Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 20, 2011: Hola from week 1 in Lima--Hermana Bowles

Hola familia!
Okay, first of all, I haven{t quite figured out this spanish keyboard and the complications are even bigger because I only have thirty minutes and don{t want to waste it on figuring out how to enter to the next line or find the apostrophe button. Excuse my errors.

Wow this week has been a doozy. There are about 98-100 missionaries here, 16 of which are sisters and 4 of which are North American sisters. All the Hermanas only take up 3 rooms here because there are so few of us. P-Day is Wednesday and we get to go to the temple this afternoon!!!! It's neat because 17-ish latinos here are going to the temple for the first time and their companions get to be their escorts! Isn't that awesome? Anyway, we catch the bus in front of the CCM and tell them 'take me to the Mormon temple.' Roundtrip is 1 sol. Everyone pretty much follows the same schedule here of breakfast 7-8, personal study 8-9, companion study 9-10, class 10-12, lunch 1215- 115, class115-5, PE 5-6, next activity prep 6-630, dinner 630-715, class 715-900, planning 9-930. Every day. Thursday, Hermana Whetten (CCM President's wife) had orientation with us North american newbies. She split the twenty four of us in half and said 'okay, the people on the right are going to be constipated and the people on the left will have diarrhea.' Awesome, just what I wanted to hear. The oldest group (those from the previous 3 weeks) said she was pretty much dead on....we'll have to see how my adjustnment goes this next week.

I am already getting tired of rice. It's at every meal except breakfast! The other night at dinner I asked for no rice and took my meat, potato and dessert and sat down. Hermana Paez asked me why I didn't get rice and I said because i don't like it. 'Why did you get dessert then?' I stared at the bowl and didn't understand. She then explained that it was arroz con leche! AAAHHH! There is no escape from the rice. It's even in the salt shakers to help with no clumpies in the humnidity. The other thing is that we have to finish all of our food or the dishwashers make you go back and finish. You either take just what you need or learn how to strategically hid it under other dishes if you don't like it.� Juice is a whole ordeal, too. It's real juice, but really different. We always have to ask each other what it is before we get some because there are no labels.

My companion's name is Hermana Pereyra age 34 and she's from Lima. She was baptized when she was nine, but just returned to activity about 4 years ago. She told me that she'd go to a park every day with her nieces and nephews to play and exercise and always saw the missionaries smiling there. She told me something about them giving her kids a primary children's songbook because she wanted to sing to them. Her nieces ran after them to return it and that's how they started talking to her and found out that she was less active. They ended up baptizing her, her parents, cool! Now she's with me! I love the Latinos here. They seriously come pre.taught. I think they send us North americanos here so we can learn to teach like they do. Today at breakfast Hermana Brown was asking her companion if she wanted a north american companion. She said What? Hermana Brown said, well it's harder because I don't speak spanish. Hermana Palma said, but we're all people. it doesn't matter that you can't speak spanish. Wow. I need a lesson in her faith. Spanish is going has to because we're immersed 24/7. noone speaks english--not even the teachers. love always, Hermana Bowles

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