Monday, June 20, 2016

June 20, 2016

I am sad to leave this area. After having 5 months and 2 weeks here you really get to know and love the people here.  I am doing back to DORADO the zone where I started my mission. I will most likely finish my mission there. This next couple of weeks will be a bit stressful though becuase I was put as Zone Leader... Well, I really do not know how I feel right now. Tonight I will be passing by each house saying good bye... I will shed a lot of tears tonight. It feels like I am leaving part of my heart here in Las Brisas. I for sure want to visit here again. The only question in when and how to balance the trip with my studies and work..... I am triste.... sad...and nervous.

Photo from Pension

It is tonight before knowing the changes

We took this picture before the news of the changes

I Love this family

I will leave my son and return to Dorado



Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13, 2015

Gol Complete

Well what a great week!!!! We had some great experiences this week as we were able to see the fruits of our work. This week was all focused on Vanesa Cubas. How, when, why, and by who she was going to be baptized.

She had her interview scheduled for thursday in the afternoon, but when we showed up she was not able to come with us due to some family problems. Immediately we called the zone leaders to reschedule her interview. Friday came and we went over to her house to do some service and then take her to the interview. Again she had left for another important reason. At this point I was stressing out a bit, because it was the day before the baptism and she sill needed to be interviewed. We called the zone leaders again and canceled, poor guys, but then we rescheduled the interview to 7 at night. This time vanesa was able to make.. halelujah... she passed of course. Then we hurried and planned her baptism. 

Saturday came and in the morning we made sure that the font was full and we went and got baptismal clothing for vanesa and my companion. I felt that it would be really cool that my companion could do the baptism, this being his first area and first baptism, so I asked vanesa if my companion could baptize her. She was happy with the decision too. As we were preparing and waiting for people to arrive I received a phone call from president Williams telling me that he would like to attend the baptism.. What a surprise... It stressed me out a bit because the baptism was going to start in 15 minutes and no one was there.... I told him that it was probably going to start late... which is the peruvian time haha... he told me that he would come at 1:30pm.
The baptism ended up starting actually at 1:30pm... a small number of people showed up but enough to show the love and support of the ward. President and his wife also showed up. The baptism went really welll and everything turned out great. I really felt the spirit as Vanesa bore her testimony after being baptized.

She has taught me that in life we must be patient and persistent. She has also taught me the power of prayer. and the book of mormon in the conversion of a person. What touched me most is how she said that this is the only church that she has been able to feel the love of the Savior through each of the members.  I am so glad to be able to help this sister and daughter of God come to the truth and hope of the Plan of Salvation. Her husband passed away about 9 months and her biggest hope is being able to be sealed in the temple to her beloved companion.

it was great.

Also the people in peru were super happy when peru beat brazil...

P day infront of the big huge catholic church in chiclayo

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

June 6, 2016

Well finally the elections in Peru are over which means next week I get to go to church again. This Sunday was weird not being able to go to church and take the sacrament. I am so glad that voting in the States in not obligated.

Well guess what this next week or two we are going to have a baptism. Vanesa Cubas came back and now she is ready to (finally) get baptized. It took time and patience, I am amazed how things work out. When she left for Tarapoto to go work, I thought well good bye forever Vanesa I hope it all turns out right. I prayed for here, and then weeks later I felt like I should call her. She answered and turns out that she came back. When we finally were able to talk to her and have another lesson with her we found he very sad and in a lot of debt. She seemed like she had no hope and that she did not want anything to do with us. We did all we could to listen and comfort her and then we left some scripture passages to read in Ether 12 and other places. Then we did all that we could, we prayed, and then we prayed, and then we prayed some more. We even fasted for her. We were able to find her the next week and she seemed like a different person. I person that was happy and ready for change. We invited her to baptism and she accepted happily. Then we left her Mosiah 18 to read. She loved it. 
 What is funny is she needs to be interviewed again even though she passed the interview before, interviews only last for 30 days.
Well pray for her please.... The last couple days before the baptism are always the hardest.

We are doing well here. I am enjoying playing a lot of ping pong and soccer here every Monday. Elder Surco is doing well.

I hope everyone is doing well.

Remember ask yourselves I am looking for the truth? Then go and find it through prayer, scripture study, and church attendance and temple attendance.

May 30, 2016

Another week has flown by, I am amazed that we are already half way through the change, this actually makes me sad. Why?  Well time seems to be passing by too fast.  There are so many people to help and things to learn here with my companion and the investigators.

This week we went on two work visits. One with the zine leaders and the other with the Elders from Pradera.  It really helped Elder Surco lose the fear in contacting and stopping people on the street.  I stayed in the Brisas, my area, with elder Rodriguez and, wow, I learned a lot from this man.  Elder Rodrigues know how to work hard and bring the Spirit to each lesson.  In the morning, every person that we saw we stopped them and asked, the question, Are you looking for the truth?  Then immediately after twe taught them about the Restoration of the Gospel.  It is interesting seeing eachof the reactions to the question.  One sparked many great conversations.  Others responded that they already had the truth and that any Church that velieve that 2 angels come down from Heaven is of the devil.  It is so sad to see how wrong they are, but it is not thier time yet.  It is like Paul said to the Corinthians: "But the natural man recieveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
Elder Espinoza and Elder Romero were having some difficulties getting use to each other, but it takes time to adjust to each companion. 
We are doing everything we can to strengthen the district.

We have 2 investigators that are doing very well.  One is Vanesa Cubas who is a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses.  She has attended over 5 times and had all the lessons.  She was about to get baptized before, but the week before she traveled to Tarapoto for work.  The thing is that the job in Tarapoto did not work out, so she came back.  Now she is ready to be baptized.  What made me the happiest is that she told us she took her Book of Mormon with her and she read while she was there. 
I know that God blesses us if we work and are willing to be exactly obedient.  The change this woman has made is huge.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the key to the conversion of all those who want to be disciples of Christ.  The other investigator is Luiz Montalvo.  He is avidly reading the Book of Mormon and understands very well when we teach him.  The only thing that he lacks is that he needs to attend church.  His problem is that he is studying to be a Dentist and he is in the last leg of his studies to earn his degree and the title to establish his own practice; so every 15 days he has to do practices on Saturdays and Sundays.  Besides that he will be able to attend.

I am grateful for the opportunity to train Elder Surco because he as taught me more than I think I have taught him.  With Spanish the gospel and just how to be a better person. Thanks

Also something cool that we did this week is that we helped plant a tree with Oscar and Franco. The tree is some type of Ficus, but saturday afternoon we went over in our white shirts, haha, and went to work. The tree we planted was for the church by the way... 

Elder Mecham

May 23, 2016

This week was a great yet surprisingly week. With both ups and downs, surprises and disappointments. I really enjoyed the training we received this week. What touched me most was the part about Family History. I was overcome with a very sweet and joyful spirit as we watched the video. Now we are trying to implement all into the field. I know that the fruits will come. We started with a recent convert who is trying to prepare to be sealed as a family. They have seven months as converts and are going strong. We are mostly helping the father, Carlos Lozano, so that he can receive the Melchizedek priesthood. He still struggles to keep tithing, besides that he is there. It is funny how deadly accurate the 2016 plan is for the area that we need to ensure that all members, converts, and investigators understand the doctrine of Christ and tithing and the Sabbath day.
Carlos entered family search and started little by little. He is only up to his parents due to the lack of all his family dates. That is what happens when your parents were all farmers.

Elder Surco is doing well. He is a great support in all. Especially ward council. He had some experience as the second counselor of the Young Men, so he knows how to work more efficiently.

The only thing that we need to really work on is contacting. This week we are going to go crazy. I know that he we be a contacting machine in no time.
Well I wanted to send pictures today but this computer is super old and the usb does not work so you will not how my new companion looks yet. This week there was a multi zone with president and Sister Williams. They talked a lot about the doctrine of Christ and also about family history and how we can use it as a better tool. More it was explaining why we should be ready to teach and be proud of our family history. They showed a really cool video about it and while I watched it I really felt the spirit strongly. President said that basically if you want to have an experience with people on the other side of the veil basically do family history. I reflected back on my history from the Mecham side with the really cool story o Joshua Mecham whom surprisingly I share his name. He was the first convert of the Mecham family. Baptized at the age of 63 on a special day for both me and him. December 10. He saws served missions in to help the Indian nation. And he or his sons served as body guards for Joseph Smith. It is really interesting that I share his name because it was Grandpa Bitner that felt that I should be named Joshua. I am proud to be his descendant and proud for his decision because now over 7 generations later I am preaching the gospel to the Peruvian people. The Gospel is the answer to all the calamities in the world. In 3 Nephi 11. Christ establishes his doctrine three different times. The same number of times the Nephites heard his voice. That means that it is the thing of most importance. We as mortal beings suffer from so many weaknesses and it takes us more than one to capture the gospel. It take countless times, but when we do turn to God and Christ we are filled with joy.
DO family history..
Elder Mecham

May 16, 2016

It is interesting training; I now in the process of training a third missionary.  Each one of those whom I have trained have been dramatically different and have taught me many things.  Elder Surco really did surprise me when we started teaching.  He came very well prepared.  We knocked a door and he jumped right in, explained the Book of Mormon and gave it away within a blink of an eye.  I did not even have to explain how to introduce the Book of Mormon or anything...... I guess that is the difference when they speak the language already.

We have found some more people to teach through giving away more books of Mormon.  Our investigator that is closest to baptism, Eduardo is reading, he did not come to church with his mom this week, so we will have to move his date back a week to the 28th of May.

Elder Surco is from arequipa,, he is 21 years old and he is a convert to the church. He has now 9 years as a member of the church. I do not have a picture with him yet but I will send one this next week.

One of my old companions was transfered back into my district. I was with him here is the Brisas only a couple months ago.. Elder Isuiza it is nice to see you again.

I am doing, welll, Trying to do my best to obey and work hard and be a good example to my new companion.

This week Eduardo did not come to church because he was taking care of his grandpa. I mean it was sad that he did not come because he has a baptismal date for this week. Family always coming first though. 

May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016

I will be staying in the area and Elder Waddell will be leaving tomorrow which was very unexpected. I now will have 4 changes here in Las Brisas. I will be training Elder Zurco, something like that, from Peru. I still do not know from what part of Peru, but that is basically it. As for my zone in the mission, every single companionship had a change. There will be a lot of new faces and new experiences.

Something interesting is an Elder that went to his house for problems with knees will be coming back. He had 7 months in the mission when he left before and now he is coming to finish his service.
With the journal, I did not write yesterday, 

Elder Waddell was packing and then we enjoyed one of the last nights together chatting. This night I will make sure I write. To be honest I do not believe I will get much sleep this night becuase tomorrow Elder is gone. He still needs to finish packing and then we are going to say good bye to the gang. I feel sorry for the guy, he has packed his bags 3 times in the last 6 weeks. Packing is super stressfull and annoying so I was reliefed to hear that I would be staying. I will see Elder Waddell after the mission for sure.

Tell Malyssa happy birthday for me, since next sunday is her birthday. 12 years is a lot.

Love you

May 2, 2016

Well next week is mothers week which means that it will be the last time that I will be able to skype during the mission. I encourage you all to make and think of some great questions, comments... And also some cool stories and envents that have happened to you guys.

This week was another chill week. I found our yesterday that Vanessa Cubas came back from Tarapoto. so now we will start visiting her again. the only thing that is really sad is that she has a lot of debt so she will have to work on Sundays.. But I know that one day she will hit her goal of getting baptized.