Today and tomorrow we are all sporting red and white while enjoying 2 whole days of celebrations! That's right, here in Peru they celebrate 2 days. And, well, as missionaries we don't actually get a break. Just PDay, as usual. But it's fun to see everyone celebrating outside. Today a family has invited us to have a festive Peru party complete with an entire pig and traditional dances. We're pretty stoked. Pictures to come.
This has been a crazy week! We were very happy to see 2 awesome young men make the covenant of baptism this week. It was an adventure trying to fit in their last few lessons and interviews, cleaning the chapel, finding refreshments, practicing musical numbers, and the like. Boy do we need a ward mission leader. But in the end everything turned out really nicely. They got good and squeaky clean in the super cold baptismal font!
This week our mission president sent us a super amazing talk to study and ponder. It's called The Fourth Missionary. If you have not heard of it or read it, do it now! It's like your secret to salvation. Important principles to understand: 1. Your life's greatest work is you. In the end, we will be stripped of our jobs, our hobbies, our money, our friends. We will be left with our hearts, our minds, and our characters. 2. You are always changing, whether it be for better or worse. You cannot remain stagnate. Also, to believe that weaknesses and deficiencies in your character are unchangeable is to reject the central truth of the plan of salvation. 3. Trials have a purpose. The purpose of trials is to give you the opportunity to respond by applying in your life the teachings of Jesus.
We learn that there are 4 types of missionaries (or people, because these are principles that can be applied to all people).
- Flat out disobedient missionaries that don't finish their missions. They don't even have the desire.
- Then there are missionaries that are disobedient, but they finish their missions. They are embarrassed, unhappy, and usually go inactive.
- Obedient missionaries that have the Spirit, help others come unto Christ, and finish their missions honorably. But! They aren't happy. Why, might you ask? Because they give their time and their talents, but withhold their hearts and minds. They serve the Lord because they have to, and hope to be truly happy when they can finally get around to doing what they want to do. When they can finally leave from a hard area. When they can finally sleep in their house. When they get a different companion. Important principle: you can't be happy if you don't want to do the things that lead to happiness, even if you do those very things.
- A missionary that is obedient, and gives his all. Literally everything, especially his heart and his mind. He is not perfect. He has weaknesses. He isn't always happy. But he has faith in the Lord. He gives up the things that he wants not only physically, but mentally as well. He does not long for the things he committed to give up for 2 years. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.
There is so much more I wish I could write. It's 24 pages of gold. I invite you all to go take an hour to read it! It is worth it. I promise. Just remember, sometimes the greatest battle we face here is within our own hearts.
I love you all. I miss you all! I feel your prayers all the way here in Lima, Peru. Be safe, and we shall write again the coming week.