Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Peru Piura Mission

Castilla

Peru - Awesome!



October 2012


Estoy por el mar‏
October 1, 2012   Estoy muy feliz! I´ve been sent to Paita, a cool city on the coast - just a straight shot west of Piura about an hours drive. My companion is Elder Peralta from Bolivia. He speaks quite a bit of English so that makes things interesting and has just about 8 months in the mission. His last companion was Elder Sims (who I lived with in Lopez Albujar for 3 months) so we hit it off great from the start. The work here is going really well. There are several investigators progressing and that are interested in getting baptized. As far as being district leader goes, all is well. There are 4 elders and 4 sisters in the district (the only sisters in the zone) and we all go to church in the same building - 4 missionaries in each branch. Oh, that{s another thing. Paita hasn´t been organized into a stake yet. It’s almost there, but not quite ready. So there are only branches here. Paita has 3 churches in total and 20 missionaries, more or less. My area is called Pescador 1 (Fisherman). The branch is awesome though and very willing to help out - go with us on visits, introduce us to neighbors, etc. There is a family of 4 that has been listening to missionaries for 4 months now and our main goal is to get them baptized.
It was tough to say goodbye to Ramon Castilla but I feel like the mission has started up again. I´m back in the same zone as a bunch of people that were in the MTC with me and we were together when we got trained so it´s great. Also a bunch of other people that were in Castilla are here. There is a great energy here between friendships and the desire to get to work. Today we went down to what is known as Bajo Paita where downtown is. It´s like the Peru version of Hollywood... the beach, a cool little city, surrounded by hills that have houses on them... just a lot poorer and a lot more of reality.
My soccer skills have improved quite a bit, or should i say, fulbito skills (soccer but on a little court).

Oct. 8, 2012
What a great weekend. General conference was a great experience I and loved the talks on Saturday. In 40 years I´ll tell my grandkids about where i was when the historic age change was announced. ´´ Gather round kids.... gather round... Now, when President Monson announced the new age limits, I was in the mission field in a city called Paita. The two district counselors that were in charge of setting up the satellite went to Piura for the day and abandoned their responsibility, so at the last minute we had to call some others and they got it set up just in time to hear the announcement, but they forgot to tell us it was up and running until AFTER it was announced and about 10 of us were sitting in another room twiddling our thumbs when they came in and told us the news.  I thought it was a big lie and didn’t believe it until Elder nelson mentioned it again in his talk.´´ Haha. I would have liked to hear it live – I’m sure we all would have gone nuts - but it was still big news. So what does this mean for BYU schools now?  It´ll be interesting to see the impact this will have on the studies of many LDS kids.
Anywho.... We watched all the sessions on Saturday. My favorite was by Elder Uchtdorf in the morning and made me realize how much I love the mission and how I need to enjoy every moment of it. We went to the pensionista and all she had to fry up was calimary. Mmmmmm. I think that’s squid right? Anyways, it wasnt bad. Just very rubbery.  In other news, last Monday we went down to Bajo Paita again to take advantage of a festival that was going on. Dozens of venders from Cusco came up to sell their beanies, gloves and cool traditional jackets with the soft fuzzy fabric. I bought a cool jacket and a hat.

October 15, 2012
This was a very successful week. We were able to find many people this week and had several lessons. We are improving a lot and really focusing on the purpose of missionary work which is to BAPTIZE CONVERTS. Sometimes as missioneries we lose sight of that and get too caught up in other numbers and make other numbers the main priority. But we are sure to teach simply and directly to the people that we meet that the church is true and they should be a part of it. We should be having a baptism this coming Sunday of a 17 year old kid who is super prepared and has been progressing great. There is a special feeling about this area and this transfer. Maybe it is the new assignment, the time and experience I now have, or the people around me but I am very happy to be here.
Bautizo (como dicen los catolicos)

October 22

This week was very slow but ended well, with a baptism! Woo. After a month and a half we got another one. Edgar was a reference from a young man in the ward and we started teaching him right when i got here. He had a few challenges but quickly found an answer to his prayers and progressed very fast. No one knew that he was an investigator because he went to church in a white shirt and tie already. He was already to go and on Wednesday we went to his house to get him ready for his interview. He told us that he had an argument with his Dad when he told him he was going to get baptized and preferred to just wait until he turned 18 to not cause problems. His mom was okay with it but his dad no. After about 10 minutes, his Dad got home from work early and we asked him if we could talk. We just asked him to sit down to be able to explain and were able to clear up his doubts to the point where he was actually willing to pray and ask if it was true. It was a great experience to see how God provided the way for us to be instruments in his hands and when we were talking, I wasn´t even mad or annoyed, but tried to see the love that this man has for his son and how he only wanted to protect him. We spoke directly but with the spirit and all went well. We asked him if he would support his son in this decision and he said yes it was fine. It was just like Alma 22, just without swords.
Espero que todo vaya bien con todos.

October 31, 2012     Happy Halloween

This week went alright. We still haven’t been able to find Edgar´s dad for a second time, but Edgar was confirmed and ordained a priest yesterday. We have plans to talk to his younger sister when we go by on Wednesday and so we´ll see if we can get another family member to accept the gospel. I’m sure the opportunity will come soon enough. The other investigators are progressing but all with require time. Time. Time. Which is not always the easiest thing to give as a missionary because we just want them to convert and be baptized before we leave the area, but that´s not what it´s about anymore. This is the last week of the transfer and we´ll see what can happen in November and December. Time is going by fast.
We had a district service project on Wednesday and had to strip all the paint off of 4 walls and then paint it. As you can probably tell by now, practically every service project has to do with painting a house.

Life out here is rough. They don’t have running water but instead have to fill buckets of water and carry them a block or two to their house. They only receive 28 20-liter buckets per week and we always see 8 months pregnant women carrying two buckets of water and just dying.
Oh and on Friday I officially completed one year in the mission field.

Monday, October 15, 2012

September 2012

Sept 3, 2012
We had Alejandra and Hunberto ready to go for their baptisms on Sunday. Both had passed their interviews and were very excited to take this leap of faith. The ward was also very ready to support us. We had Stake conference in the morning, and then at 4 the baptism. The majority came at 4:30 and Hunberto never came. We still aren’t sure what happened but I called him on Saturday night and he said he was ready to go and would see us at conference. So we´re not sure, but we did have the baptism for Alejandra. Clara Torres has been keeping her participation in the church a secret from her husband and was planning on just getting baptized without him knowing, but that is not allowed. She is a bit nervous to tell him about her desire to get baptized but that is the only thing keeping her back.  We now only have 3 weeks left. Time here in Ramon Castilla has flown by and I have gotten to know all of the members very well. These next 3 weeks will be enjoyable as we look for more investigators and Elder Pereyra´s future converts.
Sept. 10, 2012     Bueno...
Neither Humberto or Clara were baptized this week. We met up with Humberto on Friday.  He started out by thanking us for all that we had done in helping out with his faith and for the patience that we had, but he feels that he should stay in the catholic religion for now. He´s going to keep reading The Book of Mormon cause he knows it’s true, and knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but he did a lot of praying and he just doesn´t feel right getting baptized. He claims he can’t get baptized because he fears that he would ONLY be doing it for the blessings that are promised and that that is not the right attitude to have. Which is true, but we know he would also be doing it for the testimony he has. We could only bare our testimony and invite him to read and pray.  This kid is so prepared to live the gospel but there is always something that holds him back from taking that important step.

Clara still has a lot of interest in getting baptized but went to Chiclayo (3 hours south) to visit her family for the week and will probably getting baptized either the 16 or 23. She passed her interview and everything and now just needs to make the decision and also talk to her husband. She too is super prepared and has shared with us some powerful testimony on how she was able to start to believe in our message as she applied our invitation to pray and she felt a huge difference. She was facing some big challenges when we arrived and we, in some ways, saved her life.
The family of Alejandra, Fernando, and Brandon is progressing wonderfully. They are now all confirmed members and Alejandras boyfriend Miguel is also preparing to be baptized on October 2nd. I´ll likely be out of the area by then.
Sept. 17, 2012     Cartita de Elder Farmer
We now are just one week away from transfers and I feel that my time here is slowly running out. We have worked super hard this week to find new investigators so that the next missionary that comes can get to work with Elder Pereyra and the baptisms can continue. We have yet to see Clara since she got back from her trip to Chiclayo. We´ll probably see her later in the evening and we hope that she is still excited to be baptized and that this week she can do so. Out of all the doors we knocked this week we were able to make an appointment to come back with 31. Of those 31 we taught just 6.
Today we went to a members house in the Catecaus ward. They live tucked into the green pastures of rice and sugar fields on the outskirts of Catecaus. They cooked us all lunch in the typical Peruvian coast method - digging a hole, putting a huge ceramic pot inside and then coals, then placing chicken and other stuff inside, covering it and letting it sit for 3 hours. While it cooked, we walked through the fields to go to a little touristy museum that had some old ruins and information about the ancient people that once lived there and their culture.
The tour was given by two little 7 year old cousins. The gate keeper let us in and then said ¨begin!¨ and the two little kids began their 20 minute memorized tour telling us about every pot, bone, or other artifact. Cute kids, but sad to see that their parents send them up to work so that they can try and get by with food and water, etc. It was a cool zone activity and the food was good. Then my companion and I went to visit Brother Neyra, the legend. He got baptized 30 years ago and has had several callings in the church in his time in the church. He always talks about his experiences and the miracles of his life with work, missionaries, etc. He´s got property by the river where he keeps the construction materials that he distributes and he showed us it today



September 24,   TRANSFERS!
On Saturday the zone leaders called me and told me that I had to call President Rowley on Sunday evening at 7:15. So after reporting our weekly numbers I called him and he told me that I would be receiving a new assignment as District Leader. He couldn´t tell me where, of course, but gave me the heads up of my new responsibility. Today I complete 13 months in the mission and definitely feel ready for this new phase of the mission that was bound to come sooner or later. It´ll be a challenging experience and I’m sure to learn a great deal, but I think I’m ready for it. It´ll be interesting to see who is in my district though, and where, especially considering I have only ever been in Piura and Castilla - two zones ridiculously close to one another. I could be sent to Paita or Talara, two areas by the ocean, or way up north to Tumbes where the mosquitos are huge and it’s even hotter, or a few other places. It feels like I’m receiving another mission call because I´ve been in this area for so long it seems like home.

 Saying good-bye!

The big highlight of the week was on Friday when we had a multi zone conference with Elder Waddell from the seventy. He spoke in a general conference recently and I recognized him right away. He is a super charismatic guy (as are all general authorities) and knows so much about the scriptures and teaches super well.  One point he made is that sometimes we like the gift more than we love he who gives us the gift.  Are we serving missions to receive blessings, or are we serving because we love God and then as an extra we receive blessings. You can apply that to every other aspect of our lives.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

August 2012


August 6
“Una semana muy normal‏” – A very normal week



This week was incredibly normal. The only interesting thing that happened was on Thursday when we had training in the mission home for trainers and trainees. There were about 12 companionships there and it was an opportunity to see how things are going for senior companions and the new missionaries. We then ate lunch and were given something similar to the roast mom makes on Sundays at home, and then ice cream. Food that you´ll only find in the mission home because the meat that they give us at members houses is barely even chewable.
Spanish is going great and I am now 95 percent fluent. I stumble every once in a while on how to ask a certain question or phrase a few things, but now I am starting to get a little worried about my English. I hope to really increase the amount of verbs I know in this last year and perfect it even more. We are now on the last week of the transfer.
Life is going well. The families here are wonderful and really make us feel at home. I’m working hard, but could be working harder. Story of our lives, right? There are always things we could be doing better. Thanks for the love and support family. Hope all is well.     Elder Farmer

 August 13

Transfers!  I´m staying in Ramon Castilla for my fourth transfer.  Two missionaries from the district are heading out, Elder Arestizabel, from Chile, who has been the DL here for four transfers, and Elder Manayay from Chicalayo who has been here for four transfers and just finished up training. Elder Arestizabel is a super good friend out here on the mission and in these last 3 changes being in the same district we´ve had a lot of good times. It’s tough seeing people leave because it´s likely we´ll only see each other at Christmas conferences from here on out.  Good times but changes are always necessary.
Today for p- day we ate lunch as the same house that we ate at last week. This time, however, we ate the famous dish of Piura, Ceviche. (Se-vee-chay). It´s a super odd looking meal but I´m sure Dad and the brothers would love it. It´s raw fish, but not really. You cut the fish into little tiny peices and then put it in a bowl with red onion, peppers, and another type of seafood called pota - im things its some sort of muscle. You´ll have to look it up. As a final step you throw in a ton of lemon juice which is so acidic that it turns the fish white as if it were cooked. Put in some tomatoes and wha-la. Scrumptious. Technically, we are not supposed to eat this meal as missionaries because the poor gringos get sick from the raw fish a lot, but.... just consider this my confession. So far my stomache feels fine and it was for a good causë: a goodbye lunch for elder Arestizabal.


Hope all is well out there family. Thanks for the emails! Even a short short hello is worth all the effort.
Love, Elder Ryan

August 20
Hump Week

It was a pretty low week but we worked hard. We hope to be able to baptize Clara Torres (who I met my second week here and has been progressing little by little), Alexandra (Fernando and Brandon’s mom), Hunberto (a 22 year old who was found by the missionaries in December), and Raul (a 19 year old whose brother is member and grandpa is a Piurano pioneer).
On Sunday we gave talks again. It was my fifth one here in the ward. I talked about a topic that was on my mind all week. On those days that we couldn’t find our investigators, we were at least finding 2 or 3 less actives to teach and it got me thinking about our faith. I recently realized that the first principle of the gospel goes way further than just having faith, but constantly cultivating it and making it grow. I don’t think that a single less active had plans to go inactive one day...it just kind of happens.  So, how do we strengthen our faith and cultivate it even more? Simple. Keep the commandments. And hey, did you know that it’s a COMMANDMENT that we read the scriptures every day?  Alma 36:8 (or something like that) says that for small and simple things God works BIG miracles amongst the children of man. So, Im pretty sure that every less active would still be active in the church had they been reading their scriptures every day and therefore receiving the blessings of God to have more faith. But yeah, that was my message to the ward. I hope you all can think about that too. Where is your faith, and what can you do to make it even stronger?



This Friday I compete one year. It didn´t go by all that slow to be honest. Only one more year until I see you all again, but just like mom told me, one year to help even more people change their lives and have the blessings that OUR family has!



The family downstairs has a daughter that lives in LA and recently got her green card so she was able to come and visit after 6 years. On Tuesday she made us hamburgers. Real, American burgers. I could tell she paid a good price to get that quality of beef because frankly, I didn’t think it existed here. It was delicious.


Then today we went to Catecaus with the zone and I saw a sweet leather hat that I juts couldn’t pass up. It’s actually quite awesome and only cost 7 bucks. Woop.



As far as the ceviche that I ate last week.... I woke up on Tuesday with some serious stomache problems – live and learn  Love you all! Have a good week.        Elder Farmer

August 27
Falta uno‏  - Missing One

My hump day was... uneventful. The tradition amongst missionaries is burn a tie at 6 months and a shirt at 12 but i didn´t do it because I´m supposedly I´m just too practical for that. I’m not going to waste a shirt! Maybe I´ll burn a shirt right before heading home and then tell my kids that I burned it when I completed one year just for a good story, ha.
We focused a lot this week on the people that have baptismal dates. If all goes well, we will have 3 this coming Sunday. Clara Torres, Alexandra Valle, and Hunberto Anastacio, who I mentioned last Monday. Your prayers would be appreciated because even though they have progressed a lot and all have a sincere desire to get baptized.  Time is going by quite fast here in Ramon Castilla. It is weird to think that I got here way back in April. It does not seem like very long ago at all but here we are almost in September already. This coming Sunday is stake conference.

Me and my companion are getting along great and are trying to get better. Being in the mission for a year, I have developed a fear of the world. The temptations and challenges that we face are just too difficult. It is the most interesting thing to see someone 15-20 years older than us open up and tell us about all the things they have gone through and I can’t help but think what we would be or where we would be without the gospel? Fewf.



I hope all is well. Dont forget to pray. Thanks    Elder Farmer


July 16 - July 30, 2012


July 16 

One of the oddest experiences happened this week. On Saturday morning, we left to knock on doors and find new people to teach. We knocked the fifth door and a young girl, 15, with brown hair and dark skin opened the door. My companion started the conversation ¨hey we´re missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ, and we´d like to share a message with you if you have some time¨. She responded (in Spanish), ¨sorry I don’t speak Spanish very well because I’m from the United States¨. In that moment I thought she was being very sarcastic and that she was kidding. I thought she was just saying that because I was obviously gringo so I said (In Spanish), ¨oh well... maybe there is someone else in the house that could talk with us.¨ She called her brother and he come to the door and said ¨lo siento, no entendo muy bien. somos de estados unidos.¨ And it was in the moment that I realized she wasn’t kidding and they were in fact from the US. We then proceeded to have a 10 minute conversation. They were from California (brown hair and tan skin. They look like they could be from Peru) and come down every 2 years to visit their dad. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done to try and preach the gospel in English. I couldn’t think or say anything.  I felt ridiculous. I know Justin can relate after having a similar experience in Mexico. On Sunday I was able to tell the ward about the experience in my talk and got some big laughs.  I never thought I’d find to young Americans in the middle of Piura knocking doors.
Our numbers are getting better every week and we are improving as a companionship. Always being in the lead really gives you the opportunity to learn a lot about the work and about yourself. Yesterday in church we had 2 people come for the first 2 hours of church, then at the last moment just before the sacrament meeting 9 others showed up. I´ve never had 11 people in one sacrament meeting! It was a great thing to see and a big number. 
Finally, two random things. I can now whistle very loud. It’s pretty helpful when trying to flag down a moto-taxi. Also, Elder Pereyra taught me how to solve a Rubix cube. It’s pretty mind boggling.
Hope all is well,    Love, Ryan
 July 23
¨Loco mata 12 en colorado¨ (madman kills 12 in Colorado) 
On Saturday night we went and visited Wilder and Aracely and when we sat down Wilder said, ¨Wow Elder Farmer, you people from Colorado are crazy, huh?¨ It must have noticed that I was a little confused because he then said, ¨What you haven’t heard? Some crazy killed 12 people in a movie theater¨. They brought me the newspaper and showed me the article describing what happened in Denver, Colorado. I can’t tell you all how weird that was to see my hometown in the newspaper here in Peru. I’ve talked with a bunch of different people about the incident and everyone is pretty concerned at heartbroken at the world we live in.
It really is difficult to see how much some of the people out here struggle to provide for their families and put bread on the table because they live in such poverty and by bread I really do mean just bread.  I got a letter from the Culquicondor Family last week (I baptized Luis and Kiara and then their brother got baptized when I left Lopez albujar). The parents got married last Saturday and the baptism for them is going on as I write this letter.   I sure do miss all of you but the mission can be really fun.
Hope all is well!    Elder Farmer


July 30
Eramos cinco vestido en ropa blanca‏

(We were five dressed in white clothing)

What a great week. On Friday we were able to have the baptism of three young men: Fernando, his brother Brandon, and Boris. Fernando and Brandon are two kids that are very excited to be in the gospel and have found the true church. The other guy that baptized, Boris, has been coming to church for the last 3 months but we never baptized him because he really doesn’t live here.  He lives in an area without missionaries near the mountains and has a lot of friends in our ward so President Rowley gave us permission to baptize him. It was an exciting experience to have 5 of us dressed in white and I know it helped Elder Pereyra a lot as well. It was his first baptism of the mish.


I completed 11 months last Tuesday, on Friday we had the baptism and then I picked up my new suit (it turned out great. I just need some more formal shoes but it still looks nice), then today we played soccer with the young men and I sported the green wig that mom and dad sent me for Saint Patrick’s day.

Hope life is swell for ya´ll. The mission is great and I I’m happy to be here!
Elder Farmer


Fun Pictures

Mothers Day - May 2012  
Elder Farmer Skypes with Family in Colorado


New Mission President Chad Rowley

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 2 and July 9

July 2
 Elder Pereyra, President & Sister Chipman, Elder Farmer

Training is awesome so far.  Really.  The mission is so enjoyable when you have a companion that really wants to work and you can make the calls. My companion is Elder Pereyra from Huankayo, Peru. He’s 20 years old and super short. At the transfers meeting, President took advantage and invited practically the whole mission to make it his farewell. He and his wife shared a lot testimonies and gave some good advice and then said bye, one by one. President Chipman flew home on Saturday at 9 in the morning and the new President took control. We still haven’t heard anything from him but we’re pretty sure he’s in the mission home getting to work. 

Its fun being a trainer and its really forcing me to dedicate myself more to the work. I now have more desire than ever to teach and have good numbers. We are waking up on time, having our companionship studies, leaving at the right time in the afternoon, and really concentrating on teaching with the spirit. We also baptized Edu yesterday!  (The 18 year old that we found a month and a half ago that really has great desires to change his life.)  And, many other investigators are making great strides. I have so much desire to help these people become members of the church and have a really a great relationship with all of them. Aracely and Wilder should finally be getting married on the 14th because the relief society did a fundraiser and we finally have money. Clara Torres is another that is progressing great and has such a big heart. Really, family, the mission is the greatest when you can just focus on the people and ¨lose yourself¨. 

President Chipman and Sister Chipman are going to have a meeting for all the family members of missionaries here in Piura and RM´s that they got to know here.  It’s going to be in Utah in a church building in Salt Lake City on July 15th. I don’t have the address right now but I’ll send it soon. Brandon and Jaclyn and maybe even Scott should definitely try and go! I told President Chipman that he will recognize my brother right away because he looks just like me, only taller. Hope all is well family. Enjoy the heat!

July 9 (Trip to Catecaus)


Things have been going well here training. Me and Elder Pereyra get along really well and he is very enthusiastic and willing to learn. I’m learning a lot personally too and we are doing a lot of great things. This week we found a family of 3 very prepared to accept the gospel. Alejandra, 34, and her two sons Fernando, 15, and Brando, 12. They have been struggling as a family to stay unified and we were able to enter their lives at just the right moment. The only difficulty is that they are looking for another house because the renter asked them to move and we are hoping they find one inside our area. Pray on their behalf, please! We are also finalizing the last details of the wedding of Wilder and Aracely. The relief society did a fundraiser a week and a half ago but still don’t have any of the money that people owe them. But, once we get it, we’ll be able to marry them in no time. They are also a couple very willing to change their lives and I have grown to love them quite a bit. We have other young kids that are also progressing and just about to be baptized. Every change I’ve had here has started out with HUGE potential. I’m hoping that this one can actually end well with all of the baptisms that we have possible.
On Thursday we met the new president and his wife.  President Rowley still remembers quite a bit of Spanish from when he served in Argentina, but Sister Rowley has forgotten the majority after serving in Columbia many moons ago. They are a couple from Nephi, Utah.

Elder Farmer shopping in Catecaus
Today we went to Catecaus and I went a little crazy buying stuff for the parents. One thing that I bought was an original painting by a very cool guy that has a gallery there. I’ve entered 3 or 4 times before but never left when anything. I would just go and talk to the guy and observe his amazing art. But this time I walked away with one. I’m including a picture and the one that he is holding is the one I bought. There was another one that I wanted but decided to go for one a little more basic (the one of the Peruvian Indian).  I also got measured up to get a suit made. A brother from another ward makes suits at a great price and I figured I’d take advantage of it and get myself a fitted suit.
But, life is good out here family. Love you all!
Elder Farmer

Pictures...

Peruvian Tan...
The view...
"We'll bring the world His truth!"


June 2012

June 4, 2012  The mission is truly enjoyable when you are working hard and can visibly see the blessings of the Lord through baptisms. For that very reason, this last week was a bit tough. ha. We started off very strong on Tuesday, but little by little we taught less and less people each day. This is one part of the mission where I feel like we´ve got to reevaluate our strategy and mindset and get going big this week. We need to find new people to teach! On Thursday Elder Salmon went to Lima to get his eye checked out. If you reference to the emails from february, you´ll remember that when I was with Elder Salmon in Lopez we went to the doctor three times to get his eye checked. Anywho, its still red and inflamed so he went to Lima for 24 hours to get it looked at by a specialist. So, i spent the day with the pensionistas son, Franco, who just got back from his mission 2 weeks ago.
It looks as though once again, the wedding of Wilder and Aracely is going to fall through. The wedding is going to cost 180 soles/about 75 dollars and they still have not been able to save up the money along with all the necessary forms. They are supposed to get married on staruday and get baptized on Sunday but we`ll see. There is still a lot of hope for this month, but every person progresses so slowly and requires so much attention. It´s like a big puzzle trying to find them all, teach them all, and help all of them understand the truthfulness of our message.

June 11, 2012  …Anywho,   Esta semana fue muy dura. Estamos luchando cada dia a encontrar nuevas personas para enseñar. Tipicamente la gente aca en Piura nos recibe al toque, pero recien, no hemos tenido ningun exito tocando puertas. El barrio tampoco esta apoyandonos con referencias o actividades, pero vamos a esforsarnos mas en estas ultimas semenas para ensegurar que se envelocran en la obra. Tenemos un nuevo lider misional y muchos planes para mejorar el barrio. La iglesia aca en Sudamerica es muy diferente en cuanto a como se funciona. Extraño la iglesia en los estados pero tal vez solo me siento asi porque veo las casas diferente ahora que soy misionero. Este cambio solo tiene 5 semanas en vez de 6 porque el nuevo presidente esta por llegar y no quiren que el tenga que hacer los cambios. Entonces, el proximos cambio va a tener 7 semanas y el nuevo presidente llegarà en la segunda semana. Muy cortito el cambio y todavio no hemos tenido un bautismo, pero esperamos que una joven se bautize el domingo. Ojala.
Bueno, gracias hablantes españoles por traducir esto a sus esposas. Ahora, algien por favor ayuda a los padres para que entiendan tambien. Me falta aprender y perfeccionar mucho del español pero, por ahi estamos.  Cuidense.   Les quiero mucho. Que tengan una buena semana.

English Translation by Justin:
June 11, 2012. . .Anyway,  this week was very difficult.  We are struggling every day to find new people to teach.  Typically the people here is Piura will receive us when we knock, but lately we haven't had any luck knocking doors.  The ward isn't supporting us with references or activities either, but we are going to make an effort in these final weeks to make sure that we "something" in the work.  We have a new mission leader and many plans to better the ward.  The church here in South America is very different when it comes to how it functions.  I miss the church in the states but maybe I feel this way because I see things differently now that I am a missionary.  This transfer will only have 5 weeks in it instead of 6 because the new mission president is going to arrive and they don't want him to have to handle the transfers.  Thus, the next transfer will have 7 weeks in it and the new mission president will arrive during the second week.  It is a very short transfer and we still haven't had a baptism but we are hoping that a youth gets baptized this Sunday.  Hopefully.  Well, thanks Spanish speakers for translating this for your wives.  Now, something please help our parents to understand this too.  I still have a lot to learn and a lot of perfecting to do with my Spanish, but there we are. Take care of yourselves.
June 11, 2012  Mom and Dad,    It sounds like it was a wonderful week with the family. I was thinking about you all every day and imagining what activities you must have been doing in that moment. You should have brought the slip and slide here because even though we are now in winter, there is plenty of heat during the day. Thanks for including me in your toast dad.  That was very special to hear about. The whole day sounds like it went quite well with all the visits from old friends, family, and a beautiful luncheon.   I miss you all tons and being able to relax at Scotts or go and see the animals at the Savages, but I wouldn´t want to be anywhere else but here at this point in my life.  Every day is a challenge but also a learning experience for when I’m a husband or father.  I feel the love of my heavenly father more than ever as a missionary and I see the people in a completely different light now that every second is devoted to sharing this gospel.  How amazing is it that the apostasy is over and that God has given us his power and authority again in the earth do perform is work. The restoration is real and I testify of that. It was a tough week and we are struggling to find new people, but we have plans to get the ward more involved in the work and have a select few investigators that have a lot of potential.
 June 19, 2012
This week was an improvement. We had a baptism! It was the fourth time that I personally have gotten the old chest wet in the sin filled waters of another person. Diana, the daughter of Wilder and Aracely, got baptized yesterday on Sunday.  We’ve now been teaching them for about 12 weeks and even still, their understanding of the restoration and the gospel is very minimal, but the Lord has a way of preparing the people if they are willing to exercise the faith. The ward is planning an activity to try and help Aracely and Wilder raise money to get married on the June 29th.  There are many others that have almost received a testimony, but they don’t keep their commitments.  
We now only have one week left of the transfer.  I’m praying that I can stay in this area. I don’t want to leave behind so many people that are just about to progress or be baptized. And I want to see the ward progress as well.
On Friday we had a huge activity that the President and his wife planned with three stakes. Piura, Miraflores, and Castilla. It was a music themed activity and every zone presented a song. There were other performances and testimonies and we ended the night by singing a song called Faith in every step, with about 100 missionaries from 5 different zones. It was great because after the activity, all the families that I got to know in Lopez Albujar were there and I got to talk to them for a bit. In January we baptized Diego and Yieko, two brothers who have parents that are inactive. On Friday, the whole family was there and told us that the two younger kids, ages 9 and 8, are going to get baptized on Saturday. Lopez Albujar is baptizing quite a bit and many of them are family members of the people that I baptized with Elder Iribar.  It was an enjoyable week but the ward still needs a lot of work.
 June 25, 2012   Re:  I’m Pregnant
I´m going to be a dad! haha. At 10 months out.  I got a call yesterday from our zone leader saying, ¨I have good news, you`re going to train¨. So last night I went to the mission office to get trained to be a trainer by the assistants and the president. There are 6 new missionaries arriving from the CCM tonight, and tomorrow in the main transfer meeting, they`ll announce the companionships.   So I will be in Ramon Castilla until October because training is an automatic 2 transfers and due to the new president coming in, I´ll have 13 weeks of training instead of the typical 12.   It´s going to be a very interesting first week. I just need to remember in every second how I felt when I was new.
We should be having a baptism next sunday if all goes well. On Friday, a foundation out of Utah called Cause for Improvement ((or something like that) came through Piura. They have been in Peru for the last week and will be making their way down the map for the next month giving out free glasses. The Lions Club, which is also a group out of Utah, has various members throughout the world and they were responsible for giving certain people tickets to this charity event.  I went with 5 other elders to translate. They have 40 suitcases filled with donated glasses and a specific process of filing through the people and giving them glasses that fit their eyes. I was put at the last station where we raise awareness and check for something called Carnosidad. Look it up.  Its pretty much just a sun disease that causes nasty spots to form in your eyes and then you go practically blind. It’s a problem here because we are so close to the equator and people don’t wear sunglasses. It was a fun experience being able to talk to Americans again but i realized how extremely awkward it is to have a conversation in English. We were there from 8 in the morning until 3 helping out. About 10 of the 15 were members.  This week the relief society is putting on a fundraiser to raise money for Wilder and Aracely so that they can get married. Then later on they`ll get baptized - Aracely for sure, and wilder if he can stop going to the bottle.  It’ll be fun having two more changes here in Ramon Castilla being able to train.