Monday, February 9, 2015

Big Person in Little Peru

Hey! Those ninjas are stealing that old man´s diamonds!
This weeks been a lot better than the last. My companion and I had a couple talks last Monday after internet and things are improving. I've just decided to fix the things that I need to fix personally so that I feel better about myself. It's helping.
So I don't remember if I ever said thank you for all the birthday cards that y'all sent me. So If I didn't, THANK YOU. They were all awesome. I haven't gotten my birthday package yet but I'm pretty sure it's in Cusco. Our zone leaders had their monthly meeting in Cusco last week but for some reason didn't have time or just decided not to bring anyone's letters. Not really sure. Next month I suppose.
These weeks been cool. I'll start with the first story of the week. There is a lady in our ward named Denise. She's like thirty. She's the only member in her family. She works at a little wanna-be pharmacy called a botiqa in Spanish. Her sister also works there, but has told us a few different times that she has her own religion and doesn't want to hear our message. WELL. Last Monday night we told Denise that we were going to bring a pizza over to her botiqa and that she needed to invite her sister. She told us there was no way her sister was going to come but we still left to go buy the pizza anyway. We went down to the Plaza of Juliaca where they sell pizza, ordered, and then ran to the supermarket to buy laundry soap while they were being made. While we were there we saw her sister, Daisy, doing some shopping. She told us that the soap we were buying was too expensive and showed us where they sold it cheaper. That sparked a small conversation and in the end she agreed to be at the botiqua to eat pizza (don't worry it was outside. We weren't alone with two sisters. It ain't like that). It was cool that we just HAPPENED (not) to find her in the store and she just HAPPENED (not) to agree to come. Cool stuff. It was an awesome opportunity for her to see that the missionaries aren't that weird and for us to share a little bit about the church. Now we're friends and she wants to have dinner with the missionaries again. Pretty cool.
Story numero dos. So on Saturday we were sitting outside of our pension's restaurant where we almorzar (lunch) and were chatting with her a little bit. she told us she didn't want us to leave because she wanted someone to talk to while she cleaned up a little bit. Her restaurant is in the middle of a big old market called tupac. It's a big part of our sector that's just full of little shops and people selling stuff on the street. That's where we met our Columbian gypsie friends. Anyways, across the street there were some ladies playing around with little cans that look like silly string but they basically just spray shaving cream. Carnaval starts here next week and for basically one week people will be drunk and throwing water at each other and spraying shaving cream everywhere, so these ladies were just getting ready early I suppose. They were having a grand old time. Then, one of them thought it would be funny to spray the white kid and his latin friend. So naturally, we reacted because I'm American and I play to win. My companion reacted first by throwing a bucket of water at them. In the midst of the chaos I managed to swipe one of their shaving cream sprayers and it was on. It ended with all of us completely soaking wet and covered in crappy shaving cream. After playing a bit I told them we had an appointment so we had to stop. One of them asked where I was from and what I was doing in Juliaca, so I told her that we were missionaries and that sparked a good 15-minute conversation with them. By the end they all agreed to come to my piano class in the church that night. (last week I forgot to say that I teach piano in the church on Saturdays now. And English on Tuesdays. It's cool). After the class I shared a quick thought about eternal families and then played my rendition of Families Can be Together Forever. It was great and I'm sure they all felt something like Elder Rodriguez and I did.
Elder Niaupari also sent me a picture of my friend/investigator Dona in Andahuaylas. She got baptized last week! Cool stuff. He's got kind of a hard companion right now too. I miss that guy.
And now time to respond to mom's questions:
My new apartment is awesome. There used to be four elders there but now there's only two so it's a good size. It's on the sixth floor of the building though so that's kind of a bummer to climb in the altitude after a long day. I run stadiums in the mornings for exercise haha. And there is hot water!
I'm getting plenty to eat. Probably too much. I haven't had to eat the super gross chuno this week though. Just the kind of gross kind, so that's always a bonus.
My health has been awesome. I think I've lost a little weight which is good because I got fat in Andahuaylas.
My biggest challenge this week for sure was that I finally ran out of short sexy hair and the hair gel here sucks. I'll live though.
Our biggest success was we placed a baptismal date for one sister (more to come on her later. Her name is Maribel and she's a reference from some other elders. She already had desires to be baptized when we met her. Pretty awesome) Also, I just thought of a story. We have one investigator named Cecilia who's talked with like three or four different companionships. She's received every lesson, attends church, and even pays tithing. She told us last week that she was scared to be baptized and wanted more time to receive a real definite answer. At the end of the lesson I felt a prompting and so I promised her that if she didn't forget to pray that night (she forgets things a lot. Sometimes within seconds. She hadn't prayed after the previous lesson) and if she did it sincerely that she would receive an answer that she couldn't forget, nor would she forget our lesson. I was a little scared to make that promise but  I thought of Ether 12:6 where it says we won't receive any testimony until after the trial of our faith. So I tried my faith. Yesterday in church she told my companion that she had received an answer and was ready to be baptized. AWESOME! What a huge testimony builder that was. We're going to meet with her this week so I'll keep y'all posted.
The scripture with the biggest impact on me this week is the above mentioned Ether 12 6. I use that almost daily in lessons.
I'm looking forward to teaching this week. Our baptism will be the next week after that.
It's been a good week. Things are slowly but surely picking up. I like Peru. The Church is true. I'm a poet and I didn't even think that was possible. Amen.
Elder Tate

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