Monday, November 9, 2015

Peguche Falls‏

Well things are going well with my new companion, Elder Separovic. He's from Rancagua, Chile (shout-out to Sister Squires!) and this is only his fourth change in the mission. He may be fairly new time-wise but he's been with a lot of experienced companions and knows what he's doing for the most part. It's been good to be with him so far and we've been in sync more than a lot of companionships have been. What I like is his focus on working towards goals.

That formed a lot of the experience we had this week. We have the goal of 3 baptisms and 4 rescues (work with less-actives) this month, but the problem is that we started without anyone with a baptismal date. And we didn't have many investigators, either. Since an investigator has to come to church 3 times at least before baptism and since no one had come to church yet we had to really work hard to find people to come to church and have a date, since there are only three weeks for us to work with in November. It was great working towards those goals. Even though we didn't get anyone to come to church (and thus won't hit our goals for baptisms this month) I feel like we did really good work focusing on the people and helping them out.

We did have some great experiences this week. One was when we contacted some people some members had brought to the Viaje a Mexico activity. Well it turns out we could only have two lessons with them because they moved to Loreto, a small town way out in the jungle, but I can't help but feel that some day they'll help the growth of the church out there. Loreto is closest to the city Coca, which is part of our mission, where there's a small branch since about 4 years ago, but Loreto is like 2 hours away from Coca and the missionaries rarely go there. And they don't even live in Loreto - they live like 45 minutes further into the jungle. So it's not likely the missionaries will ever find them, but I feel like years from now when the chuch moves there as well they'll be ready. We gave them a Book of Mormon and other materials so they'll hopefully have a couple years of study before the missionaries get there haha.

We also had an awesome experience finding another new investigator, Olga Flores. A few weeks ago we were walking around pretty bummed with my companion because all the appointments had fallen through. We walked up a hill and a person we don't know says hi to us outside her house. Turns out she's a member from one of the Quichua-speaking wards here (that happens to us a lot) and hey, since the focus of the zone is on references, we ask her if she knows someone we could teach. She tells us maybe her neighbor. So yeah we ask her introduce her neighbor to us and we so we meet Olga. We finally got in contact with her again last week and had a great lesson. The best part was when my companion was explaining about the Book of Mormon he was saying "and if we know the Book of Mormon is true, we'll know Joseph Smith was a prophet, and also that the church" "Is true!" she finished, cutting in. I was so happy.

Apart from that our less-active Victor Piedra is doing well and progressing towards a rescue this month. We can go over the lessons quickly with him because he already knows everything and since he was the ward mission leader a good while ago he's also excited to even come with us to appointments. It's great to see him excited about the work.

I guess apart from that I'd just like to share something our bishop said the other day in ward council that I really liked he said, "When they relieve me I don't want them to say, "thanks bishop, we've now got three new wards." No, I want them to thank me because we were actually able to save people."

That's what counts, isn't it? Quality, not quantity. In the sector I've really been understanding what Elder Holland said when he said "salvation is not a cheap experience." It isn't, and that's why it's not easy to help people. But things will keep moving forward! Hope you all have a great week!

A picture of me. I don't take those very often so enjoy it while you can.

A pic from the parade a few weeks ago we saw. It's cool - parades here often include all sorts of dancing.

Peguche Falls! One of the touristy attractions here. I was just really happy to be out in nature. It was really surreal putting on normal clothing for the first time in a while.

While visiting Peguche falls today we also found an ancient Rameuptom. #onlyfunnyinthemish

 A tree. I'm sure it's important because it had a sign hanging on it but why I'm not clear.

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