Monday, February 23, 2015

Juana Baptism

Soooooooo, I don´t have a change.... haha still chillin here in Cusco with Elder Pavon! I was almost sure I would be leaving, but I guess I am supposed to stay here! 

This Sunday we had the baptism of Juana. I was so excited for her. She had so much faith that when she came out of that water she would be healed physically and spiritualy. I saw how nervous she was and was praying that what ever happened, she could be content with knowing this was the right decision. Marco Uman, a recent convert, performed the baptism. When Juana came out of the water, she started crying. Honestly, we didn´t know if it was from pain, or joy or what. After the service, she told us that when she was going down, she thought she was going to die. But, when she came out of the water, she knew that her pains would go away eventually, and that she had finally been baptized in the Lord´s church. She might not have been physically healed instantly, but she received the comfort that she could bear her pains. It reminds me of Mosiah 24 and the people of Nephi who make a convenant with God, and though they don´t leave the prison right away, they are helped in their trials. 

I love hearing from you all and I better get a video or pictures of Angelyn playing in her Laccross game!!! She´s going to tear it up!! Have a great week!! 
Love, Elder Jeffery

Pig in Cusco

Juana, Carla and Oscar Baptism

Voice in the Mountain

Wow, honestly every girl I know is getting a call!! I just assumed everyone would be married when I got back, but looks like everyone will just be getting back from the mission! haha Wow, Valentines day! and dance! They have valentines day here, but it was the same as any other day honestly.... Couples in the park, benches, street, and every other place displaying their public affection. grosssss. 

We started out this week focusing on contacting, and receiving references. We made little papers for people to fill out with one reference of someone they know after praying to know who they should invite to partake of the fruit of the gospel. Before this week, I was honestly scared to contact people. This week changed my perspective. There are definatly still people who don´t want to accept our message, but there are so many that are willing to listen, and even want to. 

On Thursday Elder Bird got really sick. He´s had the same problem for a lot of his mission, and spent two weeks in the hospital before he came to our sector. He says he´s going to stay in Cusco his whole mission, because if he goes anywhere else, he´s probably just die. haha I spent a lot of the day on Friday going to the hospital with him, taking samples to finally see what´s up with his stomach. 

Juana had her interview this week for her baptism next week. She has so much faith, and even said she will sell her chickens if she has to in order to pay her tithing. This week my goal is to do anything possible to help her in her situation. She needs help in so many ways. She fell down the hill where she lives all the way to the bottom, with rocks and everything. This is the second time this has happened to her. The first time, she broke many bones falling down. This time, in the form of a miracle, she only hurt her head a little, and her hand. But still, she needs some kind of medical attention. But, she doesn´t have the money to do so. We are planning to do a service project to clean up her house, and find some new stuff for her. Marco Uman accepted our invitation to baptize her

The same night of her interview, Elder Yallico and I went to a man named Oscar´s house. He lives in a canyon of dirt way far away where there is no light. He and his family are getting baptized the same day as Juana. He lives with his three children. His daugher and him are getting baptized. There was no sign of life or light when we got there, so we sat in the dark yelling his name for about ten minutes. Randomly, his dogs appeared, and we heard the voice of a little girl saying, ´´Elder!´´ We started yelling Oscar and his daugher´s names. But, for about five minutes, nothing. This voice came from the mountain, which is on the complete opposite side of his house. Suddenly, a light appeared from Oscar´s house and Oscar came over to talk to us. We asked him and his daughter if they said Elder or anything. They looked at us confused and said that they just woke up, and had said nothing.   We then realized that Oscar nor his daughter had said it, and it had come from an outside source.... Sppooookkkyyyy. The rest of the night, especially walking for 20 minutes in the dark in the boondocks, we kept looking back into the darkness. haha It was pretty creepy. 

Well, I´m glad you had a good busy week family! I am blessed to be out here in Cusco! My guess is that you will be receiving news of me going somewhere different, but I have no idea honestly. Thank you for keeping me going, and for all of your great support! I love you all and am always praying for you!! Have a great week!

Elder Jeffery

Monday, February 9, 2015

We Are All Family

This week was full of random events. We started off the week pretty normaly. I´ve been enjoying my time serving with Elder Pavon, and would be happy to stay with him in Cusco for another change if it so be. We started getting along very well, and having great unity in our companionship. We got home from working Wednesday night to Elder Bird telling us that he had news for Elder Pavon. He told Elder Pavon that he was to take a flight to Lima at five in the morning. He had to do a few things with the law to become legal in the country. So, we dropped Elder Pavon off in the airport at five and I went to spend the day with Elder Yallico and Bird. Marco Uman is always looking for opportunities to serve, and helped me by being my companion in the night to visit a few people. We thought that Elder Pavon would be gone for the rest of the week, but turns out he came back that night. We have been concentrating our work in our two investigators, Juana and John, trying to help them prepare to be baptised. John has a few doubts about the restoration, but I hope we can help him resolve them.
This week I had a great spiritual experience. We had a lesson with Juana reviewing the lessons with her. It is really a testimony of the spirit to me that she remembers all of what we have taught. She knows more quechua than spanish, and has had operations on her head, and still remembered the basics of the lessons. She started crying in the middle of the lesson, telling us some of the many problems that she has between her family. I told her not to worry, because we are also her family, and that we are ALWAYS going to be there for her. She looked up at me and my companion and asked us to please not stop our lessons after baptism. SHe was worried that we would stop caring for her after she got baptised. We asured her that we and the members of the ward would always be there. The Uman Family have literally been their brothers and sisters with her through this whole experience, and have such love for her. I am so glad to have a gospel that answers all of the hard questions in life. John was very excited to come to church when we taught him on Saturday, but when we went to pick him up, he acted strange, and said he couldn´t come. We will continue working with him, and I really hope that he can continue to change. Our first lesson with him, he didn´t believe in God. Now he has accepted baptism, and know that the doubts he has can be resolved just like his doubts of God were resolved. I love you Mom, and know that you are always praying for me. I am always thinking and praying for you, and hope that I can come back as a new person through the grace of Jesus Christ. I´m far from perfect, and far from perfectly obedient, but I will work every day to get closer to being so. Thank you to everyone who is serving in their wards, and know how much it helps the missionaries in your area. Have a great week!! 
Love, Elder Jeffery

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Trials Are Preparation For Something Greater

From Ezra

Hi bubba,
I grew so big I can wear this suit. I love you. 
Give me some fin, noggin. Dude, yolo!!!!!

From Desmond 
Woaahhhhhhh!! Hey, you look like a missionary!! But hey, you should stop growing because I need to be taller than you when I get back from the mission, ok? I love you like a monkey loves bananas! Give me some fin, knogin. Dude!!! Yolo!!!

This week we had a conference with President, and a few zones. It was on Wednesday, and went for about six hours. It was great! They focused mostly on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but at the end, President talked to us about our mission as a whole. He told us that he has seen more trials and hardships in our mission than any other place, or group. He then followed by telling us why. He believes that the Lord is preparing us for something greater. That honestly, we all have these trials at this time, because we need to be strengthened. I know this is true in all of our lives. Sometimes, I feel like I am the only one with trials. Then, I remember that Christ has suffered every single ounce of the pain. And, it´s for a reason. We´re not alone in our trials. Satan wants us to think that, but that´s just so we don´t actually learn from them. If we learn from the trials we have , we will grow imensly.

I don´t know if I talked about this lady last week, but we are teaching a woman named Juana, who is 65 years old. She loves her family a lot, but none of them want anything to do with church, or prayer, or much of anything spiritual. She is very sad, but because of that, she wants to do everything that she can to help her family know what is right. She has a date to be baptized the 21st of February. She is such a sweet spirit. It´s a little difficult because she speaks Quechua and Spanish, but more Quechua. THe Uman Family have embraced her into their circle, and are helping her in every manner possible. They speak Quechua fluently, so they are helping us when she doesn´t understand exactly. 

So, I was on divisions with Elder Yallico for the day on Saturday, when we came back the apartment to a surprise. Elder Bird and Pavon were waiting for us with a wall made of a couch and whiteboard, and squirt guns. They started attacking us as we hid in a room. We migrated quickly to the kitchen, where we found some buckets. We filled the buckets up and threw water over the wall onto the Elders. After that, it was on. haha The aftermath was horrible. My bed was soaked, the floor was in puddles, and the walls were marked with tons of squirts. haha Wow, what a crazy battle. Next time we decided we will do that outside. 

Sorry but, today I don´t have any pictures. We are going to go play American Football today after internet, so I´ll take some pictures there. I asked my companion if he wanted to go play, he told me no. I asked why. He said, ''I don´t know how...'' haha so I taught him, and after he said yes all excitedly. haha It should be fun to play with him. 

LOVE YOU MOM!! Have a great week!! Can you make everyone stop growing so much? ANgelyn and Ezra are scaring me.... THank you everyone for reading my letters! Tell Maddy Hanks congradulations and Jameson too!! Love you all!!

Elder Jeffery

Sunday, February 1, 2015


 I feel like every week has about the same theme for me. It starts out really challenging, and humbling, and turns out with some type of blessing or miracle. God has definitely been teaching me the trait of patience here in the mission. At first I would always think to myself that I was doing something wrong, and that it was my fault that we weren´t seeing success. But I´m slowely, and still very slowely learning that the trials are there to prepare you for the precious moments. I still get frustrated at times, mostly at myself, but Heavenly Father never gives you trials that you won´t be able to handle, and with the right attitude, your weaknesses become your strengths. We taught the lady that we contacted on monday with her four kids. They live realllyyy far away so we couldn´t pick them up for church on sunday. The lady, named Fidelia, wants all of her kids to come to church. It´s hard when the parent wants the kid to do something, but doesn´t set the example. They didn´t end up coming, but we will continue working with them and try to help them get to the chapel. We taught a man that Elder Matekel and I contacted during my training this week! He would always say "good morning!" to us in English as we ran by. We contacted him and said that we could teach him when he finished building his house. Elder Bejar and I walked by one day and he asked me when we were going to come visit him because he had finished his house. We set an appointment with him, and Elder Pavon and I taught him this week. He lives with his wife and daughter. They are really interested in investigating the church. His other daughter, who actually lives in Florida, is a member in the church, so he´s heard a little about us. This Sunday was one of the most testimony building experiences I have had. We had a lot of investigators who had comitted to come to church. Also, Saturday night, the bishopric called me and asked me to give a talk in church. I decided that I needed to fast. I fasted just for breakfast, but simply asked God to let the investigators that would progress be in church that Sunday. We get to the chapel, I having probably twenty minutes to prepare a talk, waiting at the doors for someone, anyone to show up. Finally, we had to go in to start. I got up and started giving my talk. I don´t know how, but I took up so much time the second counceler had to give me a slip that said ´´time please.´´ haha. I remember my farewell talk and how much I had to prepare, to still fall short in time. I testify of the gift of tounges. So, I finished and went and sat down. I looked at my companion and he started pointing excitedly. I looked over and just saw SIster Mari giving me the thumbs up. So, I continued to look forward. I looked around again and saw them. The family Elder Matekel and I contacted. Carlos, Marisol, and Angela sitting there. I hurriedly got out of my seat and sat with them. Turns out they knew a lady in the ward from forever ago, and met a ton of new friends that day. What a miracle. THey ended up staying the rest of the time, and participated in the classes. I know that my fast worked, and I hope we can continue to progress with this family. I love you all, and hope you continue to have fun through the week! Remember that He is with you in every decision and trial if you just LET him in.