Week Seventy-Three in Cusco

I am still in Peru. Stop. Things have gone pretty good this week. Stop. I am healthy and happy. Stop. We are still working hard against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world. Stop. Ephesians 6:12. Stop.

We had 3 conferences this week! One in the jungle of Puerto Maldonado, another with all the Cusco zones, and a final in the jungle of Quillbamba. They all turned out well and we taught much on obedience. Presidents training on being teachers of the Gospel is amazing like always. And Sister Herrera always delivers with the importance of cleaning our sheets and bathrooms.

For Quillabamba, President couldn’t make it last minute because of a minor health problem. He ended up sending us with the senior missionary couple, The Johnsons. President told us to give his training, Sister Herreras training, and all the rest! In my opinion, he has way too much confidence in us jajajaj. But it turned out okay and we were able to transmit it. It’s easy to talk about teaching the gospel, but not so easy to talk passionately about the cleanliness of our bathrooms like Sister Herrera does so masterfully. The Johnsons are awesome. They are from Hurricane, UT. They always travel with us to teach and interview the Latino missionaries about learning English. I am definitely going to visit them in Hurricane afterwards!  They are good friends and they help the mission in so many ways. Shout out to Grandpa Jack and Grandma Sheila, who are preparing to serve!! More missions need involved senior couples.

Gloria passed her interview along with her two daughters! I couldn’t adequately express the happiness I feel. That happiness is going to double this Saturday as they are dressed in white, ready to do this covenant with our God and receive all the accompanying blessings. YES.

We have another baptism this Sunday too. His name is Marco Antonio! Super funny, musical, sarcastic dude. He has been attending church for like 8 months but at the wrong ward. His bishop just told him that he can’t be baptized there, so the Sisters had to pass the reference to us! We have been teaching him for about 3 weeks, but he already had a testimony and baptismal date. Super excited to see him as well! It is wild how fast you come to love the people you serve, as you serve alongside the Lord in His vineyard.

Love you and miss you! Keep being real and pray for Victor to come to his wifes baptism this Saturday, and to have an open heart to feel the spirit tell him what he must do!!

Sigue sonriendo- Elder Daybell

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Sister Herrera taking pictures of my exhaustion hangover as we drive back to Cusco… Again!

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Excersise from Elder FIncher in Consejo de Líderes

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Week Seventy-Two in Cusco

Demasiado cansado estoy

I am going to have to do a day-by-day breakdown this week because it was another wild one! I am beyond tired and happy to be so, because it makes me feel like I am “wearing and wasting my life” for this cause (D&C 123:12-13).

Monday: We had the Goodbye Dinner with a few missionaries. People ask me if that ever makes me “trunky” but it never has. Yes, it’s been weird seeing many old companions bear their final testimony there, but not nostalgic. It is really a privilege to hear those testimonies! They always talk about how the mission is so life-changing and it really is. I have the chance to reflect on how it is changing my life and more importantly changing me.

Tuesday: the newbs got here. Jaja no they aren’t newbs, they are studs! We spent the day with them for their interviews, lunch at Presidents house, taking them to the hotel, eating Papa Johns at night. It’s pretty much a day where we get more fat.

Wednesday: Full day of training! The news also meet their trainers and we eat more food. The fun part is going to contact with them in the Main Square! I always remember when my trainer and I went and I stumbled through a few contacts in my pathetic Spanish. Feels like yesterday…

Thursday: we had Leadership Council. We usually have it next week but we wanted to kill ourselves this transfer. We were up the night before at like 11pm to set up tables… This whole week I haven’t had the chance to really sleep on time, but I can sleep in the U.S of A. The Leadership Council was amazing. We invited the district leaders for an hour to give a training about how to ask for numbers and President had us to a practice of the wrong way and the right way to ask numbers.

I have had another really spiritual experience in the preparation for our final training too. I won’t tell all the details, but just know that the Lord magnifies the weak servants that He calls! We have been improving in so many things as zone leaders, but we have been having the same results. I couldn’t figure it out until 2 days before the Leader Council I was kneeling to pray/sleep. Don’t tell me you have never done that! Started the prayer and then in the morning finished “in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!” Anyways, there I was almost asleep on my knees and then I was suddenly woken up to thoughts flooding my mind. I hurried and grabbed my agenda, found a blank page, and began to jot down scriptures and phrases to remember using my flashlight. After that I passed out on my bed. The next morning, I went through the scrabbled notes in my agenda and had a powerful personal study. The thing our leaders are lacking is unity! Unity in the companionships of the zone leaders and unity as the leaders of the mission. We gave a neat training with an activity of scripture study and my companion rocked it on his first time directing and teaching in a Leadership Council.

Friday: We had driven to Abancay the night before and so Friday we had a conference with the zone. We only talked a bit about a few points in the Missionary Handbook, but President gave a killer training. The drive is still a horrible 4 hours of winding and turning, but nobody threw up so no worries.

Saturday-Sunday: Finally in our area… A rough one for our investigators not being able to see us all week. The fantastic news is that Gloria and her daughters are still progressing! They are reading and coming to church with no problem. They even invited us to eat! I got super sick and received a running case of diarrhea, but it was a nice thought of them. Never can trust the food in South America.

That was my busy week. I know that the day-by-day letters aren’t very dynamic, but I don’t know how to get all the information to you. Please, forgive me. I love you! I miss you and am always praying for you. I am confident that blessings from missionary service reach to the family and friends back home! I hope you count those blessings and send me lots of things.

Sigue sonriendo- Elder Daybell

DSCF8945Elder Valenzuela and I in front of the Pachacutec Fountain

DSCF8941Right before the new missionaries meet their trainers

DSCF8938The newbs sleeping deep

DSCF8951Palo de selfie in Sister Glorias house

Week Seventy-Two in Cusco

Una vez más

One more time! Another transfer has terminated and I am still here. This will be my 7th transfer (period of 6 weeks) in the office! I am honestly just happy that I am on a mission, I couldn’t care less where! I have never had a problem with being happy where I am at in life. Crazy to think that I got here last Christmas and I will be leaving right before Halloween though! This next transfer we are going to be on the road a ton with conferences starting up again, and I have planes to go hard.

Muy bein. This week was pretty neat. We did more splits with the leaders in Cusco and Inti Raymi, the two zones in the actual city of Cusco. I was with Elder Yangali (Peru) and Elder Haws (UT). We had a good time and they taught me much. Elder Yangali is a convert since 2 years! Impressive. And Elder Haws knows the last girl that I kind of dated before I left, so it’s a small world after all. Especially when you are Mormon.

Last week I said that I would tell you about my investigadores, and I am no liar. The family that is progressing a ton is a family that you have heard of for months. Sister Frida got baptized with her 2 kids and her nephew in Feburary. Later we baptized Raquel, her oldest daughter, in May. Ever since May we have been working with the sister of Frida whose name is Gloria. Gloria has a baptized son (the nephew in Feburary). Right now she is progressing a ton with her two other daughters and they have a date for the 23 of September! The biggest desire of mine is that Glorias husband Victor can get baptized with them. Or in other words, PRAY FOR VICTOR. He is super interested and wants to make the decision but he “hasn’t felt a change of heart.” I know when he has a strong spiritual witness of the Restoration and of the Atonement, he will be down. He only needs to sacrifice a little more of his time and effort to pray and read and attend church with us. He is going to be a leader for the church in Cusco once he knows!

These are two families that I have grown to love beyond measure. I cannot wait to have my parents and my own family meet them one day! I have been here long enough to create many memories with them. The rest of the extended family live in my sector as well, but they hate me with a fiery passion. It’s okay though. I don’t take it personal, it’s more because I represent those demonic Mormons that want to change the Sabbath day to Sunday when it should be Saturday. JAJAJ I always say hello to them with a smile and oh boy do they hate me. It’s all good! I can feel them warming up to my charm little by little. No mere mortal can resist my charm for that long. Funny story: One time we were teaching Raquel in the laundry business when one of “the sisters” of Frida arrived. Her kids saw us and immediately hid themselves. After about 5 minutes her little kid comes around the corner and just stares at us. I said, “hey whats up!” and he responded warmly. We had a brief conversation and then he turned to his mom and exclaimed, “don’t you see?! They are not evil!” We died laughing. It was a blessing for Raquel because she always gets family members coming to her only to bash the church and Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, but that little kid spoke an eternal truth that day. Mormons are not evil!

Well I hope that you are happy and all that jazz. I love you and always miss you!

Sigue sonriendo- Elder Daybell

DSCF8902DSCF8905When I study, the light sometimes shines on me and causes hard revelation

DSCF8892Working with E’ Vargas in Sicuani

DSCF8893Panorama of the Sicuani Valley

DSCF8883Going to “the office” (la oficina)

DSCF8888Luciano the infamous child of our pension

DSCF8922Converts playing “Dota” when we supposedly had an appointment

DSCF8924DSCF8881The good-bye treats in the office for Elder Ordoñez (so sad)

DSCF8925Fine dining in the Main Square with my companion

DSCF8935A rat thing on my cabeza

Week Seventy-One in Cusco

Aquí estamos

Here we are again! Not only do the weeks fly by, but the transfers feel like a blink of an eye. We had another busy and fun week here in my Cusco. We did the changes with President this week, but I will tell you my change at the end of this email.

Elder Valenzuela and I had the chance to do splits 3 times this week. We want to pound them in, because after this week the conferences start again. We worked in Cusco with two companionships, the zone leaders from Puerto and Juliaca. We worked in Sicuani too! I was with Elder Chinguel (Lima), Elder Walker (Utah), and Elder Vargas (Bolivia). They all have their strengths and are great zone leaders! I hope I was able to listen to the Spirit enough to give some good advice that helped too.

After we worked in Sicuani, we went with President and Hermana Herrera to a little village called Espinar! We went to visit because President hasn’t gotten up there yet. I say “up there” because it is the highest point in our mission! I think around 13,500 ft. in elevation. It’s also the last place that I needed to visit to say that I have been to the entire mission… WEEHOO.

As for the changes that we did with President… super spiritual as always. The changes are like a mind-boggling puzzle, but every piece is put in place through inspiration. I can see how clear President is guided! It makes me wonder how strong the experience must be when the Apostles assign people to their missions. I often receive simple thoughts on where people could go or with who as a companion. As I mention those ideas, many times President says, “That is exactly what I thought.” Often I have no clue with a missionary but President sees exactly what needs to happen, and it’s my task to trust the man with the authority. God cares too much about His children and His work to not give clear, specific, and direct revelation on these matters. You could say that His work is His children! Así que, no se rindan Josh y Dax! Hay personas que les esperan. Esta obra es donde debemos estar en este tiempo. ¡El esfuerzo claramente vale la pena!

My change is not confirmed because there is a week left in this transfer but… As of now… (drumroll please)….  I am staying here in Cusco! I kind of figured because we haven’t talked about my replacement the entire change, but I think it is 95% confirmed now. I will be staying in the office unless President gets high-speed connection from on High and calls someone. I am happy because I love Elder Valenzuela and wanted to be his companion longer and because we are going to be baptizing some people this next month! I will tell you all about those people next week, but just know the Lord is blessing us after a few months of working patience and faith (James 1:3).

I love you and miss you! Hope all goes well with this new school year and that you look for those that may be feeling sad or lonely in the halls to be their friends. A good friend is a valuable possession in those halls of high school or college! You can be that good friend. JUST DO IT.

Sigue sonriendo- Elder Daybell

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Week Seventy in Cusco

4th Quarter baby… ¡Vamos!

We have had a killer week! I am kind of down right now because Elder Valenzuela just destroyed me in ping pong… I am out of practice, but he is a Master Jedi with the pong. But the Lord did just direct us to so many new investigators this week! So not all is bad. I am talking about families with real needs and doubts for us to solve with the amazing Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We did splits two times this week. I was with Elder Espinoza (Peru) and another day with Elder Cutipa (Peru). They are both newly called zone leaders! They are excited to help their zone and taught me a ton! You may remember Elder Espinoza, because he is the Elder that I trained a year ago in Cusco. Blessed to work with him again! I thought that he hated me by the end of his training… I thought he said I was too strict (strange descriptive word for those who knew me before) and not patient. But we had a manly heart-to-heart and he thanked me and I thanked him.

Thanks for all your prayers for me! I definitely need them. But I would like to invite those who sometimes pray for me to instead pray for the Family Cueva Diaz. Pray that Victor and Gloria can read the Book of Mormon every day and be ready for baptism in September. I will ever appreciate your prayers, but they need the power of your prayers even more!

Do you know what happens 6 months from today’s date? A sadden Elder Daybell gets on a plane. I can tell you this with complete confidence that it won’t affect my work! Everyone knows that you need to go hard in the 4th quarter or you will lose the game. I am freaked out to think that I am one of the older missionaries now.. I still feel new and felt like my trainer went home just a few changes ago. But the reality is that only a handful of missionaries ever met my trainer or my other mission President. The mission is too short! But it has converted me into a disciple of Christ forever, so at the same time I know the work will never be done.

I love you!

Sigue sonriendo –Elder Daybell

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Random candid selfie of companionship
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 Eating at the Johnsons
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 Splits with LZs of Quillabamba (myself, Elder Valenzuela, Elder Hatfield, Elder Cutipa)

Week Sixty-Nine in Cusco

Receive, Recognize, and Respond

I don’t have too much time to write because I wanted to respond to a lot of people this week! A wise Elder told me once that only a few chosen write you during your mission, until the last 6 months. I have more than six months left, but I am starting to see names of old friends and family in my inbox! The promise is being fulfilled… Don’t misunderstand, I am not complaining! Please continue to write me and send me pictures of your lives! Shout out to my father and sisters Amanda and Alyssa for the personal videos, made my day! To all who write me; you will be wildly blessed when the prodigal son returns.

Do you want a spiritual experience or funny story? I will go with spiritual because it takes more effort to explain a funny story through email.

Something I have loved to learn in the mission is how to receive, recognize and respond to the Holy Ghost. At the start of this last week, my thoughts were being drawn to the word “loyalty” and its implementation in the Gospel, but especially as a missionary. I thought perhaps it was for the conferences, but the conferences are still a while out. I usually try to study a good two weeks before a conference, but this would be way too early. Every night I was pulled to ponder if I was being loyal to the Lord, to President, and to the missionaries. I had no idea why my mind was consumed on these topics, but I couldn’t study other things even if I tried! Then came Wednesday and President had a meeting with us. He told us of a few issues of loyalty with a few missionaries and told us he felt we needed to have a conference that Friday! My companion and I looked at each other in bewilderment. Just 20 minutes before I had told Elder Valenzuela what was on my mind and invited him to study it as well, but I told him I didn’t know why! We found out right there.

It is crazy how the Lord directs us without even knowing it. I feel like I receive about 80% of the revelation I should, recognize about 50% of that, and respond quickly to about 25% of that percentage! Makes sense? I am grateful for the mission’s opportunities to practice listening to that still, small voice. I need a lot more practice! The Spirit is oh-so willing to guide us, but I feel like the enemy is really good at distracting or clouding that voice. Remember: “Satan wants us to be busy doing good things, so that we aren’t focused on those things most important.”

I hope that you know how the Holy Ghost speaks to you. Eliminate distractions and temptations from your sight in order to hear His voice more often. You may say, “But Elder Daybell! You have no idea how busy I am. I am like super busy and stuff.” Well, try starting with only one day a week! Focus on receiving instruction from on High at least on Sundays. Once you feel it, you will begin to want to eliminate other unnecessary things during your week and replace it with a thing more important. That is my invitation for you! I am praying for you in the world. Its definitely not an easy thing! But if we continually do more to receive, recognize and respond to the Holy Ghost, then BOOM. Enough said. I miss you and love you. Keep your head up and…

Sigue sonriendo! –Elder Daybell

IMG_6000Mate from Argentina!

Week Sixty-Eight in Cusco

Visit from a Seventy

This week has been one the most packed spiritual experiences, so I am going to have to do a day-by-day break down!

Monday: We had Leadership Council in the morning with Elder Juan A. Uceda and then a conference with 93 missionaries in the afternoon! The conference was on tables, which was sweet. Hermana Herrera liked the setup we did, so thankfully I got to eat dinner! I did a practice with Elder Uceda in front of everyone… I wasn’t planning to, but President just called me up. Luckily, I went pee like right before! The practice was a companionship study where a Seventy and I were companions and analyzing a video (the District 2) about missionaries. He just kept asking me all these questions and we were talking about what we could improve on as missionaries. It was awesome! I actually learned from something I said, which means it was inspiration, not me!

Tuesday: My companion and I flew to Puerto with President, Elder Uceda, and their wives. The conference was different, and still legendary. My highlight of this day was eating dinner after with President and Elder Uceda in the hotel. We talked for like 2 hours! Elder Uceda was telling about his mission. He is Peruvian and served in Peru. His last area was Cusco! He was the zone leader for all of Cusco and Puno. When he was here, there was only a branch of 6 people in Puno and now there are 3 stakes! Only the Lord can progress His work like that. He also told us about the callings he received after the mission! Made me think about how I never want to stop serving the Lord. Nothing can be so worthwhile! Elder Uceda is such a humble guy and I am super grateful for this week’s opportunities.

Wednesday: We flew back to Cusco, got in a taxi, and drove to Puno. President went in his car with the 70, but we followed in a taxi. Honestly wasn’t too exciting of a day! But at night, Elder Valenzuela and I ate a pizza that had alpaca on it! Que rico.

Thursday: The conference in Puno with about 70 missionaries. Elder Uceda had all the time, and pretty much talked on obedience. He has a very entertaining way to teach! He knows how to correct people extremely direct, but with a lot of love. He taught from the Missionary Handbook and I was humbled to see that I need to study that more!

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we got to work in our sector! The Lord blessed us with 3 new investigadores and Gloria and Veronica are coming to church! This has been one of the most tiring weeks and one of the most blessed during my mission. I am changing the way I teach for the better and striving to be more obedient. But enough about me! I pray for you every day and hope that you find yourself counting your blessings. Did you fast yesterday? I am so grateful for the power of the fast and how it can amplify our prayers. I have learned something each fast in my mission and always seen Gods hand! I invite you to look for evidence throughout your day of Gods hand. Take 2 minutes before you say your night prayers to think back on how Gods hand was in that day. You will come to realize, as I have, that we are missing how hugely He helps us.  We have a loving Father that is always laboring for us! Appreciate that more. I miss you!

Sigue sonriendo –Elder Daybell

DSCF8839DSCF8849DSCF8847DSCF8845Our famous morning run across the Puerto Maldonado bridge.

DSCF8837Setting up for Leadership Council; Elder Valenzuela, Ordoñez, Boelter, yours truly

IMG_5944The “blue steel” smoulder before the Cusco Conference.

IMG_5502Inti Raymi zone with Elder Uceda and Hermana Uceda

DSCF8868Playing some fútbol (like every Monday…) but with Presidente

Week Sixty-Seven in Cusco

“A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.”

I have to write today because I am not going to have time Monday! Why? Because Elder Juan A. Uceda is coming to the mission tomorrow… and we still haven’t found enough tables that we need. But stop worrying, we just need to remain calm!

This week we said goodbye to 7 powerful missionaries and welcomed 13 more. Elder Valenzuela and I talked a lot about obedience like usual, but always using different examples in the scriptures. This time as I was studying for the training, I found the awesome example of Abraham having to sacrifice Isaac and being obedient. We talked about how coming on the mission, we are expected to make sacrifice. But really being a follower of Christ in His true church requires sacrifice! But I can honestly say “the greatest decision I ever made in my life was to give up something I dearly loved to the God I loved even more.” (GC talk by Pres. Monson April 2003). I know He will never forget me for that! I have learned this principle on the mission and will continue to sacrifice the old to be born anew.

This week has been nothing but hectic with the “paros” (strikes) in all of Peru. Like the one that happened in Juliaca, they are closing all the streets to strike and it’s hard to travel, which has made it really hard for transfers. What should be a job of a day or two has turned into a week so far. We have had calls in the middle of the night with some Elder stranded in the terminal or had missionaries sleeping in buses because they get stopped on their way to the new area. There is not really a way around it! Some missionaries have been staying in our house that should be in their sector but cannot travel. We will see how the zones travel for the conference… I have been out of the house past curfew just a few times this week! And the chairs at the terminal are not comfortable for sleep.

I miss you! I am exhausted and stressed while being happy and calm. Does that make sense? I hope that you can find that good balance wherever you are!

Sigue sonriendo –Elder Daybell

p.s. “Shout out to the legends Conner Kirk Holt and Anthony Hiram Lee Gray for keeping the hot tub warm for me!”

DSCF8803This guy (ex-elder Benson) was AP for President Harbertson! 5 Generations back…

DSCF8833E’ Valenzuela is a barber (dont trust him)

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Goobye dinner for E´ Huallparuca with our converts Carlos and Juana

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Office soccer polo

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E’ Ordoñez thinks he is funny and put Gordilocks instead of Goldilocks…

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My converts playing Dota instead of being at a lesson we had

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Week Sixty-Six in Cusco

Perfect Record

This week was eventful and I have been in a trio all week. We have had a ton of fun in the lessons and training Elder Valenzuela who came already trained somehow. It’s been a Peruvian, a Chilean, and a gringo taking on the world.

My title refers to my perfect record in… the English test! All my companions that I have had passed the English test! This test is based in listening and speaking and if you pass with at least an intermediate-low, you can apply to these schooling called Pathway as soon as you get home. It is hard to get in if you don’t pass this test, but an automatic if you do! Elder Huallparuca took it because he is ending, and got intermediate-medium!! I gave him a blessing in English right before he took it and it was super spiritual. I am happy for my old companion! He has plans to go to BYU-Hawaii and I have plans to help him get there.

Other happy news: Gloria and Veronica have a date!! (mom and sister of Patrick the convert) We taught her last night and she just told us that she knows that this is the true church and that she is reading the BOM every night with her daughters… We had no idea because we haven’t been able to visit her in forever. HAND OF GOD. She told us, “I have been waiting for this feeling to be born in me, and I have felt it. I know that this is what God wants for my family but we need to find a date to be baptized.” Then my old companion offered a prayer to ask which date, and she thought of September 2. We looked to see if it was a Saturday and.. coincidence? I think not. I am so happy and cannot imagine how happy Heavenly Father must be for this family that is little by little accepting the truth.

Well that’s about it. Tomorrow the new missionaries get here and we start over again. But this next transfer a General Authority is coming to the mission! We are in the planning stage right now, but I am sure I will be telling you all about it. I love you and miss you!

Sigue sonriendo! –Elder Daybell

DSCF8788DSCF8771DSCF8794DSCF8798DSCF8759DSCF8748Trip to Salkantay!

DSCF8742DSCF8743Chilis to welcome Elder Valenzuela

DSCF8732Machete used for service in Puerto

Week Sixty-Five in Cusco

Nuevo compañero

Good to speak with you again! Hope all is well with the life and you are remembering to make the important things important! This week was 7 days, just like the last one. We were able to see some progress in inches too!

Karina came to church again! She didn’t have her kids come with her, but she has a true desire. We honestly need more time because when she is not working we are gone it always seems. I know that she is prepared and showing her faith by keeping the commitments. Another family with the last name of Cueva are doing well! It’s the family of my convert Patrick, and his parents (Victor and Gloria) have expressed a want to be baptized! We just need to help them understand that they need to come to church. They travel to Brazil, Panama and all over for work… But they are married, keep the Word of Wisdom even until coffee, and feel like they need to repent before baptism. Can I get a hallelujah? I am excitingly being patient for them.

We did the transfers this week, because we are travelling next week! Another reason is for my next companion, which is travelling right now to Cusco! His training will be a week from Elder Huallparuca and then my current companion is heading home! I have sent home 4 of my companions, and it’s strange. I know he will do awesome things and I am going to miss him a ton. The mission is hello and goodbye!

My next companion is… (drumroll please)… Elder Valenzuela! He has been in many of my pictures because he used to be the zone leader that lived with me for months when I first got to Cusco. Now he is coming back to the area! He is from Chile and already one of my best friends in the mission. I get so blessed with companions! We are going to work hard and play hard.

I miss you!

Sgue sonriendo! –Elder Daybell

DSCF8693DSCF8691Soccer every Monday in Cusco

DSCF8695“Fast Foot” (they meant to say food)

DSCF8698Cool Grafiti I did

DSCF8709Baby Jedi…

DSCF8704GabbiLu and Ariella

DSCF8711Pizza with the pension! Hermano Pedro and Hermana Coqui