Saturday, February 27, 2016

2/13 Office - Week 1

Well, I survived week number 1 as AP!!! It was a doozy too. I will kind of give a little recap of what happened by day:

Every Monday we write a letter to the missionaries throught their emails. One of us writes to the mission as a whole, and the other sends one to the mission leaders (zone leaders, district leaders, sister training leaders). It was my turn to write to the the mission as a whole, and I was kind of nervous, but I think it went well. I used Alma 41:15 to explain how our attitude towards the situations that we face in the mission makes a huge a difference. If we think that we are going to have a crappy week, then we are going to have a pretty crappy week. After that I was able to write home and tell everyone what was going on, and thankfully everyone wrote me before Saturday. Trust me, this is weird for me as well. At about that time, President walks into our office and tells us that he is going to change the leadership council from Wednesday to Tuesday. Well, that left us about an hour to put together our entire presentation for the zone leaders and sister training leaders. To make matters worse, about 45 minutes into it, the powerpoint erased itself. Whoops. We were able to scape it together again in the little time we had left, then we had to head out to the mission home to train the missionaries who were going to train. It went pretty well, very low key, not a lot of pressure there.

We woke up and headed off to pick up the new missionaries from the airport and then take them on a tour of Arequipa. This was probably one of my favorite parts of the week. A whole lot of memories came flooding back from my first day in the mission, looking around, trying to figure out who was going to pick me up, all that stuff. The newbies had the same lost look of their face that I am sure I had 18 months ago haha. The tour bus driver also happened to be one of my good member friends from Chachani, so we were able to catch up on how things in the ward are going. We took the new missionaries to the temple site, to the Plaza de Armas, and then to the mission home for their lunch and training. We did the whole "companionship reveal" thing and then did a training for them and then shipped them off to their new areas to start their missions. We had a about two hours to put the finishing touches on our leadership training schedule, and then the zone leaders and sister leaders from the whole mission came to have leadership council. The first day is when the zone leaders report on how the zones are doing and then the mission secretaries talk about their stuff. It also went pretty well, and it was really cool to see a lot of my mission friends.

Part 2 of leadership council. This time it was our turn to teach. We did our presentation, and we had solid participation from the other missionaries we were teaching as well. We talked about the Doctrine of Christ and how the principles that the Savior taught apply to us as well as our investigators. Having faith, repenting, remembering our own baptism through the Sacrament, using the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end apply really well to us as missionaries. I think it went super well, and the missionaries seemed to enjoy it as well. President then announced that we were going to end the meeting early because... you´ll love this... their was a bull fight that he wanted to take all of the missionaries to. So yes, our mission president took us to a classic Arequipa bull fight. It was awesome!!!! It is not at all what you would expect. The bulls literally fight each other. There are no matadors, nothing like that. Just 2 giant beasts going at it. I forgot my camera, but some of the other missionaries sent me the pictures so I will forward them to you guys. 

We were finally able to breathe a little bit. We still had some stuff to do in the office, but nothing too stressful. We have the keys to the transfer board, and part of our job is to update it when the transfers come. So we spent the mornings doing that, and we were actually able to work in our area for a few hours. 

As far as living conditions, stuff like that, we live in a really nice apartment in downtown Arequipa, equipped with a fridge, kitchen, and bean bag chairs. We live with the other 4 office missionaries as well. We dont have a pension, we cook our own food. The mission also gives us a ridiculous amount of money to spend on groceries, apart from the money we get every month for transportation. So the fridge is always loaded with really good food. Well, for me its awesome because its American food i havent eaten for a year and half, like a glass of cold milk, or a cheese stick, or whole wheat toast. It doesnt sound like much, but it is quite the luxury for someone who has eaten rice and potatoes for a year and a half straight haha. The office is in downtown Arequipa, so we eat out every single day. There are healthy eating options, dont worry. We are also running to the gym every single morning (its about 1.6 miles from the house) and then work out there for a while. There is a guy whos job is to drive us around wherever we want to go, so he swings by the gym at 7 to pick us up and take us back to the house. He also takes us to our appointments, to the office... we are very spoiled here in the office. I´m glad I am finishing my mission here and not starting here haha. We also have a lady who washes our clothes and returns them to us all folded and ironed. #spoiledspoiledspoiled

So far I like being AP. It is a very different kind of work. We still have time to work in our area, but it really kind of depends on the day. Our area is really two areas actually. The area is called Miracollo, because we work in the areas of the other office missionaries, which are Umacollo and Mirador. It will take some getting used to, but it should be fun. We start the zone conferences this week. Thursday and Friday we will be in Moquegua, going on the splits with the zone leaders there (Elder Evans haha) and then we will do the zone conference. 

Thanks for everything guys! I really appreciate the support!

Elder Matheson

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