Monday, October 28, 2013

A Temple Trip and Gemma's Baptism

Lima Peru Temple
The temple is in the Lima East mission.
Lima Peru Temple

The missionaries get to go 2 times a year...or if they have converts going for the first time.

Dear Family,
Tons of pictures this week, first of our view from the window of our apartment, then of the number of dogs that live in the street roving in packs, then of the temple and of us with Elder Uceda (more later) and then of the baptism. 

The View from Elder Nelson's Apartment
Neighborhood Watch dogs?
Elder Uceda, Elder Nelson and Elder Mariscal
So we went to the temple on Friday, just Elder Mariscal and I. We ended up riding a bus that if we didn’t get off, would take us to within 5 minutes walking of Elder Mariscal house. Well we rode that bus, standing for an hour and half but when we got to Javier Prado to get off, Elder Mariscal said no, and wouldn´t move towards the door. Luckily I had the cell phone and told him I´d call directly to president. Well I had to literally pull him off the bus by the leg...just like I’m pulling yours, Elder Mariscal didn’t even think about going home, we got to the temple around 8:10 and had the 9:30 session. We wandered around the temple grounds and the distribution center for the time in between and then entered to get dressed to enter the session. (It´s the old video by the way, but this time I understood every word) Upon entering the session, there sat Elder Uceda, Area Sudamerica Noroeste President. I was seated next to him by the Session leader. I looked across the room and there sat a couple of sisters that looked really familiar...Yep President Rosemary M Wixom and her first counselor Jean A Stevens of the general Primary Presidency. So that was pretty cool, they even greeted us by name after the session : "Hello Elders" hahaha. Well after taking a bunch of pictures, we took one with Elder Uceda as he was leaving in a van with the hermanas. We headed down into the temple store/distr, center and there was a whole zone of Elders from Lima Sur. One of them looked familiar, lo and behold, Logan Mickelson (brother in law of Chelsea Mickelson Strong) was there. Turns out we have about the same time in the mission and were in the MTC at the same time.
Gemma's baptism

Elder Nelson, Gemma, and Elder Mariscal
So that´s all my shoutouts for now. Maybe someday I´ll see Christian here and we’ll be able to talk about old Tri Cities stuff. The baptism went super smoothly, and I was actually a little surprised that nothing went wrong or opposition didn’t flare up, that’s kind of the usual here. Gemma came to the baptism with her birthdad as well and at first he was opposed to her being baptized, but when he got there to the chapel he didn’t say much about it. They came to church the next day and she was confirmed, then on Sunday night we taught her the plan of salvation again and things really clicked. She now has a goal to be sealed to her baby in the temple when she finds herself a good husband who is a member of the church.  The older sister bore her testimony about how much she has changed. Giannina said she didn’t cry, she fought with her mom and at times would go a week or more without talking to her, now it’s strange if she doesn’t come home give her mom and sister a hug and tell them how much she loves them. This all happened in a little over a month. They are incredible, and have truly become a shining example of what the work of salvation is. If you don´t know what it is, you ought to go to it’s an incredible site, and I know it took away from my writing just a touch today, but I went there to see if I could find a transcript for the worldwide leadership conference that I missed back in June or July, but it wasn’t there yet. It’s an inspired program, and it’s uniting families in a way that is almost unprecedented. Here in Peru the inactivity rate is about 2/3...that’s 33% going to church at least once a month. We are working to fix that, and it’s definitely a united effort of members and missionaries.

All in all, Elder Mariscal and I are doing really well. He’s constantly looking for a way to help our investigators progress towards real testimony and his personal experiences from before the mission and as a seminary teacher are really helpful. We have one investigator family right now that in four days have read all of the introduction, the testimonies of the 3, 8, and Joseph Smith, and 1 Nefi until chapter 17. They are incredible, already married and have come to church varios veces. They have a baptismal date for the 16 of November, and they will be so ready when it comes!  They are the family Cotrina-Paz. There are mama papa, Jerica their 17 year old daughter and Yael (7) and Eylin (5). They latched onto the church one by one and now they are so involved. Giovanna, the mom had spent about 8 months in the church (not baptized) as a youth of about 16 or 17 and now as an adult, she has really gained a testimony of the warmth of strangers who are becoming her friends.

That’s about all I have time for, but I hope that you´ve all had a wonderful week, Kolby looks like he had fun at homecoming. I got a letter from Grandma Nelson this past week. Melissa, thanks for your letter! If there’s room in the package, an English mini hymn book would be great, Elder Mariscal likes to put together bi-lingual musical numbers. His family is super supportive, his dad isn’t a member nor is his older brother, but he is starting to go to church or spend time with his (separated) wife and daughters on Sundays. Miracles Happen! How are Darci and Joe and the other Newlyweds?

Love you all, and I hope that the winter isn´t too rough, just think of me...sweating because the sun is coming out more often now. :)


Elder Nelson

PS the pizza is like a personal pan...we found a mini café in our area like Some Bagels that does fruit smoothies and pizza among other things.

No comments:

Post a Comment