Saturday, November 28, 2009

23 November 2009

As to the gospel videos, I normally don’t use them much, I let some of the members use them, and they are way cool to use in the Family Home Evenings we have. And I want to plan a Movie Night for the young men and women so that they can bring their friends to watch the Testaments or maybe The Other Side of Heaven if I can get permission. And actually that would be awesome if you could get the new Gospel Art book, cause I think that would help a lot, again, especially in the FHE.
As for P-day, normally we hardly do anything because we can’t leave the zone, or even our sector without permission, and because they want the zone to be more united, we generally just play soccer in the institute building, and once every change we go visit somewhere in Lima as a zone. But normally we spend the time sleeping or playing around with the pension and the bishop. Card games, chess, checkers, magic tricks, whatever. As to the ward missionaries… they don’t help… they don’t even come to the baptisms, just the ward mission leader. We should have a meeting for half an hour after church every Sunday, but we just end up waiting the whole time, as one by one they sneak out or tell us one of their excuses. The bishop is stuck in his wheelchair, he doesn’t work anymore but he’s a pretty good bishop as far as I can tell. And I should be able to tell considering I live with him. But I guess he should be, he’s been bishop for nine years now in this ward. His wife is our pensionista, we live on the second floor, we spend a lot of time with him and his family, and I will definitely miss that when I leave the ward, cause most of the missionaries don’t have good relationships with their bishops.
Educational system… they have primary and secondary. Primary has 6 grades and secondary has 5, and sometimes they have kindergarden, but I’ve never heard of pre-school here. Its weird because most of the schools just look like big houses, and normally they are privately owned, but there are a few public schools that are a lot bigger, like a middle school from the States. As to the average day of the average man… get in the bus, waste an hour or 2 traveling, get to work, work for about 8 hours, go home for another 2 hours on the bus, eat and drink. Its not all that different but to me it seems that they are so much lazier.

Oh, and we baptized Poala Velasquez this week, the single mom, and it was freaking amazing because it was the first time we actually had the support of the ward. The relief Society came to see her and give a message and a little welcome, and I was so surprised because normally its just the missionaries, some investigators, the ward mission leader, and the bishop. I even think that they’ll do their visits to help her stay active. Its really weird that I’m so excited about something so little.

I'll write you a little more about the average life in lima next week, sorry but the time went by pretty fast. Love you guys!!

15 November 09

(Coulson responding to Mom's questions-ED) As to being an effective missionary… I’ve seen people who are so serious about their work as a missionary that they don’t even enjoy it, and it’s like an obligation that they just have to fulfill. I’ve also seen people who just take this time in their mission as a type of huge vacation
where they can get to know random people and learn a little more about the gospel, and enjoy a little bit more money than they’re used to. I’ve also seen missionaries, straight out disobedient, don’t follow any rules, are lazy, don’t want to be on the mission, yet still have a ton of baptisms. It confuses me a little bit, but I’ve found that being an effective missionary doesn’t always mean baptizing everyone in your sector. It’s just finding out what it is that the Lord wants you to
do, and then obeying. And as to the job that Calder got (2 years here in Las Vegas as a clerk for Judge Roger Hunt, a dream job-Ed), I was praying one night this week (don’t remember which day)about that clerkship with Judge Hunt and I just knew that the Lord would let him get that job, and I even remembered to write it in my journal, so that’s pretty cool. Well, here’s a story all about how my mission got flipped turned outside down, and I’d like to take a minute so sit right there and I’ll tell ya about… Jessica Widdup. She really is a great person, and she was going to church every week for about 2 months, but she wasn’t married (still isn’t) and for that she can’t get baptized, and for another reason, she doesn’t want to. Her sister was in the hospital and the doctors had her in intensive care because they
said she was going to die and that her lungs were basically full of blood. And Jessica stayed with her sister all that week in the hospital (missed the deadline for her wedding papers) and visited her family. But at one point, she was so desperate that she prayed to the Lord and said that if he would heal her sister, she would go back to the church she went to before (Evangelica). Miraculously the next day her sister left the hospital breathing normal and healthy. Sucks for me cause now she won’t come back to church even though she knows the Book of Mormon is scripture written by prophets and that Joseph Smith really did see God the Father and His Son. But we’ll just keep visiting them because they love having the Elders over to their house and I can’t help but feel that she’ll come back to the church eventually. And the half hour is over, so that’s it. Love you guys, and next week I don’t know what’ll happen because we have a multizone on Monday so I’m not sure what’ll happen, but still, send me a few letters.

Friday, November 13, 2009

8 November 09

(Mary decided to ask Coulson to answer questions as opposed to thinking of what to write since he does not have much time to compose - ED)

Ya, mission rules on emailing… we have exactly half an hour to write, read and do anything else that we need to do on the computer. We can only write one email, and send it to however many people we want.
President Tyler is a way laid back type of a guy, so its a lot different from President Elmer. The interviews have been a bit weird. Mostly because he is still getting used to the mission, and he has a bunch of stuff to work out before he’s really comfortable in his position. Mostly we’ve just talked about my ex companion, the problems he has made for the ward i’m in, and all the inactive people we have to work with now that they know that a Mormon missionary did all those stupid things. I basically had to stop teaching anyone who had met him to start getting baptisms again. (Coulsons mission Mom said that he was developing patience with that companion - Ed)
And speaking of baptisms, we’re gonna have a baptism this week (Anibal Berrios), the week after (Paola Velasquez) and the week after (JamierLoma) if everything works out well. Anibal is a 12 year old kid that lives close to us, his mom is inactive, and his dad doesn’t want to listen to us, but he really wants to get baptized and receive the priesthood. Paola is a single mother that had a little bit of an abusive past, left her boyfriend, and now is getting adjusted to the single mother life and the church. Jamier is 15 years old and regularly attends seminary, but isn’t so sure about the prophet Joseph Smith or a living prophet now, but is working towards his baptism on the 28th.

As to the holidays, all the regulars, and none of them are really that big of a deal as far as i can tell. Just Halloween because everyone here thinks its a holiday where everyone worships the devil and eat children and steal your soul. Its really awkward because we had to completely avoid the topic.

As to the food, we always eat in the pension, but the members always want to feed us too. I think Elder Pizarro has already gained about 20 pounds because he can’t fit into some of his pants anymore. But as for me, i just stay the same weight. Haven’t changed at all. Oh, and everyone here in Peru says that Peruvian food is the best in the world. It is such a lie! It really annoys me too because i think they know they’re lying. But my favorite food is probably lomosaltado, which i ate at that restaurant with Uncle Kevin, and la papa rellena, which is something like stuffed potato which is really good. But the freaking mashed potatoes here suck. Its basically like potato water because its so thin.

And Christmas presents... I’ve never been able to answer that question, and that hasn’t changed. But i just got your package that you sent through the mail, and even though i haven’t opened it yet, thank you so much.

Places to visit... you’d be surprised mom, but i really want to go visit a few of the museums here. We can’t really go very far on pdays cause we have to stay in the zone... and our zone is kinda poor on the touristic side of life... and my sector is even worse. More than anything i want to get out of Lima. Even though i love the people, i don’t like the city at all. I want to go back and visit the jungle, and go the the mountains.

And the story of the people will have to wait for next week cause the 30 minutes are r up.

Love you guys, and hope this email is a little bit better. Keep sending me questions like that, its easier for me to keep writing and not waste time

1 November 09

This week was pretty cool, because we had what they call here a matrimonio massivo, or a massive marriage. We had two couples get married, and we’ll have a baptism on Halloween to complete a family in the church, Manuel. The wife and the little girl are already members, and soon the husband will follow her (but he isn’t the father of the kids). And the other couple we’re still teaching. The wife is a member, but her kids are still too young and her husband is a little hard to find, so we’ve only talked to him a little bit. And the following week we should have another baptism, Jamier, a teenager that goes to seminary with his friend. And I’m still hoping that his cousin Brighyt will come to church some day. She reads the Book of Mormon and accepted to get baptized, just isn’t doing what it takes to get to that point. Then the next week a young woman, Paula, who’s a single Mom and we’ve never met the father. I don’t think he has anything to do with her life anymore, except every once and a while to see his little girl.

Love you guys and thanks for your support.Wow, well first off with the baptisms. Manuel got baptized Halloween in the nighttime, which was way cool, cause a bunch of people from the ward came to support him and his family. Now that we helped them get married and baptized, the whole family is part of the church and they are definitely progressing a lot. Now we just have to help his sister get married too, cause she wants to get baptized too. It’s just that her ‘spouse’ needs to get divorced from his other marriage first. Jamier wants to put off his baptism until the end of November, and Paola is ready for the 21st, just needs to come to church for the next two weeks. Anibal is a little guy, twelve years old that wants to get baptized too, and we’re helping him work towards that, but he really reminds me of Raul’s little brother… way active. Ya know, I would have thought that Vegas, being Sin City and all, would be worse than Lima, but its ridiculous the things that happen here. Just in my sector we’ve had people shot, stabbed, run over by cars, stolen. One night I woke up to go to the bathroom and I heard what I thought was a firework (cause the Catholics here always set off fireworks in their ‘faith walks’), but then I find out two days later that someone died in the park across from where Manuel lives.

And Becca, I’d love to have you and Davis come down here too, so start planning and saving up that green. Calder, I never forget about you and Ivy, and actually I talk about you quite a bit to my investigators too cause I’m dang excited to come home to see my first little niece.

Thanks for all the news, I love you guys a ton! And thanks for checking out about that package mom!