Hey all! I'm in Peru! WOW!! It is so much fun. First off, I am glad I got to talk to you Mom and Syd, what a joy to light up my face! Too bad I missed the others, but that's okay. You need to thank Taylor for my last meal at the MTC. It was a wonderful J Dawg that made me come close to tears (and that ain't the jalapeños).
Well, I'll go from the start! Packing was nuts, especially with a crazy zone who all want pictures, singing 'God be with you till we meet again' in Spanish, and love us to death! It was hard to leave a few of the elders, I really grew to love them! Especially Elder Beeston from Salem, UT who knows of Kim and Jamie. Speaking of knowing the Andersons... Elder Bradley Fletcher was in our district, but moved up Spanish classes. He is in Peru with us and it turns out he is Melissa's cousin!
The way to Atlanta was pretty fun! I was stuck in between two elders in the VERY back, but that was okay. The attendants treated us so well, I've never had so many peanuts in my entire life! A few FULL drinks, probably 15 packages of peanuts, and a thing of cookies. We landed in Atlanta and took the subway over to our terminal. That was awesome! That airport is huge. We had no time to eat or call cause as we landed and got to the subway, it was time to board our flight to Peru. Guess where I ended up... in the back, in between these two elders! So much for cool window seats or conversion stories. The flight was long, but great! I slept a lot, studied some Spanish, and lived off starbursts.
We arrived in Peru around 11:30pm and got on a bus that took us through the city to the MTC. What a culture shock! There are so many unfinished buildings cause if they aren't finished, they don't have to pay taxes on them. There were a bunch of stray dogs running around going through the trash, houses fenced and wired off, it was crazy! I love being out of the country, it is strange to think I really am on another continent!
We pulled into the tiny MTC around 2am. The temple is a 20 minute walk and we go there Wednesdays. They give us time to shop on the way back if we walk. Saturdays we go out proselyting, in the city, real people! I'm getting ahead of myself. We got to our rooms, switched companionships, and we've all got a native! That will be tough, really tough as I've found out so far, but it will be great. The three natives in our room are from Ecuador and it was SO funny to see them all bundled up in beenies, coats, and gloves in their beds cause it's 60 degrees! Mine was sleeping in his jeans and as we walked in, two of the natives got out to shake our hands, mine just winked at me and rolled over. He knows NO English, nada, zip. And I know about that much Spanish, haha. No, I can communicate with him okay, he talks so fast and everything rolls together, so I have a hard time understanding. Thank goodness he has patience and a whole lot of love!
We have an English district and you'll NEVER guess who my district leader is... ME! I just got called a few minutes ago, here goes round two. Ah, I am going so fast, but here is why my title is 'I have discovered Sasquatch.' I got up to shower, was standing in a line, when I realized I needed to shave. so I went back, took off my clothes to be in my towel and went back to shave in that bathroom. I know no Spanish. The majority knows no English. I have a deep voice and sound like an idiot when I attempt any Spanish. I stand a foot taller than most. I am hairy and probably have more on my chest than them all combined. I am Sasquatch here in Peru! Haha, it was so funny as they all sat there and stared cause I'm the center of attention up at the mirrors!
Everyone is so friendly here, I've been in bits of conversations with many different natives and it is already sort of helping. It will just take time. Everyone says there's not much you can do but sit, wait, listen, and talk as much as you can. I'm with my native comp for 3 weeks till he's out in the field, so I need to take advantage of the times I'm with him; they aren't many though cause it's weird here - the only times I see him are in the morning, night, and some meals. We will be teaching, as of tomorrow, 2 lessons a day IN SPANISH!
This is a lot of info and I'm typing fast cause I have 1 minute, but I love you all so much and love it here in Peru! Oh, I am buzzed, almost bald with a new stylin haircut! A few quick things... letters take about a week and a half - dear elder or not. Don't send packages, I think that's it. I'll get you addresses soon! I love you all so much and hope all is well at home! Elder McGinn