March 26, 2012
Hey fam! On Friday we had a special mission night for the branch. We rented a turf field and played soccer under the lights on friday night and invited all the men in the ward and their friends. It was a lot of fun and a big success to get the branch more unified and get references - not to mention I had two goals and two assists. Gringo power! We also started teaching Carlos´ sister who is very interested. She is 15 and already attended church this Sunday. It’s like a Luis and Kiara all over again. There are also other youth that we have begun teaching that could very easily be baptized in the month of April sometime. It’s quite exciting to see what could be coming up. Edwyn got sent to ¨the Island¨ for work (an island between Piura and Chiclayo popular for fishing) and will get back on April 2. We put his baptismal date for the 7th. Hopefully he will come back ready to go and with the desire to get baptized.
At church on Sunday attendance went up to a whopping 70 people. It was exciting to see so many people actually come and it was a great testimony meeting. I really miss those BYU Idaho sacrament meetings though where you can hear a pin drop. Here it’s louder than Bandimere Speedway with all the little kids jumping around and the sound echoes off the concrete walls so pleasantly. Ha. I’m excited for conference weekend coming up. We’ll be traveling down to the stake center in Piura both days. It will be interesting watching it in Spanish.
April 2, 2012
On Saturday we had another baptism! Carlos` sister, Asusena, progressed quickly and was very willing, so we taught her the lessons and put her on date for Saturday. That means that I have been able to keep a very special tradition alive – I’ve always baptized at least two members in the same family. Tiffany and her Dad, Diego and Yeiko (brothers), Luis, Kiara and Eva (brother and sister and grandma), and now Carlos and Asusena. It is quite the blessing to see these family members experience the gospel together and be there to support one another. We also have great potential for this week. Edywn got back from his trip yesterday and we will be visiting him tomorrow to see if he is ready. There is a friend of Carlos and Asusena named Milton that has a baptismal date for Saturday. And then looking into all of April there are more. But it will all depend in our efforts and obedience (and the Lord).
In other news, Sechura went crazy last week. On Sunday night, the 25th, they announced that there would be a strike. The economy of Sechura depends entirely on fishing, for the most part. It is a town built close to the ocean for that very purpose. Recently, a big oil company has come in and set up to drill for natural gas. This, however, would kill most of the fish near Sechura, and thus, put many fisherman out of their jobs. So the fishermen are ticked off and decided they were going to protest. On Monday it was a peaceful protest where they all just formed next to the bridge and yelled as the buses went by to Piura. But on Tuesday, it got really violent. Their intention was to stop all activity in the city. I don’t really know what their intention was. But they set fires in the streets and threw bricks, trees, and whatever other type of material they could in the streets to try and block transports. They blocked the bridge that leads to Piura preventing the buses and hundreds of people from traveling to jobs or schools, attacked the police station and set it on fire, burned taxis and raided a gas station. In total there were 3 deaths . It was quite dangerous and we didn’t go out much that day. This also means we were unable to go to Piura for the zone meeting where I would have been able to get the package that Mom and dad sent.
Conference was good but I didn’t get to pay as much attention to it as would have liked. It is weird watching it in Spanish. The voices are so monotone and dry compared to the actual voices. We watched one session in english with the presidents computer from Saturday but that was all. From what I saw, it sounds like the theme was Faith and Family. We should all be happy living the gospel principles, and what a testament our family is to that. I’ll ust have to wait for next months Liahona.
April 9, 2012
Big news from here in Peru. Edwyn got back this week from his mini work trip and my prayers were answered. He returned with a desire to still get baptized. On Saturday, we went about 30 minutes north to the nearest chapel in ¨La Union¨ with about 5 other members and the branch president for the baptism. Edwyn bore a great testimony at his baptism of how he found a happiness in reading the book of Mormon and praying that told him all was true.
We recieved the changes today and... I’m leaving Sechura. It came as a big surprise since I’ve only had 6 weeks here and was really looking forward to staying here longer. It is a tough area, but the Lord is pouring out rich blessings here and I have been able to see the branch get strengthened a lot. I had big plans to work with the 6 young men that should be leaving for missions in the next year or two, and plans to work hard with a new companion, but God has another vision for me. President says that I have finished my time in Sechura and now have other things to learn. It is interesting to think whether or not I was able to complete my purpose here that God had for me. So tomorrow we’ll be going to Piura early in the morning with all my bags to figure out where I’m headed.
As far as everything else goes, things are going well. The strike only lasted a day, so things have been calmed down for a while. But one interesting thing is that on Friday night we heard a loud knock at the front door to the house we are living in. It was 2:45 in the morning and the branch president, his wife, and a counselor were outside. Apparently somebody called Elder Young’s Dad in Lima and said that they had taken Elder Young and that his companion had ran away (me). They asked for money to get him back, knowing that his Dad has a lot of money and also being a seventy might have had something to do with it. He contacted the police, and then Salt Lake City, who then called President Chipman, who then contacted the branch president who then came quickly to our room to check. Needless tosay, it was a lie and we were okay, but it was a scary thought to think someone had made that attempt.