Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 60 - "Chapter 4: A New Hope" Oct 24 - Oct 30 (Trujillo)

This last Sunday we listened to a recently returned missionary talk about his experience in New Zealand and he told several stories about being robbed or attacked.  Leslie asked Jonah if he has ever had any scary situations and he told the following story - "One time, we almost got eaten alive by this huge pitbull about a month ago. Just remembered about it. We were trapped in this lot, and I was backed up against a fence, just holding my backpack in front of its mouth. I slipped out of the gate and closed it before the dog went crazy. It was snarling but still just walking really slow. The thing probably weighed more than me, it was so huge. When we closed the gate, it went wild, snapping and biting at the bars. I'm pretty sure it would've chomped on my legs or something. Scary haha."

Hello Everybody!! What a wonderful week!! In this past week, we followed the star wars series and now have a new hope hahaha, yeah. So in the past weeks , we were having a harder time finding new people to teach, really fighting for new people, but turning up short every time. But in this last week, we were able to find several new people that are ready to progress and are enjoying learning of Christ. It has still been a constant fight and has required a ton of effort, but we're finally seeing the results.

In this past week, I've been studying a lot about virtue, and have been trying to apply it in every moment. Virtue is kind of like integrity, but it's a lot more. It's integrity, but not because you want to be recognized as having integrity, but because you love God. Virtue is integrity, but not just in action and in word, but also in thought. Virtue is a purity of thoughts and helps us to act more like Jesus Christ. Virtue has a lot to do with repentance and humility. We accept the fact that we cannot be perfectly virtuous so we repent when we're not and we strive to depend in the power of the Atonement when we mess up. Virtue is probably one of the hardest things to do  constantly, because you have to think about it constantly and continually fight the battle. But the blessings of being virtuous are incredible. In this past week, I have found myself thinking less in myself, and more in other people. I have found that I am more greatful for spritual reminders and acts of service that people do towards  me. Being virtuous is such a blessing! The key to being virtuous is constantly being occupied in wholesome things, and not letting yourself get lazy or selfish. As you become more and more virtuous, you become more and more happy, selfless, and guilt-free. I would invite everyone to take a real look at the meaning of virtue and then work hard every day to have more and more of it.

I hope you all have a  wonderful week! Keep being Christ-like! I love you all so much! Mas que sus madres jaja.


Haha yeah - There I am!

Elder Turner and I had an interchange!

These are called papa rellena. It's like fried potato with meat inside. Really delicious

Junior got baptized! He's an investigator that we taught and commited to baptism before the sister missionaries came. They did a great job!!  Him, his family, and the sisters.

Selfie Stick Yeah!

We found really nice, REALLY CHEAP ties. They were 5 soles each....like a dollar fifty holy smokes.


Señor de los Milagros parade. Those are all flower petals woahhhhhh

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 59 - "Que semana di?" Oct 17 - Oct 23 (Trujillo)


Last week the lower part of my shin started hurting and I told Jonah about it in my last email.  In his reply he said, "Shoot - sorry about the shin...maybe you have a bad spirit in your leg and you need to rub a hard-boiled egg over it?  That's what they would say here in Peru haha - brujas." I'm not sure I'm going to try that one.  He is so excited about all of the people he is teaching and we can tell that he truly does love all of the people he is meeting in Peru.

What a week, huh? This has been such a wonderful week! Wowza....we sure did walk a lot, but we met so many great people!! So it was a little bit of a bummer because so many people just weren't in their houses after pulling out citas with them, but the Lord needed us in different places this week. We tried to talk to just about everyone. Like everyone everyone haha. People that were clearly too busy and too distracted or too grumpy or just stopped in their car at a red light hahaha that was funny. But we have been talking with a lot of different people lately and it's been awesome to take a quick peek into the lives of so many types of people. 

Also in this week, we brought the boys back together!!!!! Elder Mead and I had an interchange!!!! Wow that was awesome and hilarious. Haha I can't believe that half-way around the world, the two of us are together here in Peru. Medio loquito no? We had a great day of teaching and were able to talk about some of our friends serving in different missions around the world. Elder Mead is doing great and he's as guapito as ever haha. It was a really special day teaching in spanish with an old friend. Haha I still can't even believe that we're here together, that's just nuts. 

Also this week, Diego got baptized and dang it was such a great baptismal service. So Diego's girlfriend Rebeca (the one that introduced him to the church and taught him with us) is also an incredible singer. Also, one of his other friends just happens to play the cello. So we did a voice, piano, cello musical number and it was actually pretty good! Hahaha sometimes the musical numbers here are super uncomfortable, but this one was great! Diego's friend in the ward, Walter, baptized him and it was super special. After he baptized him and came back up, he gave each other a big huge hug there in the baptismal font, and they were both teary-eyed and we could all feel the Spirit really strong. I love baptism hugs!!! They really show the love and the joy and the excitement that all culminates right there in the font. We love Diego so much and we're excited to work with him and get him prepared to serve a mission! Maybe he'll go to Idaho!! That would be crazy, but yeah who knows?

So the week was great and I'm still here enjoying every single moment of the mission. Sometimes it's a little disheartening when you get rejected or when people flake out, but when Christ was here, he wasn't always accepted and more than just a few flaked out. If we are doing the Lord's work, we better expect to feel in some way. on a much lower level, but still a little bit of the rejection that He felt. And that makes you feel something incredible. I love this work, I love Peru, and I love you too....wuju. Have a wonderful week! Be virtuous and keep your minds on Christ!! Love you bunches


Elder Mead and I Yeah!!

We're on the roof of an investigators house yeah!!

The 4 of us in the interchange

Peanutbutterrrrrr

I almost ate the whole jar like this hahah

View from our window

Hermano Luis our pensionista. He puts his arm in fire sometimes haha


Typical dinner. The bone's my favorite

Diego (2nd from left) With Walter Elder Reyes and me

With the ward! Oh obispo

Diego Post baptism

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 58 - "Faith is real bro!" Oct 10 - Oct 16 (Trujillo)

It is great to hear Jonah's stories about all of the people he is meeting.  It is great to see how much faith he has in missionary work and the Gospel.  When he writes I can just feel the excitement in his words and I can his great smile.  Jonah was very excited to receive a package from home.  One of his favorite things is Chewy Spree candy, which they don't have that in Peru.  He also misses peanut butter so he was excited to get that too.  There are just some things you can't find in Peru.

Wowwwwww!!!! Hahaha, this week was so great!! There's just miracle after miracle here in the mission and it's so dang cool to be a live spectator of it all. It's been so wild in these past few days, working with the investigator that I mentioned last week, Diego. Diego, as in the one with his doubts and his uncertainty. But hey! Doubt your doubts dang it! Doubting is easy, faith is hard. Don't give into doubts. Diego has had a wild swing in this past week and I'll just tell you all a little bit about it.

Diego Aguero is so great!! His girlfriend, an active member in Palermo -which is a different stake here in Trujillo- introduced him to the church about 2 months ago, and we recently started teaching him 3 weeks ago. He used to not believe in God and was really kind of down and depressed about life. Hope is something that is really hard to have or to even grasp if you don't believe in God or Jesus Christ. Hope would be pointless, an emotion, and chance, if God didn't exist. Anyway, that's a different topic. Before Diego got to know the church, he told us that he was really cold and didn't feel the things that he did. Kind of like he was empty, but didn't realize it. But little by little, the spirit opened his heart. Through the church, the book of mormon, and prayer, he started to feel things. We were worried a little, because maybe he was just kind of going along with what his girlfriend wanted him to do, but this last sunday, he had the trial of his faith, and he did wonderfully. His girlfriend, Rebeca, has a calling in her own ward, so she couldn't come this last sunday, so Diego was going to have to come on his own. Rebeca called us before church that morning and said that he wouldn't be coming because he worked Saturday night all the way until 6am Sunday morning. When we walked into the church, we weren't expecting to see Diego there. But there he was, already seated in his normal spot, with his head bobbing from drowsiness, but still 10 minutes early. It was so great seeing him there! We taught him later that day, asked how he felt about his baptismal date and said that he was confident that is was what he needed in his life. Diego's interview is for tomorrow, and we are excited for his baptism on Saturdaymorning. He is so great! A true convert, experiencing true repentance. The Spirit really works wonders, and it has been incredible to see how Diego has changed so drastically in such a short time.

Everything is going well here in Central, we had our Zone Training on Tuesday and Interviews with President Marble on Wednesday. We are seeing progress in the zone, area, and personally. Elder Reyes is my best friend with his big ol' barriga. Love him to death. We are work hard and see miracles every day. I'm so grateful that I got to stay here in Central for an unexpected 5th change.

I love you all so much! Have a wondeful week! The Church is True, the book is blue, wwwuuuuujjjjuuuu

P.S. Love you Mom and Dad so much. Thanks for rekindling my love for peanut butter


THE PACKAGE CAMMEMEMEEEEE yesssssssss

Sprees. Smells good.

Peanut Butter1!!!!!11!! Yeshhhh

Pensativo

An apple. It wasn't actually in the package though

 found a nativity set!!
Even Baby Jesus has his little chullito (the little hat thing. Original from Peru!)
My juggling kit




video



Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 57 - "Full Salvaje" Oct 3 - Oct 9 (Trujillo)

The big news this week is that we are no longer going to be able to 'chat' with Jonah on Mondays.  They had a leadership meeting with all of the zone leaders and Mission president and it was decided that in order to avoid overuse of the internet that they would limit conversations to email replies from the previous week.  Jonah said, "It was kind of a bummer at the start, but I understand why it is a rule".  We are a little sad and Leslie might shed a tear or two but we are glad Jonah is 'ok' with it and always has a positive attitude.

What a great week!!! MMM!! I was so dang blessed in this last week, and it was just wonderful to have so much help from others in these past few days. This last week, we had our concilio reunion with all of the zone leaders and sister trainer leaders of the mission. It was fantastic!! We talked a lot about faith and how it will help us in the missionary work. We talked about something really interesting with faith. Something that really made me reflect about how I teach and live the gospel. It was also mentioned in this past General Conference and has been really on my mind. Do we really trust Jesus Christ? Do we really have faith in His power in our own personal lives? As missionaries, we always teach about faith and ask people to have faith. But when we teach it, do we really know it and have it too?

In this past week, this has been my focus. Trusting in the Lord in my own life, and putting my faith completely in Him. If we really have true faith, we know that we can keep the commandments and do the will of the Lord, and then receive REAL blessings directly for doing so. If we have real trust in the Lord, we will obey what He says, even if we don't fully understand the why. If we have real faith, it does not matter what God asks from us. We will always do what He commands, and trust and hope for the recompense.

Just on Sunday, we were teaching a lesson to an investigator named Diego. He has a lot of questions about the Restuaracion like any normal person would, and he has a hard time accepting some of the ''rules'' that Mormons have. We were talking about one of the ''rules'', trying to explain to him that we can receive temporal and spiritual blessings if we live it. He was still doubtful. We stopped trying to cram it down his throat, and talked about faith instead. We talked about how sometimes, just like Adam, we have to trust and obey, not knowing exactly why, but knowing that He called us to do it. But we will ALWAYS have the promise that we will be blessed and that one day, in the Lord's time, He will let us know why. Are we sometimes too prideful to accept a commandment when we don't know why it's necessary? Or do we have the firm faith and hope to receive the blessings AFTER -not before- we act.

This week I learned a lot. We had a great interchange with the assistants, I'm doing wonderful, I love our new pensionista!!!!! He cooks the best dang food there is. Haha, lots of meat, sorry mom. Steak 4ever haha. I love you all! Have a wonderful week! And if you don't, keep following Christ, and trust in Him to bless you with a better one next week. ¡Les amo hasta el fondo de mi corazón!


Elder Quispe used to be in the zone here. He has a lot of family that lives here in Trujillo, and his aunt actually lives in the Central ward. Sooooo...his mom came to visit her, so this is us with Elder Quispe's mom!! How wild is that huh?

Ericka

Luz

Irene


Hermana Trifecta haha, they are the best

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 56 - "hey...sorry I'm late" Sep 26 - Oct 2 (Trujillo)

Another transfer and Jonah stays in the Central Zone!   He really does love the zone he is in right now.  This last week he has been helping to secure some new 'pensionistas' (a church member hired to cook meals and do laundry) and to find new apartments for the new missionaries that will be coming into the zone.  There are some new Sister missionaries that will be joining their current Ward and he is glad they will be there to help.  His current companion Elder Reyes has just 12 weeks remaining in his mission so he may finish with him.

Hey guys!!! What a stinking wonderful week!!!! CONFERENCIA GENERAL BROOOO!!! Man it was so good. So so so good. Just really inspring and tear jerking and spiritual and man its just the best i just get so excited about it sometimes holy smokes. Yeah, Conference was so great. This year, I did something that I had never done before that was really awesome and that I will continue to do until the day I die haha. I wrote 10 questions that I had and that I wanted to be answered. Not just spiritual questions, but basically any question that I had. I wrote them all down throughout this past week, and then Saturday and Sunday during conference, I looked for the answers. I got them all. And more. It was so incredible to see how personal conference was, and to have so many individualized questions I had answered in such a short time. Conference is inspired. Conference is personal. Conference is life. Man. So good seriuosly. Anyway, we had a wonderful week, working hard and finding a few more people to teach. We have a couple baptisms planned for this month and I think we are going to be able to figure it out.

Oh yeah so by the way, we had cambios!! Elder Reyes and I are going to be staying together for our 3rd transfer!!!! I love CENTRAL!!! This will be my 5th transfer here and I think I might as well just serve the rest of my mission here because its just the best haha. I was super blessed to be able to given 6 more weeks here, and maybe 6 more after that. It makes it so much easier to connect with the ward and find out the needs and desires of every member and ward council leader. Elder Reyes and I are going to rock it!! So a couple of other things, two sisters are going to be moving into our ward so we'll be back up to 4 missionaries again! Thank goodness seriously, it's hard with just 2 missionaries here. So much work to do haha. Also....coming down from Cajamarca is.......Elder Mead!!! We both went to Vallivue and he's going to be a district leader here in Central and it'll be so awesome!!!! We're going to have a blast here in the zone.

I love you all so much. Sorry for the minimal detail, we're a little apurado hoy dia, but I really do love you all. For those of you who read this blog every once in a while, I invite you to watch general conference. Just go to lds.org and it will come up with a big thing saying how to see, listen, or read the talks. It doesn't matter what faith you have, I can promise you all that any video you watch will boost your day and you'll feel something really special as you listen to each one of their words. I love you all! Mantegense frescos mis amiguitos.


The food was so good that they didn't look for the pictures haha it was dang good

This was the Spicy Baja!! Wowzers it was delish

We got a reference to come to this pasaje haha it was the second floor.

 went up, and knocked the door.....nobody was there, but we'll come back. haha those stairs were so sketchy, good thing I haven't gained weight lol