Monday, July 13, 2015

July 6, 2015

Ok so this week was pretty much just aslghaiosdthwoenfklsdf!

So I guess starting where I left off on last monday when I was with the zone leaders. I ended up staying with them for another day until Wednesday morning. We recrouted a member to be my companion for a few days, which is pretty weird. He´s only like 22 and he was baptized last year. A few days ago we went over to his house to open his mission call and he´s going to la paz, bolivia, so that´s super exciting. On Monday night we went to the ward mission leaders house to visit him and his family and we watched this video that didn´t even make me cry that much:

On Tuesday we had an interchange so one of the zone leaders left and another missionary that was amazing came with us. Turns out the dogs in the zone leader´s area are absolutely totally insane. Like seriously every single dog on the street just freaks the heck out and starts barking and growling and running at us like they´re going to eat us. I felt kinda like I was in a zombie apocalypse except for they were dogs and zombies don´t really get scared away when you throw bricks at them.

I had some pretty neat spiritual experiences this week.
The first one is just with fasting in general because yesterday was fast sunday. One of the first Utah-apostasy-killing experiences I had was to fast for the first time. Just throwing this out there but a fast is 24 hours, 2 meals. Not eat as much as you can at 3 AM and then fast until you get back from church at 1 PM the next day. I can't even believe that I/everyone did that. I invite you to not do that any more :D
I testify of the spiritual growth that can come from fasting. I know that we can find greater spiritual knowledge to be able to fast every month.
There are 2 scriptures I like about fasting: Alma 5:45-46
 45 And this is not all. Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?
 46 Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.


The other spiritual experience was with blessings. I just wanted to say that I've never seen any incredible miracles giving blessings BUT I also have never given a blessing where the person who received it was not better the next time I saw them. That's pretty neat.

Yesterday after eating lunch we shared a few gospel videos, he's been having a hard time with his family and stuff so I felt like it would be good for him to have a spiritual experience. It was pretty neat and afterwards he gave me a few videos that he had that I'm pretty excited to use in lessons. I can't go to the website to send you a link but the website is called and has some great videos about the book of mormon and the plan of salvation (that would be great to put links to that on the blog)

I guess yesterday some weird stuff happened. Before church we went to go look for alex to bring him to church but he was drunk again. I lectured him saying "Alex, How are you supposed to go to church if you're always drunk?" but he just kinda stood there smiling and he looked at the ground in a kinda shameful way. I guess the biggest thing I have to say about alex is I LOVE HIM AND I WANT HIM TO COME TO CHURCH! So I told him that we would come back in the afternoon and that he needed to take a few showers and drink a bunch of water so that he would be sober when we came back. So we went to church and after lunch we went to his house to go find him again. he was there, maybe a little bit more sober than before and he said that he was "sleeping" but I didn't believe that at all.

We went into his house and we sat down and I said "Alex, were you drinking after we left?" he shook his head no, then I said "don't lie to me" then he shook his head yes. Then I said "Do you have more alcohol?" And he shook his head no, then I said "Don't lie to me" Then he shook his head yes. Then as if he knew what I was going to say he walked into the other room and came out with his favorite apple rum still half full. I set it on the table because I'm not as couragous as elder averanga and I didn't want to just poor it out. After a while I convinced him to go take a shower after drinking like 4 cups of water. He came out and we went to go to where his wife was working because we had coordinated with the ward mission leader to watch meet the mormons that night with the sisters and whatever investigators we could get to come and I didn't know anyone else that I could get to leave their house so alex and his wife were his only option.

So we showed up at his wifes work and alex didn't want to go in because he was embaressed. When I asked him why he was embaressed he said "because of the things I've done here before" So I figured I would just leave that at that and we went in. Alex asked one of the employees if his wife was there and the employee gave him a super long awkward stare before running into the other room. Keep in mind that Alex was still kinda drunk at this point but it was REALLY important that we get them to the ward mission leaders house because I knew he would literally murder me if we didn't bring anyone.

So turned out that his wife was working but her boss let her leave so we went back to the house separately from his wife. We were waiting for her to get there and we started running late to get to the video with them. Alex was really hungry because all he had eaten all day was rum so he started cooking some ramen on the stove. Then his wife showed up so Alex freaked out and started eating the boiling hot ramen as fast as he could because he was so hungry even though it was burning his mouth. His wife took it away and I gave him a manderine I had in my backpack and we went to the video.

Now at this point remember that alex had drunk a bunch of water and taken a shower to get rid of as much drunk as we could but it was still only a few hours after he had stopped drinking so he was still kinda drunk but his wife was excited to see the video so we went. We got there and there were some members and investigators of the sisters and we were about to start when alex said "Wait, everyone... I have some things to say... this is my wife... I have an 11 year old son that doesn't live with us.. he isn't the son of my wife... my old girlfriend died in an accident... and I'm an alcoholic..." and he started crying and I put my hand on his shoulder and told him that it's okay and that we need to watch the movie. So I guess he forgot about that really quick but it was super awkward because I was sitting there next to this crying drunk guy (crying because drunk) and i don't know. He wasn't THAT drunk, but he was still kinda emotional. Then we went back to his house, he grabbed the bottle of rum that was still on the table, said " I don't need this any more" and then dumped it all down the drain so that was pretty neat.

Then after we ran over to a lesson we had at 8 with a reference. The guy was SUPER weird, like he gave me a hug when we walked in and he started telling us about how he feels really committed to a group he goes to every week for people who have had "encounters with extraterrestrials" We taught about the restoration and his accepted a baptismal date for August and he agreed to come to church.

Now today is monday and I'm still with this poor member kid and my companion is still in the hospital in Lima and the health secretary says he has no idea what is going to happen but maybe he'll come back today but we still don't know anything. We're going to Quinua again today so that stinks for to go for the third time but whatever. I just hope I don't throw up, Imma take a dremmemine here soon. I think I'm going to an area called Bethlehem tonight to stay with those missionaries until we get more news on my companion or what's happening.

Also one more silly thing. The translations from spanish to english are pretty hilarious sometimes when I'm talking with other gringos. We don't know a lot of translations for things so sometimes there's silly sentences like " Hola Elder Grover habla con Elder Mitchell, I'm ready to do rendimiento de cuentas" Or this morning when one of the missionaries in my district called me and said " The mom doesn't live with her husband, she says he lives in the jungle" Which just sounds funny because we don't usually say that people live in the jungle but all the time I hear things like "I can't help you elders, I'm in the jungle" or "no, I can't that day, I'm going to the jungle."

That's everything from this week I think,

Also please give me recipes for buttermilk pancakes, donuts I can fry in a pan and for ranch dressing. That is all.

I love you, team!

Elder Mitchell

Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Story Time" June 29, 2015

Alright. So I`m just gonna start this email off by saying that I woke up at 2:30 AM this morning so we`ll see what happens.

Yesterday we were proselyting normal. Just a few complaints from my companion about some stomach pain or something idk. We finished the last lesson with a new family at like 9:05 pm last night, we walked outside and my companion was like limping around and I was just kinda like "hurry up we gotta go". So we get back to the room and I started working on all the numbers with my district. My companion just kinda sat there like whatever rubbing his stomach.

So I finished that and we finished planning and whatever. Then he started telling me that he had some pain in his lower stomach area. I was like "well if it gets bad then call the health secretary, I don`t know what you want me to do about it" So he kept whining and asked me to give him a blessing. So I did and it was a p spiritual experience. Then I read the book of mormon for a while and went to sleep. Then I wake up at like 2:30 AM because my companion was making all kinds of ruckus.  I didn`t know what was happening but he kept saying things like "the pain is unbearable" under his breath and I just kept pretending I was asleep hoping I would get to go back to sleep because I didn`t want to be awake.

After a while he says "Elder Mitchell, I need to call Elder Smith (the health secretary)" So I gave him the phone and he calls him. After a while of my companion telling him about what was hurting him. So they ended up calling the mission presidents wife. The health secretary asks him to talk to with me, I answered and he says "Elder Mitchell, I need you to write down this number of a member who has a taxi there in Ayacucho. You need to tell him that there`s an emergency and that you have to go to the emergency room as soon as possible. Tell him to bring as much money as he can" So I ended up making like a thousand phone calls trying to find somebody to take us to the hospital (remember this is at 3 AM) At one point I called the bishop and his says "Elder, it`s very early" and I was like "um, clearly bishop" hahahahhaa

So after a while I made my companion get out of bed and to throw some clothes one (crocks, jogging pants and a trench coat) and we head outside. After a while a taxi shows up and we go with a member to the emergency room (remember, small hidden city in the hills Peru emergency room) So we show up there and I was basically laughing (not really) while there was some doctor guy touching my companions testicle while he`s screaming in pain at like 3:30 AM in some sketchy as buns, moldy hospital in peru. Also I was making phone calls every few minutes with the mission president and the health secretary. So turns out they don`t do any kind of scans before 7 AM so there wasn`t anything they could do at all. They ended up giving him a anti-inflammatory shot to help with the pain and then we took another taxi back to the room to pack the bags in hope that the health secretary (who had to travel to the mission office) could buy us plane tickets to head to lima in an emergency.

We got to the airport and I was still making calls with the president every few minutes and turns out they were only able to get one ticket. So we threw my companion on the plane and I waited in the airport with a member (now at 6:30 AM). Now I`m with the zone leaders in a trio and I don`t even know what`s happening. Maybe I`ll get a new companion on an emergency transfer or something, they say maybe he`ll get here today but really we don`t know anything.

Other than that this week was pretty uneventful. President D came to say goodbye. President M comes to Ayacucho on Saturday to meet all of us.

Yesterday we went to go look for the alcoholic guy that we´ve been trying to help to take him to church. When we got there he was SO SO SO SO SO SO DRUNK. I have never seen somebody that drunk, he was totally falling over himself and his voice was way like...choaky and he was super mad because drunk. We ended up hanging out there for a while while he yelled at his mom about how it`s her fault that he`s an acoholic. Then his mom left crying and my companion poured out like a liter of rum down the drain while the alcoholic looked at the floor feeling bad because he just lost the rest of his alcohol.

His mom is AMAZING! She`s 72 years old but she was so excited when we taught her how to pray even though she had to take like 6 tries to get it right but she did! Plus she read what we had left her and she was so excited it`s so funny. She`s super cute (in a grandma way) and she gets all excited when we knock on the door hahahaha.

A member came with us from 3 pm to 9 pm yesterday so that was great. We had some awesome lessons, one specifically about the plan of salvation. It`s great watching people start to understand that religion isn`t just about alcohol! :D Actually it shouldn`t be but I live in a drunken city so what can ya do.

We found some super good investigators. That`s always exciting. I feel like I`ve learned so much over the last 10 months! I feel bad for sister missionaries because they don`t get as much time in the mission!

Thanks for all the help, I made some delicious food this week, 10/10 would recommend. 

June 22, 2015

So this week was pretty meh. Actually I don´t even know what to say about it. The big event was the dedication of the temple in Trujillo yesterday. Pres. Uchtdorf and Elder Bednar were there so that was pretty exciting. Elder Bednar gave an absolutely incredible talk about family history. President Uchtdorf gave a talk too, it was also good but I don´t think he had it written before hand. He seemed very tired and stressed, I don´t know. Maybe because everything he said had to be translated so he could talk more than one sentence without getting cut off from the translator guy but I don´t know.

I want some more recipes though, maybe some breakfast food? What else can I do with Chicken?

I make pancakes from scratch a lot, maybe some recipes for buttermilk pancakes cornmeal pancakes?

Also what can I do with oatmeal? Like what should I mix in? Just sugar, fruit and like... cinnamon? I have like the pieces of cinnamon but I don´t know what to do with that.

I got my package this week and last week I got my patriarchal blessing, so thanks for that. I already ate all the skittles and the weather here is crazy so it´s kinda hot right now. I´ll be grateful for the long garments if I go back to lima because winter should be starting here soon (I think, nobody really knows)

Everything has been going pretty well. I´m a district leader again, I don´t know if I told you that. Also we are the ONLY companionship that didn´t get transfered in the whole zone. There are people who showed up and left after one transfer so that´s kinda aggrevating. I feel like the president did that so that no matter what the new president does with the transfers in July it will be better than they are now. The president told us to not complain about them in the letter to the mission last week hahahahahha. Imma hit 10 months this week, so that´s happening.

We had a super spiritual experience teaching a less active this week. His name is michael. He left on a mission but came back after like 3 months. He has a problem now where he gets pressured into drinking with his family during like family parties (every week in south america). He pretty much has just been giving into it now. We went to the appointment to visit him with a member. The member told a really great story about his conversion and how he had a friend that told him that if he ever rejects drinking with him then he would never talk to him again. He said that his friend went to go buy some wine, he poured it in a cup and handed it to the member who was with us (in the story) The member said he looked at the cup, kind moved the wine around a little bit, maybe even smelled it, then he poured it on the ground and walked away. The member ended up getting baptized, serving a full time mission and recently got married in the temple. It was super neat and the less active agreed to not drink any more and we´re seeing a lot of progress with him and he looks a lot happier.

The same member with us told us that where he served his mission in Colombia the norm of excellence was 20 new investigators PER DAY. OURS IS 10 PER WEEK LIKE WHAT THE HECK! He said that they would just walk from house to house and everyone would let them in and listen. Plus he said that the people in colombia are just the happiest people ever even when they have literally nothing and they just party all the time. Also people get killed in the streets all the time but I guess that doesn´t bother them.

I´m in the safest part of the mission just so you know. I walk around with a money bag thing attached to my belt and it doesn´t even matter. I´ve never felt even the slightest bit in danger here. I´m in Ayacucho, the city of the 33 catholic cathedrals. Like seriously, the city isn´t even big. I would walk across the longest part of it in like 2 hours, tops. probably less.

Everything is going well, tell me more food I can make! Tell me how to make tamales Nancy I have a steam cooker thing maybe it would work! Maybe.

I love you, team!
Elder Mitchell

June 16, 2015

Sorry I don´t have a ton of time to write now.

We did baptize another family this week! I don´t have pictures because my companion has them and he has some jacked up memory card that I don´t have an adaptor for, so we´re gonna figure that out some other time. That was amazing, so exciting. I spent a whole day on phone calls with the president so that they could make it to the baptismal font, but they did it! He ended up having to call the mom and talk to her himself but she got baptised to we´re all happy.

I decided I´m a chef now. I made Lomo Saltado and some soup this week. It was very delicious, I was so happy. The soup I just made like a ton and ate it for dinner or whatever for like 4 days.

We´ve started working with another family that´s pretty great, the husband is a member and an alcoholic, I think I told you about him last week. We made a plan with them this last week on Sunday to start working with him a lot more. He calls us the angels and is super great. He only drinks on weekends but still. We go running with him at 6 AM every morning now so that´s great. His wife is super nice and even though the guy was kinda drunk they were still a super cute couple and it makes me cry every day.

Today we´re going to go cook with Fermin, one of the guys who got baptised recently. He has a restaurant and he´s going to show me how to make some more food. Our pension gave us a steam cooker to cook rice automatically and I used it this morning and it works amazing. She also gave us a spatula because pancakes are super hard to cook with a fork. I asked her where I could buy shrimp but she wouldn´t tell me because she said "that´s too hard, if you try to cook it you´ll either make it super tough and hard to eat or you´ll get cholera because you won´t cook it enough" I accepted that answer.

Thanks for all the support!

Love you, team!
Elder Mitchell

June 8, 2015

Transfers are on Saturday. We´re going to just keep the hope up that ill get transfered but we´ll see what happens.

The family did get married this week but they haven´t gotten baptized yet. The mom just went all out rebel mode and keeps working on sundays and got really drunk in the reception so I don´t know what to do with that.

If you could send me how to make a calzone, that would neat. Just anything that I can make that can be made in a pan would be great. Im craving to eat something that tastes good so just whatever recipes would be great. Maybe I could make donuts or something? Could I make cookies one at a time on a frying pan? :D

If you could send me a geografical map of the things that events that happened in the book of mormon that would be nice. I remember they drew it out in seminary but I don´t remember hardly anything about that, just what my not-idetic memory still remembers from the white board that day.

I have to pass the sacrament almost every week in sacrament meeting hahaha. I also gave 2 talks last month so that´s always happening.

we´re excited for the temple dedication in Trujillo, the second temple in Peru.

We had a neat experience trying to help a less active yesterday. He´s an alcoholic because his first (girlfriend/unformal wife) died in an accident and now his son lives with his grandparents in law. He keeps making appointements with him but he´s always drunk when we show up. Yesterday we went to his house like 20 minutes early and his wife said he had just barely left to go buy alcohol but that he was already drunk. Then we look over and we see him tripping over himself on the sidewalk holding a black bag. He got pretty close to the house before he noticed us. He looked up, looked down, put up his hand, turned around and returned the bottle to the store.

Then he comes back and says "I´m not going to lie to you, elders. I´m drunk" But he wasn´t as drunk as he could be so that was good. We ended up talking to him for a while. He was telling us about how he loves swimming and he tried to show us how he swims but he nearly fell over in the process so that was pretty funny. My companion insisted he was an expert on working with drunk people so I let him just do whatever. It was a neat experience, the guy started crying and told us that it had been so many years since he had gone to church and that he never thought the missionaries would ever find him.

Tell Aaron I said happy birthday. Mom, what happens at girls camp stays at girls camp. Everyone knows that.

No email until tuesday next week because of the transfers. Maybe wednesday if I go really far. If I go to Nazca I´m looking at 20 hours in a bus but we´ll just hope that doesn´t happen. The nazca lines would be neat though.

Just a little information about south america. South america has a lot of baptisms. A seventy told us that our mission has months where we baptize more than the whole European continent. It´s still not something easy, but it is way easier than some other places.

Everything is going well,

Have an AMAZING day!

Elder Mitchell