Buenas Tardes, Familia!
I hope you are all doing well, and it has been a pretty exciting week. Things are good up here in Cajamarca. It’s raining less, more sunny now. This week we had transfers, and luckily, I am staying here in Cajamarca for at least six more weeks; however Elder Espinoza did get transferred and is now in Trujillo. I will tell you about my new comp in a minute.
Here are my highlights of the week:
Soccer and Hiking on P-Day
Last Monday, we had a pretty busy P-day. It was Sister Chacon’s last P-day in the mission, and so we decided to do something fun. We went to Baños Del Inca and climbed this little hill up to a big white cross that looks out over all of Cajamarca. I sent some pictures of that last week. After the little hike, we went and had lunch as a district, and then went back to Cajamarca to play soccer with some elders from the zone.
Elder Rojas’s District Meeting
Tuesday, we went to Elder Rojas’s district meeting, and it was fun to be with the missionaries there. One of the sisters in the district was finishing her mission, so we sang the classic “God Be with You till We Meet Again,” and that’s always fun. After, we had to go get an elder to sign a paper and then sent it to Trujillo. That afternoon we had some good visits, and it was all good.
Wednesday, Katiuska had her baptismal interview with Elder Irrazabal, and she was all ok and ready for her baptism on Friday. After her interview, we went out to Baños del Inca to do an interview for an investigator that the elders were teaching. She also passed her interview and was baptized on Saturday.
Katiuska Is Baptized
Friday was an amazing day, and it was so great to see Katiuska be baptized. The service went great, and as always, there was a very special spirit there. Her daughter Carmen, who was baptized two months ago, gave a talk. And her other daughter, Estefany, who was baptized just one month ago, said one of the prayers. Katiuska, Carmen, and Estefany live just the three of them and have had lots of struggles in the past. Now, the three of them are members of the church, and you can see a visible difference in their faces. They still have a few problems, but now they know how to bear it. They have put their full trust in the Savior, and it is amazing to see how the Spirit and the gospel are changing their lives and their home. It has been a real blessing for me to have taught all of them, and they mean a lot to me. It’s such an amazing blessing for me to be able to meet so many wonderful people here in Cajamarca. After the baptism, we did three baptismal interviews for the elders in Pueblo Libre, and that family was also baptized on Saturday.
Lots of Transfers and a New Companion
Saturday was fairly normal for us up until that night. Once we were back in our room, we called the office to ask about transfers, and they weren’t quite ready, so a few minutes later we got a call from them and found out that almost half of the zone had transfers: nine out of the 12 areas had a transfer, which is pretty rare. All of the missionaries that were leaving had to go down Sunday night, and so they didn’t have a whole lot of time to say goodbye to anyone. Sadly, Elder Espinoza also was changed, and now my companion is Elder Cuellar. Elder Cuellar is from Bolivia and has the same time in the mission as Elder Espinoza. He was a district leader in Pueblo Libre, so I know him well, so I feel we are going to get along great. It’s always sad when transfers come, but the Lord does it to help us grow and change. I am excited for what I will be able to learn in this next few months with Elder Cuellar.
Sunday was Elder Espinoza’s last time at church, so it was sad saying goodbye to some of the members. In the afternoon, we went and did a few visits, and he got to say goodbye to some more people. It is always sad leaving an area, and in the moment you leave, you look back and realize that the people you have met have really had an impact on your life. That night we went to send everyone off at the bus station, and Elder Cuellar came back with me to our room.
Those were the highlights of my week, but I would like to finish my email with an invitation:
I’ve been thinking a lot about what President Monson talked about in general conference, and I have once again felt the importance of the Book of Mormon in our lives. The Book of Mormon provides protection from temptation and the world’s attacks. It provided help and comfort in times of need. But most importantly, it bears testimony of Jesus Christ and helps us to grow our faith in Him. I have personally felt that I would like to read the Book of Mormon once more in the three months I have left on my mission. But I have also felt that it would also be a great opportunity for you to do the same. I invite you all to read the Book of Mormon in the following three months and to seek a confirmation, or reconfirmation, of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I promise you that, if you do, you will receive an answer from the Holy Ghost that these things are true and will find new strength to continue firm in the faith. I love the Book of Mormon, and I will be sharing the things I learn in my emails. I would love to hear about what you feel as well as you read.
I love you all!