Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Today for p-day we went to this pretty sickawesome place called Cumbe Mayo which is like an hour or so from Cajamarca. It’s just this really pretty place that made me feel like I was in The Lord of the Rings or something... or in Zelda. DUDE, ZELDA!!!!"

Hola guyz

Hmm, I'm trying to think of what to tell you guys this week. It hasn't been a bad week, but it hasn't been too eventful either. I guess I'll pull out the ol' journal for some ideas...

Ooh, well, for one, last week after I e-mailed you guys my comp and I went out and hit the streets of Cajamarca with our bud Jusseff. We went to this sweet cathedral in the Plaza de Armas. Pretty rad. There's two cathedrals there, but one was closed. The one we went into was the less cool one, but it was still way pretty. Dude, I don't even care how not-Catholic I am, I seriously love Catholic cathedrals. They're way sick. That was fun, we were in there for like ten minutes. Way pretty. Then, we went to this place called Santa Apolonia which is on this hill were we get this great view of the entire city. And there are a whole places of tiny shops 'n stuff that sell all kinds of souvenirs. So, for the first time in my 21 months of being a missionary, I finally started buying some souvenirs! Didn't get too much stuff, gotta go back and buy a lot more to lug back to the US of A. I only have a few p-days left! But, that was my p-day last week. That night we had an FHE with a family, but they weren't there. So, we came back here with the Chavez family (our pensionista's fam) and had an FHE with them instead, and with Herber. Was pretty nice.

We've been focusing a lot more on visiting members lately. We've been visiting them a bunch. We had like three or four FHEs this week with members with investigators present. It’s a pretty good strat, because lots of times we go out with members to go teach lessons, but all the appointments fall through and we don't actually end up teaching anybody. But, having the lessons, or the FHEs in the members homes, and bringing investigators with us, works a whole heck of a lot better. Since we're six missionaries in our ward, and we're all focusing on visiting the members more, I think it will be a really effective way to get the members excited about missionary work and gaining their friendship and trust. I like it. It might not bring immediate results, but in the long run it will be something that will continually help this ward from here on out. So, we're planting seeds. Another important part of missionary work.

On Tuesday I went out and had a work visit with the elders in the Chontapaccha ward. They're two white boys. Elder Greene and Elder Callis. I started my mission with Elder Callis, and I've been Elder Greene's district leader in two different districts now. They're both fun. I went to the Chontapaccha area with Elder Greene and Elder Callis stayed here with my comp. Perhaps not so surprisingly, almost all of our appointments fell through. It's not just my area where that happens... But, the main purpose of the visit was to visit this guy named Edilberto who had a baptismal date for that weekend. He is way awesome. He's like 60, and recently widowed. Like three or four weeks ago one of his friends invited him to church, and he came and met the missionaries. The missionaries started teaching him and he just progressed at lightning speed. He read the entire Book of Mormon in a week and then started reading and studying Gospel Principles. We went and I met him and we taught a quick lesson on tithing. Since he'd already done so much studying on his own, he basically taught us what tithing is and accepted it without any issues. On Thursday I went to interview him for his baptismal interview. Answered all the questions way in-depth and was super ready to be baptized. On Friday my comp and I went to see him get baptized. I'm glad we showed up, because he was really happy to see me there! He was golden. He gave a super awesome testimony too.

On Wednesday out of nowhere at lunch time I just got this super sore throat and couldn't even swallow my food. It was odd, because I ate breakfast totally normal. At dinner time I was mostly better too. But at lunch time my throat was just killing me. Gosh dangit Peru why do you always make me sick?!

Fourth of July was fun. NOT! But that was the day that I interviewed Edilberto, which was cool. We had our zone training meeting that day and the assistants came up from Chiclayo with President and Sister Risso. President was pretty much only there to interview. I was hoping for some sweet mind-blowing doctrinal talk, but, nuthin'. Pretty good meeting though. That day we went to go eat lunch with a member family (the fact that I'm still alive and writing this e-mail is a blessing). Actually, it’s a family who's cooking I trust, so, no worries. But I still can't get that image out of my head from the time I went to the market in Chiclayo with Elder Perea and we were walking through the vegetable section and there were freaking rats crawling around in the food!! I do not trust the food here!!! You have no idea how many times I've eaten meals in places that would be extremely illegal to sell food in back home. I just can't wait to get home and start eating fake food again. Fake food is so good!! Anyway, the fam made us one of the few Peruvian dishes that I actually like, called "aji de gallina." Pretty tasty. It's like one of only two foods I like here. That night we had one of our FHEs with a member family who lives down the street from us, the Campos family. They're rad. Way active 'n stuff. Ex-bishop. Herber came with us and so did another rad ivestigator (who can't get baptized yet), and his two year old son. It was a pretty sweet FHE, except for when the kid peed his pants, and he wasn't wearing a diaper and it got all over his dad and the couch. Hahaha. And then as we were about to leave, he went number 2. Pretty funny.

On Friday morning we had s'more meetings. District leader training. The assistants led the meeting with the ZLs. It was pretty cool. Sister Risso pitched in a little bit too. After the meeting, I got interviewed by President Risso, which is only like the fourth time I've been interviewed by him in my entire mission, which is kind of weird. He never interviewed me while I was in the office. Prob because I saw him all the time anyway. Pretty sweet interview, 'cause Prez is the best. I really miss being around President and Sister Risso all the time.

That afternoon when we went out to go do some work and be missionaries, this guy came up to us in the street and told us that his son is a member of our church. We asked him what his son's name is, and he told us "Herber Infante." Oh! Yeah, I know that guy! I just baptized him! lolz. He went on thanking us so much because he said that since we started visitng Herber, that Herber has changed so much, and has changed for the better. He was super grateful for all that we've done for his son. Hopefully we can visit his dad one of these days too! But he enjoys his alcohol. He told us that if he doesn't drink, he can't eat. Weird.

On Saturday I headed out to Otuzco for only my third time ever with my comp and our mission leader Oscar. It’s a way pretty place. A teeny little village. Still didn't take pictures. Gotta go back and do that one of these days.

We also had a classic tracting moment on Saturday. We knocked on this one door, and this nine year old boy answers the door. We ask if his parents are home, and he said yes and went in to tell them that we were at the door. A minute or two later, he came back and told us that his mom couldn't come to the door because she was changing the baby's diaper. Elder Maldonado asked if his dad was home too. The kid said "yeah, he's here, but... they're both changing the diaper..." Hahaha. Great excuse. The people here are creative.

Yesterday was Sunday. I still really enjoy going to church in an actual church building and not some rented out Peruvian house. It is great. Pretty good day. Had another FHE with some members and investigators. 'Twas nice.

Today for p-day we went to this pretty sickawesome place called Cumbe Mayo which is like an hour or so from Cajamarca. It’s just this really pretty place that made me feel like I was in The Lord of the Rings or something... or in Zelda. DUDE, ZELDA!!!! The pics I took don't really do it justice, but I'll send them anyway. It was super cold there, but really awesome. Probably one of the better p-days I've had. I liked it. And I got to take a pic with a sheep on my shoulders. Just like... wait, what I was about to say was probably blasphemy... (Okay fine, just like Jesus.) Oh, dude, and I found Mountain Dew Code Red today. CODE RED.

"Pretty neato place."

"I'm on a rock."

"Hi, I carry sheep."

And... that was my entire week. I got some letters 'n stuff too from you guys. I don't know for how much longer you should be sending me mail. I feel like I'm gonna go home before any more letters you send get to me. I wasn't going to ever publicly announce this, because I thought it would make me way too homesick, but, considering I only have like five more Mondays to check my e-mail (wait, seriously?! Only five?!!?!) I guess I'll just say it so everyone knows: As of a while ago we're now allowed to e-mail whoever the heck we want. So, if you guys wanna start e-mailing me instead of writing letters or Dear Elders, my e-mail address is So, there ya go. I still don't promise I'll respond, but, at least I'll read it. Hehe.

Anyways, thanks for the mail. Got some Porter letters, got a letter from a good ol' friend. Wow, I can't believe that Zach is at home!! We basically started our missions at the same time!! That is SO WEIRD!!! And Porter's about to go home too. That is nuts!

Dad climbed Mt. Shasta?? That's pretty awesome. Although based on the letters I got from you guys (which are from like a month ago) all my sibs were pretty much telling me "well,  this was a pretty boring week." IT’S SUMMER VACATION, STOP BEING BORED.

And just to clear this up; Dangit Drew! I never said that the Big Carl was the best burger! I just mentioned it in one e-mail because I randomly thought of it as I was typing. It's alright, but I mostly just bought it because it was one of the cheapest bugers at Carl's Jr. My real favorite burger is the Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger. I'm seriously going to go to Carl's Jr. and eat one of those before I go to my house. Straight from the airport, to Carl's Jr. With my nametag still on an everything. Family, keep that in mind. That is a delicious burger. But if you try it and don't like it, don't make fun of me. Anyway, I'm headed back to Rexburg in September, so if you're ever around there again, maybe someday I'll see you again.

Alright family, and the rest of the people who read these. I'm done. That was my week. There is nothing else to say. I guess it was more eventful than I remembered. Thank you, journal. K, see you guys in five e-mails!!

...That is seriously so weird...

-Elder Hemz

Victor sent more pictures that you can see by clicking on the slideshow at the top of this blog...

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