Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Preparing for Christmas in Peru - 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 the highlighted words will link to additional information. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.)

Hi Family,

Yeah, we´re hydrated. I keep water with me and drink a ton and a ton. It doesn't get very hot here. I don't know how hot it is in Celsius or Fahrenheit, but it feels like the 80's, at the very most, and the people here think they're dying :) There's no humidity either. They also thought it was freezing cold when I got here, while it was in the 50's. Safe to say, the weather is pretty gorgeous. It's a little cold, but when you walk all day and sometimes in a black suit, a little cold is better than a little warm. I am however using sun screen religiously. I don't want skin cancer ;)

I'm always happy to hear how everyone is doing. It makes me a little sad because I'm not going to be home with you guys for Christmas, and things in general will never be the same around the house. But the Lord needs me here. As far as commercialism, I actually miss Christmas shopping and Christmas in general. The people out here in the pueblos (especially Rosales) don't really practice Christmas like they do in the States. If you go further into the city, you'll see Christmas lights and the stores will be "Christmasy" but that's really exclusively for the rich people. I did get to decorate Hermana Eva's Christmas tree though!! It was fun! It's a mess because there are 80 different colors, but I like it! I'll probably send pictures next week. We forgot to do that yesterday.

Our investigators are doing well. The ward helped M** (name omitted for privacy) and his family level out their lot, and in the next week or two we´ll be able to put up a little house for them. Unfortunately he didn't go to church, so we need to postpone the baptism again. They've been slacking on their scripture study too, so I'm thinking two, but probably three, weeks more until I feel comfortable scheduling another baptismal date. As a missionary, you can't promise any blessings unless they obey the commandments. I'm not going to lie to them and tell them that they don't need to repent and change their lives and their schedules before their baptism because the scriptures plainly teach us that we need to all of the above before and after baptism. It's frustrating at times.

Yesterday my companion and I went to a new investigator with hopes of many good things because they're married and looking for the true church. It didn't go so well. The husband didn't come to the lesson because he was tired, then his wife couldn't accept the idea of prophets. Even after an invitation to see the prophet live in the Christmas Devotional, she couldn't accept the idea. She told us that we should study the scriptures and search for the truth...

Well, at least I know the truth. Family and friends, I know that this Church is true! I have done my part and searched diligently to find out that it's true. I'm not putting a hault on my work, studies and social life to get people to join "a Church"; I'm doing it to save their souls. I know that there is "no other name given under heaven whereby man may be saved'' but in the Lord, Jesus Christ. I solemnly bear testimony that I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to reorganize Christ's Church in these last days, and that Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet today, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

You Will Not Be Confounded Before Men (December 3, 2013)

A Day at the Beach...Missionary Style (December 17, 2013)