Okay, so first off, this week was a lot better than the last. Even though we still don’t have anyone with a baptismal date and didn’t have many lessons, it was better. Sorry for not writing in the morning, I was pounded with work. (Ha, that sounded funny.) But really, that’s how it always is on Mondays. So, if you don’t get an email every now and then on time, don’t worry, it just means I’m working hard!
I feel like there’s so much to talk about! Where to start… So, yesterday was Whittakers birthday!! Big 21… Crazy that that’ll be me in just 5 months. Wow! I actually hadn’t counted until now! That’s way soon. We were invited to WAY more food than we probably should have eaten, but it was all reeeeally good. We had a typical Peruvian plate called, “Bistec a lo pobre” which consists of fried meat, usually like a thin steak-type meat, a fried egg, grilled hot dog, rice, potatoes, etc. That was followed by “rocotto relleno” which are huge, meat/vegetable filled peppers with a lot of rice and something called “yucca” which is a root, put in the oven. AFTER that, we were invited to cake at a member family. After all that, at 7:30 we had a dinner appointment with yet ANOTHER family. She gave us spaghetti and meat sauce, and afterwards a “tres leches” cake. It was really good, but walking home yesterday night, I almost puked like 3 times. Oh, and Whittaker was egged. Gotta love the birthday traditions here! Be aware boys for when I get home…. Hahahah.
I got a very interesting phone call on Tuesday… I was surprised to say the least. You might have to go back to my letters sent while I was in Juliaca to remember who I am talking about, but Leonel called me. He had news that brought tears to my eyes. He was baptized on Saturday. I couldn’t contain my excitement!! I almost yelled, haha, but what made the tears flow was when he told me that he wants to be a missionary. Oh my goodness.. I hadn’t been that excited and just so filled with joy for quite a while. He said, and I quote, “Brother Elder, (yes, and sometimes they call us: “brother missionary elder!!” hahaha) I just can’t thank you enough for what you have done for me. For introducing me to this way of life. For helping me in the darkest time of my life. I wish you could be here for my baptism, but I want you to know that I want to follow you in your service to God and be a missionary.” He just turned 21, is done with ‘college’, and he wants to serve a mission. I can’t quite find the words to describe my excitement.
This week, I have been extra grateful for everything that we have at home, and just where we live. SO many things have happened that have just opened my eyes ever wider to the fact that a lot of people here have… Nothing. We went to Merli’s house, the sweetest little girl that we baptized a month or so ago, and we brought some soda to share. How I wish you could be here to see how they live. They live with dirt floors, paper walls, tin roof, etc. You get the point. But when they saw the soda, their eyes opened up wide and smiles spread from ear to ear. My heart just broke. We are so blessed that we don’t have to worry about what we’ll eat for our next meal. But they do. I couldn’t imagine that. But still, they are some of the happiest little kids I’ve seen. They have absolutely nothing. What a blessing! To live with what they have, and yet be so content and happy with life. What’s worse is that their parents are inactive. Yet ALL the kids come to church on Sunday at 8am. They have a daughter that is 15 or so, and she has to be the mom, and help all the rest of them get ready for church, and be there on time. Her birthday is today, but we’re going over tomorrow. We’re going to buy her a cake to share with all the other little kids and her parents. Believe me, we’ve tried so hard to get them to church, but the dad is just impossible. The mom however says that she will try next week to come and attend with her kids. I just went over there to tell them that were coming over tomorrow, so that’s why I’m even later to write. But talk about an amazing bunch of little kids, right? Count your blessings.
Sunday we had 7 converts all in the chapel. That, is a great feeling. Some are missing, but wow, it was probably a first for me to see that many at once. In fact… get this… a couple of my converts are diggin on each other! They always come to church and leave, together. It’s cute, really. Hahaha.
Anyway, things are going a lot better. I love this gospel so much! I know that I had a bad week last week, but it got better. A lot better! Thanks for all the support you show me, I couldn’t thank you more. Theres more I would like to say, but I gotta get home!
In the words of the good band Relient K, "Cause I know to live you must give your life away." That sums up this email.
Have a great week everyone. ¡Los amo a todos!
Misión Perú Cuzco