Monday, March 21, 2016

03/21/16 Blessings & Powerful Experiences

The week was pretty good. We had a man named L____ and his family who were going to be baptized this last week. L___ was a little unsure of it before but on Tuesday we helped them to move and then had a lesson where he got really teary eyed and committed to be baptized this last Saturday. However, after his interview there were some complications that pushed it to this week and we will have to speak to him very directly this week and see what will happen. Happily, the other elders had a baptism and the ward continues with something like 15 weeks running with baptisms every week! (other than stake conference when there couldn't be confirmations)

We had a great meeting on Sunday, we met with all the ward councils in this part of Lima with Elder Montoya of the 70 (the area's second councilor) and Elder Moscoso (an area 70) and President Archibald. They were talking a lot about the need to get new converts to the temple within days not weeks or months which is always one of the struggles in ward council. They were also talking about the Sabbath a lot of course. Elder Montoya was also talking about having shorter meetings and talked about when he was a stake president and he assigned one of his councilors to kneel when it was time to finish their meetings to say that it was time. He said there were a couple of times we had to extend the meeting a little, but he would continued to kneel as he would finish talking about the matters they had to finish. He also told us that as soon as he received the call to be over the area, South America Northwest they found out that his daughter who was pregnant at the time had a tumor and was taken to the hospital. When President Eyring set him apart he said "I bless your children through you, that they will be protected during this calling and they will be better protected than they could be with you or your wife there." Later the doctors scheduled a cesarean for the 20th of November so his wife asked permission to leave their area of service to be there with their daughter.  President Monson granted her 10 days. She scheduled it from the 18th to the 28th and while she was back in Mexico with their daughter, the doctors rescheduled the procedure for the 30th, so at his wife's request Elder Montoya prayed that the baby be born while she was still there. The child was born naturally on the 22nd. He gave some other experiences that were equally powerful and it was a great meeting.

Tell Austin to tell me what Thailand is like.

Anyway thanks for everything chao les amo.

To his dad:
Thanks for the bit about praying to confirm revelation, sometimes I forget about that little lesson to Oliver Cowdery. Some things are exciting but not everything haha. It's a great time and I can tell that even the frustrations are making me grow and learn lots. I'll have some stories to tell when I get home that I don't have time to tell now.

Hey in the meeting with Elder Montoya that I told mom about I ran into my last companion who said that M_____'s daughter finally got baptized and M_____ confirmed her. I was surprised and said he has the Melchizedek Priesthood? and Elder PeriƱan said oh yeah we got him that a few weeks ago haha. that's awesome!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

3/14/16 11 Baptisms!

Sorry about last week but you understand.

Sarah and grandma will be there just in time for general conference then? That will be great, they can be there to see it with all the family.

Dad is a great bishop, I'm glad to hear so many people are thankful for his service. I have been able to see the effect a good bishop can have on the whole ward and beyond and I'm glad to know our ward is in great hands.

Tell Mitchel congratulations from me, he'll do great. (His friend has his mission papers in and is waiting to hear where he will be called to serve)

O, this last week K____ and A_______ were baptized as well as their little sister E________ (she's 8 so she's a ward baptism but we coordinated with the bishop so she could be baptized with her brothers). The first councilor in the bishopric named Brother Ascarruz baptized the three of them. There were 11 baptisms in total this Saturday so most of sacrament meeting was the confirmations, which was a nice experience. The bishopric was kind of going in circles changing who confirmed on like every third person almost like in the temple work confirmations but longer. 
Anyway, it was an interesting week. On Thursday morning we had a training with some other missions with Elder Lynn G Robbins of the presidents of the 70, who spoke on several topics especially the Spirit and the light of Christ. He spoke of the flight in 1996 in Ethiopian airlines, relating it to exact obedience. You could probably find the NatGeo on it on the Internet it's an interesting story. He also said the mission is like the university of the Lord referring to us as taking our 101 class in finances and saying the 505 class will be "taught by your wives" and said here in the mission is the 505 pre-marriage class and spoke of the importance of using agency to choose to love (our companions, investigators, future spouses and so forth). 

Anyway thanks for everything. nos vemos chao.

To his dad:
Haha you took more than half his time, that's fine, it sounds like it was a great talk and it made me note something important for me to keep in my mind for the moment. That kind of reminds me of the last stake conference we were in where a area 70 was visiting and one of the mission president's councilors was giving a talk and was talking to the investigators and I could really feel the Spirit in his talk and then I saw the stake president very conspicuously put a piece of paper next to him (obviously a "time to finish" note) and then at the end of the conference the area 70 said like 5 times during his talk that he didn't have time to say what he wanted to say and finished like 10 minutes later than the hour. Anyway it made me chuckle and I'm glad to hear that President Shumway was a lot more calm about it with you. anyway thanks for everything. les amo chao.

3/7/16 Baptism and Virus

My camera works, I can take pictures, it's just a problem when I set it up to the computer to email them to you, it doesn't work...kind of like right now we've been running from one place to another to get the baptismal record from this week scanned to send it to the mission offices.

Which reminds me, last week we ran into an active member in the street who we didn't know lived in our area. He told us his nine year old son wants to be baptized so we got him interviewed this week and got his dad prepared to baptize him this last Saturday. I never thought I'd put convert on a baptismal record with the name Helaman haha.

Well the baptismal record came up with a virus so we can't send it because the place where they scanned it seems like it has a ton of viruses so we have to run....

Thursday, March 3, 2016

2/29/16 True Repentance

Stake conference was great. It was transmitted to the different chapels in the stake but the connection was super spotty and you couldn't really hear or see anything and the investigators we had there (for their first time in church) seemed kind of bored and confused until the connection cleared up just in time for the first councilor of the mission's talk. It was awesome, it was about his mother's and then his own experience of learning about the gospel and finding out that The Book of Mormon was true! It was a powerful talk so i was pretty thankful. Then it ended with a talk by a 70 (I don't know his name I think he's an area 70, he's really young and he's from Bolivia) who talked about being born again and how in order to really repent we've got to be improving everyday with the firm conviction of leaving behind the old self. He used a lot of scriptures from the bible and spoke about how we really ought to desire and strive for perfection rather than do like most people and use excuses like "this is how I am and you've got to accept me" or "no one's perfect, it's alright." 

We found some odd investigators this week, like a guy who started talking about how he had studied the Bible through the internet and how salvation comes through the Jews and I think he worships the Jews. He didn't want to let us talk much so i interrupted him and explained The Book of Mormon and how it talks about a prophet from the tribe of Manasseh and others from the tribe of Ephraim and Judah who came here and basically got to where I explained to him that he is a descendant of the house of Jacob and he looked at me like "does not compute" and started to talked about how if he reads the Bible and The Book of Mormon he would just get confused and he'd rather keep with just the Bible even though we explained that The Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ, that they go hand in hand... so we just said okay chao. But, anyway it was a weird week but we also found some promising investigators who came to church and read he assigned part of The Book of Mormon and are great!

Devin apparently found a way better guinea pig than I've found so he beat me there.
Tell Derek happy birthday for me. see you later. chao

PS sorry but the camera's is a little messed up I'll get it fixed by next week. (this is the 2nd one he has had!  He has NOT had luck with cameras!  I am sad he isn't going to have more pictures when he gets home...)

To his dad:
I'm glad to hear that Alex and Mitchel are working on their mission papers. I hope they get out soon and get as awesome a mission as the MPLO. I've met lots of people who live so close to Ecuador that they can in go in regular public transportation like any old bus and get to Ecuador. I'm glad to hear everything is going well with the family and all. I'm really sorry about Jeff Martin and will be praying for him. He was always a super fun leader in Young Men's for me. 

Anyway thanks for everything. you're the best. chao

2/22/16 The Holy Ghost Changes Us

You are right, I'm not being transferred nor is my companion nor anyone in my district.
J____ had a little problem in that his daughter was visiting and he had to go pretty far off to take her to her mom's house on Sunday so she could be home in time to be registered in school or something like that. So he wouldn't have been there to be confirmed on Sunday so we rescheduled him for the 5th (since the 27th and 28th are stake conference).

H______ refuses to go to church where he belongs since it takes 2 bus rides and a mototaxi to get there, whereas to come to our ward it's just one bus ride (but he is not in our boundaries). We passed the referral but I don't know what the other missionaries are doing.

My first companion is from Ecuador. Do you know if Devin is in Guayaquil or in Quito or some other part? Ask him if he's tried green bananas (platanos verdes) yet. 

Thanks for being the best mom in the world. nos vemos. les amo. chao.

To his dad:
One of my converts was kind of like that..... the most important thing is that he really felt the Holy Ghost and he thanked us profoundly after his baptism with tears in his eyes saying he'd never forget that day. After receiving the Holy Ghost he began to understand much better especially with the help of the bishop who really befriended him and helped him to get a job and everything.

2/15/16 An effective tool in the Lord's Hands

I'm glad that the Lord has found me capable of being an effective tool to bless other people right now, I hope it stays that way. We're working with J____. His baptism is set up for this Saturday and we're going to visit him today. I think he'll be fine. We taught him about the commandments this week and he was accepting everything. He was a little bit confused about tithing but when we explained it well he said now I understand and committed to keep that and the rest of the commandments.

M_____ was baptized on Saturday and said "the next goal is the temple" in his testimony afterwards! He is doing great! His wife and 4 sons are members. He's got 2 sons that are missionary age. There's nothing better for a less active than the spirit of a new convert in the house so I think with the help of the ward they'll decide to go on missions soon and that'll be great for the family. 

It looks like you had a great Valentines Day. Here it's called "dia de la amistad" (which would be translated friendship day) and they don't do much except here except there was a massive marriage ceremony (where they make getting married easier and cheaper) so there were a lot of new marriages this weekend!

Dad's and our prayers will be answered with faith. 
anyway thanks for everything. nos vemos les amo.