Monday, January 12, 2015

December 29, 2014 Christmas in Peru

Elder Joshua Pulsipher's letter to Family and Friends Week 30 with many pictures below this letter.
     Well, yet another week flew by and along with my first Christmas as a missionary. It definitely was a week to remember and I imagine it is a Christmas that I’ll remember for a while. A lot happened during the week such as it would be very difficult to write in this letter, but I’ll try to hit the highlights of the week. The one thing that I’ll save for the end is whether or not I’ll be transferred during this round of transfers. The reason I always save that for the end is because I don’t know when I start writing these letters. I will, however, mention that it is crazy to think that I’ll have been a missionary for 7 months this Saturday and that I’ve been in San Jacinto for nearly 6 months. Well, in any case I guess I’ll start with some of the less spiritual highlights and then work my way into the more spiritual things.
     I spent the last P-day emailing in the morning and then after a quick lunch we headed to Dayle’s house (one of the people we’ve recently reactivated). We helped her cook and prepare food for her mother’s birthday (Sister Marina). It was kind of different to enjoy P-day, but the party later that night was well attended which meant a lot to Sister Marina who had been feeling kind of lonely. (one photo is attached of her party)
     For Christmas Eve we started off the day with some pancakes that our pensionista made), then we headed for Casma for a district meeting which was uplifting, and it was a little different as my companion and I each taught a part of it. Then I spent the rest of the morning playing guitar (using a guitar that Jose let me borrow). I then proselyted with Elder Cunningham after lunch which was my first time proselyting with a zone leader. We had some good lessons and just had a pretty good time speaking Spanglish (English is getting harder and harder). Afterward we had the best turkey I’ve ever eaten during an awesome turkey dinner as a zone.
     Then we spent the rest of the night playing music and singing as I played the guitar and a couple others took turns playing the ukulele. It was so much fun to play the guitar again. We also had a gift exchange which was fun.
     After a night filled with many, many, many fireworks it was Christmas! We played soccer early in the morning then I got to Skype my family. It was the first time I’d seen them in nearly 7 months and it was fun to talk to them for an hour. Then the other Elders decided that we would participate in the talent show, so I had to quickly learn how to play “Over the Rainbow” on guitar which I would play with a ukulele and 4 singers. We then drove to Chimbote to go to the talent show for the missionaries in Chimbote and Casma. It was a lot of fun and the Marlers were in attendance. Our performance of “Over the Rainbow” went well and I imagine that there are more pictures on the mission blog. We also eat a lot of cake! President Marler, who was kind enough to let me use his guitar for the show, commented that I did good job and I imagine that there will be more guitar playing in my future.
     To shift this now to the more spiritual things, I’ll start with something President Marler shared after the show. He mentioned how as missionaries we are not on our own time or our own work, but rather that we are here on the Lord’s time doing His work and that we really have an opportunity to devote, to consecrate, all our time and effort to serving the Lord- a time in which we can learn how to better dedicate ourselves to the Lord. I’d also add the thought as 2015 comes around that we all can reflect on how we can better consecrate ourselves to the Lord maybe through service or maybe through the small things like scripture study and consistent, meaningful church attendance. President Marler also mentioned that he had just found out that in July our mission will become the Trujillo North Mission expanding up to Cajamarca and the Trujillo South Mission expanding down to Hauarez. No more information is known at this time. What I do know is that I’ll spend one year in this mission and another year in another mission whether it be Trujillo North or South…
     With respect to proselyting, we didn’t do all that much this week because of Christmas. However, we were able to reactivate Jeffrey who is the son of Dayle so now her whole family has been reactivated! It’s been awesome to see them progress during these past 3 months and I hope that they make it to the temple. Everyone else who I’ve had the pleasure in helping reactivate or baptize are all doing great as well. Jose was called as the assistant branch secretary and today in the branch counsel he did on exceptional job. He has a lot of potential. It’s been a real pleasure to see him grow and help him along the way thus far. I have been blessed to see a lot of success and growth in San Jacinto during my time here. It is such a small town without a lot of modern conveniences with a factory right in the center, but as I’m sure you’ve come to see, at least in part, I really have developed a love for this place and the people working with a branch is tough, but is also very rewarding as we can help so much as missionaries. I also have enjoyed the added challenge.
     With all that said, I’ll just come forward to say that yes, my time here has come to a close. Elder Palacio will stay and train a new missionary his second time. I am headed to the Porvenir zone which means I am headed for the Trujillo area. We’ll see what it’s like but the one thing I’ve heard is it’s a fairly dangerous area.
     Well, that’s about it. I’ll be sure to let you know how I’m doing next week. I guess I’ll be in a ward now with Elder Perez who is from Honduras. I wish you all a very happy New Year in the mean time! Have a great week!


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