Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Week 11 -- Mission Conference in Cusco

Wow, this week just flew by as usual, seems like all the weeks are just blurring together. I can't remember what happened when. But so glad it has been another week here in Sicuani. And this week was a little different from the others, because we went to Cusco on Tuesday, so the week just went by super fast.

Well, to start off, Tuesday, we went to Cusco to hear from Elder Evans. Elder Evans is the member of the Quorum of the Seventy that is in charge of ALL the missionaries in the church, so it was awesome to hear him speak. We had all zones of our mission come for this huge conference, and it was so cool to see some old CCM friends and few others that I had met over my short time in the mission. Elder Evans spoke on some great topics for missionaries and gave us all great advice. He spoke a lot about finding new people to teach, using the Book of Mormon effectively, and just some general advice on how to be a missionary and fulfill your purpose as one. So after, I was so filled with knowledge and just loved hearing from him.

Also while we were in Cusco, we got to go to the numerous shops there and eat at Chili's, which was amazing since I miss real American food. Cusco has parts that just reminded me of the US and it kinda was sad, but I really enjoyed the mall there and eating some great food. Then we had to return to Sicuani and start working again. But Elder Martinez had to stay because he had to go to Lima to get his Peruvian ID card. So I was stuck with some other Elders in my zone, but it was a great opportunity to see how other missionaries teach. Elder Martinez was gone until Friday, so it was a lot of time with other investigators. But by Friday and the weekend, we taught our investigators and had some numbers going for us. Our investigators are doing great, and we are trying to progress towards baptism each time more and more, but some are not getting the real reason we need to be baptized. One girl is almost there, but we are still working with her each week. So our numbers weren't that great this week, because Elder Martinez and I weren't teaching our investigators until Friday. But somehow our numbers were almost to our goals and we nearly hit all of our key indicators.

That is about it for this week, hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving this week and it is gonna be weird not having one here, but I'll be ok. Well, until next week....chao!

Sumaq pizza in Sicuani

Some members who were so proud of their cows, haha

Elders from the CCM at the mission conference

Elder Allen at Chili's

Just hanging out with some members who live wayyyy up on this huge hill

American food!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 10 -- Hermana Shoaf?

Wow!! This week has flown by and that is not an exaggeration! Probably the fastest week of my mission and there will probably be more to come also. Really not much has happened this week, still exciting here, but not too eventful.

First off, our numbers this week were not too bad, but we definitely can do better with lessons with members, and contacting way more. Our mission has a goal to contact 15 families and teach 5 of them by the end of the month. That is pretty difficult because usually the family dynamics are never a mother, father, and kids. But we need to teach families, because of how important the family unit is in the church. We definitely need to get moving on that more. Also our investigators are doing pretty well; we have gotten a few new ones this week, but we are trying to converse more with our older ones. We have a person who accepted a baptismal date on the first lesson and that was super exciting, hoping it all works out for her. Also, Jhon, our last baptism, received the priesthood this week and it was awesome! So glad he has stuck through the hard times to get to this point. And finally with the investigators, we have a family that will probably be fully active here soon and hopefully we will baptize their daughter and they will all be active in church again.. So excited to see the results.

Well, my studies have been pretty good too. My goal is to finish the Book of Mormon by the end of my training here in Sicuani in January. I am on track to do so and right now I am in Mosiah. So lots of cool stuff in studying the scriptures. Also I am trying to study the language by reading a lot, so the scriptures are in Spanish and I am reading the Liahona in Spanish also. Then working on the words I don't know. So my Spanish ability is growing, and lessons are becoming way easier because I know what to communicate to others. haha

And finally, something really weird and awesome occurred. I was in a member's home and she has a missionary nametag from the 1980s of an Hermana Shoaf!! I dont know who it is, but I am assuming I am related to her....?? The sister said that her name was Kimberly Shoaf, so do we have a relative named this?? Let me know! I thought that was amazing.

Well, not much else has happened. I get to go to Cusco tomorrow to hear from the Area Presidency and a member of the Seventy. The whole mission is coming for it, so it should be fun seeing all the missionaries and getting some pretty awesome training.

Well, that's about it, miss everyone like crazy, and cant wait to see what else is in store here! Crazy! Well, until next week!

Elder Martinez


The Macedo family with Jhon and his snazzy suit.

A Catholic church we saw when we went to the lake.

A dead bird on a van. I can't remember why I thought this was funny.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Week 9 -- It's getting real

Holy cow, another week down here in Sicuani!!

Not much happened again this week but it was still a pretty awesome week. To start off, things are getting real here, like being able to actually talk to people and actually hold conversations, it was so awesome! My Spanish is progressing a bunch with Elder Martinez, he is just so helpful with my Spanish and correcting it. I am able to actually talk and give lessons and it is so helpful. I think i can get to my goal of being fluent by Christmas.

Well also this week i was able to climb a super tall mountain and it was so awesome to see the view of Sicuani. The view is just so amazing, probably the highest altitude i have ever been at. I will send pictures after. Also today for Pday we went to a lake in Espinar, which is about 1 hour out. We had a super good time with the zone, doing a scavenger hunt, having a barbecue, and just hanging out. We got stuck at a construction spot for 3 HOURS. So that is why my email is way late. We should've gotten back around 3 but, it took forever.

Well our investigators are doing awesome and progressing fairly well. We are able to have lessons most hours of the day and meet our goals for the week. We are working on an investigator and we are hopefully able to baptize her this month. But she needs to receive a testimony and we need to teach more lessons to her also. Other than that, things are doing really well and we are having a blast with our investigators. Sometimes it is hard and it is really hard on my body too. I got burnt for the first time here, which is surprising, and it just kills because I am always in the sun. I know all this will strengthen me, and it will be hard as always, but i know that the Lord will provide with each day i am here in Peru. Miss everyone so much, and I hope that all is going well in the states. I miss it, but I am here and this is what I am supposed to do. Well, until next week!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 8 from Sicuani -- First Baptism!

Wow yet another week here in Sicuani!! I am just having a blast here though! But first to start we had a baptism this week!! It was so awesome! Jhon, who is 13 years old got baptized on Halloween and it was a wonderful time. To see him go into that convenant was so awesome. We also had the opportunity to confirm him a member of the church on Sunday too. So that was so cool to have a baptism the second week in the field. We are also hoping to have another girl get baptized this coming month so we are excited for her too. Well not much has happened besides just proselyting in town and to all of our investigators. They are all doing well, we are pretty booked most of the time between less actives and recent converts too. But i just love everyone here. They are so awesome! A funny story, we were teaching a young man about the Restoration and he fell asleep! Literally! So funny though, but we asked him about it and he had no idea what we taught him, so that was interesting. Also i got to try Alpaca meat! It was surprisingly good and we had it a few times since then. Kinda tough, but i like it. I have also found out i hate beets! Yuck! it is so gross. I am usually not picky but they are not great.

My money got in my card this week, and we don't really get much for a months worth, but it is enough. We pay our pensionista her stuff first and in the end i get 70 soles for personal stuff (25 dollars) and 50 soles for travel (17 dollars). It doesn't seem like much but things are much cheaper here and i can buy all my stuff for the month with this. Well my Spanish is coming along too, i am understanding more and more each day and i am learning more words each day too. But like i said not much has happened and i am just enjoying it here and cant wait to teach more and be fluent in no time. Well i miss all of you like crazy, this week i was getting a little home sick. But i am fine. Things are going fine, just miss the easiness of America sometimes. Well, that's that for this week, hope all of you are doing well and having a good time in the USA.