Monday, December 28, 2015

To Make Room for the Tuna

December 28, 2015

Well there's not a lot of new stuff to tell since Friday. I'll do my best though.

We found a new investigator. His name is Elvis. He's an Alcoholic. He's 31 and he's been addicted to alcohol since he was 13. Pretty rough. He has a very strong desire to be clean and stop drinking. It's going to take a lot but with God everything is possible.

We've been working with an elderly lady named Alicia. Elder Arias and Elder Day had been teaching her for a while before. She accepts pretty much everything but she has an issue with the fact that she can't worship saints. We talked about it once with little success so we just decided to kind of leave it for a while and come back to it when her testimony of the BOM and Joseph Smith are a little stronger. She came to church yesterday for the first time! Or second. I'm not sure. But either way she came! We tried to set a baptismal date but she didn't 100 percent accept. She said she's think about it and then we'll see. Hopefully church was a good experience for her.

We weren't able to have an appointment with Earth, Wind, and Fire last week but hopefully this week we'll track her down and be able to teach something.

Church yesterday was sweet. Apparently the chapel where we attend is one of the most central chapels in the city, so there's always lots of tourists there. yesterday there were like 20 tourists in our ward. A bunch of them came up and talked to me. Some lady took a picture of me with a bunch of little kids and was like "I'm gonna send it to your mom when we get back" and stuff like that. It was funny.

That's about it. Love seeing you all on Christmas. I have the best family ever. Lots of love! 

Word to your mother,
Elder Tate

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out

December 21, 2015

Feliz Navidad a todos!

Well changes went smoothly and I have adjusted to my new sector and things are cool. It's kind of an interesting place. Crowded, lots of tourists and traffic. Kinda like Juliaca only a little less crazy and a lot cleaner and prettier. Cusco is the most beautiful city, for real. It's like a big bowl made out of mountains. It's awesome. And we're in such a high altitude that when it rains the clouds touch the tips of the mountains. It's really pretty. I'll take some pictures this week. The altitude here is actually about a thousand feet less than Puno, so I've been feeling fantastic. The other day we were walking up some hills and my companion was getting tired and I hardly felt anything. It was awesome. I can only imagine what it must be like to drop like 10,000 feet in altitude. I'm going to be frickin' marathon man.

My pensionista is Yomira (jo-meer-uh). She cooks very well. I think she cooks healthier than any of my other pensionistas. She makes breakfast lunch and dinner and does our laundry. It's awesome. She has two sons that are 16 and 14 years old and they're fun. Things with my companion, Elder Arias, are going well. We've been getting along just fine. He's 24 years old. He was baptized like two and a half years ago. He's from Santa Cruz. He's a cool guy. We won't be having any baptisms on Christmas, but I think we'll have one or two this change. We found a new investigator this week. A member was doing visits with us and he took us to her house. Her name is Sol Mar y Cielo. That means Sun Sea and Sky. That is literally her name. I call her Earth Wind and Fire because I can never remember what her actual name is. She's cool though. I think she'll progress.

I've already been playing the piano a lot here. I was asked to play for the stake choir in an activity, as well as a bunch of primary choirs (didn't know about those ones. Good thing my sight-reading has improved!). I'm also going to play for a missionary choir in the mission Christmas dinner this week. Lots of fun. The stake choir did a good job in the activity. They sang one song in English and every time they said forever they pronounced it foreber with a b because they can't pronounce the v very well. It was cute haha.

The elder that I replaced here was Elder Day, Trevor's seminary student. He's going to Andahuaylas as a zone leader. He and I decided that we want to visit the mission together because we've been in the exact same areas our whole mission. Andahuaylas, Juliaca, Puno and Cusco. Kinda funny. Elder Day is a stud and has become a good friend of mine.

Well that's all for now. Love you all and I hope you have the best Christmas ever! Remember to make room for Jesus this Christmas and every other day of  the year. I know that He lives.

Elder Tate


December 14, 2015

Why can't dinosaurs talk? Because they're all dead

Well I'm heading out of Puno. I got a change to... (drumroll....................) CUSCO. I'm going to a be a zone leader in Cusco. My new companion is Elder Arias. I met him a while back and he's a good friend of mine. He's from Bolivia like Elder Flores. Elder Flores' new companion is his trainer haha. I'm really bummed to be leaving Puno, but I think I'll like Cusco. There's some good work left unfinished for Elder Flores and Elder Asay. I'm super bummed that I won't be here for Christmas to see the baptisms that are going to happen, but hopefully they send me the picture. We went and stopped by Milagros' house (the older one) to tell her the news and she cried really hard. I felt kinda bad for pretty much ruining her whole day. She'll get over it though. Today I'll say goodbye to a few other people and pack my bags. Woopie.

I sent a recording with everything else. I love you all and hope you have the best week of your lives!

Elder Tate

Monday, September 7, 2015

Happy Birthday, Graci!

Science suggests that birthdays are healthy. The more you have, the longer you live.
Quick birthday shout-out to Graci!! I can't believe you're ten years old! You were eight when I left! Holy smokes. I love you with all my heart and I promise to buy you (and Kenna) Slurpees when I get home.

I sent a recording with just about everything. We went to Cusco for leadership training. We go once a month. It's a meeting that lasts about seven hours but it's usually really cool. President and Sister Harbertson talk to us about mission stuff and how to improve and where we need to focus on, etc. We also eat SUPER good food. President's pensionista is an international chef. We had lasagna for lunch and it was probably the best thing I've eaten in Peru. The last time we went we ate stroganoff (however you spell it). We also had cake and ice cream for dessert which was just wonderful. I talked to Elder Yorgeson and he's going to send you the pictures on Dropbox one of these days. He says he can only do like two gigs at a time though so when he sends them you need to download them so he can send more. J got baptized on Saturday!

As far as things I like about Puno more than Juliaca... There's a lot of things. I don't love the sector or the experiences more, just the city haha. I absolutely LOVED Juliaca, but I would never EVER live there. Probably not Puno either, haha, but if I had to choose I would choose Puno. Puno is smaller than Juliaca and there's WAY less people. It's not crowded and full of people like Juliaca. The people here are also generally nicer, too, because it's not a big city atmosphere. It's a lot prettier too. There are more hills and the lake is gorgeous. I have genuinely loved all of my sectors though, and was sad to leave Andahuaylas and Juliaca, and I'm sure I'll be sad to leave Puno. I honestly couldn't pick a favorite sector. Each place has just been full of lessons that I needed to learn, and they have all helped me to grow in different ways. I feel like I haven't really been here for Peru, but that Peru has always been here for me. Peru waited for me for 18 years so that I could learn and grow and become the person that God wants me to be, and I still have so much farther to go. I love my mission.

Love you all! I hope that this week is the best week of your lives!

Elder Tate

Monday, August 17, 2015

No longer alone!!!!

What does a duck and  bike have in common? They both have handle bars... except for the duck.

On Thursday my companion FINALLY got here from Cusco with the two new elders that will be living in our house. Elder Pavon (my companion) is from Paraguay. He has one change less than me in the mission field. He started in Andahuaylas when I was with Elder Johanson and we lived in the same house for two changes. He's really cool. I think it'll take a while to get used to each other's personalities but we get along just fine and our styles of doing missionary work and teaching mesh quite nicely. From day one he's been bringing up lots of really good ideas and suggestions. I think he's exactly the companion that I've been praying for. This is going to be a good change for sure.

The other two elders in our house are Elder Zerillo and Elder Reyes. They're both from Lima and they're both really cool. All the new guys are very polite to the pensionistas which I love about them. One of the other missionaries from before was kind of obnoxious and it frustrated me a little bit.

As far as my zone leader job goes, I'm basically a nanny for 18 other missionaries. Whenever someone has a question they ask us, whenever someone gets sick they come to us, whenever someone misbehaves we have to take care of it. Sometimes it gets really stressful and frustrating, but other times it's chill and I actually forget that I'm a zone leader. I think I'm going to be bald by the time I get home though. Oh well.

This week (once Elder Pavon got here. The other days I was staying with elders in another sector) we worked a lot with J, our golden investigator. One day we gave him all of the pamphlets and told him he could read if he felt like it, and left him a reading assignment in the BOM. The next day we had an appointment with him and he had read all six AND written little summaries of each pamphlet AND had read the BOM from the beginning until first Nefi. Pretty darn cool. He has a baptismal date for the fifth of September. Things are great with him. The members are also doing a great job at fellowshipping him.

That's the only news I have for this week. Feel free to take out whatever you want from my package so it's cheaper and I'll just buy what I can here. I found a blender for like 60 soles that's really nice that I'm considering buying to make fruit smoothies and stuff to maybe help with my hunger and just to have a healthier diet in general. I don't want you to feel like you have to spend tons of money on me or send lots of things. Just the things I can't find here. The rest I can just buy so it's cheaper and easier. For real though, don't send tons of food. Just treats and snacks and I'll figure out the rest. If worse comes to worst, I'll just walk it off and be a man.

I love you all and pray for you every day! Don't sweat about school, mom. You'll be great!  No worries! I love you tons! Tell Dad and Trevor and Hilary good luck with starting school too. Love you all tons!

Elder Tate

Monday, August 3, 2015

Traveling . . . again!

Tate sends us a weekly recording. I have tried to transcribe it each week, but it doesn't always happen. If you are interested in hearing any of his recordings, just email me at and I will send you the link. 

Tate is currently serving in Puno. He was transferred there 5 weeks ago and is now a Zone Leader. He has had to spend a lot of time traveling during this transfer - hence the subject of this week's email!  He said on his recording that he has logged about 50 hours in travel over the past 4-5 weeks.

He just passed his ONE YEAR MARK!  Yippee!!  He is doing great!


What did George Washington say to his men before they got on their horses?
"Men, get on your horses."

I figured since I hit a year I would start doing lame jokes instead of movie quotes.

I sent a recording with pretty much everything on it from the week. We had to travel to Cusco again. Elder Cando was supposed to go to Machu Picchu tomorrow but the company they work with has completely changed everything so they had to do it all different. Now he's going to go on Saturday. Woot! That means he'll leave on Friday and never come back because he'll go home right after that. Crazy stuff. I'm going to stay with the other two elders in my house to do the last week of the change and then figure the rest out from there. There's a guy in my ward named Harold who's getting ready to turn in his mission papers and he wants to be my companion for a few days, so I think I'll jhave Harold come get me and work with me for as long as he can during the day and then just stay with some other companionship until dinner time. We'll see how it goes. Harold is a super stud so I'm kind of excited to work with him and teach him a little bit about missionary work. He's like 22 years old, and he just recently hit his one year mark of being a convert to the church. 

I love you all. Hope this week is the best week of your lives. Keep strong, study the scriptures. We never know the affect we can have on other peoples' lives if we just put in a little effort and study. We shouldn't read the BOM to just read, we should read it to learn and be spiritually edified every single time.
Our stake president, Pres. Soto talked a lot yesterday (talking to the stake leaders) about teaching DOCTRINE, not just our own opinions or experiences. We need to teach people the DOCTRINE of the gospel, which means we teach them eternal truths. If we study the scriptures, we will learn the eternal truths that will impact the hearts of other people. I've also been trying to get better at asking "inspired questions." Questions that come from heaven rather than from me. I truly feel that asking inspired questions is the only way to get to some people's hearts and allow them to have and feel a true conversion.  Peace and blessings.

Elder Tate

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Puno is the Shiz

Watch out for the yellow ones, they don't stop!

Well it's been another fun week in Puno. We haven't had tons of time to teach because we've been planning the next multi-zone conference that we have on Wednesday with an Area 70. The conference we had with President Harbertson went really well. We did it at a beach in a place called Charkas. It's pretty cool to be able to say that I've been to a zone conference on the shores of lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Anyways, it started out really well. We had all of the district leaders give short trainings,  spiritual thoughts really because they cut our time down but it was still good, and then Elder Cando and I and the other zone leaders from Juli did an activity with a training. Elder Cando and I talked about unity and how we need to help each other as missionaries because we all have the same goal. We tried to do an activity where they had to walk a trail with candles and they couldn't let their flames go out, but then a ferocious wind came in and we couldn't even get them lit, so that was kind of a bust but we ended up getting the same message out of it. President Harbertson talked a lot about the different roles that men and women have in the priesthood, and how it doesn't work without both, and sister Harbertson talked about how sins  bring burdens into our lives. It was a great conference. It ended up getting really cold towards the end though and we had to finish in the tour bus that we rented haha. It was still fun though.

As far as my duties as a zone leader go, I'm basically just a babysitter for other missionaries. We have to deal with any sort of tomfoolery that the other missionaries pull. Luckily, our zone is awesome and we don't have to deal with much.  We also have to plan things like multi zone conferences, travel plans for any missionary that get to travel, and stuff like that. We get a zone fund every month that we have to keep track of very meticulously or we end up losing money and have to pay out of our pockets. We also get to travel to Cusco once a month for leadership conferences and then conduct a zone conference afterward to give all the other missionaries the information that we received from president, do trainings, practices, etc. It's fun I suppose. I like being in a position where I can help other missionaries. I don't LOVE it but I won't complain any more than that. I suppose that God has a reason for calling me to this position, so I'll do it. I find myself being about twice as tired as I've ever been though. We're up late a lot because we have to be doing something, making phone calls, passing numbers, etc. It's great.

As far as Puno goes, so far I'm loving it. It's super cold but super cool. It's very pretty, and the people are a lot nicer than in Juliaca, haha. The members here are excited to help us with the work. I haven't really met any of our investigators yet though, just the Ofelia lady I mentioned last week. Elder Cando is the bomb. We get along great. He told me the other day, "I've enjoyed my entire mission like crazy, but this change I've been enjoying it even more." He told me that it was because of me, because I'm cool. That made me feel good inside. He's probably one of my favorite companions as well.

Things are good here in Puno. The food is great. I'm always hungry now, too, for some reason. I think it's a combination of stress, walking a ton, and the cold. I like my area and my zone. I love you all and hope you have a great time in the wilderness. Sometimes it scares me that I'm in a position of authority and that God is really putting all this trust on my shoulders, but I know that he'll always be here to help me every step of the way. God is real. Jesus Christ lives. They love us and always know what's best for us. Until next time!

Elder Tate

Sunday, June 28, 2015

June 22, 2015 (transcript of Tate's weekly recording)

Today is June 22, 2015. This week was pretty good; it was a little bit slow again. I have a few other things that I am going to send in an email, but I am going to try to talk about some fun things, I suppose. We got to participate in a temple dedication. The Peru, Trujillo temple was dedicated yesterday and on Saturday was the cultural celebration, so the Stake broadcasted it to the Stake Center and we brought investigators and got to watch the broadcast of the cultural celebration. 
 (Just so you all know, this music in the background is from a Comvee that I am in with a bunch of other missionaries coming back from a ruin called Sillustani.)  Hopefully I will be able to send some pictures, but I feel like God doesn’t want me to send pictures home because it never works.
The cultural celebration was really cool. It was just a bunch of really cool traditional Peruvian Dances. Pres. Uchtdorf and Elder Bednar came to see it and do the dedication. It was really neat. We got to see it. There weren’t any other church meetings afterward. 

So, I have mentioned our investigators J&C and their sons. They are progressing like crazy. The first time we went to visit them we gave them the introduction of the Book of Mormon to read and asked them to pray every day as a family and they read the introduction and prayed every day as a family. The second time we went we asked them to start reading the Book of Mormon for 15 minutes as a family every day, and so they did it and they are still doing it. They have come to church twice – in a row, and they have come to a bunch of activities and they are doing awesome.  So this week we gave them a baptismal date for August 8. We put it so far back because they aren’t married yet. We are trying to set that goal with them right now. We have an appointment with them tomorrow, so we are going to talk to them about marriage and help them set that goal. We aren’t going to set a wedding date for them, but they have already accepted a baptismal date, so we are going to challenge them to be married before that date. It was really cool – we challenged them to be baptized and at first they asked if there was a date a little further back than August 8 and when we asked them why, they said they weren’t ready. We told them if they keep doing everything we ask them to, then they will be ready. They said, “If the two of you believe that we can be ready by then, we will be baptized on August 8th.” That was pretty neat. They are a good family. 

The other couple that we have been working with is still going to go talk to her parents in July about them getting married. I think it is kind of silly because they are like in their 40s and they have 2 kids; they might as well send them a fax that says, “Hey, we got married.” But, it is cool, I guess. They do not want to change it, so we are going to work really hard with them to make sure they actually do it. They are starting to come to activities, so we are hoping to kind of get them rolling again. We had a good lesson with them yesterday about eternal marriage and temples and sealings, and they seemed to really enjoy it. So we are going to be focusing more on that and help them realize that as long as they aren’t married they are missing out on blessings. We kind of told them that last night. We told them that we love them so much that we don’t want them to lose those blessings; that is why we always talk about it. They took it really well and they said that we have helped them realize things and helped them put everything into perspective. They are so good. We asked them if they were nervous or worried about getting married, and they said no, that they were still planning on going to talk to her family in July. 

Those are the big things for the week. It was a little bit slower week. There were a lot of appointments that fell through and it was kind of a rough week, but it’s okay. We have talked about what we can do better to improve our work and our companionship and everything and we are hoping that this next week will be really good. 

We went on splits this week and my companion had an appointment with Chanel and he said that he has prayed and felt like he wasn’t ready for baptism. He didn’t come to church and hasn’t been reading his scriptures, so that is probably wise. The next time we meet with him I am going to help him realize why he is not ready – it is because he isn’t keeping his commitments and he didn’t come to church last Sunday and he probably is not reading the BoM everyday and doing the things we have asked him to day. If he isn’t doing those things when he prays for an answer he isn’t going to get an answer. We are going to try to help him put that into perspective and get a new baptismal date. We aren’t going to have any baptisms for this change, but it’s okay because we have a few that look really promising for next change. 

We found some new investigators this week that seem pretty promising. We have gotten our ward missionaries to start picking things up again. We had a few good meetings with them, then it kind of fell, and now it is starting to pick up again. We have been able to have mission correlation a couple of times. We had a our Noche Alborada and it was really good. J & C came and L & M came. They brought their kids as well. We had some less actives there. Elder Wimmer bought some piñatas and filled them with candy. We gave a little lesson. It ended up to be a lot of fun. We had three pinatas – after the first piñata broke, they all went crazy to get the candy, even the adults. They all just rushed to get the candy each time. 

We planned that one ourselves because the ward missionaries didn’t come, but we had ward correlation yesterday and we were able to get assignments out for the one this Thursday. People said they will bring friends and investigators, and that will be good. They also rearranged our ward boundaries so now we go to church at 10:00 instead of 2:00, so that will be way nicer than before. We are looking forward to that. 
Not a lot of other things happened this week, unfortunately. I feel bad because I keep saying in these recordings that things aren’t happening. It probably makes me sound lazy or like I am not working, but I promise we are doing everything we can. We reevaluate every day to see what we can do better. Lots of things have fallen through this week, but we are trying to build it back up. I am just hoping to be able to lift it back up. It’s the last week of the change here and I am hoping to leave the ward stronger than when I got here, or have one more change so that I can fix things here. 

That is my week. To finish I just want to send a big ol’ huge HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, Feliz dia papa to my sweet daddy. Happy Father’s day, Dad, yesterday, hope it was good, love your buns, you are my hero, and I want to be just like you in every way. 

Also, I want to send a birthday shout out to Hilary and to her baby boy, Legend, this week. Hope they were good and that there was lots of candy. Give Legend a whole bunch of candy and soda and stuff that he isn’t supposed to have and tell him it is from me because I am the cool uncle.
That’s about it. I love you all. Hope all is going well.
Until next time . . .

6-22-2015 (email)

I sent a recording with pretty much everything from this week. It's been a hard week for sure. One of the worst so far to be honest. Everything seems to have kind of fallen apart. Chanel's not getting baptized, we've lost less actives and it seems that all of our appointments just fall through and we spend the whole day walking.

This Saturday was probably the saddest day of my entire mission so far. I think I've mentioned before a less active named V. Well, this week we stopped by to talk to her and tell her that we weren't going to come back as often unless she started keeping her commitments, but ended up getting the same thing from her. She's moving out of Alborada boundaries and we won't be able to visit her anymore. She seemed like she'd finally hit the bottom. She hasn't been keeping her commitments and even told us that she doesn't feel any remorse for her sins anymore and doesn't feel the spirit. She only reads/prays/whatever when we do it with her, and the next time she does anything is when we come back. It seemed that any light she had has been taken away. I told her that she's not happy, and she agreed. I told her with tears in my eyes that for five months now we've told her the things that will make her happy and they will never change. She's never done any of them. Elder Wimmer and I both cried during that lesson because we knew that when she left she wasn't going to do those things. It was so heartbreaking to see her just reject so many blessings that were within her reach. It also seemed like she didn't care about us anymore. She used to tell us that we were the best missionaries ever and that she had no idea what she was going to do when we were gone, and on Saturday she didn't even act like she was going to miss us, and even tried to "correct" our missionary work. It was so sad. My heart just hurts for her. Seeing her reject those blessings and knowing that she might be lost was worse than being homesick, physically sick, having a companion that won't talk to me, or whatever else. I know that I did what I could and that she has agency, but I still feel a sense of failure. I feel like on top of that I've let Alborada down. I don't want to get a change knowing that things are how they are. This is the last week. I'll find out on Monday if I'm staying or not.

That's about all for this week. The rest is on the recording. Even though this week was very trying, in a strange way it was a huge testimony builder for me, because I know what she's losing. It's sad, but it helped me know that the things that I'm doing are right, and that if I do what I'M supposed to, I'll be saved. The Church is true, I know it with all my heart. I love you all. READ THE SCRIPTURES!

Elder Tate


I've been forgetting my weekly movie quote. I've really dropped the ball on that one.

I got your package today mom, and all I can say is WOW. You spoil me too much. I'm going to try really hard not to eat all the treats in one week. Thank you so much!

I'm sorry if I sounded down last week. I've had a few trying experiences that brought me kind of low but I'm fighting my way back up and nothing will stop me. I'm not the same whiney little bum that I was when I started in Andahuaylas. I know how to trust God and be patient. Just like that quote you sent me, bad days end, God comes through, he never hasn't. 

I don't usually say much about President H. because I don't hear from him too often. Just at multi-zone conferences and interviews every other change. He and Sister H. really are the coolest. They are both so smart and seem to almost command the spirit. I love hearing them speak in zone conferences. They know very well when to be hard to get us to fix things and when to be loving to motivate us. In the last conference we had a few months back President brought up a lot of issues in the mission and then said, "If the shoe fits, wear it. If not, don't worry about it." I especially love the comments that Sister Harbertson has. She is so darn smart and always brings the spirit. I talked with President about some of the things that were bothering me in my interview with him last week and he said all that I needed to hear. 

This week was really slow because they had a protest and everything closed and traffic stopped and we couldn't find a single person. It lasted from Tuesday to Thursday so we didn't get a lot done. I sent a recording with a little more on that.

Things are great here in Alborada. The ward missionaries are getting more excited to work and we've been doing lots of less active visits with the hopes to see fruits from that. We're rebuilding the ward little by little, as well as improving ourselves and becoming the men that God wants us to be little by little. We're strengthening the recent converts and hope to strengthen the current members little by little. The small and simple things are the things that will bring the strongest changes. I've learned that my ministry as a representative of Christ does not end after two years, nor will it end with my death. It will last forever.  Mom, Dad, everyone, do me a favor please. Visit those who need to be strengthened. Visit those who are falling away. Please help them feel like someone cares, like they're wanted. All they need is a friend that loves them but that can speak with them boldly. Please do that.

The church is true! I love you all and hope the best for you. Enjoy the camping trip. Remember that We're all soldiers in God's army. We are all called to serve. This is the greatest work that we can be doing, and it will never end. It's never too late to start. It's all true.

Elder Tate

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June 8, 2015

Thanks for the email! It's been a SUPER slow week. It seems like we work really hard one day and then come home and realize that all we really did was just walk all day haha. We had a few negative comments from members again but nothing crazy. This week will be better I'm sure. As far as your questions go mom, yeah there's a lot of people here that live with their super old parents. It's really common. It's also really common to have a family of cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. all living together, which sometimes can be really good. It also happens a lot because there are almost zero family morals here. It's really sad. As far as the money goes, they only cut our travel money (like for taxis and stuff. Just more walking I suppose) and a little bit of personal. I have heard though that we are in the cheapest mission in the world right now. I have three soles to spend for breakfast every morning, which is the equivalent of about a dollar. The food here is pretty cheap, but I usually take some money out of my account every month to spend a little extra here and there to make sure I'm fed good. So thanks! My personal money is also the equivalent of about 20 US dollars. It's cool though. It's just money.

Hope you had a good time at Disneyland and that you didn't die from an earthquake. That's funny that you ran into Caroline. I thought she had left already. That's fun. They're a great family.

I've had a few rough experiences lately, and one thing I've realized is that I haven't stuck to my resolve to trust the Lord and be patient, so that's something I'm going to work harder on this week. Even in the hardest of times, the Gospel just seems to work. Even when I feel that my testimony is at its weakest, I can still feel the assurance in my heart that it just seems to make sense, and there's always enough strength to bear my testimony to others. I know that this church is true, and that God loves us. We always need to look to Him in the hardest of times. When we do all we can it still won't be enough, but if we give our heart, the Savior will pick up the rest and do the heavy lifting. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I stand with my best friend Jake with his statement, "I may not know much, but I know the church is true." Love you all!

Elder Tate

Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 25, 2015

Tate has been sending weekly recordings, which I love, but it takes me awhile to get them transcribed so I haven't posted for awhile. The following is his email and transcribed recording from last week. It is long. 

May 25, 2015

     First of all, I would like to start off my weekly recording by saying whoever came up with the idea of electric powered showers should be drug out into the street and shot – twice.  I get electrocuted by my shower just about every single day and it still just amazes me that someone thought, “Hey, why don’t we just stand in a stream of water and we will heat it up with electricity while we are standing in the water.” It just doesn’t make any sense to me, but at least it is warm water even though I shock my fingers every time I try to wash my hair in the morning. 

     Today is May 25, 2015. We are walking down the streets of Juliaca. We are running down to the Sorrita family’s house. They have been letting us use their washing machine. They are a blessing.
This week was awesome. We freaking did work is what we did. One of the cool things that happened was the couple that we have been teaching.  They have been taught by lots of different missionaries before and this week we have been really trying to get married. They keep saying that they want to get married but they have lots of debt, so we made a container for them, a little piggy bank, and wrote 30 days on it. We said that we found a place where they can sign the papers to get married that will only charge 60 soles to get married, which is the equivalent of about $20.  We told them that if they each put in 2 soles every day they will have enough in 15 days, so the goal we presented to them was to have enough money to get the papers in 15 days and to be married in 30 days. They don’t want a party or anything crazy; they just want to sign the papers and be done. They accepted the plan and they have been doing it. We double checked with them a couple of days later and they have been putting the money in, so we are super happy for them. Now they just have to work with their family. They have to talk with their family members who are probably going to tell them not to do it and stuff like that, but we are going to keep working with them and try to get them baptized right after they are married here pretty soon. 

     Another cool thing this week is that we have been teaching and working with before. His name is “C.” He is a super stud. When I first got here in Juliaca I thought that C was a member because he attends church more than a lot of the members do, and he comes to all of the activities and everything. We have been working hard with him, and we finally got him a baptismal date this week. He had been just kind of scared for awhile, I think, because he wasn’t sure it was something he wanted to do. He was worried he was going to get baptized and then be a bad member. The counselor in the bishopric told us that he has some siblings who are members but aren’t really living their lives like they should as a member of the church and he sees that. So he doesn’t want to be baptized and then be a bad member of the church. We had a really good talk with him one day and basically told him that nothing is going to change after your baptism; you are going to be the same person, and it is your decision if you are going to remain faithful or not. We kind of helped him see and we were also with another member who helped us out a lot. He accepted to be baptized on June 13th.  He is amazing. He studies his Gospel Principles book every Saturday or Sunday morning before church so that he knows about the lesson before we teach it. He also right now, actually, has an assignment to visit less active members and he isn’t even a member, and he is visiting less actives. It is pretty incredible. He is a stud muffin. We are really excited for him and we are working really hard with him. We are working with his little brother as well, and his parents. They are the only ones left in their family that aren’t baptized. 

     This week we were also very successful in finding lots of new investigators. We had found lots of new investigators before through an activity that we did and we are finally getting to the point where we are finding them, contacting them, and meeting with them. On Saturday we extended three baptismal challenges and every single person we extended it to accepted. We didn’t set dates for them yet, but they accepted the challenges. We have been teaching this new family, but we haven’t taught them all at the same time. We have seen the wife and then we saw the husband after. The husband accepted our baptismal challenge for him and so did his family. 

     We just got a new Standard of Excellence today that we received in our Zone meeting. We are supposed to find seven new investigators every single week. That will be challenging but we will do it! – or at least we will do our best and try really hard. 

     Those are the coolest stories for the week. Not much really super exciting but just lots of good things happening. 

     Elder Wimmer got his first package today, so that was fun --- he’s so happy. 

     By the way, I totally had a conversation with someone in Quechua the other day. It was the coolest thing ever. We had changes last week and one of the elders in our zone got called as a District Leader so he had to go to Cusco for training so his companion stayed with us for a day. He is from Bolivia and they actually speak Quechua in parts of Bolivia. Anyway, he speaks Quechua! The day he stayed with us during our language study I had him teach me some stuff. We live on the 6th floor of our apartment building (with no elevator) – it’s awesome, especially at the end of a long day when you’re sick! A couple of floors below us live the landlords and the parents of the landlady lives with them. They are super old and they only speak Quechua. The mother of the landlady is a little bit crazy. The other day when we were getting ready to leave our house and the door was kind of cracked open (we can’t lock our door so at night we put a chair in front of it then if anyone tries to open it, the door hits the chair and wakes us up) and we were getting ready to leave and the old lady walks in and just starts yelling stuff at us in Quechua and starts going through our stuff and we had no idea what to do! So I just told her, “Hey, we’re leaving.” And she said something else to us, but I had no idea what she said, so I just said, “No, we’re leaving.” And then she said “Okay” and left. It was awesome. I totally talked to her in Quechua and got her out of our room! I totally had a breakthrough this week. Haha!
That’s about all I have this week. We are really, really excited for what is to come. A lot is happening this week. I hope all is well with everyone at home. Love you all! 

Talk to you later!


Monday, April 27, 2015

Do you not know that I have had diarrhea since Easters?

Hey there,

So this week was good but sucked as well. We both got SUPER sick and were out of commission pretty much the entire week. I'm a little bit worried about my health. I pooped blood twice last Monday and then later in the week I was throwing up and I've had diarrhea since like Tuesday. Today I think I'm finally recovering but the blood thing kinda freaked me out. It hasn't happened since Monday though so I think I'm okay. Now I'm just working on being able to eat again. Every time I eat it just kills my stomach, like probably the second worst stomach pain I've ever had (first was when I was in Andahuaylas for one day haha). I didn't eat for like two or three days last week. The mission office said they could get me diarrhea pills but that was it. I seem to be getting better now though. It might be a good idea to get an American opinion though. I don't trust Peruvian doctors. EVERY Peruvian thinks they're a doctor too.

We did have a baptism on Saturday and it was great! Pictures aren't working today so I'll send more next week.

I do have two cool experiences though: 

So in church last Sunday a lady in our ward brought a friend that was a preacher for the Seventh-Day Adventist church. He's a really nice man. Anyways, I teach gospel doctrines in our ward, and he was there. I taught about prophets. It was kind of on the fly but it ended up being okay. After the lesson this preacher dude hung out until the others left and then asked if I could "answer some questions for him." He ended up just showing me a bunch of scriptures in the bible about prophets to try to contradict me, but none of them had any relevance and they weren't even contradictory. He didn't Bible bash very well cause he fell asleep during the lesson. Anyways, he showed me those scriptures and then a couple others and made an off-handed comment about how there's lots of people living in darkness and don't know they're being deceived and some other hoopla. I just listened politely and then thanked him for sharing those with me. THEN, a guy in our ward came to me and asked for a blessing of health. He had an earache and kidney pain and had had pneumonia a week or so before. We said it was cool and shut the door to give him the blessing. The preacher stayed to observe. We explained to him how the blessing worked and then Elder Wimmer did the anointing and I gave the blessing. In the blessing I felt the spirit so strong, and I felt it tell me what I could say. I said "I bless you that your body will heal. I bless you that you will lift yourself from this chair and leave this room healed so that you can be an example to all of us in this room that Christ lives." After the blessing, he stood up, gave us a hug, and walked out with a smile on his face. After the last hour of church I asked him how he was. He told me his ear had no pain. God had healed him. It was an incredible experience. It may have been something small like an ear ache but to me it was a huge testimony builder, and I knew that I wasn't the one who had been decieved as the preacher had said.

The other one happened on Monday evening last week. There's an Elder here in Juliaca who is one of my best friends from the mission. He had been having some problems and wanted a blessing. He felt like he couldn't ask his companion because his companion didn't have the spirit with him. He said he's disobedient and he never prays, so he came to me. I gave him the blessing and listened really hard to the spirit (the details of the situation aren't important for now). After the blessing he said that I had said some things that were word-for-word out of his Patriarchal blessing. Pretty cool. It was a great spiritual experience.

That's about it for this week. Have you sent that package yet? I was thinking that maybe having some granola bars or cliff bars or something would be a good somewhat healthy snack to have while walking all day. Something a little on the healthier less greasy side would be good in addition to some treats. Whatever you feel though. 

Love you all!

Elder Tate

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015

You are tall and fast, like a gazelle

Hello there!

This week has been a great week! Elder Wimmer and I are going crazy with the work and he gets better at Spanish every day. We've had lots of spiritual experiences this week and even seen miracles.

We've still been working with Wilmer and he is super excited for his baptism on Saturday. His sister was going to be baptized on the 2nd of May with Makenna but something happened on Saturday night in the family, some sort of problem involving her I believe, so she didn't come to church on Sunday, which means she won't have her attendances by then. Hopefully she can do it the week after.

The Surita family (Mariela and Luis and their daughter Nicol) are all progressing really well. They're going to have an interview with the Bishop this week so they can work on setting goals to get married. They want their daughter to be baptized as well, and she's also expressed to us that she wants to do it. They're the best. I will definitely keep in touch with them forever.

So if Dad or Trevor or anyone has any ideas for games that we can play in big groups for activities we'd love some ideas. We need games to play at our noche misionales.

That's about all for this week. The batteries in my recorder died so that's why I didn't send a recording this week. Love you all! Hope all is well. Sounds like a fun weekend coming up! Wish I could be there. Love you all!

Elder Tate

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Don't be a Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie!

It's been a short week cause I had to go to Cusco so I pretty much told you everything in the recording. Basically, my new companion, Elder Wimmer, is the and I'm really happy he's here! This is the most excited I've been on my mission.

I found out yesterday that Elder Rodriguez is probably going home this week. Apparently he did something illegal in his country that he didn't clear up before the mission so it's very possible that he's going to go home. I'm not really sure what's waiting for him there. Really sad though, We'll know for sure next week though if he goes. Bummer.

Love you all! Tell brother Miles, Sis. Steinecke and sis. Nielson thanks for the letters they always send me. Hope all is well! Peace!

Elder Tate

The following is a transcript of his recording. In case you can't tell, he loves his new companion. 

April 13, 2015

     It has been a cool week this week! Last week I told you that I got a call to be a trainer. I didn’t do a lot this week because I had to go to Cusco to pick up my new companion. His name is Elder Wimmer and he is really weird. I don’t really like him very much. He is kind of obnoxious. He is from Pleasant Grove so he thinks he is really cool (sounds of the companion laughing and joking in the background). Haha!  No, he is the BOMB! He is super-duper cool and we are already doing way more things than we were doing before. It is awesome. We are going to get the work going really, really good here in Alborada. I left for Cusco Tuesday morning and got back on Thursday and we just went straight to work. We visited some people and introduced my companion to everyone and we are doing well. 

     A couple of cool stories for the week: On Saturday we went to visit our investigator, Wilmer that I have talked about before, who has a baptismal date. His brother, who we had talked to on Thursday, said, “Hey, I want you to start teaching my sister.” We said, “Great!” So we went over and we taught his sister as well as Wilmer again. We taught Lesson One to her and reviewed it with Wilmer. At the end we asked how she felt about it and she said she felt great.  My companion challenged her to be baptized and she accepted. She said that she was willing to learn more, read the Book of Mormon, and be baptized. At that moment I felt the Spirit really strong so I challenged her to prepare herself to be baptized on May 2nd, which is a week after Wilmer’s date, and she accepted. We talked about pushing Wilmer’s date back a week so that they can be baptized the same day. We are going to work really hard with her and with Wilmer, get them to church every Sunday, make sure they are reading the scriptures, and keeping their commitments. Justo (their brother) has been working with them as well and reviewing all the lessons with them. He is great to have in the lessons with us. He brings in a lot of insights and he knows them really well, so he knows how to teach them and it is great. We are really excited about that. (Justo is a member)

     When I got here my companion told me that there were ward missionaries, but I didn’t know who they were and they didn’t do anything. Apparently, they were supposed to be coming to our Noches Misionales, which I have talked about before, and help us out and bring people and plan it all. Since I have been here we have been doing it all. Sunday, this guy in our ward named Henry Casaca (he was the bishop before our current bishop) came up to me while I was playing prelude before Church and he asked if we had ever thought about working with the ward missionaries. I told him that Elder Wimmer and I had actually talked about it and that we want to get started but I didn’t know who they are.  So he took us around after the sacrament service and we talked to the ward mission leader and he knew who most of the ward missionaries were, so we had a meeting with them right then and there. We told them want we needed them to do and that we wanted help with Noche Misionale and to bring people. They were all super willing and ready to go. This made me super, super excited. We are also going to assign each of them a family to go visit and they are going to be responsible to help them get to church as well as get us references. We are going to have weekly meetings with them to coordinate missionary efforts with them and our ward mission leader. It is going to skyrocket. We are going to boost up this ward. A year ago the ward had about 120 people attending sacrament meeting.  This Sunday there were 70, so Elder Wimmer and I set a goal that by the time we are done here together, at least these two changes, we want 120 people in sacrament meeting and we feel like we are going to achieve that. So that was a really special experience. I went up after Sacrament meeting and talked to Henry (the former bishop) and thanked him for helping us out. We are ready to go. On Sunday we nearly filled up the entire week’s agenda with things we are going to do. We are already getting the work moving along and I am so excited!  

     My new companion is Elder Wimmer from Pleasant Grove, Utah and he is the bomb! He is super excited to be here, he is super happy, he is excited to work, and he just wants to get work done. He wants to learn Spanish and he just wants to help, he wants to do his job. He already speaks Spanish better than I did when I started. He will improve and he is already helping me so much. It is a blessing to have him with me. We are both just incredibly excited to get going here, so lots of really good things to come. 

     That’s about it for the week. It was kind of a short week for us. We did lots of work though as soon as we got here. Since I am the district leader I had to call the missionaries in our district to report their accomplishments, and Elder Wimmer and I had some of the highest numbers and we had only been here since Thursday. It is going to be great!! This is probably the most excited I have been on my mission. We are already super busy, so we are stoked. 

I love you all. Hope all is going well. Happy birthday Riley and Makenna!