Monday, December 14, 2015

August 24, 2015

This week was LO MAXIMOOOOOOOO!!! (the best)

Well to start off.. I had the great opportunity to try a variety of foods this week. for example.. octopus, cow tongue, duck, just to name a few... It was pretty dang awesome haha :) The cow tongue was my favorite though.

Anyways.. to start of with the week.  On tuesday I had the great opportunity to have exchanges with one of our zone leaders, Elder Marshall.  This meant that i had to lead the area and also be a district leader for the day.. it was kinda crazy but fun! and I learned so much from him (part of which will be my spiritual thought).  And then just yesterday he was called to be an assistant to the president! Crazy! I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to learn from him because he is awesome.

But the highlight of the week was for sure.... LEODANS BAPTISM!! Man Saturday was a special day.  He showed up in his white shirt and tie and was so stoked to be baptized.  We had a nice service, partied a little bit after, and then he was confirmed yesterday in church.  And man it was such a good experience.  The feeling that I got when he came out of the water... I cant even describe it.  It was like I could hear Heavenly Father saying how proud he was of his son.  And all I can say is that now, more than ever, I understand a little bit of just how great the worth of souls is in the sight of god.  He loves each of his children so much and he is so proud of us when we make right choices like Leodan did.

And this week we have another baptism lined up for nuestro amigo Alexis! ON Saturday he will take this grand step as well and we are so excited for him.  Thanks for all of your prayers on his behalf and as well as those for leodan.

Anyways... spiritual thought.  I had been really struggling/wondering this week about recognizing promptings from the spirit.  It has never been a strong point of mine.  I am good at feeling the spirit like when I hear sacred music or when I listen to a testimony, but as far as normal everyday situations im not so good at it.  But I learned this week that there are lots of different ways that the spirit can talk to us, and we have to learn to recognize every single way.  Its not always going to be a chill down our spine or a burning in our bosom, the spirit has a variety of differnt forms.  And we have a great guide in Preach mY Gospel pg 96 and 97 as to how we can learn to recognize the different promptings of the spirit.  As i have studied that I have been able to be more in tune with the psirit this week, and slowly but surely I am improving in that aspect. The spirit is just awesome.  And he is always willing to help us :)

Baptism Pictures for Leodan

August 31, 2015 

We have had another incredible week here in Cartavio where we were able to help another sould come unto christ and take the incredible step of baptism in his life!!

On saturday we had the baptismal service for our dear friend alexis.  He is 17, and is so awesome!! But one thing about peruvians that is important to understand is that they are always late... so we said that the baptism would start at 4.  Alexis didnt show up until 5:30... but other than that everything was smooth sailing and it was an awesome day!! He felt the spirit so strong and he bore such a strong testimony.  He wants to serve a mission and share this gospel because it has made him so happy.  He is incredible.  And yesterday I had the opportunity to confirm him and give him the gift of the holy ghost and that was such a neat experience.  I just want to testify that that gift is so real.  We are so privlieged to be able to have the companionship of the holy ghost in our lives. 

Also we have a great family of investigators.  The dad is named Marcelino, and his wife is Carmen.  They have 3 daughters, adn one of them is 10 (tracey) and they all want to get baptized! the problem is that marcelino is married to his ex wife, and she doesnt want to divorce him... so for the moment he cant progress because he cant comply with the law of chastity.  So if you all could pray that we can find a solution so that he can get divorced it would be so great.  I know that heavenly father will prepare a way for them to be able to take this step in their lives.

Alright so for the spiritual thought this week... Well lets just say that Elder Drescher has had quite the humbling experience this week.  First I just want to say that I love my companion so much.  He is such a good missionary and he is just awesome.  But from the start... he sometimes isnt the nicest person to me.  And we have had some struggles off and on.  And this past week I was really struggling because I was trying so hard to be the best companion possible and to love him and to serve him and he just was still being rude and selfish.  And then I read 1 Nephi 19:9 about how the savior was treated so badly but still suffered for us and still loves us.  And then I read the sermon on the mount about how when someone smites our cheek we should turn the other also.  And then i had a nice little come to jesus moment.  and I realized that Christlike love is unconditional.  When we feel real charity, we dont serve others or treat them good because we want them to do the same to us, we do it because we really and truly love them and want what is best for them in spite of whatever bad things they may do to us.  And really.. .this type of love is the easiest way to do things.  Because if we are just looking to get our own personal gain or to change others we will never accomplish it.  The only thing we can control or affect is our own thoughts and actions.  And as we turn to the savior, and really love those around us(no matter what they may say or do to us) that is when we truly become free from the negative feelings and all that bad stuff that we want to avoid.

So that has been what I have learned this week.  Just love.  Love one another as the savior loves you.  And it is sometimes easier said than done... but as we do it day by day we will find that it is truly the best way.

So show a little more love this week yall! and together we will become a little more like the savior.  i am so grateful for the love he extends to all of us.

 New means of transportation for him, Moto Taxi.
                                                                                 Saturday night "futbol" team
Alexis Baptism

September 7, 2015
Well first off... I have officially completed my training as a missionary.  As of yesterday, I completed 12 weeks in the mission field and am now a trained Elder.  But yesterday I also was called to be a trainer! So tomorrow I will receive a brand new missionary and will be responsible to help him adjust to missionary life. I definitely did not expect this at all, but I am excited for the opportunity to learn and grow and to serve my new companion.  If any of you have any advice for me as to how to be a good leader or trainer, please feel free to give it to me :)

This week was an awesome one!  We have seen a lot of progress here and we can really see the hand of the Lord in the work.  One thing that we saw this week was that we had tons of people come to church today, the majority of their own accord without us even inviting them.  It really shows that the Lord is touching peoples hearts and giving them the desire to come unto him.  I can definitely see his hand in the work here.

I dont have much time today... But I just want to share one quick spiritual thought.  ONe of the sister missionaries this week said something that hit me hard.  She said "our potentional is eternal".  Really its so true.  Our potential is more than we could ever imagine.  And when we come unto christ, he helps us see that full potential and be able to reach it little by little.  SLowly but surely we become more and more like him, until one day, we will finally be able to reach our full potential.  I feel so grateful for the opportunity to progress towards my potential here in the mission, as well as to help others realize theres with the help of the savior.

I just want to finish by saying that I know that my savior lives and that he loves each and every one of us.  Im grateful for the opportnity to be his representative in this time, and I testify of the truthfulness of his gospel and of this great work.

                                   Last visit with his Trainer/Companion with Soccer friends

September 14, 2015 

Well first things first.. I got my new companion on Tuesday and boy he is INCREDIBLE. His name is Elder Nuñez and he is from Argentina.  He is 21 and he was taught by the missionaries and baptized when he was 13.  We are already best friends and I just love him so much.  He has such a strong testimony and spirit about him.  And he speaks english like a champ!! But those of you that speak spanish know that Argentines have a very distinct accent... and yes I have already started to talk like him.  Everyone laughs at me all the time haha.  But It has been such a great experience to get to know him and to learn from him.

So funny story this week.. Some elders from our district had a baptism on saturday, but their investigator wanted warm water.  Well in Peru... there isnt a whole lot of warm water.  So what did we do? We decided to heat up the baptismal font using a nice little camp stove and pouring the water in a bucket at a time... Boy it was pretty comical.  But with lots of faith and propane we were able to get some lukewarm water for her and she had a great baptism haha :)

But anyways... This week I have been thinking a lot about our relationship with God.  We have been teaching for 2 months now an hermana named Clara.  And when we met her,  she was an Atheist.  she didnt believe that God existed.  But she knew that she wanted something more in her life.  And little by little we have been helping her develop a relationsihp with her Heavenly Father.  And really thats where we have to start when we want to get closer to God.  We have to understand that he is literally our Father in Heaven.  And we knew him before this life.  We just cant remember that right now.  But every day we can take one little step towards him through prayer and scripture study, and little by little we can remember him and feel his presence in our life.  And as we have done this with Clara we have seen such a change in her life and in her countenance.  And this week she told us that she was praying and she received a feeling in her heart that she knows God is real and that he loves her.  Man it was the greatest moment ever.  I am so greatful for the opportunity to get to help people develop that relationship.

My spiritual thought kinda goes along with that.  Yesterday we watched a devotional from New York given by Elder Clayton of the seventy.  And his wife talked about how in Argentina there is a zoo where you can go and pet lions.  And the way the train the lions is from the moment they are born, they live with dogs.  But when they are born, the dogs are bigger than the lions, so the dogs assume superiority.  So the lions grow up their whole life being afraid of the dogs, not knowing that with the flick of a paw they could crush pretty much anything in their path.  And she related it to us and said that a lot of times we dont realize our full potential as sons and daughters of Heavenly Father.  Our potential is so great, and we have the power to crush whatever obstacle may be in our path with just a flick of a paw.  We just have to remember our potential.  And she said something that hit me hard "just because they werent behaving in a brave or regal way doesnt mean they ceased to be lions".  No matter what your current or past situation is, nothing will every change the fact that you are a son or daughter of God.  So use that knowledge and crush whatver obstacle the adversary may throw in your path!
 Dallin practicing with his Keyboard with some of the children from the Branch in Cartavio

                            Dallin with his new companion 

September 21, 2015

Hope things are good wherever you are and that you are loving life as much as I am down here in Peru.  Things are so great here and we have had an incredible week!

I continue to love Elder Nuñez more and more everyday and I am learning so much from him.  He is doing so well and is already an incredible missionary :)  We have had a great week where we have worked hard every single day, and he has such a great attitude about it.  And it has been awesome because every night we have come home just exhausted, which is a sign that we have given everything to the work that day :) I love it.

First I need to tell you guys about Cristhian! I have been meaning to for about a month now and I never have enough time haha.. but he is 9 years old and has grown up in the church, but has enver taken the decision to be baptized until recently.  So we have been tecahing him for the past two months, and he is now ready and prepared to take the step of baptism on Saturday! We are so excited for this day and it will be so special with him :)

Second we have Milagros.  Milagros is going to be baptized the next weekend (October 3rd).  Milagros has been meeting with the missionaries off and on for about a year and a half now.  She is 15, and she goes to seminary and comes to church every week, but she has wanted to be sure of her testimony before she committed to be baptized.  We had some really spiritual experiences this past week as we read the scriptures together and she has made the decision to be baptized on the 3rd, and we are so excited for her as well. :) 

Clara, who I talked about last week, continues to progress spiritually and to develop a stronger realtionship with her heavenly father.  I promise each of you that no matter what your circumstance is, that Heavenly Father loves you and knows you.  And that little by little you can draw close to him and feel his presence in your life.

Today I was studying a talk from Dallin H. Oaks in the Ensign from August of 2013 about receiving revelation.  It was such a good talk and helped me a ton.  One thing that I learned was that we cant force the spirit.  We cant tell Heavenly Father when he should give us revelation or the way he should speak to us.  We can only invite the spirit into our lives and then have the faith that he is going to guide us.  And for me, this has been a struggle for me a lot of my life.  I always want to receive a clear answer before I act or make a decision.  But I have learned that most often, he will give me the answer after I choose to act.  If I am living worthily, I have a good pattern of prayer and scripture study, and I make a decision, he will then bless me with either a confirmation of that decision or he will correct my decision and guide me to the right choice.  I promise that each of us can receive revelation, but it will always come in the Lords time and his way.

                                        Holding a Family Home Evening with a local family.

September 28th, 2015

We have had another incredible week here in cartavio and i am loving life and living the dream :)

First thing first... on saturday we had a BAPTISM!! Our amigo Cristhian entered in the waters of baptism on saturday and was confirmed on sunday.  it was such a great experience.  I was so honored to be able to be the one to baptize him.  And after he was baptized they closed the window to the font and me and him just stood there and he just started crying.  And when I asked him how he felt he just had the biggest smile and said that he had never felt so clean or special in his life.  It was awesome to see that even a 9 year old boy can feel the spirit so strong and have a good experience like that.

This week we have another baptism scheduled for Saturday! Milagros, who is 15 is going to take this same step and we are so excited for her.  She is doing so well, and her cousin (who is preparing to leave on a mission) is going to be the one to bapptize her.  It will be a special experience for her and her family and we are looking forward to it.

Also we have Clara our investigator who didnt believe in god, and she is doing so well.  She and her boyfriend have made the decision to get married October 10th and she wants to be baptized the next week! It will be so awesome and it has been so cool to see the miracle of conversion in her life.  Heavenly father is so real and he changes lives for the better :)

For my spiritual thought this week... we have the greatest opportuntiy this week to have general conference! Not only do we get to hear from living prophets, but we get to sustain three new apostles that will be called on saturday.  I encourage all of you to take the time and reallywatch conference.  when the lords servants speak, it is as if he himself were speaking (see Doctrine and Covenants 1:38) and I am definitely looking forward to this opportunity to hear the words the lord has prepared for his children.  DONT MISS OUT. :)

(Every 6 months The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, meets in a General Conference to hear the Leaders of the Church teach us things we need to know to improve ourselves. This happens the first week of October and then again in April. )

                                           Chisthian and the Elders before the baptism.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

More updates from Peru

August 17th, 2015
THis week was so so great! it has been a week full of faith and miracles and just awesomeness!

Lets see.. to start off we have our amigo Alexis! Man he is so awesome.  Always willing to come to church, to read his scriptures, to come to family home evenings, he is just golden! He is officially finsihed witht hte lessons so now we are just keeping preparing for his baptism on the 29!!

Also we have Leodan who will be baptized on THIS SATURDAY!!! He is so awesome.  We were having some worries about him on saturday because his mom is still less active and they had kinda lsot a little bit of motivation.. so yesterday we sent a member out to go pick them up for church, and when he got there they had already left and wlaked to church! (they live about 2 miles away).  It was incredible to see their motivation!  And then we saw the true miracle of this situation.  At church, Rosa (his mom) started having really bad pain in her stomach.  They took her to the hospital and found out she has some sort of infection.  When she came back to the church, we gave her a blessing and sent her home.  She was in pretty bad shape.  And then we visited her a couple of hours later... she was perfectly fine! and she told us that she didnt feel any pain anymore.  And she said that when my companion wass anointing her with oil, she was looking at me... and she knew she was looking at me but all she could see was an angel telling her that everything would be okay and that god would dry her tears.  And then after the blessing she didnt feel any pain.  She said that when she walked to church, she feel down 2 or 3 times because of pain but she knew she had to be there.  And she was healed through her faithfulness :) It was so powerful.  Truly was a miracle and I am grateful that I had to opportunity to witness and take part in it.

This was just one of the miracles we saw yesterday... and i would tell more but i dont have time haha.  But i jsut want to testify that the lord has his hand in this work and that we will alwaays be blessed through our obedience and faithfulness.

Alright so spiritual thought for this week... yesterday I gave a talk on missionary work and how we need to work together as members and missionaries.  It really is so true that we as missionaries are nothing withuot the support of the members.  You guys make all the difference! And you dont need anything special to help with the work, you just have to have the desire.  D&C 4 says that any that have desires to serve god are called to the work.  And you should all have the desire to serve god because i know that you all love him.  And as Jesus taught peter in John 21.. if we love him we need to Feed his sheep.  Imagine how it would feel to be better, and the savior asking us if we love him.  How would we respond? I know that I love my savior as Peter did, that I truly love him more than anything.  And he has asked each one of us to help with the work.  so I have a challenge for yall that i gave to our rama yesterday! I want you all to pray for one name that you could give to the missionaries, and give them the reference before conference in october.  I promise that you will be lead to someone who is waiting for the truth, and will experience the joy we are promied in d&C 18 as bring them home to the savior.

 "P" day with his District 
Service for one of the investigators 

Continuing to update this blog:

August 10th, 2015

Que tal? I hope this email finds you all good wherever you are.  THings are  so good here in Cartavio and I am just loving life.

Lets see.. as far as investagators go... well lets start with Soledad.  WE still havent made any progress with her.  She likes to do this thing where she tells us to come and visit her, and then doesnt asnwer the door or her phone or anything.  its kinda frustrating.  BUt we have just been trying to love her and be patient with her.  Right now she isnt ready to be baptized, but we just have to be patient and keep doing our best and praying and she will come around.  Leodan and Alexis however are both doing so well! alexis yesterday aced his last exam and finished top of his class! and he told us from now on he will never miss another sunday! it was incredible.  he is so awesome and already has such a strong testimony.

Also, something i havent really talked about is our inactive members in our ward.  We have quite a few, but usualy there isnt a whole lot to tell with them.  BUt this week we were able to "Rescue" one of them named Karol! She has received all the lessons again, and was interviewed by the branch president and has returned to the church.  it was really special and we can see how motivated she is now.  Its awesome to see people change their lives and regain their testimonies.

Also, I just have to give a little shoutout to my Mission president.  ON thursday we had the opportunity to go to trujillo and meet with him, and he asked us about our piano in cartavio.... well before our piano was less than adequate.  but he sent us on a mission with hermana marler and bought us a new one for me to have for my mission! It was awesome!! So now we have a great keyboard in our capilla :)

For my spiritual thought this week i want to share something that pres marler shared with me.  We were talking about Enoch who i just love so much.  But after Enoch had this awesome vision and saw everything that our heavenly father has, he saw that God was weeping.  And he says in Moses 7:29 How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?"  How is it that the supreme creator of everything could be weeeping? and the answer is in verses 32 and 33.  "The Lord said unto Enoch, behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and i gave unto them their knowledge, in the day i created them; and in the garden of eden,, gave i unto man his agency; and unto thy brethren have i said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood."  This scripture is so powerful because it demonstrates really how much God loves us and how sad he is when we make wrong choices.  and the question that i ask when i read this is "how many times has God wept because of a choice that i made?" It definitely makes me think about my actions a lot more and makes me want to make good choices.. because i never want my Heavenly Father to shed a single tear on my behalf.

Also, as part of my spiritual thought, I recorded a little piece on the piano to share with yall.  I love music and the spirit it brings.  HOpe you enjoy it!

With the "Piano" they got for him to play 
Well, i have been a little.... a lot remiss in posting to this blog, but I will try to be better.  I will post Dallin's messages in order, I will try to include dates as well....

June 29th, 2015
Well I am officially 19 years old everyone!! I celebrated my dia de nacimiento on saturday andit was... well itwas just another day in the mission to be honest hahaha.  but it was good.

we had a cool think happen on monday.  one of our investigatorscalledand said.. elders, come to my house right now! and we said why?and she said I want to be baptized!!  it was awesome! we set her datefor the 18th ofjuly and she was doing really well and progressing... until yesterday when she bailed on us for church and pretended not to be home during our appointment.  frustratingforsure. but we will keep working at it with her.

we had stake conference this past weekend and it was so good.  i wantto shareone of the storiesthat was in peru there were two missionaries who werent having any success. so one day they decided to just pick a road and walk down it and talk to everyone.  they werewalking when suddenly they heard a little girl callingto them.  Elders, she said, come here! she said she wantedthem to come the next day to teach herfamily at 4 oclock.  of course they did.  when they showed up, her dad answeredthe door. they explained that they were the missionaries and that his daughter wanted them to come teach.  he gave them a weird look and invited them in.  he then toldthem to explain it to his wife.  after they did, his wife said that they lived there by themselves. the elders then gave them the name of the girl, and said that she was thereyesterday.  the wife asked howthey knew the name.  then one ofthe elders noticed a family foto, and said,its the nameof thatgirl inthe picture!  the parents both started to cry.  their daughter had died over a year ago.  they were baptized withinthe nextmonth.

man that story gives me chills every time i hearit or read it.  its so awesome! i know that miracles happen with missionary workand this work is so true.  im so stokedtaht i have the opportunity to sharethisamazing gospel with everyone, with people that arewaiting to hear it from me.

                                     Dallin's Pensionista helped him Celebrate his birthday 

July 6th, 2015
Hey yall!  Hope things are going well wherever you are!
So you all are aware... a big change was made this past week.  i have  changed missions....   hahaha jk im in the same place but now i am in mission peru trujillo norte! we had the split of the mission on july 1.
This past week was a great one here in Cartavio with a lot of success!
Lets see... First off to report on Hermana Soledad our investigator with a baptismal date.  well... we still have been unable to get a hold of her.  so we will probably end up droppng her this week. sad.  but we have another investigator named Juan MIguel who is 18 and is awesome! and he has commited to be baptized on the 25th of this month! He is progressing super well and already has a strong testimony! he has taken the missionary discussions before, and his family is members, but he has never had the desire to be baptized before.  We are working super hard with him and are hopeful to have him  ready by that date.
Also this week we found 12 nuevo investigatrs! This number is pretty much insane! WE worked super hard to find new people and the lord blessed us for our hard work.  WE are super excited about all of our nuevos.

One thing i watned to share... im sure most of you are aware taht this past week Elder Boyd K. Packer, Pres of the quorom of the twelve apostles passed away.  it is sad, but also happy to, because we have the knowledge of the plan of salvaton and know that this is not the end for elder packer.  i took the time yesterday to read both his and elder parrys talks from this past conference. i find it interesting that they both chose to talk on families.  Elder packer even eluded to the fact that it could very well be his last conference addresss.  This just testifies to me of the importance of families and how hard they are being attacked right now.  I would encourage you all to go read both of these talks, and to do everything yuo can to strenthen yuor families!

Also i want to share a personal experience i had this week.
ON monday i woke up feelng really sick. I was all sore and achy and wanted to puke.  but i just kinda toughed it out and took some ibuprofen and went throughout the day.  the next day, however, they talked to us in district meeting and said that if you had any mosquito bites(which i did) and were feeling these symptoms that you probbaly had a sickness that has been going around through the mosquitos.  it was nothing too serious, but they just put me on some medications for it.  Anyways, tuesdya afternoon i was miserable.  There was a moment where i thought i wsa going to pass out.  but i didnt want to go back to the room.  so i just said a prayer.  and i said heavenly father i know that yuo can heal me.  and all i ask is that you give me enough strength to do your work today.  and the second i did that my mind cleared up and i started to feel a little bitter.  i wasnt perfect, but i was well enough to continue proselyting.

ive used this experience to help me every time i have a trial out here.  i dont pray for the trial to be taken away, but to have the strength to bear it so i can do the lords wwork.  i know as we do this that he will help us.  i promise that he hears and answers our prayers, as i have learned thruough my own experience.

                                   The Chapel in Cartavio where they meet

                          First Companion, when he originally went to the CCM (MTC) in Lima
                                               Elder Stephens from Texas 

July 13, 2015 
Things are going so great down here in Peru!!

This week we were finally able to make contact again with Hermana Soledad.  How?  MEMBERS!!! Seriously every one of you should make the effort to help the missionaries in your ward.  Because she would not let us in her house no matter how many times we knocked on her door.  but the second a member went to visit her we had an appointment for the next day.  It was amazing!!!  We met with her twice this week and she came to churhc all on her own yeterday and was so happy and is going to be baptized on August 8!  Seriously member missionary work is where the miracles come from.

Also we got Juan MIguel to come to church yesterday so he is still on track to be baptized on the 25th! it was actually a miracle we got him to churhc.  We showed up at his house yesterday atg 8:15 and his whole family was asleep.  This is usual.  And usually we just turn on the lights and yell a little and they get up.  BUt the power was out.  So what did we do? We decided to sing some hymns.  YOu know the line in have i done any good in the world that says "wake up and do something more than dream of your mansion above"? well we took it literally! and we sang and sang and sang in the dark until they were all awake and in the church haha.  it was pretty comical.  but they got there and thats what is improtant.

Also.... I have to give a quick public shoutout because two of the most incredible and most important people in my life have birthdays this week.  First... the greatest MOm in the whole world has a birthday on Wednesday.  Seriously my mom is the bestest and she continuest to do so much for me every single day.  Happy birthday mom.  As well as on Friday my best friend is turning 19! What?! She is going to be old like me hahah!  But really Joslyn Cash is probably the nicest, sweetest, best person i have ever met and she makes me a better person every day.  and she is going to be the best missionary.  Hope your day is great jos.

Now for the spiritual thought.  This week we had a zone conference which was so awesome and it was on faith.  OUr zone leaders talked about how heavenly father has made promises to every single one of us before we even came to this earth.  and he will never ever make a promise he wont keep.  SO when we have faith.. all we are doing is trusting that he is going to keep is word.  Its not a question of if he is going to do something, its a question of when.  Something I studied personally this morning was in hebrews 11 vs 17-19.  really abraham was able to go and sacrifice isaac because he had the faith that heavenly father would k,eep his promise.  and if isaac were to die, heavenly father would riase him again.  We all have received promises from our heavenly father and he will always keep those promises when we do our part.  So do our part! and trust that he will do his.  I promise he will.

                                                   The building in Cartavio where he lives
                                                 One of the parts of town to Cartavio 
July 21, 2015 

This week was an awesome one!! Sorry i was unable to email yesterday.  we got caught up in trujillo all day and so we didnt have time to email.  but I am on now haha. :)

We did have some struggles this past week with Juan MIguel.  He has basically stopped takling to us and didnt attend church this past week.  In the last lesson we had with him he told us that he has some personal issues that would keep him from being worthy to be baptized, but he doesnt feel comfortable talking about them yet.  And we havent been able to get a hold of him since.  Its really sad because we can see how much he could benefit from this gospel and we can see the blessings taht he will receive from being baptized, but he ulitmately has to choose whether or not to accept it.  It has made me think a lot about Heavenly Father and how he feels when we make mistakes and use our agency to choose not to do what is right.  I am sure he is so sad beause he wants to bless us and he wants us to be happy, but he cant force us to.  But likewise, we cant receive the blessings unless we keep the commandments and do what he has asked.

We have, however, been having so much success with Soledad, and she has progressed so much! She came to churhc all on her own on sunday and stayed for the full 3 hours and was asking questions and offered a prayer and it was just so awesome! She is gaining her own testimony and is just so much happier every time we see her.  Its incredible.

ALso yesterday we had the awesome opportunity to go as a zone to the beach here in peru! It is the beach with the longest wave in the whole world! It was so much fun.  And there should be some pics on the mission blog if yall want to look.

Bueno.. For my spiritual thought this week..  I had the opportunity to give a talk in our branch this past week and it was on prayer.  and one thing that stood out to me a ton was something in the bible dictionary.  it says that the object of prayer isnt to change the will of god, but to receive blessings that he is already willing to give us but that we hvae to ask for.  Its important to remember this for two reasons.  First, because we need to pray to receive these blessings.  Lots of times people expect God to bless thim, but they dont pray to ask for the blessings.  We have to ask in order to receive.  Second, we always have to remember Gods will.  We dont approach him in prayer to tell him what to do, we approach him to seek guidance and to seek to align our own will with his. 
Preparing this talk definitely helped me strenghten my  manner of prayer and i learened so much!

                                             In his apartment with the Peruvian Flag
                                           Monday is his "P" (prepartation day) and he got 
                                            to go to the beach near Trujillo for the day
July 31, 2015

Sorry abnout the whole not writing on monday thing... again.  our p day got changed to today because we got to go to THE MOST GORGEOUS TEMPLE IN THE WHOLE WORLD.  It was pretty awesome.  The temple is great.

But anyways... heres what happened this week.

First, we had cambios! and since i am still training nothing has really changed... except that Elder Arenas was called as district leader! Which is awesome and he is already doing so good.  BUt it means a lot more responsibilty and stuff to do for the both of us haha.

Lets see, as far as investigators go...

Soledad has her baptism next saturday! SHe is doing so good! We are going to wrap up the lessons with her tomorrow and then we should be home free. As always though, the adversary is going to be working so hard to get her off the path so if yall wouldnt mind shooting a prayer or two out for her it would be greatly appreciated.  We are so excited for her and she really is doing so awesome.

Also, we have two other investigators commited to baptismal dates! The first is leodan.  he is 10 and his mama is menos activa.  he is so awesome and is so smart and just loves learning about the gospel.  We really dont see any problems with him, but we are going to have to work hard to get his mom to come to church every week so that he can come too.  Also we have our main man Alexis! He is 18 and we finished teaching him the lessons about a month ago, but he has tests for university on sundays so he hasnt been able to attend churhc.  BUt this week his tests ended so he can now! He is so awesome.  THe other day he asked us about the process of going on a mission because he wants to help other people like we have helped him.  It was so incredible.  Both Leodan and Alexis should be baptized this month.

Lets see... Spiritual thought.  My spiritual thought this week comes from 1 Nephi 2:4.  It talks about how when Lehi and his family left jerusalem they left everything they had.  all their gold, silver, everything.  they left it all because they had been commanded to.  And really its kinda similar to the mission.  And it made me think about my life before the mission.  And i realized i lived a pretty worldly life.  I was always worried about the next phone i would get or car i would drive or clothes i would wear or how many likes i would get on instagram.  But I left all that to come on the mission.  And now that im here... and ive been without it... i realize tat i dont want any of that anymore.  Because even though I dont have all that stuff, there has never been a time in my life where i have been happier.  Because I have something better... I have this gospel.  I have a relationship with my heavenly father.  I have his spirit with me in every moment.  And nothing in the world could every buy or give me the joyt that i have here in the mission.

Really its something to think about.  ITs not a bad thing to have worldly things... but we need to remember that worldly things will never give us what the things of god can give us.  We always need to have him as the priority.  And when we do that, thats when we will find true joy in our lives.

                                                          Coming into Cartavio
                                                In front of the Peru Trujillo Temple

August 3, 2015

Honestly i sat here for a good 30 seconds and couldnt think of a subject... so sorry about that.  But this week(end) was a good one :)  There isnt a ton to write about since its only been a couple days, but they were good ones. :)

Well the sad part is that our baptism for saturday fell through.  Hermana Soledad got sick on Saturday night and so she decided to not come to church yesterday.  Its really unfortunate... but we are going to try and get a new date set for the 15th tonight.  If you all could keep her in your prayers please... she really needs it because she is so close and we dont want her to miss out on this opportunity.  A bright side though was that both Leodan and Alexis came to church yesterday.  Which means that Leodan is practically ready for his baptism, and Alexis just needs  to keep coming to church.  So overall it was a happy day.  Its the best feeling in the world when you see an investigator walk into the capilla.

Well as far as spiritual thoughts go... I have two this week.  I had the opportunity to teach gospel principles this week on eternal marriage.  And obviously i dont have a ton of experience on that topic.. but as i was preparing it just hit me how great of a blessing it is.  because really if i couldnt have an eternal marriage, i dont think i would ever want to get married.  i would hate the feeling knowing that eventually i would be separated from my wife and family, and that that separation could happen in any moment.  but we have the opportunity and the blessing of having the security of an eternal marriage and it is so awesome.

Also i studied a lot in Alma 32 this past week.  And the one thing that hit me is that in order to have a testimony of the gospel, we dont need to have a perfect knowledge.  I like to think of a testimony as one of three stages.  1. we want to believe it is true 2. we believe it is true 3.  we know it is true.  We all have to pass through each of these stages at some point.  we just have to keep progressing, and eventually we will get to the point where we have that knowledge.  Its important to remember this so we dont get discouraged if we dont quite have that perfect knowledge.  just keep nurturing your seed and it will grow.
The Peru Trujillo Temple  
   Neighbor children of an investigator.