Monday, September 15, 2014

Cusco! Andahuaylas!

Dusty, how far would you say we made it before we had to turn around and ask for directions?

I'd say about two, three miles.

     So on Tuesday all of the Cusco elders left the CCM at about 5 in the morning or so. Our flight left at around 6:30. Not much really happened during the flight. It was super beautiful. Also, I didn't call home because the MTC president said not to but some missionaries did anyway. I was really tempted because I miss you all lots!

     After we landed in Cusco we met Pres. Harbertson and some other missionaries and got to do a bunch of training. We also got to go see the Cristo Blanco that overlooks the city of Cusco. The city is beautiful. We all stayed in a hotel that night and the next day we all met our trainers. My trainer's name is Elder Johanson. He's from Boise. He's the man. We're not allowed to say how long we've been out on our missions but I found out how long he's been out because he told me that he's 18 and then some other missionary was surprised that he was training because he just finished his training. He's been out three months. He's awesome at Spanish. He learned a bunch when he was little so it all came back to him. He's a good teacher and he's very patient with me and he's very obedient. The first day I met him he was sick though. We went contacting in the plaza in Cusco and afterwards had dinner at a restaurant and he threw up all over the table. Luckily I was done eating and I had an empty soup bowl for him to use. 

     I didn't really experience any altitude sickness which was nice. I felt a little light headed and had a hard time walking up the four flights of stairs to my hotel room, but other than that it was good. I'm super sick today though. I think I ate something funny. I woke up around 4 in the morning today and threw up a bunch of times and then had diarrhea. It was awesome.

     So the area that I've been assigned to, and my home for the next three months, is a little town called Andahuaylas (and-uh-why-lus). It's pretty sweet. It's not even close to Cusco though. It's about a twelve hour bus/van ride from Cusco. We went over a couple mountains and then into a valley to get here. The elevation is slightly higher than Cusco's. The ride was super fun. It was kind of like driving up Farmington Canyon only twice as dangerous, in a giant tour bus (and later a van) in the amount of time it takes to get to Disneyland. It was super beautiful though!

     The past few days my trainer's mostly has just been taking me around to meet all of the members and investigators, etc. They made me play the piano in church yesterday. That'll probably be every week now. I'm okay with it though.

     There are still a lot of traditional looking people here. The older generation still wears super Peruvian clothing. It's awesome. There's also a large population of people here that speak Quechua, which kinda stinks because in order to learn Quechua you have to be able to speak Spanish which I can't do. I pretty much just sit quietly during our lessons because I can't understand anything anyone (including my trainer) says. I've had lots of chances to bear my testimony and pray though. We try to only speak Spanish in the streets, which will probably prove to be very helpful. Maybe one day I'll know Spanish.

     I'm loving it here, but I'll be honest. I've been pretty homesick. This is the most out of place and uncomfortable I've ever been in my life. I don't know my way around and I feel stupid because I can't communicate with people. I'm trying really hard to depend on the Lord in all things, and I always remind myself of what Hermano Velasquez told us: If your mission is easy your life will be hard, but if your mission is hard then your life will be easy. I know that this has already changed my life forever.

     That's all for now. I love you all and I miss you tons! Tell Graci happy birthday for me and that I got the letter she sent me a while ago. I'm working on sending her one for a late birthday present, but it'll probably take even longer now because I'm so far away from Cusco. At least until the Zone Leaders go to Cusco for something and bring back mail. Oh and congrats to Hilary, Brian, and Legend! Tell Kami Dixon congrats on her call. Love you all! The Church is more true than it was last week! Peace out homies!

Elder Tate
P.S. We were teaching a lady yesterday and she started breastfeeding like four different times. It was a shock haha. Anyways, I love you and I love getting pictures! Two years isn't that long, right? Miss you tons!
Tate and Pres. & Sis. Harbertson the day he arrived in Cusco
New missionaries - Tate is in the back

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