Down to my last week here in Cusco! Man time sure does seem to fly by really fast! Just in case any of you are wondering, as of now I still am not sure where I will be having my change to next week but I hope to be finding out soon… this Wednesday I will know! I am really excited about the adventures I have had here in Cusco and for the incredible people that I have been able to meet here. It truly has been a place in which I have continued to grow and learn to become the person that I know our Heavenly Father wants me to become. Although I am unsure where exactly our Heavenly Father will send me next, I know that he will send me to the place where I am needed most. No matter where it is, I look forward to the next adventure and to continue serving with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength.
This week was a super busy week for us out in the field teaching the gospel. We had a lot of visits with many of our investigators but perhaps the one of my favorites of the week was visiting one of the new family that we found. They are a family of 4 and the father, Ricardo, is perhaps the most interesting of all. As we spoke to him and got to know him a little more, he explained to us that he grew up in very humbling circumstances. Circumstances so humble that he never was able to go to any school during his youth and still to this day has never really received a formal education. He also explained that he has worked in many jobs throughout his life in order to provide to meet the needs of his family members. As we talked for a while, we began to talk about Joseph Smith and his story. We explained that he was raised in situations similar to his and as we began to talk about the Book of Mormon and its background, it really began to catch his attention. Miraculously he didn’t seem to have many questions or doubts about any of the things which we taught, and seemed very receptive of all of the things which we had taught. We were able to give him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he has accepted to read it with his family during this week.
Now for some interesting information. I know I have talked several times about really strange or weird things that I have had the chance to eat here in Perú, but one of the things that I don’t think I have mentioned (there are many things I won’t mention until after I am home, I don’t want to freak my Mom out), is fish head soup. Now honestly it probably sounds really disgusting to all of you but it has honestly become one of my favorite soups that they make here in Perú. Not only is it super delicious but it is also one of the healthiest things that you can eat because as I have heard over and over from the Peruvian people, the head of the fish has a higher concentration of vitamins than the rest of the body. This week we were invited to the Bishops house to eat fish head soup with a dish of fried trout. It was absolutely delicious and I can honestly say that Peruvian Fish is the best!
Another cool story for the week occurred when we were out knocking on doors. So as we were climbing one of the big hills in our sector, we began to knock on various doors as we climbed the mountain. As we climbed we knocked on several and then walked up a ways to knock another few doors. As we knocked one particular door, I was amazed as one of the first investigators I ever taught here in Cusco walked out. It was a little hard for me to realize who it was at first because about 6 months ago was the last time we ever taught him because one day after going to visit him, we found out that he had moved and he didn’t own a cell phone so there was no possible way for us to contact him. As we began talking to him, he expressed his interest in having us visit him again and to continue where we left off the last time we were teaching him. So this coming week, we are going back to visit this investigator that I thought we had lost about 6 months ago.
Today we played American Football her in Cusco with 3 other Zones for Thanksgiving this week. It is an annual tradition to play and honestly it was a blast. Although it took the Latinos awhile to learn how to play we had a super fun time. I was the Quarterback and threw 4 TDs so I guess you could say I am preparing for the NFL while I am here in Perú! I guess all that time I wasted playing Madden paid off in some way… Hahaha just kidding! It was really fun though.
In closing this week I just want to end with a thought that I have had during the week. Since I am heading out to perhaps my last area next week, I asked myself a question that changed my perspective a lot. I asked myself “Am I getting out of my mission what I wanted to get out of it when I came?” As I have thought about it this week, I have realized that although I am not the perfect missionary and although I make mistakes, I am trying to do the very best I can. As I stated early about Ricardo growing up in humble circumstances and having to work for everything that he has, I have realized that the mission is the same as life. In life, nobody gets what they don’t deserve. Although at some points it may seem that others receive something they didn’t earn, in the end they get what they worked for. Nothing that anyone has in life is free or just given. It requires hard work and a large desire to obtain that which one is striving for. It is no different here in the mission. You get out of it what YOU put into it. It is completely your decision of how the mission will go for you. Although there are things you cannot control, in the end it depends on the missionary and their personal desires and decisions. I have been asked countless times by future missionaries what advice I would give them and my advice is simply to prepare to have and be the type of missionary that they want to be. You will get out of it what you put into it. If you want to be obedient, successful, and work hard each day of your mission; you should prepare yourself to be that type of missionary now. It is simply YOUR decision. I love you all and hope you all have a great week!
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