What a Week!

The reason I didn’t email last Monday was that it was a regular work day since Tuesday the ZL’s had to go to Lima for Zone Council and a conference with Elder Bednar (I am so jealous of those freaking jerks! I wanted to hear Elder Bednar SOOOO badly and only the Zone Leaders and missionaries that were already in Lima were able to go).

We had a conference last week in Huanuco and it was quite an adventure.  Elder Zivic of the Seventy came.  Afterward he told me his son served under President Van Komen in Independence, Missouri!  He asked me if he was a relation, and I told him everything.  He said it was a pleasure to see another Van Komen serving the Lord and said that President Van Komen was a great mission president.

This is our district with Elder Zivic. You probably recognize my old comp Elder Diaz next to me.

Well, in addition to the conference in Huanuco, this week has been quite the adventure. First and foremost, I have to report that my district had four baptisms and confirmations this week (all in the town of Paragsha, but they were still in my district!) and they were all super awesome.  I felt super happy seeing people make the covenants of baptism.  Their Interviews were also really awesome as they were among my first as district leader in my entire mission.

This photo was at the baptism in Paragsha. Elder Cifuentes is taking the picture, so he’s not in it. I’ll try to send one of the two of us together next week.

The sad part about the baptisms though, were that the Sisters had three baptisms totally ready — they had super strong testimonies, were totally worthy, and their interviews were spiritually uplifting experiences to ME.  However, the day of baptism, all three of them didn’t want to go through with it.  Elder Cifuentes and I went to the young 12-year-old to try and see if we could help, but nothing.  Elder Cifuentes really changed character and gave one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard from a missionary.  He actually started to cry when he shared his experiences from the church.  However, as we all know, people have their free agency and if they don’t want to, we can’t do anything about it.  Our zone leaders Elder Udall and Elder Montgomery went to go visit the couple the sisters had been teaching to see how they were doing, and nothing happened either. So, even after four baptisms, we still finished the day on a pretty sad note.

Other than that, there isn’t too much else to report.  Things in Carhuamayo are going well and we have a baptism (if we can get the permission from the father) that is really quite firm.  We’re really going to focus on finding new people to teach and, as Elder Bednar said in Lima (to the missionaries that were IN Lima) we’re going to change some of the traditions of the church and the mission that make no sense and are actually not helpful.  I’m really teaching my district to change up their teaching and not just teach with the same scriptures and examples as we always do.  There’s a reason whey they changed from the Missionary Discussions to Lessons in a way that we can be guided by the Spirit.

Tell Whitney Happy Birthday from me. Sounds like she sure got a TON of AWESOME stuff.  Oh in Español “Cosas BIEN CHEVERRES!!!!!”

Don’t worry about my health.  I just have a runny nose occasionally, but being so high up is awesome for my allergies.  My  nose has honestly never been so clear!  And our pensionista’s name is Sarah.  She’s awesome.

I love hearing about what you are teaching in Primary.  “We’ll Bring the World His Truth” (Army of Helaman) is my favorite Primary song in Spanish.  It is so beautifully written that I just have a hard time holding back my tears.  The Spanish version is better than the English version (especially when it is accompanied with “As Sisters in Zion”) — oh gosh.

We’ve had no news on the mission divisions. We have a transfer next week and another in June.  I have two chances to stay in Lima or in Huancayo — I have no idea what will happen but will be happy with however it turns out.

Yesterday we watched the Canal Mormon (Mormon Channel) DVDs you sent, and they were awesome.  Oh, and the battery operated the lamp is great since it gets dark in our room.  I turn the lamp on first, then turn off the main lights, get in my bed and turn off the lamp.  Love it.

Thanks for everything everybody!  Tell Grandma and Grandpa that I got their letters, but don’t have time to respond to them.  Send my love to everybody! I’m off to have an adventure!

Love,  David

This is a panoramic shot of Cerro de Pasco taken from near the cemetery.

Here is the highest LDS church building in the world!

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