Monday, February 20, 2012

"So sick so sick of being tired, and oh so tired of being sick!"

So sick so sick of being tired, and oh so tired of being sick!

This week was kinda rough. And it's not because I was a Valentines Day Weenie. But for multiple other reasons, including the fact that I got sick twice. Started feeling a little sub-par last Monday and then Tuesday I was super sick. Couldn't leave the room to proselyte. Wednesday I felt better and all was well. Thursday felt good, Friday felt good, and then boom, Saturday I was extremely sick all over again, and stayed in for the second time in one week. Started recovering little by little yesterday and today I'm all back to normal. But it's been tough! On top of that, this week every night the ward had an activity planned. A whole week of activities before the ward conference on Sunday. Well, I was way excited for it. Figured it would be fun, and it would be a good missionary opportunity... Well, long story short it was just about the worst experience of my entire mission. On Tuesday (the first day I was really sick) we had two Elders from Pueblo Nuevo come stay with us to help us out with the activity that night. It was an open-house at the chapel where members would invite friends and other people to tour the church building and learn a little more about what we do and our beliefs and such. Good idea right? So it's supposed to start at 7:30. We get there, and we wait... and wait and wait and wait and finally it "starts" at 8:30. Except only members were there. Oh great! So the branch leaders get up and start burning the members for not bringing friends or anything. That really bugged me, because the leaders didn't bring anyone either. Be an example! So they changed the activity an hour after it was supposed to start and had all the members that were there, and us missionaries (except for me because I was way too sick to do anything) to go out and to invite people we find on the street to the chapel. Seriously? Well we didn't have much time because we are supposed to be back in our room at 9:00, but that didn't matter to the branch leaders. Nobody cares about our schedule. So the night was pretty much chaos. Then after it was all over the elders ordered a pizza and I didn't eat any because I was sick. Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! That was so sad. Haha. Well, I figured the next activity would go better. Wednesday night was a talent show. Also supposed to start at 7:30. So we show up at 7:30... and wait and wait and wait and wait a freaking ton and it finally started at 9:30!! At which point we had to leave. Two hours totally wasted. I felt really bad too because we had investigators there and everything. People were leaving because it wasn't starting. How awful. Thursday night was more of the same. It was a movie night that also started super late. It was really frustrating. So we realized we were wasting a ton of time with these activities and didn't go to the one on Friday. Yikes. Rough week. With all those hours we lost, and the days we lost because of my sickness, we didn't really get a whole lot done this week. I feel bad about it but this week I'm gonna work the lower part of the back of the canister that is my body off!

The worst part about being sick here is having to deal with all the people who have all their own really weird ideas of how to help me get better. No, I don't want your weird pills, I don't want your weird foods, and I don't want your other weird concoctions that will supposedly heal me. I just want to rest. And I especially don't want to eat more rice! That's the hardest thing; trying to get the point across that you are too sick to eat food. You literally cannot tell anybody here that you don't want to eat. They will force you to eat. Every single time. And it makes me sicker. It's probably one of the most frustrating things I've ever had to deal with. Sometimes I'll settle on "just a little bit" of something and then they'll give me tons of food and I can't eat it all and it just makes me feel bad. Also in Peru, "a little bit" of rice, is a freaking gigantic pile of rice in the United States. A tiny bit of rice here is more rice than I've ever seen in the States. Oh gosh, I have eaten more rice in these past few months than anyone should ever eat in an entire eternity! Porter described his diet in the Phillipines as "rice, meat, soda, bread, repeat..." Yeah that's pretty much my same diet. Only rice is like 99% of it. Except for it also sounds like he's getting to eat all kinds of other yummy stuff and I'm just... eating rice. When I get home I am never eating rice again. Speaking of Porter, someone should let him know how much I love reading his updates. They get me so pumped and he's such a great example to me and it's so fun to read about all the similar experiences we're having! I liked how he talked about how he taught a pastor. Yeah, been there, done that. Except the pastor I taught was an ex-branch president who started his own church in his house after going inactive... whaaaaaaat... So weird. That was my second day in Pacasmayo so probably I only said like two words, but it was an interesting experience. I know of three inactive ex-branch presidents here in Pacasmayo. It's ridiculous.

Anywho, it's starting to get really, really hot here, which is kind of discouraging because Pacasmayo is the coolest city in our zone. Yikes! But at least I'm here during the hottest part of the year instead of somewhere where my face would melt off. I'm beginning to learn the true definition of being thirsty. I'm spending almost all of my money on drinks. Haha. It's rough. Also, we're supposed to always have our shoes shined, but the thing is, when you're serving your mission in the freaking desert of Tatooine you can't be outside for two seconds without your shoes being covered in dust. So when I shine my shoes, it looks kinda cool, as long as I never go outside after I shine them. Actually, Pacasmayo is more like that one level in The Force Unleashed where you go to the planet that's basically the galaxy's garbage dump and the entire planet is covered in garbage. Raxus Prime? Yeah, that planet is just barely an exaggeration of Pacasmayo. It's icky here. Garbage is everywhere and because of that everywhere smells really bad. And it's only Pacasmayo too. None of the other areas in our zone are like that. It's way gross. I don't have any pictures of the garbage because up until now I figured that wouldn't make a nice picture, but now I want to show you guys. Maybe someday.

I got to see Elder Ruiz for the last time yesterday. This morning he went home! His two years are up, and he lives in Lima so he's probably already at home right now with his family. Wow! Missions actually end? Elder Ruiz is the man and I'm gonna miss him a lot. I wonder who our new Zone Leader is gonna be...

Wow I'm seriously lacking good things to tell you this week! It's been a tough one. Thanks for all the updates though! Mega huge congrats to Emilie for getting her call to Honduras!! So awesome!! And Hannah Hutcheson is waiting for a call too (or maybe already got it by now...)? So cool! Also Jacqueline said that she wanted me to mention her in an e-mail so I'm just gonna make fun of her for having to read The River Between in IHS. Ahahahahahahahahaha. That book is the worst. Also IHS in general. Fer realz. My first two years of high school were not that fun, and then I switched from IHS to regular South and my second two years were the funnest. Wow, high school was way fun. But I digest... RICE.

Also WHAT THE HECK SAM PLAYS THE CELLO?!??!??!?! How come nobody told me this earlier? Didja know that the cello is one of the instruments I want to learn the most? I mean, there's a long list of instruments I want to learn, but the cello is pretty high up on that list. That is so cool!! I never knew. I think on that list is guitar, piano, voice (counts), drums, ocarina (of time!), cello, organ, violin, banjo, bass guitar, ukulele... probably more.

Today we had our first free p-day in... forever. A p-day without any zone activities planned. So I figured it was my one change to actually write some letters for once. Well... I wrote two. So that's a start! To Mom and Dad. Sorry siblings. Sorry friends. But writing these two letters is an important first step to writing more!... maybe? We'll see what I can do. And super thanks for the Valentines Day stuff! I've hardly eaten any of the candy because I've been sick. But I ate some of the sour gummi worms. Mmm... But they weren't that sour. But that's what the Warheads are for!! Ahh I'm so excited to eat Warheads!! And Chewy Gobstoppers again. Where do you find those things? Adam and I are both very well aware that Chewy Gobstoppers are harder to find than an Entei without a Pokégear. But thanks for them because I love them oh so much. Elder Choc appreciated his treats too!

So yeah, I'll try to have more good stuff to say next week. This week wasn't the greatest of weeks for me. If I had to briefly describe the biggest problem this branch has, it would be... unity, tithing, arguing, keeping the sabbath day holy, reading the scriptures, friendshipping, gossiping, callings, punctuality, interest in missionary work, waiting for everyone else to do all the work before you have to do anything... etc... Yeah, it's kind of mind blowing how different things are here. It really makes me appreciate home and our ward a whole ton. I'm way happy to be here with Elder Choc for another transfer, but I think after this one I'll be ready to get to know a different area of Peru. Hopefully I'll get transferred to Hoth.

Oh yeah, maybe we're getting running water today!... though I'm not gonna get my hopes up. Haha. Talk to you next week!

Sorry for all the "one-percenters". Never expect those to stop.

-Elder Hemsley

I had to ask Jacqueline (Victor's sister) what the "one-percenters" comment meant.  She said that that means all the jokes or references that only about one percent of the people reading this letter are going to get... Victor sent a few more pictures this week.  Enjoy! 
-- Victor's Mom

"Told you I was on Tatooine!"

"Lost in the Peruvian wilderness..."


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