Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2014-11-24 I know God exists and I know that this is His church.

Hey Everyone,
This was a good week here in Colcapirhua. We had our ward talent show.   The missionaries were supposed to have 2 acts.  For one we did synchronized swimming (not literal synchronized swimming).   Then we had something else planned but decided we weren't gonna be able to the day before so I just sang hallelujah again but this time with piano accompaniment because Hermana Trujillo plays piano very well.  Alan and Carlos participated with the young men as did Kevin's friend who he brought to the church for the first time that night.  It was supposed to start at 6:30 but started just after 8.  Besides that, it did go pretty well though.

Actually, this week we found out that Alan, and Carlos are really good friends (both investigators) and that they are also both friends with Esteban Fernandez (member who just turned 12.  We ran into Alan and Carlos at the same time right when mutual was supposed to start and convinced them to go together.  They met up with Esteban there too and had a great time.  Things are going way better with the two of them since then.  They are both very shy but are much more comfortable going to the church together.  

They both go to the same school and their younger siblings had to dance on Sunday morning for their end-of-the-year presentation.  That meant that all of both of their families weren't going to church because their grade depends on that.  However they didn't have to dance so we offered to go pick them up at  Carlos' house to go to church.  They agreed but on Sunday morning we got there and Carlos was still asleep and Alan wasn't there.  We went to church disappointed.  However, only 15 minutes late they walked into church.  That made me very happy.  Alan hadn't really liked going to church up to this time but he got to Carlos' house and woke him up and they both came.  They stayed the whole time too.

Esteban has been great in helping us out too.  He went with us to visit Alan's family this week and he makes them feel comfortable when they are at church.  I've been trying to get the bishop to call quorum presidencies for the priests, teachers and deacons and they finally had a meeting to discuss it this week.  The young men's president told me that they are planning on calling Esteban to be the deacons quorum president which I think he'd do a great job with.

Knocking doors this week, we found some people who are part of the Zanabria family who I lived with in Alamos.  The mom wants nothing whatsoever to do with the church.  They have an 11-year-old son who is interested and went to church for several years because they lived with the Zanabrias before.  We taught him the Restoration and our plan is to try and get the mom to talk to us this week.

The Valencia family is doing well still.  We taught Word of Wisdom this week.  The dad has to work on that but he's willing to do it and he also told us that he now believes that this is the true church.  The kids are all doing great now, including Alan.  We also met Benancia's sister who lives in the same house this week.  We've started teaching her too and she says she will come to church on Sunday.  I love teaching them because the whole family loves us and are so happy whenever we come.  It's great to see them changing. 

Carlos' family is also suddenly progressing.  His mom,  Natali, said she received an answer to her prayers to know that it's the true church.  That's a huge step because it's nearly 2 years ago that she first spoke with missionaries.  She says she'll go to church on Sunday (she didn't this Sunday because she had to take her 6-year-old son to his school to dance).  Her husband also told us that this week he had his answer and wants to be baptized.  I feel like the biggest issue for him will be how much he works. He told us he is working on getting Sunday free.  We explained that they have to get married and they are currently planning to get married in December and they have a baptismal date now for the 3rd of January.  Carlos still says that he does not know if it is the true church even though he understands and knows much more about the gospel than his parents.  I think he'll get his answer soon though since he's attending church now.

We had a zone conference with president this week--actually 3 zones together.  Eleven missionaries from the 3 zones end their missions this transfer.  They all gave their last testimonies which gave me plenty of time to think about how little time I have left.  Next zone conference will be my last.  I love being a missionary.  I still have over 3 months to make the most of and  I'm super excited for how it's going with the Valencia family and Carlos' family.

Kevin brought his friend not only to the talent show but to church on Sunday.  His friend is golden.  I don't understand why the members don't do what the recent converts almost always do in inviting people to talk with us or go to church.

On Wednesday morning we went to help Hermana Herminia with her corn field in Collpapampa.  She made us boiled potatoes with cheese and hard boiled eggs with runny yokes.  I didn't know that was a way to cook hard boiled eggs and I'm not a big fan of it.  Then we went to the corn field and used a hoe to tear up the dirt and pull it around the corn plants.  We just did a part of the field that was huge and it took a long time.  I can't believe that they do that whole field by hand.  It was pretty fun.  She told us that to thank us, one day she is going to make us guinea pig for lunch.  I'm kinda excited for that.

I love being a missionary.  I love and am grateful for the gospel.  I know God exists and I know that this is His church.  I'm sure that he listens to our prayers.  I'm sure that through prayer we can access the  power of the Atonement and Divine aid to be able to do anything God needs us to.

I hope you have a great week.  Happy Thanksgiving.  Not really sure if Thanksgiving was this Thursday that passed or the one that's coming.  Oh well.

Elder Howlett

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