Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1/25/16 Teaching the Gospel

My area is great, like I said before, it is huge, a lot bigger than my last zone. The ward is big and yes, they had planned on splitting it but for now they have decided that its better to have one big ward then two weak ones. The area is plenty big enough to split between the 4 companionships. My companion is awesome. He is a humble guy so he's willing to teach in different ways and is good at making sure people really understand. He's good at using examples. He's got about 2 years as a member. He's 23 years old. 

We have great people to teach, like this guy L____ with his two sons J_____ and Y_____ who are progressing well toward their baptism in February.  They are really great, when we asked them about how they felt as they read The Book of Mormon and when they pray, J_____ said that his aunt came by and saw the book and said they were wasting their time reading it and he said to her "Oh, well, I know it's true and if she doesn't know, that's her problem." and not only did he say that the book is true he also began to talk of the specific prophets in The Book of Mormon like Nephi and Alma and he testified of the restoration and Joseph Smith. His dad isn't a super talkative person but he also shared his feelings that the book is true. 

We were also knocking doors the other day and the first door we knocked the guy let us in and we taught the restoration and he committed to prepare to be baptized the 20th of February. 

We played soccer at the church today. I live a little ways from the beach but it is in our zone. 

I got my Christmas package, thank you very much. My companion was pretty happy to try pop tarts but he said the pretzels with white chocolate were the best thing in the box. 

I was trying to get the camera to work but it just wouldn't turn on so I put the battery to charge but the little light was already green but the camera still wouldn't turn on. I left it to charge even though the light was green and then the light turned off after a while and when I put the battery in it finally worked... so yeah it's the opposite of the other camera.. haha
alright nos vemos. que les vaya bien. chao

He sent me a picture of their Christmas tree!

1/18/16 Thoughtfulness of Friends

I am in Puente Piedra which is farther from the center, like an hour in bus north of my last area which was already north of central Lima. It is a huge area and a really huge ward.Last week one of the members mentioned to me that the Sunday before hand 380 people attended church in our ward. They always have to open up other rooms with a TV and speakers so more people can see sacrament meeting. The area is so big we have to get in a bus for almost half an hour from one end to the other (but the whole way is dirt road with lots of rocks but you'd be surprised at how fast the bus goes considering the terrain). There are four companionships in our ward. It is our whole district which includes the zone leaders and a companionship of sister missionaries (both of the sisters have about 6 weeks in the mission). Elder Welburn is one of the zone leaders (you asked me if I knew him when I was in the MTC, I think his mom is on one of those missionary mom things).

We have lots of people to teach, the work is going great! It's my luck to have a third area in a row without a pensionista but that's fine, I don't mind. Our home/room is smaller than the last but it's nice and comfortable.  It's not a super wealthy area, but there is one part that is up in the hills, away from everything, it is a closed off neighborhood where you need identification and an invitation to enter. When we went there I was super surprised to see such clean wealthy houses, I haven't seen that before. Everywhere else there is so much sand that when I walk outside I am already just covered in dust, in fact there was a mini sandstorm yesterday. 

I was sad to leave my last area especially M_____, J____ and P____ but I know they'll do well, they're firm in the church.

I got another Christmas card from Denise Underwood, please tell her thank you!  (It makes me pretty emotional, he only got 2 Christmas cards and they were from dear friends that are not even members of the Church. I am really touched by their thoughtfulness!)

My new companion has about a year and 2 or 3 months on his mission and he is an awesome worker!
Notice how dusty his shoes are... 

1/11/16 Blessing the Sacrament

Welp there's an extra motivation to work hard to have great experiences... (I told him that our ward it now having a missionary mom speak once a month to tell about her missionary and their experiences... But, he is already having great experiences!  I guess you can always work harder!)

So this last week M_____ E______ blessed the sacrament! Happily he was successful in one try haha. We hadn't even spoken with him about blessing the sacrament beyond the fact that we had told him that you need the Aaronic Priesthood and that he now has the authority to do so. But the ward got him up there before I even got to church on Sunday so I was glad to see them take that initiative! It was funny, earlier in the week one of the members who sometimes accompanies us in lessons and likes to joke around, asked us "Wait you baptized B______´s dad? (M______) Why have you gone and done that? He's going to be a great leader"

I also wrote his son who is on his mission about it, since he and I became good friends when he accompanied us in lessons all the time before he left, and he says that he's super happy and thankful.

I did not receive my package yet. I did, however receive a Christmas card from the Sabatino family so if you could tell them thank you for me that would be awesome.

I am getting transferred tomorrow. I will still be in Lima but farther out from the center. I'll inform you on that a lot more next week. 

I think you wanted to know what my room looked like

To his dad:
I also wish I could have tacos. no one here knows how to make salsa. Thank you for everything you do for me and for teaching me everything since I was a kid. I promise to continue to learn from you and hope to be an effective instrument in the hands of the Lord. Oh by the way the Sabatino's sent me Christmas card so tell them thank you for me.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

01/04/16 Aaronic Priesthood & Melchizedek Priesthood

M----- was confirmed last week, the week of his baptism. He has also received the Aaronic Priesthood. He's a very intelligent man, like in the gospel principles class they were teaching about the Priesthood and the differences between the lesser and higher Priesthood and he starts to say 
as I understand it Aaron was given this Priesthood as a lesser because the people weren't doing everything correctly and needed a preparation for the time of Christ but Moses did have the higher Priesthood.. and started to explain things that we hadn't taught him.  All we had ever explained to him was that Aaron received a lesser Priesthood and that the higher is called after Melchizedek because he was a great high priest as can be found in Genesis, Hebrews, and Alma, but he apparently understood what we hadn't explained yet. 
He has two other children his oldest son is in Italy for work, and we are working with his other daughter but it is hard to find her at home.

Happy 2016!!

Lomo saltado is rice with beef and tomatoes and onions and fries. Tocush is potatoes that have been stored underground for about 3 months and supposedly has penicillin in them and cures everything according to the people of Huaraz and Cuzco.

I didn't even get burnt in fact.

So in the picture where it's dark out is when we saw the fireworks for Christmas, the scarf I've got on was a gift from M----- E------ he's a really awesome guy and really nice. He hugs us every time we see him and he always thanks us for what we did to help him to feel the Spirit and become converted. I also took a video of the fireworks, they were going off in every direction but the video I can't send since it's too big of a file.

12/28/15 Take Your Covenants Seriously

M----- was baptized!  He gave a super great testimony about how he is taking very seriously his covenant of baptism and will be faithful to it. His wife was also super happy and I am certain his son is really happy too, he is serving in Bolivia. (next door neighbors with Peru).

I'm not sure what the problem was but it wasn't even possible to get the memory card to open to access stuff. A recent convert got it fixed but, yes it erased everything, so the only pictures I have are the few that I have sent home.  Also, I'm sorry but I do not have my camera with me at the moment so I can't send pictures until next week.

Yes among the pictures I took was a picture of the garland we got, it's not a tree haha.

I hope they have a fun time in Peru, tell them they cannot leave this country without eating Lomo Saltado, Cuy, and Tocush (although the last one might make them throw up from the smell... but the first two are good). I doubt they'll ever be able to find me, I'm in the most obscure part of Lima. Plus they don't need to look for me because I can't receive visits from family, friends, or anyone..

(I feel so bad that his Christmas package didn't make it!)
Don't worry about the package too much. I had a white Christmas and and I know that M----- will soon have an eternal family and that's way better than any Christmas present you could mail me! The only other thing I could have asked for is snow but I don't think anyone can change the fact that it never so much as rains in Lima haha.

Today we played soccer and we almost died of heat. The sun came out today and I'm pretty sure I'm badly burnt. Today would've been a great day for swimming if that were possible.

(We told him that it has been windy and cold here)
I wish we had some nice wind and cold weather but that's okay. anyway I hope things are going well. 
chao y tengan un feliz año nuevo

12/25/15 Skyping with Elder Bergquist

Chad called about 30 minutes early (skype) and we couldn't hear him.  He finally typed us out a message that they had to go to a baptismal interview and he would try again at a different location in about two hours.

Two hours later Chad again attempted to skype and it worked!!!  It was so great to see him and talk to him for a few minutes.  He was only allowed 30 minutes so the time went by really fast!  My sweet daughter in law thought to capture this moment for us!  Thank you Shalee!!

12/21/15 Eternal Families!

I am going to call at about 4:30-45 Peruvian time.

M----- is ready, he has progressed greatly this week and in a lesson we had with him yesterday he asked us if we think he is prepared for baptism and we of course told him yes and testified of the change we've seen in him after which his wife told him she knows that he is ready and bore her testimony of the truthfulness of this and of her desire to have an eternal family. In a lesson earlier this week, he had mentioned a desire to wait for his son to get home to baptize him, we had explained why he doesn't need to wait and that he should be ready to be sealed with his son when he gets home. So this week he voiced his desire to have an eternal family and at the end of this lesson his wife said to us that it makes her really happy to hear that from him and bore testimony in tears of the reality of eternal families. So he is going to be baptized this Saturday.  It should be a great Christmas!

We are working better with members and have roughly doubled the number of lessons with members this week so we'll just have to continue with that. The members are in general well disposed to help so it's not too hard.

Anyway see you Friday les deseo una feliz navidad. hasta el viernes

Our zone this morning...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

12/15/15 The Importance of going to the Temple as a Family...

Sounds like a really cool nativity that Derek and Brittany were in, it looks pretty realistic. 

Krew is 4 now? Wow that is crazy, how is he so old?

We got one of those garlands like we have on the banister (is that how that's spelled?) but smaller and cheaper haha and some lights that we put up in our room so now it finally feels like Christmas.

M----- is doing well he's constantly reading The Book of Mormon and coming to church. We had a lesson with him on Tuesday with the bishop there. M----- said that he thinks this is all true but that he wants his son to baptize him (who left on his mission about a month ago). With the help of the bishop and his wife we helped him to understand a little better about eternal families and the process of going into the temple and how much better it would be to be prepared to enter the temple and be sealed with his son when he gets back rather then be baptized by him.  He is beginning to understand a little better.

This Sunday we had a stake conference where Elder Uceda of the first quorum of the 70 and the president of this area came. He gave a really great talk about the Sabbath wherein he expounded the scriptures explaining the original Hebrew (for the old testament parts) and English (for the Doctrine and Covenants parts) and so forth.

We have district meetings every week and zone meetings every month. We had a multi-zone conference with President this last Wednesday and will have the multi-zone Christmas party on the 22nd. 

President showed us a bunch of statistics and told us that whenever they have meetings with the other mission presidents the area presidency uses our mission as an example of what the other missions need to do. He showed us that the only statistic that is not way higher than anyone else is in lessons with a member present.  He promised us that if we can double that, baptisms will double too.

Sorry my camera's memory card is messed up but one of the converts is getting it fixed this week.

Anyway thanks nos vemos. les amo. chao

12/07/15 Help the Missionaries!

By the way with the skype thing I don't remember what the address and password for that was so you'll have to remind me sorry. 

We don't have a tree, I'll see if we can find some decorations and stuff it's not easy to find around here.

My companion is Elder Periñan from Cartagena, Colombia. He's got 7 months in the mission. He's a super outgoing and really funny guy. I think things are going to go well. He also likes to cook he taught me how to make patacones or chifles it's like a type of fried banana that tastes way better than it sounds. Sorry I don't have a picture because something happened with my camera's memory card and my companion doesn't have a camera so I'll get that fixed this week.

We are working with a part member family, the son is on a mission. The mom is an active member but the dad and daughter aren't members. They are coming to church and the dad M----- is always really nice to us and greets us with a hug since his son is on a mission and all. It's a little bit tough to get him to understand how to receive an answer as to whether the church is true and all so we're working hard with him. 

L---- wasn't there when we went to help her get to church yesterday so we're seeing what can be done with her this week to make sure she comes.

That's great that you helped the missionaries teach, you guys are great for bearing testimony of the importance of marriage. What did they teach in the lesson?

So things are going well here. It's weird that Christmas is coming up so soon. Elder Periñan says that they put up a lot of lights and decorations for Christmas where he lives too but they don't do it much here. We're counting the houses with Christmas lights, we've gotten to about 13.

Anyway gracias por todo. les amo. chao

To his dad:
I had not heard the news. wow. that is horrifying. that nearby... I'm sorry. (The shootings in San Bernardino)

 It reminds me of Nephi in 3rd Nephi 7:7-9, he saw a lot of the same kind of things when he started started lamenting like that on his garden tower. It was what was going to happen before the great and terrible day of the Lord when he visited them and it is horrifying to see it happening this time but we can clearly see the need to prepare for our great and terrible day of the Lord.

It's great to hear you're helping the missionaries there. I hope they get married soon. I wish that bishops could perform marriages here it's a little more complicated to get married but if people really have faith it gets done quick... God does promise to provide the way to fulfill his commandments anywhere.

Thanks for filling me in. I hope things go well there. 
hasta luego. chao

11/30/15 We started walking not knowing beforehand where we should go

It is transfers. My companion is going tomorrow morning and I'm staying here. It should be fun to meet my new companion tomorrow.

I think I ate some chicken and rice on Thanksgiving, I don't remember for sure haha. 

Yes J---- L--- and P---- were baptized. At the beginning of the week we couldn't even find them at home. Finally on Wednesday we found J----  there, his mom was in the back of the house washing the clothes. J---- then started to say that his mom was scared and she believed too strongly in Catholicism and asked if we could give him more time and all. They were both scared and we couldn't even talk to P----. If they were to be baptized on Saturday they kind of had to be interviewed that day so he said that they had to go to P--'s work and that we could come back in the evening. So we to our room since it was nearby and knelt down and prayed for help. That evening we went back to their house but the only one home was his nephew E------.  He took us to every place he could think of where they might have been and we could not find them so we prayed again to find them and decided to just look wherever we could in our whole area. We started walking not knowing beforehand where we should go but we turned two blocks from their house and saw them going down the street so we ran and caught up with them and convinced them to come with us to the church. We got our district leader to meet up with us there and they were interviewed. P---- said that she just told our DL all her feelings in he interview and that she doesn't know what happened but she felt good. The two of the them said that their doubts were cleared up. We talked with our district leader Elder Eschenberg about that and he said that they seemed like normal interviews and that they seemed like they were already prepared. 
Anyway with some more effort and patience they were baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday.
I think L----'s daughter is in Utah if not mistaken. L---- says she was baptized when she was already in the US, her husband was already a member.

I guess just send me some peppermint candy canes and some fruity ones.. also maybe a belt. more pop tarts and Christmas stuff haha

I hope you have a good week. nos vemos chao

11/23/15 "Didn't You See the Sun Come Out... Joseph Smith is a True Prophet!

Wow it looks like a lot of people are going to miss Thanksgiving. I wonder what I'll eat for Thanksgiving haha probably nothing like a real Thanksgiving. I wish I had creamed corn, if i tried to explain creamed corn to anyone here they'd look at me like I was crazy.

My companion was asking me how many cousins I had and when I told him how many he just went, "what? seriously?" and when I started telling him about our family reunions and stuff and he said I noticed that with my last companion too it sounds like in the US they're super good friends with their cousins and family and it made me realize how grateful I am to have such a great family.

So J____ L___ is doing well, I think he is about 50. He came to church again with his mom they've been reading The Book of Mormon more, and they have their baptismal date for this Saturday so we're going to be working  hard and if everything goes well I'm sure they'll both be baptized this Saturday! 

This week we found one of the old investigators in the Area Book named L----  and her daughter M----.  At the end of the first lesson M----  was asking how she would feel the response to her prayers and before we could talk L----  said "didn't you see the sun come out right when they were talking about Joseph Smith and his vision, the room got super bright?" she then said that she is certain that it's true she's read in The Book of Mormon  before. She has a daughter who is a member living in the US and she knows how it helps their family, in fact her granddaughter always telly her to keep reading The Book of Mormon  and had told her that they already did baptisms for L----'s dad in the temple and all. So that was an unusual first lesson but it was great.

For Pday today we played soccer, Frisbee, and ping pong with the zone. The days are going by too fast, these last couple of weeks just flew by. We get a good number of referrals, as long as we ask for them.

I have enough shoes don't worry about that. umm not sure what to ask for for Christmas.. some good candy canes and stuff like that...

Thank you for everything. les amo. nos vemo

To his dad: 
Michael has told me a little about Madagascar, it sounds like an interesting place. What did you use to teach in priest quorum?

I'll make sure to be more constant about writing in my journal. I think that's something really important I'm going to want to remember stuff that I know I'd forget without writing it down. 

I'll have to keep working hard to get a lot of good experiences to teach with. Thank you for everything.

gracias chao. 

11/16/15 Keys of the Priesthood

On Friday or Saturday I don't remember, I called one of our investigators to see how he was doing and to get an appointment to visit him and he said "did you hear the news?" and mentioned it but he didn't say that an American had died. According to what he said they were 163 dead but he might have had the count wrong, it was in Paris right?

Nice. Now that is a good young women's activity. (we took the young women camping and shooting) What you got him in the forehead twice? (a target) That's sweet, from how far out? What other kinds of guns did you guys have there?

The root beer isn't super expensive it's like 4 or 5 soles but things are generally pretty cheap here but it cuts into the amount we have to spend on important things like Top Ramon haha just kidding!

Things are going well. I'm not sure if I had told you before about J____ L___.  He is a guy we met a few weeks back outside of his house. The next time we got there to visit him, his foot was super swollen and infected from stepping on a nail. We couldn't find him for about a week after that because he was in the hospital. While there they amputated his leg a little past the knee. So the last two weeks he and his mom P____ have gone to church and we are teaching them. He is always super happy when we are around and has liked church a lot!

I got my package this week and I was super happy. Thank you very much for it and for always thinking of me. It takes a lot of self control not to eat all the pop tarts in one day. I really like my tie and socks, thank you.
My companion was also happy haha he had tried peanut butter for the first time in his life with his last companion and had never seen a jar so big haha. I made him try a peanut butter and jelly sandwich this week and he said the only problem is now you can't taste the peanut butter as well haha.

To his dad:
I got the package, thank you very much. It was awesome haha. 

We had a meeting with president this week, he talked about lots of interesting stuff, among them he mentioned some meetings with the new 2nd councilor in the area here and the last 1st councilor who was Elder Waddell and is now the presiding bishop, Bishop Waddell. President said that when they set him apart they did not give him keys of the Priesthood but reactivated the dormant keys he already had as he had been a bishop before so that was interesting.

gracias por todo nos vemos

11/9/15 A Great Example of Paying Fast Offering & Tithing

My birthday was good. It was the same day as our bishop's, so that was kind of funny. I didn't get a cake but that's okay my companion and a few others knew about my birthday so that was good. I got a couple of videos from Diana of Krew and Holland wishing me a happy birthday and they were super adorable haha. On my birthday I drank an A&W root beer I had found in the large supermarket nearby so that was a pretty good celebration for me haha. 

Yes they are confirmed in sacrament meeting. More than anything I am happy because on Thursday S---- went to the temple and did baptisms for the dead. She is very constant in everything. On Sunday she fasted and after church she asked for help to fill out the fast offering form but she had already done it perfectly! I noticed that she had also put in a certain amount in the tithing part so I can see that she by her own initiative is constantly zealous in fulfilling all of the God's commandments and I am really thankful for the opportunity to have taught her. the only problem is it looks like she's going out of country for a while this week but I know she'll continue constant. It makes me think of the great joy that Ammon felt when he saw the zeal of the anti-nephi-lehies.

I haven't had burritos in a while that sounds good but I'm sure I'm going to miss Papa a la huancaina and lomo saltado and aji de gallina when I can't have it anymore so it's alright

It sounds like Blake has a good job. What is the job Dallin got in Arizona?

I'm doing great. So there was some sort of emergency transfer and my last companion Elder Riveros got transferred here with one of the elders in our district so that is pretty great!  We played volleyball as a district today for p-day and Elder Riveros and I were laughing about stuff that had happen in our last area, we had so much fun.

My clothes are fine but one my pairs of shoes is destroyed. Both shoes have a split in the sole going perpendicular from my foot where the soles are completely split in two haha so now I'm just using the bigger shoes. I got a couple of inserts so they fit more comfortably.

How are you doing? How is your study of steadfastness going in The Book of Mormon?

love you. chao. nos vemos

To his dad:
It sounds like our latest convert, she got her recommend on Wednesday and went to the temple with Benjamin a future missionary in the ward who helps us a ton. I hope things go well in stake conference. 

What kinds of things do you do as a ward council to make the Sabbath more special for people?

11/2/15 Revelation for Callings!

Thank you for the birthday wishes. Make sure Marleigh gets a birthday hug from me. 

For a second there I thought Everett was dressed as a cow haha. Not many people here celebrate Halloween. On all of Saturday I saw like 6 kids dressed up for Halloween and and there were absolutely no one trick-or-treating, and one restaurant in my area had a few Halloween decorations and not a single home had decorations.

S____ was baptized on Saturday. She chose Elder Neira to baptize her so I got to do my second confirmation! She is 32 years old. 
We also met a guy with blue eyes and lightish hair so everyone calls him the gringo haha He commented with a member friend that I looked like I could be his brother so he introduced us to him and now we are teaching him. His name is A______ which is weird because here reading that it looks like it should be pronounced A_____ but it's pronounced like it would be read in English and he doesn't speak English so that's pretty weird.

I sometimes eat hot dogs. You see in my other areas the only thing I had to cook with was a microwave but here we have a little electric stove so I can be a little more creative like today I made myself a grilled cheese. My companion looked at me weird, I don't think he's ever heard of grilled cheese haha. 
We taught S____ about callings this last week and her eyes lit up when we explained that the bishop receives revelation for callings and she asked "he can receive revelation especially for me?" that kind of excitement is how we should all see it.

Thanks for everything. nos vemos

Oh by the way I found a Coca Cola bottle with your name spelled wrong on it haha

10/26/15 Ping Pong

I don't know if I mentioned that there is a religious group here who call themselves Israelites and they consider themselves religiously obligated to have beards and long hair. A recent convert here who has a beard and hair almost exactly like Jackson's told us that one of them came by and greeted him saying "hello brother" and he says I think that he thought I was one of them because of my hair... haha

I haven't taken many videos I'll see what I can do to take some. 

Yes, when we teach we take turns. Normally just one takes one principle like God is our loving Heavenly Father and then the other tells how the gospel blesses families, another teaches prophets and so forth. In our mission at least we call that ping-pong. In a practice we recently had he asked me if I could pass him "the ball" sooner so that was one of the first times I've found myself talking too much haha.

Yeah our zone gets along really well. A companionship of sister missionaries just got put in the zone this week. They stole half our area haha and E___ lives in their zone. Both of the sister missionaries had been in my zone when I was in Barranca. We're expecting to see them baptize a lot haha that's the general expectation of sister missionaries here. 

We found and taught a new family, A______ and C_____ who are married and have 2 kids, the older of the two is 7 years old, they and S____ came to church. S____ is coming along really well. This week we taught a lesson where we changed the baptismal date for this week the 31st. She accepted it without a problem and the next lesson when we asked if everything was going well for the 31st she said yeah I have a question about that so we thought she was going to put up a fight about it but then she asks if it can be even sooner than that! So she's going well and is reading The Book of Mormon constantly.

With the Steadfastness thing: there's lots of great stuff on the topic from what I've read so far. I just got to Alma. I'm sure you'll find lots of stuff I didn't notice haha

so in this picture I was making myself a couple of hot-dogs and my companion decided to take a picture so there you go haha

10/19/15 Smallest Zone in the Mission

Yes, it is transfers and there is only one missionary being transferred in our zone, so we're going to continue working together. Here is a picture of our zone--it's the second smallest in the mission, just 14 missionaries, 
Last Sunday evening our district leader gave us a referral named S____, and told us that she had attended church that day in their ward for the full 3 hours. They said she was there earlier than them and she didn't have any friend there who had invited her just that she wanted to see how the church was. Later we found out that she had been introduced to the church a few years back by a boyfriend and his family. In the first lesson she said the closing prayer better than a lot of members say them. She has been reading and praying and she came to church again this Sunday (to our ward obviously) and is clearly someone God has prepared. We are really thankful for this miracle. She has a baptismal date for the 7th of November and she is progressing really well. 

We also met and taught a man named E____ on Friday who is an evangelist. He is also clearly well prepared in just such a way that he has a real faith in the reality of the prophets of the Bible.  He has no fear of accepting things in addition to the Bible in just such a way that he could be really touched by the spirit in the explanation of Joseph Smith's first vision and was just like "wow.. did he really see that?" just really sincere in his reaction and I'm excited to see how he'll be progressing.

By the way for some reason here where I'm on the computer the people who run the business just ranomly put on a country song that you used to listen to on Kfrog when you took me to elementary school in the mornings I don't remember the name but I just heard it and went "what the heck?" I didn't know Peruvians had ever even heard of country music before haha it was super weird.

President Godoy was super awesome. He gave us some specific direction on things we need to improve on in our mission. He did compliment us however, he said you are really doing well like looking at the key indicators from your mission the only one that wasn't going like this (using his arm to make a deep going up position) it was like this (flat) in the last couple of weeks I am now informed that it is also like this (up) so that was some good news about our mission.

In the package I wouldn't mind peanut butter and/or pop tarts or whatever you might want to put. I can't think think of anything else I'd want or need at the moment. Thank you.

I think I told you about studying in a paperback copy of The Book of Mormon, concentrating on the word steadfastness like Elder Bednar told us, that is the majority of what I'm studying

Of course I exercise every day but usually I just do setups and push-ups. Jesus the Christ is great I read that one a while back in the mission. Of course we go door to door contacting it's one of the most boring ways to contact but sometimes you gotta do it when nothing else is working and it has its fruits...

Thanks for everything. I love you. cuidense chao

To his dad:
Sorry I didn't write last week there were some complications where my companion couldn't log on and stuff. 

Krew and Holland are just staring at the camera like it's a ghost haha

That sounds like fun playing golf at hobble creek. The other day an investigator asked me what my favorite sport is and I said golf and he asked me how it is that they can hit a ball that far and get it to go into a tiny hole and I said I usually end up asking myself that too when I play. and then I had to explain to him how the game works haha. 
By the way, I have asked several people how to say pole-vault in Spanish and they say oh I know what you're talking about but I don't know what it's called--

10/12/15 Sister Missionaries

I can't wait to get the Liahona with the conference talks! They were great talks and I want to study them in more detail. I want tacos those sound really good haha it's been a while since I've had tacos. Tanner has a girlfriend? haha

They all moved out but it sounds like you guys get to babysit a lot haha

I still generally prefer listening but I do talk when I can make a necessary contribution. I'm not a huge talker but I am getting better haha

There sure are lot or girls my age going on missions. In our mission the sister missionaries are known as the ones that baptize the most and are really good leaders kind of like President Russel M Nelson was saying in his talk, they can be really capable leaders and I'm sure Kelsey, Julie, and Madison will be great examples in their missions and will teach really well.

Well I am excited because this next week we will be having a meeting with President Godoy the one of the 70s in this area. It's awesome how much training we get like that haha.

Today we played soccer with the zone for pday.

I bet they only called Brandon into the bishopric so he would shave haha!  Just kidding, he will be great!

Thank you for everything you've done for me. nos vemos chao

10/5/15 General Conference

Happy birthday to Brittany!! I hope jerk chicken was good haha.

I watched everything but the women's conference haha. My favorite was Holland's of course especially since I'm talking with my Messianic figure haha It was powerful and really well delivered, as always. Thanks for having the only kind of mortal love that is comparable to Christ's true love, for me.
I also really liked Oaks' (which reminds me in the training we had with Elder Bednar he told us that every time Oaks goes to tell a joke he starts laughing before he gets to the punchline and his whole body just kind of shakes hahaha) I really enjoyed President Nelson's also. I loved Bednar's, he sure knows how to just yank your heart strings six times in just one talk... and Christofferson's was one I really enjoyed and of course President Monson reminds us of what's most important, our own constant obedience.

The new apostle's kids didn't know until the conference? Wow that must have been some intense news. Which were your favorite talks?

I had eaten shrimp at a restaurant once when I was a kid I think dad made me try it if I remember right and I remember liking it since then haha

How does Marleigh do gymnastics when she's so little still? She's so cute!

The boys can ride without training wheels? Wow!

Thank you for everything you've done for me mom. I love you. nos vemos

9/28/15 First Confirmation

After discussion with our zone leaders and talking with D___ the decision was come to that she would be baptized the day before yesterday. So she was baptized on Saturday!  We asked her who she wanted to have baptize her and she ended up deciding Elder Neira would baptize her. I confirmed her, that was my first time doing that! We had to do the baptism late at 8:30 so that D_____ could get there from work but he still barely made it, he got there after the meeting was started so even though we were super thankful that he got to see the baptism he didn't make it in the pictures.
Yes, attending conference counts and is actually easier because if they attend any of the sessions it counts. 

That's crazy that a third apostle died. It'll be interesting to see who the new ones are. I wonder if they'll already have the third one chosen before the conference.

I hope your cousin enjoyed seeing the temple and the conference. It must have been an awesome experience.

Was Blake alone in our pew up in front? haha that must have been a weird sight with almost none of us there.

We played more soccer for pday and yeah the food is basically the same but our pentionist cooks super good like the other week she made us chaufa with shrimp... I had never seen a shrimp here in Peru before haha

The house is nice and this time it is a place we're renting from members, which I like better.

To his dad:
Well I performed a confirmation for the first time yesterday. In my other wards the bishop has always done it but this time he delegated it to me, so that was a pretty interesting experience.

I saw on lds.org that they had gotten a new president of BYUI but I didn't know much about the last one.Tthat's interesting that he resigned from Harvard business school to be president of BYUI. I'm excited to see who the new apostles will be!

It's an awesome, although yes tiring, job I've got here. Thanks for everything you've done so that I could have this opportunity

chao. les amo

9/21/15 Mormon Helping Hands

Yes, my new companion, Elder Neira was in the area already. He is in his third transfer here. The baptisms we had planned for next week fell through since in both cases they didn't attend church. D___ with her husband D_____ were unable to come because of some sudden health problem that D____'s mom has. She lives there with them and they didn't get back from the clinic 

until about midday. We did, however, get to have a lesson with them last night. We taught the Sabbath Day and made it clear how necessary it is that they come to church every week from now on. They committed to do so, and when we asked why they needed to (to verify they understood) D____'s responded was "to be an eternal family", so that was good! (D____ is a less active, I believe I mentioned a little bit about them last week). We put a new baptismal date for the 10th and I think that it was a better commitment and this time she is going to be baptized.In the case of K____ with her daughter B______, they didn't come because of medical problems. The daughter was sick and we haven't gotten a lesson with them yet to see where they're at. We have two new baptismal dates! A_______ and his wife L_____. They were references from a member in the ward who also brought them to church, however they arrived late so it didn't count for one of the three times attending church which is required in our mission. We taught them lesson 1 at the church on Wednesday with Paolo there and put a baptismal date for the 17th.

Lima is a pretty big place, I'm not in the central rich part of Lima but yet it is Lima. The majority of the missionaries here are ones I didn't know before or at least not very well, although my district Leader, Elder Gillies (from Utah) was in my zone in Huaraz, also one of the Zone leaders Elder Cedeño (Ecuadorian) was in my zone in Huaraz and I saw him start his mission. The other Zone leader Elder Jenks (from Washington) was my current companion's trainer. We played soccer today for pday.

I'm really excited for general conference too. It's a great opportunity for investigators to see that there is a current prophet and apostles. So we need to be finding a whole bunch in preparation for general conference.

It seems like more and more people are getting married. Wow, at least those in my age group haven't quite gotten there yet.

So how does that work in Krew's kung fu class? Does he just slam kids on the ground or what? haha...
We also did coastal cleanup on Saturday. It was a big service project where a whole bunch of different groups were there helping clean up the beaches in Ventanilla and a whole lot of those there had yellow Mormon helping hands vests on, it was so cool.