Monday, February 27, 2012

4 Months Already!!?

Dear Family

That's right, this week I completed 4 months in the mission. ALREADY. Can you believe that? It is pretty crazy how time flies. I'm just a bit scared because everyone tells me once you hit 6 months, 1 year, 18 months, etc. it just keeps getting faster and faster. That's scary.

We have had a good week this week, though I have no pictures to show you. No baptisms, but we did have an awesome experience with one of our recent converts, Victor who is 21 years old. He is a bit socially awkward to be honest, but we decided to take him out with us to teach a lesson to a new family that we found. He was a bit quiet throughout the whole thing (it is a bit scary to come in for the first time and teach with the missionaries, especially after having been a convert for only one month!), but when we asked him to bear his testimony about the importance of a prophet on the Earth today, he bore an incredibly powerful witness that he knew that a prophet directed the church today, and that he had prayed with all his heart about it, and recieved an answer from the Lord. It is quite cool to see the fruits of your work, and how the Lord works through you to completely change people's lives for the better. He is now happy, and says he wants to serve a mission in the USA so he can learn English. We have taught him some phrases...;)

The people here are great! They actually do have A LOT of dogs, and that's not to mention all the strays that run around in the street. Seriously, you would think that somebody let open a pound nearby or something. There is always a ton of them running around. Don't worry, I haven't been bitten...yet. Yes, I have gotten many jerseys, because they are SO cheap here. I can buy a cool looking one for the equivalent of about $4. It is an incredible deal.

Funny you should ask, but people here ONLY play soccer and volleyball. They will work during the day for about 2 or 3 hours, go home and eat lunch, and play soccer or volley the rest of the day, every day, without fail. It's not really surprising that this is a third world country...

Anyway, we are just rolling along here. The intense heat is finally starting to cool down. February is apparently the worst month of the year when it comes to heat, and we are the hottest zone in the mission, so I guess you could say that I survived!! Of course, I am a Texas boy, so this 85 degrees is really nothing to me. Going to Trujillo eventually will be nice though. I hear it is very fresco there...

Take care and keep working hard! You guys are my awesome support system, and without you I could never be happy! Remember that the reason I am out here is to help families become eternal like ours! Love you all.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Haircuts for $1.75! That's A Bargain!

Hey Everyone!

(The picture: I was trying to show how Elder Qualls and I got our new haircuts for just 4 soles! That's the equivalent of like $1.75. Anyway, the picture ended up making us look proportionally really strange. I mean I knew my head was big, but look at that thing! Anyway, thought you would get a kick out of it)

We had a nice week here in H-town. No baptisms, sadly, but we have had a lot of new investigators come in. We are teaching one guy in particular, that I think Dad especially would like. His name is Alberto, and he is more than a little bit wacko. When we first visited him, he said he attended the church of ¨his heart, mind, and work¨ Weird right? But hey, he went to church with us yesterday, and said he loved it. He is also...wait for it...married!! Civilly! You have no idea how great that is. To be baptized in the church, a couple either has to be married or living in different residences. It is actually quite expensive to get married in this country, because of all the paperwork, so 9 times out of 10 that you are teaching a couple or a family, they aren't married, and what's more, they have no plans to do so, because they don't have the money. This might just be one of those tender mercies of the Lord for Elder Qualls and I.

Other than that, we got to go to Chimbote this week (the same city where the doctor is), and have a multi-zone conference there with President Turk. It went great! We got to play frisbee dodgeball, and all kinds of other things that you guys can see on Sister Turk's blog. President also taught me something profound: No knowledge of eternal worth comes all at once. That's why we read the Book of Mormon a couple times before we know it's true. That's why our testimony develops year by year, and that's way charity for others is developed as a pattern only over time. Just thought I would share that with you guys!

So to answer your questions, yes I did get the birthday box and it was AWESOME! Thanks so much for everything. I don't think they took anything out, and it was filled with goodies. All the candy is amazing and all the office supplies too. The flaslight will definitely come in handy when I have to go to the bathroom at night! Very cool. Also, we eat at what is called a pensionista. We eat at her house for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and pay her a certain amount of money to wash our clothes too. This is where I have hope that the food won't stink my whole mission. Elder Qualls said that this is the worst pensionista that he has had. Basically, she just cooks with a lot of grease and stuff. So when I get moved to a different area, I will probably get better food.

Love you tons! Tell Aunt Charlene thanks for all the Mormonad posters, and Grandma Joyce for her letter! I love hearing from you all.

Con amor
Elder Levos

Monday, February 13, 2012

Huarmey...mi hogar todavia

Hello Family,

How is everyone? That's right, changes came and, as expected, Elder Qualls and I are staying here in Huarmey for at least 6 more weeks. After that, it's all but guaranteed that one of us will go, but at least we still have this change together to work hard and get some more baptisms! Unfortunately, we didn't have any of those this week. We've been having some tough luck lately. We are trying to find new people to teach, but that's not as easy as it sounds either. Here in Peru, it is quite easy to get in someone's home and teach them an entire lesson. However, it is another story when it comes to them actually reading, praying, and coming to church. WE have had two weeks in a row now with 0 investigators in church. Kinda sad...

Elder Qualls was also sick this week, so we had to travel up to the clinic in Chimbote, which is about 2 hours away from here. Travel in Peru is always fun. We either get on a big smelly bus, or we cram about 10 people into a Toyota Corolla, and drive up there. Peruvians are all about saving money, and for this reason, they will wait hours to completely fill their cars before they set off for Casma or Chimbote or wherever they're going. More people, more pay I suppose.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Valentine's day. I will share my heart shaped Gobstoppers just for you.
I was surprised that my Valentine package came BEFORE my birthday package, which is at the Mission home now, but I won't get it until tomorrow!! I loved all the valentine candy! Thanks so much. The post-it notes were very handy also. Tell papa thanks so much for the birthday money! I really do appreciate all the things that have been sent. Thanks to all the faithful writers too!  I love the letters!
Wish I could go out and eat some Valentine's day dinner with everyone. Looking like crappy chicken and rice tonight...

Love you!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy Birthday!! I'm 20!


Seriously, what is this 20 years old thing? Sheesh, I have never felt this old in my life. But thanks for all the birthday wishes! Guess I really am not a teenager anymore...

So I have no baptisms to show you guys this week, sadly. We had three potentials fall through, who all have their doubts for different reasons. I think the Lord was really trying to teach Elder Qualls and I humility this week, because after 5 baptisms in 4 weeks, we were both feeling pretty darn good about ourselves, which is probably exactly what the Lord doesn't want from his representatives. Good news is, we do have a lot of great new investigators that we have found, which is nice to just get some fresh blood in there. They all seem great, so pray for them and for us yeah?

Changes are tonight, so we will find out what happens. We are 99.9% sure that we are staying together as a companionship here in Huarmey, but President has been doing some pretty crazy stuff with the changes lately, so you're pretty well advised to not count your chickens before they hatch. Expect the unexpected I guess.

How did everyone like their gifts? Did the sticker make it onto the golf cart? Te amo Peru will be floating all around Spicewood, which will sure make me proud. How are all the animals? I don't think I can really keep track of them at this point...

Tell the Sillers thanks so much for their package! It was really sweet of them to send me some goodies and toys, and I sent a letter back to Ryan in Kayleigh's letter this week, since they live in the same apartment complex I believe. I also know that Kayleigh's package and one of yours is waiting for me in the zone leaders room tomorrow. Seriously, you guys are awesome. My zone leaders have said they have never seen this many packages sent to one person. You people make me feel so loved. Mail, it is a missionary's best friend. Thanks to all.

Love you tons! We are here as missionaries trying to get families sealed for eternity, and I am so glad mine already is! Love you