Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Daniel's First Email from Peru

Hey Everybody! So, I tried to send an email last Thursday, but it apparently didn't go through. Anyway, It's been quite the experience here at the MTC, or CCM in Spanish, so far! For the time I've been in Peru, I don't think I've seen the sky once. It's constantly overcast in the winter, albeit not all that cold. I'm wondering whether I'm actually going to be using all this winter gear I packed.

Here's a brief recap of how the week has gone so far:
I got to the MTC at about 3 in the morning on August 1st, and went straight to bed. The following morning we got to sleep in till 9, because of how late everyone got there. It was the primary orientation that day, so we didn't really have any classes yet. I got to meet my companion for the next six weeks, Elder Wesemann. I'm rooming with four other Elders, Elder Bridgewater, Elder Langford, and two Latino roommates I don't know the names of.
Every meal that I've had at the MTC has been an adventure. No one knows what anything tastes like, so my district and I are always trying to guess what tastes the best. But so far, I'm pretty sure every meal has had rice. Lots of rice. I'm pretty sure when I get back from Peru, I won't want to touch a plate of rice ever again.

The second day at the MTC started our classes. It also started my head spinning. They try to force as much Spanish as they can into our heads, and try to teach us how to teach in Spanish, while all of the teachers are speaking "Spanish."  It's very difficult to even understand the concepts they're trying to get across. However, as time progresses, I'm sure that it'll get easier. The gift of tongues, right? After about the third day in the MTC, the Spanish started getting a little bit easier. Lots of classes and lots of principles give Daniel headaches. Oh, and one of my roommates accidental broke the little alarm clock that I'd packed, so that was fun. He did get a new one for me when we went out shopping on P-day though, so it's alright. It was really nice of him.
This last Sunday was the first Sunday in the MTC, and it was also a fast Sunday, so I fasted since lunch on Saturday till lunch on Sunday, and I think it very well may have been the first time I've ever fasted for 24 hours. Anyway, Sunday was pretty relaxed, and all we did that day was sit and listen to our meetings.
On Monday, we were preparing to teach our first "investigator" that night. It had to be in as much Spanish as we could muster, and it very well may have been one of the hardest things I have ever done, ever. Anyway, we spent most of that day memorizing as many words and phrases in Spanish as we could.
This brings us to today! ¡Hoy! Today was the first p-day in the mission field an so far it's been quite the experience. We woke up at 6:30 just like we do every morning, got ready, ate breakfast, and went outside the wall. There is an about 8-16 foot wall surrounding the whole MTC, and today was the first time I really got to go outside of it. The Elders and Sisters in my district, about 12 of us all crammed on an already packed bus with some other Elders who've been here for a couple of weeks to go into the city. Oh! And some interesting things about the roads, there are very few traffic rules, everyone who drives, especially taxi drivers, are some of the worst drivers I've ever seen, and also the cars have the right of way. They don't have to stop for pedestrians, so the roads in the city are really dangerous. Anyway, the bus dropped us off in the city right across from the temple.

We couldn't go to the temple today though, because it's closed down for renovations. We will however be able to go next week. I think.  So we stopped by the temple shop across the street where I got a really cool leather coin-pouch.  It's a good thing I have it too, because most of the currency down here is dependent on coins. I seriously have about 50 coins from when I went shopping. Anyway, after we went to the temple store, we walked down the street to a big store that's kinda like Peru's version of Walmart where I got a few interesting candies and a 3 liter bottle of Inca Kola. It tastes like bubble-gum. I also got some hangers because I didn't have room in my luggage, and there were none in the closet when I got to the MTC. After we left the Walmart-like store, we walked over to Metro, which is like an open mall with a ton of little privately owned shops. This it where Elder Bridgewater got me a new alarm clock.  I think it's slightly better that the one I brought. Maybe. I'll see tonight.
One more interesting thing about Peru is that pretty much everything is dirt cheap. The little leather coin pouch I got cost 7 soles, which in US dollars is about $2.50. It's not some junky little thing either, it's really nice. So, that's one good thing about the economy here. Oh, and sole is pronounced sole-lay.
Anyway, that's about all the time I have to write today, but I'll be sure to write a lot more next week! I love you all! ¡Hasta luego!

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