I seriously feel like it’s gotta be September or something. This is so weird. My conception of time is so screwed up. It’s probably because right now is the beginning of summer and the sun is out and it’s getting super hot but there are also Christmas trees in houses and decorations in stores and we keep singing Christmas hymns. I am so lost right now. I feel like I’ve been in Peru for my whole life, and about 20 seconds at the same time.
I’m writing today (Tuesday instead of Monday) because yesterday we had our P-Day Grande — every transfer of 6 weeks, we get to have one P-day where we can leave our mission boundaries with our zone and go do something fun together. Usually on P-day Grande we get to email too but we got back at like 6:15 last night (P-day is over by 6 pm and we are supposed to work like normal in the night) and we had important appointments that we couldn’t miss so unfortunately we had to bump emailing until this morning. But it kind of feels like I have two P-days so I’m cool with that! Hearing from all of you guys definitely makes my week. I’m glad to hear that everyone is doing ok.
So yesterday we went to a beach called Chacra y Mar (Ranch and Sea) that is right near Chancay where I went in my first transfer. We walked on the beach, climbed some hills, went into some Hindu temples and shrines (there was this little sanctuary that we toured) and some of the missonaries got sunburned. It was a lot of fun. We were ridiculously tired by the end of the day though. We had to meet together at 6 am, ride a bus for an hour and a half there and back, and we didn’t make it home until the afternoon, as I mentioned earlier. Another zone from our mission was there at the same beach at the same time, as a crazy coincidence, so we got to talk to them and go to lunch with them. The day was exactly what I needed to get away from the normal every-day stresses of a mission. If I come back with grey hair, guys, don’t be surprised. Actually, on a more serious note, my hair is getting suuuuuper blonde now from all of the sun. It’s interesting. My hair has never been this blonde. I don’t know if it’s showing up looking very different in pictures but it looks different in real life.
This week we had a really cool fasting experience! Girelyn has been so worried for her family who lives in the other side of Peru — she really wants them to accept her decision to be baptized. Together, we fasted and prayed with her and the next time we saw her, she told us that her mother had called her and told her that two Elders happened to show up at their door the following day and began teaching her family about the church! What a miracle!
There’s this little old man in our ward who has been a little lonely and has recently become almost blind, so we’ve been visiting him every week or so just to sing a hymn and read a few scriptures with him. His memory is getting pretty bad and it’s been making for some pretty hilarious stories. This week, Hermana Bennett and I were standing on the sidewalk, looking at our planners when we saw him walking up toward us. I shouted to him, ”Miguel, ¡nuestro amigo! ¿Como esta?” and he smiled and said ”¿Miguel? ¡Soy Juanito!” We laughed and said ok, and then he asked us if we could come and share a scripture with him at that moment. So we walked to his house, sang a hymn, etc. When it came time to pray, Hermana Bennett asked ”So would you like us to call you Miguel or Juanito?” Miguel just stares at us, his face completely dead-pan serious, and goes ”Hermanita, where on earth did you get ‘Juanito’ from? My name is Miguel.” Hermana Bennett just lost it and we both just started laughing so hard. He was SO SERIOUS. He started laughing too but he just had this look on his face like ‘I really don’t understand why it’s so funny, though.’ He made Hermana Bennett say the opening prayer, and later, the closing prayer because he had forgotten that she had said the first one. I love old people.
We heard about an Elder who’s name is legitimately Angel Moroni Silva. And I thought that Mormon names only existed in Utah!!
Last Monday we had another earthquake!! It was like 5-point-something, from what I heard. It’s usual to have little 2-or-3-or-4-point ”temblores” literally every 2 weeks or so, but that one last Monday felt significantly bigger. People are getting scared because Lima is overdue for a full scale ”terremoto” any day now. I’m scared too. What? Who said that? Missionaries are never scared.
I’ve had a pretty good week then. I’m certainly seeing all of my weaknesses and doing everything I can to build them up. Missions are really good at pointing out every single weakness that we have, turns out, but it’s actually a blessing because then we can confront them and overcome them while were here feeling the Spirit so strongly. It’s crazy because every time that I pray to have more patience, I always get harder and harder tests of things that want to destroy every ounce of patience I can muster. But we are made strong through our trials, so I’ve gotta be faithful and I can’t give up on the fight.
I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving!! I sure am thankful for all of you! Enjoy the United States and have a wonderful first week of December!
PS — shout out to Mike, Suzanne and Isaac. Thank you so much for the Christmas cards that you guys wrote me! It’s so cool to have this Christmas Card Advent Calendar to look forward to opening every day :)
took a million pics at the beach but no time to send them. gotta wait till next Monday :( thanks for everything! talk to you later!!!