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

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March 17, 2014--Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!



Cuy--roasted guinea pig--is considered a delicacy in Peru and is reserved for guests of honor.

 Cuy is interesting - it has a leathery black skin, a layer of fat, and a tiny bit of meat inside. The meat isn't too bad, but you have to endure through the skin and the fat - here they eat everything.

Thursday (one-year-in-the-mission day!) was a good day. We had appointments like normal all day, and that night the members on the first floor of our building invited us to eat steaks from their restaurant. Neither of the boxes have gotten here yet (darn), but your package with contact lenses got here on Tuesday. Thanks for the letter.

Last week went well. On Monday we went to eat with our zone. On Wednesday, the assistants visited my district class and for lunch a sister made us cuy (the guinea pigs they eat here). On Saturday we helped out with a ward baptism, and yesterday we had church. We taught Gospel Principles like always, and then we taught a primary class too. The sister who normally teaches was on her last nerve with the kids, so we went in to teach and keep the kids quiet haha, it was fun. The work was a little slow - I don't know why, but our appointments either fell through or there was a challenge with our investigators so we had to comfort them instead of teach the missionary lessons. I guess that's just how things go sometimes. But I still feel encouraged, we've been working hard and the Lord will help us out.

The peruvians have no idea what St. Patrick's day is, so I won't be eating green today. Elder Silva and I are planning to go to a mall to eat at Chilis and buy groceries in a nice grocery store (they have imported food there, so I'll probably stock up on USA goods). I don't know if it would be possible to send contact fluid in a package, that's a lot of liquid. I'll look around this week to see if I can get some here, but if not I'll let you look up how to send contact fluid to Peru.

The time is going by fast! I was looking at pictures and reading in my journal from when I started at the MTC - it feels like yesterday. But I already have a year, my third general conference is almost here, Mother's Day will be here soon, and then I'll hit winter, and then... it will all be over. I'm really trying to make the most of it. I miss home a lot, but I'll never be able to serve a mission again.

Love,
Mark



March 10, 2014

I had a good week last week. We found a few new people to teach and our ward is progressing little by little. On Monday I found some new ties (I bought 3 for 15 soles, or like 5 bucks. A pretty good deal.) Everything went like normal after that. We had a zone conference with President Borg and 2 other zones. Palao was there too, so I got to talk to Elder Parra and my old friends who are still there. It's always great listening to President Borg. He knows a ton and is very motivating. He and the assistants talked about the importance of the Restoration, how to work with the ward, and a few other small things. They also gave a small training for district leaders that helped me a lot. Yesterday they called me at the last minute to give a 5 minute testimony in sacrament meeting, which went fine.

Today we are going to the city center again, with the entire zone, to look around and eat. Elder Silva and I want to come home a little early to get things organized and rest. For the rest of the week we have our normal appointments and ward meetings. We'll make it a good week.

Love you and talk to you soon.

Mark