Happy New Year!!!
Happy Birthday Dad!!
Hope your new year was great. We did not do anything for new years. We slept. I found that I can sleep through pretty much anything. The fireworks here are loud and big. They love setting them off at Christmas and New years. They sound like guns going off. I slept through all of them. My companion was not so lucky. She´s had a hard time sleeping since she got on the mission.
It´s been a battle this week. Carlos was ¨talked to¨ by his church. They pretty much ranted on him and told him that he would be disfellowshipped if he joined ¨¨the mormons¨. That is kind of the point, but it´s hard for him, because they are pretty much all he has had and all he has known for the last 35 years. His daughter also yelled at him for trying to change his religion. He wanted to give us everything back (BofM, Hymnal, folletas, etc) Luckily a member called him and calmed him down. He did not come to church last week, but he is still willing to meet with us; not as often though. He also won´t commit to anything so we no longer have a baptismal date. We are still working hard with Carlos. I really want to help him.
Daniel is progressing amazingly. He asks us every time to mark a chapter for him. This last time he wanted to mark scriptures so he could remember them (without us saying anything) and so I gave him a colored pencil. He asks us such great questions too. Yesterday, we had had him read in 1 Nephi 13 and he asked us what ¨the last shall be first, and the first shall be last¨ meant. He also asked, what was Síon. Not many people notice that, but he did. The other day was hilarious. We had asked him to read 3 Nephi 11. We asked him what he learned and he said that he did not remember which chapter it was, but it talked about baptism and sin and repentance. We had not remembered either so we were a little confused. Normally, we think of 3 Nephi 11 as just about Christ coming, but it also talks about Christ establishing His church. I love talking to Daniel, because we learn so much from him and he is so excited about the church. (he´s about 29) The next question was what made it funny. He asked ¨What are the names of the Three Nephites?¨ That totally took us by surprise. We had said that we would answer his questions and he had faith in that promise. We told him the scripture in 3 Nephi 19 that says all the names of the Nephite apostles, but that we did not know the name of the exact three. I remembered in JSH that he was commanded not to write their names after he met them, so we told Daniel that no one knew the names of the 3 Nephites because its a commandment of God and let´s them work without being hindered. Right after that, we looked up a chapel in Peru that is close to his house since he will be there January 15th for 3 months. He was so excited to find one only 7 blocks away. I´m very excited about Daniel.
Speaking of blocks, yesterday we walked 27-30 blocks to church because the bus wasn´t there, and the blocks are just bigger than the ones in Vegas. That was only for the first part of the day....... I was tired by the end of Sunday. We are acutally going to have a chill p-day today and take naps and write people.
Anyway, we lost about 5 investigators this week. One keeps avoiding us, and another says that she believes the Book of Mormon is true, but doesn´t want to change. Her son is a recent convert, but he says that he doesn´t believe in God or Satan. He does drugs, smokes, and looks at pornography because he likes it. The stories keep going, but I don´t want to get you down. It´s just been a tough battle this week. We are hopeful though. Personally, I am doing a lot better. I´m talking more to people on the streets and taking a bigger part in the lessons. I´m still not completely comfortable with the language yet, but it´s getting better. We had a couple transfers early this last week. We have 30 missionaries coming in this next transfer, so President transferred a couple people around so they could become acquainted with their new areas, before their trainees come in. With so many new missionaries, a lot of companionships would have been white-washed in, so to prevent that, President transferred them two weeks early. I now have a new district because of this.
We really need new investigators and we are trying really hard to contact all we can. We had about 40 references when I first got here, and now we have 19. This week, we contacted 16. Of course we had more references come in during the last four weeks, so we probably had about 60 references in all. Sadly, a lot of them were wrong addresses, so we don´t have many new investigators. We are working hard though. We are also focusing on our 5,5,5. They are the people and families who are part member families or Menos Activos who we have prayed about and asked to see if we could practice our teaching with them. This does several things. It gets them more involved and active; they learn about the missionary work; it gives us practice; and they will be the ones to know best about references (who we can teach). Well, all in all, it´s been interesting. Next time you hear from me, it will be a new transfer. We shall see what happens.
Well, it´s been fun. Thank you so much Mom for wanting to sign me up for Women´s Conference next year. I hope you have fun this year. Tell me how it goes. Please don´t forget to invite Breeanna. Please send me pictures of the new things to the house. I would like to see. Please send me pictures of anything. I would love to see all of you. I love you all sooooooo much. Stay safe.
Hermana Jessica Alvey