Monday, August 27, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jaren!!

Hey, everyone!

Well, I feel pleased with this last week's work. Our numbers weren't anything out of the ordinary, really, but the Lord really blessed us with success! We now have two fechas [dates] and two progressing investigators! So we're really excited and working really hard to take care of them. Their names are Esther and Carmelo. Esther is the neighbor of a member family and she's only 8 years old. We've been teaching her and her mom. They both want to be baptized, but her mom has to get married first, so she'll have to come later. Carmelo is a 17 year old who's pretty quite, but seems really excited to hear about the Restoration. He's always receptive to our message.

So we'll be working hard to make sure they keep excited about coming to church, reading, and praying. We're helping them learn how to endure to the end so they can be baptized and keep going afterward. But it'll be very possible that they're our first baptisms here in Laredo! We're super thankful for the blessings that the Lord has given us (and them at the same time).

Oh, and they're iguanas here! I don't know if I ever mentioned it, but we were walking over a little bridge one day, and there was this giant green iguana that leaped out of the river and went running across the bridge! It was super crazy. And he was a super vibrant green. He totally freaked us out, but it was cool to see a little wildlife (other than stray dogs and chickens).

I really hope everyone is doing great and enjoying life!
Don't forget that God intended us to enjoy this life and find eternal happiness in the next! =P

Take care, everyone! Love ya!
Elder Seth Prestwich

Monday, August 20, 2012

Another cambio that flew by...

Well, time seems to be flying by these days. We're working hard each day. As of late, I've been really trying to focus on putting my whole effort into today. I want to be able to look back at each day, happy that I did what I did. I don't want to laze off and end up with regrets. I know I don't have much time here in the mission, especially for how important this work is. But I'm rededicating myself to working like every day is my last chance to change the lives of others. It really helps me change my attitude. I may have to make a lot of sacrifices, but it's always worth it.

It's odd to think how little we do, but how much the Lord makes of it. He's really relying on normal, 20 year old kids to go preach the most important message that anyone will ever hear. We have tons of weaknesses and struggles, but the Lord always carries our words and efforts to the hearts of those we teach. He leads us to all the people who are ready to accept the Gospel. I love being here.

Thanks everyone for your prayers and support!

As for a good story, I got to eat my first guinea pig! There's pretty much no meat at all, and it's kinda slimy. But they put a really good sauce on it, so I couldn't help but like it.

Well, time is up again, sorry about a short letter, but I love you all! Take care of yourselves!
Elder Seth Prestwich

Monday, August 13, 2012

Who's gonna play soccer with me when I get back?

Well, the week went by well again. We're getting to know more and more people here. We're finding a lot of new people to teach. The only thing we aren't finding is people who want to progress. We're trying really hard to help our investigators keep their commitments and make it to church, but it's just not happening. We talk and invite and follow up but they just don't follow through. So we'll keep looking, because the Lord is preparing someone here. Someone is ready to accept the Gospel. We just need to find out who.

Other than that, I can really see the difference between now and when I started the mission. Instead of getting down on myself when no one progresses, I'm on my feet working to find someone. I know someone is out there and I'm determined to do all I can to find them. I now know how to do things a lot better and I never feel helpless or lost. There's always something I can do.

In other news, we play soccer every Monday and Friday morning as a zone. That tends to be my moment to just have fun and lighten my mood. I'm getting a whole lot better at it, but I'm still nothing compared to the Latinos. They tend to have played soccer all their lives. So I've got a lot of catching up to do... Though I'm learning pretty fast. I just think it's funny how the things I practiced as a kid (I took Spanish classes and played a little bit of soccer) just all came back for these two years.

Hope all is going well for everyone! How goes the new school year?
Elder Seth Prestwich

Hey Dad!

Wow, those are some crazy Olympics stories. That's really impressive and a great insight. It's definitely the same here in the mission. You can see a huge difference between the success of the missionaries who give up when things don't go their way and those who decide to try harder. I'm learning to be the second. I get over myself when I feel down and put all my time into the mission. That's what made the difference in my last area, and that's what's gonna get this area started. Because in the moments when you just feel down right tired from doing all that you can, God steps in and leads you to the one person who's ready to come to Christ.

And Mr Butcher is quite the funny guy... XD

Hope all is well!

Monday, August 6, 2012

A couple of pictures

Each time I post here I add the link to Seth's Facebook account. Often, when I login there are friend requests from various people in Peru. Seth told me to add them, so I do. This time Korin was on the add friend list, and when I did I saw she had pictures of her baptism. Which included Seth. Since we don't really see pictures of Seth I downloaded all of them and put a few here :). Hope Korin doesn't mind. In looking back at Seth's emails here is the description of this day in July. -- Alan

"Our baptism was scheduled for Sunday after church on Sunday, so we left in the morning to fill the font, and there wasn't any water. That tends to be a problem when you have to dunk someone completely underwater. So we called the Bishop, the other members, we did everything to get it working, but there wasn't any solution. Members were trying to fix the problem during church even, but in the end, we had to tell Hna. Korin (our investigator) that we weren't going to be able to baptize her here. We suggested Casa Grande (30 minute bus ride) but that was too far and she was pretty sad. But the members came to the rescue and suggested that we go to a nearby river to do it.
Baptisms in rivers are adventures, just throwing it out there. We all hopped onto the bus and left to the river. The service was nice, but Elder Castro had lots of trouble making it to a deep part of the river. He was super timid and it turns out, it was the first time he'd ever been in a river before. We could tell... It was super funny seeing him try to get around. But he managed to get out there and baptise Hna. Korin. So all turned out well in the end, despite the havoc (emotionally speaking as well) that happened in the morning. But just as long as the havoc isn't for the investigator, all's well."

Elder Castro, Korin & Elder Seth Prestwich

Seth called it a river, looks more like an irrigation ditch

On a "bridge"? :)

Working Hard....

Well, I feel like we're doing pretty well here in Laredo. Elder Quispe and I have been talking with everyone and doing our best to find someone who's willing to listen and keep their commitments. Of all the people we've found there might be two or three. We managed to find two progressing investigators already so we really hope to help them. They'll need a little work and time, it seems, but miracles happen in the mission every day.

This week felt quite long, but at least we saw progression in the area. I've been looking back at what I've learned in the mission a lot this week. I realize that I've already learned priceless lessons and my whole view of life has changed. I've changed my priorites and learned how to work and love someone else --to forget myself for once. I just hope I can keep learning and keep my mind open to the lessons the Lord has prepared for me. I've grown a desperate desire to listen and learn from the Lord so I can keep progressing as fast as possible. I don't want to fall behind and not be able to fulfill the things that the Lord wants me to do. But more than anything else, I've come to know, even more than before, that Christ is my Savior and that the Atonement is real. It's become a part of life instead of a pretty idea that I'm trying to chace. The mission really does bring the miracle of conversion if you let it.

I can already see how I'll live differently after I come back and how differently I act now. I'm really quite glad to be here. I wouldn't change this chance to be here for anything.

Other than that, I've got a really funny moment to share.
I've definitely gotten used to being here in Peru. The living conditions might not be as good, but I'm okay with that. For example, we don't really have mirrors a lot of the time. We work with a tiny hand mirror to get ourselves ready for the day. And that's with only dull light in the morning. So I don't actually see my face much at all. I guess I kinda forget that I'm so white, becuase I looked into a real mirror after quite some time and it shocked me at how white I was. It was quite the weird moment, I have to admit. It kinda seemed like one of those movies where the guy looks in the mirror and he's someone else. It was the oddest thing....

That and I watched some kids make some pretty amazing fireworks in the street. Pretty dangerous as well, but you've just got to have fireworks to celebrate a day for a saint.

But I really hope all is well for everyone! Good luck with the new school year!
Elder Seth Prestwich