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.

Ruins of a Once Majestic City

Elder Aleman and I survey the Incan ruins of Tunanmarca. We had such a good time we are taking the whole zone back there today.

Elder Aleman and I survey the Incan ruins of Tunanmarca. We had such a good time we are taking the whole zone back there today.

Well, we had some awesome adventures this week, starting with our awesome P-day. We went to the ruins of Tunanmarca up past Jajua, and man was it fun. We had to climb up a crazy mountain in a super old car (which made me kind of miss San Pedro de Cajas) to get to the ruins that rest upon a pretty tall mountain. It was really cool seeing the sights and learning about how these people lived. Unfortunately, the ruins haven’t been very well taken care of, and many of them are falling apart. However, the parts that were still standing up were just awesome! They are so great that Elder Aleman and I are taking the whole zone back there for P-day today. I’ll just let the pictures tell the story.

And we're off to the RUINS of Tunanmarca!

And we’re off to the RUINS of Tunanmarca!

What we had to drive up to get to the ruins. (Yes, all of the little farms are still our area.)

What we had to drive up to get to the ruins. (Yes, all of the little farms are still our area.)

Looks like I'm too tall to be an Inca.

Looks like I’m too tall to be an Inca.

Several other people came along. This is our Pensionisto and Abinadí.

Several other people came along. This is our Pensionisto and Abinadí.

An old wall with a few houses.

An old wall with a few houses.

The ruins are pretty awesome.

The ruins are pretty awesome.

A small pathway between varying properties.

A small pathway between varying properties.

There are some interesting rocks to be found.

There are some interesting rocks to be found.

The entire top of the mountain is the city of the ruins.

The entire top of the mountain is the city of the ruins.

This week has been both pretty tough, but very good as well. I am still in Jauja with Elder Aleman, and we have tried to hit the ground running. Everyone but Elder Layton stayed in my district, and we got four more missionaries. Almost all of our appointments have fallen through, but the ones that we have had have been fantastic. People are really seeking for the gospel and want to change their lives. And, as the scriptures say, we’re “laying the foundation for a greater work” in Jauja.

Our awesome activity in the chapel. Hardly anyone showed up.

Our awesome activity in the chapel. Hardly anyone showed up.

But then more people showed up, and we played a non-musical version of musical chairs.

But then more people showed up, and we played a non-musical version of musical chairs.

I have really learned to love the Atonement. I don’t think I’ll ever completely understand it, but I have learned how grace can really transform people and make them better. We have been teaching a less-active member who had fallen really hard into alcoholism. He lost his wife, his daughters, and many things were not going his way. He approached us on two different occasions (which I shamefully admit that we didn’t want to teach him nor talk to him). He could feel the pressure of the ward looking down on him due to his past actions and gossip. He was just having a hard time. However, after we taught him about the Atonement and Repentance, he decided that it was time to change. A few lessons down the line, and he is doing fantastic! I love the poor man and am so grateful that the Lord led us to him. The Lord will rescue him from the chains of hell and we will help him learn about his Redeemer. He is an amazing man.

In other news, the ward is really feeling the Spirit of Elijah. They are really working on the indexing goals that the stake has set, and many of them are completing them! I love this work and know that the Lord is accelerating it on many fronts.

Other than that, we are teaching the mother of an inactive clown (an actual clown who does birthday parties). However, the clown seems more of the nighmarish kind that never smiles, but I guess he can really put on a show when he is with the kids. He also doesn’t even want to listen to us because he “will never change.” Whatever. He’ll come around when he sees how happy his mother is!

Anyway, there’s a lot to do here. I’m glad to be here another transfer and hope that I can really help the work here progress. It will be an adventure! Well, I’m off to have an adventure!

With many llamas,

David

Instead of giving me my 8.50 change with a 5, a 2, a 1 and a 50 centimo, they gave me all in 50 centimos and 10 centimos.

Instead of giving me my 8.50 change with a 5, a 2, a 1 and a 50 centimo, they gave me all in 50 centimos and 10 centimos.

My companion stole a bicycle.

My companion stole a bicycle.

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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Jauja, Peru’s Ancient Capital

We had transfers last week. I am in Jauja. I am in a decent sized town that used to be the capital of Peru. Well, that was years and years ago. The city hasn’t grown very much, but it is pretty nice. It seems to be a grown up version of San Pedro de Cajas, where I entered just about a year ago. It is a nice city, and I’m enjoying the fresh air.

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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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Thanksgiving in Peru Isn’t Super Awesome

Well, about that title, I mean it because Thanksgiving doesn’t even exist here in Peru. They had a religious festival, but they were celebrating some saint or some “Señor de Los Milagros” that changed the way the Catholic church works or something here. It wasn’t too bad, though. We had our own celebration in our room with some ice cream and some fruit juice (which was a bad combo — I warned my companion!). We talked about things that we were grateful for, and it was a nice celebration. Next Thanksgiving I’ll be able to celebrate it at home! I didn’t get too homesick… but I imagine that Christmas will probably be tough.

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