Thursday, February 27, 2014

Week 54

February 24, 2014
Hey Everyone!!
So this week was awwwwesome!!!!! Ive got some good stories! Last Pday was great! I didn't really get talk to anyone but I hope everyone is well this week. Pday was good! We had a BBQ with the zone, then after my comp and I went to play basketball with some other Elders. He loves to play basketball, even though it's not his strength haha He asks me every week if we can go play and of course I'm willing to play some ball haha. After that we went to a FHE with family in the ward. We taught a simple lesson then played a fun game!
Tuesday was a basic day other than I was a little sick again. You would think I would get over that but I guess not! Last Sunday we ate cow heart for dinner (its not that bad actually)  so I think that got to me. haha But by mid day I was fine and working!! So that's what is important!
So Wednesday was CrAzY!!!!! So in my area there is a HUGE mountain. My 3 transfers here we've always wanted to go up to the top because there is a little village up there! It's super far though and we've never had time to go. But since this was my companions last week here, we decided to pick a day to go! So we went and we decided that first we would go to the top and take a few pictures. As we were taking pictures we see a group of people a little further down the mountain starting to form a mob and and shoot fireworks. We got a little nervous and decided to go back down. The mob finally caught up with us and asked me for my camera! They had all types of weapons from knives and sling shots and bow and arrows! They were ready to fight!! So we put our arms up in the air and acted innocent! haha Then one guy yells...."Whoa!! guys its okay! it's just the brothers."  We were so confused and scared haha then they told us it was prohibited to go to the top of the mountain and take pictures because we were in a war zone! Apparently that village is in a war with a village on the other side of the mountain!! They thought we were spies. (yes, I know this all sounds crazy and fake but I swear it was true!) haha The people of Bolivia have their own way to do things. But here's the cool part. So the mob of about 100 people then sat down and asked if we could share a message with them! So we did! I felt like I was talking in sacrament meeting. We taught them about Jesus Christ and his Atonement. They loved it and invited us back! We ended with a prayer! I told them I have their back if they need to fight! hahaha Hopefully I wont be going to war this next transfer!
Thursday was a normal day. The only thing different that made it exciting was that it rained all day long. I love working in the rain. It's fun and the best way to get into houses. hehe
Friday was great! Worked and had a baptism interview with Brayan (the 12 year old). He passed and we held his baptism on Saturday! It was a beautiful service! Everything went perfectly and even the bishop told us it was one of the best baptisms he has had in his ward. Everything was just right. I have some pictures so I'll show y'all! His dad (who was baptized about 5 months ago) got to baptize him. That's exactly what we wanted!
Yesterday was great! We got our changes from president! My companion is going to Potosi and I'm going to stay here! My comps name is Elder Ortiz. I don't know him but I'm looking forward to it!  I'm great here!! I love you all and I cant wait to hear from ya!
Love Elder Berrett
Hey bud, it's Dad, are you still there?
hey! im here!!
Awesome! Pretty wild story about the MOB. I'm glad it turned out okay. We had a great day yesterday at Mannings baptism. There were a lot of people there to support him, Kiki and Ella. It was great to see Kayden perform the baptism. He did a great job. Mom (yes, I am blaming Mom) forgot to pack an extra shirt for Manning, so after he was baptized, we just dried it the best we could and put it back on. He was a little cold but it dried pretty quick. It was a little hectic, but it all worked out.
haha That's actually funny!! you'd be surprised at how often that happens to missionaries!!
Your MOB story reminds me of where I am in the Book of Mormon. I've been reading about the Gadianton robbers and how they took as many as would follow them and hid in the hills and the trees. They wanted to overthrow the chief judges and rule themselves. Eventually, they gained enough strength to do so. They were too prideful to humble themselves to the truthfulness of the gospel. They had their secret works and really sought to murder anybody who believed the gospel.
There are so many people like that today, who even though don't seek to murder, they still have a hard time humbling themselves and recognizing truth and fight against it.
Are you still there?
hey! I'm here!
I just read your email! How scary to read! I am so glad that you were okay!
Bradley had a similar experience in Brazil this past week. I copied it from his email...
"This week has been crazy! We went to teach a lesson at the very top of a hill where this family lived and at the bottom of the hill the street was blocked off with old cars and trash so no cars could go in...there was an 18 year old boy sitting at the bottom of the hill with a walkie talkie and he asked us what we were here for and we told him we were missionaries. He radioed to the guys up top and they let us we were walking up we passed several men and boys sitting there with pistols and bags of drugs and money..they were all nice to us because we were men of God haha we got to the top and taught and the family committed to baptism!"
Very similar, huh! How is the new companion?
haha!!! wow!! that's crazy!!! but cool!!!!
How is everything else going? Are you chatting with Lexi?  Do you have pictures? Did you get the pictures from Manning's baptism?
yes I'm chatting with her!! Every things great!! yes I do!! and yes I did! haha They look great!! that's awesome!!!
How is the new companion? Where is he from?
I don't know him yet! I'll get him tomorrow!
I am so proud of you and YAY to another baptism!  We have been so very blessed! We are constantly seeing good in our lives and I know that it is from your willingness and hard work as a missionary. You will gain so much (and already have) that will benefit you throughout your entire life! 
So obviously they didn't end up taking your camera, once they found out you were "the brothers"? And you were able to sit down with them and teach them. What an awesome experience!
thanks!! that makes me happy! well I have to go now. I love you all so much. i cant wait to hear about this week! i love you all!! bye!!
yeah they gave it back! haha yeah it was awesome!!
I love you so very much! Hugs and kisses until next week!
Love - Mom
On top of the mountain!

Brayan's baptism

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week 53

February 17, 2014
Hey everyone!!!!
Wow! Another week! I'm more amazed at how fast time passes each week. Each week that passes is a reminder of how little time I have to work hard and keep going until the end!! So last p-day was fun! We went bowling with the zone and after my companion and I went and played basketball! It was a blast!!! So this week was really good! We worked hard and taught a lot! Nothing incredibly special happened. It was a basic week! But I'll try to fill y'all in on what I can! haha
Tuesday was good. We had a zone meeting and learned how to be the most efficient missionaries that we can. And making it easy for Heavenly Father to use us as instruments in His hands. I learned a whole lot, and took something from it. That's really what I've been focusing on. Is making it easy for him to use me however he wants. The only way to do that is just simply be obedient and do what he wants me to do. I know what those things are. I've been doing them faithfully for over a year now and I've seen the blessings. I'm so grateful for that, and the testimony I have that He lives and blesses us. Nothing we do for Him and this Gospel, is in vain. He knows. Whether we see the blessings now or in our next, Eternal life. We just have to be as little children and keep his commandments.
Thursday I celebrated my one year! Well, I didn't do anything special to celebrate. haha I had a normal day! We did a service project in the morning for a few hours of sanding walls!! My hands are torn to pieces! haha But it was fun and we got a lot done. After that it began to rain so we got WET! We had a few appointments.  We were able to get into a few houses and be in a dry environment for for a bit.  But we were mainly just outside in the rain! We had a very successful day though, teaching 10 lessons! It was fun to think that day, that just one year ago I was saying goodbye to you guys in the airport and traveling to Peru, scared out of my mind!!!!! Well, now I'm here in Bolivia speaking Spanish and loving every moment of it. It's a BLAST! It really has been the most rewarding and spiritual experience of my life.
Friday went well also! We has another service in the morning and then had a normal afternoon! So we found a sauna near our house and we made a reservation for 6:30 in the morning with the zone leaders who we live with!! We were there for 45 minutes just sweating up a storm. It was actually really relaxing and fun!!! So that was something new and fun I did!! haha Fridays we usually go play basketball for exercise in the morning but instead we did that! We also had a FHE with the Family Salazar again. I believe I told y'all about them last week! The less active family that all came to church last week, remember? Well we had another FHE that went well. They all cried when we told them that this is probably my comps last week because we have changes next week. They misunderstand at first and thought we were both leaving. So they were a little relieved when we told them I was staying. It was still sad though haha. They were all at church again yesterday. Rosa (the one that has to get married) has made progress in the wedding discussions with her boyfriend. He's starting to accept it and understanding why she wants to do it. So we should be having a wedding soon! Followed by a baptism!! YAY!!
Sunday I was assigned to speak in church!! That was fun!! I prepared a little here and there all week long. I actually practiced it in English to see if i could do it, and it was a joke. But the talk went well. I was asked to speak on The Work of Salvation. I starting talking about our Redeemer Jesus Christ and how it all starts with him. Without him and his atonement we don't have this work. Then I connected it with how we can invite others to come unto him through Faith in him, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End. Then I ended with talking about how we are a team as missionaries, members, ward council, bishopric, etc. Some scriptures I shared were Mosiah 4:7-8. 1 Nephi 8 (Lehi's dream) and D&C 4:3 and D&C 128:22 (my favorite). haha So that's a super mini glimpse of my talk. I had 5 minutes to talk and talked for 12...whoops. haha Oh well! I said everything I wanted to. Well everything here is amazing. I love the work. I know this really is the work of salvation, bringing souls to Christ. This is His work and His church. This Saturday we have another baptism so I'll send pictures next week of that! I love you all! Until next week!
Elder Berrett
PS- Everyone seems to be doing amazing!! This week seemed very interesting! I wish I could have been there with yall! Love you guys!!
Are you still there?
Hey I have to go!!
Oh okay! I'm sorry. I haven't even read your email yet! I love you so very much!
So very proud of you! Love you tons!!
 Love -Mom
I love you all!! Talk to y'all next week!! sorry!

A parrot!!!!!
Hard Core Sanding....
Celebrating a birthday after a day of service.
Me and Elder Weekes jumping at the temple!
It's on his camera. He needs to send it to me. I just took a pic of the printed version.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 52

February 10, 2014
Hump Day is this week!  One year down!  I can't believe how fast this first year has gone by!
I understand that the next will even go by faster!  :)
....I'm not complaining!
Good Morning Everyone!!

I know its early! sorry! We have a long day planned so we decided it would be better to just do internet time early so that we don't have another short one like last week. Sorry about that too. My time got cut short and it was urgent that I go. I wasn't too happy about it haha. I normally get an hour and half but last week was only 30 minutes! But other than that last Monday was good! Elder Weekes got an emergency change that morning to go to Potosi. And since that's far away we decided to get our group get together that day and go to lunch to celebrate our one year! Its a big day as a missionary! haha We had plans to do it today but we wanted Elder Weekes to be there, so we did it last Monday!! It was fun!! We had a great time! That was the first time we've been together since the MTC and probably the only time we were going to be together until it's time to go home in a year!! So that was fun and great to see how much everyone has grown spiritually since the MTC.
Tuesday and Wednesday were kind of a bummer as I stayed with our sick zone leader, Elder Hawkins, all day long. He was miserably sick and his companion who had surgery the night before was in the hospital still. So my comp was there with him. Elder Hawkins had already spent 48 hours in the hospital between his comp and his own sickness so that's why he went home. haha He hadn't showered or anything so I came and got him and took him home so he could sleep all day haha. It was pretty boring but I had a whole bunch of time to work out and study the scriptures!!! I love those two things! haha So that was good.
Thursday was awesome!!! I had a normal day!!!!! haha After two days in the house without leaving it is difficult when you're so used to being gone all day everyday. The rest was good though. But finally my comp and I got to work on Thursday! We got a new investigator that day named Bryan. He's 12 years old and loves the church!! His dad is a member but has never lived with his dad. He finally decided to live with his dad and when he came his dad came straight to us so that we can teach him. He already has a bunch of friends and loves to learn from us. He's super intelligent and always has good questions for us. There's no doubt he understands what we are teaching. He has a date to be baptized the 22nd. That's a for sure baptism that we will have. So that's good to know!!
Friday was really special! Every Friday since I've come back from being home we've had a FHE with the less active/nonmember Salazar family. They are a huge family that lives together, aunts and uncles, moms and dads, grandma and grandpa too. And a TON of kids haha I love going over there on Fridays to teach and share that time with them. Since the first day only one sister has been coming to church, Teresa. She's the one where I gave her two daughters baby blessings. And I took all the pictures with her kids outside the chapel, remember?? Yeah that family! haha Anyways this Sunday, everyone came to church and not just Teresa!!! It was awesome!!! It was really special! All the members were so excited to see them after many years!! There are two sisters in this family that are not members. They are the in-laws of the family. Their names are Rosa and Claudia. They are hands down the most progressing investigators we have!! The only problem is that they have to get married because they are living with their kids and boyfriend. But they both want to get married!! So that's great!! They want a small wedding and simple so they can quickly have a more united family and more than anything so they can get baptized. They really want to do it!! Their boyfriends (who are brothers) want to get married too, but they want a great big wedding! That's not good! haha because that takes time!! But these girls are ready to get baptized now, so that's our main priority now. We are talking with them and with the bishop so that we can make something happen soon. So be praying for that please!
The Perez family is doing well. They are just struggling with the Word of Wisdom and accepting a date to be baptized. They want to decided for themselves. Which I understand but we need to set a date so they can have a goal to work for. They want to do it, but on their own time. They really just need to pray, specifically for help and with faith, and I really feel that The Lord can pull off a miracle with them. I have a lot of faith and hope in them.

So that was our week! Church was great! We had 7 investigators in total there and they all stayed the whole time. Next week I've been assigned to give a talk in church! It's been a while since I've done that but that's no problem! I love to speak! haha So before I go I'd like to share a couple spiritual thoughts that I gathered this week during my studies. I was focusing on the Book of Mormon and the role it has in our conversion. And it really is the keystone in our religion. If we can gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon we can know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that this is God's kingdom on earth. It's not better than the Bible, it just supports it. It testifies of Christ and his glory and resurrection. I have no doubt the Bible and the Book of Mormon together is the complete gospel. I love to read them and learn from the prophets here in the Americas. Also, another thing I was studying is humility. Humility is the key to success in the mission field and in life. I've never been good with that, so it's my newest goal. To really humble myself before the Lord and follow his will and not mine. Through this I can be more open to the promptings of the spirit and can really let him do his work through me. That's my goal now and for the rest of my life.

Well family and friends. I love you all so much!! Have a wonderful week!! Until next time!!

Elder Berrrett
Are you still there? :)
Hi! yes!!
Anything from BYU?? :))
No, we haven't heard anything from BYU yet. I will log onto your BYU account right now and see what I can find. Also, I haven't even had a chance to read your email, so I'm not too sure how things have been. Reading it now...
haha Oh sorry!! But, yeah, I'm impatient with the BYU thing.  I just want to know so I can stop thinking about it.
Nothing yet. All the items have been received, but no word if you have been accepted. How are you doing? Can you believe you are at the one year mark?
I really can't believe it. I don't know where the time has gone. I'm literally in shock when I sit back and think about it. There's so little time left and soooo much to do. I have to take advantage of the second half.
And if you think the first year went fast, they say the second year even goes faster. I have no doubt that you will take advantage of the time you still have there. I am so impressed with all that you are learning. It is amazing to see every week how you have grown. I love it!
haha thanks!! I love it too! Alrighty!! Well I have to go! But I love you!! I can't wait to talk and hear how everyone is doing next week!! Have a wonderful week!! I love you :) BYE!!
I love you so much my dear! Keep up the good work! I know that the Lord is well pleased! 
I know I am! :) 
Love you - Mom
This was our trip to the temple to do baptisms with our convert Andres and his family. It was his first time! He loved it!!


Me and Andres

haha Elder Weekes had to take the close up! He got to join us as he took his recent convert too!!

The missionaries in the Avaroa ward!! haha matching ties!!

A pig outside my house

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Week 51

February 3, 2014
Hey everyone!!!
This week was super super good!! We made a goal to find 20 new investigators and teach 35 normal lessons. And we got them both!! We found 27 new investigators and taught exactly 35 normal lessons! It was awesome!! It's really fun to set goals and focus on them all week long. I've learned one of the keys to setting and reaching goals is just remembering it throughout the week. If you truly want to reach it, you simply just have to be determined and really always have it in your mind. And of course, you have let the Lord in on it. It's essential to allow him to come into the picture so that you can follow  his will. When we do that, everything will end up the way it should.
So last Monday was fun!! We kind of decided that we were super tired and we just wanted to have a relaxed day. So we just went to our house with Elder Weekes (my best friend ever) and relaxed and cleaned and washed clothes. Super lazy, but very much needed.
Tuesday was okay, just a normal day!! We taught like 5 lessons and realized we weren't going to reach our goals at that rate. So that night is really when we put it in our minds that we are going to teach and preach like crazies. And we did!! I'm glad I had that normal day because it basically changed my mission. I realized I wanted to reach that goal and that changes needed to be made......
Sooooo Wednesday was magical!! haha We taught 12 lessons, committed 8 people to baptism, and found 10 new investigators!! It was so awesome. Sometimes I feel like I talk with everyone but I realized Wednesday how many people I don't talk with! I'm so grateful I realized that because now I love talking with EVERYONE!!!! It's the best feeling to teach the taxi driver, or the ladies at the little store on the roads, or with anyone and everyone in the street! I'm so glad I learned what it really means to talk with everyone!!
That was pretty much the story all week long, and I loved it. And it will continue to be the story for the next year! Gosh I'm sorry I have to go so early. I've been here for 30 minutes but the thing is I'm acting as zone leader today and tomorrow, as one of our zone leaders in in the hospital having surgery, and I have to go meet some missionaries right now and give them some things they need for their house. I'm sorry!!! My letter next week will be way better!! I love and miss you all!! The gospel is true!!! Have a great week!!
Love Elder Berrett