Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year from Peru (Feliz Año Nuevo) - Elder Jake Avery

Written by Elder Jacob Avery, serving in the Peru Lima West Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

(**Note to reader: Clicking on highlighted words will link to additional information. Some names are omitted for privacy.)


I haven't read the letter yet because it's... really... long...haha!

This week was really, really long as well. In a good way. Like, we were able to establish contact with a lot of people, visit them several times each, and we've all been able to progress spiritually throughout the week.

Christmas here was pretty nuts. Santa Clause doesn't come to Perú because they have difficulties sending letters to the North Pole, so they stay up on Christmas Eve until midnight, then EVERYONE blasts off fireworks (there are no laws or regulations, whatsoever), opens presents, and eats a dinner. I have pictures but my computer this week doesn't have a USB (it's a dinosaur) so I can't hook up my camera. I did get to shoot off a Roman candle with forty shots! That was very exciting, but I was terrified to hit the power lines. We're ready for round two on New Year's Eve ;)

We had two wonderful sisters return to church after five years of inactivity, Sister O** and her daughter. It was a spiritual and emotional day for us and for them. Needless to say, the ward has really missed them and are ready to bring them back into the fold. There are four more members of their family that we are working with this week.

We were able to re-establish contact with a family that went to General Conference in October but have been busy since then. They forgot a few things we taught them before (well, everything), so we taught them the Restoration and invited them to read the Book of Mormon. The best part is their son in his early 20's, who we didn't know existed, came back from work in Chile and is very, very interested. Read the book, please!

This week, I learned about the power of a family. A unified family really has the power to change generations after generations of people for the better. It's interesting to look at a family like the Castilla family who are all active in the Church, returned missionaries, and married or will be married in the temple. They have all the happiness and blessings in the world! Then you have these part-member families, or families with less active members of the church, and they struggle to just feel happiness at Christmas time. I'm extremely grateful for my family, and I pray for each of you specifically by name (and Brig) over and over again. With my family I'm happy, I feel closer to God, and I get a better sense of our family as Children of God.

This week, let's find our lost brothers and sisters and remind them how we can return to our heavenly home through our elder brother, Jesus Christ. Through Him our sins can be forgiven, and through obedience to Him, we can become more like our Father. Let's return as a family :)

Elder Avery

P.S. Tell everyone I love them and miss them and I'm sorry that there's no pictures!

Merry Christmas from Peru! (December 24, 2013)

The Paws on the Guinea Pig Freaked Me Out (January 6, 2014)

Skyping with Elder Avery in Peru
on Christmas Day