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

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

Week Ninety-Two: Mission Perú Trujillo South

Well, this Wednesday, the mission Perú Trujillo becomes the mission Perú Trujillo North and the mission Perú Trujillo South. President Marler is going to stick with the north and President Rios will be our new mission president. President Rios is from Chiclayo Perú. I'll be able to tell you more about him when he gets here this week and I meet him. Right now he is in Utah at the MTC taking English classes and receiving training from the prophets and apostles.

The only really big thing that happened this week was our goodbye with President Marler. We had a meeting where we talked about the history of this mission and why it's being split. Then President and Sister Marler gave us all some last advice and then took us all out to eat chicken. It was a really neat goodbye. Everyone is going to miss them a ton and it will be hard to adapt but we are all excited to meet President Rios.

I'm sure that I'll have a lot to inform next week but until then, have a great week!

Elder Gonzalez

Week Ninety-One: The Pinnacle of My Mission

I feel completely inadequate trying to describe the temple dedication over email. It's like trying to describe a live stunt over AM radio.

On Saturday, there was a cultural celebration. The youth of the north of Perú have been working on this for over six months. The format that they gave it was so cool. They had a kid sitting and reading the Book of Mormon and wondering if it was really the stories of his ancestors. Then, several ancient Peruvian royalties from the time period of the Book of Mormon (the Mochica, the Señora de Cao, etc.) presented themselves and explained their cultures. During their presentations, youth from different stakes all over the temple district performed traditional Peruvian dances from that culture. Then at the end, they connected it to the temple and all of the descendants of the Lamanites that will be able to receive saving ordinances. It was so well executed. I am in love with ancient Perú.

The actual dedication was in three sessions and was broadcast to all stake centers all over the country. The stake centers were transformed into extensions of the temple needing a recommend to enter. Each session contained some similar aspects but had different speakers. President Uchtdorf came accompanied by Elder Bednar of the 12 and Elder Teh of the 70. The area presidency was there (President Uceda, Elder Wadell, and Elder Godoy). All spoke as well as the new temple presidency and their wives. It was absolutely life changing and ultimately the pinnacle of my mission. Everything that I have done in the last 20 plus months has been to help families arrive at that dedicated temple and be sealed.

I was very surprised when one of my converts from Chao, Geheydi, arrived at the stake center that I was at instead of her home stake center. What a special experience to watch the dedication seated next to one of my converts. Geheydi understands very well the power of the temple and I hope that yesterday changed her life and cleared her vision.

I also saw Elder Leavitt and his family, Elder Boekweg, and Elder Meaker in the stake center. It was a joyous day full of the Spirit, old friends, and great memories.

Info on Elder Thorpe: He is 19 years old, six feet and four inches, and from Lehi, Utah. He got to the mission when Elder Craft did roughly a year ago. He is humble, hilarious, and fun to talk to. We are doing great.

I love you all a ton and cant wait to see you all soon.

Elder González

Week Ninety: Alternative Light Fixtures, Home Grown Fig Plants, and Slack-Lining

Sorry that I am emailing so much later than normal. A missionary with a soy allergy ate a bunch of pancakes, swelled up, turned red, and was having trouble breathing, so I was in the hospital all day (he's fine now).

So last night was the change call. Actually, we didn't get it until this morning. President Marler actually called us personally with the changes because Elder Meaker has been called as the first assistant of Mission Perú Trujillo South. He is excited, scared, and the best choice that Pres. Rios could have. I am staying here to finish my mission with Elder Thorpe. He is going to be a new zone leader. He was companions with Elder Meaker for two weeks and a great guy. Super tall, super blonde, super righteous. I'm super excited!

So I guess that these are the last Seattle inspired pictures. But they are good ones:
I Alternative light fixture
II Home grown fig plant
III Slack-lining

Have a great week everyone. I'm planning on having a stellar one here with Elder Thorpe!

Love you guys!
Elder González

Week Eighty-Nine: Mexican Corn and Hammocks


I kind of mis-managed my internet time and am therefore left with very little.

It has been a really great week. Now that the open house has finished up, we were able to teach a lot more lessons. We have really seen a lot of people here with some really strong desires to progress. Sometimes, Moche is a little hard because it has some very strong traditions but we have found a lot of families that we see a ton of potential in.

This is the last week of the change (Elder Meaker could be changed). You'll all be updated on that this next week.

Love you all a ton. Thanks for all of the emails, letters, and prayers.

Elder González

Sunday dinner: Home-made Pad Thai (this is really just getting silly)

Seattle pics: Mexican corn and us in a hammock that we made out of a sheet and some cables.

Week Eighty-Eight: Greek Yogurt and Wind Chimes

The open house is over now. Over the last three weeks, Elder Meaker and I have shuttled over 38 people to the temple. They were all brought into a tent, split into groups, shown a 10 minute video explaining the purpose of temples, and then taken through every room of the temple. At the end there is a tent with a bunch of sister missionaries to answer whatever questions people have. I attached the official pictures of the temple, the baptistry, the creation room, the celestial room, and the sealing room. It is a BEAUTIFUL temple. On Saturday (the last day) there was a massive amount of people there.

The temple has been such a focus of the mission right now that there isnt much more to talk about. Elder Meaker and I have just been trying to take advantage of this great opporitunity.

Yesterday, we decided to try and eat as well as we could on our food budget using a water boiler (the only approved kitchen appliance). We had quite the menu.
Breakfast: Deviled eggs
Lunch: BBQ chicken sandwiches with baked potato salad
Dinner: Homemade chicken noodle soup (including homemade noodles)
It was delightful.

The Seattle inspired pictures this week are: 1. Greek yogurt and 2. Wind chimes

Hope that everyone has an incredible week. Its been a great school year (probably) and I hope that everyone is ready to start a great summer.

Elder Gonzalez

Week Eighty-Seven: Pita Bread Sandwiches and Wool Ties

Hey everyone!

It's been another 7 days here in Moche. They were quick ones and crazy ones. Remember when I said that no one should feel bad for me anymore? Well, that was a premature statement. All this week, we have had problems with light, water, and cell coverage.

It's been another great week of the temple open house. I can't even begin to explain what it means to missionary work to be able to take a family through every room of the temple and tell them, "This is why we are teaching you." This week we brought several great families. On Saturday, Elder Meaker and I went and ran into the Chao branch. It was so neat to be able to see the members and our converts going through the temple. They were happy to see us and surprised that we were companions. I also ran into my ward mission leader from Cartavio.

So since our pensions restaurant doesn't open on Sundays, we fend for ourselves. We aren't allowed to have any cooking equipment in our room except for a water boiler but since Elder Meaker is a chef, we were able to pull of fettuccine Alfredo with home made garlic bread. It was divine.

This weeks Seattle inspired pictures are: I.) Whole wheat pita bread sandwiches with lean turkey and low fat cream cheese. and II.) Wool ties

Love you all a ton! Have a great week.

Week Eighty-Six: Frozen Yogurt and Recycling

Hey folks!

This has been a great one. For the zones in Trujillo, we can go to the temple with the people we teach up to three times a week. Elder Meaker and I have been taking advantage of that and taking all of the most important people. This week we took the Lescano family (a wonderful family who is a little less active), the Casana family (the parents of a girl who is currently serving a mission in Ecuador. They aren't members) and Blanca, Gloria, and Victoria (the three women who work at the restaurant that we eat at.) Taking people to the temple completely changes their perspective of what we do.

Elder Meaker and I are working to collect pictures of us doing things that are inherently a part of Washington culture. I think that I'll send like 2 a week. This week is frozen yogurt and recycle tshirts.

Love you all a ton. Finish the school year strong everyone. Do your homework!

Elder González