Monday, August 31, 2015

Week in Review - August 24, 2015 - August 30, 2015

P-day, Monday.  Today I was put in charge of planning p-day, and here in Huanuco, there isn't a whole lot that we can do that is fun.  So that is where your creativity really gets stretched.  

Catered Lunch?? Yum
This is a restaurant sign, but not sure if it was
from the catered lunch.
So, this week we set up a type of catering fort the zone of the 12 missionaries in the chapel, a member who has a restaurant, and the Mr. Pension for them agreed to cook a super lunch for all of us with dessert and deliver it and set it up.

Elder Holmes Homemade Monopoly
Then after our lunch, I had set up in the cultural hall as a Monopoly board, but changed all the properties and chance cards to be realistic with the places of the mission.  For example the cheapest properties were Huancavelica, and San Pedro de Cajas, and the most expensive was the house of the president, and the office of the mission.  The chance cards were hilarious, mostly because they applied to crazy things that go on here in our very interesting mission.

Tuesday  Today at 9-ish we left for Huancayo for the first meeting of District leaders in like 8 months. In all of that, I'm fine, because the travel is just disgusting. And we passed through with our car to Cerro de Pasco to pick up 2 more of the District leaders, then off to Huancayo.  I think in total there were (right now) like 30 districts of missionaries in the mission.  Basically in our meeting, we did questions and answers, paperwork for baptismal junk and what not.  We also discussed (and president did a practice) of how to deal and interview missionaries that are having difficulties with their companions or other issues.  I won't lie, president is hilarious when he does his practices with us.  He totally nailed the missionary who doesn't want to resolve his problems and just wants to call (the president) of course it wouldn't be a training if there weren't Hna. Hendersons Brownies. Hna Henderson also did a wonderful training that I have already incorporated twice in my area this week during trainings, that I had planned.  All in all, I really enjoyed and was able to use this training for a bunch of stuff we are doing in our areas.  

Oh ya.  In Huancayo we ate China Walk, and Popeye's Chicken. Yum Yum! and on the way home I ate my favorite p├ínchamanka that I have tasted here in the mission.  I think there are GPS coordinates in those photos so you can see where it was at.l....

Wednesday was a long trip home. Free Panchamanca.  Passed through Cerro de Pasco, and it snowed for like 2 minutes... Then Got home... A few elders were sick when I got back... And we finished the night having dinner with Bishop.  Khon Walk.  Yum Yum.  

Thursday!  Happy Birthday Mom!  Hope it was great!  I won't remind you how many years you have, but Just know that Dad is older ya!  Hahaha... 

Today somebody offered me weed because they thought I was tired from walking all over the place today, from the super up high section to the below section... So funny hahaha... Sent 2 names to the temple with a member that is still activating... Found an Israelita.... Had a few lessons, rained super bad for like 10 minutes.... And had a district meeting.  Super good day.  

Friday. Nothing. 

Saturday.  Family History, we sent two more names to the temple so that they can be sealed.   From these 4 names this week, they were just waiting for their sealing and stuff, because the person who sent them originally over  a year about could not do the ordinances for them... so... I sent them 4 to the temple.  The temple in Lima printed 2 of them, and we are waiting for permission for 2 more because they are more than 110 years... But there is progress!

Sunday  Woah. 
Started the morning off doing Home Teaching Visits with the members.  It was a really good morning.  Then church started half an hour late.. But this time it was because they changed the time and didn't tell ANYBODY.  ugh.  But today I was in charge of the 3rd hour.  I did a Home Teaching and visiting teaching  training with everybody... Woah.  I used Preach My Gospel, and everything.  And yup.  We did Practices.  They didn't like that part.  I had over 46 members doing How to begin teaching from Preach My Gospel.  I was never so proud before.  It was a great training if I don't say so.  There are photos, but I might have to upload them next week.

Love you all!  

Elder Holmes

Monday, August 24, 2015

Week in Review - August 17, 2015 - August 23, 2015

Hello there!

This weeks email will be pretty short.  Not because I don't have a bunch of time, but mostly because not a bunch out of the normal happened this week.  

This last P Day we went over to Cahuayana and Played Soccer on some artificial turf, which is way more fun than playing on a small court on cement.  Grass, even if it is fake, is way better then cement.  Any day. 

Tuesday we had our District Meeting, then was one of our most effective days of the  week.  Found a new investigator, taught a recent rescued less active, English Class, Found our Bishop that was in Lima for like 2 weeks, gave a blessing of council to the Bishop, Found our other new investigator, and then we ate dinner. That was a great day!  Full Chamba!

Hey, side note.  Did you guys see on Mormon Channel the 3 parts of the music festival they did in the Conference Center?  The Three Dances are three dances typical of the Regions here in our Mission, and they performed them there in the Conference Center in Spanish!  How Cool!  I am downloading them, because there is nobody down here that knows this happened, and we will be watching it on the projector next Sunday after Church, and before ward council.  How cool!

Here come Wednesday, and also comes the Divisions.  I went on Divisions with one of the Zone Leaders, Elder Bradford.  I will admit, it is great to get out our the area, and see how other elders use their areas, and the techniques they use that you could apply in your current area.  We contacted really well, found a couple Jehovah Witnesses (there are SO MANY Here, and they just LOVE talking to us... hahaha)

Thursday, we found a guy today contacting that had a snake bite on his hand, a huge HOLE on his hand, with a bunch of infected fluids gushing out.. He has had it for about a month, and only went to the doctor, to get pain killers, and antibiotics... I'm not kidding... God Blessed me so that I didn't through up.   Ugh.  He wouldn't let us give him a blessing of health.. He told us to come back when all of his family would be there on Saturday.  We went. And he went to the Hospital. Well something came out of that I guess....

Here comes Saturday.  Family History Fair!  We think about 500 people showed up, but not quite sure... They are still doing some number work.  You guys will be proud.  I provided them with our Fast Fan Chart and they used mine as well as Elder Inkleys to show off what the Family History should look like.  More then just your parents or grandparents... And I printed off some photos from our Account... It was a great activity.  Booths from all the wards, dances, and all the fun stuff!  Food, I didn't get to eat it.  Videos, training, everything... it was great, If I ever get transfered to a Pueblito again, I will probably do an activity like this.  A bunch of people and investigators came to enjoy the social and the dances, and the training, the music, and all of it.  It was great.  Also, you need to look up.  Put a link or something (see below)... David Archuleta... Nunca Pense.  He did a music video for the church about family history in Spanish.  I know you wont understand it... but you need to watch  it.  It was great! 

All in all it was a great week, don't know what I was saying at the beginning of the email, it just all goes together, and sometimes I lose track of time.

Hope all is well at home.  

P.S.  I finish one year here in Peru on Wednesday!  Woah!

Elder Holmes
Huanuco, Peru


Monday, August 17, 2015

Week in Review - August 10, 2015 - August 16, 2015

English on the Mount

Monday August 10th
Today for P-Day we attempted to do a multi-zone soccer and volleyball P-DAY.  Ya, well more or less it worked out.  Had a good time, scored a few goals, and then we were heading to the road to find a Moto Taxi.  Well the wind was super strong today, and when the Moto-taxista opened his door, yup... slammed me in the Jaw. And I bit my cheek.  I thought my companion was going to die of laughter, while I will admit that it was funny, the darn thing was hurting pretty bad. That time I was just thinking of two things.. My face hurts, and maybe I was going to get a discount.. Nope. No discount. Just pain. We finished the day teaching one of our new investigators who is a reference from another member in another ward that we ran into on the way to the Pension.  We taught the Restoration, and responded to many of his questions.  He is excited to meet with us again to explain a bit more of the Book of Mormon and the Plan of Salvation.

Tuesday August 11th
Zone meeting was today.  It is always a nice change to get together as a zone, and have trainings, practices, and what not... For me, this was one of the most applicable zone trainings I have had, and I have really enjoyed putting in practice a few of the items discussed there.  Also found out on August 25th I will be in Huancayo for a meeting with all the current District leaders.  Woo.  Super fun travel.  But usually there is Pizza Hut, or Burger King or something like that there for us to eat.  So that makes up for it... Our new investigator Cristian wanted us to come over again today, so we did... explained a bit more of the restoration, and The Book of Mormon, by reading with him the Introduction to The Book of Mormon.

It was a very good lesson, and he seems to understand and agree that God would talk to both sides of the world, and not just one as it is in the Bible.  The two share the story of Christ as it would in other parties of the world.  God speaks to all of his children everywhere, and they keep these records.  So that one day, somebody could benefit from those records. 

We have another appointment with him for tomorrow, Finished the Day giving a blessing of health to one of the other missionaries in my room-district.... Then, after planning, I hit the bed.  Zonked.

Wednesday August 12th
6 lessons, and a visit to the sick in the hospital, and practice training with my companion. We killed it today.  A recent rescued less active, investigator, sick person, part member family, less active, and a new investigator.  Challenged 3 to be baptized, 2 of them more or less accepted, and finished the day with Cristian, and we watched a video that shows the history of the Book of Mormon and what you personally need to do to know that this book was also inspired by God. The Book of Mormon Video.

I love using videos to help teach, whether it be in the lessons in home (Every TV here in Peru has a USB Port, and are super nice) Or at the church for Gospel Principles. Oh yea, Faye Avarell.  [This was Elder Holmes Seminary Teacher.] Do you want to know why we probably have poop televisions for seminary that shows all the people purple?  Because Peru has all the new ones.  And yes, I love them, and am always using them.  ;)

Thursday August 13th
Service Day!  So, we went up to the very last row of houses this week on the hillside.  They bailed on us to build adobe bricks, so we found someone else more willing to accept free help from 4 missionaries.  And we made a mud rock brick wall. To finish the day (we did service until 1 PM) we went to Bro. Cristian and taught the plan of salvation.  I love being able to explain to people (sometimes using only the bible) that Christ went to the spirit world and taught those we needed it.  And that there is still a huge probability for those that never accepted the gospel in this life, to accept it there... We explained it a bit better with him, but it went over really well!  Oh yea.  I decided.  My pensionista is like Clara from the Andy Griffith Show.  Gossip, has to know the juicy stuff before everybody, and always has the -best ideas-
Elder Holmes Pensionsita (Cook)
Friday August 14th 
Weekly Planning.  Yup, we bought Ice cream, and I ate and shared my PB.  Later on in the day we went and visited with a Recent Rescued Less Active member... and he told me he wont be able to go to  ward at 2.30 PM normal time to take the sacrament, because he will be traveling...But he informed me that he will be going to another ward to take the sacrament... Yup, he is doing very well, now we just have to strengthen his family... Finished the day with Cristian, and we watched the Restoration, and explained a few more things... He really is a great guy. The Restoration Video.

Saturday August 15th
Today was 'English on the Mount'.  Like in Matthew 5:1... Except I did my own turn.  Took an example from Jesus and did a sermon on the Mount.  English Style. Went to the edge of my area, in the super high up section, brought a few blankets to sit, a mini white board, copies, and I taught 'English on the Mount'.  People came and enjoyed the class I taught and will come to my English class next week.  I think I found my new method to teach.  
English on the Mount

English on the Mount
Sunday August 16th
Today after lunch we went to pick up Cristian to go to church.  Even though church started late, and we decided to clean up the chapel with a few mops, he seemed to enjoy it, and he went to the YSA [Young Single Adults] and enjoyed the time there, and found out he knows a few of the members of our ward.  We finished the day with a planning meeting as a stake with missionaries to plan a few things for the Saturday Family History Fair.  Looks like we have stuff to do!

Well, more or less that is this week.  Hope that you all enjoy it, and that the photos make it to you guys fine.  

Elder Holmes
Huanuco, Peru

[Here are some extra random pictures he sent.]
This was his shoe from a few months ago, he has since
had it resoled in Peru. He said that there are shoe repair
shops everywhere.

This was just a small fire close by to his apartment.

Elder Holmes Zone/District Newsletter. Elder
Holmes is pictured on the right side and
there is a mention of his birthday.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week in Review - Aug 3, 2015 - Aug 9, 2015

Metro Today!  I was beyond excited today with one thing in mind.  I found my BBQ Sauce in Metro today!  After 1 month of search, I have found it!  For informational purposes, they hid the BBQ Sauce in the corner of the Aisle, behind the chocolate fudge without any labels. Yup, I bought 2, 1 for today and 1 for when there are transfers and I am away from a metro.  They also had a deal on a Juice drink that is like my replacement for Sunny-D.  If I had bought 9 liters, I could get them all for a significantly reduced price. I originally bought it to share the price.  Well, I just about finished it all without help.  Guess I won't be splitting that price!  After metro we played a few games in the chapel like water balloon volleyball and after that we went to the one month street fair here in Huanuo.  My only goal was to find the churros that were there every week.  Much to your surprise, there weren't any, and I left sad and churroless.... Oh yea, and I got my hair cut today.  Yup, it got messed up.  Cut very short. Well, there went my routine to get it cut every 6 weeks, I need time for it to grow back...

Today was a pretty slow day.  Ran around like a crazy person helping one of our members work on his family history.  This guys story is a very interesting one at that.  When he was born, his mother died in childbirth, and because of memory ,and lack of information, he doesn't know one of the 2 last names his mom has (here in Latin' America , everyone has 2 last names) The reason we cannot get this information is because he would have to go to his birth city of Trujillo to pick it up.  That is something he just doesn't have planned right now.  I was able to locate a few of his aunts in FamilySearch, but his mom doesn't show up yet, because this batch of indexing isn't finished yet.

Parts a and b are finished, but there still have to finish c,d,e,f,g for the time period of 50 years that we are searching in this city alone.  I know the information is there, the only question is in what part is it hiding. And so the search continues.  Today we also had a lesson with one of our reactivating less actives. I just love using the super cheesy seminary videos down here with the people.  And the seem to love them too, so that's ok.  We taught about Godly sorrow in part of her path to true repentance, of a few items she really needs to resolve.

Well this day was poop.  We had one lesson, but he was a cool guy, and we might be able to teach his family next week.  He has all of the good questions and has an interest to listen to us.  I will tel you , one of the hardest things here in the mission is to find new investigators.  From our training we had from Elder Waddell and President Henderson, they heavily emphasized the need we have to find more guys to teach.  We should never contact girls, or anything like that with all the problems that could ensue.  If there are sister missionaries in our wards contact and send the info. So, I can tell you, in obedience to this rule, our numbers are not as high as they could be... But in some form we will be blessed to find new investigators. This week we found 4 new investigators and everyone was a guy! Do you know how hard that part is? Agg,,,

Dentist Trip!  So, my companion a while back broke a rubber cement part of one of his front teeth eating rice, and after a few hours of waiting in the dentist office, we got in and finished in less then 5 minutes.  Ain't that the truth.  Ugh.... Outside of that we had a few contacts and lessons in the plaza in our area... If anything they were good practice for us. Nothing much more happened for today.  At the end of the day we went to the chapel to clean it all out in preparation for the multi-zone conference on Friday.  We mopped the whole 1st floor cleaned the bathrooms, and mirrors, woo. That was a mess.

Then I went to all the bathrooms and found out that out of the 45 sets of bathrooms there wasn't any TP or Paper Towels.  Yup, just forget for a moment, that tomorrow 60 some odd missionaries, president and his wife, and about 5 hours of a training without TP.  Yup, placed a few calls and found someone who can come on Friday morning and fill all the bathrooms up.  All of these supplies are locked up with a special key so that nobody steals it.  Ugh... but eventually we did get it all ready.  As we were finishing, bumped into president after he left a stake meeting.  Oh no!  He caught us red handed!  Hahaha.,. Told him it is best he uses the bathroom in the hotel.  Hahaha

Friday. Chapel loaded with TP.  Check. Paper Towels, Check. Hna. Hendersons Brownies?  Check. Ok, now we can officially start the Multi Zone.  It was a very good multi-zone and might I add the first one where I didn't direct the music.  It was odd to just sing and enjoy it from below.  After the training finished, took some photos, and found my trainer, and we took some more photos.

A three Generation Photo should be in there.  Outside of having to stay afterwards to guard the building for 2 hours because nobody in Huanuco had keys, we had lunch at like 3 pm. Restaurant food.  it was super delicious....
On the right, that is Elder Holmes, notice the SHORT haircut!!
Not much to report form today.  Normal stuff, contacting, teaching bit.  Nothing special today.

Woah.  I didn't have a talk today, or a teaching assignment.  1st time in like more then 3 months.  I didn't get to used to it though, but i did enjoy it.  Ward council went really well.

I bought a bunch of cheap little marshmallow chocolates, and all the members who showed up on time and fulfilled their assignments received chocolate. And I can tell you that they were very happy! What more can I do for you today!  Hahahaha... There were a few that received more then 1 chocolate.  I also am helping them plan our booth for the family history fair at he the end of the month. Should be a good show!

Also, today for the fist time in the mission, I was able to do 2 home teaching visits with the members! I feel very good about that today. I won't lie, I was super tired after today, and we also helped as a messenger boys for a doctor who is our less active, and was doing free emergency response for a member in another ward. But of course, when we get to the pension, the day doesn't end. More things to help out with there, then we get home.  Do the weekly numbers, go upstairs and collect our laundry, and her computer had a blue screen of death... The day never really ended.  I slept really well when I did get there...

All in all, this was my week.  I hope that all is going well at home...  Oh yea, I don't want to sound trunky... but If I did the math on the Transfers Correctly, I should be finishing the Mission on August 10th 2016.... What day is today?  IF I AM RIGHT.... I will be home One Year from Today. WOAH!!!!

Elder Holmes
Huanuco, Peru

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week in Review - July 27, 2015 - August 2, 2015

Hello all! This week there wasn't a bunch of stuff that went on, but I will try to summarize it all ya?

This week we started on Saturday a with a new pensionista.  New cook, new family, new stuff... Woah.  Just love setting up new pensions.. it's so fun.  NOT.  Stressful, especially when we had to close 1 pension, and open up 2 new ones.  Ugh.  But, we did it, and now I am eating with someone who lives in the same building but only on the 2nd floor, and not the 5th floor. Woo hoo!  3 less floors to climb every day.  As if that even makes a difference. There are so many stairs and up up up sections in our area!  We are now eating with a sister in the ward, who her husband is a less active, and she is a rescued less active member. She cooks really nice, and she knows how to cook tacos, hamburgers, and all the fun stuff... I'm going to get fat.  Will send pictures.  :)

You know what this last week was?  Transfers!  Guess who didn't get transfered!  Me!  It's fine, I knew it wouldn't happen, I need to finish training my companion, then I think there will be the possibility to go... Only time will tell for this one.  But there was a few transfers in the district and in the zone.  Elder Collantes, who shares a room with me just got a new assignment.  He is training.  A little gringito!  Hahahaa... Elder Cornillus is with us, and he is with a cool missionary.  I remember so much right now on how I WAS with Spanish, and how much I have progressed with my Spanish.  Ahhh... But I still have so much to learn.... but woah.  Its weird to think that in one year, from today, i will be prepping my bags... Woah! Ok.. thats it. Cannot think more like that.. hahaha [The time has flown by.]

Elder Villegas left this week to go to the Jungle. Pichinacki!  He will be burnt to a crisp there, but it's all good.  Hahaha...  I have attached a few random photos of the goodbyes and the stuff that went on this week.  

Also this week, I got my new scripture case for my Book of Mormon that is always in our hands... I had it made with the tilde on Elder on the front, and on the back is a flag of California.  Bahahaha.. I had to wait like 2 months for that because it wasn't that easy to get the flag, but it was totally worth it.  I hope that this case will last until the end of my mission. The other one lasted a little bit under 1 year, so hopefully this will last until August.  

Ward Council was good this week, I just have to say that if they are looking for ideas for things, and they don't come up with something, and you suggest it, yup... You just got signed up by the sustained hand to do the activity.  Ugh... I'm in charge of a Family History Related Activity for the Family History Fair in the Stake Center in a few weeks.  I won't reveal what I am going to do, but I think that you will all like it.  I will take pictures and everything.... but a few weeks from today.  ahhhh...  [A little side note: Elder Holmes' mom has been in some kind of family history calling at church, including director and family history consultant, since 1998. So it looks like all that work over the years has rubbed off on him. Good job!!]

That's basically it this week, aside form when my companion broke his tooth eating rice or something like that, it has been a pretty normal week.  Hope that the next week we can have some more fun photos to send home!

Enjoy your vacation! [The rest of the family went on vacation for the first time without Andrew this week. It was strange. We thought we would share a few pictures of our vacation to Southern Utah, including a 'Fat Head' of Elder Holmes. We wanted to take him along. Enjoy!]

Elder Holmes
Huanuco, Peru