July 23, 2013
I don't even know where to begin. This past week has been the craziest, hardest, saddest, happiest, boringest, excitingest, frustratingest, fulfilling week of my life. I honestly don’t even know where to begin.
At the CCM
|Sign in front of CCM|
|Courtyard area at CCM|
Last Wednesday the flight to Peru was almost fun—except for the whole thing. I was sooooooooo glad when we finally made it to Lima. When we got off the plane we had to go through customs and give them the declaration form that they gave us on the plane. It wasn’t in English so I couldn’t understand any of it. I sure hope I filled it out right, but even if I didn’t I don’t think they will care. They seemed pretty relaxed. When we got off the plane we went onto this bus and took like an hour ride through Lima in the middle of the night through the most ghetto-looking place I have ever seen and then all of the sudden a church popped up and then we were here.
|The Four Latinos Assigned to My Room|
My companion is a super duper duper smart kid from Redlands, California. I honestly don’t even know why he is on the 6 week Spanish program. He can speak to all of the Latinos in our room and I can’t even understand a word they say. He loves to study. We have both been called here to serve the Lord so we are going to have to work hard together. A great thing about him is that he is already fluent in Spanish so whenever I need something I just ask him. He’s like a walking Spanish encyclopedia/dictionary.
|Elder Baker and Companion|
The rest of our district is super duper cool. There are a total of 3 Elders and two sisters going to Bolivia, 3 Elders going to Cuzco, and me and one other Elder are both going to Piura. We all get along super well.
|My District at Lima Temple|
Español. What a stupid thing. I hate it. It is so frustrating and so fulfilling. Some people in our district are way more advanced than others. I am probably one of the three worst. All of the others have had like 3 years with a good teacher. We are lacking. I’m just praying like every ten minutes literally that I will be able to learn the language. I can understand a lot but my speaking ability is at a level minus 8. Last night we taught an investigator and the only thing I did was say a prayer in Spanish and say that I know the Book of Mormon is true. My companion talked for the other 18 minutes. It’s so frustrating not being able to form sentences. I’m just praying that it will come. I know with a lot of faith and a bazillion prayers that it hopefully will.
Playing soccer here is probably one of the best parts of the CCM. The Latinos are super good so all the whites like to play without them so we can actually score and stuff. The field and stuff is pretty nice. I love futbol!
|Soccer Field at CCM - I Love Soccer!|
This morning we got to go to the Lima temple which was such a cool experience. We had to have headsets translating everything into English but it was good. I love the spirit that you can feel in the temple. After that we got to go shopping around Lima. We went to this Mormon souvenir place where I got a coin purse for like 7 soles which is like 2.50 U.S. dollars. I needed it because coins are used for everything here and I really needed somewhere to keep my coins. The busses are super fun. You hop on this ghetto bus that costs like 12 US cents and it takes you to the temple. We went to metro which is like a grocery store here and bought some candy and soda and stuff because there is nothing like that here in the CCM. After, we went and bought churros from a stand on the street. They are ridiculously good. They have melted caramel in the middle and they only cost like 1.5 soles which is like 50 cents. I absolutely love being here in PERU!! Just pray so that I can learn the language quickly. That would honestly make life so much easier.
The church is true. I know it. The gospel is the same in Spanish as it is in English. I feel the spirit so strongly when we sing hymns in the auditorium even though they are in Spanish and I have no clue what the words I’m singing mean. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I can’t wait until I can understand it in 2 languages!
Love, Elder Baker
p.s. - I cannot wait for Austin [Elder Baker’s cousin] to get here.