Monday, June 30, 2014

Week Forty: ...Interesting...

This week was pretty...interesting. Our numbers would make you think that we did absolutely nothing this week but we actually just did a bunch of things that aren't reflected in the numbers.

The district playing pool

1. We helped in a family history fair for three hours helping people find information about their ancestors.

2. We had a stake conference which here since all of the different wards and branches live so far away, turns into a valley conference. We held it under a tent outside and it was the most pioneery/early Mormony that I have ever felt to travel with the Saints and then hold a conference under a tent and sing hymns and listen to our leaders address us.

3. Hipólito Lezama, a 90 year old member of our branch passed away when he fell on his face in the bathroom. My companion and I: cleaned the blood off of him, dressed him, put him in the coffin, attended the viewing, attended the funeral, carried the coffin on our shoulders from the church to the cemetery and then sang hymns while they slid him into the catacombs. So that was pretty wacky.

The Cartavian army in route to the conference

Also, I don't know why but I think that the Church's "I'm a Mormon" campaign might be one of the coolest things of all time and I really loved this video:

Until next week: Love you all and don't go to the bathroom if you are home alone.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week Thirty-Nine: #prayforfleming

This week I decided that I am going to tell you about one of the people that I am teaching. His name is Fleming. Lets take a moment to appreciate how funny it is that his name is Fleming.

Fleming is a man in his fifties who has lived in Cartavio his whole life. He works in the factory (surprise) and also owns his own little shoe store. He is friends with our pensionista Ligia from high school and knows a lot of other members that work in the factory.

He is married but his wife and children live in Lima. His wife earns a lot of money at her job in Lima and Fleming earns a lot of money at his job in Cartavio. Neither one has enough faith in the relationship to drop everything and move. They are still technically together but they each want the other to move which causes a lot of tension.

Ligia invited him to church and bore her testimony about how much it could help him and how much it helped her when she left the father of her kids. He came to church and is loving the lessons. His brother is a return missionary so he can see several examples of happy active church members.

The only problem: he is starting to fall in love with Ligia. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. But seriously though. She would never even go on a date with him until he gets divorced but it just makes the situation funny.

He has a really goofy sense of humor. Our goal is to change him from the main character at the beginning of a Jim Carrey movie to the main character at the end of a Jim Carrey who has a good relationship with his wife and son while still being goofy. He accepted a baptism date for the 12th of July.

So pray for Fleming. #prayforfleming

Elder Gonzalez

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Week Thirty-Eight: Three Ways to Open a Bottle Without a Bottle-Opener

Hey everyone,

This week was a good one. On Friday, I got to go to Trujillo to see Elder Whitney Clayton from the Presidency the Seventy and President Uceda from the Area Presidency. Both were incredible. They asked to shake each one of our hands and we each had a little one minute conversation with them and their wives. They talked to us about how to help people in a way that when we leave, they will be okay. A lot of missionaries have left a lot of people that have fallen away from the Church and are in all kinds of trouble. There isn't too much of a point in two years of service if the results aren't permanent. It was a great devotional and we have a lot of plans to improve.

Also, I thought I'd let you all know that I know three ways to open glass bottles without a bottle opener. One, with a fork. Two, with a ring. Three, with a door-frame. I plan on putting that on my resume.

Hope that everyone had a good Father's Day. Everyone in Peru just gets drunk a little earlier.

Love you all,
Elder Gonzalez

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week Thirty-Seven: Lack of Crazy Stories

Not a ton to tell you all this week.

We are living in Hna Ligias house for a month while we look for something else. It's a full house instead of the little room that I was used to but I'm trying not to get used to it. The bathroom is teeny and smells weird but we have a kitchen that we only use to brush our teeth and we are living in the front room, haha.

I've crash-landed on a strange planet

Crazy stuff happens every week but I never know how to tell the stories over email. So just know that when I get home, I'll tell you all about when we sang praises with an evangelist or when a man screamed, "MY MOMMA LOVES ME!" in the middle of a lesson or when I spoke at a funeral or some other crazy things that happened just in this week.

Until then, I'll just tell you all that you are cool and that I love you.

Elder Gonzalez

PS. RIP The Lonely Forest

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week Thirty-Six: Transfers...?

Well, I packed up my bags and I am leaving today.

Last night were the changes. I had already written goodbye letters and printed out pictures for the members when the call came and they told me that I am staying... I am staying! Staying! That means that I'll likely leave in July after being in Cartavio for 8 and a half months. That's crazy talk.

Then, this morning, we count out the money and walk out of the room to pay the landlady and two random people that I've never seen before start yelling at me. It turns out that they are family of the landlady. They told us that we need to pay more or leave. We pay 200 soles for a room just like everyone else in the mission but we don't even have water all of the time. They started yelling and after a really REALLY heated conversation that got kind of Mexican soap opera-y, they told us that we need to leave today. If you would have told me a year ago that one day I would get into a yelling match with a Peruvian couple in Spanish, I would have called you silly.
My face when they told me that I had to leave

So instead of changing from Cartavio to another area like I thought, I am going from 28 de Julio to the calle Ramos, haha. Did not see that one coming. The lady who feeds us, Ligia, is the closest thing to a saint that I have ever met and I think that she is going to move into her office and give us her house for a month and in July, well move into a room that is in construction right now.

So today's going to be pretty nuts and I'm going to spend the whole Pday moving but I'm excited to get to keep working in Cartavio and keep making new Cartavio friends.

Love you all,
Elder Gonzalez