Monday, March 26, 2012

Huarmey, Here To Stay...

Dear Family

First, I just want to apologize for the lack of pictures. I have them ready on my camera, but the USB thingy on this computer doesn't work, week!
Big news is that yes, I did stay here in Huarmey. I should be here for just one change longer, which will be about 5 more weeks. I was sad to see Elder Qualls go (he went to a League City-sized town named Chimbote about 2 hours north of here), but I lucked out on my new companion. His name is Elder Martinez, and he is from Lima. Obviously, my Spanish is going to go through the roof, just because now I have close to zero opportunities to speak English. It is nice. He is super chill and obedient, so we should get along just fine.

We are working with a young woman named Luz right now. Interesting fact: her mom works as a teacher in the mountains and so lives about 7 hours away from here. Because Luz is a minor, she can't get baptized without her Mom's permission. For that, we're having to overcome some obstacles, but with faith we will keep doing what we do.

It is still pretty hot here, but it's cooling down little by little. They say that winter starts in the end of April, but I suppose we shall see. My body is kinda freaking out I think, because it has now had a year straight of pure summer, minus the three weeks of frozen death in Provo in November. Anyway, the collars on my shirts are always brown, needless to say.

Hope everything is going well with you guys! Thanks to Miss Kate for the AMAZING package, and happy birthday to Garrett this week! Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their March. I am jealous of the American spring weather...but being a missionary is cooler!

Love you all

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's Getting Colder! Ok, Not Really...

Dear family

Yes, it is still hot here. Every month we ask our investigators which month is worst for the heat, and every month they say it is the month we are currently in. "Oh yes, January is definitely the hottest" "Oh Elders, February is much worse than January" "Personally, I think that March is like an oven here" So maybe it will never get cold. Or maybe I will get changed out of here. Who knows? We will find out changes tonight, and I will for sure be receiving a new companion, though I do not know whether I will be leaving or staying. Elder Qualls has more time here, so I will probably be staying, but nobody really knows. President does some pretty crazy stuff I have heard.

We haven't had too many people to teach lately. It has been quite a privilege to see all of our recent converts absolutely happy in the gospel, but in terms of bringing new people in, we are not having too much success. That is alright though, because you always learn more about yourself when you are NOT baptizing. You learn where you need to improve, what new Scriptures you can look for, etc. I have found that it is more about communicating how much happiness that YOU personally have in the gospel, and getting the investigators to crave that happiness that you have. We learn little by little I guess.

 I did get Ben and becky's packages. Tell them thanks a ton! It was filled with some delicious stuff. I love the Reeses and the Lifesaver gummies. I know I have one package sitting in the zone leaders' room, though I don't know who it is from. I assume it is Kate's. Thanks so much to all of you! I LOVE them!!

Couple shout outs...Happy birthday to Uncle Jared, Kayla, and Garrett! I know that some birthdays have passed, and some not, but happy birthday to all of you! Hope it was a great one. Also, congrats to Cameron Benson on his mission call to a the Adriatic North mission! That is totally nuts. It is the best experience you will ever have my friend. I can't imagine speaking Slovenian though. Seems like it would be a lot harder than Spanish...

Les amo!


1. Taylor's magical pros bag from Paraguay broke :( I was very sad. I will have to find a new bag.

2. Elder Qualls and I found a place that sells ICE CREAM IN CONES. You have no idea how rare that is. We have eaten about 10 already. 3 scoops for the equivalent of $2!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Drum Roll Please...

Dear family

So it is true. Changes will be coming next week! We are all pretty nervous here. We have no true idea of what President Turk is going to do. Elder Qualls has been explaining to me lately how missionaries are able to "feel" changes. He says that he feels he is leaving here. Problem is, I feel like I am leaving here too! It would be a bit surprising if both Elder Qualls and I leave, seeing as a number of recent converts and investigators would inevitably fall through the cracks, but I have learned that you never say never with Poppy Turk. He really follows the Spirit, and sometimes it tells him some crazy stuff. But we will find out on the 20th what is going to happen.

Lately we have had some trouble with our investigators. Nobody is really wanting to progress or keep any commitments, especially coming to church. We have such a tiny branch here- 13 people showed up yesterday- so it is also a bit hard to get members involved as well. We are working hard though! We try not to complain, but I suppose it is just inevitable sometimes...Just to inform you, I might not write next week until Tuesday. On change weeks, sometimes President changes the P day to Tuesday. So if I don't write you on Monday, don't worry, I did not die, and the electricity in our town is probably still working. We just won't be writing until the next day.

Explanation of the pictures: This is our cool new area that we have swiped from the other Elders in Huarmey. It is called Puerto, which is Spanish for port. Lots of towns on the coast here in Peru have a puerto where the fishermen and boat builders work. I'm in front of the beach here with my favorite drink, Tampico. Elder Qualls and I love visiting here, because it is a lot cooler...It is finally cooling down!

Love you all,

Monday, March 5, 2012

Finally - Fall is Coming - I Think?!

Family and friends,

It was a bit of a bittersweet week here in Huarmey. We had a great number of new investigators and some golden contacts that we tried so hard to get to church, but, as often happens with Peruanos...they just didn't show up. Elder Qualls and I were pretty disappointed about that, but I guess sometimes you can't blame them. Who wants to go to church with a bunch of white guys for three whole hours? Especially when you could go to the beach instead? Little do they know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ will change their lives...

We did get to see some pretty cool things yesterday, nevertheless. Victor, one of our recent converts who now goes out to lessons with us all the time and is planning on serving a mission, blessed the sacrament and bore his testimony, both for the first time. He sweetly talked about how little contact he had with people before we came and knocked on his door, and about how alone he felt. Now that he has the gospel in his life, he is always smiling and making friends with everyone! The branch loves Victor. We also got to see Pedro, my first baptism in the mission, receive the priesthood. That was also a neat experience. He is such a happy old guy now, whereas before he was just a grumpy old man. Amazing how the Church can change people's lives. Sometimes you get so caught up in the everyday teaching of new people that you forget to look back on the fruits of your labor and enjoy it!

Anyway, it is FINALLY starting to cool down here. My body was aching for some cooler weather, probably because it has endured warm weather now for almost a whole year (remember, I missed winter). That's alright though. I am sure once the cold comes in June and July I will be dreaming about the hot days here in Huarmey. Changes come on the 20th, so I gotta soak up every single day that I have here!

Thanks so much to Garrett and Tanya for the awesome postcards! I especially loved the Lucky Charms ones! (Though it does make me miss cereal even more). I have been trying to look for postcards to send them, but I am pretty sure they don't exist in Peru. We shall see. Also thanks to Grandma Pettersson and Aunt Charlene for the letters! I love reading about what is going on!

Love you all,