Tuesday, January 14, 2014

We ate eel for lunch (and squid, octopus and lobster too!) - 1/13/14

Wowzers. Another week down. Crazy to think that this week I will hit the six month mark. I think I was in a coma for like 4 months, because I definitely don't remember 6 months passing by. Time passes by so fast. This last week my companion got his travel plans for the end of this transfer when he finishes his mission. It really made me start to think. That day is going to be here for me before I know it. I was thinking a ton about how important it is to make the best of every single moment I have. I am never going to have an experience quite like this ever again in my life. I am going to serve with no regrets!

This last week was a little bit hard, but it was a good week. I told you guys about the little earthquake that was here last Monday. Supposedly it was 4.5 on the Richter scale. I have no clue what that means though. Or if it was strong or not. All I know is that it woke me up from my nap last p-day! Pretty cool!

I'm not really sure why, but on Wednesday morning I woke up and was feeling super duper homesick. Pretty weird for me. Something that doesn't usually happen. So for my personal study I decided to look for motivational scriptures. And boy are there lots of them! It was a morning that strengthened my testimony of the scriptures. There is a reason that we have been commanded to read the scriptures every single day. Especially the Book of Mormon. I have no doubt that the scriptures are true. Every time I read them I am filled with feelings of peace and happiness! After study time, the feelings of homesickness had passed. I think the best way to combat homesickness is just to get up and do something! I don´t think missing your home is a bad thing, but you can't let it interfere with the work that we are doing here in the mission field. I honestly am so grateful to be here in Peru. There really isn't anywhere I would rather be!

My Christmas package finally arrived!
Thursday was practically Christmas. Mainly just because I finally received my Christmas package! After the zone conference! The zone conference was super duper duper great. We talked about the importance of helping our investigators make and keep commitments. If the investigator doesn't act on what we are teaching, they aren't going to be able to gain a testimony. We learned a lot about how we can help them keep their commitments. We also had a practice with another set of missionaries. Honestly I don't really like practices. I feel super stupid practicing. I'm one of the people that just like to do it for real. I realize the importance of these practices though. I like making mistakes in practices. I'm the missionary who I am today because of the mistakes I have made. Every time I make a mistake I think about how I should have done it differently and make sure that next time I will be able to do it even better.

After the zone conference we went and ate lunch at our Pensionista´s house. We ate eel for lunch. Yep eel. Pretty cool, huh? It's kind of weird. It's the texture of bubble gum. But it actually tastes pretty good! And it turns out that that was only the beginning of trying new foods for the week! After lunch we went back to our apartment and I opened my Christmas package! I absolutely love the Red Sox Shirt and BYU shirt. Every time I look at the Red Sox shirt I smile. And the candy was the best too. You guys know me that's for sure. Kit Kats and Peanut Butter M&Ms. I ate the entire bag of Kit Kats in like 24 hours with my companion. Pretty great! I think I'll save the M&Ms for a different week though. When I'm feelin' a little bit down! Cause it's impossible to eat those without a smile on your face!

Friday was another day of different stuff for lunch. We went to our pensionista's house and she brings out the plates with our food. Calamar y pulpo. Squid and Octopus. Pretty cool huh????? Who would have thought that I would get to eat that on my mission! It wasn't the best thing ever, but it wasn't bad at all. Super glad that I was able to try it! I am not sure why, if it was that lunch or something else, but my companion was super sick that night. I felt fine. It's kind of boring when you're in your room though with nothing to do. I ended up reading for a few hours while my companion was in the bathroom. 

Saturday morning he was still sick. He started to feel a little better by about lunchtime. I had another great study time Saturday morning. We have multi-zone conferences this next week and so we were told to study chapter 4 in Preach My Gospel. I love chapter 4. The entire chapter is about the role of the Holy Ghost in missionary work. Honestly the spirit is crucial. We need the spirit in everything we do if we want to have success as missionaries. Elder G and I talked a lot about the difference when we teach by the spirit and when we teach by our own knowledge. As missionaries, we're not here to try to use pretty words and convince people of what we are saying. We are here to help people gain a testimony of the gospel with the help of the Holy Ghost. I loved studying this morning. But then again, I always love studying. One of the best times of the day for sure! For lunch we had another thing I had never tried before. Lobster! Lobster is super duper duper good! This week was a week of seafood. Almost every single day. And it was actually pretty cool! 

Our Lobster lunch!
Sunday I had one of the coolest experiences of my mission! Sunday went really well. At 8 we went and reported numbers for the week and then went back to our room and cooked dinner. Our room is on the third story. I was standing on the balcony right outside our room and was looking at the street below us. Turns out that there is a gringo that lives right next door to us. He came out of his room to do the same thing. I started to talk to him and it turns out that he is from Germany. He has been living here since September working and learning Spanish. He actually lived in the US as a foreign exchange student for a year when he was 18. Right now he is 24. I ended up talking to him for about 2 hours. In Spanish and English. He was super interested in what we were doing here as missionaries. I was able to talk to him a lot about our church and he was super interested. I was able to give him a Book of Mormon in English and in Spanish and he wants to read it and learn more about our church. He wants us to visit him some more and wants to come to church with us this Sunday. That was a super cool experience. He will be going back to Germany in a couple of months. Who knows, maybe he will be able to find some missionaries in Germany! It was honestly such a cool experience. Who would have thought that I would get to share the gospel and give a Book of Mormon to a German guy, in English, while living in Peru. So cool!

Overall it was a great week! Thanks for all of the love and support that you guys show me. I have no doubt that this church is true! Love you guys! Thanks for everything! 

Elder Baker

Lauren. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! FELIZ CUMPLEAƑOS! 21. Crazy how old you are. I'm only 18. Still a young'un. SUPER DEF TOTES JEALOUS OF YOUR KANGAROO PETTING! THE ONLY THING I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO PET HERE IS A DEAD LOBSTER! love you! Hope you have a great week! Thanks for being such a great example! Love you!

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