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.