Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014 Week of Traveling

Week  12

     Well, this marks the end of my first rambio (transfer) in the Trujillo Mission. The time in the field definitely passes by a lot faster than it did during my time in the CCM (MTC). This week has involved a lot of traveling which I will describe shortly even as I write this now (Saturday). I am on a bus heading back South from Trujillo. I will admit that it is a little difficult to write on a bouncy bus, but seemed like a good time to write.  Before I get into my travels, I will discuss the progress I have had this week with investigators and less actives. The Z______family will all be attending this Sunday for the 1st time in a while and they plan on continuing their attendance. Our prayers and hard work have paid off.  Also, two other less active single mom families we’ve been working with are also progressing. It has been awesome to see their testimonies grow.  I expect them to be at church this week and continue to return to full activity. Working with less actives is something I find to be rewarding and something that I really enjoy.

     I______, our 13 year old investigator, has continued to progress and has started reading the Book of Mormon. I am sure he will have some challenges, but I think he might just be baptized.  I also started teaching a family this week, S___ and L____, who we’ve been trying to teach for quite some time.  They are very receptive and we will be taking them to church this Sunday.  We also have a couple others we are working with, but we didn’t meet with them much this week as all of our travels left us very little time to work in San Jacinto.

     My travels commenced with our weekly District meeting in Casma. This typically takes up our morning and we usually return by 2:00 PM in San Jacinto.  This week was no different and I always enjoy speaking English with all of the other Americans in my Zone.  It was later that day our District Leader informed us that we were to leave after dinner the next day and head to Trujillo for meeting with all the new missionaries and their trainers. This wasn’t very much notice, but the next day we headed to Chimbote for the night and headed for Trjuillo at 5:00 a.m. the following morning.  The meeting was a lot of fun as I got to hear some remarks from President Marler and I got to see all of my friends from the CCM (MTC). It was awesome to see everyone again and swap stories.  I really had a lot of fun. President Marler’s remarks were also good, and I enjoyed a comment that the missionary purpose to invite others to come unto Christ should be in their hearts rather than just our minds.  I then returned to San Jacinto after a four hour trip.

     On Friday night we headed to Chimbolte again and spent the night. At 5:00 a.m. the next morning we headed to Trujillo along with all the other missionaries.  All 250+ missionaries met in a church in Trujillo and we all got to shake the hand and listen to Elder Neil L. Anderson.  It was a special experience and we heard a lot of things as he spoke to us in his Spanish which had a very strong French influence.  I liked how he said the focus of missionary work isn’t baptizing people, but rather to bring people to the temple.  He also spoke about the importance of the Spirit and I felt the Spirit strongly that he truly is an Apostle.  And now I am writing this as I travel down South.  I probably won’t go back to Trujillo anytime soon, but this week has been fun. I wish you all the best!

Elder Pulsipher
Here below is the page of his mission president's wife blog which has all the pictures and picture descriptions from the visit from Neil L. Anderson to his mission this week. Elder Pulsipher's face is blocked by the person in front of him.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Visit From Elder Neil L. Andersen

We had an exceptional Mission Conference on Saturday morning, we had the pleasure of hearing from 
Elder Neil L. Andersen and Sister Andersen

Elder Ulisses Soarez and Sister Soarez

Elder W. Christopher Waddell and Sister Waddell
We were fed, counseled, edified, challenged, and loved.

After our conference, President and I visited the Trujillo Temple Site with everyone. 
The Temple is beautiful and will be such a wonderful blessing to the people of Trujillo.
As all of our missionaries were together we took this picture…

What a marvelous, exiting day for each of our missionaries!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 18, 2014 Week 11 in San Jacinto

     Another week by as it is now mid-August, which means school will be starting soon for a lot of people back home. Everyone here started last Monday and it turns out that school ends at 6:00 PM.  Definitely different than the states.  They also start learning English from much earlier ages in their equivalent of elementary school. Which works well for me as most kids/teenagers we teach like to be helped with their English homework.  Oh, I forgot to mention that kids start school here when they are only 4 -just an interesting note.  Also, this week the month long routine cleanup of the factory ended and it is back to making sugar. Which means there is a lot more noise and smoke coming from it now. It is a little annoying, but I suppose the factory is the reason why San Jacinto exists.  Other than the start of school and the startup of the factory not much else has changed in San Jacinto. Though, the startup of the factory has sparked chemical engineering thoughts in my head again.

     This past Tuesday I took part in another companionship exchange after the weekly District meeting in Casma.  I worked with my District Leader, Elder Buener, in his area of Casma. This meant that I got to enjoy another break from Spanish and enjoy the “gringo apartment” as Elder Bueno lives with the Zone Leaders who are also Americans.  It was nice to speak some English, especially during proselyting as he could quickly explain what the plan was.  As we taught, some small miracles happened as I helped teach, I managed to reinvigorate 2 investigators. I even made one cry.  This helped me to know that even though my Spanish is far from perfect, I can still teach with the Spirit and change lives. Elder Buener said afterward that I, like other new missionaries, rely heavy on the Spirit because of our shortcomings, and as a result have the Spirit strongly with us.  He said that he missed that and was striving to obtain that gift. Also, I got to enjoy a hamburger later that night with was only a shadow of what you get to enjoy in the states, but it was a hamburger none the less. Overall, an exchange with Elder Buener - that I will hold to be quite memorable.

     As for my teaching in San Jacinto, we have seen some progress which has been awesome.  Immanuel, who I mentioned last week, got permission from his parents to listen to us and attend church. He is really awesome and I think he will continue to progress.  We even have set a baptismal goal for September 13. Also, we’ve had some good progress with less active members.  We had some really good lessons with a good number of the people we were focusing on and I think 2 or 3 families should return to full activity as we continue to help.  One family in particular, the Z_____family, we have been working heavily with and they are all awesome but they just need to come to church. However, this past week I had the idea to discuss “a mighty change of heart” as discussed in Alma 5 which seemed to have significant impact.  Especially with the account of Peter we sharedon Saturday about how he was asked thrice if he loved Christ. We talked about how we need to set aside “the fish” in our lives and focus on becoming Disciples of Christ.

     As for my work with the Branch, I have continued to do a lot. Most notably this past week, I helped with the weekly activity again. It was fun as I tried to teach the members how to play Jeopardy.  It was themed on the Book of Mormon which entailed me to come up with categories and questions.  I think by the end they mostly understood the game, though it took a lot of effort on my part to explain.  But in the end Elder Coca said he thought it went over very well. This past Sunday at church we had some less actives attend which was awesome.  It appears that 2 families will be reactivated, including the Z______ family. Our struggle is now to get investigators to attend.



August 11, 2014 Week 10 Branch Activities

     The weeks sure seem to pass by fast, I can hardly believe today is P-day again. I was talking to a missionary on Thursday who is leaving today and he said the time continues to pass by faster and faster until the last 6 months blur by. This week was fun as I continued to progress with my abilities. I am taking more and more of an active role in the work. Despite my Spanish, I feel like I am able to significantly contribute. We took on some new investigators this week who are pretty awesome. Two young men, named Juan and Immanuel, have been enjoying our lessons (and weekly soccer games) and want to become members of the church. However , their parents have been less receptive and don’t want their children to join another church. Perhaps with time things might change. We also started teaching V____who is pretty cool. He is the brother of the father to the P___ family who recently joined the church. He agreed to be baptized if he gains a stronger testimony of the things we teach, but he also needs to get married to his partner. It is very common to raise a family here without married parents. However, I feel like he will progress. We also have been working a lot with less actives. I feel like we are helping them to become active again, but I learned a lot about the importance of fellowshipping. Most of the people go inactive because they don’t have friends in church and therefore don’t enjoy going. So I have been working hard, but always keep a positive attitude.
      I also spent a lot of time working with the Branch. We usually spend a little time each day visiting with members to help strengthen their testimonies and to help them better understand their callings. I love working with the members and I even got a jar of peanut butter from one of the sisters ( I miss American food) which is hard to come by in Peru. As was discussed during my first zone conference on Thursday, the emphasis of missionary work now with the Work of Salvation is to work with the branches and/or wards.
     With regard to working with the branch and strengthening it, I have been trying to improve our weekly activities. This past Friday we had “A Day in Ancient America” which entailed an enactment of the Book of Mormon. We actually got pretty into it with dressing “authentically” and what not. I was Nephi, the Angel that appeared to Alma, Jesus Christ, a nephite who is killed in the final battle, and Joseph Smith. So I did a lot of changing clothes and I spoke a lot of Spanish. The activity was the best attended yet as the majority of the active members were present. The next day my pensionista, Hermma Teo, said that she had understood what I said and that my  Spanish has improved a lot. On Sunday, I gave a talk about the Book of Mormon which went surprisingly well. I was told afterward that everyone understood me and enjoyed my comments, though they did have to listen intently. Also, church attendance went from 41 to 53! So I have something to show for my work.
      Overall, it has been a good week as I have worked with the Branch and my Spanish has improved. Enjoy the photo of me dressed as Nephi. I am told there are a lot of photos of the activity on Facebook. But I am not able to use Facebook. I hope you all enjoy the coming week.
Elder Pulsipher

August 4, 2014 Week 9

COMING SOON! This letter needs to be typed and added to this page!

July 28, 2014 Week 8 Second Week in San Jacinto, Peru

     ¡Happy Dia de Independencia de Perú! Yet another week has passed and I am now at the 2 month mark. Only 22 left.... I kid. In all seriousness though this week was much better than the last as I have become acquainted with the area and I am becoming acquainted with the Branch members as well. Last week (my first week here) was hard as I had to adjust to very different circumstances, but I am growing to love San Jacinto and the work that is to be done here. I am far from being fluent in spanish and I don´t understand everything I hear, I have learned to roll with it. I am very capable of teaching lessons in spanish and golding simple conversation though. The work is hard and we do a lot (I mean a lot) of walking, that is the way it is suppose to be. A though that kept coming into my head this past week was that the reason this work is hard is because it never was easy for Christ. Thus I am not going to wake up to a line of people waiting outside my door waiting to be baptized. Rather I have to work and have difficulties as Christ did. In honesty, I have never felt this close to Christ before as I am doing his work. Another thought that has stuck with me was something that my District Leader said during a meeting in Casma. He said that it is a blessing to teach the gospel in a foreign language because as doing so forces us to completely rely on the guidance of the spirit as we might not understand what an investigator says.

     We have been working hard and have taught a number of less actives and new converts. We also obtained about 3 new investigators who all require some different approaches. One in particular, A_____, was ready from the start. We taught him the day after we contacted him and he received everything well. Though he has some difficulty understanding how to do an unmemorized prayer. Quite a bit more has happened from me giving blessings in spanish to helping cement a house to trying to make a video conference function, but I don´t have time to get into it all. So for now, Buenas Tardes from San Jacinto.

Elder Pulsipher

P.S. Enjoy the photo of my new fury companion and the other photo of what I ate during today´s holiday (Cui, but I will let you look up what Cui is).

July 21, 2014 Week 7: My First Week in San Jacinto, Peru

     I am typing this email from a little computer place in San Jacinto, Peru. San Jacinto is a little town about 3 and a half hours south of Trujillo. The weather is pretty good, I amagine that during the summer it will be very hot here. But for now the wether is nice and sunny. The little town is in large part supported be a sugar refinery located in the middle of it. There are a few cars here but there are a lot of tricycle motorcycle taxi things. Which are a perfect for the mixture of paved roads and rough dirt roads. The holmes vary from humble stick abodes with dirt floors to nicer multistory concrete tiled holmes in the center of the town. I am living in one of the nicer places in an a roughly 500 square foot apartment. It is fully tiled and furnished so I can´t complain, I just wish it didn´t only have cold showers. I have a pensionista that cooks for me some pretty awesome food, she is the Pervian mother I never had. She also is kind enough to wash my clothes.

     My new companion and trainer is Elder Coca, he is from Argentina and speaks a little English (I am helping learn more). So I have been forced to really usse my spanish almost 24/7. It has been hard to say the least, as my vocabulary is fairly limited and I don´t understand a lot of what of some people say. So it has been hard to fully express myself. I really want to completely understand others and speak everything I want, but I guess that will come.

     This past week has been very emotionally taxing and edifing. Being thrust into this completely different lifestyle with only spanish has been hard, and I actually felt homesick for the first time. But I prayed for the comfort of the spirit and as I did I was immediately comforted and was able to get through the week with a smile on my face. I am loving the people here.  The members of the local Branch are awesome and patient with my broken spanish. The people here are generally friendly and very willing to talk about religion. As we contact, everyone listens and most give us their address so we can visit them later. Something not possible in the U.S. I remember contacting while I lived in Yakima and never getting anyone to even listen.

     Despite my spanish, I have able to help teach a lot in a meaningful way. There is one family in particular, the Pajuelo family, who I love teaching. They are easier for me to understand and are very friendly and teachable. They are recent converts and are truely awesome.

Well that is it. I will email every Monday from now on. I wish you all the best.

Elder Pulsipher
San Jacinto, Peru

The airplane Elder Pulsipher flew on from Lima to Trujillo, Peru


July 14, 2014 Elder Pulsipher leaves MTC and arrives in Trujillo, Peru on July

Here is the mission president's photos and descriptions of the day that Elder Pulsipher left the Peru MTC in Lima, Peru and arrived in Trujillo, Peru
We have had a wonderful experience welcoming our new missionaries to the Trujillo Mission
We have 14 new Elders and 4 new Sisters
13 from the United States
2 from Argentina
1 from Chile
1 from Australia
1 from Germany
2 Elder Prices 
2 Elder Pulsiphers
 Sister Gutierrez was the first one out of the airport
and here they all come!!!
Elder Cowley shouts, "we finally made it to Trujillo!"
 Elder Terry, Elder Weber, Elder Boren, Elder Jackson, Elder Ashcroft and Elder Price
The bus to take 18 missionaries, the assistants, Elder Cuno and President and Sister Marler cancelled at the last minute.  So Elder Leavitt, whom we refer to as Super Secretary after this, found us a cute little van, Sister Marler's car and a taxi for the extra luggage and we were off to the mission home.
 Elder Pusipher, Elder Boren, Elder Heward
 Elder Jackson, Elder and Elder Ashcroft
We stopped by the temple on our way to the mission home, everyone loves to see the temple
Back: Elder Antuña, Elder Ashcroft, Elder, Elder Simper, Elder Cowley, Elder, Elder Heward, President Marler, Elder Price, Elder Jackson, Elder Cook
Front: Hermana Gutierrez, Hermana Maskovich, Hermana Herrera, Hermana Matafeo, Elder Boren, Elder , Elder Muguerza, Elder Pulsipher, Elde
Elder Weber, Elder Simper, and Elder Cowley with President Marler
 Elder Pulsipher, Elder Price and Elder Price
 Elder Price, Elder Cowley and Elder Heward (long day!)
I don't think we mentioned that the missionaries had to wake up at 4:00am to catch a 9:00am flight
Some were pretty tired
Elder Heward, Elder Cowley, Elder Cook, and Elder Pulsipher
We played a game in Spanish to start learning some new vocabulary

Elder Boren, Elder Weber, Elder Simper, and Elder Ashcroft…
This is what it is all about, Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and inviting other to partake of His merciful, atoning gift.
Welcome and training by Elder Zavaleta and Elder Antuña
We then invited the new trainers to join us and we introduced everyone to their companions
We had some great moments, as companions met each other for the first time

Elder Cook with his new companion Elder Benitez

Trainer, Elder Coca and Elder Pulsipher
Hermana Herrera and her trainer, Hermana Cossio

Elder Pulsipher and his trainer Elder Ccama

Elder Boren with his trainer, Elder Smith
Elder Simper with his trainer, Elder Callapa

Elder Price with his trainer, Elder Preece

Elder Muguerza with his trainer, Elder McLellan
Hermana Gutierrez with her trainer, Hermana Sosa

Elder Cowley with his trainer, Elder Cowley (this is not a typographical error)

Trainer, Elder McLelland and Elder Heward
Elder Price with his trainer, Elder Huaylla

Elder Ashcroft with his trainer, Elder Bond

Trainer, Elder Fernandez and Elder Terry
Trainer, Elder Flores with Elder Weber

Elder Jackson and his trainer, Elder Tirado (also new district leader)

Hermana Matafeo and her trainer, Hermana Assef
Trainer, Hermana Wayman and Sister Maskovich
A little time for sharing the daily schedule and practicing for a lesson with an investigator
President Marler listens in to a practice lesson with Sister Assef and Sisiter Matafeo
Edler Callapa and Elder Simper
Elder Cook and Elder Benitez
Sister Herrera and Sister Cossio