In the last letter I sent Jamie I asked some questions. Here are the questions I asked and then she answers them in her letter.
1. How much time does your mission president allow on p-day to use the computer?
2. So what is the money called that they use in Peru and what is the value campared to the US dollar?
3. Do you and Hna Lopez live near stores? Have you done any shopping on p-days? If so what sort of things did you get?
4. How do you get your monthly money?
5. Do you cook any of your own meals?
6. How are your shoes holding up?
7. Do you feel your Spanish is improving daily?
8. In the picture of you and Hna Lopez you have some sort of bags over your shoulders. Do you use those instead of a backpack?
9. How did you enjoy Emily's letter?
10. How are you doing teaching piano?
Hello Familia :)
¿Como estan? Life here in Peru is great, hot, tiring, wonderful, exhausting...basically the life of a missionary. First, I'll start by answering your questions.
1-I get an hour on P-day to email, which is nice.
2-Here we use "soles." I'm not exactly sure of the exact value, but I think it's about 2.75 soles to the dollar.
3-The way a "store" here is is different from what I'm used to at home. Basically people just have items for sale in the front of their house. I think I'll be able to get the things that I need. There also is a big market in Chiclayo, (which is actually where I'm at right now. Monsefu doesn't have electricity right now, and I'm not quite sure why). It's like Pony Express Days times 100. We did a little shopping at the market today, (I got a really cute hat! I'll send a picture probably next week, because I just bought it, and I don't want to expose to the world here that I have a nice camera...) For the most part though I just make do with what I have.
4-Well, from what I understand, at the beginning of the month, I'll go with my zone to withdraw money from the bank. SInce I arrived at the beginning of the month though, I think they just gave me my monthly allowance. It's almost February though, so I'm sure I'll be taking out more money soon.
5-I have not done any cooking since we got here. We have someone, a member, who provides all of our meals for us. (She gets paid for it.) She's our pensionista. (I think...) So I've eaten a lot of chicken and rice. A lot. I really am loving the candy and chocolate I brought with me, although I think I saw something that looks like Smarties that I think I want to try. If so, I will be in heaven :) I've also eaten more jello here than I ever did in Utah. Kinda funny.
6-My shoes are holding up fairly well. In the MTC, I hardly ever wore my tracting shoes, but here, they are all that I've worn. I think they can make the rest of the 16 month journey :)
7-Well, I feel like my Spanish is improving. Some days are better than others. At this point, I feel like I can say what I need to say for the most part. Now I'm working on really trying to understand what people say to me.
8-The bags were actually ones that we just used for that p-day. I use my backpack for the rest of the time, which is good, becuse I need the space.
9-I loved Emily's letter. Her letters always make me smile because she includes silly quotes.
Well, as far as my teaching piano and english go, we had our first class on Saturday. We'll do them once a week on saturday nights. (piano first, then english). I felt like I did okay. It was a little hard to teach piano-right now we're just working on learning music, the notes, and staff. There were about 15 people who came to learn piano. The names of the notes in Spanish are Do for C, Re for D, Mi for E, and so on. I also need to figure out what the names of the rhythms are. I think a quarter note is called a negro, and a half note is a blanco. I need to try and figure that out more. I'm sure we can get the simplified course down here. I'll talk to Hna Lopez and see what she thinks, if we can order it online or something.
I got Cameron's emails and I was so so so happy to read them! I sent you a letter (a real live letter) with a letter for Cameron for you to forward onto him wherever he is. I'm not quite sure how long mail takes here. I guess we'll find out though! I'm glad people are enjoying my letters too :)
Apparently there is a tradition here in Peru that from Jan 20 to Feb 20, you can throw water on any person and any time, and it is totally acceptable. Weird. I've gotten wet a couple of times. It's great...ish. Anywho, I feel like this week has gone by pretty fast. We've taught a lot. Right now, our most-progressing investigator is a young man named Daniel. He's 21. He has friends that are members, and we met him through them. He's been to church for the past two weeks, and as we've taught him, he likes what he hears. We're hoping that he'll be baptized this Saturday. He still needs to gain a testimony of prophets-that Joseph Smith was a prophet and restored this church, and that Pres Monson is our prophet today. But we're working with him. He says that he believes that the Book of Mormon is true, and that he trusts us. He says he wants to be baptized, which is so cool!
Our investigators are...sort of progressing. It's frustrating, because here, everybody is willing to let us talk about God and Jesus Christ and the word of God. But not very many people want to take action. Our biggest problem right now is getting people to attend church. We had 23 new investigators this past week, and between them and our other investigators, only 1 (Daniel) attended Sacrament Meeting. A lot of people say they have to work (this kind of work is selling stuff along side the road and in markets). We're trying to help people have the faith that they need to realize that if they keep the commandments and attend church, God is going to bless them. It's a process.
We did have a cool experience last Tuesday though. Tuesday was a funny day. We had district and zone meetings in the morning, where we talked about using the BOM more in our lessons. So as we left, I was so pumped to share the Book of Mormon with people. We started going our appts in the afternoon, around 2:30. Appt after appt that we had scheduled fell through. No one that we had scheduled in our planners was home, or they were busy. It was such a downer. We started tracting, knocking doors, but nobody wanted to talk to us. They were either too busy, or Catholic, or both. Then we knocked on another door, and an older man in his sixties let us in. He called in his daughter and her family, and they listened as we started to teach about the restoration. As we began to teach more, using scriptures, we explained how we needed a restoration of truth, and how we need a prophet on the earth today. They began to feel the Spirit stronger. They felt the truth. It was so cool to find a family. They said they want to be baptized, but we haven't been able to meet with them since, because of...well, I'm not exactly sure why, but we're going to try and find them. It was a cool reminder to me that as I do the work, I might get door after door slammed in my face, but that just means I'm one door closer to finding the person that will need the truth, and let me in.
Well, I'm going to wrap this letter up. This gospel is true. I testify of that. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support for me.
I love you!