thats Quechua for how are you? i think. i dont know that language is nuts. people only teach me basic phrases and insults. quality.
so last week on monday, as i mentioned, we kicked it in caral. solid day with the zone.
oh. before i forget. elder paredes is done this week and will be back in the 480 on wednesday. i gave him your number mom so you could meet up, go to lunch, swap stories, take selfies, all that. i mean only if you want to talk to someone who knows the real live elder brown.
on tuesday we went with some elder from the zone to do a service for the tenorio family. their roof was falling in so the branch got together and took it out and set up a new one and we went to help. if you have a real nice house, you have a concrete roof. dont worry mom, my room has a concrete roof. and if its not that, they lay giant bamboo poles for support beams. then on top of that they lay down flattened out bamboo, then a giant plastic tarp, then a thick layer of mud. so we got shovels, buckets, and a ladder and made a roof!
all week the branch had activities in the chapel. most nights we ended up there at night. one night there was a food festival. they had a little bit of everything peru has to offer. they told us to go first. and, so as to not offend anyone and overload myself with a combination that would end badly, i snuck in straight to the cake, snagged some causa, and bailed. the sisters walked over to us after with each carrying two full plated of food they had to shovel down. while we were sitting down, a kid walks over holding a cat. i told him to give the cat to hna leya because she hates animals. the kid looked at her. looked at me, wound up and threw a dang cat at me. haha theres a first for everything. luckily i dodged it and it hit my chair. later that night they had a pet runway. the majority had little lap dogs. the kid who threw the cat had his pet sheep. and a little girl had the stray cat, which she basically dragged on the leash haha.
then on friday they had a talent show. i played the guitar and elder castillo and i sang "en marcha estoy" from the spanish soundtrack from Brother Bear. i cant believe ive never even seen that movie. but it turned out nice. kinda. i had one week to learn the song and my finger tips were raw from playing so much. i made a make shift capo to make the guitar into a ukulele and i had a little personal jam sesh. gotta hold off for a few more months, i can make it.
the night before we had taught amalia and katia in the chapel (john decided to go out of town the week of his baptism). we had an awesome lesson which ended with a prayer in the sacrament room which brought a strong answer. but, fear of baptism got to them and they both decided they werent ready. so the next night we had them come for their interviews so an authorized person could tell them if they were ready or not. BOOM. amalia and katia both walked in doubting and came out ready to be baptized. john made it on friday to be interviewed but on saturday he bailed to work so he didnt get baptized. we´ll get him in the water this week.
last night we had a lesson with the other family thats getting baptized at the end of the month. it was a solid lesson. we taught the plan of salvation. Carmen and her two daughters amabilia and maira. they´re the ones we had the huge experience with in the chapel the other week. at the end of the lesson we asked if they were willing to keep putting in their effort to get ready for the 30th. carmen and maira answered yes. amabilia, who didnt sound too sure the week before, responded. she told us how shes been praying alot to know whats the right path to follow. she then said how she has had dreams where she has been standing there feeling alone and then saw a light guiding her. she said how she sees us sometimes in those dreams also, as if we were guiding her to that path. ive heard of alottttttttttttt of dreams since ive been in peru. and for me, the grand majority are kind of bogus. but when we heard that we knew god is responding to her in a manner that she can understand what she needs to do. god hears prayers. he answers.
something cool i learned yesterday. so we know how the prophets were well educated and well instructed in their languages to be able to write and preach. but what i didnt know is how in depth. go take a look at Alma 36. there are 30 verses. compare verse 1 and 30, 2 and 29, ad so forth till you get to 15 and 16. apparently alma was a mad poet. the verses correspond like a ladder. works its way up, then back down in the same pattern.
so mom to answer your questions, right now im studying what i always study. preach my gospel. last week i tried to break away and set a goal to finish the book of mormon before the end of the week. but after two days of just reading, i realized how little i was getting out of it. i would finish to say i read it once again and other than that, nothing. when i study pmg, i am studying the other scriptures with it and its in a way i can apply to teaching. that hour goes by wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy to fast, i want more haha.
the best thing IS the hardest thing. every week god throws little curve balls at me that i need to learn to overcome.sometimes they bring me down to my knees, other times i brush it off and keep going. but when i get comfortable or things arent hard, im not happy, because i know im not learning or growing. kinda weird but ive learned to enjoy trials. i think paul mentions something like that in the new testament, how he rejoices in tribulations. ive faced just about every pain and sickness out here but right now, and all throughout my mission, my biggest trial is within my mind. satan cant read our thoughts, but he can sure as heck throw whatever he wants in there. whether its feelings of inadequacy or doubt or fear or anything else that shouldnt be there. elder packer said thats the greatest challenge we will ever face in this life is controlling our thoughts. but when accomplish that, we have conquered ourselves. cool stuff.
and yes, im keeping warm.
i love you all, thanks for the prayers and support. elder beckstead, a kid from my seminary class senior year, is coming to my mission in two weeks. PRAY THAT I CAN TRAIN HIM. that is all,.