Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Week 81 - Semana Santa

Wow!! I still am baffled of how fast each week goes by here in the mission, I am kinda scared now of how much time is left. But this week was super fun and another testimony builder of why I am here and what is my divine purpose.

Well, this week we were in Semana Santa, or what the Catholics call this really sacred week leading up to Easter yesterday. So all week we were full gear on talking about the Atonement and sharing the new iniciative #Hallelujah. All about Christ, and it was great to help others to understand how Christ died for each of us and then resurrected too, and one day we can too. It made me think and reflect on the things that he has done for me and what I can learn each and every week still in the mission. I am so thankful for what our Savior has done for me and for each of God's children, and now we can be saved and live with our Father in Heaven again one day. Hopefully each and everyone of you guys had a wonderful Easter and enjoyed your moment in remembering Jesus Christ.

Our work this week was very productive, we have so many potentials coming out of nowhere. Lots of new investigators and less actives to visit thanks to the ward and the members. So we are happy to see progress. Richard is on track still to get baptized this Friday and we are so excited to see him be prepared by the Lord and receive a testimony of the church. We also had a great experience with a new investigator, who hasnt talked to the missionaries in 20 years. We got some of our pants hemmed the other week and he told us that he had an impression that he should talk to us and learn more about the Gospel, and I know that the Lord prepared him to listen to the Gospel again. Our lesson was a success and I know that he has some potential and thanks to the Lord for preparing him for us in that specific moment. The work is going great here in Huajsapata!! Loving it!!

Friday were interviews with President Harbertson and his wife, so they came to our rooms this time. Checking out if they are clean......dont worry, it was very clean. But I had a great talk with him, learning about how to improve and enjoy the mission even more. The sad thing is that, we will be getting a new mission president in June, so not much more time with amazing mission presidents. Now we have to make a memory page for them, but it was a nice time being with them and talking about things in the mission. 

And youll see some pictures from last Pday, when we went to some famous ruins around Puno, Sillustani. Basically just a place where they buried the dead in these giant towers of perfectly placed stones, so hopefully you guys enjoy them!! Great week, hope you all had a great week too and can enjoy this update from Elder Shoaf! Love you guys!!

All the pictures are from Sillustani. Really cool to visit, a very famous place around Puno.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Week 80 - Focusing on Easter

Well, this week was another good week here in Puno, enjoying the work and the things we can do as missionaries. This week was alright, finding a few new people to teach and to help. One of them was this 1/2 drunk guy that stopped us in the street to talk to us. He wasnt that drunk, but he wanted to give us kisses....so that was weird. Maybe he will listen a little more some other day, but we will see. And when we were leaving, he gave us a real kiss on the foreheads....probably one of the weirder and grosser things to have happened to me on the mission. haha 

This week in the ward, we had our Ward Conference for Huajsapata, and it was a pretty good turn out for the most part. Our attendance jumped, and we had a few investigators come too. Yessmeri finally came to church and she really liked it, just her mom always has her working in her family store and so she only stayed for Sacrament meeting. But she wants to stay, so now to just work on that. Richard was there too, not too much contact with him this week, more next week. The best part I think is when I saw Wagner, who got baptized the 12th, passed the Sacrament!! He is already doing so well and so engaged with all the YM,we are excited!! But the conference was a success with lots of training from the stake leaders and many great talks to help Barrio Huajsapata progress in these weeks and months!

Well, we have been getting updates through our emails about March Madness, so sad to not be able to see the games. Sounds like lots of upsets, but I heard that Indiana did well!! Thats awesome!! Next year Ill be able to worry about that stuff, just little things that I forget are happening while I am out here in the mission. Also, sad news... Urcos. My old area Urcos now is shut down, there arent Elders there now, it is now a family group and not a branch. So that is a little sad for me, but I hope to visit them if I ever go back to Cusco. Hoping the best for all those members now. But overall, a pretty fun and exciting week, now just getting ready for the Easter weekend!! The church is doing a special iniciative, #Hallelujah. It has a wonderful video and a wonderful message to help us focus on what our Savior Jesus Christ did for us. I hope all of you guys can focus on the true meaning of Easter this weekend and that we know that Christ lives!! Check out this great video and share it on ALL of your social medias to spread the Gospe and help others....Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others. Well, hope you all have a great week!! Love yall!!! See the video here........https://www.mormon.org/easter/hallelujah

Love Elder Shoaf

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 79 - Wagner Baptism

Pretty great week here!! Wagner got baptized on Saturday, and we are so happy for him and the decision he took to follow Christ more in his life. A lot of the ward came to support him, which is always great, and everything went smoothly. I think the best part was when shared his testimony after the actual ordinance, he gave such a touching experience of how he was scared before and then after he got out of the water, a sense of peace came over him. THAT is the power of the spirit and the conversion power of the Gospel! He is very happy, progressing super well, going to seminary, and becoming a strong help for the ward and for the young men. 

Richard is still taking his time to prepare a little more, we hope to set another date for 2 weeks from now. He is still going to church, so we are helping him to understand a little more about the  Gospel and he should be good. But also this week we have been seeing a lot of success. We have been contacting a lot more and just talking with everyone, this has helped us a lot to find new people to teach. Next week should be another great week, just continuing on working. 

The ward has been actively engaged in the missionary work with us lately and we love it! 2 young men have received their mission calls to serve as full time missionaries too, so we are going out with them and preparing them for the mission life too, but they are great. We also held a less active member search and invite for the ward conference next week, and that went really well. Finding a lot of new less actives that need our help and referrals for new investigators too. We are loving it!! The ward is excited to work and we are excited, so that makes a great combo to spread the wonderful message of the Gospel! Things are looking up here in Huajsapata!! So happy to see the work progress and truly feel the Lords spirit working within the people here. Well, have a great week everyone!! Love  yall!!

Elder Shoaf

 1. Being stupid witht the district.

 2. The District

 3-7. Wagner's baptism

8. Someone just gave us a whole cake to eat....haha

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Week 78

Well, this week was interesting and a good way to end the transfer too. But, it looks like Elder Stringham and I are going to stay together for another transfer here in Huajsapata. I love it here anyway, just another transfer to see what I can do for this ward and this area. I am not complaining at all, because we have been working hard with Richard and Wagner and they are ready for Saturday for their baptism. Wagner passed his interview the other day, but Richard needs to get his this week. They are really excited though for the baptism and we are so happy to see them get ready for their special day. So, we have that going on this week and we will be doing all we can to make sure all runs smoothly and we have a good week too. 

The rest of the work is going alright too, we have been trying so hard to find new investigators, a little hard at times, but we are talking to everyone. Its helping us a lot, we have found a few people, but I am feeling like that we will find a lot of news this week. In my district, the zone leaders had 20 new investigators, and that is a lot for our zone, so we know it is possible just needing to do it. Pretty good week, big week ahead with the baptisms and lives to change! haha

During the week also, Elder Stringham had to go to Cusco for an interview, so I was with the zone leaders for a day. Always nice to see how others work and they are seeing a lot of success in their area, so my comp and I are going to do our best to see that same success too. We have another 6 weeks to do it!! Well, I hope that you guys are doing well and that you all have a great week!!

Week 77

Well, this week was another alright week for the most part. A lot going on like usual here in Puno and part of the missionary work. We are so excited to see our investigators progressing and receive some great instruction in conferences this week too.

Our young investigator Wagner is doing great, always at church on time and reading the scriptures, praying too. He has found his answer and he is now preparing to be baptized March 12th. He is awesome and we are so excited for him to enter the covenant of baptism!! Also our other investigator Richard is also progressing super well, coming to church, and studying the scriptures too. He is also preparing for the 12th and we are so happy to see 2 people progressing well and ready to enter the waters of baptism.....so awesome!! We havent had many other people progressing, we are in the process of rotating into new references we have and trying to find the people that are ready to accept the Gospel! But overall the work is going well, we have had some good lessons and just hoping to continue and finishing off this transfer strong. 

This week we also had 2 conferences, 1 Multi zone conference with President Harbertson and Hermana Harbertson, and the other with our Zone leaders. Our multi zone was a spiritual experience when President talked to us about our divine potential and to take seriously the words of Elder Holland to enjoy every second of the mission. I need to take into practice that, hard at times to concentrate but it will be such a blessing to me in the future. He also made a little trunky talking about his "real world advice" haha. Always sucha  blessing to listen to our president and his wife and receiving such great council to better our lives as missionaries, always room to improve. 

Still working hard here in Puno Huajsapata with Elder Stringham, last week of the transfer and the training with my companion. Who knows what will happen next week.....but news to come next week if something does happens! Love ya guys!! Have a great week!!
 Picture of La Mision Peru Cusco.....ALL the missionaries!

Week 76

Wow!! This week was a pretty crazy week but with such an amazing experience. As you guys knew before hand, this Saturday our whole mission had a Missionwide Conference to hear from Elder Holland!! All 200 of us missionaries all had to travel to Cusco at night, because there arent enough places to sleep for all of these missionaries. So we had to leave Puno, Friday night at midnight and then get to Cusco around 7 am. Yeah, 7 hours in a bus isnt too fun and having to sleep on it too in a suit. But we got there and I was able to see every person in the mission and all of my friends....it was awesome getting to see my old companions and see how they are doing. Elder Webb, Elder Cacoango, Elder Palacios, and all the guys from my MTC group....pictures to come. The conference itself was very short, but sooo powerful. To be able to hear from one of the Lords Apostles, it was a special witness of Christ speaking to our mission in specific, and it being Elder Holland who speaks even more clearly than many others. He spoke about how we, as missionaries, have to take advantage of every second of the mission and not lose a second of it. That obedience is the first law of heaven but he first law of everything, and it really hit me. Sometimes I am not taking advantage of every moment, but now we have such a desire to continue on. And I want to change all the things to make my mission the most special thing that has happened in my life. But the conference was amazing! The spirit of an Apostle was a testimony builder that we have a prophet and apostles here on earth again and it is such a blessing. Well, it all ended and we had to head back to Puno from Cusco immediately to get back for church on Sunday, so another 7 hour bus ride all afternoon. Let me just tell you that it is very tiring to travel 14 hours in a 24 hour period......we are still tired from the trip! haha

But besides the big conference in Cusco, we had a pretty good week of work. Wagner and Richard came to church.....we are just hoping that they are able to get ready for March 5th for baptism. They are close, we just need to see if they are really ready and will be prepared. Next week, I know that we will have more investigators progressing and get some new ones too, just hard sometimes. But after hearing all the councils from Elder Holland, we are ready to get even more focused. But we are enjoying our time, just 2 more weeks of training at least with Elder Stringham, who knows what will happen during transfers. But, hopé all of you have a great week too and you all have success in all you do!! Love you guys!!

Elder Shoaf

 1-2. Middle of nowhere here in Puno.

 3-5. Awesome artesan things that a member does. I made a scripture case with Indiana stuff.....also this bag from my comp. If you guys want stuff like that just let me know and I can buy them for you guys. They also have cases for scriptures, bags, and shoulder bags too. Let me know.

 6. Eating pizza with Ruso and his family.

 7-19. Pictures from the conference with old comps and a lot of friends in the mission. 

20. Elder Stringham with panchuta, huge bread from Cusco