Wow. I have so much to say I don’t know where to begin!
Chronologically, I got to Lima on Monday night around 11. The lady sitting next to me on the plane from Miami was so awesome, she didn’t speak any English so I got to practice Spanish with her a lot! Her husband died three years ago and has been suffering a lot since then. I taught her about the Plan of Salvation! It was awesome! She wants to learn more!
Lima was so creepy at night, and smelled really bad! I thought our hotel was really scary too… Little did I know we were staying at the Ritz Lima. Haha. My traveling companion and I left for Piura at 7 a.m. and I got to say goodbye to Hermana T. one last time before she got on her flight for Cuzco. Me and 9 other missionaries arrived around 12 in Piura. It is AWESOME here! Haha but super different. It literally is its own little world.
Piura is REALLY dusty. And there are dogs and cats everywhere! You can tell if they have an owner if they have a t-shirt on. The wind is always blowing and by the end of every day I feel like I took a dirt bath! Our apartment is really interesting. One of our walls is made out of cardboard (which is awesome because we share it with some people who are investigating the church so we could teach them from our bedroom if we didn’t want to get dressed haha) and one out of plywood and two out of cement. The ceiling is a bunch of bamboo(?) poles with a piece of sheet metal wired to them. This means that we can see the outside world through our roof and the cats can crawl in (when they are walking on the roof it´s so scary it sounds like thunder!) But you can tell that my companion and I are well taken care of because our floor is made out of cement and not dirt! How grateful I am for the levelness of a cement floor! The shower head is literally 2 feet away from the toilet which means that if you drop the shampoo you better hope the lid is down! The bathroom is like a little hut within our hut! Hutception!!!
My companion is learning to speak English but her accent is so thick that I don’t understand it, so we stick to Spanish and then during language study she practices English. She is awesome though! She is from Lima and is a convert to the church! Her dad was shot at work a little while after she joined the church, she says that the gospel has been her strength ever since!
I had an exchange where I got to go to the ritzy part of Piura! There is grass over there, and more people have hard floors. One of the members showed me her washing machine and asked me if I had seen one before… I didn´t know how to respond so I was just like,”Yeah, I think so!”
The members are so loving! They call me Hermana Barbie because I’m white and tall. Literally though, I am a giant here. I don’t know how the boys handle it, but I’m only 5’6″ and I am at least a head taller than everyone I have met here.
The food and water here are straight poison! We are only allowed to eat what our pincionista cooks for us and what we buy at this grocery store called Tutto(?). It’s a lot like Walmart… like as in if it’s not owned by Walmart, then they straight up plagarized Walmart’s slogan.
One thing that is funny here that drives me kind of nuts is the complete disregard for copyright law. I see advertisments with Tweety Bird and Dumbo and Shrek and all these characters MIXED… So ridiculous haha. I shouldn’t think that much about it, but it looks so weird to see Kuzco from Emperor’s New Groove riding Donkey from Shrek and stuff like that.
As far as missionary work goes, it is awesome! I have to pinch myself that I am a missionary here! The members are angels and so excited about and devoted to the work. I’m not the greatest at speaking, but I’m conversational and can always say what I want even if it takes more words than necessary sometimes. (For an embarassing example, I just told my companion I have onion breath and I had to say my mouth is like an onion.) The kids love teaching me new words and stuff. On Friday I started teaching English classes at the chapel as a way to find new people to teach the gospel! The bishop also asked me to start offering piano lessons, but so far I don’t have any students for which I am grateful for because I’m much better at English than the piano.
A lot of things have happened this week that are sad. Someone we know drank the water and died, and then one of our friends lost her baby. The beauty of the message of the Restoration, however, is not that our lives can be perfect and nothing sad will ever happen. The message of the Restoration is that there is hope and happiness ahead. God loves us, He has a plan for us, and all of our trials can be for our good. It’s not a matter of seeing things optimisticly or trying to convince people to do that, it is about seeing things as they really are! In the right perspective, with the enabling power of the Atonement, our lives can be happy! The people here don’t have very much (and by that I mean that when I am sitting in someone’s house I can usually see 80-100% of everything they own) but the members definitely get that. I am constantly inspired by the fire of their testimonies here.They are setting fire in others because they are on fire themselves!
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