Monday, March 26, 2012

Huanchaco Beach!

All is still going well here in Huanchaco (Yeah, I'm still here. I'll have been here for 6 months once I finish this exchange! 1/4 of my mission!). We're expecting another baptism this week,and all should go really well. The Zone Leaders made a comment about how our investigator was super prepared after having interviewed her. Elder Vilchez and I found it really funny, because she had a huge amount of doubts and obstacles when we first started teaching her. But she changed drastically within the time we were teaching her. She let go of all the problems and doubts that she had and just left it to faithful prayer and study. The moment she decided to do that, everything changed. She smiled more, was more accepting of the Gospel and of other people, and she found the enthusiasm to get up and change her life. It was awesome to be able to help her find that change in her life.

Other than that, we're struggling to get other people to the church and get other people married. Those seem to be the great obstacles of our investigators here in Huanchaco. But we're working hard and we're still looking for new people who are ready to accept the Gospel.

So guess what! There was an artist invasion in Huanchaco! A ton of artists came and started painting all the walls of Huanchaco! All of the walls in the streets are covered in grafiti (and nothing creative), so I guess some artists decided that our little beach town should be a bit nicer. They just came down and started painting murals over all of the grafiti. But it looks super awesome, and way better. They were painting until the wonderful police came down and told them that they can't paint the walls because that's grafiti. But they didn't press any charges, because they knew it looked way better too. They the artists threw a big open concert. BUT the guitarist that was playing in the band happened to be someone I had taught in Trujillo one morning when I was there for a day! So I got to talk with him and see how he was doing, so that was way cool.

Hope all is well! Thanks for the updates!
Elder Seth

Monday, March 19, 2012

1/4 of My Mission Complete!?

Well, we've finally got another baptismal date. We've been working with Liz for a while now and she's always had doubts and questions. She grew up in the church with her family until she was 12, then she and her family left due to some problems in the family and some of the members. But we've talked with her and she's come to church on her own accord and things were going well, but she wouldn't accept a baptismal date. Until we finally got down to her real problems and addressed them. The spirit really worked through her to forgive and to accept our invitation to be baptized. Now we just have to work carefully for the next two weeks so she keeps her excitement up.

I've finished with another exchange, and it's really cool to see how much I've learned and progressed with each exchange. I'm a lot more capable of teaching and following the Spirit now. Spanish is a lot more relaxed for me (most of the time) and I almost never feel frustrated with it. I've become more and more appreciative of the chance to be here in Peru and share the Gospel.

I continually see the little miracles in my life as well. For example, I got really sick for the first time out here in the field. I had a bad fever, headach, I felt like throwing up, and my body felt limp and heavy. I was sure that I wasn't going to be able to work, but I asked my companion for a blessing. I had enough energy to get up and start walking out the door, and hour by hour I felt better and was able to teach and work. I was able to recieve a blessing of the Lord to heal my sicknesses quickly.

As for a couple strange things that happen, I just don't think I'll ever get used to the chickens. They're everywhere... For example, this morning, a woman got on the bus with a baby in one arm and a chicken in the other. It was just so weird to me that people bring chickens in crowded public areas.

Also, I saw a dog that was trained to fetch water. There isn't clean water here, so people have to buy and refill tanks of water. My pensionista told us a story of how they trained their dog to leave their house carrying a wagon behind him (kinda like a horse) with an empty tank and a few coins to pay. He'd walk about 10 minutes to where they'd refil water and they'd just take the money, fill it up and the dog would walk back. I think that's the niftiest trick a dog can do. Teach him to run your errands.

Hope all is well and everyone is hinging in there!
Elder Seth

Monday, March 12, 2012

News from the Desert

Well, Daniel was baptized! It was really awesome to see him take on a
covenant with the Lord. He really was prepared to recieve this Gospel
into his life, though. He was so enthusiastic to learn, read, pray, be
baptized, everything. He was recieved really well be all of the young
men in the ward and the young men's president baptized him. He even
said that he'd like to take mission prep. classes in institute (He has
18 years, so he's kind of in an inbetween stage since he's friends
with the young men).

David, our last baptism and brother of Daniel, now has a calling in
the Young Men's program as well, so it's awesome to see those two
together in the church. It really is the most satisfying thing I've
seen in the mission. I feel so privlidged to have had the chance to
teach them.

Unfortunately, we had two other baptizmal dates that more or less fell
through. Liz and Rosio are they're sisters who's mother is less
active. Liz is working hard to read and pray, but hasn't felt an
answer yet and really doesn't feel enthusiasm to go to church. She's
told us how she really doesn't want to be the only one in her family
going to church. So pray for her so she can recieve and answer and
become excited about going to chruch. And also so her family can
accompany her there. And Rosio is still a possibility, but she's got
to have a desire to go to church and complete her commitments as well.
So if you could, pray for them. And remember to say their names with a
latino accent =P (Liz rhymes with peace... kind of. And Rosio is like

Well, on my way over here, I saw an old style horse and plow in
action. That was a first, but kinda cool to see.
We were helping build the second floor of our pensionista's house, and
we found something really funny. About 15 years ago, when my
pensionista was first listening to the missionaries, the missionaries
then helped her build her house. They were two Gringos. So when they
finished laying the cement for the roof of the house, they wrote
"hecho por norte americanos" ("Made by North Americans"). So our
pensionista now has "hecho por norteamericanos" written on her floor.

I'm still doing great down here. I hope all is well back home! I'm
still praying for all of you!
Elder Seth

Monday, March 5, 2012

Walking like a Zombie...

Well, we're still having trouble getting investigators to church. And with getting them to accept a baptismal date as well. So it feels a bit like the work is going slow, but we should have a baptism this week. Our investigator, Daniel, has really proved to be gold and he's showed genuine appreciation for the Gospel. He and his brother, David (who was the last baptism in Huanchaco), are both growing strongly in the Gospel. We tried to get David to baptize Daniel, but he feels to new to the Gospel and Priesthood to do it. But, thankfully he has good bonds in the ward and wants a member to baptize him. I like to see that. I know that he'll still be taken care of after we leave because of those bonds.

Other than that, I've been doing really well. I'm learning how to teach a whole lot better these days and I'm learning how to use the lessons to really help people. The teachings of Christ really can heal pains, all we need to do is teach with the Spirit to convey that.

This week has turned out to be rather interesting. We helped a member with building his house again. We (10 missionaries) hauled 1000 bricks down a hill (sand dune, actually) into his house. It was some pretty tiring work, but it's always nice to help. I'll have to show everyone a picture of the houses in that area when I get back. It always makes me appreciative of how many nice things I have/had in the US.

We lost power again, but right before we went to bed, and I didn't have batteries for my flashlight. So that night was the first time I wrote and got ready for bed by candle light. That was kinda a fun experience. But I had to do everything one handed because we don't have a stand or anything like that. But candles give off a suprisingly good amount of light.

Oh, and before I forget, thanks for sending the Valentines package! I got that a couple weeks ago, but I don't think I ever said thank you.

The culture is a bit different here sometimes. People talk a little more freely about the way people look. My pensionista and her family keep making jokes about how I'm getting fatter and darker. They keep telling me that I'll be as round and dark as them within 6 months. So, being the North American that I am, I'm gonna have to quit eating rice so I can lose a little weight and stop gaining it...

I saw a moth the size of my palm in the church. It was freaking huge. I've never seen a living moth that big in my life.

My companion's been fighting a war with the smell of his shoes. He's desperately trying to make them smell better, and yesterday, he burned the inside of his shoes hoping that would do it. And, well, burnt shoe smelled better than his shoes did before. So I guess it worked...

So one of our investigators, Liz, has a special ed sister (she's probably 14 or 15), and sometimes we teach the two of them together (becuase her sister has to be watched constantly). But Liz left the room for a second to grab her Book of Mormon and left the two of us with her sister. Immediately after Liz left, her sister stood up and walked toward my companion. She put both of her hands on my companions knees and put her face about a foot from his. My companion completely froze up and didn't know what to do (and I couldn't stop laughing). She stared at him for a second, then started coming in for a kiss. My companion had to stiff arm her back and sit her back down on the sofa across the room. But only after a couple moments of awkward "What should I do?" moments and "I'm still processing what just happened there..." moments. It was so funny to see his reaction, though. Anyway, we sat her back down, and she didn't try anything again, but she did look dissapointed that she didn't get her kiss. Oh, the fun moments you have as a missionary. Well, fun for me, I really couldn't stop laughing through the whole thing.

Anyway, hope all is well and everyone's working hard!
Elder Seth