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.)

What Is Your Temperature?

Ian's baptism this week. He's grandson of the older lady in the picture.

Ian’s baptism this week. He’s grandson of the older lady in the picture.

He's a short little feller.

He’s a short little feller.

Revelation 3:15-16

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

 

Yesterday, we had a special stake conference attended by a member of the Area Seventy. He had a great talk about conversion. He started by sharing this scripture. He also went ahead and shared the original Greek translation. Instead of Hot and Cold, John really wanted to say Frozen and Boiling. A little bit more interesting, right? So, then he asked us all the question, What is your temperature?

He told us that since we all have testimonies that the Church is true, we cannot be frozen anymore, but lukewarm. That is the minimum after getting a testimony. We know it is true, the Lord has testified that it is true, and we are the left to act on it. However, are we just lukewarm? Or are we boiling? Boiling is having the will to act on that flame. Boiling is true conversion to the Lord. He then offered three points on how we can be boiling and not just lukewarm.

  1. Scripture Study — what is your temperature?
  2. How we treat others — what is your temperature? (He also stated that general authorities find that this is the greatest key indicator for conversion)
  3. Tithing and Offerings — what is your temperature?

This was the most inspiring talk that I have heard my whole mission and I hope that these thoughts can help you be better converted. He told us that all commandments and other things within the will of the Lord can be measured this way. Act, then you shall be boiling.

Ether 12:26-28

26 And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;

27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

28 Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.

 

So that’s what I learned this week. The work continues. It is still hard, but it is starting to give fruit. I am really excited to see where things go. I only have three more weeks as a missionary in the field, and it still blows my mind. I have no idea how badly life will hit me. At least I have two fantastic companions — Elder Fitzgerald and the Spirit of the Lord. I know that He is interested in my life and in your lives. He works through many mysterious ways to bring to pass His work. Trust Him and you will see how things change.

Anyway, that’s about it for this week. I sure do love you all. Have a great week! I’m off to have an adventure!

With many llamas,

David

PS — Mom! Your birthday package arrived, finally. Better late than never! As you can see we really enjoyed the Mac & Cheese, and the birthday cake.

We went to Hermana Lucha's house this week and made Mac and Cheese.

We went to Hermana Lucha’s house this week and made Mac and Cheese.

It was pretty good.

It was pretty good.

I even tried to eat the pot.

I even tried to eat the pot.

Elder Fitzgerald also loved it

Elder Fitzgerald also loved it.

Then we made my cake mix! Mom's birthday box finally arrived. This is the oven. It worked really well.

Then we made my cake mix! Mom’s birthday box finally arrived. This is the oven. It worked really well.

It came out pretty tasty.

It came out pretty tasty.

I even frosted it.

I even frosted it.

A good cake for a good family.

A good cake for a good family.

These Are His Seed

Shucking corn for a lady in need.

Shucking corn for a lady in need.

The corn here comes out in various colors. This is Delia, a sister who takes care of her 93-year-old father just like Dad took care of Granddad.

The corn here comes out in various colors. This is Delia, a sister who takes care of her 93-year-old father just like Dad took care of Granddad.

We went to Muqui (man have I got some awesome stories to tell you about this place) and climbed up the old bell tower.

We went to Muqui (man have I got some awesome stories to tell you about this place) and climbed up the old bell tower.

Mosiah 15:5-20, 26-31

And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.

And after all this, after working many mighty miracles among the children of men, he shall be led, yea, even as Isaiah said, as a sheep before the shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.

Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father.

And thus God breaketh the bands of death, having gained the victory over death; giving the Son power to make intercession for the children of men—

Having ascended into heaven, having the bowels of mercy; being filled with compassion towards the children of men; standing betwixt them and justice; having broken the bands of death, taken upon himself their iniquity and their transgressions, having redeemed them, and satisfied the demands of justice.

And now I say unto you, who shall declare his generation? Behold, I say unto you, that when his soul has been made an offering for sin he shall see his seed. And now what say ye? And who shall be his seed?

Behold I say unto you, that whosoever has heard the words of the prophets, yea, all the holy prophets who have prophesied concerning the coming of the Lord—I say unto you, that all those who have hearkened unto their words, and believed that the Lord would redeem his people, and have looked forward to that day for a remission of their sins, I say unto you, that these are his seed, or they are the heirs of the kingdom of God.

For these are they whose sins he has borne; these are they for whom he has died, to redeem them from their transgressions. And now, are they not his seed?

Yea, and are not the prophets, every one that has opened his mouth to prophesy, that has not fallen into transgression, I mean all the holy prophets ever since the world began? I say unto you that they are his seed.

And these are they who have published peace, who have brought good tidings of good, who have published salvation; and said unto Zion: Thy God reigneth!

And O how beautiful upon the mountains were their feet!

And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that are still publishing peace!

And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who shall hereafter publish peace, yea, from this time henceforth and forever!

And behold, I say unto you, this is not all. For O how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of peace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people; yea, him who has granted salvation unto his people;

For were it not for the redemption which he hath made for his people, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, I say unto you, were it not for this, all mankind must have perished.

But behold, the bands of death shall be broken, and the Son reigneth, and hath power over the dead; therefore, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead.

But behold, and fear, and tremble before God, for ye ought to tremble; for the Lord redeemeth none such that rebel against him and die in their sins; yea, even all those that have perished in their sins ever since the world began, that have wilfully rebelled against God, that have known the commandments of God, and would not keep them; these are they that have no part in the first resurrection.

Therefore ought ye not to tremble? For salvation cometh to none such; for the Lord hath redeemed none such; yea, neither can the Lord redeem such; for he cannot deny himself; for he cannot deny justice when it has its claim.

And now I say unto you that the time shall come that the salvation of the Lord shall be declared to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.

Yea, Lord, thy watchmen shall lift up their voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.

Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.

The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

 

So, I was studying the words of Abinadi this week. And well, these words basically sum up everything that I feel about the Savior. I know that He is the Son of God and that He is our Redeemer. Come unto Him.

Lots of potatoes in Perú.

Lots of potatoes in Perú.

Amelia -- I got back on the "Pistachio train" last night. So good. Couldn't stop.

Amelia — I got back on the “Pistachio train” last night. So good. Couldn’t stop.

This week has been really great. I can feel the hastening of the Work, especially since I am now in my last transfer. There is so much to be done in so little time. I know that the Lord has much in store for Jauja. Members that haven’t come in years are starting to come back, and many things are just working out. The branch president is enjoying us four missionaries, and it feels like we are working together really well. Yesterday we had 82 people in Sacrament Meeting, which was just so fantastic. I know that the Lord is mindful of this part of the vineyard. He is really there.

We had a baptism in Jauja!

We had a baptism in Jauja!

Tons of people traveled half an hour with us to get there at 8:00 AM Sunday morning. It was so great to have so much support.

Tons of people traveled half an hour with us to get there at 8:00 AM Sunday morning. It was so great to have so much support.

We held the baptism in the Thermal Baths of Acaya. It was a great service.

We held the baptism in the Thermal Baths of Acaya. It was a great service.

There really isn’t much else to say today. I know that my letters have gotten boring… but that’s because I don’t have much time left. Hope that you all have a great week and that you have a great adventure. I’m off to have an adventure — we are headed for a multi-zone barbecue in Chupaca.

With many llamas,

David

My birthday was on Thursday! Hermano Maximo and Hermana Olinda remembered and celebrated it.

My birthday was on Thursday! Hermano Maximo and Hermana Olinda remembered and celebrated it.

My ever-trusty companions at my party.

My ever-trusty companions at my party.

They must know that I love manjar (dulce de leche), because the cake was covered in it.

They must know that I love manjar (dulce de leche), because the cake was covered in it.

Blowing out the candles.

Blowing out the candles.

The necessary bite. (I think we'd call it a face plant in English.)

The necessary bite. (I think we’d call it a face plant in English.)

Even the Pacahuala family celebrated my birthday.

Even the Pacahuala family celebrated my birthday.

They must have known that I also love chocolate frosting because this cake was covered in it.

They must have known that I also love chocolate frosting because this cake was covered in it.

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.

 

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!

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

The best way to contact: shining shoes in the main Plaza. It was pretty fun. And Elder Aleman did a good job.

The best way to contact: shining shoes in the main Plaza. It was pretty fun. And Elder Aleman did a good job.

I just thought I’d put that as the title because we had lunch yesterday with some members, and the music that we listened to was some pretty sweet Peruvian flute music playing popular songs and that was the one that showed up first.

However, Christ is the Light of the World: “Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness” (Alma 38:9) and if we walk in that light we can have eternal life and will not be lost.

Whilst in one of our towns, we found a playground! The slide was super tall and super steep. I almost fell flat on my face.

Whilst in one of our towns, we found a playground! The slide was super tall and super steep. I almost fell flat on my face.

A see-saw that was also super high up. You can obviously tell who weighs more.

A see-saw that was also super high up. You can obviously tell who weighs more.

I think this was the highest my tiny companion could get me up!

I think this was the highest my tiny companion could get me up!

We are doing great here in Jauja. Things are going well and the ward is coming along nicely. Instead of the small increase in attendance we were hoping for yesterday, a ton of people showed up. I really have no idea where they all came from, but we had almost 70 people!  We started about 40 minutes late but at least I got to play the piano for quite a while to invite the Spirit (which was present and very awesome). The meetings went well, and it was wonderful seeing so many people.

This is one of the most interesting fruits that I've had yet. I don't even remember what it was called. It had the texture of a pumpkin but was sweet. We were at the Pacahuala house -- that super cute baby is Maraceli and she's 10 months old. She dances like crazy when you say "bailar" which means "to dance."

This is one of the most interesting fruits that I’ve had yet. I don’t even remember what it was called. It had the texture of a pumpkin but was sweet. We were at the Pacahuala house — that super cute baby is Maraceli and she’s 10 months old. She dances like crazy when you say “bailar” which means “to dance.”

You eat down until you're left with the gigantic seeds.

You eat down until you’re left with the gigantic seeds.

Considering the gigantic festivals in Yauyos, the week went well. It seemed like half the town went to Yauyos, but we still taught quite a few lessons and really enjoyed things. Things are normal again, so we should have even more success in helping the people out here.

In other news, a llama attacked me this week. Fortunately I was able to avoid its spit.  Elder Aleman and I were leaving a member’s house and along came a very crazy and angry looking llama with a collar on.  We just took off in the other direction, and it stopped chasing us.

Um, things are great. I’ve hit 18 months, which is almost too crazy to believe, and I can’t wait to see how things are going to turn out the next few months. It will be some more adventures and I hope that all goes well and that llamas don’t kill me. Anyway, hope that you all have a wonderful week, because I’m off to have an adventure!

With many (non-attacking, but friendly) llamas,

David

My companion hacking at a coconut with a small knife. He was so happy because it reminded him of home.

My companion hacking at a coconut with a small knife. He was so happy because it reminded him of home.

Mission accomplished!

Mission accomplished!

In another one of our towns, there were some kids dressed up as Lions dancing to a guy blowing a whistle and playing on the cajón. They scared some little children. They were trying to get some people to come to their new program.

In another one of our towns, there were some kids dressed up as Lions dancing to a guy blowing a whistle and playing on the cajón. They scared some little children. They were trying to get some people to come to their new program.

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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