Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sí, Yo Sé Que Nada Soy

[Email dated 11.23.14]


I am disappointed that I didn’t get any creative spider stories, I guess you’ll just have to make it up on the spot. [His father did send him one, by the way, which causes us to question whether he actually reads ALL of our emails?]

I'm still not sure, but this will likely be my last email that I send home.  If I do send anything next week, it will likely be short.

This week we went to Pucallpa for the last time and I got to see a couple of people while out there, including all of the five whose baptism I missed because I got an emergency change to the offices the week of their baptism.  It was really cool to get to see them, especially the G* family.  I had met them in January right when I got to my area in centenario [the New Year, I’m guessing].  N* was my pensionist [she helps the missionaries with laundry and meals] and M* is her husband who had recently gotten out of prison.  N* had been attending church for two years without being baptized.  M* was a cool guy, but he wanted absolutely nothing to do with the church or the gospel.  He agreed to get married so that N* could get baptized and she did, but he still didn’t want anything to do with the church.  He was just too hardened.  Now, N* is probably the most faithful member that I have met.  She was constantly fasting and praying for her husband and we could truly tell that her true desire was that her husband would accept the gospel and be with the family in church.  When we went to teach them, he wouldn't answer us or really have any intent to do anything with what we taught.  Then around the beginning of June, he started listening to us.  We actually got to teach him and he started answering our questions.  He started to pray, read the Book of Mormon and then he was going to church.  Then, there was an activity in the church and it was the strangest thing.  He started volunteering to help in the activity and take responsibility for things that nobody had asked him to do.  It is something really so small but really was amazing to see here, especially from someone who isn’t even a member.  Then, he told us that he wanted to be baptized and short time after he accepted a date.  He was constantly in church and really was doing it all with just the help of his family.  N* would cry quite often when we went over to teach because she was just so happy.  It was a complete change.  Because of the faith and diligence of this man’s wife, his heart was softened and he accepted the gospel.  She is currently the Relief Society President and I do not know if M* has a calling, but I do know that he hasn't missed a Sunday in church in a while.  It really is a miracle.  I was leaving the Stake Center [a church building which also serves as a the regional center] on Thursday night and they were out front on the moto talking and I got to say goodbye to them along with a few other people.  Then the thing that surprised me (and really never would have expected) is that M* started to kind of tear up.  This is the guy who less than one year ago had gotten out of prison, was bitter at the world and showed zero real emotion.  It was crazy.  I kinda couldn't take it in all at that moment, but really it is so amazing to see how much one person can change in such a short period of time and basically all because of the love, faith and diligence of someone who loves him.  I can't really explain everything that was going on inside me at that point, but it was a really great moment.


These last 2 years have been full of experiences like this one.  A lot of happy ones and a lot of sad ones.  There has to be opposition in all things.  There are families that I have seen come into the Gospel and there are families that I have seen fall out of it.  There are even families that I have seen come in, fall out and come back into the Gospel.  The Lord is always working.  I cannot stay here, they really won't let me.  Also, I believe that my parents won't let me do it either at this point, but what I have noticed recently is that this work will always continue because the Lord himself is He that does it.  "I am able to do mine own work" (2 Nephi 27:20-21).  He will always work miracles with his children "God has not ceased to be a God of miracles" (Mormon 9:15).  Although my part in this mission is coming to a close, the work is never over.  I may not be here, but that is not what is important.  What is important is that the Lord is working here and that those who still need the help will receive that help in a miraculous way.  I have seen the hand of the Lord in this work and He will never take His hand out of it.  This is the Church of Jesus Christ, the only one with the fullness of His Gospel and the only one that has what we need to come unto Christ and to come unto salvation.  I don't think I truly understood anything about this Gospel when I came out here but now, the little that I do know is that Christ lives and He has atoned for our sins.  "I say unto you that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent" (Mosiah 3:17).  I have learned of the ways to truly come unto Him and helped others to put those things in practice, I have seen the real effect that it has and the real importance that it has for the family.  There really is nothing more important than living the gospel as a family, after all, that is our purpose here.

When I came out here, I came with a type of goal, maybe not the most specific goal, but by all means, a goal.  I don't know that I even really understood my goal.  It's based on one of my favorite scriptures : “Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."  I wanted to really just understand this feeling that Ammon had.  We can tell that he had had great success from his attitude, but that he recognized that he didn't do any of it.  That is what I have really come to understand.  I, of my own strength cannot do anything to help these people, other than allow them to really receive the help from our Lord Jesus Christ. 

There was a family that was baptized in March of 2013 that is another family that is really special to me.  A few months after I left the area, they started to have a lot of problems as a family and then they separated.  I had had a few missionaries let me know what was going on with the family and I was really sad about it.  I saw the wife at a Stake Conference [a regional conference] and she hadn't had contact with the husband for a few months at that point and I just felt completely helpless. That was about 2 months ago.  Last week, I was on my way to the offices in a motokar at night and I heard someone yell from behind me "ELDER PEACOCK!"  I turned and I saw the dad driving a motokar with his wife and all 4 of their children on the moto with him.  They were all smiling and looked so happy.  I cannot describe how I felt to see them together again.  It was probably one of the best moments of my mission.  I'm sure they still have a lot to work out, but just to see them together so happy for those 2 seconds, was amazing.  I could do nothing, but I didn't have to because the Lord feels an even deeper love for them than I do and he will never leave them alone.  He will never leave anyone alone. 


"And now, after  the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: that he lives!"


Elder Peacock

Alma 26:12

"Yo sé que nada soy; en cuanto a mi fuerza, soy debil; por tanto no me jactaré de mi mismo, sino que me gloriaré en mi Dios, porque con su fuerza puedo hacer todas las cosas!"

Monday, November 17, 2014

Craziest Week Ever!

[Email dated 11.15.14]

Hey everyone! 

So far during my time as the assistant, things have been fairly calm in that there haven't been serious problems with anyone—not many emergencies or surprises.  Well, early on Monday morning, President and Hermana Gómez went to Colombia for a seminar for all of the Mission Presidents in the area and so we couldn't really contact him from Monday until yesterday afternoon when he got back here because of roaming charges in Colombia.  So naturally, these were the 4 days when every emergency imaginable (and some that I never imagined) occurred.  Probably more problems than I had even heard of in the entire rest of my mission combined.  

For obvious reasons, there are some details that I cannot share just because of their nature.  But, let’s just say we had to deal with missionaries getting an emergency transfer from another mission, a missionary’s mom deciding that her son was too sick to be in the mission so she just came out here and took him home with her to be treated there, problems in Pucallpa, a missionary wanting to go home, and last but not least:  a tarantula in my room!!   It was a pretty crazy week and most of this stuff had never happened before so there really was no protocol on it and we kinda had to make things up as we went on quite a few occasions.  You guys know how it is that when you’re a leader, everyone just assumes that you automatically know everything.  Sometimes you have to know when to say that you just don’t know and when you just have to go with your gut.  It is pretty crazy sometimes.  In normal circumstances we would have to deal with all of the same things but we just wouldn’t have to make the decisions because President would be doing it.  However, we basically couldn’t communicate with him except sometimes at night when he could get some internet.  For everything that happened this week, I think that we handled it fairly well.  At least nobody died right?

  IMG_3746  IMG_3737

So about the tarantula, it is a long story but to make it shorter, we were planning at night and I saw a gigantic black spot on the wall and it turns out that it was a tarantula.  Our capture of it entailed 2 brooms, a large wooden stick, a trash can, a mirror, a booklet thing, a little box, and a freezer.  You might be asking yourselves:  why on earth would they need a mirror or a freezer to capture a tarantula and not just kill it with the broom?   I, too, have asked myself those very questions and I have yet to be able to answer them.  But I would like you all to just try and to think about what method we possibly could have used to include all of these items in the capture of a large 8 legged creature and I'll get to see what you post when I get home or when you send them to me.  Haha and just to assure you *cough**cough**mom**cough**cough**Eva**cough* nobody was harmed in the capture of the creature.  Also, some of you may note that in some of the pictures there is also a second spider, I would love to hear your ideas on that one too. How did we get a second spider?  Just play along, next week might be the last time that I actually get to write, I'm not sure what my schedule is actually going to be like  at this point but I’d love to hear some interesting renditions and the person that has the most interesting version will receive a special prize when I get home.


We also did service in the morning painting the walls of a Catholic elementary school that was in bad shape in my first area.  We did it with the 3 stakes and all of the missionaries in the city.  While painting, we figured out that we couldn’t get all the way to the top of the wall and there weren’t enough ladders for us to use one, so we just found a solution.  I told Elder Overstreet to just get on up on my shoulders and paint from up there.  Haha it was probably the best idea that we ever had.  We formed a megaperson!! Haha It was a really fun service.


This week really was a cool one and kept me on my toes.  I've been seeing some real miracles lately and I will be commenting more on those next week or the one after probably.  Really, I have just felt so blessed, even with everything that is going on, in these past few weeks and especially days.  I cannot believe that it is almost over, 2 weeks and a few days left.  Off to Pucallpa this week and my last week will be spent giving trainings here in Iquitos, while my replacement is already going to be here....that'll be an interesting development, having my own replacement with us for almost a week.  Love you guys and I will talk to you next week!

Elder Peacock

Alma 26:12

Two Years!

[Email dated 11.8.14]


For those of you keeping track (Mom, Dad and Eva), I hit 2 years yesterday.  Seems pretty crazy to think that I      have been a missionary for 2 years now and I'm really glad that I still get to be for another 3 weeks.  Also, we made Oreo milkshakes yesterday.  Pretty delicious.

I didn’t get to write much last week because it was really hectic and I got a little bit of time on Monday, but not a whole lot.  Since I last wrote we had the leadership council and then we went out to Tarapoto on Friday.  We were there through the weekend and then had training on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, we went out to Moyobamba for training on Thursday and then we returned to Iquitos last night.  We've really been pretty busy and really, we're always pretty busy.  We also are almost always doing exactly the same thing, just with different missionaries in different cities.  So I don't really know that I have all that much to say about what has been gong on out here, because it's really a lot more of the same.


One cool thing was that I got to head out to Nueva Cajamarca one last time and got to say goodbye to a lot of the people out there.  That was definitely my favorite area and it is definitely the prettiest one in the mission too.  As far as I understand, they should be receiving a chapel in this coming year, which should be awesome for the branch and it should grow like crazy.  One of the pictures is the family that I baptized my last week out there.  They actually live right in front of the plot of land where they are going to build the church.  That family is the best!  They have been members of the Church for about 10 months now and their lives have changed so much in the time they’ve been in the church.  They were always good people and didn’t change all that much about themselves other than just a few little things, but they are just so much happier right now and it is just so easy to see the blessings that they have received in such a short period of time.  It was really nice to get to visit them again. 


Also, I got to see Keisy (Casey) Open his mission call.  He was baptized like a week before I got there the first time and he was always working with us.  He’s going to turn 18 on January 15th and on the 21st he is going to serve in Guatemala.  It was really a special trip to get to go out there again and see everyone and how the branch is still just changing ever so slightly, but still the same branch.


In this picture I am with the branch president and the prior mission leader in Nueva Cajamarca who is now the elders quorum president.  They're brothers.  The EQPs son is the 2nd counselor of the branch as well... this family has been a large part of the structure of the branch since the day it started.  The EQP was the first branch president there.  They're the coolest.  It’s been weird, because I've already said goodbye to an quarter of the mission and one of my old areas.  I happened to be there on the day that I finished 2 years...


During the upcoming week, we’re going to be here in Iquitos, visiting a bunch of missionaries and of course doing more of the same, and I love doing it.  Sorry for the short letter but there are pictures today so that makes up for it right? They do say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so really this is a long email.  Love you guys! Hope you have a great week!

Elder Peacock

Alma 26:12

Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom!

Hey everyone!


This week was interesting.  We started off with the farewell of my group on Monday, and then the newbies got here on Tuesday and the rest of the week was basically just like any other week that I have here:  going out to work with other missionaries and long meetings with president.


On Monday, we had the farewell in the morning for my group...the whole time I was really just thinking that I was glad that it wasn’t actually my farewell.  [Meanwhile in California, I spent all of Tuesday thinking, “he could be home today…”] Not that I don't want to see you guys, but I really am glad that I still have a little more time here and I feel like there is still more that I have to do.  That night when we took them to the airport I had an interesting feeling... I sent off a couple of good friends there and it was a weird time it'll be my turn... that’s weird.


On Tuesday, the new missionaries arrived and we had the same program as we always do, they got fairly confused and it looked like they were all 70 percent asleep as usual.  When the meeting finished, I went with one of the companionships to take them to their new room because the trainer had just gotten here from Nueva Cajamarca.  Their room just so happens to be my first room.  It was weird.  It was like the same situation as when I got there.  We both got there together and I was being trained.  It's like he's me but 2 years ago....that's weird.  But other than that, it was fairly normal for the newbies and the farewell.

In our meetings with president, we've planned the calendar through December....I won’t even be here for that!  We’ve also planned all of the trainings from now until the time that I leave.  This week in the Leaders Council I am going to be training on the use of family history work with the plan of salvation.   In the coming month in the zone conferences,  I will be talking about la esencia de la obra misional.  I think that is the essence in English but that kinda sounds really strange to me.  Either way, if you’re a returned missionary you’ll understand what I am talking about...kind of.  If you’re not a returned missionary it'll probably just be better if I explain it after I get home.  Haha, so today, I don't have all that much to do.  By the time next week hits, I will be busy with travelling and trainings until I finish.  I'm going to make the most of the time that I have left.

Now, just a shout out to my mother.  Happy Birthday Mom!!!  I am thankful for everything that you have done over the years and for everything that you do for me now that I am here in Peru.  You are the best mom in the world and I'm looking forward to seeing you soon.  I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for you mom! I love you!!!

Elder Peacock

Alma 26:12

Monday, October 20, 2014


Hey everyone!

It was another good week, with more of the same as usual.   We have changes this week and Elder Anderson is ending, which means that I have a new companion.  He got here on Wednesday so that he could be trained as the new assistant.  His name is Elder Murphy.  He's from Utah and we were out in Nueva Cajamarca together for one change.  When we divided the area, he was in the other half so I already know him pretty well.  He's a really cool guy and I'm excited for this transfer.  It's weird though.  When I started the mission, there was not a single companionship with 2 North Americans together, and for the last year of my mission, I will only have a Latin companion for 5 weeks, I wasn’t even with him for a full transfer—it’s really kinda interesting. 

This week, we finished up with the interviews of the 4 zones in Iquitos and we also changed houses.  The 6 elders in the offices live together so we need a somewhat big place to live, but we don't need it too big because we don't spend too much time there.  On my birthday, we were in interviews and I had lunch with President.  A little bit later I did have a cake that my pensionista made for me—which was actually really good. 


Yesterday, I got my package which was pretty nice. Thanks mom!! There has been a strike by the postal service here and they got out of it yesterday and one of the only things that they actually had already was my package--funny how that worked out! 


I definitely made those transformers things and I haven’t gotten to anything else though.  They seem like gifts for children, which they really are but it was really a fun little thing [What do you send a missionary for his birthday on the brink of coming home?  Matchbox cars, transformers, legos & socks.  Throw in some do-it-yourself goodies for good measure.  What are your ideas?  I’ll have another missionary out in a year or two…]  We'll see if we can find the way to make those cupcakes.  Ovens aren’t exactly a common thing down here.  We do have a microwave though, so we'll see if that works... could be interesting.


We have another big group coming in this change so we’ll have a lot to do this week.  I get to watch Conference today and tomorrow.  Last week we had the visit of Elder Uceda and it was really cool.  He spoke very directly and very emphatically to everyone.  He was the mission president here a while ago and he is the Area President right now.  There were 5 stakes here before and now there are 3.  At times the wards and stakes are somewhat immature, so he spoke very directly to everyone.  It was a real eye opener for everyone, in a good way. 

So I really don't have too much to least I am sending pictures right?  [Right!]  As can be seen, I was somewhat confused by the origin of the package... also SOCKS!?!?! haha  [Wait!  What’s wrong with socks??]

Love you guys, hope you have a great week!

Elder Peacock

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I’m Not Dead

Although it's been a while since I've written, I promise that I'm not dead and I'm not dying either.  I've just been really busy and I haven't exactly had a P-day in a while.... today I get like 2 hours of P-day and I wont get one next week either.  I'm really loving it, though.

Since I last wrote you guys, we had the Mission Leadership Council (I don’t know if that’s  actually how it is said in English).  In preparation, I revised all of the instruction manuals for the leaders.  I updated content and checked for spelling and grammar stuff, things of that sort.  It was really long and somewhat boring for the most part.  The Council itself  was a good meeting and it went pretty well. 


This is NOT actually a picture of Tyler’s trip…it’s a stock photo.

After that meeting, we went straight out to Pucallpa that Friday.  We were there for the weekend and President interviewed the missionaries out there.  It is strange because we did it on Saturday and Sunday.  That weekend the elections were held here in Peru and that means that there could not be any formal meetings that day so there were no church meetings on Sunday.  It was a nice short trip out to Pucallpa and we got back to Iquitos on Monday, only to leave again on that same day just a little bit later to head out to Tarapoto for more interviews.  We spent Tuesday through Friday driving from Tarapoto to Yurimaguas then back to Tarapoto and then to Moyobamba, Nueva Cajamarca, Rioja and Soritor and then all the way back to Tarapoto.  We flew back to Iquitos on Friday afternoon, arriving that night. 

There wasn't all that much that happened in that trip except for lots and lots of driving and sitting.  Driving and sitting.  Always accompanied by lots of talking about important things.  Who would have that that so much sitting could be so tiring? 


This IS actually a picture of Tyler’s meal…it’s NOT a stock photo.

One day with President we went to go eat lunch out in Rioja and I got some cuy, or for those of you that don't speak Spanish: guinea pig.  It was really pretty good!  Just think twice before showing these pictures to the Payne children.  You did ask for pictures right? haha President Gomez also ate cuy so it can’t be that strange can it?  When I'm with president for the interviews, I either stay in the outside office talking to the companion of the missionary in interview or I go around to check the rooms of the missionaries for cleanliness [the idea that he could be a good judge of the cleanliness of others just KILLS me!!!] or to see if there is anything they need—to make sure their rooms are fit for missionaries.  But yeah, we got back to Iquitos yesterday at like 7pm.


We also had a visit this week from Elder Uceda who is the Area President and Elder Godoy who is an Area Seventy to attend the Stake Conference [a regional conference of members] of the Iquitos Stake because they are going to change some boundaries [members are assigned to wards (congregations) based on where they live] and a Stake Presidency [regional administrative leaders] as well.  I asked President Gomez if they would meet with missionaries while here in Iquitos and he said he didn’t think so because they would be so busy with all of the other meetings that they had already scheduled.  Of course, yesterday at about 10:45 we got a call from President Gomez saying that Elder Uceda wants to meet with all of the zone leaders the next day for a few hours....well it woulda been nice if we had a little more notice, but what are you going to do?  We got in here in to get everything ready and we had our meeting with him which was really cool.  There were 14 of us in there in total so it was pretty cool to be having a meeting with such a small group of people and a General Authority [aka Mormon rockstars].  This weekend we have more meetings with the Stake Conference and more interviews all week.  I'll finally get to see General Conference [semi-annual worldwide broadcast last weekend] next Saturday and Sunday.  So late to see conference...kinda weird!

Well, I love you guys, I hope you have a great week and I should be able to find a moment to write next week because at least I’ll be here in the city.  Oh, I will also receive my new companion this week (he'll come in a week before the changes) so that should be interesting.

Elder Peacock

Alma 26:12


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Almost Didn’t Get to Write…

[Look what was waiting in my inbox right after I posted!]

Hey everyone!!

So I couldn’t write on Saturday.  Long story with lots of travelling and a power outage.  This is the first moment I could get to write you.  I didn’t get the chance to read your letters, I’ll read them next some point....

This week was interesting.  On Monday, we left Iquitos to go visit Tarapoto and Moyobamba.  We were there until Saturday.  On Saturday we flew from Tarapoto to Iquitos, but then we went straight to a car and went to the City of Nauta.  It’s a little tiny city an hour and a half outside of Iqutransportationitos where there is a relatively strong branch with 4 missionaries.  We got there at about 6 o’clock and we will didn’t get back until this morning.  It was a full week outside of the offices and it was nice. 

When we got to Tarapoto on Monday night, we got there with just enough time to meet up with the missionaries we were staying with.  The next day we went to their district meeting and then got to go out and work with them the rest of the day.  Wednesday, we had a special training with President, which went really well, and then went out and worked the rest of the day.  On Thursday, we left at about 5:30 to get to Moyobamba and repeated the special training at about 8.  We worked the rest of that day and Friday as well.

On Thursday, after the training in Moyo, I went to Rioja teamed up with two elders (one who has been out for a year, and one who is his first transfer). President Gómez teamed up the district leader.  President has started doing things like that a lot now, but he always puts on a nametag that says Elder Gómez.  I think it’s kinda funny because even a lot of members don’t realize that he’s the mission president, they just think it’s a little strange that he’s a little bit older than us.

Nauta was also pretty cool.  I got to go out and work for a while there and went to church there.  Both Elder Limon and Elder Anderson had been there for a while so I had heard a lot about Nauta, but it was the first time and probably the only time that I will get to go out there.  It’s a nice little place with a lot of people and the church has grown a lot in the past few years.

The upcoming week is going to be somewhat crazy as well.  We have to get everything ready for the Leadership Council on Thursday, and we’re planning to get out and do a visit with a missionary while here in Iquitos.  Then, on Friday we’re heading out to Pucallpa for the weekend for interviews with President.  There will not be any meetings in the church on Sunday and we can’t even get together to watch General Conference [twice a year our Church leaders hold a worldwide conference that is broadcast throughout the world] because Perú has elections that day and it is the law to not have any meetings that day.  I won’t actually get to see conference until the 18th and the 19th of October because there are no meetings on the 5th and on the 12th we have stake [regional] conference in Iquitos with Elder Uceda and Elder Godoy both of the Seventy (Elder Uceda is the area president).  Elder Anderson won’t actually get to see conference until he gets home because that weekend he is finishing and wants to go and visit one of his wards in Iquitos that Sunday.  By then I will already be with a new companion.

I’m really a fan of this new way of doing things, where we get to go out and work almost every day with other missionaries instead of being in the offices.  We’ve been changing things a lot recently.  We want to get away from trying to convince people that the Church is true through memorizing information.  People often mistakenly believe that people in the jungle just can’t understand as quickly as the people in Lima and that teaching must be a lot simpler.  Instead, we’re trying to put the main focus is on having the people read the Book of Mormon and pray about it to find out for themselves if it is true.  I feel like it is such a simple concept.  In the Book of Mormon itself, we are promised that if we read the Book of Mormon, meditate on the message it contains and ask God if it is true with a sincere heart, having real intent and faith in Christ, He will give us the answer.  In the same way, He can teach us the truth of all things.  In a lot of the visits that we are doing with the missionaries, we’re focusing a lot on this point, teaching so that the people can really receive a testimony for themselves.  I really love this way of teaching, I’ve been doing it for a few months now and I feel it is so much better for thThe Book of Mormone people and more interesting for me as a missionary.  [Click HERE to request a copy of the Book of Mormon for yourself, or you can view or download it for free HERE]

This promise is true and for all of you that are reading this, and I would like to extend that same invitation.  A lot of you have already done this, and I’m sure there are more than a few that haven’t, but by all means, the invitation is for YOU.  I invite you to read the Book of Mormon daily, meditate in your hearts the message that it contains, and ask God if it is true.  Whether it is the first time or the thousandth, I promise that God will answer.  My favorite part of this is that through that answer, we can know all things.  There is no limit to what we can learn through the testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true.  I would love to hear comments from any and all that accept the invitation on how it went.

Love you guys have a great week!!

Elder Peacock

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Non-Refundable Ticket

We received an email last week from the Church Travel Office giving us details on Elder Peacock’s flight home on December 2nd.  My favorite line:  “This is a NON-REFUNDABLE TICKET”.  Excellent!  Now he has to come home!

Tyler had just enough time to respond to a couple of emailed questions, but not enough time to send a proper email this week, but with itinerary in hand, somehow I’m not feeling cheated!

Monday, September 22, 2014


[Email dated 9.20.14]

I think I forgot to mention something about the changes last week.  You know how in elementary school you have those logic problems where you have corn, chicken and foxes and for some strange reason you have to get them all across the river and there are just some weird qualifiers for how you can do it?  Well I think we all thought that that would never actually be a needed skill, or maybe that was just me, but as it turns out I had to do that the other day for the changes.


We had to make sure that everyone has a companion to be able to get to the airport and to get picked up and to do a few other things during the day.  We also had to coordinate 4 zones of missionaries, with 3-6 changes apiece with the missionaries leaving and coming in at different times with the trainers having to be at a meeting at one time and the newbies at another time.  There were just so many groups and nobody can ever be without a companion so it was just kind of crazy.  It actually took about an hour and a half to coordinate all of it....haha.  Who would have thought that that type of logic problem would actually be a useful skill?  I definitely could not have guessed it.

We were in Pucallpa this whole week.  As I mentioned last week, we’ve kinda changed how we're doing things and we had extended the trip a lot.  Normally, we would have gotten there on Wednesday, had the training on Thursday and left on Friday.  This time, we left on Monday and were there working with missionaries out there on Monday night, all day Tuesday and Wednesday, had the training on Thursday morning, worked with missionaries later that day and left Friday morning.  

DSC_0024Apparently, the Zone leaders hadn’t told anyone that we were showing up a few days early and when we showed up on their pday..... SURPRISE!! haha I guess people naturally freak out when they unexpectedly run into the assistants, especially in a city that we don’t live in. We went to Tottus (Peruvian Walmart) where there is also a Pizza Hut and a KFC and we ran into a couple of missionaries there.  Haha, one of them just acted all normal and said hi to us like it wasn’t a big deal but everyone else was clearly just surprised and confused.  I remember when I was a Junior Companion and later a District Leader, I thought that the assistants were like a big deal and I definitely freaked out when I saw them.  Now that I am one of them, I feel like it’s not even a big deal--perspective changes a lot of things.  But yeah, there were quite a few scared and surprised missionaries, even though I really don't understand why.  It is definitely funny to see reactions like that though.

So the whole week was spent working with missionaries and just one morning of trainings.  It was so much better and I feel like the trip was actually worth it this time.  I got to go out with one companionship of zone leaders in my old area, 2 companionships that are training newbies and another one where they are both relatively young missionaries.  With both of the companionships in training it was fun because the new missionaries were both American.  Both of them thought that they were somewhat lost.  The funny part is that both of them spoke better Spanish than I did at that point in my mission.  A lot of these new missionaries, especially the ones from this group, get here really prepared and just need to have more confidence.  I think that's the thing I probably saw this week.  The Lord really prepares us to do what He calls us to do.  Really, if we have faith in Him, we'll do it with confidence because we know that the Lord has already done the preparation for us.

This week we're headed out to Tarapoto and Moyobamba.  We leave on Monday and we will get back early afternoon on Saturday.  Right when we get back to Iquitos, we're going to take a car to Nauta, a little city with 4 missionaries.  It’s about 1.5-2 hours from Iquitos by car.  We won’t get back to Iquitos until next Monday.  ( I have no idea when I will actually be able to write you again, I may or may not find time on saturday morning...).

Well, I love you guys and hope that you all have a great week! I would have pictures but really I haven’t had many opportunities to take pictures recently...maybe someday.... [someday?  how many times will  he be in Peru on a mission? aargh.  Thanks Google for the pics to spice up this post.]

Elder Peacock

Alma 26:12

P.S.  As far as the flights go, I have no real control over them.  How they typically work is I’d leave here at 7ish to go to Lima and then during the early morning (1-4ish) the flight leaves to the US.  They usually send the flights to Atlanta first and then from Atlanta to everywhere else.  The flights are purchased in Salt Lake and the Personal Secretary has already made the request.  The only other thing that might affect it is the possibility that I would stay an extra day in Lima to go through the temple with a family that I taught. They already have been members of the Church for more than a year [a requirement to enter the temple] and they’re awesome.  It just depends on getting it scheduled.  Absolutely nothing is for sure yet.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I’m a Grandpa!

[email dated 9.13.14]

Hey everyone!

There were changes this week and we got a huge group of newbies (16).  We picked them up in a giant bus that only exists here in the jungle.  [wish we had a picture of the bus!] We took them to the mission home and ate lunch with them. They were a really happy group and didn’t seem as scared as the last one.  It might have had to do with the fact IMG_0530that there were so many of them.  Elder Belnap (my 6'9" MTC companion) just so happens to be training the smallest Peuvian I think I have ever seen.....haha that just seemed too good to be real but it was funny [I really wish there was a picture of that!  But, here’s one of Elder Belnap in the MTC with Tyler, who is 6’ and generally looks like a giant himself next to Peruvians]. 

Also, Elder Lee, the missionary that I got to train back in November/December is now training one of the newcomers, Elder Portocarrero.  So, I have a Peruvian "grandson"! He obviously isn’t actually related to me, but it's still cool to see that the missionary that I trained is now training another one.  The meeting with the new missionaries takes a lot longer when there are so many of them, it was basically an all day thing.


After the newbies got in, we had a few trainings right away here in Iquitos where I talked this time about the Book of Mormon.  In the past, the missionaries had been really focused on "teaching well" in the way that everyone should gain a lot of knowledge about the doctrine and the details within the lessons. Well, I've never been a huge fan of that way and neither is President and he has really wanted us to be able to apply a principle taught be Elder Bednar to seek learning by faith and to be able to help others to be able to learn by faith focusing more on commitments and really teaching more simply.  It really is a much better and also easier way to teach.  As an application, I talked about the Book of Mormon and the way to use it to help people to learn by faith that the church was restored through Joseph Smith.  It's one of my favorite trainings that I’ve done, actually.  This week, we're going to be out in Pucallpa for almost the whole week to be there and visit with the missionaries and see how all is out there and give the same trainings.

Here is a quote from the Elder Bednar talk referenced by Tyler, which is really good and can be found in its entirety HERE:

Nephi teaches us, “When a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth [the message] unto the hearts of the children of men” (2 Nephi 33:1). Please notice how the power of the Spirit carries the message unto but not necessarily into the heart. A teacher can explain, demonstrate, persuade, and testify, and do so with great spiritual power and effectiveness. Ultimately, however, the content of a message and the witness of the Holy Ghost penetrate into the heart only if a receiver allows them to enter. Learning by faith opens the pathway into the heart.

In this mission, the assistants were basically always here in the offices doing things--little projects, and hardly ever getting out into the field.  When they did get out into the field, they would just go to their area and work with what they could with the time that they had.  However, we have encouraged the President to add a secretary and to allow the secretaries to get out and work too.  This allows us to do what we were always supposed to be doing-- go out and work in the field with other missionaries.  This whole week, we weren’t ever in the offices, except for a few hours for some things that we had to do, and the rest of the time we were picking up the newbies, in trainings or going to work with other missionaries to help them out.  It is so much more fun and fulfilling to get to go out and work and to actually help other missionaries and their investigators.  This also means that we have extended our trips to serve the missionaries in far away areas, so we won’t be in our own area very much.  I’m just happy that we'll  actually get to do something outside and be able to really help them with real things and not just try to do it all from here in the offices.  

I hope that you all have a great week!! Talk to you next Saturday!! (maybe I'll have more pictures next time)...

Elder Peacock

P.S.  According to what I know, I should be arriving home on the 2nd of December in the afternoon/night, more or less.  I actually should have flight plans in a short amount of time.  Nothing 100% yet but that's what I can tell you at this point.

Monday, September 8, 2014

This Office is Really Cold!

Hey everyone! benefit-trunks

At this moment, there is a group of missionaries finishing their missions and having their last interviews with President Gomez.  In mission terms, they’re all TRUNKY and its kinda funny.  Trunky means they have their minds on putting their stuff in their suitcases (trunks) and taking them home... its really a dumb word.  [Tyler says I’m trunky.  He’s right.]

This week we had the monthly Mission Leaders Council where all of the zone leaders and the sister training leaders come to Iquitos for a day which, due to the flights, usually turns into 2 to 3 days.  We talked about a bunch of things in that meeting that seem completely ridiculous to me.  I won't go into much detail, but it has to do with people not understanding what a mission really is.  With the age change, this being a new mission [July 2013] and everything still getting set up, there are quite a few missionaries that act like this is EFY [a retreat for youth], in that they’re here to have a nice, cute spiritual experience but have fformalblacktie2orgotten about the work part of it all.  The real problem is that it is a contagious idea that has infiltrated some zones.  The other thing is that when President got to the mission, there were some bad habits that were throughout the mission.  He’s recently been correcting some of these (for example, pday in street clothes).  We were all taught that that is how p-day was here because it was the jungle [missionary guidelines stipulate missionary attire for all but sports or service].  Me and a few other missionaries had written President about it a few months ago to ask for clarification.  President reaffirmed the rule, and a lot of people got annoyed.  People often don’t want to give up their habits of disobedience.  Basically, there are a lot of people overreacting and just trying to blame others because the mission has been struggling for the last 6 months.  It was really just a lot of drama about how some missionaries don’t really want to be missionaries....but I think the culture is changing slowly but surely.  

As for my trainings, last month I trained on daily planning and morning studies.  We changed the planning from a lesson every hour to every half hour so that we could be more efficient and work more and focus our studies on our investigators.  The other training that I was doing was a leadership training where I talked about the importance of the District Leaders to help them to take more controlDel_Parson_Jesus_of_Nazareth_400 because before the Zone Leaders really were in charge of everything.  These are subtle changes but they really make a huge difference.  In the Mission Leaders Council, I trained on charity and getting outside of ourselves and thinking of others with an example in Matthew 4:1-11 (with JST) and based it on an MTC talk from Elder Bednar "The Character of Christ".  In the coming month, I will be training on teaching simply and the Book of Mormon.  The subjects I use for training depend on the needs of the mission and what President wants.  Training is a large part of what I do as an assistant.

We live in an apartment about 3 blocks away from the offices and we have a pensionista here in the offices that is a member of my first ward (Moronacocha) and they bring the food here.  She is a really good cook, even though we still eat a lot of rice and chicken.  

This week there are changes and a group of 16 newbies is showing up, which is always fun.  I love the newbies and it’ll probably be a lot more fun having a bigger group so I’m excited for that.  Right after the changes, we go straight back to training here in Iquitos and travelling.  Our travelling will be even more extended.  When we go, we will be staying out in the other cities for longer periods so that we can go out with more missionaries outside of Iquitos.  So, basically, I will never be here.  From now on I will only be in the offices to do reports and for planning.  Otherwise, I will be out with other missionaries.  Even though yesterday, I did a report for like 10 hours without stopping...that’s way too long to be looking at a computer screen....

Well, I love you guys and hope you have a great week!!

Elder Peacock

P.S.  Also, mom, turns out that Sister Simonson’s dad found my blog and told her last week that he loved the picture of her throwing up...hahahaaha turns out my blog really is famous!

Monday, September 1, 2014

More of the Same

This week I was not attacked by any drunk people...

We went to Pucallpa this week to give the more of the same is a really strange cycle.  We've been doing 2 different trainings and I have given one of mine 3 times and the other one 5 times.  The weirdest part of it is how much differently the trainings are received in each place.  In some, the missionaries are really open and willing, especially because we're putting in a lot of new things in practice that had kinda been forgotten or done differently before.  In the simplest way, President Gomez is really starting to make more changes in the mission.  For about the first year, he had been letting the mission keep working the way it had before.  He’d made a few small changes here and there, but it seems like now he's really making a lot more changes than before.  

It's cool to be a part of the whole planning and training thing, to get to look at how the whole mission is doing and get to look at how the different cities need different things and yet find a way to make it one system for everyone.  Really, things are starting to get way simpler than they were before and its interesting.  

We didn’t really have any crazy stories from this week which is why I’m saying more of the same...not really sure what to tell you about at this point-- just more training going out with missionaries in their areas, meetings, planning, etc.  I haven't even gotten to work in my own area yet this week...sometimes that’s the tough part--that I don’t really get to work in my own area.  Sometimes, there really just is not any time.  I hope you guys have a great week and hopefully I have some more cool experiences this week that I can share with you next week.

Love you guys!!

Elder Peacock

Alma 26:12

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Motokar Getaway

As a few of you may have commented, I did not write anyone last week.  I didn’t forget, I just didn’t actually have a chance to write last week because we were in Moyobamba and Tarapoto.  It was really weird to have to report our key indicators on Sunday because we only were in our area for 2 hours last week.  It was a nice change from being in the offices all the time. 


Last Tuesday we left to go to Tarapoto and Moyobamba for a couple of trainings and a District Conference in Moyobamba on Sunday.  We were in Tarapoto, working with the Zone Leaders, when we had a very interesting encounter.  We were going by motokar to a place that none of us knew so the motokarista pulled over to ask someone for directions.  Two seconds later he pops back over to the moto being held up by his collar by another man.  The other guy was just yelling at him and I really don’t know a lot of bad words in Spanish, but I knew that that guy was using a lot of them and after about 3 seconds it was readily apparent that the guy had been drinking fairly heavily....

So, we were just sitting there not really having anything to do when all of a sudden, the drunk guy looks over at us and yells "hermanos!!" He continues to tell us that he was Mormon (all of the drunk people tell us that) and starts talking to us when out of nowhere he grabs the motokarista and starts yelling at him again.  During this whole thing, the other missionary companionship is in another motokar just watching this all happen--just kinda weirded out and confused, but laughing at the same time.  Our motokarista got back onto his moto, backed it up and started to go, but the drunk guy was just holding on.  Motokars don’t really have powerful engines, so we couldn’t keep going.  I took the guy’s hand off of the motokar and we took off.  The drunk guy took off at a full sprint, caught up to the moto and jumped on the  back of it just yelling again.  I thought he was about to hit me for pulling his hand off. 

Both of the motos stopped and we all got off to try to just calm things down, but the drunk guy thought that we wanted to fight him.  He started to take his shirt off but it got stuck and we were just there watching the guy struggling with his shirt stuck over his head.  So we just got back on the moto and took off, but he caught the other moto before they could leave, after giving up on taking his shirt off.  Then he commenced to yell at them, asking to talk to us.  At that moment, we had turned around and went flying by.  He chased us, but wasn’t able to catch us, thereby freeing the other companionship to be able to take off.  

We all came away unscathed and, just so you know mom, I was never in any danger.  My comp and I are approximately 95% larger than any of the Peruvians.  Also, one of the missionaries in the other moto was a sniper on a SWAT team before his mission, so I don’t think there was ever much danger....we were just laughing the whole yeah, then we were in Tarapoto for 2 more days working.

IMG_2224When we were heading out to Moyobamba (it's a 2 hour car ride), it was a little bit windy so one of the hermanas with us got a little car sick and just let it go out the window.  It was just really funny because it’s the first time that a sister had ever gone anywhere with president and his wife and she just had to throw up on the first trip....haha there’s a picture for you guys too. [Poor thing!  I apologize to her family (if they see this) for my son’s sense of humor!  I’m not really sure the re-enactment was necessary, so I left the picture kind of small.] 

When we got out to Moyo, we did more training and went out working  with missionaries in their areas and it was pretty cool.  On Saturday, we went to this place with natural pools with President and Hermana Gomez in the morning.  We had District Conference the rest of the time through Sunday morning.  I got to see a lot of the members from Nueva Cajamarca and a lot of my converts out there as well.  It was actually really cool to get to see all of them and they’re really close to being able to get the chapel built out there too if they just keep going where they’re at right now.  


In the afternoon, I got to go out to Nueva Cajamarca again.  I was with President, Hermana Gomez and Hermana Simonson, so Hermana Gomez had 1.5 companions and I only had half. [I read this sentence several times and still don’t think I quite understand the math.]

We went out to Nueva Cajamarca to eat lunch with a family that was baptized about 2 weeks before I got there the first time [a year ago], and they are one of the coolest families ever.  I also got to go out and work in my old area for a few hours.  It was a really cool afternoon and I loved it.  Got to see some really cool people and I got to show the missionaries there what I had learned because it is a really different area and you have to work differently.  It was a great week out there.  We got back on Monday, a full week outside of the city.

This week had more training and visits with missionaries.  It’s a good experience, but a little weird to give the same training every time, even though it is always a little different.  Things are going really well and I’m having a great time out here.  Love you guys!! This week I'm heading back out to Pucallpa, it should be good.

Elder Peacock

[Mom/Editor note:  The Spanish syntax is getting deep, even when he’s writing in English!  And, he has forgotten how to capitalize.  Took me forever to “translate” this email.]

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Day in the Life

[Email dated 8.9.14]

Hey everybody,

This was a fairly "normal" week.  I don't think there is any such thing as a normal week anymore,  but it was as normal as it could get.  A least, we didn’t travel anywhere.

We've been doing a lot of preparing for the trainings that we are going to be doing this next month and planning for the next couple of months.  We actually had a 5 hour meeting with President and Sister Gomez.  When we got out of there I was thinking, “That was a pretty long meeting” and then I looked at my pocketwatch [see HERE and HERE regarding his “pocketwatch”, clearly still getting the job done] and noticed that the meeting that started at 4 took us until 9....haha!  That was surprising.  We did not plan it to be more than an hour and a half!  It was very productive though, so that’s good.  

Because of the geographic layout of the mission, being that half of the mission is outside of Iquitos, we are travelling half of the month every month going to Tarapoto, Moyobamba, and Pucallpa to either give trainings or to have interviews with president.  We won't always have all that much time here in the offices in Iquitos or even in the city.  For example, this week that is coming up, we're going to Tarapoto and Moyobamba for some trainings we are leading.  The next week we'll be back in Iquitos to train here and then the following week we will be travelling to Pucallpa.  Lots of travelling and training.  It would be great if we could just do this training for the whole mission in the same week, but it's just not possible with the geography here.  

The other weird thing about being the assistant is that we know everything--not that we're smarter than everyone else, but we get told everything.  Just thinking back as a Zone Leader, I called the assistants every once in a while with problems that I couldn’t solve on my own.  Well, when all 8 zones have to do that... you can see how that’s a lot of information.  We get calls about twice a week, which sometimes turns into a project for me and my companion.  It's all very interesting and sometimes somewhat boring.  I didn't realize that there could be so many problems, especially with health and other things like that.  Problems range from health to paperwork to stalkers [oh my!] to just about everything else you could imagine.  Here in the offices, there are 3 secretaries also working here and they have lots of other things to do with immigration, finances, records, supplies, etc and we seem to be involved with all of that too.  

Just one quick experience that I had this week:  We went on splits with a companionship of Zone Leaders here and I went with Elder Bravo, my second companion.  When we were just out teaching, I could see that we are both the same people that we were before, over a year ago, but we've also each done a lot of growing.   It was just cool to get to go proselyte with him again.  BTW we did get out to work a lot more this week, which was a really good thing because if I were in here all day, every day, I would probably go crazy.

I love you guys and I’ll write you all next week!

Elder Peacock

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Los Nuevitos

Hey everyone!

So this week was changes for the mission [every 6 weeks missionaries may change companions and/or areas] which means that there is just a lot of stuff that is going on.  Missionaries coming, others going and just lots of people and suitcases in and out of the offices.  On Monday we said goodbye to all of the missionaries that were going home and had a program for them with some cool stuff.  When I finish there will be no surprises because well, I’ll be making those plans myself!

On Tuesday, we got all of the new missionaries (6).  We picked them up from the airport and had a nice lunch in the mission home.  It’s The Best Two Yearsweird because I didn’t see the mission home in Lima ever [he was originally assigned to the Lima North Mission] and I didn’t see the one here in Iquitos until I had been out 20 months already.  When we picked them up, I started speaking Spanish to them like normal because I don’t really even think about it anymore and well, 5 of them were American and I just saw that look on their faces from The Best Two Years:  "that’s not the language they taught me in the MTC!"  It was funny so then I just slowed it down a little bit and they understood me, kinda.  I also started repeating everything in English for them too.  We got them to the mission home and I could tell that they were all just so nervous and it made me think about how I was on my first day--I had no idea what was going on and I was so lost.  We were sitting at lunch and just none of them were talking at all.  I don’t know if it’s because they were afraid to speak Spanish or if they were just stunned by all of the stuff that was going on all at once.  

After lunch we had a time to talk to their trainers and explain to them what they are supposed to achieve as trainers.  Then we got to train the newbies.  Again, when I got in front of them I just spoke a little too fast at the beginning and got that same look.  I really noticed it because I was conducting the meeting and when I gave instructions everyone just kinda sat there...haha but then I slowed down and repeated myself in English and there were no problems.  They actually did understand me in Spanish when I spoke slowly but I just repeated it to avoid confusions.  Then there were trainings from Hermana Gomez, the secretaries, and Elder Anderson.  I just took 5 minutes to share something small with them because really after all of that, I know they were just completely lost because I was there 20.5 months ago and I knew how they were feeling.  

I wasn't actually even on the program to share something with them but I just took the time because we had some extra time.  I shared with them Alma 26:12:

Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

and related it to them.  I  just reassured them that they’re fine and if they’re lost they don’t have to worry about it because everyone starts like that.  Ammon, even after all that he had done, all of the miracles and all of the stories, still knew that he was nothing.  The Lord is the one who really does it all anyway.  In the work of the Lord, our own capabilities really don’t even matter.  All that actually matters is that we are on the Lord’s side.  Because if we're on His side then He will perform the miracles through us.  It just felt good to be able to share that with people because I knew how they felt because I’ve lived it.  

I think that receiving new missionaries might be one of the best parts of this assignment.  It’s an experience that is both funny and spiritual.  President Gomez shared some cool things with them.  Next change, we're going to get him to do it in English though.  He speaks pretty well but he doesn’t have too much confidence in his English. Luckily, he has 2 APs that know how and we’re going to practice with him because the next group that comes in is big and basically all of them are Americans.

Other than that, we've had the leaders council this week and that was really interesting to be a part of the planning process of that and really to see how much planning actually goes into it and how much president really takes into account what we think.  Also, it was way different to be in the council as the AP.  I know that I didn’t really talk that much when I was back home, but that’s changed a lot actually, and that was way before being the AP.  But yeah, it is a lot of new stuff that’s going on and its just a whole different world out here.

I love you guys and hope that you have a great week!

Elder Peacock

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

So…About that Date…

[Email dated 7/21/14]

Note:  for some reason this didn’t post originally so it’s out of order. 

This week was pretty much normal.  The attendance in the ward keeps growing and it has about doubled in the last 7 months that I have been here, so that’s good.  We have a bunch of baptisms for this Saturday so I’m pretty excited for that.  


This week we had interviews and room checks with President and Hermana Gomez.  So, the whole day I was going around in a car to all of the rooms in the zone with one of the assistants and it was fairly boring and just hot but fairly interesting.  At the end, I had my interview and now comes the awkward part:  3 months ago when I had my last interview, I had told him that I was going to extend until December and then it was changed a few days later so that I would get home in October.  In my interview, he asked me to extend until December and I said yeah...SURPRISE!   [Awkward isn’t quite my word for itSad smile.]

Anyway, after that the assistants took us to eat some more tacos, which just goes to show that if you’re with a Mexican, the tacos find you.  It’s pretty cool.


On Wednesday, we did service for this family.  The wife was baptized in January and the husband is getting baptized on Saturday!! We were chopping down some trees with an axe.  It was pretty sick and the machete that I have in the picture was for clean up duty when the tree fell.  We're clearing up the lot because they’re going to build their house there.  His name is Martin and he is the coolest guy ever and when I first met him he would just lay down and go to sleep whenever we started talking about God.  Now he is a completely different person.  It is so cool to see and I would bet that i will write more about him next week.

We have another investigator that is supposed to be getting baptized on Saturday as well, but while we were in the sacrament meeting someone stole his motokar and we haven’t been able to talk to him since then.  So, we'll see, but sometimes Satan is just really annoying.  He's a really cool guy that had just finally gotten out of debt too...

Well other than that, I just spent a lot of time in the clinic this week with sick missionaries—that’s just part of the gig.

Love you guys!!

Elder Peacock


[Email dated Saturday, 7/26/14]


With Elder Romero at the airport

Hey, just so you all know, I’m not being a "chambon" (or, for those of you who don’t know Spanish jungle slang, a disobedient person).  My P-day (personal day) has now changed and my emails may be a little more sporadic in the future.  Let me explain:

So as you all know by now, last week I had my interview with President and he asked me to extend.  What he really did was ask me if I was willing to extend and if there was anything essential that I would have to do in that time.  He asked me to think about it and said that he would also think about it.  So, I figured that there was something that he needed or wanted me to do with that extra time, but I figured that he would want to have me train another new missionary or he would want me to go to another zone as a Zone Leader and needed that extra change for timing. But, I must confess, I didn’t really think too much about it.  

On Monday, everything was going as normal, email in the morning and P-day in the afternoon, etc.  At about 6, we were in the clinic with a sister who had some weird health stuff going on and we were in the waiting room when we got a call from President Gomez.  I left the room for a second and he started out by asking me how my P-day was and then he asked me to be the new assistant [one of two missionaries that serve in the office with the Mission President and help him oversee the mission at large, often referred to as an “AP” or Assistant to the President].  He told me that I would be leaving the next day to go to Iquitos and that was about it for the call.

So yeah, now I'm here in Iquitos in the offices and I will basically always write you now on Saturdays, unless I’m travelling, which will be about half of the time.  So, I can’t really predict what days or what time I’ll always be able to write.  Just assume that it’ll be on Saturdays in the morningish....

I left on Tuesday.  I was leaving at 12ish, so I was in the district meeting for a little bit and when we left I just told everyone that I was going to go and do some marriage paper stuff in the municipality for the wedding that should be starting in about an hour.  I left instructions with my companion to just tell everyone this week that I am in Campo Verde with a member because I wasn’t supposed to really tell anyone out there that I was leaving.  I have called him since and supposedly everyone bought it, which is pretty funny.  One of the missionaries who is finishing their mission actually got to the mission offices yesterday and they didn’t know that I was here.  It was kinda funny.  


With my new companion, Elder Anderson, in the mission office

Since I got here I have been with President every day.  He's been doing interviews and I have been talking to a lot of missionaries and kinda getting to know them because I haven’t been in Iquitos for over a year.  I know like 10% of them, so its a big task because I have to get to know all of them.  So that’s my story.  I’m here in the offices and I will be here for the next 4.5 months until I end in December, which is why President asked me to extend.  My companion is Elder Anderson and I am replacing Elder Thompson, who I had also replaced in Nueva Cajamarca.  There are 3 Secretaries here: Elder Scott, Elder Medina and Elder Zamalloa.  I’m just glad that I wont really be in the offices for that long because I will usually be travelling or doing other things...lots of travelling actually.  After these 2 weeks, I should be travelling for the next 2 or 3 weeks depending on the planning that we will have a little later today. 


While I was here yesterday, Elder Villar and Elder Lee were both here so I got a picture with both of the missionaries that I trained.  I didn’t even know if i was going to get to see Elder Villar again, so that was good.

I love you guys and I won’t really get to see your emails for another week....that’s just what happens when I get an emergency change and my P-day gets changed.  Have a great week!!!

Elder Peacock

PS.  Take a note of the fine selection of ties Elder Peacock is sporting in each of the pictures above.  Each one a candidate in its own right for HAIR TIE.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


[Email dated 7.14.14]

Hey everyone!


So this week was great.  Last week when we were in Iquitos, we went to Prez’s house because he lent us a machine to make tortillas.  I didn’t even know that you needed a machine to do it!  So we had that and we had planned an activity to make tacos with the ward and more or less teach them how to do it.  We tried to make a really big deal out of all of this so that people would attend because, really, the warIMG_3430d needs a lot of help because there isn’t much going on and it’s not in great shape.  We actually had a great turnout and it went really well and the tacos were really good!  And, now I know how to make tortillas which is something quite useful to know.  I was in charge of making the guacamole and flipping the tortillas.  I also ground the corn to make the masa which was all really interesting.  But, the best part of the activity was that we put on some talks from general authorities while we were doing some cooking stuff and the members reacted really well to it.  The Stake President (who is a really cool guy) asked us for the videos because they’re pretty awesome.  They’re actually the ones that Justin gave me before I left.  This Sunday we had the highest attendance of any Sunday since I’ve been here.  Also, the tacos tasted really good.  


Also, we finally got out to Campo Verde this week to be in their council and to go and visit a few people with them.  It was really interesting.  We talked to the ex branch president who is a really smart guy but doesn’t go to church and he just had an attitude of "I know everything" as we talked to him.  A little bit has to do with the fact that were just young kids, even if my comp is 27...but it’s kinda just sad to see that someone that "knows" so much and just doesn’t want to act for reason X and Y.  He even said that him not going to church is part of God’s plan for him so that later on he can testify that you can come back....that makes no sense to me at all.  God never wants us to distance ourselves from Him.  Once we're in the pathway, there is no leaving it. 

This week we’re going to take all of the missionaries out to Campo Verde for a few hours to help them prep for their conference.

Love you guys!!

Elder Peacock

[PS.  Somehow I think we got shorted on the pictures that he meant to send last week but forgot his camera….call me greedy, I like pictures]