April 21, 2015
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.