Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Gift of Glasses...

Well, this week turned out to have quite a few ups and downs, but, when all is said and done, it was a good week. We now have two baptismal dates (Hna. Flor and Hna. Cori), so we're working hard with them. They're both progressing and excited to be baptized. If all goes through well, one will be baptized the 30th of June and the other the 8th of July. But we're looking for someone who will be ready for July 14th as well (that'd be a pretty sweet birthday present, if you ask me). There are a few possible people, so we're focusing on them as well.
Other than that, I've had good heath. My companion had to go to the dentist to yank his tooth out. He's feeling pain, but I imagine he'll recover quickly. He's not one to be held down for long. But we're still getting along well and working hard. We're getting excited to start seeing baptisims in the area.
Out whole zone also had the chance to help out the community this week. A group of eye doctors came down from the United States (from Utah, mostly members) to give out glasses to the people in Perú. I guess Trujillo has really bad eyes. He told me that it's one of the worst cases of eye disease in the world. So they came down to try and help them see again. There was just one problem-- only one or two of them spoke Spanish. So that's where we came in. We translated all the things that the Peruvians were saying so we could help them find the glasses they were looking for and communicate their problems so they doctors could help them. That and those who didn't speak english worked as helping hands. But there were thousands (literally) of people who came in to get glasses. It was super crouded and just a fairly organized chaos, but it we were able to help a ton of people. They brought millions of glasses to give to these people. Crazy. But we could see how grateful they were to get that help. Especially those who had other medical problems, because there was no way they they could spend the money to buy new glasses. But, man, did we see some really bad eyes...
I also got to see my first firework castle! They have a tradition of building these massive, flimsy wooden frames of a castle (like a spire of a castle). They then fill the frames with levels and levels of fireworks. They light one massive fuse in the middle and it slowly works its way up to light each level of the castle. It had about 12-15 levels or so and each level lasted 2-3 minutes. It got bigger and better (and more dangerous) with every level. It was pretty exciting to see the fireworks so close, though I definitely felt better taking the back row.
Well, I'm out of time, but I hope everyone's doing great! Take care! I'll be praying for everyone.
Elder Seth Prestwich

Monday, June 18, 2012

One More Week...!

Well, we're still working on placing baptismal dates, but we have high hopes for this next week. We have a few investigators that are prepared and ready, they just need to overcome their doubt and fear. We'll have to rely on the Spirit to do that one, so we're studying hard to help them feel the spirit in the lessons and from their commitments. We have faith that if we work hard, we'll see changes in the area this week.
Other than that, I'm pumped to work and help the people here. I know we'll be able to see change and progress soon, so I'm not giving in even a tiny bit. My health is good and my spirits are up, so we'll pray faithfully to recieve the guidance of the Spirit.
So I just have an interresting culture fact this week. I always passed the shoes that were hanging from the power lines in the streets But when I asked my Chilean companion why they were there, he told me that when he finished school, he would throw his shoes on the power lines with his friends. So I thought it was something normal. But my companion taught me this week that it's to show respect for the people who've died. So if someone dies near that area, they throw of pair of their shoes on the lines and leave it there. It's funny how the culture can change so much just between two bordering countires.
Sorry I don't have much time this week. Hope all is well!
Elder Seth Prestwich

Monday, June 11, 2012

Marco's Baptism!

Well, little Marcito was finally baptized! He decided that this last week was fine and he got pretty excited about it by the end. During the baptism, I could see the spirit that he felt. He was very calm and smiling after the baptism and even had watery eyes after his confirmation. It was cool to be able to baptize him and it was really awesome to see that and help him find that happiness. Now he'll be able to endure to the end with the help of all his siblings. It was really awesome to see all of them reach the waters of baptism and make those convenants.
Other than that, we're working really hard with a few other people. We have one or two people who will possibly be baptized this Saturday, but no specific baptismal dates. We'll be praying and working hard for a miracle in one of our investigators!
Other than that, I had a work visit with my district leader. That went really well and I learned a lot from him. He's a good missionary and has changed a whole lot in his mission. I love to listen to his experiences and see how one can grow in the mission.
And as for another note of good news, the drunk that always chases us down screaming "Joseph Smith! Joseph Smith!" moved to Italy! He told us he was leaving, but we didn't take him seriously. He was the strangest man I've ever met.... He told us that he's prayed to know that the Book of Mormon is true and he recieved his answer, but we could never teach him or talk with him about it because he was drunk every day. He asked me one day to take him the the US becase he'd be able to find a better life there, but I'm afraid that he'd just find alochol and live the same. Poor guy. Too bad we couldn't help him with something, but he's gotta make his own descision to change. There are some interresting characters here in Perú.....
The whole valley (well, all the little farming cities) lost power one night as well! At 7:00 the entire town went super dark! And nobody had back up lights and there were very few flashlights. So when it went dark, it went really dark. We had to head back to the room and rest a few hours early. It'd be really nice, but we missed a really important appointment. But other than that... I got a few hours more of sleep!
My companion woke up shiverring this morning. I just woke up feeling normal. I asked him why he wouldn't get out of bed, and he told me that it was just way too cold. I didn't get it. It was completely backwards to how it was before. I was the one always cold! Just one of those odd moments when the world felt a little backwards...
Hope all is going well, thanks for the emails!
Elder Seth Prestwich

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

They Say That It's Winter, But I'm Still Sweating All Day.... Yay, Perú!

This week had a lot of ups and downs. Our key indicators are higher than normal, but unfortunately our baptismal dates have all fallen. We're working hard to put new goals for them and to help the come to Christ. We're not giving up on anyone, and we're still looking for more people to teach.

We had a large amount of help from the members this week. We were able to do divisions and visit referals from the members as well. It was so helpful to have thier support in the work, and with that came a lot of success. We found a lot of new people to teach and one or two that seem quite prepared to recieve the Gospel! We're super excited to work with them and see how they progress in these next couple of weeks.
So I had another great food experience! It was pretty exciting. My Pensionista gave us a new soup! It was made of very large stewed corn, which tasted great! But it was also full of this unreacognizeable... meat? I ate it, and decided that it was a mushroom or something. It tasted really weird, and was kinda soggy. Ugh. I decided I had to ask my companion once I finished, and he explained it to me. But he was using a word that I didn't know, so I didn't really understand. That night, I looked up the word in the dictionary .... intestine.
I ate.... cow intestine... *shiver*.
If you want proof that how you feel physically is all in your head, you should have felt the shift in my stomach after I read that word....
But that aside, we had a great ward activity called, "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!" It was pretty great. There was a dance with a dinner and other games and such. Each one had it's own room, but then there was us, the missionaries, teaching lessons at the end. Few took the time to listen to us, but that was the point. After all the fun, we taught about the Plan of Salvation and how we should always make time for the things of God. It was pretty fun. I just thought the title was really funny.
And I don't know if you guys have heard, but they're now sending 18 year olds on the mission in South America! A card just came to our ward letting us know that the 12 Apostles have made the descision to send the 18 year old boys who've finished High School (and 2 years of Seminary) on their missions. So they'll be going out a year earlier... Crazy. So there's gonna be a ton of kids leaving on their missions this year.

Hope all is well! I'm doing great down here and am excited to work with all of the new people we've found. I'll let you know how it all goes!

Elder Seth Prestwich