Hola Familia! Hey, So I'm not in Huancavelica anymore......I miss that place so much. We had the meeting for changes last Tuesday. Elder Walker and Bullock told me I was going to La Oroya Antigua wooo! You pass La Oroya when you come to Huancayo from Lima. La Oroya is a small town with about 100 members that attend the branch. We have a chapel so that's cool! La Oroya was also one of the 3rd worst contaminated cities in the world and still is... I think...Haha! It has a refinery and a mine that has contaminated the whole place! The mountains are white, the river stinks and is dirty brown and the whole town smells. They say not to eat fish here...LOL. They have shut down 90% of the mine which is good. First couple of days I was homesick for HVCA....it's hard to adjust to changes! But I'm adjusting now and I will work as hard as I can. Here in La Oroya there used to be 3 branches but now there are just 2. There is one here in La Oroya Antigua and one in Marcavalle. Marcavalle is the nicer area...there are two elders there. Our area is the contaminated, smelly area...haha!
I think La Oroya is sweet! The members are great, loving people. Sundays aren't stressful and it's a smaller area. It's so nice attending church in a nice chapel. The teachers know their stuff. They did make me give a talk on Sunday.....it was good! We don't have ward council or many activities to unite the members. So I implemented that and told the President that we need to have those. It'll be a process. So I've been asking members what we can do to improve the branch and I've been noting down the ideas. I'm trying to get everyone involved and working to together to improve everything. I really want this and I hope it happens. We want more unity and caring for new people that come and for the less actives so it feels like a family! So pray for that!
La Oroya has a reputation for being unusually difficult. I'm not sure why President Henderson sent me to another area like HVCA but I trust him. My comp is Elder Suarez from Bolivia. He has had some ups and downs.....so I feel like I am here first to be a good obedient companion for him and second to change the reputation here and change what happens here. There is already a good base here of strong members....it just needs to grow and they need to support one another. Elder Suarez is awesome. He's a quieter kid but I'm happy to be his companion. He will probably be transferred next time. I told him we're going to change what people think of La Oraya and we're going to be examples here. The first thing I told him we are going to do is be an obedient example and when he leaves and takes that to his next comp, we improve the mission little by little.
Reflection of the week: Our examples can influence all kinds of people. People see us as members of Christ's church and we have to act like that, especially in the mission. I'm happy to be here and start "planting" that change in La Oroya. We may not baptize a lot here, but we can change this area! Every area has potential and this one for sure does. With the desire to work and be obedient missionaries, we can help change La Oroya. Thank you for all your love and support.
Below are some random pictures of La Oroya Antigua...