Dear Family and Friends,
Perú is pretty rad. It was like a 4 hour flight to Atlanta, then a 7 hour flight to Perú. I let up with about 20 elders/sisters in the Atlanta airport. Coming into Lima was sweet. I truly feel like Perú is where I am supposed to be. It is sooooo different here. Way poor. Yet the people are always stoked. Some crazy things so far: you can be in a mall and you will see La Policía just casually walking around with machine guns and there are walls and Security Guards around everything here: shops, homes, parks, churches, and schools… you name it an it will probably have a big wall around it with at least one heavily armed security guard. Lastly, the traffic is nuts. There are hardly any traffic lights, pretty much no lanes or laws, and like 40 million cars. It is a trip.
We got to the CCM (MTC) at 2:30 AM on Wednesday, October 21st. By the time we finally got to bed, I realized I was gonna be awake in 3 hours. The first day wasn’t too bad. It was just a lot of welcoming and orientation type stuff. I would have to say, though, that the first day here was the longest day of my life. Our Preparation Day is Wednesday, but I was only able to write a quick note that first day. My Companion is Elder McKamey. He is from Las Vegas, but he moved around a lot as a kid. He is way sick (cool) and we get along super well. We both are already pretty advanced in the Spanish (shout out to DP) and we work very well together. They really do teach you how to teach in the MTC. However it has been a really rough week for our district. We had two kids go home. One wasn’t prepared and was on a mission for the wrong reasons. The other had to straighten up some stuff and sort some things out. I have only respect for this Elder because he is doing whatever he can to get back here as soon as possible. Only 8 remain in our district and I guess 3 more are dealing with problems, but we aren’t sure what they are going to do. MISSIONS ARE HARD, GET YOURSELVES READY.
So far, my favorite things at the CCM (MTC) are going outside of the walls to do stuff, playing fútbol (soccer), and hanging with the Latinos. They don’t speak any English so it really helps us with our Spanish. Also, they are all way rad kids. The CCM is about 50% Latinos and 50% Gringos (USA). All of my teachers, including the CCM President are latinos, mostly Peruvian.
You have a very tight schedule on the Mission and truly have to devote every minute of the day to the Lord. My testimony has grown so much. In the small amount of time I have been here, I can see all the small blessings I have received while here. Too often, before my Mission, I did not always do the little things each day, such as praying or scripture study, yet I hoped to be given some great miracle or vision to know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. That’s not how it has happened for me. Rather, I slowly gained a strong, firm testimony and belief, when I was consistent in the little things. You can’t say you don’t like “Star Wars” if you don’t know what it is about and if you never have truly tried to understand it… if you have never experienced it for yourself. The same is true about the Gospel and the Church. Like it says in Alma 37:6 “… by small and simple things are great things brought to pass…”
Yo sé que La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de Los Ultimos Días es verdadero. Yo sé que Jesucristo es nuestra Salvador. Estoy agradecido por la oportunidad a servir un missíon y yo sé que esta es lo que necesito hacer. En el nombre de Jesucristo. Amen.
“Well.. that’s all I have to say about that.” Forest Gump (Post Vietnam War)
Love you guys.