Monday, November 12, 2012

Paintballing? Nov. 5th, 2012

Seeing all the pictures that you sent me made me miss Halloween a ton haha, they don`t do anything here in Perú for Halloween it`s lame. I liked a lot your guy`s costumes haha, Evan looked cool as Dracula and that picture of Joel is cool cause his eyes are soo blue he`d better watch out the chicks are gonna want him for that haha. Tell Eli I liked his cool Frankenstein costume tell him that somebody really cool used it before him :) The leaves look awesome with all the orange, yellow and red there`s nothing of that here in Chiclayo there`s just a lot of dirt and a dust and wind but what can ya do. I`m glad that you were able to enjoy halloween and go trick or treating. I hope you guys liked the pictures of us cutting pumpkins last week.

So this week was good we had some problems in the zone with some of the elders because they don`t get along very well so that was kind of a bummer. This elder in the zone has had problems with everysingle one of his companions up until now in the mission. He sometimes doesn`t like to listen to his companion and he likes to do everything in his own way and doesn`t like to recieve councils or suggestions. Everything is better now but whenever you have problems with your compy it makes it hard to teach and if you can`t teach with the spirit the people don`t recieve that spiritual confirmation that they need. We are working right now with a family named Cuespan Amisfuen, they`re awesome well at least the parents are really cool. The mom and dad have come to church and we`re teaching the whole family but we need to work with the young men and women and the ward so that their daughters can get excited about the church. We went to a baptismal service in another area with part of the family and it didn`t turn out so well because the kid that was going to get baptized has a phobia of water and didn`t want to be baptized. We had to wait like 40 minutes for this kid to get baptized and so it was kind of a pain and the daughter weren`t so happy because they had to wait forever to see the baptism. I`m pretty sure that if we work with the young men and young women in the ward they`ll get baptized this next month with their parents if not this month. We`ve also been working really hard with Elvis still, he has problems with alcohol and didn`t come to church yesterday. We have an appointment with him like right now at 8pm so we`re going to go see what`s up with him and verify how hes doing, he has a baptismal date for the 24th of this month. Keep Elvis and the family Cuespan Amisfuen in your prayers :) We`re also trying to reactivate this lady named Jacky, she`s nice and really friendly we`re also teaching her daughter Brenda so that she can get baptized. It was a let down this week becaue we saw Jacky drinking in the street with some of her friends and he daughter Brenda was right there with her. The next day we visited her and she tried to lie to us and tell us it was fruit juice that she was drinking haha, but we`re gonna be working with her a lot. This week has been a lot better because I`ve become better friends with my compy and it makes the transfers that much better when your companion is your friend. 

So tomorrow we have zone conference with all the zone leaders in the mission and the asistents i`m excited to see what it is they have planned for the mission. We finished this month with 8 baptisms in the zone, and we finished the first week of November with 4. Sometimes its dificult because when the zone doesn`t baptize or have much success not that baptisms and numbers show the success of a person we are responsable. Everyone in our zone is super sweet and hard working so we`ve been having a lot of success and people are joining the lords church. 

Today was pretty awesome Bryce is going to be jealous, we went paintballing with our zone here in Chiclayo. It turned out to be pretty sweet just like in the united states. Everyone seems to have had a good time, for most of the missionaries it was the first time that had done it and so everyone had fun. The paintball field was fairly large and the guns they rented us were Spyder`s just a standard paintball gun but I had good time and wished that Dad and Bryce were there so I could rock them haha. The guns were nothing like using a gun with a lengthen trigger and an electric hopper but it was worth it. We payed about 10 dollars (25 soles) to play for and hour and a half. It made me remember all those times we went paintballing in pegleg paintball off I-15 with mitch and john hahah those are some funny times. 

That`s so weird to hear about Tate getting home from his mission on Wednesday you`ll have to take a picture with him and send me a photo. It feels like yesterday that he left...when you see him tell him I say hi and to not get married before I get home haha. I was thinking a little bit about that the other day and how people get married so fast after getting home from their missions. But tell him I say hi! And also tell Laurie Scott congradulations for making the mormon tabernacle choir!!! 

Thanks for writing me and sending pictures, I`m going to send some pictures from today paintballing a little later when we are planning for the zone conference tomorrow so that you guys can see what it was like. Love you guysssssss!!

-Elder Connelly

Hiiii Oct. 29th, 2012

Hey! Glad to be able to write you guys again this week. I really liked the picture of you guys there at that lake it looks so pretty there. It`s so weird to see Bryce and Ava I feel like of everyone in the family they have changed the most, Bryce looks like he`s the same heigth as dad and Eva just seems to have changed a lot in this short time like any other baby ha. So the dogs got kicked out of the house ha, I wasn`t too surprised to hear about that. Lulu was a problem for a long time, don`t worry mom it`s not that big of a deal I probably might cry tonight but it`s not a big deal hahaha kidding. It sounds like it`s a better situation for everybody now, maybe things will be a little bit more smoother without the dogs causing problems. Jazz was always a pretty weet dog and never had any problem going to the bathroom in the house or doing things like that. I`m sure that this decision is better for everyone. 

So I had a pretty good week, I think I`ve come to the conclusion that being tired is just part of the mission because I`m always tired haha. On Tuesday we had a work visit with some of the elders in the zone and i was with Elder Driggs from Las Vegas, he`s a newer elder in the mission. He`s been out now about 3 months, it was a special opportunity to help him out. It`s always cool for me to be able to go on splits with other missionaries so that you can become better. I`ve been kind of having a problem with my companion lately it`s kind of a bummer, not really a problem but we haven`t been able to teach with that unity that is needed so that the people can feel the spirit. A lot of times in the lessons I feel like another member hanging out in the lesson, maybe my companion doesn`t notice it but I`ll have to talk to him about it. It makes it hard when you can`t teach as one voice with you companion because the spirit just isn`t as strong. We get along super well and he is a stud but I think maybe he just doesn`t realize how important that is to teach together. I`m going to try and talk to him this week a little bit about it haha. 

Candy got baptized on Friday with the bishops daughter, it was quite the baptizm haha. It all turned out really well, just that the bishops daughter didn`t want to get baptized so it made it a little dificult. It was a spiritual baptismal service and Candy was excited about her baptism, especially Candy`s mom so that was neat. I was happy to see that now their whole family is baptized and now they would just need to make that step to be sealed in the temple. It`s tough because Candy`s mom has work on Sundays and can`t go to church and we`ve talked to her many different times and just can`t give up her work on Sunday. This week we were looking for new people teach and contacting like crazy, and we found this awesome family on Thursday. They`re from the jungle and have come to Chiclayo for work. We shared the Restoration with them on Thursday we`re yet to talk about Joseph Smith, but we talked about the church of Christ and the apostasy they understood what we taught them and were anxious to have us return. On Saturday night we talked to the dad and mom about the sabbath day and they told us that they would go to church the next day and the dad came with us to church. It was pretty sweet that at least the dad was able to come to church, we have a lot of faith for this family and we think that they are going to progress a lot. They`re adventists but they haven`t gone crazy on us yet about their beliefs of the sabbath day, they aren`t what you`d say super adventists. 

But I`ve been good, this transfer has been tough and i`m learning and growing a lot. I think that`s just what I needed is something to make me push myself to make myself learn and grow, the trials and hard times are what make you think and push yourself a little harder, and when you accomplish your goals and do what you wanted to do it`s a good feeling. Theres a cool scripture in Romans that talks about that but I can`t remember where it is....

Today was cool we hung out with the zone in the church and cut pumpkins and played pictionary. It made me remember cutting pumkins at home during Halloween. Nobody does anything here in Peru for Halloween it`s sad. It`s not really a big holiday. 

Thanks for all the support and prayers!! Love you guys, talk to you next week :)

-Elder Connelly

PS heres the pictures of the activity we had today with the zone and the baptism of Candy, my comp is the one in the black shirt!

Hiiii Oct. 22nd, 2012

First off I want to tell Joel CONGRADULATIONS for getting baptized that`s so cool, you didn`t send me any pictures of his baptism. I want to see the pictures of when Joel got baptized, I hope everything turne out okay. Im glad Bryce didn`t have to baptize Joel three or four times haha, that always seems to happen in some of the baptisms here ha. I didn`t know you guys were going to do the baby blessings of Ava and Eli, that`s awesome I´m glad to hear about that! I burst out laughing when I heard about Evan trying to give Ava a blessing hahahaha. Bryce is with another chica? Freaking what`s going on dude? Haha take a chill pill and enjoy high school while you have it haha, that`s cool though be careful though :) 

Welp we`ve had a pretty good week to say the least. So my companion left and now I`m with Elder Ocampos, he`s from Paraguay. He`s a stud it`s we`re going to work super hard this change and we`re hoping to have success in the zone. I ended up in the same zone as a lot of my buddies here in the mission so that was cool, and everybody in the zone is cool and we shouldn`t have any problems.  We have a baptism scheduled for this week, it`s the daughter of members in the ward that just got reactivated and have started going back to church. The mom (Juana) didnt want her daughter (Candy) to get baptized because she told us that God isn`t to be played with and doesn`t want her daughter to just get baptized, we asked Candy if she wanted to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized and she said yes. We then went on explaining to her that her daughter has to be baptized and we shared D&C 68:25-28 if I remember right, she told us that she was going to talk with her husband and give us and answer so we`re going to go see if Candy can get baptized this week. Keep her in your prayers :) Everything is about normal right now in the mish and I`m just trying to enjoy everyday that I have here and work hard. Sometimes I feel lame writing you guys the same thing everyweek haha. Today we went to this cool place and played soccer and hung out with all the Elders and Sisters so that was fun, I got sunburnt again because I always forget to put sunblock on. 
Im finding a lot more time to read my book of mormon lately so that`s been nice, i`ve been trying to read and finish the book or mormon this month. Everytime I read it I always recieve that spiritual confirmation and I can feel and know that the book of mormon is true. It always helps me to read and pray about the book of mormon even if I already have a testimony of the message it contains. We can always take the invitation that the book has for us and read and ask God to help strengthen our testimony  of this book. I`ve been teaching a lot more with the book of mormon and giving priority to the book of mormon in our lessons and I`m seeing such a big difference. It helps bring the spirit into our lesssons and helps people so that they understand the doctrine. It`s sweet. So I guess the invitation is that you read and pray about the book of mormon this week even if you already know it`s true, I know with out any doubt that God will answer your prayers. Sorry I didn`t write very much, love you guys!! :)

-Elder Connelly

Transfers Oct. 15th, 2102

Well I had a good week and it was a surprise to read about what has been going on with you guys at home. I can`t believe Evan broke his arm hahaha, freaking it was just a matter of time no? I hope he`s doing okay tell him I`m sorry and hope he feels better. Did he get a cast or just a splint for his arm? Joel HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! how`d your birthday turn out? Did you get to do anything cool because of halloween and your birthday. I wish I could do something more for you dude but I`m kind of far away haha. I`m glad no one died fourwheeling in Moab there`s always some rad thing that happens on those fourwheeling trips like when Dad got thrown from his fourwheeler or when Bart got burned. Tell Lindsey congradulations for her baby BOY! Haha that`s funny, i`m sure that was a surprise.

I had a good week pretty normal and also kind of hectic as usual. We`ve been working really hard with a couple of people in our area, with Candy she`s a little girl from an incative family in our ward she just hasn`t gotten baptized yet. We baptized her brother a couple of weeks ago and now she`s going to get baptized. We`re pretty excited for her and we`re hoping to get permission from the mom today in our appointment. We`re also working with this awesome guy named Elvis, we contacted him about a week and half ago and he lives alone, works welding, and is super interested in our message. We had taught him for the first time a week and half ago and he was really interested, and my companion and I taught him on Saturday night about the Restoration. It was a spiritual lesson, I felt the spirit testifying that what we were teaching him is true. I could really see that he was learning by the spirit, we left him a book of mormon and we also invited him to be baptized at the end of this month. I was a little hesitent to invited him to be baptized because he hadn`t gone to church yet but he said that he would try and be here in Chiclayo so that he could get baptized. He works all the time and sometimes he has to travel out of Chiclayo, keep Elvis in your prayers!! 

So my companion is getting changed, that was kind of a bummer. We thought that he was going to finish his mission with me but this was his 5th change here in the area and so it was time for him to be transfered. I`m a little nervous for this next change and I`m sure it`s going to be kind of tough but it`ll help me to learn and grow. It`s been a lot different being worried about 18 missionaries in the zone and for all their areas haha, but it`s made me feel a lot more love for the missionaries and made me be more humble. I`m sure that everything will turn out well this change but some prayers directed my way wouldn`t hurt :) because it i`ll be needed. But I guess that is what God wants that we be dependent of his help, and we turn to him always for guidance in our lives. If we don`t have challenges that help us to learn, grow and depend on God more then we won`t make progress or reach the potencial that God hopes for everyone of his children. It`s not that i`m super nervous about this change but I want to do a good job and not screw up haha. 

Today was pretty cool because the missionaries that are going home this change from Cajamarca slept in our apartment last night and so I got to talk to one of my old companions that I had when I was in Cajamarca Elder Sandoval. It was so weird to see him heading to his house. Right now I`m with my companion still Elder Cerrutti until tomorrow when we have transfer meeting and they tell us who our companions are. I`m with my companion and another north american because his companion left home today thats why there`s three elders in the picture that I sent. Sorry that I don`t send very many pictures I was going to send more but I fogot to ask for the memory card that our pensionista has. Thanks for all the letters that you send my way, it helps me out a lot to get a letter of support and encouragment from you guys! As for that package that you were thinking about sending me, you could send me candy like Sour Punch Straws and other candy that I can`t find here in Perú :) haha. 

Thanks for letting me know what`s going on at home, I hope everything is going well with you guys. I`ll talk to you next week! :) 

-Elder Connelly

Conference Week Oct. 8th, 2012

Heyyy how`s it going? This has been a really long and tough week so it made my day to get to see some pictures of you guys and read a little bit about what`s going on at home :D I saw the pictures of all the little kids and notice that the kids are changing a little, well at least Ava is. Bryce has got some super long hippy hair haha, cut that hair dude it`s too long haha! Kidding. Bryce stray away from girls they`re nothing but trouble haha, that`s bummer man but don`t worry about it. It`s weird to hear all about the elections in the united states I have no idea what`s going on outside of Perú i feel pretty much like in my own bubble. 

I hope you guys were able to watch conference and learn from all of the talks that were given. I was able to really meditate this conference as I listened to the bretheren speak that they are literally called of God. It`s really something neat to be able to listen to the Prophet and hear about all the new changes in the church with a new temple in Perú and that the youth is going to be able to leave now at a younger age. I liked a lot what the prophet said about that sometimes people are called or given a responsiblity and they don`t know why and it`s because other people and God see something in them that they don`t see quite yet. We all have a certain capability and potencial in our lifes and sometimes we don`t recognize just what it is that we can achieve but sometimes other people see something in us that we ourselves don`t see. I would talk a lot about all the talks that were given but I would be writing forever haha. 

This week was pretty nuts like usual on Tuesday we had Zone meeting and checked out all the work we did during the month of September we had 7 baptisms in the zone it was a pretty good achievement for the zone. On Wednesday we had zone council with president and all the zl`s of the mission, it was the second time that I was able to be in the zone council and it was cool to hear about all that the mission is doing we hit 133 baptisms in the whole mission that`s the most baptisms we have ever had up until now. The president is so inspired and cares so much for all the missionaries it`s cool to get to listen to the plans he has for the mission. We were able to actually get time in to go proselyting this week so that was sweet, sometimes we don`t have time because we`re helping the other missionaries out. Then on Saturday and Sunday we were pretty much watching conference all day and proselyted a little. It is crazy when you talk about people like Mitchell finishing up their missions it freaks me out. I feel like I`ve been in the mission my whole life sometimes as if I didn`t have my life before I got here it`s kind of a weird feeling haha. I`m trying to enjoy every moment that i have here, defineitly don`t want to finish thinking that I wish I would have done something different or worked harder. I`m learning a lot right now about being able to endure to the end, it`s one of the most important principles in the gospel being able to continue faithful until the end. I`m super stoked for everything that I`m learning and still trying to strengthen my testimony always. I hope you guys can check out the other sessions if you weren`t able to see them all, it was really a pretty sweet conference.

Have fun fourwheeling and in Vegas!! I`ll be waiting that package :D hahah I love you guys and ill talk to you next week! 

-Elder Connelly

P.S. I was going to send pictures but...I didnt end up sending them. Next week though :D

Hard Week Sept 24th, 2012

So this has been one of the harder weeks I`ve had in the mission so far, I definitely think the Lord is challenging my faith. I`ve been pushing myself really hard with my companion so that we reach our goals that we have and so that we can help the zone out. We`re super stoked about all the success we`re starting to have. It`s been pretty hard this change, I`d say it`s been my hardest change so far. Ever since the begenning of this change i`ve been asking myself why they called me to this position when I`m still fairly new in the mission well i`ve been out a year. I`ve had a lot of feeling of unsufficiency this week, probably from Satan or something haha. But it`s really been really hard lately this week, Im really excited to help the elders and sisters out in our zone and so that`s been really cool. But this has been the busiest/hecict week hha. 

On Tuesday I was in Pimentel by the beach preaching with one of the elders in our zone its a really neat small town by the beach and so that was cool. On Thursday we went to Santa Rosa the new area that just got opened up to help the elders out that just opened that area up we were there with the whole zone working it was cool to work in that area were hoping that the growth in this new area is good. On Friday we had an activity in our ward with all the members and investigadores we did the tree of life and watched a smalll cartoon and explaining the meaning of the chapter to everyone and had refreshments after it turned out to be nice. I`ve been getting to know my companion a litte better and so we`ve gotten to be better friends I think a sent a picture of him and the other week, he`s helping me out a ton right now. It`s been really new and tough for me to help the zone out, but he`s a stud and has been training me well so that I can do all this when my other companion comes. We were talking about how we think this week has been a week of testing for us because of all that we went through it was tough. We were pretty stoked and happy last night to see the results of the zone and all that we did this week. I`m reading the book of mormon with my companion and so that`s been cool he reads in English and I read in spanish and we correct each others pronucation. Im working and trying to tweak a couple of things about how I talk in spanish, theres so many little things that you need to polish and tweak so that you speak like a peruvian. I`m trying to work a little harder on testifying in the lessons too and that has been super cool I`m seeing and feeling the results when you testify with a surety of what your teaching the people feel it and you reach their hearts when you teach. 

I`m so grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission right now it`s kind of hitting me how cool it is to be able to help people come to know the restored gospel. I`m gonna try and finish the book of mormon in spanish here shortly, maybe by the end of this change i`m not sure. I`m sorry that I wasn`t able to write too much more but i`m going to write you guys letters like ka did the other week. Love you guys soooo much and hoope everything is going well. Pray for Thomas and José Luis people that are getting baptized in our area :D 

-Elder Connelly

One year Sept. 17th 2012

Well it`s now officially been a year since I left, pretty crazy to think about. Time flys so fast, i`m excited to enjoy every moment I`m going to have here on the mission you don`t get the opportunity to leave behind everything and serve the Lord very often. 

So things have been going really good and also things have been really tough at the same time. I`d say this has been the toughest change so far for me in the mission, i`m really having to push it a little bit more and be a little bit more enduring (Matthew 10:22). It`s been so different this change but it`s been really cool because I`m able to serve more the missionaries in our zone. We`ve had a lot more time this week to preach and so that has been nice last week was nuts there wasn`t very much time to get to teach because we were helping the missionaries. On Thursday we had a training with all the District Leaders and Zone Leaders in the mission it was really neat, President Risso is such a cool President. My companion and I taught about the interviews that we do when there are baptisms, it was a spiritual meeting. 

We were able to get permission for Thomas so he`s going to get baptized on the 29th of this month we`re super excited for him. I was a little unsure that we were going to be able get permission from his parents. So me and my companion have become better friends so that has been nice, I`m trying to help him as much as I can. He`s helping me out a lot and i`ve been learning a lot from him so that`s been cool he`s got about 22 months in the mission and he has a lot of experience. I`ve been getting to know better the elders in our zone everyone is pretty cool and we`re trying to do everything we can to help the zone out. It was pretty sweet today we went to a cool area in Reque to play soccer and hang out with the zone it was cool it was nice to be able to relax. 

Sorry if I`m not really responding to what your writing to me, I don`t have too much time to write and respond to everything that you guys right to me and I want to have time to write to you what`s going on. Tell Joel that Im going to pray for him so that he feels better, that sounds like it`s been a bummer tell Eli that i`ll pray for him too so that he feels better. That sounds like you guys have had a super busy and crazy week, sounds like we`re living about the same type of life crazy and busy. It`s nice to be busy but it`s also nice to have down time. It`s tough sometimes to balance everything out in your life but it`s for sure important that we do it. I love you guys and hope you have a good week!! :D 

-Elder Connelly

Tough Times Sept. 10th, 2012

HEYY! Sorry, I got on the computer a little later today because we were super busy today. HOw`s everyone doing? Id respond to what you wrote me but I dont have time!

So this week has been nuts busy, busiest week of the mish so far ha. On monday I was visiting all the members and converts in my area and said goodbye to everyone and to my companion on tuesday we went to change meeting. I was pretty nervous about my change and where I was going to be, I was bummed to have to say goodbye to my companion too. But in the meeting everyone was super nervous and after president and his wife talked they called out the changes. They called my name and I thought they were going to send me to the zone Jaén but i`m in the zone Chiclayo Perú, I`m with Elder Cerrutti he`s a stud he`s from lima. We´re the zone leaders in the zone and so that`s been something new for me i`ve been pretty nervous for the responsiblity but i`m feeling a little better about it. It`s tough because now I have to help out the elders and sisters in our zone but it`s a great opportunity to serve. It was tough because on wednesday we had zone meeting in the morning but my companion and I have been helping these elders in the zone so that they can open up the area and they were transporting all the furniture and bunk beds and stuff to the area during the zone meeting. So I got stuck with the whole zone alone and had to talk about the stuff we had planned for the zone, luckily everything turned out alright and my companion made it to the zone meeting about halfway through. It`s been crazy because we were helping the elders that our in this brand new area so that they can get moved in and we had a zone council with all the zone leaders in the mission president and the assistents on Thursday. I was able to learn a lot and i`m super stoked and excited to learn a lot and progress I feel a little uncapable sometimes like anyone would feel but i`m going to try and give it all. 

So the area where i`m at is about fifteen minutes from where i was at, so I practically didn`t even move very far but it`s a cool area it`s a lot bigger than where I was at. My companion and I became friends really quickly and so that`s good, he`s a cool guy and were super excited to work hard this change. Oh something cool was on Sunday when Elder Hooker came to our sacrament meeting, he`s a autoridad de área. I learned a lot from his talk he talked about the atonement and the importance of families. It was super special to listen to him, some of the general authorities in the church can really just get to your heart through the spirit. I felt the spirit super strong as he talked. So like I was saying our area is cool, but right now we´re looking for new people to teach. We area teacing this kid named Tomas, his whole family are members but his mom needs to give him permission so that he can be baptized. Maybe you guys could include him in your prayers so that he can get baptized this week. 

Sorry that this letter is so short but I didn`t have time to write anything else because we have to go buy food for the week, oh yeah now I have to cook breakfast and dinner so that`s cool. ANyways I love you guys soo much and sorry that I couldn`t write more and that I don`t have week i`m going to send some!! LOVE YOU

Elder COnnelly 

PS I got the package with the ties and candy !! THANKSSSSS :DDDD

Semana 5 August, 27th 2012

Welp my time has finally come to an end here in the Unión, I was super bummed when the Zone Leaders called and said I was going to be changed. I´m super stoked to get to a new area and have a new companion so that I can progress and learn more but it´s always a bummer to have to get used to a new area and companion and all that. I´ve been here for about 4 1/2 months so it´s about time that I had a change, but my compy and I thought I was going to stay. 

I´ve seen some of the coolest things happen in this area, I feel like we´ve really been able to dig up gold in this area. I was told so much about how this area was hard and that the members didn´t help out any. But I´ve really been able to see how the Lord prepares his children to recieve the Gospel. I think I´ve said that a lot but it´s really true that the Lord prepares the way for his children. We were able to teach Elsa Vallejos about Temples yesterday and that was super special and spiritual. She´s 72 and her husband died when she was about 32 in a car accident, so I think it was super comforting for her to hear that her husband could recieve ordinances like baptism in the temple. She sounded excited to prepare herself to enter the temple. We also visited Silvia Manay (52 years old) yesterday and she talked to us about the answer to her prayer that she recieved when she was unsure about the church and the book of mormon. She had been going to a different church for a really long time and she never really accepted what the church taught, her mom has been a member for a really long time and it was really hard for her to see that her daughter never joined the church. With my other companion Elder Cabrera we were knocking doors one night and showed up at her house and the mom of Silvia came to the door and we almost didn´t going in and we decided we were going to share something short with her, then Silvia showed up and told us her story and how she felt and that she was looking to change her life and join Christ´s church. It was a super special experience, and strengthened my testimony a lot. 

Things are going really well in our area and were super excited about some of the people we´ve been working with, Elsa has been sparked with the missionary spirit and always brings her family to church. So we´ve been teaching her grandson Ismael, he has a baptismal date so were excited for him. I feel like I´ve done everything that I could of done for this area, It´s sooo small and so i´m a little relieved to get to have a change. It´s like 3 blocks by 18, so it makes it tough to walk the same streets every single day haha. 

So on Friday night I got kind of sick from something I ate I think and started throwing up I didn´t feel good and slept alright on Friday night. I didn´t feel good enough to go tracting on Saturday so we stayed in our room in the morning and in the afternoon ended up leaving to go tracting. I´ve felt a lot better and I think It was just something that I had eaten, It´s the first time I´ve gotten sick with the food but I´ve always been careful with what I eat. If there´s something sketch in my plate I usually say something but sometimes you just have to man up so that you don´t make the people feel bad haha. But I´m doing a lot better now and don´t feel so sick. 

It made me super excited and pumped for Joel when you said that he´s going to be getting baptized in two weeks, you guys have to take pictures or something and send me em. I wish I could be there when he gets baptized. It´s funny sometimes I think about when I got baptized and I don´t know if I really understood how important this ordinance is. Like Nephi says in 2 Nefi 31 if Jesus was baptized, someone that never commited a sin theres a great need for us being sinners to be baptized as jesus was baptized.  It´s super special and make sure that the baptismal service is spiritual so that Joel never forgets that day. 

Well anyways my time is just about over, I´ll fill you guys next week on where I´m at and all that. I wish I could let you know what´s going on tomorrow somehow. Look in the clouds for my smoke signal hahah. It´s crazy how we have such limited communication I feel like I´m leaving in a whole different world ha. But I love you guys so much and hope everything is going well! Tell Joel congradulations for passing his baptismal interview. Love youuuU!!! 

-Elder Connelly

P.S. the picture is with the pensionista and her family and my companion today we took a picture to remember Im going to miss this family a lot they´ve been so nice.

Semana 5 August 27th, 2012


Thanks for the email and the update on whats going on at home, I´m so glad to hear about Konnor I´m so stoked for him. How´d he open up his talk?? Hes going to do so well in his mission, it´s crazy to think that I won´t see him for three years :( If you could get a hold of his address I want to write him a letter ASAP. I feel like a loser I haven´t written my friends much I sent letters out this week and last week to some people hopefully they get them. I´m happy you were able to end summer well, all the pictures of bear lake looked so cool. It looks like you guys are at the ocean it was soo sweet. Tell Bryce to get a haircut he´s growing out a mullet like Dad had hahaha. It´s funny that you guys swung by some of the old places where you used to eat, I actually went one time I think with my buddies to that chinese place if I´m remember right I´m not sure. I´m bummed out for Corey and Terri, they had that dog for a really long time, it reminded me of Jazz we had her for about 16 years if I remember right. 

So this week was really pretty interesting, it flew by like all the other weeks in the mission. On wednesday I visited the elders in my district that are in Eten a little ocean side town and was with Elder larson from arizona. He´s a stud, super cool and I was able to learn a lot from him and I hope I was able to help their area out a little. It´s getting to be pretty cold lately, but it´s good because I don´t want it to be hot haha. In the morning on Thursday we left Eten to downtown Chiclayo to a multizone conference with about 6 other zones. President Risson and the assistents talked about a lot of things that are going to help the mission out I think. Were thinking about doing english classes in our area we´ll see how that turns out haha. On friday night the assistents called us and told us that they were going to do a work visit and be with us tracting on saturday afternoon. So they showed up on saturday and we had divisions and I went with one of the gringo assistents and my comp with the Elder Chuiz. It was cool I guess they´re visiting all the areas where the new elders are getting trained because they´re going to have a training for all the new trainers. I think that means that i´m probably going to get changed from my area this change. I definitely don´t want to leave but while I was talking to Elder Hatch one fo the assistents while we were tracting he made it sound like I was going to have a change this change. I´m hoping for one change more here because our investigadors are just starting to come around and keep their commitments it would be kind of devistating if they pulled me our of our area. We´ve been working with this family of about 4 and two of them showed up to sacrament meeting yesterday along with Hna Irma. That made my week I was super excited for her. When I was with one of the assistents on saturday we went to irma´s house and visited her. She told us how she doesn´t believe that there is a life after we die. We explained to her a little bit of Plan of Salvation, her husband died 7 years ago and it really hit her hard. But we were able to help her out. It´s so neat when you see someone that is in need of the gospel, it makes them so much more receptive of the spirit. I learned a lot this week, I think I really need to work on being a little less direct with people when I´m teaching sometimes I don´t let the spirit do it´s job in the lessons and I want people to keep their commitments or understand certain principles. It´s something I´m going to work on this week. There was a cool experience that I had on Thursday after the multizone conference we were tracting and I felt the impression to go to the house of one of our investigadors when our appointment had fallen through, so we went to his house and someone from his family came to the door and before we could present ourselves he let us in and said that he´d wanted to listen to us. He said he wanted to change his life and that he had been going through problems with his wife, so we talked about faith and repentance with him. He seemed super interested and excited to put into practice those principles. It was something cool that happened to me this week. It´s super important to always be listening to the spirit because you never know when your going to get a small impression. It was sad last week my companion´s grandma died and so he called home at about 7pm and talked with his family for about 15 minutes, I tried to help him out with what I could. He seemed to be okay until we went to go eat dinner and he started crying I felt super bad for him. He seems to be doing better this week, but It put a damper on our week. My companion is sometimes really quiet and timid but I think it hit him kind of hard that his grandma died. It´s special that we have the restored gospel in our lives and that through jesus christ we can live with our families forever if we keep the commandments and our sealed in a temple by the holy priesthood. His grandma was sealed in the temple and so that helps a lot. The comfort and blessings that the gospel brings to our lives is soo special we have to recognize these blessings and do whatever we can to serve others. Thanks for all the love and support!!! I´ll talk to you guys next week, sorry that I keep putting off sending pictures...I haven´t taken any. But love you!!

-Elder Connelly

Hii!! Aug, 13th, 2012

Hey family! How`s it been? I`m glad to hear everyone is doing well. It`s bummer that dad is feeling super busy and overwhelmed that`s sometimes the worst, but then sometimes it`s good to stay busy. I was looking over the pictures that you sent me and thought I saw this girl that looked like Bryce then I realized that it was Bryce haha, cut your hair dude! The girls will like you more I promise ;) hahah. It was funny to see pictures of the dogs, I couldn`t tell which one was Lulu but they looked cute. You`ll have to prepare everything so that Joel can get baptized, that`s cool that Bryce is going to baptize him. Make sure you guys practice before so you don`t end up like my companion and having to baptize Joel three or four times ha. 

Your very right about the holy ghost it`s funny how we sometimes we don`t listen to that still small voice, or we are too busy to slow things down or to really just listen attentively. It`s super important too because you never know it could be a prompting from the holy ghost that helps you throughout your day. It actually happened to us this week when we were tracting in the morning, we were headed to the house of an inactive to visit her daughter who isn`t member when we decided to knock this random door. We knocked the door and an older man came to the door, he was going through a hard time and has bad health. I don`t know if he`ll ever progress just because he hasn`t really shown us much interest, but we felt good to know that we could help someone out who was in need. 

Well this week has been good I`m getting to know my companion a lot better, and were pretty good friends now. It`s always a little different at the beginning of the change with your companion because you don`t know each other well. But I`d have to say that if you don`t have a good relationship with you companion your gonna be miserable. Your companion is like your family for the short time your with him whether it be six weeks or twelve. Luckily all the companions I`ve had in the mission so far have been super cool and we`ve gotten along really well. We were kind of bummed out this week because we weren`t able to find our investigadores that our progressing, and they haven`t been able to fufill their commitments. But were super stoked to work hard this week so that they can fufill with their commitments and progress. We`ve got a couple of investigadores and families as well that our good prospects right now we just got to play our cards right teach by the spirit and work with the members so that they can recieve a testimony and fufill with their commitments. On sunday I had to give a talk in sacrament and they told us to talk on Missionary work, I don`t know why they didn`t assign us a different topic we talked the last time on missionary work but we did it again this week. My talk turned out okay I think, I talked about our personal conversion and how we need to be converted to actually have the desire and want to help in the missionary work. Like what happened to the son of Alma he talks about his conversion and how he was trying to destroy the church of christ and then repented and did missionary work after, he tells his conversion story in alma 36 I think if I remember right. It`s a cool chapter. 

Today we went to Zaña a little city outside of Lambeyeque with the zone it was pretty sweet we checked out an old church. I don`t have my cable to send pictures...sorry! Love you guys!!! You`ll have to let me know if you got those letters!

Elder Connelly 

What a week Aug. 6th, 2012

Well this was a pretty crazy week, we`ve been working super hard and were seeing some of the results come. I`m tired as usual and Pday was super relaxing today. The hermanita Elsa got baptized on saturday and I confirmed on yesterday were super stoked about her and her progress, she`s put forth her part to be able to make this covenant with God. She`s such a special lady, she`s 72 and decided that she wasnt doing what god wants her to be doing. On monday we had that family home evening with the mission leader and she had read mosiah 18 and she said that it helped her a lot and that she was ready to be baptized. We taught her about the commandments during the week and she accepted everything we taught her. Were looking into teaching more of her family there`s a lot of people in her family that can progress. It was kind of funny when she got baptized, it was my companions first time baptizing, and Presidente Risso showed up to our baptism again and was in the baptismal font when my companion baptized her. He got nervous and couldn`t get the prayer right and couldnt get her all the way under the water, she ended up getting baptized three times hahaha. But she was a trooper about it even though it looked like it might of been a little tough for her! I`m super stoked about her and the people that we  found this week. 

Had a cool experience this week with an interview of one of the baptisms in our district, it was a 16 year old kid. He`s super awesome and has such a strong testimony of the book of mormon and the gospel. I was able to relate to him a lot and the spirit was really strong for the little time that I was able to interview him, he also got baptized the same day as the hermanita Elsa. It was an awesome day I`m super excited for her and for Kevin. 

My companion and I are getting along well, I try to talk to him a lot in the street because he`s a little timid and doesnt talk much. I think it`s just that getting used to be in the mission but he`s a cool elder and were getting along well. Today we went to Pimentel again and played soccer on a synthetic soccer field with the zone it was sweet, we also took some pictures with some cool boats. It`s funny because we take a bus ride from Chiclayo about 25 minutes through complete dirt and dust and then you get to this cool little beach town. It`s a cool spot to have pday and to hang out with the zone. 

I feel bad because I can`t really respond to what has been going on at home but I wanted to get out a quick summary of the week and what happened. Be waiting for some letters! I love you guys so much! Chao!!!

Responsibilidad July 25th, 2012

Well that was one of the more funny email`s I`ve gotten from you, I was a little confused and laughing while I read it haha. I`m also really glad that you didn`t die mom, you have to be careful when your out hiking, I remember the time that I came up on that mountain lion when I went rock climbing with Bryce. I think Dan has some pretty gnarly stories too about animal encounters in the wilderness haha, but i`m glad that your safe.
It sounds like you guys don`t really know what has been going with me here in the mission. I`ll try and fill you in a little with the questions you had, before this change I was with Elder Cabrera (from Chile) I had two changes with him (12 weeks) and now he`s in Bogua Grande (the jungle), Chiclayo is a lot different from Cajamarca but it`s been three and a half months since I was in Cajamarca so i`m adjusted, the food is practically the same I`m yet to really eat anything super crazy in the mission up until now, and the living conditions are perfect I have a comfortable to sleep in a pension where we get to eat three course meals (we eat in the house where the patriarch lives, the stake president, and the missions secretary so I feel pretty protected). Elder Pacori isn`t getting released for another 7 months right now he`s my zone leader, so it`s been pretty cool to be able to work with him again. I think I answered some of the questions you had haha.
So I´m doing really good i`m a little tired and stressed out but it`s good to be tired when you`ve been working. I`m training a new elder right now, his name is Elder Palacios from Villa Salvador it`s the south part of Lima. He`s a cool elder really timid but were getting to know each other well and we`ve been checking the area out and i`ve been introducing him to the investigadores and the members. We`re supposed to have a baptism this week, the Hermana Elsa should be getting baptized, i`m praying and I`ve got my fingers crossed that she gets baptized this saturday. She`s the coolest little lady she`s 72 and we`ve been teaching her now for about 8 weeks, we didn`t think she was going to progress much when we first starting teaching her when I was with Elder Cabrera and then we invited her to come to church about 4 weeks ago and she showed up with her grandson and has been keeping her commitments. We`re super stoked about her progress and we have an appointment with her in 30 minutes with the mission leader in our ward. She likes to read the BOM and when we`ve left her a chapter to read she explains every chapter to us with all the important details and points, and understands well the restoration. She`s one of those people that has been waiting to recieve the gospel. It was a little bit of a scare on Friday when we were finishing up the plan of salvation with her and I asked her how she was feeling about this saturday and her baptism and she told us, "I actually wanted to tell you guys something", my heart dropped and she told us that she wasn`t sure that she was ready to be baptized. We shared a couple of scriptures with her and reassured her that she was going to be fine and that she just needed to keep reading the book of mormon and praying to continue growing her testimony. She came to church yesterday and always shows up with her grandson, i`m super stoked about her and hoping that everything turns out okay this week pray for her please!!
I`m feeling completely drained and im excited to get to sleep tonight, I feel a little overwhemled to be training and district leader but it`s i`m going to be able to learn a ton and progress. I was super bummed out to say goodbye to Elder Cabrera we were together for 3 months and I was hoping for one more change with him but now he`s in the jungle in Bagua Grande, I think he was pretty happy to get to go to a cool area in the jungle. We went around on monday night saying goodbye to the members in our ward and saying goodbye to the converts that we had while we were together, I almost shed a tear when we had to say goodbye haha but seriously it was a bummer. But i`m stoked to be able to help out Elder Palacios, I feel super blessed with the companions I`ve had because I`ve been able to get along with all of them and you always learn something good from everysingle one of them. 
I really liked the pictures you guys sent me especially the one of bryce with the surf board looking all huge, you need to lay off the weights or I´m going to have to start working out in the mornings. I sent everyone in the family a letter last week, so it should get to you guys this coming week I think. I love you guys sooo much and hope you have a good week! Read the scripts and say your prayers!! :)
-Elder Connelly
ps the four pictures with elder cabrera were from when we said goodbye to all the members, and the other picture is with my new compy in our room. 

Changes July 23, 2012

Hey family! Thanks for the little update on what`s going on at home. You`re probably getting to do a lot of fun things being that it`s summer time right now. I liked those old pictures that you sent me haha, it was funny seeing them. That sounded fun eating chinese food and watching the fireworks during draper days. I miss chinese food, but sometimes I get to eat fried rice in the pension so that`s been pretty sweet. Thats funny that Dan has a new hat now, I`ve always remembered him with that brown beatin up hat that he always uses. But I hope that fortune comes true! I hope Grandma can keep her vision from worsening thats a bummer, I`ll keep her and Chad in my prayers. 

So this week is changes, and yesterday we were nervousily waiting for the phone call from the zone leaders and they called at about 9:30PM and my companion is leaving. It was kind of a bummer my companion and I thought that we were going to have a miracle and he was going to stay one change more, it would have been three changes together but what can ya do. So this change I`m training a brand new Elder, I`m excited for the opportunity to learn more. I`m a little nervous but I guess anyone would feel that way. Tomorrow in the morning we have change meeting and so I won`t know who my new companion is until tomorrow. This last change I feel like I learned a ton, and Im super stoked for this next change to give it all.

This last week was an interesting one, we`ve been trying to help Elsa Vallejos and her grandson Ismael prepare to be baptized on August 4th. Luckily during a work visit with some of the elders from our district my companion and Elder Driggs (from Riverton) were able to talk to Ismael`s mom and now he has permission to be baptized which is sweet. During the work visit I was with Elder Perea an elder from our district from Guatemala he`s super spiritual and knows how to use the Book of Mormon like a champ, you always learn something really cool from every elder here in the mission it`s great. We`ve been teaching a family of three this last couple of weeks they`re awesome, Cecilia (the mom), Maria (the aunt), and Caroline (Cecilia`s daughter) they`re a reference from one of the members in our ward that helps us out a ton. We`ve shared with them the restoration and the book of mormon, and on Sunday we talked to them about baptism. It was a bomb lesson we taught by the spirit and used the scriptures super well, with all the doctrine. We saw that Cecilia was fighting against her traditions that she has a catholic, but were doing our best to help her out. If you could keep them in your prayers along with Elsa and Ismael it`d be super helpful :)

Today my comp and I went to the mission office to say goodbye to the elders that our going home today. And we`ve been relaxing a little bit and he`s been packing his stuff up and tonight we`re going to swing by all of people so that he can say goodbye. It`s a super weird feeling that he`s already leaving but I`ve been telling him he`s  going to serve in Cajamarca haha. So today I wrote letters to everyone in the family so be expecting a letter in the next couple of weeks! 

Love you guys :D 


P.S. I haven`t taken any pictures so they aren`t any pictures...sorry

Tired July 16th, 2012

Thanks for filling me in on whats going on :) Every time I read the letters that you guys send me I find myself laughing and imagining how things are going at home haha. I`m glad Eli was able to have a fun birthday and sounds like he still loves his Yeti´s. It`s super weird to hear about Eva and what she`s been doing, because I still imagine her as she was when I left. Not that a ton of time has gone by but that she couldn`t walk and stuff like that. Tell Bryce to not be nervous and man up :D and bless the sacrament because it`s a special opportunity and it`s his responsibilty as a Priest.
Well this week was super busy and I feel completely dead today haha. On Tuesday I was with Elder Blatter from Riverton doing a work visit in his area to see how him and his companion have been doing. Elder Blatter is super awesome and a funny Elder I was able to learn a ton from him and I think I was able to help them out a little bit. I like being able to help the Elders out it`s been cool. It was pretty funny how people reacted to us when we did a couple of contacts because it`s not too often that two gringos are together tracting one thats tall and the other with blonde hair haha.
This week my companion and I have been giving it all we`ve got I feel really good about the work we`ve been doing and what we`ve been able to do up until now with the help of the Lord. I`m pretty bummed out that I think my companion we`ll be leaving this change we don`t know yet, but he`s been here for three changes now. And now it`s most likely that he`ll be heading out. I always get a little bit stressed out the last week of a change because you don`t know sometimes what is going to happen. But I`ve reall enjoyed my time with Elder Cabrera. This week we made plans to set a baptismal date for Hna. Elsa Vallegos (72) and her grandson Ismael (13) they came to church the other week alone and have been showing a lot progress. We had a lesson with them on Friday that was the best, i felt the spirit super strong and it was one of those times that at the end of the lesson you say "what just happened." We set a baptismal date for the 4 of August and they accepted it. It was funny we invited Hna. Elsa to be baptized on the 4th and she said "okay, what time should I be there at". They both came to church on Sunday and were going to visit them tomorrow. 
I was talking a little bit with my companion about the testimony that an Elder gains on the mission and how we have to return converted to the restored gospel. I really feel that it`s sometimes a battle trying to gain a real firm testimony of the gospel, a testimony that`s super super strong. But I`m finding that it comes little by little. I`ve got a ton of animos de trabajar right now and my companion and I are going to end the change on a good note.
I don`t know if you could keep Jesus, Elsa, and Ismael in your prayers. Jesus is also a kid we`ve been teaching I think I already mencioned him he`s 19 and has a ton of doubts about the BOM. We going to share a little about 2 Nephi 29 with him, he`s really doubtful about the fact that there´s another book apart from the bible.
Thanks for all the support! Love you guys soo much, I`m gonna keep Grandma Terri and Chad in my prayers :) I`m also sending out letters I always say that but this time it`s for real.
p.s. all the pictures i sent are of today at the beach Pimentel (one of the best beaches in Peru from what they say) and some of the elders in the zone.

:P July 9th, 2012

 Tell Grandma Terri to get better! :D It`s sweet that she`s able to get that type of surgery done so that she doesn`t lose her vision. I was soooo stoked to hear about Konnor and his mission call! I hope that everything goes well for him, he`s going to love that mission. That`d be cool if he ended up running into Tanner Lund. Ashley Miller is right about that the mission goes by too fast, I think it`s because you do the same thing everyday not that it`s a bad thing but you have the same routine. Bryce better be jumping higher than 6 feet at that BYU track camp haha, what events is he doing? Long jump? High jump? Crazy to hear about that forest fire, but cool that there was rain to stop the fire. Dan seems to be living quite a sweet life right now, I`m happy that everything is going well for him. I liked the pictures a lot...I always say that but I did they were cool haha.

This week has gone really good, I`m super super tired. It`s been one of the hardest working weeks of my life I think. We`ve been working with this one kid named Jesús he`s an adventist and has a lot of questions but we watched a video of the Restoration and left him a book of mormon. We had to call him the night that we gave him the book of mormon so that he would read and pray, he ended up doing it but he was super tired when he read and prayed so he wasn`t able to recieve an answer. We`ve been trying to do everything we can so that our investigadors keep their commitments but they have their free agency and we can only do so much. We are also teaching this one family and the dad is named Oscar, the family is super awesome and him and his kids want to be baptized and have been coming to church consistently but he has some super sketchy problems with the law. He`s waiting for his trial, were not really sure what he did but he has to be careful when he`s in the street. It`s a bummer because he wants to be able to start over again and start a new life. Help his kids so that they can grow up in the church and in the gospel. But hes got some super serious problems. We`ve been struggling a little bit with the people that are progressing because they have problems like they aren`t married or they`re waiting a trial and so they can`t progress up to a baptism. But a lot of our new investigadores showed up to church this sunday on their own! You can really see the progress of someone when they come to church with out you passing by their house to remind them or go to church with them. On sunday I was super stoked to see Silvia the lady that was baptized 3 weeks ago paying her tithing, and Oscar was also paying his tithing last week. My companion and I were talking a lot about how we need to prepare our investigadors to meet up with the requirements that are in DyC 20:37. I know that the people that have been baptized in the 2 changes I have with my companion our "converts" they`ve been able to recieve a testimony and really repent and change their lives. Tengo muchos ánimos de trabajar, that`s how I feel right now with the work here in our area. 

Sorry I haven`t sent ANY letters lately it`s so much easier to just write an email than to write letters. But I bought some envelopes and I`m going to send letters to everyone. I`m a bum when it comes to writing letters but I`m going to be better about it. I love you guys and hope that everything is going good with you! :D Until next week!


... June 25th, 2012

Hey, i`m doing good! How`s everything going with you guys? I guess I`m kind of adjusted to living out of the country, I`ve been able to learn a ton and a different language. I was thinking if I`ll ever end up needing to speak in spanish after the mission, maybe it i`ll be able to help me out. I feel pretty confident now with my spanish but I still need to keep learning, the thing is that you get to a certain point when you can talk and converse with people and you stop practicing. But I`m helping my companion l with his english, and he`s  helping me to better pronounce the words so i`m reading the book of mormon in spanish out loud I`m noticing that it helps a lot. That`s a bummer that Ava has been sick, luckily I`m yet to get sick my companion got super sick about 4 weeks ago. I always stay away from sketchy looking food and unbottled water and it seems to be helping me out. Bryce needs to watch out with the girls they`re nothing but trouble haha, that`s crazy to think he`ll be a junior this next coming year. I`m glad you had the missionaries over for dinner, it`s sweet to be able to go and eat at the members houses. Are they missionaries in our ward or in the stake, I don`t remember ever seeing missionaries. The pictures with that Blue Mckaw are super sweet, the coloring of that bird is really cool. Talking about excersising my comp and I have been trying to excersise in the morning before breakfast. We`ve been running and doing pushups and small excersises to stay in shape, I feel kind of crummy when we don`t get to go out and go running or excersise. Oh I almost forgot to tell you guys about Elder Law that one kid that lives by the richins is in my zone and I see him about 2 times a week, he`s a cool guy he`s pretty timid but super nice. We were talking about how I went over to his house a couple times and a little bit about Kasey. Sounds like he`s enjoying these first couple of weeks, his trainer is cool. 

So this week was super cool and i`m way tired. On Thursday we had a leader training for all the DL`s in the mission and got to see some of my old companions Elder Pacori I`m not sure why he was there cause he`s a ZL, and Elder Velarde. It was cool to talk to them a little bit and see how they`re doing. We ate KFC and took some pictures I don`t have the pictures but they`re supposed to send them out to us. On Friday we had service and helped this lady tear down part of her house and rebuild it with mud bricks. It`s always a humbling experience to see where some of the people live here in Peru, it makes you grateful for what you have. And we were getting everything squared away for this Saturday so that Silvia could get baptized. On friday she had an interview with one of the ZL`s, and on saturday she was baptized. It was cool because President Risso showed up to our baptismal service which was cool, I had to direct the service so I was a little nervous but everything came out really well. My companion baptized her, and I confirmed her on sunday in sacrament meeting. I`m super stoked about the two converts that we have had in our area, I`m convinced that they are people out there waiting and prepared. What makes it cool for me is their testimonies, on sunday Oscar our other convert that got baptized about a month ago was paying his tithing. I was talking with my companion a little bit about the testimony that the investigadors have to have before they`re baptized. It`s kind of tough to get a real strong testimony, you really got to want it and fight for it. 

Thanks for all the support and i`ll talk to you guys next week! Love you! :D 


P.S. I promise i`m going to send letters

Feliz dia del Padre! June 18th 2012

Hey happy fathers day DAD!!! How´s it going? Sounds like you guys were able to do something fun for fathers day. I feel bad because I haven´t been able to write any letters or send a small package, it cost a ton to send letters from here to the US. But I´m glad you guys got to do something this week. I´m not really sure I know where that Natural History Museum would be at, but it sounds cool. I´ll have to check out that movie that you guys saw it sounds super cool, I liked Alien I saw it like 8 years ago or something like that ha. I really liked the picture frame that you guys made for dad it looks pretty sweet, I wish I could have particpated haha. 

TELL EVAN HAPPY BIRTHDAY :D and tell Joel, Eli, and Bryce I say hi!! 

Things have been going really good here, I fell like i´ve learned more in these couple weeks than I have in all my mission. We´ve been working so hard in our area, it´s had a lot of trouble in the past but I´m convinced that it depends on you and if you really want to work hard. We´ve been studying a lot in the morning, we studyed a little bit about how we need to listen as missionaries sometimes we´ll get in a lesson and it´s tough to just listen atently to what the people are telling you. Well at least it is for me, I get too excited to try and respond to their doubts or problems and I just need to listen to what theyre saying haha. 

This week I was with one of the elders from my district Elder Driggs from Riverton, I had a work visit with him to see how him and his companion are working. It´s super cool for me to go out teaching or tracting with other elders because everyone can teach you something different. We have a baptism this week, and i´m super stoked for the sister that´s going to be baptized. Sister Silvia, I think I told you about her this last week. We´ve been doing everything to try and help her with her progress, on friday we taught her about a couple of commandments and she is super awesome and when we invited her to keep the commandments we had taught her she accepted and was super excited about everything, yesterday we visited her with the stake patriarch this super spiritual guy and he helped her out a ton. At the end of the lesson with the patriarch she said a super awesome prayer and cried. It´s been really really special to see her progress up until now and see her testimony grow. Thats the one thing that makes me super happy, to see someone have a strong testimony of the gospel. Also on Sunday we had four people in the church and three of them came with out us having to swing by their houses, you can really see the progress of someone when you don´t have to remind them to come to church. I was also super stoked to see Oscar at church with his scriptures and everything, it´s something really hard to explain the happiness that you feel for the people you teach. 

On Wednesday during district and zone meeting president risso showed up unexpectingly, and that was cool. I was able to have a small interview with him and talk a little bit about what were doing in our area and how i´ve been doing. He´s awesome and makes me excited to get out and work. Today we watched 17 Miracles with the zone, it´s a pretty sad/cool movie, about the pioneers and all that they went through. Then we were able to nap a little bit. We´ve been running and excersing in the mornings, I´m hoping to try and lose some weight I´m getting fatter day by day I think. Also on friday we ate these super huge sandwhiches, and then on saturday we went downtown with the stake president and the patriarch to eat. The pension is sweet, we eat in the same house as the secretary to the mission, the stake president, and the stake patriarch. Welp that´s about it for this week, I love you guys! Talk to you next week!! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Changes June 11th, 2012

Hey! Well this week was changes, and there wasn´t hardly any changes in our zone. Because of all the emergency changes a couple of weeks ago. I´m going to be staying with my companion one change more, I don´t know if he wanted to stay another change with me or leave but he´s a cool Elder. We´ve been working super hard with our investigadors and our area. It´s one of the more tougher areas in the zone, its super small and most of the houses have been contacted but were making a lot of good things happen. 

Were teaching Silvia Manai she´s 52 and has been investigading the church for a while now and her mom is a member. I think I talked a little bit about her the other week. We set a baptismal date for the 23rd of this month, and she says shes going to try and do her part. We had a lesson with her about 4 days ago when we put the baptismal date. She had been going to another church for a long time and was baptized like Jesus was baptized, she didn´t understand why she would need to be baptized again. We explained why we need to be baptized by someone that has the priesthood and that it´s not complete unless we recieve the holy ghost. She seems to have understood, but she says she needs more conviction and needs to accept Jesus Christ. Were trying to do a lot to help her. Include her in your prayers please!! 

Also we´ve been teaching this guy named Mikel from the US, he lives right by our apartment. We went to his house about a week ago and he gave us nachos and we talked for a while he doesn´t understand any spanish I felt bad for my companion because he couldn´t participate in the lesson. He´s a cool guys he´s like 6 foot 5 and has some sweet dreads ha, but this desire that he has to get closer to Christ is what draws my attention. I told him on Saturday night when we talked to him that I dont think it´s a coincedence that he´s able to hear the restored gospel from someone that speaks english. We talked a little bit about the atonement and how Jesus Christ knows all of our hard times, suffering, and sins. And how he can be cleansed of sin through the atoning sacrafice of Jesus Christ. 

I can say that I´ve learned more in this change with Elder Cabrera than in any of the changes I´ve had up until now. I know for sure that through Jesus Christ our weaknesses can become our strengths (2 Cor. 12:10) :D I´m hoping that we can keep working hard. I´m super stoked for this change and all the plans we have to help this ward the members and the people were teaching. Love you guys, by the way I got your package well I didn´t go pick it up yet but it´s here in Chiclayo! Love you!!!


Another week June 4th, 2012

Welp this week has gone by pretty quickly, haha this change we`ll be over this next week which is kind of weird. But I had a super good week with all the experiences and with my companion. We worked so hard this week I`m super tired haha, but I feel super good with our work and what were doing with our area. It`s super small but were trying to make things happen, we found 23 new investigadores this week so that was cool we were contacting like crazy whenever we didn`t have an appointment. But I`m trying to adjust a little bit with my new calling or assignment I guess it be since my calling is to be a missionary haha. The elders in my district are super sweet and cool, theres six of us. We had our first district meeting on tuesday last week, and it went good better than I thought it would I just did what I`ve seen all the other district leaders do. I`m trying to help the elders out with whatever they need. Two of the elders in the district and my companion are working really well, but one companionship hasn`t been doing so well. I don`t think they have a ton of desires to work really hard, that companionship just had  an emergency change today so we`ll see how that goes haha. There`s been a ton of problems in the zone this change but I think everything should be settling down for now, there was quite few companionships that didn`t want to work. I`m hoping to continue this change with Elder Cabrera he`s super cool and were working well together, I don`t want him to get changed and then have some elder come to this area that doesn`t want to work but who knows ha.
This week we had a cool experience I was talking to my companion in the morning on Wednesday while we were tracting, and I was talking a lot about how we don`t really have anyone that is progressing super well. I was feeling a little bummed out but we decided to buckle down and just work hard. We had various appointments during the day but we were knocking doors a lot to find new people to teach. And we had found a couple of different people that accepted us in their houses and it were feeling pretty good and at about 8:30 we were dead tired and we were going to go to the pension to eat dinner and we decided to knock a couple more doors. We knocked one door and we didn`t know who lived at this house but a member from the church (an older lady) opened the door and let us in and we talked to her for a while. We had been told from some members that this older lady`s daughter had been investigating the church for 5 years or so but wasn`t really sure about her testimony. We ended up talking to her daughter Silvia she`s about 45, and we got talking and she told us about how she had been investigating the church for a really long time and that she couldn`t accept that the church was true. But she told us on Wednesday that she felt that this is the true church, it was a cool experience and strengthened my testimony that there are people that the lord prepares and puts in our way. Her testimony was really strong about the church, my companion and I are super excited about Silvia. Also yesterday in church our convert Oscar got up and bore his testimony it was so awesome, I was super stoked and happy for Oscar and his progress.
Today we went to Eten a beach about 20 minutes from our area with our zone, it was super cool theres penguins and it was super tempting to not be able to get in the water. I got my hair and feet wet but it reminded me a ton of Hawaii. Thanks for sending me the pants and all of the stuff that you guys have sent me. Don`t worry too much to send me more things but if you guys insist i`ll receive a package :D haha. Love you guys!! Sorry I couldn`t really talk about what you guys are doing LOVE YOU GUYSSSS

Another week in Chiclayo, May 21st, 2012

 had a super good week and was able to learn a ton. We`ve been working a ton with the members, every has told me how this area is super dificult and they haven`t had baptisms for 7 months. But we`ve been working super good and had a lot of lessons with members this past week. But i`m most excited for the baptism that we have this week. His name is Oscar he`s 26 and we found him about two weeks ago, I think I told you about him last week. But we found him on a saturday night, and only talked to him for about 2 minutes and left him a pamphlet with the church`s address. He showed up to church last sunday and was super interested and told us that he read the whole pamphlet and prayed. We had a lesson with him and talked about the first lesson and he already knew a ton. On tuesday we set a baptismal date for the 26, and he was super excited about it. We´ve been visiting him throughout this week to help prepare him. And yesterdy was Stake Conference and we were going to swing by his house to go together but he left early and showed up alone. It was so awesome. He is super receptive and tells us every lesson that he knows that this is the Church of Christ and reads every chapter in the book of mormon that we leave him to read. He`s what you call someone that was completely prepared for this Gospel. I feel super good about him and that he`s been able to experience a true conversion to this restored gospel.
It`s been a little different this change with my companion because I have to make more of the decisions in what we are going to do and how were going to help the work in our area progress. I don`t really feel like I`m finishing training my companion because I think he already knows a lot and knows how to teach all the lessons. But i`ve been able to learn a ton this change it`s been super sweet. I feel super bad I don`t have more time to write you guys but tell ELI that I think that is awesome that he learned how to ride a two wheeler bike! That`s crazy that he`s that young and already knows how to ride a bike.
Sorry again I feel bad I had to write President and sometimes I feel like I don`t have enough time to write you guys. But I`ll talk to you next week :D

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm here in CHICLAYO May 8th, 2012

Like always it was nice to read how everyone is doing and to see some pictures of you guys, sounds like you guys are doing good!! It´s so weird to see pictures of Ava she´s grown so much...Cool that you were able to go to a Peruvian Restaurant you guys for sure need to eat Ceviche, it´s super good. Luckily in the pension in Cajamarca Paola knew how to make Ceviche with cooked fish so that we could eat it. We can´t eat uncooked fish or ceviche. But I like it a lot, I don´t like Sushi but Ceviche was super good. Dan came back from Canada? That´s sweet that he was able to go on that trip he has a sweet job. You´ll have to tell Evan HAPPY BIRTHDAY! It feels lame to not be able to do anything more than write happy birthday but i´ll wish him a happybirthday on mothers day! Well I made it to Chiclayo all in one piece, haha funny story about my traveling experience from Cajamarca to here. But i´m here with Elder Cabrera he´s from Chile, Santiago he´s 19 and he´s been in the mission a little under 2 months. I´m here in a ward called La Únion in the Stake La Victoria, it´s super awesome here I like it a lot the weather is pretty moderate and a lot like California. Everyone told me how it was going to be burning hott but it´s nice weather with a ocean breaze were about 15 minutes from the ocean, there´s a lot of dirt roads but in our area theres more streets. Were about 5 minutes from downtown Chiclayo, from the mission office. The room where we live is a lot smaller than where I used to live in Cajamarca but it´s nice and cozy, the pension is sweet the Hermana cooks what we want to eat I feel pretty blessed to be where I´m at. I´ve felt that way up until now in the mission. Funny story so I traveled alone from Cajamarca to Chiclayo, I was supposed to travel at 9:30pm and the zone leaders told us that we were supposed to be there right at 9:30pm and I was trying to hurry because Hermana Paola made me pizza on Monday right before I left. I was trying to make it to the bus station right at 9:30 and we got there at 9:45 and all the elders and members were freakin out when I got to the bus station, because we showed up in the taxi with all my luggage and the bus was driving off haha. They stopped the bus and everyone grabbed my luggage and we ran inside to get my ticket but they told me it was too late, and the bus drove off ha. I thought I was going to be in Cajamarca one more night but I ended up buying my own ticket and they sent me alone from Cajamarca to Chiclayo, I sat with a family on the bus and just slept for the 6 hour ride. I got to chiclayo and found all the elders from my zone in Chiclayo and it was all alright haha. In the change meeting I found all the elders from my group that I came to the mission with and Elder Sampson it was sweet. I was super nervous in the change meeting, I wasn´t sure who I´d be with and they told me I was going to be with a new missionary but I didn´t know if they were lying or not but sure enough they put me with Elder Cabrera he´s a super cool guy, a little serious but I think it´s cause we don´t know each other super well yet. I really like the ward and everything about the area here, the members and all. It´s a pretty small area from where I used to be at, but I like it a lot. Its been a little different being the companion that´s been in the mission longer I kind of have to step it up a bit and be an example but it´s going to be a good learning experience. This week we were knocking doors when one of our appointments fell through and we found this lady in her wheel chair on her porch we presented ourselves and she let us in her house. We talked for a little bit and while we were talking I realized she didn´t have her left leg, she explained to us what happened. She feels that it wasn´t a coincedence that we showed up at her house, we´ve talked with her two different times and she´s super receptive and learns fast. My companion and I are working on teaching a little bit more smoothly and more as a team, a little bit of ping pong. I think were going to do really good this change he likes to work so were going to put forth our best effort. So my pacakages came, I tried to go pick them up today in the plaza of Chiclayo but Serpost was closed. I might swing by there tomorrow but there´s not a ton of time probably next week. So I think i´m going to call on Saturday night to let you guys know at what time i´m going to call and all of that and so we can figure out if were going to skype or just talk on the phone normally. Probably at 9ish on saturday night i´m going to call for like 5 minutes just to figure that out. Thanks a bunch for everything that you guys do for me! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!! :D Talk to you guys on SUNDAY!! :D -Christopher

Bueno April 16th, 2012

It`s so funny to read the stories of the little kids and all that is going on at home. It`s so weird to think how much Ava has grown up and that she`s walking. Does Dad know that your jumping the Van? Hahaha. That`s super funny I was laughing when I read it. I`m glad that Eli was able to get his Hulk Fists, that super sweet hah. Too bad that the Track Meet got rained out, I remember when they had High Jump one time in the rain. It is funny to think that i`m living in another Country where the people don`t speak English and live a lot differently than we do. But so far it`s been such an awesome experience, i`m learning so much. I wouldn`t want to be anywhere else than in the mission, bueno I`d be sweet to be home but not for another 17 months haha. It`s been sweet lately my comp and I have been doing good work and i`ve gotten to know him better he`s a stud. I`m bummed out that we only have another two weeks together, it`s crazy how fast 6 weeks or a change goes by it`s weird. He`s been teaching me a lot of doctrine that`s going to help me out a ton with my teaching, he know`s quite a bit. It was sweet we were able to put a baptismal date for Yuri he should be baptized this Saturday, if everything goes as planned. The good thing is that he is putting forth his part and trying to prepare himself. He`s been to General Conference, the church twice and a baptismal service. He`s prepared for his baptismal date this saturday, the only thing is that he needs a friend in the ward I think i`ve already told you guys about this but were trying to help him out with that. We`re still working with the family, they`re slowing progressing and all of them have been to church more than one time other than Wilson (The Dad) because he works on Sundays. But were going to teach them about the Sabbath Day, and try and see what Wilson can do to change his work. He works driving vans from Cajamarca to San Marcos (a small provincia), it`s his own work so he should be able to work something out. Other than those who are progressing we`ve been working on finding new people to teach, we have a couple people that we think can progress. It was pretty interesting we found this guy named Jose that used to be a terrorist he told us all these stories about what he used to do , he`s super cool other than that he used to be a terrorist haha. He wants to change and so were going to see how that goes. Also on Tuesday I was buying a soda outside of our house in a small store and this lady asked us who we were and was trying to talk to me in english hah we wrote down her address and on Friday we went to her house and she`s super receptive her names Laurez, she lives with her family. On Sunday we had Stake Conference and the Stake Presidency changed a little only the counselors, but the Conference was sweet I was able to learn a lot. The Stake President is awesome he`s super helpful with the missionary work and all of that, I think they`re hoping to divide all the wards and make another Stake but that won`t be for a while. Today was fun we went to the hill Santo Palonia with the Zone and to the Soccer field in front of our pension and all the zone played soccer and we ate pizza after in our pension. Hermana Paula cooks super good and made about 10 pizzas for all 22 of us in the zone haha. It was pretty sweet. I`m hopìng that this week we can really work hard and improve our numbers more with our lessons that we have everyweek and everything. Like on Sunday we had divisions so we could find more new investigadores, with some of the youth in our ward that our preparing for the mission, I was with Marvin in our ward he has his call to Bolivia. It was interesting being with someone that doesn`t really know the lessons very well, I don`t think I ever want to train a new missionary haha. Thanks for sending my pants! It`s a bummer I don`t fit in any of my pants anymore, I had one of the members in our ward let out the pant a little bit. I think i`ve gotten super fat or all this hill climbing has made my legs bigger but I think i`ve gotten fat haha. The Zone Leaders told me that I have a package so I think what you guys sent me just got to the Mission office. Love you guys, I`m gonna try and write out some letters today. I should have some time to do that :D Talk to you next week! P.S. Sorry there aren`t any photos this next week i`ll send some!

Easter April 9th, 2012

How´s it going? Good to hear you guys were able to enjoy Easter! They don´t really do much here but celebrate La Semana Santa and on TV theres a ton of Bible movies haha. It was crazy we were in the street and there was a bunch of Catholics about 100 walking through the street. About four of them were dressed up one as jesus carrying a cross and the others as roman soldiers. Every block theyd stop and whip Jesus and he´d fall to the ground and they´d chant. While I was watching it´d made me think a lot about how in our church we don´t focus a lot on the death of jesus more on the fact that he lives that he was ressurected on Sunday. It´s crazy to think about all Christ has done for us, it´s difficult to comprehend what he went through but the least we can do is be grateful and obey the commandments ie the simple things. This week went really good, I feel a lot better with the work we were able to do this week. I felt bad last week because I don´t think we put forth are full effort to work really hard and we didn´t have super awesome numbers. I´m learning to work really hard in the mission but also to have fun, or just joke around in the street. If you can imagine walking everyday in the street for 7 hours it helps a lot to joke around with your comp or do whatever to enjoy yourself ha. But I feel really good with the work that were doing and im learning a ton from my companion. Yesterday we were knocking doors and we knocked the door of this house and a lady came to the door and was super welcoming and super nice it seemed to be a little to good to be true until she said she was a Jehovas Witness haha. She let us in and we started to talk with her a little and there was what seemed like a million pamphlets from the Jehovas Witnesses, she was super energetic and acted almost like a robot it was super weird. We invited her son to join us in the lesson and we were going to start with a prayer but her son said that he would feel uncomfortable if we prayed which was weird. But we started talking and about 2 minutes into the lesson the lady stopped us and started to share a ton of different scriptures in the bible about how Jehova is God and how Jesus Christ is his son. It felt like she only wanted to tear us down, I had a super weird feeling. She would ask us questions and we would just answer with yeah and for sure haha, we didn´t want to cause problems but it just made me think about how great the Gospel is and the blessings that the gospel brings to our lives. She just wanted to tear down our beliefs and was super robotic it was weird I don´t really know how to explain it. I was able to study a little in the old and new testament about scriptures that explain how Jehova is Jesus Christ, I have a hard time understanding how people get so confused with the doctrine it´s right there in the scriptures for example how we should be baptized or recieving the holy ghost. But it was a really good experience for me. I have been learning a lot from my companion lately he´s super cool and knows the doctrine really well. I´ve been able to learn so much from the three companions that i have had so far in the mission. It´s been cool because there´s something to be learned from everyone of your companions. I´ve also been trying to be more humble and recieving of suggestions, I think sometimes that I was super prideful and not very recieving of advice. But I know that I have a lot to learn sometimes I have a hard time with that I think haha. The family that we are teaching seem to be progressing pretty well and we had a family home evening with them and the bishop. I don´t think they´ll get baptized in this change probably after I leave. But all I want is that they get baptized and dont reactivate. That is something so important that we dont baptize anyone without a firm testimony of this gospel, I think I´ve already said it but it´s the worst feeling seeing one of your converts inactive. Were also teaching Claudia she seems to be doing really well too, she is a little confused because she´s going through some problems right now and doesn´t think that God should let all this happen at once to her. We also taught her the Word of Wisdom on Tuesday but we had a lesson with her on Thursday and she freaking drank Coffee it was a bummer were gonna keep working with her. We just recentely had a lesson with Yuri and we shared a little bit about 3 Nefi 11 and how Christ appeared to the Nephites and how he talked about how we should be baptized by immersion and all of that and put a baptismal date for the 21st of this month. Were pretty stoked about the progress he´s making and i´m happy because he´s putting forth his part. And I think the goal we put for the 21st is reachable. He already has a testimony and always keeps our commitments so there shouldn´t be a problem other than that he needs a friend in the ward, so that he can stay active. Well that´s about all but I´m glad you guys are doing really good! Thanks for all the support and all that you do, I was gonna ask if you guys send me a package that you could send my brown slacks! When you have time to do that :D Love you guys!! Talk to you next week :D -Christopher