Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 21


And it came to pass that twenty and one weeks were completed since Elder Terry had departed from his home in the land Bountiful in the area of California.

Haha well this week just flew by again, so there's not a whole lot to report on this week.

Let's see... P-day this week was great. We literally just slept the whole day and caught up on our energy for the week which I hear is not really common to do.

So far, things are going great with my new companion. It was our first whole week that we had without any changes or interruptions to Lima. Elder Cuevas is really funny and it's a nice break to be able to speak English for a change, but I feel like my Spanish skills are kind of slowing down a little.

Throughout this week, we decided to visit a few of the outlier cities that we have in our area, which are many. This week, we visited Farías, Sintuco, Mocollope, and La Constancia. Each of the towns are so small, I don't even know how they function, but it is great to see how humble and nice a lot of the people are to two strange gringos wandering their town. Each of the towns has about 3 members in each of them, which left us with some time to wander the town and get to know the people.

As a zone, we are all working really hard to raise our church attendance. Our attendance was around 25 when I started here, and just this last week, we got 35 people that showed up. We are also working to clean up our directory, because like a third of the people don't even live in our area anymore.

Well the work of salvation presses onward in the small town of Chocope and it is great. Until next week!

Elder Terry

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 20


That finishes up my 20th week in the mission, and the 2nd week with my new comp, even though I technically wasn't with him the whole week, but I'll get to that later.

So last Monday, I did my emails in Trujillo and got to eat in McDonald's which is almost exactly like the McDonald's in the states, except with no sales tax. So after that we bought a few souveneir type things and head back to Chocope.

But on the bus, we got a phone call and found out that my companion needed to go to Lima to do some more visa stuff, because they didn't do it correctly when he was in the CCM. So I got to spend almost the whole week in Casa Grande with the Zone Leaders and it was pretty cool. I got to know a new area a little and got to see how other missionaries work to help me improve. We also saw a dead body while we were walking aroun which was pretty cool.

So my companion and I returned Friday afternoon and I found out that someone stole my companion's phone so now we are phoneless and probably aren't going to get a new one for about a month.

That's about all I have for this week, and here are some photo's that I took the past few weeks, because I forgot my memory the last 2 times. The first one is me and my new companion, the next 2 are our branch at some activities, and the last one is more sugar cane burning.
Elder Cuevas and Elder Terry
Chocope Branch
Chocope Branch
Sugar Cane Burning

Well I'll talk back next week!

Elder Terry

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 19


And that ends my 19th week in the mission and my 1st week with my new companion!

So this week was really interesting. My new companion came in, and as I said before, his name is Elder Cuevas. He literally lived within an hour from me in Downy area in California, and knows Huntington Beach really well, so we have a lot to talk about. As you may have noticed, he doesn't have a gringo last name, and that's because both of his parents were born in Mexico and moved to the United States. So he is fluent in both English and Spanish which makes him the best kind of companion to have. It's also a nice break to step away from speaking Spanish all of the time and relax with a little English.

This past week has been really nice because we have been really busy working with all of the members and getting eveyone to seminary and institute. It's a nice change, because Elder Fernandez was what the call here, really tronqui, which is like homesick or just ready to head home. So with him we kind of slowed down, but things are picking back up, and we have a lot of really good plans for raising our church attendance.

For the past two days, we were able to watch General Conference. But what made it really fun, was that I got to watch it all in Spanish. It was really difficult, especially when you hear them start talking in English and then have the Spanish translation voice take over, and I really wanted to hear their voices in English. But it was a really great experience to go through all of that in Spanish. It was the first time that I really payed attention and took notes of everything from General Conference, and I really feel like I learned a lot from it. I loved the new feature they had where some of the speakers were able to share their message in their native toungue, and it was great to hear the ones that were directly in Spanish.

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

Elder Terry

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week 18


And that finishes week 18 and the end of my 3rd change here in Perú. Also, I just passed the 4 month mark, which means I am officially 1/6th of the way done, with only 20 months remaining.

That's enough numbers for now. Yesterday, my companion, trainer, and padre, Elder Fernandez, left our area to head to the mission home after serving for over 25 months. He heads home around 5p tonight and will arrive back in Bolivia tomorrow at 2am.

It has been a very interesting 12 weeks with him. As trainer, he helped me learn all of the ins and outs of mission life and helped me get accustomed to this new experience that I will go through for another 20 months. He was a great guy and although he was a little lazy, he helped me greatly learn how to best teach all of our investigators and less-active members, and I wish him luck in his studies, and in the rest of his life.

So this week was a lot of fun. We had a few activities as a branch for my companion heading home, including a beach party on Wednesday that was a lot of fun. We had a great lunch cooked by some of the members, we played some volleyball which is a really common sport here, we burried a few people in sand, and had a few sand fights. You know, your typical beach party. It made me feel at home.

Other than that, we had a farewell activity on Saturday, where all of the members got to share their testimonies and thank Elder Fernandez for all of his work.

Because my companion left on Sunday, and I don't get a new one until Tuesday morning, I am currently staying in the zone leader's house and I get to spend some time with them. Yesterday, they called and announced who all of the new companions would be, and I found out that I would get to be with Elder Cuevas. I don't know much else other than his name, but from the other missionaries, they have told me that he's a clown, so we'll see how that's going to go.

Oh also, yesterday (October 5th) was the huge election day for all of Perú, so the past few weeks have been locaso with all of the political parties' campain songs and parades. It is nothing like I had ever seen in the States. Also, there is a law throughout all of Perú that says no one can have any type of meetings within 24 hours of elections to prevent people from voting in huge groups and forcing people to vote for a specific person. Because of this, we couldn't broadcast the church's General Conference, and we will end up watching it this Saturday and Sunday in our area's stake center.

Q: Are the people nice in Peru?
A: So the people here in Perú are way nicer than they are in the States (everyone refers to eachother as brother and sister on a regular basis) so we are entered into their houses relatively easily. Also Peruvians treat guests great, like they give them the best seats in the house, and they love to leave us with fruits like apples and mandarin oranges.

Q: What is the best thing you could focus on to prepare for a mission?
A: Something that would have helped me a lot would be learning how to recognize the Spirit. They way that missionaries teach is way different than it has been. Everything we do is based upon the Spirit. This has honestly been the hardest thing for me to do while I've been here. Learning the language and the doctrine is the easy stuff. Figuring out what and how to teach is difficult. If there's a way to get everyone to learn how to recognize the Spirit, it will help them greatly on their missions.

Well this week was really eventful and I don't have time to get to all of the details, so I am going to end this email here, and I'll talk back soon!

Elder Terry