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.