23-9-13 weekly update
Well I'm glad to hear that it's cooling off in Utah. Cause it's not here, that's for sure! Every day I think I am going to die because it is so freaking hot! And it's not even summer yet! There's a song on the Nashville Tribute missionary album and it talks about sweatin' from every pore. The whole song is so perfect for how I feel right now! "It's gonna take work, breakin' down the walls between us..... knockin' on every door.....sweatin' from every pore!"
This week went pretty well. Except for the fact that I have had a ginormous cold. For like four days! I've blown my nose so many times it's ridiculous. Probably gone through like 2000000000 rolls of toilet paper too! Cause they sure don't have nice soft Kleenexes here.
Wednesday was Elder Cortes' birthday. I woke up at six in the morning with Elder Aquino walking into our room and smashing an egg on my companion's head while he was still in his bed. There was egg everywhere! I would have been so mad, but he just laughed about it. I guess he was just glad that Elder Aquino didn't have flour to dump all over him like people usually do in Peru. The day went pretty well. We were in a good mood like all day. And that night we went over to have cake at a member's house. It was super good! Lauren [Elder Baker’s sister serving a mission in Australia] was complaining about how crappy her oven was and how hard it was to bake a cake. She should see the oven I have in my apartment. It's nonexistent.
All the people here are crazy. They eat a lot for lunch, but eat pretty much nothing the rest of the day. I'm starving. Like always. I think it's because we are out walking and sweating all day long. But I could literally eat everything that is placed before me. We never have to cook lunch. Monday through Friday it is with the pensionista and Saturday and Sunday it is with members in the ward. I can't tell if I'm just getting served better food right now than when I arrived, or if I'm just getting used to it, or if I'm just starving. But I love it! The food here is so good! We eat with members on Saturday and Sunday in their little shacks built with bamboo and plywood, with their dirt floor. You're not expecting much from them, but they bring out these super nice meals that taste amazing! While I was in Lima, all the people said that the people in Piura know how to cook. It's true.
I absolutely love the members here. They are all so nice to all of the missionaries. It's like I have 200 friends here that would be willing to do anything I asked of them, and they don't even know me! I love going to sacrament meeting and seeing everyone together. The church building we have is pretty small and it's not very nice, but that's not what is most important. What is important is the things that happen inside the church—the things that are said and the things that are taught. The members here don't have many things of the world, by our standards, but they don't need things of the world. They have the gospel and that is what makes them happy. I'm so excited for the members of the ward this week. Because on Tuesday they are taking a bus to Lima so that members of the ward can attend the temple. I'm so happy for them. The temple is absolutely amazing. I'm a little bit jealous. It makes me so grateful that in Utah we live so close to so many temples and don't have to sacrifice much to go and to feel of the spirit that abides in the temple.
On Friday morning Elder Cortes and I went to teach a lesson to this person that was baptized recently. We walk into their house and sit down and all the sudden like a million little chickens and ducks run through the living room! It's so funny thinking about how farfetched of an idea that would be in Utah, but here it is completely normal! In the United States, we raise dogs in our houses. Here they raise dogs, birds, chickens, and ducks. Another difference I have really noticed this past week is that in Utah we use a lot of water watering our grass. Here they use a lot of water watering their dirt. When I first got here I was kind of puzzled as to why they water their dirt. But the reason they do it is because they like dirt, not sand. If you go a few days without watering it, you have 3 inches of sand, which is no fun. Trust me.
Normally I would love the wind here, but this week made me hate wind. I couldn't even think about the fact that it was cooling me off, because all I could think about was the fact that I had 5 gallons of sand in my eyes. It hurt. I was glad I wasn't wearing my contacts though. That could have been way bad.
This week was also a super good week for the language. I'm finally to the point where I can really feel like I can understand conversations, and pretty much know completely what they are talking about. I'm so glad the language is finally coming. It's going to be sooo nice once I feel comfortable with speaking the language. I'm still thinking that that is going to be a year down the road, because it's still not in sight. I can understand, but to carry on a conversation with someone is rough. I practice every day though. With faith, lots of time studying, and lots of time on my knees, the language will come.
I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be serving a mission right now here in Piura. I love being a missionary. I know that this church is true and it makes me so happy to know that I get to spend 2 years of my life sharing that happiness with others. I am so grateful for everything that I have learned and experienced in my time here and am so excited for all the times ahead of me! I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for the Atonement, and for the Plan of Salvation. I know that the message that we, as members of the church, have is true. I can't wait to share it with more people. This week!
|Elder Baker and Elder Levi|
There is a member in the ward that I was talking to this week and he said that he was surprised at how nice I was to him because he thought that all Americans were arrogant. It's important to not act that way around these people. I always want to make sure that I come off as caring and not seem like an "Arrogant American."
Lauren, Are you excited for a new companion and to be training? I think being a trainer would be hard. Lots of responsibility. You literally have to teach them everything about how to be a missionary. You will do an amazing job though. Whoever is your trainee is sure going to be lucky! I'm praying for you like always! Keep working hard! This week is 6 meses for you right?? Crazy how time flies by!
Love you guys! Thanks for all of the love and support!