Do You Believe in Magic?

Well, I sure do.  However, I believe in the logical explanation of magic.  Magic (or miracles in missionary terms) is when we can’t explain exactly what happened.  We know that everything is bound by laws, but we honestly don’t know all of the laws.  That is what is happening with my companion and me.  As we obey the counsel of the mission president, be obedient, and do all of the work that we possibly can, the Lord makes up for the rest and we find people put into our path that are really interested.

We decided to change up our contact approach from what we did all last transfer.  We read  Chapter 9 of Preach My Gospel as a companionship and as a zone and we decided that just saying “We’d like to make an invitation to our Church” was not the way that the Lord wanted us to contact people.  We need to contact people with the idea of TEACHING them right off the bat.  We have been doing that all week long and TONS of people are like “Well, that sounds interesting.  What is the Restoration and why do you claim to have the authority of God to baptize?” or even “Christ came to the Americas? How do you know?”  When they ask these questions after our little bit of information, we have people to teach.

Also, we now have about 60-ish people attending Sacrament Meeting when in weeks past we had about fourteen.  I really feel quite accomplished with working with inactive members.  So many families have returned to the fold and it is really touching to see them take the sacrament with the desire to do everything all over again.  I am really loving working here in San Pedro de Cajas especially since our 10 year old investigator came to Church this week after about six weeks of helping her come.  Oh, and she came with her whole family.  It was so touching.

I also discovered that we need to fortify the branch’s leaders more than anything else.  We got a copy of Manual 2 which is about the leadership of the Church, and we’ve got some big plans to help this ward be successful.  Firstly, we need to get having Branch Counsel every single week.  They do it monthly, not weekly and the weekly is pretty weakly.  I am in such a great mood and so ready to help this branch become a WARD.  I really feel that the branch can become super strong before I leave at the end of March.

Also, I’m also getting really really good at teaching and contacting in Spanish.  This morning, Elder Calle (his first name is Abel, as in Abel from the Bible — I’ve now had Moses, Abraham, and now Abel!) told me that last night around 3 or 4 in the morning, I was teaching out loud in my sleep, in Spanish.  Elder Espinoza, back in San Ramon, told me that a few times I spoke in my sleep, but it was Spanglish.  Now, I’m dreaming in Spanish.  That means that I’m really getting it.

Also, I celebrated my six months in the field by burning one of my ties.  Now, before you start guessing which one it was, it was an old crappy tie that I got from the Elder that stole two of my ties.  Instead of giving me my two ties back, he sent me like 10 of his older ones.  They were all in good condition except for the one that I decided to burn.  I gave away all but three of those new ties, so everything is good.  So, I’ve attached a few pictures of me burning this tie since there really isn’t anything else to report or, well, show what I’ve been doing.

Here’s the tie! Time to mark my six months with a little ritual.

Lighting the match…

And, it burns! 18 months to go!

Also, I had some Pesto Pasta the other day! It was so tasty and so worth two plates full.  I really didn’t think that Pesto existed in Peru, so it was quite a surprise when Hna Maria gave me a huge plate full of it.  I ate the whole thing so fast.  In SPdC, what we usually have to eat is a plate of rice with some type of meat and potatoes.  However, one of my new favorite plates here is called Trucha.  It is whole fish that is super fried.  You eat everything but the bones, the head, and the tail.  It is soooooooo tasty.  Really loving the food here.  The only problem is that sometimes it doesn’t agree with me still, but its all good.

Now for comments and questions:

Speaking of Primary Music, in Manual 2, it says that the music leaders of the Primary are supposed to use the songs to teach the Gospel and that the melodies and messages of the songs should remain in their hearts for the majority of their lives.  Just have to say that that objective really happened with me.  I still LOVE primary songs.  I just need to have some to listen to.  Now that I’m training, we’ve got a DVD player and my companion bought the CDs of Spanish Primary songs.  I have a feeling that we’ll be listening to that a lot.  Also, Alma teaches us that ALL things testify of God and using that knowledge, we know that all things can show us that God loves us.  In D&C 70-something it says that all nature is for the good of man, for pleasure and for use.  Really cool that God has given us all of that to show us he loves us.

At the end of March, we are receiving 31 gringos in one transfer — twelve of them are hermanas. We’re growing from about 190 missionaries to 250 by the end of the year and that includes the missionaries that are going home.  It will be fantastic!  The president has to open about 30 new areas. That means that he’ll open areas in La Merced (San Ramon will finally have 4 missionaries again) and in Tarma.  There are tons of towns in my zone that have a handful of members, and are totally ready to have the gospel.

Well, that’s all I’ve got today.  Super glad that I still know how to type fast even though the Spanish Keyboard still messes me up…  Oh well.  Until Next Week!

Love you all!

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