Can you believe it's already 2014? Where did the past year go. One of the fastest years of my life. So much happened in 2013. It really was a great year. But I can´t wait for what 2014 has in store. I have no doubt that this year can be even better than the last!
This last week was a great week here in Puerto Paita. It was the first week here for Elder Gonzalez. This is his last transfer in the field, but fortunately, he is super excited and wants to work until his last day in the field. Which is honestly all I could ask for in a companion. He is super funny. I love working with him. He is from Mexico and people from Mexico speak so much differently than Peruvians. It was kind of hard to understand him at first. It is still really hard for me, but it's getting so much better!
|Standing on the pier.|
Tuesday was New Year's Eve. People celebrate New Year's Eve here with fireworks and by burning life-size dummies. On Tuesday almost every house had their dummy sitting on their porch ready for that night. At midnight they light them all on fire. I don´t really quite understand it, but that's what they do. I wish I would have taken some pictures of all the dummies. Some of them were pretty funny! We celebrated pretty hard on New Year's Eve. We went to sleep at 10:30. We got up at 11:45 though and went up to the roof of our apartment, watched all the fireworks and took some pictures wearing our 2014 glasses that we bought for 50 centimos. They have tons of fireworks here--it's ridiculous! SOOOOOOOOOOOO many fireworks. It would be impossible to sleep through everything! It was so dang loud!
|2014! "SOY SOLTERA! Y HAGO LO QUE QUIERO!"|
This week Elder Gonzalez and I spent a lot of time visiting members so that he could get to know them. The members here are pretty good. There aren´t too many of them though. But the ones that are here are super strong faithful members! It has been great getting to know and work with the members here in Paita! Honestly in every area, you learn to love the members! Members of the church are great! Peruvian members of church are AMAZING! :)
I read Lauren's letter right before I started writing this and it made me laugh, because Elder Gonzalez and I are doing almost the exact same thing here. Trying to build a teaching pool. We really don't have many investigators here right now and it is honestly super hard to find people to teach. We studied a lot in chapter 9 of Preach My Gospel and looked for ways we could find more people to teach. One of the things I like most is that it says that the Lord will place people who are prepared to hear the message of the gospel in your path. This whole week I was praying, for the guidance of the spirit, to help me find and recognize those who were ready to hear this message.
This week we were able to find about 5 new investigators. One of the coolest experiences happened on Friday though. It was definitely an answer to our prayers.
On Friday afternoon we were walking along this street and we saw this guy. We kept on walking down the street and as we got closer to him we said hello and asked how he was doing. He looked at us and he said, "I want to talk to you guys with my son. Can you guys return later this night?" We told him that that would be no problem. That was a pretty unusual experience. Usually we have to plead and beg to be allowed in people's houses here in Paita. We returned that night at about 7 and met him and his son. His son is 24 years old and has a problem with alcohol but he really wants to change. The father really cares for his son and really wants him to be able to change. We were able to talk with them for a while about how this gospel blesses all those who accept it. We also talked a lot about the fact that we have a loving Savior who died for our sins and thanks to His sacrifice for us, we can change. Before we were able to invite them to church they asked if they could attend with us this Sunday.
Sunday morning they showed up at the church at 9:00 and stayed for Sacrament Meeting and for the second hour for a class for investigators and recent converts. That evening we went and visited them in their house along with his wife and his other son. We taught the Restoration and they were super receptive to it. They kept on talking about how much they like what they have seen about our church. They say that they like the Catholic church but they feel like there is something missing. I am so grateful for the opportunity that we have right now to teach this family. I know that Heavenly Father answered our prayers and placed these people in our path. I know that this is the Lord's work. There is nothing I would rather be doing right now than helping to share the message of this gospel!
Honestly, 2013 was a great year. And 2014 is going to be even better! Thanks for all of the love and support that you guys show me! There is not a doubt in my mind that the church is true!
OH! I Forgot to tell you! Today there was a tiny earthquake in Paita! It woke me up from my nap. PRETTY CRAZY, N0?!!!!! It was a little shaking. I thought it was Elder Gonzalez shaking the bed at first, but everything in the room was shaking and he was in the bathroom! Crazy!