I Have Graven Thee Upon the Palms of My Hands

1 Nephi 21:14-16

 14 But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not.

 15 For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.

 16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

So, yesterday was fast and testimony meeting in our little branch. I decided that I should share my testimony after wondering if I should get up. I have been re-reading the Book of Mormon with the intent to discover a love for the book, because I just don’t quite have it yet . A testimony of the book is no problem, but I desire to really love it. So, I shared with them this scripture. I told them that even thought the Lord had “brought them down” to being a branch, He would raise them up if they let Him and work with Him. The Spirit was so strong that I was trembling and couldn’t withhold my words. It was amazing.

Sister Henderson made me FRENCH BREAD.

Sister Henderson made me FRENCH BREAD.

Just look at this beauty. It was soooo tasty.

Just look at this beauty. It was soooo tasty.

So, I’ve been sick this week, so there haven’t been too many adventures because I’ve been so stuffed up that I just haven’t been paying attention. We have a baptism lined up for the 12th and things should be going fantastically for that investigator. We’re teaching another family where the entire branch has to be on board to help them out. It is exciting to see how the branch is finally starting to take responsibility for things that are happening here.

This Tuesday I got another call from Sister Henderson. She told me that they were running late to get to the Airport to pick up two brand new sister missionaries. They didn’t want them to freak out, so they sent me to go and meet them and let them know that they were on their way. So, we sat in the tiny airport and when the plane arrived, I was able to give them the grand welcome! It was great. However, both of them said that they already knew me because they had been reading the blog. How fantastic… The blog is great, but at times it worries me because I wonder WHO is actually reading it. Guess being a missionary with 20 months takes you to that…

Anyway, that’s about it for this week. I burned a pair of pants in a brilliant blaze of fire and have had some fun. The cold is almost gone, so I’m doing fine. Well, hope that you all have some fantastic adventures this week! I’m off to have my own!

To celebrate 20 months, I burnt a pair of pants! (I meant to do this at 18 months, but never managed it.) I wrote a note.

To celebrate 20 months, I burnt a pair of pants! (I meant to do this at 18 months, but never managed it.) I wrote a note.

Me and my pants.

Me and my pants.

They burnt even better than the white shirt!

They burnt even better than the white shirt!

Good bye 20 months! I can't believe I'm so close to the end of the mission!

Good bye 20 months! I can’t believe I’m so close to the end of the mission!

With many llamas,

David

For service this week, we decided to paint our room. However, there was only paint for the ceiling, which I painted again since the paint was falling away.

For service this week, we decided to paint our room. However, there was only paint for the ceiling, which I painted again since the paint was falling away.

For our mission activity, we watched the Testaments with the projector. The thing is installed in the ceiling, but when they installed the projector, they totally forgot to install a white screen. So, to make up for the missing screen, we used one of the sacrament cloths and it fit just perfectly!

For our mission activity, we watched the Testaments with the projector. The thing is installed in the ceiling, but when they installed the projector, they totally forgot to install a white screen. So, to make up for the missing screen, we used one of the sacrament cloths and it fit just perfectly!

Come to the Knowledge of the Glory of God

Mosiah 4

11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.

12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is so loaded. The first principles of the Gospel are so important and yet so difficult to understand at times.

Moroni 8

26 And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.

But once we start to understand the gospel, everything else begins to fall into place. This week I’ve been focusing my studies on Lesson 2 in Preach My Gospel, which discusses the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is amazing how studying these things make it much more interesting and much easier to teach my investigators. We are honestly teaching with a ton of power and authority because the Spirit is guiding us and we just know that we are doing what we should. I love my new companion.

A rainbow to mark the beginning of a new transfer.

A rainbow to mark the beginning of a new transfer.

This week hasn’t been the kind of week with lots of pictures, but it has been pretty great. We are teaching a ton of people and are really enjoying and loving the people that we are teaching. It is a fantastic process, and I haven’t been this happy in a long time.

Well, this week was also full of Cortamontes in Jauja. A Cortamonte is basically a Jauja party where they put up some big trees, decorate them with gifts, dance to music and while dancing take whacks at the tree to knock it over. (Oh, and don’t forget the beer. There’s always lots of beer.) There was actually a Cortamonte right outside of our room. It was pretty interesting to watch. However, it can be a little gross when you come upon two women relieving themselves right outside your door. Hna Olinda went out and yelled at them. They were pretty embarrassed, but they were also really, really drunk. Some people!

The Cortamonte dance festival set up right outside our room.

The Cortamonte dance festival set up right outside our room.

So, that’s about it. I’m loving the work and am really excited for what the week will bring. Hope that you are all doing great and have a fantastic week! I’m off to have an adventure!

With many llamas,

David

Ward to Branch, and Other Interesting Changes

My new companion, Elder Pizzaro from Lima!

My new companion, Elder Pizarro from Lima!

Elder Pizzaro and me. He's brand new!

Elder Pizzaro and me. He’s brand new!

So, this week has been full of changes. First and foremost, I have a new companion. I am staying in Jauja, thankfully. I am actually training. Like really training — not finishing the training, but starting it. The only unusual thing is that for two days I waited for President’s call, like he always does. I had a feeling that I would be training before transfers were made known. So, I waited. Then on Tuesday the Zone Leaders confirmed that I was training, so I kept waiting. I waited until 1:00 AM that night wondering if he would call (well, I was awake because my companion took forever organizing his stuff…). So, I waited. And…. nothing. So, going to bed at 1:00 AM was made even better when I had to wake up at 5:00 AM to get ready to go to Huancayo so I could be at the trainers training meeting. It was a great meeting (especially since they gave me breakfast!). It was really nice to talk with President Henderson for a bit. It was also super weird noticing that I am probably the singular missionary in the field with as much time as I have that is also training. He thanked me for coming on such short notice and was grateful that I could make it. I think this must have been a crazy transfer.

After 3 months (of us being there... it was more like a year in total) of a broken window patched up with Liahona clippings, Hermano Maximo decided to buy a new window for us.

After 3 months (of us being there… it was more like a year in total) of a broken window patched up with Liahona clippings, Hermano Maximo decided to buy a new window for us.

Anyway, my new companion is Elder Marcoly Pizarro from Lima. He’s a great guy and we’re excited to get moving along with the work. Things are fantastic with us. He’s a recent convert of a few years, so he is learning a lot, but he really knows how to connect with the members.

Which leads me to the next point:

The First Presidency made a change in our unit. President Monson himself came down to Jauja! LOL, just kidding. It would be quite interesting if he did come down, but he didn’t. The Stake Presidency got a letter from the First Presidency saying that the ward would be dropped from a ward to a branch. Which I think is fantastic. It is exactly what we need. The branch now has a president (after not having a bishop forever), which means that someone can hold the keys to direct the work and to help others. It also gives the members something to really fight for. I’m excited. My companion and I have tons of plans for the area and the branch, and we are ready to get fighting to build this place back up, like we should.

Funny story... One day at church I took off my glasses to clean them whilst Bonnie was present. She hurried and turned away in fear of my face without glasses. Ever since, I have been bothering her with it and she has been bothering me with hers. So, here are the two of us.

Funny story… One day at church I took off my glasses to clean them whilst Bonnie was present. She hurried and turned away in fear of my face without glasses. Ever since, I have been bothering her with it and she has been bothering me with hers. So, here are the two of us.

That’s about it for this week. Not too exciting since we lost some time doing various important things like baptism interviews, service, and getting the airport phone number for Sister Henderson (she asked me to go to the Jauja airport to get their phone number since there are a ton of missionaries flying from Lima out here in the next few days).

Anyway, hope that you all have a fantastic week! Enjoy this week’s adventures! I’m off to have my own!

with many llamas,

David

Also, I’m glad that Dorothy had a fantastic time at Prom. I got the pictures and she looked very cute.

We had a fantastic activity this week. Noche de Postres! (Dessert Night) The contestants are all ready to go.

We had a fantastic activity this week. Noche de Postres! (Dessert Night) The contestants are all ready to go.

The tension rises as they plate the food.

The tension rises as they plate the food.

Some just couldn't wait to whet that monstrous appetite.

Some just couldn’t wait to whet that monstrous appetite.

Yes, I too was in attendance.

Yes, I too was in attendance.

Things were all ready to go go. The judges (with their fantastic hair-dos) couldn't wait to enjoy the fantastic food-dos.

Things were all ready to go go. The judges (with their fantastic hair-dos) couldn’t wait to enjoy the fantastic food-dos.

Not sure what they are thinking, but I do know that sugar plums are not dancing in their heads. Because... well... there weren't any.

Not sure what they are thinking, but I do know that sugar plums are not dancing in their heads. Because… well… there weren’t any.

Was this planned??? I think that this was part of the contestant's strategy

Was this planned??? I think that this was part of the contestant’s strategy.

The tension rises as the contestants anxiously wait for the results.

The tension rises as the contestants anxiously wait for the results.

My favorite dish. Alright, it wasn't a dessert, but it was delicious. It was Arroz Cusqueño. It has noodles and french fries in it!

My favorite dish. Alright, it wasn’t a dessert, but it was delicious. It was Arroz Cusqueño. It has noodles and french fries in it!

And our pension won! She made Mazamorra with Peaches (sorry dad, you probably wouldn't have liked it).

And our pension won! She made Mazamorra with Peaches (sorry dad, you probably wouldn’t have liked it).

In a kind act of service, my companion and I helped the sisters cut bread for some sandwitches.

In a kind act of service, my companion and I helped the sisters cut bread for some sandwiches.

And we kept cutting bread.

And we kept cutting bread.

You can't see it, but we cut 150 breads.

You can’t see it, but we cut 150 breads.

And to finish it off, we had to go back and cut each of the finished sandwiches in half because over 180 people showed up! It was a miracle because we had far more than enough.

And to finish it off, we had to go back and cut each of the finished sandwiches in half because over 180 people showed up! It was a miracle because we had far more than enough.

 

When Ye Shall Rend that Veil of Unbelief

Happy Birthday, Elder Aleman!

Happy Birthday, Elder Aleman!

The presents were very welcome. He got some lotion, his favorite, and a picture frame. We had a party at the Pacahuala's house.

The presents were very welcome. He got some lotion, his favorite, and a picture frame. We had a party at the Pacahuala’s house.

 

Ether 4:15, 18-19

14 Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world; and it hath not come unto you, because of unbelief.

18 Therefore, repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and believe in my gospel, and be baptized in my name; for he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned; and signs shall follow them that believe in my name.

 19 And blessed is he that is found faithful unto my name at the last day, for he shall be lifted up to dwell in the kingdom prepared for him from the foundation of the world. And behold it is I that hath spoken it. Amen.

Well, it has been another week. Transfers are coming up — what a week. There should be some interesting changes, and I’m rather excited. I have no idea what awaits me, but I hope that I can truly “rend that Veil of Unbelief” and come even closer to my Savior. I only have three transfers left as a missionary and I have learned a ton.

The amount of dust we had been living in. All clean, now!

The amount of dust we had been living in. All clean, now!

This week has been very standard. We’ve taught some people, had some fun, and did some stuff as usual. It was pretty awesome to just do the normal stuff.

As you may or may not know, I am a rather huge fan of ice cream. While with Elder Guerrero, we found a place that sells frozen yogurt just like home!

As you may or may not know, I am a rather huge fan of ice cream. While with Elder Guerrero, we found a place that sells frozen yogurt just like home!

I had to buy two of them.

I had to buy two of them.

However, the ward really struggles with a love for gossip. We have tried to be loving and teach the members that people can repent and use the atonement of Christ to truly change who they are and have all of their past actions erased. We have tried telling them about Faith and how we can look forward with the eye of Faith and press forward toward salvation. We want them to support each other and build each other up, but it is hard to change. Yesterday was hard. One of the members asked us to give her a blessing after she heard some gossip that worried her. She and her husband are going through a hard time and she wanted to keep it private, but word got out. She was crying but the blessing we gave her was the most powerful blessing that I’ve ever given and I’m so grateful to have the priesthood. She was assured of her Savior’s love.

This is what I try to say to the ward, and it is a good reminder for me, too:

Everyone has feelings. Everyone deserves to be treated well. The golden rule is just fantastic: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or perhaps: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

It is like all of the book of Ether. If you work secretly and to bring people down, it will always be brought to light. It may not be now, or in the near future, but it will come and you will have to pay for what you have done, just as the Jaredites did with their complete and utter destruction. We must repent and become saints though the grace of Christ.

Everything that we do counts. Everything that happens matters. Decisions determine destiny and we must keep that in mind. What we do here determines what happens us after this life and the happiness that we will have there. So, rend that veil of unbelief! Come unto Christ and be ye perfected in Him! He loves us! He wants the best for us! Shake off the natural man! Become a saint! We are Sons and Daughters of a Heavenly King and we have a divine potential!

I love this work. I love the things that are happening in the world. The Lord is hurrying His work and we must either help Him or be left behind. This is the Testimony that is in me, and it grows each and every day. The mission is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

I love you all and hope that you have a great week. I’m off to have an adventure!

With many llamas,

David

Talent show! Just about ready to get started! (I took over 3 gigabytes of pictures and video to share with the ward members!)

Talent show! Just about ready to get started! (I took over 3 gigabytes of pictures and video to share with the ward members!)

Our friend Erik is ready for is big number, La Masquera!

Our friend Erik is ready for is big number, La Masquera!

Even the elderly were ready to participate!

Even the elderly were ready to participate!

We had musical duets.

We had musical duets.

I even showed off my drummin' skills. I still got it.

I even showed off my drummin’ skills. I still got it.

Singing and dancing -- they were a hit.

Singing and dancing — they were a hit.

A "selfie" to prove I was really there.

A pic to prove I was really there.

La Masquera was a pretty big surprise and a pretty big hoot!

La Masquera was a pretty big surprise and a pretty big hoot!

 

The Primary joined in. Two of the girls pretended they were sister missionaries. Their skit was about how their Pension made awful food, so the mission president showed up to give them some correction.

The Primary joined in. Two of the girls pretended they were sister missionaries. Their skit was about how their Pension made awful food, so the mission president showed up to give them some correction.

A "couple" did a musical number where the boy wanted the girl back, but she wasn't interested.

A “couple” did a musical number where the boy wanted the girl back, but she wasn’t interested.

The Relief Society showed off some curves by dancing traditional "waynos" which then led into a party song.

The Relief Society showed off some curves by dancing traditional “waynos” which then led into a party song.

Then we had a drumming group. They were probably the most interesting one to me. My ears hadn't heard that amount of noise in just over two years -- the last time I played with the BYU drumline.

Then we had a drumming group. They were probably the most interesting one to me. My ears hadn’t heard that amount of noise in just over two years — the last time I played with the BYU drumline.

Just PURE NOISE.

Just PURE NOISE.

 

My companion did a mini-man dancing number. It was pretty funny, but he forgot to cover his real legs...

My companion did a mini-man dancing number. It was pretty funny, but he forgot to cover his real legs…

Then to finish it off, a romantic duet. What a fun night.

Then to finish it off, a romantic duet. What a fun night.

Making Rompemuelles, but more like Rompecarros

Speed bumps here are called rompemuelles, but most of them should be called rompecarros (meaning, car breakers). In light of that, we decided to make one this week! But then we made two! One that is above the ground, and one that goes under the ground. The family on the street loves our handiwork — it keeps the street safe for the kids — but have told us that many people have gotten either stuck, or tried to fill it in, or have even yelled at them. They just laugh and feel much safer. The cars here just go too fast without caring about pedestrians, especially young ones.

Our service project this week was building a Peruvian speed bump!

Our service project this week was building a Peruvian speed bump!

The finished project. People have really been stopping here the last few days. Sure makes play time for little kids more fun and safer!

The finished project. People have really been stopping here the last few days. Sure makes play time for little kids more fun and safer!

So, this has been a really long and hard week. Most everything has fallen through, and I’ve been pretty disappointed. We’ve worked hard to find people, but nothing really happened. To make things worse, one of the members we’ve been working with a lot has started drinking again. The ward is discouraged, too, and we have to announce everything for them to come. It is really frustrating.

However, it has taught me to see some of the tender mercies of the Lord in my life. He gave us two awesome new investigators at the end of the week (the only new investigators). He has made sure that we are safe (crazy thunderstorms all week), and things progress even though it goes pretty slowly. Missionary work is not easy, even for a missionary that only has just over four months left. There were days this week when I didn’t even want to leave the room for how disappointed I was. However, I know that the Lord recognizes our efforts and blesses us according to His will and the agency of others. I love this work.

Anyway, I know that the Gospel is true. I have learned so much from this area and am glad for the experiences that I get. It truly is an adventure, and I’m off to go have another one! Have a great week everyone!

With many llamas,

David

THIS is a Jauja party.

THIS is a Jauja party.

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