Monday, December 7, 2015

First Week in the Field! First Discussion! First Baptism Date!

It's been quite a week! We're always doing something, so I haven't gotten the chance yet to fully unpack, but Peru is amazing!

I'm the Ventanilla Zone, and my area is called Mi Perú! The city is actually called that. It's a very different lifestyle here for sure, so that is taking some getting used to.

Mi Perú has a population of 60,000 people.
There are several mototaxis in this photo.
The first two days we did a lot of walking around the area to talk to people and so I could get to know the area. We taught a lesson Friday night and I was able to extend my first baptismal invitation! He said yes! So he is scheduled for January 2nd.

LDS Meetinghouse for Mi Perú Branch and Arenas Ward

We live in a little "apartment", it's downstairs from our pensionista, or sister that cooks for us. I have all the things I need, so it works just fine! The food is really good! A lot of chicken and rice. It's pretty impolite to not finish your food, or so I learned Day 1, so I have quickly accustomed myself to the rather large lunches we have. Our pensionista cooks lunch, and we prepare our own breakfasts and dinners. There are little stores close by, and a supermarket that's a short bus ride away that we can go to on p-days.

Mototaxis on av. Néstor Gambetta in nearby Ventanilla

Something so common here: mototaxis! Literally, so many of them! People take a motorcycle and retrofit it with a outside covering and seat in the back with doors and everything. It's like the size of a smartcar, but only three wheels. Really interesting. And they let you know they are available by honking at you as they drive by. So yeah, constant honking all the time!

view along Carr. Nestor Gambetta, just South of Mi Perú

view along Av. Cuzco that runs through Mi Perú

Something not so common here: grass! Or vegetation for that matter! It really is a desert area. There's sand everywhere.

My companion, Elder Chavez, is from Santiago, Chile

My companion is Elder Chavez. He is really nice. He's a great trainer. He is helping me get accustomed to the mission and the language but doesn't control me, which is nice because it's a good way to learn. He's from Santiago, Chile, and is starting into his seventh month here.

Our first week overall turned out great! We had 7 investigators attend sacrament, 8 new investigators overall, and we have a total of 10 baptismal dates varying from the last week in December into January!

Sister Archibald, Elder Smith, President Archibald
I am very impressed with my mission president and his wife. They are really great missionaries and people. In our interview, and in the orientation, he said that the Lima West mission is not a normal mission, that it is special mission because it is an obedient mission, a baptizing mission, and a retaining mission. He said when numbers are going down in other missions in Peru, the Lima West numbers are going up. That was cool and inspiring for me to hear. I have grown to love the study time in the morning.

I love studying the scriptures. It seems like the things I'm reading are so powerful, I don't know how I didn't see them there before! Even with my Spanish background, it's hard for me to still understand what natives are saying. But I'm accustomed to how my companion talks so he helps me a lot. I can't imagine what Thai must be like (for Sister Smith). I'm amazed at how people live here and are so happy. It's really a cool experience. The elder before me was here for 6 months, so a lot of people we talk to say, "¿aye donde está Elder Robinson?" but as my Spanish is improving I'm getting more comfortable talking with people too.

Like one would expect, it takes some time to be totally accustomed to a new country and language, but things are going along. I really miss you guys. The work is so inspiring though.

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