Sunday, April 7, 2013

"I'm now here with my new companion, Elder Bardales! But y'know what's weird? He's only temporarily serving in Chiclayo! His real mission call is for Mexico..."


"Elder Arévalo and me with our new companions."

Well, transfers happened. I'm now here with my new companion, Elder Bardales! He's from Chimbote, Peru, and he's just barely starting his mish! He's a cool guy. 19 years old. Member of the church for three years. But y'know what's weird? He's only temporarily serving in Chiclayo! His real mission call is for Mexico, but, until his visa comes through, he's gonna be here with us. Now, that means that basically at any given moment, his visa could come through and he'll be off to Mexico (seriously I am so jealous of all the crunchwrap supremes that he's going to be eating there. Because I know that's what everyone always eats in Mexico. Taco Bell.), and if that happens, I don't really know what will happen with me, but I guess we'll find out. Ha. So, I'm training again! But this time a brand new, new guy! Elder Villatoro had already been out here a transfer when I began training him. Speaking of Elder Villatoro, he's also training a new missionary! Wow! That's pretty rad. Elder Villatoro was struggling a bit when he was starting his mission, but it makes me way happy to see how much he's improved and how much happier he is now. And he's training a new missionary for his first time! Too cool. Since so many new missionaries came this time, a gigantic chunk of the mission is training newbs. And like 15 or so new areas just opened up! Including Olmos 2! Aww, not fair, I wanna serve in Olmos 2! Hehe.

This week I also finished my fourth journal. I'm on to my fifth mission journal! Dang, that's a lot of books I've written. I assume by the time I get home I will have started my sixth one. Kinda cool. But the best part is that when I get home I will no longer torture myself by forcing myself to write a journal entry every single night no matter how tired I am. Woo!!!

Well, some neat things happened this week I guess. We had a good visit with Anita, the Adventist lady the other day. I wrote about it:


Today we went to visit Lorena, but she wasn't there so we talked with Anita instead. Man, Anita is so freaking awesome!! She came to Melissa's baptism, so we talked a little about that. She said she really liked it and that she had never seen a baptism like that before. Elder Bardales asked her how she felt at the baptism, and Anita told us that she felt something strong, and she felt like she had found the truth. Whoa!! Good question, comp! She told us that the first time we visited her and Mardokeo, she saw us walk past their home, and told Mardokeo that we'd probably show up at their house one day, and then, just a few minutes later we showed up at their door! She said that after that first visit she couldn't stop thinking about the things we had taught her, and she wondered why she had never been taught those things in her church, because she felt like they were true. She has felt over and over again that this is the truth. She just needs to get married so that she can get baptized. However, she told us that Mardokeo has his doubts, and basically believes that all churches are the true church. Eh, gonna have to work with him a bit. I think it has to do with the fact that he's not too fond of the Word of Wisdom. He likes his beer. Anyway, Anita is way way rad! My comp's first lesson too! It was way good!

So, that was pretty cool. Speaking of the Word of Wisdom, it's a ridiculously huge problem here. I think I've already told you, but it's awful. Everyone complains about being so poor, but every weekend they go out and spend huge sums of money on really expensive beer, and then they complain again about how poor they are! And in their drunkenness they give their little kids beer too! It's the worst.

The church in Picsi is (and has been since forever) struggling a whole lot. The few members we have are not that active or dedicated to the church. It's rough. Plus, the other week Elder Rich was telling me about how Elder Hooker, an area authority (I think) came to Chiclayo a few weeks ago and told the stake president that in the church there are wards, and there are branches, and nothing else. Groups don't exist. So, basically, if this group doesn't become a branch soon, the church is going to be closed in Picsi and the members are going to have to go to church in Chiclayo. So, yeah, kind of a sad situation. The other week the members all got together to talk about this problem and how they have to start working together to help this church grow so that they can keep their church in Picsi. For a few days they all got more excited to work hard and visit people but then yesterday was one of the worst church attendances I've seen yet. Ehh...

I've been enjoying my new and improved faster method of reading the Book of Mormon. No marking nuthin'! I finished Alma yesterday, so, the rest will be a breeze! Pretty cool.

Apart from the awful church attendance yesterday, there was one thing that I really liked. It was fast and testimony meeting, and part way through the meeting I decided to share my testimony, and as I was speaking I just felt the Spirit so strong. Those are my favorite moments. I sat back down and remained on a spiritual high until church ended. The best feeling! Oh, and P.S., the first counselor keeps making me lead the sacrament meeting. I don't know why, because elders can only lead sacrament meetings if there is no high priest present, and he's a high priest! Lolz.

I got some mail this week. Some. Only heard from Jack and Dad this time. Dunno what happened, but I assume I'll get the rest this week.

You actually got a second dog!! That's nutso! I hope he's fun.

Jacque, I don't remember what country I had in the Eurasian conference. I just remember that was one of the worst school days I ever had. Haha.

Well, we gotta get going. We're off to Chiclayo to eat lunch with some of our zone. Hopefully I'll have some cooler things to tell you about next week! Buh-bye!

-Elder Hems

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