Monday, February 16, 2015

Birthday Eggings and Talent shows! - 2/16/15

16 de Febrero, 2015!

Well I'm no longer a teenager! Thanks for all the birthday wishes! This birthday was super sweet! And it's still not over! I'm pretty happy that it was P-day. Because I got to spend it at the beach! 

Nice little birthday at the beach... :)

Here in Peru it's tradition to break eggs on peoples' heads when it's their birthday and pour flour all over them. So today at the beach, the zone brought eggs and got me. It's not so much fun when it's your birthday, but when it's other peoples' birthdays it's super fun to get em. The beach is like 30 minutes from Tumbes and by the time we had gotten back to Tumbes my hair had turned into dough from all the eggs, water and flour. jaja. But it was super fun! 

This last week was super great! I don't have much time to write about it but I'll try to include the exciting parts. 

This last week we had a ward talent show! It was on Friday night and we 4 missionaries in the ward and our ward mission leader planned it all. And it was a huge success! Tons of members and nonmembers came! We were kind of worried that everyone was going to be super shy and not want to share anything. But the members came super prepared with tons of talents to share! It ended up lasting a good 2 hours! And everyone left super happy! 

Another great thing about this last week is that we have an investigator that is progressing! It is Junior C. I told you guys a little bit about him last week. He is JC's son. And he is super sweet! We taught him about the Book of Mormon. And in 4 days he had read up until 1 Nephi 10! I'm super excited about teaching him! He came and sang in the talent show. And the young single adults in the ward had a party and he went to it and enjoyed it a lot and got to know more members of the church here in this ward!

Another cool part about this last week was that we had exchanges with Elder C and Elder R in the zone. Elder C came to my area with my companion and I went with Elder R to his area! It was super fun spending a day with my son, as they say here in the mission. He has changed so much since the last time that I saw him! He has learned a ton! It was super fun talking about all of our times in Paita. I miss Paita tons! I will never forget my time in that Branch!
Exchanges with Elder R. This was exactly one year since he got to the
mission and we traveled to Paita together.
I really don't have much time to write this week. But I love you guys a ton! Thanks for the birthday wishes! I'll write to you next week! 

Elder Baker

P.S. - That's crazy that the weather is so hot. That's not right! I hope there is moisture coming. Or else this summer is going to be a super hot one! It's going to be like Piura! jaja. 

...there is something different about Piura. It's like being home! - 2/9/15

9 de Febrero 2015!

Hey guys, how are all of you!?!? I hope you're all doing well! I'm doing well here in Tumbes! This last week went by so fast! But it was fun!

One of the reasons that it went so fast was because this last week we had to travel to Piura! So, the first week of every month we have a leadership council in Piura for all of the zone leaders and for the sister training leaders. So that was on Wednesday. But here in Tumbes we are about 6 hours from Piura by bus. So anyway, Tuesday afternoon at 3 we had to travel to Piura. It was actually pretty fun though! It was my companion and me, Elder M and Elder R, and Hermana O and Hermana R. We ended up traveling in Oltursa. Normally we travel in El Dorado which is a lot cheaper. But Oltursa is like the nicest bus company in Peru and it only cost like 12 soles more which is like 4 dollars. And they have nice comfy seats that you can lean back, and they come around and serve you dinner and drinks like in an airplane. And there is air conditioning! It was honestly so nice! You didn't even feel at all the travel. It was a 6 hour bus ride but it went by so fast! 

It felt so nice to be back in Piura! I honestly love Piura! Being in Tumbes is great. I love the experiences that I'm having here, but there is something different about Piura. It's like being home! We got to Piura at about 8:30pm and we headed over to the mission home to help President Rowley get everything set up for the training the next morning. And while we were there Hermana Rowley gave us Apple Pie. That was pretty sweet! After that we headed over to the mission office which is like 4 blocks from the mission home where we stayed the night. We ended up ordering pizza. It didn't get there until like 11 though. It was the slowest delivery ever! But it was pretty tasty! 

Wednesday we had to be in the mission home at 9 in the morning. It was super fun! I love those training meetings where you get to see tons of people that you haven't seen in forever! And I also love every opportunity that we get to hear from President Rowley! He taught us a ton. He talked to us about the importance of being leaders. He talked to us about the importance of our examples. And we also talked a lot about commitments and how we can help our investigators to keep their commitments. It was a super great meeting! I enjoyed it a lot! It ended at 3 and we had to go over to the office to pick up some things to bring back to Tumbes. Our bus left Piura at 5:30 to come back to Tumbes. The only problem was that it was in El Dorado and not in Oltursa because in the afternoon in Piura there are no Oltursa buses to Tumbes. So we had to travel back to Tumbes in a super uncomfortable bus with lots of noise and lots of sweat because it was super hot. But by 11 we finally got back to Tumbes. I was so happy to step off that bus! It was a great experience, except for that it wasn't....

Things are going great here in the ward! Wanna know why? Because we have a Bishop! And a Bishopric! And they reorganized lots of the presidencies in the ward! I'm super happy about that! The ward finally has the direction that it needs! And all the members are excited to get to work! So I'm super duper happy about that! That is what I had been praying for! 

My companion and I really didn't have any investigators that were progressing after JC's baptism. So last Sunday we decided to fast to be able to find new people to teach! And wanna know what?!?!?! We have some super great new investigators now! 

The first one is Junior C. He is JC's son who is 21 years old. He works with his dad, but he really wasn't that interested in listening to us. But over the last couple of weeks we have been trying to gain his confidence and this week we were able to sit down and teach him for the first time! And we had a super sweet lesson with him where he opened up and shared some things about his life and we were able to help him feel comfortable that there really are answers and solutions to the problems in our lives! Sunday he came to church for all 3 hours with his dad! And he met tons of the young men and YSA in the ward! So we are going to continue teaching him! I'm super excited! 

And my companion and I this last week were able to find a family to teach! This family is super sweet! It is a young couple that has a 12 year old son and a 9 year old daughter! We actually talked to the father of the family a couple of weeks ago in the street, but we weren't able to find him in his house. But this week an appointment that we had fell through and we decided to pass by his house again. He and his wife were preparing some food that they were going to go and sell but they invited us into their kitchen and we talked to them for about 30 minutes and explained a little bit about us and we scheduled an appointment to go back and visit them on Sunday night! So last night we went back and they were there waiting for us! And we were able to share part of the first lesson with them and they were super receptive! I'm so happy! Our prayers are being answered! 

I really am so grateful to be here on the mission! It's not easy, but it is so worth it! Thanks for all the love and support you guys give me! 

Elder Baker 

P.S. - Yes, I did get the birthday package that you sent me! Thanks so much! My companion and I opened it and ate all the candy. I know I probably should have waited until my birthday but I just couldn't wait! It was great! Thanks so much!

My pensionista is sweet! This last week she cooked us tacos. They were so good. The thing I love most is that she serves us little to no rice! ;) So don't worry about me too much! I'm happy! :)

Sorry no pics this week. I didn't take any pictures. Next week for sure though! Love you all!

Having baptisms as a missionary is the best! - 2/2/15

2 de Febrero 2015

Hey guys!

This last week has gone by so fast! One of the most stressful weeks of the mission so far, but it really was a great week!

First off, JC got baptized! I'm so happy for him! On Thursday he passed his baptismal interview and his baptism was Saturday! And everything turned out perfectly! Having baptisms as a missionary is the best! But anyway, Saturday in the morning we went and a member helped us make a program for his baptism and we got it all printed out and everything so that he can always have something to remember his baptism! And then in the afternoon we had to go over and get the church all cleaned and ready for the baptism. The baptismal font here in Tumbes is super pretty! The only problem was that we didn't know how to shut the drain so the water wouldn't all drain before the baptism. But, after about 20 minutes we got it all figured out. At 6 pm all the members came and we had the service. Hermano F N actually baptized him because we figured it would be better that a member could do it because as missionaries we are only here for a little bit, but the members are always going to be there to support him! After the baptism he got up and bore his testimony and started crying. It was super special! I'm super happy for JC and for the huge change that he has seen in his life! I'm sure that he is going to be a great member of the church!

So this week President Rowley and Hermana Rowley came to Tumbes with the assistants. They were here Thursday until Sunday. So anyway, they arrived on Thursday at about 2 in the afternoon to do room inspections for our whole zone. First they went over our room, and as soon as they got done my companion and I went on splits with the Assistants and President went to go over all the other apartments. I got to spend the day with Elder P, which was super cool! Elder P is an amazing missionary! It was cool being able to talk about how much has changed since 18 months ago when we met each other in the airport in Salt Lake as we said goodbye to our families. It's crazy to think that an entire year and a half has passed by since then. That night the assistants stayed in our apartment with us so we decided to order Dominos pizza. That was pretty sweet. I miss American food so much.... It was a great day!

Friday we had a zone meeting with President and his wife and the whole zone at 9 in the morning. That was sweet. I love when President teaches us! And then as soon as that meeting ended he started interviews. Interviews with President are the best. My companion went out to work with Elder P and I stayed back with Elder S going over area books of the missionaries in the zone until it was time for our interviews at 5. Interviews with President are the best! It was cool having them here in Tumbes this weekend!

Today we went to the beach for P-day with the 2 zones here in Tumbes. That was my first time at the beach since Paita. So that was super sweet! I got kind of sunburned. But it was all worth it. I'm so happy to be here in Tumbes!

This week should be fun! Tomorrow we are traveling to Piura with the other zone leaders for the leadership council that is on Wednesday in the mission home! I'm super excited for that! It should be super great seeing tons of friends there and I'm sure we're going to be able to learn a lot!

But anyway! I'm out of time this week! Love you guys a ton! Talk to you guys in 7 days!

Elder Phillip Baker

P.S. - We got our new pensionista! She is sweet! Today was our first day eating with her! She cooks differently! She cooks food from Ecuador. So I'm super excited for that—almost no rice! 

One thing I love about Tumbes is that it rains! - 1/26/15

26 de Enero 2015!

Hey guys! How are y'all doing! 

Well first off! This week, just like all the other ones, has flown by super duper duper fast! I swear the time passes by way too fast. I have no clue where it is all going! 

Tumbes is great! I really am loving it here! And I'm loving it even more now that I'm feeling better. Pretty much all of last week I was feeling pretty sick. Stomach aches and I was feeling super weak. But I talked to Hermana Rowley this last week and she got me started on some medicine and now I'm feeling super! It's so nice feeling well again after feeling bad for so long! Being sick is the worst! 

P-day in Puerto Pizarro

One thing I love about Tumbes is that it rains! In Piura it rains maybe 2 times a year if you are lucky. But here in Tumbes we are in the rainy season. And that means that it rains 2 times a week! One day this week it started raining and I came back to the apartment completely soaked! First time on the mission! So that was pretty cool. The only bad part is that the door to get into the apartment can be kind of hard to open sometimes with the key. And the rain gutter had a hole in it and so where you had to stand to open the door was like standing in the shower. So I handed all my books to my companion and I had to brave the shower to open the door. jaja. That was kind of cool! 

Being a zone leader can be tiring. But it's alright. Sometimes I feel like we have a million things to do and only time to do half of them. Don't worry though, I get back to the apartment so tired at night that I have absolutely no trouble sleeping!

This ward here in Tumbes is super sweet. The members are great! The only thing that we still need is a Bishop. But the stake president said that in this week or the next week we should have a Bishop. We are praying for that. Because if this ward has a bishop, we are going to do great things here! We have a new Ward Mission Leader! His name is M M. He is actually the guy that owns the gym we go to. He is like 50 years old but he is super sweet! He is from Lima, but lives here in Tumbes. Before coming here he lived in Italy for about 8 years. So he speaks Spanish and Italian fluently. He actually has a daughter that married a gringo and his daughter and 3 grandchildren actually live in Bountiful now. So he has been to Utah many times! And the best part is that he is super super excited for his new calling and is super willing to help us out! This ward really is great! 

We had a sweet ward activity this last week! It was called Noche de Kilo. Which means that everyone in the ward brings 1 kilogram of any kind of food. And then they gather all the food together and give it to a less active family in the ward! And we also played tons of games that night with all of the members. We actually had a pretty good turnout of 75 people! Which is super great considering that on Sundays only 120 people attend church. But we are going to be working tons with this ward so that number will be going up pretty soon!

Our investigator, J C, is doing great! He wasn't able to get baptized this last week because of some problems, but it's planned for this week! He was a little bit bummed out for not being able to be baptized Saturday but he realizes that everything happens for a reason. And he is still determined to make the decision to be baptized! His wife, A A was a less active member, but we have now been teaching her for a few weeks and she is now a "miembro rescatado"! So we are super happy about that! Now all we need to do is help her husband to be baptized!! Keep praying for J C so that everything will work out great for his baptism this week! 

Saturday was my companion's birthday! He turned 24 years old! He really is a great companion. One of my best companions for sure! He was baptized when he was 21 years old. Six months after that his father passed away. And as soon as he had been a member for a year he left on the mission! And he is a super great missionary! He has one sister that is a member but his other 2 brothers and his mom still aren't members. Today, though, his little brother wrote him, and he said that he has been listening to the missionaries and he has decided to be baptized and that he wants to be another Elder D! I'm super happy for my companion! I'm grateful to be able to work with him this transfer! 
Celebrating my companion and Hermana A A's birthdays
I'm pretty excited for this next week! A little bit stressed out for everything, but I'm sure that it will all go well! President and the assistants are coming. So I will be going on splits with one of them on Thursday! And, we have interviews and zone conferences, hopefully a baptism, and lots of other stuff! I'm sure that this week is going to be great! 

Love you guys a ton! Thanks for everything! 

Elder Baker

P.S. You have no idea how nice it is having a shower that works!