Thursday, July 2, 2009


So...I'm a major slacker. Here's a larger than life update of Christa's emails from the past two months!!

27 April 2009
Hey guys, hows it going? Not too much to report here. Mom, it looks like I finally got your letters. I just spent 20 minutes writing you guys an email and the computer just erased mine!!! So sorry this is going to be pretty short this week.Im doing pretty good. Not too much to report here. We have some good investigators, but a few of them come to find out need to get married so we will see what happens. Welcome to peru where nobody is married!!This week 2 little girls randomly showed up on our doorstep because they were late for school and needed help with their english homework. I should have sat them down and walked them through it, but they were late so I basically did their homework for them and sent them on their way. And I didnt even feel bad about it. I felt pretty good about it actually. If theyre smart enough to figure out where we live to come get help, Im happy to do their homework for them!! Oh, so everyone wears uniforms to school here. It is so cute. The 4 year old, Andre, who we live with always has his suspenders and tie and sweater on. I love that kid. The other day as we were leaving he asked us if we were going to talk to people about God. We said yes and he yelled after us down the street, well why dont you try doing that here sometime!! You havent talked about God not even one day to me!! Hes 4, but he sure managed to tell us!Well I hope you guys are doing great!! More next week, I promise. Im going to write all my emails in word from now on so they cant get erased!! Love you all!! Hope youre doing great!!Love,Christa

4 May 2009
Hey guys!! So lets hope the internet actually works this week for a change!! Anyway, things are okay here. It has been kind of a tough week. We have gotten rejected more this week than ever and it has been a little rough. Nobody wants to listen!! I blame it on the Virgencita de Chapi that all of Peru is celebrating this week. I don’t know what the real problem was but it wasn’t a good week. On top of that the elders call every night to find out our numbers for the day and if theyre not great, well, we get burned as they like to say down here. I went to bed crying 3 nights this week!! But today and yesterday were good days. The little girl Mabel we baptized got confirmed yesterday and then she bore her testimony. It was so good. The bishop also blessed her that she would serve a mission too! So yeah, it kind of put things in perspective. Ive also found a quote this week by president Hinckley that’s helped me a lot. It says, ¨It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. Put your trust in God and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.¨I love that President Hinckley.
So get this, last pday I almost got robbed!! My companion and I were walking down the street and I hear her go, ¨hey!¨And I thought she saw another missionary or something, but it turns out there was a guy who had opened my backpack and had his hand in it!! He looked pretty terrified that she caught him and ran away scared. Good thing my companion pays attention to things like that!
So the other night my companion was in the shower and I was on my bed reading. I heard these weird scratching noises coming from under my bed. I wanted to look but was too scared. I thought Sweet D, Ems rat, had escaped from Gville and was going to attack my face if I looked under the bed!! (if it isn’t apparent by now, I think I might just have inherited some neuroticism from this family) So instead I spent 20 minutes using my camera to try to take a picture of whatever it was so I could know without putting my face under the bed. After 20 unsuccessful minutes and pictures of only my luggage and the dust that’s accumulated under my bed a giant cockroach finally came strolling out!! Better than a rat, but still disgusting. Love, Christa

11 May 2009
Hey Hey HEy!!
Welp, not too much has happened in the last 12 hours. It was sooooo good to talk to you guys!!I also never finished telling you guys about mothers day here. On Friday all the schools invite the moms and the kids either dance or sing or act or their moms. Andre, who i will be bringing hoe with me, knocked on our door Friday morning and came in in his pig costume asking if we wanted to take pictures of him. of course I did. He performed the 3 little pigs and later told me it went ¨super well¨because he had been practicing for days. I love you guys and thanks for everything and i will talk to you soon!! Love, Christa

18 May 2009
Fam a lam!!!Shwat is up?! Not too much is going on here. Just same old same old. It´s been a tough transfer in terms of investigators who are progressing, but that gives me hope that we will have some really good ones lined up for the next 6 weeks. Speaking of which, transfers are on the 25th and I do NOT want to go! If you don’t get an email from me at the usual time next week that means Im on my way to who knows where! So lets all hope you get a normal email from me and that pachacutec is my home for 6 more weeks. So one of our converts, a single mom named cris, who has 2 little girls, came to my English class on Saturday after just being robbed. She had 500 soles in her purse and somebody stole it. She was going to pay rent and buy food with that money! She had to cut the lock off her door because her purse had her keys in it and she only had 6 soles in her pocket. It was so sad. We usually take her some of our food when we help her clean her house every week and this week I want to giver her everything I own!! I wont, but Im sure there are a few things she could use more than me. The bishop gave her a blessing on Sunday and she seems to be better, but still so sad.
The good news of the week is we learned how to make empanadas in enrichment this week! That’s one good thing about being a sister missionary, we are expected to attend enrichment. Im not sure Darren got to do that much on his mission. Anyway, I hope you all are doing great. I love you and am praying for you! Talk to you soon!!

26 May 2009
Welp. Im in Tacna. We got the call at 10 pm Sunday night and at 10 am Monday I was on the 6 hour bus ride to Tacna. So I thought I had bus experience when I had the privilege of riding the Greyhound to visit Britt in Vegas once, but I was wrong!People got on at every stop yesterday selling watches, necklaces, corn, avocados, pork, etc. Also, we had to look out the windows everytime we pulled over to make sure people werent robbing our things from under the bus!! Anyway, I am now with Hna. Arroyo who is from Cuzco and has been on her mission for 3 months. The elders told me Id been demoted to junior companion and I told them that sounded about right, but unfortunately they were kidding and Im still a senior companion. My companion seems really great. Shes only been a member a year and a half! Crazy.
So I was sad to leave pachacutec. I cried. My companion cried. The lady that does our laundry cried. The extremely catholic mom of our pensionista even cried! But I did get some pretty good parting gifts. Among them a miniature wooden house, shinguards, a cinderella diary, a list of recipes, and pictures of Andre in traditional peruvian dress when he had to perform a dance one time! It was hard to leave, but if I stayed longer I know it would have been harder so I guess it is good.
But yes, I am in Tacna. It is pretty close to Chile. I dont know what I ever complained about in Arequipa because we had flushing toilets ther!! Here there is a pitcher in the bathroom that we fill with water to throw in the toilet bowl - that doesnt even have a seat!! Also, compared to here the water in the shower in Arequipa was scalding!! Also, we have a tin roof and after waking up to scratching noises Im pretty sure theres a coop of chickens up there. Per usual. But dont worry too much. I always take a while to adjust but end up loving my areas. See my early emails from Pachacutec for proof. Im sure Tacna will be great. Just pray for me a little harder the next couple of weeks.
Good news mom, my package came this week so I was able to leave cinnabears and jelly bellies with people and they were SO happy to have that candy.
Anyway, thanks for your emails. Im going to go read them now. They keep me going! But I love you all and miss you and hope you are safe and healthy and happy and still watching tv and eating out for me. Love you!!

1 June 2009
We had a baptism Friday. I like Tacna. I had nothing to do with it of course, but that didn´t stop me from enjoying the fruits of someone elses labor. The mom of a lady in our ward lives in Lima. 3 weeks ago she had a dream she was dressed in white and got baptized. So she took the 20 hour bus ride to come visit her daughter in Tacna to talk about it. While she was here my companion and her companion taught her the lessons. She went back to Lima, but came back this week and on Thursday night told us she wanted to get baptized Friday! It was a little crazy to get pulled together, but it all worked out. We had lessons with her husband everynight they were in town and Im hoping he has the same dream and comes back to get baptized too!! I pray for my investigators to have dreams. They NEVER go against their dreams. I love it. So after 9 years of her daughter being a member Hna. Paulina got baptized this week.
I really do think I like tacna. We have parts of downtown in our area which remind me a little of San Fran. there are also parts that remind me a LOT of death valley too. It has a little bit of everything. Supposedly it is one of the hottest places in the mission, but since it is winter we havent seen too much of the sun. Even though it is a little chilly it is still WAY better than puno or arequipa this time of year Im sure so thank you for your prayers. Oh!! I got your package with gloves and nylons and makeup!! Thank you!!
I think our pensionista is good. After having missionaries live here for 10 years she finally got baptized last year. Get this though, her husband is a full blown buddhist!! There is always incense burning and he chants in Chinese!! he is really nice though. But it always takes a little bit of getting used to when we have to change pensionistas. For instance, Isabel is convinced I dont eat enough so she piles my plate HIGH with rice and potatoes and then sits by me until I finish it all!! My heart hurts from eating so much!! Im thinking of telling her I have diabetes and require a special diet...We´ll see. Also, we ate fried fish the other day and I spent 5 minutes trying to figure out what part of the fish I was eating and then I picked up a little round thing on my plate and realized I was holding a fried fish eye!!! It was then confirmed to me that we were eating fish heads. The good news is a family offered us calamari this week!! I was in heaven. Speaking of which we are going to the beach for pday today!! Itll be my first time to see the ocean here! I will gather seashells for you all. Love, Christa

8 June 2009
Buenas tardes fam a lam! Schwat is up? Welp another week here in tacna. I dont know what map youre looking at but suposedly Im in a place called TACNA. Who knows though right??
So our zone had a meeting with our stake presidency last week and they are awesome. They asked about each ward and bishop and mission leader and how they ca n help us. Theyre also taking us out for pizza this week! They told us that theyve heard that the mission arequipa is going to change its boundaries and include Cuzco and a place called Puerto Maldonado because it is easier to travel to those places from arequipa than from lima? Im guessing the change will take years and supposedly they werent even suposed to say anything so we will see what happens. Still kind of interestiang though.
So I do like Tacna. As my companion says , ¨tacna is a box of surprises!¨ S he says that because, among other things, there is a higher p opulation of arabians in tacna than peruvians!!

Mom, in answer to your questions we do have beds and a pensionista. She is nice, but it has been another adjustment. I never thought it would be so hard to not pick what i want to eat. Dad was wondering what we have for breakfast and EVERY morning we have bread and a drink that looks and tastes suspiciously like gravy....And to think I complained about meat and tomatoes for breakfast!!
Dad, in answer to your questions zone conference is coming up in about 2 weeks. You asked if they were fun. I wouldnt exactly say fun, I mean there are definitely no milk chugging contests like in NV LVW , but we do always learn a lot so thats something good.
OH!! Guess who I got a call from this morning ?!! None othe than the one, the only , Andre!! He said his heart hurt and he wanted to sing me a song to make it feel better !! I do miss that kid. I also talked to hna soplopuco. She sounds good. I m iss her too.
So...bad news... I think I have fleas. W hen I woke up with little bites all over, and my companion too, she diagnosed us with fleas. I hope shes wrong, but what can you do? We bought a spray for ourselves and our beds and are cleaning and washing everything!!!
Speaking of waking up with afleas, I found a scripture i really like this week in D and C. Its in 6 verses 13 and 14. I definitely wouldnt have ended up here on my own!! But if its where I ended up it s where i need to be right' I also like verse 34. Its a good little section.
Anyway, sorry this message has so many errors , I think somebody spilled a soda on this keyboard or something. But I hope you are all doing great. I miss you and love you and pray for you all the time. Talk to yo soon!! Love,Christa

15 June 2009
Hey fam!!How are you guys?? Im doing pretty good. Aside from the fact that I ate lung this week of course! LUNG. Cow lung. It was a lot like eating a sponge. But actually, it really wasnt that bad. Im worried ive given you guys the wrong impression with the food situation here. Theres LOTS of food. Ample food!! Good food! It´s just the fact that I cant open the fridge or cupboard and pick what and how much and when thats been a challenge. But yeah, dont think Im not eating. Im eating. Boy am I eating!!So things are pretty good here in Tacna. Our goal as a companionship this transfer, aside from baptisms of course, is to get to know the ward members so they can help us. I think we´ve made some progress in that department because every night last week we were invited to an FHE, dinner, birthday, or other event. We shared the spiritual thought and they shared with us. Among other things I was given a bracelet, earrings, a pair of pajama pants, shoes, a half kilo of olives, etc. The members here are really great and it´s going to help us a lot to know them.Dad, to answer your questions, we have about 120 members in our ward I think. In my other ward only about 60 were attending! We also have a normal chapel with flushing toilets, but no hymnals. Not too many indigenous indians but just about everyone speaks quechua or amayra. We havent had too many lessons with members, but we´re working on that with our plan to get to know people. They really are nice though.So how was Carson Valley days? Please tell me you were all front and center living it up for me. Want to know something ironic? You know how much I love parades in the US? Here parades are the bane of my existance!! They have parades all the time and nobody can ever go to church because theyre always marching in parades!!! The good news is there was no parade yesterday and we had 7 investigators at church.Anyway, whens Trek?? I cant wait to hear all about it.D and M, happy anniversary and wish stratt a very feliz cumpleanos from his aunt. And Dad happy fathers day!! I think you should make a trip to Tacna to celebrate. Ill take you out to the punjabi restaurant! Anyway, we have our multizona this week so Im sure Ill have more to tell you next week.Love you all. Hope youre doing great. Good luck with trek if its this week. Whens Cumorah?! Thanks for your emails and prayers and support! Love you guys.Love, Christa

22 June 2009
Warnaing-this keyboard isJACKED anda ainserts a´s all over the place anddoesnt do spaces. Sorry!!! Happy 2nd day of summer!!!Its definitely not summer here, but Im not freezing to death either so thats good news. It feels a lot like a giants night game here in Tacna. Humid and definitely chilly, but not snow worthy weather. Thankfully. Anyway, not too much is going on here I'm more interested in hearing how you all survived trek!!! Im hoping youve recovered enough to write me about ait and that em is sending me a copy of the book shes written about this painful period in her life. Things are alright here.We had zone conference this week and it was fuan to see president and sister davis. We talked about diligence and teaching and thianking about and loving and workaing with investigators. Pres Davis got rid of the standards of excellence and is letting us make our own goals every week. The standard of excellence is still the goal of the mission every moanth though soI guess things havent changed too, too much.
So Hna Soplopuco called me this week!! Iwas so happy to hear from her, UNTIL Ifound out whyshe was calliang-to tell me a guy we had tracted into in Arequipa was traveliang to Tacna to lookfor me!!We taught hima few alessoans, but he always said he couldnt focus because I made ahim nervous and there werent girls like me ian Peru. aObvioausly, we quit ateachiang him.I thinka his moam wanted gringo grandbabies or something because everytime we ran into her in town shed tell uswe had to go back and visit her son. Shed alwaysmake comaments about my hair and eyes too!! Anyway,I forgot about him, but Hna. S. ran into him and he told her he has business in Tacna for 2 weeks and is going to go chapel to chapel looking forme becauseI never told him goodbye!! So yeah, hopefully I wont have any news for you about my good friend Angel next week. Ironic that thats his name right? Hes not dangerous oranything. Im naot worried at all. Welp, theres not really toomuch toreport here. We have some good investigators.Willian, Renato, Angela, Maria, Nury...but some ofthem need toget married and some need permission from their parents so well see. OH, but Felix, the guy that we taught when he was in Tacna, the hausband of the lady that got bqaptized right when I got here, called us from Lima to tell us hes getting baptized!! I wont get to see it, but its still pretty exciting.
Anyway, how are you all?? What are the plans for the4th? When do you leave for NY?? I love you and miss you!! Stay safe! And sane, if possible.
aalove,a Christa
Sorryagain about this keyboard.Idont have time to fix itall. Love you!! Hope you can decipher this!!!

29 June 2009
What????? And to think I thought news would get to me slower in the mission! I found out about MJ the day of! Crazy. And Farrah Fawcett too?? What is going on??
Anyway, unlike the celebrities in the US, I am doing pretty good. We had a baptism on Saturday!! A 12 year old named Renato got baptized. On Fri we taught him and he prayed that a counselor in our bishopric would get home from his business trip in Lima in time to baptize him on Saturday. The wife of the counselor told us she couldnt get ahold of him and that meant he wouldnt be getting home until Sunday. Renato was sad and obviously so was I. Imagine our surprise when we were walking to the baptism with Renato on Saturday and saw Hno. Rivas walking into his house with his luggage!! You should have seen the look on Renato´s face. And on mine! So yeah, Hno. Rivas baptized Renato. We went to renato´s house on Sunday to pick him up to go to church and he wasnt there! We were so scared he wasnt going to be able to get confirmed. We waited for a few minutes and he finally came walking up. He had been at the house of a friend borrowing a dress shirt and tie to wear to church!! Precious.
Oh, did I tell you about how the bishop announced a lady in our ward had died and she really hadn´t? Yeah, well we went to visit her this week. She has cancer and is on bed rest and is the sweetest lady. And young. Shes only 50! We offered to sing her a hymn and she chose Nearer My God to Thee. I just about lost it. The bishop planned her funeral in ward council yesterday!I found the whole thing a little morbid, especially because she looks strong to me and could be around for a lot longer! So we have a ward activity today. It´s a family sports, games, fun day. My district is going to go, but get this, we dont have permission to go in pday clothes so we are attending our ward sports activity in church dress!!! Ill let you know how it goes next week...
What are you doing for the 4th??? Enjoy it for me PULEASE!!!!
Love you and miss you all!! Be safe!! TAlk to you soon!!