Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Day 5 Month 25 5.25.15

Area: Yunguyo    Comp: Elder Hogan

Dear Everybody,

-We started knocking on doors this week! We decided that, since Peru's still stuck in the 80's, we should use 80's techniques. It's surprisingly effective, and it makes me feel much more like a real missionary.

-We went to visit an elderly widow in the branch, and in the middle of a sentence she looked out the window, stopped, and said, "Someone's going to die." "What?" we asked her. "There's a dog digging a hole outside, and everytime I've seen that someone has died right after." She then told us about how her husband, her brother, and her nephew had all died right after she saw a dog digging a hole right outside her window. So we'll see if someone in her family dies soon.

-Drunk story! There were two drunks that walked up to us. One's mouth was covered in blood. Bloodface started asking us for money, while his friend explained that they were drunk and that he had been punching his friend in the face incessantly. Then, bloodface decided that Elder Hogan was Jesus, and kneeled down and beg forgiveness for his 'entire life'. The other one told him he wasn't begging well enough, and was pushing his face into the ground to help him beg better when we just left without saying anything.

-They had another planned power outage for an entire day, on a day where we didn't know and spent the morning working in the farm. So not only did we not have hot water in an apartment where you can see your breath all day, but the water is connected to the electricity and we had no water all day either. Disgusting day.

-The key broke in the lock of our door. I used the broken key to open the door, then realizing that I don't know how to remove broken keys, I just bought/replaced the door knob. Laziness!

Anyways, it's been a good week! We're doing some good work, and having a little success! Have a great week!

Elder Steele

Chapter 5, Versiculo 18, "Transfer Day" Edition 5.18.15

Area: Yunguyo    Comp: Elder Hogan

Hello everybody!

-Transfers! I'm not going anywhere. I already knew I wouldn't. You don't when you're training. Elder Estigarribia is leaving, to the closest sector possible outside the zone. I'm staying until right after Linc's birthday though!

-I gave another talk! I wrote an 8 page long talk, but we started late and the other two speakers went over, so I had a little more than 5 minutes left. It was fantastic.

-They had a planned, all day power outage on Saturday, which was potentially the coldest day of my life. Since there was no electricity, no one let us in, and because it was cold, I almost died. Fun though!

-I learned that you can't plug in a high-powered space heater and a high-powered water boiler into the same plug at the same time. It will explode. Nothing got hurt though!

-We worked in the farm more! We had pickaxes and dug up a potato-like plant. Not a bad way to spend a morning.

Anyways, not much is going on here. The work's progressing! And congrats to Spencer Warren on his mission call! Have a great week!

Elder Steele

Article 5 Paragraph 11, "Mother's Day" Edition 5.11.15

Area: Yunguyo    Comp: Elder Hogan

Dear Everybody,

-HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MOTHER! I love talking to my family. The fastest 2 hours of the year happen on Christmas and Mother's Day. But in honor of Mother's Day, Alma 56:48 "And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it." These 2000 young men were willing to go to war because of the faith of their mothers and what they'd been taught from their mothers. Today, there's an army of about 88,000 young men and women serving the Lord with the same motivation. Thanks for being the best mother Mom!

-The Elderly decided to invade the bank this week. We had to go to the bank to get money for Elder Hogan this Tuesday. I seriously felt as if I was drowning in old Peruvians.

-We gave a prayer rock to a less active this week, and we chose the biggest one we could find to make sure that it'd work. We asked her how it was going, and she said that it's in her bed, but she forgets about it all the time and sleeps with a giant rock in her bed. So that's interesting.

-We picked habas (a disgusting plant thing) this week at a farm, and it turns out I'm a master farmer. Watch out, Dad!

-Branch council fell through on us yesterday when we were the only ones who came, meaning that both the Branch President and the other companionship didn't come. Happy Mother's Day!

-We painted the Branch President's house on Friday. We didn't know this before, but he decided that the 5 of us (him and the four missionaries) were going to paint his whole house, inside and out, in one day. That ended up taking forever. But we did it!

Anyways, things are going well! Elder Hogan's learning lots of things. I am too. So are all the people of Yunguyo. I mean, that's the goal, right? Have a great week!

Elder Steele

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Episode 5, Hour 4, "Tomorrow's 5 de Mayo" Edition 5.4.15

Area: Yunguyo    Comp: Elder Hogan

Hello everybody,

-Elder Castillo went to Cusco this week to do papers, which means we were in a trio again. Elder Estigarribia tried to learn English from Elder Hogan and I, and he can now say, "I hungry so hard", which shows how great we are at teaching English.

-We went to Desaguadero, a little city a half an hour away. It's supposedly part of our sector, but we've never been. While we were there, the combi's to Yunguyo decided to go on strike, meaning that we didn't get back to Yunguyo for a very long time. Fun day though!

-We get money on the 1st, and Elder Estigarribia is potentially the most irresponsable person, money-wise, that I've ever met. He started off the 1st by getting money, and buying pizza for all of us. He's already out of money.

-The whole zone came to Yunguyo for an activity in the plaza we had, and within 10 minutes of the 1 hour we had with them, it started hailing like crazy. So that was fun and not at all painful!

-We went to visit a lady in our branch who has no money and has 5 of her kids living with her on Wednesday. She told us that she was getting kicked out of her house on Thursday, hadn't even looked for a new house, and had no intentions to do anything for her 5 kids. That was also fun.

-A lady in Puno offered to sell her 7th child to one of our investigators this week, since she said she "has no money and doesn't even want the first 6". Crazy Peru.

Anyways, things are good here! We're working hard, and we've been doing lots of successful missionary things! Have a great week!

Elder Steele

Paragraph 4 Word 27, "Super Conference Weekend" Edition 4.27.15

Area: Yunguyo     Comp: Elder Hogan

Hello everybody!

-We had 3 days of conferences this weekend, which were awesome! The first was all day Friday, and it was a missionary conference with 74 missionaries in it. To finish off, they said, "Now we're going to have a testimony meeting. We have a little bit less time left than we wanted, so please keep your testimony no longer than one minute. The next two hours are yours." 2 hours for a testimony meeting of 74 people?! Awesome! Which we definitely filled up that testimony meeting! Saturday and Sunday were a district conference, which is like a stake conference but for districts. Since districts don't have keys, the one with keys had to be there, which was Presidente Harbertson and his wife. What a great weekend.

-A couple senior missionaries also came to the conference Sunday. After the conference, there was a 'pot luck' lunch, where people put blankets on the ground and just poured potatoes, chicken, and fish onto. One senior missionary commented to me, "The folks back at home will never believe this!" I hadn't even thought twice about this, which means that I've accustomed to Peru very much and that's probably why this email seems to get shorter (and less interesting) every week.

-The pension's son finished his mission this week, and I haven't eaten such good food since I left. She just keeps making everything that he likes all the time, and it's fantastic!

-It was the birthday of a member, so her husband made basically the whole branch ceviche de pollo for lunch, which might just be the most delicious thing in the entire universe.

Anyways, things are good here! My companion keeps pointing out 'ridiculous' things to me. I find none of them ridiculous. I might have a hard time adjusting when I get back. Have a great week!

Elder Steele

Movie 4 Chapter 20, "Happy Half-Birthday Logan!" 4.20.15

Area: Yunguyo    Comp: Elder Hogan

Dear Everyone,

-Happy Half-Birthday to Logan (and me)! Doesn't time go by fast? Before you know it it'll be our 3/4 Birthday!

-We divided Yunguyo in half this week, and we ended up with the half on which no one had investigators. That means that now we have no investigators, and we've been contacting all week. My favorite!

-I was sick yesterday and listened to all 10 hours of this past General Conference, in English. What an amazing conference!

-Yunguyo has decided that it's finally going to live it's dream of being the coldest place on earth, which is fantastic. In other unrelated news, I've loaded up on winter clothes and I can't put my arms down.

-The Branch President's wife is a cake maker for a living, and occasionally shows us how to make cakes. This week's edition? She called it 'frozen cake', and it's a cake that's half jello and has to be frozen for 2 hours before eating it. Who's idea was that?!

-I have once again been blessed by my affinity for Disney, after not watching Toy Story 3 during a Toy Story 3 activity, then teaching an extensive lesson on it in Spanish, quoting parts of the movie. Success!

Anyways, this has been an interesting week! We're working hard, and doing lots of great things! Have a fantastic week!

Elder Steele

Month 4 Day 13, "I'm a Father" Edition 4.13.15

Area: Yunguyo    Comp: Elder Hogan

Hello everybody!

-I have my son! His name is Elder Hogan, from Logan, Utah. He's awesome! His Spanish isn't bad, he's super nice, and more than anything he's super ready to learn. I'm already a proud father.

-I spent essentially half the week in Cusco, which was just the greatest. Cusco, as it turns out, is a fantastic city. Of the 6 Elders that are training, 4 of us are from the same group, so we were together the entire time. There were also 4 more from my group just around. It was a party. A lot of the week was spent just sitting in chairs and telling mission stories. Can you believe that? We already have mission stories! I feel so grown up!

-One of the first things we did when we got back was paint these tiny chalk toy cars blue for hours. That's the kind of service we do here--Welcome to the mission Elder Hogan!

-Yesterday, the Plaza de Armas was fuller than I've ever seen it, and every one of those people had a crate of beer. I've never seen so many drunks at one time in my life, and I've been in this part of Peru for like 7 months. Welcome to the mission Elder Hogan!

-As part of the 'picking up your trainee' process, we go contacting in Cusco's Plaza de Armas, which was exclusively filled with European tourists who neither spoke English nor Spanish, so that was a blast.

Anyways, a lot happened this week, but it can all be summed up in 'I went to Cusco this week', so sorry for the shortness of this letter. Everything's great! We're doing great things! The work's progressing! Have a great week!

Elder Steele

4/6th Session of General Emails-- Birthday-Transfer-Pday-Real Christmas-General Conference-Easter-Master Jedi Edition 4.6.15

Area: Yunguyo     Comp: Elder Hogan

Dearest Everybody,

-First thing's first! TRANSFERS! I'm staying in Yunguyo, but Elder Salas is going to Cusco. That's kind of strange, since I have more time here than he does. Almost never happens. The reason that this is happening is because I'M TRAINING! I'm going to have my own Padawan! Which means I'm a Jedi Master! I don't know who it is yet. I'll meet him this Wednesday, and on Thursday night I'll be back in Yunguyo. I'll let you know in a week!

-Remember the 5 things necessary to become a real missionary? I think I mentioned them a long time ago. Anyways, I finished the fifth last week! As soon as I did, I said, "I'm officially a Jedi Master!" I think that's why I'm training.

-General Conference! I watched it in Spanish, which worked out much better than I thought. I understood it all. I now believe that it's just better to hear the talks in the speaker's own voice, which means that I really enjoyed the 3 talks in Spanish.

-Merry Real Christmas! Maybe we don't celebrate April 6th nearly as much as December 25th, but we should still remember it. It's another day to remember our Savior, who gave everything for us. Try to give him a present of obedience today.

-The Easter tradition here doesn't include Easter Eggs, so after describing them to my pension (who is also the first counselor in the Primary), she loved the idea and decided that we should do them for a Primary activity last Wednesday. They only had brown eggs and red food coloring, but it still turned out much better than expected and the kids love it. Success!

Anyways, I'll be spending a good amount of time this week in Cusco! Have a great week!

Elder Steele

Chapter 3 Verse 30- "Post-Birthday Pre-Transfer PDay" Edition 3.30.15

Area: Yunguyo    Comp: Elder Salas

Hello everybody!

-There was a meeting for all the Branch Presidents and District
Presidents in the whole mission in Cusco this Saturday, which means us
four missionaries were the leadership of the ward (again). We had to
set up the General Women's Session of Conference, watch it, then
un-set it up. Maybe the session wasn't directed towards us, but I'm
not complaining about watching more conference!

-As a missionary, my focus should be the investigators, which means
there's a new rule that I have to watch conference with them. That
means that I have to watch conference in Spanish, so that'll be fun.

-One lady asked us to do some service for her, which involved removing
everything from a big storage room, mopping the floor with straight
gasoline (I'm still not sure why), then turn that big, gasoline-d
empty room into a gym. That basically means moving things that were
created with the purpose of being heavy.

-We played charades in an activity we had, and I chose the words. I
chose words like "honesty" and "gratitude", which are essentially
impossible to act out, then I gave them 30 seconds to act it out. I
was very happy with that.

-We went to the country to visit one very elderly, widowed member, who
was so happy to see us that she gave us 30 pounds of potatoes. I don't
think I'll ever be able to eat another potato.

-I measured my entire apartment, and it came out to 12 feet by 14
feet. That includes our beds, desks, dresser, a rack for clothes, and
our bathroom. Living the dream!

-2 Ne 26:28-"Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not
partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are
privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden."

Anyways, not a bad week! This is the last week of the transfer, and
Conference is this weekend! Watch it! Have a great week!

Elder Steele

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Episode 3, Jedi Counsel 23-- ¨HAPPY BIRTHDAY FATHER¨ Edition 3.23.15

Area: Yunguyo      Comp: Elder Salas

Dear Everyone,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!! I haven´t a clue how old you´re turning, but whatever it is, I think this is the specific age in which it is commonly accepted to give up gardening to focus exclusively on watching Star Wars and letting yourself go (ice cream). Anyways, have a wonderful birthday tomorrow! Do good things! Celebrate! I´ll be celebrating here on my end!

-We have a group of very elderly members who come to church every week, and they´re just hilarious. One of them brought a gigantic bag of potatoes to church, carried it around the whole time, then right after church we were all in the Branch President´s office and he came in and tried to sell it to us. The Branch President told him, ¨You can´t sell that on Sunday!¨ to which he responded, ¨Why did I ever get baptized then?¨ I thought that was pretty hilarious.

-Spiritual thought! ¨Search your feelings, Lord Vader, you know it to be true.¨ -Darth Sidious. Despite the setting in which this was said, the principle is true. If you really want to know that the church is true, say a prayer, and search your feelings. You´ll know it to be true.

-We did a service project this week, where a recent convert family had a two story adobe house that they didn´t want anymore. We started at the top and tore it down, brick by brick, with our bare hands. It turns out adobe houses aren´t that strong. Also, there was a strip of concrete along the base of the house, and I was given a very Thor-like mini sledgehammer and I destroyed it all. I don´t know if I´ve had so much fun in a service project.

-The pension´s husband went out of town for 2 weeks, bringing an abrupt halt to the chuño disaster of 2015. All involved are grateful that the massacre has ended.

Anyways, things are going well here! The branch has gotten to be consistently double the size it was when I got here, we have some actual investigators, and I´m not sick! Happy birthday Dad, and may the force be with you!

Elder Steele