Monday, June 18, 2018

Week 80 - Mission Conference & Honoring the Sabbath Day

Buenos Dias!!!

This has been an amazing week here in Primavera. Today we had the privilege and blessing of having a conference with Elder Gary E. Stevenson who is a member of the Quorum of the twelve apostles of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. The conference was truly awesome. My mission, the Peru Trujillo North Mission, and the Peru Trujillo South mission we all got together here in the Primavera chapel to receive training from Elder Stevenson and his wife. For members of the church, these leaders are called apostles because, just like the original apostles of Jesus Christ, these leaders are imperfect men called of God to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ around the world. They travel all of over the globe visiting and teaching many other church leaders and people in need. It is truly a unique experience to have a conference with one of them and we learned so much. 

The conference started out with a message from the area President who is in charge of all that is Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. He shared the story about when he was 16 years old living in Brazil when he met the sister missionaries and decided to be baptized. He told us that when he got baptized he was a rebellious teenager with a pony tail. Everyone got a good laugh out of that. It was a little hard for everyone to picture. What he taught us though is that we should never judge others but rather through small and simple acts we should help all others to hear this message. The spirit will work with those that are prepared to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It does not matter where someone comes from, what they do, what race they are, what their profession is, when the Gospel and the light that it brings is presented one can feel its truthfulness and will naturally have the desire to follow it. It is much like a moth in a dark room. It does not matter what type of moth or bug it is, how far away, how large, how old, etc. when there is a light in a dark room the bug will be drawn to it no matter what. Any person, when the Gospel is presented to them, will feel the spirit and will have the desire to follow it if God has been preparing them to receive it. Just think about that the next time a decision presents itself, that naturally we are drawn, through the spirit, to what is good and one will be able to recognize the truth if they have true intention. 

What Elder Stevenson taught us as well was amazing. He really taught us about the importance of inviting others to change and promising blessings. He, as an apostle of Jesus Christ, can promise blessings in the Lord´s name, and I, as a missionary, have the same right to promise blessings. When God makes a promise He is bound to fulfill His half when we do our part. We can have confidence that the decision to follow Jesus Christ will always bring to pass blessings, maybe not immediately, but they will come. That is why we as missionaries are called to teach people repentance so that many may change their ways in order to enjoy the fullness of the promised blessings. It is an awesome privilege to be able to represent our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and promise these blessings, all the while teaching people so that they may follow the path the enjoy the fullness of these blessings. 
This week in our teaching we had awesome visits with the Murga family. We taught Juan and Juancito first on Monday then Elder Torres with Elder Rosenhan taught the mother Yesika yesterday. These week we focused on the commandment of keeping the sabbath day holy. This is a commandment that man has had since the start of time. Many may recognize it from the ten commandments given to Moses. That being said many people also do not understand it because what it explains in the bible in Exodus 20 is the following: 

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

To be honest these four verses may be very confusing for many because it talks all about manservants and cattle, but the idea is that we are given six days of the week to do all that we need to do. Our Heavenly Father just asks us to dedicate one day to remember him where we can devote ourselves to service, scripture study, church attendance, and family time. Here is a video that we used this week that I really love.

The mission is awesome and God loves blessing us. All we have to do is complete with our part to receive these awesome blessings. 


Elder Vassau

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Week 79 - Preparing Ana for baptism and the visit of an Apostle

Buenos Dias!!!

This has been an awesome week here in Primavera especially with the exciting news that this coming Saturday we will be having a multi mission conference with Elder Stevenson from the quorum of the twelve apostles. Everyone here in the mission is super pumped. 

This week we have been working with a young sister named Ana Altamirano. She has been preparing for baptism for a few weeks now. We were rescheduling her baptismal date, because it was going to be the same date as the conference, when the impression came to me that I needed to ask her why she wanted to be baptized. Her answer was so simple but so true. She said "I know that getting baptized will help me to be a better person..." I thought about it for a few brief second and then I realized how true that phrase is. To be baptized is to follow the example of Jesus Christ, the only perfect person to walk the face of this Earth. If we want to be batter people our goal should be to more like Him, and the only way to be more like Him is by living His Gospel. This Gospel includes having Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and to endure to the End. He showed us this formula as a way of little by little perfecting ourselves. When we have faith in Christ we desire to be more like Him, when we realize that we sometimes fall short we repent to make the necessary changes in our lives, when we try to be more Christ like we want to follow his example of baptism through which we make a promise with God to keep his commandments, after Baptism we receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost to help guide us on the correct path, and finally if we are able to endure all things until the end we will be able to gain all that is promised to us. These promises include peace here on Earth and Eternal life in the coming life. To be a better person is to be more Christ like, and Ana´s decision to be baptized is one massive step to follow the example of Jesus Christ. It is an awesome privilege as a missionary to help people take the steps to begin applying the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives. When people are humble enough to take these steps, then they can see the blessings in their lives, but what happens is sometimes we are a little too stubborn and prideful to accept such a simple solution. 

As it states in Mathew 18:1-4 

1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

The mission is just awesome and the Gospel is so simple when we do not over complicate it with our own ideas and opinions. This week has been amazing and everyone is super excited as we prepare for our conference this week. 

Elder Vassau

Monday, June 4, 2018

Week 78 -30 seconds (!!!!) of street contacting found a great man to teach!

Buenos Dias!

This has been another great week here in Primavera. This week I had a really fun time trying out a new way to contact people. Last sunday we, as an office, decided to go contact in a park using a big banner of Jesus Christ. We were going to test it out here because it is not something that generally is done here in Peru. Well we decided to give it a try for a short hour because we had an appointment at 4 where President Marble was going to accompany us. Well what happened was we got to the park at around 315pm and we found a nice spot to put up the banner. Within less than 30 seconds of getting the Christ banner up and going, someone walks up to me and starts asking what we were doing. I explained to him we are missionaries and I began to explain to him a little bit about what we do. He then said "Perfect! So you guys are exactly what I am looking for!". He then proceeded to invite us over to a near by bench to chat about numerous Gospel and Christ centered themes for nearly a half an hour. It was so crazy how fast God worked in our Park situation. We were there for less than 30 seconds before someone presented themselves. Someone who God had been preparing to receive this message. It was awesome. 

This week we also had a great experience sharing a family home evening with the Murga family where we taught them about God's Plan of Salvation. Nothing brings so much happiness and peace to a family as the knowledge and understanding that family life does not finish here on Earth, but rather that a family can be eternal. God's plan, although often we do not understand it while here on Earth, is something that shapes us into being happier and better people. The Murga family, like most families, has been passing through various challenges with health recently. Bother Hermana Murga and her dad have recently suffered accidents that have limited their mobility. When we see all that happens in this life in the perspective of God's eternal plan, it makes it just a little bit easier to take on life's challenges. 

Well another awesome week here in Primavera. Here in Peru everyone is getting super excited for the World Cup, the first in which Peru will participate in about 36 years. To commemorate that we bought matching office Peru jerseys (see photo). 

I hope all is well back on the home front. 

Elder Vassau

Monday, May 28, 2018

Week 77 - Juancita And The Reality of A Simple Prayer

Buenos Dias!!!!

This week has been truly amazing here in the mission. This week we had an awesome lesson with a lady named Jessica. She is the wife of Juan Murga and mother of Juancito, two people we have been teaching recently and that are progressing really well. Juan the father contacted us one day in the street by his house and Juancito everytime we come over drops everything he is doing to listen to us. They are awesome. Well the thing is that Jessica, Juan's wife, recently had an accident where she fell and hurt her knee so she has not had much time until recently. Yesterday we went to visit her in the afternoon with her next door neighbor who is a member of our church. We were teaching Jessica about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She understood the message really well because she had read and studied a bit of a pamphlet we had previously left with her. The real special part is when we were sharing with her something known as the first vision. It is the experience of a young man named Joseph Smith where he went to a grove of trees near his house to pray and receive divine guidance. As a response to his humble prayer he had an experience where in his own words he states, 
"I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me...

...When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!"
Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared unto him to guide him in what is known as the restoration. 

When we began to share this experience with her she began to appear noticeably animated. As we finished reciting the story she even began to laugh. I felt the strong impression that I needed to ask her how she felt hearing that God and Jesus Christ appeared to this young man. In that very instant she broke down crying. She went on to share with us that for many years she had doubts about God´s existence because of the influence of some friends. She had even stopped praying all together to God the Father and would only talk about Jesus Christ, whom she believed in because there is historical evidence of his existence. She told us that when she read the first vision in the pamphlet she began to feel really guilty and began to regret ever doubting God the Father's existence. She even said that to hear us share the first vision with her helped her to without a doubt know that God exists and that he truly appeared unto this young man. The spirit truly filled the room as we began to testify of God's love that He has for her and for all of His children.

For our Heavenly Father it does not matter what we do, He will always love us. Even if we distance ourselves, doubt His existence, rebel, or whatever other class of action He will always love us and through Christ the day we decide to return to Him in love He will always gladly receive us. It is so amazing helping people to feel God and Christ's love. The Gospel is exactly that, it is God's loving plan for us that Christ makes possible. It is amazing being able to share it and helping people to begin to apply it in their lives. 

The mission is truly amazing. 

Love, Elder Vassau

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Week 76 - Using Technology to Teach Gladys & Goodbye to Elder Barboza

Buenos Dias!

This has been a great week here in the MisiĆ³n Peru Trujillo Norte. This week we have had the really strange and new opportunity to begin using technology here in the mission. Wow. Crazy. All of the missions here in Peru we are really low tech compared to the missions in other parts of the world where people have iPads and lots of things at their disposal. That being said here in the mission I have been working on putting together USB drives for all of the missionaries that are full of selected videos for proselyting. My companion and I have been testing the USBs out, us being somewhat Guinea Pigs (a little ironic). It has been working great with many of our investigators here in Primavera. One family in particular really had a great experience this week with our new videos. We were teaching Gladys and her son Javier, the wife and son of a super cool recent convert. What we decided to teach them that day was our most fundamental lesson, which is the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This message teaches about how God is our loving Heavenly Father, how he has given us his Gospel from the beginning through prophets, it teaches about Jesus Christ, and the confusion that came in the time following His death. It is really special but it really has more of an effect when someone is able to apply it in their own life. We showed the following video to help Gladys´ son to really understand how he could apply this message to his own life and begin taking the steps to follow Jesus Christ. Everyone should give it a look if they have 5 min.

Technology is able to help people to get information quickly and in this case as missionaries we can even use technology to help people to feel the spirit quickly. 

We have also been starting to utilize another set of super cool Chapel Tours videos that help people to understand what we really do in our church allowing them to understand our focus in Jesus Christ. That is really the focus of all that we do. Our purpose is to invite all to come unto Christ, and even through a short video clip someone can really feel that motivation to come unto Christ. 

You can find the Chapel Tours videos in the LDS Library App. They are awesome. 

Well this has been a great week here in Peru. This past Monday I had to send another group of missionaries off to the airport as they finished their missions. We said goodbye to some dear friends including my trainer Elder Barboza, but life goes one. The mission is awesome! 


Elder Vassau

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Week 75 - Skype on Mother's Day, Juan Murga & Family - the time is now!

Buenos Dias – Happy Mother’s Day!!!

This has been an awesome week here in Primavera. I would like to tell you guys about two really cool experiences this week. One of them was visiting a member reference. A member of the church from a nearby ward gave us a call letting us know that her friend from work would like to meet the missionaries. One morning we went over to meet with her friend and we met Juan Carlos. He is awesome. He is a single dad who is a very young and succesful businessman. He super excitedly invited us in and we began to converse with him. Like many people here in Primavera he was raised Catholic, but just by tradition, he told us he wants to start on a completely blank slate because he knows close to nothing about God. He tells us that financially and with his son he is super happy, but he knows that something is missing, the spiritual part, and that is why he wanted to visit with us, to help him improve the spiritual part of his life. He is super excited and willing to learn in order to find that perfect balance in our life that helps us to be at peace with God´s plan. Juan Carlos understands and feels the need to improve his relationship with God, and that desire is more important than any amount of knowledge or scriptural understanding that a person can have. 

Another awesome family we have started to teach is the Murga family. Juan Murga in one of my first weeks here contacted us. We didn´t knock his door, contact him in a park, nor meet him through a friend but rather we were walking one day by his house and he called us over. ELDERES. He is from a city up north in our mission called Chepen and he knew the missionaries over 20 years ago, but because he was working in the mines he never had time and lost all contact with them. Well he newly wants to hear our message which he knew was true from the moment he heard it 25 years ago, but he does not just want it for himself, but rather he wants his whole family to learn this message. Juan, his wife Yesica, Juancito (11) and Daniel (10). They are awesome and super excited to hear the message of the restored Gospel. Some people are prepared for years before finally having the chance to follow the example of Jesus Christ and his restored Gospel, and I think that is just the case with Juan and his family. 

All is amazing here in the mission. Happy Mother´s day to all the Mom´s out there!

Elder Vassau 

1. Picture of my - Skype conversation for Mother's Day
2. My trainer(Peru), me(USA), the person I trained (Colombia), and the person he is training (USA)
3. Primaver Zone

Monday, May 7, 2018

Week 74 - The Fruits of the Capilla Abierta

Buenos Dias!

This has been an awesome week here in Primavera. The Capilla Abierta (Chapel Openhouse) was super successful last week. We were able to help lots of people come to an understanding as to who we are and what we teach it. The most important thing we were able to accomplish was to help others feel the spirit while learning about their Savior Jesus Christ. 

This week we had our multi zone conferences where multiple zones from the mission get together to enjoy a training and conference from President Marble. It was an awesome experience and we talked a lot about goal setting. Goals are acts of faith that allow us to reach our full potential and keep our actions guided always. In life when there are no goals we just kind of wander aimlessly, but when we are able to focus on a goal we can always take the actions necessary to reach that goal. Even if it is difficult the Lord taught Nephi in the Book of Mormon that He will always prepare the way if it is a righteous cause. In this case we, as God´s children, need a righteous goal to guide every single one of our actions. This goal is to have Eternal Life, which means to live with our families, in the presence of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, for eternity. The only thing we need to do to reach this goal is to follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To have Faith in Jesus Christ, repent, be baptized, receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. If we do this, thanks to our Savior Jesus Christ, even though we are all imperfect, He will make this goal achievable. It is awesome. This is the ultimate goal and I hope that everyone can keep it in mind when they are making any type of decision. 

The mission life is going great and flying by way too fast. 

Elder Vassau