Monday, July 27, 2015
This week was pretty dang awesome. First off, on Wednesday, we had to travel to Cusco for a conference with Elder Useda from the First 70 so that was pretty dang awesome to hear from him. With the conference and all the traveling, though, it took out 3 whole days of our week so as far as lessons go not much has happened this week. Also, when we got back, we were all super car sick and exhausted but now I feel great. The reason for that is because the next day (even though we were all still exhausted) we had our baptism.
In the baptism, we baptized 4 people. One of them was from the other elders who baptized a little boy who had to get baptized again because the old bishop lost his records but the other 3 were from me and my comp. We baptized 3 kids from this family we are teaching called the Yuca family. One of them is a 17 year old boy who is also going to travel with the ward this Wednesday to Lima to do baptisms for the dead in the temple there. We are now trying to put a date with the mom and one of the daughters. Also, we are still working with one of the sons and the dad to be able to teach them but they are all progressing really well. Also the oldest sister who got baptized asked me to baptize her so that was a cool experience. It was kinda funny, though, because the water from Espinar is green and so we baptized everyone in green water.
But later today we have to travel again to Sicuani so we can have a zone conference with the mission president tomorrow. I also have to give a training on stress so that will be pretty dang interesting. But that’s about all I’ve got for this week; I’ll send you pictures of the baptism next time. But I’m glad to hear you’re all doing well and I’ll talk to you next week!
Love you all!
Monday, July 20, 2015
Well this week has been pretty good. However, our numbers weren’t that great this week because we had some appointments fall through and we also dropped some people that weren’t progressing. But, on the bright side, we have 3 baptisms planned for this Saturday. But we basically aren’t going to be in our sector this whole week because Wednesday in the afternoon we have to go to Sicuani so that Thursday morning our whole zone can travel together to Cusco for a conference we have with Elder Useda. Then Friday morning, we will be coming back here. Also something that happened this last Sunday was we had a change of bishops and the new bishop is super sweet. He is also really young but this guy wants to get work done so hopefully we will be seeing a big change in the ward and how they help us. As for the power thing [last week], that’s actually pretty normal for smaller towns. It actually happened quite often to me while I was in Choquehuanca. And I’m not actually really sure why it happens but I think it’s because all their wiring here just kinda sucks so whenever there is wind, the wires just crap out. Also, I think I’m good with money right now, but I don’t have anything in my account.
Ok, so I got a funny story. Today for our pday, we went to a place called 3 canyons. Anyway it has some ruins there but most of them weren’t original, they are just there to show where the old original buildings were. So we found a spot where we wanted to take pictures of us jumping off of a rock pile to look like we were doing Incan sacrifices. Anyway, I took one of my comp but the missionary who was trying to take my picture couldn’t do it very well (I’m including the best picture he was able to take of me). Anyway, I kept trying to get a picture but the last time I climbed on the wall I felt a rock move... And then I felt them all move... The whole rock wall just collapsed from under me so I just jumped off. The bad part is that there was a worker there that heard it and came over to us. He saw the collapsed wall and said we had to pay for it and that it would be 1000$ (which was ridiculous). But luckily our pensionista’s husband came with us and told the guy that we were just taking a picture next to it and then it just fell down and he let us go. (I’m also including a picture of the fallen wall.) Anyway, it was super funny and I was really freaked out but it all turned out good. But the rest of the day was really fun, I’m just super tired now and burnt.
As for your questions, my most spiritual experience this week would be in a family night we had with our investigators that have the baptismal date this week. Anyway, that day their dad came home from the mine and was super drunk and so the family was fighting. So basically the whole night we were trying to cheer them up. But we talk about their baptism a little bit and how it will help them and we are also going to talk to the dad tomorrow and maybe tonight to see if we can do anything with him. Another funny thing that happened this week was we were in the church one day to have a meeting with the bishop and a crazy lady who we taught once came in. She started shaking everyone’s hands but when she got to me I was wearing gloves and so she didn’t shake my hand and started saying stuff like, oh sorry my hands are dirty, and she also called me a robber because she thought it was super offensive that I was going to shake her hand with gloves on. Anyway, she said a bunch of other stuff that I don’t really remember but afterwards the bishop just looked at me and said, don’t feel bad, she's crazy. My comp didn’t help any either, he was just laughing the whole time. She would also be the most interesting person I met this week.
But one night we also contacted a drunk guy that started taking us to who knows where. He said that he wanted us to go teach his daughter but he had no idea where we were so we just left him. He was soooo drunk though that he could hardly walk. The three canyons was the new thing I saw this week. This week my testimony has grown with the Christ-like attributes. This week I was studying that and how I can better myself in the attributes I am lacking. This is also a principle that our president’s wife taught us in my first zone conference. She said that we need to be like a wheel in our attributes so we aren’t lacking too much in one area or focusing too much in another area. Because with Christ being perfect, all of his attributes were equal and that’s also how we should be.
But that’s about it for this week but I love you all very much and until next week!
P.S. Also as you can see I am sporting my moccasins because I left my tennis shoes in Cusco and have to go get them this week :T
Jumping off the wall making Incan sacrifices.
The fallen wall.
Monday, July 13, 2015
Hey sorry I wasn’t able to write yesterday. Me and my comp had to go to Cusco for some things; however the bus ride there and back takes all day from Espinar.
Anyway this week was kinda a hassle. On Saturday we had a baptism planned but that day we lost power in the whole city. Also when there is no power there is no power to pump water in so we also had no water in the chapel, or our house. But other than that, this week has been good as far as our lessons and investigators. Also, this Sunday, our bishopric got changed so hopefully we will be able to see more progress with that. Anyway, not much more has been going on here, just getting colder at night. However, for Monday, before we went to Cusco, we were in Sicuani and we were able to pick up another heater so that each companionship can have one in their room. But we didn’t really do much in Sicuani because we had to leave so fast. But the whole time we were traveling we were listening to Cumbia from Peru for 2 and a half hours. Just so you can know what it sounds like, look up songs from Corazon Serrano on YouTube. Needless to say, I was ready to shoot myself or break the speaker system. But luckily it only happened on the way there. It kinda sucked though because when we got to Cusco we had to buy a few things and I needed to pull out the rest of my money for this month but the ATMs weren’t working and the stores we had to go to were closed. But these things happen so it’s all good.
Speaking of college, me and my comp always talk about skiing/snowboarding and we are talking about rooming together; however, I get back 6 months before him.
Ok, as for your questions, first off, my most spiritual experience was in a lesson we had this week with a kid who we have a date with and we were teaching him the word of wisdom and the law of chastity. Anyway, I was kinda scared that he either wouldn’t understand or would have trouble accepting it. But we taught him normal and he accepted it just fine. Just goes to show that when you have a testimony of these things, it makes it easier to accept them. Which also brings me to how I have learned more in the gospel. In the zone meeting, we focused a lot on being able to teach so that the investigators can understand and we focused most of all in teaching the law of chastity and did practices of it. The best moment I had with my comp this week was when we were talking about skiing. Because that is normally what we talk about. He says that I should say that I love him but that would be a lie and I can’t lie. (He is reading this.) XD My happiest moment this week was getting a ton of references in a family night we had. Also when we went to Sicuani and ate salchi papas because it was so delicious. My testimony has probably grown this week as I’ve been learning some of the responsibilities we have as missionaries and especially in our callings. I’ve heard a lot of stories of missionaries who just don’t want to do anything here or when they get home but we really can’t do that. Like the scripture in D&C that I was studying this week that says many are called but few are chosen.
But yea that’s about all I got for this week but I’m glad that you are all doing well and I love you all and I’ll talk to you next week!
Saying goodbye to some people in Juliaca.
Saying hello to new area of Espinar.
Monday, July 6, 2015
Well yep, everything you said is basically true (Espinar is at almost 13,000 feet, has an average temperature of 44-47 degrees (brrr), has a smaller population than the Tri-Cities, and has a lot of Quechua speaking people). At night here it gets below freezing and it’s super cold. Luckily we have a nice warm house. But yea this past week has been crazy because on Tuesday I left for Cusco with like half of my zone who also had changes. Also something super ironic happened while I was in Cusco. The night I got there we went to go eat at a restaurant but when we left we ran into some members from the states. He started asking us where we are from and I told him I’m from the Tri-Cities. He then looked at my name and asked who my parents are. I told him your names and he said that he was in our ward as a counselor a while back. He even remembers from when I drowned but his name is Michael Degn so I don’t know if you remember him but it was just pretty funny. Anyway, I had to stay in Cusco for a few days for my training but something cool that happened is that all district leaders now have a cell phone. Everyone was super excited for that because before it was only the zone leaders who had cell phones. But it really makes life so much more simple.
Anyway, Thursday in the afternoon I finally got to Espinar. It’s still in Cusco but looks a lot like Puno. Also there are mountains here with snow on them! That’s the first time I’ve seen snow in a while; however, we weren’t able to go to them because they are too far away. But my new sector is pretty cool; my pensionista has 2 German shepherds who are now my best friends. Also, we have a family here that is all getting baptized in different weeks of this month. However, I still don’t really know much about them. But being a district leader is pretty chill; I just collect our numbers each week and lead our district meetings. But it’s nothing special, I’m basically just a normal missionary but I have to make sure the elders of my district are doing everything. I was actually a little concerned before I got here because one of the assistants told me that the previous elders here were having a bit too much fun and not working much. He also said that the mission president had no doubt in his mind that I was supposed to be the new district leader here. But the missionaries here are pretty cool and the ones that were mainly causing the problems got changed out. We are only 4 elders here in my district and 3 of us are Americans and the other is from Lima but we all live together so that’s pretty nice. Also my comp is from Idaho and we talk a lot about skiing and snowboarding. But I’m already starting to get things back in shape with these guys and according to the zone leaders this past week was a lot better than the previous few weeks, even though we could only work for about half the week.
It was pretty funny, though, because we had actually forgotten that it was the 4th of July but that day some members invited us out to their field to make some baked potatoes but you cook them in dirt. It’s a process called Guatia but it’s actually pretty good. You also eat it with cheese and a special kinda dirt paste called Chalko. So I literally ate dirt... But yea that’s about all that’s been happening here this week but the internet here is the slowest in the whole mission because we are so high up and far away from everything else so I will try to send some pictures but no promises.
But my best spiritual experience this week was also the best moment I had with my comp. It was a lesson we had with a recent convert who had just had a huge fight with her mom and basically ended with her mom telling her that she was basically a failed abortion. She then got super depressed and wrote a letter to her friend saying basically that she is going to commit suicide. Her friend found us and then we found the girl really fast and talked to her about the love and atonement of Christ. I felt the spirit so strongly that I cried for the 4th time in my mission in a lesson. Anyway, safe to say that we did the job and she is now back to being cheerful again and was at church yesterday. Also, I did learn some new Quechua but I forgot it so I will try to write down the phrases I learn. I think my testimony has really grown with the new calling I have because I was meditating on why God called me to be district leader here. I came to the conclusion that he called me not only to be a help and example to the missionaries here but to also make some personal goals to better myself.
But that’s about all I’ve got for this week but I’m glad to hear that all is good and hot back home. Also I feel like when I get back I’m going to feel like Rip Van Winkle with everything changing. But I love you all and will talk to you next week!
P.S. My new house doesn’t have a toilet seat...