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.

We’re Bringing Ultimate Frisbee to Peru

Last week for P-Day, along with watching Kung Fu Panda 2 (in Spanish, but still an excellent movie), we played some Ultimate Frisbee as some missionaries in the zone. We played on a tiny little soccer field, but we still had a blast. Today, however, the majority of the gringos in our multi-zone P-Day played Ultimate Frisbee on a gigantic field. I’m beat, but it was great to know that my skills are still up to par. It was really fun running around like crazy people all morning and afternoon with a Frisbee. Nothing bonds Mormon gringos like Frisbee does.

Anyway, it has been a pretty good week. I’ve had some fun and we’re really working to help out the ward as much as we can. I made up a Ward Mission Plan and presented it to them this week. It contains all of the things that they should be doing to help the ward. It should really help them. The Relief Society assigned visiting teachers, and the sisters are excited to get going with that.

We celebrated Maximo's birthday this week (our Pensionisto). Here he is with our Pensionista, his wife Olinda. They are the best.

We celebrated Maximo’s birthday this week (our Pensionisto). Here he is with our Pensionista, his wife Olinda. They are the best.

Elder Aleman, Maximo, Olinda and me.

Elder Aleman, Maximo, Olinda and me.

Happy Day, Maximo!

Happy Day, Maximo!

They took us to La Mesón, a delicious chicken and meat restaurant. The best part, however, is that they have real ice cubes that they give with their limeade. I  have missed ice cubes!

They took us to La Mesón, a delicious chicken and meat restaurant. The best part, however, is that they have real ice cubes that they give with their limeade. I have missed ice cubes!

The Birthday Boy and his chicken.

The Birthday Boy and his chicken.

The two of us together.

The two of us together.

All three of us! Olinda stayed home, but we brought her chicken too.

All three of us! Olinda stayed home, but we brought her chicken too.

This week I also had a split (or as we say “divisions”) with Elder Guerrero, a newer elder serving in Concepción. We had a day together and we had a blast. Their room is literally the Mansion of the mission. They have a personal chef as a pension (who is the coolest guy I’ve met in quite a while), they have a nice room, and everything is great. Their area is hard as far as proselyting goes, but they have a blast. We really could feel the Spirit as we taught together, and I hope that he learned from me. I really enjoyed my time there.

Elder Gurrero and I had divisions in Concepción. We had fun.

Elder Gurrero and I had divisions in Concepción. We had fun.

Their house is the "mansion of the mission" because their pensionisto is a personal chef, owns several restaurants, and owns a gas station company.

Their house is the “mansion of the mission” because their pensionisto is a personal chef, owns several restaurants, and owns a gas station company.

Seriously. It is a nice house.

Seriously. It is a nice house.

Other than that, there isn’t too much to report. My testimony grows every single day and I can feel the Savior’s hand in my life. I know that this work is true and that we are all sons and daughters of God with a purpose. I love the mission and it is hard to think that I hit 19 months tomorrow. It is coming to a close too quickly.

Hope you all have a great week and stay safe! I’m off to have an adventure!

With many llamas,

David

At about 11:00 PM, some young men and women started to learn the Jija (a Peruvian folk dance) in front of our room. I don't know why.

At about 11:00 PM, some young men and women started to learn the Jija (a Peruvian folk dance) in front of our room. I don’t know why.

O Then Despise Not, and Wonder Not

27 O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.

28 Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.

Mormon 9:27-28

I’ve been reading a lot of the Book of Mormon lately. It has been quite the experience and I’ve really learned a lot about the book. I can feel my testimony grow. I often wonder why I didn’t really do this so studiously before.

The hand of the Artist at work.

The hand of the Artist at work.

Anyway, this week has been a very challenging week for me. It has also been a very productive week for me. We have had more lessons this week than any other week of my time in Jauja. The area is really starting to progress and things are going wonderfully. I know that the Lord is very interested in the area and the people here. I think that He was rather frustrated for a time with the little success that there was and how little work was being done. I mean — two wards and a branch get reduced to a non-functioning ward? Well, it just shows how this scripture should work: despise not and wonder not, for the Lord will do wonders here if we let him. He is a God of miracles, as shown in the last chapter of Mormon. He often just waits for a show of good faith on our part.

A gigantic spider made out of a tree trunk. It was pretty sweet. However, there is no way I could fit it in my suitcase so I didn't buy it.

A gigantic spider made out of a tree trunk. It was pretty sweet. However, there is no way I could fit it in my suitcase so I didn’t buy it.

I bought a Peruvian doll dressed up as a Jaujina in traditional dance clothes. Took the guy at the store 10 minutes to find one in dark blue.

I bought a Peruvian doll dressed up as a Jaujina in traditional dance clothes. Took the guy at the store 10 minutes to find one in dark blue.

I also bought a hand carved wooden penguin for my desk at home. It is fantastic.

I also bought a hand carved wooden penguin for my desk at home. It is fantastic.

And that is what is happening in Jauja. The young men and young women and the young adults are indexing like crazy. With only a handful of them and very few computers, they were able to complete their goal of over 5000 names indexed these last four weeks and they just want to get going. What they are more excited for, however, is that this coming month the records of Junin, the department that they live in, are going to be released to be indexed! They are so happy to help others but are even more excited to index their own ancestors and help the work move along here in their own area! I am so excited and happy for them. I am 100% certain that I will be helping them by doing some indexing when I get home, since they are open for all.

Taking a break in a gigantic pot.

Taking a break in a gigantic pot.

Sneezing in front of a very Catholic house. Those family sneeze-in-the-sun genes are very strong.

Sneezing in front of a very Catholic house. Those family sneeze-in-the-sun genes are very strong.

So, we’ve had a good week. Not too much else to report but the work keeps trudging along. I’m rather tired and not feeling so good, but I know that the Lord loves us. He is here for us and He knows us individually. I can testify of it.

Anyway, have a fantastic week! I’m off to have an adventure!

With many llamas,

David

Maximo (our pensionisto) trying out the sorcery of cooking technology

Maximo (our pensionisto) trying out the sorcery of cooking technology

The master chef is hard at work making the Rocoto Relleno. He's the nephew of Maximo, our pensionisto.

The master chef is hard at work making the Rocoto Relleno. He’s the nephew of Maximo, our pensionisto.

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

Look at that deliciousness.

Look at that deliciousness.

I ate ALL of it. Even the bitter part of the pepper. I think I have a new favorite plate.

I ate ALL of it. Even the bitter part of the pepper. I think I have a new favorite plate.

What’s My Age, Again?

The entire zone. We are the biggest zone in the entire mission.

The entire zone. We are the biggest zone in the entire mission.

I’m running out of time. Each day I realize how much closer I’m getting to finishing the mission. It is rather crazy how fast time is passing. I’m approaching about five months until I come home and each day goes faster and faster. They say that time flies when you’re having fun, but I’d say that time flies even faster when you have fun and are serving the Lord.

None of the pictures that I took during our second trip to the ruins could possibly get better than those that I took last week.

None of the pictures that I took during our second trip to the ruins could possibly get better than those that I took last week.

We went back to the ruins and found a square rock.

We went back to the ruins and found a square rock.

Anyway, it has been a pretty great week. We broke our record of new investigators by finding 10 different people to teach, that all accepted a return appointment. Things are looking up! Our rescuing efforts are also coming along well, but we could step up our game a bit. It’s like a general authority said, “to Heavenly Father, the person that has never had the gospel is just as important as the people that have had the gospel but have forgotten.” Or something like that.(Mom here — I think he’s referring to this talk by Bishop Edgely.) So, if you aren’t having that many baptisms or converts, try rescuing the members you haven’t seen in a while! Everyone needs the gospel and everyone deserves a second (or a seventy times seventy-eth) chance!

Other than that, there isn’t too much to report other than our awesome activity on Friday. We had a blast! We recreated and improved our other Minute to Win It activity that we planned and it is the best activity that we’ve had yet.

This was the prize for first place for our competition. We told them the winner won everything in the box.

This was the prize for first place for our competition. We told them the winner won everything in the box.

Red Team!

Red Team!

Yellow Team!

Yellow Team!

Blue Team!

Blue Team!

We played a variety of games. Flick the bottle cap into the cup.

We played a variety of games. “Flick the Bottle Cap” into the cup.

Here they are in action!

Here they are in action!

We also played "Bounce the Pencil Into the Cup."

We also played “Bounce the Pencil Into the Cup.”

"Cookie Face:" the most entertaining of them all.

“Cookie Face:” the most entertaining of them all.

"Shooting the Tower of Cans"

“Shooting the Tower of Cans”

Warning! Danger of losing an eye. Use protective eye wear!

Warning! Danger of losing an eye. Use protective eyewear!

The obvious winner.

The obvious winner.

Yes, I was present.

Yes, I was present.

A challenger approaches! Flick the match box under the bottle without knocking over the bottle!

A challenger approaches! Flick the match box under the bottle without knocking over the bottle!

"Cotton Noses"!

“Cotton Noses”!

The blue team are the winners!

The blue team are the winners!

The contents of the box was a sign saying "thanks for participating!" in Spanish. That got some laughs from the losers.

The contents of the box was a sign saying “thanks for participating!” in Spanish. That got some laughs from the losers.

But in reality, EVERYONE is a winner! Yet another successful activity missionary style.

But in reality, EVERYONE is a winner! Yet another successful activity, missionary style.

We also bathed a dog that followed us home. We named him Ammón.

A dog followed us home this week.

A dog followed us home this week.

We called him Ammón.

We called him Ammón.

We even bathed him! Clean dog!

We even bathed him! Clean dog!

Well, um… I don’t know what else to say! Things are going well and I’m grateful for the time that I have to serve my Lord and King. I know that the gospel is true and everything else. I’m grateful for the Master and His ability to forgive and heal. He is there for all of us. I know it and I testify of it. Hope that you all have a great week! I’m off to have an adventure!

With Many Llamas,

David

They Were Steadfast and Immovable and They Bore with Patience

Alma 1:25  Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them.

This scripture is really helping me through Jauja. The Lord is really trying my patience, and I can tell that it is helping me. I never thought that I had problems with this kind of thing, but I guess the Lord knows me better than I do and wants me to be better than I think I am, if that makes sense. I guess that I just have to keep this scripture in mind, and this one from Alma 7:

Alma 7:23-24  And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.  And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.

However, things are going well. I’m enjoying myself, even though there isn’t a whole lot of measurable success. However, I know that the Lord is mindful of me and that He appreciates my ideas, even if others don’t understand them.

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Christmas Has Come and Gone and A New Year is Ready

At the cross-roads of destiny.

At the crossroads of destiny.

Our project during the week. Organize the entire ward directory by street. It was a very daunting task.

Our project during the week. Organize the entire ward directory by street. It was a very daunting task.

Well, another week. There isn’t really a whole lot to report, so I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. I really enjoyed Christmas this year and it was super nice to reflect on the Savior.

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Hark the Herald Angels Sing!

No, I did not write that “Angles” the first time… silly Spanish ruining my English… I’m just going to cry in the corner…  (Note from Mom — he misspelled it as”Harold” and didn’t catch it.)

The largest (hahahaha, nope) and bestest district in the whole mission! Good luck in Bolivia Elder Cavero! He finally got his visa as is off to Bolivia today.

The largest (hahahaha, nope) and bestest district in the whole mission! Good luck in Bolivia Elder Cavero! He finally got his visa as is off to Bolivia today.

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They Were of One Heart and One Mind

We put the snowman up on our window. I think it helps with the curb appeal.

We put the snowman up on our window. I think it helps with the curb appeal.

So, this week I thought I’d try something different. Instead of only just talking about some of the random things that happened this week, I’d talk about something that I’ve been thinking and studying about for the last week. I’d first like to thank Dad for reminding me of this idea as it really helps me as a missionary help others.

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Earthquakes are Awesome

So Thursday night, at around 11:00 local time, there was a decent earthquake in Huancayo! I felt the whole thing since I couldn’t quite get to sleep after thinking forever. The earthquake shook my bed, the clothes thingy (what on earth is Ropero in English…?), and I could hear the windows shake hard core. It was awesome, but it shocked me. I proceeded to talk about it with my companion, but he barely even felt it due to being in active Pisco his whole life. Elder Ortega (the Argentinian in my district) thought that the earthquake was a ghost shaking his bed. Yes, there are weird stories that run through the mission.

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