Monday, September 26, 2016

Fiesta, Rediscovering an Investigator

Oldest active member of the ward

This is a photo of the husband of our pensionista. He is the man! I think he's the oldest active member in the ward.

This week was off to a slower start for us. It was hard to have lessons with our investigators and find new ones to teach. As the weekend got closer, it got more challenging in a different kind of way. It was the annual fiesta of the "virgen de las mercedes" last saturday, so there was a lot of... commotion, to put it all in one word. Anyways, we thought a lot about how we could take advantage of other ways to find. We realized we had left aside, and we found an old investigator that had a lot of free time that wanted to listen to us, and the grandparents of a young adult recent convert.

our convert in church on sunday!

I have been studying Alma's counsel to his sons, and as I was reading in Alma 37 when Alma is giving the plates to Helaman and he commands him to keep the records, but also to maintain the brightness of the plates. I thought for a little bit, and thought that this is like a strange commandment, but it probably has an unseen purpose to it. Alma in the next verses says these same principles, that even though it may sound strange, that the Lord works in small and simple ways to bring about grand purposes. A footnote to that brought me to the scripture I am ponderizing this week.
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." --1 Corinthians 2:14
I know that Thomas S Monson is a living prophet of God. I know that Joseph Smith was called to be the prophet of the restoration in the Sacred Grove in 1820. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

Have a great week!! Love you all.

la zona barranca despues de futbol

Monday, September 19, 2016

Baptism and a Miracle

Luis Huerta was baptized this week

This week we had a visit from Elder Hugo Montoya, of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy. It was a great opportunity to learn from him and the Spirit, and we all really enjoyed it. Something I liked that he shared was that the mission is something that is supposed to change us for the rest of our lives because this work really is the most important work to do!

So Luis Huerta got baptized this week. I'm not sure if I have already shared his story, but when we found him a month and a half ago, he had problems walking. He wasn't sure what the problem was but it was getting worse, until it was time to go to the hospital. It turned out that he needed surgery in his lower spinal column. The surgery was miraculously a success, and even though the doctors said it would be some time before he could walk, that very day he was able to get up and start walking a little.

In the weeks since, he has been able to walk with a limp and he has to soak his leg every day. He has been excited for his baptism because he had the faith that his pain would go away, and we promised him that that would be true. Coming out of the baptismal font he told me he didn't feel any pain. The rest of the evening he was walking around without limping! It was truly a miracle.

I testify of the power of the Priesthood. This is Jesus Christ's Church with His authority. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be one of His missionaries. I love all of you! I hope everyone is doing well. Have a great week!

Elder Evan Smith

Monday, September 12, 2016

Breaking out of the Old Ways, Teaching With Members and the Spirit

Our district after playing soccer today,
eating lunch in our pensionista's house

In the last 10 days, we have taught various older couple catholics that are so attached to their traditions and customs that like to listen to other churches but could never make a commitment to be baptized and they never seem to get past this point.

Having experienced this, Sunday night we had a noche de hogar with a family that was reactivated last year and their nonmember mom, who is, that's right, catholic by tradition also. What was way different was that when we got to the point of extending the commitment, she gave the normal catholic excuses, and her son in law began to explain the importance of baptism by immersion and by the authority of God. Then her daughter bore her testimony about all this too. Then she accepted a baptismal date and everything. Wow. I testify of the importance of working with members as well as teaching with them. The work is so much easier when we work together!

This week Luis Huerta is getting baptized! He is doing really well. On Sunday the elder's quorum president forgot that he wasn't a member yet haha. We have been working with his wife constantly for 3 weeks in a row just on keeping the sabbath day holy and she has had something come up every week that has made it hard for her testimony to grow of the sabbath day. Finally we talked with them about Luis getting baptized first until his wife is ready, and that was hard, but he really is ready and she isn't yet, and won't be for a while. Anyways it is exciting for the ward, because between the 2 companionships in the ward a lot of new investigators are starting to come and they like the growth!

I testify of the power of the Holy Ghost. It is so important to have the Lord's guidance in His work, and in our day-to-day lives as well. It is such a blessing to be able to be one of His missionaries. It is only by His Spirit that people can really be converted, and I testify that when we work under His influence that conversion takes place.

Love you all! Until next week...

Elder Evan Smith

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hermano Guzman

This week I had a work visit with our district leader who is also a gringo, which is always awesome because the peruanos are just blown away that there are TWO gringos together. We were visiting a couple appointments planned for the afternoon and I remember vaguely a house we had contacted a couple weeks ago and so we knocked on the door. An older man came to the door and cheerfully greeted us and asked who we were looking for.

I quickly glanced at the plaque above the door with the house number and family name and said we were looking for Hno. Guzman. He got all excited and said "well then here I am! come on in, since you're looking for me!" He likes to build stuff in his spare time and had welded from scraps really cool lawn chairs that were super comfortable.

Anyways he called out his wife and we shared the Restoration with them and they were really receptive and willing to read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it's true and come to church and get baptized if they receive their answer.

The familia Huertas didn't all come to church again this week. The wife went on an emergency trip to Ancash. So they won't get baptized this week but we have a lesson with them tonight to see how we're going to move forward.

The work keeps moving on!

I loves you guys a ton. I know that everything we teach is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God. I know that it contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love you all! Have a great week.

Elder Evan Smith