Tuesday, June 23, 2015

June 22, 2015 The Dedication of the Trujillo Temple and 1st Week as a Trainer

     Well, a week has passed away since I became a trainer and it has been great.  The Lord truly does provide us a way to carry out what we’ve been called to do as Nephi exclaimed in 1 Nephi 3:7 (the scripture every primary kid knows and loves). Perhaps at times we can feel inadequate or unsure of new responsibilities, but what I’ve learned is that we strive to do what we can, trusting in the Lord, anything is possible. My new companion is named Elder Caceres and he is just awesome. He knows the scriptures well and really surprised me with the ability he has to teach.  From his fast learning and hunger to learn, the Spirit’s been with us and we’ve had several memorable lessons. It’s also turned out that we have similar personalities and we get along great. He loves to joke around and also speaks pretty good English since he studied in a British school in Lima. So he is from Lima, my 3rd companion from Lima, and we are going to have a great time.
     This past p-day I woke up early to head down to Trujillo in order to be trained as a trainer. The thoughts that Sister Marler shared really impacted me. She shared a quote from one of President Uchtdorf’s talks saying that the assignment of being a trainer is the most important assignment in the mission field.  It helped me reflect in the importance of what I would be doing and how the Lord trusted in me to do it. After the training I bought some maple syrup which I’m excited to use and we headed to Casa Grande to end my last day with Elder Cabezas.
     On Tuesday I headed to Trujillo with 2 other trainers from my zone to meet my trainee. The meeting was really cool as we listened to the president. He spoke about the importance of having the Spirit with us always. He said that "each time we feel the Spirit strongly it is because the Lord is pleased with us.“ Such a simple statement, but it made an impact in me and made me reflect in the experiences I’ve had. It also helped to motivate me to have the Spirit with me as I taught with my trainee. Then the new missionaries each bore their testimonies while the trainers listened, wondering who their new companions would be. Then it was announced that I would be with Elder Caceres from Lima. We hit it right off as friends and I made sure to get back to our area to get started, to hit the ground running.
     As we worked this week, we really did have some powerful lessons. I remember that my father always used to tell me that new missionaries from the CCM really have a special spirit about them - that when they testify, miracles happen. With P__ and Y____ this week, we had the privilege to visit them twice, and at the end of the second lesson, Y____ told Elder Caceres that his personal testimony/experiences really impacted her and that it wasn’t a coincidence that he came during this time. It was 100% true and it’s been a blessing to have him as my secret weapon.  We also saw a miracle this week with J___ ( a long time investigator). He had been taught for a while in the past, but never really took any interest. However, as we taught him this week with some powerful testimonies, he told us that he wants to change so he can be baptized. He’s really changed completely.
     On Saturday, we attended the cultural event in Trujillo for the temple. All the dances were very cool; it was a very coordinated show. We got front row seats and were just about 20 feet from President Uchtdorf when he spoke, it was awesome.  Definitely, something I won’t forget. Then this past Sunday we had the temple dedication. I got sick the night before and was still sick as I walked into the first session. However, I really could feel the Spirit as if I was in the temple and I couldn’t feel pains. It was very memorable to participate in that session and as I walked out I was speechless, I felt as if I’d just left the actual temple. But I suppose the chapel was an extension of the temple during that time. The other 2 sessions were also very special. What a privilege to be a missionary here during this time.
     I hope this finds you all well and that you each have a great week! Thanks for all your support. iHasta la proxima semana!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

    

June 15, 2015 Baptism in the district

     Well the number of this week is divisible by 6 so another transfer has come to an end. These past 6 weeks have really flown by, making it hard to believe the time has come.  As usual I am starting to write this before I know about transfers, but as I end it I shall know.  We’ve had a really good week here in Casa Grande with a couple miracles that definitely manifested themselves. As Nephi wrote, many times we are “led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things” that will result.  It’s been interesting this week to note where past promptings have led to, and how they’ve been integral in bringing souls unto Christ.
     Before I dive further into those promptings, I’ll make brief mention of my last P-day. We didn’t do all that much out of the ordinary. However, we did head over to my pensionista’s home where I taught her how to make tacos and I will tell you that they were good. It was a long time since I’d eaten tortillas, guacamole, and pica de Gallo in Peru. Later that night I had a feeling that I needed to visit a less active named Justo. He’s been less active for many years because he always thought it was important to sell his wares every Sunday and he also lives in an unmarried commitment. However, he had attended church the day before. The missionaries taught him for many months but he was unwilling to change. Now with all that in mind we walked into his house and he immediately told us how he now wanted to come back to church. He indicated how he finally took that past Sunday off to attend church and that the Lord blessed him with more sales during the week. He had seen that the Lord would provide a way to keep his commandments, it took him many years to learn that, but when he finally exercised the trial of his faith, the testimony came. It was a testimony builder to see the Lord bless someone so directly to understand a commandment.

      Returning to what I mentioned about promptings, a little over 5 weeks ago my companion felt prompted to knock the door of one of Elder Coca’s former investigators. He wasn’t sure why, but as we met Yajaira we could tell that the Lord had something in store. As we’ve taught P___ and Y____ over these past couple weeks, the Lord has blessed all of us to share some very special spiritual lessons. The Sunday before last they attended church again and had a wonderful experience. The testimonies given in Sacrament meeting really impacted them. The members also did a really good job of out of their way to greet them and converse with them. The fellowshipping and Spirit made all the difference in the conversion of P___ and Y___. On Friday they told us that they wanted to be baptized on the 20th( a special date for them). Now because of the temple dedication and stake conference that date wouldn’t be possible. So I had them read verses 8-11 in Mosiah 18 asking them if they really had that desire to receive the promised blessings which spring from baptism. They said yes and I invited them to take that step on the 4th of July (the 1st Saturday after Stake Conference, also our Independence Day). They whole heartedly accepted and the Spirit was so strong testifying of the decision they’d made. So on the 4th P___,Y___, and ____ (their daughter) will be baptized all stemming from us being able to follow the Spirit’s promptings! As a missionary it is such a rarity and a joy to find a complete family and help them get to this point.
     On Thursday I headed to Chicana to have an exchange with Elder Garside. But to start if off I interviewed J___ (an investigator of Sister South and Sister Resado) who I’d interviewed previously, but wasn’t ready to be baptized as his testimony wasn’t quite there and he knew it. However, since then the sisters have worked with him to help him obtain a true testimony and the Restoration. About a week and a half ago I got an impression as I read the Book of Mormon that J___ needed to read that chapter. (Mormon 9). So I shared with the sisters and they later told me that as shared that chapter everything changed. From there they could help him get that testimony. As I interviewed him this last time he was a different person, clearly ready to take that step. He was baptized on Saturday in the ocean and I’m told it was very special. The sisters deserve all the credit, but it was a cool experience to help a little with that prompting I received. The exchange with Elder Garside was a lot of fun as he could realize that he in fact was capable of leading his area, and we had a lot of fun getting to know each other better.

      Well I just got the phone call from Elder Hacke telling me that Elder Cabezas will be leaving, and I’ll continue to be district leader. However, I will be training a new missionary. It will be a new experience and an added challenge, but I guess I’m up to it. So it’s been an interesting week with some cool experiences. This coming week will bring with it a new companion (number 10) and next weekend will be the dedication of the temple! I hope you all have a great week, recognizing and trusting in the subtle promptings of the Spirit. Have a great week!



 

Monday, June 8, 2015

June 8, 2015 Amazing Turn Around of the Week

Week 47   


     Hard to believe that this transfer is coming to an end.  This coming week will be the sixth and final week, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been with Elder Cabezas for 5 weeks now.  I’ve learned a lot from him with diligent work each and every day.  I’ve enjoyed how we’ve worked together to improve a little more each day and it certainly is special to be with another missionary trained by Elder Coca.  I’ve learned something from each of the 9 companions I’ve had until now and I really know that each companion and area is truly inspired.  It doesn’t just come as random thoughts from President Marler. This past week has been a little difficult as many, and I mean many, appointments fell through, but as we’ve strived to follow the impressions of the Spirit we’ve had a spiritual week in finding people whom God placed in our path and the having several inspired lessons. The work continues here in Casa Grande and I’ll have to dive into how it’s going.
     Last Monday we woke up early and headed as a zone to Trujillo. Typically we study Monday mornings, but this time we left to have a special P-day with President Marler, his daughter’s family , and other zones at the beach in Hunachaco.  It was the first time I’d been to the beach in Peru and it was very pretty, Huanchaco is kind of a touristy place. We played some light hearted softball for a couple hours which was fun, then after some photos, headed to the mall for a little bit. It was one of the better P-days I’ve had in the mission; though I was a little sore afterward (I wasn’t accustomed to running in the sand).
     The following days were a little hard as many appointments fell through, almost every single one. Though as we pressed forward we did find the people that the Lord had prepared for us.  Then this past Thursday we had our monthly zone conference which was very spiritual. Perhaps the largest focus was that of the need to use the Spirit in tall that we do, especially as we teach. Without the spirit, it truly is impossible to teach with my “power and authority,” it’s really impossible to teach at all as we’re not really the one’s teaching. That’s why young adults from all over the world, from whatever background can go forth with that missionary tag.  We don’t necessarily need to read the scriptures inside and out, we don’t need to convince anyone to do anything. Rather we are here to work according to the whisperings of the spirit and provide an atmosphere, a moment, in which he can enter into the hearts of those that we teach.  That’s when teaching with “power and authority” occurs when we are worthy of our calling as representatives of Christ and bring the spirit into the homes that we enter. Giving the people we work with a chance to feel his heart- changing influence.  In the conference the zone leaders focused specifically with the need to teach with inspired question  and the Book of Mormon.  As Elder Cabezas and I worked that day applying those principles, we could really notice a difference.  The Spirit was much more present in our lessons as we focused on his impressions;  A pretty awesome day to work in the vineyard.
     As a side note, I also wrote, practiced and played a song using my ukulele and my voice. I wrote the song on Wednesday and performed it Thursday during the zone conference.  My first time singing in front of others.  Luckily, it was well received and the zone enjoyed my song. I will admit that I was a little nervous presenting a song that I composed but all went well in the end- all due to having the zone leaders push me to do it.
     The family that we’re teaching, P___ and Y___, are still progressing. We focused on explaining what repentance truly meant with Y____this past week, to help her understand that we can be forgive for our sins rather than be punished for a long time. We invited her to read Alma 36 and ponder what it said. When we returned, she was different and as she explained how that chapter spoke directly to her I could see why she’d changed. She connected to a chapter, then applied what it taught, understanding that repentance really is. She is now faithfully reading the Book of Mormon, and tells us that after her 8 months of investigating, she now has the desire to be baptized for the 1st time. We just need to help Paul get to the same point as Y____ won’t get baptized without him. So keep them in your prayers.
     After a week filled with opposition, non-existent appointments, and several challenges, the miracles really did come. As we fasted this past weekend we were blessed to have 7 investigators and 3 less actives in church, we were blessed to find 12 new investigators, and we were blessed to have quite a few lessons.  P___even told us after church that he would pick a baptismal date and would let us know this coming Tuesday.  It’s clear that the Lord had made some large blessings in store which he made manifest after some “trail of (our) faith.” (Ether 12:6) So as we work with the spirit in our lives magnifying our respective calling, the eternal rewards will come. I pray each of you may find such and that your week will be great!





    


June 2, 2015 Last Week of the Trujillo Temple Open House


Tomorrow, June 3 marks one year ago that Elder Joshua Pulsipher boarded a plane to Peru on a Tuesday morning from Pasco, WA!!!!!!!!
June 2, 2015
     This letter will mark the end of May. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that this month as come and gone so quickly. I’ve been here in Casa Grande for a month now, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. We have had the privilege to go to the temple twice a week since the Open House event started, and it’s been a blast to bring many converts, investigators, and less actives and feel the spirit that’s there. I’ll mention a little about the temple later on, but this last month was definitely made special by having that unique opportunity and now we’ll wait till the 21t for the dedication. This coming week will also mark exactly a year since I embarked on the mission. It’s hard to believe I’ve been here so long. It’s been a year full of challenges, but I’ve also really grown to love the work here in Peru. I’ve learned that one’s circumstances really need not control one’s happiness, as despite whatever happened, I’ve been happy every day.
     Well, last Monday we spent our P-day with the zone leaders in a house of less active members that live in our area. She just so  happened to know how to make donuts so as 3 gringos might be so inclined, we made about 60 donuts. Some photos are attached and I testify they were extremely tasty. Later that night we were able to teach several people including Roger, a recent convert, who was confused why God would be so set on giving us agency if so many used it to murder, to plunder, to make the world a “sad place.” Time was short so we left him with our testimonies and a promise to come back the following morning.
     We came the next morning prepared to teach the Plan of Salvation with some specific scriptures like Moses 4:1-4, D &C 29:36-44,2 Nephi 2:22-25, 11-13. As we shared these scriptures, the Spirit quite clearly enlightened his mind and he answered his own questions. It was so cool to see the scriptures seemingly talk to the person we were teaching. It was the result of some dedicated study directed for his needs earlier that morning and the spirit that filled the lesson was a great blessing.
     I’ll return to our investigators, but maybe I’ll take a moment to mention our last week at the temple. On Wednesday, we took 16 less active members and investigators with us thanks to the help of our bishop. It was a cool experience to be there again and I started to notice some of the finer details which have been  worked in thanks to the help of one of the engineers. It is surprising how it is easy to invite people and have them accept to go to the open house. On Wednesday, the zone leaders told us that the stake paid for a bus to take us and up to 50 investigators and less actives this past Friday. So as we went about our normal week we had to invite basically everyone we met and I was surprised how many accepted the invitation. On Friday, the time came and between the work of zone leaders and ourselves we were able to fill 2 buses and a large van- a great way to finish the open house. We have been able to help over a 100 people go there these past weeks and it’s definitely been a privilege to do so. In total somewhere near 90,000 people attended the open house. Now we just need to wait until the 21st to see the temple dedicated.
     With respect to my investigators, they are all progressing still. Y___ and P___ have come a way and are thinking very seriously about being baptized, which they never did before with the missionaries. Such a change was due to a very spiritual lesson we had a week ago as we taught the Plan of Salvation when the member that was with us felt prompted to talk directly about baptism. It was a powerful conversation that followed. Since then we’ve been working closely with them and they’re real close to taking the next step. H____is also doing well as he’s continued to read the Book of Mormon and attended this past Sunday for the 1st time. He had a good experience and I pray that he’ll continue to gain a testimony of these things.

     The work is rolling forward as we lay in the shadow of the dedication in this special month of June. However, for this coming week things should start to come back to normal since open house has come to an end. I hope this coming week goes well for everyone and that you find success in what you do. Have a good one! 




May 25, 2015 Another Amazing Week with the Temple Open House






May 25, 2015                  Week 45

     Greetings once again from Peru. I hope this past week has met you all well, it was great here. I have definitely been busy here, but it’s been a good week. It had a couple of firsts and some surprises, but once again it was easy with the Lord’s hand in it all. Elder Cabezas is doing well and we’ve grown closer this past week to become more and more unified, or rather just better friends. I’ve definitely had a lot of practice as I’ve had so many companions during my mission. It is also very possible that Elder Cabezas could leave at the end of transfer in 3 weeks which would mean I’d move on to my tenth companion, but I’ll make sure to enjoy this short time I have with Elder Cabezas. I also got to know my district a little better this week, but I’ll get into that a little later.

     Well, let’s get started with last P-day. With a couple other missionaries from the Zone we headed to a place called Pacala which is a 15 minute moto taxi ride away. We hiked up a fairly high rocky foot hill which over looked all of Casa Grande (see attached photos).  All was great until we headed back and came to the realization that there was no moto taxis and thus no transportation to get back so we walked on the side roads that pass through the sugar cane fields to get back which took over an hour and made a memorable experience. A picture of one of those “endless” roads will be included below this letter.

     On Tuesday we had a leadership counsel here in Casa Grande with the other district leaders and zone leaders. The first time I had attended such a meeting and it was very helpful to learn more about my calling especially as I had to carry out some of my responsibilities like baptismal interviews and companionship exchanges later in the week, but I’ll get into that later. Overall, it was a fun meeting, though I had to give a 30 minute training segment about exchanges. Afterward we had pizza which was made by a local shop that was surprisingly good.

     As missionaries we get to meet a lot of different kinds of people. This past week we finally were able to teach a former investigator named S___. We’d been trying to contact her for a little while, but finally she was home and unoccupied. After we got to know one another a little bit and after beginning with a prayer, she indicated the desire to be open and direct with us, which I said was fine. She said that “I believe Mormons are good people, however I think they’re all mistaken and only worship Joseph Smith…” Then she went on to specifically direct several questions at me like, “Do you really believe in Christ and God,” and “Do you have faith in Christ?” It was a moment that I felt the Spirit fill me and I testified of the reality of Christ and God, and how I know Christ is my Savior and that he suffered and died for me. That Joseph Smith was but a prophet and that the Book of Mormon truly testified of the divinity of Christ and his infinite atonement. She was silenced and dumb founded, noticeably affected by the Spirit and indicated she was interested in learning more. It was such a meaningful experience for me to confirm that I really do have such a testimony of Christ.

     On Thursday with the help of the Bishop we organized to have 53 investigators and members visit the temple with us which was a great experience. Rolling up to the temple in a bus and a large van was very cool. All had a very good time and pictures are attached at the bus and a young man that we took with us. It is amazing just how excited and willing people are to visit the special building that Trujillo now has. We also went on Saturday with a family that have been progressing a lot (the family of Paul and Yajaira). They also enjoyed it a lot.

     On Friday I enjoyed an exchange with Elder Djeda (who has been in the mission for 22 months) in his area of Chicama. We had some pretty awesome study time in which we really planned for needs of his investigators and less actives. Then I conducted 5 baptismal interviews which took a while. It certainly gave me a little idea of what it’s like to be a bishop. In the end all were readied for their baptisms which took place the following day. Then interviews took up all of our time so I didn’t get a chance to proselyte with Elder Djeda, but we did get to know one another and had a lot of good laughs. So as a district leader I now have had 6 interviews and an exchange, it certainly adds a new perspective to being a missionary.

     Well that includes some of the highlights from the past week. It’s been another busy week that has had its challenges and successes but thus it is in life as we need to exercise our faith to receive what the Lord has in store for us. I hope this finds you well and that everyone has a great week!





May 18, 2015 Wonderful Temple Open House


May 18, 2015   Week 44

     Well marks my second week here in Casa Grande and it’s been a busy week. Being a district leader is turning out to take away some more time, but it is rewarding as it’s clear that the Lord pours out some extra blessings in my area. When I first got there I asked my companion who we had to teach and he was only able to name one or two names in terms of investigators. However, as we’ve worked hard we’ve been blessed to find quite a few more including a couple who were clearly prepared and ready. I’ll mention more about them a little later, but It’s been awesome to see the Lord’s hand in this work preparing a way forward on the condition that we work diligently. Casa Grande isn’t as well established as the Trujillo stakes and definitely has some work to be done which gives a lot of opportunity to make a difference – kind of like the branches of Casma. So we’ll keep pressing forward to keep the Lord’s work moving here. Anyway, with that in mind, I’ll let you all know about my week.

     Last P-day we once again kept it pretty simple and just relaxed which is always a welcome break. That also meant I could finally unpack completely. That night we started teaching Paul and Yajaira who are the parents of a young family. They explained how they listened to the missionaries several months before when they felt overly pressured to be baptized so the missionaries stopped. However, they explained how they like the church and shared how they received an answer about the Book of Mormon. They recently had been considering attending church again and in short were ready to learn more. So when my companion and I followed a prompting to knock their door, they were ready. We had a great conversation about the Book of Mormon in which we shared Alma 32 on the importance of nourishing ourselves with the ward. It should be awesome to see how they progress.

     Another investigator that the Lord placed in our path this week was a 22 year old named H____. He comes from a Catholic background, but has investigated several churches in the past couple years. I remember that before the 1st lesson we left him a pamphlet of the Restoration to read before we taught him. I’ve done that many times and no one ever reads it completely. However, he read it and remembered all the dates and had dearly studied it. From there we have had several good lessons with him about the Book of Mormon and the Plan of Salvation. He has kept his commitments every lesson and shows a genuine desire to investigate. He even accepted the invitation to be baptized this coming month in June.

     Another blessing this past week was being able to go to the temple twice. On Wednesday we headed down with a recent convert named R___ who really seemed to enjoy it. He also is a carpenter so the wood work also impressed him. Afterward, he had a lot of interest in asking us exactly how he’ll be able to enter. The following days we organized to have 18 members to ride with us in a van which we hired. It proved to be a lot of work, but in the end all worked out. We headed to the temple on Saturday and were impressed by the sheer number of people there (around 10,000 people visited the open house that day). There were countless double decker buses from Chimbote, Casma, Chiclayo, Lima and several more places.  It was a sight to behold to see people from all of Peru coming to see this temple. I even ran into some people from San Jacinto which was awesome. The temple was exceptional as always, I keep noticing a few more details each time I go. It’s a very special temple and it’s easy to see just how excited the people are here to have it.

      This past Sunday was also a special day as we were blessed to have some less actives and investigators attend. Y___ and P____ attend with their whole family and really enjoyed it. I was so excited to see them there because seeing a family progress together is such a wonderful thing  to be part of. Also, several of less actives attended for their first times in many years (they happened to be ones we brought with us to the temple on Saturday). It’s been clear to see the miracles happening here in Casa Grande, especially in this special time. Not many missionaries get the chance to serve as a temple open house takes place. What a special chance we to have here in the Trujillo Mission.  Reverting back to Sunday, we also gave talks that went well, though the microphone was broken. However, all went well and giving talks is becoming more enjoyable as I have really learned how to navigate my way around the Spanish language.

     Well that will have to be it for this week’s letter from a missionary all the way down south here in Peru. May you all have a great week in which you can view the little miracles/tender mercies which occur each and everyday. Until Monday!  iCuidense iChao!


 

 

May 11, 2015 Temple Open House and 1st Week in Casa Grande


 
Week 43
      Well, I am writing this weekly letter in my new apartment in Casa Grande. It is an interesting town a little like Casma in terms of size and with the high proportion of mototaxis. Like San Jacinto the town is surrounded by sugar fields and there is a large sugar factory in the middle of town. So in that respect this town brings back a lot of memories from my days in San Jacinto. Elder Cabezas is a pretty cool missionary from Lima that’s been out for just over 4 months. I am his second companion and he knows everything pretty good considering he’s a relatively new missionary. Like most missionaries he’s just a little prideful (I was far worse), but we get along great and expect this next little while with him will be fun. The other change in my calling as a missionary is that I’m a district leader meaning I’m responsible for 2 other companionships. My responsibilities include conducting weekly training, verifying progress during the week, holding baptismal interviews, and a couple other things. It adds on more responsibilities and requires more of my time, but I look forward to learning what I’m supposed to learn from this calling.
     My last P-day in Vista Alegre simply involved stopping by the office, eating pizza, and packing. At the office I did run into a lot of missionaries that I knew like Elder Barrios and Elder Cowley. It was fun to run into them and some photos are attached. As for the pizza,  we decided to eat at Pizza Hut one last time before I left Trujillo and I’ll just say that I indulged myself. The next day I headed to one of the stake centers in Trujillo for transfers. I once again got to see a lot of familiar faces like Elder Duchnes and Elder Coca. Then the president spoke to us and spoke a little bit before transfers were announced and he made a little simple comment that impacted me.  He said that for each and every area God has prepared several souls to work with in their next 6 weeks, souls that are ready to progress. It’s our job to find them and the reason that he doesn’t just give us a list is that we are to exercise our faith. We have to give it all we got to find them and help ourselves grow in the process. I thought it was cool to view the work from that slightly larger perspective.
     Wednesday marked my first district meeting as a district leader and also gave me the chance to meet everyone in my zone. The zone appears to be pretty solid and my district is pretty awesome. I have two sister missionaries of which one is still in her training and I have two elders (apart from my companion) of which one is also training. So I have two missionaries being trained. However, they’re all awesome and work really hard. My first district lesson with them went well as I focused on the need to feel love for those that we help in that we help them to actually come unto Christ. I used Matthew 14: 24-33 to illustrate how we have to help our investigators take those steps toward Christ’s out stretched hand. It went pretty well and they were more than happy to participate. I have the best district in the whole mission I think.
     Before I mentioned how the sister missionaries have the chance to participate with the temple open house 3 times a week, but us elders don’t have such an opportunity. However, we can go visit it twice a week if we bring a less active member, a recent convert, and/or an investigator. So this last Saturday we were able to take a less active member and so we headed down to Trujillo. The temple is beautiful! We entered in through the gate then started off in a building which has rooms for people who visit the temple from afar kind of like a hotel. It was the nicest building I’d seen in Peru, but then we entered into the temple and I was surprised. It was one of the prettiest temples I’ve ever seen and all of you can check out some photos of the inside of the temple on LDS.org. It probably is the nicest building in Peru, but more importantly one can really feel the Spirit there even before it’s been dedicated. The people of Trujillo have received quite the blessing and they deserve it. I am just glad that I have the privilege to be here and help out. The less active member was also very happy to be there and was noticeably affected.
     So that includes a little bit about my week, I’ll be sure to talk a little more about investigators next week. However, there is a lot of work to do here in Casa Grande and I am excited to hit the ground running and get this area really going. I hope you all have a great week and I hope that Mother’s Day was great! Make this week count!
iHasta la proxima semena!





 
 
    

May 4, 2015 5th Week in Vista Alegre

 

Week 42

     Well, this letter marks the end of another transfer here in the Trujillo mission. My first transfer since I’ve returned.  Like I’ve done in the past, I’ll save the information regarding changes until the end as I am starting to write this before I know.  This week has been good and interesting as Elder Simper and I served as temporary district leaders, and as we’ve continued to have a lot of success here with respect to investigators. Thus we’ve really been busy this past week, but it’s been good and I suppose I like to keep myself busy.  I thank those who sent me emails as I do appreciate them, sometimes my short responses might not demonstrate that well.  Well, let’s get into how my week went.

      On Monday we started the day as we normally would emailing our families which was good though it was a little different to be in charge as temporary district leaders.  Anyway, afterward we headed to the Trujillo Mall which is a large modern mall like one would find it the U.S.  Now those that know me know that I don’t like shopping, especially at a mall, but enjoying a large cheeseburger in the food court was enjoyable. So we had another fairly low-key P-day. Though the zone leaders told Elder Simpson and I that we would need to prepare and teach our district the following day (meaning we would have to conduct a 2 hour class for 6-8 other missionaries).
     The next day came and we ended up having the class go pretty well. It was actually kind of fun to be up front teaching for once. During my whole mission I’ve always just sat and listened each Tuesday morning, but having to be up front teaching was definitely a new perspective. The other missionaries seemed to  enjoy it too, though I might have used some candy I brought back from the states to help gain favor in their eyes…
     As I’ve mentioned before, something that I enjoy seeing as a missionary is how the simple principles of the Gospel work in changing the lives of people as they’re receptive to affirming impressions of the Spirit.  Last week I briefly mentioned how  J___, the 58 year old of a member, told us that she that she wanted to be baptized.  It was a surprise as she’s listened to missionaries for 15 years but never come to such a decision. When we first visited her some things became apparent about her situation.  She was fairly ill and resultantly wanted to be baptized. However, as we verified to see if she had a testimony, she told us that the “true Church of Christ” referred to all true followers of Christ whether they be Mormon, Catholic, Baptist, or whatever sect.  So we used the past week to focus on the simple truths of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon to help her better understand what the Church of Jesus Christ refers to and to help her form a testimony there of. I was surprised as she told us that when she read the Book of Mormon she felt a distinctive peace to which she interpreted to be a an answer from God that therefore Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that this truly is the true church of Christ. In other words, she changed completely, and is very ready for her baptismal date for the 16th of May.  During my short time here in Vista Alegre I’ve witnessed several changes like this which have been big testimony builders and are why I enjoy being a missionary.
      We’ve had a lot of fun this week as the Lord blessed us with success. However, I just spoke to the assistants and they told me that even though I’ve been here for 5 weeks in Vista Alegre, that I’ll be heading north to Casa Grande.  I will be taking the place of Elder Coca as District Leader over there and I will companion up with Elder Cabezas who was also trained by Elder Coca my trainer. So will admit that I was not expecting to be moved again, but I guess that is how it goes. This means in about 10 months as a missionary I’ve had 4 areas and 9 companions, quite a bit more than other missionaries. So well I guess I’m excited to head north to Casa Grande as District Leader where like San Jacinto there are sugar cane fields and a sugar factory. The wards there are also fairly weak like the branch of San Jacinto so I should feel at home. This also means that I will stay with President Marler in the North Trujillo Mission when the mission is split this summer into two missions.   So I guess that about sums up my week and I need to get packing so I bid you a good week and I wish you all the very best! I’ll talk to you all next week.
Elder Joshua Pulsipher




April 27, 2015 The Most Important and most Repeated Messages of the Book of Mormon

Week 41
     Once again I welcome you all to my weekly account of my mission. It’s been another sunny week here in Trujillo and the work continues to roll along as usual. We’ve seen investigators progress along with many of the active/inactive members we’re teaching.  Which I suppose isn’t all that out of the ordinary, but the Lord has blessed us with many investigators and less actives that are doing well, and show a lot of desires to progress. Something my companion said is that if we take just a couple minutes to reflect on the day it is quite easy to see the tender mercies of the Lord. That’s true as I reflect on the past couple weeks I’ve enjoyed here in Vista Alegra.
     Last P-day was pretty amazing as we just dropped by Pizza Hut to get some more pizza. Afterward we tried to watch a movie as a district of missionaries, but we  were unable to get a hold of a T.V., so we spent the rest of the afternoon in our apartment.  We then helped a recent convert and her family learn how to hold a family home evening.  For the spiritual thought everyone simply shared their respective testimony of the Book of Mormon.  
     It was very spiritual and I’ll never forget S___ (the recent convert). She told us of a very distinctive dream she had about a tree with white fruit, with an iron rod, with mists of darkness, and several other things which exactly mirror Lehi’s vision in 1 Nephi 8. However, she had this dream before she met the missionaries  and had never laid her hands on a Book of Mormon.  So when she read that chapter she knew the Book was true and was baptized shortly afterward. It was definitely one of the most unique testimony building experiences I had ever heard.
      As I am on the topic of the Book of Mormon, I’ll mention how I finally finished reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish.  I stated slowly studying and marking el libro de Mormon in December and I finished on Saturday.  One thing I’ve noticed is that each time I’ve read the Book of Mormon certain patterns/themes always seem to emerge.  The last time I read it I noticed how it seemed to repeat that we need to pray thoughtfully in order to overcome temptation, to not be tempted over what we can handle (3 Nephi 18:15, Alma 34:39). This time I noticed and learned many things, but one message seemed to predominate, that through repentance and the atonement of Christ we can develop Christ like attributes. I realize that such a discovery isn’t exactly earth shattering, but I was impressed to note how often this comes up in the Book of Mormon.  I used purple to mark Christ-like attributes, green to mark repentance and red for the atonement.  It was interesting to note how often purple would be jointly marked in red or green.  One verse which describes this well is Mosiah 4:11-12 which says that as we repent and obtain a remission of our sins, we will better feel God’s love and in turn be more inclined to humbling ourselves to God’s will, developing more faith, more charity, becoming more Christlike. I really know that as we truly and sincerely repent each day, along with meaningful prepared weekly sacrament partaking, that we’ll be able to better humble ourselves, becoming more Christ-like through his infinite atonement.
     To get back toward the topic of how my week went, on Wednesday we headed to the Trujillo Institute building where we met up with young adults preparing to serve missions. Each missionary then took one or two people out with them to walk the streets for an hour and a half. I took 2 out with me including Clayterman who is from my area. We had fun as I took them to the Plaza de Armas which is a large gathering place.  I led the first contact and then I took a step back to let them get a little baptized by fire as it were.  They enjoyed it, especially Clayterman who is very unshy. He was very talkative and engaging.  We headed to his family’s house later in the week as they are recent converts and enjoyed a good lesson and some Pizza Hut (pictures attached).  Pizza Hut has a habit of sneaking into my weekly affairs.
     As I mentioned earlier, the tender mercies of the Lord really do come.  This past week we’ve really been blessed by seeing the progress of many investigators.  All of which surmounted to having 8 investigators attend church on Sunday!  It was a tender mercy for sure.  Many of our investigators have so much potential and have demonstrated much progress, 7 of them could well be baptized in the month of May.  We have Alex who talks very seriously about baptism and knows a lot about the church and really is growing to love it. M___ is a young single mother who humbly desires to learn more about Christ and follow his teachings. H___and J___ are brothers who I found before I left that have solid testimonies with strong desires to go forward, though have to attend school on Sundays.  N___ has been attending for several months now, but asked us on Sunday to be baptized on the 9th.  Juana has had “40” missionaries to teach her, but told us she wants to be baptized and we just need to help her better prepare herself.  We have several others and it is just a privilege to serve the Lord in his vineyard and help others come unto Christ.  I just pray that they might be able to do so and that I will be able to do all I can to help them.
     Well that will just about conclude my 100th’s part summary of the week. However, I should mention that the sister missionaries returned to Vista Alegre this week.  So after a 2 week hiatus they’re back. Also we received an unexpected call from the assistants Saturday night, telling us that Elder Cook would be leaving the next day to the mountains in order to fill the shoes of a missionary who headed home a week early.  So on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. we dropped him off at the office and left. So now the trio has come to an end and now Elder Simper and I are left to tackle this area.  So it’s been a great week and I hope all of you have a great week as we head into May!
I Hasta la promiza semena como siempre!
iChau!
Elder Pulsipher
 


April 20, 2015 Great Week and Car knowledge Became Useful This Week

 

 

 

April 21, 2015
Week 40
     Welcome once again to the weekly account of this young missionary serving the people of Trujillo, Peru.  This week was normally refreshing as there wasn't any conferences, trainings, or interviews;  it was just a normal week.  My area continues to be awesome as there is a lot of work to be done here, especially as the sister missionaries have left, leaving us to take on the whole load.  However, we're up to the challenge.  We have a very effective fun companionship as I've mentioned before. Having a trio of gringos from the same group (we started the mission at the same time) never happens, so we're enjoying every moment of it.
     Last P-day was a very relaxing one. We simply went to a nearby Pizza Hut and enjoyed some pizza and air conditioning. Then we bought a container of ice cream which we took back to our apartment and enjoyed.  It was refreshing to actually spend a P-day relaxing.  The home evening we later enjoyed that night was cool as we had the family reflect in the most Christ-like people they knew which led to a very spiritual discussion.  The following game of Uno was also fun.
     From that fairly relaxing Monday came a week in which we were really blessed to have a lot of lessons with some really cool people.  I actually found myself wanting more time to visit everyone, such weeks don't always come during the mission but when they do it is very enjoyable.  A little over a week ago, we met a young single mother named Yobitza.  At first she showed absolutely no desire to listen to us, but her mother convinced her to let us in. She reluctantly listened but the Spirit was present.  During the next lesson she tearfully expressed how she felt alone and also shared some of her troubles.  Since then we were able to simply bear testimony and help her recognize the Spirit.  Then she told us that she was going back to church this Sunday (she's an inactive of about 5 years) to bring God back into her life and the life of her 4 year old daughter.  It has been a privilege to see the Spirit work such a mighty change of heart in only a week of someone who was once very hard-hearted.
      During this week we've taught the message of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ quite a few times.  Each time that we did the Spirit was immensely strong leading to some of the most powerful lessons I've had the privilege of teaching.  For example, a less active member named Fernando , who has a lot of doubts about the church as he has read some anti-mormon literature on the internet. We had such a lesson.  As we explained our message in simple precise terms, the Spirit was there to back us up. He felt it and one could easily see a change working in his heart.  We also had a great lesson with an investigator named Segundo who started investigating in 2010. We recently found him and started teaching him, and he was very, very excited to listen to what we had to share.  As we taught him my tongue was loosed and Elder Copa (who was on an exchange with us) later said that my Spanish teaching at that moment was perfect and powerful.  Surely, the Spirit helped us to have a lesson we’ll never forget.  As we invited Segundo to be baptized, he actually smiled and joyfully accepted the invitation for the 23rd of May.  These two lessons and several others really helped me to feel the power and truthfulness of the Restoration.  They also helped me to realize that as I rely on the Spirit, the Spriit will bless me to really teach with the power and authority like the scriptures say.  Not to say I am some great and powerful teacher, but that with the Lord’s help I know that all things are possible, even helping me to remember the things I've learned and teach them in an effective manner.
     Something I haven’t mentioned before is that Elder Cook is a district leader so it’s interesting to be in a companionship with the district leader.  That’s why Elder Copa (who is a zone leader) had an exchange with us this past week.  It was a fun exchange and like I mentioned we had some really powerful lessons like the one with Segundo.  Elder Cook also has some baptismal interviews this past week which meant we had to travel over to the church a couple times.  As we returned from the church on Friday, we ran into this less active member who was restoring an old 1950’s race car he imported from Detroit. Naturally, I started to converse with him about his project and talked some car, which led to inviting him to attend church. It was fun to use my car knowledge to contact in Peru as it doesn't happened very often (some pictures are attached).
     On Saturday we enjoyed a very nice baptismal service of a convert of other Elders in our district. We were blessed to be able to bring a couple of our investigators with us which was awesome. And well many other things happened this week, but I’ve done my best to include a few highlights.  I hope you’ll all find this well and that you all have a great week.



5 Photos