Updates

Below are excerpts from some of David’s letters…

….I am having a great time. Christmas was just an ordinary p-day. After we talked we went to our lunch appointment and then came back so my companion could talk to his family. We found a new potential investigator. She is a little old grandma whose husband passed away in August of 2012. I felt the Spirit the whole time and I felt that she was ready. I know that missionary work is not just what is seen in this life, but it also extends beyond the veil. There are people on the other side pleading for the Gospel to come to their families and guiding our footsteps towards them…..

…This past week has been pretty uneventful for me. We had transfers but since I’m still in the middle of my first 12 weeks, neither I nor my companion left. It has all been pretty slow this week. We are putting almost all of our focus on a particular investigator because we have a goal for him to be baptized this coming Saturday. He is progressing really quickly….

…. I am in a trio now. There were two other elders in our ward. One of them was just fresh to the mission and chickened out after he found out how much work it was. So he’s gone back home and his companion is stuck with us until transfers. I’ve been having a bit of trouble lately. I love being out here and serving the Lord, but it is a lot more stressful then I thought it would be. Last night, I hit a low-point. I felt un-belonging, and unwanted, and like a failure. I did the only thing that I could think of. I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to please tell me why He sent me here. I told him how I was feeling. After I had finished with my purpose I was immediately filled with love and comfort. The Lord promised me that if I was doing anything wrong, He would make it known unto me alongside a way to fix it. He also told me to give no heed unto these feelings for they were of the devil in an attempt to get me to forsake the ministry. And the in comfort he brought to my mind the scriptures of D&C 121 starting at verse 9, as well as Joshua 1:9, and then Moses 1. And then in response to my query as to why He had sent me here, He opened my mind to Exodus when He spoke unto Moses out of the burning bush and told him to go to Egypt to free the children of Israel from bondage. And this was why I had been sent to Peru. I then ended my prayer in thanks for the comfort and promises given, and then asked for further strength to withstand my trials. Also, I am noticing a little bit of racial prejudice against gringos from nonmembers. Already we have come across two that have just talked trash about the U.S. and praising other Latino nations in full aware that I was there in front of them. Also they have “stupid gringo” jokes. All of which I am glad that I didn’t understand most of it but I understood enough to get the jist of it. A well, I can’t help what other people think. If they want to judge me before they get to know me and refuse to put aside racial differences, that’s their problem….

….We had a marriage and a subsequent baptism.  And we had another baptism this last weekend. This is amazing! I absolutely love it! This is the best part of my life, serving the Lord….

….Last week my companions and I went to ear lunch at Tottus. We all wanted pizza and we didn’t have a lunch appointment for that day, so we got permission to go to Tottus and eat. I saw the size of the pizzas and made the mistake of saying that I could easily eat the whole thing. They were the size of a personal pizza at NYPD. We each got our own pizzas, but I wasn’t counting on them cooking it in the microwave. The pizza was doughier than I expected and I had a hard time eating it all. True to my word, I ate it all but I was sick to my stomach afterwards and as a result, we didn’t go to dinner. As for talking in church, not yet. And the members are very loving and love having us over. Living here is pretty much like a cross between modern living back home, and camping. So far the best thing about my mission is that I get to serve the Lord and bring others closer to Him….

….I did get the letter and it did really help. I also got a talk by Elder Holland from my Zone Leader about doubt. That helped too. We had another baptism this last week. And so far the only unusual thing I’ve had to eat is cat and it is disgusting. I still ate it so as not to offend the members who gave it to me, but I hated it….(Yuck!)

So David is doing really well. the language is coming. We know that because his spelling is getting worse. 😉 I have had to edit a few things in the letters. 🙂

Special Christmas!

Ok, so I haven’t been keeping up on the blog like I should have. I’m sorry. We have been super busy the last couple of months. (I know, no excuse.) David had a little bit of a struggle with his companion during December, but he is doing better now. His companion is a native Peruvian and does not speak any English at all. David is trying with all of his heart to learn Spanish quickly, but it is a process and David is learning and so is his companion.

We got to talk with him on Christmas!!!! We got a Skype account and we were able to Skype with him. He said just about everyone in Peru (that has a computer anyway) has Skype, so we Skyped. It was great! He looks good. He looks like a missionary. This mom is very proud! 🙂 We each got to talk for a few minutes. We talked for a little over an hour. I must say though, that about 10 mins into it, we asked David how much time he has to talk. He said he didn’t know and so he leaned over and spoke to his companion across the room, in Spanish. He had a little conversation. It was really cool to listen to him talk in Spanish. (I know, simple pleasures.) He gets back and says, “Ok!”. We look at him with blank stares and say, “What?”. He said, “Oh, sorry, he said it didn’t matter to him. So whatever!” We said ok, but we knew we couldn’t talk all day.

It was really special. They were at a members house and you could hear people in the background, although it also sounded like they were trying to be quiet. Towards the end of our call, we decided to sing a song to David. We sang “Silent Night”. It was cool because the slight sounds you heard in the background stopped. I knew they were all listening. Then Matthew sang the first verse to “Angels We Have Heard On High”. He learned it in school and was very proud and wanted to show David. He did a great job. Then David sang the second verse to us. There was a little kid in the background that started singing on the “Glorias” with him. I think the mom tried to get him to not sing and be polite, but he kept singing anyway, quietly. I thought it was really cute! Even though they don’t speak English at all, we can still sing together! 🙂 Music bridges the language barrier and brings peoples hearts together.

2 Weeks in the Field! :)

No I have not received any word on my package yet, and I am hoping I do soon. My Zone Leader said he would remind the mission office today. I think it might be ok if you send me a video of Matthew’s Christmas Concert. But I don’t know. I’ll ask and let you know next week. Also I don’t have anything to share this week really, because I’ve been sick too. I had the flu on Tuesday and then a migraine on Thursday, also I’ve had a really bad cough every day since Tuesday. I got a blessing and was promised that I would get better, but it sure is taking a while. I’m also having a ton of bug bites on my feet and I have no idea where they are coming from. The only explanations I can think of are when I’m in the shower and when I’m in bed asleep. But neither of them seem very likely to me because of the bug net over my bed which I make sure is tight and sealed every night before I go to sleep and every morning after I get up. And I would have felt it happen in the shower, wouldn’t I? Any way, at least they are healing pretty fast, especially the spider bites, maybe I’ll wake up one morning with super Spidey powers. Hey I can dream can’t I?

Yes I met Elder Rasband, and Elder Grow, and Elder Nelson, who also talked at the Christmas Devotional. I don’t know much about the people we have baptized so far. they were baptized only one and two weeks after I showed up. The language is getting a little better. I can understand almost anything I’m told in spanish so long as it is in a loud, clear voice. I still can’t speak hardly any of it though. We are teaching everyone we talk to, or at least we try to. 

Rachel, I can’t send a picture yet, but Rick Riordan got something wrong. The “Chariot of Damnation” is NOT a New York Taxi Cab. It’s down here. It’s a Motokar, and yes it is spelled with a ‘k’. Once I send a picture you’ll understand why I say that. The roads also come into play with it. I am serious, I fear for my life every time I get in one, but it is the fastest way around the city. At least it doesn’t cost much, But then again I’m not taking one to Camp Half Blood or to Miami. 😉 I love you. David

I found these pictures online for “motokar”. Pretty cool visual. 🙂

Image ImageImage

I like all the fruits that they give us. Mango, apple, banana, camu camu, granadia. They are all delicious. the juice they give us isn’t the same as back home, even if it’s the same fruit that we have. Back home we just do the juice. Here, they mash the fruit into a pulp, water it down a bit, and that’s the juice. Interesting huh?  I am eating everything they give me. Except the chicken feet. I’m sorry but I am not eating anything that I can tell from a glance what animal and what part of that animal it came from. The members provide lunch for us and we have a Pensionista that provides us with breakfast and dinner. 

Mom, I am so sorry that I didn’t pay more attention or put more effort in whenever you tried to teach us piano. I am the only one in my area that knows how to do anything musically related. That includes the little knowledge I have about playing the piano. I am the only one who can read music well enough to play. I am the only one who sings on key and doesn’t have a major scooping problem. I am forced to teach myself to play the piano because I have been asked to play in sacrament meeting, because I am the only one who can kind of play. I played this last Sunday and I think I did well. I messed up a couple times but I did really well for my first time.

The post below is a copy of the letters he sent James and I this week. There is nothing really personal in them and they are a pretty good indication as to how he is doing. So, I thought I would post them. Enjoy! 🙂

On to the Field! :D

Hi mom, I´m not even in Iquitos. The mission consists of three cities: Iquitos, Tarapoto, and Pucallpa. My first area is Pucallpa. I love it here. There is not as much rain as I was expecting but it is still very wet. We got caught in a big rainstorm on the way back to the house we stay in on Thursday. I got soaked. Also we had a baptism this past Saturday already. It was amazing. I really like it here with one exception. There is no indoor pluming for the shower. For everything else we have it, but not the shower. I have to use a bucket of freezing cold water every morning. As for meeting Elder Neilson, It was amazing. It was as if I was in the presence of the Lord Himself. I was so happy, so filled with joy that I could not speek. And I mean could not. Believe me I tried. I could not get even a sound out of my mouth. Also, that same day we also had visits from Elders Grow and Rasband of the Seventy. It was amazing. I am having such a good time. Pucallpa is a wonderful place and I cannot think of a better place for me to be right now. As for what it looks like. I cannot realy describe it but I do know that if you turn on Avengers when they go to recrute the Hulk. The place where Banner is hiding lookes exactly like these cities. Also there are dogs everywhere. I love you, Elder Harmon

Hello Dad. I got from Lima to Iquitos by plane and then I took another plane to Pucallpa. I had to leave half of my luggage in iquitos though. The Church doesn´t want to pay for anything that I don´t really need. My companion is a latino from Piura, Peru. He is helping me learn Spanish and I am helping him learn English. I´m finding that Spanish is coming quickly however, I do not yet know what any one is talking about most of the time. Fortunately they naturally speak slowly in Pucallpa so I can understand more than I would if I was anywhere else. I think It is a great place to learn Spanish. Also, as I mentioned to mom, there are dogs everywhere. It is deffenetly going to force me to get over my fear of dogs, which I slowly am, but I´m not there yet. I also just found out that we have a CD of approved songs to listen to and there is a Piano Guys song on there. I´m sure that there are other songs we can listen to, but the CD’s they have are all scratched. Fortunately this one isn´t yet. I am so Happy. I love you, Elder Harmon.