Dad's commentary: Seth called Tuesday night to let us know he would be leaving at 5am on Wednesday. It was good to hear from him, even if it was only for about 5 or 10 minutes. We heard a, "please deposit 25 cents to continue talking". We asked if he had any more quarters, and he didn't :). Oh well, it was nice talking to him even if it was just a short time.
So pretty much this is the most difficult keyboard to use ever. Not really, but I can't hit shift and I have no idea where the punctuation marks are. Other than that, though, it's fine. All the letters are in the same spot.
Well, I got my flight plans on Tuesday at about 2:30 and they told me that I'm leaving at 5:00 AM the next day! So I had less than a 24 hours' notice before I headed out of the country for the very first time... It was super hectic getting everything together, but I mannaged, thankfully. We left on the bus at 5:00 and drove to the SLC Airport. We made tons of jokes about how the outside world actually wasn't a painting and how we were amazed that there was life outside of the MTC. We flew from Salt Lake to Georgia, then from Georgia all the way down to Lima. The flights took all day. It was midnight when we got to Lima and 1:00 AM when we got to the Lima MTC.
It was pretty crazy getting through the airport and customs and everything, but it all worked out eventually. We got to explain how our first names weren't Elder to a Peruvian who was in line. It was kinda fun to see them bear through our Spanish, but they figured it out. As soon as we got through customs we walked into a MASSIVE group of people holding signs with peoples' names and other things. It was pretty much a super loud moment of my life, but the woman who came to get the missionaries jummped out of the massive funnel of people and was just calling "Elders!" so we all figured out where to go.
We all loaded onto a bus, and drove through the city. Basically it freaked me out as soon as 10 minutes passed, because we drove through the worst ghetto I've seen in my life, by a long shot. I could hardly see a wall because of the vast amount of graffiti. And there were groups of people wallking who looked pretty sketchey. One of the guides said that this was the most dangerous part of Peru and that we should be super glad that we aren't serving there. He told us that gangs walked around shirtless and had machetties strapped to their chests. But then he said that no one dares to hurt missionaries, so that was really good to hear. They all realize that missionaries are good people there to help them. So people are still called to serve there because no one has ever been hurt. Robbed, occasionally, but never hurt. I was just super glad that we drove around the outskirts and not into it. We were raised up and had a wall between us and the bad part of town. I appreciated that.
So I asked about Trujillo, and he told me that it was one of the most peacefull places in Peru, so I really don't need to worry about much. He said it's super pretty up there and that he likes it a lot. So that's really cool to hear about.
Anyway, we kept on driving and it got better. Less grafitti, but still super run down. Then we saw the spotless Temple, which was AMAZING compared to the surroundings. It stood out SO beautifully next to the rest of the dirty city. Then next to the Temple was a really pretty swan park for no apparent reason. But it was cool. Then it was the Lima MTC. So that was all really exciting.
So I got off the bus, and they gave me a piece of damp paper that told me where my damp bed is with damp sheets. I had to walk up stairs ... that were damp. Yay humidity! So pretty much I'll have to get used to that, because I've never really lived anywhere humid. But I'm surrounded by odd palm trees, which is pretty nifty, and there are constant strange noises from animals I've never heard before.
Couple last notes, Gym=Soccer and we can't shake hands or give hugs for health reasons, and I'm gonna love it here! My compainion is Elder Nelson, also American. He came with us. I don't know him yet, but he seems pretty cool. The Lima MTC is WAY nicer then the Provo MTC as well. Especially Food-wise. I have no idea what I've eaten the past two meals, but they were super good.
I hope all is going really well for everyone back home! I'm super excited to be here and I'm doing well!