Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2 February 2010

Happy FEBRUARY!! I can officially say that after this change I've got one change left in the mission! But yeah, we had changes. Im with Sister Rodriguez. This is her third change in the mission. She is from a tiny village in Guatemala. She's really nice, but cant read or write and barely talks.

Our investigators are kind of struggling. Weve been teaching 3 sisters and their brother. Carol, Karem, Edith and Luis. They are great and accepted thier baptismal date this week BUT told me their dad made a deal with them. They can pick the church they want to be baptized in but they have to get baptized in Arequipa so all their aunts, uncles, cousins, etc can be there and have a fiesta and they have to wait until October until they go to Arequipa on vacation! I guess I should just be happy theyre going to work towards getting baptized at all, but it broke my heart. Frank is still attending, but STILL doesnt have permission from his dad, etc. So yeah, pray for our investigators.

Oh, so theres a less active lady in our ward and part of her house burned down this week!! We went to visit her and ended up hauling out 37 bags of burnt trash and charcoal and dirt and then it started pouring and we had to start hauling out buckets of water because her only good room was going to flood! Ironic isnt it? Too bad it didnt rain like that the day before WHILE her house was on fire!

Oh, so heres something funny. This week I was walking along, kicking a rock (a favorite pastime of mine these days) when the rock went flying! Obviously it hit a taxi that was parked a ways off and the alarm started going off! The owner was sitting in his taxi and I could see that he was yelling so I went over to apologize hoping he wasnt going to strangle me. When I got a little closer I realized he was yelling, GOAL. From half field!! Its good!! I was so relieved when I realized he wasnt swearing at me. Good thing he was a soccer fan.

Hope youre all great! Love you guys!! Love, Christa

PSS look up la celebracion de la virgen de la candelaria online. Its happening this week and everyone in puno is either drunk or dancing in the streets to celebrate.

Monday, January 25, 2010

25 January 2010

Hey hey hey fam! EM!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY BDAY!!! Your lambo yo is sitting here in puno, what are you doing in Gardnerville missing out on it?!! Anyway, I hope you have THE best birthday ever! I hope it includes lots of tv, no homework, no chores, and you shoving your face in a cake. No, I take that back. Youre going to have to wait until festivus so we can do that together. Ive got a little something I bought for you, but i wont be able to send it until next Monday, so itll be a good birthday slash presidents day gift. Anyway, write me next week and tell me EVERY DETAIL of how you spent turning 17.

Anyway, not too much is going on here. It is freezing though! Em should seriously come spend her bday here because she would love it. Disgusting, foul weather. Perfect for the birthday girl. Hopefully the sun will find us down here before too long. Oh, so dad wanted to know a little more about my companion. Shes 21, she was born and raised in Juliaca, a town 45 minutes away, shes the only member in her family, and she is a pharmacy tech. And thats the life history of Sheyla in 1 sentence. Shes been a really good companion actually. She doesnt complain and does what I want to do, so shes been a great companion actually! Changes are a week from today though so we will see who comes…pray for me!

Weve had a pretty good week. We did a ton of service this week. We washed the biggest mountain of clothes I have EVER seen! We also peeled the biggest mountain of potatoes Ive ever seen! There was no joke, a potatoe the size of my head! Actually, it was more like the size of britts head! Just kidding Brito… I didnt have my camera though and Ive been sad the whole week I didnt get a Picture of it. Seriously though Im learning to do a loto f things here. Nothing I will ever need to know how to do in the US, but Im learning.

Hey, so guess what we ate this week? TACOS! Best. Day. Ever. Obviously there are no tortillas in peru, because that would just be too easy, so my pensionista made homemade tortillas that actually turned out really good. So yeah, we had our tortillas with meat, guacamole, tomatoes, and onions. I also taught my pensionista how to make egg salad. She was dumbfounded. She couldnt relieve it was so easy and so delicious. Mmmm egg salad. She also made french toast for us this morning that i taught her how to make. Its taken me 15 months to figure out if I teach my pensionista to make things I like my life is a lot easier! Oh well. Good news, none of my pensionistas pets have died this week. Although I forgot to tell you guys last week, she was telling us all about how she had to pull the first puppy out of her dog that died as she was serving us dinner! And this had all happened like 10 minutes before. The whole week I was worried she passed us some dog disease, but nothing.

So last week for pday we finally went to the lake! We also went to this giant slide that I am in love with. None of the other sisters wanted to go with me, but I threw myself down it like 12 times. I almost took out a drunk guy that was climbing up the slide too. Crazy drunks.

Hey, so there were some changes in our stake last week. Theres now a Branch in the floating islands. Before they always had to come to puno to go to church, but now theyre going to have their own Branch. Pretty cool.

Anyway, i love you and i miss you all and I hope you are all doing great. Stay safe! Talk to you next week. Love, Christa

Sunday, January 24, 2010

18 January 2010

Hey Hey Hey!! Happy middle of January family!! Dad, I don’t know what happened last week, but I ended up getting your email right before getting off so I was able to read it. Thanks for sending it again though. How was your bday?? How many sacraments did you get the privilege of attending? Anyway, how are you guys? Anyway, Not too much has happened this week. Like Ive always said, I think that’s good news when youre in peru. Oh, what am I talking about, something DID happen this week. EM STOP READING. The dog of our pensionista died while giving birth!! What?? Who even knew it was possible for dogs to have complications while giving birth? Apparently the little dog of our pensionista mated with a big dog and while trying to give birth died because the puppies were so big and were coming out feet first instead of head first! After yanking on the puppies to get them out they even called a vet at 11pm to come help, but there was nothing he could do so they put her to sleep. Sorry if that was a little explicit, but I got all the details from the 5 year old daughter of our pensionista so if I have to hear it you guys have to hear it! But don’t worry, they found a mangy dog in the street yesterday and theres now a replacement Chispa. That was the old dogs name. So yeah, that was the drama this week. While experiencing this drama though the pensionista told us about the time she gave mouth to mouth to a puppy that was dying and the time one of her pet pigeons ate poison and she fed it milk then held it by its feet and hit its back to make it puke. Oh Peru.

What else…oh, I had to give 2 talks yesterday. TWO. The good news about being assigned to 2 wards is theres more work to do. The bad news is theres more work to do! Luckily I just used the same talk, but still, 2 talks is never fun.

So it´s been raining pretty much every day here. Theres sun for a few minutes then it clouds over and rains! Im getting used to it, but I miss the sun! Luckily theres almost always a little sun sometime during the day.

What else, oh we ate a sweet potato sandwhich this week! Delicious. It was sweet potato with the cheese they have here in the middle fried. I don’t know if that even sounds good to you guys, but here, it was heaven. And I WILL be making it when I get back! We also ate nata this week. Our pensionista had milk straight from the cow and she boiled it then let it sit and scraped the top layer off and used it as butter on bread she gave us. Surprisingly tasty. I think the cow got into an onion patch or something because it had a slight onion taste to it, but still good.

Anyway, I hope you guys are doing great. I love you and miss you!! Talk to you soon!! Love, Christa

11 January 2010

Hey family!! Happy 2nd week of January. Whats going on? Im doing alright. Still here in Huascar and La Torre with my temp. Shes good. I cant remember if I told you guys she got baptized in August, but she did so Im trying to make this a good experience.

The good news of the week is that Ana got baptized! She got baptized on Thursday and confirmed on Sunday. My head just about exploded on Thursday though. The Sunday before I had talked with the bishopric and supposedly 2 of the 3 of them were going to be there and 1 of them, who is in charge of all the chapels here in puno and in juliaca, was going to fill the font. I asked him if we could do anything to help him and he ASSURED me that it would all be taken care of. Well Ana was set to get baptized at 430 on Thursday. I left my interview with president davis and ran to the chapel to set up chairs and leave the cookies wed bought, etc. Well imagine my surprise when we got to the chapel and it was locked! So I called the bishop and he wasn’t home and wasn’t going to come to the baptism! But his wife said shed send his son with the keys to the chapel. I still had hope that the member that was going to fill the font had filled it then had to leave or something. So we got into the chapel and I RAN to the font and there it was, empty. I wanted to cry. So I went to fill it and made the realization that there was no water in the chapel! So then I started to panic. I started to call everyone I knew to find a solution somehow. After a few calls I talked to a member of the stake presidency who told me he was in the stake center and that luckily at that very moment there was a baptism of a member of a bishop in the stake center and that hed tell them not to drain the font. So we gathered everyone up, left a note in the chapel and headed to the stake center. Ana was able to get baptized and her mom even came so it ended up being a pretty good day.

Yeah, so last night the elders called me and told me my packages had FINALLY come! I was so happy. IT was seriously like Christmas had come on January 10th. I got the packages from you guys, which are amazing!! I am already dividing stuff up (and eating a lot of it too-nothing tastes as good as Christmas), a package from Diana, cards from the inghams (hows bro ingham by the way) neil stewart-I LOVE that man, the kunsts, the stouts, the hines, etc. So yeah, I am going to make up a holiday we celebrate in the us the week of January 11-17 so we can pass all this stuff out. The people will love it. Speaking of the 17th, happy birthday dad!! Hope you have the best birthday ever.

Anyway, I have to go, but I love you and miss you all. Hope you are all doing great. Talk to you soon! Love you! Love, Christa

4 January 2010

Hey fam a lam a ding dong. Happy 2010!!!!!!!! I hope you guys are having the best 4th of January every. By the by tell uncle rick happy birthday. Anyway, Im doing alright. Last night I went back to the sisters house after my long day and they had a little cake for me and so we ate cake and celebrated. It was a long, good day. Today my temp got here from Juliaca. She seems really nice. Her name is sheyla. I'm happy to have someone with me in my area instead of making the other sisters be stuck with me. She got baptized like 5 months ago so shes a pretty new member, but she seems really nice.

Anyway, this week we have zone conference and our interviews and if everything goes according to plan, the baptism of Ana on Thursday that we got the permission for yesterday. So yeah, pray everything goes according to plan please.

Oh, I forgot to tell you guys about something crazy that happened last week. I had a temp for a day last week, to go to church with me. She spent the night on Saturday and we were sleeping, happily, when we woke up to SCREAMING at 1230 am. Right outside our door! I jumped out of my bed, turned the light on and was terrified! There was a woman screaming bloody murder, help me, help me, please help me! I was frozen with terror, but my temp went to open the door to see what was happening. I of course had visions of somebody forcing themselves into our room to like stab us or something because thats what I imagined what was happening so I told her not to open the door, but she did and it turns out a drunk had fallen down a flight of stairs outside our door and wasnt responding! His wife thought he was dead and was FREAKING OUT! Luckily some other people came out of their houses to help and they took him to the hospital. He was breathing again so Im sure he ended up okay. I couldnt fall back asleep for like an hour though becuase the woman was hysterical and her screaming had scared me so bad! Oh wow, I think I should ask for a discount in our rent for having had to witness that. Well see.

Anyway, I hope you all are great. I love you and miss you and am praying for you. Be safe! And Ill talk to you next week! Love you!! Love, Christa

1 January 2010

Hey Hey Hey!

So I dont have very much time to write. With christmas and new years the pdays have been all messed up. We didnt have a pday monday but they are giving us time to email today to tell you we will be back to normal pdays on monday. Im confused too... BUT as long as I have at least a few minutes to email Im happy. not too much has happened in the last week. Im still without a companion. Obviously. I had a temp for a day and she was really great but wanted to spend the new year in arequipa and so she was only with me one day. I think i made her walk too much and she made it all up about going to arequipa yeah, Ive still been living with the sisters in their area. I still love hna arroyo. The elders supposedly found me somebody from Juliaca starting monday thats going to be able to be with me the last 4 weeks of the change so thats fantastic news. ANyway, Ill tell you more about new years and the week that passed on monday, but I hope you guys are having the BEST new years ever! And spending it watching the tournament of roses parade in honor of me. Wait, is that for Christmas or new years? Anyway, however youre spending it I hope its great. I love you and miss you! Talk to you soon! Love, Christa

22 December 2009

Sorry I couldnt write yesterday. As you know Sunday were changes and there were changes. Im still here in puno, but my companion got changed. We had plans for Christmas, for our investigators, our wards, etc. The elders called at midnight on Sunday to tell us that at 5 am she had to be in the Terminal to go to arequipa. I was really, really sad. She was too. So yeah, she left and want to hear the worst news ever? I dont have a companion this change!! What happens is if there arent enough missionaries in the misión instead of closing an area or assigning trios, president davis leaves a missionary without a missionary companion and with a random 16+ young women or young adults. I havent been able to find anyone who wants to be a missionary for 6 weeks so now I have been with the hermanas in another ward for 2 days. Itd be great because hna arroyo is in the other ward.

I had a christmas miracle this week! Frank didnt get baptized, but Ruth, the 32 year old did! We met with her on Thursday and she told us she wanted to get baptized on Saturday! And she did! Best. News. Ever. So thank you for your prayers. It was a good way for Hna Jiménez to leave puno.

In other news it looks like I wont be getting my packages in time for Christmas. An office edler called me on Saturday to tell me I had a bunch of packages in the office waiting, but thanks to bogus peruvian postal laws that to get the packages out the elder World have to pay 100 soles. Pretty much 30 dollars. So Saturday, while trying to get the baptism together, we ran to the bank and waited in THE longest line of my life! I was able to send the elder the money in arequipa though and I called him to tell him and he said hed be getting the packages out of Serpost and shipping them the day alter Christmas. People will be grateful for anything though, before or after christmas, so dont feel bad. I took some of the Money out that you sent and if Im able to be in my area, Ive been stuck with the hnas, Ill be hiding good tidings of great joy, in the houses of some of the pathetic people Ive picked out. I think we will be allowed to call the night of the 25th here so thatd probable be like 4 pm or so your time.

What else…I saw a car accident this week!! I didnt even realice I was screaming until my companion was like, what is wrong with you? Whats happening?! ANd I realizad shed been looking at the ground and hadnt seen the accident. A little kid got out of the motorizad scooter he was in with a mouth full of blood and screaming! I almost passed out. Good thing britts in the medical profesión adn Im not. We also saw a fight. My companion wanted to go stop these two guys from fighting and I finally talked her into just yelling at them instead of going up to them. So dont worry mom.

Well, I have to go, but I will be talking to you guys soon!!!!!!!!! Finally!!!!! Love you!!!

14 December 2009

Hey Hey HEy!! Happy pday to all. We had a pretty good week. We had our misión Christmas devotional. President and Sister Davis came and spoke. President Davis said hed like to see white christmas. And since it´s obviously not going to snow in peru he said itd have to happen in the bautismal font. Wed like that too. We have 3 good investigators who have fulfilled all the requirements to get baptized but dont have permission from their dads. From their moms yes, but their dads no. For some reason all our investigators in puno are underage. No, I take that back. We are teaching a 32 year old with 2 kids who lives with her dad and is scared to get baptized because of how he will react. We want to talk with him but she wont let us. One of the 3 is a 14 year old named Frank. His dad said if he passed a test he had to take on Tuesday that he could get baptized. Well, he failed. BUT, it turns out he could take a different test on Saturday to make up for it. So we spent like 4 hours on Thursday going over EVERY question of a practice test with him and explaining it to him. I was in 8th grade all over again and it was actually kind of fun. So yeah, we found out yesterday that he passed and will be able to keep attending the school hes attending and we have an appointment to talk with his dad tomorrow to see if he can get baptized Saturday so pray for Frank! Oh yeah, but back to the devotional. President and Sister Davis talked then we had a dinner of… guessed it, chicken and potatoes. Then we did skits and they gave us bibles and a homemade sugar cookie for our gifts. That sugar cookie was so good! So good! But yeah, it was a good devotional.

Oh, so I sent a photo cd this week. I hope it makes it there for Christmas! I feel bad though, I didnt think the elders were going to give us time to mail anything so I didnt even write a card or anything! So yeah, dont get too excited because its a big envelope but it just has a CD and nothing else. Sorry. Oh, but fantastic news, I got your package with CDs and cowtails and your card!! Thank you!! It made my week.

What else…changes are next Monday. Id really like to stay with my companion another change, but well see what happens. OH, and about the Christmas call. Ill be able to call for like 5 minutes on the 24th to give you the details about everything. Im still not sure what time we will be able to callo n the 24th or the 25th.

Anyway, I have to go, but I hope you guys are doing great and staying safe! Cant wait to talk to you!!! Love you!! Love,Chris

7 December 2009

Happy December!! One more fast sunday DOWN!! Ive never had a problem with fast sundays in the mission until I got to puno. I thought I was going to pass out yesterday! I wasnt even hungry, but walking around here without eating takes a little bit of a toll. Luckily I survived and now we are only 4 fast sundays away from the biggest reunion of all time!

Weve had a pretty good week. Its gone by pretty fast actually. We are still contacting and teaching and doing service. Oh my gosh, guess what? So remember how I told you guys we have to do these street contacts every week? Well I saw a guy with a papa johns hat on and used it as an in to contact him! Obviously that hat was shipped here from a thrift store in the US and the kid had NO idea what papa johns is or what I was talking about, but I was freaking out when I saw it!! Papa johns is definitely on my list of things I want to eat my first week home. Just FYI.

Oh, so speaking of food, this morning for breakfast I ate chuno! Youll have to look it up online. Supposedly its some sort of potato that people stomp on with their feet in a river? thats how it was explained to me at least. really made me excited for breakfast.Anyway, I didnt love it and puno is famous for it. Im officially in puno because ive eaten it. But yeah, you guys arent missing a thing.

What else, oh, we went and watched the christmas devotional last night. I didnt think not being home for Christmas was going to hit me as hard this year. I thought I was becoming kind of numb to the holidays because it doesnt feel like Christmas here. The good news and the bad news is I was wrong. I started sobbing when I saw temple square last night! Ridiculous. It was a good devotional though, I liked it a lot. Oh holy night might officially be my new favorite christmas song. Along with I want a hippopotamos for christmas obviously.

Last week we didnt do much, but today for pday we are going to a place called Sillustani? Maybe you can find some pictures of it online? Supposedly itll be cool. Ill let you know next week. Anyway, I love you all and miss you all and hope you are all safe and happy and healthy. Talk to you soon! Seriously! Love, Christa

30 November 2009

Hey Hey Hey!!! Happy Almost December!! Whats going on?? Im doing pretty good. We had a pretty good week. How was your Thanksgiving? We actually had a good Thanksgiving. We had a lunch with the district and the elders made chicken. Obviously. They also made mashed potatoes and rolls and even jello! It was almost a true Thanksgiving. Almost. I miss pumpkin pie!!! I did make apple crisp though. Its pretty much the only dessert from home there are all the ingredients here to do. We cooked it in this brick oven a lady in their area had. I took pictures, its classic. But yeah, tell me how your Thanksgiving went. I hope it was fantastic.

Oh, so we bought our boots this week! And its true, theyre nothing more than rubber rain boots, but I am so happy Ive been wearing them even when were in the room!! A few days a weeks it is sunny here and a few days a week its rainy. Friday was a rain day and we were late for an appointment and we were running and my companion fell SO HARD!!! I was dying. After I made sure she was okay of course. She pretty much did a slip and slide down a muddy hill. She didn’t get hurt though so that’s good news.

So theres this new goal in the mission that we have to talk to 20 people a day. So that’s 140 per companionship per week. So yeah, weve been doing our best to talk to everyone in the streets, buses, stores, etc. Before we always talked to people when we could, but if we were walking to an appointment or late somewhere we wouldn’t always take the time to do it. Now it’s a rule in the mission and I really like it actually. We have met some crazies this week! A man who wanted me to give him private English classes and said hed pay me and that nobody had to know…a lady who told us the terrorists had bugged her house and that they were always watching her and that we needed to come to save her from her sister in law who makes her take showers…etc. So yeah, Im not sure how much more success well have thanks to all these contacts every week, but it definitely makes everyday more interesting!

Anyway, I love you guys and miss you. Just a couple more weeks until we talk! Be safe and Ill talk to you soon! Love, Christa

23 November 2009

Hey Hey Hey!!!
Happy Thanksgiving! Well Almost anyway. How are you guys? What is going on?? Glad to hear you are all still alive and well after your trip to CA. Are you guys still headed to Vegas this week?? If so be SAFE!! And have fun. And eat for me. A LOT! Supposedly we were going to have some kind of district activity to do a little Thanksgiving, but Im not sure if it´ll happen. I dont think we have permission, but Ill let you know next week.

Anyway, Im still doing pretty good here in Puno.Turns out I got here during rainy season!! Em would be in heaven. So just about every day that Ive been here its rained at some point. It even hailed 2 days last week. And if youll recall my area is all hills, it is seriously San Francisco and I have fallen no less than 12 times. Obviously. BUT the elders are going to buy us boots!! Im pretty sure theyre the rubber ones you wear to like work in the garden, but Im pretty excited about it. Way more excited than I should be actually, but itll be fun to not have to worry about my shoes while walking around.

OH. Guess what! Best. News. Ever. I forgot to tell you that Hna. Arroyo is in my district!! My old companion, remember her? There are 4 sisters in puno and she got changed here when I got changed here so we are together again!Shes in an area called mirador, but we´re in the same district. My head about exploded when I saw her in the terminal when our buses got to puno. So yeah, I will get to see her at least every monday. I also got to spend all wednesday and thursday with her and her companion because my companion went to lima and they couldnt find me a temporary to be with. Ive always heard that it´s really hard to be with 2 other missionaries and that trios aren´t ideal but I loved every single second of it. Maybe it´s just because I get along with her and her companion or maybe it´s because the most absurd things happened to us in the 24 hours we were together, but it was awesome.

We also had zone conference and our interviews this week and it was good. President congratulated me for still being alive. Apparently the last north american that was in puno about 3 months ago had to be taken out of her area in an ambulance because she got so sick! But seriously, Im doing really well healthwise. I think peru has made me immune to everything possible so Im doing good.Wait, I did puke last night, but I think it was from some yogurt a lady gave us so not to worry.

Anyway, I hope you guys are good. Just about 1 month until we´ll be talking. Anyway, we have an activity this week we are planning and we are going to do service for an 85 year old lady that we almost had to carry to her house after church yesterday because she cant walk so Im sure Ill have LOTS of stories next week. Be safe and have a good, good, week. Love you! Love, Christa

16 November 2009

Hey Hey Fam,
So after a week in puno Im still surviving. I actually really like puno. Its no tacna, but I like it. My companion and I had to speak in church yesterday, lead the music, give the relief society lesson and help in a workshop for visiting teachers!! It was a busy day, but I like our wards.

So I found out this week that even though Im within spitting distance of the lake I'll never get to go to the floating islands. Theres one set of elders assigned to the floating islands, our district leader and his companion. Nobody else is allowed to go out there. Except the zone leaders. So pretty much the sisters are the only ones that will never get to see the floating islands. What a rip off. Oh well, I like my area too. I also like our pension. It’s a little rustic, but good. I walked into the kitchen the other day and 3 pigeons came flying at me. Apparently theyre the pets of the family…

My companion is great. I really like her a lot. Shes the only bolivian in the mission. Shes from cochabamba. Today is her birthday actually. I had our pensionista buy balloons for me and decorated the room while she was sleeping. Luckily shes a sound sleeper.

Oh, about Christmas. Im not sure if you’ve already sent things, but I was thinking maybe a little money and a few simple things like pens, candy, cheap ctr rings, pictures of jesus, drink mixes, etc. I think itd be more trouble than its worth to send clothes or shoes or things people can buy here. As for me, I don’t want anything, just maybe some more makeup. Oh, and nylons. Im never wearing nylons EVER again after the mission by the by. Oh, Im going to take some money out of my account today so if you see that Ive taken it out don’t worry, its me. It’s a little bit more than usual that Im going to take out, but don’t worry. It’s a long story, but its going towards a really, really, really good cause and Ill tell you more about it at Christmas. Oh and by the way, about the Christmas packages the elders warned us about 100 times that we cant receive packages that are worth more than 100 dollars so send cheap stuff!!

Anyway, I have to go, but I love you and miss you all. My companion has to go to Lima this week for some paperwork and I have to look for somebody to be with me for 2 days while shes gone! Talk to you soon! Be careful! Love,Christa

PS, Em, you will be SO proud, I met a dog that I like this week! His name is moofy, and I don’t know what has happened to me, but I love this dog. I think I need help. Talk to you soon!!

10 November 2009

Welp, Im in puno. PUNO. I was so sad to leave Tacna, but like I said last week I didnt think my luck would hold out for a fifth change in Tacna. I did love it though. But yeah, I left at 730 am yesterday and got to puno at 8pm last night. Longest. bus ride. ever. Longer than the trip I took in the greyhound from Provo to LV to visit britt when I had to sit far away from the driver that someone told me looked a lot like someone shed seen on americas most wanted. ANYWAY, here I am in Puno. I thought Id be a lot sicker from the altitude, but luckily so far Ive just had a headache since I got here. I woke up this morning and went outside and our area is all hills and from the top of the hills the lake is right there!!!! Crazy. From what Ive seen though I definitely feel like Im finally in Peru. Houses of mud with roofs of hay, a man chasing his llamas, ladies with their skirts and bowler hats digging in the dirt, after a year, I think Im finally getting the full peruvian experience. I just got a quick glimpse of britts email and I cant believe you guys want to do that for Christmas!!! I personally think its crazy. Who doesnt what gifts for Christmas?? You all at least have to exchange one gift with each other. BUT I was also thinking maybe for something I got changed here, the area with the most poverty in the mission, for Christmas. But Im not exactly sure what would be good to send for gifts or if money would be better. Im going to think this week and look for what people dont have and need.

Anyway, yeah, Im in 2 wards. One called Huascar and the other...I still dont know. Our pension is like 10 minutes from our room so thatll be different and I hear our area is pretty physically demanding and the work is progressing SLOWLY here, but hopefully things will get better in these few changes here. I know youre all praying for that and thank you.

Oh, so we had an activity in para chico the friday before changes. One day in the park we were contacting and we talked with 4 teenagers from Ecuador that had arrived in Tacna and were going to stay for like a month. Turns out 2 of them are members less actives so we invited them all to church and they came. It also turns out theyre dancers!! They were headed to Chile to tour, but one of them couldnt cross the border or something, suspicious I know, BUT, we decided we had to take advantage of their talent and we planned an activity in the ward. Its was like a ward family home evening. We watched a short movie, played games, they danced salsa and typical dances from Ecuador and we of course had empanadas and chicha. It was really, really fun. We were kind of worried because we planned it last minute and we had heard that ward members dont like going all the way to the chapel at night time, but 50 people showed up!!! So yeah, it was a good way to leave Para Chico. It was hard though, i didnt want to go. A few people came to the terminal at 7 yesterday to say goodbye and I was a sobbing mess. But, Im excited to be in puno too. My companion is Hna. Jimenez from Bolivia. My first companion boliviana. She is great.

Anyway, I hope all is well with you guys. love you and miss you all. Love,

PS, Mom and Darren,for the record there are 3 northamerican sisters in my mission. Counting me. There are more elders, but there is usually only 1 northamerican elder in every zone. Well, thats how its been in my zones at least.

2 November 2009

Hey Hey HEy,
What is going on? Things are pretty good here in Tacna. Not too much to report this week actually. OH, but I DID get your package and big envelope this week and THANK YOU!!! The brownies and desserts have been a hit already and my companion and I have gorged ourselves on cereal bars, gardettos, peanut butter crackers, etc. I also love the pillow case from Jen. Tell her thanks. And thanks for the pictures. Its been fun to FINALLy show people who you guys are!

So how was Halloween? So it turns out hardly anyone celebrates halloween here so I didnt feel like I was missing out on too much. I only saw 3 witches and 1 little ghost trying to collect candy so it looks like peru still has a ways to go for Halloween to be popular. I kept talking about halloween and people kept telling me that only that people that worship satan believe in halloween here? Woops! Someday peru will come to appreciate halloween like we do. It might take a few thousand chili dogs, homemade rootbeer, and truckloads of candy to convince them, but I think itll be worth the effort.

OHHHH, but want to know what we did do on halloween? We got wrangled, WRANGLED, into helping a little old lady construct her alter to the virgen mary because there was going to be a parade and she had to construct an alter with flowers and balloons and the virgen, etc. I saw wrangled because we could not get out of there. There we were, walking down the street, late for an appointment, and this little old lady grabbed us, GRABBED us, and asked us if we could do her 1 tiny, little favor, if I could help her hang a balloon from her window outside because Im tall. Can you believe Im tall here by the way? So I hang one balloon and then she just kept giving us stuff to do and every time we told her we HAD to go and that people were waiting for us she said we couldnt abandon her and that God wouldnt be happy with us and that she needed us more than the people we had appointments with!!! She kept promising us it would only be 2 more minutes, 2 more minutes, well 2 hours later my companion and I, 2 mormon missionaries, had completely assembled this altar for the virgen mary!!! I like to think God will understand. The worst part is though the counselor to our bishop drove by and saw us doing it!!!!! Luckily he just laughed. He got out of his car to tell the lady we really had to go, but she wrangled him into helping too!!! So yeah, thats how I spent my halloween.

Changes are next monday. I would really like to stay in Tacna, but I think 5 changes here would be pushing it. Well see.

Anyway, I have to go, but I hope youre all doing great. I love you and miss you. Thanks for all your prayers and emails and packages and support.

26 October 2009

Hey hey hey!

Welp, I cant believe we have survived this week. I know a wedding and 2 baptisms is a typical Saturday afternoon back at the Keele household, but it just about killed me here in the mission. But yes, Angela got married. It would take like 6 weeks of email time to tell you all about it so I guess itll have to wait, but suffice it to say it was pathetic and perfect all at the same time. We even managed to get a wedding cake to surprise her with. I took lots of pictures. She was able to get baptized on Saturday. Oh. My. Gosh. She changed and was sitting in her baptismal clothes waiting for the baptism to start and I was organizing a few things and somebody came to tell me she was crying! I of course thought shed changed her mind and went to talk with her to ask her if she still wanted to go through with it. She started laughing, while crying, and told me of course she did, but she just couldnt stop crying!! She said she was just so happy and overcome and couldnt believe how blessed she is and how much her life has changed. When I heard that I of course started bawling too. So we sat there, bawling, until the bishops counselor came over and started crying too!! Finally we got it together and she got baptized and they gave her the chance to bear her testimony and in that moment my mission was all worth it. Not that it wasnt before, but its a day I'll never forget. Nicolle, a 9 year old whose family weve been teaching got baptized on Thursday too. As Em would say, it was a crazy awesome week. Emphasis on the crazy though.

So yeah, now we are working with Jessica and Jesus to get baptized. They came to Angelas baptism and are excited to get baptized. When Angela got married on Wednesday I talked with the alcalde, I dont have any idea what that means in english, and he told us he could help us with JEssica and JEsus because JEssicas birth certificate is in the jungle somewhere. So hes going to let us start the papers and help us request her birth certificate. They are supposed to be getting married Nov. 6 and baptized Nov. 7 and changes are Nov. 8!!!! Im not so sure Ill still be around if they end up having to get married and baptized after that, but I know itll happen and thats the important thing right? I dont think I ever told you guys how about a month ago Jesus almost moved to Chile where he was going to live for 6 MONTHS to work??!! Jessica and JEsus knit sweaters for a living out of their house-theyre really nice sweaters though, I think they make sweaters that gap imports! Seriously! But for a while there wasnt any work and he decided he had to move to chile where theres a lot of work and since he was going to be illegal he wasnt going to be able to come back for 6 months!!! I FREAKED OUT!! We prayed, fasted,talked with every employer and priesthood leader in Tacna, and the day he had his suitcase packed and was going to leave at 5 pm, we stayed at his house for 3 HOURS talking to him about his family and how wed help him find work and how it would be better to stay together and get married and baptized. Well, after 3 hours he told us he was sick of listening to us and that hed stay!!!! So he stayed and now they have more work than they can handle!! They found like 15 new clients and are working like crazy! They told us they want to get married and baptized so they can start paying their tithing?? What?? So yeah, I feel like even if Im not here to see it that they are going to get married and baptized and be just fine. The bishop told me last week he thinks they are more active than he is becuse they are at EVERY activity the ward has. So yeah, Im going to help them make a book of their sweaters to show to clients. Looks like my PR education might just come in handy in peru afterall.

I love you guys and miss you. Hope youre all doing great. I ran out of time to write more!! Talk to you soon!

19 October 2009

HOOOOOOOLA. How are you guys??!!!! Things are pretty good here. So it turns out Angela didn’t get baptized this week. BUT, its okay. Her boyfriend wasn’t able to get a paper he needed to be able to get married because he went to this clinic to get a test done and the clinic was closed because Peru was playing in a soccer match. Obviously. So yeah, he had to get the test done today instead of Friday and shes now going to get baptized Saturday and married Wednesday. We have another baptism on Wednesday though, a little girl named Nicolle, so it should be a busy week. I like busy weeks though. Way better than slow weeks in the mission. Yesterday in Relief Society I was sitting by Angela and she was talking about the quorum of the 70 and the restoration during the lesson and I had a flashback to the day we knocked on her door-june 8. Its pretty amazing to the see the difference in someone in such a short amount of time thanks to the gospel.

What else, OH. I. ATE. CEVICHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best day ever!!! I can officially say Im living in peru. It was so good!! We will have to look for a good ceviche place when I get back.

Oh, so Jessica and Jesus had their pollada on Saturday. We were chopping and frying and delivering chicken all day. Seriously, WHAT is this mission preparing me for?? BUT, they made enough money to get married so we are going to be starting the paperwork with them this week. Jesus told us he wants to be baptized in a font of whiskey so he can take one last gulp as hes being baptized. Supposedly he gave up alcohol like 3 years ago so I think he was kidding….but yeah, they are a really good couple and after 4 months of working with them it looks like they’ll finally able to get baptized too.

So remember how I complained like 2 or 3 times because the water got shut off in my last area? Well it looks like that was just preparing me for Spring and Summer in Tacna because starting at 4 pm everyday there is NO water!!! Until 7 am!!! We have to fill buckets with water that we keep in the shower to use from 4-7. Ridonculous as Em and Britt would say. But yeah, what can you do. Yeah, so theres no usable water, but twice in this last week weve opened the door to our room to find it FLOODED with sewer water!!!! Not flooded, flooded, but all of our things on the floor got wet. Supposedly the owner of the house took care of it. Lets hope so. The worst part is I didn’t know where all the water had come from until I started cleaning it up and realized it reaked!!! Oh well. What can you do.

Anyway, I hope you are doing great. I miss you and love you all!! Hows baby tuck? How are all of you?? What are the Halloween plans? Maybe dont tell me. Mmmmm chili dogs....Anyway, more next week. The internet is slow again!! TAlk to you soon!!!

12 October 2009

Hey Hey Hey familia!!! Somebody in peru had to tell me that today is Columbus day by the by. Turns out Ive never known and or recognized Columbus Day. Woops!! But anyway, happy columbus day!!!

Whats going on???? Things are good here in Tacna. Im glad to hear little tuck got here alright!!! But yeah, it was pretty convenient that Tucker, or Tmoney as Im sure Em will be calling him, CAME on the week I hit a year!! Oct 8th was good. My companion gave me a card and a family in our ward treated us to dinner then the elders told me we had to do practices at the house of a family and we showed up and they threw eggs and flour on me and shoved my FACE in a cake. Thats how they say congratulations here in peru. I'll send pictures. I was in the shower for like an hour to get clean. It was a good day though.

This week at church was good. We had 7 investigators there and Angela had her baby blessed. Adorable. The plans are still for her to get married Friday and baptized Saturday. I'll let you know next week how it turns out. The only problem is on Saturday we are also going to be helping with the pollada for Jessica and Jesús to be able to get married and baptized. Its a typical keele day.

Anyway, I hope youre all doing great. After a year in the misión I still miss you all and love you all. I also still miss and love TV. In case you were wondering. Guess a year hasnt changad me TOO much. Love you!!! Talk to you soon!!

5 October 2009

Hey fam a lam,

Schwat is up?!! How has your week been?? ANYWAY, how was conference for you guys?? I only got to see the last hour of the last session in english, but I liked the whole thing. Obviously.

So we spent Tuesday of this week trying to get a bunch of paperwork taken care of so Angela can get married and baptized next week. God Bless America is all I have to say about that. At one point we were paying a man in an alley with his typewriter to give us a document we needed. But the funny thing is is that here in peru that´s totally legit!!! The man in the alley in the typewriter was recommended to us by town hall!! It was an insane day trying to get everything taken care of. Peru has a TON of requirements for people to get married and everyone told us something different about each requirement, but we finally got it all done and I have learned a LOT about how to get someone married in peru. Thanks to men in back alleys. So yeah,looks like, hopefully Angela will be getting married on the 16th and baptized on the 17th. Hopefully!!

Hey, I made an apple crisp this week!! We have a family thats investigating and they invited us to lunch and had made chicken. Duh. And potatoes. More obvious. And we made an apple crisp for dessert. They loved it!!!! And so did I!!! It tasted like home. So good.

Anyway, I have to go. We are going to play soccer today. IT´s finally getting a little warmer so it should be fun. I love you all and miss you. Hope youre doing great. Talk to you soon!!!

28 September 2009

Welp, my prayers, and yours, thank you thank you thank you, were answered!! I'll, or I guess I should say we'll, Hermana. Cavero didnt get changed either, be hanging out in Tacna for at least 6 more weeks!!! They called at almost 11 last night to tell us and we were so happy!!!!

This week we had an experience that screamed Keele Family a.k.a. Emily crawling through the woodbox to get into the house. So Angela has been in the house of her mom recovering from giving birth for a few weeks, but she really misses her log,dirt house and having us be able to visit. So she told her mom she was going to take some baby things to her wood house and have a discussion with us then go back. Well we had some more things from the RS ladies so we took a stroller and a bunch of things to her house too. We found her sitting outside on a rock. Turns out she had forgotten the key to her house in her moms house and only had 20 soles and would have had to walk to the center to make change to be able to go back to her moms house. So yeah, we got there and I, being a Keele, told her it was NOT a problem. That we´d disassemble part of the brick wall surrounding her log cabin to make a staircase to get into her property to be able to open the door to let her into the property so she could get into the house inside. So, in skirts, we start pulling bricks off the wall and building our staircase. Well we finally got it to a good level and I climbed up the brick wall and jumped from the top of the wall into her property. Then I went to open the door to let them in, but the door was locked with 2 keys and I could only get one of the locks open from the inside without the key!! So I told them NOT a problem, I would hoist them over the wall so they could get in and we could look for a key she thought she had inside the log cabin. So then I tried to get into the log cabin to get a chair out to help them over and I had to unwind wire and pull out paper they had shoved in there so nobody would break in, etc. Finally I got in and helped them jump the wall with the help of a chair. So we found the keys but NONE of them worked!!! So then we tried to use a butter knife to get the lock off the door so we could carry all of her baby stuff inside. Well that didn´t work. So we ended up hoisting all the baby stuff over the wall and then I finally, FINALLY, said, ¨¨how about my companion and I go back to your mom´s house to get the keys and leave you here with all the baby stuff.¨We all realized we were crazy for not having thought of that. I think I thought it would be a lot easier to get the door open than it was. So we left her inside and rebuilt her brick wall so nobody else would climb in then went to her moms house and got the keys and yeah, that´s how we spent the afternoon Tuesday. Well, I had actually forgotten it´d happened until a guy from our ward asked us why he saw my companion alone outside a random house that the police were driving by!! Good thing that´s something normal in peru and the police didn´t take too much interest. Angela had another picantada Saturday to be able to make more money so she can get married and baptized this month. Turns out someone gave her 100 fake soles!!! I think she was still able to make a bit of a profit though. Hopefully. I know she´ll be able to get married though.

I was reading the Sept Ensign this month and I really liked a quote I found. It says, the church was organized to make life sweet today, to give contentment to the heart today, to bring salvation today...some of us look forward to a time in the future but today is a part of eternity. I liked that.

Anyway, I love you and miss you all!! Hope you´re great and that little Tucky comes soon!! Enjoy conference!! Love you!!!

21 September 2009

Welp supposedly the 23rd of September is offically spring here!!! But you could have fooled me. It´s been more rainy and overcast and chilly than ever!!! Hopefully pretty soon though it´ll warm up. Other than the weather, things here are pretty good. We had our stake conference yesterday. It was a satelite broadcast like I think you guys told me you had? C. Scott Grow, Elder Holland, President uchtdorf and Sylvia Allred spoke to peru. It was good. I thought it would be in english, but C. Scott Grow spoke in spanish?! Then Elder Holland started in spanish and switched to english with an interpreter, he joked about how painful it would be if he spoke in spanish the whole time. President Uchtdorf obviously spoke english, but he said he wished he could speak german instead. It was a crack up. Anyway, it was good. Elder Grow talked about 5 missionaries he met that are from peru and serving in Mexico. He said he´d do a shout out for them in the conference so he read their names and where they´re from. It was good though. They talked a lot about missonary work and raising missionaries in our families.

We had the multizona this week and it was good. It´s always good to see president and sister davis.

Last week for pday we went to the scariest zoo possible. It shouldnt even really be allowed to be called a zoo. It´s more a crazy old man with all the wild animals he´s captured and thrown in his backyard. I made a startling realization while there-I am TERRIFIED of ostriches!!! There was a giant, LOOSE, ostrich, running around!! I was frozen stiff trying to avoid eye contact with the thing for like 20 minutes. All I kept thinking was, ¨I need a tostada to calm my nerves!!¨That´s for you Em. Really though, I was terrified!!! There were also random bunnies running around, turtles, monkeys, birds, owls, fish, etc. Dont worry, I got lots of pictures. I also got interviewed for peruvian public access!!! There was a camera crew there documenting the insanity and they asked to interview me!! So look for me on Channel 26. Im sure peru public access will somehow find it´s way to Gardnerville public access when they´ve run out of hours of that ¨Reel em in¨fly fishing show to run.

Hey, did my photo cd work?! I dont want to erase them until I know so let me know.

Anyway, I love you guys and miss you!! Changes are next week. Pray we dont have any!! Be safe!! Thanks for your emails!! Love you!!

14 September 2009

Welp, once again, thanks to the high quality internet here in peru, looks like Im going to have to cut this email short!!!! But anyway, we are alive and well here. I skimmed your email mom and Im so glad you guys got the package!!!!!!

Lets see, the news here in Tacna. Our investigator, Angela, who needs to get married to get baptized, and was also pregnant, had her baby this week!! She named her Christa!! Just kidding. That would be awesome, but she had a boy and named him Jesus. I guess thats almost as good. She did have her baby on my 11 month mark though so I think thats significant. She is so great. Shes probably the favorite investigator Ive ever had. The Relief Society ladies put together a big basket for her and her baby and we are going to deliver it tomorrow. I REALLY want to be here long enough to see her get married and baptized which will be in October so pray we dont have changes on Sept 27!!

Also, as we were leaving the hospital from visiting Angela. Peruvian hospitals STILL terrify me by the way. We ran into a lady in our ward who is like 70 years old. She was walking around by herself outside of the emergency entrance. I asked her what she was doing and she said an iron rod had fallen on her head??!! So we accompanied her inside and helped her fill our her papers and talk with the doctors. Turns out one of her doctors is a less active lady and the doctor listened to the missionaries and read the Book of Mormon when he was 17? I was kind of stressed out about missing appointments and spending 2 hours in the hospital with her, but I couldn’t leave her outside by herself either and I guess it just goes to show heavenly father knows what hes doing. We were able to talk to a few people about the church while helping her.

What else…I saw a cock fight this week!!! An honest to goodness cock fight. I thought people were gathered around in this park by our house just chatting or having a picnic or something and it turns out they were watching a cock fight. Oh peru.

Anyway, I hope youre all doing great. I still love you and Im still praying for you all. Everyday. Multiple times a day. Hope its having some kind of affect!!! Love you!!! Be safe!!! Talk to you soon!!!

7 September 2009

Hey HEy Hey!!!

And hows my family today? Im doing pretty good here in Tacna. Not too much has happened this week actually. It went by really fast...I guess thats a good thing right? Anyway, we are doing good here. And since I dont have too much exciting news from this week Ill share some stories Ive been saving up from weeks passed. hope I havent already shared these. Sorry if I have.

1. One day we were walking along the street and a man in a car pulled over and offered us a ride. We told him no, but he kept insisting!!! He said he always sees us walking and wanted to be a good Samaritan that day. He had a nice car and didn’t look like the kidnapper ( missionarynapper) type AND he had his girlfriend or wife or something in the car with him so after like 5 minutes we finally got in. He said, Youre not headed too far right? Just up the street and around the corner? And he was right, we were on our way to visit a new member that lived up the street and around the corner. I was thinking, maybe hes an angel or something. How does he know where we´re going? So we got in and got to talking with him and the lady and we started to talk to them about the church. They said they weren’t members, but had friends that were members. Supposedly super active members. We were a little confused because we didn’t recognize their names, but we didn’t think much of it. So as we´re talking the car comes to a stop and I realize he´s waiting for us to get out. I thought it was kind of weird he never asked us what house we wanted to be dropped off at, and was just going to drop us off in the middle of the street instead of at the ladys house, but I didn t want to complain so we thanked him and got out. Well as the car pulled away my companion and I realized he had dropped us off at the Jehovas Witness chapel!!!!! I didn’t want him to feel bad for confusing us with the JWs so we pretended to walk into the chapel!!!! So, in case youre wondering, Im STILL getting myself into awkward situations. Thought youd enjoy.

2. We were knocking doors the other day and a man came out with a scythe. A SCYTHE!!!! Like for harvesting wheat. He was polishing it as I started to do our door approach, but I was so shocked, scared, that I didn’t get very far. He finally saw the fear in my eyes and said he is a worker at the house and was cutting weeds and didn’t have time to talk. We walked away laughing and so relieved.

3. About a month ago we found a really great investigator. She invited us in and gave us oranges and was interested and listened. She travels a lot so we haven’t been able to meet with her much, but when we do she always accepts what we teach and asks really good questions. So we went last week to teach her and we extended a baptismal invite and she told me she´d already been baptized (like pretty much everyone does) so I explained to her that she needed to be baptized like Jesus Christ and she said she had (which everyone does ) so I started to explain to her more….after 20 MINUTES it came out that she is a member!!! She got baptized like 10 years ago and doesn’t go to church now, but still has her FHEs, and pays tithing!!! I felt so dumb!!!! How had she not told us she was a member after talking with her so much-??!?!!! More importantly, how had she sat through our lessons and asked questions like an investigator?!! I have never been so confused as when we made the realization that our golden investigator is a baptized member of the church. So yeah, we´re going to keep visiting her hoping she´ll come back to church, but looks like we wont be planning her baptism anytime soon.

4. We started talking with a man the other day and he told us he believed in God, but not in a specific religion. We asked him why and he said it´s because he´s been abducted by aliens, seen the future, and visits daily with ghosts and no religion he´s investigated believe in those things. The practices we did in the MTC did NOT prepare me for that.

Anyway, I better wrap this novel up, but I love you and I miss you all!!!

31 August 2009

Happy ALMOST September!!!!

How are you guys? Im doing pretty good. We had a baptism Saturday so Im actually doing really good. Im pretty happy about that. Nury finally got baptized! It turned out really nice. We have a lot of good ward members who are always willing to help us so that’s been a big blessing. OH, also, my wildest Peruvian dream also came true this week!! I was serenaded by mariachi!!! I felt like I was right back in Sparks in Birtha Mirandas. We left our house after lunch yesterday and there was a mariachi band in the street right outside our door getting ready to perform for a neighbour. The lead singer has taught English for 30 years and accosted me and started talking and forced me (it didn’t take much forcing though) to put on a sombrero and take pictures with them! Then they played us a song and then we went on our merry way. Best surprise ever!! Things are alright with my companion. Shes a good teacher, but is pretty serious. For example, yesterday, while my dreams were coming true, she said in a stern voice, ¨Hna. Keele, but it´s the Sabbath, we cant let them play a song for us, we cant listen to their music on the Sabbath.¨ So as they were putting on their accordions and had placed the sombrero on my head she started to walk away!! Luckily they cranked out a quick number and I was able to give them back their sombrero politely before shed gotten too far. BUT we have an appointment to visit them and teach them this week so I feel justified in living out my fantasy yesterday. OH, I finally bought a CD player this week!! Theres a young couple in my ward who are so good to us. They are both dentists and don’t have any kids so they treat us very well!! So the husband reminds me a lot of Darren and last week they went with us to help me pick out a CD player. He, nestor, was asking a million questions about how many woofers, memory, mp3, dvd, etc. I didn’t understand any of it, but I do know that he helped me buy my adorable little CD player and after 10 months of silence we finally have music!! The only problem is I lent all the church CDs I had to ward members that went on vacations so we´re still in silence…but not for long! Oh, I heard the funniest story this week. One of our investigators, Jessica, is from the jungle in the north of peru but lives here now. She was telling me about the pet monkeys she used to have. Em, you NEED to move to the Peruvian jungle from the sounds of it. Anyway, she said one of her monkeys used to smoke! Hed light his cigarette and smoke it!! She also said another one would get mad if the family wouldn’t let him have his way and hed sneak into the kitchen and pee into the pots and pans with food that were cooking!! Im terrified of monkeys, but they sound pretty funny. Then my companion piped in and told us about the time she tried to share her ice cream with a turtle and he bit her and she still has a scar. Peru is interesting. But good.

24 August 2009

Hey guys!!! Happy pday!!! And happy birthday mom!! What are you guys going to do to celebrate?! Wear your seatbelts in the convertable is all I ask!!! And eat cake for me!!! Hope you guys are doing great!!! Im doing pretty good here. Well, surviving. I guess that´s pretty good.

My companion,Hna Cavero, got here at 1130 on Wednesday night from the mission home. She´s from Trujillo, Peru. She lives 2 blocks from where the new temple is being built!! I really like her. Shes a good missionary. 15 missionaries came into the mission this change so I figured tons of people must be training and president davis basically had a lack of options. Turns out 14 elders came and 1 sister!!!! I heard once that the missionaries that get assigned to train are the ones that need to be trained again and thats pretty much the only solution I can find for this change, but whatever. Shes nice, but has a sad life. Her mom was shot and killed in front of her 5 years ago!!! I swear, feature full length movies could be made about the lives of every one of my companions thus far and could win academy awards.

Oh, good news Andre called me this week!!! His aunt called me to tell me they closed Pachacutec and there arent missionaries there anymore. I was sad, but happy because now his aunt, Mirriam, can have her room back that shed been renting to us. Get this, Andre sang me Sweet Dreams Are Made of These in English!!! Hes been practicing and sang it perfectly!! I was cracking up!!!

Oh, sad news. Hna Sonya, the lady thatd had cancer, but was making a remarkable recovery, passed away this week. It was sad. We went to her funeral and they wanted ME to speak on the plan of salvation!! Luckily the high priests group leader showed up and got me off the hook. Im sad for her family, but happy I got to know her. She was a really neat lady.

Good news, our investigator Angela really wants to get baptized and we talked to the bishop this week and the church is going to help her pay for half the cost of getting married so she can get baptized! Hopefully in September thatll all be happening.

Oh, finally, the Herrera family will be coming to Utah in June 2010 now. Im trying to talk them into Gardnerville. They definitely want to visit Vegas though so at least theyll get some of Nevada.

Anyway, I hope youre all doing great. I miss you all and love you!!! Guess what, only 5 changes left in my mission!! 8 months sounds long, but 5 changes isnt too bad right?! Love you!!!!!!!!!

17 August 2009

Welp. The elders called at midnight, literally, last night and I am no longer with Hermana Arroyo. I found out last night that this change I will be training. WHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought the elder was joking with me. After 5 full minutes of me asking him who my real companion was going to be and telling him to stop joking he got annoyed and hung up. So yeah, I am going to train. And the poor new missionary that is going to be my companion is going to die!!! I cant train!! Talk about the blind leading the blind!!!!!! But, I have high hopes that she will be amazing and like all my other companions, take charge and be the real senior companion-trainer. So yeah, she gets here on Wednesday and since 5 am when I took Hermana Arroyo to the bus station Ive had to be with the elders. Theyre looking for a temporary companion for me until Wednesday. So what Im trying to say in the worlds longest paragraph Ive just written is pray. Harder. I dont know anything about her yet, but Im guessing by next week Ill have a LOT to report!!

Oh, I also finally used my ATM card last week and it worked! Dad knows me well. I bought my companion a coat because she didnt have one. Hope thats okay. But yeah, it is working and thank you for sending it!!

So this week we were walking to an appointment at night. Well we were walking along, not paying much attention and I realized I was right by a window of a house. So I glance over as Im walking by and have never done a bigger retake in my life. A CASKET with a BODY was in the living room of this house!!!!!!!!! Apparently its tradition here when somebody dies. For a full day the casket is in the house and they have the viewing there. Wow. Glad nobody ever warned me about that one. Good thing Ive got 23 years of funeral experience. My companion on the other hand refused to walk in that neighborhood for the rest of the week. Oh peru.

We had a lesson this week with a lady named Nelly here that does PR! IT was really fun to talk with her. Shes busy planning the anniversary of Tacna until September so we are going to go back to visit her then, but it was cool to talk to her about what pr people in peru do. Besides promote llamas of course. Since thats all I knew about peru before I came.

Oh, sometime could you guys send me a printout of the blog again? I havent seen it since January or so so if you could print off a little afteer that itd be fun to read. Next week Im finally going to send your package for you guys. Sorry it wont make it for your bday mom, but know Ill be thinking of you and looking for something good to eat in your honor!!

Anyway, I have to go, but I love you all and miss you all and hope youre doing great. Keep praying. Please. Love you!!! Be safe!!