Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wonderful Peru

Hey family!
Well, it´s been another good week for me!
I think the most interesting and stressful part was just getting those darn marriage papers turned in for Jose Luis and Marilu. Can someone rich up there just pay for these people two take a two-way trip to Las Vegas, gettem´ all married n´ stuff, and fly back? I think it would be so much easier than working with the Peruvian government.........sigh. But hey, why complain? We only had to postpone the marriage two more weeks so the municipality ¨has enough time¨ to transmit the documents. Hmmmm.....that sounds like a lot of coffee breaks to me.....(maybe Word of Wisdom pamphlets could help???). Anyway, the good thing is that despite family feuds and blood tests, the whole thing has worked out and now Marilu and Jose Luis just have to wait until the 26th to have a little fiesta and on the 27th a nice baptismal service. I love missionary work combined with marriage counseling!!!! There´s no greater satisfaction.
We had a wonderful baptismal service last Saturday for Rosario and her daughter Vanessa. The water was kinda cold, and all three of us were hit hard with colds, coughs, and runny noses but we still braved it out! The Spirit was strong during the service, and Charo said it felt like she´s been given a fresh perspective on how the Lord has blessed her despite life´s difficulties. The next day at church the bishop presented them both after they were confirmed in sacrament meeting by the elders quorum presidency.
We´ve been teaching a couple newer investigators named Gladis and David. Gladis has been double widowed since she was nineteen and has six kids (what? at what age did she start having kids? I have an urge to ask her.....). David,who´s the youngest and is thirteen, has had a troubled past leaving the house to walk the streets with his friends. I´m not sure if he´s robbed or not, but it´s good that he´s listening to us! He´s come to church with us twice, and is a bit quiet. It seems like he just hates everything, just with the way he looks at you, but he seems to like it becuase he never fails a lesson, comes to church early in the morning, and accepted the baptismal invitation. We had a powerful lesson on the Restoration last Tuesday, and his mom let us know about a dream she had where she found the true church. Ummmm......seriously, these Peruvians have such profound dreams! Anyway, she has been searching churches all her life, and we promised her that if she comes to church with us that she will feel like her search is over. We´ve really been pushing the Book of Mormon lately, and she loves to read it and learn about the teachings of Nephi. Anyway, tonight we have plans to set a baptismal date for August third. Cross your fingers, and let the Spirit do the work!
This Saturday we have Lucia and Patrick set to go. Lucia is a super awesome lady with real determination to stay faithful to the Lord and fulfill her commitments. She has two troubled sons who we´re trying, little by little, to work with. But she has faith and prays every single day that the Lord with touch their hearts. Patrick is excited and ready. He´s a smart kid, and he´s the third in his family to get baptized. His dad is a bit of a violent case, but his older brothers help us out so he can continue forward!
Anyway, it´s been a great week! I´m so grateful to be in Floresta and to have the privilege of working in the Lord´s vineyard. It´s a joy to see the seeds of our labor take root, and bring forth fruit for the Lord´s kingdom. I love you all and wish you another happy week all the way from Peru!
Elder Lundberg

It`s cold out there!

Happy Monday everybody, mostly family. It sounds like you`ve all had another fantastic week as usual. That`s great because I have too! Things as usual continue to roll forward. A`s so hard to write in English and think Spanish at the same time! haha

We`ll, just thought I`d let you know that on this side of the world it`s actually been pretty chilly lately. Lots of fog and wind to just whip all that fog up into your sleeves and make you icy cold. The temperatures are nowhere near Utah winter temperatures, but it feels colder due to the humid climate. But hey, I`ll just have to buy a heavy duty sweater to accompany my coat.

Anyway, the Miranda family, unfortunately, did not get married last Thursday. We almost had the solution, but we didn`t make it. The good news is that they will be getting married this Thursday, and we`re planning a small party in the Alarcon family`s home. This Saturday we have the newly weds along with Charo and her daughter Vanessa lined up to be baptized. So that should be a great experience! Creo que todos me van a escoger para bautizarles solo por ser gringo. Elder Borda esta celoso haha. Go ahead. Translate that for the kids.

Anyway, the other four with baptismal dates are Lucia, Patrick, Alicia and Sonia. Lucia is a lot like Regina and has great desires to continue faithful in the church. She has two sons that are older and one has been to jail at only 20 years old, but lately he`s taken interest in coming to church and participating with the YSA group in sports and fiestas. It will be exciting to be at her baptism and see all her non-member family and friends join us. She let us know that she`s already invited like eight people, wondering if that was too much. haha. Oh Lucia.........

Patrick is an eleven year old kid whose older brother is an active future missionary named Yan.  That kid is darn intelligent! It seems like the kids just understand so easily the gospel while it takes hammers and nails for adults to understand sometimes. Haha but that`s what makes Primary so grand. He and Lucia are set for the 20th of this month.

Alicia is a young adult who has a background in Evangelical churches. She`s super great but doesn`t like to express her feelings too much becuase she cries really easily. We ask her how this and that went and she always says "fine." And then we have to ask more questions to get the details. It`s like when moms ask the kids how school went and they just say, "Good" but refuse to say anything else. Haha. But she let us know that after praying to know the Book of Mormon was true she had a vivid dream that she was in the baptismal font being baptized. Problem solved. Her baptism is for the 27th of July.

Sonia is from the Sierra and her whole family has the whole Catholic deal going on. However, she has taken a recent interest in coming to know Christ more. Whenever she reads the Book of Mormon with us and we ask questions, she always gives such golden answers. Sort of the opposite of Alicia. She`s headed for the 10th of August.

Anyway, it`s been a great week for us. The bishop is really picking things up. I feel really grateful becuase our ward mission leader is the hardest working one in the whole stake. I just feel happy to do the work of the Lord each day as a I wake up and pray to have the Spirit with me each day.It`s a daily routine, but it`s one of the most satsifying, and never gets old!

I love this gospel, and testify that this is the work of the Lord. I testify of the power of testimony. I was reading a scripture in D and C 62:3 which reads, "Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you." I love that scripture. It really bore to my heart the power in pure testimony not only said on earth, but recorded in heaven for all the angels to see. I testify that this is the only true church of Jesus Christ that holds the priesthood power to perform sacred saving ordinances. I know that I have been sent by the Lord to represent his Son. I am His missionary!

Elder Lundberg

There`s nothin` like home.

*Highlights* of my week:

1. We had three days straights where the sun came out and I could prance around without a goofy sweater on.
2. 11 investigators came to church last Sunday.
3. We found 6 new people to teach and they`re GOLDEN.
4. We got stopped by a drunkman one night after grabbing dinner from a member`s home. He began speaking English to me and I told him I was from France just to make him more confused. After he babbled a few words I let him know that we were in a hurry to get home. He then proceeded to give me a hug telling me that he needed Jesus and all o` the sudden I get this huge wet alcohol smelling KISS on my neck! I`ve never run so fast in my life....
5. I was reminded of the time when it was my last day in Mala and a naked drunkman/former investigator hugged me as well......
6. We have 6 baptismal dates for July!
7. I didn`t get transfered! So I`m STAYIN` home in Floresta folks!
8. I definitely have E-coli in my water every stinkin`day! So be grateful. Life`s just a hassle sometimes!
9. Who knew that playing mass hot potato was so fun?

So to say I had an excellent week would be an understatement. I was praying so hard not to leave Floresta an I promised I would work harder than ever before for the next six weeks that God has given me. I just didn`t feel like it was time to leave yet, and whatya know, wishes do come true. Things are just getting better every day as usual! 

I was super excited because Bishop De La Cruz here is excellent. Although sometimes he has the tendency to talk a lot about his mission, he really just gets the "whole idea," if you know what I mean. This last Sunday we had attendance spike up to about 160 after the month of May had an all-time low of 110. In sacrament meeting the Bishop gave a rallying talk to get the ward more motivated, and later that day we had a celestial count of 11 investigators in church. The last world training was such a booster to the misisonary work. FINALLY, the members and leaders are having an even greater realization that they are so important in missionary work.

Our ward mission leader, Hermano Roberto, helped us plan a Noche Misional last Friday. As usual, it some how came together with a lot of procrastination and waiting until the last minute to cook food, put up the decorations, and wait for the "Peruvian hour" to kick in as the crowd came about an hour and 15 minutes late. With one of the members who lives below our apartment, Jhonatan helped us create a list of "get to know you" questions for the activity so that all would participate in the fun. We had Hermana Franchesca with the games, but when it all came down to it, she hadn`t planned a thing! Hermano Rober brought the tables but forgot to put together the program. So the Spirit just kicked right in as I just played piano for the opeing hymn, signaled a brother to say the opening prayer WHILE playing piano (now THAT`S talent), picked up the microphone, welcomed everybody, plugged in my USB to play some good ol` MOTAB during the activity, and with my list of pre-cut questions that Herman Regina put together for me earlier, we played a mass game of "Hot Potato". I mean seriously people, I didn`t know what I was getting into when my voice turned into narrator for the whole game as well. We broke up into groups who each had their object as the hot potato, each person had several slips of paper with questions on them, and I began yelling into the mic "La papa se quema la papa se quema la papa se quema la papa se quema la papa se quema la papa se quema la papaaaaaaaaa se quema se quema la papa la papa la papa la papa se quema la papa la papa se QUEMÃ’!!!" And the whole salon just broke into laughter as the hot potatoes burned up. Whoever had the hot potato land on them had to ask a question like "Have you ever sung in the shower? If yes, then what did you sing?" or "If you could be called on a mission, where would you like to serve?" It literally never got old as the hot potato burned up each round and every laught so hard. At the end we had some balloons that for whatever reason we thought it would be a good idea to fill with white flour. So we popped them over the heads of those who had to ask the most questions as punishment or otherwise they had to do the famous Peruvian "Duck Dance" in front of everybody hahaha. Anyway, it was fun, and we had a great crowd attend. I was exhausted by the end of it all as well.

The Miranda family is doing great but Marilu`sbirth certificate has proven difficult to find and we`ve had to postpone their baptism over and over again. The hard thing is that tomorrow is the dealine for the mass marriage this Saturday but you know, we tried. There is a sister who works in the local government who might be able to pull some strings and get the whole thing rollin´for there little marriage party and baptism this Saturday. But I guess we`ll see!

Anyway, I love just being so busy in the work of the Lord. I am so blessed and know this is the true church of God on the earth. Last week Elder Christofferson visited Peru for the celebration of the 100th stake in Peru. I wasn`t invited to go but his words were something like, "These are the last days. but the end does not depend on the world becoming more wicked, it depends on us preparing the world for the Second Coming of the Savior." Wow. What a privilege to be a missionary at this time.

I love you all so much! 

Elder Lundberg

Marriage Counseling Please

Well, it`s been an interesting week I guess you could say. I guess I`ll just start off by saying.........."Happy Fathers Day!!!!" I spent my day seeing all the fathers here outside playing with their kids on bicycles, laughing gleefully, and holding hands bottles haha. And forget the kids on bicylces cause their weren`t any........just a bunch of loud music, drunk laughter and hangovers this morning........... Yup. Happy Fathers Day Peru. Hope it went a little better up in the alps of good ol` Utah. Holidays here are always the same......Christmas, Labor Day, and just about any weekend here just involves a lot of drinking and dancing. But hey. Nothin` like the big bad world. Anyway, thanks Dad for never even trying a drop of beer in your life. You really are the best of em` all!
It was nice however last Friday because we got to go to the temple as a zone again! As usual, I ended up spending another good bit o`cash on gifts for converts, ties to send home, and such. Elder Borda and I woke up at about 5 am to take a taxi with our district leader and his companion. We ended up being like an hour and a half early, so we went inside the visitors center to sit in the comfy chairs and doze a bit before all the others showed up. The session was incredible as usual, and I just sat in the sealing room with Elder Borda for like a half hour just thinking about the investigators, my mission, you guys, and how grateful I am to be serving in Peru. It was a nice time to just sit and half a moment of peace. Nothing like the temple to renovate the good ol` mission vibe.
This last Wednesday we had a surprise Multi Zone Conference with President Douglas and the assistants. Oh hey, I think I forgot to mention that one of the assistants is Elder Whiteley from Lindon. He was super good friends with Spencer Harris and played basketball a bunch in our chapel gym. Kinda cool. We never met each other before, but ya know, small world experiences. We had a long conversation about amonth ago in the mission office and he`s an excellent missionary! Anyway, President Douglas came in a little heated to burn us on obedience. Our mission is already pretty darn obedient, which is great, but whenever the elders do something a little out of line, President Douglas literally has zero, I mean about negative two thousand tolerance for disobedience, and we all get chewed out. I haven`t done anything wrong personally, but he about burned our eyebrows off haha. He also talked about how it is now time to "Catch the Wave" and make a big jump in the mission work as the number of missionaries in August will climb to 90,000 throughout the world. The mission will climb from about 220 to 270, and their will be a lot of younger missionaries throughout not only the mission and in the entire world. Kinda exciting. I was pumped up to get to work, and when Elder Borda and I got back to our apartment, I decided it would be good to set some new goals as a companionship in our area according to what we had learned earlier that day. 
I also had some sort of sad news from my old companion Elder Luque. Apparently our dear convert Lucio from Mala has passed away. I wasn`t surprised to here the news however. I remember so clearly the blessing that I gave him, and had the impression that he wouldn`t live for too much longer. During the two months after I Ieft Mala he faithfully attended church every Sunday with his wife despite terrible health and trouble walking, and excitedly received the Aaronic priesthood in May after expressing his desire to serve his family and the church as a priesthood holder. One week later, he passed away quietly in his home at age 49 from brain cancer. I didn`t hear much more, neither did I shed a tear because I know he will serve faithfully in the Spirit World. I am SO grateful and privileged for the experience I had as his missionary.
I also had an interesting experience with the Miranda family last Thursday. We arrived at about 8 pm, about thirty minutes late for the appointment, but we walked in on Jose Luis sweeping up glass from the floor. The kids let us know that the mirror had fallen from the wall after a glass cup had landed on it. Then I knew.....there was a fight. We sat down at their table as he finished cleaning up the accident, and I asked her how she was doing. She just said, "fine". Then I asked her again, "Hermana, segura? Esta bien o mas o menos?" She then just started to cry and let us know that she was NOT ok. She had just had an argument with her soon to be spouse and it had ended in them not wanting to get married, and that the baptism would be canceled. A full blown argument started right in front of us, and there was a spirit of contention. After about a half hour of listening to both sides my marriage counselor kicked in. I stopped them, and told their kids to come to the table. We said a prayer as a family to calm down and bring the Spirit to the room, and I told their oldest son Alexis to take all the kids outside to play. I then thought of 3 Nefi 11, when the voice of God begins to speak in the American continent announcing the coming of his Only Begotten after terrible destruction, fire, and many deaths. I let them know that it would be important for them to listen to that soft spoken voice of the Spirit, and not the voice of contention. After about an hour, the whole thing ended in a hug between the two, and a renewed commitment to marriage and baptism. So that was great!
Also, Lucero, it turns out had a fear of water. During her baptism, she sort of had a panic attack and refused to let her head be covered in water. The mission leader got nervous in trying to baptized her and tried to basically force dunk her whole body, but she resisted! And the whole thing ended with a mouthful of water, and a throbbing hand that smacked against the wall. She was super embarrased, and so we talked with her after church and practiced with her how the baptism goes. Anyway, we`ll try again this coming Saturday haha when Luis gets baptized as well. These are just things that surprise us from time to time.
Anyway, that`s my letter for the week. I am so grateful for all the wonderful experiences I`m having each week. This is truly the Lord`s work, and this is truly his church. I love you all and wish you another great week!
Elder Lundberg

Don`t know how to say this but......but........

There`s nothing really all that shocking to talk about this week. However, I continue to work hard with my good ol` companion named Elder Borda! Also, Happy Birthday Dad!!!! How old are you?Haha. I always remember the question we asked as bratty little kids, "Dad, what were the dinosaurs like?" Thanks for sending me the photo of your ziplining adventures with the fam! Also, the President changed internet time back to an hour letters won`t be as long again.........Oh well.

It was an interesting week in that not much happened that`s new, but we continue working with several old, and a few newer investigators.

Lucero had her baptismal date for the 8th, but after some consideration, and worry on her and our part, we all felt like it would be a good idea to give her one more week to prepare for the 15th. In the end, it was an inspired idea, and she`s excited for the occasion at 7pm (Peruvian time: 8pm), this coming Saturday! She has a family with a sizable group of "Piranhas" which is a term here for lazy bums who play soccer all day, do drugs, and rob at night. So in the end her family likes to make fun of her and tease that she`s going to church and such. Lucero, not being so confident in herself, sort of slipped into feeling dicouraged, but with the love and encouragement of some neighbor friends, the Nieves family, we helped her forget what her family says, and obey what the Lord says! 

Luis Urbina has shown a lot of interest in the church lately, and always greets us with a firm handshake and never fails an appointment. The awesome thing is that his oldest brother, Andres, who is the only one left who doesn`t have a goal for baptism, is starting to listen to us again, and take more interest in the gospel. Soon enough he`ll have a baptismal date as well, but the thing is getting him to shed his "Piranha" costume and cut his Jedi braid haha. The amazing thing is seeing how the Urbina family has developed since I arrived in Floresta, and the change has been tremendous up until now that almost the whole family will baptized on the 22nd!

As always, we`re experiencing diffuculty in trying to get the Miranda family married. The only thing is the birth certificate of Marilu has been hard to find since her sister who lives close to her birth place doesn`t want to help Marilu get married. So anyway, we`re searching other options through the mission office and ward counsel. Just help us out by praying that we can get the document in time for the deadline to enter the mass marriage!!!! But it was a miracle this past Sunday because Jose Luis came to church without his future spouse and enjoyed it!!! We had trouble getting him to follow through with his church attendance commitments, but after fasting, he came!!!!! It was basically the greatest thing ever.

We also talked with our dear Lucia yesterday in a member home, and she basically told us she`s determined to get baptized, but for some reason didn`t want to put a date on it. However, this Thursday we have a visit with her and she let us know that she would have the day decided by then, she was thinking around July 6th. It`s kind of interesting seeing an investigator wanting to take all the iniciative in deciding to be baptized, but she really shows her desire to follow God in her personal prayer and revelation. She reads her Book of Mormon every day when she takes the train to her work, and love it. Much of her behavior reminds me of Regina doing and saying the same things. By the way, Regina continues to be a rock solid Relief Society Counselor.

Anyway, that`s what`s up with me this week. I`m grateful to see y`all wrote me this week. I`ll be printing and reading all the letters this week. I love you all so much and think of you often. Continue forward as always!

Elder Lundberg


So here´s "what up" ladies and gentlemen:

Anyway, this has been an exciting week for the Lord´s work here in Villa El Salvador. Yesterday, we had the privilege of having stake conference. Two members of the Seventy, Elder Wardell and I forget the other, came to speak and make a special announcement. A brand SPANKIN´new stake! There are currently two stakes here now, Villa El Salvador and Pachacamac! Elder Waddell expresed his great thanks to all the members for working with the missionaries in this great work with his lisp using a Spanish accent from Spain. So that was fun to hear as well. Also, our beloved mission president, President Douglas, talked how now it is the time we catch the wave and climb to even greater hights using the words from Elder Nelson in General Conference. The attendance was so packed that after filling the sacrament hall and all the classrooms to the brim there were two huge tents with seats outside and a broadcast of what was going on inside the chapel. Even then there were about 200 people without seats just watching and listening to the conference for two hours standing on foot, which included me and my companion.
This next week we´re focused on the baptism of dear lil´ Lucero. She´s a quiet type, and it´s been a long road working with her for the past month and a half, but she´s feeling more and more confident each time we visit. She left behind many things in her past as part of her repentance process, and this Wednesday will be her baptismal interview. On Saturday we should have a great attendance of members and family to see her baptism.
Our other dear investigators, the Miranda family, was almost lost from our grasp this last week as they announced the possibility of moving to another living space in another area of Villa El Salvador. When they told us the news, I wanted to cry, but I just smiled and told them that there would be some changes, and that they should do what is best for the family. Where they live is a tiny space without heating, and witht the winter coming on, it´s been pretty cold at night and in the morning here. They weren´t happy when they asked me what kind of changes and I let them know that if they move, other elders in our zone, and in another ward, would be able to visit them. So we kind of just left them hanging after the visit, and I was feeling pretty down, but prayed that whatever happened, the parents would be able to be baptized into the restored gospel, completing the family. Two days later, just before I was about to pass the reference to the other Elders, Alexis, Amy and their Mom let us know that as a family they all voted against moving. So they´re here to stay! They let us know that they would just look for a living space within Floresta so we could continue teaching them. Hooray!
Also, we continue to teach Luis Urbina, whose parents, Yhon and Rosa, recently got baptized on the 18th, and whose brother, David, was baptized in March. It´s amazing to see the change in heart that Luis has had so far. At first contact, he didn´t want anything to do with us, but now he listens, reads and prays with real intent to know for himself if these things are true. He continues to progress well towards his baptism on the 22nd of June. His older brother, Andres, is the only person left in the family, but after inviting him to be baptized he decided he didn´t want to. And now he might be headed to Cusco in July to live with his biological mother (Rosa isn´t his actual mother). But I guess we´ll see what the Lord has in store for Andres. I feel like there still might be hope before he heads out o´ town. Rosa and Yhon continue to prosper as new converts, and little by little are becoming accustomed to the church culture. Yhon will soon be advanced to the office of Priest in the Aaronic priesthood. David will be able to bless the sacrament with his Dad! What a blessing!
Regina is an absolute gem of a convert. As the second counselor in the Relief Society, she has literally lifted the spirit of the whole organization, especially the President, Hermana Lucinda. Last week we visited Hermana Lucinda and she told all about how Regina really has surprised her with her spirit, love of God and for the gospel. She was surprised how a convert of only a month and a half could have such a strong testimony and dedication in a church responsibility. It was also a fun visit because we got to learn some quechua from Lucinda´s mom who was visitng from the Sierra. Such as, Alilachokaykanki, which means, "how are you?" and some other sweet frases! I´ve come to the determination that one day I will speak quechua, the language of the Inca! Anyway, been practicing some good ol´ frases with some of the members who speak quechua, and all of them have been surprised to see a gringo now speaking quecha. Such as "Imataruraykanki pani/huaque?" (what are you doing sister/brother?) or frases like "huarakama!" (until tomorrow!). Oh dear! Peruvian Life is too good sometimes.

My time as a trainer has gone pretty smooth so far. Elder Borda is a great missionary who really tries his best and has progressed nicely so far. He continues to be teachable and humble, which makes training a lot easier! We´ve been working hard and walking fast together. His legs have been hurting as he gets used to the fast walking as a new missionary, and I haven´t really been too merciful whenever he complains that his calves hurt. He has a bit of a belly, so he needs to lose weight anyway haha.
Yup. So that´s my report for the week. I´m so happy to be a missionary. More and more I am convinced of the power of the gospel in changing individuals, families, and communities in places where Satan takes more and more control of the wheel each day. There´s nothing like winning the Saving Game. I love this work and love working hard in it. Remember to stay faithful and to continue doing the little things like saying your prayers, reading the scriptures, and going to church to particpate in the sacrament. The little things seriously make such a huge difference! And I´ve come to that simple realization here in the mission. I know this church is true. The Book of Mormon is everything to me. Peru is better than Guatemala (aka Elder See) and  I´m pleased to say I don´t miss you guys at all, but I sure do love you all and pray for your behalf!
Enjoy your week!
Elder Lundberg


Well folks, it´s been a fun little week here as usual. I think probably I´ve never had such an up and down week in my I lie. But hey, there´s always something new here to tell.
Ok soooooo basically last Thursday Elder Borda and I were bored watching some training videos and to mix things up I decided to put on Portugese translation. The coolest thing was that I could UNDERSTAND it. It´s basically like speaking Spanish but with a bunch of little rocks falling out of your mouth. No I jest. It´s more like speaking Spanish with a French twist. So now, just check off Portgugese off the list please. No I jest again. There were some things that I couldn´t understand but I´ve determined that when I get back I´m going to take Portugese as a third language. Also Quechua, if they even offer that in any place in the United States haha (I might have to make a return trip to Macchu Picchu to learn that one). I tried the German, Japanese, Korean, Italian, French, etc translations and didn´t get a thing out of it, so those will just have to wait.
Oh, hey. Lucero ALMOST got baptized again. Talk about a frustrating experience......this past week we asked her like five billion and two questions to see if she would be able to be baptized. She was all excited and "yes, yes, yes" about it. I thought there was something that bothered her with her family but she told us that her family was fine with it. The hard thing is that she´s always pretty quiet and not very talkative in any situation. basically it took her until the baptismal font, just before we opened the big doors so all could see, to flip out again. Part of it was her trauma of the mission leader trying to force her underwater the last time, so that´s why she decided it would be better for me to do it. However, at that moment she panicked. But this time she wouldn´t leave the baptismal font either or get baptized. So after twenty minutes of standing in cold water, she let us know that her mom wasn´t ok with her getting baptized. Even though she´s 18 years old, her mom controls her life, and they don´t really have a good relationship. The bishop helped us out and promised he would talk to her mother this week. I was so frustrated, and so were the zone leaders, who are in the same ward as us, and all the other members were also frustrated. Anyway, we´re doing our best to help Lucero out to see what we can do.
The good part about the baptismal service Saturday was that Luis Urbina DID get baptized. Earlier that day he was stricken with a cough and went to the doctor for medicine. However, he was determined to get baptized after considering postponing another week. We offered him a blessing of health with the bishop, and headed out to the chapel together, where he got baptized in a flash. It was just Lucero that sort of disrupted the whole occasion.......eehhhhh.
We also had a hard time finding new investigators this past week. It was weird because we contacted five member references, and not even a single one had solid results the past few days. Yesterday, in my desperation to not come out with zero new investigators at the end of the week, something which I´ve been able to avoid all my mission, I prayed that we would be able to find at least one new person to teach. Later that day, we met with one of our newer investigators, Charo, who is a single mother. To my surprise we found out she has a daughter, Vanessa, who is 9 years old. It hadn´t even dawned on me that Charo had a daughter old enough to be baptized. Precious little Vanessa came and sat down with us for the lesson like a little heavenly answer to my prayer that morning. So, after teaching a lesson on the importance of faith, repentance, and baptism, we placed a baptismal date for the  6th of July, and now Charo and her daughter are excited to follow the example of Jesus Christ together as mother and daughter!
The Miranda family is excited to get married and baptized. The hard thing is that we still have not been able to get a hold of Marilu´s birth cirtificate so they can complete their marriage documents. Yesterday we held the pre-interview to see what they lack as far as the lessons go, but they´re pretty darn ready, except for a little review on tithing and in keeping the sabbath day holy. The only thing left is getting that darn birth certificate from a little town in the Peruvian Sierra. Everything hangs on that single document.
We´ve also been teaching a new lot, the Chipana family. They´re a family of six, two of the kids are just little wee todds, but Miguel is 12, and Siomara is 14, with their parents Eusevio and Felicita. They have a few problems as a couple such as alcoholism and fighting, but it´s not something the gospel of Jesus Christ can´t resolve. Eusevio came to church yesterday alone, which was a surprise. But we have hopes in teaching them and helping them progress in the restored gospel as a family.
Anyway, it really has been an up and down week. I was reading Preach My Gospel chapter six  this morning which talks about Christlike attributes, several of which are faith, patience, diligence, and humility, several things we have to work on as missionaries every single day! I just need to keep my head up! After watching the worldwide training yesterday, I´ve been very inspired to work even harder and get on track. The great thing is that Floresta has some fantastic leaders, and so we´re all excited to work together and get this work of salvation thang rolling forth like a "stone cut out of a mountain without hands."
I love you all so much!
Elder Lundberg