Sunday, April 25, 2010

18 April 2010

So we had a baptism on Saturday that was really cool. Not many people came (which is usual) but Raymunda came with her grandson and after the baptism he came up to me and asked when he could get baptized like she did. I just had to say when we could finish giving him a few lessons and when he felt he was ready. Then he asked me, ¨Can it be next Saturday?¨ I just felt that the Lord was blessing us for the work we have been doing. On that Saturday of the baptism we put 5 more people with baptismal dates and had 10 lessons. I consider it a remarkably good day. Not all of them came the church, but we still ended up with quite a few people at church. As a branch, we’re getting up past a hundred in attendance which is really good. Before we had about 50 to 80 (eighty on a good day) and not were getting a lot more less actives coming too. I think its because the chapel is a lot easier to get to and see. And now we’ll have people who are just walking past hop in to see what´s going on. We really have an advantage being the only big chapel in Urubamba other than the Catholic parroquias.

Oh, and I got the package that you sent with Anne Marie (just this Wednesday), so I got the debit card without any problems, and the money and the bookmarks (Grandpa Huntington hand engraved them to give to Coulson's mission president-Ed) too, and this Friday we have interviews with President, so I’ll give them to him and tell him thanks for being my president, because it’s looking like there aren’t gonna be many changes and I’ll be staying here in the Cusco Mission. Its not a hundred percent sure, but it sure does look like it. And as to the Mother’s Day call, we should have a call a few days before to set everything up. Tell me if you want to call me or if you want me to call you. It’ll be a little bit different cause we don’t have a land line anymore, just the cell phone, but we’ll talk to President in interviews this week.

And about those scientists that insist that its just the subconscious mind that tells us stuff, they still can’t proof what subconscious even is, and they can’t even come close to explaining how it works. Personally, I really believe that it is a manifestation of the spirit. When the Spirit of the Lord speaks to our spirit. And recognizing the spirit is the most difficult to explain to our investigators, because they have a hard time understanding what it is. There is so much confusion about the spirit, between Baptists and pentecostes and catholics and evangalists,they just don’t know what to think anymore. Mostly we have to as simpler questions about how they feel, if the peace they’re feeling is a peace that they always feel or something deeper. If the happiness they feel while we speak with them is the same happiness they get from winning a soccer game and seeing their favorite tv show. And that’s generally when they realize that what they feel with us is something they can’t find in other places.
Anyways, because this might be my last change here in Urubamba, we're planning to go to MachuPicchu to see the ruins and everything and a few more cool things, like walk along the Inca Trail, and hike up a mountain called Pitusiray to see a few things up there. So these next 3 weeks should be pretty exciting.
I'll send you pictures :)

Love you guys and we'll talk soon!

12 April 2010

(In response to Mom's question) Ya well about how we should use the Book of Mormon in missionary work, its exactly like Joseph Smith said, it’s the keystone of our religion, and we have to treat it with a lot of respect. Generally we always refer to the most important story in 3 Nephi 11, when Christ came here. At first I hated how we always share the same stories with everyone, but really its important that they know about that event specifically, and we really have a lot of experiences with that. I’ve had quite a few investigators who have had dreams just about that chapter in the Book of Mormon, and the one that stands out to me more than anything is when one of our investigators told us about her dream and she said that she was looking for the prophets that were engraving in the golden plates, and she found Nephi and started talking to him when the world just started to come down around her, she was in the darkness and when she left she saw Christ come down for the heavens and just talked with her, but he basically said the same things to her as to everything in Bountiful, told her to get baptized by someone who had the power of God and exactly in that same form that He himself had been baptized. She woke up and felt that warm sensation of peace come over her and she knew she had to start going to church. Then I left the sector, but I’m almost a hundred percent sure she got baptized.

The part I like to share more than anything though is that she really looked for that answer, she read the chapters we left her and prayed and did everything to complete with the promise that Moroni gives us in ch. 10 : 3-4 But she didn’t just ask and leave it at that but she looked for the ways the spirit works in her life and in the scriptures. We and share a bunch of stories about of the spirit works in different people in the scriptures, but the other thing we really need to do is share how the spirit has worked in our own lives, like when I was lost in St. George or Grandpa with his thumb story, or thousands of little things that happen every day.
Anyways, Love you guys

Monday, April 5, 2010

5 April 2010

Mom, i hate to tell you, but President Uchtdorf’s talk didn’t have much affect here in Peru because if you have an old 20 dollar bill, no one accepts it. It just made me laugh as we heard that because all the gringos here have a bunch of old dollar bills that they can’t use here (I do too) because if a bill is old, scarred, has a little rip, is faded, or too crumpled up, its not worth anything here in Peru. I still got a wad of fives that I’m waiting to use when I get back to the states.
Ya, I’ll call up the office in a few days to see if it got there, but now that Elder Hales is getting out of the office I don’t have the inside man anymore. I’ll sure miss that, but we’ll see what happens.
Anyways, I'll tell you a little bit about one of our recent baptisms, her name is Lizdian Salas. A member introduced us and we started teaching, she had some really interesting questions and we answered them all relatively well, she got really involved when we left her a video about how families can be forever (Camino a Casa). And just today we went to do a service project with her mom. They don't live together because the house fell over when the river went up so high (she now lives with her member friend). And obviously because she doesn't have a real house anymore and there was just mounds of adobe everywhere, we went to help out with that. We just leveled everything out and put up a fence, but seeing how big the whole was, it was a lot of work. And now we're one step closer to baptizing the family because she promised us that she would come to church this week without exception and she would bring her son too. They already accepted baptismal dates because they really enjoyed seeing Lizdian's baptism. They just need to go to church a few times and they might be able to get baptized this month. Her mom's name is Marina and her brother's name is Boris. Pray for them to help us out.
Oh, and as to my health, don't worry, I'm fine, and the two baptisms were totally worth it.

Love you guys

28 March 2010

You know what, i always thought my first train wreck would be my last, but it looks like missionaries have angels helping them out too, so i walked away from the crash just with a bruised leg and a lot of sueño. And now I'll explain what happened. We got the news Saturday that MachuPicchu had two baptisms, but they didn't have anyone to be witnesses because they only have about 4 priests in the town, one of them was excommunicated, one has his rights taken away, the other is living with his girlfriend, and the last hope kept on running away from them all Saturday so they couldn't do the baptisms. My companion and I talked about the importance of baptism and not having investigators wait any longer to have the Holy Ghost in their lives, so after our two baptisms we packed up some stuff and left Urubamba at midnight to go to MaPi. The only problem is that we had to walk because there aren't any trains working yet. So we took a taxi as far as we could, then started walking, and about 6:30 in the morning on Sunday a worker cart came down the tracks and picked us up to help us out, and about at 6:40 we turned around a curve and slammed into another worker cart that was stopped right there. I was fortunate enough to be standing up at the time because there weren't any more seats and got my leg smashed against the control box, and because we hadn't had any sleep, it didn't even matter and i didn't feel to much until i woke up this morning. But we got here in time to help them out with their baptisms, everything worked out great, and today they are gonna send out a train of passengers that we will be taking because there is no way i am walking to MachuPicchu ever again. But i can definitely say that i will never forget the 28th of march of 2010.

Anyways, ya, i figured Anne Marie would call me when she was here in Cusco, but she called right before the baptisms we had and told be she was in Lima, and i just laughed at her inside, but its fine, just try and send me the debit card through regular mail, packaged up pretty well and I'll fast and pray it gets here.

The conference will be there in the chapel, they have a projector and everything, a big screen tv and a few smaller tv's too. But this time i don't think I'll be able to listen in English *sigh* I always like to listen to the actual voice of the prophet but I'll have to settle with what i can get. Generally we have quite a few investigators that come to church here, 5 to 10 almost every Sunday, but cause we were here in MaPi we couldn't see if anyone came yesterday.

I'm safe and fine, everything is going great, and as a ZL I'm really happy that we exceeded out goal of baptisms for the month in the zone. We aimed for 10 and we got 11

cuídense mucho, les amo, chao

15 March 2010

Wow, so this chapel is going to be so awesome, we're gonna have an open house this weekend and then its gonna be dedicated this Sunday. We're gonna be working really hard to get a lot of people in the chapel this Sunday and today we were doing a service project to get a whole town, which looks like its gonna work cause they're all pretty excited to come see the church. The sacrament meeting is gonna be upstairs and its a lot better now that we have all the water filtered and we won't have to keep bring in bottles of water to use for the sacrament. And the baptismal font is amazing, and we had the chance to use it last Saturday. Its a good sized font and the room that its apart of is big enough to fit in quite a few people, which is better than sitting outside around a pool like we have been doing. And is got a water heater so i won't have to baptize in freezing cold water until i get a transfer. I didn't even have that in Vegas! I still remember how cold that water was when dad baptized me that same day with Audrey. But i guess that´s a good thing cause maybe if the water hadn't been so cold i wouldn't have remembered for as long as i have. One of our eternal investigadors got baptized this Saturday because we finally convinced her that she should be the first person to get baptized in the new chapel. Amazing she accepted and stopped drinking chicha de jora so that she could pass her interview.

And right now we're teaching a jovencita thats really just an amazing investigador. She's got a ton of questions for us and we're helping her first of all to gain a testimony so that she can understand and accept the answers we give her. But amongst her questions, one of them was ´´When can i get baptized?´´ Its just a pain cause she studies in Cusco all during the week and she's only here Saturday night and Sunday. So we put a date for the 27th and we have to hurry up and have her get her testimony. We left her a few videos, some folletos and some chapters to read in the Book of Mormon so i think everything will work out great. Oh, and so you know, her name is Lízdian Salas.

Anyways, I want you to know that i'm doing great here in Valle Sagrado and i love working here. Being a zone leader is a little more difficult, but its helping me grow. I love you guys, and Mayce, i'll try to write you next week!!! sorry i didn't have time today