Tuesday, October 30, 2012

We baptized Bruce Lee...

We had a baptism that went over quite nicely. It was an old investigator that didn't have permission from his parents. He's a 10 year old kid named Jimmy Bruce Lee de la Cruz Rodriguez. I didn't believe him at first when he said that his name was Bruce Lee, but it is. It was just nerve wracking to have him say that just before the baptism and not being sure, haha. But we worked with his parents and got permission to baptism him. That same day. So we ran all over the area getting things organized, announced, getting the interview done any everything. In the end, we got it all in time to join the baptismal service of the Hermanas at 5:00. But it went over nicely and we're excited to have had the chance to help him. But getting the permission was a real miracle. I didn't think we'd ever get it the first time we talked with them. I guess that's the how the Lord always blesses his children. I love being able to help people come to Christ. I really, honestly hope to be a missionary all my life.
Oh, as for Jimmy, we found out that he only showers once a week (in the morning before church). And his baptism was Saturday. He didn't take a shower before it. When he took off his shoes, the entire bathroom filled with a rancid odor. It honestly smelled like skunk, and just as strong. I have NEVER smelled feet like that. We made him wash his feet in the sink before stepping into the faunt. Phew...

So as for a fun cultural note. I ate month old potatoe (they soaked it in water for a MONTH.... That's just worng). They made it into a cream and served it up in a bowl. And it smelled... well... rancid. It really got my stomach going. I only managed a little before I couldn't take it anymore... Ugh... But at least it's really healthy... Or so they say...

Other than that, life is going pretty good here in Huaraz. I love the culture here. Though I could go without the slaughter house in the middle of town. That place gives me the creeps. I never know how animals screamed when they died... They cut the pigs open live here. It's awful. And smells SO bad. They just dump the blood out of the side of the building into the river. That and there's always a ton of animals sitting around outside of the building, and they don't clean up after them. So that just adds to the lovely smell. Other than that, the area is really pretty, though.

Anyway, I love you all and hope that everything is going well up there in the US. I'm working hard and the Lord is really blessing me for my desires and efforts. I definitely have a testimony that the Lord completes with all of his promissed blessings that he gives in the scriptures. It's pretty incredible to me how directly and closely the Lord woks in my life. 

Thanks for the support and Love! Take Care everyone!
Elder Seth Prestwich

Monday, October 22, 2012

Huaraz-- In the Far Corners of the Mission.

Well, this week has been one of the longest weeks of my mission. Phew. I got sent off to Huaraz this time. I wen't by bus. It left at 9:15 pm and I got there at 7:00 am. Longest bus ride ever. It didn't matter how soft those seats were, they hurt by the morning. As for Huaraz itself, it's really quite pretty. It's got trees and green! We went on an hour bus ride to another town that's part of our area and the whole time I was enjoying the green cliffs and hills with the purple mountains in the background. It definitely felt close to home. WAY better than Trujillo. And to top it off, Trujillo is getting really hot right about this time of year, and it's still nice and cold here in Huaraz. We have to wear sweaters every day still. Which is the nicest escape from the heat. I think this is the first time I've ever been thankful for the cold.
The people here are great as well. They all talk SO funny. They have a rhythimic, singing tone in their voice. I have to hold back the laughs from time to time. It's awesome. And as soon as you get away from the touristy main streets, you get to true Peru. I didn't really know old Peruvian culture till I got up here. They people dress with bright colors (it almost looks native american) and they all have super tall cowboy looking hats. They're soo cool. And they all talk Ketchua here. Which is pretty crazy. From time to time I go to talk to someone and don't get why they don't understand me, until they answer me in Ketchua. So it's kinda funny to finally learn Spanish and then meet other people who don't speak Spanish. Kind of a funny reverse.

Anyway, we're working with our few investigators that we have. My companion, Elder Fernandez, has been here for 3 months and has had 11 baptisms in that time. But now he's hit a wall and I came in new. But we're working hard, looking for new investigators. Though people are a little bit more closed here, we'll manage to find a few people.

And as for the food, well... It's... alright. A lot of the food is similar, but people eat a lot more... intestine, chicken foot, liver, chicken throat, rotten potatoes (seriously, they soak a potatoe for a MONTH in cold water, then boil it and serve it with a weird green sauce.... just the smell made me sick), and several other strange things. But that's alright. At least I haven't gone so far in that they eat cats. That's all I ask for. But the pensionista likes me and said that she won't give me anything too weird. Phew.

Anyway, I'm off to work hard and help people to come unto Christ.

Thanks everyone for your support and love!
Elder Seth Prestwich

Monday, October 15, 2012

Off to the Mountains...

Hey everyone!

Changes came once again. This time I'm headed off to the far corner of the mission-- to Huaraz (area Huarupampa, I believe)! It's in the mountains of Peru, so that should be quite interresting. Though, it's far away from any... big city. A lot farther than Ascope. Ascope was 1 1/2 hours from Trujillo. Huaraz is 6. So that'll be a trip. I'm leaving tonight. So I'm not gonna be able to say goodbye to many people here.

Well, I feel as if my work here in Laredo was well done. I worked hard and diligently and the Lord guided us on our way. Maybe we didn't see many outside evidences, but we've started the work again. And I feel as if I will be leaving the area in a good place. We're ready to marry a couple, Clever and Juvicza, on the 20th. Then we'll just have to help them come to the waters of baptims, then later, the Temple. I really hope they can pull through to the end.

Other than that, I'm rather sad to leave Elder Quispe. He's been a great companion and we've really enjoyed working together. And though we didn't have a ton of baptisms we were able to work together with a good attitude every day here in Laredo.

But I'm excited to go to Huaraz and get to work. It'll be a definite change in enviroment (I'll have to buy a sweater), but I feel like I should really enjoy it. Time to go forward with faith.

Other than that, President Turk came to visit us this week. He was teaching with Elder Quispe and I for about 3 hours in the afternoon. We found several of the families that we were teaching, so that was really cool. It was a successful day and the President was happy with our work and the Spirit that was in our lessons. But he really testified of Christ in every aspect of the teaching and really brought the Spirit every time he talked. It was really cool to see his exaple in teaching agian.

Well, I'm just excited to get back to work and also to see the pretty part of the mission (though everyone says that the mountian food is terrible... that'll be fun). Keep me in your prayers! Thanks for all the prayers and support that you always send me. Know that I love you guys and I'm praying for all of you as well.

Take care!
Elder Seth Prestwich

The Mission President's Visit

Link to article and pictures of Seth and the mission President's visit.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wow, I can't believe they lower the missionary age.... Crazy.

Hey, Everyone!

Well, this week went by alright. Though we did find a wonderful miracle. We've found several new complete families in these past few days. It's been really amazing to watch the spirit work with them even in the first lesson. But we're really excited to work with them and they've already become a big focus in our work for this week. Though it still presents one problem, we have to marry them all. We're working on that part. But there are some public weddings coming up where we can marry them for less money, so we're hoping that they can get their papers together before the date.

Other than that, we've made goals to better ourselves with all of the comitments that they extended during Conference. I made a long list from my notes, and I plan on makeing goals and plans to work more efficently and with the Spirit (and to just become more like Christ, of course). But I could really feel the Lord speak through His servants to help me. I know that they're called of the Lord. And I know that they recieve revelation to help the whole world. And it was amazing to see my investigators feel the Spirit testify the same to them.

But, wow, I can't believe they lowered the missionary age! That's insane. Guys can leave at 18 and girls at 19. That should really change things. There's gonna be a lot more sister missionaries. But like they said, we need them.

And they announced another temple in Peru! So they're gonna go from one to three in a short amount of time! But it's gonna be in Arequipa, which is the hometown of my companion! He totally flipped out the second they announced that! He jumped out of his chair and almost screamed. He held it in, but I could see that it almost came out. But that was super exciting for everyone. The work is really going forward here in Peru. The temples are gonna change the Chruch here completely.

Hope everyone is doing well! Stay safe and apply what you all learned in conference!
Elder Seth Prestwich

Monday, October 1, 2012

Seth's Birthday Pictures

These pictures were taken close to Seth's birthday...must have been his companions birthday as well. The egg on the head is traditional in many South American countries...not sure why.

General Conference is coming up!!

Hey everyone!

Well, we were able to confirm Hna. Sabina on Sunday, so all went well. She really could feel the Spirit and we can see the huge change that she's felt in her life.

This week I've been working hard on praying at all moments. While walking, teaching, preparing, everything. I've really felt a difference in the presence of the spirit. It really comes every time I ask for His company and for dirrection. It's definitely going to be a wonderful change in the amount of revelation that I can recive for my investigators.

We're running into a lot of road blocks with our investigators as of late. There's a lot of things that are keeping them from progressing, unfortunately. One pair isn't married and the papers are in remote corners of Huamachuco (even though they really want to get married and baptised). One was the best friend of a priest in the ward, but his parents didn't five him permission to be baptised. Another find other work that will leave Sunday open to go to church... I feel a bit frustrated with all of the obstacles  that we can't seem to jump. But we'll keep working and trying to help them find a way to come to Christ and we'll keep looking for more people who are ready to come to Christ.

We also ended up without a Pensionista this month. That's a bit worrying for us. So we have today covered by a member who can feed us once or twice, but after that...
Well, we're working hard. We've asked the whole ward and even some non members and everyone has said no. We'll just keep praying and hoping things work out...
And we don't have a kitchen, so we can't exactly cook for ourselves, but we'll figure it out.... 

So during fast and testimony meeting, I really felt touched by the testimonies of the members who talked about their conversions and about missionary work. It was just amazing to me the impact that missionaries and their message left on the lives of these people. There really aren't many things that someone can give that affects a life every day. One of the Sisters talked about when the missionaries came to her over 50 years ago, and the story still brought tears to her eyes. It's just amazing thinking about how greatly this message affects the lives of those who accept it. I guess it really renewed my energy to work hard to help other come to Christ. I honestly can't give much that will bring tears of joy to the eyes of someone 50 years from now, but here in the mission is probably my best chance to bless the lives of others. And not just for 50 years, but for all eternity.
I just take, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ keeps giving every day of your life and for all of eternity. It's amazing to share this with others and see it work in their lives. I hope everyone can feel the profound blessings that they recieve by being members of this church.

 And don't forget to go to Conference prepared to recieve revelation and answers to your questions!

Love you all! Take Care!
Elder Seth Prestwich