Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bienvenidos a Peru

Whew so I made it Peru! What a journey its been so far. And. It. Hasn't. Even. Been. A. Week!!!!!!!!! AHHH! But I'm doing well don't worry. Its just takes a lot to first adjust from being a normal civilan to a full time missionary. So I left my house at 4 AM in the morning on the 15th (in California) and did not arrive in Peru till 3 AM on the 16th. It was 14 hours of flying, with additional layovers and whatnot. Long story short-- it was a loooooooonnnnnnnngggggg first day. However I had a awsome chance to talk religion with this South African millionare guy on the way to Georgia. (I flew to Salt Lake City, then to Georgia, then to Peru). His wife and two children are members (they were in Utah looking at schools aka BYU) but he wasn't a member. We had probably a two hour talk about the difference between characterisitcs of a person and behavior, and what made a person a good person becuase they wanted to be a good person (does that make sense?) I in no way shape or form converted him or did anything super cool, but I hope that I was able to influence his life for the better.
The plane ride that took all day 
So we get to Peru around 3 in the morning and they give us keys to our room and then left us alone. My companion is Sister Huish from Washington and she is just a little bundle of joy. So we get into our room and there are already sisters in there! We didn't know what to do and so we ended waking them all up :( But turns out Sister Huish and I struck gold becuase our other roommates are some of the nicest people in the world. They are both Latinas, one is from Honduras and one from Columbia. They know very little english, but we are able to communicate somehow.
Me and my first companion at lunch with our Latina room mates
My spanish is horrible, but not as bad as I thought it was. I don't know anything other than the present tense though. So I sound pretty funny when I talk about things in the past, but we were able to teach our first lesson to a pretend investigator yesterday (on Monday). It went oooookkkaaay-ish but oh well it just means that we have to try harder. I try and talk to the Latina Hermanas as much as I can during meals. The last two nights I have tried to tell them a story using a new principle I learned during the week. They all are about Pedro the fish. They love it, or at least they are polite enough to laugh and try to understand me.

Anyways so we get to the CCM (Spanish abbreviation for MTC) at 4 and then had class at 8. That whole day was a blur of getting name badges, getting finger printed, general confusion and humitidty. Maybe its becuase we dont´t understand any of the language, but we never really know where to be and it feels like we are constantly getting in trouble for being late\ in the wrong place. Nevertheless, after that the first day of classes started. I now have a new found respect for teachers at the MTCs around the world! There is too much to write if I go into the content of my classes completely, but basically its all day every day spanish and the gospel. Its funny becuase they don´t really teach grammer that much, its just 'memorize phrases of prayer' or 'this is how you bear your testimony'. I have yet to see a conjugation tree.
The Military Compound outside the CCM- (MTC)
So today was the our districts first P-day. My district is really funny and they sure do like to talk. We have some pretty... enthusiastic people and its great. Anyway the day started out with us going to the temple! We get to go to the temple every p-day, its great! and Guess what! I was waiting to go into the temple and this woman starts asking all the missionaries where they are from. She gets to me and when I say california she goes ´Riverside? Bracamonte?´ and I´m like oh yea I know her! Turns out it was Sister Bracamonte's sister! Sister Molina I think? We hugged and she started talking to me, I   don´t really know what in the world she was saying but I smiled and laughed and hugged her some more. Sister Bracamonte, your sister sends her love and she is doing great! Shes is a marvlous women who carries herself well and smells of sweet lavender.

The Peru Temple
Ah 20 min left of email time! So turns out Sister Huish and I got another companion. There is a trio of elders in our district and now there will be a trio of girls. Her name is Sister Mahas and she is from Utah. She was sick the day of her flight so she didn´t get to the CCM till today. I´m excited to get to know her better with these next coming 5 weeks. (Oh gosh I only have 5 weeks till i have to go out into the field and speak spanish???? AHHH).

So here is a note to some future missionaries. I wish I took physical letters from my parents\ freinds to read when I was feeling down. That first night\ day is really rough and I wish that I had brought something to read in those times. Also you have excerise time every sticking day. So don´t just bring one t-shirt. Becuase you are going to be wearing it every single day, and it only takes about 15 min outside before you are sweating like, well, something that sweats alot. Also, if you are sent to the CCM in Peru, they don´t have a mission store. You have to wait till P-day to buy things, and you only have 40 min or so after the temple to take a bus to the store. So remember, t-shirts, gym shorts (I didn't bring some and I'm regretting it) and physical letters to read when your feeling down.

Exercising with my stinky shirt 
In closing, Hermana Flora, a fellow North Americana, shared this with me and I thought it was great. ¨Pain is temporary and quitting is forever¨. As missionaires, we are the lords tools for preparing his people for the second coming. We are literal representatives of Jesus Christ for the people in Peru and I want to do all I can to learn the language and be able to teach these people about Gods love for them. Cheesy I know, but I´ve drank the missionary juice and I'm all crazy for the gospel!!

I send my love and am doing well!!!

love, Hermana Bowers

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