15 October 2012
Hope that every one is doing all right as I’m doing great as well. It has been a pretty easy week with not a whole bunch to report about, but I’ll get right to the things that have been happening.
We had another baptism. We finally got Tania baptized! It took quite a while to convince her that she needed to be baptized, but after she was convinced, she did it so willingly (I’ve attached a picture)! Unfortunately, as the font was filling, the water stopped coming out at about knee height (for me) so I baptized her on my knees. It was still super cool and super sweet though. Through her, we also got another investigator. One of her friends named Brian joined her for one of our lessons this week, and he was so interested and really wants to change his life. Pretty sure that it wasn’t an accident. We’ve taught him 2 of the 4 lessons, and have spent another visit with him resolving any questions or doubts that he has had. If we can get the next two lessons taught to him soon enough, he will probably be baptized this week! Can’t believe how ready he is.
We also have another investigator named Arturo. He is an older man and unfortunately has significant health problems. We met him by chance and he stopped us and told us that he wanted to change his life and hear our message. We’ve taught him one lesson and have given him a health blessing. Unfortunately, every time we visit him, I have this looming feeling that we need to work quickly with him because he has very little time left on the earth in his fragile and diseased body. I am so sorrowful for him because of his health and terrible living conditions. We’re working fast on him, and so is the Lord.
We also went to another waterfall this week for P-Day. This last week was our District P-Day and we decided to go to another waterfall. Unfortunately for us, though, the waterfall that we decided to go to was so far away that we walked about 2.5 hours to get there up a mountain and down again. My legs hurt so bad when we got home. However, it was super duper awesome. There was one waterfall that wasn’t quite impressive leading to a big pool of water. However, we discovered another path and made it above that first waterfall to a more impressive, refreshing waterfall. It was super cool and we took some good pictures like the one that I’m sending now. When we got back to town, I bought a 2.5 liter water bottle and drank the whole thing before we made it back to our room.
As for your questions now:
Thanks for letting me know that Brother Mac (BYU Marching Band director) still thinks so highly of me. I have actually been practicing when I get the chance to improve my chops out here in the field. Gotta admit that the ScoJo’s (Scott Jonhson drum sticks) are a wonderful thing to have. If we have a talent show, I’ll probably do something with those skills. Many people actually notice my drumming on my legs while I am waiting for an appointment and they still think that it is pretty cool that i am so good at it. My companion has actually asked for some help learning some basic rhythms! Spanish is sure hard to learn at beginning, especially since vocabulary is such a wall for me (and all of the other elders!) and the things that I’m doing and talking about require a huge vocabulary. However, I am learning and getting it.
My pensionista Susannah and her family are members. They have been for a few years, but haven’t made it to the temple as a family yet. She has two children, an older boy and a younger girl. The boy is named Leo and is super tight with us missionaries and is preparing to serve right now. I think he is working on his papers.
Elder Espinoza and I get along pretty well minus the fact that I get irritated with him for taking sooo much time showering in the morning. We were almost late for our first sacrament meeting yesterday.
The weather is still hot and is getting hotter. Not too big of a fan here in the Jungle considering the heat. The cotton garments are super comfortable, but boy do they make me sweat. However, it’s good, because I’m losing weight!
Our church building is pretty small. It is about a fourth the size of our current building at home. However, it is super cozy. The two wards are pretty small. Only about 20-30 members show up to the meetings. I’ve been told that there are quite a few inactive members in each ward, so in the coming weeks we’re going to go visit them to see if we can get them to come back to church. They don’t have me play the piano because there really isn’t one to use. Oh and yesterday kinda sucked. For maintenance reasons, they shut down the ENTIRE CITY’S POWER all day long. I was so upset with it — I was like “If this happened at home, we’d have sooo many upset people.” The power was off from 6:00 in the morning until 8:00 at night. It really sucked because we couldn’t turn on the fans in the chapel, so we were dying of heat. But oh well. It’s over.
And yes mom, I’m doing fine. It’s been hard being away from home in a different country, but I’m learning so much about the gospel, myself, Spanish, and the people here in Peru. I really really miss being able to text you for advice or for random bits of assurance, but I very quickly learned that Heavenly Father is always there for me. I’ve actually learned to have my thoughts almost always opened to prayer to Him, and things have been so much better. This Gospel is true, and I love you all sooo very much. I miss you all so very much, but that’s ok. The salvation of souls is greater than the temporary comfort of being together. I also keep in mind that as I am faithful, I will be able to live with your all for eternity anyway! How great the blessings of this Gospel are for those of us that know and follow the commandments of the Lord.
I have learned a lot about the atonement, too. Through the Grace of the Lord and through the marvelous path of repentance, the promises of Ether 12 have been made real in me. My weaknesses have now become my strengths and I am constantly improving my testimony. So, I don’t worry about any past sins that I have committed, because without sin and repentance, the Lord would have no way to show us how to grow and improve to become even better people and children of our Eternal God. I am totally where the Lord needs and wants me and it is made evident each and every day in the things that I do and are happening to me.
I love you so very much and pray for your benefit each day. Thanks for everything that you’ve done for me and for teaching me to walk in the light of Christ. You truly raised me to strive to be a great young man and there is no one I’d rather be than who I am.
Until Next Week! Love you all tons!