Days Until Jeff Comes Home

Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 50- Huanta, Ayacucho, Peru: Constant Progress (with PICTURES!)

Here's a short letter because we have even less time to write today!

This week has been good but a little bit challenging. President Douglas came to Ayacucho and we had a Zone training. I feel like I learned a ton about what it is I need to improve and also that although that I've been on the mission a year now, I still have a TON to learn. But that's the way life works. CONSTANT progress. I'm just glad that my companion and I didn't mess up when President Douglas had us do a practice lesson in front of everybody and that we were still able to learn from it. Sometimes it can get awkward to see the same missionaries do the same practice several times but it is the bast way to learn. Haha.

We were blessed to have a baptism this week; la Hna. Milagros was bapatized and confirmed this last week and bore her testimonio for the first time in the last fast and testimony meeting. The ward is now working on the things necessary for her retention. She is a very strong convert with a great testimony of the Book of Mormon; I asked her one morning as I was buying bread for breakfast if she had been reading and she said "I don't know what I'd do with my day if I hadn't read my scriptures." Please Learn from this great example. Milagros is one of the busiest people I have met in Peru but she still has time for God in her life every day.

The last hymn we sang caught my attention, the last verse translates to, "Men and Angels will sing together: brave, we will march, armies of Christ, and take up the arms of light and righteousness." This last week we attended the year anniversary of the death of the other recent convert, Milagros Marquez. Milagros C. (the baker) has also had her mom pass away and another little member boy who got baptized as well has had his dad pass away. I know for a fact that these people are still with us and I can only imagine how they felt seeing these baptisms and how they are going to church.

After her baptism we ate dinner with the Bishop and his huge family. Milagros was able to make RED VELVET CAKE in her little bakery. it was SOO GOOD.

Please have a question in your heart for general conference this week!

I love and miss you all!

Elder Bromley



Elder Bromley's artwork at the baptism of Andreé y Milagros
El artista y su obra
 
With Milagros and her best friend Beverly
Red velvet cake (Jeff's favorite!)
Dinnertime

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 49- Huanta, Ayacucho, Peru: Time Flying

This week has been very good; we have been able to set up baptismal dates with more people who are very likely to be able to reach those goals. We are going to do everything we can to insure that these people will have a conversion to the gospel and strong testimonies of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. We are going to keep on setting dates with the references we have received this week so we can keep a chain going of weekly baptisms.

This week we plan on having a baptism, la hermana Milagros. She is one of those investigators who has talked with about 100 Elders before but just recently has felt the need to repent. She has passed her pre-baptismal interview, and wants to continue with this desire to be baptized although she has faced some opposition from her family and her work schedule.

The following two weeks after General Conference, we want to have four more baptisms, Marco Antonio and Yenifer Emely on the 12 of April, and Luis and Eugenia the 19.

Our ward mission leader has been back for about a week now and will only be able to stay until the end of April, but we will do all we can right now to insure that he does his job right as our connection with the members. We met up with him yesterday and explained his responsibilities so we'll see hopw that goes this week.

Elder Riveros is doing very well; he is a great companion and is always trying to help me out. We are both trying our best to be teachable and humble so that we can be guided by the spirit more and I feel like we can be agents of change here in Huanta.

Something that has caught my attention this week is the responsibility that all worthy men have as priesthood holders. It is our job to help others, be worthy husbands, brothers, sons, and fathers. It is our job to lead, our job to serve, our job to sacrifice our own desires and love the Lord and those all around us. It is also our responsibility to learn about our responsibility.

"Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.
He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen."
D&C 107:99-100

"That they themselves may be prepared, and that my people may be taught more perfectly, and have experience, and know more perfectly concerning their duty, and the things which I require at their hands."
D&C 105:10

Please, all of you who have be ordained with the priesthood, use this gift that God has given you to lead righteous lives, to bless others and to become more like Christ. No great success in this life will ever be able to recompense for failure in the home. Please, study about Christ and His nature as our Savior and example, and apply what you learn to improve who you are as His disciples.

I love and miss you all!

Elder Bromley

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 48- Huanta, Ayacucho, Peru: Another Week of Work (and PICTURES)

This week has been a ton of work; I've been trying my hardest to forget myself and get to work, and I feel as though it is paying off. Elder Riveros and I have been working hard this first week and have been able to reach many of our goals. We will keep looking for ways to be more efficient in all we do and not leave holes in any of the goals which we set. We will also be working harder to find new investigators and keep setting baptismal dates.

Something great that has happened this week is that the ward council has picked it up again. Even though our Lider Misional has been MIA and studying abroad in Lima, the leaders have been calling us and setting appointments up with new less actives, 6 of which were in Sacrament meeting last week. It has been a huge learning experience to teach the Doctrine to these people and see that they have been prepared. Also I have a stronger testimony of the power of the Doctrine as the Spirit has been present as we have taught these people. I can only imagine how it'll be when the Bishop calls a new ward mission leader seeing as to how our agendas are filling up fast already.

Although some of the baptismal dates which we have set have fallen, we are working efficiently to keep those who act according to their faith progressing and we will be seeing converts soon.

I am trying my best to adapt to my new assignment and the work load that it entails. My companion is great; he is very patient with me and very humble. This week had been good to let him get to feel how hard we are going to work every day in Huanta.

We are hoping to have a baptism the week after this one, a baker named Milagros. She has been super great and has already formed a habit of daily scripture study and what's even better is that she is applying what she learns. Never before have I had this conversation with an investigator before:

Me: That's go great that you are reading! What have you been able to learn?
Milagros: Well, if I pray with faith like Lehi and Nefi did, then God will answer my prayers. Also like Nefi had to kill Laban because God said so, sometimes I will have to be obedient to God even when it super hard because it will bless me.
Me:....That's all super great and really true

Haha. I hope we can ALL learn to read with the Spirit in the scriptures. The Book of Mormon was written for us. Thousands have died and many have poured out their souls on these pages so WE can be happy and find Christ in our lives.

Just to tie everything together, I feel the spirit as I teach the gospel of Christ and read the Book of Mormon. The spirit testifies of truth and truth never changes. When sailors navigate, they usually use markers like the stars, moon, and sun to know where to go because they never change in pattern. We all need to be more aware of the light and truth that we have to guide us in our lives. If you are lost and don't know what the next step in your life is, use these points of reference to guide you. I testify that these resources that God has given us like the scriptures, prayer, the church, the temples, will ALWAYS be there for us to lead us out of darkness and into eternal life.

I love and miss you all!

¡Chau!

Elder Bromley

Translation: "the most coveted"

With Elder Gonzales

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Perez Family Visits Ayacucho!

Look who found Elder Bromley when they were vacationing in Ayacucho!!!

Left to right:  cousin Adalia, aunt Liz, great uncle Oscar, Elder Bromley, and Abuelita Nilda

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Week 47- Huanta, Ayacucho, Peru: A New Cambio! (and PICTURES)

This week has been very eventful. First off, some little old woman in a parade threw baby powder on me and like 30 seconds later somebody poured water on Elder Gonzales and I. I'm kind of glad los carnavales have ended cause it was getting stressful to be a missionary. Second, it was my birthday and now I'm 21. That was cool because one of my investigators ALMOST made me red velvet cake (one of my favorites) but it turned out super weird and she gave me chocolate cake that was still super good. We are hoping that she can reach a baptismal date for the 29 of March.

Papito Victor Alfaro is doing very well. He was able to be baptized this last week at the age of 71! After we shut the doors to the baptismal font, he started weeping and said, "I'm with God now!" Now we just need to wait for his wife to get back from the rainforest so she can get baptized too!

Elder Gonzales gave a little farewell talk as now he has been transferred to Chorrillos, Lima. Something he said caught my attention, that all of the people who we had baptized in Huanta were at the sacrament meeting that morning, which is great because retention is the hardest thing here in the work of salvation. Members, please please PLEASE, HELP THE NEW MEMBERS. 3 Nefi 18:32

My new companion here in Huanta is Elder Riveros. He is from Chile and has 4.5 months in the mission. I like the way he teaches so far and I know that we will see great things here in Ayacucho to keep up what Elder Gonzales (Mijo) and I were doing.

I learned yesterday that I will be a district leader now, which would be less stressful if the zone leaders told me what I need to do haha but I know it'll all be ok seeing as to how it was before. God fits our abilities to the task.

Please remember everybody that obedience is an act of faith; the opposite can be said as well, that if we are not obedient to God, we do not have faith and will not reap the blessings He wants us to have; if you almost keep the commandments, you almost get the blessings. We should always be aware of the little things in which we can improve always so we can keep being sculpted by God into the people we need to be.

I love you all! Do your visiting and home teaching! And help the missionaries!

Elder Bromley

Papito Victor
Papito Victor's baptism
21st birthday cake

Elder Bromley and his cake
Frosting goatee
Elder Riveros y Elder Bromley at internet

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 46- Huanta, Ayacucho, Peru: Jeff's 21st Birthday! (and PICTURES)

This week has been very interesting. It's been very hot and also rainy. Also carnavales is starting. Basically it's a Latin American holiday where for a couple weeks people attack each other with water balloons, buckets of water, shaving cream, water guns, flour, flour and water, and paint. Usually Elder Gonzales y I are pretty safe; at least I thought that until yesterday someone poured a pitcher of water on me from a second story window. haha. Also there are a tons of parades going on here where  groups of people do traditional dances and sing and yell in Quechua (Inca language). All I can ever understand is when they all yell wuhss! wuhss! wuhss!

Speaking of Quechua, Elder Gonzales and I have been teaching a lot to Papito Victor, a blind and skinny old great grandpa who has daughters who are members. It has been really fun teaching him because we have brought along with us bilingual members to translate what we say to him so he understands better. It's worked and now he will be baptized this next Saturday!

Also this week we were able to have a zone conference with the Mission President, President Douglas. It was super great and we all learned a ton about how to teach the doctrine of Christ. Like it says in 2 Nefi 31:10 "Can we follow Jesus unless we are willing to keep the commandments of His Father?"

The answer is no; we cannot be disciples of Christ unless we are willingly obedient and repent. The straightforwardness of that scripture is great because it has been a good wake up call for those I teach.

Also, just to share one more thought before I go, something else that caught my attention this week is the saying "Are we worthy for our afflictions?"

Sometimes when times get hard we are tempted to say "why is this happening to me?" or "What have I done to deserve this?" when really we need to be grateful for these hardships. Life is full of opposition because it allows progress, and knowing that God won't ever give us more that we can handle and that He always provides a way to escape temptation and be obedient, it's actually a great blessing. We are on this Earth to progress and once we remember That Christ has already passed through all we go through every day, burdens become light. But that being said, we must carry them to progress.

I love you all and thanks for the birthday wishes!

Chau!

Lucas 9:23
Matthew 11:29-30

Elder Bromley

Sweet weights

High-tech shower