Tuesday, December 30, 2014

12/29/14 He Gave His First Blessing...

Elder Lunt is the companion of our district leader, he has one more transfer than me. It was interesting that Derek and Devin and Dallin said the understood 100% of what I said in Spanish.  Maybe I should speak in Spanish more considering they rarely understand 100% of what I say in English haha. 

Welp, I am glad I could show that I am happy. My companion says I speak well even though he gets annoyed when I don't understand him and he has to reexplain himself. 

I told my companion that you said I'd been blessed with a good trainer and he kind of laughed. Yeah transfers are today and we are both staying!  The district leader is going and the zone leader and some others are saying.  They think Elder Lunt might be training this transfer I'm not sure, that would be pretty quick.

It's good that the meds are working most of the time (I told him that I went to the Dr. to get meds for my migraines). 

The other day my companion was feeling a little sick so he took some medicine but it didn't seem to work, he had some kind of attack like a really bad cramp in his stomach or something and I gave him a blessing.  It was the first time I did the actual blessing rather than just the anointing in Spanish, or in general, and it went away right after. Ever since he's felt fine so I don't think it's anything to worry about but it was quite the experience.

Chad's email to his dad: (Brad must have said something to him about the Skype not working and that only Dallin and Shalee were able to see him)

It's alright, Devin has seen me before. haha Yeah, It'll be better next time. Yes, it was weird seeing Marleigh walking, although Weston still seems just as crazy as always. Well it's good that you could see I am happy. Often people can't see what I'm thinking: like at surprise birthday parties.

Well the calling up all the mothers thing sounds like a good idea in theory but yeah as far as keeping them at 8 minutes. Suerte. (Brad told him he was going to have all the mom's speak in Sacrament Meeting for 8 minutes about their missionary)

That's kind of the opposite of me when I teach the gospel principles class and then they say hmm we'll finish with a closing song so we don't let out too early. I guess I've always been a little on the laconic side. anyway, cuidese

He sent some great pictures this week! For their preparation day they went on a hike.  This area of his mission is the "coveted area", everyone wants to get to serve here!  I guess it is a good thing Chad got to serve here 1st because he told us on the phone call that they are opening a new mission just above his and it will take in this area!

Such a beautiful picture, the rainbow almost doesn't look real!

12/24/2014 The Call

We were not sure what time Chad was going to call home, he had told us he was allowed to Skype but he never said when he would be calling or anything!  About 4:00, I got an email from him that told me he was ready when we were!  He told us what name he would be skyping up from... It was SO exciting to see him!!!  We only got to see him for a few minutes, not sure about "Skype" we might have to try something different on Mother's Day!  Luckily in the couple of minute that we were able to SEE him I snapped a picture with my phone.  It is not a very good picture but you can see that he was all smiles!
I think he was most amazed at little Marleigh walking around!  It was SO good to see him all smiles! He talked and talked!  He shared some advice he had given one of the ladies they are teaching... he had asked her if she was reading her scriptures to which she replied that she had.  He then asked her if she had been praying and she told him that she really wasn't.... he told her to pray until she could feel His love for her.  We could really tell he has grown up in just these few months and is having some wonderful experiences!  I don't think I have ever heard him speak so much and so loud, haha...
He bore his testimony to us of the truthfulness of the gospel in Spanish, Devin said he did a great job!  And, before we hung up we had a family prayer, it was a great day!

Keep up the great work that you are doing son!  ...until Mother's Day... Love you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

12/23/14 A Baptism!

Yep, Josi was baptized on Friday. So that was great. We had some trouble getting the baptismal font to work for a little while no water was working in the church and then we finally got it kind of working but we ended up with cold water. Josi didn't complain and I was fine. So it's kind of hard to explain simple things in Spanish like what to do when being baptized like plug your nose and bend your knees and, in spite of the fact one of the other missionaries helped to explain that she would plug her nose with her right hand and hold on tight with her left, just as I said Amen she pulled her left hand off and used that to plug her nose instead. It's apparently much more difficult to pull someone back up when they aren't holding on with that left hand.... but it ended up well.

Yeah we had a Christmas party thing in Barranca yesterday which included skits by each zone. We did one where the grinch wants to ruin the missionaries' Christmas and ends up getting baptized.

I got my package thanks. The peanut butter is great to have around and candy canes, I hadn't seen a single candy cane here. Our stalkings are our decorations now.

And, his email to his father:

Sorry I didn't write yesterday, we had a meeting with the president and two other zones in Barranca (about a five hour bus ride) so we met up to get on the bus at 6:30 and got to our house at almost midnight. It included a study with the president where President Archibald just lets us ask whatever doctrinal question we want and he explains it. Then we had a lunch in which we had spiral ham which was awesome and we had skits that each zone had to do which was pretty weird but it was funny, lots fun poked at the president and at the way things are done at Peru. Our skit invloved the grinch getting baptized after stealing and then reading The Book of Mormon. Then later I got my package. Thanks for the peunut butter by the way, it is unusually expensive to buy here. yeah chao

He did not mention ONE word about our skyping on Christmas day!!!  Now where to "call" or what time!!??? 

Monday, December 15, 2014

12/15/14 "Thank you, I will never forget what you've done for me."

I haven't been sick in a while. My camera is still functioning, it just has a scratch on the screen. Elder Pilacuan baptized Neoman on Saturday, and afterward, while standing in bathroom stall, not yet being changed, and soaking wet, he shook our hands and said "thank you, I will never forget what you've done for me." Visibly, he gave little thought to holding back tears. 

On Sunday Josi came to church with Deyssy and Cheaylhi which was great. That was her third time at church and her baptismal date is for this Saturday but there are some ward activities that day so we'll see. But yeah, all is well with her!

The last couple weeks we've been visiting an inactive family, _____  _____ and usually the second oldest of their daughters doesn't come in and listen while we teach. She has in some instances come inside and walked right past us and up the stairs. Generally it's only part of the family there, this last lesson however they all came to the lesson by degrees: the mother sat with us at the table and talked to us  about their family business of making and selling fireworks (which is a common business around here and a big part of the way they celebrate Christmas). We sort of waited until the father came in from the other room to start the lesson... then, throughout the lesson each of their four daughters came in at different intervals until the entire family was there. It made me think of the parable of the hired workers, where all of the workers hired throughout the day were payed the same wage...  and though that may have been used by Christ to admonish and teach his first chosen servants, it of course can be applied to us to remember that if we but work the last hour before sunset (though the job was more secure earlier in the day) we will be rewarded. Anyway, their second to oldest daughter came in within the last 5 minutes of the lesson, just in time to hear the testimonies of her parents (to which I hope she listened well) and gave the closing prayer. 

In sacrament meeting we sang "Joy to the World". We haven't gotten to sing many Christmas songs in Spanish so far, I am really looking forward to that, it will be nice. 

I don't think I ever officially said happy birthday to Krew yet so give him a happy birthday hug for me. 

I am sorry for worrying you and cutting you short last week. 

Oh, a funny note... my companion asked me if I knew how to play poker I said of course why?... so I ended up explaining to him all of the different hands and how to play Texas hold 'em and now he had a list of what the different hands are called but the names are written in English because I have no idea how to say them in Spanish. So that was funny. Anyway nos vemos. les amo na ustedes muchísimo. Feliz Navidad

P.S.  Yes, I get to skype on Christmas Day. I'll know next week the hour, just tell me the skype address to call.

His email to his father:

There are 8 elders and no sisters in our district. The zone leaders are also part of our district and serve in the other area.   (Theirs being Centenario 1 and ours Centenario 2) They are Elder Salazar and Elder Norton (from Arizona) both cool and funny guys, so that's good. Their also both really close to finishing their missions. Salazar finishes up this transfer I believe and Norton has two months left. Salazar apparently also trained Norton when he had one transfer in the mission! I guess he at least already new Spanish but still, that's pretty crazy. The district leader is Elder Apablaza from Chile with not quite a year in the mission. His companion is Elder Lunt who has one transfer more than me so he's pretty new as well and the other companionship is Elder Jensen and Elder Sanchez. Elder Jensen is from the same group as Lunt and his companion before Elder Sanchez was Elder Campos our old district leader. 

Yes, this city is coveted for being the only area in the mission where it rains, as well as the only one where the sun really comes out (Lima having constant smog cover) It is also known as the most beautiful area with mountains, trees and lakes.  Our area spreads from where we actually serve to I about 3 and some hours car-ride from here. Down the main street where not many people live and there are lots of trees. It's funny, the first little while of being here, we were majorly working toward the area further in the city and I saw no grass except a little park and a few trees except on the relatively distant mountain. More recently (and especially since we moved houses) we have started working further up into the mountain where there are some large grass fields and some of the people we teach are tending to their chickens, sheep, cows, and pigs throughout. I even saw a horse and a donkey on one of the main roads.  I got a laugh out of my companion over the fact that we call the donkeys where we live "burros" with an American accent. I also asked him why the food burritos are so called since that's the word for a small donkey (thinking of your intimation that burritos might have originally had burro meat) and he said he didn't know and that that is a thing in Mexico, it's not what they'd call the food here. In the same line the family that makes the lunches for Elder Apablaza and Elder Lunt sometimes makes burritos but refers to them as tacos (so I guess you're right to do so as you do every time we have them at home haha). hasta la semana proxima

Monday, December 8, 2014

12/08/14 Another Baptism Set

Elder Bergquist's email to his dad: (Brad sent him a picture of our Christmas tree)

Nice. My companions jaw about hit the floor when I told him that one year we had a tree about four meters tall. Krew went up in the attic? I'm glad to hear they're pushing help in finding that's the most difficult part haha. I have almost no time and still haven't written mom but one thing that was interesting this past week is I was making oatmeal and my companion said that it seemed weird because people don't really eat those things around here because they don't want to look poor and then there's me from the US eating it.

His email to me:

We have less time to write this week and I have more to write the president... sorry.  That sounds really fun. (Krew's birthday party)  I can't believe Krew is so old. I miss him. I just wanted to mention how helpful it is when members help. Our next baptismal date is Josi's, she works for a family in the ward as a nanny/maid.  She was a reference from them and we taught her in their home. les amo. adios

Diana, Chad's sister in law sent him this video.
And, here is what he emailed her back:  

Thank you. I think that's the first time I've teared up in a while. I miss them.  I hope you have a good Christmas. 
(I may or may not have cried when I read his response to the video...)

Monday, December 1, 2014

12/01/14 Her Uncle Wanted to Read One of Our Books!

Our Thanksgiving food, more or less. We were pretty happy to have real potatoes and gravy.  Also I started to put butter on my corn and my companion looked at me funny and said "Dios bendiga America" (God bless America) as well as what is your problem with butter?

Neoman didn't make it to church this week but there was a new investigator whom we'd not yet met however. 

I got the package by the way. It's just that it requires someone to get them from Lima and bring them here. Thanks for it by the way! Where did you get those sweaters? They fit really nicely. Also thanks for the Nesquick. My companion has already been perplexed by seeing me eat bananas with Nesquick on them. And I missed Pop-Tarts also, thanks! Those dispensation cards are cool although I'm still a little confused as to where the apostasy just before Samuel was. 

One day in the week out of about three in a row I was a sick and then perfectly fine the rest of the time, kind of weird.  I was only stuck in bed the one time, so don't worry. The other days I was just really sick in the mornings but I've been fine for nearly two weeks so I should be good.

All of the gringos around here get sick sometime toward the beginning I guess. By the way, gringo is the official and normal term around here, and people love to make note of it. Like the other day my companion said buenas tardes to a lady walking passed us to which she responded in kind but when I said the same she responded with "buenas tardes, gringo" which threw me off a little haha.

I don't think I have grandma measles' email, if you could send it to me so I can thank her that would be nice.

We were pretty happy to find someone selling watermelon nearby today.

Chad's email to his father:

Yep I got the package. Thank you very much. All good choices in candy and all haha I'd never tried those grapefruit things but they're good. 

Anyway yeah we had Thanksgiving at the church too. The couple missionaries, Elder and Hermana Oxborrow, explained the origin and purpose of Thanksgiving for the Latinos and we had stuffing and real mashed potatoes and gravy (around here they usually make mashed potatoes with about the viscosity of apple sauce but Hermana Oxborrow made sure they didn't do it that way for this) and pie too. we did not get to have turkey but that's okay I don't care too much about turkey.

I suppose the most spiritual experience this week was with a less active member and his wife who really wants to come back to church and even asked us to set up an interview with the bishop for him. His wife, I guess had something happen with some of the members that makes her not want to come back to church even though she says she believes in The Book of Mormon and all. Also I guess they're not actually married which is really common here: you'll ask "is that your wife?" "yes" "how long have you been married?" "oh well not yet." Also apparently to get sealed in the temple you have to get married legally here first because temple marriages aren't recognized by Peru.

AND, here is somethings he emailed a friend that she shared with me  (Thank you Taylor!!)

Oh, man, SanFilippo is the best!  (A teacher he had in H.S.)  That was a good class and hey I took notes every once in a while... mostly just of some of the graphs that I couldn't easily remember haha.  

As far as food, I haven't had anything too bad, but something a little unusual was guinea pig.  Not bad, but (at least the way they prepared it) the skin was really hard but yeah.  Our meals are usually some combination of soup, potatoes, rice and chicken.

One pretty cool experience was when a girl stopped us a few weeks ago saying her uncle wanted to read one of our books so she showed us to his room on the third floor of the building where we saw that he had crutches and can't walk very well.  Anyway, now he has a baptismal date and has begun to be able to get around better!

Monday, November 24, 2014

11/24/14 Sick and a Blessing

A couple of Pday pictures...

No, I was not transferred, neither was my comp, but some of the others in our district had changes.  We had a change of district leader to an Elder Apablaza from Chile and one new zone leader, Elder Norton, who only has a few months left. Our zone has quite a few new people so he's one of the only gringos around here with a hold on the language so that's funny.

Yes, the two baptisms that we had are sisters. As far Neoman, he didn't know where the church was at first so we've been helping him get there but now we're going to ask him if he can get there on his own next week. 

My camera kind of works but it dropped so the lens doesn't stay on right and stuff like that...

In the way of funny things: we were walking up a hill toward a family we wanted to visit and a lady was having a little trouble carrying some boxes and we went and helped her carry them.  We realized on the way up the hill that the boxes had bottles of beer in them, so that was a pretty weird thing to help with, haha  When we got to the place she was taking them we gave her the Word of Wisdom pamphlet and kind of laughed at ourselves.

We contact on the streets often.  One thing that works pretty well when we knock doors, we will often ask if they know where someone lives whom we need to find (like a less active) and that relaxes them a little to be more willing to talk to us.

No, I haven't gotten any packages. (we sent his Bday package and he still hasn't received it)

The adult married missionaries here, Elder and Sister Oxborrow, told us we are going to have a Thanksgiving meal at the church on Thursday!  They're going to try to have Thanksgiving food although they said they can't find any turkeys or spiraled hams so that's pretty fun.

So I was pretty sick on Tuesday, in fact I threw up like 3 times and we didn't get to leave to teach at all that day.  Later in the day, when I was in especially bad, my companion got me to sit up long enough to give me a blessing. I laid back down and after a little bit it kind of went away and the next day I was fine.
anyway nos vemos

His email to his father:

Wow, for Christmas everyone is going to be gone except you, mom, and Blake? We'll also be doing thanksgiving at the church.  Yeah, I'm getting enough to eat.  The other day at lunch the sister who gives us lunch gave me grilled chicken and with it some ketchup which I hadn't had since the MTC and it was weird how ridiculously good it seemed after not having it!  I think it might have more sugar than our ketchup too or something.  Also, the package had instructions for making bbq sauce on it which I may have to make sometime. That's something I miss haha. The language is coming pretty well and it's all going pretty well.
hasta luego

Monday, November 17, 2014

11/17/14 Elder Bergquist's First Baptism in Peru!

My first baptism! I baptized the one on the left-Cheaylhi (which by the way all the Spanish speakers around here had trouble with that name too, it's basically just Shalee but ch- instead of sh-) and Deyssy asked that Elder Jensen baptize her. I guess something to do with a dream she had regarding the church before she was contacted by the missionaries. They had been found by the elders right before us and had had one or two lessons.  It went fairly well, I didn't have to do it twice or anything.

I don't have a lot of pictures because the camera is having trouble. 

We had one investigator at church, the same one that speaks Quechua.  His name is Neoman and his baptism is planned for the 29th as I recall but that might change because we're trying to get him to be able to go to church on his own, as his leg is injured we have to go get him and get a taxi for him to go.

The other day my companion was whistling If You Could Hie to Kolob so asked whether the song exist in Spanish and he just looked at me funny and said it's in the Emma Smith movie, so that's a little sad. (That's one of Chad's favorite songs)

On a side note, I guess he really likes English music, in fact he often just sings random gibberish to the tune of some rap and then laughs. He's fun!

Tomorrow is transfers but we haven't gotten the report of who or where yet...

Chad's email to his dad:
Well that sounds like a good presidency. (We just got a new Stake Presidency and Brad shared with him who was called and shared with him 1 Samuel 16 about how people are chosen and called) Yeah I heard a little about that process from one of the talks by a 70 in the Missionary Training Center, it seems interesting. That must have been cool to participate in. Who is president Smith again? Who were the other 2 names you recommended, if I may so ask?

So I discovered that my companion really likes electronics and stuff of that sort. He has a box of random lights and wires and batteries and plays with them sometimes in our little downtime. Also he wants to live in Silicon Valley and knows who Nikola Tesla is haha so that's nice. Anyway cuídese Papi

Monday, November 10, 2014

11/10/14 A Book of Mormon in Quechau

I am not sending many pictures, sorry.  This is a Book of Mormon in Quechua, a native language some people speak here in Huaraz. Some people don't even speak Spanish at all.  These books are only partially translated, looking at it I think many of the chapters are cut down because they have fewer verses and it goes straight from 2nd Nephi to either Words of Momon or Mosiah, I don't remember. I just recall that it lacked Jacob and some others. 

I spoke in sacrament meeting the first week we had it--so the second week actually, since the first was conference. 

We play soccer usually with most of the zone except some times the hermanas and a few others. Last week in the afternoon we went to a full sized field and first played a little American football then some soccer as a zone.

On Sunday we had three investigators attend church including two who are planning to be baptized on the 15th. The other is named Neoman and speaks Quechua (Spanish too) and when we were in Priesthood meeting we were discussing having the Priesthood men come and help us in lessons and who could when, and Neoman suggested he could come to help teach those who don't speak Spanish. He was participating quite well in church overall.

I think I've decided on a scripture for my plaque: Luke 15:7
(I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.)

It was funny, the other day we were walking and I said "buenos dias" to a man passing by and he responded simply with "gringos" and my companion and I just looked at each other totally confused and I just said to my companion "un mono tal vez, pero tu no eres gringo, se eso" because I guess they call people from ecuador mono (monkey) around here, and he just laughed.

Chad's email to his dad: (Brad had told Chad about a blessing that he had given)
Similarly, the other night as we were getting ready, the lady who makes us lunch called us and asked us to go give her grandson, Joshua, who was really sick, a blessing. So we did... I anointed and my companion blessed. Joshua was fine the next day, it was a good experience. 

I'm curious who will be the new Stake Presidency. 

Quite a few people wrote me for my birthday, including some people from the ward and two people from Devin's mission. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

11/03/14 Elder Bergquist's Birthday!

Tell Marleigh, "Happy Birthday from me!" (They share a birthday!)

I don't think I will get the package unless you sent it the way it says to do it in this picture.  (I wish we would have seen this sooner!)

My name should be somewhere on the package other than in the address. 

Yeah they know it's my birthday, they brought me to the roof of the zone leaders' house and smashed eggs on my head. (I wish he would have sent a picture of that!) I'm not sure if that's a Peru thing or a mission thing or what, but they did the same thing last week to the zone leaders, who I guess have the same birthday. 

Last week on pday we went up one of the mountains nearby where there's a pond and grassy field which was pretty fun. 

As you can see we moved, and the new house is very pink, at least it doesn't have concrete dust that gets all over everything on the floor like the last one. Also it's on the second floor with a circular staircase outside which is cool.

They acknowledge Halloween here and there were some people taking their little kids around trick or treating in costumes but there's not a lot of celebration and no decoration. Saturday, of course, was all saints day for the catholics and yesterday was some kind of day for lamenting the dead I guess, so most of the investigators we invited to church said they would be at the cemetery and couldn't go. 

Deysi and her little cousin Cheaylhi didn't come either because Deysi was sick (the ones with the baptismal date).

If the ipod already has music on it go ahead and send it... but it's not easy to put music on it here.

Probably what was most spiritual this week was when we were actually on a work visit exchange with the zone leaders and we visited a less-active member.  Toward the end we asked if he had any questions and he asked "who is Christ to you?" to both of us. So we each shared our testimony and asked him the same question... never underestimate the power of sharing testimony! chao

His email to his father:
(Brad had told him, "I saw your golf coach at the driving range and he asked how you were doing and asked me to please tell you hi and that he prays for you in your service.)

There is clearly something to be learned from the attitude of Mr. xxxxx: respect and love for others even if they are of a different faith, especially if they are not of our faith. 

I can hardly think that I'm 19 either. 

It's still a little weird getting used to fasting dinner and breakfast instead of breakfast and lunch, which reminds me it's interesting that the Spanish word for breakfast, desayuno, has the same basic basis of meaning since ayuno means fast.

Earlier this week some people shot at our bishop's warehouse which is connected to his home so they were gone from their home for a day but they quickly came back. Pretty big scare, but as far as I know everyone is fine. People have said they did it because he's rich or something, doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Monday, October 27, 2014

2 Baptisms Set!

Yes, the postal service is technically still on strike in Huaraz but not in Lima and we receive our mail from the mission office in Lima anyway, so don't worry it. 

(I told him that my lesson that I am teaching the young women next Sunday is on true conversion) 
True conversion, yeah that's a really good topic, just like the talk by Elder Bednar I told you about (HERE) where he spoke of the Relief Society president and true conversion meaning having the character of Christ, to look outward when you have all reason to look inward.

Our zone had about 5 or 6 baptisms on Saturday and Elder Pilacuan and I have 2 set for early November (if they go to church on Sunday because that's all they're lacking is a 3rd time attending).  Yes, I participate in lessons, of course. My Spanish is coming along.  The work is going pretty well but we went to Lima for training which meant leaving on Tuesday at noon and getting back at about 6 am on Thursday, but it was good.  We had a 6 hour meeting with the president discussing different things, including him opening it up to questions (we usually only have one or two questions because he goes into so much explanation).  We rode a bus with big reclining seats.

Yes, lunch is prepared for us, it usually consists of some combination of rice, chicken and potatoes as well as soup which usually has chicken feet in it for some reason. I guess they eat that here. Usually, we go to pick it up in containers except on Sundays we eat there. The wife of the bishop is who cooks for us, but it's going to be someone next door when we move (which is at the end of the month) so we might eat there every day, I'm not sure. We have a different person who does our laundry. The meals we make for ourselves often consists of ramen or cereal, stuff like that.

So my Ipod has disappeared somehow... It was lost before I could use it even once.  

No, they don't take siestas from what I've seen.

On P-day we play lots of soccer, and yeah I'm enjoying it.

And, to his dad...

Um, we get an hour and 1/2 to 2 hours to write on p-day. We sometimes have service projects like the other day we were helping paint a ward member's house. We have someone whom we pay to do laundry every week and someone else, a pentionist as they call them, whom we pay for lunch but we have to take care of the other meals ourselves as we are not allowed to eat with the members (other than the pentionist). We have a refrigerator and a microwave so the other meals are pretty simple like a lot of top ramen. The members help pretty well to find investigators and we have ward council every week. In fact, on Wednesday we went to Lima for a large training meeting for all the greenies and President Archibald was saying that only here, Bolivia, Columbia, Venezuela, and Ecuador have ward council every week because we have the goal of baptizing every week.  Yeah, I'm enjoying myself pretty well.

Here are a few pictures from the bus ride to Lima...

And, one last picture of a very large rabbit on the top of a house...
no tengo tiempo. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

10/20/14 How are you so white?

Yeah I know Elder Chisholm, Elder Bird, and Elder Jensen. In fact, Elder Jensen is in my district and he just shouted over to me that his mom has been talking with you. 

The Zone Leaders brought the furniture over. I don't know from where it is supplied. (we're going to be moving soon since we're actually slightly outside our area, still in the ward but in Centenario 1 instead of 2). Oh and when we first got moved in the Zone leaders said my first job was baptizing and my second is teaching my companion English, and yes he plays the guitar and he's pretty good. 

Our ward is pretty much average, I mean it is smaller than our home ward but not overly small. They can receive the sacrament from just 3 deacons but they, more or less, fill the chapel.  

You might be able to detect a mistake in that copy of the Book of Mormon. This is how the ones we've been giving out for the last 2 weeks have been. It just continues with Helaman from there and lacks the last part of 3rd Nephi (once it circles back to 3rd Nephi it again skips to Mormon on the same page) so we got new ones and will have to switch all those out so that was pretty funny. 

Yeah, we went back to the house up the stairs (that's where the pictures above were taken).  Their daughter was there (whom they said before did not live with them) and she said the man had died. I was a little unsure as to what she said so I asked my companion afterward and he said "El Murio" so yeah. 

We've gotten quite a few new investigators.  A few days ago, in a lesson a little four year old boy, Eduard, said something like (probably with different phraseology) "¿Como eres tan blanco?" (how are you so white?) while pointing at my hand. My companion and I got a good laugh from that.  Also around here there are a lot of English words they'll just throw in like every time they answer a phone it's with "hello" basically, and a lot of 'yeah's, and the phrase ¡que freaking! is common, especially among the missionaries.  

We have 8 missionaries in my district. 

Yes we go door to door. 
I participate in the lessons but it's sometimes hard to tell what others are saying.  
Yes i think we have district meetings every week. I've only had one so far.  
Yeah Peru seems really interesting so far, like the people have nice clothes and phones and stuff but the houses and furniture inside are kind of thrown together, which is interesting, for example almost all the young boys at church have suit coats... different priorities for the use of money I guess. 
It rains less than it did the first few days but we usually take our umbrellas out everyday, but that's only here.  It never really rains in Lima nor does the sun come out there like it does here.

Last Monday evening we went to teach a less active family and the father didn't want any of it but the mother brought us in and asked us for a blessing and told us all about how she had told her children not to go on missions but to go to college instead and how they have stopped going to church and how she regrets it now.

anyway ¡cuídense! 

The email to his dad: 
It's a fairly densely packed city except the edge of my area where it goes up somewhat into the mountain. There the houses have little dirt courtyard type areas walled on one side by a cliff at the top of which lies another road. Housing is kind of randomly put together as though they wanted to use the space as efficiently as possible so that you might see a large apartment building and around the bend of the road another but in between a house put together with brick shaped clods of hard dirt filled with rocks. Most buildings are built almost entirely out of concrete. As you walk down any street you'll see smalls stores intermittently dispersed among the houses, which can only be discerned that it is one because the door is open and there is food stored inside. They all sell basically the same things: sweets, soda, bread, canned milk, and some other essentials like toilet paper. There are taxis everywhere that charge a flat rate of 3.50 soles but won't necessarily take you where you want to go if it's too far for them. There are also vans that just drive on the main roads and you can get on and get off wherever for 80 centimos. They all have a 15 to 16 year old boy handling the door and taking the fees as his job. Many of the houses are lower down in the ground than the street, the bottom foot or so of the door is below the sidewalk. The bishop of the ward runs a wood manufacturing place that I guess cuts logs into long 2x4s and whatever else and ships them places. Other than that and another of the same I've not seen any industrial anything in this area. Next to that river is a small park which is a strip along one of the main roads (for whatever reason it has a hedge and barbed wire just outside the hedge bordering it). It's the only grass in the area until you get up toward the mountain where there are a lot of towering trees. Much of the time between the larger buildings next to the street lies an alleyway as small as 4 feet wide, like an outside hallway with the doors to homes on either side. A lot of people own chickens. Oh, and a lot of people have English sounding first names like Richard, Brian, Janet, etc.

Monday, October 13, 2014

10/13/14 When Cortez came to the America's he made his men burn their ships

It's great here. First thing we did when we got to Lima was go to a rocky beach with all the new missionaries and the mission president and his wife and daughter. He told us about how when Cortez came to the America's he made his men burn their ships meaning that they could not retreat. Then they gave us little paper boats and had us burn them basically meaning we weren't going to go home early.  

Then we went to the church and while we were eating breakfast all the missionaries that were changing areas came in. Then we had a little slide show thing to show with whom all the new missionaries would be companions and we had to give a short testimony (in Spanish of course) and meet our companions. So my companion is Elder Pilacuan from Ecuador. 

He speaks some English like random phrases and the lyrics to some songs haha. So my area is in Huaraz, to get here from Lima it was a 7 hour bus ride through Tuesday night. 

Our area is actually new or at least half an area that just got split. So the first day our house had no stuff so we stayed at the district leader's place and he's cool as is his companion who is just one transfer ahead of me and from Utah. Then partway through the next day we went to our home which is all concrete and the sink is outside which is funny since it rains most days here. So it took time to start to get into things. Oh and last week was voting and I guess they don't allow religious ceremonies during that so we watched general conference again. So I didn't really get to meet the ward in full but that's fine.  Also Elder Pilacuan is really funny so that's good. He says my Spanish is good so that's good. Anyway, you can see my home in these pictures. I'm top bunk, not much space between it and the ceiling. 

We just saw that river the day before yesterday, our area is pretty big. Last night we taught a husband and wife who live in a house that's up a hill/alleyway about 5 feet wide. They live I think 147 steps up (that's how we were told which house was theirs since few places around here have addresses) which was interesting. I'm glad to hear Holland is doing well. And i loved President Eyring's talk both times, at the end. "The church of Christ always has been, and always will be, a missionary church." chao.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

10/6/14 "The Church of Jesus Christ always has been, and always will be, a missionary church"!

Mom, thank you for the cinnamon rolls, I shared them with my whole district. We are leaving tonight so I get to email today. Oh, and yes,I know elder Welburn! I forgot his name because toward the beginning of being here, he said "in Utah we don't say our 't's so it's uhah", so we often just reference him as "uhah"! Yeah, he's a funny guy, and he bore a great testimony last night.

General conference was great! I really enjoyed Christofferson and Uchtdorf during Saturday morning and Holland in the afternoon. Also Callister was talking about Ben Carsen and I was just thinking... I wonder if he is still planning on running for president haha. And of course Bednar sunday afternoon was great  "The Church of Jesus Christ always has been, and always will be, a missionary church"!

What were some of your favorite things from conference? 
I imagine that Dad thought of me in Quentin L. Cook's talk at priesthood session.

My luggage are both about 42 lbs. aeromexico. Yep, our flight is straight there, it is about a 6 hour flight. I'll get there around 5:50 AM

10/02/14 Christ Like Character

Yeah I've been emailing with Austin and Holden. Welburn, hmm I recognize the name but I'm not sure who he is. But that sounds like the same flight I will be on. (His mom is on the FB Missionary page so I asked Chad if he knew him) I don't know how many missionaries will be on that flight but we're supposed to have a lot. The temple isn't open until next year from what I heard so we haven't left the walls since last time we went and we definitely have not gone on the streets proselyting. That would be fun. We all wish we could leave the walls sometimes and just see what the city is like.

Haha, yeah we've talked about that scene in Best two Years here plenty. I can guarantee I will have trouble with the language, but it'll work out. We'll see if my first companion even speaks English haha

Well tell Ally and Atalie thanks for me. That's funny! (For remembering him in their prayers!)

So one thing that was funny...  earlier this week we were in one of the fake investigator lessons with our teacher as "Rodrigo" and when he asked "¿Cómo están?"  My companion, meaning to say ocupado (busy) accidentally said "preocupado" (worried). After we cleared up what he meant, I decided, because of how Rodrigo was acting to ask "¿está preocupado?" and he said he was and told us about a friend who was having some difficulty and we had him pray right there and it turned fairly spiritual and one of our better lessons.

Let's see... the most spiritual of the week was a talk by Elder Bednar (on video) wherein he was talking about the character of Christ and a certain relief society president who had such character. She had called him while he was serving as stake president because three girls were in a car crash and were going to a hospital near him. She was asking him to go identify them. He could hear that she was talking to a nurse on a second phone and and that nurse, during the conversation, positively identified her daughter as the one of the three who was dead. Rather than make any mention of it she simply asked him to go identify the other two and notify their mothers. Later on, the day of her only child's funeral, a member-- I believe Elder Bednar used the phrase "self-entitled member"-- of her relief society (unaware of her daughter) called her and chewed her out because she was sick (Bednar said a cold or something of that sort) and no one in the relief society had brought her food. Rather than get angry, she simply picked up some food for her on the way to her daughter's funeral (she being a single parent to that only child). Like Christ, she was thinking outward when most would think inward. This, as he referred to it, is true conversion: beyond having a testimony of the goodness of Christ and truly emulating him. 

Oh and as to my prayers they're certainly getting more real than when I first started doing them in spanish. 

I remember your cell phone number mom haha okay I'll remember to call your phone if we are allowed to call from the airport. 

How is Holland doing? when are they doing the surgery? 

I don't need anything. Umm I have a haircut appointment today. By the way, I never realized how soon after the people who would eventually be called Zoramites left jerusalem after the Lehites, about 11 years.

Here is a picture from this week.

Here is Chad's email to his dad:
I'm just glad I have Conference this week, if it were just a week later I'd have no clue what they're saying haha. Well I'd know some things but I would not be able to keep up with 2 hours of talking in spanish. Elected to donate platelets? By whom? I'm sure next week will be a particularly humbling week in the proselyting profession as well, but it'll be great. so we leave the CCM on Monday evening. I can't wait until such time as I kind of figure out what I'm doing. But in the interim I'll enjoy how much I'll be forced to learn.
Also I made my first tie trade this week. And here's another picture from the Temple, it's our whole district plus our teacher Hno. Gomez. Hasta luego.