Monday, July 27, 2015

Week in Review - July 20, 2015 - July 26, 2015

Hello home! This weeks email will be divided by topic, instead of days so you can stay with the theme.  So to start out..
Elder Holmes and Inkley
This week was Elder Inkley's last week in the mission. Yup, I'm gonna miss that guy, it was super fun to be his companion in Satipo, and have him be my ZL [Zone Leader] here in Huanuco.  

Something that was pretty cool this week that I got to do was go on divisions with him, one of his last days.  And I can tell you, did he feel the stress or what!  That is something I am not looking forward to. But it is ok.  I just finished 11 months yesterday!  Woah!  At least, that I am almost halfway done, things are going way faster, It is so hard to believe how the time is just flying, but only if you keep yourself busy!  There are a few times however when time doesn't pass to quickly and that's when you are at a Restaurant named San Felipes.  It's a chicken Restaurant (Surprise!) I will just say, terrible service, goofed up my order, messed up my receipt, and I sat next to a completely exposed chicken cooker exhaust pipe.  Yup. It was camouflaged  with paint to make it look like one of the pillars of the restaurant.  

Well I bumped into it, my arm was battered with Chicken Grease, and If I had stayed it would have burned me.  With all of that, they have us our soda without means of opening it (Glass bottles without means of cap opener).  I will tell you, with all of that, I went and asked for the owner. First they told me he wasn't in, then I told this little miss nobody if I went downstairs to the first floor if I would find them.  Sure enough I did. And in a very politically correct manner let him have it, and told him that I will NEVER recommend that anybody eat here.  I'm sure that hurt, as one of the few gringos that eats there now tells people not to eat there.  If I was in the states, I could have easily sued and won on this sinking disguised exhaust pipe and poopy service.  Did I get a new shirt form them, a coupon, something free, or even a mint?  No.  So that is for the world to see , do NOT eat at San Felipes.  Thank You.  Oh yea.  and this as the day we went to eat with the Bishop and his wife, and we took them out to dinner. He loved that I said something to the owner too.. Many times here the people are afraid to talk to the owner, or they just blame it on the fact that they just don't know better.  Well, they will never learn if nobody tells them.  

Talking about the bishop, funny story, Somebody bailed on Saturday night to give a talk, so bishop came over to me and asked me if I could give a talk about the Sacrament for 10 minutes.  I asked him if he was sure because this is the 3rd time I talked in 6 weeks, he said sure!  I love how you talk and don't hide anything and you burn the people when they need it.  Your example and your manner of talking with the members in the ward in this manner has really helped us, so Elder, I would like it if you could lay down the law with the Sacrament because there are always people who are late, and don't get to participate if they are late.  Oh bishop No problem.  I accept.  Whoo... Bible Book of Mormon, and I didn't call out by names, but counted how many people walked in late after the blessing.  30.  30 People.  I used scripture and laid the law.  I saw jaws drop, and right after they were shaking their heads with me in accordance. I hope they apply this to the following weeks.  Ugh... I am definitely developing different manners of speaking to the people here based on their needs.  And let me tell you, I can speak faster and cleaner when I am in the burning mode.  Haha...

Speaking of burning, the stake called a stake ward council meeting last minute, and nobody knew, but the majority went.  Basically the stake called everybody in just to burn the missionaries because there hasn't been baptisms in a few wards for more than 2 or 3 months.  They are comparing our numbers to a few years ago when they had more, but now they are less.  The thing that they have yet to understand is that we do NOT Baptize people who will become less active.  They just want us to baptize, and that's it. And this is something that the members finally understand, and it was a beautiful experience to see our members depending on us in the meeting. And these baptisms the stake has, they were all investigators that were taught for 5 months and it wasn't something fast and easy.  Here in the Huancayo Peru Mission, we try to baptize converts, not numbers, and I'm sorry if a few leaders don't yet understand that:  What I would love for them to show, is how many less active members we have rescued every month and how recently since President Henderson came, the attendance in all wards are climbing, and the wards are strengthening.  It's because we are as missionary here to fulfill our goals.  Baptize, Confirm, Retain, and to Activate. If they want to know where our progress is at them, maybe they should look at the other in forms we send in weekly. Ugh. As missionaries, we all understand our role and with the same help and clarification from the Seventy Elder Waddell, we were able to defend our position a bit.  If they only look at the Less Actives that are progressing, after 3 months that we have been teaching somebody, this individual is finally in their interview.  And interview for 2 hours! THIS is what I like to call progress.  The spiritual and temporal progress of one individual cannot be a number sometimes. Sorry.

To finish this off, this week a little girl that has down syndrome got lost this week.  So needless to say we went to help when we received the information the same evening.  We went for a few hours and helped out.  As of yet, I do now know where the little girl is, but I hope that they will be able to find her.

Woah.  So here is the sneak peak into the life of a missionary here in Peru.  Less Actives, that are finally progressing after 3 months, the struggle to find new investigators that keep commitments, stake meetings that makes us want to throw up.  And grass filled skirts with poppy service.

But this is what I signed up for right?

P.S.  Ward council.  I bought everyone who fulfilled with their duties a little chocolate.  Out of the 10 assignments, 6 of them finished, so these 6 received their chocolates.  And look, I received a reference of a family from one of them, and the rest  were joking that they would do what ever we need if we just bring chocolate.  Hahahaha....

Elder Holmes
Fúanuco, Perú