Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 8

Hey Everyone! 

Week 2 into the mission. Life is good! Spanish is getting better too! It’s really weird though because somedays my Spanish can be pretty good and then others I feel like I can’t understand anything. Like sometimes I am able to hold up conversations and ask questions and all that, and other times I have no idea what people are saying and I just smile and nod, hahahah. And Peruvians start talking for soooo long about random stuff and telling random stories that I just don't have the vocabulary to understand. Like earlier this week we were talking with an investigator and I thought he was talking about his job but I guess he was talking about tornados and I guess I accidentally told him that there are tornados every day in Utah, hahaha.  And my Comp got super sick this week and lost his voice so I had to do a lot of the talking and whenever he would talk to me I couldn't understand! hahaha. A lot of the little things he does are starting to bug me, but I defintely need to learn how to be more patient so its kind of a blessing. 

This week I think I figured out why people call it the best two years, and I also figured out why some people struggle really badly. Lots of ups and downs—it’s defintely a learning experience! One of the best feelings though is being able to teach somebody and watch their countanance change as they feel the Spirit. You feel so happy for that person and just want them to continue to feel it and progress! And you feel like you are really making a difference and I love it!

But then there are the times where people just don’t accept it or just don't care, and you can’t speak the language very well and stuff so that just bums you out from time to time. I only have 2 weeks here so I’m not super experienced, but that’s at least what I've noticed so far. 

Something great that happened this week though is yesterday at church we had 3 of our progressing familes come to church AND 3 less active families come too! Very cool, we are really hoping that they let the spirit in and noticed the joy of the gospel. Hopefully I’m not just getting my hopes up. 

Our investigator, Gustavo, and his family didn't get baptized on Saturday because they couldn’t make it to church last week so the baptism is set for Friday! 

Also, general conference is this weekend and I’m praying that our mission Pres lets us gringos watch it in English because I wouldn’t get too much out of it in Spanish and that would bite because GC is my fav. ALSOOO we are going to CHILI’S this afternoon and I am stoked out of my mind! Also since I couldn’t send pics last week—here are some now.

-Elder Hale

This is me and Elder Ramirez!!

This is the dog that's outside our door that wanted to kill me the first week but now we are pals!

This is the view from my front door.
This is the hole in our roof, which I like to call the sunroof because it makes me feel fancy, lol!

This is just the daily view!!

This is my area—super good view!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 7

First week out here in the real world

Hey Everyone!

Life is crazy! I left the MTC Tuesday morning and got to the mission home and got assigned to my trainer Elder Ramirez! He is a good guy! He has been out here for about 15 months. He is Chilean so he speaks super fast and mumbles a lot so that it's so hard to understand him. Haha. I thought I knew Spanish pretty well until I got out here the first day and heard people speak. The first few days I got wrecked and just nodded and said "si" to everything people said—but I can understand them more and more each day. People that have teeth are a lot easier to understand, which is actually more rare than to find you'd think, haha.

Our area is super poor. It's crazy how different it is here. We live in a members house on the 3rd floor, and it's super trashy but we have hot water!!! kind of... it's this little electric thing in the shower head, and it you touch it you get electrocuted, and its not even 6 feet high so I have to duck so I don't shock myself all the time. My comp is really nice but he's a cochino (which means dirty person). So basically in all the extra time we have I am just cleaning the house.

Our ward is great! Lots of members—the Bishop pulled a fast one on me and told me to speak for 5 mins in sacrament meeting which was really hard and scary but I pulled through, haha. We do a lot of work with less active members here. Basically half of all of our missionary work is teaching and visiting less actives. People here have faith and believe, but they don't act on it and it just dies. They need to read James 2:11-15 "faith without works is dead." It's hard to teach them the importance of obedience.

We have a few people that are progressing really well though—one family, Gustavo and his children have a baptismal date for this Saturday the 24. He is keeping his commitments and sees the importance of obeying commandments, so thats pretty exciting. Moises has a baptismal date for the next Saturday after that but he just doesn't show up to church. It's really frustrating because in our lessons you can sense him feeling the Spirit and believing and having a desire to live the Gospel but he won't act on it so I don't know what will happen with him. So, all is well here! Spanish is coming along, although it is super frustrating at times, and we are working hard! 

-Elder Hale

Friday, September 16, 2016

Week 6

Jarett left the Peru MTC (CCM) on Tuesday to head out into the field and to his first area. I was hoping to hear from him on move day, and it looks like he did write, but it was just delayed in getting to me. This handwritten letter was emaied to me today from the mission secretary. It looks like he is doing well, and should be able to write more on his new P-day, Monday.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Week 5: Last Week in the MTC

Hey Everyone!

Last week here in the MTC! I leave on Tuesday to Lima Norté! It's been so great here in the MTC. I've learned so much about the Gospel and a lot of Spanish. I used to think that when missionaries left the MTC that they were fluent in their language, haha not really how it works out. But!! I can speak a lot of Spanish. I am able to speak about the Gospel really well and can understand most of what people are saying, but for not Gospel related talk—I have a ways to go, haha. My teachers have been the best, their names are Hermano Valera and Gavancho. Hermano Valera speaks no English so the first week here was super tough but now that we can communicate, he is one of the funniest people I've met and a really great teacher. I'll send  pictures with them next week. 

New things that happened this week are we had KFC style chicken this week (with rice of course) and it was super good and reminded me of home. I finally lost in ping-pong here, it was a tough loss but I got over it. I ran out off all my American candy and they don't sell too many sunflower seeds down here as far as I'm aware so that is a bummer. It’s the last week with my companion Elder Perkins! He's super smart and very driven, he is going to be a great missionary. Earlier this week he said ¨If you're around someone 24/7 for 6 weeks you start to talk like them¨. Haha, I guess I talk a funny way. He's going to Lima North too so I'll probably see him from time to time. 

This week was awesome because I finished to Book of Mormon again!! I love reading the Book of Mormon. I am so sad I never took as much time to read it back home as I do now. It is just filled with plain and precious truths and so much to get out of it. I definitely know it's true and if I could give anyone advice back home it would be to take advantage of what a great gift it is for us and read it! Im very grateful for that God let it be translated through the Prophet Joseph Smith so that we can learn and grow from it! I hope to someday know and be able to quote the Scriptures and the Book of Mormon as much as I know "The Office" and am able to quote it! Haha. I also finished "Our Search for Happiness" by Elder Ballard and that is such a great book! It was definitely a testimony booster and such a well rounded book about the truthfulness of The Church. Sunday was also a great day like always. We watched a video about John Moyle who was a stonecutter for the SLC temple and he walked 22 miles each week to Salt Lake for 20 years to work on the Temple—it taught me a lot about diligence and enduring till the end. He said ¨callings are seldom convenient" and that’s true–sometimes being obedient and doing the right thing is hard but it is The Lord's work and so it is important that we give it our absolute best. 

Some great scriptures that I read this week are all of 3 Nephi!! But especially chapters 9, 11, 13, 18, 27, and 28, Ether 3, and 12 Moroni 7, 8 and 10. ALSO Elder Holland’s talk called "The Only Living God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent" is one of the best talks I’ve ever listend to! 10/10 would recommend!

Bye everyone!!

Elder Hale

Me and Elder Perkins lookin smug

View from our dorms. The vegetation on the mountain is a garden, so don't be fooled
to think this place is tropical. The mountains are all just big piles of dirt here, haha.

This HUGE bird landed on top of Angel Moroni today so I had to take a pic.