Tuesday, November 25, 2014


It's an experimental program. I'd say the results are mixed.

     I am terribly sorry that I didn't get to write yesterday. I was at this little place that you might have heard of. It's called MACHU PICCHU! And it was the bomb. Like probably one of the coolest things that's ever happened in my life. This email is going to be short so I can send like 100 pictures. 

     So we didn't teach a whole lot because we've been traveling so much. We left the conference with Elder Evans on Wednesday, worked Thursday and Friday, and then went back to Cusco on Saturday. It was a lot of travel and sucked really bad but it was worth it. Most of the mission was at the conference so I got to see a bunch of my MTC buddies, including Elder Black. I had to play prelude and stuff so I didn't get a whole bunch of time to talk but I got enough. They're all doing great.

     This Saturday we're having a baptismal service. We still need to finish a couple lessons with Edwardo and Jasmin before then so we're hoping we can get them in there. 

    We won't be celebrating Thanksgiving but I hope you all have a good time! We actually couldn't remember when it was so I'm glad you reminded me.

     I got your package but I haven't opened anything that was wrapped! I've been playing the crap out of the Christmas music! IT never feels like Christmas time here because there's no snow. It's the rainy season now so it's usually in the 70's during the day and then rains at night. It's the bomb. I'm getting an awesome watch tan-line. I'm still finding new bug bites on my body every once-in-a-while so that's cool. It keeps life interesting.

     My Spanish still sucks. You'll get to see in about a month! Crazy. I hit four months this week. Weird. We have changes this coming Monday. I hope my next companion is a Latino. That way I can learn Spanish and actually start helping people.

    I love you all. I love Jesus. I'm GRATEFUL for the opportunity I have to serve a mission here in Peru. It has blessed me so much and still is blessing me. Happy holidays! Munankuiki tukuy sunhuyhuan! (I love you with all my heart)

           Elder Pearce

**Tate attempted to send some pictures of his adventures in Machu Picchu, but they come through as thumbnails so they aren't very clear. Hopefully we'll get some good ones soon!! Gotta love him for trying!


Monday, November 17, 2014

More Duties

Maybe it's time I get some new duties!

     Okay so this week's letter is going to be short because not a lot happened and I'm going to try to send a bunch of pictures! I'm writing late again because we had to travel to Cusco today for a conference with a GA tomorrow. We left at 5 in the morning and got here at about 3 in the afternoon. Long drive!

         So this week there wasn't a ton of progress. Only one of our investigators showed up to church this week so that was a bummer. We're having a baptismal service the last Saturday before our change but the investigators have to attend three times before they can be baptized, and since Rody didn't come he won't have his 3. Kind of a bummer. The other one with a date has 3 though, so that's good. We have another investigator named Jasmin who has 3 as well and we challenged her yesterday. She was a little apprehensive so we left her a reading assignment in the Book of Mormon and told her to pray to have her testimony reaffirmed, and we're going to follow up with her this week when we get back from Cusco. We're also going to try to call a few of our investigators like Edwardo while we're here. Edwardo is the bomb. He likes to accompany us while we work which is cool. It doesn't count for anything as far as statistics go but it's good for him to see it. He told us he is considering serving a mission after his baptism. So is Jasmin actually. Cool stuff. Hopefully we get to throw those lamanites in the pool this month.

     So the reason we didn't see a ton of progress this week as far as numbers go was because Elder Johanson and I participated in 6 service projects! The first one was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. We went out even farther into the boonies and hauled tree trunks down the mountain. And by tree trunks I mean entire trees with the branches cut off. The way they had us do it was by putting smaller sticks underneath and then pushing it with those. It worked more or less. We got there around 1:00 and got home around 8:00. For the second we just mowed and edged our neighbor's lawn. And by mowed and edged I mean Elder Johanson cut the crass with clippers and I edged with a fun-sized pick axe. Another was hauling dirt from someone's front yard to their back yard. That one wasn't too bad. We had a wheelbarrow. For another one we helped out an English teacher who is teaching all her kids American songs. There's actually a school course where kids just sing English music. Kinda cool. We had to tell them the F-word is a swear word and change some of their lyrics for them though. That was funny. The last one we did topped the first one we did for the hardest thing I've ever done. We went into the other side of the boonies and helped some people carry wood across a river. The bridge across the river was just three trees that someone chopped down from one side. Kinda sketchy. The way we carried the wood was fun. They gave us all potato sacks that were cut open so we could put the wood inside and then haul it on our backs like a panai. We were there for like five hours. My body still hurts and my knees started acting up for a day or two because of it, but it's all good now. I like service though. It's fun and there are a lot of people that need our help.

Elder Pearce's spiritual thought for the week:
     As I carried wood and hauled logs, I thought of the Savior carrying His cross to Calgary. When my body hurts and begins to beg for rest, I think of the pain he felt as He was whipped and scourged. When people laugh in my face because my Spanish is bad, I think of those who spit in His face and mocked Him. When I feel homesick or alone, I think of our Lord as He atoned for everything in the Garden without the support or help of His own all-powerful Father, so that He could know what it was like to be completely and utterly alone. This all gives me the strength to press on.

     I love you all and pray for you every day. Peru is the bomb. I want you all to see this beautiful place one day. Look for the small miracles every day and you will find them! Peace and blessings!

Elder Tate

Monday, November 10, 2014

Death N Stuff

Dead guy Duty

      So last week you asked me if I'd eaten anything weird and I told you not really. WELL right after that we went to help out a lady at her restaraunt and as a thank you she fed us kidney. I think it was from a chicken. Or a cuy. Not sure. Then the next day someone feed us soup with stomach in it. Also probably chicken or cuy. It was fantastic. Both were terribly horrifyingly nasty, but not quite as bad as liver. Actually I lied, Kidney wasn't that bad. Elder Johanson had a hard time with it though. We're still eating great with our pension (who is the bomb.com. She's my Peruvian mom) and drinking our fill of Inca Kola. Practically everyone we visit feeds us. I'm still getting fat. Today I started my new regime of working out extra hard in the morning cause I don't want to come home looking like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man.

     We got five new investigators this week so that was cool. Elder Johanson and I were walking down the street one day when a guy passed us and yelled, "Jose Smith!" I replied with, "Exactamente!" which then led to a conversation and this guy inviting us to a little shop to drink Coke and talk about the Bible. He might have been a little bit drunk, but he sure knew the Bible! He was super friendly. His name is Nixon, and after he made us drink about a liter and a half each, he told us to come by again another day. We then contacted the lady in the store and came back and taught her mom a couple days later.

     Another one of our new investigators is Elvis. We found Elvis while trying to visit another lady named Norma who ended up not being home. Since we were there we just decided to go around the corner and knock a couple doors and we found Elvis while knocking doors and he was very open to chatting with us and discussing religion. He has some very good beliefs about God and I think He'll progress. We actually have about 30 investigators but I'll just keep talking about the ones that are progressing the most.

     We're also still teaching our other investigators that I mentioned last week, Edwardo and Rody. They're both progressing a bunch, and I think will both come through with their baptism dates. I taught my first chastity lesson to Rody this week. He actually took it really well. We also taught Edwardo about tithing and he accepted it with aplomb.

     As far as the language goes I'm starting to get the hang of it. NOT. More like I'm getting the hang of sucking. But that's okay. I'm still improving I suppose. I can kind of have a conversation and teach, I just can't express myself or speak very intelligently or understand everything people say so that's a little frustrating. A member of our ward told me I don't have an accent though so that was cool. I think he was lying but it was still nice.

     So this week we had two deaths in our ward. They were both older gentlemen who were very ill. One was actually the father of a member of our ward but it still counts. Funeral traditions here are very odd. When someone dies, the family holds a viewing at their house for three days. During those three days everyone and their dog comes over and just sits, talks, and eats their food. The family spends the three days cooking for everybody that comes over. Kind of a sucky way to morn. Then for the actual funeral the pallbearers carry the casket to the cemetery, only they take the longest way possible so everyone in the city sees that someone died. Then at every corner they set the casket down and they sing a kind of music called Gwayno (not sure how to spell it). Gwayno is very authentic Peruvian music that is absolutely appalling. They sing half in Quechua and half in Spanish, but they switch off at really random times. Like mid-sentence sometimes. If you're Mormon though you also sing hymns so that's cool too. Elder Johanson got to speak at one of the funerals. He was asked about five minutes in advance. Also, No one is actually buried. Their cemeteries are all full of tombs that are above ground. Not sure why. Maybe that's why Peru smells so bad all the time. That, and they poop in the street for funsies. I love this country.

     Well, that's about all for now. I love you all. I know the church is true. Keep your heads up and your backs straight. Posture is important in the work of salvation. Or something like that. Don't cite me on that quote. Peace and Blessings! Solo tienes que sonrier.

Elder Pearce, or as the Peruvians call me because no one can say my name right, Elder Payarce


Monday, November 3, 2014

High in Fiber, Low in Fat

Hola to those back in civilization!

And now, I'd like to turn the time over to Elder Pearce to answer mom's questions:
     So as far as investigators go, we have a ton. We got two more new investigators this week. One is an older gentleman named Arturo. He is actually a reference of another investigator, Isabel, who's husband is the doctor. Arturo is very intellectual and loves to read. He told us that he was looking to add a more spiritual element in his life. We told him about our purpose as missionaries and about the Book of Mormon. He told us he used to have one but lost it. Luckily, I had an extra one to give away. When I gave it to him his eyes lit up and he held it with such care, and turned the pages with an almost reverent touch. Then he hugged it in his arms and thanked us. He told us he would read it so that we could talk about it next week. He's going to progress well.

    Another investigator we have is a 22 or so year old guy named Rody. Rody is a street contact that Elder Johanson made with his previous companion. He lives next to a less active that they had been teaching (who is also progressing). One day there was a small earthquake (not really though. Peruvians make a big deal out of EVERYTHING). Elder Johanson and his companion were looking for the other guy when they bumped into Rody. He told them that he had just thought of God for the first time in two years, then there was an earthquake, and the missionaries showed up. Pretty cool, He's very intellectual as well. He's a university student and is super smart. With some people this could be hard because intellectuals challenge everything, and that's kind of how he was at first. But slowly his heart has been softened, and now he uses his intellect to find reasons why the church is true. Yesterday at church he told me he'd looked up how many LDS churches there were in the world, and he was amazed at the number. He told me that's how he knew this was true, because the work is progressing and has been for hundreds of years now. When we taught him the law of tithing he said it wasn't something he wanted to do, so he was going to pray for the faith to do it. It's amazing when you can see changes in these very special people.

     As for transport, we take taxis almost daily. At least when we go down to the actual city of Andahuaylas. Our sector is called San Jeronimo. It's a small town (a little farther into the boonies) outside of Andahuaylas. So when we work in San Jeronimo we walk everywhere. There are some GIANT hills that we walk up. Our sector goes part way into Andahuaylas though, so when we go there we take a taxi or what's called a Convi. It's just a giant van that functions as a taxi that you can cram about 500 people in if you want. And they do. They're both super cheap and fun.

     The food is really good for the most part, and I eat a LOT. There really aren't that many weird dishes. I can even buy ketchup here! And Twix! Usually for meals we just eat rice and chicken and potatoes. Every meal. Rice. Chicken. Potatoes. I've seen some pretty creative ways to throw potatoes into a meal. I actually really like cuy, or guinea pig. It's like KFC. I really don't like mozomora, which is like hot jello made out of purple corn. They also make drinks out of purple corn that aren't fantastic but it's doable. The worst thing I've ever had here is a drink called Leche Puro. It's just milk STRAIGHT from the cow. And I mean STRAIGHT. Unpasteurized, untreated. It tastes exactly like bum. It's usually served hot. Other than that I haven't eaten very many weird things. Lot's of fried stuff, like potatoes. The desserts are always good. I miss fast food and mom's rolls. I'm in a pretty good area as far as food goes, and really everything else. It's a great area. I hope I get to stay a little longer after my training.

     So Halloween STUNK. Everyone here thinks that Halloween is Satan's birthday, and all the other churches discourage people from celebrating it. The Catholics all dress up like angels for some reason. Elder Johanson and I went and bought a bunch of candy and soda and a pineapple after proselyting hours and ate it. Next morning, felt fantastic.

     My Spanish is improving so that's cool. I've learned a few quechua phrases too. Other than that I'm doing good. Just trying to work hard. The harder I work the better I feel. I love you all. The church is true. Munanquiki!

Elder Tate