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

Week Sixty-Four in Cusco

Taxi < Bus

I returned to my Holy Land this week down in Puno and Juliaca. Unfortunately, we travelled in taxi in order to save time. I thought that I would be in a wheelchair for the rest of my mission, but I recovered. I was able to do splits with a new leader, Elder Cook (UT), who actually started in my zone when I was in Juliaca. He is one of the most humble guys I have met! Only 18 years old but his spiritual maturity is around 38 years. Just by his example I found things that I need to change and how to be better in my views. I also worked with an Elder Melo (Columbia) with whom I have worked with many times and we always have a good time. He is going home soon, so I tried to pick his brain and learn all I could too.

I have had 2 focuses during these splits during the transfer.

  1. Learn something from each Elder, write it down, and apply it in my life.  I have easily found many things as I have observed each elder! It is obvious that every person has their strengths and God uses those strengths to fulfill His purposes. I believe it is so important to notice the talents of others! In order to thank them for that and to begin to develop it yourself. It’s important to realize the strengths and talents that you have too! In order to use them in every opportunity to bless others. (study idea… Matthew 25:14-29)
  2. Invite each Elder to seek to know Christ better and love Him more. This invitation was one that Presdente gave me in our interview at the start of this change. He told me, “As you work with the missionaries this transfer, you should try to teach them about Christ. Study something of the Savior each day so that you may be ready to share it. Invite the missionaries to seek to know Him and to love Him. Can you do that Elder Daybell?” I took the challenge and it has worked wonders! I have seen the spirit working each time I have invited a zone leader at the end of our splits! One elder even cut me off as I was talking to tell me that this commitment I was extending to him was the answer to what he was wondering lacked in his zone! This unraveling of events that started from a simple invitation, is another evidence that this is God’s work and that He communicates with President what this grand mission needs. God is the author of this story we are writing in Peru! Not any of us, we are simply characters if we choose to be instruments in His hands.

I have seen that if we try to get to know our Savior each day, then we will love Him more. That love for Him brings us blessings! We find it easier to be obedient and keep the commandments. We have motivation to work hard and serve Him with our all. We are happy and don’t feel the need to complain about circumstances. These are only a few blessings that I am beginning to notice in me! I love learning about the life of Jesus Christ! I continue to learn of His message, ministry, and mission and I continue to “stand all amazed.” Even right now, sitting rather than standing, I am amazed. So I guess you could say, I “sit all amazed.” No but in all seriousness, I am happy because I tried to know better my Redeemer today and felt His love. I will be happy tomorrow because I am going to try again! Please if you feel like life isn’t fulfilling, put in practice the same invitation that President Herrera gave me. I promise that through faith and patience, you will reap the same rewards I feel!

I love you regardless if you write me or not. But you should! Keep taking it easy and…

Sigue sonriendo! –Elder Daybell

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSelfie with the palm trees of Abancay

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSplits with zone leaders of Bellavista (E’ Cook and E’ Valenzuela)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSmallest shower in the room of my first zone leaders in the mish!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESRoom of Flags in Juliaca (with E’ Melo and E’ Walker)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES Where we always teach Hna. Frida and her kids! “la lavandaria”

Week Sixty-Three in Cusco

Splits

This week was super tranquil. As in we didn’t have to do anything but work! We had 3 investigadores come to church which means they are one step closer to accepting a date!

We are teaching a lady named Karina and she is super catholic. Not super catholic in the sense of she is closed-hearted as she listens, but just has a lot of faith in saints and overall the mother of Jesus, Mary. She is a single mom with 4 kids! Her and her little kid Santiago came this Sunday and we have a lot of hope for this family. We have been focusing so much on Christ and His atonement as we teach and it has been interesting to see the faith of Karina start to turn more towards our Savior. She has changed the way she prays and has had even told us of a spiritual experience with the Book of Mormon! She opened it right to the Topical Guide on the Atonement right after we had taught her about it, and felt the spirit. She has much faith!

We went on splits twice this week. Can somebody tell me why they are called splits? I feel like it is going to be a struggle to talk about the mission or teach the gospel when I am back among my fair skinned people (you) and talking English. Of course I will quickly adjust to my native language, but so much Spanish has crept into my vocabulary as I speak with tourists and they just look at me like I am on crazy pills.

Anyways, splits were super good. I worked with Elder Westbrook (UT) in my sector. Then I worked with Elder Iza (Ecuador) in Abancay Elder Westbrook is a new zone leader that just left the office, so we bonded this short 6 months here.  Abancay with Elder Iza has a perfect climate and I slept with only one blanket! I would like to go there and serve. President invited me to focus on a certain topic during my splits this change, and so far every time has been more spiritual. I think it will be the topic for the conferences as well, so I will wait to tell you about it!

I am sort of thinking as I write this email, so I pray that it has sense. Glad to get the usual wedding announcements and pictures of the summer fun! I am about as anxious as a mere cat for my brothers’ mission call! (super anxious animals if you observe).  I put in my guess as Mexico!! We will see.

I love you and thank you for making it to the end of these emails. Count your blessings because to be grateful is to be happy! “The struggle ends when the gratitude begins!”

Sigue sonriendo- Elder Daybell

DSCF8656Pic with Cusco in Cusco

DSCF8646Are you aMOOsed? This is an UTTERly classic picture. #cowpuns

 

DSCF8667Working on corn mazes in Abancay!

DSCF8642“This tree is almost as trunky as I am”

DSCF8660DSCF8659The birthday party of Ariella!

Week Sixty-Two in Cusco

Pivotal point… I hope!

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, depending on when you read this. If you are like me (before the mission), have a good 4:30am in the morning! This week we had a pivotal point in the mission I am hoping! To explain:

We have been improving a lot in many things in the mission. Like I have told you, March and April we had close to 100 baptisms each month. But in May we got pooped on and only had 37 as a mission. Sorry for the stinky reference, but it is accurate. The training we planned for this week’s Leadership Council was pretty much ask them what happened and take all the ideas. I was a little scared that it would just be a long, awkward silence of us feeling bad about ourselves. I was wrong! The zone leaders and sister leaders just came to the council with ideas and suggestions like fire! The best part is that they used so much time that we only had like 5 minutes to talk, so I got off the hook! Easiest training ever. I feel like I am going to do it next Leadership Council too! Honestly it’s not because I am lazy or don’t like talking (everyone who really knows me has asked me to shut up on at least one occasion), but because it was super more effective. We asked two questions: “How can we find people constantly?” And, “what can we do to improve as a mission?” I saw a new interest and drive in the leaders this council as they responded these two question. I hope that it was a pivotal point in how they see their responsibilities and how they act! Elders that have never been their own agents were making plans. Sisters that usually stand quietly on the sidelines were preaching. I am hoping that it was the start of a culture change in this glorious mission.

As far as our sector goes, we had a bumpy week. That is the nature of the mission though! I have no doubt that the people we have been focusing on will progress. We have a few weeks before conferences to help them with that conversion, and so I am excited. Our converts are going strong and thinking about the temple. No investigadores came to church, but neither did we.

We went to the Sacred Valley to a branch in a place called Calca. They just have a “house chapel” and they are few, but strong in spirit! We went with President and his family to help mend the hearts of a few mad members, due to things that don’t really matter. President gave us a chance to bare our testimonies of Christ and His atonement, which is by far one of my favorite thing to do as a missionary. After we went to Urubamba (also in the Sacred Valley) where my companion started his mission! We went to this super fancy buffet called Tunupa that was super Inca culture. Finally got a llama pic! I also ate ceviche which is totally against the rules, but I am a rebel… No, President gave us permission because it was like a last outing with Elder Huallparuca before he heads home in a few weeks. I asked Pres. as a joke and he said sure! I do believe in miracles.

I miss you! Keep enjoying the summer fun and send me lots of pics! My prayers will always be coming your way that you can come to know Christ and therefore be happy! Love you

Sigue sonreindo!! –Elder Daybell

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unnamed (2)Llama pics!

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Selfies with Gabriella y Ariella

unnamed (1)                                     Hermana Herrera taking pictures of me sleeping…

 

Week Sixty-One in Cusco

Paintball in Peru

Like my title says, I paintballed in Peru today. We went out to Oropesa (a little village like 30 minutes from Cusco) and played on a course! About 25 missionaries went from the two zones and it was really fun! También me enfermé con gripe por un ratito, pero ya paso entonces no se preocupen. ¡Está haciendo un frio pero tan frio! I don’t know how the Incas lived up here in the winters because it is doing some real cold in the nights.

The new missionaries came this week! 13 came and only one gringa. I found out that the mission is actually 70% latino! When I got here it was reverse I think, which is interesting. It is awesome because many are converts to the church and bring a love for the gospel from the start. We taught much on obedience like usual.  I read 2 Kings 5:1-14 and we had a discussion on the importance to obey even if we don’t understand or like the commandment. Training the new missionaries always makes me look on how obedient I am being and causes change! There is always something we should improve on in the Gospel, and that is what I love! It is a beautiful struggle, but more than possible when we rely on Christs power to perfect us!

We were going to have a baptism this next Saturday. A day before his interview, Natalio told us that he is going to start university with classes on Sundays… We have taught him all the lessons, he has completed with all his invitations, and now we must wait. It was a little sad, although not discouraging. He said that maybe he can find a different schedule but in a few months. I have hope that he is going to change his schedule in July or August, because he still really wants to be baptized. Be praying for Natalio! He is going to enter the gate soon, the Lord just loves giving me opportunities to work on that divine attribute of patience. I am working on it okay!?

I love you and miss you. HAPPY FATHERS DAY to all those dads out there and especially to mine se llama Pablo. It is crazy that this Father’s day will be my last as a single adult.. No, I am scared to even joke about marriage. I will have at least 1 to 5 more! 😉 ¡Sigue sonriendo!

–Elder Daybell

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Paintball Pro

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Pizza to the new missionaries!
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Contacting with the news in Plaza de Armas
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He is taped to a chair becuase one elder is from Callao, Lima.
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have a sad face becuase two elders (Westbrook and Boelter) are leaving the office…

Week Sixty in Cusco

BROKE.. ITS BROKE

I have some horribly bad news. I don’t know how it happened! I never thought that I would have to go through a trial like this, but I know that life is a refiner’s fire. I just never thought that I would be the one getting burnt. Um.. I don’t know how to tell you this. Please don’t hate me okay? I have always tried to be careful so that something like this doesn’t happen, but it BROKE. The camera has BROKE. I actually think that it has a virus and there is still hope, but I won’t be sending my handsome pictures for at least another week. I hope that you can handle this and I will be always praying for your strength.

Other than that news, this week has been super super! We have 5 new investigadores and Natalio is progressing towards his baptism for this month. We are looking for people for the month of July and the Lord is helping us a ton! The sister of my convert Frida has the name of Gloria. Gloria and her husband Victor are super interested in the lessons and have already expressed to us their desire for baptism! Their son Patrick got baptized with Frida and her kids, so they became investigadores through us trying to retain him. The only problem is that they are travelling a ton this month, but I have faith that they will be ready for July! We invited them to this 8th of July and right now they are praying about if God wants them to be baptized on that date. They WILL receive an answer because they have the true intent to follow Christ!

Elder Craig C. Christensen came to Machu Picchu this week! With his wife and Elder Carlos A. Godoy with his wife. They stopped by to give us some Seventy wisdom and it was the best. It was only with Zone Sicuani, Inti Raymi, and Cusco but I know that his words will impact the mission. They talked a lot about how we are fulfilling prophecy and meant to be in this place. Another topic that Elder Christensen mentioned was the importance of understanding the Holy Ghost and recognizing revelation. As much for us as for the people we teach! It was fire.

We start another transfer today! So again with the new missionaries this week. I love the Spirit they bring and cannot wait to welcome them to the best mission in the world! Thank you for the prayers and emails! I call on those prayers to support me often and read those emails to know that you still are alive. I love you!

Sigue sonriendo –Elder Daybell

ps.. Just kidding about the handsome pictures! Elder Chango fixed it in like 2 seconds..

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-Only way to sleep through the freezing nights
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-Pancakes with the Johnsons!
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-Heaven in a package (Shoutout Papá)
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-Painting service before the General Authority sees the vandalism of Peru.

Week Fifty-Nine in Cusco

Hello… Again.

Another week gone! And this is the last week of the transfer… I do not believe that we are going to be getting new missionaries already! The mission is a time warp.

This week we went and worked in the jungle zone, Puerto, with the zone leaders. I worked with Elder Rueckert from UT. He is a newer leader and just killing it! Their zone has been improving in a lot of things and are being obedient. Less stress when there are zone leaders like him! It wasn’t a bajillion degrees this time, but still the heavy humidity. I love the jungle so much and I hope that I could serve there when I leave the office (if it be Gods will). Anywhere I go I will be more than happy.

Speaking of leaving the office, we did the changes this week! My companion goes home in  6 weeks and training for my assignment lasts that amount of time, which means that I am going to leave right now or I will be here until September at least. The decision President felt: I am leaving! No, I am just kidding I will be here 12 more weeks. I will be able to be Elder Huallparuca’s last companion and I will have a third companion here in the office. That usually doesn’t happen, but it works out because I have quite some time before I go home (in other words #2018). I am excited for the chance to continue serving in this assignment and definitely see the need to step it up!

We also have a new with baptism date! As soon as we baptize one, the Lord prepares the next one! Ever since I have gotten to this sector that has how it has been. We have limited time in our sector, so we have to focus on 1 or 2 only, but as soon as someone is firm in testimony another chosen person pops out of nowhere. His name is Natalio and he is a reference from a member family. We hadn’t seen him in like a 2 weeks, but he came to church. We taught him last night and he was the one who brought up baptism… He told us that he has lost all his fear and is determined to follow Christ. All we did was put his name as our goal for June in all faith and have been praying for him! God sent His Spirit because Natalio has been reading, praying, and going to church. This month he will be getting baptized. Can I get a WEEHOO? I love the mission.

I love you too! I pray that life is good. I hope that you strive to do good and to become better!

SIgue sonriendo –Elder Daybell

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-first 5 pics(plane and jungle and monkey): Trip to Puerto Maldonado!
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-Birthday of Elder Huallparuca

Week Fifty-Eight in Cusco

Alma 8:10

As you know, Raquel Díaz got baptized this week! We also went to Puno and it was doing some real cold.. We had spilts with the zone leaders (Elder Escalante from NV and I) and we were able to help out their sector a bit and thier zone too. Good people!

Story from baptism: the water at first was freezing. I told the bishop who told me that it had to be heating up. We kept checking and telling him that it definetly wasnt but I just think he was distracted or wasnt giving much care for it. We invited Presidente and Hermana Herrera to our baptism and when they showed up, they noticed the font was freezing as well. I have never seen a man run out so worried to get the heater turned on! Luckily, we didnt have to baptize in ice (last two times I have in this ward). Blessings!

I cannot really explain the happiness I felt this weekend seeing Raquel finally take the decision to join her family in Christs true church. I have learned a ton from her process of conversion! I have learned, once again, the power of the Book of Mormon. She finished the first book of Nephi before her baptism! And it is evident in her happier mood and being herself more. The Spirit from reading that book changes your nature! I have seen it in myself countless times in the mission.
I have also learned the importance of “laboring in the Spirit” for the people I am serving and teaching. I have pleaded with Heavenly Father so many nights that Hna. Raquel could recieve and recognize her answers. I have had so many personal studies completely focused on what we need to teach her and how we can help her keep the commitments. In the process, I have seen a spiritual growth in myself as well. It is one of the many paradoxes of the Gospel: the best way for you to grow spiritually is by not focusing on yourself. We progress best as we are helping others progress! I have said it once and I will say it a million times that I am so grateful for the success that God is giving us. I see His hand each day and am a witness of His miracles! I know that thanks to Christ and His Atonement, we are able to make convenants with God and recieve the blessings accompanied with those covenants. We live in such blessed times to know and share these truths! In summary, WE BE LIVIN THE DREAM.

I love you and miss you! Be happy and… Sigue sonriendo!
-Elder Daybell

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Baptism of Raquel!

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Pimped out my tire shoes; new edition “wayki airs” (wayki means brother in Quechua)

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New scripture case for my quadruple

Week Fifty-Seven in Cusco

Quilla and Alpaca

I ate some alpaca today! It was delicious and way better than guinea pig. If you don’t believe me just ask Kevin Crandall (my fathers high school friend) who also tried both today. SHOUTOUT to him and his wife Jamie Crandall for taking my companion and I to a super pituco restaurant in Plaza de Armas! I scored two goalazos in soccer and have been fed very well which means good P-Day until now.

This week we travelled to the Garden of Eden (Quillabamba) and did splits with the Zone Leaders there. I wouldn’t mind serving there because it is literally paradise and the weather is an eternal spring. I worked with Elder Hatfield from AZ and he is a stud. I also worked with another Elder Peña from Bolivia in my sector this week. Almost all of the zone leaders are new! The majority are from the same group and they haven’t hit a year in the mission yet, but that doesn’t mean anything. I have seen in the mission that humility and willingness to do Gods will is way more important than experience. I have loved watching these studs grow and develop their leadership!

Speaking of our powerful leaders; we had Leadership Council this week! It is the best one that I have been to since now and I felt the Spirit a ton. President amazes me how much he knows the scriptures! He will share from the Old Testament something crazy or applies something from the Book of Mormon to our lives. It has inspired me to know the scriptures like a master. I have a long way to go but the mission is helping me! And for that I will always be grateful for the mish.

IMPORTANT: Hermana Raquel passed her baptismal interview! We had a lesson the day before to go over the interview questions, and she bore her testimony. She balled super hard and I was just so happy! Not because I like when people cry (actually awkward) but because her testimony is so real! I made her so many promises in the lessons like that she was going to be the strongest example out of her family, that she would recognize one answer and then realize how many she received before, of her huge potential, etc. and that was way before she was progressing. Now they are all being fulfilled by Gods hand! She told us in that lesson that she has received many answers and now can recognize them. The spirit totally prompted me to promise her that back in April. I am going to be so happy this Saturday/Sunday when she is baptized and receives the Holy Ghost. Weehoo!

I love you and miss you. ANOTHER SHOUTOUT to my good friend Tyler Teasdale! He is going to bring many in Mangolia the truth! We are blessed and should be humbled to live in such times where we can share this truth to others.

SIgue Sonriendo –Elder Daybell

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Trip to the Garden of Eden! (Zona Quillabamba)

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Companions Revenge (I only drool a little bit when I am tired)
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Presidente y Hermana Herrera with GabbyLou and Ariella during Leadership Council