[Email dated June 24, 2013]
So I am still here in the same are and still with Elder Bravo, which means that I'm officially an Iquiteño. The mission will officially divide this week when President Blunck finishes and President Gomez comes this Friday. We had a farewell type thing with President Blunk this week and now he's not coming back here. President Blucnk really is the best, and its really hard for him to leave. Then this Friday President Gomez will come and we'll actually have a President and the mission and everything here in Iquitos. So as long as everything goes well, I shouldn't go to Lima for anything other than to do paperwork one more time until the end of the mission. President Gomez comes from Puebla Mexico and that's about all we really know about him. Also, Justin may have seen him because he was one of those 7,000,000 new mission presidents in the Marriot center yesterday.
But yeah, that thing yesterday (I don't remember how it's called in English) was really actually exactly what we needed here. [It was a training session, broadcast church-wide, see HERE]. For us, it's like pulling teeth to get members to go to lessons, give us references, or do anything related to missionary work. I still don't really know what it's like to have a ward mission leader or a real ward council meeting because the wards here just don't give that much importance to it [wards are like congregations, organized by where the church member lives]. What that whole message was yesterday is that being a member of the church is so much more than just going to church on Sunday, or even reading your scriptures. Being a member of the church is a full time thing, with constant work and effort. What President Blunck told us is that the members should really be the people who find most of the investigators and we should be here to be a support in that, and then our main job would just be to teach the Gospel. For us right now, we're doing both jobs and it is much less efficient. So if you think that the message wasn't directed at you just take another look at it and find something you can do to improve. Just think, if every member was always looking for someone to help or to invite, how many more people would the missionaries in your ward have to teach?
So today is a national holiday here in Perú called Día de San Juan. Basically, everyone goes down the river, eats thousands or juanes, and drinks chicha de maíz. So there is basically nobody here today, and we're just lucky the internet is open. I'm sending a picture of a Juane, which is supposedly representative of the head of John the Baptist. It's a ball of rice with chicken or a hard boiled egg inside. They're actually pretty good. Chicha de maíz is a drink made of corn and some other juices. It's actually really good, so you can’t judge it until you try it. But the past 2 days were fairly difficult because on Saturday everyone was making the chicha which is an all-day process and then yesterday everyone was making their Juanes. Everyone else was drinking and having a party in preparation for the holiday....Not exactly perfect conditions for missionaries. Should go back to normal this week though.
I love all of you and hope you all have a good week!