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

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