Monday, January 26, 2015

Week Seventy: Chicken Feet and the Mental Effect They Leave

Hello folks,

After writing you all last week, I went home and took a nap and it feels like I just woke up this morning.

We had a little bit of trouble catching people at home this week and so it was a little difficult but E Bernuy and I came up with a lot of good ideas for this week.

We had a special stake conference this week as they changed our stake presidency.  Elder Uceda from the first quorum of the 70 came and interviewed all of the bishops and the high council and yesterday they released Pres. Dávalos that we had been working with and called Pres. Acosta. I don't know him like at all but I'm excited to get to know him and get to work with him.

Elder Uceda also came with some news about the Trujillo temple. He explained to everyone how the open house will work, what the cultural celebration will be like and how we will see the dedication. The cultural celebration and the dedication will be broadcast in all of the stake centers in the whole country. The cultural celebration will be open to the public and a temple recommend will be required to see the dedication. It is exciting that the whole country will be able to see it.

Also, I tried fried chicken feet this week. It's not disgusting but there sure is not a lot of meat on the bones. I don't know if it worth the mental effect it leaves, haha.

Well, see you lovely folks next week as you flood my inbox with Superbowl revelry.

Elder González

Friday, January 23, 2015

Week Sixty-Nine: Trujillo Temple!

We had a really successful week here in the good ole zone of Chimbote Peru. We saw a ton of miracles. I'm sure that I've mentioned this before but here in Peru, the laws concerning marriage are difficult and sometimes near impossible to comply with. E Bernuy and I have been praying to find a solution and be able to help the people in Chimbote and we found a giant mass wedding that is going to be on Valentine's Day that is completely free and doesn't require almost anything of difficult paper work. So our zone goal is to bring 14 couples to the wedding and help a bunch of people to be able to progress.

Also, the temple date was announced!!!!!!! The public open house will be from May 8th to May 30th and the dedication will be June 21st. Leading up there will likely be big cultural events, firesides, devotionals, and all kinds of festivities. I'm starting to get super excited.

Hope that you all have a great week as well. You rock, assorted friends, family, and loved ones.

Elder Gonzalez

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week Sixty-Eight: #milparamarzo

Hey everyone,

This week, my companion and I started a project that we are calling "Mil para Marzo" (One Thousand by March). The goal is to get the stake attendance to break one thousand in the first trimester. Right now, we are at like 880.


We met with the stake president and he set specific goals for each ward. Then we gave the missionaries each a vase with their goal printed on it and some corn seeds. We said that over the next three months, they should make sure that their seed grows and that their ward grows. At the end of March, the companionship with the tallest plant and the companionship with the highest increase in attendance win ties.


To reach the goal, Elder Bernuy and I are doing work visits to help people improve the way that they teach about the Sabbath and the way that they extend the invitation to go to church. We are working on organizing a giant wedding on Valentines day for anyone who is interested and a giant baptism that night. We are having ward and stake level fasts and all kinds of other activities. We will hit the goal.


We saw some results yesterday and plan on seeing even more in the weeks that come.

#milparamarzo Don't forget it.

Elder Gonzalez

p.s. If you want to know why everyone is sunburnt, read "Week 67."

Week Sixty-Seven: New Year!

Happy 2015!

Elder Bernuy and I passed a pretty good New Years Eve in Trujillo at a leadership council. We had meetings in the morning, we played soccer all afternoon, and when we got home around 10, we found that our ward mission leader, Felix, had left an entire roasted chicken and french fries in our room.

Elder Bernuy is really cool. Like I mentioned last week, he is from my group and we've been in Viru together so we know a lot of the same people and remember a lot of the same Viruvian inside jokes. He speaks fluent English which is really useful sometimes for haggling or asking him to ask a person's name who I forgot, haha. He teaches really well and he is SUPER excited to work in the ward here.

The reason that I'm writing a little late today is because President Marler came down to Chimbote for a Pday and the three zones in Chimbote played sports in a big stadium. It was a ton of fun and I got to see some missionaries that I haven't seen in a while. I attached pictures of me and my companion and of my entire zone. We have 12 Americans, 7 Peruvians, 2 Mexicans, and a Bolivian. Our zone is soooo much fun. We have a chef, a body builder, a military school student, and a banjo player.

Hope that everyone has a great week/year!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Week Sixty-Six: New Companion

Merry belated Christmas everyone,

I hope you all enjoyed yours as much as I enjoyed mine. All those activities that I listed off last week were major successes. I had a great time skyping with my family on Christmas Eve and another great time at the mission Christmas talent show. It was, all in all, a really nice and memorable Christmas.
A cool stocking the Madsens sent me

This week, there are two big announcements.

I. Elder Boekweg is leaving. He has 3 months left in his mission and he is going to use them to train a new missionary and open a new area in Trujillo. My new companion is named E Bernuy. He is from Lima and he started his mission at the same time as me. I know him a little bit because he was in my zone in Virú for a little bit. He seems cool. It's his first change as zone leader and this last change was my first change as zone leader so we don't exactly know what we are doing but we are going to figure it out and hopefully bring some fresh ideas to the table. Also, I am now zone leader A. That means that I am now sacrificing my mantle of health guy and taking on the mantle of money guy. (Pray that I don't lose any money, haha).

The plaza de Armas in Trujillo at Christmas

II. In July, our mission is going to split in half. There will be Mission Perú Trujillo North and Mission Perú Trujillo South. The north will include almost all of Trujillo, Otuzco, Huamachuco, Casa Grande and we are taking Guadalupe and Cajamarca from other missions. The south will include a little bit of Trujillo, Virú, Chimbote, Casma, Huarmey, and we are taking Huaraz from another mission. Pres Marler will preside the north and they are calling a new mission president for the south mission (Pres. Rios). This means that I will spend the last little chunk of my mission in one of those two missions. We won't know in which until it happens. It'll just depend on where we are at the time. This is super exciting because it means that we are growing and that the Church is happy with what is happening here.

Me and Bani and Cesi (my converts in Cartavio)

Anyway, those are the two big ole shockers that changed everything that I know and think, haha. But they are both for the greater good so...such is life. I'll tell you all about E Bernuy next week.

Love you all,
Elder Gonzalez

Week Sixty-Five: Finishing the Black Hole Year

So internet today is painfully slow. You can kiss these pictures loading goodbye. 

This was a pretty joyous week as we got ready for Christmas. On Friday and Saturday, our mission got dibs on the plaza in the center of Trujillo so that we could do a big ole Christmas show like last year. This year, Elder Boekweg and I decided to perform and we played "Cristo ha recusitado." Elder Boekweg sang and played guitar and I sang and played the harmonica. I think that there is a video on Hermana (Kathy) Marler's facebook page. It was way fun and I got to see all of the missionaries in the whole mission which practically never happens. Even cooler than that was that I got to see Bani and Cesi and their whole family (the two sister that E Flores and I baptized in Cartavio). It was really cool to run into them.

I got back to Chimbote at 12:30 AM Sunday morning and then went to church with a few hours of sleep. Then we spent most of the evening caroling as a ward. That is a thing that Peruvian people are not used to (especially the way that we did it). We had about 13 people wearing Santa hats pile into a tiny pickup truck. Elder Boekweg and I rode in the bed of the truck with the guitar. As we drove through the streets, people were confused. As we got out and sang to investigators, less actives, and recent converts, they were even more confused. Most people really liked it even though one drunk guy through alcohol at us (I dodged it).

Those were just a few of the fun Christmas activities from this last week. We have a lot more coming up.

Today: Watch a Christmas movie as a zone

Tuesday: Ward Christmas Talent Show with Panetón (google it) and hot cocoa

Wednesday: A zone Christmas breakfast, Talking to my family for an hour on Skype, and maybe dinner at a members house if there is time.

Thursday: A Christmas devotional with President Marler followed by a Christmas talent show.

I'm sure that I'll be having a ton of fun these next few days as we finish of my "black hole year" of 2014 (The year where I spend all of it in Perú).

I hope that each one of you has a great Christmas,
Elder Gonzalez