Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 73 "What?" Jan 23 - Jan 29 (Casa Grande)

OK so this week we received a short email from Jonah that said he wouldn't be able to send an email until later in the day because he was in Trujillo.  Well, later in the day came and we received a very short email from his companion Elder Israel and he said that Jonah would not be sending an email today. I have to admit, a little disappointed but he must be busy!

Sister Babbel , This is Elder Israel , Elder babbel`s companion . it`s nice to meet you , your son forgot to write you.  I`ll send  some pictures about service, enjoy it . Saludos a la familia Babbel, take care. Bye

That's it - haha.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 72 "Hellloooo" Jan 17 - Jan 22 (Casa Grande)

Sometimes I forget that Jonah probably doesn't quit fit in to a crowd, since he is kind of tall and white compared to Peruvians and he has been so often with a Peruvian missionary companion that it isn't quite as obvious.  He has a funny story about being with another tall white missionary in his letter, I'm sure they were funny to see!  Keep sending the positive thoughts and prayers to him and those people he is teaching.

Wow, what a wild week. Great stuff going on, lots of ups and downs, and we ended the week on a high note. I learned a lot this week. Probably a lot more than most weeks. I learned a lot about agency and a lot about patience, and love, and desire. It was actually a great week, a pesar que Hermano Julio no se bautizo. So, I don't want to explain all of the details, but this is mas o menos what happened.

So we have been working a lot with Hermano Julio in the past weeks and we've been so excited that he has finally been able to progress after 20 years of being held up. But what started to happen is our desires were becoming greater than his desires, and we were helping him too much. It was time for him to make his own decisions and take action on his own account. Maybe Hermano Julio wasn't baptized this Saturday, but we think that it was better that he should wait a little longer. When he decides, and puts his own baptismal date, we will be there to help him. So on Thursday, we saw that all of this was happening, so we told him that he should pray and ask God when he should be baptized, and then let us know when he knows for sure. He agreed and we left it at that. Since then, we've already seen progress in Julio's desires. Usually, we call him, and remind him about church Saturday night and Sunday morning, but we decided to let him choose. We arrived at church a couple minutes early, to find Hermano Julio sitting in the back corner, waiting for church to start. It was so great! We are so happy that he is taking these baby steps, but doing it without anyone's help. When we make our own decisions, we will be more sure of them, and we will know that they come from real desire. We will keep praying for hermano Julio, and will let you know when he makes his decision.

Other good news, Hermano Victor Llacono (I'm not sure if I've talked about him), has a date for the 28th of this month! He has really strong desires, and has even put his own baptismal date. He was recently married to his wife (who is already a member) and has taken the decision to be baptized. It's not completely set in stone, but we have faith that he can make it for this Saturday. It's been really great working with him and his wife, and we are so excited when they walk in to church together, something that neither of them would have ever imagined 2 months ago.

We had an interchange with the Elders of Ascope (another little town outside of Casa Grande) and I was with Elder Palmer from Alaska. He's like 6´3" and just as white as me, so we stuck out pretty well here in Casa Grande haha, so many niños were yelling ''HELLO!'', ''How are you?'', ''One, Two, Three!'' and other phrases that they learn in school, hahaha it was hilarious. We were able to teach and contact a whole bunch of people just because of the fact that we're gringos, haha use your gifts haha.

I'm happy and loving every second of the mission. Sometimes things are a little tough, and you kind of want to give up for a sec, but everything, EVERYTHING that we do as missionaries, is for the wellfare and salvation for people, so there is NO WASTED EFFORT. Everything counts. I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week, and remember to show God that you love Him. Paz afuera....haha that doesn't make any sense but whatever. LOVE YOU ALL!! 

Elder Israel

In the apartment

Peruvian Bowling?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 71 "Hello" Jan 11 - Jan 16 (Casa Grande)

Another best week of his life!  If you didn't know, when he mentions "interchanges" he and his missionary companion, Elder Israel, go and trade places with another missionary for the day.  I think the idea is to learn from other missionaries and share ideas on how to be successful.  They also went to visit another one of Peru's many archaeological sites.  This one is called El Brujo.  Follow the link for more information about this area.  It is about a 30 minute bus ride from Casa Grande.

Hey Everybody! So this week has been a wild one! It's been so great to be able to get out and teach and help people every day without a lot of distractions. We have been really blessed and we were able to bless the lives of others this week. Here's a little bit of what happened.

On Thursday, we were able to head down to Trujillo again to have an interchange with the asistants which was super great. It was kind of funny too, because they just recently changed areas, and it just so happened to be one of the anterior areas of Elder Israel! So when he went out with Elder Carman (one of the asistants) he was able to kind of show him around and help him to visit people that he had taught before when he served in the area. For Elder Nuñez (the other asistant) and I, we were both pretty lost for the whole time, but we were able to teach and talk with a lot of diferent people. It's so different in the city than out more in the country, the people are way more friendly in the country. Usually the city life is a little more rushed than in the country, but it was still really great to talk to all these different types of people.

On Friday, we came back from Trujillo and were able to do another interchange with some missionaries in Cartavio (a town close by to Casa Grande), and I was with Elder Wilson. We saw some really cool things happen and were able to meet some great new people. There was a lady, Carmen, that we knocked her door because we had some time in between appointments. It just happened to turn out that her dad had passed away a few weeks ago and had been visiting counselors and a pyschatrist because she took it really really hard. It is one of the most special things that we experience as missionaries when we can teach the best message of faith to someone that has lost all faith. You can see desperation turn to flickers of hope in their eyes in the moment that we talk and testify of Jesus Christ,the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation. It was a great little contact that we were able to do on that interchange. and the Plan of Salvation

Also, on Saturday, we reprogammed the baptismal interview of Julio Aznaran and he's back on track for a baptismal date this 21st. We are so excited for him!! We will let you know of what happens next week.

We just got back from our Pday and we were able to go to this super cool place called ''El Brujo'' with the highlight of ''La Dama de Cao''. It was seriously so cool! We went with just two other elders, Elder Palmer and Elder Guerra. I'll be sending pictures in just a sec.

Alright, well I love you all so much, and I hope that you have a wonderful week. If you've never heard of the Plan of Salvation, check out this link, and it'll explain everything   
I love you all, Cuídense muchísimo!

On the way to El Brujo

The El Brujo site

Excavation area

That is a cute kid!

In the museum they were able to see the Lady of Cao mummy but could not take pictures

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Week 70 "Hello" Jan 2 - Jan 10 (Casa Grande)

We had a bit of a delay to get this week's email.  Apparently on Monday they traveled to Trujillo on Monday and Tuesday to go to the temple.  Sounds like he is getting some of the "fun" knocking on doors experiences.  At least the people of Peru are very friendly and most invite them in to at least have a nice conversation.  If you don't know Spanish you may need to refer to Google Translate to understand some of his letter - haha.

Hey everybody, I'm back again sorry haha. These past weeks have been incredible here with Elder Israel! We've been working really hard and have been seeing really cool people do really cool things. Plus, just today, we went to the temple!!!!! Wow, it had been way too long, it was so wonderful going back, enjoying the air conditioning for a couple hours, and really pondering about how am I doing. Quisiera contarles algunas cosas que nos han pasado en estas semanas...

So we've been teaching this hermano, Hermano Julio Aznaran, and it's just been a wild rollercoaster of emotions. I think I mentioned him before. His sister has been a member for a really long time and his sobrino is almost ready to leave on a mission, but he has never had the desires to listen to the missionaries. Until very recently when we started teaching him about a month ago. He has attended church 2 times and also went to hermana Linda's baptism, which was super great, and he had accepted to be baptized the 14th of January. We had his baptismal interview scheduled, but it turned out that he couldn't go, and he got really desanimado. Last Saturday, he left to Lima, and was not able to attend church, and we've been bothering him on his celular en cada rato. We love Hermano Aznaran so much, and we are so pumped for him, but the enemigo  is always presente, tempting and putting different trials in the way. We will be working with him a lot this week, he gets back from Lima on Wednesday, but we are so excited that he still has at least a little bit of animo to be baptized. So that's been the situation, but we will be praying for him, and we have faith that he will be baptized soon.

Also, this week, we've been able to find several people that after teaching them for the first time, have committed to be baptized in February. It's been really cool to teach a lot of different people and see their faith be put to the test. We've been knocking a lot of doors lately...something that I haven't really done too much on the mission, but it's actually really fun! Sometimes you get rejected super hardcore, and other times they let you in to the house. Most of the time they just say ''somos catolicos, otro dia de repente.'' But it's cool to get to know so many people in so little time. The nice thing is the people here in Casa Grande are, in general, really friendly with us, even if they don't want to listen to us. The great advantage is that I stick out like a sore thumb jaja, GRINGO!! So it makes it easier to talk to people. But yeah, I'm loving every second of the work right now.

Elder Israel is learning english and has already learned a lot in his mission. It's been soooooo funny to hear him put together different phrases and sentences. Sometimes, things in Spanish are a little more crude in English and the same vice versa jajajaj, it's hilarious sometimes. Elder Israel and I are doing great and we're already great friends. I hope that we can stick together an extra cambio or two.

I love you all so so much! If you haven't been to the temple yet this year, GO! Even if there's like 3 feet of snow jaja, it's still worth it. I check the Meridian Temple Construction pictures every now and then, and it looks like it's just about ready ya. SO SWEEEEEETT!! Does someone know the official dedication date? Let me know. I love you all more than snow days and hot chocolate!!!

In a moto, on the way to the bus stop to Trujillo

The Templo!!!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Week 69 - "One Story" Dec 26 - Jan 1 (Casa Grande)

This week's letter from Jonah was a bit short.  He did include a story about some people they have been meeting.  He also was answering some questions that Leslie had and I have included those as well.  He didn't email until the end of the afternoon so I think they must have had a busy day!  He also sent some photos about the New Year traditions.

  In this week, we have found so many families! That's what we've been praying for and working to find. And in this week we found and taught a couple of families and then also have several futuros that are families. That has really been our focus of the entire week and will continue to be for the rest of the mission. We've been seeing really cool things happening here in the area, and a lot of help from the members. Just the other day, we were talking with the dad of a family of members. We were talking to him about having a noche de hogar in his house and we asked him to invited people to come. While we were talking, his neighbor passed by, and so he invited her and her family to come. The whole family didn't make it, but the mom and her son did, and it was completely perfect. If she has questions, or a problem, or a doubt, she now has us AND her neighbor. The neighbor can take her to church, the neighbor can help in the lessons, and the neighbor can hopefully baptize her one day. This is how missionary work should happen.

Some information about his new companion Elder Israel -

Elder Israel is the best!!! He's from Lima Este (right next to La Lomina where the temple is). He's 19, his birthday is in June, so that means that hasta ahora, all of my companions are older than me haha. He knows english pretty well so we practice a lot. He has one transfer less than me, so we both have basically the same exact time in the mission which is really cool. He learns really quickly and he is wayyyyyyy more willing to work. I'm really excited. We're already working really hard and seeing a lot of cool things happen in the area and the zone. We should have a few baptisms in january and several for february. I hope I stay here forever haha.

Apparently they aren's supposed to eat the ceviche - 

Haha we can't ceviche, it's against the mission rules because it's raw fish. Dang it, but that's okay. We eat there every day. I'm getting a little bit of chub. Maybe you've noticed. I'm so self conscience but we started to go and run in the mornings. Elder Israel likes to run so that's awesome. Yeah. Whatever. La buena vida y la poca vergüenza hahaha dang it.

Mr. Potato Head!!!!Hahhaahah, so in Peru, during new years, they make these big huge dolls made out of paper and wood. And some of them are REALLY big, like double this guy. Some of them are really intricate too. But then at 12.00am they burn them jaja, so weird. But yeah this was one in front of our room

It really is huge!

With Nasya!

Sometimes, they just make people life size ones. I don't really get it, but it's really funny to me.

Elder Quiñonez!!! He put plastic wrap on his face jajaja

VIdeo of me and Elder Israel. All the latinos say ''fetching'' haha it's really funny