Monday, February 25, 2013

Transfer...dun dun dun

Woo hoo! What an exciting day for me! Not only do I hear purely good news from home, but I´ve been transfered to another area! I received my call to serve in Villa El Salvador Central, which is a newly formed zone. It´s a split off from Villa El Salvador North since this area of Lima baptizes so many that the president saw the need to form a whole new zone! What an exciting opportunity to get to work! Our mission was not affected by the formation of 58 new missions but we are receiving about double the missionaries every transfer (about 48 last time) that it may be likely in the future for a mission split. The Lord´s work is just bustlin´ ya know.

I have to admit, I didn´t want to leave Mala. So many incredible things have changed there since I first arrived that it was hard for me to leave feeling like I hadn´t quite finished. I won´t be able to see the new church dedication either, but I´m super excited to see what Elder Luque and his new companion will accomplish over the next several months! ¨Mala la Buena¨ as we call it is certainly a chosen location, and soon enough will be a ward. I made a promise to the members there that I would return after the mish. It was hard saying goodbye especially to my converts there.

Last week, Lucio had a horrible sickness and nearly died last Thursday. He has a tumor in his brain, and for a day stopped taking some type of pills that the doctor prescribed. The medication was so strong that when he ran out of pills his body nearly shut down due to the dependence on the drug. Elder Luque and I visited as soon as week could and with tears running down my face I gave the blessing upon his head. According to the words which the Spirit directed me to say, we weren´t sure if he would live or not. But over the next few days he was able to recover, and with the help of Elder Price in looking up information on the drug he was taking, I told him it would be better to try something else (doterra anybody? haha no really!) but I can´t make any suggestions of what to take. Saturday night we did a family home evening with all six of their kids who all want to be baptized, but need to get married first. One son, Eric, who´s single, asked for a Book of Mormon so he could read it and is looking forward to being baptized in March. Lucio was able to recuperate at least to the point that he could sit up to take the Sacrament in his home last Sunday with his wife. I felt the Spirit so strongly as we sang a hymn and then blessed the bread and water for them both. It was a special experience and I pray that the Lord will let him live to be sealed to his wife in the temple next wear as I continue forward ¨missionarying it up¨ in Peru. I feel the Lord has great intentions for such a wonderful family in the future. I love them so much!

Goodbye Albertito. Goodbye Blanca. Bye Bye Joel. Later Derliz. See ya Family Villaroel. Take care Hipolito. God speed Laura Cristina. Love you Lucio and Mercedes. I love you all and thank you for the privilege of baptizing you all! Goodbye Mala! See ya soon!

and sooooooo............

What up Lima! It´s a different feeling here! Maybe a little crazier compared to Mala, but it´s a good kind of crazy that has lots of baptisms on the horizon. My new companion, Elder Apagueno, is another lucky match and I can tell we´re going to make a great team together! Everything here is positive! I´m so grateful for the mission that I have and for the obedience found throughout. In fact, my mission used to have a lot of problems several years ago, but the last two mission presidents have completely changed it around for the best, and the Lord is blessing us for their efforts.

Well with all this talk of the last days, I love to think of the moment we will all have with Christ when he comes to feel the marks in his hands and shed tears on his feet just like the Nefites did. ¨Levantaos y venid a mi, para que metais vuestras manos en mi costado, y para que tambien palpeis las marcas de los clavos en mis manos y en mis pies, a fin de que sepais que soy el Dios de Israel, y el Dios de toda la tierra, y que he sido muerto por los pecados del mundo.¨- 3 Nephi 11:14. Let´s live for and look forward to that very moment with all those we love.

I certainly love you all and see ya´ll next time!

Elder Lundberg

When love is in the air...

Ahhhhh, this past week has been exciting, hilarious, tough, amorous, and spiritual all at the same time. Haha for some reason the word "amorous" makes me laugh so hard. Well anyway, to make things short we've had a marriage, a birthday, a carnaval, a baptism, and many crazy things this past week. Woof. Probably won't have time to tell it all but here we go....

Last Thursday evening at about 5 o' clock we hopped into the second counselor's van with our nifty little suits and matching blue ties with one purpose: MARRIAGE. Ha. The fantastic little groom, Lucio, was waiting for us as we pulled up in front of his house and helped him finish getting dressed. After picking him up and several of his family members we headed over to the beach about 20 minutes away where the mass marriage ceremony was held. After waiting for a good hour, the bride, Mercedes, showed up in a different car with her veil and white dress right as the sunset hit the ocean water. I couldn't believe how miraculous these people are because after thirty years of just living together, you could see the love in their eyes that they had for each other as Lucio walked up to his bride, and how nervous they both felt for such a big moment in their lives and in the lives of their family. After the ceremony, and the words "you are all officially married" we high tailied it out of there to the chapel, where the members in the branch put together a big surprise with cake, dinner, and dancing. As missionaries, we got to listen from the third floor as we tried to sleep through the loud music and dancing until about 12 am. Ha. But we were so happy and so satisfied with the results of our day.On Saturday we held their baptism. Interestingly, nobody showed up because a bunch of people got sick from the food at the marriage ceremony, except the missionaries, the branch president and his wife, and the baptismal candidates! Haha. But the Spirit was so strong, and I know that Mercedes and Lucio will be a permanent and faithful addition to the Mala Branch of Peru. I feel so blessed to be their missionary because in one year, I can be part of their sealing in the Lima temple!

Friday night was absolutely crazy. We had our Noche Misional out in the Plaza in front of the chapel and it was absolutely insane with attendance, food, and about a thousand water balloons! The members are really becoming excited and with our recent effort in the Branch Mission Plan, our Branch missionaries are really helping us out in the activties. Lets just say I got soaked and covered in flour while wearing my white shirt and tie by the end of the night. Oh. And one kid vomited on Elder Luque after winning the mango eating contest.

Anyway, sorry the letter is a little short this week but This next Saturday is the baptism of Delicia, Laura, and Keysi! It will definitley be a special day. The mission work, at times, is hard to keep up with. Ahh! I love it. It's definitely how it should be!

Love you!

Elder Lundberg

Monday, February 4, 2013

Deni Jacobs receives mission call!

Deni Jacobs, Davis' cousin, received her mission call to Independence, Missouri as a visitor center missionary.  The whole family is so excited to have another missionary out changing people's lives.  She will enter the MTC on June 26th.

Go Deni!

Mala Es Un Milagro! (Mala Is A Miracle)

I can barely contain how happy I am to be in Mala. This is a chosen location for the Lord, and I can certainly see his hand in the middle of everything good happening here. This past week it got to the point where I literally couldn't stop smiling in church yesterday. Here's why:

Well, it all started last Monday when we had transfers. Elder Tohara left for Lima, and Elder Luque took his spot when he arrived with two huge red white pokadot suitcases and a big grin on his face. I had seen him before at a couple of Multi Zone conferences during December because on both occasions he conducted the hymns. And wow! What an incredible week it has been since we became companions! I learned that although he was born in Ecuador, he grew up in Barcelona, Spain in a family of strong faithful members. So he's got that crazy animated Spaniard personality combined with a strong testimony and passionate conviction of the Gospel. Ha! What an inspired choice by the mission president to send him to me! In the end, I feel as if our companionship is unstoppable.

This past week we've found lots of new investigators to teach, because we both like to walk fast and just get things done. We've decided that the best way to work with the members here in Mala is to work with Partial Member families, to complete parents and children in the gospel. So here we go, try to stay with me! On Monday we found Laura Cristina, who's ten years old, and her parents are less active. Right now her father wants to return to the church, repent, and become worthy to receive the prieshood so he can baptize his daughter on the 23rd. Just down the block from Cristina we found Jordan, who's 20 and is a cousin of another partially less active family. Right now he's praying to know whether or not he should be baptized on the 23rd, but I know the Lord will answer his pray of great faith. On Tuesday, we came accross Rosa Angelica, who is 17 and whose sister is a member, and she has a baptismal date on the 23rd as well. Earlier that morning, we were just walking to see if we could find an old investigator when we passed by a house with two younger men in front. At first I didn't really notice but I felt a strong urge to look back and observe them. Suddenly, I realized that one of them was Alberto, a guy that we came across but didn't think much about a couple weeks earlier. I thought that we should go back and greet him. It turned out that the other man, Jorge, is actually a returned missionary who fell away from the church due to bad influences from peers, but who now wants to repent and return to the church. We taught a lesson to Alberto on baptism, invited him to be baptized and he said he wasn't sure. Right then and there we challenged him to pray about it, so we kneeled down. After he offered a beautiful prayer, we just listened to the silence and waited for his response. After explaining what he felt, he said "Yes, I want to be baptized", and so he's preparing himself for the 23rd too! We also found Keysi, whose mom is inactive, but she's nine, and has such a pure heart and desire to learn about Jesus Christ, that she also has her baptism on the 23rd. On Wednesday, we taught an older couple, Lucio and Mercedes, and Elder Luque and I really pumped them up for setting a marriage date for Valentines day and they want to be baptized on the 23rd as well! As you can see, the 23rd is going to be an absolutely fantastically spiritual day! With so many, we're actually thinking of doing something special by holding the baptism at the beach during the sunset. I can't wait to send pictures! Delicia is getting baptized this saturday, and Juan Diaz on the 16th.

I can hardly believe and keep track of all that's happening! But I absolutely know that the Lord is blessing these people and us as his servants, according to his will and our prayers of faith. Last Sunday, we had record church attendance of 128, and I know that soon Mala with become a ward, and later a stake. I know that this gospel is true. The church is true because after feeling, seeing, and hearing the things I've experienced as a missionary, how could this all not be true?! I love this work. I love the Lord. And I love Mala. After a powerful testimony sacrament meeting yesterday, many members came up to me and asked, "why were were smiling so much during the meeting?" I just told them, "the church is true!"

Love you all! And have a splendidly fantastic week!

Elder Lundberg