A big hola to everyone!
well i am here in tacna peru! it is the southern most part of peru right next to chile! alright a lot has happened this last week and i dont have much time so i will fly through this! we left the ccm on tuesday morning at 5 and headed to the airport. the night previous we all sang god be with you till we meet again and had a bunch of pictures. it was really sad to leave the ccm because i had so many friends and brothers tthere. we headed in a group of 20 down for arequipa. the plane ride was only like an 2 hr. flight or so and once we got off we got our bags and then went out of the little arequipa airport to find whoever from the mission office. yeah, umm....no body there to pick us up!!! so we all kinda just sat on the side of the curb and waited! i was made group leader by president cardon along with another elder and so we went to find a phone to call someone with some numbers that they had given us. umm...yeah none of the numbers worked at all. so there we were 20 missionaries sitting on the side of the street just smiling and happy to be in arequipa but lost. we eventually found president cardons number and he called the mission office in arequipa. so in the next 10 mins. here come the assistants and president and sister zobrist. president zobrist remember me as the one who was bringing the violin and we hit it off really well. he is a way cool guy and is the right man for the job down here in peru. they got a bus for us all and then kinda gave us a mini tour of arequipa where we got to take some pictures and see the locations and sites. they then took us back to the mission home and we had lunch and got debriefed on all the proccedures of the misison field and the mission expectations and rules and such. president then bought us pizza from a pizza hut down here! soooo good! havent tasted anything so good in a long time! and it wasnt with any rice! yeah baby! anyways that night they shipped all the elders out to some ghetto hotel to sleep because obviously the elders and hermanas cant be in the same house at nights. that was interesting...we were all so dead tired and we just crashed! we got up and did some excersies like we are supposed to but forgot that we didnt bring our filters that they had given us in the ccm for the field! and we arent allowed to drink any water without them so we worked out and then had no water until we were able to by some later in the day! haha the adventures that we have! we then went to the capilla and there we found out our areas and who our companions are. my new companion is elder pulido from mexico! he speaks a little english but not really! he is trying to learn english and me spanish! so it works out alright. we are assigned to a city called tacna peru. the southern most part of the mission and boarders chile almost. it is very ghetto to american standards but i love it! the people here are amazing and so humble! we live in humble circumstances as well and the ward here is amazing. anyways sorry i am jumping ahead of myself. so after finding out where we were going we got interviewed by president and then boarded a bus for a nice 7 hour drive to tacna! haha that was fun. it is just a desert out here! honestly, arizona has more plant life. man! i can never escape the desert can i? hahaha we rolled in a little after 9 and sort of unpacked and then crashed after we ate dinner. we have been tracting a lot and have been finding many people to teach! we have found 2 new familias and i think they are so ready for baptism but there are some problems in the way that we need to deal with but esta bien! the lord has really blessed us to find those prepared for this message. lets see....the spanish is coming along....i have been lost many a time and have no idea what is going on but it is coming. i know that the gift of tounges is real and that the lord will bless me. elder pulido has been a great help and encourages me when i get down. we actually had the opportunity to give a lady and her husband a blessing which was awesome. i butcherd the annointing in spnaish and felt so dumb but oh well! we had them and their family come to church on sunday. they are the ampuero family and hopefully they progress in this gospel. that is one of the problems here. getting people to come to church! which is obviously a necessary requirement for baptism! so we were happy to get them and another investigator to church with us! what else....oh yesterday night we went to see a member that has been recently baptized and just see how she was doing. we knocked on the door and she invited us in to her daughters birthday party! we ate so many cookies and popcorn and cake and drinks! the grandma there who i could just hug was so sweet (dont worry i didnt...mission rules) and kept giving us things! i was so full but you cant offend them here and you eat what you are given. i have been in good health and just a couple of times been feeling sick so all is good! the district and zone here is awesome and we are all working hard. actually one of the zone leaders is from mesa, az and then moved to utah but he knows a ton of people that i know so it is fun to exchange stories when we see each other. what else....oh i have been all the foods that i love...eggs galore and fish and stomach and a bunch of other stuff! haha i am enjoying the mission! i know my savior lives and that this is the place i am supposed to be. the lord has called me here for a specific purpose and i have been able to bear my testimony to investigators all the time. i love it. i cant believe before the mission i was so scared to share my testimony with people but now that i do it on a daily basis it brings such joy into my life. we go to bed so dang tired everyday which is a great sign that we have worked hard! nate you were right...i wish i could have my sunday nap!
well got to run! i love you all and am praying for you all daily! pray for me and my investigators
till next week from tacna!
Elder Weston Birtcher