Monday, February 29, 2016

Peru Perniciousness!

I am still really stoked about getting into BYU! Thank you all for your help. I really do appreciate it! We had a fun Pday again on Monday. We played capture the flag again with water balloons at the church. That night though we did not have one single lesson. We went to teach the Jorge family, but they were really rowdy, so we helped them bring up water out of this well type thing by the street to their house about five blocks away.

Santiago, our investigator, came with us to Palca to visit Guadalupe, a less active 15-year-old girl. She is doing great! She's really excited to come back. She's working on her Personal Progress and we're helping her out with that. Later that evening, we went and helped Santiago chop wood for his stove and then taught him a lesson with our elders quorum president. We received the transfer information and we (Tarma district) then gathered in the chapel to do the printing and announcing of the changes. Afterwards, I went and coordinated the changes with the others zone leaders.

The changes went well on Wednesday. We were basically in the terminal from 8 AM to 2:30 PM. Elder Peterson stayed with us that night because he had to go the next day to Lima for migrations. We went to play soccer at the church but the Jorge family showed up really late so we didn't get a chance to play BUT something really cool happened. I felt that we should show them around the church before we left and so we did. When we came to the chapel where we have our sacrament, they were all amazed! The mom even said that she had dreamed of a place just like this but didn't know where it was, but this was her dream. It was awesome! They said they will be attending church on Sunday.

On Thursday we went to the restaurant "Hot and Tender" with President Durman, his wife and kids, and the sisters. It was a good time. We received news that there was a landslide on the route to Lima and Elder Peterson was stranded, but he found a car to Huancayo and made it back safely. There were some other missionaries that were on a bus that were also affected by it, but they got in a taxi made it all the way into Lima. I can't believe there are so many crazy things that happen here in Peru! We also received a call that night that a family in Mantarana burned there house down! So on instead of weekly planning, we're going to be able to go and help that family clean all of that up.

 Photos of Tarma

Friday we went to Palca with Santiago and taught Guadalupe. That it went really well. We then did two baptismal interviews and they both passed so El Milagro will be having two baptisms. We also received news that Elder Peterson has been stuck on that bus without food for a day. I thought that he had made it to Huancayo but Elders Moss and Solorzano went on a rescue trip to find him. They found him but the weather was getting really bad so they paid for a car to take them all the way to Lima. All of the flights are full so they aren't coming back til Monday. That's Peru for you! Giant landslides, bad weather but things are going well! Happy 18 months to me in the mission today! Time is flying by.

Saturday President came and did interviews with a few people here in the zone. Lately he's really been putting an emphasis on people being worthy, which is really cool. He's really an inspired guy and knows exactly where and how to help each of us.

Sunday was good day. It was Hermana Holland's birthday, so we had a little get together after our branch council meeting. We visited the Villegas family and they're doing okay. They would like us to visit them more, which we probably should, but we're trying to help the members to take on the role of fellowshipping them. They are new members and need some support to help them stay strong.

CONGRATS TO NIKENNA for winning state in basketball!! I love you all!

Monday, February 22, 2016

2 Decades Down!

We had a pretty solid Pday on Monday. We played soccer and then a few games with water balloons because it was really hot. Things are going well here. I am happy. It's kind of freaking me out that I am turning 20! I'm so excited I got into BYU. That is super sweet. It's a huge answer to a lot of prayers and fasting.

Tuesday was a pretty successful day. We taught the Jorge family, that's the family that Elder Butterfield and I found that has like 11 people in it. They're doing all right. It's just kind of hard to teach them all at the same time. I think it is hard to pay attention and hear when everybody's all together. But things are going well with them. I think they're going to start progressing pretty soon. I hope they do, they're good people and they really need this gospel.

Wednesday was not very successful. We walked around A LOT. We tried contacting a lot of stuff like that, it just kind of sucked. The highlight of the day was when we went to play soccer. We were alone with the other missionaries from Monterrana, waiting for the investigators to show up before we started playing and then out of nowhere the entire Jorge family showed up! It was awesome! Diego, another investigator, also showed up so it was great.

On Thursday we had a killer day! We went to Palca with Santiago and visited Kevin and Guadalupe. Guadalupe told us a cool spiritual experience where her family was having a problem on the farm and the seeds wouldn't sprout and so her family was arguing about it, so she went to her room. She grabbed the Book of Mormon and randomly opened it. She read 3 Nephi 18:20 where it says that we should ask in prayer for things that are necessary. She said she felt super calm and she prayed for help. The next morning they went to the farm and the seeds had sprouted! We also put a baptismal date with two people from the Jorge family, Christian and Jerusalem. They accepted a date for the 26th of March. We went and visited Sergio. When we got there, there was some weird guy on his balcony. We felt a little uneasy about who was there and what was going on. When the guy finally left we went up to teach Sergio. The smell of smoke was pretty strong and Sergio wasn't real alert. We found two new investigators contacting, which was cool. We had 7 lessons that day!

Friday we went to La Oroya to do a couple of baptismal interviews. When we got back, things kind of fell through and we didn't get much accomplished.

Saturday we visited the Jorge family and Jerusalem told us a really cool spiritual experience where she prayed to see if what we were teaching is true and while she was praying, her mind went to totally white. She said she saw people all dressed in white and they were happy and a bunch of other cool things. She said that was an answer from God. We also visited Jorge, Abraham, and Adriana.

Well Hello! If you can't tell, this is the 20-year-old Will speaking; I am no longer a 19-year-old teenager. Haha. I had a pretty good birthday today. Nothing crazy happened because I didn't really tell anyone. However, Elder Calle from the office called me, which was cool, he remembered it was my birthday. President Durman and his wife also called me. Not too many people came to church today. I think they're on summer vacation or something. It sucked that none of our investigators came. My pensionista found out that it was my birthday because she fixed banana flavored pancakes with chicken for dinner tonight, which was cool and very nice of her. That was my birthday. I love you guys!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Travel. Meetings. Travel. Valentines.

Monday we had a zone Pday and we played soccer, ping-pong, basketball, and a couple of other things. When I was playing basketball I got my face scratched and so I came away from that game with a few cuts and scratches. I got a call from Elder Gutierrez telling me that president would like me to conduct some meeting thing we are going to have with Elder Godoy later this week, so I will be doing that again.

 carnival photos

Tuesday we gave our training and it went well and then we did divisions with Marcavalle. Marcavalle is an area in La Oroya and the missionaries there are Elders Campbell and Bruno.

Wednesday we went to Huancayo and while I was shaving we got a phone call from president. Elder Calle is now the new assistant! So that is really cool! I told him he was going to be the next assistant! (Assistants always go in a week before the regular transfers) My new companion is Elder Mendoza. He is from Tumbes, Peru. He is a fun guy. All of his family are members and she has about 14 months out in the mission. We stayed in a hotel because there was no room in the mission home because of all the missionaries that were there from the various zones.

Me and Elder Mendoza emailing!

The conference went really well on Thursday. I conducted the meeting send it went just fine. The spirit was really strong, we talked about some traps that missionaries sometimes fall in to when teaching investigators. I took a lot of notes in my study journal. Only the district leaders and zone leaders stayed in the mission home that night. We ate Burger King for dinner and I also bought a nice pair of dress shoes. They only cost me 40 soles and they were so nice! Older white bought some too. My other shoes were pretty thrashed and I wanted some decent ones to come home in and I got them!

Elder Carlos A. Godoy

Friday we took a convey to Huánuco and eight hours later we arrived! The training with the leaders and Elder Godoy was good. We basically made a list of what we thought, as leaders, we could do to help the zone out and then we explained why and discussed it as a group. For lunch we went to an awesome burger joint called Locos. I had half a Mexican burger and half an American burger with a milkshake and fries. It was seriously like I was back home. It was super good. I never knew about that place when I lived in Huánuco. It's probably a good thing because I would have gone there a lot. I saw Elder Tapia. He is in Cerro and he is training. So I guess I have a "grandson"-- I think his name is Elder Crossland.

"3 generations"

Saturday I got back to Tarma in time to baptize one of the sister's investigators. She asked me last Sunday if I could baptize her and I was glad that I was able to do it. Her name is Graciela. I was really tired, I think because we had been traveling so much, and it was really nice to be back in our room.

Graciela and the sisters

Happy Valentine's Day! I have to be totally honest and say that I forgot it was Valentine's Day until someone told me at dinner. The zone is doing well. We didn't get to teach too much this week because we were gone and traveling so much. Traveling kind of sucks because it kind of feels like I have done nothing all week. I'm excited to get back to work. I miss you guys and I hope things going well. I love you all!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Life is Ever Changing

On Monday we had a "Pday of elders". We all went to the indoor soccer arena (it has artificial turf) because it was raining so hard outside. The elders from Junín stay the night with us that night as well as Elder White and Elder Whitaker because we went to Huancayo the next day for consejo.

Tuesday we had Burger King for lunch and Pizza Hut for dinner while we were in Huancayo for training. I really liked the training the assistants gave about the rock of Christ and how we can help people construct that rock or rebuild it and build a firm foundation.

Zone Leader Conference

Wednesday we had a couple lessons. Luz Osorio in Palca told us that Sergio received an offer to go to Chile to work. Now they are worried about the marriage and baptism. We told them that something was probably going to happen and we tried to prepare everything in case something did happen, so we are going to try and get everything set up for the 13th. It rained in the evening so we did not get to go play soccer but things are fine. I'm a little stressed out about all these things but it will be fine and will work out.

Happy Birthday mom! I can't believe it's your birthday. February is ticking right on by. It's kind of freaking me out, seriously, the next thing you know it will be my birthday and then there goes February and there goes another month then the last general conference then comes the Skype call for Mother's Day and everything like that. It's just going crazy. I hope you have a great day and that you get spoiled because you deserve it! Thursday we did divisions with El Milagro 2. I split with Elder Butterfield and my companion was with Elder Barrus. We helped a family move some furniture and various things while they were moving into a different house and afterwards we had a chance to teach them. We had nine new investigators! They all listened very intently and accepted another visit. They attend the MMM church. They were super receptive, which was cool!

Friday we finished our divisions. President Durman and his family went with us to Palca to visit Luz. We talked about their marriage a bit to make sure it's a sure thing and we are still waiting to get an answer. We had a meeting with the District presidency and it went well.

On Saturday, Hermana Berta's dad died. We gave him a blessing after he passed away in the hospital. He was still warm and it was kind of weird, we arrived just after he passed away. Strange. She is doing all right. We did some service for the nine investigators we taught the other day. We did not get to teach them a lesson because they went to the market. We put a baptismal dates however with Eduardo and Rosa for 13th of March.

This weekend there is this carnival/festivity going on where men are dressed up as women and they're dancing in the street. It's called carnivales. It's kind of weird but that's just life here in Peru.

On Sunday we spoke with Kevin and Luz and Sergio isn't going to be baptized until he gets back from Chile. It looks like he will be working in Chile till December. That kind of stinks. We had 91 people in Sacrament meeting today which was awesome. We have a new investigator named Jorge who came to church and Santiago came as well. Santiago still has not accepted a baptismal date because he said he had a dream where he met this like mountain man that told him that he needs to pay his debts until he works with God. We told him to pray about it and he received this dream and so who are we to tell him that it was not an answer from God but he seems to be doing pretty well. We also received the news that we are going to Huancayo Wednesday this next week instead of Thursday for training. We will have some preliminary training on Wednesday and then everyone who is not a zone leader will leave and then we will stay Thursday night to have an additional meeting with Elder Godoy. Friday we will go to Huánuco now! We will stay the whole day there and then we will come back Saturday morning. I was asked to baptize one of the ladies that the sisters are teaching on Saturday so I hope I get back in time. It's kind of crazy that we will be traveling so much. I had to carry Hermana Berta's dad's casket down the giant stairs that lead from her house. It was sad. They like put cotton in their mouth and ears and nostrils here. It's kind of gross. They took him to Cerro de Pasco to bury him. That was my week. Hope you had a great one! I love you!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

In the Zone!

Happy Birthday Dad and Mom! Don’t even think that I forgot. I was just waiting to tell you all at once! On our Pday we went to this giant cross/statue of Christ in this little town called Acobamba. It's about 15 minutes from Tarma in the direction of Palca. It kind of sucked as we were walking up because we didn't see the path—so we kind of suffered. On the way down, we saw this nice little path which cut our time basically in half. It was kind of funny. After getting down, we went to the church and played soccer. Later, we had a good lesson with the Villegas family and then watched a movie about families with our investigator, Kennedy. We watched the movie with him and his sisters. All of his sisters are members. He is the only member of his family that is not a member yet but we are working really hard with him.

Tuesday I completed 17 months in the mission, which is kind of crazy to me. We had our district meeting, which was good, as always.

On Wednesday we put a baptismal date with our investigator, Edwin. We put it for 20th February. He accepted it really quickly and it was cool. Later we played soccer at the church and Rosa Pizarro's husband came—cool. My pensionista gave me like an antibiotic kind of thing for my head to help that spot heal.

We went to Palca on Thursday and met some less active members with Hermano Jarasca. We also went to a La Oroya to approve a room that the other missionaries want to move into this month. It's a good room they just don't have a shower. So we'll have to get that built and a couple of things like that. It will be a lot better than their other room; that other room is just garbage. We worked for a few hours and then went to Hermana Rocia's, who does our laundry, for her little birthday party thing. She felt really special and we gave her a blessing because a couple of things are passing in her life.

We watched meet the Mormons on Friday for our ward mission night. We had a decent amount of people show up. There was popcorn and soda and all of that awesome stuff. We watched it on a projector upstairs in the chapel. We got a call about an emergency transfer. So we took care of that and everything went well. I had an awesome baptismal interview with a girl named Banya. It was really cool and spiritual.

On Saturday we had minimal success. We couldn't visit our planned people because we didn't have a priesthood holder to go with us. We had to give a little presentation to all of the branch presidents in the district. We talked about a few points that everyone to do a little bit better. El Milagro had two baptisms, Abner and Banya. We went to this restaurant called Pollo Stop with President Durman and his family. We also did a little service in the morning where we went and cleaned the church and helped the sisters move rooms.

On Sunday we did not have that many people in church, I really don't know why but it kind of stinks. We had a good Ward Council and then we had a good lesson with Kennedy. He mentioned that after the blessing that we gave him, he has had a much better relationship with his wife. He said that he has been reading and praying with his wife and that has been a big difference maker. We want so badly for him to be baptized!

Well, my head is doing better and things are going well. I love you guys so much and thanks for everything!