Friday, April 15, 2011

April 11, 2011
Hey family,
Well sounds like everything is going pretty well in Maryland. I do love to hear about all of the things that are going on there. And way to go mom for passing around the word about the missionary work. I like hearing missonary experiences a lot. Being on a mission has changed my view of what missionary work truly is. I also feel a little bad that I didn`t want to go with the Elders in the ward every day while I was there. I have been analyzing it, and I figure there will be a three week intermission between mission and a job and studies, and maybe another job, so for 3 weeks I want to go work with the missionaries a bunch... and swim... and watch movies... and do all the other things I can`t do now. But thats not for a long time, so I won`t worry about it now... ha ha...

I am pretty worried about the general population of Maryland right now. I hope that Dad and Mom are calling the neighbors, the fire department, and the police everytime Trevor practices. Although, I am going to have to say that mom and dad should start feeling pretty old about now. Child 1 is in the mission, child 2 is prepping for college, child 3 is driving. Child 5 has the priesthood (sorry alex you kind of aren`t at a major rolemark. You`re stuck between the 12 and 16 without landmarks. I guess we can say teacher. :) ). And all of your children are baptized (That`s just awesome) Although, congrats to Trevor on learning to drive. Just remember I will be heckling you through e-mails since I can`t do it from the back seat.

Id also like to thank the people who sent me e-mails for my birthday: Jared, Jennifer, Elisa and for the card that was sent by Melinda and Elisa.

Now about Perù.

We are having more success setting baptismal dates. We have 4 now, and we plan to set a few more in the next couple days. Transfers are next week. By the way, I do have 6.5 months in my first sector. I started here back in September. I think its pretty cool. When transfers happen I`ll be 2 days short of 7 months in my first sector. I am thrilled. When I got here our sector was almost dead, and with Elder Kasat and Elder Linares I have been able to help bring a little fire to the sector. There is still work to do, but I feel like I will definitely be leaving the sector better than I found it. Our Zone has improved too. Right now, our zone has 33 people with baptismal dates. Our goal is to have 50 with dates by next week. The Zone goal is 20 baptisms in April and 40 in May. It`s too bad I probably won`t be here in May... But it will be awesome to see. The power of the gospel on lives here is amazing. All of these souls that are brought unto Christ by a bunch of people in their young 20s is amazing. For us we have Jhonathan Robles who is going to be getting baptized this Friday. Tracy and Florencia two others might also as well. We need to confirm with Tracy and challenge Florencia. Florencia is the mother in law of David Robles. She has been challenged to baptism by a host of missionaries, but recently she has been coming to church, so we will see what happens.
We are still working with Laura as well. She has a goal for the 23rd for baptism. Lucero, one of our newer investigators accepted a baptismal date for the 23rd as well, and Andrea, a 17 year old accepted a baptismal date for the 30th.

Needless to say, Im excited.

About Elections.

Yesterday we had another day of study. We couldn`t proselyte because it was against the law. They had elections. Here there are about 10 candadates with 5 who are actually given a possibility of winning. (5 kind of like our 2 parties, and 5 others like the independents that run in the USA.) Yesterday they had a first round. If no one gets above 50% of the votes then they have a second round with the top two candidates in May. The highest percentage was 31. His name is Ollanta Humala, and second was Keiko Fujimori, she got about 23 percent. What does this have to do with the missionary work? Well, Ill tell you.

Ollanta Humala is kind of radical. A lot of people in the provinces and parts of Lima want him because they want a change. He is militaristic. He wants to stop crime... Which Perù does need... However he is kind of radical about it. Everyone compares him to Jorge Chavez in Venezuela, and the people who are worried about him being president call him communist and compare him to Fidel Castro from Cuba. He also doesn`t want there to be Americans in Peru, so we will see what happens. If he wins it could slow down the number of Americans who come to Peru for their missions. Times like this are why before my call, we hadn`t heard about a lot of missionaries from the US in Peru. Its because there are times when they aren`t permitted. It could be interesting. Im not worried. Because God always wins. (Temple in Rome for example. Who thought that would happen?) Just thought I`d add an interesting side note about what`s going on here in Perù right now. It`s kind of all anybody talks about.

I love you all. Never forget that God loves you. Good luck with school sports jobs and all the other fun stuff. And please, Trevor, try not to damage any fences, posts, dogs, or children with the car.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

April 4, 2011
Hey family!
I'm just going to say right now that General Conference was awesome. More on that later

Glad to hear that everything is going well at home. Sounds like Megan is in the final parts of her responsibilities for the play. I remember feelings like that, although, mine were based around Homecoming activities, assemblies, and sports games. Sounds like the play is going to be pretty good. I`d imagine that Megan is loving it.

I asked Elder Baez and he said that he is from pretty close to Rama Los Boulevares. I think that`s pretty cool. I asked him and about the names of the places and he said "Claro". For those of you who don`t know what that word means. Sorry, I don`t know what it means in English. I just understand it. It is one of a few words like that. It means something like of course. He lives about 30 minutes away from Barrio San Vicente. He is from a ward named Barrio Aruello.

This week was pretty good for us. We set a few baptismal dates and we worked really hard. We finally got Jhonathan Robles to accept a baptismal date. He is going to get baptized the 15th. Its going to be awesome. I can`t wait. I also finally had the opportunity to do a work visit for me! As companion of a District Leader, I had yet to do a work visit that was meant to see how I was working. Before the Zone Leaders never did them and because my companion was District Leader, I didn`t have a district leader to work with me. It was awesome. I was with Elder Berrett, one of the Zone Leaders in his sector. He is awesome. He goes home with Elder Linares in less than 2 months, and I learned a ton from his experience. He taught me ways to teach with the Book of Mormon and how to be more effective knocking doors. He also showed me what being a Zone Leader was like. We had about 10 minutes of companion study because he was busy the whole morning on the phone with other Elders. The assistants, the district leaders, authorizing service activities. Basically, I learned that I would be okay with never being a Zone Leader. We found a bunch of new people for the sector. We got lost in a hill. We climbed a hill to the top (I miss hiking a lot by the way). Overall it was an awesome experience.

Elder Linares and I also worked really hard to bring people to conference. The sad part. 1 person came. But 1 is better than none. :) Conference is hard because it isn`t in our chapel. Its in the stake center. They have to take a bus to get there. It was a little hard. But we are still excited. Our Zone has the potential to have nearly 40 baptisms this month. (Don`t worry, Im probably leaving before it finally happens.) In May we have a goal for over 40 baptisms. Im way excited for the Zone. (Even though I probably won`t be here). President Tyler basically told me and my companion that I was leaving.

Conference was awesome. I watched in English. ha ha. Elder Berrett talked to the Stake and we were able to see all of Saturday and Sunday afternoon in English. (Sunday morning they needed all of the tvs and classrooms for Spanish) I learned a lot more in English. As cool as it is in Spanish. I just can`t understand some of the examples they use in Spanish. For example, I can`t tell you how to say crust or loaf is Spanish. Its not really important. We just talk about bread (Pan). Its the little things like that. Sometimes we don`t understand the weight of the words.

I learned a lot from conference. I liked when Boyd K. Packer talked. He said this (Im paraphrasing): "If you are looking for a church that requires very little... This isn`t it." He also talked about the fact that sometimes we should let things go. He talked of a stake president who said that sometimes we have to look at situations this way... "Nothing will bring it back. Anything you do will make it worse." Leave it alone. Be humble. Forgive. Repent.

I liked what Russell M. Nelson said. We shouldn`t let fear overcome faith.

President Uchtdorf in the Priesthood session talked about the priesthood. I liked when he said something like. Somewhere between conference, when you say you`ll do it and you write it in your smart phone, and actually doing it... Your "do it" switched gets turned to the "later" position. This is so true. We need to keep our "do it" switch in the "now" position.

Being with Elder Berrett who was listening for things that will help him when we get home. We noticed that there were a lot of people who basically chastened young men who aren`t focusing on getting married after their missions. They kind of destroyed my mindset of "Focus on school and if an opportunity comes along take it." They said that is the wrong mindset. We have to focus on marraige when we get home. But Im okay, I don`t have to worry about that for 17 more months.

Now that I am finishing up I would like to give my quote of conference...

Its from President Monson...

And it is...

"The gift of the Priesthood is priceless."

I love you all. Have a great week. Look for something from conference for each of you. If you don`t think there is anything. Listen to Elder Holland`s talk again and then look again. I promise you that there is something.

Elder Tyler Rasmussen