Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 15 - More Flooding and Service! Pray for Peru.


Well this has been another crazy week here in Peru. This week I have been in a group of 3 with Elder Angulo D'Leon and Elder Aeschebocher. Because of all that is going on here with the flooding and rain and the lack of potible water, we did not actually end up having transfers this week, but rather Elder Aeschbocher was in an area to the north of Trujilllo called Casa Grande. His area is basically all sugar cane fields and because of the flooding he was without water, electricity, and almost all the bridges to pass from trujillo to casa grande had collapsed. Because of this all the elders from zone casa grande were evacuated and are now spread throughout my zone or other zones either helping proselyte or doing full time service. Elder Aeschebocher is going to be staying with us in Jordan until the situation is a little more normal in his zone. 

This week because of all that has been happening we recieved a bit of a strange new rule in our mission... we are now supposed to proselyte in street clothes. We have always been able to do service in street clothes but in these strange times here in Peru we are instructed to be in street clothes as often as we can in order to search for more opportunities to serve those who are in need and also for our own safety. It is so much fun, but wearing jeans and a tshirt after months of almost nothing but a shirt and tie feels a little strange. 

This week most of our work involved building roofs with various other elders and members in the areas around Jordan. We had a particularly great time building a roof friday with a member named Hermano Soransen. He is venezuelan who recently moved here because of the situation in Venezuela. His parents are danish, and he studied in Russia... so he speaks English, Danish, German, Spanish, and Russian fluently, with a little bit of Japanese as well... to say the least he is fun to talk to and we had a great time rebuilding roofs as well. Most of the houses here are not built for any type of rain, so most roofs are just sheets of plastic without incline or anything, so what we do is basically remove their roof and rebuild it from scratch with new materials to prepare them for any future rains we have here in Trujillo. With all of the elders from Casa Grande doing service here as well it is like we have a small army of missionaries rebuilding houses in this zone. It is awesome! 

Service is a great opportunity to be a representative of Jesus Christ and help others feel the love he has for them, especially when they are in times of much need. Always remember that we are all children of our heavenly father, meaning that we are all brothers and sisters and therefore we should serve and love eveyone as if and as they trully are our family. 
We are still without running water throughout most of the city and in our apartment, but things have largely calmed down and more normal here. The rain has stopped but the water is still coming down from the mountains so the Hauicos (flooding) continues a little. There is a lot of service to do in these days and many people in need without food, housing, or water. As missionaries and as a ward here we have been trying to rebuild houses and bring food and water. In these days please pray for the people here in Peru, they need all the help they can get. That is about all for this week here in Jordan. All is well and it was another awesome week in the life of a missionary.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 14 - Rains and Flooding in Peru, plus Hermana Vergara gets baptized!

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Queridos Amigos,

To say the least this has been a bit of an unusual and crazy week here in Trujillo. Right now everyone throughout Peru is kind of in Emergency mode due to the abnormal amount of rain. Too be honest here in Jordan any amount of rain is an abnormal amount of rain. The increased amount of rains this week has cause flooding throughout Trujillo and Peru that has left a lot of people isolated or without water. Luckily here in Jordan, La Esperanza, we are basically in paradise relative to basically every area around us. In other areas there have been Huiacos (Flash floods) that make people really scared. The land, buildings, and streets here are not used to much water so they fill up quickly and create rivers of water and debree in various streets along with filling up dried river beds that have not been filled in over 20 years. Every time it rains everyone has a mini panic attack that a Huiaco will come or that the rain will fill there house. In our area the only problems we have had were tuesday when because of the extreme rain we were up until 1 in the morning using buckets to clear the water from our house and room. Our room filled with 3 inches of water... and we live on the second story... It might not seem this way but in reality we are extremely blessed. A couple days this week we have taken in Elders from other areas to stay and proselyte with us while their areas are still a bit dangerous. Soooooo between the rain and flooding sending us to our rooms early on occasion, the service and filling of sand bags to protect houses and streets, and having a rotating hotel of elders in our apartment it has been an exciting week. 

One of the highlights this week was the baptism of Hermana Zoila Vergara who we have been working with for sometime. She is about 70 years old and is she a sweet lady. Her baptismal date for January fell through due to her family being really hard on her but we had helped her choose this day March 18th and had been prepping for it for some time, and it was so close to almost not happening. Basically on friday there was major flooding all throughout trujillo so almost all the chapels were without water. We had planned the service for 3 in the afternoon and between 1 and 2 that same day we changed the location of our baptismal service 4 times... it was a little stressful. In addition once we were able to help Zoila get to the chapel we had to wait for another young lady who was going to be baptised in the same service by Elder Lavado and Elder Fernandez. Turns out her family was stuck on the other side of a Huiaco sooooooooo we had to wait until about 530 to start the baptismal service. After stressing over how we would fill the baptismal font, where we were going to do the service, and if everyone was going to be able to make it to the service it ended up happening and it was a very beautiful and spiritual day. She was so excited and was not going to let anything get in the way of her baptism. It was awesome. 

This week with all the service we have been doing I have been studying a lot and gave a talk this sunday in church about service and the importance to love or our neighbors. A great scripture to sum up some of my studies is Mosiah 2:17, a scripture that we can find in the Book of Mormon that says, "and behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." Some other great scriptures I studied this week are found in 1 John in the Bible, anyone who has time should read 1 John 3: 16-18; 1 John 4:19-21. These are some great scriptures that teach a lot about the importance to serve and show our love for others through our actions and that through these actions we can help others feel of Gods love. Service is sacrifice and it is a wonderful opportunity to share Christs love with others and help us to feel Christs love for us as well, because in reality he is the ultimate sacrifice. Well that is all for this week, everything is relative calm and safe here in Jordan and pray for those in this mission and all around Peru that they will be out of harms way and will recieve the help they need in these times of natural disasters. 


Elder Vassau

Monday, March 13, 2017

Week 13 - Rusber and Eternal Families

Holla Amigos!

This was yet another great week here in Jordan. The weather has started to change a bit. Cloudy, humid, and a light rain most afternoons now but who knows for how long. Everyone says the weather this year is much more extreme than in years past but yet again who really knows. This was an exciting week in this area with some great new investigators. In reality I am super excited for some of these people. One of them is named Rusber Flores who is a 24 year old graphic design student. When I say student what I really mean to say is student, father of 2, husband, and full time security guard. This guy works all night, studies in the morning, and spends the afternoons with his kids. He barely sleeps. To make his life a little more complicated he has an illness that no doctor has been able to fully diagnose where basically he cannot lay down or eat certain types of food or he has incredible pains all throughout his body. Now that is a tough situation. We talked to him a bit about his situation and told us how in these past two years he has really realized his purpose here, that money is of no importance and that what really matters most is his family. He also was telling us that over the past couple of years in his various surgeries his only companion has been prayer and God and that now he really wants to learn about what Gods plan is for him in this life. This guy has a pretty difficult situation he has been delt, but he is making the best of it and is using his challenges to get closer to God and his family. We shared with him a bit about Gods plan for us in this life. The plan that he has for every single one of us, that if we choose to follow, we will be happy in this life and will be able to live with our families for eternity. It is truly a marvelous plan of happiness that our Heavenly Father has for us. 

Another exciting new investigator this week was a man named Rafael Maco. He is a painter and lives by himself, and to say the least in his life he has had his fair share of liquor. That changed though about a month ago when he promised his niece who is terminally ill that he would stop drinking for her, and that was over a month ago. In this time he has also been trying to grow closer to his Heavenly Father and that is where some of his neighbors and his brother came into the picture and introduced him to us. He is awesome and has an incredible desire to change his life and to follow the perfect example of Jesus Christ. His friends gifted him practically a library worth of church books, magazines, and scriptures that he reads every morning for over an hour. It is so exciting to see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is really for everyone, and anyone who has the desire, in reality, can change their life to find peace and happiness. 

This week we have the baptism of Hermana Zoila. She had a baptismal date in January but it fell through because her family is really hard on her about her decision. Please pray for her this week that her family will be able to respect her decision and her testimony and that everything will go smoothly. 

Well that is all for this week in Jordan, La Esperanza. All is great here in Peru!


Elder Vassau