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.
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
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.
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.