Month: December 2015 (page 1 of 3)

Week 10 | Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  America kinds celebrates Christmas better, but I still had one of the raddest Christmases I have ever had.  The way they celebrate in Perú, or at least in Cajamarca, is all about Christmas Eve, or “Buena Noche.”  They gather together as families at about 9:00 or 9:30 at night and have a big dinner feast with turkey.  Then at 10 or 10:30 until midnight they talk about Christ and play games (and drink a lot.)  At midnight, they celebrate Christmas for like 2 hours, with music, dancing, more food, fireworks and other stuff.  Also, at midnight is when all the kids and people open their presents.  It’s weird ‘cuz they have a Santa, Papa Noel, but he doesn’t bring the presents or anything.  I’m not really sure what he does for Christmas here.  But yea, then at about 2 or 3:00 in the morning, they all go to bed.  They don’t really do much on Christmas day other than sleep and hang out as a family (and drink.)  The traditional Christmas food is turkey and this bread stuff called “panetón,” that they like worship.  It is pretty good.

Cajamarca Zone's Christmas Ever Feast

Cajamarca Zone’s Christmas Ever Feast

As for what we did for Christmas Eve was a bit different as well.  At like 5 in the afternoon ,we all got together, all 32 of the Missionaries in the Cajamarca zone and had a huge Christmas feast.  The zone leaders spent the whole day making like 150 lbs of mashed potatoes, salad, rolls and then 3 huge turkeys.  The food was way good and way filling. Then we had a gift exchange with all the missionaries.  I gave a Book of Mormon and a photo album, lol.  I received fireworks, that I can’t really use, and this dope Peruvian stuffed baby doll thing with a homemade missionary tag.  It’s so sick, haha. I am way stoked on it.  After the gift exchange, we watched the animated Disney version of “A Christmas Carol,” in Spanish.  It was pretty rad and I love that story.  After, we cleaned up and returned to our rooms and tried to sleep while people set off their fireworks and blasted their music.  It was a pretty fun day.

My present.. a Peruvian Baby-Doll with personalized tag.

My present.. a Peruvian Baby-Doll with personalized tag.

No chicken hearts.

No chicken hearts.

Some other things that have happened…

  • I got to Skype my family which was great.
  • We had the first big rain storm of the season here in cajamarca.  The streets turned into rivers and I was drenched hahahah, but it was all good.
  • I got pizza hut and hamburgers which was dope.
  • And I finally got the package my mom sent like more than a month and a half ago.

As for those we are teaching, they are all doing great.   We have some baptism dates coming up and we are all way stoked.  The people are so kind here.  It’s so rad to watch the gospel change lives.  I watch as people who have nothing temporally gain so much spiritually.  This is the best gift they can ever receive and I’m stoked to be able to share it.

What I have learned this week is what the true meaning of Christmas is.  It sounds so cliche to say this, but its true.  This was the first Christmas I wasn’t with my family.  The first Christmas I didn’t wake up to a Christmas tree or presents.  The first Christmas I really sought to understand why we celebrate Christmas.  I love the presents and the parties and the breaks from school, but the gift of having Christ provide the way for us is better than anything.  It was hard being away from my family, home and friends, but I know this is where I need to be and I’m just so stoked that I have every day to serve here.  Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo.

Seebs,
Elder Turner

More pictures on the site and some videos, too.

These are excerpts of our Skype with Wyatt on Christmas Day:

Video 1:
Three things to prepare for a Mission.
Video 2:
Wyatt shares his testimony in Spanish.

 

Hermano Juaquin making me a cool bag for $3.

Hermano Juaquin making me a cool bag for $3.

 

Week 9 | More Bus Rides and A Christmas Concert

Another week accomplished out here in Perú!  This week was kinds a roller coaster of things, but I came out all right.  To start off I got pretty sick this week.  It started on Sunday and got worse and worse.  The good old diarrhea and vomiting with some pretty bad stomach pains.  Also, we went down to Trujillo this week.  The bus ride down to Trujillo was kinda the worst thing ever ‘cuz I was already way sick and I was in a rickety old bus for 8 hours going back and forth down a mountain.  This was probably the worst 8 hour bus ride, but it’s chill.  When I finally got to Trujillo, Presidents and Sister Marler had me just come to their home to get some medicine and sleep to get better.  This was rad of them because I really did need some help.  They are the best.  I love them so much and I am bummed I’m not going to be able to have them for my whole mission.  But yea, I was way sick and there were a few days that I couldn’t really eat anything and I lost more than a few pounds, but thanks to the Marlers, I’m all better now.

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Some random things from this week: I’m getting kinds sick of chicken hearts.  The feed us them almost everyday and I’m not to big of a fan of them.  They are weird and squishy and yea… I don’t love them.  Also, we have different assignments with the missionaries in our zone.  This week, I was assigned as “fútbol” leader.  Pretty much, I just coordinate with the stadium what days our zone wants to play soccer in the mornings.  It’s pretty rad.  We usually play 3 times a week as a zone in a big, old stadium here in Cajamarca.  Also, I don’t think there is a single clean water source in all of Perú, so we have to buy water like 3 times a day.  I will take that a million times over dying of dysentery.

Good old Mickey D's

Good old Mickey D’s

As for my food highlight of the week, we got to go to McDonalds our last night in Trujillo.  Back home I didn’t Mickey D’s.  It’s so different here.  In Trujillo, it is like a way nice, expensive restaurant.  The menu is smaller and different.  I got a double-cheeseburger, large fries and a large chocolate McFlurry.  It was soooo good.  It also was the first American food I have had in like two months.  But for reals, Mickey D’s is prime here.

The best part about this week was that I got to go to the Temple.  It was great.  The Trujillo Temple is huge and it’s so pretty, both inside and outside.  You can feel the spirit so strong just being around it.  The inside is way rad too.  I love the peace and clarity you feel there.  I know Temples are where the Lord dwells on the earth.

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Another way rad part about this week we got to perform as a Mission choir and do some special musical numbers for the public in the “Plaza de Armas” in Trujillo.  The Plaza de Armas is this huge plaza that is like the social city center for all of Trujillo.  It’s big and always packed with people.  We performed for an hour and a half.  I never liked singing that much, but this was way rad.  The Spirit was so strong and every one was so stoked, especially all the people watching.  At the end, we had Santa come with a big bag of candy.  This props wasn’t the best idea ‘cuz like some little Peruvian kids jumped Santa and were like wrestling each other for the candy.  Luckily, Santa survived and everything was okay.  But it seriously was a way cool night and event.

The work is still great.  We are teaching a lot and my Spanish is getting better.  Merry Christmas to everyone, I hop you all enjoy you Holidays and remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Seeb,
Elder Turner

More pictures on the site.

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