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