Hello mi familia!
Who´se ready for another weekly update from the far away land of Peru?
The most exciting things that happened this week had to do with our weekly oportunities to go tracting in Lima. This week we went to the same place we were last week, but different members to contact. I was hoping that we would have more success this week because in terms of contacting less active members, last week was kind of a bust. We went around to a few different apartment buildings and had no luck, either our members weren´t home, or they didnt want to answer the door. Eventually though, we were able to find a member who was home. To get to their house, you had to walk through a sketchy back alleyway and walk up some stairs that looked like they dated back to the 1700s ( a lot of this city is super old) and finally to this members door. In front of their house they had piles of cardboard boxes, and living inside those boxes were a whole ton of cats! There were cats everywhere, it was really pretty weird. We waited for about fifteen minutes while the member was getting ready for us and gathering the family and then we went inside. There house was pretty humble, the only lighting they had was some christmas lights across the room ( although they did have a very nice flat screen tv, which is pretty typical of even the poorest people here). We started talking to the family and came to realize that the only member in the family was their daughter who was about sixteen years old. The mother had attended church a few times, but had become dissillusioned when members started to tell her she shouldnt take the sacrament because she hadnt been baptized. This is totally not true, and it was really sad to hear her experience of feeling the holy ghost and having that confirming witness that the church was true, only to be turned away by members who should be trying to fellowship. I tried to bear witness that the spirit she felt was an answer from her heavenly father that this church was a good thing for her. I think this had minimal affect because I was so overwhelmed to finally be talking to a real investigator in spanish, so i fumbled over my words a little bit. But i felt the Spirit, and i have realized that sometimes this is all we can hope for in a situation like that.
When we left their house i was dissappointed, I knew that the lord loved this lady and that he wanted her to know the truth. Its true that he wants all his children to hear the truth, but when you are put in a situation where you get to feel that same love for someone, you want nothing more than to say exactly what they need to hear to have a change of heart.
The biggest lesson i got this week, however, is that as missionaries we all need to have that same change of heart. The experience of coming out into the mission field, going to the MTC and learning how to preach the gospel has been so cool. The most important thing i learned though, is that this gospel needs to become the most important thing in our lives. We watched a devotional by elder holland, given at the provo MTC. He said something so powerful in his talk, in effect, that this work will never be over for us, and that if we love the savior we will always be willing to feed his sheep. This made me realize not only how dedicated I need to be for my whole life to the lord, but that this very time that i am in is so precious! And that to be worthy, and to be here, is an amazing blessing in and of itself.
Speaking of Elder Holland... HE IS COMING HERE TO TALK TO US IN THREE WEEKS! Everyone here is freaking out because we never get to have firesides with general authorities down here in Peru. Also, somehow the presidents wife found out I was a vocal performance major in college so she asked me to sing a solo and help organize a choir when they come. super stoked!
p.s. i am still waiting for mail, many of you may have heard that the mail system here was down for a couple of weeks because the peruvian mail workers decided to go on strike! also i cant really send any mail until i get some US stamps and they havent come yet so sit tight everyone! but so far i have only recieved dear elders anyway.
about the pictures ( not in any particular order)
Pic of the class
Me and elder Stanely (big white guy)
Me and Elder Sherman from back home!
Area of the city called rimac ( a little feo lo siento)
Me and elder driggs sad infront of the dark night rises poster)
Me infront of the palace (equivelant of the white house here in peru)