Monday, March 28, 2016

Santiago's Baptism!

All the Elders came over for Pday. We wanted an elders Pday since the sisters had a sister Pday to the jungle. We went and played soccer at the place where I lost my gold chain. I'm super excited for dad and his new calling as Bishop! I know he's going to do great! Hermano John, a member here, took us out to dinner and he asked for dad's name and phone number. He said that he called you actually! I hope that wasn't too weird. I figured you would appreciate talking to him.

Tuesday we had a decent day of lessons. We are finding tons of new people to teach! I hope they all progress.

Wednesday we went to Palca and taught Hermana Guadalupe. We played soccer at the church with Santiago. Actually I didn't play because my feet and my knee are really hurting me. I think that since my feet have been hurting me, I haven't been able to walk correctly and that is causing my knee issue. That kind of sucks but I'm going to keep on working hard!

Thursday we had an "attack" in Junín. We headed out about 10:00 in the morning and we got back around 5:30 in the evening. It was an awesome, beautiful day! I think we really helped the elders. We found a boatload of people to teach! Their area is huge for just two missionaries. I think this is going to give them a good jumpstart for the next transfer that's coming up. We had the whole district there. The "attack" was a success!

Friday we had weekly planning. We had Santiago's last lesson before his baptism. He was really, really excited! I'm not sure if I mentioned this but it is Semana Santa (Holy Week) here. They have a lot of crazy traditions here.  There are a lot of parades, flower pictures in the street, parties,...

Saturday I completed 19 months, which is kind of crazy. We had Santiago's baptism which was an amazing experience! I bought him two ties and gave him a shirt. Hermano Yarasca baptized him. It was nice to have a member do it so they could build that relationship. I called Elder Collantes, the health missionary, and talk to him about my knee and feet. He said to wait until the changes to figure it out.

Sunday was solid! Santiago was confirmed a member, received the Aaronic Priesthood and was ordained to the office of a priest. He was super, super happy! He is stronger than most of the members here already! He helps out with service, he comes with us to when he comes with us to lessons, it will count as a lesson with a member, since he is a member. He is already developing relationships, he's going to start blessing the sacrament and everything like that. I really do love him! It is going to be very hard if I leave. Church classes went really well also. Well, we will see how changes go. I love and miss you all!

Monday, March 21, 2016

District Conference

We had a good time on Pday—we made tacos, which is always nice! We played soccer and basketball after making tacos; I also got my haircut.

Tuesday we had a full day of work. Elder Holmes, President Henderson's personal secretary, has been talking to the Justice Department about the bus incident last week. I had to send him an email with a bunch of facts about the company, who was involved, how and what happened, etc.

Wednesday was kind of a cruddy day I have to admit. We had one lesson; however, that one lesson was a pretty good one. We got two new investigators out of it.

Thursday was much better. We had for good lessons. Edgar's wife is going to talk to her boss to see if she can get her day off to be Sundays so she can come to church. We contacted some references that some members from another branch gave to us. They are going to be great investigators! We also went and gave a blessing to Graciela. I baptized her for the sisters a little while ago. She is getting two tumors removed.

Friday we had our weekly planning and had a few lessons. We also had our weekly meeting with the presidency of the district. We discussed how this next week we are going to go have an "attack". So the whole district here in Tarma is going to go to Junín and we're going to try and get a lot of work done there.

Saturday we started a fast with Santiago because he asked us to. We're fasting to help him take care of the debts that he has. He is doing awesome! She is super, super cool! I just love him to death! He wants to improve so badly. He's working hard to get to his baptismal date later this month. He even went to the priesthood session of the district conference and everything. He's doing really well!

Sunday was the district conference here in Tarma. All of the missionaries in the zone came as well as the members in those areas which includes: San Pedro de Cajas, Junín, Marcavalle, La Oroya, Modelo 1 y 2, Mantarana, and El Milagro 1 y 2. President and Sister Henderson came. Hermano José Villegas and Kevin received the Melchizedek  priesthood. Kevin received the calling of branch secretary and José Villegas received the calling of Sunday school president. One of the coolest things was that we also helped José give his first blessings to his wife and Valentino for their health. We also found three new families to teach this week. That is awesome because I always love to teach families!

A funny story—a guy we are teaching thinks he knows everything and makes the funniest comments. We read a scripture about repentance and he stops us midway and says, "I know what this Scripture refers to, the three Nephites who aren't dead." His wife isn't a member yet and it just confuses her. Ha ha. You guys are the best! I love you all!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sad Stuff

Something crazy happened on Pday as we were on our way to La Merced. After traveling for some time I walked toward the front of the bus to speak with the driver's assistant (the person sitting next to the driver who opens the door, takes tickets/money...) to see if he would change the music. As I was starting to speak to him, some drunken man walks into the middle of the road. The driver swerved to try and miss him but he couldn't avoid him. He hit the man head on breaking the windshield and then we felt him get run over by the tires. I literally saw a man die. It was super sad! Once we got to La Merced it poured rain all day, we played soccer, basketball, and tossed the football around a little bit; some missionaries went to El Tirol waterfall. I did not go because it would've been like my 8 billionth time there. We are staying at Henry's Recreo and I roomed with Elders Mendoza, White, and Whitaker. It is so pretty here.

The multi zone on Tuesday was awesome. We learned about how to help investigators understand the importance of attending church. We traveled back to Tarma without any issues. Everyone stayed together that night because of the zone training the next day. We did fun little activities at the zone conference like tying balloons to shoelaces and then trying to pop each other's balloons. Inside the balloons were little puzzle pieces and then you had to put the puzzle together. The puzzle ended up being a picture of Elder Whitaker and Elder White (they were in charge of the activity), so that was pretty funny. My companion conducted the meeting and we were in charge of the practices/role playing. We did the Restoration (in four minutes) and the one about the importance of attending church. After the multi zone we went out to eat and I had mariscos (seafood). It was good!

Keyboards in Spanish

Wednesday the training went really well. We talked about repentance and I think it worked. The mission has really been emphasizing right now that everyone be clean and have the spirit because if not then we're kind of just wasting time. After the training, we got all of the missionaries sent off and then later we played soccer that night. Santiago is still excited about getting baptized!

Thursday was a pretty average day. We ran into Sergio and he asked us to help him throw out some of his vices so we helped him do that. We taught Edgar a lesson so that was good. It rained SUPER hard that night! It flooded all the streets and everything.

Friday we had four lessons and our weekly planning also went well. We sent Elder Perez to Huancayo because of his leg. I'm not sure if I mentioned but he is having problems with his leg so hopefully that all gets figured out and he gets feeling better.

We went to Palca on Saturday with President Durman. Guadalupe and her mom are doing really well. We had an awesome experience with Jorge. We planned to teach him the parable of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16. When we got there he told us he had a dream of a friend who had passed away about two years ago. She came and talked to him. Jorge thought originally she had gone to hell but somehow moved to heaven. He said he remembered reading a parable in the Bible but he didn't remember where. It was exactly what we had planned on teaching. It was cool to have prayed and received the inspiration and been able to walk in and teach exactly what he needed. The spirit was so strong. The sad part is that he didn't really accept that visitation/dream as an answer. He thought it was just coincidence. We've decided to kind of leave him for a little bit and give him some time and hopefully he will realize what he really needs.

Sunday we had an attendance of 92 people. We had a full morning of lessons and then one lesson after church. We also found a really cool family! We went to this mountain that I've always wanted to go and do contacts in ever since I got here. I've always thought that there were people waiting there and sure enough there was a less active man whose wife's not a member. His parents are actually sealed in the temple. He knows a lot of things but has been less active for two years and his wife has desires to be baptized! It is awesome! They have a little kid too. The branch is getting better and things are going well! Know that I love you and will talk to you later.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Angels Among Us!

On Pday Elders White and Whitaker came here to chill with us and we went and played soccer at this indoor place. I took off my gold chain to play and I put it in my backpack inside my shoe and while I was playing, I think somebody came over and stole it. I realized I don't have it and I cannot find it anywhere. I talked to a lot of people and the facility workers said "justo" in that moment the surveillance cameras weren't working. I must admit that I am pretty mad about it! It was an important thing to me! Any ways, we received a phone call from Elder Holmes (the office) that the zone leader conference got postponed until Wednesday because President and Sister Henderson are sick. Which means the multi zone conference got pushed back as well.

I went and asked around again on Tuesday about my gold chain. I asked to see the surveillance footage and the supervisor said that they weren't working in that one part. Maybe it fell out of my shoe but I really feel like I had it all contained in my backpack.

We went to Huancayo for our zone leader conference. The trainings were really simple but I really liked them. We had chicken sandwiches for lunch and pizza for dinner. Elder Peterson has returned. He finally was able to fly back. The elders that went and "rescued" him could not fly back though because they did not have their passports.

 Elder Calle and Elder Durante
Zone Leaders: Mendoza and Durante

Thursday we got back from Huancayo.

Friday we had our weekly planning. We have been communicating/planning with the zone leaders in La Merced about the upcoming multi zone conference/Pday this next week. It should be great. Later in the day we were walking around and ran into Jerusalem and Joanna. We stopped to talk with them and then from out of nowhere Hilario, their little brother of four years old, came up crying and throwing a fit. He always does that so we didn't pay too much attention to it. So we kept on talking and then we heard somebody yell "the baby fell!" Sure enough he fell off about a 20 foot cliff into an empty lot of dirt. But Hilario popped right up and continue to wine. I seriously have no idea how he lived. It was nuts! I felt super bad but I guess you could say there's no doubt that angels are still on the earth!

Saturday we started our day going to Palca to do some service for Guadalupe and her mom. We picked away rock on a lot so that they can build their house on. We had a bunch of members there helping us as well as Santiago. It was a good time. We started our fast, individually and as a companionship, with Santiago. It's going to be an awesome experience. Santiago also accepted a baptismal date for the 19th of March. He was planning on getting baptized in December because he wanted to pay off some debts but we decided to fast with him and even before we started the fast he told us that he wanted to be baptized.

Sunday we had all of the missionaries in the zone with us because we will be traveling to La Merced at 6:00 in the morning to get there for Internet time to write our letters etc. We will be staying at Henry's place again. We had a good day at church. We finished our fast with Santiago and he and everybody else is excited for the baptism. Well, the next email I send you will be from La Merced. I love you all and have a great week!