|"Camote" - Elder Jake Avery, Vegueta, Peru|
Well, the area is a great area. We're finding new investigators. Seven my first week, 15 the next, and 11 this week. We're excited and grateful for that! Our HUGE problem in the district is getting people to come to church. It's super bad and really embarrassing. We have a church very close and very central, and the other missionaries have an even better situation, but the investigators aren't coming to church on Sunday! Blah!
To answer Dad's questions, the major industries in my area include fishing, taxi service (all of Peru is a giant taxi franchise), and working in the farm. It's a super calm and pretty place. The branch is doing great. We've had great attendance and the branch presidency is working. I'm especially happy for the secretary, J**, who is doing an amazing job of getting very old records up to date. There hasn't been a secretary for years, and he's done year's worth of work in a week! I've seen the lights on late at night because his work is from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and he only has night hours to do his calling.
There are less active and part member families that we're working with. The biggest problem is the part member families don't get baptized because they aren't legally married. They probably would get baptized, but they feel guilty and sometimes just don't want to get married. Man! We talked to some investigators who live in a straw hut who said they want to wait to get married until they have a brick house, so that they can invite family to the reception. My companion and I were in shock! Alma 39:5 versus entertaining dinner guests. In Vegueta, the marriages are cheap. In fact, on February 14th they are free! So money isn't the issue, like it is in Lima.
You asked about the raw yam. They call it camote. That was a fun day. We helped some members haul their wheel barrow to the house. And, yes, I ate the duck, but I really don't like it. It just looks really gross.
Question, Question! Who is the Archibald family you're talking about? Are they related to my president?
So I had a work visit with an elder who reminds me a lot of Josh. However, different than Josh, he has a confidence issue. He's super self conscious about his Spanish, and just shy in general. It was a lot of fun working with him and helping him feel confident. I felt really good when he told me a few days later, ''You're a really good leader.'' I have had a lot of great examples to follow. I'm trying to get this district up and rolling. I'm probably doing two visits this week to get the other ward rolling. We'll have baptisms in no time :)
Stake Conference was a blast. We have one of the most solid Stake Presidencies I've ever seen. President Archibald and his wife also favored us with talks. The stake is progressing and I'm so glad to be here. President Uchtdorf told the mission presidents in their training, ''these are your days.'' I want to make the most of these few days.
Pray that Ja** keeps reading the Book of Mormon. Well, really that he accepts our invitation to be baptized on February 14th with his family. Pray that An** and his wife V** get married.
The Church is true :) Jesus Christ atoned for us and he invites us lovingly to come unto Him :)
Elder Jake Avery
10 Ways to Find (January 12, 2015)
Beans, Water Balloons, and Old Folks (January 26, 2015)