Hola from Peru!!
I can´t believe I am here! Thanks so much for your emails, they were so fun to read! Wow. I have no idea where to begin. Ok, first of all, I am in the city Paita, about five minutes from the beach! We are in the Begonias 1 Branch. My companion is Hermana Rosas and she is from Lima, and knows only a very small amount of English! She is so great and is so patient with me. Ok so Peru. It´s the best! Everyone rides motos around, which are motorcycles with carrage things for us to ride. They are so cheap we barely even walk anywhere! The area we are in doesn´t have very many paved roads, it´s just dirt. Piura is one big desert! It´s winter right now, but feels great during the day and at night cools down a little. I love how we kiss other women on the cheek! It doesn´t matter if we are meeting someone for the first time, or see them every day. We always do it! The people are so loving. And are especially understanding with my Spanish! The kids are the best. They always ask me to speak English and they think it is the neatest thing ever. A group of people in our area asked me to teach English, so we are having our first class this week which will be fun! I have also had some people ask me to teach them to play the piano. I´m not sure how to teach the piano, and I am especially not sure how to in Spanish. haha I also have never had so many compliments on my hair. But apparently they like it. There is absolutely no fast food here! the closest thing I can think of are the carts selling pan (bread) while they honk their horns. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day, which I actually like a lot! We make our own breakfast and dinner, but go to our Pensionita, Marylu for lunch. She makes the best food! I can´t remember what half of it is called, but it is delicious. We have a lot of chicken, rice, fish, bread, and fruit. Hna Rowley said most Hermanas gain weight in this mission. I can see why! And they give us huge portions. Oops. haha I am glad hermana rosas likes to run with me in the mornings!
This keyboard is weird and I am trying to type fast so sorry for the mistakes. I have gained a new appreciation for so many things since being here! There is no warm water here-showers are much quicker when they are cold! Also, the tank that has our water in it sometimes runs out so we don´t have water. We have a ton of bottled water for drinking. I never appreciated water as much as I do now. It´s amazing how easily our perspectives can change!
I love the sounds here. There is constantly music playing and dogs barking. We thought there were a lot of dogs in Puerto Rico. No! haha. But there really aren´t stray dogs here-they are part of the community! Some other differences- there are mini peep doors, not peep holes, there is no carpet, just tile!
It´s amazing how much Spanish I have learned in just one week! My first day I felt like I couldn´t understand anything, but now I feel like I know so much more! I have a long way to go though. Hermana Rosas helps me so much and it´s fun helping her learn English! Sometimes I forget she doesn´t know english and say something, but then realize she has no idea what I just said. We do a lot of picture drawing, acting out, and dictionary looking up. Sometimes when we are talking to people or in lessons I feel like I am in a movie that I can´t understand. I want to communicate and understand so bad, but i can't! This just makes me want to work even harder!
We teach lessons and talk with people here all day. I love teaching lessons about the gospel, the people are so receptive and I actually understand most of the words! One of the families we are teaching is la familia ayon. They have three kids and are so great! It´s the greatest teaching about Jesus Christ and how the Gospel can bless their lives. The Spirit is so strong and real! It´s incredible how phrases or scriptures come into my head to share. i love joshua 1:9 Be strong and of a good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the lord thy god is with thee withersoever thou goest. Doesnt matter if we are in a house that barely has a roof on it, in a humble town in Paita. The Lord can always be with us! That has brought me so much comfort as I have been in this new country with new everything! I love it here and wouldn´t rather be anywhere else! These people may not have many possessions, but they have the Lord! And they have the gospelof jesus christ. That´s what really matters!
I played the keyboard in sacrament meeting, and only the right half works. I was playing the intermediate hymn when four kids ran up and started playing the piano with me. I was laughing so hard it was so funny. I don´t think they have anyone play the piano very often. I just had to turn it off because I was trying to tell them to go sit down, but i don´t think they understood me. and if they did they probably would have stayed up there anyway. That was ok because they are so cute!
Love you all! Hope all is well in los estados unidos. Cant wait for this week and for all the new things I will experience! Being a missionary is the best, i love every second. Yes its hard, but thats the way its supposed to be!