Tuesday, August 16, 2016

8/15/16 Baptisms!

There were a couple of problems with J_______'s baptism last week so the date is now for this week. O_____ is doing well he went to church on Sunday and he too will be baptized this week!

The B______ family is continually confused but we are going to visit them tonight and should be able to clear things up for them. We also found M______ on Monday, he studied in a Catholic seminary to be a priest but left the seminary a little while ago. We found him through a member who I assume is his girlfriend, he went to church on Sunday and is progressing well. The district had 1 baptism this week. I interviewed the guy who was going to be baptized last week in Huaura, you could say he is agnostic.. I have no clue how he accepted a baptismal date. Y______'s baptism was changed for this week so now there should be 3 this week. Yesterday I interviewed V_____ who is going to be baptized in Huaura and he is ready to go! His daughter is a member and he is going to be great. His date was for the 27th but when I got into the interview and I conversed with he decided to be baptized Sunday morning. 

I have some meetings with president and a self-sufficiency training on Thursday and Friday so that gets in the way of the work a bit, but I have all of Saturday and then I have to go back to the offices on Sunday. I'm not sure about the others' flight schedule. My zone leader Elder Eschenberg is from LA but because of his school schedule at BYU he went home this week so he won't be with me in the terminal. Elder George who came with me on the first flight probably has the same itinerary but I don't know if he will be getting off in LA.

Too bad about the family reunion but I'll see plenty of pictures I imagine. 

Here are all the Elders in my zone that going home with me next week. Elder Pankrats, me, Elder Eschenberg, and Elder Prisbrey. 

Thanks for everything. que tengan una buena semana. nos vemos la proxima semana. chao. (Have a good week.  See you next week.  bye)

Monday, August 8, 2016

8/8/16 Sacrament & and The Sabbath

We have one baptismal date for this week, J______, who is a single mom and has attended church quite a bit. We taught her again Sunday evening and she will be prepared for baptism this week! We have O_____ set of baptism for next week. The B______ family has continued to come to church too, we have a lesson with them tonight. They went to the ward activity last Thursday night but because of an all-day school training thing for their kids' school and the mom's work they couldn't go to church yesterday but told us about that early in the week and committed themselves to go this week. We taught them with the bishop on Sunday. After church Oliver asked us to explain why the Sabbath is Sunday instead of Saturday since someone had asked him about that. We taught him in the church and explained the Sacrament and a little more about the Sabbath. He told us that the week he had gone to church he did a lot better on his job (mototaxi) and last week when he hadn't attended it was horrible and he barely got enough Sunday morning for the whole week, he said as it was as if the Lord was saying, "go to church" so he's definitely going to go to church this week.

So we should be having two baptisms before I go and the family of 3 for the week I'm giving my home coming talk! It reminds me of when President Archibald told us of the winter quarters principle, that we are to leave things ready in your area for the next missionaries. If we can overcome some or R____'s doubts that'll be a beautiful gift, a family of 3 for the next missionary. The ward is doing well, the district dipped back down this week in new investigators and progressing investigators but we'll get that fixed... we have 3 baptisms planned for this week in the district. 

My companion is going to have an interview tonight, not me though since he isn't interviewing those who'll be interviewed in a few weeks (FEW weeks?  Does the kid not realize he will be home in 14 days??!!!  haha) but at least I'll get to see president. 

Here are a couple of pictures of our room, I think I forgot to take some beforehand.

To his dad:
That'll be fun to get to speak with Brady. I'll give plenty of thought to my talk after I get to talk to you about what the ward needs and what topic I should speak on. 

It sounds like some great destruction in the Olympic swimming, it sounds exactly like what President Archibald always wanted to inspire us to be like.

It's pretty cool that the US is winning, like always. Have you seen any Peruvians in the Olympics so far?

I'll keep working hard, thanks. nos vemos. les amo.

Monday, August 1, 2016

08/01/16 A Promise

O_____ went to Vegueta on Sunday and didn't go to church, however the B______ family went! We went to see them in the morning on Sunday and the wife A___ came out and said that her husband has been in bed all morning and that his leg was hurting a lot. My companion said that we promise that the pain in his leg will go down and it will heal faster if he goes to church. She thought he'd say no but we asked her just to tell him what we said and see what he says. So she went to ask him and came back out saying that yes they were going to go to church! They went and have a baptismal date for the 27th. The talks in sacrament meeting were on fellow shipping investigators and new members and they put that in practice after church, everyone was talking with them, it was great. The elder's quorum president who had accompanied us to teach them before took them home in his car. Also, in the week we found an old investigator (a single mom) who had gone to church lots but hadn't gotten baptized because she started living with a guy but she recently broke that off. She went to church too and has a baptismal date for the 13th!

The week was definitely better! It was better in respect as a district too, for example we had several progressing investigators and it looks like we're going to meet our district goal of 6 this month. 

Sounds like you gave a great class on Sunday, I would have liked to hear it. I have only seen the mission president once but we'll have interviews soon. He's a good president.

Here are a couple of pictures.
This one is from my companion's birthday a couple of weeks ago. The bishop invited us over. (the bishop is the shortest guy toward the middle, and the elder's quorum president is the taller guy on the left and the other guy is a new convert)

07/25/16 Do we have a living prophet?

The B______ family did not go to church, they called us at 11 am on Sunday saying that they wouldn't be able to go. We went straight to their house and they said they had some family members that live far away who suddenly come over without warning and they weren't going to go to church because they were going to spend time with them. I exhorted them somewhat about their ability to go in spite of whatever problem presents itself.   I have found that when one procrastinates obeying the Lord they are stopped by the enemy, whereas when one obeys right away his power is weakened. 

I___ said she is planning on going to Chile so we'll have to wait until she comes back to continue to teach her. 

On Saturday we taught a 28 year old man named O_____. he likes rock and wears his hair long and is a really big guy so much that one of the members said he was "Thor of Hualmay" (Hualmay is the place where he lives) haha. When we taught him he said that he has heard from the Daventists, JWs, and even the that "God-Mother" church (I'm not sure if I mentioned them before but they're pretty weird) and that what we taught made more sense than any of them and he was excited to hear that Christ visited the American continent! When we started talking about prophets he asked if there is a living prophet now and toward the end of the lesson he asked if he could go to church before being baptized and we said yes of course we were just about to invite you for tomorrow. He also asked why there is a place to play soccer behind the church and when we explained the midweek activities he asked if there would be one soon. There happened to be an activity at the church Saturday night with traditional dances so he went to that and to church on Sunday. He enjoyed church and we are going to teach him again tomorrow. He works as a mototaxi driver. When my companion showed him the names of the 3 witnesses of The Book of Mormon, he was super excited to his name there haha.

We also went for a work visit on Tuesday and I was with Elder Lara in his area and we found a family of 3 with whom I put a baptismal date for august 20th!

To his dad:
Sounds like a good sacrament meeting and like a fun time at Uncle Brent's, tell Holden what's up for me. 

The other day before district meeting there was a problem that made us late for the leaders meeting and we were told about a rule we hadn't heard before about doing push-ups if we were late, so we did 30 push-ups... well, I did. My companion couldn't finish and everyone was like, "how do you do them so fast when you're so skinny?" haha

Thanks dad for everything chao

Monday, July 18, 2016

07/18/16 He is our Father...

This week was going well, at the beginning of the week we were finding investigators every day except Monday and since we had ward council on Wednesday we were able to speak with some of the leaders to plan lessons with them. We had a couple of lessons with a member, for example we taught the B______ family which have 4 (in the age of baptism) and we taught them with the help of the president of the elders quorum. Then we taught them on Saturday evening as well and we were clearing up their doubts and then committed them to go to church the next day. 

But the dad, R____ has a bunch of family that are Jehovah's Witnesses and they confused him, for example, he said that John says no man has ever seen God and so forth mentioning the scriptures they must have cited to confuse him.  After some failed attempts to show him the many scriptures that say the opposite of that and him trying to give a false interpretation of them we basically said no one can ever offer salvation based on an interpretation of the scriptures that is the polar opposite of the form in which God has worked with his children from the beginning of time. We asked what he would think of a father who wrote a book about how to be good kids, gave it to them and left saying well it's their fault if they can't be happy. When he understood that that would be a horrible father we said God is our father and he would never do that to us!  He kind of understood the idea of the restoration and just kind of sat back like how is it that 20 year olds can give such good arguments? We explained the Holy Ghost to them and he and his wife committed to go to church the next day.

However, the father, R____ had injured his leg the week before so when we went to pick them up (with the elders quorum president who has a car) they told us that suddenly that morning his wound had filled with some kind of black liquid and they ended up not being able to go. So, suffice it to say that they will finally come to church this week but it's fine. And, then on Thursday we taught a lady named I___ whom we had taught before and she has attended church twice with the relief society president. The relief society president taught her powerfully and she took most of the time talking and inviting her to repentance we allowed her to talk most of the time because she had been in a similar situation and could testify more specifically. She also committed to come to church.

We also met this guy named M_______ who is apparently less active and sings songs about Jesus. He sang us a few lines when we were at the church.

I'm sorry you had to stop working in the temple on Fridays. It sounds like a good exercise that you and dad are doing, reading The Book of Mormon that way. I can't believe Weston is 5, tell him happy birthday for me! Also, tell Holden hi for me.

President Stauffer is a really good mission president. It was different when he first got here, but when he started talking about what he had just been taught by the 12 you could certainly feel the authority was there. He puts a lot of focus on the need to be repentant and to declare repentance, the need for faith and love for the Lord, and to strengthen it in others (just like Preach My Gospel). We, the missionaries, need to be converted so that we can help others be converted - and I like that a lot.

To his dad:
Scott wrote me about pokemon go haha, it sounds different, but alright. I hope uncle Lane didn't end up making a whip and driving out the money changers. I would like to get on a zipline haha Weston's a little beast. Did he break his legs for real or is that just a typo with the phone?

Krew sounds super funny I hope all the little guys recognize me haha.

Tell Anjali congratulations for me.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

7/11/16 New Mission President!

Well last Monday we were walking down the street to go to a family home evening with some converts and investigators and we saw some random fireworks going off. I thought it must have been the holiday of some saint that sometimes happens and as we came near the spot where they were going off I suddenly heard "Happy fourth of July!" in English. I just stood there for a second and saw a white guy with his Peruvian wife and son all of them spoke English and he said he is from San Diego, apparently he is a pastor of a church here. When I told him I was from Riverside (because he didn't know where Moreno Valley was) he said oh we have a really good pastor in Riverside, but I forgot the name, but you know that really big church that sometimes has their meetings in the angel's stadium? Well, he was from that church. Anyway, that was pretty cool.

On Tuesday we were doing a little marriage and family quiz that we sometimes do as an excuse to talk with people and find out if they're legally married. We knocked on the first door and no one came out, but the guy next door came outside so we did the quiz with him and he is married and said yeah come in to teach me! So we taught him about the restoration and just as we were finishing up, his wife got home so we gave her a brief explanation and put a baptismal date for the august 6th, so that was good!

On Friday we had a short multizone meeting to welcome and meet President Stauffer. He has 5 children, his oldest daughter is a return missionary who served in Armenia and is engaged and going to get married in Lima so her parents can be at the sealing. I'm not sure how that will work since in Peru the temple sealing is not a recognized legal marriage and must be done after the civil marriage. His second daughter is serving in Chile and his 16 year old daughter, 11 year old son and 9 year old son are here with them but only the youngest son Wyatt was in the meeting with us. He is certainly young and different from president Archibald, but I could really feel their spirituality and there will be a lot that we can learn from them. Also President Stauffer served his mission in mexico for 26 months.

Friday night we found out that church was going to be in the morning because of a satellite transmission from the Area in the afternoon to share with another ward, so that kind of messed up the plans we had with investigators to attend church but it's all good. Things are going well and I'm excited to see what success we can create in these couple of months.  (Does he not realize he is flying home in 6 weeks??!!!  haha)

To his dad:
I got to talk with president personally at lunch, right before the meeting we had since he sat to eat with my companion and I and a few other missionaries. Apparently he's from Connecticut, really close to New York City.  He told us he met Elder Rasband when he was mission president there. He is some kind of boss in a private equity company or something like that I didn't quite catch what it was but he chose to be over the Latin American part of the company so he's been to most of South America. He seems like he is going to be a good president and keep the mission going, I mean it IS the best mission in South America Northwest without question! When he got here he was pretty surprised by the numbers, but anyway they have a great family. 

That is a super sweet eagle dad, I wish I could have seen that. 

I got the invitation to Sarah's wedding the other week and was a little surprised, but that's cool. tell them congratulations!

Anjali is getting married? What the heck? Well, tell them congratulations too!

7/4/16 Sometimes a mission is just frustrating... it is HARD.

So we now officially have a new mission president. President Stauffer got here on Saturday and I guess "Brother Archibald" must be in Idaho by now. I have not yet met President Stauffer but we are going to have another multizone conference on Friday (the only time in my mission I've had multizone conferences so close together). I'm pretty excited to meet the new president. Anyway the work is going on but this week was a little bit frustrating.

Remember E______? He told us as soon as we got to his home that he had good news and bad news. The good news was that the Jehovah's Witnesses who had been visiting like a year ago came back, and the bad news was that he would be taking Bible studies from them. E______ refused to understand all of our attempts to explain the restoration and help him understand the truth. It would seem that he really was taking this route because he didn't want pressure, since he also mentioned that they said he and his wife could get baptized years from now and there is no pressure to go to church, anyway we did all we could to testify and explain and expound but we came out of the house without success.

The B______ family also didn't come to church which is a little frustrating but the reason is that they just happened to have stuff get in the way (like work) so we couldn't teach them all week but we have an appointment this week on their day off and we're going to help them understand why they need to go to church and so forth. I believe that they are going to understand, I felt the spirit a lot in our last lesson with them and they will go well and we'll find more people to teach. 

Thanks, see you later. I hope that things are going well there.

ME:  I felt SO bad, with it being the 4th of July I had gotten distracted and for the first time, I didn't send Chad an email!!!  I got on to email him and saw he had already sent one!! YIKES!  I quickly sent him one telling him sorry I was and how much I love him and told him I was officially a horrible mom and then he quickly sent this back to me....

CHAD:  not true. don't worry you're the best mom ever

I still feel SO bad.  As you can tell they had a rough week (sounds like the worst week of his mission and then he goes to email and there is NOTHING from home... poor guy!!)  

6/27/16 We just have to work a little harder...

Last week in church I was just asked to talk about temples but I felt that it wouldn't make much sense to talk about temples without focusing on the ordinances because one thing I've learned on the mission is that it is not very useful to teach something if you can't invite someone to do something about it. I thought the members should start applying the area plan, so talked about temple ordinances and getting the recent converts to the temple as soon as possible as Elder Bednar told us when he visited here, he said that recent converts shouldn't go to the temple in weeks or months after baptism, but in days afterwards. 

J___ D______ didn't get baptized because he didn't want to do so without his wife, and since we're not here to pull apart families we will have to see if we can teach his wife even though they basically live separated most of the time.  She is in another area because of her work, but we are going to do the necessary and I feel that they will be baptized together.

Our meeting with mission president was great, he showed a clip of Messi's Hat trick against Panama and then said that's how should feel as you get to a new area, just a feeling of give me the ball and I'll get it in there. He then told us a story about helping a certain convert he had worked with like 10 years after his mission, he called the current stake president and he immediately addressed him as Elder Archibald, and said, "of course we remember you, you're the one who baptized La Dura!" (his mom) who had heard the lessons for like 20 years but had refused to be baptized during all that time. He said she wasn't even from his area he just went to their home on a work visit with another missionary, taught her the same thing as all the other missionaries had and invited her to be baptized that Sunday. She accepted and when her son came in who was then bishop, he dropped everything in his hands and just stared at him like how?  So president was explaining that our converts will remember us and have the exact image in their head of how we were as missionaries so we ought not to change much afterward for their sake. etc.

I'm applying the same principles as always. The new mission president gets here on Saturday and then we'll meet him. My companion is great, the district is good. We just have to work a little harder and everything will go well.

Joseph Smith's First Prayer is one of my favorite hymns, I can see why it spoke to your heart!  Almost every training with president we sing that song. it's funny because the song say's he'll be known by millions but in Spanish it says thousands and president always corrects that saying it's really millions but should soon be billions. 

anyway thanks for everything see you later.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

6/20/16 Keep the Sabbath Day Holy

I'm not entirely sure why church is so late.  Normally when there's more than one ward in the building one of the meetings is a little later but they wouldn't have an 11-2 church because lunch is so important.  I would think it would start about 2 but they have it for 3 for some reason. It's kind of easier for investigators because the culture here in Peru is such that all the ladies go and buy the families food especially meats (because they do not like frozen foods) every morning around 9 -11 in the market and then cook that food from 11:30 or 1 everyday. If we tell them church is from 9-12 they say, "but when am I going to buy my food and cook?"  So 3:00 is good. That also makes keeping the Sabbath holy a slow process for some people around here.

The area South America Northwest Presidency, Elder Uceda and Elder Godoy and Elder Montoya have made an area plan and are instructing all of the members to implement it in their families. It has the basic focuses of youth, being self sufficient, and keeping our ordinances. Under youth it has the two bullet points of 1) youth are to raise the number of students in seminary and institute, and 2) raise the number of young men serving in full time missions.  Under being self sufficient is 1) to better keep the Sabbath Day and 2) raise the number of full tithe payers.  Under ordinances is 1) raise the number members participating in family history and 2) raise the number of members participating in ordinances such as baptism, confirmation, sealing etc.

I was asked to give a talk on Sunday about temples so I focused on what the area plan was, specifically the third portion of ordinances and just after me they said there has been a change of plans the third talk will be given by the second councilor in the stake presidency to explain the area plan. It had not been explained yet in the ward so that was pretty cool, I think he was pretty happy because I had spoken about that when no one had told me to.

J___ D______ and E______ are doing well. The district is good but there's lots we have to do better still so we're getting that going. Tomorrow we have a meeting with our mission president (the last one) President Archibald.

To his dad:
Happy Fathers Day!! I hope things are going great there.

That sounds like my time in Pativilca it was a tiny area and I was there 6 months.  (Brad was telling him about a missionary in our ward that had been here 6 months and how Brad was teasing that they had knocked on the same doors over and over that they actually call him by name now... no, Elder so and so, we are still not interested haha)

I didn't fully catch the rule with the temple.. but here if you baptize a couple and they go to the temple to get sealed the missionaries who baptized them can go to the temple with them. Anyway, thanks for everything I hope you've had a good father's day and everything goes well at the reunion.

Monday, June 13, 2016

6/13/16 "Abuelito!"

No we haven't gotten to go to the temple again with my last district yet, we might soon. I haven't yet really gotten to know the ward since this weekend was stake conference, we haven't had a regular week of church yet. I am told we have church at 3 pm and it's priesthood first and sacrament meeting last so that's kind of weird. We have several people committed to baptism, a man named J____ D_____ who has his date for the 25th and came to church this Sunday. 

We were told that we could go to the adult session of stake conference on Saturday if we had an investigator going, otherwise we were to keep working.  E______, an older investigator told us that he couldn't go on Sunday but he could go on Saturday, it was a pretty unusual experience.  Since we live so close to the church we just brought him with us, we were going to looking for someone to visit with him at the church while we ran home to get our suit coats and as soon as we entered the church some young lady hugged our investigator saying, "abuelito!"  (Grandpa!)  He hadn't told us that he had family that were members!  Later, when we got back to the church with our coats we saw him sitting with another girl who was his other granddaughter and apparently is the zone leaders' investigator who is going to be baptized this week!  Neither the zone leaders or us had any idea that we were teaching family members!  It was a great experience for him (and us)!

On Friday at 2 am we had to go wait for the bus coming from Barranca to take all of the missionaries to the meeting with Elder Rasband.  There were two other missions there.  We were all super tired and really hungry when we were waiting for them to get there but as soon as the meeting started we were super attentive and seemed to have energy from nowhere.  It was a great meeting!  Elder Montoya from our area presidency was there too. They let us all shake hands with Elder Rasband, his wife, Elder Montoya and his wife.  We didn't really get to talk to them but he said he was focusing on the shine in our eyes and said that one of the most important things we can do is smile, smile with our eyes shining too.  Elder Rasband's wife told us that when he proposed to her she said, "I won't be able to go on a mission so you had better live worthy to take me on one"... that has been fulfilled many times over.

Here is a picture of our whole mission.

I will be more than happy to work in the temple when I get home!
Thank you for everything!  Chao!

6/6/16 Transfers!

I am in Huacho... like when I was in Barranca, which was 4 hours out from Lima, now I'm 3 hours out... but it's a great area and a great district. My companion is Elder Alanes from Bolivia. He has about 16 months in the mission and is a really good missionary. He also has just a couple of years as a member but he's a really smart guy. It was a great area in Puente Piedra but we have the goal of breaking the new record of weeks in a row of baptizing. There's lots of work to do, it will be great! We have 4 companionships in the district: us, the sister training leaders, Elder Prisbrey with a new missionary from here in Peru and Elder Drysdale and Elder Lara, other than Elder Basilio, the rest have a fair amount of time in the mission. It seems like president wants to get things going in Huacho so we will make sure that happens! 

Elder Rasband is coming this Friday!  This Sunday is stake conference, which is a little frustrating because that's these two weeks without baptisms but it's fine we're going to do great!

It's not a huge city, but we're near the center and the area is really flat no hills. It's near the ocean like 5 minutes away. I'm glad to hear that things are doing well there and that you took the youth to the temple. Our district went to the temple on Saturday and we were talking with a family of recent converts on Sunday about how they went to the temple for the first time this week and he said his wife spotted a family outside the temple who were there for their sealing and she just stood there watching in awe, they really want to get sealed! So a little less than a year from now they're going to be right there just like the other couple they saw, it is awesome.

I finally have a pentionist again, but it's not a lady it's a man.  He lives with his mom who is really old and sick, he is takes care of her 24-7 and his name is Nefi, he's super cool. We found a few new families and we're excited to see them progress. 
anyway thanks nos vemos les amo 

5/30/16 Our new convert got to perform a baptism!

It sounds like you had a great memorial day. I would like a good breakfast like that, I've been making myself a bunch of scrambled eggs lately since it's cheap... but there's no bucket of balls or swimming but whatever. There IS lots of water. 

It was a good week. On Saturday when we went to visit L____ she said her mom (who didn't come to church this last week like she said she would) was coming on Sunday. She started talking to her about how its a big commitment and how she should think it over really well... she wanted to talk with her about it first and then she started to get scared and said she wasn't sure if she should get baptized now and maybe she should do it later.  We calmed her down and helped to recognize the Spirit, we asked her to pray about it and in that very moment we all knelt down and she asked God if he wanted her to be baptized now. She offered one of the most sincere prayers I've ever heard and then when she finished, she knew it was the right thing to do. We said okay my companion is going to go with J_______ (a member who was accompanying us) to get everything ready at the church and I'm going to stay here with your dad (now a member with the priesthood) to accompany you guys to the church. It was awesome because S_______ (who had received the priesthood last week) baptized her.
Yes, I'm being transferred.  I am going to Huacho, about 2 hours out from Lima. So I'll be in the boondocks again, but it's okay, we're going to do good. 

No mom, none of this good and faithful servant stuff, that's for after it's finished and there is lots to do still! haha

thanks. nos vemos. la amo.

Also the district is super happy because we baptized 20 this month and we are going 20 weeks running with baptizing every week. So, we're seeing about going to the temple again as a district.

5/23/16 Beat the Mission Record!

We had 55 baptisms last week! S_______ received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday. L____  has been sick the last few days and could barely get out of bed, so much so that she hadn't gotten interviewed and couldn't get baptized. We taught her Saturday afternoon and when we went to her home C_______ answered the door and said, "are we going to get baptized now?"  We had to explained that it would have to be for next week.  L____ was feeling better Saturday night and they came to church on Sunday and they were interviewed for their baptism yesterday. 

No the guy in the picture isn't her husband, he's her kids' dad.  He had come to visit the children that day so she invited him to the baptism which was great because C________ can't be baptized without his permission. If he were her husband, we would never have taught her without him and certainly wouldn't baptize her without him, that is something that President Archibald has taught us very well.

M_____ is doing well too. The older couple didn't come to church because they had a neighborhood meeting and they would have been fined for not attending, therefore they won't have attended church enough to be baptized on the 11th. This week we had 19 weeks in a row with baptizing every week as a district and will have 20 this week. 19 already beats the mission record!

My mission president is perfect. haha or that's how it seems. Well, I had my last interview with him this last week. We talked about several of the goals and plans and the vision he has for the mission and what he hopes we can do with the new president.  We discussed the importance of the example of those of us with time in the mission with the transition to a new president. He said if I'm ever in Idaho that I have a place to stay (before the mission he had been teaching institute in Alabama and now he's going to be teaching institute in Idaho, I think at Boise state or some other college in Idaho, I don't remember which). I told him I was going to school at BYUI and he said I'm sure we'll be seeing each other then. He also said that Elder Montoya (of the area presidency here) told him that his relationship with his missionaries was an eternal relationship, he said that Elder Eyring had alluded to that in some training and now he's understanding that better. I can't say I fully understood it, but that's okay. He always asks, "so what can I do to help you?" at the beginning of every interview and I asked him what was the most important thing he had accomplished as president and he said that he had really taught the missionaries the importance of following the brethren and that the best leader is an exact follower.

I'm glad to see you're perfecting your driving at the range. (golf) That's one thing I wish we could do for pday here. haha

That's so weird that he was in the quorum of the 12 with his mission president, I never knew that. (Richard G. Scott was Elder Christopherson's MP) almost as cool as when Joseph Fielding Smith was in the quorum of the 12 at the same time as his dad (or was it George Albert Smith, I haven't read our heritage in a bit).

Sounds like you got to attend an awesome fireside. I can imagine why Elder Palmer didn't talk super long I would want Elder Christofferson talking the whole time. I'm still excited for the meeting we're going to have with Elder Rasband.

Anyway thanks for everything bye. nos vemos

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

05/16/16 Another Baptism!

Sounds like dad gave a good talk. I think he's the best bishop ever. I always share what dad does with our bishop to help him out. I always tell him and his wife about how you and dad do things... and how you know everyone and that helps a lot! Bishop lives in our area and we've had plenty of family home evenings in their home with investigators that we had invited.

Welp, I guess dad's going to be bishop for a while longer, that's cool!

S_______ was baptized this week. We finally got to teach his daughter L____ (she's the one next to him in the picture) and her 8 year old son C_______ (the one making the peace sign) She apparently went to church a bunch when she was living in Argentina and we put the date for her baptism for this week. M_____ is progressing really well for the 28th and we've got an older couple for the 11th of June who came to church and are doing well.
It was a good week!  We had a fair number of investigators come to church, which is awesome. Now you can see that S_______ is a pretty big guy haha he now calls me padrino (godfather) as a joke. We are really close, I really like him!

We also have a new ward mission leader named Luis Violeta (the guy next to me in the picture) who has been bishop twice and is really animated to work with. All is well here. how are things going there?

To his dad:
It sounds like you gave a great talk. We can hardly hope to win a great reward if we now shun the fight. I would love to work in the temple, it sounds like a great opportunity!
love elder bergquist

05/09/16 Commitments!

My week was fine, not perfect, but good.  We have some investigators that are progressing and I'm really excited for S_______'s baptism this week.  You have to see the guy, he's really cool, but it's kind of weird because he seems kind of bored all the time, like when Elder Castro first got here, and in his first lesson with him he was a little unsure of his commitment like he'd say 
so you're going to go to church right? and he responded in kind of a bored voice: yeah.. 
are you sure? 
Yeah, the last time I went it seemed pretty nice, the church was really big.. 
And my companion was sitting there like I'm not sure about this.. but the last two times he came to church like 20 min early. 
...or the first time I taught him after explaining The Book of Mormon I asked if he would be baptized and he said well I've been baptized catholic is that a problem?
yeah okay.
He's become more enthusiastic but he always does what he says he's going to do like helping clean the church after the second time attending because they'd asked him to help during Priesthood meeting.

On Saturday before the baptism we taught M_____ in the church and after verifying that he had read The Book of Mormon we detailed the explanation of the book while asking him about what he desires from God and he explained that he was looking for patience and when were reading the introduction it spoke about how it teaches men how to have peace in this life and salvation in the life to come and he was pretty surprised and committed without hesitation to be baptized on the 28th! (We had put the date for the 28th the first time we met him but it was like a "as you come to know this is true" will you prepare to be baptized? but now it was simply a "will you be baptized"? So it was firmer)

We also contacted a lady last night who showed us The Book of Mormon she has and said that she, her husband and her daughter had attended church somewhere else several times but never got baptized, so that looks like a good bet for this next couple of weeks!

Anyway it was great talking to you guys on Mother's Day, don't worry that the Skype was coming in and out... 
gracias les amo chao

05/02/16 He said the closing prayer with all of us kneeling together.

Mitchel is going to the Lima North mission? That's cool! His mission president lives in the same building as mine. If I'm not mistaken he's a fairly new mission president and he, as well as the other mission presidents here in Lima asked president Archibald to help them to have more success baptizing and retaining since the area presidency always uses our mission as the example to say if they're baptizing every week and retaining you can do it too. They have a good president and he's going to be happy there.  The North mission is out in the boonies of Lima instead of central Lima so people are pretty receptive.  Their area has been having a lot of baptisms right now they're having a better retention rate. He will have to work hard but he'll be able to have lots of success, right next to the best mission in the world and among the best people in the world! Seriously, tell him that Peru is awesome and there is a reason it is the only Spanish speaking country in South America with 101 stakes, and the only one with 2 working temples and 4 temples announced! And, if I'm not mistaken the new Lima temple is going to be up here in the north so he'll be pretty close to the temple as they start to put the foundations.

Y______ had her baptismal date changed for the 7th, this coming week instead of the 14th. S_______ is still for the 14th and they are both progressing very well. Y______ was interviewed yesterday and will be baptized this Saturday at 7 pm. We taught S_______ the commandments at the church on Saturday at 6 since he had committed to come and help clean the church with the high priests group at 7. He helped clean and we took him to see the baptism at 7:30. After which he continued to help clean. Sunday morning the zone leaders had a last minute baptism so we couldn't go get S_______.  We were trying to call him and just as we were calling he came around the corner like half an hour early complaining that the traffic had delayed him. While we were at church a convert from the zone leaders' area had brought a friend named M_____ who's 25 and we found out he lives in our area so we taught him in the third hour in an empty classroom (since there wouldn't be time after church because of ward council) and put a baptismal date for the 28th! 

We had an interesting experience as we were knocking doors.  On the second door we came to a woman came to the window and told us that she was super busy doing her daughter's homework, I needed to use the restroom but I knew if there wasn't a man there I can't go in, so I was trying to look around the window curtain and could barely see a 50ish year old man watching TV so then I asked to use the bathroom and she stood there like umm I'm going to ask my parents so she went in and came back out saying come in. I went to the bathroom and my companion was out there unsure of what to say until the man said missionaries have visited us before so then they started talking and when I came out we got him to call his wife to come listen as we taught them.  We started to teach standing up, while D_____ and his wife A_____ were sitting on the couch and their daughter was in the background at the table painting her daughter's Styrofoam school project. We put a baptismal date with the three of them for the 11th of June and D_____ said the closing prayer with all of us kneeling together. It was a great experience.

To his dad:
My current area borders with the North mission, well it's on the other side of a huge hill. It would have been better if he'd gone to the West mission since it's the best mission in the South America northwest area but Lima North is good too. haha I'll be super happy to talk to him about how it is here, that will be super fun!
I'll be calling at 5 from my account. thanks for everything chao

Elder Castro is great, he's outgoing, funny and a good worker so I think we'll be fine!  He was telling me that towards the end of his time in Pativilca they were starting to have good success which was pretty difficult for me as you remember. I'm not sure if I told you that the district became a stake and was the 101st stake in Peru? L___ and N_____ are doing well but I think L___ is having problems with his family and friends or something he didn't go to church yesterday.  They have two children Z_____ who is 18 and was baptized about 6 years ago and R______ who is 10 and was baptized with him. Y______ is N______'s niece.

The mission office prints up a little mini newspaper for the mission every week that shows the baptismal goal for the mission (this years goal is 1400 and we have a goal of 800 before president finishes his mission the beginning of July), the amount so far, as well as the goals for each zone.  Every month there is information on which companionship's have had more baptisms and which district has had the most and the best companionship, etc. The district that has the most is rewarded by going to the temple. It's not a huge deal but it's just something that's kind of cool to see how the mission is doing generally. 

Anyway we were thinking of skyping at 5:00 my time.

Friday, April 29, 2016

4/25/16 A New Companion!

It sounds like you guys had a great week. I would love to go to the Provo temple (and plenty of others). It looks like a really nice temple. 

My companion is Elder Castro from Santa Cruz Bolivia (the same city as my last companion). He has like 16 months in the mission and is a really good worker. He was last in Pativilca, the branch where I was at about a year ago, so Elder Fernandez and he just traded areas so that's weird. He's a good missionary with lots of ideas about how to do things differently and with the spirit!

K____, a nine year old, who's mom and grandma are members was baptized this week. She asked me to perform the ordinance. She gave a great testimony for a little girl and cried because her mom had been less active until we started working with them. Both my companion and I forgot our cameras since we had been focused on looking for investigators all day but they got a picture with their camera and that's the most important.

R____ didn't really let himself fully understand the restoration and even though we were there reexplaining it with every kind of example he just couldn't get how the apostasy works in relation to the Catholic church and basically gave us back the Book of Mormon. S_______ is doing great, he came to church again. We also visited L___ and N____, we took the bishop with us and he helped them to understand the importance of the family, we have a family home evening with them tonight.

thanks for everything. chao

To  his dad:
I already knew I had the winter-spring track (BYUI). When we were on our way to the temple Elder Welburn said he had like 3 months left and I said we have way more time than that and he said no I talked with president about going home a transfer early for school and and asked me, "what are you going to do for school?" I said," I'm not going until winter so I'm not even going to worry about it". I'm pretty grateful that I get to stay and don't even have to think about it.

Do you know what the training is going to be about? and what apostle? We're going to have a meeting with Elder Rasband. I'm really excited about that. It will be something to remember since he was one of the apostles ordained during my mission and I'll get to hear from him during my mission. President Archibald says he wants the mission to be flying high and hard when he gets here.

4/18/16 Lima Temple!

S------- is going strong, when he was leaving church he showed us the copy they gave him of Teachings of President Hunter, and said, "they gave me this to read and bring to church every week". So now he has his own personal commitment to continue going to church. We were surprised by two nonmembers from our area who went to church on their own, a mom and a daughter who said that the father is living in the US and is receiving missionary lessons, it sounds as though he was preparing to be baptized and that's why she decided to go to church as well, we'll have to get more information still on that but it was a great surprise.

R---- whom we visited because of the bathroom couldn't get to church because he's vice president of a neighborhood committee and they are trying to get asphalt put down on some of the main streets around there since they are just dirt roads and he had some meeting early in the morning, but we're going to keep working with him and I'll let you know how things go.

The District leader is from England so he doesn't care he just says he lives on an island so he has lots of ocean so I just remind him that people go to the beach for the sun and waves not for rain storms and tea.

What's the Provo city temple like? It looks awesome from what I've seen. In March, as a district, we set a goal of 12 baptisms to go to the temple and we got 18 so on Wednesday for the first time I went to the Lima temple. But because of problems with lack of space in the session my companion and I got to do initiatories  and then went to do sealings. Here is a picture of our district, the companionship of the month, and president, his wife and his mom.

My companion is going to Pativilca, the branch where I served at a year ago. and I'm staying here. I don't know any more details like who is my companion is going to be...