Wow.. I dont even know where to start. we flew from lima to piura, and on the plane i totally gave a quick first lesson to the lady sitting next to me in spanish, and gave her the first lesson pamphlet but she didnt have an address to give me because her house is under construction or something lame.. at least i tried, and she said she wanted to tell her grandkids about it and seemed super excited. but the piura airport is about the size of our house! then we walked out and saw the assistants and pres and hna chimpan all there waiting for us. we went to the mission house which is unreal, like a huge southern plantation thing but behind ten foot high walls, had meetings and learned all the rules etc, had dinner, then slept at the offices. the next morning we went back to the mission home and had more meetings and met our trainers one by one, it was so intense! we all sat there and president chipman read off the names one by one and you would stand up and run and hug your companion. my companions name is...dun dun dun... Elder Orcohuaranga! good luck with that one. its pronounced or coh wa ran ga and hes from lima, he joined the church when he was 16. hes a super duper hard worker and walks even faster than i do usually. we stay up until like 11 most nights planning, so im always exhausted. so right after that we went back to the mission offices which are like 10 minutes walk away from the mission house and then elder orco and i had to hustle over to serpost where a package from megan conley was waiting for me! thanks megan (smiley face) then we went to a bus depot where we, along with like 8 other elders and sisters went to Chiclayo, my first city! it was about a three hour bus ride from piura to chiclayo and i slept most of the way but when i was awake there was nothing to look at but the occasional donkey powered cart with sugar cane on it. we got to chiclayo that night where the zone leaders, elder rigby and elder baca picked us up and took us to apartment. let me tell you about our apartment... its on the fourth floor above a cevicheria aka raw fish restaurant. our room is about ten by 15 feet, and it has two bunk beds and two desks and a dresser in it, so there are like two feet of walking room among the suitcases, etc. and the bathroom is t i n y. when im on the toilet my knees almost hit the wall in front of me, but its nice to just sit and rest your head on the wall haha. and the shower has no door so whenever you shower the floor gets soaked. and the floor in our room is red and basically dirt. anything that touches it turns red and i feel like im constantly playing that lava game where you cant touch the ground! haha i love it. and so were basically living out of our suitcases because theres nowhere to unpack to! we might move soon, well see. oh, and its in the scariest part of town. there are tons of drunk hobos outside constantly and i cant wear my plastic watch or ill get jumped. to demonstrate the glory of where we live, the mototaxi guys wont even take us there at night. we tell them the address and they just shake their head and drive away! plus our pensionista is like a 15 minute walk away, so yeah there are a few reasons to seek a new apartment. but i love it all. oh and the shower has one knob, cold! im already pretty much used to that though. my area is called campodonico in the latina stake. elder orco and i are over two wards, jose balta and campodonico. jose balta is right in the downtown of chiclayo, and thats more rich. but where we spend most of our time is in campodonico. it is dirt streets with giant holes in them. the houses are horribly layed brick with dirt floors. most people have like four plastic chairs and a table in their house and one single lightbulb. the roofs are tin with wooden boards or bamboo sticks. oh and there are tons and tons of dogs! but theyre nice.
a little bit about what ive seen here.. in the streets there are about 90% mototaxis, which we ride around in a lot! theyre like 1.50 soles to go anywhere in town, super cheap. other than that its all motorcycles and mini taxis and busses, barely anyone has cars here. men just whip out their junk and pee in the middle of the street with people all around, and women will walk down the street feeding their babies with their junk just out in the air. haha today i saw an old man with his pants like down to his knees just walking down the street, and a guy peeing right in front of our apartment. i love it here, i think ive found where i belong (smiley face) colons dont exist here apparently. theres a salon right by our house that they tried to name blue salon but its blue saloon! haha i love it and it took me a while to explain to elder orco the difference. one of our super poor investigators, tanyas little sister, zulma, also an investigator, was having a birthday and they invited us in for cake which was unreal! chocolate cake with manjar in the middle. mmmmmm. oh and our pensionista got us kfc a few nights ago which is the exact same if not better here than in the us! elder orco didnt like it though. i loved it. our pensionista is the primary president, her mother in law is the relief society president, and her husband is the first counselor in the stake presidency. talk about a loaded house. oh yeah families here are more like their extended family. they all live together almost always. everything i used to hate in the US ive eaten here on a regular basis. for instance, meatloaf, onions (which i ate alone, like picked up onions with my fork, chewed and swallowed. for real) mushrooms, which we had just mushrooms and rice one night for dinner. yeah totally ate that. and this morning for breakfast we had avocado sandwiches. haha seriously my life has been completely turned upside down. if i was in provo and i had to do everything im doing there would be no way! its really a testimony to me of how the lord blesses missionaries. also i think ive grown up like five years in five days!
random, parents if you send me a package soon, i would love some of those little blue flosser things they give you for when you floss with braces. i cant get under my permant retainer without them. and some facewash, maybe two. they dont have that here. also the conference ensign, and some of those tie things. casey knows what im talking about. where you use the button part from another shirt. just cut up one of my old shirts! i would love those things! mom, hows having an iphone? and do i have a mission plaque yet? oh and ill email pictures next week probably. sorry its taking so long!
a little bit about our investigators. both elder orco and i are new in the area. he has been a zone leader for the last six months in central piura, so we arrived in our area knowing nothing and noone. also, the elder before us was solo, serving with mini missionaries, and didnt like to do teaching records very well or leave notes, so we have been getting to know everyone these last few days. just visiting members, etc. we have run into tons and tons of partial member families, random investigators, etc. people let you into their house before you can even ask to come in. like you knock and they say come in! its unreal. we have two investigators with baptismal dates so far, and one of them, tanya, came to conference on saturday! so shes on track to get baptized on the 17th! i hope it all works out with her. we should have at least one baptism this month. the problem is that there isnt church this sunday because of elections! in peru they have to vote or pay like 100 bucks. so we dont have church. but conference was sweet! we went to the stake center and watched it. me and three other american elders in my zone watched a few of the sessions in english in a separate room which was fun. everything is going great and i love it so much here! let me know any questions you have and ill try to keep you updated on everything! p day is monday.
Love you all!
Where Jacob is right now: