Thursday, September 17, 2015

9/14/15 Seven Baptismal Dates Set!

I'm super excited about general conference. This is going to be my third one in the mission already so that's pretty weird. Of course I remember patriarch Baugh, that's awesome that he's going to be temple president. Is there another stake patriarch now?  How many stakes are there in the temple district? Why is it that our stake gets so many in the presidency? haha

I finally have an area in Lima haha I'm in the ward Gamarra in the zone El Trebol.  It's a really small zone, just 14 missionaries and no sisters in the whole zone. We have 7 baptismal dates so far with 3 of those for the 26th: K____, a single mother and her daughter B_______ as well as D___ the wife of a less active member named D_____ who is obviously in the reactivation process and we are seeing what we can do about making it so he can baptize his wife.

My companion is Elder Neira from Santiago Chile, he came into the mission in the same group as Elder Troll so he has about 7 months and is a hard worker and a good teacher so this should be great!

It's weird going to church and seeing more than 50 people there on Sunday! haha It's a much larger ward here. Both my companion and I were taken out of our last area and president decided to turn back into just one area in that branch again.

In general life is different here in Lima than in the provincial parts of Peru, like there are two supermarkets within reasonable distance of our area here, while there in Huaraz and Pativilca we had a to go a pretty good distance to get to one, the people are somewhat more wealthy here. The transfer was good I'm finally out of the boonies haha.
And there are a lot more jobs and stuff. it's just a more comfortable lifestyle here but there's still no carpet except in the church nursery room haha  We have a pentionist that fills me until I can barely walk!

His new companion...

To his dad:
Elder Bednar might mention us. He said in the meeting that it has been a while since he's been in that big a group of missionaries. Our mission president was saying that he had another meeting with stake presidencies and bishoprics around here in Lima and that the questions and responses by the audience were far better in the meeting with missionaries and Elder Bednar referred to our meeting as the highlight of the trip.  I too, thought it was a really great meeting!

9/7/15 Transfers

(I told Chad that one of my friends asked for a Book of Mormon and that I had marked some of my favorite scriptures. I asked him which scriptures he would suggest I mark.)  
One of my favorite scriptures is Alma 7:11-13 but it depends, is it a mom like you? If so, you could include Alma 56:47-48... of course the most important is always Moroni 10:3-5 and your personal testimony of that promise!
That's awesome, mom!! The missionaries must be super happy!

Yep, I'm leaving my area and so is my companion. Pretty weird. We can never be certain why President Archibald does the things he does but I'm confident it's by revelation!

I did get your package and I was super happy. One of the other elders was trying really hard to convince me to give him my socks haha Thank you very much for the package, a few of the Latinos in our district got to try root beer barrels for the first time in their life so that was good. I haven't tried on the pants yet so I am not sure if they fit, but they're clean at least. haha

The talks Elder Bednar asked us to read were: Ask with Faith, Seek Knowledge by Faith, and Converted unto the Lord. The main focus was learning to be agents who act, or doers of the word not just hearers. Seek Knowledge by Faith is especially good for teaching the gospel but I suppose learning and teaching the gospel is his expertise anyway.

I'm glad I got to find out about the whole situation with Everett after he's home from the hospital and he's okay. That's scary. Well, we can clearly see how our Heavenly Father is watching over us, and especially those little ones and the importance for each of us to be in tune with and attentive to the Spirit, what a blessing!

(Pictures this week!)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

8/31/15 Elder Bednar Came to Speak!

Thursday was also K----'s birthday, she was turning twelve so they had some kind of young women's celebration. We were near the church Saturday evening and my comp had to go to the bathroom so we stopped by the church and they gave me a piece of cake while we were there. that's the extent of my celebration, haha (referring to his year mark)

On Thursday we met a very interesting man who was trying to Bible bash us but apparently he has not read Paul's epistle to the Hebrews. He is part of a religion who call themselves "Israelites", they believe Christ is the Son of God but they think it is still necessary to obey the law of Moses, that is to say they still perform burnt offerings. They also believe in a prophet from here in Peru. There are quite a few of them here in Pativilca. 

Anyway, on Wednesday we had the meeting with Elder Bednar! Our mission president told us to be extremely reverent, that we should not approach him unless invited and if we were to be invited to do so, to be extremely cordial and so that means no selfies or shaking hands. Once Elder Bednar stood up and began talking the first thing he said was not to take notes of what he says. He said that when we do take notes in meetings to take them like the small plates not the large plates with a "secular history of the meeting" and that they must be notes of what was not said, but only the impressions of the Spirit. He then began to ask inspired questions about the talks by him we were asked to study beforehand, then switched to inspired questions about his manner of asking inspired questions and making sure that those he is teaching are agents unto themselves and active participants in the learning process. He then switched it up and had us ask him questions with a preface explaining how the questions must be very specific to the time, place, and person. The first question then asked was such that it didn't require specifically Elder Bednar to answer it therefore he asked Elder Waddell of the 70 (who was also there) to answer it. One of the better questions had to do with what worried him most in what he can see with his time and experience as an apostle and he answered with the word "steadfastness."  He then explained... with the example of how everyone wants to know when a new temple is being built... when they start construction people are coming and taking pictures with their family outside the temple every week and when it is finally dedicated they are sure to be the first ones there on the Tuesday when it opens. He went on to say that there is a huge excitement about going to the temple.. for a while.  He then said get yourself a cheap paperback copy of The Book of Mormon and read the whole thing through studying very carefully, and every time you see any variation of the word steadfastness take copious notes. Then after finishing The Book of Mormon write a 1 page summary of steadiness based on your notes. Write on the spine of the book " steadfastness 1and put the summary inside and put in a bookshelf. Do it again. " Steadfastness 2", without ever taking a glance at your notes from the first time. He said to just keep going with that same thing over and over. He said that he has a bookshelf filled with copies of The Book of Mormon like that and his children have asked him a thousand times if they can read them and he says "if you touch them I will kill you" and they ask if they can have them when he's dead and he says "with my last dying breath I will burn every last one of those books and you will never touch them" because "they can't get anything from what I received from the spirit, but I will get them a book shelf and some copies of The Book of Mormon"
He also said "Would you like to know what Christ would say matters to most to Him?" and then said to study the Gospels paying close attention to every time that He says "my hour is near at hand" (which means "I'm going to die soon") and pay attention to what He teaches next because obviously that is going to be what is most important. He then explained that in the New Testament the first thing he does after that is institute the ordinance of the sacrament and that in 3rd Nephi he gives the authority and teaches the the manner of baptism. He resumed it saying that if we asked Christ what matters to him he'd say "ordinances matter to me" so obviously your work in the temple is extremely important mom!
love you. chao

To his dad:
It looks like a really nice house that Devin and Diana bought, that's really good. I'm glad to hear you had a good birthday. It sounds like a fun setup for the youth, meeting with Canyon Springs ward! Yes, I definitely think I'll be going next week. (transfers)
gracias por todo les amo chao

8/27/15 Hump Day!!!

 1 Year ago today "Elder Bergquist" 
flew to the MTC  in Mexico City!!!

8/24/15 Get Your Converts to the Temple!

haha The girls stayed at our house and the boys at the O'Connors? That's the first time that could have been possible, since we have always had a house full of boys! That's pretty weird!

Did Julie need a map to know where in the world her mission is? haha But, seriously, that's really cool that she has decided to go on a mission! She'll be a great missionary.

That sounds like a fun FHE. 

What's Chubola? It sounds like Spanish, but I don't recognize it... or are you saying chub-ball? haha

What's it like working in the temple? Were you able to share some kind of experience with them about that?

So on Saturday we had a stake meeting with an area 70 and our mission president. They were talking about ward councils and the real goal that we need to have with any investigator or convert or less active is, of course the temple sealing. He also mentioned that when a woman is baptized on a Saturday, she can be confirmed Sunday, and he mentioned that the temple is closed Monday (so they can have their family home evenings in the spirit world, haha) and, she can do baptisms for the dead on Tuesday, just having to wait three days! A man needs the Aaronic Priesthood to do baptisms for the dead, so he has to wait 9 days. He said I don't know what we are waiting for... we need to get a new convert to their father's house!

We are going to have a training with Elder Bednar on Wednesday! Our mission president is being really emphatic with us on how we need to behave ourselves during that training. Like today after playing soccer, the zone leaders were giving us all the details about the training...  like we'll be leaving at 5 am for Lima and we'll be there with a couple of other missions. They said this is the Peru Lima West mission: the best in the area so we will sit as a zone and be studying the scriptures before he comes in.

A few weeks ago we were told about a new system on the missionary website where you can look for referrals that come from the church offices.  I set it all the way back to 2005 when it began and there were no referrals for our area...
se me olvidó. les amo y nos vemos

To his dad:
Before I forget: happy birthday y feliz cumpleaños. My convert, L_____'s daughter turns twelve on the same day as your birthday. 

Wow. it is true that we can be taken at any time and we must not delay the day of our repentance. I'm sorry for those losses and am confident that they are just in the MTC a little early to start sharing the gospel as they had planned to do here.

I hope you guys have fun with Everett in your family home evening and that all is going well there. What are the names of the new converts? It sounds like sacrament meeting will be full of new faces when I get home, that is great!

nos vemos. les amo. chao

8/17/15 P-day Adventures

Well, if that way off in the far distant future wife agrees, it looks like I'll use the name Finn. Leif would have been cool, like Leif Erikson the guy who really discovered America (well after Lehi but way before Columbus) so why Everett Nolan? 8lbs 8 oz that's double what I was! I'll have to find out what that is in kilos to tell people who ask around here haha 
I now have three nephews and 2 nieces, that's weird! I feel like Holland was just born. What do Marleigh and Weston think of having a little brother? Does anyone else in the family have August 16th for their birthday? 

That sounds like a fun youth activity you had with the Vegas youth! Why didn't our youth go to the temple? When did they have to leave from Vegas to get here and do all that?

We have found a few people to teach, one of them is a man in a wheel chair who's named C_____ and asks lots of questions. Sometimes he takes it off topic but he seems like a pretty intelligent guy, I'm anxious to see where that goes. 

We also found a pretty good family, but the parents aren't legally married because the mom had some mistake in her last name on her ID or something and couldn't get married without a long legal process and the dad works everyday until about 7 pm at which point they open up the front room in their house as a restaurant from 8 until about 10 so that may be a little difficult.

Today for p-day our district went to the "Fortaleza de Paramonga" (fortress of Paramonga, Paramonga is a city nearby) It's ruins of a city or I guess a fortress here.

So the heel of my shoe was scraping my heel and took off a little skin and I was trying to fix it and my comp said yeah just switch shoes with me, so we did. He said I wear my shoes laced too tight... so anyway, we ended up with one of each shoe and as Elder Quispe would say, "Estamos en Perú pe"!

It was also my branch mission leader's birthday so we stopped by there for some cake on our way back to our rooms to get changed.