Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015 Major Changes during the past week.

Week 33- photos are at the bottom of this page

     Well it is another warm greeting from Peru as time keeps passing by. It has been a pretty crazy week filled with unexpected twists and turns. I suppose that’s mission life or rather just life in general. However, it is the unexpected changes and challenges that keep it interesting. I’ve enjoyed my time with Elder P____ and I’ll admit that at first it was difficult to learn how to work with him, but I have learned a lot and had a good time. We came to the point where we felt the spirit strongly in each lesson in which the people we taught had a much better environment to move forward.

     Now with all that said, let me describe what a crazy day last Monday was. During our studies our mission President called us, which was unexpected, telling us to report to the mission office right after we wrote our families. Then as we wrote our families and friends, Elder P___ found out that his grandmother had passed away. So then it became my responsibility to help him through that challenge. Quickly thereafter we headed to the mission office where after a lengthy interview with Elder P____, President Marler emerged to tell me that I would soon be leading my area. Because of Visa problems, Elder P____ had to return to his country to finish his mission in one of the missions there. So my president told me that I had one week to prepare myself to lead my area which has the potential to be 3 areas. He also told me that Elder B____ would be my new companion. He is from Lima and is my great-grandfather (the missionary who trained the missionary that trained Elder C___ who trained me).  As unusual occurrence and it should be interesting, he’s returning from Lima to finish the last 3 months of his mission. Anyway from there, we headed back to our area with many things in our minds. Though we stopped at a store which sells many foods imported from the United States. I got some American soda, candy bars, and some cookies and brownie mix. Though I learned that with exchange rates, imported food is a little expensive. But I was happy and it helped cheer Elder Perez up. As for the change, I’ll return to that at the end of this letter.

     This week has involved a lot of work as we’ve worked diligently to help me prepare to lead this area. And like I said we’ve had some very spirit filled/ lead lessons. One lesson we had with the V____family was very memorable. The V_____ family is a family of active recent converts, inactive members, and investigators. They also make a living by making shoes in their house as a family like many other people here. Anyway, I remember in this lesson that as Elder P___ and I prayed to have the Lord’s guidance that we helped explain the importance of the Book of Mormon. Hardly something new, but as we did so the spirit prompted me to speak much more aggressively and directly than I usually do. And the father (who has been inactive for many years) said that he understood the invitation to read, ponder and pray for the first time. Surely missionaries had explained so before, but the difference was the spirit. I can’t wait to see their progress.

     Another memorable less was with M____ who has been investigating for quite some time and has attended church many times, but never progressed because like many people here she is not married with her husband. However, in this lesson as my companion was starting a quick scripture about faith in Christ, the spirit told me to ask her if she believed Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon was true. She said yes and that she liked going to church. To which I responded that if she believed and knew why not take the step forward of baptism. My companion then threw a date on that invitation to which she agreed. We have a bit of work to get her ready but the 21st of February is her baptism date. We also had many other lessons, but I don’t have time to write about all of them.

     On Friday we had another activity which was better attended. I taught them how to play Jeopardy which they really seemed to enjoy. I had to come up with new questions as the “challenging” one I used in San Jacinto were too easy. It’s harder to become acquainted with the members in a large ward like this one, but activities like this have helped me out a lot.

     Sunday was also pretty crazy. We headed to church in the morning where I gave a talk about the
Book of Mormon which went well. My companion gave basically his farewell talk which was a little trunky, but it was also uplifting. Then at 2:20 p.m. we headed to the mission home with S____ (who I mentioned last week) and bid farewell to Elder P____. I then proselyted with S_____, who is a very powerful former missionary. I learned a lot as we taught together.

     Now as this past week comes to a close and this next one starts I know find myself with Elder B____ and I will be the one to lead the area. I’ll let you all know how it goes, but I know the Lord will support me and provide the means to do so. I hope you all have a great week! For now it’s good bye from Gran Chimu, Porevnir, Trujillo, Peru! I Chau!

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