I Am a Member of the Fellowship of the Unashamed

That same old cuy just wants to kill someone.

That same old cuy just wants to kill someone.

Elder Fitzgerald tried to feed a llama.

Elder Fitzgerald tried to feed a llama.

We found a pretty awesome mask.

We found a pretty awesome mask.

This has been a great week. I have really felt the Spirit so much this week and I know that things are progressing. The Lord is blessing us for our righteous efforts in the gospel, and we are loving the work here. We are becoming members of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.

Romans 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth

 

This week has been so awesome that I can’t really say much about it because I don’t have the time to say so in my letters on Mondays. However, I will tell you about our activity and how amazing it was.

We had an “amistura” this week, which is basically where everyone that can brings food and prepares enough for everyone to try it. (Note from Mom: he has apparently forgotten the word “potluck.”)

We prepared mini pizzas and everyone loved them. They were also so amazingly cheap to make in Peru, that we might make them again this week. Anyway, we had about ten investigators show up. They all made friends and they all loved the activity. The Spirit definitely blessed them and helped them come to the activity. Most all of these investigators came to church and loved the services. Elder Fitzgerald and I felt such a feeling of love and joy for each of them. It was amazing.

For the branch activity, we prepared mini pizzas.

For the branch activity, we prepared mini pizzas.

Maximo helped us out by cutting up the mushrooms.

Maximo helped us out by cutting up the mushrooms.

Elder Fitzgerald was pretty excited to eat these pizzas.

Elder Fitzgerald was pretty excited to eat these pizzas.

Ready for the oven.

Ready for the oven.

Cooling down a bit to take them to the chapel.

Cooling down a bit to take them to the chapel.

Leftover bread. We bought 40 or 50 pieces of bread. Weren't sure how much we'd actually need.

Leftover bread. We bought 40 or 50 pieces of bread. Weren’t sure how much we’d actually need.

Off to the chapel.

Off to the chapel.

We's are so cool.

We’s are so cool.

Our presentation. We made about 50 of them (well, we ate like 3 each when they came out of the oven!)

Our presentation. We made about 50 of them (well, we ate like 3 each when they came out of the oven!)

Someone made stuffed chicken with fruits.

Someone made stuffed chicken with fruits.

The classic papa a la huancaina.

The classic papa a la huancaina.

Caldo de gallina

Caldo de gallina

Pancakes

Pancakes

Some wheat dessert

Some wheat dessert

She made Arroz con Leche.

She made Arroz con Leche.

Anticuchos which are barbequed cow hearts. Pretty tasty -- they all got eaten

Anticuchos which are barbequed cow hearts. Pretty tasty — they all got eaten

Causa. Mashed potatoes with flavors.

Causa. Mashed potatoes with flavors.

We were really really full. However, after this we ate the last 6 pizzas that were left........ yeah.

We were really really full. However, after this we ate the last 6 pizzas that were left…….. yeah.

Well, that’s about it. Hope you all have a great week. I only have two more weeks in Jauja, so I’m going to make the most of it.

Love you all! I’m off to have an adventure!

With many llamas,

David

I’m a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of His and I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I’m done and finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.

My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road may be narrow, my way rough, my companions few, but my guide is reliable and my mission is clear.

I will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.  I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or hesitate in the presence of the adversary. I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.

I am a disciple of Jesus. I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He’ll have no problems recognizing me. My colors will be clear!”

(This piece gets passed around a lot, and attribution is problematic according to internet search engines. Whether it was written by a Saint or a Sinner, the message is inspiring.)

They Should Let No Pride or Haughtiness Disturb Their Peace

Mosiah 27:3-4 

3 And there was a strict command throughout all the churches that there should be no persecutions among them, that there should be an equality among all men;

4 That they should let no pride nor haughtiness disturb their peace; that every man should esteem his neighbor as himself, laboring with their own hands for their support.

 

First, I didn’t do much picture-worthy this week. So, no pictures and I am sorry.

This has been a fantastic week. The Lord is hastening His work for real in Jauja. Two missionaries were pulled out of the branch because Elder Mercado, my old companion has to be reassigned to Ecuador due to paperwork not wanting to work out. He and Elder Lema have been sent away. I am now with Elder Fitzgerald of Arizona, USA, so it looks like I’ll be finishing with a gringo, just how I started. It is a pretty nice breath of fresh air since we can talk and understand each other perfectly and have plenty of things to share. I’m grateful for this change and am excited for what the Lord has in store for us.

This week we have hit a new record for me in total number of lessons taught. We have taught 23 different lessons (including less-actives, actives, and investigators) just in this week, and we’re pretty sure that we can up that even more. We have been helping many people feel the need to repent, which is something that I’ve been learning. We have to call others to repentance as missionaries, as that is the only true way to come unto Christ.

We have taught an amazing family this week as well. They are a reference from our Elder’s Quorum president, who was Stake President in the past. He is an assistant or cabinet member for the government in Jauja, so he was talking with this man as part of his work. The husband of the family got in a car accident last Sunday and almost lost his life. After talking with our Elder’s Quorum president, he decided that he needed to really change his life and come unto Christ. So, the reference made it to us. As we talked in the first appointment, we learned that the missionaries — Elder Stone and his companion — taught him about two years ago. They dropped the family due to lack of progression. However, the father is reading the Book of Mormon and his closing prayer was so powerful that we knew that he was ready. His wife wants to come to Christ as well and really wants to help her family. The daughter wants to reconcile herself with God. So, we have a great project. (We just need to get them married. As usual.)

We’ve had loads of spiritual experiences this week, but I can’t list them all here. The Lord is hastening his work. He really is. We have to join Him or be left behind.

Moroni 10:32-33

32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

 

Well, that’s what’s happening in Jauja. I’m happy. The Lord is happy. I am good, and God is good. Keep the faith and come unto Christ. I’m off to have an adventure!

With many llamas,

David

I Do This For a Wise Purpose

The field is white already to harvest.

The field is white already to harvest.

Well, all I know is that the Lord does things for his own purposes. We don’t know what they are, and it make take a while to figure them out, but he does them for a reason.

Elder Mercado as the Angel Moroni

Elder Mercado as the Angel Moroni

We went again to Tunanmarca this week. This time I was smart and wore long pants.

We went again to Tunanmarca this week. This time I was smart and wore long pants.

I'm too tall to pass as a native here.

I’m too tall to pass as a native here.

The ruins and the sky.

The ruins and the sky.

Nasty cactuses

Nasty cactuses

This week, Elder Fitzgerald had to go to Lima for his papers. Something happened with the paperwork for the whole group of gringos who came in December, and they had to go to Ecuador to essential start over on documentation and paperwork. This meant that his companion, Elder Lema, was to join us all week long. He is actually still with us today.

We have been walking everywhere the past week. We’ve been doing so much stuff to try to keep a good balance between our area and theirs in Jauja. We tried to find a ton of families, we tried to visit members, and we tried our hardest to at least have some success. Yesterday, for example, we tried to visit nine different families that we know always receive us, but they were all gone. We may have failed here as numbers show — we didn’t have much success, but we got to know each other and had a decent time. I’m not going to lie — I’m feeling a little down and frustrated.

Now, I don’t know why it happened. I may not know. It was a hard week. We had some fun, but it’s not fun to make an accounting of your efforts and feel like you come up short. However, I came closer to my Heavenly Father. I know He hears and answers prayers. He really is there for us. And I love Him. I know He loves us. I know that He is interested in even the most minute details of our lives. He lives. His Son lives. They are always there for us.

So, I’m off to have an adventure this week. I have hope that things will be better this week. I guess it is another bit of the refiners fire. I’ve only got 50 days. I can do this. These two years have been the best and hardest thing that I’ve ever done.

With many llamas,

David

I convinced the sisters to get dressed up as Jaujinas. It always makes Olinda happy to deck out the gringos.

I convinced the sisters to get dressed up as Jaujinas. It always makes Olinda happy to deck out the gringos.

We white-washed our apartment walls this week.

We white-washed our apartment walls this week.

Maximo made sure that it was down right.

Maximo made sure that it was down right.

A sister gave me a turtle with a sombrero.

A sister gave me a turtle with a sombrero.

Another statue of the Virgin Mary to add to my collection.

Another statue of the Virgin Mary to add to my collection.

There Was a Change Wrought Upon Them

Elder Mercado and I in our matching ties. We're cools.

Elder Mercado and I in our matching ties. We’re cools.

So, there were emergency transfers in the district this week. Three of the elders, including my companion, all were sent to different areas in the mission. I have Elder Mercado now. He is from Costa Rica and has eight months in the mission. President Henderson has sent him to be with me to learn how to be a district leader. I imagine that I will finish the mission with him. It seems like we will get along really well, so it is a good change. I’m certain that we will have a ton of success.

There isn’t much else to report, really. Things are still trucking along in good ol’ Jauja. The darkness is starting to disappear and things are getting a lot better. We had a baptism in the branch and it was a great service. I was really happy to see someone make sacred covenants.

Cristany was finally baptized! Her mother made the gown for her older sister, and she wanted to use it. Christany is the first member in her family.

Cristany was finally baptized! Her mother made the gown for her older sister, and she wanted to use it. Christany is the first member in her family.

Look at MY camera!

Look at MY camera!

The Jauja elders and a baptism.

The Jauja elders and a baptism.

Cristany and her friends.

Cristany and her friends.

Sorry for the short update, but there really isn’t anything else to report! I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that God is our Heavenly Father. This is the true gospel! Hold to the Rod! The IRON ROD!

Anyway, have a great adventure this week. I’m off to have my own, with my new companion!

With many llamas,

David

Some interesting image of which I have no interpretation.

Some interesting image of which I have no interpretation.

"Born in Hell" is probably the funniest thing I have seen on a Peruvian car. They probably have no idea what it means.

“Born in Hell” is probably the funniest thing I have seen on a Peruvian car. They probably have no idea what it means.

This is a Peruvian facility (which is a word I understand better because of Spanish - facil = easy) where they farm trout.

This is a Peruvian facility (which is a word I understand better because of Spanish – facil = easy) where they farm trout.

Gigantic fresh water trout.

Gigantic freshwater trout.

Pachamanca, the Dirt Oven

So, since I talked to my family yesterday, I’m certain that they’ll put a bunch of updates as part of this letter, so I won’t talk too much.

It has been a pretty good week. I’ve enjoyed myself quite a lot since I’ve been in Huancayo for meetings. We had a district leader conference (where I was both the district leader with the most time and most time as a district leader) and a multi-zone conference. They were both really nice and I got to eat some good food as part of the deal.

We’ve been trying to find people this week, but there just hasn’t been anyone around. They all must have been getting ready for the Mother’s Day celebrations. Mother’s Day is a pretty big holiday here, and they’ve all been making Pachamanca and being with family.

Elder Pizarro and I helped to make Pachamanca (which literally means Dirt Oven in Quechua) with Maximo and his family. I now know how to make it, so when I get back we can make some. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

The chef is making his masterpiece of Humita - Ground up corn mixed with sugar, Inca Cola, and other secret ingredients.

The chef is making his masterpiece of Humita – Ground up corn mixed with sugar, Inca Cola, and other secret ingredients.

The awesome oven in which we will bury the Pachamanca.

The awesome oven in which we will bury the Pachamanca.

The meat: 5 Kg of pork and four whole chickens.

The meat: 5 Kg of pork and four whole chickens.

The sweet potatoes, potatoes, and avas.

The sweet potatoes, potatoes, and avas.

Poor cuy...

Poor cuy…

Robinson eating some random body part of a cuy.

Robinson eating some random body part of a cuy.

Putting the humita in corn sheaves to cook.

Putting the humita in corn sheaves to cook.

Potatoes go in first with some hot rocks.

Potatoes go in first with some hot rocks.

Then the pork goes in.

Then the pork goes in.

Next, the chicken.

Next, the chicken.

Then the cuy.

Then the cuy.

A photo to prove I was there.

A photo to prove I was there.

After the cuy, goes the humita.

After the cuy, goes the humita.

Herbs are placed on the outside for flavor.

Herbs are placed on the outside for flavor.

Blankets are laid on top to hold in vapor and heat.

Blankets are laid on top to hold in vapor and heat.

Tarps are placed around the oven for protection.

Tarps are placed around the oven for protection.

The tired chef.

The tired chef.

Time to eat PACHAMANCA!

Time to eat PACHAMANCA!

So, that’s really about it. There isn’t much else to report since I’ve been out of my area for most of the week. I hope that you all have an adventure. Well, I’m off to have an adventure!

With many llamas,

David

UPDATES from Mom: We had a great video chat for Mother’s Day. There were some technical difficulties involving Skype and the microphones. David could see us, but not hear us. I was impressed with his good humor as he tried to figure it out. Finally, we switched to Google Hangouts and he did some techie magic and we had a good chat. He looked good — he was very happy and his accent was markedly less compared to Christmas. He said it was because he spends more time with gringos now that there are so many more missionaries. He is excited to finish his work, and worried that life is “about to slap him in the face” with the end of his mission. Elders Pizarro and Fitzgerald stuck their heads in to say “hello” and that was really fun.

Elder Van Komen also asked me to tell friends and family to PLEASE WRITE TO HIM!

(The flies like to sleep on the wooden bars that hold the roof up. Here are the spiders that capture them.)

(The flies like to sleep on the wooden bars that hold the roof up. Here are the spiders that capture them.)

Time Passes, People Move

Maximo is hugging a toad.

Maximo is hugging a toad.

I think I make a good toad. What do you think?

I think I make a good toad. What do you think?

Is this pose better?

Is this pose better?

Well, we are in May. What. How can that be? Wasn’t it JUST July of 2012? Am I really finishing in just over two months? That isn’t possible. I can’t believe it.

Anyway, quote of the day from Elder Fitzgerald – “Ever since I moved to Perú, I just want to eat chocolate each day.” Is it because of the lack of good chocolate? Is it the high sodium (salt) diet? I’ll let you all decide.

Our district!

Our district!

So, this week has been pretty awesome. We are really focusing on the less-active and inactive families. We have had seven lessons with less actives, but that doesn’t include the lessons with part-member families that we’ve been teaching. The work is progressing here in Jauja, and I am super excited.

Me with God's glorious creations.

Me with God’s glorious creations.

Laguna de Paca

Laguna de Paca

I’ve been working on diligence this past week (no, it isn’t because I’m trunky…). I really feel that I need to just go down fighting. Having just over two months is nothing. I have a transfer and two-thirds left. I can’t believe it. It is coming way too quickly. But, diligence is the antidote to being worried about the future. We are diligent with what the Lord has given us, trust Him, and then He takes care of all of the details.

We’ve been seeing that principle here. We finally had a baptism (the other elders) in Jauja and things are lightening up. We can feel a difference in the atmosphere of the city and things are starting to fill with Light. The enemy of all righteousness isn’t happy. He worked so hard last week to stop that baptism — he targeted the boy’s mother’s insecurity about the truth of the work. He tried to make the young man who was about to baptized have “hot” feet (the water was really warm!). He did everything in his power. But we, including the Lord, beat him. We are really ready to get moving.

About the plan that I mentioned last week, the stake president even likes it, and might even use it as a basis for the rest of the stake. Wow. It just goes to show that sometimes people just need a game plan to get moving. I hope they take it and make progress.

So, that’s about it for the week. Things are trucking along. I love the work and the Lord. Have a great adventure!

With many llamas,

David

The sisters sat in the back of the car because they wanted to get a different view!

The sisters sat in the back of the car because they wanted to get a different view!

All right, I learned my lesson. Baking powder loses its punch after several months. (Actually, almost a year.)

All right, I learned my lesson. Baking powder loses its punch after several months. (Actually, almost a year.)

I shouldn't have cooked the brownies in a pan greased by pure butter...

I shouldn’t have cooked the brownies in a pan greased by pure butter…

 THE FIRST BAPTISM IN JAUJA SINCE NOVEMBER!!

THE FIRST BAPTISM IN JAUJA SINCE NOVEMBER!!

 

A little kid in our branch makes awesome clay figures of Pokémon.

A little kid in our branch makes awesome clay figures of Pokémon.

He LOVES these little pocket monsters.

He LOVES these little pocket monsters.

 

Jauja, Yet Again, But This Time with Progress

It was also Elder Gonzales' birthday this week! The branch threw a party as part of our ward mission night.

It was Elder Gonzales’ birthday this week! The branch threw a party as part of our ward mission night.

The standard biting of the cake.

The standard biting of the cake.

Yes, I was present. No, I am not (too) crazy

Yes, I was present. No, I am not (too) crazy

A good birthday followed by chicken at El Meson.

A good birthday followed by chicken at El Meson.

So, transfers were last week and I am still in Jauja. I am still with Elder Pizarro. We are still having a blast.

On our division, we also found a cute little dog! Her name is Lady.

On our division, we also found a cute little dog! Her name is Lady.

Yes, she is a stray (and probably has fleas), but she is our stray. All of the big bad dogs try to follow her around, but I just kick them.

Yes, she is a stray (and probably has fleas), but she is our stray. All of the big bad dogs try to follow her around, but I just kick them.

This week, we have been working on putting together a big mission plan for the branch. Things are ready to get moving here in Jauja. I’d like to share part of that plan to show how we are going to tackle this most upsetting situation.

First and foremost, the plan is divided in four phases. Each of the phases has a list of ideas for the branch to get things to work, along with a ton of scriptures, which I will list under each of the phases.

Phase 1 – Fortify Branch and Establish the Cause of Zion

D&C 6:6 Now, as you have asked, behold, I say unto you, keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion;

D&C 64:33-34 Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.

Phase 2 – Become a Fully-Functioning Ward

Mosiah 18:19-21 And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught, and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets. Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people. And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.

D&C 107:99-100 Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence. He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen.

 Phase 3 – Divide the Ward

 D&C 82:14 For Zion must increase in beauty, and in holiness; her borders must be enlarged; her stakes must be strengthened; yea, verily I say unto you, Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments.

Alma 31:5 And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.

Phase 4 – Become a Stake and Endure to the End 

Moses 1:39  For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

D&C 18:10-17  Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him. And he hath arisen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth! Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people. And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me! Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my rock, and my salvation.

If there is one thing that I have learned from all of the hard areas of the mission, it is that there needs to be a well organized plan, with goals, actions, and, of course, a final goal. We presented this plan to the members, with all of our ideas, and they all took it at once. The leaders were actually excited to get working. We are excited to get working, and of course, the Lord is probably very pleased.

I know that this is the Work of the Lord and it is His Work of Salvation. He is interested in all of the details of our lives, and especially in His plan and His work. He loves each and every one of us and desires our salvation, for behold, this is His work and His glory!

Jauja is progressing, and it is ready for a huge change. I just hope that all works well.

Well, I’m off to have an adventure. Hope that you all have one as well!

With many llamas,

David

On our division this week, Elder Fitzgerald and I found a gigantic spider in their room. It started to climb the walls, so we killed it.

On our division this week, Elder Fitzgerald and I found a gigantic spider in their room. It started to climb the walls, so we killed it.

 

Love Is the Very Essence of the Gospel

Sorry I’m a day late! Yesterday, we had interviews with Pte Henderson and then a regular work day. So, today is a relaxing P-day!

Olinda (our pensionista) dressed up the sisters in our district as traditional Jaujinas.

Olinda (our pensionista) dressed up the sisters in our district as traditional Jaujinas.

So, conference has come and gone. It was my last as a missionary, and boy was it powerful. I was fortunate to listen and attend each session (even though I missed President Packer’s talk…). We watched conference with Maximo and Olinda on their cable television. On Sunday went to the stake center with the branch, and I watched one session in English.

There were some amazing talks and I loved all of them. However, my favorite talks were President Monson’s on Sunday morning, Elder Bednar’s on Sunday Morning, and President Uchtdorf’s in the Priesthood session. They were all directed at me. The best quote, however, was this by President Monson…

“Love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar.”

It was perfect for our branch. Everyone left inspired and with the determination to do good. I was so grateful for the hand of God in each message. I felt the Spirit and I know that what they said is true. This is the truth! Don’t doubt, only believe.

So, this week has been pretty good. We’ve been doing our best to help others on their way in this life. We’ve taught some less actives, visited some investigators, and just have had a good week. I don’t know if I ever mentioned it, but there are now four elders in Jauja. They came out about two weeks ago. However, there was another little change because one of the Elders that came was then sent to another area. Elder Fitzgerald is now here and we also have Elder Gonzales, a Bolivian, who was pulled out of Venezuela. it is pretty exciting to see how much the Lord cares about my little Jauja. I can’t wait to see things move along!

Well, that’s just about it for the week. I realize that my letters are getting shorter or less full of exciting things as time goes by, but I find that nothing super exciting is happening right now. The Gospel is true, and I can feel it each day. I know that my Savior loves me and everyone else. It is true.

Anyway, I’m off to have an adventure! Hope you all have a great one as well!

With many llamas,

David

For P-Day, we went up to the Ruins of Shuju, which are located up in the mountains. Here is a picture overlooking the entire valley.

For P-Day, we went up to the Ruins of Shuju, which are located up in the mountains. Here is a picture overlooking the entire valley.

Maximo, our trusty tour guide.

Maximo, our trusty tour guide.

The ruins were super awesome. They are set up in a row across the mountain, in a type of fortress or protection formation.

The ruins were super awesome. They are set up in a row across the mountain, in a type of fortress or protection formation.

They have been kept very well, and show that they overlooked the whole valley to protect the natives from enemies.

They have been kept very well, and show that they overlooked the whole valley to protect the natives from enemies.

It was raining back in Jauja, and the rain made an awesome rainbow.

It was raining back in Jauja, and the rain made an awesome rainbow.

Contemplating the majesty of God's creations. It was just fantastic.

Contemplating the majesty of God’s creations. It was just fantastic.

Seriously fantastic.

Seriously fantastic.

 

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

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.