To start off this week I just want to get the big news out. So first off, President Herrera has asked that I stay here in Cusco till Thursday this week to help with the changes and a few other things before I head off to my new area. Now for the big news! I have been assigned to open up a Brand New Sector that has never had missionaries before in area of Puno called Manco Capac in the Zone of Bellavista. My new Companion is Elder Vargas from Bolivia who will finish his mission with me this coming June. He is an ex Zone Leader as well so I am really excited to have him as a Companion and to go back down to Puno to work as hard as I can in this new area. Like I stated, this area is brand new which means that I am literally going to be carrying the area book in my bag with me for when I get to my area. It is pretty much like we are starting out at Zero and getting the work moving along. There is currently not a place for us to live, furniture to use, or even a Penchanista to feed us. So before I head down to Puno, we are going to go furniture shopping for everything and then when we get there we are going to head out to search for a place to live and someone who can feed us (the pension). So that is so far all I know as far as changes go, but I am really excited for this new adventure to be doing something that I never thought I would do!
As far as this past week in Cusco, it was super busy! I was crazy busy trying to finish the training of Elder Larsen and trying to help get him as ready and as independent as possible for when I leave. Also I spent a good chunk of the week going and visiting members, investigators, and converts that I have had during my time here. But perhaps one of the coolest things that happened was talking to Julio, one of the converts I have had here. Julio has struggled a lot during these past few months as a member. He has had a lot of trials but has strived each day to do the best he can. Perhaps the greatest blessing for me is to see someone who started out with such little knowledge, grow to gain a testimony of this Gospel and of its reality!
This week was also Thanksgiving and we were able to have a great big Thanksgiving dinner with President Herrera and his family as well as some of the other missionaries here in Cusco. There is an awesome senior couple in our mission who got a package of some stuffing mixes and pumpkin in cans so they prepared us a few things from the States and it was really awesome! Sadly, I just want all of you to know that the food back home is VERY SWEET!!! My taste buds have become accustomed to eat food with less sugar and after eating some food for Thanksgiving it was almost like I couldn’t handle all of the flavor. It was delicious though and was a good experience to be able to experience Thanksgiving in Perú since it doesn’t really exist here.
Also this week we had our P-Day on Saturday, so we decided to visit the last set of ruins before I leave Cusco. This time we went and visited the city of Pisaq which was a city full of temples, agriculture, warfare and many other things. It was a huge city and it was incredible to go and see the last big set of ruins that I haven’t seen during my time in Cusco. It has been such a blessing to be able to go out and see so many ruins of cities that were constructed and inhabited by the descendants of Lehi.
In closing this week I just want to share a quick story that occurred while teaching a lesson to a new investigator this week. We were asked a really tough question that I honestly not have the answer too. The investigator looked at us waiting for the response and I sat there trying to think of how to respond. It then just came to my mind that I should just tell him that I didn’t have the answer and that, that answer would be good enough. Thinking twice about how to answer, I decided that I would try to answer the question to the best of my ability. As I began to answer the question I immediately realized that I should have listened to the prompting that I got from the Spirit to answer the question with a simple “I don’t know the answer”. After the visit, I was really upset with myself for missing the prompting of the Spirit that would have helped the investigator understand a little bit than he did when we left. It made me ask myself the question “How many times a day am I missing the simple promptings”. Throughout this past week I have realized that there are so many times where a prompting will come, but I will just dismiss it. In life, we are all given the gift of the Holy Ghost when we are baptized and all have the right to receive the promptings of the Spirit. Sometimes I think that it is so easy to just dismiss the promptings of the Spirit when we are going through our days and miss out on opportunities. Something that I am trying to work on currently is to recognize more the little promptings. God loves us and he will use us to bless the lives of others, we only need to be willing to listen to recognize the promptings. I love you all, have a great week!
City of Pisaq
Pisac is a village in southern Peru’s Sacred Valley region. It's known for its lively handicrafts market in the main square. A path winds from the square past agricultural terraces up to Pisac Archaeological Park, a hilltop Incan citadel with ancient temples, plazas and the Intihuatana, a stone structure thought to have been a sundial. Views from the top stretch across the Quitamayo gorge and surrounding valley.