Dear Friends and Family!!
First legit Preparation Day in the field!! WHOOT! I feel like I have so much to tell you all! I hope I can remember it all. First my companion, Hermana Lema. I didn't think it was possible for me to get a shorter companion than Hermana Cartagena, but I guess it is. She is tiny. She can't be more than 4 ft. 9. In the states she could totally get one of those midget handicap stickers on her car. She is really sweet and helps me with my Spanish a lot. She also laughs at me a ton, but that's not new. My personality is super strange to Latinas. Haha She also gets a kick out of my Spanish. I guess I talk like a four year old. Personally I don't know what she is talking about because I have 4 year olds talk to me on the streets and their Spanish is WAY better than mine. Haha I get along with her great and I don't see any problems.
My area. The name of the ward we cover is Antares. The houses in this area are hard for me to explain. My sister asked, "Does it look like downtown Ogden?" To that I say, downtown Ogden is far to ritzy for this part of town. It's weird though cuz one Apt. you enter will be pretty nice, the walls are painted, they have cute couches. It kind of looks like a college dorm layout. Then the house right next to it looks like something between an unfinished basement and a shack. It really just depends. The house of one of our investigators really looked like a barn on the inside. When she let us in she had me sit on a bucket next to a goat and a cage full of guinea pigs (they seriously do eat that here). Overall, my area smells like dog. Haha Probably because there are dogs EVERYWHERE!! Someone needs to get Bob Barker to tell these people to nuder their pets cuz its ridiculous!! But it just adds to the character of Peru.
The people here. Oh the people! I love them. You come in their house and before they even start talking to you they just take off. Sometimes down the street and you are just sitting there thinking what in the world!! They are either getting you something to eat or drink, and if they don't have anything in the house they leave and go buy you something. You want so badly to tell them it isn't necessary, that you are full that they don't need to do that. But it would be highly insulting. They take pride in serving you. I have watched people take out their special glass cups that they only use for special occasions and use them with us. I can't find the words to express how much it means to me.
The men in Peru aren't my favorite... First of all the men on the streets are just gross. Being white gets me a lot of unwanted attention. I don't mind the staring. I get that I am tall and white, and its weird here. Usually I don't understand, it's just my companion who tells me it's bad. But a lot of them know a few choice phrases in English... It's fine though, they just yammer when I pass by then they stop. The men in the church also really need to step up their game here. Our ward has FAR more active women than men.
The ward is wonderful. But we have some work to do. When we got here the Bishop gave me two lists, one of them is the ward directory and the other is the inactive list... they are basically the same thing. Haha So right now I am just praying and studying to know how to help people have a desire to stay active and keep (wow this is the first time I honeslty can't remember the word I want to use in English), basically to keep pushing to the end.
The food! So the food falls under three categories: good, weird but good, and just plain weird. I eat a lot of chicken and rice. It's good. I'm sure I will get sick of it, but it's good. The stuff that is weird but good are things like mashed potoates with a sunny-side egg on top. Haha It reminds me of something Autumn would eat. Then there is the gross stuff like soup with a giant chicken foot swimming around... yuck!
So my companion, she likes to eat chicken cartilage. I'm not sure what the word for that is in food terms, but in medical terms it's the cartilage on the hinges of the bones! She loves it! YUCK, but then my Pensonista brings out grapes for us to eat and she couldn't eat them without dry heaving. Haha How funny is that.
NEW YEARS!! New Years here was crazy!! I want you to imagine that every boy in Davis County from the ages of 8 to 30 was given hundreds of dollars to spend on illegal fireworks. Then they were given 1 hour to set them all off in any manner that they would like. If you can picture than in your mind then you might slightly be able to imagine what I saw when I looked out my window. New Year's night. There were people EVERYWHERE!! Boys lighting highly dangerous fireworks. Fires in the streets! And fireworks EVERYWHERE in the air. It was like someone mixed Lord of the Flies with the 4th of July. And the party doesn't just last New Year's Eve night, it goes all through the night and the next day. That morning on the way to church we just passed group after group of people passed out drunk in the parks. Haha
We have a few investigators. Zoryda has been meeting with the missionaries for 3 months. She is more active than half of our ward, but she won't commit to a date. She avoids the reason why. So me and Hermana Lema are going to try to get down to business and find out what's up.
Another investigator is Isidora. I'm not sure if you are allowed to have favorites, but she's mine. She is the women that's house is more like a barn than a house. Her son is a member and is serving a mission in Mexico. I don't know how interested she is in the church but she likes having us come because we are doing the same thing as her son.
What else... I know this is the longest email ever, everything is just so new I want to tell everyone about everything. I know after I send this I will remember something else I wanted to say. Basically I am doing good. Spanish is coming. I sound like a 4 year old. But I am speaking, that's my goal. Just speak. Even if you sound like an IDIOT, just speak. People will laugh at you, and it ok. Just laugh at yourself, thats what I tell myself. Prayer has become my favorite thing in the world. God is the only person I get to talk to every day who speak English. So we talk a lot. If there is one thing I have learned this week is that there is a special peace of mind that comes from the gospel. Life won't be perfect, but with the gospel in your life you always have that special peace of mind that Heavenly Father is in control. He has a plan and through the atonement of Jesus Christ everything that isn't fair about life can be made fair.
I love you all!! Thanks for your love and support. There are letters being sent to you, I dont' know when they will get there but I love you and I am writing.
Dang I talked to long. Next week I will talk less and send more pictures.
Love you all!