Hey, June 21, 2014
Sorry for not writing today, just got a couple of projects today and had to work through the majority of the day. I´ll be writing tomorrow so no worries there! Love you all, and hope that Sunday is the breath of fresh air it should be!
|Parque de las Aguas|
|Parque de las Aguas|
|Office Elders Wearing French World Cup jerseys...because they are cool jerseys, that's why...|
|With Elder Mariscal|
Well, Perú is still a South American country and they are still Latin and speak Spanish, so it’s pretty much guaranteed that they are wild about the world cup, even if they don´t necessarily have a team to root for. Here, when it´s a big game, absolutely everything stops, or it seems like it. I mean, traffic goes on and the streets don´t go empty, but working with individuals or families is really difficult. Luckily, we work with missionaries, and that’s fairly easy. You tell them to be at the multi zone conference at such and such time, and it doesn´t matter if their country is playing or not, they are there, and ready to listen. Kinda nice right? I also get updates from the majority of the people around, being an American it’s easy for them to pick me out and say, hey your team´s group is pretty rough looking, or your country actually won, though it didn’t look like it would. It´s a little inescapable, but you just kind of take the comment and move on with the day.
When I was in my final couple of weeks to leave on the mission, I left behind facebook and my phone (except for the final goodbye calls on the last day) and tried to concentrate, but I really was a little in denial. Mostly because never having left home for more than a few months, I couldn´t even begin to imagine being in a foreign land where I didn’t know anyone, and not having such constant communication available. I just felt like my life like that wouldn´t ever end, waking up, doing the few things I had to and then spending family time. It was a little idyllic, but I recognize now that those two weeks were meant to be a representation of my life in a limbo, and now I don´t want to go back to it. I wasn´t progressing, I was stuck, not moving forward, but not going backwards either, and being in the mission I know that I can´t let myself do that after the mission. Apart from practical advice like, bring a couple pair of khakis (now mission appropriate) or get in physical shape, I think it´s just making sure he spends the last couple of weeks taking advantage of the life he is leaving behind fully and completely, and for good. I think that´s what he is doing, and I commend him for it. Live it to the last breath, because once you embark on your mission, you will have a different focus. I´m not saying that the life before is bad and that you´ve got to sin just a little more before repenting, I´m saying it´s just different.
For dad, that kind of analogy works for discipleship as well. Christ was very very direct with his disciples in making sure they knew that when they chose to follow him, there was no excuse, no possible cop-out that was sufficient to satisfy failing the covenant to follow Him. In Lucas 9:57-62, He wipes away the excuse for not following him because of a family commitment or because of friends. No one, and no one, can be between us and the Savior. When we choose to follow him it really is all or nothing. Another great example is the parable of the great feast (Lucas 14:16-20, 26, 27, 33) in which He tells us that we can´t use the excuse of business, or of spousal duties, and ultimately the very personal faults we have. It costs everything. When Jesus taught about the pearl of great price, the pearl merchant sold everything he had just for the pearl, and King Lamoni´s father told Aaron he would give up everything he had and then his own sins to know God. When we agree to be disciples, we can´t choose to do it halfway.
President Erickson always says (quoting Joseph Smith Jr.) that there are two powerful things in the universe: the atonement of Jesus Christ, and personal choice. The thing is though, that Jesus Christ already did his part in performing the atonement. Therefore, when we want blessings, we only have to look at just how committed we are in our personal discipleship of Jesus Christ. When there’s something that impedes us from following him wholeheartedly, we have to do as Paul counsels, and root it out of us, cut it off, do what is necessary to maintain true to the principles He taught. We have to choose to be His disciple, and then He blesses us for it. Hope it helps :)
Mom, of course I have he God´s armor coin. I´ve also acquired a pin that has the Perú flag and the Ecuador flag on it (two of them actually) and wanted to send it to Kolby, but it won´t get there in time. Do you have his mission home address? I´d like to send a bubble envelope there with the pin in it for him to have in the mission. I don´t think I will send the armor coin because I couldn´t stand to lose it, we´ll have to see how we get it to him.
Melissa is awesome...´nuf said.
This week we had multi zone conferences in the mission, 4 this week and one more this Tuesday. That means we get up at 5 and head out to the church building of the conference to set up the sound equipment. This round I didn´t need to prepare a training so I got to soak it in and learn a lot. President talked about the work of salvation, sharing a couple of things about the mission presidents´ conference a couple weeks back and then also talked about inviting others to be true disciples of Christ. Totally robbed his training for that paragraph or two for dad. Elder Artero gave a good training on obedience and how necessary it is in order to obtain blessings promised by the Lord, and Sister Erickson talked about room revisions coming up in a few weeks.
This last Thursday there was a massive wedding in the Parque de las Aguas (Parque de la reserva, Circuito Magico de las Aguas). You can google that if you want. We went to take pictures to use in the new slide show for new missionaries and also to see how cool it was (gotta be honest, pretty stinkin’ cool). We took pictures in front of the major fountains and also of the missionaries who married couples that day. The photo where I am alone with an Elder is with my son, Elder Mariscal, he´s doing really really well and happens to be in our zone that we are assigned to, even though we don´t technically do much with the zone.
Well, that’s about it, I´m doing great. I am excited for the challenge of the coming week (here come changes!) and ready to continue helping Mision Peru Lime Norte be the best mission in the world. Love you all!