4/28/18 So in the jungle there is a weird tribal thing where they embroider things in bright colored designs that are weird, you can look it up online, its called "shepiva". So i sent in a tie for them to embroider, and i made it a "flower tie" which is like a fad that hasn't died out yet.... so this is how it turned out, its different but it looks kinda cool!
It has probably been the most tiring week i have had in a long time, but also one of the most edifying ones. We had another mission tour but this time it was with a general authority, Elder Falabella. He helped us regain our focus, and gave us some fantastic ideas to use in our work. If i had to use a word to describe him it would be WISDOM. He really is just walking experience, and boy does he put it to use. I will give a brief description of how this week was:
Monday: we filled out the weekly reports and then set off for Tarapoto! Elder Falabella was scheduled to arrive the next day, Tuesday, but we made sure to get there a bit early so that we were ready for him.
Tuesday: Elder Falabella got there in the afternoon, we spent the morning making preparations and getting ready for the meeting that he would have with the the branch council presidencies of the area. My companion and i were present at the meeting and even though it was more geared for the members, i learned a lot from what he said. What i liked most was what was mentioned about observing and serving, instead of observing and asking. We shouldn't wait for someone to ask to help them, just find simple ways to help when you see it!
Wednesday: Multi-zone conference with the missionaries from 3 different zones, about 40 missionaries in total. That was amazing, he talked a lot about goals, obedience and what happens when we keep trying to do the same things to get different results. It helped open our eyes to see more than we could, and to really understand how to do it. He said that we need to not only convert converts, but convert missionaries. Most of the searching we should be doing should be done through others, if it is done in that way, it is much more efficient. At the same time, he made it very clear that we cannot expect to have results without putting in our own effort. It all depends on us, and how diligent we are in truly searching for those who are being prepared to hear the message. After the conference we rushed over to the airport bound for Lima, and then Pucallpa. but only found 2 delayed flights which caused us to get to bed around 12... That sucked, but on the bright side we totally got to eat McDonalds in the Lima Airport! That was something that boggled my mind, in all honesty it was a very strange experience. Its something that i will have to get used to again haha.
Thursday: After a couple hours of sleep, we got up and immediately began setting up for the conference in Pucallpa. While doing that, we got the news that Elder Falabellas flight was delayed and that he would be getting there 3 hours late! So what did we do? President Li stalled for those couple of hours while we went and picked up Elder Falabella and then we got to listen to him for about an hour. It was the strangest conference that i had ever been to... but at the same time it was pretty edifying, although he shared pretty much the same stuff that he did in Tarapoto. After that, we rushed over to the airport to come back to Iquitos.
Friday: The final conference was in Iquitos and it was like the gran-finale of the whole tour. Elder Falabella did pretty much the same thing but really just let us have it. There were quite a few times where he told us what we were doing was wrong, and as much as it hurt, it was still awesome. He put a big emphasis on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and how incredible it actually is. It helped me redirect my vision and refocus on the things that are more important. What really got me was what he said about goals and hard work. There is a quote in Preach My Gospel by Elder Ballard that talks about this, and summed up it says: If we dont learn how to set and reach goals, we will look back and realize that we only accomplished a portion of what we could have really achieved. Did i feel like that applied to me? In a way, yes. But its ok, thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ :). After the conference was the leadership council that we hold every month, but this one was interesting because President Li directed the whole thing! The assistants are usually the ones who direct the council, but President did it while Elder Falabella was there and it was interesting to watch. But in the end we got stuff done, there was a lot to talk about with Elder Falabella there. It was amazing to say the least.
Today: we shopped and cleaned, normal!
In the end, the week has been an eye opener for us, and i am really excited to head out to the field with this new knowledge. I will be going to a new area with new opportunities and a fresh start. Cant wait to give it my all! Scripture of the week is Abraham 3:25. We are here to do everything that he commands!!! Have a great week!
photos: baptism of Maritza, the mother of a return missionary, it was definitely a struggle but totally worth it! Mcdonalds in the airport! and the amazon!!!
5/21/18 Well, first off, the internet here is pretty bad, so I don't think I
will have time to write a group email, I don't even think I can send
more than one email at once (you can pretty much say goodbye to
pictures...) Another p-day we will see if I can find a better place to
write. Anyyyyways, things are awesome! Its actually been very
different, especially as I try to readjust to life in the field. I am
loving having more time for simply working, studying and really just
doing more things! Less responsibility is also something new, in
reality its just a shift of focus, there's less that I have to take
care of so it gives me a lot more freedom to simply focus on my area.
My companion is another mind-blower, he is a whopping 5 feet tall!
haha its is a spectacle working with him. He is from Guatemala, and
his name is Elder Ordoñez. He is really awesome, same age as ty so its
kinda weird working with someone that's like my little brother. He has
a natural ability of talking to people, it is cool to watch, it is
easy for others to trust him, so for him contacting is a zip! The
branch is pretty small, around 80 people attended yesterday but
there are some awesome members, especially the branch president. Today
we are dedicating a lot to cleaning the house haha, it is very dirty,
and nobody has taken the time to really clean it for a long time.
(missionaries are dirty haha) It doesn't sound like there are a lot of
fun activities to do or cool places to visit, so the P-Days might be
kinda boring, it will also be interesting because I am far away from
an ATM that is trustworthy, so taking out money will be interesting. I
also think that I am going to be using everything that I have, as it
has been raining a lot and there's has been quite a bit of mud! well, to
wrap it up, I am stoked to work here, and I know that if I lose myself
here I will see miracles!!! I love you all and I hope you have a great
5/28/18 Well, in all honesty I don't' know what to say haha, 2 weeks back out in the field and it has been a ride already haha, I cannot believe how fast time has gone... but then again, whenever you are busy time always flies haha. There is A TON of work to do here, it really has been a blessing to come here, it is unlike anywhere else I have ever been and to be honest it is a blast. The branch is awesome, a lot of the members are old members, there are not a lot of recent converts who attend on a regular basis so that's kinda sad haha, but that's why were here! We eat with the branch president every day except for breakfast, which we cook haha and that's nice because I still have some kind of liberty with regards to my food.
Regarding our investigators, we pretty much filtered the majority of them haha, we are now left with a grand total of 1 progressing investigator haha, and the funny thing is that she has been investigating for a looong time. When I first got here, everyone told me that she didn't want to get baptized because she had already been baptized in the catholic church haha, so the first thing that came to mind was the Book of Mormon. After asking if she had read the book, she said no, but she did pray to know if it was true! hahaha, I was shocked, so many missionaries and she hadn't even read the darn book!!! So we left her 3 Nephi 11, which talks about baptism and the authority to be baptized. After she read, she said that she felt the need to be baptized!!! And then after praying she had a pretty gnarly dream! She told us what she saw and I have no idea what any of it meant haha, so we told her to pray and ask for guidance so that she may understand what it meant! Every time I see the power of the Book of Mormon, it simply confirms to me that it is all true, that God lives, loves us, and has a plan for us. Our investigator doesn't have a date yet, but I know that if she keeps reading, that will change very shortly.
So I have a confession to make, I still haven't taken any pictures haha, but next week I promise to send a few!!! The scripture of the week is Alma 57-58, the story of the strippling warriors always blows me away. Have a great week!
(excerpt from family letter) 6/4/18 Its been kind of slow and even though we are searching every day its hard to find people who are really prepared. A lot of the people travel because of work opportunity and other don't even live here... Its been interesting teaching lessons to awesome families and then discovering that they wont even be here during the rest of the week... Well, all we can do is have faith, we have a few people who are awesome and are learning the gospel, we even have a married family that we are teaching, and just the simple fact that they are married is a miracle haha. I am really grateful for those blessings, if it weren't for the few that we do have, it would be a real struggle right now, especially because President Li has such high expectations of me... He really wants this place to be more productive and that's one of the reasons he sent me here, especially because this city has a long history of disobedience and other dumb things that have happened, he practically sent me in as the fixer-up guy haha. But in reality its a huge blessing to be here, and I cant believe how fast the time has gone by. I just hope to have a few more baptisms before I ship out!!!