Well, if you couldn’t guess by the title, I’ve had a bit of a The Incredibles kind of week, in a sense. We got haircuts and I really look like Mr. Incredible. The barber cut my hair way shorter than I expected from my instructions (apparently a 3 is a bit smaller in Peru) and now I look like Mr. Incredible. Hna. Susana and her family have all said that I really do look like him, so maybe it is a good thing and I now have the super strength to accomplish anything and the Spirit to help me along the way.
Also, the Christmas decorations are up in Hermana Susana’s house and they really are amazing for the small amount of money that they have. I did receive my Christmas packages, both the one from the family and from Lee and Malia. I opened the package up and love all of the stuff in it. However, I’m not going to use the big portion of it until I get to Christmas. I did give Leo, Andrea, and Susana the presents you sent since I figured that I would be leaving pretty soon and may not have the chance to give it to them later. They are super grateful and Leo told me that missionaries have never given him legit presents for Christmas in the past. They all told me to offer their thanks. I also gave the t-shirt to Elder Espinoza and will be saving the tie and chocolate letter for my next companion (“M” for MISSIONARY!). I’ll get a picture of them all with their presents this week. Thanks to all for the awesome presents. I will surely use them a ton.
Speaking of Christmas, I gave the best talk yesterday in Church. 🙂 The Bishop of San Ramon assigns the missionaries a talk every single month and always gives us the same exact topic: La Obra Misional (missionary work). My companion and I were both pretty bored of talking about the same subject, so we both decided to talk about other things, and they were both amazing. I talked about President Uchtdorf’s talk on Christmas from 2010, “Seeing Christmas Through New Eyes”. (Thanks for mailing copies in Spanish and English, Mom!) I also gave my own thoughts on what he offered, and it was well appreciated and well taken. Super awesome. My companion gave his talk on being humble. His end goal was to tell the ward that if they truly loved God like they all say they would, they would share the message with others and do their part to build up the Kingdom of God. Not sure how well that part was received in the ward, but we’ll see.
Saturday we were finally able to baptize the old woman Feliciana. We were going to do it last week, but it was just too cold and there were too many people around to do it. Alright, we said. We scheduled to do it on Tuesday. Again, it rained and was way too cold for her to agree to getting baptized. We decided to go for Wednesday. Wednesday arrived, and there was no water in the chapel when we went to go fill up the font. Well, we gave Henry a call to see if we could use his swimming pool. He agreed and we called Hna. Nelly, the daughter-in-law of Feliciana to let her know what the plan was and to give us a message if it was going to work out or not. We didn’t get a message for a long time, so we sent Leo to go see if they were waiting at the chapel since he’s got a motorcycle. No luck. Not there. We then called and were told that Feliciana was no where to be found. Pretty frustrating. We then promised to get it done on Saturday. Saturday came and we still had no water in our chapel, so we called the Zone Leaders to fill up their font and we’d get going. Absolutely crazy to me that they have two gigantic rivers here and only have running water during various times during the day. Crazy. After an hour of waiting for her and her daughter to get ready, we finally got to La Merced and baptized her. Then we confirmed her yesterday after convincing her that she was going to get a blessing to help her. Done.
Grandpa was asking about my daily routine, so I’ll go ahead and let you know how it works. We wake up at 6:30, do a bit of exercise, and get ready for the day. At about 7:30, we head downstairs to eat breakfast. At 8:00, we have personal study for an hour, followed by companionship study for two hours (which will change to 1 hour next week due to finishing my training) and then language study for an hour. At noon, we leave to go do some contacting or other things that need to get done, and come back at 1:00 to eat lunch, which I am still not a fan of having the biggest meal of the day in the middle of the day. Makes me feel fat for a few hours as we get to work. Then at 2:00, we head out to go to appointments, do some contacting, meet some members, find inactive members, or buy various things that are necessary (like toilet paper and snacks). We return at about 8:00 for dinner and some relaxation with Susana’s family to just chat about whatever. Not really a fan of eating dinner at 8:00, but it works and I’m basically used to it. Then we have planning for the next day at 9:00 and then get ready for bed and write in journals and study. Then we turn the lights off at around 10:30. That’s basically our day.
I swear I keep seeing a Dalek in the window of a house across the way. It is in reality a Christmas tree with some crazy lights, but it really looks like a Dalek. I keep expecting to see the phone box appear somewhere close and hear those dreadful words “exterminate! Exterminate!” followed by the ol’ Sonic Screwdriver sounds. Man I miss Netflix.
As for your questions: Yes, I am excited to get a new companion. It will probably be pretty hard since I am so used to how Elder Espinoza does things, but it is time for a change. I still think that I’ll be leaving this area, and I’ve told the President that I’m happy to get going, since Elder Espinoza really wants to stay here to finish off his last six weeks. It is really like his house, well at least the climate.
As for how I’m feeling, I’m feeling pretty good. I still get homesick every so often, but that’s to be expected. I really miss sitting down in the basement watching some good movies and shows with my brother and sisters (like Dr. Who), but I know I’m doing the right thing.
Also, it is very interesting that you all have sent me messages about Ether, my FAVORITE book in the Book of Mormon. I actually was just reading it this morning and have started to really dig into the amazingness of Ether 12 and study it in blocks at a time. I’ve learned soooo much and you’ll have to look through my study journal when I get home. I hope that I have at least four volumes of doctrinal topics with my own thoughts when I return. I love love love love love to study.
That’s pretty much it for today. Not really many pictures to send today, as the baptism was really the only big event. I think about you guys pretty often and hope that you’re all doing really well.
Talk to you all later,
Elder David Van Komen