Monday, August 29, 2016

The Diaz Family Got Married!

What's up guys!? How's school going for everyone?  Not gonna lie....I miss it!  Once again it was an average week here in Mantaro.  It's clean up time with the investigators.  We are starting to drop some of them because they're not progressing.  Kory is one of the investigators that we are needing to drop. It's so sad because she had all the answers in the world and every indication that she should be baptized.  Honestly, Satan works really hard on these investigators.  Kory is also really stubborn.  No one can progress if they aren't willing to change.  She's struggling with accepting that what we are teaching her is true. She has doubts because of the things that she reads on the internet.  

P-day Elder Gonzales and I chilled in our room.  We made BBQ wings and might have had a nap or two.  Later that night we went and visited the Paruaga family....they're doing great and changing a lot! Tony and Andre, the sons, don't hang with their buddies that drink that's great.  The whole family is progressing and it's so awesome to see this gospel make changes in their lives.  We do need to get them to come to church.  The conflict is they don't want to miss their family breakfast that they have with everyone on Sundays.  Please pray for them so we can get them to come to church.  Sometimes it's a little sketchy bringing investigators to church.  We are always on the watch to make sure that members don't offend someone or say something unnecessary.

There are 18+ people that live in our apartment complex.  So there's not a lot of hot water for showers. So we decided to buy a tank of gas for our solar shower because we want hot water all the time. We hooked the tank up to the gas powered heater and it didn't work!!! The landlord and his wife came up to our apartment and flipped out and told us that we can shower with cold water because we're young guys!  The funny thing is they were the ones to tell us to buy it...HAHA!  We had to return it.  So every night we started to drain the hot water out of the tank so that no one had it. That way people will start to complain to the landlord.  

The Diaz family got married last Friday in the chapel! It was so great to see them make this commitment.  We need to put a date for baptism but we feel like they don't take being a member of the church really serious.  So we need to make sure.  

We had a really sweet spiritual lesson with Wilder & Yohana.  We talked about the Holy Ghost and marriage.  We explained that they have received answers and that the Holy Ghost is there guiding them.  It was so amazing to feel the spirit as they realized they do have answers.  Elder Gonzales shares his testimony about putting the Lord first and ALL will be okay.  Like it says in Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kindgom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." So we challenged them to pray about getting married and putting God first.  The spirit was there and I know they'll make the right decision.

Reflection of the week:  I know that putting the Lord first here in the mission has made me a happier person.  It has strengthened my testimony and made me realize what's important in our lives. If we put the Lord first ALL of the temporal things in life will be okay and we will be happier and more blessed. I love preaching this gospel and seeing lives changed! Even though it was a tough week and a bunch of people failed us and being kept awake by the concert outside I still love it here! #doitforjesus

Elder Moss, The Diaz Family & Elder Gonzales - Mantaro, Peru - August 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016

Mad Dogs & Serving The Lord

Hola family....How are you all?  This week was just an average one.  Monday we did get permission to leave our area and go downtown to buy some items that we needed.  And we were also able to do some things with our zone.  President Silva has made some changes that we all have to adjust to. He wants us to limit the time we spend with our zones and other missionaries on P-Day.  It's definitely something that we are not use to but I know that we need to be obedient to the rules.

We did get a surprise visit from our ZLs, Elder Turin & Molina,  to check on our room....LOL. Our room is usually clean so we were ready for them. They are some of my favorite ZLs, they're hilarious!

This week was a lot of failed appointments. Peruvians love to dodge us! So we realized early on this week that we'd be doing a lot of contacting and then probably having to make the hard call on dropping a few investigators. Sometimes you feel like you have a great week and you find people and teach people and then boom, the next week you have no one. But we did get to go visit Yampol and his mom...they are super prepared and awesome and we always feel the spirit when we are with them. His mom was able to make it to our appointment this Friday and she came and listened and in the beginning of our discussion she started crying. We found out that her boyfriend/husband (they are not married just like the other 98% of Peruvians) was mad because she was listening to us. She told us though that it is all worth it because she feels something different when she reads and attends church and is with the missionaries. She told us she knows this is something special. We testified to them of the truth and it was great. Yampol is excited to get baptized and have the priesthood. He's 19 and already has a bunch of friends at church. This honestly is probably why I am still here in Mantaro...because we have found some people that I really have connected with and the spirit is always there. We've fasted and prayed for them and they are progressing very well. 

Yampol and Sava made it to church along with the other 8 investigators that came! The area is doing great and growing. This week we will be doing lots of contacting and finding some new people to teach. The Villanera family is doing great and they are starting to see prayers answered! The Diaz family gets married on Friday so we will go to that. David (the guy who has been sick for a year) is realizing this is the true church and he's changing. I love talking to him because we always get into deep talks and I love it. 

The ward is supporting us more. There are lots of things the bishop needs to fix in the ward and we are trying to help him. One thing...everyone here asks the bishop for money so the bishop has to deal with that but yeah that is Huancayo. The people have Xbox and Smart TVs but they need money for important stuff. Kinda crazy but we do the best we can to love them. 

Reflection of the week:  I have been thinking about how its been tough for us trying to adjust to the mission president change. Before it was a little frustrating to me not leaving the area last transfer. But after this week I've seen the reason why (the people) and I've realized that he is a servant of God and what he says and changes is inspired. If we deny that then we are just denying the Lord, so for me it has been a lot of humbling and asking for help to accept the changes. I've gotten over not moving and I do love President Silva and I hope to get to know him better. He's doing his best and we need to be there to support him. 

So lastly, a couple of funny stories about dogs...first, not really funny but I got bit by a dog while I was trying to play with him. He bit me so I hit him back and he yelped! And then, on Sunday at church during sacrament meeting a dog got inside the chapel and started running around and the usher was chasing him trying to catch him! And if that wasn't enough then the power went out and so everyone was yelling over the pulpit...that is Peru! #doitforjesus


Elder Moss

Mantaro Sunset

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Ward is Changing...

Holy cow.....August is flying.....I can't believe it.  Weeks are feeling like days to me.  That's great but also scares me because I love being a missionary.  We had a good, solid week. President Silva had leadership council this last week with the ZL's.  In the meeting they talk about what's going on in the mission and they receive new council to pass along.  President is implementing a new rule that 4 out of the 6 P-Days, in a transfer period, you have to spend with your companion, 1 day can be with your zone and the other day can be spent with your district.  Another thing that is changing is our names of our areas.  So instead of the Mantaro zone, President wants us to come up with names from the BOM. I have a feeling that all the missionaries will still call there zones what they've been known by because everyone will know what they're talking about.

P-day's are not my favorite....I'd rather be busy.  We did get together and cook food and that's always fun to be with the other missionaries.  That night we did have a great lesson with the Parraga family. They have 4 kids and their oldest son, Tony, is a professional motocross rider.  They have such a nice house.  Seeing a nice house in Peru is jaw dropping.  We taught them lesson 1 and the kids were so interested and we had such a great time teaching them.

Tuesday we went contacting all morning.  We did get 2 new investigators out of it their names are   Tredi and Jonet.  We introduced ourselves and talked for awhile.  They are basketball coaches and they were asking me all about bball.  They are Catholic and have 2 kids. We also taught the Zenteno family the Plan of Salvation and they really understood it and enjoyed it.  Explaining about Adam and Eve is one of my favorite things because it's so surprising to everyone here.  The churches here do a good amount of polluting their minds.

Wednesday we taught a cool family that Sussy (our pension) gave us, the Nunez family. We taught Sara, the mom, Yampol, the 19 year old son, and Cindy, the daughter.  We were able to teach them all of lesson 1.  The way they paid attention and asked questions was the greatest thing to see and experience.  You could definitely feel the spirit and I know they felt it too.  Usually when you teach lesson 1 here it just doesn't sink in real deep. So we came back Friday and taught them again and we put a date for baptism for them for Sept 10th. They're excited and the person who is most excited is Yampol. He and his mom came to church Sunday and they enjoyed it. An RM in our ward who went to Brazil befriended Yampol and hung out with him all Sunday. So Yampol is excited!

Sunday we had 13 investigators come to church. That's just nuts! Wilder and Yohana came to church and they enjoyed it because they're making friends in the ward too. The Villanera and Diaz family came as well. The ward here is changing and classes and things have improved a lot. Attendance has gone up. I feel like this area is booming now with solid activity and we are on the verge of seeing these investigators come into the waters of baptism.

Funny story on we went to get copies of our progress report and I went to pay the old lady who was doing the copies for us. She starts saying, "I hope you guys accept Jesus in your lives" and then she continues, "Joseph Smith is in hell!" and then rambled on about how we are all going to hell and I need to read the bible, etc. Then, she says, "Joseph Smith is in hell with that guy that dances"...I had no idea what she meant so after a couple of attempts to figure her out I said "You mean Michael Jackson?" and she said "YES!" Oh man, I was dying laughing after! But we tried to talk to her and she just kept wanting us to repeat some prayer. You can't make this stuff up!

I heard that Luis (who was baptized when I was in La Oroya) is preparing to serve a mission. He's working on his mission paperwork!

Reflection of The Week:  
After we went to church on Sunday I realized what a blessing it has been to see this ward change and make good friends with the members. Seeing 13 investigators in church yesterday was amazing! Seeing the investigators make their own friends in the ward and seeing our ward love them is great. It might be a lot of time for me in this one area but I am enjoying it and every week we are finding new people to teach. I've enjoyed it here and feel somewhat at home! Love you all! Oh yeah, we made BBQ chicken pizza on Sunday with our pension and it tasted like HOOOOME! #doitforjesus

Monday, August 8, 2016

This Has Changed My Life

Family.....What's up? Well I stayed in Mantaro.....I thought I was going to go this last transfer because usually after you train someone it's a ticket out of your area.  I guess I was wrong on that one.  I've been with Elder Gonzales now for 3 changes.....I guess I still need to teach him something or I need to learn something from him...HAHA!  Not a lot happened this week.  We did start playing basketball in the mornings at 6 AM.  We play with Elder Bolanos, an American, and his companion.  The other day we were playing with two Peruvian kids who really knew how to was great!  I had to pull out some old moves......definitely not as great as I was before my mission.  Not having any strength and stamina is the worst feeling.  Missions do affect your fitness but strengthen your spirit!

This last week we had a chance to find 4 new investigators.  We had 7 investigators show up to church.  We also went and visited Wilder and Yohana.  We taught them from 1 Nephi 3.  We applied it to teaching them the importance of getting married and going to church. They do have a baptism set and are looking for ward to it. They were suppose to attend church on Sunday but they failed us. Please pray for them....they are such wonderful people!

I feel like having a ton of lessons doesn't mean anything.  What's important is the quality of the lesson and if the investigator is truly progressing.....that's what counts.  I've been concentrating on the Spirit and making sure the Spirit is there in our teaching. We don't have a ton of lessons but we have quality lessons each week. Nick remember that when you serve a mission! 

Saturday we visited the Villanera family.  They were showing us all the church music and videos they have downloaded.  They are fully invested.  One of the problems, besides the fact that they need to get married, is that Heli travels to Lima every Saturday and Sunday now to study for 3 months.  He says he'll attend the church there and his family will come to our ward in Mantaro.   After watching a video with them and discussing how Heavenly Father makes it possible for families to be together forever.  For some reason I had this feeling that I know that one day they will be sealed in the temple someday.  Just by knocking on their door, I have changed their lives and the Holy Ghost confirmed that to me while we were there.  It was just a moment where I wanted to cry. I cherish the Book of Mormon more than anything and my testimony. I enjoy this gospel so much. I just want to grow more in the gospel with my family...its the greatest thing in the world! 

I love my friends but I've realized that my family matters the most. I know that we will be together as a family forever. Being out here has made me miss you guys and value you more and more. I know that this has been the best 13 months so far in my life...I won't ever forget the Spirit talking to me and teaching me these things. I see the Book of Mormon change lives and it's unreal to see it all. It's the greatest experience out here. 

Reflection of the week:  These last couple days have been filled with a lot of thought and confirmation that everything I'm doing is true.  The Holy Ghost is the one who confirms this. I'm so grateful to be out here changing lives.  By small things the Lord creates even bigger things.  I have a growing testimony that this is the true gospel.  That where I am and what I'm doing is changing lives, most importantly changing mine, I love you all! Thank you for all your love and support!  #doitforjesus


Elder Moss

Elder Moss with Susy (his pension) and her family.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Best Week of My Mission So Far

The week flew by! Weeks are starting to become days and I can't believe we are in August. This was a good week.  You know that rule that I told you about last week that we couldn't go out of our area? Well last Monday on P-day we got it now we can do things within our zone.  We are all happy about that!  Monday we had a BBQ again on our roof with Elder Bautista and Daza.....that was so much fun! Suzy, our pension, always lends us her little grill.  Grills hooked up to gas don't exist here......neither do gas lines.  We use charcoal and wood for her grill.  After dinner we played ultimate frisbee.

Sad news...Kory didn't get baptized on Saturday.  We went and visited her on Monday and she has just decided to give up.  We were so excited about her getting baptized and she was too.  We don't want to rush her.  She thinks that Joseph Smith was a good man and she likes the BOM.  But she's always trying to make excuses. She was telling us that the first 2 most important commandments are to love God and your neighbor and that the other ones aren't important. We told her that if we love Jesus Christ we keep all of his commandments. She feels pressured by the commandments.  So we will keep working with her to try and help her.  She truly is a wonderful person who needs some guidance in her life.

Tuesday we had divisions with the ZL's.  I went with Elder Whittaker.  It was great to speak English and work with a gringo that has experience.  He goes home tomorrow...HAHA! Our mission is slowly losing the superstar Elders.

Wednesday we taught Wilder and Yohana.  While we were teaching them about baptism, the Holy Ghost and repentance they got so excited! They were telling us how they want to start a new life and raise a family in a home with the gospel.  The really do want to change their lives. They accepted a date to get baptized.  I realized how much I love to teach these people and see the happiness that the truth can bring.

Thursday we helped Sussy and her husband paint their garage they don't have a car.  Then we watched some of the locals set up for a huge party in front of our house.  They create random holidays so they have an excuse to listen to horrible music, dance and drink.  So I decided to get on the top of our apartment and preach like Samuel the Lamanite....LOL! Being a missionary doesn't get old. We didn't get to sleep until around 2 because of the noise.  

Friday we had a decent day.  Spent a lot of time planning.

Saturday we ended up teaching 6 lessons. The last lesson was with the Villanera Family. We taught them about the word of wisdom.  We also talked about baptism.  They want to get baptized but they need to get married! So they are working on that.  The dad is reading everything from Gospel Principles.  He loves it all and they love church.  As we kneeled down to pray, I felt the spirit strongly.  I know that they will get baptized and be an eternal family.  What a blessing it has been to teach them.

Reflection of the week:  As I was signing the Villanera's BOM's, I realized how much of an instrument I have been for our Heavenly Father. I'm bringing families unto Christ and also seeing such a change in myself as I learn to love these people. I may have not seen a baptism yet in this area but I know I've planted hundreds of seeds.  I hope to see the Villlanera family again one day.....they are the greatest!  This probably has been the best week of my mission.  I love you all! #doitforjesus

Samuel the Lamanite....I mean Elder Moss 

Elder Moss visiting Lorenzo - one of his favorite recent converts

Elder Moss with the Villanera Family

Elder Moss Hump Day ...... Burning of the shirt

Party in front of the Elder's apartment