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.

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.

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.)

Here Comes the Sun

The majesty of the Peruvian mountains.

The majesty of the Peruvian mountains.

So, things are looking up here in Jauja. The rain has all but stopped and the streets have stopped turning into rivers.  Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here.

When we went to one of our smaller towns, I found some girls playing on some (awfully out of tune) snare drums. They let me put one on and play!

When we went to one of our smaller towns, I found some girls playing on some (awfully out of tune) snare drums. They let me put one on and play!

I played with them as well. They were pretty amazed with my skilz.

I played with them as well. They were pretty amazed with my skilz.

The best part is that Holy Week is over! For Easter, we learned how Jaujinos and Huancayinos celebrate the Holy Week. They have varying events leading up to Resurrection Sunday. They have a billion parades, parties, activities, and just for us, all of the people are either with their families or out of town! So, what does that mean, my friends and family? That no one wants to listen! That appointments fall through the roof! It was (not really) fantastic!

We had a great activity as a ward this week. We visited a small town and just enjoyed everything that was happening. We went to a field and just had a great time. I’ll let the pictures tell some of the story. They were expecting a small group of maybe 15-20 to show up, but to their surprise (and consternation) over 70 people showed up! So it was awesome to see tons of people.

We went to a ward activity this week and had some fun. For one game they had to stack cans.

We went to a ward activity this week and had some fun. For one game they had to stack cans.

They had balloons filled with flour for a question activity. It was Elder Fitzgerald and I against each other. I won, obviously.

They had balloons filled with flour for a question activity. It was Elder Fitzgerald and I against each other. I won, obviously.

Elder Gonzales is acting like an old man.

Elder Gonzales is acting like an old man.

We were up against all of the little kids at the activity.

We were up against all of the little kids at the activity.

We lost a tug-of-war competition. However, the rope broke.

We lost a tug-of-war competition. However, the rope broke.

They were amazingly strong.

They were amazingly strong.

Maximo and Olinda with Olinda's sister and her family.

Maximo and Olinda with Olinda’s sister and her family.

Sunday was an interesting learning experience for me. I was totally expecting a very spiritual meeting that would just blow my socks off with their knowledge of the Atonement. I was so ready! But, to my surprise and disappointment, the meeting was not centered around Easter — not the hymn selections or the messages were about Easter. It was honestly a big let-down. But I learned a lesson from it: don’t just rely on others for spiritual fulfillment. Yes, it would have been awesome to have been spiritually fed that way, but I learned how to take control of it. Easter is about Christ, and it is up to me for how I celebrate it. So, I’m totally fine.

Anyway, it was a great week. Thanks for all of your support. Hope that you have a great time and that all goes well! I’m off to have an adventure!

With many llamas,

David

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

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.

O Then Despise Not, and Wonder Not

27 O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.

28 Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.

Mormon 9:27-28

I’ve been reading a lot of the Book of Mormon lately. It has been quite the experience and I’ve really learned a lot about the book. I can feel my testimony grow. I often wonder why I didn’t really do this so studiously before.

The hand of the Artist at work.

The hand of the Artist at work.

Anyway, this week has been a very challenging week for me. It has also been a very productive week for me. We have had more lessons this week than any other week of my time in Jauja. The area is really starting to progress and things are going wonderfully. I know that the Lord is very interested in the area and the people here. I think that He was rather frustrated for a time with the little success that there was and how little work was being done. I mean — two wards and a branch get reduced to a non-functioning ward? Well, it just shows how this scripture should work: despise not and wonder not, for the Lord will do wonders here if we let him. He is a God of miracles, as shown in the last chapter of Mormon. He often just waits for a show of good faith on our part.

A gigantic spider made out of a tree trunk. It was pretty sweet. However, there is no way I could fit it in my suitcase so I didn't buy it.

A gigantic spider made out of a tree trunk. It was pretty sweet. However, there is no way I could fit it in my suitcase so I didn’t buy it.

I bought a Peruvian doll dressed up as a Jaujina in traditional dance clothes. Took the guy at the store 10 minutes to find one in dark blue.

I bought a Peruvian doll dressed up as a Jaujina in traditional dance clothes. Took the guy at the store 10 minutes to find one in dark blue.

I also bought a hand carved wooden penguin for my desk at home. It is fantastic.

I also bought a hand carved wooden penguin for my desk at home. It is fantastic.

And that is what is happening in Jauja. The young men and young women and the young adults are indexing like crazy. With only a handful of them and very few computers, they were able to complete their goal of over 5000 names indexed these last four weeks and they just want to get going. What they are more excited for, however, is that this coming month the records of Junin, the department that they live in, are going to be released to be indexed! They are so happy to help others but are even more excited to index their own ancestors and help the work move along here in their own area! I am so excited and happy for them. I am 100% certain that I will be helping them by doing some indexing when I get home, since they are open for all.

Taking a break in a gigantic pot.

Taking a break in a gigantic pot.

Sneezing in front of a very Catholic house. Those family sneeze-in-the-sun genes are very strong.

Sneezing in front of a very Catholic house. Those family sneeze-in-the-sun genes are very strong.

So, we’ve had a good week. Not too much else to report but the work keeps trudging along. I’m rather tired and not feeling so good, but I know that the Lord loves us. He is here for us and He knows us individually. I can testify of it.

Anyway, have a fantastic week! I’m off to have an adventure!

With many llamas,

David

Maximo (our pensionisto) trying out the sorcery of cooking technology

Maximo (our pensionisto) trying out the sorcery of cooking technology

The master chef is hard at work making the Rocoto Relleno. He's the nephew of Maximo, our pensionisto.

The master chef is hard at work making the Rocoto Relleno. He’s the nephew of Maximo, our pensionisto.

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

Look at that deliciousness.

Look at that deliciousness.

I ate ALL of it. Even the bitter part of the pepper. I think I have a new favorite plate.

I ate ALL of it. Even the bitter part of the pepper. I think I have a new favorite plate.

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.

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading