So I´ve written down a couple of things that I wanted to make sure to write you all this week. Number one, I had strawberries for dessert after lunch on Wednesday this week. I wrote down immediately afterward I ought to write that, maybe I can sway Kolby´s mission preference. They sell strawberries in the street this time of year, they´re big and juicy and super sweet. They also sell apples. I honestly don´t think there’s a fruit that doesn´t exist here, and there’s several varieties that I haven´t been able to translate, so I´ll have to figure out what it is later. That´s happened with a lot of things, like I found out this morning that I have been drinking a Chamomile effusion with Dinner every night for the last 3 months today because I only know it as manzanilla. Don´t worry, it’s not tea, just chamomile leaves crushed up.
Number two to write home about is probably one of the biggest surprises I´ve had while serving here. Elder De Leon and I knocked on a door of a less active that Elder Gaibor and I had contacted a while back to try to reactivate her. She´s the lady that had been inactive for 16 years, and she didn´t activate back then, but we are going to try again. We were talking with her how now it’s the Lima North mission here and that things have really changed since she went inactive. She mentioned that her missionaries were Manuel Martin Herrera Hurtado de Arequipa, and .......James Andrew Bagley de Pasco, Washington. Yep...Brother Bagley apparently served here in what was then the Villa Hermosa Ward in San Juan de Lurigancho something like 20 years ago. Her name is Jaclyn Navarro Calderon and she would love to have his contact information to get back in touch. She didn´t come to church this weekend, but we´re hoping we can start to help her come back. She says she was probably 14 or 15 when she was baptized and that she went on visits with the missionaries as well. (*Andrew Bagley is our next door neighbor and was Cameron's Scoutmaster.)
Among those who remember Elder Bagley are: the Lopez-Alvarado family, they may have been giving pension during his time here back when all of their kids were smaller, now their family constitutes half of the stake callings that are available. That’s Hermana Francisca y Hermano German Lopez of Barrio Villa Hermosa. Quiero ver si Hermano Bagley tiene una lista de sus converso para que les contactemos a ellos en estas semanas que vienen. Sería lo maximo si pudieramos usar este conocimiento para ayudar unos menos activos regresar a la iglesia o a minimo fortalecer sus conversos cuales todavía son miembros. (I want to see if Brother Bagley has a list of those he contacted or converted in these coming weeks. It would be the greatest if we could use this knowledge to help less active about returning to church or at least strengthen his converts that are still members) But yeah that’s the biggie from what happened this week.
The families we are teaching are beginning to really develop testimonies of the gospel. It´s been a type of fight to be able to help them realize a few things, but now they have a real hunger to know about everything. Especially the Restoration. The more converted we are to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the more our desire to learn about the Restoration will be. I love to learn all the details I can about Church History, it´s so interesting to see how much God loves us that He would direct His work through inspired individuals and courageous actions.
Elder De Leon turned 23 this week, yesterday in fact, and so the Lopez family held a birthday party, dedicatorio during our dinner hour. They are so great to us, and their RM son even gave each of us a can of Dr. Pepper (it costs 2 times as much as anything else here and is pretty rare to find in a store)
I´m loving the work here, and I can´t imagine myself anywhere else in the world than Perú. I pray for you, and hope you are all well and strengthening yourselves and the family por medio de guardar sus convenios en el templo y cumplir con todos los mandamientos que sepan. (by keeping their covenants in the temple and fulfill all the commandments they know)