Monday, November 28, 2011

One more week down!

The Lord really does bless me in this work. I know I couldn't do it without Him. I know Spanish was incredibly hard for me to learn and remember before my mission, but as soon as I got called, I could somehow remember and understand it. I've really been given the gift of tongues. But my Spanish has really picked up since being here the first day. Only because I can understand when other people talk (not just my companion). I still have a ton to learn to understand it all, of course, but the Lord is really helping me progress and learn.

He also helps me through each day. It's quite the adjustment coming down here to Peru and living a misisonary life, but the Lord has helped me adjust and move in smoothly. We were even blessed to have a baptism this past week. And it's wonderful to see people fell the Spirit and grow a desire to change their lives and follow Christ. I feel like this is going to be one of the most rewarding works of my life, and I'm excited to work hard and fufill my calling.

My companion is quite the good trainer. He's been pushing me to go forward and be the first one to talk and to do things I didn't think I could do. He's had me do contancts totally on my own, and had me start a lot of them. And that's probably one of the hardest things for me. But he's helped me get over the fear and just talk. He doesn't feel that my lack of Spanish is ever a problem, well he doesn't express it if he does feel that way. He's supportive and always allows me to teach and share what I can. I'm definitely appreciative for that.

The baptism we had was quite the adventure, though! It was for Laura (make sure you say Laura like it's a Latino name, though). Her husband was inactive for years and she decided to listen to the missionaries. Through this, her husband is active again and he was able to baptize her (just barely). He had to have an interview with the Bishop and it fell through until one hour before the batism. So that was fun. And he forgot his baptizmal clothes that we'd spent all the day before running around Huanchaco to find for him. Thankfully my companion brought a backup pair (as is necessary each time). And the next night after the baptism, we got a call saying that they didn't have the records for her husband's priesthood past Teacher. So that was great too. But we were able to get it by Sunday so she could be confirmed. Then, they didn't show up till 45 minutes into Sacrament Meeting, and her husband wasn't there. So! She'll be confirmed next week. But that was the adventure of the week!

That and the woman walking her Monkey. Which was way exciting too.

Hope all is well up there in the States!
Elder Seth

---------------------- Letter To Dad -------------------
But Huanchaco does have tourists from time to time. Lots of hippies come here to surf. It was SO funny to see the hardcore steriotype hippie playing soccer with a bunch of latino kids/teens/university students. But those kayaks are called something funny, I'll write it down for next week, but they're really weird. But pretty much ocean kayaks. And it's fun to watch people use them. And there are surfurs out there every warm day. I've always wanted to learn, so it's fun to watch as we walk by the beach (the street there is called the road of temptation because it's along the beach XD). And the part that's actually Huanchaco is crazy rich compared to Los Lomes where we live. You go in 15 mins from the beach and it's dirt roads and shacks. It's pretty crazy.
(Picture of the "kayaks" I asked about. They are called "Caballitos de totora" and are made of reeds. They have been used for 3000 years --Dad)

Sounds like Brenna's having fun with decorating and whatnot. It's good that she's doing more than videogames. I really wish I'd not wasted all of my life on those up to now. It's really cool to have talents and spend time in things more productive. I'm glad that you had a good Thanksgiving, though! My Thanksgiving dinner consited of rice and chicken!! What a surprise! =P

My companion gets called a Gringo alot because he's with me and is as white as me. Though he has Latino features. It's really funny, though. He absolute HATES it when kids call him a Gringo. It happens all the time too. But he's got lots of Chilean pride. He's a great guy, though. Just talks funny and I'm learning from him, which is kinda funny. BUT, he described the differences between Chile and Peru and the difference of the US and England, respectively. Peru speaks very clear and fine and people are very manered. But in Chile everyone is more relaxed and speaks a bit slopier. So we kinda make a fun companionship as two foreign missionaries who like to laugh.

But I know that when I get back, I'll definitely be doing more donating of what I can. That'll be something I learn to do throughout my life from this. I'll just remember the shacks and dirt floored houses and appreciate my carpet (which doesn't exist down here).

Funny story, though, I hear more US music here than Peruvian/Latino music. It's English in the homes, busses, soccer games. Kinda funny. And all of the TV shows are the same, too. XD

----- To Mom ---
As for the culture, it's a shock, that's for sure. It's somthing else not having clean water and needing to hike massive tanks of water up hill for 15 minutes just so you can have a drink for the next week. We have a penchanista, though. She cooks all the food. For every meal. It's really quite the sacrifice of time on her part, and we certainly love her for it. She cooks some amazing food, and it tastes great. Most of the time... Sometimes I have to slam it down as fast as I can. I have to say, though, my digestive system doesn't really agree with the food. So hopefully that adjusts fast...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Free letters to Seth

If you would like to send Seth a letter, you can for free using Select the Peru, Trujillo mission and enter his name. The company will print out the letter and will mail it via pouch to the mission office. The office will then distribute it to Seth.

If you would like to send a real letter or package to Seth, email me or add a comment to this post (which will email me) and I'll get you the address and instructions. 

First Week in the Field

Hey, everyone!

So I just had my very first week in the field. And I'm super pumped to get out there and work. =)

Though, I have to say, it's quite the different atomsphere here. I mean, obviously. It's a different country, but it's pretty crazy at times. I live in a humble little home about the size of my old living room in Colorado. Only separated into 3 parts. It's a front room, hallway with a bathroom, and a bedroom. It's pretty tiny, but the fact that I have the nice open sky above me in the hall way makes it feel a lot less cramped. I mean, it'd be nice to have a roof at times, but it's not a big deal. Most of my house has a roof, right? It's kinda exciting. Though the little bathroom we have is probably the most disgusting bathroom I've seen in all of my life. I've already gotten used to just being dirty all of the time. The water isn't even clean, so why worry about it? Definitely a change of mind for me. But I'm gonna love having clean water when I get back.

In the area we live, all the roads are dirt. So that gives it a particular feel. And all of the houses are connected or behind walls. So it's pretty interresting. And wild dogs bark at me from the roof. That was new. Stray dogs are always running around, but it's only really a problem when they're on our roof. They're super noisy. But all these things are a small price to pay to serve the Lord. Expecially to these people. They're all very humble and kind. They show a lot of love. And many of them are open to learn about God, and ready for the Gospel. It's really good to see how they are willing to not only listen, but to change for the Gospel.

We've commited 5 people to baptizm already (in 5 1/2 days) and 4 of them accepted a date and the last just accepted the commitment. We'll go for a date the after the next lesson. But it's really nice to serve a people who, if they like you remotely, will ask to have you back again. So it helps the Gospel move forward quite quickly. I mean, they have many problems of their own, but so long as they listen and accept you, they can work through them with our help and the Lord's.

Well, I'm excited to see how the investigators we have can change the lives of those we're already teaching. I'll have to let you guys know how it goes with them in this next week.

BUT, my companion is Elder Olivares from Chile. He's a good trainer and really wants to work hard. Sometimes he doesn't because he's so tired, but at least he has the will most of the time. I'll just have to encourage him for the times he's not. He talks super fast and doesn't say his "s"'s though. Which is confusing at times. But I'm getting used to it.

My area is a suburb outside of Trujillo called Huanchaco. It's right on the beach and supposedly one of the best surfing spots in all of South America. I guess it's home to the world's longest wave. Which is random.

But that's my work so far!
Hope everyone is doing well,
Elder Seth

Dad's Note: In my email to Seth I mentioned Thanksgiving and how he should take some time on Thursday to think of what he's thankful for. I mentioned how I learned to love the US while serving in Puerto Rico on my mission. This is Seth's response:

And as for loving the country. Yeah, I get SO excited every time I see a flag now. It's not even funny. And we have SO stinking much. We're rich, just so you know. Seriously. It's crazy. I'm having more and more of a humbling moment every day. I don't know the language and I have ridiculous amounts more than these people. So both of those things are kinda teaching me something. But I like our country a lot. Seriously. It's wonderful here, but yeah... I'm gonna be happy to be back in the US too. I just don`t know if I'll want to give up being a missionary. We'll see. XD

Sounds like things are already changing a bit. Though I figure it'll be mostly the same when I get back. But I'm not sure. It's gonna be different to have missed two years of everyone's lives. Though it`s for a wonderful work. So I guess I can't complain. It sure is different, though. Especially being in the hot humid air. Next to the sea. It's weird. But way nifty.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm in Trujillo. =)

Dear family,
I am here in Trujillo.  We got here at about 5:00pm yesterday, all is well. Last night the missionaries, and President and Sister Turk picked us up from the Airport. Then we had dinner, went out teaching with some missionaries here in Trujillo and rested in the hotel, today we have a bunch of trainings and I will meet my trainer later this afternoon.   I am tired, but fantastic!!!
I will email you more next Monday.
Elder Seth

PS: Sorry I don't get to email this week for real, but I'll update you next week! Thanks and be safe! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Last P-Day at the MTC!

Well, by this time next week, I should be in Trujillo ready to work! I serously don't feel ready to leave when it comes to my Spanish, but with everything else... Yeah, I'm definitely ready to leave. It's great here and all, but I really want to bring people to Christ. That's the whole reason I'm here. So I'll be happy to get out there and start doing that, because the fake investigators can only do so much for you.
But I am getting wonderful practice with teaching in, and I'm getting used to listening and understanding Spanish as spoken by natives. Well, from my companion at least. I can understand him when he talks at a normal pace, but I can't understand anyone else at all. I've just gotten used to his voice and style of speaking. He talks really clear too, though, like everyone from Peru. There are some countries where I can't understand a word that the missionaries are saying. But I'll be in shock at how little I understand once I get into the field. That'll be fun...
I wish I could send pictures to you, though. I've got some crazy pictures of what it's like down here, but I guess that'll have to wait. I've been told that I can't send Memory Cards back because that's what gets stolen more than anything else. So that's super depressing. But I'll have plenty of wonderful pictures once I get back or once I get a cable to hook up to a computer if I can.
Not too much out of the ordinary happened this week, since I didn't get to go proselyting. I really wish I had the chance, but no dice. I'll get to go this Saturday, then head out to the field either Tuesday or Wednesday, so I'm pumped!
Though I did kill my toe while playing soccer. The ball was right in front of the goal, and someone was running up to nail it in, but I really didn't want it to, so I kicked it back. We hit the ball at the same time, it went nowhere, and my toe too the blow. I kept playing, and realized it was swelling a little, but I didn't worry about it. It wasn't till that night that I looked at it and it was nasty purple and blue and just looked like a sausage. I just sprained it, so it's not too bad, and I can walk on it. I'll just not play soccer for the last few days while I'm here. I'm not willing to risk it. It just figures I'd hurt myself on one of the few days I play it.
Hope all is going well!
Elder Seth

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Seth's Mission in Trujillo Peru

Seth in the background. Pictures are from his Mission President's blog.

Peru MTC

Seth at the Peru MTC.

Just a few more weeks in the MTC!

Well, time is counting down for the MTC. I guess I'll be here for two more Saturdays then I'll be peacing out to the mission field. I'm starting to get really excited to leave. I know I can't speak Spanish well, but I'll learn better in the field than I will here, and I'll get to make a difference. I pretty much just want to actually do something. Though I get good practice with Spanish now that I have a Latino Companion. I'm getting used to speech at normal speed and understanding more common words (not just religion words). I think that's the only redeeming factor of what I'm doing here. That's what it feels like, anyway...
So everything is going very much the same. Though I got to meet my mission president which was super exciting. He was really nice and already knew the names of all of us who're going into his mission within the next 6 weeks. So he was talking with us during our lunch time and such. He told us a little about the mission, like that having hot water is mandatory in their mission, which is really good, because it's not in Chiclayo. So that was a bit of a relief. I guess they have a blog for the mission, though. They said if you look up "Turks in Trujillo" [] then you'll find it. He said that a lot of the parents enjoy reading it and whatnot, and we'll be up there because she's uploading pictures that we took while they were here.
So funny story really quick, the bees and wasps here are super big here. And on the way here, one of the elders was like "Whoa! That's a tiny Hummingbird! Oh dang! That's a wasp!" It was just really funny. But there's this one wasp that's probably twice the size of the biggest wasp I've seen back home. It kinda scares me, not gonna lie. Other than that, though, I haven't seen any large bugs other than butterflies and moths. And I'm not particularly worried about butterflies.
And I'm gaining weight for the first time. Just a funny story. Though I'm told once I get to Trujillo, I'll be losing it again. I only got 10 lbs, but I've been the same weight for 3 years now, so it was just kinda funny.
That's all the fun I have for today, which wasn't super exciting, unfortunately. But I'll go prosyliting again on Sat. so I'll have some stories next time.
Thanks for all the support!
Elder Seth
I had asked Seth what the weather was like there. If it was still warm at 70 degrees with high humidity. Here is his answer.
"But it actually only feels warm from about 1:00-4:00 because a blanket of cloud covers the sky every day, except in the afternoon when it clears, then the sun just goes down. So when that's the case, no it's pretty mellow and sometimes a bit cold in the morning, but on the few days that clouds aren't across the sky, it's super hot. And the humidity just makes it feel worse when you sweat. It makes gym pretty brutal since it's all outside sports."