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

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.

I’m Never Letting Go

Well, this week has been one of the fastest weeks of my mission. You wanna know why? I went to Lima for immigration papers and stuff! Yay! The Zone Leaders (since they share the same pension as us) told me on Tuesday that I would be headed to Lima on Thursday to renew my Peruvian ID card that lets me stay here longer than a tourist. So, after some hard work the two days that we were in Chilca, I headed off to Lima in the Cruz del Sur tourist company bus. It was a pretty sweet bus. The seats were huge and super comfortable. They also had these tablets running the oldest version of Android software that I remember that they programmed to only allow movies, music, books, and an internet browser. We were good missionaries, though, only used them for LDS.org and the mission blog. The ride took forever, and we arrived at Lima late in the night.

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Huaytapallana: My Death this Week

So, this email is later than normal this week (4pm MDT rather than 10am!) because this morning we went to the highest mountain in the Huancayo region of Peru. The mountain is named Huaytapallana and in Quechua means “place to pick flowers.” However, there are absolutely no flowers! And there’s some kind of curse on the mountain that if you take flowers from the mountain, you will personally cause a TON of rain and miserable weather in the valley… Not sure if that curse is true, but it was a great hike! We hiked for about three hours on the uphill direction and an hour and a half on the downhill. There is a gigantic glacier that we figured had been around since the ice age and that there are probably some pretty fantastic creatures buried under the ice that we have never known existed! Well, maybe I’m just exaggerating this time, but whatever. (from Mom: David spelled it ‘exadurating’ — he is officially losing his English, I think!)

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Hello from the Mission Peru Huancayo

That’s right! As I suspected, I ended up in the Mission Perú Huancayo! I got a phone call on Tuesday night informing me that I would be headed off to Huancayo in the morning, and boy was I excited. I am rather sad to leave behind Elder Nuñez, but I know that it was time for a change. I was tired of being tired all the time in Cerro de Pasco — that is not a healthy city. So, I headed off to Huancayo via a bus that was headed off to Lima  and got off in La Oroya to meet with one of the zone leaders of Tarma so he could put me in a really uncomfortable car (seriously, three elders with 2-3 huge suitcases each!) and I headed off to Huancayo. When I got to Huancayo, there was a really nice reunion with me, Elder Cifuentes, and a handful of other elders that I know. Then, we headed off to my area, Chilca, Huancayo where I am District Leader over Pampas and Florida (two elder and two hermana companionships). I’m super excited for my new assignment and am anxiously awaiting what the Lord has in store for me.

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Greetings from La Merced

Well, I’m currently sitting in our old Zone Internet store-place in La Merced.  We’re in La Merced because we have a multi-zone conference tomorrow with Presidente Ardila.  We left San Pedro at about 8:00 last night and made it at about 9:40 here in La Merced.  It was actually super exciting to pass through my first area and enjoy seeing what I saw for three months straight.  I really reflected on how far I’ve come as a missionary and how far I still have left to go.  And, after three months in the mountains it feels really good to be in the heat again.

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Do You Believe in Magic?

Well, I sure do.  However, I believe in the logical explanation of magic.  Magic (or miracles in missionary terms) is when we can’t explain exactly what happened.  We know that everything is bound by laws, but we honestly don’t know all of the laws.  That is what is happening with my companion and me.  As we obey the counsel of the mission president, be obedient, and do all of the work that we possibly can, the Lord makes up for the rest and we find people put into our path that are really interested.

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Week Two en el Campo Misional!

Well, it is pretty much the hottest I’ve been for a long time.  I know I’ve experienced this kind of heat before, it’s just that I haven’t experienced it for so long and so consistently. Every single day I’m sweating buckets and walking through the crazy heat.  I am in the jungle, to be sure.  However, our area is more of a cleared out section of the Jungle.  Since there aren’t many trees (which has its ups, as well — namely there aren’t tons more bugs around and the bugs aren’t always as big as I saw last P-Day on our trip to a waterfall) there isn’t shade, and it is often a dry, but humid heat.  However, the humidity is something that I’ve only experienced in the coast — never at home! — and it is killing me.   Also, Peru doesn’t have air conditioning in a lot of places, so that kills me, too.

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The Lion Sleeps Tonight

If you couldn’t tell by the title, I am in the jungle! I am writing from an “Internet Shop” in a city. Our zone is La Merced, and I have been assigned to the San Ramon area!  My companion is named Elder Espinoza.  So, all of your prayers for a Latino first companion have been answered. He’s pretty cool, but it is hard for me to really communicate with him (which is something that I am DYING to do… I need someone to talk to in English).  Guess this gives me an even better reason to really crack down on my Spanish.  Elder Espinoza is from Central America and only has two and a half more transfers until he goes home.  He’s pretty funny, quite cool, and is a great missionary.  He’s had 46 baptisms during his mission and can’t wait for more with me.  Our zone is divided up into seven areas, and there are only seven companionships.  My companion says that only certain missionaries are assigned here because there are tons of “pretty looking women” and that there have even been problems here in the past.  Yikes.  Well, we have two wards in our area, so we have a ton of work to do on our own. Ah yeah.

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