Saturday, July 28, 2012

Peru Week 3

Hola Familia!

Que pasa? I'm having a ton of fun here in Peru. Today we got to go on a tour of Lima with the MTC president and his wife. That was a lot of fun! We got to see some way cool buildings and sights in Lima. We also got to go to a Pizza Hut! It was the first American food we've had since we've been here and it was delicious! Way better than Pizza Hut in the U.S. I also bought a soccer jersey, even though I'm not that into soccer, because I've got to have a soccer jersey in South America!

So not much new has happened here. We went proselyting outside the MTC again, but nothing really exciting happened this time. We didn't teach anyone because no one was home when we went to their house. The only kind of cool thing was we saw a rap battle going on in Spanish. It was 10 times harder to understand than rap in english but it was kind of funny at the same time. When we go out to proselyte though there are dogs everywhere! There are dogs just walking around all streets, just doing their thing. None have tried to attack me yet which is good. One thing that did happen this week was that I had the opportunity to switch into an all latino district. So instead of being in a district with a bunch of gringos, I'm in a district with a bunch of Latinos, learning the Gospel instead of Spanish. I hope that it will help me learn Spanish that much faster, because I hardly understand anything when we go outside the MTC. I have a new companion this week because the Latino companions only have to stay here for 3 weeks. I've only talked with him like twice so far because he just got here yesterday, but he seems like a good guy and I'm looking forward to getting to know him better.

Thanks so much for the letters! It takes them a while to get here, but I've gotten a few which is really nice. Thanks soo much to McLane, Bruno, and Rebecca! Your letters meant a ton and it was so nice to hear about how things are going with all my homies back home! I'm going to try and write back as soon as I can! And thanks so much for the email MacGyver. That's awesome you got to participate in Peggy's setting apart as well. And you leave in like a week for the MTC! You'll be an awesome missionary and you are going to love it soo much!
K well I don't really have more time, but I'll try and write more next week! Love you all soo much and thanks again for all the letters!

Elder Joshua Lee

P.S. Enjoy the pictures! :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Peru Week 2

Hey fam!
How are things going back in good old AZ? 
Well things are still going well here. The food has taken some getting used too, but it is actually quite good. My stomach hasn't quite adjusted yet and I've had "espiritus malos in mi estomago" pretty much since I got here. It's not too terrible though and so I live with it. The weather here is nearly perfect. It could have a touch less humidity, but its like 60 degrees almost everyday. And I wish the sun came out more. It's cloudy all the time here. There's like this fog/mist that just hangs in the air, but the sun has come out once since we got here and that was an awesome day.

All we do here during gym time is play soccer. All the latinos love soccer and they're all really good at it. They let us gringos get involved and play with them though and I've actually scored two goals against some of them so far! I could die a happy man now haha. And during some of our devotionals and stuff I'm finally one of those people who gets to use the translation headset. There are a couple elders here who speak a little english and so they get to translate for us so it's a little tough to understand at times, but we get the gist of the messages. I just can't wait till I can understand everything in Spanish.

So this last Saturday, we had the opportunity to go proselyting outside the MTC. That was one crazy experience. It was an awesome experience, but crazy as well. They made sure to scare us up quite a bit before. We weren't allowed to bring anything valuable and they said if you get robbed or someone has a gun, don't fight back and just go along with it. And they told us a bunch of other stuff, but when we actually got out there is was pretty sweet. I was with my native companion, Elder Rojas, and an elder already in the field and a guy who works at the MTC, Hermano Tello. Being out there was so much different. We had a list of houses where less active members lived, and we were supposed to go around to those houses and teach a lesson and invite the people to come to church. The first house we went to though, the less active member either didn't live there anymore, or had died (I couldn't really understand what the guy at the door said). But we were able to teach this guy we were talking to instead. I didn't really say anything at all that lesson. We taught him outside his house and there was this giant tractor right behind me so I couldn't hear a word the guys said, but we ended up leaving him with a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet about the Restauration which was pretty sweet. The next house we went to was a very old lady's house. She let us in and we asked her how she was doing and she straight off said "bad". The then went into this long story that I didn't understand much of, but I understood that she was really sick and not doing so well. I was then able to participate in giving her a blessing which was an awesome experience! My companion and I then shared one of our favorite scriptures with her and then we left. The rest of the houses we went too after that no one was home or they didn't live there anymore, so since we had a lot of extra time, the Hermano and Elder we were with made us start contacting people. So we would just walk up to people on the street and ask if we could talk to them about our message a little. We were able to give away a few more pamphlets and stuff. And one door we walked up to and knocked on, I was able to share a 5-10 minute lesson on the Restauration with that person in Spanish. One thing I learned though is that it is soo much harder to understand people in the field. People talk soo much faster and often very quietly so you can't hear them. It's something I'm going to have to learn to get used too, but it was a sweet experience anyways!

So about the letters, I'm pretty sure that anyway you send a letter here will work. People have gotten all types of letters here just fine. I think the pouch way might be the cheapest, but the letter will get here whatever way. Just don't send money in the letters because one of our teachers told us that someone will probably steal it. Also, Sarah Adams! If you are still reading this sometimes, if you get a chance to send me another letter that'd be awesome if it had a picture or two of some of the homies from BYU. Or if any of my other homies are reading this I'd love to get pictures of everyone! We took some cool pictures at the beginning and end of the year with a bunch of us together so that'd be awesome! The latinos here love pictures and always want to see pictures of your family and friends, and I don't have any so I'd love to get some!

Any ways that's all the time I've got for this week! I'm loving it here and still having a great time. Let me know how things are going at home with the family! And how things are going with some of my friends with missions and all that good stuff. I love you and miss you all!
Elder Joshua Lee

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Peru Week #1

Hola familia!
So things are going really well here in Peru! It's way cool to be in another country. Things are so different here. I don't even know where to begin.

I'm about halfway through my first P-day today. P-days here are way better than P-days in Provo. We got to go to the Peru temple which was sweet! And they had devices that translated the session into English for us which I was soo grateful for. The Peru temple is really small, but it looks really cool at the same time. I don't have any pictures now because we're only allowed to take pictures on P-days and they didn't want us bringing our cameras to the temple the first week, but next week hopefully I'll have a lot of pictures to send! And I can upload them onto the computer and send them in an email from here in Peru. After the temple we got to walk around the city a bit. There are four places that we are allowed to go in the city. The first is the temple, the second it the distribution center right by the temple, the third is a little store owned by a member who has a lot of cool church items you can by. And the last is a store called Tottus, which is kind of like a Walmart. It was neat to go around the city and see these places. I bought a cool tie with a stitching of the Peru Temple on it, as well as scripture covers for my spanish scriptures at the member's store, and then just some snacks at Tottus. The currency here in Peru is solace and the exchange rate is about 2.65 solace for every dollar so somethings are a lot cheaper here. Any thing from America though, like candy bars especially, is a lot more expensive. To get to and from the temple though we had to take a little bus. It's probably about the size of one of those big "mormon" vans that seat like 15 people, but the inside is built like a bus and we had soo many people in it. Us missionaries were all packed in together in the back of the bus and it took us forever to get out, but it was pretty fun.

My first week here as been pretty cool. No one speaks English though. The doctor speaks English, the mission president and his wife, and one of the native elders who studied English for 6 years in school. But besides them almost no one else speaks English. Our teachers know how to say a few things in English, but not a lot so all our lessons are pretty much entirely in Spanish. It makes it tough to understand everything we're doing sometimes, but it is definitely helpful with getting emersed in the culture.

We have two companions so it's a little confusing. We have a native companion, who usually only speaks Spanish, who we go to gym with and eat meals with and stuff, and then we have a class companion who is our companion during class, which is where we are 90% of the time. My native companion is Elder Rojas. He's a great guy and I love him a ton. I'll make sure and send back some pictures when I get a chance so you can see. He and his sister are the only members in his family. And it looks to me like he came from very humble circumstances, he didn't bring a lot with him. He also just went through the temple for the first time today which is pretty sweet! I didn't get to go through with him because all us Norteamericanos went through in a different session. My Norteamericano companion is Elder Harris. He's a great guy too. He is having a lot of trouble with the language though. He works hard and stuff, but he just can't seem to get it down very well. It makes our lessons with our mock investigators pretty tough because I'm doing 95% of the talking. But I know he's trying hard and it helps me get a lot of practice and work in with spanish so it's alright.
Oh and I'm also the district leader here. There are seven elders in my district. I think it's 10 times harder being district leader here than it would have been in Provo, because no one speaks english. It's hard for me to entirely understand what my responsibilities are here because I don't understand everything I'm told. One of our branch presidency members knows english pretty well so he tries explaining it to be, but it's still pretty difficult. I'm doing my best though. I think I've done a pretty good job helping our district come together. We are all learning spanish pretty quickly which I'm way glad of and everyone seems to be doing well.

I'm so glad I came to the Peru MTC. I feel like if I had gone straight from Provo to Ecuador I would have freaked out because of that giant transition. It was a big transition just coming to the Peru MTC. But because I came here, I think going to Ecuador will be a lot easier. I've already been assimilated in the Spanish culture and language so it won't be as big of a shock when I get to Ecuador.

Well thanks so much for everything! I miss you all a ton and hope you are all doing well! Let me know how the fam is doing and if anything big is happening. Oh and with letters, it's easiest for me to get letters either the pouch way, or through here. I can get them the regular way too but I don't think the envelope can be too big. But one thing I do need are some American stamps. If you could send me a letter with American stamps in it that would be sweet becuase I only have one with me right now. Well my time is up but just know that I'm doing awesome and having a great time! I'm so excited to get out to Ecuador and I'll have pictures and a lot more to tell you next time!


Elder Joshua Lee

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Hola familia!

Well I am here in Peru! I made it safely! This is kind of loco. I've met some of the other elders here and pretty much no one besides the elders I flew in with speak English. I'm a little nervous because of it, but I'm way excited! The Peru MTC is soo nice! It's way better than the Provo MTC. Everything here just looks nicer and feels nicer, even though it's all in Spanish. It is also a ton smaller though. There are like 3 buildings here and a nice court yard and the sports area, but that's it. It's so cool to be in Peru! This is my first time out of the country that I can remember and it's pretty sweet. I understand a lot more than I thought I was going to. And I think our district in Provo progressed very quickly in learning Spanish compared to other districts because I seem to know more than the other guys here. I really hope I don't have to drive in Ecuador though. If it's anything like here I'd probably die. No one seems to obey traffic rules and I'm surprised I didn't see any accidents cause it was pretty crazy. The weather here is so nice. It's a little humid, but it's nice and cool and it's been overcast since we got here. We also got to drive past the temple on our way here and that was cool to see. It's a way nice temple and I'm excited to get a chance to go through it! I haven't met my companion yet, but I'm like 99% positive I'm getting paired up with a native speaker. That will make communicating with him a little tough, but I think I'll learn a lot faster that way.

Oh also on the plane ride from Miami to Peru I sat next to a lady who was a Jehovah's Witness. We didn't really talk until the last hour of the flight, but then we started talking a little about the Bible. I got to explain to her kind of what us LDS members believe and she explained to me a little of what she believed. It was a little difficult becuase we kept going back and forth between Spanish and English, but we were able to talk for a while. It made me realize how little I do know of the Bible and how much more I need to learn about it. She could just bust out a random scripture from the Old Testament and ask me to read it. It wasn't like a "Bible-bash" sesh or anything, but it made me realize I have a lot to learn about the scriptures. It was a cool experience though and I got to share with here a bit about what us LDS members believe.

I want you to know I love you soo much! Thank you for everything you've done for me! The package you sent was perfect and I was so so grateful for all the letters! It was great to hear from the siblings and cousins and it sounds like everyone is doing well. Make sure and tell all the kids I love them and miss them a ton! But I know I'm doing the right thing and I'm having a ton of fun too!

Thanks to all my friends and family for the packages and letters too! It has been awesome to hear from everyone and see how they are doing!

We got a paper that says please don't send packages to the MTC here in Peru because it costs a lot or something. You can send letters though, but I'm not sure if it's the way where you just fold the piece of paper or use an envelope. Either way if you could I'd still love to get letters!

Well I'm sure I forgot something, but just know I am doing well and way excited to be here! My P-day is on Wednesdays so I will email you in another week more about what I've been doing here and anything I forgot. I love you all soo much and miss you all! I'm in Peru!!

Con amor,

Elder Joshua Lee

Provo MTC Pictures

Elder Lee with Elder Wright and Elder Anderson

Elder Lee and Elder Taylor Heyman

These twelve elders will travel to the Peru MTC together.

Missionary living quarters at the MTC.