Okay, so now I can tell you the big news. It was a tragic week before changes in the MPLN. Due to a change in the agency that covers incoming and outgoing missionaries´ paperwork (visas and national residency) the area had to send 9 missionaries to other missions outside of Perú in an emergency change. The 7 elders and 2 sisters went to surrounding missions in Ecuador and Colombia the week before regular changes, the majority with only a few days of notice, even though we knew from the beginning of the month. These were friends, missionaries that already had time in the mission, leaders, and near-future leaders, and President Erickson was fighting it all the way to the last minute when they said there wasn´t a possibility of reversing the decision (there were around 75 missionaries total leaving from all of Perú, mostly because they don´t have visas to be here). The missionaries that left were Elder Rivera (from zona magnolias when I was there) Elder Carrera (Guatamalteco from the same city as Elder Oliva) Elder Artero (my companion, the other assistant), Elder Martinez (a friend from Zona Comas) Elder Sevilla, Elder Menjivar, Elder Valenzuela (a good friend from Comas, Collique) Hermana Cruz (a sister from Comas) Hermana Sauceda.
This means that the mission will need a new assistant and within 1 change of being assistant I now need to train a new one. I don´t have my new companion yet, and can´t reveal his name yet because of confidentiality. It´s heartbreaking for them to have to leave, and then on top of it, the mission is left with very little leadership. We will have to trust a lot in missionaries that haven´t proven their ability to lead righteously, and really, we will spend the next few changes in fervent prayer for the good of the mission. Usually if there are projects to do it´s things that President needs typed up or edited for the next conference or for his next speaking opportunity.
Well, sorry to cut it short, but I don´t have more time tonight. I might end up writing an expansion letter tomorrow, especially to answer about Kolby´s mission things that you sent that other email about. I love you all, and hope that things are going well for each of you. Wish Kolby success on his talk!
Here´s the expansion letter. The electric outlet converter isn´t always necessary, but I always use it on the things I don´t want to fry just in case. When I was in Collique, it was a really variable current, and in saying that, I mean the lights went out probably once every three weeks or so. Just becomes a part of life to have candles at the ready and a box of matches on the window sill. I´d recommend bringing one, just because I don´t want to experiment with a camera that I can´t replace haha.
Bring electric just because it´s reliable for the whole mission. I definitely prefer manual because it´s a cleaner shave. I am currently using my manual razor because I now have enough replacement blades to last me to the end of the mission, and I like the closer shave, but all of the mission before, I used my electric razor. There are disposable razors in literally every store (think of them like little gas station stores) but it´s an extra cost every month when you could be spending on more food or whatever else you need.
There are elders that use both contacts and glasses. Those who use contacts have a higher risk for corneal disease, though I haven’t seen it happen here. Most North Americans use glasses, and those that use contacts a lot of the time use daily disposable contacts, receiving a package every 6 months with 200 contacts and also have their backup glasses. Whatever works for you, but glasses definitely don´t worry me at all.
My companion is Elder Barrientos. He´s Chilean, from Santiago, has two transfers less than me and is really excited to get to work. President brought him in because he knows how to train other missionaries to be master teachers. The biggest focus in the mission right now is for the elders and sisters to teach well, to know the doctrine and present it in such a way that the people understand and gain a testimony.
Any other questions you can ask me any time before Wednesday. I´ll try to find time to answer them before the big check in day if I get a minute or two!
PS I sent a package with the elder that went to Guayaquil Norte with a llama tie and a tie pin of the Ecuador and Peru flags and a letter. It will wait there in the offices for him until he gets there. May be you could write him a letter his last week in the CCM to tell him about the mystery package that’s in the offices so he knows to ask?
His name is Elder Menjivar. He´s one of the centroamericanos that was sent to Ecuador. It´s a manila envelope with the things inside and Elder K Nelson and Elder C Nelson on the outside. I don´t know if they will keep it in the offices indefinitely or not, but they should know from the church system that he is on his way!