We had changes this past week and I am training! So I got on a bus Tuesday night at 12:30 to head down to Montevideo to go pick up the new elder. We got down there and went straight over to the mission home from the bus station. We got there, got a little bit of capacitación and then went over in front of the temple to go meet our new companions. We all lined up behind our companions and sang called to serve and then our comps turned around and we all go nuts so excited to meet our new companions. My companion is named Elder Vasquez. He is from Chiclayo Peru and has 20 years. He played professional fútbol in Peru and gave it up to come out here on the mission. He is the only member of his family and has been a member for 5 years. He actually moved from his house for a few reasons and is now living with another member family. He is such a great missionary. He has such a unique experience as a member and a powerful testimony that he loves to share with everyone. It is so exciting to see him get out there and share it with everyone. He is a really tranquilo guy but when he starts teaching he starts lighting up. As we have been practicing, he has been getting more and more confident and has been participating a lot more in the lessons. But anyways, back to Wednesday. After we met our companions, we took pictures with president and his wife and then got the chance to go through the temple together. It was a great experience. After the temple, we left to go eat lunch in the mission home and then we got on a bus to go to tres cruces to catch our bus out to Artigas. Our bus left at 6 pm and we got into Artigas at 3am. Got a taxi home, took a 2 and a half hour nap, and got up the next morning to get to work and had a great first day!
It’s really such a great blessing to be working with Elder Vasquez. He has learned so much in the past few days that we have had together and I have learned a ton from him as well. I honestly don’t know who is learning more, elder Vasquez or me. haha. It’s been kinda funny too because there are words in Peru that they use all the time that are really bad here. So we will be in a lesson and he will be talking and will say something that is totally innocent in Peru and is super bad here and we have had some pretty interesting reactions. But little by little it is getting better. He has such a motivation to work. And he loves to go running in the morning too! So we have been getting a long so great. He is so willing to keep learning. We are so pumped for these next two changes we have together! WHOOP WHOOP!!
I got called as district leader again this change too which is always a great responsibility and a blessing to be able to serve the other missionaries. My district consists of 4 companionships, and they are all such studs!
This week has also been full of miracles! Tamara and Taliha, the girls that are getting baptized the 24th, are doing awesome. We were teaching them this past week, and their mom (who has always rejected talking to us) was there and we invited her to sit in and listen to us and she actually came and participated. As the lesson started she was really reserved, but as the spirit touched her heart, she opened up and started to tell us her life story of how she got to where she is now and everything. IT WAS SO AWESOME!!!! I have never seen anything like that from her and I don’t think her daughters have either. And now we are teaching her mom a long with her daughters.
After that, we left the lesson and went to go contact some references that we had received and on the way we contacted a lady walking in the street and she invited us into her house to talk to her daughter and husband. It turns out that they were investigators from another ward but they gave us some other references for their siblings and we set up another time to come back and visit their mom. Then we went to Alex. I think I have talked about Alex before. He is such a stud. I can’t write enough about this kid. But we went into to their house to teach him. As we sat down, you could kind of tell that they all had been fighting, Alex and his family. And we decided to teach the restoration and talk about the families. We invited his mom into the lesson and her friends as well and after that we had everyone in the house sitting in on the lesson. As we started, Elder Vasquez shared his testimony on how the gospel has blessed his family. It was so powerful. At the end of the lesson, after the Jose Smith experience, one of her friends asked how we knew that it was the only true church and he we could say it so confidently. We testified about the only way to know is through prayer and shared our personal testimony and story of how we got our testimonies of the church! At the end of the lesson, Alex prayed so that his family could know as he does. IT WAS SO POWERFUL!! And all of this happened in a day. Our week has been full of experiences like this! New missionaries bring blessings! aaahhhh the mission is so awesome!!!!
Sábado we had a ward activity of cakes and pizzas. It was so great. So many people came and almost all of our investigators as well! We are really seeing some great growth in our ward. Sabado de mañana we went to do service to build a septic tank for some members. It was pretty cool. We were mainly just mixing concrete and passing it in buckets to the guys that were working in the tank. And after we had a meeting with our stake president to talk about the goals and game plan for our ward.
And Sunday!!! MOTHERS DAYYYYY!!!!! AAAAAHHHHHH!!! It was a great day. Elder Espinoza and I taught gospel doctrine and then the bishop asked me in the middle of sacrament meeting to give a talk. So I shared a little bit about the stripling warriors and what they learned from their moms and then what I learned from mom and ended with the importance of scripture study. It went pretty well. After we went to lunch, and then went out to work. And the best part....TALKING TO THE FAMILY!!!! I was so excited to talk to you all on mother’s day. You all looked so awesome. I can’t believe that my 3rd call has already passed in the mission. But it felt soo good to see all of your faces again!
This week has been so awesome and I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for this change. It’s going to be so awesome.
Sorry but that is all the time I have for this week and I have to get going! But I love you all so much! I hope that you are all making the most of every opportunity that God has given you to make a difference.
I know that this church is true. I know that Christ is at the head of the Church, guiding and leading it. I know that the priesthood power has been restored to the earth and that Thomas S. Monson holds all the priesthood keys of this dispensation. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families and that the ONLY WAY TO BE HAPPY is by living its principles. I love you all so much. I know you all have a testimony of what you know to be true and I encourage each and every single one of you to not fear and to get out there and share it!
Let’s all try a little bit harder to be a little bit better this week!
Until next week! :)