Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 29

Another week down, and now we are in week 6 of the transfer!! It has flown by with Elder Quispe and I this change in Urcos. The time is not even a thing anymore, just days and more days but then all of a sudden, we have a complete week and it is PDay again!

This week we had the oppurtunity to have Interviews from President Harbertson and they went well. As always with the interview days, we receive a lot of training and information from our leaders. The assistants, zone leaders, and Hermana Harberston. But I was able to talk to President and receive some great counsel from him about how I can improve in my difficult area and to just keep working hard with Elder Quispe. But from what I remember is that we need to really apply the Doctrine of Christ in our daily lives to really see results, to pray for the Spirit each day, and to repent of the things wrong EACH day. We received some great counsel too about contacting families, and asking for references in each contact we have with anyone. But it was a great day to talk and receive some great counsel from our leaders. We also started an iniciative in the church with a video and cards, it is called "Gracias A Que El Vive" or in English it is "Because He Lives". It is a wonderful video and program that is all about the resurrected Christ and thanks to Him we have everything. So it is a great tool we now have to contact people and everyone can know the importance of Jesus Christ in this time of Easter.

Finally, I have been trying to better myself in all aspects of being a missionary this week. Elder Quispe has been giving me some excellent advice about how to improve, so this week, I have been really nailing down the lessons. Because I didnt know them down really really well, so I have improved in my teaching skills, and how to listen. With speaking in Spanish, I still dont understand EVERYTHING, but I need to really focus and try. The faults I have are trying to improve everything and really help the area we are in now out a lot. It is hard, but I know that through the help of the Lord we can do all things. Oh, and Happy Late Birthday MOM!!! Didnt have the chance to until today, hope it went well!! Well love all of you guys and hope all is well!! Until next week.....

Popeye's to celebrate Elder Quispe's birthday

Tres leches cake that we made

Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 28

Well I just typed all my email and the internet didn't save my whole I have to type all over again.....frustrating. Well, not much happened this week with the work here in Urcos. Just continuing to work in this great work here and try to help the area as much as we can. Well, our attendance this week just randomly spiked it doubled almost. We usually have like 25, like last week we had 24, and this week it jumped up to 42. So definitely a good thing, it was just like each less active and investigators came this week. But we are hoping to see this number stay the same in the weeks to come. We will not be very happy if it drops again down to 20 or so. That is really low for our branch, there used to be like 50 or more each week, so we are trying to raise it up again.

Also with investigators, Lucero, she finally attended church!!!! Granted it was only the first hour and she didn't stay, so we are looking to see if she can attend each week and stay all 3 hours of church. Also we hope to set a baptismal date this week and see her progress even more. She is basically the only investigator we have that could progress or even do anything, but are trying our best to get more. She is reading and praying too, which are essential to have success in the church and progress toward the truth. Also we started Temple Prep classes, to help prepare the members to attend the temple in July. That is the goal....and we are the teachers because we are the ONLY ones in the whole branch to have attended the temple. So Yeah, Elder Quispe and I are just continuing to work here in Urcos.....even though there isn't much to do here, we are continuing each day to work in this great work of the Lord. Well not much else happened, pretty boring week overall, but we got to keep working here and help the members our as much as we can. Well love you guys, talk to you guys next week.

Got to see my "daddy" (trainer) again in Cusco this week

We found this really tiny door. What would anyone use this for?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Week 27

Wow.....can't believe it is another week down here in Peru....half way through the change too, so three more weeks left to see what we can get done. But it was an interesting week with work and doing some cool new things. We are trying our best to get things done and help the branch out here but it is hard. The members are not attending and the branch just needs something. We are trying our hardest to help them out and do things to strengthen the area.

But something happened that was very interesting.....Elder Quispe and I almost crashed in a bus. So we were going along and everything was fine but 2 trucks were coming our way trying to pass each other, so our bus driver had to swerve off the road to avoid crashing. So the bus wheels went off the edge and we nearly needless to say it was very scary. But all is fine, we are fine and no one was hurt, just a little freaky. Also this week we went to go pick some corn for a baby shower in the middle of the mountains and it was really fun. The corn here it alll sweet corn, but it is HUGE! Literally like twice as big as the ones in the states. So yeah....and we eat it a lot here. The baby shower was for a member, and we were there for a bit to congratulate her, but yeah missionaries at a baby shower is a little weird, so we left.....after snagging some food. haha Good time to hang out and visit with some of the members to congratulate on a special occasion. Also Elder Quispe and I are continuing our Missionary Nights to help unify the branch again and bring people back. We had like 14 people there, so not a bad show up, but we need more support from the members and the help to strengthen the area more. As always we have the message and some games and finish with the refreshments, just hoping for the better next week.

Well that is about it, we had our zone conference today, so meeting a lot of new missionaries in our area and hanging out with a few older ones. Well, all is well, just hoping the best for Elder Quispe and I and working here in Urcos. Thanks for the updates you guys!! Until next week!

Getting choclo, or corn, from the field.

So I was in our district leader's house, upstairs, and this was on the wall at night...not sure what happened?

The train station in Urcos

Elder Quispe taking selfies

Elder Quispe painted himself with shoe polish for some reason.

You can eat the inside of the stalk. It's very sweet.

Our tiny chapel.


Yheremy, our pensionista's son.

Week 26 -- SIX MONTHS!

6 MONTHS!!!  Wow the time has flown and it has already been 1/4 of my mission!! Times here is just nothing and the days just blur together!. Yet another week here in Urcos, but it is going well with everything. Elder Quispe and I are doing well and having a really good time working together. He is hilarious and we can't wait to see what is next here in the sector. Well this week was filled with random things to talk about, not too much progress with the investigators but we are hoping to see some of them progress in the week to come.

Well last week we had a chance to listen to another member of the Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Uceda. He is the Area President for the South America Northwest area, and so he is in charge of all the members of the countries of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and also Bolivia. So it was awesome to listen to him talk to all the leaders of the area and the missionaries, a big emphasis on temples and going to the temple and having a recommend to go too. Also on the importance of having a ward council and utilizing the missionaries to complete the work in each area of the church. Overall it was great to hear him speak and listen to some great instructions. Also this week, Elder Quispe and I started a Missionary Night to try and motivate the branch to do some more stuff, and it wasn't that bad for the first time trying, but we want to see it improve. Not many people came but we are hoping for it to improve to help the branch here out as much as we can. Also in church, I gave my first talk in Spanish in the sacrament meeting, so that was interesting. Since our branch is so small it is hard to have people for talks all the time, so we as missionaries just have to give a 15 minute talk whenever. So I just talked about prayer and it went well, not any practice before hand, but that is what happens I guess at times.

And the most interesting part is that I got sick the first time in all my mission, and it was horrible. I am pretty sure that I ate a pear that wasn't washed very well, because everything else was fine. So I didn't sleep very well all night and did not keep things in my stomach well.....if you know what I mean. Yeah, it is not fun, especially when you have to keep working while feeling like crap. Well, that is about it for today, not much else happened this week. Just continuing in the work here and hoping the best in the week to come!

A grenadilla. It's a fruit that looks like guts in the middle, but is super delicious. We eat them all the time.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 25 -- First week in Urcos

Hey is good here in the mission and getting interesting with another area now. Still not used to the area and all the stuff but it is super awesome in Urcos. This area is wayyyy different from Sicuani with the members, the church, and the area too. Well basically my area is HUGE....we have to travel a lot to a bunch of pueblos around us so we travel a lot. We probably have a dozen pueblos to visit each week or we will see how I enjoy that haha. Also our church isn't a chapel....we rent out the first and third floor of a building and have our services there...and there aren't many people that attend in our area. We probably have like 30 attendance each way different than Sicuani...but it is fun. Since there is no one really at church that much, the missionaries have to do a lot of give talks, bless and pass the sacrament, and just do most classes too.

Also with being in Urcos, our district of other missionaries is in Cusco, so we travel every week for our district meetings and use a lot of transport money for it too. Yet only an hour away, it isn't fun always traveling and sleeping in another room most nights of the week. We stay the night in Lucre....a tiny town where our branch president lives every Thursday too. So not much fun sometimes. But the area is so cool, the plaza is full of people to contact, the members we have are super cool, but it is just different to be in such a small church area. We have some work to do, not much of it here, but we are trying to keep this area growing and keeping it open, because we have no idea what will happen with the branch, we are working hard.

And finally, Elder Quispe is soooo awesome. He speaks fluent English but he is helping me with Spanish like soo much. We have had so much fun in the past week already and we are so excited to see what we can accomplish this change. Hopefully everything goes well and we get some progress here in Urcos!! Well that is it, talk to you guys next week!!

Hermana Rina and Shiomara -- not happy with me leaving.

Our investigator Erik.

The Peña family

My mamay or pensionista

Elder Allen

Elder Mann

Elder Stradling

Elder Quispe

A huge party thing where they cut down a tree with gifts in it and is interesting.