Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lots of Changes

Hey all!

Well, there weren't a lot of changes here for me specifically, since Elder Richards and I stayed together for another change! We are really excited that we will get to have fun for 6 more weeks, and help the other missionaries in our zone to have a lot of success as well. Some left and others stayed, but everyone looks geared up to work hard and accomplish their goals. Elder Richards and I had some McDonalds breakfast to celebrate this morning, and while it was a bit Peruvian, it was still delicious!

The big news is that we found out who the new mission president is going to be! D. Kurt Marler and his wife will be coming here on July 1. I am pretty darn sad that the Turks will be leaving soon, but I'm sure President and Sister Marler will do great. Since I will still have three changes left when they come, I will get to know them pretty well, I imagine. They are from California and look really nice. We also found out that the Church created FIFTY EIGHT new missions!! That is nuts. There are going to be two new ones in Peru as well, in Iquitos (jungle region to the east) and Huancayo (mountainous area east of Lima). That will mean 12 missions in Peru, with (almost) two temples and one more announced! That's pretty awesome! With huge groups of new missionaries coming in, it seems like the Lord really is speeding up His work!

I love you all and will send some pictures next week! Take care!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Triple Dipper

Hello family and friends!

I laughed this week, because almost everyone had an email title that had something to do with how fast time was passing. It is going by fast for me too, unfortunately!

This week, we had the privilege of baptizing three worthy converts! They were great people, and their baptismal services were very spiritual. Last P-day, we baptized Felicita and Yelsi, who are two sisters that came to Trujillo to live with their aunt. They are from the mountains of east Peru, and are just about the politest (is that a word?) young ladies that I have ever met. They were very, very quiet, but read the Book of Mormon and prayed right away, and knew without a doubt that it was true. They requested baptism themselves, which is something that doesn't happen too often! They truly are amazingly prepared young women. The other baptism was of an older man named Domingo (which, funnily enough, is "Sunday" in Spanish). He was the friend of a member, and after having attended the baptismal sevice of that member' s son, he had a strong desire to get baptized himself! He likes to talk a lot, and he also likes to read a lot, which really helped us out! He even read the Pearl of Great Price before his baptism! Interesting guy, and a great future priesthood holder.

Other than that, the week was a bit typical. We are having a 7 week change (usually changes are 6 weeks) because of the changing of the MTC schedule and whatnot (did you guys hear that those who are learning a new language are only going to stay there for 6 weeks now instead of 9? Crazy!), so it feels kinda weird to have a whole new week ahead of us, but Elder Richards and I are excited about it. Hopefully we stay together for another change! We are having lots of fun.

Love you and miss you all! A special shout out to Bishop Stebbing, since I hear he is getting released from the bishopric in the Capitol Ward. Hope all is well. Thanks for all you did for me bishop!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

21 Years Young

Hello all!

Well, it was quite a fun week, as you can see from the pictures. My birthday ended up being a great one, since I got to eat smoked chicken and chocolate chip cookies with ice cream! It was like an American meal just for me, though it really was for all the zone leaders in the mission. There was even another missionary (Elder Massey) that had his birthday on the EXACT same day, turning 21 as well. So I guess you could say we were brothers from another mother. Twins. Anyway, after the delicious lunch and doctrinal teaching by President Turk, we went and played soccer for two hours, which is a bit of a tradition here among the zone leaders after the conference. Though I still can't play to save my life, I had a lot of fun, and was happy to be in good company with fun stuff to do all day. It was a great birthday.

Other than that, the week was pretty normal. We did have interviews the next day, which was fun, and as you can see from the pictures, our training meeting with the rest of the zone was interesting as well. We did lots of hands-on activities, the best of which involved the sisters throwing the angry bird stuffed animals at my companion as he waved his arms in front of the dry erase board, trying to block them. You gotta have some pretty out of the box teaching to keep other missionaries interested in meetings, that's for sure. We are starting to have soom good success though, and we're especially excited for the two baptisms that we will have today! I have never baptized anyone on a P-day, but it should be a great experience! The two sisters that will be making the covenant are so sweet, and have really grown a lot in the time we have been teaching them. That spiritual growth is possible for everyone, if they just read, pray, and attend church! All we have to do is invite them to come unto Christ.

Hope you enjoy the pictures. I really am starting to look chubby in the face...

Love ya tons

Monday, February 4, 2013

Older But None The Wiser

Hello family and friends!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, first off. I can't believe I'm 21, and I guess I'll just say that I don't want to be! Starting to feel a bit older now...I'd like to go back to being a kid again, if possible. Luckily, I will be having a fun birthday this year, since February 6 just happens to fall on the day of zone leader council! This means that I will get to hear some mind-blowing doctrinal teachings from President Turk, enjoy some delicious lunch at their house with the other zone leaders (their pensionista cooks incredible), and then play some soccer afterwards! Really, you can't ask for a better birthday celebration in the mission.

Everything is going great here in the work. It's been way too long since we had a baptism, but lately we have found a lot of prepared people. Jelsi and Felicita are two teenage sisters who just moved to Trujillo, and are living in the house of a member. They have read so little of the Book of Mormon, but they already know the truthfulness of it from their prayers! I love that God answers us, even if we have just put in a little bit of effort to find the truth. They will be getting baptized next week. The other miracle we have found is Victor and Veronica, a married couple who we stumbled across while looking for future investigators from the area book. Victor was very interested in religion, and had investigated just about every church with his wife, but they weren't satisfied with any of them. They prayed to know which church was true, but got no confirmation or answer. So...we come by and give them a Book of Mormon. They are now reading together, and told us yesterday that "ever since we started reading your book, everything in our life has gone right." Does that sound like a Liahona story or what? They will hopefully be getting baptized on the 23rd of this month. What a miracle.

Anyway, I'm sending a picture of Elder Cerpa and I (I'm looking real chubby) that Hermana Turk took and put up on her blog. Check it out to find an interesting story that involves us, Taylor, and Elder Cerpa's older brother!

Thanks to Papa especially for the delicious package full of goodies! We have already eaten everything!
And Thanks so much for the birthday money!  I really appreciate it.

Love you all,