I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and that you enjoy this very special day. I just wanted to take a quick minute to give you an update on this week! First off as you may know we gave Brownie, the Little puppy as a Christmas gift to my Pensionista and I just wanted you all to know that she loved the gift and her reaction was super awesome! She loved it but perhaps one of the coolest gifts we gave were to poor Little Children here in the City. So earlier this week I had the idea of giving toys to little kids who would not be receiving Christmas gifts this year so I bought some gifts and last night (Christmas Eve) Elder Vargas and I walked around the streets in the poorest areas in our Sector. We knocked on the doors of dirt homes and gave little kids some toys and I can honestly say that the reaction they had was absolutely priceless! They were so thrilled and it also helped my Companion and I to feel of the true Spirit of Christmas during this time of year. We also were able to turn the activity into an opportunity to find more people to teach which ended up working super well!
Perhaps one of the biggest miracles of the week happened this past Friday. Up until Friday it had been a super difficult week and we had not had a whole lot of success up until then. We had several service projects during the week but my Companion and I were both pretty frustrated because in the aspect of investigators we had not had much up until Friday night when we were in a small market. My Companion was at the cash register buying something for a Ward activity that we had when a man walked up to me and said “Hey you are a Mormon aren´t you?” I responded and told him that I was indeed a member and a Missionary for the Church. He then said “ I am not a member of the Church but I was wondering if you had a copy of The Book of Mormon that you could give me” I pulled out a copy and was able to talk to him a little more and find out that he had never received missionaries before, but had Heard very things about the Church from friends at his work. I was able to get his address and set up a visit to be able to visit his entire family this coming week. Very rarely does someone ask to hear the Gospel from us as missionaries but I know that there are many people here in Manco Capac ready to here this message and for that reason we always need to be ready to share this message that we have.
One other awesome experience occurred this past week when we were doing a service project. As soon as we got to Manco Capac, my Companion and I have had many service activities and the opportunity to help 5 different families move. On Saturday night we received a call late at night asking for help the next morning at 5 am to help a family move. I was a bit reluctant to go because we had helped one family move that day already (Saturday) along with another service Project that day. Although we were exhausted we went to the activity and began to carry many things up and down 4 flights of stairs and although I we were exhausted we happily served and at the end came the blessing that we had been hoping for. Not knowing beforehand, we found out that 3 of the 6 members of the family were nonmembers and the rest were very inactive. At the end of the activity we invited them all the come to Church with us and were really surprised when we arrived at Church and saw them all sitting together as a family. It truly is incredible how much the Gospel can bring families together and bless the life of every individual.
In closing this week I just wanted to share my testimony of how grateful I am for the opportunity I have to be a missionary in this very special time of year. There is such a special Spirit during the Christmas season in Peru and I have loved the opportunity I have had to serve here during this time of year. One thing that has really stood out to me is that every family here has in some shape or form a nativity set displayed in their home. As I have worked here I have learned that these people all have very strong desires to follow our Savior. They serve and do just about all they can to do based on the knowledge that they have been given them. As a Representative of the Savior and his Church I have been blessed to meet these incredible people and teach them about the truthfulness of His Church. I love being a missionary and doing my best each day to love and serve as he would. I love you all and wish you a Feliz Navidad!
Christmas Parade / Dancing in Peru!