Monday, August 5, 2013

"We don't even have any idea who she was. But that's one of the nicest things someone's done for me on my mission..."

Hola guys

Well, I've been spending the past 15 minutes trying to send you guys some photos, but, my camera is not doing so well (it hasn't been working right for months now) and I'm not able to open the photos on the computer. That sounds bad, but later I'm gonna get an SD card adapter and plug the memory card in straight to the computer and take 'em off from there instead. I dunno if that makes sense to you guys, but it makes sense to me, and it works. But I can't do it right now. So, unless I get that adapter soon, I probably won't be able to send pics this time. Oh well.

It’s been a tough week! Pros: We visited a ton of members this week. We're gaining their confidence and their friendship. Kewl. Cons: None of the members are giving us referrals! And all our regular appointments with investigators are falling through (like always)!! So, we're not seeing too many people progressing right now. Kinda bummed, because this isn't exactly how I want to end my mission. But, I s'pose as long as I'm working hard, that's all that matters.

It’s kinda weird getting e-mails now. Because now I have to split my internet time between reading and writing instead of only writing. But, this hasn't really been the most productive or eventful week, so I might not have that much to write about anyway! Let's see what kinds of things I can pull out of my memory (actually, my journal) today...

First, one of the highlights of the week: After I wrote you guys last week, we went to have an FHE with one of the families in our ward. The Marin Lopez family. Why was it a highlight? Because the lady (Laura) made us tacos. TACOS!! They were soo super delicious too. Look, a bunch of missionaries who have a lot of time out here have told me "when I first got to Peru, I hated the food, but now I've actually grown to like it a lot." Some people say that. But, not me. I do not like Peruvian food and I jump for joy and give everlasting thanks to my Heavenly Father every time I get to eat food that is not from this country. I would kill someone for a nice burger. Well... probably not, but still. I mean, it's a possibility. So, that was one awesome part of the week. Two other food-related highlights of the week were the two times I ate pizza. Celia, my pensionista made us pizza one day, and it was delish. And today, for p-day, we ate Pizza Hut. YES YES YES AMERICAN FOOD YES!!! Pretty soon I'll be eating Costco muffins 'n stuff. (Seriously, I always torture myself thinking about food. I've never been able to get over that habit my entire mission...)

Oh yeah, something that bothers me a whole lot (I sure am a complainer today) are all the churches that teach bad things about us "Mormons" in their regular church meetings... It drives me nuts! I can't remember one single time that I've ever heard anything bad about any other church in any church meeting I've ever been to in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I can't remember reading one single article talking bad about other churches in any issue of the Ensign or Liahona magazines. But, these other churches are all about that. Because we worship Joseph Smith, don't believe in God, don't believe in the Bible, have seven wives, and are racists. "I learned that about you guys in my church." That's a common phrase we hear. Oh yeah, did I ever tell you about the time we passed by a preacher of a different faith who was teaching someone at their door, and the only thing they were talking about was all the reasons why the Mormon church is false? Psh. The only thing I remember hearing in General Conference about another church was when Elder Oaks complemented the Catholic church a few conferences back. 'Member this?: "Many Christians have voluntarily given sacrifices motivated by faith in Christ and the desire to serve Him. Some have chosen to devote their entire adult lives to the service of the Master. This noble group includes those in the religious orders of the Catholic Church and those who have given lifelong service as Christian missionaries in various Protestant faiths. Their examples are challenging and inspiring..." I liked that, because it is the exact opposite of what I always hear in the streets and in people's houses. Compliments.

We went to visit Herber this week. Had a pretty rad visit, like always. This one was rad not because of what we taught, but because of what he told us! He told us that what is goal is, and what he most wants right now, is that one day he can be at home on a Monday night with his whole family, having a Family Home Evening where his whole family participates. He wants his family to join the Church. He told us that he remembers us teaching him that those who participate in the necessary ordinances and endure to the end will end up in one place after this life, and those who don't will end up in another. He said that he's thought about that a lot ever since we taught that to him, and that he hates to think that he could end up in one place, and the rest of this family in another. He wants his family to receive all the same blessings as him. He told us that he's felt so good since joining the Church and that the people there treat him like family and he loves it. And he told us that he has an aunt who might be interested in learning about the church too. Getting to know Herber and seeing such an amazing change in his life and watching his testimony grow has just been one of the most amazing experiences for me. It has strengthened my own faith and testimony so much. Herber is a huge example to me.

On Sunday, Herber finally got the priesthood. Because of miscommunications and confusion, it just kept not happening every Sunday. This Sunday in Priesthood meeting, but old MTC teacher, Hermano Casanova, put his hands on Herber's head and ordained him a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. Pretty awesome. Finally!! In the ol' journal I wrote "Herber is like my most awesomest convert." Bad grammar is just a part of who I am. Leave me alone. I do it on purpose because it makes me laugh more. Oh yeah, and Herber went with us to teach two lessons this week. Future missionary fo' sho'.

Oh yeah! On Thursday I finished the Book of Mormon again. That was fast! Fourth time I've read it cover-to-cover on my mission. Pretty cool. After that I didn't know what to read, so I started something I've never done before: reading Doctrine and Covenants. I'm reading fast too. I've read over 100 pages already. It's pretty neat too. Though, I prefer the BoM because it's a continuous story from page 1 to page 531. Actually, that's a lie, because of Ether.

Oh check out this highlight of a different day:


One highlight of today: Somebody actually told us that he doesn't want to listen to us! We contacted this guy in the street, talked for a bit, and when we asked if we could visit him sometime, he said no. Why is that a highlight? Because usually people just lie or make up the dumbest excuses for why we can't visit them! This guy was honest. "I don't like talking to preachers."

Hehe. Count your blessings, I guess. (Actually, counting my blessings has been something that has helped me a ton on my mission.)

We're still visiting Edgar, and he's still one of my coolest investigators. He's having such a hard time. He has so many problems and trials in his life and he just wants everything to calm down. He told us "Right now my main goal is to get married to Milagros [his girlfriend who he lives with and has a kid with], and get baptized. I've been listening to you guys and learning long enough that I now know for sure that this is the true church." I like when people say stuff like that. I feel bad for him because he's the nicest, coolest guy, but life's throwing all it's worst at him. After the lesson with Edgar, we said goodbye and started heading out of the restaurant (he lives in a restaurant owned by his parents-in-law). After a minute, Edgar comes up to us (we were already outside) and said "Elders, want some chicken? Come on in and eat." Uhh... okay! Can't turn that down because the chicken there is so good! So, we go back in and Edgar brings us each a plate of chicken and fries. As we're eating, this other lady who was eating in the restaurant comes up to us and said "do you guys like it? Don't worry, I already paid for it. Have a good night!" And then she left. Wait, what?! So we ask Edgar what the heck just happened and who that lady is. He said that as we were leaving, that lady asked him "were they talking to you about God?" "Yeah", he replied. To which she said "Get them a couple plates of chicken. I'll pay for it." Haha, wow! We don't even have any idea who she was. But that's one of the nicest things someone's done for me on my mission. I dunno who that lady was, but I wish I could thank her. That was really nice. And so delicious!!

One funny thing that happened this week is that one night my companion was so tired that he got in bed and fell asleep with all his proselyting clothes still on. White shirt, tie, and even his shoes! He slept like that all night. When he woke up, he was already dressed. His shoes were even still on. Hahaha. So weird.

Had two stressful baptisms in the district this week, but, it's a long story and I don't feel like telling you about it. So, why am I even mentioning it?... I don't know.

Today for p-day we did something cool. We played basketball. BASKETBALL!!! Not soccer!! YES!! I don't even like basketball that much, or any sport, but I am so sick of soccer that playing anything else is a special treat. Then we watched 17 Miracles and ate pizza. Yum yum yum.

Oh yeah, and our shower got fixed finally. The water is actually hot now. Hot water showers!! I have missed those SO MUCH!!! What a blessing.

Jealous that you guys had fun in Park City. You aren't supposed to have fun without me. Stop. PS why are you going on all these vacations weeks before I get home?! That is so not even fair!! Got the pictures too. Pretty cool. All my little cousins aren't little anymore...

Dude Sam you just made me so jealous talking about Star Wars books and stuff. I wanted to read that Darth Plagueis book so bad!! Oooh boy I miss being a nerd. Still got a whole bookshelf of Star Wars books waiting to be read at home.

Alright, I gotta go now. I only have three p-days left. What the heck. I should probably go buy some souvenirs. I really need to get on that. I'll talk to you (literally) soon! I miss you guys!

-Elder Hemsley

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