Monday, November 24, 2008

Peru MTC District

A sister in Christa's district sent us an email today with a quick note and this picture!!! 

Hey, this is Hermana Walther, but here´s a pic of our district!
The elders from left to right are Elder Camp, 
Hatch, Gonzales, Stout.
The sisters from left to right are Hermana Jones, Walther, Keele, Garner.

I love your daughter so much. She is so dang hilarious and is the coolest missionary in the whole mtc (both in provo and here). she just makes everything about being a missionary at least 17 times better.

Best wishes!
Miriam Walther

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We received an email from Christa on Wednesday this week. Here are a few excerpts. She finally received mail this week. Keep writing! She loves it.

"So I had a pretty interesting experience in the cafeteria the other morning. I grabbed a mandarin to go along with my yogurt and eggs for breakfast. I think you can guess where this is headed. One side of the orange was pretty soft, but it was FRUIT so I took it! I only ate the side of the orange that was firm. I finished my breakfast and was looking down at my plate when I noticed a tiny worm crawling around. So I go, "sick! Where did that come from?" And then my gaze met the rest of my mandarin on my plate. i used my fork to roll it over and saw TONS of tiny worms crawling around!! Thats right. So now I would like to hold out hope and think the worms only infiltrated half my orange, but I think we all know the keele familys luck isnt that good.

Proselyting was ok this week. I had a bit more culture shock. We hiked up the side of the mountain to tract and I felt like I was literally in one of those "save the children" commercials where if you donate .10 a day you can sponsor a child. So sad. But it was a good day too. It turns out that lady that ran up to me in the street last week ended up going back to church so that was exciting.

Anyway, we went to the zoo today for an outing!! It was a pretty trashy zoo, but it was fun getting out. We were supposed to see some ruins, but instead we went to pizza hut. Apparently the Grobergs had a wedding to get back for and didnt have time to take us to do everything. The pizza was much needed though so I guess I cant complain.

Good news! I got real mail this week! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! I got the food package and have been hoarding it. People get suspicious when they smell peanut butter on my breath (thats a hot commodity around here) but I change the subject and they forget about it. So thank you!"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We received another email from Christa on Tuesday. Any intro I give it won't do it justice. Read and enjoy!! Remember to start sending mail to the new address after the 20th of this month.

"I definitely got that taste of Peru Ive been waiting for when we went proselyting on Saturday!! Mom, you know how you kept saying that Id get down here and say, "I wish you guys could see this?" Well you were exactly right!! At least for most of it anyway. So we took a bus about an hour from the CCM to a place called St. Isabela. The whole ride I just stared out the window-there were shacks built up every hill-just like in the books! And each one was a different color. Im pretty sure our bus killed 12 pedestrians on the way. Like I said, crazy driving. Then I looked over and there was a flatbed truck next to us with a bunch of crates of Coke and Inca Cola on it and there were people just laying on top of the crates as the truck was speeding by us on the freeway!! And to think I was worried about finding my seat belt!! So we got to the area and they gave my companion and I the names and addresses of 14 inactive families and from 9-5 we tried to track them down and invite them to church on Sunday. We had a member of the ward with us too. Before Saturday i thought I knew "un poco de espanol" but it turns out I was WAY OFF!! I had no idea what was going on the entire day!! But I just smiled and nodded and bore my testimony when my companion would turn and look at me, so yeah. The first part of the day was pretty frustrating because I felt useless, but then a random lady in the street ran up to me and saw my nametag and kissed me and held my hands and said a gringo had baptized her and how beautiful it was to see another gringo. After that some people on the street stopped to talk to us and asked what I was doing so far from home. So I told them and my companion ended up getting their address for the missionaries to visit. So the day turned out okay. I guess I started to realize that the Lord is making my weaknesses strong. No, hes not allowing me to speak perfect spanish, or even understand more spanish than Ive learned, but because I dont belong and cant speak, people are curious about why im here and it opens some doors sometimes. The streets were all dirt where we were and the houses actually werent too bad. Some were more pathetic than others. Like the lady with one room, bunkbeds and a camping stove, or the man we talked to in his shoe store made out of plywood and he literally only had like 3 shoes for sale!! So sad. But everyone was right, they are happy people.

I would have to say though that by far the most memorable part of the day had to be when I witnessed a rat getting BEATEN TO DEATH with a bucket!! (Em, stop reading now) So we were walking along and there was a commotion ahead of us and next thing we know there is a giant RAT running toward us down the sidewalk!! (No streets, but they have sidewalks) All of a sudden a man with a bucket comes out of NOWHERE and starts beating this rat!!! The rat was making noises I didnt even know an animal could make!!!So the man just keeps hitting this rat and it just keeps squealing!! I would pay money to have a snapshot of what my face looked like as this was happening. So then the rat stops squealing and everybody just goes about their business! Apparently thats nothing out of the ordinary!! So as we walk away I was honestly laughing out loud because I realized Im being led around PERU by 2 people I dont understand, walking around a weird little barrio, and I just saw a rat get beaten to death!! All I could do was laugh!! Thats when I came to the conclusion Heavenly Father played a trick on me to get me on a mission. The whole time I was feeling really good about a mission I think I was envisioning a call to a visitors center or church history sight or England or Ohio, NOT the event that I just described. Nonetheless, as hard as it is, Im happy to be where I need to be. Rat murders and all."

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Address and Updates

After November 20 please send letters to the following address:
Hermana Keele
Peru Arequipa Mission
Edificio El Pera
Avenida El Ejercito 710, Oficina 7031
Cayma Arequipa

Sister Keele will be in the Peru MTC until December, but letters take three weeks to get there so...IF LETTERS ARE SENT TO THE PERU MTC AFTER NOVEMBER 20th THEY WILL NOT FORWARD THEM TO HER!!!!!! Please send letters to the above address for the rest of her mission!

Christa's new preparation day is Tuesday. She is able to have 30 minutes to email. I thought I would include some exerpts from her most recent email. 

"Im surviving!! Some days are better than others, but Im doing pretty good considering the fact Im in Peru!!! I have a great companion. She's Hermana Barzola from Lima and shes going to Trujillo, Peru on her mission. Shes the nicest person ever. She doesnt speak a word of english and so it makes understanding each other very tough, but she gives me lots of thumbs up so I guess thats a good thing. We have to go out proselyting in a Lima neighborhood on Saturday!!! Wha?????? I am terrified. I know I'll be extra glad I have a native companion that day!

There was an earthquake on Saturday!! It was small, but we were playing volleyball and all of a sudden everything was shaking and every dog in town was barking!!! It really was small mom, don't worry.

The food isnt bad. Its definitely not good, but its not bad. Chicken and rice everyday.
On Halloween they did give us ice cream and candy though so I hope you all only felt a little bit sorry for me.

I havent seen much of Lima yet so I dont have too much to report. They told us to prepare for culture shock when we got proselyting on Saturday so Im sure I'll have more stories then. Its surprisingly cold here! Apparently its still spring. Im hoping it warms up! We have only seen the sun once since weve been here!

An elder from the floating islands on Lake Titicaca played We thank thee oh god for a prophet on his wooden flute at a meeting we had the other night. I thought dad would appreciate that.

What else...We are in class pretty much all day where our teachers dont speak english. Im in a district with other north americans, but we meet up with our latin companions to teach and eat meals, etc. There are about 70 missionaries here right now. 14 sisters-8 of us from north america, and the rest elders from Peru, Bolivia and North America.

Watch TV and eat fast food for me!! Love you guys!!!!!"

I loved the last line! She hasn't changed that much, yet!!
More updates to come after Tuesday.
Keep writing. She LOVES hearing from everyone.