Monday, February 6, 2012

Dear Family January
2, 2012

(That means Happy New

Glad to hear that you
had a good week last week and that you have been enjoying yourselves there in
Maryland. Sounds like everything is going amazingly.

This week in Peru was
interesting. We had a few rough days because of the Holidays. We also learned
something... Bars aren`t friends to missionary work. Neither is alcohol... (Its
like I learned something new... :) ) Saturday night going into Sunday was
terrible. We slept... almost nothing... There is a bar on the other side of the
street and they had a New Years party that lasted until 8:00 Sunday morning and
at 9:30 when we were out trying to get investigators to come to church, there
were fights happening outside of the bar. Sounds like a great way to start the
New Year...

This week also had a
few great things. We were able to set baptismal dates with Anabely and with
Hugo. They are both planning on getting baptized in January. Anabely is a young
women who is 17 and she is pretty awesome. She learns quickly and has a great
desire to know more about the gospel. Hugo is the opposite. He has been
receiving the missionaries for over a year and finally has decided that he
wants to be baptized. The Lord blessed us for our efforts, even when we
struggled a little bit with homesickness.

We also have been able
to meet a few new people and the members are getting excited to help with the
missionary work. Sunday we received 3 references from the members in the ward
and they even set up appointments with us to be able to go and visit the
references. The change in the Bishopric has also been good although the New
Year has made things a little bit difficult. Elder Jimenez and I are excited to
keep working. These last few days we have set some goals for this transfer and
for this year, and we are working on many things to improve. I think that there
is always something that we can improve on. The blessings come when we are
humble enough to recognize our faults and repent. Then the Lord helps to
improve and move on.

I love you all and
hope that this New Year becomes a great one, and if you ever are feeling down,
just remember that your favorite oldest son, (or brother) comes home this
year... Ha ha... I know that the gospel is true and that through faith in
Christ we can achieve things that we never would have imagined. The Lord will
guide our steps and direct our paths. The Lord who knows us better than we know
ourselves and who knows exactly what we NEED will help us find it, even if it
is a little bit different than what we want. I know that as it says in Ether
12:27 our weaknesses will be made strong.

Again, I love you

January 9, 2012

Hey family,

Glad to hear that you
survived New Year´s. Sounds like the whole family is involved in different
things. I still haven`t decided if I like New Year`s or not. For a missionary
its pretty boring. We sit in our room and normally we sleep. New Year`s is also
tough because of the amount of power that the adversary has on this day. There
is a bar in front of where we live here and they had a party until 8 a.m. on
the New Years Day. We left to go get ready for church and it was a sad scene.
The streets were a mess, there were people fighting in some areas. Drunk men
crying on street corners, and not very much attendance in church. It`s sad for
me to see how Satan takes the good things that New Year`s could be...
Resolutions to be better people, time with family, and a time to think about
how we have been living, and he turns it to be the opposite. Drinking and
entering into a stupor and many mistakes that seperate families... It`s our job
as members to show the world how it could be and not participate in what the
world has made it. It`s similar with many holidays....

This last week has had
its ups and downs. We went through a lot of trials during the week, but we were
also able to make plans to improve in the future. The life of a missionary is
never easy, but it is worth it. This week we were able to meet a bunch of new
people to start teaching. We met a woman named Ericka and she invited us to
come and teach her family. She has four kids, Estefani, Erick, Jean Pierre, and
Lex (yes, named after Lex Luther from Superman). They are pretty awesome. She
actually contacted us in the street instead of us contacting her. She had
attended church one time and the missionaries who were in the ward where she
attended never passed the reference or the Elders here didn`t look for her or
find her.

We also found a man
named Javier. He is an example of what New Year`s should be. He talked to us
telling us about the desire he had to change his life for the better, and we
are happy to help him do that. He is very honest with us, and has a good
desire. We also started working with a 9-year-old girl named Carla. She is
awesome and wants to get baptized. Her mother is a less-active member and Carla
has great desires. We are working with her mom and her so that they can start
attending church and Carla can be baptized.

We keep working with
Anabely and with Hugo. They both have great desires, we are just trying to help
them progress a little bit further to their baptisms. We are also working with
many of our other investigators to help them progress a little bit more and
become ready for their baptisms.

I have made many New Year`s goals, but only until July... ha ha. I decided that
the Lord would help me set good goals when I arrive home and help me achieve
them if I choose to focus in the mission and not in what my life will be like
after. It is amazing how quickly the time goes by, but the Lord blesses us when
we strive to do as He wants. The trials come, but they pass. As it says in the
New Testament... "We can do all things through Christ, who strengthens
us." This is the Lord`s work and so it must be done His way. There is no
other way to do it. I know that He loves us and wants us to succeed. I have
felt the power of the Atonement here and I am learning to love Him and know Him
more personally. I love you all and hope that you can continue to see His
blessings in your lives.

January 16, 2012

Hey family,
Glad to hear that Megan got back to Utah State safe and sound, but not so glad
to hear that Trevor can now drive a car without supervision.... That should
never be legal....
Well this week was one word... AWESOME!!! We were able to get a ton of work
done here in the sector. On Tuesday we had a Multi-Zone conference and I
learned a lot from President Tyler about the Book of Mormon... He reemphasized
(Hope thats a word) the importance of the Book of Mormon in our teaching and
taught us that our teaching should be focused in the Book of Mormon.
Thursday we were able to go to the temple again.... So refreshing... And I
spent like 15 dollars of the money you sent me on ties and awesome videos. IT
was pretty sweet...
About the investigators...
This week was a great improvement for us...
Anabely is doing great and is progressing towards her baptism and she is way
excited to be getting baptized... She wasn't going to be able to come to church
because she was going to be gone from Friday until today, but Saturday we felt
the need to pray for her... In our room we said a prayer... I was able to offer
it, and I felt good afterwards... We then arrived at her house 4 hours later to
try and call her and find out what her needs are, and lo and behold, she had
come back two days early... Our prayer was answered and she was able to attend
church on Sunday...
We are also working with Liliana, Anabely's aunt. She also came to church and
is excited to be baptized as well...
We are also working with Javier more... He was unable to attend church, but he
is still progressing slowly and wants to do what is right...
Hugo also was able to come to church on Sunday and we were able to see that he
is learning a lot... We are doing our best to help him resolve any doubts that
he has... and he is moving along.
We also were able to meet with a young woman named Fiorella on Sunday... She is
awesome, and wants to learn more about the gospel... She had come to chuch the
last two weeks... But I thought she was a less active member (oops) Well we
talked to her and we were able to set a baptismal date for her for the end of
February... She is going out of town for two weeks, so we will have limited
contact, but she is awesome...
We also have good news about Lex (He's 4) He came to church too, with his older
siblings and his mom, and we weren't planning on them being there because we
thought that his mom Ericka would be working... But the Lord blessed us there
as well..
We saw a lot of blessings this week... In total 10 of our investigators came to
church on Sunday... That is the highest amount that I have seen in all of my
mission and more than double the amount that I have seen in this sector.
The work is progressing, and the Lord blesses us for our efforts... The Church
is True... The Savior loves each of us individually and wants the best for us.
I love you all and hope that you can continue to see the blessings of the Lord
in your lives....
January 23, 2012

Hola familia,

¿Como estáis?

Glad to hear that you
finally got some snow... Although I don`t feel sorry for you, it has been about
2 years since I have seen snow... It`s tragic...
The Rich family is
going to Korea? Wow... That`s crazy... You do realize that with that
announcement... I now know absolutely no one in the ward... I at least knew the
Rich family from the Gaithersburg era, but that`s okay, Im not complaining.
Sounds like the things are changing a little bit... Alex should definitely at
least learn the hymns... It comes in handy when you are on your mission...
(Personal experience) And don`t worry mom and dad in six months you will have
three noisy teenagers and me... (We don`t get quieter when we reach 20 or 21
years old), And by the way 5 children over the age of 12 qualifies you both as
old... Just to throw that out... And depending on how life goes in 3 or 4 years
you could be grandparents... Ha ha...

This week has its ups
and downs, but we were able to push on and get past the problems... The Lord
blesses us when we put in our best effort in the mission and in life... It is
something I have learned a lot here in Peru... I have also learned a lot about
humility... Sometimes the Lord has to make us suffer to make us realize that we
need His help so that we will turn to him again... One classic case is the
pride cycle that is ever so common in the Book of Mormon. Nephites are
righteous, they become prosperous and wealthy, they get prideful and entire
cities are destroyed or taken by the Lamanites, they realize they need the Lord
and they repent, and they are blessed.... We just always have to remember where
the blessings come from...

This week was awesome
because Anabely, Liliana, and Hugo all came to church again Sunday, so we are
moving forward with the plans for their baptisms. Anabely passed another test
of faith that scared us to death... Her grandmother got to church and told us
that she had to return home because part way to the church her stroller
broke... She had become sad and wasn`t going to be coming to church... Well, we
didn`t want to hear that so we went running to the stake secretaries office to
call her 15 minutes before the meeting started... She came to church
afterwards... Late, but she came... Another miracle... Anabely is really
excited for her baptism and we are planning on doing everything we can to help
her get there...

Liliana is also
excited for her baptism... She is planning on being baptized with Anabely this
week... She has a great spirit and she wants to learn more... Its awesome
because her mother in law (Anabely`s grandma) says that Liliana is always the
first person ready to go in the house... She is progressing a ton... It is
amazing because we have been teaching her for almost 6 months now and we
thought she wasn`t very interested and one day she came out of no where and
said she wanted to be baptized.

We are loving the work
right now in our sector... We have passed through trials but the trials have
strengthened us and are helping us learn and grow... Elder Jimenez continues to
be awesome.

Fiorella continues to
advance... It was actually interesting because we thought she was going to be
out of town so she wouldn`t be able to come to church on Sunday, but she
came... It was awesome... She is moving along and has a lot of desires, and now
she has friends in the young womans program. She is still preparing to be
baptized in February...
We are also working with Javier still although, he has run into a few trials,
which is making it tough for him...
Ericka and her family are also moving along... Estefany and Erick loved church
last week an wanted to go yesterday... We aren`t exactly sure why the didn`t
come, but we are going to find out... They are a great family, we also found
out yesterday that Ericka`s husband was baptized in the church when he was
younger... So we have some work we can do there as well...

The Lord has blessed
us so much these last two weeks and we are trying to continue to be worthy of
these blessings... We are working hard and trusting in Him... I know that this
is His work, because I couldn`t have success without Him... We must follow His

The Church is true...
The Book of Mormon is true... I have learned to love the gospel during my
mission to this point and will continue to learn more... I love you all

Hey family!!! January
30, 2012

Glad to hear that everything is going
well for you there in Maryland and that Megan is surviving the life in
Logan.... :) Life in Lima is like living in a tanning salon... I am constantly
sun burnt.... My fault really, because I don`t use sun screen, but it is still
sad...Every Saturday we have activities with our investigators so that we can
help them be more excited, and every Saturday I get sun burnt...Then Monday,
P-Day, I got sun burnt again... I finally heal completely by Thursday just to
get burnt again on saturday... Awesome right? I guess I should start using sun

This week was crazy.... And now of
course, I can`t remember everything that happened... It all just blew by so
fast... The mission is blowing by and I can`t keep up... It`s kind of
frustrating sometimes....

This week I had two trainings that I
had to go to. The first one Tuesday was for the leaders of the mission, and
because I am a district leader, I had to go, but the adventure didn`t start
there...At 7;00 in the morning my companion had to be in the office to go to
the immigration office in Lima to finish getting his residence... So we had to
get up at 5;00 in the morning to get there, and then I went to the meeting
which was in a different part of Lima... At the end of the meeting I went back
to the office to get my companion (I was with another Elder while he was in
immigrations) and then we had to rush back to our sector because we had to do a
change with the missionaries in my district so that I could do 2 baptismal
interviews in their sector...

The second training was on Friday for
all of the Elders being trained and their trainers... And since I am currently
training, Elder Jimenez and I had to go... It was pretty good, but it made our
life crazy, because the baptism for Anabely and Liliana was at 5:00 that
afternoon... We finally got back at about 1:30... We had to go eat lunch really
fast and then we had to run to the church with our ward missionaries to
decorate, clean, and prepare for the baptism... At 5:00 we were rolling and the
baptism was ready to go with only one problem, because the baptism was at 5:00
on a weekday we needed one
more priesthood holder to be able to
be a witness for the baptisms... So we had to wait until 5:30 when the 2nd
counselor of the Bishopric got to the baptism... The baptism ended at 6:30 and
we had to hop on a bus to get over to my districts chapel again to do another
baptismal interview at 7:30.. The interview ended at 8:00 and we had to flying
back to our chapel to do clean-up... Basically crazy.

At the end of the week we looked back
to see how it went... It was a pretty crazy week, and we had a few struggles,
but in the end the Lord blessed us because in our district we had 5 baptisms...
2 in my sector and 3 in the sector of the Elders in my district... The Lord
blessed us to be able to have the time to take care of everything that we had
to take care of.

Sunday we also saw many blessings...
We wound up with 5 investigators who came to church and a large group of
inactives who we have visited... The Lord blessed us a ton and the ward
attendance was up above 130 or 140 people in attendance, which is at least 20
to 25 people above the normal... The spirit was strong and the talks were
good... The Lord is blessings the ward right now... The new Bishop is doing
everything he can to improve the ward and change the small things that need
changing, and he is great to work with... the members are also getting more
excited with the work...

I love this gospel, and I know that
the church is true... I know that Christ lives... The blessings that come
through the gospel are incredible... The Lord guides us in our lives and the
Spirit brings peace to our souls when there is no where else to find it... I have
seen that here in San Martìn... In the 5 and a half months that I have been
here, I have seen more trials in the lives of the people I am teaching and I
have had more trials than in very possibly any other part of my life, but the
Lord has brought me peace and joy and has helped me when the trials come... I
have seen people who have suffered from abuse, alcohol, violence, and many
other horrid things, but through Jesus Christ we are able to help them find
peace... The Lord loves them and they begin to feel this love... As it says in
Doctrine and Covenants "The worth of souls is great in the sight of
God" Everyone needs to know their worth, and the gospel helps them find
their worth...

I love you all, and hope that this
week is filled with blessings from the Lord.


Monday, July 25, 2011

July 23, 2011

Dear Family,

Basically, Ill start by describing the title of my letter. I have made an official scientific discovery. (Hypothesis, theory, and facts included) The second week of every transfer is the toughest week here in the office. Up to this point we have not been able to proselyte in our sector for more than 1 hour. It´s been tough, however, we have done almost everything that we will need to do for the next couple week, so we hope to be able to get out and proselyte a bunch in the next couple weeks. We try and work as much as we can in our sector, but it is pretty tough. Elder Noriega is awesome though. We still get along great, and he loves to teach. When I get tired of teaching taxis, he just jumps right in and takes care of it. I learn so much from him. Other news in the office. We have partially been busy with an activity that we are going to do Monday. Monday we are having a mission-wide activity. Its going to be pretty sweet. We are basing it on the Pioneers because of July 24th. I have found that is really sweet to be in a different country when you start talking about things like pioneers, because the pioneers of the gospel in some of the central and south american countries are still living. For example, my companion´s grandparents are some of the pioneers in Guatemala, and we have an Elder from Colombia who is a pioneer for the gospel in his city, and an Elder from Ecuador who also is a pioneer from his tribe. (He is basically what you would call a native American. He still lives in a tribe, and he has church authorization to have long hair because it is part of their culture. I think it´s pretty sweet.) We are planning games, and a video and its going to be a really spiritual experience.

This week we have had some interesting experiences teaching. We have mostly taught taxi drivers, but during this time, we have found a few receptive people and a few less receptive people. One man I had a chance to teach was actually a less active member. He was baptized when he was 17 years old, and so we taught him and we gave him another Book of Mormon. He was really excited to be able to read it, (he had lost his years ago), and he told us that he would make some time to go to church. It was a highlight in a pretty rough day. We also have been able to plan to get ready for the following week. We also had another opportunity to do another baptism interview. This time it was Elder Noriega´s turn to do it. The sister missionaries in the ward are working really hard and are having a lot of success. Its pretty awesome. We are able to help them a little bit with their investigators, which turns out being a blessing for all of the work in the ward.

Sad news on Leon (the 80 year old priest). He had a stroke this week. He is declining in health, and its been pretty rough for him. We hope he will improve, but its looking less likely now, however, Elder Noriega and a member gave him a blessing the first time they went. (I was with Elder Pineda at the time) We have the faith that he can be healed, if it is the Lord´s will. However, we also find that it is important to follow what I call the "if not" scenario. If it is the Lord´s will, he will recover and be able to come to church and be baptized, but if not, the Lord knows our hearts and his heart, and he will have the opportunity to receive the blessings of baptism through baptisms for the dead. We are going to be taking down his information, just in case. We hope for a speedy recovery and we will continue praying for him. We are also going to try and visit his family in the next week. We received his family´s information, and the member who gave us the information says that they are also interested in the gospel.

I know that the gospel is true, because I have seen the blessings of the gospel in the lives of others and my life here in Peru. God loves us, and desires our happiness. We can receive whatever thing we ask for from God, if it is right. (3 Nephi 18:19-21) I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and translated the Book of Mormon through the power of God. Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, and the apostles are also prophets seers and revelators. They receive revelation for us. I know that prayer has power. I love you all, and hope that God will bless your lives this week and in the future.