Monday, August 27, 2012

"Hermana Risso brought homemade cookies into the office for us. Yes, this is a huge deal, because cookies do not exist in Peru. They don't exist so much that there isn't even a word to differentiate cookies from crackers."

Whoa. Time is going fast... Didn't I just write you guys?

Well, I'm super busy today. a.k.a I have no p-day and I'm just trying to squeeze this e-mail in while I do a ton of work. End of month payments. I was just doing those! How has a month gone by already?? Well, it means being in the office a whole lot. Last week was mostly spent in here. Not a lot of teaching going on these days. Kind of sad. Saturday, for example, was 8AM-7PM working on end of month payments. Probably the most boring day of my entire life so far. Unluckily, end of month and transfers are basically at the same time this time 'round, so it's double work. After transfers things should calm down a bit. But... I am so busy!!! This past week I've had to do a lot of work sorting out all of President and Sister Risso's spending so that they can still use their JPMorgan bank cards; I've had to deal with Zone Leaders losing their JPMorgan cards with their zone funds on them; I've had to deal with new missionary's cards that don't work; I've had to deal with every website that I need to use not working (this caused a bunch of problems this week...); and zone leaders getting their zone funds late because of the websites not working. Among other things.

Anyway, word on the streets is that today is a special day back home. Happy happy birthday Jacqueline!!! How old are you now?? Like, seven? Wow! You're getting old little sis. Hope you have a fun one. That's the main reason I'm even writing this e-mail right now even though what I really need to be doing is money stuff.

Let's see what I have to say about this past week real quick...

Well, for one, last Monday night, Hermana Risso brought homemade cookies into the office for us. Yes, this is a huge deal, because cookies do not exist in Peru. They don't exist so much that there isn't even a word to differentiate cookies from crackers. They were very delicious. First cookies since Provo! In Provo I was waaayyy overloaded with cookies. Like a million people sent me a million cookies. Haha. It sure seems like most of the highlights of my mission right now are eating food that I used to eat in the United States. Por ejemplo, this past week I totally found a store that sells Cherry Coke!!! CHERRY COKE CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT OH MY GOSH. Here in Peru they don't have any variations of any soda at all. Vanilla or Cherry Coke or Pepsi don't exist. Any flavor of Fanta or Crush other than Orange doesn't exist. There is only one kind of every soda here. Normal Coca Cola. Normal Pepsi. Normal 7-Up. Normal everything. They don't even have Diet of anything. And worst of all, they don't have Mountan Dew (although I have heard they sell it in Cajamarca...). Finding Cherry coke was a miracle. And I enjoyed it very much, paying a hefty $1.35 for a can. Mmm mmm. Other food highlights of the week include eating Pizza Hut twice and McDonald's once... and ice cream from KFC once. United States food is way better than Peru food.

Anyway since I started writing this e-mail two zone leaders came into the office telling me they got robbed, so I had to deal with blocking their stolen cell phone and giving them a buncha money that got stolen from their zone fund. Along with their money and cellphone, other robbed items include missionary agendas, shoes, backpacks, keys. This is not the safest place to live.

This week was multi-zone conferences here in Chiclayo. Those are always awesome, because President Risso gives the coolest talks ever. Except I didn't get to enjoy it as much as usual, because us office guys have to help out and so I was busy getting supplies, passing things out, walking around with the microphone to every missionary who wanted to say something, etc... Still fun. I went to two. But the second time we only went to help set up and to bring (and eat) the pizza.

The food I make these days is really bad! Well, right now it is, because I have no food and we haven't gone out to buy groceries for a while. Let’s just say that my breakfast and dinner yesterday was a bag of Lays. Normally (when I have food) I eat hot dogs or PB+J or something. Not too awful. I have had to get creative sometimes and made really gross inventions like chicken patty sandwiches that are soggy because I microwaved them when they were covered in ice (because I was too lazy to do anything else). Oh yeah, and I usually have a good stock of Oreos too. But I'm surviving. Luckily we have a really good penchant for lunches. Hermana Yataco cooks yummy. Yummy for Peruvian food at least. What still scares me is eating with members. Who knows what kinds of diseases I'll get eating their food... But really what I mostly worry about is the taste, not the damage it will do to my health. So yeah, I guess if you want you could send me that recipe book. It sounds like a good idea, in theory. I just don't know if I can get myself un-lazy enough to actually use it. Cooking is not my favorite thing. Keep in mind that we don't have an oven or nuthin'. Speaking of books you could send me, Mike's Book of Mormon comics please k thx.

Well, believe it or not, I still sometimes have cool missionary teaching experiences out here. For one, we got a new investigator to commit to baptism this week! For September 1st if all goes well. Her name is Jessica, and she lives in the same house as the bishop of our ward. Apparently she's someone that Elder Navas and Elder Karl contacted like six months ago but she never wanted to talk to them. My first week here, we found her at home, and she let us in and let us share a quick lesson. At first she wasn't interested but by the end of the visit something had sparked her interest and she was excited about getting a Book or Mormon and said she would come to church with us, which she did. We've had a bunch of good visits with her since then. She actually puts some thought into the answers she gives us to our questions instead of the standard "I don't know" answer we get 99% of the time from all the lazies. She's pretty cool. The weird thing is that she lives with the bishop's family, but before we started teaching her, she hadn't heard anything about the church before. Uh?? But yeah, hopefully everything will work out for this Saturday. Peter (that kid I told you about before) will also hopefully get baptized on Saturday. If that happens, this will be my best baptizing transfer yet! And this area has had a pretty long baptism drought (when I got here there was only one baptismal record in the area book. Now there are two :] ), so it's pretty exciting to see this happening!

Maria is still awesome. She's going to early morning seminary on her own and everything. We went on splits earlier this week and I went to go visit her with Elder Chero. It was a great lesson as always. She understands everything so well, and if she doesn't, she'll ask, and then she'll understand. We talked about enduring to the end and she's pretty committed to the gospel. She doesn't cease to inspire me and help make my personal faith and testimony grow each time we visit her.

Porter's letters still make me laugh. Our missions are so similar, even though they're so different! I feel like we're having almost all the same experiences. Right down to the gay handshake. Did I ever tell you about that? Yeah, it's pretty awful. Exact same as how Porter described it. I can see why he mentioned it as one of his spiritual lows of the mission. Fun times.

It sounds like you guys had a pretty awesome time down in California! I miss it. I can't believe you actually went on Star Tours seven times!! That's more times than you let me go on it last year!! Haha. I hate you. Hope you have a fun rest of your summer back at home. Hope Jacqueline has a great birthday!!! Hey Jack, wanna know something cool that I discovered like three or four days ago?? Check out what I wrote in my journal last night:


My level of tired right now is unreasonable. So tired the entire day. I'm honestly too tired to write. Lots of work to do tomorrow. I hope I survive! Also it’s Jacqueline's birthday tomorrow. I may only have to miss one of her birthdays, because if I want to get back in time for fall semester at BYU-I, I'm gonna have to come home a few weeks early... which means that one year from now, I might be at home!! That is the weirdest thing in the world!! How have I already made it this far?!? Stoked.

Yes Jack, I might be back for your next birthday. Happy (next) birthday!! I MIGHT BE HOME IN LESS THAN A YEAR HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE WHAT THE HECK.

We'll see :D

I miss you a ton a lot! Now, please excuse me while I go get a ton of work done while listening to The Prince of Egypt soundtrack. These are some good tunes.

See ya!

-Elder Hemsley

"Cherry Coke!"

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