Sunday, December 22, 2013
The weeks are honestly flying by!! I can´t believe that Christmas is around the corner, then New Year’s, and we will be in 2014! It is craziness!!
This week was full of miracles. We have come across so many new people who are seeking peace during this season of Christmas. So early on in the week we were knocking doors, at one house the lady didn’t want anything to do with us. She gave all the typical excuses, she was busy, cooking, cleaning, no we couldn’t help plus, she had to take her sickly mother to the hospital and pick up her kids from school. We asked if perhaps we could enter to offer a prayer in behalf of her mother. She paused in her list of excuses and opened the door, allowing us to enter. We knelt together and offered a simple prayer, asking God to bless her mother and her entire household. As we got up to leave she thanked us profoundly, wished us well in all of our endeavors and testified of Christ and the faith and love that she has for him. It was wonderful to see the change in her countenance from apparent frustration when she first opened the door to the joy and thanks that she expressed as we left. This gospel of Jesus Christ truly offers peace and hope.
The other great miracle this week happened when we were contacting in the street. We met a lady named Nelly. She gave us her address and said that we could visit her the next day in the morning. The next morning we found her home and knocked on the door. A different woman answered, and asked us what we needed. We explained who we are and asked if Nelly was home. The woman then went on to explain that Nelly does own the house but is currently living in Lima. The woman said that Nelly hasn’t been here in Lambayeque for weeks and will not return for weeks more. We were incredibly confused, as we had talked to Nelly just the day before there in Lambayeque. As we continued to talk with the woman, she told us that she was in fact also a Mormon. She explained that when she moved here about 5 years ago she never transferred her records and never had visited the church here. We were so excited at the news, and eagerly invited her to return to Church and take part in the many blessings that awaited her. We testified that there are no coincidences, and that there is a purpose for us having knocked on her door. She acknowledged the truth of the miracle and agreed to again apply the gospel in her life.
All in all it was a wonderful week. I am so grateful for the opportunity to see miracles first hand. I love this work. I know that God is directing the minute details of our lives. Look for the everyday miracles, record them in your journal, and fall to your knees in thanks for the bounty that he bestows on us every day.
Thank you for all of your love, prayers, and letters.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Baptism de Loredina
I can´t believe that December is well on its way. The Christmas Spirit grows and grows every day. Lights are going up, Christmas trees are in every house. People are selling Panetón (Peruvian fruit cake) in todo lugar. Christmas is in the air (even in the 90 degree heat!). And best of all, for Christmas here every family has a huge nativity set. Most are wooden, hand carved with Mary, Joseph (oh María y José) and all the animals. Plus they have the tradition that baby Jesus doesn’t arrive until midnight in the 24th. Instead of sleeping early so Santa can come, the whole family stays up until midnight and awaits the arrival of the Christ child. They truly love the Lord here, and Christmas is a time that they are praising Him and truly focusing on Jesus. They honestly recognize and celebrate the true reason for the season!
Anyway, I bet you are probably wondering where I got transferred to. It was extremely difficult to say goodbye to Monsefú. There is a special place in my heart for that town and more so for the people there. Ahora, I have been transferred to Lambayeque, Demetrio Acosta. I think it is a little bit North of Chiclayo, so more desert than ocean breeze. The area is huge so there is lots of work to be done. Luckily, I have the most wonderful companion in the World! Hermana Fuller is from Seattle Washington and is incredibly diligent and tons of fun! We have already planned lots of activities for the branch and for the zone. We are ready to infuse Lambayeque with lots and lots of excitement for missionary work! Also there are some wonderful investigators here. This weekend Loredina was baptized. She just turned 12 and is so great. Her little sister is a member as well and they, along with their Mom, come to church every week. Unfortunately their Mom isn’t legally married so she can’t be baptized (yet). Hopefully her husband will be ready soon to be married and later, baptized so that their family can be together FOREVER!
I love this work; there is a lot to be done. The field is white all ready to harvest and I love every minute!
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Wow! I cannot believe that it is already Diciembre! The Christmas decorations have started going up here in Peru.. and the weather is just getting hotter.. and hotter. Change is in the air. In fact.. I have transfers again! Tomorrow I will know where I am headed off to now. It has been beyond amazing to serve here in Monsefu. I Love the people here with all my heart.
This week flew by and a lot happened. Elder Calderon a member of the Area Presidency came to talk with our mission. He gave a great training,. I loved his thoughts on how creativity is sparked in an environment of love and support. Also, this week we had a fantastic branch activity. It was called the Plan de Salvacion. It was like a carnival. There was a room set up like a coffee shop (minus the coffee). A room like a discoteca, one with games for little kids (including guinea pig races), a movie theater in another room, and a little chapel in another room. All the people were given fake "dollars" and had free reign of the chapel to spend their "cash" and enjoy all the games. However, after awhile, we stopped all activity and gathered all the people together. We explained that sometimes in life we are influenced to spend our time in the coffee shop or the disco instead of giving time to the Lord. Depening on where the people ended up they were asigned to a degree of glory in the "heavens". Hopefully that explanation makes some sense... It was a fantastic activity. Loads of fun and lots of people came.. unfortunately many stayed in the discoteca the whole time.. but they came!! and learned a little bit of doctrine in the end.!
And the moment most joyful for me this week was when Hermano Jaime got up in testimony meeting and shared his testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel and his desire to be with his family for the eternities. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had here in Monsefu to share the gospel with Hermano Jaime and his family, to watch his process of repentance, to witness his baptism, and feel the spirit as he testified. What a privilege it is to witness the miracle of true repentance.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Wow this week was jam packed with wonderful moments I really am not sure where to begin.. So first of all Elder Russell M. Nelson came to Chiclayo Peru! Elder Nelson is an apostle of the Lord and he came to talk with all of the missionaries in Chiclayo. It was incredible. We all got to shake his hand and he gave a great talk about the potential that each one of us has. He reminded us that before we came to this Earth we lived as spirits with our Father in Heaven. In this pre-earth life we agreed to Gods Plan for us, we learned about the gospel, and we promised God that we would accomplish certain things while here on Earth. Elder Nelson told us that one of the things we (the missionaries in Chiclayo) promised to do was serve a mission. He also left us with the apostolic blessing that if we continue to work with our hearts centered on the Lord our families will be blessed for the eternities. So family, I will continue to give it all that I’ve got and I know the blessings will come your way!
The second awesome thing was that on Saturday we did divisions. So there are 4 full time missionaries in the Branch, and there are 4 young adults who are waiting for their mission calls to come before the year end. So on Saturday my companion and I split up and took on the responsibility of one the mini missionaries. I was paired up with Brilly Chumioque. She is Awesome! We knocked doors, contacted in the street, found some wonderful new people and had a baptism!! It was loads of fun to give Brilly a taste of the missionary life. She will be a wonderful missionary in the not too far future!!
And the third thing, as I mentioned, we had a baptism. This was the first baptism of someone who I have taught and taught and taught. It was a wonderful experience. I am so privileged to have taught Jaime and his wife, to have been in all those lessons, to watch his conversion and see his testimony grow. Hermano Jaime is a young father who teaches at the local catholic school. His wife, Monica, is great and their little son, Renzo, is a bit of a whirlwind. The first time the three of them came together to the chapel was such a happy day, Renzito loved the elevator, and Jaime and Monica loved the spirit there! Jaime came every week to church and we continued to share the gospel in their little store. I remember the strength of the Spirit in one lesson when Jaime said "I want to be baptized, I know I need to do it. But I don’t want to be saved alone; I want my family with me." As the weeks continued to pass his desire grew. Although his wife is still learning and not quite ready to take that leap of faith, This Saturday Jaime was baptized. His mother and sister (recent converts to the Church) were there! It was a beautiful moment and I am still praying that in the near future Monica will follow his lead and together they can start on the path toward the temple.
I know this is the gospel of Jesus Christ and I am so grateful to see the miracle of repentance change the hearts of these precious children of God!
I love you all!