For those of you that don't know... I injured my MCL while playing soccer in Peru. So I was sent home and have a temporary medical release to get it better!!! I've seen an orthopedic surgeon and he wants to see me in two weeks after some physical therapy to determine the best way to heal... with surgery being a possibility. Thank you to everyone that sent letters and emails. Also thank you for those who kept me in their prayers. I don't know why things happen... but I do know that God has a plan for each of us. He is in charge and I trust Him . Going back is the plan right now! I will be updating everyone on my journey to get back on my mission.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
My mission in Arequipa!
|1st View of Pichu Pichu, still on the airplane!|
|My MTC group at the temple site in Arequipa, we are at 9200 feet above sea level!|
|Plaza De Armas!|
|Beautiful fountain downtown Arequipa!|
|Birds with Elder Pancheri!|
|This Pinneapple is huge and it only cost .33 Cents!|
|My room (cuarto)|
|The view from my room!|
|Sunset on the soccer field!|
|The great active volcano, MISTY!|
|Looking at Misty from a distance!!|
|SWAT, (my companion yelled at me for taking this picture)|
|Mom, I promise to keep my bathroom clean!|
|Yes there is Pizza here!|
|On the streets, downtown Arequipa!|
|More of the white city!|
|My District leader Elder Fuentes!|
|The other district leader in my zone!|
|The craziest Elders from my zone!|
|Why don't we have churches like these! Wow!|
|National Peru Day!|
|And we danced!!!|
|I found this pic on my camera after my 1st baptism, who took this?|
|Party at Elder Rossano's house!|
|Tommy didn't want a picture with me!|
|Boy that mission president looks young! Sorry President Zobrist!|
|I'll try on his name tag too!|
|President.... I like that title!|
|Last day with my companion!|
Three Parties for my Birthday!!
1. With my Zone
2. With my Ward "family"
3. With my Stake President
1. With my Zone
2. With my Ward "family"
3. With my Stake President
|Mama Jenny and my companion at our house!|
|Thumbs up!! Why do they keep telling to do this?|
|Papa Luis and Mama Jenny and some random girl from the ward!|
|La Zona (Falta Elder Rosano)|
|Fiesta con el Barrio(My companion is holding my birthday present, a cast.....)|
|Roberto is tired from all the festivities!|
This is my first contact in Arequipa. His name is Miguel. He is 17 years old and his mother Elizabeth has been an inactive member of the church for over 20 years. The night before this day Miguel wasn't going to get Baptized, but for some reason he decided to. We scheduled his baptism at 2:00pm, but we later found out his mom wouldn't be able to attend. So we decided to have his service at 8:00pm, but then he remembered he had work at 7:00pm. We called his mom who was at work, and she said she could be there at 6:30pm. So we started the baptism service at 6:00pm and planned on putting him in the water at exactly 6:30pm. Forces were working against us. Because we had to change the time, our ward mission leader couldn't make it. So we had a baptism with just missionaries and the Bishop. Earlier this week, I got an injury playing soccer. I was in a cast from my ankle to my hip, it was so poorly made I pulled it right off before stepping into the water. We had the water as cold as we could so it would numb my knee. After the baptism ceremony, we went to the bathroom to get changed and Miguel had the biggest smile on his face. He kept looking in the mirror happily. I felt kind of bad because no ward members had showed up. But after the baptism, ward members showed up to support him. It was pretty cool to see the progression from contact to investigator to ultimately a convert. Even though his mom was a member we still had to teach her and him every lesson. I remember the restoration lesson in particular. I was telling them about the first vision and told them that Heavenly Father had told Joseph Smith that none of the churches on the earth were true. Right as I said that I watched Elizabeth's eyes get really wide, then I quickly told her that Heavenly father told Joseph to reorganize the church. And her eyes went back to normal and her mouth closed. I really enjoyed teaching this family. They were very humble and very loving.
Monday, July 21, 2014
After last week’s email, things got pretty rough. I was super depressed and thought that I had made up my mind to go home. At one point in the day, I was pretty sad about Cricket, I think I must have teared up a bit. Well, my companion asked what was wrong, so I told him about Cricket. All he had to say was "You are crying over a dog?" Then he proceeded to laugh. That was the last straw. I called the president and went to the office the next day. We talked for a good two hours. He told me that he could help. He talked with my companion and things have been better since. We still have our troubles, but he is trying a little harder. This week was better, but I have still had my struggles.
I had the opportunity to go on exchanges two nights this week. One was with elder Davila, and the other was with elder Snyder. Elder Snyder is from the states, so I was able to speak English with him and that helped a ton. Also, I got my hands on a English Liahona, so I’ve been reading that non- stop. I think I have read it 4 times! It helps to read the words of Apostles. I keep reading one titled, "The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship." It’s by Jeffery R. Holland. I love it because talks about the struggles that we all face in our lives and on our missions. In Mathew 23:37-38, talks about the city Jerusalem and how it stoned prophets, and they didn’t listen to the word. Elder Holland goes on to say...
"And there in lies a message for every young man and woman in this church. You may wonder if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand in high school or to go on a mission only to have your most cherished beliefs reviled or to strive against much in society that sometimes ridicules a life of religious devotion. Yes, it is worth it, because the alternative is to have our "Houses" left unto us "desolate"- Desolate individuals, desolate families, desolate neighborhoods, and desolate nations."
This hit me hard. I still want to go home. Every day I wake up and feel like crap. But then I hear the words of JRH "Yes, it is worth it." I might not be able to complete two years in this sad country, but I remind myself that every week is a success. I know people will think different of me, if I go home and I will disappoint a lot of people. But I know I am giving it my best. One of my closest missionary friends told me that if I can’t do it and if I go home early - it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Because I had the desire to serve. I have figured out that all I have to do is take it one week at a time. It’s not easy. Never was - never will be. But I’m here doing all I can to stay out.
I have turned to the scriptures for help. I was reading in 3rd Nephi chapter 17. This is when Christ visits the Nephites after his resurrection. He sits down and teaches the people, then afterwards he tells them to go home and pray about it because it is time for him to return to heaven. The people begin to cry and sob because they do not want him to go. So Jesus says "Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you." He then tells them to bring all the sick to him. He heals all their sick. Then he says, bring all your little children to me and let me bless them. So all the children gather around him and he blesses them. Then he says let us pray. So everyone knelt down and this is what they said.
"And after this manner do they bear record: The eye hath never seen neither hath the ear heard, before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father. And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak..."
What a great example. It was time for him to go, but he stayed and helped. I want to go home so bad, but I am willing to follow the example of the Savior and take it one more week at a time. I love you all at home so much and I thank everybody that has sent me emails and letters. I want to thank the young women because I read those letters every day to keep me going! I love you guys so much and I hope everyone is safe! Miss you and love you tons!
P.S. I'm eating CUY for my birthday!!!!
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Holy crap! I am sobbing. I literally can't stop crying. I was such a jerk to that dog. I miss him so much.I never thought I would take it so hard. I'm sorry that Tanner and Parker had to see that. I wish I was there to hug all of you. This is getting to be unbearably hard. My companion is really rude, and I don't get along with him. My best friend is having trouble, my family is suffering. This is really, really hard. I have a new respect for missionaries. I want you guys at home to make it a goal to befriend the missionaries. Let me tell you what I need more than anything is to have friends. It sucks. I get laughed at constantly, yelled at in Spanish, and half the time I have no clue what is going on. I just want some friends. I know one really cool missionary, but I only see him 2 times a week. So please help the missionaries, you could be the difference that keeps them out in the field. Also play games with them. Nothing means more to a missionary than when a family wants to play games. It feels like you are part of the family. I have only done it once, but it meant the world to me. I love you mom.