Monday, July 30, 2012


Hey Gordos!! ¡¿What's up?!

Well, transfers happened. I guess you probably want to know what's up with that. Although, I do know that you have secret Facebook connections with Hermana Rosa in Olmos, so perhaps you already know. But whatever, here's what's up: I'm now right smack in the middle of Chiclayo, in the Chiclayo Central Zone, and my new area is called Porvenir. My new companion is Elder Navas. He's from Costa Rica and he's basically extremely the best. I prayed real hard to get a good companion, and a good companion I did get yes. And.... I'm now the Financial Secretary for the entire Peru Chiclayo Mission... I got transferred to the Mission Office! Are you for serious?! I'm in charge of all the money for the entire mission. The only person above me is President Risso. What's going on?? How am I qualified to do this?! But, it's kinda awesome. Well, we don't get to proselyte as much, since we're in the office until at least 4:30 every day, which is kind of sad honestly, because I do like teaching lessons, but, it's all good, because of the following: For one, the office has air conditioning. AIR CONDITIONING!! So, that's one gigantic plus. Two, my new room is the best awesomest room in the entire mission. I mean, it's kind of bad, but compared to all the other rooms, it's awesome. I now live with my comp, who's the secretary of... something that I don't know how to say it in English. Basically he's in charge of all the mail and ordering stuff and delivering stuff in the mission. And I live with the personal secretaries, and also the assistants to the prez. Elder Hatch, who's fam you guys met in Provo, is one of the new APs, so now I know who you were talking about. Haha. He's rad too. So six of us are all together. Our "room" is the entire fifth floor of a building not too far from the office. I also now get to make my own breakfasts and dinners. We only go to the penchant for lunch. Our penchant is also awesome. Anyway it all reminds me a lot of being in college, having five roommates, eating total crap, and... I don't know what else. It's a lotta fun. AND, my room has hot water! I haven't showered with hot water since November! Sooooo good. My new assignment is kinda overwhelming me at the moment, but that's because it’s the end of the month and I have to take care of end of month payments and I don't even know what the heck I'm doing. For the past week Elder Karl, the old Financial Secretary has been training me, but he's leaving to his new area tonight, and so starting tomorrow I'm all on my own. Yikes stripes! My new Zone is rad too because Elder Choc is one of my Zone Leaders, so I get to see him at least once a week at our Zone meetings, and usually a few times a week in the office too. Elder Marker is also in the Zone. And a lot of other elders I know. Siiick.

Apart from that, here's where things get really exciting: At the transfer meeting, when I got assigned to Porvenir with Elder Navas, I fulfilled my mission-long dream of letting the amazing flavors of McDonald's touch my lips. President Risso ordered McDonald's for all of the new missionaries and their companions and all of the missionaries in the office! So, that was basically the highlight of my entire life. SO FREAKING GOOD. Is it too much to hope for Taco Bell now?... Yes. Anyway, also at the transfer meeting, the office elders had a little meeting with all the new missionaries who just got into the mission, and right off the bat Hermana Risso asked me to be the translator for the new North Americans who still don't know how to speak Spanish. Well actually there was only one missionary from the U.S., so I was only translating for one person. But it was hard! However, I did a fantastic job by my incredibly low standards. Basically all the elders and Hermana Risso said like a million paragraphs of stuff in Spanish, and then I was like "uhh... basically they said this and this or something like that. I'm pretty sure." Lolz. Look, it's hard to speak English. I don't know how I used to do it for twenty years.

My last night in Olmos was pretty good. After I e-mailed you guys we had a Family Home Evening with Hermana Rosa's fam and a bunch of other people who they invited. It was like a Family Night / Goodbye Party for me. Hermana Rosa baked a cake for me, and because of that the entire day little Habibi was convinced that it was my birthday. Haha. The FHE was pretty good. Hermano Victor shared a message about missionary work and asked me to share my testimony with everyone. Then we played some games and ate some cake. Said some goodbyes, and left. Too sad! Then the worst part: packing all of my stuff. I did indeed put that off the entire day. So I went to bed at like 3:00am. Ha. I'm dumb. Bummed about having to leave and not being able to see Edwin get baptized. But, Elder Chero is in charge of entering in all the baptismal records for the entire mission here in the office, and yesterday he told me that there was a baptism last week in Olmos. So Edwin did get baptized!! Soo rad.

Anyway, like I said, my new comp, Elder Navas, is in charge of getting and delivering the mail for the whole mish. He told me that I get more mail than anyone else in the mission. Hahahaha. Well, there's one Sister who gets a lot of packages, but as far as letters or Dear Elders or whatever, I get the most. So funny! Every Thursday he gets the mail, which means every Thursday I get my mail now. Uh, kind of bad news though, the postal service in Peru is currently on strike, so no mail is getting through, or going out. They don't know when the strike will end, but it could be anywhere from this week, to next year. Seriously! So, if anyone has sent me any physical letters, cards, packages, Dear John's, etc... in the past few weeks, I haven't gotten them and I probably won't for who knows how long, if ever. They burned down the post office in Lima so it's also possible that if you've sent me anything recently that it was brutally murdered in the flames. So that's kind of reet. However, Dear Elders, and anything you send by "pouch" (which I still don't really understand how pouch mail works...) don't come through the postal service. They're delivered by FedEx, and they still get to us. So, currently, the best way to communicate with me is through Dear Elder. And, now that I'm in the office, I get my Dear Elders really fast! For example, the Dear Elders you sent me on the 22nd, I got on the 26th, so that's a big improvement from before! I'm not sure how I'm gonna be able to write anyone yet. I have some people that I really really badly want to write, but now that the postal service is on strike I can't send stuff so psh. Well, that, and the fact that it's super hard to ever find time to write anybody. That's the hardest part. But to communicate with me I recommend Dear Elder until I find out that this strike is over. And, since I can't write anybody and there's no other way for me to say this, TYLER BALKMAN, I WAS GONNA WRITE YOU BUT NOW I CAN'T SO I'M SORRY AND I'LL HAVE TO FIND SOME OTHER WAY TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU. And thanks for the letter <3

But, speaking of mail, I gotta say, as much as I love getting it, I really did not enjoy the last couple batches. Rocket!!!!! :( :( :( :( I was at my Zone Meeting waiting for it to start when I started reading my mail. When I read that Rocket has cancer and is going to die soon my eyes filled with tears and I went to the bathroom to dry them. Well, I guess it hit me a lot harder than I thought, because when I got in there I just burst out crying and ended up locking myself in the stall for like five minutes until I could get a hold of myself. I am so sick of cancer attacking my family! This is the stupidest thing ever. Anyway, I really, really miss Rocket a whole ton. I dunno if he's even still alive, but if he is I hope he's not hurting too bad. Whenever I imagined coming home, my favorite thing to picture was getting home and opening the door and having Rocket jump out super excited to see me. Guess that won't happen... Sigh... Hope you guys are doing alright too. How awful...

Sounds like you guys had a good time on the Trek. I'm glad it went well! I'm also glad I wasn't there. Hehehe. But for realz it sounds like it was a ton better than the last one. Good job Dad!! I'm glad it was a good experience for everyone.

Well, I'm not sure what else there is to talk about. Oh yeah, this week was also Elder Navas' birthday. July 26th. Birthdays are so bad here in Peru! I think Elder Hatch said it best: "I don't like birthdays in Peru..." Here, the tradition is that on your birthday you get eggs smashed on your head, and you get your birthday cake smashed in your face. Well, on Thursday, we all woke up at 6:30, like good obedient missionaries, and immediately Elder Chuiz (the other AP) egged my comp. Well, Elder Navas was prepared with eggs of his own, and smashed eggs on Chuiz' head, and then went crazy and egged everyone else. Myself included. Not even Elder Karl, who was in the shower at the time, was spared. Hahaha. Later Elder Navas also got caked in the face. I don't want to have a birthday here! I'm lucky though, because my first birthday was in the MTC in Lima, so I only have to deal with one real Peruvian birthday.

Yesterday I gave a talk in church that I didn't know I was going to have to give. Well, on Saturday we ran into our bishop in the street and he asked me to give a talk, but, I thought he was joking. Hahaha. So I didn't know. That was interesting. Went well though. Getting good at talks in this language.

Well, I'm sure I'll have more adventures to share with you next week! I feel like I had more things to tell you but I can't remember them right now. But I'm stoked to be here. I'm happy. Chiclayo is soooo different than both of my past areas. Totally different world. I like the change. I think I'll have a good time here.

I'm gonna go now. I'll try to send some pictures or something whenever I find the time. I'm in the office now which means I'm always at the computer. I won't write you guys during the week, but maybe I'll send some photos while I'm doing other things. I dunno, we'll see what works out.

Thanks for being my best family I've ever had and also my best friends and also my best people who read my blog who I don't know who you are!! Until next week. Chao!

*internet hug*

-Elder Hemsley

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"Two Adventists, two Mormons, and a Jehovah’s witness, sitting at the same table."

Yikes stripes! Sorry fam, it's late, and I don't got alotta time!! I'm afraid this one's gonna hafta be a shorty. And, to be completely honest, I think previously I told you about the total lack of public restrooms here in Peru, and, to be blunt, I am about to explode my pants, so.... I'm gonna make this one as quick as possible. Hahaha.

Still preparing some people for some baptizing. Silvia is scheduled to get baptized this Saturday morning. Bersabé probably will not get baptized this week, but probably someday... And Edwin is getting baptized on July 27th! Too bad transfers are the 24th! I hope I stay so bad!!!

On Tuesday, Hermana Rosa's husband Victor came home after being away from his family for over a year!! He was working in Bagdhad. Elder V and I totez knew he was coming, but none of his kids knew, so they all received a pretty awesomeradical surprise! He's way kewl and its good to have him around. This Sunday, his first Sunday with his family in a ridiculously long amount of time, he was called and sustained as the second counselor in the branch presidency. Haha. So fast! He's gonna help the branch so much. He's a RM too who served in the Trujillo mish. Oh yeah, also yesterday at church, by accident the entire congregation sustained President Risso as president of the Piura, Peru mission. Lololol. So did I. I didn't know what to do so I just went with it. Whatever. He's president of something, right?

Holy for serious I am severely suffering right now from lack of bathroom. Gaaaahhhhhh!!! I can't even tell you the amount of suffering I've gone through here for bathroom emergencies. So many close calls. Too many to count. And normally it gets to the point where I'm just in horrible pain using all the energy I have in me to try to keep calm, sometimes to the point of feeling really sick and wanting to throw up. The worst!! And it happens sooo frequently. Haha. Ugh.

Anyways... Sounds like the Olympic trials are happening... or were happening. I dunno. No fair! Hopefully they do them in Eugene again the next time around. I remember last time it was pretty cool. And it also sounds like out of nowhere my big little sister (as opposed to my little little sister) just somehow got way cooler! Practicing the guitar, replacing strings, and most of all... having a Star Wars party?!?!?! What?!!! Not fair. But awesome! Keep up the good work, following in my footsteps. I advise you to always follow after me, the best example of all time.

You guys had a Hemsley fam reunion in Utah this year?? Mamma told me all of your planned vacations for the summer. Is there no Paul fam reunion this year? Or are you gonna start having the Park City trips in Winter again instead of Summer? I approve of that idea, regardless of the fact that it's during school and it would be way harder to do. Park City is more fun in Winter. Speaking of Pauls, word on the street is that Elder Paul is gonna get dead tomorrow! I don't actually know if that's true, but I thought I read a while back that his last day in the mish is July 17th. No way. So weird!! So I only have a few precious hours left before I become the only member on either side of my family who is a missionary. I'm gonna need some support! From both sides! But I'll do what I can to rep the fam well out here. I'll try to work extra hard so that the blessings reach out to all of my 40+ cousins, muchos uncles and aunts, and grandparents too.

Sounds like I got you guys good with my comment about reconsidering what I want to do with my life, and deciding to become a trucker. Hehehehe. Seriously, trucker hats are the best! You may have noticed in some of my photos that about a month or two ago I caved in a bought me a nice new trucker hat for p-days. I just couldn't last two whole years without one. Its no Zelda or Metroid or Pokémon hat, but it'll do for now.

Okay I seriously can't handle this anymore. I'm gonna have to cut this one short. Sorry! This is an extreme emergency! And I'm in Lambayeque and I'm staying the night, and I don't have an extra pair of pants, so I can't really afford to sacrifice this pair. Hahaha. Among other events of the week that I wish I had more endurance to tell you about, there was this one epic visit where we were visiting this Adventist family, and then halfway through the lesson a Jehovah’s Witness knocked on the door and they let him in too. Two Adventists, two Mormons, and a Jehovah’s witness, sitting at the same table. Then, in what I'm fairly sure is the first time this has ever occurred in the history of ever, the Jehovah’s Witness was totally backing everything we said and supporting all of our points and way helping us out!! Hahaha. Of course, we were trying to get the point across of why we keep Sunday as the Sabbath, and the JW was trying to get the point across of why we shouldn't have a Sabbath day, but still, he was pretty much backing us up all the way. Lolz. Also, something I've become very tired of this week, is one of the most common things that happens when we go tracting. We knock a door, someone answers, we talk a little, they tell us that they're busy, but that we can come back another day. Okay, cool, let's set an appointment! So we ask them what day we can come back, and seriously like 75% of the time they reply "uhh... well, the thing is... I don't actually live here..." ARE YOU KIDDING ME WHY DID YOU TELL US TO COME BACK THEN. Okay for reals I gotta go. In more than one sense. I will gladly accept my prize for world's worst e-mail writer of the week. 

Elder Hemsley

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I know God listens, and I know prayer is powerful, so I keep praying, knowing that it can make a difference. Too cool. Prayer is the best. Never stop praying."

Da na na na na na na na BATMAN!!!

Guess what?!?... 


Y'know, I never know how to start these e-mails anymore. So I'll just get right to the rambling:

First of all: Oh noo!!!! Don't tell me sad stories about how Rocket can't walk anymore and how scary and sad it is!!!! Well, I assume by now he's mostly better. I'm a few weeks behind on the news. I hope he's okay. You know what's the saddest thing ever? That picture you sent me when I was in Provo of Rocket and I like two seconds before I left home forever. Rocket looks soo sad!! I mean, he always looks sad, but still. I miss that guy. :(

Anywayz, BIG NEWS! After twelve long weeks of not having one single investigator with a baptismal date, we now have two investigators with dates to be baptized!! The 21st of July. Two with dates, and another who's def gonna have a date in the next few days. Let me story you:

Last week we were tracting and we knocked this door and this old guy answered and let us right in without us even having time to say "good afternoon." He was really happy to see us and told us that the missionaries had been visiting him a while back and that he'd been attending the church in Lima. He told us he was even going to be baptized, but he had to travel or something and lost contact with the missionaries. Something like that (Haha, I'm still learning how to understand things. Gimmie a break. Of a Kit Kat bar. I miss good candy!! (Don't send me Kit Kat bars. Chocolate does not remain in a solid form in Peru.)). He already had his Book of Mormon and he already believes it's true and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church (by the way, if you think the name of the church is long in English, it's way unreasonably long in Spanish....). He's a little deaf, so after one visit that involved talking a lot louder than I feel comfortable talking, I popped the question, and he agreed to prepare to be baptized on the 21st! We'll see if it happens or not. We might have to adjust the date for him. But sooner or later I'm sure he'll get dunked.

Numba 2: Silvia!! Finally!!! After muchas visits and multiple attempts to get her to commit to baptism, she finally agreed to get baptized! This is way rad, because if she gets baptized, than that means this will be my first baptism of an investigator that I found and started teaching. Elder Villatoro and I knocked her door like our second or third day together or something and we've been visiting her consistently ever since. She's really great, and I'm so glad we've been able to help her get to this point!!

Number 3 (in the future): There's also this kid who's about my age (a lil' younger...) named Edwin. He's a friend of Wilson, a rad RM in the ward who always helps us out. He's come to church three times with Wilson, and the second time (and third) he came with a white shirt and tie and looked super Mormon. Haha. He's sooooo rad though! He also came to choir practice (we're helping in the choir for the upcoming branch conference this coming Sunday. I made everyone LOL with how low of a note I could hit. haha), and yesterday at church he stood at the front door with Wilson greeting all the members as they came in! He's more active than most of the members here. Here's the raddest part: He wants to be a missionary!!! He wants to leave home like us to share and preach the Gospel. We visited him and he was so stoked to see us and way excited about getting a Book of Mormon. Since our last visit I heard that he wants to get baptized. Gonna put a date on him next time we see him! Coolest guy ever. I suppose one would call this a "golden" investigator. Out of all our investigators, I'm most stoked about Edwin.

Soo... that's kind of rad. We also had our best week yet numbers-wise. Not that numbers matter, but still. I feel blessed. The work in Olmos is tough, but its worth it. "The worth of souls is great in the sight of God... And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me! (D&C 18:10,15-16)" Oh yes oh yes. How great will be my joy to bring any one of these people into the kingdom of my Father!

Anywho, I read on the calendar that last week was the 4th of July. No fair! Nothing happened here!!! Uber boring. I hope it was fun though! I've come to expect July 4th to mean hanging out at home with my cousins, perhaps consuming mucha soda and chips and then having a fun night with the fam. I miss it!! Sounds like your first week of summer was pretty dang good. What week are you on now, like three of four? I'll catch up to you guys someday...

And Dad's on TV now?? And they film in the room with all my cartoons on the wall?? Haha too sick! I wanna see it! Record them for me!! When I was little my goal was always to eventually have a successful cartoon, either on TV or the internet. Shrimp and Hippo never really went anywhere, but there are actually some cartoons that I never finished that looked really good. I started getting pretty dang good at animating. But I never finished them and never put them up online for you to see. All that's up right now is the MS Paint slideshows. Haha. Good times though. So Shrimp and Hippo finally made it on TV... and I didn't see it. And I'm guessing Gordon the Pringles Giraffe too?? I dunno, Shrimp and Hippo are in one corner of that room, and Gordon is in another. I'm all about flooding the world with Gordon the Pringles Giraffe. I believe it was President Ezra Taft Benson who gave the talk entitled "Flooding the Earth with Gordon the Pringles Giraffe." Or maybe it was something else. My memory isn't too great. But I've taken that advice to heart. Make sure Gordon gets some airtime too! For those unfamiliar with Gordon, he is the result of I'm pretty sure two consecutive all-nighters. Or three days without sleep. Tyler and I get creative when we're tired. For a history lesson on the picture of a giraffe that Tyler and I drew and accidentally made famous, go here: Seriously I can't believe how much that thing exploded. So funny. Haha.

Anyway that was way off topic. Not that there's really a topic to this e-mail.

I really like that the missionaries came over and asked you guys to start praying for missionary experiences. Know why I like that? Because, I've been praying every single night for you guys that you'll be able to have missionary experiences too. For realz. Every night I pray for that. I've read many answers to those prayers in your letters you send me every week. You're always telling me about how you have chances to share the gospel now. And then the missionaries came over and told you to look for more experiences. Too cool! Prayer works. That's probably the number one thing I've grown to learn on my mission. Prayer works. Yesterday in church Hermano Chicoma shared an experience with us that I really liked in priesthood meeting. He told us that when he and his wife were new members in the church (and two of the first members in all of Olmos) that together they made a list of people they knew and every night they prayed for those people. He told us that he knows it worked, because today many of the people who were on that list have been baptized and are active members of the church. I loved that experience because there are also some people I pray for every single night. I know God listens, and I know prayer is powerful, so I keep praying, knowing that it can make a difference. Too cool. Prayer is the best. Never stop praying.

Speaking of church yesterday, I got to be the chorister again, which was cool. Except not really because I was getting so frustrated about how I would start a song nice and slow and reverent, and then the congregation would just take off singing so freaking fast and in a million different keys and I knew it was a total waste to even try to direct the music, but whatever. When I get back to the states where people actually follow the chorister I can lead me some nice music.

One thing I'm really getting tired of is that here there are two churches that whenever we speak to members of those churches, they always, always, without failure start trying to argue with us. These two churches shall remain nameless (one of them is not the Catholic church. Catholics are generally pretty rad.), but they annoy the heck outta me. How can you even believe in a church that is so set on fighting against every other faith? The worst. Christ taught: "Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil (1 Nephi 14:10)" and "For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away (1 Nephi 11:29-30)". Churches that contend with other churches or other people are not of Christ. Simple as that. These are the churches that "draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me (Isaiah 29:13)". But God promised that he would "proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder (Isaiah 29:14)" to bless all the people of the earth. John the Revelator said that he "saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people (Revelation 14:6)", ushering in "the times of restitution of all things (Acts 3:21)" and "the dispensation of the fullness of times (Ephesians 1:10)". "And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed... And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned... And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 29:11,12,18-19)". "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed (Daniel 2:44)", "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2-3)".

There's one giant wall of scripture. God's marvelous work and a wonder is in progress right now. Starting with the angel he sent to Joseph Smith, to bring him the fullness of the Gospel in the form of a book, and blessing Joseph with the power and the authority of the Holy Priesthood like the prophets of old, in order to restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness to the earth and then restore the Church that Jesus Christ himself established when he lived on this earth. Christ's church is again on the earth today, and it is a kingdom that will never be destroyed again. Temples have been built all over the earth to bless us with the most amazing blessings we can receive: the opportunity to live together with our families for eternity, and to help our family members who have passed away to receive these same blessings. God loves us so much. His church is not a church of contention. His is a church of love. Everything God does, he does because he loves us. I've been able to feel his love so strongly out here, and I'm so thankful to be able to have all of these incredible blessings in my life, and for the opportunity I have to be able to share them with the people down here in Peru. I know with all my heart that these things are true, which is why I was willing to give two years of my life to share them with these people. Because really, there is nothing better than the blessings I've received from the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the testimony I've developed over 20 years that these things are so true because of all of the amazing and indescribable experiences I've had as I've learned of this Gospel and tried to tune into the Spirit for guidance and comfort. I've seen and experienced many miracles. All I want is for someone else to be able to have these same blessings in their life.

Well, and with that, I gotta get the heck outta here! I really really really like you guys and I miss you so much!! The mission is the coolest. I hope everyone who has the chance will take advantage of serving one. Including my sisters. haHA! No marrying early for you!!

Hehehehe okay bye. Heart.

-Elder Hemsley

Victor did send a bunch of new pictures that you can see by looking at the slideshow at the top of this blog.  Here are a few of our favorites:

"The Plaza de Armas in Olmos."

"Just to give you another idea what Peru looks like."

"Chillin' with William."

"I found this dead thing on the road."

Sunday, July 8, 2012

"Peru is built for little people, and North Americans by default are waaayyy too big to ever possibly travel comfortably here."

Howdy kidz

Well, time to write another whole lot about another whole week. Last week I ran outta time before I got to finish. Oops! Let's get started...

This week was interesting. On Wednesday morning we had a special conference in Chiclayo where missionaries in areas with a long history of having problems with their ward or branch were invited. So of course we went! Haha. And Pacasmayo was there as well. Lolz. But anyway it was early Wednesday morning, so we had two options: One, wake up way too early on Wednesday to take the almost two hour trip to Chiclayo, or two, stay in Lambayeque Tuesday night so that Wednesday morning we can sleep and only have to travel like 20 minutes. We picked option two. However, it caused some serious problems. For my health. First of all, Tuesday morning was our district and zone meeting in Lambayeque. About an hour and twenty minute drive one way. Traveling here in Peru sucks. It is just the absolute worst. Peru is built for little people, and North Americans by default are waaayyy too big to ever possibly travel comfortably here. So, just going to our district meetings once a week is torture enough for me. I'm just crammed in the van with less than no leg room and sometimes not even room for my head. So on Tuesday we traveled like that to Lambayeque in the morning, traveled again like that to come back to Olmos for our appointments, and then a third time later that night to stay the night in Lambayeque. Oh gosh oh gosh I wanted to die so bad! I think I am permanently damaging my body every time I travel in Peru. The conference was pretty rad though. Well, it wasn't so much the conference itself. It was more of the fact that Elder Choc was there and it was so so so good to see him again! We talked a ton and I got to sit by him during the conference and it was the best ever. I miss that guy a heck of a ton. And then after the conference Elder Villatoro had an interview with President Risso, so I got to wait outside with Hermana Risso and I was talking to her about the MTC in Provo and how awesome it was and how apparently its even way radder for mission presidents because they got to spend basically an entire week surrounded by the Apostles and First Presidency. No fair! But still, I gotta see Russell M. Nelson at least. That was way up there on my list of life highlights. And we talked about temples and stuff and it’s so not fair that we can't go to the temple here! Hermana Risso is the best ever though. And so is President Risso. After the conference, since we were the last elders there, President Risso offered us a ride in his car to the Olmos carport, which was so sick because it was the first time in over nine months that I've been inside a comfortable car!! It reminded me of home. Best ten minute drive of my life.

Aside from that, I gotta say, this week has not been the most eventful week of my mission. Lots of working, little success. I must have walked ten thousand billion kadrillion glumagillion miles this week tracting and not entering houses. I seriously got sooo worn out one day because we were basically just walking all day long because every one of our appointments fell through and we just could not get into any houses. My legs were just killing me so bad, and all I wanted was for us to be able to teach a lesson, mostly just because I wanted to sit down. Then that night, at like 6:00-ish, we knock this door, and talk to this lady for a while, and she invites us in. Finally!!!!! We walk inside only to discover that the family is just barely moving in, and there are no chairs. We taught the lesson standing up. Are. You. Kidding me?!?!?!?! Haha. The worst. Good lesson though, leg pains aside. Just for an idea of what it’s like working here: every single appointment we've had since Wednesday has fallen through. Every single one. Soooo lame.

On Friday we had an activity here with the branch in Motupe that was geared towards new converts. It was... not that great. But we didn't organize it, so not our fault! But the elders from Motupe were there with us and our ZLs also came down, and we did a skit of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. It was kinda silly. I, along with Elder Espinoza, got to play the part of a horse. It was so close to living my dream of wearing a two person horse costume!!! Except we only used a sheet. But still. Close! Also there was this kid there who read my nametag and asked me what my second last name was. He would not believe me when I told him that I only have one last name. "Why don't you want to tell me?" he asked me, "The elder over there told me his...". I don't have another last name!!!

On Sunday in elders quorum I made the suggestion that everyone should have a copy of the missionary handbook, because it has all the priesthood ordinances 'n stuff in it. The quorum got stoked on the idea and now they're gonna order missionary handbooks for every priesthood holder in the branch. Kewl. My one good deed of the week. Haha.

I really don't have a lot to say about this week. Its been rough. Olmos is a tough area. But I do like it and I'd rather stay here than get transferred. I think mostly because of how awesome Hermana Rosa and her family are. Haha. They're like my family away from home. They're the best ever!!

Other random events of interest from this past week might include that I saw the most awesomest shooting star I've ever seen. You could totally see the trail of fire behind it and everything until it disintegrated into nothing. Pretty neat dood. Also, for the first time since I've been in Peru, this one girl actually covered up as she started breastfeeding her baby in front of us. For the first time!! That was nice of her. People in Peru are like Adam and Eve, "And they were... naked, and were not ashamed." Today when we went to pick up our laundry from the lady who cleans our clothes, she was watching Spongebob, and I saw like two minutes of it and it was hilarious. But the voices are super lame in Spanish. And the other day we saw someone was watching the SyFy channel and a movie was on of a two headed shark. Haha. I miss watching SyFy with my roommates. Sharktopus is the best, and at the same time the worst movie ever. Sharktopus!!

For some reason I really really badly miss Christmas right now. I need Christmas!!

And also I need to go. I'll try to have something cooler to talk about next week. Thanks for loving me.

-Elder Hemsley