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 with...............beer 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!