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.