Another rad week here in Cajamarca. I know I say that like every letter, but it is true. Every week I learn something new, experience something new, and every week truly is rad.

I am writing a day late ‘cuz there hasn’t been any power in Cajamarca for the past 3 days (and no power means no internet.) In Peru, February 6th, 7th and 8th are the 3 biggest days of Carnivales. They have parades, and day long paint wars with literally everyone from the city. Music, riots, parties, and lots of drinking. Cajamarca is the capital of Peruvian Carnivales and they are so involved that the city cuts the power for the 3 days to get everyone out into the streets to celebrate-and it works! For these 3 days, everyone is out celebrating. After Saturday, everything is covered in all sorts of colors of paint-streets, homes, walls, cars, dogs, people, …everything. It’s all connected to the culture but really is just the entire city partying for 3 days. It’s way crazy and not really controlled so my Mission President has asked us to stay inside or outside of the city for these 3 days and not to proselyte or work because it is not safe for us. That part kinda sucked, but yea, Cajamarca goes pretty hard for Carnivales.
Also, this week as a district we went on this way sick hike to this giant cross that sits on top of one of the mountains that overlooks the entire valley of Cajamarca. We had a 30-minute bus ride, in a bus that wasn’t made for regular sized people, to get to the base of the mountain. I was standing like a hunch-back for 30 minutes with a bunch of natives from the fields outside Cajamarca staring at me, so yea that was rad, hahaha. But, we got there and hiked this way sketchy trail all the way up the mountain. When we finally got to the top, it was way awesome. The cross was huge and you could see all of Cajamarca. It’s crazy how small Cajamarca really is. But we ate lunch and then it started to rain so we headed back down. The trail we hiked up was now a running river, so yea, we got soaked again, but it was a way cool experience and an even cooler view.

Some other things that have been going on…

  • Our new pinchonista (the lady who cooks all of our meals) is the ranks. She cooks so well, and so much. Their whole family is the bomb and hook up the missionaries.
  • Also, I found a super market that has American brand foods, so I am loaded up on Jiffy Peanut Butter.
  • I love Spanish! It is the raddest thing ever for me (besides actual missionary work.) It’s coming fast and I love it.

This week I have been thinking a lot about how to get the most out of this life, (it’s really a short amount of time,) and how can we benefit the from it. Really, its simple: just do what is right. As we teach, we always try to commit the people to do things that we know will help them -read the scriptures, live the commandments, and stop doing the things that destroy their lives. But why? Because we all need to have an eternal perspective. We need to do these things in order to find out what else we need to do. For example: when we really pray, we receive answers that are ultimately going to better us. One of my favorite quotes is by Jeffery R. Holland and says something like “Keep the commandments and good things (blessings) will come. Some will come quickly, some after a bit of time, and some only in the heavens. But for those who keep the commandments and do what is right, they do come.” Don’t be dumb. Make the most of this life. Think of the bigger picture and have faith that these good things will come. I love it here and know that what I’m doing is the best thing I could be doing for these next two years. Miss you all a lot.

Elder Turner