Sept. 27, 2010
Sounds like everything is going well at home. It sounds like Megan and Trevor are in for a lot of changes and all of the kids are going to have to find some new friends in the ward. I'm excited for Megan's opportunity to go to Utah State next year, altough its kind of frustrating that my little sister will be as far as me in school when I get back. The yard sounds pretty crazy right now. With all the hornets it seems like the kids will be diving down into the water to avoid the bees alot more now. One note for mom. Hermana Whetton from the CCM (wife of the mission president), said that I should thank you for making me practice piano all those years, and she is thankful for you making me practice.
Here in Peru, there is some pretty crazy stuff happening right now. First, is awesome: I have had the wonderful opportunity of walking head on into a few baptisms. Yesterday we had a baptism for a man named Anibal. I have only briefly met him, but he seems really great, and his family is awesome. Yesterday we also got 2 commitments for baptisms on October 23rd. David and Jose are these two baptisms. Both are the only non-members in their family cureently so its great because their entire families will be members now, and they will be that much closer to being an eternal family. David is incredible. He has actually been an investigator for 7 years now, so its great that he is finally getting to the waters of baptism. David's family fed us last night, and so I got to know them a little bit more. They were incredible and they had an amazing spirit in their home.
Our second is rather interesting: This Sunday is the day of the elections here in Peru which means a few things are going to be happening. First our P-Day is Saturday and Monday. My email will be on Monday, but the rest will be Saturday. This is because in Peru it its illegal to have any gatherings of any kind on Saturday for the elections Sunday, so we are not allowed to meet with any families. This also means that none of the members can go watch conference this Saturday, and on Sunday we don't have church. The General Conference broadcast will be shown on the 9th and 10th, the following Saturday and Sunday. And then we have stake conference on the 30th and 31st. So this month we only have church on two of the five Sundays. It also throws off our schedules just a little bit.
The third is kind of frightening: In my area there are multiple places we can't go at night without a member, and certain places we can't go at all because they are dangerous. We also have had the awesome opportunity to have rocks thrown at us. My first day some teenager threw a rock at me. He missed, but it was an interesting thing to be welcomed with. We also had a rock thrown at our window a few nights ago, so now we have a window to fix. We also see lots of drunk people a lot here. It's pretty crazy.
Back to our investigators...
We have a few other noteworthy investigators right now. One is Fernando. He is 17 and has a desire to be baptized, but we don't have permission from his parents, so right now we are kind of at a stand still with him. We keep meeting with him, and we have talked to him about prayer and fasting for permission from his family, and hopefully that will lead somewhere for him. Our other major investigators are the Fernandez family, especially 2 of their daughters, Leidy (pronounced Lady) and Tania. Leidy is 15 and is really close to baptism. We hope to have a date set for her by the endo of this week. She has a great spirit. She just isn't sure if she is ready yet. Tania is 21 and she seems ready for baptism as well and she wants to be baptized, but firest she has to get married to her "husband". They are planning on getting married in the end of October, so we will have to wait until then to se a baptism date, but the desire is definitely there.
I think a little explanation is important now. Here in Peru there is a major problem for missionaries. In Peru it costs 150 soles to become married legally and many people don't have that money or don't want to pay that money so it provides an interesting situation. Many people here become married in all be legality. They love each other, they live together, they take care of kids together, and they even use the term "esposo" for their relationship. (Esposo is husband, esposa is wife) The problem is they are not legally married so they are breaking the law of chastity and they can't be baptized. Many of these people are very good people, but the culture here is just different. It is not looked on as harshly by members if people aren't married because outside of the church, very few people are married. David is one of these examples. He just barely got married Saturday, but he and his wife had been living together for years, and they have a teenage daughter. They were not living together before their official marriage for a while because his wife had been baptized, but now they call all be baptized. This is a common situation that we will have to deal with a lot here.
Quick list of other investigators I may talk about later.
Angelica (45ish) - has a son on a mission, has been an investigator for a long time. Doesn't want to get baptized yet.
Carmen (50ish) - Husband is Anibal. Just getting started with her.
Grecia (9) - was baptized but not confirmed and now too much time has passed and she needs to be baptized again. Her mom is inactive and her grandma is active, but we have a hard time meeting with her because her mom is seldom home, and her grandma lives in another area.
Arturo and Florencia (Not sure on ages) - Parents of David's wife Dora. I haven't met them yet. Don't really know the situation.
Juan and Rebecca (40's) - Another case of not being married officially. Only met once, and didn't keep the commitment to come to church.
Angel y Juana (76 and 73) - New investigators who we have an appointment with in a few days, they were excited about learning.
Jose (50) - New investigator.
Well, I'm glad everything is going well, minus the bees, and hope everything continues to go well. I love you all. Good luck with the changes.