Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 68 - "MERRY CHRISTMAS BRO" Dec 19 - Dec 25 (Casa Grande)

So a super awesome Christmas yesterday as we were able to chat with Jonah online for an hour.    Gabe even got Jonah to do a 'dab' (see photo below)  He and Elder Bolivia had a wonderful Christmas with the baptism of Hermana Linda.  And he will be getting a new companion tomorrow more information in his letter below.  

Wow!! What a wonderful Christmas!!!!! These past 2 weeks (sorry by the way) have been absolutely wonderful!!!!! So, I didn't really mention it, but there were transfers this past week!! I'm staying here (not too big of a surprise), but Elder Bolivia is heading out.. He's been here for a while now (7months) so we were expecting it, but it's still really sad! We've had a wonderful time together and have seen some really special miracles. We've been helping to build up Casa Grande, after not having baptisms for several months. But now there are several people progressing and more baptisms on the way. Elder Bolivia is going to Central! Elder Reyes is finishing his mission this week, and so Elder Bolivia is heading back there. He served there at the start of his mission, so that will be really cool for him. Soooooo, my new companion for this transfer is Elder Israel!!!! Another Limeño! Jajaja, he'll be my 5th companion from Lima, so funny. He has about 14 months in the mission, so just about the same time as me, and this will be his first time as a zone leader (like with Elder Reyes). I'm super excited to start working with him, and we are super excited to see more daily miracles here in Casa Grande

In this last week, Hermana Linda was baptized!! Such an incredible person. She was baptized on Christmas Day at 10:30am right after the sacrament meeting. It was a really special experience, and a whole bunch of people were able to go because it was right after church. She's so great. There's a couple pictures that I sent of her, she was soooooo happy :) Then, the same day, I got to use Skype with the fam. It was so great to see everybody! We are so blessed to have a complete family. There are not very many here, and it's hard and sad. But that is exactly why we are here as missionaries. To join families together and help them to be able to live forever. It's the best and happiest work that has existed, exists, and will exist. I love being a missionary!!!

I hope everyone is enjoying the snow, I heard there's a whole bunch! We're still waiting for our share here in Casa Grande, but it's like 85 degrees here haha. Anyway, I love you all! Have a great rest of a year, and set goals and plans for the next year. I promise you all that if you can set REAL RESOLUTIONS 2017 will be an incredible year. Say Your Prayers, Read The Scriptures, Do Service, Follow Christ.

Love you all
paz y bendiciones




Elder Reyes!!!! We got back together....haha he's still chubby :)

Nasya bebe!!

Christmas with the Familia Parodi!!!!

Linda was baptized!!!!



The Dab


Merry Christmas!


Week 67 - "Quick Email" Dec 12 - Dec 18 (Casa Grande)

This was a quick email from Jonah.  It was really a quick response to a few questions that I had about Hermana Linda (see last week's post) and about Casa Grande.  He said that he had a super busy day and didn't have time to write much but that he would be making it up on Christmas day by chatting on Skype.  So I  guess that is what we have to look forward to.  But still a longer email would be great!  He did send a few more photos.


Hermana Linda is doing really well, she couldn't make it to church for health issues, so I think her baptism will be for the 30th or the 31st. of Diciembre. It is hard for her because of her health but she manages. In the Casa Grande Stake, there is one ward in Chicama, one in Ascope, two in Casa Grande, and one in Paijan. Then there is a branch in Chocope, and another branch in Cartavio. Everything is really REALLY spread out, except for the two wards in Casa Grande. We had an interchange with Paijan and you  have to take a car for 30 minutes on the ''freeway''  to get out there. Paijan to Cartavio or to Chicama takes about an hour. Kinda crazy.

Hermana Susana (This hilarious member in our ward) Had her birthday. We make her laugh jaja

Interchange with Elder Plazas (also from Lima jaja)

Some statue of a dude in Casa Grande. His name is Miguel Grau. Not too sure why he's important but he sure looks tough

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 66 - "Chamba = Vida" Dec 5 - Dec 11 (Casa Grande)


No, Google translate does not know what chamba means - (see his email below).  I think because it is more of a slang term for "work" or "job".  What a great story about Hermana Linda in his email.  It is great to meet so many amazing people who have overcome adversities.  His pension family is also sending some additional pictures of Jonah and the food that they are eating. And there is a nice video tour of his apartment.  The little girl in the other video is pointing to her pancita or panza "tummy".

I'm not sure if that comes up on Google but it means work haha. Peruvian jerga. This past week has been straight chamba, and it's been great. We took a break from interchanges and just worked the two of us really hard. It's been a wonderful week! We have a few investigators with baptismal dates for this month, and they are progressing well. Today I want to talk just about Hermana Linda.Hermana Linda is the best! Her granddaughter was baptized about 8 months ago, and just recently she has taken interest in the Church and has a baptismal date for the 23rd of Diciembre. One really special thing about Hermana Linda is she's deaf, but not just the old-age deaf. She has a disease that has completely killed her ear drums and now, even with the best hearing aids in the world, can't hear anything. The same disease has been also attacking her heart, and now uses something similar to a pacemaker. Also, about 2 years ago, the same disease made her lose track of all senses. Her body stopped working and a machine was keeping her alive for about 5 months. Her last memory of those 5 months was pleading to God that she could snap back to her senses, and that she would do His will if He would bless her with her senses again. God blessed her, and now she can walk, talk, and see again, but she has been left without the ability to hear. Because it was so recent, she hasn't learned to use signs, so instead, we a have to type everything out on a computer and she reads it and responds. SHE IS INCREDIBLE!!! Her faith in God and in Christ is so strong. She's not letting anything get in between her and her baptismal date for the 23rd. This last Sunday, she changed her schedule for her dialysis in the hospital to 4am just so that she could get back at 9am for church. She is so great, and such an incredible example to Elder Bolivia and me. I will be sending pictures for this next week. She's been doing wonderfully and is continuing to progress in her repentance process. It's really fun teaching her, she's so funny haha.
Anyway, we've been working hard here in Casa Grande, and we're excited for the Christmas season. I love you all so much! Did you check out the video at mormon.org? Haha, it's so great. Have a great Christmasy Week!

Peruvian Christmas Tree

Nasya!!! So funny

Camera Shy

Casa Grande Street

To the right are Sugar Cane fields

Pretty Neat stuff!

Que rico Anticucho - (that would be cow heart)

Anticucho

Family Dinner

Elder Babbel and Elder Bolivia

Pescado relleno 

Yummy!



video

Tour of the Apartment



video

Nasya

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 65 - "Ya llega Navidad....." Nov 28 - Dec 4 (Casa Grande)


Leslie noticed that Jonah's hair was short in a picture that was posted on the Trujillo North Peru Mission Facebook page and mentioned it to Jonah in an email.  He thought it was funny that his Mom would notice something like that in the pictures.  Missionary Mom's love their Missionaries!  Jonah said his current pensionista (cook) is a Pro Chef and is wanting to cook some things from home so we are going to send some recipes so he can have some familiar meals.  We will see how it turns out.


Christmas is basically here you guys. Do you understand what that means???? Man I love Christmas so much. It's seriously the best time of the year. Especially as a missionary in Peru. It's soooo easy to talk about Christ in Peru during the Christmas Season. Everybody's got Him on their minds and it's a really nice change compared to basically the whole rest of the world. Even if they don't always show it, the people here is very Christ-centered. That's why I've officially decided to become Peruvian and live here in Casagrande hahaha. Anyway, I'm loving the Christmas season here and we are really excited to be sharing the Spirit of Christmas with others.

In this last week, we had been inviting a whole bunch of people to go to church for the devotional on Sunday night. We've also been showing everybody this great video called ''Light the World'' which is on mormon.org. It also comes with this really cool advent calandario (I forgot how to spell that in English..) that helps us to ''light the world'' in 25 different ways in 25 different days. Super Cool! Check it out!

Also in this last week, we had an interchange with some of the Elderes in a branch out in Cartavio. I got to stay here in Casagrande with Elder Angulo. He's so great! He's a newer missionary from Lima that has some incredible desires to be a great missionary. We had a great day together and saw some cool miracles, especially with this one family. The mom, Maria, is a member of the Church, but her husband, Luis, is not. They have one daughter, named Celeste and she is 9, and her dad has not wanted for her to be baptized. So we were looking for this family for about the whole week, but we could never find them, but finally at almost the VERY last moment of the day while we were heading back to our room, we saw the TV on in the house, knocked on the door, and he invited us to come in.  So it's a really delicate situation and you can't just go in and tell this hermano what's up and what's going to happen, so we had a great lesson with him about importance of repentance and baptism. We felt a really special spirit there and we know that he did too, but he hasn't recognized it yet. We are going to be working with the family in these days and are helping Hermano Luis to recognize what the Spirit is and what it means when we feel it. Cool stuff.

So that has been our week! It's going great here! I love every second of it, especially during this time of the year. Go to mormon.org to check out the video!! I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!

We had an interchange with the Elderes in Cartavio. Elder Angulo! He's a great missionary from Lima.



video


Jonah thought he was taking a picture not a video

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 64 - "Hello!" Nov 21 - Nov 27 (Casa Grande)

We have had a few weeks when we wished a few more photos would be sent.  Well Jonah sent about 60 photos this time.  So I have attached all of them at the end of the blog.  Several are of a Huaca.  In Quechuan (Incan) language it symbolizes something revered, typically a monument.  Apparently this place is somewhere outside the city of Casa Grande.  In his email he has a great story about inspiration through prayer.  We just love Elder Babbel and miss him tons!

Hello Everybody!!! What a wild week! I totally forgot to tell you all but an Area Seventy was going to be coming to our mission. Elder Godoy!!!!! He is the President of the Area where I am serving a mission. In the area is included, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, and Peru! It was so stinking cool to have him here with us as a mission. So there were 2 different sessions, one with all of the zones from Trujillo, and the other of all the zones outside of Trujillo. So we were in the second session on Saturday. We all headed down to Trujillo on a bus, and had our reunion back there. It was SOOOO GREAT!!!! He is so humble and down-to-earth while having such an incredible calling. He spoked in General Conference (October 2014), but he spoke in Portuguese. This time with us, he spoke in Spanish and sometimes in English. Whenever there was something he couldn't say in Spanish, he would say it in English instead haha.

Elder Godoy is a convert to the church, and was baptized at the age of 16. He shared his entire conversion story and it was so incredible. So many times he was so close to going off the edge and almost never was a member. He used to be a soccer-fanatic that dressed in all black, and had a super long rat-tail with super shaggy hair. His friends all drank and smoked, and he was heading that way as well. But the missionaries found him and he was baptized, served a mission, got married in Brazil, and studied in BYU Provo with his wife. He was a mission President in Brazil and is now the Area President. Wow, he's just the best. So after we had the reunion with him and all of the other missionaries, we had an extra 2 hour meeting with him and the other zone leaders of the mission. It was so intense! It was him, his wife, President Marble, his wife, the 2 assistents, and the 16 zone leaders. Wow. He gave us some incredible help and tips, and we are excited to keep working hard and have more success.

In this last week, we have been doing really great! The people here are so humble and friendly. We meet so many incredible people here every day, and are really enjoying every second. We have several people progressing towards baptismal dates right now, and also this great family! The mom's name is Mari, the older son, Giancarlo, and the younger daughter Lucero. They are so wonderful!!! Mari is super great, her son Giancarlo (17 years old) came to church with us yesterday and loved it. He found a ton of friends there, and is super pumped to be baptized next month. Lucero is the sweetest little angle in the world. She's 8 years old and has down-syndrome. She loves the Elderes! It was a really special experience finding them as well. On Tuesday, we did some divisions with a couple return missionaries here in the ward. So I went with Hermano Jimmy, the stake president's son. He's so awesome!! Anyway, we didn't have any appointments, so instead, we just talked to people in the street the whole time and were given permission to enter a few times. At one point, we were both lost, because he's new here, and I'm even newer, so we had no idea where to go. So I asked him if we could say a prayer and ask where to go, and he said yeah. So we said a short little prayer right there in the dirt road. When we finished, we both started walking in the same dirrection. We went around the corner, turned, and saw a mom and her daughter sitting outside of their house. We said buenas tardes and were about to pass by, but I felt strongly that we should talk to them. We got there and began talking, and it was as if we were long lost friends. They brought out two more chairs and we taught with Mari while Lucero drew pictures for us. It was such a great experience, and we are very excited to continue helping the family to be baptized. They are very motivated, and so are we!

Anyway, that was a just a couple things that happened this week. It was really great. I love Casa Grande! I love you all! Hope Thanksgiving was great! Haha I forgot that it was Thanksgiving, believe it or not, it is not celebrated here hahaha, yeah that wouldn't make sense to celebrate it here anyway. Eeeeeeeeeen fin. I love you all!! Have a great week!

The Crew. Elder Bolivia, Elder Berrocal, Elder Quiñonez, and me

Cameraman

The Huaca!

Me and Elder Berrocal



Some fox thing on the huaca


There's not even a fence or anything


It's just in the middle of a sugar cane field haha


A bird of prey



Man made caves


Lots of wasps


Jaredites brought them here (Véase Éter)


Cool!


Me and Elder Berrocal










Bricks still intact



I think these were tombs (more pictures later)





















Big Tomb (about 10 or 12 feet deep)




Zoomed in (some type of something....not sure what it is really)



The classic plaque pictures with really old bones (they are legit from the people that built this thing)




Us in front of the huaca






Normal streets of Casa Grande
There's almost no cars here. All moto taxi.



There's almost no cars here. All moto taxi.


The canchita :)