Week two in the field was way rad. To start off, for Preparation Day (P-Day), we took a bus into the bigger mountains outside of Cajamarca. We got dropped off and hiked for about 40 minutes. We passed cows, sheep, dogs, and even a llama. (I’m not sure even if there are a ton of llamas in Perú, ‘cuz I never see any.) After 40 minutes of hiking through grass, mud, and cow poop, we reached this incredible waterfall. It was so pretty. We hung out there with the entire Cajamarca Zone of missionaries and had a great picnic. I was also eaten alive by mosquitos but it’s chill. On our way back, we got in trouble with some natives who said we were trespassing on the their sacred land. It was hard to understand them because I am really, still learning Spanish and also because they were throwing in “Quechuan” words, (the native language) every once in a while. In the end, it was all good though. Way rad trip kinda exploring Cajamarca.
As far as the food… my stomach is exploring as well. The other day our pinchionist (the woman who cooks for us) brought out, for breakfast, a hot lemon herb tea and an entire fish deep fried in oil. An Entire Fish! Scales, bones, fins, eyes, brains and everything. With hot tea, for breakfast. If someone could mail me an In-N-Out Double Double with animal style fries and large chocolate shake, you would forever have a place in my heart. The food is not always what you might hope for here and my stomach doesn’t always react well, but, in the end, I am alive and the mish is still rad. Also, milk is canned and never kept cold.
It’s super easy to talk to people here about the Gospel. First, the people are naturally nice and talkative, and, second, they are always wondering what a giant white guy is doing in Cajamarca. For reals though, everyone just stares at me as we walk down the streets. Also, they are amazed when I say “hola” and then they ask me a million questions way fast in Spanish. For example, we were in a shop the other day waiting for some stuff and the workers behind the counter were talking in Spanish saying, “Ask him where he’s from,” “Ask him if he is rich,” “Ask him if he knows any famous actors.” Also, when I say I am from California they ask if I know Hollywood and which of my friends are famous actors, to which I reply, “only me and this kid, Jerm.” But for reals though, they have some pretty weird ideas about people from the United States, (not Americans, because they strongly believe they are Americans too), especially people from California.
Also, the missionary work here is great. We are constantly teaching (when the people remember) and we are busy most of the day. However, it’s not like you might hear; there are not endless lines of people waiting for their turn in the baptismal font. Missionary work is still work. To quote the great modern day Apostle, Jeffrey R. Holland, “Why would it be easy for us, if it was never easy for Him (Christ)?” It is definitely work out here, but I love every minute of it.
Other than that there is not much else for their week. It’s weird to think that I am two months into my mission already and have completed 1/12 of my service. For me, days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days. There are days that I am discouraged either because I am sick or people deny us, and there are days when I have never felt better. In the end, I am happy and know I can rely on our Savior for strength, which I do a lot. If there is one thing I have learned this week, it is that. Even though we may not always see Him or understand why we are put into certain situations, He is there to hold us up.
Seeb in 22. Don’t be dumb.
More pics on the site.
(Seeb: short for “see ya, bye”)
Extras from Elder Turner this week:
- I love my Mission President and his wife, they are awesome.
- Still lots of chicken and rice, and a some veggies.
- My stomach is still getting used to the food down here
- And… an excerpt from the letter he sent his brothers:I was given a copy of a talk the my first day by Pres. Marler called “The Fourth Missionary” by Lawrence E. Corbridge. It talks about how to be the best missionary and is nearly equal to the scriptures for me. It is what I’m going to model my mission after and how I will serve. It is so spot on and powerful. I hope that you will all read it. It is kinda long, but it is amazing.