Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last two Weeks of 2011

December 19, 2011
Merry Christmas!
Wow, December has gone fast and Christmas has crept up out of nowhere. On Saturday we will have a big activity with the 6 zones around Piura. The president will give a little devotional, then each zone will do a talent or sketch of some sort. My zone decided to do a parody of 2 brand new missionaries trying to teach snow white and the 7 dwarfs. It’s a lot of fun planning it. I was given the part of dopey, of course, so I just make ridiculous faces and act like a wild idiot the whole time.
Last Thursday, me and 8 other North Americans went to Lima. Usually we take care of all of the customs/visa/government stuff in the Lima MTC, but many of us were only there for 3 weeks or less and only finished one part. They told us one Wednesday and we all flew down Thursday night. It was such a blast being with some good friends from the MTC and being together. I hate to say it, but it was really like a mini vacation. They put us in a really nice hotel for the night with hot water and even gave us some Papa Johns pizza. The next day we went to the Government Agency place for 5 hours. The majority of the time was just waiting for our turn and then for them to process stuff. Much like the DMV. But it was a blast cause we all talked and shared experiences. After that we got McDonalds, and to the Lima Temple to take pictures before heading back to the airport. It was a short trip but an amazing memory for the mission. When I got back, Elder Iribar had to break my heart and tell me that Luis, the 19 year old, went to Ecuador to work without telling us. All is well though, and he’ll be back the first week of January to get baptized. He had to go to make money for his family. The work is going well. We have great successes but also, great struggles as well, but that’s all part of the work and I’m just taking it day by day. Love you all and I cant wait to hear your voices on Sunday.
Elder Farmer

December 26, 2011
Yesterday was great. So good to talk to you all . . . The weirdest part is now understanding what it’s like to be on this end of the line and remembering when Justin and Brandon would call. It was great relating to experiences of Dad, Justin, and Brandon and getting the advice of my brothers. One thing I noticed... before the mission Justin and Brandon’s accents always appeared perfect. But now after being in the culture and hearing nothing but Spanish, their accents were exceptionally gringo on the phone. Maybe they were just talking really clear so I could understand but it was funny.
Anyways, it will be good to get back to the work after a nice relaxing Christmas weekend. I’ve officially hit the same amount of time in the field as I had in the MTC.
Oh, I forgot to mention in the phone call, but I’m becoming quite the beat box champ. Okay not really. But Elder Delgado is insane and before the mission was in a group down in Lima. I’m trying to pick up some skills. Haha. Maybe Jaclyn can explain to the parents what beat boxing is. Love you Family, I’ll write you again next year,
Elder Farmer

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 5 and December 13

December 5, 2011
Hello Family!
Yesterday I had my first baptism. It was a special experience to see this little 9 year old girl so excited and giddy to be baptized. Also to see how the gospel had strengthened the relationship between a mother and her to kids. The mom was beaming. It was a great experience but we didn’t have to work at all. It was a Christmas present from the Lord to send this family our way.
The calendar has switched to December and all the families here are excited about the Navidad. Christmas lights have showed up in all the windows and even Christmas trees in most houses. It will be a great month to find families to teach while everyone is in the spirit of the holiday. We hope and pray that many of our investigators will progress that last extra bit to commit to baptism in the month.
Today marks the completion of one transfer too! On Wednesday we get 16 or so new missionaries. Also, our area is getting 2 more so we’ll have 6 missionaries in the ward. It’s exciting to see the changes that happen and it feels good to finally have one cambio (change aka transfer) under my belt. This will be Elder Iribar´s last transfer in this area because this is his fourth one here. Once he finished up training me he’ll leave to another area for sure. So the next change will be particularly interesting to see what happens as far as who my new companion is and if I stay in this area, etc. Today we went to the market and I bought my first of many soccer jerseys. They’re so cheap here. I got a legit Uruguay jersey for 15 soles, which is about 6 dollars. Life is good down here. The work is tough because we walk a TON, but the members made us 3 meals this week (expect a recipe soon mom). This change should be great. Love you family. Enjoy the cool weather.
Elder Farmer

December 12, 2011
Hello Family!
Every week gets a little better as I get more comfortable in the work and improve little by little at Spanish. The baptism was a great experience and great news and we’ve got another one next week! This one will mean a lot more because he is someone we found knocking doors and we’ve grown to really know him. He’s a 19 year old guy that we found about 3 weeks ago and ever since has been super willing to change according to God’s will. This last week he asked us what the qualifications are to be baptized and if he could be baptized. Yes! He’s got a great desire and even says that he wants to be missionaries like us one day. It is so good to see how the Lord has prepared someone and they were so ready to here the gospel. We are hoping to make Christmas an especially special day with a baptism on that domingo as well. I have seen a drastic change in how much have enjoyed the work this past week. I don’s even mind knocking doors all that much. The Lord is blessing us a lot and I’m very lucky to be here serving Him in this time of year. On Christmas we will have a big missionary activity and members will be feeding us well.
Love you all! Life is good down here in Peru.
Elder Farmer

November 2011

November 13, 2011
Family: Three weeks down in the first transfer. Things are picking up and I feel like once I’ve got just 1 transfer under my belt the mission will be under way. There are really cool missionaries here that make it very enjoyable. The other companionship in our room is Elder Campbell and Elder Delgado. Campbell is going home in 3 weeks and is a riot. He makes things a lot of fun and it’s nice having a English to Spanish human translator near by. Its just the little phrases that are going to take a while to get in my head like ¨all of a sudden´´, etc. After writing last week we went to a milkshake place in central Piura and it was cool actually seeing the city. Then we went to the market, which you can only go to like once a month because its not the safest place. Today we had an activity as a zone and played soccer at a nearby chapel. Love, Elder Farmer

November 21, 2011
Happy thanksgiving family!
Your emails inspire me to try harder and enjoy life every week so thank you. This thanksgiving actually marks 3 months for me. Can you believe it? The mission will get faster and fasters as I learn the language. Thanks for the emails everyone.
We had good success this week in progressing our investigators but I’m still hoping for the first baptism. We know they’ll happen sooner or later we just need to be patient with each person. It’s frustrating not being able to converse with people still and understand what they’re saying perfectly. But that will come eventually.... somehow. Love you all family, I am Thankful for you all this thanksgiving. Also for Joseph Smith and the restoration, and Jesus Christ. We really do have the best family ever. For real.
Elder Farmer

November 28, 201
Sounds like another awesome holiday took place at the farmer household. Games, food, plenty of laughter (im sure), and a super cute baby to steal the show. This week was some of the most enjoyable times I’ve had so far in Piura. For thanksgiving I woke up and asked Elder Campbell (who is going home in a week) what he was thankful for... and that was that haha. Just a normal day. I’ve been able to see how much the lord has blessed me by putting me with a solid companion that works hard. Also, the ward is probably the best you will find in the whole mission. They are very helpful in the work. On Sunday we had a little training activity to discuss ways that the members can help share the gospel and give us references. I gave a 10 minute little part and I feel pretty good about my Spanish. We made great strides this week with investigators and even had 5 people attend church. We’ve got 1 baptism this coming Sunday of a little 9 year old girl whose mom baptized 15 years ago but went inactive. Last Sunday they showed up and the mom told us she wanted to be back in the church and have her daughter baptized. A missionary’s dream. The daughter is excited every time we go to teach too.
There really isn’t anything ¨special¨ about Piura culture wise, but the people are great and all have a good faith. So that makes teaching the restored gospel even better when you can explain why there are so many churches and that Christ restored his. The gospel is an incredible blessing that our family has had thanks to amazing parents. Love you all. Hope your lives are successful and filled with awesomeness. Elder Farmer