Wednesday, November 18, 2015

First Real Proselyting Activity

Thanks for the update! I love hearing about how everything is going! It's too bad I don't have more time to share about what I'm doing, but it really is about the same most days.

The weather is the same every day here. Occasionally it's sunny, usually cloudy though. But always warm and humid. A little breezy too.

My companion and I are zone leaders! It's a little more responsibility, but while in the CCM it's not so bad.

The new principiantes came in this morning at 3am (I remember those days...feels like forever ago) so our district are officially avencados! Our teacher in the evenings told us he knows an "hermano" that can make custom jerseys for 25 soles (about 7 or 8 bucks), which is the same as going to the store on p-days, but these were custom, for any team! So everyone in our district got one from the same team, like a district jersey, and I got two more fun ones: one is a Peru home jersey that says "Smith, Cómo José" on the back, and the other is Peru away that says "Smith" (I'm hoping to send that one home to you guys). I don't know if I told you already, but every Latino that meets me, like even in the temple, and sees my nametag, this is the conversation: "Elder Smith! Smith? Cómo José Smith?" So the Smith Cómo José just fit, haha!

We're only allowed to take pictures on p-days, so I took this picture on the way upstairs to send emails. Sorry there aren't more. It's hard to not take pictures during the week although some of the other elders. When the leaving missionaries are packing every two weeks, it's like a ritual for the elders to take pictures in the dorms, but that's against the rules, so it's hard to be a stickler. But as they say here in spanglish, "Casi obedience brings casi blessings" (casi means almost, or close).

"Elder Smith, cómo José!"

Last Saturday we got to go out into the field in Lima South for a proselyting activity, which was super cool for me (well, for everyone too). Lima South is a really poor area. We met up at a local church building and paired up with a CCM Latino missionary, an in-field missionary, and a member of the local ward. The in-field missionary I was with was Latino, so with me and 3 Latinos, I had no English to fall back onto.

The goal was to teach inactives and commit them to come to church the next morning. We visited 3 people, but the first was most interesting. I explained more details in my letter I'm going to mail home, but just imagine the poorest community, and it's probably more poor than that. All the houses are scrapped together, like they were made by a bunch of boy scouts, which was interesting to me, but when I realized that this was their home, this was it for them, it really, really, humbled me.

The first home we went to had a concrete floor, with a main living/dining room and a kitchen and a bedroom off to the side. It was about the size of our downstairs family room over into the computer room, but stopping before you get into the living room/front entry if that makes sense.

Anyways the elders told me to ask inspired questions as they came to me. I was able to follow along with the lesson pretty well, it was about faith and praying. So about 10 minutes in the elders look at me, and I get nervous, and say in slow Spanish to the man, Do you think there is a relationship between faith and prayer? -of course- How do you think praying increases your faith in your life? Then he started talking and really thinking about prayer in his life and I started to feel warm inside and calm. At the end, the elders asked me to pray, so all of us knelt and I offered a simple fervent prayer of safety, comfort and health to the family. It was a neat experience. They didn't commit but I appreciated the opportunity to teach a real family.

I read Alma 24, about the Anti-Nephi-Lehies this past week, and it was really powerful to me.

I love and miss all of you so much.

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