Last Email in the Field

I have no idea what to say. It has come down to the last week as a missionary. It all ends here. I am so terrified of what is coming. I can’t believe how fast these last few weeks have gone.

I just want to share my testimony of this work. I know that this is the true Church of Christ. He has done everything for us. Even if we were to serve Him every minute and second of our lives, we would be unworthy servants. But He doesn’t care. I’ve been such an imperfect missionary, and I can honestly see my imperfections. I have come so far, but there is still so much more to do. He lives. He invites ALL to come unto Him. He wants to make us happy. He suffered everything so that we can live. I love Him.

Even when times get rough and you don’t think that you can continue forward, nor that you can continue with His gospel, give it another chance. I have seen way too many people fall by the wayside. Stay strong. Hold to the Rod. Just keep trying. It isn’t worth it to fall away and not get back up. Our eternity and destiny depend on the decisions that we make now. Come to Him.

Well, that’s it from Elder Van Komen. Perhaps the next time I write, I’ll just be David. Anyway, I’m off to have an adventure!

With many llamas!

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.

Love Is the Very Essence of the Gospel

Sorry I’m a day late! Yesterday, we had interviews with Pte Henderson and then a regular work day. So, today is a relaxing P-day!

Olinda (our pensionista) dressed up the sisters in our district as traditional Jaujinas.

Olinda (our pensionista) dressed up the sisters in our district as traditional Jaujinas.

So, conference has come and gone. It was my last as a missionary, and boy was it powerful. I was fortunate to listen and attend each session (even though I missed President Packer’s talk…). We watched conference with Maximo and Olinda on their cable television. On Sunday went to the stake center with the branch, and I watched one session in English.

There were some amazing talks and I loved all of them. However, my favorite talks were President Monson’s on Sunday morning, Elder Bednar’s on Sunday Morning, and President Uchtdorf’s in the Priesthood session. They were all directed at me. The best quote, however, was this by President Monson…

“Love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar.”

It was perfect for our branch. Everyone left inspired and with the determination to do good. I was so grateful for the hand of God in each message. I felt the Spirit and I know that what they said is true. This is the truth! Don’t doubt, only believe.

So, this week has been pretty good. We’ve been doing our best to help others on their way in this life. We’ve taught some less actives, visited some investigators, and just have had a good week. I don’t know if I ever mentioned it, but there are now four elders in Jauja. They came out about two weeks ago. However, there was another little change because one of the Elders that came was then sent to another area. Elder Fitzgerald is now here and we also have Elder Gonzales, a Bolivian, who was pulled out of Venezuela. it is pretty exciting to see how much the Lord cares about my little Jauja. I can’t wait to see things move along!

Well, that’s just about it for the week. I realize that my letters are getting shorter or less full of exciting things as time goes by, but I find that nothing super exciting is happening right now. The Gospel is true, and I can feel it each day. I know that my Savior loves me and everyone else. It is true.

Anyway, I’m off to have an adventure! Hope you all have a great one as well!

With many llamas,

David

For P-Day, we went up to the Ruins of Shuju, which are located up in the mountains. Here is a picture overlooking the entire valley.

For P-Day, we went up to the Ruins of Shuju, which are located up in the mountains. Here is a picture overlooking the entire valley.

Maximo, our trusty tour guide.

Maximo, our trusty tour guide.

The ruins were super awesome. They are set up in a row across the mountain, in a type of fortress or protection formation.

The ruins were super awesome. They are set up in a row across the mountain, in a type of fortress or protection formation.

They have been kept very well, and show that they overlooked the whole valley to protect the natives from enemies.

They have been kept very well, and show that they overlooked the whole valley to protect the natives from enemies.

It was raining back in Jauja, and the rain made an awesome rainbow.

It was raining back in Jauja, and the rain made an awesome rainbow.

Contemplating the majesty of God's creations. It was just fantastic.

Contemplating the majesty of God’s creations. It was just fantastic.

Seriously fantastic.

Seriously fantastic.

 

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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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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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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Just Another Week Chillin’ at 14,000 Feet

So, this week was fairly standard.

Well, not really at all.  First and foremost, the office forgot to let us know that Elder Nunez was going to have to go to Lima for three days to do his immigration stuff.  So, all of my plans for Wednesday were just thrown out the window —  Elder Jones’ companion also had to leave to Lima, and they told me that “we have appointments all day long and they are so secure that you can’t miss any one of them.”  So, we worked in Yacamancha, and took care of their appointments.  Unfortunately, only two of them panned out, but what can you do?  But, at least I know that other companionships struggle with appointments, too.

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