Thursday, May 28, 2015

(remaining days: 75) Matthew 3:17

I'll tell ya a little bit about my son first. His name is Elder Arrieta. He's from Lima, Peru. He's 18 years old and has 4 years as a member. Everyone in his family is a member and his older brother served in Arequipa, Peru. He's the youngest of 3 siblings. He talks really fast and sometimes I have to ask him to slow down. Not even the members understand him sometimes haha. He likes to cook a lot. He's really humble and does everything that I do hahaha I feel like papa goose. He seriously copies me with everything I love it. I picked him up on Thursday and then we traveled 2 hours to Otavalo. We started working right away even though we're opening a sector that's has been closed for a couple months. So we basically had to start doing street contacts and knocking on doors right away and he was a little nervous haha but everything went well.

My new ward is called Rumiñahui (Roo-mean-ya-we) and it's a sweet ward. I'm seriously blessed. The bishop and 1st counselor are brothers and the 2nd counselor is this cool guy from Chile that cook amazingly. The ward counsels are really efficient and the members already love us. We needed "momitas" from everyday and as soon as they figured out that we needed someone to feed us, all 6 days instantly filled up. The ward is just really excited to have 4 missionarys rather than just 2. My sector is giant however. I have like 1/4th of the city of Otavalo plus a decent amount of rural area.

Before I got my son, I was with the ZL´s of Otavalo South for 3 days. It was fun working in Punyaro even though every road in the sector is a dusty dirt road. We walked a ton for those 3 days haha. But right now it's been great learning a new area with a companion that is learning about the mission. In Peru they use Soles, not dolars, like hin the States and in Ecuador. I've even had to help him quite a few times when he buys things haha. He thinks it's funny that the smallest coin (a dime) is worth more than a nickel which is bigger. The bishop took us around in his car yesterday to show us the houses of most of the members in the sector so this week we wont be as lost.

Saturday was one of the funnier days of my mission. Crazy things happened. First of all, while I was contacting this old lady sitting in her car, a city bus drove by and the busses' back tire poped right next to us! It was louder than a gunshot! Something else happened too I think because a giant cloud of black smoke came out too. I'm not even 100% sure what happened. My ears were ringing for like 5 minutes after that haha. I felt even worse for the poor old lady in the car. After that we finally find this active members' house that we were looking for for like 20 minutes. We have a good lesson and then he asked me if I could bless his new car... Hahahaha I didn't know what to say. Can you do that?? I've never done that before. Nevertheless, we hoped in his brand new Nissan and I blessed it hahaha. I didn't even know what to say... "I ask thee to bless the tires that they may never go blad nor explode..."

After that we do to our next planned appointment and 8:00pm with a new investigator. We planned the appointment around5:00pm when we contacted them. Then we see the sister missionaries arrive and they said that they scheduled an appointment with the same family at the same time. They also contated them around 5:00pm. The only difference was that we talked with the daughter and they talked with the mom. The appointment fell though anyway hahaha dang it!

Creo que eso fue todo... ¡Gracias por todo! ¡Que tengan un buen verano!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

(remaining days: 82) The winds of change

I'm going to have a son! Yeah! President Richardson usually lets the zone leaders that are ending their missions train a new missionary. And after being a zone leader for 11 months, now it's my turn! So I'm more that excited for that! Right now I'm actully with the zone leaders of Otavalo South (the other Otavalo zone that I'm now in) because I have to go pick him up on Thursday. So I'll be with them for just a couple of days. It should be fun having a training responsibility rather than leadership responsibilites. I feel like I just took off a backpack filled with rocks haha. Other than that, I'm going to be opening a sector in the Rumiñahui ward that was closed for like 6 months I think. I'm going to be attending the same chappel but I'll just be starting sacrament meeting at 8:00am. So I'll still be able to see members and missionaries for my old ward (Latino). Rumiñahui is the other ward in the stake that teaches Latinos, so Quichua won't be needed again haha oh well... My sector also is the city part of Otavalo rather than just corn fields like most of the wards in the 2 stakes. So It'll be nice to be close to things in the city. My sector might also have the Plaza de Ponchos, but I still don't know yet.
Talking about the last week though, on Tuesday President Richardson did interviews with the whole zone and with some other zones around here. While he was doing the interviews the asistants trained us on an effective way to use the scriptures, which I enjoyed a lot and learned a lot of things from. In the interview president basically just told me that it's fourth quarter now. For my last training as a ZL we trained on the baptismal invitation. But we mostly just tryed to rip the fear out of the missionaries and shared some good scriptures like Romans 1:16 and 2 Timothy 1:7-8 to do it. And for the leadership meeting with the zone and district leaders on Friday we trained on the qualities of a leader and used the example of Ammon (Alma 17). I think they went well.
On Sunday night right before we got the changes we had a giant Family Home Evening with 3 families that are all cousins (familias: Chuquillangui, Tabango, & Gonzales). We taught the Plan of Salvation but made them act it out. I was interesting. We also did a lot of little service this week. For example, my companion saw an indigenous lady (she was like 75 years old) carrying a giant bag. So he offered to help her. And even though my companion is strong, he was struggling. He said that I weighed like over 100 lbs. Old women here are buff just because they carry heavy things up hills for their whole lives.
The asistants also stayed with us one night when they came down to train the zones around here while president was doing the interviews. In the morning we played 2 on 2 basketball and destoyed them haha! It felt so good to play 2 on 2 basketball again after a ton of time not doing it.
Espero que todos ustedes tengan una buena semana. Si yo no fuere misionero ahora en este tiempo, yo nunca hubiera obtenido un testimonio como la que tengo ahora. Ni el conocimiento que tengo. Entonces gracias a todos que me han apoyado. ¡Cuídense!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

(Remaining days: 89) Skype

The last Skype call was awesome! It was also the first time that mom didn't cry at the end hahaha. Good work, mom! It was great It was great skyping from Otavalo too. The weather is almost always nice so it wasn't like the first Skype call in the jungle where I was sweating like crazy haha.
During the week we had the mission council. We have changes in a week from now and I've been a ZL for was too long so it might have been my last one. But it was a really good one. President Richardson trained on what he learned from the meeting he had with all of the mission presidents of Venesuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Plus he talked about the Work of Salvation. I always love spending the night in Quito with the ZL`s there too. I've been out of Quito for months now and they changed the metrobus system but other than that I still know it like the back of my hand. We're allowed to watch cartoon (Like Disney) movies on the way there so we watched Space Jam and Dispicable Me 2. So I love the 2 hours bus rides becuase of that haha.
This week we were really working with the missionaries, or at least verifying everything during the nightly verifications. We did divisions with Centenario, which aren't much of divisions because we share almost the same sector. The main difference is that we teach the Latinos, they teach the Lamanites. We also tryed to get to know the sector better. Since there are only 2 wards out of all the wards in these 2 stakes, out sector is huge. So we went out far into Quiroga. And we found some new investigators and a less-active member so that was nice!
Today we went to the famous Cuicocha lake which is a volcanic crater with a huge lake in it. The huge lake has 2 islands in it too. It was kind of rainy and cold but really worth it. Plus a fellow gringo from Texas (Stan Marlo, who's a member but doesn't speak much Spanish but his wife does perfectly) took us up there for free. Then he and his wife took us out to eat at this place where gringos go to and I ate a BLT. So I'm more than happy right now.
Bueno, como dije, fue cheverísimo hablar con ustedes ayer. Quiero que sepan (Aun que estoy escribiendo en Español jaja) que les quiero mucho y espero que tengan un buen verano dondequiera que se encuentran. Y a los "Bros", ¡que tengan éxito en los otros continientes del mundo!

(remaining days: 89)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

remaining days: 98 May the 4th(Spirit) be with you

Hi everyone! Sorry for the cheesy title. I'll start with investigators this time. Patricia Guajan has a date for the 23th of May and already has like 5 atendances. We just need to wait for her to get married on the 22nd and she'll be good. She already has a strong testimony. We found a new family on Sunday (Familia Troya-Saavedra). It's a wierd last name but they're humble people and they preparing for the 30th of May. Other than that, we have a couple of new investigators that we are just starting with. A challenge here is finding new investigators because it's not that big of an area and the church has quite a bit of time here. In fact, it's celebrating 50 years here. Which is awesome except for the fact that it'll be at the end of the year and I won't be there. The zone has had success though, we went to a baptism in Agato (Indigenous ward) this week and it was great. They gave us a ton of beans as a desert after the baptism...

This week we had a great zone council! Seriously I've never felt so good about a training that I've given with my companion. We got the zone really excited and encouraged, then we dropped the spirit like a bomb, it was great. We did another service project as well. We moved like 100 30lbs bags of sand up the 2nd floor for the Hidrobo family. It was tough after a while but I've learned to love to serve. Right now we are preparing again for the mission council and we're going to go to Quito in about 2 hours. I love the mission councils, and it could be my last one.

There's this Mexican restaurant that we found called Taco Bello (It looks like "bell" but there's a "O" smilie face after). And it's amazing. We're probably going to go there every time that the momita falls (Which isn't often)... I'll update you on my reading goals now (That probably doesn't sound like me haha). Right now I'm reading el Libro de Mormón and I'm in Alma 56. I should finish in about a month with that. Plus I'm finishng True to the Faith. It got about 30 pages left to read. Which will complete my mission goal of reading basically every book we are allowed to read (The Bible(Old and new testaments), The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Convedents, The Pearl of Great Price, Jesus the Christ, Our Heritage, Our Search for Happiness, True to the Faith, Preach My Gospel, and the Missionary Handbook). Oh yeah!!

Creo que personalidad es casi igual que la que tenía cuando estaba en la casa. Pero mi espiritualidad ha cambiado muchísimo. La misión me está bendiciendo y la amo... Les quiero mucho y espero que estén bien... Voy a hacerle a mi mamá trunky: See you in 6 days hahaha!

(remaining days: 98)