Week 98 In It For the Ups and Downs

Well this week we said goodbye to one of our very best friends here. His name is Ivan. He has had a really hard life and was taken to live with his grandparents in Iquitos! We have been in constant contact with him! We even made contact with the mission president there and he said he would have two of their missionaries there, but when Ivan arrived they weren’t there! This kid has had all the lessons and even had the paper signed to get baptized! The President wanted to wait for him to get there to see if he really wants to get baptized. It was hard letting one of my best friends leave to go to some random place without anything, but such is life! You’re in it for the ups and the downs!

Adios Ivan!

Adios Ivan!

One week full of conferences! Literally we have had no time to do anything! We visited families on literally like a 30 minute schedule! It’s nuts, but the work is progressing!

Ohh, and yes Lulu, you do stink again!

Ohh, and yes Lulu, you do stink again!

I really don’t eat a whole lot anymore! I eat very sporadically. Very scarcely do I eat full-blown meals here, and I have no idea why!

We had some weird type of fish but regardless of its figure, it was fantastic. 

We had some weird type of fish but regardless of its figure, it was fantastic.

Here as well we have been focusing on teaching the Gospel in different ways! Part of the way that I found that works is through Dinosaurs. Yes, the 80’s TV series. Here they call it Familia Sinclair! It’s fantastic! The fun way they describe principles is awesome! We relate it to the Gospel and the people really enjoy it! We invited the other elders over to watch what we do differently. (They are both greenies-new missionaries) they caught on and loved it!

Familia Sinclair!

Familia Sinclair!

Make life fun, and it will be worth it!

Short letter but great week!

Elder McPherson

 

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Week 97 Life Ain’t Always Sunshine and Butterflies

Birthday week in the mission, what a joy…

I've joined a band?

I’ve joined a band?

It was freaking awesome! This week I got a new companion and his name is Elder Garcia. He is from Honduras, and speaks ingles pretty well! He can understand me even with the Cali twang. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing! But it definitely helps in our lessons!

Me and Elder Garcia.

Me and Elder Garcia.

Ohh, and the kid who got baptized last week just got confirmed this week! He’s now an official member!

I’m learning here now how to enjoy everything that happens, even with the problems! I’m learning to be more of a problem solver, than a problem pointer! I encourage everyone to try it today. Solve the problem.

I had a great birthday and got bathed in huevo, flour, and water! 

I had a great birthday and got bathed in huevo, flour, and water!

Happy 21 to me, and all my friends as well!

We had a lot of working with drama this week in the work. Kids not wanting to get baptized, people falling through on appointments… but life ain’t always sunshine and butterflies.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!

Elder McPherson

Week 96 Nothing Short of a Milagro

This week we saw the results of our hard work! My companion, Elder Flickinger, and I have been working really hard these last 6 weeks to get out earlier, and be found teaching ‘till late! And for that, we have been rewarded!

My companion, in his first 6 months in the mission still hadn’t had his first baptism. He was always a little bummed when people brought up the subject because another missionary in the same zone, was from his same group, and he has had 9 baptisms already. So after working our butts off, God gave us a miracle. We found a kid who has been coming to all the activities, and his name is Ivan. He is a shy kid, and he wanted nothing to do with us ‘till we finally got to the point of showing him we are normal people, by participating in the activities like soccer and running our noche misionales. He listened and wasn’t very interested, so we tried to get to know who he was first! This was on Wednesday mind you. And so on Thursday, we decided let’s challenge him for a baptismal date. So I threw out the option of baptism on the 31st, and he didn’t want to. There was some quietness and then he said because his mom wasn’t going to be there. So I jokingly said, “Ok, how about this Saturday?”….and he accepted! He supposedly didn’t have enough attendance at church to baptize him, but then he proceeded to tell us that he has attended in other places for over a total of 6 weeks. We literally taught him all of the lessons super fast, and then had his interview set up!

He came over later in the night with his friend who is a member. They came and knocked on our door at 10:30 saying that he wanted to talk! So we did the quickest clean up that you have ever seen, and then invited him in! We were all bummed knowing that he probably didn’t want to get baptized after thinking about it twice, but that wasn’t the case at all!  He actually wanted to know if his 12 year old brother could get baptized as well! What the? Seriously! A 16 year old boy who cares so much about his 12 year old bro? That’s rare! We gladly said yes, and their mom signed their permission for baptism slips! Unfortunately, due to a few setbacks, he will now be baptized in a few weeks. We for sure thought that we were going to get my companion his first baptism, but that’s sometimes how life goes….

Now, this was Saturday night when we went to a family who the other missionaries have been teaching for a year and a half. As soon as I came in, we made a great connection with the kids! My companion and I really hit it off with them! And so as we told them the news that we thought my companion had a change (transfer) and they said that they wanted their kid to get baptized! They didn’t want to lose the opportunity to have two of the best missionaries they have ever known baptize their kid! Needless to say Satan interfered, but all was ready to go! Everything worked out, and we baptized him last night at 7. His name is Joseph and he is 9 years old!

The confidence you can receive from a family really depends a lot on the relationship you have with their kids! It’s a game changer for sure! So in the end, my companion got his first baptism, and we received nothing short of a milagro.

And yes, the llama is fine. Ohh, and our relationship has gotten much better as she has gotten nicer, at least after I reward her with carrots!

Sunset in Tacna.

Sunset in Tacna.

All is well! Take care!

Ohh, and I have a new companion, and his name is Elder Garcia from Honduras. That’s all that I know about him! More about it next week!

Chau!

Elder McPherson

Week 95 Roasted Pink

Last week on P-day we went to the beach! Boca del Rio in Tacna! That was a ton of fun! We took a bus and we got there at like 1, so we had a bunch of time until we had to leave! There were some bodyboarders on the inside when we got there. They really made me think back on the memories of bodyboarding back at Salt Creek! It was like a mix of Gravels and Point put together. We also played volleyball, soccer and even a little football! Overall I got roasted pink, but one of my favorite P-days by far!

This week we have done some exploring in our area! My companion and I went to this place called Baños Calientes and to a near by bridge. The bridge was probably the sketchiest thing that I have ever been on! We could literally swing it back and forth! We could walk on it and the wood would flex under our feet!

Sketchy bridge!

Sketchy bridge!

This week we had our second noche misional, and we had a decent turn out of a ‘lil over 35. We played Minute to Win It! And it was fantastic! From that night, we got a new investigator to come to church!

It doesn’t count for us as missionaries, but it counts as for the ward because it’s not in our area! Us as missionaries are now working all over the ward area not just in our 1/3 of the ward! For me, noche misionales have really been such a huge success…

This week Elder Heaps and I got jackets made with the best flag in the world sewn on the inside! They came out great! Not too flashy but just enough to get the point across!

Nice new suits!

Nice new suits!

This week we went metal detecting with Jesus and we found some pretty cool things! A skull even! Along with balas from a musket from one of the old wars! The sun really was on fire that day, so we only went searching for about 2 hours!

Elder Indiana Jones?

Elder Indiana Jones?

This guy took us to the outskirts of our area in his classic truck! It’s so cool to see America even in Peru. It sounded like crap, but it’s the point that matters!

Good Ole American Truck!

Good Ole American Truck!

Hope all this week was as fun for you guys as it was for me!

Elder McPherson

Week 94 Singing Country Songs

Only bullet points today, not much time! We woke up at 4am this morning to do some service. We hucked some corn stalks! I’ve been singing country songs ever since!

Cutting corn.

Cutting corn.

I had my companion cut my hair, because why not? He’s never cut hair before.

Haircut time!?

Haircut time!?

I found my second Bronco here! It reminds me of home!

Bronco Power!

Bronco Power!

The family I’m living with took us to this place called Uros! where they serve you llama, ostrich, and beef. All on a super hot rock. The food was absolutely amazing!

Yumm!

Yumm!

Blessings of being in the mission!

Good week and we did a noche misional. We got about 28 people there for a first turn out, so we look to be off to a good start!

Move quickly so temptation can’t get you!

Elder McPherson

Sorry so short, love you all!

Week 93 Peruvians…

This is the year that I come home! To get to this point, has been such a stretch. The last ‘lil bit is ahead, and I can see it! New Years Eve was pretty crazy this year! The illegal fireworks were off the hook! Everybody had them, and you couldn’t sleep through it even if you tried! I got up to watch it and then when it was all over, went back to bed… not too eventful, but overall a great night!

Our family who we live with returned finally from a very long trip! About 2 weeks… It’s good to have them back, and someone else besides just other elders to talk to!

I happened to buy a camel back pouch that I threw in my back pack! So now I don’t have to carry a water bottle everywhere. It’s so nice to have.

We met this kid named Jesus who is a 14 year old stuck up ‘lil kid who has money. He lives in one of the best furnished houses that I’ve seen here. With that said, he has a metal detector and loves talking about what he has found. So I took an interest… just like the elder at home right before I left on the mission did. He took an interest in my truck and it made me realize that he was real. And it made me want to be like him. We set up a day to come back and go looking for metals. We found some cool bullet cases from a while back, but not much more! I think the time alone with him was worth the 3 hours of walking through the hills that we did! He didn’t make it to church this week but he will, I just know it. Ohh, and his excuse for not going is because he doesn’t want to… That will change.

Looking for treasure and drinking from my new camel back.

Looking for treasure and drinking from my new camel back.

I made a letter and gave it to our family that lets us stay where we do! It has a bunch of candies and an old story of how they met! I think it came out quite cool!

Candy sign!

Candy sign!

I took a picture of basically where we work, and where we are like 3 hours out of everyday! It’s called Los Colinas, and it’s where we have the most success. The part that sucks is that there is no bus or convi to get us there, so it’s all by foot! In 90 degree weather with no cloud coverage!

Los Colinas.

Los Colinas.

Our zone leaders took us out to a place to eat called Limoneros and it was the best chicken that I have ever eaten! Chicken wings with this perfect spicy aji sauce! I fell in love!

Chicken Wings!

Chicken Wings!

Yesterday, I saw this super pre-runnered truck coming up the street, so I yanked out my camera! Only to find out it was due to the two full grown cows in the back…

DSCN5539

Peruvians…….

Elder McPherson

 

Week 92 Tengan Una Buena Semana!

This whole entire week was full of Navidad. From little kids running, to singing in an arch way, to street trucks with Santas, fake snow,  and a bunch of gifts!

Where we live is the new section of Tacna! People are just starting to populate it, so all the money the parents have is going to constructing a home or putting their kids in school! My area isn’t full of very rich people, but rather rich hearted people. We got to give out gifts to kids who were in need! It feels so good to give to those who are desperately in need!

It seems like the whole community comes running to the gifts as the truck with Navidad music rolls by! We were on our third night with the truck near us and decided lets go for a 20 minute walk down to the other town to contact because we knew all the families would be busy here! Right after we knocked on the first door after making the walk, we heard the truck…. the people literally run out of their doors to receive the gifts! Now just if the people learned that we give gifts of eternal joy, then they would really get excited!

Celebrating Navidad!

Celebrating Navidad!

We taught with a different style this week to see if it would change our numbers, and it did! We learned that it’s simple short lessons with games that work the best here as well! If not a game, than an interactive lesson! The more they participate, the better the retention they have.

This week I talked and taught about the 10 commandments! The way that my Mom taught me makes me remember them in an instant so that is one of the ways that I have taught some of the families down here!

We got to see a baptism here in our ward building and I was shocked… the water was this ugly green color and the heater isn’t working…  so weird! But either way the man they baptized received a cleansing of his sins.

Green water can still cleanse sins!

Green water can still cleanse sins!

It was a big week with even bigger egos! I’ve realized humility for me is such a hard concept but I need to learn it now so that I don’t get taught even a harder lesson in life later on…

Hope all is well and New Years/Navidad was/will be great!

A great 2014! Tengan una buena semana!

Elder McPherson

Week 91 Lulu the Llama

Hey y’all

This week was my first week in my new area! My area is called Pocollay 2 en Tacna. This is the area with the biggest reputation in the whole mission as being the best! We have 3 rooms, 2 full bathrooms and a wash room. Not to mention our own real gym, our kitchen and shade structure, along with our own volleyball, basketball, soccer court, and a big ping pong table. Oh, and we have a pet llama named Lulu, who we cleaned this week due to how bad she looked and smelled!

My new room.

My new room.

If you had ever tried to bathe a llama, you would know the torture we had to go through! I held on with the John Cena lock as my other companions started cleaning me more than the dirty animal.

Lulu gets a bath along with Parker!

Lulu gets a bath along with Parker!

I have got to get to know some of the members here, and they are great! The area is so dusty, but where we live is so great! Our penchion literally cooks whatever we want regardless of price! We got 3 full pizzas last night!

We have been walking everywhere! It reminds me of when I started the mission! Walking for 6 hours a day! Ohh, and I have been working out every day for an hour just to get that mission body gone! Every day this week I woke up, I worked out, that’s a good record.

As we were changing this morning, lulu came in to greet us and say hello! We were really tired after a long night of singing under the famous Arca of Tacna! All the missionaries in the southern half of the mission were there too! I’m getting so old that I barley know anyone left in the mission!

 

Our Grinch play!

Our Grinch play!

We did a skit for an activity about Christmas, so we choose the Grinch… and my role was to be a drunk… Everyone said I nailed it perfectly! Especially after I let out a fantastic burp… amigo.. pasa la copa::::haha!

 

Hope all is well at home!

Elder McPherson

 

Week 90 Adios to Ilo on to Tacna

This week was my last week in Ilo Peru! It made for a great week with sad, but exciting thoughts! Leaving family and friendships is always difficult, but at the same time you can become someone completely different in your new area! I think that’s what a lot of people search after: a fresh start! To be someone new and don’t be the one that falls into their old habits.

The mission helps you find out who you are without a ton of the consequences of home, like being judged by your peers. Not a soul here knows your background so you can be who you want to be. Try something new! Training a new missionary was definitely a great opportunity I will never forget as I leave paths with Elder Layton.

Adios Elder Layton!

Adios Elder Layton!

I’m now here in Tacna, Peru with my new companion Elder Flickinger! He is from Utah, 18 years old, and he reminds me of my cousin, Austin DeSoto: smart, tall and lanky!

Last night I got a pizza from my pension, but not your ordinary pizza. This was a fruit pizza. Strawberry, peach, banana, and a ‘lil milky cheese! So great!

Fruit pizza!

Fruit pizza!

Realizing how many people have become like my family here in the last six months was fantastic! I got so many gifts, it was basically an early Christmas. From ties to monederos. I know that I was loved there!

This week, I jumped over a trashcan, and ripped my pants in mid-air! I walked home with bit of a red face, and my backpack hanging low!

Hope all is well at home!!!!

Elder McPherson

Week 89 Little Things Can Have a Big Impact on Others

This past Noche Misional we played a Marco Polo game. I let others lead it, just so they could get the experience before I leave. We related it by saying that the correct church needs to be looked for. How we need to ask, and ask, and ask over and over and over again to make sure that we are on the right path!  I stayed in the hallway talking to Judith, who if you remember, got baptized just a ‘lil while ago. It was the first real talk we have had in a while that didn’t really involve scriptures. I got to know her a lot better, and really what she wants to accomplish in this world! It was pretty cool to hear that she wants to go on a mission someday as well. To think of the little things we do can have such a big impact on others is crazy!

French toast with fat sauce!

French toast with fat sauce!

We made French toast last P-day as we got together with other elders and I made the fat sauce recipe that I learned from the Mission President! It turned out great! I ate like 8 slices!

As I said last week, we made boo catchers with a family who loved them! In the picture is Cecilia y Jacob.

As I said last week, we made boo catchers with a family who loved them! In the picture is Cecilia y Jacob.

We’ve been going to this burger place recently, and it’s so good! I could eat it day after day! It’s like a Subway for burgers, but even better than 5 Guys! I’ve gotten double bacon and double cheese every time.

This week I got all the packages that have been on hold! So thank you mom and Gma! I got full goodies for the next couple days!

This week I got all the packages that have been on hold! So thank you mom and Gma! I got full goodies for the next couple days!

This week was a B-day party for a Colombian in our zone. His name is Elder Quinga, and we got him good with the cake this time! 

This week was a B-day party for a Colombian in our zone. His name is Elder Quinga, and we got him good with the cake this time!

We went over to the hermana who washes our clothes, and she gave us some of the most sour apples that I have ever eaten! You know when your cheeks hurt after smiling forever? Well that’s what it tastes like the whole time. Your face turns into that of a chipmunk! But man are they addictive!

Sour apples!

Sour apples!

This week marks the 3 month left mark, if I’m headed home in March! Take care everyone!

Elder McPherson