So things are still going strong in Jesus Maria. There are always difficulties, but there are always miracles in the missionary work. It´s crazy to think about all of the stories that I have and all of the things I´ve seen in Peru. I´ve been tear-gassed, yelled at, discriminated against, rejected…. I´ve seen men and women (yes, women) go to the bathroom in the street. Once we taught a lesson to a new investigator where in the middle of scripture reading, the mother stood up and started hitting her kid with a belt because he was interrupting… I´ve seen poverty that is possibly worse than anything that exists in the United States. But I have also seen people´s hearts and lives changed by the Book of Mormon. I´ve seen adults weep from joy after being baptized and feeling finally clean and pure again. I´ve heard the humble testimony of Christ from the blind and the sick. I´ve seen miracles. I´ve felt the Spirit work through me, testifying to the people here in Jesus Maria. This has been such an adventure, to say the least. Nothing is quite as humbling as a mission. It´s come to the point where when I come to sit down to write my weekly email, I don´t even know what to say or where to start….
We have a baptism this week! It was crazy because he had a baptism date before we actually taught him. He was attending another ward in our Stake because his cousin was there but he´ll move over to ours this week. He´s one of those people who just have such strong faith that they end up teaching you, instead of the reverse. And he´s only 17!! His mom gave him permission to join the church and we´re so proud of him.
Our friend Marlene is in the Hospital. S he´s really sick… We think maybe she has an ulcer or something like that. Hermana Suqui and I were really looking forward to teaching her about how families can be sealed in temples, but it´ll have to wait :/
This month, there are a lot of religious festivals. It´s called ”Senor de los Milagros” I´m fairly sure. On the first day this week, we were studying our scriptures in the morning and a marching band walked right in front of our house. I was really excited, but hermana Suqui said that by the end of the month I´ll hate marching bands because it´s so common.
There was one funny moment this week, when we were going to an appointment. We were waiting outside of an apartment building to be buzzed in and some Jehovah´s Witnesses walked up and were waiting with us. I was worried they would start to try to Bible bash, which we don´t want to do because the Spirit of Contention isn´t the Spirit of Conversion (too true) and we want to respect their beliefs and earn respect for our own, but we just made some awkward small talk about tracting and about the people here. It was really funny, in hindsight. There is a JW ´´ward´´ here in Jesus Maria so people often think we are JW’s but we´re the ones with the plaques!! ha ha.
We´re teaching this little girl named Indira who lives in apartment on the 11th floor and there’s a really pretty view of this park from the windows.
Because this is a hyper-arid desert, the city pays for like fire truck type cars to drive around and blast the parking strips every few weeks.
Spanish is coming along fine. Yesterday I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting — yikes! But it went just fine. I can talk about stuff from the gospel but my weak point is anything else because the only vocabulary I know is from the church. I ´m working on my conversational Spanish. This week I was talking with some members over lunch, and one of the interesting things they mentioned was about the grain quinoa: not long ago, quinoa was pretty much rejected by the people in Lima. If it was served at lunch, city-people would complain and say ”what is this? This is what they eat in the Sierras. This is used to feed animals….!” Now, the member told me that there practically is no more cheap quinoa. Half of it is because quinoa is the new yoga in the United States and all of it is being shipped up there. Interesting stuff.
Anyway, my brain is kind of empty right now and I don´t know where to even start with everything. Sorry that my email this week is half lousy. But it´s always lovely to hear from you all! Hope you are doing well, staying safe. Hermana Suqui and I pray for you guys all the time.
If there´s anything I can do for you guys, let me know!
We went to the zoo today!