Monday, December 5, 2011

The good and the bad from Pacasmayo...


Ahh, e-mail time. I never know what to talk about in my e-mails these days. Send me more questions and I'll try to answer them.

The work is going pretty well here. This past week we met some really great people who we think are going to progress a lot. We met this one lady who's super awesome. We walked by her one day and said good afternoon and then later we ran into her at a little shop (well, every shop is little) and set up an appointment to visit with her. We went to see her on... Friday? I dunno what day. But we showed up and she was so super ready to hear our message! Here's how awesome she was: she was taking notes while we were teaching her. Every time we used a scripture from the bible she wrote down the reference so that she could go back and re-read and study it again after we left. She was all ready with tons of great questions and she really had such a strong desire to learn more about the gospel. She told us over and over again that we are such good examples being out here for two years to talk to people about Christ, and that missionaries always look so happy, and she really wanted to find out how she could have that happiness in her life. Obviously that just made me happier. The spirit was so strong during our lesson. I taught better than I ever had before. I spoke almost as much as Elder Despain! Haha. That's a big deal for me. There are some lessons where I say almost nothing. We asked her to come to church with us on Sunday, and she said she would. And we asked her to pray about our message to find out for herself if it was true, and if Joseph Smith really was a prophet, by receiving an answer from her Heavenly Father. She said she would pray, but she told us she already believed that he was a prophet. She definitely felt the spirit too. One of the main problems we have here is that the people don't keep their commitments. They forget to read their scriptures, they don't go to church when they say they will, etc... but on Sunday she came to church!! I think she had a really good experience and we can't wait to go back and teach her again. We found some other good people too, but teaching her was probably the best experience of my mission so far.

We've also had some really weird things happen. Like the other day we went to teach one of our investigators, and there was another old lady there with her. So we were talking with this lady, and we mentioned that we live right down the street in the room above Mama Nena's house, and this lady starting telling us about how we need to find another place to live because Mama Nena is evil. Uhh, okay. So we talk to her a little more and say a prayer, and after we pray Elder Despain asks her how she felt about the prayer, which is something we ask fairly frequently. Tears starting streaming down her face as she told us... how bad it made her feel... What the heck? So she thinks Mama Nena is evil, and praying makes her feel so bad that it brings her to tears. Okay. She was crazy. Anyways, after that we went to an appointment, only to find that the lady we were supposed to be meeting with was incredibly drunk. She tried for like five minutes to try to get us to come upstairs as we tried to tell her over and over that we'd come back another day. Actually, we were pretty much yelling, because she was blasting music sooo freaking loud this whole time. Her speakers were blown, the house was a wreck, we could barely hear her and she could barely talk. I felt like at any moment I was going to get stabbed or killed. So we finally just sort of left. Thank goodness. Bad experience! I hate alcohol so much!! The other week we had an appointment with a lady and we got there to find out she was gone to talk to the police because her husband got drunk and starting abusing her and smashed all the windows and destroyed the front door. Why?! I see all the time how alcohol is ruining people's lives down here. It's really sad, and it really sucks for us. Saturdays and Sundays are horrible for proselyting because everyone is drunk. Just stop drinking!! It's awful.

Oh yeah, we still don't have running water. So that's fun. I've showered... twice since the last time I e-mailed. And by "shower" I mean cleaned my body by pouring buckets of water all over myself. I should shower every day but it's not even worth it. We're hopefully getting running water sometime this week. It sure is fun to manually fill up our toilet with water all the time.

Today our zone met up in Pacasmayo, and we all went to the ocean together. Nice! Except there is no beach. The whole time I was thinking about how I wished I was at Seaside or Newport Beach or something. But it was still nice to go to the ocean. Then we walked about a half hour to an abandoned town on the coast, which was kind of awesome. We got to walk through the abandoned buildings and everything. It was fun. I felt like I was in Resident Evil 5 the whole time. Resident Evil 5 because it was during the day and not scary. It was sweet though. And from there we walked a bit more to the ruins of an ancient city. Actually it wasn't really ruins, it was like huge piles of dirt where buildings used to be. They were made of mud so after all these years they've basically disintegrated into nothing. It was kinda neat though. On the way there we walked by some wild dogs who I was pretty sure were going to kill us. Especially since I still felt like Resident Evil and if there’s one thing I've learned from Resident Evil, it's that dogs are the scariest thing in the world and they will kill you. Haha. But they didn't. But to add on to that there were human bones scattered all over the place. Spooky.

Anyway, that's some of my experiences. How is this real life? How?! This is still so weird to me. I think one of these weeks I'm going to sacrifice an e-mail to just send you guys a ton of pictures instead. I hope that's okay. I dunno when though.

Oh yeah, I don't know if I'm getting your packages. I've only gotten the two identical ones that came in big envelopes. I never got the first one you sent me forever ago, and I didn't get the other one you sent me either. Tomorrow we get mail though so I'll see what happens and try to figure out what the deal is. Elder Despain said it took him five weeks to get a package from his family once.

That's about it for now. I'm still surviving out here. The Spanish is coming along slowly, but I'm getting better every day little by little. You guys are cool.

-Elder Victor

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