October 6, 2011
Hola! Buenos dias!
I am officially in the southern hemisphere. All the traveling was smooth sailing. We had to meet at the travel office at 5:00 am, hopped on the plane at 8:00 and landed in Atlanta by 12:30, but 2:30 E.T. We walked towards our gate and decided to stop off at some pay phones. I only managed to call Mom and planned on calling more after getting some food. In the panda express line a lady approached us with a huge smile. Turns out she was born in Venezuela and was converted in Washington, D.C in the 90´s. She bought me and another Elders food (Elder Wright who just got his flight plans on Monday, and who I knew from BYU-I) and then shared her conversion story with us. She told us about how she felt the spirit and that you don’t need to know the language perfectly, as long as you look the people in the eye and talk with sincerity and have the Holy Ghost. We even practiced some horrible gringo Spanish on her. After 30 minutes or so we headed down to the gate where they were already boarding at 3:45. We scarfed down as much food as we can, but then assuming I had time to spare I went over to a pay phone and gave Mom another call (I had no time to look in my back pack for other numbers). When I got back to the gate they were all frantically trying to hurry us on board, and I almost missed the flight! Phew. The flight was long but we were spoiled and they served a couple snacks and a meal and plenty of drinks. We talked to a really nice guy next to us who lived in Lima but was visiting his kids who go to college in South Carolina. He only spoke Spanish and we talked to him off and on and even a little bit about what we would be preaching. The older folks here talk really low and mumble, its ridiculous. But it’s still fun. We landed at 10:30 Peru time after a 7 hour flight, and the airport was packed. We found our bus driver and headed out. The streets were packed and people drive INSANE here... The weather is perfect - a mild 65 degrees with breeze and light humidity. But it’s going to start getting hotter. I got into my room at 12:45. There are 2 North Americans in one room and two latinos. My latino companion is Elder Parra from Columbia. He just arrived yesterday too with another Columbian. It is their first day so they’ve been in meetings all day. I’ll spend a lot of time with my North American companion, Elder Woodburn, because latines and americans have separate classes.
Life should be good here. I’m excited to start picking up more of the language. I was put with a district that has been out 6 weeks as well, but they all got their Visas at the scheduled time. So they’ve been here for 3 weeks. They’re all really cool guys. The food is mas o menos. They serve chicken and rice every meal apparently. There are 3 big buildings here. Administration, rooming, and then the cafeteria and computer lab. Next Wednesday is our p-day so I’ll email then. We get to go to the temple and then go shopping at some stores. I’m excited to get a Peruvian soccer jersey and everyone always looks forward to stuffing their face with as much sweets and other food as they can before they have to return to chicken and rice.
But, all is well. I´m just happy to be out here and to have reached this next chapter in the mission. The next four months will be all about tackling the language barrier. We´ll see how I am by Christmas. Dearelders don't come here too often, so I’ll most likely just see your e-mails.
Time is up. Hope all is well
Love from Peru, Elder Farmer