Monday, December 8, 2008

Here are the last two emails we have received from Christa. One was the week before Thanksgiving, and the other the week after. She will be leaving the Peru MTC in Lima this week and traveling to Arequipa. Hopefully we will hear from her before she leaves! She is so appreciative of all the letters she has been getting. Unfortunately she doesn't have time to write back. Actually I think it is a great thing that she is so busy she doesn't have time to write back!! Keep sending letters. It is such a blessing for her to hear from all of our family and friends. 

Happy Thanksgiving (received November 26, 2008)
Here in Peru its called Dia de Accion de Gracias. I like the ring of Thanksgiving a little better.
Last Wednesday Pres. and Hermana Groberg took us on a tour of Lima that night. So we were in an MTC van driving into downtown Lima when all of a sudden in the middle of an intersection, there was a huge gang fight!! There were at least 30 teenagers with KNIVES throwing bricks at each other!!! We just drove on by and Pres. Groberg said that was an added bonus for our tour. These are probably the stories Darren wisely chose not to share while on his mission, but he has more self restraint than I do. It was a knife fight for crying out loud!! This place never ceases to amaze me! So downtown Lima was actually really cool. Its the first time Ive thought Lima was pretty. We walked around and saw an old cathedral and went in during mass (thats for you Grandma!) The streets had armed guards everywhere though. Apparently presidents from all over the world (including Bush) were there for a conference. I got some cool pictures I hope to send home SOMEDAY when I have access to a computer that will let me.

I got my new companion. Her name is Hermana Rivera from Chiclaya, Peru. Shes really nice. Shes a little quiet, but I like her a lot. We are the coordinating sisters and we are still trying to figure out exactly what that means.

I met 2 native sisters that will be going to Arequipa with me, but Im still the only northamerican!! One of the other Peru missions only has 2 northamerican sisters!! Im pretty nervous about that. I just wish I could speak spanish! I know it'll come

Anyway, I did have a couple highlights of the week. A sister told me she was scared to play on the opposite team as me in soccer because she didnt want to get hit by the ball when I kicked it! As terrible as it sounds, that really did make my week. We also got to go to the temple this week. Everything is in spanish , obviously, so that was different, but it was really, really good. I needed it. I met a lady in the temple who speaks english and just got back from her mission to Arequipa! She said I was going to freeze!! Apparently Dad was right about it being cold down there. Good thing itll be summer. But she also said i would love it, that its beautiful. She told me to remember that Peruvians are different, but to remember I dont have to live with them forever and I should learn everything I can while Im here. Good advice I think. Ive heard from multiple sources that its also called the mission for the valiant because a lot of people in Arequipa are hard hearted. Why did anyone feel the need to tell me that???!! Oh well.

Happy Week After Thanksgiving (received December 3, 2008)
I actually had a really good Thanksgiving believe it or not! We woke up to tons of tables set up in the courtyard with beautiful tablecloths and flowers! Then they had a Thanksgiving program where we learned about pilgrims! I joked about dressing like a pilgrim for the day then realized I already do. Everyday. If my shoes werent shoes someone actually wore on the mayflower I dont know what they are. Then we had an actual Thanksgiving dinner!! Turkey, sweet potatoes and all! But no pie. Oh well, Ill still take it. Oh, I forgot. The night before a woman came into the cafeteria with cinnamon rolls she made for all the missionaries because she thought the northamericans would be homesick. I cried. Some random french woman bringing cinnamon rolls to us in peru. It was a good thanksgiving.

So yeah, a week from yesterday Im pretty sure Ill be flying to Arequipa! Im sure Ill get to email before I leave. My teacher made some calls and Ill be one of FOUR northamerican sisters in arequipa!!! Who would have thought a few months ago this is wehre Id end up? Mom, I think I feel exactly like you. Where is peru and how did I get here. I guess youre right and this really is where heavenly father wants me because every morning I wake up and honestly cant remember making any conscious decisions that got me here! It feels like I just got picked up and dropped off here!! Im hoping Ill start to get less surprised by the fact that Im here every morning I wake up.

I miss you guys so much!! I think about you, pray for you, and hope youre safe, healthy and happy everyday. I hope you can feel my prayers because I can feel yours!! I love you guys!!

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