Monday, September 29, 2014

God is our Father and is Mindful of us

Dear Family,                                                                                                              

Sometimes the weeks in between mission activities can feel a little like that, another week come and gone, but one thing I have done in the offices is that I have tried to find ways to make my time more valuable. Time becomes to a missionary something that rises and falls in value as we use it wisely or foolishly. When I am able to focus on helping someone else, or I do something that helps me to develop a Christlike attribute, I feel that my time is of great worth, but when I find myself with mixed up priorities that end up robbing time it´s not very valuable an experience. I want to use all of my time to become more converted, all of my time isn´t even mine, so I had better use it right?

You mentioned Ashley does ranger training? What´s that? The two options I can think of don´t really seem to match her: park ranger and power ranger. Well power ranger is out, since I´m fairly certain that show was limited to the 90s and early 00s. Park ranger...well unless Braden wants to go to medical school to become a wilderness trauma doctor I don´t know that it would be too great an investment. Whatever it is, I wish them success in their endeavors!

Conference actually got moved to the following weekend due to elections for regional and local mayorships. Elections are mandatory and require people to go to whatever region their state ID says they are from. Also all meetings (God´s true, restored church or not) are cancelled with heavy fines in place for those that don´t obey. This week that´s coming up, attendance for investigators counts if we take them to a members home to watch the priesthood session together, and the week after if we get them to come to the stake center to watch the sessions of conference. I´ll probably watch it in English this time, just because we will watch it on the office computers and the financial secretary Elder U wants to watch it in English as well. I imagine with the language change deal there will be a few Spanish speakers as well though. Did Presidente Uchtdorf give his talk in German?

Transfers went smoothly and we welcomed a group of 9 Latin elders, 8 American elders, 2 Latin sisters and an American sister to MPLN. These recent groups we have been going to the airport the night before to pick up the North Americans coming in from the Mexico CCM then sorting them into the nearby zones to stay the short night before the training that starts the next morning at 7:30. After the world-wind night it definitely makes me remember my first night in Perú and so I try to keep an open mind and answer as many questions as I can. They definitely come in with a deer in the headlights look and it doesn´t go away for a week or so haha. On Friday we welcomed them back with their trainers to do a training focused on the 12 weeks program and a few of the aspects of the mission manual and studies we want them to implement (strict adherence to the mission schedule and a guided study for their first 6 weeks).

In between the two trainings, we visited district meetings of four of the zones (two per day) and did a work visit on Thursday. I went on the work visit to Wiesse 2. It´s one of 4 areas in the Wiesse ward and one of two that doesn´t include part of a further city region called Jicamarca. At 5 after the afternoon district meeting I left with Elder N from Bolivia and Elder P from Arizona to get to work. While we were walking we talked about their area and a little of what their plan for the day was. Well, Elder P got sick after eating a few too many mandarin oranges the day before and so during the hours of the visit they planned to try to recuperate a few of the fixed appointments they had missed. With that in mind we headed to a shoe shop and found the first appointment Hermana E.  Hermana E doesn´t really have a really firm interest in the church yet, but her son, I think it is, is a member. We taught her why it´s so important that she come to church, focusing on the fact that she also has a younger son (4-6 years) that will be entering a pretty formative period in the next few years. That was a pretty good start and I was excited to be teaching new people and helping the elders to organize a little better their teaching. Next we took a moto out to one of the further parts of their area and taught an older woman whose husband is a member of the military as well as her two adult sons. They are all investigating, but it’s hard because the men are only there every 15 days due to their assignments in the base. That makes it difficult to come to church every Sunday especially because the Sundays they are home, they usually have a ton of things to do around the house. Same kind of lesson in that house.

After that we proceeded to walk around their area as the fog rolled in trying to find people who would let us teach. Don´t get me wrong, we went to specific houses of people they are currently teaching or have contacted in the past, but nobody wanted to let us in because it was really cold and many weren´t home. Coming up over one of the hills I was praying we could find somebody to share with in part because my being there was making Elder N nervous as their plan fell apart, and we decided to visit an active member´s house. Well, a computer technician let us in, but he turned out to be from the next ward over and an RM, so we shared a quick message about the mission never really being over and asked him if he knew any of the neighbors around there. He said no, but he mentioned a few people from his ward that could use a visit. I passed on that information after the visit, but it was great to just find someone after a long time just walking in the cold. Good spiritual experience just knowing that God is a Father and is really is
pendiente (mindful) of our needs and righteous desires.

Saturday we were invited to go have lunch with President and Sister Erickson (long story short: Elder B and Elder M changed his flat tire at a massive baptism a few weeks back and he decided it was worth a lunch). We took the city bus system to about 8 blocks from their house and then took a wrong turn so fixing our mistake we took a taxi for 5 soles (really cheap and he knew the neighborhood better than we ever would have) to get to residentes door. His house is well outside the mission so generally only the missionaries who are finishing their missions go there for the goodbye dinner. He lives in a penthouse/condo with the floors below occupied by two other Lima mission presidents. The view from 21 stories is incredible and we could see the ocean while Sister Erickson served us guacamole and tortilla chips (first time in 19 months!) After the appetizer, we sat down to eat and President brought out filet mignon cooked medium rare, baked potatoes and mushrooms with steamed broccoli. He offered to cook the meat more if we liked, but he´s a pretty big fan of it that way, and well, he can be pretty persuasive. It was soooo good. He mentioned that he usually cooks that for  the departing missionaries as well. I took advantage of the opportunity to take a picture with the two of them, because I know you still wanted that haha.

I love you all, that was how my week went, I guess a little more spiced up than the regular weeks between activities. Next one are the interviews and room checks again. I can´t believe it’s already been 3 months! Time to clean your rooms there, too. I imagine Melissa´s neater now than before? Have a great week.


Elder Nelson

p.s. Melissa never was unorganized before, I just like seeing if she´ll react when Mom reads this :)

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