Okay so I finally got some time this week to sit down and actually write out a letter. It has been a hectic but cool last couple of weeks here in Trujillo. It’s been weird to be a missionary here these past few weeks because straight up, a natural disaster hit and well we haven’t done much proselytizing.
So yeah about 3 weeks ago hard rain and what they call, “huaicos” started to hit Trujillo. It never rains in this area of Peru, so you can imagine how hard rain can be a problem for unconditioned adobe homes. Many homes fell and were destroyed. Almost simultaneously, “huaicos”, which are pretty much just big muddy flash floods, started to hit as well, taking even more homes with them. Luckily all the missionaries were safe, however our effort was shifted from teaching to service. Everyday for this last half month has been service in every conceivable form. It’s cool not to be on the regular schedule, but definitely different. I like it because I get to walk around with a Book of Mormon in one hand and a shovel in the other. I’ve learned something in this time, that though they may be very different, service and teaching are inseparably connected and in the end are basically the same thing.
It’s hard for anyone to see their home and essentially all they have be destroyed and left behind, however I have found that even in times like these, one come to have peace. I’m not saying it’s easy and joyful to cope with trials, However I truly believe we can always find peace if we look to the right source. (John 14:27)
But yeah that’s my sermon for the week, hahaha. It’s also been fun too. Pushing down walls and getting to be with a ton of missionaries. I would be lying if I said these trials haven’t brought opportunities and blessings.
One of those blessings was being in a trio with Elder Petersen, who was left alone in his area, and getting to meet and teach a nice little old lady named Maria from his area. It was cool because at the end of those three weeks and our last day in the trio, Maria was baptized. It made me laugh to see this little old mountain woman so excited for her baptism. The spirit was definitely there.
To close my letter I want to share and invite everyone to rewatch and reread my 5 favorite conference talks from this weekend.
- President Monson’s Priesthood address “Kindness, Charity, and Love”
- President Uchtdorf’s Priesthood address “The Greatest among You”
- President Eyring’s Priesthood address “Walk with Me”
- Elder Ballard’s Saturday afternoon address, “Return and Receive”
- Elder Renlund’s Saturday morning address, “Our Good Shepherd”
- Elders Sabin’s Saturday afternoon address, “Stand Up Inside and Be All In”
- Elder Costa’s and Sunday afternoon address, “To the Friends and Investigators of the Church”
Que tengan un buen semana.
A lot more amazing pictures on site- click here.
Extras from Elder Turner:
- I’m doing good and I sent you a letter from this week too and it explains a lot. Here’s a little more: “This past Friday we organized with the Central Stake and some local community leaders to do some service in Buenos Aires. After completing the assigned task we decided to just walk around looking for those in need of service. We were able to help two people whom I will never forget. The first was an 8 month pregnant woman we found trying to shovel away all the dirt that had come into her home alone. We asked her to help and she gladly accepted. She talked for a sec about how her husband was away working to provide for the family and how she was left alone everyday to struggle to get the dirt out alone. We helped and she asked if we could come back some day to visit her and teach “what else Mormons do”. The second was a man whom we asked if he needed any help. He seemed convinced that his home was to destroyed for any young missionaries to be able to make a difference, but he accepted our offer. His home had completely fallen in. We began to slowly uncover the family’s belongings and to do our best to clean the home. The man changed during our time with him. He went from being stern and reluctant to being humble and grateful. As we pulled out an old family picture that had been ruined because of the rain, I saw tears in his eyes. He opened his heart to me and shared how hard it was to see everything ruined. He explained how he really wasn’t unable to clear these belongings out by himself but just saw it as too heart wrenching for him to have to do alone. He talked of memories and raising his children in that home. He told me something key: that our help was able to give him hope! Alone, though he was physically able to clean the mess, it had seemed emotionally impossible and told us that he would never have been able to do it without our being there.”
- Also, some recent pictures from baptisms.