Sunday, August 17, 2014

August 16, 2014


This week has been super busy for my companions and I. First of all, the Area Presidency sent us a letter basically telling us that we have to take better care of the missionaries and not just send them straight to the clinic when they're not feeling well. So Sister Borg and I have been redoing the health stuff - following up with every sick missionary, writing down all their medications, etc. That has eaten up a lot of time. Also, multi-zone conferences started this week, and we had to help make the hot dogs and set other stuff up for lunch.

The past twenty four hours have been like a giant service project for Elder Cornejo and I. Yesterday, after our multi-zone meeting finished, we went to our area and painted the house of a less active member. We were there from 4 to 8:30 painting. Then this morning we got up, ate breakfast at Chilis with the other office Elders, and all of us helped a sister move. It was interesting: we had to take all the stuff from her first apartment (second floor with stairs that were about six inches by 18 inches) to the new one (fourth floor and the staircases had ceilings about 5 feet off the ground). There were numerous near-falls and hit heads haha.

It sounds like you guys are set up for a fun weekend with stake conference. Eat some Andy's afterwards in my behalf. I hope you all have a great week. Be on the lookout for opportunities to share the gospel - you may not teach a lesson or hand out a Book of Mormon, but look for ways to bring people closer to the Savior. I love you all!

Mark


I forgot to mention something great - last night I was stuck in an elevator for an hour. When we got back from painting last night, just when the elevator door was opening to our floor, Elder Castro did something and the doors malfunctioned. We were stuck inside with the door opened just enough for us to talk to Elder Vergara and Elder Gonzalez who were already in the room. When the repairman finally came and let us out we were very relieved. I'm attaching some photo evidence.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August 2, 2014


Farewell Elder Gomez and Elder Thorsen


Hello everybody,

We made it through transfers! Tuesday was a busy day - at 6 am Elder Cornejo and I were at the airport to pick up the 16 Americans arriving from the Mexico MTC. We picked them up and got them to the stake center where we then trained for a few hours before all the other missionaries got there and the transfer meeting started at 2. Since it was the second day of Independence celebrations there was a military parade in the street next to the stake center during the training - the band helped us stay awake all morning. After the meeting ended at 5 we took the sisters who are opening an area in our ward to their new room and helped them get everything set up. Then at night we took the first group of finishers to the airport, one of which was Elder Thorsen. All of the office elders went to see him off, it was sad for us to see a good friend go.

On Wednesday morning Elder Cornejo and I went with the other finishers to the airport, one of which was Elder Gomez. That was probably the hardest goodbye I've had to do in the airport! It feels weird being in the mission without my trainer here. After finishing with transfers and airport trips, I figured I would have a relaxing week, but I was wrong. Out of nowhere half the mission decided to get sick over the past 3 days, and the area office needed a ton of legal information. Due to all the work I could hardly leave the office - I only got to my area once, and only for an hour and a half. But although it was a short visit it was a good one. 

Today was an interesting day. I went with the other secretaries to the temple to pick up a package and buy some stuff from the distribution center. Then we went to a mall to eat, and came to the office. This afternoon we played soccer with the company who transports our missionaries, as well as with the office missionaries from the Lima North mission. Now we're finishing up our p-day.

One awesome piece of news before I finish - President is planning on letting me go after finishing this transfer! He has already picked my replacement, so only 5 more weeks before I'm back in the field - WOOHOO. I'm already starting the countdown. I hope everyone has a great week. Love you all!

Mark

Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 26, 2014



Dear family,

Another week finished. For my comrades and I in the office it was a hectic week - I could only go to my area once during the entire week. We have been busy getting ready for transfers next Tuesday. Although it isn't our assignment, Elder Cornejo and I ended up helping Elder Vergara open several areas. That basically entails taking down matresses, a refrigerator, chairs, and other stuff like that from the office, loading it into a truck, taking out bigger furniture from a storage room and loading that in the truck, and then taking it to a room and getting it all set up. It doesn't sound like much, but with the traffic in Lima it takes up a lot of time. I had to coordinate several trips to immigrations during the week (luckily not as much as the past couple weeks). And everyday there was something else that we had to do - purchasing emergency flights, going to the airport, buying extra mattresses and chairs, etc. Being in with the office elders is fun, but I miss real missionary work.

I hope everyone has a good week. Pray that our transfers go smoothly on Tuesday! Love you all and hope to hear from you soon.

Mark

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 12, 2014

Sorry I didn't write this morning. Yesterday I had a CRAZY day in the office. I had to get up early and go to Interpol with a few other missionaries, and send other missionaries to the immigration office. We had to figure out how to solve some problems there while doing fingerprints and all that stuff. Then there were a bunch of medical problems that I had to fix until 6 or 7. I got back to our apartment feeling dead. I feel a little more revived now.

It sounds like everything went well for you guys this week. My week was busy, but good. The office life is pretty stressful sometimes with everything we have to do, but it seems like I don't have any big news. I just do my little jobs. One big thing this week, we had to take a sister to the airport who was finishing her mission early due to medical problems. It was sad for us to send her home, and her companion was a wreck, but it made me grateful that I don't have a huge trial being here. Sure, it can be hard some days, but I don't have any mission-threatening problems.

Wow, this is really short haha. But I don't know what else to say. Everything is good here. Just pray that I can find time and opportunities to teach people the gospel, that is probably my biggest challenge being here.

Hope you have a great week at home. I'll talk to you soon.

Love,
Mark

April 5, 2014

Good morning! I am pretty excited for conference today and tomorrow. It hasn't been on my mind a whole lot since I've still been adjusting to being in the office this week, but now that it's here I'm stoked. I'm almost positive that we'll be able to watch it in English because there's a ton of north americans in my zone. This past week was super busy. I had a ton of stuff to do everyday - making doctor appointments, calling the insurance company, running errands for President Borg, and a lot of other little jobs here in the office. Some days can be really long - yesterday, for example, Elder Whitton and I got stuck in the office until 7:30 waiting for people to come back from the immigration office. But we do have a really good time. The secretaries and assistants all have a good sense of humor, plus being in the ritzy part of the city we usually find cool stuff to entertain us.

Today we won't have a normal p-day, we're just writing a little bit this morning and then going over to the chapel. But conference days are pretty relaxing so it will be ok. 

I hope you guys have a good weekend together watching conference. This is my third general conference in the mission field - one more here, and then the next April I'll be at home again! 

Love you and talk to you soon!

Mark

Monday, March 31, 2014

March 28 and 29, 2014

Hi again Mom and Dad,

I don't know if you already saw the letter in Mom's email, but I have some news. On Monday night I was informed I had a transfer and on Tuesday I was assigned to be the a mission secretary. It's pretty crazy - I'm living in a super nice room, I spend all day in the mission office... It has its ups and downs, but for now it's a cool change. Elder Whitton from the MTC is my companion again, and he's training me for a few weeks on how to do my job.

I'll get on tomorrow to look at emails.

Love you and hope to hear from you soon!

Mark
 

March 29, 2014

So...Saturday is my new Pday. This morning Elder Whitton and I went with the other 2 secretaries and the assistants to the Metropolitan Museum of Lima. It's the first museum I've been to in Lima so I had a good time. After that we went to eat "tacos" (a tortilla with a bunch of refried beans, some chicken and sausage, and a slice of melted cheese) and I got a haircut. We had a pretty good day.

You had a lot of questions in your email this morning. To answer them: no, I wasn't expecting at all a call to the office. It didn't even occur to me that it could happen. We are in a foursome of companions - me, Elder Whitton, and the other secretary with his trainee. But since I will be taking Elder Whitton's job, we spend most of our time together. In my time here I've taught the grand total of 3 lessons.... That kind of stinks. I miss teaching people a lot, but it's just something I have to get used to. As secretary we run a lot of errands, make medical appointments, and take care of travel and visa stuff. I haven't learned a ton so far but next week we'll do more.

I hope everyone is doing well at home. Tell everyone that I love them - I don't have time to write anyone else. Talk to you next week!

Mark


March 24, 2014

Today we will have a normal day because tomorrow is transfer day. We're still planning that Silva will go and I will receive a new companion here, but that could change. Apparently they need to make room for more sisters and we have a pretty calm area, so they might kick us both out. I hope they don't, though. I'm starting to really like this area. The past week went well. We were able to find some new investigators, and working with the ward went well. We had a baptism planned for Saturday, and although it fell through we have it rescheduled for this upcoming Saturday. One fun thing we did - last Monday we went to Chilis and Wong, the import grocery store... I really miss American food haha. Silva and I both bought big steaks with mashed potatoes - it was like heaven. And then in Wong I splurged for a root beer, some apple juice, and some jalapeño pretzels. 

That's about it from here. I'm doing very well and I feel great, so don't worry about me. I hope you have a great week! Love you.


Mark