Peru Chiclayo Mission - March 2013-2015

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cold Showers and Chicken Feet Soup!

Family and Friends (: What a week it has been. I don't have too much time so I will hurry up and type as fast as I can!
Well, Tuesday was my trip to Jaen and it was legit but a little sketchy at some parts. Sister Riso gave me a pill so I was okay! But it was like 6 hours through windy mountains! But it was so pretty.

Wednesday in the morning, I took my first fully submerged cold shower because we don't have warm water and it totally sucked! haha but everyday I am getting used to it! We leave with the zone leaders in an apartment. The living room is pretty big but it has to be because there are always missionaries that are staying with us when they have to travel! But one missionary is from Petén Guatemala and the other is from Argentina and they are awesome!

My companion, Elder White is super nice and he is probably the best companion I have ever had! He is just so  kind to others and is so helpful to me. We only talk Spanish about 90 percent of the time! Let me tell you, it is so hard and I miss English so much. These first couple of days have been a little overwhelming for me because of Spanish because everyone only speaks it! haha well of course, but it is so hard for me to understand sometimes. But I will just keep pushing forward. Even though this is crazy hard, I know that it is necessary that I do it. We walk probably 10 miles per day and by the end of the day I am exhausted! There are only motorcyclists here with moto taxis so it is like a race everywhere and it is go go go!! My stomach is pretty much the same! Our lady that cooks for us doesn't really cook that well and so it is hard to adjust but oh well. At least I am being fed!
Every Tuesday and Thursday we travel to a little town named Bellavista and it is crazy! We take a little taxi car and it was filled with about 10 people and it is about 25 minutes away! The scenery is legit though because there are mountains with rice fields and dirt roads everywhere! But trust me, the city shouldn't be named Bellavista because it is not that pretty haha. Well I guess it kind of is, just a little dirty, well a lot dirty! Last Thursday, one dude gave us half of a cake each to Elder White and I and we had to eat it because it was  during a lesson! I felt so sick but I hung in there!

Yesterday a member gave us chicken feet soup! Being that I already hate soup I almost threw up! I put about half of the chicken feet in the Guatemalan Elder's soup bowl because he liked it. 

The branch is pretty well. They didn't really welcome me ha but I am over it. It has been hard having to start over again like meeting new people but it will get better because the word on the street is that I will be here for at least 4 to 6 months! Yesterday out of nowhere it began to down pour and Elder White and I were pretty much walking in the mud and we were soaking wet! Haha it was pretty legit! But all is going well here! I just feel a little overwhelmed about Spanish because every elder speaks it almost perfect besides me and I am mainly just quiet. But I have noticed that Heavenly Father has been blessing me during  lessons because my teaching has increased. We will be having a baptism this week on Saturday and one for sure next week and maybe even two! We are seriously working our butts off.  I feel like there is no time to breathe! But that is the way it should be (:
Waiting outside the home of the lady that does our laundry
That is so amazing about all the blessings that you have all received this past week! Man oh man I miss you all but the mission is so  amazing and I learn  so much. It takes SO much faith and effort but it is worth it because of all the blessings I get to see. You are all amazing and I love you all so much. I sent a letter today out to you all. So who knows when you will get it, but I hope soon. 
I love you. He loves you.
All is bien, here in Jaen!
Elder Smith

Monday, August 19, 2013

Peru is freaking beautiful and is everything I ever wanted in my mission!

Hello Everyone!
Well, what a humbling week! I don't have too much time because there are a lot of Elders here in the office that are going home tomorrow so we all need a turn! Nothing really happened other than what I told you, I know you don't like that answer haha but it is true. Elder Winward and I mainly have just been chilling and studying together in the office. Also, I was able to call the families whose missionaries are coming home tomorrow and that was fun because all of the families were so excited! Peru is such a humbling experience because there are concrete floors with dirt piles inside the houses. Everyday a huge dump truck comes and rings a bell, then all of the people run out with tons of trash to throw it in! Also, no accidents still but I feel like I am going to die every time we get into a taxi!

Well I will start answering your questions!
The flight was pretty good. On the way to Atlanta I just tried to sleep so it was kind of boring. On the flight to Peru, it was pretty cool. I sat next to a guy from Lima and he was helping me with Spanish and everything. I started reading the book of Mormon and he started asking me about it, and then I asked him if he wanted to have it but he just said no thanks because he already has a religion and he is happy. But it was still cool to talk in Spanish for a long time.
So awesome to fly down with my MTC comp, Elder Winward.
 He went to California while awaiting his visa.
Arrived in Lima, just a little tired!
All of the Chiclayo bound missionaries at the Lima Temple

My first impressions of Peru. I freaking love it! The buildings are so cool and it is exactly imagined! Crazy drivers, with lots of honking, beautiful scenery, dirt roads, concrete floors, no carpet haha, no hot water to shower, the toilets are disgusting, but hey, you gotta love it (: Peru is freaking beautiful and is everything I ever wanted in my mission! There are elders here in the office, one from Guatemala and the other from Mexico and they both are saying that they really want to be my companion! Haha it is fun to be able to make friends with elders from different countries! So far I have had pretty much poop water when I go to the bathroom and always my stomach is turning and feeling weird but they say it is normal! I have been able to speak  Spanish well and it is sooo fun (: I love everything about Peru and I am so happy to finally be here!
Holy Inca Kola!
It's way legit being here with Winward, we are just chilling, we sometimes go on splits and we teach like 2 lessons a day. One of the Elders told me where I am going. I will be going to Jaen (hi en). It is kind of like Peru, surrounded by Jungle. He said there are a lot of snakes and I will be living with the ZL´s. My companion is a gringo. His name is Elder White. I saw a picture and he seems pretty cool and so I am excited. They told us, that I will most likely stay there for about 6 months since it is so far away. They said the Pdays are way legit because they hike to awesome waterfalls in the jungle and so I am really excited. Tomorrow I will be going on a 7 hour bus ride to get there! Elder Winward is going to Cajamarca.

President interviewed us, in Spanish. His Spanish sounds different but really easy to understand. He is sooo caring and loving and I just love the guy. He made me feel so comfortable that I should tell him everything that goes on. There is very little English, but I am doing okay. It is still pretty stressful but I am able to understand a little and speak what I need to say.

My fever is gone but my stomach is so messed up. It just always grumbles and moves and feels weird. But they say it is normal for the first couple of weeks. 

Man I am soooo happy to hear all of those amazing blessings that you all received! I am so excited for each and every one of you! That is awesome what happened with Jordan! I hope the same for Emily! Mom, I wish you only the best with your work! you are the best.

I also received a blessing. Ernesto Ruelas sent me an email with pictures of his daughter getting baptized! I am really sad that I couldn't be there but how amazing it is that there family has completely changed their life. He also told me that he will be doing online classes over BYU Idaho to be able to receive a better job! 

Well sorry that this is a little short because I have like no time, but I hope the pictures make it up! I love you all and please pray for me that I will be able to feel calm as I arrive in my first area in Peru tomorrow.

I love you. He loves you. 
Elder Smith

Friday, August 16, 2013

Peru is sooo beautiful and sooo different!

Hey everyone,
One of the elders in the office told me that I should inform you that I am in Chiclayo Peru!!! Right now, Elder Winward and I are in the office, helping with errands for the Elders in the office and going on splits with elders who need someone. We will be going to our areas on Tuesday! We don't know exactly where yet, but they will tell us tomorrow. However we do know it is either Jaen or Cajamarca. Jaen is all jungle, and Cajamarca is all mountains! They told us that they think I am going to Cajamarca and Elder Winward to Jaen, but they are not exactly sure! But, the sweet thing is, is that they are both the most wanted places to go because they are so scenic! It is like the Coban in Guatemala of this mission so I am way excited! Both are about a 6 hour bus ride from the mission office so I will be going on Tuesday!
Yesterday I went on splits with this one elder to the poorest place I have ever seen! There was only dirt roads, tin shacks, homeless dogs everywhere, a huge field of trash, and only concrete or dirt floors! Oh and this was gross, while we were teaching a less active, she started breast feeding her 4 year old daughter right in front of us! Gross!!! I only took a few pictures because the Elder that I was with told me it was way too dangerous to take any pictures because they would rob us. But it was so humbling.  Oh hahaha my bad, it kind of sounded like I took pictures of the breast feeding lady but no!!! hahaha I meant of the city

Also, right now I feel a little sick already! We ate weird burgers yesterday, also a purple corn drink and a purple corn dessert and the texture was like boogers! I am not too sick, just a little fever and I feel weak. The good news is, is that I am in the office till Tuesday so I can rest until then.

Reunited with my MTC comps Elders Winward and Quiroz
We are pretty much in the central of Chiclayo and man oh man! The drivers are insane! They cut us off like every 2 seconds and we ride in little taxis or little motorcycles that have like carriers, and it seems like there are no street rules! But so far no accidents! It is so awesome here though! It is soooo beautiful and soooo different it is crazy but I am loving every second of it. Oh and this morning we had a meeting with 4 zones and I saw Elder Quiroz!! It was legit!

Well they gave me some chores to do so I better get going! It is so crazy that Everyone speaks Spanish, I have already learned so many new Spanish words but it is still really hard. But all is well loved ones! I love you all and I will email you on Monday! Also, we can only email for an hour here so it kind of stinks.
I love you all and all is well (:
Elder Smith

Monday, August 12, 2013

What a great last week in Arizona!

I'm really leaving for Peru!!!
What a great week!

I am just going to write a little bit of what happened this past week so that I can answer a few questions and clear things up for tomorrow!

Last P-Day, the Ruelas family threw me a huge barbecue with carne asada, hamburgers, and hot dogs! It was so awesome! Last night, we went over so that I could say goodbye to them. They told me that they were so happy that I was able to teach them and that I could be their missionary! They are so special and I got all of their address information so that I could write them! Their little girl will be baptized this saturday! I am so sad I won't be able to be there because they wanted me to do it. But I am so happy for them and I love them so much.

Also, Joanna Mata and her daughter will be baptized on the 24th of August if everything goes according to plan! Everything went so well this past week with them. We were able to attend the Visitor Center with them and they loved it! Her daughter is 9 years old. After we asked them how they felt, and they told us they are really excited to get baptized (:

Also with Miguel, at first he didn't even believe in God all that much. But we helped him start to pray, and we asked him that once he gets his answer, will he be baptized? And he said yes! Ah! So many blessings and miracles we had this past week (:

Friday we had interviews with the President. He is so awesome and helped me feel so peaceful about Peru, even though I am a little nervous! He gave me some awesome advice and told me that he can see me doing miracles in Peru!

It was such an awesome last week!

Yesterday, The Assistants called me and told me what is going on tonight. They are going to pick me up tonight at 9:00 pm and I will sleep at their apartment tonight. Then in the morning at 5:00am they will be driving me to the airport so I will get there around 6:00am Arizona time so is that 7:00 Utah time? Please write back asap and let me know. My flight is at 7:15am and that is all I know! I have no idea where I will be connecting but I will know tonight! So I guess just be expecting a call around 7:00 Utah time!

Guess what! Elder Winward got his visa as well! I am guessing I will be seeing him tomorrow at our connections! I am so excited to see him again! Elder Quiroz wrote me and said that he saw a bar fight and the people had machetes! I am not trying to scare you! But crazy right? haha anyway I will be calling you all tomorrow (: Oh p.s. I totally packed like a boss today!

Being able to serve here in Arizona has been such a blessing. It has definitely been hard but it has prepared me for what is about to happen. I am so very nervous though. I just do not know what to expect. I do know though that the Lord will be with me by my side. I will also be asking the AP's for a blessing tonight!

That is nuts that you will be ending your cooking job! But I am so excited that you will be doing jobs that you really like! When you told me about your decisions, I felt that it was so right so congratulations mommy (: I am so excited for you guys to go to Tuachan again and see some plays! I am kind of jealous but just get an extra frozen lemonade for me okay? Also good luck on Jordan and Emily finding a house to live! Haha that is so gross that the apartments you checked out were even worse than Raintree!

Well I love you and I will talk to you tomorrow!!!
I love you all.
Elder Smith