April has been yet another busy month. It started off by sending off another
missionary from Nauta. Hermana Aspago will be serving in Chile.
Then the president was on the road to District Moyobamba.
On the road between Moyobamba and Soritor
was a man off to work in his chacra (small farm).
The saddles they use are made of wood. It might be
a bit challenging to ride on one of those all day.
Roads of Soritor where a new branch was just created.
The Branch president in Soritor with his two children.
Elder Reina and Elder Valencia are serving in this new branch.
A priesthood meeting in Moyobamba. On the left of the president are the
future missionaires for this district and on the right are the returned missionaries. The point, our youth programs help prepare the future leadership of our church and our communities in which we live.
Pictured here are present missionaries (Elder Thompson and Elder Maldonaldo), future missionaries and a
returned missionary. Missionary service prepares young men and woman for life. They learn devotion and love of God, His plan for them, their purpose here and His great love for all mankind.
April has been the month for interviews with all 200 plus missionaries and apartment checks. President interviews all the missionaries and I visit all their apartments. He usually interviews in a local church building and I travel by car or moto taxi to their apartments. During interview months I am in and out of over 100 apartments and I can't tell you how many flights of stairs I climb. During this time I also talk to the Latinos about their English study progress. They get so nervous but I love the opporutnity to hear them talk in English and it also helps me learn Spanish too. Of course we celebrate birthdays all along the way. Here we celebrate with Elder Truman in Pucallpa.
While we were out interviewing missionaries, our office elders were preparing for another massivo matrimonial (massive wedding). Getting married here is very expensive so many will get married as a group to save on the expense. One of God's commandments is that a man and women should be married. This becomes a road block to baptism if a couple is not married and they want to join our church. The doors of heaven have been opened for us here and we have figured out the process and worked with many local government agenices that are able to help us get people married. They are realizing how important the family unit is to a more stable community.
So while we are out taking care of the needs of the mission the office elders are decorating and taking care of every detail for this wedding that is held in our church building. Every detail is attended to, it is absolutely amazing what 19-21 year old elders can do.
Balloon decorating at it's finest.
We have both young couples and older couples that want to be married.
My heart is touched when I see these older couples who have children and sometimes grandchildren coming to finally get married.
A community official presides and administers their vows
in a short ceremony.
Here are a few sweet pictures of the couples and their families .
Our elders have been helping these couples get all their paper work in order so these couples can be married then baptized.
Thanks Elder Torres y Elder Chavez
For me this was one of the sweetest photos to see these two little boys so happy that their mom and dad were getting married.
After the wedding ceremony. Thank for your helping teach this
family the importance of marrige Elder Belnap and Elder Floian.
A son holding the ring box while dad says his vows to his new wife and present her with a ring.
When we tell our missionaries we have been married 34 years
most of them can't believe it. That is a long time!!!
Sister Zagal and Sister Choque have worked with this young couple to get them married. They have a sweet daughter and another child on the way. Every child needs a mother and father and a stable home.
Thank you sisters.
Here is the crew of office elders that pull off this huge event.
They are fabulous and we love them.
The call themselves the coordinators. Little did they know when they entered the mission that they would be coordinating weddings.
Some streets of Lima were our missionaries work.
A few of our friends and family members still wonder why we would give up our lives to come here to Peru . The answer is really simple. We have been asked by a prophet of God to come to Peru to invite His children that live here to come unto Christ. It is only when we lose ourselves in the service of other people that we truly find ourselves. We supervise 200 plus young men and women whose sole purpose for 18 months to 24 months is to invite others to come unto Christ . We teach that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in these latter days. Because of that restoration we have the Book of Mormon, which is a record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. Along with the Bible which we believe in they both testify of Christ. We invite all to read this book and ask God for themselves if this book is true or not. They can know for themselves. If they believe these things to be true we ask them to be baptized into our church.
This picture is a welcome posted outside the chapel for all guests who had been invited to the Diaz Baptism. Elder Uribe y Elder Ortega had
taught this couple. They had received a reference to teach this couple from their son who had been baptized a year earlier. He had been taught
by Elder Divis.
The son stands with his mother and father. He was able to
baptize them both.
Grandpa and Grandma Diaz pictured with some of their grandchildren that
attended their baptism. God's plan is for all of us to have eternal families.
After the massive marriage and the baptism we headed to Iquitos for interviews, apartment checks and a stake conference. Here is Elder Yano and Elder Meren coming in for their interviews.
Our month has ended with a visit from Elder Christensen (one of the presidents of the Seventy) and his wife along with Elder Uceda and his wife. They visited our mission on Tuesday April 23, 2012. Elder Christensen spent 3 hours teaching and training our missionaries. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. He talked about the atonement of Jesus Christ. He encouraged the missionaries to come to understand for themselves what the atonement means and how they can apply the atonement to their own personal lives. He asked them what is the evidence in your life that you understand and apply the atonement? He talked about three evidences 1) we have the spirit with us, this indicates we have repented, 2) we feel the strengthening power the atonement can bring us when face difficulties, 3) we have the power to change and make our lives better. Through the atonement we can over come All things.