Tuesday, May 24, 2011

24 May 2011: Snail mail letter posted around 3/21/11 and received on 5/20/11

Dear family,

Well, I figured I really, really need to write another letter.  It's hard to find time and I suspect this one will take two p-days, but it's o.k., since I've bought all the things I'll need for the month (soap, shampoo etc.).  Well, this is my first letter from Tacna and I guess it would be great to describe how it is in my second area.  Excellent.  There seems to be a lot more people being prepared here.  After a few weeks, I kind of stopped noticing how poor many of the people are, but it's amazing.

In some of my photos sent by email, ya'll will notice that much of my area here is similar to the part of Augusto Freyre that was called, La Mansion.  The walls are often made of a material of woven reed like plants.  Others of an adobe type brick.  Not sure if it is a composite, but at least [they] are formed of mud.  The nicer structures that aren't in Leguia strictly, are of cinderblocks.  Roofs normally are the wavy sheets of metal or plaster.  In Leguia, the cinderblocks are often below a layer of cement, which is smoothed and sometimes painted.

We were eating breakfast with a member (a well-off member) and he asked us more or less how much do homes cost in the states.  I didn't know what to say exactly, since so much depends on where, but we said $400,000.  He told us thats more than the average Peruvian family makes in 3-4 generations.  That shocked me quite a bit.  I asked how much houses cost here and he said a Michael Jackson mansion would be about $100,000.

Our area, I think y'all know is the last area in Peru.  It goes to Chile and the ocean.  From the south end, we can actually see the ocean!  A bunch of busses go down through our area to the beach and to Chile.

Elder Mateus is a good elder.  He likes to laugh and smile.  He wants to go to Argentina after his mission to meet up with his "future wife" who is writing him [from] there. I don't know why, maybe the fact that we learn to always be with someone, or maybe because we have completely bumped up the law of chastity requirements, to exclude talking flirtatiously, or maybe I'm just dissolusioned since one young lady asked me to take her back to Virginia.  But, where was I?  Oh well.

I think I've commented on the studying I'm doing of Jesus the Christ.  In my last interview with the mission president, be brought up a good point, to be like Him, I have to study how He was.  In His divine and perfect role, He went through many, many trials.  His life was very, very, very difficult, but He found strength, constantly learned in His youth, and learned to teach at a young age.  He learned to value the spiritual things above the physical things, and searched after those things.  Diligently seeking and finding He increased in faith and knowledge.  Late in life, when times were hard, he could rely on what He had learned and the faith he had gained from before.  All that searching resulted in a relationship with the Holy Ghost and with God that allowed him to be  able to know how to deal with the world threats and assaults and teaching situations and everything later.  Through that and his general understanding, He was able to personalize every moment at teaching.  Interestingly, a part of His teachings were to people who rejected the teaching or principle.  I was thinking about that, not sure if I should teach in the same way.  The mission president indicated that I should. I guess it's all about faith whether or not I really believe that as a representative of Christ.  The problem is that we could spend all our time visiting all the people we know, trying to convince people who don't want to progress or we could spend that time looking for people who've been prepared.  The only thing that makes that hard is knowing who to visit.  Really, it's the hardest thing right now.  That and knowing who of the contacts we should get an appointments with.  I'm probably having this trouble because I don't know by the spirit like Christ [did], immediately what each person will do.   Writing this is helping me a lot analyze the way I'm working. . . I'm planning to be fasting and praying a ton this week to be able to grow in my understanding of these principles.  Also, now that I'm a district leader, I can do companion exchanges with the zone leaders regularly.  All the zone leaders are great and I'll be able to learn a ton from them in this [next] six weeks.  I just want to see lots of people in our area follow the example of Jesus Christ and strive to give up sins and be great children of God!

One big problem we face is the constant abuse the people receive from the Jehovah's Witnesses.  O.k.  I shouldn't really say abuse, but if there were no JW's, the people would be a lot more receptive.  Many ask us, or think we are, of that religion.  Plus, they are extremely unreceptive talking to the Witnesses.  It seems almost that they are kind of like Jesus.  From what I've gathered, they don't believe in jesus Christ, or rather in terms on earth but only on His name from before, which they don't know is the same person. 

The family we live with (the Gamboas) are pretty great.  Their daughter in law and son also live here and she runs a pastry supply chain between the cities of IL TACNA and MOCEGUA.  This is wonderful because they are always generous and there also happens to be some that is about to expire regularly.  Since they can't sell it, we get to eat it!  Right now there's a fruit cake sitting on my desk.  Also for special occasions they pull out some treats.  The company's aptly Peruvian exclusive name is Bimbo.  I'm not sure what it's called in the States.  Axel, the 17 year old son, who just walked in for a second is the bomb.  His church calling is seminary teacher [for those of you who don't know, this is a four year course of study of the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and Church History for high school students.  It is usually held daily before school in most areas of the world].

The ward here is interesting.  I guess I never got to analyze anything to do with the activity of the leaders of Arlington ward. . . I just knew that we got home taught and (sometimes) I home taught too.  Now that I'm kind of a part of that [leadership], it feels like no one does their home teaching!  I think few people visit some, and most, none.  I don't really know what's up with that but as someone trying to help people join the ward I count it to be ideal, and to know the new people will be visited diligently.  We need as a ward more time spent on callings, less at the work place ahh.

Well.  Family thank you so much for writing me so much and sorry I don't get to write too much.  But I love you all and by the rate time is going, I'll be back in a jiffy.  Paul, study hard at BYU.


Elder Johnson

No comments:

Post a Comment