Week Ninety in Puerto Maldonado

Bienvenido a la Amazonìa Papa Francesco

This coming week is a monumental one. I cant believe I havent told you this yet, because we are reminded a million times each day, but the Pope is coming to Puerto Maldonado. That is kind of a big deal! I remember when this was announced almost a year ago: The Pope will be visiting Peru in the cities of Lima, Trujillo, and Puerto. This small jungle-city will be filled with people from Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, and other countries. My companion and I want to get the Book of Mormon to him, but we will see if we get through security. If you want to learn more about the Pope, refer to the first 4 pages of Chapter 40 of “Jesus the Christ.” Its a great book.

On a more spirtual note, I am going to miss the Prophet Thomas S. Monson. I felt a initial shock and then pained when I found out. That is another testimony to me that I have a testimony that he was a prophet. I have never met him personally, but I felt as if I had. Why? Because he was a Prophet of God! I heard that so much before my misión, but now I realice the magnitude of what it means. When one has a testimony of prophets and apostles in these days, it changes everything. I will especially miss the words of wisdom that President Monson always had in conference, and his example of always “taking the long way home” in order to remember the one forgotten.

I know that his sucesor will seek to do the Lords will, becuase He only prepares, calls, and magnifies those who do so. I give the invitation to repass the words of the apostles from the last October general conference. I know that those messages are what the Lord wants us to have in mind during this time, becuase He can see what is challenging us, and what will come
SIgue sonriendo -Elder Daybell

6BE8F483-AA2F-4D79-B6B5-B1A9A694D8DAElder Joel Thatcher (famous swimmer on the university level in the States and my friend)

493AF362-F174-45C7-AABB-D357B0582CA7The wall says “Forgive me, fattie”

2F22D8D8-73A6-489E-B537-D9DEF90193F9Jungle frog

95A8679F-EDA1-4F97-9131-2C13E22C4E90Cool painting of a Native and I

E3172350-F2AE-486D-BFEB-7917E1809F84

 

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Week Eighty-Nine in Puerto Maldonado

Referencias

This Sunday was one of the most spiritual sacrament meetings that I have been too. Allow me to give you some context:

We have an investigador, Marcial, that is a reference from a less-active family. His wife and kids are all members, but havent participated in the church for years. We are trying to rescue the family and baptize him! This Sunday he came alone. I was sitting by Marcial when he told me that he wanted to bare his testimony. I told him that he cant because he is a sinner.

JOKE. We went up and he shared the most powerful testimony that affected everyone! ¡He testified that he was going to save his family and keep fighting against his weaknesses because he knows that Heavenly Father will help him! All our investigadors were impressed by the Spirit and we even had a guy contact us that wasnt a member. I know that the Atonement is real and we are going to help Marcial and his family access Christs power.

Its the first day of the transfer today. The first day of the last transfer… I still dont feel it. It seems that I will be here much longer than I actually will. I am not scared to go home, but it scares me to think about leaving the mission. ¡I love my purpose of life right now! Never has it been more fulfilling. I will consecrate myself even more to that purpose for these precious weeks. Los que hablan me idioma, me pueden preparar referencias para que pueda sacar citas lo mas antes posible. Me refiero a las referencias que son solteras, bonitas, e inteligentes. Estoy prácticamente abriendo área cuando llege. Recuerdo mucho las palabras del Presidente Hinckley; “Muchos piensen que la obra del casamiento solo es contactar. Todos los que conocen esta obra saben que hay una manera mejor: por medio de las referencias.” Asi lo dijo casi.

Keep smiling! –Elder Daybell

6F268E21-992D-45B1-8852-838BE36CBCC8Splits with the Elders (Lopez and Flores)

9482C2C6-A53F-46B7-9E0B-95E8E74B8B95E040E552-CD5D-4915-AFF0-B7381F30EDC6Pancakes!

6DB1AE69-2063-4D0C-B91A-9801D9DE8B0F5E8AF419-9752-4CD4-9811-2971C18849A4Watching a movie during Pday on our little plasma screen

960B2A8E-675A-4DE4-ABDB-B36124D6C0B577E49772-9F84-4C06-A613-1FC985463B6BThat river is a road usually

 

 

 

 

Week Eighty-Eight in Puerto Maldonado

Feliz Año Nuevo

I remember thinking at the start of 2017, ¡“Wow I get to be a missionary for this whole year!” And now? Where did that year go!? That was the fastest year of my life and will be cherished forever. I hope you are all having a great 2018 so far.

We had a great close to the year! Yesterday we had 5 investigators at church and we now have 2 with date for baptism. We have high hopes for this month! One thing that I wanted to do in Puerto Maldonado was focus on finding and teaching canidates for the higher priesthood. If Puerto is going to be a stake soon, then we need to find leaders! We cant have the church established without priesthood. One person with date is Vicente. He has been an investigator for almost a year, and has only a few chapters to finish the Book of Mormon. We have been talking a lot about the covenant of baptism and how he can recognize the Spirit, and he knows that this month he can finally make the decisión. 2 others in church were the dads of part-member families. It may be more of a struggle to change a grown mans habits and customs, but I know that these men have desires to be better!

The people are more liberal here. For example, a few nights ago as we were walking down the street we heard screams and whistles at us from down the road. I natrually thought that they were extrememly brave girls, but when I turned, I found two over-weight homosexuals passing us on a motorcycle. That doesnt happen in other parts of the misión! We are still laughing at the experience.

As we reflect on this past year, perhaps we will think of what we have done or accomplished. You might be making goals and plans to do even more this year! While that is important, I have also found that we should think about who we are. Who are you compared to last year? Have you changed for the better? Dont just think about what you want to do, but who you want to be. I am changed after 2017. I have became, even if by a few inches, a better person. I have become a little more like my Example. I have followed Him and depended on Him, and by doing that I am more like Him.

¡I am making plans to continue to be what Heavenly Father expects me to be in 2018! I know that you are too.  Dont get discouraged on the way, but enjoy the process! That process lasts a life-time and probably more, but you have a divine help in the work of that process. ¡Asi que debe seguir sonriendo mientras!

-Elder Daybell

DSCF9805Poncho style

DSCF9809DSCF9808Young Mens activity that we spoke at

DSCF9811My fridge is heaven (thanks fam)

DSCF9827DSCF9820DSCF9825The usual fútbol

Week Eighty-Seven in Puerto Maldonado

Feliz Navidad

I figured that I would write a small part of what I feel for Jesus Christ, being the day that we celebrate His birth event.

Everything I am and any good that I have done is thanks to Him. He rescued me as a lost sheep! He gave me sight, for I was blind! He enabled me to return to peace of mind and true happiness. I owe Him all. I think that many missionaries come here thinking that they are going to pay Him back for all He has done. I have realized that I could never give Him more than He continually gives me. I will never be able to say “we are even.” He has given me so many second chances and new beginnings! I will forever be in His debt. However, I will give my time, desires, and heart to Him forever as a way to thank Him.

I know that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ. I know that He was born in humility, lived unto perfection, and died suffering for me. The Savior of my soul and any other that realizes their dependence on Him.

I cannot imagine a more fulfilling and joyous time in my life than right now! I live only to invite others to come unto Christ. I occupy my entire mind and exhaust all my strength for the sole purpose of helping others get to know Him. What kind of life could be more real? I invite you to remember the reason He was born. Ponder all these things in your heart as we close out this year. The humble invitation is to give a little bit more, especially if it has to do with bringing souls to Him. ¡Espero que tengas una feliz Navidad hoy! Disfrútalo y recuerda las bendiciones en tu vida. Si no puedes pensar en bendiciones, por lo menos me conoces.

Sigue sonriendo! –Elder Daybell

DSCF9699

DSCF9679DSCF9683DSCF9678 Running by the river

DSCF9688Mas gatos

DSCF9795DSCF9708Noche Buena!

DSCF9747DSCF9753DSCF9757DSCF9761DSCF9775Wizards or fire benders? You choose, nerd.

Week Eighty-Six in Puerto Maldonado

¿Que puedo decirles?

What can I say? I have had a great week. Adjusting myself to the real missionary life. We have been laboring unwearingly, but are waiting to see the results. I remember how difficult it can be to be in your sector two weeks straight, but then only see 1 investigador in sacrament meeting. One feels the temptation to feel down, but we arent about that! I giggle in the face of adversary. And that is a manly giggle! We are going to continue to work with faith and patience and I know that the Lord is going to bless us with more prepared people. Even now He blesses us! I just need to recognize it better with an eternal perspective.

It only reached 104 degrees twice this week with a bajillion humidity. I honeslty love it so much. The experience is once in a life time!

President came this week for a Christmas conference. In the show of talents, my companion and I did some Poland magic that was inspired by a very wise Douglas. It was the best. I also did some beatbox harmonica with an Elder Flores that knows how to freestyle rap. It was great to see the Family Herrera and the assitants. They make me feel loved and I sure love them. I know that this relationships will last for eternities!

I hope you all have a great Christmas! I am not sure I will write next week due to facetime. Pero… ¡Feliz Navidad! Que tenga un prospero año y felicidad

Sigue sonriendo! –Elder Daybell

DSCF9669IMG_8592IMG_8589IMG_8593DSCF9657DSCF9662DSCF9672DSCF9639DSCF9635DSCF9627DSCF9628DSCF9632IMG_8699IMG_8695IMG_8692IMG_8678IMG_8676IMG_8653IMG_8641IMG_8602IMG_8598DSCF9581DSCF9574

i posted pics but I dont have time to tell yo what they are… But they are fun times!

Week Eighty-Five in Puerto Maldonado

Sudar – to sweat

I am in the promise land! Those promises are that I am going to sweat gallons each day, eat spiders in my sleep, and drink a lot of the jungle-fruit beverage called Copasú! I honestly think I have sweat more this week than I have in my entire life. Its not even that hot but the humidity of the Amazon is unreal! We are in the rain season, and that was proven when Sunday put the “rain” in rain forest. It honestly feels like a different mission here, becuase all my areas have been in the cold-aired Andes. I am loving it!

We got lost only once each day this week. I thought we were definitly going to get lost more! Luckily, a few members here are super Christ-like and we have had much help. They all question us, “Why do they open sectors when missionaries were here before?” My answer has become that even God has a sense of humor! It has been interesting because as we get lost, we begin to see the Lord guiding us to find new prepared people. I have been super stressed to not lose any of the precious time during the day, and He answers those earnest prayers in miraculous ways! The church is less mature, being a district instead of an established stake. The branch President is a convert with less than 2 years as a member. Coicidentally his name is Presidente Herrera, like my mission president. Many leaders of the branch dont have much experience in the church, but have all the desires that one needs. I know that we are going to see miracles working with them!

My companion is a powerful Elder! I feel the Spirit in each lesson. One thing that I admire in his attitude is that he truly values learning. Whether it be english, the scriptures, how to teach better, or any other thing the mission offers; he is dedicated to learn it. I am going to emulate this stellar attribute more like Elder Malón has shown me!

I am concentrated on taking full advantage of all the experiences that my final phase of the mission has to offer. I see Gods hand on the daily. I have a love for Jesus Christ that I didnt know was there at the start of this 2-year adventure! I have grown in my love for you as well. I miss you and hope that you are happy!

Sigue sonriendo -Elder Daybell

DSCF9538

DSCF9516Meow

 

Puppies and Samuel (pensions kids)

DSCF9535Ice cream of Copasú is life

DSCF9515DSCF9531Good friends and elders

Week Eighty Four in Cusco

Sigo aquí

I have good news and I have funny news. The good news is that my fresh companion is an absolute spiritual giant. Elder Malón from Trujillo, Peru. He was baptized only a year and two months ago! But he came one of the most prepared missionaries I have ever met, with the fire of a recent convert in his heart and the faith, hope, and charity to see many miracles in our time together! Already I have learned a ton from him and feel extremely blessed each day. We are going to kill it when we get to Puerto!

That is the funny news: I am still in Cusco. I was supposed to travel after all the training from President and the assistants to us trainers and our companions, but that changed last second. President asked me to stay and extra week for Leadership Training tomorrow. We are anxious to leave! I have served 11.5 months in this same sector. All my time serving in the city of Cusco adds up to be 14.5 months. Cusco is my city! 6 of my 8 companions are Peruvian as well, which means Peru is my country!  I am so going to cry tomorrow in the bus as I leave my second home, and cry even more in a few precious months.  

The reason I have to stay is a sad one. To be short, I gave a permission to some missionaries that I shouldn’t have, and the results were bad. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I definitely could have done something before to prevent it. Tomorrow I am giving a training to the leaders of the mission about the “learned lessons” that have come to me thanks to this mistake of omission.

I would like to testify this week about the power of the Atonement! Not just the power to be worthy before God, but the power that it can give us to forgive ourselves too. A part of the repentance process is finding the strength to learn from ones mistakes, forgive oneself, and keep progressing forward. I have had to study this principle over and over again! And I know that it is true. You are not born evil, but born with an original and divine goodness. You are made of heavenly substance! You may be stained by many things that this life brings, but the way is already established to be made clean. Don’t be too hard on yourself with your occasionally minor slips and falls. We are going to make mistakes probably until our last day here, but the important thing is that we continue trying. I am still extremely sad about the situation that has happened, but I have found that God needs me to forgive myself and realize His love for me. I love this Gospel and the light it brings when we may be confused, pained or lost. I am happy and I love you!

Sigue sonriendo –Elder Daybell 

Pictures of people I will miss from Cusco!

DSCF9463-Presidente and Sister Herrera

IMG_6813IMG_6811IMG_6810

DSCF9486-The Johnsons

DSCF9494DSCF9492-Sister Viki Rojas (and her cake)

IMG_6836-Spiderkid

IMG_6834-Marco Antonio (convert)

DSCF9472

IMG_6807IMG_6803IMG_6802IMG_6801IMG_6800IMG_6796-The Family Diaz (some of them)

DSCF9483-Bro. Willy and his fam (and his hamburgers)

IMG_6842Receiving Elder Malón!

DSCF9469DSCF9468Eating too much Papa Johns for the last time

DSCF9500With my two sons: Elder Espinoza and Elder Malón

 

IMG_6825IMG_6824Baptism of Lucio!

Week Eighty-Three in Cusco

San Diego Bro!

I have spent this week trying to soak in the experiences! My replacement has been with us all week, and we have been in intense training. Not really, because he is already quite in tune with the Force, so it has been an easy training. Do you want to know who the padowon is?

My good friend Elder Peña! He was born in the States, but is from Tijuana, Mexico. He did end high school in San Diego though, hence the title. Elder Peña is one of those people that just have a light about them. He has reminded me on more than one occasion of my cousin Matthew, who is a forever example to me. During many splits and during this week with him, I have learned much just by observing this Elders great example. The both of us have had many growing opportunities this week, as he adjusts to this assignment and I adjust to having a transfer after so long. Many mixed feelings! I am anxious for many reasons, do you want to know what land I am heading to?

According to a timeless song, it’s a place of fun and games. I am going to be training! Which means my companion is starting his mission, and we are going to an area that neither of us have been to. It’s going to be a challenge! I have never “opened a sector” before, so my new companion and I will be learning together. For those who are musically ignorant, I am heading to the jungle, a thick Amazonian place where all you do is sweat, sweat, and sweat no matter what. My new area is the Cultura in Puerto Maldonado zone. I don’t know how I got so blessed! This is going to be a totally different experience from what I have had thus far on my mission.

The pictures and videos I received made it seem that you had a great Thanksgiving! I am constantly reminded of how spoiled you are. There is a popular saying down here called, “The American dream.”  One has this dream when they desire to have even a small portion of the blessings you and I have. Honestly, I don’t know how to repay my beloved family, good friends, and my Redeemer for the things they have given me. You should know that you are spoiled for a reason! I believe that the reason that God has given you so much is perhaps because you too must give. I invite any reader to start during this holiday season to give. On Mormon.org, there is a great initiative to get started called Light the World. There you have 25 ways to serve during these 25 days before Christmas. I promise that you will be the answer to many desperate prayers during this month! And you will become closer to Jesus Christ and our loving Father. Be consistent with this invitation that the Church has extended! JUST DO IT.

Sigue sonriendo! –Elder Daybell

 

DSCF9436DSCF9423DSCF9422Welcoming Elder Peña (san diego bro)

DSCF9434DSCF9459DSCF9410The infamous perro peruano (peruvian dog)

DSCF9414Burnt legs

DSCF9440DSCF9445Primary activity being missionaries

DSCF9456Mega bed PANGEA

IMG_0437IMG_0511IMG_0550Thanksgiving at Presidents house!!

Week Eighty-Two in Cusco

“I am on the pursuit of happiness..”

President has been in Colombia all week for Master Jedi Council meetings with all the Presidents of the area, so we had a good time. We went up to the mission house and threw a lit party while playing that one song (refer to title). It was RIGHTEOUSNESS.       No we didn’t really party, but we are definitely blessed that the missionaries didn’t go on strike.

My companion and I did splits with some zone leaders, but here in our area. I had the privilege to work with Elder Coil (UT) and Elder Owens (WA). They both have different, but striking attributes that help them lead their zones. I am going to miss going on splits with zone leaders each change. I have progressed a ton by their example and advice. You could say that they touched me.. and I am pretty sure that I touched them (name that reference).

Today as I opened my email, I had a spiritual experience. About 3 weeks ago I needed to decide if I was going to extend my mission or not. Knowing that I should decide beforehand; I was asking family, friends, and most importantly God for a month or two. I was praying and pondering, weighing out the pros and the cons, and eventually felt answers. When people would ask me, “Why aren’t you extending?” I would simply respond, “I don’t know! I just feel bad when I think about doing it, and feel calm when I think about going home in February.” I found out why God was sending those feelings that I discerned! If I would have extended, I would have missed seeing my brother by only 1 day. We would be boarding planes at the same time, only to have been separated for 4 years.

We are so blessed to have a Father that is ready and willing to communicate with us! I didn’t understand why I was feeling that I shouldn’t extend, but I didn’t need to know why. Sometimes we only have to trust those whisperings and keep moving forward. I promise that if you do this, the answers will eventually come into clear view. I am beyond joyful for my brother Josh and know that he is being prepared to be a disciple for our Savior. And I am content that I will be able to spend time with him before he leaves! Family and Gods work are so important. Give a little bit more time to those two things this week, and you will be reminded of the most important things!

Sigue sonriendo! –Elder Daybell

DSCF9390DSCF9345DSCF9343-Having adventures and stuff on splits

DSCF9347DSCF9346-He fell asleep praying (aka Lehi´s dream)

DSCF9354DSCF9341-A cute poopie in my hands

DSCF9399DSCF9396DSCF9394DSCF9398-Playing some TURKEY BOWL. I persuaded President to let Sicuani zone travel for it!

DSCF9321-Ping pong Pday

DSCF9352-Cutest kids ever! Of an inactive/investigador family

Week Eighty-One in Cusco

¿Última vez en mi tierra, Puno?

We went down to my land of Puno this week. It may have been my last multi-zone conference where I am directing, teaching, and inviting the missionaries. I may or may not (totally do) know my transfer already. Either way I am going to save that for when transfers arrive in two weeks!

Anyways, we had to fly because President was in a rush to get back. We had a layover in Lima and I saw the ocean for the first time in a while… My sweet pacific ocean! The conference was super spiritual. This transfer has been really focused on our 1. Who are we? 2. For what have we been called? During all the splits last change, my companion and I have felt that we need to focus on helping the missionaries remember our purpose. As I was reading a “Missionary Commission” given by Elder Mckonkie, I even got choked up! In front of 60+ missionaries I almost cried, but the infamous “Grampa Daybell cough” saved me from the tears. It hit me in that moment the privilege that I have to be able to say that I represent Jesus Christ in all His perfection, even in all my shortcoming and error. What a humbling and sacred calling!

What also impacted me in that moment was this: That was my last conference in this assignment. After about a year of getting to know the missionaries, serving them, and teaching them, I will soon leave to another sector and another assignment. I cannot explain adequately how precious this time has been to me. These missionaries are so impressive. I have grown to love each one like family through this service. I may not see some of them for a long while! Honestly, that thought saddens me. I am going to strive to “not cry because it’s over, but smile because it happened.” You know I am quoting Dr. Suess. Somebody get on his temple work if it’s not done yet, that man was a genius.

I say it every week but… I love the mission! I continue to change for the better.

Sigue sonriendo! –Elder Daybell

DSCF9300 Llama art

DSCF9308Elder Carlson, Elder Jensen, your truly, and Elder Clancy.The sons of the Cusco Moms Club.

DSCF9302Rugby for the first time in the mission! ft. Elder Clancy

DSCF9313DSCF9311Papachos restuarant with the zone leaders

IMG_7400IMG_7401IMG_7398President trolling me becuase of my panay (traditional Quechua lady) bag.