Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Skype!

For Pday we went to this giant cave called Huagapo with the entire zone. It was really fun. I finally got to use my head lamp, which was cool. Afterwards we played Frisbee and took some pictures with an alpaca that was there. We had a really good time!

Huagapo Cave

On Tuesday Elder Calle and I gave the zone training on the law of consecration. We wanted the missionaries to focus on doing things because it is the right thing to do. After the training everybody went to their respective areas. I did divisions with Elder Turin in Junín, which is about an hour outside of Tarma. It rained all day and is freezing. It's right next to Cerro de Pasco. My shoes and socks were completely soaked! This has definitely made me a little more humble and I realized how many blessings I have in Tarma. To be honest, this area is just kind of rough. It was neat to go about and help the people here today. It was muddy, muddy, muddy because of all the rain but things went well.

Wednesday divisions ended and I went back to Tarma. Elder Calle Skyped with his family and then we had a primary/branch activity. Elder Calle dressed up in a giant Barney costume and I dressed up in a giant Winnie the Pooh costume. The kids went nuts when they saw us and it was really fun.

On Christmas Eve we couldn't really find anything to do because everybody was with family and didn't want to meet with us. Elder Calle and I walked around the entire day wearing our Christmas beanies that we got from the Christmas zone conference. Everybody looked at us kind of funny. We went to the Villegas family for dinner but they started cooking really late so we only got to eat panaton and hot chocolate. Panaton is like that really dry fruit cake that they eat here. They gave us gifts, which was very kind! A bit later we went to our pensionista's and had some turkey. This year was definitely better than my Christmas last year.

Merry Christmas! On Christmas morning I started off by opening the awesome gifts that you sent me. Thank you very, very, very much! Later we went around to companionships here in Tarma and handed out little bags of chocolates as gifts. We then went and picked up Elder Delgado and Elder Alfonzo from Cerro. Elder Alfonzo came down to perform a baptism. We had lunch and then went to Palca to visit the entire Osorio family. They are the family that is going to be married in January and get baptized. We shared a video with them and Luke 2:10-11. After we got back from Palca, we went out to eat dinner as a district and I had chicken, steak and french fries; and then we rushed over to the Villegas family and they gave us food that they prepared for us yesterday. They made it so that we could take it back to our place to eat it and it was really, really cool. I bought Elder Calle a beanie that he liked and wanted for Christmas and he bought me dinner.

The gift of water to the zone (and 2 lollipops)

Saturday I talked to you all on Skype and it was great to see you guys! As you know we were in the church and we kind of had to scramble at the last minute to find a laptop to talk to you guys with because the computer we had decided to spaz out and stop working. Wendy, one of our new investigators, let us borrow her laptop. We also taught her a lesson that night so everything worked out well.

Sunday was the last day this year that we will attend church at 10:00 AM. This next year we switched to 2:00 PM. The Osorio family from Palca came to church and they are doing great. We went and taught them after church as well. Kennedy (kind of an eternal investigator whose family are all members) came to church and we visited with him after church also. We taught him an awesome lesson and he said that he felt really good about attending church all three hours instead of going to work. He drives back-and-forth to Huancayo for work. He is usually pretty busy but he stayed today and he was happy. We had a good branch council, we had an assistance of 88, and it was a good day.

By the way, I got your other package on Saturday after we Skyped. I have been giving the things out to everyone like crazy. Everyone loves the ornaments you sent for them. Thank you for thinking of them. COOL STORYyour stickers went to a family that the sisters are teaching and I guess the dad has a bad drinking problem but his little girl used a package of those manger stickers to make her dad a New Year's present. It struck the dad really hard that his little girl was learning so much about Christ and I guess he is listening a lot better now to the sisters and hasn't drank as much. Super cool! I was super excited and happy that I got to talk to you all! I really miss you so much and you all look great! Love you!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Multi-Zone Christmas Conference

After I wrote you guys on Monday, we went to lunch and then played basketball at the church, but it was pouring rain so we didn't play for very long. Then we went to El Milagro (district) and taught those missionaries how to play wall ball and Uno. We had a sweet meeting with an investigator, John Pierre, he is 14. We didn't really have a plan of what we were going to teach him but we felt inspired to talk to him about baptism. He has been meeting with the missionaries for over a year but has not made the decision to be baptized, so I shared with him the story of Saul and how he was baptized right there on the spot because he had faith in Christ. So he now has a baptismal date for December 25th! It was really cool to have him accept that date because he has been kind of scared and he didn't think he was ready, but he is totally ready. He is a super sweet kid.

Tuesday we walked around a lot. It kind of sucked because all of our meetings fell through except for one. We did a lot of contacting. In the morning I studied a talk by Richard G. Scott about prayer. I think I talked to dad a little bit about it but he talks about how God answers prayers and how gratitude is so important in everything. I'm really trying to apply it in my life right now. So when I was praying earlier, I made sure to give thanks for a lot of the things that I normally don't pray about. It was really, really cool to be able to feel the spirit and how special it is when we give thanks to our Father. I also received a lot of help and answers to my prayers. I think that's something we can be better at, thanking God instead of just asking for things.

Wednesday we got everything situated and headed to La Merced. We are actually staying at Henry's recreational place. It's amazing—he saved the best room for me and my companion. He is so kind.  We went to lunch as a zone at La Madera. While we were eating, I got a phone call from the office. President Henderson would like me to conduct the multi-zone conference in La Merced. Anyways, everyone loves their rooms and the jungle is awesome.

Thursday the conference went well. We did a funny skit with three parts. The first part was like an Internet scene where it was my birthday and Elder Hernandez received a Dear John letter and it was really, really funny. We do sketches every Christmas multi-zone conference. The second part was with elders cleaning their room and how there were monsters in their bathroom and then we compared the difference between the elders and the sisters rooms. Then the third part was the first Pday with really, greeny gringos. It was cool. I was the trainer for Elder Checkits from Layton, Utah. He is kind of new and is really funny. He had a giant bag with pills, sunscreen, bug repellent, etc. The Satipo zone did a sketch on how the mission would be if sisters were in the office and then the La Merced zone did a funny reenactment of what it will be like when Elder Fernandez goes home after his mission. We did that one present exchange game where you pass your $5 gift to the left and then the right and then the left... After the conference was over, we all received flu shots. So that was kind of crazy! We also got to go to a member talent show that night. One of the members danced like Michael Jackson. He has really long hair and he was really good!

 Branch President and his wife

Me and Batti (Michael Jackson)

Friday we got everybody sent off which was nice because there was a strike and we were afraid that there would not be any cars. All the shops and stores were closed so it was kind of crazy. They do random things like this all the time in Peru. The reason for this strike was because they did not want to put a University here in Tarma. It's kind of like, "we're angry so we're not going to work". It's kind of ridiculous. We had an activity Friday night called "a night in Bethlehem". The missionaries dressed up as Roman soldier's/Robin Hood guys and the members dressed up like people that lived during Jesus's time. It was supposed to start at 7:00 but it didn't start until 9:20 so we didn't get to stay for all of it. It was fun and it was nice to have an investigator there and some recent converts.

On Saturday we helped an investigator named Kennedy and his family move. We didn't have to move them very far so I did not take very long. After that, we had a good day of work. We had a good lesson with an investigator named Richard. We talked about the second coming and taking up your cross and follow Christ. He has a baptismal date for the 16th of January. We had a couple of other lessons also but it has been hard trying to find people to teach right now.

Sunday we had an attendance of 92 people. Kennedy and John Pierre came to church. Later we went and visited a family (la familia Osorio) out in the little village of Palca. It's about 30 minutes outside of Tarma. The dad and son are not members but the mom is a member just less active. The parents have a date for marriage on the 22nd of January and on the 23rd they are going to get baptized! Later in the evening, we went and gave a blessing to José Villegas. He is not feeling too well.

Well, that was my busy week. Things are going well here and I hope things going well with you. Ciao!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Transferred Again?! Tarmatastic!!

Well everything here in Huánuco is absolutely awesome! God obviously thinks that it is too good for me because I got a call this morning telling me I have emergency changes to Tarma. I am still a zone leader and president made the decision to send me there. I am kind of bummed because we are going to have so many converts here in Huánuco. My new companion is going to be Elder Calle. I heard he is excellent! My pension and everyone is heartbroken, even though it has only been 4 days. I am a little sad but I know it is for a reason.
San Ramon Memories

I have a bunch of new responsibilities like getting packages and stuff and helping everyone out. Every month we go to Huancayo and have a conference with all the zone leaders in the mission, we receive training and we eat really well. We head out tomorrow. I have to pack my bags AGAIN tonight and my clothes haven’t been washed or anything. But oh well. The area in Tarma is a mountain again! I was so happy with a flat area.

I have to lug my bags to Huancayo tomorrow for the council of zone leaders and from there I will head to Tarma. I think that God wants me to learn that things aren’t going to go exactly how I want in my life OR he wants me to be extremely thankful when I have it easy back home. I can’t decide which it is, probably both. Anyways, after I got the call, we went and made tacos as a district and then we went and played soccer.

Tuesday I went to Huancayo for the zone leader training, which was great. I really liked the training that President Henderson gave on adversity. We had Burger King for lunch with salad, which was way awesome and then we had Pizza Hut for dinner. That's pretty much all that happened on Tuesday. It was really cool to see all of the guys there at the zone leader council. I really enjoyed the training though, there was a good period of time devoted for questions and answers. It was quite helpful.

Wednesday I got to Tarma. Elder Calle is really awesome! He is a great guy, we are always laughing, and we are working really, really hard. Elder Calle is from Lima. He has 13 months in the mission. He has been a member for all of his life and his family supports him a ton. Our room is pretty good. I actually really like it because our room is nice and warm, which is nice, because it's a little chillier here in Tarma. We also have two missionaries that live below us in a little room. Our area is GIGANTIC! It goes from Tarma almost all the way to San Ramon, which is about an hour and a half away. It's very interesting because it is warm here during the day but then it gets chilly at night because we are in the mountains.

There are 20 missionaries in our zone. The missionaries are all really cool. There are only four white people and the rest are Latin. We had district meeting, which was good. The chapel here is really pretty. Tarma is a "district" instead of a stake and we work in a branch here instead of a ward. There is a multi-zone conference on the 17th in La Merced and so we are renting a bus next week. We are all actually heading down next Wednesday and will be staying at Henry’s Recreo in San Ramon.  There will be 3 multi-zone conferences in the mission. Ours in La Merced, one in Huancayo, and one in Huánuco. We have a lot of work here and are teaching a ton of people, who are really nice, just not married.

Friday was a good day but kind of a crappy day too. We didn't have one single lesson, but my companion had the chance to baptize a little girl, which was cool. It wasn't our baptism, but she was really, really happy.

We have had a lot of errands to run recently, so we haven't had too many lessons. It has been quite an ordeal to prepare for the multi-zone conference; like renting the bus and getting the food there, plus we need to get things like mops and "therma" (they are kind of like shower thermostats) for the missionaries in our zone. There's a little separate fund for that.

Sunday was good. There was an attendance of about 80 which is pretty impressive for a branch. After church we went to visit a family in this little town called Palca, which is about 30 minutes from our house. They will be getting married in January and then get baptized. They are awesome!

Things are going really, really well. I am really happy! Everything is going well. This next week may be a little hectic with the multi-zone Christmas conference, but I will be sure to let you guys know how that goes.

Monday, December 7, 2015


Monday I received a phone call from President Henderson saying that I'm going to be a zone leader in Huánuco (Colonial). My companion will be Elder Carhuaricra, from Lima. Tuesday I just basically said goodbye to everybody. I got a little Jersey thing from La Familia Barrientos and Hermana Alicia threw me a little going away party. I went home and started packing my things. It's kind of been a sad day. Those goodbyes were seriously so stinking rough.

At Henry's--El Recreo Tirol

My pensionista's family
Jhon Melina and Jhonier
 Our landlord--Hermano Rios

La Familia Barrientos, Elder Gonzalez and me
The sign says: Gracias Elder por ser parte de nuestra familia
(Thank you Elder for being part of our family)

Wednesday I traveled to Huánuco. It was a long bus ride but my room is nice. Our bishop is my pension and we actually live in his house. We're in our own makeshift room, it's kind of sweet. Our area is really small but the zone is cool. We have 12 missionaries in the zone. 4 of them are sisters. Hermana Asto from San Ramon actually followed me here, she is in my zone so that is kind of funny. Thursday we had a full day of work which was nice. There are a lot more problems that you have to deal with as a zone leader, which is to be expected, I just hope I can be of some help.

Me and Elder Carhuaricra

Friday we did weekly planning and Saturday we had district meetings. There are two districts in our zone. Elder Bautista and Elder Jay are the district leaders. Saturday we started our fast and things are going well.

Sunday was a good day at church. Four of our investigators showed up and they all have baptismal dates for December 19th. It was a really, really cool to see some of the converts that I was able to help baptize from Amarilis at church. There was this little Christmas devotional thing and I got to see Jonathan, John Pierre, Christian, Deisi, and some of the leaders. It was really fun to see everybody again. They were all really excited to see me too. We had about 68 people in attendance, which may be a little low, but we are in a beautiful chapel in the stake center. I can't wait to email you tomorrow. Zone leaders get about 30 minutes more internet time because of the extra reports and stuff we have to do, so ciao for now!