Monday, October 31, 2016

Pachacutec - Week 10

Manjarblanco and an Earthquake

What a week, well I guess I'll start with the earthquake, it was pretty intense.  It happened at like 10:49 pm. So, I was just barely falling asleep when everything started shaking, and at first it was like whoa a little earthquake, that's cool, but after 10 seconds I started to panic a little, haha.  My companion said venga Elder Harris! and we jumped out of bed and huddled next to the strong pilar in our house.  From what I heard from most of the missionaries in our district is that they all ran outside. I'll be honest I was pretty scared.  It lasted for almost a full minute, then we called everyone in our district to make sure everyone was alright.  It didn't do any damage though.

This week we had interviews with President here at the chapel in Pachacutec.  And Hermana Stauffer came and checked our apartments to make sure they were clean and up to living standards and what not.

One thing that I've been thinking about a lot lately and studying is the fundamental 3 commandments: Read, Pray, Go to church.  These are the first compromisos that we invite our investigators to do in the first lesson.  If the investigators lack one of these mandamientos they are not going to progress. But even as missionaries, we have to make sure we are doing these 3 things with all of our might so that we can teach and testify of them.

When we found the Family Leon on Thursday, Monica let us in the house, and we were kind of surprised because my companion has been here for 6 months and he has been trying to enter this house to teach the less active family but has never been able to until now.  And then Junior came in, he kind of had his head down, and he told us that to be honest he didn't want to leave his bedroom to converse with us.  But something brought him to us.  He later told us that he has been passing through some difficulties in his life and feels that it's time for a change.  I know that when we are working hard, the Lord puts people in our path that need to hear our message.

It's interesting that you asked me about part member families.  There are a lot in our area, we have the ward directorio that we use to find them.  We have 2 baptismal fechas now with people that are part of a part member family.

Have a great week ustedes

Elder Harris

We had to take pictures of our apartment to send to Hermana Stauffer to make sure they are clean so here are a few of them

Monday, October 24, 2016

Pachacutec - Week 9

A Fun Week

It's been a good week!  I cant believe it's already Monday again.  Last Monday we did a work visit with Elder Castillo (something interesting always happens when I'm with him).  So what happened is he got bit by a dog a week ago, and during studies on Tuesday we had to go to La Molina to get a shot, so we went there Tuesday.  On Thursday we had a training with President in the offices with my group that came with me in the mission.  And this morning I woke up at 4 am to go to Central Lima to get my visa taken care of.  Then we had district p-day and climbed up this hill.

One of my major accomplishments this week was teaching a lesson basically by myself on divisions during the second hour on Sunday because Elder Chalampuento was interviewing.  But I taught the law of chastity to a couple of conversos recientes who are Novios and Maria.  I was stressing about it beforehand, but it went so smoothly.  I felt the spirit putting words in my mind to say.  Stuff that I already knew.  Stuff that I had studied.  It reminded me of a promise that the branch president in the CCM made to me.  He told me that 2 months in the field I would be completely comfortable in teaching lessons.  And Sunday was the 23 of October, exactly two months in the field.

One experience this week was finding a man named Eber.  He was a reference from the Elders Quorum President, a less active member.  We knocked the door, he let us in, and I was touched by what I saw.  Hanging on the wall was a picture of the Lima Temple, the family proclamation to the world, and a baptismal certificate all in framed cases.  This guy was really happy to see us.  We shared the Restoration with him, it was a good spiritual lesson.  Afterwards, I asked my companion why this guy was less active, he had a testimony and everything.  I think the answer is Home Teaching.  Everyone go read Jeffrey R. Holland's talk on Home Teaching.  Home Teaching is easy! And it's so necessary.  These people need constant support.  Even in Utah.

Love you guys!

Elder Harris

P-day de Distrito - We climbed the hill!

Elder Arroyo made a kite that actually worked really well

Lunch at Papa Johns with Elder Castillo

Ventanilla Zone

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pachacutec - Week 8

Bacán Es La Arena

So I want to make something clear. Pachacutec is sand.  My area is a big sand hill.  My first few weeks here it was really annoying, but I'm accustomed to it now.  I kind of like it actually.  Most of the roads are packed down so its not too bad walking, but at the end of every day I clean all the sand out of my shoes and whatnot.  We went to a part of our area that we weren't familiar with this week and we ended up at the top of the hill, and there was a big area of loose sand beneath us.  We were a little late so we figured we would just walk through it, but it was really loose, kind of like walking through snow.  And when we got to the bottom where the houses started again, our shoes and socks were very full of sand.  It was awesome.

My experience of the week was probably when we found Maria, a single mother of about 50 years. When we contacted her, we introduced ourselves, and right after SHE asked US when we were going to visit her.  First time this has happened thus far.  But we visited her the next day, she told us that her parents were members in Arequipa, but she left home at age 10 so she never knew much about the church.  Now her parents have passed away, and she feels like she needs to change something in her life because she's never had much to do with religion.  She even cried a little in the lesson.  We were able to testify to her that this gospel is what can change her life for the better and that by following Jesus Christ she can do what her parents are undoubtedly wishing for her. Her baptismal fecha is the 12th of November.

I also taught the English class for our district this week, it was fun, we learned thou, thee, and thy.

Elder Harris

Family Home Evening with the Flores Family

Elder Mamani from Arequipa

Selfie with Comp before we left this morning

Monday, October 10, 2016

Pachacutec - Week 7

Pachacutec Pachacutec

Transfers were this week so this means that I've been on my mission almost 3 months. Wow crazy. But yeah so we have a new Greenie in our district, Elder Taylor from Arizona, and its great because now I'm not the youngest. I hadn't really noticed how much my Spanish has improved until Elder Taylor got here haha. It brought back memories of my first couple days in the mission field and now I can see how far I have come in these first 6 weeks. It's pretty cool, but yeah this week has been good, normal.

The work has been a bit of a struggle this week, we didn't have any investigators in sacrament meeting, which is pretty discouraging. But we just have to work harder this week to help our investigators progress.

My comp is district leader now so I get to do work visits with lots of missionaries in our district which will be fun.

There's also another Greenie in our zone that sang in the MTC choir at conference which is pretty cool.

We were fasting Sunday morning and we went to get our investigators for church. After passing by two doors and having them tell us that they couldn't attend, we were walking up the hill to our next investigator, and I just felt like giving up. My companion was walking fast up the hill, and I just wanted to stop. I was hungry, tired, discouraged, all negative emotions. But in the moment that I was about to stop and give up, I remembered the story of the four sons of Mosiah. Ammon said that when their hearts were depressed and they wanted to turn back, the Lord was with them. The principle is that the Lord strengthens his servants in the midst of their afflictions. This thought (which was clearly put in my mind by the Holy Ghost) gave me strength to push forth. I decided to just smile, even though I didn't feel like smiling, and my negative thoughts left me. I felt the strength and comfort of the Lord that day.

I know the Book of Mormon was written for our day to help us. Read. This. Book.

Every day.

Elder Harris

Our apartment. It's just the green part, the second and third floor.

P-Day a few weeks back with our zone. We just played soccer, all the soccer fields in my area are like this. Basically just a basketball court with goals at the end. And I think the majority of the chapels down here have one. But there are lots of public ones as well that anyone can use.

I experimented and made brownies in our microwave using a recipe I found in the apartment, not too bad.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Pachacutec - Week 6

Huancaina Salsa

So General Conference, we watched it at the chapel with everyone else.  For multiple reasons I was only able to watch the first two sessions on Saturday in English, and the rest in Spanish.  (I just watched it in the clerk's office with Elder Quesne.)  But the others were in Spanish and it was a bit harder to understand but still buenaso.

Elder Chalampuento is such a good missionary.  I am so blessed to have a good trainer.  I've talked with other missionaries in my group, and it seems that not all the trainers are as good as mine.  I've learned a ton from him.

So I forgot to mention this in my last couple emails but a while back we had a general authority visit the mission, Elder Montoya of the Seventy.  We went to the Prolima Stake Center to receive this training with 4 other zones, Barranca, Huacho, Hural, and Puente Piedra.  It was way good, he is the same general authority who spoke in the CCM.

One of my questions for General Conference was how can I make my prayers more powerful?  And like wow...there were 2 awesome talks in the Saturday morning session about prayer.  That night when we went back to our house I felt so grateful that the Lord has answered my question, I prayed and petitioned Him to help me express my feelings of the gospel in our lessons (because this has been a frustration of this week, not having the wording to express sufficiently in Spanish). And the next day, on Sunday, we taught a new convert the Plan of Salvation.  And my companion spoke less in that lesson than any other before.  I was able to explain my feelings about the Atonement sufficiently.  It was amazing.  I know the Lord answers prayers, and I know when we sincerely ask, we shall receive.

I love being a missionary

Elder Harris

We climbed a hill for P-day with a member whose name is Martin

Pollo a la Brasa! We ordered a whole chicken to celebrate general conference. Yes Inca Kola, Yes papas fritas, que rica.