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... 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

4/11/16 What Missionaries do!

(In regards to this story... Diana was showing Krew a video of some missionaries singing a song and tracting, they kept getting the door shut in their face and finally some lady was nice and they gave her a Book of Mormon and Krew said, "Mom, those missionaries were so nice, they gave that lady a Book of Mormon!" It was so cute!! Diana proceeded to teach him that is what missionaries DO!! Share the gospel, give away Books of Mormon and teach people about Joseph Smith... Too cute! It's like he knows you are on a mission but he obviously didn't know what you do!!)
Krew is a funny little guy we'll just have to wait until he starts giving away Books of Mormon.

What was grandma's favorite talk in conference? What did Sarah think of conference? Did Jackie and Blake see conference too?

Around here the Peruvians sometimes make fun of the Bolivians (like my companion) for not having any coast in their country, so its funny because the Utahans will always say something about that to my companion and I just say "but in Utah you don't have any ocean whatsoever, you have to go through where I'm from to get to the ocean" to back my companion up and it always makes him laugh.

Jeff Ravsten got married? Tell them congratulations from me.

The week was good. The other day we were looking for someone to teach and we knocked a door and next door this older man opens up and kind of watches us so we went over to him and I asked if I could use his bathroom and he said oh yeah of course and while I was in the bathroom my companion was talking with the guy and his wife who are like 65ish and when I came out they had given my companion chicha morada (a common drink around here) and were asking us to sit. So that was easy. Apparently their son is a member who lives way out of town and although they say they're Catholic and all we're working with them.

It was weird just going out and working on Sunday morning and seeing the huge line in all the schools to vote. Apparently, it resulted that no one got a majority vote and they're going to have to vote again.

We're teaching a bunch of old people at the moment for some reason. A 70ish year old man named S------- who lives near L--- let us in and has so much time since he's retired that he has read a bunch in just the first week.

They still aren't sure where the temple is going to be, according to my mission president - President Monson hasn't decided yet.. and he said, "but the Holy Ghost can't keep a secret long and it'll be here in Miramar". haha we'll see.

anyway thanks. chao. cuidense

To his dad:
We took the bishop out to visit with us last night since he happened to be watching his sister's house right next to where we live and he met the family. We showed him where some converts live and we also explained to him about that sheet for converts... the one that has their individual information, their home teachers, the date in which they got a bunch of goals done from interview and priesthood to baptisms for the dead ending with sealing (I have no idea what that is called in English, here we always call it INL) It should be given to the converts themselves so they can track their progress (which is visibly written on the form) and he got all excited and says he's going to get them to the converts now and that was great. He's all excited since he's a new bishop! When I showed him my priesthood line of authority he was like I need to get that printed and asked me how. haha I said, "I have no idea, my dad is the bishop and he gave it to me".

I'm glad to hear the fast and testimony meeting went well. We had it the week before last since this week we had elections and there was no church (which means 0 baptisms and 0 investigators in sacrament meeting in all of Peru).

4/4/16 New Lima Temple!

So the gringo missionaries got the stake president to show conference in English in another room and when they made the announcement about a new temple in Lima we all shouted YES!! What makes it even funnier is that our mission president is always pointing out that in Trujillo there are 9 stakes and they now have a temple, Arequipa has 7 stakes and there is a temple under construction there, but that here in Lima we have 47 stakes and only one temple and it is very complicated to get to because the traffic is the worst I've ever seen in my life. He says if it were up to me, I think we need a 4th temple here in Lima. The current one is in central Lima so it ought to be either in Northern Lima (here) or in Southern Lima. We recently organized a new stake in Barranca, and two new wards in Prolima. Puente Piedra has just enough wards to be a stake but right next to us is Ventanilla with 7 or 8 wards (I don't remember) and here in Puente we have two of the largest wards in the area so if we split those and put another stake they'd have to put it north Lima! He has also mentioned how he has taken Bishop Wadell (now 2nd counselor to the presiding bishopric to Ancon to see how nice the beach is and said what a nice place to put a temple... and he has done the same with several other general authorities! Now all of the missionaries here are in suspense because we haven't been informed as to where in Lima the new temple is going to be... right after president Monson's talk the zone leader Elder Welburn got a text message from President Archibald saying my vote is for Ancon! haha

Also, Elder Dorius who was called as an area 70 there in California was the last president of this mission.

I guess I forgot to mention that this transfer is 8 weeks instead of 6 because of some changes in the MTC (gringos are staying there 8 weeks and Latinos 4 because the total number of missionaries went back down a little) so we have 2 more weeks in this transfer.

My favorite talks were, in order, President Monson in priesthood session, President Nelson in priesthood session, Elder Holland, and Elder Christofferson. Although I really enjoyed plenty of others. The Spirit of the conference was immense and unavoidable, when the British 70 was talking about refugees and started to list supplies given, Elder Welburn couldn't keep himself from saying "teas and crumpets" in the worst British accent he could muster to Elder Quesne who afterward informed us that his mom had kissed the 70 when they were in the London singles ward.

Anyway, it was a good week in spite of fewer investigators attending conference than I had hoped for and... the family who M----- shared a Book of Mormon with and took to the conference lives in another area.

Thanks for everything. Which was your favorite talk? Did Sarah and grandma see conference with you? Did Blake and his girlfriend?

To his dad:
Oh I forgot, when I was writing to mom, that I loved President Uchtdorf's talk. I'd heard plenty of Dresden in my history classes but I hadn't seen really understood how bad it was until now. When he said that in German, I thought oh dad is happy haha. Hey, whatever happened to the having general authorities speak in their native languages? I was super excited when they started that but I don't know what happened.

This week's ward council was the shortest one yet, only 20 minutes since everyone wanted to eat lunch and see the last session. And one of the only ones we've had without reporting any new baptisms this week in the ward.This week is going to be complicated because Peruvian elections are on Sunday and they are cancelling ALL church services in any denomination in Peru.

On Monday we had a family home evening with the bishop where he and his wife invited a neighbor. The bishop was kind of surprised and excited that we put a baptismal date with A-- after explaining briefly the Book of Mormon. It was great to have him baring testimony. The only frustration was that she had to head out of town and didn't get to accompany them to the conference like she was supposed to. anyway thanks chao

3/28/16 Like Paul before Agrippa

L---- had some odd problems with the interview but he got baptized this week, along with his wife N---- and 10 year old son R------. (his stepdaughter Z----- who's there in the picture off to the left was a less active member)

This was a pretty good week. Thursday night we decided that we really needed to find more new people to teach so we put plans a,b,c,d, and e into effect and on Friday 5 of the plan a's let us in and we taught 7 new people in one day! Then, after tying to find L--- at home several days in a row, we found him and they had their baptismal interviews they were found well prepared and were baptized on Saturday! We asked them who they wanted to have baptize them and L--- said I want you to baptize me and your companion can baptize my wife and son, so I was definitely happy. 

Bishop was really animated in ward council about the new family and the progress he's seen in M----- as well. M----- has two mission age sons and one that's 17 so bishop was talking about how we need to work together with them to get them out on missions. I was really content to see the bishop that excited. 

He was also really content that as a ward we've baptized 18 this month, as is our mission president. 

The members here go to the stake center to watch general conference. When I tell my companions that we watch it at home on the TV, they look at me like I'm from outer space. 

They do the same when I say that we hunt eggs for Easter. The Spanish word for Easter is the same as the Passover and they never refer specifically to Easter but to the whole week as semana santa (holy week) with lots of focus on Christ although a somewhat Catholicized Christ, but it's still pretty cool that the most important holiday around here is about the atonement.

I'm excited for general conference it's always a critical moment for investigators which means a lot of fighting to make sure that they can get there since the enemy will do anything to keep them from being there.

anyway thanks nos vemos y les amo

To his dad:
(in regards to the bomb in Brussels) 
I had heard 0 news on that, thanks for letting me know that's pretty intense. I'm glad that the missionary thought to bear his testimony in the interviews it's like Paul before Agrippa, instead of talking about the charges themselves he just bore testimony of Christ.

I'm glad to hear that the church was able to be well represented and may have gotten a wider reach because of this tragedy. The Lord can get his work done how he sees fit.

It sounds like some great Easter messages!
Anyway, thanks for informing me chao