Monday, May 27, 2014
Family and Friends,
The time has come to an end. I just want to tell you all that I love you. For those that may not know much, I have been here in Peru representing Jesus Christ for two years as his servant. I have done all I can to just bring people unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ through faith in the lord Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, the reception of the holy ghost and endure to the end. That has been my purpose for two years here in Peru, and my last week has come. I just want to tell you all that I have served the lord with all of my heart might mind and strength. I have really given the mission all of my talents time and dedication. Its been one of the hardest things I have done, but also one of the most rewarding. I cannot say that I am perfect, there have been many times when I have been sad, discouraged or upset, but I have really done my best to have a positive attitude and to just help everyone come to know the truthfulness of this Gospel. I love what I do, and its been the best experience of my life. I am quite emotional right now as I think about the end of my mission, but I know that I have done what the lord has asked of me, and I know that he accepts me as his servant. DC 97:8. [Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me.] I just want to share my testimony that I know that this gospel is true, I know that Joseph Smith was and is the prophet of the restoration, and that the Book of Mormon is true. I have read it and studied it, and I have prayed to know that it is true. I know that God listens and answers prayers, and that in these days we are directed and guided by a living prophet of the savior Jesus Christ. His name is Thomas S Monson. I know that this is true, I feel it in my heart.
I dont know how to express myself well, or what to say. Its not easy to finish the mission, its definitely just not easy.... But anyway, as I finish my mission I have the privilege of having my parents here in Peru with me. We will then go to a few of my old areas and then to Macchu Picchu. I will then be going back to Utah on like the 13th or 14th of June. I will then be with family and I will be able to go shopping. I will then start my schooling at BYU this summer term on the 23rd of June. I hope to sometime in the future go back to Korea for a time and also to texas to visit everyone.
Anyway, I love you all and I just hope that all is well. I am really quite emotional to think about all of this, but anyway, keep up the good work! Just to finish, I thought of a phrase today in the morning. My mission may be finishing, but my path of discipleship is just beginning.
[Elder Goodman will be released as a missionary by his Father, the District President of the Seoul Korea Military District, on June 3, 2014. Bob and I will have the opportunity to travel to Peru where the release will take place. We will tour the mission with Michael and visit Cuzco and Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley before returning to Utah on Friday, June 13. He will be greeted by his entire family at the Salt Lake airport and will enjoy spending time with them in Murray and Moab. Michael will resume his education at Brigham Young University and begin classes on Monday, June 23.
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Matthew 25:21]
Monday, May 19, 2014
Family and Friends,
Okay well good stuff is going on here! I am just trying to teach my companion all that he has to learn before I am out of here. We have been able to teach a lot more this week that went by. Its been good. We have one investigator that told us the other day that he just looks forward to the moment that we get to teach him. He gets excited and just cant wait to meet up with us, which made us feel really good. He is a great investigator and will be baptized the week after my mission, sadly. Anyway, I dont know what to say to be honest. Yesterday in church we had ward conference which was fun! I really enjoyed it, and I love the stake president here. he is just a powerful man with lots of faith and power! He is incredible. I have learned a lot about the importance of leaders. Having good leaders makes a huge difference, and I feel like if I am ever called to be a leader, I will need to give a great example to the rest of the people. I feel like I will need to love each and every one of them and care for their wellbeing. I love the scripture in moroni 6 4-6, I dont know the words in english, but it says that we will keep the people that are baptized in the right path and that we will meet together to take of the sacrament and talk one with another about the welbeing of their souls. I just love it, and I feel like that is the responsibility of all of us, especially those that are leaders. ANyway, just a small little thought. Oh and in church yesterday during the sacrament a dog was there just wandering around by the feet of everyone. Just a stray dog... it was strange.
Anyway, its been a good week like I said. I just am working, mainly to help my companion more than anything! We will keep working super hard! I have learned lots this week about following the spirit in all that we do. I have learned more this week on how to follow the spirit and how to listen and just act. I feel like in these last few months I have just started to listen better and talk to more people in the street and all sorts of things. I feel more concentrated and more consagrado... I cant remember the word in english. SO yeah things are great. I sadly have only 2 weeks left to work as a full time missionary, and it will be sad to finish, but I am looking forward to giving it all that ive got like always.
I really look forward to sharing my testimony and sharing all the great things I have learned with you all. It will definitely be a special experience and I am sure it will bring tears to my eyes. I know I am going to be super emotional and its already hitting me every once in a while. finishing the mission is not easy, it has already made me cry many of times, but its how it is, and I am excited for whats coming up in the future. yeah, so I look forward to sharing with you all after the mission!
Oh here are a few pictures, and one of them is of the man that will pick you up from the airport mom and dad. with his car haha
(Click on the photo tab to see the pictures sent this week.)
Monday, May 12, 2014
Family and Friends,
Okay well happy mothers day. It was great to talk to you mom and dad and get everything organized! Anyway, I to be honest am doing great. I may have a stange companion, but we do work hard and we work together. Its just very uncomfortable at times and he struggles a lot personally, but really i am doing great. I really appreciate all the letters from the family this week, its always good to hear from you all! I sure hope all the little grandkids are doing well and it will be great to see them all here in a month or so.
Lets see, last week we went to one of the worlds biggest cemetarys. It was humongous, just hills and hills of gravestones, and many of times buildings of graves. Its very stange how they do it here. We went to just visit and see how big it was. it went on for miles and miles in the hills and mountains. It was enormous, and I think its one of the biggest 3 in the whole world. I have a few pictures.
Ya, so this week we listened to elder Grow from the 70. I loved what he shared, it was a lot of good stuff about misionary work, but he also talked a lot about his family and how they have stayed firm in the gospel. I definitely love my family and am grateful for having such a firm and obedient family. I hope to form my family in the gospel as well, it will be special. He is great, it was super awesome what he shared. I think what has most impacted me in what I have heard these last 3 months is the importance of reading the book of mormon always. Every day, as a family especially. I definitely have good goals for after my mission to always read the book of mormon and I hope I can accomplish it all!
So today we are going to the center of lima. we will visit a museum or two and buy stuff and take pictures, i hope it turns out well.
Anyway, summing up my mission to this point, I have been in 5 zones, and in 6 areas. This last transfer I got moved in the same zone to another area. I have had 12 companions, 4 peruvians, 3 chileans, 2 mexicans, 1 from honduras, 1 from ecuador, and 1 brazilian peruvian, who is my companion now. In my whole mission I have taught over 40 people that have been baptized, and I personally have baptized like 10 or a few more, I dont really know. Maybe 15 or so. I have been obedient my whole mission, I have always obeyed the rules, although I have been imperfect, I have always searched to be obedient. I have also been a part of reactivating many people and a few families. I have been a zone leader for 8 transfers, or almost a year, and a trainer for 4 transfers, a district leader for 2 transfers, and I was trained for 2 transfers. I am in my 16th, and last transfer in my mission, without counting the 9 weeks in the MTC and CCM here in peru.
Anyway, there is much more to do these last few weeks! I love you all and hope this week is awesome.
oh, we had a funny experience. The other day an isrealite, a common church here in peru... came up to us and recited the 10 commandments, but with all the details and descriptions, It was crazy weird. it was super long. Anyway, then as she was doing so, she started shaking and looking at the sky. she claimed to be filled with the spirit and was like profesying, saying that one of us, me and my companion, was going to be filled with the spirit and the other sent to hell, or something like that. Anyway, quite weird, we just kinda left because I didnt feel the spirit of the lord.... stange things...
Monday, May 6, 2014
Family and Friends,
Ok so this is the 2nd week that we have now finished of the last transfer. I am here in Jardines just working hard with my companion Elder Muñoz. I really dont know what to say. I feel like I am just working alone to be honest. My companion has a few mental and health issues which makes things difficult. he sometimes has a hard time reading and always complains about health problems. He also has like never read the scriptures and never stops talking which just tires me to death. Anyway I dont mean to complain, I just hope that you can understand a bit like what my life is like. I love the guy to death and am trying so hard to help him become what he can become. He is a super sincere guy but I just dont know how to help him. I am having to do all by myself, which is fine for me, but it definitely doesnt help with the unity. and when there is not unity, the spirit isnt there and I end up doing it all literally alone, without the divine help which we always need. And if I do everything, like call all the leaders, coordinate the appointments, and program meetings and stuff, my companion will never learn how to do it. Anyway, its a sticky situation.
We did have a neat experience to teach a young couple about the law of chastity. I have done so many many times throughout my mission, but I really just felt a peace and love as I taught it. I really thought about the law of chastity and the word of wisdom, which have really protected me from getting into lots of trouble. I love those commandments even though they are many of times the hardest to obey. I love them and here in peru we see the effects of not living them. Here in my area its kinda like a sketchy dark area. I dont really like it to be honest, but oh well. There are just many hard drinkers and just lots of sin in our area. We see all sorts of young parents and people drinking with there little kids on their sides. Anyway, I just love those two commandments that protect us.
So yeah, I just want to say that I love you all! I am working hard and will continue to do so until I die. I love this gospel and am excited and blessed to be a part of it!
I really do have great hopes and plans for what comes up after the mission as far as my spiritual progress goes. its going to be great. Thanks for all of your help and support.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Family and Friends,
Well I just dont know what to say. First off, mom, dad, I do need to know the name of the branch in korea dn the branch presidents name, as well as the name of the district please. The people in the office are asking for that information.
But anyway, as far as this week goes, its been good. I am here in villa maria still, but in a new area, in a new ward, and with a new companion like I said last week. I am training the new elder, who is a young guy of 18 years who is from the jungle here in peru. he talks funny, and also talks a ton. the people from the jungle talk a lot.... I wont go into details, but he is a very special person and has special needs. He has mental difficulties and its been difficult for him to direct this area, but we have made it through. We have been able to accomplish many great things last week, even though we have been a bit lost, and without much to do at times. Luckily we have been able to work lots with the ward mission leader who is awesome, and with the bishop. Its been a good week to be honest, but I have really had to take control since the first day. I also feel super blessed with patience. I thought I was going to suffer this transfer with my companion, but the lord has blessed me, i dont even get annoyed or bothered by my companion. Actually, we get along great and talk, although I still definitely need lots of patience at times. Anyway, things are going great!
I also got to go back to my old ward where I was 2 weeks ago, and I baptized one of our investigators that we had. She is a great person and really experiences a great change of heart, and it was good to see some members from that ward and baptize the girl.
It was great to go to church this sunday and finally get to see all the members and get to know some great people. I was priviledged to give the last talk, it was 15 minutes. I found it to be a super spiritual experience. I though and thought and thought about what I wanted to say. But nothing came to me. I prayed but nothing. I was finally sitting in the sacrament room during the sacrament and I just didnt know what to say. I said a prayer and then a bit later went up and gave my talk. It turned out really well, I thought. I based my talk on a question, what does christ expect of me? What came to me were three ideas. I was able to share each one with scriptures and feelings. I talked about keeping the commandments, mos 2 22, and dc 11 20. Then I talked about repentance, and I shared a ton of scriptures about repentance, especially the one in dc 19. Then I talked about sharing the gospel, and shared mos 28 3. Those are some of my favorite scriptures. The talk turned out well, I thought, and I really felt full of the spirit.
I have also been reading in the scriptures from the start. I started about 2 weeks ago and I am now in Mosiah. I have noticed that as I am reading and marking the scriptures, I am finding so many times that the profets and people are always alwaays filled with the spirit when they talk. I love that. I am reading my new book of mormon and I have a color dedicated to the holy ghost, and many of times I have found that. that the profets are just always filled with the spirit.. ohh.... I think profets is really spelled prophets, right? In spanish its a bit different haha.
Anyway, we are just going to keep working hard, I am loving this last transfer, and cannot believe that I will be done here in 5 weeks..... I just gotta work hard like always.
I am grateful for everything and hope to HEAR FROM YOU ALL!! Mom you are being very diligent in writing me, and thank you for that!!
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Family and Friends,
Wow what can I say?? Its been a great and crazy week. I will start off with last monday when I went and played tennis with president douglas,. it was incredible! I went with my companion and we played with president douglas and his son chris. My companion doesnt really know how to play, but he tried. Chris, the 13 year old son, plays well for his age, but he is just a little guy. President plays really well, but he is also getting older. I was shocked by how well I played. I of course made many mistakes, but it came back like riding a bike. I actually served well as well! I was great. It was fun, and it was clay as well, which I love. It was also pretty cool because there was a ball boy that ran around haha. It was great, we didnt play like a match, just a few games, but I was lucky to beat them up a bit. I enjoyed it a ton! They are great players!
So what more, this week we worked hard and were able to find great people that are going to be baptized this transfer, but the sad part is that I have been transfered. I am officially now in my last transfer in the mission, my last 6 weeks. my transfer was suppper funny though because I am in the neighboring ward, in the same stake, and in the same zone. I am training a new missionary that was having troubles last transfer. Anyway, hes a tough missionary, but we will get along great, it will be a big trial, but I am excited. I love the guy and I already know a handful of members fromthe ward, so I am here working hard already and I only have 1 day. I definitely cannot get relaxed, I gotta work super duper hard until the end!!! It will be a great transfer. The best part is that I am training which is a good experience. I love helping new missionaries progress and thats what I get to do now. ANyway, hopefully I will get to see some of the members from my old ward before I finish to say goodbye to them. But yeah its been super good and I am just happy as always, working hard! There is so much I could tell you all, but thats about all I have got time for. I am excited to see you all here in a few months. Its weird to finish.... I dont know what to think. But I just pray everyday to stay super focused, and I am being super obedient and diligent and I know that the lord will bless me! I love you all tons and pray for you daily!
Monday, April 14, 2014
Family and Friends,
Wow, I am just filled of emotion and excitement. Good friends wrote me today and it was good to hear about all the plans that you have set mom and dad for the vacations. I am super excited for just about everything right now.
This week has been great. We had two solid baptisms which was incredible. The spirit was super strong. and these people are converted. The mom said that she will never leave the straight and narrow path. She is super duper converted and excited to preach the gospel now! She wants to be a missionary which is incredible. ANyway, she and her daughter were baptized, and the best part is that our convert, who is her brother, baptized them both. In that moment, the convert, the man who baptized them, was totally converted and gained a strong testimony of the power of the priesthood. it was super special and incredible. It was probably the best baptismal service I have ever been a part of. I loved it!
THis week we have found many new investigators. its been good, there are many great people that we are now ready to put with a baptismal date this week, the only sad part is that I will probably be transfered to my new and last area of my mission. This is the last week of the transfer, then I am left with one transfer, 6 weeks. I am the old guy in the misison now which just scares me. But oh well, the mission is treating me super well. Its tough at times, but I have learned lots. We have tried to be super good leaders this week. We did a handful of suprise visits, suprises phone calls, and two interchanges to train the new elders. Its been crazy, but very good. We are also working with the stake president a lot and with our ward leaders. Its been great, I am happy with the work in our area.
Last night we ate dinner with a 27 year old young single adult. shes a returned missionary. Anywya, there were many returned missionaries and active young single adults there in the house to share dinner. It was just fun. Everyone was enjoying the moment and the best part is that they all live the gospel. they are all super active and faithful, and we could feel it. It was just perfect, and it reminded me of BYU and how the atmosphere is. It was just happy and peaceful, and it got me excited to once again have friends in BYU and cook with them and just enjoy good activities. It was great.
Lets see, ok so TODAY I AM GOING TO PLAY TENNIS with the president! I am super duper excited, I have not played in literally 2 years, so it will be quite the experience. I have no idea how it will go, but I will let you know next week!!
I am just loving the mission. Its a super incredible experience and I hope that this last transfer is just the best. I dunno if I will stay here or be sent, I will probably be sent. But anyway I am just oging to make the most of it all! I love you tons family and friends. I am excited to see you all in a few months. It will be special. Anyway keep up the good work! love you allso much!
(Seven photos were added this week.)
Monday, April 7, 2014
Family and Friends,
Okay well another great week has passed, and its once again passed by very quickly. Lets see, this letter I am going to start with monday. Monday was not p day, we worked all day and were able to find a few less actives, but overall, it wasnt super productive due to the fact that we have had to drop like the majority of our investigators because nobody progresses. We are just searching less actives because that is the way to work these days, Rescue and baptize at the same time. We have just received lists and lists of less actives that we are searching for. Tuesday we had a good day, it was pretty normal, but taught a few good people. it was weird, we found a family that used to be a part of another ward but now they are in our ward. there is a daughter thats a returned missionary, and she started her mission after I started mine. It was just a weird thing to think about. But anyway we hope to work with that family to get references and find new people to teach! On wednesday we had our leaders meeting. Wow, I am the oldest zone leader and everyone else is new. I now have 11 months as a zone leader and I feel like my time is up. We talked about the clarity of teaching, it was good, I just feel like I have already heard it a million times before. But its to help the new missionaries I know. ANyway, it was good, and then we had a long afternoon looking for new people to teach but not much happened.
Thursday we had zone meeting and we trained all the elders. it went well, and then the afternoon was again very rough, but we were able to have a positive attitude that day, unlike maybe the other days. And this is where we felt like things changed. Friday in the morning we went to the temple with the whole zone. It was a good experience. I finally got to see the new movie which was very interesting, it got me thinking thats for sure! I wont go into detail... But it was good! I also decided to buy a new triple, like book of mormon dc and pearl of great price. I had lost my other one a while ago which just made me soooooooooooooo sad because it was all marked and beautiful.. But I lost it. so I bought a new one even though I am in my last 2 months... But I decided to mark it in a very particular way and I just am loving it. I am reading and marking like crazy, and finding lots of new things! Anyway, I am happy. We then had a good afternoon and found new people to teach!
Saturday we went to conference all day which was incredible. I loved many talks, and the phrase dont sleep through the restoration. It is time to wake up and just get to work, I loved that talk. Its definitely time to work and I hope to work a ton to help the lord after my mission! I also loved the talk about love. the gospel is a gospel of love, God loves us, and we should love others, because its the first and greatest commandment. I love the love, and feel like I need to learn to love others more and more.
Sunday was good as well, great conference talks and then we had an interesting experience in the evening. We have worked a bit with this mom of three active daughters from 18 to 26 years. The mom is not a member and has many of times rejected the offer to be baptized, even though she goes to church frequently. We have tried hard to strengthen her. and during the week we talked about the importance of general conference with her. She went to two sessions, then yesterday in the evening we talked about it in a family night. We also talked about baptism and following the gospel. Anyway, she finally says that she wants to get baptized, but not until June. Its a long way off, but she accepted the plan, she wants to prepare herself, and she wants to get baptized. It was a special moment for her daughters! and for us!
Anyway thats been the week. We have two great baptisms this week that will be super special. Our convert is going to baptize them both I think!
Life just keeps moving on, I am loving it. Its hard, but the general conference helped me a lot, I hope to change more and more, and become a better disciple of christ each day, even after my mission. I love you all so much!!!!
Monday, March 30, 2014
Family and Friends,
Okay well ill be honest, this week has been the fastest in my whole mission. Its been a good week of work, but wow just without results! My companion and I have really been talking lots about how to get things going better in our area and in the zone. We were able to organize a super awesome meeting with all the ward mission leaders and the bishops with the elders, directed by the stake president and the high priest group member thats in charge of the missionary work. It was very well planned to help us work with more unity in the stake. The sad part was that only our ward mission leader showed up, and he is like the only one that is really working hard. The meeting turned out kinda worthless, but it was good at least to see how the elders are doing and to be with a few leaders. But wow it definitely just put a damper on things!
I also got bit by a dog again this week. it happened to be the bishops dog, and his wife felt really embarassed because it turned out the be red and black on my leg, but its getting better.
We have two great investigators that are going to be baptized the 12th of this month who have been going to church for the last 2 months. Its going to be a powerful baptismal service, and they are real converts!
So anyway I want to take some time to write about what I learned in my personal study today. I nephi 15:7 to 11 more or less. Laman and lamuel were arguing or something like that. they didnt understand the words of their dad. Nephi told them to ask the lord in prayer, but they didnt even believe that the lord would answer their prayers and help them understand. Nephi says ¨well of course not because you dont obey the commandments and you have really hard hearts¨ then he gives us the promise, that if we dont have hard hearts, if we ask the lord, believing that we will recieve, and with faith, the lord will answer us.
I like to relate that to the missionaries and to me personally. Sometimes we just complain a lot. sometimes we argue and there just isnt any faith there. Our faith goes down and we just complain and murmur more and more. Sometimes we are not obedient and we are prideful, but the promise exsists, and we just have to have the sufficient faith to believe it, and it will be fulfilled. We need missionaries more obedient and more faithful. that is what I need to be.
Anyway the mission goes on. I am working hard and its great to be here. I only have 9 weeks left in the mission but they are going to be the best. I am going to play tennis with president douglas here in two weeks or so, if all turns out well. We are going to the temple this week which will be a great start over for us. I am stoked for general conference, its just going to be the best experience ever, and I can feel that there is going to be a lot about the work of salvation, I just feel it. I love it so much. Anyway hope all is well, I love you all, sorry I havent taken many pictures and things are just chugging along without anything too out of the ordinary. I just love teaching!
take it easy I love you all!
Monday, March 24, 2014
Family and Friends,
Well let see, its been a crazy week. First off, I had a question for you mom and dad... What generation am in in the church? like our ancestors, how many generations ago did they get to know the church?
So yeah, we started off the week with fire, we were finding new investigators left and right and just helping everyone! It was great, but I think starting friday we got lazy, we lacked faith, and we were not giving all of what we have, and everything went downhill. It was a crazy incident. We lost contact with lots of investigators and many started to express their weaknesses with the law of chastity and other things. We had a plan to baptize two awesome women this weekend but they both in different moments talked to us about the law of chastity and the word of wisdom and said that they were not ready. It was really sad... but they will soon be baptized! Also its interesting, because the whole zone went down hill when we went downhill. This week has been super rough for the whole zone and I blame it all on me and my companion, because we are the examples and everthing depends on us. Its just been sad....
But anyway, saturday in the evening we ate this great plate of food thats called pachamanca. I love it, but it really affected my companion. He got deathly sick saturday night and didnt sleep well. He was vomiting and it was horrible. Anyway, we went to the sacrament meeting, then after the sacrament we left. We didnt even get to talk to the members or investigators, we dont even know who went in reality. But it was necessary. We went back to the room, bought a few pills with permission from the secretary and just slept all day. We were there in the room alllllllll day, which I thought was going to be a relatively good experience. I was able to sleep a little and study, but at like 3 in the afternoon I was bored out of my mind. I wanted to go out and work! But we couldnt, my companion was like dead. Anyway, I decided that I would rather be a busy man than a bored man. Being bored is good for like half an hour, but then I just cant stand it. I wanted to do something, to work or teach or something! It was quite a learning experience for me!
Anyway, also during this week we found a new investigator. She invited us in and just laughed at everthing, actually at nothing. I dont know, she just laughed and laughed for like 3 minutes without stopping, which really got my companion and I uncomfortable. Just sitting their while this woman laughs and laughs.... Anyway, we started to teach but she kept laughing and it got contaigous. I started laughing uncontrollably which was super weird. I dont know what it was, I just laughed.... a TON. It was actually kinda nice to just laugh. In the end we had a good lesson, it turned out to be spiritual and the woman started to cry at one point because she said that she feels like there is no purpose to her life, she has no kids or family or even work, and yeah we are hoping to help her lots this week.
I am definitely looking forward to general conference again. This will be my last conference in the mission and I am sure that I will find lots of things that I will be able to apply in my life after the mission. Its going to be crazy awesome. I am way excited! I sure hope that you all are as well. Its a great moment to hear the voice of the lord in live. I just love it.
SO thanks for the announcements about the family and friends in texas and really all over the world. Sounds good that there are so many great youth that are going to go on a mission soon from texas. and It sounds good that so many are already out there in the mission field. The mission is a memorable and life changing experience!
Its kinda sad to hear about all the family issues. Its actually really sad for me to hear about forrest and park. I was hoping that they were aftive in the church, but it looks like park isnt heading on a mission then.... I would really just like to see all of them because to be honest I dont remember much about many of them. I would love to help them sometime!
Anyway time flies, my hour is about up. Thanks for your love and for your prayers. I am trying so hard to be better and better every day and just to give the mission all ive got. I am loving it and will give it all ive got till the end!
sorry its been such a boring letter
Monday, March 17, 2014
Family and Friends,
Well lets see! Ill be honest I feel like I have blinked and I am here in internet writing you all once again.... Its crazy, and I have no idea what to say. Its been a super quick week. It has not been the best, but its been a good week! We had two great baptisms which was special. I baptized the 14 year old kid who has a huge testimony. my companion baptized his brother whos 20 years old and it looks like real soon we will be baptizing their mom if all turns out well. Its been kinda a stressful week with that family but all turned out well with the baptisms.
We have also been able to spend lots of time with the stake president in these months. We have met with him and he is just a fireball of faith. He was asistant in his mission, and is now like 32 years old and has like 2 months as stake president. He is just incredible. He visisted us this sunday and taught the priesthood class. It was just powerful, super powerful. I loved it. He is definitely a man of lots of faith.
One thing that always bothers me in the mission is about the retention. in the stake there are 3000 less actives, and it seems like the majority of the converts turn into less actives within a year. Its just crazy. Its just how the culture is. many people just lack committment. They are baptized but then decide to not go to church. Its just sad. But what I love is seeing a recent convert with a shirt and tie, starting to bless the sacrament and do all of that. We have been able to baptize a whole family in these few months in this area. Its mom dad and two daughters. Its just a great family, and they are really being converted to the gospel. The dad offered the prayer in the sacrament meeting and it was just great to see. I love this work!
So anyway I just love working. Its been great to be here and at this point I just hope to finish my mission here, but I might be transfered my last transfer to a new area, but who knows.... After today I only have 10 more times to write home before its over. There is much to be done thats for sure!
anyway, I am just loving how life is going. I am really coming to learn how great the mission is more and more each day. We dont have to worry about anything other than missionary work and its wonderful. All of my stress is pure missionary work. NOTHING more. I dont have to worry about money, washing clothes, food, shopping, studying, work, grades, friends, family, sports, not sleeping, NOTHING. Its all just missionary work. Maybe I am tired every day of my mission but thats how it should be. If the mission werent hard, I would not learn anything. But its good now. yeah, so I just feel very blessed!
Have a great week, I sure do love you all and hope all goes well!
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Family and Friends,
I am still here in villa maria with elder cifuentes. Its a great blessing, I feel like it is correct that I stay here with him. Last week was like one of the most successful weeks for me in my whole mission. We just worked and found all sorts of new people and taught lots of lessons. It was just a great powerful week even though we were sick. I am still a bit sick to this day but I am a lot better. So I am oficially in my last 2 transfers, my last 12 weeks, and i just cannot believe it. I am happy to be here in villa maria, and at this point I just hope to finish here as a zone leader, although it will be 9 transfers in total as a zone leader and 7 not as a zone leader. Anyway, its good, we have great new missionaries here in the zone that we will get to know tomorrow, and a few of my good friends are now here in the zone. The zone is going to progress lots this transfer, I can feel it!
So I wanted to tell you all about this perez family that we are teaching. They have gone to church 4 times in a row and are totally ready for baptism this week. Yesterday we were able to review the baptismal interview questions and they are definitely ready. Sadly, its a mom and 3 kids, each of the kids coming from different dads. The oldest kid does not want much to do with the church, he is 24, and just is getting lost in the world thats for sure. The mom and the two younger kids, with 14 and 20 years, will be baptized this week. But its just so sad to see the consequences of breaking the law of chastity. I read today in the morning in the liahona, or the ensign in spanish, a message about the lords rule on morality or something like that. It was just a great message and I love what is says. I have come to love more and more the law of chastity. Today we just see so many kids without parents and weird family situations. I rarely find a happy united family where the parents are married. I think just about never here in peru. Its sad. There are kids all over the place without parents and its just sad. Parents that just live a life without purpose are everywhere and I just struggle to imagine how great the sorrow and stress is of God. We are many of times just rebelious and disobedient children which makes me sad. For that reason I have come to love the law of chastity. It is really the key to living a pure and happy life with the family and I just love it.
So to answer your questions mom, Yes i do have plenty of inhalers that are full. I suppose that they still work but I couldnt tell you anything for sure. Mom I remember that we went hiking mountains in korea and you didnt have any problems, I know that its not that high but you definitely can hike, and once you get used to the altitude I think you will do great! I trust in you. The fowlers said that they hiked one of those mountains on the side to see it even better and I think it would be great! I am down to do anything you are willing to do! I have boots that I can hike in, I mean I go hiking like every day sometimes in the hills here in villa maria. we really have to hike to get to the houses, its quite hard to picture and explain I am sure. But yeah I have boots, no worries there.
I think that the more time goes on, the more and more I think. I am definitely a thinker, and especially this week because my old companion elder Vinces just finished yesterday, it was quite sad. I gave him a last tie and a hug (because luckily we are in the same zone here in villa maria, although we were companions in nazca). It was sad, but wow it got me thinking that its reality. It still doesnt get to me that I will finish one day the mission. i just cant comprehend it all. elder dunn told me the other day as he was going to pisco for this last two transfers "hey see ya in 12 weeks" which just shocked me. Its weird, but it will be good to be with the family again and to start school. The good news with elder dunn is that we are signed up for the same spanish class in BYU so we will see each other often there.
Anyway its been good, I am just working very hard to be a better person every day. Not just a better missionary, but a better person. there is much to learn. I try to just develop the attributes of christ. I think my favorite attribute of christ is humility. I have learned that my whole life I have been a very selfish and prideful little punk at times. I ask forgiveness for that, beause wow i was a brat at times. I never helped clean the house or do anything unless I was told to do so. Now I have learned to help, to be charitable, and to serve. That has helped me to be humble. I have also learned to listen. Listen with love as elder holland has said. I just appreiate more than before the ideas of others and their thoughts and opinions. I just hope this stays with me for the rest of my life. I realize how prideful I really was and I feel like humility is just most what I need and what I have learned. so yep there are my thoughts for the week. Many great stuff is going down here. I am grateful that you still write me mom because I am pretty much only receieving letters from you these days. I am excited to see you all in 12 weeks, but up till then its time to work!
Monday, March 3, 2014
Family and Friends,
First off, it was kinda sad to not hear from you mom this week! But oh well, life goes on. I am still here in villa maria, starting the last week of the transfer. Time really just flies, thats for sure. Then I will be here in my last 2 transfers already, which really has gotten me thinking recently. But anyway, this week has been good, like always. I am loving the mission, like always. Its been great this week. Lots of teaching and we have been able to invite more people with a baptismal date. We are just find great people right now. There are so many prepared people that just need the gospel in the lives. GREAT PEOPLE. I have just learned to up my faith thtat the lord is preparing people out there. I have a testimony of the scripture in alma 13;24 that angels are really just preparing the hearts of the people.
This week we have met up with the stake president a few times to see how the work of salvation is going on. He is a new stake president and he loves missionary work. He invited us to a meeting with all the bishoprics in the stake which was a great priviledge. We talked to all of them about how to do an effective ward council, about the responsibilities of the ward mission leader, and about how to establish goals. I just feel like we have been very trained and prepared to do the work of salvation. Sometimes it just gets me excited to be a president of the young mens, just trying to find more people to baptize and to reactivate. I just feel very blessed for all the training that we have had on all this, and I feel like I have learned how to be a good leader and a good member of the church after being the mission haha. Its an interesting thought.
Umm yeah my birthday came and went, thats for sure. It was super uneventful thats for sure. I was like super sick as well. I ate something bad and I have just been really sick to the stomach so we didnt eat anything special or anything. But dont worry, I am better now, or atleast somewhat better.
Anyway I dont know what else to say. I am sorry for being so boring sometimes in my letters. We did learn a lot this week about the spirit, and about how to follow it and about the importance of always having the spirit with us. We had the leaders meeting with president douglas and it was just great. That was my 10th leaders meeting. That means that I have been a zone leader for 10 months. and I am 1 of the 3 oldest zone leaders in the mission. I am on my 7th transfer as a zone leader, and only 2 others have that long as a zone leader. I feel like its been a long time as a leader, and its been stressful and hard, but its been the greatest learning time. I have loved it, but its been a lot of work. I dont know what will happen this transfer. I only have 1 transfer here in villa maria, but I am entering into my last two transfers, and I feel like the president might transfer me out to train a new missionary to not be zone leader anymore, but who knows, anything can happen, I will let you know next week!
I want to thank you all for the happy birthday notes and cards and love. I love hearing from everyone and its great to know that you havent forgotten me haha. Anyway, keep up the good work, and remember, if life was never hard, we would never learn, just look at it that way.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Family and Friends,
Okay so this week has been another great week for us! Its just been awesome. We were able to complete a family as we baptized the husband and the 20 year old daughter. It was a great experience and a great baptismal service! Its been a work of teaching thats for sure, and its showed off! The majority of our investigators are accepting baptismal dates and are going to church. We had 9 in church this week which was great! they are great people and they really are receiving answers to their prayers.
So I had a few things I wanted to talk about this week. First off, I just love the scriptures. I have such a great desire to learn more and more and to memorize and just know the scriptures like the back of my hand. Thats the goal, but I always forget things, but it just motivates me to study more and more! I love the scriptures so much!
Also, I have a big announcement! You know how I just dont like water? throuhout my whole life I have never liked to drink water, just gatorade and things like that. Well this last month I have started to drink more and more water, and I actually like water now, its like a big accomplishment for me. I have a desire to drink water, and its a desire that I have like never had beforehand. I am happy now thats for sure!
Ok next, we have this place thats like up in the mountains. Its part of our ward. we go up there in like a little moto or in a van, and its a good ways up the hill and around the corner. Its a good drive, but it totally reminds me of the american truckers or whatever its called show on discovery I think it is. I watched it a bit during my time in korea and it was interesting. I never understood why those roads were so poorly constructed. But now I have this area where we go up this skinny old dirt road on the side of a cliff and I think I understand a bit more. Its a rough dirt path up a big hill, its quite interesting, but yeah just thought I would let you know. Also, while we were up there in this little group of houses in the mountains, we kinda got lost and dogs started chasing us, We ended up running out of space with a cliff on the back side of us and dogs in front of us. we were like swatting at the dogs with books of mormon that we always have in the hand but ended up having to like crawl up a dirt hill to get out of the situation, but all turned out well. Only one dog this week bit my poor companion, but it was just a little guy and a little bite.
So yep here in the ward we have a great ward mission leader. hes a returned missionary that goes out about 4 times a week by himself or with other members to teach all of the recent converts and some less actives. He teaches the lessons and just does lots of work for us! its great and I hope to someday have that opportunity to just go out and teach the converts, members, and less actives. i love teaching!
So yep last week we went bowling which was great! I only bowled like a 161, I was hoping for 200 of course, but oh well, after the mission I will have to buy my ball, get back to work there at the bowling alley, and get back into the game.
Here are a few pictures from the last few weeks or days
(Click the photo tab)
Monday, February 17, 2014
Family and Friends,
Wow this week has been special thats for sure. I think this week has been one of the best weeks in my whole mission, we taught like 3 or 4 lessons a day and we just found new and new investigators. We found 10 this week which is more than normal, it was great! We also had our stake conference and wow its just been quite the week. We had a multizone conference with president Douglas in San Gabriel which is really close to villa maria. We have also been able to find this awesome family that went to church, the stake conference, and then they accepted a baptismal date for the 15th of march which is great. We really are just being like super duper blessed in our area and I know its because of our diligence and obedience that we have really tried to be perfect on everything we can!
So yep its definitely being shown in our area! I feel just great, and I am trying super hard just to recognize my constant need of the lord and that I am just nothing, and that I depend completely on the lord for everything. We are going to have two baptisms this week, then 2 the next week, then like 4 in march if all turns out well! I am looking forward to these next few weeks!
But the zone is struggling. We just dont have perfect missionaries and we feel like we just dont know what to do to help them as much as we would like. We are really trying hard, but yeah I dont know what to do exactly!
So yeah i just am super happy here and I figured out why. Its because we are teaching lots. I love teaching and hope that after the mission I am called to be a teacher of some class. I have learned to love teaching.I have also learned a lot to recognize the spirit. In the multizone conference sister douglas talked about the spirit and it got methinking. The rest of the day I was just not feeling the spirit. I was not excited like at all and it was just a horrible day, although the day really went well. Idont know what happened with me, I just couldnt feel the spirit, and I felt horrible. It was weird. But I learned a great and valuable lesson! It was incredible. I learned to always search for the spirit in every moment and that I am nothing without it. It is so true! The spirit is just my guide and my companion. I teach with the spirit that is for sure! when I dont teach with the spirit the lesson just doesnt go well! Its so interesting but I love how clearly this lesson was taught to me this week!
So anyway thats about it. Oh president douglas invited me to play tennis with him on the 17th of march which will be awesome. I will play with him and his two kids who are apparantly super good, but we will see. i hope I can still pick up a racket! I am definitely looking forward to all that is coming up in my mission and also afterwards. Its going to be a special time! I love you all and am just going to keep working every day because time is short, and I love serving the lord!
Oh and thanks so much for the package, it was quite funny, I love the tie, and the shirt, and its just funny all that you sent. I have not readthe cards yet because I just opened it.
Monday, February 10, 2014
Family and Friends,
Well what a great week, I am just happy and excited and I am not sure why. I just am loving the mission more and more each day. We are having lots of difficulties with the missionaries in the zone because some are being disobedient and different things but we are waking up early to do suprise visits, we are also going and doing interchanges and just doing lots of verifying here in the zone!
Ok so last monday we went hiking. I know you are not going to like that mom and dad because of my knee, but I promise it works just fine and there is no pain or anything! Its 100 percent better. its just a little different thats all. So yeah we went up this huge hill and visited a cross on the top and took lots of pictures, just me and my companion, it was super great! And yeah so this week we had our leaders meeting once again. We went to the center of lima and had that great meeting. It was very inspirational and I loved it. We then transmitted the message to the zone the next day. Anyway, this week has just been lots of work. I am not going to describe everything that happened, but Its just been a working week. We are calling the elders every night in the zone and doing the area book every night. We are just trying to be super duper obedient and diligent. We are not oging to bed until 11 at night because of all the things to do, but we are being very blessed. I dont feel tired at all in the mornings anymore, I am just full of energy and I feel like its because of the blessings that the lord is showing upon us. I have a great companion and we are just trying harder and harder to be humble and to improve our teaching skills.
But anyway, in our area we have 4 people with a baptismal date, like 6 went to church, and we are teaching like 13 lessons with a member and then like 6 to converts and about 14 less actives. Thats about what were doing each week here in villa maria. the work will go forth!
So anyway I am definitely just loving the mission. We eat tons here in villa maria thats for sure. There is a sister that brings us dinner to our room every night for free. And its like lots of dinner! its like pig meat, potatoes and of course rice haha. Its lots of food and I feel like I might be gaining weight, but I think its in the muscles because I have upped my excercises in the morning. I weigh like 73 kilos which i think is 168 or so, so not too bad.
I also wanted to thank you for the package with the chocolate cookies which are delicious! But yeah I am just focused on the work and really trying to give it my all, and I feel very blessed, very very blessed!
I also thank you for the package! it was great to recieve those chocolate chip cookies, they are super delicious!
So yep the work goes on thats for sure, I am loving it, and I am really studying a lot about the doctrine of christ, which I love. Anyway thats been my week, Its been good. I have been studying lots the doctrine of christ, which has been the focus of the mission since I got here. I love studying the doctrine!
Hey I love you all tons. I have lots of love for this work and am excited for the last few transfers that I have! I hope all the plans are going well! Keep studying your scriptures every day and the lord does miracles when we do so. I love you!
(Click the mission photos tab to see 5 new photos.)
Monday, February 3, 2014
Family and Friends,
Ok lets see this week has been crazy great! We have found super awesome less actives that we are excited to help and there are just great people here! I dont think I am going to be able to write too much today for the time, but wow its been a good week and I feel good! Here in villa maria there are many great members. The church is more established here than in nazca so there are very great members that know what the church is all about. We do eat with a woman from the ward each day and we have a guy who washes our clothes once a week. We are not allowed to play soccer or basketball here in our mission so we have not done much of that but I am actually kinda a boring p day type of person. We are planning on going bowling soon and then play sports one week but this week we wont do much and last week we were just planning the week out a bit. As for the music, I have a USB with a bunch of random music on it from other missionaries. its good but an Ipod would be better but oh well haha. My knee is doing good, its actually got this weird knob on the top of it that i think is not going to go away like ever which is sad, but it works just fine. I just cant kneel down on that knee yet because it still hurts a lot and is way uncomfortable.
So yeah I am sending a bunch of random pictures from the last like month or so. Lots of good stuff. But yeah so here in our area we just have lots of hills and wow thye are way up there! We went up there the other day in the evening and I took a picture of what it looks like and I am sending it to you. Its just a lot of stairs and hiking up the mountain to get up there to those little houses!
I definitely feel like the lord has sent me here for a reason. The zone needs lots of help, we have somewhat knew and troublesome missionaries. We are going to do lots of interchanges to make everything clear and to help train these new missionaries. I am a bit worried about the zone though, but this week will help lots.
I wanted to share a thought about being clean from sin. I just love that topic. Its so interesting and its so real. many people here dont believe that one can really receive forgiveness for their sins. But one of my favorite things to talk about is being free from sin. its real, the lord forgives and forgets as we learn in dc 58 42 and 43 or something like that. The lord cleans us and purifies us, and its the spirit that really does so. The spirit is what purifies and sanctifies us and I love that. I just love it, its real and I know that god forgives our sins, if we obey and repent! its just pure and clean doctrine which is love!
Oh so we definitely had a baptism which was great, and I was able to baptize the girl, She is super special, her mom is less active but she always goes to church and has many friends there. So it was special to baptize the girl, she is so tiny! Anyway, it was a special baptismal service as well, the ward here is just awesome!
So yeah Briana Moore wrote me and said that she got her mission call for baltimore maryland the 4th of june. quite funny it is, because I finish the 2nd of june, but will be here in peru for the week that follows the finishing of my mission. Anyway, She will be a great missionary thats for sure!
So yep I am doing great! I am excited for everything! Please mom just sign me up for those math 112 and bio 100 classes and maybe a religion class but I will probably drop it. I do plan on living with derek, but I need to get a hold of him, for now..... If you could tryto contact derek that would be great.... I dunno how haha.
(Click on the photos tab to see 12 new pictures this week.)
Week 84 - Letter #2
Monday, January 27, 2014
Family and Friends,
Ok so here I am for the second time this week. For all of the changes I have actually had 2 p days this week. So here I am. I am here in Villa Maria now with Elder Cifuentes de Chile. I was his district leader a year ago when he started his mission and wow he is incredible. He is a great missionary and he is now a zone leader with me here in villa maria. We are just good buddies and we know that we will have a great time. Villa maria is like lots of hills in like a poor to middle class area. Its not as poor as villa el salvador and lurin where i have been before hand here in lima. My area is relatively big, and has lots of big hills with poor little houses up on the sides of the hills, but I dont think we go up there much. We live in a decent room, its got a good bathroom and a little kitchen so its good, its the 3rd floor of a house. Its not that special but not bad either. What I dont like here is that its hills. I like flat areas and here its just like a big hill, but thats alright. Oh and also, bikes have been banned a few months ago in the whole north west area so like ecuador colombia bolivia and all that. In the zone there are 14 missionaires. There are 3 chapels here in the area and 5 wards. Our ward is split with 2 pairs of missionaries. I only have 1 day here so i dont know much, but I hear that our ward has like almost 200 active people which is absolutely incredible, more than I have seen in my whole mission, but Ill tell you more next week.
We also have a baptism this weekend, we had a lesson with the girl yesterday and she just cried becuase her mom is less active and she just wants her mom to be with her in church. The girl is so sensitive and is getting baptized this weekend. There are just many great people here that I am getting to know thats for sure! Ill tell you more next week about everything.
Anyway, quick story to finish letter 2 of this week. Yesterday I left the room saying that we were going to find a family thats called flores. the last name flores. I dont know why, but I said that we were going to find a familia flores that day. I have NO idea why.... But anyway, we went about the day and laughed about it and shook it off. We started visiting lots of people and we also ask people for referrals. One lady said that she is preparing a family. we asked what the name was, then she said it was a familia flores. We both looked at each other and said, sister, you have to go talk to that family and present them to us as soon as possible. Anyway, we are excited to get to know that family real soon. Then we were teaching a less active sister a little later and her husband came out and we talked to him. He sat down and accompanied us. We shared a great lesson with him and his family and at the end of the lesson we asked what his last name was, and he said flores. It was just another cool moment, we actually found a family flores that day and have plans to find another flores family real soon! GOOD STUFF!
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Family and Friends,
Ok so here i am after like more than 10 days and i am still in the office with knee problems. Its been a long recovery process, but I am totally ready to get out there and work, I just cant kneel down and the skin on my knee cap has been permanently changed and expanded so its a little different but oh well, it works just great!
This week I was able to do a handful of fun little assignments with the president. Last sunday I went with him to visit a few stake presidents and bishops. I went to my old stakes here in lima and actually got to see many people I knew from old wards. It was a special experience, especially because I heard about old investigators that are finally getting married and baptized here in this month that comes. I also heard about many converts that are staying faithful, and other people that I have been able to help. I heard that one convert from Lurin was heading on a mission soon and that another couple that I was teaching got married and baptized. It was just super special to be with president. We also had some great time to talk about things and he just made me feel very special. He told me some things that I cannot tell you all until after my mission, it was just a special experience. Then he invited me over for dinner with his family, which I love. It was great!
So then like on monday tuesday and wednesday i didnt do much at all. i was in the office hanging around reading the scriptures and thats about it. But president gave me permission to go out and work on wednesday night with the office elders and me knee just stopped bothering me. it was a great miracle. My knee has been completely healed and I am able to work again! So yep then one day I got to play assistant which was fun. I got to go visit two zones and verify how the agendas and zone books are. It was good, but tiring. i was with one of my good buddies who is actually the assistant now, so it was a good experience.
Anyway, everything in short, its been great. Its been a great week for me to learn and grow. I have opened my eyes to many things in the mission and to the life of the president a bit more. he works so hard just to be excellent but he cannot change the agency of the missionaries. many just dont want to be obedient, and I dunno why. Anyway, i wish I could remember and explain everything I learned, but I think what most stuck out to me is just how the mission is not everything. its only 2 years and its really just a step in life. the life after the mission will be harder, more stressful, and be filled with lifechanging decisions. Here in the mission we are well protected for two years, but after its over many trials will come and thats when we gotta put into practice everything that we learn here in the mission.
So transfers are being announced today, but since I am in the office i already know everything. I am going to VILLA MARIA. I am going to keep being a zone leader for my 7th transfer and will probably finish here in this area because i am starting my last 3 transfers. Who knows? but I love who my knew companion will be. i was his district leader a year ago and is just a great guy. We are going to rock it this transfer!!
Anyway i trust in the lord that all will go well! i know it will, and that these three transfers will just be the best, its time for me to put into practice ALL that I have learned and i will do it. I will never get tired of this work and I know that it is the most important time for me to stay focused!
Today in the morning by the way we went to a huge hill in lima, its a lot like the hill we went up in korea, but we went up in a bus for 2 dollars. It was way high up there and we got pictures of the whole city, it was AWESOME. But i dont have my stuff to download pictures, sorry! I will send it this wednesday i think when its p day again. Anyway love yall tons, keep up the good work, I always remember you my family and friends in my prayers.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Family and Friends,
Ok I have a few big announcements, please dont be scared, just read this letter....
Monday I woke up and my knee hurt. I didnt do anything about it and we had a normal p day. We went to a super cool museum that has everything from kahuachi, which is zarahemla from the book of mormon. It was incredible, there was also a huge acueduct from the book of mormon times that has water passing, its kinda like a well but not really. its hard to explain. But anyway, i got a few good pictures! So lets see, as the day went on, my knee started bothering me more and more. The fowlers got worried and said that i should call sister douglas. I did so even though I didnt want to. I ended up sending sister douglas pictures of my knee. It starting bothering me more and more, it was swollen to about twice the size it should be. Anyway, we ended up going out and working monday at night and then at 7 I got a call from sister douglas saying that I have to go directly to lima and that i need to pack clothes for at least 5 days. We went right to the room, I packed my things. My companion and elder fowler gave me a super special blessing, and that gave me lots of comfort. I was quite emotional because of the way that sister douglas talked to me. she was saying that it was an infection and that it will start to hurt and they will have to dig into my knee in lima and take out the bacteria. I got emotional thinking that this was the end of my mission, it was actually very hard for me that night. We ended up getting on a bus at 11 at night and got to lima at 6 in the morning. I was then taken right to the emergency room...
Many doctors came up and checked on me and I took a handful of tests. Anyway, I was tired and i was in the hospital up till like 1 in the afternoon. president douglas came a visited me and all. Anyway, in the end the head doctor checked my knee and said that the swelling had gone down and that it was getting a lot better. he gave me antibacteria and antiinflamatory pills and I came to the office.
I know without a doubt that that blessing I received changed everything. sister douglas knew what it was and knew it was going to hurt. But since that blessing everything has gotten better, it turned around. The blessing changed it all.
Anyway, since then i have gone to the doctor like once or twice more. My knee is getting better but slowly. It looks like I will just be sitting here for the next week or so doing NOTHING. I am here in the office just doing nothing. I cant work, and i am not useful in the office. I feel like a waste of space right now, but thats how the lord wants it for right now.
So it turned out that from so much kneeling on the floor, a bacteria got connected to my hair and then crawled up the hair and into my knee cap. it turned into an infection but its only in the knee cap sack. If I dont take care of it, it can spread all the way down my leg, but the antibiotic is killing it and keeping it down, i just cant walk or bend my knee much so that it gets better. Thats about all that I know.
Oh so my companion went back to nasca with another elder here in the office. That other elder packed all my suitcases and then came back with president douglas because he was there in nasca. My companion is now with a branch missionary until the transfers next weekend. So i now have all of my things here with me and it looks like I am not going back to nasca ever in my mission. I have three transfers left and I will be in Lima to finish my mission i would think. So i had an emergency transfer as well to the office. its quite sad all of this......
I cant really explain all the details nor the feelings of all this. Its been a long week, but these last few days in the office have given me time to reflect a TON and to read LOTS of the book of mormon. its been good. I just hope that i can get better soon and get out to working harder than ever, because i miss working, I miss sharing my testimony and testifying a lot. I have just been lazy, eating pizza all the time and fast food. And I have just been sleeping a lot, which is definitely a blessing but I want to WORK!!!
so anyway thats been my week.... and thats why i am writing saturday, because the elders in the office have their pday on saturdays.
Mom, tell me more about JD and how his situation is, and also I would love to know about Jack and where he is at!
LOVE YOU ALL TONS!! i pray for you, keep up the good work!
Monday, January 13, 2014
Family and Friends,
So i didnt hear too much from you mom and dad this week, but I am sure you have all sorts of great adventures going on right? Thanks steph and jill for the letters, its great to hear how the kids are doing, and I sure hope that everything keeps going well in the family. In these times here in my mission I have learned to love the family more and more each day. I love families and one day strive to have a happy and united family!
But anyway, this week has been difficult again as far as the investigators, but we have found many many less actives that are super ready to progress. They are great! There are like more than 700 less actives here and We are finding many of them! But the work with investigators really is not progressing much. We find new investigators almost every day, but pretty much all of them say that they dont want to read, go to church, or really know anything about the church. Here in peru everyone is receptive, people will listen, but few are the people that are willing to act and fulfil their commitments, so we always find new people to teach but drop them real quickly. I think that in this area book there are more than 100 old investigators that have my name on it... pretty sad!
But anyway we went to lima this week for the leaders meeting. I was definitely humbled by the spirit in that meeting. My eyes were opened as to what I was doing wrong and the spirit definitely corrected me, it was a great experience! Then we were able to get back thursday at 2 in the morning and repeat the meeting with the zone that same day in the morning. It all turned out very well!
I studied lots this week the book of mormon and I found a scripture which has become one of my favorites. alma 13 27. That scripture defines the desires of my heart. It really does. And it will be for the rest of my life. I am going to be a missionary for the rest of my life, because what it says there in the book of alma is really what lies in my heart. I was able to share that scripture in a talk this sunday in church and it turned out really well I think.
yesterday we had a great experience with a 19 year old less active. His parents were sealed in the temple and they were a super happy and united family, but his parents were separated and now have kids outside of their marriage and live with other people. the kids are all less actives and are lost, but they all have testimonies. All of them. We talked to this kid and he just felt super dirty and stained for his sins. We talked to him about repentance, my favorite topic, and we shared the scripture which is love in dc 58: 42 and 43 that talks about how the lord forgives sins and doesnt remember them. I love that promise. it has made a huge impact on me and I was able to think a lot about my past when we shared that yesterday. it was special for me.
Anyway, life is going on, I was taught a lota bout humility today in the morning and have realized many errors. I just hate pride but I know I am full of it. I am trying harder and harder to just humble myselft down to the dust and i know that the lord will work miracles in me. I just know it without a doubt. I just need to be humble, but sometimes I dont know how.
So I love you all and hope everything goes well. I love hearing from you all and I feel your prayers. Thanks for everything
wow... I just got a letter from a convert! it was super duper special. I loved it. she said she is faithful and is going on the mission soon! it made me really dang happy!
Monday, January 6, 2014
Family and Friends!
I think this week will be a short letter.... But anyway I am doing great right now! Its been a super tough week again but that doesnt matter, I am way excited and today in preach my gospel I was reading all about a successful missionary. I was thinking yesterday that its just been so tough my time here in nasca. We have helped very few people here in nasca be baptized. My time here as been super hard, but today I read that part about a successful missionary and I felt really good. I just felt like I have accomplished a lot more than what we can see in my key indicators. It was quite a special experience for me thats for sure!
Anyway its just been a lot of work this week, but at the same time we did get two more sisters this week in our zone! We had to spend thousands of dollars, or soles, on new drawers, tables, desks, beds, matresses and all sorts of stuff. We found a room for them to live in and got the whole thing organized and cleaned up. We lost lots of proselyting time but now we are happy to have the new sisters with us! This week we ran un a big hill and took a few pictures that I am attatching. it was a good excercise. Anyway we are hoping to go out and run more this week! Oh but this week we are headed to lima. Tomorrow we are off and we will get back wednesday in the middle of the night so we are going to lose two days of proselyting but oh well, we know that we will be blessed to find new investigators this weekend!!
I am doing great out here, I love the work and we have definitely had special experiences this week with less actives. We had a family home evening last night and everyone was in tears. It was super special and we are exicted to continue helping these less actives, but at the same time we gotta find more investigators because we really just dont have much of anyone...
But wow this week I was thinking lots about the YSA program here in nasca. There are tons of youth that just dont get married. There are many returned missionaries that just are struggling with commandments. Pretty much all of them are returned missionaires that are just facing problems! Lots of problems, its super sad, but I decided that if i never stop reading the book of mormon, I will stay strong. I know it. I have put good goals for me this year and I know that if i fulful my goals, i will always stay strong and I will be able to resist temptation always!
Anyway love you all tons and hope its all well.
(There are seven more photos to see this week.)
Monday, December 30, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well another week has come and gone and look at that, the year has already passed! I cannot believe it. Anyway, it was great to talk to you mom and dad this week. It was a fun phone call, but wow it really got me thinking about what life will be like after the mission which really scares me. I am pretty much on my last 5 months which seems to dwindle down more and more each day. But I am excited to still be here in nasca. Also, thanks for that package! It was great to see that huge piece of paper with all of that good stuff written on it. Thanks thomas for the little notes in spanish with your good ole argentina accent. I also am really excited for the pens that you sent me, that really made me quite happy, and the ties are awesome! I like those ties, and the milk chocolate bar looks really good and im excited to eat it. It reminds me of stephen ninow because we always bought those together!
So this week that passed we celebrated christmas with the zone. It was fun, we met up with the other missionaries, ate dinner, watched home alone and did a gift exchange. It all went well. Then we have just been working hard since then. Its been a good week for the zone and a kinda difficult week for us here in nasca. We are just being obedient and diligent but we feel like we are facing a trial. We are just not finding the prepared people to help them accept the gospel. Anyway, this week that starts today we are going to find all sorts of great people to teach.
We had a surprise visit from president douglas and his wife, 3 kids, and his future son in law. They all spoke in sacrament meeting which was great. We were able to talk a little bit to them after the meetings. Its funny because the oldest girl buggy is getting married here in may to her missionary. They were dating before the mission, then he served in the dominican republic and he finished his mission like 4 months ago and they are getting married real quick. the guy talked in sacrament meeting and he has a super funny accent in spanish. Its interesting. Anyway, it was good to see them this sunday!
We have made the decision to go out and run this week every day. so tomorrow we are going to wake up early and go run and hike this hill and take pictures of nasca. I am super excited. its going to be beautiful! I am way excited to get up and run in the morning!
So anyway, things are pretty normal here, we are just wiped out every night and we work hard each day to find new people to teach, to strengthen the members, and to find more less active members. ill tell you two strories from this week.
1 so my companion was way tired and fell asleep before I did and he snored like crazy. In the end I just couldnt sleep because snoring drives me nuts. I was up until like 12 30 which was rediculous. I couldnt sleep. I ended up going into the bathroom which is like down a hallway. I put a chair in the bathroom, i kicked up my feet on the toilet, and fell asleep in the chair. I woke up and hour later then went into bed and feel asleep. but wow that was a miserable night. I CANNOT stand snoring.....
2 the other day we found a less active woman that was baptized when the church was established here in nasca 30 years ago. She hadnt gone to church in 12 years at least. We talked with here for a few minutes and invited her to church. she said maybe. The next morning, sunday, we called her and invited her again. She said yes and she showed up! It was incredible. The people here are quite lazy and promise many things that they never fulfil which bothers the heck out of me. But she went! After 12 years she went! It was super special and we are excited to help her to really get back into church
Anyway thats been my week! Mom and dad, I was thinking a bit about june and was thinking that it would be great to go to cusco like tuesday the 4 until thursday or friday, then go to chincha on sunday for church and maybe nasca on monday and tuesday, then go back to the states on the next wednesday or thursday, so like 8 or 9 days here in peru after the mission. But i dont know, lemme know what you have thought.
I am excited to just work, thanks for your love and for your prayers that are felt. Keep working hard in the work of the lord and give references to the missionaries!! I love this work and will keep working all of my days! I love you all tons!
Monday, December 23, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well happy christmas.... I mean merry christmas! I cannot believe that Christmas is in like 2 days... Well here in peru its celebrated the 24th in the evening. Its interesting the customs that they have here. They eat like a huge dinner on the 24th really late at night then they stay up all night to open the few presents that there are. Its fun stuff. So lets see, looks like we will be in the house of the adult missionaries, the fowlers, with the whole zone to watch home alone and eat dinner and do a little gift change. I hope it turns out well! I am planning on calling home the 25th but I dont know what time yet.
So this last week went by really fast. It was just a super fast week. I went all the way to lima and back in one day then we just had little time to work. We went to ica one day for the christmas multizone conference. We woke up at like 4 30 to get there on time and got back at night at like 7.It went well. We sang a super special musical number, we watched facing the giants football movie and we ate icecream and did a little gift exchange. It was a good activity. But wow yesterday we received the indicators of the whole zone and this week was just terrible. We have very few investigators in church and very few investigadores progressing. Its been tough and as leaders we will the pain and the stress of having not so good indicadors. Looks like we are going to have to work super hard this week as a zone, but it will be really hard because all the people are going to be with their family and celebrating christmas. It will be an interesting week.
Anyway, my thoughts are very scattered. I am quite tired to be honest but I am loving this work. I was able to talk to president douglas this week which was great. He is a mentor, he is a great leader and he reminds me lots of my old leaders. Sometimes I just feel like I am not good enough. I sometimes like to beat myself up. this week has been tough and for a LONG time we didnt have any investigators in church or anyone with a baptismal date. Its sad, way sad and I feel like the president just wants so much of us. He wants more and more and more, he motivates us to work harder and harder but I feel like I am working really hard. We are being diligent, obedient and we are trying hard to be good leaders, but we are just not finding the prepared people. Sometimes I just feel uneffective. Its sad. But I am not going to let my self get down. I just love this work so much and nothing will ever knock me down! I am going to do more this week to find those prepared people. I am going to do more more and more each day. Anyway thats just a little about what I am thinking.
I love what nephi wrote in 2 nephi 4. I sometimes feel very tempted and weak. But I know that the lord is on my side. I trust in him always. I also know that my weaknesses will be made strong as long as I humble myself! Anyway I love this work. I pray that this week goes well in the whole world wherever you are all. have a great day and a merry christmas! Sorry this letter was so pathetic, I dunno what to say. Haha its been a good spiritual week. I really have felt the spirit and I have had spiritual experiences. I love it. Anyway, take care!
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Family and Friends,
I hope all goes well. I am still here in nasca!! Wohooo!! I am really really excited and happy. It is not what I was expecting because I already have 3 transfers here in nasca and my companion had 2 but anyway he had a transfer and I am still here in nasca. On monday we woke up way early and left for lima and then I came right back with my new companion elder Vilchez. he is peruvian, from chiclayo. I am still here in nasca as a zone leader which is great. But wow it was terrible traveling more than like 16 hours in a bus on monday. I went all the way to Lima and back in 1 solo day! It was terrible, but it gave me lots of time to think and ponder about what I want to do better. I am starting my last 4 transfers in the mission and I feel like there is still much to do better. But what I can say is that if I had to finish my mission tomorrow, I could say that i have really given it all that ive got. of course I could always give more and work harder but up to this point I have really tried hard to give it all that Ive got. I have done the lords work and I am happy to keep working here for these last 4 transfers!
I got a letter the other day from the states which got me really happy. I waited until today, p day to open it up. It didnt have a return address so I didnt know who it was from. But I opened it up and found anti mormon junk. Evidences that joseph smith is a false prophet and all that. I just was really sad. Its so sad how this church is attacked in so many ways. Its just so sad. But I was able to think about my testimony. my testimony cannot be shaken. I know that god lives, I know that Jesus Christ is his son, and that he came to the earth to atone for our sins. I know that The church of Christ was restored thanks to the prophet Joseph Smith. I know it. I cannot deny it. I know the book of mormon is the word of God. That is the foundation of my testimony. I will never be able to deny the book of mormon. I have read it, it has answered my prayers and I love and cherish that book. Anyway, that is my testimony that will never be shaken.
This last week we had a training meeting in Ica which went really well. I learned lots and I just love to be with my leaders all the time. I learn lots of great things from them always.
So yeah a few days ago I met up with a missionary that was in my first area, sunampe chincha. I was in that area for 5 transfers which is a lot. it was my first area. Anyway, that missionary said that my converts are doing great! He told me that many of them are going to the temple this week that comes and that they are active. I maybe have had few converts in my mission but he made me so happy when he told me that the rojas family was going to the temple for the first time this week and that one of my other converts is the mission leader and another convert is the sister that cooks lunch for the missionaries every day. I was just so happy to hear all the good news about my converts. I also got a letter from the rojas family saying that they love me and are so happy for hearing the gospel and that they really have changed their lives. It just made me so happy!! I was thrilled and they are going to be waiting for us ( mom dad and I) in June whenever we go visit them. I just love that family to death.
But hey mom thanks for all of those pictures. Ill be honest, I have not been homesick like ever in my mission but when i saw those pictures like 10 minutes ago with all the family and all the grandkids in the family I just wanted to cry. I dont know why. I just miss the family and it looks like you all are having so much fun together which is incredible. I love you all so much. My family is everything to me and I am very proud of you all and for your examples. I love yall tons and definitely do miss you all a lot.
Oh so last week we went to the land of bones haha. We went to a graveyard and I am sending a few pictures, there are just lots of human bones there which was super weird. I took a human femur bone and took it to my room, I think its a good souvenier haha. Anyway it was fun, apparently these bones are from like a thousand years ago or something like that. it was an interesting experience. Its called chauchilla cementerio
This week we are going to ica again to have the multizone christmas conference which will be fun! Then we will go to the fowlers home on the 24 to watch a movie and eat dinner with them ( the married missionaries) they are incredible, they are like mentors for me. So those are the plans. I plan to give you a little call mom and dad on the 23rd for like 2 or 3 minutes then I will try to skype on the 25th. we will see what we can do. Anyway, hope all goes well! I love you all so much
(Four photos were added this week.)
Monday, December 9, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well whats to be said this week! First off, thanks for the package mom and dad. I am way excited to make swiss hot chocolate one of these days when there is time! I also do love the treasures chocolates! I just love chocolate what more can I say haha....
This week we went to Lima once more. We had the leaders meeting and it really wasnt what I was expecting. The month of november was pretty rough for the mission. we only have 90 baptism in the whole mission in the month of november which is like half of what we normally accomplish. So I was expecting the president to be rather upset with us. but he expressed his love for us and just tried to motivate us to give all that weve got. We read lots of scriptures that talk about what the lord wants from us as his servants. What the lord really wants is that we open the mouth and talk with everyone. President Douglas feels like we can do more to "hasten the work of salvation" as it says in dc 88 73. There is much more that we need to do. The work must be done better with the members. We are working hard to accomplish that.
We had a baptism this week! We have been working with this less active family for a long while now. The mom and the daughter are members but the dad and the other daughter are not. We have been visiting them a ton and we have reactivated the daughter, but the mom doesnt want to go back to church. The dad likes to drink and doesnt want to change but he knows that this is the true church. And this friday the other 13 year old daughter was baptized! It was a fun baptismal service as well. One of the best ones I have seen in my mission. The young women put together like a power point with songs and pictures and stuff. They also sang a special song, daughter of a king, in spanish. it was pretty good! I enjoyed it. She was then confirmed a member on sunday.
We also have a little guy that comes from a less active family that is going to church every week and he will be baptized this saturday that comes. We are happy. This week that we are starting is the last week of the transfer so who knows what will be coming up next week. I probably wont write next monday because of the transfers. Anyway we will see what happens! I love nasca and the people here. I have learned to just love unconditionally which is not always easy. I am just learning lots about being a leader. In these last few days we have had some pretty big problems with the boundaries that we have. There are 6 of us in the same branch and sometimes the missionaires think they can go wherever they want in the ward and its not always that way. As a leader I am learning to just take more control of everything. Sometimes I am like mom, the push-over. Sometimes I am just a weak leader but I have studying leadership a lot this week. I am learning how to correct better and how to take control. Its definitely hard to maintain lots of respect and love while correcting people. Its just interesting all that I am learning here in the zone.
All I can say is that I am excited to work. Its been a stressful week thats for sure with the baptism and with the difficulties we have had in the zone but we are going to have a much better week. Oh and christmas is like right around the corner. It looks like I will give you a call mom or dad on monday the 23rd i think. can you send me your number again? I dunno where its written down from last time. Then on the 25th we will skype if all turns out well, but i dont know where I will be here in a week.
My clothes mom are starting to get worn out. a few of my pants have ripped and ive gotten them sewed up. my shirts are way yellow but I have a few white ones. Ive got good socks still and my shoes are doing great. I think im doing alright with clothes and all that. I am going to start leaving stuff behind here shortly.
Love yall tons. I love this mission and this work. The work will go forth.
(Several photos were received this week which can be seen under the mission photos tab.)
Monday, December 2, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well another week has passed and now were are here in december. This week I was studying a lot in the book of mormon the message from the king benjamin. Wow I love that message. I love mosiah 2 to 5. Those are like some of my favorite chapters in the book of mormon and I read it again this past week and it really just called me to repentance. I love what it says in mosiah 2 about service. Then mosiah 3 talks about the atonement which I LOVE. i seriously just love to study the atonement of christ. Its super special for me. Then mosiah 4 is really what called me to repentance. I love what it says in verse 16 17 18 I think.... Sometimes I feel like I am very cheap and that I dont like helping other people. I feel very selfish sometimes and dont like to share. But when I read that chapter i just felt so guilty and so bad. I decided that I needed to repent. I dont know why, but for some reason I am just terrible at sharing money and things. But I decided that I need to improve. Its the covenant that I have to do so, to help those that are in need of help, clothe those that have nothing, and feed those that have nothing to eat. Its really my covenant, and I need to learn how to live the law of consecration because at some point in time I will need to do so. ANyway, those are just a few of my thoughts, and that is kinda what I have been thinking about this week. I also just want to serve more. I want to love others so much that I just love to serve them. mom and dad, you know how I am. I never did service. I never helped around in the house because I wanted to serve. and I feel bad for that. I never realized how much you all did for me without me doing hardly anything. I am going to improve a lot on that, thats for sure.
What more... This week and throughout my whole mission I have eaten this really yummy food but never really knew what it was. I found out recently that its kid, like a baby goat if im not mistaking, or maybe a little lamb. something like that.... but its so good, that meat is just super tender juicy and quite delicious. I love that stuff!
So this week we have been able to invite many people to be baptized with a baptismal date. Its been a great week! We have taught good lessons and have done a few division and had a few interchanges. Its just been a lot of work! We finished the week yesterday with 8 people with a baptismal date which is more than I have ever had i think. I am super excited. But wow sunday in the morning we started to call all the investigators. We talked to the majority of them and invited them to come to church and everyone said yes. but wow... it was a sad day. We only had 2 in the sacrament meeting. 2 showed up after the sacrament meeting and the rest.... well we dont know what happened. Its just super sad, we have no idea whats going on. The worst part is that the asistents get on to us for not having them all in church, but we gotta respect the agency of other people. Its tough, and very frustrating at times. But i just know that if we put into practice faith and hope, we will not be worried, but rather we will trust in the lord that something good is going to happen. We are going to have an excellent week and nothing is going to stop us! I love this work and the gospel. I have learned to just take the mission day by day. it doesnt matter when I am going to finish or what day of the week it is or when the transfer is, I just gotta work day by day and give it all that ive got!
So anyway, the other day we had to eat two lunches. it was just too much, but I love eating! We ate like this 2 pound chunk or pig, its called chicharron. Its way good stuff. its just like fried pig. I love eating just large portions of pig. delicious stuff. Anyway, then the fowlers, the adult missionaries, invited us to eat key lime pie which was a huge treat for me! its been 2 years without that stuff!
We are headed to lima here in an hour or two for the leaders meeting. So that will be another long trip there and back. It will give me time to reflexion and think a lot which is good.
I hope all is well in the states and in korea and all that. Sounds like thankgiving turned out well this week! I honestly didnt even remember this thursday until in the evening that it was thanksgiving because it doesnt exsist here. But oh well, we worked hard instead of celebrating! Anyway keep up the good work, please go out there are save and rescue those less actives. there are so many that just need an invitation to the church. this is the work of god, its his work, not mine, nor yours, its his work, and we are his soldiers. Have a great week!
Monday, November 26, 2013
Family and Friends,
Wow, what a week. I first off just want to thank you for what you have written me. It was great to hear all about whats going on! Sounds like the grandkids in the family are getting big and fun. I cannot believe sometimes that I have 5 nieces and nephews. its pretty crazy. It is also pretty crazy to see that I have friends in finland, malaysia, argentina, spain, and all over the world. It really tells me that stone is really being cut out of the mountain and going forth filling the whole world, as it says in the old testament.
This week we were priveledged to hear from elder rasband. We traveled as a zone to pisco to hear from him and from president douglas. It was a special meeting which I really enjoyed. Anyway, we talked a lot about patterns. Elder rasband said that the pattern of life is to pray always, read the scriptures daily, and attend church every sunday. That is one of the greatest and most powerful patterns to always stay firm in the gospel of christ. The other pattern that he mentioned was that after the mission us as returned missionaries need good friends in the church, a calling or responsibility in the church, and we need to always be fed by the good word of God. Those are the three things that need a convert, but he said that us as returned missionaries need that as well. I loved it. it was great!
Anyway what more.... Oh yeah so we have this huge focus right now in the mission in working with the less actives. Obviously we are not home teachers, but we need to help these less actives. In my ward, there are more than 950 members..... and only 150 active. Its incredible, 15 % are active. We find less actives every day walking in the street and president douglas has put the focus on working with them tons. We have had special experiences this week in working with less actives. I love less actives and We have many less actives with a goal to get to the temple and get sealed. I am super happy, and that happiness filles my eyes with tears sometimes. Its so incredible to work with less actives sometimes. I love it now more than before.
As missionaries we are told to baptize baptize and baptize, and of course its our purpose and the commandment that jesus gave to his disciples. So we are to do so, but at the same time there are hundreds of less actives here that need the gospel once again.
I would love to stay here in nasca until the end of my mission, but I feel like something very big is going to happen this transfer here in 3 weeks. I feel like its going to be something very special that will change my mission forever, but I dont know..... I just have fallen in love with nasca, the people here, the zone, and just being here. That is why i have learned to just give the work all that ive got. we are giving it all we have, I am trying to hard to pour out my heart to these people and serve them with all my heart. Its such a priveledge.
But wow there are many problems with the branch here, like the punctuality.... we start 15 minutes late each sunday, and we also only sing 2 sacrament hymns. I have been here for 4 months and i have sung 2 sacrament hymns no more! it kinda bothers me, and the people sing really... umm... well yeah you understand me.
Oh yeah... thanksgiving.... I havent even had time to remember that its this week... i honestly have completely forgot, because it doesnt exist here.....
but anyway, i love this work. I love the scriptures. the other day i took my scriptures in my hand and just felt this great love for the word of God in the scriptures. I love it. I love studying each day and I learn each day. I love prayer. I just love praying each day. And I love going to church. I love the sacrament, its so special for me. I love the patterns of life, praying, gooing to church and reading the scriptures. I love the pattern of faith, repentance, the sacrament and endure to the end. I just love it. I love this work and am so grateful for my many many blessings! thanks for you all and thanks for your prayers that are very much felt
Monday, November 18, 2013
Family and Friends,
Wow, what can I say? Thanks mom for all of the pictures, you sure seem to be doing lots of blogging, which I am sure is fun, but I sure hope your not using all of your time on that! Anyway, this past week has been a good one, its been a little rough but we were able to finish the week yesterday with a great day. We had 4 lessons with a member present and we found 4 new investigators, it was great!
I wanted to tell yall a bit about the multizone conference we had in ica the other day. It was great to be with president douglas with his wife and the assistants. It was very interesting because normally the president is all serious and gets up in our face and talks really strongly, but with lots of love. But this time he and his wife started to talk about how what they want most is that us as missionaries are converted to the gospel and to the lord. He talked lots about us, not about the investigators, but about us, and about what we need to do after the mission. It made me think a TON about who I am going to be after my mission, and what I am going to do. I put myself goals that I hope to accomplish after the mission to keep working for the lord. But I also started to think about a missionary that served here in nasca. I got to know him in december in chincha. Anyway, he finished his mission in january and then got married like 3 months ago, or like 7 months after his mission, to one of his converts here in nasca. he frequently comes here to nasca and we talk to him all the time. But anyway, we found out that his wife, the convert, is pregnant, and already has 5 months of pregnancy. That means that 4 months after his mission, this ex elder sinned, real bad. It just made me sad to hear all of this. Now he has so many problems and is actually slipping away from the church a bit, especially his wife. It just breaks my heart to see this happening. Its a kid that has less than 1 year off his mission and he is already way off the course. I think the president found out about that and for that reason h e talked to us about being converted. I was able to do a little self analysis which was good. I am excited to once again be a normal member one day. I would love to be a ward mission leader and to just work with the elders or sisters all day in the work of the lord. I know that I am weak with many things, I recognize my weaknesses, but I know that if i keep serving the lord with all my heart after the mission, I will not fall. I believe in that and I trust completely in the lord.
So yep, we are completely drowned in the work of the lord and I love it. Its been somewhat tough this week personally speaking, but that doesnt get me down. I just look forward to the future and try to give a good example always in all that I do. I love the scripture in alma 34 32 which says that this life is when men should prepare themselves to meet god one day. I love it. I really feel like I am preparing myself each day to meet god and I just am happy right now. Anyway, if there are any questions, ask me, I pretty much dont know what to say anymore!
So this wednesday we are headed to pisco to have a meeting with elder rasband!! I am super excited for that, its going to be way special!
I know this gospel is true and I want everyone to know it. I want to preach to the whole world, which is exactly what we are doing. I love the work of the lord!
(We've added seven more photos this week!)
Monday, November 11, 2013
Family and Friends,
November just keeps marching on. This week has been a good one. We were able to have a visit from one secretary and an assistant which really motivated us to keep working and we were able to put many people with a baptismal date and help them go to church. We are very happy for what is going on here in the zone but there is much more to do as always. We have great missionaries here in the zone and I am just happy to be here in nasca still. We just finished the first week of the transfer and have 5 more to go, there are transfers like 10 days before christmas which is way sad... but oh well.
This week I feel like I have faught against faith. I am just working harder and harder each day to truly believe in the divine power of god. I am trying so hard to just trust in his mighty power and that he will fulfil his promises. There are so many promises in the scriptures about the power of the prayer and things like if you keep my commandments, you will prosper in the land. So many times that promise is written and there are many other promises that really apply to missionary work. I love it. I love the scriptures and am loving them more and more each day as I study. There is definitely much to learn.
I have been able to think about pride as well. I have come to learn throughout my mission that all the companionship problems start because of pride. Its always the problem. My companion and I are doing great together but there are sometimes tight moments and instantly I recognize that the spirit is not with us and that there is pride in the room. Its incredible how notable the difference is. I have learned to recognize the spirit lots better and I know when it leaves and its always because of pride. We have put goals and plans to improve tons and we are excited to do so.
As for christmas mom and dad, I have no idea. There is hardly time to think anymore. As zone leaders we are always on the phone until 10 30 then there just isnt even time to write in the journal and think. But I am proud to say that I have a paragraph written in my journal for every single day of my mission. More than 500 days I have written in my jounal. anyway, talking about christmas, I dont think i need much to be honest. I will need lots after my mission, like clothes, shoes, and all that good stuff. But here we always have lots of food in the room and never there is time to eat it haha. Its funny, anyway, send me something small, something simple is all i need, until after the mission haha
Life is good here in the mission right now. We pass for real tough moments and lots of pressure and all that, but we are doing well. We have good missionaries and I love the zone. We have much to do this week and we are going to do it, starting today! Anyway have a great week and we will talk next week!
Monday, November 4, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well well well another week has passed by! Lets see on monday we went to lima, then tuesday we had the leaders meeting and then returned tuesday night and got here at like 12 at night. Then we woke up early and had a zone meeting and then worked all afternoon... that was a rough day thats for sure! Then on thursday we had a zone breakfast meeting which was awesome with the fowlers, the adult missionaries. It was great to be with the whole zone eating breakfast together and sharing testimonies of the two elders that were finishing their missions. Then we worked all afternoon. Friday two of my good buddies, two elders, finished their missions and went to lima so we stayed with their companions and worked all day. Then saturday we went to a little town and ate lunch with a family like an hour away which was fun, then worked all day. But then saturday at like 12 at night, once again.... we had to go to the bus station and receive a few missionaires. We got them and they slept in our room that night and then at 6 in the morning they left for marcona, about 1 hour south of here, and went to church. Its been a long week as far as the schedule goes!
Anyway, halloween was kinda fun, my area here in nasca is like the center of the city and there was like a tiny little parade of little kids with trucks driving by and tossing candy out of the car. It was fun to see little kids running around in costumes and all that. They actually went to stores to ask for candy, not to houses. A little different. And if the store didnt give candy they ran out and started chanting maldicion... which means curse. HAHA it was hilarious. Funny customs here in peru.
I took my companion to eat one night, it was good. We ate a pizza which is something that you dont see a lot around here! It was like super expensive, for peru at least, like 30 soles.... or like 12 bucks, for the two of us. But hey it was fun and it was nice to sit down and eat good. We get along great, elder vinces and I. We just like to work and we are always talking and trying to improve our area and the zone. I normally get along well with my companions, but at the beginning of my mission it was way tough at times!
As for the church here in nasca, its really not very established. The leaders sometimes dont know how to give a blessing or organize a meeting or anything, but we are working hard. The branch council is improving tons and are excited for that. I talk in church like every two months or so, here in this branch there are 6 missionaires so we dont talk much. I dont really play the piano, sometimes. but not much. I feel like I have kept up the little piano talent that I guess i had beforehand. As for finding people to teach... we normally try to work with the members to find people but we also talk to people in the street and just search through old investigators or contacts and everything really.
The work will go forth. I love the work. I love the fact that I am part of the fulfilling of the promise to abraham. I am an elder, called of god, to gather the house of israel once again. The prophets profecied about us and its incredible that we are really going to the extremes of the earth to gather isreal. How great it is! I love the work.
I also finished the book of mormon again! I finished today actually! I just love it, I know its true and I will never be able to deny my testimony of that book. I am so grateful for it because it brings a peaceful spirit in my life. I love you all and thank you all for all that you do. Keep up the good work and serve god always. I am excited to be a member after the mission and keep working the the work of the lord. It will be great. I feel very trained and I feel very blessed for all that I have been able to learn here in peru and especially here in nasca!
(Take a look at the two photos added this week.)
Monday, October 28, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
Well first off, happy birthday mom!! wohoooooo. my companion tells you happy birthday as well! (Personal birthday note sent separately.) And thanks for the little package, I was way excited to see a big bag of beef jerky and mangoes, that was fun! I also just did those little pumkins here in internet and I am going to put them in the room right now. Ill be honest, I completely forgot that it was halloween. Here in peru its somewhat celebrated, maybe with like parties and all that. But the little kids dont go out running at night asking for candy. Its too dangerous and its just not a tradition. people dont really share much or have much to give and its just not a holiday here really. But wow halloween is really here in like 3 days right? Also, Yeah here in peru they do celebrate the dia de los muertos which is the first of november. I have no idea why or what it means, I just know that everyone goes to the cemetery and visits all their family that has died.
So let see, this week has been good. Like always, we have been super busy and today we have to go to lima again for the leaders council. So I am short on time like always. But yeah so this last week we have really tried hard to work with the members. As many of you might know, we are really working on a program which is called hastening the work of salvation, or in spanish, apresurar la obra de salvacion. I love it, its like a huge program for how to work as members with missionaries. I have learned soooooo much in these last few months about how to work the work of the lord, as members and as missionaires. We have worked hard this week with the members so that they can protect their organizations and can help others come unto christ. Here in nasca the church is very young. The church is not very established and there are so many things that need to be done. Even the leaders many times dont do like anything to help their organizations. But we have worked with them and we were able to have many many people in the branch council which is great improvement. But one thing that really bothers me here is that there is no communication. Nobody uses email and there are many people that dont have cell phones. People arrive late to meetings and dont hear the announcements and its just hard to communicate things here. The activities are not well announced and nobody goes and there is just much to be done. We are trying to be good communicators, working with every leader. for lack of communication there are so many less actives here in nasca and in peru in general. There just is not communication but we are trying really hard to reactivate families and help them remember their covenants. Anyway there are many things which we are doing, like tons of things! We are excited. I love being here in this little district because the church is young and there is much to do! I love it, we are just trying hard to improve more and more each day.
personally speaking, I feel like I am just always short on time. I feel like I am always looking at my watch and just always worried about time. All day every day, from morning to night I am just worried about time. We are always late and never have time to do anything. There literally are just not enough hours in the day. but that is something I want to change, i want to be more calm and less in a hurry all day. It bothers me and sometimes it bothers other people. Anyway, its just one little thing that I have noticed this week. But at the same time I feel like I am dedicated, I am working hard every day until 10 30 at night we are on the phone, writing informes and all sorts of stuff. I just love the work, there is always lots to be done.
Anyway what more? we have good investigators and are excited to keep working with them. I just want to baptize to be honest. Its been like 3 weeks without baptizing and we dont have anyone for the next few weeks but I am just anxious to baptize people, because I see how they change their lives. The other day one of our converts blessed the sacrament with his tie and white shirt which was super special for me. He messed up the first 2 times but then got it down, I am just super happy for him!
Anyway I love you all and thanks for all you do!
Oh so last week we went to zarahemla in the book of mormon. It was great! its called cahuachi or something like that. Its a sweet place and we took good pictures. But anyway we are headed to lima and i have no time to upload pictures today! But it was a fun adventure!
Monday, October 21, 2013
Family and Friends,
What can I say about this week? Its been a good one, we have worked hard, but its been tough at the same time. We have been working with this couple for a long time now and things just seem to get worse. They are now talked to attorneys and are getting the police and government involved in their problems which is causing me a lot of stress. I love elvis and jenny. They have 3 little kids and we can see that they are suffering without their father at home. The mom is working all day and the dad is not living there anymore and the kids stay with another person all day. It seems like they are not eating very well and are not getting out to play and run around. Its quite sad. I love this family to death and they are just suffering. Its really hard to see. The dad, elvis, went to church this week but jenny didnt because she started to work because elvis isnt giving her money. Its just a rough situation and its made me ponder lots about the family that I want to have. It seems like elvis is putting his friends first and not his wife. He loves his kids and wants the best for his kids but he is just a bit crazy to be honest. He is trying to change but he doesnt think before he acts and it causing a lot of problems. Jenny isnt doing anything to try and fix the situation. She is just waiting for elvis to change so that things can get better. I frankly am out of ideas to help them. We cant ever get them together anymore to talk and we just are seeing a family fall apart. I have the faith that they will get back together but there are just so many walls to get over before thats going to happen. We have spent lots of time helping that family and thats about it.
We also had time to go to a little village kinda far away. Its got old adobe houses from the 40s there that are like falling apart but its way cool to see them. They are big ole houses but have holes in them and are just falling apart. Interesting stuff. But we found a less active member there and are going to help them a bit.
So let see, what more can be said. Ill be honest its been a tough week and I feel like I just need to pray. Im passing for a few personal trials inside of myself about who I am and what kind of leader I aspire to be. I realize that I am lacking lots to improve. I just want to change and be so much better. but I feel like my time is running short. There is never time, I want to change so much and I hope to just become the leader that I have always wanted to be here in the mission. I want to improve so many things and for that reason I am writing down my goals and my plans to accomplish it all. So yep, thats where I am at right now. I just am looking to be better.
I love this time that I have as a missionary. I love nasca and the people. I love my companion and my zone. Its great to be here and I love having the sister missionaries here. I learn each day from them. I am just going to work harder each and every day. I love this work and know its true. I have seen lives change and we are seeing real growth here in nasca. its good stuff
Hey i love you all tremendously, thanks for everything. I am who I am because you, family. thanks, I am eternally grateful for the examples which you all have given me.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Family and Friends,
That was weird, i just read a letter from Aaron fife, who is no longer a missionary. How weird is that, but congratulations my friend for serving an honorable full time mission. That must be a crazy experience to finish. As for me, well things are going well. We had a very beautiful baptism this week. Diego was baptized and it was a very special experience for me. It was actually quite spiritual. I baptized him and then came out of the water. He went into the bathroom to change and I just stood there by myself in silence looking at the mirror. Maybe I have struggled lots in my life with certain things. Maybe I have made lots of errors, im not perfect. But as I looked in that mirror I felt that God was pleased with me. it was a very spiritual and special moment. I saw myself without my name tag, completely wet and in white. I started to tear up, it was special. I felt the love of god in that moment and I felt like he was satisfied and pleased with me. That is definitely no excuse to relax and not work, there is much to be done. but that moment really made me feel like a special son of god, and a servant of the lord.
other than the baptism this week its been tough with a few investigators. We have been teaching this young couple and they were excited to get married and baptized but they got in a fight and separated. Its so sad. They just cant stand each other. We had like a marriage council lesson for like an hour and 15 minutes in their house with them two saturday in the morning. it was great, we got them to talk to each other without attacking and all that, it was super good! But then we left them alone. We got a call from the man later that day saying that things got worse and they separated again. I dunno what to do. We are doing all that we can but we feel like they are set on being separated. We will keep working with each of them to see what happens this week!
I was thinking a lot this week in the gospel principles class in church about the members. I was thinking about the tons of members that live here. There are many members, but like 70 percent are less active. And of the active members, there are very few sealed families. That just makes me sad. The class this sunday was on the eternal marriage and it was sad to see that pretty much nobody in that class is married. Everyone is single with kids. The family just suffers here. There are so many families of kids with one parent and things like that that just break my heart because if they never get sealed they will never be able to be gods as we already know. Anyway, I was just thinking a ton about that.
I had an interview with the president this week which was great. He talked to me about the family and how really my mission is going by quickly. My mission president, president douglas, is a real servant of the lord. He is powerful and special. He has changed my life. I sure hope I get to work with him more in the mission. But wow he is going to be a part of my life forever. I love president. But he said that he wants to get to know you two mom and dad whenever I finish my mission. He is excited to get to know you all here in may or june when I finish. I still dont know what day is my last but thats not important right now. It will either be like the 27th of may or the 3rd or june, something like that. Anyway, president also promised me that we are going to play tennis one day. He doesnt know when, but when I am in lima we will go play tennis one day which will make me so happy!
So anyway, the work of salvation will go forth. I love the work and am just giving it all that I have. I was thinking lots about how I am going to serve in the work of the lord after the mission. I know that I am weak and make errors and to stay firm in the gospel I know that i must work hard after. I hope to help many people even after my mission. that is really the desire of my heart.
Anyway, I dunno what else to say. I love you all tons. Its great to be here in the mission. I love it, we are super excited to get to work this week because there are many prepared people here in nasca that we must find!
Thanks for everything,
I love you all tons!
Mom and dad, I wanted to ask you if you could buy me a new set of scriptures. a quadruple. I want to start with zero when I come home from the mission with new scriptures and all. Of course in english haha.
(Six photos were added this week.)
Monday, October 7, 2013
Family and Friends,
Wow this week FLEW. We really didnt have much time last week to work which was really sad because we had to go to lima for the leaders meeting and then we had like 2 days to work and then general conference, it just seemed so fast! and now I am here once again in internet.
So anyway, I loved general conference. It wasnt all that I was waiting for, but as I ponder and think about it all I really just felt like there were many talkes about love. I realized this weekend that sometimes I dont love people like i should. I must have charity, the pure love of christ and just learn to love people unconditionally. That is what i strive for. more love, more charity, and more compassion. I liked what I heard in one message. Someone said that if we ask God for compassion, it will be given to us. I hope to become more compasionate, more loving, and that with that love I can transforme it into work and do more for the people here peru.
As far as sister hill mom.... its one of two things. i know like all the sister in the mission and have never gotten to know a sister hill, but there is a sister shill here in the mission right now.. but I really dont have a clue beyond that.
But it sounds good that you got released and that you are going to have a bit more time to do lots of good stuff! But wow today I got a letter from aaron saying that its his last week. Actually, he will be in the plane returning tomorrow or today, which blows my mind. I remember the day before he entered into the mtc two years ago when I was with him. It was a sad parting, but its incredible to see that he has finished his two years of service to the lord. Before I know it, I will be reunited with him and I will be able to apply the scripture in alma 17 2 and 3. I love that scripture, when alma reunites with the sons of mosiah and he finds that they had read the scriptures, fasted and prayed and had grown strong in their testimony and in the spirit. Its such a powerful scripture and I know that I will be in the same footsteps as alma when I finish and when I get together with all of you, family and Friends. i hope to find each and every one of you strengthened through much prayer and fasting, and study of the scriptures. I pray that every one of you keep working diligently and obediently to whiten your sins through the atoning power of christ through repentance. I know its possible. I dont have a doubt about it.
As for us here in nasca, all is going well. Well ok to be honest we are passing for tough times because we have had such short time to work this week, but we are going to work super hard this week to find new investigators and to put everyone with a baptismal date. We have one person that is going to be baptized this saturday. Hes just such a sensitive 16 year old kid. He is incredible and loves going to the sacrament meeting. He is super repentant and is ready for this saturday, and I am excited for the opportunity to baptize him as well! We are also helping a couple to get married and baptized real soon but it seems like the man cheated on his girlfriend which is super tough. They have 3 kids together and live together, so its like they are married, but they just suffer a bit. They want to change their character and everything but they are suffering to do so. We have talked lots about the atonement and about repentance but it seems to be difficult. they have gone to church now 5 weeks in a row which is incredible but there is still much to be done and much repentance is needed before they get baptized.
What more... oh yeah the sisters had an emergency transfer today in the morning which was super sad for them. I just love the sister missionaries and they always help me and motivate me but wow it can be super stressful working with them sometimes. Anyway, I am learning patience but I love those sisters and its sad that that trio was separated today.
Ill be honest, this last conference got me thinking a ton about what kind of person I will be after my mission. I see lots of less active returned missionaries here in nasca and in peru. It just blows my mind, it tears me apart and makes me sad. I hate to see it, especially if they are breaking serious commandments. I was just thinking lots about what I need to do after the mission to stay strong and firm. I think the key for me personally is service. I always need to be in the service of god and in the service of others and I know that I will be protected if I am constantly in the work of the lord.
Anyway, there are many changes going on in the mission, lots of great stuff. We are working harder and harder to work more efficiently here with the members. The church is still not very established here in nasca and I love how many times it says in the scriptures that missionaries are to establish the church. That is what we are to do and we must me good professional leaders and if we are, we will be able to help the branch realize their responsibilities as members of the true church of God. Im excited to get to work and Im going to give it all ive got thats for sure! keep up all the great work!
Monday, September 30, 2013
Family and Friends,
So here I am once again in internet writing you all. I feel like I was here 2 days ago... this last week has flown by! Anyway, this past week was one of the craziest of my mission up to this point. It just seemed so rediculously crazy! First off, we had transfers last week which threw a curve ball on everything. Then the sister missionaries were getting a couple married which was great. But wow the husband was not sure about the married two days before hand. I talked with him and had a few interviews with him which were super spiritual for me and it was incredible. We talked a lot with him and eventualy we got him to realize that he needs to get married. We found some clothes in our room and I gave him an old suit, some pants, a white shirt and a tie and belt and he decided to get married. He passed his baptismal interview along with his wife and they both decided to get married. Then friday morning they showed up at the government building and got married. It was just a super duper stressful process especially working with the sister missionaries. I love those sisters to death but sometimes they can get mad and thats never a fun sight for us, being their leaders. But they got married and then at night there was a fun little reception for them in the church. It was super awkward at first when nobody was there but finally people arrived and people started dancing. It was rather fun. I enjoyed it, but Ill be honest, I wanted to dance... and so did my companion. Anyyyywayyy the next day I was priviledged to baptize them which was a super special experience. Its a great little family and I am happy to see them progress. They are going to be great leaders if they keep going at this rate.
So let see, my new companion is from ecuador, hes way cool. We have spent lots of time laughing and talking, we get along great and sometimes I think we get along too well. We are enjoying the mission lots but at the same time we are working hard. we are really trying tons to improve. Right now we have 3 with a baptismal date, 2 of which is a couple that is super special to me. Jenny and Elvis are their names. They are like the best. They have now gone to church 4 times in a row and have a testimony of the book of mormon and joseph smith. They are super incredible. they have 3 little kids that I just love to death and they love going to church as well. They are also super excited for their parents to get married and baptized this month! I am as well. Its going to be incredible!
Oh so about that earthquake. It was a 7. It was pretty strong and if it would have lasted like 30 seconds more, buildings would have been destroyed. It was fairly strong and wobbled the whole ground under my feet. crazy experience thats for sure.
Oh yeah... so this sunday we ate lunch with this awesome family that got baptized like a year ago. But when we went to their house we saw a person that we both new beforehand. It was a missionary that finished his mission like at the beginning of this year. We then found out that this missionary one year ago baptized this family, a mom and two kids, then after his mission he met up with the girl that he baptized in lima and they got married. How crazy.... elder castillo... or jorge now, got married with his convert. That opens up the door for a lot of questions doesnt it? and he is from Nicaragua. anyway, it was crazy seeing him again after almost a year, but now married.... with his convert.... anyway it was fun to talk to him at least.
So anyway i dunno what more to say. the zone is doing well and I am just loving it here in nasca. I really do love it. were headed to lima today for the leaders conference meeting and will be getting back wednesday at like 2 in the morning or so. good stuff!! I love you all tons and hope that all is well. write me!
(There are a LOT of new photos added this week!)
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Family and Friends,
Wow what to say this week? so lets see, this last week was a bit tough, but we had a baptism! It was super special. It was this 87 year old man that hardly hears and is blind. But he always goes to church. It was a super special baptism. the district president baptized him. I was just thinking a lot about him and about his life. He has lived for 87 years and had done many things in his life. But we were able to talk to him about the importance of baptism and how it washes away sins and how in that moment when he was baptized, he left 87 years of sins there in the water. He was reborn, and he came out of the water with a smile on his face. It was just special and he is clean like a little baby once again. how special is baptism. It just made me really happy to see an old man coming out of the water with a smile on his face, clean and pure like a little child. it was a special moment for me.
So there were transfers this week. My companion, elder Galindo, left for ica. I got a new companion, elder Vinces. Hes a great elder, always happy and just likes to work. He is always obedient as well. I am excited to be with him and I know that we are going to accomplish lots of great things.
I really didnt think about what I wanted to write, But I was thinking about a very special experience that we had on sunday. It was super awesome. We are teaching a 16 year old kid that is super awesome. He is very spiritual and like all of his cousins and uncles are members but his dad doesnt like the church at all and they always get into fights. ANyway, we went to visit him and he wasnt there, but his dad answers and we were able to sit down and talk with him. At first he started to attack us a bit and he said he wasnt happy with anything of this. Then we started to talk to him about repentance and that our purpose is help others to come unto christ. we explained real well everything that we do and then he started to express himself a bit more and his desire to help his kid change. We talked with him for a while and gained his trust. After a while he decided that he liked what we were teaching his kid. He said wow this really is going to help him change and I sure hope that you can just give him time to change and to get his life in order before he gets baptized. We talked to him for a while about that when his son, our investigator, walked in the house. The son felt the spirit and started to talkto his dad and ask him for forgiveness for the things that he has done. he started to cry and just confess everything and really wanted to fix everything. he sat next to his dad and started to cry. he gave him a hug and his dad started to cry and he forgave him for his errors. It was just a very speical moment and it was a very good sign of his repentance. i know that he is changing and that he is repenting as he does so. that was just one sign of the power of the gospel and the spirit. The spirit changed the heart of the dad and softened the heart of the son and they were touched. I loved that experience. The son is preparing to be baptized this 12th of october and i know that he will be ready by that day.
I like what you have to talk about mom about the armor of God. That made me think of that same kid that we are teaching. We talked to him about the law of chastity and about the word of wisdom and other commandments. he said that it was kinda tough for him to change a few things in his life. But then he came out and said that he feels like the spirit is helping him to overcome the difficulties. He feels like the constant prayer is helping him to be strong and to resist the temptations. I feel like he is putting on the armor of god as he prays and receives help from the spirit. Thats maybe a good analogy that you can use mom.
WOW! There was just this super strong earthquake! We all ran outside and the buildings were shaking and the light posts were shaking and people were screaming and stuff in the streets! It wasnt that bad, it was pretty fun for me, but wow people were freaking out, cars went crazy and everything! Nothing actually fell, some parts of adobe houses maybe fell but it wasnt bad at all. But wow it shook pretty well! It felt super weird under my feet! Anyway the light went out for a while but now its back and I am here to finish my time here in internet. but that was interesting!
So these last few days or maybe weeks we have been working really hard with the sister missionaries here. As zone leaders, we gotta protect the sisters a lot. they are very special to me and are incredible missionaries, but they are also very sensitive. They are discouraged easily and cry very easily but we are always there to comfort them and be there to guide them. its a bit stressful sometimes working with the sisters but i love it. I am learning so much from them every day.
Anyway lots of stuff is going on. The sisters have investigators that are supposed to get married and baptized this week but I talked with the guy and he said hes not sure if he loves his wife but doesnt want to leave her so hes not sure if hes going to get married this friday or no and all sorts of similar stuff is going on. Its complicated, but were just going to get to work and get lots of good stuff done! I love yall and hope all is well!
(See six photos added this week.)
Note from Sharon: According to internet sources, there was a 6.9 magnitude earthquake at 11:42 a.m. today some 50+ miles south of Nazca.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Family and Friends,
Wow, its been incredible this week. But lets start off from the beginning. So this tuesday I had to go to lima, which is like an 8 hour journey... Then I was there on wednesday to go with my companions to immigrations. then they headed back to nazca and I stayed with the office missionaries and went back to immigrations all day thursday to reactivate my stuff. Then I traveled from lima to ica thursday afternoon and slept there with a few elders in their room. Then friday in the morning we had a multizone conference with nasca and Ica which was great. Then finally I made it back to nasca on friday night. But then we had a couple of incredible days on saturday and sunday. We were extremely blessed and we are being blessed tons right now. We had 8 investigators in the church this week which was incredible! But the funny part was that it was a regional conference. It was a two hour conference and we heard live elder bednar and elder scott. It was incredible! But it started and it was in english... everyone started to freak out and then the district president asked me to translate for everyone. It was way tough because they talk fast and I didnt have time to listen then talk listen then talk. But I did my best for a handful of minutes. I translated a part of a message and then they switched it back to spanish which was a relief. I dont know how to translate well, but hey I tried and I did it. ANyway, elder bednar talked about repentance which was incredible, it was powerful! Then elder scott talked about women, the chastity and the importance of the women and their bodies and all that. He also talked about pornography and it was also a very powerful message. The 8 investigators loved it, it was powerful and the messages were incredible.
We have one man thats going to get baptized this saturday. He is the dad of a very faithful member. She has been bringing her dad to church for a long time but never got baptized. He is 87 years old and is blind and doesnt hear well. He is pretty much like a little child. But the president said that he should be baptized. We have briefly gone over the lessons and things and he is going to keep coming to church and he decided to get baptized this saturday. He is 87 and very very old but its incredible. He is going to get baptized and wash away all of his sins that he has commited for 87 years. He is so innocent and just a happy little man. I am excited for him thats for sure!
Lets see, The blessings are coming. I realize that the lord is blessing the whole zone right now. Its been incredible these past two weeks. People have fallen from the heavens and we are just being instruments in the hands of god and I love it. There is still much room to improve but I know that the lord is with us and is guiding us to find his prepared children. I just feel so blessed. I think that many times in my mission I forget to count my blessings. I know that I have been very blessed with an incredible family, with a good functioning body and good health, with great companions, incredible members, good investigators and just everything. there is no room to complain. I love the work of the lord and yes its way hot here and its difficult, but we are happy being servants of the lord.
This past week we went to an old cemetery out in the middle of nowhere which was super fun. We took a few good pictures of the zone. Im sending a few. I also am sending a picture that I took which I was in lima in front of a big ole statue, that was cool as well...
I love yall tons and sounds like you had fun in china the last few weeks! I sure do love eating strange food but have not done so much in these days. I hpe all is well in the states and in korea. keep up the good work! it was great to hear from you all this week steph, bobby and jill! thanks!!
(More photos added this week.)
Monday, September 9, 2013
Family and Friends,
First off, I got a package from the dunkleys with 50 ties, which was like super awesome, thanks so much! I am not going to use them as my mom told me, in fact I am already sending them to members that I know and many of my converts in other areas. thanks so much! that was super fun for me. I was also thinking lots about how dad is now a district president which is a huge responsibility. I am happy for him and I know he will be a great leader. He always has been a great leader and has always given a good example. And its really super cool how he will be able to release me as a missionary, thats going to be a super awesome experience.
So anyway, This past week we went to lima for the leaders meeting. It was like a 8 hour bus ride there, we spent the night in a room with other missionaries, then had the meeting tuesday in the morning. It was a powerful meeting and we talked a lot about repentance and how we need to repent but also about how we can help the investigators repent better. So then we went home. We traveled on buses all afternoon and evening. We got back to our room at 2 in the morning and slept until like 10 in the morning which was nice. But wow, this week has been one of the hardest in my whole mission. We just went searching for people all day every day and nothing. it was the worst week of my mission if we are to talk about the key indicators. it was just so hard. and its been this way for a month now! 4 weeks we have suffered together here in nasca. But to be brief, the miracles came. We went to church and it was a miracle because 6 investigators went to church. 6!! ok its not tons, but for how well we have been doing here, its awesome! then anyway to be short we talked to two of them that are getting ready to get married and baptized. They are old investigators that I have not taught, but they came to church and said that they are about ready to get married and then afterwards they want to get baptized, how crazy!! Then we talked to a lady in church with her really old dad. We thought that the dad was already a member but the lady came to us and said hey I want you guys to prepare my dad to be baptized!! it was awesome! He said "prepare me to be baptized please" which was incredible. He goes to church every week and we didnt even know that he wasnt a member. Then we had another lesson at night with a cousin of a member and he said that he wants to get baptized as well. The miracles have come, and they all came in one moment. It was just incredible and I am super grateful for what my father in heaven is doing for us and for his children here in nasca.
So on like wednesday at night we were just a little down because the week was going bad and we just hadnt accomplished much. It was just a super hard week and its been the longest and most difficult trial of my faith. But then I got a call from President Douglas. He talked to me in english and he said some of the most inspiring stuff ever. He burned me pretty well, but then lifted me up. It was very special. He said that I just need more faith. I am obedient and i am working hard but I just lack faith. faith that I will find the prepared people. I have really tried to put into practice the faith and that is when those miracles came on sunday. it was a very special experience and there is much to be done this week that comes.
But looks like I have to go to lima again to reactivate my id card which is annoying. I am going to lose three days of work going there and coming back, but oh well, my companion will do good work here with other missionaries while I head up to lima with their companions.
Anyway, I feel like I have passed the biggest trial of my faith in these days and now I just feel super duper blessed for all the incredible blessings which the lord is pouring out upon us. Now we just need to keep working hard with faith, patience, and humility and I know that we will be able to help many people come unto christ. I love this work with all my heart. I love love love it and I know that the lord is happy with the work that i am doing here in nasca. I love it so much. I also love you all tons and cannot express it through an email. Anyway, keep up the good work, let me know how things are going, and oh yeah by the way we are headed to a cemetery with mummies here today!
Monday, September 2, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well what can I say? This week has been a tough one. Elder Galindo and I have really been passing for the biggest trial of patience, faith, diligence, and obedience ever. I think this is the biggest trial of my mission to this point as far as success in the work goes. We have been working way hard to just work with the members, and to find prepared investigators. We have done it all. We are talking with people in the street, knocking on doors, and asking for references from everyone. And we are constantly finding new investigators, but not any of them have desires to progress. Its been the biggest trial of my mission here in nasca. But I studied the attributes of christ with my companion this past week and we talked for a long while about the patience and hope and all that. We came to the conclusion that we just need to look at this trial as an opportunity to learn and develop lots of christlike attributes. Its interesting because that really changed my attitude. I was a bit frustrated and sad with everything, but then we talked about it like that and it just got me excited to learn lots of good new stuff. We are really just trying to be more diligent, more obedient, more faithful, and more patient. I know the lord will bless us if we are just faithful and if we dont complain.
But wow it seems like the people here in nasca are just a little harder hearted. its very touristy here and lots of people have money and its hard to get to the hearts of the poeple here. But I have a story for yall. So this last week we found a person knocking on doors that let us in. He is like 22 years old and started telling us about his family and stuff. He lives alone but he said that his last name is tarqui. then we asked if he was related to a man in our branch that is president tarqui. he said "i think so" he said that he has half brothers that he doesnt know. Sure enough, after a few days and a little bit of coordinating, we were able to unite two brothers that never knew each other. They are half brothers, but it was a special experience to be able to unite family that didnt know each other. I sure hope that he progresses in the gospel and will be able to come to church with his half brother. That was just a special experience this week.
As far as my branch goes, there are actually lots of members. It used to be two weak little branches, but they have been united and now there are 135 members asisting which is great! But there are 7 missionaries in the branch, so our area is only a third of the branch and we cant visit the other members in the other areas. In our branch there are 4 elders and 3 sisters. and so thats just the branch. In the district, there are only 3 branches, and in total 11 missionaries, 7 in my branch, two in the other, and two in marcona, the other. The other two branches have like 100 people asisting more or less, im not sure. Marcona is like an hour away in a bus which makes for lots of problems, but yep, thats the district. Its super small the district, but its good. We do have a member here who washes our clothes which is great, and the same member cooks us food each day. I actually really love being here in the desert. yeah my face is full of dirt every night because there is just so much dirt in the air, but I love it. during the day the sun just burns here but i like it. In lima it was just sad and rainy all day and I hated the mud and the wetness. here it doesnt rain ever and the sun just fills me up with energy.
As far as the work goes, well there is lots to do, but we are walked like 10 miles a day right now just searching for people to teach. We have very few investigators but are constantly talking withpeople and visiting members to help us with the work. But im short on time today because now we are headed 8 hours in a bus to lima for the leaders conference meeting. Its gonna be a heck of an opportunity to sleep because im wiped out. So we are headed to lima today and then tomorrow we have the meeting and at night we are headed home in the bus. its gonna be a long few days but im excited. I love seeing the president and working with him.
Anyway, dad congrats on being district president. That is super awesome and I love working with the district president here in nasca. Its a huge responsibility. but thats also super cool that you can release me as a missionary! thats awesome and I am excited but wow I have lots of work to do before that day comes!
Oh before i finish.... President douglas visited a place here in nasca which is like ruins and stuff and he felt super strong in his heart that its zarahemla from the book of mormon. He is super excited and apparently if everything goes well, Elder Bednar is going to come here and visit it and receive revelation to know if it was zarahemla! He is going to visit nasca! ELDER BEDNAR! nasca is like a tiny little city and I am super hoping that he comes to my zone and visits and talks to us and everything. If all goes well, he will come in november, and I will for sure still be here, and i will maybe have personal contact with him, AGAIN! I am super excited. But how awesome? I want to go visit the ruins in a few weeks and see what zarahemla really looks like haha! I am super excited for that, but I will let you know, nothing is for sure yet....
Love yall tons, keep up the good work,
Monday, August 26, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well what to say!? First off, last week we went to see the nazca lines which was super cool? Ill be honest, it wasnt exactly what I was thinking but it was still super sweet. As you might know, there are like 14 different figures or lines and they are scattered throughout nazca. The majority of them you can only see going past them in a plane but there are two that we got see this last monday. We went up in a little tower and got to see the hands and the tree lines. They are pretty interesting huh? straight lines and very well done by the incas like thousands of years ago. Quite interesting. Illsend a few picture if i can. I loved it.
Anyway, so before I talk about missionary work I wanted to talk about all the sweet things that there are here in nazca. Here one of like the biggest things there is is the cerro blanco, which means white hill. Its the biggest sand dune in the world... or so they say here in nazca. Its like super duper huge and we see it all day. Its like a huge tourist attraction and everyone goes there to sandboard which is super cool. I really would love to go there and sandboard but its prohibided as missionaries... but I learned lots about it and definitely want to return, rent a dune buggy, take it up el cerro blanco, and go sandboarding down. how awesome.
One other thing that happened this week... well lets just say that the construction here is not as updated as it is in the states and i dont know if i have told you this but in many places here in peru you are not allowed to put paper in the toilet... and anyway we had a huge problem here in our house. the pipes got clogged and sewage started to come up out of the ground and it was just a disaster... luckily we got everything cleaned up and paid a dude to fix it but I am pretty sure it was like the grossest stuff I have had to deal with for a long time....
Now to the missionary work... so this week we had a multizone conference with president and it was so inspiring. I dont even want to talk about it. it was so special and it just made me tear up. I loved it. it inspired me to just do more, work harder, and give all that I ve got. These last two months or so I have really been the most diligent and the most obedient I have ever been in the mission. But I am also passing for the biggest difficulties in the mission right now. We are contacting lots of people, working with the members and doing all that we can but it was just difficult... we had 8 investigators promised to go to church and nobody went. we are really doing all that we can and are being obedient, but we are also being tried as we do so. Its super easy to just complain and give up but we are not going to do that. That is a lack of faith. we are men of faith and are going to keep working until our heart dies on us. That is what we have to do. I am learning lots of patience, diligence, but also humility. we must be humble if we are ever going to accomplish anything.
So to finish I wanted to talk about the couple that are here with us. They are the fowlers. they are like 62 years old and they are incredible. I love having them here in our zone. Elder fowler knows spanish pretty well but sister fowler has a long way to go, but does understand a bit. We have been working hard with them so that they know what to do and so they have a few families that they can visit. They are going to work mainly with the members. They are going to be here in nazca for 2 years on their mission so they are a part of the branch and part of the district. We were able to have a lesson with them and it was super special. I looked at elder fowler and I just saw my dad, I heard my dad, and I felt the presence of dad. It was a special moment for me. elder fowler is a very special elder that has been in the 70 and has been in stake presidencies and many callings. he is very smart and just reminds me of you dad. I have thought a lot about you mom and dad and how you two will make a powerful companionship whenever you get to go on the mission. I love you tons and hope all is well.
(Go to the mission photos tab to see a bunch of photos which Michael sent of the Nazca area.)
Monday, August 19, 2013
Family and Friends,
Its super cool being here in nasca. We spell nasca with a s instead of z because "nazca" in spanish means land of destruction, or something like that. So they changed the name of nazca to nasca, but many people still spell it with a z. Anyway, this week has been a difficult one, but at the same time its been great. I have gotten to know many members here in the area. I love the area and I love being here, it really is just super awesome. The bad part is that we are having to start from zero. We dont have lots of investigators and the few that we had we had to drop because of many reasons. There is much work to be done and as leaders we want to give a good example. I am just praying and hoping and trusting in the lord that we will have a great week and that we will be able to do all that we possibly can to give more to the lord.
Today in the afternoon we are going to visit the nazca lines which is super exciting. I heard about the nazca lines as a teenager and I always thought it would be cool to visit and now I finally have the chance. We cant go in a plane or helicopter to see them all, but we are going to visit two of them. We are going to go in this little tower and see them from there. Unfortunately we are not able to visit the other lines, because there are many! After the mission I will have to return and go in a plane to see them all!
So as far as the work goes, like I said there is much to be done. But I have a story. This week we found a family that was asisting church a while ago and were about to get baptized but didnt because they found out that we believe that jehova is jesus christ. they flipped out and never went back to church. We had a lesson the other day about jehova. I thought it wasnt going to work. We had planned to share a few scriptures in the bible that say that jehova is our savior and redeemer and then others that say that he will come to earth and suffer for us and wont open his mouth and things like that. We planned lots of great scriptures. We got there in the lesson and started to share all the scriptures. I thought that bible bashing and convincing never worked, but it worked. They believed us. After like a year of not going to church for that one reason, they understood us and believed us. It was powerful. The spirit was there and testified to them as we were convincing them with the bible, that it was all truth! It was incredible. We still have lots of work to do with them so that they can progress and we will see if they want to return to church and all that but we will see this week! I am just shocked that bible bashing worked, and that they believed and were convinced. It made me super happy.
I actually learned tons as I was studying to help them. I learned lots about the godhead and about the bible and how god works. It was quite interesting and I learned tons of great things!
As far as my studies go, I decided to read preach my gospel word for word. I love it. I dont know what it is, I have read it all before but i am learning tons as I read it all again and I am learning lots of great things. I am also memorizing 2 nephi 31because its a challenge that the president gave us of course in spanish and I almost have it all down. Its a great chapter about the doctrine of christ and I am loving it.
Oh so this week there is a couple coming to nazca. A couple of missionaries. I dont know them but they are going to work here with us in nazca and I get to be there zone leader for now. We are going to help them move into their house and get used to everything. They are white people and I dunno if they know spanish but we will work tons with them. They are going to serve their mission here in nazca the whole time. They will be here for like a year and a half so they have lots of stuff and we are going to help them move in. I will let you know more about that next week!
I dunno what else to say. I also was thinking lots about mosiah 3 19, one of the best scriptures. I notice when i am putting off the natural man and when I am not. I know that I am a weak man. I am tempted and I am weak and i notice when the natural man is running me. But I also know when I am putting off the natural man and its something incredible thats going on. I realize my defects and my weaknesses but I am learning to put off the natural man which is something super special for me. I love the mission because its changing who i am. I also love being in the service of other people, because I know that I am in the service of my God. Its wonderful. I love the work and want to say that the mission will never end because i am learning tons. Anyway, my thoughts are super scattered today because I am focused tons right now on the work and not on the email. But anyway, I love you all tons and really hope that all is well. ask me questions because I dont know what to write in these emails! tell everyone hi for me... I love seeing pictures! work hard, be obedient
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Family and Friends,
Wow there is lots to be said. This past week was good stuff. I have no idea where to start. Ok so last week we decided to clean lots of the house and you know what? We came to realize that the whole house, like on the outside, is covered in mold!! Its horrible. Its been raining so much there in villa and it just turned the house into mold. Luckily its not our house and we are not responsible for it, we just have a little room in the house. But we decided to just fill up a spray bottle with clorox and we went to town on the mold, just killing it all. the clorox got to me a little bit but thats alright.
One day in the week we went to visit the tirado family. We have been visiting that family almost every day to teach them and help them progress. If you remember, they are 5 kids and 2 parents and they live in this little tiny second floor room. its tiny tiny. But anyway, one day we went up to their room and the 11 year old girl came up to us all sad and I asked her what was wrong. She said that she was hungry, and that she hadnt eaten anything more than a bit of rice the whole day. That broke my heart. It was an innocent little 11 year old girl. She was hungry. I wanted to cry in that moment. We entered into the house and were able to talk to the whole family and it turns out that the moto that jhonny works with broke down and he didnt have money to buy food that day. These people literaly live day by day and when the moto breaks down there literally isnt food. so anyway we bought a bit of bread and ham and were able to enjoy a little dinner with them.
Anyway, the kids in that family were able to be baptized this saturday. It was a very special baptism and there were good members there to support them. There were 4 of them that got baptized and it was just a special day. Here are a few pictures for yall but wow, I loved it. They were baptized and then confirmed the next day in church. It was special. The parents are very close to taking the same decision in their lives. They are working hard to get married in these next few weeks and then they will enter into the waters of baptism. That family has changed my life and I will never forget them. I have to visit them after my mission because they have impacted my life more than anyone else here in the mission. They changed me and I changed them and now they follow christ and that just brings joy to my soul. The only problem is that I am now not in villa el salvador....
I am in NAZCA! have you ever heard of the nazca lines? yeah its like one of the 7 wonders of the world or something like that, yep, i am in that little pueblo. Its like 8 hours south of lima, so all day monday I was in a bus. It was a long trip thats for sure. But I am here now in nazca, its a zone of 11 missionaries, super duper small. But I am a zone leader here with elder Galindo and Im super pumped to be here. We have 3 sister missionaries here in the zone and 8 elders so its going to be a powerful little zone thats for sure! I am way excited. Its actually pretty here! I thought it was going to be super poor but its not. Its really touristy because of the nazca lines and many other things which we are going to see on our p days. Im excited. today in the afternoon i think we are going to walk around and see the middle of nazca and all that good stuff. Ill let yall know more about it later. But anyway, my first day here, yesterday, I had to go on an interchange to do a baptismal interview. So i went with another elder to MARCONA. you gotta look it up. Marcona is the most southern point in our mission. Its like more than an hour away from nazca and its like a little tiny pueblo. Its super cool and its like a peninsula almost. Its surrounded by water and its windy all day every day. Pretty interesting! I got to go there yesterday and I am sending 2 pictures from marcona to yall today. One seeing the ships and the desert and the other is in the middle with this cool fountain. Anyway, that was a fun experience and we were able to work hard.
I have lots to learn about the area and about the culture here and the food. I just want to work hard here in my new zone and with these great missionaries which are here. I am super excited to have sisters here with us, they are always powerful! Anyway, Lots of great stuff is going on. and I wish I would explain it all but wow I have already written tons. Take it easy, let me know how things are going, and I will let you know more about all of this next week! Love yall tons!
(Michael sent 8 photos this week.)
Monday, August 5, 2013
Family and Friends,
Hello once again from Peru! As always, I am super cold. Actually, it rained pretty decently here yesterday and I got home wet which was a first. Of course it wasnt raining like big drops, its just this thick misty wet air that gets you wet. The streets here have turned into a disaster of mud and all the buildings with the streets in front are plastered with mud, pretty funny. We have also been plastered many times in this month by cars passing by! Good stuff! It actually makes for quite an adventure and im loving it all.
First off, happy birthday dad, chelsea, and emma! We are getting old as a family. Heck i dont even remember how old everyone is, I think dad is 54 and chelsea is 24 if im not mistaken, and emma better be 4. wow time has passed, before we know it I will be 21, and that scares me.
As for us here in Villa el Salvador, all is going well. This week we had tons of lessons, 20, which was incredible. We found like 13 new investigators as well which is like double what we normally find. We are progressing lots but still have lots to do. We need to put many more with a baptismal date. That is what we lack. Anyway, we have that as our focus this week so we are going to do it! This saturday we are planning on baptizing the 4 kids in the family that we are teaching. the parents have to wait to get married but they said that the kids should go ahead and get baptized. So this weekend will be there baptism! Hopefully all goes well!
This is the last week of the transfer so who knows what will happen. I can only say that we will see this saturday night what happens. I will not be writing my next email until next wednesday for the transfers.
anyway, this week we got super frustrated working with the beds that we have in our storage unit as you can see by the picture. So what happens is that we have all sorts of the same type of bed. They are all the same except for one thing. The holes. the construct really badly here because the put the bed together and then they drill the holes. That means that all the holes are different and every part of every bed has to be in the exact same spot for the holes to line up, and if not, it doesnt work. So we worked for hours in our storage unit figuring out which parts go to which bed. We still have lots to do, but we ended up finding parts to a bunkbed which was progress. And we got permission to throw out all the old useless junk which doesnt work. We found beds and drawers and all sorts of stuff that just doesnt work. In fact, we were reading some of the things elders have written on the wood and found missionaries that wrote stuff like elder rojas, 1981-1982. Wow, that stuff that we have is ancient. its stuff thats like 30 years old or more. So we got rid of all of it.
Anyway were going to eat weird food today as a p day so hopefully i come out with some good pictures!
Love you all tons and hope you are doing well. I pray for you all and thanks so much for the package mom and dad! The salmon jerky is a bit weird but it grows on me and i enjoy it!
(See 3 photos added this week.)
Monday, July 29, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well I am happy right now thats for sure. This past week we had interviews with the president which was great. I learned a lot and as a zone leader we got to talk for a while with the president and with the asistents about the zone and how we are doing. I learned lots and just hope that the zone can step up and catch the wave, as the president would say.
Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way I will be able to go to the MTC in lima to visit mckenna. That would be cool but a huge waste of time as far as the work goes, and its outside of the mission limits and yeah no.... but good to hear that shes there and headed to boliva sometime soon. I also got a letter from karina and it sounds like she is headed to argentina which is super awesome. Im happy.
So this week was great. We have been working with this family for a while now and they are going to get married this 9th of august and they will be baptized the 10th. There are 7 of them and its a family that has impacted my mission and my life forever. The kids there are like my little brothers and sisters and it was so special to walk with all of them to church this sunday. I loved it. It was actually really interesting. This past week they didnt have food to eat for like a day. they are quite poor but happy at the same time. But getting to the point, we talked to a few members of the ward council and they did something special for them. They bought a lot of food and like 3 of them went to their house one night and gave them a lot of rice and things to cook which was super special and the family loved it. They were thrilled. Then the kids went to a little fiesta the next day, a friday, at night and danced and it was great. We have also been able to talk to the bishop and get money to get them married this next week that comes. the ward is helping that family a lot which is excellent!
So yesterday was independence day here in peru so there was a huge activity in the stake center this saturday. I have tons of pictures and videos. It was super cool. It was a dance. Every ward did like a traditional peruvian dance with the traditional music and all. It was very peruvian and I love the old school traditional peruvian culture which totally still exsists here, just not so much in lima, in the city. its actually really fun now to talk to old people from the jungle because they have so many stories and beliefs that are super weird. Like really weird beliefs about plans and cures to all sorts of crazy stuff. Its fun to talk to them and to learn about the culture and history of peru. I will have to tell you all about it after the mission.
Oh yeah, fleas are biting us a night sometimes now... kinda annoying. In my first room there were rats, in my second coackroaches, and in my third fleas....
But yeah so the work is going on here in Villa el Salvador. I love the work and we had a great week with lots of lessons and we now have 7 with a baptismal date for the 10th of august. Im way excited! We still have a lot to do, a lot to improve, but we are in the right path. I am excited. I just hope to help the other elders in the zone this week. I want to help them achieve their potential and their goals and I know that I must give the example as a leader. Anyway, enjoy the pictures, love you all tons, and hope that all is well. Its great to hear from you all and I pray constantly for you.
(Several photos were received this week - click on the mission photos tab.)
Monday, July 22, 2013
Family and Friends,
Wow we are already finishing july, thats weird huh? So once again I am way cold here writing yall. But anyway, how is everyone doing?? I just am super happy and energetic right now, as I am always these days.
This week was a good one. We were able to find a handful of great new investigators that I hope will progress. We were able to put a 15 year old girl with a baptismal date. She is super awesome and practically lives with a family of members. She has a little boy which is kinda weird. She is a 15 year old mom but she is way receptive and we are teaching her tons now and has accepted a date to be baptized on the 10th of August. I am way excited for her. We are also working with a great family of 7. they are going to get married and baptized but we still need to put specific dates for these things. But they are incredible. I worry because I just want to be there for their wedding and baptism but there are transfers again on like the 12th of august and I feel like I will be headed out, but I sure hope not because we have an awesome ward, a great new chapel, an awesome room, and really just a great area. I love it tons! I love being a zone leader here with Elder Meza. He is a good elder and we work together great. We already knew each other before hand and now were are just here to work hard help lots of great people.
I am loving the mission thats for sure. I cant say that we had any crazy or wierd experiences this week. It was all pretty normal but wow I got way sick one day for eating too much fried rice. I got better quickly but wow i was dying one day.
Anyway sorry this email is so short, I frankly just dont know what to say haha. But I love you all tons. I love the savior, I love his atonement, and I love this work. My president is just a fireball for this work and I want to become like him. I love this work and it burns me in my heart because I know its true and I know its the work of the lord. I hope all is well in korea, the states, and with all of you in the whole ward. I love you all tons and am excited to just get to work this week,
Monday, July 15, 2013
Family and Friends,
What can I say about this week??? first off I think I will answer your questions mom. as far as the glasses went, I bought them for 90 soles, which is like less than 40 dollars, like 35. It was awesome. I took the test and got the glasses and yep, now I use them all day every day. Oh and about that, I actually bought myself a suit the other day. Its donotelli i think and its a good suit. I got the suit with pants along with a nice white shirt, a tie, and a pair of shoes all for 300 soles. That is like 115 dollars more or less. Great deal, things here really are quite cheap. oh and wow that candy mom was excellent. I am still eating it all but wow it is super yummy. Before the mission i wasnt crazy about beef jerky but this beef jerky you sent me put me in heaven. Its delicious, thanks! as far as things I need I think I am doing alright, I have plenty of clothes and I am not worried about that. As far as my asthma goes, it doesnt bother me, but I do always carry an inhaler around.
I have been really blessed in these months with good health. I was like always sick in chincha but now I am doing a lot better and I feel better as well. But anyway I wanted to tell you a little about this baptism we had this saturday. This man we were able to baptize has been searching the church for 3 years. over 15 missionaries have invited him to be baptized and just never wanted to take that step. A while ago elder bernal and I entered and invited him and he accepted. It was incredible. He was baptized this saturday and it was a very special experience. The spirit filled the room as he came out of the water and it was powerful. Then after his baptism he shared his testimony with all of his family and they all talked about going to the temple and being sealed. It was way powerful. Then the next day I was able to confirm him member of the church and I literally felt the spirit descend over his head as I confirmed him. Incredible stuff, I loved it.
But apart of the baptism, this week has been dreadful. It was one of the toughest in the mission. We just didnt teach like at all and were struggling to find new investigators and invite more with a baptismal date. We had a meeting with the president in Chorrillos with all the zone leaders. It was awesome. But the pres is talking lots about catch the wave. He wants us to double our efforts, double our lessons and triple the baptisms. There is much to be done and it was incredible what he taught us. I just feel really bad because this was a tough week...
I wanted to tell you all about whats its like to go out to eat here. In the states there are like millions of different foods and restaurants. Here if you go out to eat, you eat one of two things. Pollo a la brasa, or chicken thats rotated and cooked on a stick in an oven with french fries and a salad. There is a restaurant with that exact chicken literally in every group, every corner, and you will rarely not see a chicken restaurant if you are on a main street. the other is chaufa, or chifa. Its chinese food. They cook a ton of fried rice and there is just incredible amounts of chinese fried rice. Interesting huh?
Anyway I love the mission. We have lots to do and I just am excited to get out there and preach repentance to all people. Its gonna be a successful week and I feel it! I love yall tons and I am just excited to work hard for the next 11 months of my life serving as a full time missionary! We are gonna be great missionaries and great zone leaders as we give the example! Love yall tons, take it easy! work hard
Monday, July 8, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well Im here in villa el salvador with elder Meza. This past week has been successful. We were able to have many lessons. It was actually a neat experience. I think that this past week we taught the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ many times. Normally we teach that lesson like once or twice a week, sometimes three. But I feel like this week we taught it like 2 or 3 times a day, sometimes. But anyway, it was just really powerful. I totally felt the spirit this week when I was teaching that lesson. It really does have power and I know that it is true. Its been a good week, I definitely love teaching people, thats like the favorite part of the mission, teaching!
Alright so something different. This saturday we were planning on cleaning out our storage unit downstairs in our room. We started to clean and then all of a sudden a truck shows up and says we have 10 dressers and hanging racks for you. ok... so they dropped everything off and we had to organize the whole storage unit. We organized it all which was quite fun for me. We also have like 15 old wooden beds and all of their pieces scattered around. We started to clean all of that up, find the matching end pieces, and the respective other parts. It was a disaster and we still have a long way to go. I think in the end we are just going to throw away a lot of that old junk that we have. But it was a fun experience in the morning on saturday.
Oh and thanks for the package mom! I have never seen those candies here. They just dont exsist. The only ones I have seen are mms and milky way I think. I am enjoying the candies this week!!
So it was interesting. I have been able to talk to and see my old companions recently for a few reasons. I was able to talk with my companions in chincha and in lurin and wow I heard that like all of my old investigators got baptized. Its awesome! Elder Vasquez baptized like 5 or 6 of our old investigators the past few weeks and also many of the old investigators that I had in chincha got baptized! Its awesome, I am super happy for them but a little sad that I was not there. I just do a lot of the foundation work a lot of the times and then I leave and then they get baptized. Its good but i just want to see everyone get baptized. Anyway, saturday I got permission to leave my stake. We headed to another stake and I was able to baptize a little girl. Its a long story, but she was in chincha with me but is from villa el salvador. I got to see her again in lurin a few times and she asked me to baptize her. I got permission and went and baptized her. It was a very cute experience. and wow its winter here and that water was super dang cold! But anyway, its not a convert, but it was a nice baptism, I am sending pictures.
I have got a great plan this week for my personal study and I am way excited to just get studying, I love the scriptures and just am excited to keep learning every day!
Tomorrow we have a meeting with the president. All the zone leaders get to go and talk with president. it will be super special and I am excited for a few new announcements! We will see!
Love yall tons and i just hope that everyone is doing well. I cant express my love for you all but just be good people. Work hard and be safe. I love the mission and am doing all i can to devote all that I have to the mission more and more each day.
(See several photos sent this week.)
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well we had transfers the last week. My companion left and went to the south, to pisco. We were only together for one transfer but It was a good one. I learned lots from Elder Bernal but wow our time went by flying! Anyway, now I am with elder Meza, another mexican. He was in my ward in lurin for a while so I know him pretty well. He is a good elder and I am now training him as a new zone leader which is great! Im learning lots as I take the responsibility and as I teach how to be a zone leader because i still feel like a new one. But all is well.We have been way busy with lots of things and with organizing the zone. It was pretty crazy sunday at night. We had two elders in our zone that confessed to having written letters and shared feelings with young women in their wards. It was super duper sad. I thought that they were being good obedient elders but it turns out that they have been messing with the girls. We had to call the president and we had some emergency transfers and they were headed out of the zone, and one of them had to go to his house which really made me sad. Its way sad to work with disobedient elders but i know that now we will be more obedient and will have lots more success as a zone. We were getting calls from the assistents that night at like 12 30 with the emergencies and then we had to get up at 5 to go do all the changes in the morning. Pretty crazy!
ANyway We are still working hard with that family that we found. THey came to church last week and liked it a lot. they are getting to know the members a bit more and really are progressing lots. We talked about marriage and they accepted the idea. We are going to help them progress and accept a date to get married and baptized this week. I am way happy! ANyway we have nother baptism coming up this week or the next. The man is incredible and I love helping him. He is going to be a real convert. So its awesome to hear from you all. I really do love it and I am just busy working. I do love my mission and am just being absorbed in the work. A lot of stuff is going on, lots of good and some interesting things, but i dont have much time to write today, things to do. I was not able to buy my suit last week but hopefully today i will do so. I bought glasses which is like super weird but I love them. they help me a lot and i think they look good on me but who knows....
Love yall tons and its great to hear from you!
(Michael sent one photo this week.)
Monday, June 24, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well this week has been a crazy adventure, as it always is! We had a few interchanges with a few elders this week and I was able to verify their obedience and all sorts of things. Turns out that like almost everyone is having problems with their companions and there a few missionaries with problems with girls in the ward and many other things. It made me pretty sad but now I just need to help them all to progress, change, and repent. Anyway this is the last week of this transfer. We have this week and then we will have transfers. pretty sad, we have not had one fight or anything and I have really learned a lot from him, hes a good missionary and we get along great!
Anyway getting to the big stuff... This week was like another sad and hard one and on sunday we only had 1 investigator in the church. But then after church a family of 7 came to church out of nothing. They showed up and had a nice interview with the bishop which was crazy. they have never come to church before and out of nothing they came and just had a nice chat with the bishop. Then we talked to them and visited them later on in the day. They came as a huge prayer to our prayers. we have been super obedient and diligent this week without results, but then sunday, the last day of the week, we found this incredible family. 6 of them are 8 years old or older. Its incredible. After a long hard week we found this family, a direct answer from God and a huge gift from him. They are interested and are very humble and teachable. I literally was so happy I just started to cry. I am super happy to start helping this family tons!
So the other day we met with the stake president which is awesome. As zone leaders we get to meet with him every month to organize lots of good stuff! Then in the afternoon we went to this worldwide leaders training meeting which was directed by elder holland. We watched it on the projecter and it was incredible! Wow the missionary work will go forth and we are now going to work so hard with the ward mission leader and the bishop and ward council. If you couldnt see it sunday I would invite you all to look for it. It was incredible and I am really ready to catch the wave and start having tons of success as we work with the members. It was excellent, I loved it!
Anyway I am going to buy a suit and glasses and all sorts of stuff if its possible. That is if we get permission, we are still waiting... But anyway I am staying warm for the most part, but it is pretty cold here. like in the 50s and stuff. As for the shirt goes mom, I think I left my bowling shirts in bobbys house in utah, but yeah use them! As for the mission, dont worry about it, but I have lots of shirts here in the mission!
Oh yeah, there is an elder in my zone that was in BYU and we actually have lots of friends in common which is pretty crazy! Oh and also, yesterday we saw two people get robbed in two different occasions in the middle of the day in the main street. It was weird, they just like pushed the guys around stole their money and left of running. really weird for me... Anyway all is doing well. Love you all tons and love to hear that everything is doing well!
(See six photos added this week.)
Week 52 Half-way into mission!
Monday, June 17, 2013
Family and Friends,
This week we had a super spiritual experience. We met up with a part member family. all of the family are members but the father. We walked into the house, in the first lesson. We were getting to know them a bit and then we just felt like we needed to talk about the families and the temples and the eternal plan of families. We started testifying and the spirit was just there with us guiding us. We normally teach good lessons and all, but this was different. we were guided and it was just incredibly powerful. the man said that he just needs to change and that after over a year and a half of investigating the church, he said yes elders, I am going to get baptized the 6th of july. It was way special and he is committed to that date. I loved it and am excited to keep working with him.
HAPPY FATHERS DAY. I almost forgot but dad I love you so much! You are great and have always been a good example for me and have never led me astray. I am very extremely blessed and would not be here without your guidance and love. I just feel like you are truly a disciple of jesus christ and never will lead others astray. thanks dad for everything!
Mom- as for the misionaries here, a lot of missionaries go on the mission. From mexico to the chile and everything in between, the missionaries dont have to pay anything standard. They just pay what they can and the church pays the rest. Most of them stay in south america but some travel a little ways away but rarely ever learn another language. But yeah there are many teens preparing for a mission in my ward.
So saturday was funny. We went to the members house to go eat lunch and she wasnt there. Then we went to a restaurant and ate tons of fried rice. then we got a call saying that she is waiting for us. We went and ate lunch again. The funnies part was that we were so full. We asked the sister for salt and when she left we took handfulls of rice and put it in our pockets because we couldnt put it all down. funny funny stuff.
que mas? well I weighed myself the other day and I cannot believe I have dropped so much. I am like a skinny kid again. i was 165 sometime in my mission and somehow I have dropped to 151 which like scares me. I am just getting weak and losing muscle which makes me sad.
Anyway in our area we are working hard. We are facing problems in the zone with companionships but we are going to have a special activity as a zone to help that all out. Today in the morning we went to the center of lima and went to a museum and all sorts of stuff. We took pictres ate lunch and bought a few things. It was awesome but I dont have my cable to upload pictures now. Anyway love yall tons and it was sweet going to the center of lima. Mom and dad you are going to go nuts here. There is so much to buy and its so dang cheap. it will be a crazy experience here in like a year when we go shopping here together. Its just awesome, love it.
I really do love the culture here. These people are just a lot more warm and loving in general. because we are missionaries sometimes its different but generally everyone here just hugs everyone else and its just a great country. I love it and will miss it. But I would never be able to live here thats for sure. I just hope all is well. I do miss you all a lot and cant believe its been more than a year already. Anyway, take it easy work hard and be OBEDIENT because its the most important!
Family and Friends,
First of all, I am super jealous mom and dad because you got to go paragliding. Thats like my dream and I cannot wait to do it someday. Hopefully dad can become pro and like show us what its all about! Anyway, I cannot believe that another week has passed by. A few announcements. We now only have 1 hour again to write family and friends so I might start writing less sorry!! And thanks for the money, I think next week I am going to buy stuff, like glasses and a suit and everything because I really just cant see anymore.
Anyway, the last week the zone leaders had a meeting with the president. It was the best! It was a great meeting with all the leaders from the whole mission and we have this meeting every month as zone leaders. I love being a zone leader its great! Anyway he just inspired us and the last week went great! We were able to invite other people with a baptismal date and we found new investigators and all sorts of great stuff. We have lots of great investigators right now to help and we had a few investigators go to church yesterday. It was awesome! I am just super excited to get working this week and I know that we will have tons of success. The lord wants us to have success and we are going to do it, i know it! I was super rejected the last week but now we are finding good people that want to hear our message. I am just working hard each and every day to be exactly obedient and I really love the work. Its something that I love doing and I know that the lord is with us as we work.
Anyway the zone is doing well here in villa. We are working hard with the elders to just get them all working hard. We have good elders and I feel very blessed here in the mission. I have a great companion and we have not had any arguments about anything. Its great, my best companion yet. We are just focused and trying hard to help other people and the other elders.
I am short on time already but wow we went in the electric train to the meeting and we were litterally packed into the train like ants. you didnt need to hold on to the bar because you couldnt fall because we were just packed in there like ants. there were people outside of the train pushing people in the train so the doors could close. It was nuts but hey good experiences. I love the mission and its changing my life tons. Thanks for all your love and i hope to just keep hearing good things. Its great to hear that the family is doing well and that the little paige is getting better. Chelsea and thomas sounds like all is well in texas and for you steph and ben its hectic. As for bobby and jill, well I have not read the letter from you all yet but I hope all is well. I cannot believe that I will be finishing my mission in less than one year. If im not mistaking, I am finishing the mission the 4th of june in less than a year. crazy, i gotta do lots of great things before that!
Love you all!
Monday, June 3, 2013
Family and Friends,
Im once again really cold this morning here in Villa el salvador. Anyway yesterday we went to the stake conference which was great. President Douglas talked along with a few members of the 70. It was sweet to hear from all of them. But for the second time in my life I was able to see a stake divide into two. Thats right. My stake here in villa was divided yesterday into two completely different stakes. They told us a bit of information that I wanted to tell you all. First off, it was the 99th stake made here in peru which is cool. But also, there are about 900 active members in the stake, but more tha n 1300 inactive members. Its way sad! so many less actives. and its because the culture here is just way laid back, for example, only 16 percent of the stake is doing their home teaching. anyway, interesting huh? the church is just not very developed here in peru yet, its still very young. and also, the people here really just cant sing. the stake choir sang a few songs and it was really just quite unpleasant for me. but anyway, thats the life here in peru!
we were walking around yesterday at night in the center of villa el salvador and their was like a concert going on and during the day like parades and cars with balloons and all sorts of stuff. there were people in traditional clothing dancing and all sorts of stuff going on this weekend. It turns out that it was the 43 anniversary of villa el salvador. I was talking to a few people that are pioneers here in villa and they said that less than 40 years ago here in villa there was not any water or electricity, how sad huh? its progressed a lot but definitely has a long way to go still. Anyway the concert and parade reminded me of buddahs birthday celebration in korea, that was way cool and would love to go back.
but yeah so we have been finding tons of like little 17 or 16 year old girls with the little babies and then 20 year olds with their 4 year old babies. Here in villa its really terrible. the kids just have kids like its nothing. quite sad. It is incredible how many single moms there are here. Then I started thinking, here in villa there are hotels on every corner, literally, if not more. they are everywhere. And you know what? the majority of them cost less than 5 dollars for a night. I found one that costs 6 soles for a night, which is a bit more than 2 dollars. thats why there are so many single moms here... its very sad and made me think about the importance of life and my family and how blessed I am.
Anyway, about the work of the lord. This week has been one of the hardest for me in my whole mission. I have never been so rejected like I have been here. I love talking to people in the street and knock on doors but we have been shut down like nobodys business. people here tell me to shut up because im a north american and these people just dont want anything. Its been incredibly difficult just getting rejected time after time here. we suffered a lot this week even though we were trying so hard! anyway, we fasted this week and then on the last day of the week we were able to find a great family, and its a miracle that the parents are actually married. incredible. I am so blessed and know that the lord answers prayers and helps us in our times of need. Anyway that was a long story short but thats whats going on here in the area. as a zone leader we are supposed to be examples but wow this week we tanked and are not being good examples with our key indicators which really makes me sad but I know that we are being diligent and working hard. my companion is great. he is going to finish in november and is from mexico. He and I have lots in common and can just talk like buds which is great. we are focused a lot on the work and on the other missionaries so we have not had any problems. but anyway we have lots to do but I know that the lord will bless us.
Also this past week we had a special meeting with a setenta. It was great we had a special meeting just for the zone leaders in lima. it was like 16 of us with a setenta and then we had 7 hours of meetings with him in total. it was awesome and I loved it!
This past week I finished the book of mormon again. Its great, I love reading the book and I learn so much every time i read it. I only read in spanish and its great to just learn from all the great examples and the heroes of the book of mormon. I am going to start again and just keep reading because I love that book! its so powerful and its the most powerful tool that we have as missionaries.
Anyway thats about it for now. Mom if you could put a bit of money in my account I would be grateful because I think that I am going to buy myself another suit and the brown one that i have in bobbys house is kinda frowned upon in the mission because its brown. so I am going to buy one.
I think thats enough. I love you all and thanks for everything!
Monday, May 27, 2013
Family and Friends,
Its been a good week! Alright so first off I am like way cold right now. Heaters dont exist in houses or buildings here and wow im just like way cold. I didnt think that it got cold here in peru but its just really cloudy here in Villa el Salvador and the sun doesnt pop out much. It just got like way cold and each night I just go to bed cold and wake up cold. Its pretty weird for me. I thought that I liked the cold but wow I guess I was just in the scalding heat of chincha for so long that I got used to it.
Anyway other than that everything is doing great. Well lets see, this past week we got all sorts of referrals or references from the members and we have been working hard to help each of them progress. We are working hard here but wow we have lots of difficulties as well in our area. We have not been able to invite anyone with a baptismal date which really bothers me and gets me down just a bit. I think that every week in my mission I have at least had 1 person with a baptismal date until this week and It just makes me hungry to work harder and harder to help more people accept the baptismal invitation. I definitely have lots to do here in my area! Thats about all thats going on in my area, I am just trying to be more diligent each day and you know what? i love it more and more each day. I love working and I just want to do more for the lord each day.
So you know how I told you all that my room is like a storage unit for the mission? we have beds, matresses, desks tables chairs microwaves fridges and kitchen stuff. People pass by our room and always want to deliver us stuff or take stuff out of our room to give to other missionaries. The other day we went out with a man delivering lots of stuff to all sorts of elders. It was way cool traveling around in a little truck delivering stuff to elders all over Villa el salvador. its cool being a zone leader! Oh and something else a little weird about being a zone leader. Here in the mission we dont have cell phones. But the zone leaders do have phones. After a year without having a cell phone I am once again carrying around a cell. its super weird to me and it just makes me fel super technologically dumb because I cant remember how to text or use a cellphone...
So a little about the area here. all the streets are the same. every square has the same layout and everything is the same. Its a little area, but like I said, every square is equal. There are many members here in the area and everyone lives close to the church. But yeah, so here in villa el salvador there are like 46 missionaries and its 1 stake. there are like up to 6 missionaries in each ward and its just a massive stake. Next week in stake conference they are dividing the stake into two so that will be a bit complicated and as zone leaders we have to do lots of the coordination and stuff. But yeah so in this stake, villa el salvador, 75 percent of the members are inactive. Its like super duper sad and I just dont understand. for example, yesterday we found a less active member who served a mission and then came home and got married with a member but not in the temple. we talked to him about what happened and all sorts of stuff. He is drinking and smoking but knows he shouldnt. He doesnt deny his testimony of the church. it just makes me so sad to hear that this person cant keep the word of wisdom and that he is drinking and all that. It makes me way sad. he doesnt go to church and has just fallen in a state of sadness and bitterness. He does not live a happy life with his wife and they have all sorts of problems. It made me reflexion on my life a ton. I just realized how happy the gospel makes us and how sad and hard life is without the gospel. really I am a happy person because of all the blessings that I have received that come from living the gospel. I know that I am super blessed and just couldnt imagine going inactive. I know that I never will because I have felt the spirit so strong and I know that I will never let myself fall into temptation.
Anyway I have said lots but there is lots more. I really am learning to be a zone leader and its quite the experience. I love helping other missionaries and I am just trying to be a good example. I love this work so much and love how much I am learning. I invite each of you to reflection ( I cant remember what the word is in english) or reflexion about your worthiness and about the life that you live. I love this gospel and it defines who I am and the life that I live. I thank each of you for your good examples and for all that I have learned. if you want to write me, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond. Thanks for everything.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Family and Friends,
How is everyone doing? I am happy to say that my mission is going great, I am learning lots of great things and am happy to be writing you all today. So this past week were the transfers and for that reason I am writing today (wednesday) every 6 weeks there are transfers and we have our p day on wednesday. But I am excited to announce that I have been transfered. I am now in Villa el salvador. Its really close to the area that I was in before, but its a different zone, and now I am a zone leader. wooo.
But lets start with last week first. So last week we were working way hard to find lots of new investigators and to help everyone progress and come to church. It was a good week, we were able to find families and to help them progress, Anyway it was a great week and we had baptisms on saturday! It was great. so we got to the chapel all ready to baptize the two little girls. We got there and one of them was there but the other wasnt. Her grandpa of the little girl said that the dad of the little girl got mad and took her away and didnt want her to get baptized. I was stunned and shocked. Everyone said that we had lost a baptism. Everyone said that even though the dad is a member, he got mad and said that she couldnt get baptized. I was so worried, we were so worried. my companion and I went upstairs and said a prayer together, praying that the girl could come to her baptism. Anyway, like an hour passed and all the other people were ready to be baptized. It was like 8 at night and we finally said, ok, shes not coming, lets baptize the rest ( because we had like 7 as a zone that day). But then all of a sudden the little cheyla shows up with her parents and with two other elders. Turns out that they were a little lost, and the other elders found them and took them to the chapel and the little cheyla was baptized. It was a miracle really special. But wow it was cold water at night!
Anyway we got home way late that night and then got the calls about the transfers and boom. I was told that I was going to be zone leader. Wow.. I was super excited and a bit nervous. But then the last day at church we had 13 investigators at church! 13, it was incredible, and they are all super awesome. like all of them are going to be baptized and I just wish that I could be there to see their baptisms, but now I am in a new area!
My new area is having a few difficulties. we dont have many investigators. We dont have people with a baptismal date but I am super excited to get to work and just be an example. As a zone leader I need to be an example and our area needs to be an example and I just just way excited to get my area rolling. We have a brand new chapel in our area and its super beautiful. We live in the most beautiful little house ( for peru ) and its great. Its big and has everything, like a kitchen and hot water. Also, my little house is a storage unit for the mission. We have lots of stuff for all the missionaries like matresses, microwaves, phamplets, books of mormon, chairs tables and everything. Its great. I love being a zone leader and in such an awesome room and have a great area with a great ward. I have lots to do thats for sure and its going to be a bit stressful but I am ready to work and to be a good leader. I will have to tell you more later, I have got lots to do. Love you all tons. Oh I am sending a few pictures from the baptism, also from service that we did, and also of my new little home. Its like way cute if I can say that. Anyway, no rats, no coackroaches, no animals in this little room. wohooo. Ayway thats about it, love you all, I am loving the mission and way excited to work hard this transfer. My new companion is great and we are just gonna get to work and focus on other people to have lots of success.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Family and Friends,
This week has been another good week as always. It was so nice to talk to mom and dad yesterday and see how they are doing. Thanks for all the love that you send me and for the prayers that go my way. Its incredible how much I hear about people that are praying for me and thank you all so much. I also got a package with socks and shorts and a shirt. It is pretty sweet stuff!
So anyway, This week we worked hard. We have been able to find lots of good people. We are finding families and trying hard to get them all married so that they can be baptized. This week that comes is the last week of the transfer and one of us will definitely be transfered this next week. But I feel like in the 12 weeks that we have had together we have learned lots. I have learned to be a district leader and still have lots to learn but wow its been good working here. We are helping lots of great people and families and I feel like the next transfer will be very successful here in the area. Hopefully we will get lots of people married and baptized. This weekend we are planning on two baptisms of two little girls. Their families are members but they are not. They always go to church but just never got baptized, so anyway we are helping them get baptized this next saturday.
So what more... well this week we changed rooms because of the coackroach problem and we totally won the war with those little buggers. I am sending various pictures of the coackroaches, of their droppings, and of the chocolate that has been eaten by a little rat in our room. Other pictures as well. But we cleaned out the microwave and all the books and desks and ended up killing over 100 coackroaches and we grouped some of them together to take a picture. We were able to dominate them with a fly swatter, with a deadly spray, and my favorite, with FIRE. we made fire and burnt them all to death. Anyway, it was fun, we definitely won the war, and then changed rooms into a better room with kitchen countertops and a kitchen sink.
I love being on a mission and I am super excited to keep working hard. As i serve others I learn to love each day of the mission more. It is turning into the best two years but it comes day by day. Its been 11 months already in the mission but I have lots to do and lots of people to help. THanks all of you for the letters and for the love. I hope all is going well and I hope to hear more from you all. I pray for you all regularly and love you all tons
(Don't forget to check out the photos tab . . . several photos added this week!)
Monday, May 6, 2013
Family and Friends,
How is everything doing? Its soo good to get emails from a lot of people. Its so good to hear from everyone! I first want to appologize because I dont have lots of time today!
But anyway, wow its been a good week and I feel good right now! It was so good to hear from my good buddy Dallin that just got married. Its also nice to hear from a few friends from high school and from other missionaries and leaders from texas. I love you all tons!
Anyway, this week we ran into a jehovas witness. Well really they are everywhere. There are so many of them, but normally they just ignore us. But we talked to this one lady for like an hour and she just burned us. Any confident missionary would say that they can bible bash pretty well, but I am going to tell you all that this lady could beat any of you up. She tore us to pieces. She knew any scripture and just pulled out all sorts of scriptures on us. We got to testifying about the book of mormon with the scripture in ezekiel about the stick of judah and of jose but wow she had some crazy explanation for that prophecy and just shut us up. It was incredible, and I was definitely humbled...
Another thing, this week our iron stopped working and we didnt know why. We ended up opening it to find out, and sure enough it was just filled with dead coackroaches, like hundreds of little coackroaches. we cleaned it and then it started working like new. Also the microwave is filled with coackroaches as well as our desks. We talked to the housekeeper and she said that we can move rooms. So today in the afternoon we are going to try and move rooms, im super excited because its bigger and has a kitchen and stuff!
Also this week we have been blessed to find a few families to teach. They are incredible and I am super excited to be a blessing in their lives and to help them, but nobody here is married. Its a big problem, we are giong to have to work hard to get them married and baptized but its totally worth it! I am so excited to marry people! Its going to be a lot of work to do! We definitely need to work really hard this week!
Something funny. So we are teaching two little girls and they are going to be baptized soon. but there was another little kid thats a member that was with us. We asked him about repentance and he said that it was forgive god. It was soo dang funny. forgive god.... haha it was hilarious, he was just a bit confused. Also we were talking about the prayer and he said oh I know I know how the prayer is. He said that it was padre celestial... or heavenly father... gracias por esto y esto..... thanks for this and that.... te pido por esto... I ask thee for this.... en el nombre del espiritu santo, amen.... in the name of the holy ghost, amen. It was super duper funny. Anyway, good experiences that make us laugh a bit.
Anyway I am out of time thats for sure, but I love you all tons and hope all is well! Write me and keep up updated, I cannot believe how fast time is flying! But love you so much and pray for you all!
Monday, April 29, 2013
Family and Friends,
Wow I cannot believe how quickly this week has gone by. I feel like I was here writing you all like 2 days ago. It was a tough week thats for sure. We have been working hard but have had lots of struggles, but I feel as though I am growing closer to the Lord and becoming a better servant although maybe our numbers dont show the work that we are doing.
First off, this past week I got to hear from Elder Bednar!!! It was incredible. We were in there with him for 3 hours and it was incredible. He just got up there are blew us all away with what he said. It was incredible. The best part was that he doesnt know spanish and so he talked in english with a translater. So I heard it all twice haha. But anyway, it was not like a 3 hour message. He got up and asked questions. There were like only 300 of us missionaries there. It was an incredible experience. I was able to stand up and ask him a question. It was great. I was able to talk face to face with him in front of 300 missionaries and ask him an inspired question. It was super special the things that I heard from him and it was great to be able to shake his hand. I definitely have a testimony that he is a servant of the lord and that he is called to be an apostle. He is very powerful and I was able to receive answers to my prayers which was super special to me.
So last week the president gave us a goal to have 5 more investigators with a baptismal date by the end of the week. That was the week that already finished. We were so focused on inviting everyone to be baptized but sadly after a week of work, we only have two people right now with a baptismal date. But I am super happy for them! One of them is a little girl, she is so tiny! she is 14 years old and lives close to the chapel. She has a great friend in church and is learning lots from her. She also loves listening to us and is really applying what she learns. Shes an intelligent little girl and is preparing to be baptized the 11th of may.
We also found another man yesterday that has been searching for the church. He says that hes far away from God and he wants to get closer to him. He went to church and said it was very nice what he felt and observed in church. He is a golden investigator and is progressing tons!
Anyway, I was thinking a lot about problems. We find that the whole world has problems. Everyone has some sort of problem in their life. It can be with money, with drugs or addictions, with the family, with work, with health, with anything really. But I was thinking, every single person I have talked to in my mission has some sort of problem. But then I thought about my life and how I really am very blessed. I have problems as everyone, but they seem like nothing in comparison to what I see here. My life really has been quite simple, quite easy honestly, and quite enjoyable. I am very blessed to be in such a special family where all of us live the gospel of Jesus Christ. I really just have what I need and am very blessed. This week we found this guy from california that lives here in peru. He has like a month here in peru and knows nothing of spanish. It was super weird talking in english again. But anyway he just said that he is here to surf and fish. He said he was a herione addict for 15 years then forgot everything, even how to read and write. anyway, he expressed lots of stuff to me while my companion looked at the sky because he didnt understand. But I just thought about the life that he lives, and that he lives just to surf all day. its pretty crazy, pretty sad, and I just want to help those people find a purpose in their lives. Its incredible what I get to do as a missionary and I love giving people a purpose in their lives, because many people dont have one.
Anyway, thats about it for today. I do love hearing from you. Oh a friend wrote me and told me that my name is still written in the BYU bowling alley with my high score. that really really made me happy.
Anyway love you all tons, take it easy out there and chose the right always,
Monday, April 22, 2013
Family and Friends,
Thanks so much for everything! I received lots of emails this weeks and its soo good to hear about everything. Thank you mom as well for the pictures of china and everything. there are so many and i dont have time to study it all out but it looks incredible! I got a few emails this week and I got 3 wedding announcements, thats super crazy. I cannot believe that my friends are getting married already.... how crazy!?
So in our room we have a little problem. Just like in my other room we had a problem with rats, well now its with cockroaches. They are little, but they are everywhere. They walk all through our papers and all over everything. they leave their waste all over our table and everything. i just feel super dirty and sick because I live in a house of cockroaches. But anyway I have not gotten sick or anything, but I am sure that I have killed over 100 of those little guys.
Oh and thank you family for those shoe pads, those really help me out! But I have a huge ANNOUNCEMENT. This wednesday I get to hear from elder BEDNAR! he is coming here to lima and I get to go listen to him for 3 hours this wednesday! I am super excited to hear from him and I know it will be a great priveledge.
So this week we went to the temple as a zone! It was a great experience and I really enjoyed being in the house of the Lord. I was really just convinced once again of the truthfullness of this gospel and of this work that I am doing. I just felt like everything is the truth. I felt like I couldnt deny everything I had been feeling. I definitely have a testimony of this gospel and I know its true.
Talking about a testimony, I read a really awesome message by elder Bednar. I have heard this message a lot but I had never read it in spanish. its called converted to the lord. I learned lots from it again. There is one part that talks about conversion. im translating this from spanish, but he says that any person that sincerely searches the truth can become converted as they experience a great change of heart and as they are spiritually born of god. That is really what I want for me, for you all, and for all of the people that I teach. I am doing all that I can to have converts here in my work. I am super happy for all of the people I have been able to help here in my mission, and for those that have chosen to be baptized. I really have not been able to baptize lots of people, but the majority of those people are converts, they are really converted and firm in their desires to stay active. The conversion is different than a testimony. I was thinking this week about that. Satan has a testimony, in fact, satan has a testimony stronger than mine. he knows that this church is true, and he knows it better than I do. But he doesnt live it, he cant live the gospel. We can have a testimony and fall as satan has done. But we must be converted to the gospel and we will never fall. I love what it says in 2 nephi 28 30. Sometimes I am not very patient with my personal conversion process. But it says that conversion will come line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. That is how the conversion will come. I am grateful to be serving a mission. We have a lot to do right now in my area. I am excited to get to work. I do love working in this great cause. I am grateful to have amazing friends that are also serving a mission. Thank you all so much
Monday, April 15, 2013
Family and Friends,
This week has been great! We had two beautiful baptisms saturday and wow it was just super special to me. Anyway, wow this week has gone by super duper fast, and I dont understand how its already the middle of april! But anyway, lets see what have we done this week?
We have been super busy this week helping manuel and Katty with their baptism. We had a few lessons with them to help them really understand the importance of repentance. I find repentance to be a very very critical part of all of our lives. I often make mistakes, and I am trying each day to be obedient with exactness. I try and try to do all that I can to be obedient. I love obedience. But at the same time I always make mistakes, we all make mistakes. There is definitely a necessidad to repent. That is also an important part of my purpose. I mean, as a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ, I have the obligation to help others realize the necessidad to repent.
Yesterday we found a family, or rather a couple. Its actually very very rare that we find a husband and wife sitting down together here. I am honest when I say that 90 percent of couples here are not married. One time I have found a married couple in my like 2 months here in Lurin. couples outside of the church, that is. Anyway, nobody is married, everyone lives single with their kids. There are so many single moms here, there are more single moms than families. But as missionaries we are here to find families, to help them be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. That is our purpose. Its very difficult at times. But anyway, yesterday we found a couple. They have 4 kids, and they all live together. the oldest is 20 years old and yeah the parents are like 40 or older. But anyway they are still not married. But there are lots of problems in their family. We really just felt lots of love for this family. we want to help them and be there for them. We want to do all we can to help them, and we know that it is the gospel of jesus christ that they need in their lives. But the man is cheating on the wife and all sorts of stuff. I was thinking about the importance of repentance. and I was thinking about how repentance needs to be sincere, like really sincere. They have to humble themselves before god, as must all of we. We are going to do all we can to help them understand the importance of repentance, and the necessidad to do it.
Anyway, i was thinking about my life and the repentance I have gone through. Its not easy, the process. It shouldnt be easy, because its lifechanging. Anyway, this week I made a mistake thats obviously against the rules, and the zone leaders called me out on it. it was the right thing for them to do. anyway, I felt way bad for being disobedient, I didnt want to, I just kinda forgot about the rule and did it. anyway, its an experience I had. I learned lots from it, even though it was so simple.
Anyway, we ate RABBIT the other day with manuel, the man who was baptized. there is a picture of the cooked rabbit head in the pictures. hope you all enjoy! Write me, let me know how all is going!
(See several photos received this week.)
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Family and Friends,
I just heard one of the most happy announcements every! You know what? I now have 1 hour and a half to write family every week! but the best part, I can now right my FRIENDS!! I can write everyone I want! Mom, If you could send me an email with a bunch of contacts please? This week I was definitely thinking lots about the leadership in the Church, and about all the wonderful and powerful leaders I had as a child. Now that I have an hour and a half, I want to write all of them and thank them for all their influence they had on me. I was especially thinking about brother Mourino and all the great experiences we had together playing tennis and just talking about lots of stuff. I sure hope he is doing well with all of his kids and family!
Oh and I am writing this email on wednesday because there were transfers this week and they decided to change p day to wednesday so we can do all the changes and stuff monday without interfering with p day. So every 6 weeks we have p day on wednesday now.
But anyway this week lots of things have happened! First off, lets start with the last preparation day that we had. We went BOWLING! It was like the greatest thing ever. First time in almost a year that I had gone bowling. We were able to bowl for 1 hour and we finished two games. It wasnt the same without my own ball and shoes, but It was fun, and I was able to bowl like a 178 I think it was. Someday after the mission with my own ball I will have to bowl a 300... we will see. But that was super fun, then we went to this mall that was pretty nice. We walked around and went to like a dillards or something, its called ripleys. Wow everything was like super expensive. It was like ties for 20 dollars or more, pants for 30, everything was like at least 20 bucks. I am just so used to buying stuff in the market where ties are literally like 3 or 5 dollars, and everything super cheap. I think that when I finish and have to buy clothes again I will die because I wont be able to spend more than 5 dollars on anything haha.
But yeah its pretty sad I didnt hear from you mom! I dont know whats going on in Korea, I hope all is well with you guys and i sure hope that the war isnt doing anything too bad to south korea. I really dont have any idea whats going on with the war but i must say I am a bit scared.
Anyway, the other day we were knocking on doors because our plans fell through. We knocked on this door and this tall skinny lady walks out singing about christ and then HUGS US! It was terrible, we cant hug people but she straight up hugged us! and she is taller than us which made it so much worse. But yeah then she talked about the US and started talking in english and it was just so weird! I couldnt comprehend. Only a few times in my mission have I had to talk in english. like maybe 5 times have i run into someone that talks in english. It was crazy. we talked about lots of stuff, but then in the conversation she said the f word. Wow that word struck me in the heart like a dagger. It was so powerful and horrible. I have forgotten what it sounds like. I cant believe how used to that word I was but now its a terrible word and I realize how bad it is! Anyway that was just a funny little experience.
Anyway there have not been many changes here in my zone. As for my district, I have a new district. There are now 6 of us in the district and I am excited to get to work and help these other missionaries acheive their potential. Its going to be a great transfer and I am looking forward to becoming the best leader I can!
Conference was great wasnt it? We watched all the sessions and we got to watch in english which was great. I definitely learned a lot and I think that there were two that stuck out to me most. The message saturday about repentance and about how God wants to forgive us and he wants us to repent, we just have to do our part first. Also, the other message from the prophet thomas s monson about the obedience. I love obedience so much, I love trying to be perfectly obedient and I love what he said about the obedience and that it is the first law of heaven.
Anyway I am sending a bunch of pictures! We did a fun service project the other day in the middle of nowhere. We moved around these huge rolled up tarps all morning in the sun. It was an awesome service project! Oh and I have pictures with animals. Lots of people have visited that have rabbits, pigs, cats dogs and little chickens as well. Lots of good stuff has been going on and I am super duper happy with all the work that we are doing. There is also a picture of us in a moto taxi. So there is the dude driving the moto and then there is space for 3 in the back. Its like a carriage type deal. But we were short on time so we put three in the back and then me and my companion were on each side of the driver, standing on a little metal bar driving around. It was an experience. we were cruising going way fast, anyway, it was a good experience. 6 of us in total went around in that little moto taxi.
One thing I will definitely miss after the mission is the drinkable yogurt. I always buy like 1 kilo of this yogurt and eat it with cereal. Its super delicious and that is my breakfast each morning.
Anyway i think thats good enough for today, I have written tons but now have friends to write!! yay. But yes please email me with your email address and I can now respond to everyone! Love you all tons. I am excited to still be here working hard with Elder Vasquez. We have two baptisms for this week and I am so excited. We have lots to do and lots of work ahead of us. I loveyou all and love to hear from you when its possible. I am sad I didnt hear from you this week mom.
Anyway, love you all bunches,
Monday, April 1, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well I completely forgot that today is april fools day and i am pretty sure it doesnt exist here in peru. But oh well, its a worthless holiday anyway. But yeah I have lots to say this week thats for sure! First off, I saw in the paper the other day that north korea declared war on south korea and have missiles pointed to the united states or something like that? am I right? whats going on I dont want a war to start!
But ok lets start with last week. So last monday we didnt have p day, we worked, planning to go to the temple on thursday. but that got canceled. But we had all day thursday as p day so we watched 17 miracles again which is a great movie. Then we went to some ruins! It was awesome! I love exploring and getting out. Well they werent super awesome ruins but it was still pretty great! We took a bunch of pictures, there was also a little museum. It was like an old temple and a whole civilization that was destroyed a long time ago. It was nice to get out and see a bit of the history of peru! Then after that we went to the market and I found a little store with a bunch of peruvian things! I bought a few like hats, like a beanie. They were 4 dollars each and i definitely will buy a ton before I come home in a long time. I also bought a few little trinkets, a little llama and a pen. Its sweet i definitely want to find more souveniers there! Also, I wanted to tell you a little about how much things cost. So i did some math and i figured out that you can buy almost 6 pounds of potatoes for 1 dollar here, you can also buy like 13 bananas for 1 dollar. Its pretty crazy! everything is super cheap here.
So this past week we had an investigator that was preparing to be baptized on saturday. this person had a serious sin that had to be confessed to the councelor of the president. We went with here to like the middle of lima, it was super far away. It was a cool experience to get out in the middle of lima and explore a bit. The good part is that she passed her interview and was baptized this saturday! It was great to have a baptism, I have not had one in over a month which is really sad. But its great that she got baptized!
Oh something I really wanted as soon as possible mom is recipies. I definitely want to cook a bit, I really just want to make donuts. Can you send me a donut recipe, and also a brownies recipe? some people want to cook with us and they want me to cook brownies but I cant remember how very well. please just send it to me so I can print it out and then we will get cooking!
Also, something else happened this week. there is just drama in the ward sometimes. There is this 21 year old girl that just is super dramatic. Seriously she just makes me think of high school! she had a problem with another girl and then like got super mad at us. We talked with her a bit but wow I just felt terrible. I tried to explain our purpose and everything but wow the spirit was totally not there. I just wanted to do whats right and try to help her but wow the drama that she started made me think so much about high school. I loved high school but now that I look at it, everyone is selfish and drama filled. It really is just quite sad. And I must say that I was definitely there as well. I was definitely more selfish than I am now, and wow its just a shock to see how much my life has changed and how much better is it that it was in high school.
Also something else that happened this week. ok well there are 6 missionaries in my ward right? there are lots of us, but this week another little 15 year old girl teenager talked with us. she said that some things were going on, I am not going to say what, but she said that things were happening and that she felt incomfortable in church. she is a new member in the church, she got baptized in december and now didnt want to go to church. We asked her why and eventually she told us that it was a cause of a missionary in the ward. things happened and wow when I heard this I was heartbroken. A little 15 year old teenager wanted to go inactive because of a missionary. incredible. Anyway, I talked with the president as soon as possible and we got the whole situation cleared up. but wow it was very serious and I was very sad to hear about all of that. But that missionary immediately had an emergency transfer and no longer is with us here in lurin.
Anyway thats whats going on with me! I would love to hear from you all! I love the mission, its the best. I love working and being a servant of the lord. I know that I am blessed! Thanks for your prayers and for everything. TODAY WE ARE GOING BOWLING!! its a dream come true. We are going bowling right after this. I dont have my ball or my shoes and I wont be able to stay there and bowl for 3 hours like i did in BYU. but were going bowling. I definitely am looking forward to that! Ill let you all know how it goes next week. Love you all tons! take it easy
Monday, March 25, 2013
Family and Friends,
This week really has flown by. It feels like I was here 2 days ago writing. But anyway, its been a good week. We have definitely worked hard, very hard, and I think that its for that reason that this week went by so quickly. So lets see, what have we done this week. Sorry I have not had any time to even think about what I am going to write you all this week. So first off, its been great, as a companionship we are rocketing off. I cant believe that I have already been here for 4 weeks today and that we only have two more weeks to work this transfer. But anyway we have planned a baptism for this saturday thats coming up. Her name is mary, shes great! we have been teaching her since I got here and she is progressing lots. She is definitely excited about being baptized!
Anyway so the past week we did an awesome service project. We went to someones house and we went to the little shack of gerbils! We cleaned it all out. It was so dirty and full of all sorts of junk. But we sweeped and cleaned everything out and then rebuilt the little brick walls to separate the little homes of each little gerbil. It was a good service project and I really enjoyed doing it. I have pictures of it all but unfortunately my memory is contaminated but yeah dont worry about it. Ill sent pictures the next week if its possible. Ill be honest, I have eaten those little guini pigs and they are pretty yummy, I was hoping that the person was going to take one, kill it, and serve it up for us for lunch. But she didnt, oh well thats ok.
So I had an interchange this week with another elder from utah. It was great! It was good to learn from another elder. But wow lots of things happened. Ill be honest, it was a miracle that I was there in his room that day. Many things happened related to the obedience of one elder here in my district. As a district leader I had the responsibility to correct the situation and get everything fixed up. I cant tell you all exactly what happened because its very confidential. But I just want to say that Miracles happened this week. I was able to find errors with certain things and I was able to talk to the president and get everything corrected. This has been my first test as a district leader. It is very serious what happened and I never thought i would have to correct somebody on something so serious. But It was a good learning experience for me, I definitely just feel bad. I wish everyone was super obedient and diligent but thats not always the case. As a leader I am here to help, inspire, uplift, and bless the lives of my missionaries and I feel like that is what I have done. Anyway, I have learned a lot from that experience, we will see what happens this week! Anyway I am sure that this paragraph doesnt make much sense but its been a mission changing experience for me.
So my companion loves to cook. We never have time, like never ever but if we do have like a few minutes he tries to cook something. on monday we buy a few things to cook during the week. My companion is hilarious, hes so excited to cook noodles with potatoes and all sorts of classic dishes here in peru. In peru that have things that are called platos typicos, or like original plates. in the usa it doesnt really exsist. But he knows like all the different foods and ways to cook and he just wants to cook up everything for us. He also knows how to shop really well in the market. Its funny because supermarkets dont work too well around here. Everyone just has their little market set up and thats where everyone goes to shop and get their daily food. anything from vegetables to fruits to roots and plants. But he knows exactly what he needs to cook and knows where to get it all. I definitely love walking through the markets but there are so many weird things. Mom you would love it here, just walking through the market and looking at all the foods. Its a fun experience that we will have to do sometime mom, like we have done in korea. I definitely do miss those days with you, just walking through namdemun or the other markets.
So this past week my companion cooked arroz con leche. I dont know if it exists in the us, but literally its rice with milk. Its actually super good and super easy to cook. you just cook rice and then put in a certain milk and a bunch of sugar and it turns out super delicious, I want to cook it after my mission!
But really i am doing all I can to be focused on the work, on my investigators and on my district. We are facing challenges in the district, but I feel like I am learning and becoming a great leader in my district. I have lots more to learn but I just need to remain humble and teachable in all things.
love you all tons and love to hear from you! I have not gotten that package mom and dad, or the other one, but I have my hopes up!
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you all that I am going to the temple this week. I am super excited, we are going to the temple as a zone and so today is not preparation day. we are going to work like normal today in the afternoon and then thursday we are going to the temple. We are all going together and i am really looking forward to a nice spiritual experience!
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you all that I am going to the temple this week. I am super excited, we are going to the temple as a zone and so today is not preparation day. we are going to work like normal today in the afternoon and then thursday we are going to the temple. We are all going together and i am really looking forward to a nice spiritual experience!
Monday, March 18, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well this week has been a good one. We had an awesome multizone conference with everyone in villa el salvador. President douglas talked lots about our desires and I loved it. He said that we need to have more desires to help every person come unto christ. It was super awesome what president said. I was uplifted and edified lots.
Oh and yes there is something I need mom and dad. I dont know if this is at all possible, but my shoes are dying a bit, I need new pads inside. They are johnston and murphy shoes, size 9.5 and I have two pairs of them and need to pairs of new pads if its possible. I bought these shoes from mr mac in orem utah and I really could use new pads inside. I have heard that there are other missionaries that have replaced the pads and it would be great for me please
Yep so this week has been alright. My companion and I are doing great, I really think that this companionship is the best one I have had yet in the mission. We get along and never really have problems like at all. Its going well, I am super happy and super blessed. I am training this new elder but he is well prepared and its great to get to be with him. I feel like I am learning lots as a district leader and as a trainer. I am just trying to be a good example in all that I do. Its not always easy to be a good example in every moment. There are many reasons to be sad and get down, but there are more reasons to be happy and excited and I should just look on the bright side and be diligent always and be an example in every moment. But yeah we dont really have problems here, I have a great district as well. We are only 4 missionaries but we are doing great. Were not having lots of success in finding and baptizing but we are really becomming better people each day. We definitely just need to improve the work here in our areas because were really behind and we have lots to do. I just want to baptize the whole world but its definitely hard to find those people that are receptive and ready to learn.
But as far as the area goes, well its a good area. We are constantly seeing the beach which is difficult sometimes but wow its super pretty! it makes me want to go to the beach sometime soon! but looks like I have got to wait at least another year. But yeah its a big area, thats for sure. and its more like a city. Its not super city like but the people here are not quite as receptive to the gospel. They are just more busy and dont want to listen as much. But as well there are tons of prepared people, we just need to find them all! We dont have bikes and we always travel in the vans or busses all day.
Im sending a few pictures from some service we have done and a few other things. We have been working with this tall dark man who is crazy. He is incredible, he has had suicide thoughts and almost died but we really have saved him. He is progressing towards baptism the 13th of april. He has had lots of addictions to drugs and alcohol and cigarrets but now he only has a problem with cigarrets but we are working so hard with him! He means the world to me and I want him to baptize. He is awesome!
So yesterday I didnt go to church. Yesterday was the elections here in lima and so we didnt have the church meetings. Instead we were able to bless the sacrament in our room and it was definitely a spiritual and pretty experience for me. I love it, but then we worked like normal all day yesterday.
Anyway its good here, im loving the mission and working hard. I definitely have lots to get done. I love you all and Love to hear from you all!
Monday, March 11, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well this finishes the second week i have spent here in Lurin. Its been a good week, we taught lots of lessons and found new investigators. All was going well until sunday when like nobody came to church! It was super sad, various people lots their baptismal date because they didnt come to church this week. It was like heartbreaking. I was super sad. But thats just a sign to me that we need to work harder and do more to help these people come to church and prepare themselves to make convenats with God. And I feel like as a district leader there is more pressure put on me. I feel like the zone leaders focus a lot on the numbers and the indicators, which is good, but when we dont fulfil the goals that we have established I just feel bad. But anyway, we are working hard and I know that the lord will bless us tremendously!
Oh mom and dad, thanks for the news, there is still hope that I will receive the packages!! You can call Elder Galindo, 222 4445. I am not sure what the area code is or anything like that, but thats the mission office!
And thanks so much brother and sister nunez for the little package! that was super thoughtful, and Yes Michael Scannell I have been gotten a few emails from you! thanks so much all of you guys! Thank you as well stephanie and ben for the little package. Its always nice to hear from you all and its nice to get pictures!
So I was thinking a lot this week about who I am. I was thinking about this phrase in spanish in the scriptures that says desechad todo pecado. Im not sure what the translation is exactly. but its like hate all sin. I dont know how to express it in english. But yeah i was just thinking a lot about sin, and the consequences and the temptations. I was thinking about why we sin, and why we are so imperfect. Then I thought about the scripture in mosiah 3 19 that says that the natural man is an enemy to god. Its so true and I totally have a testimony of that. We are imperfect and our carnal desires are like exactly the opposite of what god wants. We need to strengthen ourselves and really develop a type of hate for sin. We must hate sin, and do all that we can to get rid of it. Sorry im struggling a ton with english, I cant seem to express what I want to say. But thats what I was thinking. We are sinners but we should look upon sin as god does, with the least degree of allowance.
I do love the mission, I just love teaching, and I love seeing lives change. This is what God wants from me right now, and I know that there isnt a better place to be right now. I want to thank you for your examples, for all you have given me. I really am a pretty dang spoiled kid now that I think about it. I am very blessed and grateful for the things I have and for the life I have lived. I have many regrets in my life, but I know that I will never regret the decision to serve a mission. I want to tell you all my favorite scripture of my youth. I read it again this week, in alma 37 35 [lets see if i can remember in english, Oh remember my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth, yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God. That was always my favorite scripture, but now I am 20 years old and im not so young. But We all need to learn to keep the commandments of god, always, everyone.
Sorry this doesnt make much sense. I just want to thank you for the blessings and the love that you send me. Be strong, keep the commandments, and hate all sin. love you all tonsss
Monday, March 4, 2013
Family and Friends,
Wow its been quite the week! First off, as a district leader there seems to be like no time to do much. There are lots of responsibilities but this assignment has given me the opportunity to work hard with other missionaries and to develop a special kind of love for them. But lets see, I went from chincha to lurin right? well I went from all sorts of dirt and dust in chincha to pure sand here in lurin. We walk all day in beach sand and its difficult. its not easy to walk all day in sand! But yeah our area is the beach and all the people that live next to it. I cant tell you how much temptation there is here! Its crazy. Its more like a city here than in chincha and all the people are hanging out on the beach all day because its summer around here. Its definitely a temptation thats for sure! But my new companion and i are working hard! Elder Vasquez is awesome. I am training him but he is well prepared and really just wants to do whats right. We are working hard together and we are protecting each other from the bad stuff.
So anyway mom we do service each week. Every thursday we do service and lots of times we destroy stuff, like houses, or we tear down a hill to make a flat spot to build a house. this week we did that. We tore down a hill and started putting together wooden boards as a house. Its like a fort. its like the good old forts that I used to build in the woods, seriously! it looks like that, but its a house where a family will live. Its definitely a different life. But yeah about that we were tearing down the hill right? well I was looking at the rock formation and putting into practice what i learned in byu about geology. I was studying the rocks there and its just pure shale. its also covered in halite so you can lick it and its just salt. Anyway It was fun to study a bit of geology here in peru! I definitely want to keep studying geology after the mission.
But yeah anyway My birthday came and went really quick. Not much happened. Although yes we do eat everyday with the wife of the bishop here in my ward. she is our pensionist. and she also washes our clothes each week. But yeah she celebrated my birthday and made a cake for us and we had a nice little celebration. It was nice to be noticed a bit! Then at night my companion cooked! it was incredible. he is a great companion. He made potatoes with a cream sauce and then made a mango juice and also like little hot dogs. it was great! hes awesome. But then as it goes in the mission, he planted an egg over my head and i got super dirty with egg. ANyway i cleaned myself up, but it was a nice gift from my companion. oh yeah he loves to cook.
about the area. Its huge like my other area, but we never travel in cars. We are also in buses, little a big mini van that can seat like 15 people. but im not joking, they pack us in there like ants. There is no private space at all! We are shoved in there and im just taped to another person. That is the transportation and there is no other way around it. it gets uncomfortable thats for sure. Especially because here there are tons of clubs next to the beach and lots of iniquity. The temptation is there but we are just trying to be focused always on the investigators. But yeah so the area is really flat like my other area. There are lots of people thats for sure. Oh and something different, there isnt a church building church. Its a house where we meet. Its a big house thats been changed into a church building. Its small and there isnt anything but a cement floor and walls but its nice i guess. Definitely different. I do live in a nicer area then where I was before. The people here are a little bit better off. Not a ton, but definitely are better off here.
So something i wanted to say. Here we dont eat dinner. But wow do we eat lunch! We eat so much each day! its like a soup, then the main dish, then fruit or desert or something. Its incredible! But you know how after thanksgiving we all want to take a nap because we are dead tired? yeah its like that every day! I am dying each day after lunch and I can hardly keep it together! Its so tough, but then by the time night rolls around, we are super hungy! I think i need to start buying food to eat at night, and also breakfast... But thats something I am going to do today. Today we have the day to ourselves. We need to take care of a few things. Were going to go shopping and buy food for the week, and then we are going to eat somewhere at a restaraunt and then I think I am just going to write letter to my converts and a few friends today. But i dont know, we really dont have much time on monday to do a whole lot. I definitely want to explore the area a bit. I want to go to the market and the central part of the city and explore a bit, Im just too cheap to every buy anything haha. But yeah thats the plan for today. Not much. Anyway, I definitely am learning tons as a district leader. Its good though. Its tough, but I know that The lord wants me to be working with these elders. I just want to be diligent and obedient in all I do. I know that I will be strengthened as I pray with faith and as I seek the guidance of the lord. In doctrine and covenants 42 it talks about personal revelation and its awesome. In verse 61 it says that if we ask for revelation, we will receive. then it says in verse 14 that if we dont receive the spirit we cant teach. So I am working hard to receive the guidance of the spirit always or else I should not be teaching!
I love you all tons, thanks for the prayers and for the support and everything. I am working hard and I feel like im loosing myself in the work because there is hardly time to think sometimes! I love the work though. I am learning tons and I know that the lord is blessing me tremendously.
Write me, keep in touch. how is life?
(See one photo sent with this letter under the mission photos tab above.)
Monday, February 25, 2013
Family and Friends,
I have been transfered! In this moment I am in lima, villa el salvador sur, in a ward called lurin. Anyway I had lots of things I wanted to say, but its probably going to be really unorganized.
First off, this past week I have been reading in alma, in the book of mormon. I read both alma 18 and 21, and those chapters talk about the conversion stories of the kings. Its super awesome those stories and I love reading about them. The sons of mosiah and alma really were tremendous missionaries, and they followed the spirit tons to teach the investigators, or the kings, according to their nessesidades, and that is exactly what we are doing here in the mission.
But yeah, so the past few weeks we have had rats in our room, and they started eating everything! they ate like all my snacks that I had in the room and they would often appear whenever we were quiet. They got into everything, our clothes, drawers, and closets. It was quite annoying. Then one day I was searching for a book in a box and i heard the rat in the box. I went outside with the box, opened it, and out went the rat. that was the end of the rat. But also, we were walking on a dark path at night and we saw a huge muka. its like a cat or dog sized rat! Its HUGE. It looked kinda like a wolf with gross hair, but it had a tail and face of a rat. Anyway, im out of that area now, its been a good 7 months there in sunampe but now im here in lurin!
Oh and also, this week I went to the temple in lima!! I went with another white elder and it was like the best. its like more than a 3 hour bus ride from chincha to lima and we went there early in the morning. We went to the temple and bought things in the stores nearby. we had lunch and then entered into the temple and it was just a super nice experience. I had not gone to the temple in more than 6 months and it was nice to be there. We took pictures and then traveled back to chincha, all in one long day.
So this week i started peeling pretty good on my arms. we did a service project and my sleeves were shorter than my sleeves of my white shirts and so i got burnt so quickly. and i started peeling really good on my arms. It was an interesting experience.
Oh and this past week we were also riding bikes tons to this area really really far away. It was a good bike ride each day going there, and one time we went at night. It was super scary! its super far away and in between that area and the city there is nothing but a dirt path! It was quite the experience but wow I enjoyed it.
Alright, so thats what happened last week, now im going to talk about now. so right now I am in lima, and I am training a new elder. this elder that I am training already has one transfer in the mission and I am going to finish his second transfer of training. I am also the district leader! Its a huge responsibility and I feel like I have lots to do! I have my district now and I am in charge of all of them. I have to teach the district each week and it will be a learning experience for me. I definitely just need to be a good example in all that I do. I have lots to do here in my new area. I need to get to know all the investigators, all the members, all the elders, and all the streets and addresses. Its a lot to do, especially with the other responsibilities i have as a trainer and a district leader. I know its going to be tough, but I have learned lots and I will continue to learning tons.
Anyway, ill have to send pictures next week, right now doesnt seem like it will work. But yeah I must say it was pretty sad to have a transfer today, because tomorrow is my birthday. Tomorrow I would have celebrated with my ward in sunampe but I have been changed and now nobody knows about my birthday. But thats alright, its the work of the lord and I know that I need to be here in lurin. I did want to thank you all for the emails about my birthday. I definitely do feel loved by the family. Its always good to hear from you, even if it is just a small little email.
And also Its super awesome to hear that we have a new member of the family! congrats Jill and bobby, its crazy to think that you now have 3 kids, and that I have now missed out on two births in the family. But how awesome. Sounds like all is well and that the birth was perfect. It will be great to get to know her, as well as paige. Oh and I hope all is well with little paige. I hope her surgery or operation thing went well and that all goes well. I love the family and its crazy to think how big it is now! Love you all tons and I hope that all is well. Sounds like your all busy with your callings and with the family. Love you all tons. Do good stuff out there, I always remember you all, family and friends.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Family and Friends,
This week was great, you know why? because we had a baptism!! We had a wonderful baptism with Joselyn. Shes is teenager whos mom was less active. We have been able to find her and help her become a part of the church. Then this saturday we had a beatiful baptism! Now her mom is active in the church, and her little sister as well is going to church and is preparing to be baptized as well! I am just so happy with her. I had the great priveledge to baptize her and it was definitely something memorable and special for me. She is a great teenager and is really ready to just do whats right and follow christ always.
Ok so what else has happened this week? Well we have been using the bikes again! Since elder Rojas left, we started using the bikes, but wow its like 33 degrees in celcius and im not sure in fareignheit but its dang hot! We are working hard! we are riding all day in those bikes just sweating until we are literally wet. But its good, we are being tested a lot but we are being blessed as well. Its definitely not easy, the mission, but its something I am loving. I just love to be a missionary and I love to help others come unto christ.
This week I had the opportunity to eat cow heart. It was actually quite tasty, very flavorful, I wouldnt say its the best, but at least it has a strong flavor, but its a bit weird. I did like it though.
Oh this week I got super sick again. I have a quick story. So this week I woke up one day just dead. I ended up sleeping a lot of the day because I couldnt do anything. I called the office and we bought some pills and yeah towards the end of the day I got better. But then the next day I felt a little funny, and without thinking I ate potatoes with this super yummy cheesy cream sauce, its called papa a la wuakaina. It was super good, and then we drank a bit of soda and it was just really nice and tasty. But then in the afternoon my stomach killed me. I was just dying of pain, it was so strong and I couldnt do anything about it! It was just a super bad stomach ache. but then i asked my companion and a member for a blessing. There was nothing I could do but wait. I got the blessing and layed down on my bed. Well I must say that quickly after that blessing I got up from my bed and just felt relieved. It was wonderful. We ended up teaching a great lesson after that. But I have a strong testimony of blessings and I know that the power of healing is real.
I really just feel blessed for the many things I have and for the success that we are having here in sunampe. Its a test here in sunampe, especially after more than 6 months here. But I love the members here, I love the people, my investigators, my converts. They mean the world to me and there is a transfer in one week. I dont know what will happen but I am more than 80 percent sure that I am going to leave. I love it here but at the same time, change is good. I need to learn more things from other areas and other wards. I know that whatever happens the lord will be on my side. Miracles exist, and we need to start believing in them. I have felt miracles in my mission and this week. Its a miracle that joselyn was baptized because there were lots of problems with her dad before. But she was baptized, that in and of itself is a miracle. I am going to send you a few pictures that I have taken over the past few weeks, I hope you all enjoy them!
Oh and dont tell anyone, shhhh, but we have rats in our room now. We dont know what to do but there are rats and they are eating stuff and getting everything dirty. But dont worry! its just another story that I have here in the mission!
Love you all tons,
(Michael sent several photos which you can view under the mission photos tab.)
Monday, February 11, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well lets see, this week has been another wild ride. Lets start with last monday yeah?
so last week we went to the stake center to play a few games and to hang out with the other missionaries. We changed into street clothes and yeah started playing. But wow I ran just a bit and I did a little gymnastics and it was incredible how fast my legs started cramping. We walk all day but I have not run in months like at all! Since we stopped playing soccer I have not done any running and it was rediculous how fast my legs just gave out. So then the next day in the morning we went running and it was a disaster, I definitely need to get back into shape if I am going to run a marathon someday!
Oh something random, this week I found chololate covered raisins and wow that made me quite happy. I bought a bag of them and that really reminded me of home!
So wednesday in the afternoon we got a call from the assistants saying that elder Rojas has an emergency transfer. So thursday in the morning we all left for lima. Its like almost 4 hours in a bus to get to lima, and from there in a taxi to get to the office. But thats what we did, we went to the office and from there said goodbye to Elder Rojas. I also had a personal interview with the president in that moment. He told me lots of great things that are going to happen but I cant really tell you all right now. I just see a great future here in my mission and I am really going to work hard and do all I can to help everyone come unto christ. But yeah that little interview with the president really made me happy and excited for the good stuff that is here to come. But yeah, so elder rojas went to his new zone and Elder olivares and I returned to chincha, another 4 hours of transportation. Luckily I can sleep all day in a bus haha.
So yeah, I am now sleeping in a bed and we are just two. So about the work here in Sunampe. Well this is my 5th transfer in the same area and I really know the area well and feel like I have done all I can here, but we are still constantly finding new people to teach. I have really seen the lord bless me right before my eyes. Its incredible, we have a good future here in sunampe. We have many investigators and one of them is Joselyn. I think I have talked about her before but she is a 17 year old teenager. Her mom is a less active member who wants to return to the church, and her dad doesnt live with them. She is super active with all the young women and loves being in church. She has accepted that the book of mormon is the word of god and she believes that joseph smith was a prophet. She had a little problem with the word of wisdom but easily accepted it and completely stopped drinking coffee and tea! Its incredible! she is preparing lots to be baptized this saturday! We just have to talk to her about a few more things but she is well prepared and She will be a strong faithful member of this ward! Its incredible I am so happy for her.
Here is how we found her. So my first week here in sunampe, like 6 months ago or more I was with elder Ferrada and we knocked on her door to find her mom and invite her to church. We didnt find her mom, but we talked one minute with joselyn that day and never returned to that house. Then around christmas time, 4 months later, I returned to that house, it was just a thought in my head. But we went there, found joselyn, after 4 months! We talked with her more and with her brother. and from there we have continued teaching her and now she is ready to be baptized this next week!
Anyway thats my happiness and joy right now! But also we have a couple that are preparing to be baptized. They are super awesome. Their kids are members and they are now assisting the chapel each sunday and really want to be baptized. They are ready! the only problem is that they are not married and the wife is from the hills, she doesnt have documents and its hard to get them but we are going to work with them lots so that they can get married and baptized! But its quite sad, we talked with them the other day and they said that they didnt have food to eat that day. They literally dont have anything, and even dont have food sometimes to eat. Its quite sad, but we have talked with the bishop and we are helping them lots! They are super special to me and I really hope I can see them get baptized.
Anyway thats about all for now. I hope to get back in shape so that I can play sports here in two years! I love the mission and I am looking forward to the great things that are going to happen here in a few weeks when there is a change!
Love you all tons and love to hear from you all!
Monday, February 4, 2013
Family and Friends,
This week has been crazy as it always is. So first off, were in a trio right? well its pretty interesting. I must say, its been another difficult week. We have really struggled to find unity as we teach and to really figure out how a trio works. We have had some really awkward lessons that just didnt come out right because all three of us have different ideas. Its a process thats for sure, but i am learning lots!
This week I walked into a building in the middle of the day and it had air conditioning. I think that was one of the few times I really felt cold air conditioning, and it really made me miss home in the usa. Speaking of the weather and all that, I am fried. I am sending a picture of my two colors. I am so roasted, my arms and face are just burnt. we are just being burned here in sunampe. Its the dead of summer right here in peru and wow its pretty strong!
Something I was thinking about was the puntuality. I think thats how you spell it, I kinda forgot the word in english. But here in the mission we live a strict schedule. We have studies and meetings and everything is strictly set. I personally am a very punctual person. I love to be on time always and I love to arrive early or things like that. For example, we have personal study each day from 8 to 9 in the morning. I think in my whole mission I have started my personal study late like 2 or3 times. I love to be punctual and I love to study each morning! But in a trio there are lots of problems with this. We all have to go to the bathroom, shower, and do all of that in the morning. There is only one tiny mirror in the room and It just seems to be a little problem. I have just been pushed to the edge a little bit because I want to be exactly obedient. I also want my companions to be exactly obedient but that never seems to work. I am still having lots of tests with the patience. Its not easy. I just hope to be a good example here for my companions.
I dont really know if that made sense. I just love to be obedient. Its what the lord wants from me, and its what I should do. I should follow the rules exactly while i am on the lords errand. I am his servant and I will do all I can to fulfil his will. I want to just be a good missionary, and a good example.
We have been super blessed this week to have a baptism of a 21 year old adult who is like super special to me. we have worked with him for a long time and now he finally entered into the waters of baptism and is ready to be obedient to the commandments of God. I just love baptizing and I love to be a part of the changes that these people experience here thanks to the gospel. That is why i love my mission. I love seeing people change their lives. I am still here in my first area in the mission, but I feel like its for a reason. There is still stuff that I need to accomplish here in sunampe so I am going to get to work and just do it!
We were super blessed this week to have 11 non members come to church this week. it was incredible. We have a great future here in sunampe and even if I leave here soon I know that sunampe will grow. We have lots of work to do with those 11 people that went to church and I hope that each of them will be baptized. It would be a huge blessing. Anyway, we have lots to do this week and today. Thanks bobby for the envelope package that you sent me! The clothes are nice! and I hate to say it, but I already have a small preach my gospel in spanish, but I think I will use it here in like 6 months when my preach my gospel is all marked up and old. Thanks so much, it means the world to me!
So anyway, the work will go forth here in peru. Oh a quick story! The other day we were walking in the dark at night and i was leading the way. I stepped on a piece of wood and it broke and my leg fell all the way into this hole up to my hip almost. It was a super interesting experience. I felt like it was a trap but it was nothing, just a hole covered by a piece a wood. and it broke and I fell...
Oh and something else! since were in a trio in a small room, there is not lots of space for a third bed. But we do have a couch! So I have been sleeping on a couch each night and I think i will continue to sleep on the chouch until the end of this transfer. its comfy, so dont worry!
I cant believe that my birthday is here in less than a month. I cant believe that I will turn 20 years old, I really am old, and my teenage years really are behind me now. I will miss my teenage years lots but I am growing up and I know that there are still many good things ahead of me in the life! I love all of you and love to hear from you so much. Please keep me updated. I love you all, take care, and ill keep you updated next week!
(Michael sent 2 photos that can be seen in the mission photos tab.)
Monday, January 28, 2013
Family and Friends,
Well we finished the transfer. I must say, the past 6 weeks that I have had here training elder Rojas has been the hardest 6 weeks of my life mentally and spiritually speaking. But an announcement, WE HAVE A CHANGE! officially as of right now, I am in a 3 some! a trio! Its crazy, I am still training elder Rojas, as a new missionary, but now we are with one more missionary! I have no idea what we are going to do. Our room is so small and dont have sufficient space to have another missionary with all his clothes and suitcases and stuff. Its going to be a wild change thats for sure.
But lets rewind a bit first. So this past week we have really been running into difficulties and there have been very hard days with my companion. We love each other tons, we really do, and im not going to say all the problems that we have had. I just know that the mission is not something easy for my companion. He has been trying hard to love the mission but its just not quite as easy as what he expected. Its been very tough for me, its hard to have energy and be excited about things when its the exact opposite with your companion. But anyway, with this trio that we are going to have, I am really looking forward to the work that we are going to do. We are going to preach 3 by 3, with 3 testimonies and with more spirit and more power.
This transfer we are going to have is short. This is the mission changing transfer. This transfer is only 4 weeks, and this means that from here on out, every missionary here in the mission is going to finish his mission 2 weeks early. So this change is going to fly by so fast.
So sounds like everything with the family is pretty crazy. Seems like with the death of grandma and grandpa many things are up in the air. I sure hope all will get settled and I hope that everyone in the family can be at peace.
I dont really remember what I wanted to say. Oh yeah, I had an interchange with another north american missionary who is my zone leader and it was super weird. I honestly dont speak english like at all, and I am forgetting lots of english. But in this one day change that we had, we talked in english and it was like super fun. It just felt weird, we talked about lots of stuff and it was just quite an experience to talk in english and chat about all sorts of things.
About the mission and the area. We have got lots of great plans for the month of february. We are planning on one baptism this saturday, with more to come here in this month. I have lots of time here in sunampe. I started my mission here and I am now training. I am going to finish the training of my companion elder Rojas this change in this trio, and then I think I am going to go. I had the priveledge to talk to the president today on the phone and he said that I will most likely leave sunampe after this transfer. Its incredible that im starting my 5th transfer in the field, and that I am going to finish 8 months in the mission here in february. I am excited to work, I have my hopes up for the future, and I just hope that we can live with 3 of us in the little room that we have.
The mission is going through lots of changes. for example, a new zone was opened in the mission and 46 missionaries entered into the mission field this change! thats so many, many areas are being opened and I am looking forward to whats to come. I love the mission, I am learning tons, and I am happy to hear from you all when its possible. I love you all and I cannot believe how fast the two years are going by!
(the picture is with my zone leaders and the other is with some of my zone)
(Michael sent two photos which can be seen in the photo tab.)
Monday, January 21, 2013
Family and Friends,
This week has definitely been a different week. We have been blessed but have also suffered. Thanks so much mom and sister johnson for the updates on all the people in texas. I am so excited for everyone that is heading out on a mission! Way to go Conner, Doug, Kailey, Andrea, Jorie, Malia, Michael, and others! Thats super exciting and it seems like the work of the lord really is expanding to all parts of the world, and quickly! Us in this mission here in peru lima south are receiving tons of missionaries! Its crazy, like 30 missionaries are entering each transfer and like 10 are finishing. Lots of areas are being opened and the work is really expanding so much.
It makes me think of the example in the scriptures when it talkes about the stone cut out of a mountain. I think of that cheesy seminary video of a rock rolling around until its as big as the earth. But its true, the rock is rolling, so to speak, about the work of the lord. So many people are entering the mtc and so many more are working on their papers and getting ready to lead. I think there are going to be many changes around the world about the missionary work and its incredible. We really are in the last days, and I know that Jesus Christ will come soon to reign over all the earth.
But anyway, its super sad to hear that grandpa died, but he joined grandma and I know that they are just waiting in paradise, teaching the gospel to all the world, as am i here in peru.
So this week I wanted to tell you all a bit about my weaknesses. I have many weaknesses as everyone does. But this week my weaknesses have really been brought out. I have definitely found weaknesses in myself this week. One of them is the patience. I always thought that i was patient but this week its been difficult. Its something I need to improve. I need to develop more patience if I am going to get married and be with an eternal companion. I need to find the good in my companion always. I must always work out of love, and patience. Patience is the ability to bear trials with love and without being frustrated or sad or something like that. I am doing all that I can to always have the spirit and to always be filled with love and charity, not hate and anger.
My other weakness is curiosity. I have always been a curious little one, as many of my friends already know. I know that its not necessarily bad, but it definitely can be something bad. I think I have let my curiosity get away with me this week. I really just love my companion but I think that my curiosity has caused problems. I need to be less curious, and more respecctful of the decisions and actions of my companion.
Anyway, thats a bit of what I am learning. I have a long way to go, but I know that the lord will help me. I am not ready to finish my mission, I need to overcome my weaknesses and I need to be made strong through the lord. Luckily I still have like 17 months left in the mission. I trust in the promise that my weaknesses will be made strong, as it says in ether 12 27, in the book of mormon.
Love you all tons, and it would be great to hear from you all as well
Monday, January 14, 2013
Family and Friends,
Alright so this week I have been eating lots of fruit cake! I have been eating fruit cake almost daily for over a month now and its getting quite old, but we have to eat it! Oh and this week I was looking a bit at some photos that I have. If there is anything that I would love to receive from you all, its pictures. I love pictures! Thanks elder nuñez for those photos that you sent me from Scannell and Kyle. I love pictures so much! I was looking at a picture that I have with me, elder Nunez, elder Johnson, elder Fife, and michael scannell. Its really incredible that right now we are all in the whole world. I love the mission, its such a great experience. I am so happy that my friends are serving and that we are all united in the work of the lord. I really hope to hear from Michael Scannell a bit about his progress!!
I was also thinking this week that Bobbys birthday is this week! Happy birthday Bro! Your going to turn 30 years old wow huh? congrats. Im not soon after youl My birthday is coming up in like a month and oh no, no longer will i be a teenager!! ahh 2 decades! thats incredible to me.
Anyway, I wanted to write about the atonement a bit. I have really been thinking about the atonement and how powerful and huge the sacrifice of jesus christ is. I was thinking about my entire life. I was thinking about all my errors, my problems, my sadness, my temptations from all of my life. Its a ton, I have felt lots of stress and I have been super mad, super sad, and really tempted at times. I thought about putting all of those feelings into one moment and how painful and horrible it would feel. Then I thought about all those pains of my companion, put together with all of mine. Then I started to think about my family, my friends, and all of their problems and stresses put into one moment of pain and stress. Thats a huge amount of pain. I would literally die from all of that. THen I thought about all of the woodlands, or all of provo. or all of peru. Then all the united states, then all the world. Then you have to think about all time. Every single person. Billions of people have passed through this life. Jesus Christ suffered all of that. every pain possible. He felt every fiber of stress. In one moment. He suffered for each of us. We would literally die for that type of sacrifice. But no, Jesus Christ had to suffer and live through it all. Think about that for a moment. I dont want to make Jesus suffer more. I dont want him to feel more pain. I want to be pure, clean, washed free from sin. But no, im a sinner, and always will be. I will cause more pain for Jesus Christ. But I am going to do all I can to improve, to become a true disciple of christ. I am going to do my best, I am going to stop sinning, or at least do my best. I will always make errors, but I will do my best. I encourage each of you to think about that and to do the same. I dont want Jesus Christ to suffer more. I dont want that.
I just want to live with god again. I want to be pure and clean. So lets do it yeah!?? We have been learning lots together this week. We have an investigator named joselyn who is like 16 years old but she is loving the youth. she loves coming to church and im super excited to baptize her in the near future!
The work is good, the work will go on. But study the atonement of Jesus Christ. Be grateful for his sacrifice, and lets do our best to improve and be perfect yeah?
Love you all tons. Hope to hear from you all regularly. I love this gospel. I know Jesus Christ suffered for each of our pains and sins. He wants us to return and live with him again. I love you all so much, as jesus christ loves each one of us.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Family and Friends,
Wow where to start? Lets see. So this saturday we were cleaning the chapel to prepare the faunt and the classroom for the baptism. We were sweeping and cleaning everything but we went to turn on the water. The handle is in a little closet and we couldnt seem to open the door. We tried all the keys multiple times and it just wouldnt open. And we had the only keys to the chapel in the ward. I started to panic. I thought, oh no, if we cant open this door we are not going to have baptisms. I went into a little room for a minute and prayed. It had been a bit of a difficult week, and I just prayed, asking for help. I was about to just loose it because I was stressed. But I walked over to my companion and said hey, you have the keys in your hands, I dont know how your going to open this door but I know you have the keys. I know you can open the door. I continued to clean and organize the room and a minute later I heard a Yipee. I thought he was kiding, but nope, somehow he opened the door. It was wonderful. It was a little miracle for me. so This week we had 3 baptisms! Oh it was so beatiful. Rita, Josue, and Aixa were baptized this saturday. I had the opportunity to baptize rita, and my companion baptized josue, and the missionary that did the interview for aixa baptized her. It was a great experience. We had a few members show up along with a few other members. It was so beatuiful, and it was a nice spiritual experience. It was something I needed personally, and it was also a great experience for my companion. His first baptism in his mission. They are so special to me, I will always remember them, and I hope that they will continue, enduring to the end with faith. I know that they will always be faithful members of the church. They were confirmed members of the church the next morning in the sacrament meeting and the spirit was definitely present. What an experience that was!
I have a few random things I would like to tell you all. First off, I have learned so much about english by studying spanish, and by being with a latino all day every day. So heres a few examples. Trying to tell the difference between shade and shadow. Its not so easy! Also, the difference between there, and over there. Yeah its really funny sometimes trying to explain certain things in english!
Also something random. The latinos dont know anything about ratings of movies. You all know that us members of the church dont watch rated r movies right? well here there arent ratings, and sometimes I hear other missionaries or people talking about a movie thats rated r! its interesting, but I have not heard about a latino misssionary who knows anything about that stuff.
Oh something more, we were walking and visiting people on saturday and on the main road there were passing all sorts of cars, like race cars and funky cars. There were all sorts of people trying to take pictures with all the cars that were passing by. It was like an event going on. But I found out that it was a Dakar Race that they are going to have in Pisco. So all the cars were driving from lima to pisco and they were passing through chincha. It was an interesting experience, we definitely saw some interesting cars!
Oh and I have another announcement. A HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT. You know how there are lots of changes being made with the mtc and with everything right? Well because of these changes, we are going to have a short transfer, a transfer that is 4 weeks, not 6 as it usually is. They are changing the times when the missionaries are going to enter into the mission field and things. That means that I am going to finish my mission two weeks earlier. I already have almost 7 months in my mission you all. almost 7 months! And now I am going to come home in the end of may, or the beginning of june. I only have a year and a few months to do this work and I definitely dont want to lose my time here!
Mom, Dad, I was thinking this past week a bit about you two. I normally dont think much about home, but I was talking with my companion about home a bit and I got thinking about you two. I was thinking about my home, and really how Texas is my home, but not really. That is where I grew up, my childhood, my memories. but Also utah is my home. BYU is the closest thing I have to home. but I dont have a home there, I cant go home to utah where I dont have a home. But then i think about korea. I love korea, its great, its wonderful really. I loved being there. But korea cant be my home as well. I cant return home to korea because frankly its just not home. I know that this is not nesesarily in your control mom and dad, and its a long time in the future, but I would really love to finish my mission and return to a home. I want to be with you two in a home, a home in texas, or a home in utah. I want to have a home really. If there is anyway that we can have a home in the US, please, That would be a great blessing.
But anyway, thats just some of my thoughts. This week with my companion we have learned lots of new things. We are struggling a bit sometimes. But we are very happy. We had 3 baptisms this week and that was the highlight of the week. It was incredible. We definitely have lots more to do though. We want baptisms every week. We are working hard but there is always more to learn right? I am grateful for my mission, I am super grateful for my new companion. I have learned tremendous amounts of patience and I hope to continue learning. I need to be humble always, trusting in the lord that he will fulfil his promises. I know that this week we are going to have success. We are going to be diligent and obedient in all that we do. I Love to hear from you all when its possible. Mom, I still have not received that package, and I am waiting eagerly to receive it. Let me know how all is going yeah? hope you enjoy the pictures!!
Love always,Elder Goodman
(Michael sent seven photos that can be seen in the mission photos tab.)
Monday, December 31, 2012
Family and Friends,
Merry Christmas! I hope it was a great week for all of you. And be safe for the new year! I hope all goes well, and I hope all are safe with all the traveling and all the extreme weather conditions, or so it sounds like to me. I am truly grateful for each of you and I cannot believe that I have been on my mission for more than 200 days now!
Alright so this week was one of the most diverse weeks yet. As you know already, I am training and new missionary. He has been on him mission for like a month now but he is doing great. He is from Lima but he is temporary here in this mission. His mission is in mexico and he is waiting for his visa. But anyway, this week we have had some excellent days. We have really been working hard and we had a few great days with lots of lessons and with new investigators. We are really learning how to teach together and are finding ways of teaching with more unity. I have really been tested this week. Its been a big test in many ways. First off, the sun is just beating down on us hard. We have been sweating buckets these days and there just is no time to rest or relax. Also, I have been sleeping horribly this week. And for those of you that know me, I never have trouble sleeping. We are having mosquito problems in our room at night and so I think we need to shut everything completely. But then the room is an oven. Anyway, yeah the mosquitos are a problem at night, hopefully I can sleep a bit this afternoon.
So tonight in the night there are going to be tons of fireworks and all that stuff but we have to be sleeping at 10 30 as normal. For us, today is just another normal day. But happy new year to all! This next year I am really looking forward to working hard, to putting forth my all into the missionary work, and to being diligent each and every day. I need to come up with some specific goals for this new year! Its going to be a great year you all.
So this week we have been doing all we can to help this family. A mom, rita, and her three kids, marcos, aitza and Josue. They are so awesome, so special, and are really just amazing. They are preparing to be baptized this next saturday and We are really trying to do all we can to prepare them and take care of them. They understand everything, they just need to have an interview and then they need to be baptized. That is the goal and the highlight of this week.
So by the way my memory has a virus so that really stinks, I might have to buy a new one and do all that stuff. This virus is just weird, I dont understand. But yeah ill try to send pictures when I can get this fixed.
So anyway i was studying patience a lot this week. I was also thinking a lot about pride, and how in my opinion, all of us have pride. If we didnt have pride, we wouldnt sin, because we would be perfectly humble and always trusting in the lord, right? I might be wrong on this, but I think the only reason we sin is because of pride in one form or another. But this week I realized that I have pride. I am not perfect. I need to be better. I must trust in the lord. I must be exactly obedient and I should try my best not to sin. It is definitely a process. But if we develop more patience we will be able to be more humble and teachable. And as we develop these attributes of christ we will come closer to the savior and have less pride. Or at least that is what I think. I challenge you all to develop patience, and get rid of pride. Its not easy, and its not always completely possible, but try to do it. Forget your own desires and just do what is right. That is the humility that we need,
Love you all tons, I would love to hear from you all. Have a great week and I will talk to you next week, in 2013 huh? wow,
(Michael sent four photos that can be seen in the mission photos tab.)
Monday, December 24, 2012
Family and Friends,
Well this week has been a new week thats for sure. I am now training a new missionary and his name is elder Rojas. He is from lima and this is not his mission. He is temporary, he is waiting for his visa and when it arrives he will head out to mexico. So he is definitely a new missionary. His dad was a mission president like 15 years ago but he really doesnt know a lot about the mission. He has a grand heart and really just wants to work hard in the work of the lord. He is trying to be obedient and he is really humble. He is learning lots about the work of the lord but we definitely have lots more to learn and do. So this week we had a multizone conference in Ica. We headed down there on friday and had a christmas multizone with the president and with almost half the mission. It was sweet, we talked about christmas and then we played a little game with the gifts we brought, and then we got to watch a movie, a christmas carol. Unfortunately, I fell asleep as I always do. The one time we get to watch a disney movie is the one time that I fall asleep haha. But anyway It was just nice to be with the president and his family, as well with many other missionaries. Then we had an activity as a ward and we ate lots of fruitcake and drank a chocolate drink. That is just what the people do here for christmas. Everyone is crazy about fruit cake haha.
So lets rewind a bit. Tuesday we woke up and had a regular morning but then we went to the office to find our new companions. We had a little training meeting as trainers with the asistents to the president. We then got to eat pizza hut!! I was super happy. that was the first time i had had pizza in months and it was yummy. It was a nice break from the rice and potatoes that we eat daily. But then we went and found a new companions and we headed back to chincha, a bit more than a 3 hour bus ride from lima.
We have had all sorts of activities this week with the ward and with the stake and the missionaries for christmas. Its just not the same, christmas. But I truly do feel the love from the other missionaries, members of the ward, and from the president and his family. It will be nice to talk to the family tomorrow, which by the way I am planning on skyping you all around 3 or 3 30 in the afternoon on christmas day. I dont know what the time difference is but i think its only one or 2 hours from utah time. But yeah so that will be super nice to talk to you all. I am excited to see your faces and to be able to chat for 40 minutes. So yeah christmas is great. Tonight we get to watch another movie as a zone. We are going to eat together and watch a movie. Then in the night we get to hang out until midnight and we can watch the fireworks and all that good stuff.
I wanted to share a bit about the atonement of Jesus christ. Grandma passed away and when I read that I started to cry. I knew it was coming, I knew that when I said goodbye to her before my mission that that was going to be the last time. I knew it. I felt it. but here it is. She really passed away huh? She lived a great life and I am eternally grateful for her example for her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. something important that we know is that each and every one of us will resurrect with a perfect body. Sorry I cant spell anymore but I know without a doubt that each of us will live again one day. We all have the opportunity to return and live with god one day. But it depends in each of us. We all have to do our part. The atonement, or suffering of christ on the cross and in the garden of gethsemany is essential in the plan of god. Thanks to Jesus Christ, we are all given the gift to resurect some day. But to live with god again we must do our part in obeying the commandments and in enduring to the end in the faith. Even then, we are still imperfect, we will always make mistakes, but thanks to jesus christ, we can do it. we can live with god again. Thanks to his sacrifice we can become perfect. read in the book of mormon, moroni 10 32, I think. It says that through the grace of christ we can become perfect. I am a sinner, I make mistakes and each one of us do so. But if we do all we can, if we do our best and just follow jesus christ and his example, we can all be saved the gods kingdom. remember that nothing impure can enter into the kingdom of god. Thanks to the atonement of christ, we can become pure.
Im really sorry for my poor english. I explain all of this daily in spanish and its really really hard to translate it back into english. But that is my message for you all this day. Christmas is tomorrow no? I dont remember where the scripture is, but we believe in christ, we rejoice in christ, we worship christ we follow christ. Lets give our thanks to jesus christ this christmas. Love christ with all of our hearts, thats what we need to do. I love you all tons, I want what is best for you all. Have a merry christmas, I will try to do send pictures when its possible, but I think this computer has a virus... So yeah. Love you all tons, please let me know what questions you have and I will be more than happy to reply. I cant believe that I already have more than 6 months in my mission, and that its almost 2013. wow huh? thank you all for being there for me, for loving me always, and for being good examples. I will miss being with you all tomorrow, but Its going to pass so quickly I wont even know what happened. But to finish, I know that this church is the church of jesus christ. I know that jesus christ lives, and directs this church and this work that I am participating in. I know that we can live with god one day with our families. I will see grandma again, I know that she is happier now, and I know that she is going to live with god in the celestial kingdom one day.
merry christmas from sunampe, chincha, Peru
Monday, December 17, 2012
Family and Friends,
Wow do I have a few announcements for you all. First off, I am going to be a TRAINER!!! woooo, So officially I have finished 3 transfers in Chincha, Sunampe. I finished my traning after 3 months, or 2 transfers. Then I had one transfer more with Elder Burgos, and now I am going to be a trainer. I am going to train a fresh new missionary. I am going to stay in Chincha for a few more transfers as I train a new missionary, or at least that is probably whats going to happen. So anyway, right now I am in Lima. This morning Elder Burgos and I woke up early and headed to the bus station. He left with another elder to go to Ica, his new area, and I went with another elder to Lima, to the office. Then once I arrived there I went with another elder to a zone in lima for today, and then tomorrow in the morning I am going to go to the office again and I will be introduced to my new missionary companion. Pretty exciting huh? I am actually a bit nervous, I am still a new missionary and I dont speak spanish perfectly yet. It is a huge responsibility to train a new missionary. so there is this 12 week program, and every day for one hour we are going to do traning. So I teach the missionary each day and I lead the area and help him learn how to do missionary work. Its great! I am really looking forward to it. I know that I am going to learn tons of new things. I am going to really learn how to be a leader, and how to do missionary work.
So anyway I have tons going on through my head right now with this change but I know that the Lord has really put his trust in me with a new missionary. I really have to do all I can to be an example and to just do what is right, be obedient, and not let myself get stressed or distracted from the work.
So yeah were like a week away from Christmas. I am super excited for the season, but really it just doesnt feel like christmas. Its so hot here in chincha. And were riding bikes for miles each day and I am just sweating all day every day. The sun is really beating down on us and we are riding hard on those bikes. We have definitely not been wasting our time. We ride hard because of my companion elder burgos and we sweat tons. For that reason I havent felt christmas. But I have a tiny little tree that I bought and one of my converts bought me a little present which made me super happy. But yeah we have been drinking chocolatada and eating paneton. that is christmas here. This choloate drink thats super yummy and the pan with the little fruit things in it. That is christmas. But I love it, its a unique experience but i am sure it will be great. I am really looking forward to talking to you all through skype on the computer in a week or so.
I have got a story for you all. but you have to trust me when I say that all is well k? dont worry about anything yeah? alright, So you know how we have been riding bikes pretty hard this week yeah, well there are lots of dogs here in chincha. There are tons and they always bark and chase us and its funny. But the other day a quick dog started to chase us on bikes and I felt a pain in my leg as it came close. Once we got away from the dog i looked at my leg and found out that I got bit. I got bit twice by this dog! Once behind the thigh and once near the ankle in the calf. The bite in my upper leg didnt break skin but there are some pretty nice looking bruises, but the bite near my ankle bled. I have two small gashes in my leg. BUT DONT WORRY MOM. I cleaned it up with soap and with antiinfectant and then put gauss over it and yeah its been days now and It doesnt bother me. Its bruised pretty good but ahh oh well. We then left and worked the rest of the night after that incident.
This part is for Uncle JIM HILL yeah? I talked today with an elder whose name is Elder Topham and he is from delta. He said that Bishop Hill was his bishop for years. Anyway, small world huh?
Anyway I dont have much time But I am looking forward to talking to my family this week. If you have questions let me know. I am trying to send a picture but I dont think its going to work. We really have been working hard and I am doing all I can to be diligent and focused on the work. I really have not baptized many people in my mission, its something that I am really to change. As of right now we have 8 people with a baptismal date and I am going to do all I can to help these people with my new companion progress and really become members.
Sorry for those of you that wrote me through email and i have not had the time to write back Thanks so much!
Monday, December 10, 2012
Family and Friends,
I would love to hear from you all! Anyway, this week has been another week, thats for sure. We dropped a lot of investigators, but we have some solid investigators that I truly believe will be baptized here in december or january. This week we fixed up the bikes again and have been riding them around everywhere! Its been great, sure its tough, and yeah the bikes are pretty bad, but you know what, they save us all sorts of time and money, which I am super grateful for.
So right now we have a family that is coming to church every sunday and this week we need to invite them to be baptized 29 of december. They are super good. The lady has talked with missionaries about 10 years ago and to this day she still remembers their names! We have had a few lessons with these people. Its the mom, rita, with her son Marco, he is 20 years old, with josue and aitsa, the kids are 10 and 11 years old. The dad of the family doesnt listen to us, but we believe that some day he will accept the message that we are sharing. Sorry my english is horrible... But yeah so they have been searching for a church to attend but have not found the right church. They have their beliefs, they are very religious and really love reading the bible and really want to follow christ, but they just have not found a church to join. Its incredible, they have the way of thinking and their beliefs, and really its like everything that the church believes. Im having trouble explaining all of this, But they have their thoughts about tithing and about fasting and ways of praying and all that, and its exactly what we believe. THey are perfect, I really believe that they are going to become faithful members of the church someday soon.
sorry I dont have much to say this week, But hey Christmas is here in a few weeks! I am super excited and I think my companion and I are going to go buy a few things this afternoon to celebrate christmas. I am not sure what, but we want to do something to remember the holidays. Its just really strange because its summer here, its dang hot and we are just walking around sweating all day. But anyway, there are transfers next week, 17th of december are the transfers. I am really not looking forward to that. Its interesting, I have been here in sunampe in chincha for over 4 months and its possible that I will be moved to another zone, but its not for sure. Nobody knows as of now. But really the past year of my life I have really been living in lots of places. I left texas a year and a half ago to move to utah and study in BYU. I lived there during the summer then switched rooms for the fall and then again for spring. Then I left for Korea and was there for a little while. Next I left to go to the MTC in provo for a few weeks then the mtc in peru for a few more weeks. I feel like when I came to sunampe, It was just another short temporary home of mine. But its weird, I really feel like this place is my home. Sure its just a brick box, but its my brick box. The members here in Sunampe are my family. These are the people I live with and Love. I spend all my time working with the people here in sunampe and Its become my home. And now were here celebrating christmas. I want to be with my family, my family here in sunampe. I really have developed a love for these people. Anyway, that is what I think. And at the same time it would be nice to go to another area and see more of the mission.
Anyway, I am super excited to get to call you mom and dad. We found out that monday, the day before christmas, we get to watch the polar express as a zone and we are going out to lunch together somewhere nice on tuesday and we are going to have some activites monday and tuesday. We get to stay up till midnight in our room and we can watch the fireworks and eat and enjoy the day. We get to visit members on christmas and just enjoy the day, although we need to be doing missionary work as well.
One of the bad things now is that we cannot play soccer in p days. too many people are getting hurt and we now only get to play one time each month for 1 hour. So now we have to find something to do each monday haha.
Anyway I want to share with you a few things that I have learned this week. This morning I was reading in Preach my Gospel about hope. I hope I can translate this well to english. It says that if we have hope, we are not discouraged. We have faith and we trust in the Lord, especially in times of difficulty and sorrow. I feel like personally I need to develop more hope. I need to have more faith, just trusting in the Lord in all that I do. My mission is not always a cake walk. The mission is meant to be difficult, and the greatest test of my faith is when its difficult. What do I do when we face disappointment, sadness, heartbreak, and other things? do I put my faith in the Lord and just trust that all will be well? I hope so, That is definitely something I would like to do better. I want to have more faith, more hope, more trust in The lord.
I love you all, I love to hear from you all when its possible. I know life is busy, but please just keep the commandments and love god over all things. Just do it, Thats all I can say. Love you all tons, Thanks for everything, thanks for your examples to me.
Monday, December 3, 2012
Family and Friends,
First off, Mom and Dad I received the envelope with the card, I have not opened it, but yeah go ahead and activate it, and in the afternoon I will open the envelope.
So this week has been one of the most dificult weeks for us. We had a good amount of lessons and so that was good, but we had 10 investigators with a baptismal date and we lost 8 of them. Really this week has been stressful and its been a mental test for us. I have a story for you all real quick.
So we have been working with this investigator for about 2 months. We have had tons of lessons with her, she is evanglical and really active in her church but she really is just curious to learn. and she wants to have more faith. She is physic and so that really interferes with the faith. But anyway, we have had lessons with her for over 2 hours sometimes which is actually really bad but she just has tons of questions and wants to know so much. But about a week ago we told her. Listen, we cant just teach you. We are here to convert you, to help you follow christ and join the true church of jesus christ. We are not her for other reasons. We told her. If you get an answer from god that this church is the true church, will you be baptized the 22nd of december? she said yes, but only if she got a clear answer about the church. We had lessons weeks ago which included earthquakes and all sorts of crazy things, but we told her that if she is not willing to change, we cant help her. So we told her to pray, read, go to the church, and to fast. She did all of that, us as well. We fasted for her, prayed for her daily, and she did the same. We did all we possibly could to help her receive an answer to her prayers. Then we had the lesson saturday. We sat down and after a long while of talking, she told us that she received an answer that this church is not for her. she doesnt believe that the book of mormon is the truth for her. She just doesnt believe it. She love us so much, she really has changed her life because of us, but she will not accept this gospel as the true church of christ. After the lesson I just sat down and cried. I couldnt help it. I was so sad. I had so much faith and hope that she had received an answer that this church is true and we heard the complete opposite. After months of lessons this happens. We just lost her, just like that. I have never before understood the feelings expressed in mosiah 28 3. I really want her salvation. I want to help her more than anything else. I just lost it. I was just crying for the sake of her soul, her eternity. I will never forget that day.
So a change, something happy. It was quite funny, we eat with this family each day and so they are pretty much family for us. But they had a fake christmas tree and they were really confused. they didnt understand what was wrong with it. It is the type of tree where you have to spread out the branches and all that. So yep I worked on their tree for a while, spreading branches and putting ornaments on the tree. I remember doing that each year and how much it was a pain to do so. But I loved it, it was a sweet reminder of home and I enjoyed helping them. It was just funny, this is the first year they have had the money to buy a tree and they didnt understand what to do with it.
Something interesting is that everyone here is freaking out about the 21st of december. not everyone, but there are people legitamently scared about this day. Its something pretty interesting for me.
I have also been learning to play the piano a bit. The ward cant sing, nobody can play the piano. I dread singing with the ward really. but were going to teach the ward how to sing. Were going to teach the hymns so hopefully we can sing a bit more beatifully. Hymns should invite the spirit, not drive the spirit away. Thats our intention with that.
This week we went to a beatiful part of the area. We took lots of pictures, im sending two of them. all of that is part of my area. My area really is like salt lake to provo. But lots of it is farm.
really this week has just been a sad turn of events. We had all sorts of investigators just not progress. We had various people receive answers that this church is not for them. We have also had parents not let their kids go to church and all sorts of stuff. Its been a tough trial of faith, but we know that we will find more poeple to teach and to bring into this gospel.
I have learned this week that the scripture that says ask, and ye shall receive, is true. It is true, i know it, but we must to more than ask, we must act!
Act my family, act my friends, follow christ, do what is right, study, pray, learn, keep the commandments, there is nothing more to do.
Love you all tons, love to hear from you all. Merry Christmas. Mom and dad I am so excited to skype with you all.
(Michael sent two photos that can be seen in the mission photos tab.)
Monday, November 26, 2012
Family and Friends,
I cant believe that were less than a month away from Christmas. Wow huh? Anyway this week has been some sort of adventure, but its been one of the most successful weeks of my mission. Actually it has been the most successful!
So we just decided to be diligent this week, to work hard all day, and to pray with more faith, to just listen to the spirit, and do all that we can to bring others unto christ. This week we have been blessed to find 10 new investigators, which is really a miracle. We also had 18 lessons this week, 11 with a memeber. That is also a miracle. But the most important is that we had two baptisms. Gustavo and his son jesus were baptized on saturday. But I have a story for you all.
So saturday about 11 in the morning we went to the church to clean it all up and to fill the baptismal faunt with water. We were sweeping and cleaning and all that, then we went outside to clean the entrance and what do ya know, the door was shut. Keys locked inside. Oh no... Well I think I should say that it was my fault that the door was shut but I didnt really know that it would lock. Anyway my companion was cleaning in flip flops, and all of our stuff was inside the church. So we frantically went to call the bishop, and he said that there is only one set of keys in the ward. So we ran to a members house from the other ward to find the keys of the other ward. Anyway we talked to them, they sent us to another house and from there to another, and to another. We were quite literally scrambling around the city to find someone with the keys to the church. We were going from house to house trying to find the bishop, and then he didnt have the keys. We eventually found out that the other elders had the keys. But we didnt know where they were eating lunch and the baptism was at 2 in the afternoon and so that wasnt going to work. So we eventually called the bishop again and asked permission to break a window to open the door and have a baptism. He said yes. So sure enough we broke a little window and eventually had the baptism. But jesus asked one of the zone leaders to baptize him and the zone leaders had an emergency and couldnt come. So he asked me to baptize him, and my companion was baptizing gustavo. So we had extra white pants so yeah I baptized him. But the water was so freezing cold and he just about didnt go under the water. He was shivering so much, oh little jesus. It was a bit sad though. We invited lots of people to come to their baptism, but we only had two people show up, with one other showing up late. So it was us two missionaries, two other people, and the two being baptized. But oh well that all doesnt matter. It was a beautiful experience and it was great to have the opportunity to baptize someone for the first time!
But then I was walking around in wet clothes for the next few hours, yeah that was fun.
Anyway, then sunday We went to church as usual. But this sunday I blessed the sacrament, gave a talk, sang the special musical number with my companion, and played the prelude music. It was good, I am really starting to love my mission more and more. I am loving the culture and forgetting my life I left behind, which is really what I am supposed to do. I have learned to just focus on the mission in all times and put my trust in the lord and he will bless us. I have been blessed tremendously with my companion this week and we are blessed to have 7 people with a baptismal date. We need to do all we can to help those people progress towards baptism! The work is great here in Sunampe.
Occasionally some people want me to speak english with them. Its quite funny because their english is funny and I just cant speak english anymore. I can write in english and I can type in english, but when I try to talk, it just comes out funny, sounds weird, and its unnatural. Its quite interesting.
Anyway I love you all tons. Mom and Dad I am excited to talk with you all in less than a month, I dont know the details yet but ill let you know. Thanks for the debit card and yeah love all of you lots. Let me know how life is going. I pray for you all regularly.
(Michael sent one photo that can be seen in the mission photos tab.)
Monday, November 19, 2012
Family and Friends,
This week has been better. We are really excited for the 3 baptisms we are going to have next saturday. Baptisms of Gustavo and his kids, gustavo and jesus. They are excellent, and are totally ready to be members. I am really excited for their baptism and I will definitely send pictures the next week.
So this week my companion and I found this bread which is super good. Its little breads like 6 inches long but its filled with this delicious cream, cream that is in Churros, which are super delicious as well. But its 4 for 1 sol which is great. Super super good and its just one of the little joys in life I have found here in Sunampe.
Oh and for christmas we are going to have a big reunion and we are going to watch a movie and all that good stuff. We dont know the details but its going to be a good day. I hope thanksgiving was or is going to be good, whenever it is. and yeah so a member gave me and my companion shirts for free. He is great, he gave us these shirts and I am sending a picture of me and my companion with the shirts.
So This week we had a multizona conference with another zone and us here in chincha. We were with the asistents and president Douglas. It was a great meeting and I just felt the presence of the spirit so strong. I really really loved the experience and the things which I learned. President Douglas is a man of God and he is very special. He is a perfect leader for me and I love how direct he is. He loves to talk about the doctrine of christ, which simply is faith repentance baptism the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end. But it also includes the atonement of jesus christ and the means by which we can be saved. I am learning lots but I need to study the doctrine more, which can be found in 2 nephi 31, 3 nephi 11 and 3 nephi 27.
Anyway this week I finished the book of mormon! its my 4th time to read it through completely. I am super happy and wow I just have developed a special love for that book. But I found a scripture in moroni that I want to share. In vs 25 and 26 it talkes about the path that we must take. First we must develop faith and we must repent. Then we can be baptized. Once we are baptized we fulfil the commandment to do so. The promise is that we will receive a remission of our sins. Then it says that we will be meek and humble, which allows us to receive the gift of the holy ghost, which is the great comforter. From the spirit we will have a perfect hope and love in the eyes of God. And if we endure with diligent prayer, we will dwell with god, and that is really the eternal purpose. i encourage you all to read those two scriptures and ponder in your heart what needs to be done. But I know and testify that we must develop faith and repent or else we can develop nothing. Work hard at that, develop faith, and repent each night.
Anyway if there is anything you want to know, let me know, I will be happy to respond. Love you all tons, Sorry this is short but I dont know what more to say. Loving the work, Spanish is not much of a problem now. I have a bit more than 5 months in my mission and I feel like I can express myself in spanish. Its weird to talk and think in english for the most part. I still dont understand everything, But I have been blessed a lot with the gift of tongues. THe lord is on my side, helping me constantly. Love you all tons, love to hear from you.
(Note: This was added in a separate email to mom.)
(Note: This was added in a separate email to mom.)
well I thought of one thing I would love to receive from you if its possible. I really miss baked goods, homemade cookies and especially brownies. Thats what I love, thats what I grew up on and there just arent many baked goods here, especially soft chocolate chip cookies. and especially brownies. But what I really really would like is those special k bars. Oh yeah that sounds so good right now. Anyway, yeah there is no peanut butter here, well actually I dont know. There is all sorts of candy bars and cookies like oreos, but nothing like my moms homemade cookies and brownies. What more do I need? ehh nothing else, I dont know, I would like another pair of shorts maybe, just athletic shorts. But anyway thanks for all you do for me. Thanks for the work with the debit card and all that. I cant believe that in december I will finish my first 6 months in my mission. Love you tons!
(See two photos added this week under mission photos tab.)
Monday, November 12, 2012
Family and Friends,
I dont have lots to say this week, but wow this week has been long. Very long, difficult, but I have learned lots this week and really grown closer to my lord and savior Jesus Christ. But first, last week I bought a pair of shoes, some really cheap shoes to play soccer. They cost me 10 soles, which is literally 4 dollars, if not less. SO CHEAP but for those of you who know me, I am all about cheap. I also bought a little speaker, very small, it is smaller than my palm but its perfect. I have a flash drive with music on it and I can play the music through that little speaker. Its perfect, that thing cost me 30 soles, so about 12 dollars or so. Oh and mom I recieved the package last week with the mangos and the packets of drink mix and the hymn. Thanks so much, my companion and I now sing in english each day which I love.
Feel free to email me and ask me questions, I dont know what you all want to know about my mission but yeah feel free to write me and email me and I am happy to respond.
So I dont want to write about this week much. We have lots of difficulties and we will just leave it at that. But we are working hard, we really are trying to become the best missionaries possible. We are working hard to be obedient and diligent in all that we do. We are growing closer to our lord and god. We really are progressing a lot, but I know that I just need more faith. More faith in the promises of the scriptures, more faith in doctrine and covenants 4 vs 4 i think, the field is white all ready to harvest. I am ready to harvest the field. I need to believe in that promise and I know that we will have success. As of now we have 4 people with a baptismal date, 3 are a family, the dad and the kids. The mom cant go to church for studies so she cannot be baptized but the rest of them are learning lots and loving the book of mormon. They are coming to church and are preparing for baptism on the 24th of novemeber. I love them so much, and i really find joy in serving them and I learn tons from them. I am so excited for their baptism and I hope all works out well.
In my personal studies this week I have been reading from the book of mormon. I have been reading tons of the book of mormon. I started the book of mormon in like my 2nd or 3rd week in my mission. I started in english, and when I was in alma or mosiah I switched to spanish. at first it was really difficult to understand, but its incredible, now I can pretty much understand everything, word for word. I am not in ether and in the last like 30 pages of the book of mormon. I am so excited to finish the book of mormon again and I know that my testimony is growing so much of that book.
I wanted to do something different this week. I want to share a few spiritual thoughts and some things I have been pondering and studying this week. One day this week I was really sad for some reason. I decided to study the purpose of life and all that good stuff. I read in preach my gospel that the purpose of life is to prepare to meet god and to have joy. That is really the purpose of our lives here in the earth. in moses 1 39 we know that the work and glory of god, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. God exists to help us have eternal life. In alma we find that the purpose of this life is to prepare to meet god. according to alma 34 32 and 33. We have been given this life as a gift from God, and we should give thanks to god for this life we have, and we should prepare ourselves to return to the presence of god. None of us know when the end of our lives will be. Perhaps tomorrow, we dont know. But i often ask my investigators and myself this question. If you were to die tomorrow, would you be able to stand in front of god and say with a clean concience that I did all I possible could to serve thee? Or would I have to say, yeah I had plans to change next week, but yeah I ran out of time, or something like that? Its real, this life is the time to prepare. I want to be able to say to my god and lord that I have done all I can to keep the commandments, serve him, and live worthily to return and live with him, and with my family forever. But we also find in 2 nefi, bueno es 2 nephi en ingles... 2 25 that adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy. Brothers and sisters, enjoy this life. If there is one thing I have learned from my new companion Elder Burgos, its that I need to enjoy my mission. Yes the mission is hard, and always will be, but its important to enjoy the mission, important to have memorable experiences and to love it, just love it. And its the same with our lives. We need to love life, just live it and love it, but we also must remember that 7 times in the book of mormon it says that nothing impure can enter into the kindom of God. So this life is for two things, Prepare to meet god and to have joy. I am doing all I can to enjoy my life as I prepare to meet god. That is the purpose of our life. I love you all so much, I care about you all, I care about your salvation. Always put god first in your life, and he will put you first. Put your trust in him, keep his commmandments and prepare to meet god. Love you all tons, I pray for you often and want the best for you all.
(See two photos added this week under mission photos tab.)
Monday, November 5, 2012
Family and Friends,
Wow sad to hear about grandma and grandpa, Its actually quite tough for me to hear. I was really hoping that I could see grandma again before I finished my mission but wow, anyway.
This week has been different. I really dont know what happened this week. But lets start with wow its already november! so it was halloween day and we were walking around at night and seriously absolutely nothing was different. There were like 3 kids with a little witch hat and that was about all I saw that night regarding halloween. but anyway, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
So we had this awesome activity planned for thursday, which is the day of the dead, and its a big holiday around here. We had this awesome activity planned with food and messages and all that. But then on wednesday in the middle of the day I found out that somebody in the ward died and the bishop canceled all of the activities. So that was super stressful, especially because I was in an exchange that day. It was all on me and I tried to contact all the members to tell them that the activity was canceled. Anyway its been a bit stressful but I think all went well. But yeah the man who died, I gave him a blessing a few weeks ago and had a lesson with him about 4 days before his death and wow its sad to know that he passed away but he was pretty poor in health.
So then on friday we went to the family that lives about 40 minutes away on a farm. we shared a small lesson with them but then they asked for help on their farm. They are growing cotton and its just like 5 or 6 of them that work on this humongous field of cotton. The plants are really small still but we were weeding them out. We just pulled out plants that are too close together for a long time and it was good work. I must say it is rough on the back muscles but yeah we were working hard! This computer doesnt work with my camera so I cant send pictures this week sorry but I have some good ones I want to send when possible!
I dont have much more to write, but thurday we had another activity with the people that are preparing to serve a mission in 3 stakes. It was aweome to see so many teenagers preparing to serve. But we had an activity. I went with my companion and 8 teenagers to a cemetary. Wow this cemetary is massive, bigger than all of the woodlands high school campus, its huge and there are humongous grave buildings and crosses. Its really different than in the states and wow it was a good experience.
So we are working hard really. We have had lots of lessons this week, but sadly we only had one investigator in church this week. His name is gustavo espinoza. He has a date for the 24th of november, along with his wife and two kids. But the others were not in the chapel. But gustavo is incredible really. He is a teacher and in his religion classes he uses the book of mormon to teach. He has a book of mormon all marked up and he really is studying tons. Its crazy, he is a golden investigator and will be baptized for sure. I just hope all his family can be baptized with him as well.
for the ward coucil the past few weeks we have been having meetings that start literally 45 minutes late. The bishop invites tons of members to come to the ward council meeting and really they have ended up being the people meeting, as my companion likes to say. It really is quite funny, its a bunch of random people who show up and we talk about missionary work and how we can improve. really its tough, the ward is not doing much to help us out, and i feel like we have less and less show up in the chapel each week. Its really sad, the sabbath day is a commandment of the lord and when we dont go to church we are not keeping the sabbath day holy and we are breaking a commandment, its very simple, but for many people its quite difficult. ANyway were working hard with the people meeting, were really trying to do all that is possible to strengthen our little ward!
Anyway thanks for the emails and the letter and the love. Love you all tons, I think about you tons, and want to hear from you all. Please tell grandma and grandpa Hi for me, and that I love them tons. Thanks!!
Monday, October 29, 2012
Family and Friends,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!! woooooo happy birthday, sorry I cant do much, anything really, but I remembered your birthday and anyway, ya happy birthday!
Wow I have a new niece. What a blessing to see my family growing, and how awesome it will be to reunite with all of the family in two years. Wow what a blessing, congratulations stephanie and ben. I am so happy all went well, that there are no complications, and that both baby and mommy are doing well. What a blessing is it so have all going well with the family. I am so happy right now to have another member of the family. Wow.
So anyway Elder Burgos is my new companion. He is great, really he is a hard worker, diligent, faithful, and trusts in the lord in all he does. He only has 6 months in his mission, one transfer more than me, but he has two transfers more than me in the mission field because i was in the mtc for more time than him. But its really interesting, because he was the trainer of my first companion in the mtc in provo, Elder Dunn. Its really interesting, but anyway elder Burgos really is great. I wont lie, its been tough a bit to direct the area, to be the leader, and to be in charge of everything. But I have learned a tremendous amount of things this week that I would not have learned with elder Ferrada. He is great as well, but it was time for a change, and now we are trying to start fresh, finding new investigators and just doing all we can to do the will of the lord. Although he has little time in his mission, he really knows what he is doing, he is well prepared and very knowledgeable of the scriptures. He helps me a lot, and together we are learning tons. He is also from chile, as was elder Ferrada. except elder Burgos talks more like a chileano, pretty fast and with an accent. Its not too difficult to get used to, but its just funny because there arent tons of chileanos in the mission, but I happen to have had my first two companions be chileanos. Anyway, he is great, I am learning lots!
So this week I got deathly sick tuesday night, wednesday morning. I ate something bad and well lets just say i was up from 1 to 4 more or less in the bathroom. Anyway, it was a rough night, and the next day was horrible. My companion had to go to lima for a traning meeting of leaders, and so I went on splits and worked all day. I was in so much pain with the stomach and had no energy. I didnt sleep and it was a really rough day. Eventually i got some medicine and started to improve but I must say that that day was one of the most difficult. It took a lot out of me and just added to the stress that I am having a bit. anyway, after a few days I felt back to normal, but it was a rough day or two, thats for sure. I just ate someting bad i guess, probably the eggs... I dont know exactly haha.
Ohh yeah we got in a taxi yesterday and wow the guy was super super drunk. like 4 or 5 times he came to a complete stop, just drunk, sleeping or something. then he was swerving around like nobodys business. Loco inserio, luckily he was going super slow, too slow, but he was just everywhere. It was really funny at first, but then I was scared. we almost hit someone and wow it was just quite the experience.
So we went to the family out on the farm super super far away. Like really far away, We took a public van and then walked for 30 minutes to get there. But we had a lesson with them, the family is great but we dont know what to do with them. We cant go visit them a lot because its like 3 hours minimum to go there teach and return. But we want to work with them and help them come to baptism. But wow they have this massive pig, just massive! I am sending a picture of the pig, its seriously huge. also a few other pictures if they send... of the path to their house. Its really beautiful in some respects. I took more pictures but cant send them all. But wow it was an interesting day thats for sure.
Anyway I dont have lots of time, but I just wanted to give you all a brief overview of our work. We really have felt the help of the lord this week. We really have experienced miracles. We have been blessed to find 9 new investigators this week, a number incredible. I am so grateful for that. We have 6 investigators with a baptismal date for the 24 of november. I really hope they all get baptized that day. We are working hard with them to progress towards baptism. The family espinoza Tipian is doing great. they are 4 of the 6 and they are learning tons. They are really keeping their commitments and reading the book of mormon. I am so excited for them, and I really believe that they will be baptized and become a member of the church. I love this work, I am learning tons, and I have lots to improve. But I know that I can always trust in the lord, trust in the promises in the scriptures, trust in my calling, trust in my authority as a representative of christ, and just trust in the lord. Trust in the spirit. I challenge each of you to trust more in the lord, in all that you do. Allow him to direct thy paths, allow him to be an influence in your life.
to finish, I want to share one thought. The gospel is not a part of our lives. Dont let this gospel, this church, be a part of our lives. the gospel is our life, live it, love it, and make sure it is always priority number 1 in our lives. I love you all so much, thanks for everything,
(See three photos added this week under mission photos tab.)
Monday, October 22, 2012
Family and Friends,
Wow this week has been very very unique. So yeah we still have two weeks left in this exchange. We are starting week 5 right now in this exchange. But the crazy part is that last night, sunday night, around 10 in the evening, we received a phone call from one of the asistents. He said that my companion has an emergency exchange. the emergency exchanges are horrible, its so unexpexted and it was for this morning. So we were up all night packing for my companion, well like until 12 30 or so packing. It was a long night and wow i was tired. But yeah then just this morning my companion met up with other missionaries and left on a bus, headed to lima. I am with the zone leaders right now so things are a little different, but yeah so I will receive my new companion this afternoon i think. I dont know whats going on really, its crazy. So this is a challenge for me, I have to now direct the area, I have to work with the members, the ward council, and the bishop. I have to coordinate everything, plan everything, because my new companion wont know anything about the area. Its a big change, but i dont know exactly what will happen. Ill let yall know next week.
But yes mom I did receive the package with the cookies and stuff. It was good, really good, those are big ole cookies, so thanks so much. I did not recieve a hymn book though. I think I should receive it soon, I dont really know though. And as far as packages go, please just send envelope packages, its a lot cheaper and faster and easier to obtain. But then again I do love to receive food and all that good stuff. So yeah packages are difficult, but just stick to envelope packages if possible.
So I have been receiving letters from my friend Lynette from BYU and she said that she is going to serve a mission! woooo thats so awesome. This change with the age for serving is a great change, especially for the girls! But yeah Lynette said she is going, and also Kailey sherman! I got your letter kailey, the dear elder letter and I was so happy to hear that you have decided to serve. Wow this is great, i would love to hear of anyone else that is going to serve!
Oh mom please send me jordans mission address, I want to send him a letter in spain.
So this week we have not had water much. well yeah we have water, but we didnt for like 2 days or so. We had to shower with like a little bucket of water, our emergency water, but that ran out quickly and then we just didnt shower the next day. Oh and the worst part was that it was after soccer on monday when there was no water. haha its quite an experience, showering with buckets, and then just giving up on being clean and going without water for the bathroom and shower. But I am learning from all of this, thats for sure.
Oh something interesting i want to tell you all. so during the day there are always people on bikes or other contraptions going around selling various things. and the funny thing is, well yeah there is like bread, sweets and cakes, and then ice cream. then occasionally there are other types of vendors just cruising around. But its really funny because each item has like a different horn or noise as they ride their bikes. So for example, each morning and night the guys ride their bikes around with bags of little breads, like rolls, they dont do loafs of bread at all here. And they have this distinct horn, they ride down a street honking the horn, then return and sell bread to all the people. Its like 6 breads, or rolls more or less, for 1 sol, which is like 40 cents. Its really funny the systerm around here. and also the guys that sell the sweets have their distrinct horn, very interesante.
Alright so saturday was like the worst day of my mission thus far. we seriously walked all day, and the sun was pretty brutal that day. We just walked all day, we talked with people but nobody could sit down and have a lesson with us. seriously we didnt get off our feet from 4 30 till like 8 or later. It was the most brutal day of the mission, and also the most sad and disappoint day. But then on Sunday we had 4 investigators in church. it was awesome! Its a family of 4 and they are golden. They are progressing so much, learning so fast, and they really enjoyed the church on sunday. Its a miracle because they dont have problems, they are married and can come to church on sundays and dont talk too much or too little. they are just perfect, a family, parents, and two kids, 9 and 11. they are just awesome. I really am excited for their baptismal date on the 24 of november. Anyway im running out of time, but they are the highlight of the week, I am really looking forward to working with them more. I just hope to find lots of new investigators this week with my new companion, I know there are lots of people that are ready to hear the gospel, we just need to find them.
So then yesterday, sunday, we had ward council in the afternoon and the plan was to talk with them for a bit, then go in a van to a less active family that lives like 40 minutes away on a highway, well yeah a highway is a one way road, kinda like in kansas, but lots of cars. 40 MINUtES AWAY! its in our area, our ward. But anyway, after waiting in the chapel for 40 minutes for the ward council, only the bishop and one leader showed up, and the person with the keys to the church... It was really sad that the leaders arent very commited sometimes to helping the ward, But anyway we left for the family without having a ward council meeting. We picked up one member of the ward council and left for the family. its seriously in the middle of nowhere. We left on the highway for like 25 minutes and then turned off on a dirt road, like all the other roads and just drove our into the middle of nowhere for like 15 minutes. There are like ruins next to their little farm and house but littleraly there is just nothing out there. No houses, stores, nothing. Just a bunch of farms and dirt, nothing else. Anyway we found them in their little wooden home and wow they are great. One member and the rest are not members. long story short we have plans to go back there this saturday and start teaching them. Hopefully they will come to church and we can find new people to baptize in the future. So yeah they also have this huge pig, huge huge huge pig. ill send a picture next week if i remember to take a picture haha.
Anyway yes mom there a lots of parties, festivals, and crazy people here. There are always parties saturday night right next to our house, and seriously the music does not stop until 6 or 7 in the morning, when we wake up. Its crazy, really crazy. and also this month is the month of some catholic holiday. so there is purple everywhere, its weird, real weird. i cant explain it all, and im out of time. But yeah mom also I do eat lunch and dinner with the same family every day. But every saturday and sunday we eat with the members in their houses.
Love you all tons, Love this experience, and this week is going to be real tough but i know that the lord will help me. I love and pray for you all always. Dont forget me, I dont forget you all, trust me!
(See two photos added this week under mission photos tab.)
Monday, October 15, 2012
Family and Friends,
So I dont know exactly what I need to say this week. But wow this week has flown by, faster than all the other weeks thus far. So last monday on p day we played soccer in the stake center. We pretty much always play soccer there, its just a little basketball court with little goals about 6 feet tall. Its fun, but wow its a lot more fun to play on the big grass field, which we are going to do today. But yeah I am excited for this p day, we need to cut our hair and go shopping and all that good stuff.
So this week we had interviews with the president of the mission, president Douglas. He is from sandy utah and yeah essencially he started his mission the same month as me. So yep he is relatively new, but he is powerful. He really understands missionary work and is really big on two things. The atonement and obedience. He wants us to study a scripture on the atonement each and every day. So during my mission thus far I have found a scripture on the atonement each day, hopefully I will be able to continually find different scriptures for the next two years! But yeah so we chatted for a bit, not much time, but he shared with me the scripture of the mission. D and C 15 6. Its perfect, its all about the missionary work, and i would encourage you all to read it. He said that we need to preach repentance, we need to invite and help people to change. Baptism is a change, and the only way to start following christ is with change first. So this is our purpose, and i know that as I focus on change more, I will find more success as I try to bring people to Christ.
So the interview was good, but while we were being interviewed, we had room checks! We went back to our room and found a piece of paper with our grade on it, Celestial, telestial, terrestrial, or outer darkness. We got CELESTIAl! woot, yeah thats right. We have been cleaning our room each day little by little. And yeah you will get stains on your shirt if you rub up on the wall, but hey its a lot better now! A lot more organized so yeah that was happy.
Anyway Mom there is nothing we can do with the taxis or any of that. The speed limit is like 40 km and we go 90, yeah we have kids driving us around, yeah they stuff 8 people in a tiny car, or 5 in a moto, its just how it is around here. One thing I have grown grateful for is the law. Yeah for the most part people are honest here, but driving is nuts, and there just arent many laws sometimes. But I have learned to appreciate the laws, and sometimes I miss some of the laws in the states, because really the law is there to protect us.
So this week we had exchanges again with another companionship. I went to another place and worked there. Then on friday my companion went to Ica, which is a few hours south for a training of leaders, so i went to another place to work that day. So this week was really fast, really fast. And we didnt do all that we were hoping to do. There is lots of work to be done in this area, but we dont know how to find it. We need more investigators, we are struggling big time right now. Although we did find on monday a really awesome family, a family of 4. We had a great first lesson with them and they accepted the baptismal invitacion. Then on wednesday we invited them to baptism with a date, and they accepted! it was great, we taught them about the gospel of jesus christ, the doctrine, including faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. We had great lessons with them. But then we had another lesson with them on friday. We were so excited. But upfront the father said that there is a change in his job, and his wifes job. They now have to work on sundays, all day. So that was sad. Long story short they cant be baptized unless there is change. We are praying fervently for them, we know its possible, they can be baptized, but we need a miracle. But the kids, which are 11 and 9, are still excited, and we are planning on having baptisms for them. Anyway, we are going to teach them tonight and we will see how it goes.
So Carlos, the one who was baptized about 2 weeks ago. He is doing great. He asked the bishop for a calling and he is excited about his tithing and wow. He also works with us. he has time and he teaches with us and helps the missionary work lots. He is doing great and progressing tons. I am very grateful for carlos and I think that I have learned more from him than he has learned from me.
I am uploading a few pictures. So this week for service we just moved adobe stones around. People still construct with adobe stuff, and its pretty weak stuff. But yeah we helped move the stones around, nothing more, but yeah there are a few pictures of us. I want to take more pictures and send more, we will see.
We have also been working with the bishop lots. He is great, he served a mission and really loves the work. Earlier he has a schedule of work from like 6 to 10, all day every day except sunday. but he changed his work and now has time to work with us and help a lot. We have been trying to work with him more and now I think we will find more results through him. So yeah Bishop is great, and I realize a bit more now how much work the bishop has to do, and I am really grateful for bishops in general, and for all the work that they do!
So mom right now is 11 45 in the morning, more or less, and yes we have internet each monday from 11 to 12, but sometimes, only sometimes, we change it to 10 to 11, but I cant predict which weeks.
And one other thing, its like socially acceptable here to put bags of trash on the side of the dirt roads. There are just piles and piles of bags of trash sometimes, but the worst part is that the best thing to do with the trash is put it on the side of the road and light it on fire. So each day we just walk past fires of burning trash. Seriously its just gross. it smells horrible and then just leaves a black residue and wow Its just a different culture here.
Anyway yeah we have two more weeks together, elder ferrada and I, and then there will probably be a change between us. There is going to be lots of changes in the zone, 3 missionaries are finishing this transfer, and others have like 9 months in this area. So this transfer will bring lots of changes, but I think I am ready for change. I know I will continue to learn lots as I experience more changes and work with other people.
So thanks for everything my family and friends. I am loving the work more and more, and spanish no longer bothers me. yeah I still dont understand stuff, but I can teach and I feel like I am thinking in spanish sometimes. So yeah pretty crazy, I really just dont use english anymore. sorry for my bad sentences and stuff, I am forgetting proper english, but ahh oh well, my spanish is getting better! Love you all tons, chow!
(See two photos added this week under mission photos tab.)
Monday, October 8, 2012
Family and Friends,
This week has been another adventureful one, if thats a word.. But really I have learned lots this week, especially from general conference. But first, there are a few random things that happened this week. First off, you know how we take taxis like everywhere? yeah well occasionally we have a taxi driver that is literally 12 or 13 years old. its just crazy here, everyone drives like a mad man, and sometimes its with a 13 year old driving us around! its funny, and quite the experience sometimes. But yeah also the electricity has been pretty bad this week. there are blackouts almost everyday sometimes and one of these nights a few nights ago there wasnt electricity when we were in our room. So we lit candles and just lived off the candle light for the night. I dont know why, but it just made me think of home a lot, and I did a lot of reflecting that night on all the things in my past. It was a good night, until the lights flipped on in the middle of the night. anyway, just more experiences that build character, including the lack of water which we seem to face a lot.
One thing that has been a little different the past two weeks is that we have given tons of blessings. Wow I have grown to love the priesthood more and more. I realize that the power of the priesthood is real. We have given like 5 or more blessings the past like 10 days and I know that this power is real. I know god lives and that he loves his people. He blesses the faithful and wow he really does love us.
As far as our investigators go, we are still having troubles. We are dropping them like flies and we found 4 new investigators this week, and dropped another 4. So that means we have 5 in total. So we are continually hoping to trust in the lord and just follow the spirit to continually find more people to find and teach. I do love this work, I am learning tons, and I am growing closer to my savior each day as I study find and teach. Hermano carlos is doing great, he was at conference and then he helped prosylite with us. He is great and I am so grateful for him. I hope to continue to work with him.
But CONFERENCE is the big thing on my mind. WOW missionaries can now serve at age 18!!!! what??? thats so awesome! I am so happy and now this next year missionaries are going to flood in, so many new missionaries! Its so awesome, and also the sister missionaries can serve at 19! thats huge! wow big changes, but to me this means that the end is near, and we better be prepared for the coming of the lord!
But I learned tons from conference, so much stuff that i need to apply into my work. I need to work hard to more develop the attributes of christ, I need to be more dedicated and more excited about the work. But I want to share just two small things with you all. Marcus B Nash said that the future is as bright as your faith. I really thought about this and studied it. Wow it is soo true. I know that if I have faith, lots of faith, In christ, then my future is bright. I put my trust in the lord and why should I fear, I should just look forward with faith, with an eye single to the glory of god. That quote now means a lot to me, and has lots of power and truth. I need to have more faith, and my future will be brighter. The other thing I want to share is by President Uchtdorf. His message was powerful, I dont remember which one. But he said that life is not a race, its a journey, love the moment. I really tried to apply this to my mission. Sometimes I think about the end. Sometimes im not enjoying the moment. But life is a jorney, take it one day at a time, and love it. the scriptures say that man is to have joy. So lets enjoy life, day by day. I love you all so much, Mom i have not recieved packages yet but they say that tomorrow I will recieve it. Also I do shine my shoes every week more or less, but it only takes one hour of walking in all the dirt and mud to get them dirty. But yes its been good, I love you all tons, hope all is well, and hope to hear more from you all. Good luck with the pregnancy steph, that is so exciting, I def want pictures!
Elder Michael Goodman
Monday, October 1, 2012
Family and Friends,
Good to hear how all is going in the rest of the world! This week has been an interesting one. I have been a little sick this week, but nothing to worry about, just with my nose and a bit of asthma. But yeah I have been learning lots this week, especially with my companion as the new district leader. I go to another meeting now and I have been learning lots more about my purpose and what i am here to do. Its been a good week with learning, but unfortunately I have run into a wall with new investigators.
It has been a mentally tough week, but I have learned lots. We have not been able to find anyone! we are now down to less than 5 investigators in total, but anyway were focused and determined this week to work hard and find new people! But yeah so I have some good photos i want to send to you all but my camera is not working with the software on this computer. I dont know its frustrating but next week ill send you more pictures. Oh and mom I am going to receive a package from you this week i think. I have to pay 22 soles which is horrible but ahh oh well! I am excited to get that package! Also I received a dear elder from brother nunez and a letter from lauren bangerter, I am super excited to read those today!
So pretty much I am pumped for general conference. I have been preping my self in so many ways for this general conference. I know that it is going to be a spiritual experience and I am so excited for the instruction that I will receive from the prophets, and also fromthe spirit. I know that i will learn lots and have very good experiences this week. Anyway sorry my thoughts are scattered, but yeah general conference!!! wooooo hopefully we can find some investigators to bring to the conference with us! that would be a fantastic opportunity for them. But first we need to find investigators this week.
So the highlight of the week was the two baptisms that we had. Carlos and Kiara. It was such a special experience. We actually had a special program in the stake center for 6 baptisms. Wow it was fantastic. Almost all of the missionaries fromour zone were there and we had lots of people assist the baptisms. But yeah 6 baptisms that day for our zone.It was very special and spiritual. Carlos bore his testimony and it was so powerful and he is just ready to serve. He wants a calling, he wants to pay his tithing, and he is ready to be a servant in the hands of the lord. Wow it was an incredible experience, and a wonderful break from all the difficulties we have had this week.
It seems like every appointment we have falls through. The culture here is just so relaxed, and the people just say times when they think theywill be home for visits. But then they are always busy or not there. There is always something wrong, always some reason, always an excuse. Anyway I just need more patience. But yeah also this week we had intercambios with another companionship. Elder ferrada went to another area and I was in my area, sunampe, with another missionary. It was definitely a learning experience, because i was in charge, I led the lessons, i directed our day. I was the leader for that day and it was different, I learned a lot. It showed me that I am not quite ready to be the leader, but I am learning very quickly. Elder ferrada is the leader now but I am in training now to become a leader.
One interesting thing is on saturday, on our way to the baptisms, we walked through a market, and wow it reminded me of korea! It was so similar, just little tents set up and people selling their fruits, clothes, trinkets, fish, and everything. It was so similar to korea, and it made me miss home, or korea, a bit. I want to stroll through the markets one of these days if I can. It would be a fun experience, the problem is that we cannot buy street food, one of the rules. That is really sad, but oh well, its fun to look. Mom it just reminds me of shinsegea in korea, our little trips to the markets andall that. Awww good times. But yes I am growing to like it here a lot, I am liking the culture and there are many things i learn about my own culture from being in another culture, its very interesting.
Anyway, I love you all tons, I hope all is well, I wish I could talk to each of you but right now i am preoccupied with the work of the lord! I just want to be the best missionary I can, and even though spanish is tough, im learning so much, and I cannot believe that I dont have to think about spanish sometimes, and that some things are starting to be natural. Its an incredible blessing, I know the lord is with me. I am excited to be here in peru, and oh yes mom, the drink is inca cola, its good, but not fantastic, I dont know. But yeah on mondays we go to restaurants for lunch sometimes and we always eat chicken french fries and inca cola. Haha is funny but I am really growing to love my zone more and more, and the area, and the people. My mission is a blessing and an opportunity! i love you all so much, time is flying, im coming up on 4 months this month! wow, anyways, love ya!
Hey mom I just wanted to write you a quick little email. Thanks for the updates on all the stuff in the states. It sounds like you are enjoying time with the family and with the old friends. I actually am quite jealous, But how sweet my reunion with everyone will be in 2014. Right now I am just doing all i can to focus on the work and on spanish. My experiences really are incredible, and I wish i could express everything that happens around here. I am just grateful for you and dad and all that you do, I hope you are being safe. I love you both tons and cant wait to talk with you two on christmas!
(See two photos added this week under mission photos tab.)
Monday, September 24, 2012
Family and Friends,
First off, Mom thanks for that update on the Woodlands. That was exactly what I wanted and needed to hear this week. I am SOO happy for Stephen and his call to Russia! thats fantastic! I am also super excited for Doug, thats awesome I am happy he gets to study chinese some more because I know how much he loved that in high school. Also, I am super excited for Connor and for Michael, Please tell me where they go when they recieve their calls! I love hearing about mission calls, its really a testimony builder for me that this is the work of the Lord! Its fantastic. And I am also Super happy for Ryan, I know he is leaving on his mission soon, or at least I think so. But yep they will all love their own missions and Im just happy for them all. I hope all is well in the woodlands, Thanks for the update mom that was perfect. Hello to all my friends, I hope all is well!
So yes Mom I do not save my photos anywhere other than on my camera. But if you would like to, feel free to send me a flashdrive or something to save my photos on. And also, yes I can listen to music, but only music of the church. On lds.org if you go to conference then music. There is all the music from the conferences and I can listen to that music and just the hymns. Also on P day we can listen to efy music but that is all, I think. But I dont have anything to play the music from, I could buy something but I dont know. If you want to send me another flashdrive with lots of church music on it that would be great. And then I could buy a little speaker and have music! that would be cool, but not necessary.
So the last p day we watched the movie 17 miracles. IN ENGLISH!! wooot yeah that was a relief. But yes that movie is incredible, powerful, and makes you want to cry. I remember in college 4 of my guy friends went and saw it and all came back crying haha. But I didnt lose it. I was close to crying, its muy poderoso, very powerful, and It made my sacrifice, my mission, seem like nothing.
But officially I have completed my first cambio! what is the word in english? umm change is the translation... ohh yeah its transfer! Yeah my first 6 weeks are completed!! And the only change in my zone is one elder finished his mission and so we receieved one new elder. I have not met him yet, but i think he is a new elder, brand new! newer than me, thats a relief. But the other change is that my companion, who is my trainer, is also the district leader! Thats exciting, its his first time and he is not too excited but he knows its the right thing for him and i know he will work hard. So yep, I have another 6 weeks with Elder Ferrada and I will complete my capacitacion, or training. Then we will probably be separated, but who knows.
This week I have been pondering a bit on Joseph Smith and about his sacrifice for us. We talk about him a lot and always talk about the first vision and things, but we dont often realize all that he did for the work of the lord. And anyway, the song Praise to the Man is just so powerful, I love that song so much. I remember in the provo mtc a very special devotional about joseph smith and then to close we sang that song, the whole mtc. It was one of the most powerful testimony builders for me. That song just is so great and I love it. Anyway, I am super grateful for Joseph Smith and will ever be in debt to him.
This week I found elder Ferradas hymn book in english. I have been using my time in the mornings and nights to flip through that and just sing hymns. I love the hymns now more than ever. One thing that suprised me when I arrived in my mission is that we sing hymns to start each lesson and before our studys as well. It was interesting at first, but I am growing to love the hymns more and more each day, I love singing hymns, and I actually thing my voice is getting better. But yes I am starting to memorize the hymns in spanish and wow its great. But when I sing the hymns in english there is just something special. I remember all the good times singing the hymns and remember all the memories of the songs. I dont know, I just have developed a new love for hymns, especially in english.
Overall this week has been a disappointment. We keep running into a wall, so to speak. But we have two solid investigators with their baptisms this week. Carlos and Kiara. Kiara is 9 and understands everything. She is excited for her baptism this saturday. Carlos is the most special investigator to me. He is about 46 years old and lives by himself in a little shack. He has had a sad life with his family and really just lives with nothing and with nobody. His job is cutting hair in his little home. He cuts hair for 2 soles, which is less than a dollar. But he finds joy in his life. He is an example to me. We have been working with him since I got here and I just have this great love for him. Maybe I will have the oportunidad to bapize him, it depends on him. But ahh Carlos is very awesome, I have learned tons from him. He just wants to follow Christ and we are doing all we can to help him.
So yesterday in church I gave a talk. It was about 10 or 15 minutes, and it reminded me of the talk I gave in stake conference. Oh and by the way Ashley Fife way to go on the talk in stake conference!! But yeah I remember my talk in stake conference and I dont know why but my talk this sunday reminded me of that. It was in my broken spanish but it was sincere and i think the members, all 40 of them, enjoyed my mensaje.
Anyway my family and friends, read d and c 98 if you can, verses 1 2 and 3. Its special to me and that scripture came to me as an answer to my prayers. The lord loves us and gives us promises in the scriptures. This promise is special, and we will receive answers and guide in our lives if we just put our trust in the lord. Anyway, I am growing to love my mission little by little. I still struggle with the spanish of course, but right now I am understanding more and more. I have not spoken more than a few words of english each day for weeks, other than singing in english and sometimes my prayers in english. But I am engaged in the culture and in the language and I am learning lots. I know that as I put my trust in the lord I will be blessed. I love this work, and I love the investigators. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and especially the Book of Mormon. I have been reading it in spanish, and I have learned tons. I love you all so much, I pray for you all. I hope all is well. I hope korea, utah, texas, and everywhere is doing well, including spain, Elder Nunez! Please write me and let me know how life is going. All of you can write me, mgoodman at myldsmail.net!
Thanks so much for your prayers in my cause,
Monday, September 17, 2012
Family and Friends,
This week has been a learning week for me, thats for sure! But yeah I wanted to explain a little more about the mission in general, and also about my health and such. So my district is 6 missionaries, and the zone is two districts, 12 missionaries in total. I see my zone twice a week, every monday for p day and writing letters, and every wednesday for our meetings. But yeah thus far I have only seen other missionaries once, and that was at the very beggining, in a multi zone conference with President Douglas and i think one or two other zones. But yeah I dont see other missionaries, just our zone. And yeah as far as the mission in general goes, I think there are 5 areas outside of Lima, and 7 in Lima. I am outside of Lima, and the others outside lima are nazca, Ica, Ayacucho, Chincha, my area, and one other. But yeah so over half the mission is in the big city Lima.
As far as I go, my health has been great. I had one bad week, with extreme problems in my stomach, but that was just because I overate, i think. But yeah since then all has been well. We eat rice a ton, and lots of chicken or some sort of meat, there is some weird stuff that we eat. And lots of potatoes, french fries, and beans. The food really is quite tasty, I am loving it for the most part. But yeah lunch is the big meal here and I love it, the only problem is after lunch I am always super tired, like thanksgiving day tired! But yeah my weight is pretty normal, I think. I dont seem to be gaining weight, but everyone says that you gain weight in this mission. So yeah we will see, but I am determined not to let myself go already! Oh and my asthma, its sorta a problem. I have to take my inhaler every so often, but its strange. The cold shower stimulates my asthma i think. But im not too worried about it, I just am focused on my work. Oh and Jill I do not have a tape recorder, sorry.
For me the best part of the days is my personal studies and during lessons. I really just love studying in the morning, and its such a blessing to have that hour each day. And also, when we are teaching lessons we are just so in unity its wonderful. And I understand almost everything. That is when i feel like I am completing my purpose as a missionary. I just feel happy, really happy. I love teaching, and that is my job. I am called to teach people, we are trained to teach, not to find. Contacting and finding is not my favorite. It just is awkward, and I need to find a way to get over that awkward barrier and just love it. But its a process.
So last p day we cleaned the whole room. We swept up bags of dust under the beds and such. We rearranged everything and wow its amazing how dirty everything was. But we did some good good cleaning. Hopefully the pictures work and you all can see them. But yeah we cleaned all day and I feel so much better now! Also we had bikes in the back yard if thats what you call it and I didnt know it. But they were broken and so we worked on those. We got them working. WE HAVE BIKES! yeah we had to work on the chain and fix the brakes and gears and such, but we got them to work. We have helmets and yeah all is good. We have been tracting and working on bikes. Its so great, but I must say I am out of shape for bikes! and wow it hurts my butt. haha with time it will get better but I am just really grateful for the bikes. They have saved us all sorts of money and it gives us a little something more to enjoy, just riding bikes. So that has been a blessing for us. But its amazing how many dogs chase us when were on bikes. Its quite funny, but yeah packs of dogs occasionally just chase us down!
This week with our investigators has been good but not as good as we hoped. We pretty much lost 3 of our solid investigators for some reason. We dont know what happened but they just lost all interest in us. So that was sad, But carlos is doing great. He is progressing for the baptism on the 29th and I am super excited for him. I really have been developing charity, the pure love of Christ for Carlos and I am so grateful for all that I have learned from him. We also have a 9 year old girl with a baptismal date for the 29th as well. She is great, but doesnt talk much. Her mom is less active and her dad lives in Lima and is not a member. But work with those two has been great. We are really looking forward for their baptisms. We also have other investigators that are slowly progressing, and hopefully we will have more baptisms for october. We have two with a date for october but were not sure quite yet with them. But yeah we really are working hard and this week we are going to focus on finding new investigators. We really just need to talk with everyone. That is the solution for us right now, Talk with All.
Oh mom you dont need to dear elder me elder fifes letters, sister fife sends it to me each week through email. But yeah continue to send me Elder Nunez s letters if you can! I am so happy to read his letter each week.
But yes this week I have focused intently on the Christlike Attributes. I always always focus on Christlike Attributes. I am a representative of Jesus Christ. I am here to do his work. I am his servant, and I need to learn all that I can about Christ to become like him. I need to work hard at developing faith, hope charity love virtue, obedience diligence, knowledge, and other attributes. I love preach my gospel and I learn tons from it each day.
But seriously you all, How is life in the rest of the world. I tell you all each week how life is here in Peru, But how is texas? how is korea? how is utah? how is the rest of the world. I am very anxious to know what is happeneing as far as politics in the US, how is mitt romney doing? Yeah, thanks for the update on the US open. I cant believe that murray finally won a grand slam, good for him! But yeah any big updates? how is school this year chelsea? oh btw thanks for your dear elders as well, its great to hear how everyone is doing!
I love you all so much. Dont worry about me, life is good here in peru and I cant believe that I have already finished 3 months, and today is day 97 on my mission already. Its incredible, but I am starting to love my mission more and more. I am progressing so much, thanks for your prayers for me. I really appreciate it!
Oh yeah, there are two or 3 older couples and some sister missionaries, but none in my zone. And i do not go to the mission home ever, its hours and hours away and So yeah I am just always in my little box, in my HUGE area. But yep all is well, love you tons
(Michael included 4 photos this week which can be seen in the Mission Photos tab.)
Monday, September 10, 2012
Family and Friends,
This week has been a good one, but wow it has gone fast! Time really is an interesting thing, and I cant believe that this week I will have been out on my mission for 3 months! So something interesting, my companion this week got glasses because his eyes were bothering him. They were like 40 dollars or something, not much. But its funny because I put on his glasses and wow they improved my vision! It was really funny, but yeah they are super awesome, It makes me want to get glasses, but naa im fine, Ill probably wait until after my mission to deal with all that haha. And also, last week I bought an electric razor, because it was like nesesary. The water doesnt always work and we only have this tiny little mirror, its just difficult to shave, and takes too long. The electric razor was really a good idea in my opinion. Oh and about the bathroom, I decided that you can get used to just about everything, culture, language, driving, food, people, yeah just about everthing. But there is one thing that I just cannot get used to, and probably never will. And that is cold showers.... There is just no way I can get used to taking a cold shower every day, I just cant do it. That is definitely the worst part of my day mom, taking cold showers! But yeah about the shopping and stuff, yeah there is lots of normal things, normal candy and food and such. A lot is different in the big grocery stores, but only slightly. Its not quite as weird and random as the stuff in korea.
So last p day we went to this really nice big field and played some soccer for a while. Wow was that fun, we played for hours and I was doing really well. I really am improving my soccer skills tremendously and I really really love soccer now. I can compete with these latinos! But yeah then I got sunburnt and all the latinos made fun of me for being white and stuff, pretty fun, and it was a good day to relax and enjoy.
This week we have really tried to focus on working with the ward members, including the ward mission leader, the bishop, and the ward council. Its hard with a tiny ward that is spread out over a big area. The ward mission leader is part of the family that feeds us every meal, which is nice, but he does not do a whole lot to magnify his calling. The ward does not have a ward mission plan and so we are trying to get this organized. There is no ward list, no home teachers, visiting teachers, and many other things. Its rough, but were trying to work with the bishop to strengthen the ward. The Bishop is real good, the only problem is that he works until 10 each night and the only time we can talk to him is sundays. But us as missionaries feel that if we get the ward excited about missionary work, and if they can help us with references and such, the missionary work will improve significantly. That is our hope at least!
Oh last week we had service, well we do each week but this week was interesting. I didnt get any pictures of service, but we tore down an adobe brick wall. All the old building and stuff are built out of adobe, old stones just stuck together by mud, real old school stuff. But that is how the people live here, in adobe homes, and the newer stuff is made out of brick. But yeah so we just tore it down and moved the stones to other places, I felt useful which is nice haha. It was a good service project.
Yeah, investigators! So this week we had 14 lessons with investigators which is pretty good. But sadly, Guillermo and luz and their daughter who have a baptismal date are not progressing. They are having difficulties and we hope to be able to work with them this week to get them excited about progressing and baptism in the future. So we lost them this past week but we have plans to visit them and strengthen them in any way possible! Carlos is our investigator who is solid as a rock. He is a funny man, he lives by himself, about 45 years old, and just cuts peoples hair in his house. I am not quite sure what he does all the time, but he is great, and his baptism will be the 29th of this month. We gave him a gospel principles book and he is reading it, like the whole thing! he also reads tons out of the book of mormon and all the phamplets we give him. he is wonderful, I love hermano carlos and all he is doing to progress. Oh interesting story, we were in a taxi and the driver started to talk to us about joseph smith. He just went on and on, he knew tons! Anyway, to make it short, we visited him a few days later and taught him the first lesson. But it turns out that 3 years ago he found a missionaries triple. On the front it has the mission lima central logo on it, and he kept the book, which had a phampet it in. He read lots of the book of mormon and the phamplet, and after 3 years he finally found missionarys, us! We are really excited for him, if he eventually gets baptized he will have a great story to tell. It really is wonderful how the lord works. The lord provided us a way to find this man who has been well prepared to hear our message, and I am so grateful for it.
My personal studies have been good, I started studying in spanish which I dont really like, but I believe it will help me significantly. I know the lord will bless me and I will learn different things than if i studied in english. I love love love studying the attributes of Christ, that is really my focus right now, and has been for a while. In all I do say and think I am trying to exemplify christ. I really love my savior, he is perfect, and I am striving to become like him in all that do, especially as a missionary.
Sorry my writing is bad, My english really is going downhill, and its difficult for me to focus my thoughts and stuff. But thank you for the letters and emails family and friends. It means the world to me, it really does. As far as spanish goes, its getting better, i dont worry about it too much, I am really starting to understand a lot lot more. but speaking is still difficult sometimes, depending on the subject. But I know that with time it will get better. I have only been learning for 3 months and I consider myself blessed for the ability I have had to learn this quickly. THanks for everything, for your prayers, and for your support for me. I pray for you all regularly!
Elder Michael Goodman
(Michael included 3 photos of missionaries this week)
Monday, September 3, 2012
Family and Friends,
This week has been a week of adventures, thats for sure! Lots of ups and downs but I dont have a whole lot to say this week. I first wanted to talk about some random things, then about the missionary work. So Mom, for breakfast each day we eat bread, bread bread bread, just lots of bread. I buy and eat dry cereal for breakfast sometimes, but the best thing ever is the yogurt. They have yogurt in ever flavor, and you just drink it out of the bottle. I really like yogurt, although its somewhat expensive. But yep thats breakfast.
Oh something else I wanted to say. You know how I was talking about all the annoying dogs barking and jumping on us all the time? yeah well thats pretty bad, but this week I have come to know very well a new smell. The smell of DEAD dog. Yeah, there are spots where people just dump their trash, its really gross and just dirty. There are just lots full of garbage and ruins of old buildings, but then as we walk you can just smell a dead dog. They are like everwhere. And its wierd, when they die they kinda go paralyzed looking, with flies all in and around them and their hair just falling off. But their legs are stiff and wow its just gross. Sometimes they are a little older and you see their spine and jaw bones, yeah gross, I know. But its interesting, another memory.
So this week I read the book Our Heritage, and wow it was good. It really helped me realize how small my sacrifice is to be here on my mission. There were so many other prophets and saints that sacrificed all that they had and all of their time to the building up of the kingdom. My service is easy, relatively. Its 2 years and I have money and stuff. But anway, I really like that book, and I think eventually I am going to jump into Jesus The Christ!
As far as spanish goes, Its been good, I guess. I really can see myself improving, especially while teaching. My vocabulary is expanding and I pretty much know what i need to know to teach. But still, when it comes to stories or regular talking, even contacting, its much more difficult. There really are just so many words.... But hey my companion is great, he helps me a lot and covers my back when I dont understand something. Elder Ferrada is really awesome. He works hard and really knows how to teach, and yet he is humble and reverent at the same time. He finishes his mission in january but he is finishing strong and still trying to improve as a missionary.
So our work this week has been interesting. We have one really solid investigator with a baptismal date for the 29th. We also have 3 others for that day but we will see... Our biggest problem right now is finding men to come with us to teach. There is a rule that we cannot teach women of any age without an adult male above the age of 18 to be with us. The ward is small and everyone works all day every day, so we struggle to teach all the women that want to hear the gospel. But we had a ward council meeting this sunday, the first one in months for this ward, and hopefully we can get a lot of help from them, with investigators as well as the less actives. But yep elder ferrada and I just do lots of walking each day, lots and lots of walking, trying to find people to teach. We really have found this week that the lord does prepare people to hear the gospel. We were in a taxi and This man starting talking to us. He said he had a book of mormon, researched it and read about joseph smith and hyrum, and also about other things. He has read some phamplets already and he said he was interested to talk to us more. Its fantastic, hopefully we can meet with him soon! The only problem is he lives about 25 min in car away from our house, not to mention the cost for the taxis. But yeah he is well prepared, and I have my hopes up for him!
I love you all and with you all the best of luck with everything, and that the spirit of the lord will always be your constant companion. Trust in the lord with all of your heart, I have been searching for how to trust in the lord, and its really an interesting thought, at least in my mind. Trust in the lord, and he will bless you. That is my challenge for you all this week. Work hard, and be sanctified from your unrighteousness, as it says in uhhh D y C 88.... like 24 or something. Its a great chapter. I love you and pray for you all each day. I miss you all so much!
(Michael also sent a note just to family)
I wanted to write a short letter specifically for just the family, immediate family. A few things, first, I found out mom that packages are good, but only envelope packages. Boxes take months i hear, so just stick with the envelopes if you can. One thing I would really appreciate is an english hymn book. Just a little handheld one. I really miss english, its a strange feeling, but especially music, soft hymns. I miss singing in english with a piano. So if you could, that would be super nice.
Also, Thanks for the pictures. That is exactly what I want to see, I love those pictures and memories, and its good to remember all the good times I have had. More each week would be much much appreciated!
One day I was eating at our pension, and the little girl vallerie was just walking around. She jumped up on the couch, (I think shes 3, maybe 2, still in diapers) and layed there for less than a minute and was just out cold. It made me thing of linely and Emma and how difficult it was for them to sleep sometimes. But yeah I miss those little girls, its crazy that they will be so big and old when I return!
But yeah mom and dad, how is texas?? It would be super nice to get an update on the ward in texas, and especially if you hear of any boys getting their mission calls! I really want to know how the grade below me is doing, and what all of those boys are up to.
Oh this is for you Thomas. I have had extreme stomach problems this week. Horrible horrible pains and wow diarreah has a whole knew meaning for me now. Its been a painful week, and yeah ill tell you what it does sneak up on you, thats for sure!
Anyway, I love it here, its difficult and different but slowly i am growing to love my mission. The more I am away, the more I miss you all, and realize how grateful I am for your help and friendship as family. I often look at the picture from the cruise and remember how awesome that was, but yet how many years ago it was! look at how much we have grown, its wonderful. I love you all!!
Monday, August 27, 2012
Family and Friends,
I dont have as much time this week to write, although I feel like I have a ton to say still. So lets see, last p day after email and stuff we went out to lunch and had the regular, chicken and french fries. That seems to be what we eat all the time. As far as the food goes, its a lot of noodles or rice, mainly rice actually. Like every day. Then there seems to be lots of potatoes, and always, always a big chunk of meat. I like it, its very filling and satisfying too. We often have chicken, and sometimes beef, the food is great here. But we do drink some funny things, and peruvians like to drink their drinks hot, or luke warm. So we drink all these funny tea flavored drinks, sometimes they are fruity, but i dont know, not my favorite. But yeah, then after lunch we played some soccer, which was great, and just did some shopping and hanging out.
Then we had intercambios, or splits i think in english? But yeah I spent all day with another companion in a different area, it was good fun and I learned a lot from him. I learned that I like the city more, the busy roads and things. Its just more normal to me and although the country is nice, sometimes its just too out there and old school. But I do love peru, its a great place. I wanted to say more about the driving, because its nuts. its a total free for all, I must say its much more dangerous and rediculous than korea, sorry dad. But yeah I have not seen a stop sign, literally, and there are only a handful of lights, and those are more like suggestions, at best. Its a game of chicken and guts, its scary. Mom that is the only time I feel like i am in danger, is in the taxis and motos. We will cruise going 90 km pass another car miss the next car by a foot and then come to a halt all at the same time. Its different, thats for sure. oh and some of these cars have over 700000 km on them! its funny
So we walked outside once and the air was just super dirty, super super gross. my companion said that there was a tornado that came by. Pretty interesting, the whole day was just dirty and it was like difficult to see the sun.
I had a really cool oportunidad to dedicate a house this week, all in spanish. It came as a shock, I didnt know that I was going to do it until we were already on our knees. But yes, pretty powerful, the priesthood that I hold is the real power of God and I am able to do things like dedicate houses. It was a very good experience for me.
Also, we went to this really random area of like 30 houses way out in the middle of nowhere. It was weird, but anyway there were just animals walking around everywhere. Anything from goats, sheep, cows, donkeys, chickens, and dogs just being herded or else walking around. I just felt like I was in the 1700s, there were women whipping the animals with an old whip and wow it is just different.
As far as the dog problem goes, there are dogs everywhere. Everywhere.... Its not rare to just walk down the street and see 6 7 8 dogs at once. They are annoying I must say, but sometimes cute and harmelss. They just lay in the middle of the road or are digging through the rubble and trash for some food. I honestly see 100s each day, they are everywhere, big small cute nice horrible loud, all types.
my ward is interesting. There are about 50 or 60 that attend each week, and the chapel is tiny, just a little chapel with like 8 classrooms and a baptismal faunt. But its nice, thats for sure. Each week we sing without the piano and its really not very nice sounding. I really like singing hymns but frankly the people here struggle a little with singing sometimes. I really wish I knew how to play the piano better.... mom your right, i wish I had stuck with my lessons... But I can play some stuff still and I plan to when I get the opportunity. But yeah the ward is a lot of young people which is great. But yep not many people, oh and remember they all speak spanish really fast to me and think i know what they are saying. Yeah its really awkward sometimes when I just dont know what they say, but thats alright, I am used to it.
So the pictures I am sending are of a fruit, or something like that. Its called a pacay I think, and you just eat the white stuff around each seed. Pretty interesting, its actually not bad! I enjoy trying new things, and that was definitely new to me!
As far as the money goes mom, All is well, for now at least. I have enough to last me the rest of august, in fact I have extra, but we will see how september goes, I will let you know more on that later. I think it will be fine though, im not too worried about it.
So yeah like i said the only time I feel in danger is in the taxis, driving around. I dont ever feel at danger for anything really. People here are pretty nice and friendly, and trusting too for the most part. I have not seen much sketchy stuff yet.
And my shoes, yes my shoes are great. I use my boots, and yeah my shoes really are great, perfect for me. So yep all is well, My spanish is getting better, but right now i am at the point where I either focus really hard and get either most of some of what is being said, or I just zone out and not focus and get nothing. So im trying to learn to focus more, because i can understand more and more each day if i try. But its hard to focus sometimes. I am trying just to not be frustrated, which is a process for me.
Ok a few more things, sorry mom you can edit this and cut stuff out if youd like. My personal studies have been good, I am really growing to love the book of mormon and preach my gospel more and more. Also I am reading our heritage, which really strengthenes my love and testimony for Joseph smith and all he did for the church today. I also read the ensign frequently, I have the ensign with all the conference talks from the last conference in it. Its golden for me. Its scripture, real scripture, because its the words of the prophets and apostles. I have been marking up that ensign and taking good notes on the talks. It really has given me motivation to work harder and be better.
One spiritual thought for you all. Mosiah 28 3 in the book of mormon. It says that the sons of mosiah, i think, wanted the salvation of every creature, and that they quake and tremble at the thought that humans should suffer and perish. That is my attitude towards you all, my friends and family, as well as the people of peru. I want everyone to have salvation. I am here to help the people of peru with that, and the bring souls to christ. But for you all, I love and care about you more and more each day I am here in Peru. I love you all so much and care about each one of you individually. Please, if there is anything right now in your life that is preventing your salvation, fix it. There is the wonderful atonment for us, we can be made clean and eventually live with our families and God and Jesus in Heaven. There is nothing more wonderful than that plan for us. I Hope that each one of you can follow christ with all your heart and eventually live in heaven with god after this life. This is the desire of my heart, I love you all, thanks for all the memories and experiences we have had together, I love and cherish them dearly.
ps. mom. You can send packages to me, just send them to the mission home and I will get them. And PLEASE ^PLEASE please send photos. I seriously love love love pictures, if you can find old pictures of my friends and things, please email them to me or send them in a package. That would be the best thing ever. I feel like i am forgetting my friends and past, and definitely dont want to, so send pictures if you can! thanks so much mom, love you so much!
(Michael send 4 photos with this email which can be seen under the mission photos tab.)
Monday, August 20, 2012
Family and Friends,
Wow I must say this has been the craziest week ever, probably in my life. Well lets start from the last P day. Well anyway I packed and got ready to leave. I woke up at like 4 45 and left for the bus. We took a bus to the mission home and met with President Douglas and his wife. We were in the mission home most of the day finding out things about rules, money, safety, and all sorts of stuff. Anyway we had ribs for lunch which was wonderful, then after that we met our new companion and found out where we were going. I was one of the few who went outside of Lima. I am in an area called Chincha, south of lima. My companion is Elder Ferrada, a latino. He has been on his mission for a year and a half and has been a trainer before. He is a great elder, hard working for the most part and really knows how to teach and what to teach when. He knows how to train people as well. He doesnt know much english, but sometimes he can help me out with a word or so. So Yep he is a huge help for me, pretty much tells me everything to do, in spanish... Everything is in spanish, its crazy, super different.
Alright so we got off the bus in chincha, about a 3 hour ride, and it was like 7 or 8 oclock. We jumped in a moto, a 3 wheeled little taxi with the driver in the middle and two seats in the back. They are interesting, look them up if you can. But yes we arrived on the side of a street with a metal door on a brick wall. We go in there and then into a little house. I was so shocked, I am not quite sure why, but yeah we live in like a 35 by 15 foot room, or house if you call it. It has two beds, a couple desks, an old couch, and a little tile corner for a shower, with a little toilet, and 3 lights. The ground is just cement, hard and broken, and the place is a disaster. I was in shock, a tiny dusty dirty little square to live in. Then We go eat dinner at some members house and they start talking like im a regular latino and wow I just wanted to go to bed. It was all so new and I had no idea what to expect.
So a little about the area and such. Our area is huge, elder ferrada has lived here for months and hasnt set foot on many large chunks of area because it is so big. We unfortunately have to take a taxi to get pretty much anywhere. The taxis are always old old old little cars and they always try to find 5 people to put into the car. They charge 1 sol per person, about 40 cents or so, and they always take you to this main spot where the taxis meet. Then they pick up more people at that spot and take them to their homes, more or less. I am still trying to figure out the taxi thing. So yeah we spend like 8 soles a day on transportation, which is really unfortunate, we only get 493 soles a month, and that goes quick.
So alright, I seriously hit a huge culture shock, I didnt think i would, but with out little box and everything I almost lost it. The first day we walk on like the strip of Chincha, but the road has been torn up and is not there. It is all just dirt and water and construction. It is so weird. Its like a main strip, but its all just dirt, hardly navigable because they are digging to build a new road. It is loco, muy loco. All day we walk around on dirt, just on paths in the middle of nowhere. Yeah there are roads, but only main roads, everything else is dirt. Then occasionally we walk out in the middle of the desert on some loan road and then run into a brick wall and walk down the brick wall a bit and find this random door, miles from anything, and an investigator lives there. Pretty wierd. I am pretty much always lost it seems, but I am slowly starting to figure this out. So yes we do walk a lot, a lot a lot, because were cheap and try not to take the taxi if we dont have to. But yep each day i come home with dirt all up and down my pants and shoes, i just feel gross and wow it is different.
Everything is like broken or crumbling, or else its pretty new. I found out that there was a horrible terremoto, or earthquake here about 5 years ago. It seems like it destroyed like everything. You can easily tell which houses are 5 years old or newer. Its pretty crazy, these people just live on the dirt with like wooden walls or something like that. They have roofs of boards, sheet metal, or blankets and rags. Often times its bamboo with rags over it. Most of the time, however, they have brick walls, but it just depends on the part you go to. Everyone just lives in little boxes, sometimes two or three separate ones with some sort of dirt path connecting them. They really just make do with what they have. There are some though that have a cement roof, with computers and tvs, but its nothing compared to what I have been blessed with in my life. These people often dont have lights, or running water. Electricity is not a given for each person, and its sad for me to see how these people live.
So we have a pension, and its like where we go eat every lunch and dinner, except saturday and sunday. We go there each day and they give us good food. They are members, and have a pretty big house, comparitively. They are a good family, but really hard to understand sometimes. And each month we give them 300 soles i think, leaving us with less than 200 soles for the month, about 70 dollars for water, transportation, and laundry, which is 35 soles. But yeah the family is nice and I am super grateful that we dont have to cook all of our meals! On saturday and sunday we go to members houses to eat.
So lets see, missionary work. Thats enough about the culture, I really want to focus on the work. I am really trying to stay focused on missionary work. Its difficult in a different language in a different country with different cultural aspects. But we taught about 7 lessons or so since i have been here. I am meeting a lot of people, good people, members, investigators, and less actives. I can teach, that is one thing I can do. I can talk about the gospel, and its getting easier every day. But I cant understand their long rants or stories, im trying very hard, but i just get lost and then cant pick up anything. I am grateful though that i can teach, bear testimony, pray, and for the most part have a decent conversation. But yes the most exciting thing for me is this family of 4. I am not quite sure how they are all related, but there from the ages 10 to 18. I really like teaching them, They were a reference and they were glad to talk to us. We have taught them two lessons and have plans for more. I still struggle to talk to them, but I have developed this kind of love for them, a missionary type of love. I really care about them and really want to help them. We have taught them about the restoration, and a little about the book of mormon. We were watching a video about the restoration, and right before the first vision part the film freezes and doesnt work anymore... So sad. But it was funny, we ended up teaching the rest of the lesson and it was good, although their was loud music outisde with took away from the spirit. But yep i really care about them, and hope they can come to church this next week. For the most part, this area has been struggling big time with lessons, but I am determined to talk to lots of people and get lots of lessons. Already we have had more than he had the past few weeks and I am looking forward to progressing. I have a long way to go before I can teach perfectly and understand everything, but If i try my best I know the lord will help me. I really want to convert myself these next few years, and I want to try my hardest, never giving up. It has been frustrating, very frustrating at times, and then I realize that I cant do this. I really cant do this, unless I have the spirit with me. Those times i think i cant is when i dont have the spirit with me. Then I pray repent, get the spirit and work hard. I really really just want to do my best, sometimes i just struggle to find motivation.
But yesterday there was a baptism. Max is his name, he is a great guy, i got to teach one lessons with him before his baptism. It was a special experience, my companion got to baptize him, and i was very happy for him. It is wonderful, this is what this work is all about. Bringing people unto christ, all people. This is my responsibility, my calling, my life. Right now I need to focus, love the work, and do my best. More than anything, I want to love the work I am doing, and I know its possible through the spirit and help of the lord. I am here to serve the people of peru. I am here to serve my Lord. I know I will be blessed as i trust in the lord and do my best to work hard, never give up. Sorry if this has sounded negative, because these past few days have been rough. But I have learned to be grateful for what we have. My house is pretty nice actually, We have a roof, and even though we dont always have running water, sometimes it doesnt work, i love our little home. I am grateful, its nice, homey, and the spirit is there. I love you all, thanks for everything. SOrry this is so long, but Its been a long and eventful week. Love you all!!
[See 8 additional photos added to mission photos tab]
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Friends and Family,
I forgot to answer some of your questions mom, so I am going to do that now before I forget. You wanted to know about the weather around here. It is perfect, absolutely perfect. Overcast all day every day, i like never see the sun, with like humid chillyness. It is wonderful, I am always just a bit chilly with all my clothes on but wow its fantastic, humidity plus the cold air. Perfect for sports, enough to get sweaty, but only if your really working.
Happy birthday to Dad, Chelsea, and Emma! that is so exciting, time is really flying by. I really cannot believe that its august, and that I am going into the field in less than a week. I am totally ready to get into the field, but wow its going to be a completely different adventure. I am so tired of everything going on here, and tired of class. I am just ready to preach!
So saturday Elder frandsen and I went out together, because I dont have a latin companion. So it was us two white guys and one teacher. We wandered the streets forever and found no less actives but decided to contact people and teach them. very quickly, we ran into somebody who was asking for help, like he wanted a blessing. He was about 22 and had piercings and was sketchy looking. I felt really bad about the situation, looked at the teacher who we were with, and we quickly told him we couldnt and booked it out of there. He wanted to rob us. He was planning to take us to his house then rob us for all we had, because we are white and apparantly rich north americans. Pretty loco if you ask me. Then we ran into this person and he let us in his house. I didnt know what to talk about and then all of a sudden i look down at my lap and there is a plan of salvation phamplet there. So i go ahead and start talking a bit about the plan of salvatioin, even though i really should be talking about the restoration. But i just felt it was right. It turns out that his mom died in may, and his wife died a few years ago and he was in mourning. So he was very receptive and we got his information and he is interested in learning more. It is so wonderful, My spanish is really coming along and i can understand most of what people say now when we talk about gospel things. But when it comes to regular conversation, its impossible for me to follow. But it was truly an inspired lesson, and i loved it.
So this week has been very interesting here in the MTC. so I am a zone leader right? there are only 2 zones, so 4 zone leaders total, with over 100 missionaries. So yeah, there has been lots going on. some watches, money, garments, and other things have been stolen the past few weeks. It is really sad, president cardon has made emergency meetings to try and address this. But then a few days ago one of the teachers I pads was stolen. Just gone, president called the zone leaders together that evening and together, along with some teachers and workers searched every single room, every closet, every suitcase, and every spot in every room to find the missing things. We ended up finding nothing, but its just so sad that we have had to deal with this. I really wish it wouldnt be a problem at all with missionaries. We are here to represent our savior, and this is not helping. But anyway, I am doing my best to be an example, and to help others in any way possible
Also in the zone, there have been some companionship problems. There is a latino trio that almost started throwing punches. It was really rough. I and the other zone leader talked with each of them individually and then pulled them all in together with the district leader to help them. I was getting frustrated just because frankly, I cannot understand them. I can talk gospel, but thats it. They were arguing and speaking really fast, and I just could not pick up what was being said. I got the jist of it though, and did my best to help them out and just encourage them to do better. I then talked with president cardon, as I have been doing every day recently, and tried to get him in on all of this so he can help. The hard part is that I can do this in english. I can preach in english, and i can comfort, give advice, and really truly help people in english, but the spanish barrier is putting a dampening on the help I can do. I am trying though, very hard!!Anyway, less than a week and I am done and in the field, focusing on my work as a missionary.
This morning I had immigration. So I went with a few other missionaries and drove to a government building or something early this morning. it was like a 30 min drive and then we go sit and wait forever. its like the dmv except worse. So anyway, eventually we get our information in a computer, get our fingerprints, picture, and signature and boom, we have an ID card. Its so awesome. I am a legal resident of Peru! Its awesome, they made it for us while we were there and gave it right to us. fantastic, finally I am a legal citizen... maybe of peru! So now my work can begin! Then we went to the grocery store and bought a few things. I got chocolate, of course, but its so cheap i couldnt resist! bags and bags of it to last me a while, and it was like for 3 dollars for many bags!
So one quick spiritual thought for you all, or a spiritual story rather. Elder frandsen and i have been doing a great job teaching, teaching with the spirit and teaching from the scriptures and all. But then one day our lesson was just awful. It was bad, lucky it was a fake investigator. But it was just bad, no spirit, no direction, hardly any commitments, and like no interaction between us all. I really dont know how it happened, but it was bad. Anyway, we realized that we didnt say a prayer before we taught the lesson, and that the spirit was just not there to help us out. We really cant reach anything without the spirit there to guide us. After the lesson, I went outside and just was so sad. But as the day went on, I learned a valuable lesson from that. I realized that the spirit is directing me and helping me with all of my lessons. I realize that I do have the spirit, and that the only reason I dont think about it or have huge spiritual recognitions is because I am just used to the feelings of the spirit. It was a great realization in the sense that the spirit is always with me, i love it. Also, elder bednar gave a fantastic talk in the ccm a while ago and we watched it. It was all about not worrying about the spirit, i really really loved it.
Anyway, This is my last email from the CCM of peru. I dont know if the dear elders will cost money or anything, or how long they take, but i do love receiving them, so If you can, please continue to send it. But yes you can email me, all of you can email me, i just cannot reply, except through my mom.
So I do not know when I will email next, It will for sure be at least a week, unless something weird happens. Whenever my P day is in the field!! I am so excited to help real people and to do real work for the lord. I love you all and pray for you all constantly! I definitely miss you all and the wonderful experiences, but thats ok, I am doing what i know to be true, the work of the Lord, bringin people unto christ! muy bien, yo tengo un testimonio de este iglesia, en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen!
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Family and Friends,
So good to receive some emails from you all. I love to hear how life is going back in the states. Oh a few things, I would love to hear about how wimbledon went, i know federer won, which is great, but yeah more about it please? and also, how are the olympics??? i am very curious to see how the countries are doing there! And yeah mom and dad sounds like your having some crazy adventures out there with classes and with stephanie and ben, way to go you all. And once again thanks for the dear elder letters from my buddies, its great to hear from them.
So this week was different in some aspects. I have less than 2 weeks until I go out into the field and I cannot believe its coming this fast. But I am the zone leader for the next two weeks and I work with a latino and pretty much we control the place. We have to go around each night and tell everone to go to bed, we help people if they locked their keys in the room, and visit each district often to give announcements regarding p day or things like that. We also organize every sunday and the devotionals on wednesday. We organize the music, prayers, preludio music, and also set up the sacrament. then we have meetings twice a week, once with the branch presidency and the other with president cardon, i love that man. he is wonderful, helps us out a ton, and is always so friendly and polite. So yeah we just do a lot of telling people what to do and organizing the events. Its good for me to learn some responsibility and really try to set the example in all that I do. There are tons of people that i am in charge of and I am taking it seriously and trying to be the best example i can be.
So as i said earlier i do not have a latin companion, so elder frandsen and i are always together. I really like him and we do some good things together. We have taken advantage of all the study time we have and do our best to be productive and actively engaged in working. So yeah I dont get to be with latinos as much, but that is alright, i will have plenty of that the next few years. I am so excited to get into the field and start doing real work, and helping people out for the rest of the lives, and more. It is such a blessing for me to be here, I am so glad i made it on a mission and i am here to prove my trust in my lord and God.
So last week we had a celebration lunch for the peru independence day. It was quite cool, really awesome food with all sorts of meat. We listened to the song and celebrated. It was very interesting, but its fun to be a part of another culture and embrace their customs! But during that lunch there was an earthquake. It was kinda cool, everything just started shaking a bit and some things rattled. it was small of course but kinda fun, apparently they happen at least every month around here because we are on the ring of fire, gosh i want to study some more geology about this place! But yeah kinda a neat experience.
Que mas? I dunno, life is good here, but I am just so ready to get out into the field, be with one latino companion all the time, and really be submerged in spanish, walking all day and teaching real people. It will be the greatest two years and I cannot believe i have already been on my mission 50 days, getting close to two months. I also cannot believe that it is august, what in the world?? wow...
So we have been playing soccer every day and it has become really really fun. I have developed my skills and i can take on latinos pretty good, I always play forward and normally make a few goals. It is way fun, and I will definitely miss that when I leave.
So today the temple is closed so we only got to go shopping, but now we have the rest of the day to play soccer. But yeah so we went shopping and its funny how many foods there are, its just fun to buy funny packages of crakers cookies, and chocolate... Oh how i love love love chocolate! It has been a great day thus far.
Ok well this week i have been studying the doctrine and covenants and wow there is some really good things in there, I have never read it before so I learned a ton and I am really growing to love it more and more. There is so much in there and I am grateful I have time each day to read more and more. I am about half way through, so hopefully i can finish before I leave, or else soon after.
Spanish is good, its really frustrating in regular meetings or just small talk because i frankly dont have the vocabulary for any of that. But with lessons, I can go on and on and on about the church and how awesome it is, or about the restoration, the plan of salvation, or the gospel of jesus christ. Its wonderful how much i have learned, and although its still tough, in less than two months i can teach people the good news, and thats all that matters!
So my testimony has grown tremendously since i have been here. I have always had a testimony, but now that I am actively engaged in this work i have come to love the gospel more and more. I realize now how important the Book of Mormon is and how much power it has. I know that as i am here for two more years my testimony will just grow and grow. I really believe that I can live with you all forever after this life, happily with God. I do believe that this church is true, and that we have the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so excited to be here, So excited to be learning spanish, and to tell these people the good news!
I love you all, thanks for everything, I keep you in my prayers all the time. Please remember me, because this work is not always easy, even though i make it sound like it is. I am tired all day every day, but I trust in the lord to have patience and move forward with faith each day!!
(See additional photos added to mission photos tab)
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Family and Friends,
I have had one crazy adventure this week and I hope I can fill it all into this email. I cannot believe I have finished my first 6 weeks, and my first daily planner. It is really exciting, but crazy how fast it has gone as well! This week I have been reading out of the doctrine and covenants, I read about the first 40 or so sections, and I am very grateful for those modern revelations. i have learned a lot and I am definitely coming closer to christ through these revelations. Also this week, I have been trying to come closer to christ by studying the christlike attributes, in spanish. I have really been studying hard in spanish, really trying to learn as much as possible. I am able to read the book of mormon and preach my gospel and understand a majority of what is being said. I really feel like the progress is good, even though i still feel like I cannot speak a word of it.
So my latino companions are gone! It is really sad, eveyone left except for my district of 9 and another district of about 8. So the whole MTC was empty for a day and then new missionaries started flooding in. They all showed up last night and are still showing up today. But my latino companion elder martinez was wonderful, i will miss him, he will make a great missionary. And actually, there are more white guys that will be there than latinos these next three weeks, so I do not get a latino companion, just me and elder Frandsen, which is good and bad. Elder Frandsen and I work very well together, but Latino companions really help me develop my spanish skills. Oh hey one other random thing about my latino companions. Last week sometime when we woke up my latino companions told me I was talking in my sleep, in SPANISH! how cool is that, they said it was definitely a mix of spanish and english, but they could understand some of it. I was really in shock. Then the next day they said it happened again!
I do have a great anouncement to make though. I am officially the new zone leader for one of the two zones here in the MTC. I will be a zone leader for the next three weeks and The zone is about 50 to 70 people. It is a huge responsibility I think but I am ready to do my best. I receive all of my instruction on being a zone leader tonight, so i will have to tell you more about it next week. I know that as I trust the lord, he will help me fulfil all my responsibilities to the best of my ability. I am excited but also nervous, I want to do my best! Also, the district is changing a bit because some of the poeple are joining latino districts, where they learn everything in spanish with the latinos. They will not have any more grammer instruction or things like that, where as I still will. I think I can learn the most this way but who knows! I am totally just ready to get out into the field and focus on missionary work 100 percent of the time, with little distractions from all the people to talk to around here.
So a little more about the mtc, the food really is wonderful. We eat rice, potatoes and meat every day, twice a day. Sometimes its noodles or something like that, but we eat meat twice a day everyday. I really like it but wow I feel like i need a break!
So this saturday we went out proselyting again and it was wonderful. This time I understood a lot more and did a lot more talking. We didnt talk to hardly any less actives, but we did a lot of contacts on the streets and door knocking. Elder martinez was really trying to get my to talk more so i tried and was very pleased with how it all went. I want to go into detail, but i dont know if i can. We went out and got lost in the small streets a bit, but then we just found two women sitting on the side of the road. We talked to them for a while about the gospel and they were very receptive and interested. They knew where the church was and said they would come to church the next day at 9 in the morning! I was so happy, we shared the message of the restored gospel and gave them a phamplet and a book of mormon, got their address and names and wow it was wonderful! It was so good to talk to people about the gospel and they were very interested. The best part was that i understood a lot of it hahaha. But then we talked to a few other people about either the gospel of jesus christ or the restoration and it was powerful. We gave each of them a book of mormon and invited them to church and to pray. It has been wonderful, I am learning tons, growing to love the work more and more, and really falling in love with the people of peru. In total we gave out 3 books of mormon and it was a very successfull day. I am so ready to go into the field. Oh and a side note... Bobby we ran into some snakes if you might say so. Some girls out just looking for trouble. we passed them a handful of times and they were probably about 17 years old. They just eyed me down and tried to talk in english to me. Anyway, interesting experience but I knew to just avoid the situation.
Today was like the most awesome day ever. We took a tour of lima after going to the temple. I took a few pictures and attached them. We saw the capital building of peru, other large buildings, catholic churches, and shopped in the markets. It was way fun and I got to spend some time outside the mtc and with some good friends. We got to buy some Churros, which are pretty much the best snack in the world. It was a great experience. We have now laundry soccer and personal time. I am really loving it here and I cannot wait to continue doing good things on my mission.
Spanish is great, its tough and frustrating, but i love it. I have a testimony of this gospel, i know it is real. I know that jesus died on the cross and performed the atonement for all of us to return to him and god once more. I believe with all my heart that I need to be here, that god wants me here and that I am doing his will. I am so grateful for the oportunity to serve my master and bring souls unto him. I love the scriptures, they are the word of god. Please if you have time read 2 nephi 31, 2 nephi 9, Mosiah 2, 3 nephi 27, and moroni 7. the scriptures are the word of god.
Mom and dad I love you so much, feel free to cut some things out of here before you send it to everyone. I love hearing from you all, family you mean everything to me and i pray for you every night. I love you all so much and miss you. you are wonderful examples to me and i cannot wait to hear how your lives are going each week.
Love you all!
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Family and Friends!
So good to recieve some emails from you all. It sounds like all is well in Korea, with the Expo and the rain and such. I hope all is well there and that you are all safe. Also sounds like you are doing well in utah too. I hope the kids are good Jill and I am proud of you for getting up on the wakeboard, thats great!
So this week has been one of many adventures, thats for sure. To start off, last wednesday after I wrote the email and such, I had to go do immigration stuff. I got my fingerprints taken and photos as well. I also got to see the mission president, his wife, and two kids there as well! It was so great to see them again, and to meet the kids. The daughter is going to be a junior in highschool and she is a way good tennis player, according to her dad. The son is 11, and hes way cool. Anyway, they are all learning spanish, but the father already knows spanish from his mission in argentina years ago.
So last friday I woke up and found a white guy in my room. He became my new companion, and he just flew in at a really weird time. So its really nice to have another white guy, elder frandsen in the room with me and to have one companion insead of two. He is a great elder and we are really working well together, making goals and trying to be the best we can. I am grateful to have him as a companion right now. I also am companions with elder martinez still, and we are doing terrific. I really love him and he is going to be a great missionary. He leaves for the mission field on tuesday so then I will get a new latin companion. So I am happy with the way things are now, and teaching the progressing investigators is a whole lot different and easier with only two of us, Elder Frandsen and I.
So my personal studies this week have been great. I actually read the book Our Search for Happiness and really really enjoyed it. I learned a lot and It was very very fun to read and learn more about the church and how it all began. Then once I finished that I read the Pearl of Great Price and wow I had never done that before! I was so glad I did, and It was great to read all about moses and Abraham. I learned a lot from those scriptures, especially about the creation. It was a great week for personal studies, I got a lot done and I plan on continuing my studies of the scriptures. Recently I started the Doctrine and Covenants, which is going well already. I am only 7 sections in but I hope to finish it in the next few weeks if possible! I am really growing to love the scriptures, and I learn from them so much. I also want to read the book Our heritage, and then sometime I want to read Jesus the Christ. I am so excited for all the studying and learning I will be able to do on my mission. I feel like for the most part I have been studying the gospel, with spanish being secondary.
As far as spanish goes, I do get frustrated with it. I am doing well though, at least comparitavely to the class. I have learned a lot and my latin companions are really helping me out with that. My vocabulary is getting better and I am able to sort of think in spanish for simple gospel topics. I just struggle to follow a regular conversation because I dont know how to talk about anything other than church stuff. But I know if I dont let myself get frustrated and if I just put my trust in God, he will help me learn the language. I am trying hard to learn it, and am going to try very hard this week to do lots of writing in spanish, communication with my companion in spanish, and spent time in the spanish scriptures as well.
So I want to share a quick story that my teacher said this week. He said that he was walking home from the MTC one day and there was a mob of about 50 people, mostly drunk. He found out that they were fans for some soccer team. Apparantly they ran into some fans for the other team and starting a huge fight. Lots of drunk people just running around and getting mad at other people. My teacher was in the middle of this and tried to avoid it as much as possible when some people pulled out guns and started shooting. Bullet shots were going in cars buildings and other things, but he thinks that nobody was killed. Anyway, he said things like this happen ever so often to him, pretty crazy huh?
So that was friday when he said that, and it was saturday whenever we were going out and talking to inactive members in some of the poorest areas of peru, according to my teacher. I went with Elder martinez, my latin companion, and we took a bus ride about an hour to the chapel. We got a list of names and addresses, which by the way make no sense in these parts. We also had a 13 year old girl come with us and show us where the houses were and sat in with the lessons. So we go off and start walking up some hills, towards the mountains. We see lots of people walking around everywhere. The roads are somewhat paved, but the higher up the hill you go, the less concrete sidewalks there are. the roads are anywhere from a foot to 10 feet wide and oftentimes is just crushed and craked cement, if not just dirt. It was nuts. Then it got real steep and it was just crumbling stairs going up and up. It was very very poor, with crumbling houses and broken homes. It was very sad. We ended up teaching a few people which was great. We gave out a few books of mormon and a few folletos as well. phamplets. It was a great experience but very humbling as well. I know no spanish... none. It is so hard to understand a conversation or story. I get like nothing out of it, but thats okay. That is why I am here! But elder martinez pretty much took over and I shared a short testimony at the end. It was great though. I loved it! I love the poeple of peru and I am so excited to be here. I cannot wait to get out into the field, even if I dont know a word of spanish. We taught one lady who lived in seriously a concrete box. There was one bed and some old boxes and that was it. No lights, no water, nothing. But she seemed happy to talk about the church. She was so happy and proud of me when I tried to talk in spanish and she respected my efforts. It is so happy to see people like her smile, when she has almost nothing. It really touched my heart and I cannot believe that this is the work I will be doing for the next 23 months! I love it. Oh also, there were dogs everywhere that just sat there. EVERYWHERE. you couldnt avoid them, they were on the stairs, running around, following you, everything. Anyway, good stuff, there were also druink people that tried to talk to me.
Anyway, time is short. but oh yeah, I slammed my finger in a door on accident and now its black, yeah not fun, it still hurts, but thats ok.
hmm well thank you for everything. Thank you friends and family, thanks for the friendship. Oh yeah, dont send packages here because they are difficult to get and expensive. Also, I have recieved one letter from jill and would love to recieve more from all of you friends and family. i love to recieve letters and see how everyone is doing. I wrote a bunch of you and would love to hear back! And mom thank you for the dear elder, it was great to read that and hear about jordan, and also about the family history. It was good to receive some mail! so thank you
Oh mom, the food is mostly going to be provided by the members. At least lunch is. its the big meal around here and so I will most likely live with the members and they will feed us lunch! and do my laundry, its excellent.
I love you all and pray for you all always! I hope all is well in everywhere but south america!!
(See additional photos added to mission photos tab)
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Family and Friends!
Today has been a great week. I have a ton I want to say and hopefully it makes a little more sense than the last email I sent. So anyway, The MTC here is great. A bit over a hundred people and wow I love it. There are only about 3 buildings, and an amazing soccer field and courtyard. I pretty much know or at least recognize everyone here and its great. I get along with everyone and everone is really friendly and happy to say hello. I am super happy and blessed to be here right now.
So the first thing I want to talk about is the food here in the MTC. I really like the food and I cant get enough of the rice and potatoes. They have great drinks and the helpings are wonderful. I eat tons and I am really really enjoying it. They eat cereal with yogurt and it is like my favorite thing ever. I have it every morning for breakfast along with some eggs and bread. Lunch is the big meal around here and I have soup, meat, rice, potatoes, jello, ice cream, and many other things like every day. I am very grateful for the food here and cant get enough of it. One thing I really enjoy is the fruit here. It is all very very good, and I tried a fruit called granadilla and it looks like a bunch of spider eggs inside of an embryo. You totally need to look up pictures of it, it looked so gross but its actually sweet and I enjoy it! I love trying all the weird foods and things, and normally I am quite happy.
So my district is all white people that are learning spanish with me. All north americans and we get along great. there are 8 of us, but its weird because we have one sister missionary and 7 elders. So I am in a trio with 2 other white guys and then the hermana is by herself. So pretty much she is my companion at times. Its really weird, but everytime we do companion activities or teaching things, I am paired with her. Its very interesting, but it works out ok. We all get along great and are progressing tons. But my white companions, they are nice but not a best friend type of guy. They both went to BYU but I didnt know them either. Its weird though because I dont live in the same room as them, and when we teach its all three of us. I do most of the teaching too, which isnt good.... Anyway, were working it out and trying our best!
So my room is me and 3 other latinos. I get along with them great and we talk about family and movies and everything. Its really difficult, because only one of them knows some english words, and the others, including my companion, elder Martinez, do not. I really have to use my spanish to say anything around here. I try so hard every day to communicate as best as possible, but talking to them and trying to tell stories is very difficult. Conjugating verbs is the worst part. I know a lot of vocabulary but putting it all together and making sentences make sense is difficult. But I get by. I am with my latino companion all day except when we have class, which is for hours before lunch and then again after lunch and dinner. But all morning and night I am with elder martinez. I have learned so much about how to talk about regular things, not just church things, which is great! They are patient with me and they teach me a lot each night. they are all from ecuador I think and going to mexico on their missions. We have many differences but it is way cool to associate with other cultures. They are really my good friends and I care a lot about all of them. I have learned so much already but I cannot wait to learn more.
The teachers here are wonderful. I love them so much and they are very relaxed. We do learn a lot though, but we like to talk a lot about life in general. I am truly growing to love them as family.
We have fruit time every night as well. We go eat like a banana or something each night and just talk for a few minutes. Its just kinda a fun little thing around here that we do.
Hmm there is also an MTC cat. He is kinda cool, his name is corvis and everyone loves him. He is just a part of the MTC!
What more... well today is P day and we went to the temple and got to go to a couple stores. We rode the bus and crammed sooooo many people on there you couldnt even move. then we got to walk around a bit and just explore the city. we also went to a little mormon store where i bought a tie with the lima temple on it! the temple session was great although it was in spanish. We took pictures and just had a good time this morning. Very different than the US, thats for sure. Hopefully next week I will have more to say regarding the city.
Anyway, the pictures are my roommate elder dunn from provo, my roommates here, my white roommates here, and the temple. Its sweet, i have learned a bunch and care about you so much. I pray for you a lot and I know that you are all doing well. I hope everything is going well, i love you all!!
[See photos under mission photos tab]
Wednesday, July 5, 2012
Family and Friends,
Mom and Dad, sounds like your trip to hong kong was great, I think the food sounds good and i am very excited to try some of the crazy foods here in Peru as well. Dont worry about sending me the goodman gossip posts, I am sorry but I dont have time to read them. But I hope all is well and I know that you will be blessed in all that you do. Jill thanks for your email, I am sorry I have not been able to reply, things are just so hectic around here with moving and everything. But I really do appreciate it!
This past week was great. I learned a bunch more about spanish and about how to begin teaching. We talked a lot on people skills and how to teach the first lesson. We had lots of practice this week in provo and I was super excited to leave for peru. unfortunately I am the only one out of my district who is going!
Sunday was a great day. We had many devotionals and I learned a lot, but we had a special act for one devotional where one man played the role of Willard Richards and told the whole joseph smith story. I really liked it, it was powerful and made me appreciate joseph smith even more. He had to seal his testimony with his life, and how powerful that is to me. Then on monday night I was with my district for the last time. Just before going back to the room, I bore my testimony and shared my final words with them. It was wonderful, I said what I wanted to say and I know that it went well. I will miss those elders, but they are going to do wonderful things in their own missions. I am needed here in Peru for another 6 weeks of training, which will be awesome.
I made it to Peru! Sorry I didnt call you mom and dad, my phone card I bought was invalid and didnt work, so that was a waste of 5 bucks. Anyway, tuesday morning I woke up at 4 45 and got ready for the day! It was a long day, very very long, with a 3 hour flight to atlanta, then another 6 hour flight to peru. But the complications came in when there was a 2 hour layover in atlanta, and another 2 hour delay. The biggest problem was we were already on the plane when we got delayed two hours. the weather got bad right before we were going to take off and so we were stuck in a burning hot airplane for hours before takeoff. But dont worry, we made it here at 1 30 at night or something like that, then drove another hour and got to the CCM or MTC here in Peru at 2 30 ish. On the drive we passed a lot of the city, and I realized how poor it is. It is really sad actually, because all of the buildings are covered in graffiti and many are falling apart and breaking. Lots of the roads and sides of the roads are covered with trash and broken glass and things. It is crazy, but I am grateful to be here and to be able to learn spanish to be able to teach these people. Once we got here, I unpacked some things and got to bed just before 4. Then I woke up at 8 something, ate cereal, got paperwork turned in, got my haircut, and now I am here typing my email to you all. Pretty crazy. So here everything is way different. It is super tiny here in the MTC but I really like it. Everyone only speaks spanish, and my companion is a hispanic who knows no english. Its really complicated and I have a lot to try to explain but its such a great experience. I actually have not been with my companion at all yet because we have different training meetings and things. It is very complicated, and I am very confused right now. It will be great though once we start classes and getting into a routine. It is just very interesting because I wont be in class with my companion because he already knows spanish and I will be in class to learn spanish. I dont know how all of this will work, but it will be alright. The CCM here has an awesome astroturf soccer field which I am very excited to play on. It is very well kept, the whole MTC, and it seems pretty new.
Anyway, I have a lot to learn about this place. all i know is that english is rarely heard, and I also believe that my spanish will rocket up the next few weeks. I love being here, I love the people and I love the work, even though I am running on like 4 hours of sleep right now. I want to do my best and be the best missionary I can. I really hope that i can exemplify christ in all that i do and i know that as I become converted to christ in all that i do, I will lose myself in this work and it will be the best two years. I love this church and this gospel. It brings me happiness and I know that I can live with my family forever because of it. Thanks for everything everyone. I will hopefully be a lot more organized with my email next week, but right now I am just so out of it and I hope that this makes some sense. I love you all!
Tuesday, June 25, 2012
Buenos Diaz familia y amigos,
Este es mi segunda semana aque in el CCM. You quiero compartir my testimonio en espanol hoy.
This week has been incredible. I wake up every day at 6:20 or earlier and immediately start studying the Gospel and planning out my day. The biggest focus for ma and for my district has been recognizing the power of the spirit and the influence it needs to have in our lives. There were some wonderful devotionals and talks this week on that power. There were also a wonderful talk on how to come closer to Christ, and to make that journey ourselves, before we ask others to do it as well.
MY VISA IS HERE! I am flying to Peru next tuesday already! I cannot believe I am going to a place where only spanish will be spoken, but I know that I will learn a lot faster and more effective being down there. Sadly, I am the only one out of my district who got their visa and flight arrangements. Apparently there is some anti-mormon who was doing peru visas and like stopped the work, but since I turned my passport in just a week ago, the anti-mormon person was already kicked out and mine came really fast. At least that is what my MISSION PRESIDENT said! I met him on saturday and he seems to be a wonderful man. He worked with Huntsman for years and he knows the Ninows! President Douglass is his name. He said somehow that he knew I knew the Huntsmans and that I was in their ward. Anyway, crazy connections, but mom please send this to the ninows! But yeah pay close attention mom, I am supposed to call you sometime while I am traveling. I get one phone call so I hope this will work for you. I will try my hardest to call you at the SLC airport before I get on the plane. I will do my best to call around 7 when I get in the airport. I know its a bad time but that is the only time I know I will be able to. sorry sorry sorry but im out of time and I really want to talk for a few minutes. tuesday at 7, so tuesday at like 11 your time or something. I hope that works but I am sorry i cannot talk to you before hand and work this out. I wont be able to email next week because that will be when I am traveling. I am very sorry, but there is nothing i can do. I just hope I travel safely, and even if I am by myself, which I think i will be, I know that I will make it safely to the CCM.
I cannot believe I have been here 2 full weeks. It seems like i have lived here forever, but at the same time I cannot believe I am already heading to Peru this next week! I have a lot to do before I am ready to leave, but I know that I need to be down there.
As far as gym time goes, I play soccer every day. It has actually been really fun. We have a good bunch of elders from my district that go play soccer every week and I fit right in. It took me a few times to get back into soccer mode, but I love it once again and have done pretty well. I have made a handful of shots, and its a great way to burn off some energy and get some sun each day. It is good to play soccer again, because I know it will come in handy in Peru!
The spanish is going well. We have taught lessons and really studied the language hard. It is definitely a challenge, but I know that if I have faith and put my trust in God, he will bless me with the gift of tongues to learn the language. I am trying to talk only in spanish, and although it doesnt always happen, I do learn a lot from it and being immersed in the language makes a significant difference.
We have also focused a lot on our purpose as a missionary and how important it is to invite others to make commitments. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, Baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end. We have really emphasised the 4 verbs, to invite and help others to come and receive. It is a wonderful purpose and I am excited to do my best and bring others true happiness.
As far as all of my personal studies have gone, preach my gospel has been a wonderful help. There are so many great passages in there and scripture references. I have learned a lot, especially as I focus on developing the Christlike attributes. I also started reading the Book of Mormon again, but my progress is somewhat slow, but I am excited to start it again and grow closer to Christ through it. We have been challenged to study a question every time we study. I am trying to come up with good questions, and it is amazing how I really do receive answers through the things I read. I love it and am so happy for those experiences.
Our district has grown really close, and I am sad that I am leaving, and that I am the only one leaving, but I am so excited at the same time. It will be a wonderful change and I will learn so much. We have gone to the temple together and we sit together all day every day. we have grown together and I know that they will have the opportunity to do great things.
I run into Jordan Nunez every now and then. Gosh I love that kid, and I know he will do great. We took a picture together and it has been great to talk to him, even if it is just for a few minutes!
Oh another thing! Right now is a crazy time with all of the mission presidents here and many general authorities. We have not heard any general authorities yet, but I saw a friend who works here and he said that tonights devotional is going to be very special, so I am going to go take good notes and listen to the important message. I am really excited to hear the message tonight!
So please dear elder me aarons emails if you can! I would love to hear from him! And I really really enjoy getting mail! tell people to do dear elder if they can because i dont have much time on the computer. I did get the cookies, thanks so much! it was wonderful to receive a package. And also, thanks for the emails everyone, it is nice to hear how things are going! Stephanie, congrats on the call, you will do great, just like your mother. And I sure hope everything goes well the next four months with mittens. Thank you Jill, for your letter, it makes me feel real good and I love to hear what is going on! I love you all and pray for you all always. I wanted to share my testimony in spanish in closing:
Primero, you estoy muy agredicido por ustedes, especialmente mi familia y padres. Estoy agredicido por mis muchas bendiciones y el oportunidad servir un mision por La Iglesia De Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias. Yo se este Iglesia es verdader y que Jose Smith fue un profeta de Dios. Tengo un testimonio que Jesucristo es el Hijo de Dios y my Redentor y Salvador. Me gusta mucha las escrituras y yo se que las escrituras son un palabra de Dios. Este creencia me ayuda a vivir feliz y tener esperanza. Yo se que las familias son eternas y estoy muy agredicido por su ejemplo. Ustedes me ayuda a ser una buena person y superar desafios. Yo se que Dios vive hoy y que El ama nosotros mucho. Yo dijo estas cosas en el nobre de Jesucriso, Amen
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Family and Friends,
I have a lot to say and I am running on a timer here of 30 minutes. Thank you all for your e-mails thus far. I really appreciate the support and prayers that I have heard about.
My first week here has been very busy. I have learned a lot, that is for sure. We got here and immediately started classes and teaching investigators. We had many meetings and no time to unpack the first day. It was excellent, the spirit was there strong that first day and I know that this is the place for me to be. So I met my companion, Elder Dunn, who actually lived in the hallway above me for my first year of college but I never met him until we got here at the MTC. It is nice though, because we have things in common and experiences that we can relate to. We both have all older married siblings, and so we have some things to talk about. My district is made up of 12 elders, all spanish speaking, but going to many places. I love them all, we have spent all day every day together and we have gotten to know each other really well.
Each day we have 3 hours of instruction with our teacher, hermano Barton. He is an excellent teacher and really helps us learn spanish and understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ better. He served his mission in Boston, and when he teaches us, he really knows what we need to hear. We then have about an hour for personal study time and another hour for language study time. We also have daily planning sessions and lots of eating time it feels like. We always sit together as a district when we eat and start some great conversations and jokes. We also got into this game called spooning, where you try to slip a spoon into somebodys pocket without them knowing... anyway I dont have time to talk about that but it gives us something to laugh about when a spoon is found hours after lunch in class. But anyway, we have been learning spanish for hours a day and we have been blessed with the gift of tongues to really learn the language. My companero and I have already taught 3 lessons in spanish to our fake investicator Carla, and we have been here 6 days. We dont know exactly what to say, but we just prepare as best as possible and teach a short message that can be understood simply. As time goes on though, we have learned to teach the person, not the lesson. This requires a lot of listening skills and listening to what the spirit has to say. It is very hard to do those things in spanish, but we are really getting a hang of it. It will still be months before we can say exactly what we want to say, but there is much progress being made. We taught here thusfar about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how God loves her and her family. We also have told her about the plan of salvation, and about where we came from and what our purpose here on life is. It is amazing how we have learned to teach that much, but I absolutely love it. Our time here is valuable and every minute is planned to help us progress in one way or another.
So I found out that I will be meeting my mission president for the Peru Lima South mission here this Saturday. He is brand new and we get to meet him, I am so excited, it will be great to get to know him before he even starts his work in South America. Lots of exciting things are coming up this week and next, with many of the general authorities of the Church coming here to give devotionals and talks to us! I am excited to here their council and advice. I cannot believe it has been a week, and in 2 weeks I will be going down to Peru, if my Visa arrives on time. I share a room with 3 other guys, and all of us are headed to the Lima South mission. It would be great to stick together with them and fly down there together and possible continue to be roommates and companions. Oh and by the way I am the junior companion for the next week, then we switch responsibilities. And our district leader is this amazing black guy who knows spanish well and has a great understanding of his purpose as a missionary, which is to ''invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I am excited to get out and fulfil my purpose as a missionary for the next two years.
As far as my personal study time has gone and my time studying the gospel and in class with hermano Barton, I have learned so much and my testimony of this Gospel has grown tremendously. I am very excited to keep learning and growing spiritually. This is a special time for me and for my district and I know that together we can do amazing things for the next little while together. I started reading the Book of Mormon again, and finding many answers to my prayers in Preach My Gospel and in other places. I am really searching my soul to find what I want and who I want to become. I am grateful for the time I have to study out the questions in my mind.
Sunday was wonderful! We had lots of time to prepare and study on our own. We had 3 separate hours of church meetings which were all things that I needed to hear, like perfectly. I loved the lessons, they really touched my heart. We then had a speaker at night who really answered some of my prayers and I am trying to keep her advice and pray to know how to hear what the spirit is telling me, that I can receive more personal revelation in my life. It was a powerful talk by sister Dew.
Today is preparation day and I am allowed to email for 30 minutes and do things such as laundry, writing people, and whatever else I need to do. I went to the temple this morning and it was wonderful to be there with all of my new friends and brothers in the Church.
To all of my friends and family, thank you for everything. I cannot believe I am finally here and on my mission, doing what I know to be right. I am almost always busy in the work, but at nights and today, on preparation day, I have thought of you all and realized how big of an impact you have had on my life. To all of my friends who are not LDS, (Mormon) and chose to read my letters, thank you! It means a lot to me and I just want you all to know that I know that this church is true and I believe it with all of my heart. I know that the Book of Mormon really is the word of God and can bring you more happiness than any other book. I love you all and pray for you all always, that you will feel comforted in times of trial. I know that you all are praying for me and I appreciate it, because at times I need it. I am not even close to perfect but I am trying hard to come closer to Christ and to change my life completely, to turn myself over to him and become his servant. I know that I am nothing without Christ in my life to help lead and guide me. I love you all and I hope to hear from a lot of you soon! As you may know, missionaries do love to receive letters!! :)
Elder Michael Goodman
P.S. They have BYU chocolate milk here, and oh it is wonderful. I have definitely missed chocolate milk!
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
It's really happening! Today Michael enters the Provo MTC which will be his home for the next three weeks. There he will learn to speak Spanish and begin his training as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After spending five weeks with us in Seoul, Michael is well prepared to embark on an international adventure of his own. Making covenants in the temple in Seoul and being set apart as a full-time missionary by our District President Knudsen were a few of the special experiences shared with his siblings and their families who were all able to be here for a couple of weeks. His final Sunday here he was invited to speak in church and gave a wonderful impromptu talk about conversion. It was evidence of his tremendous faith and gift of the spirit which will serve him well as a missionary. Yes, we are proud of him!
His address in the Provo MTC is:
Elder Michael Max Goodman
MTC Mailbox #225
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604-1793
Letters and Packages may be sent to him in Peru at this address:
Elder Michael Max Goodman
Peru Lima South Mission
Av Jorge Basadre 592, Oficiana 604-A
Edificio Torre Azul, San Isidro
February 01, 2012
What an exciting day! Thanks to Skype, we were able to "join" Michael in the lobby of Merrill Hall with about 50 of his friends and family to watch him open his mission call. Michael has been called to serve in the Lima Peru South mission and reports to the Provo Mission Training Center on June 13, 2012! This will be the place to find information about and letters from him.
Thanks so much to the wonderful talents and service of one of his friends at BYU, you, too can share in Michael's special day!