Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy Dia de Preperacion!!! How are you guys?? Im doing pretty good, just life as usual here in Peru.

So I taught English this week and it ended up being really fun actually. The problem is Ill be teaching every Saturday from now on and Im pretty sure I taught everything i know in the first class! send me ideas...

What else. Oh, I solved a mystery in my area too. Twice a day there is this really strong smell in all of Pachacutec. Ive always wondered what it was. This week my curiosity got the best of me and i did some asking. Turns out its Rico Pollo (Delicious Chicken) A factory in my area that burns the feather nd instensines and parts of the chickens they dont use or sell twice a day!! I shouldnt have asked. Before the smell didnt make me nauseous! ITs also pretty interesting that the only plae in PEru I havent seen dogs running rampant is in the vicinity of Rico Pollo...Im not suggesting anything, im just making an observation...

Oh, but speaking of missing dogs, guess who is out of my life?! The dog we live with! Thank you for your prayers on my behalf. We hadnt been followed or attacked for a few days so we asked the family about her and all we were told is ¨Kiara es de vacaciones¨ which means shes on vacation. Turns out tht mens the family got so sick of her antics they put her in a box, on a train, and shipped her to some ¨cousins¨somewhere in Pêru! For kiaras sake i hope thats true nd that she didnt get shipped to Rico Pollo.

Oh, heres something random. Theres a returned missionary in our ward who served in Lima North 2 or 3 years ago. HEs a nice guy, but he always shows up on our doorstep with stuff he wants to show us. So he brought over a huge stack of pictures the other day. When we finally went through them 1 of his companions looked so familiar to me. Do you guys remember Elder Young who served in our ward a few summers back? I think he came over for dinner a few times? I was looking at pictures of his twin brother!! Small world.

Dad, Ill fill you in on Easter more next week. Ive heard things about treks to the mountains, burning herbs in the streets, eating 7 plates of food, not eating meat, watching movies about Jesus and his life on TV, but Ill let you know more as I actually see all this stuff.

Could someone write on my blog that I cant read my email. Ive gotten a couple letters from friends saying theyve sent me emails and never heard from me. Thats because I wont be able to read that email for a year and a half. So apologize for me and promise them a response in a year and a half. I am trying to do better about writing letters though so hopefully they wont hate me for not responding to their emails.

Anyway, we are hiking to a waterfall today so ill let you know about that next week. Hope youre all great, love you and praying for you! We have a baptism scheduled for this Friday so pray that works out!! Talk to you soon!! love you!!


Monday, March 23, 2009

How are you guys?My week has been pretty good. We had a baptism yesterday so I guess I should say my week has been VERY good! A single mom named Cris. Funny because the night we went to visit Cris and were going to tell her we werent going to be able to visit as often because she wasnt progressing, she told us she wanted to be baptized! Crazy how things work out. Anyway, shes great and Sunday was a happy day.

We had interviews and our multizona this week. President Davis told me since Ive had so many changes already in my mission that hes going to let me stay with Hermana Silva for 2 changes so I can finally have a companion for more than a month! Its kind of nice to know that. So Ill be here in Pachacutec with Hermana Silva until May 25th and then I predict she will go and Ill stay until July. Well see, but Id be happy with that. I really like Pachacutec and Arequipa. Then who knows, maybe Ill be off to Puno or Tacna or Ilo.

The multizona was good. President Davis talked a lot about diligence and how we can be better teachers and the importance of contacting even if we dont like contacting. WE had a mini MTC where we rotated rooms and practiced teaching a lot. And we got copies of our mission calls so now I have mine in spanish too!!

Dad told me you guys have a rat now. All I can say is ewwwww. AND watch out for men with buckets.

Ive been healthy this week. Last week I got really sick for 1 day. I dont think Im a fan of papaya. Ill have to save the details for when Im home and can act everything out that happened, but trust me, itll be a Keele Family Classic!

Anyway, Im doing good. I hope you guys are too!! I love you and am praying for each of you everyday. I sent a little package for Britts birthday with a few more postcards so hopefully you guys will get that this week. Love you!! Talk to you soon!!!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

17 March 2009

Fam a lam a ding dong!
Whats going on? So I got my valentines package this week! I love it!!! Nothing says Happy Valentines Day like a can of potted meat!! Seriously though, the package is amazing, I love everything you sent!!! Thank you!! And thank Jen for the cute notebooks and card too.

Nothing too big is going on here this week. We were able to go listen to Julie B. Beck on Friday and that was good. She spoke with Marcus B. Nash. Hes the area authority down here. Ive been able to meet him a few times and he is great.

So a couple things. 1. I lost the dog of the family we live with this week! Just for a few hours. Em, dont hate me, but I hate this dog!! She ATTACKS us everytime we come in, eats my nylons AND my treats and I dont know how she manages to get into our room, but she freaks me out because she always pops out from under my bed-after peeing! PLUS she escapes everytime we leave and we have to chase her down for like 20 minutes!! Well we left the other day and of course she escaped. We were late to pick up an investigator so after some deliberation we decided to let her have her heart´s desire and roam free. I had faith shed make it home. Well she followed us to the appointment and then jumped in the taxi we were going to the fireside in. I had to drag her out!! Well we got home at 930 and when the dog didnt immediately attack us my conscious started to kick in. My comp and I sprinted to our room so as to avoid any questions about whether wed seen the dog. I couldnt sleep because I thought I was going to have to explain to the 9 and 4 year old why they didnt have a dog anymore!! Miraculously, at breakfast, before I even saw her, she was chewing on my shoe under the table! I still hate that dog, but Im glad the furball is back. And my testimony of prayer has been reinforced once again. 2. I rode in THE most crammed combie this week! I though the train in Chicago after a cubs game was bad, but that was nothing!! I dont know which was worse, the man shoved up so hard against me my face was literally plastered to the window of the combie or the bag of whatever he was holding that had feathers and an unpleasant small coming out of it!! Oh peru.

Anyway, I hope youre all doing great. I still miss you and am still praying away for you guys. Love you!! Eat corned beef for me this week!!


PS, mom, my ear is better. After two weeks of suggestions of urine and breastmilk I deduced I needed warm water to unplug my ear so I bought a syringe (which are WAY to available here by the way) took the needle off and squirted warm water in my ear, worked like a charm!

Love you guys!!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hey Hey Hey!!!!

How are you guys? So its 5 months down! But once again, who´s counting...My week has been pretty good, Ive just been trying to remember how to get places and introducing my companion to people. I was actually really nervous about having to kind of direct the area until my companion gets familiar with things, but I think its been good for me. Its forced me to do a lot of things I havent done before and I admit, I kind of liked not having too much responsibility before, but Ive learned a lot this week so I guess thats good.

I got letters from Mom, Dad, and britt this week. I loved them all!!! THank you, thank you, thank you!!! I also got a really nice letter and card from Aunt Linda.

So Julie B. Beck is coming to talk in our stake center this friday along with the president of the primary. I cant remember her name. Maybe Cheryl lant? So that should be good.

Dad, I met an elder in my mission from Arkansas this week! HE about had a heartattack when he found out I not only know where Mountain Home is, but Ive actually been there! Apparently he used to live in Arizona and his dad retired to somewhere in Arkansas that isnt mountain home, but the elder worked in mountain home for a couple summers. Anyway, thought youd appreciate that!

So you guys have asked about my schedule a couple times. Heres a quick rundown.

630, wakeup, exercise
730, breakfast
8-9 personal study
9-10 companion study
10-11 companion study
11-12, finding, teaching, visiting less actives
12-1 lunch
1-5, finding, teaching, visiting less actives
5-6 dinner
6-930, finding, teaching, visiting less actives
930-1030, planning, getting ready for the next day
1030, bed!!!

Anyway, sorry Im not too exciting this week. I guess thats a good thing. Quiet weeks in Peru are always better than crazy weeks!

Anyway, I love you guys! I pray for you each everyday. Hope youre doing great!! Talk to you soon!!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March 2, 2009

Hey fam!!!
How are you guys??? Transfers were today and I am still in my area, but my new companion is Hermana Silva. She is from Chiclayo, PEru and only has 6 months in the mission! Wha??? What happened to my days with companions who had 16 and 17 months in the mission?? She seems really nice though so thats good.

We had stake conference this week and I saw 2 american families! Dad asked me if Id seen any americans and those were my first. To answer a couple other of mom and dads questions:Nobody really talks to me about national or international events aside from a few questions about OBama Ive gotten, Ive yet to meet too many devout members of other religions-most people seem pretty apathetic, We dont have themes for tranfers, we just use PMG, I dont know anything about zone leader training, We have taught quite a few bolivians but I havent met any CHileans or argentinians. Im not sure how hard it is to travel between countries. I know we have a lot of problems because the bolivians we teach cant get their papers from bolivia in order to get married in order to get baptized-its happened like 4 or 5 times! There are 5 companionships in my district and mom I dont think we have to stay together because of danger. Im not sure why we spend pdays together, but I really doubt its because its dangerous. We see president and sister Davis every 6 weeks at zone conference, but other than that not really unless its by chance. When we see them we eat lunch at the mission home. Anyway, Ill answer more questions next week.

Anyway, I love you guys and miss you guys. Im praying away, hope youre all doing great!! Talk to you next week!!! Love you!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Here are Christa's emails since January. Sorry it's been so long since the last update!! I'll try to stay on top of it. 

JANUARY 26, 2009

Well, I was right. It has been an INTERESTING week!! We finally got a room. ON SATURDAY!! Until then we were living on the floor of Hermanas in our area. We would get up, take a cab to our area, work all day trying to figure things out, then take a cab back at 9 pm. The family we stayed with who the hermanas live with is really nice and were great to us. The only problem was we were living on the floor, out of our suitcases (which were full of dirty clothes because laundry gets done on monday and our changes were last monday so we had no clean clothes), sharing a bathroom with a man that rents a room in the same house who walked in on me while I was going to the bathroom, and commuting to our area!! We would eat breakfast with the hermanas then lunch and dinner with some elders in a different area. Obviously I was a little bitter about the whole situation. I went from feeling so cared for by my companion, my pensionista, the area I was finally learning, to feeling like Id been completely abandoned in the middle of Peru!! Of course I opened the scriptures the other morning to D&C 61:36. Talk about knowing exactly how I feel! And obviously thats the day we found a room, a pensionista, and somebody willing to do our laundry. Our room is good-its a room so I cant complain!! The pensionista is the sister of the homeowner so shell be cooking in the same house we live so we dont have to go to another house to eat so thats great news!

Im in the stake Umacollo, but the area we are opening is called Pachacutec. It took me all week to learn that name by the way. I still dont know much about my area. It seems like my old area, but greener! The members we have met have been really nice. I guess thats what happens when missionaries havent been around for 25 years!

Anyway, I have to go, but the moral of this week is I am alive and well with a room and a bed and food so I am happy. Thank you for your prayers and for everything! I love you guys!!!

FEBRUARY 2, 2009

Hey Fam!!

How are you guys?? I got dads email and cant believe britt made it for ems bday!! Thats so awesome!! The DAY before I was thinking how great it would be if Britt could be there for the big 1-6 and she was!!! So way to go Britt, figuring that one out without my assistance.

Oh, I got my packages!!! Well some of them. The ones from right after Christmas. I LOVEEEEE my clothes and tights!!! They are perfect!! Not to mention the oatmeal, granola bars, and drink packets! What a dream. I also got the blog printed, a letter from Mom and Jessie and a card from Aunt Beck. Talk about package pay day!! Anyway, THANK YOU!!! I love everything. But now I dont need anything for awhile so save your money!! Oh, did the CD of pics work I sent you? Let me know so I can erase them off my camera.

Things are going pretty good in my area. We are just trying to get to know people and contact and figure out our boundaries and how we can help the most in the ward. I start teaching english this Friday! Im with Hermana Cabrejos from Lima. She finishes this transfer and will be heading home. I really do like our ward. All the members are so nice. I like our room and pensionista too. And the family doesnt eat with uys here so Ive been able to start sneaking like 4 of my 8 pounds of lunch into Ziplock bags finally!! So the fam we live with has 2 little boys. I woke up to pounding on our door at 5am on Weds. I really am turning into mom because I was startled out of my sleep saying ¨whats wrong, whats going on?¨ Well, it was the 7 year old Gabriel. HE woke up and was bored and wanted to chat! I was so confused because it was 5 am and he was speaking to me in spanish, obviously, about his best friends and dinosaurs and rockets. Once I finally figured out there was no emergency I told him I was going to go back to bed. I felt a little bad for not playing with him, but not bad enough to actually play with him. Who wakes up at 5 am?? Crazy kid.

So I found out 24 northamericans came to the mission this transfer and 21 are coming the next transfer!! Coming by myself with all Latinos wasnt bad, but I am a little jealous because I found out since there were so many north americans president davis trained them in english and they even had their interviews with him in english!! Oh well, Im sure one day Ill get to hear the man speak english. Maybe not until the day I go home, but someday.

Anyway, I love you guys!! I hope youre all doing great! I cant wait to read your emails!

FEBRUARY 9, 2009 

Happy 4 months to me!!! Not that Im counting or anything...Anyway, how are you guys???Im doing pretty good. I ran into my old companion Hna Monteza today and she told me 3 of our investigators have gotten baptized since I got transferred!!! I was so excited, but also a little sad that I wasnt there to see it, those people were so great. I guess thats how missions go though. Anyway, I learned something a while ago I forgot to share with you guys. Turns out it is NOT summer here in Arequipa. Apparently like everywhere else in peru yes, but arequipa no. I guess the seasons in the mountains are reversed? So if I was serving in Camana or Ilo or Mollendo or Tacna Id be burning, but here and in Puno its not summer. I dont know exactly what season that makes it here other than rainy season! Its actually not that bad. It only rains for a couple hours in the afternoons. I got Jos blanket this week and it came just in time! Since we moved into our new place they only gave us one blanket each so I welcomed my blanket with open arms! I also got a card from Aunt beck and letters from Jenny and Diana and a card from carla and dan. And I hear I have 3 packages waiting for me, but bad news. Apparently the office elder in charge of packages is sick of picking up packages for me so hes making me do it. That wouldnt be a problem except I can only go to the SerPost place where all packages have to go on my pday. Then I have to wait in line for an hour or more he told me AND I can only take out 1 package everytime I go! To add to that I have to wait for Pdays when my whole district can go with me! As Britt and Em would say RIDICULOUS. So like I said last week, save your postage since it looks like Ill never get a package again! Im sure it actually will all work out, but just FYI. Oh, we finally had zoneconference this week and it was really good. Its true I dont see much of the Davis´, but when I do see them, I really, really like them. Ill handwrite you guys some of their training. So I puked for the first time in my mission this week!! But the good news is I think my pensionista learned her lesson about making homemade yogurt! Maybe not though since I was the one puking! Yeah the yogurt looked and smelled and tasted a little funny, but I had eaten liver the week before so I thought yogurt was the least of my worries! Luckily once it was out of my system I felt fine. Thanks for your letters last week! Anyway, I love you guys! I hope youre doing great! Talk to you soon!!! Love, Christa

FEBRUARY 16, 2009

Hey Fam! My Valentines Day turned ou better than expected. Albeit I didnt have moms sugarcookies, we had 2 baptisms!! We have been teaching a great family who actually lived in Miami for 2 years. The mom, Rocio, had he baptism set for he 14th. Her husband wants to get baptized, but needs to quit smoking first and the 2 kids have strong testimonies, but they also have a very catholic grandma who threatens not to talk to them if they get baptized. So Rocio was set for 3 pm on the 14th. Well on the 13th we found out she needed o have an inteview with President Davis who was 6 hours away in Tacna! he interview got scheduled for the 14th at 2pm so we decided to postpone the baptism, obviously, unil Sunday or Monday. Well we went with Rocio to her interview and when she came out at 245 she said, I want to get baptized today. What do I need? Just my family and water right? So we called he bishop and he said that was fine and he would go fill the font. So we frantically ran around telling people it was back on for 430. Well when we got to the chapel at 415 the bishop wasn there and the font was NOT filled! I hought I was going to have a nervous breakdown! Turns out the bishop was ironing the baptismal clothes because they hadnt dried from being washed. Well it was 630 by the time the baptism got started and it ended up being beautiful. And I guess Heavenly Father knows what hes doing because in th 2 hours of waiting the daughter, Rosario, decided she wanted to be baptized with her mom! She had been interviewed by the distict leader already and decided it was okay if her grandma didnt talk to her because she knew it was the right thing to do. Talk about a crazy little turn of events! Going from no baptisms that morning to 2 by 7pm! Then we went to the house of a less active family we have been working with the past few weeks and they gave us valentine balloons before we left. So yeah, it ended up being a good day. I hope you all had a Happy Valentines DAy. WITH sugarcookies!

FEBRUARY 23, 2009

How are you guys??? Whats going on this week?
Em dont read this!! so I know you guys felt a little bad you ate at the JT without me on christmas eve, but I finally kind of got my JT dinner this week. No there wasnt steak with garlic or french fries or ice cream, but there was RABBIT! Sure enough after we were told we had eaten rabbit I looked out back and the fam only had 4 rabbits instead of their usual 6!!! Rough life for ¨pets¨here in PEru!

Dad, to answer some of your questions weve gotten a few referalls, but do lots of tracting and working with less active and part member families to find people to teach. And sorry to get your hopes up, but Im still not fluent in Spanish. I just thought I wouldnt mention it because I didnt want to complain about it for a while. Although I thinks things are a little better than I think they are sometimes. We spent the first week getting to know a lot of people in the ward and that first sunday I had to talk in sacrament. So during my talk I mentioned Id been in Arequipa 7 weeks. Afterwards everyone Id met earlier in the week told me they had no idea and thought Id been out 9 months to a year?! Which means 1 of 3 things. 1. Im in a ward of people that need to do a LOT of repenting because theyre big fat liars. 2. All the other North American missionaries theyve met have been idiots since they sound like me after being out for 9 months to a year or 3. I actually am learning something. I really dont know which to believe at this point. I still dont understand a lot and Im FAR from being able to say everything I want to and I STILL wish I could teach in english, but i think im a little less frustrated so thats good. The buildings here do have fonts, although I hear in puno the baptisms take place in lake titicaca itself! anyway, ill answer more next email, but things are pretty good. Although transfers are next monday so Ill let you know how things are then! Just when I get used to things they change! oh the life of a mission.

Anyway, like my subject says its been raining here a lot!!! I am NOT a fan!! Id have to say the worst part though isnt even the rain, its the solar shower we have! My companion has actually stopped showering all together, lucky for me, because the water hasnt been heated for a while! So along with my bowl of oatmeal request when i hit the doorstep, a hot shower is also on the list. Other than that, Im doing good and I hope you guys are too!!

I read some conference talks again this week and I loved The Way by JElder Corbridge and pray always by Elder Bednar. i dont have time to put my favorite parts, but theyre good if you havent read them in a while.

Anyway, I love you and miss you!!! Hope you are all fantastic. Talk to you soon!!!!


PS My ear has been randomly plugged this week and the bishops wife suggested using my own urine to pour in my ear and she swore it would work1!!!! home rememdies in peru SCARE ME! IF you have any better ideas let me know! Love you!