Monday, December 28, 2015

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.


While seeing some snow covered mountains would have been nice, I found myself wishing a lot harder to see the brilliant white of a baptismal robe this Christmas!!! We had been working a lot with Luis lately, and were hoping that everything would go well with his baptism the 19th.

It was really miraculous to see how much of a change could take place in his life in such a short time. His habits, thoughts, and even personality have changed (not like he wasn't great he's just better).

We had a really cool experience with him just before his baptism...

He was nervous, as most people are, and he told us that he wasn't sure about the whole baptism thing....He told us he wasn't ready to forgive some people, and that repentance was a little too difficult for him to handle. After a few questions he told us his problem,

When he was very young, Luis had been abandoned by his parents....Just left on his Aunt's doorstep. All his life he had harbored a great animosity towards them, blaming them for all the resultant problems and inconveniences in his life. He had always felt unloved as a child. He said it was something he had taken very personally and internalized. His Mother lived not too far away.....and every time she tried to visit to explain her actions, he wouldn't hear it.

He would never forgive his parents.  EVER.

My companion used an arsenal of scriptures, talks, exhortations....but they fell on deaf ears....We began to worry a bit....and then the spirit whispered "You were in a similar position....the gospel helped"....

How had I forgotten? How had that not struck a chord before?

I immediately told Luis that I knew he could forgive. I told him that I was adopted, but due to the love my parents had shown me, and to the gospel of Jesus Christ that I had in my life.....I had never once harbored those feelings with which he was so familiar....

"You don't hate your birth-parents for what they did"? He asked.

"On the contrary" I said.

"I owe them a lot.....Thanks to one good decision they made, I have parents who love me, who provided for me. I have a Mom and Dad, who gave me the life I otherwise wouldn't have had"...

"Think about it Luis.....your mother was young when she had you....she wasn't married I bet....she couldn't have provided for you....She did the best she could. She knew your Aunt loved you and so she left you with her"......

Luis thought for a long moment...........He looked at me and said

"Wow.....I never looked at it that way......I.....I need to call her".

I was happier for him than I think I have been for anyone else in a long....long time.

That was truly a beautiful moment.

So.....I hope that all of you know that I have never once felt out of place in my family. I know that we were sealed together in a House of The Lord, and that nothing can ever sever that bond. I knew that growing up. That's a knowledge I've had in my heart since I was 8 years old. I've doubted in a lot of things over the years, but I have never, ever doubted in that knowledge.

......So Luis got baptized and it was great.

Hahahahaha, Christmas Eve we got to stay up until 12:30 and watch the fireworks. It was amazing. It's better than any fireworks show in the US. The Entire city of Lima (like 8 million people) all shoot fireworks into the air at midnight. For like a solid 30 minutes there's fireworks in every direction......I'll miss that a lot.....

But New Year is even better!!! They burn effigies in the street!!! It's so cool!!!!

So....that's what we've got to look forward to next week!!!!

Love you guys!!!!!!!

Elder Winn
Rooftop Christmas Eve 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21, 2015


I should be calling around 10-12 AM in Peruvian time....I think I'm 2 hours ahead so 8-10 there.....sorry....Elder Diaz has some problems with communicating the hour to his it's not that sure....I'll see if I can't call the day before or something.....

I got to go!!! I'll share some cool experiences next week.....and on skype!!! I love you guys!!!!

Love you!!!!


Monday, December 14, 2015


So my companion is saying goodbye to his other sectors. So I got jipped on time. So rapid fire....

-I'll be training this change. I don't know who my companion will be but he will be new! So the only companions of mine still in the mission will be him and my other "son", Elder Slade.

I'm doing well!!! Luis will get baptized this Saturday!!!!

.....I've got a great story for skype!!!!! I'll have mom write it up at Christmas!!!

I don't know what else.....I may be able to write a bit tomorrow.

I love you all!!! I'm doing great!!! Callao is exciting!!! I'll make up for today next week!!!! Love you guys!!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Well.....There's really not a whole lot to say this week....other than:


*Cheers erupt from readers around the world*

Hahahaha that's right!!! We've met a great young man named Luis.

He was a contact we made just walking by last week, we told him we were missionaries, he told us to come in, we had a nice heated discussion with the pastor who was apparently using his house as a chapel (although not anymore....oddly enough), and arranged for a meeting later in the week.

He ended up coming to church, and staying for all 3 hours (a rare feat). Then he came back this week and did it again (an even rarer feat), then he went on visits with us to less active members (so rare of a feat, that I'm pretty sure it's never happened to me before).

Anyway, we've got a pretty rock solid baptismal goal with him for the 26th.

In other news I'll be making my own burrito for Christmas, which just goes to show how awesome President and Sister Larson are. We'll be filling out an online form, and then Christmas each and every missionary will receive their own custom burrito......ya that I'm describing it to an entirely American audience I sense that it's really not all that whimsical.....but trust me, if you were here, it'd be whimsical alright.

And that's about all that I can think of right now!!!

Things are going a lot better this week! I'll make sure to keep you guys updated!!!

Much love,   Elder Winn

P.S. Looks like I've got a bit more time. Random Fact: Calamari is way cheap here and is by far my new favorite meal; $1.66 with rice, and a side of Yucca, by far the best thing ever.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Law of Conservation of Mass; and how it applies to Missionary Work.


I hope you all gained at least five pounds this 26th!!!

Turkey's a little bit of a rarity here, so I'll have you know I thoroughly enjoyed my Thanksgiving dinner composed of bagged *Chaufa and soup (they were both bagged).   If you order soup or a drink to go here, they just put it into a thin plastic bag that you can eat later at your leisure.

So.....although the feast may have been a little disappointing, it was pretty good overall!!! We found a great investigator that day!!!

His name is Carlos. He's received all the missionary lessons, and came to church this week. We talked to him for about 20 minutes in the church, he said he was super excited to be baptized, and he had been preparing himself for about 6 months now. We asked where he lived so we could visit him and he said he lived in "El Olivar" which I don't know if I've told you guys before, but that was right next to my sector in Jorge Chavez.......we ask him why he came to church here. He says he'll be moving soon. We get excited again. He says He'll be moving here in January, one week after his baptism (not going to lie, I was a little disappointed we weren't going to be able to teach and baptize him).

So, we told him we'd be in contact when he came here, and would be happy to teach him. Eh, it's ok, we say. We'll have another convert to teach, it'll still be cool.

Then Monday, we find and teach a lovely family from Huancayo!

-They're married

-They're Christians

-They have 3 kids ages 11, 9, and 3.

-They reminded US about the meeting 10 minutes before the scheduled time.

-They attentively listened and asked questions throughout the lesson

-They accepted baptismal dates.

And just when it looked like it couldn't get any better. They said

"Well it sure has been a pleasure....too bad we'll be moving back to Huancayo next week".

We thanked them for their time, set a meeting for this Tuesday (they day before they leave), and left.

I felt a bit sad as we left. After all, we had found a great family this week, and a promising investigator at church......and we wouldn't even be able to baptize them.....Other than that we had had a pretty lousy week too....not many people were home, and our pool of investigators has been steadily drying up.

And then I thought for a minute.......It really wouldn't make a difference if they were baptized here or in Huancayo.....would it?.....Yeah, I wouldn't have as many pictures.....and maybe I wouldn't get to know them as well.....but I still got to play a small part in their conversion. In fact, we were the means by which an entire family learned about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. That's still pretty neat!

Then I got to thinking......there's an awful lot of things I've done that (as far as I know) have gone unnoticed.......I think the same principle applies.

All of us at some point have become acquainted with the law of conservation of Mass:

"Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed from one form to another".

I think this law ties in quite nicely to missionary work.

Our efforts as missionaries do not "create" baptisms. They all just form a part of the wonderful work of spreading the gospel. A missionary who introduces 50 people to the gospel has played just a big a role as one who has found 50 prepared people and baptized them.

Unfortunately as humans, we tend to only view the outside results as successes, therefore the energy and efforts given by others; that do not have visible fruits, we often see as failures.

I want to testify to each of you, that that is not true.

I know this principle extends far beyond missionary work, and I hope you can all begin to realize it.

Entirely too often we let opportunities to help, serve, share the gospel, brighten a day, forgive, and love, pass by simply because we think "It won't make a difference".   According to both spiritual and physical laws that simply isn't true.

I want to invite each one of you to do 7 things this week to help someone else that you wouldn't normally do simply because "It wouldn't make a difference". You'll see that it makes a difference in their lives as well as yours.

Well that's it for this week!!!!! I'm sorry I don't have pictures!!! It's the computers fault!!!!

I love you all!!

Elder Winn

*Chaufa is a Peruvian fried rice dish consisting of rice, vegetables, eggs, meat  and seasoned with soy sauce.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

First a personal note from Syd: #1... I  want each of you to know that I have been a "shining example" of a missionary mom.  I am not one of the parents who called or emailed the mission office to find out where my e-mail was, nor have I emailed when he was having companion problems or when there was a tsunami warning off the coast of Peru.  I have given the boy to the Lord for two years and I've been stellar.
#2  I like Sister Larson she sounds a little feisty....No wonder Dave loves her!!!!
Now enjoy Dave's letter!!!
First off, I suppose I owe an explanation as to why I'm writing today.
You see we had a multi-zone conference yesterday, and in the words of Sister Larson:
"Apparently some parents have the idea that every Monday they will always get a letter from their missionary. That is simply not true. In some missions the missionaries don't communicate with their families for a week or two, because they don't have electricity."
"We do not want your parents e-mailing us and calling us if they do not receive a letter every Monday. Sometimes p-days change and they need to deal with it"
If you couldn't tell.....she was not very happy......So from here on out sometimes I will be writing on a day other that Monday and you all (mostly Mom) will have to deal with it.....Hahahaha
Speaking of the Multizona, it was incredible!!!
We had some great practices shown to us by the president and the assistants. They showed us effective ways to contact, as well as to involve members in the missionary work.
A major theme of the conference was obedience. Not only to the commandments, but the plethora of Mission rules that exist. It was really cool to hear of the experiences of other Elders, and their testimonies about obedience. I also had the pleasure of sharing a few of the experiences I have had.
Although much apart from all of that, it was my favorite zone conference for the following two reasons
1) The spirit that was felt
2) The laughs that were had
It was by far the funniest Multi-zone conference I have ever had. Thanks in no small part to a rather rotund Peruvian we have in our zone, here's what I can recall:
President: "So if a thief robs you, just give them all your stuff, don't resist. We don't want you dead"
Missionary in the back: "But what if they want to rob our family scriptures or something really important"?
Or this gem:
In our mission we have to note down every expenditure on a sheet every day, to keep track of what we spend, here's Navarro’s reaction:
Assistants: "So make sure you're all writing all your expenditures down somewhere you'll see them"
Elder Navarro: "Like my agenda"?
Assistants: "Yes! Can we use your agenda as an example"?
Elder Navarro: "I didn't bring my agenda"
Assistants: "Then where are you writing it all down"?
Elder Navarro: "When did I say I was writing it all down"?
The president, the assistants, and most of the elders made a normally boring meeting, reflect the true spirit of missionary work.
I learned a lot about the role of laughter in our lives.
It's truly a wonderful thing, and brought much joy to a otherwise dull day. Instead of a lack of focus, I found that all were attentively listening, happy to be among beloved friends, in a work we all loved so dearly.
Annnnnnnd in other news. Here's what a normal day is like in my life now:
6:30- Get up, brush teeth, exercise, shower. There's usually not breakfast here, and if there is, it's usually with the family across the street from 7:30 to 8:00
8:00- Personal study. Normally this means the BOM or Jesus The Christ, or Preach My Gospel......although if I'm bored of one of those three I usually read Liahona's (we've got like 100ish).
9:00- Companionship study- We read from the missionary handbook, then share what we learned during personal study.....then study for our investigators together.
10:00-12:00 We either leave and preach, have a district meeting(Wednesday), plan for the coming week(Thursday) or have some other conference (not very often)
12:00 is language study which means I read the BOM in Spanish or help Ramirez with his English.
At 1:00 or 1:15 we leave to go eat lunch with the pensionist. She lives about 5 blocks away so we play our harmonicas and contact en route.
2:30- we have finished lunch, went back to the room to brush/floss (yes Mom I floss daily). and are ready to leave
And then usually we eat dinner at like 8 and go home at 9. Although sometimes we're home at 9:30.....
And that's it!!!!
I know this Thursday is thanksgiving.....but I figured you'd get messages on being thankful from everywhere else. I figured I'd do something different!!!
Love you all!!!
-Elder Winn

Monday, November 16, 2015

This week wasn't too bad....Although we had a grand total of like 10 lessons....

Although it's not really the numbers that count......which brings me to this week's awesome story.

So....this week was the primary program in our ward (which believe like 10 times louder in Spanish)......(not better.....just louder). And as a result, they had a ton of practices. Most days this week, the primary president has called us at various hours of the day and asked us if we could pass around the ward, and pick up the kids for the rehearsal.....the first time, we had no problem (thinking it was a one time thing, and that it would only take about 45 minutes)......then came the second, third, fourth, fifth, and eventually sixth calls.

I distinctly remember walking to a sister's house, while my companion and I mutually complained, both of us incredulous at how the primary president could take away so much time from our busy schedule as missionaries (keep in mind, up until this point we had probably put about 10 hours of our proselyting time into helping her out this week), and ask us to do something as menial as take the kids from one place to another.

We got to the house of one of the families, and a sick mother answered the door. She thanked us profusely, and we left with her three heart had been pricked a little as I reflected on her attitude of thanksgiving, and how we had helped her.....but it paled in comparison to what happened next......

The little 5 year-old boy, grabbed my hand as we prepared to cross the street, and said "Thanks for helping us"........I wanted to cry.

I knew in that moment there there wasn't a soul I could teach, that would have been more meaningful to God in that moment, than it was to help that family.

Sometimes we're more focused on our goals (wholesome as they may be) that we don't see the ones God has placed for us.

I'll always be grateful for that family, and for that (needy) primary president. Because I learned a lesson I'll never forget.

On a different note.....

Nothing else is that new in the ward!!!

4 missionaries just came home, which means the missionary work in the ward should pick up! And we'll be losing another 4 in the next few months to come!

This week will be a lot of work with the Bishop and the ward council.....should be fun....hahahaha

I'm doing great!!! Looking forward to another Peruvian thanksgiving!!!

I hope all of you have a great week, and I invite you all to look for a way that God may be blessing you without you knowing it!!!

Much love,
Elder Winn
Dave is still a health food nut!
Wall in their apartment.

Monday, November 9, 2015

This Week…….


This week was pretty average, with one slight change.

I'm now a district leader.....which really doesn't mean a whole lot, other than now my sector has to be an example for two other companionships.

....It's honestly surprising how little everything else changes!!!

Recently the zone leaders have put a lot of emphasis on contacting. So we'll see if we can't get some outrageously high numbers this week!!!....

Anyway....a bit about this week...

Last week, after writing, we went to an all you can eat pizza buffet, which would have been delicious, but someone forgot their wallet......and when I say someone, I mean me.......and when I say "forgot" I mean lost.

So I immediately start freaking out, because I know there were credit cards, and all of this months money in there.....and everyone else just kind of looks at each other like:

"ooh....what do we tell him to make him feel better? Because that thing's gone for good".

Ramirez and I debated on taking a 20 minute bus ride back to the internet cafe (despite the possibility it had been stolen directly out of my backpack).

And he says "We can go back if you want....but we both know it's probably gone".....

So we take a Taxi back.....and at this point about 1 hour has passed since I noticed it was missing.....we walk into the internet, look into the desk where I was sitting, and there it is, on the floor, completely untouched.

We were shocked (as was everyone else in the cafe, as well as the district).

While that may just sound like good luck, I know that something special had to have happed for that wallet not to be stolen in the 2 hours I left it unattended.

So that was pretty awesome.

Other than that, it's just been a long hard week with relatively low numbers ](and when I say low numbers I mean 5 new people, and an average of 3 lessons a not really that bad at all)......but, you win some, you lose some I guess! Hahaha, things should be great this next week though!!! I'm looking forward to leading a district; it should be a great learning experience!!!

We're working really hard with Daniel......he should get baptized this Saturday, but.....we'll see.....and we've also got two of those kids who follow Danny around that should be getting baptized that I think about it, we could have a really awesome December!!!

I love you all!!! I hope you know I'm doing great, and am really happy here!!!! Remember to Read the scriptures daily!

Much love, Elder Winn

Monday, November 2, 2015 would appear as if my last e-mail solicited some worried responses (looking at you Mom), 

so first off, I would like to assure all of you that I am doing great!!!

Callao is not what it's made out to be.....well, at least not the part I'm in. I'm in a fairly wealthy part of the district, which means a few gated communities, and not that many....uhh....ruffians.

So, everything's very peaceful and tranquil. inform you all a bit about the work.

Things are going great!!! We're finding new people left and right!!! The majority of names that we plan for daily are people that we have found while I was here!

Right now we're teaching Daniel, he's our investigator who's progressing the most. His girlfriend is a member, and he wants to learn more. He is 25 years old and pretty excited to learn, we should be planning his baptism for next week, or the week that follows.

In other news.......I can think about 3 other announcements.....

Number 1: We've got a great ward missionary here. His name is Nikola, his parents are Italian, and he's the best. He's pretty much a third companion. He's with us about 6 hours a day, most days a week, the only downside is he'll be leaving on his mission in a few months.....but until then, he's a big help.

Number 2: We've had some changes with the mission now we have to note every purchase we make on a sheet.....from a 3 cent gum, to lunch, dinner, toilet paper, soap......everything.....I'm assuming it stems from the fact the President Larson was an accountant......

Number 3: We'll be changing houses soon.....the President inspected our room and said that it would probably be better if we changed houses due to a club located directly beneath our house.....and he's probably right....

and......random tidbit:

Yesterday a 30 year old man named Danny said he was going to bring his friends to church......and when he showed up there was like a group of 10 kids, spanning from the ages of 8-12, following him.
Apparently when he gets home from work he plays soccer in the street with them, and they're best we'll see if we can't get some new families there!!!!!

Anyway!! That's about it!!! I love you all, and I'm doing great!!!!!

Much love,
Elder Winn

Here's me and Ramirez celebrating Halloween!!! This was right before an activity we had with investigators and less actives!!!

and here's all of our's really tiny......
The sacrament hall is to the right, and the classes are to the left.

Monday, October 26, 2015

This week on Survivor......

The main reason I've got that as a header is because I just barely realized that I've missed an entire season of survivor....and am probably missing another right now....or will be soon.....

Also because I'm trying not to die out here.....

Let me explain.

So......going back to last Monday....I finished writing you guys, then we headed out to teach in my sector.

We visited the G. family, a family we had previously been trying to find without any luck. Anyway we found them, and they are amazing. The Mom is less active, her husband is an investigator, as well as her two kids.

Her two sons have a baptismal goal for the 14th of November.

Then we went to Johnny B, a contact we made the day before, he eagerly listened, briefly expressed his desire to follow Christ, and then happily accepted a Baptismal date for the 14th as well.

We then received a phone call from investigator I met about 2 months ago, who came to church, but then fell off the face of the earth. His father passed away the day before, we taught him the plan of salvation. Probably one of the most spiritual lessons of my mission.

Baptismal date 7th of November.

Then we go to visit a less active family in the zone leaders sector....

A few minutes into the lesson I get a phone call.....The President talks to me a bit about Aroni....then starts telling me about a ward in Callao, "La Perla" (the pearl).....after about 5 minutes I think "Oh....duh, you're going to get changed there"....

The President then tells me that's where I'll be headed to finish out this change, as well as a few more to follow.

So I packed up my bags and Tuesday headed out to my new home in Callao.

My new companion is Elder Ramirez. He's great. He'll be going home next change, making him the third Elder I'll have "Killed".

I can't tell you that much about the sector yet....I'm still learning it.

But it's great!!!

Now I know why everyone says Callao's sketchy.....although it's not that far just one shooting, one house fire, and about an ambulance a day.

My sector's right next to the ocean though!!! When we have to cross the entire sector and don't want to go through the sketchier parts we just walk on the road that passes the ocean. I love it.

And.....that's all I can thing of this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm staying safe!!! Things are going great!!!

I'll write more next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Much love,
Elder Winn

Monday, October 19, 2015

So..... Things have calmed down.......

Things are much less weird now (sort of) and everything is on the path to going back to normal!!!

To resume where we left off, I am still with the zone leaders Elder Bean and Elder Escobar in a trio. It's looking like it will stay that way until the changes (November 3rd).

So, since the 9th I have been here with the zone leaders! It's been great! They're really fun guys, and really hard working! I already know I'm going to miss them!

I've been pretty well assimilated into their companionship! Hahaha they've certainly loved the extra cellphone and extra hands when they have to call the Elders Sunday and Thursday nights! When the give trainings or counsel to other Elders, they always ask me what else I would like to contribute. It's pretty cool!

The best part is that I feel as if they value what I have to say, it's great because it seems as if each one of us in the trio learns from the others as much as he teaches them. It's a really great experience.

In terms of the work, we have been working with two new goals as a mission recently. Which are:

1) 15 contacts daily

2) 15 invitations to baptism with a date daily.

It's certainly helping me to be able to talk to anyone about anything!

This past week we contacted 161 people, and invited 61 of them to get baptized the 14th of November, with about 1/3 of them accepting. These are incredible numbers considering the past weekly average was about 15 contacts and 6 invitations.

Contacting everyone, and inviting everyone to baptism are two things that have helped us a lot as missionaries to determine who will progress, and who won't right from the get-go.

As a result of these efforts, we've seen the number of new investigators found as a mission double over the past few weeks; our mission is now above average in 3 out of the 4 key indicators for the whole South America North-east Area. Which may not sound like much, but our mission is only a 9 mile by 9 mile by 9 mile triangle.

We've been teaching in both sectors,

In mine we've got a kid named Christan preparing to be baptized this Saturday and Teresa (the ice-cream lady) preparing for the 7th of November!

In the zone leaders sector we have:

Miguel and Julia- a mother and Son whom we found two weeks ago, preparing for the 7th as well

Veronica and Eduardo- A husband and Wife whom we found about the same time, also preparing for the 7th

Karla- an investigator they've been preparing for the past few weeks-this Saturday

And Yessenia-....pretty much in the same boat as Karla.

As well as many others who just don't quite have a date for their baptism just yet.

So as you can see, the work is moving along great!!!

I'm doing awesome and I am loving the work!!!!

Love you guys!

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015

Hello Everyone!

So......This has been quite the week!!!

Everything started off normal.....even great!!!

People to teach, places to be, service to do.....

Things started out normal enough, with a long (and very hard) service project.

For about 5 hours we helped a family (the mechanic from last week) move the rest of their motors/kitchen appliances/results of a lifetime of hoarding to their other house; with repeated efforts the following day.

Then.....the new stuff.

I've been with the zone leaders since Friday night.....but it's been really cool!

Elder Bean is from Burley, Idaho, and he has one change more than me.

Elder Escobar is from Panama, and he goes home this change.

They're great Elders who LOVE talking to everyone, which is great.

These three days together have consisted of stopping about 50 people in the street and striking up conversations about Jesus Christ. It's actually incredibly effective.

To illustrate this point, I'll tell you about Miguel and Julia.

While walking in the street Saturday, we struck up a conversation with a man, and his brother, they asked a few questions, let us take down their names, addresses, and numbers for a future meeting, and we went our way. The very next day, we call them to invite them to church; one of the brothers (Miguel) says that he and his mother would love to go. We pick them up and take them to church.

After a lovely welcome by the bishop, we take them upstairs to the principles of the Gospel class.....but wait....Oh no! The lesson today is about baptisms for the dead and family history! Two things that some random dude who met us yesterday, and his sweet 95 year old (I think she's actually only like 65), probably aren't going to understand very well......

Anyway, they listen to the lesson.....ask a few questions....then say:  "Wow......that is so cool......I want to get baptized for the dead.....but I'm not a member so I can't enter into the temple.....what do I have to do to be a member".

Being the opportunistic missionaries we are, we promptly proceeded to give them a baptismal date for the 7th of November.

We really are just seeing tons of miracles talking to everyone out here!!! It's definitely something I'll take with me back to my sector once I get a companion again! Hahahaha

Anyway, I'm doing great!!! I'll let you all know next week what ended up happening!!!

Until next week!

-Elder Winn
-Elder Escobar
-Elder Bean

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015

Hello again everyone!!!!!!!

I hope everyone's doing well!!!

As always! I'm doing great!!!!

So, getting right into this past week,

On Thursday, we had a service planned to help the "Gringo" move all his stuff from one house to another. He's not actually a Gringo though; he's just got really light skin compared to everyone else here, so they call him that.

Anyway, for about 5 Hours Elder Aroni, the Gringo, and I moved everything out of his 3rd floor apartment, strapped it to the top of a moto taxi (remember that lovely contraption I photographed a few months ago?), and then drive a mile or so to his new house where we then carried everything up the stairs to his new 4th floor apartment. Yippee.

Hahahaha upon returning (about 6 in the evening), we get a call from another ward member. He needs our help moving everything from HIS house to his other house, seeing as we were already in our service clothes; we told him we'd be there right away. Upon arriving, I remembered something I had forgotten when I first met him.....He was a mechanic.......a Peruvian mechanic. Meaning he kept all work materials (and did all his work) inside his house.

So the work commenced. Boat motors, car engines, oozing black stuff, at least  2000 pounds of tools, acetylene torches and gas tanks (because his wife makes jewelry), and a lot of things that looked like they came straight out of a sci-fi movie.

Ugh. We finished about 9 and he gave us some chicken to eat......not a bad day......although I was pretty sore for both of the conference sessions.

Also, remember that lady I bought an ice-cream from? She's got a baptismal date for next month! Her name is Teresa B, and she's about the sweetest lady I've ever met. Despite the fact that her husband's health is still declining, her faith is growing in incredible ways. Although it is difficult for her to attend church because she's always in the hospital, she has shown an incredible desire to follow Jesus Christ. She's incredible.

And lastly, I'll sign off with a few thoughts from General conference:

Well not really....I don't have any of the notes I wrote. But some things I do keenly remember were the talks of: Holland, Nelson, and the new apostles.

I hope each one of you reflects on what you have learned from conference. It is meant to help each one of us individually.
I'll never forget the thoughts expressed by Elder Renlund, as that husband and wife comforted HIM during THEIR great loss. That is who we need to be.
Those who in the midst of their own afflictions, serve others.
I love you all!!! I'm doing great!
Elder Winn

Monday, September 28, 2015

This week we got a new Zone leader, Elder Bean from, Burley Idaho, as well as a new district leader, Elder Thompson from Canada.
I don't know if you've heard those names before, but they were both with me in Rimac, so we're pretty good friends.
I had another lovely sick day this that was fun......I think it was a stomach infection.....but it's all better now....I think....hahahaha no, really though I'm doing fine now!!!
All in was actually a pretty uneventful week. Although we did have some pretty great numbers!
I suppose you've all been wanting to here about the changes, and the verdict is........
No changes.
But that's ok.
One immediate benefit of me staying here in Jorge Chavez is that I got to see Enmanuel's baptism! In fact, I got to baptize him!

We were a little worried at first, because only Him and his family had shown up...but eventually the bishop and the other elders came too.
Enmanuel certainly helped me to learn that the gospel is for everyone. That appearances are deceiving, and in the end, unreliable.
Enmanuel had always come across to me as very indifferent (like most 16 year olds), and even though I knew he was an essentially good kid, perhaps I simply thought that the church just "wasn't his thing".
When he accepted the invitation to read, I smiled, already expecting disappointment the next meeting.
When he actually did read I thought: "Maybe he read, but I'm sure he won't want to keep all these commandments" yet one after the other he agreed to keep, remember each and every one of them far better than any other investigator I've had the privilege of teaching.
Enmanuel consistently taught me the lesson that we as human beings are downright terrible at gauging who someone really is. Maybe that awful co-worker is trying her best, maybe that rude man who insulted you is hurt far more by the fact those words came out of his mouth than you could ever be, and that person that offended you? maybe they're just as disappointed in themselves as you are.
That companion you don't like, maybe he's going through some stuff a lot harder than you've ever had to deal with.....maybe he's trying to improve just as hard as you're trying to deal with him.
I need to give people the benefit of the doubt more. Especially my companion.

While I don't condone his actions, or the wrongful actions of anyone.
I invite all of you to see others as Christ would. No one's ever entirely right.
We're all imperfect beings trying to reach a perfect goal, we're bound to fail sometimes.
I love each and everyone of you, and I thank you for the love and care you continually show for me.
Thank you,
Elder Winn

Building site


House we built

Fun things you get to see in Peru

Monday, September 21, 2015

What an eventful week!!!!

September 21, 2015

So, before I start talking in depth about everything that happened this week, here's a short rundown (mostly so I don't forget)

-Temple Trip

-I stepped on a rusty nail

-A day in Magdalena

-I got super sick

-I built another house

-Another day in Magdalena

......And this Saturday we've got a baptism

So it was a pretty hectic week.


Temple Trip- This past Wednesday, we had the opportunity to visit the temple as a Zone. It was great. Although when Elder Aroni and I showed up, they informed us that they had only planned on 18 Elders and there wasn't enough space in the sessions for us......however, the temple president just so happened to overhear the conversation, and gave us the go-ahead!


The temple is always such a beautiful place to go. I'm grateful that we have the opportunity to go once every three months! I can't wait to go even more when I go home!!!

I stepped on a rusty nail- Yep. Not fun. Turns out as part of deconstructing and re-constructing houses, there are a lot of rusty nails strewn about. Some of which are point up, and not very foot-friendly.

Don't worry though, I got it cleaned out and called the offices, and they told me I'd be fine. So.....I'm fine!!!!

A day in Magdalena- On Friday Aroni had an interview with the President so I pretty much hung out in the offices and in Magdalena until about 6:30.....which took a pretty big chunk out of the proselyting time....but oh well.

I got super sick- Yeah.....not fun at all.....I was sick all of Thursday....not fun.....I have no idea what kind of pills my pensionist gave me, but I'm fine now!!! (I know that sentence sounds sketchy, but it's really not)

I built another house-.....not really, but I did lay the foundation for a different house.....not fun.

I don't know how they lay a foundation for a house in the United States, but I think it's different. We just dug some trenches, and then filled them in with chunks of granite and wet cement mixed with dirt. It was done mainly by us, the Reyes family, and 3 dudes they hired for the day......

I've been sore all week.

Another day in Magdalena- Yesterday Elder Dart took me on interchanges to go visit his old sector in Magdalena and say goodbye, which meant, I pretty much just went from house to house eating brownies, cakes, and other desserts they made for him. Not a bad day.

And finally we've got a baptism this Saturday! His name is Emmanuel and he's 15. His Dad has been an investigator for like 17 years and can't be baptized because he hasn't divorced his old wife/married his new one. He's great! He kind of surprised us a lot over these past two weeks, and we're really excited to see him progressing!!!

Anyway.....that's about all that I can think about! Changes are tomorrow, so we'll see what happens!

I know you are all praying for me and it means a lot! Love you guys!!!

Love you Mom, Dad, and Pooh!

-Elder Winn

Monday, September 14, 2015

 Hey guys!!!
I´ll just start off with yesterday which was amazing.
So, I have no idea who, but one of you must have been praying especially hard for me this week, because yesterday was like the best day ever.
First off we had church from 2 to 5, because the other ward had stake conference. So we actually got to study in the morning, and eat breakfast. Then we had ward council, and ate lunch. Then we went to church.
Upon entering the chapel, I noticed one thing which was a tad different from the norm. Namely the number of tourist-looking bags in the front hall....upon further investigation I found a small family of gringo's (I say that as if I don't count) in the cultural hall. Turns out they're friends of Elder Dart's dad, and are in the area until that night. 
I can already tell this story is going to take entirely too much's some bullet points.
-They have two sons, Dallin and uhh.....something else. 17 and 14 respectively
-They're from Lindon, Utah
-They were an incredibly delightful family to be around
-They're sons swim on the Pleasant Grove swim team (and are REALLY good)
-They invited Elder Dart and his companion to dinner
-Elder Dart's companion didn't want free dinner
-They invited Elder Dart and Elder Winn to dinner
-We ate a lovely dinner in a nice restaurant (complete with passion fruit cheesecake (which has got to be my new favorite dessert)).
-Brother Bunnet gave me 24 soles stating that "This money's going to be useless to me in a few hours, I want you to have it"
It was really an incredible day of speaking English and enjoying the company of a perfectly friendly family from Utah.
Oh yeah. Remember how I built a roof a few weeks ago?
Well news must have spread of my constructing prowess because this week we were solicited by the Reyes family to build a house.
That's right. A House that was fun.
We literally tore apart a house that already existed. and built a new one.
But not in place of the old one. Haha oh no, that would make too much sense. We built the new one in the street.
Now I know what you're thinking.
"How'd/why'd he build a house in the middle of the street"?
I'm here wondering the same thing.
unfortunately I don't have a picture of it this week.....
Fortunately they're our neighbors and we'll get one real soon.
Other than that. It's been a fairly uneventful week! We had a really long Multi-zona meeting....I learned a lot!...
We taught an Israelite! Which was cool! Because they (correctly) believe they're descendants of the house of Israel.
They also believe in the law of Moses and that Jesus will be born again in Machu Picchu which is the center of the was a weird lesson.....
Anyway......that's about it for this week.
Hahaha I love you all! The church is true!!!!
Elder Winn