Semana: Noventa y uno
Peru Is the Land of the Eternal P-day
Why is it that these weeks keep flying by so fast?! The understatement of my mission has been- days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days. I think I'm just getting tired of the dreaded yet all too frequent question, "how long have you been out for?" It is not just the question but the conversation that ensues that kills me. I've spoken in sacraments for the past three weeks as well so I always have to include that kind of personal information in my talks.
There are a couple of things I need to take care of. First things first, I printed off the short essay questions brother Hatch emailed me and I will try to write my responses asap. I about died when he called and then extremely relieved when he said President Leonard gave him permission to call. Second I never mailed my package home. IT was just too expensive and so I waited. It isn't a big box but because it is mostly books it weighs about 19 lbs. Third, will you see if Elder Holland has a biography written about him. I've listened to countless hours of his talks and he is one of the neatest men ever. Fourth, did you read Elder Callister's talk on the Godhead? It just makes things so clear to me!
This week was pretty good overall. We taught over 25 lessons in total which is really well for this area. Most of our lessons were with members which was also a plus and not all too common. Having a fellowshipper really is crucial though I think back to how little I helped the missionaries out after Elder Prawitt left and I regret it. They need our help to be successful. The work seems to be getting better since I came in four weeks ago which is promising.
Monday we had dinner and a lesson with Rodney and his family. We had a lesson at 7:30 in Manti with Mauricio so we didn't have a whole lot of time to teach. We went off on peripheral doctrines again and so I to focus more on the Book of Mormon tonight. I'm actually going on exchanges with the zone leaders tonight so I hope that lesson goes well while I'm away. The lesson will have to be short though because we have two kids that want to get baptized and a mother that is getting divorced that is getting active again. WHOO HOO! :) We are teaching the family in a members home which on a scale of 1-10, this is a 12! I'm excited! As it says in Alma 32:16, "Therefore, blessed are they who ahumble themselves without being bcompelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without cstubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe." Member support has been key to success and having communication skills has been key on our part as missionaries gaining members trust. Elder Hererra and I have had some major personality conflicts but thank goodness it has not effected the work.
Tuesday was a blast because Elder Larsen and I went on exchanges to the snow college campus. He is from Washington too and he just seems like a brother to me. We had no car so we rode bikes and I don't know what it is about bikes but it makes me feel like an authentic missionary. :P As fun as college work is I love Spanish work more. It is much harder but it just feels weird to teach girls my age and they all seem so worldly. I swear the world has gotten worse since I left. Christ said, “No man, having put his hand to the aplough, and blooking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." and I'm not looking back. ;)
Wednesday we had zone conference with Elder Halack and Elder Leavett of the seventy. It is such a neat thing to have so many general authorities here and I think we take it for granted in this mission at times. Our mission has 118 missionaries at the moment but we should be receiving a complement of 180 missionaries with the influx of new missionaries. This will open the work to more reactivation efforts. It is great news and I'm excited for the future generation but President Leonard has taught me so much about being goal oriented and focusing on our purpose as missionaries. I'm thankful for that because I know he has helped me prepare better for life and college. Who would have thought that listening to an older, wiser, inspired man of God who presides over this mission with all the priesthood keys of God could teach a recent convert like me a thing or two? ;) On Wednesday we invited 84 year old Alva to be baptized on the 15th of December. She said she would if she knows it is true. I hope I'm privileged enough to see her get baptized. I think sister Chamberlain just needs to have more faith it is possible. She was baptized as a teenager and her mom has never joined the church. I'm sure she is apprehensive but I feel like this is Alva's time.
Friday we had a really good lesson with Chano and he is looking good for his baptism December 1st. He is going to be one of the coolest baptisms of my mission just because of the changes I've seen from my first week in the mission till now. We also saw Stephanie for the first time. Bishop Shelly has been working closely with her so I'm excited to teach her more. It is going to take time and she has a lot to do before she will be ready to be baptized but I can already see her in white and entering into the fold of the good shepherd.
Saturday we had some really good stuff happen in Moroni and then I met my role model, Bishop Rick Wheeler. We went to visit Bishop Wheeler to set up dinners with the young married ward. Turns out Bishop Wheeler is a recently released area seventy, two time stake president, and is one of the most knowledgeable men I've met on my mission or in my life for that matter. He lives in a modest home but it is very tastefully decorated. The most impressive part is his collection of over 5,000 books! As a matter of privacy I will have to tell you later some of the neat things he has. I was in religious memorabilia heaven. It was amazing to me how he had detailed explanations to all my questions yet never came across as a know-it-all or or that he was irritated by my questions. He is just someone I can only aspire to one day become.
Anyway, I've written a lot today and I could go on but suffice it to say it was a good week in which I learned a ton. I feel that I'm still learning just as much as I did when I started my mission. After a period of time I feel I slowed down learning new things, I love this feeling of obtaining so much knowledge as I should for, "Whatever principle of aintelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the bresurrection. And if a person gains more aknowledge and intelligence in this life through his bdiligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the cadvantage in the world to come." I'm so thankful for the strict rules of this mission. I ask, at least rhetorically, if it is impossible to live up to mission rules for two years what would keep a return missionary faithful to gospel principles for the rest of his life? In a letter Elder Hererra got this week one of his friends serving in Peru said that Peru is the land of the eternal P-day. How sad that some missionaries are not forced or chose not to live outside of their comfort zone and obey rules that stretch them to new heights. My mission has most definitely NOT been an eternal P-day and I am thankful for the struggles that have completely and utterly changed me. There is nothing better than what I'm doing. I'm livin' the dream! Vaya con Dios!
Dios es amor,