Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I now know the things I used to believe. - 06/09/14

9 de Junio 2014

Well this last week went by so fast. Seems like just yesterday I was sitting here writing you guys!

This past week was pretty great. So last P-day Elder I and I went to Piura to take out our money for the month and buy our groceries at Tottus. Believe it or not, they had pancake mix. So I bought a couple of boxes. I'm so excited to be able to eat pancakes again. I know that you can always make them from scratch, but it's just so much easier to have pancake mix where all you have to do is add water. After buying groceries we went and ate at Pizza Hut with Elder C and Elder C. It was so good. I love pizza. Honestly, I've been super fortunate lately. I've eaten pizza probably 5 or 6 times in this last month, after going 6 months in Paita without it. It is so good!

That night we had a noche de hogar with a family here. We talked about the Book of Mormon with them. Hermana M R is an investigator and 3 of her kids are recent converts. It was kind of sad though. Because she has a new little baby and we could tell that she was worried about something the whole time. We finally got her to tell us that she was worried because her little 6 month old baby was sick with typhoid fever and that they didn't have the money that they needed to buy all of the medicines for the little baby. Good thing we had members present at that lesson. Because the next day, there was no need to buy more medications. The members here are super willing to help out with things like that, even though they don't have much themselves. I love how humble these people are. You can really learn a lot from them! And we were also able to give the little baby a blessing.

Later on this week we went back to their house for another lesson and the little baby was doing tons better and had all of the medications that he needed! We taught them this week about baptism and the lesson was super sweet. After teaching about baptism we invited the Hermana to be baptized. But unfortunately, she told us that she would like to be baptized but that she doesn't want to be baptized without her husband. She says that she has always done everything with her husband and that she doesn't want to make a life-changing decision without him at her side. That was kind of a bummer. Her husband is super cool. But he is a fisherman so he is only in their house about 5 days a month. So it's super hard to teach him the lessons and even harder for him to be able to attend church. But people have their agency. We can't force anyone to do anything if they don't want to do it. Hopefully with time though, she will change her mind and want to be baptized!

We were also able to teach our investigator D two times this last week. She is 18 years old and is living with a less active member that is 21, I think. That's pretty common here. Almost no one gets married. They just start living with each other and then about 10 years and 3 kids later they finally decide to get married or to split up. Pretty crazy. But anyways. She is a super sweet investigator! We were able to teach her the plan of salvation this last week. And she loved it. She is super interested and wants to continue to learn more about the church! She loves reading the Book of Mormon and she even told us that she feels like the church is true! The only problem is that they now need to get married or separate until they get married. But they both want to get married. So hopefully they will set a marriage date pretty soon so that they can get married and be baptized! Her companion is actually a pretty cool guy. And he is excited about returning to church. They live in the house of his family who are all active members and are helping us a ton with them! Pretty great!

Wednesday morning we had to travel to Piura to the mission office because our entire zone had interviews with President Rowley! So anyway, we show up to the mission office at 10:30 and saw a ton of people from our zone there. One crazy thing is that we saw Elder G and Elder C, my trainer, together. We went over to talk to them and it turns out that this last week there were tons of emergency transfers in the mission and now Elder C is one of our zone leaders here in Castilla with Elder G! Pretty cool! Elder C is about done. He finishes the end of July. It was fun being able to talk to him though. After that we all had our interviews. I love talking with President Rowley! He's the best! It is honestly impossible to leave an interview with him and not feel super motivated about the missionary work. He's the best! One of the funny parts about the interview though, was that President Rowley was talking in English the whole time. He would ask me questions in English and I would try to respond in English, but I couldn't do it. So for pretty much the entire interview he was talking in English and I was responding in Spanish. Afterwards he told me that it's super normal and that tons of gringos have trouble with English in interviews once they really start to learn Spanish. Kind of encouraging to see how far my Spanish has come along in 10 months. But also kind of scary. I don't want to forget English. Spanish is good, but English will always be better.

Thursday we had a zone meeting in Castilla. It was a pretty great meeting. I like Elder G and Elder C as our zone leaders. One thing I liked about the way that they taught was that they didn't just lecture us the whole time. It was more of a group conversation talking about ways that we can improve as missionaries. One thing that I really liked was that we talked about the importance of faith. As missionaries we have to have faith if we want to have success. We have to have faith in everything. The scriptures, the spirit, our investigators, our companion, our area, in prayer, and most importantly in ourselves. There is no reason that we should ever doubt ourselves. We need to have faith. I love the quote from President Uchtdorf that says that we should doubt our doubts before we doubt what we know. We need to have faith in everything. We are here on this earth without remembering anything that happened before. We have to walk entirely by faith. Our Heavenly Father is always trying our faith. We have to have the strength and the faith to continue on!

Another thing that happened this week is that on Friday our pensionista served us Alphabet soup for lunch. No joke, Alphabet soup. It was like a childhood dream come true. I had always heard about alphabet soup but I had no clue that it really existed! You should have seen us. We were like little kids searching through our soup to find letters to spell our words. Before too long I had spelled out ELDER BA ER on my napkin and was searching for the K that I needed forever! I finally found it though. Jaja. But for real. That was pretty cool.

So Saturday was June 7th. June 7, 2013, I graduated from high school. It is absolutely crazy to think about how I graduated high school over a year ago. In some ways in seems like 10 years ago, but in most ways it seems like maybe 2 months. This last year has been a crazy one that's for sure! But it's been great!

Well anyways. This last week was a pretty good week. I can hardly believe that this is the last week of transfers. I think that both me and my companion will be staying here for another transfer though. Which I'm kind of excited about. I like being here in La Union. And I LOVE being a missionary. Every day my testimony is strengthened a ton. I now know the things I used to believe. I have no doubt that this church is true. That we have a prophet that leads and guides us. And that we have a loving Savior and Redeemer that loves us and paid the price for our sins so that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father someday.

I love you guys! Have a marvelous week!

Elder Baker

P.S. - Yes they have Papa Johns in Lima. They actually have it in Piura too. The only bad thing is that it's super expensive and I live about an hour from Piura.... And yes, it tastes the same. It’s amazing. But sounds like summer is already flying by as usual. 80 degrees sounds perfect! I would love to be able to mow a lawn. I miss lawn mowing. There is no such thing as lawn mowers here. 

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