Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Good Week

Hello family and friends.

Thanks for the letters, emails and all of the support.

As for the week, it was really good....really really good. The Lord truly did bless us this week and without a doubt I saw His hand in the work. We have been teaching this guy named Jose for a couple of weeks now and he really does have a desire to follow Christ. He agrees with almost everything we teach him and he has a lot of knowledge of the Bible and he has been searching for a church that he feels is correct. BUT, he had huge doubts about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. It seemed as though no matter what we invited him to do, no matter what we did, taught, testified of, he just couldn’t get over that doubt. We felt a little bit helpless to be honest, because we felt that he was just closed off to the idea of a modern day prophet and there was nothing that we could do to help him. As a companionship we prayed all week for him, both in our personal prayers and prayers as a companionship...every prayer we prayed for him that he would receive an answer and feel that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We passed by on Friday to visit him, and we watched the Restoration 20 minute video with him and we testified of its truthfulness, but he still didn’t believe it. [This is not the same video]

We gave him a pamphlet about Joseph Smith and committed him to read and pray about it and continue reading the Book of Mormon as well. He said he would but he didn’t think it was going to change his mind. We told him we would pass by the next day, Saturday, to see how it went. The next day we came by, and he said that he was reading and studying the things we left him and that he now felt that they weren’t bad....they testified of God and the things that he believed in...he asked us what time he could have the baptism on Sunday!! I know without a doubt that the Lord softened his heart and answered our prayers, he received an answer. Jose went from being super stubborn and unbelieving to someone who was ready to act with his faith. It was amazing to see that change...in just one day, I know the Lord blessed him with an answer and through his decision to be baptized he will receive so many more blessings in his life as well as a remission of his sins.


So, on Sunday we confirmed Hector and Veronica who were baptized 2 weeks ago and we baptized Jose.  It was a good day.  Afterwards, we ate at the Bishop’s house...they made burritos... American style. They lived in California for a little bit so they must have picked it up there. Big flour tortillas, steak, beans and rice. They were really good...while we were eating, we looked over and saw Elder Diaz taking pictures of the burritos...apparently they don’t have those either in Peru...I´m really starting to wonder what they do eat in Peru. From what I can tell its rice, bread and salad. Lets just say I’m glad I’m eating food in Mexico for 2 years and not down there. IMG_0168

This week it was also Elder Diaz´s birthday (Friday) as well as Elder Lopez´s (Thursday). Elder Lopez is one of the zone leaders and they work in the same area as us so we see them all the time. So, an Hermana in the ward brought us a cake to celebrate (see pictures). Also last week something else kinda funny/sad happened. After I emailed last week I left the internet cafe with Elder Diaz and asked him how his family was doing...he said good...but that the girl he had been dating before the mission just got married!! Apparently they had been dating close to 2 years (anniversary on his Birthday) and she already married another guy. He’s only been on his mission for about 2 months...crazy. So all the missionaries in the zone have been joking with him about it....I think he’s fine with it...but we’re men and don’t talk about our feelings alot. But from what I can tell he´s fine. We all told him not to worry about it...because when he gets back he´ll just steal another missionaries girlfriend that is ¨waiting¨ for him haha. 


Well, that’s pretty much it for this week. I know that this church is true and that I am here in Mexico on the Lord´s errand. Go VCU and Go Lakers!!

Have a great week everyone

And this is my Joy (alma 29:9)

Love you and miss you all

Elder Peacock  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Glimpse

Of course, we have all been horrified and heartbroken to see the catastrophes in Japan.  Near and dear to my heart are thoughts about the mothers who have missionaries serving in the area.  Our Young Men’s President served his mission in Sendai, Japan. 

HERE is one account of a missionary serving in the area posted on an MSNBC blog.  It’s worth a read.  Note that all 638 LDS missionaries serving in Japan are safe.

Shoe Tracker

Justin’s missionary shoes came with a 2 year guarantee.  One hitch.  They don’t mail internationally, so it’s up to me to now figure out how to get his new shoes to him.

We had luck with a flat rate package through the good ol’ US postal service, so I’ll try that again and hope my luck holds out.  Justin said it wasn’t even opened as opposed to UPS.  The big debate is whether or not to send one shoe at a time to make it less attractive to steal.  Course, if he only gets one shoe and the other one never comes…well, not much good in that.

And.  Remember that thing about “nothing made in China?”  Well, of course, the shoe box is clearly marked “made in China”, as are the insides of the shoes.  Out goes the box, but the shoes?  Maybe a little redacting is in order?

Cross your fingers.  Shoe #1 hits the truck today.  Shoe #2 to follow in 2 days.  I’ll let you know!  *Lisa

8 Months!

[Email dated March 21, 2011]

Hey family and friends,

Its been another good week here in Metepec. Especially hearing that BYU is still cruising in the tourney! haha.

Can you believe I´ve been out 8 months already? I for sure can’t. Man, before I know it, I´ll already be out a year. Crazy. Pat has been out 10 months too! That’s crazy. 

This week went well. We worked hard and had a lot of potential, but a lot ended up falling through. We had 3 potential baptisms coming into the week, and each one of them fell through for a different reason. Jose, who probably was the best of our potentials, just had a lot of doubts about Joseph Smith and because of that he thought it was better to wait to get baptized. So, it was a little disappointing in that aspect. Sunday was still a pretty good day though. It was Stake Conference here in Metepec. Luckily, our chapel is the stake center, so we didn’t have to travel too far. One ward had to take a bus for 2 hours to arrive! But it was a pretty emotional meeting. The Stake President here got released after 10 years and they called his 2nd counselor as the new stake president. Elder Johnson, the Area Seventy was there as well as President and Hermana Villarreal. They all spoke really well, I thought. President Villarreal talked about how General Conference is coming up. It’s such a great opportunity for us to hear the words of modern prophets. He said we should begin praying so that we may be prepared to receive their messages and apply them into our lives. I thought that was interesting, but it’s true. If we don’t have the right mind set or attitude while we listen to General Conference, we won’t apply the things we hear into our lives and they will be of little benefit to us. We need to be ready to follow the words of our living prophet Thomas S. Monson, so that we can receive guidance and blessings in our lives. 

I had a new food experience this week....No nothing gross or weird. It was actually REALLY REALLY good. Its called a pambaso (sp?). It’s this sandwich roll that they take and fry in who knows what...and then they fill it with whatever you want in your sandwich. Mine had potatoes, shredded chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream and salsa.....realllllllly good. And all for about $1.25 (15 pesos) in the street. It was a good way to finish off the day on the way home. Also, I started cooking myself eggs in the morning this week....felt like a change from cereal. It was good haha. 

My companion, Elder Diaz, and I continue to work well together and work hard.  He is pretty quiet, but he is willing to work hard and be obedient. I´m learning more and more just how different it must be to live in Peru. He has never seen tacos or tostados or anything like that....They don’t even have donuts in Peru!! What’s up with that? Also, they eat hot dogs for breakfast...rice for every meal, and avocados with bread is a common breakfast.....weird haha. He is having a fun time adjusting to spicy foods....let’s just say it’s not his favorite haha. But all that aside, he really is growing in his confidence and growing as a missionary each and every day. 

Hmm....lets see what else.....I´m sorry I don’t have any pictures to send....didn’t get around to taking any this week so there’s nothing new as far as pictures go. 

I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It has been restored through a modern day prophet named Joseph Smith, and I know that EVERYONE can come to know that he was a prophet of God by reading and praying about the Book of Mormon which is another testament that Jesus is the Christ, and a record of prophets in ancient America. By knowing that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God you will also come to know that Thomas S Monson is a living prophet of God, and we all have the opportunity to listen to him speak and give us guidance, along with the Twelve Apostles in less than 2 weeks. Heed their words, because I know that they are called by God and inspired. 

Were gonna keep working hard here in Metepec. I love being a missionary.

Love you and miss you all

And this is my joy (Alma 29:9)

Elder Peacock

Teaching Spanish to the Peruvian

[Email dated March 14, 2011]

Hello family,

Thank you for the emails and all of the support. Glad to hear that you survived the talk mom...as well as me emailing 2 days late...I was afraid you were going to freak out a little. But its ok I know its because you love me haha. Thanks for the sports update Dad...Go Cougars!!! Man, it seems like just the other day that all the guys and I were up at BYU during March Madness...the time really does go fast.

IMG_0166[1]Muy bien...entonces, this week went great. Its a different feeling being a trainer. Elder Diaz looks to me to lead him and to help him know what to do. It´s really my time to show that I know how to work as a missionary. It really is great having a companion that is ready to work hard, be obedient, and do whatever it takes to have success in the work of the Lord. And I know that because we worked hard this week and were obedient the Lord blessed us with great success and helped us out in our efforts. Because lets be honest, I don’t have that much experience... so I know that the Lord really helped us out this week. We were able to help 2 children of our Heavenly Father enter the waters of baptism this week. Hector and Veronica. They are great, humble and faithful people who are ready to follow Jesus Christ. We were also able to bring 6 people to church (which is as much as we had ALL of last change) and teach 22 lessons. I truly found myself loving the work this week because I knew that my companion, Elder Diaz, and I were doing it the right way...the way the Lord wants. It really was a testimony to me that obedience, diligence and desire are going to bring you success because the Lord will help you out if you demonstrate your faith and effort first.

Elder Diaz is having a fun time adjusting to life here in Mexico. I had to teach him a lot of the expressions and slang words here because they are different than a lot of the words they use in Peru. For example ¨No Manches¨ is just an expression that means...”Oh, no way!” or “yeah, right”. But, the literal meaning is ¨Don’t stain¨ ...so that was a little confusing for him haha. Also, this morning he told me that he had to go buy ¨zapatillas¨ which here means women’s shoes....It confused me a little bit and I was a little bit worried about my companion until I found out that zapatillas mean athletic shoes in Peru..here they are called ¨tenis¨ Those are just a few examples...but there are a lot more. ¨Concha¨ is actually a bad word in Peru and means something pretty bad....here it is a type of bread.hahaha. I´m still adjusting to having a companion that knows NO English at all. I´ve caught myself at least once a day starting to talk in English to him...and he responds ¨Como?¨ or “what the heck are you saying to me, gringo?” haha.

Anyway, this week went really good and I´m excited about this upcoming change. Its gonna be great. I love the work and I love helping our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, find true happiness in their lives through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that Christ lives and that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and He loves each and every one of us. I know that the church which I have the opportunity to represent is His church, and if we follow his Gospel we will be able to return and live with Him again someday.

Love you all and miss you.

And this is my Joy (Alma 29:9)

Elder Peacock

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sorry for the Late Email…BUT I Had a Kid Over the Weekend!!

Hey everyone.

So I know what you are all wondering...why am I emailing on a Wednesday and not on Monday? Well on Saturday, we got word on the changes, and I got the news that I would be training a new missionary. I also will be staying in the same area - Metepec. Everyone else in the area left. Elder Salazar left to Los Torres, Elder Molina goes home to Peru today (along with my first comp here in Mexico Elder Berezay) and Elder Decker is the new AP. So, that was the news on the changes. IMG_0155

On Monday I went over to the office in DF to pick up my kid [note that the “kid” is older than Justin!]. I got there around 11 and all us trainers (3 others from my MTC district are training as well) and all the missionaries that are going home hung out for a little. At about 1 we went over to the chapel next to the office, and ate some Costco pizza and then President Villarreal announced the companionships. My new companion´s name is....Elder Diaz. He is from Peru (right around Lima) and he is great (more on him later). Then, Prez gave us a little training, which is great as usual. He talked about the importance of being obedient, the importance of working with all of your heart might mind and strength, and about having a desire to do the work. We then all read 2 Nephi 31 and 3 Nephi 11 together and he talked about our purpose as missionaries...which is inviting others to come unto Christ through living the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is beautifully explained in these 2 chapters. We closed the meetings and had some Costco muffins, and then we were off to our areas. 2 and a half hours later we made it back to our area and settled in for the night. 


Yesterday was my first full day as trainer with Elder Diaz, and it was his first full day working in Mexico. It was great. I learned a lot about him and I have already gained a lot of love and respect for him. He´s 20 years old and from Peru. He doesn´t speak any English (which is great, my Spanish is going to improve leaps and bounds this transfer). He is the ONLY member from his family. His parents aren’t members and don’t even really agree with him being on a mission. He talked with missionaries and was baptized 2 years ago, and set a goal to serve a mission. He worked to earn the money so that he could serve for these next two years. Just from that alone, you can see that he is a man with a lot of faith, and that he has the desire to be here. He shared with an investigator in a lesson last night that he knows that if he serves with all his heart for 2 years that the Lord will bring his family into the church, and that they will be able to be an eternal family. Seeing his situation and thinking about what he must be going through, truly humbled me and made me eternally grateful for all the blessings that I have in my life. I am so grateful that I have a family back at home that loves and supports me and that we will all live with Heavenly Father together again someday. I think sometimes I take that for granted...but now I can´t. It´s thanks to this gospel that I am so blessed in my life and I thank my Heavenly Father every day for it. 

IMG_0165Yesterday, it was so great working with my new comp. We seriously did work. 5 lessons and we put one person on date for this weekend. And we didn’t even work until 1 because we had a meeting in the morning. It was like night and day compared to last transfer...and I know its because of the desire and obedience that Elder Diaz has.  It was fun seeing him experience Mexico for the first time like I did a couple months ago. He ate Mexican bread for the first time and I bought him some tacos in the street when we were headed home. He loved it. Also I found it funny that I had to explain to him some of the different slang phrases and words they use here in Mexico. Apparently they don’t say the same stuff in Peru....So I had to teach him Mexican Spanish hahaha. Also here people are always walking down the street yelling GAS or BASURA (trash) which really confused him (you really cant tell what they are yelling the first time you hear them, I remember it confused me too). So that was funny too.

Well, That is pretty much what’s going on here in Mexico right now. I did in fact get your package Mom [YAY!] ...thank you =). So whatever you did worked. I have a couple of requests for my next package/ Birthday. Spare blade cartridges for my Gillete fusion razor (they don’t sell them here). Stamps of course (unless I get the ones with Mitchel’s letter) and.....a Jimmer Fredette jersey. I remembered March Madness is starting soon and I thought I should get a Jimmer Fredette jersey since I can’t watch I´ll at least support in spirit. haha. I would like the white home jersey, Large, and the authentic Nike one. That is all I can think of for my Bday for now [ya, like I’m gonna risk sending THAT in the mail!]. But I´ll keep you updated. 

I love you all and I love the work.

I miss you, but I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else than here.

And this is my joy (Alma 29:9)

Elder Peacock

PS.  Don’t see much difference in the hair, maybe a little shorter on the sides compared to the top?  Not sure I can place the Apostle he’s modeling…But doesn’t his face look tan?

PPS. he also sent pictures of his shoes for replacement under their guarantee…not even 8 months of wear!