Saturday, November 28, 2015

Week 11 "Olo" November 16 - November 22 (Cajamarca)

Another fantastic week for Jonah.  He is so excited about the Vasquez family that they are teaching.  Apparently he did have a hamstring injury a few weeks ago while doing a 400 meter race (he says that he did win).  He is all healed up now.  He will be traveling to Trujillo this week for a training meeting of all missionaries that have been out for 5 weeks.  He is not looking forward to the 7 hour bus ride - each way!  Since he was going to be traveling on Thanksgiving he was able to celebrate Thanksgiving the week before and had mashed potatoes and turkey.

So this last week was super fantastic! We had some really great experiences, that will probably lead to some baptisms this upcoming Saturday! Which includes a family of 3! It was just a fantastic week in general :) 
So it started out with the family getting married about 3 weeks early which was incredible news. (by the way it's a thing that they families have to be married before baptism) Anyway, they talked to us and said that they think they are ready, but they need to have a stronger testimony of the Libro de Mormón, which is suepr essential. So later in the week, we had a testimony meeting specfically for them with the obispo y sus consejos y el presidente del estaca! It was super great, and I think that they are going to be ready to literally walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Later in the week, Nicolas (tiene 8 años), decided, out of nowhere really, that he wanted to baptized like his mom :) It was super cool and it really unanticipated haha. Elder Salinas and I both kinda looked at each other with our jaws to the floor because it's a big decision for anybody, especially an 8 year old. But yeah, It's possible that there are 5 baptisms in our ward this coming Saturday! And this is huge because our ward right hasn't had baptisms in over 2 months. I'm so excited to help all of these people progress closer to Christ, And baptism isn't the goal. The Vasquez familia could possibly be sealed in the temple this upcoming year. That means that they can literally live with each other in happiness for all of the eternities to come. It's difficult to comprehend eternity, especially when that eternity is one of bliss. I'm so excited that they can change their perspective to the eternities, and experience the joy that my family has right now. I love this work so much! And I love all of you so much too! ¡Viva Perú!

2nd Nefi 3:7-8
Mosiah 3:9
Romanos 1:162nd Nefi 9:5
1st Nefi 1:12

Jonah apparently likes the warm barley beverage
There are lots of stray dogs in Peru and Jonah apparently likes to take pictures of them.

Not sure if this is the turkey they ate for Thanksgiving

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 10 "Wowza" November 9 - November 15 (Cajamarca)

Well here is a quick turnaround, I just finished posting a delayed week 9 entry and we were able to hear from Jonah again!  He is having many great experiences that you can read about.  Some of his communications contain Spanish so get out your Google translate if you need it.  A couple of additional experiences that he had that aren't mentioned in the letter are also posted. He loves the haircuts.  He says he can get a shampoo, haircut, back massage and shave for $3.25!  He is still having a lot of rain but it doesn't seem to bother him at all.  He says that his area of the city in Cajamarca is kind of dirty and that the people are very "laid back".  He is really learning to love the people of Peru and is having great experiences. 

¡¡¡Holaaaaaa!!! This past week has been super incredible! I've learned a whole bunch more about the truthfulness of the gospel, but not just by hearing about it. I've had some pretty incredible experiences of living it first hand. Anyway, yeah, this past week was great. On Tuesday, we had a Zone Conference Training, which is even better than just a Zone Conference. Because it was all of Cajamarca, so 2 zones! It's always super fun to meet up with all of the other missionaries and practice together and also have fun together. We had lessons from both zone leaders and also the sister missionary leaders. They are all incredibly fantastic at teaching, and their Spanish is almost fluent even though most of them are whiter than sour cream lol. Hopefully I can speak like them at some point in the mission..because right now, it's rough with the irregular future and past tense. Like really rough haha. But I'm studying and praying every day for help. But yeah it was super fun to have that training. Also, on Thursday I had an incredible experience with fasting. So we've been having a tough time with members attending church lately, so we (missionaries in our barrio) decided that we should fast for our barrio, and our investigators, and it totally changed everything. We happened upon a missing dog of an investigator that really needed some cheering up, then taught 6 lessons which were all incredible. There was just an incredible envelopment of the Spirit. We met a super drunk dude in a park, and he told us that he never wanted to drink again and that he wanted to turn his life around and he felt something when we walked by and immediately knew that we could help. I know that this was the Spirit, and I know that we can help him come unto Christ and develop his faith. We sat him down on a bench in the park, said a prayer with him, and taught a short lesson about the love that the Savior has for him and the beautiful gift that we have called the Atonement. It was truly an incredible experience. I love giving people hope and joy. And I especially love being the answer to someone's prayer (which also happened but I don't have time to talk about it right now. Ask me if you want to hear more about it :) 

(We asked about it and his experience is posted below)

Anyway, yeah this week was awesome. All is well in Cajamarca and we're holding out in the rain haha. Love you all! ¡Viva Perú!
(Here is the experience he didn't have time to put in his letter)

Okay. So we were in between citas on Friday, and we decided to buy some powerade at a little tienda. We bought the powerade, and then decided that we should have a short little lesson with the owner of the tienda. She was devoutly religious just like basically everyone else haha, and so it was easy to start talking about Jesucristo and the Biblia and el evangelio. Anyway, we taught her about faith, and that fe sin obras es nada. And it was super spiritual and we knew she could feel it too. We asked if she would say the closing prayer, she said yes, and then gave the most heartfelt prayer I think I've ever heard. She started bawling in the middle, thanking Heavenly Father that we came and talked to her that day because she's been having a really difficult time with her family and has been struggling with a lot of things. She said she knew that we were an answer to her prayers and that she could feel God's love when we talked to her. Pretty awesome experience. Anyway, we have another appointment with her on Friday, and we're going to teach her the Restauración and ask her to be baptized. Super cool :

Jonah thinks Catamarca is kind of like Idaho

Elder Babbel and Andres (this is the son of their pensionista, who cooks 2 meals a day for them and does their laundry)

Josue (another son of the pensionista

Elder Babbel, Josue, Andres and Elder Salinas

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week 9 - November 2 - November 8 (Cajamarca)

Leslie and I were at a medical conference in Grand Cayman of all places, so I am late updating Jonah's blog.  He is doing great and says that it rains most days and probably will for the next several months.  He hit his head because there are too many low doorways.  Not much damage done.  Here is the letter: 

Hey everybodyyyyy! So this week, I'm deciding to be a little more short in my emails, so that I have more time to reply to other people. So yeah, this week was pretty incredible. It's been raining a butt load and we basically need our umbrellas and boots every day. I didn't know how much it was to jump into huge puddles of water with boots on until I came to Cajamarca. I only had to travel to Peru to find that one out lol. But yeah, I learned a lot about having an attitude of success, what that means, and how it can affect literally everything you do in your entire life. Elder Bond, one of the asistentes al Presidente Marler went proselyting con nosotros en Sábado. El dijo algo que es de gran importancia, ''Siempre tienen un actitud de éxito. Hay una diferencia entre de una actitud de éxito, y una actitud buena. Necesitan aprender y saber la diferencia, y si saben, su éxito será arriba de los cielos.'' We can`t just have a good attitude because that will only get us through the moments. By having an attitude of success, we can not only get through the difficult moments, but also succeed in the most difficult times. Elder Bond is truly incredible. We also had interviews with Presidente Marler on the same day, and he talked to us about the conditions of our heart. Not if they were healthy haha, but if we were really giving the mission everything that we can muster. If our desires are in line with God's desires. It was super poderoso and kinda chastizing too, but that's why I love Presidente. He is really straight and to the point, which is exactly what we need. Okay, besides that, everything else has been pretty normal this past week. Normal as far as being in back country Peru haha. Alright, I love you all, and you are always in my prayers! ¡Viva Perú!

A toilet in Peru - Jonah is glad it is not his

Too many short doorways in Peru!

Jonah often talks about the stray dogs all over the streets

More stray dogs

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 8 - October 26 - November 1 (Cajamarca)

Jonah had an amazing week.  Filled with rain and a bit of sun and a lot more rain.  He actually was able to find some size 11 and 1/2 boots to wear.  He said if his feet were "a half size bigger I would have been done for. "  He loves their pensionista (a wonderful Peruvian woman who cooks meals twice a day for him).  He said "she is a miracle worker".  He also loves the fresh made "pan" (bread) available on every street corner.  His companion Elder Salinas will only run with him every other day because at 9000 feet elevation it is tough to keep up with Jonah (I'd say that would go for any elevation).  Elder Salinas does not know that much English and every morning Jonah gives him a lesson.  From his emails he sounds happy and thrilled to be in Peru.  Here is his latest letter:

Okay hey everybody! This past week has been fantastic! And one thing that I learned about Cajamarca is that it rains a buttload haha. It's been raining a whole ton, and really heavy rain, and then one of our investigadores told us that this was just the beginning haha. But yeah, I'm loving it here and I've had a whole load of super awesome, super spiritual experiences already. Alriggggghhht.

On Tuesday, it rained like crazy. There's no drainage system at all in Cajamarca so all the streets flooded and yeah it was insane. Luckily, I bought boots, and an umbrella literally the day before haha.

On Wednesday, not a ton happened. We had some lessons with menos activos and that was about it. It's tough sometimes when nobody is home and you do a lot of walking. But one thing that I've found, is that the Lord only gives us one super tough day, and then we'll have fantastic days right after. So far, I've never had two super tough days in a row. I feel totally blessed every day, and can feel the prayers of people from back home :)

On Thursday, we received 4 new investigadores which was super fantastic. We've been asking everyone for references to teach other people, including non-members, and to our surprise, everyone has been excited to tell us other people to teach. It's really cool because literally everyone in Cajamarca has a super strong faith in Jesus Christ and everyone wants to hear the good word of Him and His gospel. Peruvians are the bomb :)

On Friday, it was super tough again. We only had one lesson the whole day, and everything in Cajamarca flooded again haha.

On Saturday, it was HALLOWEEN YEAHHHHHH!! And Elder Salinas and I dressed up too! As missionaries lol :) We had some really solid lessons and we watched the most fantastic video of all time for missionaries by Elder Holland :)

On Sunday, it was my first real Sunday with the Baños Del Inca barrio. It was interesting haha. It started 10 minutes late with only like 20 people, but then everyone shuffled in around 9:20, so 20 minutes late. But yeah, it's really small, and Hermana Nielson and I will take turns playing the piano every other Sunday.

Okay that's about everything that happened this last week. We had a really cool experience on Sunday as well. We were teaching an investigadora, and had one topic planned, but Elder Salinas and I both felt prompted to teach something else during the first couple minutes. So we taught a completely different lesson than planned, and eventually asked if she would be baptized (not planned either). And to our surprise she said she would! This month! It was really incredible. I phrased sentences that I had never been able to before. The gift of tongues is so real :) I'm so happy for her, and I know that this change will bless her, not only in this life, but for eternity. It is honestly the best feeling in the world to teach something, and then have the Spirit testify of the truth, and then have that person come to a realization of the truth. There is no way we could have taught her on our own. We are truly on the Lord's errand :) I love you all!
¡Viva Perú!

A photo of Elder Wynn, Elder Babbel and Elder Herde in front of the Trujillo, Peru Temple

A view of the outskirts of Cajamarca

Jonah's favorite Peruvian dish - Lomo Saltado

Typical street in Cajamarca