Monday, November 24, 2014

The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway

Well I know you have all been dying to know where I got transferred so here we go.  I am in the zone farthest north called Huaraz.  It is the promised land of the mission.  Everyone wants to come here because it´s really pretty.  And it is.  It´s the sierra, so there are mountains, and it´s green.  It´s 10,000 feet above sea level.  So I get winded pretty easily, and I also got a nasty bloody nose the other day.  But it´s a bit tourist destination, so it´s more modern than my last area.  And it´s pretty cold.  I got to Peru in the middle of winter, and summer was just starting in my last area, but here, winter just began, so my mission just became Frozen.  I´m going to be in an eternal winter.  Because by the time I get transferred, winter will be starting again in the south.
  My companion is from Panama too.  Her name is Hermana Flores and has been in the mission for about a year and is 21.  Apparently I have something to learn from Panama.
  Adjusting was a bit  of a challenge.  We don´t have a water heater here, so we get luke warm showers, with death shower heads. (Look up pictures on google).  And then, the other day, I lost my wallet with 90 soles.  I was really more concerned about the wallet, because it was really cool and I got it for 3 soles.  So, I had to buy a new one which everything is more expensive here, so that´s a bummer. 
  Other big news, I taught my first piano lesson on Friday.  I´ve never taught piano before, and I had no idea what I was doing, but it went fairly well.  They just learn songs.  So I taught them the first half of silent night.  It went fairly well.  There are even more drunk people here, or people who drink in general, so a lot of the families we find are receptive, but the dad doesn´t want to listen because he doesn´t want to stop drinking. 

I´d send pictures, but this computer won´t let me.  Maybe next week.  Until then, hope all is well with everyone.  Stay Golden.

I had mentioned that she probably wouldn't be celebrating Thanksgiving and here is her reply: 

Oh and a side note.  I will be having Thanksgiving dinner here.  There is an senior couple here from the states and they arranged for two of the districts that are here close to have a nice dinner on Thursday.  The district up north has a senior couple from the states as well so I assume they will do that there.  That´s one benefit of being here.

Hasta Ver A Mi Zona

Well this week was a roller coaster.  We lost our district leader, one of our zone leaders, and two hermanas.  And since our zone is only 10 missionaries, that was almost half.  It was really sad, but we will see what happens in transfers tomorrow.  I do know that I am getting transferred, but I don´t know more than that, so this email is going to be a two part deal.  And you guys will have that to look forward to next week.  
  In other news.....I felt my first earthquake!!!  whooo.  It was really soft and i didn´t even realize it was an earthquake.  I thought that maybe it was a big truck driving by or something, but I was super excited.  We were in a lesson and the house started shaking a little bit.  I wasn´t even paying attention to it, but everyone else stopped and was being all quiet, and I was like what´s going on.  And then they said, "An earthquake."  And I got all excited, and they thought I was all weird.
  We also went to this place called Harekrshnas which is an eco community where everyone is vegetarian and has this weird Buddha like religion and everyone is a hippie.  It was fun.
  Missionary news, our investigators never go to church.  We had 12 new investigators this week and not one went to church.  Really if any of you missionaries reading have found some secret to getting your investigators to go to church, I´d love to know.  And if anyone else has any ideas, feel free to share.

Well everyone have a great week!

Next week: What my fate is after transfers.

(I know I´m getting chubby, just ignore that)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Priesthood Blessing Gone Wrong

Well this week we had two baptisms!  That was fun.  Everything went well and M and A were really happy about everything. The elders had a baptism too so we had three that night.  But before that, one of our investigators had an accident with her knee and can`t walk really well, so we explained about priesthood blessings and asked if she wanted one and she said yes (which was really good because she and her husband are really stubborn.  They ask a ton of questions).  So the next day we brought two of the elders to give her a blessing.  The Spirit was really strong and we were sure she was going to say she felt super good.  But when it was done, we asked her how she felt, and she said, "to be honest, I feel really dizzy."  We were basically really silent. We didn`t know what to do.  Then she said she had this feeling of fear.  I started to panic, and basically just wanted to start telling her all the reasons the church is true so she wouldn`t think this was an answer.  But then Hna. Rios started explaining how she felt and it turns out that it wasn`t fear, it was just really strong and she had never felt that before.  So we resolved that, but the elders didn`t know what to do.  The Elder said that he was thinking, "What did I do?" and was worried that they`d stop listening to us.  But it just goes to show that the Spirit works differently with everyone.  But it was a very interesting experience.      

Monday, November 3, 2014

Welcome to Peru, where you´re living in dirt, the houses are stores, and the lines on the road don´t matter.

Ok first I´ll touch on a few highlights this week.  We went and climbed a mountain of sand, which was really fun, but we had to take our lunch, so we ate fried rice on the top of a mountain in the sand.  It was very much a "This is Peru" moment. 

Then we had a dance at the church for Halloween, but seeing as how we can´t dance, we just basically sat at the food table and ate...we´re helpful. 
But, it was an alright week, not the most successful, but I have a feeling that this week we are going to find more people.  We set two baptismal dates this week, but they failed to go to church, so we are back to square one, but we keep working!  

 So now I´ll describe a little bit about Peru, for those of you who don´t care, you can stop reading.  Alright, here we go.  Just a disclaimer, I´m not complaining about anything in Peru.  I love it, I´m just going to give you a better picture of how it is here.

First of all, it´s really really dirty.  There is dirt EVERYWHERE. You can´t walk barefoot in the houses because the floors are dirty pretty much immediately after you sweep.  There are also a lot of people that don´t shower real frequently, so they´re aren´t super clean.  They´re also not real big on being sanitary.  It´s kind of an "anything goes" attitude.  One time I bought cereal from the mercado and there was a rock in was a good time.  Also, I mentioned before there are dogs everywhere, which means that there is also dog poop everywhere.  It´s a little gross, but you just gotta watch where you step.  

 Typical breakfast - drinkable yogurt and cereal. 

 Street Market. 

Secondly,  there are little stores in the houses.  In the U.S. stores are stores, and houses are houses.  Here there are so many houses that have little stores in their living rooms that sell snacks, some have household stuff like toilet paper, shampoo, or dish soap and you just buy it through the front window.  Really, probably every two or three houses has a store.  Which also makes you want to buy snacks all the time.  The best is teaching people who have them, so then sometimes they give you free food.  It´s awesome.

 Getting around in style. 

The parades that they do here where they carry around a saint with music and stuff.  The other night they were talking to the saint. 

Thirdly, the traffic.  There has been a study of the places with the worst driving.  Somewhere in Ghana, Africa was number one.  Lima, Peru was number two.  It is crazy.  I touched a little bit on this before, but there are no rules.  You just have to hope for the best.  I´m super grateful that I don´t have to drive here.  There are speed bumps every 1/4 mile because if there weren´t, the people would be going 100mph down the roads.  Also, in places like New York, you have to hail the taxis, here, they hail you.  If you are walking down the street, they will honk or shout something to see if you need a taxi.  They aren´t road signs, so they just drive however they want.

Hermana Rios and Hermana Ahern - always smiling!!  The bottom picture is the view from the roof of their apartment building. 

Alright, there´s is a little bit of Peru, if you have any questions feel free to ask. Everyone have a wonderful week!