Thursday, January 31, 2013

Janaury 21 - 28

Hope all is well. I feel particularly blessed today to be in the mission. I wouldnt want to be in any other place in the world. Yesterday we had the baptism of Flavio. It was a very awesome experience to get to know him and teach him. Right after the baptism he asked us, ¨Do you have an envelope so I can pay my tithing?¨ What faith! It really was a miracle that we could find him and help him to know the message of the restored gospel. We stopped teaching him for about a month because we couldnt find him and he appeared uninterested, but we went back and found him ready. Me da miedo solo imaginar que hubiera pasado si le habriamos dejado por siempre. Perhaps he didnt get baptized with a perfect understanding of the restoration and Joseph Smith... but that´s not what the Lord requires. All he expects is a broken heart and contrite spirit. And flavio always had that. He acted upon his feelings and has shown a great love for the Savior. I had the privelage of baptizing him. ¨How was the water, Flavio?¨ ¨Awesome.¨ Haha
This is the last week before transfers. This transfer flew by  fast and I’m definitely a little nervous for the coming transfer. I’m super comfortable with where I am at.  Paita is awesome. It’s very hot just like any other place in Piura. but it’s so close to the ocean that we get the nice ocean breeze. Also, the people are amazing... members, pensionista, etc. But it is always nice to have new doors to knock and people to get to know. It will be interesting to see what God has in store for me in these last 5 transfers. WOW! Just 5 more! But yeah.  I’m loving the mission as much as I can and my time here in South America.

Wow, I cant beleive it. I am staying in my area for yet another transfer! I never would have thought that i´d stay in one area for 6 months yet again.

January 7-14 2013

The week went by fast. There are 2 weeks left in the transfer and it is likely that I get moved out. I love the branch and the people. The city is really cool, too. But the area is quite tough and the work can feel quite slow at times looking for new people to teach.  Knocking doors doesn’t show many results here but we do a lot of it anyways because there isn’t much else to do. Flavio should be getting baptized this coming Sunday.  He has a good heart and recognizes the truth.  His wife would also be progressing, but she doesn’t know how to read and doesn’t converse too much.
Knocking Doors... 

Today we went to another city as a zone. Wew ent to a place called Colán whch is a bought 25 minutes away on the coast. It is tourist paradise for the beach, but also has the oldest church on the South American coast that was built in the 11th century.  We went to the beach, ate in a little restaurant, and then tossed around a football for the first time since i was in the ccm.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Years In Peru

Baptism of Jean Pierre
Flavio is progressing great and attended church for the second time. He is loving it more every minute and feels very content. Jean Pierre got baptized yesterday and his mom went to his baptism! I know that one day their parents with also be members. We started teaching her this week little by little, but their dad goes on long long fishing trips for 3 months at a time and should be coming back in 2 weeks. It is a very special family. We also found 2 other families that are very good people. I really am enjoying the mission. I look forward to 8 months of hard hard work.

Elder Farmer Skypes with Family

Elder Farmer was able to skype from Paita (Piura) Peru on Christmas Day with all of his family who were all together for the holidays in Colorado.  It was wonderful.
Chats included Mom & Dad, his brother Justin and his wife Alicia and who have Ryan's only nephew Nolan), his brother Brandon (along with his wife Marianna), and his sister Jaclyn (and her husband Mark).  He continues to do Amazing things and has so much to do still in his last months there.  Enjoy.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas In Peru

December 25, 2012      T Minus 2 Hours
Hey family,
We will be chatting it up here in to hours but I figured I would send a quick email anyways just to give you all an idea of how the week went. My new companion is Elder Zavala. He arrived on Tuesday morning here in Paita. He is from Guayaqeil Ecuador, just right up north. He was pretty serious the first 2 hours but we then broke the ice and were getting along great. He just completed 5 months out in the mission and is about to complete 2 years of being a member. He’s got a pretty distinct character because he speaks Spanish but has all the characteristics of an American black guy. I’d compare him to a Spanish version of Will Smith.

On Friday the branch had the Christmas activity that the young single adults organized. It included a few dances by the primary and a few other presentations. Then yesterday we went into Piura for the Christmas conference with President Rowley and his wife. There were 4 zones there. We had a morning devotional, then watched a movie called Silent Night, then ate chicken and French fries, then played bingo. Last night we went and slept in the zone leaders room and stayed up late playing YENIF (I taught them how, and I won) with 2 other companionships that went.

December 31
Christmas went well but we didn’t do anything too special. Christmas Eve receives all the hype here but on Christmas, everyone has a normal dinner and gets back to life. On Wednesday we got right back to work.
New prayer roll.... we found an older man named Flavio way back in November and recently as taken a lot of steps of progress and has a baptismal date for January 18th.  Jean Pierr should be getting baptized on Sunday. Other than that, please pray that we can find people that are prepared.
On Friday I went to Piura for a training meeting in the mission home for district leaders. We talked about goals for next year, responsibilities, ways to improve, and... received cell phones! Ha. Now every DL has a cell phone. We felt like little kids. Even though the phones are super basic, they seem brand new and high tech, ha. But, they have to stay on in the room at all times and are just for calling the ZL´s and reporting, etc. It was fun though going back to the mission home once again.
I feel like I have very little time left in the mission. I know that these next 8 months are going to go by flying and want to make it all worthwhile. I am enjoying the mission and trying to get better while I still can. I can’t believe 2013 has already arrived! Thanks for your love, support, and examples of what is TRUE happiness.

December 2012

December 3, 2012
 The week went really well. Our numbers got better and a few exciting things happened. On Tuesday, an investigator named Teresa told us she was finally feeling ready to be baptized. The ward still wants to help out and we have the training meeting planned for this coming Sunday. It should be a great opportunity to get members motivated and I’m sure we´ll see the fruits in the future. 
Today we went to a city called Pueblo Nuevo as a zone. It’s about 30 minutes away in between the desert and farmlands. We went and hiked up to a cool look out spot with three crosses, then played kickball and soccer on a large grassy field. It was the first time I stepped foot on grass in 14 months and it felt great. I’m excited to get back to BYU-Idaho and play soccer again. 

Anywho, all is well. We are going to keep working hard and work even harder. I miss everyone back home but am very content here in Paita. I´ll be well taken care of on Christmas.  Que el espiritu de navidad esté con ustedes! (May the spirit of Christmas be with you!)

December 10

Vanessa and Jean Pierre are progressing very well.  Keep praying for them! Last night my district held an orientation meeting for all the members from the two branches. We were planning it for two weeks and were excited to be able to motive the members to participate in missionary work and share the gospel. There were about 30 people there and I led the meeting that lasted an hour and a half. It was a big success and we hope to see the fruits of our efforts in coming weeks and in the coming year especially.  I feel busy and useful as District Leader but the big challenge is always managing my time between visiting members, visiting investigators, and also looking for new people to teach. We are now in the last week of the transfer! I can’t believe how fast these last 5 weeks have gone by. Now just 2 weeks until Christmas!

December 17    Navidad! Casi
(Christmas! Almost)

Wow, what an amazing package! I tip my hat off to you two for being such awesome parents. You have made several other missionaries very jealous that their parents only sent a few sweets and didn’t include any pictures, socks, etc. You have really outdone yourselves with this one. We went to the zone leader´s room on Saturday to pick up another jug of drinking water and there was my package! A missionary here in the zone had gone to Lima for his identification stuff and was able to bring up a bunch of letters and packages from Piura when he returned. So I opened the package right there with the ZL´s and another companionship that was there. Everyone was so interested in seeing how much stuff was put into a little box. I’m sending a picture of the 6 of us where everyone has an item from the package. So thanks. The pictures were very thoughtful. The basketball game (classic), puzzle that reminded me of Christmas at home, and socks, and chocolate, and stockings, and silly putty (huge classic!), and lots of other awesome stuff. 

Today I put on some knee high Santa socks and played some fulbito with the zone.  They announced the transfers and it turns out that my companion Elder Peralta is moving on. Half of the district is going to new areas - the 4 that have most time here in Paita. Tomorrow at noon my new companion will be arriving along with the others.  After playing soccer we went to lunch and ate some delicious ¨rice with seafood¨. Snails, squid, and shrimp. Mmmmm (see picture). But really, it´s not bad.
It was a good week. Vanesa will be getting baptized on Sunday if all goes according to plan.Everyone here is quite worried about the 21st. The news stations here LOVE to panic everyone and show all sorts of video clips of the end of the world and ¨science¨ evidence. 
But, the mission is great. In one day you can have 5 lows but one almost high that makes it all worth it. It´s tough to think about how many people don´t know and don’t want to know about what we know, you know? Yeah.... But I hope you all have a great week and enjoy your time together.  It’s looking like we´ll be able to skype, now it is just matter of getting a camera, which also is looking possible.    Elder Rychacho

December 25, 2012      T Minus 2 Hours Until Elder Farmer gets to Skype with his Family in Colorado.....

     (Watching Town Christmas Eve Celebrations
      from Rooftop)

November 2012

November 5
We’re teaching great people but they were found about 3 months ago and progress very slowly. It’s likely that they will get baptized SOMETIME in the future. Only 4 missionaries out of 20 were transferred out of the zone so Elder Peralta and I will have 6 more weeks together.
The only highlight of the week is that on Wednesday we had another painting job. This time is was our pensionista´s house. It was our last day in that pension as well. We started eating in the neighbor’s house (her sister in law) on Thursday. We got to know the family really well in just 5 short weeks. It was nothing but laughter there and they treated us very well. One night they even took us out for Chinese food. They have a little son named Matias who is 3 years old. Enjoy the picture of him sporting the cool green wig that mom and dad sent me.

November 12
This week went well. We actually started having a bit more of success in finding new people to teach. Two that we began teaching were Edgar´s brother and sister. They are just like Edgar... very sincere and interested. We’ll see how they can progress.
Today is Elder Peralta´s 21st birthday. At the zone activity we smashed eggs on his head and gave him and nice flour shower.

Nothing more to report. The work keeps going and I keep learning. We hope to have the baptism of Ronald Venegas this transfer. He has been receiving lessons since June and has made big changes in his life. He has a baptismal date for December 2 but is still struggling a bit with the word of wisdom. Please pray for him in particular. Also Vanessa and Jean Pierre.

November 19, 2012

Hola Familia
Tengo ganas de escribir en español pero haré lo justo y escribir para que todos puedan entender.
(I have wanted to write in Spanish but will do the right thing and write so that everyone can understand)

It was an interesting week. We taught Jean Pierre and his sister again and put them on a baptismal date for December 16. Today we had a fun zone activity and are getting a lot closer. I´ve learned some sweet games to teach back in the states when I return.
Thanks for sending me emails family. Have a great thanksgiving. I am thankful for all of you and all the support you have given me thus far. Every Monday I get a little stronger. Sometimes a little trunkier too but it’s alright. Also, I have really come to appreciate the gospel that we know and live. What an incredible blessing to know that God reopened the heavens and called prophets once again and that WE are part of that work. Sound cheesy? I know. But it’s true.
Love you all
Elder Farmer

November 26, 2012

This was a great week. We are seeing some great things and have high hopes for the future. The branch is super alive and willing to help out. They have woken up and we have set a lot of goals to go on visits with the different organizations and presidencies. As a district we are working hard at getting the members interested and active in missionary work. We are going to hold a training meeting for both branches on December 9th where we`ll talk about ways to invite friends, family, and neighbors to come to church and ways to participate in missionary work. We need to get people more excited about sharing the gospel. We have seen a lot of progress in Vanessa and all is going according to plan. There are a few other people that could possibly be baptized in this transfer or coming transfers. But, the important thing is that we are working hard to strengthen the branch in any way we can. We´ve brought back a few less active families to church and are getting the young men excited about the missions.