Friday, June 1, 2012

"I ate guinea pig..."

Hola familiarinos!

I don't know what that means but sometimes I make up words that sound españoly to me.

This week... I got sick. Didn't do a whole lot this week. Kinda boring. Kinda icky. Got some good ol' mail from you guys once again! Thank you so much (for to playing my game)! another Super Mario reference

Yes mother, I am equally as confused as you are as to how come everyone here is Catholic, yet nobody is married. Well, actually, not really. The reason so many people are Catholic here is because a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away called Peru, Catholicism was forced upon this country by law, and now everyone here is Catholic by tradition, but not really by faith. Its not like other places in the world where people are Catholic because they actually want to be Catholic. Here it's often just because their great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great aunt was forced to be Catholic.

Dad, your letter in español was mostly good. Haha. But what you said about "la hora Peruana" or "Peruvian Time" is 100% true!!! Like 101% true. Can I just share that quote you sent me with the rest of the world so they can understand as well? Okay, well, I'm gonna. This is La Hora Peruana (according to a book that Greg is reading, Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time): "This is the code, indecipherable to North Americans, by which Peruvians determine the latest possible moment that it is acceptable to arrive for an appointment. The statement "I'll be right back" can mean just that, or it can mean that the speaker is about to depart via steamship for Cairo. . . . By one estimate, each Peruvian arrives a total of 107 hours late each year, a number that is shocking only because it seems so low. My friend Esteban, an Ivy League-trained businessman living in Lima, needed to lie to his mother in order to get her to his wedding on time. He told her the ceremony began at noon when it actually started at 4 p.m. She arrived at ten minutes to four, red-faced and puffing." Real thing. We've had to lie to people about when activities start too, and they still come late. One other thing that La Hora Peruana includes is apparently not being at your house at the time that you invited someone to come over. I get to experience that one every day too. I don't understand!!! It truly is an indecipherable code to me.

Sam writes me weird letters. I would like to share an example of what the letters I receive from my little brother are like:

"I can't even tell you how much delicious foods you've missed out on, but it's crazy, it's like mom was trying to make all the best foods after you left. Mom says soon we're making chocolate mousse and donuts. you're gonna miss out on so much." - Sam

Haha. Thanks Sam. Shut yo' face!

Anyway on Tuesday we had our multi-zone conference in Chiclayo which was way awesome! My favorite part is always when President Risso speaks. He gives the best talks ever! He gave the coolest talk about The Bible and he always gets me so stoked to be a missionary. Also, in some missions in the world, missionaries aren't allowed to drink sodas, or specifically sodas like Coca-cola or Pepsi. But President Risso is so awesome that he gives us Coca-cola at our conferences. Haha. Most people who know anything about my soda preferences (MOUNTAIN DEW MOUNTAIN DEW!!!) know that I've never really liked Pepsi or Coke that much. But since coming to Peru, I love them both. Especially Coke. I think it's a mix between the fact that the sodas taste different here, and that in comparison to all the other drinks which aren't that good, Pepsi and Coke are the most delicious thing in the world. Kinda weird though that my whole life I've never had any problems with drugs or anything but now that I'm a missionary I'm becoming a coke addict. LOL!! Haha. We also got to eat pizza from Pizza Hut which was clearly the best meal I've had since leaving home (actually not, because two times in the MTC in Provo we got to eat Papa Johns. Better). Also I found the elders who are now in Pacasmayo and talked to them for a bit to find out that Diana still hasn't been baptized! Nooo!! Patience...

After the conference Elder Monzon came back to Olmos with me for a work visit which was way fun. He's a way cool guy from Cuzco and he's just about done with his mish. Learned a lot from him. And a miracle happened too! On Wednesday, four appointments in a row didn't fall through! Wow!!! Amazing!!! Thursday morning, when the work visit ended, was when I started feeling sick. Ick. We had our district and zone meetings, and then I could barely eat my lunch, and then on the way back to Olmos I started feeling way worse and we couldn't go out for the rest of the night. Friday we went out for a little bit but I started feeling horrible and had to go back to the room to do a lot of nothing for the rest of the day. Saturday I still felt sick too. But like I told you last week, we got invited to eat guinea pig with a family from the branch and even though I felt like crap I couldn't pass up an opportunity like that so we went, I ate guinea pig, it was really good, I got sicker because of it. Hahaha. That night we went to our last appointment even though I felt bad just because we were so bored in the room we had to go out and do something. I learned from experience that the busier you are on the mission, the less homesick you are. We barely did anything for like three days, and I got homesick! Haha. But being in the room so much wasn't a total waste of time. I read over 30 chapters of the Bible on Saturday. Haha. I read all of Revelation, thus finishing the New Testament (!!!) and like ten chapters of Exodus. I read Revelation when I felt like studying, and Exodus when I was more in the mood for a story. Haha. Revelation is way cool because the whole rest of the New Testament is the life of Jesus Christ and the life of his Apostles after his death and then you get to Revelation and BAM it's the freaking apocalypse!! Which is actually what the book of Revelation is called in Spanish: Apocalypsis. A lot of it went right over my head, but I understood a lot of it too. Way awesome stuff. Exodus was fun just because its the famous Moses story that everyone knows. Kewl stuff. And now that I'm done with the NT I wanna start reading the BoM in English again. Since I've been on the mish I've read the Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price (twice), the New Testament, Our Search for Happiness (twice), Our Heritage, Jesus the Christ, and this other missionary book that Grandpa Hemsley gave me. Lotsa reading! I wish I had more time to read too. The scriptures are the coolest.

Oh yeah, also on Thursday when we were in Lambayeque eating lunch with our zone a kid from the church came by hoping to find some North American missionaries because he had to interview native English speakers in English and get it on video for a school project. Elder Scrivner and I were the only ones, so we both got interviewed separately. It was a really short, really basic interview, but the weirdest thing happened: I had such a ridiculously hard time speaking in English!! It was so hard for me to come up with answers to his questions in ingles. It was ridiculous. He asked me simple things about Lambayeque, and to make it worse, I don't know anything about Lambayeque, but he asked me something like if I could improve one thing about Lambayeque what would it be, and trying my very best to make words come out of my mouth that made sense I struggled and said something like "uhh, the dirt roads." Haha. Dang. That makes one of two experiences on my whole mission where it's been hard for me to speak English. The first was in Pacasmayo one night when Elder Choc asked me to say a prayer in English. That was really hard too. Which doesn't even make sense because I still say all of my personal prayers in English. But whenever I pray out loud it's always in Spanish.

One silly thing that happened when we went out for a little bit on one of the days I was sick was that we knocked a house that we had previously knocked a few days earlier who told us we could return. Well, they weren't there, but there was this brand spankin' new "This is a Catholic Home" sign in their window. The guy must have thought "oh crap, did I seriously just tell the Mormons they could come back?! Ohh no, better put this sign up now!!" But the whole reason the sign was so great was that the background image was an LDS image of Jesus Christ. Haha. Classic newb mistake.

Yesterday we also went out and after two appointments in a row fell through (typical...) I got the feeling that we should go stop by and visit this other lady we've been visiting but didn't have an appointment with. But she lived mega far away from where we were. We decided to go anyway, and after a half hour of walking (which is way too much when you're feeling sick) we finally got to her house and she let us right in. The last time we visited we gave her a Libro de Mormón and left her a chapter to read. Well, we asked her if she was able to read it, and not only had she read the chapter, but afterwards she also started reading it from the beginning and said that when she reads the Book it feels her with feelings of hope and relief, and that she knows it's true. Wow!! This was a lady that I wasn't so sure would be able to progress before, but now we're def gonna focus on her a little more. So cool!! The Book of Mormon is so powerful if people actually read it and ponder it. Coolest ever.

One thing we get to eat a lot here that I actually really like are fried bananas, and I told Hermana Rosa that I wanted to learn how to make them, so today for lunch we went to her house and she taught me how to make fried bananas! Haha. So fun! So good. I got pictures but I can't send any from this dumb computer. So now on top of scrambled eggs and macaroni and cheese from the box I also know how to make fried bananas. Woo! Haha. In school I remember I survived on Eggo waffles, Spaghettios, microwavable hot dogs, and a lot of Subway sandwiches because I lived like six seconds away from Subway. Maybe I should learn how to make food someday.

Yeah, anywayz, that was my icky sick week. I sure like you guys and I'm excited to probably get mail from you tomorrow (I dunno, sometimes we don't get mail...). You are all the best and I really miss you and Mountain Dew! I miss the United States more than anything. We have these missionary DVDs we sometimes watch to study but they're of missionaries in like San Diego and the whole time I'm watching them I'm like "gah, their room is so much cooler than mine!" "Hey! They get cell phones!" "No fair, their appointments don't fall through!" "Why do they get to drive cars?!!" "Their ward is so awesome!!!" Hahaha. But whatev, the mission is the best. See you all via e-mail next week!


-Elder Hemsley

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