Monday, March 12, 2012

"I think every day should be like Saturday on the mission. Traveling from city to city baptizing people. It's the best."

Hola hola!

Woo. Another week down! Let's see what happened this week...

Hmmm... Well I suppose the main highlights would be that this week we had two baptisms!... Kind of. One for an eight year old girl named Emily (I think I've mentioned her before) and another surprise one in San Pedro to baptize one of the sister missionaries' investigators. On Friday we went down to San Pedro so Elder Choc could interview the sister's investigator. She is a 15 year old girl named Milagros (Miracles). So, that went well, aside from having to wait forever for everyone to show up and then wait even longer for someone to show up who had keys to get into the chapel. You just have to get really used to wasting a ton of time waiting on other people here. Her baptism was the next morning. As we were getting ready to head back to San Pedro for the baptism Elder Choc asked me if I wanted to baptize her. "Uh... Yeah!" So I ended up getting to baptize on Saturday. Way cool! The baptism was really nice. Lots of members were there and they were all super helpful and supportive. It was a really good service. The hardest thing for me here is having to pronounce people's full names. It is so stupidly difficult for me! Haha, but I somehow managed to get her name close enough to right when I baptized her.

So from there we headed back to Pacasmayo to get ready for baptism number two of the day. We had some trouble finding baptismal clothes for an 8 year old girl, but we figured something out, and then luckily as a miracle we found something even better for her to wear in the chapel. The baptism was at 3:00. We had a bunch of members tell us that they would be there. We even had members promise us earlier that morning that they would be there at 3:00. So... guess what happens? Yep, surprise-surprise, at 3:00 nobody is there! Just Emily, her dad, her aunt, and luckily she had a bunch of family come to visit from Trujillo to see her baptism. So we decide to wait a little while longer in hopes that somebody will show up. Well, at 3:45, still nobody is there. Not one single member showed up. Emily really wanted the baptism to start, and I'm sure her family did too, so we decided to go ahead and start at that point. I had to make up another talk on the spot. That is not easy to do in Spanish! But it was better than the other one I did at Juan's baptism. Then Elder Choc baptized Emily. Kinda neat that we both got to baptize that day. So there's that experience. Overall a pretty awesome day because we got to baptize two people. I think every day should be like Saturday on the mission. Traveling from city to city baptizing people. It's the best.

I hope Dad had a good birthday! I celebrated his birthday by helping somebody build their house. We had a service project with the elder's quorum, and Juan came with us. He was one of the three members of the quorum there, and he's not even an elder!  Juan is already one of the strongest most dedicated members of the branch. I swear he's gonna be branch president. Haha. So that was pretty cool. Love service. At the service project we got to drink Perú Cola, which is basically the equivalent of grocery store brand colas, only worse. As I took my first sip this was the exact thought that came to my head: "Ugh, this is so sub-par!" And then I laughed at myself for being so weird even in my thoughts. Haha.

We met a way good investigator this week. Her name is Antonia. We knocked on her door, and she let us right in, way happy to see us. We had a really great lesson and she's one of the most receptive people I've ever taught. It was awesome! Well, turns out she lives in Lima and was only in Pacasmayo for a few more days. Aww man! We really need new investigators (we have like none right now...). But we scheduled another visit for before she left and had another great lesson. We knew she was leaving, but sometimes you just gotta plant a seed. Maybe if she likes what we have to share she'll search out missionaries in Lima. That was our goal. She was really really great, but sadly, she's gone. Oh dear.

We had District Conference this weekend (before my mission I never knew that the small version of a stake is a district. Oh. Haha.) right here in ol' Pacamayo, and it was way good! The stake center (district center?) is actually in Guadalupe, but the chapel in Pacasmayo is a lot bigger and a lot nicer, so it was here. It made Elder Choc and I way happy to see our chapel so full of people! Haha. President and Sister Risso came to speak and they were amazing as always. One thing I really loved was something that Sister Risso said about sharing the gospel with our friends. She gave an example of a member thinking, "Oh, my friend could never accept the gospel because he doesn't live the law of chastity..." She said we need to focus less on what people are now, and focus more on what they can become. Everybody has the ability to make a change in their life. Sometimes maybe all that's keeping them from making the change is an invitation. I thought that was really good. President and Sister Risso are my favorite. Just being around them makes me so happy. I'm so glad I get to serve with them and I love them so much!

One funny thing that happened this week was we went to go visit Juan. When we got to his house we saw that one of his windows was smashed, and when we went inside Elder Choc asked Juan what happened. We assumed someone tried to break into their house. Juan told us that he and his wife went to Trujillo and when they came back home they realized they had left their house keys in their house, so they smashed their own window to open their door and get inside. Hahaha. These people are so funny!

As we were cleaning our room last Monday we found all kinds of stuff, including a pamphlet of Discussion 3: The Restoration. Well, in Spanish. Charla 3. Haha. It's from the 80's and I'm pretty sure that my Momma and tons of other people I know probably used these on their missions! It's kinda cool though. Good to study. I'm just confused as to why the restoration was discussion 3 instead of discussion 1. What were the first two? I'm keeping it.

This week we've been trying really hard to find new people to teach, because we do not have many investigators left who are progressing or who are able to progress. I kept track of how many doors we knocked because I thought it would be fun, and with a total of 69 doors knocked we only got to talk to 18 people, and of those 18, only two invited us into their houses. Door knocking is not effective in Pako. We really need to get more referrals, but nobody gives us any. Gonna try to work more with members this week.

Well, that's pretty much been my week in a nutshell. Gonna go get my hair cut after this. I don't expect this to turn out pretty. Dad, I need you to come and cut my hair! I haven't had a good haircut since like... the night before I gave my farewell. Yikes.

Thanks for keepin' the mail coming. I love all your weekly letters! And I'm getting mail from people I never would have expected to hear from which is way cool. Thanks for all the continual updates of real life. Wow, lotsa kids got into BYU-I. Let me know which ones actually end up going! School is gonna be so much more awesome when I get back than it was my first year! And my first year was way fun! And Hannah is going to Jakarta?!? That's like... the coolest thing ever!! M3ga C0ngrAtz! I keep getting really awesome mail from all my little cousins and it makes me so happy! Except they keep making sure to tell me "please write back!!" and it breaks my heart because I have no time to do it! I will do my best though. I got letters from Abby and Sydney and they were the coolest ever. I opened Abby's letter only to realize it was 100% about Star Wars, complete with Star Wars drawings, and I think I went into shock for getting such an awesome piece of mail! Haha. Abby, I can't write back right now (but I will try my best to do it sometime soon!), but my favorite Star Wars is probably number 5, and my favorite part of Star Wars is probably in number 3 the first time you see Darth Vader in his suit. But that part is kinda scary, huh? Maybe I'll pick a happier part... I like the part in number 6 where Darth Vader decides to be good and saves Luke by throwing the stinky emperor in the pit. Wow, I love Star Wars! And then Aunt Sam told me that Uncle Matt was comparing Satan to the dark side in Family Home Evening. Haha, we are definitely related. I am so going to do that with my kids!

Jacqueline asked me to talk about my most embarrassing moments here in Peru, and I wish I could, but sadly, I honestly haven't really had any embarrassing moments. Yeah sure I've said a lot of things wrong, I haven't understood people too well, but I don't get embarrassed too easily. If you want to see the most embarrassing moment of my entire life, it's on YouTube (and I put it on YouTube, obviously). Just search for "Victor and the LOS/POTs". It's a song called "High Collisions into the Suncrash" (no, that does not make any sense...) that I did for my Driver's Ed final project with Matt and Wes and it's way awesome. Except it was super embarrassing because this was before I had started playing shows and I did not like the idea of singing a song in front of our whole Driver's Ed class. I brought my guitar to play, and then at the last minute they told me that Matt was gonna play my guitar, and that I was gonna sing. Oh, come on! (Haha, don't worry, I still like you guys.) You can just tell in the video how uncomfortable I am. Haha. It's super awkward. But you can learn a great lesson from the song. Just remember the number one rule of driving: Don't hit little kitties, especially when you're smoking weed.

I'm about out of stuff to say. People keep writing me and telling me how much they enjoyed my farewell talk. Well, thank you! I seriously did not expect it to turn out good. I wrote it at like 3:00 AM the night before I gave it, and my only goal was to make it at least 15 minutes long. I'm so glad that I was able to say something that had an affect on people though. I didn't know how it was going to turn out. You guys are the coolest. Can you believe that I gave that talk SIX MONTHS AGO?! How did time all the sudden start going so fast? The MTC in Lima, and my first transfer here in Pacasmayo were basically the slowest months of my entire life. But these past two transfers with Elder Choc have flown by so fast! How is March already almost half way over? All I have is a girl's mission left to serve! Which is basically nothing (hahaha, I kid... I kid...). I may be serving my mission in Peru, but I always hope that I can say something that somebody back home needs to hear in my e-mails. I don't even know who reads these, but whatever. I like you guys a whole lot. Apparently some people other than my family read them, which is cool.

I shall write again next week, with news as to whether or not I'm getting transferred to a new area! Seriously, transfers again already? We just had them! Time is flying. Until then, keep your bodies clean and stay clear of all signs of rice! Two things I'm currently struggling with. I miss you almost as much as I miss cookies. Cookies don't exist here. Oh wait, I mean, I miss cookies almost as much as you. Oops! That was close. What I meant to say was that I miss you almost as much as I miss Mountain Dew.

-Elder Hemsley

He sent a bunch of new pictures.  You can check them out in the slideshow at the top of the blog.  Here's a few of our favorites:

"Hey, just driving one of these."


"Ducking through the unreasonably low "ceilings" of the Pacasmayo market."

"It's a new trend I'm starting..." 

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