Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Edition I Don´t Have Anything To Edition This 10.27.14

Area: Juliaca   Comp.: Elder Ayo

Hey Everyone!

-Birthday! Now that it´s happened I can tell you about it! Elder Ayo and I found this awesome internet cafĂ© that is really fast (for PerĂș), so during internet time I downloaded a bunch of Mormon Messages and Conference talks onto my USB and after lunch Elder Stradling and I just lay on our pension´s couches and watched them on her TV for like 3 hours, which was awesome! Then Elder Ayo and I went to this market nearby and bought some things, which I really needed, then we went to our District Meeting and our District Leader Elder Wagner and his comp Elder Bodily bought a cake! Then at our pension´s house, we had another cake for dinner (again)!

-Elder Ayo and I got locked out of our house twice this week, but we don´t have a roof so we just borrow a ladder from our neighbor and climb in from the top. The thing is, the ladder that our neighbor has he made himself out of big sticks and wire hangers, and I was sure Elder Ayo would die. I didn´t get on that thing at all.

-Transfers were this week! Elder Murillo went to Puno, and Elder Stradling is training a new Gringo so he went to Cusco practically all week to pick him up. Elder Ayo doesn´t like that he´s the only Latino now, but it´s ok because my Spanish is getting a lot better!

-I decided that for this transfer I want to get my Spanish down, so I´ve been speaking only in Spanish all week-even when other Gringos talk to me in English. It helps immensely though, and I´m currently at the point where I understand everything and I can say everything that I really need to. I´m still working on that, but it´s coming!

-Our pension wanted to take Elder Ayo and I to this REALLY fancy restaurant, but she didn´t want to take Elder Stradling (I guess) and she didn´t want her husband to know because it was expensive, so we had to do it secretly. It was fun though! And DELICIOUS!

-On Sunday the Elder´s Quorum President found out in Priesthood that no one knows who they are assigned to home teach, so he took a ward list, took out the staple, and gave each person a page. That's like 20 people. That's how many inactives are here!

-Spiritual thought! I´m going to take a break from Conference insights today, since I read a scripture this morning that I really liked--2 Ne 4:26-28. Be happy people!

Anyways, things are good here! Things still surprise me every day, and I see miracles every day! The Church is true!

Elder Steele

Monday, October 20, 2014

Book 10, Chapter 20, Edition There's Nothing Significant About Today 10.20.14

Area: Juliaca    Comp: Elder Ayo


-Confession time--I got the date wrong last week. I put it as September. D&C 64:10.

-Today's my birthday! So far that doesn't mean anything, but it's only 11:00 in the morning, and I'm going to get your package in like 3 weeks!

-We had a city-wide blackout yesterday, which was interesting. We didn't do a thing differently, it was just dark. But I showered before that happened, which was nice! My shower was still hot! The weirdest thing was church, since the microphone didn't work.

-Our shower head died for like 3 days, so we showered at member's homes, which is really uncomfortable. Elder Ayo and Elder Murillo fixed it, but they cut a lot of wires unneccessarily, and now it's being weird.

-I gave a talk in church yesterday! Which, let me just say, the last time we had church was Fast Sunday and 4 of the 7 testimonies borne were us 4 Elders, and the week before that Elder Stradling and Elder Murillo spoke, and the week before that they didn't have any speakers so they called the missionaries out of the audience to bear testimonies, and the week before that I was still in the CCM. This is a really weak ward. But my talk went well! It was boring, and half plagiarized, but my delivery was good! Especially considering the lack of a microphone! But we only have 50 members of our ward, so it's basically like talking to nobody.

-Spiritual thought! "Choices that aren't inherently evil are insidious when they distract us from our goals"-Quentin L Cook. Maybe it's not bad to play that video game or watch that movie or whatever, but if it distracts us from what's important (scriptures, prayer, church, etc) then just don't do it.

-More things that are ridiculous about Peru!
  -They start drinking at 9:00 am every day.
  -When you buy a 3 liter (they don't have 2 liters here) bottle of soda, it comes with one cup, which means it's not uncommon for me and Elder Ayo to have to share a cup with 4 or 5 Peruvians, which we hate
  -Sometimes cars drive on the wrong side of the road. Like, there's a median and everything, and they just don't care.

Anyways, things are going well here! We have two investigators that we're trying to have a double-baptism the 8th! Things are absolutely ridiculous down here, but really I'm used to it. There are things that I don't even think worth mentioning that you would find completely insane. Have a magical week!

Elder Steele
19-year-old missionary

Monday, October 13, 2014

9/13th General Session of Weekly Emails, General Conference Edition 10.13.14

Area: Juliaca    Comp.: Elder Ayo

Hey everyone!

I'm just going to start of with Conference because it was AWESOME. I'd compare it to the Super Bowl if I had ever had an interest in that kind of thing.

-I got to watch it in English, in the High Council room of my Stake Center with all the other Gringos in my zone. We had a "Gringo Party", which essentially means we brought an obscene amount of snack foods (with a focus on snack foods found in the States, como Doritos and Lays and sodas)

-Because we were in the High Council room, we had a table, which was nice because I took a full 26 NOTEBOOK PAGES OF NOTES! Which, depending on how well you know me, you may know that I've never taken notes in my life.

-From what I can remember off the top of my head, there were 2 talks each about the sacrament, raising your kids, prophets, personal revelation, and helping the poor. Those things must be really important right now guys! Get to it!

-I think my spiritual thoughts for a long time are going to be from conference, so be prepared for that. The first one I want to use is from Elder Holland, talking about doing everything you can to help the poor-- "Do everything you can [to help the poor]-nothing we do is but a drop in the ocean, but had we not done it, the ocean would be one drop less." Do service people! Pay fast offerings!

-We moved this week! I'm still not sure why! The new place is 'bigger', but one thing that Peruvians do is they don't finish the building so they don't have to pay taxes on it, so our third story doesn't have a roof. So we don't use it. Also the bathroom is infinitely worse. But the Zone Leaders finally gave Elder Ayo and I beds and desks! So now we're not sleeping and studying on the floor!

-I got bit by 2 dogs this week! Neither broke the skin (don't worry Mom), but they probably would have if I wasn't wearing the gigantic jacket I brought with me. The first dog was big, so I just kind of got out of there, but the second was a little dog and I was already mad so when it bit me I basically threw it and freaked out at it. Oddly satisfying.

-I went on splits with my DL this week! His name's Elder Wagner, and he's awesome. And he really likes to jump things, and there was a drunk passed out on the sidewalk, so we jumped him twice! And the two jumps were hours apart. He was passed out there all day, as far as I could tell.

Anyways, I think that's all I'm going to mention this week! The mission's awesome! Make sure to help your missionaries! Give them references! Feed them (if they want to be fed)! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Steele

Monday, October 6, 2014

Season 10 Episode 6, One Fortnight Until My Birthday edition 10.6.14

Area: Juliaca   Comp.: Elder Ayo

Hola personas!

-The work is hastening in Juliaca like crazy! In the past week, we got two of our investigators to commit to baptism! And, we had three people contact us on the street! The first was on our way to lunch, Elder Ayo had a feeling we should visit an investigator who is on the way. So we stopped by, and her probably 6 year old daughter answered the door, left for a minute, then told us that "my mom says she's not here", which was a mixture of super hilarious and very depressing. So we started walking away, and her neighbor asked us what church we represent. We told her "We're from the LDS church!" and she said "Great! I want to hear your message!" The next one was a group of kids, who asked us if our church was for kids too. We got them to introduce us to their mom, and now we're teaching them. The third was an extremely old lady that was Catholic or something, and we taught her the Plan of Salvation and it was obvious that she prided herself on her biblical knowledge to the point where we explained the kingdoms of glory and she said "Of course! Just like my pastor taught me!"

-So elections were this weekend, and that meant it was against the law to have church or watch conference at the church buildings. Presidente decided that he wanted us to wait until this coming weekend to watch conference in the church building with our investigators, so that we could have all weekend to proselyte, but Elder Ayo decided that that rule didn't apply to us and the only way I could get out of it was to go on splits with Elder Stradling, while his also not obedient companion watched conference with Elder Ayo. It was actually really fun, since Elder Stradling speaks English, and also since we got to do an exorcism (I believe that kid was possessed but E. Stradling is still skeptical) and we taught a schizophrenic woman. We didn't get much success other than that though, because it was elections and it's against the law not to vote so almost no one was home.

-We had a barbeque! It was good, but strange because they used a vinegar-based barbeque sauce that looks like salad dressing. Also, in this mission, it's against the rules to eat any pig product, lettuce, strawberries, or ceviche. Not that the Latino elders follow that rule either, but really it is more for us (since I've been sick an uncountable number of times already).

-They gave us cake at the zone meeting this morning! That just makes me really happy!

-We're moving tomorrow I think! I'm not really sure. I'm confused a lot here.

Anyways, things are going great here! I don't have too many crazy stories! Stay awesome!

Elder Steele

CCM district

CCM grounds

Lima Peru temple

Lima Peru temple

At the airport on their way to Cusco

Elder Black (also from AZ)
Elder Bodily getting ready for bed on their second night in Cusco.

Elder Steele and Elder Ayo in front of an Incan tomb.