Monday, January 14, 2013

"Usually when I tell people I'm going to Picsi they start feeling sorry for me. Haha. Don't even care bro! I'm just stoked to get out there and work!"

Yo family! And others.

I'm short on time today. I actually started writing this e-mail yesterday but never had time to get too far.

Anyway, TRANSFERS! I'm still here in the office right now, but I got my transfer on Tuesday. My new area is a teeny tiny area called Picsi (yes, like Pixy) that's probably about 20 or 30 minutes away from here. Basically it’s this really small town that's sort of just in between bigger more important areas. I don't actually know much about it. My new companion is Elder Arévalo, and I barely know him because I've been in the office this whole time while he's been out in Picsi working with a recent convert (really recent) as his temporary companion, or "mini-missionary" until I get there. From the few times I've spoken to him since Tuesday he seems super rad to me. People who know him tell me that he's really awesome. That he works really hard, and that he's really funny too. So, I'm way stoked to get out there and work with him! Usually when I tell people I'm going to Picsi they start feeling sorry for me. Haha. Don't even care bro! I'm just stoked to get out there and work! And, it sounds like I'm gonna have a lot of work to do. It’s an area that wasn't opened too long ago. It's not a ward. It's not a branch even. It's smaller. In Spanish, we call them "groupos familiares." Which I guess in English would be "family groups," except I've never heard of that before in my life so I assume it has a different name in English. Hardly any members. Hardly any leaders. Which means us missionaries get to do it all! Elder Sampson, who was in Picsi a few months ago told me that he had Sundays where he prepared, blessed, and passed the sacrament, and gave a talk. Haha. Elder Davis is replacing me as the financial secretary. His last area was also a "family group" and he told me that one Sunday he had to show up early to clean the... house chapel? (these are terms I don't know in English...). He had to clean the "chapel", then prepare the sacrament, then bless the sacrament, then pass the sacrament, then give a talk, then teach Sunday School, and then teach priesthood meeting. Hahaha. Oh wow, what am I getting myself into... I can't wait though! I think I'll be heading off to Picsi on Wednesday. And then I'll possibly be coming back here for a few more days to train Elder Davis in the mornings and go back out to work in Picsi in the afternoons. We'll see what happens! Months ago I went to Picsi with Elder Navas to drop off some plastic chairs at the house the members meet in. So I sorta have some small idea of what the area is like. Also, there's a prison in Picsi. Random fun fact. Hehe. Apparently it’s also a super hot area with lots of mosquitoes  Except this different kind of mosquito they have here that's worse than a normal mosquito because they're uglier and their bites hurt worse. They're called "zancudos." Woo! But it sounds awesome because Elder Arévalo told me they have a bunch of people they're teaching and a bunch of people who can get baptized. I'm the district leader, and even though I've still not set foot in my area, last night I had to call each area in my district for the weekly report. Elder Arévalo had a baptism on Saturday and has two other people with baptismal dates for the 26th, and a lot of other people to teach.

Been busy this week trying to train a new financial secretary. Training is hard! I have no idea how to teach this stuff! Still got a ways to go, but Elder Davis is doing great. I remember how I felt when I was learning this stuff. So overwhelmed. Like I didn't understand anything. I bet he feels the same right now. But he'll get it. Somehow I got it, and if I can, he can. Elder Davis is rad. Back in the day we were in the Guadalupe zone together. Gooooood times.

This week we also had something we've never had before. A multi-zone conference centered on our health. Two senior missionary couples who are serving in Lima came to Chiclayo to speak to us about our physical, and emotional health. The first time I've seen senior missionaries my entire mission! They were from the United States too, and so basically it was really weird for me because they spoke to me in English and I don't really know English that well. Really they just made me think about Grandma and Grandpa a lot and about how they're going to be missionaries soon too! The first couple spoke to us all in English, and had a missionary translate for them to Spanish. I had always wondered what it was like to hear a live translated talk. Really boring is what it’s like, because it takes twice as long to give the talk, because they say a little in English, and then the translator repeats it in Spanish, and they just take turns like that. And when you understand both languages, it's not that fun to hear it in the second language because you just heard it. But overall I enjoyed the conference.

Apart from training all week, this was also a week full of goodbyes! Actually, not really, because we were in the office most of the time. But Sunday was goodbye day! First, on Saturday, I went to visit Piter with Elder Samamé. We had a nice little visit. Answered some questions that Piter had about the priesthood. Good lesson. Piter kept asking when I was going to be able to come back and visit and it was hard to tell him that I probably won't be able to. Aw man. Then, on Sunday when I got to church, Piter came up to me and brought me a little potted plant as a goodbye present. Aww! Piter is the coolest kid ever. I know he's gonna continue to be a huge blessing to his family and to the people in this part of Peru. Then for the rest of the day I went out teaching with Elder Perea and Elder Davis, and basically every visit was ruined by the people wanting to say goodbye to me so much. It was sad!! I didn't realized the people here liked me that much! I hate goodbyes. It was especially hard when the people started tearing up. Really?! You're gonna miss me that much? How?! I never even knew the missionary's names back home!! Kind of an eye opener to realize just how much of an affect you might leave on people. I'm excited to get to go somewhere new, but I've been here since July, and I've met a lot of really great people here that I'm going to miss so much...

Anyway, that's about all that's happened this week. Getting ready to leave! Still gotta pack. Don't want to do that.

By far the best part of my week was when I found out that Elyse got her mission call!!! I was not expecting that at all!!! Seriously it made me so happy! I've always thought Elyse would basically be the best missionary in the world. She's gonna do so much good out there! I'm so excited for her!!!

Sam's making me jealous telling me about the new Zelda game. I guess I asked for that though. Dangit Sam I swear the main point of all your letters is to make me jealous. And it works!!!

Mom, that balloon battle game we played was kinda fun. Basically everyone ties a balloon to their leg and then goes around stomping on everyone else's balloons to try and pop them. I thought it would be a good idea to put my balloon on my left leg and stomp with my right. I was wrong. Put the balloon on the stomping foot! Now, go play it.

Dad, what I think about guy missionaries being able to serve at age 18... Honestly... I'm not really a fan of the idea. I feel like it was only made so that there would at least still be some difference in age between the elders and the sisters. I feel like 18 is too early to serve. I feel like going straight from high school to the mission is not a good idea at all. My year away from home before my mission helped me so much. It was definitely a blessing for me to have done it that way. One year away from home can change you and help you grow up a lot. Gotta grow up before you put that nametag on. Lil' bro, college before mish! Do it!

Anyway, this is a super short e-mail, but I just don't have time! Next week I'll have some fun stuff to tell you about. Let you know how my new area is 'n stuff. I'm way excited!

Until next week! If I can find time before I leave the office I'll try to e-mail you some photos before I leave.

Alright, bye!

-Elder Hems

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