Tuesday, February 5, 2013
La Primera Semana
Hola hola hola!
Let me tell you, it has been QUITE the adventure already down here! I haven`t even had a full week yet because we got here at 2 a.m. on Thursday, but it feels like it`s been forever! Kinda nuts. Everyone says that when you`re on a mission, days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days. I want to testify that it`s true. The first day, I was EXHAUSTED (not how Ian understands the word), but it was mostly because I had to speak Spanish all day!
I know that I have never been on a mission before or been to another MTC, but I really have been put in a unique situation. In my group, there were 5 elders and 1 hermana (me), and we are the first 6 people ever to come straight to the Peru CCM and not have 3 weeks first in Provo. The reason there weren`t more people in our group is because the other elders and hermanas who were supposed to come here couldn`t get their visas in time, so they´re in Provo now until they can get those. I hope they get here fast because I want a companion who I can be with all the time! My actual companion is a Peruvian and she is so sweet. We have different classes, though, so we´re only together during meals, gym, and when we´re getting ready. Other than those times, my companions are the elders in my district. I have to stay with at least a pair of them always. Today, however, I have Pday, and my companion doesn´t, so my companions are the 2 other hermanas from the States, which is nice because I can speak English. The other elders from the U.S. are nuts and I think they´ve had a bad influence on the elders in my district. They seemed so calm on the plane and the first couple days here, but then went insane. Hopefully this doesn´t last.
Needless to say, I have been using my Spanish a lot. I actually speak better than they other hermanas who've been out for 6 weeks. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I took Spanish before I came. It has helped me out SO MUCH!!! Now that I've had to use it, I definitely know more than I thought I knew, and DEFINITELY more than any of you thought I knew. You would be surprised. The elders and hermanas here know I speak Spanish so they talk to me a lot, but I have to remind them so speak slowly. It really has been a cool experience seeing the gift of tongues in my life. At meals, the elders and hermanas from the U.S. usually eat together, but I've only eaten with them twice. Every other time, I've sat with Latinos and it´s been a learning experiences. If I don´t know a word I repeat it and ask what it means. It´s been really helpful. One of the Latinas I share a room with speaks a little English, so she´s been helpful when I can´t understand something. The other 2 hermanas want to learn English so they ask me to teach them phrases or, for example, they asked what the difference is between the pronunciation of "yellow" and "jello" or "but" and "bat". Kinda funny because for them it´s the same sound!
Also, just so you´re aware, I know for a fact that 4 of the Latin elders here want to marry me, and my companion told me that there are a lot more elders who like me. "Usted tiene un montón de fans." Too bad I´m taller than all of them. I have never felt so tall or so white in my life. These people are so tiny! They´re so funny, though. I think there just needs to be a larger population of caucasion hermanas down here and then it wouldn´t be such a big deal to them. Definitely the best thing about being here is playing fútbol with the Latinos. They were surprised that I wouldn´t back down when we played. "¡Qué mujer!" Also, I never knew that Latinos were so good at ping pong! I still haven´t been able to beat my companion. They way she hits the ball makes it look like she shouldn´t be good, but she´s SO good! There´s a basketball hoop here, too, but it´s messed up, so I´ve only shot around once.
The food here is really good, but we have the EXACT same thing for EVERY meal! Soup, rice, potatoes, chicken. Soup, rice, potatoes, chicken. Soup, rice, potatoes, chicken. Soup, rice, potatoes, chicken. Soup, rice, potatoes, chicken. Soup, rice, potatoes, chicken. Get the picture? Also, they eat yogurt with their cereal and think it´s weird to use milk. Oh well. It´s been great, though. The other day, quite a few people were throwing up, and luckily I´m not one of them.
Our first lesson was 4 days ago, and we had to give it in Spanish! It´s been great learning about the Gospel in Spanish, and having to teach. It´s hard, but it´s kinda fun. I usually teach by myself since I don´t really have a companion, so luckily I know Spanish. The gift of tongues is REAL! A couple of the elders in my district knew basically NO Spanish before they came, and I can already see them improving a lot. Out maestros are AWESOME! They´re the nicest Latinos ever. Their names are Hermano Choque, Lazo, and Ibarra. They teach mostly in English, which is good for us, but I´m sure it´s hard for them. This is their first experience having to teach elders and hermanas HOW to speak Spanish, so it´s been a learning experience for everyone.
Sorry I don´t have any pictures! Hopefully I´ll be taking some today. We get to go out and actually buy stuff, which is great because i forgot my flip flops. We´re also going to go and eat pizza next to the temple. We would usually be able to go, but it´s closed for 2 weeks for cleaning.
Anyway, I need to go. OH! I FOUND MY CAMERA BATTERY CHARGER!!!!!! It was in my suitcase the whole time. So stop looking for new cameras. :) Also, Dad, you can get refunded for the $75 extra bag charge from when I flew here! Call Sonja from Missionary Travel. I don`t have the number with me, but if you go to your dialed calls from last Wednesday, I`m sure you could find it. The weather here has been GREAT ps!
I don`t think there`s anything else I need to tell you. I don`t have my journal with me to remind me what happened, so sorry if my thoughts are scattered, but know that I love you and I am being well taken care of here. The mission president is from Washington and he and his wife are great. This has been a great experience! I KNOW the church is true, and the best part is that it`s true EVERYWHERE!!! Even down here in little, ol` Peru. I love this Gospel and I`m excited to share it with the Latinos here. They have such wonderful hearts and are so generous. Heavenly Father loves us so much! We are HIS CHILDREN!!!!!!!
CON MUCH AMOR,
Ps. I saw Whitney on a DVD of a devotional Elder Bednar gave at the MTC! She was singing in the choir! Tender mercy.
Pps. Congratulations to Sarah. I can`t wait to meet baby Finn someday!
Ppps. Ashley, if you`re reading this, an elder here knows Jess! Austin Richards. Ask her. And I think I won Rabbit Rabbit again.
Pppps. An elder from Mexico knew I lived in Lehi because he saw me in a picture on fbook with someone he knows. I still haven`t figured out who it is. Creepy.
Ppppps. I hope you had a great GROUNDHOG DAY! I definitely didn`t forget.
Pppppps. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!