Okay, everybody, let me just say. Perú is the COOLEST place ever. I LOVE it here! This letter I'm pretty much just going to be talking about how awesome it is, so be prepared.
So I flew out early on Tuesday morning and spent the day in planes and airports. We got on the plane to Lima and I sat next to a Peruvian lady! I greeted her and she screamed and got so excited that I spoke Spanish so we had a really awesome conversation for like an hour! It was so fun and she spoke so clearly and beautifully. She is an evangelic missionary, so she wasn´t interested in our church but she was so humble and so nice and it made me fall in love with all of Perú already. So we landed a little before 11pm that night and then had to go through customs and everything which was long but ran smoothly. It’s funny because you just push a button and it randomly chooses if they have to search your suitcases or not. It was scary but I got a green light and all was well! There were 39 missionaries on the plane but only an Elder and I were in the Lima West mission. President Archibald, his wife, their children, and the two Assistants to the President were there to pick us up. I went with the Archibalds and the Elder went with the assistants. We drove back to the mission home and I stayed the night there. It was about 2am by the time we got to sleep! I got up the next morning and ate breakfast with them and then we went to the beach! We had a little mini-orientation for the four of us (2 from Guatemala MTC) that weren’t there the day before. Then we all went to the mission office and met with the other 14 new missionaries straight from the Peru MTC and met our trainers and did orientation for the day.
My Trainer is awesome! Her name is Hermana Agle. She is from Boston. She just entered the MTC 6 weeks before me, so both of us are very new. We´re pretty much the same person which is hilarious. She went to BYU, we’re the same age, studying the same things, and a ton of other things. We just have really similar personalities and get along really well. And we are both stoked to literally “Save Lima.” Haha. So we are serving in the El Olivar zone and ward here in our mission. It is the most central part of our mission, and our area borders the Lima Central mission. Our areas are Previ and Condevilla which are in Callao. Our area is pretty small so we just walk around all day and always see people we know around. I love it here! The first couple of days I was just in awe of how awesome everything was and how much I love it. Seriously.
Our apartment is pretty nice. I say nice because it’s just like a normal apartment but apparently it’s like a mansion compared to the rest of town. Apparently we have the nicest apartment in the mission as well, and the best pensionista in the mission. Her name is Hermana Juanita and she is so sweet and makes the BEST food. I love her food. Next Pday we are going to start going over and having her teach us how to cook Peruvian food.
Lima is a very dirty city. There are dogs everywhere and trash everywhere. And people don’t ever clean bathrooms. It’s very different and smells very different than anything I’m used to but it’s so awesome and I love it. I only get to be here for 15 more months which is so sad! But I’m loving it while I’m here. I’m already forgetting what America is like and how fancy everything is there and am getting used to life here.
It’s pretty cold here. Well, 50s and 60s which totally isn’t bad at all. There aren’t any heaters or air conditioning or anything though so it does get cold in our apartment, but I’m used to it now and we just study in our sweats and everything. It is just cloudy every day. I haven’t seen the sun yet! Haha. But it never ever rains. Some people only have roofs on half of their houses because it never rains so they don’t need roofs. Sometimes at night there is a little “Aguita” but it’s pretty much just mist coming from the ocean.
It is so FUN to drive in Taxis here! I see why they don’t ever let missionaries drive because it is INSANE. The traffic rules are all just suggestions. Cars just do what they want but it’s sweet because people are actually really really good drivers, they just are crazy. Every other second we are almost getting in wrecks, but I’ve never actually seen a wreck the entire time I’ve been here because they’re always aware and alert. And if you try to be a nice and courteous driver, everyone gets mad at you and you usually do end up getting in wrecks. It’s like riding a roller coaster every time and is so fun.
I am so in awe of how humble everybody is here, and how strong they are in the Gospel. They are SO willing to help in every way in missionary work. We always have about twice as many member-present lessons than other lessons every week because they love coming out with us. We had ward council and asked if anyone could come out with us and like 5 people raised their hands and were all talking at once asking when they could. It was so cool. Then on Sunday we were walking to appointments and we kept seeing members walking to the houses of less actives and visiting them. They were doing that all day which is awesome. So solid.
Our mission president has really been emphasizing trying to baptize weekly. Hermana Agle and I have been so stoked on missionary work and are excited to do it. President Archibald said he would take out the companionship which the most monthly baptisms out to eat in a ritzy place in Miraflores. And we are so excited to do that. It’s so cool that He and the Lord trust us enough to be two Gringas in a foreign country that barely speak Spanish, preaching the Gospel. We have been using this to our advantage because people are always staring at us thinking, why are there two white girls walking around? We definitely stand out and so many contacts have been made because of it. This Saturday we are starting our pattern of baptizing weekly.
Missionary work is the best and Peru is the best.
The Gospel is true. Don’t ever forget it!