Monday, February 29, 2016

My First Landslide!

Dear Family & Friends - Jake and his companion were called by the mission office to go "rescue" an Elder who was stuck in a landslide on the main highway to Lima. You'll see from the map below that their area was one of the closest to where the landslide occurred. Unfortunately, Peruvians don't find a landslide newsworthy and there's almost nothing written about it on the internet. Evidently, missionaries sometimes have to travel alone to Lima for Visa processing. We aren't sure why. Here is what Jake told us. We learned from the mission office later today that he and the other five missionaries from Huancayo will fly back to their mission on Wednesday. He's safe, hot and humid but says he really misses the Huancayo mission and can't wait to get back!


HEY FAMILY! How is home? Yeah Lima is great haha...I'm in Lima! So not much happened this week except that on Friday I got a call from Elder Holmes in the mission office! He started out by asking if I still had money from transfers and I said yes so he told me that Elder Solorzano and I need to go to a landslide that happened on the main highway that connects Huancayo to Lima haha! One of our missionaries, Elder Petersen was stuck in a bus (that was literally stuck in the mud) in the landslide and he was alone and we needed to go get him. So I took the 700 Soles I had and we left La Oroya and took a personal taxi to San Mateo, a small city. We walked for an hour and we found a moto-taxi to take us down to the buses that were stopped in the landslide. We get to the bus and found Elder Peterson, who had spent the night alone on the bus without any food! So after we got to the bus, we realized it was way too dangerous to get back to San Mateo and go back to our area. We tried to go back up to La Oroya but it is a huge mess on the highway and it would have been too dangerous. Plus, there was no way to get a taxi to take us back. So Elder Holmes called us and asked if there are taxis to Lima (going the other direction) I started asking around and people told me yes there are taxis just below the landslide! I had to make the call on what to do so we decided to do the safe thing and head down toward the taxis to Lima. Well turns out Peruvians are really good liars haha! So we cross this huge landslide that has wiped out all the highway and wade through the Rimac river, which is running crazy fast and all over on the highway. And after a while, we got down the highway past the slide and found like 100 moto-taxis. A tiny little taxi takes us down to a city called Chosica. It costed 50 Soles and they said it would take 15 minutes but in reality it was two hours away! When we got to Chosica we took another taxi into Lima and went straight to the temple. So Elder Peterson, Elder Solorzano and I descended from La Oroya at 12,272 feet down to sea level in Lima. From the temple we got help from the Elders in the Lima East mission and they have taken us in and we are staying with some Elders in Santa Anita, which is in Lima East mission but right near the Rimac river. It was great to see the temple again and to see my buddy Elder Ramirez haha! There are 6 of us from Huancayo here and we are staying with missionaries here in Lima East and working with them for a few days. I don't like it here because it is so hot and humid and yeah I miss Huancayo...and La Oroya! It's nuts here and I miss it all haha.. so yeah we are chilling here in Lima until they can get us a plane back because the highway back to Huancayo is DESTROYED HAHA! Things are nice and sweaty here in Lima! We weren't prepared for an extended trip so we've had the pensionista helping us here in Santa Anita with getting some clothes cleaned and we also had to go buy some basic bathroom supplies. Church in Santa Anita was great! They have like 200 attending so church was cool!  Things are good..... I am safe and okay! I love you all! I hope to be back in La Oroya this week but we will have to first fly from Lima to Jauja and then get a ride back to our area. And then the following week we will be going to Satipo (the jungle) for a multi-zone conference. But I love you all! Take care..... hahahaha :)

Reflection of the week: Being here in Lima East has made me really appreciate and love where I am serving in Huancayo :)

The PURPLE lines show the taxi ride from La Oroya "down" to Lima and then the BLUE lines show the flight and drive back to Jauja and La Oroya.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Festival Food & Letzi's Baptism!

What's up Family?! How are you all? Things are great here....we had a baptism and interest from more investigators. Letzi got baptized on Saturday! She is great and is setting the example for her parents Omar and Paolo. It was so cool to see a baptism with all the members. La Oroya might be a bit confused with a couple things but they are very supportive of baptisms! Elder Solorzano and I were so happy about that.

Last P-day we hung out with Elder Campbell and Elder Bruno....we ate pacca manca. Pacca Manca is sweet potatoes, potato, weird beans, lamb meat and chicken that they cook in the ground.  And it comes with this sweet tamale called a humita. The best food here! It costs 13 soles and we have to drive about 20 minutes to get it. It's awesome to eat cultural food and not just rice.  After lunch we hung out at the fair and went shopping. They always give Elder Campbell and I the gringo prices so Elder Bruno and Solorzano ask for us so we can get a better deal.  Tuesday a member kept us busy for an hour talking to us and to Sandra and Abraham....which I loved talking to them! Wednesday we visited less actives with President Mejia. We met with Letzi to help her prepare for her baptism. Thursday we had divisions. I went with Elder Campbell....Love that Kid....we've become really good friends. We did service in the morning to help clean up a trash yard basically. We spoke English during the day and visited a member.  Marcavalle has some really cool members. And then finished the night at a members house doing a FHE and making "funfetti" cake from the states that Elder Campbell had! Their house is so nice. They are a young couple and they reminded me of my parents. It was hard to leave their house...Haha. Later Elder Campbell and I burned his one year shirt.....that was fun to do! Friday Letzi got interviewed by the ZL's and she passed. But then things went downhill....we wanted to do the baptism together with the other Elders because they were having a baptism also. So Elder Solorzano called President Mejia, who then called President Henderson. President Mejia didn't understand and he thought Letzi was going to get baptized into Marcavalle branch. He misunderstood that we just wanted to do the baptisms together. It's all good, we fixed it and had the baptism. 

We had a good week! We have changes this Wednesday......AGAIN! Most likely none of us will go, possibly Elder Bruno. But La Oroya truly is a tough area, lots of challenges with members and not much support. It's hard but I trust the Lord, and I know he will watch out for the members and our investigators here.  Elder Solorzano and I are trying and praying and being examples. It's a tough area but I love the challenge.

Reflection of the week:  I have realized that in the mission there are hard times, but you have to pick yourself up quickly You can't allow a bad day to bring you down. You need to keep smiling and move on. Friday was a really hard day for us, but we didn't dwell on it. We picked it up and taught 25 lessons, had some great contacts and worked hard. I love it here in Peru and I'm truly so happy. I love the Lord's work and all of you! Thank you for everything! Ciao! #doitforjesus

Elder Moss

Pacca Manca 

More Food!

La Oroya

La Oroya

Elder Campbell


Omar, Paola (Letzi's parents), Letzi (in white)

Letzi's Baptism

Monday, February 15, 2016

We're Getting a Shower!

What's up fam? How are you all? Hope you are all doing just "Lovely"! La Oroya is treating me well with the white-looking mountains and lots of traveling. This last p-day we went to Tarma. We played basketball all together and then worked in foursomes that night. Tarma is the coolest place.....I want to serve there! Tuesday we had zone conference in Tarma and then came back to La Oroya to work. We left on Wednesday at 3:00 to head to Huancayo for a multi-zone devotional with Elder Godoy of the 70. We went to the office and hung out there with the elders. I got my package:)! We ate pizza with the Huancayo, Satipo and La Merced was fun to see everyone! So good to see some elders and talk about the mission and life. A lot of elders told me "sorry" because I was in La Oroya and asked me what I did to be there....haha! This place has a reputation but I'm fixing that! We went to a hotel and spent the night with all the Elders. That was fun....but hotels here aren't like the states. We got up at 5:15 and got ready and had breakfast at the mission home and then headed to the conference. President and Sister Henderson spoke and then Elder and Sister Godoy. It had to be one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. One of things Elder Godoy talked about was how we are truly instruments for the Lord and how obedience plays a huge factor in that. Being obedient here in the mission is something I love and thanks to Elder Mendoza I have seen blessing upon blessings from obedience.

We returned to La Oroya on Friday and got to work. We had some lessons and contacted some people. I love contacting's my favorite to talk to everyone and be their friends! Don't freak out Mom but we don't have a shower so we've been waiting on our landlord to finish it. It's so nice and our room is really nice so I don't care. We shower like every 2 days in the other Elders room.....missionary life! Saturday Elder Mendoza came to Marcavalle to interview an investigator of Elder Campbell and Bruno because he is our new zone leader. I love that kid! I am so happy! We talked about HVCA and he said that Ugo is active gain and is 1st counselor of the YM's, Mariella attends a lot and that HVCA is growing. People want to work and there is more and more support. Branch attendance is 80-85. But Frank and Rocio are less-active so that made me sad but HVCA is a lot better! It was great to talk to Mendoza during the baptism on Saturday! We did a lot of great things there....glad I left that area better! My goal for every area I am in is that I make it better and I'm an example for all! BTW mom the shower will be done on Wednesday.

Reflection of the week:  I had an experience while teaching Omar and Paola Thursday night. We were talking about baptism and how it's necessary and they accepted a date, it was spiritual and going great. But we moved into a problem....they're not married. We start to talk about that and they started fighting, yelling and crying in front of us about problems from the past. Elder Solorzano was trying to help them but they just kept going at it. Frankly I was sick of it all....because that's not how you should treat someone you love. So I waited and IDK why but I felt I needed to speak boldly and with authority. I told them to be quiet, to pray together after we leave and to talk. I told them as a representative of Christ this is what he wants them to do. They stopped and we prayed to end our visit and I was asking for so much to help them and then we left them to pray.  I know the spirit told me to do that. And for them they're doing better and attended church together and Omar told me that everything is a lot better. I have a testimony that the Spirit tells us what to do, we just have to listen and not have fear. For now Omar and Paola are fine and their daughter, Letzi, is getting baptized this Saturday. Next Saturday Luis is getting baptized. He's attending church and institute classes. Things are good here.....I love you all and miss you! #doitforjesus

Elder Moss

Shower under construction...

Elder Moss & Elder Lefson - Huancayo, Feb 2016

This is Jake and his friend Hector.

Elder Solorzano & Luis - La Oroya 2016

Hector got his official name badge!


Monday, February 8, 2016

But Seek Ye First The Kingdom of God

Hola Familia?! Como estan todos? Todo esta bien aca en La Oroya! Nothing big happened this last started out a little slow.  Elder Solorzano is awesome and we are working hard and enjoying our new room. The old room was horrible and it smelled like sewage all day! Our new place is really nice. 

Monday we went to Tarma. Such a pretty place, easily is a tourist city.  I would love to serve there one day. Our zone is all Elders and two sister missionaries. We played soccer for 3 hours and then shopped because they have a store that's like H&M here! Then we also got haircuts. Tuesday we visited my best friend, Hector.  Always puts a smile on my face to be with him. He's carrying around my old BOM case, that has my name on it, and just smiles and walks with us to places. I know I'm serving the Lord when Hector is with us. Thursday we did a few visits in Paccha. We talked to Abraham....his wife is struggling and his baby. Please pray for them. They need help and we have the branch working together to help them. Friday we played volleyball with the members and investigators. We are also working with the less active kids....Kevin, Raul, Rafael and Brian. Three of them want to serve missions this summer because they told us we have had a big influence on them. The power went out on Friday so we had to teach with candles. That was fun to have a lesson with Rafael with candles. Saturday we went with Yolanda to Paccha. She helps us a lot there. Her family usually attends the Marcavalle branch but they're going to start attending the La Oroya branch to help us out. She is so great. Her son is serving a mission in La Paz, Bolivia. She's like a second mom to me...she's so sweet!  We taught an older guy named Carlos in Paccha. We taught him about the Restoration. I find so much joy in teaching. I love helping these people understand why God restored the church of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith. I love studying from the bible and BOM and learning as much as possible. I truly love it here.

Reflection of the week: The mission is something all young men need to do. I have learned so many things that I would have not learned in college. If we first seek the kingdom of God, he will provide a way for us (Matthew 6:33). I hope that all my cousins, friends and the YM in the Highland Ward know that. If we seek and follow the commandments and the Kingdom of God......God will help and bless us more. I have seen it here, those who seek the Kingdom are blessed more. I'm blessed more. I have a testimony that the mission provides something that any college can't provide. Don't doubt serving a mission. I want to re-live my experiences in the MTC and Huancavelica (1st area). It truly is the greatest time.... you learn, put your life in order and realize your purpose and most of all you help others come unto our Savior, Jesus Christ. You bring others to realize their purpose as you are learning about yours. The amount of spiritual experiences I have gained is amazing. The Lord is calling for all of us to do his work and search for the Kingdom of God and you will be blessed and will be ready to study and work. That's my testimony of the mission and our life on Earth.

Luis is great BTW. He still wants to serve a mission and he attends church and seminary. Our new pension is a guy and cooks really well...he owns a restaurant.  

This is where Jake and his companion live in La Oroya Antigua - second floor.

Rafael showing his kitty the candles!

Monday, February 1, 2016

More Changes!

Hey are you all? I'm doing great....things are going good in La Oroya. A lot has happened, unexpected stuff.  P-day we played volleyball with the members. We visited some investigator that night that I will talk about later. Tuesday we had district meeting with Elder Campbell and Elder Bruno.  Campbell is from Washington and he's really fun! Our district is us four missionaries. We have fun together and we love buying Pringles and Ice cream in Marcavalle. Wednesday we were in Paccha and my companion has been having some health problems.  He's had a rough mission and he told me he wanted to go home. I felt so bad for him...he's such a kind person. I tried helping him the whole day and trying to convince him to stay, bearing my testimony, but he had his mind set. He went to Huancayo to visit with President Henderson and I did visits with the other Elders in Marcavalle. President convinced him to stay and he came back and I was so happy for him. But President told him he will have emergency changes to another place to recover. So all week we expected him to get transferred. Friday we had our last lesson with Omar and Paola, they're the couple that needs to get married. They're are the best.....they always give us treats and food. Paolo accepts everything and wants to get baptized but Omar doesn't want to get baptized. He has a lot of doubts about the BOM. He won't accept the scriptural evidence..... I was even whipping out all my bible scripts.  We decided to share our testimonies and testify and the spirit was really powerful and I think there hearts have softened a bit. 

Sadly, that was my last lesson with my companion and he was transferred to Huanaco on Saturday. We waited for Elder Solorzano from Ecuador, he's my new companion. He's 18 yrs old, and a one year convert and has been out for 3 months. So I'm now the older comp....LOL. I guess I can teach and speak well enough to lead out. He's still learning his scriptures...but that's okay. I've been leading out the lessons and I'm so grateful that I can teach and speak well.....I feel like I know the stuff I need to know. We also changed rooms on Saturday and the new room is nice. We got a new pension also.....she's a much better cook.  We have Abraham, Ronald, Luis and Renzo set to be baptized on the 27th. Please remember them in your prayers.

Reflection of the week:  I'm an influence to investigator and members! We are working with Luis, an 18 year-old.....he is awesome and always wants to do visits with us. He told me he wants to serve a mission because he knows the church is true and he wants to do what I'm doing. We set a goal for him to be baptized and then leave on a mission next year. He told me he would love to get baptized and serve a mission. He's willing to do whatever is necessary because he wants the truth in his life. I love that kid and he would be a great missionary. Today the spirit testified to me that I was sent to La Oroya for Luis so that he can set a goal to serve a mission. Please pray for him. I love you all and miss you all to death!

Elder Moss


1. How do you get around by foot or by car? How do you get to and from Paccha?
     By foot and a combi (it's like a small bus) so I don't fit...Haha!
2. When does it get light and dark there?
     7 and then 6:30
3. Did you move to another apartment?
     Yes, we moved to a nicer place
4. Do you still have the same pension?
     No, we changed....thank goodness because she's a better cook
5. How often do you see the other missionaries in Marcavelle?
     A lot actually. We like to go there because it has stuff from the states that are sweet!
6. Do you have hot showers?
     No...we actually have to go to the other missionaries apartment to shower because we don't have one. They are suppose to be building us one.
7. What time are you usually back to your apartment at night?
      8:30 to read, sleep and play with the rubiks cubes that my investigator gave me
8. Do you have a scripture that you love that has helped you when things are hard?
      Not a scripture but a quote from Uchtdorf: "Exaltation is our goal, discipleship is our Journey".
9. What is the weather like? Still raining a lot?
       It rains here and there, not lots, but it's hot sometimes but usually cold because we are in the canyon.

Jake's new the iron bars on the windows.