Monday, January 28, 2013

"Elders, I don't know if this is good news, or bad news, but you both have to go to Lima tomorrow." WHAT?!! I was not expecting that.

Hello real life! What's up?

This has been sort of a weird week. Had to go back to Chiclayo a few times to show Elder Davis some stuff for the end of month payments that happen each month. That's all taken care of now. Shouldn't have to go back very many more times. I'm slowly getting to know my new area. Picsi is little, and very, very dusty. There is only one paved road, which is basically a highway from Chiclayo to Ferreñafe, which goes right through Picsi and splits the whole town in half. A lot of unexpected events happened this week which caused us to spend less time in our area than I thought we would get, so I still don't really know this place or these people that well! Luckily, Elder Arèvalo knows his stuff, so he's helping out a lot. Elder Arèvalo is awesome!! He's a way great companion. He's super funny. He's 24 years old, and he's from a part of Peru called Pucallpa. He's a convert to the church, and was baptized about four years ago. His family are not members. He was the first to get baptized, and actually got baptized without telling his parents. Haha. He told them like a month later. About a month before he started his mission, his mother got baptized too. He's helping me a lot, and he's real patient with all the extra stuff that I have to do going to Chiclayo all the time. He's super rad. I got lucky!

During the moments I was actually in Picsi this week, a buncha stuff happened. First, something sad. We have this girl we're visiting, who's super ready to get baptized, and really, really wants to. She's made a ton of changes in her life and has developed a strong testimony and has so much faith in her Savior and in her Father in Heaven. She was originally going to get baptized this past Saturday, but this week out of nowhere her dad changed from an indifferent "do whatever you want" attitude, to a "there is no way I'm letting you get baptized!!" attitude. She's 18, and technically doesn't need permission from her parents, but she doesn't want to cause any problems in her family either. Apparently her dad got really mad about it. Her family is very broken. She lives with both of her parents, but they fight all the time and basically it seems like everyone in the family, including her mom, is afraid of her dad, who gets drunk and angry and has told them that he's "tired of his family." Sadly, I've seen this a ton of times in Peru, and I feel like it's way more common than it should be. Awful dad, and the rest of the family is afraid of him and afraid to stand up to him and it just wrecks the family. I've met a lot of families like this here. This girl also needs an operation, but her family won't let her get one. Are you kidding me?! That is so bad!!! I feel so sorry for this girl, who just wants things to get better and to feel loved and receive the blessings of the Lord, but her life is just a huge mess and it's out of her control. She told us that she's going to talk to her dad and that this weekend she thinks she'll be able to get baptized. We'll see. I sure hope so. Pretty sad situation.

On a happier note, we also have this other way cool family we're visiting. Edgar and Jacqueline (probably not how you spell that in Spanish), and their two kids Nayeli and John. The first time we visited them we started sharing about the Plan of Salvation and they started asking a ton of questions and started questioning why their church has changed and skewed the teachings of Jesus Christ, and that what we were teaching them was how they thought it should really be. They readily accepted another visit, and the next visit was just as good, and the whole family accepted the invitation to get baptized!! Not with a date though, because first the couple has to get married, which is probably the most common problem in Peru. But, we're gonna keep working with them, because they're awesome!

Also, one day we were walking down this street, and this old man named Victor came up to us and started trying to speak to me in English. Awkward, because it was hard to understand. He told us where his house was, and then we went to his house to sit down and visit with him. Part way through the lesson I realized that his breath smelled like beer, and realized that this lesson probably wasn't going to go anywhere. However, he wasn't super drunk, and stayed interested and even got down on his knees to offer the closing prayer. Told us we could come back, and told us he'd be at church on Sunday. I wasn't sure what to think, but figured if we could catch him on a sober day that he might be able to progress. Well, on Sunday, this guy actually shows up at church!! Wow! And he was the first person there!!! Let me tell you, Sunday was super frustrating to me. It makes me feel bad when we invite someone to church, and they actually come, and there aren't any members there!! Church starts at 2:00. He showed up right on time. Nobody else was there. 2:15, like one other person is there. 2:30, still basically nobody. At 2:50, the bishopric shows up. THE BISHOPRIC. Are you serious?!?! How?! How can that even be real?! The bishopric shows up to sacrament meeting fifty minutes late. We started the meeting at 3:00. Great. But, luckily, Victor still had a good experience at church, and we had a few other investigators there too.

Anyway, things got interesting on Thursday. I had to go to Chiclayo to help Elder Davis with end of month payment stuff. Well, remember how I said our IDs are expired? We need those to get a few things done that we absolutely cannot do without them. Usually, the mission just takes care of this, and sends all of our stuff to Lima and they take care of it there for us, but it takes a while because we're not actually there doing it in person. Well, on Thursday, while I was working with Elder Davis, Elder Muhun, who is the new Personal Secretary who took Elder Samamè's place, told us "Elders, I don't know if this is good news, or bad news, but you both have to go to Lima tomorrow." WHAT?!! I was not expecting that. So, later that afternoon Elder Arèvalo and I went back to Picsi, got my stuff ready so I could travel, and headed back to Chiclayo to spend the night. My part-day trip to Chiclayo all the sudden turned into me not going back to Picsi until Saturday afternoon. Thursday night, this is what I wrote in my journal:


Getting on that plane is going to be the trunkiest thing in the world. I'm excited, but I'm also dreading it. Too much trunkiness.

Seriously getting on a plane was ridiculous. It felt like I was going home, and it was so weird.

Lima was kinda fun. Well, not really, but it was fun because I was with Elder Davis the whole time. We went to immigration to get everything worked out for our IDs. Waited in hours of lines, all for nothing, because the people there don't even really know what they're doing and messed up and told us we couldn't get our IDs renewed because we don't have a piece of paper. When they told us that we called the lady who was helping us and she came and told us that they were wrong and they should have let us do it. But, by then it was too late because they had closed and wouldn't open again until Monday morning. I was very frustrated to say the least. Sometimes I just can't handle how inefficient and unrealistically out of order this place is. I have had to develop a lot of patience in Peru, and it's something I still need to work on. So, in short, we didn't even get done what we needed to get done. Went to Lima for nothing. Seriously! But at least I had some fun with Elder Davis. Here's what I wrote that night:


Today. Was. Nuts!! Today was the weirdest day ever. It’s like I took a vacation from my mission. Just spent the whole day outside of my mission chillin' with Elder Davis and speaking English the entire day. Two flights. Trunky airports. Lima. And basically it was all for nothing because the people at immigration messed up and because of them we didn't even get our cards renewed like we were supposed to. Actually, we literally didn't get anything done. Just waited through like five hours of lines for nothing. Seriously. But, the lady who was helping us, Hermana Campian, was way awesome and took us to McDonald's (drive-thru!! My first drive-thru in so long!!), and then to the Lima North Mission office which was kinda fun.

It was fun spending a day in Lima with Elder Davis! And we brought 36 donuts from Dunkin' Donuts back to Chiclayo with us. Awww yeah!!

Lima was pretty cool. It is such a gigantic city. It's like Chiclayo on steroids. Kinda fun to get to see a new place. Really weird to not only leave our mission, but also visit another mission's mission office. Haha.

We got back to Chiclayo late on Friday night. Slept there, and on Saturday morning Elder Arèvalo and I went to this university in Chiclayo called Juan Mejìa Baca with our zone to teach some English classes! That's a first for me. Most of the North American missionaries from my zone were there, with their companions. They split us into groups and sent us into different classrooms. I got paired up with Elder Greene. I thought we were just gonna sorta be like helpers in the class, helping the teacher and interacting with the students and stuff. But, when we get there, the teacher was just like "okay elders, you have two hours. The time is yours." WHAT?!? Was not expecting that. At first I really had no idea what to do, and it started out a little boring perhaps, but by the end it was a lot better. Thank goodness for Elder Greene, because he taught better than I did. He remembers English better than I do too. Lolz. Elder Juergens, who's our zone leader, also came in and helped for a bit. In the end it turned out well. However, I absolutely never ever want to teach English as a second language. No way Josè. One career path I for sure do not want to take. I wrote this that night:


If there is one thing I never want to do for a profession, it is teach English as a second language. I hate it! It is so hard!! I don't even understand the rules of English! I don't know why I speak the way I do, I just do it! My whole mission I've struggled so much trying to help my companions learn a little English. It is too hard and I hate doing it. English teacher = NO. It went well though.

That was pretty much my weird week. Today Elder Arèvalo and I decided to rest. A lot. We got up, ate breakfast, and then went back to sleep basically until lunch time. Hahaha. It is the most I've ever slept in one day on my mission! It felt SO GOOD!!! I really needed that rest. Seriously, there are very few times in my mission that I've woken up later than 6:30, or been able to take a nice nap, but those few days that I do get it, I feel so much better than any other day! I remember once when I was a new missionary and we had a conference and we were talking about obedience and some of the mission rules. It got to the theme of waking up on time. One of the older missionaries raised his hand and was like "I'll admit that I've slept in late a bunch of times on my mission, and I can honestly say that I feel much better on the days that I stick to the schedule and wake up at 6:30 when I'm supposed to, than when I wake up later." I was just sitting there thinking to myself "are you crazy?!" Sure, you feel good about yourself when you're obedient, and I try to be, but I would be lying if I said I feel better when wake up earlier. Getting more sleep makes me feel so much better. SLEEP!! No, I have not made it a habit of sleeping in. But on the occasional p-day I will take a much deserved nap. Heaven.

Anyway, that mail I wasn't going to get for a very long time ended up getting to me real quick because I was actually in Chiclayo the day the mail came. So, I was super excited to get the news that Anna got her call to Tokyo!!! That is like the most awesomest thing ever!!! Seriously! I didn't really have any specific preference to where I was gonna get called. I thought maybe Austrailia would be cool, because it’s another country, but it’s still English. Haha. But as I was getting closer and closer to getting my mission call I remember thinking that going to Japan would be one of the coolest things ever. I think I always really wanted to come down here to South America deep down in my heart though. Haha. But, I'll admit, I'm jealous, because I still think serving in Japan would be awesome. Honestly, I'm jealous because every time you tell me that someone I know got their mission call, they're all going to all these rad first-world countries all over the world, while I'm taking bucket showers and visiting people who live in stick houses. I have really grown to miss the comforts of home. But, I love my mission, and I love the people here. Seriously it's going to be super hard for me to go home and leave these people behind. That will kill me.

Dad, I liked your talk idea about the 7 step plan for every member is a missionary. I might have to copy that idea and use it one Sunday here. We need a lot of help from members!! The problem right now for me is that there are barely even any members here in Picsi. Haha. When are you going to speak in the Spanish branch? I have no idea what you should talk about. But if you feel like you can, it would probably be cooler to read it than have a translator. I wasn't a fan of the translator talk I heard a few weeks ago. Too slow.

Jacqueline seems like a violin master by now! Keep practicing! Is Sam still playing cello? It seems weird to me because I've never in my life heard or seen him play cello. That still doesn't seem real to me. Awesome for me though, because it means free musicians I can hire to help me with my music! Haha.

Falco seems ridiculous. I swear, if he pees on my Star Wars books, I will disown him. I hope he calms down by the time I get home. I just miss Rocket :(

Sam, stop making me jealous about drinking Voltage. I want that so bad!!!! Okay, you can keep doing it.

Any news about colleges for Bryn yet? Since this week my mail didn't get delayed, it means that next week it will. I have to wait so long for your next letters! Unless I end up going to Chiclayo on Saturday again, which is also possible. Haha.

Okay, well, I've spent much more time than I should have writing you guys this week. Gotta get going! I hope life is still fun in the real world. Life is still fun in this fake one.

See ya!

-Elder Hemsley

Here are some new pictures that Victor sent this week. You can see the rest of them by clicking the slideshow at the top of this blog.

Victor's been reassigned to the Lima North mission!! (just kidding) But he did go to Lima this week!



"Airplaning around."

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