Hola mi Familia y Amigos:
I hope everyone’s week was good and that everyone had a great New Years. I am doing really well and it was fun to celebrate my first New Years out of the country. New Years here in Puno Peru is pretty much like Christmas, with a lot of fireworks and a lot of drinking.
Today for P-Day, we went to the Puma of Puno which is pretty much like the Condor that I have shared with you in the past. It was pretty cool and the group of us that went had a lot of fun today going over there and I took some video along the way as well as some pictures that I will share below.
What a week! This week involved teaching a lot of new investigators! It’s Super awesome to be working hard, that is one aspect of the mission I love! As far as teaching goes, things are moving along pretty good with our investigators and my Companion and I have a few that need just a little more work and then they will be ready for baptism. But overall, things are going really great for us. One of the really neat experiences that I had this past week was I was able to share my Testimony with some people in Quichua. There are a few people here, especially the older ones that speak this language. Interestingly enough, there are a lot of people here who think Quichua is the language the people spoke down here at the time of Christ. There are Quichuan books that refer to the "White God" that visited the people and promised to return some day. Also, there are a lot of people here that think that Machu Picchu is the place that Christ appeared to the people here.
Now, let me tell you a story from this past week! So on Sunday, we were walking to Church for Sacrament meeting. As we were walking, we walked passed a drunk man who I thought was passed out from the New Year’s night before. He looked over and speaking perfect English said “Elders come help me!” Normally we ignore drunks because we don’t want to face any troubles. But this time, it was different. I felt the impression to go and help him out. So, I walked over even though my Companion protested against it, and helped. As I walked over I noticed the giant tattoo on his chest and smelled the super strong alcohol and marijuana that he had been using the night before. I helped him up and helped him put on his shirt. He then said in perfect English “Elders I am coming to Church with you today!” so, we continued walking to Church and on the way I spoke to him in English asking how he was so fluent and if he was a member and such. On the way, he explained that he was born into the church and had lived in Salt Lake City for 8 years when he was 11 till 18. While there, his Dad served as a Bishop in a Latino Ward in Salt Lake City. After his Dad had been released the family decided to move here to Puno where his Dad would continue his work as a Doctor. It was when he returned to Peru that he decided to leave the Church and began drinking and doing drugs. Now 29 years old, with his life in a shamble he was walking to Church with 2 - 19 year old missionaries after not setting foot in a Church for 11 years! As we entered and sat in the Chapel the meeting began. Coincidentally the first opening hymn was the Spirit of God. As we sat there and as I shared my hymn book with this man, he began to sing. The Spirit became very strong and he started sobbing. He spoke and told me that he wasn’t worthy to be in the Church. He tried to leave but I stuck my arm around him and told him that he was exactly where the Lord wanted him. He sat and then it was time for the Sacrament, the Deacons came by our row and the tray was handed to him. Not taking any, he passed it to me and began to cry again. He said “I am not clean enough to be taking of this, but because you brought me here today I know I will be take it again someday!”
After staying for all 3 hours of Church he thanked me and told me that he wanted to change his life and that he’d be back next Sunday. That was \when that I learned his last name. I realized that I knew his family, they were in another Ward but on one occasion when I did discussions with another missionary. I had a visit with his family several months ago. In the lesson his mother prayed and asked the Lord to let someone come and help her son. Months later, the Mother’s prayer would be answered through a prompting. I got to help pull a drunk man back onto his feet and then have him come to Church with me. I testify that God answers prayers in his time, all things will and can be made right again. I testify this is the work of our Father in Heaven here on the earth, I am just an imperfect 19 year old trying my best to get through each day! We are just the hands to rescue those in need, his lost sheep.
Proselyting in Puno Peru