Thursday, November 21, 2013

"Ciudad de Eterno Calor" - 11/11/13

Hola familia! Como esta?? I had a great week this past week. I'm so grateful to be here on a mission. So cool! I love Peru too!

This city is so dang hot. There is a reason there is a giant wall downtown that says [city of eternal heat]. Holy moly. I've never felt this hot in my life. And I love it. 
My sweaty back one morning before lunch--before the hot part of the day.

El Centro de Piura

Tuesday was a pretty good day. Except for one thing. Over the past 3 days I had accumulated over 30 mosquito bites all over my body. Holy moly, I was going to die. I learned a lot about will power though. I have to be stronger than the urge to scratch them. I'm a pretty strong person. I made it through some times without scratching that I didn't think were possible. Tuesday night we had the first activity of the week leading up to Ward Conference. It was an open house in the church. Every organization had a room with a little display set up and we invited tons of people to come and see what kind of things we do in the church. It was a super great activity. Really great turnout too! I was super happy with the way it ended up!

Wednesday was a great day. Wednesday morning during personal study I just read the Book of Mormon. I love the Book of Mormon. It really is the best book on earth. I have been reading it in Spanish and English. Right now I am at the part in Alma when Moroni raises the Title of Liberty. I love what the Title of Liberty stands for. Defending their families, freedom, and religion. Time flies while reading the Book of Mormon. I remember when I was a little kid and every day when I had to read for 30 minutes I thought I was literally going to die. And now an hour reading flies by in what seems like 2 minutes. I love reading. I honestly wish we had more time to just read. When I started reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish I honestly couldn't understand much. But now I can understand a lot of it. Pretty cool seeing how far my abilities have come in just my little time here in Peru.

Wednesday night the activity the ward had was a movie night at the church. As missionaries we weren't really able to participate but we definitely stopped by and got some popcorn. That was definitely a great treat. Haven't had that much here. But there were a ton of people that came to the movie—probably 50-75 people. 

Thursday I decided that attitude really is everything out here on the mission. There are always bad parts of every day. But no matter how bad it seems, there is always good too. And the good always makes up for what was bad. Attitude really is everything. You can be angry when someone doesn't accept the gospel or you can still love them because they are still a child of God. You can get mad and be in a bad mood when you step in dog poop, or you can laugh and literally "walk it off," which is a whole lot easier than being mad. Turns out you can still enjoy things that aren't optimal. 

Thursday afternoon was one of the best afternoons that my companion and I have had in our 11 weeks here. We had 5 lessons in just 3 hours from 3:00 until 6:00. That's crazy. Usually we have 2, maybe 3, or 4 if we are lucky; but we had 5 meaningful lessons in just 3 hours. I love working hard. I love it even more when you have success like that from all of your hard work. It was a great afternoon. We visited a sister who is still looking forward to being baptized on the 23rd of this month. I'm super excited for her. She's ready to be baptized.

After the 5 lessons, we headed back to our room so we could change clothes and head over to the church for the activity that they were having that day. OLIMPIADAS! Super duper fun. That night all of the ward got together at the church to play volleyball and soccer under the lights. Super fun activity. We had like 5 people who are not members show up too that we invited! It was a super great activity. Super happy with how it turned out.

Friday. Friday went by so fast. In the morning my companion had to go to the dermatologist and that took forever. There were like 50 people in the waiting room waiting to see a doctor. Thank goodness I had a Liahona to read and pass the time. After the dermatologist we went and ate with his old pensionista from when he was in the office because the clinic is right by the office. Right after we ate we went over to the mission office because my companion had a call with someone in Lima. Pretty fun being in the office that day. And, I got the letter you guys sent for Halloween. Even though it was a week late, I still enjoyed it a lot! :) 

Friday night in the church they had a fiesta from 9 until 1 in the morning and I heard that the whole ward was there. We weren't there though. Because those hours are some of my favorite to sleep. The party said that it was supposed to start at like 7 but to Peruvians that means 9. Literally no one comes on time to anything. Including sacrament meeting! And it drives me absolutely crazy!! I hate being late to things! I love the people here though. They're all amazing.

Saturday morning my companion and I had our weekly planning session for our last week of this transfer. It is crazy to think that this is my 12th week with Elder C. It honestly seems like I just got here. My training has flown by. I remember my first weekly planning session when I helped with absolutely nothing because I could understand nothing. It would be hard to train a gringo. I'm definitely grateful for Elder C and for the patience that he has had with me. 
Saturday afternoon we had a priesthood meeting for ward conference with the stake presidency. After the meeting we all went out to invite different less active families to ward conference the next morning. We got to go with the Bishop and the Stake President. Bishop wanted to visit a family that we had already visited earlier in the day. Elder C and I were kind of hesitant at first but we felt like we should still visit this family. We ended up having a super spiritual lesson with that family and talked about the power of the Priesthood that is in their home. Super cool experience. After visits we came back to the church and had these chicken sandwiches that were super good. I loved them.

Sunday was Ward Conference and there were about 250 people that came. That's a ton of people for one ward in Piura! It was super cool. The stake presidency talked about the importance of missionary work. It seems like every time we meet lately they are always talking about "La obra de salvación" [the work of salvation] which is super cool because it is making all these people excited to help us with the missionary work here in the ward. The Lord is definitely hastening his work.

I am so grateful to be a missionary here in this ward and in Piura. I love it here. I love the gospel. With all my heart. Because I know that it is true. I know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us more than we know. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that we can live with those we love in the presence of our Heavenly Father after this life because of the gospel. I know that the Church is true.

Thanks for all of the love and support. Love you guys!

Elder Baker

Just to let you know. I would kill to be raking leaves in 60 degrees. Right now it’s 30,000,000,000 degrees.

My testimony has been strengthened immensely this past year. I like working with less actives too. It's true. They have a testimony. You just have to help them find it again. I love seeing less actives come to church on Sunday!

Lauren, Sounds like you had a nice picnic. I would dig a nice picnic on the grass in the nice weather. Here, I could eat a picnic on the million degree sand....Love you! Missions are the best! I'm super happy to be serving at the same time as you! Keep working hard! Love you!

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