Lima Peru Temple

Lima Peru Temple
Lima Peru Temple

Monday, December 29, 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

Ok, I am going to start off with Christmas.  I forgot to tell you something.  Ok so I told you all how they shoot off the fireworks at midnight and all that.  But during all of that the sky lit up and it was seriously like almost daytime.  It was so bright.  The whole sky lit up.  Anyway, I think some electrical tower got hit by a firework or something and it exploded and there was a big flash.  I am telling you this story because it is funny.  People after were saying that it was the end of the world or that it was from aliens.  And there are all these pictures of the flash and people say that there is a figure in the flash and all this stuff but it is just funny because they think ET is here or something.  

It was so great to talk to all of you on Christmas!  It was weird, kind of like a dream.  Like this is my life here in Perù and to see all that and the snow and everything it was kind of like this is real?  Like you just get focused here in the mission field and kind of forget about your bed at home and cars and snow and all that stuff.  But it was great to talk to you all.  If you can, send me some snow because it is only getting hotter here.  At about 10 in the morning, or 930, it is already burning hot.  but hopefully I get a nice tan.  

This week teaching was kind of slow. and I am expecting the same type of thing this week.  Everyone is either out of town or they are buying gifts or they are "busy".  So we didn't get in a lot of houses this week.  And these past couple days we have been trying to make appointments with people and they all say oh ya, after the parties.  So I am thinking that it will be difficult to get in the houses.  but hopefully we can get in some.  

Yesterday though we had a great lesson.  We went in the house and one of our investigators, who is 27, was sad.  Like normally she is all happy to see us but we could tell something was wrong.  And then I remembered what mom told me at the start of my mission.  I just need to smile.  (that was back then because I couldn't speak spanish.)  Now I can speak spanish but I just started smiling like really big.  And I kept it the whole time.  And every time she would look at me she would start smiling.  Smiles are contagious.  The spirit was really strong in this lesson.  We talked about the Book of Mormon.  And when we left she was a lot happier.  You could see it in her face.  It was awesome.  

And last night I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish for the first time.  Afterwards I did what Moroni tells us to do.  I prayed to know if it was true.  And bam, my chest just caught fire.  I already knew that the Book of Mormon was true and that it is the word of God.  But this is part of enduring to the end.  We always need to ask and read and pray and go to church because this is what builds our testimonies.  Knowing that the Book of Mormon is true changes everything for everyone because it means that everything is true.  This gospel really is for everyone.  And I am glad that I can be an instrument in the Lord's hands for these two years to help people find the truth.  

I hope you all have a wonderful week and a happy new year!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hola familia!!  How is everybody doing!  First thing first, I got fried.  So I will be tan and beautiful for skype on Thursday.  Yes, skype on Chirstmas at about 3 o clock.  3 o clock my time so I believe that is about 1 o clock your time.  It will be weird talking to white people in English haha.  That was not supposed to be a rude comment but ya...  

It was a lot harder to find people in their houses this week.  They are all running around buying stuff, out of town or working more because it is Christmas time.  So hopefully this week they will all be in their houses.  

Tuesday we went to the temple with the ward.  It was awesome.  We helped in the baptistry.  Just as witnesses.  We can't do baptisms or baptize in the temple as missionaries.  It was awesome though because we brought a recent convert from this area.  It was her first time at the temple and so it was cool to see.  The spirit was so strong.  And she loved it so that was cool. Seriously the peace inside the temple is unreal.  You step inside and BAM everything from the outside world is gone.  You can relax, pray, think and it is just the best.  But ya, we went and we probably had about 20 people that went.  Not as many as the other ward but I think just about everybody went in so it was a good experience.   

Thursday we had our Christmas activity of the mission.  It was with half of the mission because our mission is too big so we had to split it in half.  But we got there and I PLAYED BASKETBALL!!  I was rusty.  I was still dropping threes but not at the highest rate haha.  It was a little rough.  I am going to put the blame on the fact that the hoops were about 9 and a half feet.  But after that we watched all these little videos.  Then we had dinner and then we had our skits.  Each zone had to perform a skit and so we did ours and it was pretty good.  I am going to try to send it and mayble Blake can translate or something.  And my voice isn't really that high, I had to talk like that for the skit so don't judge.  

Really this is the best time of the year.  Before the mission it wasn't as easy to focus on Jesus Christ during the Christmas season.  But now as a missionary I have his name on my chest every day.  I can't think of anything better to do than to be his missionary in this time.  Also it is the best time of the year because everyone comes together.  Like here, a ton of people have their displays of the birth of Jesus Christ.  Maybe not everyone has the same beliefs about him but everyone recognizes how important He is.  The first and best gift of Christmas from our Heavenly Father.  He is the reason why we celebrate Christmas and I love being a missionary and being able to testify that He lives and is the Son of God and the Savior of the world.  

I hope you all have a wonderful and Merry Christmas this Thursday.  Remember to do something for someone else in this time.  I love you all.  Talk to you on Thursday.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

This week was good, we found a couple of new people that seem like they are really interested.  One lady was walking past us in the street with her aunt and her aunt comes up to us and tells us that she got baptized a month ago.  So we started talking to her niece and she was really excited and wants us to come to her house and teach her so hopefully that goes well.  We have an appointment later on in the week.  

Then this one day we were walking in the street and there were these ladies pushing a cart with a bunch of chairs and struggling so I went and asked if they needed help and they said yes so we took there cart really far for them and it was really hot.  But they have family members that are members of the church and the one lady told us that we can come back and visit her in her house.  Everytime we passed by she wasn't home but one day we found her husband at home.  And he is funny.  And he started talking to us and told us how he changed his life and how he is open to listening to us.  So that was cool.  And we play soccer every Thursday and he is going to come and play soccer with us.  So hopefully that family can progress and we can help them. 

Then one more person.  Her name is Alexandra and she is 22 and has a little baby.  She has a fecha in January to be baptized and so she came to church this week and she said that she really liked it a lot.  She was going to leave after sacrament and go home because she said that her baby has to eat because she has a schedule so she was leaving and we were kind of like noooo because to count as an asistencia you have to stay all three hours.  So I kind of looked at the relief society president and she ran over and was like I can take care of your baby!!  And bam that was that and she stayed at church and said that she really liked it a lot.  It was awesome.  And the ward is going to the temple on Tuesday and she might come with us so that would be super awesome.  

Perú has Christmas trees in their house.  Some of the people at least.  But everyone has a little display of the manger and the birth of Jesus.  Well at least all the people we visit.  But all the little cribs in the manger are empty right now.  No baby.  On Christmas eve when it turns Christmas, they all put the baby in the manger because "that is when he was born."  So that is pretty cool.  

On Christmas here I guess Santa doesn't know when you are awake.  Everyone here stays up and parties and at midnight they drink hot chocolate and eat food and everything.  I think they eat turkey for Christmas so hey, I might get my Thanksgiving turkey.  

Haha, that is my report for this week.  We have our christmas party this week with the mission.  Well, half of the mission.  We have too many people to have everyone there at one time so there are two days.  But Elder Bean and I have it the same day so we get to ball together.  I am going to dunk on somebody.  

Love you all, choose the right.

Love, Elder Baker

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wow, I have no time so i will try to write super fast.  I got changed and I am in la zona la libertad.  My sector is Bella Vista 2 and I am in the city of Callao.  It is like the nicest part of Callao though so don't worry mom.  My companion is Elder Fuentes and he is from Ecuador.  I am older than him by a couple months but he has 9 months in the mission.  He is a hard worker so it is good.  His last companion is going home soon so he was kind of trunky which means that you miss home and want to go home so we don't have a ton of new people to teach so we are doing a lot of finding right now.  But really, I love this sector.  The members here are really cool.  

There is one lady that is awesome.  She is probably about in the fifties.  Her husband doesn't like the missionaries very much.  But she loves them.  They live above her and they live super close to us because the other missionaries in our district live in our sector so we are always over there and she always gives us food.  And anyway the other night her husband was home but we didn't have any food because it was fast Sunday and she knew we didn't have any so she called us and told us to come over and she snuck food out to us.  She is awesome and she cooks really good.  She told me I was going to get fatter in this sector so I hope she is a liar too haha.  

We had a cool experience this week.  We were teaching a less active lady who is reactivating and her husband who is less active comes in the room.  We were teaching lesson 1 and at the end I was talking about the Book of Mormon and I just went off.  Like stuff I had never thought of and when I finished I looked over and the wife was crying and the husband was like wow.  He said, I haven't been taught in a long time.  Always it is just little things like oh hey, read your scriptures, we will visit you soon but wow, this is incredible.  I know this church is true and he is going to start coming back to church and it was so awesome.  The spirit was so strong.  It is crazy, in lessons it feels like your chest is going to explode- it is wonderful.  But sometimes I worry that it actually will burst haha.  

Congratulations Blake!!  Wow, that is crazy, I don't know my sister in law but hey, welcome to the family!!  Tell her to come on Christmas so I can skype and meet her.  

I don't have any time left really but next week I will have a lot more details and everything.  Oh, the room is a lot smaller.  And the bathroom is tiny I can barely fit in it but hey, we have a hot shower.  But the first day I was showering and I finished and all this burning hot water shot out and SMOKE.  The heater thing burned and so we didn't have hot water the next day.  But we called the guy and he fixed it and we have hot water now, so I can enjoy a shower now!  It is awesome.  

I said bye to Elder Apaza this last change meeting and it was actually really sad.  He was awesome and taught me so many good things.  He goes home in January.  

I love you all.  Have a great week.  

Friday, December 5, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

This week was good.  But I am afraid, it was my last in Bello Horizonte.  We have cambios tomorrow and I basically already know I am getting changed.  To Callao I think.  It is always good to have changes because it is where the Lord wants us to be but it is sad because you grow to love the people in your area.  

Thanksgiving was awesome!  I didn't even remember it was Thanksgiving until partway through the day and I was like oh wow.  it is Thanksgiving.  Because literally nothing happened here for it.  People would ask me why we have it and I am just like, the indians and the pilgrims and ya.  And then they are like and what do you do for it?  And then I just say, we eat... A LOT.  Haha it is funny.  

___ didn't get baptized.  All of our appointments with him fell through this week.  He wants to get baptized and all but we don't really know what happened.  We are going to meet with him today to see what's up.  Hopefully all is well.  

But, two cool things this week.  We found this kid and he accepted everything.  And then we found his family after and they are all super cool!  Seriously I am sad that I have to go because from the first moment they were so friendly and wanted us to come and wanted to eat lunch with us and everything haha.  It is super cool and they are an awesome family.  Another experience that we had was we were at a house where they are all recent converts.  Everyone except for the dad.  I have heard that the dad is kind of hard hearted and mean.  We went in and he was sitting there and I was kind of just like uh oh.  This should be interesting.  But we started teaching and you could literally see him changing right in front of you.  He just started thinking and nodding his head and everything.  And I asked him what was stopping him from being united with his family in the church and he was just like I know it will happen soon.  One day my inside will just tell me that I have to do it.  I know that I am going to and I know that i am going to do it sooner than I thought.  And wow, the spirit was super strong that whole entire time.  It is literally like someone lights a fire inside of your chest.  It is awesome. 

And speaking of fire.  It is sad, this house got burned.  They are less actives I think.  It is not in my sector but it is in the ward.  We went over to help and it is one small room and everything burned and now they don't have anything.  The houses are all bricks and cement so the house didn't burn just everything inside of it.  We asked for help from the ward members but we didn't really receive any.  so hopefully the family is all right.   Anyways that is about it for this week.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hello wonderful Family.  They do not have a Thanksgiving here in Perú but we are going to Chili's for p day today to celebrate Thanksgiving so that is fun.  I don't really have anything to say in email today!!  Well I have a story to tell but I can't tell mom.  Haha don't worry mom.   

Saturday we went to the temple again!  It was with the whole ward well those who wanted to or could go.  We all piled and packed into one tiny, tiny bus.  It was cool but when we got there the temple was full.  And only one hermana from our ward I think got to go in.  It makes me appreciate having a million temples around our house in Utah a little bit more.  But ya, we got there and everyone was just on the temple grounds and eating and looking at the temple and taking pictures.  It was cool because even though we didn't get to go in the temple you could still feel the spirit on the temple grounds.  I love going to the temple but I heard they are closing the Lima temple for two years.  I don't know if it is just a rumor or what so if you could all research that I would love it. 

We have another baptism this week on Saturday if all goes well.  His name is ____ and he is still progressing just wonderful.  And we have two more people con fecha (with a date).  One for 20 of December and one for 4 of April.  Haha this guy wants to read practically all of the Book of Mormon before he is baptized.  I challenged him to baptism for 20 of December two weeks ago.  Then the last lesson this week I did it again and he said no I told you last time in April I will be baptized.  So I pulled out the calendar on our phone and said ok, will you be baptized April 4 then?  And he accepted.  So woo April 4. 

Oh I got robbed.  But he only took my pen.  And he took stuff from my companion.  And he didn't do anything.  If you would like details on the whole story you can talk to Blake because he has it.  But I am ok so don't worry.  If I am not allowed to tell you this stuff let me know hahahaha.  

I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving week!  Eat some turkey and some rolls for me.  I love you all.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

This was the hardest week of the mission.  We just didn't have that much success and citas fell.  First off, I had to talk in sacrament. I love talking.  Seriously I would not mind if they called on me every week to give a talk.  Bring it on.  But anyway it was on missionary work because what else do missionaries speak on.  And for it I just threw down a couple of bullet points that I wanted to talk about and went up there and BAM.  I talked.   For about 15 minutes.  I didn't even do the bullet points thing in English.  What in the world.  But it was cool.  I shared a couple of scriptures.  In Alma 4 and in Doctrine and Covenants and at the end I told the story of the dirty little Irish boy.  I feel like you could put that into any talk.  But the cooler thing is that I can tell the story in spanish.  Spanish is seriously so cool. 

Second of all.  Onnnn Friday I think it was.  EARTHQUAKE.  Earthquakes are cool.  I had felt little ones here but this one was big I heard.  I heard it was 7 on the richter scale or however you say it.  We were at the church and I was sitting outside in a chair.  We were talking and bam my seat just started rocking, it felt cool.  But the cooler story.  We were there because we had to take the keys to the church there because other missionaries in our district had an interview for baptism and so he was in his interview and told our district leader that he hadn't received an answer yet on whether or not the church is true or not but he has faith and he feels it so he wanted to be baptized.  Our district leader told him I know you will receive an answer.  you are going to receive an answer today and BAM the earthquake started.  And... He took that for his answer.  It is so cool.  that was his answer.  God sent an earthquake and received his answer.  It was awesome to hear.  

I am jealous of the pork tacos.  Literally me and the Elders in my district talk about Pork burritos from cafe rio almost every day haha.  The investigator that we have at the end of November is named ____.  He is about 20 years old and he is the one that asked us what he had to do to be Mormon.  So he pretty much accepts everything and all that.  We just need him to start fulfilling all his commitments.  He is awesome and the other week when we had the special musical number in sacrament he sang with us.  He wants to do everything and participate in everything.  So we just have to prepare him and teach him.  He is really cool.  

Another cool thing...  Quechua.  It is the language of the Incans.  Yesterday we were at this guys house for lunch because it was his birthday.  And it is the guy that loves me - that called me one direction and now he just calls me his twin.  His is in his thirties but ya, he loves me and his whole family especially his mom.  His mom was just talking about how fast I learned Spanish and how good I talk with the other missionaries.  So that made me feel good but then after that she was like ya, you are going to learn Quechua because she speaks it.  So that is cool.  I am going to learn Quechua.  They have Quechua Books of Mormon at the temple so I am going to buy one.  Anyway, I know how to sing happy birthday in Quechua so that is a good start. 

I hope you all have a great week.  I love you all!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Ok, first thing first. I sang a solo in sacrament meeting.  It was a solo of one line but still I was singing alone in ward conference.  For ward conference we had to do a special musical number the missionaries and we sang Joseph Smith's First Prayer to the tune of Come Thou Fount and we sang Come Thou Fount and it was awesome.  And I had to start us out by singing alone but it was cool.  Definitely different because I always just mess around when I sing.  But hey, Elder Baker, your next American Peruvian idol.  

Second, Jair got baptized!!  And second to second, Elder Apaza baptized him!!  It was awesome because people can only come back for baptisms if they are going to baptize the person!  so Jair chose Elder Apaza so he got to come back and I got to see him and it was great.  Jair's baptism was awesome.  What was even cooler is that after his interview, our district leader told me that he is super prepared and so that was good to hear.  It makes you so happy when you can help other people come closer to God.  

Third, on the way to church this week we were going to this ladies house to help her come to church because she can't walk and is really old.  Oh first, the night before we were at the church and the Bishop and other people were like hey she lives in your sector so you need to pass for her.  And I was like ya ok, wait, can she walk and they were all like, no.  So I was like does she have a wheelchair?  And they were all like no.  so I was like uh oh, but we just went and got a taxi to her house and got her in the car and drove to the church.  But when we were getting the taxi this lady starting yelling at me in the street about juice.  I am not kidding.  I don't know her but she came up to me and started yelling telling me how I need to drink my juice.  She was saying we can't because we don't have the money.  But you have the money so you have to drink your juice.  So I told her I will drink my juice and she left but I have to say, that was really strange.  

This week was kind of crazy.  On Monday Elder Vance got changed to a different sector.  But his companion was alone so he came with me and Elder Hernández and we were a trio.  And he is in his training so I was a trainer for those days so that was cool.   He was with us Tuesday and Wednesday then Thursday we got a call and another missionary had to go to the hospital so Elder Durfey was going to go with that missionary's companion.  It was crazy so we had to take him over there and we were all running back and forth.  Elder Durfey is from American Fork.  So I had an American companion finally even if it was only for two days. 

On Wednesday we got to go to the temple again.  It is so nice being able to go!!  So peaceful in crazy, busy, Lima.  Also, I am thinking of buying one of those Llama ties for every month in the mission but let me know what you think about that mom.  haha  

Other than that nothing super exciting happened this week.  We have another investigator that is progressing and his baptism is for the 29 of November.  He wants to be baptized and everything so, so far so good.  

That is really all that I have from this week.  Oh, and it is starting to get super hot here.  Like in the afternoon it is death.  But that is ok, I am going to get a good tan and then maybe I really will look latino.  Maybe then people will stop shouting "gringo gringo" every time we pass them in the streets haha.  

I love you family and hope all is going well.  Remember to read your scriptures and say your prayers.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

Well I will just start out this email by telling you about Italo´s baptismal interview.  So our district leader did the interview and he is awesome - he was just an AP.  Anyway, after about an hour or so, he calls me over and is whispering to me, hey we put a goal for 11 de January and my heart dropped a little bit but I was like ya, ok esta bien.  Then he tells me to congratulate him anyways and I was like oh, ya.  So I walk in and I am like ITALOOO and hug him and he is like 11 de January and I was like ya, it is going to come fast.  It will come really fast.  Then we are talking a little bit more and Elder Castro, our district leader, comes up to me and with the baptismal umm record?  Registro bautismal and he says you just need to put your name here and the date because you are going to baptize him this Saturday!  So I was like whatttt???  And I go and hug Italo and then I almost beat up our district leader because that was a mean joke.  Ok, I didn't really almost beat him up but ya.  It was all a joke, he passed and it was all good!!!  

So Saturday came and we are at the church, my companion and I to fill up the font and clean.  There was a fiesta the night before in the church and they didn't clean so that was rough.  And I had to plan the program and it was stressful and everything.  And the font takes forever to fill up, like 4 hours and still, freezing cold water.  But hey, it all worked out and everything.  But Italo shows up and I asked where his mom was and he told me in the house and I was like is she going to come and he said no.  And so I just started freaking out because his mom is so nice and I thought this would just break her heart.  And she can't come by herself because she is in the wheelchair.  Anyways, I see a mototaxi pull up in front of the church and it was her with her other son and she came and it all worked out and he got baptized and confirmed yesterday and it was just awesome!  

We also have a baptism scheduled for this Saturday so if that all goes well, then this Saturday we will have one too!!  So we are hoping for that.  

We get to go to the temple again this week on Wednesday!  I love going to the temple here.  This week, also I got to go to a wedding with my companion because his old investigators were getting married and so we went to that.  They are going to be baptized in a couple weeks and then hopefully they will work for a temple sealing.  I am grateful for the temple and the priesthood so that we can live with our families forever.  

Another fun thing this week, we had intercambios and I was with Elder Irving.  He has 2 weeks in Perú so he is brand new and is from Alpine.  So we got to go around for a day together.  That was fun because he doesn't speak Spanish but he isn't scared to talk to anybody.  So it was fun.  I can pretty much say everything I want to in Spanish now so it was not hard or scary, just fun.  

That is about it for this week.  Oh, I feel bad but we were in a little CHIFA restauraunt with all the missionaries for lunch one day and I looked up and saw that LeBron went off and Blake Griffin went off.  I felt bad afterwards and had to look away from the screen but ya, oh well hahaha GO HEAT!  

I love you all family!!!  Be safe have fun and work hard in everything.  Remember to say your prayers and read your scriptures.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hola from Bello Horizonte!!!  This week, I got a new companion.  His name is Elder Hernández and he is from El Salvador and has 20 months in the mission.  It is really strange getting a new companion.  I miss Elder Apaza a lot but it is ok because it is already normal between Elder Hernandez and I.  Once again, my companion doesn't speak English.  He speaks hardly any but I love it, and he isn't studying English, doesn't want to, so we can just speak Spanish the whole time.  It is great.  But with him not speaking English, he told me that he doesn't really like to talk, like he isn't good with his words.  AND since I am leading out the area I know all the people and the area and yeah.  So this past week, I have done so much more talking.  I have to start everything, end everything and I LOVE IT!!!  It is so fun and my Spanish, no joke, was pretty good before but it is taking off now and it's great.  Seriously the gift of tongues is real.  

We didn't have our baptism this week, hopefully we have it this Saturday.  We are hoping and praying but we will see.  ONCE CRAZY EXPERIENCE.  So we were teaching ____ last night and we were having him stand up and do this demonstration.  He was holding books out in front of him and we were seeing how long he could do it.  When he was doing that.... FLASHBACK...  Literally it is like this flashback punched me in the face.  I had a dream YEEEEAAAARRRSSS ago.  I was sitting in a room and there was someone in front of me.  They were holding books and the room in the background had these windows and a television and a sofa.  When ____ was holding the books, even though I didn't remember the dream before, I literally got smacked in the face like holy cow.  This is the same room, that is the same table and tv.  That is the same stack of books.  His shirt was the same and now I know it was the same person.  In this moment I could remember my dream so clearly.  It was crazy.  It was such a testimony builder.  I know that missionaries are called to be in specific places at specific times for specific people.  I know without a doubt in my mind that there are people here that have been prepared to listen to the message that I have to deliver.  This experience was so cool and such a testimony builder.  Always, we can have people around us that need to hear the gospel and we are the people that can give it to them.  

Spanish is better than English.  Well, in some ways,  Trying to teach English, wow, English is hard.  We have so many strange rules.  Spanish has irregular stuff and all but everything is clicking.  I can pretty much say everything that I want to now in Spanish.  I just have to get more words in my head now.  Spanish is so cool!!  

Other than that, this week was normal.  Just more work and all but it is so great.  It is making me a better missionary.  I hope that all is well at home.  I hope that you are all having fun and have a good Halloween for me.  I don't know if Perú celebrates it.  From what I have heard, no, but whatever.  It is chill.  THANK YOU FOR THE CANDY!!!  Especially the double stuffed oreos, they don't have them here.  and I forgot what they tasted like.  You are the best. 

And wow, throw this in the email too.  I ate raw chicken.  And I remember in foods class that the effects from a food sickness can be anywhere from 30 minutes to thirty days.  I took a bite and was like wow, this is not cooked at all.  Found a part that was cooked bit into it and realized it was just the top part.  It was literally raw chicken.  I hid the rest under a napkin and didn't eat it.  

I love you family! Remember to say your prayers and read your scriptures!!  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

No baptisms this week.   ____ was not ready and so we had to push his date back.  It is scheduled for this Saturday but we are going to see if he is ready by that time.  So, we could have one this week but we might not, so we will just have to wait and see.  Ok, this story is crazy, we have a kid who is a less active.  20 years old and we have taught him a couple times.  We saw him and we were talking and his compañero de trabajo (co-worker) died.  He fell from the roof of the work and died.  We were talking to him because he never comes to church and we were like you need to come to church.  Then he was like ya, ya, I know but what do I have to do to be a member of your church?  My companion and I just looked at each other in shock!  He has been in our area book as a less active for quite some time and the first time he met with my companion before I got here he said he was a member.  But this time he said he was a member of the church Evangelica and was baptized in that church, not our church.  So, needless to say, he has a baptismal date for 29 de Noviembre.  

This past week we had an interesting experience.  This guy was using the phone outside the house of these recent converts that are 14 and 12.  We were teaching them in the doorway and this guy finishes his call and steps through us and says permiso and so all is well.  But, five steps more and he turns around and starts screaming at us.  He was saying how we don't use the Bible and we only use the Book of Mormon so our church isn't true.  And how only the Bible is the word of God and that we don't need more.  And he just kept on going and going and so we walked over to him and asked if we could talk because we didn't want him to yell at the conversos recientes and we walked to him but he started to walk away but then he turned around and kept yelling.  Walked to us and was yelling and he raised his hand and in my mind I was like oh it's about to go down.  Luckily he put it down and kept yelling and then walked away.  BUT, THE CRAZY THING IS, before he started yelling, we were reading with them in the Book of Mormon about how people will be mad and say that we don't need another Book because only the Bible is the word of God.  It is crazy because all of that mans anger was just a testimony to that scripture.   It just strengthens my testimony of the Book of Mormon.  

No more sickness this week, so that is good.  I don't really have that much to report this week.  Except for it is getting hotter and I love it because finally the sun can shine and I can get a nice tan line on my arms.  Hey, how are the Heat doing?  Send me some updates of the NBA.  That would be great.  Thank you.   And I will throw this in, we were teaching a lesson a couple weeks ago and through the wall a song just started blasting and I was like hey, I know that song!  Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi.  I started thinking of Dad and the song just made me start laughing.  Not going to lie, it was very difficult to hold in my laughter but it was hilarious.  

We have cambios (transfers) tomorrow and we are pretty positive that my companion is leaving.  We will find out in a couple hours but it is pretty much for sure.  So that means that most likely I will be leading out this area.  Crazy.  Hopefully I don't have to train a gringo haha.  That would be hard.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hola Familia!!  Conference was amazing!!  I got to watch all the sessions in English except for one because I sat with our investigator to answer any questions but that is ok.  The talks were so good and seriously you feel like some of them just punch you in the face but it is a good punch in the face.  It feels good when the Spirit smacks you.  Haha but really, conference was incredible and there was such a good spirit.

This past week I am glad to report that I was better from the sickness.  Then I got sick again hahaha.  This time it was worse though, but it was from the afternoon and I didn't really sleep that night but it is all good.  They think I ate something bad and had a stomach infection so they gave me these pills that I had to take for a couple days then I was all better.  And I am good now, no problems and I am not going to get sick again.  All is well.  More good news, I revived my camera.  Mas o menos.  I try to turn it off and it shuts halfway then if I press the button again it starts having a spaz attack and making a machine gun noise so I just have to shut if with my fingers and push the lens in so there is that.  but it takes pictures and all so I think we are good!  

One experience from last night was crazy.  We were about to be back in our room and BAM.  We get a phone call from these Elders in our district.  They were in our area searching for a guy.  This is an old guy in our ward and he has alzheimers.  He will walk around and forget where he lives.  He went to go to church in the morning and it was at the stake center so even farther away and he left at 6 in the morning and his wife called us at 8 at night!  So we are running around everywhere trying to find this guy and he could be anywhere and some parts are a little sketchy but oh well, nothing happened.  We searched for about an hour and couldn't find him.  So hopefully he gets found soon or has some ID on him so he can get returned to his home.  

This past week was good.  Nothing really exciting happened that is like WOW.  Ok I lied because the missionary work is incredible so everything is wow.  But from this past week the highlights are that _____ is still progressing and his baptism is this Saturday!  Out of the Elders in my district, we have 5 baptisms scheduled for this Saturday!  It will be an awesome day of seeing people be baptized.  Baptism is the door for all the other things we are going to do in our life.  It starts everything and we receive a gift afterwards that will guide us in everything!  For our whole life if we are worthy of it.  Also we have another baptismal date for the 25th with ____.  He is 15 and came with us to both sessions of conference yesterday!  Hopefully he continues to progress and feel the spirit in his life.  So ya, we have two baptismal dates and we received a lot of names this past week from the mission of menos activos that we have to go find.  Normally each area receives 20 names but... We received 83 and we have to contact them all by the end of October.  Luckily the names are divided between the Elders in our district so we have 33 that we need to find.  That will be quite the task.  We have changes on the 21st I believe and I pretty much know for a fact that Elder Apaza is leaving which is a big bummer.  I am going to have to lead out the area which will be a good experience but I just hope I am not training a gringo because todavía I don't speak Spanish!  But whatever happens all is well because it is the will of the Lord and everyone is called to a specific place at a specific time for a specific reason!  

Love you family, keep saying your prayers and reading your scriptures!  Love you all!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Ok wow, this week I am really a marathoner.  We have no time at all.  We went to the beach again today and went on the longest bike ride of my life.  With lots of hills and all that stuff.  I was tired, I thought I was in pretty good shape and all but.... Nope, guess not.  Oh well.  And bad news, no pictures, my camera broke.  I was giving it to someone to take a picture of me and it dropped in the exchange, I will take the blame for it, I tried to revive it, everything, but... it has moved on to the Spirit world.  

Good news, we got to work like normal on the Saturday and Sunday, we didn't have to stay in our rooms.  But, a lot of the people were gone voting all day.  The people don't just go to the closest place to vote, they have specific places where they have to go to vote so some people were gone all day long so that was a bummer.  I am glad the elections are over.  I was getting sick of all the signs and everything everywhere.   But, whatever.  I don't need to worry about that stuff because I am a missionary!!!!  And how awesome is that!!!  

This part will freak you out mom.  Well not freak you out but you won't like it.  Wednesday night I went to bed and my stomach hurt a little so I was like ehhh whatever.  At 230 in the morning I woke up with incredible pain.  Then I went back to bed and for 3 and a half hours I was in my bed rolling around in pain.  I don't know what it was.  And I threw up one time and ya, no fun.   My companion called the secretary the next day and I had to drink 1 liter of this nasty medicine stuff in one day, and it was so gross.  It was tough to get down.  But the next day I was better.  

On P-days we wake up and have study like normal in the morning until 10.  Normally we have activities planned as a zone.  Like the bikes today, last week we went to a park with fountains and the week before we went to a zoo, so we do fun stuff.  Ya,  I know, I am behind on pictures.  Anyways, that is why I need a new camera so I can send them.  So we have activities until 6.  At 6, we go back to work until dinner time then it is back to the room.  So from 10 in the morning until 6 at night we have p day.  Oh, and a lady in the ward does our laundry.  We pay her 35 soles a month and she does it.  The only thing is, we always run low on clothes because it is humid here, so things take forever to dry and it is not hot yet.  But ya, that is our clothes.

I am so bummed that I missed conference.  The rule was that if we had an investigator we could watch it at a members house.  Anyway, a family called us and said oh, we have an investigator for you!  It was their dad so we were like oh, ok sweet!  So we go to their house and start watching conference on Sunday morning.  We are watching and we saw the first two talks and then he left.  I think to go vote.  So, ya, we had to leave.  So that was a bummer.    But that is cool that people can give a talk in their own language.  What do they do for the people in the conference center??  We get to watch conference this weekend and I get to watch it in English!!  That will be sweet!  

This past week, nothing extremely special happened.  We had intercambios with the zone leaders because Elder Apaza is the district leader and so that was interesting.  I went to the zone of the zone leaders and we worked and we seriously knocked on so many doors that day and literally not one person answered.  They have a pensionista and that fell through and the consejo de barrio fell through - don't remember how to say that in English but ya.  So everything fell through that day.  But it was a good day.  There was a guy with us doing visits and he got back from his mission the week before so people would yell hi elderes and he would wave then go, ahhh I am not a missionary anymore, it was funny.

One thing, everyone who reads this, family, friends, EVERYONE.  Get a testimony of El Libro de Mormón!!  And if you have one, strengthen it!  it is everything.  Our whole religion, if it is true, our religion is true.  Joseph Smith restored the church, Thomas S. Monson is a prophet hoy en día that receives revelation for everyone and guides us.  It is crucial.  Get a testimony of the Book of Mormon and don't let go of it.  

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Today marks exactly two months in Perú!  Time is flying by and also we are halfway through this change already.  It is crazy.  Ok, so _____came to church yesterday and has his baptism date set for Oct 18.  He is progressing so good.  He is 21, has a younger brother who is 14-ish and a sister that is 26 or so.  His mom just had her 50th birthday and we ate lunch at her house for her birthday with the other missionaries in our district. At church she asked us when her sons  baptismal date was  and we told her and she just got the biggest smile and started inviting everyone who walked past to her sons baptism.  And then she was talking to us and she started crying and told us how we are angels in her life.  Seriously I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to bring this joy to people`s lives.  It is such a blessing and learning experience and I receive so much joy from it.  Then afterwards, oh I forgot to mention that she is in a wheelchair.  So after church she wanted to do her visiting teaching.  And nobody has cars here.  And nobody could take her to do it.  So we took her to the houses that she needed to go to.  At one house we stayed and taught a lesson to the lady she was visiting.  But seriously, she is such an example to me of being Christlike.  She can't travel to do her visiting teaching by herself.  But still, she does it and loves the people.  We all need to be willing to serve like she is.  

Lessons this past week...  we had two days when we had 9 lessons scheduled and another with 7.  All with a thirty minute time slot for each.  One thing about Perú is that everything starts late.  But also, people bail on us a lot.  One of the days that we had 9, literally every single one of them fell through.  It was rough.  But that is what it is like a lot here.  We go to our appointment and all the people are busy.  So ya, our teaching time each day is 11 to 12.  Then 2 until 8.  Then dinner.  So in this time we are just out trying to teach.  Yes we can knock on doors.  A lot of times that is what we have to do.  Also, one thing that we end up doing a lot is when the person is not home in a house - there are a lot of rooms in these casas and so a lot of people aren`t family but live in the same house - it is hard to explain.  They will tell us oh, ya, they aren't here so then we will ask if we can leave something with them.  They will come down and we actually get a bunch of investigators like this.  

English this week was hilarious.  Not going to lie, there were a couple of times that I thought I was going to die because I would be trampled.  We were in the street one day and we saw this one girl that is like 12 and the sister of this kid that goes on visits with us so we say hi then before I know it, I am literally surrounded by, I kid you not, 15 screaming children.  "Cómo se dice en Ingles?"  Over and over and over and over again.  My companion was literally just laughing and it was funny but terrifying at the same time.  

I am so blessed to be able to spread the gospel and to see the joy that it brings into the lives of everyone.  It is truly incredible.  Never shy away from inviting people to hear about the gospel.  Everyone needs it.  This is the only way we can live with our families forever.  Help out the missionaries in the ward and stake, and encourage the people in the ward to do so also.  We are having problems with that in our ward right now.  It is tough but we are working through it.  I don`t get to watch general conference this week because of the elections in Perú so enjoy that!  I love you all so much.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

This past week was good but rough.  The week was all good, really good, and then we went to church.  We had families and all these people commit to come to church and they were excited.  Then we went to walk with them to church on Sunday morning and they either said they were sleeping and not this week or that they just didn't want to go.  That was discouraging.  Our investigator who came the previous two Sundays  didn't come to church either.  They had a birthday party for his mom the night before.  And Peruvian parties are nuts.  They literally last all night long.  And when I say all night long I mean all night long.  Like I woke up at 530 in the morning and heard the music from parties still blasting.  I don't understand how they go that long.  Go to bed people!  Anyway, so the party for his mom went all night long and we called him and went to pick him up but he was sleeping and didn't come.  So that was a bummer but he is still going good.  Progressing and keeping commitments so all is well with him.  The other girl, we aren't sure what is going on.  She told us that the Book of Mormon is true.  But this week we didn't have much contact with her.  Anytime we went to her house she was "not home", and we think her phone might have gotten taken away because she never answers it anymore.  Someone else does so hopefully we get things worked out this week.  

Other than that nothing else has really happened this past week.  Still progressing at the same pace with the Spanish.  I am starting to understand mostly everything.   One thing, I bought a basketball!  We are going to play today for p-day.   I will teach everyone how to play and they will like it.  And mom, you will be happy to hear this.  Anytime I show people the pictures of our family they say oh, muy joven su mamá.  This means that you look very young.  People are guessing in the low thirties for your age.  I think that is right isn't it?  :)  And dad, your compliment from people is, one guy said that you look very strong.  So hey, now I know where I get the muscles and the good looks haha.  I love you two.  

Yesterday we were waiting outside a house for a lesson and I hear GRINGO!!!  I look over and it was a little kid and then there were like ten more kids that ran around the corner to see the gringo.  If they came over I was going to say I am from Argentina.  Elder Apaza taught me the Argentina accent.  It is show soy Argentino.  yo soy Argentino but with show.   The writing doesn't do it justice.  Anyway that was funny.  I am gringo and proud of it.  I can't remember if I said this last week but a bunch of people think I am of Latin descent.  I have gotten told I look Argentinan or Venezuelan.  So hey, once I get good at Spanish maybe I can pull it off.  My companion tells everyone that I am from Cajamarca.  It is a place in Perú and apparently the people there are Peruvian but have lighter skin.  Everyone laughs so I don't know.  

I love you all.  Everything is going good in Perú.  I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Monday, September 16, 2014

This past week there were definitely a lot of ups and downs.  If there is one thing that I have learned is that the mission is not easy.  There are soooo many more downs than there are ups.  BUT, it is the ups that make everything worth it.  Seriously if one investigator keeps a committment or comes to church, we are seriously so happy.  It is incredible how much joy we can have from one righteous act.  The church is so true.  Anyway, the kid who I told you about last week is progressing so good.  His baptismal date is the 27th.  Here, they have to come to church three times before they can be baptized.  He has been twice and last night he basically asked us why he has to wait so long before he can be baptized.  He is awesome and is progressing so well and it is so cool to see him grow.  The other girl told us that the Book of Mormon is true.  But, one thing is that every time we go to her house she has a new scripture from the Bible from her family to show us so we are working through that.  She hasn't been able to come to church the past two weeks because she has had stuff but she told us all other Sundays she should be good to go. 

This past week we had to go to migrations to get our visas.  The first morning, Thursday we had a members friend take us in a taxi and it was 15 soles.  Fine.  Then we got there and when we were waiting in line, members of my district from the CCM were talking to this guy and struggling bad.  So I went over and helped and the guy told me, thank you, you can understand me, they don't understand.  It was funny but it made me feel good with my Spanish.  My Spanish is definitely a lot better, I have made a big jump this past week.  The gift of tongues is real.  It is definitely a gift of the Spirit and it is cool because we can all have gifts of the spirit.  We need to pray and ask our Father in Heaven.  He wants to bless us and all we need to do is ask.  In the Bible and Book of Mormon it says multiple times something like if your father knows how to give you gifts than how much more does your Father in Heaven know how to give you good gifts!  Anyway, back to migrations.  We talk to that guy and he lives in the north mission.  Bummer.  But I passed along the reference.  Hopefully Koji can teach him or something.  Afterward, me and another gringo, Elder Sok, who has bleach blonde hair, were trying to find a taxi.  The people were saying 40, 45, and 50 soles because we are gringo.  We finally got one for 28 so we took it because we didn't know how many other options we had.  Anyway, in the morning our companions came with us this time to find a taxi.  They literally made us hide around the corner until they found the taxi because if the driver saw me and Elder Sok they would charge more, so we hid, they got the taxi, and then we came and got in.  It was funny.

This weekend we had stake conference.  It was good, good experience.  Good spirit there, but it was really hot in the meeting and we were tired so we had to be sure not to fall asleep so we could be examples haha.  Also, it was my companions birthday that day so a couple days before I bought some stuff for my companion without him knowing and when he was in the shower Sunday morning I put it on his bed and bam Happy Birthday!!  Anyways, the week of general conference, we do not get to watch it.  We get it a week late.  That weekend in Perú there are elections.  Basically nothing is allowed because they want people to vote.  So the Saturday we have to stay in our room all day pretty much and just study.  It will be so boring but good to have that much time to study.  I feel like I never have enough time to study.  So that is a bummer that we get conference a week after the real thing, but oh well.  Better late than never I guess. 

That is all I have for this week!!  I love you family.  I don't have a lot of time to write everyone else.  But Mom, Dad, Blake, Kristina, I love you so much!!!!  And all other family too.  Keep working hard in everything you do and rely on the Lord.  Remember to say your prayers and read your scriptures.  I love you.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

First off, I have gained twenty pounds.  Wow, I do not have time to write today!!  I am going to type super duper fast or try to at least.  Ok, so this past week was good but rough.  We dropped another baptismal date because the people here do not want to come to church.  But one cool experience.  We were contacting a house because right before I came to Perú my companion said that there was a funeral in this house.  So a 19 or 20 year old girl answers the door and we talk to her and give her a Book of Mormon and invite her to read a chapter and all that. She says she will and then she tells us that her family is Jehovah's Witnesses. We go back the next day and ask if she has questions and she had a lot about what we believe and there was a lot that she thought we believed that was not right so we told her everything and then she said she would read that night.  We go back the next day and she read the chapter, the introduction and started reading from the beginning and she was marking passages and holy cow, incredible.  Anyway, she accepted baptism for the 11 of October and to come to church and everything.  But on Sunday she couldn't come because she had to do some thing at the university.  Anyway, but I have faith that all will go well with her.

The temple was incredible.  We had a zone meeting in the morning and then we went to the temple.  It was an hour bus ride, then we were walking for 15 minutes then BAM there it was!  Beautiful.  We ate in the cafeteria and I was hoping we wouldn't have to pay, ya know, missionaries, but we did but oh well.  Then we went to the temple and me and another new kid asked for translators and they brought them but then I decided I didn't want it so I just set it on the ground and did it in Spanish.  I understood basically all of it.  And knowing the things in English helped a bit.  Anyway, so it was beautiful and so peaceful and nice to be in a calm environment outside of busy, busy Lima.  After the temple we were in a taxi on the way back and we were driving and Elder Sok, the other gringo, and I were talking and talking and we were in a wealthy part.  And at the same time, we both stop talking and go, AHHH CHILI'S!  Same time, same reaction, I want Chili's, it sounds really good. It was funny.  

Oh we have another investigator and he is awesome.  He had met with the missionaries once before I got here.  We eat lunch at his house a lot because his mom is a member and his younger brother.  He always tries to talk English with me so it is fun.  But anyway, the first lesson with him, he just said he wants to do all the things we ask.  He is reading, praying and wants to be baptized but doesn't feel like he is ready.  And this is incredible because Elder Apaza told me that before I got here, the previous lesson, it was not like that.  He came to church yesterday and so it is just awesome.  And we went and took pictures on the roof of his house and you can see so much of Lima.  It was cool, but scary because none of the buildings are finished so there are no barriers or anything on the edge of the roofs and is a straight drop to the ground so that was scary but it was cool.

I am glad that you are all doing good.  It is weird that Kristina is going to dances.  And BYU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I am so happy that they are dominating and I don't know if I sent my prediction last week to you all or just Blake or dad, but Taysom Hill is going to win the Heisman in this year or next year.  I am just sad I won't be able to see it.    

I was kidding about the twenty pounds thing at the beginning.  Love you all. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014

This past week we had an experience that was awesome but sad also.  We were supposed to have a meeting with the entire mission with Elder Kristofferson.  He was in Perú but he had to go back to the states for other meetings.  Instead we had Elder Suarez who is one of the presidents for the quorum of the seventy and his wife, and Elder Grow who is a member of the seventy, speak to us.  They were really good talks.  The wife of Elder Suarez only speaks Portuguese so a lady translated line for line but I understood about half of the Portuguese so that was cool.  The talks were awesome.  They pumped everyone up to do the work.    And afterward, there was a gas station where they import American candy.  And they had purple Skittles!!  My favorite.  They were ridiculously overpriced but that is ok.  I bought two packs and yes, it was worth it.  Even though I only ate one.  

The other pack of skittles I gave away.  We were going to teach a guy on Sunday who we met Saturday night.  We get there and it is his kids birthday.  So he says sorry, my fault, but another time.  We ran back to our room and made a birthday card and put a pack of Skittles, some Oreos and some other stuff in the bag and took it back to them and we have a lesson with them later this week.  The are extremely friendly and I am really excited to teach them.  

It is weird that people are starting school.  I can't believe it.  that went by fast.  It is weird that I would be starting school right now too.    Everyone here that we talk to wants to learn English so that is a good way to teach them.  We invite them to the classes that we have on Thursday nights.  The classes are funny because I get to see how I am with Spanish through their English.  Whenever people make fun of my Spanish I just say ok let's talk English haha then we say two lines of what they know then it is back to Spanish haha.  

Misc. notes:   We email from a little internet cafe!  Everyone lives in families.  Grandparents, parents, children, aunts, uncles, eveyone in the family in one house.  The ward is good.  It is developing.  It is pretty good but sometimes it is strange in somethings but oh well.  The church is the same everywhere so it is ok.  We do family history stuff in the same place we email.  We have to do it once a week.  Yes, everything is a cappella.  It is rough but oh well, the people love to sing so we will just keep it up.  There are TONS of little kids running around the church.  they always just grab all your stuff, dig through my back pack for pamphlets or tarjetas.  And they are funny.  But crazy.  The guy who calls me one direction wanted to have a staring contest with me and he owns this company that makes t shirts and so I said if I win I get a shirt and I don't remember what he wanted if he won.  Anyways, 3... 2... 1... And I clapped right in front of his face and he blinked and I won. soo...  haha it was funny.

Everything here is going good.  I saw the sun twice this past week so that is exciting.  Keep loving each other and going to church and everything.  Love you all.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

First off, no pictures this week.  Don't have any and I don't have a lot of time to upload any.  Sounds like you all had a fun week.  I can't believe everyone is starting school.  Weird to think you all still have lives.  You don't just pause yours too??  Weird.  Haha  And this kid is reading my e-mails right behind me but I know he doesn't speak English so it is ok hahaha.  Now he called over his friends so this is weird.   They are asking me if I am a teacher of English and no.  Well, sort of, we teach classes of English to anybody who wants to come in the church.  Now I have about 6 kids around me.  This is interesting.  

Anyway...  This past week was good.  Just a lot of work and a bunch of walking around in our little area.  We had a lot of appointments fall through this past week.  But it is ok because then we have opportunities to contact people and meet new people and introduce ourselves.  This past week I had to teach a class in Sunday school for five minutes in English don't know why, then I had to say all that I said in Spanish.  It was interesting.  

We wake up at 630 and then we have personal study at 8.  Then at 9 companion study and language and others until 11.  Then we go and have appointments for an hour.  Then because of the schedule of Peruvians we go back at 12 and have another hour of study.  Then after that we have lunch at 130.  After lunch we are out in the streets until 8.  We don't eat dinner at a normal time because of the culture here.  We have an hour for dinner from 8 until 9.  Then at 9 it is back in the room, planning, carpeta de area, and other things then bed at 1030.  That is a normal day.  The oreos are oreos but they aren't the same.  And I don't think the milk comes from a cow.  I think it is a llama and another kid thinks it is from a yak so who knows.  

It is about 60-ish I think.  I don't know, the temperature units aren't the same here and I haven't seen a thermometer since I have been here.  But it is always cloudy and a little breezy.  Today was the first time I have seen the sun since Mexico.  No joke.  And it was hot.  Apparently in the summer it is really hot everyone says.  For a baptism I played the piano with one hand because we were sick of the...  I don't know how to spell it, singing without instruments.  

The people are short.  I am really tall.  Well, I feel really tall.  When I say I from the US people get really excited and shake my hand and do not let go.  But I feel like it is pretty obvious before I tell them so I don't know why I get so surprised.  We were in downtown Lima today because my companion needed new glasses and we walk around and all these people yell que lindo at me and my companion is like be careful.    Other than that, we teach a lot of people and most people are nice.  At least I think probably because I don't understand any of the bad things people say but hey I will keep it that way.  All the ward members like me.  And the whole One Direction thing ... there is a member here who his wife just got baptized and he is really funny and I love him. Anyway, it started with his like 10 year old daughter.  He was like Abril, Elder Baker is in One Direction.  Take a picture, get an autograph.  Then for everyone else he started telling them get his picture, autograph, One Direction.  So some people call me One Direction.  It is funny.  

That is all I really have for this week.  Every week I feel like I am in a race on the computer especially when our time is cut short because I have so much to write but so little time.  Anyway, I love you all.  Keep working hard.  Good luck in school, work, everything that you do.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 18, 2014

Hola familia.  This past week was good.  I am starting to understand a lot more but still have a long way to go.  Anyway, your questions. In members houses we eat rice with potatoes and a little meat or fish.  Or soups which those are hard to choke down sometimes.  Bunch of chicken bunch of rice.  In the room we eat a lot of oreos with milk.  I taught Elder Apaza how to dip the oreos in the milk with the fork.  We normally buy food at night to eat for dinner.  Or the past couple of nights I have made scrambled eggs and it was Elder Apaza´s first time eating scrambled eggs.  

We don't have a kitchen.  It's just a room and we have our beds, place to hang our clothes, a table to study at and a couple dressers.  We have a mini fridge and a microwave and a pan on top of a burner.  It's pretty cozy.  haha.  I have a bed, it is two mattresses on top of each other on top of a bed frame.  

This past week we had another baptism.  It was awesome.  And the kid (14) wanted me to do it.  So, Saturday morning, I take a step in the font and I was like ya the water isn't too bad.  Then another step.  WOW freezing.  And by freezing I mean FREEZING.  Like I am surprised that there was not ice in the water.  The kid was shaking so bad, I kind of felt bad.  But we did the baptism and after he was bearing his testimony and he said he was freezing but when he came up he felt hot, it was awesome.  Another cool experience.  This past week I said a prayer that the next day we would find a family or a family would find us that we could teach.  We were talking to this teenage girl in the street that we had contacted last week and right as we were about to leave her mom gets dropped off in a car and we talk to her and BAM she invites us back for another lesson.  God is listening to our prayers.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 11, 2014

No tengo mucho tiempo esta semana.  We just got back from the "beach".  We went and played volleyball with our zone.  And we have to go and teach at 6.  This past week was a lot more difficult.  It feels like nobody was receptive to us.  A lot of appointments we had fell through.  I get so sad everytime because this is salvation.  I want people to know that.  I know this church is true and I want everyone to feel that happiness.  

Last p day we went on a bus ride tour of Lima and went to the top of this "mountain"  and it is incredible.  Lima is HUGE.  There are 3 million people in the mission and 14 million in all of Lima.  It was truly incredible.  One cool story from this past week was we went to a house that we were referred to and the grandma answered and kept and said her daughter wasn't there and was very stubborn.  We asked if we could share a message with her and everything she just kept saying soy católico.  Over and over again.  We were about to leave and then we asked if we could help her with anything.  She asked us a question and BAM changed.  Changed right before our eyes.  We came to common ground with her on the Bible and she was receptive.  Anyways, she said she would read the Book of Mormon and pray and we are going back tonight to check up on her.  It is incredible.  Lessons are getting easier as Spanish is getting better but I still have a long way to go.  All I want is to have the spirit with me and I can feel it and I pray constantly that those I teach are feeling it to and that it will touch their hearts.  

The food is still great.  Haven't had anything that I have needed to choke down yet.  So that is good.  Our apartment... You go through a big metal door, there are rooms but you then go up stairs.  Then you go through another door and then there are more doors to rooms.  We go through a balsa wood door that I feel like if I lean on I am going to go right through it.  Then our bathroom is to the right then you go through another door to our room.  4 different keys.  It was hard to remember but I think I got it.  

Yes, it is definitely different from America.  I get on a bus and have to duck walking because if not my head would be through the roof.  Generally I am taller than most people which is weird because I am average in the states. And Kristina, the dogs are nice for the most part.  You just walk past them.  None have tried to attack me, minus the one behind a fence that wanted to kill me.  And also, one was running at me barking but stopped but other than that they are fine.  

Mom and dad...  thank you for raising me so well and in the church.  The church is so true and it can bless the lives of everyone.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 4, 2014 - First e-mail from Peru!

Hola from Perù!  The field is so much better than the CCM.  The CCM was great and all but so much better in the field.  The language in the CCM is not the same.  I honestly feel like people are speaking Mandarin sometimes.  Oh well.  I am already starting to understand more.  When we got to Perù we had orientation stuff and breakfast and lunch until 2.  At 2 we had a meeting with the entire mission and the new missionaries sat up in the front and there was a slideshow and it showed us our companions then we got up, gave them a hug and then sat with them.  My companion is Elder Apaza.  He is awesome.  He is from Cochabamba, Bolivia.  He has been in the mission for 18 months and speaks about as much English as I do Spanish.  Maybe less.  But we get along great and have fun, he is the district leader.  I hope that I am with him for a long time because I like him.  

The food is really good.  The first thing I ate was a big mac from McDonalds.  But since then, all Peruvian.  Normally we just have some bread for breakfast with cheese or deli meat or something.  Every day for lunch we have lunch with members.  The first day, Wednesday, I will just say I was terrified.  It was the first time I have ever eaten something that was looking back at me.  It was shrimp and potato and peas and a clam and a crab in a soup.  We would rip off the head of the shrimp and then suck out the contents.  Nothing I have eaten has tasted bad.  It is all good.  My favorite thing to eat is CHIFA.  in the 1800s there was a huge Chinese Immigration to Perù and so there is Peruvian chinese food and it is so good.  President and Sister Pratt from the CCM lived in Peru and Hong Kong and they said that the Chinese food in Peru is better than the Chinese food in China.  

The weather is nice.  We wear sweaters all day long.  It is chilly in the mornings and at night.  The biggest change is all the houses have dirt or cement floors and everything is dirty all the time.  It is definitely humbling.  Another humbling thing... THE SHOWER.  First of all, a ton of door ways I am taller than so I have to duck.  I am taller than our shower.  Also, It is difficult because the water is one tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny stream of water that is freezing.  We have a thermal heater for the water but it doesn't do anything.  It is really cold.   I also really miss carpet.  I just want to lay down on carpet.  

We had two baptisms this week.  Well there were three but two were from our sector.  I am in sector Bello Horizonte.  Zona Palao.  in the city cercado de Lima. There are dogs everywhere.  

I will tell you about last night.  We randomly found these grandparents and their grandson one day.  Invited them to church and we went to walk with them to church on Sunday morning but they were not there.  Last night we were walking by the house and the grandpa was sitting outside his house and we started talking.  We asked if there was a time we could teach him and he said I have work all during the week and so we asked what about now?  He invited us in and we had a really good lesson.  He committed to be baptized August 30 so hopefully he keeps his committments and prepares.  That would be awesome.  Investigators have to go to church 3 times in Perù to be baptized.  

That is all from this first week. I love you all. 

Love, Elder Baker

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

I get on a bus out of here in 6 hours.  I can't wait.  I just want to get to Perú and help people or buy some candy for a little kid.  I am taking Book of Mormon's that I bought and a couple pass along cards to hand out at the airport, I am going to talk to as many people as I can since we will be waiting there for like three hours.  I am glad that my email last week helped with your lesson.  If you ever need any more advice, you know where to find me!   I am here every Monday from now on I think.  

Nothing too new this past week, just still working hard, trying to learn as much Spanish as I can.  One funny story, I asked a kid what are the odds you sing a solo in sacrament meeting?  He said one in one hundred and one.  He looked at me and I said change your number I read that one in your mind and he was like no, someone give me a countdown.  3... 2... 1... We both said 72.  Everyone started going crazy it was hilarious.  He didn't want to sing so we settled on him buying me some things from la tienda.  

I am so excited to share my testimony in church on Sunday because it will be fast Sunday.  I will tell them they need to talk slow to me and it's my first week and smile the whole time while bearing testimony because I want everyone to like me.  Even if people don't listen to me on the streets or wherever else, I want them to like me because then it will plant a good seed for future missionaries.  Hopefully I get a good trainer, I will find out tomorrow!  We will see!   

Anwyays, I will have a lot more to write next week because it will be new experiences.  Your boy will be in Perú tomorrow!  Talk to you later familia.  Keep following the Spirit.  Trust in the Lord.