February 3, 2014

Service in Yunguay
On top of the world

The "S" family-


Hey family!
Glad you are all doing well and are safe and sound! Jake, TJ, Mom and Dad, I'm glad you had so much fun in Bend this weekend, it looks like a blast! Haha Momma, just make sure Dad doesn't pick up and move everyone to Bend while I'm gone okay? haha. And Im sure your cake is going to be wicked cool, the envy of all the scouts... you're creative and I think it will be awesome...I mean you could always make a beehive cake and pass it off as a western theme...its outdoorsy! haha. I love you tons and don't worry, the Solis update is coming. Jake, sounds like you had a wicked awesome week. I WILL be gloating about the Seahawks in my district today haha. And dude, way to go with your basketball game! Seriously! Keep it up and win the championship!!! Sorry you couldnt go snowboarding but it sounds like you did a ton of really cool things anyway, and I'm glad you got to eat some Peruvian food and live my life for a meal haha.
This week was a little crazy. We started off Monday with CAMBIOS...transfers. And yep, Hermana Cueva and I are still together and still in beautiful Caraz. We have officially been in the area longer than anybody else in my district. All of the other elders in my district have new companions. Its now Elder Dorado with the new Elder Garner from Arizona, Elder Larsen with new Elder Aldena from Chile, Elder Flores with new Elder Sacul from Guatamala, and Elder Arnett with new elder Ortega from Bolivia. Crazy, we have a totally new district, but I'm excited because the new elders are way cool!
We had a lot of citas fall through this week, so we haven't been able to find a ton of new people to teach which was a bummer. We were able to find one really cool family though that used to be neighbors with the Castillo family. They are awesome. I don't think the mom is married, but she has two sons in their twenties that have really good questions and are sincerely trying to find the truth. They are really good people and are reading the Book of Mormon. They work on Sunday so we are going to teach them about the Sabbath this week and hopefully they will come to church and continue to develop a testimony.
We are continuing to work with the S family. Sheila is getting all of her documents together and prepping for their wedding. She has such a strong testimony and love for us, she keeps me going through the weeks. She is wonderful. We have been reading the scriptures with them and this last lesson she had another blessing of health. It was beautiful. Elder Garner gave it and it was super powerful, and luckily her husband was there. He promised a lot of blessings to Sheila if she joins the church and is faithful, it was really a beautiful spiritual experience and I pray that it touched Juan's heart. We were able to find Jaime this week too and we are teaching their whole family together this weekend. Since our training with P. Archibald I have just been thinking SO much about the importance of temple covenants for these families. I just want the S family to have the blessings of eternity so much.
We have been working a ton with menos activos, and I love seeing those that progress. We have been working with this couple, Josue and Amanda. At first Amanda had the desire to return to church and Josue was kind of wishywashy. Well now Amanda has school and hasn't been coming to church again, but Josue is advancing in the Priesthood and receiving a calling in Young Men's presidency. It is AMAZING to see his transformation and I feel so blessed to have helped them to remember the importance of their covenants. We are still working with Amanda, but I have faith we can help them get to the temple too. There is also a family in Cabina, I want you to pray for the L family. They are great people... but I think the dad has an alcohol problem...okay I know he does. They want to go to the temple, and they were doing so good and all of the sudden this Sunday they didn't come and when we went out to visit them, it was just the Hermana and she was heartbroken. We had a very direct lesson with him about how his actions have consequences and how he is hurting his family. It was really powerful and I think that we are going to be able to help them.
Something that I've been studying is the POWER OF THE SCRIPTURES. Read the talk by President Packer from this conference, and 2 Timothy 3. Its really cool. More than anything I have learned the power and importance of the scriptures. They really are the word of God and how we learn his will for us generally and individually. I know that the scriptures are true. Read them, ponder them, pray for understanding. Every time I read the same passage I pull out a different application and its awesome. The scriptures are a real, powerful, testament that the Lord is our Savior, God is our Father, and this is His Gospel. I love each of you SO MUCH. Brett, I am seriously so stoked for you to turn in your papers. You are all the best, I couldn't ask for better friends and family supporting me along the way. Thank you for everything you do and for your prayers.
Hermana Carr
Carlos and me on the way to his baptism.

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