Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"...as we were strollin' down the street, talking about some sweet doctrine, some guy totally tried to rob us! And by "us" I mean "me." "


Well, this week has been pretty rough honestly. Worked hard, but it was one of the tougher weeks I've had lately. All good though. Sort of. Haha. Just means this week is gonna have to be a good one to make up for it!

First of all, today summer vacation officially ended in Peru, and everyone is going back to school with their silly uniforms. I am so happy I never had school uniforms! Basically the guys all have to dress like missionaries without name tags, and the girls all have to dress... unattractive. Haha. But yeah, school starts today. I always hated school starting day!

This week sort of just punched us in the face with a fist made of cement dipped in acid. Something like that. The biggest bummer of the week was when we went to go visit Victor Retamozo, who is basically our best investigator who progresses so fast and kept every single one of his commitments (which is a miracle in Peru!). We visited with him, and he told us that he's really thankful for all the visits and everything, and that we're his good friends, but he won't be able to keep visiting with us. He basically told us that he's an atheist, and this entire time he's really been trying to change and to believe what we're saying, but it just never clicked for him, and he just can't quite accept anything he can't see. He returned his Libro de Mormon, all the pamphlets he had, and one Liahona magazine we gave to him. One investigator less. We're pretty bummed about it, because Victor is awesome! Maybe one day he'll give it another chance...

Speaking of Victors, the other Victor, Victor Mendoza, who is the inactive priesthood-holding member we randomly found knocking doors that one day, hasn't made it to church yet. He told us he would make an effort to reorganize his Sunday schedule to be able to start going to church again, but he hasn't made much of an effort as of yet. He plays club soccer on Sundays. So, a couple weeks ago he told us he would be at church on Sunday, but he played soccer instead, and while playing he hurt his knee really bad. Can't play soccer for another six months. Problem solved! God works in mysterious ways sometimes. So, basically he has no excuse left to not come, but this past Sunday he was also busy working the entire day. He says it was a random thing and that it doesn't usually happen on Sunday, but this week it did. I trust him, for now, but if he keeps not coming we're gonna have to talk! Haha. He's really cool though. He's been inactive for a few years and he's slipped into some bad habits, but he wants the gospel to be a part of his life again and seems willing to make the necessary changes. I'm just a little worried though, because when he was an active member in Australia, he was a member of a big, well-organized, functioning ward, right close to a temple. Here, it's just a little struggling group with a temple like a day away. It won't be the same. It won't be what he's expecting. But, we'll do what we can to help him.

On Tuesday I went to Chiclayo and had a work visit in Lopez Albujar with Elder Cuadros. Fun guy. The main highlight was that in the morning, as we were strollin' down the street, talking about some sweet doctrine, some guy totally tried to rob us! And by "us" I mean "me." We were walkin' and talkin', and then out of nowhere this guy sneaks up behind us and grabs by wrist, going for my watch. Elder Cuadros comes from a dangerous part of Lima, where this sort of thing is common, and he actually knew that the guy was going to rob us before it even happened. As the guy grabbed for my wrist, Elder Cuadros immediately pulled my arm away, turned around, and said to the guy "What are you doing?! We're missionaries. We don't have any money. We're missionaries." The guy just sort of stood there dumb-struck, and a little embarrassed that his plan was so easily foiled. He just stood there looking ashamed, and then calmly let us leave. I think he was drugged up. He was trying to steal my watch that I bought for 15 soles. Which is like five dollars or something. It doesn't even look nice! But yeah, that was exciting.

I went to Chiclayo again a few days later to finish up my office stuff. I think I finally finished everything in the office. I am no longer in possesion of 6,000 soles of the Church's money. Haha. I canceled my bank account. They destroyed my bank card. Awww, I kinda wanted to keep that as a souvenir. Oh well. I need to have less stuff.

Hmm, what else... On Friday I went to interview a nine year old girl for baptism in the Chiclayo Campodònico ward. Her name is Mayli. Nine year olds don't usually have serious sins that they have to take care of, so, pretty easy. Passed. Has a strong testimony for a little girl. She got baptized on Saturday. Kewl.

Anyway, time is short today. Gotta finish up. The other reason this week was rough was because normally we have tons of investigators come to church. This week only one showed up. Fifteen people who gave us their word that they would be at church on Sunday, didn't show up. Fifteen people! That was a mega bummer. This week is gonna be a better one.

Yikes, I had more stuff to tell you, but I gotta get going. Yes Bryn, I miss the cold, a lot. In fact, I can't wait to get back to the freezing temperatures of Rexburg. I am tired of hot. This week was the hottest week yet. It made fasting more of a sacrifice than usual (I was almost to the point of passing out...). Family! Help me decide when I should start studying again! I don't know what to do. If I don't start in September, I have to wait until January, which is a long time. But if I start in September, I get like no time with you guys! But I could start school with Bryn! I don't know. Both options are lame. My original date to come home was September 17th, but a week got cut off all of our missions, so my new date is one week earlier, but there is a group of missionaries who are coming home three weeks earlier than my group (so, four weeks earlier than my original date) and I was thinking if I'm gonna study I'd have to go home with them. Be home for Jacque's b-day. I dunno. I don't like to think about this stuff. I want your opinions. How the heck is it that time has gone so fast that I already have to start thinking about going home?!? Oh yeah PS, to answer your questions, yeah, the girls dorms at BYU-I are like a hundred-finity times nicer than the boys dorms. If Bryn wants dorms, it'd be an okay choice.

Mom, Peruvian Spanish is really slow, just so you know. They told me in the MTC that it would be easier for me to learn Spanish in Peru than in Mexico. Peruvian Spanish is really really lazy Spanish. When people talk fast it still confuses the heck outta me. And yes, I heard about all those missions that are opening, and I was excited about all the same ones that you thought I would be excited about! The Church is growing!

Okay, I really have to go now! Talk to you next week! I miss you!

-Elder Hems

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