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.