Monday, March 28, 2016

Well!!! It's been another great week here in Peru!   

To start off, we just about reached our goal this month of 10 baptisms in the zone!  This means that we put in our part to reach 100 baptisms as a mission this month! And while we're happy with that, the President knows we can do more, so we've got a goal of 150 this April, with a corresponding 15 coming from our zone!

Two of those 10 baptisms were Marco and Elizabeth! Two people who I simply haven't had enough time to talk about!!!

We met Marco when He called Us to say that he would like to get baptized! He told us that his girlfriend had left on a mission and that he had been listening to the missionaries. With her, in her ward. He faithfully listened to all we had to say, asked us a few questions, and steadily grew in his testimony until the day of his baptism!

Elizabeth's story is a little more interesting. She had also listened to us since day one; however, she adamantly affirmed "I'm catholic, and I will die catholic". Although that sounded like a bluff to me.......she came with Marco the first week of church, and the second! What stuck out to us was that she came the third week, even when her son didn't! She steadily listened more and more intently, read more and more, asked more and more questions. And then eagerly awaited the baptism of her son! Two weeks later, she followed suit!

After all has been said and done, my favorite thing in the entire work I'm involved in is hearing a convert's testimony after they've been baptized.

Up until their baptism, you really don't know how strong a convert's testimony is. Maybe they've prayed, maybe they just like you two as missionaries, maybe they just think it's the right thing to do......these things have made me wonder how converted some of the new "converts" really are.

However, after someone's been baptized, a special and Holy Spirit lends itself as a teacher, the moment when a convert shares their testimony after their baptism is often the first time they've done it, and as a result, the purest.

Elizabeth was no exception. I have to admit that while we prepared her baptism, I had wondered how converted she really was. But when she stepped up to share what she knew to be true, there was no doubt. It was a truly incredible experience!

So.....that's been this week!!!! I got to go! But I love you all, and I hope you share your testimonies!!!!!

Much love,

Elder Winn

Monday, March 21, 2016

I think I'm getting jilted (I wanted to say "gipped" but I wasn't sure how to spell it.....) on time today, so real quick some highlights from this week.

-Ran in to Cameron Dopp's Dad this week! He was awesome! It was great to see someone from home!

-We've had some hard days this week (lots of walking, late nights staying up and making plans for the next day, working every minute of every hour just to get into a house) but the work is starting to pay off!

-We met a super contentious guy this week, who just wanted to talk trash about the book of Mormon. And while it's not new to meet people like this, this was the first time I'd left content!

Hahahaha and all it took was a firm testimony of the book of Mormon.

"Wait, brother, you're telling us that The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ was written by a 20 year old young man from 19th century New York? And that he wrote a book testifying of Jesus Christ, an unknown group of people, with unknown governments, monies, and politics that tells us about even the most minute details of a previously unknown civilization?

"Uhh....well when you put it that way".....

Hahahahaha so we had fun!

Agh. They're cutting me off here.....

I guess I'll tell you guys more next week.

Basically we've had crazy miracles and we're hoping for two baptisms this week!!!! Love you! Sorry about this!!!!

Things are going great!!!

Here's all of Lima!!!!

Ahhhhh I feel bad I'm getting cut off like this!!!! Don't hate me for lack of detail!!! I love you guys!!!!!!!! Bye!

I swear this isn't my fault........

Tour bus pics, Plus we met Peruvian Superman!
#Peruvian SupermanVsBatman
#Peruvian SupermanWins
This picture was sent to me (Syd) in a text last Thursday.
First time I've had one sent his entire mission, it was
a cool surprise!!!!

This is what Dave had to say about it.

Well basically:

We were walking in our sector and we heard "Hey Elders" but in like a gringo voice....not like a Peruvian "Elderes"

So we turn around and there's a middle aged white guy, he talks to us and asks us where we're from (In English (he didn't speak Spanish) so I had to translate for my companion).

He said he was from Salt Lake! I told him I was from Bountiful, and then he said he was from Bountiful! He looked at my nametag and asked who my parents were. I told him. He then introduced himself as Cam Dopp's dad! I gave him a hug, and he took my picture, and asked if there was anything he could do for us, we told him no, then talked some more, then he asked again, and we still said no....then he gave me 50 soles. (Don't worry, I politely refused, he just wouldn't take no for an answer)!   He's a great person! If you can, tell him I said thanks, and that his visit meant a lot to me!!!

Monday, March 14, 2016

March 14, 2016

Well, it's been a pretty good week!!!   Starting from where we left off....

Monday night we got the call we had been expecting.

"Elder Tonga will be going to San Martín, and Elder Winn will be receiving Elder Villarroel".

So, Elder Tonga left, and I'm now with Villarroel. Despite the fact his name resembles that of a past companion of mine, and they're both from Argentina I assure you they are nothing alike. We get along perfectly and we both look forward very much to helping the zone meet their potential as missionaries. It's great.

Aside from that things have been moving along quickly!!! Elder Robbins came on Thursday and spoke to us and two other missions. He talked about the importance of obedience, our roles as missionaries, and how we could better help all those around us. It was great!!! Afterwards we had a leadership meeting with Elder Montoya (of the 70). It was.....a learning experience.....hahaha!  Let’s just say that I'm glad I've been going about things right!!! Hahaha, I'm sure it was a much less enjoyable experience for some of the other Elders. He also talked a lot about obedience, and about some of the specific problems that we're experiencing here in this mission.

After that, on Sunday we had a video conference with Elder Alvarez (Area 70). Which was also a.....learning experience..... something that I have learned, is that while I may be able to sit through, and participate in a meeting....that in no way means that I enjoy them. It’s incredibly easy to feel inadequate with one of them talking to you, calling out all of your flaws......but, I guess it's a learning experience.

So that's been fun....ish. and then we've been working a lot with the investigators in our sector.....President Larson has asked us to reach a goal of 11 baptisms this month (compared to other zones, and other times in the mission, that's actually relatively low). It should be attainable, however the zone has a few problems.....and it appears as if 6 of those 11 baptisms will need to come from our sector.....Which is a lot of pressure....and a lot of stress.....but that's ok. I know that with a lot of fasting and prayer, we can get it done.

So that's been my week. Lots of meetings. Lots of wearing gross worn out suits. Lots of stress. Lots of prayer. Lots of fallen through meetings with investigators....And Lots of happiness.

Because in the end, happiness is something you choose, not something that results from what happens to you.


I hope you're all doing great!!! Because I am!!!

I'm looking forward to a lot of hard work this week!!! Love you guys!!!

Elder Winn

Monday, March 7, 2016

March 7, 2016

I'd like to start off by stating why I've come to love the mission so much.

Before my mission I had looked forward to it with a hope to learn and to progress. I saw it as yet another learning experience in my life. I thought I would be able to really look inward and re-invent myself. That after two years I would come back, and be a completely new and better person thanks to all that I had learned; however, upon entering I quickly learned that it was kind of hard to focus on me..... I found that when I focused on what I needed to do and how I could improve. I often felt completely crushed when I realized how much I really would have to change to become the person I wanted to be. It seemed so far out of reach that I contemplated settling on where I was. I saw how well others were doing, and with my competitive mindset, well, that just meant I wasn't doing as well as them.

But then I stopped focusing so much on my problems. I didn't focus on my defects, my flaws....but I didn't focus on my strengths either.....I just stopped focusing on me.

President Hinkley's motto: "Forget yourself and go to work", Became personally meaningful. Matthew 16:25 spoke to me with such force that I couldn't do anything but re-read it again and again.

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it"

It doesn't really matter if your life is good or bad.......In comparison to the life plan God's got laid out for us.....our plans really aren't that great....

And as I started to realize that more and more.....I stopped worrying about what I was doing wrong......instead I just focused on how I could help others.... And what I learned has been phrased perfectly by Tagore

"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy."

I have absolutely loved my mission, because I have learned firsthand that the best way we can improve, the fastest way we can change, and the most fulfilling thing we can do. Is serve.

That being said: This has been a pretty excellent week!

Marcos got baptized this Saturday!!!! It's been great being able to teach him and share the gospel with him!!!! His Mom will also be getting baptized this month!!! I look forward to teaching them for the months to follow.

....then the not so fortunate news.

Zoraida and her kids have postponed their baptisms......Her ex-husband talked her out of it.....and it looks like we won't be meeting up with her for a few weeks or so......but oh well. We'll just keep praying for her!

We've had the opportunity to do a lot more interchanges this week!!! I got to know some of the Elders in the zone better! But most importantly I got to serve them.

So that's been fun!!!.....

And yesterday a miracle happened.

We were pretty tired, it was 7:30 and it was still pretty hot out. We had to make some calls to the zone and so we sat on the curb.....I suppose we looked pretty pathetic, because not long after we hear

"Hey, you guys want something to drink"?

We're a little confused (because he's not a member and usually only members say that).

We accept and He and his wife let us in....They give us some ham sandwiches and we start talking. They've got a daughter in Utah (to express the rarity of that I think it's worth noting He was the ONLY person in my ENTIRE mission to have family in Utah who aren't members). He said all the people there were trying to convert her. We laugh, we share some of our beliefs, we pray, they invite us back for dinner Saturday.

I'm probably really downplaying it. But it's probably one of the most awesome things that's happened in this sector!!! short.

It was a pretty good week!!! We'll be hearing from Elder Lynn G Robbins this week!!! So that should be cool!!!! I'm doing great and I love you guys!!!!!

-Elder Winn

Picture #1 and #2  Marco's Baptism
#3                          The Zone
#4                          Selfie (mom requested)
#5                          Spike-a-pillars
#6                          Peruvian bottle caps