Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 28, 2011

Hey family,
To start off with, I would like to thank you for all of the e-mails and for telling me happy birthday when I wasn`t there. And if you could also pass the word to Jared and Elisa for their short messages of happy birthday that would be awesome!
I am also thrilled to hear that the Final Four is an awesome collection of nobodies. (Well not really, just lower seeds). Just to let you know, I am cheering for Virginia Commonwealth and Butler. I really don`t care which one wins or who wins between Kentucky and Connecticut. I just want the winner to be Butler or Commonwealth.

Glad to hear that everything is going well at home. Congrats to Megan for winning in Church ball. Its probably not that big of a deal, but I think its cool. Its also awesome that you are putting lots of effort into the orchestra pit of your school play. I wish I had gotten involved in something cool like that. I was too busy attending every sporting event that I could.

Its awesome that Trevor is progressing in Piano too. I just have one thing to say... Trevor, you may be better than me at the piano when I get back, but you definitely won`t be better than me at playing "Jesus Once of Humble Birth" on the piano. I swear, Ive played that song about every other week for the sacrament hymn in my ward. That and Called to Serve. Hymns in general, because its pretty much all I have to play on the piano.

Props to Alex for making your schools soccer team. It will be tons a work, but I bet it will be pretty awesome too. I also noticed that Alex is doing pretty much everything. I hear. 2 Soccer teams - Alex, Drama class play - Alex, Science project with menthos - Alex. Wow dude. Do you ever have time to just relax. Awesome.

Bad break for Adam in his soccer practice with the bloody nose. Way to be awesome about it. Bad stuff happens sometimes. And after the cleanup, I bet the soccer was fun. I am also interested in your Da Vinci project. That`s pretty cool.

Other note: I need Trent and Trevor to back me up. Right now it looks like our family is turning into a soccer family. Now soccer is a great sport. But I just can`t be okay with that. I hope to hear that Adam continues to be awesome at basketball too. And of course, Trent can play whatever he wants, but I am pushing for basketball. :)

And for Trent, way to be a good sport with your car races. I am way proud to hear about my little brother Trent and his desire to have everyone be happy. Its way cool.

About Lima.
This week started out well and finished a little rough. Needless to say, I am never telling anyone here what day my birthday is. I feel like we wasted a bunch of time on my birthday, (The day I wanted to have tons of success). Its one custom of Peru that actually bugs me a little bit. Our pencionista actually got a little offended when I didn`t want to spend 2 or 3 hours of our time on my birthday in her house. And then at 6;30 my companion was thirsty, because its hot, and he sugested that we go to the pencionistas house for a little bit of our dinner time to get a drink. The little bit of time turned into 2 and a half hours as my companion sided with the pencionista. Frustrating, but its what happened. Saturday was just rough. Nobody wanted to listen. We witnessed someone chasing someone else with a gun. (don`t worry, we walked in the opposite direction.) And it just didn`t finish well. But Sunday was awesome. 10 people came to church. We are also planning to set a bunch of baptismal dates this week, again, since last week it didn`t happen for a couple reasons.
Betty and Joel are progressing. Joel told us he isn`t going to drink anymore. We are going to work with them this week.
Julia, Enrique, and Tracy are also progressing.
We set a baptismal date for Miguel for the 23rd of April.
Lucero and her brother (New investigators) came to church.
Delia came to church. She just needs to be married and she can be baptized. She wants to do both.
A couple inactives came. it was awesome.

I hope everything continues to go well. Im pushing forward here.
I wanted to give an invitation to all of the kids, and to mom and dad, but mostly to the kids:
Bear your testimony to your friends. Members and non members.
I was thinking about it, and when I was in junior high and high school, I didn`t do it. I also didn`t ask about my friends testimonies, and now I kind of wish I knew what their testimonies were. I kind of wish I had heard about their testimonies. In college it was a little easier in a student ward. But its a great feeling to know your friends testimonies.
I love you all.

PS. Dad.
Elder Baez, who is from Cordoba, wants to know what stakes or wards you served in. His parents were baptized in 94-95 so they won`t know you, but we are still curious.

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011

Ha, I just rhymed in Spanish. Yes, I am pretty proud of myself. It only took me 8 months in the mission to do it. :) I won`t let it go to my head though.
The seasons are changing. Its pretty awesome, or sawsome, as I like to say.
It has cooled down a little bit, so now its not quite as terrible to walk the miles that we walk everyday. It also actually rained yesterday. It really just sprinkled, but I am so used to the "magical place where it never rains" that it was pretty awesome.

These last couple weeks have been a little bit hard for us. We aren`t having a lot of success getting any of our investigators to progress. They haven`t been coming to church, and they don`t have a whole lot of desire, but we will keep pushing on and trying to find ways to help them keep their commitments. We had a low for people in the church in a long time. The only people who came were Laura, who is still working with the pills so that she can be baptized, and Florencia, which was actually pretty awesome. Florencia is Dora`s mother. Dora is Davìd Robles` wife. Florencia has had all of the lessons from missionaries in the past, she just didn`t want to be baptized, and she had never come to church, but now she came, so hopefully we can get some progression with her.

This week we found a few new investigators, the problem is that none of the people we have been trying to visit have followed through with their appoinments. We have a list of about 20 investigators, but a lot just like listening a little bit. We are trying to find some new people to teach who will progress a lot more. We are working with members and we are contacting more than I have contacted my whole mission, but it seems to be helping us find some other investigators to teach.

We are still working with Jhonathan and his desire to be baptized. We have talked about baptism and he says the only thing he would like is to attend church a few more times. The problem is that he goes to stay with his grandma every weekend. Which means that he is not here to attend church. But he likes being taught and he is getting closer and closer. We just need a little bit more of a push.

Julia and Tracy are progressing little by little as well. Enrique isn`t, but Julia and Tracy have the desire to be better, they just have little things holding them back, and I am not sure what they are. We are hoping to set baptismal dates for them in the next week for the middle of April. Hopefully they will be able to overcome whatever problems they are having right now.

Betty is just waiting for her husbands health to improve. He isn`t allowed to leave his house, and she wants to attend church with him. We are hoping to get a good lesson with them and set baptismal dates in April for them as well. They have both had witnesses of the power of the spirit and Betty, at least, recognized the spirit in her experience almost before I did. She is awesome, and had Joel not had the problem she could have been baptized in March, but now we hope to be able to see them both be baptized in April.

April is actually going to be really weird. We will only have 1 sunday in the chapel the whole month of April, and it will be after transfers, when I am almost certain I will be transfered. Run down:
First week: General Conference
Second week: Elections. Remember in October when by law we couldn`t proselyte or have organized meetings? Well its happening again. So April 9th and 10th, we won`t be having any meetings. Its a Saturday and Sunday of only studying. No baptisms and no church.
Third week: Stake Conference.
Needless to say, baptisms are going to be hard in the first part of the month. We are trying to plan baptisms for the 15th which is a Friday, so that we can actually have baptisms. But if not they will have to be the 23rd.

And, for why I am pretty certain I am leaving. We had interviews this week and President Tyler mentioned to my companion that I would probably be leaving. he also mention in a letter to me 3 days before interviews, that he feels I have the ability and the experience to take on more responsibility, and he has confidence in me. Great feeling, but nervewracking at the same time. I think I will be seeing a few changes in my mission pretty soon.

Well, to finish up, the church is true. I love this gospel, and am learning to love the scriptures more all of the time that I read them. I have been reading in the bible and the book of mormon and have learned tons. My goal is to have read the entire standard works and as I have read the Acts, and Romans lately, I have learned many things about Jesus Christ and His gospel through the words of Peter and Paul. I know that Jesus Christ lives and he loves all of us. As we approach the time of Easter, we should remember his sacrifice and his resurrection that have made it possible for us to be resurrected and live again with God and our Savior. I love you all.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March 14, 2011

Hey family,
Its great to hear that everything is going pretty well at home. Everyone seems to be pretty involved in things at school and at home, although, I haven`t heard a lot about what Trevor has been doing lately. Im just assuming is busy writing awesome songs on the piano. :) Glad to hear that Trent is getting involved in the epicness of Pinewood Durby. (I think a Keegan word just showed up in my e-mail. "Epicness" ha ha) :) And it sounds like by the time I get back, Adam will be a Champion Trumpet player. Alex should also definitely be a pro soccer player. And of course, Megan is still involved in music, and oh ya, is going to be an Aggie. ha ha. I may have to remind her of that every once in a while. Being an Aggie is awesome. And Trevor is just being awesome.
Sad to hear that the Aggies continue without their respect. I don`t think it will change until they knock off a 4 or 5 seed. Hopefully this year will be the year so that in a year and a half when I am there, they will be an epic 3 seed. Changing conferences would help too.

This week was crazy in Perù. It flew by really fast. We had our transfer meeting. My Zone has grown and now has 20 missionaries, 18 elders and 2 sisters. Its pretty cool. Our mission has grown with the amount of missionaries we have and it is pretty awesome. Interesting news for dad. The first Argentine ever came to our mission (or as far as President Tyler knows). Needless to say, he is the only Elder from Argentina in our mission. He happens to be from Cordoba, and he happens to be in my Zone. Argentine Spanish is really weird. Just saying. I`ll stick with my Peruvian Spanish.

Clarification: Elder Linares has one more transfer after this transfer. So I will probably leave at the end of this transfer. Sorry if my typing is hard to understand.

Last Saturday we had an activity with the missionaries from the CCM here in Peru and they gave us a ton of references, so we worked with them all week. I was more tired at the end of the week then I have been my whole mission, but it was good. We found a few new people to teach. The sad news is that we lost 2 baptismal dates. Elisabeth and Betty didn`t come to church yesterday. We know why Betty didn`t come, I`ll talk about it a little bit later, but we have no idea why Elisabeth didn`t come. So we will have to move back their baptismal dates. We also have interviews with President Tyler tomorrow. Should be fun. I had heard about the earthquake. Perù got hit by the Tsunami that was caused by the earthquake. When it got here it only wound up being about a meter in height, but the afternoon that it happened all of the stores closed at 4 in Callao and the people were told to go home. Lima is actually pretty safe from tsunamis because most of the coast is cliffs. There are beaches below the cliffs, but no one lives there so the tsunamis hit the cliffs and then stop. Callao is the only dangerous place because there aren`t any cliffs. Its all flat. It also happens to be the poorest part of Lima, so the houses aren`t incredibly built. I think Ive talked about Callao before because its the most dangerous Zone in our mission, and I really want to go there. ha ha. Missionaries don`t get robbed there. a whole lot. Its okay though, Ive had someone try to rob me, and now he`s one of my friends. He always says hi to us as we pass. Ive found being friends with the thieves keeps you safe. Other missionaries have found the same thing.

Spiritual experience of the week. Betty.

I think I have told you about Betty`s husband, Joel, who drinks a lot.

Thursday we were planning to have divisions so that we could contact more of our references. We had been planning to meet in a members house, but they something fell through and we met in Hermano Chaing`s house (Below our room). Betty lives 3 houses down. We then had more fall through when one of the members was a little slow getting ready. We wound up leaving, and I believe that we were led by the spirit with these "holdups" We left and Betty and a neighbor were in the street asking for help because her husband, Joel, was having some kind of attack. He had pnemonia or something with being diabetic and he had been drinking. He was literaly dying. We helped load him into a taxi and they left for the hospital. Quite frankly it was a very nervewracking experience. He wound up being treated and he is going to be ok. But because of her husband, Betty wasn`t able to come to church. I know we were led there, and Betty knows. She said that she didn`t know what to do, and out of the blue came the missionaries, with 2 members, to help load her husband into a car. The spirit guides us and sometimes we don`t know it.

I love you all,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March 7, 2010

Hey family,
So for those of you who don`t speak Spanish, the title of my e-mail says, "Ha ha, I stay one more transfer." I was informed on Saturday night that I will be staying in Porvenir for a 5th transfer. Which in real person language means up until 7 months. (My mind works in transfers.) I will be in my first area up until the 9 month mark of my mission (because I was in the MTC for 2 months). And after that its almost certain that I will be going home. Because my companion finishes his mission at the end of the next transfer (one more with me, one more with someone else). They usually don`t have two missionaries leave a sector at the same time, so if I stay one more, Ill stay two more which would leave me here 7 transfers or until July. Not likely.

I`m glad to hear that everyone has finished the sports pretty well. And it sounds like everyone had a pretty fun time in their basketball this year. For Adam, I would talk to Adam about whether or not he wants to keep playing the recreational basketball. Recreational basketball will give him more experience than church ball I think, so if he is interested in play High School ball staying in recreational might be better for him, even if he can`t go to the practices, the competition is a little better. Or at least as far as I have seen. I probably don`t have any idea what Im talking about. While we are talking about basketball, do you happen to know the name of the BYU player who isn`t playing anymore. Just curious. And I am really glad the Aggies keep winning. Hopefully they will get out of the first round of the tournament this year. (I know, first they have to make the tournament).

Here in Perù, everything is going pretty well. We have been working really hard to invite people to be baptized, because we have lots of people who just need a little bit of a push to come to church and be baptized. We also finally had the opportunity to talk to Fernando`s mom about being baptized. She told us no, but she said we could come back and talk to her another day, so hopefully she can find the gospel herself and they can both get baptized. Fernando is ready. Lately he has come to chruch in slacks and a tie, and Sunday he came in a suit. Frankly he was dressed better than anyone in the church Sunday, including the missionaries. It was pretty awesome. He has been waiting 2 years to be baptized, and I hope he won`t have to wait 1 year more. I also think its better anyway if his mom is okay with it.

We also had an activity yesterday that was pretty awesome. Remember the activity we had 4 of the 6 saturdays when I was in the CCM? The missionaries came to my ward for this activity. We had 20 missionaries knocking doors all day Saturday, so we have a ton of references to look for from them. It is going to be awesome. And one of the people taught by them came to church yesterday too. I also ran into a few Elders from Utah, one from Layton, and one from Bountiful. The Elder from Bountiful is named Elder Child, and when I got talking to him, he told me that he was related to Child`s in Syracuse. Im not sure if it is the same family of Child`s that we know, but was pretty cool. Turns out he also knows Spencer Cook, who I know really well, so we had something to talk about for the few minutes of rest that we had.

Im glad to hear everything is going well. I hope the work continues to progress in Maryland. I love hearing about the baptisms that are happening there. I have found more and more faith in Christ every day of my mission and we hope to be able to continue to feel his love. We learned about charity today in our Zone Meeting, which was awesome! We have to have charity to be successful and we read a few scriptures about charity. One of my favorites is Moroni 7:44-48. It talks about why charity is important and what exactly is charity. I love you all. I hope the next week will be amazing, and you will have a few opportunities to do missionary work. The Book of Mormon is true, it testifies of Christ. Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer. He knows us better than we know ourselves and he loves us. He loves us so much that he gave the perfect example of love (John 15:13) We always need to strive to be more like him. Never, never, never forget about his love and never stop pushing forward in this live and remember that we need to Endure to the End.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

February 28, 2011

Hey family,

Well, this week most likely going to be my last week in Porvenir, which is really sad, but we are going to work hard this week and we will see what happens.

Glad to hear that everything is going well at home, although I think you may have made a bad decision by letting Trevor get behind the wheel of a car. :) Just kidding Trevor. It sounds like basketball is going pretty well on the college level and on the home level. Im gonna have to say, that Trent`s game was probably the lowest scoring game I have seen in my life, and Ive seen some low scoring games... But Im glad to hear that Trent is a really good defender. That was a skill that I never really had a whole lot of. He should definitely keep practicing that. Its weird, but as far as the family goes, I am more excited to hear about the soccer that will be happening in the spring. Basically because life in Perù revolves around soccer. (Although there is a member in my ward who likes basketball more... HA HA.) Eventually basketball will take over the world... I just know it...

Sounds like life is more calm now that you don`t have the Blue and Gold banquet to work on. I am also becoming more and more shocked every time you tell me that someone else my age is getting married. Im glad I don`t have to think about anything remotely related with dating, getting married, or basically... life, for the next 18 months. HA HA.

Well this week was a little bit slow for us. Not a lot happened during the week and Laura`s baptism fell through. We are setting goals with her so she can get baptized un poco màs adelante. Sorry about the Spanish. I can`t remember how to say that in english. Something like , so she can get baptized a little further on. A little later. Basically in a month or two. No sè. (I don`t know).

We did have something awesome happen on Sunday. Julia, Enrique, and Tracy all came to church which is great. We hope to set a baptism date for March 19th today with them. They didn`t want to get baptized before, but we have to be persistent. We are also working with Jonathan Robles, who we hope to set a baptismal date for for the end of March or the beginning of April. He is 16 and he wants to be sure about the church before he sets a baptismal date, which is okay with me, because is dad, David Robles (remember him? Baptized October, 2nd counselor in the bishopric, awesome!) was an investigator for like 7 years before he got baptized, and Jonathan wants to be prepared before he gets baptized.

We also have been teaching Betty, and hope to set a baptismal date for her as well in March. Basically, we want to set lots of baptisms for after I leave. Although Im hoping that I can stay here a month and a half longer. It`s not likely, but it could happen. :)

I love you all and hope the next week is great. For my spiritual thought of the week, I would like to talk about missionary work. I have noticed that in Conference the opening message by President Monson was about the fact that we need more missionaries. The first presidency message in the last two Liahonas were also about missionary work. For some reason, God is telling us that missionary work is really important, and it is essential before the second coming of Jesus Christ. I invite you all to look for someone to invite to church, to give a book of mormon to, or to share your testimony with. The Church is true and the message is important. Books of Mormon aren`t expensive, you can buy a few to have to give to people, and if you have someone in mind, Id imagine that the missionaries would love to give you one to give to someone.

I would also like to address each of the groups, the parents, the boys, and the girl (Megan get`s her own group, but any sister in the church can have this message too.) You can share it with people in the ward, the family, and in general people. First the boys, because its the easiest. Prepare for your missions. Now. Read the scriptures, preach my gospel. You can practice with each other to invite your friends. Just be prepared. It will be the hardest thing you have done in your life up to the point. It will also be the best experience you have had. It`s not only a commandment of God, but a great experience.

To the parents, Mom and Dad, you should prepare as well. I have been told by both of you that you would like to serve a mission together once you finally get rid of all the kids. (1 down, 5 to go, ha ha). President Monson says that the church needs more Senior missionaries. Start preparing now. Start practicing now. Mom can learn spanish a little from Dad so you can serve in South America or Central America. Ha ha. The best misisons are in South America, and the best mission is in Lima, Peru to be exact.

Now to Megan. You have said that you don`t really want to serve a mission, but President Monson invited you as well. I don`t ask that you serve a mission. I ask that you honestly think and pray about serving a mission to know if its the right thing for you. You can receive many blessings for giving 18 months of your life to the world, and it will be a great experience. I invite you to serve a mission. But if you don`t. Prepare now so that you can share the message with your friends, and when you have a family, you can teach them the power of the restored gospel of Christ and the healing power of his atonement. Seriously pray about it. If you pray and come to the decision to not serve a mission you will never have regrets. But if you don`t even think about it. In 20 years you might look back and regret not thinking about it at least. God will give you the answer for if you should serve a mission or not.

This is what I have been thinking about a lot lately. The blessings of missionary work, and I want all of my family to have these blessings.

I love you all. Good luck this next week.