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

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