Yes, today we had to do immigrations to get entered into their residence system and to get our legit Perú ID cards. It wasn’t the funnest thing to do on our P-Day, since we spent the entire day doing it.
I’ll start, however, with a report of what happened last Saturday. We got to go out proselyting again in the Lima East Mission. We were in a nice-ish part of Lima for a few hours. We rode a bus for 20 minutes instead of two hours (like last time), which was pretty awesome.
The Zone Leaders of that area were at the chapel that we were assigned to, so it was super fun to meet my prospective zone-leaders, should my mission commence in that part of Lima — only a week left until I can find out! They were super excited that I was the only Gringo of our group coming to their mission, and can’t wait for us to join them. We actually met those Zone Leaders last Wednesday at our temple session, which was super special because they only wanted to talk to me and see how I was doing. They actually thought that I spoke decent Spanish, which was quite the compliment compared to how I’ve been viewing a lot of my Spanish.
My Latino companion on Saturday (not Elder Durfey) was super nervous about going out. We had to sit and chat with him in the middle of our practice meeting and remind him that Heavenly Father knows what he’s doing, and he will be blessed and have the power to do it. We reminded him of Ether 12:6 which says that you won’t receive anything until the trial of your faith: you have to first open your mouth and be brave, then the Lord will fill it with what you need.
Unfortunately, that didn’t work super well with him, as when we went out proselyting, he was still terrified. I, and the teacher that went with us, had to take the first few doors (which was WAY awesome that I could even do that) until he eased his way in. However, once he was eased in, he stole all of my thunder, every time. The Latinos in this group of missionaries (and I know this from my own experience as well as the stories that we told in our district) don’t understand that we Gringos know how to teach, even if we have to think about the Spanish that we can say. Whenever I would say a sentence and then pause to think of the next set of words, he’d bust right in with a BRAND NEW IDEA every single time. For example: we happened upon an inactive member while we were “touching” doors that hadn’t been to church in two and a half months. After we got to know him for a bit (in his living room!) the thought instantly came to me that we should talk about faith. I began the discourse with some Ether 12 along with a few verses from Alma and began to tie all of the ends together for him. However, shortly after I started doing that, my companion just started bursting out about the restoration of the gospel that had nothing to do with faith. I had to reel my way back in to get the Spirit to testify to this man that with the Lord’s help, and through faith, we can do anything that is required of us. The lesson went super well and the Spirit that I felt was very strong. He committed to coming to church the next day, and I prayed my hardest that night for him to get some help. And, maybe my Latino comp understood that I’m not just some dumb Gringo.
We also went into the house of an older gentleman by offering to bless his house. That was super fun. We taught about the Book of Mormon and I dropped one that I had picked up from the CCM that I had put some marks and notes in. Hopefully he’ll share with his family. The funniest thing about that whole visit was that whenever our teacher spoke, he used a super loud voice to try to get other people in the house to come and join us. Didn’t happen, but it was worth a shot. I’ll certainly be using some of these techniques out in the field on my own.
We knocked many doors and got seven new contacts for the missionaries in about 1.75 hours. Many people just didn’t have the time, but let us take their addresses. I managed to drop a ton of pictures of Jesus Christ to many of those that we talked with (since they gave me about 5 million pictures) that all had the address of the chapel and the time that the ward of that area met. It was a super fun experienced and I learned a lot. I’m also glad that I understood about 80% of what was being said.
Today was also a pretty insane day. We woke up before six to get ready to go to Immigrations. We left the compound at 6:50 and loaded into two vans. All of the missionaries going to Peruvian missions had to go, if they had had a certain amount of time with Interpol. That means that the Advancados (missionaries almost ready to leave the CCM) that are serving in Peru got to go.
It was super strange. We got to the government building and waited for 20 minutes before the windows opened. Then, when the windows opened, we waited an hour and 45 minutes before we could drop off our papers at the window and verify our information. After that, we had to wait 30 minutes before they could take our pictures, get our fingerprints, and get our signature. After that, we had to wait 2 hours and 45 minutes more before we could get our passports back along with our new IDs. I read five chapters of Jesus the Christ during this time, which is pretty heavy reading. Oh, and I also had a quick nap. 🙂
After that massive amount of time there, they rushed us to McDonalds(!) to get us some lunch. We each had a Big Mac with a large fry. It was SOO good. I ate that sucker sooo fast. After that, we got to go to the 2:30 temple session. Then, we went to the Distribution Center to grab some things. I spent about four bucks on a cheaper bible, triple, and pictures. It was pretty great.
Well, I’m out of time. Look forward to an email within the next week. Love you all and make sure that you’re having a fun time! Hope you enjoy the letters that I sent off and this super long and awesome email.
Love you all!
Elder David Van Komen