Monday, October 26, 2015

Power Outage

Here's the latest from Jake. We had to break the bad news to him that we had some real First World problems here on Saturday night with the Utes losing a football game to the Trojans. Amazingly, he was able to one-up us with a story about a power failure right before Stake Conference was supposed to begin. He seems to be happy and healthy...and still a Ute fan!


Hey fam whats up? How are you all? I'm missing you all but things are great here even though it has rained almost everyday and we are get soaking wet. We just keep working and trekking on through! This week we got a new elder, he is the DL, his name is Mendoza, awesome kid from Tumbas Peru. He is great and we love him and he works hard. We have been working hard all week.  Contacting has not been a success here though... so I decided, out of revelation:), to search the area book and try and find old investigators and less actives. The problem with this area is that it was apart of Lima east and it wasn't the best run mission in the world.  Their motto was "A baptism and a confirmation a week".  We have 400 records but yeah 50 attending.. so we are trying to find these people. We had a baptism on Saturday.....her name is JESSICA!  Her husband, William, baptized her and it was awesome! It was so cool to see that ordinance but we had to redo it 3 times but thats okay :).  Our searching for old investigators didn't result in much. But that night, 3 people showed up to the activity and we talked to them and turns out they want to investigate the church! They are a family of 3 and they had lots of fun at the karaoke activity! Peruvians go all out you guys haha it is so great! 

This Sunday we received a call telling us the power was going to go out all DAY! So I took my shower and got ready. We show up to church,  President isn't there.. no one from the council is there and we had brought investigators and less actives and I felt horrible. We were supposed to have a conference streamed in and we had no POWER! So president shows up with a generator and we got it to work finally by 1:00.  So we watched half of it. At 2:00 we only had like 16 people.. in the morning we had 62! That was a record for the last month! I felt great but at the same time I'm worried they won't come back. It was frustrating and hard not to freak out at our president because he didn't even tell us he wasn't going to be at church in the morning. Well that is the adventure of HVCA....the power randomly shuts off haha.. 

Reflection of the week:: I was reading in D&C 18: 13-15. These scriptures are talking about missionary work. And they talk about how great the joy is when we bring someone to repentance. It is the greatest joy! I shared this with Jessica because I was teaching her lesson 5 to prepare her for baptism on Saturday. She was able to understand my Spanish while the spirit worked through me. I testified to her that bringing people to repentance does bring happiness and joy. I have a joy and happiness out here in Peru doing the Lords work. Missionary work is the best work! And even though I can't speak what I want, I try to with my heart and through the spirit.  Bringing even one soul to repentance brings our Heavenly Father joy and us also. I love working out here and this gospel is so true you guys! I love it! I love you and miss you all so much! CIAO, CIAO:)

Jessica's Baptism - Baptized by her husband, William

Outside of the Huancavelica Branch Building
Inside Huancavelica Branch Building

Monday, October 19, 2015

Happy Birthday to Elder Moss!

Jake sent us some great pictures of their hike up Huaytapallana glacier last week. He had a good birthday celebration and he's doing well. He loves his sleeping bag! He doesn't like the fact that he's missing the fun we are having at home with Utah football but says "it (his mission) is for a good cause". We couldn't agree more and if this is how the Utes will play with a son on a mission we'll be asking him and the rest of our kids to serve back to back missions for several years. Go JAKE and Go UTES! 

Hola family! How are you all? I miss you all lots! Transfers are over TOMORROW! We will be getting a new missionary on Wednesdsay to take Elder Hardison's place. The first few weeks felt like they went by slow but now things are picking up. I am ready to get out of training and ready to speak Spanish well! I am working hard everyday with that! Elder Hardison left so that was sad but I'm really glad I had the chance to know him! He taught me a lot and I will miss him. He was a very good leader and showed me by following the rules, blessings come. Hardison and I taught one lesson together in Lircay. We made a trip to Lircay on Thursday and we taught Aldrie, who's 17, and he wanted to get baptized from the start. We taught him lesson 1 and 3 and my spanish flowed and we could really feel the spirit. Aldrie accepted to get baptized and we are going to drive 3 hours every week on the worst road in Peru to teach him haha! I love the drive though.... it is so cool! Anyways Lircay is awesome and I found my favorite food finally! The ex pensionista there made us this stir fry stuff with chicken and LEGIT fries was so good and I love it! But other than that the food here is ehhhh it just makes me queasy!  

On Tuesday we had a zone conference and they celebrated my b-day.  I got cake to the face thanks to elder walker, and eggs and flour to the head.... it was a mess but too much fun!! And then Wednesday Jimmy and Richard, members, took us out to italian food it was so delicious!!   Then my less active family the, Villafuertes, celebrated my bday with me and I felt at home at the moment. They are awesome and loving but they didn't come to church this week ahh!!!  This morning we had to shower in cold water.. our shower head broke.. they are electric shower heads and they are so sketchy haha! It was hilarious with everyone showering.. hahahaha! :) Elder Daza is with us until his new comp arrives on Wednesday . Things are good here. My spanish is starting to work more and more.  My goal is by christmas to have a good understanding of it. 

Reflection of the week:  I have a scripture I found that I really loved. It's in Ecclesiastes 12:7 and it talks about how everything that god does is forever. This gospel is forever and our lives are forever. We need to make sure we do all that we can to be in line with the gospel standards and that we live with the gospel in our lives ALWAYS: I love the gospel so MUCH! :)  We are going to have eternal life, I know that for a fact by my heart and the testimony I have received. I love this place and I am going to try my best to bring these people the thing I love most. The more I sit in lessons and teach the more the spirit works through me. I love this place and I love the people even though they are a bit challenging at times. I miss you all and love you all lots! Ciao Ciao :)

President & Sister Henderson's House - General Conference October 2015

Elders Moss, Rasmussen, Hardison & Daza (Huancavelica October 2015)

The Valasquez Family

Hiking to Huaytapallana Glacier 17,000 Feet

Jake's Birthday Celebration - Happy 19th Birthday!

Monday, October 12, 2015

"No Elder, It's Not Chewing Gum, It's Alpaca!"

Jake wrote to us again from Huancayo. He and the other three elders from Huancavelica are visiting Huancayo for Zone conference this week. They'll be traveling back to their area tomorrow. He's doing great. They have several dates set for baptisms with investigators and it seems that their teaching pool is pretty good size for the area. No pictures this week of our missionary but we hope to get some soon. We miss him and hope he doesn't expect us to have Alpaca meat on hand when he gets home.

Hoy como esta mi familia? I miss you all lots! This week was awesome and after I wrote you guys last Tuesday we headed back to HVCA and well now we are back in Huancayo for a zone conference. We definitley like HVCA so much better! This week I finished The Book of Mormon and now I'm starting it in spanish....and I actually understand it somehow! Ahhh my Spanish is growing but only for lessons haha...but that's all that matters though! I actually taught a lesson all on my own basically! We are teaching a women named Jessica. She wants to get baptized. Her daughter and her are the only ones left in her family that need to be baptized and we are trying to complete her family. I had the opportunity to teach the word of wisdom to her and try to help her realize that chewing cocoa leaves is bad. They like that a lot here and it destroys their teeth!  I helped her to realize the blessings of keeping the word of wisdom.  She committed and her baptismal date is the 25th.... she is awesome and excited!! This is the last week of the change and it was so quick! Elder Hardison leaves next week and is ready haha, but hopefully we'll get a good elder to replace him! Nothing crazy happened this week except that I finally feel better! Guys my stomach will never be the same, haha, it definitely gets queasy at times.  Me and my comp tried alpaca meat.. haha don't eat it! Its like chewing gum! It was horrible but funny!!

Reflection of the week was during testimony meeting on Sunday.  One of the less actives we are teaching is named Lilianna. Her daughter, Michelle, got baptized a month ago. She is an awesome lady, single mother, with another kid named Aldried she is 4 years old. Lilianna got up and bore her testimony about how the elders have influenced her to become a better person and come back to church. She has been coming for 3 weeks straight. One of the things that happened that influenced this was her niece, Rocio, who we have also been teaching along with her, had a friend that committed suicide. This happened 2 weeks ago and we went over and taught about the plan of salvation and how their friend is there and not gone and that we have purposes on earth and in the after life. We also gave her a blessing. Lilianna talked about how this influenced her to bring her family back to church and to live the gospel. She loves it and she loves her family so much and wants to be with them forever. So she has decided to except a calling in the branch and return. She is awesome! It really touched me to realize that I am here for less actives, my comp, my family, investigators and for myself. I am realizing more and more these people need my help and that they can be blessed with the gospel. We can all live together again and be happy. I love it so much! I love Peru and the people!  I love you all so much too! I miss you all too! ciao :)

No, I'm not a muppet..I'm Alpaca (Jake's Dinner)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Spiritual & Adventurous Weekend in Huancayo

Jake sent us a letter today. They got back to Huancavelica yesterday after visiting Huancayo for General Conference. It sounds like they had a good trip, except for the fact that Jake got pretty sick. He's in good spirits and he says he's all better now.

Hola familia! How are you all? How was conference?  Conference was awesome but it also was not so good for me.  We left Friday for Huancayo with our driver Michael, he loves us haha, and we arrived around 10 and had interviews with president. President Henderson is so cool! I love that guy and he trusts me and the 3 others in HCVA a lot with our area! We talked for 35 minutes about everything..... it was so great! And then later we worked that night with the other elders in the area.  Saturday we watched conference in the stake center. We watched it in english with all the gringos in the kitchen haha.... it was great! 

Reflection of the week:  I loved Uchtdorf's talk and how he mentioned,"Exaltation is our goal, Discipleship is our journey"..... that is so true! And that is what I am doing here in Peru.  I'm hear to teach the people how to become true disciples of Christ. We are helping our investigator Kayta to try and understand this. She has a date of the 21st of October for baptism. She loves the gospel and is interested but she doesn't read or pray. She wants eternal life and happiness but she has to be a disciple of christ. We must all be disciples of Christ and follow what the prophets say and what we are supposed to do. I know that we can obtain exaltation and eternal happiness through our own effort. So we taught Katya it takes our effort and time to achieve happiness and help in our lives. We must be a disciple and make time for the lord in our lives. I love this gospel so much and  conference was great! :)

Anyways back to the schedule haha.. We then went out for lunch, came back for the afternoon session which was awesome, went out to eat again and then we came back for priesthood in the kitchen. WOW... priesthood was great from what I heard as my head was in my lap and I was in pain. I had the worst stomach pain! I couldn't pay attention and gosh it was awful! I thought I had a strong stomach.. apparently not.. I headed to the bathroom after the session and yeah my not so great weekend started... bum bum bum. I didn't sleep well and I felt just weak the next day. But we watched the morning session and I felt decent. The office called us and said president wanted all of HCVA and Pampas area missionaries over to eat and watch the last session. WE GOT TO EAT with president and the office and enjoy conference on a couch! GREATEST thing ever! I loved it and frankly I didn't care if I was sick... I ate REAL food! AHH! Overall conference was awesome and I was so amped to get back to work. I  love HCVA and miss working.  Monday we went to Huaytapallana..... So cool! Hardest hike ever to 17,000 feet! It was so cool and it took forever but I made a lot of good friends with the office and the pampas area elders! We had a great time and I will send pics next week! I hiked it weak and sick but today I'm feeling better! I love you all and love your prayers! The work is picking up and we are working hard and my spanish is improving little by little but when the lord wants it to come.... it"ll come. I love this decision I have made to serve a mission! I love you all and this gospel! And thank you so much for the package!! Everyone was jealous and I love you all especially my parents! :) keep them coming :) ! love you all :)

Questions....Answer time:

How long was the ride from Huancavelica to Huancayo? It was a 3 hour drive with lots of wind
What's your branch like? Our branch is very young.  Our branch President is very young but always to willing to help us. We love him so much. Besides the help from branch President and 2 other members, finding leads is challenging.
How many people are you teaching? We have 8 investigators. 4 with baptismal dates....Mariella, Kayta, Frank and Nadya.
How is the food?  Not so good, especially after getting sick.....nothing sounds good!

Hike to Huaytapallana Glacier.....17,000 ft