Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Well, one day we were doing some good ol' tracting. Look, I'll be honest, I do not like to tract. It's boring, it's hot, and it is not an effective way of finding people. However, sometimes you get lucky and actually meet a person who is interested."

Whoa, you know what I noticed recently? In the Book of Mormon in English in the introduction it says that the Book of Mormon and the Bible contain the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But in the Spanish introduction it only says that the Book of Mormon contains the fullness, and doesn't mention the Bible. What, is the Spanish Bible false or something? Lolol. Nothin' beats the ol' King James version. The lame Reina Valera version is all we got down here. King James ftw! But, I don't know if you knew, but a few years back they actually released an LDS edition of the Bible in español, like the LDS edition of the King James version we have in English, with footnotes and cross references and stuff. It’s the only language other than English that has an LDS edition. Pretty cool. But, apparently still not the fullness of the gospel. Hahaha. Whoa, didn't they recently announce a new version of the LDS standard works in English? I want it!!!

Anyway, this week was alright. Nothing too noteworthy to share. Lots of appointments, few people progressing. More like none, actually. But... we're doing what we can.

Sunday was interesting. Let me share with you how my Sunday was. You might as well just call me Bishop Hemsley from here on out, because I'm seriously in charge of everything now! Journal:


Church was interesting today. First of all, our neighbors who live directly above the room we meet in for sacrament meeting were having a party and blasting music. Obnoxious. At 2:00, when sacrament meeting is supposed to start, there was only one member here: Harly. Little by little the members started trickling in. But there was one problem; the bishopric was not here! We waited and waited, but they didn't come. 2:45, still not here. I remembered that an elder can conduct a sacrament meeting if there is no high priest present, so I decide that we can't wait any longer, go into bishop-mode, and start sacrament meeting. I gotta say, it felt weird literally being the guy in charge of church today. Not to mention the bishopric makes us assign the talks here and pick the hymns. So, today I prepared the sacrament, set up the seats, picked the hymns, assigned opening and closing prayers, lead and presided the sacrament meeting, with the speakers having been assigned by me ahead of time, myself being one of them. A.K.A. I did everything today. No wonder why I'm so stressed here in Picsi. Partway through the meeting the second counselor showed up. At like 3:15. So, luckily, we didn't have to teach Sunday School too. What I did have to deal with however were some extremely disobedient kids in the primary. The kids here are out of control. So, that was annoying. Anyway, kind of crazy Sunday. Elder Hemsley is in charge of everything!

Yup, that happened.

Not much else cool happened this week. On Wednesday I taught my district meeting class on obedience. I was being pretty bold about it too. Haha. I used the scripture in Matthew 7:21-24, that we use all the time in lessons to explain the importance of having priesthood authority to act in Christ's name. But, I put a different spin on it this time. It's the scripture that goes like this: 

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I basically said that the disobedient missionaries are going to be the people in that situation one day. They're be there in front of Christ, and they'll be saying "Lord, Lord, I went on a mission! I baptized people! I healed the sick, and preached the gospel in your name!" And to them Christ will say "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Haha, it was kind of a brutal lesson. But if there is one thing that really makes me angry, it's watching missionaries deliberately break rules and make a mockery of God in the process. My district doesn't have that kind of problem, but I was just making sure that they understood how serious the consequences can be. Interesting district class... Haha.

What else... Well, one day we were doing some good ol' tracting. Look, I'll be honest, I do not like to tract. It's boring, it's hot, and it is not an effective way of finding people. However, sometimes you get lucky and actually meet a person who is interested. Elder Villatoro and I met Silvia tracting one day, and she ended up getting baptized. So, tracting is not a complete waste of time, but, it's your last resort when you have absolutely nothing better to be doing. Well, we did get lucky this week. We met a man named Felix who let us right in to his house. He was really kind, and surprisingly, he actually knew the Bible pretty dang well, quoting passages from memory 'n stuff. It made it a lot easier for us to teach him, because he pretty much understood everything right away. He had a lot of questions specifically about our church. Questions about Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon, and stuff like that. He had a lot of doubts, because he has heard a lot of false stuff about our church. He told us that he used to attend another church about ten years ago, and in that church they taught bad things about the Mormons. Seriously? But that's not actually surprising. That happens a lot here. I wrote in my journal "I swear part of every church's curriculum here is talking crap about every other church." It’s rough. I feel like I'm living in Joseph Smith's era, where every church is out to attack every other church. That's how it is here. Anyway, our visit with Felix went really well. He thanked us for clearing up his doubts about Joseph Smith, and whether or not we believed in the Bible, and stuff like that. He accepted a Book of Mormon, and said he was excited to read it. Neato! We'll see how things go from here...

Oh!! One day Hermana Gotty told us that while she was in Chiclayo she saw the infamous "mormon" missionaries who wear green nametags and have green Books of Mormon. Apparenty from The Reformed (not Reorganized...) Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And they practice polygamy! Cool!! Hahaha. I've always wanted to see those guys!! Elder Peña told me he saw them in Cajamarca too. No fair!! I wanna take a picture with them!! My dream is to see them before I go home. Lololol. Apostasy.

Got yer mail. Still super jealous about your California trip. Grandma and Grandpa's house, swimming in the poo, going to the beach, eating In-N-Out, Tommy's, Duke's, Rubios, going to Balboa Island, etc... basically all my favorite things that you did without me. And I've never been to Palm Desert, but I guess that sounds cool too.

I forgot it was recently Easter! I'm surprised, because in Peru everyone and their dog and their guinea pig is super Christian (well, at least they say so.) but on Easter, absolutely nothing happens! Two Easters in Peru, and nothing. I don't get it. But they celebrate the whole week leading up to Easter by watching awful Jesus movies on TV every day. Whatever floats your boat I guess. Oh yeah, it was funny because one day we went to go visit a family who has four little kids, and as a family they were watching The Passion of the Christ, and it’s just so brutal and the little kids were crying because of how violent it was. Haha, not the best choice for a family movie night... "But it's about Jesus! Of course it’s a good idea!" Yeah, okay.

Anyway, I gotta get going! I also got a letter from Drew! My old roommate! Drew, this is just to let you know that I got it, and if I ever find time, I will try to write. But if not, don't kill me. Just don't go checking the mail every day for my letter!! Hehehe. Inside jokes.

Alright, see ya fam! Till next week!

-Elder Hemsley

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