Monday, April 29, 2013

An Incredible Week!

Hello all!

It was definitely a week never to be forgotten, with the long awaited visit of Elder Bednar. I must say, he was quite the charismatic and funny man, something that I never really thought was in his style! He definitely gave us lots of great council though, particularly in the field of leadership, something that I had been wondering a lot about lately. He said that oftentimes, the Lord puts the weakest of the weak as His leaders, so that their weakness can be on display. When they become strong, others can see that if He was able to work that kind of miracle with the leader, He could do it with them as well! I felt the Spirit so much when he talked. I know that he is an Apostle of the Lord!

Otherwise, it has been a fine week. We are in the process of preparing a lot of people for baptism, but the work is a bit slow. It is a tough part of town here in the center, since so many people are quite wealthy and just a little bit prideful. They just don't know that everyone needs the gospel in their lives!

I don't have pictures this week, but I do have a scripture for everyone to read. Check out D&C 78:17-18. I hope that it will lift the spirits of all those who are troubled and sad. It definitely helps me stay positive.

I love you all, I'm low on time!


Monday, April 22, 2013

We Work, Work, Work...

Hello all!

Well my inbox was just stuffed to the gills this week because of all the emails I've received, so just bear with me if these community letters get a little shorter, since I've got to respond to a lot more people now. I'll get it down to a science, I'm sure. I'll also start trying to send more pictures to make up for it.

Everything is going great here. We are having some great results come out of all our work, but it seems that all of our potential baptisms are falling through! We can't really understand why, either. We seemed to have just so many super prepared investigators, but all of them have failed us lately. It sometimes gets really frustrating working around people's agency, but that's the beauty of the plan of salvation right? I've got to work on getting more patience. I'm really excited to get all of my worries calmed by ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR this week. I still can't believe he is coming to our mission. President is sending out a lot of guidelines and different things for us to follow for when he gets here. I am so pumped! I have never met an Apostle before, and I'm sure it will be an unforgettable experience. I know he is a special witness of Jesus Christ!

Otherwise, things are going along as usual. It is starting to actually get cold here, but I really like that. It gets pretty tiring walking around in the sun all day. I have gotten completely used to the hustle and bustle of the city too. Trujillo really is a super young city demographically, just because there are so many universities here. We are looking for more future missionaries to teach!

Anyway, love you all. Hope you enjoy the pictures. One is of my comp and I, bored at the clinic (we had to take another missionary there who had gotten sick). The other is of me at Buenos Aires, one of the areas in our zone that has a sweet view of the ocean.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hey everybody! (in Ricky voice)

I hope you guys are doing great. The biggest news this week is the change in email rules from Church HQ! All the missionaries are pretty excited about it. We are now allowed to email any and everybody that doesn't live within the mission limits. So feel free to pass along my email address to all the friends and other family that want to write me, because now I can read it and respond to it! Pretty exciting eh? I am pretty surprised that the Church changed those rules, but it is cool nonetheless. I hope I should be getting more emails next week!

We had a great week here with my new companion. Elder Massey is a real country boy, and so we have lots of fun stories to tell each other and compare. He is a really hard worker, so we are excited to see all the progress in the ward and area. We are getting better, little by little. The ward was pretty sorry when I first arrived, but now it is looking way better. Attendance is up to almost 100 every week! (That is pretty good for Peru). We are working with some great investigators, and have seen a lot of members coming out of the woodwork to help us out as well. It is pretty exciting, I must say.

Other than that, we are just working hard to get as many people as we can to church. Church starts at 8 am here, so as not to interfere with the lunch hour at 1pm (sacred time in Peru). It is a bit annoying, because it is hard to get people up so early, but it's alright. I know the Lord will bless us for our diligence! Everything else is going great. THe weather is finally cooling down a little bit, and that makes this Ricky happy!

Hope you enjoy some of me and Elder Richards' last pictures together. We burned one of his shirts before he left. Crazy stuff.

Love ya!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Changes Come, Changes Go

Hello all!

Well, it's that time of year again...changes! I stayed here in Central as expected, since I only have 3 months here, but as we also predicted, Elder Richards is outta here. I'll be sad to see him go, since we have made really good friends. He will be finishing his mission in just 6 more weeks, so I will miss him. He's been a really good dude. Good news is, I have another great companion! It sure is nice to be able to speak some English for a little while. His name is Elder Massey, and he is from North Carolina. I have known him for a long time, and he will be super fun to be with. He is a really hard worker, so that is exciting too. We're going to baptize the whole world here in Central Zone!

General conference was awesome. We had 5 different investigators come with us to the different sessions, and they absolutely loved it! I was able to see some sessions in English and others in Spanish, but I always tried to see them in English when I could. It is much better to hear the speaker's real voice, and it makes the stories better as well. I loved President Monson's talk on Sunday morning, and also really enjoyed Elder Holland's talk on Sunday afternoon. The priesthood session was dope as usual, and President Uchtdorf's talk really touched me. Which ones did you guys like?

Otherwise, things are going great here. We are trucking along and working hard. We are getting a ton of new missionaries once again in this change, so we will be opening areas and doing all kinds of other fun things. Exciting!

I do love the Easter candy, thanks so much! I have been using the jump rope as rocks! I have been entering into the "6 months of sexy" as they call it here in the mission...basically where the missionaries who have 6 months or less left in their mission try to lose all the weight they have gained. That's me!!!

I am attaching a picture of my companion when we decided to play "Chubby Bunny" the other day. He was able to fit 11 marshmallows in his mouth. He beat me! Funny stuff happens when missionaries have a little bit of free time...

Love you guys!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fools, Ricky Rules

Hey everybody!

Well, hope that you all had a fabulous Easter. I'm sure the food was delicious as usual. We actually had some tasty fish yesterday, complete with rice and fried bananas. It's a Peruvian tradition to eat fish Good Friday, Saturday, and Easter Sunday, since that's what Jesus ate when He was resurrected. It kinda stinks after awhile, because they literally don't sell chicken or beef for those three days, but I took it well enough. I definitely won't be wanting to eat any seafood or rice when I get home though. I've had my fill of that here!

Good Friday is the big thing they celebrate here. Easter Sunday really brought nothing at all. It was a bit creepy to be honest, walking the streets this past Friday since there was literally NOBODY outside. We still found a lot of people at home though, since everybody ended up sleeping for the holiday. That seems to be the overall tradition for Peruvian holidays: sleeping. I love it too! My companion and I have started sleeping for two hours now right after studies end at 10am on Pday. It is glorious!

Everything else is going well. We are finally starting to enter into cooler weather, so that is quite enjoyable. The sun beating down on you all day can get pretty tiring. We are also super excited since Elder David A. Bednar is coming on the 25th of this month!!! I have never seen an apostle in person before, not even in the MTC, so I am super excited about that. It should be great. I'm just counting down the days.

Hope everyone is doing well. Enjoy the baptism pictures that I was finally able to send from three weeks ago. I'll try to have some cool ones for this upcoming week.

Love ya!