Dang it, I am seriously weirded out right now because things keep happening that make me remember how soon I'm going home.
On Saturday three elders in my zone went to Chiclayo, because their missions are over. They're done! And it was just really weird thinking that in only three weeks I'll be doing the exact same thing!! And then today two other missionaries from my district got transferred and we saw them off at the bus station too. Just another reminder of how soon I'll be getting on that bus. And all the missionaries bug me about how soon I'm leaving too. Dang it guys!! I seriously thought I was gonna have to try really hard to pretend I didn't want to go home at this point, but really, I don't want to! It’s really a mix of being incredibly happy and excited to see you guys again, and being super sad that this is almost over...
And gosh dangit, right now I'm drinking that Inca Kola "The Golden Kola" Americanized version of Inca Kola and it's not as good as regular Inca Kola!!
This week was a pretty good one though. On Tuesday I had to give my district class. One of my least favorite parts of being a district leader. But, it's cool too. Taught a class about the Priesthood. It’s something that I realized a bunch of the people we're visiting do not understand well, and so the class was all about how we can help people really understand what the priesthood is, how someone can receive it, how the priesthood is used, and why it is important. I really had no desire to teach that day, but, it turned out a whole lot better than I expected, with my district participating and everything. I really liked it. One of the missionaries even came up to me after the class and said "thank you for the class Elder Hemsley." I don't think anyone has ever thanked me for a class I've taught before, so it must have been alright after all. Kinda fun. The Priesthood is really such an important topic, and it's something I am so thankful for. My testimony of the priesthood has grown so much since I've been out here, and I've realized more thank ever how huge of a blessing the priesthood is, and has been, in my life.
Ah! Another thing I liked about Tuesday was that I got a big ol' batch of Dear Elders! Possibly my last, or second to last batch, I assume. But it’s the batch where Mom sent me all those letters from Zanna, and from all the other people in Eugene 3rd Ward who are starting their missions. I loved reading those!! Reading all those letters from all these missionaries I know from back home was so inspiring!! As I was reading I remember thinking to myself wow, the mission seriously is the coolest thing ever. I'm so excited for all of them!! And I can't wait to read all their mission blogs when I get home! I wish all of my friends could have the experience of serving a mission. The mission is the biggest blessing ever...
On Wednesday we got to do some sw33t service! Well, pretty regular service, but still, I like service. Helped one of the members from our ward paint this kiosk he owns in one of the parks here, that he plans to start selling food at. We didn't finish, but we worked for a good three hours. Gonna go back to finish the job this week probably. Fun times.
That afternoon Elder Maldonado and I went with the sister missionaries to visit one of their investigators who was going to be baptized. Since I'm district leader I'm now trying to visit all the investigators with baptismal dates in my district before interviewing them. It makes the interview easier, and more comfortable for the investigator (and for me...). The investigator's name is José (A.K.A. one of the most common names of all time in Peru. If not the absolute most common.) who was getting married to his girlfriend on Friday so that he could get baptized the day after. He was way awesome. While we were there he asked us if we could give his mother-in-law a blessing, because on Monday (err, today...) she was going to be operated on. So, I gave her a blessing. And then after that Elder Maldonado gave José a blessing so that he could stay strong in his efforts to keep the Word of Wisdom (which honestly, he isn't having any problems with). Kinda neat visit. The next day was his interview, and it went really well. No problems. Had a huge desire to be baptized. I feel lucky that so far every single person I've interviewed has passed. One elder told me that the first three people he interviewed for baptism all failed! That would be so uncomfortable for me. But, it's all good. At the end of the interview I was about to ask José who he wanted to baptize him, but, he beat me to it and asked "would you baptize me?" Uh, yeah! So, I was pretty stoked about that. On Friday he got married in the chapel. We went for the beginning, but left before the dancing and partying started. We saw the actual marriage part though. Dude, marriages are boring here. Not that I have anything to compare it to, because I haven't exactly attended many (or any...) weddings in the States, but, it was boring. Made me happy that in the States we can actually get married inside the temple, instead of having to first get married legally outside, and then get married a second time in the temple, which is what you have to do in Peru (not that José would have been able to get married in the temple anyways, he wasn't even baptized...). Saturday was his baptism. In the morning we filled the baptismal font and while it was filling I taught myself how to play some Box Car Racer on the piano. Hehe. Too fun. The baptism itself went well. Except hardly anyone showed up! It was nice though. But the water was freezing. Holy crap. Even for me, who always makes fun of Peruvians for thinking the water is too cold, it was cold. José was shivering as I said the prayer, and then I baptized him and we got the heck out of that water!!! Haha. José is really rad though. I'm super stoked for him. After the wedding he and his wife Rubí gave a little cake from their wedding to the six of us missionaries. Yum-o! We took some dumb pics and then ate the heck out of it!!
This weekend Herber went with a bunch of the YSA to Chiclayo for a multi-stake YSA convention that was all weekend long. They should be getting back late tonight. But I'm way excited that he got to go to that!! I'm sure it has been a great faith building experience for him, and a ton of fun. Before he left he came by to borrow one of my ties. Herber is so involved in the Church, I love it so much. And he has great support and great friends who are YSA. Really cool. He's bummed that I'm going home soon... Aww man...
Oh boy oh boy oh boy, on Saturday night we went to go visit a member family, and while we were there, the zone leaders showed up with cans of root beer, and we had root beer floats with the family!! ROOT BEER FLOATS are you serious I haven't had those in like two years or more!!
Yesterday was Peruvian Independence Day. So, everyone was drinking in the streets. Freaking drunk people annoy me so much. One guy grabbed me by the arm and was like "Jehova! Jehova!" And I totally thought he was going to kiss me. Yeah. Cool. Get sober. We sang the national hymn of Peru in sacrament meeting. I didn't know how it went...
Also, yesterday it hit me really hard how few days I really have left of my mission. So, I sunk down to the literal definition of trunky and actually started organizing my suitcase, seeing which things I could throw out or give away to save as much space as possible. Still have a long way to go with that. Today for p-day I went out and tried to buy some more souvenirs. I bought a few little things, but still, with the amount of money you guys have sent me to by stuff with, I should be buying tons more!! This morning we went to the bus station to see off the two missionaries who are getting transferred. Both from my district. Elder Greene, and Hermana Córdova. I'm bummed because Elder Greene is one of my best friends in the mish and he makes me laugh so much. I've been his district leader in two different zones. And Hermana Córdova is super cool too, but she's only temporarily serving here because her actual mission is in Argentina. She's the first 19 year old sister missionary I've met here. Anyway, I'm anxious to know who's gonna replace them and make up my last district in my mission. After that we went to Otuzco with the Chavez family (my pensionista's family) and Jusseff and Miguel and Lorena (two other members from our ward) and just hung out in this super pretty place, played frisbee, had a picnic, and relaxed. It was super awesome. Fun p-day!
Alright, I got yer e-mails. Sounds like you had a fun week (whoa, it's weird not hearing about things you did three weeks after you did them...). High Adventure, and a YW rafting trip. Sounds like two things I would so not have enjoyed, but, I'm glad you guys can enjoy them at least!! And Bryn got her wisdom teeth out. Hehe. That was no fun. Speaking of teeth, I'm really hoping my teeth are still healthy after this two year long Peruvian adventure. I'm worried.
Anyway, I gotta get going. FHE's 'n stuff. Y'know, Monday night. I can't wait to see you guys so soon! And I can't wait to eat Carl's Jr. with you guys! Woohoo!! No more rice!!!
Victor sent a bunch of new pictures. Here are just a few. If you'd like to see the rest, just click the slideshow at the top of this blog.
"I hate traveling in this country."
"There's some good lookin' missionaries."