Hello once again from a missionary down in a little town called San Jacinto, Peru. I hope you all enjoyed my last letter and had an equally enjoyable week. This week has been a lot of fun as I had several meetings, saw some progress with those I teach, and I turned 20! And well, rather than having some long introduction, I’ll just skip to the chase so to speak.
This past p-day was kind of different as we headed to Chimbote in the afternoon to practice for the upcoming show/concert that we’ll be doing for Christmas. Basically, this just amounted to having Sister Marler try to lead us through songs in Spanish and then try to lead one song in English (the Latinos had some trouble with that at first). In my case the practice was fun and it should be a fun show with quite a few instruments.
Tuesday was my birthday and well I turned 20! I was welcomed to a pancake breakfast ( I bought maple syrup and mix in Chimbote) which was absolutely amazing to eat after 6 months. Lunch was also pretty good when I got to enjoy my 1st cake. My pensionista also gave me a really cool tie and pin. After lunch our leaders told us to head to Casma for dinner and for a zone conference (they always tell us last minute). So we headed that way and enjoyed a very uplifting conference. We just had some training about the small and simple things of missionary work, but really it is by the “small and simple things are great things brought to pass,” (Alma 37:6). Thus it is in missionary work and thus it is in the Gospel as we can progress through the small and simple things like prayer, scripture study, and attending church. It’s really that simple as we do so with true intent and a hunger to learn.
After the conference I was welcome to yet another delicious cake with the zone leaders bought. We then spent the night in Casma as it was late in anticipation of heading to Chimbote the next day for a multi-zone conference. After attempting to sleep that night on some mattress, I headed with everyone to Chimbote. The multi-zone was cool as we first talked about the video, “He is the Gift,” which I mentioned last week. We really have been using it a lot with members, investigators, contacts, and basically everyone. Important to remember really what all the gift giving, lights and trees are all about (though San Jacinto has hardly any of that stuff). We also talked about Alma 5, my favorite chapter of the Book of Mormon, which talks a lot about conversion, missionary work, and it has a lot of reflect questions. t really applies to the work of salvation as we strive to help others with their conversion and getting to the temple, not just getting baptized. After the multizone we were very fortunate to eat Pizza Hut and I was very happy as can be seen in the picture. Afterward President Marler took Elder P____ and I personally back to San Jacinto in his car which was a much more enjoyable way to get back. He went to San Jacinto to conduct some interviews with relation to the possible change in Presidency.
As for our time proselyting, we saw some progress this week with some of our recent converts, less actives, and investigators. We had some more fun lessons with the P____family, who I mentioned last week with regard to Caledonia. They even bought a cake for my birthday so I got to enjoy some more cake and I shared the “He is the Gift” video which really does invite a spirit of self-reflection. Also, S___ (the daughter of D____ who we reactivated last week) was officially reactivated this week which was very exciting. She has definitely come a long way like her mother. In my case I think this is called a reactivation, we actually call it “alma Rescatada” in Spanish so I’m not sure what to call it in English.
A couple other things happened like playing Jeopardy on Friday, enjoying a rare rainy day, and doing some service. I will mention how we spent Friday morning helping an older lady with her huge backyard. I’ve included some pictures which only give a partial idea of the jungle that it basically is. She has a myriad of tropical fruit trees and plants on a sizeable piece of land. We helped her rake some leaves and build a fence in her garden. I also hope you enjoy my butterfly photo which required a lot of patience.So that sums up the things that happened this week. It’s been quite a week and definitely out of the ordinary. I hope you all have a great week enjoying the Spirit of the Christmas season. It’ll be my 1st one without family, but as a missionary I really do feel a special spirit about this season as I am privileged to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I Hasta la Proxima Semana