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."

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