Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 25: The Kids Scream out Gringos!

Things have been good here in the Reforma and we are seeing an increase in interest for our message. Elder T and I started tracting the higher parts of the Frogua mid-week and asked a bunch of the kids playing out and about to help us find their parents so we could talk with them. Those boys and girls ran back to their homes to see if their family was there and then come running back with a report. We actually we able to talk to a few good families this way, and now every time we walk up towards that little part of the neighborhood the kids scream out "Gringos!" and then tells us if their parents are home yet. ("Gringos" term used to refer to US citizens) Boy how I wish everyone had the energy these little guys have, including me. My companion and I sure are grateful for the new families’ interest in us and we are eager to see their progress.

Elder T and I have really started to become creative chefs and it seems as if our daily noodles or beans always have a different flavor, but in a good way. As I have said before cooking and sharing things has really strengthened our companionship, there is no worry about who has to pay for what nor who has to clean what. We both pitch in when need and keep things neat and clean.

Elder Perez

Happy Fourth of July!
I wore a conservative yet patriotic American flag tie
and so I had to take a pic

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 24: It Was a Treat to Bear My Testimony In English This Week

In my area we have had a lot of cool experiences tracting, including two times where some men came up to me speaking English. It has been cool talking with them in my native language and bearing testimony in English. It is a treat I don’t always get to enjoy. 

I am finding out how hard being a ward/(congregation) pianist can be. We arrive at church right at 9 am, I have maybe 2 minutes to look over the hymns they pick and then I try my best at playing. So far no one has complained to me, so that’s a good sign.

My health is okay, people are saying I am looking a little pale, and every mother we talk to gives me health and safe eating advice. Our Refrigerator broke down two days after I painstakingly cleaned it all out, so maybe that has something to do with it. I am still cooking my own food, but we are limited to noodles and beans for now. Someone is coming to fix the fridge soon. I am hungry and thirsty for eggs and cold water!

My companion is great but quiet. He and I always joke around, but other than jokes we really don’t talk much, mostly because I am still bad at small talk or anything that doesn’t have to do with the gospel when speaking Spanish

I really hope you have the happiest of birthdays tomorrow mom! I will send you a birthday video here soon!! Sorry, I didn’t get to write much, I have a sugar headache from eating candy for breakfast today, bad idea and it makes it hard to type to you all. I will write more next week!!

Much love and kisses!
Your son,
Elder Perez

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 23: We Spoke to A Bus Driver and His Family about the Restoration

We have really seen a lot of rain here in La Reforma these past few days. Despite some small flooding in La Frogua it is a nice surprise to see rain again. Although when it rains back home it is usually cold, as for here it somehow remains hot even with the rain.

My companion and I have really been cleaning house as of late from top to bottom as well as working hard out in the field. We had had some difficulties with contacting the desired 10 people a day in past weeks, but we have really made an effort to meet this goal. Still not quite there yet, but I have seen the blessing of speaking more with others I would normally not talk to.We contacted a bus driver and his family on the way home and we even were able to teach a little bit about the Restoration. He seemed happy to have the conversation after a long day of driving and said he would be glad to see us again another time. Since he dropped off his family before us we will be able to visit them soon next week seeing as they all live in our area. 

Dad, I am so sorry to hear you had to go through all that pain with pneumonia! I am glad the doctors are getting you back up in health. I will keep the family in my prayers, and thank you for yours!

Send mom my love; tell her I will respond to her email next week. Time seems to fly when you’re writing emails. Never enough time.

Love you a ton!
Elder Perez
(Internet picture)
Elder Perez says that he and his companion have had to hold onto the outside of the bus like these young men. That looks dangerous!
Elder Perez found a wasp's nest. He used his mad bee keeping skills to remove the nest.
Mmm wasps nest, must be a Guatemalan delicacy
Abandoned Old House
Abandoned old house with Elder Perez in it.
Wow, beautiful skies and so green.
Gorgeous and green like Oregon.
Guatemalan roaches are HUGE!! 
Look at those spikes on his lower abdomen. Yikes!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 22: I Appreciate Everyone's Emails and Letters

I have had more success with waking up early this week. My companion and I have begun working out each day which requires us to wake up an extra hour earlier to finish preparing before personal study at 8am. As hard as this is, I find exercise really helps me focus on my morning studies and gives me something to look forward to each morning. This week I began listening to older General Conference addresses to the Priesthood and the very first one I listened to was a 1994 talk on obedience by Elder Joseph B Wirthlin. Just another testimony of what I have learned to be true. 

I really appreciate everyone's emails and letters. They are a huge strength to me, you don’t even know. I don’t always have the time to read everyone's emails to me, so I have started taking pictures of them on my camera then during the week I zoom in and read the emails I have missed in weeks past. I try to reply to everyone.

Till next time,
Elder Perez

Working out early in the morning on top of our little hill.
75, 76, 77......
"Did you think I was really doing pull ups?
I was just jumping in the air pretending to work out for the camera. Those little sticks definitely couldn't hold my weight."

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 21: The Plan of Salvation can be Compared to a Soccer Match

I have been working hard on teaching with the spirit as well as keeping our study environment and house clean. It is a little overwhelming at times but I receive strength every time I read the scriptures.

As for our progress here in La Reforma, we have been hard at work. The days are hot, but the lessons are spiritual. We have several investigators of other denominations and I have been able to bear testimony to them of the joy this gospel brings as well as how it can strengthen our faith in Christ. Most receive this news very well and agree to investigate more. 

My Spanish is still basic at best and I struggle with explanations in greater detail. But I have found that if I give examples fit to the person I can explain in simple words deeper doctrine. One lesson just this past Sunday with a less active family gave me such confidence in my Spanish. We were reviewing the plan of salvation and had gone through all the points of the lesson. Ending with the degrees of glory my companion turned to me. I thought for a second and realized that we had been talking for several minutes and I could tell we sounded like a broken record to them. Here they were members who knew all of this, but had just gotten a little lost along the way. They needed more, but how could I express myself properly to them? I asked their 22 year old son what his favorite sport was, he replied foot of course! I began to then give them an example of how the plan of salvation could be compared to soccer match with another team. How would you and your friends feel if one day a professional team came and challenged you to a match, unprepared right? But if that same team told you that in a year or two they would come to challenge you then your friends would have an opportunity to practice and prepare for that day. The plan of salvation is just such a challenge and when we understand and put it into practice we can live life knowing we will be ready for our end goal.

You are all in my prayers,
Elder Perez