Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Jake's First Christmas in Peru

We had a great Skype call with Jake for an hour on Christmas Day. Best gift we could ever get! Here's his letter from Monday, December 28th. 


Hola Familia! Happy New Year this week! It was great to see all of your faces! I love you all and I hope Christmas was great! This week flew! It was great to be in Huancayo with the zone and the missionaries! P-day we were in Huancavelica and we went and picked-up our hand knitted ties, that a Peruvian lady made, because all the Elders love my knit ties! The ties are awesome...I will get a picture from Elder Pincay. Tuesday we traveled, which I'm getting tired of, because it's so hard to sleep! But we arrived and worked and wow the difference of the people in Huancayo to HVCA! The members are so great! Tuesday we had the multi-zone conference and for our present we received a flu shot....haha. Then President taught a few things, we ate turkey (which is ehh) and then we performed skits. He gave us a cool little ornament with a nativity......I turned it into something to use for my keys, chapstick and other things.  Later we had an activity with the ward in Huancayo and it kind of felt like home....being in a real church with lots of members! 

On Christmas Eve we had a district meeting with the other elders and sisters and then we visited members, sang hymns and then they gave us paneton (fruit cake), which I'm sick of. It was fun to walk around, see the people giving out little panetons, hot chocolate and then to go around and sing and talk about Christ. That's what Christmas is about! Then that night we went and sung hymns and Christmas songs in the main plaza with all the zones in Huancayo, took pictures and talked.  That was awesome to have a crowd of people and the assistants were out contacting! Then we went to eat turkey, rice....., potatoes with the zone at the elders pension which was great and fun to be with everyone! We watched fireworks that night and WOW Peru goes crazy! It was the coolest thing! And there's no laws on fireworks (dad would love that), but seriously the whole sky it lit up.....so cool! On Christmas day we woke up, played soccer, ate pancakes with the zone traveled back to HVCA. Christmas is sad in Peru.....not much to it.  But we talked with our families....that was so much fun! That hour flew.....I miss you all! It made my day to be able to see all of you. I love you all!

The next day we had an activity with the branch that started 3 hours late. Everyone runs on "Peruvian time" which means you show up 30 mins - 2 -3 hours late. We had a talent show which was fun. Sunday we had about 16 people take the sacrament....but 53 showed up in total after we opened the doors....Yay! We are trying to discipline by starting at 10 and people running on Peruvian time miss out on renewing their covenants. Hopefully they'll learn. 

Reflection of the week:  The gift of tongues works with diligence and the Lord. We didn't have speakers show up for sacrament because they are late so I got to speak for the first time.....I was stoked!  I spoke for 12 mins. on the edification of the church, talked about being examples, showing up on time and missionary work! It all came out of my mouth like English! I can speak and understand Spanish. Elder Jimenez tells me my fluency improves everyday! I don't sound like a gringo. He says I sound better than most of the gringo missionaries.....and speak correctly. I love you guys and thank you for everything! The Lord's hand is always there! We just have to seek.

Elder Moss
Dog (name unknown), Elder Mendoza, Elder Moss, Elder Jimenez, Elder Pincay - Huancayo - Christmas 2015

Huancayo Zone - Christmas Celebration 2015

Elder Jimenez, Elder Pincay, Elder Moss, Elder Mendoza - Christmas 2015

Christmas Eve Dinner - 2015

Elder Moss & Elder Mendoza - Huancavelica 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Celebration in Pampas

Hey Fam! How are you all? Early Merry Christmas or Feliz Navidad! I love you all and can't wait to talk with you all in 4 days! Things are eh mas o menos here in HVCA!  This last week the attendance dropped at the Branch. There were only 43 one week and 40 the following....only 16 people took the sacrament. Elder Jiminez and I taught the youth Sunday School class again and we also had to take the lead in Elder's quorum! I just sit in church and try to think of ways to help this place. During ward council, Elder Mendoza and I, suggested lots and we have been asking for the members to help make this branch work. The church is so organized but the branch isn't or hasn't gotten to that point yet.  We are working hard and trying and I'm trying to do my best with being a leader and helping organize things here.  It's a learning process and it's long and frustrating at times.  But I love it here and working with Elder Jimenez....he's awesome and has taught me a lot.  My Spanish has improved because of him and also my teaching. It's challenging at times trying to lead out and help when you are limited on Spanish, but it's a trial and I'm learning and I know the time will come when it's not challenging. 

This week was good....I'm happy! We did travel to Huancayo on Monday for a zone conference and stayed until Tuesday. Elder Walker is great and Elder Bullock, who is an ex-marine. While traveling to Huancayo, Elder Mendoza threw up all over himself in the car! Our driver, Michael, wasn't happy and it smelled horrible. Tuesday we came back, Wednesday we went running and Friday we got to play basketball with Frank. Frank gets the priesthood on Jan. 3rd! He's awesome and is always helping us with lessons. Saturday we went to Pampas with the other zone in Huancayo to do an activity for the Elders and their "family group".  The Pampas branch has 13 people attending and President refuses to close it.  So we went there to perform a skit in the plaza and gave out paneton (good fruit cake that is amazing) and had lunch. It was fun to be with everyone and give Christmas to Pampas. Saturday night we had a lesson with the Cunya family. Great family who understand and love the church but aren't very motivated.  We've tried to help them realize that they can go to the temple one day.  We put a goal for the next year for them to go and be sealed. They are awesome and came to church on Sunday...yay! Please pray for them.

Reflection of the week:  Is about my family. In the mission you have a lot of time to think. I just think and reflect on my memories. This week I realized how important my family is to me and how I regret all the times I wasn't with them. They are EVERYTHING to me and I love them so much. My parents have brought me to the greatest knowledge you can have, the gospel.  My parents have done lots and I love them so much. I had a change of heart realizing how important families are and what my family and future family meant to me. Enjoy Christmas everyone and realize how important families and our Savior are to us. Feliz Navidad! Elder Jimenez and I bought a tree with lights and decorations. It feels like Christmas in HVCA!

Elder Moss
Elder Moss (middle) with the Pampas Missionaries

Elder Moss & Huancayo Zone

Christmas Celebration in Pampas

Monday, December 14, 2015

Challenging & Testifying Missionaries

Hola familia? Que ha pasado esta semana? I miss you all like crazy! The tree is looking great in the room and I love it!  Thank you so much everyone! It's definitely something I won't forget! How are you all? Things are good in the mission as always. Elder Jimenez and I are working hard. We've been talking to everyone, trying to find new people.....and it has worked!  We found 2 new people that want to learn more but are really faithful to their church... haha. So we've had to Bible bash lots with them. They're parents of 2 members......so pray for their hearts to be softened.  

This week was great in the Andes Mountains.....not much rain......hiked up to a church on the top of this mountain for P-day. Coolest view and the church is pretty cool too! Apparently they have meetings up there.  People also hike up there, cry, light candles, bring flowers for their dead ones.  Actually we walked in on that and the people weren't too happy.  Tuesday we found a really awesome family that has 2 less actives and we have begun to teach them, we are excited about them! The missionaries hadn't visited them in 6 months! So we are starting, the Matamores family is their name and they have 4 kids and live in Santa Ana, a not so nice area.  But they are awesome! Wednesday we taught Ketty and Nadya, who are preparing for baptism and then later we taught a couple more lessons....one with Oviedo, an investigator who we are praying will come to church.  Thursday consisted of no lessons.....but lots of contacting. We did give a quick first discussion in the street to an older guy. The old guys are always stopping us. Here in the Sierra the people call young people "jovens"and "papi". So when people call us that we call them "mami" or "papi" and just laugh it off. 

It's so much fun with Elder Jimenez, he's a goof and we have fun teaching and contacting. He's really direct and I love being that way and he has no fear! He has taught me to just go for it....and I have! We have 2 more dates this week and the numbers are growing. But most of all we are out here doing the Lord's work and enjoying it!  Friday we had a lesson w/Frank and then he helped us the rest of the day.  Saturday we taught Nadya and Ketty, Mariela, the 2 new investigators (that are tough) and Rocio! Things are good....I haven't spoken English in days... My teaching and Spanish are improving because of it. Elder Jimenez has been a blessing and I love the kid! Time is a blur...in 2 weeks I'll have been out 5 months. So last week I received an email from Rich Morris and he told me how he and his comp set a goal for 10 first discussions in the week and then it grew from there.  I told Jimenez and he said he loved the idea. So we started that, whether it be in the street or in the Taxi, when we contact someone we try. Because if we are pushing ourselves more, the Lord will step in and have someone prepared.  As long as we can get 1 out of the 60 people we contacted this week, we'll have someone that is prepared...I know it. 

Reflection of the week:  Our goal is "ensenar al toque no mas".....we teach quick on the spot to capture interest. Elder Jimenez and I have pushed aside the fear and just taught and opened our mouths.  Someone is out there waiting! We did that on Friday and since Friday we have taught 5 lesson and have appointments.  It's been so fun out here with Jimenez. I don't think I've worked this hard...I love it! And I love the Jehovah's witness Bible that an investigator gave me....Haha! Love you all! The gospel is true!

Elder Moss

Elder Moss and Elder Pincay December 2015

Elder Moss and Elder Jimenez December 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

6 Days, No English...

Jake had a great week but he is sad to be parting ways with his first companion, Elder Rasmussen. He will miss Elder Daza too. He's excited to be with Elder Jimenez from Chile. He says being the only American in the apartment has resulted in 6 straight days of no english! He's doing great, we are happy for him and appreciate all of your prayers for him!


Hola familia! Como estan? Everything is good here in Huancavelica! Elder Rasmussen went to Chupaca in Huancayo. I traveled with him on Wednesday morning to Huancayo in the terminal and he went with his new companion. I said goodbye to my good old "Dad". Sad to say goodbye because I truly love that kid to death! At first it was different with him but after 3 months we became the best of friends! He taught me a lot and I think the one cool thing about Rasmussen is how caring of a guy he is. It's cool to have to be forced into knowing a person in the mission.  From a perspective at home, I would have not gotten to know him.  I truly loved being his companion.  In Huancayo I hung out with Elder Walker and Elder Mason. We went and bought Mac n cheese and Ice cream at Metro's and cooked it at Walker's place. That was fun to chill with them! And then we waited for my companion...Elder Jimenez.....he's from Chile.  He's cool, funny and crazy...Haha! In the first couple days it was strange but he "falls" good with me as they say here! He loves to work hard....which is great. We talk to about every one in the streets and he's a great teacher and already has taught me a lot. He is 23 years old and has 9 months left. Elder Daza left for the jungle and Elder Mendoza is training Elder Pincay. You pronounce it "pink-eye" and I tease him that his last name is a disease...HAHA! So now there are 3 latinos and I....gringo....in HVCA and I haven't spoken English in 6 days. But I love it and I'm doing great! We challenged 2 new people this week their names are Candy and Oviedo.....pray for them! Wow my teaching has improved and my Spanish because I am latino trapped!  We are also maintaining the attendance at 70......the Branch is progressing!  But in other news....I finally got to baptize! I baptized Rocio on Saturday and it was so amazing! She has a really strong testimony from things that have happened to her.

Reflection of the week:  This last Sunday we were visiting Hermana Lillianna and Michelle her daughter. Lillianna began to bear her testimony on how I have helped her realize that the scriptures are the iron rod and we need to hold on tight to them.  She is awesome and a great mother. We rescued her a month ago and she has progressed a lot.  And it was awesome to know that I have touched someone in a certain way.  My heart felt so happy to know that I'm here for a reason for 2 years. Sometimes it's discouraging but I forget myself and get to work as President Hinckley did. At times you worry but I have realized there is no where else I would rather be. There are people ready to hear my voice and some have heard it, such as Lillianna.  I love that I have touched someone with the spirit and that's why I am here. I have a testimony that this is the BEST 2 years of "up & downs,"..... full of joy and happiness.  I have never been closer to my Heavenly Father and have never realized how important a family is. I love my family! The gospel is true and it changes lives! It has changed mine and I can't wait to introduce it one day to my own family and the others who are waiting here. I love you all lots! #doitforjesus


Elder Moss

Rocio's Baptism

The Velasquez family

Transfers - Elder Rasmussen & Elder Moss - December 2015

Jake Will Miss Elder Daza

 Homemade Xmas Tree and Ornaments made it safely to Peru!

Foothills of Huancavelica