Monday, June 26, 2017

June 26, 2017

Dear family and friends,

Last Monday, Elder Alarcon and I went to an elementary school to teach a bunch of fourth graders about the church! Something that definitely wouldn't happen in the US in a billion years haha.  Church and state is pretty intertwined in PerĂº! But anyway, one of the teachers asked for two mormon missionaries and, lo and behold, the lot fell upon us.  I was envisioning a bunch of bored nine year olds who didn't care at all about religion, but that was not the case! These kids had tons and tons of questions! There was, however, one problem: most of the questions were about Catholics or the differences between Catholics and Evangelicals.  All the kids come from really rich catholic families! It was a strangely hostile enviornment haha.  We did our best to teach some basic principles about prophets, scriptures, and revelation, and left them each a pass-along card.  An interesting experience to say the least!

Tuesday morning we had a multizone conference, which are always kinda fun.  Learned about the role of the Holy Ghost, and our job to search for and analize their needs in weekly planning and companionship study.  I led a little ten minute discussion on "why we have to identify our investigators' needs" which went pretty alright! 

We heard a pretty good excuse this week too.  Many of our investigators are catholic for tradition, but don't actually go to church.  We asked one this week why he didn't go to church, and this was his response: "Think about the number of Catholics in this city. The cathedrals only hold 200ish people.  If everybody went, we wouldn't all fit! That's why I don't go."  It's interesting logic to me....

Spiritual thought for the week: the Lord's counsel to Oliver Granger in the 177th section of the Doctrine and Covenants! He said, "his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase." There isn't anything we can earn, gain, or do in this world that is worth anything to the Lord.  He made the earth and the heavens! He gave us our physical bodies and the opportunity to come and learn and gain experience.  If we focus on things WE can do for OURSELVES, it won't be worth anything to Heavenly Father! However, as we sacrifice our will, offer up a broken heart and a contrite spirit, we give him something of real worth! In the end, it's the only possible solution for us, and the only thing that will contribute to his glory.  Our sacrifice is much more sacred to Him than any increase!

Love you lots! Talk to you next week!

Elder Hart

Monday, June 19, 2017

Weekly Planning With President!

Dear family and friends,

Lots on the lineup today! For one, we went to a place called "La huaca del sol y la luna" last week for PDay.  It's the remnants of two old temples and a bunch of artifacts from the "Moche" civilization, which existed from 100-800 AD.  It was pretty neat walking through the temples and seeing a bunch of old artifacts.  Pretty interesting that even though they were completely apart from everything else in the world, they believed in going to temples to worship, the importance of sacrifice, dedicating their lives to please deity, etc.  The light of Christ is in everyone! 

We had a fun thing happen this Thursday! As we sat down to begin our weekly planning, we got a call from President Rios: "Elders, I'm here outside your room! I want to weekly plan with you!"  I'm not going to lie, I was pretty nervous when I heard that! But he came in and we got started and everything went back to normal.  He watched as we planned and made the occasional comment, then bit by bit started to take over a little more.  It was a pretty deep planning session--we did less than half we normally do in the designated three hours--but it was a fun opportunity to at least talk to President a little more and spend a morning with him! 

Okay, one thing about Peruvian culture that drives me nuts: they lie all the time!! The mom will send their little 4 year old son to the door to say, "No, no one's home!" when it's completely obvious that no sane family would ever leave a four year old kid at home alone! Haha, or sometimes we'll be knocking on a door and a random person will be walking down the street and say, "No one's home there!", or, "No one even lives there anymore!".  It's always funny when they say that and then someone opens the door that very moment.  We were knocking one house this week, but the family was outside playing at a little nearby park.  The little girl said to her mom, "Mom, someone's knocking on our door!".  The mom came and said, "No one's home there!".  We asked if she lived there and she paused for about three seconds before saying, "Nope!".  "Where do you live then?"-- four more seconds -- "Oh, around here.".  It was obvious that she wasn't interested, but "wo unto the liar..." ;)

The miracle of the week is Carlos.  We found him looking for a former investigator, of who he is the dad.  We asked for her, but he said that she had gone to Lima! He let us in, and started to cry as he told us how he had hit his wife last week and they all picked up and went to Lima.  He was really repentant and expressed lots of desires to change and get his family back.  Ironically, he and his wife were married almost seven years ago in an LDS chapel! We committed to doing all we could to help him, and he was really receptive to everything we invited him to do.  Looking forward to working more with him!

Well, that's all for this week! Love you lots, have a wonderful week!

Elder Hart

Monday, June 5, 2017


Dear family and friends,

Mabye the biggest event this week happened on Wednesday.  I went into the mission office to finish up the work for my Brazil visa, and just happened to see the Whitneys (a senior missionary couple) there.  I realized when I saw them that it was their last day in the mission and that they would be leaving later that afternoon.  So it was a pretty lucky thing that we were able to be there and say goodbye! I lived a floor above them for about 7 months in VirĂº and did lots of stuff with them then, and it will be sad to see them go! 

Elder Alarcon likes soccer a lot, and few days this week we've gone out to the sand soccer "field" in front of our house for exercises.  He has a little ball and we've been kicking it back and forth and running around a little.  Let me just say....I have a long way to go haha.  I'm definitely more comfortable with my hands! It's been fun playing though, and I may be 0.001% better now than last Monday!

To stick with the soccer theme, the championship game of the Champion's League was this past week, and everyone was home watching! It reminded me of big sporting events in the US (I'm concious of the current NBA finals, for example) and made me remember all the games at home! It was a little tough to enter houses during the game for sure!

Sorry for the lack of email this week, I got started on the group email a little later than usual! But I love you all lots and hope you have a great week!

Love, Tanner