Monday, October 13, 2014

Meanwhile, in the Boonies. . .

Don't you want a taste of the glory? Just to see what it tastes like?

     So I think all your weather bug apps are broken. It hasn't been raining hardly at all here. It's usually really sunny and in the 60's during the day. I usually only put a coat on after lunch for when it starts to get cold. It rains a lot in the evenings or at night, but for the most part the weather is really nice and I quite enjoy it!

     So sorry I haven't been writing enough. I haven't told you about all the amazingly cool stuff here. I'll give you the typical layout for our days:

     So after studying, breakfast, etc. We go out to teach and stuff (duh). We're actually starting to see some progress in some of our investigators. We're teaching one guy named Rodi who read 20 chapters of the ELM (El Libro de Mormon) in two days, plus the introduction! It was awesome. He's really smart and asks lots of questions but Elder Johanson is just as smart and always answers them well and he usually accepts whatever we teach him pretty well, too. We don't do a lot of knocking on doors. It's not effective here. Everyone has a gate or an adobe wall or something around their house. A lot of them have like three or four apartments with families living in each one inside the wall. Most of our investigators are referrals.

     The ward here is awesome. Everyone is very friendly and inviting. The people are interesting as far as authenticity goes. Most of the young people dress pretty modern-hipster like. Some of the old ones do too, but usually the really older people wear very traditional Peruvian clothing. Especially the women. There are lots of Panais (I think that's how you spell it) here. Panai is Quechua for Hermana which is Spanish for sister. The Panais all wear very traditional clothing and usually their first language is Quechua. Some of them don't even speak Spanish! The people have a lot of different jobs. Some own restaurants, some run internet labs like the one I'm in right now, some run stores or shops, some sell cakes and pastries, some are farmers, some are herders. There's a very wide range of income too. There are lots of very humble living conditions here, with even humbler people. I've never seen a house with carpet, and only a few houses with actual tiled floors. The rest are either cement or just dirt. Most people don't have cars and if they do they're pretty crappy. If you have a nice car that means you probably have a LOT of money. This is one of the coolest places in the world. I wish I could be here until I actually can speak Spanish or be able to come back again during my mission so the people can really get to know me because they are incredibly special.

     We do TONS of service here. We usually do at least two service projects a week. So far we've carried sticks (more like trees) like a mile through the Andes to someone's house for firewood, we cut out a bunch of grass and weeds for someone's yard, we've helped a member move, and a few days ago we carried giant bags of dirt up three flights of stairs to someone's roof so they could use it to mix cement to build onto their house or something.

     We finally got to watch conference this weekend and it was beautiful! I loved every second of it!

     Oh and I don't see very many llamas. I did see an alpaca running through the street one day though. They're cuter than llamas. I want one.

     As far as the language goes, it's coming but slowly. I'm trying really hard to be patient but it's not really working. I'm not improving as fast as I would like to despite all my efforts to learn. It doesn't help either when people treat me or tell me that I'm stupid because I can't speak Spanish very well. Sometimes the members or people we teach or even other missionaries laugh or tell me I'm dumb because I can't speak well. I even had one lady tell me after a lesson that my prayer was too short and that in order to succeed I need to be adding to my vocabulary. I wanted to be like "What the heck do you think I'm doing here? How about you try to learn English in two months!" But I didn't say anything because I'm a representative of Christ and I didn't want to offend her. . . and I can't speak Spanish LOL. I know it's just because people don't understand how hard it is. It's also just a cultural thing to be very abrupt and say things how they are. It's my fault that I get so frustrated, but it honestly is hard to be happy a lot of the time because I feel so alone and isolated not being able to communicate. I'm the only missionary in our entire zone and probably the only person within 100 miles that can't speak Spanish. I shouldn't complain though, because I also have people that are very supportive and very kind and understanding with me.

That's about all for this week.  I love you all! The church is true!


Elder Tate


First apartment -- yuck!

ELM in Spanish and Quechua  -- check out the pink llama tie!

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