Is it just me or are the weeks turning into days? Yesterday Elder McDonough told me that it was the 4 month mark...that means I´m 1/6 of the way through!! :( It kinda makes me sad...I haven´t done nearly as much as I´d like to do in 1/6 of a mission. I just love the missionary life too much, I guess!
Thanks so much for sending the package mom! :) I´ll sure look forward to getting it! As far as the other one, don´t worry too much about it...we honestly have everything we need, and I´m sure the Valentine´s package will be great. :) Oh! And as far as companions going home and stuff...Elder Foutz will be at BYU next summer! I already have told him that you´d most likely be more than happy to have him for Sunday dinner sometime. He´s living with us right now, Las Vegas boy, and he is really an amazing guy! I think I´ve told you about him already though. ;)
So this week was so quick I don´t even know what we did! We really tried to focus on the existing investigators we have, trying to get them to progress and come to church. Unfortunately...we only ended up having Judy come, but that´s a HUGE step for her. I think if she continues to come, she´ll do great. She´s the one that has to get married still, her husband Jerson is out of work and with marriages costing 300 soles, it´s tough. However, we have seen drastic changes in her, especially the last week. She just has more desire to learn and be a part of the church. We had one really good lesson with her where I felt the spirit witness to me that if she kept the commandments that she could right now, (like read the BOM, go to church, pray, etc) that Heavenly Father would provide the way for her to get married. Unfortunately...she didn´t follow my counsel to her! She hasn´t read or prayed. I told her again this past Sunday and pretty much just said ´look: the Lord is promising you something here. I´m not just saying it, and it´s written all over the BOM that if we do what He says, we´ll be blessed.´ I think she listened :)
The other thing that we´ve been successful at this week is finding families! I´ve really been trying to focus on following the spirit in finding new investigators, and this week it paid off! Elder Turcious has pretty much knocked every door by this point, so he´s letting me lead a lot of the time now. We were walking down this street and I got the feeling we should go knock near the church. We set off, and knocked two doors. Two doors that were slammed in our faces! Very unusual for this area too...usually the people are nice. We both wanted to turn back, but I just had this feeling...so we knocked one more. That´s when we met Luis and Marice. They talked to missionaries years back, but the missionaries were pulled out before they could really progress. They don´t remember much, but the lesson was really amazing! I think we have a real chance with them. Another really cool thing is that they have 3 boys! More priesthood!! It really was a witness to me that God is preparing people, and guiding us as missionaries.
The second family we found is Santiago and his wife Maurcia (I think!). They´re REALLY studious with their Bible, and they know a lot! We´ve shared quite a bit, and they told us they are understanding the Bible better than ever before! Can´t wait until the BOM is in their hands! ;) We´ve only had one lesson with them, but they´re great! Haha, oh...I also got to be humbled a little bit by them. :/ So they asked if we believed in the Virgin Maria, or the mother of Christ as someone more than she really was-very common question. Of course we told them that we believe she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus, but nothing more. Then they said that some people believe that she had kids, which of course is blasphemy or something like that. That´s when I was dumb and said, well Jesus did have brothers, so Mary did have other kids! I couldn´t remember the reference, but told them I´d come back with it.
Well...after research, Jesus did have brothers! Matt 13:55 says so. However...I read in Jesus the Christ that we don´t know for sure if Mary actually had them. Turns out that Joseph had an older brother that died, therefore he married the wife of his brother. He probably had kids with this second wife, so Jesus would have brothers, but not necessarily Mary´s children. We just don´t know! Anyway...kind of a cool little random fact. ;) learn something new every day! Now I just get to go explain to them what I found out.
It really does seem like I´m learning new things every day. This week I had an interview with President Chipman. We talked for a little while and then said the closing prayer. During the prayer, he kinda paused for a while...then after it was over he promised me something that I´ll never forget. He said that right now I was learning more to listen to the spirit. He also said that if I work hard every day of my mission, I would go home with a greater knowledge of how to listen to the spirit than before, and this would bless me the rest of my life. When he said that, I could just feel the spirit so strong. I know that Heavenly Father has some challenges in front of me, and if I don´t know how to listen and follow even the subtlest of promptings, I may miss out on something. It really was a great moment, and I´m really happy I had the opportunity to talk with President.
So this week I took the time to read the stories of our family history! In two days it´s the 110th anniversary of the death of Archibald Gardner! Kinda crazy! I really loved his story, to think that I come from him and all the amazing things he did. We truly come from a hard working family, with the Gardners and the Shaws behind us. The other story I really liked was the one you gave me mom, about the oranges. It was really cool that she could hear that knocking when no one else could...I know that must have been the spirit telling her to look. I had to share it with Elders McDonough and Foutz, they really liked it too!
Another crazy thing is happening this week...Elder Turcious is heading off to Lima! He has to do some stuff at Immigrations, that I did in the Lima MTC. That means I get to go to Piura and work with a different elder for a day or two. It´s going to be really weird! That´s why we´re writing right now, because we have to head off in a few hours. I´m kinda jealous because he´ll most likely get to go through the temple while he´s there! I miss the temple.
That reminds me of a conversation we had this week...one of Elder Turcious´s converts asked if she should date someone that wasn´t a member! We got to show her the harsh reality that if she didn´t marry someone in the temple, she won´t be sealed to him. She kinda took it hard, but hey, that´s how it is!
Crazy to hear about the superbowl! Who won? Did the 49ers really make it this year mom?? That´s a miracle in itself!! I didn´t know my serving a mission would bless that many people. ;)
Sorry I don´t have any photos this week...we´re too busy to really take any, running around and everything.
Hmm...I honestly can´t remember all of what I have and haven´t told you! The weeks blend too much. I don´t know if I´ve told you much about our new pensionista, but she is awesome! We have such good food...my favorite is her hamburgers! She uses rolls for the bread, normal meat, but she puts eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes, ketsup, and mayo on it. It´s really good! Also, occassionaly she puts aji on it. That´s some kind of hot stuff that I LOVE. I hope we can find it in the states when I get back. She´s also really good at making this kind of chicken salsa thing. It´s really thick with potatoes and the aji in it. It´s got the perfect amount of spice, and definitely one of my favorites!
Another thing we have all the time here is soda! I´m really actually getting sick of it...Elder Foutz is excited because he says none of the pensionistas will give it to you, but me, I´d really rather have Mango juice, soya, chicha morada, or something else. But anyways...
Oh! Mom, how goes your conversion story?? I really can´t wait to read that!! It sounds like you´ve spent quite a bit of time on it so far...which is awesome! I´m sure it will be something I´ll treasure for many years. :)
Well, I love you all! Thank you for all of your prayers and support!!
Elder Dallon Schofield