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.