Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Words from Elder Kade Garner in Peru

"Well this week was something else. I do not even know where to start. I guess I will just with transfers on Tuesday and do some back tracking when necessary.

 On Tuesday I had transfers. Monday night was really sad. I had to say goodbye to everyone and the power went out in all Oquendo and it was too dangerous to walk without light so I did not get to visit a lot of people but hey that is the life of being a missionary. Anyway, Tuesday morning we got up and went to Lima for transfers. I met up with some of my old friends who had transfers too. Elder Hackleman told us that if the church was really true and if the president really did receive revelation he would be going to Huaraz. Huaraz is the newest addition to the mission. We got it from the Trujillo mission in July. It is the prettiest place in the mission and one of the prettiest most history filled places in the world. So everyone wants to go there even though it is also the hardest place to be a missionary because the people are kinda cold. We all just kind of laughed at Elder Hackleman for his dream to go to Huaraz.

 So, the transfer started. The very first zone the president does is Huaraz because it is the furthest away. And the very first name he called was Elder Hackleman. I could not believe I turned to tell everyone I was sitting by what he had said. I looked over at him and he was so happy. I was not paying attention because I was talking to another friend and I was sure that I would never be assigned to go up to Huaraz. An Elder behind me tapped my shoulder and told me to look at the screen. Sure enough my picture was up on the screen. I was going to Huaraz!

 After the meeting I talked to the president´s wife to see what we needed to do to go. She and I have become pretty good friends since she arrived in July. I know it may come off weird that I am friends with the president´s wife but hey she is such a neat lady. She told me that we were to wait in the offices and that we would be talking the bus at 11 that night. You see there are no planes to Huaraz and it is an eight hour bus ride so they have you go at night so you arrive in the morning ready to work. She was so excited for me to be going to Huaraz. Then the president came to talk to me. He was so excited too. He was all ready to show us YouTube videos about our new areas. Well, he told me that I was going to Caraz. It is an hour and a half north of Huaraz. Which means I am in the furthes area in the whole mission. I am nine and a half hours away from Lima and my last area. The president told me that there was a reason for me going to this area. At first I though about what that could mean. Maybe that I was such a bad missionary that he wanted me as far away as possible, but then another missionary who was in Huaraz told me that the bishop here does not like missionaries. In that moment I knew why the president sent me to Caraz.

 I am going to backtrack a little now. Three weeks ago we had all of the multi zone meetings. It is when the president meets with all the missionaries in large groups. In these meetings he read a letter that he received form the president of the area, Elder Uceda from the 70. It a letter that the 70 received from a stake president. He talked about a missionary who was changing a ward and working well with the members and leaders. He talked about how this missionary understood how the Prophet wants us to work now as missionaries. Well, that letter was from my stake president and he was talking about me. I had such a hard time in my last ward, but we really started to change the ward and work well together. The missionaries now work with the leaders in that ward and because of that the president sent me here. He wants us to work with the leaders in the ward and save this ward. I hope we can do it.

 Wednesday morning I arrived to my new area. It is a little rustic farming village in the mountains of Peru. The mountains in the US cannot hold a candlestick to these mountains. I am in one of the prettiest places in the world and I have just been walking around like I am in a dream the whole week.

 So I wanted to meet all the old, new, and current investigators. We went around meeting all of them and we decided to challenge all of them to baptism. We now have six baptismal dates for this month. We then met the bishop. I asked him all about the ward and what needed to be done. We are a ward of 90 that attend. We are not in a chapel either. We are in a house that the church rents. The church already owns land here, but the deal is that we have to have an average of 120 attending regularly and then they can build the chapel. The bishop and I set a goal to make this number. And I made it a goal that I cannot leave until this chapel is under construction. You know I was really doubting myself these last few months. I felt like I was not a good missionary and that I was not living up to the expectations of everyone including myself. However, I am a little more confident now. I am not a perfect missionary and will never be because that does not exist. However, I am obedient, I love the people and I try to improve every area that I am in. I think that makes me a good missionary. And I cannot wait to see the things I learn in this area so I can become an even better missionary.

 So my companion is named Elder Dorado. He is from Uruguay. He is 25 and this is his third transfer here, which means he is probable leaving this next transfer. He is a pretty cool guy and he is a convert of four years. I think we are going to be able to work very well together. Well, I am sorry I did not really talk about any spiritual experiences that I have had this week, but I really cannot think of just one. This whole week has been such a testimony builder and just so freaking sweet. I know there are going to be lots of hard times in this area it is harder to find people here to baptize and the ward has a lot of improving to do but I feel as though this area is going to be the most rewarding so far... and maybe in the mission. I cannot wait to see what these next few months bring and the testimony that they create... or strengthen I should say.

I love you all and all I ask is that you go to church, read the scriptures, and pray that we can find some families that are waiting for us. Hasta la próxima"

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