Friday, August 28, 2015

Week Ninety-Nine: Last Forever

Wow! If every week of my mission was a bottle of root beer on the wall, we would have drinken them all by now!

This week was a roller coaster to say the least. Elder Thorpe and I have been working REALLY hard to pull off a group wedding and a big ole baptism. Those efforts have included a lot of lessons, a lot of phone calls, and a lot of problems and miracles. Just to give you an idea, we had to send missionaries to Aija, Ancash and Namora, Cajamarca to get birth certificates out of a small Catholic church (feel free to Google maps those places). It looks like we are going to do it though.

It is weird to be doing the "lasts." They have been a quick two years. They have been amazing, and life changing, and indescribable. It's strange to be ending my service here but I have a lot of stuff to do at home as well. I can't imagine what not serving a mission would have been like. I am so glad for these experiences that I have had. I know that this is the Lord's work and His Church and it has been amazing to be a part of it.

My family will be here Friday. We are going to be here in Moche through Sunday. Monday, we are going to Cartavio. Tuesday, we are going to eat lunch with the Marlers and going to the temple. Wednesday we are going to Chimbote and Thursday, we are going to Chao and then headed home by 10:30pm

Once again, you are all more than invited to my homecoming talk on Sunday Aug 30th at 1pm and to my house afterward. I can't wait to see you all soon!!!!!

Elder González

Ninety-Eight: Buster's Back

Well, after this one there are only two more of these. Weird right?

This week was a great one. Elder Thorpe and I gave my last zone training which was bitter sweet because that is one of my favorite responsibilities. We talked about how to better invite the Spirit to our lessons and how to really "teach" instead of just "informing." To help that point hit home, Elder Thorpe and I did an example where we contrasted reading Where the Wild Things are out loud to someone and really painting the picture and relating it to someones life. We want them to always remember that the missionary lessons are not informative seminars, but rather spiritual discussions to foster real growth.

Also, can I just say that I love having Elder Meaker as the assistant to President? He called us up on Friday night and said, "What are you doing tomorrow?" "Teaching people like normal," we told him. Then he asked us "Do you want to go to Chao for Herminias baptism?" Of course the answer was yes. We went down to see the baptism of the landlady/food lady that Elder Thorpe and Elder Meaker had when they were in Chao and we got to swing through the place where we ate everyday and visit the Salinas Durán family. It was super neat.



As I was thinking and reflecting about what it will be like to go home in a couple of weeks, I thought about the first episode of the third season of the PBS cartoon, Arthur. It is titled, "Buster's Back." If you can find it on Netflix, I would invite you to watch it and to know that I won't even mind if you all like Kresplain or something else crazy when I get back.



Love you all and hope to see you soon,
Elder González

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Week Ninety-Seven: Preparing to Come Home!

Hey there everyone. It's weird to write you on a Tuesday evening instead of a Monday morning. Are you all still there?

We had a great week full of lots o lots o lots o chores and things to do. Elder Thorpe and I have been as busy as bees with training and baptisms and other tasks. We are working on organizing a mass wedding, planning a big baptismal service, and in a very delicate relationship with our landlady about the fact that our power went out a week ago and nothing has been done.

We had a baptism on Saturday of a really cool lady. Her name is Marta and she was the only person who wasn't a member in her whole family. Her son got back from a mission a few months ago. She has been hearing the missionaries for 4 years. She loves listening to the Elders but since she has a hotel and usually takes the night shift she is always tired and has trouble focusing sometimes. Elder Thorpe and I realized, however, that if we really keep things interesting and ask her questions, she not only understands but actually gets excited. Turns out the secret was just her being awake, haha. It was a neat baptism. Even Elder Meaker came down for it.


ANNOUNCEMENT: I realize that I haven't fully disclosed a lot of information about me coming home. So here is the run down. My family will be here on the 21st of this month. We will go around to all of my old areas and visit a lot of the people that I have come to love here. We will be in the Trujillo airport by 10:30pm on the 27th, the Lima airport by 1:10am on the 28th, and the Seattle airport by 1:30pm on the 28th.

When I step off of the plane I will still be a missionary and living mission rules (which includes not hugging females). Due to that potential awkwardness and the many things that I will have to do that day, I am asking for there to not be a big group at the airport. (Sorry, I know that that is a very idyllic scene).

I have about a million and a half things to do that day and the next like renewing things, fixing things, and buying normal people clothes. So the first opportunity that most people will have to see me will be Sunday, August 30th.

At 1pm on the 30th, I will be giving a talk relating stories and learned lessons in my church. I would love for you to all be there to hear some of the things that I have prepared for that day. At two, when the meeting ends, we can all go back to my house and catch up for a minute. We can all talk and gibber and gabber to our hearts contents. It'll be kind of a party/reunion/gathering.

So now you are all caught up on my return, haha. Like I said, it's weird and it brings a lot of mixed emotions and although there are about a million things that I will miss to death about Perú and about being a missionary, I'm pretty excited to see you all as well.

Well, see you later.
Elder González

Week Ninety-Six: Independence Day

Before I forget: next week we are going to the temple to do an endowment session for Pday but since the temple isn't open on Monday, we will have pday on Tuesday. So I will be writing Tuesday the 4th instead of Monday the 3rd.


So last week, I said that I was going to get a tour of the inside of the lighthouse. Not quite. The guy didn't have time to walk all the way up there with us so instead, he gave us a tour of the port. He showed us all of the ships and machinery. Apparently, like thousands of tons of sugar are exported from that port every year. It was pretty neat. It made me kind of want to get a job down at the docks in Seattle. Not one of those jobs where you have to be really strong and lift cargo. Maybe one of those jobs where you just clean the poopdeck or something.


Tomorrow is Peruvian independence day. What does that entail you may ask? Fireworks, alcohol, and a lot of marching bands. It'll be interesting. Elder Thorpe and I celebrated last night by flying our Peruvian flag, eating a Peruvian cake that we bought a couple of days before, and cooking the only thing that makes us think of independence: hot dogs.


We have a baptism this week! Her name is Marta. I'll tell more about her next week when I send the pictures and stuff but she is really neat.

Well, I love you all a bunch. Have a great fiestas patrias!
Elder González


Monday, July 20, 2015

Week Ninety-Five: Beautiful Scenery

So last week, Elder Thorpe and I controlled all of the transfers from our cell phones and spent the P-day with the elders from Salaverry. Salaverry is a really cool area in our zone that has a really neat character to it. It can only be described as a "bustling sea port village" full of driftwood and broken boats. We climbed a big dirt hill to take pictures with the lighthouse that is up there on the hill.


Then this week, two of the sisters from the zone met the owner and got us the hookup to go get a tour today of the inside of the lighthouse. So that's what I'll be doing today.


There really isn't a lot that I can write about this week that would either be interesting or make sense but let's just say that it was a good one. And that there are some good ones to come.


Elder González




Week Ninety-Four: Ancient Perú

Howdy campers,

Last p-day, we went to La Huaca del Sol y de la Luna. It is a very old Mochica temple from about 100 years after Christ. We talked to the director and she got us tickets for half price for the zone. We saw all of the ancient ruins and got a pretty good tour. All of the murals and colors are original. The area that I'm in (Moche) has been populated for like ever. It has a very old and interesting culture that I would like to get to know more about later.



Last night was my last night of transfers. So it is official: I am finishing my mission here with Elder Thorpe. Could not be more excited about that. I'm going to get to see a lot of the people who we are teaching progress. We sent a lot of missionaries to Huaraz (the new part of our mission). It sounds really pretty.



Not a ton of other stuff to say. Today and tomorrow will be crazy trying to get everyone to where they need to be when they need to be there. Also, an area in our zone got shut down so we will probably have to clean it out and paint it and stuff.


Hope that you all have a great week!

Week Ninety-Three: Investigators and Mission President

So I am now writing to you from the Perú Trujillo South Mission. So that's different.

On Friday, we had our leadership council which was the first time that I got to meet Pres. Rios and his wife. They seem super great. They are really excited about this call. They have two daughters. Ani is 17 and speaks like 5 languages and another daughter whose name I forget and who is 6 years old. It's pretty different that they are still parents but it's also cool. It's like being a part of their family. I won't be with them for very long but I feel like they are going to do really good things for this mission and for the people who I have loved and will leave here.


At the council, we had the privilege of being able to go to the temple to do an endowment session. I hadn't been to the temple in over a year and a half and I've learned so many things since then that it was a really special experience.

For the fourth of July, Elder Thorpe and I celebrated by eating hot dogs with chips and Kool-Aid for lunch and soup and sandwiches with a vanilla coke for dinner. Was it easy to find all of those ingredients? No. Was it worth it? Yes.

We are having a TON of success recently. Elder Thorpe and I seem to be teaching the best people in the whole world. Here are the bios of a few of them.

José and Vilma: The parents of a girl who left on a mission about 5 months ago. They aren't members and didn't like the church. However, when their daughter, Yersi, left, they had a lot of questions and came to church. They haven't missed church in like 8 consecutive weeks and this week are going to travel to the jungle to get her birth certificate so that they can be married and baptized here soon.

Daniel: A really nice man with a pretty bad case of OCD that stops him from working or living alone. He reads his Book of Mormon and loves it. His biggest problem has been attending church because he really has trouble being in large groups of people and over 200 people attend the Moche ward but we had a big breakthrough this week and he made it to church yesterday and loved it. He did so well.

The Lescano family: A family that has been sealed in the temple but due to a few problems has been inactive for a couple of years. We have been working with them a ton. They introduced us to a really good family friend of theirs named Geovani and so we have been teaching them all together. We had a family home evening with them this week and all of them made it to church yesterday including Geovani. Everyone in the ward ran up and hugged them. Even the bishop came down from the stand to shake their hand. I think that they felt really welcomed.

All of those people made it to church this Sunday and all were there because they really wanted the blessings. They are all trying so hard to come unto Christ. It's something really neat to see.

I don't know if anyone is going to send me any letters or anything but if you think that they can make it in time, my new address is:

Elder George González
Misión Perú Trujillo Sur
Urb. California Calle Los Tilos #440
Trujillo, La Libertad
Perú

Well that is the most that I have written in a long time. Hope I didn't bore you all. Love you all a ton and hope that you have a great week.

Elder González