November 18, 2011

First Letter from Peru!

Hello Friends and Family!!

I am in Peru!!! Can you beleive it! My Peruvian adventure started on the airplane. I meet a man named Erik on our flight from Atlanta to Peru. He is from Peru but has been living in the states for 10 years, so he spoke English. SWEET!! Haha Anyways we were talking about why we were going to Peru. When I told him i was a missionary he asked, "What is the purpose of a missionary?" Are you serious!! Anyone who has served a mission knows that this is something really EMPHASIZED by the church! I can't begin to tell you how often we are told to share our purpose. It was awesome! We got talking about the Church. I told him about Christ, the apostasy, the restoration, and he LOVED it!! It wasn't like I was just talking, he would say things like, I love God but I feel like the Church Christ set up isn't the same anymore... I started to think he was actually LDS because his questions and comments were PERFECT! But then he drank coffee. Haha We talked for 4 hours about the gospel. I pretty much covered every lesson; we read from the Book of Mormon, again he loved it! He kept saying, "this makes sense", "this makes me happy", and "this gives me hope". He asked me how I knew it was true. I explained that I read the Book of Mormon and I asked God if it was true. I told him the Book of Mormon was either a complete lie or the word of God, and I had to know for myself. So I prayed and asked and I was given the most peaceful feeling as my answer that yes it is true. Then he says to me "I guess if I want to know what you know I must do the same thing. I want to read this Book of Mormon." AAAAAHHHHHHHH! I gav e him a pass along card and got his contact information to give to the missionaries! I can't even begin to explain the joy I felt while talking to him. This was a man prepared to hear the gospel. I wish you could all see the look in his eyes when I told him about eternal families, about baptism, about everything. He would smile, or sometimes even laugh. Not because it was funny, he would laugh and say, "How is it that such a young girl has all the answers to my questions?" I tried to expalin that it had nothing to do with me, but it was the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that the Holy Ghost was testifying that it was true. That's the only part I'm not sure if he really understood. He was so funny. We talked the entire flight almost always about religion. He had so many inspired questions. Oh this is another testimony I have of prayer. So that morning before I left the Provo MTC I said a prayer that if there was anyone on the plane that was ready and willing to hear the gospel that I would be seated by them. I know Erik was ready and willing to hear about the gospel. I hope that he will continue to have that desire to know if the church is true!! My first real missionary experience!!! IT WAS AWESOME!! I am so thankful to have the opportunity to help in this work. Nothing could be happier than sharing the gospel.

Anyways... When we landed in Peru it didn't seem real, after all you are in an airport so everyone is different. No one looked Peruvian or anything. But as we left the airport there were tons of Peruvians waiting to meet their families as they got out of the airport. That's when I realized I was not in Kansas (or Provo) any longer. As we walked throught he crowd I thought, let the starting begin. Haha We got on a bus and traveled to the CCM (MTC). By the time we got settled into our beds it was almost 2 in the morning! So needless to say I am very tired. If my grammar is terrible it's a mix of not hearing English and tiredness.

As far as my companions go I have 2 companions again. But it's different than it was in the Provo MTC. How it works is I have a native companion, Hermana Cumba from Peru, and I have a North American companion, Hermana Meono from Bountiful. How it works is during meals, gym, personal time, preparation day, etc. I am with Hermana Cumba. But for class and other similar things I am with Hermana Meono. It's wonderful.

Meal times here in Peru, very different than in Provo. Oddly enough I like the food here better than the Provo MTC. One thing is you MUST finish everything you take. That can be a little challenging. Today at lunch people kept offering me plates as I went down the line. I didn't know if I had to take them or if I could just say no thank you, so I took them all ... UGH... For the most part it was good but man alive, IT WAS SO MUCH FOOD! Hermana Cumba noticed and helped me understand that I don't have to take everything. Haha So far I love both of my companions. Hermana Meono and I haven't had much time to talk but she seems chill and I don't foresee any problems. Hermana Cumba is so sweet and patient. She helps me with my Spanish. Me and Hermana Meono agreed that we are going to only speak Spanish when our Latino companions are with us. I think it's making a huge difference. It's common for the Latinos and the North American sisters to just talk amongst themselves because of the communication gap. It usually makes people feel excluded and hurts companionships. I can already tell that our effort to speak Spanish and our companion's efforts to have us understand is helping. I hope we are able to keep it up.

So in Peru instead of red numbers they just start flashing! I think thats worse. Haha I better go! I love you all!! I am safe and sound in Peru. I love it so far! My preparation day is on Wednesday. So until then! Love you all!!

Hermana Taggart

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