Monday, April 1, 2013

The First Post from PERU!!

Dear Family,                                                                                                                                                                                    

Elder Nelson and Elder Arce
Here it is, the first letter from Peru! So as you all may have thought this week was absolutely jam packed! I stayed the first night in the apartment of the secretaries with about 8 other missionaries from zona independencia, and slept the remaining 5 hours until 7 am. We had a meeting at 7:30 with the president and assistants about health and safety in Peru, and we also had interviews. There was only one American from the bus from the CCM here, and he looked like he had a rough go of it because of not knowing the language super well. I'm not completely lost in that respect. I can speak with members as long as they aren't excited...that’s when words start to just pour out of their mouths. Also please excuse my typing. This keyboard is Spanish and I’m not used to it. After interviews we had pizza with the group of trainers that had arrived during training and then we had the changes meeting. My trainer is Elder Arce from Barranca, Lima District. We are serving in Buenos Aires Area of Zona Magnolias. He is waiting for his visa to go to Argentina and only has had 4 months in the mission. He says it’s likely that I will train immediately following my first 12 weeks and then go out to the jungle, where there are more than one kind of snakes (young women) He speaks about 25 phrases of English total and I am teaching him more because that’s the goal for Latino missionaries, to learn English as we Americans learn Spanish. The taxi ride to our area took about 40 minutes and then we dropped my bags and got to work.


This week the goal is to make 100 contacts while maintaining our pool of about 5 investigators and 2 whole families. We also have a few families of recent converts that we are visiting regularly as well. The next to get married then baptized are Juan y Maritza. They live in a 3 room apartment, which is kind of upper middle class here I think. Some live in one room shacks built really well into the side of the hill. Others have multiple rooms in their apartments and still others own a bank of apartments for themselves and their extended families. Juan and Maritza will be married the 19th and baptized the 20th. Baptisms or marriages happen about every two or three weeks, so the work is moving forward pretty quickly. Drinking is a problem here, but not among those that we are teaching really. I had daisy tea for the first time, and this thing that was in a corn husk (not a tamale, I asked) and no worries that tea didn’t have tea plant in it, really only flavored hot water. Everyone drinks lots of coca cola and inca cola, and we can´t stop at an apartment without the people offering drinks and crackers. Everything is super cheap too. The exchange is like 2.35 soles to 1 dollar, and a sol can buy a small snack like a drink and packet of crackers. Most of the food is really good. A typical meal includes boiled potatoes, a heap of rice, tomatoes soaked in lime and some kind of meat, fried chicken or fish usually. Also, ceviche is a big no no for missionaries and nuts are really uncommon in the cooking, so that’s really good.


Weather is humid, a little warm for my taste. It’s about 70 or 75 during the day and 55 or so at night, and really comfortable then. We walk everywhere in our little area and the common job is taxi driver. Traffic is absolutely crazy! I don't think I've seen any accidents either, and that’s even crazier. People drive slower than on Keene, but they drive close and they don’t stop for anyone, which is only a problem on the bigger streets. Today I saw a dog get hit by a bus, and just run screaming away (redact that for grandma’s sake) there are dogs absolutely everywhere, and none look right, mixes of breeds like a poodle head with the body of a dachshund. I have only been confronted with one, and I accidentally kicked it when it got too close, a reflex I promise...most dogs run if you yell “afuera!” at them. Uhhh I don't know what else to write, so send me questions. I am attaching a few pictures of our room and also of some street sights.


I love you all. It sounds like the major thing from the other emails I received is to have faith. That’s big here as well. If I don't have faith to learn the language or the area, how am I supposed to get anything done. Life as a whole is an act of faith because no one knows how everything works out, but it does! Congrats to Darci and Joe on the fabulous internships achievements. Also to Kolby for his soccer and keeping the grades up.



Elder Nelson

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