Monday, July 23, 2012

"I am currently enjoying my last few hours here in Olmos... I'm getting booted!... But, all is well, and I know the Lord needs me elsewhere, and I will gladly go where He wants me to go."

Hello home hello home!!

Lots to do today. Might have to be a short one... I am currently enjoying my last few hours here in Olmos. Yep, the call came. I'm getting booted! So sad :( I really wanted to stay here. But, all is well, and I know the Lord needs me elsewhere, and I will gladly go where He wants me to go. Tomorrow I start working in my third area!

So, big news bruthas!! Last Monday I went to Chiclayo with Elder Monzon, my District Leader. It was his last P-day (he's going home today) and we were all in Lambayeque and he asked me if I wanted to come to Chiclayo with him to say bye to some of the people he taught there. His comp didn't wanna, so he asked me. I agreed, and got to spend the day in Chiclayo with him. But this is the big news: my entire mission I have been extremely craving incredibly unhealthy fast foods, because they don't exist here (well, KFC exists in Chiclayo but... not a big fan...). Lima has McDonald's, Trujillo has McDonald's, but nowhere in my entire mission has McDonald's!! Well, as we were walking around Chiclayo, we came across a billboard advertising the newly opened McDonald's in Chiclayo! OH YES OH YES OH YES. We didn't go, but, I now have hope of eating the world's best french fries ever within the next year and a half. SooOooOoOO st0ked!1!!!!1!

But actually, the really big news is this: Silvia got baptized!!! This week has been super stressful and we've had to deal with a lot of random unexpected stuff, like helping out the sister missionaries who are in La Victoria (Chiclayo) get a certificate for one of their investigators who needed it immediately to be able to get married and baptized on the same day. Ran into millions of bajillions of problems. I prayed for a miracle because I knew there was absolutely no way we could possibly get it to them on time. After being let down and delayed over and over and over again, and having multiple moments where it was 99.99% certain that there would be no possible way of getting it in time, somehow everything worked out in the end. The true story is really a whole lot more epic, but I'm short on time. But I got the miracle I prayed for. God answers prayers. Never ever ever ever ever forget. Anyway while we were dealing with all of that we also had to worry about putting a baptism together. We woke up on Saturday morning, and the power was out. We went early to the church to start filling the baptismal font (the baptism was at 11:00am). Well, one thing I forgot about, is that in Olmos when there is no power, there is also no running water. We filled the font with about half an inch of water before the last of the water supply ran out. Are you kidding me?!!? Why are all of my baptisms so hectic here?!? Well, eventually the elders quorum president showed up, and I guess the church has a backup supply of water or something that we didn't know about, so he got that working and, although we had to start about an hour late, the baptism worked out in the end!! Silvia got confirmed yesterday in sacrament meeting. Ahhh soo awesome! Elder Villatoro and I found Silvia on our second or third day together while we were knocking doors. Two transfers later, she gets baptized on our third to last day as companions. The best.

"Silvia's Baptism!"

The saddest part about this transfer is that my buddy Edwin is about to get baptized this Friday. I wanted to be here for the baptism so bad!! I mean, the important thing is that he's getting baptized. It doesn't really matter who does it, or if I'm there for it, but still, it would have been really great to be there. Edwin is the best and he's started coming to activities by himself without Wilson who used to invite him to everything. He has progressed so fast, and I'm 99% sure that before my mission is over, he's going to be out here in the mission field with me. And that is the coolest thing in the world. This past week during one of our visits I asked him what he thought about Joseph Smith. He told me "he's a prophet of God." I asked him if he really believed that, or if he was just saying it because that's what we taught him. He told me that he really believed it. I asked him how he came to know that Joseph Smith was really a true prophet of God, and he told me "well... through prayer. I prayed, and it's not like angels visited me and told me that Joseph Smith is a true prophet or anything, but it was through feelings. I felt feelings of peace and happiness, and I just knew." The most raddest thing ever!! He also told us that he knows that the Book of Mormon is true because of the same thing. I've never seen anybody progress like this. There really are so many people out there who have been so prepared to accept this Gospel. We just have to find them. That's why I'm here. If we trust in God He will lead us to these people. First I got to teach Juan Piedra in Pacasmayo who also progressed at lightning speed and quickly became one of the most active members in the entire branch, and now its happening again with Edwin. Edwin is literally more active than the vast majority of the members here. And the best part is that he wants to be a missionary too. It's sad to leave people like this, but I have been soo incredibly blessed to have been able to get to know these people and play a part in helping them get to this moment in their lives. 

This week we also had a "noche misional" or, I guess a "Mission Night" activity in a place that's like 30 minutes outside of Olmos called Pasabar la Granja. 21 members and us all crammed into a van to go have the activity out there with some members who live far away and can't make it too easily into Olmos for all of the activities, and a few non-members who also live out there. It was pretty awesome seeing so many of the members get together to go out of their way to do that with us. Big success.

Also, they have started selling The Amazing Spider-man pirated DVDs all over the place here. Dangitdangit I wanna see that movie so bad!!! Def the movie I'm most excited about seeing when I get home. That, and the Hobbit. Some people are selling it as "Spider-man 4." Seriously? Haha. Duuummb.

That's so cool that you went to sacrament meeting in Utah and L. Tom Perry was there!! He came to my single's ward once... except, we were in California, and I didn't get to see him. Haha. Dang. Probably worth it though. I do miss me some California.

Well, yeah, another short-ish e-mail. Sorry about that, but I have to go pack up my whole life in two big ol´bags, say a lotta goodbyes, and try to enjoy my last short moments with the people here who I've grown to love so much. Seriously it's gonna be so hard for me to leave these people. The investigators we've worked with (and baptized...), the members we've had so much fun with, and most of all Hermana Rosa and her entire family. They've really been my family away from home and it's so hard for me to even think about having to leave them. Because who knows if I'll ever come back here again! At least when I left home I knew I'd come back in two years. But I might never get to see these people again, and that's tough for me to deal with. Its been such a blessing to be in Olmos. I'm sad to leave, but I'm excited to see what's in store for me in my new areas. Next week I'll let you know about all the crazy changes that are about to happen!

In the words of my lil´bro, "see you in a little less than a girl mission!"


-Elder Victor Paul Hemsley

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