Monday, March 31, 2008

Rough Week

Ok, to start off, wow.... this week has been rough and just all over the place. So Tuesday (March 25) at 5pm, I started in a trio with my ex -companion, Elder Ramos, and his new son (newby companion) from Cusco. We were sleeping in his area, which is kind of far from mine. I slept on a mattress, haha - that's it, but I'm used to it. It's just like, pack your stuff you need for 4 days, and move. It was tough.

My area struggled this week, because we didn't work in it a lot. My new comp, Elder Villanueva, came from Tarapoto (the jungle) on Friday and we spent all day at the hospital because he is sick with gastritis.

We did get to work on Saturday and Sunday, and we're getting into things pretty good. Elder Villaneuva is from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and has been out about 11 months. Only he and one brother and tio (uncle) are members. His parents aren't members, but they support him.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ame la lengua

From the latest email:

I’m getting pretty good with Spanish. 5 1/2 months out, and I can say pretty much whatever I want. I can teach really good, and joke around with people too. It’s great. I can understand probably 90% of things said. All is well down here.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Fasting and Baptisms

You may remember a few weeks ago (March 8th) - Landon baptized Diescenia Polanco (27 years) and her sister Yajaira (14). The missionaries have been working with their parents (54 & 47 ) since that time, and in Landon's last letter, he had this to say.....

"The Polanco's are doing good. They assist in the church every week, and have a date (for baptism) for this coming Saturday (March 29)."

Tomorrow is "fast" Sunday. I personally, will be fasting with two purposes (beginning my fast today) ; that the Polanco's will go forward with their decision, and continue in faith, and also, for an individual who lives right here in Morgan, who has recently become interested in the gospel, and has been attending church. This person will soon be asked if they would like to be baptized. My prayers are with all of them.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Nuevo Soles v. US Dollar

"I'm going to take out 100 soles today for the temple, and some other things I need.

By the way, how does that work? I take out soles, but my money (in the bank at home) is in dollars?"

(When Landon withdrew 100 soles, it debited $35.78 from his checking account)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Missionaries for Dinner !

Our family was asked to fix dinner for two sister missionaries tonight. Sister Hoffman from Virginia, and Sister Shuster from Alaska came and had homemade chicken noodle soup with Camryn, and Roger and myself. It was great. I loved it ! They were so kind, and grateful for the meal, and then afterward asked if they could share a message with us. They said this was the same message that Landon was sharing down in Peru. They spoke of the restoration of the Lord's church on the earth today, and Prophets who speak to God. They each bore their testimony to us, and it brought tears to my eyes, knowing that Landon was doing this same thing, 4500 miles away. I hope we can have them in our home again.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Up and Down.......

This past week I have felt some of the most joy in my life because of the people we have found, and just the spirit, but then again, I felt the other side of the spectrum on those decisions that the "men of the world" make. Wow, what a difference.

You know, I was thinking... this thing, this two year mission, man, it's tough. If you look at it, it can't be done without the spirit. It's so draining physically and mentally. This thing (mission) is amazing. It will be something to look back on, that's for sure. Nos vemos en 19 mesas.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mega Plaza

On P-days, the missionaries are sometimes able to do a little shopping at Mega Plaza.

"It's like the mall. It has a food court and all the outlet stores, and a grocery store and games and a movie theater. But no pasa nada, because as missionaries we can't do anything like that, haha."

Monday, March 24, 2008

Cambios! (Changes)

Tommorrow, Elder Vargas heads off to the jungle, and I stay in Villa Sol, and I'm happy. My new comp is from Bolivia, and I still don't know him, but I'll have all the info next week. He gets to Lima on Saturday, I'll be in a "triple" for a few days. (3 Elders together)

Well, I think it's a good thing there is a change, cuz you all know I can get along with everyone, but with Elder Vargas my nerves were tested, haha. Man, he is a good missionary and obedient, but is there such a thing as too obedient? Haha.... no there isn't, but I guess what I'm saying, is he did things in excess, where I didn't see the need, and no, it wasn't breaking rules or anything, but all is well, and I've learned a ton in the short time I was with him.

We have 15 families, it's amazing, and we're teaching like crazy. We had 16 dates for baptism, but lost a few, but now we have 9 solid for the upcoming weeks. One family and 3 more to come in the next month. I'm excited. Well, I love you all, and keep on keeping on.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Can you say Thin ?

"We had a meeting last week with all of the Elders that were ending their missions, and I saw all my Comps from the CCM. It was great. Some of them I hadn’t seen for almost 2 months or so. Wow, all of us have lost weight, but Elder Kay and Woolf win it all. Elder Woolf looks like I did when I got out of the hospital from my surgery, haha, it’s crazy. I was good to see everyone".

I don't know - I think Elder Rich, looks pretty skinny......maybe that's just a worrying mother's point of view :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

I can't wait until I'm 8...............

"I baptized a little girl who completed her 8 years (turned 8 years old). Her name is Francis Karla Alba Pelyce. I love this work. We are working really, really hard. We are teaching 9 families!!!!!!!!! It’s amazing. This is the true work."

Laugh of the week

I'll usually start my letters to Landon, by saying "Hi Hon" - as in honey..... This time I thought I'd try it in Spanish, so I said, "Hola Anamorada" - guess I didn't get it quite right.....

"Mom, hahahahaha, you called me your boy friend, or something like that. Spanish is like that. One word has about 5 meanings, and if you don’t put the word in a sentence, it doesn’t specify which meaning, haha, but no worries."

"Funny story, so I’m learning how to speak “Quechua”. It’s what the Inka’s spoke. It’s really hard. Way, Way, hard, but sweet. So I’m learning, and ya, I said a bad word and I didn’t even know it. Well, not a bad word, but I asked, “How is your butt?”, but like in detail. The word “butt”, was a word (that was) a little more strong. Haha, it was funny. It wasn’t the first, and won’t be the last. I love it."

Thursday, March 20, 2008


We are finding families like crazy, and it is amazing. We found a family that has a mom and four kids. Their dad died about a month ago, and the mom works hard hard hard, everyday to put her kids through studies, and to feed them, and they are humble.

Funny story, so we sit down and the mom is calling in her kids to come sit down and listen to us, and the son (15 years old) walks in says, “Ya, I am from another religion. I have heard it all from you Mormons”. Well, we got teaching, and when we were talking about profetas (prophets), he was hooked. Everyone was. It was amazing. It went perfect, and at the end of the lesson we took out (set) dates with all but one of the sons who wasn’t present at the time.

Interesting stuff....

"I was in the room of some other Elders in Covida (it’s in our Zone), and there were some papers there, and they had the name of Bullock on them. My pension (Carmen) knows him, and actually met him. Also, in one of the desks, on one of the sides it had Elder Walker from Morgan, UT signed on Sept 11, 2004. How crazy is that? I’m following up on the work they left off. All three, Elders' Johnson, Bullock and Walker."

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Companion - Working Hard

"I’m with a new companion, Elder Vargas. He has 10 months in the mission. He was in my zone already, so I know him. It’s great, he is from Bolivia, lives with his grandpa, and those two are the only members (in his family). He is 26, and was baptized when he was 14. "

"We are working hard, and we can tell the difference. We have ten baptism dates, it’s awesome! And more to come too! The Polanco family (mom & dad) told me that I will be baptizing them within this change (next 5 weeks)."

"We’re finding new people to teach everyday, and working hard with the members, and it shows.... and that’s only in 4 days work! Think what we can do with 5 more weeks, huh? Pretty sweet. I’m excited."

"I’m falling in love......with food :)"

Arroz Choufa. "Oh my heck, it’s so good. I love it."

(After watching the first few minutes of the clip above, those of you who know Landon, and how much he loves Panda Express, won't be surprised that he LOVES Arroz Choufa.)

"All the days I eat a lot, I’m not joking. Down here they go by levels, or I don’t know how to call them (“courses”), first a salad, then a fruit or something, then the main dish, and then so on. I’ve noticed I eat tons more, triple what I ate at home, but yet I’m losing weight! I have energy and feel good, so it’s good."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hakuna Matada

Well Dad, I’m getting pretty used to the Spanish and the culture, and life down here. It’s a simple life. I don’t really care too much about anything, like I do (care) about the things that matter, but I have no worries. It’s good. I can’t really explain it. All is going well.

I hope your weeks keep going good and your spirits are high. Keep up the good work dad, I love ya, and I talk about you alot with my investigators. I love you Dad. Thanks for everything. I think the husband of my pensionista is going to write you, haha. How cool is that? You will have to translate it of course, but ya, he reminds me a lot of you. Love ya Dad.

A little advice............

"Please tell everyone sending letters, to tape the back of them. They run them through a machine and some of them rip and I don't get them" :(

Monday, March 17, 2008

Email Update

Well, we got an email today. It was so detailed, happy, upbeat, and looooooooong, that it's going to take me awhile to go through it and post notes about everything he mentioned. Let's just say, that it was by far, one of the best emails we've received. It's amazing how it just makes your day!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Words of Wisdom from Peru

Concerning The Book of Mormon:
"Remember, read it every day. That is the key. Every day. Don't miss a day, even if it's just a chapter, and then don't forget about it. Think about it throughout your day. Ponder it, and don't forget to pray before and after, to help you understand."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Which Food Do You Like Best?

It's called
Papa ala Huancaina

It's potatoes with a cheese sauce on it and it's soooooooooooo good.

My pension fixes it, and I really like it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dear Grandpa and Grandma

Hey Grandparents, It's good to hear from you all. It's good to hear all is going well in the family. I miss you all very much, but the Lord is blessing our families. Remember always, that family is the most important. I love you all and will be writing back to your letters. Thank you for writing me. I love you all. Tell everyone Hi, and I love them.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

From the Heart

Well there isn't much more to say. I have about 5 minutes left to type. I have a lot of thoughts about a lot of things. One thing that is interesting... It's crazy how us "youngens" can touch the hearts of all these people. Old and young, and of many different beliefs. Last night I didn't sleep too well. I couldn't get to sleep because of the changes and the families here in this area. Man, it was a rough night. I can't believe I lost sleep for people I don't even know, but in reality I do know them. We all know them. We were with them before this life. How amazing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Finally ! News from Landon

I'm staying in this area (Villa Sol/Proceras)and I am very very happy about that.

We had six baptisms scheduled for this past Saturday, but we only ended up with three. I baptized, 27 year old Diescenia Polanco. Her sister Yajaira (14) was also baptized. We're working with their parents (54 & 47 years of age), and I sure hope they except. The other baptism was Mariela Velez. She is 20 years old, and has a 2 year old son. The work is going. I'm so so so glad that I'm staying in this area. The baptisms were great, and I'm loving it. This week has been kinda up and down, but we have been having some success. It's all good.

Here are some more pictures of that day.

Gracias Vanessa Salazar!

A member of Landon's ward in Villa Sol made a comment in Landon's guestbook (see sidebar). She has apparently viewed our family blog too, because we have a dot in Peru ! If any of you can read Spanish, you can probably make out what she had to say, but not me..........I had to ask Jamo Rees (recently returned from Argentina) to translate for me. He said that she commented on Landon's cute "sobrinitos" (neice and nephews), and also said that Landon would be staying in Villa Sol for another 6 weeks ! If this is true, he will be very happy. He likes the area.

The picture above is Vanessa's mom, with Elder Ramos and Elder Rich. They did a service project of painting at her home. Check out more pictures, here.

Monday, March 10, 2008

No Email today ......

Well, we don't know what happened.............but we didn't get the usual day brightener today. Maybe it will come later, but it has NEVER been this late before. Maybe tomorrow? Who knows, maybe it has something to do with transfers........or maybe he sent it to instead of That's what Elder Herdt did last week :)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Heading towards Fall

It's March in Peru, and if you take the 6-month difference (occasioned by the tilt of the earth and its orbit around the sun) of time and season, it's something like September in the USA. Therefore, school started today. In Peru, preschool is often skipped. Students enter kindergarten (called "jardìn" here - or just "garden") whenever their parents decide their children are old enough. Including that year, the "primaria" is six years in total, the same as elementary school was for me. When a student finishes fifth grade, they have a graduation party (well, I suppose there's nothing wrong with the celebration of education). They then enter "secundaria," which is equivalent to high school, but is 5 years long. Depending on the age one starts, one can graduate at the age of 15 or 16 (with another party, naturally).
The information above was taken from Elder Withers blog

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Teaching Truths

We had a good experience with a young kid who is 17 years old and was in a gang. He wants to change, so we’re teaching him. I don’t know if you have heard this before, but everyone on this earth has heard all of the doctrine in the pre-earth life, and we have all forgotten it now that we are on this earth. When people hear it again, something clicks. We were teaching him about the Book of Mormon, and he is like… “I have heard this before somewhere, I don’t know where.. but this is so familiar.” Pretty crazy.. it’s awesome.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Over the lips, and past the gums.....

One of our investigators made us this drink, and really, I’m not going to lie. Ya know when you throw up in your mouth and taste it? That’s what it tasted like. I had to choke it down, and then she asked if we wanted more, and I didn’t answer... but my comp was like, oh ya was good (are you kidding me !!), so I had TWO glasses of it. Oh well, I have eaten worse, just to let you know. Let’s just say I’ll eat (drink) anything when I get home.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It's that time of year......

Man, sounds like a good baseball season going on. That's awesome. Tell Der, congrats and ya.. That's good about Chans and Chase.

Tell them to work hard and just love it, cuz it flies by. Be safe and enjoy the baseball!

Landon's good friend Derick Roskelley plays for Weber State, and his cousins' Chans and Chase made the Morgan High baseball team. Also, we're keeping track of what is going on up at TVCC, where Landon played last year.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

How is the Spanish coming?

Good..... I really am starting to pick it up. I can understand pretty much all, but even though I don't understand the meaning of the word, I still can tell what word it is.... Ya, me and my comp were talking last night when we were falling asleep, our "dejo" is what it's called, or accent. Haha, I'm pretty sure I have one, but we will see in May (when I call home).

Monday, March 3, 2008

Latest from Pay' roo

Hey everyone, all is well down here in Peru. Man, we have so much work to do, and so little time to do it. It's crazy to think, that this time next week, I will know if I'm staying in this area, or if I'm moving. Crazy.. I love this area and wouldn't mind staying awhile. The work is going. We have 2 dates for (baptism) this Saturday that are for sure, and we're working with a family of four. I hope they except.
Not much other than that. At the end of each day, we're beat, tired, and we just zonk out, haha. Time is flying. I can't believe this next change (7 weeks away) I will complete 5 and 6 months in the mission...crazy... I love you all, and I'm glad you are all well.