Tuesday, August 16, 2016

8/15/16 Baptisms!

There were a couple of problems with J_______'s baptism last week so the date is now for this week. O_____ is doing well he went to church on Sunday and he too will be baptized this week!

The B______ family is continually confused but we are going to visit them tonight and should be able to clear things up for them. We also found M______ on Monday, he studied in a Catholic seminary to be a priest but left the seminary a little while ago. We found him through a member who I assume is his girlfriend, he went to church on Sunday and is progressing well. The district had 1 baptism this week. I interviewed the guy who was going to be baptized last week in Huaura, you could say he is agnostic.. I have no clue how he accepted a baptismal date. Y______'s baptism was changed for this week so now there should be 3 this week. Yesterday I interviewed V_____ who is going to be baptized in Huaura and he is ready to go! His daughter is a member and he is going to be great. His date was for the 27th but when I got into the interview and I conversed with he decided to be baptized Sunday morning. 

I have some meetings with president and a self-sufficiency training on Thursday and Friday so that gets in the way of the work a bit, but I have all of Saturday and then I have to go back to the offices on Sunday. I'm not sure about the others' flight schedule. My zone leader Elder Eschenberg is from LA but because of his school schedule at BYU he went home this week so he won't be with me in the terminal. Elder George who came with me on the first flight probably has the same itinerary but I don't know if he will be getting off in LA.

Too bad about the family reunion but I'll see plenty of pictures I imagine. 

Here are all the Elders in my zone that going home with me next week. Elder Pankrats, me, Elder Eschenberg, and Elder Prisbrey. 

Thanks for everything. que tengan una buena semana. nos vemos la proxima semana. chao. (Have a good week.  See you next week.  bye)

Monday, August 8, 2016

8/8/16 Sacrament & and The Sabbath

We have one baptismal date for this week, J______, who is a single mom and has attended church quite a bit. We taught her again Sunday evening and she will be prepared for baptism this week! We have O_____ set of baptism for next week. The B______ family has continued to come to church too, we have a lesson with them tonight. They went to the ward activity last Thursday night but because of an all-day school training thing for their kids' school and the mom's work they couldn't go to church yesterday but told us about that early in the week and committed themselves to go this week. We taught them with the bishop on Sunday. After church Oliver asked us to explain why the Sabbath is Sunday instead of Saturday since someone had asked him about that. We taught him in the church and explained the Sacrament and a little more about the Sabbath. He told us that the week he had gone to church he did a lot better on his job (mototaxi) and last week when he hadn't attended it was horrible and he barely got enough Sunday morning for the whole week, he said as it was as if the Lord was saying, "go to church" so he's definitely going to go to church this week.

So we should be having two baptisms before I go and the family of 3 for the week I'm giving my home coming talk! It reminds me of when President Archibald told us of the winter quarters principle, that we are to leave things ready in your area for the next missionaries. If we can overcome some or R____'s doubts that'll be a beautiful gift, a family of 3 for the next missionary. The ward is doing well, the district dipped back down this week in new investigators and progressing investigators but we'll get that fixed... we have 3 baptisms planned for this week in the district. 

My companion is going to have an interview tonight, not me though since he isn't interviewing those who'll be interviewed in a few weeks (FEW weeks?  Does the kid not realize he will be home in 14 days??!!!  haha) but at least I'll get to see president. 

Here are a couple of pictures of our room, I think I forgot to take some beforehand.

To his dad:
That'll be fun to get to speak with Brady. I'll give plenty of thought to my talk after I get to talk to you about what the ward needs and what topic I should speak on. 

It sounds like some great destruction in the Olympic swimming, it sounds exactly like what President Archibald always wanted to inspire us to be like.

It's pretty cool that the US is winning, like always. Have you seen any Peruvians in the Olympics so far?

I'll keep working hard, thanks. nos vemos. les amo.

Monday, August 1, 2016

08/01/16 A Promise

O_____ went to Vegueta on Sunday and didn't go to church, however the B______ family went! We went to see them in the morning on Sunday and the wife A___ came out and said that her husband has been in bed all morning and that his leg was hurting a lot. My companion said that we promise that the pain in his leg will go down and it will heal faster if he goes to church. She thought he'd say no but we asked her just to tell him what we said and see what he says. So she went to ask him and came back out saying that yes they were going to go to church! They went and have a baptismal date for the 27th. The talks in sacrament meeting were on fellow shipping investigators and new members and they put that in practice after church, everyone was talking with them, it was great. The elder's quorum president who had accompanied us to teach them before took them home in his car. Also, in the week we found an old investigator (a single mom) who had gone to church lots but hadn't gotten baptized because she started living with a guy but she recently broke that off. She went to church too and has a baptismal date for the 13th!

The week was definitely better! It was better in respect as a district too, for example we had several progressing investigators and it looks like we're going to meet our district goal of 6 this month. 

Sounds like you gave a great class on Sunday, I would have liked to hear it. I have only seen the mission president once but we'll have interviews soon. He's a good president.

Here are a couple of pictures.
This one is from my companion's birthday a couple of weeks ago. The bishop invited us over. (the bishop is the shortest guy toward the middle, and the elder's quorum president is the taller guy on the left and the other guy is a new convert)

07/25/16 Do we have a living prophet?

The B______ family did not go to church, they called us at 11 am on Sunday saying that they wouldn't be able to go. We went straight to their house and they said they had some family members that live far away who suddenly come over without warning and they weren't going to go to church because they were going to spend time with them. I exhorted them somewhat about their ability to go in spite of whatever problem presents itself.   I have found that when one procrastinates obeying the Lord they are stopped by the enemy, whereas when one obeys right away his power is weakened. 

I___ said she is planning on going to Chile so we'll have to wait until she comes back to continue to teach her. 

On Saturday we taught a 28 year old man named O_____. he likes rock and wears his hair long and is a really big guy so much that one of the members said he was "Thor of Hualmay" (Hualmay is the place where he lives) haha. When we taught him he said that he has heard from the Daventists, JWs, and even the that "God-Mother" church (I'm not sure if I mentioned them before but they're pretty weird) and that what we taught made more sense than any of them and he was excited to hear that Christ visited the American continent! When we started talking about prophets he asked if there is a living prophet now and toward the end of the lesson he asked if he could go to church before being baptized and we said yes of course we were just about to invite you for tomorrow. He also asked why there is a place to play soccer behind the church and when we explained the midweek activities he asked if there would be one soon. There happened to be an activity at the church Saturday night with traditional dances so he went to that and to church on Sunday. He enjoyed church and we are going to teach him again tomorrow. He works as a mototaxi driver. When my companion showed him the names of the 3 witnesses of The Book of Mormon, he was super excited to his name there haha.

We also went for a work visit on Tuesday and I was with Elder Lara in his area and we found a family of 3 with whom I put a baptismal date for august 20th!

To his dad:
Sounds like a good sacrament meeting and like a fun time at Uncle Brent's, tell Holden what's up for me. 

The other day before district meeting there was a problem that made us late for the leaders meeting and we were told about a rule we hadn't heard before about doing push-ups if we were late, so we did 30 push-ups... well, I did. My companion couldn't finish and everyone was like, "how do you do them so fast when you're so skinny?" haha

Thanks dad for everything chao

Monday, July 18, 2016

07/18/16 He is our Father...

This week was going well, at the beginning of the week we were finding investigators every day except Monday and since we had ward council on Wednesday we were able to speak with some of the leaders to plan lessons with them. We had a couple of lessons with a member, for example we taught the B______ family which have 4 (in the age of baptism) and we taught them with the help of the president of the elders quorum. Then we taught them on Saturday evening as well and we were clearing up their doubts and then committed them to go to church the next day. 

But the dad, R____ has a bunch of family that are Jehovah's Witnesses and they confused him, for example, he said that John says no man has ever seen God and so forth mentioning the scriptures they must have cited to confuse him.  After some failed attempts to show him the many scriptures that say the opposite of that and him trying to give a false interpretation of them we basically said no one can ever offer salvation based on an interpretation of the scriptures that is the polar opposite of the form in which God has worked with his children from the beginning of time. We asked what he would think of a father who wrote a book about how to be good kids, gave it to them and left saying well it's their fault if they can't be happy. When he understood that that would be a horrible father we said God is our father and he would never do that to us!  He kind of understood the idea of the restoration and just kind of sat back like how is it that 20 year olds can give such good arguments? We explained the Holy Ghost to them and he and his wife committed to go to church the next day.

However, the father, R____ had injured his leg the week before so when we went to pick them up (with the elders quorum president who has a car) they told us that suddenly that morning his wound had filled with some kind of black liquid and they ended up not being able to go. So, suffice it to say that they will finally come to church this week but it's fine. And, then on Thursday we taught a lady named I___ whom we had taught before and she has attended church twice with the relief society president. The relief society president taught her powerfully and she took most of the time talking and inviting her to repentance we allowed her to talk most of the time because she had been in a similar situation and could testify more specifically. She also committed to come to church.

We also met this guy named M_______ who is apparently less active and sings songs about Jesus. He sang us a few lines when we were at the church.

I'm sorry you had to stop working in the temple on Fridays. It sounds like a good exercise that you and dad are doing, reading The Book of Mormon that way. I can't believe Weston is 5, tell him happy birthday for me! Also, tell Holden hi for me.

President Stauffer is a really good mission president. It was different when he first got here, but when he started talking about what he had just been taught by the 12 you could certainly feel the authority was there. He puts a lot of focus on the need to be repentant and to declare repentance, the need for faith and love for the Lord, and to strengthen it in others (just like Preach My Gospel). We, the missionaries, need to be converted so that we can help others be converted - and I like that a lot.

To his dad:
Scott wrote me about pokemon go haha, it sounds different, but alright. I hope uncle Lane didn't end up making a whip and driving out the money changers. I would like to get on a zipline haha Weston's a little beast. Did he break his legs for real or is that just a typo with the phone?

Krew sounds super funny I hope all the little guys recognize me haha.

Tell Anjali congratulations for me.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

7/11/16 New Mission President!

Well last Monday we were walking down the street to go to a family home evening with some converts and investigators and we saw some random fireworks going off. I thought it must have been the holiday of some saint that sometimes happens and as we came near the spot where they were going off I suddenly heard "Happy fourth of July!" in English. I just stood there for a second and saw a white guy with his Peruvian wife and son all of them spoke English and he said he is from San Diego, apparently he is a pastor of a church here. When I told him I was from Riverside (because he didn't know where Moreno Valley was) he said oh we have a really good pastor in Riverside, but I forgot the name, but you know that really big church that sometimes has their meetings in the angel's stadium? Well, he was from that church. Anyway, that was pretty cool.

On Tuesday we were doing a little marriage and family quiz that we sometimes do as an excuse to talk with people and find out if they're legally married. We knocked on the first door and no one came out, but the guy next door came outside so we did the quiz with him and he is married and said yeah come in to teach me! So we taught him about the restoration and just as we were finishing up, his wife got home so we gave her a brief explanation and put a baptismal date for the august 6th, so that was good!

On Friday we had a short multizone meeting to welcome and meet President Stauffer. He has 5 children, his oldest daughter is a return missionary who served in Armenia and is engaged and going to get married in Lima so her parents can be at the sealing. I'm not sure how that will work since in Peru the temple sealing is not a recognized legal marriage and must be done after the civil marriage. His second daughter is serving in Chile and his 16 year old daughter, 11 year old son and 9 year old son are here with them but only the youngest son Wyatt was in the meeting with us. He is certainly young and different from president Archibald, but I could really feel their spirituality and there will be a lot that we can learn from them. Also President Stauffer served his mission in mexico for 26 months.

Friday night we found out that church was going to be in the morning because of a satellite transmission from the Area in the afternoon to share with another ward, so that kind of messed up the plans we had with investigators to attend church but it's all good. Things are going well and I'm excited to see what success we can create in these couple of months.  (Does he not realize he is flying home in 6 weeks??!!!  haha)

To his dad:
I got to talk with president personally at lunch, right before the meeting we had since he sat to eat with my companion and I and a few other missionaries. Apparently he's from Connecticut, really close to New York City.  He told us he met Elder Rasband when he was mission president there. He is some kind of boss in a private equity company or something like that I didn't quite catch what it was but he chose to be over the Latin American part of the company so he's been to most of South America. He seems like he is going to be a good president and keep the mission going, I mean it IS the best mission in South America Northwest without question! When he got here he was pretty surprised by the numbers, but anyway they have a great family. 

That is a super sweet eagle dad, I wish I could have seen that. 

I got the invitation to Sarah's wedding the other week and was a little surprised, but that's cool. tell them congratulations!

Anjali is getting married? What the heck? Well, tell them congratulations too!

7/4/16 Sometimes a mission is just frustrating... it is HARD.

So we now officially have a new mission president. President Stauffer got here on Saturday and I guess "Brother Archibald" must be in Idaho by now. I have not yet met President Stauffer but we are going to have another multizone conference on Friday (the only time in my mission I've had multizone conferences so close together). I'm pretty excited to meet the new president. Anyway the work is going on but this week was a little bit frustrating.

Remember E______? He told us as soon as we got to his home that he had good news and bad news. The good news was that the Jehovah's Witnesses who had been visiting like a year ago came back, and the bad news was that he would be taking Bible studies from them. E______ refused to understand all of our attempts to explain the restoration and help him understand the truth. It would seem that he really was taking this route because he didn't want pressure, since he also mentioned that they said he and his wife could get baptized years from now and there is no pressure to go to church, anyway we did all we could to testify and explain and expound but we came out of the house without success.

The B______ family also didn't come to church which is a little frustrating but the reason is that they just happened to have stuff get in the way (like work) so we couldn't teach them all week but we have an appointment this week on their day off and we're going to help them understand why they need to go to church and so forth. I believe that they are going to understand, I felt the spirit a lot in our last lesson with them and they will go well and we'll find more people to teach. 

Thanks, see you later. I hope that things are going well there.

ME:  I felt SO bad, with it being the 4th of July I had gotten distracted and for the first time, I didn't send Chad an email!!!  I got on to email him and saw he had already sent one!! YIKES!  I quickly sent him one telling him sorry I was and how much I love him and told him I was officially a horrible mom and then he quickly sent this back to me....

CHAD:  not true. don't worry you're the best mom ever

I still feel SO bad.  As you can tell they had a rough week (sounds like the worst week of his mission and then he goes to email and there is NOTHING from home... poor guy!!)