Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekly Email Stardate 29.9.14 (9.29.14)

Area: Juliaca     Comp.: Elder Ayo

¡Hola todos! I hope everything is going well! Juliaca's such a ridiculous, ridiculous place, but I know that the Lord chose for me to come here (out of every area on earth!) and I honestly love it.

-¡Spiritual thought! Mark 15:34--For the atonement to be truly infinite, Jesus had to experience every bad thing that anyone will ever experience, including not only suffering and physical death, but spiritual death too. For this reason, while Jesus was dying on the cross, the Spirit was removed from him for what I believe is the first time in his life. Imagine how incredibly lonely it would be, to have been betrayed by one of your 12 apostles, to have been denied thrice by your lead apostle, to have none of them with you during Gethsemane (they kind of were but they were asleep) and now no one with him as he died on the cross, causing him to cry out 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' And because he did this selfless, selfless act, we never have to be as lonely as he was then. We have the opportunity to have the companionship of the Spirit with us always, as we live worthy of that privelege and opportunity.

-I went on a treasure hunt! Kind of. The Church gave us this list of very inactive people, which means that they've been inactive for so long that we don't really know if any of their info is still correct. So we have this stack of 20 of them, and we chose one to find and decided to start by going to his last known address, which ended up not even existing. So we asked the poeple who lived around this nonexistent house number if they've ever heard of him, and they referred us to this butcher shop that I would never ever buy meat from. The butcher apparently used to be his friend, and referred us to another address. We went there, and the person there told us to go to this public bathroom he used to frequent, so we went to it and asked the owner of this bathroom and she told us that he really likes this chicken shop down the street so we run down there and walk in and just yell his name and HE WAS THERE! He told us he hadn't gone to church in 25 years, and we asked him if he was interested in hearing our message and he said 'Of course!' So now we have his real information (the only thing that's the same is his name and birthday) and we're teaching him!

-There's this marketplace here that is very much how I imagine Indian bazaars, and apparently Goodwill takes clothes they can't sell in the States and ships them to 3rd world countries. So these people somehow get these clothes and sell them in these little shops (with the Goodwill tags still on them) for dirt cheap. It's interesting though, since a good amount of these clothes are from American high schools, and I actually saw a guy wearing a letterman jacket from Mom's high school!

-Elections are this weekend, which is crazy. As someone who has lived here for 3 weeks, doesn't watch TV or listen to the radio or read the news or care about this election, I could probably tell you everyone running for every position. They're crazy about elections down here. The craziest part is that it's local election year! It's not even like a Federal election! I don't even understand why people want to be in local government, here in Juliaca like a year ago they didn't like the mayor so they dragged him behind a truck for a couple hours then burned him to death. And Quillabamba killed their mayor like 2 weeks ago! Because gas prices are a little higher than they would like! Anyways, the point is that PerĂ¹ has a law where you can't hold any public meeting at all on election weekend, which means no church this weekend and Conference next weekend. So don't ruin it for me!

Anyways, everything's going good here! I haven't eaten anything ridiculously gross, I'm safe, and the work is hastening!

Elder Steele