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 week......so 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 all......it 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........
But that's ok.
THE WORK MUST GO ON!!!!!
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.
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)
-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!
Monday, September 14, 2015
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 time....here'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 ....so 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 universe.....so.....that was a weird lesson.....
Anyway......that's about it for this week.
Hahaha I love you all! The church is true!!!!
Monday, September 7, 2015
Dave's letter will not be shared this week. He had an incredible experience that his dad and I felt was too special to post on a blog. If you are interested and are not on his group e-mail list please contact me and I will share his letter with you. Have a great week
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
So, in case you couldn't tell by the subject line, I am incredibly excited to tell you all about our wonderful meeting with Elder David A. Bednar.
It was incredible.
This Wednesday, Our mission (Lima Central), Lima East, Lima South, and the Peru MTC all got together in the La Molina Stake center. In total probably about 650-700 missionaries. We arrived about 2 hours early and then waited......When he finally got there. Then when he stood up and told us.
"Now I bet you've all come here thinking that I've prepared a talk, that I'm going to talk to you, to teach you, and that you'll listen carefully, write down what I say, and go home"....
"That's not going to happen"
He then proceeded to say:
"Think about all the notes you've written down over your entire life.....how often have you looked back on them? If you manage to not lose them, would you even read them"?
Now I quote this verbatim:
"I don't get it, it's stupid"!
He told us that whatever we learned that day, it wouldn't be from what he said, rather from what we felt. Everything we learned that day we would have to learn, through the spirit, in our own words.
In all I can summarize all that I learned (which is a lot) into 3 simple truths:
1. In order to learn effectively, we must exercise our agency, learning is an active thing, and not something passive.
2. After we were baptized (and every week thereafter in which we participate in the sacrament) we were promised by God "That they may always have his spirit to be with them". Meaning that unless we do something to drive it away, we will always have the spirit to be with us.
3. That the Apostles are servants, and moreover Representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. They represent him and speak with power and authority.
It was truly an amazing experience.
He did not teach us for 2 hours. Collectively, he helped us help ourselves learn for 2 hours.
And as a side note, my absolute favorite part of all of this was when one of the missionaries asked:
"Why is it that we don't see angels"?
"What does someone need to do to be visited by angels"?
Elder Bednar thought for a moment and replied:
"You mean in a miraculous life changing experience akin to those of Paul and Alma"?
"Yes" replied the missionary.
"Because Paul was messed up" responded Elder Bednar.
"An angel visited Paul because he was a messed up dude! The Lord sent angels to Alma to say "Look, you need to change who you are right now, or you're going to die"!........You should be glad that the Lord hasn't had to send you and angel to tell you you're messed up!"
"If you haven't seen an angel, that's probably a good thing"!
This experience, really highlighted his sense of humor, and at the same time it made me realize,
He's right; we shouldn't be downtrodden or sad because we haven't seen some miraculous manifestation. On the contrary, we should be glad, knowing that God trusts us enough to just talk through the spirit.....
It was amazing.
Anyways.....in work related news.
Yesterday we knocked a door we REALLY didn't want to knock (they had given us a luke-warm greeting the first time, and looked a lot like they wanted to hurt us) but we felt we should knock anyway.
An old man answered, accepted us into his home, informed us the man we had talked to before did not in fact live there, and that he and his family of 9 would like to hear about the restored gospel......
So yesterday was a pretty good day!.......however.....other than that it's been pretty uneventful......
So that's all for this week folks!!!!
First three pictures are the area he lives and a service project that they worked on. You'll notice he left a large "W" on top of the brick wall made out of roofing material in the second picture.
Last three are of his entire mission with the new President and his wife. I played "Where's Waldo" until I found him. It didn't take long, I'd know that face anywhere, even if it's only his eyes and forehead.