October 13, 2014Well another week has drawn to a close here in San Jacinto. It has been a week of changes for me and my family which I will explain well now. As I mentioned last week my time with Elder Coca came to a close and I got a new companion, Elder Palacio. Also on Tuesday my brother, Brian, headed to the MTC in Provo to start his mission (Boston). So thus a week of change for me and my family now that there are 2 Elder Pulsiphers. However, I suppose change is what keeps life interesting so we might as well welcome it.
Monday was kind of a sad day as Elder Coca said goodbye to the people he had grown so close to. He was here for 6 months and had grown close with many of the members, especially our pensionista, Sister Teo and Sister Dominga ( a very loving person who does everything to help the missionaries). I was a little sad even though I wasn’t the one learning, but I suppose the tearful goodbyes reminded me a little of the day that I left my family on an early Tuesday morning. Later that day we headed to Chimbote to spend the night Elder Coca left the next day and I met my new companion, Elder Palacio. Like Elder Coca he is from Argentina and he actually came to Peru at the same time. He is pretty awesome as he is a very devoted missionary and has a rock solid testimony. He only has been a member for 4 years so he very much understands what it is like to join the church. We get along very well and he is a quick learner which is nice as I am now leading the area since he isn’t familiar with it.
Perhaps the most important and sometimes different thing to figure out with a new companion is how to teach together. However, from day 1 our teaching styles have worked well together. During our first lesson with an investigator, J____, we were able to determine that he wasn’t sure why God, if he exists, let his 18 year old friend die (which happened 2 weeks ago). From there we were able to share the Plan of Salvation in a clear and effective manner, and we shared how Eric, his friend, is waiting in the spirit world to be baptized. Then we explained a little bit about baptisms for the dead. As we did the Spirit was so strongly present, everyone in that room felt it. Even as we knelt down and offered the prayer Josias had to pause in order to compose himself a little bit. Definitely, one of the most powerful lessons I’ve had the pleasure to be part of. So Elder Palacio and I work well together. We’ve also had success with D___ and her family after 2 awesome lessons with them, they came to my English class and then came to General Conference. They hadn’t set foot in the chapel for a long time.
On Friday was our monthly missionary zone conference in which the importance of helping the member become more converted was discussed. We also got to meet the other new missionaries to the zone. One missionary that came from Trujillo is from Ellensburg, WA (which is close to where I lived in WA) so it is cool to have someone else from eastern Washington. Later Friday night we had the weekly branch activity which was to watch Monsters University. It was fun to watch though with the distorted speakers it was difficult to make out the Spanish.
Finally, we watched general conference this past weekend which meant as the resident gringo who understands computers I had to set up a way to watch it. I will omit that with the internet speed (it takes 4-5 hours for 1 session to download or buffer) it was challenging to get it all working, but in the end is all worked out. I was good and I could understand it, but I wished that I could of listened to the actual voices in English. I wish you all the very best with your various endeavors, please feel free to keep sending emails my way. Have an exceptional week!
Elder Joshua Pulsipher