WOW what a week. Planning a wedding is extremely difficult here in Peru. Trying to get the proper documents ready and get in contact with the right people. People not answering their phones and letting us down. This week we focused all our attention on mostly getting Edwin and Marlene married and then baptised. Edwin and Marlene have lived together for 15 years and have 7 children. The oldest in 12 and the youngest is 3 months. They are very poor and live in a one room house way up on the mountain. Quite the hike to get to their house. This wedding was literally a miracle! I am telling you. Everything that could possibly go wrong did. And in Peru people are not exactly on time for anything. I am talking like an hour or two late. The lady that was supposed to decorate for the wedding was an hour and a half late and everything was in crazyness! But it happened and we are so happy and they are so happy! Yesterday they were baptised. 3 of their children are baptised and the others are too young. But they are on their way to being a forever family. It is amazing to see the change that takes place when people hear the gospel and apply it. Marlene looks so much happier. Her very countance. In our first lessons with her she always looked like she was about to cry.
We also had another baptism this week. Miceala is a single mother with a six year old daughter. She has a member friend and thats how we got introduced to her. She accepted everything we taught her immediately and was ready to be baptised very quickly! She bore her testimony after her baptism and it almost made me want to cry.
This week was very exhausting but we seeing the fruits of our labor and seeing the lives of people change. I also had a interview with the President this week and I expressed a lot of my worries and concerns to him. He had me bear my testimony and told me that is all I need to get me through. He said that he could feel my testimony and that is all need. The Spanish will come in time. Our testimonies are what give us the strength to do the things that feel impossible. As Kurt wrote to me, the Lord calls us to do the things that we feel that are beyond our capacity but at the same time he gives us the strength to do it. All we need is to be obedient and follow blindly in faith. My companion has only been in the mission for 4 months and me only 5 weeks but yet things are working out for us and we have had 5 baptisms this month. My companion keeps saying that I will train someone else when I get done with my training because there are a lot of Hermanas coming. I really hope that is not true… ha ha.
Love you all!
As Nathan said in his letter. It seems like the U.S. is taking a hit right now. People talk about the United States a lot here. A few people have told me that they want to come back with me ha ha. Including the brother that I told you about before that is looking for a american wife. Oh no! The good thing is that I can pretend like I don´t understand what he is talking about ha ha. His name is Hermano John this week he gave us like 6 references and is a big help in the work but he is very very passionate and crys a lot in our lessons. Goes off on big tangents but we have to be patient with him because he has been a big help to us. The members here have given us a lot of rederences and go on visits with us. We have a lot of new investigators! That we barely have time to teach. Today is our p day but we appointments!
Everyday we climb up the mountain. Stairs, stairs, and more stairs. Its exhausting but at least I won´t get fat ha ha! They feed a lot here so at least I can work it off! We walk a lot or take little motors. The mission is awesome but hard. I have seen countless people break down in tears, people on their death beds, and the hardships and poverty of the people in Peru. The people here are so receptive to the gospel and religion in general. They are a very humble and loving people. We committed 4 or 5 people to baptism last week and they all said yes. People are very willing to believe and hear the word of God here.
We taught a lady this week named Alejandrina. We asked her about the times that she has felt the love of God in her life. She told us about a time when she was is the jungle with her baby. It was a time of war and there were terrorists in the Jungle. She got held at gun point with her child. At that moment she prayed to God to save her. She didn´t get shot. When the general asked the terrorist why he didn´t shoot her he said I couldn´t and I don´t know why. God does answer prayers. He has answered many of mine since I have been here and my testimony grows stronger everyday. The spanish is coming little by little. I am starting to participate and teach more in lessons. The conference with Elder Zivic was really good. I sang in it and now at this moment the Elders are singing to me, come thou font, trying to distract me from writing this letter!
I love you all! Make it a great week!
And another week goes by… There happens to be a lot of slug bugs here in Huanuco. I don`t know why but we see them everywhere. But they call them frogs here. We have a contest to see who can see them first and punch each other. frog red! ha ha what we do to entertain ourselves in the streets. We had two baptisms this week!! Deysi, 12 years old and her brother Dayer, 8 years old. Their parents aren`t members and didn`t come to the baptism but are still supportive, none the less. We have taught their mother twice and I think she is very interested and thinks its very good for her children. She always laughs at me and says oh gringrita! ha ha. Yeah I get that a lot here. They are a very poor family. We had our pensionista make them a cake and gave Desyi two skirts for church. Desyi was very exited about the skirts and their younger brothers and sisters were thrilled about the cake. Its a big deal for them to have something like that.
This week a general authority is coming. Elder Civic of the seventy. Elder Bednar is coming to Lima but since I am way out in the boonies I can`t go. Sad but Elder Zivic will be really cool. Some missionaries in my zone put together a choir for the conference on Wednesday and we have a lady from one of the wards helping us. Some how I am now singing a duet with Elder Morrow, the first verse of come thou font… I guess I am a better singer than I thought. I am kinda nervous. There will be about 50 missionaries there. ahhhh. We have also had to do a lot of studying and preparation for the conference with Elder Zivic. He is also doing a special conference with new members and investigators. We are exited!
Thanks for your Dear Elders! I got them this week! I don`t have as long to write this week so I got to go!
Love you all! Congrats Keshia and Juan on your new house. Send pictures ok!
Our Baptism this week! Desyi, Dayer, Bishop Omar Luna, me, and Hermana Camones.
The view from my window. However, this view is about to change. We have to switch apartments because we have to have our own entrance and right now we go through the members house to get to our room.
Elder Weekes, Elder Gray, Elder Roth, Elder Brady, Elder Murphy, Elder Bennett,
Elder Bartel, Elder Barret, Elder Johnson, Elder Manning, Elder Gould, Elder Moore,
Elder Erickson, Elder West, Elder Watts, Elder Thurston, Elder Costello, Elder Overstreet.
Sister Campbell, Sister Sabalones, Sister Cardon, President Cardon, Sister Killian, Sister Polatis
Another week goes by! Peru is great. Very different but I am getting used to it. We have a lot of great investigators! We got 10 of our investigators to come to conference on Sunday! We were only able to go to one session because we had appointments and a service project. Plus we brought all these little kids to conference. Some of them our investigators and they wouldn`t leave me alone and it was in Spanish so if you could send me some quotes and talks through dear elder I would love it!
On Saturday we did service for one of our investigators, Marleni. She has 7 kids all under 12. We helped her do laundry. No one here has a washing machine or dryer. We did everything by hand. It was killer work and I got sun burnt. She asked me if I knew how to wash clothes by hand and if i had a machine at home. I almost felt guilty saying yes… People here don`t have alot. Its a humbling experinence and makes you realize that you have a lot to be grateful for.
We had a good week. I got to commit a lot of people to baptism. The Gamara Family all committed to be bapitised on the 20th. Carmen, Daniel, and their daughter Galizet. The problem here is that no body is married!!! So we have to help them get married too. We also have to other couples that are trying to work with. Their family is really great! We also have quite of a few kids we are teaching. The kids here love the missionaries. The people here are very open and friendly. They also really like to talk. Its kinda a problem because we miss appointments sometimes or are late. Its hard to cut them off and say we need to go. One of the members here went off on how he dreams of going to the U.S. and marrying an american…. uhhhhhh. The guys here are a little creepy. Or a lot creepy. I can`t go anywhere without creeper guys whistling or saying creepy things to me. But don`t worry ignore them and walk fast and they leave you alone.
I started teaching english this week. I have a class every thursday for an hour. Mostly little children and its hard to keep their attention. So if you have any ideas or activities I can do with them it would be much appreciated! Learning english is important because it helps them get better jobs and helps them get out of poverty.
My pensionistas family says hi by the way. Lili cooks excellent food. I eat a lot of rice, fried bananas, eggs, and meat. And did you know that they put eggs on their hamburgers here? Its actually pretty good. I am doing well. Its hard because of the language but its coming along.
Love you all!
Hermana Brittany Polatis
Our almost baptism. Freddy and my Companion Hermana Camones.
My dearest family!
Its been a good first week! Sounds like you all have been busy and having lots of fun! I wish I could have been there for Darci`s program!! But yeah anyway. I am in Huanuco, Peru. Way up in mountains. It is very very beautiful here. I am surrounded by green mountains. My first day in the mission I walked across the street of the ccm to the chapel. I know… really far away. We woke up a 5 to be there. I met President Ardilla and his wife. They are awesome! The president does speak a little english. Enough where we can communicate. The first day we spend totally in the capilla for training. Longest day of my entire life plus the food made me sick again the night before so it was a really hard day for me plus everything was in Spanish. I did have another Elder translate for me.
My companion is Hermana Camones! She is from Peru. The northern part. Can´t remember what it is called. She is great. Doesn´t know very much english. Huanuco is 8 hours from Lima. But that 8 hours ended up taking 13 hours… Not fun. We rode on this massive 2 story bus. Plus the altitude change made me really sick. The whole time we just went up and up and up and around mountain after mountain. It was snowing in some parts and the traffic was at a stand still but then we hit a point where is was flooded and couldn´t pass. You have to take a pill before you leave to your body adjust to the change. We got in at 1 in the morning. Quite the journey. That was my first two days. Not so good but since then much better.
I have a pensionista that I go and eat all my meals at her house. Her name is Lili and she is probably the nicest person I know! She says hi by the way. Her family is also amazing! They are all crazy and loud and like to make of me. One of her sons know some English and helps me translate and practice spanish. I help him with his English. They are the best. Literally my angels here. Lili says that she is my second mother. So don`t worry mom I am being taken care of. The food here is awesome! Everything is so good.
I am constantly stared at here. There are no white people here… I get called gringa, goldy, and one of the sisters here told me I look like a barbie…. ha ha. Little girls pet skin and play with my hair. Ha ha… Your so white!! Part of my area here is flat and the other part is staight uphill. I have climbed the steepest stairs and hills here. I am going to have serious leg muscles! There are a lot of members and investigators on the hills. Thats where more of the poor people live.
We were supposed to have a baptism on Saturday but it didn´t happen. His name is Freddy and he is 8. His parents are not members but his siblings got baptised a few weeks ago. He was literaly in the font!!!! He was too scared of the water and no one could convince him to do it and that he would be fine. oh boy! He just needs time. We are teaching a little 12 year old girl named Desy and her famiy. The Gamara family. Parents and one daughter. We also work a lot with recent converts. I will tell you more later! They are all wonderful and try to include me in their conversations. I am learning extremely fast! I can understand a lot but its hard to say.
I love you all so much! Thank you for your letters!
The first pic is my apartment. I live above some recent converts. They own the building and rent out the rooms.
The internet is slow here and won´t load my pictures very fast so I will have to do it next week. I will send one of my companion and some of Huanuco!