Fourth of July in Perú and Meeting the New Presidente

Well, hope that everyone had a great Fourth of July! I sure did. We taught some awesome lessons and really helped people come unto Christ. We got a young man ready for his baptism and did some other things that were rather productive. Along with that we also had hamburgers with Mamí Pachis. She is seriously the best pensionista in the entire world. She made Elder Bonner and me Mac and Cheese twice this week and real hamburgers. She also told us that she is our mother for the next few months, so we have to see her as our mother. She’ll never replace my real mother, but at least she’s a decent replacement while I’m gone.

This week we had a baptism. Well, two, but only one counted for us. We baptized a little 8 year old girl named Michelle. Her mother is a member, so the baptism counted for the ward, and not for us, but that’s alright. I still count it as mine because we taught her everything to get her ready. The other baptism was for a young man named Micheal (which is pronounced exactly like Michelle) who we met last Sunday. He was super excited to get baptized and is now helping us with the work out here in Chilca. Our young men and women are the best and most helpful in the entire mission!

Yesterday I had a nice “district meeting” with the youth of our ward to teach them about how we are supposed to teach as missionaries. The majority of them are ward missionaries, so I decided that as a District Leader, and, well, the “senior” of the ward, I would train all of them. We talked about setting goals and how it is an act of faith and how goals lead to miracles. We also talked about the importance of following the Spirit as we teach and how the Book of Mormon should be the main source of our teaching. Then we practiced teaching Lesson 1, the Restoration. They are ready to be missionaries now! They just need to keep studying and then actually put everything in practice. It is really cool having young people want to help us.

On Wednesday, we had our first conference with President Henderson and his wife. We learned a ton about them and they are really awesome people. They love good adventures and are super excited to be here. They don’t have kids that are still at home, and are totally dedicated to the work and know why they are here. He came up with our awesome logo, which you can find at the mission blog. I absolutely love it. It is super modern and totally captures what Huancayo is all about: mountains and preaching from the mountain tops. We also discovered that we can’t use backpacks as missionaries in the whole world. Seriously, it is a new church standard to not have backpacks. We can use messenger bags, which is actually my preferred style now. So, for those that are getting ready to serve a mission, keep in mind the new Dress and Grooming Standards that the church has just thrown out. I was able to buy a good one here for about $30.

Elder Torres and me in front of the church

Elder Torres and me in front of the church

Anyway, I sure do love this work and am really excited to work with President Henderson. He’s a great guy and will be a great president.

Elder Torres and I are getting along swimmingly.  I’ve been so blessed to have such awesome companions on the mission!

Well, this week will be a fun week. We’e going to have a few more baptisms (five are pretty probable!) and have a fun week even though the Santiago festivals are going to get started. Today we’re going to a place called Miraflores and chill in nature.

Anyway, I’m off to have an adventure!

Elder Van Komen

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