Monday, December 30, 2013

The Gospel in Peru

Everyone should go see this video. It is a video about when Elder Cook came to Perú. My mission Shows up in the video, and a lot of elders that I know.

http://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/the-gospel-in-peru?cid=HPTH122613277&im=true&lang=eng


Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Feliz Navidad!!

I had a great Christmas! I hope you all did too!



Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas!!!

Wow, I can´t believe that Christmas is coming up so fast! We had a Christmas dinner with President Harbertson and his wife on Friday, and a Christmas party here in the family group on Saturday.

Christmas Dinner with I wish President Harbertson and his wife
We went to Cusco, and played a fun game that is a family tradition in the family of Hermana Harbertson. We then had Pizza and a little bit of time to socialize with all of the missionaries. Then, we had a super amazing spiritual meeting in the chapel. It was a music and testimony meeting. All of the Zone Leaders and the assistants bore their testimonies, and in between there were a lot of great musical numbers. I sang with the other Elders of the Cusco Zone. President Harbertson played a beautiful song on the piano, and Hermana Harbertson sang. They are very talented. It was a really nice meeting. To Finish the meeting we heard talks from President Harbertson and his wife. Hermana Harbertson´s talk impressed me a lot. 

She got up, signaled for President Harbertson and said (with him translating): "I had a talk all prepared and translated to Spanish, but I decided that I´d rather look into your eyes and speek from my heart than look at a paper and try to pronounce words..." she then gave one of the most spiritually uplifting talks and testimony that I´ve ever heard. The spirit was super strong!

They then gave each one of us a gift. but I was super surprised when they gave it to us. They gave us a Book of Mormon! They told us that they knew that we already had countless Books of Mormon in our rooms, but that The Book of Mormon was the most prized possession that they had to give. They also gave us a colored pensil with 2 colors and challenged us to read the Book of mormon Marking 2 things: References to Christ and Words pertaining to Christ. I´ve already started.


Christmas Party in Izcuchaca
On Saturday we had the party here in Izcuchaca. It was a huge success. We had dinner, hot chocolate, and a talent show. It was a lot of fun!


I wish you all a very merry Christmas!!


Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Monday, December 16, 2013

I love you All!!!

I won´t write a lot today. It seems like I always write a lot, and I´m sure your eyes are all tired. Just want to let you all know that I am loving every minute here in Izcuchaca, and that I can´t wait for christmas. 

I love you all!! 


Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Monday, December 9, 2013

True to the Faith

Yesterday we had a long talk with the Relief Society President here in Izcuchaca. I learned a lot more about the history of the Church here in Izcuchaca, and the strength and Faith of Sister Sonia Mantilla. 

I will try to tell the story, but I know that I won`t do it justice. I wish we could have recorded her when she told us, and sent it. 

15 Years ago, the First Missionaries arrived in Izcuchaca (and Compone a little pueblo where sister Sonia lives). The Church started to grow very slowly. Brother Richardo Mantilla (Husband of the sister Sonia) was one of the first to embrace the Gospel. He started attending regularly every week in the Chapel/house of Izcuchaca. Sister Sonia was a little more Skeptical, but when she started to see the changes in her husband she decided to go to Church. The entire family got baptized, and became strong in the Gospel. Brother Richardo Mantilla was even called to be the President of the Family group of Izcuchaca. 

But then the Missionaries were taken out of Izcuchaca. I won`t tell you what happened, but lets just say that some bad missionaries did what they shouldn`t do. The Family Group of Izcuchaca was destroyed, and the members were told that they would have to travel to Cusco to attend Church. The members became bitter, 1 because of what the missionaries had done, and 2 because they felt that they had been abandoned by the Church. Ever Richardo Mantilla became bitter and vowed that he would never return. 

Sonia Mantilla didn´t agree. She understood the importance of her baptismal covenants, and tryed to do all she could to go to church... but it wasn`t possible. Cusco was more than an hour away, and it cost 2 soles to get there and 2 soles to get back. She went a few times, and Richardo got mad because she was using their money to go to church. He didn`t allow her to go. 

She didn`t go to church for about 5 months, but she felt absolutely terrible. she didn´t know what to do. Then one day, a man knocked on her door offering to sell her 10 liters of milk fresh from a cow. She felt impressed to buy the milk but didn´t know why. Later, she thought about a neighbor that knew how to make Cheese, and she asked her neighbor to teach her. She taught her, and she sold the cheese. She made 2 soles! 1/2 of a Sunday trip to Cusco. She started buying milk and making cheese and started using HER money to make the trek to Cusco every Sunday. 

Little by little she started making more and more cheese, and more and more money. Richardo couldn`t keep her from going to church, because she was using her money. The business started to grow. Now, a little more than 10 years later, she has 15 cows.  
Me, Milking one of Sonia`s cows

But more important, her Faith grew. Sonia didn`t miss one Sunday for more than 12 years. Through that time, her husband did everything he could to discourage her. He started drinking again, because of that, he started beating her, he yelled at her every sunday and tried to stop her from going to church, but she stayed strong.

Week after week, month after month, and year after year Sonia went to church. She grew and came to have a great testimony of the restored gospel.  She went to the Temple in Lima and received her endowment, and all of this time she had a prayer in her heart that one day Richardo would change. That one day Richardo would return to the fold. 

Three years ago the church returned to Izcuchaca. Missionaries came back, and the members started meeting in the Chapel/house again. The church is growing very very slowly. When I got to Izcuchaca 4 months ago Richardo Mantilla was still very inactive. Then, he started coming to the meetings on sunday, but refused to participate. We started working with him, and teaching him, and yesterday he accepted the assignment to give a talk on families. His Testimony is still weak, but he is starting the journey to return to the church. 

As I listened to the Sister Sonia tell this story with tears in her eyes, I couldn`t help but marvel at her faith and strength. She told us that her only dream is to go to the temple with her husband and see him receive his endowment, and then be sealed as a family. I look at the Sister Sonia as a modern day Pioneer. She has been through some very hard challenges, but she has remained true to the faith. 

I`m so thankful for the oportunity that I have to know people like the Sister Sonia. I was strengthened as I listened to her story. I hope you were all strengthened too. 

 

Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving

Family and Friends,

Sadly, here in Perú, Thanksgiving doesn´t exist. But I was excited to here about your Thanksgivings :). In this email I´m just going to list a few things I´m thankful for.

I am grateful for:
  • My calling and setting apart as a missionary.
  • My Companion (It would be impossible to be a missionary without one)
  • My Mission President and his Wife. They are the BEST!
  • My Sector. Izcuchaca. Being here has been one of the most trying experiences of my life, but I have learned so much. 
  • My Savior Jesus Christ.
  • My loving Heavenly Father.
  • Living Prophets and Apostles
  • The Restored Church
  • My Investigators.
  • A Hot Shower.
  • Food :)
  • Health
  • The Support of my Family
  • The Things I´ve learned in the Mission
  • That I am Literate 
  • For an education 
  • For Modern Technology (So that I can Write and receive emails :)
  • ...
There are soooo many things to be grateful for! I can´t list them all. 

Take a look at the First Presidency Message In this Months Ensign. It is Incredible.

Oh, just so you know, I am going to talk to my Mission President and see if I can call the Day after Christmas so that I can see you ALL!!

Photos: My Battle with the Fleas here in Izcuchaca

Love you all! 


Elder Jacob M. Harmon
Misión Perú Cusco
Av. La Cultura 2417
En Frente la Urb. Santa Ursula
La Capilla Mormona
Cusco, Perú