Sunday, September 8, 2013

The last week. 9/3/13

Thanks for the email! It was nice to get to read about you guys and how everything is going. I can´t believe that two years have already gone by it feels so weird to me. I´ve been thinking a lot the last couple of days about my mission and everything. I´m so happy I made the decision to go on a mission, it´s been one of the biggest blessings in my life. I´ve learned so much from my companions, the mission president and the people we´ve taught. I don´t think I´ll ever regret having served a mission because of everything I´ve learned and the people that I´ve been able to teach. 

Yesterday I got to go to one of my areas to say goodbye to the people I taught with Elder Cabrera. It was sweet because we went to our old pension and ate lunch with the Arancibia family. We ate hot dogs for lunch and after we went to visit the people we taught and baptized. We visited Elsa Vallejos and her family it was the best to get to see them they told me they´re still active in the church and go to all the activities and are planning on going to the temple when the ward takes a trip to Lima! We went to Silvia Manay´s house after and she was super excited to see us about a year has passed since I had seen all the people we had taught. Silvia told us that she´s 1st councilor in the relief society and that next month she´s going to go to the temple. It made me so happy to get to see her and it got me so pumped for this last week in the mission. I felt the spirit so strong when we visited her and talked for a while, she said she was going to go to the airport on monday to say goodbye. It was the best to get to talk to our converts and see their progress, I´m most excited to hear about them having gone to the temple.

As far as things go in our area we´re still working with the same people. José Agip came to church on Sunday! That was cool, I didn´t think he was going to come to church but he showed up randomly. We´re having a tough time getting the investigadors we have to commit themselves to go to church on Sundays. This week were going to work on that and try and set some baptismal dates. I´m really trying to enjoy this last couple of days I´ve got in the mission and we´re working really hard. I´ve got a lot of mixed feelings with the mission ending and everything but I´m excited to be able to see everyone after 2 years. I love you guys soo much, thanks for all the support and letters you always sent me. 

I´ll talk to you guys next person! Love you guys :)

-Elder Connelly

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2 weeks 8/26/13

What a week, we`ve been working hard in our area with a lot of different people and we`ve seen God`s hand in the missionary work. We`re visiting this newer investigador named Carlos Cabrejos he`s not really that new but we already taught him about the Restoration and we`re teaching him about the Plan of Salvation. We told him he could prepare to get baptized on September 7th the only problem was yesterday they called him to go drive a truck, he`s a choufer and sometimes they call him randomly. He`s capting really well everything we teach him and he`s a really humble person. 

I`m really worried about some of our converts in my area because everyone is out of work right now in Ferreñafe because the harvest ended about 2 months ago and there really isn`t other way to work here in the city i`m in. One of the families we baptized about 3 months ago doesn`t have very much food and so I was going to buy some food with my companion to take to them but the bishop is going to see if he can buy some food to help them out. The problem is that the dad Luis doesn`t want to ask for help from the church and so it makes it hard for them to get help if they don`t want to ask for it. Olga Sanchez another convert we have in my area has been without electricity for the past 2 weeks and is using candles, she also doesn`t have to much food to eat but the bishop already helped her out and the president of the relief society went with Olga to the market and they bought her a bunch of food. It made me feel really bad for these people that don`t have anything to eat, it`s tough here economically especially in Ferreñafe. 

Today I`ve been visiting my old areas where I was at before with my companion, we went to Las Americas my third area and visited my pensionista`s family and ate lunch with them. She went to Lima and wasn`t there but I did get to talk with her family and eat lunch with, i talked with her on the phone and she said she was going to say goodbye in two weeks at the airport. I got to go see a family that we baptized after lunch well we didn`t baptize the whole family but two of their kids. It made me soo happy to see, I sent a picture of me with them. I also got to visit Aldair he`s another investigador we taught and baptized, he went to the temple a couple of months ago! I guess he got to do baptisms for the dead, that made me super excited I was glad to see him. After that we went to José Quiñones my fourth area, I got to visit Iris and she is doing good she`s been going to church. It was a bummer to have to say goodbye to her, she`s doing really good. Then we went and visited Laura and Zair, Laura is going to seminary and is getting ready to go to the temple with the young women in the ward. I also sent a picture of the two of them with me. It made me really happy to know a lot of the people that we helped join the church are still going to church and have plans to go to the temple or have already gone. That`s a missionary`s payment, see other people come unto to Christ and live his Gospel. I`m so grateful for the time i`ve had here in Peru I don`t want it to end...I got another two weeks to go luckily :) 

Thanks for the letters you`ve sent me and for the support, all the elders are always jealous of the letters I get :D I hope you like the pictures I sent. I sent a picture of Carlos and I, of lunch with the Piscoya Primo family, of the family we baptized and of Laura, Zair and I. Thanks for the email and the pictures! Talk to you next week...

-Elder Connelly

Bautismo 8/19/13

Thanks for the letter and the pictures, sorry last week I wasn´t able to write a very long letter but I have more time to write this week. I got the letters that you guys sent me with the mustaches and everything that was nice of you guys. Bryce´s enamorada went off to college? Be strong Bryce ha. 

This week went really well a lot of weird things happened but in the end everything turned out really well. On monday we had a family home evening with the Popuche family they´re new converts and they´re getting ready to go to the temple, they´ve had a lot of tough things they´ve had to go through in their family but they´re progressing a ton. On tuesday I was with one of the elders in my district named Elder Pacori like my trainer haha, we taught some really cool people like Grimaldo he´s been adventist for about 20 years and he´s been investigating the church and he knows the bible really well so teaching him was fun. 

Pretty much this whole week we were working hard on getting everything ready for Rosa´s baptism and I´m grateful that she got baptized because we had to overcome a couple of obstacles to help her. Like on Thursday night we had a family home evening with a lot of members in the ward at Rosa´s mother-in-law´s house and I guess some of the members got in a little argument about something and Rosa saw them arguing and it discouraged her quite a bit and it made her not want to get baptized. We swung by her house on Friday morning to review the baptismal interview questions with her and she said Elders I hope you don´t get bothered by the decision I´ve made but I don´t want to get baptized anymore. I was super bummed out Friday morning thinking that we weren´t going to have a baptism. Our pensionista went over to apologize to Rosa´s mother-in-law for what had happened and it helped a ton. Rosa´s husband Danni helped out a lot as well he helped her understand that it wasn´t something very important and that it shouldn´t change her mind about getting baptized. We went back to Rosa´s house in the afternoon on Friday to wish her a happy birthday because it was her birthday and Danni told us that she changed her mind, our prayers were answered I felt really bad that for something really insignificant like a small argument would make her not get baptized. Elder Cabrera my old companion interviewed her for her baptism and she was happy about everything and Danni bought her a couple of skirts to go to church in and for her baptism. The baptismal service went really well with the talks the members gave and my companion and I sung a hymn, but it was really tough when the moment came for her to be baptized ha. She has a phobia with water and didn´t want to put her head under the water, and to top it all off the water heater in the chapel doesn´t work so the water was kind of cold. And the other problem was that there wasn´t very much water in the baptismal font because the water pump was messed up so I was kneeled down in the baptismal font with her haha. In the end it was okay we sang her happy birthday and ate cake after her baptism.

So we´re still working with José Agip, we had a spiritual lesson with him on Wednesday and he cried and thanked us for visiting him like we had. The only problem is that he won´t accept a baptismal date, he had problems with some members in the ward a long time ago and I think that still bothers him. The bummer thing about being in a small city is that all the rumors and things like that get spread around and everyone knows each other haha. We´re still going to work with him because his wife Yolando wants to get sealed with José in the temple, it´s gonna be tough but were going to get help from God. 

This last couple days have been good for me i´ve been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting over my mission and the things i´ve learned. I´m super happy i´ve got a little bit more time in the mission to enjoy and teach God´s children. Thanks for sending me a letter and with pictures, I´m excited to see you guys. I love you so much!

-Elder Connelly 

PS Can I take out a little bit of money out of the bank to buy some souvenirs before I leave??