I´ll start with the urgent things first, many of the missionaries who went home while I was in the offices had their parents pick them up. That´s absolutely fine with President and Sister Erickson. The email you are using is the office elders´ email I think (I never memorized the number) but they should be able to help you. The pick up would be on Monday evening or Tuesday morning and you can come to the offices from the airport to pick me up. From there, President basically tells the missionaries that they are free to go, but not to break any commandments on the way home. I would need you to bring a couple of pairs of cargo shorts if you could fit them in. The only shorts I have are basketball shorts haha. You will need to coordinate with the personal secretary, about the return flight. Would it be possible to stay in Lima 2 days and 1 night? I promise I can entertain you the whole time!
Now for the questions, I think Elder N has something like 17 months in the mission, so we both have a lot of experience between the two of us. The challenge is not letting our knowledge get in the way of revelation. I know that that is one of the things I am working on a lot lately, trying to feel for specific revelation that will help the branch grow. Trapiche is a branch, we are missing 5 Melchezidek priesthood holders to be able to become a ward, and the four elders here are working super hard to be able to make that happen by the end of the year. That´s either baptized or activated so we are working hard on both sides of the court. We attend a church building about 10 minutes away by combi/bus and then 5 to 10 minutes walking. I have been blessed to live close to the church all my mission and now it´s my turn to pay to go to church! The branch is going through some transformative steps to revitalize the member work, but we do have some good support in the form of regular members who band together to help each other.
This week a family of recent converts, familia L was evicted illegally from their adobe house. It´s really tiny, but there´s a land dispute between her formal in-laws and the mom. She has two early teenage kids and you can tell that they don´t eat enough in the first place, and on top of it all, the president of the housing association sends robbers in the night to throw rocks at their house and steal the water pipes that extrude from the wall. They got to the end of their rope and now the sister doesn't even want to leave the house because that would leave it open to the robbers. The branch president got together a huge group of the members and they all went to help her move, but then the new apartment owner said no....after she had moved all of her belongings in and at 8 o clock at night. Now they are back in the house, the branch president is trying to find legal support and also is sending members with carpentry skills to go secure her house so she can come to church. That´s how a ward council works. It´s incredible to see the members sticking up for one another just months after the family has started to come to church.
We cook for ourselves, but that Costco style store is in our area now, so we can go out there to get bulk foods every Pday. We have an electric skillet, an electric kettle and the fridge, so this last week I bought chicken nuggets and a big bag of frozen peas and carrots. That topped with the fact that we get up every morning at 6 to go play basketball with some youth and the other elders and I think that I might be able to get pretty fit here in Trapiche.
Elder N´s family is super supportive. He has been a member practically since he was 5 though he went through an active but mentally and spiritually turned off phase, and now he´s really really awesome. There´s 10 sisters and 8 elders in the zone. The elders are the three district leaders and their companions and then me and my companion. Therefore, there’s a lot of diplomacy going on. I am working hard to unify the zone with Elder N.
I love you all, I am working hard and more focused than ever, I love the work, I love the branch and I know we have more than just a few people praying for us!
|San Felipe Stake|
|The "Rich" area of San Felipe|
|Happy 21st Birthday!|
|My Companion, Elder N|