Saturday, November 12, 2011

November 7, 2011

Family: What a glorious 20 minutes I just had reading all of your emails. . . . I can see that the ability to enjoy the language will only increase more and more every week as I pick more up. But the language isn’t TOO bad. I feel pretty comfortable as far as imperfect and subjunctive and stuff go, but now it’s just being able to understand, know the words/verbs, and sentence structure. I’m still in the translating every thought from English to Spanish phase of course but with time that will switch over. It’s just insane to comprehend how I will know every word or phrase without having to think of it one day.

This week went by much faster than the first. The weather is getting hotter and hotter but this past week we worked really hard. We found a bunch of new investigators, taught 24 lessons, and contacted 100 people (this only includes people that we were able to talk to long enough to invite to church or share a brief thought with at their door or in the street). Our area is pretty small and secluded from central Piura so I don’t know much about the city but I can tell you about a place called the polverines haha - a housing development that is very poor, and yet to have electricity, and is pretty much where people have built a bunch of forts in the desert sand. We’re working hard and should have a baptism by the next time I write. The ward families here are very welcoming and helpful . . . Thanks for the thoughts and words of encouragement – your words mean a whole heck of a lot. Love – Elder Farmer

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hello From Piura Peru!

Piura, Peru: "La Primera Ciudad"

October 31, 2011

It sure feels good to finally be able to write! The last 7 days have been quite the journey. The last Saturday in the MTC we went out tracting. They bused three different groups to different stakes around Lima. It was a good experience and it’s amazing how much poverty there is. Down next to the street the houses are quite nice, but then up above and packed into the hills are shacks just crammed in. We left the Lima CCM (MTC) on Tuesday and arrived at the small, one runway, one baggage claim airport at 3 in the afternoon. The President and his wife and 6 other missionaries were there to greet us and take us to the mission home. The mission home is a beautiful home that is well gated in a rich neighborhood. What would honestly probably cost up to 650k in Colorado only costs 50,000 here. No joke. Anyways, we ate a late lunch, did orientation stuff as far as health and finances, had a testimony meeting, then had burgers and went to the office down the street to sleep while 3 hermanas slept in beds in the mission home. The next morning we went to the home for breakfast, then to a chapel to meet our new companions and head out to our areas. How’d we get to our area you ask? Moto taxi. Probably 1 in 3 houses or more has one. It’s essentially a motorcycle with a cage attached to the back that seats two or three. Everyone’s job out here is a moto taxi driver it seems. My companion is Elder Iribar from Uruguay. He’s only got 6 weeks longer than I do, but 12 weeks longer in the field because he only spent 3 weeks in the MTC because he didn’t need language training, obviously. But yeah, I never thought I’d have a trainer that only has 2 transfers but he is great. We’re serving in Piura Central in the area called Lopez Albojar. It’s only about 10 minutes in the taxi to get here. Our apartment is one of the nicest in the zone apparently, but that’s still not saying much. We live in the upstairs apartment. Two rooms and a bathroom and another sink. We don’t have cooking stuff because everyone in the mission has a pensionista (sp) that serves 3 meals a day and does laundry once a week. Everyday has its ups and downs. Learning a new language is more than you can really imagine until you’re actually out here trying to do it. I did expect most of it though having seen Brandon and Justin do it. But little by little it will come. We work really hard out here. We’re in a very successful area that is safe. areas have to be inside by 6 and some cant even knock on doors. But here, we never get the door slam and we usually get people to agree to let us come back some day. So we wake up, go to our pensionista´s house just across the street for breakfast until 8, study until 10 and then go out until lunch at 1. We study the language from 2-3 then go out again for the rest of the afternoon until dinner at 8. Right now we’ve got 2 baptisms coming up this weekend and probably around 6 or 7 other investigators. I’m sure I’m having very similar experiences to Justin. Dogs everywhere, the walls of houses are concrete but sometimes made out of whatever people can find, with dirt floors, dirt streets, trash everywhere. While you all are just starting to get snow, summer is just beginning here. It’s about 85 during the days and the people say that it’s just warming up and it’s going to be really hot through March. But, despite the language and the fact that I’m always tired, at the end of the day it isn’t so bad. The members are really nice, the people are humble and my companion is a great worker. This area has a lot of success, which makes the work fun and exciting but it’s hot as hatties. I love the people and members and my companion but can’t understand them or talk to them yet. I can feel the help of Heavenly Father every day and it’s a pleasure to serve the Lord. Today was p-day so we had a zone activity. We drove about 10 minutes down and then a 30 minute walk to a zoo. It was only 20 cents to walk the park and they had about 10 cages with your typical animals. In one decent sized metal cage was the most ferocious of them all: a house cat. haha. Then we played soccer, rested in the apartment, and now we’re emailing in a cafe just minutes from our apartment. We’ll go out to work at 6 again. Love you all so much, Elder Farmer