21 de Abril 2014
One more week here in Paita. 22 weeks in all. Over 5 months. That's a long time. But it's all good. I like being a missionary here in Paita.
Well last week for p-day we went to the beach and I forgot to use sunscreen again. I really should have learned by now. Because honestly, it is horrible being sunburned. You never really notice it until the day after. All of p-day at the beach you feel fine. But when you're wearing a t-shirt, your entire neck is exposed to the sun all day long. And normally, with a white shirt and tie, that's not exposed. So it doesn't see the sun much. Tuesday morning was when I started to regret not using sunscreen. Especially in the morning when I put on the white shirt and went to tie my tie. That was rough. I'm pretty sure I walked around all day like I was in a neck brace. Because it hurt super duper bad to turn my head. jaja. The joys of being dumb and not using sunscreen.....
Tuesday afternoon we went to visit M C. We went and knocked on the door and his wife answered. She told us that we could come in. As we went in we saw Mariano laying on the couch with a giant steak on his eye. Like on Sandlot. No joke! We then started to ask some questions to find out what happened. Turns out he was assaulted in the upper part of Paita on Sunday night. But he doesn't remember any of it, because they snuck up behind him and knocked him out and took everything he had. A camera, a phone, his DNI and about 100 soles. And they left him with some giant cuts in his head and a Smalls, from Sandlot, black eye. We were able to have a pretty good lesson with them though. We talked about the Book of Mormon. We read the introduction with them and invited them to keep on reading it!
Wednesday was my 150th day in Paita. That's a lot of days. But looking back on it, I have been able to have some pretty awesome experiences in those days. I wouldn't trade those 150 days for anything. I have learned so much.
Wednesday night we had a lesson with L C. He is super excited for his baptism this Saturday, the 26th! Not gonna lie, I'm pretty excited too! We are finishing up teaching the last few commandments and he's just about ready for his baptism! And he attended the stake conference on Sunday. And he's reading the Book of Mormon, and attending seminary with his older sister even though he´s only 12. He says he just likes learning about the Book of Mormon!
Thursday was perhaps one of the best days of the mission so far. In the morning we had our district meeting. It was our first district meeting with our new district leader, Elder M. It was super great! I like our district too. We talked about the importance of church attendance for our investigators. After that we had companionship exchanges and Elder R went to Pueblo Nuevo, with the companion of Elder M, and he came to Puerto Paita with me. Not gonna lie. It was super great being able to work with a gringo. You have no clue how much I missed English. At first it was kind of hard speaking English, but after a while we were all practiced and it felt like home. jaja. It was super great. We ended up having a few really great lessons that afternoon. And that night our pensionista, Hermana Columba invited us to eat Pollo a la Brasa, which is the best thing on the planet, with Inca Kola. Pretty much everything that day went great. And then the next day went well, as well, because Elder M brought Peanut Butter with him. No joke. Peter Pan peanut butter, made in the USA. So we made pancakes and had pancakes with peanut butter and maple syrup. That was the first time in a long long long long long long long long long long long long long time. Since last July. It was so great!
This week here was "Semana Santa" to celebrate Easter. Every single day this week there were processions in the streets at night carrying a cross and playing music and offering Catholic prayers. And the whole week they played bible videos on TV. But other than that, they don't do much to celebrate. There are no decorations, no chocolate. They only eat fish though. Pretty different.
So this weekend we had our stake conference. Well actually it was a district conference because Paita is a district and not a stake. But it was super great. Saturday night we had the Priesthood meeting at 5 and the Saturday general meeting at 7. I loved it. President Rowley and his wife came and spoke at the conference. I love some of the things that he said.
He shared in Matthew 19 the story of the young rich man. In verse 16 the young man says "What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" And then in 17 Jesus says to him, "Keep the commandments." The young man then asks which ones, and Jesus names some of the commandments. After that the young man replied in verse 20, "All these things have I kept from my youth up: What lack I yet?" President stopped on that question and gave us all time to apply that question in our own lives. "What lack I yet? ¿Qué más me falta?" I really like those types of questions, they make you start thinking pretty deep. ¿Qué más me falta? There are lots of good things that we do. Maybe we keep all of the commandments like the young rich man, but maybe there is something more that all of us can do. And it may not be the same for everyone. But there is always something we can improve on, something we can do better. As a missionary, I feel like we do good things pretty much all day long every day, but I think there is something more that I can do. I think that I can be even better. I really liked that talk.
After that we watched the video that the church made for this Easter, "Because of Him," except we watched it in español "Gracias a Él." What a cool video that is. I could feel the spirit so strongly. How grateful am I for my Savior. I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me. To know that he suffered for me. So that I am able to get back up when I fall. To be able to wipe away the mistakes. To be able to have a clean slate. And all of that is "Gracias a Él." That is the glorious message of the gospel. That is what I am blessed to be able to share every single day. I am so grateful for that knowledge in my life.
Sunday morning was the General Session of the conference that started at 8 in the morning. And it was a pretty great way to spend Easter. All the talks were centered on Jesus Christ. Even though I wasn't at home, I was still able to have a great Easter. And yeah, it was without any chocolate or Easter eggs, but those things really don't make Easter important. There is a greater meaning to Easter.
Thanks for all of the love and support that you show to me! I love being a missionary! I know this church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer!
Lauren. First off. I don't even want to talk to you. TASMANIA?????????? You lucky devil! Tasmanian devil that is! jaja. I'M SUPER EXCITED FOR YOU! And that's crazy that you have a transfer and you get to fly to your new area. In my mission when we have transfers it's just long bus rides on old stinky buses. Jaja. Love you though! I'm excited to hear more about Tasmania!