Tuesday, April 28, 2015

04/27/15 Baptisms!

I listened to a really good talk on prayer this week so I took notes and sent them to Chad...

I like this one, it seems like exactly what one of my investigators needs to hear: that you might not feel a real answer the first time if our Father sees that it would be better to hold it back so you have to go under a little... if He gave us everything we'd be in the garden of Eden: a place where it is impossible to complete God's work.

Yeah that's fine, we can use Google Hangout for the Mother's Day call, just let me know my code and all that stuff next week and I'll find out when and let you know.

These are my companions first baptisms in the mission. I forgot to mention that my I lent my baptismal pants to my zone leaders in Huaraz and when they eventually got them back to me they had a pink stain in the crotch. I might be able to put bleach on it I'm not sure if it'll work or not.

I have been helping my companion with his English, I think it's pretty common, Michael says that in Madagascar that's the policy too.  I can only imagine how much it could help them in their lives. 

We have an investigator that is struggling, she has been reading and praying but I think her problem is "the real intent and sincere heart part".  When we were asking about what she read in The Book of Mormon she mentioned how 
at one point it said something about blessing your "lands, and your children, and your wives" and asked if they had many wives, so we explained how it was talking to a multitude showed her the part where Jacob condemns the many wives of David and Solomon and so forth but didn't use that to clarify the requirement of real intent or sincere heart like we should have...

Today we went and played soccer, made french toast and then went down to the beach (without getting in the water of course) for a minute.

We rarely go tracting, our mission president wants us to use 10 different ways to find people to teach every week in this mission.  For example, one of the ways president has asked us to use includes one that has to do with Noah's ark.  We are to tell members (especially new converts and less actives) the story of Noah's ark focusing on how just 8 souls were saved and basically asking for 8 references saying whom around here would they save. Another one is basically choosing a certain place to just walk through every day of the week at the same time and talk to people about anything without any pressure or anything and when you know them and they know you, you go and knock on their doors at the end of the week... that is just a couple of examples of how we find people to teach.
Thank you, love you. nos vemos

To his dad:
My companion says a volcano erupted in Chile down toward the South, I wonder if Mckay knows more or if he is helping with clean up etc.  What did you speak on in ward conference? and whose baby did you bless? 

I have noticed how Luke gets mistaken for an apostle himself all the time, even more than James (the brother of Jesus) since his epistle has nothing written to distinguish him from the brother of John, one of the sons of thunder haha

That does sound like big time for Sierra tell her congratulations for me. (His cousin performed in the Las Vegas Mormon Symphony) I hope that went well. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

04/20/15 Faith and Baptism Dates!

That's cool about Kelsey's call, she will still have almost half a year left when I get home haha  What kind of surgery is Josh going to have? Did Devin catch anything cool on his herp trip? What made Blake decide to go skydiving?

I'm good.  We have two baptisms set for this Saturday and two for the next.  For p-day today, we played soccer at a little turf field with the zone and then at the end we played a little football.  A bunch of the people passing by on the street stopped and watched for a minute, you could tell they were wondering what we were doing! haha 

In the training with president he touched on some interesting points including that we should not teach any children or wife without their father/husband there and he cited something that Joseph Smith said in the "Teachings of the Prophets" that he wrote addressed to the elders about never teaching a child without their parents or guardian.  He said, "I don't know what the other missions are doing but you guys have the bad luck to have a president with a faith like this in Joseph Smith" and spread out his arms to represent bigness.  In the same explanation he was talking about what he would do if people of another religion started teaching his children without speaking to him face to face first.  He went on to say there are plenty of fathers here who will just say yes my son/daughter can get baptized. He said "hermano..." pulling up his belt like "man-up" do your responsibility: that of the most important calling we can receive as he referred to it. He is a very animated teacher. He is a very good mission president!

Later in the week we went to an appointment with our baptismal dates for the 25th and we entered in utter silence as we noticed the daughter napping on a blanket on the ground and both of them were studying (not just reading) The Book of Mormon we had asked them to read. I could feel the Spirit as soon as I entered! We then asked them about it...  and my companion said something like " See, what did it take you? like 15 minutes?"  Meaning that is all you have to dedicate to scripture study daily and she said "No it's been about an hour and a half.  First we read 3rd Nephi 11 and then 12 and then we went back and started to read a little from the beginning".  So that was awesome!

Also the other day the husband of a contact was home from work for a little bit so we went to visit them and when we went in we saw a picture of the virgin Mary and above it was a picture of the parents and there with a scripture on the picture, Alma 40:23.  (23 The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.) My companion and I just stared at it and said, "You know that that's not from the Bible right?" Apparently the husband's son (from a previous marriage) is a member and is preparing to serve a mission! So we explained The Book of Mormon to them.

Monday, April 13, 2015

04/13/15 Any good we do, or are taught to do by Christ is simply following His example.

We don't have much time to write because we are in Lima for immigrations (that is why I am so late writing). My companion meets with the president tomorrow for training, the new missionaries meet with the president once a month for the first 3 months. This is his last, I think. Everyone from his group entering the mission will meet together.

You can mention to Paige or Kaitlin, if you like, that we heard two women speaking Italian and it was one of the weirdest languages I've ever heard. haha 

That is an interesting view into the story of the Good Samaritan, I like it. Maybe the part about the inn, being the church, where they cared for him could be useful for encouraging church attendance here. It is yet another reminder that any good we do or are taught to do by Christ is simply following His example. 

My companion is great, he is still learning some things but he is also really capable in most things: he went out with the missionaries all the time before the mission and helped like 4 or 5 friends get baptized before his mission.  He also has lots of missionaries in his family, his older brother is currently serving in Chicago.

I feel majorly comfortably with the language it's just some relatively obscure vocab I lack: like I realized today that I don't know the word for thumb or for fingerprint.

The baptism was planned for this Saturday but we still need to teach them most of the commandments before their interviews and we're in Lima until tomorrow night so we'll see if it doesn't have to be pushed back. 

The house is nice, it's on the 3rd floor of a 5 story building and has enough windows to keep it fairly cool. It can get pretty humid but it doesn't rain as far as I've seen.

Sorry for the lack of pictures this week, I don't have my camera with me. les amo nos vemos

To his dad:
I'm enjoying my new area well and we have good leadership, especially my zone leaders one of them has the record for consecutive weeks baptizing (14). The other day where we were eating lunch, they had ESPN on.  They were watching soccer of course but it showed a little bit of golf. I remember seeing a name I did not recognize coming in 1st with Phil at 2nd and Tiger at 3rd, but I only saw a second.

I'm really glad to hear that about Alex. does he have a Preach My Gospel?  He should study that a little...
gracias papá hasta la proxima semana te amo

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

04/06/15 I hope to help others to understand grace and to prepare themselves to be capable of resurrection into the Celestial Kingdom.

Yes we got to see all of conference but some of the Elders really wanted to see it in English so we packed into a ward office room where there was a computer to watch it in English (except the talks in Spanish of course). It was a little different than 11th row in the conference center haha. (We took our young women to conference and we got to sit on the 11th row!) That must have been cool to see what they were doing when sitting down and all. My mission president's wife doesn't peak Spanish haha so that would be different (I told him that Dallin got to see his Mission Pres.'s wife at conference and how cool it was to hear them speaking Portuguese to each other). What's his mission president's name? (Paschal Fortunate - he was sustained at conference as an Area Seventy!)

(On our trip to take the young women to conference we stopped and visited 10 temples!) How was seeing so many temples? Do you know why President Monson didn't close the conference? At the end of the Sunday afternoon session the missionaries all looked at each other and asked "What just happened?" 

How is grandma doing? (We went by and visited her while we were there)

I left my notes at the apartment but from what I remember one of my favorite talks was Elder Anderson of the 70's talk about hearing the music and all. Also I always love Christofferson's talks, he is awesome, plus the importance of marriage is always stressed around here since not everyone is married.

We don't have a pentionist here, but luckily we there is a place nearby the sells pretty good meals for s/. 4.50. They have like chicken and rice and things like that. For dinner I have different things, like I sometimes make a hot dog, cheese sandwich or cereal... things like that. We generally eat "dinner" during and after planning at night 9 or 9:30 depending if we have a late lesson. The laundry is separate from pentionist although we are at the moment looking for someone to do laundry. 

The heat is calming down. Finding and teaching are going well, we found a few just yesterday whom we have to visit again for a more full lesson.

So, I'm not sure if you know about these mototaxies (taxi's made from a motorcycle with two wheels in back) Well, when you ride in them it feels like that's going to happen, like in this picture every time haha
They're cheap so if we need to get somewhere within the area quickly, we use them (they're constantly crawling the streets).

In response to Neil L Anderson's affirmation that we were singing that hymn in whatever number of languages: I can't speak for other languages but here, the music is still in English and during the congregational hymns they stand and try to sing what's written in English on the screen haha
It's hard to dub music and the tabernacle choir is the best there is, I just find it funny that many who speak almost no English try to sing it, I guess it's a good example that they give their voices in praise regardless of whatever difficulty there may be.

To his dad:
Interestingly, this last Tuesday I had a work visit where my companion was visited in our area by the district leader and I went to the other area with Elder Quesne who had Brad Wilcox's talk on a USB and we listened to it. I noticed the similarities that we do not do good works to earn anything but as Wilcox put it, to practice the piano. I hope to help others to understand grace and to prepare themselves to be capable of resurrection into the Celestial Kingdom.

03/30/15 Pativilca, My New Area

Why doesn't Larson want to go to BYUI?
Devin and Diana came face to face with a puma?

I hope you guys have fun on the trip. I also can't wait for general conference.

I'm now in the area Pativilca 2 of the Zone Barranca. It's a district and branches here although the mission president, in the transfers meeting, was saying it will be changing into a stake in May. Pativilca is a smaller town about 3 or 4 hours north of Lima. It however is hot here like Lima but I have begun to get used to it. 

My companion is Elder Troll from Chile (he says his name is German and that his ancestors moved there because of WWII) He is from the city Viña del mar which is on the coast directly west of Santiago and apparently a beautiful place. He is in his second transfer in the mission: I'm finishing his training, but he is already quite capable and has a good work ethic and all so that's good. 

The house is quite nice, the building is like 5 stories tall. The apartment isn't too expensive but we are the only people living there, other than the owner, which is odd. We have a working fan and quite a few windows so the heat isn't really a problem. There is only one branch in our town. The district leader is in our branch but works the other area.  His name is Elder Vega and is new to the area too. He from Quitos Peru and his companion is Elder Quesne (pronounced "cane") from England (I don't remember what the name of the city is).

There is about 50 people in our branch. The Branch President is a 29 year old. Church was good yesterday. The chapel is situated in such a way that the person at the pulpit can see out the door to the entrance and yesterday a family (from the other area) walked in a little unsure of where to go while the branch president was giving his talk and he, with out breaking stride in his talk, said "Elders, a family just walked in, could help them into the chapel." I liked that. The Mission President mentioned that his Area President said they should put more missionaries here to build up the area and so that's what he did. He said we will see success as we thrust in our sickle with all our might. Our Mission President always says stuff like we're not in Europe. ¡estamos en el Peru! You should be baptizing every week!

I already knew a few people in our zone such as Elder Robinson who had served in Huaraz a couple transfers ago and Sister Morales who was in Huaraz just before here as well, she is from Mexico. Elder Clouse who was in my district in the MTC is also serving here.

We have some baptismal dates set, such as the sister with her daughter, they are friends of a member. I just hope they all attend General Conference: that can really make it.
Anyway love you, thanks nos vemos

PS  Here is a picture of me with our pentionist (the lady who makes lunch for us) in my last area and her grandson Matthew. 

To his dad: 
We can watch talks and stuff directly from lds.org or mormon.org but from youtube, no. I imagine Sierra and Savannah were definite help with the kids. How was seeing Larson?  (Brad told Chad about a talk by Brad Wilcox called, "His Grace is Sufficient")  What does it say about His grace?
Have fun going to conference, I'm just excited to watch it from here and in Spanish this time! nos vemos chao