Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 5 in Oquendo

Hola de Oquendo, Lima Peru!

I hope that everyone has had a fantastic week. We had lots of crazy stuff happen! First, July 28 is Independence Day for Peru! We climbed a mountain and celebrated by looking over the desert frontier of Oquendo. (cue western movie music) 

One of our investigators is going to be baptized this Saturday! I would ask for an abundance of prayers as Satan is going to come at her like a swarm of locusts (shoutout to Moses). Hermana Luz Fernandez is her name and she is truly amazing. She expressed to me her concerns about baptism. She felt like if she repented and got baptized, she wasn't allowed to make mistakes. I looked at her and opened up my heart about the blessing of repentance. Tears were flowing from both this sister and I. After my testimony she said "Okay Elder, estoy lista." (I am ready.) Such a testament to me of the Spirit. She is going to be baptized first and then hopefully her 11 yr old daughter in a couple weeks! I am so excited.

Also this week, I got a new companion! We had delayed transfers and I am now with Elder Vital who is from ViƱa Del Mar, Chile. He is awesome and I cannot wait to work with him. It will be a challenge for me because I am the one with experience in the Oquendo area, so I gotta introduce him to everyone and every place. I hope it will increase my Spanish, which is really progressing (blessed), but I also hope it will teach me a little about being a leader in the mission. 

I love you all and I miss you. Read Matthew 5 this week, everyone needs a little Sermon on the Mount in their lives!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Week 4 in Peru + 2 months before = 3 months down, 21 to go!!!

Hello all!

This week was a long one. But I have completed a month of the mission! Combine that with the time I had before and I have 3 months! Transfers are tonight but I will probably stay in Oquendo. I am still being trained and Elder Gutierrez has only been here for a transfer.

Anyways, this week was busy, so busy I forgot to buy food. Big mistake as a missionary. I was so hungry but our Bishop came in CLUTCH. Without knowing, he bought us HUGE chicken platters and heaven in a bottle, Inca Kola. 

We didnt have any baptisms this week but we are getting so close with one investigator. Her name is Luz and she literally is Luz(light). She has such a desire to learn, but she needs church attendance! If she comes to church, she can get baptized, with her 11 yr old daughter Adriana. Prayers for her to attend would be much appreciated! 

Other than that, it was a very average week. I studied Doctrine and Covenants a lot this week and really developed a testimony of Joseph Smith. He really was someone who gave everything to the Lord. I hope to do the same on my mission.

I love and miss you all. Keep praying and reading the scriptures daily. Listen to the counsel of the Spirit. Know that God knows and loves you personally.

--Elder Hunter Sivley

*** Notes from emails with mom:
1.  Every week I ask Hunter 5 questions... this was his answer to the question, "What was your best spiritual experience this week? :

I had a huge spiritual experience today. While waiting for a bus, we saw the bus we usally take which is run by Adonai. But it looked a tad too full today, just a little bit, barely enough to make us wait for another bus. Something told me not to take this bus, for what I thought at the time was because it was crowded. So we took a different bus that was close behind it. As we were driving, an accident had happened ahead. When we passed the scene, it was the Adonai bus. I feel very protected by Heavenly Father and I am glad we chose not to take Adonai. So grateful for small spiritual impressions.

This mama is grateful as well... for BIG spiritual impressions!

2.  Elder Sivley sends us a recording every week as well.  This week's recording was made while he was walking in the streets of Oquendo and boy was it loud!  In fact, he yelled at a bus (another bus story!) that got a little too close to them!  I absolutely cherish these voice recordings as it allows me to hear his voice and feel like I am "talking" to him, not just emailing.  Love hearing him laugh too... and speak in Spanish.  So fun!

3.  I have no idea about any details of the other 2 pictures attached to this post.  The first one in the dusty street I'm assuming is where he lives because he told us he lives on Los Angeles Street.  He didn't explain the other two so just make something up...  haha.  The last one with his zone by the helicopter was posted by another mom on facebook and my son was tagged in it.  Still good to see his face and his HUGE smile!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 3!!

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

This week was AWESOME! BLANCO ES BONITO! I got my first baptism! It was a baptism for the Hermanas in our district, so not my investigator but my first baptism none the less!! I could feel the Spirit so strong and I had to hold back tears. I have worked so hard to get to that point where I'm helping someone get closer to God and the feeling was amazing. 

We had zone conferences this week and I loved it. I met so many missionaries and got to see some of my MTC group. My Zone is El Olivar and we are the best hahaha:)

 I had the opportunity to teach Sunday School this week in church and at first I was SUPER hesitant. I didn't know what I was going to teach these native Peruvian members about the gospel and especially in Spanish. But literally, the Lord put words in my mouth. The lesson went great and people actually came up to me and thanked me for my teaching. So that felt kind of awesome. 

The lesson to take away from that experience is: Trust in the Lord. Don't doubt yourself before you ask the Lord for help. I would invite everyone to read Proverbs Chapter 3. If you have any problem in your life. Trust in the Lord. If you need to repent and change something, Trust in the Lord. If you don't know what to do next, Trust in the Lord.

I leave you with those words until next week. I love and miss you all!!!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 2 in Peru

Hello my friends and family! Wow this week was a rough one! Since we last talked I got the flu, lost a couple baptismal dates, and we had a 4.0 earthquake HAHAHA. But I am progressing! My Spanish is something I'm worrying about less and less each day and I can almost understand everybody!

So with the flu this week I was bed ridden for Wednesday which really made me feel lazy. I hate feeling like I could be doing something better but not being able to do it. I felt better on Thursday but then 4 of our baptismal dates decided they didnt want to be taught the Gospel anymore.
That was really discouraging but I'm starting to realize that having 12 baptismal
DATES is no where near the same as having 12 BAPTISMS.

But, the week didn't end terribly. Our district had a couple baptisms and they asked me to sing and play my ukulele for them. There were a couple non members there and they were in tears after I sang "O Lord My Redeemer." I heard that one of them decided to take the lessons from other Elders after that night so I loved that experience. The earthquake was small, not big enough to break anything or hurt anybody. But it shook our chairs pretty good and surprised us all. I was nervous there was gonna be a bigger one after wards but we were assured that that is EXTREMELY rare.

From my studies, I would encourage everyone to read the final chapter of John in the New Testament where Christ tells his apostles to "Feed My Sheep".  I invite you to take that challenge upon yourselves and see what you can do to Feed His Sheep this week.
I miss and love you all. Hope everything is going well for yall!

picture of the view from my apartment:
 from our apartment in the other direction

Notes from email to mom:
-- Elder Sivley said that he and the other American Elders in his district got together and sang the National Anthem as loud as they could on the 4th of July.  He said the native elders looked at them like they were crazy but it was funny and very patriotic!
-- Elder Sivley already had a "can't remember the word in English" moment when he was talking about transfers and could only say "cambios." He literally could not think of the word in English which is just crazy to me since he has spoken English for 19 years and is now so concentrated on learning the Spanish language that he is forgetting English words!  haha
-- He loves your emails and pictures and words of encouragement... thank you for loving our boy!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

I'M BACK!!! Week one ...


I am back in Lima, Peru and I am here to stay!!!! Wow it has been a crazy week. I got here and stayed in the office for 2 days, working as a temporary assistant you could say haha. I was able to see my president and he was so excited that I was back. He gave me the biggest hug and gave me my tie that I left with him. Someone told me later that he wore it every fast sunday. I love that man so much.  (so do we!!)

I contacted a little bit with the missionaries in the office and already have some ridiculous stories. Freaking a guy came up to us and told us he had killed 6 people but wanted to repent......yeah. 
I was chased by a Perro Peruano (dog of Peru) and they have zero hair except a freaking mohawk on top of their head. Hyenas really. Anyways, didn't get bit but that thing was pissed off. 
Later on Thursday, I finally got my first companion! His name is Elder Gutierrez and he is from La, Paz Bolivia. So that makes 2 Bolivian trainers I have had. Let me tell you, Bolivians are so great. He has the best attitude and such a passion for the work. 

We live in Oquendo, El Olivar, Callao, Lima, Peru. It is a town near the ocean so we have lots of seafood so this missionary is one happy guy. We have 12 scheduled baptismal dates, yes, TWELVE. We have had much success in the 3 days that I have worked here. 
I have retained SO MUCH more Spanish than I thought I did and I could not be happier. All in all, everything is fantastic here. I am so glad I was able to do this right. Im having the time of my life. Its hard but its such a privilege that I have worked so hard for. I love and miss you all!
 * a few added notes from his email to his mom:
-  He lives on Los Angeles Street! (since his dad and I are born and raised in LA and huge Dodger fans, we thought this was pretty cool!!)
-  I sent him with a "dog dazer" a high pitched alarm that he is SUPPOSED to carry with him to scare off wild mangy dogs... did he have it with him??? NOOOOO!
-  There is a family that lives a floor below them that are members of the church... this is the man who sent me the facebook message with a picture of him playing his ukelele.  They have kids that are 13, 11, and 5 and Elder Sivley says that the 5 year old is a latino Dayne.  :)
-  His hug with his mission president was super great and just what he needed-- President Stauffer was an amazing support to Hunter while he was home for 9 months.  <3
-  He is happier than he has ever been and feels so at peace.  That makes this mama so thankful!

Here's to many more weeks of "freaking" fantastic letters!  Can't wait until next Monday!