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...

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