Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 25, 2010
Hey family,
This last month has been so ridiculous for me. You asked me about the
food and its pretty interesting. The food is good for the most part
and its just different. Most morning we have some kind of meal with
eggs, bread, and this really thin type of yogurt. On occasion we have
had french toast or pancakes, but they don´t have much syrup here, and
when we were shopping in the supermarket and went looking for it it
cost like 3 times as much as it does in the United States. In their
supermarket they have lots American foods but they are all really
expensive. For example, an 8 pack of fun sized twix candy bars is
about 15 soles, which is about 6 or 7 dollars. Here lunch is the
biggest meal of the day, and they every day we have rice and some kind
of meat. Its pretty good. They also have different appetizer type
things, most of which are pretty disgusting, one of which I got to
give it a try and it has permanantly removed any chance of me ever
eating broccoli again. Pero está bien. I just don´t get the appetizer
thing. I still get plenty of food. They also have a dessert every
day. One Peruvian type of dessert and jello... Some of the desserts
are kind of weird, but Ive become pretty good at being able to tell by
looking at it if I am not going to like it. They have also attempted
to make American desserts, but they aren´t always good. If not I get
jello, because its kind of impossible to ruin jello. Sugar and water
makes things a lot easier. During dinner we have rice and meat again
with a small dessert item that is usually pretty good. All in all the
food is different with lots of rice, but nothing other than their
weird appetizers is bad.
Im glad to hear that everything is going well at home. Its awesome
that Adam finally has someone his age in the ward that he can do
things with. Although his friends in the neighborhood are pretty
cool. Im glad to hear the work is progressing well in the ward, and
you are having a good time in the ward. Its important to keep working
and striving to help the missionaries because we can use all the help
we can get.
The weeks in the CCM in Peru are kind of all the same over and over
again. On Tuesdays we have devotionals on some mornings and some
nights we have enseñanzas, where we practice teaching situations for
investigators. They are frustrating some times, but it helps the
language and it helps with teaching skills. The CCM is kind of
frustrating because of my companion sometimes, but I just try to work
my hardest, and try not to focus on the negatives. All the latinos
and all of the older North American missionaries leave in the next
week, mostly on Monday and Tuesday so the CCM will be pretty empy for
a while. On Wednesday of next week we get to go on a tour of areas of
Peru and shop in areas where we can haggle prices and get more
experience shopping. After next week I will have a North American
companion, and things will change a little bit.
On Saturday we had an awesome experience. We went proselyting for
practice in Lima. I was actually proselyting in a part of my mission
out by the ocean. The poverty in the area I was in was incredible.
No one had very good houses and everything was dirty and poor. It was
actually a little sad to think that I had lived my life so comfortably
and they were in such poverty, but they are happy here. And they are
so kind to the people who come. That night in my journal I wrote
"We went proselyting for the first time. We were focusing on inactive
members, but we also placed a Book of Mormon. We had an opportunity
to talk to an old woman who is a member. Her testimony was so
strong. she had an incredible spirit. We were in the Callao area of
Lima. The people there are so poor. it was a real eye-opener for me.
These people have makeshift homes and no luxuries. Their roofs are
hardly roofs at all, and yet they are so happy... The members are so
helpful, and if the non-members , or inactive members, don´t want to
talk to you, they are kind about it¨"
The work is moving forward and even though their church didn´t have
the running water working they praised God like the riches people in
the world would, and maybe even more. I love the people here and I
love my mission. yo sé que José Smith fue un profeta de Dios. Yo sé
que Jesucristo es nuestro Salvador amaroso. Yo sé que el evangelio es
verdadero. I love you all,

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dear family, How is life in the United States? I have landed in Lima, Peru and am not at the Peru CCM. We finally got here at 2 o clock this morning and then we went to bed. Just an update: On Tuesday we had a devotional and the speaker was David Evans. He is a member of the quorum of the seventy and he talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon in our teaching. He talked about how every scripture passage in the Book of Mormon can help us in our teaching to the people around us, and as we do so the Spirit will be there. He talked about the Book of Mormon letting investigators know that what we are teaching is true. He said they will receive revelation through the Book of Mormon. He taught us to have investigators read the Book of Mormon from the beginning, and giving them reading assignments taht will challenge them. He said something i found interesting about Moroni 10:4-5, he talked about what "with a sincere heart and real intent" meant. A sincere heart is when someone really wants to know the truth, and real intent is a specific intent to act on the answer. PMG says to encourage them to read the Book of Mormon from the beginning. It also says: "The Book of Mormon combined with the spirit is your most powerful resource." He also spoke on the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon. He said that if we focus on Christ while we read them, then we will understand them better. I know that all of what he said is true. I feel the Spirit so much on my mission. After the devotional we discussed it as a District. The Spirit was so strong there. After we sang "Para Siempre Dios Esté Con Vos" which is "God Be With You Til We Meet Again. It was awesome. We took some pictures back at the room and got ready to go. I got to sing "Face to Face" to my district and it was awesome. Then I went to bed and got up at 5:30 the next morning for my flight to Peru. In Peru they put me with a native companion. His name is Elder Alvarez and it is very hard to have a native companion because I can´t communitcate with him. Elder Alvarez is going to be serving in California, and the other two Peruvians in my room are going to be serving in Mexico. My district is great, and we have had a good time today. Today has been a relaxation day for the new North American missionaries because of our long travel and lack of sleep. Tomorrow the hard work will begin again. It gets frustrating because I can´t understand what is being said around me, but I know that if I trust in the Lord it will work out. I want to leave you with a few quotes:
The importance of the Book of Mormon in the Latter-Day work cannot be overestimated
-James E Faust
We are who we are, and we know what we know, and we are to go forth and preach the gospel.
- Boyd K. Packer
The Power of the Gospel is so incredible, and it will help all of us in our lives. I love you all.
- Tyler

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Last P-Day in Provo

August 9, 2010

Dear family,
This last week as gone by so fast. On Tuesday we had another LGM and devotional. The LGMs have all been very helpful for me as I prepare for my mission. On Wednesday we had another TRC appointment. We had to contact about families and the importance of families in Spanish and then teach the first Lesson in English. Our contact went great. The woman we contacted was pretty nice about how poor our Spanish was. She was very patient with us. Our lesson was kind of rough. We were working with our investigator on Joseph Smith and where he got his authority as a prophet. One of the teachers was our investigator and he made it pretty tough, but at the end the Spirit was there and he accepted the commitments we gave him so it turned out alright. On Thursday and Friday nothing happened other than the daily grind of the MTC, but on Saturday we had another practice lesson. This time we taught Lesson 2 which is on the Plan of Salvation. It was a train wreck. I learned a lot from it though. The 2 missionaries we were teaching gave us some great tips for the future. We ran in circles and didn't teach very well but we were finally improving by the end of the lesson. On Sunday we had our departure devotional and a Sunday night fireside. There have been a lot of talks and devotionals on service and obedience since I got here. The Spirit continues to be so strong. We have been preping to leave today and tonight we have a Health and Safety meeting for departure. Tomorrow we will be packing so we can be ready to leave by 6:00 a.m. (Much better than the 4:30 that we had to get to the MTC.) There is a group of about 40 missionaries going to the MTC in Peru at the same time as us. At least thats what it looked like at the departure devotional. My flight group is 8 missionaries. I am actually flying on Delta Airlines so my bags can be 50 pounds and I can have 40 pound carry-on not to mention I can use my backpack as my little back so wight and room won't be an issue and Ill be able to bring plenty to study on the 12 to 13 hour trip to Peru. If there is one thing I wish I had done more of before I left was study Preach My Gospel more. Trevor and Alex and Megan (just in case) should study PMG as soon as possible. Especially the Lessons in Chapter 3. Know them in English really well and practice teaching the doctrines in them and you will not be as overwhelmed when you get to the MTC. They use PMG so much in the MTC. Study the scriptures as well. The more knowledge you have the easier it will be when you turn 19 and leave on your missions. (Or 21 if Megan decides to go. :) ) It will still be overwhelming, but it will be less. Spanish is still tough, but it is getting easier. I can understand a lot that the missionaries who have been here long are saying, but responding is difficult and frustrating.
I do get your Dear Elder letters, but I wasn't able to respond to them because they don't print them off until 5:30 every night, and I have to write earlier than that. (Sunday's don't get printed off until Monday night.) Sounds like everything is going well at home, and Bar-T is still lots of fun. Im glad to hear that the ward has another baptism. This work is so important. If I could request one thing, it would be for you to pray for the investigators learning the gospel and the potential investigators around the world. Missionaries are told to not try and figure out how well they taught, but to try and figure out how the investigator is feeling. We are instructed to teach to lead the investigator to know certain things, to feel certain things, and to be willing to do certain things to exercise their faith. (This depends on the progress of the investigator and what Lesson is being taught.) Commitments are so essential. Beacause if they won't keep their commitments it will be harder for them to be ready for covenants made in the church. This work is moving forward and it is so incredible. The next time I write you, I will be in Peru! If letters are sent to Provo after I am gone they will be returned to sender with the correct address. All that will be needed is the extra postage. :) I love you all. Work hard. Keep the faith. Strive to be better every day.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dear family
Thanks for the first letter you sent me. The MTC is great and the Spirit is incredibly strong. The people in my district continue to be an inspiration to me. The opportunity to serve a mission is incredible. The language has been tough, ubt it is still wonderful to be working on speaking Spanish. On Wednesday we had to opportunity to go to what is called the TRC (Teaching Resource Center). At the TRC we practiced contacting someone at their house in Spanish and then we were able to practice teaching the first lesson in English. Even though we were with someone acting as an investigator the Spirit was so strong and it testified that what we were teaching is true. We actually had a trio instead of just me and my companion because they didn't have enough teachers for our district so we had to have one companionship split up. Elder Vaughan was the third elder added to our companionship. It made it so we had to shift how we were going to teach a little bit, but the flow of the lesson was still great. Every Tuesday we have an LGM (Large Group Meeting) where were learn about being better missionaries. On Tuesday we learned about having a baptism mindset on our missions and doing a little extra work to be a little bit better. Brother Littlefield was the teacher and he showed how just adding 2 or 3 contacts per day can make the amount of total baptisms in the mission go up. He also pointed out that our missions are about number of baptisms because each number represents an individual coming closer to Christ through the gospel. On Tuesday we also had a devotional for Gene R. Cook, and he taught us how to "discourage discouragement" and how to be an effective missionary. One thing he said was about music. He said "Music has a way of conveying the Spirit that words cannot." I got some other quotes I really like as well.

M. Russell Ballard said about missionary work:
"Your capacity to baptize is going to be directly proportionate to your preparation, your obedience, and your capacity as a teacher."

John Taylor said about teaching and missionary work:
"It is true intelligence for a man to take a subject that is mysterious and great in itself, and to unfold and simplify it so that a child can understand it."
My MTC President, Ralph W. Smith said about obedience:
"Select obedience is not obedience at all."

Dieter F. Uchtdorf said about work ethic:
"The Lord doesn't expect us to work harder than we are able. He doesn't (nor should we) compare our efforts to those of others. Our Heavenly Father asks only that we do the best we can - that we work according to our full capacity, however great or small that may be."

I know all of these statements are true and they have helped me in preparing for my mission and they will help me remember how to teach and be obedient. The one from President Uchtdorf especially helps me as I look around and almost all of my district is better than me at the language. I can keep pressing on because I shouldn't worry about how well they are doing. My mission has been great so far and extremely overwhelming, and it will only get more so. I leave for the Peru MTC on August 11th. I leave Salt Lake City at 9:30 and fly to Atlanta for a 2 hour layover. We then leave Atlanta at 5:00 eastern time and head to Lima. We land in Lima at 10:00ish Peru time. I am really excited and really nervous.

Today we got to go to the Provo Temple and do a temple session. The opportunity was great and I felt the Spirit so strongly. Every once in a while over the past few days I have felt like I am not able to do the language and the mission because honestly, it's hard. But an incredible thought came to my mind as I was listening to the prayer in the prayer circle during the session. It went something like this:

"They just prayed for you in the prayer circle Tyler. They just prayed for every missionary in the world. In fact, there are so many members throughout the world praying for you every day. They are praying for your safety and your success, not to mention the people in your family and circle of friends who pray for you especially. What were you doing being worried at all about your mission? With that many prayers, how can you fail?

I may not feel ready for my mission yet, and I may never feel perfectly ready, but I am getting there and so many people are praying for me. I also know what I am doing is important because of my testimony. Se que La Iglesia dDe Jesucristo De Los Santos Do Los Últimos Días es verdadero. (I know that the Church of Jesus Christ is true.) Se que Jesucristo es mi Slavador. (I know Jesus Christ is my Savior.) Se que José Smith fue un profeta de Dios. (I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.) Y se que el Libro De Mormón es verdadero. (I know the Book of Mormon is true.) These basic beliefs are what I am taking to the people in Peru, and they are what can drive me forward on my mission. I love you all.