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!