments to read the BOM, etc. So i decided to postpone it a week. and Jorge goes to Piura every weekend with his dad apparently, so that´s not going to work out.
Cesar was an investigator from a while ago. He hadn´t been baptized because his dad wouldn´t give him permission. we contacted his dad once, he gave permission, so we baptized him. easy. We contacted Yeiner and his family because cesar invited Yeiner to church, and he showed up alone so we made an appointment with him and visited him.
We had interviews with president Risso, and he basically told me i would be training this next week, but in a very inderect way. Last night the zone leaders told me that yes, i´m training. My new companion will be here on wednesday. He´s one of 3 americans that´s coming into the mission mid transfer because of visa problems! But it´ll be so fun! Elder Morales will be in Los Incas with a missionary who only has one transfer in the mission, and i´ll be re-opening the barrio Los Amautas.
We spent the whole week changing our room with the family where we live. Now we´re in the room they were living in, which is a bit bigger so 4 missionaries can fit. We painted, put in carpet, moved everything, etc. So we only proselyted half time this week.
My birthday was great! Hna Graciela made the cake mom sent me, and it was so so so so good! Everyone loved it. And i didn´t get any eggs cracked on my head, which was a nice surprise.
As district leader, i´m in charge of four companionships now i think. Yes, district meeeting is every week, and i taught the first lesson on the Doctrine of Christ. Now i´m delegating the teaching responsibility to the other elder in my district. The zone leaders put me in charge of teaching spanish to the gringos. I taught english to the latino elders last week, that was fun. And yes, i can express myself pretty normally in spanish! I want to be a lot better, but i can get by fine! To the point that i´m not scared to speak with no planning. I´ve been so grateful that i studied a bit of spanish before the mish! It´s been so helpful.
Who is byu´s new quarterback now?
Take care, have an amazing week, and thanks so much everyone for the emails. They make my P-day and week so much better!
PS, sorry no photos, the computer is stinky, but i have a bunch of awesome ones! I´ll try to send a lot next week, and pics of my new companion!!!
Monday, October 10, 2011
What? I´m going to be 20?! haha that´s so weird.. I seriously feel like i jumped from 16 to 20 wayyyy too fast. But yes i got the package from mom and dad today! Thanks so much! I still haven´t opened the cards in it or anything, i just saw that there´s a bunch of candy because they open it before you can take it home.. Oh, and on packages now you only have to put my name and the address, not the other missionary´s name. And I can´t believe you remembered that i love red velvet cake! I didn´t even remember that!!!! But i´m so excited, and for the cookies too. Goodness, mom you´re the best. My birthday should be really fun, a member told me she´s going to give me some evangelical music that i actually really like, and i´m sure i´ll get a few eggs smashed over my head (that´s the peruvian tradition) and i wanted to baptize someone on my birthday, but i felt like that was a little too self-righteous, so we´re not going to. But we are baptizing Cesar, a 16 year old, tomorrow! And on saturday we are baptizing Yeiner and his little brother Jorge. I hope everything works out! We wanted to baptize Yeiner´s mom too, but we found out she´s living together with a guy who only shows up to their house at night... so we have a little more work to do there.
All the news about the stake is awesome! lots of changes in the ward and stake lately! I´ll have my homecoming interviews with my old bishop and someone i don´t even know.. And david cusick told me that Ben Teng is gonig to Taiwan on his mission! The same mission as taylor larson. I´m so jealous i might explode. It would be so awesome to have a friend from home in the mission. A guy from my byu ward who was in my quorum is in the Piura mission now.. bummer haha.
Oh, and our zone leaders told elder Morales that we´re going to be split up in two weeks.. There is going to be a mini transfer and a few more missionaries are coming in to the mission. It´s almost for sure that i´m going to be training, and maybe elder morales too, and they´re going to open up Los Amautas, so we´ll both get half of the area we have now. Exciting! I´m just trying to get used to being district leader now. Teaching the class in district meeting is fun, and i like motivating the mishies too.
Sunday in church we went to pick up investigators, and so we got there like five minutes late.. And when they were announcing the talks in church they announced the missionaries. For a second i was like oh, it was a mistake, then i realized that it wasn´t because the bishop just looked at me with no expression haha. So, luckily they announced elder morales first and he went up and talked with no preparation. I had like five minutes to gather my thoughts, and talked for 10 minutes! Proof that prayer works, and the progress i´ve made on my mission! It´s super exciting that we´re starting to have some success here and i´m loving every second of the mish! Thanks so much family for the birthday wishes! I love you! and hope you´re all loving life and the gospel, because it´s so amazing! Elder Uchtdorf said the gospel is life, so true! Oh, and something that i really liked from general conference. When president monson said to a member of the 70, why are you looking down? it´s better to look up. (rough translation into english) I´ve really learned to be positive and just laugh when it´s rough. I´m working hard but i´m going to work even harder this week, i need to get ready to be a trainer! :/
Monday, October 3, 2011
PROVO TEMPLE NUMBER 2!!!!!! haha i sent that alone but didn´t mean to. Here goes attempt number two. That was so awesome! When president monson announced that i didn´t even listen to where the rest of the temples were because i was freaking out! I started crying too :) I was looking around for someone to rejoice with, but the only other gringo there was elder Price, from down south in Utah, so he wasn´t too excited. But that´s so awesome! I think i want to get married there too maybe. But will it be done in 16 months? haha jk.
Conference was awesome and I loved all the missionary talks. especially in priesthood. The 10 hours of conference passed way too fast, and i wrote down a lot of stuff i wanted to tell you about that i liked, but left my journal in the room and now i don´t remember haha. But elder Holland´s talk in priesthood was unreal! We´re in the same stake as president risso, and he gave us a ride home from priesthood. It was fun to talk to him for a while. Oh, and President monson talked about peter mourik, who gave me my patriarchal blessing! That was super cool. I felt the spirit talking to me many times during the conference. And it was strongest of all listening to the choir! i love music. But the talks about peru were great. We found a new, awesome family this week, and they´ll probably get baptized in a week or two. a mom and her two sons- 18 and 13 years old. They went to the first conference with us, and the mom´s grandpa- an 80 year old man, drove us in the back of his pick up truck, it was definitely not safe but super fun and reminded me of when i was a kid riding in the back of trucks. Yes we watch conference live! The stake center is like 10 minutes from our house in the super rich part of town.
In los amautas a teenager plays the piano, but nobody plays in los incas. I would offer, but we always get there late because we have to go look for investigators to bring them to church with us.
Big news, today is transfers! But as we thought, elder Morales and I are staying here together. They told us the new missionaries for Los Amautas will be coming mid-transfer, the 25th of october. and more news, I´m district leader now! I´m excited and nervous, but i kind of new it was going to happen, because i was invited to the mission leadership conference last week.. and i wasn´t a leader.. so i put two and two together. I have four companionships in my district. The zone leaders, a sister missionary companionship, us, and elder Bohman and his comp. So i´ll get to interview their baptisms, teach the district meetings, do all the reporting stuff, etc. A lot of new stuff! Any advice from the RM´s in the family? i´d appreciate it.
I love this work. I´m so grateful for our family, and for what the Gospel has made it. All i want to do is give to the other families what our family has. I know President Monson is the Prophet of God, and that the Book of Mormon is the proof that the Church has been restored.
Pray and read the scriptures every day!
Oh, i want to know the favorite scriptures of the family, and stories from obedience to commandments!
1. This avocado was HUGE! and i love avocado now by the way.
3. After. Yeah, we killed a rooster. They live above us on the roof of our house. I was going to do the killing but i didn´t cut hard enough on my first attempt and kind of shaved the rooster´s beard, so hna Ursula grabbed the knife from me and killed it! haha it was super funny, we have it on film. And i got blood on my shirt, but it was totally worth it.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Answering questions:Yes my hands are all better, they healed up really quick! Extra missionary healing speed! But the day after that i got sick again! it was miserable, the worst of them all, but i worked through it and woke up the next day feeling fine.
La victoria is the city i´m in now.. It´s like an offshoot of chiclayo. And they definitely don´t have the orange road barrells. Their construction here is a bunch of guys with shovels and wheelbarrows, and some kids too, and they put wooden planks across the gaps in the road so you can cross over them.
Brad is a bishop now?! That´s so awesome! Congrats Brad! You´ll be an amazing bishop.
To get to the Trujillo temple from here it will take about three hours.
I had no idea that president Whetten died!? That´s so sad! He was a great president, and i have some cool memories with him. What a great way to go out though, right after being mission president.
I don´t know Jake Lloyd. I heard he´s from Pleasant Grove and moved to timpview to play there..
Our investigator who went with us to the conference wasn´t home the four times we went to look for her, and her oldish mom was getting mad at us, so we decided to give it a rest, and now she´s out of town for a while. We were super bummed, but we´ll see if we can contact her in a few weeks.
Turns out the new missionaries aren´t going to come to our other ward, because not all the missionaries who were scheduled to come into the mission are going to get here. So, it will be another little while until Los Amautas has their own missionaries.
We go to the stake center to watch General Conference this weekend, and i´m SO excited! Honestly, it´s like i´m going on a weekend trip.
As for singing and playing the piano, no.. Since i´ve been in the field i´ve had precious few chances to play the piano, and i only sing in church and district meetings. Which reminds me, I bore my testimony in church yesterday! It´s cool being a missionary and bearing your testimony, because you don´t get nearly as scared.
This week there was a bunch more drama with Genaro, but finally on friday we baptized him, and Sunday was his confirmation. But his cousins who were both baptized by missionaries, got suitcases as gifts from their missionaries after their baptisms, and somehow got it into Genaro´s mind that he is going to get one from us. And now he´s always going to our house during the day and leaves notes with our pensionista begging for a suitcase. What a stinker! But we´ll straighten him out tonight.
Saturday afternoon we knocked on a door and the old man who answered shook his finger at us and walked away, but his middle aged daughter came and talked to us, but said she had to go tend to the guinea pig farm they have. Out of nowhere elder Morales asks to see the guinea pig farm, so she tells us to go around back... I´m expecting like 50 guinea pigs in a little wooden pasture thing, because that´s how most of the peruvians keep their guinea pigs that they raise to eat. But this was a full-blown breeding operation! They have 10,000 guinea pigs! They breed the pure races and everything, it was so cool! The lady gave us a tour of it all and had a TON of knowledge about all the breeding and stuff. There were a lot of words i didn´t understand.. I´ll have to brush up on my animal breeding vocabulary in spanish :)
We fasted to be able to find people that can go to church on sundays and people who are ready to progress, and ended up having an awesome Sunday! A few people we didn´t even know came to church because their family members and friends invited them, so we set up appointments with them and are excited to see them this week. And last night we went to visit a young man who always goes to church and seminary and everything, but for like a year his dad hasn´t given permission for him to be baptized. The problem is that his dad is never there, and it just popped into my mind to go visit him as we were walking back to our room at the end of the night. We went and his dad was there and seemed really happy and easy going.. So a member who was with us sweet talked him for a little bit, and we asked him for the permission and he said yes! so we should have another baptism coming up soon!
I gained a stronger testimony of fasting this week, and we´re starting to have success little by little here in Los Incas and Los Amautas. I know the Lord is doing this work, and all we have to do is keep being diligent and we´ll be blessed with baptisms if it´s His will.
Pictures: Genaro´s baptism and us with elder Palacios, our district leader, and his companion, elder Quezada. We did an exchange this week and i worked with elder Quezada for a day in their area, El Imperio
Monday, September 19, 2011
They broke ground on the Trujillo temple and everyone is really excited! but it won´t be done for like two years..
It´s the anniversary of la victoria, so this whole month they have a carnival on the main street of town, which goes through the heart of our area. they play music all the time, and a lot of it is American music, and surprisingly a lot of the stuff i listened to. it kills me when i hear it! hah but i try to walk fast and get the pain over with.
They´re also doing construction on like all the streets. They´re changing them from dirt roads to paved streets with sidewalks that are actually really nice! But right now basically all the streets are completely torn up and have huge holes everywhere to put in the sewage system. In our pension they´re doing construction too. Covering up the brick walls with cement, and in a week or so elder Morales and i are going to paint! And in two weeks, they´re opening up the other ward, los Amautas, that we´re assigned to, and the other missionaries are going to live and pension where we do too! So we´re excited for that.
A few interesting stories from this week:
Tuesday we were searching for a house of someone we contacted in the street a few days beforehand. When we finally found the house, we went to knock on the door, and elder morales started talking to a little skinny kid. Turns out he lived close by, so we took his address and said we´d visit him after we talked to the people in the house we were looking for. Turns out they weren´t there, so we went to his house like five minutes later. Also turns out that his whole family are members of the church except him- a few inactive, but members. He´s 12 and his name is Genardo. He hadn´t been baptized yet because his grandpa who lives nearby is super catholic and very against him being baptized. After talking to the family for a few minutes, we decided to baptize him saturday and try to sneak under the grandpa´s radar. We didn´t have to wait to baptize him because he´s been going to church forever, but somehow elder morales didn´t know him yet and neither did i! So, we started teaching him, and the next day when we went to his house, his older brother had pulled a Judas Iscariot on us and told his grandpa we were going to their house at that time. So, the grandpa shows up and says right off the bat, thanks for coming but my grandson is catholic and i won´t let this go any further. I tried for a while to speak reason to him.. turns out he has never read anything from the bible, he was just really ignorant and super catholic without even knowing what he believes. So, i gave up and elder Morales got really emotional and bore an awesome testimony to him, and even managed to call him a few names haha it was funny. Then there was a long, awkward silence after and i asked Genardo what he wanted.. He said he wanted to be baptized in the Church and likes the Church and a few other things that i can´t remember now, but his grandpa was speechless. We packed up and left. a few hours later genardo went to a member´s house, had them call us and told us he still wanted to get baptized, so we kept teaching him. Saturday came around, and something happened in the family, it was weird, but long story short, we ended up with the font full, district leader there in the chapel, members, etc. and no baptism. We were super bummed, but he still really wants to get baptized! So, we´re going to baptize him this friday, and he asked me to do it!
Next story. Saturday night elder Morales and i were walking back to our apartment feeling bummed about the day.. baptism falling through, having the district leader waste an hour of his day in our area for an interview that never happened.. not teaching many lessons because of it all.. and a lady walks by, we say hi to her and keep walking. then, from behind us we hear "jovenes!" That means young people but it´s what they call us.. so we both whipped around to see what was happening and the lady was motioning for us to come to her. We obliged, and she asked us if we were willing to go to her house to teach her.. We started freaking out and said of course. She said she´s always in her house because she washes clothes for a living. Her husband is nonexistent, and has three kids. She gave us her name, phone number, and address, and said for us to visit her during the week. That all happened with us saying basically nothing except that we would teach her. Then when we got a chance to talk, morales invited her to stake conference the next morning and she said yes, and that she was going to go home right then and leave everything ready to be able to go with us at 9:30 am. We were freaking out, so excited! Sunday morning we go to her house and she was all ready in a dress and everything. We took a mototaxi to the stake center and were some of the first people there. It was such an amazing conference! it was for all of Peru via satellite. All we knew was that it would be presided over by a member of the first presidency so we were super pumped. Turns out it was President Monson! Elder Gonzales of the 70, Julie B. Beck, and elder Cristofferson all spoke in spanish. Sister beck struggled a bit but did really well! and Elder Cristofferson speaks like perfect spanish! and Pres Monson spoke and a translator did the voice over. I was hoping to hear him talk in spanish! They spoke about the book of Mormon, being good wives, how to have a successful family, and reaching out to those in need aka less active members, respectively. Our investigator really liked it and took three pages of notes! She has a lot of questions for us on Wednesday when we´ll see her again.
This letter is super long, but it was a fun week! It just added to my testimony of hard work bring blessings and that our prayers are heard. Love you and hope it´s a good week of school and work.
mom sorry i didn´t answer your questions, i forgot. but i´ll answer them next week because now i don´t have time! just remind me.
You can´t see it too well, but the mug i´m holding says te quiero mamá, or I love you mom! Happy birthday this week! I sent you a letter, i hope you get it soon!
The second picture is from the baptism that never happened the people are me, eld.er Morales´ mini missionary companion he had before me who´s in the ward, elder morales, and hno wilder, our ward mission leader.
Third is of most of the elders in our zone, after playing a trivia game where when you lost the other person got to draw something with lipstick on your face. I wanted a mustache really bad, and i even was asking elder bohman to draw one on me, but he just drew something random on my face and i was all befuddled as to why he didn´t draw me a mustache so i asked him, and turns out he didn´t know the spanish word for mustache.. haha
Lastly, wheelbarrow races plus hot basketball court outside = giant blisters on my palms that hurt! But i´m fine.
Monday, September 12, 2011
It´s great to hear that dad´s doing a lot better. Last week elder Morales` mom and sister got sick and were in the hospital too, with some mosquito transmitted disease.
Elder Morales and i get along great! The doctor said his rash was probably because of something he ate, and he hasn´t been getting it anymore. Elder Morales is really good with words and loves talking to people and is really sympathetic with them. Sometimes he even cries when they are going through rough times. He had a pretty rough home life, and his dad died a month before he left on his mission. We´ve met a lot of people that he can help in ways that i never could because of his experiences. We were in the house of a part member family, and the member kid, a 16 year old, had been fighting with his older brother. It ended up coming to blows while we were there. The dad with throat cancer trying to hit the son, a daughter intervening, it was just ugly. The dad yelled at the kid and said "this is what they teach you in your church?" It was like a dagger straight to my heart, because we had hopes of teaching the dad.
I really like the new area, and all the new challenges. It´s amazing how different this area is from my old area, considering they´re about five minutes away from each other. The people let us in to talk to them pretty easily, but don´t progress. We have taught over 50 first lessons in my few weeks here, and maybe ten second lessons. The people more want to hear a pretty message than progress and follow the commandments. I know there are people waiting for us to find them though! We taught two Israelite families this week, they´re an interesting religion. They are really in to the ten commandments, the women don´t cut their hair, nor do the men.. And they pray where the sun is facing at certain times of the day. It´s so cool to get to know so many different types of people with such different lives!
We´re also trying to get a couple married so we can baptize the mom and a few of her kids, but she has to talk to her boss at the salt factory and try to get sundays off to be able to attend and everything! She said she was going to talk to him today, so we´re anxious to see what the outcome is! Besides them, we´re still struggling to find people who can progress and want to!
Despite the rough few months as far as baptizing goes, i´m still happy, we´re chuggin along, and i´m loving the mission. The church is so true, and i´m super grateful for the knowledge we have of the plan of salvation!
Que todos tengan una semana divertida!
The pictures are:
The little sign in front of me says this home is catholic, thank you for respecting our faith! Tons of the houses have them in their windows, basically shooing away missionaries, but i like knocking on those doors even more! Elder Morales bought one of the little signs a while ago and gave it to me! I liked it so i put it in the window of our apartment.
The second one is of us in our new zone shirts! The zone leaders designed them with the smurfs as missionaries! Below it has all our names and on back it says mission peru chiclayo zona la vicky in graffiti. I like it!
Monday, September 5, 2011
Wow, dad! I can´t believe all the stuff that happened this week with you! I´m so happy that you´re okay though. Really, I know you´re being watched over. I´m glad i´m not home or i would have been freaking out i´m sure. Were you on the top floor of the hospital, in Oncology? Because when i was there there were a bunch of people with Mersa and we had to put on our gowns and everything just to go in their rooms. I´ll be praying for you a ton, and i hope you get all better this week!
I know i´ve been really bad about answering the questions the family asks me in their emails, but i´ll try to get better. It´s rough because when i go to write an email, myldsmail doesn´t let me open up a new page and sign in agan so i can see the emails while i´m writing and write back at the same time, so i just have to remember.
Mom, No, i still haven´t used my electrical converter! And the weather is nice, it´s pleasant during the day, and gets chilly at night, i use my sweater almost every day. But now i have a blanket for my bed in the new room, so i´m not cold at night.
The package with my shoes came! Thanks so so so so much mom for doing all that for me! The package got sent to the special reject package place because of the shoes i think. they´re weird about clothes coming in packages here. So i had to go the mission office today, get my special id card, and personally go to SerPost, their national post service, and pick up my package. They opened it up there and had to see everything in the package. It was weird, but i got the package!
Lindsey, last week you asked me about the USB and music and stuff. No, there´s none of my a cappella or madrigals music on there, but i´ll see if i can get the music off the usb you sent me and put it on my other one, send the usb back, and yeah.. complicated.. maybe not.. haha.
This week i realized something interesting.. I had been getting bites all around my thighs and legs for the last few weeks in Campodonico, and i just thought they were mosquitos, but never really thought that they weren´t biting me on my arms, which were the only part of my body exposed during the day. plus my companion, elder Insaurralde wasn´t getting bitten. But i didn´t think much of it.. then when i got to Los Incas they stopped biting me and i told my pensionista about it and she told me it was FLEAS!!!! gross. they were so itchy and last way longer than mosquito bites, but i feel honored to say that i had fleas.
A few weeks ago, elder Morales were sitting in our room at lunch time and i was writing in my journal, and the house started to shake. I asked elder Morales what it was and he said they were doing construction in the next neighborhood and it shook the house sometimes... but it turns out that it was an earthquake! It was pretty little, but everyone was talking about it for a few days. Another cool experience in the mish.
This last week i got sick twice. The first time i went to bed feeling normal, but woke up at like five in the morning feeling sicky, and spent basically the whole morning until like 9 in the bathroom. Our pensionista is super nice and bought me some gatorades and those and some soup is all i ate during the day. We went out to work like normal and i had to use the bathrooms of a few investigators haha. Elder Morales gave me a blessing and i got over it quick. then a few days later i started feeling sick after lunch with the same stomach pains and bathroom frequency :) but it passed over quickly and i was back in the groove the next day. Elder Morales has been getting a weird rash lately though and he went to the hospital on friday with the health elder while i went to visit an inactive family in the area of the office elders.
The new news is that you only have to put my name on the packages now, not elder Monzon or anything. Just the address and my name!
Today we played games in a stake center with most of our zone and it was really fun! I´ve been eating the gummies mom sent me and i´m wearing my new shoes right now! Thanks family for all the amazing support. I love you all and am so grateful that i was born into such an exemplary family who truly lives what the gospel teaches. I know that God only gives us commandments to help us be happy. the number one commandment that everyone breaks here is the law of chastity. Everyone is living together with someone, and they´ll just always live together and never even think of getting married! Lots of times the couples are really jealous and suspicious, and abusive. Being a missionary, you get to learn a lot about people´s very personal lives, and it just makes me so grateful for our family. Having parents sealed in the temple, having been taught the gospel since my childhood. We´re so blessed. I love my Savior. I love this work, and i love the people i´m trying to help. We´re chugging along, so far none of our investigators is progressing, but we´re working hard. One of our investigators in Campodónico got baptized last week, that was good news to hear!
Have a great week, and get better fast dad! I want good news next week!
Monday, August 29, 2011
So, last tuesday in the morning i said my final emotional goodbyes to the nasty red floor in my old apartment that stained everything i own, and to the smelly burning piles of trash outside, and we went to the institute building for the new fancy transfer meeting! All the missionaries who are getting transferred go to this meeting so it´s pretty intense! President Risso talked to us and then the assistants read all the transfers by zone. I got transferred about five minutes away from my old area haha! But to a new stake, the stake Chiclayo Perú, and my area is called Los Incas! It´s two wards, Los Incas, and Los Amautas. Our set up is so amazing here! We live on the second floor of a member family´s house, and they give us our pension too! It´s basically like living at home. We just go downstairs to eat, go back up to study, etc. Love it! The family is a mata de risa! Super funny! The dad´s name is Jesus, and it´s still weird to hear people yelling Jesus across the house.. But the mom and dad both have callings in the stake, and they have a son out on a mission, great family.
My companion, elder Morales and i, had a lot of problems from the start. He doesn´t work, and is on the verge of leaving the mission early. I didn´t know what to do and was really struggling for a few days. I opened up my scriptures as usual to find some advice.. I went right to 1 Nephi 4:12, and followed the advice... (Look it up, i don´t know how to say it in english and it will be better if you look it up :) An elder told me that joke this week and i thought i wold share it with you :)
My new companion is Elder Morales, from Costa Rica- the only Costa Rican in the mission! It´s still hard for me to understand him, he just talks weird. I guess i had gotten used to a paraguayan accent. He has seven months in the mission too, and he had been in Los Incas for two changes before i got here. He was with a super lazy elder at first, and after that elder finished his mission he got put with a mini missionary and they didn´t do any work, just visited recent converts and less active members. So, getting here it was like well elder Hatch, what do we do? We started from square one, and it´s actually been an amazing week. I started going through all the old teaching records and we´re revisiting them. We haven´t found many of the actual people they taught before, but we find people next door, their family members, etc. and we found 19 new investigators in five days!
I got a ton of emails from all the fam this week, and it took a really long time to read them, so i´m all out of time now! But I´m doing great in my new area, and it feels like a new life, i´m loving it! This next week we have a multi zone conference with pres risso, i´m excited for that!
I still haven´t gotten the shoes, but i´ve heard word that they´re in the office so i should get them soon.
Saying goodbye to the Floreanos :( It was so hard to say goodbye to campodonico!
Me, Jean Pierre, Frank, and Elder Morales, my new compie! these two members just followed us into our room last night haha.
Monday, August 22, 2011
So, i was a little nervous to teach my lesson in district meeting with pres and sister Risso there, but there was still a little hope that they wouldn´t come to my class, because the other district in my zone was having their meeting too in the room next door! So, we started the meeting and we were talking about our investigators, etc. and they weren´t there so i figured i got lucky, then like a minute before the class was going to start, pres and sister Risso walked in and i got nervous! but the class actually went really well! it was on extending commitments. Because President Risso was there, everyone wanted to participate in the lesson a ton and show him how awesome of missionaries they are, plus he had a lot of really good insights, and the class was awesome! After that i did a work visit with Elder Rigby in his area. Tuesdays the zone leaders do all their administrative stuff, so i got really bored. I read a little of Jesus the Christ in spanish while i was waiting for him. Then we went to the mission office, and we were there F o r e v e r. I lost my desires to be an office elder, because it would get boring pretty fast. I watched a talk by Elder Holland on the computer there though. Elder Rigby finished his mission today, and now he´s with his dad going around Chiclayo and they´re going to cuzco in a few days.
I had a number of experiences where i felt the spirit really strongly this week. I studied the church Christ organized during his earthly ministry in Israel, and i found scripture after scripture that confirmed that our church is true. It was seriously like a game and i was so happy, i felt like a little kid searching for candy. The next day i studied the apostasy, and the experience was the same. I read the chapter on the apostasy in Jesus the Christ too which is amazing. I have studied christ´s church and the apostasy probably 15 other times, but this week so many things popped out to me and i loved it!
Also, we were knocking doors one afternoon, and not having much success. we went down a street i´ve walked down probably 10 times and never thought to knock doors there because there aren´t many houses, and i don´t know what i felt but i just walked straight to one house. A couple little girls answered the door and we told them to call their mom, which they did. She came to the door, smiled, and said hold on a second, came back a minute later and invited us in! We were thinking what? we didn´t even say anything and she invited us in! Turns out missionaries visited her a few years ago, she even went to church a couple times, but the missionaries got changed and stopped coming to her house. It was a great experience with being guided by the spirit!
This letter seems really long, so i´ll stop now! it´ll be an exciting week getting to know my new area and companion. Pray for me!
Monday, August 15, 2011
Mi querida y amorosa familia!
I loved all the emails from the fam! It sounds like the week was great, and that was so fun to hear all about little baby Holland! She´s so cute, thanks linds for the pictures! I have to admit i´m super jealous that you took the name holland. I have absolutely fallen in love with Elder Holland in the mission, and as soon as you said you were going to name her that i almost screamed NOOO. Almost. That´s how badly i wished i would have claimed it. Oh well, maybe i´ll just name my first daughter Bednar.. haha. Sorry if last week´s letter sounded like i was a little down! Probably because i was, and still am a little bit.. Don´t get me wrong, i´m fine, but we just haven´t had too much success this month. We were working a ton with Soledad, Esmeralda, and Jose, and when they decided not to get baptized it was really tough for me! Then Evelyn waited until thursday to make her decision to wait too...... Ahhhhhhhhhh. So, since transfers are this next week and i´m very likely to get changed, it looks like the baptizing in Campodónico has come to an end. There are a few who have had baptismal dates in the past and just decided to wait, so i´ll see if i can get at least one to do it this week! There are a bunch of people who are so great here but just want a little more time to prepare and get to know the church a little more before they get baptized. Sometimes i get frustrated, then i think about how i would feel in their situation. I would never completely change my life and get baptized in a matter of two or three weeks! So, i´m working on my pacience, and i know things will all work out!
We taught a 50ish year old lady last week. There are like a million people living in her house.. 13 of her 15 grandchildren and their parents live there. She can´t read, which makes teaching super rough, but we taught her a little and she accepted a baptismal date. A few days later we went to teach her, and when we were walking down the road to her house she was sitting out front in a chair, then she ran away into her house and wouldn´t come to the door.. Don´t think she´ll get baptized too soon..
We are still working with Evelyn, who wants her friends to listen to us too. She´s super great and will get baptized here in a few weeks for sure. Just not with me probably :( Her dad, a 50ish year old man, was there yesterday when we taught. He always tells the most ridiculously long and irrelevant stories about the history of peru, etc. He also has a strange fixation with Germany and the USA. He just rags on peru and their government. It gets really frustrating when we´re trying to teach and he just starts in a 15 minute story, but such is the joy of missionary service. Which reminds me of Gilberto! He´s a schizophrenic man who we´re teaching. He is the definition of you never know what´s going to happen next. I´ll start talking, and half way through the second word i say he cuts me off to talk about who knows what. It´s to the point where we have to tell him every few minutes that he needs to listen to us and stay on the subject. He really wants to learn and stuff, but his sickness gets in the way and we get pretty frustrated sometimes.
We´re teaching a 20ish year old guy who just moved in with some members, he´ll get baptized in a few weeks too. Ah they´re all going to get baptized as soon as i leave! But it´s ok, it´s awesome to have played a part in their conversion, and i´ll get to work with new people too.
About food now.
Mom and dad, and everyone else for that matter, you HAVE to try avocado with sugar and lime juice! it´s so good! i love avocado now, salty and sweet. Apparantly they eat avocado sweet like a fruit in Paraguay, and i love it. A thought i had this week during lunch. You know i´m a changed human when i´m using onions to wash down the cow stomach i´m eating. Also, the floreanos told me that i ate (without knowing) cow tongue, and the inside of the cow´s udders.. If i would have known i don´t know if i could have stomached it! But i actually liked it haha!
As for a birthday present, all i ever want is candy. any kind is great! But i really don´t need anything, i just love your letters and support!
I know this work is the Lord´s work and that He really does support His missionaries! Even though i´m so far from home, and everything i ever knew to be normal, I´m so happy! I love serving Him and knowing there´s nothing i could be doing that would please Him more than being here and giving it my all.
Ps. Tomorrow i´m giving the lesson in district meeting and President Risso is going to be there! i´m kind of nervous but it should be great!
The pictures are from today, we played soccer at a sweet place with turf and there are a bunch of advertisements on the walls. I really loved the GINORMOUS beer ones, so i made everyone come take a picture there :)
And since I (Lindsey) put up these posts I wanted to include a picture of Jacob’s new niece, Holland. She was born last week, and her older sister Carly wants to hold her ALL THE TIME.