28 de Abril 2014
Straight up probably the craziest, weirdest, most fun, most boring, most rewarding week of the mission. But for real. This last week was absolutely CRAZY! I don't even know if I'm going to have time to tell you guys everything.
So this Monday we had a Family night with a less active family. The mom of the family is a returned missionary and everything. But for some reason, they only attend church about once every 3 months. So we went and had a family night with them and about 3 families from the ward. It went super well. Super fun.
Tuesday morning was pretty crazy. Elder R and I got up and got ready and had study time like normal and then we went up to the church in the upper part of Paita for our district meeting. Our district and one other district from Paita has our district meetings in that chapel and when I walked in, the first person I saw was Elder P and he looked at me and smiled and says "WE'RE GOING TO ECUADOR!" I was pretty confused at first, but then I went and talked to Elder M and he told me that it was true and that Thursday night Elder P and I had to travel to Piura and then we were going to be traveling to Ecuador. That was pretty exciting. But they didn't tell us any of the details or anything. Just that we were going to Ecuador.
Wednesday morning Elder R and I went and taught L C in the morning--the last lesson that he needed before he could be baptized! I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to teach that kid! He's a super sweet kid! And after that we had to hurry back to our apartment to pack up my backpack and head up to the bus station in the upper part to meet up with Elder M and Elder S for exchanges. Elder M came to my area and I went to his area, Pueblo Nuevo, which is about 40 minutes away from Paita. It's super cool. Super pretty! GREEN! That was the first time not seeing dirt in a while! But the exchanges were pretty sweet! It was pretty fun working with Elder S for a day!
Thursday we came back to our area at about noon. That afternoon we went out and worked for a couple of hours and then I had to go up to the bus station in the upper part of Paita again to travel to Piura with Elder P! We got to the bus station at about 7 pm and the bus left at about 7:30 and we got to Piura at about 8:30 pm. Then we headed over to the mission office where we stayed the night. Once we got there, we went and threw a football in the street for about 15 minutes. That was pretty fun. It had been a while since I had thrown a football! But Elder P is in love with football, so he has one. We ended up getting to bed pretty early, because they told us that we had to get up at 5 the next morning.
Friday was CRAZY! We got up at 5 am and hurried and showered and we had to head over to the bus station at about 5:50 where we got on a bus and headed to Tumbes. At this point it was only Elder P, Hermana M, and me. We went about an hour to Sullana where the bus stopped and picked up some people. In Sullana, Elder B, Elder K, Elder C, Elder A and Hermana R got on the bus. And then we went 5 more hours up the coast of Peru until we got to Tumbes. It was a super pretty drive. It's along the coast for about 3 hours and then it turns away from the coast and you pass a ton of green fields for about an hour before arriving in Tumbes. When we got off the bus in Tumbes, the zone leaders from Tumbes were waiting for us and we headed over to the stake center. There, we met up with Hermana C, Elder P, and Elder L that are in Talara. There, they gave us our passports and we got in a little combi, which is like a 12 person minivan and we headed to the border of Peru and Ecuador which is about 25 minutes away. Once we got there, we crossed the bridge into Ecuador and we had to go to Immigrations and leave Perú and enter Ecuador officially and get our passports stamped. That only took about 20 minutes, and then we turned around and headed back to Perú again. It was pretty fun being in Ecuador for about 20 minutes. jaja. Actually, it wasn't that cool at all. But then we had to go back through Immigrations to get back into Perú. The only bad part was that there were millions of people waiting and we had to wait for about 3 hours before we finally got back into Perú. The group of gringos that we were with was super cool. All the kids were super funny. And it felt so good to be able to speak in English the entire day! That is something that I've definitely missed! So anyways, once we got through again, we had to drive back to the stake center and then we headed over to the bus station to buy our tickets for the bus back to our areas. But when we got there, we found out that all of them were sold out and that we would have to wait until the next morning to travel. This was at about 5 in the afternoon. So we called the office and waited for a little bit while they came up with a plan! So they decided that we were going to call a combi and travel, all 11 missionaries together, to our areas. So we called a combi and all piled in the little van and headed off. That was the most cramped, but most fun, 6 hour combi ride from Tumbes to Piura in my life! And I hope that it is the only combi ride from Tumbes to Piura in my life! But it was quite pretty driving back along the coast as the sun was setting. After about 4 hours we stopped in Talara to drop off 3 missionaries and then we stopped in another area to drop off 5 in Sullana and then we finally came all the way back to Piura with the last 3 missionaries. We got back to Piura at about 10:30-11:00 pm. Elder F and Elder M, from the office, were waiting for us and they paid 300 soles to the combi driver and we headed back to the mission office where we slept the night again..... Pretty fun day, no?? But super crazy day. A once in a mission, type of day...
|My passport with Ecuador stamps|
|The crew in the minivan on the way back|
from Ecuador to renew our visas
|Beautiful sunset on the way home from Ecuador|
|Cool statue as we were reentering Peru|
|Statue in a little town that we passed on the way to Ecuador|
So anyways. Saturday we got up really early and headed back to Paita. It was pretty fun being on vacation for a day and a half, but it felt good to be back in my area. In 2 days, I was in pretty much every single part of the mission. Pueblo Nuevo, Paita, Piura, Sullana, Talara, Tumbes, and also Ecuador!
Saturday afternoon was the baptism of L C!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so so so so so so so so so so so so so so happy that night! Elder R was able to baptize him! And L was so happy! It was the best day in a long, long time! And there was a super good turnout! There were a good 30-40 people from the branch there for him! And after that we went out and ate pizza at a restaurant with Elder C and Elder P. It was a little bit expensive, but it was so worth it! Saturday was a super great day!
Sunday was a pretty great day as well! I was lucky enough to be able to speak in church again. Luckily though, this time they told us in advance so we didn't have to try to hurry and come up with something on the spot! I decided to talk about the family and why the family is so important. I'm so grateful for the best family in the entire world!
Well, it's been a super great week! Love you guys! A TON!
I am super excited to get the Ensign! I love reading the Liahonas. But the conference Ensign in English is even better!
The Because of Him video is super cool! One of the coolest videos that I have ever seen! I loved it! This next week is transfers. We'll find out everything on Saturday night. I'm kind of excited to find out. If I stay here, I'll be fine with it. Wherever the Lord needs me. "A donde me mandes iré, Señor."
Lauren. I'm still super duper duper jealous of Tasmania! Those pictures you sent are beautiful. One day I'm going to see somewhere green again. But for now, BROWN! You can send me some of the coldness if you want. It will always be welcome where I am! Love you! Work hard!