Familia! i´ll start off by answering your questions. no, elder pritchett isn´t here yet, they only send elders down every three weeks here, everything is on a three week schedule. they have one three week period where a lot of americans come down, and the next not many. elder sims, schomburg, and i are the only americans on our rotation right now until a few more come down from provo next week, which will include elder pritchett and elder sims companion and a lot more norteamericanos because they are on the on week. everything is unreal here, i love it so much! yeah that´s so awesome that corbin is going there! there´s a kid i know who is nate bridgewater´s friend, moose, who is there. yeah i´m getting your emails, and i got one batch of dearelders, from mom, dad, and casey, those only come on fridays here, but keep them coming! but a week or two before i leave send stuff to my mission. next wednesday us gringos (only three of us that will be here for four more weeks) get to go on an all day tour of lima while all the new elders are coming in, we go to the beach, a huge market, some parks, etc. good job to erik! oh and dad, thanks for the email, i read it but now i´m reading moms as i am writing this so i´m kind of responding to hers, but i read yours and loved it. thanks for writing me a lot, its always great to hear your mission stories. it´s nice to know you´ve gone through a lot of the same things i have. i never thought i´d say this but right now I HATE RICE. we have it every every every meal except breakfast, and it´s not a little, it´s like a half a plate and it´s so dry and yucky. oh well, i´ll get used to it :).
JIMMER!!!!! yes ahhh that just made my day. i hope byu actually makes it past the second round of the tourney. good idea from elder prina, i´ll have to start doing that. yeah all the water is filtered in the ccm, even in the showers, so we´re safe here. but out in the field everything has to come from a bottle. i would love a copy of my setting apart blessing, and maybe a picture of the outside of our house too, people want to know what american houses look like. ok now an accounting of my week. i'll just kind of copy what i wrote in my journal. this week i fell absolutely in love with the scriptures. every day i can´t wait to have even a little bit of free time so i can just read and learn. i can spend hours with just me, my english scriptures, and a highlighter. then when i find gems i highlight in my spanish ones too and i have tabs marking the ones that are used a lot in lessons so i can find them easier. i´m still working on memorizing references, i can think of what´s in the scripture but never what the reference is. if my whole mission goes by as fast as it has already, i´ll cry. i blink and a week has gone by! on friday night i got my dearelders from the family and after i read them i gave them to elder baez, morales, and almeyda to read out loud to practice english and it was so funny! elder baez is casi perfecto but the others struggle a lot haha. i've learned a few spanish chistes (jokes) and i´ll tell you one. que hace el pez? nada. it means what does a fish do? and nada means nothing and swim. it´s the classic dumb joke here. dad would love it :) all the latinos are so loving and so touchy, so when i come home expect me to be like that.
i love the culture here and everyone is so accepting! which leads nicely into saturday, my first day of tracting ever! saturday mornings we load onto busses and they take us to a capilla where we plan then we tract for six hours with a lunch in the middle. there was one other norteamericano on my bus, and like 50 latinos, so yeah i was pretty scared but i knew i could do it! so like 20 of us were walking together to get to our areas to tract, and this lady working at a little street vendor thing starts screaming bloody murder at us that we´re a sect and that we´re all going to hell and we´re satan´s children, not a bad first encounter with someone on the street.. but then once we got to our area with just me, elder almeyda, elder morales, and an elder from the mission, before we split up into two companionships we knocked my very first door together. we got in and taught the first lesson to an old lady and her granddaughter, the granddaughter was pretty interested, and it was super scary when my comps would be talking then just look at me to continue, but i can honestly say that my mouth was filled when it needed to be. so after that first house, elder morales went with the other missionary and it was just me and almeyda alone in a super ghetto neighborhood called barrio rio blanco in downtown lima peru. one week in country, time to dominate. so we contacted like everyone we could. i´m so blessed to be able to understand as much as i do already. i couldn´t answer much but elder almeyda did a really good job and said what i was thinking, and we gave away as a companionship 6 books of mormon and a bunch of pamphlets. we taught an 11 year old less active member a lesson about keeping the sabbath day holy and i committed her to going to church the next day, and i actually said a lot during that lesson. she was really shy and whenever i made eye contact with her she like sunk into her chair. we ran into a really drunk guy with a huge cut on his thumb that was bleeding really bad but the spirit told me to talk to him! so i did and he spoke english and would like only talk to me in english and not my companions, which was so awesome because i had just prayed to be able to contribute more and feel like i was helping out! that was such a strong, quick answer to my prayer! but i basically bore testimony about prayer and told him his father in heaven loves him even though he´s made a lot of mistakes, which he said repeatedly, and he shook my hand and got blood all over my finger which was gross, but i gave him a restoration pamphlet with the church info on it! ok i'm almost out of time but i haven´t told the best story yet! we got set up with two awesome referrals from a member and she made us food that i was so full and couldn´t even eat, but we taught an 11 year old boy named norge and an older pregnant lady about the restoration. long story short i taught a good amount and said the first vision in spanish to them! i have never felt the spirit that strong on my mission and it was so unreal because i wasn´t scared at all, completely calm, but my heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest. it was like pure truth and i really feel like norge wants to learn more! i love actually doing the work. today we went to tottus, a store after the temple and got a lot of good normal food!
Saturday tracting was awesome! i learned so much on that one day and i get to go three more times still! i love it and it tests me and stretches me in every way, and that's why i learn so much. sunday we watched a talk by elder holland about missions that he gave at the provo mtc last august that was unreal, elder holland and bednar have given some awesome missionary talks that i could watch a hundred times and they make me want to be better and i get ideas of what i can do better every time i watch one of them! on monday like 12 of us went to interpol and we took taxis through town. la molina, our hood, is the nicest part of lima, and we drove through the nicest part of la molina. there were tons of bmws and mercedes, etc. i saw a hard top z4 on my first day here too! the contrast between here and where we tracted is staggering. there is trash piled on the streets there and dogs everywhere, but theyre nice, and poo everywhere on the streets. here is like the disneyland of peru. but at interpol we basically filled out a few forms and got pictures taken and they did a bunch of fingerprinting, and on the way back we saw the us embassy which has got to be the biggest, nicest, building in peru. it was awesome to see a huge american flag flying over this gigantic nice building! in our taxi american music was playing, the song that goes.. i saw the sign, i opened up my eyes and saw the sign... that one. and elder taylor and i were singing along in falsettos and the driver turned it up, it was so funny! oooh last night we had an attempt at pizza and spaghetti for dinner, and i have honestly not been that happy since i've been here. no rice for a whole meal! in class we've been working a lot on winning people's confidence and getting into houses. the term "doorstep scene" has taken on an entirely new meaning for me now :) haha. oh did you hear there's a new mission in peru? they just announced it like two weeks ago, it takes away part of trujillo and piura, i think it's going to be called the chiclayo mission, and it will definitely affect my mission, i could maybe, very tentative maybe, end up serving there. who knows! the sunsets are beautiful here every night and the weather is always a balmy 70-80 degrees. whenever anyone hears i'm going to piura they immediately say ahhh mucho calor. aka ohhhh super hot! bring it on. i'm already sweating half the time here. and there's actually really good ac here. oh i forgot to tell about driving through lima. imagine brick two storie houses with rebar sticking out of the top so they can build higher, all of them with laundry hanging on the top level which doesn´t have a roof, and absolutely millions of those houses. as far as you can see. there are billions of busses in lima that are more the size of astro vans which are only 50 centimos to ride, the equivilant of under 25 cents. things are really cheap here except for american things. the presidential election is going on which is crazy here and there signs and its printed on the mountains in white writing. over and out