Friday, August 29, 2014

Massive Wedding Week

Dear Familia,                                                                                                                         

For sure if I send a package I´ll send it through Vanessa...will you all be paying for it on that end or should I pay it here? The mission policy says that the offices don´t send packages for missionaries (because we don´t have space to keep the outgoing packages), but me being here, it shouldn´t be a problem just bringing it in on the day that the courier comes. I still haven´t gotten the package, but I don´t know if they´ve reported that it´s come yet or not. That was definitely me, actually buying a few ties for the wedding that we hosted. They were 16 soles each ($5.70) and I bought two others for 10 soles ($3.60) as well as another elder´s tie. I will need to take the money out in an ATM sometime this week because I used mission money to buy them. Hooray for cheap ties haha. Do you know if Kolby recieved his package (just an envelope with a couple things in it, nothing big) upon entering the mission? If not I´ll try to send an email to the elder that carried it to try to make sure it got to the offices safely.

Shouldn´t being able to drive alone be a requirement for changing the clock batteries? I think it would be a good idea, or maybe being at least 5 foot 8 haha. However you end up doing it good luck and I hope no one gets hurt, it was definitely a team effort whenever we did it before.

Well, like I mentioned, apart from two more multi-zone meetings this week, we also set up for, were part of and then took down the massive wedding for the mission. We were able to put up the decorations on Thursday afternoon/night and finished in the wee hours of the morning, went to bed and woke up early in order to come back to the church and host the wedding. Needless to say we were exhausted by the end, but it was worth it to help 15 couples be married and be obedient to the commandments of the Lord. The couples came in through a balloon arch and headed down one hallway to a room where they were greeted by missionaries armed with pamphlets, The Proclamation to the World, the Book of Mormon, reference cards, Liahona of the conference edition, and a church-produced video playing on repeat. They probably spend around 15 minutes in that room waiting for the picture scene to be vacated and then it was their turn to take pictures (like the picture I´ve attached of the oldest couple to be married, they came from Carabayllo, about 15 minutes away by bus). After taking pictures, they had their information taken down and they were shown through to a courtyard to take an outdoor picture and afterwards they went to the cultural hall where the municipality workers were helping put the actual wedding paperwork together. They signed their wedding certificate and sat down to wait for the ceremony. Meanwhile, guests came in and sat down in the rest of the rows and were able to listen to one of the zones from the next stake over singing hymns about the family for about a half hour before the program started. During the program President Erickson talked about the importance of the family and mentioned that each family received a copy of the Proclamation to the World and that the ideal family is presided by the father and a mother living in gospel harmony. The city workers gave a short speech as well and then guided them in the wedding vows. Everything finished around 1 and President invited us to go to a close eatery before starting the cleanup, it was a welcome break to be sitting for a while!

The week was incredibly busy, and this week should be a little less. The special project this week while the multi-zones continue is that we are pulling reports from the entire mission about the unknown addresses program. What happened before is that the wards send the member record of members that no longer live in the ward but haven’t asked for their record (presumed inactive) to a "phantom ward" where the area keeps all the names of the people in a similar situation until their record is asked for. This phantom ward probably contains many thousands of people because of the number of years that have passed since they started doing it like that. They are now sending 20 names a month to the wards to look into and report on through the mission and the wards themselves. This week we are getting the reports from all the missionaries and putting them into one giant report from the area. At the same time, we´ve edited the manual for the leaders in the mission and this week we are printing them and putting everything together to send back to the missionaries in the zones. 

Well, I love you all, sorry it’s a little shorter these weeks, we´ve just been really busy but in very few things. Whenever I sit down to write it seems like something else happens and we have to go so sorry if it reads a little disjointed sometimes! Keep up the effort to be "fourth members" it's hard, but it´s worth it!


Elder Nelson

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