When Ye Shall Rend that Veil of Unbelief

Happy Birthday, Elder Aleman!

Happy Birthday, Elder Aleman!

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

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

 

Ether 4:15, 18-19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I had to buy two of them.

I had to buy two of them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With many llamas,

David

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

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

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

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

Even the elderly were ready to participate!

Even the elderly were ready to participate!

We had musical duets.

We had musical duets.

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

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

Singing and dancing -- they were a hit.

Singing and dancing — they were a hit.

A "selfie" to prove I was really there.

A pic to prove I was really there.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just PURE NOISE.

Just PURE NOISE.

 

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

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

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

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

Making Rompemuelles, but more like Rompecarros

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With many llamas,

David

THIS is a Jauja party.

THIS is a Jauja party.

No comment.

No comment.

 

What’s My Age, Again?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Red Team!

Red Team!

Yellow Team!

Yellow Team!

Blue Team!

Blue Team!

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

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

Here they are in action!

Here they are in action!

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

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

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

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

"Shooting the Tower of Cans"

“Shooting the Tower of Cans”

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

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

The obvious winner.

The obvious winner.

Yes, I was present.

Yes, I was present.

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

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

"Cotton Noses"!

“Cotton Noses”!

The blue team are the winners!

The blue team are the winners!

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

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

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

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

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

A dog followed us home this week.

A dog followed us home this week.

We called him Ammón.

We called him Ammón.

We even bathed him! Clean dog!

We even bathed him! Clean dog!

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

With Many Llamas,

David

They Were Steadfast and Immovable and They Bore with Patience

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

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

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

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

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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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Earthquakes are Awesome

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

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Councils, Interviews and Missionary Work — Oh Boy!

A standard trip to the Metro Market. We get some cookies, some drinks, and some other random junk. Those Milo Sandwich cookies are the BEST. If Milo isn't in the states, I don't know what I'll do. (Note from Mom: Elder Torres must have found a Coke bottle with his name from the Coke Create a Can ad campaign.)

A standard trip to the Metro Market. We get some cookies, some drinks, and some other random junk. Those Milo Sandwich cookies are the BEST. If Milo isn’t in the states, I don’t know what I’ll do. (Note from Mom: Elder Torres must have found a Coke bottle with his name from the Coke Create a Can ad campaign.)

Well, what a pretty good week! It has been quite an adventure this week especially with all of the things that have been going on. As always, the work has been going well, and I’m doing great! I really love how things are going here and always look forward to the new day.

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A Jedi’s Strength Flows From the Force

Well, we’re missionaries, but it is a pretty interesting comparison. A Missionary’s strength flows from the Spirit, which is a remarkable comparison. Just like Luke Skywalker, who has to learn to control the Force, we as missionaries have to learn to listen to the Spirit and to draw what we teach from that power. If we don’t, the message of the Gospel will never reach the heart of the person, as it is promised in 2 Nephi 33. I have really learned to rely on that power in our lessons and as we teach our investigators because they are God’s children, and He knows them better than I ever will.

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Wake Me Up When September Ends

Well, it has arrived. September. I am super excited that it is September because that means that we’re entering into the last cycle of the seasons that I’ll have on the mission. That means that there will no longer be any more rain that I will have to deal with as a missionary. Winter here means rainy season and rainy season means wet missionaries and less work done because we try to escape from the random storms that just happen. The weather is less predictable than Utah and even when it is raining like crazy, the whole sky could be blue in about 20 minutes.

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