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!