Monday, October 28, 2013

¡Viva Mexico!

My second companion is from Mexico!! Puebla to be exact, which is a city two hours away from Mexico City.  He is a lot of fun, but also doesn't know English, but he wants to learn.   He calls me "gringo loco" too from time to time. We seriously have super spiritual lessons together.  We even taught 11 lessons in one day, which is a lot.  It is interesting because we have about the same time on the mission (he has one more change than me) so we are a young companionship.  It is weird having to show him around and having to be the one to know the area, which is scary because I don't know the whole area perfectly (it is big).  We really have been striving to work more with the members this change, and so far it is going well.

This week though, I had the worst lesson of my mission.  We were teaching Feliciono about the Book of Mormon, and why it is important, and then he asked, "I know it is true, but why does just your church use this book?"  This question was gold, and we starting explaining when his wife came into the room.  I leaned to Elder Flores and explained to him that she was a member, but sometimes she has a lot of questions from her evangelical friends.  She then started to attack the Book of Mormon, asking question after question.  We were both shocked, we had answers to her questions, but she asked them quickly without really wanting a true response.  I told her that the only true way to know was to read it, ponder, and pray.  Without the faith we cannot know the will of God.   She continued asking questions and killed the spirit we had.  Even her husband (an investigator) defended the Book of Mormon, but she didn't want to listen.  We ended with a prayer and left feeling frustrated.

Luckily the next day we went to Pacanga the whole day and had wonderful lessons. We taught Piere and had lunch with his family too.  I love teaching recent converts, especially Piere because he wants to go on a mission.

It really is the testimonies of the people who have humbled themselves before God that helps keep me motivated.  Whenever I feel exhausted I think about how fulfilling this work is at the end of the day.

Te Amo
Elder Perryman

Monday, October 21, 2013


So another crazy week in Peru.  Which is good, because I always wonder what to write, but there is never an end to the things that go on down here.  We started this week with Family Home Evening in Pacanga.  Piere was baptized this Saturday so Pacanga is on its way to becoming a new area. Anyway we taught in the house of Hna Ana, who has a rock of a testimony.  Pres. Risso wants us to do a lot more work there.  We taught about being examples and rescuing those in need.  That really is missionary work, it is not baptizing, it is rescuing souls, members or not.

Anyway this was my last week with Elder Palacios and I will miss him as a companion, but I am excited to see what the future has in store.  This week we met Jesus and his wife.  Jesus is a inactive member, but he has a son now and is interested in having the gospel back in his life.  I hope that we can help his family out.  We weren't able to visit with Martina because she now has two jobs.  One working on the farms and the other selling bread, both are hard.  We did visit her kids a couple times to see how her family is doing.

I found out Wednesday that I would be going to Lima for my visa.  I was super excited because this meant I could see my group, but bummed because it meant I would miss the baptism of Piere.  Thursday in the morning we got up early to do service, which is easily the hardest work I have done here.  We put down a cement floor for a member.  Evening out a dirt floor is tough, and leveling out concrete is hard too, but mixing concrete is exhausting.  I loved it.  Below I have a picture of me afterward.  I truly enjoy working hard with members down here, it makes me appreciate so many gifts that I have in my life.  I always look up to the work ethic that my dad gave me.

Right after the service project I went back to Pueblo Nuevo, showered, took a car to Chepen, and then a bus to Chiclayo.  Most of my group was there, but every gringo guy was on the plane.  As we waited for the plane I met this a guy in the Chiclayo airport who couldn't speak Spanish.  His name was Julius and he looked like the rapper BoB.  He was from South Africa and had a sweet accent.  We talked about why he was there and then about missionary work.  He was super nice and had a lot of questions, but I think he was just a curious guy.  I shared a scripture with him and then told him about and the 13 articles of faith because he wanted to know the difference between our faith and other Christian religions.  Missionary work doesn't take breaks.  We reached Lima around 9pm and our hotel around 11pm.  I know what you are all thinking, that is later than 10:30pm.  Luckily there is an exception to that rule for travel.  I was so tired, but the Elders in my room stayed up a bit longer exchanging crazy mission stories.

We got up early in morning Saturday to go to immigrations.  We felt an earthquake too, which is the first one I have really felt noticeably in my life.  We then went to the "Spanish DMV" as I like to call it until 1pm.  I was hoping that we would have time to visit the temple, but I was let down.  We then got lunch and all chatted.  I talked with our driver, who is a super sweet guy.  He served his mission in Peru during the time they wouldn't let Gringos serve here and he had some crazy stories.  After lunch we went straight to the airport to return home.

Once we got into Chiclayo Elder Bowyer (my trip companion) and I stayed with the office missionaries.  We had dinner with them at a local burger place (the burgers here arent real) and statyed up talking with Elder Dalley, the financial secretary, until it was time for bed.  He was super sweet, but told us that he can't wait to get out of Chiclayo and go to a more remote area (he has been in Chiclayo for his whole mission so far).

We got back too late for the baptism, but I have a picture and I heard it was awesome.  I pleaded for Piere´s forgiveness for missing it on Sunday.  He just laughed and made me sit by him in class.  I am so blessed to have investigators like him.  He has so much potential as a kid (like me) with only 19 years of age.  I hope that I can visit this area when he is getting close to serving a mission (that's the dream).

I feel like this transfer flew by, and I can't wait to see what the next weeks have in store for me.  I know it is a fact that the harder you work in the mission the more fun you will have and the more time will fly.  I love it here, even when it is hard, I am thankful for my calling everyday.

Te Amo
Elder Perryman

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Buscamos Milagros

Que tal familia

I am so happy to hear about mom and dad starting their work in the temple.  My area is too far from a temple to visit in my mission, and I miss temples a lot.  They truly are the houses of the Lord.  

To answer some questions, I will probably get a new companion but stay in Pueblo Nuevo.  This is fine because I love this humble area, and my zone.  Also one of my friends here in the mission (Elder Boywer) who is also in my group is from Gilbert.  It would be crazy if his family is in the same ward as the Low's.  

Wow this week was crazy. We had an exchange with the Zone leaders and it was great.  I was with Elder Samame in Chepen and the day flew by.  Elder Samame is great and his area is a lot of fun (it is more like a city).  We worked so hard and he taught me a lot of things.  We also made tacos in his apartment, and talked about how much we miss Mexican food (he is from Panama which is more like Mexico then South America).  We had a really good companionship study together and we talked about miracles and obedience.  Which is ironic because Clara sent me "obedience brings blessing perfect obedience brings miracles".  We also talked a lot about how funny the Spanish language is, like how everyone in Peru says "Claro" or "ya pe"  or how the word "cita" means date (like a romantic date) or appointment (like teaching appointment).

So here is my section about food.  There are a lot of things I miss about US food, but one thing I know I will miss one day about Peru is their panaderias.  Think about a slice of the celestial kingdom squeezed into a sketchy corner building and that's what it is.  Really though the bread here is so good, and the pastries are even better.  The tastiest stuff has the funniest names, like calocones or piononos.  A lot of the food is stuffed with this stuff called majarblanca, which is this caramel like stuff that dad would love.  But a lot of the stuff is also topped with shredded coconut, which I love, but dad would not love.

I am starting to become really familiar with all the members and the area.  Tonight we are going to Pacanga for a FHE with a member.  We are trying to grow this area for more missionaries to enter in the future.  Piere is from Pacanga, and I am so excited for his baptism this week.  Also Martina is so close to getting baptized, I just feel it, but we need to work better at finding new people and teaching with members.

There are things I just love about this mission, like waiting in a mototaxi for a heard of cattle to pass or holding the parrot of an investigator.  I really love this country.  But there are also tough, humbling parts of the mission.  Watching a recent convert struggle with alcoholism, or mental illness, or hearing a sister in the branch cry because she cant read, but she wants to be an example to her children.  It shows me how Satan wants to bring people down, but there are also moments when I see the tender mercies of the Lord.  Like when an investigator completely changes his life and walks away from alcoholism (he just needs to get divorced and then married for baptism).  Or maybe my favorite moment of the week, when we were walking to our room and we saw through a window our landlord, Segundo, who is a recent convert on his knees offering a secret prayer.  It is moments like that, that make the mission fulfilling.  Not everyone accepts our message, but I see real change in the lives of every single person who accepts the restored gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives.  I know this is the work of the Lord.

Elder Perryman

PS: The photos are of a parade in Guadalupe, and an open air market in Pacasmayo (because I know mom loves open air markets).

Monday, October 7, 2013

"The Spirit's company is not just a nice convenience, but it is essential for our survival"

So conference was amazing, but I watched every session in Spanish, so I want to go back and review a bit.   The title is one of my favorite quotes, I hope it is translated right.   Sunday morning we didn't have any power in Pueblo Nuevo and I was afraid we wouldn't be able to watch Sunday session, luckily it came on before the session started and everything was fine.   I took notes for everything, but I need to review.   If I didn't take notes my mind would have wandered after 10 hours of straight Spanish talks.   Thank you so much dad for the quotes.   I loved Elder Dubes talk, but I missed out on his sweet accent because of the interpretation.   You picked a lot of my favorites, but I missed this one.   "A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh.  Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well." – Elder Dallin H. Oaks.   I love this, because I have tried to apply this in my life.   I am a people person, but I do not like dwell upon what others think.   I want to live my life only trying to make my Father in Heaven, my parents, my future wife, and my future children proud.  I guess this is what everyone wants, so it shows how imperative moral courage is.

Time to answer some family questions.   Yes, mom, I still dream in Spanish, and English, and Spanglish, but it is usually in Spanglish because that's where I feel my life is.   Everyone we teach is interesting, pero [but] all for different reasons.   Right now I love teaching Martina, who is a single mom of 4.   She is super humble, and I love helping her kids with there school work.   We have a FHE at her house tonight.  

So it is not considered rude here to call people fat or be blunt about weight, and people here have told me that I have gained weight in this area. Normally gringos lose weight in this mission (especially if they are in the jungle).   But a lot of missionaries put on what is lovingly called a "rice pouch" because they feed us mountains of arroz [rice] here.   I also have Cuy [Guinea Pig] about once or twice a month (sorry mom). Elder Palacios keeps telling me that we will eat cat or donkey before he leaves.

In Pueblo Nuevo we have a statue of "angel Moroni's wife" in the Plaza de Armas.   I couldn't resist but to get a picture with her.   Next week we are going to San José, which is near Cajamarca.   Because it is far I am not sure how much I will be able to email next week, but I will have pictures.

"Never look back.  Look forward at what we still have to do." – Elder Edward Dube from Zimbabwe. This is one of my favorite quotes too.   I will try to apply it to my mission.   I will not look back at my mistakes, or weaknesses.   I will serve and always see that there is more work to be done.   This work is grand, but it is not over, it is never over. I need to lengthen my stride and bring more to Christ. I hope that I will one day finish my mission and only think, it is not over, there is still work that I have to do.

Te Amo,
Elder Perryman

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Qué Aventura

My mission is such an adventure.  It is tough, it is hard some days, but it is so rewarding.  We have crazy experiences here, and a lot I cannot write because mom doesn't want me to.  Don't worry mom I am safe and sound here in Pueblo Nuevo.  Last Sunday we learned how to break into the President of our branch´s office.  He left his keys in there during second hour so of course he asked the missionaries to help.  I wont go into details but breaking in required a belt, a broom, and climbing into the rafters.  It was a bit more fun than Sunday school.  That being said, Sunday school is important and vital for learning doctrine.  Also at 11PM one night we received a call from President Garrido because he needed someone to help push his car, the only thing more valuable to a missionary than sleep is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday we had exchanges and I took Elder Roldan on a little tour around Pueblo Nuevo.  He is from Argentina and has about a year of missionary work under his belt.  He is super funny, and we worked like animals that day.  From what he told me Argentina is awesome, but there might be some bias there.

Wednesday we taught Marco and our lessons are a bit less structured now that he is a member.  We were just seeing what questions he had and he started asking about missions.  There is no greater feeling than having a recent convert have a desire to share the gospel.  We talked about it further down the road, but I hope to see him serving by the time I leave Peru.  

Saturday we spent the night making tamales at an investigator, Martina's, house.  She has four kids and her husband passed away so we want to help her as much as we can.  It was fun talking with her and her kids and making tamales, they smelled so good.  She works on the chacras or farms here in Pueblo Nuevo, like most of the people here.  It is a super humbling life, the work is so hard and they only get paid 30 soles [$10] on a good day.  When I found this out I was humbled severely,  this mother works so hard everyday and she gives all she has to her kids.  It is true that those who are humble are more receptive to the word of God.

Also Pierre is still looking forward to his baptism and even talked with his aunt about possibly going on a mission.  When Elder Palacios and I found this out we were like "spiritual blessings."

Side note: Happy Birthday Dad!!!!!!!!
Also mom if you want to make legit Peruvian food look up "Tú pones la sazón Yo la Receta"

I love this work.  I know it is the work of God.  I know this is the true church and that if we seek Christ first we will be saved.  I know that if someone really is humble and seeking the truth they will find the Book of Mormon and know that it is of God.

Te Amo
Elder Perryman