Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012
Yes, i got the smaller package (i'm going to open it on Christmas, as instructed) And i got the little paper saying the other package is in customs here in chiclayo so i have to go pick it up, but yes, they're both here! A lot easier than last year! But i loved the tension of waiting. :)
The good news keeps coming lately. I get to talk to all the zone leaders every week (i'm kind of burnt out on reporting now, i've been receiving reports for almost a year and a half now), and basically all the missionaries every few weeks, so i get updates on how my old investigators are doing all the time. This week the zone leaders from Pomalca told me that Jorge Medina, a 16 year old champ, went to the temple last weekend and did baptisms for his dad and grandpa! It's the best feeling ever to know that a person i have been able to help be baptized has gone to the temple. The Floreano family is still planning on going to be sealed in January, too!
Here's the story of the multizone conferences with Elder Camargo this week.
Monday night we got to cajamarca and ate some killer KFC with president and sister Risso- we ate a bucket of chicken and a super good christmas cake thing. I have been really spoiled with all the fast food. But luckily i haven't gotten chubby, people actually keep telling me i look skinnier...? no exercise and lots more food, and i get skinnier. I don't get it. But i love it. Anyway, tuesday morning Elder Camargo was supposedly going to fly from lima to cajamarca and get there just in time for the zone conference. We were all waiting there while pres and sister Risso went to pick him up... time goes by... they call us, and guess what? The plane got there, but no Elder Camargo. Like 100 calls and an hour later, we figure out that he missed his plane from Colombia.... So we just did the conference with pres and sister Risso and us for four hours. it went great! Then we drove back here to chiclayo. Wednesday morning and afternoon we had 2 more conferences, and by then Elder Camargo had gotten here to chiclayo. When there's an authority there you can feel the tension in the air. The only bad part was that he took our time away! He said i'm going to ask you (the assistants) to give me your time... Seriously??!?!?! We spent like a week planning everything and he told us we had an hour, then he changed his mind! haha so he and his wife took 2 hours. Of course, it was way cooler than what we were going to talk about, and i wasn't really mad, just kind of bummed. I got to talk a lot with him. After the first conference wednesday mornign he asked me what he should talk about in the second meeting, so i gave him a few ideas. And in the afternoon he put me on the spot a few times, for example, he was walking along talking and said in doctrine and covenants 4 it says we have to serve God with what, elder Hatch? I knew that one. All of our heart, might, mind and strength. But later on he also quoted part of 3 nephi 28:29 and asked me where it was, but i didn't know. I don't think anyone else did either, though. I went 50%, not bad. In another part of the conference he pulled me up in front of everyone as a volunteer. He was talking about how when we go on a mission we are literally set apart from the world, from sin, etc. He grabbed me by the shoulders and moved me a few feet away from him and said, "You have to separate yourselves from sin!" and he looked at everyone- in that second i shuffled a little bit farther away from him, and he looked back at me and everyone started laughing. I don't know why i did it, i wasn't trying to be a clown, but it just happened. Luckily he laughed too, and said "well done". It was a moment i'll never forget.
After the conferences he talked a few minutes with Elder Infante and i, and invited us to a meeting with him, president Risso, and all the stake presidents from Chiclayo. I was so pumped! He talked about how missionary work needs to function in the wards. Then we all went in president Risso's car to an appointment with a tough investigator of a companionship of some sister missionaries. The investigator didn't show up... It would have been an awesome lesson.
So, since we weren't even going to participate, we didn't go to the conference in Jaen. It was fine though, because we had a few days to work in our area, which are scarce lately.
Saturday we went to work with some zone leaders in the Chiclayo Central zone, and we moved from our old apartment where we lived with the other four office elders to our own area in our own apartment. I didn't want to move, but elder infante is always super angry at the other missionaries because they never clean up after themselves, so he finally exploded and said we're moving tomorrow, and we did. It has its pros and cons, but oh well, i'll only be here another week.
Tomorrow is zone leaders council. It's my 10th, and last time, in attendance. It's tradition that the elders who are leaving bear their testimonies, so i'll probably do that tomorrow, and we're going to talk about what we were going to talk about in the multizone conferences there.
I can't believe Christmas is in 2 weeks! I haven't really had time to think about it. But i love this time of year.
Thanks for all the prayers and love, i am so grateful for my amazing family, and the support you are constantly giving.
Monday, December 3, 2012
Sorry this week is going to be really really short because i have a lot to do this morning before we head off to cajamarca after lunch! This week we were in the office a ton, planning stuff for the multizone conference. I´m attaching a picture of a little card we're making for the missionaries to put in their agendas to give them more ideas of topics when they´re knocking doors. This weekend our ward did a caravan to the temple in lima, and Anthony went! He did baptisms! And on sunday both him and leila, the other lady we baptized a few weeks ago, bore their testimonies! I was so happy i had to fight back the urge to fist pump a few times. It's been a good week. I love you and hope you have an amazing week!
Monday, November 26, 2012
Today is transfer day in the mission! Elder Chuiz, my last companion, is going home today. It's interesting to see the missionaries on their last day and talk to them about how they feel, etc. I feel bad for President Risso though, because he passes the whole morning in interviews. I swear, half of being a mission president is interviews.
The picture last week of the missionaries sleeping is a picture i took in the office- here we have a little makeshift storehouse for all the materials and furniture in the mission- those matresses are for new areas, etc.
Scop's baptism went great! The only problem was that Scop and his family (with a lot of less active members) showed up right on time and everyone else came like a half hour late. I was pretty stressed. But once we got started everything went well. The best part is that every week more of the family goes to church. This week Leila's sister and her two daughters were there! It's amazing to see the difference that one person can make on the entire family!
Oh, more good news. I have pink eye. Yesterday it was at its peak and it was bugging me pretty bad, but now it's feeling better.
We found a few cool new people in our area this week. The problem is that one couple can only meet with us once every two weeks... so it will be pretty hard to get them to progress. They said they were really interested in the Church and wanted to attend the meetings yesterday, but after all they didn't show up. We also taught the husband of a long-time member lady. He asked us a few quesions to test us, like "every church says their church is the true church, so i can't believe everyone who tells me it. What do you say?" But i just shared my testimony and invited him to find out for himself. Sometimes i get frustrated just wanting people to understand and accept our message- it's so simple and clear to me that it's all true and that if they do the things we invite them to they'll be blessed, but people get so confused because of all the other churches and different ideas that exist.
Oh, President Risso told me that i'm going to be transferred from the office in 3 weeks! Because a lot of missionaries are going home mid-transfer because they want to be home for Christmas instead of getting home at the start of January. And he said if it's possible he wants me to have a good 2 months in the field to be working like a normal missionary again. i'm happy with the idea. :) After being in the office so long i need a breath of fresh air.
Here's my thanksgiving story: A few north american missionaries who i saw throughout the day wished me a happy thanksgiving, but other than that i honestly didn't think about it too much. Elder Infante made Fettuccine Alfredo for dinner- i like that he loves to cook! But the real excitement happened on Friday. We were walking by a trash dump (they are abundant in chiclayo) and we heard what sounded like a bunch of cats, so we went to see what was up, and saw a little baby dog, like born that same day size, on the ground crying, and a black bag a few feet away that was moving and making lots of noise- it was full of baby puppies. Someone had just tossed their dog's newborn puppies in a bag and thrown it in the garbage. Obviously we couldn't just let them die, so we grabbed the bag and took them to a member family's house where they have a mom dog who gave birth not too long ago. Long story short, the mom dog didn't accept the babies and wasn't lactating anymore, but the family offered to take care of the puppies if we would search for houses for them. There were 9 of them!! I even named one that was golden hatchi (it's a common dog name here) haha. We had to give them milk in syringes, but yesterday seven of them died.. It seems like the other two are going to die too, which is sad, but we tried! That was our adventure of the week. Oh, one more adventure.
We sent our suit coats to be dry-cleaned- four of us from the office, and the lot fell on elder Infante and i to go pick them up saturday at night. So we get there and the girls who work there start getting nervous and realized they had given our four suit coats to four different missionaries.. So we called them and they just happened to be the missionaries who live in the most dangerous part of chiclayo, but we needed out suit coats to go to church on sunday morning! So we took the four coats they had in the store and took a mototaxi to Villahermosa.. After getting lost for a while we finally made it and did the exchange. it was risky and we got home at like 10:30! But we were safe.
i'm out of time, i love you family!
Here's Scop's baptism!
Marvin, the same young man that baptized Leila, baptized Scop. The other people are her family, all less active people who are reactivating!
And here i am feeding a little puppy!
Here's one of the little puppies eating.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Right now i'm listening to Christmas music! I'm getting into the Christmas spirit. I wanted to set up the christmas tree here in the office today, but appartently president risso said we have to wait until december. But we're basically not even going to be here in december. Here's the rough outline.. So, Elder Pino from the 70 was going to come but he´s super busy so he's sending an area 70 in his place to come do the tour of our mission.... kind of a dissapointment, but i'm sure it will still be great. Anyway, the first week of december he's scheduled to come and we'll probably be going to Jaen and Cajamarca in that week, and have a huge conference with all the missionaries here in Chiclayo. The second week we have zone leaders council, then the next weeks we have ward activities, visits to Cajamarca and Jaen for Christmas activities with them, and a christmas activity here in Chiclayo. President and Sister Risso are having 200 uruguay national team soccer jerseys made for all the missionaries! shhh, it's a secret though. Oh, and as for christmas decorations here in Chiclayo.. decorations outside of the house don't really exist here because people would rob them in the night, but inside the houses everyone sets up crazy huge manger scenes, but not until the weeks around christmas. The only places that are decorated now are big international retail stores.
When we got back from our trip we taught Scop, (great name), Leila's son. He's 12 and really wants to get baptized and go on a mission to the united states :) haha but Elder Infante and i are helping him gain a testimony. He's going to be baptized this saturday! We're excited for that.
Oh, and yes mom i know sister Case! She was in my zone in Latina. Now she's in Jaen and this last week when we were in the snack break during the conference for sister missionaries she told me that my aunt is her mom's boss. and President Risso said "and Elder Hatch is your boss" haha it was so funny!
I had another funny and embarrassing moment this last week.
We were in a zone meeting in the Chiclayo Perú zone- like 20 missionaries. I was talking about how to be more effective in the first lesson. I was finishing up my spiel and i was trying to say something like this "so that we can have more naturality in our first lesson" but what came out was "so that we can have more nature in our first lesson" and everyone laughed at me. But i bounced back quick :) I'm surprised i don't make a fool of myself more often.
I was studying yesterday in Ether 12. Verse 12 always has been interesting to me. it says that if we don't have faith God can't preform miracles. I'm sure God wants to perform so many miracles and help us out so much, but we limit what He can do for us a lot because we don't have enough faith! I'm trying to boost my faith by being constantly obedient and trying my hardest to prech the gospel effectively and by the spirit so that i can see miracles in the lives of the people i'm teaching!
I love you and hope you have a great week!
The first picture is of Elder Samamé and Elder Perea working hard sunday night in the office while the rest of us were working on reports.
The second is of Pres and Sister Risso with us at Gocta! Sister Risso would kill me if she knew i was sending this picture home! haha i was taking pictures of her and President walking and we were all sweaty and she was yelling at me to not take pictures! haha
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
This week was nuts! I feel like every week is nuts lately though.
Tuesday was the zone leaders council- we talked about a new sheet we made for all the missionaries to track their progress in their personal studies, and about how to be more effective in the first lesson.
Wednesday we went to the Chiclayo Perú zone's zone training meeting and they asked us to talk about the first lesson and do practices with the zone. That afternoon we planned a new special conference for only the sister missionaries in the mission on Thursday. We talked about basically the same things, but a little different, to keep building on what we talked about in the zone council. So that meeting was only for the sisters in Chiclayo, 16 sisters. That night one of our investigators we've had for a while, Stefani, told us she doesn't have any plans to be baptized, and that she only goes to church because she doesn't want to make her uncle feel bad and she feels obligated because she lives with them.. Bummer. But it's her choice! I'm glad she was honest with us.
Friday at about noon we started off to Jaen- we got there in the evening, and Elder Infante got sick from the drive and was all barfy, but he bounced back quick and we went to a ward mission night in the zone leaders' ward. Saturday morning we gave the same special conference for sister missionaries to the 6 sisters in Jaen. In the afternoon we drove to Chachapoyas. Sunday morning in church i played the little electric organ in sacrament meeting- i'm getting used to playing without a pedal.. In the afternoon we went out with a member of the branch to visit less active members and ended up trekking all over the hills in chachapoyas and only visited one person. It was fun though because Chachapoyas is beautiful and it was lightly raining- it's seriously paradise there. The only problem is that the nasty mattresses we throw on the floor to sleep on when we visit them are definitely infested with fleas, because i always wake up scratching myself. Monday we had p-day in Chachapoyas! there are a million sweet tourist attractions around chachapoyas, and president and sister Risso chose to go the third tallest waterfall in the world, Gocta. It's about an hour driving from Chachapoyas, then three hours hiking in and three hours hiking out. It was pretty tough for me, and my companion and president and sister risso were basically dead half way through. I didn't think they were going to make it. But it was so so pretty there! We even saw a really rare almost extinct parrot type orange bird. We had a tour guide who told us all the myths and showed us the plants, etc. The entire day i had flies trying to land on my head. I was about to go insane. Oh and the tour guide showed us a huge boulder on the side of the pathway that has fossilized seashells in it. I don't know how the ocean got to gocta.. It's not even close to any ocean or lake or anything!
Then, when we were all dead tired we drove to Jaen for the night, pres Risso put in a Beatles cd.. not too bad :) and elder Infante and i got to stay in the hotel where pres and sister risso stay over night. It was SO hot though, and our air conditioner didn't work- the one night in my entire mission where i have an air conditioner in my room and it doesn't work.. haha. So i didn't sleep too much but today in the car ride back i slept like four of the five hours. We just got here to the office, and now this week we actually have some time to work in our area! yayyyyy.
I'm really tired and kind of out of it right now, and can't think of what else to write! So that's all for today. Have a good week :)
Here i am on the trail to Gocta!
And this is Leila's baptism!
Monday, November 5, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROOKE!
I've been meaning to write and thank you for the awesome cards you all sent me for my birthday, but life has been crazy lately and i didn't get a p-day last week! But thank you so much for being an amazing sister, and for all the love and support you continue to give me. You are an awesome example to me of how to always look for missionary opportunities, even in Provo, Utah. Keep up the awesome work :)
This week was a classic missionary week, full of ups and downs..
After being sick on monday and a little bit of tuesday, i felt great. We went to a zone meeting in the Latina zone, where i was zone leader before being in the office, and where i started my mission. Whenever i go into that stake center so many memories come flooding back to me! It's so much fun being able to go so many places, and i feel like i'm really getting to know chiclayo and the whole mission. Oh, i forgot to tell you, President Risso basically told me where my last area is going to be in my mission a few days ago. So i know, but i'm going to keep it a secret so it will be more intense for you everyone else :) But i'm excited, it'll be a new and interesting experience for me. And yes, it's basically set that i'll be here in the office until the beginning of january and i'll pass the last month and a half in the field as a normal missionary.
With my new companion, Elder Infante, things are still going great. This morning he made me banana milk and macaroni and cheese for breakfast (mondays we don't go to our pensionista for breakfast, and food supplies were a little scarce) but it was really good. And he always cleans our room. I've turned into a very clean, organized person on my mission, but he takes it to a new level. I make my bed in the morning after i pray and when i come out of the shower it's made better, and all my things on our desk are organized.. haha it's awesome. but at the same time it makes me feel bad and want to serve him more, too!
Elder Chuiz is in a place like ten minutes from chiclayo called Ciudad de Dios. It's really ghetto and has no plumbing in the whole town! He finishes in a month.
We had a few really good lessons this week, but after all it turned out stinky. We have been working on and off with an inactive member who everyone calls Papo. I don't know what his real name is.. But he's like 40. We had a great lesson and the spirit was really strong. He decided to go to church this week, and i made him write it down so it would be in writing, set and unchangable. We had basically the same experience with another inactive family we're teaching, the Couyate family. Sunday morning we passed by their houses to pick them up... In Papo's house they were decorating for a catholic holiday dedicated to an idol.. (they're all members in that house) and Papo wasn't there. And in the Couyate's house the dad came to the door drunk :( ah, it was rough. And the families we're teaching didn't go either. BUT, sunday afternoon was one of the high points of my whole mission. Anthony, the 20 year old guy elder chuiz and i baptized a few months ago, is doing so well! He got the Melchizidek Priesthood last week, and is an Elder now, and an assistant to the ward mission leader! We had an activity with the elders' quorum in the afternoon to go out and visit all the less active members. Only the quorum president and anthony showed up, so Elder Infante and i divided up and went out with them. I went with Anthony- he looks so awesome in his white shirt and tie- we saw a bunch of members while we were visiting and everyone called him elder until they realized it was anthony and not a normal missionary. When we were teaching a less active member it honestly felt like having a normal companion. he's so chosen to have found the church and changed his life. Everone's already bugging him about going on a mission, but he's only been a member for like 2 months! After the visits was ward council, anthony was there too, and volunteered to pick up a less active member every week to go to church. Then we had ward mission correlation- he directed the meeting like a champ. I feel like i know a little better how parents feel when their kids do something really good! I was just so happy and couldn't stop smiling!
We were visiting a companionship in a little pueblito called Mórrope, like 40 minutes from here.
I was with Elder Cordero, from Chile. We were teaching a guy who really wants to get baptized but his wife doesn't want to marry him, she just wants to live together.. The whole time an annoying cricket/grasshopper was flying around the room and landing on us and being obnoxious. At one point it landed on my lap and then we couldn't find it for a few seconds, but kept on teaching. I guess another one came into the room at that point, because one was still flying around (at this point we supposed it was still grasshopper #1) but like ten minutes later my back starts itching so i go to scratch it and the grashopper was inside my shirt and walking up my back! We had to put the lesson on pause for a few seconds while Elder Cordero helped me get it out.
Knocking doors we got into a house of super Evangeligal people. We talked to (and tried to teach) the mom about the church Christ organized, but it just turned into her telling us about her crazy spiritual experiences. She supposedly died and went to the spirit world where, among many other things, she saw babies suffering in chains because their parents created them in sin.. haha it was interesting to listen to her, because she wouldn't let us talk!
This week president Risso is going to Quito, Ecuador for an area conference, so he asked Elder infante and i to take over a meeting for him. we're going to teach for an hour to a group of 70 future missionaries here in chiclayo about how to prepare for the mission- that should be fun!
I think that's all the news for now. I'm doing great and hope everyone has a great week!
This is guinea pig with rice and potatoes! YUMMY!
This statue of Christ is in one of the most dangerous parts of Chiclayo, Cruz de la Esperanza (the cross of hope). The name is a little ironic.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Yay i'm glad mom and dad got my package! Sorry it was late.. but it's the thought that counts. I hope the sweater fits mom, i'm not the best at sizing things.
Yeah, so i thought the date was February 16th, but it's actually the 18th and i'll be getting home on Tuesday, the 19th. A few more days to wait haha. It'll be almost 25 months. And yes, it's because that's the day that transfers happen. my ending date from the Piura mission would have been the 30th of January, but because of the difference in the transfer schedule here in Chiclayo i could choose between the 7th of January and the 18th of February.
Mom asked about if i've been in any little church branches. My actual areas where i've been assigned have all been wards with a lot of members, but in the mission there are tiny little family groups where like ten people attend. I have only been in the sunday meetings of one of those once! In a little place called Pedro Ruiz, like 8 hours from Chiclayo.
This week was transfers! My companion, Elder Chuiz, is in another area and my new companion is Elder Infante, a pretty big boy from the south of Perú. But his family moved to Chiclayo a few months ago! They live like ten minutes from here, it's pretty funny. He's the man, and sometimes i feel like he's a mom. He is always cleaning and he loves to cook (he cooks really well). He'll be a great companion.
After transfers it was supposed to be a normal week without any special meetings or anything for us, but on Wednesday President Risso told us that Elder Torres, of one of the quorums of the 70, had invited him to the stake conference of Cajamarca, one of the far away stakes here in the mission. So, Pres Risso decided to go and invited us to go along, too. It was a win-lose though because we're teaching a few awesome families and we couldn't take them to the stake conference that was happening in our own stake here in chiclayo. We invited them to go alone, but i'm not sure if they went. Today at night we'll see when we go visit them. But Saturday morning we went with pres and sister Risso to Cajamarca. In the afternoon we worked with a companionship of missionaries in the Chontapaccha ward. It is raining every day in Cajamarca lately, and i LOVED being there! I got to use my rain jacket for the second time ever. Sunday morning was the stake conference and i really enjoyed the talk of Elder Torres, the 70 who was there. One thing he said is that in our lives we simply don't have time to sin. We don't have time to waste on needless entertainment either. There is so much good we have to do, and I believe that the people who make it to exaltation will be those who are always anxiously engaged in a good cause. For example, we can use a whole afternoon watching TV, or we can do the Lord's work indexing, or spending time talking to our families and doing good for others. Another thing i understood while he was talking was about condemnation. All condemnation is is a limitation of opportunities. When we choose to sin we are in a way condemned because we don't have all the opportunities we would have otherwise, and it would be so sad to have our opportunities limited forever! That's why we have to repent now and live exactly how God demands so that we can have unlimited opportunities for eternity. That afternoon we went to a little town a few miles away from Cajamarca called Jesus. Not a bad name for a town. We were thinking of putting a companionship of missionaries there, but there aren't any members there so it would be really hard to start from zero. We finished off the day with the Sunday night reports which was a struggle, because the cell phone reception in Cajamarca isn't very good. Monday morning we went to a cool really old farm slash tourist attraction with Pres and Sister Risso called La Colpa. For lunch i ate Chinese food at a food court in a mall there in Cajamarca, and we made the journey back to Chiclayo. I slept for like the first four hours, and when i woke up my stomach was going crazy. I started feeling all gross, so i had to stop off to go to a bathroom in a pharmacy in a little town and i bought some peptoish stuff then i started getting worse and sweating, and i thought i was going to barf but through some serious prayer i made it to the house. Pres and sister Risso dropped us off and i literally ran up the stairs, tossed my bags on the table and barely made it to the bathroom to throw up. The second week in a row?! I'm sick of food poisoning. Today i'm fine though. And Elder Infante took good care of me last night. He even wrapped my feet up in an extra blanket because my feet were really cold and i was shivering and he made me some herbal tea.
Right now i'm just excited to get out and work like normal in my area! There are so many good people waiting to be found and taught the gospel. It's amazing how God is preparing people daily all throughout the world to be able to accept the gospel. He knows us so well and His plan for us is perfect. The coolest part of being assistant is being able to work with and get to know so many missionaries. I'm so grateful for all the awesome missionaries who give their best every day trying to help others have joy through the Atonement of Christ. This is His work and His Church. I know that true happiness comes through the choices we make to draw nearer to God.
I love you!
My Peruvian girlfriend
President and Sister Risso at La Colpa
Overlooking a bit of the valley by Cajamarca. It's so pretty there!
This is Elder Infante with a little calf at La Colpa.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
This conference was nuts! The office crew decided to watch it here in the office Saturday morning on the Internet. The Latinos, Elders Chuiz, Perea, Chero, and Samame watched it in Spanish while Elder Hemsley and I watched it in English. Even though i understand everything in Spanish it's still way better in English with their real voices. Right at the start when President Monson announced the new temple in Arequipa we were all so happy! Arequipa is way down south in Perú, so nobody here is really that excited, because they´re all still waiting for the Trujillo temple to be built which is only 3 hours away! The Lima temple is about 12 hours south and Arequipa, the third temple in Perú, will be like 20 hours away. But that's awesome because the members in Perú really need temples close because they don't have much money to travel very far. Then when he started talking about missionary work and saying that in some countries missionaries have been going out at 18 i knew he was going to say it was for everywhere now, but when he said it it still shocked me! Elder Hemsley and I started dancing and yelling, and the Latino elders were confused because their conference was a little bit behind, so we just told them to wait and when they heard it they freaked out too. Then when he started talking about the sisters our Internet started lagging, it made the moment SO intense! We were yelling at the computer and finally it worked and when he said they can go at 19 it blew my mind!!! It was definitely my most exciting general conference moment to date. I feel like way more sister missionaries will go now, and that's so great because honestly sister missionaries work harder than the majority of the Elders.. After the morning session ended i watched that part two more times.
Saturday night for priesthood and Sunday we went to the chapel of Los Incas, where i served like a year ago, because they're remodeling our stake center, and that is the chapel where the whole stake went to see it. In other words, i got to see A TON of old friends from Los Incas and Los Amautas (I've served in 3 wards in this stake, i feel like i know everyone!) And it was so great to see Cesar, Stefany and Blanca there too, three people i got to baptize! I talked with them, Blanca is still having problems with her husband who doesn't like that she goes to church... But she's reading her scriptures all the time and is super faithful in the church!
Wednesday was zone leaders council and we talked about how to work better with less active members and how to be "ductile" missionaries. From doing splits with lots of missionaries I've learned that they basically teach the same lessons over and over again. Supposedly we should find the person's needs, satisfy their needs with the Gospel, etc, and be able to adapt and change what we teach. But most missionaries just sit down and teach the lessons, using the same scriptures every time.. I was with a missionary this week and we got into a lady's house knocking doors. the lady told us she only had 10 minutes, and the missionary i was with whispered to me "wow, how am i going to teach the whole plan of salvation in 10 minutes?" i was thinking nooooooooooooooooooooooo!! That's a great example of not being ductile, or flexible, with what we teach. So we're working on that with the mission. After the meeting with the zone leaders we went to a Chinese restaurant and i totally ate a full plate of rice with squid, sea snails, shrimp, and something else chewy. :) I liked it but it didn't fill me up. I think i have an iron stomach as a missionary because no matter what i eat it's always just happy and working great. What a blessing!
Great moments from this week:
So, in our area we have very, very few investigators. It doesn't help that when we finally get somebody who's interested we have to go out of town so we leave them with the sister missionaries to teach while we're gone and when we come back we don't want to take them away from the sister missionaries.. so we end up with nobody. But anyway, we were kind of bummed one day and were knocking doors without success, and a young man comes to the door and told us he was busy but that he seriously wants us to come back and visit him. We set an appointment for Saturday between the afternoon and priesthood session to visit him. We got there and he was actually there waiting for us and let us in (a very rare occurrence). We got to know him a bit and i felt to tell him to invite his parents to listen to us too. After 3 months of basically everyone always telling us they're busy, it's hard to keep the faith up sometimes, so when he came back in with both of his parents we were very surprised and excited to have found a family! We had a great lesson and have another appointment with them in a few days.
We also did a ward talent show and with the missionaries from the ward we did a sketch where a doctor (elder chuiz) made a machine to cure everyone's sicknesses. i was the doctor's mute and weird assistant who had to enter the machine with the people when they came into his office, and when the people came out of the machine healed i came out with whatever they had before. I ended up blind, with a hurt leg, and without an arm, and the sketch ended when a pregnant lady came in and i went running away. Everyone loved it!
i was working with a district leader in his area, knocking doors, and when a lady told him she was busy he said "so am i, but can we come in and teach you about Jesus?" It was great, i started laughing :)
Oh, and I got the papes in the mail telling me that the packages are in customs here in chiclayo and i have to go pick them up but i can't today because it's a holiday and everything is closed, but i'll go get them tomorrow probably, i'm excited!!!!
Thanks for the happy birthdays and all the love :)
Monday, October 1, 2012
That was so awesome to see the videos of mom's birthday! All the kids look so old and mom looks so young! Seriously, i see women here that are way younger and look much older. And the cake was nuts! I'm sure Kristen made it. Sister Risso made some cupcakes that were decorated really pretty with flowers on them and it made me remember all of Kristen's beautiful cakes! I hope everything went great and that you enjoyed your birthday, Mom :)
This week i felt more like a tourist than a missionary. I barely even got to do normal missionary work.. but that's kind of my life lately. Tuesday and Wednesday we were in the office all day downloading videos off the internet for a DVD we're making for all the missionaries in the mission with mormon messages, "i'm a mormon" videos, and bible videos to use for their investigators. It takes so long sometimes for them to download and then they would be messed up or randomly in english, and i had to figure out how to make a dvd menu and i got it all done then after all the program had a virus or something and it all crashed and we ended up paying our pensionista's husband to do it. So all week while we were in Jaen and Chachapoyas the office crew here was here in chiclayo burning dvds, and now they're all ready to give to the zone leaders in the Zone Council this Wednesday! On Thursday morning we headed out to Jaen, aka more great 70s music and I slept most of the way in the car. We got there in the afternoon and i went out with the zone leaders in a trio to work for the afternoon. I realized that i have only worked in a trio two or three times in my whole mission, and it was weird.. But at the end of the day we taught an awesome lesson to a teenage guy. The spirit was amazing when we taught him the Restoration and i felt my testimony being strengthened and confirmed in those moments while i was sharing my testimony with him. Before my mission i had always heard that your testimony grows when you share it, but when i shared it in sacrament meeting all i felt was nervous.. Now i understand what an amazing experience it is to connect with a person and have the spirit teach you both in that moment that what you're saying is true. He accepted to be baptized, and after the lesson all four of us knelt down to pray and he asked to know if what we had taught him was true, and after the prayer he told us he felt that it's all true and that he needs to be baptized! I wish it was always that simple! Some people take months or years to be able to feel an answer that clearly and make their decision. But honestly, i have been so blessed to see the field white all ready to harvest. God truly is preparing the hearts of people all over the world to accept the Gospel.
I also got to interview a lady in Jaen who's super ready to be baptized- the missionaries have been teaching her for four months, and they finally got all the papers set so they can be married and baptized a few days later!
Friday morning elder Chuiz and i put on a leadership training meeting in Jaen for the district and zone leaders, it was the third time we did it. I don't know how teachers can teach the same thing all day every day. When i repeat the same thing even twice i get bored! I don't think a teaching career is for me. That afternoon i worked with Elder Cabrera from Bolivia in the Laureles ward. We taught some people who are kind of eternal investigators who don't want to go to church and are just too lazy to do anything, so i tried to pump them up and get them to commit to go to church, but no luck- they just kept coming up with new excuses. It's funny/sad when at first the people tell you one thing like, oh i can't go because my mom is sick.. then later you invite them again and they say, no, because i have to go to the market and then cook for my kids..No wait, i have to go out of town! if you're going to make up an excuse you have to choose one and go with it! But at least we taught a guy with an amazing neck beard that was two-toned and a hitler mustache. I respected him for that and because he accepted the word of wisdom. He doesn't want anything to do with going to church or praying though.
Saturday we went to Bagua Chica and president interviewed the missionaries there, then on to Chachapoyas. Recently the mission took over the Chachapoyas branch, because the leadership there was terrible. So now, the four missionaries there are branch president, first counselor, secretary, and elders quorum pres. Ever since the missionaries have been in charge things have gone way better there in the branch. We got there just in time to set up for the relief society broadcast (internet is amazing!) and i even got to watch the new president's talk while Pres. Risso was interviewing Elder Navas, then he and i went out to work for the night. We knocked on one door and got in to teach the lady a lesson- turns out she's the mayor's wife! I hope she can progress! Sunday we went to their meetings there in the branch (they meet in basically a garage) and i played the little electric organ for all the hymns. It was a first for them in Chachapoyas, because they have the organ but nobody knows how to play! Needless to say the kids were mesmerized. After the meetings there we went to the Sunday meetings of another little family group where there is one companionship of missionaries in a place called Pedro Ruiz, like an hour from Chachapoyas. It's so cool to see faithful members of the church in little remote places, fulfilling their callings and raising Christ-centered families. A little 7 year old girl gave the opening prayer in sacrament meeting, and it was the best prayer from a little kid i think I've ever heard! Anyway, by that time it was five in the afternoon, so we trekked 2 hours back to Jaen where Elder Chuiz and i received all the weekly reports from the zone leaders. This week we had about 40 baptisms! That's the most the mission has ever had in one week! And it put us at 136 for the month, the mission's best month EVER! We slept there in Jaen last night, and this morning made our way back to Chiclayo. The road id kind of dangerous with big mountains and cliffs.. and when we were driving along we see a huge group of people on the side of the road and emergency crews.. When we drove by and made a loop down the road we saw that a huge tour bus had flown off the road off a really steep part of the mountain. It made me sick to my stomach. They were trying to rescue people with a rope pulling them up the mountain from the ravine where the bus had gotten stuck. Down the road at a toll booth they told us that like 30 people had died. how sad :( But pres Risso always is really careful driving, so don't worry.
Now i'm back in Chiclayo and this week we have the zone leaders meeting, so these next days we'll be preparing that, and the rest of the week will probably be crazy, too!
Oh, the sister missionary from last week is doing much better. For precautions we moved here to an area here in Chiclayo where she can get more tests and stuff done, so her companion in Cajamarca is with a mini missionary for the meantime.
Hope you have a great week!
Love, Elder Hatch
Here is my new friend, an awesome monkey eating a candy some kid gave him
Here we are in the central square of Chachapoyas!
Monday, September 24, 2012
I'm going to jump straight to the two highlights of the week.
#1. On the way to Cajamarca with President and Sister Risso, we were driving along talking about random things, and after about two hours things got silent, so i pulled out my scriptures and started reading a bit in Alma, when he talks with his sons after their mission to the Zoramites. I had been reading like ten minutes when Sister Risso pops in a CD. I was expecting regular church music, but it was The Carpenters greatest hits!!!!! I was so pumped! I don't know if i ever told the family, or anyone except Zach White, but like 6 months before my mission i randomly fell in love with the Carpenters and listened to them all the time. Of course my love for them sprung from mom and dad listening to them all through my childhood, and i told President Risso that my parents like this music too, and he was surprised, so that started an hour long conversation about 70s music. In conclusion, President and Sister Risso have the exact same music tastes as mom and dad. Very classy. Another great fact of president Risso is that he played in a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover band, so of course we listened to some of that too. Life as assistant is so different from being a normal missionary.. I would have never imagined myself listening to music like that in the mission... But i guess it's legal if your mission president puts it on and is singing along...
#2. Also in Cajamarca..
We were going around with President Risso and the zone leaders of Cajamarca to different parts of the valley where we want to put missionaries and open up new family groups (that will eventually turn into branches) We were in one area called Moyococha when the zone leaders get a phone call from some sister missionaries in the zone saying one of them was sick and had fainted. So, we finished up there in Moyococha and made our way to Baños del Inca, where the sister missionary was sick. We get to their pension (where they eat, a little house) and go up to the second floor and the sister missionary was lying on the floor unconscious. we were expecting her to be dizzy or just feeling sick or something, so we all kind of went into shock, but knew we needed to get her to the clinic fast! They told us she had been throwing up and convulsing then went unconscious.. Everyone wanted to group lift her with a blanket under her, but that was just ridiculous, so one of the zone leaders and i picked her up and started taking her to the stairs. Now, mind you that i've been at sea level for almost two years, and Cajamarca is at 3000 meters above sea level, so i could barely breathe anyway, plus the shock, plus not ever exercising, it was rough. I was shaking like a leaf, everyone was all flustered and nervous, and when we got to the stairs we realized two people couldn't fit carrying her down, so we kind of had to pass her down the stairs (way harder than it sounds with an unconscious person on a cramped peruvian staircase) and then i carried her to the car. When we laid her down across the seat i was almost dead, but felt like we should give her a blessing. I barely managed to get the top off my oil container because i was shaking so badly, but we gave her a blessing to make it okay to the clinic. That was a tense drive.. She came to for a few seconds in the car and started to almost throw up, then her eyes opened up really wide and she fell back limp and unconscious. that was crazy. But we made it to the clinic, and a few minutes later she came to, but was in bad shape. They didn't know what the problem was with her, she was complaining of a really bad headache, but they gave her an IV and like two hours later sent her back to her house. ( i have no idea why they sent her away so soon) but apparently she was doing ok. We finished off the day working with the zone leaders,and when elder chuiz and i were finishing up our daily planning session at 10 at night our phone rings. It was the sister missionaries. she says frantically, "Elder Hatch, my companion is unconscious again" WHAT?! So we call president Risso and grab a taxi and rush back to Baños del Inca which is like 20 minutes away, and run into their room this time where the sister is there on the floor of the bathroom out cold. This time it wasn't as rough to get her out of the house because there was more room to maneuver, and we rushed her to the clinic again. This time they took the case more seriously and she stayed the night and they did a bunch of tests today, but i still don't know what the problem is.. It was NUTS!!
The rest of the week was pretty normal, we did a leadership training there, and worked with different companionships in Cajamarca and a few days in our own area.. Today we played soccer for p-day and i'm realizing how seriously out of shape i am. I'm not fat anymore, just out of shape.
This week we're going to Jaen, the other far-away zone, to do the same leadership training and President Risso is going to do interviews with all the missionaries there. We're also going to the most remote area of the mission, Chachapoyas, again. It's so awesome there. I'll try to take some good pictures of the scenery! I didn't take pictures this week in Cajamarca because we were super busy and i totally forgot i had my camera.. sorry.
Have a great week and enjoy the amazing blessings of the Restored Gospel!!
Here is the picture of Anthony's baptism! those are the sister missionaries from our ward, Sister Lazalde from Orem, and Sister Melendez from Lima. In front are our zone leaders, Elder Cerrutti, and Elder Despain (he just finished his mission!)
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
This week was great. I probably say that like every week, but it´s true. I wouldn't be happier anywhere else in the world. I am coming to realize how well the Lord knows each one of us, and how everything that happens to us is for a wise purpose. Last Sunday we had a ward activity where we went out visiting less active members with other members of the ward. After the activity we received a referral of a woman who another missionary and member had contacted. We visited her this week. She told us she had lost her job because of a sickness, but didn't really want to tell us what sickness. After a little bit she gathered herself and told us she is trying to face her problem and decided to tell us she is epileptic. I could tell she was embarrassed about it and definitely in the "why me?" phase of her trial. We shared our testimonies with her and some scriptures came to me that I had forgotten about, that honestly probably strengthened me more in that moment than her. We all finished feeling the spirit, and she said she wants us to come back and keep visiting her. God knows what investigators need us, but He also knows what investigators we need! I love teaching, because when I really focus on the investigator and what they need, not just sharing a lesson, we all end up being taught by the Spirit.
We're also teaching a 40ish year old lady named Leila who has a long story with the church. Basically everyone in her family are members of the church except her, and when i jokingly said to her that she escaped the missionaries before, she started thinking and said to us that it just wasn't her time before, but that she knows that now it is! She wants to be baptized soon, but wants her semi-rebel son to be baptized with her.. so, we're trying to trap him and catch his interest so they can both be baptized! She's gone to church three consecutive weeks now!
Other great moments of the week: In our ward mission activity this week we had a family feud activity! I kept score and changed the team names from team a and team b to "team Gadianton" and "the Nehores" Only a few of them actually got it... I was secretly testing them to see if they are reading the book of mormon... :)
We have had some problems with the computer system of the church when we do transfers for missionaries- they show up in wrong areas, so we spent a lot of time calling support people in the area, and i ended up talking with a guy in Provo! In English! It was so hard and awkward- I have gotten so used to talking on the phone in Spanish (that's basically all i do anymore) But after all we got the problem figured out and everything is working now.
I am now the unofficial chorister in our ward..
We did an exchange with the zone leaders from the Dorado zone here in Chiclayo, and i got to work with elder Insaurralde! He was my second companion. It was awesome to be back together and remember the good old days, and see how much we have both progressed in this last year. I now have officially worked in every single zone of the mission!
Sunday i played prelude music for sacrament meeting, directed the hymns (a sister missionary plays the piano-she's better than me :) and gave a talk. I talked about preparation- how the purpose of life is to prepare ourselves for eternity, and the church's key role in that process. It didn't turn out how i wanted it to, but it went okay.
Thursday we did a leadership training meeting for all the zone leaders and district leaders in the Chiclayo area. there were 60 in all, and that turned out great. I always got bored in those meetings when i was on the other side, so i try to make things more exciting for them. I like doing interactive activities and relating them to something. This time i thought of another game and related it to how we as leaders can help the other missionaries focus on their goals and achieve more than they would alone. We assigned other zone leaders to teach about district meetings, companionship exchanges, and reports. It's just a basic training meeting we do every three months mainly for the district leaders.
And the best part of the week... I FINALLY got the card from mom and dad!! the second one with dad's name on it. Thank you so much for all the work that went in to that just for my silly mistake. But i love the pictures and scripture mastery cards too! I think i'm going to give one of the cards to Anthony, who we baptized a few weeks ago.
A thought for the week from my talk on Sunday:
This week we received an email confirming that Elder Pino of the 70 was going to visit our mission, and that he was going to come to the office and also inspect some rooms as part of his tour of the mission. I immediately thought about how dirty our room is (six elders in a room is bad news) and i thought of how i need to read Elder Pino's talk from the last general conference and maybe fix up some other things to be ready for his visit. President Risso commented that a visit from a general authority really isn't any different from a visit from the Savior Himself. When he said that i started thinking about how i would feel if Christ were coming to visit the mission next week. And then, what would we do if we knew His second coming was next week? Would there be people to forgive, plans to change, last minute hopes of getting to know Him better? After meditating for a while, i realized the importance of ALWAYS being prepared for whatever comes. We don't know when Christ will come, or when it will be our time to pass from this mortal life, but we do have the church and the gospel to constantly keep us prepared so that in those great days we can be ready! I hope we can all live in such a way that we truly become the sheep of the Good Shepherd, and in the day that He calls us we can recognize the name by which we are called and be accepted into His fold forever. (Alma 5:38) Oh, and after all, Elder Pino isn't coming this week. It's going to be in October or November. So we're going to Cajamarca tomorrow with president and sister Risso!! Road trip! :)
I love you,
PS I want to send pictures of Anthony's baptism but they're on elder Chuiz' camera and he's not here right now, so I'll see if i can next week!
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
This week was nuts. Monday and Tuesday we were in the middle of all the transfer stuff, and when we finished that we had to plan the zone leaders' council. That took an entire afternoon, but after all it turned out well. One of the things we talked about was the area book, where the missionaries write down all the information about their investigators, etc. Elder Chuiz and I have been checking the area books of a lot of companionships when we visit different zones, and we've realized that a lot of missionaries aren't updating anything in their area books.. so, I thought up a cool example. I got a box and put a bunch of random little objects from all around the office inside. When the zone leaders were going into the meeting i had some of them look at what was in the box for ten seconds and immediately write down what they had seen. Others had to look at what was inside the box for ten seconds, but i told them not to write anything down, just remember what they saw, and other missionaries didn't get to see what was inside the box. When it was time to talk about the area book later in the program, i had the missionaries who had only seen-and not written down what they saw, write what they could remember. Obviously it was less than the people who had written in the moment they saw what was in the box. Then we did an example. the first group of missionaries who saw and wrote down immediately are like the missionaries who update every day what they do. the second group are like missionaries who update their book every week or so, and obviously some things get left out. The third group are like missionaries who get to a new area and don't know anything that has been going on before because the missionaries before them didn't update the area book. then we talked more about it, but it was a cool example- i remember doing something like that in elementary school, and that's where the whole idea came from.
Friday we went to one of the kind of far away zones, Chepen. It's about an hour and a half in bus south of here. We went to their zone meeting, had a killer lunch of octopus and onions in lime juice (yes, i ate it) and then went another hour south to an area called Pacasmayo to work with a companionship there. We slept over and in the morning came back to chiclayo.
Sunday was awesome. when we got to church, Elder Hooker, the area 70, was there! A sister missionary in our ward is really good at the piano, so she played the electric organ we have there, and i led the music. elder hooker gave an amazing talk that answered a question I've kind of had on my mind for a while. he taught that when we take the sacrament we renew ALL the covenants we have made. I wasn't sure if it was all the covenants or just the baptismal covenant. That was cool. And he also talked about one of the devil's tricks. He said that the devil tries to make us think there are three options in our choices: What God wants, what the devil wants, and what I want. he tries to make us think that we can neither follow God nor Satan, and find the middle ground. That´s one of his many little tools he uses. He said that every choice we take either makes us a slave of God or a slave of the adversary. (I had never thought of being a slave of God..) But he used awesome imagery and i was very, very edified.
Sunday afternoon we went out to rescue some less active members with members of the ward. I went to a house where a little boy was sick and whining in his mother's arms. His dad (an active member) anointed and asked me to give the blessing. While we were giving him the blessing he went quiet, and i felt that he would be healed. When i finished the blessing i looked down at him and he was smiling and totally calm. The parents were amazed at how quick he had calmed down, and it just felt so good to be there. I love seeing the Priesthood authority working. I'm so grateful to have that authority and see it work to bless others. I know that God is watching over all of His children, and when we need it most, His tender mercies are made apparent in our lives.
I love you!
PS. My clothes are holding out really well! Some of the shirts are coming unsewn slowly, but i think they'll make it!
And as for school... If i can hold out until October to make the decision, i think i'm going to wait. I'm praying and thinking about it, but i still haven't felt anything very strongly either way.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
This week the letter is going to be short because i don't have much time! The Monday of transfers is always crazy here in the office! All the missionaries who were finishing up their missions were here in the morning, then they ate lunch in the mission home and at four we sent them off in the airport and now they're in Lima! It's weird for me sending off missionaries, knowing that each time is a little closer to my time... But i still don't feel the need to go home. There are some missionaries who obsess with going home, all they think about is how awesome it's going to be to be finished, but i feel bad for them! They don't realize how important this work is and how valuable the time we have here is. Tonight we receive the brand new from the MTC missionaries here, take them to the mission home and have dinner with them. Tomorrow in the morning are the transfers for the whole mission and we're hoping everything turns out well with the missionaries who are coming here from far away areas, etc! And President Risso and we made some last minute changes to where missionaries are going, so i hope we didn't mess anything up and that we informed everyone, and that the zone leaders don't forget to pick up the missionaries we assigned them to pick up in the middle of the night from bus agencies! There's lots to think about for transfers! Then, tomorrow after the transfer meeting we have the meeting where we assign the 13 new missionaries to their trainers and then have 2 hours to give them an introduction to the first 12 weeks program for new missionaries. It's a crash course on how to be a trainer and how to be trained, it's the second time i'll have done it now.
Saturday was Anthony's baptism and Sunday was his confirmation- everything went perfectly, i even played the piano and sang a special musical number in the service. It was cool. A returned missionary who accompanied us to teach Anthony all the time baptized him. Sunday we participated in the confirmation, and a member family we're really good friends with asked us to participate in the blessing of their grandson, that was a first for me!
After all, Elder Hooker didn't end up coming last week, but this weekend he's scheduled to come. It's going to be another busy week with lots of planning and thinking with my companion about what we should talk about in the Zone leaders' council.
I love you family!
Monday, August 27, 2012
I don't say nearly enough how grateful i am for you. I love so much the emails i get every week from mom and dad, and from the sisters too. It makes me so happy to hear from you and know that everything is going well at home, and to know that so many prayers offered for me. I can honestly feel them. This week i had some cool experiences with that. And all i can say is thank you, and keep praying for me- i need it!
The package was awesome and yes, there was enough to share! The debit card is still mysteriously absent.. I really hope it comes soon! We've been getting a TON of mail lately because the strike ended, but no debit card..
This week we did the two multizone conferences and an exchange with a missionary who's in his training, and his companion. Teaching 80 missionaries for two and a half hours is crazy! I'm learning lots about teaching and being in front of large groups of people. We did practices and some cool examples so they wouldn't get bored. One thing we talked about was how to study more effectively. As part of that i asked for a volunteer. An elder came up and i told him to do a handstand. He was caught off guard and said he couldn't do it, so i told him to sit down. Then (we had this planned) i asked Elder Karl, a gymnast, to come up. I told him to do a handstand and he did one for like 30 seconds, spun around, it was awesome. I asked him why he could do it and the other elder no, he said because he had practiced for 10 years. We talked about how we need to practice teaching in our companionship study. All the missionaries know they should do it, but a lot of them don't. The meetings went well, we ate pizza hut after and everyone likes that :) But no mom, i didn't sing or play the piano, some other missionaries did for special numbers though that were amazing.
Here's the high point of the week: Our investigator, Anthony, accepted a baptismal date!! He's already gone to church four times, goes to all the young single adult activities, etc. His baptismal date is this Saturday, September 1st. A few days later we taught him the law of chastity in a members' house, that member is the pensionista (lady who cooks for the missioaries) of the sister missionaries in our ward, and just in that moment the sister missionaries got to the house to eat- in the same room where we were teaching. It was kind of awkward to have them there listening, but that part of the lesson went perfectly. After he accepted to live the law of chastity we asked him how he felt about his baptism for this Saturday. He said, "I've been wanting to talk to you guys about that. i'm not going to get baptized anymore." i was thinking NOOOOOO! He explained that his family and friends (bad friends that invite him to go drinking all the time) had told him that he needs to think about his decision more and should wait a while. When he said that i just prayed in my heart to be able to help him change his mind. In the next five minutes we saw a miracle! Ideas and what he needed to hear came to both of us, and when we had talked a little while everything went silent. In that moment a kind of weird, but inspired question came to my mind. I said, "So Anthony, what do you need to do to progress?" He said, "I need to be baptized" He said he wants to do it this Saturday like we had planned and now he's more sure than before. It was so scary and so cool. Those are the coolest moments as a missionary. I love it! The promise in d & c 84:85 is true! When we do our part to be prepared, the spirit tells us in the exact moment what each person needs! So hopefully everything goes well and we'll have a baptism this week! The assistants haven't baptized since March, so it's time!
Low moment of the week: While President Risso was talking in a multizone conference i fell asleep (Elder Chuiz and I are exhausted lately), and just in that moment he asks me to talk about Thomas Edison (long story) in front of everyone. I kind of pulled it off, and i don't know if he realized i had been asleep, but some other missionaries did.. that was funny.
There is so much to do in these next few weeks. It's going to be nuts. Here's a rough outline.
Wednesday we are doing a training for the missionaries that are in their first 12 weeks in the field and their companions.
Saturday Elder Hooker (an area 70) is going to visit the mission.
We're opening three new areas next week (we have to visit the areas to search for members, house, pension, etc.)
This week we have to plan everything for TRANSFERS! (transfers are next tuesday, i can't believe i've been in the office a whole transfer!)
Tuesday are transfers and a training for the brand new missionaries and their companions
Thursday is Zone Leaders Council.
Two weeks later Elder Pino of the 70 is coming to tour the mission! I'm going to be with a member of the 70 for like a week! And i have to train missionaries with him there!??! I'm nervous but it'll be cool.
That's all i can think of now. But all that plus exchanges with other missionaries as always, reports, visiting district and zone meetings, and working in our own proselyting area and Anthony's baptism.. There's a lot to do. I'm not bored. :)
I love you! Have an awesome week!
Here are the elders that are in the office. Left to Right: Elder Samamé from Panama, Elder Chero from Peru, Elder Chuiz from Peru, me, President and sister Risso, Elder Hemsley (yes i've come across him, i've lived with him for a month and a half!) and Elder Navas from Costa Rica.
Oreos and Pepsi in president Risso's car. We ate tuna sandwiches and it reminded me so much of our family car trips!
Elder Cuba is who you can see in the picture. This is in Cajamarca from a few weeks ago, their proselyting area is pure hills!
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Hi Family :)
First off, yes i got the package from mom! Thank you :) The cookies are so good, and i had completely forgotten that taffy exists, and how much i love it! You're the best! I still haven't gotten the debit card. I hope it comes soon!
This week we went on our second trip to do the zone conference. To answer mom's question of if we talk in the conference, yes! We have a two hour part for what we teach. This conference President Risso asked us to give the missionaries some ideas of new things to do in their areas, and as a second point, how to study better. We teach for a little while, do practices, put the missionaries in groups to read certain parts of scriptures, etc. This week in Jaen it went a lot better than in Cajamarca. So the first day was the conference, and in the afternoon we revised the area books of each companionship. that gets old really fast. But we have to do it every few months to motivate the missionaries to update their area books! Jaen is a pretty big city on the edge of the jungle- it's super hot there and it was rough to sleep! Worse because Elder Chuiz and i had to sleep in the same bed! Saturday we went into the wilderness/mountains/jungle to Chachapoyas! Aka my new favorite place in the world. the road on the way there is so picturesque! We drove along and between HUGE super green junglish mountains three hours into nowhere to get there. I don't know if i just haven't seen Utah mountains in a long time, but these mountains seemed way bigger. Chachapoyas is awesome. All the houses there are built in colonial style, the roads are really narrow, there are hills (there are none here in Chiclayo), and it rained like crazy when we were there!
Wherever we go we usually do a conference or something, then work with a companionship in the afternoon. I went out with Elder Carranza, from Argentina. He felt like we should go visit the lady who used to cook for them, because she hadn't been going to church lately. We got there and they told us she was in her bed and needed a blessing! We went up to the second floor and her foot was totally purple and yellow and swollen. The fair was in town and she was playing on a slide and fell and messed up her foot and ankle pretty badly. She said she had been hoping we would come but was to embarrassed to call the missionaries. We gave her a blessing and it was a really special experience of being able to be where the Lord needed us. We went to a baptism they had in chachapoyas too. It was in a river nearby. Sunday we went to church there in Chachapoyas, because it's a branch and belongs to the mission. They had their branch conference and president and sister Risso spoke in sacrament meeting. I feel so blessed to get to work with President Risso all the time, and to get to do exchanges and learn from so many different missionaries. I feel like as assistant i'm learning more than i'm teaching. It's a blessing and a big challenge.
This week we have two more multizone conferences in Chiclayo on Tuesday and Thursday. each one will be with about 70 missionaries from here in the Chiclayo area. It'll be the same conference we've done in Cajamarca and Jaen with a few changes and improvements Elder Chuiz and i will plan tonight.
It's awesome to hear that Cameron is back and how awesome his mission was. i can't wait to be able to talk about the mission with all my friends when we're all back.
I'm learning a lot through experience about how trials make us grow. It's sad that sometimes we need trials to help us draw nearer to God, but i think that's a big part of why missionaries grow so much during the mission. Just when you get comfortable or feel confident, something changes- either your companion, your assignment, area, or some other type of challenge comes your way and you learn so much through it all. I just hope i can meet the challenges well and become who i need to be. I love this work, and I have felt through the Spirit so many times that it is true. I know that the Savior loves all of His children, and that love is what motivates me every day.
I love you and hope you all have a great week!
Photos: Mom asked about the flag we're holding in the picture from last week, it's the flag of Uruguay
sorry most of the pictures are from the car window, but this is how the people dress in Cajamarca!
The sweet catholic cathedral in cajamarca. Each of the bricks is carved with designs!
This is Elder Huntsman baptizing in Chachapoyas in a river! It was awesome.
We stopped the car by the side of the road to take pictures by this sweet waterfall coming back from Chachapoyas