Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 16 - Moving to El Milagro, the epicenter of recent floods and devastation

Week 16 - Moving to El Milagro, the epicenter of recent floods and devastation

Buenos Dias!

Today I was transferred! My first transfer and I am leaving Jordan for a different part of the Esperanza zone called El Milagro. El Milagro is one of the poorest areas here in the mission. This is also one of the areas most affected by the rain and flooding. Many people here are without housing and still throughout Trujillo the majority are without running water, probably for about another month. The missionaries just returned to this area after 3 weeks of being relocated for safety and I am the first gringo in my area ever! It is pretty darn exciting stuff. Things here are a little different than in Jordan but I am super excited to serve the people who are in need of both temporal help and spiritual guidance. Our apartment is not quite the paradise I had in Jordan, but when as a missionary you start to get too comfortable the Lord always shakes things up so that you are always learning, and there is a lot I can learn here. After a great 2 months with Elder Angulo D'Leon and a great 2 weeks with Elder Aeschbocher I said my goodbyes to them and also my friends and investigators in Jordan and am now ready to continue to serve here in Jordan. And Elder ADL is going to train another new missionary.   My new companion is Elder Bedregal. He is 28 and from the south of Peru in a city called Arequipa, where they think they are a completely separate country... it is a little funny.  Things are going to be great!

This week was another great week here in the mission. As a group of about 40 missionaries we had the wonderful privilege to do a group wide service this week where we drove to Huanchaco in buses and picked up trucks full of food, water, and mattresses to pass out in some of the most affected areas... it was really humbling when we arrived in these areas. People were clustered in groups with empty buckets begging every passing truck for water. The streets were filled with rubble and rocks that had been brought in by the flooding and fallen houses. It was a really great opportunity to help these people feel loved in this their time of need. Even better, turns out that the area in which we distributed all of these supplies is my new area! I basically have the privilege to help these people recover and feel Christs love every day now. I am so excited and I hope I can help these people. 

This week as missionaries here and all around the world we had the great opportunity to listen to church's general conference, where the leaders of the church from all parts of the world give talks through a broadcast over the course of 2 days and 6 sessions. It is sooooo awesome and it is a time to learn soooooooo much. There were a ton of great messages given but one of my favorites was given by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a church leader and apostle from Frankfurt Germany, who talked about how we should not use fear to motivate but rather use our love for others to try and help others change. When fear motivates us, we change temporarily, but our desires and our hearts do not change. When we motivate others through love, seeing others as their full potential as Christ sees them is when peoples desires and hearts truly can change for the better. Fear inhibits growth and when we motivate with love and kindness it is a catalyst for growth. Another great point he made during his talk was that we should not "take ourselves so darn seriously". I really love this point because often times we can get over stressed with all the little things in this world when we are trying to do too much. When this happens I always try and remember that as a former President and Prophet of the church Gordon B. Hinckley once said "Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured". When we take everything too seriously and allow fear to motivate us we get bogged down, but when we are able to remember to enjoy ourselves and be motivated by Christs love is when we will really start to be happy and remember the big picture. 

Another great week here in the Peru Trujillo North Mission. Until next time.

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