Monday, March 19, 2012

"I'm getting transferred to a new area! Wednesday I'll find out where I'm going and then...I'll go."

¡Hola familiares, amigos, y otros!

Me voy. Hoy es mi última día completa en Pacasmayo. Mañana vamos a Chiclayo para ver cual es mi próxima área. ¡Estoy tan animado! Pero también un poco triste que estoy saliendo de este zona. Los misioneros aquí son los máximos. ¡No puedo creer que voy a salir de mi primer área! ¡Siento freaking extraño! Wow, escribir en español es demasiado difícil. No me gusta hacerlo.

Whoa. In case you didn't catch that, I was asking if Star Wars Episode I is already playing in theaters in 3D. I AM SO JEALOUS OF EVERYONE WHO GETS TO GO SEE THAT. But it's okay because the reason I'm curious is because this week they started selling pirated versions of it in the streets here. Hahaha. Totally gonna buy one too. At least I'll only miss Episodes I and II in 3D and get to see all the best ones. But still, I'm missing seeing Star Wars in the theaters and that is barely okay with me.

Okay, what I actually said (or attempted to say) was that I'm getting transferred to a new area! Tomorrow night we leave for Chiclayo and on Wednesday I'll find out where I'm going and then... I'll go. Wow! Elder Choc is staying in Pacasmayo. He's gonna train another newbie. We dunno if he'll be a North American or a Latin missionary yet. We'll find out in a couple days! It feels so weird to know that I'm leaving. Ugh, I have to pack my stuff! Not even worth it. Haha. Actually I'm way excited though. I'll miss my comp, I'll miss the missionaries here, and I'll miss a bunch of great people I've gotten the chance to know here in Pacasmayo. But... I won't really miss Pacasmayo that much. Just the people. How weeeeeeeeiiiird. Mega st0ked though!

This week we continued trying to find new people. With more success than last week! Found some great people who seem promising. I hope we're gonna be able to help them! And by "we" I mean Elder Choc and his new baby comp. Favorite visit of the week: We knocked on this one door and this lady immediately let us in. She invited us to sit down and then called in her husband so that he could visit with us too. Well, her husband is an old man who's a little loopy in the head. He walked in, and he was sooo excited to have a gringo in his house wanting to visit with him and his wife. Haha. At one point in the middle of the lesson, after sharing something (I think I was explaining about what prophets are) this man looked at me with a huge smile, gave me a big thumbs up and said "perfecto!" like he was so proud of me for actually being able to share something in Spanish. Hahahaha. They were both great though and really receptive. Glad to have us come back again. Sadly I won't be able to make the return visit.

Also this week we went to Chiclayo (on Wednesday I think...) because Elder Choc's ear has been bothering him for a long time so Hermana Risso told him to set up an appointment to get that checked out in Chiclayo. So we left in the morning. Chiclayo is about two hours away. When we got there we got to go to the mission office, which was a first for me, so that was kind of cool. In two senses of the word. The mission office has AIR CONDITIONING! I haven't felt such delicious air since I was in Provo! It literally felt like heaven. I am convinced that heaven is just a room that has a really good air conditioner. It was so cold and so refreshing. Transfer me to the offices please! Haha. Actually I wouldn't mind that too much. Most people never want to get transferred there. Elder Meza came from the offices and he said it was awesome and that he'd like to go back. Sounds good to me. I also got to see President Risso for like two seconds while we were there so that obviously made my day a little bit better.

Rain is still a gigantic problem in our room. Many nights of water pouring down from the ceiling. Not gonna miss that! The food however has been improving and my rice tolerance has been slowly building back up. Thank goodness. But it's not like I'm happy when I see rice on my plate. Just... tolerant. Haha.

Yesterday at church was kind of awesome. Emily received the gift of the Holy Ghost and was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints en español. And then after that the branch president asked Juan to stand up and announced that he was going to receive the Aaronic Priesthood and become a priest and asked for our sustaining vote. I was not expecting that! That made me so happy!! Then in priesthood meeting he received the priesthood. Ahhh I'm so glad I got to be here to see that happen!! I can't say enough good things about this man. Here's how awesome he is: at the end of priesthood meeting the elder's quorum president assigned three men church clean-up duty for this coming Saturday. After he assigned them, Juan raised his hand and volunteered to help them with the clean-up. He's been a member for two weeks and he's already cleaned the church once. HE IS SO GOOD. He's gonna be an Area Seventy in like a year. I am going to miss him so much. Maybe we didn't see a ton of success in Pacasmayo, but Juan is one gigantic success. He makes me so happy.

Oh yeah and also this week I saw a girl in the street wearing a Pop Punk's Not Dead Shirt. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. There is not a hint of pop-punk music here or of New Found Glory and I was so distracted by the shirt that I didn't even notice if she was from the states or whatever. Haha. I think that was the last shirt I bought before my mission. I really miss t-shirts! And hats. I think I miss my hats the most. I loved my hats!

One neat thing I heard this week when we were visiting with a member: at one point during the visit she told us "before I found the gospel, I always felt alone. But now I always have God with me." That kinda got me thinking about just how much of a blessing having this gospel in my life has been. I never feel alone, because I know Heavenly Father is always there, always willing to listen to me, and always willing and wanting to help me. This has been the biggest source of comfort for me since I've left home. It doesn't matter how far I distance myself from the people I love and everything I know; God is never far from me. Knowing that I can talk to him at any moment is such an amazing thing. I feel so safe when I talk to my Father in Heaven through prayer. I couldn't do this if I didn't have the amazing blessing of constant communication with my Father. The gospel is an amazing thing, and even though it can be hard or frustrating at times, devoting all my time to sharing the gospel with people has been the most amazing life changing experience and the most incredible blessing. I can't even believe how much I've grown spiritually. Just after my first few days in the MTC I started noticing a huge change in myself, and I can't even put to words how great this has been. I know I have a few friends back home who are able to serve missions who aren't quite sure they want to do it yet. All I can say is that I promise you that if you decide to serve it will be the most amazing experience, and nothing you hear from others can ever prepare you for the incredible changes and blessings you will experience committing yourself to serve the Lord and helping your brothers and sisters around the world. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss home and wish I could see all my family and friends again, but I'll get to see them again in not too long, and I wouldn't trade this experience for the world.

That's about all for this week amigos. Next week I will be in a new place, with a new companion. I'm kinda super excited to get to know a new area, but at the same time a lil' sad about leaving these people behind. Especially my comp! Elder Choc has been the greatest. I'll try my best to remember to e-mail you again next week. Ha. Keep me in your prayers. I need them and they help me so much out here. I pray for you guys every single day.

-Elder Victor Paul Hemsley

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