Friday, June 28, 2013

"I turn my head to look out the window, and right on the window, like two inches from my face is THE BIGGEST SPIDER I'VE EVER SEEN!! It was seriously a tarantula."

Hey guyz,

Well, new transfer, new comp. Elder Trochez left Monday morning. But, he's still close by. Still in the same zone. My new comp is... Elder Maldonado! He's from Ecuador and he just finished his training (thank goodness, I didn't want to train again). He's pretty awesome! We’re working well together! He's from a part of Ecuador called Otavalo, where the culture is that the guys have real long hair and dress differently than us. And, my companion has really long hair! Really long! AKA Bryn's hair length. Because of his culture, he is allowed to wear his hair long and dress differently than other missionaries. Instead of wearing a suit like the rest of us, he wears a white shirt and white pants, with white sandals. That's how he goes to church. Bet you never had a comp like that, everyone who's reading this who's been a missionary. Kind of awesome.

Well, the highlight of the week was Herbert's baptism!! And also I found out his name is actually spelled "Herber." That always happens. People have weird names in Peru. On Tuesday, right after Elder Trochez left and Elder Maldonado came, we had a great visit with Herber. At the end we asked him if he still wanted to be baptized on the 22nd. He said yes. We asked him what time he wanted to be baptized, and he told us "I would get baptized this afternoon if I could." Yes, good answer. Haha. The next day we had another great lesson with him where we talked about tithing. He accepted it right away. I wrote in my journal: I feel like when someone accepts the Law of Tithing with no complaints or questions, that's a good sign that they're really gaining a true testimony. Kind of rad. On Friday before his baptismal interview, we talked about Thomas S. Monson and our current 12 apostles. I remembered a story I heard once, where I think (I don't really remember) someone asked the President Gordon B. Hinckley what made our church different than other churches, and he responded asking "if the prophet Moses were alive today, would you follow him?", and the guy obviously responded "Yes." Duh. And Gordon B. Hinckley said "that's what makes our church different from the rest. We do have a living prophet." Maybe that wasn't actually Gordon B., but that's how I remember it. Cool story. Anyway, we gave Herber the most recent conference edition of the Liahona magazine, and he asked us "where can I get more of these?" Haha. That night was his baptismal interview. Passed. After he came out of the interview, he asked me if I could baptize him! I sure can!! My journal: I'm scared though, because he's not a little kid, and I've only baptized little kids. Haha.

His baptism was great! I wrote about it:


Duuuuuuuuuuuuude!!! Today Herber got baptized!! It was a good day...

The baptism was great! For some reason, I was really nervous this time. Probably because I've never baptized someone who isn't a kid before. Herber was nervous too! There were two quick little talks. Then us elders (my comp and I, Elder Martin and Elder Driggs, and Elder Trochez and Elder Law) sang a hymn. Then, baptism time! Dude, the water was way cold! Which is bad because Peruvians think cold water will kill you. But, Herber is awesome and didn't complain or nuthin´! But it was cold!! I baptized him, and when we got out Herber told me that as he was coming into the font he felt really cold, but once he was in the water, he didn't feel cold anymore. He later shared in his testimony that he felt cold getting in, but once he was in he felt warm, and when he got out he felt cold again. Pretty cool. He also said that he never knew which church was the true church of Jesus Christ until the missionaries found him and started noticing changes in his life. He said after going to church he always felt so happy. I can't do it justice, but it was one of the more powerful testimonies that I've heard from someone who just got baptized. It was awesome.

After the baptism we walked back to our room with Herber because he lives real close to us. He told us that he felt really good, and he felt really clean. He said he really liked his baptism, and that it’s something that he will always remember. As we were getting close to our room he said that his baptism was fantastic! "Fue fantástico!" He was really happy. This guy is going to receive so many blessings. He is seriously the best.

So, that made for a good week.

"Herber's baptism!"

Last Monday, after I wrote you guys, I went with Elder Tróchez and Jusseff, an RM who lives in our same building, to go see the famous Baños del Inca. They’re natural hot water pools that aren't that far from here. It was pretty awesome! The water is hot! Well, I didn't touch it, cause I was told not to. Lots of steam. There were some ancient ruins there too (not very cool ones, but... ones). It was way fun. Describing it isn't that cool, but I'm sending pics.

"Los Baños del Inca."

"That water is really hot."

"Pretty awesome."

Wanna know what happened to me this week?! On Tuesday night, we were going back to our room in mototaxi. About halfway through the drive I turn my head to look out the window, and right on the window, like two inches from my face is THE BIGGEST SPIDER I'VE EVER SEEN!! It was seriously a tarantula. That freaked me out and we had to stop the moto to get the spider out of there. It was gigantic. And fat. Sooo creepy. Freaking Peru!!

Oh, here's a fun journal entry. Let me share:


Dude, every appointment we have falls through! Today the entire day was filed with appointments, and only one of them didn't fall through!! So dumb. Here were the excuses for why the appointments fell through today. 1.) We went to visit Luz this morning. She had told us to come by at 10:00. We show up, and her neighbor told us that Luz is never home at 10:00 in the morning. 2.) We ring the doorbell of this house four times before this old lady finally peeks her head out and we ask her if Felicita is there. She "doesn't know" and "has to go check." Three minutes later a little girl comes back and says that Felicita isn't there. I ask when she'll be back. The girl doesn't know. I ask her when she left, the girl looked around awkwardly for a second and then said "I don't know." She was there. 3.) The guy we had an appointment with went to go see his sister. 4.) The lady is out of town. 5.) The kid "went to church." We go look for him at the church. He's not there.  6.) The guy is busy taking care of his baby.

It's ridiculous how many appointments fall through. I hate it really. Last transfer, I marked eat appointment that fell through in my planner. The other day, I went through my planner, and tallied up how many set appointments we had had in those six weeks, and how many of them fell through. 70 percent of all of our appointments fall through.

Oh oh oh!! Last night there was this way super awesomatical live broadcast from Utah that was 100% dedicated to missionary work! You guys probably knew about it too. You probably were even there, considering here in our stake, every single leader in every ward in the entire stake was invited, plus all the missionaries, plus, whoever wanted to come. A.K.A., everyone was invited. It was SO GOOD! That was possibly awesomer than general conference! And all the missionaries in the MTC were there, and since I know like 500 billion people there right now, I was trying to find them in the audience. I didn't see any of them. Did you guys see it?! The only bad part was that I had to watch it in Spanish. And, the English voices are still quiet in the background, and whenever anyone makes a joke, they don't translate it into Spanish. They just don't translate that part! They just leave it blank! So dumb! Anyway, they announced a ton of awesome stuff, like how there's now over 70,000 missionaries serving worldwide. THAT IS SO MANY. And that the church wants the missionaries to use more technology and stuff, and so soon missionaries are going to get an hour of internet time every single day to be online missionaries, using stuff like blogs and Facebook and stuff. Seriously?! These things most likely won't take effect in my mission until after I get home, but still! Exciting stuff. My brother's mission could be completely different than mine...

Well, that was pretty much my week. Ooh! Yesterday I got a whole huge pile of mail from home! But I haven't had time to read it yet. So, if you asked me any questions, sorry for not answering them. I'll do it next week. Alright, I'll talk to you guys later! Buh-bye!

-Elder Hemsley

Victor sent several more pictures. If you'd like to see them, go to the slideshow at the top of this blog...

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