Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Week 30 Christmas


Bueno, ¡Feliz Navidad a todos!

Well that was another great week being on the mission. Well this is going to be jam packed email, and hopefully I get everything in!

So as most of you know, last Thursday was Christmas! And this is how I got to celebrate it.

So on Christmas Eve, we had a huge turkey dinner as a zone in Casa Grande in the house of our stake president. We ate, we did a Secret Santa gift exchange and we watched Mickey's A Christmas Story.
 Then that night, we got back to the room and waited until midnight to open our presents, watching some church videos and listening to Christmas music.
Then Christmas morning, we all went over to Trujillo to have a talent show and a devotional from President Marler. Oh and this was one of my companion's presents
Then we got back and were able to call home on skype!
Although I was away from home for the first time for Christmas, It has to be one of the best ones I've had my whole life.

Also in the devotional, they kind of had a pretty big announcement. We found out that in June, they are going to split our mission in 2! It's going to be the Peru Trujillo North and the Peru Trujillo South Missions. The north mission will take Pacasmayo and Caja Marca from the Chiclayo Mission, and the south mission will take Huaraz from the Lima West Mission. So all of the missionaries in our mission will be divided to go into these missions. And all because of the temple that's going to be dedicated.

In addition to all of this craziness this week, we also had a baptism!

 I got to baptize Miguel Lino, and 8 year old who's family is not a member. He really wanted to get baptized, and his family gave him permission to be able to partake of this ordinance. This makes my second baptism here on the mission and I'm super excited to keep going!

So yesterday, we got the call to get all of the changes of where we'll be for the next 6 weeks, and it turns out, I'M STAYING IN CHOCOPE!!!!! This suprised me a little, especially because everyone that entered in the field with me, Elder Price, Elder Ashcroft, and my CCM companion Elder Weber, are all moving to different zones. Our district is staying the same at least for this change!
(our district:)
Well that's about all of the time I got for this week, and I hope everyone had a good Christmas and that you might have a goon New Year!

Elder Terry

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 29 Christmas


Well this is it! Christmas week!

Well this past week has been great! I didn't even spend 3 days in Chocope!

This week started out with my companion heading out to Lima again to finish up getting his visa and identification approved, he just has one visit left now. He left Sunday night and I went over to Casa Grande to proselyte with the Elders in the Independencia Ward. It was a great experience to see other missionaries in action to be able to learn from them and to apply some of their ideas.

So my companion and I returned to our area on Wednesday in time for lunch, and for all of Wednesday and Thurday, we worked super hard to get the most out of our few days in the area. We even invited someone to be baptized on the 27th and he's super excited for it.

Friday and Saturday were our huge mission Christmas Program that we had in the Trujillo Plaza de Armas. Here are some of the pictures I took:
Epic pose in front of the Plaza statue
Zone picture (more or less)
Practicing for A Capella number
An A Capella quartet number that we did with me, Elder Díaz, Elder Price, and Elder Spencer
I got to play piano for a few of the numbers
The Catholic Church all decorated next to the Plaza
Tonight the Choir was from the Chimbote Peru, Chimbote Buenos Aires, Chimbote Sur, 
Casma, Sierra and Casa Grande Zones.
So the whole program turned out great. The second day we did the show, there were at least a thousand people all watching us and it was super cool. I was kind of freaked out, but it all turned out perfect and the people really liked it. We had choir numbers, small singing groups, some pretty cool piano numbers, the mission president playing guitar, and a whole bunch of people playing violins and peruvian flutes and harmonicas. I can't wait till next year!

For more pictures of the concert, click below:

Okay, so this week I get to call home!!! We set up with my parents that I would call home on Christmas day, Dec 25th, at about 11:30 california time. Everyone is invited to go to my parents house at that time to be able to talk to me. If you have any questions, just contact my parents.

It may be my first Christmas's away from home, but I know it will be one of the best one's I've had. Well that will do it for this week, y ¡que cada uno de Ustedes, dondequiera que se encuentre, tenga una buena Navidad!

Elder Terry

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 28


Well today marks exactly 5 months of being in my first area here in Chocope, and with the next change coming up on the 29th, I have a feeling that I won't be spending much more time in this area. But we will see...

Well another week just flew by, with not too much to report on, but here we go!

So on Monday we had a nice family home evening activity where we were able to make some ginger bread cookies that my companion received from his mom. We made the cookies and let everyone decorate their own cookies: one for themselves, and one for a friend. It turned out great and they loved the cookies.

 Afterwards, my companion and I made our own (mine's the Christmas tree):
Well other than that, we just had a stake conference where we were able to listen to another general authority and a counseler of the presidency of Sudamérica Noroeste, Elder Wilson Calderón. There is just something different about being with a general authority and being able to listen to his stories and especially his testimony. I love having this opportunity to be able to meet all of these general authorities, and I always find some way to make myself a better missionary when I listen to their advice.

So we are all preparing for our huge Christmas show that our mission is putting on in the Trujillo Plaza de Armas, and they gave me the opportunity to play the piano for about a third of the general choir songs and a few small group pieces.
For anyone that might be in Trujillo this Christmas, we invite you to go watch our show! It will be this Friday and Saturday (19th and 20th) in the Trujillo Plaza de Armas at 7p both nights. And if you do, make sure to say hi to me!

Well that's all I got for this week, and I will talk back the next!

Elder Terry

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 27


Hmm I feel like something important happened this week... Let's see, I left home June 3rd and last week had December 3rd... So..

With this 1/4 landmark, I decided to go with the cliche: burn a tie.

With Christmas right around the corner, we had what is called a multi-zone where they grab 2 zones in our mission and do a meeting with the mission president. In the multi-zone, the president talked a lot about Christmas and how we can use that to share the gospel. I found a picture of me on the blog too:
Elder Price, Elder Ashcroft, Elder Walther, Elder Cuevas, Elder Terry, Elder Marchant and Elder Connely
Also, here I am photobombing Sister Smith at McDonald's:

The church is also doing a program called Él es la Dádiva (He is the Gift) which contains a video of what really is the purpose of Christmas. Here it is if you want to watch it: He is the Gift.

Also in the Christmas spirit, we set up our arbol navideño (Christmas tree) in out room with all of our presents around it:

Sharing time! I would have to say that one of the most difficult things for me on the mission right now would have to be the sleepiness. Just getting up in the morning, and having energy throughout the day is pretty difficult for me. The work is exhausting physically and spiritually, but it is all totally worth it.

Well that's all I got for this week. Until next week.

Elder Terry

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 26


¡Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias!

Well this was a rather interesting week here in Chocope.

So my companion loves to cook, so seeing that it was Thanksgiving on Thursday, my companion put a goal that we need to cook this week. So we planned out everything and decided to share a dinner with a local family in our branch, and for some reason, my companion had the idea to make cow tongue tacos, so that's what we did.

Spicy Cow Tongue Tacos
Along with the tacos, we made a tomato type soup (which was one of the most spicy things I've had), mashed potatoes, rice (of course), and for dessert we made lemon squares. I was a little hesitant eating the cow tongue, but after I did it, it was definitely worth it.

So let's see, all of the food that I've eaten so far that I haven't or that are really weird are: cow tongue, cow liver, rabbit, goat, guinea pig, and cow intestines. Yummy.
Also, the Chocope fest that was going on all month just ended yesterday, with String Karma (One of the most popular bands in all of Peru) having their big performance. And you know what that means, fireworks and loud music all night long. It was great.
Chocope Plaza with all of the trampolines, jumpers, and stores you could want:
Well that's how my week went, and I will talk back soon!
Elder Terry

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 25


Just another ordinary week in the life of Elder Terry

Hmm... let me think...
Well that was a pretty good week for me and my companion here in Chocope.

Oh something pretty cool happened yesterday. We had the highest church attendance that I have seen in our branch, with a whole 36 people (the record had been 35)! I can honestly feel that the members are opening up more to us and having more trust because of the work that they have seen from us, and I feel like Chocope is destined for great things.

Well last week were the changes in the mission, but there isn't too much to announce about. We did get a new Zone Leader, and one of the hermanas in our district just finished her 12 week training and was assigned to be the trainer of a new missionary. If that would have happened for me, I wouldn't have believed it. So this change is officially the change of Christmas, with the change ending December 29, in between Christmas and New Years. So it looks like I'll be spending a Chocope Christmas!

On Friday, we did our first interchange in our district, where I got to go to Ascope and be with Elder Quispe, who is a Peruvian who just started the mission. So with that, I got to take the role of the Senior companion, and it was nice to see how much I had improved since I got out of training the last month.
Panoramic picture of Ascope
So thanksgiving is this week and I think we have planned to have a really nice dinner, making a Peruvian thanksgiving.

Well I think that's about it for this week, so I will write back the next!

Elder Terry

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 24


Well this was the week that I was waiting for since I got in the field: My first Baptism!!!!

So we had a couple in our branch where the guy, Necker, was a less-active member and the girl, Brenda, wasn't a member. About a month ago, they had a baby girl, before they were able to get married. So out of nowhere, about 3 weeks ago, Brenda shows up at church and tells a member that she wants to get baptized. So the member calls us up and tells her that we need to teach her right away.

On a slight side note, this month of November is the 70th anniversary of the creation of Chocope, so there are a huge amount of festivities going on, with concerts like every other day, fireworks all the time, stores selling random items, and trampolines and jumper slides throughout the plaza.

With the festivities of Chocope, there was a day called "Matrimonio Masivo" where they marry a whole bunch of couples for free. So we took the opportunity to use that day to get them married to meet with the requirement to get baptized. But the problem was it was Friday and the marriage was on Wednesday and all of the city offices are closed on Saturday and Sunday. Through a few miracles, we were able to get all of the papers in by Tuesday (a day late) and we were ready for the wedding on Wednesday.

So everything turned out perfect with the wedding and the couple was really happy with everything, so now it was time to prepare for the baptism on Saturday.

We were visiting that family at least once a day to get Brenda ready for her baptism, and the day finally came where I was able to baptize her. It only took two dunks, but it all turned out great.
Elder Terry, Brenda holding her daughter, and Elder Cuevas
Brenda's Family
Everyone who attended the baptism
The next day, my companion was able to confirm her as a member of the church and give her the gift of the Holy Ghost, which he had never done before. Also throughout all of this, Necker was also reactivated back in the church.

My companion and I have been able to see all of the blessings that they have just started to receive by making this wonderful choice. Their family has grown way closer together and they have all gotten closer to God.

Here is a picture of my finger and how it is progressing.

Well that's about it for this week, and let the work keep on progressing!

Elder Terry

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 23


Well that was a very exciting and interesting week, and Mom, you might want to skip over this email... (you'll see)

Well something huge happened this week that hasn't happened in our zone for almost 50 years. We had a lightning storm! It was hilarious because that same day is a holiday for Catholics where they have Jesus on a cross and parade him around our city. So we started seeing the lightning flashes around 6, but we thought they were just fireworks. But by 7 it was raining, and it rained hard! Probably more hard than I've seen in a while. By this time, all of the Catholics were running around screaming, and some of them praying thinking it was the end of the world (because most had never seen a thunder storm) and my companion and I were just laughing the whole time.

The problem with the storm was that Peruvian houses weren't made for that, with their houses made out of only concrete bricks. So our room got a little water leakage and got a little bit of our stuff wet. So I thought it would be a good idea to use a fan to dry it off and when I was moving the fan, my finger got caught in the blade, and I got a few cuts and a bruised nail.
The day I smash my finger in a spinning fan
A few days later
It didn't hurt too bad the moment of, but after about an hour, there was this constant pain, and I couldn't sleep at all that night. But I took some Ibuprofen and it went away. We made sure to keep it from getting infected, so I'm not going to loose the finger, but I am going to lose the nail. That is probably the most serious injury I've had that I can remember. But you don't need to worry, the nail looks like it will fall off within the next week, and it hasn't stopped me from serving the Lord.

Other than that, we are planning on having an important week, with a marriage on Wednesday and her baptism on Saturday, which might be my first baptism!

Today for P-day, our zone went over to El Museo de Cao, which is a museum that is located in our proselyting area and has a mummy of the Señora de Cao, which was one of the worlds first woman leaders.

Well that was pretty much it for this week, I will talk back next week and hope I don't get any more injuries.

Elder Terry

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 22


Week 22 over, and today marks exactly 5 months from flying over here to Peru! It definitely does not feel like that much time has past!

Well this week was really interesting.

Last P-day, we went over to Ascope, where the rest of our district is, and toured an abandoned cemetery. Yup we dug up a few graves, found a bunch of bones, and smashed every bottle we found. But afterward, we all went to go play pool in a really sketchy looking pool hall with graffiti on the walls and dents in the shape of pool balls, but it was a lot of fun.

Ok let's get to the good stuff! So we decided that we needed to move rooms because my old companion with his old companion got robbed when they were there, so we felt it unsafe to live there. We spent the whole week packing and preparing for the move, which we did on Friday. Here are some pics of what went down:
Old room emptied out
All our stuff waiting to be moved
My companion and I on the 3rd floor 
Moving it all of our stuff on a Peruvian tricycle
Our new room all set up
It was great! We had a total of 7 people to help us and a member that helped us find the room and got us the tricycle to move everything. Our new room is better in almost every way. It's a lot bigger, it's safer, and we are a lot closer to everything.

On Saturday, we went proselyting in Casa Grande (we go to a different area about every Saturday morning) and my companion found a nice graffiti:
Cool graffiti
Also, I was in the mission home today because apparently we are in the cleanest zone in the mission and we had a whole bunch of Papa John's pizza which was really great. Afterward, all of the sisters in the mission came over and I met Hermana Smith who you were talking about before. (Sister Smith's father, Charlie, and my dad grew up together in HB and even served their missions at the same time and were in the MTC together. Darin went to Taiwan and Charlie went to Italy).
Elder Terry and Sister Smith (middle) in the mission home
Well I'm out of time for this week. I'll talk back soon!

Elder Terry