Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 27, 2014

Dear family,

Mom, just so you know, in spanish mama means breast, and mamà means mom. My companion wanted to make sure you knew that.

This week has gone pretty well. I kinda realized that I'm in the ghetto of the ghetto. There are ward members who literally don't have roofs on their houses and their houses are fully of broken bricks and wood. Like they're not even houses, they're just 3 walls with a mattress in the middle. There are members of the bishopric living in these places.

We're not allowed to eat anything that isn't in a package unless it's made by our pensionist. The pensionist has to sign a contract that says that she'll make everything a certain way. We are only supposed to spend like 13 soles every day on food. That's like 4 dollars, and 8 of it goes to lunch.

There are no pictures this week because I don't have my camera because we were really busy and didn't have time to go back to the house.

Today we went to the mission office to pick up my companions temple recommend because we're going to the temple tomorrow with some recent converts so they can do baptisms for the first time, so that's neat. I'm going to buy a ton of stuff at the store by the temple, like ties and scripture cases. The mission office is very far away. We had to take a moto to the train station, and then take a train, and then take a taxi to get there and it took about an hour. Motos are basically 3 wheeled motorcycles with like a compartment thing on it so we can sit. They're a lot cheaper than taxis.

Then we got back and ate lunch because we didn't eat breakfast because we were too busy, and then we got on another bus to go to the municipalidad so that my companion could take out money for the temple tomorrow. 

The post office is open now btw, so that's good. Letters cost about $4 to send and I kinda doubt they'll get there so I prolly won't send very many.

I stick out here REALLY BAD. People are always yelling "hello" to me and it's kinda weird. If they're not yelling, then they're screaming, which is scary when someone just starts screaming at you and they don't stop until you like... run away. They yell "GRIIIIINNGGOOOOO" and then I turn and point at them and yell "PERRRUUUAANNOOOO" not really I don't. But I REALLY want to. Really bad.

We teach a lot every day, it's pretty great. I feel like my spanish is getting really good, if someone is talking to me I can usually understand what they're saying. There are some people that I just can't understand at all because they have fat tongues or something or they just talk really fast.

Anyways I have to go because we have an appointment soon.

Love you guys,
Elder Mitchell

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 20, 2014

Okay okay okay.

So I learned this a while ago but I forgot until now, but the government post office is on strike and has been for about a month or so, so as far as I know no letters or packages can go through that. I also can't send anything because of this and I don't know any other way. Maybe if you send packages through a private courier it will work but that's all I know.

I called someone last night which is when I remembered, so sorry that I didn't tell you earlier.

This week has been pretty good, we haven't really been teaching very much just because nobody is home or we can't find someone to go with us and we can't go into most homes without a member because there aren't men in the house. We're hoping we can find more members to help us. Send all packages and stuff to the mission office, they distribute everything every week to us during our zone meetings. I am like an hour away from the mission office and no, I have never been there. I think I have to go there soon for immigration stuff but idk. I'm really confused a lot of the time because I don't understand all of spanish yet. I feel like I understand the majority, but sometimes I just hear words and stuff and I have no idea what they just said. If I'm listening to a talk or something I understand really well because they're enunciating everything and its easy. If we're talking to a drunk guy with a mental disability and no teeth in the street then I don't understand any of it. That happens more often than you would think.

I tried to cook something for the first time, and it was a miserable failure even though it was just grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. They were pretty much the worst lolol. It's hard because we don't have grocery stores, so we have to buy things at the little stores on the side of the road that have nothing but candy and junk. The nearest supermarket is called tottus and it's very far away and riding the bus with a bunch of stuff sucks. I bought a pillow and a bunch of stuff a while ago and it wasn't that fun dragging it through a bunch of traveling.

We're playing sports and eating ice cream with the zone and we have lunch with the pensionist and we need to travel to the inner city to go to the municipalidad to change money or something. Sorry idk what that is in english. The spanish is coming really well, it depends on what we're doing. I feel like my spanish outside of the gospel is really good because I practice it a lot, but some days my spanish is just bad. Im still getting along wel with the companion, so that's good. I'm working on figuring out the address system even though there isn't really one.

Church was good, we taught a group of school kids that came for a homework assignment, they didn't really care about what we were teaching. I went on a suprise trip with one of the APs to Lurin a few nights ago. We teach every day from like 5 to 9 pm.

Every day is an adventure here! I'll have a lot of stories for you guys when I get back because I can't tell you right now or else mom will get stressed out!

Miss you guys, I'll see you on Christmas
Elder Mitchell

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

So things have been going pretty well since Wednesday. I'm trying to remember all of the questions I need to answer. I wouldn't worry about sending me stuff in the mail if it's a problem at all. I can buy everything I need here and today we're going to go to the peruvian equivelant of walmart and im going to buy a sweatshirt and some shorts and another tshirt because I want more clothes. The dogs here are literally everywhere, like 8 on every street i think ive said before. There are never more than 1 kind of dog on the same street, there's huge variation everywhere. I only see one or 2 of the dogs without hair which they call perros peruanos, so like peruvian dogs. And usually they're owned by people because people want to own the freaky evil dogs without hair, don't ask my why. People are usually carrying them around when i see them... like in their arms... touching their skin... eww.

For breakfast I eat yogurt every day. Our budget is about 3 soles for breakfast and dinner each, and like 8 for lunch. I usually buy a bunch of yogurt and maybe mix it with cereal for breakfast. For dinner we buy 7 rolls for a sol and some ham for like another sol and a half. Then we just take it back and eat it. I bought a bunch of mayonaisse in this packet thing and I've been eating that with the ham and i some cheese and it's pretty delicious. Lunch we have a pension with a family in the ward, we pay like 7 soles a day and they make us food. It's always rice and potatoes and chicken, but sometimes they do weird stuff with it. 

I think i have a picture of one of the recent things we ate. It was in tupperware because we couldn't eat at the house because there wasn't a guy at the house so we couldn't go in. It's always really good. Actually i have a story, so when we ate out of the tupperware she gave us some bottles of juice that was hot, and i was like "um ok whatever peru hot juice" and then i drank some but it was really sugary, it kinda tastes like drinking a lollipop, so i put it in the fridge so it would cool down so maybe it would be better later. I left it there all day and took it out at night to drink it, but the juice was really thick and I couldn't drink it because IT WAS JELLO. I WAS DRINKING JELLO MIX BEFORE IT TURNED TO JELLO. I was this person is feeding me jello water what the crap, why was it even hot. So yeah.

I watched all of general conference for the second time yesterday, so that was great. I watched it in spanish this time so i could at least be practicing. It's weird being in a country where nobody knows english.

There is a huge problem with mold here. I spent an hour today cleaning the walls because there is so much mold. I have a picture of me holding some clorox with my facemask on because I didn't want to get sick because there's so much. It's really bad. Nothing ever dries and we have to make sure it all airs out.

If you want to give me something for my birthday then just put $20 in my bank account so i won't feel bad if I spend it. We're not allowed to eat at resteraunts or anything that isn't in a package so that totally sucks. I guess I don't want to be sick but still. We can't eat anything from any members other than the pensionist and we can't drink any water or anything unless it's pure.

I can't think of anything else for now. My zone is pretty chill, there are other guys who know english so that's fun even though people get mad if we speak english, but they can close their stupid peru ears and think to themselves in spanish because im going to speak english.

Also for conference everyone only goes to the first session on sunday. There were MAYBE 4 members there at any of the sessions on saturday, then legit 250 people there on sunday morning. It was so crowded they had tvs in every room in the church. There was one in english for the missionaries that don't want to watch it in spanish.

Everything is going pretty good, im figuring everything out. My spanish is pretty good, I don't know at what point im fluent but I can say most of what I want most of the time to members and I understand the majority of things if they're not talking really fast. A lot of weird stuff happens every day which is fun, like the other day there was a psycho catholic parade in front of our house with candles and a band and a black Jesus in a big box thing idk.

Everything is good here,
Love you, team,
Elder Mitchell

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October 8, 2014

Hello family,

So thanks for all the emails! rofl

So much has happened and I don't have any idea how to start anything anywhere but I guess I'll try.

Monday I woke up at 4:30 am to take Elder W-- to the reception desk so he could leave to bolivia. We said goodbye to our teachers and to each other and got on a bus to the airport at 11 am. The flight was at 3. Everything went fine, we had someone with us to show us what to do. There were about 20 of us going to Lima South. The flight was 6 hours. I taught the guy in front of me about the Book of Mormon and gave him a copy. He was drunk but he was asking questions so I figured it was good practice. Also note that all of this and everything until now has been entirely in spanish. Anyways, I also talked to the guy next to me who was an asthetic surgeon and he was traveling to Bolivia for a conference. I told him about how I'm a missionary and he asked for how many days I would be in Peru I said two years and he was very suprised lol. Then I told him that I'm 18 and he told me Im too young lolol.

I also talked to a guy before the flight for a good 10 minutes because he had questions about the church and stuff and the conversation with another missionary wasn't going so well because his spanish was not sufficient.

We got to Peru at 9 and didn't get out of the airport til at least 10 30 because one kid left his bag on the plane AND he had a crapload of magic herbal medication that his parents gave him and he had a hard time getting through customs with a bag full of drugs. The mission presidents wife took all of it anyways because we're not allowed to have ANYTHING except Ibuprofin and pepto bismol. She'll give us back everything we had to give her, which was all my mucinex and stuff. I don't really care, it's so we don't get even sicker than we have to.

Anyways, after we got out of the airport we met up with the assistants to the president and another adult leader person who put us all on a bus and drove us to a hotel to stay the night. We got to sleep around midnight and we woke up at 5 am the next day, so that was great. Then in the morning we all got on another bus which took us to a chapel in Lima where the mission president talked to us for a really long time and interviewed each of us. Hopefully you got the email with the pictures of us from him. He talked to us for like 8 hours until 4 pm. Then a bunch of latinos and trainers came in and they matched us up with our companion and told us where we were going. Im in an area called Pachacamac or something. I'll ask my companion when I'm almost done what it's called because he's sleeping against the wall right now lolol.

Anyways, we went outside and caught a taxi and he drove us for an hour to our house. We got out and went inside. My companion is like way chill, def my fav person here. He doesn't really know any English but that's ok because I know Spanish. His name is Elder Riveros, he's Chilean. We taught 3 appointments last night, 2 of which were inactives because 80% of the people here are inactive.

I know you want to hear this a lot, but this is one of the more dangerous missions. I was told that Lima South is a dangerous mission but this one is especially far out there lololol. We aren't allowed to carry more than 20 soles at a time because we might get robbed. I can't take my camera out anywhere because it will get stolen so all of the pictures I have are of the inside of the house. We take buses all the time. They're way sketchy, they accelerate a ton and then slow down and they're totally packed all the time but we need to take one in between most appointments. We're in a videogame cafe thing right now and the owner is a member so we're here for free so that's good.

There are dogs EVERYWHERE. No joke, there's like 8 dogs living on every block. There is so much poop everywhere it's insane and they tear through the trash. This place is so filthy and dry, there are not plants. All of the plants are like cactus or whatever and they are covered in dirt.The plants literally have to live with no sun or water, so there just aren't any. The houses are all falling apart. They all used to have third floors but now they're all two story houses with a ton of broken wood and bricks on the roof.

Everyone is very, very poor. Last night we taught a guy who only owned 2 chairs, and we had a member with us so two of us were on chairs and the other two sat on random box things or whatever. It was so dark we couldn't read the Book of Mormon hardly because of his one light.

For dinner we had rolls and ham and for breakfast we had yogurt and cereal. We have a pension for lunch that we pay every 2 weeks. I have another p day on Monday so you'll get another email if you guys have questions. The spanish is getting very good considering i have to speak it literally all the time and listen and understand so that's happening. I got the camera cord on Thursday so that's good. Also this keyboard totally sucks so sorry for spelling and typing errors.

I am pretty thoroughly convinced that this is the best mission in the world, so sorry to everyone everywhere else. I'll try to think of more stuff to put in the next email. None of the people here get married, so that makes it all hard. And nobody cares about keeping the sabbath day holy so I don't understand how we get any baptisms, but whatever.

I love you guys,

Elder Mitchell


Thursday, October 2, 2014

October 1, 2014

So I don't even know what to talk about because this place is the same every day. Actually I have some things but it gets really dull after a while.

Also, my flight is on MONDAY!!! I was told the 8th when I got here but apparently something changed. My flight leaves at 3 pm on Monday afternoon and the flight is 6 hours exactly to Lima. I have to get on the bus to drive to the Mexico City airport at like 10 in the morning so I get to travel all day. I have no idea what will happen after that so whatever yolo.

General conference is coming up and I'm excited.

Elder W got sick on Monday. His stomach was hurting him before he went to bed and apparently he had food poisoning or something because he threw up a ton and then was better so whatever.

I forgot to mention that I sang in the choir on like Thursday last week because some 70 were coming to talk to us. I had practice last Wednesday and it went fine I don't know.

Also monday last week was like Mexico day or something and there was a huge celebration and all of mexico shot of fireworks and played music and shot people or something because there were gunshots and explosions until like 6 am. There are a lot of noises here at night. There's a lot of dogs and stuff just barking and there are just explosions all the time. Apparently they think it's a good idea to shoot of fireworks all the time to celebrate saints or something. But really it's just annoying getting scared by explosions all the time. They're very loud and it happens all. the. freakin. time.

I haven't gotten the package yet, which sucks but maybe it will come before Friday. But I kinda doubt it. Oh well.

Friday I have meetings literally all day. Pray for me while im in meetings for 14 hours that day because it's gonna suck. I get a sticker on my nametag though that means im leaving so maybe it's worth it.

I get along with my companions really well. Elder W insists that the only movie that's good in this world is the sound of music so sometimes it's hard talking to him. Elder K hurt his ankle today playing soccer so that sucks to suck. I got my haircut again this morning because we're supposed to get it cut right before we leave because it's free and I'm a perfectly obedient missionary. Also I dropped off my suit and some ties at the dry cleaners.

Spanish is coming very well, I try to talk to Latinos a lot. Especially the ones from Peru. They're a lot nicer than Americans so that's chill.

Really there's not much else to say. I study Spanish literally all the time. 

My testimony grows every day and some days are amazing. I have to shave every day or else the teacher calls me out because I grow it fast or something.

I love you guys

Love, Elder Mitchell