Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014 Transfers to new areas and Peru Election Week

October 6, 2014     (Another photo on the bottom of this page)
Week 18
     Well this marks the end of this transfer (6 week period) and also the end of my 12 weeks in field training. I am no longer a newbie.  This also means that my companion or I could change areas, but I will talk about changes at the end of this message.  Over the past few weeks, I have come to find out that more people than my mother read these messages, quite a few more as it turns out, so that is pretty cool.  Anyway, I’ll get into this week though it wasn’t too far out of the ordinary.
     Something I have failed to mention is that 2014 is an election year here and there has been a myriad of political stuff here since I arrived.  There are political signs, painted across just about anything: houses, random buildings, nearby mountains, cars, and just about everything else.  There were also many speakers on top of buildings or cars which blast political songs or messages all day every day.  There have also been quite a few political marches and rallies.  All of this escalated over the past weeks until this past Thursday which was absolutely insane with what seemed to have marches on every street and rallies every few blocks. Getting back to our apartment was an interesting experience.  But that marked the end of everything as Friday and Saturday were “rest days”, and elections were this past Sunday.  Apparently, everyone is required by law to vote here. For this reason everything shut down including church so we didn’t meet this past Sunday.  We’ll be watching General Conference next week.  In any case, I am very happy to have political season over with here as it is very noisy and annoying. Definitely not like the states with televised debates and speeches.  It is tallies and marches of hundreds of barely paid people along with a cacophony of political progranda.
     As for proselyting, this week was fairly ordinary but I will make mention of a few things.  I’ve noted before how as missionaries we walk a lot, especially when appointments fall through and we end up searching for someone else to meet with. This past week we did a lot of walking but sometimes we have weeks like that and I suppose the extra exercise is good. We did have lessons though and probably the most notable one we had with an investigator was the one with A____, our friend who lived in the U.S. He told us before that from experience he is not sure if God exists.  However, we are helping him build up his faith bit by bit.  He went to church last Sunday and loved it! During our lesson with him we started Mosiah 4: 5-10 about Christ.  We’ll keep building him up and helping him, though he’ll be leaving to Argentina for 10 days on Wednesday. 
     We also spent a lot of time working with members as we are trying to help them grow in their faith. In particular we are helping each member study the scriptures daily, pray often, attend church each Sunday, live the law of the tithe, and do family home evening.  As these things will help them become more converted and be more prepared for the Trujillo temple which will be 3 times larger than Lima. We are also really helping the members read the Book of Mormon.  There is one we’ve been working with who was baptized 3 years ago but never read or understood what the Book of Mormon was. As we have helped him read it and understand it, he has notably changed as he understands more and slowly builds a testimony of these things. It has been awesome to watch.  The work is truly different as we no longer focus on baptisms but rather helping the members become more converted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
     Finally, I’ll return to my cliff hanger about transfers.  I will remain here in San Jacinto, but Elder Coca will be headed to Casa Grande (the most northern zone).  He will be the district leader so as my training comes to an end my trainer is leaving so I will take charge of this area. My new companion will be Elder Palacio who I don’t know much about, but I’ll let you know next week. Tata for now!
Elder Joshua Pulsipher

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